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Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Beyond

Today, I join the Gypsy Mama for:

Today's prompt is:



Beyond this present moment.. this season fraught with busyness and stress

Beyond this place of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted

Beyond this fatigued and weary spirit

Beyond this endless weary climb

There is a vista, beautiful and captivating... a place where harvests are reaped, rejoicing is done and time stands still.

I want to tell my daughter these words.. I want to hug them to my own heart and believe them too. Sometimes we have to look beyond the present to see what glorious things the Lord has planned for us. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that all we endure now is but a passing moment and beyond this, there is something greater, something better awaiting us, crafted by the Master Crafter Himself.

Beyond the pain, beyond the stress, beyond the laborious and endless trial.. He is molding and shaping, purifying and teaching and someday.. beyond this, we will be where He wants us to be, we will be who he wants us to be..

if we could just look beyond.


Wishing you all a wonderful, blessed weekend full of joy and fun times with your loved ones.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Five

Hello friends!

First off, I apologize for the dead, cold silence from this site for the past.. my goodness.. its been 2 weeks already! The time is just flying by and it has been impossible to write... anything of substance that is. You deserve the best so I will not waste your time with the trivial.

The month of October is one of my busiest months. We have a total of 5 birthdays in the family and three of them are in my own household. My daughter and I usually bake all the cakes for the birthdays and this year we are planning two parties, so I also have this to add to my crazy schedule.

The number 5 is an important number this year.. my third born turned 15 yesterday and next week my youngest turns 5 and my husband 50. So, in order to keep up with the spirit of things, I am going to list 5 things that I am so thankful to God for.

  1. His Amazing Grace  I am a broken creature, flawed and hopelessly marred by original sin. I fight against the trappings of my human nature...I fall, again and again.  Stress brings out the worst in me! But my God is so gracious, He stretches out his hand and lifts me out of the mire that I allow myself to be sucked into... by my pride, by my selfishness, by sinking into my old skins and allowing resentment or bitterness to wrap itself around me.  Psalm 40:2 "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand" His Grace covers over like a healing balm and I am set free, washed clean to start anew. 
  2. Holy Spirit Fire! He sets me on fire...burns me in order to purify. He convicts my heart of its wrongdoing. He instructs me, empowers me and shows me His  will. Psalm 25:4 "Show me your ways, Oh Lord, teach me your paths."
  3. For His promises that last forever! The Lord is faithful to His word. He takes care of us, even when all seems impossibly lost.. He saves the day. Deuteronomy 7:9 "Know therefore, that the Lord, your God, is God, he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands" He's my hero! We can depend upon Him, place all our hope and trust in Him.. He NEVER disappoints! 
  4. The Gift of Life. Today I give praise and thanks to God for life.. mine and those of my husband and children. I thank Him for all the years of provision, of nurturing, of protecting. His hand was with us always and He never stopped hunting us down to bring us back when we strayed. As half of my family celebrates birthdays this week, I will not forget the blessings bestowed upon us all these years and the blessings of wife-hood and mother-hood he bestowed upon me through the gift of life he gave to them.
  5. All of You! I haven't had time to write but I've been so inspired and encouraged by reading your blogs.. I still have a lot of catching up to but I make an effort to visit and read. You are all a blessing and I'm grateful to God for this place where I can come and be refreshed. Thank you to all of you for spreading such joy and inspiration.. be encouraged and don't stop writing!
I would just like to mention...if any of you follow Darlene Schacht at Time Warp Wife, I'm sure you have been blessed by her writing. Please pray for her and her family as her father is ill and in his last moments. 

Thank you and may God bless you all and your families and your writing/ministries.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days of Love and Making My Home a Haven

I am making today my day to be accountable for how I've been doing with both the challenges above. It may seem a bit strange but, for me, they both complement each other. In desiring to make my home a haven I have had to take a look at my heart and my true purpose in being a homemaker in the first place.

I started this journey because I fell in love with a man. I wanted to be the kind of wife to him that I saw exemplified in my favourite tv shows and in the novels that I read. Yeah, I lost my way for a while... you cannot build a marriage on something without substance. I have learned that my foundation is Jesus Christ and I am building upon Him now... I'm still a hopeless romantic, but God IS love and He is showing me a more perfect way to love  I still get to be romantic though.. just in a better way ;-)

Courtney encouraged us to reflect upon what type of  home atmosphere we create  in this post. Am I discontented?  Am I disorganized and harassed. Am I giving of my best to my family? Am I making my home environment  a place of tension and my family uncomfortable as they all feed off my mood?

I have confessed before how stressful these past few weeks have been and how overwhelmed and burdened I have felt.. physically exhausted and mentally fatigued and frustrated. I have felt that there is far too much to juggle. Old resentments and bitterness have threatened to undermine all the good intentions and hard road I have travelled with my husband to build a better relationship,  marriage and family life.

I have felt a strong sense of deja vu... a glimpse, an echo of those days when I was a frazzled, harassed mother, shuttling children to and from school and extra-curriculars, juggling children's  homework and my own chores and errands.

Frazzled Mother | A frazzled mother tries to deal with many things demanding her attention. | Appears in the following categories: Cartoons / People -- People / Cartoons -- Holiday Clip Art / Mother's Day Clip Art
That woman had a lot of bottled up feelings of resentment. She felt that she bore the burden on her own and resented her husband for not offering to help or seeing her need. She resented having no time for herself and having nothing left for herself at the end of the day. Life seemed like just an endless round of chores and responsibilities. Where was the joy? Where was the love?

The mirror image of the old me has been haunting me these past few weeks. I have slowly felt the old skin of her trying to mold herself around my heart again. There have been quite a few tense moments in my house and even an out and out fight!

Our God is gracious and merciful and he would not let me sink back into that old skin. Through  the encouragement and inspiration from Darlene at Time Warp Wife and Courtney at Women Living Well...even the GMG bible study of the first book of John, He reminded me that I am a new creation.. that the old me is just a reflection of the past.. I don't have to be that person again. I don't have to make the same mistakes.

He reminded me that I am the heart of our home. My light must shine in the hearts of my family. When my light is dim, obscured by the shadows of my own selfish desires and feelings, the whole household lies under a blanket of dismal gloom. He showed me, once again, that by serving by family joyfully.. I serve HIM!

This week whenever I light my candle, I ask God for peace in my own heart. I ask Him to rekindle that flame of love and joy in my service to my family. Each time I gaze at that flame I remind myself that when my husband comes home from work tired and dejected I must be that source of light and joy to him.. no matter how tired I am myself or how much I may still have to do. I remind myself that I must offer grace to my children when they make mistakes and muster up some patience with everyone when I feel like chastising them.

I will remind myself, each time I see that candle that I must burn brightly for love of Jesus, even when I am tired, frustrated or overwhelmed and that in giving to my family I am giving to Him... the source of all love and light.

Each time the flame of my candle leaps up to Heaven I will ask God to increase my love and faith in Him and to strengthen me mentally and physically so that I can give the best of myself to my husband and my children and create a haven for them to come home to.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Making Our Homes Havens

Well, Courtney over at Women Living Well has a new challenge for us. I missed this one last year because I only discovered her wonderful blog late last year. If you click on the link above you will see the introductory video that Courtney created. In it she mentions how stressed and uptight she felt she was becoming in the midst of all the schooling schedules and extra-curriculars. Man, can I ever relate!

Its been stressful for me too these past four weeks. It hasn't helped that my poor daughter who isn't even five until late October is stressed too. Imagine getting her up and out of the door by 6:30am, feeding her breakfast in the car, taking up to an hour sometimes of traffic and then having her still get to school barely on time or late some days. Then there was having to drive my other daughter to work and the afternoon pick up from school, which requires going at least half an hour earlier to get a place to park! I've spent more time in the car than anywhere else lately!

I've been one uptight mama! Its showing in my relationships with my children and my husband. Its showing in how easily I fly off the handle for the smallest of things. It shows in how I feel overwhelmed and out of control. It shows in how I am not giving of my best, firstly to my Lord, then to my husband and children and in the way I serve them, my haphazard, half-hearted way of doing everything lately.

I was so happy when I saw this Challenge. I am determined to take part. I will be lighting my big candle every day, praying for peace in my heart first of all, then in my home. I will be praying for strength and wisdom, for patience in dealing with all that's coming at me right now. I will also be praying for all of you, my friends, and your different situations. 

Courtney has some really great ideas for making and keeping that sense of well-being and creating a haven in our home. Will you join us?