Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Blessed Be Your Name

Awhile back a men's gospel group came to our church (I can't remember what they were called anymore!) and one of the men shared part of his testimony and I thought I would share it here. I'm not 100% on the timeline details but you'll get the general gist. For the sake of "storytelling", we'll call the husband and wife Jim & Sue.

Jim & Sue had been married for over 10 years and had never been able to get pregnant. Jim's dad was sooo looking forward to being a Grandpa but unfortunately he passed away about 5 years into Jim & Sue's marriage. Finally after about 13 years of trying to conceive a miracle happened - they were pregnant! They were incredibly joyful, ecstatic and thrilled. Until they lost the baby when she was already about 5 months along. They were absolutely devastated. Why would God give them this miracle and then take it away? Why even give them the hope?

One night, Jim had a dream - a vision really. He dreamed of his dad up in heaven. His dad was rocking their baby - joyful, ecstatic and thrilled. And in the dream his dad said "Thank you Jim, for finally making me a Grandpa."

A few years later, Jim & Sue had a healthy baby girl.

I was in absolute tears in church when this man shared his story. It totally hit me because I too have a dad in heaven who is, right now, enjoying being a Grandpa to the 2 babies we never knew.

Blessed Be Your Name - Tree63

Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be Your name

Monday, 30 July 2007

For Women Only

OK, in case any guys happen to read this blog, consider yourself forewarned - this post is for women only! But don't worry, as long as you don't follow the link below you won't be embarrassed.

Probably many of you have never heard of these - I found out about them about a year ago, and when necessary, this is absolutely the only thing I use or will ever use from now on. I LOVE it! I have the Diva and love it. Check out the following links for details.

Cup Comparisons and FAQ type answers.

The Diva is available in Winnipeg - see Store Locator on their website for details (that's why I bought that one).

I truly cannot recommend them too much. Fabulous, fabulous product!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Honour Your Husband Challenge

Well, this challenge officially ended on Monday, but I'm trying to make my goals habits. The one I need to work on the most is praying for Nathan. I need to work on my prayer life in general! I think I need an "Honour Jesus Challenge" - often our spiritual lives end up at the low end of the totem pole in our list of priorities.

I am thrilled that I participated in this challenge, thanks to Christine for starting the challenge - I'm sure husbands everywhere thank you too!

Having concrete goals definitely helped me. As well as publishing them publicly - talk about being held accountable!

It just helped me realize once again how blessed I am. It made me realize that we (sadly) need to make an effort to show love to the ones we live with, instead of just giving our best to the stranger down the street or the friend on the phone.

Well, I hear my "baby" waking up now, so we'll leave it at that!

8 Interesting Things About Me

I have been tagged by Tara to do write "8 interesting things about me."

The Rules: “Each person posts the rules before their list, then they list 8 things about themselves. At the end of the post, that person tags and links to 8 other people and then visits those peoples’ sites and comments letting them know that they have been tagged, and to come read the post, so they know what they have to do.”

1. I have had 3 different last names. I was born with my first last name. After my first dad died, my mom remarried and I was adopted by my new dad and so I got my 2nd last name. And after I got married my last name changed again. For the last time!!!

2. I lived in a tent for 2 months during a Teen Missions trip - this partly explains why I now hate camping/tenting.

3. I have been pregnant 6 times. We have 3 children and 1 on the way. Again, the last one - at least that's OUR plan.

4. I won the Governor General's Bronze Medal in Grade 12.

5. I completely my ARCT (piano performance degree) the same year I graduated from high school.

6. I took 1 yr of University in the Faculty of Education - I was double majoring in Math and French. I wanted to teach high school. Then I dropped out of university to get married and have kids. OK, we waited almost 5 yrs to have kids, but still. :)

7. We bought a piano for our 2nd year anniversary - and Nathan surprised me with an additional gift - an anniversary ring to match his wedding band. Of course, now that I lost the diamond in my wedding ring, that anniversary ring is now being used as my wedding band.

8. My middle name is Michelle. And my sister's name is Michelle. And no, Michelle's middle name is NOT Tammy.

Well, since I think all the bloggy people I know have already been tagged, I guess I can't tag anyone. Unless you're randomly reading my blog - in which case, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Honour Your Husband challenge - Update #2

Well, it's not Monday, but here's my update anyway - better late than never right?

#1 - Greeting Nathan at the door with a fairly clean house. Well, as long as "fairly" is in there, then I think I've done a good job at this one. :)

#2 - Praying for him - I've done better at this, but still have a ways to go. How come so many of us seem to be struggling with this one?

#3 - Complimenting him - check! But I don't think you can ever do this too much - so technically, still more to work on!

#4 - Being cheerful, in spite of being pregnant - I asked Nathan if he'd noticed if I'd been more cheerful this past week - and he had! So, I guess I've been doing a good job. This will however, need to be a daily priority in order to maintain. So, still gotta focus!

Hmmm, I think I should add another goal, seeing as I did that last week too.

#5 - Offering free massages - especially necessary working the hours he is now. Who doesn't appreciate a good backrub?!

I think the biggest thing I've "learned" or perhaps had reinforced since I do know it already, is that true love (insert romantic sigh here) is no fairy tale. It's thinking of the other person ahead of yourself. It's being selfless especially when you feel like being selfish. It's going the extra mile. It's looking for ways to express itself better all the time.

And that means going completely against the grain of what society is trying to sell us. And it's so easy to get sucked into this "me first" philosophy without even realizing it.

After all the Word says it best.

Love is patient,
love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
1st Corinthians 13 - The LOVE Chapter

A new goal perhaps? Strive to be able to insert our names instead of "love". What a world it would be!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Small Group Family Night

We joined a Small Group in our church just over a year ago and we've really been enjoying it. Yesterday we had a family night for the first time and it was awesome!!

There are 6 couples and it actually worked for all of us to be there. Each couple has exactly 3 children (though we're going to be spoiling that one!) and out of the 18 children a whopping 13 of them are girls! So, our girls had an absolute blast! And because there were a few older children in the group it was a blast for us as parents because it was almost like having free babysitters! :) And their backyard was awesome - complete with a pool, play structure and a huge hill the kids loved to run up and down. Maybe we should do this every Sunday!

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Child sponsorship

Child sponsorship and missionary sponsorship is something that I feel is so vitally important. Two organizations that I have the utmost respect for are Compassion and Gospel for Asia. Compassion is unashamedly a Christian organization and they promote a real relationship with your sponsored child. I think it's so important for our kids to realize how fortunate they/we are, and that with that blessing comes the responsibility to help others.

Our children love writing our sponsored child. They pray for him every single day and talk about him a lot. We have had the honor and privilege of receiving letters from him where he ends the letters signing "your son Jonathan" at the bottom. We have pictures he's drawn and he has artwork from our kids and pictures of us. We have had the joy of seeing the gifts he's received as a result of our investment in his life.

Some thoughts to ponder.....

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep you are richer than 75 percent of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace you are among the top 8 percent of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still married you are very rare, even in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful you are blessed, because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them, or even touch them on the shoulder you are blessed because you can offer healing touch.

If you can read this message you are more blessed than more than two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

I highly suspect that everyone reading this meets the qualifications to be in the top 8% of the world's wealthy. We truly have soooo much. And with abundance comes responsibility to help those less fortunate, to share with those in need, to do something for the least of these.

And, quite frankly, I think we benefit from sponsorship even more if we have to sacrifice a bit ourselves in order to do so.

Gospel for Asia is another great organization. We sponsor 2 missionaries in India. With GFA, 100% of your donation goes directly to the missionary to support him/her first while they complete their training, and then while they are out on the mission field - a dangerous one at that. You can also purchase other items for any of their missionaries such as a bike, Bibles or even a church! I'd encourage you to request their free book - Revolution in World Missions - I've read it and it's an amazing read - I challenge you to read it too!

If you haven't yet, check out these organizations - it could change your life just as much (if not more) as those you are helping.

For interests sake - I added a poll to my blog today. Do you sponsor a child? (It doesn't have to be through Compassion).

Monday, 9 July 2007

Honour Your Husband Challenge - Update #1

OK, I'm finally updating the progress I've made on the goals I set 2 weeks ago.

1. Greeting him at the door - this I've done very well. I want to add to this goal - make sure the house is relatively clean and clutter free when Nathan gets home. I always say I can have the house totally clean and then 5 mins later it's a mess again. But I want to make the goal to have those 5 minutes coincide with his arrive home time. I know he appreciates that.

2. Praying for him - this I haven't done as well as I hoped. I want to get the book, Power of a Praying Wife, but I haven't yet and I know I'm not likely to get it before the end of this challenge. But for now, I will make this goal more of a priority on my own. I'll still get the book though - because, challenge or no challenge it's always good to pray more.

3. Complimenting him - I think I've done a pretty good job of this one but I will continue to make it a priority. If I can manage to do it publicly, within his hearing that would be great!

Here's a little public praise. We just went away this past weekend and when we went shopping he often took all 3 girls with him so I could shop by myself. That was awesome!

I want to add a 4th goal this week.
4. Being cheerful. Due to still being in the throes of 1st trimester delight, I have the tendency to be a little on the crabby side by the time Nathan gets home. Especially as we're building another house again, my days at home with the kids are pretty long so I feel really tired by the end of the evening. But I need to give my best to him too and not just the girls. So, I want to complain less, be more cheerful and show him I really do appreciate him and enjoy being with him - because I do! So I'm going to show it more.

Stay tuned for more progress reports as the weeks go by!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Belly Picture

Can you believe that I am actually less than 11 weeks pregnant in this picture? And it was only taken after lunch - by the time supper is over I look even bigger! :)

Hmmmmmm, strawberries!!

Strawberries are my favourite fruit of all time. And it is now officially strawberry season - woohoo!

The first day of picking was on Saturday, but when I asked Nathan about it he said he wouldn't have time to go on Saturday because they wanted to get all the trusses up on our new house - with the goal to have the framing finished before next weekend. And, being the good wife that I am, I didn't bug him about it because I knew that he would go during the week sometime before work :)

BUT, Saturday morning he walks into our room with 4 pails of strawberries - what a surprise! And this morning he took Emma and they picked 3 more pails. She then got to go with Dad and Grandpa to the hotel for breakfast before they left to work on our house. She had a blast. What a great guy, eh?

Strawberries in cereal (Cheerios for me of course)
Strawberries and ice cream
Strawberry pie!!! (courtesy of Nathan's mom)
Strawberries by themselves

Hmmm, hmmmm good. Excuse me while I go eat another strawberry!


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