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.