Saturday, April 28, 2007


I'm into deep thoughts today. Are you ready? I know it is Saturday afternoon and my brain should be mush, but I just drank a French Vanilla Cappucino so I'm having a lucid moment. I actually have 2 deep thoughts (shocking!) but I will save the other one for Monday (ooh...cliff hanger). But seriously, here is some good Fuel.

My wee daughter has not been receiving passing grades in the sleep department of late. She is 10 months old and really should be a stellar sleeper according to her past track record, and what I've experienced in our other children. Alas, it is not so. The last few weeks have seen me up with her in the middle of the night, often more than once. Sometimes I feed her and tuck her back in, other times I let her try to settle back in on her own. Either way the next night is the same. And either way, I am exhausted. In the day time she cries herself to sleep, only to wake up early from her nap. As I am crying out to the Lord and confessing sins and seeking out why the Lord is trying to get my attention with this lack of sleep, my husband, very practically and logically, says "I think she is over tired. I think she needs shorter wake times, and more naps."

Being an obedient, submissive, and clearly out of ideas of my own, kind of wife, I try it. And wouldn't you know it....he was right. (as usual). All she needed was more rest.

Did you hear that? Ah, the moment of truth. So this is what the Lord was trying to tell me. This is what He was getting my attention for. Dear girl, all you need is to rest in Me.

I've been loving this post and have read it several times now. Mrs.Pages seems to know my heart and my need for a waiting, resting spirit.

As I was praying about my baby's sleep and the message the Lord might have for me, I fell asleep and had a dream full of frustration, temper, and discontent on my part. At some point in the dream, a friend of mine looked at me and said "You know, things would go better for you if you didn't always have to be in control."

Ah yes. Back to the control issue. Lord, help me to rest in You, to trust in Your ways, to wait for Your timing, and to keep my hands folded in my lap with self-control as I let You handle all the stuff in my life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

She did well!

Yes, a little update from yesterday. My wee girl played very well and of course we were all thrilled. But the best part was her response to the BIG question: So, how do you feel?

I feel really good. That was fun. I think I'd like to do that again. I didn't win but tying for 3rd place is place is really good especially since it was my first festival ever.

Yahoo! The Lord is good. I'm so thankful that she definitely takes after her father in this area....funny, most of the good points about her come from her dad. I think all she got from me was her quick way with sarcasm....not really a great thing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Momma Bear

My first born, precious, vulnerable, so young, not yet wounded, unaware of how cruel the world can be daughter has her very first piano festival competition today. She's actually feeling pretty good.

I'm scared spitless.

Okay, I know my father-in-law is not a huge fan of that phrase so let me say it another way....I'm worried like a momma bear wanting to protect her little cub. She has been practicing so hard, and really is doing quite well, but under pressure I'm afraid she'll wobble. And I don't really care how she does on my end. I know I am going to be beaming at my wee girl and clapping louder than everyone else. Heck, I might even tear up a little (shocking, I know). But for her....oh if she fails or feels like she has, I hope she recovers.

My biggest issue (tied with a few others) is never having had (or felt like I had) the freedom to fail. To do your best, screw up, and go, "hey, at least I tried". Nope. Not me. Didn't matter how prepared or how pleased everyone was for me, I felt like I had disappointed the world and made an.....ahem, fool of myself. And then of course the opposite struggle that if I did well, then maybe finally people would like me.

I don't want that to be born into my daughter today.

So Lord I pray that you will guard my little Garbanzo Bean (she hates it when I call her that) from feeling the pain of failure, or the puffed up pride of success. Help her to see her performance today, however it goes, in the light of enjoying music, loving doing our best for You, and not finding 'who' she is in 'what' she does. (okay, and help me learn the same things too....I'm not too old to get it, am I?)

Monday, April 16, 2007

What Did You See This Weekend?

My good friend wrote a lovely post today about her wonderful weekend, and ended with the question "What did you see this weekend?" I was going to leave a comment on her blog to answer, but as I know she checks in here I thought I'd post my reply instead.

This weekend I saw my 88 year old grandma, who is doing pretty good for an old girl. She loved on my little ones with hugs and kisses, new colouring books and homemade brownines ("because one or two won't hurt them"). She cuddled my baby, marvelling at the blessing of having 13 great-grandchildren (almost half of whom are mine!) who are all in perfect health, beautiful and bright. She told me about stories I'd heard before, and mentioned again how much she still misses my grandpa, even though it has been 11 years. So in her I saw a woman who is living everyday of her life the best she can, with love, and was humbled by her praise of my parenting in light of her years of expertise.

Then I saw my husband patiently loving his wife and children even in his fatigue. Listening to one more child's account of our day, giving one more tickle and zerbert. I saw him praise them for their spontaneous act of service in 'weeding our garden' and setting our our patio furniture for our first bar-be-que of the year.

Then I saw our church family rally around each other in love, worshipping together in Spirit and in truth. I saw the heart of our pastor as he confessed a weakness of his from the pulpit. I saw my own sin come before me as he challenged us to love one another (I mean really love, even those we don't like) and I realized the biggest challenge in that for me was to start with my self. So I saw my heavenly Father patiently scratching away another layer of hurt and sin in my life to 'un-dragon' me. And I didn't feel condemned by him,....just loved.

And then I saw my children fast asleep in our car....peaceful....with out in our family's strength and our Lord's covering....and in that I saw that despite my failings and my fears, the Lord is having His way with our family, both immediate and extended. I cannot fix all our problems no matter how hard I try. Only His hand of love will push and pull us onto His path. And wouldn't you know it....He is doing it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

C.S. Lewis is Brilliant

hope you have a cup of tea, a kleenex, and several minutes as you visit here today. I intend to do a lot of copy work to practice my typing. Well, that 's not why. But I am going to extensively quote from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. Now, I'm not just copying it out for the sake of a good read. No, I have something a little deeper in mind.

First, some audience participation: Call to mind that one thing (or maybe several things) that plague you. Maybe it is a besetting sin you can't break free of, or a word curse spoken over you that you have carried with you for years. Is it chronic impatience? Faithlessness? Greed? Pride? Addiction? Anger? Grudges? Self-loathing? Fear of failure? Fear of the future? Only you know what it is that keeps you up at night. I have mine in mind too. Okay? Ready? Now picture that thing like a heavy skin over you. Put yourself in the position of Eustace in the following excerpt, who had been turned into a dragon with scales and all. I'm sure like him you want to be free of your scales. I'm sure like him you've tried to shake them off in your own strength and power, with no success. I'm sure like him you want to bathe in the Living Waters. Now read these words as if they are your own "after" story:

The Lion told me I must undress.... I was just going to say that I couldn't undress because I hadn't any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that's what the Lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.
But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that's all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I'll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this under skin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe.
Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.

Are you still with me? Is this sounding familiar? How many times Lord have I tried to stop my sin, tried to change my attitude, but to no avail?

Then the Lion said..."you will have to let me undress you." I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know - if you've ever picked a scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away....
Well, he peeled the beastly sfuff right off - just as I thought I'd done it myself the other three times, only they hadn't hurt - and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me - I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on - and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything, but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious.... After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me - .... in new clothes - the same I've got on now, as a matter of fact..... and [I've] been - well, un-dragoned.
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come"
Hebrews 12:11 "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."
Isaiah 1:18 "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."
Lord, thank You for being ruthless in Your cleansing of my heart. More and deeper Lord, I pray. My sin is ever before me and only You can put it far from me. You have not dealt with me according to my sins, nor rewarded me according to my iniquities. Rather, as far as the east is from the west so far have You removed my transgressions from me (Psalm 103:10-12). Change me through and through. And let me never be the same again.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Destination is Worth The Journey

Thursday night, after a most moving Maundy Thursday service, I found myself driving home very late at night on some treacherous roads. It was the last (Lord Willing!) snow of the year and I was caught in the midst of it. What ought to have been a 54 minute drive (but who's counting) ended up being 1 hour and 45 minutes.

As I drove, white-knuckled and shoulders to my ears, I prayed (through my clenched teeth and sore jaw). I prayed for the storm to stop. I prayed for the roads to clear. I prayed to GET HOME. I prayed for the road home to miraculously shorten. I prayed for skilled driving on my behalf. I prayed there would be no other cars on the road (you know, less obstacles to hit should I spin out of control). I just wanted it to stop.

I even considered on more than one occassion how I could get myself out of this jam. If I turn here, I could spend the night at my in-laws. But no. What about my still-nursing baby waiting for me at home? Who would feed her in the morning? If I turn here, I could spend the night at my parents' house. But no. It really isn't that much closer and the roads are more curvy and hilly.

And then the thought came. What if I just pull into some farmer's driveway and wait it out until daylight? Maybe just sitting here in a cold car with no food, blanket, or even weather appropriate clothes wouldn't be so bad. It might just be better than continuing home. Certainly easier. Certainly requires less faith. Sadly along with that thought came a split second consideration that was a little frightening. I could just drive as fast as normal, spin out of control, sail over the guard rail and wake up in heaven. That might be the easiest yet. Yet also, it would have been the coward's errand.

And so I thought again about my children tucked tightly in their beds and how I wanted to see their chubby faces in the morning. I thought about my husband waiting in our bed, keeping it warm for me, probably snoring, completely unaware of my current stress, and getting ready to steal the sheets when I crawl in beside him. Then I realized: I had to push through this storm to get to the better part. I thought about the service I had just attended and the call to live our lives through the resurrection power of Jesus.

The Word says in Hebrews 12: 2 that Christ endured the cross by focusing on the Joy set before Him. He knew that the End was worth the Means. That is the resurrection power that lives in us now so that we can say with Paul:
"I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus...forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward to goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:12-14)

As I crawled in to bed that night beside my husband, safe and sound once again, I realized it was worth driving through that storm to get here. Lord, grant me that vision as I travel through the storms of life that I would persevere knowing that the prize of Christ-likeness at the end is well worth the pain and fear I endure along the way. Thank You for loving me enough to let trials like these come to get my attention and draw me back to You. (Heb. 12:4-11)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

Today is always a special day for my heart. There is almost something more precious to me about Good Friday than Easter Morning. The idea that Christ would suffer for things that were my fault, that He would do the thing that fixes my mistakes, that He would die so I could live is to me the more stunning thing. Not that Him raising Himself from the dead isn't amazing, but He is God after all. There is a bit of an expectation in my mind that He could do that.

But to willingly say "It's alright, my sister. I see your sins, I know the punishment that is coming your way because of them. I want you to live and serve our Father. I will take that pain for you." ....that is a miracle I can barely fathom. Thank You Lord. You are so good. (and what a sad understatement that is).

It's like when I try to explain to my husband how shocked I continue to be that a) he married me and b) seems to still think it was a good idea. For him it was just the most natural thing to do. For me, it seems to be an otherworldly act that I can't grasp. For Christ, dying on the cross was the right thing to do, and the thing He wanted to do.... I can't get it.
But on a lighter note, maybe this year I will do some Eastery crafts and things with a meaningful touch to really highlight some of this season's beauty. Here is a great recipe that I might actually try. Sounds pretty yummy, not to mention actually useful for teaching the Easter story. Now this looks very cool, but as some of you know painting in my house is a major ordeal, so adding eggs to the mix (literally) sounds not only messy, but expensive. Still, my kids would think I was supermom if I did it. (maybe I'll let Oma know, and she can try it sometime! hee hee).

Regardless, I've been thinking about song lyrics the worship team will be singing on Sunday Morning. One song is pretty repetitive and simple, but sometimes those are the deepest ones. The chorus simply says, over and over, "I've Found Jesus" and I think I need to take this out of the "running-to-the-empty-tomb-and-then-turning-around-at-the-sound-of-his-voice" context and think daily, as I look around at my kids, my calling, my marriage, my circumstances....I've Found Jesus. Seeing Him in the details is going to be the goal this week, and all the weeks ahead.

Because of You every Friday is good Lord, every day is good. You are GOOD! Thank You.