Saturday, August 30, 2008

I am not sure where this particular Summer has gone, I truly feel like I should have another 2 weeks with the kids before we go back into the busyness of school routines again.

Alas! It is not to be, Labour Day weekend...our days of lazy freedom are all but over.

The back packs and supplies are bought and packed, new clothes and new shoes have been laid out for 4 growing children...(Michael jumped to a men's size 9 shoe, from a 7 in the spring...and Miss Maria has feet almost the size of mine in a lady's 8!!!! How tall are these kids going to grow?!?!?)
Lunch fixings with a few back to school treats have been purchased awaiting their preparation and packing into lunch pails.

Last week I got the call that I am indeed heading back to school as well...things are quite up in the air with teacher talks ongoing, but I will be back at Centennial supervising students full time next week. After the first week, the plan is that I will go back to my regular least until the contract talks are complete.

Mark has his new business cards, the advertising blitz has begun, the packing of his "junk", (excuse me, I meant to say books, papers, files etc.)is moving along.
The younger kids have been excitedly exclaiming "daddy's moving out!"...Thank you Jesus, they are oblivious to what that phrase could mean!
They all have ideas about what this newly emptied space could become...everything from Maria's own room to a Wii room.
They will be sorely disappointed to discover my selfishness in reclaiming it as my place of solace.

This weekend, we kick back, spend time together and enjoy one last "HURRAH!!" of Summer.

This morning as I contemplated the excitement, the anticipation, all of the preparations that are going in to this new season, there is some sadness at leaving summer behind, but mostly resolve to make the changes and transitions as gentle as possible.
Really, that's what all the preparations are about aren't they?

Knowing we are heading into a new season, changes that are inevitable, changes that each one has been preparing for (though mostly without realization), well...really, since the day we were born.
One step has always led to another, each one has grown and matured, in every possible way.
Each stage of growth has led to leaving clothes, teachers and shoes behind.

It's all got me thinking about how God prepares each one of us for the new seasons that are inevitable...sometimes we are not very excited about the changes He brings.

Sometimes, we try to reason, change His mind or hold on to the past...but honestly, He has prepared each one of us, (one step at a time), for our new season. 
WE may not think we are ready, but He has lovingly bought and paid for all that we need to transition matter how daunting our new season may appear.

So, as my household prepares for all of the changes that September is bringing in the natural, I am being reminded to anticipate and embrace the spiritual and emotional changes that come with each new season.

Happy LABOUR Day everyone!
What happens after "labour day" ladies?
A new birth!!!

Bless you all in your seasons of transition, labour and new birth!

Monday, August 25, 2008

He Redeems All Things

As any of you who have lost some one close to you can attest, certain days can become very difficult.
August 25th is my mom's birthday, and at times it has been very difficult, especially the first few years....BUT GOD!

He is such a loving Father and cares about the things that we care about.
He really does make all things new.

Mark and I were young when we got married, full of dreams and ideologies; not unlike most newly weds.
In all of our married years, Mark has never earned a paycheck based on's always been based on commission. This can be great, but it is very hard to make up and stick to a budget when there is no set amount to use as a basis for that budget. One month, there may be overflow....the next 2 might be lean or even non existent.

Before we knew it, we were well over our heads in debt and with  a few bad decisions thrown in there, seeing the light of day, became a dream. (actually reaching it seemed beyond our possibilities)

Eventually, we learned how to put God at the head of our finances and our dreams. We learned to tithe and to give, we worked hard and we prayed, cried and pleaded LOTS. God taught us wisdom and with that wisdom and some Divine intervention, little by little He helped us to climb out of the hole we were in.
Our dream had become the purchase of our first home...having lost almost everything TWICE, this was a huge dream.
We were married 15 years with 4 children before we were finally ready to buy our first home.

The year that we were finally ready, the housing market in our area went became a seller's market and homes were selling the day they were listed for more than the asking price.
I was getting pretty frustrated as month after month we scanned listings, looked at houses and any time we came across a house that might be suitable in our price would sell before we could even look at it.
Our dream was so close...yet still out of reach.

I'd had a dream, one night, that our Real Estate agent found us our house.
We got a call on August 25th. A house had just been listed, did we want to have a look. Mark was a little skeptical, as the asking price was lower than would be expected...something must be wrong with the house. I pushed to go and see it stating that it was my mom's birthday, and it would be just like God to give me a special gift that would bring redemption to an otherwise difficult day.

The kitchen was old and Mark was sure I would not be happy with it as I love to cook. All of the other big items like the roof, furnace, windows, landscaping and deck had all been recently replaced, and I could see the potential of the kitchen. Mark said it would be about a year before we could renovate...I said I could live with that and by Midnight August 25th, 2005,  we had viewed, put in an offer and had it accepted. We found out that there were 10 other people scheduled to view our house the next day, and one put an offer in without viewing the house, just in case our offer fell through!

It gets better though, because the house was listed low in such a hot market, our lender approved enough money to replace all the upstairs flooring, paint and to have a custom renovation done on the kitchen!
Within 2 weeks of signing the purchase agreement, there was a flood in our area of town and we were able to pick out all new flooring and paint for the basement as well...all payed for by the seller's insurance.
We moved into a home that was completely brand new on the inside, and was assessed at
 $40 000.00 MORE than our purchase price before a single piece of furniture was moved in!!!

THAT is the miracle of a God who loves to "make ALL things new"!!!
August 25th was our dream-come-true-day, and I was able to whisper with a very full heart
"It Truly is a Happy Birthday Mom".

Monday, August 18, 2008


I would have made this very cake for you Rhonda....if it wasn't for our "lose for the cruise"
meal plan....well, that and I only found out a little while ago, that it is your birthday!!!

Rhonda's Birthday is today!

Happy Birthday to a very kind, caring friend who has such a heart to nurture and who loves the Lord and her family with all her heart!

Many Blessings Rhonda.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

He REALLY IS so Good

God is so Good
Hymn Lyrics

God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He’s so good to me!

He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He’s so good to me!

I love Him so,
I love Him so,
I love Him so,
He’s so good to me!

I praise His Name,
I praise His Name,
I praise His Name,
He’s so good to me!

I haven't thought of this old hymn in years, but it is the cry of my Spirit this morning....No fancy words, just simple truth:
He IS so Good
He DOES care for me
I AM praising Him.

Thank you Lord for Simple truths!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I am A Blessed Woman!!!

August 12th, 1989 Mark and I got married...We were introduced by some would be "match makers" in 1986...we went out on a couple of dates, but nothing really clicked, (at least for me). Mark was quite persistent and I really didn't know at 17, how to let him know that I wasn't interested....SOOOOOO, I took Mark for a ride on an ornery pony named Poncho.
Mark had never ridden, and I had great fun watching him bounce along and hold on for dear life as we trotted through the trails....I KNOW NOT VERY NICE!!!!........BUT IT WAS FUNNY!!!!!

It took a little more persistence on my end...especially since the family I lived with, loved Mark and were not very helpful when it came to my desire to end things; but, eventually, Mark and I parted ways, and lost touch for the next couple of years. We both moved around a bit, but when Mark heard that I was living in his home town in New Brunswick, he moved from Toronto, to see if things might be different between us.

I was dating someone else, but Mark was persistent and made sure he was around to be my comforter and friend when that relationship ended....then he moved in to take his territory.
We spent lots of time talking and Mark informed me early on, that if we dated, I needed to break up with him before 3 months were up, because if I did not, he would ask me to marry him.
That scared me off for all of about a week, and Mark held true to his word....he asked me to marry him on a carriage ride through Central Park on Good Friday, 1989 and we were married that August.

Here we are 19 years later, having gone through, marriage crisis, hardship and poverty together.....but let me tell you about this anniversary.
God has done a tremendous amount of work in both Mark and I over the years...we have experienced miracles in every area of our lives...we are blessed with 4 children we were "never supposed to have".

When all we could afford to eat was pancakes and peanut butter, we gave ourselves and our situations to Jesus....when anniversaries would come, we would get each other cards and I would try and make Mark a favorite meal. Gifts were out of our reach for a number of years.

God blessed us, then and He continues to bless us....

This year, Mark has talked about our anniversary literally for months. At first, I found this odd, as it was our 19th....not a major mile stone like this, Mark declared that every year was special, and what made 20 any more of a mile stone than 19?
I couldn't argue, but asked few questions as I knew my hubby was itching to tell, and I do love surprises.

Well, I was absolutely stunned when I opened my gifts and cards which were all hints to THE gift......

In November, 2 more of my dreams from youth are coming true....I am going on a Carribean cruise, and one of the excursions we can choose is horseback riding on the beach....I have always dreamed of doing that!!!!

As it turns out, my hubby has had a cohort, and that is why he was able to keep a secret as long as he has....Rhonda received the same gift for her anniversary 2 weeks ago....We are all going together!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Embracing Life

I am sitting here so in awe, so inspired right now.
Greg, our home designer, contractor, renovator and friend was by this eve. putting a finishing touch on our major bathroom reno....(pictures to come later).
Christine, known locally as our Starbucks Manager, and Greg's fiance and our friend came along.

I may be off on the time line, but a week or two after Christine and Greg got engaged, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
This is an amazing couple from Godly families who knew what to do in crisis, they gathered a few friends and the families together to pray and to take communion on Christine's was an amazing experience, I was blessed to have been a part of it.

Christine has amazed everyone with her positive attitude and her ability to focus on the future and not the curse of a disease that was trying to rob her. 
The doctor's reports have been very positive...they are now contemplating whether they will even need to do surgery....they can no longer feel the cancer.
Praise the Lord!

I wanted to share an amazing photo shoot that Christine recently had done...I am in Awe of the beauty of this young woman....I honestly don't think she could look more beautiful with hair.
I was so blessed to see this documentation of how she is embracing life to it's fullest at a time when many would be hiding and feel sorry for them selves, (understandably so).

Have a peak, I believe you will be truly inspired....the slide show is only available until Friday though.