Monday, September 1, 2014

a new beginning...

today we start our journey in home-schooling. (homeschooling? or home-schooling? who knows.)

I do have to say I'm very very excited. We spent the last week completely organizing our home (like, fine-tooth-comb style). We got rid of 100 useless (to us) things and brought in nothing to replace them. That felt great!
I have bins of supplies, ziplocs full of stickers & binders with endless notes -- I am feeling as ready as I think I can feel when beginning a journey like this.

Homeschooling... I never thought we would do it, but here we are!

If you are in our life (or, even if you are not!), we would love your prayers for a fun & efficient year. I really do feel that this is what God wants, right now, for our family and mainly for J, so I am feeling truly expectant that the Lord will have His hand on us as we learn together & that it will be a blessing to all of us.

I was joking around with the girls from our youth group the other night that my biggest prayer is that I will be able to follow along with the Kindergarten academics! I say it mostly as a joke, but I've been boldly reminded of how much learning you really have to do when you teach.  (I realized that first as a voice teacher, had it reiterated to me as a youth leader & now feel that the point will be truly driven home as this next chapter of our life begins.).

So, friends, as I said, we would love it if you would pray for us; and as we move into life as a homeschool family, I remember these precious verses:

"Delight yourself in the Lord & He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, August 23, 2014

28 before 28 on the 28th!

each year I keep a list of things I would like to do the following year. I love fresh starts, monday mornings, new beginnings - and I also like a good list-making session.

this year I will turn 28 on October 28th; a fact that I can either stress out about (28 feels OLD!) or celebrate! i've also always thought it would be cool, turning 28 on the 28th.

all that to say... i thought i'd indulge in a little list-making & share with you online-amigos the 28 things I've been wanting to before I turn 28 on the 28th.


1. Read a good book.
2. Lose 20lbs (11 down - 9 to go!)
3. Watch Pride & Prejudice.
4. Research some family history. (mission ventured! Thanks ancestry.com & some impeccable record-keepers through the centuries!)
5. Get family portraits done.
6. Perform a song I've written. (Hmm...maybe we will get there.)
7. Go to a zoo or aquarium. (I somehow have never been to either before. We did the aquarium with Jakob & my mom this Spring- the perfect little day!)
8. Go natural with my hair for a little while. (Doing! This inspired the sharing of this list tonight.)
9. Play banjo...better! (getting there!)
10. Do something magical & exciting with Jakob. (His first time at the VIEX this year and he LOVED every minute! Simple, but magical for him!)
11. Read through the Bible again. (almost finished, we are entering the home stretch here in Timothy now).
12. Sew something.
13. Knit a scarf.
14. Make Julia Child's beef bourguinion. 
15. Grow a successful garden.
16. Discover a new artist to listen to. (For those of you who haven't heard her... listen yo-self some Ellie Holcomb!)
17. Keep a blog up-to-date. (what do I write about/focus on?)
18. Host a worship night for BC Teen-Challenge. 
19. Go camping again.
20. Do a personal Bible study on a book of the Bible.
21. Drink more tea. Thank you David's Tea for moving in! New favourite -- watermelon mint iced tea. Mmmmm.
22. Just plain old try something new! I went TUBING the other week with friends and I tell you -- I haven't enjoying something so much in a long time! -- and I enjoy a LOT of things! What FUN!)
23. Watch "The Color Purple".
25. Do something in water colour. 
26. Do something extraordinary.
27. Wear lipstick sometimes.
28. Teach Jakob to read. (we are close. soooo close!)

So there we have it - what 27 has held & hopefully will still hold in these last few months of it!

Some things I want to do in my 28th year include making a quilt, going on a family vacation (non music/work related) & heading to Nashville again.


Let me know if YOU have done any of these things!

Monday, March 10, 2014

come to Jesus



it always amazes me how God works, through prayer. It shouldn't; because this is the Maker of the universe, in whom I place my total faith -  it shouldn't surprise me that He is able to fulfill His promises to me...and yet, here we are.

last night, after a busy couple of days, I just sat down to read God's word & pray. the breath I took when I sat down there was a heavy, tired one; I knew before doing anything else, even before reading the Word, I needed to pray. After spending time sat down with the Lord just, conversing, sharing & laying out my heart; my burdens and weariness were lifted from me. It sounds so typical of a Christian to word it that way, but I truly felt lighter as I left all of those things at God's feet.

That's what He is here for, to make our burden easier.

Matthew 11:28 - "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden & I will give you rest."

&

John 10:10 - "...I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full".

Those are words that Jesus actually said, and, if you believe in Him, those sentences above are ones I suggest you rest in & take to heart.

Come to Jesus, rest in Him & allow Him to take your burden (your stress, worries, tiredness...) away. He didn't die on the cross so that we could have many verses to quote, or so that we would spend our days tired & stressed out.... He came, He lived, He died... so that we could live life to the fullest! Leave your burdens, leave your weariness in His worthy hands and see what He will do with them... He will remove them from you, He will (He DID) take them upon Himself and allow you to be free...

I'm so very thankful for my time in prayer last night, as it reminded me of how very strong & capable my Lord is. I'm so thankful for a time of rest with the King of the universe...

I wake up today feeling refreshed and ready for the week. Ready to be sensitive to God's calling me & to go where He wants me to go. Ready to live life to the full, with all last week's stresses in the rear view mirror, rather than piling up on my dashboard.

Chris Rice wrote:
"Weak & wounded sinner, lost and left to die; oh raise your head for Love is passing by.
Come to Jesus, come to Jesus & live...
now your burden's lifted and carried far away, His precious blood has washed away the stain...
so sing to Jesus, sing to Jesus, sing to Jesus & live."

It goes on to say that in every situation, come to Jesus... & I agree. Today, just come to Jesus for everything you need, rest, encouragement, love, forgiveness...come to Jesus!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

rushing wind


I grew up listening to Keith Green's music. Songs like "You are the One" & "He'll Take Care of the Rest" filled my heart; and the sound of me singing them out, loud & strong, filled our home. I had almost all of his lyrics memorized and sang a good handful of them at church when the time came around to prepare a solo. His music was (& is) a big part of my life.

Right near the end of one of his CD's, there sits a song called "Rushing Wind". The lyrics go like this:

Rushing wind blow through this temple
Blowing out the dust within
Come and breath Your breath upon me
I've been born again

Holy Spirit, I surrender
Take me where You want to go
Plant me by Your living waters
Plant me deep so I can grow

Jesus, You're the One who set my spirit free
Use me, Lord, glorify Your holy name through me

It goes like that & then there is this beautiful, stirring, piano solo the plays afterwards, taking us back to more beautiful lyrics.

Such a beautiful song...and yet it was one I ignored. I almost always skipped it when it came on and I never paid it any attention.

But now...
It's so close to my heart.

Tonight, I went to the front door, to see if the snow was sticking outside; and as I watched & listened to the midnight winter air, I heard this wind gently, but audibly blowing the snow all over the road. That, alone, was a beautiful thing; but what was also beautiful, was that the sound & sight brought me right to Keith Green's song, Rushing Wind.

Rushing wind, blow through this temple, blowing out the dust within. 

And suddenly it made sense to me. (The song, that is...) The whole thing came alive. Those lyrics are so my prayer, especially in this busy season of my life...  (raising a 4-year-old, working on my music as my career, spending time on youth and other church work, keeping a home & marriage, etc.) . Rushing wind. - Jesus, blow through my heart & clear away the dust. Renew & refresh my passions and come alive again to me.
"Jesus, You're the One who set my spirit free...Use me, Lord, glorify Your holy name through me".

The whole thing is just such a beautiful prayer.

I love finding something new & fresh in something that I have already known for twenty years.
That is just like our life with God. He is always revealing new things to us and is able to be absolutely everything we need.

If you get the chance to listen to this song, do. I hope it will refresh your soul, like it has mine.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

oh deer...


A little deer wandered onto our lawn on Sunday and...much to the chagrin of local folk, we fed her an apple because she was oh so small (maybe....30lbs?) and oh so young (she looked quite newborn, actually). The rest of that day she came by about 4 more times, just to watch us and see if there were anymore apples for her...

We often have deer on our lawn, and we know that feeding them attracts other unwanted furry-friends like bear, and more recently to our area, cougar... but this little one has been parent-less for a few days now and we couldn't resist.

My son named her Sarah and has been talking about her ever since.

I love watching his sweet desire to care for her, and I love that that sense is in him at age four. This season we all seem to be more and more open to taking people into our hearts & homes. Like my 4-year-old caring for this sweet deer, we bring hampers of food to people in need, donate toys to children less-fortunate than ours & share portions of our paycheques with charities of all kinds. We want to do good...but why just in this last month of the year?

My challenge for myself (and join me if you feel this way, too!) is to extend that loving hand each month.

I'm no good at New Year's Resolutions...which is why my bank account doesn't have the savings I aspire to, I haven't cooked one new meal each week from Julia Child's cook book & my dress size has stayed pretty much the same since last December!  So...instead of writing resolutions on how I can better my life or change things in my home...I'm going to write a list of 12 doable & attainable acts of love, kindness or charity that I can do throughout the year; one for each month...and really try to keep the heart of my very favourite season - a season where 4-year-olds take in baby deers as their pets & adults show love in a more real way - beating all year 'round.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

favourite things


my friends & I have come into a great tradition of throwing a twice-yearly favourite things party
these parties are fun to throw, exciting to go to & such a sweet concept.

if you know me well, you know I love to throw a good party; i love to decorate, make treats, set things up all pretty, host my friends...i just love to be festive, for any reason! and you would also know that I love girl-time! so this party suits me just fine! it's a party that you can literally throw at any time of the year with any assortment of friends!  i have a few friends who also bring some of their friends who i often don't know, and it is such a comfortable "ice-break-y" type of get together that you can really get to know people without any awkward-ness or typical small talk that may occur during a regular party.

so... i'm sure there are a few people out there who have never heard of a favourite things party! so this is how it works: (best described as I read it on this blog)

Each person brings their favorite thing (anything you like.. your favorite lip gloss, favorite kitchen tool, favorite gift wrapping supply, a gift card for your favorite local cafe, etc.). It can't cost more than $6, and each person brings five of the same thing. When you arrive at the party, you write your name on five slips of paper and throw them in a big bowl. The bowl is passed around, and each person takes five names (making sure you don't pick your own.. or two of the same name).
One at a time each person introduces their favorite thing and then reads the five names they picked from the bowl, passing out their gift to those five guests. After everyone at the party has presented their favorite thing, each person should end up with five gifts to take home. It's always interesting to see what people choose, and some guests have started to bring a notepad and pen to jot down what people love.

The first party we had I shared the EOS circly lip balms, all in the "Sweet Mint" flavour. Mmm they are SO good and as soon as I knew I was hosting this party, I knew I wanted to share this. I can't for the life of me remember what I shared at the next (and most recent) party we had... but some of the things the other ladies shared were:
- OPI hand lotions
- handmade jam in sweet little jars
- a lovely recipe for homemade brownies
- favourite scarves
- a double-egg frying device

there have been so many nice little gifts exchanged @ these parties and so many lovely memories made & laughs shared that I know I will be hosting this party for many more years to come.

we are about to have another favourite things party this coming month and I've already got my items chosen (so exciting!), and I've shared above in the picture some other ideas I've had for giving...so now I'm curious! What would you give if you were going to a favourite things party?!

Friday, August 23, 2013

fall!


Maybe it's because I'm an October baby, or maybe because there's just something in the air during these last few weeks of August; but I am, (as is the case every year around this time) SO excited for Fall. I'm already dreaming of the cool breezes & crunching leaves. What a beautiful time. 

I truly love every season; Winter is a magical time when everyone is bundled up & joy spreads just a little farther than usual. Spring brings that feeling of change and new beginnings. Summer, a time to relax and gear down...and then there's FALL. God so knew we needed constant change & refreshing. Fall is just that: fresh, cool, brings change and new-starts.


This is what I love about Fall...

the crispness in the air
a p p l e  p i c k i n g
m  o  v  i  e    n  i  g  h  t  s
cozy sweaters
a p p l e   c i d e r
pumpkin carving parties
warming up by the fireplace
h   a  y  r  i  d  e  s
f a l l i n g    l e a v e s
starbucks pumpkin spice!
t h a n k s g i v i n g
d a y s   s p e n t   b a k i n g   i n   t h e   k i t c h e n
a l l   t h e   c o l o u r s
family pumpkin patch days
boots, hats & scarves


.......and it doesn't hurt that Fall means we are one step closer to Christmas time, because...who doesn't love a little Christmas?

What is your favourite season?