Tuesday, 22 October 2013

We all Suck (Well, I know I do!)

It has been far too long since I have been able to write. I was almost scared today as I went to set myself up in front of the computer.  There are about a billion different things crashing around in my head lately that I am excited to share and get out onto paper the screen. But our home hasn't been the most peaceful place as of late with my two busy, loud, messy, but oh so wonderful kiddos and my sisters little man (who has been teething and having a hard time going down for naps and bedtimes). I normally sit down to write during naps since it is quiet and I can actually think a (mostly) complete thought without having my kids distract and divert my attention but lately naps our quiet for my kids and loud for my nephew. (It is rather tricky to write when instead of silence you hear crying, but the little guy now has the start of an adorable toothy grin that he loves to share with his aunt so I don't really mind)

Anyway, back to the point. 

The other day a friend posted this picture on facebook and I felt an immediate connection to it.  

The original picture can be found HERE.   

Often the ending of this...saying  (? I don't really know what to call it),  is as follows:

" God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. "

I do like that ending but I think that the one in the picture above speaks volumes and is something that has been speaking to me for weeks. 


God has been putting this word on my heart and in my thoughts over and over again throughout the past few weeks.  But He is not just giving me subtle hints and reminders, He is hitting me with it from all sides. 

We have had a few conversations around the dinner table about some of the key players in the bible. We have discussed how children's stories put the characters in such a great light most of the time and kids are lead to believe, for a time, that those people were great so they did great things. But really they were sinners and God brought them out of their sin to do His works, which were pretty great. 

Today at our Mom's Bible Study, there was a wonderful woman that came to share with us about her experiences with adultery and marriage and God's grace. She was with the group last week as well, but I had missed it. My sister told me a short snippet of what I had missed but it was only of who the speaker was and that her perspective was from being the one who had cheated and who felt/feels like she ruined two marriages and two families because of her sins. 

I have to admit I was shocked. I didn't/ don't know the whole story of what happened to her since I wasn't involved, but I was struggling to see what I was going to take from hearing her talk about it. (That's sounds horrible and judgey but if I am trying to be honest, I was nervous for what she was trying to bring to the group)  I wrestled with whether I wanted to go this morning and was feeling like there wasn't going to be a whole lot I would take from it. 

But God was trying to show me His Grace. The amazing thing that happened to this woman through all of the sin and strife, was that God has shown her grace. He has brought healing to her and her family and the other mans family as well.  God has blessed them by using it to bring the ex-wife and the children of her new husband to the Lord. God has used her to speak to many women who are struggling and she has countless opportunities to use the story of her sin for His glory. 

I felt blessed to be there and I am so glad that I went. 

 And He said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Corinthians 12:9-10

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

1 John 1:8-10

I think we often forget how sinful we are. We loose sight of how imperfect and dysfunctional we are, that we lie and bend the truth, cheat or steal, look down our noses or judge, and that we are no better than the person sitting to our right or left. 

I like this story in John chapter 8, it always knocks me on the head and gives me some perspective. 

 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

John 8:3-11

There are none of us that are sinless.  

 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23

as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;

Romans 3:10

We need to remember that we are not sinless for 2 key reasons:

1.  So that we never forget the grace that God has poured out over us time and again. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

Ephesians 2:8-9

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

Romans 5:8

2. So that we can show and offer God's grace to others. 

Who are you to tell another person’s servant if he is right or wrong? It is to his owner that he does good or bad. The Lord is able to help him.

Romans 14:4

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5

I hope that made sense to you.  I am a little rusty and these thoughts have been bouncing around for a long time. ( No wonder God has been smacking me in the face with it over and over, he didn't want me to forget it) 

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, 
And give you peace.”’


Thursday, 10 October 2013


Bare with me, I was going to jump back into the next part of the Love Is... series but my head has been a thousand other places and I have not quite completed some of the aspects of the next one.  It will be coming soon though, hopefully. 

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving! We are so excited to be spending the weekend with our family from both sides and I can't wait.   Another wonderful part of our weekend is that we are dedicating our son. 

We have been doing our dedications a little differently with our kids, our church does have baby/child dedications, but they are not laid out exactly how I wanted and our extended family never seems to be able to be there at the same time.  

With Little A we had been talking and praying about dedicating her for a long time and had started to fill out the paper work to have her dedicated at the church, but it just didn't ever seem right. 
So, one weekend we were up visiting my family and hubby's and we just asked them all to join us back at my parents house after lunch to pray over Little A and join with us as we commit to raising her for Christ. 

It was exactly what I wanted (albeit a little thrown together and missing a few members of the family).  It was intimate and personal and not at all scripted.  My dad and Hubby's dad prayed blessings over Little A and us, there was no standing at the front of the church and taking turns with a few other families to pray and bless. It was just us and I loved it. 

This weekend, since our families were all planning on being in the same place anyway, we asked them to all join us at my in-laws acreage for a lunch and dedication celebration on Sunday after church. It sounds like it will be a pretty full house since it will be both sides of our family and a few of Hubby's aunts and uncles are close by and are going to join in too.  

One of the things that I am very excited about that will be happening at the celebration is that everyone will have an opportunity to write in E man's Blessing Book.  ( I will actually have one out for Little A too since it was something I really wanted but forgot to do for her dedication)   The kid's Blessing Books are little journals that we plan on filling with prayers, dreams, and visions that we, or others, have for our children.  

Each of the Blessing Books start out with the full names of the kids and the dates of their births.  The second page is about their names and what they mean. For example, Little A's name means lioness in Hebrew but it also is a musical term in other languages. Hubby and I both felt like we were given her name, there was never any doubt that God had told us what her name would be and it completely suits her.  

E man is the same, his name was totally one that was chosen for him not by us. Hubby had his doubts about the name at first and kept looking for a different one but I knew E's name before I even knew I was having a boy.  When I was pregnant with E man, everyone that prayed for me and the baby would pray that God would give the baby strength and that it would be strong and healthy, his name means "God's strengthens". 

The rest of the book will be written in by us and our friends and family. I know that we won't fill the book this weekend but as the kids grow Hubby and I will add to them and write new prayers and blessings for them.   When the kids graduate from High School we plan to give them their books as part of their graduation gift. 

I am very excited about having a book that will be full of spiritual heritage and a reminder that we have decided to raise them for Christ with His guidance. 

My Sister and Brother in Law just recently dedicated their son at our church, a picture of it was posted on a cousins Facebook page with a description of the event. A friend of the cousin questioned why Christians would dedicate their children since there is no biblical foundation for it. 

An example of an infant/child dedication is the story of Hannah found in 1 Samuel 1.  

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.  And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.”
As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!”
“Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to theLord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”
“In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”
“Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

1 Samuel 1:10-18

This is exactly how I felt when I was trying to get pregnant. I was in anguish over having miscarried so many times, struggling to trust in God's plan and wanting so badly to have a child. When I did get pregnant with Little A my prayers and conversations with God were long and at times very heated. But I knew that He was in control and His plan would be for good.  Over and over through the pregnancy we gave Little A back to God and right after delivery we prayed over her and praised God for our little blessing. 

The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship theLord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
1 Samuel 1:19-20

 When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine.  After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli.  “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord.  I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.
1 Samuel 1:24-28

Hannah took her child to the Tabernacle and left him there with Eli. Can you imagine?  It would be so difficult for Hannah to take this little boy that she had longed for and prayed for and give him back to God's service, leaving him in the care of someone else. 

What we do is a symbolic gesture, we stand up in front of our family and friends or our church family and we make a promise to God to do all we can to raise our children His ways, not our own, with prayer and help from Him until our children can choose to follow on their own.  What Hannah did was so much more than just a gesture, she literally gave her son back to God.  

We are continually reminded that our children are God's children. That no matter how much we worry and fret about the little things, God has a plan for all of it, big and small, and he works it together for their good.  He constantly reminds us that he loves them more than we can imagine  (which is crazy to me since I can't imagine loving them any more).

You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

Psalms 139:16 

So, I guess, all of this is me "standing" up before you, making my pledge to God saying that I will work diligently and prayerfully to raise my children in His word, in His way, praying for them, and trying to lead them by example with God's help.   
Thanks for being there for me to walk along side of and know that I am not alone in my struggles. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 
May you be filled with joy and peace and may God open your eyes to the richness of blessings that he bestows upon you, so that you can be ever thankful. 

This is Little A's favourite thing right now. She loves pointing out
 any tree that she is seeing yellow on. 

I love these guys!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Join Me in a Giggle

Just thought I would share a few hilarious moments that we have had in our house recently. 
My kids are always good for a chuckle and since we should:

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  (Romans 12:15)

Why not laugh with those who laugh. 

The other day as we were getting into the car my lovely little two and a half year old, Little A, looks up at me with a grin and says, "I am perfection.

"Oh really? Who taught you that?" (since there are 4 adults in our house as of late I was interested to know where she learnt this phrase, since it wasn't from me) 

"Nobody, I just am perfection," she replied with the cutest shimmer in her eyes. 

"Yes you are sweetie, God made you perfectly how you are supposed to be." Really how else do you respond to this but than to agree? She has a much better self esteem than her mommy, that's for sure. 

My son, E man, has started to get himself into all kinds of trouble lately. He is totally the opposite to what his older sister was like at this age, 15 months, and he is the epitome of a little boy. He is constantly running around stealing his sisters toys and laughing while he does it. He often will walk up and take a toy Little A has put down, begin to run away but once he realises that she is not upset or chasing after him, he will stop and call to her and show her the toy before starting back into his running away game. 

He also is very good at knowing when he is doing something wrong. He will start to break the rules and he will shake his head and say, "No, no no!  No,no,no!"

This is the view I most often see of my son.
Blurred and of his behind as he laughs and runs away.

A couple of weeks ago I was carrying something down the stairs to take to the freezer. I was trying to get E man to come with me but he refused so I took his hand and was leading him toward the stairs.  We made it to the top step and I got him to sit down on his bum so that he wouldn't fall.  But again he didn't want to cooperate, so I was trying to help him down the stairs with one hand full of frozen food. 
Somehow I knocked him off balance and he toppled down the stairs, rolling all the way down and hitting his head on the wall at the bottom. Top to bottom it was only 7 stairs but I felt horrible. It was totally my fault, he has never fallen on his own down them before. 
But to our surprise, he gets up laughing and begins to climb back up the stairs to try to fall down them again.  Kinda helped me not feel so horrible but left me in shock by how silly my crazy little guy can be. 

This is apparently how we get ready to go to the lake in my house.
Because really, you cannot go to the lake without your face being painted,
and the only way to sit still and have your face painted is to paint on the painter. 

Today, Tuesdays specifically,  are one of the busiest days around our house. We all have places to be and it always seems to be a struggle to get the kids up and fed and ready to go.  Tuesdays is our moms bible study at our church and today my sister and I were taking our turn bringing snacks. We brought the Pumpkin Spiced (Better Than) Scones and even brought some Gluten free versions as well.  

We are blessed at our bible study to have wonderful women and men from our church that come and take care of our children so that we can enjoy the study free from distractions. The last few times we have gone to the group, Little A has a meltdown when I try to take her to play. She only cries for a minute or two after I leave but while I am trying to drop her off she is inconsolable. She loves being there and doesn't stop talking about all the fun she had once I pick her up and she is always so excited to go, until I get her to the doors to go in. 

I have been trying to find things that would excite her and give her something to look forward to once I get back, but nothing seems to help. But as a bonus, Hubby comes home for lunch on Tuesdays, and that coupled with being filled up from the bible studies, makes dealing with the sobbing kiddo and feel horrible about leaving her with others while she cries, totally more bearable. 

Today, at lunch, Hubby was blessed with the chance to take our adorable Little A to the potty.  She asked him to take her, "not mommy", which is totally fine with me. 
Up in the bathroom, Little A finished her stinky business, looks down into the toilet and exclaims, "That's a family poop! That one is the mommy, but the daddy poop has to go to work, in my bum!" 

Seriously. How do you even respond to her. All you can do is laugh. Well laugh and then go and write it down in our Hilarious Moments Journal.  (That's the book we are keeping for the kids of all the wonderful and ridiculous things they do and say as they grow up, its so much fun to look through and I can't wait to read through it with them when they are grown) 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Complete Authenticity

I was going to post today for the Love is... series but wanted to talk about something that has been tumbling around in my head this past week.  I am not sure if I am any closer to an answer or truth but maybe it will resonate with you. 

At our moms group we have just begun to read a book called "No More Perfect Moms" by Jill Savage. 
The website, found here , has a lot of great information about the book and Jill. 

This week we discussed being real and authentic with other women and not trying to put on a mask of perfection and having it all together. 

As a group we talked about the importance of being real with other women. There were a few that feel that we should be real but only be fully open with a few very select people so that we are not always just airing our dirty laundry for the world.  

I am torn.  

On one hand I agree. It is a really good idea to guard ourselves with some people and not just let everyone into our deepest darkest selves. (I think really just our spouses should be at that level of openness with us anyway) 

But I disagree in that I think we should walk in complete authenticity with the world. If we are not truthful and honest about ourselves we get caught up in portraying perfection, we trap others into feeling like they have to be perfect and we make anyone who doesn't measure up (which is everyone, including ourselves) feel like a failure. 

But here is the key to making it all work the way that it should. 

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deedsand glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14

 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practises and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,free; but Christ is all, and in all.
 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:9-17

If we are to be the light to the world just like we are called to be, how can we be honest and let the people around us see how completely sinful we are? 
How can we let them see our struggles and shame without turning them away from Christ? 
Who really wants to hear all about how horrible things are going in our lives at times, isn't being negative going to turn people away?

The key to all of this is simple to understand but difficult to walk out in life. 

Okay that sounds scary, let me break it down a little. 

1. We need to be real with people so that they do not feel like they will never measure up, that their sin is too terrible, and they cannot be loved.  Living authentically as a Christ follower, we can show our sin and failures and show that we are loved and forgiven anyway. We can show the world that we still make mistakes, we still aren't even close to perfect, but God still loves and still forgives. 

Living like that shows Christ's love and helps keep us away from acting "holier than though".

2.  People don't always want to hear about how horrible you think things are going for you.
 No one wants to see a million and one Facebook statuses about how terrible everything in your life is going. Yes, your being honest, but part of being a Christ follower is that we have a HOPE.  
We need to start walking in that hope and sharing it with others. 

So instead of our status reading:
 Anita is so sick of her grumpy kids screaming and having meltdowns.  I just need them to nap so I can rest for a single second today.  Man am I glad there is coffee. 

Maybe it could read something like this:
  Anita and the kids had a rough night, I am feeling very thankful today that my kids still nap and that I live in a place where I can get coffee easily. 

Or if you were feeling honest:
Anita is having a rough morning and is struggling to find something positive to hold onto to get me through today.  Pray for me. 

or if you were really working to try to be positive:
Anita is struggling today but is choosing to find the ray of sunshine in my dark and crazy morning.  I thank God for these children he gave me and that their voices can be so loud. I can't wait to see how God uses them for his glory. 

I totally understand that not everyone is ready to just share their faith all over Facebook and that's a personal thing. 
But we can share our negative life events without always sounding negative. And that is really important.  
If all we ever share is negative stuff, we loose our ability to reach people for Christ. People start to think "What's so good about being a Christ follower if everything is always negative for them?"

3. We need to walk this out in our lives and conversations too.  
Often as moms, we get together and we unload. We meet with other moms and we finally have another grown up to talk to, that can somewhat understand what we are going through, so we explode with all of the frustrations and heartaches and troubles we are going through. But if we are trying to be Completely Authentic, we need to not only share the hard things, we have to shine the light on the positives as well.  Or at least show that we are trying to find the positives or holding onto the hope that there will be one soon. 

My dad joked with us the other day saying, "I know the will of God for everyone I meet."   Then he laughs and says, "That they would give thanks in all circumstances." 
The crazy man is right. 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16

If we can be Completely Authentic and show that we are even trying to rejoice in the hard times it shows great character and shows others that we do have something different that may be worth searching for. 

* This is something I have totally been failing at lately but am working on, those close to me please remind me what I am working on and remind me how important it is to find the positives and hold onto hope. 

I hope that made sense, It has been bouncing in my head for days so I don't know if it made it onto the screen with all of the parts intact. 
Blessings Friends.