Monday, 25 June 2012

Vows



I am going to be writing a bit of an unconventional post today. It will be unconventional because even though it is my husband and I’s 7th Wedding Anniversary today, I will be writing about another man who isn’t my husband. But I should definitely first give him a shout out:

To My Wonderful Jonathan

I am deeply blessed that I have been able to share my life these past 7 years with the most selfless, compassionate, caring, and loving man. I thank Jesus everyday for you! I love all of you, your faults and your perfections. This next year in our lives is going to be as grand as the last seven.

Love Your Wife



Now for my post:

This weekend Jon and I attended his cousin’s wedding and his other cousin’s wedding celebration. Spending this weekend watching others join together in marriage was such a treat before our anniversary. It also leads me to realize a few things I treasured from our big day.

I realized how blessed I was to have one amazing man be able to be at our wedding. His name was Dwayne Harms and he was Jon and I’s pastor at the time. He was very special to both Jon and I. He was the man who baptised both Jon and I. He was my first pastor after coming to accept Jesus as Lord. It was his sermon that leads me to Christ. It was each Sunday night sitting in the service he lead that Jon and I fell in love during. It would be his words and instruction during our marriage preparation that we still use and use to survive at times for our marriage now. And it would be him who would bless us and ordain our marriage on our wedding day.

I am pretty sure but not entirely positive that it was a month before our big day when we got a call from Pastor Harms that he wanted to speak to us. We worked out a time to meet at the church that day. Jon and I were not quite sure what to expect but I am positive we never expected that.

Pastor Dwayne explained to us that he had cancer and has been asked to stop pastoring. I remember thinking about the first man I ever saw who was dying of cancer, I was about 11 years old and in front of me was this small man who really looked like a child so fragile laying in his bed barely moving. I was taken back that this maybe the outcome for our pastor, the real first “spiritual” father Jesus ever gave me.

Pastor Dwayne continued to explain that the elders didn’t want him to do our wedding but he refused to listen and apparently argued that because he gets his licence from the country not the church it wasn’t under their call to tell him not to. I was so deeply blessed that he fought to be with us on that day especially because I never had any “father” figures fight to be at something for me. My own wonderful Dad (that isn’t sarcastic, I am truly blessed with the earthly dad God gave me) two years previous even told me he wasn’t sure if he would be at my grad because it was during his yearly fishing trip. He did come though after me and my mother being quite upset. So you can see how this small gesture was a big deal for me. Jon and I were worried about Dwayne’s health but he insisted that he would be okay and that this is something he really wants to do.

Soon enough our wedding day was here. It was during Pastor Dwayne’s sermon part of the ceremony that God spoke something deep into my heart about marriage that day. Funny thing though it wasn’t anything he was saying, to be honest I don’t even remember the message. It was about the example him and his wife were for the promises we were making. Now I do know that Pastor Dwayne and his wife Janet were not perfect and I am sure they had lots of marital struggles as most do but both were amazing examples of how God moves in marriage. Here I was being blessed to express my wedding vows while being witnessed by someone who has worked hard to fulfill those in his own marriage even now at his journey’s end. I remember praying so hard to God as I spoke each word to my new husband that they would be as true as Pastor Dwayne and Janet were now fulfilling. I actually wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to speak the words “through sickness and health”. Here I was promising these things right in front of someone who was living this out.

Still to this day when I hear these promises I am impacted on how important and real they should be taken. That each day we should press into the Lord for the strength it takes to fulfill them because it takes His holy strength to do so.

Pastor Dwayne Harms passed away a month and a half after our wedding on August 16, 2005. We were the last formal thing he done in the church. Each year on our anniversary and on the anniversary of Dwayne’s death I thank Jesus for Pastor Dwayne and for Jesus to bless Janet, her new husband and her children.

It was a few years ago, after a wedding we went to, that I remembered that Pastor Dwayne wrote a blog ( http://dhjourney.blogspot.ca/ ) during his fight with cancer. I wondered if he wrote the day of our wedding. He did. When I read it I was a bit shocked I didn’t realize how hard that day was for him. It was the closure of a huge chapter in his life.

Thank you Pastor Dwayne for that day. Thank you Janet, Ashlynn, and Tyler for sharing your husband and dad with us when you had so little precious days left. Thank you!



Just One of Those MomentsYesterday was Zipp’s dedication. Thank you Jesus for blessing my little girl. Please guild me to train her to know you the best I can. I lay her at your cross. Amen.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Some May Think I'm Crazy



On July 6 I will be taking on my most challenging adventure yet as a mother. I will be driving to my sister’s place 40 minutes north west of Fort Saint John, BC. Just the four kids and me from July 6th to July 14th.

We are first driving to Calgary July 6th. This will be the first leg of the trip lasting 7 ½ hours. We will be visiting Aunties and Uncle for a few days and giving me a rest from the road. On July 9th we will then drive to my sister’s past Fort Saint John making it another 12 hours in the car. We will then chill out in the countryside taking in my nieces. On July 13th we will then start the long voyage back home, going another 14 hours in the car. Yes we will be taking a night stay somewhere on the way back. That will make it a grand total of 2,758km and 32 hours of driving.

Now that you see my crazy plan here is my question to you. What kinds of things should I plan to entertain 4 kids for a trip like that? All the entertainment needs to be free or cheap. I am willing to hear about any tips too. Just not the one about not going, I won’t be listening to that. I have already made up my mind and well I’m pretty stubborn.

Just One of Those Moments
Big C recently went to a classmate’s house to work on a school project. When he was asked by his classmate’s mom if I worked Big C responded by saying, “Oh no she’s too busy being a mom to work.”

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

CLOTHING SWAP: yeah for free clothes!



Last Friday I had my first clothing swap since getting pregnant. It was so much fun. I had about 15 ladies come out to the acreage for free clothes, wine and cheesecake. Also we had Lia Sophia jewellery there to try on and buy.

For those who don’t know what a clothing swap is here is how it works. Everyone invited goes through their closets and find things they don’t wear anymore. This could be because they don’t fit them anymore, it’s not their style anymore, or they just find they don’t put it on enough. I also encourage women to find things in their closet that they really love and bless someone else with it. All items need to be in good shape. No fading, tears, holes, missing pieces, broken zippers, or stains. They pack those things up and bring them to the hostess’s house. There they try on a bunch of clothes and find new-to-them clothes. We visit, drink, eat, and gush over how everyone looks.

I always open the clothing swaps by welcoming everyone, sharing where they can find a place to change (never in the washrooms so people can go when they need to), where they can find a mirror (I put them in the main room so people can complement each other when you have to come out to see yourself in a mirror), share the rules and pray. The rules are these;

1) Never look at sizes, things shrink or stretch out

2) You are not allowed to say anything negative about yourself

3) You are not allowed to say anything negative about the clothing, someone who brought it or does like it could get hurt

4) When someone complements you, you must say thank you and cannot reflect the complement back. Just receive it.

Being a woman of faith I always pray before we start that our Heavenly Father blesses and clothes his daughters that night and that we would have faith that He would do that. I believe the Lord’s heart on these nights is to reflect the verse Matthew 6 28-30:

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”

And God definitely provided for me that night with a few great items. A black chunky knit sweater with zippers on the shoulders. A really fun white t-shirt material button up. A pretty blue T that has flowers around the neckline. A couple of long sleeve shirts that I actually gave away 3 years ago had made their way back and I found I liked them again. A simple blue baggy tank top. A wine colored three quarter sleeve top. Two comfy zip up blue sweat shirts. And last but definitely not least, a fantastic Fruit Loops Shirt. God always blows my mind at his provisions.

It was also fun to watch God bless so many of my wonderful sisters in Christ. It is a joy to watch others come out from changing to find something that fits them like a glove. Looks stunning on their skin or is the perfect color to bring out their eyes. My favorite part is being able to complement women and have them simply say thank you back. This seems like such a challenge for some and clothing swaps are such a great place for those to grow.

I can’t believe that I am still doing these 3 years since I had the idea. I came up with the idea after I had Lil’C to get new clothes with my ever changing post baby body without spending an arm and a leg every few months. And I am still equally as shocked at how much of a fun time and blessing the clothing swaps are. Plus I have decided to become a Lia Sophia consultant so I can bring jewellery every time I do a clothing swap. YEAH!

Thank you all who came out last Friday. I enjoyed hanging out and having a girl’s night.

Love and Blessings!


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father to My Kids



HAPPY FATHER’S DAY
TO ALL THE PAPAS OUT THERE!

4 years ago my husband was just my husband but now he is the father to my four children. Since father’s day 2009, Jon’s first father’s day, he has experienced many new things.

He has changed 100s of diapers, rocked babies asleep countless times, and has had pee, spit up and poop on him on a number of occasions. He has played catch, taught how to snowboard and had a water fight over and over again. He has even got off work early to do so. He has prayed and tucked kids in each night, gave many timeouts and groundings, and gave many snuggle huggles. He has worked hard to provide a good home and yummy food. He seeks the Lord’s heart each day for guidance and strength to train his kids in the way the Lord intends.

He has given up a pile of things; his time, his impatience, his money, his sleep, his hobbies, his priorities, his cars (drives a van now), his space, his home, and his heart. But in return has been blessed four times over with one of God’s greatest blessings, children.

Thank you Jon for all you are to each of our kids.


JUST ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS

Jon’s sister is a photographer who storm chases tornadoes and his brother does extreme kayaking over rapids and waterfalls. I always joke that out of all of Jon’s siblings he is involved in the most dangerous and extreme activity. He raises children, not just dangerous to you physically but also mentally.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Adoption Application: A Realization



A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend who is in the process of adopting about the process we went through, what I knew of other’s processes, and what it is like now that we have had our kids for a year and a half. As we chatted I came to a pretty cool realization about the change of heart and view I have on our adoption.

We were talking about filling out your application. Making those big decisions of what you are okay with accepting and what you feel you aren’t equipped to handle at this time in your lives. Those kinds of decisions like one child or sibling group, what cultures are you open to bring in to be a part of your family unit and are you willing to adapt certain things to this culture, are you willing to bring a child in with special needs, be that a child who is blind, with heart problems, FAS, or RADs and the list goes on. Each decision is important to really take time and contemplate on how it will affect you and your lives.

That is when I realized something pretty profound about myself. I realized my view on these big decisions has changed.

When I first contemplated it all I was thinking on how hard it would be on me and my life. What things I would have to change, what challenges I would have to go through, how it would affect my day to day and how it would affect my future.

But now, having my children it is very little on how it affects me and my whole world of concern is on how those things effects them and their world. I only think about how hard it is on them, what challenges they have to go through, how it affects their day to day, and especially how it affects their future. My whole being only wants to fix it for them or make sure they have all the tools they need for that future. And each day I am very aware that I will never be able to fix it for them and that I will never be able to give them all the tools they need. All I can do is lay all those big decisions down at the Lords feet and know He will take care of them all perfectly.



JUST ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS

Lil’ C has never played with dolls before even though we have had them in our home. This week he all of a sudden picked up A’s doll and has played with it none stop but only in a way that a real boy’s boy would.

For example, I was on the coach in the living room feeding Zip. Lil’ C sits next to me with the doll. “I am going to feed my baby too. Okay Mom.” He lifts up his shirt and explains to the doll that he is going to feed it through his belly.

All of a sudden Lil’ C jumps off of the coach with the doll in hand. “Oh No! There are bad ninja guys with robot Jedi heads. Come on baby lets punch them.” Lil’ C places one doll hand in each of his and proceeds to make the doll punch the imaginary bad guys. He then flings the doll dramatically onto the coach that is now behind him and declares, “I will protect you baby!” He reaches over and picks up his nerf gun off of the coffee table with one hand. He then points the nerf gun that looks like a really large revolving barrel hand gun at one corner of the room and starts to shoot the ninja bad guys. “Paaddddddrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” He then ends in the opposite corner giving a very loud explosion sound, “PooU-Flem”. Throwing his head and hand with the nerf gun in it back as though the nerf gun has sent out an ending missile.

He turns with triumph and picks up the doll saying, “See I protected you baby.”