Friday, 23 September 2016

The Gift of Time

This phrase brings two images into my mind every time I hear it.  One of them is that each day is a gift.  It may not always feel like the best gift, you may even wonder where the receipt is so you could exchange it.  Maybe you could get a day at the beach instead?!?

The other is that each person's time is valuable.  And where they spend that time says a lot about who they are.  You see, I believe you invest yourself in what matters to you the most.  And the more the personal investment, the more time you spend and the more you give of yourself.

Take my husband for example.  He is a hardworking businessman.  He spends the majority of his time working.  Even when he's at home, he doesn't get to stop.  He is working hard to make a good living for his family.  He sacrifices time working for his family.  He misses out on dinners because that's when is most convenient for our clients.  He doesn't make them feel bad that he will be reheating his plate when he gets home, he just does the job.  He invests his time making sure our needs are met.  And he is an amazing example to our children of what happens when you work hard making an honest living.  And I know he's not the only parent out there making that sacrifice.

As a result, I get to be a stay at home Mom.  We have three beautiful kids, two of whom I homeschool.  And my time is used for family and friends.  I invest time in our business (I do the books), and the rest of my day is school, housework, and life.  I have discovered that even though I don't necessarily have a lot of spare time on my hands, I can do small things for other people.

I have a collection of inspirational photos saved on my phone that I use to send to friends who are needing a little pick me up.  It gives them a positive thought (maybe not that beanch day, but a little something), and they know that someone is thinking of them.  That they are not alone in whatever they are facing.

I can deliver a meal to a friend who just not be thinking about dinner today.  Maybe they are a new Mom, maybe they've just lost their Mom.  Either way I can deliver a meal from my heart to their home.

We have taken days to bake and deliver treats to local RCMP or firefighters.  We are a small town, so most of our fire department is volunteer.  I never want to take for granted that these men and women put their lives on the line for others.  That's a pretty big deal to me.  And we've decided as a family that any time we hear a siren, we will pray for the attendants, and the victims.  I figure that we can never do anything better than God, so we should always start there.

So what are your doing with the gift of time you have been given today?  And how can you do small things in love today?

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the gift of today.  I woke up this morning to 3 beautiful, healthy children.  My husband has a job.  And my extended family is healthy.  I really can't ask for much more than that.  So thank you Lord, for all you have already done in my life.  And help me to see those around me that are there for a reason.  Help me to hear your call to spend that time with them Lord, and to see it as a blessing, not an interruption.  Amen.

If you have a prayer request, please leave a message in the comments.  I would love to lift you up in prayer today.

Blessings.  :)  

Monday, 19 September 2016


I've mentioned before that I am reading Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman.  And the world seems to be joining in.  My Facebook wall has been like reading a wall of blessings.   I have one friend that kissed a lot of toads before she found her one true prince.  And she takes the time from her day quite frequently to thank him for all he does for her and their blended family.  And he does the same for her.

We have friends who live out of town who keep us up to date on their lives, always taking time to count their blessings, no matter how small they might have been that day.  They are always there if you take the time to look for them.

I know a lady whose husband was in a terrible work related accident this spring and they are still waiting by his hospital bed, waiting to see how much of him they get to have back.  They have had to uproot their lives to another town, change schools, and move to a new place without their support system.  And you know what she says almost every day?  That God alone has given her the strength to get up each morning and tackle the day.  That He is her saving grace.

I have a friend who I met through my wonderful mother in law before she passed.  She has stepped into our lives and always has something funny on her page to make people smile.  She takes the time each day to tag people in posts that she thinks they will like, just because.

There is a local business that is running a contest about celebrating a special woman.  Someone who has made a difference in your life, even though she may not know it.  I was blessed to be able to nominate a close friend.  She was literally an answer to a prayer.  I had been asking God to put a great Christian woman in my path.  Someone who could understand where I've been and challenge me to become much more.  She has only been a friend for the last couple years, but the difference she has made in my life is outstanding.  I don't know what I'd do without her.

This week, we have been challenged to #NoticeTheNecessary.  We have a photo challenge, and I just happened to get a great picture of my Dad this morning, with all three grandkids on his lap.  He is just taking it all in while they all want his attention at once.  He has always been there for me, no matter how badly I managed to mess things up.  He would let me know he was disappointed, and then he would go about quietly making it right.  He has worked all his life to provide for his family, and bless those around him with the little he has left over.  He has been an amazing example of #ListenLoveRepeat to both his kids, and all of those he comes across. 

It's amazing how concentrating on looking for the blessings can change things around.  My cup runneth over.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for all the blessings you have given me.  And I thank you for renewing my passion to look for them in the every day.  God, I am so sorry for all those days where my focus has been taken away from all the love you have provided.  Even on those hard, challenging days, You are there, if I only look.  I pray for wisdom to know when my attention is being diverted, and the strength to reject anything other than your love.  Amen.

If you are struggling, or just need to know that He is there, I would be honoured to lift you up in prayer.  Leave your request in the comments, and know that I will be praying for you.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

That Special Guest

I have been reading Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman this week.  I was fortunate enough to have been selected to be a part of the launch team for this amazing week.

I got lost on Facebook tonight.  I started out looking up something for a friend of mine, then, well, Facebook.  That vortex that just sucks you right in and makes time disappear like the Rabbit Hole.

I was catching up on things that friends had shared, things that had happened in our community today, and silly images of cats and such when this video came up about who would you like to have dinner with.

Oh, the tears.  So many tears.  I am a bit of a type A personality, and I homeschool two of the precious hearts that have been entrusted to me.  And it is so hard for me to see the world through their eyes.  I have to really stop and think most days about what it must look like to them.  For me, what I am requesting is just so simple, so why can't you just do it?

And no matter how many times I say the wrong words, or get exasperated with their questions, they love me.  They strive to do better.  Even when I am the problem, not them.

I have really been trying these last couple weeks to be a fun Mom.  One they can look back on as a teacher, and someone that they laughed with.  Who would do silly things just because.  These things used to come naturally to me, before I had to grow up. 

Karen's book is all about listening to something called "heart drops."  These are little hints dropped in everyday conversation that can make all the difference in someone's world.  If only we can stop focusing on US and really listen to THEM.  You know the "heart drops" I want to become an expert in?  The ones my kids drop.  I am only one person, but if I can really listen to them, and teach by example for them to do it with others, I have now equipped 3 other people to love on others the way they want to be loved on.  And isn't that just amazing?

This week, and hopefully every week after, I am going to challenge myself to really listen to these tiny people.  To really love on them, and let them know how special they are, since they are the most special guests in my life!  Maybe you could do the same and together, we can really change the world.

Image result for dr seuss caring quote

If you have a prayer request, I would love for you to leave it in the comments below.  It would be a privilege to lift you up in prayer.


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Our Gathering Place

I am smack in the middle of week 1 of the Listen, Love, Repeat launch party.  This week we have been challenged to post a photo of somewhere in our house that people gather.

Sadly, this house does not have a kitchen island.  But I have smooshed a really large table into our kitchen!  It's always covered with shrapnel from the day.  I am just a person who loves to put things down to deal with later.

This table has fed countless people over the last 7 years.  I had found this table when we had gone out of town to provide moral support for a friend whose Mom was in the ICU.  We had gone to Jysk to look around and waste some time.  I found this table with a clearance label on it and just had to have it.  I had always envisioned having lots of people at our house, and having it being a beacon to those we know in their time of need.  I went to Ikea and found some $20 chairs that I could stain to match.  Ta-da!  I have made the wall into a photo wall.  On it are pictures of various family members, some of whom are already in Heaven.  We use this wall to remember those God placed into our lives, no matter where they are now.  I am very blessed to have that many wonderful people in my life!

We have invited over those new to town, those newly single, almost divorced, or just needing somewhere that's a distraction from whatever is going on at home.  My kids all love having people over for dinner (it gives them new ears to talk off), and are always ready to provide extra hugs.  Kids just have a way of knowing, without words, if someone just needs that little extra.  And the people that have come over love our kids.   A good friend of ours spent about 2 years eating meals at our house before he met his wife.  Now I get him back every time she has to go out of town and he's home along.

 The kitchen is just the place with the food.  The people inside the house are what draw them in and keep them coming back.  I assure you, I have no delusions about my cooking abilities!  

Maybe this week, even if you just have cereal for dinner, you could include someone that needs that little extra time spent to remind them they are loved.  

Monday, 12 September 2016

Helping Hearts

I have been thinking a lot lately about getting back to something that has brought me such joy in the past.  For most of my adult life, I have loved surprising those around me with something special.  It isn't necessarily something amazing, just something that lets them know that someone is thinking of them.  That someone has noticed them and loves them.

I have done this in fits and spurts since having children, as it isn't something that often sits at the forefront of my mind.  But my friend, it is such an amazing thing to bless those around you.  And the feeling that you get after blessing someone?  Indescribable.

In the past, my husband and I have sponsored Christmas for families around us that wouldn't otherwise get Christmas.  I don't have a need for anything, and I would much rather know that I have given someone else the gift of unconditional love than have another thing collecting dust.  I find information about the family we have selected by whatever means I can without being too obvious.  And when it is all wrapped up and pretty, my husband often gets the job of invisible delivery boy.  Who knew that playing "Nicky Nicky nine doors" as an adult could have such wonderful results?

We have also just dropped off random packages we feel that still small voice telling us that someone needs something.  We have dropped of food to those who have lost a family member, or care packages to those who have recently had a life change.  We have gifted bags to others that we feel God speaking to us about.

There was one lady that we knew at church.  She seems to lead a somewhat lonely life.  She is a beautiful soul who believes that a hug will always make someone feel better.  I had felt God prompting me with her name, so I made a gift package up for her.  She came into the church one afternoon after she had been in a small car accident, only to find that my package was waiting for her.  She told our church secretary that it absolutely made her week to receive a gift at just that moment.  She was worrying how she was going to get from A to B as her car was getting fixed, as she didn't have the extra insurance that covered a rental car.  She was concerned about how much the cost was going to be to get her car fixed.  It was just a really stressful week for her.  And yet here she walks into church, and a gift is waiting just for her.  She knew right then and there that God had this.  She needed only to trust him.  And to this day, she still doesn't know it was me.  Because I am just the delivery person.  The credit goes to Him.

I'm not telling you this to brag, or make you think I have this amazing, simple life that allows me to just do perfect things.  I assure you, that is far from the case.  I am just trying to tell you that sometimes, in the middle of your crazy, you could be an answer to someone else's prayer.  Maybe they are waiting for you to say "Yes" to that still, small voice.

It can be as simple as asking the person next to you how they are.  And actually listening to their response.  I challenge everyone who reads this to see how many hearts they can touch this week.  Tell that cashier that they are really good at their job.  Smile and tell another Mom you know that she is an amazing mother.  Call your parents and thank them for letting you survive your teenage years!

If you have a prayer request, I would feel honoured if you would leave it in the comments below so that I can lift you up in prayer.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Another Book Launch!!!

I am so excited!  I was having a stressful week last week.  We have started homeschooling two kids now, and I just don't seem to be able to find a groove yet.  I'm sure it will happen eventually.

Anyways, I had applied to be on the Listen, Love, Repeat book launch for Karen Ehman.  I found out on Friday afternoon that I was accepted.

  I was blessed last year to be a part of the Hoodwinked book launch and it was such an amazing experience. And that came at the perfect time last year, right when I was feeling a little stressed out about life in general, but especially about how I was going to be perfect at everything.  You know, the way we think we are supposed to be.  Hoodwinked was all about how God never wanted or expected us to be perfect.  He created us with a purpose, and promised he would be there to fill in all the spots we couldn't.  Our job is to be His children, not spend our time competing with other people about who has the more "picture" perfect lives.  You can read my posts from last year here if you'd like.  :)

This book is all about loving those around us.  Even the prickly types that are hard to love.  It is about being an example of Jesus and doing what he came to do.  We won't necessarily be washing the feet of those around us, but we will be practicing being more loving, no matter our circumstances.

If you are also part of the launch team, I hope you are as excited as I am!  And if you aren't, no worries.  I will be blogging and posting things as they allow us to, giving you a sneak peak into this great book.  Don't forget to peek into the things that Karen has written.  She is an amazing author who has walked the trenches of mommyhood, parenting and marriage, just like us.

If you have any prayer requests, I would be privileged to lift you up in prayer.

Blessing as we go into this new week.