Monday, December 23, 2013

merry christmas

i'm laughing while i sit here typing.
all three of my girls are in the bath, giggling, splashing and squealing.
the bubbles are long gone but they're still having fun!
it's christmas holidays and we're happy!
they slept in 'til almost 9 (after a late night yesterday) and i'm still in my jammies at 11am.
it's also -31 degrees celsius outside... for that, i'm not so happy.
but that's life in the frozen armpit of canada.
(wait... isn't the armpit supposed to be hot and sweaty??)
we don't have anything particularly exciting up this week.
just family down time, a couple of gatherings and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
we'll open a few gifts, some home made, some dollar store treasures and eat good food.
i hope you'll enjoy the holidays as well!
merry christmas from our home to yours!

i bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
the savior -- yes, the messiah, the Lord -- has been born today in bethlehem, the city of david.
luke 2:10-11

Monday, December 16, 2013

true christmas joy

there's so much joy to be had in Him!
joy, not in our surroundings, people or things...
but true, attainable and abounding joy in our King!
He lives in my heart and guides me daily, hourly, by the minute and second.
His presence and peace are mine before i even think about them.
He's always there for me even if i don't feel Him.
i have faith.
and His blessings come to my spirit when i need them.
but i have a human tendency to forget Him and look for Him only when i need Him.
forgive me, Jesus!
for you are always there for me.
waiting patiently and loving me onward especially when i do not deserve it.
i rejoice at your birth!
your lowly arrival amidst the cattle, crud and shadows shows me that when i dwell in darkness, you are still with me.
you humbled yourself a poor, pitiful, helpless babe, to remind me that you too, are the least of these.
no one is below your merciful hand.
you offer your guiding light to everyone.
thank you for your gifts, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
i celebrate immanuel and take true joy that you are always with us.
tell fearful souls,
"courage, take heart!
God is here, right here,
on his way to put things right
and redress all wrongs.
He's on his way! He'll save you!"

blind eyes will be opened,
deaf ears unstopped,
lame men and women will leap like dear,
the voiceless break into song.
springs of water will burst out in the wilderness,
streams flow in the desert.
hot sands will become a cool oasis,
thirsty ground a splashing fountain.
even lowly jackals will have water to drink,
and barren grasslands flourish richly.

isaiah 35:3b-7 (the message)

"take a good look at my servant.
i'm backing him to the hilt.
he's the one i chose,
and i couldn't be more pleased with him.
i've bathed him with my spirit, my life.
he'll set everything right among the nations.
he won't call attention to what he does
with loud speeches or gaudy parades.
he won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt
and he won't disregard the small and insignificant,
but he'll steadily and firmly set things right.
he won't tire out and quit.
he won't be stopped until he's finished his work --
to set things right on earth.
far-flung ocean islands
wait expectantly for his teaching."

isaiah 42:1-4 (the message)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

in saying no...

it's amazing what almost a week will do.
i sat here last week on my blog space writing about feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
i sorta fell apart in real life.
i cracked.
i did a bunch of crying, to be honest.
ok, ok, ok... i can blame some of it on the hormones.
it was that magical "time" of the month but i do not regret it.
it was a good time to reflect.
today i'm in a much better head space.
i'm feeling peaceful and more able to engage in life.
i said no and have spent the majority of my time at home with my family this past week.
has it been hard to say no?
but it's been good for me.
very good for me.
and here's the gift that i've found.
in me being purposeful about saying no, i've actually been able to say yes.
i know that doesn't make sense but let me try and explain.
i hate to say no to people.
i hate to think that someone might have a poor opinion of me because i let them down.
i know, i know.
this is a problem.
i'm a people pleaser.
really, being a people pleaser is not something to be proud of.
i put others before myself and my family too often.
and it was evidenced last week that it needed to be stopped.
since i've begun to say no to things, i've given that much needed time and energy to my family.
am i still yelling at my kids when i'm frustrated?
am i still impatient with them when we're trying to get out the door in time?
well, yes... i'm ashamed to admit.
but... i can say it's happened less frequently.
look, i'm totally not an expert and not trying to be.
it's only been 1 measly week.
but i feel like i have some clarity right now and that's why i'm sharing this.
anyway, let me get back to the gift that God has given me when i say no.
because of me being purposeful in staying home, i have renewed energy to say yes when i want to.
there have been a couple of times that i've been able to help out people i love.
and i'm not talking about the guilty, i need and should help them attitude.
i'm talking about the smiling, genuine, actually wanting to help someone attitude.
my cup is full so i can help fill someone else's up.
this has been a gift!
and i can't believe the Lord has been gracious enough to show me this in one week!
actually, why am i surprised?
i surely shouldn't be.
He can and He does fulfill my needs.
i need to be able to say no... in order to say yes.
it's all a bit confusing, i know.
maybe it's better left described in person?
whatever the case, He's teaching me lessons already about His perfect peace and His infinite love.
and His love flowing through me is how i continually want to be.
as your time feels more and more consumed this holiday season... don't be afraid to just say NO!

and He will be our peace.
micah 5:5

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


i sit here in the dark, waiting for the impending snow storm to hit.
they say there's at least 15-25 cm of snow expected.
i just saw on the tv that there's school cancellations in north dakota.
it's coming... but i see nothing out my window.
is it really going to arrive?
my mind has been swirling.
my life has been a flurry of activity.
places to go, people to see, things to get done.
it's the complete opposite of how i want my holiday season to be.
and it's, once again, stressing me out.
how i miss the christmas' of my childhood.
easy, relaxed, full of wonder, enjoyment.
why do we make it crazy as adults?
why do we jam pack so much in?
my mental health hasn't been great lately.
perhaps it is my impending womanly time...
but i'm thinking it's also from the Lord, gently tapping me on the shoulder.
you can't do it all.
it's ok to say no.
and so i'm going to do just that.
i'm waiting... readying my heart to take in the advent season that's begun.
i've been reading in my bible.
how hard it must have been to wait and wait and wait on the messiah.
i don't doubt that women, thousands of years ago, felt some of the same emotions i deal with today.
we women are delicate and emotional creatures.
they were looking for a saviour, just as we still do.
today, however, we forget that we have access, full access to the one and true creator.
wonderful counsellor...
the mighty God...
the everlasting father...
the prince of peace!
we have direct accessibility to that!
why don't we take advantage of it?
i'm desperately trying to get through my days on my own strength when Jesus reminds me that i don't need to.
what am i teaching my daughters about overcommitments and running yourself dry?
what i'm trying to do in the next couple of weeks is be intentional.
intentional with my time... and my people.
my family of 5, in particular.
we've been going through a particularly rough patch and i think the answer is more time at home... together... as a family.
i'm a yes person... so if i say yes to you in the next few weeks, ask me a second time.
make sure i'm making the best decision for my little family.
to bring peace into our life.
to wait with anticipation as we read and instil hope during advent.
i hope you'll do the same?
this is what we're reading to prepare our hearts.
and as i sit here typing, still waiting for the storm to hit, i realize i may just need to go to bed.
i need to rest and wait.
it will come, like they said it will, i'm sure of it.
just like peace will come, and i will find it when i rest too... in Jesus.

and here we are this past weekend, picking up our christmas tree... and decorating.

sisters, sharing secrets.

little k took the next few shots all on her own!

blurry, but i sorta really like it!

putting the star up!

some of the snow that's already dropped today.
not nearly enough to cancel school... just yet.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

insecurity and hope

insecurity is one of the worst weapons used by the enemy against women.
insecurity is bred through the simplest lies whispered into our ears.
'you're not enough.'
'she's better than you.'
'you haven't been there when you should have.'
'you can't eat that.'
'you're going to lose it all.'
'change is bad.'
'you can never do that.'
'i don't belong.'
'you can never be that person.'
it can eat us alive.
literally, from the inside, out.
when insecurity creeps up on us, we can choose to do one of two things.
we can run away... frightened, maimed and hurt... and let the enemy win.
or we can face it head on, being confident in how the Lord sees us.
our confidence isn't found in how we react to a situation or the type of person we are ("i don't do what that person does, so that means i'm good.").
we shouldn't get into the habit of patting ourselves on the back when we do 'better'.
we should though, look at how Jesus sees us.
because, seriously... we are going to continue to sin.
we will keep letting people down.
we will keep hurting ourselves in the process.
where should we find our confidence?
our confidence is to be found in Jesus Christ.
we can boast in Him!
and Him alone!
and we don't need to let all the worries of today or the worries of tomorrow damage us.
and when those stretching opportunities arise, because you know they will, we need to choose to walk with empty hands.
we need to see the beauty in releasing those insecurities.
letting go of our fears...
fears of people, places, things, circumstances.
we need to work on finding true joy and hope in Him.
He absolutely knows the very deepest desires of our hearts.
He doesn't want to see us hurt in vain.
even if we end up going through some very difficult times, He's using it as a way to refine us.
to make us more like Him.
to have a heart like Him.
so when you're feeling like you're failing, cling to Him.
to His word.
to His presence.
to the hope He brings.
Christ is for you... and He wants to fight for you.
you don't need to anymore.
He is good, always good.
 (some more recent instagrams from when we were visiting my parents in texas)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

my funny baby, whom i love dearly.

my baby girl...
she's now FOUR YEARS old!
can you believe it?
she's quite the character.
she makes me laugh...
heck, she makes us ALL laugh, all the time.
(except for the times she makes me mad... which happen quite a bit too).
anyway, back to the funny stuff.
she's a character.
she's sassy.
she's bossy.
she knows what she wants.
she's tough.
she doesn't let anyone push her around.
she's adorable.
she's a little bit impish... ok, a lot.
she's weird.
and you guys that don't know her in real life...
she's seriously HILARIOUS!
she's the third child, through and through.
confident, grown up beyond her years and loud!
i guess i'm doing her 'birthday' write up.
it's only 2.5 months late.
i'm late with something?
oh, what else is new?
please laugh with me?!
also, please enjoy this photograph of my husband and i looking like twins.
baby h's preschool teacher (she happens to be my co-worker too!) always makes the comment, "oh, i just love her.  she's got this twinkle!"
and i think, oh man... what does that mean??
what kind of shenanigans is she getting into at preschool?
because baby girl isn't the easiest kid to parent.
she's actually quite naughty.
really, i should blame myself because i let her get away with way too much.
i'm usually a little bit emotionally and physically exhausted with life and so i just let her get into things.
i get mad... and then i realize, hmmm... she doing that because i don't discipline when i should.
but, again, she's the third.
i should know this by now!
she's just like me...
and she even looks exactly like i did... see?
i got away with too much when i was growing up too!
(sorry mom and dad and brother and sister!)
here's just a funny story about baby h that i have to record because i don't want to forget it.
it's just her and her personality... and it's just weird and funny and everything in between!
so my mother in law (nana, to the girls) was babysitting last week while i was working.
since baby h is now growing out of naps (you'd better believe i'm hanging onto them as long as possible!!), there's ample opportunity to go out and about with her between 1 and 4 pm.
this particular thursday, nana and h decided to hit up the local thrift store.
for what they were looking for, i have no idea.
but what they actually found?
well, this is a great story.
h finds the strangest things to suit her fancy.
this day was no different.
instead of spending all the time looking at the toy section, where did she go?
well, of course to the used candle box.
she's completely entranced by this stuff.
case in point.
nana told me she sat there for a long time, inspecting every old odd candle.
and the hardest decision of all?
deciding which ones would come home with her.
the green tree and turquoise half cracked tealight were the winners!
not to be outdone, she had to find another 'treasure' and she conveniently fell in love with a glittery snowman.
i bet someone paid at least a hefty $3 for this item back in the day.
it was hers for a mere .25!
deal of the day!
and now... it's the TOY of the year!
this incredible, sparkly snowman currently goes everywhere with her.
to the dentist...
to birthday parties...
to preschool (for show and tell!!!),
and to bed, naturally.
he is a little creepy.
what, with his blackish eye and kiss spot.
does that stop her?
no... she absolutely adores him.
he's attractive to all people, under the age of 5.
if anyone's looking for a fantastic birthday or christmas present for their child, let me know.
i might be able to smuggle this guy out of our house.