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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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Intentional Motherhood: When You Need to Go Back to the Beginning

I should have called them in earlier.

We had a piano recital to go to and they were outside playing in the snow. I wanted them to get some fresh air and exercise and to be distracted from the nerves that were already jittering on the inside.

I waited a little too long to call them in to grab a small bite to eat, change out of their play clothes, brush their teeth, and smooth out their hair.

Now there was less than an hour and we were racing against time.

The Wild Horseman was ready to go, but we needed to pick up the pace if we were going to arrive in decent time.



Halfway through the recital, I squeeze her hand and she walks up to take her place at the grand piano.

She announces her piece, and, oh, her nerves, I wish I could just smooth them out for her just as she smoothed out her blond hair back into a ponytail.



She starts The Wild Horseman off, but falters, fumbles, her fingers trip and are trying to find their way on the keyboard. I am feeling her pain. She knows she has to keep on going. Her teacher has told her that many times: 'when you are performing you just keep going . . . ' She does this, but it is not getting any easier.

Her teacher graciously calls out to her, "Would you like to start over?"

"Yes!"

She takes a deep breath and goes back to the beginning and performs her song, her fingers finding their notes this time.

A few students later, the very same thing is called out.

No, she is not the only one.

Although some are natural performers and never seem to stumble when they are put on stage for all the world to see, the truth is we all need this calling out in grace:

"Would you like to start over?"

Oh, the amazing grace, to come to this place. To see our own shortcomings and know the truth.

We need this grace in our lives.

We need this grace in our life as a mother.



And when we go back to the beginning we see how we were created.
"So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth . . . " 

We have been created in the image and after the likeness of God!

God created man to reveal to the universe His glory, His own perfection.

One of the attributes of God is that God is love.

"As the Loving One, He is the fountain of life. As the Living One, He is the fountain of love."

And as we have been created in the image of God, our 'whole life may be a life of love.'

God originally created the family in order than mankind would demonstrate the same love that reigns in heaven.

"In the home on earth . . .  God wanted to reflect the love of the Father's home in heaven."
"The establishment of a home of love like that in heaven was to have been the highest privilege of man.
However, sin came in and brought man's ruin."

Sin distorted what God originally planned.

But, God called out in grace, and 'what sin destroys, grace restores!'

Not only in creation, but in salvation, we have become children of God and he has lavished His love on us.
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God" 
He has called out in grace. I have seen that I need to repent, and turn from sin, and God has redeemed my life and restored it to what He originally designed.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," 

 And He calls out in grace, willing to redeem my life as a mother.

I see my own shortcomings and I see the need for grace, to start again in order to move forward

I do not need to continue in the power of fear, but have been 'given a spirit of power and love and self-discipline.'

This love needs to reign in our home. If I am mother to my children and am not pouring out my life to them in love, is anything I do worth anything?

How do I speak to my children? With love? Or are my words just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal? 

Does my understanding and knowledge amount to anything? Do my actions accomplish anything? 

Nothing, if I do not have love!

The love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, says it clearly: the greatest is love.

I need to give of myself in a life of love. And yet, I can only do this by His power.
"Look to God as the author of your family life and count on Him to give you all that is needed to make it what it should be . . . As you  trust in His adoring love, the assurance will grow that He will enable you to make your home the bright reflection of His own."

A Mother's Prayer
"Lord God, You have made me a [mother] and given me a child of my own. I humbly confess that the perfect love and joy of heaven has not been reflected in my home. I have failed to understand my calling as a [mother]. Father, forgive me. I ask you to guide me and to help me in the study of Your Holy Word. Help me to realize your purposes for me as a [mother]. Teach me to know you as the Perfect Father. As I study Your example as the divine Parent, make me to be a true [mother] to my child. Let your love and blessing rest on our home.
Amen"

*****

{all quotations taken directly from 'Raising Your Child for Christ' by Andrew Murray, unless otherwise noted}



IMG_2469-sz-250There's a little book, 'Raising Your Children for Christ' by Andrew Murray, on my shelf that I keep bringing down and leafing through and, Lord willing, on Wednesdays I hope to share snippets of my gleanings from it.

I don't claim to know all the answers. I need to dig deeper so that I can be even more equipped to be the mother that God intended. Andrew Murray wrote from the perspective of both the Father and the Mother, but I will be writing from my perspective as a Mother. I am so thankful that this task of raising our children has not been given to me alone.

Is there something in your life that makes mothering hard?



Join me on this journey? It is not a list of rules and how-to's but rather a chance to look into your own life and heart and be challenged to live a life wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord

For the first post in this series on Intentional Motherhood you can find it here.

For all posts in this series you can read them here.

Thank you for your comments. They are an encouragement to me.





TheBetterMom.com





Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Proposal on the Anne Bridge


Fourteen years ago

today

He sang words to me

written from his

heart

and

he took my

hand

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and

we walked

out 

on the bridge

together

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and the

words

he spoke

I will never forget


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and the

word

I whispered

I will never regret.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Much More {Lessons Learned in the kitchen: The Best Chocolate Pudding}



The way he asked, how could I say no.

I really did not feel like it. The dishes washed up and the kitchen cleaned already, I really did not want to dirty another pot, nearing the end of the day.


"Mom, can you please make your chocolate pudding tonight?"


And, here, I've been thinking about Intentional Motherhood; how I need to serve with love these children of mine. 


I hesitate, but I talk to myself, "why not? It is only a few dirty dishes and about 20 minutes of my time."

Just because I don't feel like it, is no reason to refuse him.

I gather the ingredients and dig out the recipe that my mom has given to me; the same recipe that my Grandma used to make pudding for us sometimes when we arrived home from school.




While I'm at the stove, whisking the milk and cocoa and sugar and slowly adding in the tempered eggs, he comes up, leans in close and hugs me. No words.

And when he has licked the whisk and the chocolate pudding left in the pot and every last spoonful in his bowl, he comes back with a smile, stands beside me again and leaves these words with me, 


"Thanks Mom, you make the best chocolate pudding!"



It is not really about the chocolate pudding I made him, but the small act of love and kindness.

I'm thankful that this time I chose wisely, for there have been too many times that I've let my own sin and selfishness refuse my own precious children small acts of love.

God has placed this natural affection, the love of the Father, in our hearts, to bestow on our children good gifts. Even though I am evil, I can find it in my heart, and allow my hands to give to my children.

And, yet, how much more!!! 

God my Father, who is Love, has given me much more!
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:32
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
2 Peter 1:3
I simply need to ask.
"Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
John 16:24
And in receiving, give thanks
And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Ephesians 5:20

Friday, January 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Do it Again! But Go Slow

Writing with others, on Friday, with Lisa-Jo and others at Five Minute Friday.
Five Minute Friday The rules for Five Minute Friday are:



1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


And the post for Five Minute Friday prompt for this week is : Again









*****
"Do it again, but this time go slowly!

Don't rush it. You are going way too fast.

Until you have mastered the song and you are not making anymore mistakes you need to go slow!

If you can't do it this slowly, you don't really know it."

It is the last piano lesson before the Friday night piano recital and my daughter is playing The Wild Horseman.

I am on the other side of the hanging curtain and I can hear the notes being played and to me they sound pretty good.

But, the teacher says we need to pull the reins on the Wild Horseman and play it a whole lot slower . . . And she says . . . Do it again . . . and again, but do it much slower!

And sometimes life looks like it is playing beautiful music, but really there is a lot of stumbling over clumsy fingers that don't really know how to play the music of life without taking it slowly.

We can race through life and no one may ever know.

But, I go back to the verse that I read early on morning this week. Because I need to practice the rhythms of life, I have had a friend accountability partner this week to get up {and to make sure we are heading to bed in good time to make our earlier rise possible}.

In the early shadows, one morning I read how Jesus continually would withdraw to desolate places and pray. This was a continual practice. He did it again and again.

Unless I do this again and again, I may be making music, but the rhythm will take away from the beauty of the melody. It will sound more like clanging and banging. I can't play this music of life fast. I haven't mastered it. I don't really know it well enough.

To make music that will bring honour and glory to God and to continue in all that God has called me to, I need to slow down, withdraw and continue to pray and do it again and again.





*****


Thursday, January 24, 2013

When Sleep Won't Come: Sing to Jesus

Sleep would not come last night.
At the end of the day my body was weary, but my thoughts refused to shut down.
Finally, I put this song on repeat. 

What a Redeemer!!





Come and see
Look on this mystery
Lord of the universe
Nailed to a tree


Christ our God
Spilling His holy blood
Bowing in anguish
His sacred head

Sing to Jesus
Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts
He is our great Redeemer
Sing to Jesus
Honor His name
Sing of His faithfulness
Pouring His life out unto death

Come, you weary
And He will give you rest
Come you who mourn
Lay on His breast

He who died
Risen in paradise
Giver of mercy
Giver of life

Sing to Jesus
His is the throne
Now and forever
He is the king of heaven
Sing to Jesus
We are His own
Now and forever
Sing for the love our God has shown

Sing to Jesus
Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts
He is our great Redeemer
Sing to Jesus
Honor His name
Sing to Jesus
His is the throne
Now and forever
He is the king of heaven
Sing to Jesus
We are His own
Now and forever
Sing for the love our God has shown

by Fernando Ortego

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Intentional Motherhood: Raising your Children for Christ {Intro}

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I 've been muttering it under my breath, repeatedly, day after day.

"These children are sucking the life right out of me."

Some days I feel guilty for saying it; others day I feel completely justified.

It appears true on the surface, but deep down to the core it is a lie.

That one day, weeks back, when we hugged good-bye in the morning and off they went, it was out of the ordinary and really I wasn't sure I could get used to it or not.

With these children of mine being home educated, we don't have good-byes in the mornings. So on that morning they left and I tidied and everything stayed in its place for the rest of the day.

Not days later, I was exasperated with the toys and socks and pajamas and books and legos all strewn once again all over a particular bedroom floor. I mumbled how it wasn't like this the other day.

But it is more than that, really. It is the habits that have developed over time and they haven't been good.

Oh, were not just talking about picking up your socks kind of habits. Were talking about things like honour and respect. And building one another up and edifying. And obedience.

I realized how short I've fallen and it really is this battle that is draining the life right out of me.

I've given into a spirit of fear and timidity in my mothering. In the name of mothering in grace, I was really just fleeing from the battle field hoping that we'd win the war.

2-Tim-1-7
Motherhood isn't for the fainthearted.
And I have to admit that there are definite challenges when mothering with only one lung and a heart that won't allow the blood to flow efficiently to the rest of my body. But, I do not have to do it  in my own strength {even though this is what I try to do far too often}.

But, it is really this sanctification process in me that happens right in the midst of it that is so painful and beautiful at the same time.

I have seen the need for repentance.

I've claimed a promise to continue on in this role that I really am so blessed to be in: to be a Mother to these precious children that have been placed in my care.

For was it not the children that Jesus gathered around Him and took them in His arms and blessed them.

I have the amazing responsibility and privilege to bring my children to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Although it was over eleven years ago, on a Good Friday, with much pain and agony, I brought my firstborn into this world, now more than ever, I see the need to intentionally mother, not to shirk what I have been given because of laziness or selfishness.

My work wasn't done when I finally heard, 'We have a girl!!!' or four and half years after that when I heard, 'A son!!!' and again another four and half years later, when on a cold winter's night, "Another girl!!!'

I need to be committed to persevere in the small things and stay consistent on what really matters: their hearts.

Not to hinder them because of my mothering in the spirit of fear and timidity. No, but to continue on with a spirit of power, and love, and self-discipline.

*****

IMG_2469-sz-250There's a little book, 'Raising Your Children for Christ' by Andrew Murray, on my shelf that I keep bringing down and leafing through and, Lord willing, over the next number of Wednesdays I hope to share snippets of my gleanings from it.

I don't claim to know all the answers. I need to dig deeper so that I can be even more equipped to be the mother that God intended. Andrew Murray wrote from the perspective of both the Father and the Mother, but I will be writing from my perspective as a Mother. I am so thankful that this task of raising our children has not been given to me alone.

Is there something in your life that makes mothering hard?

Join me on this journey? It is not a list of rules and how-to's but rather a chance to look into your own life and heart and be challenged to live a life wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord



For all posts in this series you can read them here.

Thank you for your comments. They are an encouragement to me.



Monday, January 21, 2013

When the Needy Soul Needs to Cash in on God's Promises

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"I do it myyysef"

So my two year old says over and over.

And the reality hits me. That is what I have been saying for far too long.

Maybe that is why I keep coming up empty when I keep trying to do it myself.

My soul is needy and I need to stop saying 'I do it myself' and start clinging to and claiming by faith the promises of God.

'God's promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; He intended that they should be used. God's gold is not miser's money, but is intended to be traded with . . . We glorify God when we plead His promises. Do you think that God will be any poorer for giving you the riches He has promised? Do you dream that He will be any the less holy for giving holiness to you? . . . When a Christian grasps a promise, if he does not take it to God, he dishonors Him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace and cries, "Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, 'Thou hast said it,'" then his desire shall be granted. Our heavenly Banker delights to cash His own notes. Never let the promise rust . . . He loves to hear the outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to bestow us favors. He is more ready to hear than you are ready to ask.'
~Charles Spurgeon, 'Morning By Morning'


The truth is, I am not sure I could continue on any other way. And of course, He never intended it to be any other way in the first place.

His grace continues to cascade over me and how I need to receive His precious and magnificent promises.



May I encourage you to claim God's great promises!!


TheBetterMom.com


Friday, January 18, 2013

Five Minute Friday ~ Cherished

The rules for Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

And the post for Five Minute Friday prompt for this week is : Cherished






*****
It’s Friday night. Another week. The end of a very long week as it began with the stomach bug banging on our front door. It knocked us down. Took everything right out of us.

And on Thursday night when we were on the mend I was in bed and had a sudden realization that I  will have known my beloved for 20 years this year; longer than the years I didn't know him! I couldn't imagine life without him!
I was thankful.

I couldn't sleep. Possibly from being in bed for about 36 hours.

So when I checked the Five Minute Friday prompt early on Friday morning and the word was 'cherished' it was exactly the word that I felt.

We had just shared this sick bed and room ~ how more humble can it get  ~ and yet my love for him is greater now than even when it was love at first sight 20 years ago.

I am blessed to cherish and to know that I am cherished.

STOP


*****

Friday, January 11, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Dive


Five Minute Friday

The rules for Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

And the post for Five Minute Friday prompt for this week is : Dive

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*****
It’s Friday.

The coffee is on, gurgling, dripping.

The children are up and getting their own bagels, toasted and buttered, smeared with jam. Of course, they can’t seem to do this without any bickering. It’s raining in January and they are worried about their snowfort melting away before they even had time to finish it.

And I’m thinking about how I am going to keep continuing. Moving forward to endure.

I’m usually more the test-the-waters kind of girl. To dive in is not really my way. And I am realizing it is more than just fear, but it is also the way I’ve been made. And that is o.k.

I’d rather sail steady on than just dive in and find myself sinking fast.

STOP


*****


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When You are too Afraid to Dream

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He calls for me many times a day. Just to see where I am. To be reassured that I am still close by. 

"Mom . . . ?"

I usually respond, but he doesn't always hear me. So he calls again. To be sure.

He won't go to the basement on his own either.

If I am out without him and I don't get home right on the minute that I said I'd be back he starts to worry.

Somewhere Fear has crept in. 

But, I can't say that I don't know what it is like. In fact, he's probably inherited it from his mother.

In the middle of the night, when he's been dreaming, we usually find him in our bed, snuggling up between us. 

Yep, I know exactly what that is like.

Dreams. For Fear that riddles me, I usually won't even talk about my dreams.

Or even admit that I have any, worthwhile ones anyway.


Fear is nothing new, but it sure can rob.

Over and over in God's Word we can read the words 'Do not fear.' And so often they are coupled with the words. 'For I am with you.'

There are times that I think there should be something more . . . more fulfilling, more dramatic, more productive, more something than what I am doing right now. 

But to figure that out I need to continue in exactly what I am doing now.

And I need to continue in prayer. Seeking the one who came that I might have life and have it abundantly.

I'm encouraged when I read the words Daniel heard when he had a dream:


Then he said,  "Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer."

Perhaps what God has for me is to experience more fully what He has already abundantly blessed me with. 

And I could be missing out on that because I am too busy worrying that I am all alone.

Maybe the only way to find out, is to call on the One who says 'Come'. 



~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've been pondering what Holley Gerth has been sharing on her blog, letting the thoughts flit about in my head. So I thought I would sit down and be brave and see what would come.
And, I don't know, I wonder if there is really any point to wrestling these words out, but I am compelled to press on. Maybe it has something to do with a dream that I haven't even realized yet or too fearful to even consider.

Linking here with Holley
and here with Michele-Lyn


Monday, January 7, 2013

It is all about God’s Glory!

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It’s a beautiful day to be on the ski slopes. The sun is bright and will add warmth to the day. My son, he is only concerned that he will not be given poles as though that would be the worst thing in the world. My daughter packs up the cooler with healthy snacks and looks forward to the adventure that is sure to come. Off they go with their Dad, off toward the rising sun, and we wave goodbye and murmur prayers on their behalf.

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My little one and I head off for a morning walk and a lovely morning out together with friends climbing through a maze of colour in an indoor playground.

Back home, we sit quiet at the table, just two of us and share a simple meal of biscuits and cheese and chicken strips. I tuck her into bed for a nap and put on the kettle and light some candles and settle down for a quiet time. A quiet time in the middle of the day!! I pause in the quiet.

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I could fill my time here with many things. But it is this thing that I started back when the sun was hot on the beach and sand rubbed between my toes. And I found myself seeking and needing to be saturated with the Word of God. I started this reading back in Genesis and I was to be done in 90 days.

I have always been great at starting new things. But, I am not always great at continuing. And this new year, I am focusing on the small things, but also on one word: proskartereo ~ forward, to endure. No, I did not complete reading the Bible in 90 days, and like in so others ways, I am a failure. Except this time, I didn’t want to read through just to check off my list, but for God to find me in my seeking Him in His Word.

I am thankful that I can continue. To move forward.

I open up the Book that I have been reading, slower now these last few months as the sun has lessened in intensity and our days have shortened and as life has sped up, and I find my book mark at Ezekiel 40. Ezekiel's vision of the new temple built. The study notes state that almost all interpreters agree that this is one of the most difficult passages in the Bible.

But the main things that jumps out is when the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

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And the earth shone with His glory.

And Ezekiel fell on his face.

And I don’t make any claims for understanding much of what is being detailed here. But I see it is not about God’s people, but it is about God’s glory.

It never really is about me. ever. And how much pride fills my heart when I think it is.

God will use whatever is necessary to turn my heart to Him. I think about the cross and the One who endured the cross and the redemption I have through His blood.

And he has put a new heart and a new Spirit in me, and it is not about me, but it is always about the Glory of God.

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The Son has come and the Holy Spirit dwells with in me and I don’t really understand it at all, but this I know, I want to know more of Him and to see His glory. To be so in awe of Him that I fall on my face.

And those days when the sun isn’t shinning so brightly and the day seems not so bright, and I wonder how I will continue, it is this that I need:

To continue in prayer ~ to commune with the one whose glory fills the temple and one day there will be no need of the sun for His glory will shine so brightly ~ and to watch in prayer with thanksgiving.

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For when I see that it is all about His glory, and that I can even come before such a Holy God, how can I not give thanks.

When the skiers all arrive back home and stumble into the door and the sun is about to set and we all sit again around the table, we share our day and what we have learned and we laugh and love. And I give thanks.




{linked with}





Friday, January 4, 2013

Sail Away to the Land of Opportunity {Five Minute Friday}


Five Minute Friday

Lisa-Jo Baker is back with Five Minute Friday. I am jumping in with the many others that write for five minutes on Fridays on the same topic. I looked at the word prompt today and thought I might skip out today, but instead started typing and this is what spilled out. Opportunity knocked and this is what was standing there right at the door.

The prompt for today is: Opportunity



*****

When I look at this word I wonder.

I am not a risk taker and at times have turned down opportunity for fear of failing.

I suppose for some this word builds excitement, but for me, one who tends to over analyze, it laughs at me in the face and at times makes me run in the opposite direction.

I have been given opportunity and have slapped it silly and who is the one that loses out?

At the beginning of this new year, as I focus on the small thing, building on tiny habits in order to transform the landscape, I pray that I will be attentive to the opportunities that I have already been given and the ones that are sure to come.

As this year begins, I wonder about tossing my fears to the wind and head strong into the opportunities that arise in this ocean of life.

I know, I am not a strong swimmer, I only go in the water when it is a way to cool down, but it seems wondrous to sail away to the land of opportunity, where I can let my hair down and laugh at the days to come.


*****

Are you the type to get excited at new opportunity or are you often tempted to walk away and pretend nothing was there in the first place? 

How to Move Forward When You Feel Stuck {Naming my Year: Proskartereo} {Part 2}

For part one . . . naming my years . . . you can go here

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The beginning of a brand new year . . . 2013. And I still feel stuck. I struggle with knowing my purpose, with getting up some days and wondering about how to move on.

I look up a Greek word this year.

I name this year, 2013, proskarteréō.

I look it up  in Strongs and see it comes from two Greek words: prós and karteréō. 

Prós being a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward.

Karteréō meaning to be strong, to be steadfast, to endure. It carries the basic idea of persistence.

It is translated continue in English and is the word found in Colossians 4:2:
'Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving . . .'
Like everyone else I need to move forward. And I need, as Strongs defines it, 'to consistently [show] strength which prevails (in spite of difficulties); to endure (remain firm) . . .'

Kartereō is used of Moses in Hebrews 11:27, when ‘ . . . he endured as seeing him who is invisible.’ By faith, he was able to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt because he had communion with the invisible God. God spoke to Moses in the burning bush and Moses endured.

God desires that I commune with him. It is all about relationship. One of the ways that will deepen that relationship is prayer.

In fact, I find that proskarteréō  is used five times for the practice of prayer in the New Testament. (Acts 1:14, Acts 2:42, Acts 6:4, Rom 12:12Col 4:2).

I must move forward, but I know I cannot do it on my own.

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Is that why we are commanded to continue in prayer?

It is the power of God, His strength that enables me to move forward in faith.

Interesting that we are commanded to continue in prayer right after Paul exhorts and lays out ‘rules for Christian households.
“‘Continue in prayer’ - This was the apostle’s general advice to all; without this, neither wives, husbands, children, parents, servants, nor masters, could fulfill the duties which God, in their respective stations, required of them. “
Adam Clarke
In order to move forward this year in all that God has called me to, I see my desperate need to first be in communion with the One who created me and called me in the first place.

I wonder if I was to continue in prayer first, if this is my priority, than all that I am called to be and do, how much more the landscape of my life would transform.

I move forward to endure, move in a fixed direction ~ in communion with my Lord. And in that continuing I am to watch with eucharisteo ~ thanksgiving.




Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to Move Forward When You Feel Stuck {Naming my Year: Proskartereo} {Part 1}


I did it without even thinking.

I wrote a cheque a few months ago {in 2012} and when my Mom tried to cash it the teller told her she could not take it because it was dated 2010.

When my sister heard about this silly mistake I made she questioned me about it. She wondered if I wrote '2010' because I got stuck there.

I named my first year in 2010. I named it ‘grace’. And looking back I see how much I needed it.

The year before we had sold our home, looked for months for a home to purchase and finally found it exactly one month before our closing date. I was pregnant with our third child and sick for most of the pregnancy. Amidst home educating we started to finish the basement shortly after we moved in. {I say started because although it is almost finished there are still a few odd jobs to complete}.

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Although we did not move far I discovered how lonely a move can be when you need to find a new Church and you move further from family and friends.

So 2010 began with the the birth of a third child ending that difficult and yet so wondrous pregnancy, loneliness and mild depression setting in, and continuing health issues. And yet, through it all I saw God amazing grace.

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The year to follow, 2011, I named ‘faith’.

Being in this new spot in our lives I had found that my faith was being challenged. I knew I needed to ‘look to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith.’ And I discovered all over again that, ‘without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.’

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This year that we just wrapped up, 2012, I named ‘peace’. I longed for peace in my own life and in our home. I had a foreboding sense right from the beginning of the year that it would be a difficult one. It proved to be. And yet it could have been a lot worse and we discovered God’s peace that passes all understanding through it all.

Naming my year for 2013 . . . my one word  . . . here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Do Not Despise these Small Beginnings

I wake up on the second day of this year later than intended with the cold that I began the year with and it is causing this pounding in my head and ringing in my ears.

I had set the alarm fully intending to start the new year strong with rising early, but in a groggy state shut off Fernando Ortego and rolled over beside the stow-away-son who had climbed into our bed in the middle of the night.

There are piles of laundry spilling out of suitcases and the laundry room.

My children are coughing and sniffing too.

There is not a ray of sunshine.

In fact, it is snowing.

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I think back to that article I read out loud the first day of this year to friends and family about setting New Years resolutions and remember how we laughed silly. The key, they say, to resolutions is to set a tiny habit like flossing one tooth everyday.


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I think about some goals that I have considered for this year and I am afraid to set them for fear of failing in them.

Maybe it is the underachiever in me, that I have lower stamina than many, that my health will realistically prevent me from accomplishing absolutely everything in a day, I don’t know, but I wonder as I look to the year ahead that I need to focus on the small.

Take the dirty clothes, for instance. Instead of seeing piles of laundry, focus on doing one load at a time. Eventually it will all get done. {The catch with laundry is it will also keep piling up.}

They say the science behind this tiny habit is it will soon turn into a full-blown daily flossing.


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I look at the snow. It is falling in a romantic kind of way today. Flakes flittering down and piling one on top of another.

I get it. It is one snowflake after another that makes the snow pile up.

Each snowflake is beautiful in and of itself, but it needs to gather with the others to make a change in the landscape.


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 It may seem too small an endeavor to focus on the tiny habits instead of grand goals. But, as those tiny habits pile up they will change the landscape not only in my life, but also in my home.


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I need to focus on what is important.


Be committed to what is really going to make a difference this coming year 
and stay consistent at what really matters.

I know I can focus on a small habit and I know it will make an impact if I stay consistent.



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"I long to accomplish a great and noble task,
but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."
Helen Keller

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"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
Vincent Van Gogh

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Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin . . .

It is by His power that I will be able to accomplish anything according to the grace given to me.

I don’t need to fear failure when like Zerubbabel, who was charged with rebuilding the temple,
I simply lay brick upon brick and when the top stone is put in place it is amid shouts of
“Grace, grace to it!”


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