Category Archives: Faith

Obedience

Here’s a tip: when you feel like you ought to do something or that God is telling you directly to do something, do it. Whatever it is (as long as it’s a good thing :D), do it.

I don’t want to go into details, but I really felt led to help someone today. I have been feeling a bit down and lost lately, and not so great physically (the tooth that got pulled two weeks ago suddenly got infected….well, the gums, anyway).

I contacted a total stranger, asked if I could be of help in a specific way, and spent some money on something for this person. I decided ahead of time to get them what they wanted, not just the cheapest thing available.

Anyway, it feels good. It’s always good to give, but even better when it comes out of obedience to something God put in my heart.

5 Comments

Filed under Faith, Life, in general

Taking a Break

My brain is tired. Just plain tired.

The idea of an internet fast has been brewing for awhile. I’ve been feeling a bit bombarded by information lately, overwhelmed with social media and hundreds of interesting blog posts that I just have to read.

This morning, I opened my Bible to Romans 12 (I’ve been reading Romans over and over again since August), and the second verse practically glowed. Okay, it was already highlighed in yellow, but really, it stood out to me. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

I’ve needed to do some serious debriefing for awhile now. I still have my experience from Breakforth in the back of my mind, a year old now and fading fast. My postpartum issues have fogged my mind and made working through new ideas difficult. I try to leave my computer turned off for a good part of the day, but even when I wait until late afternoon, I still spend hours on it in the evening. I’ve been staying up too late, often just because I’m reading something or watching something online.

I need a break.

So, on Wednesday, I’m going to start a week of internet fasting. I may have to do a bit of online banking, but I don’t plan to blog, Facebook or check email for a full week.

I do plan on writing a lot in that week. I may spend some time creating something if I feel up to it. I intend to spend a bit more time just sitting with my kids and giving them my attention. I’m sleep deprived, have a teething baby and I need to do some figurative deep breathing for a while.

I’ll spend tomorrow finishing up as much as I can so that I can be away from all of this for a week, but really, other than some banking and a few emails that I should send, it’s not as though I need to use the internet.

If anyone else decides to try a day or two, a week, a month, etc. of internet fasting, I’d love to hear how it goes!

3 Comments

Filed under Faith, Life, in general, The Interweb

Sleep is precious

I’m not sure how much longer I can go on like this.  I feel like I’m barely sleeping at night with Ben eating as often as he is.  I thought that he might get better once I put him on solids, but if anything, he’s worse.  He woke up nearly every hour last night wanting to eat.  He doesn’t like his own bed and I don’t want to let him cry because there is no place to go to escape listening to it.  I don’t mind having him sleep with us; I’m a big supporter and believer in co-sleeping.  The issue is that he wakes up so often and I have to wake up at least a little bit to feed him.  I’m not at the point of wishing he didn’t feed at night at all, but it would be nice to actually be able to go to bed and sleep for a few hours before he wakes up.  Last night he went to bed at eight and was awake by quarter to ten.  We tried to calm him down and the only thing that worked was feeding him.  He’s six months old – he’s not supposed to be eating every two hours still!!

Anyway, the thing we need most is prayer that he would sleep better or that I would at least feel refreshed when I get up in the morning.  I’ll be considering myoptions if he doesn’t improve soon. At this point, my best option seems to be wearing earplugs or headphones with some music and letting him cry if he wakes up before midnight.  The big question is whether Mike would be able to sleep through it or not.

I’ve felt off for awhile now.  It could be a physical issue, an emotional one, or maybe as simple as a lack of sleep.  I am planning to go to my doctor for a physical and maybe bloodwork to make sure everything is working right.  I haven’t lost any weight at all since summer and I’m starting to wonder if I might have a thyroid issue (since it’s in the family).  I don’t really think I do – I think it’s more likely that I have an “I eat too much sugar” issue – but I just don’t feel right and I think it’s probably smart to rule out physical problems.

Anyway, that’s all.  Prayers appreciated.

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Life, in general

Do me a favour?

I read this blog.

It’s by a girl named Megan who has been trying to have a baby since 2007.  She has had one miscarriage and otherwise has had no success becoming pregnant.

I don’t know if it’s God’s perfect plan for her to have a baby of her own, but I do know that she obviously has a mother-heart and it hurts terribly to have been told that she is infertile.  She believes that she will never conceive and she and her husband seem to have decided against adoption. 

Maybe God wants them to open their hearts and homes to a child from another womb.  Maybe His plan is to open her womb and allow her to conceive.  Maybe she’s just meant to be at peace with her infertility and live a life free of bitterness and pain. I don’t know that part.  I do know that her life now is not free from bitterness and pain.

The first time I read her blog, I felt like my heart broke for this woman.  I cried, reached my hand to the screen and prayed that God would allow her body to carry a pregnancy to term.  That was months ago, but after the point that she seemed to give up hope.

So, the favour I ask is this: will you pray, even just once, for Megan?  I don’t know her in person, in fact at the moment I don’t even know where she lives.  I stumbled on her blog from the blog of another woman I don’t know – on one of those late nights, waiting for Mike to come home from hockey.

Pray that Megan meets Jesus – I have reason to believe that it hasn’t happened yet.  Pray that she would have peace, regardless of what happens.  I will continue to pray that she is able to conceive – it is my desire that every woman who is in a healthy marriage would be able to conceive if she wants to.  My babies have been such a wonderful blessing to me.

I don’t know why her blog of all the ones I’ve stumbled on broke my heart so easily.  I’ve certainly read other stories of women in the same situation.  It must be a God thing.

I’ve seen God answer prayers – I’ve prayed for infertile women before and have seen their wombs opened and healthy babies delivered.  I don’t take credit for that happening, but I do know that even a woman who has gone three years without conceiving still has hope of being blessed.

As I read something Megan wrote recently, I felt as though I should ask others to pray for her.  I won’t link to her blog or tell you any more about her because I want her to be able to retain her anonymity such as it is.  Anyway, thanks.

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Nine Months

Returning to Reality

Three days ago I got caught in a two-hour downpour…of online comedy videos.  But really, it felt like something I couldn’t pull myself out of.  When I finally emerged, my head hurt, my ears felt as though they had cotton in them (I was wearing headphones), and I had this feeling of having been unconscious for all that time.  I went out to get some food and I felt anxious and paranoid.  The first thought in my head once I acknowledged these feelings was how important it is to anchor our lives in reality.  The not-connected-to-computers reality. 

With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia and other popular websites so readily available for social interaction, entertainment and information, it’s easy to forget the real world. 

I recently heard part of a radio show on CBC.  The topic was unplugging – having a technology sabbath – a day free from computers, cell phones, television, etc.  I have tried something like this at home by leaving my computer off for a day or two at a time.  I find that if I don’t turn it on, the lure just isn’t there in the same way.  If I turn it on, even just to check my bank account or send a single email, I’m likely to get pulled into hours of random surfing and constant Facebook checking that only ends with time wasted.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not at the point of wanting to completely give it up.  I like being connected to my friends and family back home through Facebook, being able to do my banking online and find a recipe or bit of information online so easily.  What I’m aiming for right now is reducing my total time on the computer each day.  I don’t need it every hour – I don’t need it every day.  There are weeks where I could go without it at all.  The point is that this constant bombardment of media is just not good for my brain.

I asked God as I fell asleep a few nights ago – what should I be doing?  A simple question but it had a good answer.  The first part was to continue to nurture my family.  The second was to guard my mind.  With all that is available online, it’s all too easy to let your guard down.  With that guard down, the mind gradually becomes numb to sinful behaviour.  It is not my job to judge, but it is my job to keep my own mind and heart pure.  This is enough of a challenge just living in this world, but living in the world within the internet, it becomes even more difficult.

Anyway, ever since this happened, I’ve been meaning to write about it.  I’ve had at least one day since that I left the computer off the whole day, and another day when I didn’t turn it on until very late in the day.  I hope to continue this trend and avoid getting sucked in again.  If you (my readers? I think I still have a few 😉 ) have this problem, let me know if you try what I’ve been doing.  If you have conquered it in the past, let me know what worked for you.  Or just read this and do what you like…I have no visions of grandeur about my blog. 😀

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Life, in general, The Interweb

One day at a time.

Things are better. It turns out that it doesn’t take much to wake me up. I’ve started attending a Bible study with a few other girls. We’re studying the book of Romans. Last night we talked about living by faith and not being ashamed of sharing the gospel message, but being eager to share it. I realized how often I’ve heard God’s voice but because I’m not in communion with him, I ignore it because I’m afraid – or ashamed. I want to be obedient to His voice – in whatever He calls me to. I’ve seen before what happens when I’m obedient – God uses me and it’s pretty incredible.

I live in fear a good deal of the time. This keeps me from following through on things I think God may have spoken to me. I also live every day as a perfectionist. Last night I read Romans 3 before bed. The thing that jumped out at me was that all have sinned. Not just me – but everyone. This also means that no one is perfect. I have so many responsibilities and I tend to shirk them unless I can do them perfectly. The Bible is pretty clear on this, though – it’s not going to happen. We can strive for perfection but none of us are perfect.

I can’t keep my house perfectly clean, so often I go for weeks without doing much more than dishes and laundry. My floors get dirty, the sink in our bathroom looks like it belongs in a truck stop; clutter takes over. If I can’t do it perfectly, I just don’t do it.

I can’t keep to a perfect diet and exercise program, so I do nothing instead of making an effort to get what exercise I can and eat as well as I can. I can’t get to my “perfect” weight fast enough, so I figure – “why bother?”

I can’t be the perfect wife and mother – I read blogs and books about women who do so much better than I do and I feel like giving up. But those women (unless they’re fictional) have problems, too. They aren’t perfect, even if they appear as though they are.

I can’t be the perfect Christian so I don’t bother trying. I can’t read just the right amount of my Bible every day, keep regular devotions, have a prayer closet, go on missions trips, devote myself to nine different ministries within the church, etc. So I let myself drift away from God out of fear that I’m not good enough for Him.

Let’s face it – stay at home moms in particular must try very hard to make time for all these things. I’m not saying other people have it so easy, but we are overwhelmed by demands all day long. We sometimes put in a full twenty-four hour day, give or take snippets of sleep when we can get it. My typical day right now does allow me “time off” when the boys are napping – but I only really have free time if Jenny leaves me alone for those two hours. And just about every other day, I’d rather lie down and read a book or have a nap than do anything remotely productive. Is this wrong? I don’t think so.

But what is the answer? How can I find the right balance of housework, attention to diet and exercise, time with my family, time spent in ministry and time spent with God? I don’t know. I’m not there yet. I don’t want a written schedule but maybe I need a bit more structure throughout my day.

I do know that when we talked about living by faith last night, it rang true with me – “living” encompasses all my time, all my responsibilities and my time off. If every moment is lived by faith in communion with Christ, the details will work themselves out. Maybe at this point in my life I can’t read – and process – three chapters in my Bible every day. Maybe I don’t have time for more than one small ministry outside of my family. Maybe I don’t crawl into a closet to pray three times a day. But there will come a day when my kids are grown up and I’m left at home without babies to tend to and then I’ll be able to devote myself to doing things that way. I have to take what I’m given now and give what I have without sacrificing my sanity or my family. This is a one day at a time kind of thing. But that’s what living by faith is about – living one day at a time by faith. That’s as much as any of us can do.

1 Comment

Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Faith, Life, in general, The H Word

Something worth sharing

This took me all of five minutes to write – if that.  It shakes me right down to my core.  Please pray.

I’m lost and slipping farther away by the minute it seems
No longer even bothering to reach out to catch something
 That will hold me
Keeping up appearances for their own sake
I can only hold this pose so long.
 
At what point do I step away,
Search on my own
Give up things held dear
To find a better way?
To find the truth?
To find hope?
 
I am unsure of how long I’ve been gone
A revelation and a change call out to me
From the past
Something that didn’t last when mixed in with reality
Babies crying and children growing and husbands coming and going
And here I am in the middle of it all.
Lost.
 
I’m afraid of becoming numb
I’m afraid of focusing on the wrong thing
I’m afraid of falling farther away than ever before
And it seems I’m doing just that
Hatred is not the opposite of love
But apathy
Complacency
 
I once believed
I still believe
I ache for something tangible
Something I can hold on to
Day after day
While I live in this monotony.
 
I don’t hate my life.
I’m beginning to fear for my heart
A frog in a pot of water,
And all that.
I’ve heard it before
Shook my head
That will never be me.
 
I’m becoming that frog.
One day at a time
One step away
One more day without joy
Without peace
 
When did I become so lost?

Where is the way?

And then a whispered answer in the night comes to me without bidding:

“I AM the way.”

3 Comments

Filed under Faith

What to do…

What to do when nearly seven months pregnant and bored? 

Nope, don’t clean your house.  Don’t do dishes or laundry or anything else that’s overly productive.  Baking cookies is okay, but only if you eat half of what you bake immediately.  Taking a nap is okay, too, but if your four and a half year old won’t be quiet enough for you to sleep, feel free to get up and eat some more cookies.

Today was my first day home from Bible study since deciding to quit.  We finished our study last week and I had already said that it would be my last time.  Babysitting issues were getting messy and complicated and it got to the point where it was only my kids and one other family who were going anyway.  That mom decided to quit as well. 

Sleeping in and not worrying about being in a rush this morning was great.  I will surely have those early mornings still, when appointments or events force me out of the house before eleven.  But I think for now, this is good for me.  It’s not about the study itself, although our numbers of younger women had really dwindled.  It’s just that as pregnant as I am and as busy as my kids are, it was getting hard to pack them all up, take them to church before ten and then pack them up and bring them home at noon every Thursday.  I’m a homebody and not afraid to admit it.  These other moms who have their kids in a different event each day (dance, soccer, hockey, gymnastics, piano, skating, swimming, etc) are brave, but make me feel a little like I’m going to pee my pants in terror.  Or maybe that’s just my pregnant bladder.  Either way, I just couldn’t do it.  Maybe that’s yet another reason that homeschooling appeals to me.  It’s certainly not at the top of my list, but getting to stay home and not worry about running this kid to that school and picking that one up at such a time from the other school will be nice. 

But the big question in my mind is now – what to do?  I know I need fellowship with other moms or I’ll lose my mind.  I see my sister-in-law a few times a week on average, which is great, but I need other friends, too.  I don’t think joining another Bible study is the answer but I’m also not sure if just hanging out with other women is quite enough.  And mornings are definitely out.  If this study had been later in the day or in the evenings sans children, I would have been less likely to quit.  I’m just really not a morning person.

So…what do I do?  For now, I suppose I just keep reading my Bible on my own, working through my women of the Bible devotional, taking care of my kids and husband and attempting to keep my house from going completely to pot.  And I wait. 

God spoke something into me about a month ago – that he was going to give me “new” strength.  I didn’t really understand it until I went to Break Forth and then it made a bit more sense.  I can see now how I’ve walked away gradually from all my outside comittments in the past year, ending with this Bible study.  I really do believe that He has something else for me to draw strength from.  And yes, I know I need to draw my strength from Him, but I also know that He places a need in each of us to have fellowship with and discipleship from others.  I know He has someone or some group of people for me – a friend or friends who will walk by me and be a support in some way to me.  It’s hard to wait on this and not have a clue where it’s going to come from, but I know that’s all I can do for now.  And when something catches my eye – an advertisement or invitation to some event involving other women – I’ll give it thought and prayer and see what happens.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Home Sweet Home, Life, in general

This blog is not dead!

..And neither am I. 😀

Break Forth was beyond amazing – God really spoke to me about a lot of things and one of them was the amount of time I spend on the computer and putting on movies for my kids to keep them busy.  Yes, right now, I’m on the computer and my kids are watching a movie, but we have been changing our habits.  One of the big things is not turning the computer on for a few hours after I get up.  I’m reading my Bible first thing most days (or after breakfast if I don’t manage before) and trying to sit with the kids and play or read to them every day.  Erik has been grouchy since we got back two weeks ago and that has made things a lot more difficult for me.  I’ve also been getting my house into shape and finishing up what I started before we left for Edmonton.  It’s looking better than it has in a long time and more importantly I’ve been keeping up on the maintenance side of things – making sure dishes are being done when they need to, even if it means a big deep breath and counting to ten in my mind in order to do it.  Yeah, nothing has changed there – I still don’t like doing it! 

We’ve also been on a written budget this month and are amazed  at how much money we have left over at the end of the month.  And it’s all going into savings for now.  When we get our tax refund, our line of credit will be paid off and we can finish our emergency fund of $10,000.  It feels like a TON of money but I’m feeling a bit better about how long it will take since I looked at the surplus for this month.  If Mike gets any amount of overtime this fall it will speed the process up even more.

Life is less busy outside the home but inside feels crazy lately.  But I feel like I have the peace that God wants me to have – that I’m focusing better on what should be my priorities.

I have had a few events outside my home in the last few weeks – one being another ultrasound.  This time I got a nice profile picture of the baby.  I feel so tickled and in love with this child when I look at the picture I brought home.  My ultrasound in December only showed the baby’s back and limbs – I never got to see its little face.  I was thrilled when the technician was able to show me this time.  We’re looking at it and wondering who it looks like and from what I can see, the head shape is most like Erik and the chin and lips are like Elias.  I just can’t wait to mee this little one!!  Three more months!

Here’s the picture, just because I can’t help but share it.

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Home Sweet Home, Life, in general, Nine Months

On loss

I often ask myself and God why I have been blessed so much – a husband who loves me, three beautiful children and one little darling I’ve yet to meet.  Healthy pregnancies, provision, blessing upon blessing.  I usually ask this question when I watch my friends suffering through losses of all kinds.  I have watched two dear women lose their first babies in the last few months – one late last year at 29 weeks of pregnancy and one just this week at 14 weeks.  I watch this helplessly as I carry my fourth child and am overcome with sorrow for them.  I have had a mother’s heart for years – long before I had Jenny – but of course it has intensified after having my babies.  I believe God put that heart in me and even wants me to grieve with other women.  But I can never get over that feeling that I have no right to grieve with them because I have never been where they are.  I have never – and will never – say, “I know how you feel.”  I’m not stupid – I don’t know how they feel because I’ve never been there.  And while I am so grateful that I’ve never been there, I wish I could relate to them and feel legitimate in my grief.   I quite literally weep just reading the blogs of women who have lost babies during pregnancy or afterward and I can imagine only a portion of what they must feel.  Losing a child or a baby during pregnancy is my greatest fear in this life.  But I still have not been through it.  I’ve had moments of fear – bleeding early in pregnancy, cramping or early contractions, heart rates going down during labour – but have never had those fears realized.  Elias once fell face first into a hot tub – the world stood still for the seconds it took my step-dad to pull him out – but he was fine.  He is fine.  He sleeps in his bed now, a healthy three and a half year old boy.  Why has God blessed me and why do my friends suffer?  I know that many of them have been blessed in great ways both before and after their losses but that doesn’t take away the loss.  I don’t blame God for taking those children – I know the facts – that babies are often miscarried due to genetic or chromosomal defects and that it usually has nothing to do with the mother.  I’ve watched miracles come from the short lives of these children and been amazed at God’s hand in redeeming such tragic situations.  But why does my heart break so fully each time I see another loss like this?  How can I, in the midst of blessing and hope, carry so much hurt?  And what can I do with it?  I imagine women who have lost children reading something like this and scoffing – “she doesn’t have a clue – who does she think she is?”  Is this just the enemy’s voice – telling me that my pain isn’t legitimate enough?  Trying to get me to harden my heart?  I can only assume so, but even then, I cannot get past it.

So what do I do?  I continue to weep, my heart continues to break.  I can never express how truly sorry I am that anyone ever has to go through this kind of loss.  But I know God redeems even the darkest situations.  Five years ago, my cousin discovered at a routine ultrasound that her baby had no chance of survival.  She chose to carry that child to term rather than aborting, knowing he would die during labour or shortly afterward.  But because of hearing the news when she did, her husband came home from a dangerous situation overseas.  That diagnosis may very well have saved his life.  Their son passed away during his mother’s labour.  They now have a three year old and another due in a few weeks.  So I know what God can do and do not doubt His power and His presence in our lives.

I know this is a ramble, but my words usually are when accompanied by countless tears and questions.  Please pray for these women – for families who have lost precious lives for unknown reasons and have yet to see God’s plan being carried out.  And pray for those around them like myself, who hardly know what to say, but want so desperately to comfort and encourage.  Pray that God would speak through us, even in silence.

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Life, in general