Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Flood plains

Since moving to the desert, I have developed a greater appreciation for all things green, tall, and flourishing. Strike that.....God has given me this appreciation....and to capture my awe as I witness the beauty and determination of His creation.
This month has proven to be a challenging one....as I walk through the peaceful park trails throughout our village, three hurricanes rage on the East Coast and fires burn relentlessly on the West Coast. In the midst of so many suffering here in our privileged West, there continues great suffering all over the world from poverty, war and natural disasters.
One of the most precious aspects of this current season of life (ie. not knowing anyone, having no spending money, and schedules being dictated by children) is that I get to go for a 5 km walk almost every morning. I have my favourite trail....this morning I could see a coyote, a road runner, the mountains, wild rabbits, and hot air balloons all at one time! You can see why I would feel very privileged in this season! I walk along a small flood plain called an arroyo near a local park. While these flood plains are almost never used, they exist to ensure that heavy rains do not infiltrate the many surrounding neighbourhoods.
In the summer, the flood plains seem dry and barren with only the most determined trees and weeds fighting for survival. However, when the monsoons hit, the depressed ground sprouts something more....they grow fast and hearty, rising well above any weed or bush. They are wild sunflowers. Juxtaposed against the brown weeds, tree bark, and few green bushes, these bright yellow sunflowers burst with radiant beauty. And they spread. You can see in the picture below that these determined sunflowers spread covering the entire arroyo and then begin to pop up in some of the harshest rocky earth. Their majesty rivals some of the missed beauty of our previous home in the Northwest.
As I gazed at God's marvellous art, He began to speak. While all creation is groaning for the coming, the relief as it were, of the Lord, God has graced the desperation with beauty. His glory is revealed despite. As I thanked Him for what some may refer to as sunflower weeds, He gave me eyes to see how those beautiful sunflowers are rays of hope in a darkened, depressed land.
With the ground barren, soil hardened, and landscape depressed, a persistent beauty emerged. This beauty is the persistent, persevering Christ follower. Like the wild sunflower, which spreads it seed giving way to hundreds....THOUSANDS of new growths gracing the skyline with beautiful blooms standing tall above the weeds below, so it is with those who follow Jesus Christ fully, without shame bringing hope to the desperate. Once sharing the hope that oozes from them, another bloom is formed, admonished and nurtured, ready to stand tall among the destitution. Despite no change in circumstance (wars still occur, hurricane winds blow, fires destroy, and sin exists), grace and joy permeate rising as a beacon of God's true nature. Hope emerges from destitution....He is good and His love endures forever....He has already overcome the darkness.
John 16: 33 tells us to take heart because He has overcome the world.
1 John 4:1 tells us that we are "dear children" and that Christ within us is greater than anything we face on earth.
Matthew 5:13 shares that we are the salt of the earth! We, as followers of Jesus, give the earth flavour and beauty!
2 Corinthians 4:9 tells us that though we suffer, we are not defeated and we carry Christ with us.
2 Corinthians 3:18 reminds us that we reflect His glory and are daily being transformed into more of His likeness.
At this time in history, there is no greater calling than to reflect the love, hope, forgiveness, grace and joy of living in peace with the Almighty God. Christ followers--be the tall, beautiful blooms that provide hope to this destitute world and multiply your growth!
Be blessed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Greetings! Two weeks ago I got a hysterectomy. While recovery takes time (a lot more than I originally thought), I struggle with "rest". I often feel as though I need to accomplish something...contribute something....pull my own weight (which apparently is limited to under 20 lbs. by my doctor). 😂
However, since I have to forsake me usual daily activities, I figured I should spend some time on books I've been dying to read.....yeah, well, THAT hasn't happened. "Why?" You ask. Honestly, I've not had the brain capacity to process intelligent information. There's just so much going on....however, one thing that keeps infiltrating my thoughts has been the incredible faithfulness of God in my life....our journey....
Normally I would spend a Wednesday morning driving our taxi (Ford Freestar) to school, preschool, grocery shopping or Bible study, home, back to preschool, then school.....etc. But, much to my husband's dismay (joy?), I am not allowed to drive, yet, so he gets to be the transportation king! So, I spent this morning reading this blog....from the beginning of 2010. Seven years ago. Wow. It was like reading someone else's journey through one scary disappointment to another and yet, all carried through with the lavish love, grace and provision of God. I had forgotten how awful those days were and how LOVING God was to us through the provision of incredible servant-minded, devoted, faithful friends. Their love for Christ was displayed so clearly through the fog and threat of destruction.
And now....7 years later....we've moved houses 5 (Our June 1 move will make 6) times, had one more precious baby, dove into a depth with the Lord beyond our wildest dreams, attended an amazing church that has lit up the Word of God brilliantly and with faithful integrity, restored a marriage that, by culture and society's standards, should have been discarded and dissolved, and have been ENORMOUSLY blessed with deep, authentic relationships that have, once again, displayed God's never-stopping, unending, gracious love for us.
"Oh, Lord! How faithful You are! How kind and compassionate Your thoughts are toward me! I see all the MIGHTY ways You have restored our souls and drawn us deeper into You! Your love is overwhelming....though perfectly Holy, You have lavished Your great affection on me....though unworthy of Your Sacrifice, You daily place Your Spirit in me....how can I not gaze at Your beauty!"

If you have loads of time....I encourage you to think on His benefits....what has He brought you through?
1 John 3:1-2
So thankful.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Learning to trust

Greetings! The last time I posted here, we lived in a different house, went to a different school and life was well, very different. Three years is a long time to leave the blogosphere. A lot has happened. One reason I stopped blogging was that I no longer had a computer and blogging on a cell phone is just a new method of torture.....
I will attempt to return to this foreign land of blogging once again in an attempt to document our adventures, testify to God's grace and incredible leading in our lives, and hopefully encourage a reader or two to continue to walk when feeling like barely crawling.
Here goes.....lets start with right now....Promise, my creative-imaginative beautiful daughter is 8 years old. Tobias, my handsome, compassionate, brilliant! son is 6. And Hosanna, my exuberantly social acrobat of all trades is 4.
My husband is an ever-changing work of artistic God-filled grace and I, well....I am a fumbling, grateful servant and daughter of Jesus.
 Sweet Zany Zanna.
 My budding artist, Promise.
 One of our last hikes in Canada....
 Enjoying the wealth of the Fraser Valley Tulips
 Toby and Zanna ready for dance class....
Two very handsome boys...

15 years of marriage.....
Be blessed.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year! It's 2014!

 I think I have decided to just about quit blogging....perhaps once every 6 months or so I will update....Too much happens in a day around here and with three lovely little ones around, I'd rather be hanging out with them than writing. So here's a very brief update.

Hosanna is walking! She's 14 months and gorgeous in every way. There she is in my little crochet sweater made for me when I was a baby! Above is our dear friends, Rosemary and Stan. We love visiting them and sharing a meal together. Precious people.....
 Our rough Christmas greeting! :) Promise (5), Tobias (3), Zanna (1)
 Promise danced beautifully as a reindeer in her ballet recital....she is a natural and we so enjoy seeing her come alive through dance.
 We had a bit of snowfall this year, so Toby and I built our very first snow lady complete with broccoli eyes, carrot nose, and a raisin mouth.
 Zanna is just plainly a HOOT and so cute...so we do silly stuff to her to make her smile.

 There she is again in the Christmas dress my mommy made for me when I was little! It fits!
And my beautiful Promise sporting her two-piece Indian dress to support her Grandma Con, as she will be heading to India this month on missions. :)

Life's been busy and somewhat stressful. We are moving this month and are methodically packing and cleaning as we go as this house is up for sale and there are viewings to plan for. This week I sold my cloth diapers, some baby clothes and a stroller for some cash towards moving costs. I guess that means we are done having children. Ha ha ha.

Still debating whether to find a job after moving to help with the rising cost of rent and living...Zanna is still so young, so we are doing all we can to try and keep me home at least one more year. I love being home with my kids and being able to drop off and pick up Promise from kindergarten is very important to all of us. Toby won't start school for another two years, so we have a ways to go before all three are occupied during the day.

Tim is loving his job and working hard. He's an amazing dad and has maintained a very positive outlook despite our increasing challenges of late.
So that's our very brief story and as I write this, Zanna has just woken up from a nap in a grumpy mood, so I better go!
Be blessed.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back to school!

 The weekend before school started, we tried to get outside as much as possible, as the rains were a-coming! So, we got one last ride on the bike at the park, picked the very last of the raspberries for the season and then made yummy gluten/dairy-free pancakes with fresh berries in them!
 Zanna was quite satisfied with her berry pancakes or "pant-makes" as Toby calls them. :)
 Then Tuesday came.....Promise picked her kindergarten outfit and though class would only be for an hour, she was very, VERY prepared.....and excited.....even wanting me to DO HER HAIR!! She hasn't let me even touch her hair, except to brush it, since February! She's growing up.
 When we arrived, she let me take her picture in front of Ms. Olson's door....her new kindergarten classroom!!
 And as we traveled through the school, we met some new friends, the gym teacher and got to play Starfall in the computer lab!
 Wednesday was the first official day of kindergarten and Toby, Hosanna and I dropped her off inside her class....she was in tears...."Don't go, Mommy!!" We shoved her in the door and RAN to the car...we'd see her again in less than two hours......so in the meantime, we headed to a nearby park....
 Zanna got to swing!
 Toby got to run!
 And when we picked up Promise, she had made a friend and we were able to spend a few minutes on the playground before heading home for lunch.
While she says she LOVES kindergarten, getting her in the door has proven to be a challenge....and when she gets home, it's a bit of a DECOMPRESSION NIGHTMARE...tantrums about silly things and complete exhaustion.....and that's after only two hours! Next week we start FULL-day kindergarten....I see a bit more gradual entry in her future.....But she's a trooper and her teacher says she is doing great. Wow...what a BIG step for her....our little girl is growing up.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday, Promise!

Greetings, friends. This week marked a very special event....actually TWO very special events.....
On Friday afternoon, my parents arrived from Oregon to celebrate Promise's 5th Birthday with us! We were absolutely THRILLED they were here....

Promise had a Tinkerbell party complete with fairy wings, Pixie Dust and fairy wands. We had face painting provided by my mother, the Fairy Godmother, and special hats made, too. Mom and I made a cake complete with all of Pixie Hollow's characters and goody bags with all of Promise's favorite fairies. My parents made the Birthday Party a huge success with their endless help.

Thirteen kids showed up and we had a gas. Then Grandma and Papa took us to Pizza! We all collapsed into bed that night.

The next day was Tim's birthday! TWO crazy days in one week! Daddy got a cheesecake and a quiet morning to himself. Grandma and Papa took off towards home and here I sit still recovering and cleaning up the aftermath. Promise has gone whacko in the wake of the post-party-pre-kindergarten blues, Toby misses Grandma Con (as do I), Zanna's teething and Daddy's back at work....time to get into the school routine! YIKES!

I love my parents and wish we lived closer. I need them....not just their time or help, but their Presence. They carry and joy and an enjoyment of life that I miss. Spending time with them reminds me to have a heart of service, take everything in stride, have a strong faith, and remember to laugh.

We laughed a lot. Loudly. I love my parents. They are a blessing in every way.
Here's the jist in pics......
 A visit to the farm.....

 Daddy gets a cake, too!...3,4....thirty-four

 The rainbow God sent us on Daddy's Birthday!

 Zanna-goo LOVED Grandma Con, too!
 Promise drawing Tinkerbell with window writers.....
 "I wanna draw on the window, too!!!!!!"
 Promise's Birthday morning.....a party outfit!
 Grandma vs. the fairy cake.....
 Papa and Zanna

 Zanna, the 10 month-old baby fairy.....
 My 5-year-old fairy......
 Duck, duck......goose!
Birthday Pizza night!

 Zanna LOVES Papa Jim!
 Supper at Nandos and below...our window painting! My mom is such a great artist!