Sunday, May 24, 2009


I've been contemplating Isaiah 28:23-29 this morning. On first glance, it seems to be fairly non-teaching, just a text about farming and how farmers are taught wisely by God to know what to do with each crop and how to grow them. It's deeper than that though.

Jesus spoke about farming while He was here. Two instances in particular come to mind - Luke 8:4-15 when He teaches the parables of the seeds; and John 4:34-38 where He is speaking to the disciples about the "fields" being ready to harvest.

They tied together in my heart as I was reading this morning.

God prepares my heart to hear His word by plowing it, turning it over and loosening it up so that the seeds can take root, drink water and grow. When soil is hard and packed down, the seeds cannot penetrate the ground, the water runs off the top and seeds that do make it into the ground cannot grow easily.

Once the soil of my heart has been loosened, plowed up, then God can plant His seeds in me. The seeds can be almost anything - repentance, truth, justice, mercy, love, patience, faith, hope, joy, trust... the list goes on. Then He waters them, weeds them and tends to them to make sure they have the best growing opportunity. To ensure my heart has everything it needs to flourish and prosper under His care. He does not walk away and come back to see what grew, He carefully tends the fields until it is time for the harvest. Sometimes, the seeds don't "take". Sometimes weeds spring up and crowd out some of the seeds, but He doesn't give up on me. For the next growing season, He will plant the seeds again.

At the right time, when the fields are perfectly ripe, then He will come in and harvest the crop. After the harvest comes the threshing. Interestingly enough, Isaiah points out that each harvest is treated differently. black cumin & cumin are gently threshed with a light stick or a flail - they cannot be beaten harshly or it ruins the grain. Grain for bread (wheat, etc.) is threshed under wheels, but it too is not beaten "pulverized".

The promise is that He will not destroy me while He grows in me the good things that I need. He knows the differences between each of us and knows what each heart needs to grow and to be right with Him. We can trust our hearts to Him because He knows what we need and will never destroy or damage us. If we are wheat, we will be threshed under a wheel, if we are cumin, under a flail or light stick.

It is safe to let God do a good work in me. It may not be totally painless, but it is safe. I will come out on the other end without all the excess baggage or protective shell, free to live, love and serve Him. That is what I want. What about you?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Goal planning

I am excited. I have made plans for singing this summer, I have new songs to learn and a program to put together. I'm excited about that. I am stretching my wings and soaring again.

Too often we get caught up in the day to day necessities for existence that we set our dreams aside, forgetting to focus on them and neglecting to work towards them. I need to change that. It's not working for me very well.

I recently purchased the book "7 Habits of Happy Kids" for my boys. We are all enjoying reading the stories. The first two habits - to make goals and to have a plan. What simple, yet highly helpful advice! C has made goals already. He wants to buy a new crane because his old one broke and he misses it. I'm not buying it out of a need to teach him to treat his toys with respect and take care of them, so he had to come up with a plan to buy it. He is now responsible for taking all our bottle recycling to the basement storage until we have enough to take to the bottle depot. He has to split the proceeds 50/50 with A so it may take a while to get enough collected, but he'll get there and he'll appreciate the crane more for it. I'm proud of him. As soon as there is a bottle or container in the kitchen, he runs it right down to the basement. I may have to do weekly bottle depot runs to make him feel like he's getting somewhere, but it's worth the extra effort on my part and it's giving him something to be responsible for and teaches him and me that he can be relied on.

He's teaching me a lesson too. How often do I want something, but neglect to plan for it? I'm planning for the summer now. I'm preparing for what I want. The sooner I begin practicing my songs, the better I will sing them before a crowd. Of course, it's not a sure thing and sometimes our plans go awry anyway, but if I don't plan, I won't succeed.

Are you setting goals and making plans to achieve them? I challenge you to write out your goals today, then pick at least one and make a plan to accomplish it. It's changed my outlook, and I bet it changes yours too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Taking Time

I took the day off yesterday. See, I haven't been feeling that great, unable to focus for long periods of time, tired, ill, generally blah. Most of us, when feeling that lousy would call in sick to work, drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest and be fine by the next day. Unfortunately, I don't usually get that option - as most other stay-at-home Mom's can attest. It doesn't really matter how I feel, my job is there waiting for me, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I get some breaks on weekends because I am blessed to have a husband who helps, but most of the time, it falls on my shoulders - without complaint, mind you, because I totally LOVE my job!! :)

Regardless, yesterday I "called in sick". I needed a day off. I did absolutely nothing. I slept in until 9:30, ate breakfast and went back to bed. I got up for lunch and went back to bed. I got up to make and eat supper and after the kids were asleep, went back to bed. I really enjoyed my day. M took care of the kids and they let me rest. They came to say "hi" occasionally, A especially came to make sure I was still there every now and then, but they enjoyed their "Daddy" day.

What did it teach me? It's okay if I am not available for every moment of the day, to mediate every dispute. It's okay for me to take care of myself too, it makes me better able to take care of those around me who rely on me every minute of every day. I also learned that my husband is good with the kids and I honour him when I walk away saying "I know you can do this. You are a good Dad and I trust you." There are other benefits.

Today, I am not feeling 100% better, but I am out of bed! ;) That's a good start. I can get things done, focus on something for longer than a few minutes and my family is none the worse for wear for my days absence. It's almost amazing that I can disappear for a while without everything falling apart.

At Choices they teach that we need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. Unfortunately, all too often I justify my inability to let go. I allow self-defeating behaviour to let me think that I am too necessary, that they can't get along without me. The truth is that, unless I take care of myself, I can cause damage to those I love the most. That I am better able to care for my children and my spouse when I am first refreshed and healthy.

I will be taking more days off in the future. Taking more time to myself when the opportunity arises, because I have learned that I am better for it and that my family is better for it. It will make me a better Wife and Mom and it will make my family a stronger unit.

It is a good lesson to have learned. I encourage you to make sure you are doing what you need to to take care of you. Not until you take care of yourself can you take care of the others in your life. You do them a favour when you are at your healthiest, happiest best.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thanks to Recover Your Joy, I am pondering childhood messages this morning. As a child someone told me I talked too loud, so I made a decision to speak quieter - to the point that now people have trouble hearing me, especially my husband. I am making an effort to speak louder, and I often have to shrug off hurt feelings when he doesn't hear me or notice that I'm working on it. I also have to readjust to the feeling that I'm yelling when I speak louder.

It's hard to break those voices and habits that were formed as children. The voices speak louder than reality sometimes.

I need to be more aware of my reactions and feelings to be sure they are reasonable in the situation. It's annoying to not be able to hear someone - I also get frustrated when I can't hear someone very often, so it's reasonable that others would get frustrated with me.

It's all in perspective. To my head, I talk loudly, to others ears, I talk too softly. Reality is, there is a happy medium and I am searching for that space.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Psalm 103 (you can look it up at details the blessings in life, the ones that really matter, the ones that are constant and are offered to everyone. I am blessed because God loves me, because He saves me, because He rescues me. So are you. It doesn't matter where we come from, what we do or what mistakes we make along our pathway. What matters is that at some point we look up and say "Wow! You did that for me? Thank you." To take the gift that He is offering and to run with it, clinging to it because our very lives depend on it.

I was talking with a friend today who is struggling greatly, and yesterday I was sharing with another friend and both conversations reminded me that we have to keep our lives in perspective. The things that I have gone through in life are nothing compared to what others have gone through and sometimes what I have gone through are more than others can imagine. Yet, we each have suffered. We each have gone through things that are devastating and disastrous to us. Just because I have suffered greatly does not diminish what you have suffered and what you have suffered does not diminish what I have suffered. Each of us is affected differently by our own life experiences. We each respond in varying ways to the stimuli and stresses surrounding us. What drives one person to drugs or alcohol, another to success, another to suicide, another to isolation and fear, it can be the same trigger. But for the grace of God....

What's my point? God has it all under control. There is a purpose and a reason to everything. Sometimes we get to chose the battle we are to undergo, sometimes we are thrown into it by another persons actions. It doesn't matter how we get there, what matters is that when we are in the thick of it we are not alone. As a Christian family, we are to stand when our members are fighting. Truthfully, there is never a moment when a member is not fighting. If I am to be able to stand and fight beside you when you feel like you are sinking, I need to know that you are in the midst of a battle. If you are to fight for me, I must let you know that I am in the midst of a battle. Yet, even if we fail each other by not sharing the battle or not being willing or able to step up and fight beside each other, God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will always be beside us to fight with us or for us. When I fall on my face in the mud, too weak to stand, then He is not hesitant (if I desire it) to cover me and fight for me, helping me rise when I have caught my breath.

5 ... for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper,
and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Hebrews 13:5, 6

How about you? Are you willing to stand by your friends, the people in your community to go to battle with and for them when they are in the midst of a trial? Will you remember to pray diligently for each other? I am recommitted today to fight battles for those whom God has set on my heart to fight for, to reach out to others in my community without judgment or criticism. I pray there are others willing to do the same for me.

God bless you. Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Garden of our Hearts

I was gardening today. We know 2 people who are landscapers and they have inspired me. My neighbour gave me seeds yesterday letting me know that I need to get busy with them. I don't think she realizes how much of a green thumb I am NOT. :)

I decided to start by pulling weeds and cleaning out my flower beds. While I was digging the grass out of my flower beds I thought about how much God has to do that in our lives too. We have some beautiful grass that grows in one corner of the garden and as I looked at it, I decided it needed to be cut back and thinned out some before it took over the flowers growing nearby. Charlie wanted to know why I was cutting out grass that belonged in the garden and it gave me a golden opportunity to share with him that our bad feelings and thoughts are like that grass. It's okay to have your feelings and to experience them, but if we allow our anger, fear, and other emotions to overgrow into our good experiences and feelings, then we don't have a beautiful heart anymore. The same if I was to allow that grass to take over the garden. I wouldn't have a beautiful flower garden any longer, all I would have is a bed of tall grass. No matter how pretty it is, I like the flowers better than the grass.

I have been feeling out of sorts lately. I can chose to allow those feelings to overtake my heart and my actions, or I can change my state to breathe in freedom, patience and joy. Just making a move, taking an action, I have begun the process to give myself freedom to appreciate my life, the good and the bad. There will always be "grasses" that try to take over ever aspect of my heart, but I can chose to control it, to cut it back and keep it in the corner where it belongs. And, should it ever grow too fast out of my control, I can call in the Master Gardener and He will come care for me, cutting it out of my life and even removing it completely from my garden if I am willing for Him to do whatever is necessary for my own good.

I pray that you too will be willing to cut out the excess "grass" in your heart and, if it seems too much to bear, then I beg you to invite Jesus into your heart and your life to cut out those grasses for you.

God bless you today.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Yesterday in church our pastor spoke on what it means to answer God's call and minister for Him. This a call that each and every person receives - God has a job or a place for everyone. Some are called to small roles, some are called to big roles, but everyone is called. How do we respond when we are called? Some respond with "No thanks, I'm too busy" or "I'm too good for that role, I want something bigger" or "I can't do that!" and the rest respond with "yes Lord, send me".

I want to be in the "Yes Lord, send me" group, no matter what He asks me to do. As Pastor H pointed out yesterday, serving God is a privilege, an honour, not a right. It does not make God owe me one just because I served where He called. Too many times we do the work God asks of us and then go around feeling like we deserve more from God than we get. I don't deserve any good thing, but God gives me good things because He loves me.

16Don't be fooled, my dear friends.
Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father
who created all the lights in the heavens.
He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing.
He wanted us to be his own special people,
and so he sent the true message to give us new birth.
James 1:17 (Contemporary English Version)

Having a purpose, a goal and a job is a good thing and is a gift. God has given me a calling and for that I am grateful, thankful that He has chosen me to help Him do His work. How do you react when God calls you and gives you a purpose?

Friday, May 1, 2009


I must apologize. I've a houseful of company and my posts will likely not return until Monday next week. Thanks for your patience, your reading and your words of encouragement.

See you Monday!