Saturday, April 09, 2011

Peace and Restoration

"The right kind of guilt, the kind planted inside us by God's Spirit, leads us to repentance. Leads us to change. Leads us to the forgiveness of God. It leads to peace. but when you become more and more tangled in shame without a way out, without real access to repentance and forgiveness, then you are closing the door to God and to His restoration. there are few things more destructive than unrelenting shame." Tessa Afshar

I keep coming back to this. Often we become more and more tangled in shame when we allow our sin to stay in a dark place. When we think we can figure it out. When their is no accountability. Even past sin that we are no longer tempted by, can still be a source of shame. Fear of being found out. Rejected. Condemned. Often we have taken these to the Lord and handed them over but in our hearts have held on to them in the unforgiveness of self.

If I believe that God has washed me white as snow and has removed my sin as far as the East is from the West, why then do I find it so hard to forgive myself?

I serve the one and true God. The one whose power parted the Red Sea, and caused the walls of Jericho to fall. Who spoke the world out of nothing and whose angel destroyed Sennecharib's army of 185.000 in one night.

This same God forgave David and David was known as a man after God's own heart. He forgave Rahab and Jonah and the Samaritan woman and the thief on the Cross. Are my sins so great that He is not mighty enough to forgive me? Is Christ's blood not powerful enough to wash me white as snow? When I hold onto my sin and refuse to forgive myself and let go, I am doubting the Sovreignty and Grace of the Creator. The Holy One.

I no longer walk in unrelenting shame. Nor can I walk in pride. But rather, in humbleness for the grace bestowed upon me. That which I don't deserve, freely poured out.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
   or the strong boast of their strength
   or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
   that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
   justice and righteousness on earth,
   for in these I delight,”
            declares the LORD.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another Day To Be Thankful!

Last week I had the priviledge to attend an event for International Women's Day. One of the speakers spoke of things we are thankful for. She told us that, in Native Tradition, thanks is given for women who are the "life-givers".

I realized how blessed women are to be "life-bearers". What an awesome privilege and responsibility that we often take for granted. Our world gives no real value to this calling and treats it more as a burden than the special honour it holds.

That aside, I began to ponder the true "Life-giver".Christ who came so that we might have eternal life and abundant life.

I can bear life but He can give life. He created me when "He knit me together in my mother's womb". He put me in this time and place with a purpose for my life. He GAVE me life! Then, through the work of Christ on the cross he GAVE me eternal life. And every day as I walk with Him, He gives me abundant life. More than I could ever ask or imagine.

It isn't always an easy road to walk, this walk of faith. But as I am learning to be thankful in ALL things, my perspective continues to grow to see the beauty and the sacred in the scars. I may not always "get" His ways but I can trust Him and give thanks.

I am thankful for:
32. a bed already made when I crawled in during the wee hours
33. a weekend away at my favorite place on earth!
34. time with a cherished friend
35. meeting new friends
36. amazing homemade food
37. coming home to welcome home signs and lots of hugs and Pizza
38. new, abundant life
39. tears of joy
40. chicken -oh how I LOVE chicken!
41. plums and nectarines - I cannot get enough of them
42. Dill Pickle Spitz - a gift from my loving sister.
43. SenSen
44. talking to my parents often, even when they are away
45. warm fuzzy blankets.
46. cool pillows
47. a wise man who used to say "I'd rather have sunshine the more to rejoice, but if God sends rain, then rain's my choice!" - Oh how he impacted my life!
48. Purity and Holiness
49. sitting under solid teaching from God's Word
50. water - pure, cool, refreshing water.

Monday, February 28, 2011

To Be Thankful

This song has been ringing through my head today. I love the message.

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

How can I keep from singing your praise?
How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love?
How can I keep from shouting your name?
I know i am loved by the king,
and it makes my heart want to sing

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

How can I keep from singing your praise?
How can I ever say enough?
How amazing is your love?
How can I keep from shouting your name?
I know I am loved by the king and it makes my heart...
I am loved by the king and it makes my heart...
I am loved by the king and it makes my heart want to sing!


I am thankful for:

21. a stranger with a great sense of humour
22. an charming coffee shop with delightful pasteries
23. "coffee" with good friends
24. a potluck with our church family
25. the last minute opportunity to attend my children's swimming lessons
26. learning how to make egg rolls from an expert
27. a very fun evening with the ladies at our annual party
28. a husband who worries about my safety
29. a trainer who works me hard and listens to me complain
30. a trustworthy mechanic
31. my girl's beautiful voice and opportunities for her to share it

Monday, February 21, 2011

More to be thankful for.

It's Monday....well, it's almost Tuesday, so hopefully I can post this before the clock strikes twelve!

It is amazing. as I watch for things that make a difference...things that strike a chord in my heart...things that I wouldn't want to live without, sometimes a fleeting moment, sometimes a building memory, I find many things to add to my list.

11. the sparkle in the eye of the stranger in the grocery store parking lot as she bows low and hands me a cart with a "madam, your chariot awaits!"
12. the thoughtful kindness of a neighbour, snowblowing our long drive that is buried in a sea of white
13. the morning light shimmering off diamonds strewn over the snow.
14. a husband that loves snow and enjoys shovelling - saving me from having to shovel
15. children joining in the shovelling fun
16. red cheeks, cold hands and cries of "Mom, can we have hot chocolate?"
17. finding the perfect journal book for my gratitude journal with the quote "Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul." Henry Ward Beecher
18. weekend lessons on the importance of shepherding
19. women who watched my children so I could glean from the lessons on shepherding
20. encouraging words spoken with love.
 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Secret

It is no secret. I hate snow. Well, really I hate being cold. I like looking at snow. I like taking pictures of snow. but playing in the snow? snow sports? YUCK.

I am happly married to a snow-fiend. The more snow the better. He enjoys shovelling....and I am perfectly happy to let him enjoy shovelling.

However, we were both disappointed when the massive "snowstorm of the decade" dropped a measly 8". I really wanted to experience the awe of so much white stuff that just might shut life down for awhile. At least long enough so it would glisten pristine white for a day. I think HE just wanted to see how high the piles on either side of the driveway would grow.

I had finally resigned myself to the deep snow and cold that required me towear boots AND a coat. Then this week it warmed a bit. Today I walked to the store without a coat. (I probably needed one but I did it simply because I could) I was enjoying the warmth until I I looked across my backyard and saw that the only white left were the piles at the sides of the driveway and the shrinking snow-people. It made me a bit sad.

Mind you, I still long for warmer weather....but I would love if winter would get cold and snow and stay that way until spring. No slushy roads nor that awful cold that pierces through to your bones.

Of course, when the warm weather comes, it will too quickly become humid and sticky and mosquito-y.

Oh, will I ever learn Paul's secret to "being content in every and any situation"?

WAIT! I think I have! "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1Thess. 5:18.

Now to put that into practice!

James 1:22-25 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Psalm 8: 2  Through the praise of children and infants
   you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
   to silence the foe and the avenger.
How incredible to hear:

  •  my little boy sing at the top of his lungs "My chains are gone. I've been set free. My God, my Saviour, has ransomed me! And like a flood, His mercy rains. Unending love. Amazing Grace!
  • my eldest boy leading strong the men's parts not always perfect but always with passion.
  • the clear strong voice of my eldest daughter and to watch the intensity on her face as she sings with all she has.
  • my youngest girl unsure of all the words but trying so hard to get them all right
  • the joyful strains of the guitar leading us well - a wonderful change from our normal acapella attempts.
  • a niece that shares her voice and many other talents in a positive influence on these young ones
The beautiful blending of these instruments of praise...how it brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face! A moment to live in and savour.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's all in a word.

For the past few years I have taken the challenge to choose a word for the year. I first read about this challenge on   Ali Edwards website. This year I read how Ann named her years and I was encouraged fresh to think of a name for 2011. Something that I could meditate on. Challenge myself with. Watch and wait to see how God would speak to me through my word.

I found this a difficult task. So many words....too many choices. Which was "right"? And then on Boxing Day evening, as we drove to my Aunt and Uncle's for a family gathering, as we listened to my daughter's Christmas gift I heard these words and I knew. My word for 2011 - FOLLOW. Out this challenge, to follow, is born my blog.

I realize that we are already 45 days into the New Year and 45 days into the challenge.
I figured since it might come up in my blogs over the next year, it might be something you should know and maybe...just maybe....if you need some focus and a little challenge added to your year...you may want to jump in right now and  join us in choosing one little word.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Being Thankful

I have been reading and being blessed by Ann Voskamp's blog and the challenge to be thankful. Today in the mail a package arrived. How fitting on "Multitude Monday" that it should be her book! And thus I begin my own list of a thousand gifts.

I am thankful for:

1. the confession of a child
2. forgiveness freely given
3. relationships restored
4. new beginnings
5. long distance conversations with a good friend
6. winks from my youngest daughter
7. the sister-friendship growing between my girls
8. surprise Valentines from those who matter most
9. the thoughtfulness of my beautiful niece in her offer to bring my eldest home and save me from going back out in the cold!
10. snuggles with my children




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About Me

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I am the very blessed wife of my best friend. The humble mother of five precious children. Walking a life-road that is more amazing than I could ever imagine.
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