Sunday, 15 November 2015

Do This To Save Your Sanity

Okay, so this chapter had a LOT of highlighter marks.  And pencilled in notes.  And aha moments.

Hoodwinked - Myth #4: Motherhood Is All-Consuming and All-Fulfilling.  Or maybe not.  I love the way the author writes this chapter, because she is just so honest about her journey.  It hasn't been as shiny and sparkly fun as we all imagine, but a lot of us never actually say those words out loud.  We don't want to feel judged, even though we've all been there at one point or another.

She encourages us to find our own village of moms who will be honest with us about where they are, or with the low moments they've had, and what they did to get beyond them.  And to find people we can be honest with as well.  And we should be willing to be prayer warriors for these women as well. 

We are encouraged to raise our children from our knees.  Now before you get your knickers in a knot, she doesn't mean as a servant to them.  She means to do all of this with God at our sides.  He parted the oceans and had a man swallowed by a whale.  Surely he can get you through today. 

I think one of my favourite quotes from this chapter is, "just because you don't love some of the tasks of child rearing doesn't mean you don't love your child."  Wow.  Just wow.  You would think that might be common sense, but we are often lead to believe that you have to love everything about someone to truly love them.  Which is a farce.  But still, when I look at my kids, it feels like since I love them unconditionally, I should love everything motherhood entails.  But potty training?!?  Who loves potty training?!?  Or those phases with the talking back and eye rolls?!?  That doesn't mean that you don't love your child, you just don't like their behaviour.  And that's okay.  That's actually normal. 

I believe that the encouragement to find your village, utilize those other moms for a shoulder, advice, prayer or just to vent to.  And be there for them to do the same.  Don't replace God with them, just let God use you to help each other get through this.  These women have crossed your path because its part of His divine plan.  Let them in.  All the way in.  You won't regret it!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the women you have brought into my life.  I am so grateful for all the wisdom and support we can offer each other.  And Lord, for those women who are still searching for their village, I pray that they would find even just one person that they can be real with.  God, help us all to be real about parenting.  And let us feel you there, every step of the way.  We are not alone in this, and we thank you for that.  In your name.  Amen.

If you have any prayer requests, I would be honored to life you up to God today.  Please do not hesitate to ask!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

More Than "Just" a Mom

Today's post from Hoodwinked:10 Myths Mom's Believe & Why We All Need to Knock it Off, is from Chapter 4: Myth #3: I am "Just" A Mom.

Ruth starts off this chapter telling us about a trip to the bank, where she tells the bank teller that she is a stay at home mom, and the teller saying to her, "If you ever start working, we can update your information."  Page 53.

Now, I am fairly certain that this teller is probably not a parent.  Because we all know, staying at home is work.  It's actually 24/7/365 work, with no "bank holidays", no stat pay, no medical benefits, and no vacation pay.  It's amazing, rewarding, frustrating, testing, loving work.  Sometimes all at once!

But just because I too am a stay at home mom, it is not my only identity.  I am a wife.  I am a daughter.  I am a friend.  I am a Christian.  I am our bookkeeper, as my husband is self employed.  I am a blog writer. I am addicted to crafting stuff.  Lots of different stuff.  I'm not addicted to always finishing a project before I start a new one...  This means I am also a work in progress.

AND I am a Mom to three amazing, God given gifts.

I think the single line from this chapter that resonated with me the most was on page 56, where she is talking about the fact that she wants her daughter to embrace motherhood, but then continues to say, "And more than anything, I want her to reject the myth that being a mom is somehow less significant than other pursuits."

Yes.  That!  I was talking with my husband the other night in the kitchen, and I told him that it is sometimes frustrating that society today paints Mom's who have the ability to stay at home as lazy.  Like the only thing we have to offer the world is our career.  For some mom's, that is their dream.  They have chosen to have a career outside the home, and still have a family.  And that is their choice.  Just because my husband and I have decided that the best thing for our family is for me to stay at home with our children and homeschool them, does not mean that I am not contributing to society. 

My contribution to society is going to last for generations.  Because the days, weeks and years that I get to spend at home with my children now are going to shape how they parent.  And how their children parent.  My contribution to our society is the next generation of our society.  Maybe only locally. Or maybe globally.  I don't yet know what God has planned for them.  And I can't think of anything more important than what God has called me to do for this season in my life.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Being "Right"

I can't imagine that any parent has lived their entire life as a parent without uttering some words of thinly veiled "advice", certain that if you could just have that child for a single weekend, you would have them all straightened out.  Because your methods of parenting have produced your perfect children, so why ever would they not work on others?  I mean, you know it all, right?


Think of those days where your kids are the ones being judged.  When you pass that woman in the supermarket and she gives you that LOOK.  Or worse, her opinion.  Of how, since your children are having a bad day (since we are all human), your parenting skills seem to be lacking.  Is that moment really the whole story?  Can you look at that situation from the outside and see that maybe they've recently lost someone close to them?  Or maybe one parent has to travel for work, and the kids are having a difficult time adjusting.  There are a million situations happening every day to millions of people, and that moment is one that you only catch a glimpse of the whole story.

I've been there.  I actually had one of my brother's friends parents tell me one day while grocery shopping with my newborn, that I was doing it wrong.  I wasn't mothering right.  And oh those words got a reaction out of me right away that day.  I knew what was wrong with my baby.  She was hungry.  I was going to pick up formula so that I could get home and feed her.  And I was probably going to make it.  Until this woman stopped me to poke at my baby, upset her delicate little mood, and ruin all our days at once.  Then she decided that I wasn't doing it right.  I told her, maybe not so politely, several times since she didn't seem to believe me, that my baby was simply hungry.  And that if she'd just let me go, I could actually rectify that problem pretty quickly. 

But what about those moments where you're already doubting your abilities?  When you question if He really got this right, and that you are capable of getting this child to be a decent adult.  When you question if you're both going to make it that long.  And when all you want is to hear that you are doing a good job.  I can't think of a single time that I've been told I was a good mom that I've ever been insulted to hear it. 

So maybe next time you see that mom in the grocery store, you could tell her you've been there.  And that you can see she is a good mom.  And you can turn both your days around, both leaving that store feeling better for you abilities as a mom.  Seems you have a choice which words you use today.  What will you choose?

"Go forward with confidence - not condescending cockiness - and serve him and your family as you enjoy your unique journey of motherhood."  Page 52.

Heavenly Father, I lift up all of those parents who are weary.  All of us who wonder how we are going to do this all again tomorrow. Help us to remember that you are already there.  Refresh our perspective on your expectations and fill their hearts to overflowing with your love Lord.  In your mighty name.  Amen.

If any of you have a prayer request or would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to be one of God's soldiers for you!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

No More Assumptions!

Yay! I finally get to write about this amazing book that I have had the privilege of reading before it was officially released!    I have been reading all about how to let go and let God in my parenting journey.  And it couldn't have come at a better time.  I have been juggling motherhood, cleaning, shopping, working, homeschooling and contract negotiations for our business.  Oh, and trying to sleep.  Not doing so well with that one.  :)


Chapter 1
Hoodwinked: The Mythical Mosaic of Motherhood

There were SOOOO many beautiful little nuggets of wisdom in this chapter.  One of my favourites is from page 12.  "As a new mom, I wanted so desperately to get this mothering thing right.  And I not only wanted to get it right, I was pretty sure I already knew how to do it right."

Oh my word!  I can clearly remember looking at parents with their children before I was officially a Mom.  And I judged. So. Much.  And I am so sorry that all I had to offer was my poorly thought out, completely lacking "wisdom."  I should have offered compassion.  Or told them that they are doing a great job.  That plugging through those bad days, still showing your children unconditional love is the most important thing you will ever do.  And that no matter what, He has this.  He covers all those shortcomings.   And He loves you, and your children. 

Parenting is so hard.  I don't know about you, but I was most definitely not given a manual for my child with my starter pack of diapers. 

I was not told that my children would be so different from each other in so many ways that I would sometimes question if they really were siblings. 

I was not told that for years and years, my house was not going to be clean.  And I was definitely not told that I should buy shares in Cheerios!  I have picked more Cheerios out of more places than I even want to think of! 

I was not told that even on those days when all I can do is fall to my knees, tears in my eyes, and call out to God, that I would still love those kids more than life itself.  That after they drive me to the brink of insanity, the very next moment, they would be the cutest things on the planet.

Yep.  Its hard.  And so much more rewarding than I could ever dream.  So stop believing that you have to do every single thing perfect, every single day.  You were never meant to be superwoman.  You were meant to be a child of God, willing to rely on him. 

Join me as I explore the 10 Myths Mom's Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off.


Heavenly Father, tonight I pray for all of those who are feeling the stress of trying to be everything to everyone.  Let them feel your loving arms surround them, let them take refuge in the fortress of your strength.  Let them reach out for help to those that they can trust here on earth.  And never let them feel alone.  Amen.

If any of you have a prayer request or would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to be one of God's soldiers for you!

Monday, 26 October 2015

The Least of These

Jesus came for the sinners.  For all of us who know we are not perfect.  Who recognize that we ALL have work to do, and that no matter how hard we try, we will never attain perfection.  But it's our job to work on ourselves nonetheless. 

He didn't come for the Pharisees, so were so certain that they were perfect.  He knew that their over-confidence in their own beliefs and rules made them pretty much a lost cause.  And so he focussed on those who really needed his help. 

The woman at the well.  No one else would associate with her.  She was such an outcast that she often chose to get her water in the heat of the day, when no one else would be at the well because it was probably better to suffer the heat than the judgement of all the other townspeople. 

The man with leprosy.  No one would touch him, except for Jesus. 

The unclean woman, who for 12 years was kept separated from all of those in her family because of a physical disease that no one else could heal but Jesus.

All those people that had been cast out because they were so far "below" everyone else.  He came for THEM. 

The Bible quite often uses people who are looked down upon, who aren't considered as "good" as others, to do great things.


So maybe the next time you look down on that person in the pew across from you, or on that street corner, begging for a meal, you should try to remember all the people who came before you.  The "least", and remember that God has a funny way of raising them up so much higher than you could ever imagine.

And if you ever feel like one of the "least", please, please, please do not let that become who you think you are.  All of those people knew that with God, anything was possible.  And they have gone down in history as powerful, life changing, admirable people. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

In God We Trust

My amazing, kind hearted, beautiful little dude is heartbroken. And I am too. He's almost 4 years old now, and he has lost his Grandma. We lost her to cancer just over 4 months ago. And he is still trying to process all of this.

He actually asked his other Grandpa today if he already knew that God took his Grandma to heaven. Bless his poor little heart. He feels so much!  And so deeply!  And it is so amazingly difficult to walk this path with him. Especially when I have the same questions as he does.  I don't know why her journey ended when it did. I don't know how God decides who to take or not to take.

He finally really cried for her last night. And told me he is angry with God that he took her. And that he thinks it's not fair that God can just take people. I'm assuming he's also a little scared that he might lose someone else, and that he has no control over that. And I get that. I'm angry. I don't think it's fair that she had to suffer. And I don't know who I will lose next, or when. So while I can certainly sympathize with him, I cannot provide any answers.

I can assure him that I will love him every single day of my life.  I can pray with him.  I can share memories of Grandma with him and remind him how deeply she loved him.

But the best thing I can do?  I can pray FOR him.  I can trust that God will fill in all the gaps in his understanding. I can trust that He will give us both peace when we so desperately need it.

I can share how I know that even though this hurts, we will see her again. And all the other people we have lost in this last little while.

I can share how I know that somehow, some way, we will learn how this is part of a bigger picture.  A beautiful picture. And that this plan is so much better than we could ever even imagine.

And I can remember in those tough, angry, sad and agonizing moments that he is hurting because he loves so much. And feels so much. So I need to ask more questions, kiss. Ore cheeks and hug must a little bit longer. And who doesn't love long hugs?

Friday, 23 October 2015

Like a Brick

You know, some days are just nice, quiet, normal days.  Those days that nothing really stands out. Then all of a sudden it hits you. Like a brick. An entire month has just disappeared. I survived it. But did I cherish it?  Was I intentional with my minutes?  Because while every once in a while, you remember days, when you look back in time, it comes down to minutes that you treasure. Minutes that you spent with the special people God has gifted you with.

I am part of the launch team for "Hoodwinked" by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk. In it, Ruth points out that while it may seem like you have all the time in the world, you really don't. And she does the math!  Suppose my children stay home until the summer they turn 18. That means that I have just under 13 years of my oldest being at home with me.  So 13 years x 365 days/year = 4,745 days. I am already sentimental at the graduation pics I see each year, thinking that before I know it, that will be here.  She will be an incredible woman, ready to conquer the world, and my chance to breathe that love into her each day will already be over.  Almost the entire month of October has flown by, with very few "moments" that seem like they will become those special moments.  Do I really want to squander those I have left?  I have less than 4,700 days left to build up, lead and encourage my daughter.  I need to be intentional with that time!

So ladies, while it is important to lead our children, to teach them, to make sure their homework is done, it is even more important to impress on them the unshakable love they have in us.  The unflappable love of the Lord, who even goes so far as to say that NOTHING we do can ever lessen the love he has for us.  We are loved more than we can ever fathom, and more than anything, I think our children need to know that. They don't need to know they are the best at sports, or music.  Or that they are a genius. They need to know they are loved. That they are always going to be loved.   That they will never have to earn love.  They simply are loved.

You may have 4,745 days left. You may have more. You may have less.  Let's use whatever days we have been gifted to the absolute best of our abilities.

You are loved!#nomorehoodwinkedmoms, #hoodwinkedbook, love, unconditional, count your days

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Just What I Needed

If you've been reading my posts over the last few years, you know that life has felt kind of overwhelming at times.  It has even felt at times like there was no way to get out from under this huge cloud over me.

Here's a quick recap for those who dont know:  I had a miscarriage, then had a really hard time physically while my body tried to go back to "normal", then I got pregnant again fairly quickly (can you say hello hormones?!?), and was quite sick.  Then my Aunt passed away after a short 6 week battle with cancer.  It was a difficult time for me, and the kids as I tried to figure out how to explain death, heaven and how God can take people away from us, but still love us.  Then their GGPa was in the hospital most of the summer.  Then their Supergran passed away.  Then GGPa passed away.  And then we had a baby girl (an amazing gift), but their lives were turned upside down all over again.  And then they lost their Great Grandpa. And then they lost their Grandma to breast cancer after a short hospital/hospice stay.  And then 6 weeks later, their Grandpa remarried and they had a new Grandma.

Wow, it tires me out just typing that, much less thinking what the last little while has been like for us. It has been emotionally, physically and spiritually draining.

I'm not saying great things weren't happening.  It just felt like as soon as we'd get a little good, we'd be buried in difficult.  We managed to show love to a lot of people, we got to hear amazing stories about lives that have been changing our little world for over 90 years.  We got more family time.  We lost some family, but we gained some too!  And while it was difficult, it has to be part of his plan.  All of it.

This week we had some challenging days.  You know those days when you feel like you should just crawl back under the covers and try again tomorrow?  And so while I was bathing my beautiful little baby, I was on my knees praying too.  I was praying that His strength would get us through.  I was praying that I have such a hard time letting go of control and that I need His help to just let go.  I needed to now that He has this.  He has me in the palm of his hand, and it will all be okay.  It will be better than okay.

And you know what?  The very next day, the things that were broken got fixed.  Easier than we thought they could.  At no monetary cost to us even!  And I got to spend some extra time filling up my children's memory banks.

And then I checked the mail and got a advanced reading copy of a book from one of my favourite authors.  A funny, down to earth, relatable woman who just loves God, and her family.  And now I have the privilege of spending some extra time with God, while I preview this book.  A book all about how I don't have to do it all.  I will be blogging my way through the book, so follow along and see what I learned.

Just what I needed!!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Our Bodies Are Amazing

So, I was getting ready to have a shower tonight, and I looked at myself in the dreaded mirror. Oh, the love/hate relationship that we all have with our reflections. Today was more of a "meh, yep, that's me" kind of a day.


Dun da da...

Yep. My body is amazing.

Not because I have a model body. I'm over 30 and have had 3 kids. Nope, not a model.

Not because I can deadlift....well, anything. I am not a fitness type. More of a get it done kinda gal.

Nope, there is nothing particularly spectacular or notable about my looks. But my body!  Do you know all the things it can do?!?

It carried 3 beautiful, amazing babies to term, and then brought them in to the world.  Don't worry, no gory details about that. Just the miracle that 3 life changing people came out of me.

It can pack a baby on my hip as I clean. Or cook.

Oh, by the way. It can clean. All day long. (Yet another reference to those 3 kids!). And it can chase kids all day long. It stands up, it runs, and walks.  It carries groceries. It laughs. It hugs. It holds people when they need it.

It is healthy enough to do all of these things.

It is pretty amazing. I could probably choose to treat it a little bit better. But no matter what my reflection says, may I always choose to remember what my body really is, not just what it looks like.

And it is amazing. So is yours.

And since we both woke up with a heartbeat, let's see where is takes us today!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A Call NOT to Judge

With so many things happening in our lives right now, with friends, with celebrities and with the world at large, there sure are a LOT of people who feel they have been called to judge and jury.

Now, once again, I am not saying I am perfect.  I am just as guilty as the person next to me, I'm sure.  But being just as guilty doesn't actually make it alright.  Doing what the person next to me is doing, and justifying my actions by believing that if the masses are doing it, it must be okay?  How did we get here? 

I have been a part of many conversations that made me feel like I was doing great in life, because at least I was/wasn't doing something that someone else was doing.  But I'm called to be me.  And to be a better me than I was yesterday.  I wasn't called to be better at my life than Sally is at hers.  I wasn't called to judge her and her abilities to be her.  She was called to be Sally.  I wasn't.  And just a note, I don't actually know "Sally".  That's why I chose that name.

With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts galore, it is so easy to put our best selves forward.  But those certainly our full stories.  They don't always include our less than "pinterest perfect" moments.  Those moments we loose our cool.  Those moments we judge others as less than ourselves.  Those moments where we fail our friends because we are more concerned about beating Sally.  You know, those moments where we are merely human.  Less than perfect, work in progress, human.

And so I am writing this as a call for us to lift others up.  You know that marriage that you know is failing?  The one where you "think" you know all the details, but you can't.  That one with a lot of hurting people?  What about lifting them up in prayer?  What about offering to make a meal so that they can go to counselling?  What about pointing out all of the things that they have going for them as a couple?  What about reminding them of the good times that are so easily forgotten in the face of turmoil?  What if we could be there to hold them when they cry without taking those details to others?

For that challenging kid you know, what about speaking truth into their life?  What about taking a few minutes to show them you care?  Or that you understand?  What if you could share a part of your struggles with them that would make them feel less alone?  Or what if you could just show them unconditional love? 

That cashier/customer service person/other driver on the road?  Maybe they've just gone through something unimaginable.  Maybe they just need a kind word and a smile today.  Maybe you could be the person that can do that for them.  Or maybe the best you can do is just not be another nail in the coffin of their bad day and keep your mouth shut (a la Bambi's mom "if you can't say anything nice..."). 

Maybe some days seem like they are truly a gift from God.  Maybe everything is going perfectly for you now.  Maybe you forgot to count your blessings last night before you went to bed.  Or maybe you didn't.  The great days are part of what keeps us going on those not so great days.  Cherish them. 

We are all struggling in this world.    Every single one of us.  Not all on the same day.  On that day you aren't struggling, you have a unique ability to not be staring at others through hurt.  Do something with that.  And if you are that hurt person, never forget that no matter how bad it may seem now, there is someone, somewhere who is struggling to take their last breath.  Thinking about all of those could haves, should haves, and would haves that can no longer be changed.

So maybe, rather than worrying about Sally, maybe we should help her.  Or Joe.  Or Jane.  Or someone whose name you don't even know yet.  Maybe you'll be the one to change their entire world.  And maybe you won't even know it. 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Until We Meet Again

We had a celebration of life this week for my sweet Mother in law.  We actually ran out of seats in our church. And aisle space. And floor space. And filled the foyer. And the balcony where the offices are. It says a lot about a person I think when that many people come to say their final goodbyes.

Although, they really aren't our final goodbyes. Not if you are a Christian. This is simply a short farewell until we meet again. And in the grand scheme of things, the time we have on this earth is so very fleeting. We have eternity to reunite with those who have gone before us. 

I love that Facebook meme I've been seeing lately. It says that if you greeted this morning with a heartbeat, then God still has a purpose for you.  I wonder what my purpose is today?  Do you know what yours is?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

All That Matters

I lost my mother-in-law to cancer last week. It was an awful, emotional, exhausting and eye opening experience. And it brought to my attention so many things.

I realized how many people one life can affect. How many lives can be changed just by one persons kindness. How one prayer warrior can make such a difference. How having a heart like Jesus can leave such a lasting impression. And all of these qualities belong to one woman who will leave a hole in our lives for years to come.

In four short, but oh so long, days, I witnessed countless people stop their lives to say goodbye to this woman. I think I saw more people traipse in and out of her hospice room than I even know. And that is such a testament to who she was.   And it makes you wonder what your legacy will be.

It also leaves us something to live up to.

 I saw my husbands family, and all our friends pull together. We had childcare provided for us so that we could devote our time to just BEING there. We had meals prepared by friends who just wanted to love on us. We contacted family that for their own personal reasons, had previously been cut off. And they dropped everything and rushed out.

We shared stories that some of us had never heard before. We learned that it really is possible to laugh until you pee. And imagined that there really is no better reason to wet yourself than whatever fun she was having to actually do that!

We made new memories. We had moments, good and bad, that will forever be etched on our hearts. We bridged gaps in our relationships. We held each other up when the strength just wasn't there.

We prayed together. Oh, did we pray together. We prayed for strength. We prayed for peace. We prayed for her suffering to end, and for Jesus to come and take her home. We prayed for each other. We prayed for our children. We prayed that those we love who don't know Jesus would feel His presence.

We realized that if whatever grudge you are holding can be forgiven at the last moment, then why not forgive earlier?  We realized that praying for people really does make a difference.  We realized that no matter how small a role you may have played in someone's life, the impact can last a lifetime.

And we learned that in the end, love is all that matters. 

Monday, 15 June 2015


It has been a long week. It seems more like forever than just one week. I am sitting in bed with my husband so grateful that I have been blessed with him.  You see, my mother-in-law is in the hospital with terminal cancer. My father-in-law was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. He had a perforated bowel.  And the clarity that such events will bring to your life is astounding.

I know that while it is easy to fall into routine, getting so busy with our lives that we forget to stop and smell the roses. Or really listen to what our kids are saying to us and laugh at their antics.  Or give your spouse a kiss worth rushing home to.  Or telling your loved ones that you love them.  Things we take for granted. Things we always assume we can take time for tomorrow, or next week, or month or year.  But if this last week has taught me anything, it's to stop taking that time for granted.

I have so many thoughts running through my mind that there is no way that I can make sense of them, much less be able to write them down. But they all boil down to one thing:  tomorrow is not promised.  Those dishes will be there later. So take the next 5 minutes to really connect with someone in your life.  Let them know how much they mean to you. Tell them how much you love them right now.  Don't wait for their eulogy. They deserve to hear those words for themselves!

What if you woke up tomorrow with only the people you thanked God for today?

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Faith in the Valleys

It's been a busy few weeks in our house.

My son discovered that 20lbs of flour is really fun to spread around. On the floors...on clean the dryer freshly emptied of those clean clothes. He also discovered that he has to take out many, many bags of garbage at 25 cents each to earn enough money to replace that flour!

He learned that rocks will fit in his nose, but that doesn't make it a good place to put them.

And last night, they discovered that we are all human. All of us.  We all have bad days, we all love someone, and we all get scared sometimes.

You see, their Grandma was diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump in her breast last year.  After much research and prayer, they really felt that God was placing it on their hearts to try a naturopath rather than surgery and radiation.  And for this last year, she has changed her eating habits, lost weight, and we thought, kept the cancer at bay.  With regular checkups, the naturopath said she was doing great.

And this is the part where I remind everyone reading this that it wasn't your decision.  You weren't the one to have those conversations with God. So keep your opinions to yourself as we are a hurting bunch here right now.

She was admitted to the hospital and it turns out, the naturopath was wrong.  Her chest cavity is now home to a much larger tumor. So large in fact that they are looking at making her comfortable for the time she has left on this earth.  And so last night, they prayed for their grandparents.  And they loved on their grandpa in the only way their little hearts could. They hugged him. They told him they loved him.  And they believed us when we told them the doctors were working to make grandma better. Because at 5 and 3.5, what else can you say?

This is the same woman that I credit with really introducing me to God.  She has been a prayer warrior for almost every person I know.  She never judges or makes you feel bad about your journey so far, no matter what has happened.  And she will willingly lay her heart on the line to help anyone.

And she has faith that can move mountains. I had actually bought a wooden word of "faith" written script style.  Except when I got it home, it was broke. Into four pieces.  I thought it was beyond repair, and was ready to throw it out.  Until God laid it on my heart to glue it back together. It didn't have to be perfect, it just had to hold.  And so I did. Then I made it into a sign for her and told her that even though her body may be broken, her faith was still strong. This was a couple weeks ago. Before we knew how broken her body really was.

I know I have rambled.  And I don't know who needed to hear this today, but the moral of this story is that even in the valley, God has not changed.  He hasn't abandoned us.  He hasn't given up on us.  And he hasn't altered in his desire for great things for us.   He is still faithful, walking right beside us.  He is the same whether we are struggling in the valley, or standing in awe of all he's done at the top of a mountain. And he loves us so much more than we can ever imagine.

I don't know where my mother in law's journey will end. I know we have a long fight ahead of us.    I know that if she wins this battle, my children will get the chance to make more memories with this amazing example of gods love and faithfulness .  And if this battle is not to be won, then she will be up on heaven reuniting with those who have gone before her, and having no more pain in her body anymore.  And I know that no matter what, she leaves this earth a better place for every day she has here with us.

John 14:1-4
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Things I Know

This is not me saying that I have the answers to life.  Or any answers really.  This is just me coming to several realizations due to some conversations that I've had recently.  Some amazing, important realizations.  I have never actually said any of them out loud.  They may not even matter to anyone else, as they are really just to do with me.  But here they are anyways.

I know how people saw me as I grew up.  I was always that cute, happy little girl.  Her parents were a mixed race couple.  They were low income.  They also drank too much.

We didn't have any of the "cool" new toys, but instead always had to settle for hand me downs.  I got my first Barbie when I was 12.  I couldn't even fathom what I was supposed to do with it.  Side note:  I am SOOO not a girly girly.  I also grew up the only girl in a neighbourhood filled with boys, with a forest as my play fort.


I didn't have a lot of friends because of all of the above things.  

My extended family was pretty diverse.  My Dad's sisters were pretty straight laced.  His brothers were a pretty mixed bunch.  My one uncle always had a beer in his hand and a grin on his face.  His other brother could fix anything.  He'd explain to you how he did it too, but after the first hour, you'd kind of tune him out.  And his youngest brother was gay.  

My Mom's family was insanely complicated.  Her birth mother had so many kids, we are still finding out about them.  So between her blood brothers and sisters, and her adopted ones, we covered all the bases.  Catholic, rich, gay, broke, rancher, city, straight laced, and addicted.  Yep, even transgender.  

There really wasn't much I didn't learn about while growing up.  

I've written on here before about my amazing, one of a kind family, but due to some recent coversations, I've come to realize a few important things.  

First, all those things I just said...thats how others looked at me.  And some of those people who knew me when I was little probably still do.  

But that doesn't mean that I looked at myself that way.  I had parents who made some less than stellar choices.  And so did a lot of the people they brought into our lives.  But they also loved us unconditionally.  So much so, that I never really had to question what other people thought of me.    Being loved unconditionally does something to a person - it gives them the confidence to find out who they are, and to make mistakes along the way.  I won't lie, it bothered me now and again, that I wasn't like everyone else.

Until I learned to own who I was.  Not who my parents were, or my uncles, or aunts, or friends.  I am me.  And I too make mistakes.  I am a "christian".  I say it that way because I absolutely do not think I am better than someone else because I sin differently than they do.  I am a hoarder of craft supplies.  I am a wife, mother, daughter sister and friend.  I have a  carbonated-caffiene addiction.  I am an introvert.  I am opinionated.  That's okay.  But the only decisions I have to own up to are my own.  

And all those people in my life, my family and friends growing up.  Those people that always had a beer in their hand, or told amazingly long stories.  I wouldn't trade a single one of them in for all the money in the world.  I have lost many of them, but still think of them with a smile on my face.  Those wonderful people who are such an integral part of who I am today.

I had another stigma attached to me as I got a little older.  I was that girl who had a gay brother.  You see, I'd grown up with such a diverse group of people that I knew that it isn't something that you could catch.  This isn't a group of door to door people trying to convert you to their way of thinking.  These were just people.  It isn't something you can catch.  And so, since my brother's sex life really isn't any of my business, he was just my brother.  And its just one part of who he is.  Imagine if your sex life was your identity... What if that was the only thing they saw when they looked at you?  

These aren't the only things people saw when they didn't bother to look at me instead of those around me.  But that isn't the moral of this story.   

I was talking to some people this week that are quite concerned that the ones they love are associating themselves with people who are not "like them".  People who have made decisions that are not "approved" of.  The very people that Jesus himself came for.  

And I realized something really important.  This diverse, challenging childhood I had - it was the best thing my parents could have done for me.  I'm not condoning the alcohol or anyone else's life choices.  That's not my place.  Those are their decisions, and that is all a part of what makes them who they are.  They are a result of the path that they have walked and the decisions they have made along the way.  And since I haven't walked their path, I don't get to have a say in any of the decisions they've made.  

I am not perfect.  Not on any given day can I say that I did everything right.  And as a believer of Jesus, I don't have to be perfect.  I believe that I am a work in progress from the time I am born to the time I die.  And as long as I am striving to be better than I was yesterday, thats all I need to do.  Wait, maybe not.  You see, I need to not compare myself to others.  I need to not look down on them, thinking that "at least I didn't to THAT", while giving myself a pat on the back.  I need to realize that I am not called to judge anyone.  I need to be available to the people in my life to LOVE them.  UNCONDITIONALLY.  I need to be willing to show love to those that cross my path, partly because I have no idea how they got where they are today, but partly because as someone who believes in heaven, I may be the only example of what the church is to them.  I have the opportunity to show them that I am a christian, an imperfect, broken, work in progress christian.  And that no matter what I did yesterday, God loves me.  Just like he loves that person in front of me.  EXACTLY THE SAME.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

12 Things NOT to Say to Someone Who Has Had a Miscarriage

1. God only wanted you to have this gift for that amount of time. 

While I am not saying this isn't true, chances are pretty good that those of us who have had a miscarriage may be a little angry at having been given this gift and then it being taken away. 

2. You can start trying again right away. 

Again, this is a true statement, as long as there are no other complications. But really, we just went through one of the most devastating things a parent can go through, so the risk of it happening again may not cheer us up the way you think it might. 

3. In the case of a blighted ovum, like I had, telling me there was never something there, the WRONG thing to say. 

First of all, you never know how far the baby actually did develop, whether there was an actual heartbeat or not. And as soon as that stick shows you are pregnant, there's a baby in your heart. So when you lose the pregnancy, that baby who lives in your heart, who you have been holding and feeding disappears. There WAS a baby. 

4.  How are you?

Seriously?  Give your head a shake. I don't exactly want to scream from the rooftops how fabulous my life is right now if you get what I mean. I just lost a child. I am devastated and if you had to call to ask, then I am NOT alright. And the last thing I want to do is have an awkward conversation with you, trying to pretend all the questions you are asking me aren't ripping my heart out piece by piece. 

5.  Is there anything I can do?

I know this is asked out of concern. But most people know what is included in day to day life. Laundry needs to be done, floors need to be swept, dinner needs to be cooked. These are not things I care about right now. I am merely trying to take it 5 minutes, 1 hour or 1 day at a time. If you want to help, drop off a meal. Ask if you can come by and help with laundry or housework.  Be specific in the way you would like to help. The world is so big and scary to us right now that when you ask if there is anything you can do, all we can think is "can you bring my baby back? Nope. So there is nothing you can do."  

6.  Why did this happen?

I have no idea. And that thought scares the heck out of me. Did I do something?  Am I being punished?  Am I not a good enough parent to deserve another gift from God?  With the availability of the Internet, please just google it. That's what I've been doing, so you'll have exactly the same answers as me. 

7.  Is it preventable?

Really, ask google. All this question does is make us feel like we are somehow so careless that we wanted this to happen or that we did something to deserve it. If we could have prevented it, we would. 

8. I need to talk to that husband of yours. 

Believe it or not, someone actually said this to me. Because, you know, he somehow wanted this to happen so you need to discuss why it happened with him. Oh wait, he just lost a baby too. And since he is really just a bystander in all of this, what exactly do you think he had control over in all of this?  His job as he husband is to deliver to us whatever we are craving, hold our hand through all the morning sickness and suffer the brunt of our mood swings. He can't fix this, as all men are programmed to want to do. He can't make the baby magically appear. He can't un-break our hearts. And society makes him feel like he has to bottle all of his hurt inside of him otherwise he isn't a real man. So maybe you should respect that this is a loss for him too. 

9. Why haven't I heard from you?

Are you honestly going to make this about you?

Really, just like us not wanting to be asked if we are okay, or what happened, or if we need anything, asking why we are avoiding the public as a whole, you included, as if we somehow need to make you feel better, is not what we need right now. I don't need to feel guilty about how you are feeling right now. If you have been through this, then you most likely understand we are just doing the best we can to move on as best we can. In our own way. Which leads me to #10. 

10.  I understand how you feel. 

Unless you have had this same experience, don't say you understand. There is nothing to compare to this. And until you walk this path, you have no idea. 

11.  I don't like to hear that. 

Yes, this was actually said to me by my boss.  Repeatedly. In my head, I am screaming (sarcastically), "Really?  I was ecstatic to hear the news!"  Dumbass. Once again, the last thing I feel like doing right now is making someone else feel better. There are few times in a woman's life where it's all about her. Her wedding day, and when she loses a child. She doesn't want to hear how hard this is on you. She doesn't want you to call her crying and try to make you feel alright. 

12.  At least you already have kids

While god has blessed me with two children that I get to kiss goodnight, in no way does this make the loss of a child hurt less. I am lucky in the sense that while many women never get to hold their children on this earth, it does not change the fact that while I got to hold this child in my heart, I will not get to hold this precious gift in my arms. This is not a case of at least you still have another car to get you back and forth, this was a life, no matter how short it was. 

I'm certain there are many more things that could be added to this list. This was just one persons experience. And it's an awful, terrifying, heartbreaking experience. This is not something I would wish on anyone. 

When I had my miscarriage, I dealt with it the only way I knew how. One step at a time. Sometimes I felt more like I was crawling than actually walking, other times, I went much faster. I remember hating to see pregnant women. Wondering why they got to still be pregnant and I didn't. I remember holding a friends baby just a few days after as she told me about her miscarriage experiences (yes, multiple, she is that badass), with tears in her eyes, not wanting the fact that she had a baby in her house to hurt me in any way. And I remember her telling me that maybe, just maybe if her pain could lessen mine, then maybe it was a little more worthwhile. Not that it made it alright by any means, but at least she could help someone else through their struggle. 

If you are reading this, then I pray for you. I pray that you will find strength in those around you while your heart heals.  I pray that the people around you will help you heal in the exact way YOU need to, not the way they think you should. And most of all, I pray that you have peace knowing that you did not cause this. You are an amazing person. A beautiful, wonderful child of God. And he loves you. More than you can ever imagine. If you let him, he will get you through this. He can take the anger, the questions and the pain. And he will always love you. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

I'm Alive!!!

Okay, so I really suck at keeping up on this whole blogging thing. You see, my life constantly gets in the way. Which is good. If I had ample time to blog, the. Something would be wrong in my little world.

So here's what we've been up to.  Last summer, we made the decision to buy out my father-in-law's company.  The takeover date was November first. The same day all our new business contracts would begin. Not such a brilliant idea for the timing of that one for sure. C'est la vie. 

Then snow hit. HARD!  Two feet of snow on the first snowfall hard. Have I mentioned Mother Nature is bipolar in our region?  Yep. Instead of "regular" snowfall, we got 2', then it melted. Then a month later, another foot. Then it melted. And so on and so forth. Until today even. Yep. The 24th of April and the personality changes continue. Seriously, stop laughing. My kids played in the sprinkler in our backyard on Monday because it was so nice out. And today my husband was plotting snow. Ridiculous.

Then I had my last and final baby. My first complication free delivery. Almost. I hemhorraged 2L of blood afterwards, but it was still the easiest one yet, so I'll take it. A beautiful baby girl. Officially a mother to three children. Ohmygoodness!  I was never an evolutionist, but I believe that since moms still only have 2 arms, there is no way that evolution can be true. I would need at least 2 more for that to even vaguely be possible. And who really wants to be related to actual pond scum?!?

So on to 2015. Hmmm......  I survived winter?  I can't really think what we've been up to. Work. Play. Clean. Cook. Sleep (hahahaha).  Repeat. Glamorous, huh?  

I am currently sitting in a hotel room, listening to an old guy hack up a lung. I hate hotel rooms. Too many unfamiliar other people noises. We got up this morning and made the supposed 5 hour drive (which managed to take 11) to a homeschool conference to pick our homeschool curriculum. And hang out with the coolest friend ever. I told her I was coming down and was hoping she could come with me to a conference, and she agreed. Even though she thought she would be sitting in an auditorium with me, holding my kids, trying not to fall asleep through a lecture. Then I told her we were actually shopping with the governments money for books, and she was thrilled.  Then she told me that she still wanted me to know that she loved me enough that she originally agreed to spend a day being bored just to hang out with me.  That's true friendship right there!

Well, I'm off to not sleep.  I'll try to write a little more often!  Ciao.

By the way, since you've had enough time to read this, you probably have enough time to phone someone you love, and tell them you love the.  Go do that now. Before the Facebook distracts you.  :)