Thursday, 7 April 2016

Mommy 139

Today I was excited to take to heart a favourite piece of the Bible to heart.
I hope it hits home with more than just me!

Mommy 139:

Lord, You have looked at my life and my heart, 
    and you know me.
You know when I sit down to my cup of coffee and when I wake up in the morning...and for every night feeding;
    Everything I'm thinking, you notice. 
You know every trip to the grocery store and every play date and You know the odd day I get a nap in;
    You're familiar with all I do, You don't miss a thing.
Before I chat with another mom or reprove my children or tell them I love them,
    You, Lord, already know what I'm going to say.
You're my security when I'm not sure what others say about me when I leave the room and when I'm anxious about the future,
    and You always make sure I know Your right there with me.
Knowing this is just way too awesome,
    I can't even fully comprehend it!

Where can we go from Your Spirit?
    Where can we run from where You are?
If I go out of the house or if my kids are at camp, You are there with us; 

If they swim in the pool or to the bottom of the ocean, You are there.
If we fly on a jet, if we sail to the other side of the world,
    Even there You will help is know what to do,
    You will take care of us.

If I get depressed with life, 
You know better, and in all my sad thoughts, you see the big picture of hope and goodness that's really unfolding.

You created every detail of my babies and before I was even a mother, you made ME inside of MY mother. 
I want to give You respect, honour, and praise because you made my children just right the way they are - no matter how the world measures them. 
    The things you do are wonderful,
    I know that for sure and I want to show that to my children as I raise them. 

You've seen us from before we were made;
   You've planned all the days of each person in my family and how many we get to have with each other. 
I care so much about how often You think of me and my household!
    You are thinking of us constantly!
    When the noise starts at 7a.m., I know You've been thinking of us all night. 

God, keep away anyone who is harmful and violent from my family!
   Chase away the people who are a bad influence.
I don't want to accept hatred toward You in the people whom I meet or who visit here.
Look at me and tell me if my heart's attitude is wrong. Prompt my children to ask you to change their attitudes when they need to as well. 
Show me over and over again where I need to change and keep my family's faith and love steady so that we can spend eternity with You.

*This in no way is meant to be a translation or paraphrase of scripture, rather, is a reflection of thoughts inspired by Psalm 139.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Child of Mine: A Story of God-Made Imperfections

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Psalm 139:13&14
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

 This verse has come to my mind very often in the last six months. I'll ponder it and wonder about its truth...

  About this time last year I was expecting our second baby. Nesting instincts were starting and I was keeping busy with a toddler and my endless "to-do" list - things to do with toddler before he has to share mommy's attention, things to clean, things to do with my time before I doubled my charge. We went to ultra sounds and talked about baby names and did all of the exciting things that come with growing a family.
  In July (2015), we welcomed our dear youngest baby boy! He was adored. He was celebrated. We love him more than words can say. He was born with a couple of skin tags beside his ear and a white bump on his eye. The more I cuddled him and stared at his beautiful little face for hours, the more I noticed that one of his cheeks was just every-so-slightly "puffier" than the other. When family came to meet him, we passed him around and quickly reassured everyone that the skin tags were easily removed and that the spot in his eye was simply cosmetic and that we would look into it, but we sure thought he was cute regardless. I didn't mention to anyone about my observations with his cheeks at the start, for fear of sounding displeased or worried.
  At 30 hours old, when we were prepared to be discharged home from the hospital, things took a turn in a different direction than we expected and our little bundle was life-flighted to a larger centre. This brought us out of our comfort zone and tossed recklessly about in the world of NICU. Our week there felt like spending months on little sleep and nutrition between specialists and tests. 
  Months followed with driving and appointments in different cities. Our little treasure from the Lord was put together in an unusual way. He had small pulmonary arteries, one growing in the wrong spot and wrapped around his trachea (LPA Sling), a trachea that was extremely under-sized and not going to grow (Long Segment Tracheal Stenosis), small bronchi on one side, multiple small spleens instead of one (Asplinia), a wedge-shaped vertebrae at the top of his spine (Hemi-vertebrae C1) along with other congenital abnormalities and a diagnosis of Goldenhar Syndrom which involves an under-sized half side of the face. Wow. The list seemed enormous....

  ...But God, YOU formed his inward parts! YOU knit Him together! this what God wanted? Did He mean for this to happen?

   I spent a few hours at different times talking with my grandmother on the phone. I have an aunt with Downs syndrome, and my Grandmother took her time in talking to me about her experience:

"...You know when I had my little one with downs, it was hard. I was convinced, at first, that God had given this baby to me so that He could perform a miracle for the doctors to see. I prayed faithfully and told God that I knew He would heal her and truly believed that it was sure to happen - I was even excited for it! 
Then, one day, when my baby was four months old, I started to ask God, 'Why haven't you healed her yet?'  I opened my Bible to Mark 1 and in it I read about a leper that Jesus healed: '40And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean."41Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." All of a sudden it was clear to me what God was trying to say. The leper did not turn to Jesus and say 'You are going to heal me - I believe it', rather, he was humble and asked 'if You are williing, You can...'
Afterwards I knew that God wanted me to ask Him, but realize that He is in control and always knows best and has a plan, no matter what happens"

  My Grandmother's words impacted me a great deal. It is not my job to demand from God what I think is best. He sees what is best and He is the only one that has the big picture.
And I realized that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose! (Romans 8:28) 

Who is to say that what the world says is correct is automatically "good" or "perfect" anyways? God, Your perfect plan has always entailed imperfect people.

  We spent all of the month of December and almost half of January in a University Hospital to have surgery done to reimplement his artery in the correct place and reconstruct his trachea. We found out that the bump on his eye is greatly effecting its development and will need glasses, patch therapy, and eventual surgery for that as well. All through our time there, it seemed that those around us took note of our calmness and cool-headedness (if that's a word)....**this was SOOO totally not strength of our own, but definitely a strength from God and peace that was beyond understanding!**
The verse that kept on coming to my  mind almost daily was 1 Peter 1:6 & 7:
6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ
This verse was hope for me that all this was serving a purpose! He COULD HAVE healed my baby by instant miracle, but somehow he knew that these trials would bring US to a place of demonstrating faith and would give Him an opportunity to use us and our testimony of how He was SO faithful in order to glorify and praise Christ! Praise Christ indeed!

  So what of our little man? He is doing well. He's recovering from surgery and giving our home much joy from his smiles and much rejoicing to have him with us. There is still a plan for the medical journey up ahead (I say "a plan"....just in case God decides it's time for something miraculous - I don't doubt that He is ABLE!) and we are taking this journey step-by-step.
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  I often feel that this verse in mis-interpreted because it is often put in the context of this earthly life. God knows the plans He has for our son - He already has his day appointed! (Job 14:5) God has GOOD plans, and not bad ones to give my son a future and a hope...but a future and a hope ETERNAL. Though having my baby boy would be worth more than anything I posses, I know that it is life with Jesus that is the most important thing that I could ever hope for.

Psalm 139:13&14
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
  I can now ponder this scripture and wonder AT its truth - stand in awe of it. I know my Lord put my son together like He did for a reason. I know every medical appointment is an opportunity that God has created for His work in our lives and in others.

  Lord, I'm SO excited to look back in the years to come (or maybe it won't be until glory) and see what all You had in store for these events and what Your plans are for my baby boy.

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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

This Christmas: Avoiding the Magic, Celebrating the Miracle.

  This year I found myself preparing for the jolly Christmas season quite early. Our home won't be occupied for allot of December, so the after our time of remembering our soldiers on our Canadian Remembrance Day, up went the green garland, sparkling lights and festive ribbons.

  Growing up in a Christian home, the number-one meaning of Christmas was, of course, remembering the birth of Jesus - the Christ; the Son of God. Along with our Christmas tree and stockings hung on the television box, we set up our nativity scene, read the Christmas story in the different gospels, wrote encouraging Christmas cards and prepared specials for the candle-light service at our church. There was no question that Jesus was the reason for the season...but it was still fun and acceptable to have a few gifts under the tree from Santa that we knew Mom had wrapped up for us.

  Now, with a family of my own, we have cheerfully decorated the house. A quiet morning with my two-year-old son found us excited to have in our possession a set of DVD's with The Origional Christmas Classics! Examining the cover, I was pumped to be familiar with the pictures on it. We may have only had three channels on our TV set growing up (one being french) but come December, these TV classics aired and had me curled up on the couch for some fun winter tales. My son chose the "Santa one" first. The DVD menu option was selected and off to the couch we went to enjoy the stop-motion animation. 

  I was surprised to be re-introduced to the "Winter Warlock"...for some reason I didn't remember him. In fact, in the movie he is repeatedly called "Mr. Warlock" and he keeps correcting them to please refer to him as "just Winter". A bit disturbed by the creepy intro and the new realization that this character is essentially a male witch, I still told myself that these were acceptable when I was a kid and I'm giving my child more of an education on the classics than anything else. If there was any sign of fear or confusion, I'd do some toddler-version explaining. Next up, and plugged in this very morning was Frosty the Snowman. Again with the magic! Was I so dumb to expect anything different? Again my child finished the story and I'm sitting here realizing that today's movie was all about teaching him that magic is real, magic is fun, wouldn't it be neat if magic happened to you. 
Magic IS real, but not something to dabble in.

“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God." - Leviticus 19:31

Behind any mask of fun and games in magic or sorcery, is sin.

Now, as I glance at our reindeer cookies, see holiday posts on social media and go through the seasonal aisle at the grocery store, I find myself surrounded by the magic of Christmas and, truth be told....critical. 
I'm not one to want to jump to extremes. I don't want to be the type to ban the name of Santa in our house because of his story's current popular reputation, just as I don't intend to pretend that the Christmas tree represents some sort of cross Christ died on. 
I'm simply motivated to try and take emphasis off of the famously acclaimed magical holiday season, and focus on Christ-mas - celebrating how Christ came and what He has done for us.

Some of the things our home (and other homes too, I hope!) will experience this year:

Bible reading - We have a the Jesus Storybook Bible that tells the story of Christ in a wonderful way for children to hear and understand. There is also reading you can do all through December! Find it on Pinterest here.

Nativity Scene - Set them up, draw them, learn about them! My sister had the great idea to make sure to have a non-breakable one for the children to play with. They can set it up and re-enact the birth of Christ. I found a cute wooden one here.

Candy Canes - According to Wikipedia, it was a german candy maker who came up with a staff-shaped candy stick to give to children in church services.

St. Nicholas - The magical legand didn't actually start out with mystics. Our home was happy to learn a little history and read about it's origin here. (from

Neighbourly Giving - Reindeer or not, our neighbours received our plate of cookies along with our family Christmas card. Every year we choose a verse to be on the card - this year was Isaiah 9:6.

I would love to hear how other believers remember Christ in the season of sparkles and hocus focus!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Checking My Armour

Wow it has been some time since I've been inspired to draw, but sometimes God comes at you with such a revelation in your life and there's a picture in our minds we're just dying to look at with our physical eyes.

God's been speaking to me in various ways, aiming His words at one thing: righteousness. I've been convicted on several occasions the past few years about really giving my all to Christ, throwing off anything that hinders, holding nothing back.

Hebrews 12:1 NASB
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

As I thought about the unrighteousness in my life, everything that entangles me, I had a picture of armour in my mind. A soldier standing with a breastplate that had rusted edges and cracks. I could almost imagine a label on each crack; things like "garbage movies" & "gossip"...cracks that made serious week spots like "bitterness" & "vanity".
This soldier (me) would justify his abilities by saying "oh my shield of great faith will compensate for my weaknesses... and my sword of the Spirit is living and active! There's no denying it's power... oh and my helmet! Nobody is able to remove it because salvation is mine through Christ. Amen... and I even use my shoes and share the gospel once in a while... yes my armour works well enough that if only one part is week, I need not worry."

The truth is, though, that if a hard enough blow comes my way aimed for my chest, I will not stand. I am so convinced that God is working in my heart to convict me of sin and heal my cracks so that I may stand with a beautiful strong breastplate, ready to protect against any spear, dart, arrow or boulder the enemy throws my way.
It makes me think if that scene from A Knight's Tale where Heath Ledger get his wonderful new armor but is unsure. His blacksmith says to him, "Do you at last have the courage to test it?" They send a huge boulder that comes at him and knocks him down, but then he sits up, delightfully surprised, and says, "I didn't feel a thing!"

I want my armor to be that way. In such new and flawless condition. Lord I need You. Your help is the only way that I can be strong enough to throw off EVERYTHING that hinders me.