Friday, June 29, 2007

Watch the Quiet Ones....

I drove into my driveway after having dropped a daughter off at a friend's for a swim.

I'd been gone about 20 minutes and left Dad in our house, that can get interesting.

I watched as three 11 year old boys struggled to climb our fence.
My eyes widened as I observed them climbing on to our shed roof.
I thought they were spying on the neighborhood children.
I didn't know whether to laugh or be the "stern mama", as I realized their true plan.

Michael and his friends had pulled the trampoline close to the shed and were climbing up on the roof of it in order to jump off on to the trampoline!

I asked them what they were doing, they stated the obvious, I warned them they were not allowed to break any bones as it was only the last day of school....vacation really doesn't begin until tomorrow.

Shaking my head, I had visions of Mark pulling a similar stunt as a boy....Oh! I forgot, he wasn't quite as tame, he lit a Roman Candle in a friend's bedroom....balls of fire shooting everywhere.

I went inside to see if the man I'd left in charge had any idea what they were up to....he did not, and held his laughter as long as he could while he reprimanded the boys and put an end to their fun.

Inside, we laughed, I blamed our son's antics on my husband's reaping of his childhood sowing.

Then I remembered fondly, climbing up on the roof of our shed with my brother and sister. we didn't have a trampoline, but we had incredibly high snow drifts to soften our landing....

I guess Michael comes by it all so naturally....what kind of summer am I in for?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jianna H. First Grader (at last)

Mrs. King and Jianna

Our house was quiet with all little people tucked into their beds. I began to prepare for tomorrow, the famous "last day of school!" We have all waited so long, and it has been so busy....really all month, who am I kidding? All YEAR! My preparations (in my mind), only extended through tomorrow....

We were all ready, I was beginning to wind down for the eve. when it hit me....HARD!


Oh, I am ready for the routines to be set aside, for long LAZY Summer days, for lots of sunshine and the anticipation of wonderful summer memories.
I am ready for us to get to do FUN things together as a family.
I am ready for our family party to celebrate the end of a very successful school year for all...and the advancement of each into a new grade....

Even in sending Maria to French Immersion in a new school,I am comforted, knowing that she will be in the secure and capable hands of her new VP...Karen's husband, Cliff.

What I have discovered that I am not ready for, is something I have been excited about all week. Something I have been so very proud of my baby for accomplishing. Something for which in the words of her principal, I was "my child's advocate". Something that I was sure she was ready for, and after meeting with her principals, realized she was more ready for than I had imagined....

Jianna graduating from JK to grade 1, without the obligatory stop over in SK.
It seems all of Jianna's desire since before Christmas, of being in grade 1, will not have to wait another year afterall. She is so excited. How did she celebrate this achievement when she found out on Monday?

By discovering in our library of children's books, what has become her very first chapter book.
She began the story of "Junie B. First Grader (at last)". How fitting for this to be her introduction to the world of chapter books.

So, for the past three days she has read.
She read while on the swings.
She read while sitting on her bed.
She read while walking to the bathroom.
She read IN the bathroom.
She read beside me on the deck, as I read.
She WANTED to read while we got groceries today.

Today, as she graduated from JK to become a 1'st grader herself, as she finished her first chapter book...
I suddenly realized that my baby has also finished her Kindergarten year.

I know she does not need the second year of Kindergarten....but as the tears rolled down my cheeks, I realized that ....I DID...

I now all too clearly realized that in all my preparations, especially those to prepare Jianna to advance a year beyond her age....
I did not stop to prepare myself.

I have so enjoyed our afternoons together.
We have memories of playing at the parks, of getting groceries...and treats, of reading together, of shopping, of folding laundry together, of walks by the Bay,of baking....and of all the other mundane little tasks that she made so much more enjoyable.

As I began to get ready for bed, I realized that tomorrow is the last of those days....just the 2 of us.....and I must admitt , my heart aches, there is a very large lump in my throat making it oh so hard to swollow, and the tears flow freely, making it impossible to see the keyboard.

So, tomorrow, don't drop by the house.

I am putting everything aside for the few short hours we will have....I need to go and play with my little girl....just the 2 of us.
Mrs. Craig, teacher until Sept. Friend - Noah, Mrs.King, teacher since Sept.... Jianna

Saturday, June 23, 2007

How Do I see Myself?

"And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."(Numbers 13:33)

Piggy Back Ride My devotional this morning was on this scripture and it's being the key to the Israelites not going in to fight the giants in their promised land.

Joshua and Caleb's report was that this truly was their promised land...they brought back samples of the fruit..."When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs." Numbers 13:23

That's huge fruit! Have you ever seen a "single cluster of grapes" big enough that it had to be carried by two men on a pole?

We know that they absolutely could have gone in and not only fought the giants, but they would have "possessed" the land. Caleb's declaration was "we should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it" (Numbers 13:30)....they would have won! God was on their side, so what could possibly have stopped them?

Only one thing...fear.

A fear that was brought on by how they saw themselves...very small.

This wasn't God's view of them, it was their own...what's worse is that the enemy saw them as they saw themselves... once they'd established their own view of themselves, the enemy saw them this way. Fear set in, and not even the size of the promised fruit could persuade these men to go and possess their land. It was their land already, God had promised it, but it was their job to possess it.

The story would have been so different if they had only seen themselves as God saw them.

They were His chosen people! They were mighty men of strength. They were conquerors and over comers...On top of all of that, God Himself was leading them into this battle and would have ensured the victory!

Had they only been able to catch a glimpse of who God had created them to be and to choose to see through HIS lens...they would have gone in, they would have fought the giants, possessed the land...and been able to eat of the enormous fruit that God had waiting for them.

So, how do we see ourselves?

Are we "grasshoppers in our own sight"?

Do we see ourselves as victims?

Do we see our selves as more than conquerors?!

Do we see ourselves as victorious through Him?!?!

It is so important that we take on God's view of ourselves....because THAT is the view the enemy will have of us. HE will do the shrinking back when we learn to see ourselves and ACT as God sees us.

We will be able to go and possess our promised lands and ALL of the magnificent fruit that He has provided for us in that place!

Monday, June 18, 2007

WE WIN!!!!!!

"I want to remember as I look on each one of the perfectly healthy, perfectly recovered faces of my family, that I have the most amazing most faithful Father in the universe.
I want to remember that He has truly turned our mourning into joy...
I want to remember that He will never leave nor forsake any one of us...
I want to remember that what the enemy has intended for evil in our lives,my God is always redeeming for Good...
I want to remember that we are hidden under the shelter of His wing....
I want to remember that His plans for us are for good and not to harm us...
I want to remember that He has once again given us Beauty for Ashes...."

I hate the enemy of my soul!

How dare he?!??!

He knows he is defeated and that he IS overcome by the blood of my lamb and the word of MY testimony...

Even in his defeat he strikes...

My 8 year old Maria was riding her bike home from school today when she was hit/or she hit a van.

She was once again protected by my ever Faithful God and the ministering angels that he has assigned to her. She is scraped and bruised, but truthfully no worse than if she'd taken a tumble without the impact of a vehicle. PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD!! PRAISE GOD!!!

Her emotions are pretty raw mind you, and I would covet your prayers of healing of her little heart and spirit.

This accident was eerily familiar to the one I spoke of just yesterday. Maria was crossing a street...a vehicle blocked her view...they never saw each other until it was too late....she even got hit from the same direction.

How sinister is that?

He is once again defeated!

What he intended for evil my God is already turning for our good....

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.

For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Psalm 27: 1-6

Everything I quoted above from my blog yesterday....goes DOUBLE today!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This is How We the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony!

I have to say...I really am a woman of Faith. I am naturally optimistic anyway, but as I have gotten to know my savior and His word more, that optimism has developed into Faith. Not perfect faith, but usually very solid faith.

Today, was a struggle. The enemy was really playing with my mind.

I mentioned in an earlier post that today is the first time since the accident 6 years ago, that Father's Day and June 17'th have been the same day.

I have been doing quite well, and almost forgot today as we finished Mark's breakfast in bed. When we were getting ready though, I suddenly remembered, with the added torment of realizing that Mark had to drive Jonathan to work, which meant the other three children and I were travelling to church alone again.

I tried to shut down all fear but, it wasn't as easy as usual...finally I told Mark. He reassured me, BUT told me to take the old van...if I was going to crash one, he wanted it to be that one. I DID NOT THINK THIS WAS THE LEAST BIT FUNNY, made a face at him, and took the new van!

As much as I wanted to ignore the enemy, he reminded me that Mark had had "a feeling" that day, that we should all travel who was I hearing? I admit I prayed all the way to church this morning, and I would not allow my now almost 11 year old son to sit in the front, and I made sure I didn't have to cross at the same spot.....

Lack of Faith?....quite possibly, but I am also not stupid, and I will not give in to the enemy's fears....but I also won't lay down my weapons for even a moment!

For the new readers who may not know, 6 years ago, on Father's Day, I was travelling with my two youngest children to church. I was newly pregnant with my fourth child. My oldest son and my husband biked together to church that day. Literally crossing into the church parking lot, I was hit....and HARD.

My recollection is pieced together from those who were husband, my 9 year old son, and most of my church family including a multitude of children. There are about 6 hours of that day that remain lost to me...concussion. I am actually thankful now for those memories being gone...I don't need to remember the agonizing cries of my almost 5 year old as his broken little body was extricated from the vehicle. Or the fear in my 2 year old's tears. The look of shear shock on the one son's face who was not in the accident but witnessed his family in the grips of the enemy's trap.

What I do want to remember is the man of Faith who immediately upon hearing and seeing that his family was in this accident, began to declare LIFE over his children and wife. Who began to command the enemy to take his hands off of our lives, who declared the goodness of God and His healing hand over each one of us. All the while giving instruction and comfort to us in the car, and those who were witnessing this.

I want to remember the Healing hand of my God who instantly healed a punctured lung in my 4 year old Michael. Who caused the four broken bones in his little hands to heal extremely quickly.

Who took all pain from the broken nose that this same child was suffering with, and who comforted and strengthened this little boy as he under went surgery for his broken femur.

I want to remember His comfort to my mother's heart and mind as He spoke to me directly about this unborn child. About her being completely covered by the prayers of a young teen's desperation...almost 20 years before. Of His reminder that "no weapon formed against any one of us would prosper".

I want to remember as I look on each one of the perfectly healthy, perfectly recovered faces of my family, that I have the most amazing most faithful Father in the universe.

I want to remember that He has truly turned our mourning into joy...

I want to remember that He will never leave nor forsake any one of us...

I want to remember that what the enemy has intended for evil in our lives,my God is always redeeming for Good...

I want to remember that we are hidden under the shelter of His wing....
I want to remember that His plans for us are for good and not to harm us...

I want to remember that He has once again given us Beauty for Ashes....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Father's Strength

He was born Benjamin Warrick Patey,On April 23, 1945 in Main Brook, Newfoundland. Born in a remote northern forestry village to a long line of Newfoundlanders. Annie and William Patey were his parents, he had an older sister and eventually seven more siblings to follow.

My dad is a man of strength. Physical strength, emotional strength and a perseverance beyond belief. In getting to know my Newfie heritage and particularly my Patey relatives, I believe I understand where some of this strength has come from.

There is a reason Newfoundland is called "the rock". When it comes to cultivation, it truly is an unforgiving land. The beauty of the ocean that surrounds it has also been the livelihood of so many for generations and generations. The sea provided food, a means of earning a living, a mode of transportation. The sea was relied on to bring many necessary resources that were not developed in Newfoundland at that truly was their life.

This same ocean could turn without notice, and become a challenge, a foe, a source of shipwreck and devastation.

It took a hardy people to not only survive, but thrive in such a challenging environment. A people of fortitude and strength. A people committed to their land, their community, and one another. The Patey line is just such a family. They learned to work hard because nothing came easy....but they also learned to play hard and live life to the fullest.

They could make something from nothing and there was always room around the table for another face. To this day, all are welcome in a Newfoundlander's home, and no matter when your last meal was, there is food that must be shared. The Patey's, though now spread mostly throughout the "mainland"...carry that strength of hospitality with them.

My Father has worked hard all of his life. He is extremely resourceful and has continued to make something from nothing throughout his life. Life didn't come easy to my dad, but he could never be called a quitter. If he was knocked down, he would get up and get back to work. In my Father's life time, he has been trained as a teacher, a Naval meteorologist, a banker, and an accountant. He has owned and operated a Christian book store...and in his "spare time", chopped lumber in order to pay for private school and braces for me during my last 2 years of high school.

My Father has a heritage with a very strong sense of family....I have watched as an adult, as the Aunts and Uncles would pool resources repeatedly for one who had a greater need. No one does without if there is a way to meet a need.
There is a "Patey Pride" that is joked about....but only among the Pateys. If another were to draw attention to this characteristic in any light that was not favorable....there would be a rallying of Patey's to defend the name.

There is a perseverance that my dad inherited when it comes to belief. Whatever a Patey believes as truth, there is no mountain of proof on this earth that will convince them otherwise. This is a wonderful trait....when it is TRUTH that they believe!!!

My Father was a rock in our family when turmoil would come, when emotions would run never had to guess how dad would react. There was always a steadfastness to his personality that was unshakable. My dad and my other Patey relatives are much like the land that they all still call home. The waves can come and beat year after year, and there is truly a rock like strength that is immovable.

When a hard day's work is done, there is always a "kitchen party" to be had. It might be a game of cards with friends, a "Newfie Jig" with neighbors....or as will be our case this July, a family reunion to reacquaint and to catch up.

My Father's older sister turns 65, so between 80 and 90 of us "Patey's" will converge on cottage country North of Toronto. It will be the party of all parties as the generations come together. There will be laughter, music, food by the truck load, some dancing of jigs, telling of tales and at night always a campfire....with a cast iron pot of my Aunt May's baked beans which will have simmered for the bulk of the day. Many family members I have not seen in years....some since I was a teenager. Yet one Patey strength can be counted on....every single person there will be made to feel as if they are home.

Being born a Patey, I must admit, there is a trait or two that I have yet to cultivate towards Godliness,(Mark might say stubbornness is one)....but I am very thankful for my heritage from the rock....for my father's strength.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fathers of our Nation

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Family
Father, I BLESS this nation of Canada.
I Bless our First Nations Fathers as the first inhabitants of this amazing country. I bless their cultivation of our great land. I call forth Godly leadership within all of our First Nations People groups.
Thank You Father for all of our forefathers who travelled so far from many countries. Who came and established this Nation...the Dominion of Canada, as a land where you would be glorified and where you would have "dominion from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the end of the earth"
Father, I give honor to every man or woman from that time to today,
that you have raised up to a place of leadership over this nation. I give thanks for every decision made or fought for that brought glory to you.
I call forth Godly generations from their descendants.
Generations that would bring honor to your name.
God I BLESS our current leadership in all levels of government. Bless them with wisdom and discernment Lord. Give them strength and grace in their bodies and their resolve to stand for righteousness. Bless their familes and all that is near and dear to them Father.
Holy Spirit, draw them ever closer to the heart of the Father.
Father send their ministering angels to set up "divine appointments, to reorder their schedules and to cause them to come face to face with the goodness of the One True God".
Father I call forth the destiny of Canada as a Nation set apart for the purposes of God. No matter what the people or polls say, we ARE a Godly Nation.
It is our DNA, it is our heritage, it is our foundation. Lord I bless the Godly FIRM foundation of Canada. I ask you to preserve all that is good.
Lord I ask that all that has been built on that Godly foundation...all that does not bring your Holy name Glory, would be stripped away. That we would be stripped back to what would bring this nation strength and honor and Holiness....Lord all that would cause this nation to fullfill her destiny in you.
"And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.
Dan 2:21"
Lord, I am asking that in this new season...a season of turning back to you that the heart of this nation would change. I call forth Godly leaders for Canada, whether that be those already in leadership postions to have their hearts turned to you; or that you would in your sovereignty, raise up new Godly leaders.
We must have Godly leadership, we must be a nation that "stands on guard for thee"!

Father I call for a True Spirit of Repentance to hover heavily over our nation.
Lord, your word says:

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Ch 7:14

Lord I humbly pray and seek your face for Canada and the leaders...the Fathers of Canada, that you would heal our land so that as it has been prophesied repeatedly, that river of healing would then flow from Canada to the ends of the earth.
That this nation would bring Glory to your name by bringing healing to all of the nations.
Father, continue to pour your spirit out on Canada and all of the leadership ...the Fathers of our land. May they be honored to bring honor to you.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Rewriting Father's Day...

As Mother's Day was approaching, God already had so many things deposited in my heart to share, to Honor women and Mothers.

Now as Father's Day approaches, I have searched my heart and not found the same deposits to expound upon and share. This morning, I hear a gentle whisper that says,

"Dig a little Deeper...."

Father's Day has for many years not been an easy celebration for me.

I have had to make choices to honor. I have at times, had to honor if for no other reason, because positionally Fathers are in a place of honor.

God has taught me to look for the "Pearl of Great Price".

It is always there, sometimes we are just not willing to dig deep enough.

In more recent years, Father's Day has held some very traumatic events for my family.

June 17'th...Father's Day, six years ago, being the most significant.

A terrible car accident, with my children...of all places, on the way to church.

Although most of you are very familiar with that event, I will rewrite the story as a post in the near future....God was so good!

Father's Day 2007 is the first time that it has been June 17'th has caused me to think.

Two years ago, on Father's Day, my dog-Jake- died. This would have been difficult in it's own right, but more so, as this was my mother's baby. After she died, and my Father was moving away, I took Jake in as our family pet...he was a little piece of mom.

To lose him on that particular day was very hard.

I had to keep my heart from vowing against Father's Day that year.

So, though I don't feel that I have a lot to say on the subject...I want to write some posts to bring HONOR to Fathers, to men, to Father's Day...and most importantly to my Heavenly Father.

I am "rewriting" Father's Day for myself this year....and as I contemplate this prospect, I hear another gentle whisper:

"Jen, it will bring great honor to me on Father's Day, as you honor all that I love about and in this gift to me, there is a great gift for you."