Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh Yeah Baby...The Riders Are The Grey Cup Champs!!

Oh yeah baby! In Canada, we have just finished celebrating Grey Cup weekend...the biggest weekend in football. And the Saskatchewan Roughriders, our hometown team were in the big game...the 95th Grey Cup...and they WON IT!

It's been 18 years since the last time we celebrated this victory. It's awesome to just live life in the midst of the celebration. Our kids got to experience the "Green Mile" last night, as we drove them down our main drag, to see the victorious fans.

The things you do in the name of making memories that don't come along very often ;D!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Life's Sculpting

Two Sculptors
I dreamed I saw a studio
And watched two sculptors there.
The clay they used was a child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care.

One was a teacher – the tools he used
Were books, music, and art.
The other; a parent, worked with a guiding hand,
And a gentle, loving heart.

Day after day, the teacher toiled with a touch
That was careful, deft, and sure,
While the parent labored by his side
And polished and smoothed it o’er.

And when at last, their task was done,
They were proud of what they had wrought.
For the things they had molded into the child
Could neither be sold or bought.

And each agreed they would have failed
If either had worked alone.
For behind the parent stood the school
And behind the teacher, the home.


One of our kids brought this home on the first or second day of school. Those close to us know that it was a very hard decision for me to make, in terms of sending Little Mister back into the school system. Only hard, in regards to why he was out of the system in the first place. I wasn't worried or overprotective, because I feel that our kids are exactly where they are supposed to be. They know the love they have at home and are secure in it. They love being around everyone they are around and all the things they are doing. Our kids are socialites, so this has been essential and a huge growth thing.

Mr. Cinder and I had some underlying suspicions throughout last winter. Our underlying suspicions were, that part of my repeat infections and sickness on top of that was simply due to stress. The stress of trying to teach, work, manage a house, be all the hats I play. Some days I wished that I could just be someone who could effectively balance everything. But now, as I look back, it wasn't a matter of not being able to effectively balance. It was a matter of trying to effectively balance things I wasn't supposed to be balancing. Yes, I'm sick right now, but this is the normal fall sickness thing...bugs that go around with our crazy weather, as it decides whether it should snow and snow good, or continue to melt away.

When I read this poem, it just gave huge confirmation as to the fact we had made the right decision for our family. They have been blessed with awesome teachers. There's huge communication between us and Little Mister is being offered a lot of guidance and help, in regards to his reading. I found myself saying, "It wasn't my fault. I did try hard enough. I didn't fail him." I had a friend say to me, "You have nothing to beat yourself up over...but you know that." We're seeing improvements in Little Mister. He's gaining confidence and knows that any help given will help strengthen his skills for the future.

As we prayed for guidance, in terms of the decisions we were making, in regards to schooling, I also prayed for something else. I prayed that life would no longer be in a 'bubble' for me. I prayed that life would have corners and that there would be opportunities for me to reach to the far corners. And He's provided them. I go into Big Mister's (our oldest son's) class once a week, to help his teacher with whatever she requires...reading with kids who are, marking, photocopying, etc. I also get to chaperone field trips for all the kids. I am visiting weekly with parents as we sit and watch our kids at their swimming lessons. He's also bringing awesome experiences to me through work...through ministry, etc.

Life's still hairy busy a lot of's still really hard a lot of times too. That'll always be the's not perfect and I will never claim it as anything close to that. But we are feeling His presence...even on those days where you just want to climb up on the roof, become invisible and hope the day passes fast...He's there!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wholly Loved...

"It might be wise to remember that Satan is the enemy of our souls...It is his voice that whispers messages to discourage us, diminish us, and condemn us. It's his voice that suggests God could never forgive us, stick by us, or love us. It is his voice that tells us we aren't good enough, spiritual enough or worthy enough to receive salvation. And it is his voice that accuses us of inadequate faith and imperfect mental health. God calls him an 'accuser' (Rev 12:10), and that very word is our cue to recognize when Satan is having a heyday in our souls. The Holy Spirit never accuses. Instead, he woos us, he wins us, and he loves us to behave better and to commit ourselves more deeply to him."

~ Marilyn Meberg

I have been home in bed sick for a few days. It's merited me a huge chunk of time to sleep and rest, but also to read and fill my mind, with His word and the words of others. I have a couple of study Bibles which I use. One is a traditional study Bible, with half a page of scripture and half a page of notes. The other is the Women of Faith Study Bible. It has character sketches of different women throughout the Bible, Bible studies intermingled throughout, quotes on some of the pages and on some pages, something specific from them is talked about in the margin.

I came across the above quote today as I was reading. It seemed very timely, considering where God has me reading in other books and because of the sermon heard on Sunday. I'm really hard on myself most days...usually allow those around me slack, but never offer that same grace to myself. I'm beginning the process of looking at that and figuring out where it comes from and then will begin the work of trying to change it.

The last part of this quote just captured my heart. It's such a precious gift...the fact He wants to woo and draw us ever closer to Him. The fact He's always there, cheering us on, encouraging us to do better and never leaving our side, even when we fail miserably. He simply helps us pick up the pieces and continue the journey. I really believe that during those perceived 'failures', that's when we commit to Him at deeper levels. Really, because at that point, it's all Him and none of us.

I wrote this poem a little over a month ago, but never got it posted. This fall has become a time of me taking off the masks...not just taking them off, but somehow smashing them, so that they are unavailable to be picked back up. That always makes for a huge vulnerability and unsteadiness, as you tread into uncharted waters. But it's a beautiful feeling when you begin to see that it is truly the right journey to take. Really, it's the only journey to take, if you want to become more mature in your walk.

At the end of the day, there isn't a lot that really matters, except that we are perfectly created by Him and wholly loved by Him...He's wooing us and wanting desperately for us to draw ever closer and embrace it!

Sometimes we live so long,
With various masks to put on.
That those masks turn from a masquerade,
To life as we know it.

It seemingly seems easier,
To live a life based on wished for perceptions.
Then to embrace the blessings in front of us,
And live the true fullness of life set before us.

Embrace all that comes your way,
Don't shy away from what's yet to come.
You may not be perfect in a world's perception,
But you are created perfectly in His eyes.