Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Cascading Grace ~ a Poem for a New Year

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Snow is glistening ~ a beautiful sight,
It sparkles like diamonds in the light.
My children delight in winter’s magic,
No flakes on their pink tongues would be tragic.

Memories of kids unwrapping gifts, before
Red stockings and toys are strewn on the floor.
Turkey bones now boiling, bread dough's rising,
My kitchen’s in need of some revising.

But, I steal moments to think back in time,
Reminiscing of this past year, sublime.
On this eve of another year so new,
Look back, see our blessings are far from few.

The memories aren’t all good, don’t be na├»ve,
We’ll savour them all, on this New Year’s eve.
We have much to give thanks for, don’t you see?
Grace upon grace has been poured out for me!

In my journal, I survey things I wrote,
Many wee blessings were worthy to note.
Over 1000 gifts in twenty twelve,
Thanks to the Giver, in this I did delve.

Why, you may ask do I look back to see
This part of the journey laid out for me?
I recall the past events of this year;
They remind me how my God is so near.

This! This! It is the snowflake that glistens
On her lash, and their laughter. I listen.
It is the daily bread on which we feed,
The Bread of Heaven who knows all my need.

Skating on ice, walks on the lake, the heat
Of the wood stove, snow quincy, coffee sweet.
The warmth of my boy snuggled up to read,
Love notes, a meal for a sister in need.

Love of a lifetime, and chai tea with spice,
Notes from my son, my daughter’s help, so nice.
A bright day to celebrate, rings in ears,
Learning to surrender all of my fears.

His hands, His feet, the sun every morning,
New life, peace that passes understanding.
Making love a verb, the goodness of God,
Fingers dancing on the piano, awed.

Routines, relationships, redemption, rest,
Sharing my testimony of hope, blessed
With active children, beautiful sunsets,
Morning walks, whipped cream on berries, rosettes.

Serving together and a week at camp
Elders who care, tanned children, hair damp.
Beauty of songbirds, sand between my toes,
Precious time in the early, dark shadows.

Freedom in Christ, read alouds, quiet time,
The hammock, swings, fresh sheets off the clothes line,
Peas in the garden, little golden locks,
Crystal Lake, stars at midnight on the dock,

Potty training, picnics, a new baby,
Watching the moon rise, medical hist’ry
All those years ago when I was just three.
By His amazing grace, I’ve been set free.

Little ones counting, playing hide and seek,
Monday mornings, a start to a new week.
Strength from the Lord, hope in difficulty,
Messiness of life made into beauty.

Steadfast love, mercies every morning new.
Daughter 11, my little one 2.
My son, seven this year, on Halloween.
He likes his pumpkin pie with out whipped cream.

Watching caterpillars transform into
Beautiful butterflies, away they flew.
Phone calls from doctors, trips to the city,
Medical tests, and no heart surgery.

Sharing my story ~ the work He’s begun,
All the help I’ve received, I am undone.
I have been blessed in extravagant ways,
It speaks of His love. I give Him my praise.

Walking through autumn leaves, tea with a friend,
13 years together ~ honoured to spend
life this way, being held by my husband.
My weakness, His strength; in wonder I stand.

And now this year is drawing to a close,
We look to the cradle, the cross, He rose.
He who gave His own Son that we might live,
Will He not also all things graciously give.

I don’t know what twenty thirteen will bring,
To His cascading grace surely I cling.
With thanks I look past as trust it will build,
To live by faith in His promise fulfilled.


*************

Happy New Year from our family to Yours!


{linked with}



Monday, December 24, 2012

A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord

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But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.


Waiting,

Preparing . . . Telling . . . Praising.

Treasuring,

Pondering,

Adoring,

Christ.

The Incarnate,

Word became Flesh,

Immanuel, God with us,

Saviour, the Messiah, the Lord.


Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!











Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peace Came into the Darkness

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I’ve sat down a number of times to tap out a few words. In this day when it seems everyone has something to say and post and tweet, I came up with nothing. My fragile heart was broken over the loss of the innocent children in Newton, Connecticut.

I realized I was stuck. Stuck in a grief that goes way back to my own suffering as a child. I recognize the pain and grief in my siblings who have had to say good-bye to their babies. I share in the grief of losing a family member to a mental illness.

It seems this type of tragedy causes many people to turn introspective.

How many people hugged their children tighter on Friday night and enjoyed their childish antics more just because we could. We still had our child(ren) at home, safe in our arms. But, to me, it didn’t seem right to boast about this privilege when so many parents felt the excruciating pain of their loss.

The suffering and death of children doesn’t seem right. No one can make sense of it.

When I was diagnosed as a two year old with cancer my parents were not given a lot of hope. Pediatric cancers are rare and make up only about 1 percent of cancer cases. The odds of getting the type of cancer I was diagnosed with, undifferentiated sarcoma, was less than six in a million. They say that one out of three people, including children, diagnosed with sarcoma will not survive the cancer.

My parents wrestled with the whys? My mother questioned why her daughter was one of the ones to suffer from this wretched disease? {I now wonder why I was one that was able to survive it.}

The doctors would give her pep talks on the value of life and the importance of carrying on with the treatment in order to survive. It is not that she did not value the life of her child, but she was looking to a hope that was greater than the doctors could give.

Are there any words really that can be given in this time of grief?

Many are looking for peace, but it seems elusive in this dark world.

From the heart of man comes evil. From the evil comes decay.

Peace came into the darkness than we might have hope.


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It is only the second year we, as a family, have lit the advent wreath. We do not come from a liturgical church background and we recognize that we do not need customs to live a life of faith by grace alone. But, as we intentionally set disciplines in place in our family, we celebrate the coming of the Messiah. We remind ourselves that Christmas is more that bright lights and tasty treats and wrapping and unwrapping presents.

We light three candles and say together before our meal:

“And may the Lord’s peace be with us all.”

“Our hope is in the coming of the Lord.”

The only One who can help the human heart is the Prince of Peace. The Word who became flesh. At the right time he came and dwelt among us.


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God with us. Emmanuel. That he might suffer

That He might offer up a peace offering. Himself. On a tree made into a cross.

That we might have hope.

The are really no words that will take away the pain and suffering and fill us real peace and hope.

Only the Word. Jesus the Messiah, the One who ‘will save his people from their sins."


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A Holy Experience




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Take Delight Tuesdays ~ Sick Days

Just a moment some time in my week that I have captured. That I have carefully pondered the goodness of the Lord and delighted in it.

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Waking up on a Monday morning with that feeling of knives cutting into my throat
and head all congested.
Husband getting up with the children and getting their breakfast
and then bringing me a coffee in bed.
Kids finding out that it is an ‘ice day’ and that the buses have been cancelled
and even though we educate at home they can participate in the neighbourhood road hockey game,
go for a walk with the neighbours, and play at the park for a while
and then come in and do their math and reading and piano and handwriting.
It is a slow, quiet day.
A perfect day for a sick day ~ on an ‘ice day’.


Take delight in the great works that the Lord has done! All the works of the Lord are great ~ even the little things that He has done are great. Ponder the moments that speak of our Creator, Saviour, Redeemer, and Gracious Lord. It is these works that cause us to turn our delight to the Lord and to give thanks to the Lord with our whole hearts.

On Tuesdays, I will just unwrap a moment that I have taken delight in. A moment that has turned my heart to my God, my Lord, my Saviour.

Will you join me?

Come, take delight in the gracious works of the Lord?

Capture the moment, study it, delight in it and
praise the Lord and give thanks.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Standing Still while Still Standing


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“Don’t just do something, stand there.”

It’s a quote from Madeleine L’Engle’s book, ‘Two-Part Invention: The Story of Marriage’. She shares her joys and difficulties of her married life. She wrote the book during the time of her husband’s illness with cancer.

It’s funny that when health is not what it should be we feel that we should be able to ‘do something’.

A doctor told me just that very thing last week. She told me that she and her team want to be able to do something for me, but they can’t. My problems with my heart and lungs are mechanical and there is nothing that can be done to fix them at this point.

There are a few things I can do that can make life a bit easier, but they can’t do anything for me right now.

They tell me, once again that I am a special case, that I am unique, that I don’t fit into the normal in the medical world.

It’s a lonely place.

I want to be able to do something to make it all go away, but I just need to stand here in this place.

It’s knowing that God is Sovereign.

It’s simply amazing the peace we have that even though they can’t do anything its ok. Not that it is easy to hear that or even easy to life within the limitations.

It’s His amazing grace and the gifts that He gives.

It’s resting it that grace and giving thanks even though I don’t understand.

~ meals that have been lovingly made for us
~ Mom coming to watch the children while at appointments
~ an amazing day together with the man of my dreams
~ advanced medical care
~ wise doctors
~ calls from family to check in on how the appointments went
~ loving friends
~ children who miss me when I am not with them
~ clear roads for the two and half hour trip to the hospitals
~ homemade Chicken soup after a long day
~ that He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why We Can Laugh in the Waiting

I was brushing her little white baby teeth. She was sitting on top of the counter and I was telling her to ‘open up’ and ‘spit it out’, when I looked up.

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I looked up a saw my own reflection in the mirror.

I did not like what I saw. I looked closer and realized that the lines I was examining now were etched in frown lines. I smiled and the lines disappeared. I frowned and there they were. I thought to myself that I really need to smile more. I realized that for the frown lines to be etched in I must be frowning a whole lot more than smiling.

I know I take myself too seriously too much of the time.

I let the mundaneness and the stresses of life dictate.

I have told the kids a thousand times to pick up their things or finish their work or come set the table and I huff and puff and mumble how nobody listens to me. The milk spills and the bills flow in wave upon wave and the washing machine breaks and my immediate thought is how inconvenient life can be. How it interferes with my plans.

I feel the weight of raising these children up right and fear that most of the time I am failing. I think that I need to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, Christian. I think of the missing family member, and the marriage imploding, and the doctors telling me this week they can’t do anything with me and I just have to wait until I get really bad and start to faint and then they will see if they can fix my heart. And I say it, the tears welling up, that life's not fair, even though I know that it has nothing to do with fair.

With all this, how am I supposed to take myself lightly? When do I have time to smile, to laugh?

Oh, I really do love to laugh. It is just that the seriousness of life often takes over.

But, what about Abraham and Sarah. The writer of this post over at The Rabbit Room caught my attention with:
‘ . . . the joyful laughter of a couple who understand how outlandishly they have been blessed . . . They laughed sardonically when they heard the prediction. They laughed for joy when the prediction came true. So they named their boy “Laughter.”
I read this post just days after seeing my reflection in the bathroom mirror. And I recognized the truth that, yes, I take myself far too seriously.

The writer quotes G.K. Chesterton:
It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. . . . For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.
That’s me! It is easy to be heavy. It just comes naturally ~ the frown lines etched in skin reveal all.
How often I fail to see the hilarity of the Gospel in my life.
There’s a deep pleasure in the gospel that nobody talks about very much, and it is the pleasure of saying, “Oh, What a fool I have been! I was so sure I knew how this thing was going to turn out. I shaped my life around a foolish assumption that the world was telling me the truth about itself and my place in it. I was so wrong! Halleluiah! I lived in fear of things that had no power to harm me! I thought I had to exert my will and get my way! But now I don’t have to anymore. Halleluiah!”
I was/am nothing and yet, God by His unbelievable amazing grace has saved me. He called me ‘out of darkness into his marvelous light.’

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It is the season of waiting. We have so much to rejoice over. To laugh at the impossible because of a babe lying in a manger. God in a manger. God with us.
‘[T]he Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Oh, to laugh. To laugh like the 90 year old mother of nations. The mother who laughed at the prediction. And laughed again when the promise came true.

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I have more reason to laugh than to just change my frown lines into laugh lines.

God has done the impossible. The shoot has come from the stump of Jesse. The root out of dry ground. He knew mundane and He knew brokenness and pain. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

He has welcomed me into His kingdom.

He has told me to count it all joy . . .  when you meet trials of various kinds’ that the testing will develop perseverance to bring me to maturity.

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And so we wait.

Wait for the Greatest Advent ~ His coming again!

And in the waiting I will laugh!



joining up here today

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Take Delight Tuesdays ~ With Anticipation

Just a moment some time in my week that I have captured. That I have carefully pondered the goodness of the Lord and delighted in it.

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Here, this moment:
The beginnings of our Jesse Tree Journey.
Our fifth year of 
preparing our hearts for the coming.


Come take delight in the great works that the Lord has done! All the works of the Lord are great ~ even the little things that He has done are great. Ponder the moments that speak of our Creator, Saviour, Redeemer, and Gracious Lord. It is these works that cause us to turn our delight to the Lord and to give thanks to the Lord with our whole hearts.

On Tuesdays, I will just unwrap a moment that I have taken delight in. A moment that has turned my heart to my God, my Lord, my Saviour.

Come, will you join me?


Come take delight in the gracious works of the Lord?
Capture the moment, study it, delight in it and
praise the Lord and give thanks.



Capture the moment, study it, delight in it and praise the Lord.
A Soft Gentle Voice



Come back and link here with others. Join in the company of the upright and express His praise to others.



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