Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer life

What a hot hot summer, it has been perfect.  It has been a summer of insights, adventures, having a quiet heart (or trying too), learning where to push and learning where to let go.  I am continuing to stumble and bumble my way into the world of photography which I enjoy.  I haven't been brave enough yet to "go manual"  need to do some more reading first. It has been a summer of reading, some heavy, some lite.

It is a summer of wandering. Wandering through the book of Exodus with the Israelites,  going on road trips and hikes, daydreams, prayers, wondering what is next.  That is what summer is for isn't it?  To slow down because of the heat, to enjoy the creation God has given us, to enjoy the moment He has us in and to ask what is next as the months move on and the season changes; well actually that is probably what every season is for but summer seems to accentuate it some how.

It is also a season of waiting, waiting for the veggies in the garden to be ready to harvest.  My roommate and I planted the garden late this year, so we have to wait a little longer to enjoy the vegetables that are growing.  Waiting for the heat to break though I do enjoy it at the same time. Waiting to see how and when Abba will answer my prayers. 

Some things this summer haven't changed, I am living in the same apartment with the same crazy and wonderful roommates.  I am working the same job that surprises and challenges me almost daily, whether it is the challenge of just sticking to a routine (I love variety), the challenge and surprise of how God speaks to my heart while I am there, the challenge of being present when people call with real deep heart needs; even if all I say is, "I will pass you through to this person who can talk with you" or the odd time I get to pray with them. It continues to be a place of learning to serve and to find joy in the place of serving. 

Other things that are different, I have had some great heart revelation on how God views me and it has change again how I view myself and the people around me. Even though I haven't been home to Rapid City yet this summer, the fact that this is the first year my grandma hasn't been able to plant a garden has made me a little sad.  I remember how glorious her gardens were when I was growing up.  The fun we had picking all the vegetables when it was harvest time, all the feasting and canning.  It is a reminder that she is much older now and seasons are changing. My hair is growing out, and I haven't wanted to cut it crazy short. My mama and I have had some of the best conversations we have had in a long time. I traveled to a part of Manitoba I have never been to before and had a great time with friends, talking about God and life and enjoying great big belly laughs through it all. I went to the mountains for the first time in years.  I remember always loving the "scope for imagination" there was in the mountains when I was little.  And I think it stirred me to dream again.

To ask the Lord what He has in store for fall, to ask again what is on His heart and to ask about the dreams I have in mine. Whether He put them there or I have dreamed them up on my own.  It's not a discouraged or frustrated dreaming, well at least not most of the time.  It is more of a Lord, do you remember this?  Do I still hold on to it?  Is it time?  And do you remember when?  What do you think of this?  How does this make you feel?  Most of the time it feels like a one sided conversation, but I know He is there; sometimes I hear Him say,"just hold on to that and wait a little longer".  I think He just enjoys the talking, and I am learning to enjoy it too and to not get frustrated when I don't hear the answers. 

I have been enjoying this slow, hot, good, trying, growing, stretching,  hopeful, dream filled, waiting, adventurous, summer.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Heatwave and other things...

Well, Summer is in full swing and the temperature is rising!! Yes, I say that with glee.  I love these hot days of summer.  The days where you move slow, eat lots of fruit and curl up in front of a fan with iced tea and a good book.  

Summer has been fun and busy so far.  I was a way for a leadership training for work, during the first week of July at this place:
Picture courtesy of Google.
We had a fabulous week of hot sunny blue skied days that would cool off in the evening.  The teaching, worship and small group times were amazing.  I loved meeting so many new people and getting to know some old acquaintances better.  It was a week to go deep in the knowledge of our identity in Christ and in knowing who He is. The funnest part, the dancing!! The celebration and freedom in worship, it was so fun to just go wild and enjoy the presence of God that way!!
After the training was finished I went to Banff for the day with Jules.  I wish I could show pictures, but my computer can't hold them right now.  :-( It was a beautiful day to walk around and to visit the best candy store in the world :-)  I haven't found one better, so in my opinion I am not exaggerating.

The rest of this summer just includes enjoying those books and iced tea, working and planning for the fall and next spring, hopefully heading to Brandon and Rapid City for a visit, waiting for our veggies in the garden to grow so we can enjoy them, getting out to some of the festivals that happen here in the 'Peg each summer and of course running hard with the crew at SHOP.  

Hope you all are enjoying this heat and staying cool!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some Random thoughts

I don't have any concrete well thought out thoughts to share so I would just thought I would jump on the random blog band wagon and share some random thoughts and tidbits of life lately. 

I finally finished my *ahem* read the whole Bible in 90 days plan.... I started it last October. While this means it took me much longer then 90 days to finish, I loved the time I spent reading and really focused on the Father heart of God as I read.  Now that I am done, I have started a chronological reading plan with no real time frame, other than to stay consistent each day and finish :-)  I also am looking specifically for all the ways God purses His people as I do this reading.  It will be interesting to read God's story in order of events.  I have never done that before.

It is so hot and humid today with the promise of a thunder storm tonight.  I am really hoping that this one happens and I don't miss it.

I would like to try living in a house like this:

Sod house at Fort Whyte
...I guess I should have tried out for that Canadian pioneer reality T.V. challenge a few years back...oh well. 

I am looking forward to seeing my Mom, Neil, Gran and Grandad tomorrow and I am praying that Grandad's day surgery at St. B goes smoothly tomorrow.

I am excited for an up coming road trip this weekend. It is time to go west!  I haven't done that since I was about 11 or 12.

I heard the most exciting news today!!! But no I am not going to share, and no it isn't about me :-)

I got a fun package in the mail today! i know it is totally girlie, but it was a package of brand new make-up!  I love it. It is going to be fun to play with.  Also, for the granola girl inside of me it is completely natural and locally made/packaged...and it is gluten free! Which is good for me as I still contend for healing. 

Well that is it, I have run out of steam...enjoy your Wednesday nights! Sleep well!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Words from a friend...

Hey all,

Here is a link to my friend Dale Anderson's blog.  He just wrote a entry that expressed exactly how I have been feeling for awhile.  I have felt a little sleepy and more than a little dull.  Despite that though God has been doing amazing things, providing financially, and doing amazing things with my family.  But this blog was a good encouragement to stir myself up again and to keep pressing on. With out further adieu, here is the link!

Stir yourself up...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

One more to hit my top 10

Ok,  I have been finding such good creative music lately.  The newest Gosh Garells.  I came across his new album called "Love and War and the Sea In Between". If you like a lot of different sounds, you are in for a treat on this CD.  Country, Roots, Blues, Rap, Rock...he does it all and does it well. 

Here is one of my favorites from the Album, "Flood Waters" the lyrics are definitely inspired by Song of Solomon and Eph. 3.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Favorite

I stumbled across Sandra McCracken's music a couple of months ago and she fast became one that I listen to over and over and don't tire of.  She does some folk stuff just about every day life which I enjoy, but my real favorite right now are two Cd's that are all entirely old hymns. I love the richness, depth and amount of scripture in these hymns and I love the instrumental side of it as well. The musicianship is awesome. If you are interested in checking her stuff out for your self the two albums of hymns are called "The Builder and The Architect" and "In Feast or Fallow". Her website is:

Here is one of her songs from Builder and Architect, enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Are we ready?

This is going to be a very off the cuff response to the article I am going to share below (I read it just a few moments ago); but this article is very timely and connected to a discussion I had with a friend today. 

I was out for coffee and my friend asked me, "when did you start having a heart for the unborn?" After I thought about it a few seconds I said when I was really young.  I remember having the desire to adopt as young as 5. 

I remember having an understanding that abortion was wrong when I was in grade 8.  I had heard about abortion before then, it made me unsettled, even all the talk about it being the woman's choice.  Then in grade 8 I had a friend who asked me to go to the Planned Parenthood office with her.  I didn't know then that they helped perform abortions.  I knew she was pregnant and I thought she would go there to get support.  So, I went with her, I had no idea how she would care for the baby and I didn't know how I could be of any help, but I knew she needed someone to be with her and I wanted to help her even if it just meant being company to her appointments.  After talking with a lady there, she made another appointment for a different day; when that date came she said she didn't want me to come with her, that she wanted this other girl to go with her.  I remember later, finding her in the school bathroom huddled against the wall crying really hard.  I tried calming her. I asked her what happened, I asked if her baby was OK.  She just said "There is no baby," and cried harder. After she could calm down a bit, she left school for the rest of the day. Even though she never said directly what happened I knew what she had done.  When she came back to school she never wanted to talk about it again and tried to act as if nothing had happened. It took a long time for her to become convincing.

I remember in high school doing a play in drama class about abortion.  The setting was a woman's ward in a hospital where there were 3 different women who had just gone through an abortion.  Each of the characters responded differently.  From extreme remorse and guilt to not being phased by the decision at all.  I was chosen by our teacher to play the cold, detached, emotionless ward nurse who "didn't pass judgment on anyone", but was definitely strongly annoyed with the character who felt guilt.

I hated that character, I tried to get out of it, but it was part of my grade and the reason my teach had chose me to play that character was because it was so different from who I really was and how I really felt about the issue.  She hoped I would feel some empathy for people who really are in that nurse's position.  Instead I felt pity.  

Anyway, as I was talking with my friend, I said that my views on the issue of  LIFE have changed over the last few years.  I have come to a place where as I pray a simple prayer each week at our House of Prayer that it is not just about standing up for a cause, it is not just about getting up on a soapbox and having your opinion heard. It is not just about being a part of a big movement.  Though there is nothing wrong with those things.  

For me though, I am coming to a place where I realize that things like praying for the ending of abortion, praying for people in the church to have a heart for adoption and actually go through with it or if they can't that they at least support those who can.  Or for families to join the foster care system and love those kids hard, for as long as they have them; it is all about partnering with God's heart. It is about valuing life because He values it.  It is about valuing not just the unborn, but the kids around us that are slipping through the cracks, the women who have gone through abortion and are now dealing with the aftermath (we really need to stop looking at them like they are monsters and outcasts, but look at them as broken, sinful humans in need of Jesus - we are no better or worse then they are), about caring for those women who though about abortion and didn't go through with it, but still don't have resources to care for their child or don't want the child. It is about loving and supporting the single mom's and single dad's in our neighbourhoods.  The issue of LIFE isn't really an issue or cause, it is living life how Father and Jesus calls us to, it is high and hard standard but He will give us the grace to do it. LIFE is about making a lifestyle of pouring your life out for another and seeking God's righteous and perfect justice. 

I will stop my rant here.  I will post the article right after this last comment.  In the article, all the stats and examples are American. But the need and the question poised in the article are the same for here in Canada.  Are we ready for what happens when God answers our prayers.  At the House of Prayer here in Winnipeg, we pray each week that abortion would end in Canada, that heart's of the fathers would turn to the children, that God would have mercy on our nation and change the attitudes of doctors, nurses, government leaders, men and women.  That God  would cause laws to be changed in order to protect the unborn.  If we are praying within the will of God and with the right heart, I believe He will answer our prayers.  Are we ready for when He does.  Are we ready for the increase of children who will be spared from death, but may very will still be unwanted or unable to be cared for by their families.  As the church in Canada, are we ready to open our hearts, our homes, our wallets and lives to love these children as Father has loved us.  Are we willing to pour it all out to break the lie that they are unwanted or a burden?  To show them that their Father in heaven loves them very much and that they can have everlasting life through His son, Jesus? 

So, after all of that, here is the article, it is a very good read: Is the church ready for the abortion law to change?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Oh what a night!!

Tonight was a fabulous night to hang out with friends, to talk, play games, eat food and laugh AND to bless a family and little girl we may never meet and advance the kingdom of God!! 

Tonight was my adoption party.  Just to remind you, the idea for the adoption party was started by the writer of this blog, a lady who has a heart for the justice of God and has a heart for the orphan.  She had an idea that if 150 people had a party where they invited 9 people and that the 10 people at the party donated $20 each (at total of $200); we could raise $30,000 which would be the majority of the cost of the adoption of this little girl:

Beautiful little Anika.  She is from Eastern Europe and is HIV positive. When Love first came up with the party fundraiser idea Anika didn't have a family yet BUT in just a few short weeks Anika's family found her.  In fact they had met Anika once before in February 2011 but their adoption request was refused at time.  When they saw the tweets, blog posts, facebook messages about fundraisers for a little girl on the Reece's Rainbow website, they decided to check it out and saw it was the little girl they had tried to adopt earlier this year. So, they prayed and decided to try again.  AND GOD IS MOVING MOUNTAINS!!! They are in the process of adopting her now. 

It is so fun to be a part of this story even in just a small way. To know that God is not hindered by space, time country boundaries or country rules. It is so amazing to think that I can be in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, and be a part of something that will have an eternal impact on a little girl from Eastern Europe and a family from the USofA just by praying, hanging out with friends and giving a little bit of our finances away. It is just good plain fun I tell you!!

If you were not able to make it to the party tonight but would still like to make a donation, you can do so here You can also read the family's whole story there and get a link to the mom's blog to follow their story in more detail by clicking the link I just gave you.  

Thanks to everyone who came tonight and donated it was great fun to hang out with you and to mash that donation button and see Anika's adoption fund go up to $3198.00 after our donation.  I can't wait to see how God will move and bring the rest of the finances that this family needs and how He brings her home to her family!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger Photo Challenge Blitz!! Day 26, 27, 28, 29 AND 30!!!!

Oh I know you are excited. Don't try to hide it!  In the interest of wanting to complete this challenge and to move on in my little blogger world here I am presenting the last 5 pictures all at once.  Enjoy! 
Day 26: Something that means a lot to me: This little glass globe was given to me by a good friend as I left Korea.  It is near and dear to my heart; it is a reminder that I am being prayed for and a reminder to pray. 

Day 27: A picture of your last meal: These are leftovers from last nights supper.  Pasta with grilled zucchini and broccoli.

Day 28: A picture of something you are afraid of: Clowns and Mascots.  I don't do well at circuses or sporting events.  
Day 29: A picture that makes you smile:  I found this one in a box.  It is the cast and crew pic from my high school's rendition of Anne of Green Gables.  I remember how much work it was to get this production going, but it was worth it.  I was on the props crew and we had so much fun back stage.  I am one of the ones dressed in black in the back row if you can find me. :-)

Day 30: A picture of someone you miss: My Grandpa.  He passed away about 6 years ago now, but he was one of my heroes, and I miss having him around sometimes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adoption Party!

OK, I am going to write about something that I don't talk about a lot but is very near and dear to my heart - adoption and justice for orphans.  I came across this blog Moments with Love last year. It is the blog of a mom in the US who has an amazing heart for orphan's.

The reason I am sharing the link to her blog is because I want us to join in with something she is doing. She has a blog post about a little girl named Anika who is waiting to be adopted.  There are two "barriers" to this little girls adoption that as Love explains are not really barriers.  The first one, Anika is HIV positive.  The second, her adoption would cost $33,000.  Love had a great idea to help with the "money issue" and that is where we come in.  She explain in her blog that if,
150 people [you!] have a get together in the month of May.
they invite 9 of their friends to have a night in instead of a night out.
each of those 9 friends [and you!] bring $20 to donate to Anika's adoption fund.
150 parties x 10 people x 20 dollars = $30,000

Anika's life spared from an institution & the hope of being part 
of a loving family simply because you shared her story & had
a fun night with your friends in her honor!

I know that this little girl is many kilometers away from us, and none of us may ever meet her. But I want to put feet to the stirring that God has put in my heart for the orphan and adoption. I want to sow into the kingdom and truly partner with God's Father's heart in this one.  Let's pray that the family that is to be the forever family of this little girl will be directed to her and they will find each other. Let's sow our finances into something that can make an eternal impact in this little girl's life and that family's life.  So, if you are in the Winnipeg area, expect to get an email or phone call from me to come and join me for a fun party with a purpose.  If you read this blog and just want to invite yourself to the party go ahead and email, call, text or Facebook me and let me know you will be coming.  I will post details about time, theme etc later today.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Interupting your regularly scheduled program...

Here is a random though in the flow of pictures I have be putting on here to share bits and pieces of my life.  I was at a prayer meeting tonight and my heart was so encouraged by one line of a song we sang. It is a Luke Wood song and the line goes like this: 
"All man's empty promises lay broken at Your feet; but You have never broken one."  
I could have sang that line for hours and maybe I will some day.  What really encouraged me was the second half of the line.  He has never broken one promise.  Usually I would look at the first half and think of all the times I have failed to fulfill to the fullest measure some grandiose promise I made to the Lord, in a moment of heightened emotion, or even out of my own flesh. My reaction to that reflection would be, "Oh man, I blew it again. When will I ever get it together." But tonight my heart was captured by the only One who has never made a promise that He can't or won't fulfill.  I was reminded again that He said He would bring me through all the waters and the fire. That He would bring me to the place where I would stand pure and spotless before Him.  I was even captured by just how gracious He is towards me.  He looks past all the times I said "Lord, I am going to show you how much I love you by ______________" Or "I am going to do this or that" and then fall flat on my face.  He sees the heart that even in weakness loves Him and He delights in that heart.  Even though I haven't been able to keep all my pledges to Him, He says, I will be faithful to her heart. I will show her that I will keep my word. I will be tender towards her and bring her to the place where she rests in me.  
As I gazed on Jesus, who's every word is yes and amen, thankfulness rose in my heart. I am so thankful that my life in all seasons rests in the surety of His word and promises.   

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 24: A picture of something you wish you could change...

Even though I only have my learners and I don't own a car, I wish I knew how to change a tire.  I think it could be a valuable skill some day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 23: A picture of your favorite book

Asking a bookworm like me, to show one picture of a book is just cruel and unusual punishment. So, Instead of showing you EVERY book on my bookshelf, I will show you the ones I keep coming back to over and over.

The Bible is my first and foremost favorite. Especially the Gospel According to John. I love the life I have been getting from reading scripture lately. 

This was a favorite when I was little. I asked my mom to read it so much that she had to tape it because the spine broke.

This is an autobiography written by a couple who spent 14 months up in remote Northern B.C. and built their own cabin.  I have always kind of liked the idea of an adventure like this.

This is my favorite Narnia book.  I love the depiction of Aslan's land after the battle. "Farther up and Farther in!"

Both the Heavenly Man and The Hiding Place are stories that challenge and encourage me in how I live and how I view God.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 19: A Picture and a letter

Dear Friend,

I know it has been a long time since I have written but I hope that this letter finds you well.  How are you?  Are you enjoying this warmer weather we have been having. How's the family?

I am so enjoying the warmer weather we have been having and the fact that spring is finally here. I was starting to waver in my positive winter attitude during that last long cold spell.  But the season has changed and it is awesome! I am hoping my back yard doesn't flood too badly though, as I would like to be able to plant a garden again this year.

I haven't really done anything exciting lately, just the regular routine of life. But I did go home to visit my mom and Neil last weekend. As much as I like Winnipeg, it was nice to get out of the city and it was really good to go and see my mom and grandma.  My mom and Neil have about 10 deer living in their yard it was kind of fun to be able to watch them out of the living room window. It freaked me out one night though when I was watching t.v. and I got that creepy someone is watching you feeling. As I looked around I saw a deer about a foot away from me with its nose pressed to the glass of the window staring at me; I yelled and it ran away.  I will attach a picture or two of them so you can see how cute they were.

Oh, and I was able to buy a sewing machine and a new camera just recently so I am excited to get using them and get some creativity flowing again.  It has been a long time since I have done anything kind of artsy or crafty and I have missed it greatly.  I have lots to learn with photography but it is something I have always wanted to do so it will be fun to see how it goes.  As for the sewing I just plan on doing home type projects - curtains, some pillows, and maybe some reusable paper towels, I need to get the pattern for those though.  I will just start off slow as it has been a long time since I used a sewing machine.

Have you read any good books lately?  I would love to hear about what you are reading. I am reading this book called "Tortured for Christ". It is an autobiography written by Richard Wurmbrand.  I know the title sounds heavy, and you might be thinking why would I want to read a book like that, but it has been really good.  It is about his experiences in Communist prisons when Romania was under communist rule.  While the stories he tells are really intense, this book has taught me so much about love. I have encountered a love in this book like the love of Christ as he hung on the cross.  The type of love that allows a person to love their enemies even while their enemies are causing great pain.  As much as I love warm, sentimental feelings that come with love sometimes, I know that they are fleeting and I know that they cannot sustain you. But this other type of love, is a lifestyle choice, it is strong and true and full of substance and I know it can only come from God.  It is making me rethink what Jesus meant when He said "love others as I have loved you".  It is really making me realize that love isn't about fulfilling something in myself it is about pouring yourself out for another, it really is sacrificial, but it isn't burdensome or heavy. It is joyful, and full of freedom and it does cause your heart to be light when you are free to love like that, when you aren't overburdened by getting your due. It doesn't mean that you have to go through the same things that Richard did to really show you are loving with the love of Christ, but it might mean that you will. But it could just mean loving your family, coworkers, neighbours, the guy sitting on the corner asking for change well; pouring your love and life out for them.  I am coming to realize that once you have said yes to the love of Christ, and to walk in His way, you are on an adventure that you have no possibility of knowing what each day will look like or where it will take you. The only sure thing is, that by living a life of love, loving Christ and loving others, your reward is sure. At the end of it all you get Jesus.

Anyway, this letter took a much more serious turn then I meant it to, but those are the thoughts I have been dwelling on lately.  I should let you go though.  I hope you are enjoying the weekend, and I hope that you have many wonderful encounters with Holy Spirit! I pray that He releases an even greater revelation to your heart about how much Father and Jesus really do love you!

Blessings my friend!
I look forward to hearing from you.

P.S. Here is a picture of  a couple of the deer.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity

I don't know if it counts as an insecurity but I feel most insecure in large groups. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 17: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life...

This community of people learning to run together as we pursue Jesus and wait for His return has made a HUGE impact on my life in the last 3 years. It has been great to learn to run with a group of people straight into the heart of the Lord. To learn how to partner with Jesus' heart in intercession, and to grow in the prophetic. And grow in our love for Jesus.  It looks little and rough in the natural sometimes. And sometimes it looks like we are going absolutely bananas, but none of  that matters. I love the heart and the desire of the people around me to press into God.  I love having a place I can go even, if it is only 9 1/2 hours a week right now, to go and meet with people who desire the same thing I do, to before the Lord and to love Him with our whole heart, mind and strength. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you

This lady inspires me to go deep in my relationship with Jesus no matter what my circumstances look like.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 14: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

It has been a bit of a busy season, but not really so busy that I couldn't write this post.  While all the others have been kind of light and fun, or at least easy to quickly do.  This one I wanted to think about before writing.  I know the purpose of this challenge is to show pictures and images, but I don't have a picture of this person I can share.  So I will try to give you a word picture to describe the person I cannot live without.

While I have some amazing friends, a wonderful church community, great coworkers and a family that I love, the person I can't live without is Jesus.  I know some people might think, "well of course you would say that, it is what you are supposed to say as a Christian."  But I really do mean it with all sincerity.  This will be a long post so I will understand if you stop here with the knowledge that I cannot live without Jesus and don't want to know the whole long explanation of why.

A couple of months ago at an Evangelism training night, we were asked to share our testimonies in 3 minutes.  I think I took 10.  I have shared my testimony before, and have shared it in 3 minutes before, and it has never been an issue.  Bada bing bada boom, tell your story and your done.

That night though I was gripped by an overwhelming sense of thankfulness and love though and a deeper revelation of Who it is Who called me out of darkness.

You see, according to everything in the natural and probably the dark side of the spiritual, I am not even supposed to be alive.

I was conceived out of wed lock, my mom's boyfriend left her when he found out she was pregnant, so she moved from Ontario back home to Brandon.  This is where she was confronted with the choice to keep me or abort me.  My mom had people who were close to her try to convince her to abort me because no man would marry a single woman who had a child out of wedlock.  To spite them and because she felt abortion was wrong, she decided to go through with the pregnancy.

That battle of life wasn't finished though.  During the pregnancy my mom found out that she has a blood disorder that made giving birth very high risk and there was a very high chance that both she and I wouldn't make it through labour.  The doctors were convinced that even if my mom made it I for sure wouldn't.  We both lived, much to the surprise of the nurses who had been tending to my mom.  They had to come and see this miracle baby that survived when it shouldn't have.

Despite the predictions of the people around my mom that said no man would marry her because she had a child (and this thinking was in 1979 just on the final wake of the hippy movement) she did marry when I was two and that man adopted me.

Life as a family wasn't the easiest, and there was some abuse on both sides and when I was in grade five my mom decided to leave my dad and get a divorce.  I had so much anger in me at that point that I was fine with that.  I had completely cut myself off from my dad by the time I was in grade 6.

Now to back track a bit, that was all the things that had been going on in the natural, the spiritual side of things was just as dark.  I was not raised as a Christian, but I had an awareness of spiritual things since an early age I had nightmares pretty much every night, from the time I was in kindergarten until I was in grade 7. I would see things in my room and around my house, even at times in the neighborhood I lived in. I know have the understanding to know that those things and the nightmares were demonic.  I had no understanding of it back then.

My mom would send me to Sunday school sometimes so I had heard about Jesus, knew the Christmas story, the Easter story, the Creation story. But that is all they were, stories.  I liked them because they seemed so much lighter then everything else I experienced but they were just stories.  Also, when I was 8 years old my mom started sending me to church camp each summer, which I loved even though I just went through the motions of singing songs and praying prayers.  I just did it because that is what you did at camp.

When I was in grade 7 I moved to a new school and had a hard time making friends but got connected with a girl I had gone to school with for a couple of years in elementary school.  We very quickly got involved in some occult practices and things got even more oppressive and dark for me but there was a draw to that stuff as well.

By the time that summer came around, that girl and her mom moved away from my neighborhood and I had the strong feeling that if something didn't change I was going to die and I knew that it wouldn't be good.  I didn't know if the death would be natural or just spiritual but it felt horrible and it terrified me. 

When I went to camp that summer I told a friend of mine what I had been involved with.  He straight up told me that it was wrong, I needed to repent and break my agreement with all that stuff and ask Jesus to be my Savior.  We found the camp Chaplin and went to the Chapel. There she took me through prayers of repentance, deliverance, renouncement. I asked Jesus to forgive me and I said that I would submit my life to Him as He is my Lord and Savior.  Other than knowing that I really meant what I said and feeling a bit lighter it didn't seem very impacting.

That night though, Jesus met me in a dream.  At first I thought it was another nightmare because of all the horrible images I was seeing and I tried to wake up but I couldn't.  Just when I didn't think I could take it any more there was a flash of bright light and all the other images fled and all I could see was this light and an image of a Man who had such love, and compassion and strength in His eyes.  I felt washed and clean I felt free, I felt accepted.  I knew He had done everything to make me feel like that.  I felt the most love I had ever felt in my life. It was overwhelming, more overwhelming then the darkness had been, but oh so good. 

Now, my story doesn't end with a happily ever after, there have been trials and ups and downs since that day. I have been learning since that day what it means to love Jesus with my whole, heart, mind and strength. To fully give my life to Him, to die daily and pick up my cross.  I fall and fail and He picks me up.  I wander off course and He brings me back.  He is my Love, my Deliverer, my Salvation, my Strength, my Lord, my King, my Bridegroom and Judge. He brought me from death to life.  He gave me a hope and a future. He has given me a destiny. I do not take those words lightly.

OH! And remember how I said that what when my parents divorced I cut myself off from my dad because I was so angry with him? Well, it has been a bit of a bumpy road of healing and forgiveness but God has been teaching me the power of reconciliation because over the last few years He has restored that relationship.  It is still sometimes hard, but it has been another picture of the Father's extravagant love for me.

When I really look at the lengths He went to buy back my soul from darkness and to have me as His own it overwhelms me.  I really honestly was on the road to Hell and could not get off it in my own strength.  He had to do it.  He has done all the work.  I just have to say yes to Him each day.  There is a quote that I have heard often lately and it rings true. It states,"Beloved does Jesus love you?  Does He love you? Just look at the cross, that is all the proof you need."

Finally, a chorus of a song that has been in my heart lately and is really the right response for all Jesus is and for all He has done, it is what I want to leave you with. If you have made it this far good for you! Thanks for sticking with me!

"Praise to the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead! Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 13: A picture of your favorite band or artist

Ansel Adams 1902-1984
This guy has been my favorite since high school.  He is an American photographer that mostly worked in black and white and captured natural landscapes of the American west. 
Here are a couple of my favorites:

I own a print of this one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 10: People you have done the craziest things with...

Again, had to change this post has to be group pictures again and I had to change the word messed up.  I wasn't sure we fell into the category of being messed up but we did have some crazy fun adventures together! Here a peek at the fun we had at TCIS. 

The beginning of one of many capture the flag/air soft battles..
Model shot

A very short lived dream of being a rock n' roll band...

A good first day in Seoul.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 9: A picture of the person who has gotten you thru the most...

Crazy picture I know but these two women have been with me through most major events in my life. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item

My most treasured item is a plain old shoe box full of letters from family and long distance friends and encouraging and prophetic words given by friends over the years.  I don't go into this box often but it is always good when I do.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 6; Picture of someone you would love to trade places with for 1 day...

ME! My life isn't perfect, nor is the most exciting but it is good. The season and the place God has me is good. I know that He likes me and I am learning to agree with Him and like myself.  I tried thinking of fictional characters, famous people, people I admired, different people who I might like to trade places with...and even in all of that, I came back to the same feeling and answer; I don't want to be anyone else. I just want to be who God created me to be. To just be who I was created to be and not try to hide, or change or adapt myself to be how I think people want me to be, to just embrace the identity Father has given me is enough.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 5: A picture of a favorite memory

This was a great day. Photo taken at Queen of Peace Children's Home and Formation Center, Bicol Province, Philippines. Courtesy of Amy Evans. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 4: A picture of your night

Here is a picture of my night. While it is nice and relaxing, last night was far more exciting - I just forgot to take a picture. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 3: Picture of the cast from your favorite show

I don't watch a whole lot of T.V. now, and while I have shows I enjoy off and on I don't really have a here is a MOVING picture of a favorite show when I was growing up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 2 - Picture of person(s) you have been closest to the longest...

OK, I know I am already breaking the rules of this 30 day challenge.  I know it originally said the person I was closest too but I couldn't choose. I have a small group of friends that I have known for the last 24 years.  It is crazy to me that we have known each other that long.  We all met a various times at  church camp. Most of them I met and started to get to know when I was 8 years old.  Some of them, even though I met them then, I didn't get to know them really well until later in life, meaning when I was in high school and college :-p .

This group has walked through so much with me. We have laughed and cried hard. Shared dreams and frustrations with each other. They have encouraged me in my walk with Jesus and in life in general.  I know there will be people missing from the pictures below but they will come up in other parts of this challenge- do not fear.

I just know that I am very thankful for these ladies! Hopefully they won't mind that I had to steal a couple of pictures off Facebook (at least I didn't post camp pictures ;-) )...but we don't all live in the same area now, and the last time we were all together (in December) we did not take a picture but we did enjoy a good chicken dinner!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 1 - Picture of me and 15 facts

Not a close up, but that really is me and it is me when I had longer hair.This is a picture of me on the wall of a old fort ruin in South Korea.

OK, 15 facts in no particular order:
1. My favorite colours are green and grey.
2. My favorite books of the Bible are Hosea and John.
3. In kindergarten I beat up a boy for making fun of a friend of mine that stuttered.
4. One year at teen camp I threw up after a challenge to see who could drink a coke and eat a banana the fastest.  I won...but the results of my actions reduced the glory of that fact.
5. When I was little I wanted to be an acrobat.
6. I am called to be an intercessor.
7. I love the smell after it rains.
8. My favorite place to be is anywhere near rocks, trees, a lake, mountains, the ocean, or wide open spaces.
9. I am a bookworm and really enjoy reading.
10. I have lived in 18 different places and in 3 different countries (Most of those places were in Brandon or Winnipeg). Also, I have traveled to 4 other countries then the ones I have lived in.
11. I talk in my sleep.
12. I really enjoy gardening.
13. When I was little my uncles used to call me Lanny McDonald (and no, I will not answer to that name now)
14. In high school my closest friend and I used to skip class to go dancing in parking lots. We would dance to Great Big Sea and Ashley MacIsaac. (For those still in school who maybe reading this - I am not endorsing this type of behaviour...just stating something I used to do :-) )
15. I really do believe Jesus is returning. And I know that whatever I find my self doing in life, I am first and foremost called to love Him with my whole heart, mind and strength.

The Challenge

I have a couple of different friends that are doing this 30 day blogging challenge. I also know a few people doing a 365 day picture challenge. While the latter seems a bit overwhelming at the moment, I thought it would be fun to do the former.  First it would be interesting for me to see what I end up choosing for each day and why.  And second, it will give this very random blog of my a focus at least for a while.  I cannot guarantee that I will be able to keep up with each day, but I will do all 30 posts. So for you two or three people who read this, maybe you will get to know something a little bit more about me.
Here is the challenge if any of you other bloggers would like to join me:

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with fifteen facts
Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 04 - A picture of your night
Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh
Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with
Day 11 - A picture of something you hate
Day 12 - A picture of something you love

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently
Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 19 - A picture and a letter
Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
Day 21 - A picture of something you miss doing
Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at
Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book
Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25 - A picture of your day
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 - A picture of your last meal
Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of
Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Today *ahem - yesterday (as it is now after midnight) was my birthday and while it might have looked somewhat uneventful, I have already had about 4 days of celebration.  My mom came to Winnipeg on the weekend. Friday we went and got pedicures, watched "The King's Speech" (which is actually really good - I don't usually pay attention to all that Oscar hype - but I did enjoy this one) and went out for supper. The rest of the weekend was way more low key and we stayed close to home but it was good to have her here for a visit.  Monday my roommates gave me flowers and birthday cards.

Last night Jules made me fabulous dinner of BBQ ribs and potato wedges for my birthday before we both had to run out the door for scheduled meetings. I also received many texts and messages via the interwebs.

I had a friend that said they hoped the year was full of surprises and I would say that is what I would like the most. Over supper, my roommates were asking the questions, "what did you like best of the past year" and "what are you hoping for/looking forward to the most this next year."  I thought of a couple of things I am hoping for right on the spot. Some I thought of after but it was kind of hard. Not because I have a pessimistic view of what this next year is going to bring but because I wasn't sure what I would want.  Again, I have a couple of ideas of what I would like to see happen, but mostly, I would just like to be surprised. I would like things that I thought would never happen, happen; whether they are big or small.  I would like the statement of this next year to be "Oh wow!" and to be in awe at what God will do.

I have to say though, I have come up to this birthday and spent today being very thankful and remembering all the good things Father has done. The blessings He has given me.  It really is good.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Job moment

Have you ever had one of those moments or many moments where you just know it would be bad news if you opened your mouth and let every thought that was in your head or heart come out?  One of those times where even if people think you are rude or really weird, it is just better not to say anything at all.

I feel like I am in one of those seasons. My life definitely isn't as bad as Job's, actually, on many levels it is good, but I still feel a similar testing on some different levels to different degrees as Job went through. I can feel the restlessness it causes because I want to know why things are happening or not happening and I get nervous about what will come out of my mouth if I let it run wild.  Some times my mouth gets the better of me and stuff leaks out; the nasty gross stuff that you always hope isn't really in your heart but is.  The stuff that other people might not know about you until your mouth betrays you.  The complaining, the doubt and questioning God, the grumbling and sighing that Israel got into so much trouble for during their wilderness trek...

That is what I feel like I am being tested in.  Despite certain things happening, despite certain circumstances not being exactly as I would like them, will I, like Job, put my hand over my mouth to ward against grumbling and just declare Father and Jesus and Holy Spirit to be good, right and just.

I am not talking about putting a plastic smile on my face and saying "every thing is fine". I am talking about honoring God and praising Him no matter what my circumstances are. It is a fast, slippery slope into a dark pit when I start questioning and trying to figure out why I am going through different circumstances. Once that downward slide starts happening, it is only moments before I am complaining and grumbling and find myself wondering why I can't hear God's voice.

I am also not only talking about putting on a good face when I am out in public or with groups of people but  how I speak when I am at home speaking privately with my roommates; where "no one else" will hear.  I am also speaking of my private "self talk" or times in prayer.  This beast of a tongue needs to be tamed there as well.

It is a season of learning; learning how to lean, learning how to stay quiet when I need to, learning to ask well, learning to keep my gaze focused on the One who loves me and saying, "You are good!", even when I don't understand what is going on.

The hope and joy in all of that is, that is where He will come and meet with me. Just like with Job, just like with the Israelites; the moment I stop drawing away and hardening my heart, He comes and He meets with me and strengthens me. He comes and speaks to me of His character. He reminds me of all His goodness.  He reminds me that this to will pass.  He meets me as a Friend I can learn from and talk with, a King who has the authority and power to change times and seasons and defeat all my foes, a Father I can trust, and a Lover who I know fully loves me and will never leave nor forsake me. 

So, knowing that I can put my hand over my mouth again and again and state, "You are good!" as I quiet my soul and wait for Him.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bleak Midwinter

Well, we are headed to the middle of January which is the hardest part of winter.  It is the -40 time of the season. Here in Winnipeg we have started to hit some of the coldest days we have had all winter and it isn't as cold as it can get yet. But even still I am starting to find my good attitude about winter waning a little.  So, it is time for another list of things that I am enjoying/looking forward to in the hopes that it will help me keep a good attitude! 

* My birthday is in 16 days (hint!hint! - heehee :) )
* My roommates and I have been too busy too take down our Christmas tree so I still get to enjoy it!
* We have already had about 12 weeks of winter so that means hopefully only about 10 more. Which means Spring is almost here!
* Having my mom come to the city next week and going for pedicures!
* Laughing, lots and lots of laughing going on with my roommates and I.  Good long, hard laughs that make you cry.  I love those!
* Getting together with Alison this week!
*The set I prayer lead at SHOP...I really like digging in and seeking God with these guys and gals. 
*The snow.  I really do like snow.  Just wish I had some skates so I could learn to ice skate again. 
*My new blue boots and newsboy hat.
*Spicy hot chocolate (hot chocolate with mild chili, allspice and black pepper in it) - trust me SOOOOO good. Much better than regular hot chocolate, though I will never turn down a mug of regular hot chocolate.
*Did I mention we are are over the halfway point for winter so Spring should be coming!! :)