Category Archives: life

Challenges

There are some challenges I had not had to deal with being away from home. Thankfully my amazing man has been in the job. Now that I’m home, we’re all adjusting to me being mommy again. Some rules have changed and some behaviors haven’t.

Right now my two oldest are giving me cold stares because we had to lay down the law. I love and hate the teen years already. Puberty is a wonderful time full of chaos and confusion for the poor critters. They think they are adults and don’t want to be treated as children. They have memories like an 80-yr-ol Alzheimer’s patient and yet want all the priveledges.Teaching responsibility is fraught with speed bumps.

Then we have a beauty who’s ADHD makes her do all sorts of wrong. She is just a busy little thing who can’t control her impulses and is super” helpful”at times. It’s hard to know whether to have grace or come down hard for certain things. We are trying diet restrictions, vitamins and calming techniques but we are now resorting to meds. We pray for the best for our fantastic four and step forward with some tremidation. I know it’s all terribly normal and I am thankful for my friends and family who have gone before us and reassure me it will only get more difficult. Thanks. LOL

We are excited about upcoming holidays when we will see lots of friends and family. It should be good. You know, with 6 people in a car and all. Ha!

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To the best Father I know.

Besides my Heavenly Father.I have a Dad, and he’s pretty cool. He taught me so many things, like how to sing with all of my heart, love Jesus, and care for the Under dog.

There are many Dad’s in my life that I admire, but there is one that stands out among the rest. That’s my guy, Richard. He is Superman, Super Dad and I could go on, so I will. Richard is my hero. He is faithful and true and takes care of his kidlets like no one else. He plays games with them, teaches them life skills and is consistent in discipline. He teaches ME how to be a good parent just  by his example. He provides well, feeds them lots of junk food…I gotta tell you, he learned from one of the best. My Father-in-law is pretty amazing too. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO RICARD, MY DAD AND MY- DADDY -IN- LAW. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

I love that man and I am so happy that I get to parent our four wonder kids with him. IMG_3793

Putting Anxiety in a box

Thinking…it’s a beautiful thing, really.

Until the thoughts take a turn for the anxious.

I have struggled with anxiety for my whole life. I remember being shy and hiding behind my mom’s legs when someone new was in front of me.

I remember having dreams that would amplify the fears inside of me.

My brother died an unexpected and tragic death and that made me more anxious.

Then I said good-bye to my babies and almost died.

I struggled. Oh how I’ve struggled.

I’ve worried about losing Richard, my kids, my parents, my friends…my security.

Two years ago, I asked God to take my anxiety. I was done with it. I didn’t want the physical sensation of fear continually with me. The pit of my stomach churning and heavy. I told him to do what he  must. I wanted to be free…to understand God’s peace…

Philippians 4:6-7New Living Translation (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Truly, I wanted to know the peace that passes all understanding.

Now I see.

When you are in such a place that all the worry in the world will not  do any good or change any thing. When life is threatened and there is little you can do…why worry? When there is EVERYTHING in the world to worry about….

Why worry?

I could. I could sit and stew…and sometimes I do. There is so  much at stake that it literally blows my mind. I have to shut it down. I have to put it away and I do. I place it in a little worry box in my mind and give it to God. He knows exactly where to put it. He’s got it all under control.

I can do this because I believe. I believe in everything he has said. I have experienced things within this crazy life of mine that I don’t doubt that he’s got it all.

He’s got it.

Oh sure, I’m normal and still want to take that box back. I demand it. Then I open it and look inside a bit. I realize it’s an ugly box of rubbish. I take out each worry and look at it a bit then put it all back and give it back to Him.

I have also realized that part of the increase in my anxiety is actually physiological. I mean the tumor is sitting right on that part. It’s fiddling around with my emotional state.

I realize that being a person that has coddled my anxiety has not been healthy for me and I want to get rid of that toxin.

So, I concentrate on the truth. Most worries are lies anyways. Did you know that?

The truth is this. God’s got it. He’s already there. He WAS there. He’s always been. And he loves each and every one of us more than we love our own children. He LOVES me! That’s a lot of love because I get choked up every time I talk about my kids these days. That’s how much I love them. I know I may not be there for them at some point.

Truth is, I have a shortened life span. I will probably not get old. There is a chance I may. I would be super happy to get old with my guy. I could get old. That would be cool. But likely, I won’t. It’s the stats. I’m ok with it because whether I get old or whether I see eternity’s gates sooner rather than later, He’s there.

I know that My Father will always be there. For me, for my kids, for my guy.

He’s got it.

And when I should be riddled with worry, anxiety, regret and fear, I am not. I am NOT. That, my friends is a miracle.

Sometimes…bad metaphors happen on bad days

I’ve mentioned before that life before knowing about the tumor had had it’s incredible challenges this past almost 2 years. We’ve been through some “stuff” and it’s been a roller coaster. Today, life outside the tumor had some hard news. I am not sure how to process how tough life actually is, with and without tumor issues.

Life is hard sometimes.

And sometimes its amazing.

Sometimes it’s all mixed together in a salad. The salad of life. Ok, so weird metaphor.

Mostly, it’s the hardest things in life that give us the most health in the end.

Like Kale. Some people love it. Don’t be offended if you do. But seriously, it’s a bad weed. A bad weed with a lot of nutrients. (By the way I know it’s not a weed) Not all healthy foods can be rock stars like blueberries.

I had a juice yesterday where I shoved about 4 cups of kale into the juicer and went to town. Then 6 apples. I had to get it down somehow.

Exercise. Now that’s another painful thing that brings us health. I hate it. Truly. Especially in the winter. Yet, I became more healthy when I pushed to run the 5 km. Dang!

So the hard times in life also bring health, if we let them.

It’s a balance to deal with the salad of life.

Today brought the kale of life, and it tasted awful.

So, to round out this salad, I bring to the table a hearty dose of protein (ok, another bad metaphor). The protein of the Word of God, who is the Life Giver. My Strength.

This was the verse of the day for me.

Psalm 22:19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

 

 

Too much to say – Part 2

You know when you can look back and see things from such a clearer perspective than when you are actually going through it? I feel like looking back is giving me such incredible clarity.

I wrote this post yesterday but lost it all. Maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve been (probably) over-thinking in the last day about the last two years. But it’s been healthy…good even, to rethink it.

I am going to start in a different place than I had originally started from.

Two years ago I was driving in the beautiful autumn weather and God impressed something on my heart. We had been going along very well in church. There were new people coming in the door, our kids program was humming a long, the youth program had been started and people were EXCITED!! It seemed that God was doing something BIG. We were on the precipice of something grande. Hope was alive everywhere. We weren’t perfect but it was good.

Then I received a word from the Lord, driving down that road. He impressed in my heart that it was going to get hard. He gave me some specifics about what that would look like. When I get a word from the Lord, I do not pretend to assume that what I heard was correct until after it passes.

This word was hard because it included people I cared about deeply and I begged God to work a different way. I hoped it would just be proven that I had a crazy imagination.

Then Christmas came and a situation arose that had far reaching implications. In being a pastor to a few, The Reverend found himself in the middle of a difficult situation and seemed to get the short end of a big stick. We ended up hurt and confused and grieving. And we kept it to ourselves. There was little we could do.

It was one of those situations, like in movies where the character finds himself on a precipice and the ground starts to give way, in a shattering pattern. The hero runs for his life as the ground falls into nothingness behind him. Running to stable ground is an all out race and looks death defying and yet, with a leap, a bound or by a catch of a branch the hero snags on to stable ground. He would pick himself up and then realize how close to death he had been.

This year has been one of those years for our church and for us personally. Through loss after loss, due to many reasons we saw people fall away from us. Some through difficult choices they made, some through the choice of moving. Families and couples that have been a steady place for our church started falling away behind us and we began to run for life. All along the way, grieving. Reaching out for the next safe piece of land, only for another piece to be falling away. We were not the only ones left feeling breathless and wondering. The faithful and loving loyal  around us also seemed to lose their breath as the ground gave way.

We felt Broken.

There were some very specific times that we asked God what he would like us to do. Should we leave? Should we stay? Where did he want us to go? Self-doubt and grief clouded our vision. We sought the Lord in brokenness. A few times we looked at ways to escape the drama and trauma. Very specifically God told us to STAY. VERY SPECIFICALLY. We could have looked for writing on the wall and it would have said ‘STAY’. We love the church, friends and family here, but we wondered if it was God’s timing for us to go. It wasn’t. It SO wasn’t. I can’t tell you all the ways but it was miraculous and crazy things.

So, we stayed because God said to. Also, in him telling us to stay, in so many ways, we KNEW that there was a greater purpose at work here. We didn’t know what, but we knew there was SOMETHING.Maybe something incredible. That was my feeling.

I felt at peace. I knew God was up to a bigger picture here. I felt peace.

Then, we went to a Pastor’s Retreat in Lake Louise this last November. We were blessed to make it to this event that was incredibly healing for us. In front of 500 people I told them it had been a hard year. I told them that I believed we were on the precipice of miracles. It had been tough but I was looking forward to seeing what God would do in our town, in our church in MY life in the next year. They prayed for us.

As I was worshiping in the presence of the Lord, one morning, I sensed that the Lord had another hard word for me. I had just been praying for restoration in our church, our community, our little family and in our relationship with each other. I just spread my hands out and said “Do what you need to do to restore us.” At that moment, I felt in my spirit “It’s going to get harder than this year was. You think that was hard…. It’s going to be the biggest test of your life”. Knowing that I was speaking to the Lord of the Universe who holds everything in his capable hands I said “Ok.”

And I knew. I knew it would be big. I didn’t want it to be big… but it seems that growth/healing and restoration comes through the difficult. Tears streamed down my face as I realized I TRUST the One who made me. I wanted him to be at work in me. NO MATTER WHAT THAT MEANT.

I didn’t quite want it to be brain tumor big. I mean, that’s big. Too big for me.

It scares the crap out of me. But I still TRUST. I trust because he is Good (don’t worry I will address the question that almost everyone wrestles with which is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” another blog).

I write this to tell you how much God loves us. How he sees the big picture, how he’s working it all out together. He is at work and he works in mysterious ways. He works in different people in different ways because there is a plan. A good plan.

We didn’t move because he didn’t want us to move. There is a bigger thing going on here that we need to stay around for.

From the beginning of my life, God had a plan for me as he does for every person that ever lives. Not every person chooses to live in the potential that he created in us. He has been so good to me. HE is going ahead of me and preparing a way through the hard stuff ahead.

I see incredible promise in this whole thing. I know it sounds strange. Super strange. But I look forward to seeing the beauty of how this whole thing is going to play out.

Would you like peace? A sense of hope? A clear cut purpose or reason for your life? Oh dear ones….ask me how. Through all the crazy ups and downs of this year, we’ve been broken but I’ve had peace. I’ve had hope. I’ve had a crazy sense of purpose…and it is GOOD! It’s not ME. I’m not the strong one. He is. It is supernatural. From Him.

March 2013

Ahoy Matey!

Is it summer yet? All I see is a lot of melted snow, otherwise known as rain, and puddles. The rain hasn’t got me down yet, though. Probably because I’m not living in Calgary or Canmore and I haven’t had to evacuate my home.

When I started this blog last year, I was going through some really scary physical issues which knocked me back so far I couldn’t see where I had been. I named this blog Emerging from the Chrysalis in hopes that my life would be transformed and that beauty would arise on beautiful wings, like those of a caterpillar who must twist, turn and fight to come out of it’s pod and spread it’s wings. Hope was barely glimmering when I wrote the first words, but it was there despite the pressing darkness.

When I asked God to change me, root out whatever was making me sick, tired and anxious, I knew that it would probably be painful. I just didn’t really get that it would be physically more painful than I had ever experienced. Chronic physical pain has long been a part of my life, but this winter it amped up to a level of intolerable. There were days I would rock back and forth in my bed and beg God to take me HOME. I felt like a useless blob of chicken fat. I couldn’t do anything besides just survive and pray.

There were transitional moments throughout the last 8 months. I can’t even begin to explain what they were. Some of them are moments I hold closely and treasure in my heart. Other times were mundane yet extraordinary. There were friends and family who said things at strategic points. There were decisions made by me that set me on courses that I had previously thought impossible. God was there the whole time guiding, directing, pushing and coaxing. He led people into my life that have been a source of encouragement, counsel, truth and love.

One of the transitional and transformational moments was when I dipped my head into the warm, tropical water of Jamaica. Snorkel in my mouth, mask on my face, I decided right then and there that I would conquer this fear of mine. The intense fear of water/being without air.

I saw other people were surviving and then so did I. Anxiety gone, fear conquered. Transformation!

The Have or Have-nots – June 2013

When my husband and I talked marriage, before the day of our sweet nuptials, we discussed what our roles would look like in our family. We both wanted me to be a stay-at-home mom, with roughly four children. No Problem. We agreed. I’d be the little wifey who cooks, cleans, does things around the community with the kids and volunteer at the church as whatever I felt my giftings were. I was the odd ball traditional wife, who expected that her husband would work hard, bring in the money needed to take care of his family and then be willing to help at home according to what he could do. In this day and age, this makes us extremely oddball in some circles. With women being a large part of the workforce in our society, it seems odd to be someone who’s life goal is to be a mom and not bring in an income or have a career.

The BIG problem with this was that being a one income family when you are in the ministry, well, it can be tight at times. More like all the time, but who’s keeping track? There have been many moments that we’ve wondered if we would have enough for this and that, but God has always, ALWAYS provided what we’ve needed and sometimes more than we had ever hoped for.

Before we dove into dating, we discussed what we would like to do in the future. Both of us said “be in ministry of some sort”. With being a pastor’s family we knew that we would never have a lot of things. We expected it. We wanted it. We both wanted to be open to where we felt God leading us no matter where it was or what it meant.

We live in a society where people either can afford all the extras or they put it on a credit card. Either way, our family looks poor in comparison. My kids wonder if we can have a boat or a camper or go on a Disneyland vacation…It’s hard to discuss our financial state, and then again, it’s not. We are living like we are because we made a decision not to value our lives by the things we have but by the way we love God.