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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornado Victims Need Prayers

Hi everyone

I wanted to forward this prayer request to you, just in case you haven't received it yet. This is devastating and heart breaking and I will be definitely praying for these families. If you hear of anyone else that needs our prayer please let me know.

Here is the link to read about the tragedies.

May God be with these people in their time of need and bless all those who have banded together to bring relief and the comfort of prayer.

Love & Blessings to you all.
Ever had one of those days? 

You know... the kind where you seem to have a sign on your back that says "Hello demons from hell.. I'm a little weak today.. come use me for target practice!" Ever had one of those days when you do something stupid because your brain seems to have decided it didn't feel like coming along with you when you left the house?  You can feel free to laugh... Kristin B are you there? ;-)

Today, I left the house without taking a shower, with greasy hair and flip flops on my feet, old jeans and no make up.. just to drop my daughter to school and make a quick stop for gas and to the bank machine. I jumped out of  the car and when I got inside I realized that the machine was out of order. I was a little annoyed that I'd have to do my transaction later on and hurried back to my car, whereupon I realised...

I'd locked the keys inside.. along with my handbag and cellphone!

I felt a knot of panic rise into my throat and swallowed it down. We've become so used to cell phones that there wasn't even a pay phone I could use. I started saying "Lord, please send someone to help me". After a few minutes I saw someone I knew from my daughter's old gym school and she lent me her phone. I tried to call home (I'd left the other two daughters ).. no answer. I tried my mother in law.. no answer. I didn't remember anyone else's number. I had a few seconds until the owner of the phone came back from using the ATM. It was useless to call my husband who was too far away (even if I had remembered his number.. I know .. that's terrible, but speed dial is it for me)

I tried home again and this time my daughter answered. I hurriedly told her what had happened and to try to get on to her grandma (who lives two streets away) and where the spare keys were. Then, I handed back the phone and stood there chewing a hole in my lip wondering what to do next.

What if they couldn't get anybody to come? I could take a taxi home but then what if they did get someone and that person was on the way. I also didn't like the idea of leaving  my car with the keys hanging in the ignition and my phone and purse inside.  I paced about and then asked a passing security guard if there was a phone I could use (it was too early for any businesses to be open yet) He said no. I walked all the way to the guard booth at the other end of the plaza and asked there. To cut a long story short, I got another phone borrowed and called home. My daughter said that her aunt (who lives several miles away) was on the way.

I heaved a sigh of relief and got to thinking  while I was standing there.. with greasy hair and looking a mess (I wondered if people thought I was begging.. I did get some strange looks from passersby) that God's hand was in this too.

The spare keys are usually in my handbag. I had switched handbags and the key had been left in the one that was at home. Thank God.. this could have been worse, I thought, the spare could have been locked in the car with my handbag. What then!

My daughters were both at home, which wasn't supposed to be either. I wouldn't have had keys to get into the house to get the spare (assuming it hadn't been locked in with the other bag).My mother-in-law was without a car, the odds of my sister in law being at home at that hour.. well.. Praise God!

Am I confusing you? Is your head spinning?

Mine is.. spinning with giddy relief and joy that God never abandons me.

So, if you are having one of those days...I totally empathize! So does Tami.. you need to read this post. It is going to make you smile and nod your head because I don't know any woman who cant relate.

Thank God for His love and His promise to be with us always! 

Sure hope I made you smile today.. we could always use a good laugh! Shine on shine strong for Jesus!

Hope and Thankful Thursday

Oh Beautiful Saviour, how much I have to be grateful for. As I count my blessings of the past week I can see Your loving hand was there, supporting and guiding. When I was at my weakest, driest and lowest.. you never left my side. You have a plan for my life.. it is your masterpiece.. as your brush strokes add colour and substance to my life, I thank you for Your great love that endures forever.

151. Beautiful church services.
152. My 4 year old singing her heart out (at the top of her lungs) in church.
153. That she slept through the long liturgical part of Mass so I could focus on the Word.
154. How she rang the life out of her bell at the end of Mass :-)
155. For loving, encouraging words.
156. For strong shoulders to lean on, cry on, rest on.
157. For family fellowship.
158. Wonderful food.
159. Visual reminders of what Jesus has done for me.
160  That He shoulders my burdens and carries me when I'm weak.
161. For Grace that keeps my faith alive and well.
162. That He comes after me, the lost sheep, in the wilderness into which I've wandered and lovingly leads me home.
163. For words which flow from a heart which was under siege.
164. For love which heals and restores.
165. For a return to routine and restoration of my 'quiet time' with the Lord.
166. For the awesome feeling of being in His presence.
167. For that sense of "coming home" when He embraces me.
168. For "living water" which quenches my thirst.
169. For His leading me to new places and people I share a common bond with.
170. For sharing time with my husband playing a computer game (there's a first time for everything!)

Lynn asked that we write about Hope this week. All I can say is that my hope rests  in the Lord. He is all I have to hold on to sometimes. I rest secure in the knowledge that He never leaves my side and that no matter what turbulent waters my boat may sail into.. He's my anchor and my compass.. I know He'll lead me safely to where He wants my little boat to be.

That means for me.. that I can hope for great things from Him and trust that He wont fail me.
 For me, Hope is wrapped up in a great big bouquet with Faith and Trust. They're like the leaves of the shamrock.. you cant have one without the other.

Counting my blessings daily gives me great reason to hope in Him as I see the myriad of ways His hand is in my life.

I hope you have good reason to count your blessings too and may you shine brightly for Jesus! ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We are the Easter People

Resurrection by Raffaelino del Garbo 1510 Royalty Free Images
Easter Sunday has come and gone... yet the Easter season in our church lasts for 50 days... straight up to Pentecost. That magnificent day when the One who the Lord had promised would come (Luke 24:49) and bring power from on high...that day when Holy Spirit fire fell and timid men became brave and bold, illiterate men became knowledgeable and they all spoke in other languages.

Easter is the fulfillment of the promise made by God after the fall of man.. that He would redeem us and wipe away our sins.. that we would be made whole and clean and able to enter the gates of Heaven... that our separation from Him would end... that our sins would be paid for in full!

Easter is the celebration of our return to the bosom of our loving Father.. it is the proof of His great abiding love for us. It is the joy of that Resurrection morning when the tomb was empty and God had conquered death and sin.. for us.

Easter is the realization of all our hope in the Lord. It is the dawning of a new faith.. it is putting our hands into Jesus' wounds like Thomas.. it is knowledge of the great price He paid. It is freedom from the bondage of sin and death!

Easter is the trembling, awe-filled  wonder of our Lord ascending to Heaven and the promises He left to comfort and empower. It is His beautiful, infinite majesty and His promise that He will always be with us.

Below is part of the exsultet sung at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday night:

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Easter is a time of  joy, hope, renewal of our faith in the promises of God.

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song" Pope John Paul II

May the joy and hope of Easter reign in your hearts and homes and I pray that you cling to the awesome promises of God to us... 
His Easter people!    HALLELUJAH!!

One Day at a Time

Twenty years ago today I gave birth to my first daughter. I remember being pregnant with her and going through this book that my grandmother had given me on pregnancy and parenting. I read past my current pregnancy status into the future and they seemed to stretch into forever.. these responsibilities that were now mine. I remember becoming afraid and completely overwhelmed.. I had to go through all of that?!

Then.. I made the decision that if I was going to do this, I had to face it one step at a time... one day at a time.

I couldn't look into an unknown future and let it intimidate me. Here I am twenty years and four children later and I still use this principle. Our responsibilities as mothers stretch on into the wild blue yonder. We are going to be mothers even when our children are full-grown and parents themselves. In fact, even when they are grandparents!  Its true.. my own grandmother was still dishing out advice to my mother when I was married and having babies.

As I've reflected on what these past twenty years have meant to me, I know this "one day at a time" principle and the Grace of God has helped me to cope, to survive and to keep things in perspective. When I held this little infant in my arms, when I endured the sleepless nights, the anxiety of whether I would be a good mother or not I did not envision helping out with school projects, doctor and dentist appointments, anxiety and worry over exam results. I certainly did not envision  myself leaving her in the car park of a university thousands of miles away. If I had I would have never believed that I would have the strength to do that.

At the moment, I cannot envision having the strength to watch her move away from home, have a serious relationship, get married or give birth to her first child, but I know through God's grace I will. God gave to women a strength that he did not give to men and its all wrapped up in our motherhood.

A motherhood that lasts as long as we are alive and that changes as our children grow. How quickly these twenty years have flown... and how different is our relationship now. She is all grown up and living on her own for most of the year. When graduation time comes she will make decisions for her future that may take her into places, foreign lands where I cannot follow or be an active part of her life any more.

 The days for my motherhood to be one of counsel, comfort, protection are over. Now I can only give advice when she seeks it, comfort her when she turns to me and I can only pray to God for her safety and protection, both moral and physical.

I thank God for the years I have had to be a positive influence on her as the world is now at her fingertips and every worldly value and code of ethic is being thrown at her. I thank Him that she has had a good grounding in faith here at home and pray that the world doesn't grind it out of her. I thank Him that she still calls me "Momma" at times and turns to me for advice, even when I cant really help her or understand her struggles. She still believes somewhere in her heart that "Momma" can make it better.

Recently she called me up on Skype and she was basically having a meltdown.. she was overwhelmed with all the papers to hand in for finals, trying to keep up with job-related stuff (she works two jobs) and she hasn't been sleeping trying to stay on top of things. The clock wound back for me as I tried to talk her through this and I came up against the old brick wall of the teenaged mind... where nothing you say seems to make a difference.

 She was in a defeatist mood and didn't appear to even be listening to me as she cried and vented out her heart's frustration. I gave her the best advice I could and told her I would pray for her. I disconnected feeling totally useless and helpless and turned to my husband saying that it was ironic that I could help people I have never met face to face but I fail when it comes to my own daughter.

A couple of hours later, she was on Skype with her sister feeling better and ready to face the world again. Apparently, I did penetrate the brick wall and she did get the benefit of my advice... don't give up and take it one day at a time. 

For all you young mothers out there who are struggling with raising young ones (I'm still counted among your number raising a four year old myself!) Cherish these days, they go by so fast. Your motherhood will undergo changes.. that sweet daughter who blows you wet kisses now is going to become a teenager who will get moody and seem to not appreciate you at all and you may even believe that she hates you sometimes.. especially when you have to stand your ground against worldly values and uphold your own. This too shall pass.. take it one day at a time.  (Matt 6:34 So do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.)

Happy Birthday my darling Bri.. can't wait to have you home in a few days! May God bless you and guide your footsteps onto the path that He has chosen for you. (Try not to resist Him ok ;-)

This post is linked to:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Easter Traditions

Today began the Easter Triduum in our church. It begins on  Holy Thursday where our Mass includes the reading of the Last Supper and a re-enactment of the washing of the feet. After Holy Communion is distributed, the altar is stripped and the tabernacle is left open. The Holy Eucharist is taken to an altar of repose somewhere inside the church, either at the back or side but away from the altar and the tabernacle.  The cross is covered over with a cloth and no image of Jesus is left.

 After Mass tonight I sat in church waiting on my daughter who is an altar server to finish assisting with the stripping of the altar and removal of candles etc. As usual I felt desolate and could relate to the disciples who had to watch Jesus die and then leave Him in a cold, dark tomb, feeling despair and emptiness...perhaps the end of all their hopes. Many of them did not believe that He would really rise again as He had said.

I looked at that empty tabernacle.. doors swung open to show  nothing inside.. and felt my heart  heavy with the absence of Jesus. I could hear my heart echoing the words of  Mary Magadalene on Easter morning "They have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid Him!"

Tomorrow morning, I will join my family on the annual Good Friday walk where we say the Stations of the Cross while processing in the street from one church to another.. remembering every step that Jesus took, His falls, Simon of Cyrene being forced to carry the cross, His brow being wiped by Veronica, His crucifixion and death. Again I will enter the church for the short service and view the stripped altar and empty tabernacle and my heart will be heavy with loss... stricken by the enormity of the grief the disciples and the holy women must have felt on that day... separation from Him.

Saturday night we will celebrate our Easter Vigil Mass. It is long, but beautiful. On this night we also baptize new members of the faith.  The lights are put out and a bonfire burnt from which lights are brought in to light candles that each person brings. We sing ' Christ our Light' and the priest and altar servers process up the darkened church.. as they proceed they light our candles and the whole church slowly lights up. This represents how we were in darkness, but Jesus is our Light. We bring  bells to ring and as we sing Gloria the whole church just rings to bursting with joy. He is Risen! 

While there is also Mass to celebrate Easter Sunday.. and it is completely different from the Vigil.. I have never felt the joy and outpouring of the Spirit that I feel on Glorious Saturday night at the Easter Vigil Mass. What a wonderful feeling it is. The dark melancholy of the first part of the triduum into the vibrant joy of the last part. 

However you commemorate and celebrate Easter, I wish you every blessing and joy from God and may your weekend be filled with love and good times with your loved ones.

Love & Blessings

*This post was written late on Holy Thursday night.. hence the present tense.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thankful to be Loved by an Almighty God

Recently, my daughter commented on an article in the newspaper about a young girl (19) who committed suicide. According to the reporter, a broken relationship had driven her to kill herself. My 18 year old was outraged and baffled.. how could anyone do such a thing.. no boy is worth that etc. While I am immensely grateful to God that my children are strong enough in their faith and values to to have this belief... I had to tell her that not everyone is strong this way.

I had to explain about the darkness of depression, the dark, cloying, weight of self-hatred, that causes diseases like anorexia, bulimia and self-mutilation and the fact that these things are like quicksand, sucking the victim into a black hole. My children know these things exist, but they cannot understand them. They know that in their weakness they must turn to God. A God who loves them and will support and strengthen them.. even when their father and I may fail them. Quite often depressed, suicidal people or 'cutters'  are locked into an isolation and feel they have no one to turn to, that no one could know or understand. They feel that they are unloved and unlovable.

Do you know of anyone caught in the depths of any of these dark places? Share this video with them. Feel free to pass on their names for me to add to my prayer list.  James 5:15 "And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well, the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven".

Love can save, love can heal. Love someone enough to pray for them, reach out to them. Show them the light of Jesus shining in you. You never know what the person next to you is going through. Remember that you are Christ's hands, feet, eyes, mouth on this earth.

And for yourself... do you feel like giving up on something painful or difficult in your life. 

Keep climbing, sister, the Lord loves you so much he took your burden onto himself. He bled out our sins on the cross and He continues to say to you "Come to me all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest."  YOU ARE LOVED!!!

131. For the Holy Spirit... teaching, guiding, empowering, prompting, prodding
132. For being led in unexpected places.
133. For being touched and moved by Grace.
134. For Grace that provides strength when I need it.
135. For being blessed by the words of others.
136. For the blessing of knowing I've helped another.
137. For the grace of being a SAHM, despite all the obstacles and difficulties.
138. For loving and kind words of encouragement from my husband.
139. For grace-filled moments of tender reflection.
140. For being able to look at old scars and be grateful to God for healing.
141. For sharing stories and meeting new friends... discovering common ground.
142. For good old-fashioned TLC  ;-)
143. For secrets whispered in my ear.
144. For a daughter who woke up early to babysit her sister so I could go to church.
145. For a daughter who took such great care of her little sister so I could bake.
146. For  the grace I feel when I see God at work in my life.
147. For Grace that turned a meltdown into a heart-to-heart with my teens.
148. For the smell of hot cross buns wafting through the house
149. For the joy and delight on the face of my four year old eating the fruit of my labour.
150. For a husband who can cook.. thank you Lord!

God fills each day with grace. so many gifts in each moment that passes. May you be blessed by God abundantly and may you shine brightly with His Grace for all to see.

Have a happy and holy Easter everyone!  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Get Your Cheer On!

This post was originally written to link up with e-Mom at Chrysalis for Marriage Monday and the topic was Leadership in Christian Marriage. I wrote on how to encourage your husband when he's been dealt blows by life, when he is discouraged or broken. You can go to the link provided below to read more great articles on this topic.

This is my second entry for Marriage Monday over at Chrysalis.  First, let me welcome e-Mom back from her spring break, hope you had a wonderful time! Nothing like a little time away from the routine to rekindle the fires and recharge the batteries. I'm a little jealous.. could use some of that myself ;

This week's topic, Leadership in Christian Marriage,  is a bit more challenging for me, but I'll be giving it my best shot.

I've had to ask my husband's permission to write this because it is really about him after all.. and a very sensitive subject. As a young bride.. in fact way into my marriage.. I didn't understand how a man thinks and  I couldnt understand how his ego and pride work, I didn't know what my role as his wife was. For me 'ego' was a dirty word that meant 'selfish', 'prideful', 'vain'.

I grew up in a house full of girls, my father ruled the roost... (no hen-pecking here!) We girls had very limited contact with males.,, there was virtually no example but my father's. My parent's marriage did not give me any clues into what to expect myself.  That's a whole other story though... and if you use your imagination you'll figure out how many problems it led to in my marriage. (Thank God for Grace!)

Though I am sure there were many times in his life that my husband had personal crises, he kept these things from me. Our relationship didn't evolve for almost 20 years to the point where I was being given a glimpse into his emotions and the secret world of a man's mind. I have learned that there are two areas that can completely shatter a man's ego. The first is his sexual prowess and the second his ability to provide for his family.

About 9 years ago, my husband lost his job. It wasn't a down-sizing..it was more of a vendetta. He was now dealing with a double dose of male pride-busting. Not only was he out of a job, but this person had basically tried to tear his credibility apart. I didn't realise until later on how this must have affected him. Back then, however, he held on to those feelings and didn't share them with me.

As the months stretched on and the little money we had accumulated dwindled further and further, it was faith that took us through. I'm sure that his own faith was stretched to the max and it didn't help that family members kept badgering him about not yet having a job. Their own anxiety for us must have made him flustered and pressed a little panic button inside his mind. I believe that my own faith boosted my husband's and the calm that I was able to maintain helped to keep him calm as well. Eight months later he had another job.

This was the start of a very long trial for us. This job was demanding, exhausting, his health began to fail him. He was battling with bureaucracy and trying to live out his faith in a place that was slowly killing him. Five years later he would also lose this job, under very similar circumstances. After a short stint in a privately-owned company where he had to do battle with the owners for every thing he wanted to get done and where his spirit was disturbed by the many immoral practices he witnessed there, they agreed to part ways.

God then provided a job for him in a place where he is finally comfortable.. it is not without its challenges but I know that he enjoys this job for the most part. A far cry from what he has experienced for the previous 6 years, perhaps even more. This job, however, has a smaller salary than his previous jobs and it means a constant struggle to make ends meet. I know that, when things are particularly bad, he gets a little depressed about it.

As you can see my husband has had good reason to be broken. What have I learned from all this? All that I have learned has come with a high price.. it took too many years for me to learn what my husband's needs are.. it didn't help that he never communicated them to me. Here's what experience has taught me:
  • A strong and unshakable faith is the first necessary thing to helping a husband through his own personal crises. Pray for your husband constantly, pray with him if he'll let you and maintain your own faith and trust in God to see you both through whatever your present circumstance is. Pray for God to give you the guidance, the wisdom and knowledge, the strength and courage to do what is right for your husband.
  • Unconditional love.. he has to see that you love him and that you don't see him as a failure.
  • Support him. Don't let anyone else.. family member or otherwise.. break him down or try to make him feel less than a man because of his present circumstances. Of course I don't mean fight his battles for him.. that would probably emasculate him. He just needs to know that you've got his back.  Every time he would face the badgering of others I would remind him of our faith and belief and that, if nobody else believed in him, I did. 
  • Guard your tongue and do not be tempted to point out the areas he has failed in your arguments. We, as women, sometimes fail to realise just how fragile the male ego is. I discovered 19 years into the marriage how many scars my tongue had left on my husband.. all without my realising it. We can break them down with a very small, careless word.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.  Any hint of sadness, depression or anxiety is going to drag at him. He is going to blame himself  and his situation for causing you anxiety or stress.
  • Show him that you need him. Whatever area in his life is dragging  him down in the present moment, is not ALL of who he is.. he is still the head of the home, still your lover and friend, still a father.  Find the area that he can use his skills and talents or time and energy to boost his sagging self-image aka ego.
  • Men are not wired to share their innermost thoughts and  feelings. I have learned to my detriment that you cannot nag them to tell you what is going on in their heart or mind. Respect his need for space sometimes and try not to feel rejected, as I have, when he just wants to be alone with his thoughts. I have learned that men use this time to process and plan and sometimes just to get in touch with what they really are thinking and feeling.
  • Try to discover what his particular needs are.. ask him if necessary. No man is created the same. What would work in my marriage, may not work in yours.
  • For me this is VERY important... what goes on in your marriage is YOUR business.. do not be tempted to share with others.. especially if it is of a sensitive nature to your husband. Your loyalty is to him first. He needs to be able to trust you. Perhaps one reason men don't share their intimate feelings easily with us is because of our tendency to 'tongue-wag' when we get together with the girls.
  • Let him be a man. There are times when we have to 'baby' our men.. usually it is in times of sickness (anybody with me on this one?). Personally, I love when my husband melts like a marshmallow into my arms and shows me that he NEEDS me, but I know that those are rare times and shouldn't be the norm.  Don't be tempted to treat him like a fragile piece of fluff because he's going through a hard time. Support him, yes, but don't subconsciously, or otherwise, try to take over his role for him. Of course, there must be instances where this is necessary on a temporary basis (serious illness or clinical depression etc.) but I think this is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Most importantly, we are our men's biggest cheerleaders. We are the ones who can make them feel 10 feet tall, or small and insignificant. We can give them the incentive to get on those white chargers with their lances and go after the opponent just because we're there waving our little hankies at them. We can make them feel like the handsomest, sexiest, strongest, the best-est because we believe in them. They need to know how much we love them, but they also need to know that we think they're piping hot in every way.. flaws and all.

Trust me on this... the flame that you can light in them is awesome when they see how you believe they're 'the man'..and you won't mind getting burnt by it either!  ;-)

So, go girl.. get your cheer on and give that man of yours a boost whether you think he needs it or not ..you never know what he may be secretly battling!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lessons From A Hospital Waiting Room

On Friday, my phone rang at 7:30 am. It was my sister asking me to take her four year old daughter to the hospital because she was wheezing. My niece suffers with asthma and I literally woke my 14 year old dressed and dashed out the house with both my younger children in tow.

I left the older daughter to babysit her little sister and eight year old cousin and grabbed my mother and niece to take them to the hospital. I had never had to do this before. I was completely unprepared, didn't know what to expect. I hardly thought that I would spend five hours in that place, but that was the reality of it. No food, no water, no money.. both my mother and I had left without cash on us. I had planned to fast as I usually do, but God even took it one step further that day.. I would give Him more than I had planned.

After my niece was triaged(and trust me, I never knew that word before Friday), it must have been decided that she wasn't critical yet because the wait to see a doctor seemed endless  and once we got inside the process was slow and torturous. They had to put her on  a nebulizer and wait for the medication to be administered, a half hour process, then wait another half hour for the meds to work to be examined by the doctor. After four of those, her lungs had to be x-rayed and then they decided to do another treatment.

All this time I had to wait outside because they wouldn't let more than one person stay with her. As I watched the waiting room empty and fill back I tried to pray. I thought about how  my day had turned out and the prayer list on my prayer altar at home with all the people for whom I was supposed to be praying now. I felt distracted and confused. I was worried about my own children left behind at my mother's house. I longed to be in God's sanctuary and I hated that I wouldn't be able to keep my promise to pray for those who needed prayer.

I felt this niggling little thing calling to me in the mists of my mind. I saw Jesus as He is in a video I saw recently, hugging and kissing children, comforting and healing and I thought.. if Jesus were here right now isn't that exactly what He would be doing? I'm supposed to be His eyes, His hands, His feet, His voice here on earth.. yet I couldn't find the courage to reach out to anyone.

Suddenly, while I was thrashing this out with God in my mind.. I cant really call it praying now can I? A young girl at the back turned on her phone and the song you hear in the video came on. I felt like peace descend .. God whispered to my heart "My sanctuary is wherever you find me. I want you here in this place now. You can pray for your friends anywhere.. you can pray here and look how many more people I have given to you to pray for."

I opened my eyes and saw anew, the young mother with the premature infant struggling to breathe, the young boy who'd been bitten on the testicles by a dog, the weak looking little infant in her tired mother's arms. I SAW them and then I began to pray. As the waiting room filled and emptied again, I prayed and I talked to some of the people waiting. I learned their stories, I hope I offered them some comfort. I prayed for them to have strength and for healing for their little ones.

I couldn't imagine the pain, the worry, the frustration these parents must be feeling. The dog-bite boy had arrived ten minutes after we did. We left him there.. his parents said he had to have stitches.. poor child. I wonder what his future holds. One mother related having been there just two days before.. her little one also had asthma. How exhausted she must have been with all those sleepless nights.. the steroid in the medications makes the children hyperactive.. they may not be well but they're not sleeping either.

In the midst of all this suffering.. I lifted my eyes to Heaven and said 'Breathe on me.. my Saviour.. teach my heart to love and have compassion. Fan the flame of zeal to do your work within me. Take me to your Sanctuary.. breathe on me.. breathe courage, breathe wisdom.

And then... I thanked Him... thanked Him that in the raising of four children I have never had to go to the hospital in such circumstances with any of them. Thanked Him that none of my children have suffered illnesses and diseases. Thanked Him because, in the face of others' sufferings and sorrows mine seem so insignificant. In the face of all He suffered for us... what we endure is like the mist that evaporates when the sun rises.

Breathe on us.. teach our hearts...comfort, heal, restore with love.. this was my prayer for you my friends.. from a hospital waiting room on Friday.. and God was there and He listened.

Love and Blessings to all of you

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thankful and Soaring On Eagles Wings

This is one of my favourite psalms, Psalm 91.  I wanted to share this beautiful song with you. It has become popular at funerals and we attended one yesterday for a family friend's husband. May his soul rest in peace in the bosom of Our Lord.

So much to be grateful to God for.. most of all for the beautiful promises in this Psalm that He is ever-faithful to. I hope this song gives any of you who needs it the comfort and courage that it always gives to me. The chorus is based on Isaiah 40:31.

111. A good and honest mechanic...God bless him!
112. Help of relatives  in time of need.
113. Time off from driving..peace!
114. Quiet time with the Lord where he knits back my frazzled nerves.
115. Creative daughters who put together their little sister's Easter hat for her school's  hat party.
116. A daughter who loves making oatmeal coconut cookies (my waistline isn't very happy with me)
117. Four year old's scribbles all over the house (I think we have a future artist on our hands!)
118. Another blogger's words which show me how blessed I am.
119. Words of wisdom from my daughter's future school principal.
120. A spontaneous outing for me and the girls.
121. Rain... rain.. rain.. so welcome and unexpected in a dry season..Praise God! (My yard is actually green and not brown like it usually is this time of year)
122. Strong arms and gentle words.
123. Skype calls from daughter in college (sorry, but always have to be thankful for this one!)
124. His Amazing Grace... always healing, always comforting.
125. His Amazing Grace.. always providing, always faithful
126. Easter Vacation and a break from the routine.
127. Easter Vacation and having my girls, all except one, at home with me.
128. Watching my 14 year old galloping around like a big child again with her little sister.
129. Hearing squeals and giggles as my husband and youngest have a pillow fight through the house.
130. Forgiveness and unconditional love.

God bless all of you my friends. May your day be filled with love and laughter and thanksgiving to a faithful, constant and loving God. Shine on, shine strong for Jesus!

If you have any prayer requests you would like me to offer on your behalf tomorrow when I go before God's throne, please let me know. I'll be happy to add your request to my prayer list..


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Surrendering Completely to God

Today I'm dealing with the delicate issue of surrendering our wombs to God.

This is the ultimate surrender as a woman.. let me tell you! Its one of the things our suffragist sisters fought for the most.. and many continue to fight for in the form of the right to have abortions. I'm not going to get into that right now. This post is not about judging others for their choices. Ultimately, everyone has to live with their own choices and believe that their choices are acceptable to the Lord.

I want to gently suggest to you, that if you are walking a path towards trusting God with your life.. you need to consider giving him the reins of all aspects of it. There is a sweetness in surrendering to an Almighty God who you know loves you and wants the very best for you.

We have to believe that he knows what is best for us... sometimes we certainly don't know what's best for us or even for our own children.

We are constantly on our knees asking Him for guidance in each of our children's individual needs or situations. Praying for wisdom and discernment to make decisions for ourselves and for them. This, I believe, is as it should be. When we give the reins of our lives to God and remain open to what He wants to do for us, we literally free His hands as there is no longer the barrier of our own free will.

I recently shared my story with Darlene Schacht after reading one of her inspiring posts and since then I have felt a prodding from our Lord to share it with others. I have resisted for a while, but you know when God wants us to do something, he keeps on gently nudging us. Below is my story.. I hope that it gives you more insight into my faith and encourages you on your own journey.

I was married when I was 22. From the very beginning I was against using anything that was unnatural to my body. Even though my faith teaches that contraception is not part of the Divine Plan for us, I did use condoms for a while. I always say that the Lord has a tremendous sense of humour.. it turned out I was allergic to the latex. I didn't discover this until I had already had baby number 1. 

While pregnant with baby number 2, a year later,  I was anointed with the Holy Spirit and my life became convicted. Thankfully, even though my husband was not travelling the same path as I was, he agreed to stop using condoms.. anything else was simply not an option. I know now that the Lord wanted me to trust Him with my womb.

My children were all born via c-sections since it was determined with the first baby that I could not have delivered normally. Three and a half years later I had baby number 3. At this time, my gynaecologist was adamant that I should not have any more children, that it would be risky. I, however, placed my trust in God and continued to be open to life. Let me just interject here that I believe that God formed a covenant with me, one He constantly reminds me via scripture that stands forever, that He will protect and provide for me as long as I am obedient and do His will.

When my third daughter was five, I became pregnant again. I had spotted with all of my pregnancies and this one was no exception. I was, however, much more active with three school-aged children and no help at home. I continued to drive and work as usual and I had a miscarriage. You can read all about that in the link provided.

Four years later I became pregnant with my last daughter. By now I had a new doctor and she was a woman of faith herself. She told me, as a doctor she needed to tell me how dangerous another pregnancy would be and that a tubal ligation would be recommended, but she did not try to force this upon me. My husband and I prayed about this for months and sought counsel from our priest and we decided that God wanted us to trust Him implicitly.

Today my youngest is four years old. I will admit to being somewhat fearful of becoming pregnant again and heave a sigh of relief each month that I get my period. Yet, even as I do that, I am convicted in my heart that, I am in the palm of His hand. Each day I offer to Him again my life, myself, body, mind and soul to do with as He pleases.

I am just an ordinary woman and it takes hard work to keep this faith. to walk in it, to live by it, to surrender to it daily. It is by no means easy.. I feel weak sometimes, I am fearful, slip and slide and hang on by a thread...yet our God who is gracious and merciful, strengthens me. 

He has blessed me with a husband who, most importantly, shares my faith and supports me in living it out each day. We are by no means a perfect couple.. I have meltdowns occasionally, we have arguments... ultimately though, after many years,  God has placed us on the same path and this is  a vitally important component in living out your faith.

Whatever your own situation.. whether your husband is on the same path, an unbeliever, or of a different faith.. God has you in the palm of His hand.  He will work in your life, in your own individual need and circumstance. Surrender to Him what you can in whatever way you can. You may not be in a position to live your faith in the same way as I do or as anybody else does.

God loves you just as you are and if you open yourself, He will lead you gently to the place He desires you to be. He will open whatever doors are necessary, he will empower and provide for you. Trust in Him.

Its been very encouraging to read the convictions of others. Of note, is a wonderfully put together article by April at My Abundant Life. She's done a lot of research too.  Check out her post here

Until next time, my friends, I pray that God will bless you and your families abundantly! Keep on shining brightly for Jesus!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

31 Days to Clean and A Giveaway!

Hi Everyone

I know  my posts have been kind of heavy lately, but the sun will come out soon, I promise! ;-)

I'm just passing on to you some info on a wonderful Big Bundle that Sarah Mae is giving away and also about her new e-book.. 31 days to Clean.  This looks like such a great book and the giveaway is amazing!

You can read about it here. It would be great if one of you could win it!

Good Luck!

Love & Blessings

Do you Believe in Angels?

I felt like sharing this with you given the theme of the series I'm currently doing. The prayer you see in the video was written by a Catholic Pope when he received a vision of hell. You can read  a little more here, where there is also a shorter version of the prayer.

This is my four year old's favourite thing to look at. She loves the idea of a powerful warrior angel to "fight the bad monsters", as she calls it.  We keep a small statue of St Michael as a reminder that he is there for us to call upon in our time of need.

Here you can read the story of a soldier in Korea who had a miraculous encounter.

This is the prayer that that soldier said every morning, taught to him by his mother:

Michael, Michael of the morning,
Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,
Keep me safe today,
And in time of temptation
Drive the devil away.

Do you believe in angels and their power to protect us?  Read what the bible has to say about angels here

In the bible there are several stories of angels. One of note is in 2 Kings 6:16-17 where Elisha prays for his servant's eyes to be opened and he saw the invisible Army of God's angels, vastly outnumbering the enemy.

Let me tell you my own experience of when an angel touched my life:

It was back in 2005, I was rushing to get my daughter to gymnastics practice and upon approaching a merging lane I glanced down in my wing mirror to make sure nothing was coming. It was a couple of seconds no more, but enough for someone to pull in front of me. When I looked up there was this car and I ran straight into the back of it. My car was a mess.. its bonnet was crumpled up, the lights were shattered and the force of the impact and knocked my knee against the dash and caused my daughter's to get a small gash as she also had her knees slam into the dashboard.

The lady driving the other car continued to roll forward slowly and eventually stopped. Later she would tell me that she wasn't sure if I had hit her because she only felt a light bump. Her car  wasn't even dented in badly, considering the state of mine.

I sit here with goosebumps relating this story.. nobody will ever convince me that my guardian angel. or perhaps those of my children and mine stood between the two cars and prevented the accident from being worse.

God has given us angels from the day we are brought into this world. Their mission is to guard and protect, to guide us away from evil. There are so many stories out there... perhaps you'd like to read some yourself.

I highly recommend that you read Joan Wester Anderson's books on angels. My husband bought one for me one year and , because I loved it so much, he bought me another. I also subscribe to her newsletters where she keeps us up to date with new stories of angels who came to the aid of people.

I thank and praise God everyday for the angels that protect my family. There have been numerous incidents.. several  involving my car. Just yesterday my mechanic finished working on my 15 year old car once again and said to me "I don't know how the engine is even working.. its had so many bad overheats. I know of cars that only overheated once and the engine was damaged." I smiled and replied..." I have an angel sitting on my shoulder... God's Grace.. that's all I can say... God's Grace"

Thank you Almighty God for the angels that you surround us with and over whom you give us the authority to call upon for help.

Footnote: My friends, even though I'm sharing a little more of my Catholic faith here, please do not be offended and think that I am trying to force feed you my faith. Even though this belief in St Michael and the prayer written may appear to be for Catholics only, I firmly believe that God has led me to share with you how we can call upon His angels for protection. This is my main purpose for sharing this.

Love & Blessings to all of you... may you be empowered by Almighty God to shine brightly for Jesus

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Battle We Wage Part 4: God's Grace

 We come to the part in this series where we deal with how to deflect the blows of the enemy and how to wage war on him.

First of all, we must acknowledge that we are nothing and can do nothing without God.

God's grace is the shield by which we can be protected. It is through God that we receive the strength to do battle for ourselves and our families. Here is my checklist of things we need to do in warfare.
  1. Remain in a state of Grace: we  must have clean hands and a pure heart or we will effectively allow that Grace that shields us to be removed, leaving room for those arrows to find their way in.
  2. Nourish yourself with His Body: (this applies, of course, only if you are Catholic). The graces we receive in the Eucharist are of extreme benefit.. they strengthen, empower and draw us into Christ Himself. { Again, please let us agree to respect each other's faith :)}
  3. Nourish yourself with His Word: we must know Scripture and use it against our enemy,  just as Jesus Himself did when under temptation in the desert. We must stand on the promises of God and claim what His Word says.
  4. Put on God's Armour: (Ephesians 6:13-17): these are all elements necessary to make up a complete barrier of protection.
  5. Prayer: the value of prayer cannot be understated. Prayer is our way of keeping God's voice loud in our ears and His Presence acknowledged. When we do not keep this line of communication clear and open, we invite other voices that become louder than His.
  6. Avail yourself of the weapons available to you:
  • firstly, THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS.. there is power in His name. He has given us permission to use it (John 16:24) The apostles cast out demons and healed in His name...we have the same power.
  • St Michael, the warrior and guardian angels
  • the intercession of the Saints
  • the sacramentals - Holy Water and Oil and Blessed Salt, blessed items like crucifixes *
7. Guard your thoughts carefully: remember your mind is a great battlefield.
8. Guard your tongue: remember the power of the spoken word to    bless or to curse. Do not speak out into the atmosphere that which can be used against you.
9. Remember the value of praise and worship: worshipping God renders the enemy helpless.
10. Set up a canopy of protection around yourself and your family and home: plead the precious blood of Jesus on all weak areas and on anything that you feel to be under attack. Plead the Blood on your home for protection, over your family, health, finances, bodies, minds, souls etc.
11.  Offer to God acts of Reparation: The merits of prayer and fasting and offering to God any discomfort, pain or suffering in reparation for the many offenses against Him, can be applied to the strengthening of our defenses and the increase of our abilities as they sharpen our powers of discernment.
12. Have no fear: Jesus has already won victory for us.  Evil has no power over us, death has no power over us (Hebrews 2:14-15). We have the power to resist him and render him helpless (James 4:7).

Above all, believe with all your strength that you have power over him by the authority of Jesus Christ and do not submit to him, do not succumb to his deceit, do not hand over power to him by failing to turn to God for strength. We cannot do this battle without God... we need His Grace and we need His strength.

God's Grace is the canopy under which we are shielded, empowered and equipped for battle. What a wonderful God who provides for our every need.. even that of protection against the very things that keep us from Him.

Coming up next time... God's Faithful Love and Constancy

Til then... God bless you.. shine brightly for Jesus!

*more on this in a future post

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Battle We Wage - Part 3: Understanding How Our Enemy Works

In my last post I said that original sin makes us weak, the pull of the flesh is strong.

The enemy of our soul knows our weaknesses.

 He is crafty.. remember this is the most intelligent being that God has created. His  knowledge of Heaven and Creation is vast.. he was present when God created the world and man.(Ezekiel 28:11) He knows how our minds think, how our emotions work. He even dared to tempt Jesus in his weakened human state.

He whispers lies into our ears constantly. He preys upon our thoughts. 

Our mind is the great battlefield where he wins most of his victories over us. (Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer is a must read.  There are e-books available for free downloading. I'm not sure what is trustworthy so I didn't put up a link)

He divides to conquer.

Did you know that there are spirits of religion? They cause dissension among people within a church, causing false doctrines to be created and more and more people to become dissatisfied within their church. He pits each person's faith against the other and removes the central focus from God Himself. People argue over doctrines and forget that the true purpose is to honour and worship God in how we live our lives. They also make people 'fanatic' about religion and cause some to abandon their true calling from God (families, commitments) to pursue heavily active roles in church causing resentment and undermining family ties. I know of people who have been divorced because of over-zealous spouses.

He desires the downfall of righteous people

 He knows how difficult it is to cause a righteous person to sin, yet he targets us for more than one reason. One being that when we fall, we cause others to think "look at those hypocritical Christians again". They see no need for organised religion or they feel justified in maintaining their atheist or agnostic statuses.  He also delights in turning servants of God off the path He chose for us, thereby stealing what God had for us and putting a spoke in the wheel of God's Divine Plan. When the righteous are taken from their true purpose there are less to work in the vineyard.

He breaks us down systematically:

  • he attacks our finances, health or relationships to weaken us with trial.
  • he tempts us to have thoughts that are prideful, envious or greedy to open a window of sin.
  • he reminds us of situations where we hold on to unforgiveness or bitterness or resentment to start. flames he will later fan into an inferno that will consume us.
  • he taps into our old insecurities, fears or doubt as this will snowball if we are weak.
  •  he attacks our self-esteem - this one is a biggie.
We may be strong in our prayer life and manage to take control of our thoughts that are envious, prideful or bitter and resentful. We may recognise when our health etc is under attack, but the area he gains the most ground  in is our own insecurities.

If he can convince us of our worthlessness, unattractiveness or how unlovable we are, he has won major points. We can become convinced that we are unworthy even in the eyes of  God. We sink into despair.

His arrows are poison. 

We may not feel the initial prick of his attack.. it may be as gentle as the planting of a seed of  doubt or fear, but slowly the poison seeps into our souls, attacking all our weaknesses, dragging us deeper and deeper until we are crushed beneath the weight of his lies.

We may become so stuck in the mire that we cannot even lift our eyes to see that our Saviour is standing over us with His arm outstretched to help us up.

Are you convinced of the power we hand over to Satan yet?

Let me tell you a little story. In the midst of a painful trial, I experienced the crushing burden of Satan's lies about my worthlessness among other things.  I was so broken that my sister came to pray with me. In the middle of the prayer, she exclaimed that she could see me lying on the floor with Satan's foot on top of me and I was under a giant rock.

This is the truth.. we do not see it with our eyes. It is time to open our spiritual eyes to this truth and time to do spiritual warfare to claim back what is rightfully ours... God given to us.

I hope you will come back to visit when  I address how we go about doing this in my next post.

Meanwhile, here's a very interesting article you might like to read on spiritual warfare

Praying God will bless and empower you to shine brightly for Jesus!

The Battle We Wage - Part 2 : The Fall of Man

The above video is awesome and tells the story so much better than I could.

God created the earth in beauty and He created man in his own image and likeness (Genesis 1:27) and  settled him in the Garden of Eden where He gave him charge of the land and all the animals ( Genesis 2:19) Then, he created woman of  man's own flesh (Genesis 2:22). They lived happily in the Garden of Eden where their every need was provided... God's only command was to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. 

When Eve allowed herself to be swayed by the serpent and to disobey God and eat of the Tree of Knowledge, she also persuaded Adam to eat and original sin was born. Separation from God was born.

 This was the fall of man... every person born on this earth after, with the exception of  Jesus Himself and, by God's plan, Mary*, the soul He created as a pure and perfect vessel to bear the Son of God.. has been tainted by this original sin. (*please note that this is what my faith teaches me.. I'm well aware that other faiths do not believe this doctrine.. let us agree to respect each other's faith ;-)

Original sin makes us weak in the flesh. Original sin is what causes us to be susceptible to the siren call of evil. The devil is our mortal enemy.. his desire is to separate us from God forever.

This is the battle we wage.. it is a battle that is unceasing and goes on all around us daily, we will not see it with our human eyes, but with our spiritual ones. (Ephesians 6:12)

The purpose of  this little series I'm doing is to speak out on this sometimes unspoken of aspect of our spirituality. I hope to share with you my own formula for doing spiritual warfare.

Stay with me as this series has a few more parts to come.. hope you like cliffhangers ;-)

God bless you and may you shine brightly for Jesus!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Battle We Wage - Part 1 : Lucifer's Fall

Once upon a time, there lived in Heaven, a beautiful angel of light named Lucifer... a name which means morning star or bright star. Lucifer had the highest position among angels. He was created by God with perfect beauty and intelligence and was a cherub.. he guarded the very throne of God. (See Ezekiel 28:11-14) But Lucifer became envious of God and began to challenge His authority. He said to other angels "Why should I bow down before Him.. am I not as beautiful?' He wanted to make himself higher than God (See Isaiah 14:12-14). Lucifer drew other dissenting angels to his side and an army was created..

God summoned the powerful warrior Michael, whose name means "Who is like unto God". He commandeered all the good angels and a terrible battle began in Heaven. The rogue angels were rounded up and thrown out of heaven...banished forever! (See Ezekiel 28:15-17)

They roam the earth seeking to gain souls, to win them away from God. Their master is Satan, the devil, who was once the beautiful angel of light... Lucifer.

To read more, follow this link:


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Giving Thanks on Thankful Thursday

This post was originally written for Thankful Thursday

Its Thankful Thursday again.. how quickly time passes. Soon my daughter will be home for her summer break from university.. I can hardly wait. God has been so gracious and loving this past week. Here's some of what I'm grateful to him for:

91. Chats with a sister.
92. Words that encourage.
93. Precious prayer time with my husband.
94. Telephone calls that bring good news.
95. A four year old's wild imagination!
96. Grace that saves us from disaster.
97. God's unfailing love and protection.
98. Faith that sees us through trials.
99. A daughter's happy news.
100. Grace that provides strength
101. Wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
102. Answers from Heaven.
103. Happy giggles filling the house.
104. Leftovers... a sign of God's great provision.
105. Leftovers... so I don't have to cook ;-)
106. Pleasure found in simple things.
107. Grace-filled times before my Saviour.
108. Memories that reaffirm me.
109. Meeting new friends.
110. Generous, loving relatives.

I know that the next week will fly by as well. Counting every blessing in between and mostly grateful for His love.

God bless you and empower you to shine brightly for Jesus!

For Michael

On April 5th 2002, I lost a precious soul to Heaven. I was only three months along, but it is an experience I can never forget. This post is in remembrance of that precious baby, whom I named Michael, after the Archangel himself, as my little baby fought valiantly like a true warrior for his life. (I know its quite likely that it was a baby girl.. since all  my others are girls, but this name just felt right when I was prayed with at the time).

When I discovered I was pregnant in early 2002, I wasn't feeling joyful at all. I was an overwhelmed, over-stretched mother of three school-aged children. I was heavily volunteering at their schools, had no help at home and continued throughout the pregnancy to do everything myself. This shouldn't be abnormal to most women, but I had a history of spotting during pregnancies. I should have taken the warnings of those spots seriously, but I continued to do everything I usually did.

I am ashamed to admit that my heart was heavy. I was already laden with responsibility and couldn't see how I could cope with more. Instead of laying my burdens on He who understands and tells us to (Matt 11:28) I turned inward and was full of self-pity and resentment at being asked to shoulder more burden. I know now that I had placed God in the backseat of my life and filled my days with activities and chores and everything else. Perhaps if I had remained close to God, things would have been different.

I didn't connect with this baby in love and joy. To this day, I wonder if that little innocent child felt my rejection and didn't want to be brought to light.. or if God Himself saw that I was unfit to mother this little soul and so He took it back.

The guilt I felt was tremendous. In the beginning I was in shock and pain and I would not accept that I was losing the baby. I kept praying every prayer I could think of. Even when I eventually got to the hospital and the doctor showed me the ultrasound picture with the baby detached from the placenta, I still could not believe it and didn't want to do the D&C that was necessary to clean my womb. Even after the baby slipped out while I was in the bathroom, I was still numb and in shock and failed to understand the great importance of what had just happened to me... that little body, only  about four to six inches long, got flushed down the toilet.  It seemed surreal.. it wasn't really happening to me at all.

That night, however, I awoke in the middle of the night, in the grip of a terrifying nightmare... one which turned out to be real. My numbness was shattered in an awful scream which panicked my husband.  I could finally cry and grieve for this loss. Now that the baby was gone, I saw what a precious gift I had lost and I desperately wanted it back.  My shame was so strong.. I knew I had let this infant and the Almighty down.

For months after, into the next year... I prayed to get pregnant again... I prayed for that little soul to return to me. God, in His infinite wisdom, did not answer. I believe He saw how much I needed to be perfected. I came to accept that and began to pray for Him to not let me become pregnant until I could be a better mother.

As time passed, I began to believe that I would not be getting pregnant again. Perhaps the Lord had decided that I had enough children. Let me interject here that my husband and I have lived lives open to life as we believe that is what God wants of us.

It was quite a shock to discover, after five years had passed and my youngest was now ten, that God had placed another soul in my womb. His timing, however we might look at it, is always perfect. He has a plan for my life and I remain open to wherever He takes me. I don't know if He wills for me to have more children or not... I have already had four c-sections and therefore there is risk involved. As I get older, it would be more difficult, but never again will I close my mind and my heart to a child that is placed in my womb. 

So, this is for Michael.. my perfect little soul in Heaven. I believe he looks on at us, perhaps he prays for us and intercedes for us with God. I may not have shown him love while he was here, but I knew after he was gone that I did love him. See you in Heaven someday my precious.

If you or someone you are close to have gone through this loss, know that God does what is best for us. He always acts in love and compassion. Surrender your situation into His hands and pray for the Grace and strength to discern His will and to accept it.

I wish you all God's abundant blessings ... 

Love and shine brightly for Jesus!

My precious last born daughter (quite the charmer.. precocious and a bundle of energy!) I thank God for blessing my husband and I with her.

2011 Ultimate Blog Party

Hi everyone!

Welcome to This Little Light Of Mine. This is the first time I'm doing the Blog  Party thing and I've cut it really close to the end!

Let me tell you a bit about myself. Firstly, I am new to blogging.. I only started in January at the encouragement of my husband.

I've been married for 21 years to the love of my life and I am a SAHM.. have been for 18 years. God has blessed me with four beautiful daughters (ages 20 to 4) and I have a lot to be thankful to Him for.

 Did I mention that I live in the Caribbean? That beautiful picture above was taken on a local beach by my husband while on a 20th Anniversary "honeymoon", so its really special to me. 

My readers get little pieces of me because I write from my heart and everything that I hold dear. When you open up a post of mine, you get a window into my life and all that God is doing for me and my family. I hope to use my faith and experiences to inspire others to be lights for God.

I'm big on romance.. I love all things vintage and reading is my passion (So I'm the girl you'd see with her nose buried in a historical romance!) I have to say though, that within the last couple of years, God has shifted my focus off of reading romance to creating romance... right here in my own little life! I'm also trying to read more inspirational books and have been burying my nose in the bible doing a couple of bible studies.

My blog is mostly about my faith.. I do share on marriage, parenting and recipes occasionally. As my blogging skills improve I hope to share more. I have found blogging to be so rewarding and a perfect outlet for my love of writing.

I have met so many wonderful women who inspire and challenge me and I love discovering new people all the time. Its a bit difficult to balance blogging with all the other "mommy/wife" hats I wear, but I do believe that it is also a perfect avenue to share my faith and learn from others... so I persevere!

I look forward to meeting lots more people in this Blog Party and I invite you to browse my blog... I hope you find something in here that you like and that inspires you to shine brightly for Jesus!

I pray that God blesses each of you abundantly!