Thursday, July 29, 2010

Busy Packing




Blogging is on hold for a bit... big changes coming up for us and I'm busy packing. Be back soon!



Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 16, 2010

Exploring


We took a spur of the moment drive up to a mountain lake last evening. It was such a beautiful day and we wanted to do a little exploring. We had only planned to go for a quick drive so I didn't take my camera, but thankfully, I had my iPhone in my pocket so I was able to capture some shots from this lovely lil adventure. For anyone that is interested, I believe this is Blue Lake in the Kilpoola area, above Osoyoos.


This lake is more of a bog in my opinion. It smelled rather funky, lots of bugs and the shoreline was really squishy. It was like walking on a sponge. I think its a protected grassland type area. Lots of grasses & stuff to walk thru before you could even get to the shore.
Unfortunately, it wasn't all that easy to get around in flipflops. *duh* Not exactly a 'bare toes friendly' area but I tip toed thru nonetheless.

And speaking of the shore, as I got closer, it got a bit 'other worldly' looking on the ground...

Freakishly weird looking, the iPhone pix really couldn't do it justice but if you click ON the picture you can see it bigger (hmm, this only works on some of them... trying to edit on my phone & its being weird, sorry). I was fascinated by all these little sticky-uppy mud spires. I think they are all mud remnants of where a grass or reed used to be. Because to step on one it was sort of firmer on the inside than just the spongey mud around it.

Here's another view of it more level with the lake. It was just so strange looking.


 

Anyways, you can see how as it goes back to firmer ground that the little spires become reeds & grasses & other plants.
 


We walked around the lake a bit because there were some big ol cows grazing and the tiny one wanted to go see them.  They weren't too interested in us though and took off when we got closer, much to his disappointment.


 
All in all, it was a great spur of the moment place to explore, a beautiful sunshiney evening and now, a place we will return, both with a real camera & proper footware.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Mornings


This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

I'm just sitting outside in the shady part of the yard this morning, enjoying the day while my son plays before it gets too hot to be outside.

There isn't a cloud in the sky, the birds are singing, the rosebush is in full blossom and I am at peace.

I know it's going to be a busy and HOT day but I still find myself meditative for these few moments, thankful for this beautiful day and for the beauties surrounding me.

While I still sit in God's Waiting Room, I can at least be content that I'm blessed while I wait and I'm somewhere beautiful.


- Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Chaos



Chaos! It's the only word I can think of to describe my mind right now. I have so many thoughts, ideas, questions and plans competing to be the forefront of my brain that I can't focus on any of them.

I have so many things that I want to do vs need to be done that I can't choose where to start and none of them are getting done. I need to get some invoicing done, but to do that I have to tidy the office. So I put away some papers and the coffee mugs and start the dishwasher. Then I throw a load of towels in the laundry and hang the clean ones outside to dry. I clean up toys outside on the grass and maybe fill up the tiny pool. I go back in and remember that I wanted to do invoicing but then it's time to start lunch...

Lunch makes me sit at the table where my laptop sits and I peruse writing and photograph sites, wishing I had more time for taking pix and writing articles.

I then peruse the outdoor adventure magazine that I wish I had time to write an article for, and then think longingly about camping, hiking or getting my kayak out on the water. But with an active toddler those things are on the backburner today.

Which then leads my thoughts to having baby #2 and wondering if or when God might grant us that blessing (as I've been having trouble staying pregnant) Then my thoughts lead to adoption and my heart for an African child, wondering if that could be Gods will for us. Thinking of Africa then moves my thoughts to missions and wondering if that might be our calling one day and perhaps that's why our house hasn't sold yet.

And so the swirling circle in my mind carries on... and I still haven't got any invoicing done!


Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Waiting





I wanted to be making strawberry freezer jam this afternoon. It's the perfect day for it. L brought home a big flat of strawberries lastnight. I've cleaned some jars and picked up some sugar and pectin and now the little boy is napping. Perfect timing.

But instead I'm laying here in bed in the dark waiting for a migraine to go away... Hmph!

Not fair! Not fair! I was on a roll. But I guess I needed this forced Time Out to take a rest. I already had a small snooze and thought I was feeling better til I sat up to get out of bed again. No, it's not time yet.

So I'm laying here thinking about Noah for some reason. We watched Evan Almighty again the other night (if you haven't seen it before, do so! It's a great family show) After we watched it we got talking about what it might look like if God asked us to do something big like that too! Would we be capable? Would we even believe it to be possible, that He even asks us stuff like that anymore?

We've been asking God to speak to us a lot in this last year, asking Him for obvious direction on what our next steps should be. He seems silent, although I know He's there. We just aren't sure how to interpret the silence.

What do you do when you feel God is being quiet?

For now, we can only assume that He wants us to continue to wait. And as hard as it is to wait, we don't really have another choice. We hope that He will not have us wait too much longer.

And so, what has this got to do with jam? Well, again I'm waiting, whether I like it or not. On a forced break and instead of laying here doing nothing, I know I can at least make use of the situation and blog. :). So maybe, instead of whining about God making us wait on the bigger questions we have, I can find a way to make use of my time while I wait.



Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 28, 2010

"My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." ~Psalm 42:2



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What About Sundays?

Thou shalt be in church on Sunday morning...

Oh wait, where is that found in the Bible? Um, nowhere. But it does say they should be a day of rest, a day to be kept HOLY.

So, Sunday's have been a bit of a difficult day for us over the past year. Our family dynamic has drastically changed as our son grows from 'portable infant' to 'rambunctious toddler' and so we haven't been out to many public places during certain hours of the day. Church being one of them.

It wasn't as difficult, up until about a year ago, when he started getting mobile. Until then, we were more the 'sit at the back & hope he doesn't make too much noise' church goers. But once he was on the move, it got more & more difficult to be there. The church didn't have a nursery or a place we could take him, or lay him down or any of that stuff. So, it was awkward & frustrating for one or both of us to keep him entertained or quiet or away from dangerous or dirty stuff. It just didn't seem worth the effort or the feelings of stress it caused me while I was sitting there. Church shouldn't be stressful, so I wasn't getting much out of it anyways.

Then, his nap scheduled changed, and for the last 10 or so months, he's been having a nap between the morning hours of 9am and 11:30am. Its a good schedule for us, the rest of the week, but it makes trying to go to church pretty much impossible.

And we've tried. Despite him being extra cranky for us denying him his morning nap, we've tried. We've sought out a few other churches that claim to offer nursery care, but in a town that caters to its retired community, the nursery care options were seemingly non-existant, so we've spent a few church services with one of us entertaining him out in the foyer, among glares from seniors who are looking at these noisy young visitors with disdain. Oh yeah, like we really felt welcome & eager to try those churches again.

sigh

So, we have sort of given up for the present, knowing that eventually he will outgrow this morning nap. (although I'm certainly not in a rush for it) and that we can one day again get out to a church service on a Sunday morning.

But its annoys me some Sundays too. Like why do we sit here feeling guilty because our butts aren't planted in a pew on Sunday mornings? While there are many references to the first day of the week, gathering together with believers & keeping the day holy (and not working) why do we have to feel guilty when we aren't there. We want to be there, we want to spend time with other believers, but why does it ONLY have to be on Sundays to have that expected fellowship?

Don't get me wrong, I know that many of you have church groups, prayer meetings, Bible studies, and get togethers on other days or even NIGHTS of the week, but there is still always the guilt of not being there on the Sunday morning, like that particular morning is the be all to end all of being a Christian.

I read my Bible nearly daily, I pray, I sing, I worship, I listen to sermons & inspirational preachers, and I don't limit that to Sundays. But I still have a bit of an empty guilt-ridden feeling that we aren't somewhere in a church on a Sunday morning.

I saw this saying on Facebook:

"Sitting in a church makes you no more a Christian than sitting in a garage makes you a car."

Funny, true, sad also. Because that's how we judge. I was one of them too. How can you be a Christian, you never come to church on Sunday? Now I'm feeling the other end of that & it sucks! And its sadly alienating too. Like after a few Sundays of not showing up, you kind of get written off, and then there is even less chances of fellowship, growth or understanding and its like a downward spiral, like its assumed you've given up on God or something. No, we haven't given up on God, and He certainly hasn't given up on us. We've just temporarily had to take a break from the attendance of a church building on a Sunday morning.

We hope to have it again in our future. We hope to not have to feel guilty about it because we aren't there in the present. We hope for understanding, and we hope to BE more understanding when someone else faces the same challenges that we are.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Balance


The past few weeks I've been trying to find my creative side again. My son is getting more independant, has a somewhat predictable nap schedule, and I have a bit more time to be at the computer, igniting my creative writing juices again. But where are they?

I've often heard it said that your mind goes to mush during pregnancy (oh yes, it did!) but I was hoping that somewhere after the first year, the cogs n wheels would start turning again and I could rekindle the love of photography, adventure & writing.

I realize lots & lots of women jump right back into the workforce, whatever their job may be, with no problems and life goes on. Maybe its because I'm here at home, that I'm unmotivated. The Fisher Price farm set is too tempting to play with. Reading "Hippos Go Berserk" over & over doesn't bother me. Not that there is any other place I'd rather be, than home with my son. I do love being a stay-at-home-mom but there are parts of my day, when he is occupied, where I'd like to switch over to WORK-at-home-mom and see if I can get back into doing the things I was developing a couple years ago. 

I know work & motherhood is about compromise & balance, hoping that we are balancing the important things in the right way. Same goes with all passions & hobbies & things that get balanced when we become parents. Lawrence & I had lots of spontaneous & fun adventures before, we know we will have many more in the future too. Now we are formulating NEW ways to have adventure & spontaneity that involve our son, and that challenge is JUST as rewarding and fun. 

Yes, it might be a while before we go rock climbing with him, or shuffle along the cliffs in the Cascades, or take my kayak out... but the pause in these former hobbies is well worth it. To see him hold a crab in his tiny hand at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, to finally find a frog in our woodpile after hearing it for weeks and saying "Here Frog", to hold a young robin in hand while he softly touches it and says "nice". These are new and amazing adventures for us as parents while we see the world thru fresh eyes. Its beautiful, its fun, its a privelege.


So, if my creative juices are too busy being in awe of these day to day moments, I think its still ok. These are moments I wouldn't want to miss, if my brain was knee-deep in an article or photo editing. (hmm, can a brain be knee-deep?)  And they give me new things to write about & photograph, all wrapped up within mini adventures of life with a toddler.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To Give You A Future and A Hope


"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hop. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you." ~ Jeremiah 29:11-14


Its a dull cloudy breezey morning here. The sort of morning where I want to stay curled up, coffee in hand & blanket around me. Quietness & thoughtfulness filling the space in my head. Of course, with a busy toddler, quietness usually goes out the window, as well as sitting still. But now, as he naps, I have that quiet peace, that time of thoughtfulness and its my time with God.

I've sure been asking God a LOT of questions lately. And listening for His voice. I know He's speaking, but I can't hear it. I seek His directions, His answers, His peace... but it feels so far away. We seem to be going through a lot of valleys lately, and I feel like we're down here alone. In my heart, I know we're not, but its so quiet, not the kind of quiet I want.

I've asked God to SHOUT at us, if we aren't hearing His quiet voice. I've asked God to speak to us, even give us hints at his direction and I keep coming back without any answers, any hints.

I guess that could mean his answer is "just sit tight" for now, on all the issues we're questioning him about, but it feels tough living in limbo. Its hard not to want to take charge, and we've tried that, time & time again, but yet, we're still here, still waiting for Him to show us the way. Waiting on WHERE. Waiting on WHY. Waiting on WHEN. and so much more.

Some days it feels like the valley is just getting deeper, and the blue sky up above is turning cloudy. We know there is sunshine up above those clouds, somewhere higher up on the hill, and we're longing for Him to lift us up onto the higher rocks & ridges, and just give us a glimpse of what He has in store for us, an idea that we might be going in the right direction, and not just circling the bottom.

I know His plans are better than whatever it is we think we're waiting on... and I know there is much joy, happiness & peace in the moments of each day, in the smiling face of a bouncy toddler, in the calm peaceful breeze of a cloudy morning such as today.

So I wait. I pray! I try to keep having faith that He is planning to give us a future and a hope.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bang A Drum


Oh how life changes in a short time. I think I've mentioned before but when I first started blogging, long before kids were in the picture, I couldn't believe at how many stay at home moms blogged about their kids & their every day lives. I thought (back then) that those blogs were so boring. 

Well look at me now.

I don't have time for much else other than our "mundane everyday life" and I'm loving every minute of it. It amazes me how much I've changed.

Pictured above is of course my little munchkin, who just got into my cupboards to pull out his "drums" AKA the pots & a wooden spoon. At least once a day he'll pull out some sort of pot. The utensil drawer is safe also for him to play in (no knives or pokey things in there) so he pulls out ladels & spoons and basters and spreads them all over the house. I found 3 wooden spoons in the toy box the other day when I couldn't find any in the drawer. Such is life :)

While his pot banging is usually too loud for my tired ears, I know it will only last minutes before he moves on to something else so I try to tolerate those few moments of his pleasure and just let him be. 

And while the song has nothing to do with our everyday lives, I always think of it when drums are being banged around here and I've always liked the lyrics, sung by Bon Jovi so I thought I'd post it here today.  




Bang A Drum

I went to see the preacher to teach me how to pray
He looked at me and smiled
Then that preacher turned away
He said if you want to tell him something
You ain't gotta fold your hands
Say it with your heart, your soul and believe it
And I'd say amen


Bang a drum for the sinners
Bang a drum for the sins
Bang a drum for the losers
And those who win
Bang a drum, bang it loudly
Or as soft as you need
Bang a drum for yourself son
And a drum for me

Ooh, let me hear you say yeah (yeah), hallelujah, amen


I called upon my brother just the other day
He said: John I'm gonna die if I don't start to live again
I work each day and night like clockwork
Just trying to make ends meet
I could kick this bad world's ass
If I could just get on my feet


I'd bang a drum for the dying
Bang a drum for the truth
Bang a drum for the innocence lost in our youth
Bang a drum, bang it loudly
Or as soft as you need
Bang a drum for you brother
And a drum for me


I don't know where all the rivers run
I don't know how far, I don't know how come
Well I'm gonna die believin' each step that I take
Ain't worth the ground that I walk on
If we don't walk it our way


No I don't claim to be a wiseman, a poet or a saint
I'm just another man who's searching for a better way
But my heart beats loud as thunder
For the things that I believe
Sometimes I wanna run for cover
Sometimes I want to scream


Bang a drum for tomorrow
Bang a drum for the past
Bang a drum for the heroes that won't come back
Bang a drum for the promise
Bang a drum for the lies
Bang a drum for the lovers and the tears they've cried
Bang a drum, bang it loudly
Or as soft as you need
But as long as my heart keeps on bangin'
I got a reason to believe (I got a reason to believe)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Friday!

Red plaid & butt crack - my little redneck!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Test All Things




"Test all things; hold fast what is good." ~ 2 Thessalonians 5:21

I drove up the mountain this week to see the town from above and catch a glimpse of my favourite mountain peaks. I didn't have to go too far before the small patches of snow were showing up in the shady spots. But in the sunny spots there were plenty of yellowy buttercups blossoming everywhere reminding me that Spring is near in the mountains too. The rocky peaks in the distance may hold their snow caps all year long. And down below in the valley, the first of the blossoms are appearing in the orchards. I truly love this time of year.

A lot of things have changed for us since this time last year. We've had a lot of questions and seen various doors open and shut on our lives. While we lamented many of those closed doors at the moments they shut, we can look back now on some of them and see God's purpose for them and see how He has pointed us to good things because if it.

It's hard to know what is good for us in those difficult moments some times. Or when things appear good and they really aren't. We are told to test all things, to know if they are of God. 1 John 4 tells us how to test spirits to know if they are of God. And to hold on to those that are good. Philippians 4:8 also tells us to meditate on the good things of God.

I think the more we learn to discern these things the more obvious it will become and the easier it will be to recognize. While we know that Satan is the ultimate deceiver, the more we learn to recognize his evil works the more our eyes and hearts will be opened to the things that are good, therefore helping us see God's plans when we think things may not be going our way.

Myself, I'm still struggling with giving God the driver's seat because I think I know what is good for me. I have much growing to do so I can learn to test things better and then know that my "good ideas" aren't always of God and with some more faith and better discernment I might be able to see Gods plans are working far better than my own for the good things that I should be holding on to instead.

More faith Lord, grant me more faith!


- Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bees, Birds, Breeze and Buds




At this very moment God is blessing me!

I'm sitting outside on my patio and it's a lovely warm Spring afternoon. The sun is shining. It's perfect.

The first thing I noticed was the steady hum of BEES. They are busy working their magic in the branches of our elms. (the picture above). If I look really carefully I can see their tiny little bodies hovering but I don't need to see to know they are there because the sound of them is spectacular.

Then I noticed the sound of BIRDS. Near and far the neighborhood is teeming with them. I don't recognize all their sounds but the robin is out there and a noisy crow is also nearby. And several smaller sparrow types have flown by twittering away.

In the midst of all the sounds I also feel a gentle BREEZE. Not a cold breeze that is typical fir March but one that is warm and welcoming. Not too strong bit just enough to make my laundry sway ever so slightly on the clothesline.

And lastly I look around the yard. At the shrubs and trees and see all their BUDS. The rosebush is starting to get green. The elms and maples are reaching up to the sun with buds covering their limbs. The lilac bushes, the cherry tree and the walnut tree; they all know that it's time to wake up and unfold their beauty.

Yes beauty. Just here in my humble backyard and God is lavishing it on me with love and joy.

Bees, birds, breeze and buds are blessing me with their bountiful beauty in my backyard! :)


Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Lead Me By Still Waters




"He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul." ~ Psalm 23:2-3

We've had some beautiful warm, sunny and calm days already this month. Walking by the lake was breathtaking! Not a ripple but still waters with a perfect reflection.

Then there was yesterday. Cold wind shaking the trees and biting our fingertips. As the day went on my mind and soul started to reflect the weather. Small irritations like sand started eating away at me. Disappointments moved in and threatened my calm soul til I could feel the frown on my forehead and noticed that even the little things were annoying me.

I wanted that calmness back. I wanted those still waters and restoration.

Today I wake and the sun is shining and the air is still. I want to breathe deeply and be thankful for the peace. But why am I afraid that it's a calm before the storm? The wind is still blowing in my soul and mind this morning. I'm praying for some restoration and rest, something else to focus on other than those small irritations.

How do find ways to put your mind and soul at rest?

Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Captivating



"We think you'll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive." ~ quote from Captivating

I'm sitting a bit beside myself this morning reading through this book that I borrowed from my sister-in law. My husband has read the 'man' version of this book by John Eldredge "Wild At Heart" and so when I saw that my sis had the 'woman' version, written together by John and Stasi I asked to borrow it.

The reason I am so amused this morning is that just over the weekend, I changed my blog header to the three things that I seek to love in life "Adventure, Beauty, and God" and here it is, the essence of this book is what they say is at the essence of every woman's heart!

I'm glad that I can be confident that my desires are at the heart of women everywhere.

As the book describes, we women are constantly battling against guilt! Guilt to do more, be more, clean more, cook more, volunteer more, host more, help more. More, more, more! Of being 'not enough' and 'too much' at the same time.

"Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women. It haunts us, nipping at our heels, feeding on our deepest fear that we will end up abandoned and alone."

Now I'm just starting to read this book but I can see already that I could quote every other line as being truthful & inspiring.

So, my woman friends that actually read this blog, I encourage you to peek into your church library or your public library and pick up this book & read it along with me. And if you already have read this, share with me what you thought.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring




They're here!!! I knew it would be soon with this fantastic weather we've been having and so I've been checking. Today, a beautiful crocus unfolded in the sunshine!!

"For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singin has come." ~ Song of Solomon 2:11-12


- Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 26, 2010

Change

Just fiddling with my blog look & layout tonight if anyone happens to stop by & wonders why it looks different. I've had it the same for 3 1/2 years. Time for a change.

Unfortunately, I've got NO photo/image editing software these days. Photoshop died along with my laptop & this one has me trying to use the frustratingly limited options in 'Paint'. *grumble*

I'll get it worked out soon!

:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grumpy

I'm grumpy today. I'm trying my best to 'shake it off' but its still lingering. I guess I just got up on the wrong side of the bed today. Coffee hasn't cured it. Breakfast didn't help. A long hot shower was nice but here I sit, grumpy.

I haven't got anything to complain or grumble about. Its a beautiful sunny crisp morning. My son is napping. My dishes are already done. So why the scowl on my face? I don't even know if I want to be fully ungrumped. It feels good sitting here feeling grumpy. Isn't that a foolish thing? To ENJOY being grumpy? DO you ever feel like that?

There is so much joy to be had and I know it would feel BETTER to be joyful than content in my grumpiness so I'm going to find some. I'm paging thru the Psalms & Proverbs, trying to lighten my heart & soul.

I read "Make a JOYFUL shout to the Lord" in Psalm 100:1.

"my heart is GLAD, and my glory rejoices" in Psalm 16:9

"This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be GLAD in it." Psalm 118:24

"May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be GLAD in the Lord." Psalm 105:34

"A merry heart makes a CHEERFUL countenance." Prov 15:13

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Can I Do Lord?


I love being a 'stay at home mom'. There is fun & joy & creativity & laughter in so many minutes of the day!
But in the quiet moments where I have a few minutes to be alone with my thoughts, I feel lost. Like I want to be doing something, something good, something helpful, something for others, something for God!

In between the giggles & the diaper changes, the laundry & the dishes, the bookkeeping and the meal cooking, I'm amazed that there is some time left for me to even wonder this. But here I sit, my Bible open before me, time on my hand and wondering where I can fit in this world to do something good with the few minutes I have.

Oh sure, there is always another load of laundry I could do, invoices to be entered or just extra time for quiet meditation, but I think I'm longing for a new purpose.

Sometimes I think it could just be loneliness in these quiet moments. Husband is at work, baby is sleeping & friends are unavailable. Yes, I definitely get lonely but I don't think having a coffee visit with a friend would fill this need. (although I'd certainly take those opportunities as well)

I have a need to be creative, a need to be useful. I'm sure we all do. But there's more to it. How can I be creatively useful to God? How can I help others in need from here at my kitchen table?

Here I am, Lord! Use me!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Rock

"When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I am." ~Psalm 61:2

This is one of my favourite verses. I blogged with this verse & photo when I first started blogging. You can re-read that entry here.

My heart is feeling a little overwhelmed & heavy today. All is well in our world but there is so much going on in the world that the sadness feels like it is bogging me down today and so I am pouring through the book of Psalms trying to find my favourite uplifting verses.

I like thinking of God as our Solid Rock & uplifter! It has been a few years since I've been rock climbing or mountain climbing but the analogies are still fresh in my mind when I read these verses just as if I was clinging to the edge of the cliff at that moment!

I know life lately has felt like we were just clinging to the edge, unsure of whether we should go up or down, waiting on God's direction, and really wanting to just let go and praying He'll catch us before we hit 'rock bottom'.

Other times it feels like we really are at the bottom & its a mess down there. Gooey sinful, sorrowful mess and we feel trapped, reaching up, wanting to see the sun again. Luckily we have help from The Son.

"For in the time of trouble... He shall set me high upon a rock, and now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me." ~Psalm 27:5-6

"He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps." ~Psalm 40:2

Despite our small faith, God is faithful!

What's your favourite ROCK verse?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Clean Up


"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." ~ Psalm 51:10


Housework! It never really ends does it! You sweep, you vacuum, you wash floors, you wash dishes, wash the laundry, dry the laundry, fold the laundry, put away the laundry. And then, lo & behold, you have to do it all over again. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. There is always housework to do!


Today I decided to wash my floors. Usually I use a microfibre mop head that I can throw in the wash when I'm done. But I wanted to mop quietly (no rinsing & repeating in the sink) so I decided to use a few of my disposable wet Swiffer cloths. Quick & convenient and throw them away when I'm done.


However... I HATE the smell of these! They are scented with Febreeze. Oh how I hate the smell of anything Febreezey. I have the exhaust fan running as I type this trying to suck the stink out of the house.


I have a bad 'Febreeze Memory' you see. Once, years ago, I had a rented suite in this gorgeous heritage house. Well, with old houses (and new) you can't always prevent a few critters from getting in. We knew there were mice rumored to be in the house but we tried to make sure there was nothing in their capabilities to get into. Alas, we still found them turning up. But one day, we smelled something awful... something DEAD and it was coming from the icky old stove. Nasty... I cook food on that thing.


We had to take it apart and could tell that they had spent some time hanging out in the insulation in the back. Yuck... but where was the smell coming from? Took the back cover off and found not one, but two dead stinky mice behind the electrical bits. Guess they got zapped when nibbling an electrical wire or something. GROSS!!


So, we cleaned it up the best we could, bought some Febreeze and sprayed the entire house. And then left all the windows open & went out so it could 'de-stink' while we were gone. But Febreeze mixed with dead mouse smell will forever be impressed on my memory banks and every time I think of or smell Febreeze I think of dead mouse smell. No, I won't be using those Febreeze smelling Swiffer mops any time soon. They do the job of course, but the smell & the memories it brings up is not pleasant.


All this to say that cleaning with Febreeze can compare to the necessary cleaning of our souls & hearts. Our hearts & souls can easily get blackened with sin & complacencies of every day lives & our habits. As with household chores, often it can be a lot easier to make the mess & ignore it than roll up your sleeves and clean it up. Likewise with sin.


Sometimes there is an easy pleasant way to clean things up & get back on track with God. A prayer to ask for forgiveness, a new outlook, a conviction to renew your 'steadfast spirit'. But other times its not that easy or pleasant. Perhaps in the process of cleaning up your heart you might happen to dredge up painful memories, or you have your sin piling up like laundry in front of you, unveiling the 'stink' that is truly is. It may be hard to let go, unpleasant to admit. And we may wish that we could just do it simply, a quick prayer & voila, I'm all cleaned up. But it really isn't that simple sometimes. You might have to push through the painful memories, the present 'stink' of your sin in order to be truly clean.


Laundry doesn't fold itself. Floors don't shine without a little help. Don't think you need to do it on your own either. There is good news! God will help you. If you want to change, renew, be cleaned, He is there to wash you off & put you back on your feet, if only you'll ask Him & be willing to let Him, even when its tough.

"Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." ~Psalm 51:7

Friday, February 05, 2010

Well Done, Good & Faithful Servant

"Well done, good & faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." ~Matthew 25:23


Reading the book of Matthew this week. I like to read a gospel, or all the gospels from time to time, mostly just to refresh myself. But this particular passage stood out to me. Sort of convicting like.

You see, I have a lot of passions, things I get excited about & want to talk about to anyone who will hear, even strangers. Ask me about my son, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, outdoor photography, Africa, Italy, hiking, etc etc and I can probably passionately talk your ear off on all of those subjects. But ask me about Jesus, ask me what the gospel is, ask me to talk to people I barely know about salvation and I'll probably be standing there speechless, unsure of what to say or where to begin... cricket noises echoing in the silence.

I'm definitely falling short of the 'good & faithful servant'. I'm not multiplying the return of the free gift the Lord has given to me. I'm shy to talk about it and probably quiet when asked about it.

I often get questioned, even mocked, for things like cloth diapering and yet I stand my ground & hold my head high knowing that I'm doing what's better for my son, better for our wallets and better for the environment. And I have several good pieces of information to the doubters of why they too should use cloth diapers.

Where is my courage, my defense, my quick answers for things of the Lord?

Yes, I'm indeed feeling conviction after reading this & am trying to remind myself how much MORE important it is to share the message of salvation than ALL other things I might be passionate about. Time to rekindle that passion for Jesus so I too can one day hear "Well done, good & faithful servant."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Helping Hand

"Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great." Psalm 35:18

A grandpa and his grandson. Gentleness and a helping hand!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unclean Spirits

I'm pondering Matthew 12:43-45 this morning. It's about unclean spirits leaving and then returning to someone with more spirits making him worse than he was before.

And I'm imagining how this might be relevant today. I'm thinking of bad habits or addictions. Drugs, gambling, shopping, eating for examples. One manages to give up the addiction, maybe "find Jesus" in the process or even just renew their faith and find strength thru their faith and feel confident that they are over this addiction.

Eventually that demon of addiction comes back, sees you all cleaned up and realizes that addiction alone won't be enough this time.

So he's goes out and gets the demon of self doubt, the demon of temptation, the demon of complacency and they tag team together at once.

Confidence falls first and then with the temptation in front of you it suddenly doesn't look so bad. Couldn't be wrong just to try it one more time... and before you know it, good ol' Addiction gets to slide back in to his old home making room for his helpful new buddies.

While you're already down the demon of depression easily moves in helping Self Doubt make you feel worse than before and the battle to fight them off is a bigger fight than before.

All analogies of course but this is how I interpret these verses as how they could be happening in our lives today.

The battle for our souls wages on empowered by our freedom of choice and our sinful nature. But I try to remember too that there are more ANGELS battling for us than there are demons against us. Even just considering the numbers should help boost my confidence that this is a battle we can WIN!


- Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed Be Your Name


Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name



And blessed be Your name when I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name



Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord

Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be Your name



And blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name


You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name.
~ Matt Redman

All month this song has been going through my head. Parts of it playing over & over while I ponder what has happened over the past few months & the 'giving & taking away' that has seemed to be repetetive for the last year. But I was struggling with the last lines of the song "My heart will choose to say Lord Blessed Be Your Name". I wasn't getting over the 'taking away' of things and wanting to praise after the darkness of things. Too often it felt like 'ok kids, here you go, enjoy this great gift... followed by a "just kidding'"!!

Its hard to feel like God is just toying with you. I just don't understand it. Sort of like Job... why was Satan allowed to torment him like that while God watched on? Taking away everything only to give it back later. I just don't know what point that proved, other than to Satan that Job was faithful & could tolerate the worst he dealt out. But why, why did he have to if he was such a faithful man. Why was he involved in the game? Some things God does, I'll never understand. We're not all as strong as Job. I know I'm not. I can't always find the praise in me after the crummy stuff happens.

I get that Satan's demons are around us, trying to sway us in any way possible from our faith, from doing good, from being a witness, from praying... from all things holy & praiseful. And its obvious how well they are suceeding looking at the world around us... or even just looking at the Christians around us, but mostly just looking within, at myself. A few moments of bitterness can build to many moments and push out all desire to pray, praise or even see the blessings that are still surrounding us.

So, I gratefully keep this song in my heart, in my head, and sing it out loud when I can, to remind myself to praise Him in the good & bad times, in the bright & dark times, in the giving AND taking away!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Knock




Can this really be January??

"...knock and it will be opened to you.". ~ Matthew 7:7

So perhaps God is going to open some doors to us afterall this month. It may not be the ones we were hoping for or expecting. But perhaps something greater than our expectations. And wouldn't that be amazing.

It's funny (or not so funny) how one can get jaded after so many failed desires and expectations. It's hard to have joy or excitement when you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But trying despite past disappointments regardless.

The house viewing didn't go as we hoped but it was ok. That home and property was clearly not for us. We'll keep looking though as we work thru this other opportunity.

I'm just trying to have faith that God is God and He always knows what He's doing.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. ~ Matthew 6:33



Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Heart's Desires


"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. " Psalm 37:4

I often cling to this verse when there is something I want badly. Like by reading it to myself over & over I convince myself that I will have what I want because it is 'the desire of my heart'. And then when that thing that I want is denied to me, or worse, taken away, then I scowl inwardly & wonder why I'm being denied my heart's desires.

As I mature in my faith (which I readily admit matures and regresses often in waves) I remember that there are many verses SURROUNDING this one. For example, verse 3 says "Trust in the Lord, and do good.." oh yeah, TRUST... Do Good! Um, sort of ignored that part. And then that verse following it.. .verse 5 "Commit your way to the Lord. (oops) Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Right... sorry Lord. I guess I need to do a bit more reading before I get too wrapped up in the way things are worded assuming its all for my benefit.

But, here I am again today. Having another new desire in my heart. You see that photo above. Its of a property that we discovered on the real estate market today. A lovely acreage, with its own creek running thru it. Is it a desire given by God? or by man? A place where we might belong? Or not yet where the Lord wants us to be. The only way I can know it is if I Trust & Commit to see if its a God given desire. And then of course, we wait... verse 7. "Rest in the Lord, and wait paitiently for Him" Really... you know patience is not one of my virtues Lord.

If you don't know by now, we are hoping to move. Our house has been for sale for almost a year, and it starting to get discouraging. Over the past year, a few other homes/properties have popped up that we thought we wanted and for one reason or another, did not come to pass for us. Some reasons were obvious, others were strangely unobvious. We continued to wait & pray for God to give us a big obvious sign of where He wanted us. But we found Him to be silent. So we took that as a sign that we needed to keep waiting.

We're still not sure how long we are to wait. Nothing has peaked our interest for months. But... just today, the desire for a new place was rekindled.

And I will read ALL of Psalm 37 over & over while we wait, not clinging to one verse to be fulfilled and if this isn't the time or place... we will keep looking because

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand." Psalm 37:23-24

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lazy Blogging :)

A strange thing happens when your computer dies... You find new and easier ways to keep the status quo!

My laptop croaked on the weekend and I was lamenting it's death and wondering how I could continue to blog. My friend Barb came for a lovely visit today and "showed me the way"!! Hello iPhone blogging!!

So as I type this I am comfortably laying in my bed all cozy and feeling oh-so lazy.
I will get back to posting a more thoughtful post soon but just had to try out this comfy new style of blogging before I force myself to sit up and pull out my Bible!!

In the meantime here's a quick snapshot of the joy of my heart riding his bike this morning.

Wishing you all cozy lazy ways to blog. Goodnight.


- Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Greater


"He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4


I'm still reading This Present Darkness this week, as time allows. And I think it has been a very good way to start my year. Not only has it got me thinking about prayer constantly, but it really has made me aware of the spiritual battle that is constantly going on around us.

And while its not a new concept to me, I'm really starting to discover how OFTEN in the Bible we are told to be aware of it, to pray for intercession and reminded that we have the power & authority to do something about it and be involved.

While I've spent many moments in dark days of the past clinging to verses about God's protection on me, I seem to skip over the verses about the enemy's hold & dominion on this world and how we are to be fighting against it.

I'm reminding, reading this book, that God has given us the Holy Spirit so that we have the authority WITHIN us, far greater that we often realize to rebuke, withstand, cast out, resist the evils of this world.

Day by day I'm going to be trying to find these verses and learn them to remind myself that we are not only gifted with this great authority & power, but that we are asked to use it wisely. This will go hand in hand with my desire for prayer this year as I learn to pray in ways we are asked to do so.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Prayer - 2010


I read on another blog today (CraftTeaLady here) about having a 'word of the year' (as detailed here) A word that you can focus on for the year, reflect on and impress on your daily life. I wondered what my word would be, given the stuff I've been thinking about in the first few days of this year, and the thoughts I've had these past few days. No other word would come to my mind except "prayer". 2010 is my year to learn to pray again.

It is true what I said... about my imagination carrying on into my dreams and how I am usually careful of what I see/read before bed. Luckily, although I was reading This Present Darkness before I went to bed lastnight, I also was watching Under the Tuscan Sun - a movie that is one of my favourites because I really loved visiting Italy. So, I didnt' sleep that well, thinking of Italy half the night. However, when my son woke in the night around 2am and I nursed him back to sleep, that was when my thoughts turned to the things I read in the book, thoughts of evil spirits & heavenly hosts, and sitting in the dark actually made me somewhat nervous lastnight, so I prayed. I cuddled my son and I prayed.

This afternoon, it seemed like a 'series of unfortunate events' unfurled in front of me as one upsetting thing after another happened to me in less than an hour. My first instinct was to raise my fist to Heaven and lament 'why me, Lord? Hasnt' my week been bad enough?' but then I thought of the other side of the battle. The side of evil throwing all these awful things into my path causing me sadness & weariness & feelings of defeat all so close together. Ah ha, I thought, you start to learn more about the spiritual realm & their affects on the world and they see fit to up the anti and pounce you a little harder. And so I prayed!

I must confess the 'unfortunate events' didn't stop at that prayer! Next, I dropped a jar of Ragu in the grocery aisle, shattering the glass, splattering a huge mess & making me feel humiliated and near tears, but suceeded to make it home before bursting into a sob & pouring a glass of wine. But shortly after my outburst, I could only look back on the past hour or so and laugh. What a mess of nasty things trying to ruin my afternoon one after another!! And why? I had moments of anger, embarassment, sadness & defeat all within the span of 90 minutes!! Talk about kicking me while I'm down.

But here I am, smiling about it and clinging to my new word of the year "prayer". And I don't think I chose this word lightly or that it will be easy. Learning to pray is actually a big deal, a task that will require me to think about it daily, to make an effort to do. One too easy to forget, too easy to ignore but too important to survive.

So, I will pray. I will learn to pray. I will try to pray. And I will see what becomes of 2010.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

This Present Darkness


"For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers or this present darkness..." Ephesians 6:12 (RSV)

So out of sheer boredom lastnight (and being trapped in the livingroom for a few moments) I picked up "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti. Its been on my shelf for some time. Always with intentions of getting read but unfortunately, I only have time to read at night. My mom read the series years ago & thought it was great and encouraged me to read it... in the day time. heheh Because, I have always posessed a vivid imagination that carries thru into my dreams. For this reason, I do not watch scary or suspenseful shows at night... or read scarey or suspenseful BOOKS at night. Because inevitably, they make their way into my dreams.

However, I feel like I'm ready to read this book. It took me several tries to 'get into it'. I like a book that can hook me in the first few paragraphs... this one failed to do so. (What can I say, I read the Twilight series like every other tween and stay-at-home mom... they were gripping! LOL)

But somewhere around page 45 it finally got my interest... when the warriors of heaven were introduced!! Amazing! So I read on. And in just a few short pages I am overwhelmed with the reminder of how much prayer can intercede for us. And how little of this type of praying I've ever done in my life... especially for anyone else.

I think many Christians don't spend much time thinking about the spiritual battle that is warring on every side of them 24-7. The world likes the airy-fairy thoughts of guardian angels, some nicey-nice creature that prevented them from slipping on the ice, or getting hit by a rogue driver. Sure... I buy that. I think they are there doing that for us as well. But that's definitely the easiest part of their jobs. And I'm pretty sure the images of chubby cherubs or whispy fairies with wings makes these mammoth warriors roll their eyes & draw their swords. No, I don't think our guardian angels are meek & mild, but fierce, powerful and strong.

However... should we just be content knowing that they are there, fighting the battles while we carry on our lives, unimpressed by their presence? Again I wonder, what is our roll in this battle that surrounds us daily? How do we fight the battle we can't see with our eyes? How do we survive spiritual warfare when we hardly take the time to acknowledge that it exists?

We all read about the "Armour of God" in Sunday School like its some childish costume to be adorned. I picture a shield with the word "faith" etched into the steel ... but I don't consider a way to strengthen my faith. And the sword of the spirit? How can I wield the weapon with any usefulness if I can't pull my strength from the Spirit of God... and so on with each part of armour.

I might as well be going to battle naked & unarmed because that is how little I know of fighting a spiritual battle.

Ahh, but the most important piece of armour that I can wield at any time and again is prayer. The piece that I most often forget. It can be a whisper for a protection from an evil presence... or a shout, commanding them to flee before Jesus' name.

Lately, my prayers have been "all about me", asking a lot of questions, mostly 'why' and 'when'. Wondering, hoping, straining to listen for the replies. Forgetting the battle around me, around us all, forgetting anyone else, the rest of us, the rest of you, intercession, or praise. Forgetting that I'm called to be a warrior as well, not just standing on the side, high-fiving my 'guardian' for fighting my battle and assuming he will always win it for me.

I underlined one line in the book tonight and that is when I paused my reading to come here. When the 'praying pastor' is being encouraged to give up because he might not survive what could come next and he says this: "maybe I won't come out alive. But God didn't tell me I'd come out alive; he just told me to stay and fight."

Stay and fight, friends!