Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Greetings! Once again, the lack of computer has caused a lack in postings. Bear with me.
As most of you know, Tim and I have been on a media fast since the Philippines....we felt a strong call to enter a bubble in which to shelter our minds and spirits from movies, TV, magazines, and even the news. We hear updates on the world's trials through family, church and the occasional e-mail....our media input has been limited to Buzz Lightyear, Dora and Veggie Tales for the last 6 months. Gotta love living with a toddler!
To be blunt, we have thoroughly enjoyed our fast from all things media (with the exception of e-mail and skype in which to communicate with friends and family). Instead of ending our day with television, we end our day being relational with each other. We read stories with Promise and then read devotionals to each other....followed by some FABULOUS intimate times....you can fill in the blanks. :)
With the many trials we have been experiencing ourselves, we have felt it necessary to focus intently on Christ...it has been too easy to get distracted in the past. Our focal point being Philippians 4:8 -
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
We have also been trying to spend more time listening to worship music instead of our previous diet of Dave Matthews. It has challenged us enormously to moment-by-moment abide in Christ...our spirits so valuable that even a moment breathed without Christ can lead to destruction. I have come face to face with my vast need for Christ. Without Him, I am and can do nothing.
So, Tim and I watched a recommended movie last night. There was only one slight fleshy bit and mild language. Rated PG. It was a suspense thriller type...the kind Tim and I used to watch quite frequently. I watched feeling my anxiety level rising, my heart sinking and my spirit aching for sanctuary. We call this "being entertained". Whoa. I got a heart check.
I realized just how NOT READY I am to consume media as entertainment. Surrounded by a somewhat "peace" as a result of not having outside influence through TV, movies, news and such, I have been so full of joy...but my anxiety levels sky rocketed while watching this 2 hour movie and I almost started crying.
I realized what an incredible blessing it has been to starve myself of emotions brought on by pointless "entertainment"! How is it entertainment when I feel anxious about a completely fictional story? How is it enjoyable to be distracted by someone else's pain, crime or situation? What have I or "we" become as humans that we thrive on being entertained by lifestyles we cannot attain or other people's pain? I was totally humbled and completely wrecked. I am not ready to leave my protective bubble created after my world was destroyed. And I think it's okay.
Anyways, I am not judging people who DO watch for entertainment, but I know for me, I just cannot do it anymore. I didn't sleep well last night. With the world TRULY experiencing such pains as the earthquake in Japan and the recklessness of sin, how can I sit and watch it for entertainment? I am making a mockery of those whose REAL lives are so greatly affected by such humanity.
What if we all stopped watching TV and movies? Would we all be moved so deeply by people's actual lot in life that we would become more compassionate and more helpful in their plight? I dunno. Perhaps that's where I am at right now.
"Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours. "
Thursday, March 10, 2011
So we are still settling here in Abbotsford. This coming week, we will be knocking down our living room/kitchen wall to connect our bedroom to the rest of the basement suite while expanding the kitchen a bit. This is pretty exciting because this tiny kitchen is in desperate need of cupboard space and the wall coming down will help. :)
Other walls are coming down, too. Walls of miscommunication that have grown over 9 years of marriage between Tim and me are beginning to crumble. Walls of fear and insecurity are slowly coming apart, too. Tim and I are realizing just how weak and unstable our foundations have been and how hard they are tumbling down. We are so grateful we serve a God of restoration.
Speaking of restoration, we are excited for tomorrow evening. We were connected with a couple in their 80s at our church who have a ministry mentoring couples. Tomorrow night, we have the privilege of meeting with them while my dear friend, Arnica, babysits. I cannot begin to tell you what an incredible blessing it is that they are willing to meet us and how amazing it is that God even provided Arnica to watch our kids.
We had a interesting week regarding restoration. One of our dearest friends, whom you have read about on here, I am sure, came all the way from Ontario via New Zealand to visit us. Aunt Sylvia, of the famous Uncle Bob and Aunt Sylvia, stayed with us for a few days just to BE with us. Her presence was deep deep refreshment for our spirits.
This was the first time we had seen her since the death of Uncle Bob, so it was a time to share each other's grief, but also share the wonderful memories we had together. You see, Uncle Bob and Aunt Sylvia were our precious mentors, but even more than mentors, they were our spiritual parents....our dearest friends. Uncle Bob passed away suddenly when we were in the Philippines, and I can honestly say, his absence has been incredibly painful.
However, having Aunt Sylvia here seemed so comfortable....even without her other half, she was whole. And she wholly devoted herself to blessing us. She held the kids while I got work done around the house, she helped with chores, she did laundry, cooked, played cards, made espresso and encouraged us. She walked through our house with us praying over each room for the Holy Spirit to take over and cried with me as I shared Tim and my current journey. We had an amazing time of dedicating our new home to Jesus. I needed that time with her. God knew that and I am so grateful she came.
Sorry this post is so scattered, I am busy listening to my tantrumming Promise in the bath tub and Tim trying to explain to her that it's almost time to get out of the tub and stop playing "hi-one" (basically playing dolls with Little People). I love my family.
Promise continues to astound me. Though she has reached the TERRIBLE part of the 'terrible twos', she is so very smart and creative. Her giggles and silly songs make every tantrum worth it. While I cannot seem to get her to eat anything but cheese, yogurt, bread, pesto pasta and chicken nuggets, she LOVES to cook and help with all the daily chores.....though I have to follow behind her cleaning up her cleaning. :)
She often talks of Jesus and believes with all her heart that He lives inside of her. She talks to him everyday. We also do a Bible study together that she gets from her children's church every Sunday. She asks if we can go to church almost every morning. I love that she is loving Jesus. She even thought the furniture delivery guy with the long curly hair and dark beard was Jesus and was so very excited he had come to bring Grandma Christina a table. :)
Toby just cut his first tooth and still explodes from his southern orifice greater than anything I have ever known (this coming from a midwife!). He loves to wrestle and is already fitting into 12-18 month clothing at just 8 months. He is so cuddly and sweet. He is saying "Da-Da" lots now and has learned to fart with his lips, which he is so very proud of. While he still cannot crawl, he is RUNNING after Promise in his mind.....his eyes are always following her and you can see he is just itching to get up!
I guess I should stop writing now. Anybody reading this anyways?
So that's what God has been up to the last two weeks in the Stewart home in Abbotsford.
We are clinging to Haggai 2:6-9....the passage God has given us for this season at home.
Be blessed. I will make sure there are pictures in the next post.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Sorry about the last post....or lack thereof. It was supposed to tell you that we were moving, but my computer broke and because Tim takes his to work everyday, I have to quickly check e-mail and blog on Tim's iPad before Promise gets wind of it. However, the iPad doesn't do blogger. Sadness. So all you got was a title. Sorry.
So I am currently writing on Tim's computer....in our new home in Abbotsford. :) Our basement suite has quickly transformed from an empty 3 bedroom 1.5 bath stranger's place to a homey, busy, and bright toddler land....complete with a very happy Promise and a giddy Toby. They love their new home....as do I. It's the perfect size for us and with upcoming renovations to the kitchen, it will be quite nice.
While the transition has been tough, we're excited for the future here in Abbotsford. I met with the women's pastor from our new church today and she seems very eager to connect me with a mentor and get me involved in the women's groups. I am so excited to see how the Lord provides community here.
Tim wrote a brief newsletter to play a bit of catch up....Complete with pics from our new home.
Here it is: