Tuesday, December 30, 2008



Midway through writing my comment this morning reality struck like a lightening bolt and stopped my hands from typing. My breath caught in my throat. My heart, for only an instant, stopped beating while I came face-to-face with a truth that was requiring my honest response. How I wanted to answer the right way. How I wanted to be pleasing to God. How may head and my heart wanted to agree on this one. But it wasn’t that easy…at least not for me.

When God’s possible best contradicts my hopes and plans, surrender isn’t easy. What if “Your will be done” is a hard doing? Not for God…but the surrender required of me.

This morning as God began a journey in me through the writing of four friends, Sita, Elaine, Lysa and Tracie, He gently prepared me and moved me for a sweet yet difficult abandoning. With each step He was drawing me closer. With each word He was positioning my heart to kneel. Kneeling isn’t always easy… not willing kneeling. At least not for me. At least not both knees. I like to keep a little control.

Oh, this surrender is easy when nothing is being asked of me, but when an appointment at the hospital looms in less than 3 hours because of questionable findings at a previous exam, that’s when hard questions come and a decision must be made. Can I pray “Not my will, but Thine be done”? Can I pray it from a heart that truly means it regardless of the cost?

Why is this letting go so hard? Does God’s Word not tell me that His plans for me are to prosper me and give me a hope and a future? God’s prosperity is not for my contentment, but for my character. Character development needs pruning. Pruning hurts. His good plans are to create His good in me. I think my friend Elaine has found the answer. Not always a peaceful journey, but peace for the journey.

My heart longs to say, Lord, if a difficult travelling on this particular path is the only way I’m going to know even just one aspect of Your character, then I will walk it for You and with You. If the end result is knowing You more, then give me grace to walk with courage. May my walking be testimony of Your love, grace and mercy.

I know a pilgrim’s progress is challenging. I know the way is not always to the swift or the battle to the strong. I’ve visited the valley’s and had companions that make the way weary. Little Much Afraid too often rises up within and chooses my path.

This morning my desire to know God is trumping my desire for ease. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t want the hard way, but I want God. I’m still praying that nothing of concern will be found this afternoon. I’m believing in a God who can do more than we ask or imagine.

God has drawn my attention to the greatest gift of the season. The Giver. I don’t long for more from Him, but more of Him. Join with me in saying, “Your will be mine in 2009”.

"To the ends of the earth I will follow
There's nothing that I will not do
You alone are my reason for living
Jesus my passion is You."
Travis Cottrell

UPDATE: Just wanted to let you know that I'm just home from my tests this afternoon...and...good news!!! After what seemed like an eternity while the technician went to get the Dr. to see the ultrasound pictures, all is well. Although there are new cysts, there is nothing that is causing further alarm. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your prayers. God answered. This morning as I wrote the post above the Lord brought me to a place of peace and acceptance. I knew that whatever lay ahead, I was going to experience Him. So thankful to know Him as Deliverer today!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Inside These Walls

A quiet Sunday afternoon of reflection. Christmas was only three short days ago, and 362 days until we do it again. The tree still stands in the corner calling attention to all who enter, yet for some reason, already the sparkle from the lights is fading. It is barren of gifts that only a short time ago overflowed at its base. The ornaments no longer overlook brightly coloured paper and bows, boxes and gift bags, The much anticipated day of celebration has come and gone. I want to hold on to every moment. I want to remember every exclamation of delight. I want to relive the feelings of warmth and love that flooded my heart.

So many treasured gifts. Gifts that spoke of being known. No random purchases. Each parcel chosen with the knowledge of the recipient. Not all necessarily worth much monetarily, but as precious as gold to me. I just want to unwrap a few with you…gifts that brought me to tears this Christmas.

My nephew gave me this gift. The picture doesn’t begin to do it justice. A circle of hearts speak of unending love. But, what made me catch my breath were the words etched in gold, “Come Fly With Me”. If you are new to my blog than you don’t know how God extended that invitation to me in June. The Lord called me to step outside my comfort zone, embrace my fears and fly with Him. It was the most incredible journey and definitely the highlight of 2008. A journey I would have never in my wildest dreams envisioned last January, nor one I could have ever imagined having the courage to follow, yet God called me and I obeyed. This bracelet will serve as a constant reminder that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

My parents had these old photographs enlarged and framed. One is of my sister and I as toddlers and the other is my son as a little guy with his first set of golf clubs. The memories these pictures stir within me have my eyes filling with tears again as I type this now. My sister and I had been born so prematurely (25 weeks) that the Dr’s gave no hope for either of our survival, yet this picture speaks of life and answered prayer. Not only did God spare our lives, but here is the next generation in answer to yet another prayer. Heritage. Legacy. Family.

Oh how I wanted this star before Christmas. It is meant to hang outside and is pre-lit. With the uncertainty of my husbands job and all the purchases that needed to be made before Christmas, I left this star in the store the day I found it. It was a difficult abandoning. I wanted this to be mounted outside by our front door and left up all year as a reminder of the star that announced Christ’s arrival. I wanted it to proclaim that Christ can be found in our ‘stable‘. I wanted it to direct others who are lost and alone to the warmth and welcome of Christ in our home. Well, my husband heard that longing and I pray that unsaved friends and family will follow this star and like the Wisemen of old, seek Christ until they find Him.

Thankful for friends who satisfy my heart with good things :o) Dark chocolate orange balls….Decaf coffee! Mmm, Mmm, Good! Indulging in a little pleasure after the holidays.

I saw this originally back in the summer. I’m a teacup gal, and when I read the verse on this teapot and saw the significance of this visual, I really wanted it! In case you can’t see it the verse on the teapot says, “May the God of all Hope, fill you with Joy and Peace”. The teapot is “Hope” and the cup and saucers are “Joy” and “Peace”. Oh, how I long to be filled with His hope, His joy and His peace. If only it was as easy as drinking it in, and yet He longs for us to allow these fruits of His Spirit to pour over us and fill us. I think I will be using these teacups often, and pray that my cup overflows with His presence.

In keeping with the “peace” theme, I received this necklace so unexpectedly. A key in my mailbox announced a parcel was waiting. In excitement the wrapping was removed before I even made the journey home. Kleenex was called for as tears freely ran. This is so much more than a necklace. This is the story of a friendship God designed and breathed life into this past year. A gift that was presented back in the Spring that continues to fill my life with unspeakable delight. Who says friendships can’t last across miles. This friendship defies borders. We are not American and Canadian, although our birth certificates may say such. We are citizens of heaven, sisters in the Lord, and joint-heirs with Jesus. She is sister of my heart.

“There is no greater thing than the love between a Mother and her son”. Don’t you just love it when your children, in their own quiet way, express their love to you? My son gave me this figurine and I’m so thankful for the love he and I share. He has always been and will forever be my “Chum”. Like no other he is sensitive to when I need a cuddle or word of encouragement. He’s quick with a hug or a silly remark that ignites laughter. My greatest joy is knowing that He walks with the Lord.

Those who know me at all know that I have a “Princess” theme. After struggling with insecurity for years, the Lord brought me to a place of realizing who I am in Him. I’m a child of the King. Not only am I a “Princess” in God’s eyes, but I am a “Princess” in my Daddy’s eyes. Point of Grace have recently recorded a song…a song sung by a daughter to her Daddy. In it the lyrics say, “There’s nothing better than being your girl, And if I am your Princess, than Daddy, you’re king of my world.” My Daddy is king of my world. He’s the first man I ever loved and the first man who adored me. Now at 83 I treasure each Christmas we spend together. What makes this Bible so special? Well, it’s from my Daddy and the inscription inside is written with the hand of an 83 year old. A hand that often held mine. A hand that still holds my heart and all my love. A gift from a king to his princess.

The last gift I will share with you today came from my husband. It truly speaks for itself. I’ve yet to read it without crying. This is what is written behind and within the word, “Home”.

“If these walls could speak of things that they have seen…of things that they remember well…Stories of love, gatherings of Family and Friends…laughter. If these rooms could talk they would share joyful tales of sunsets at dinner…of children playing hide and seek. If these windows panes were eyes, they would have seen it all…Each tear, each sigh, each hug and every smile. Every dream there is to live. If this house could show you the lives that take part within these walls…It would display unconditional love, unforgettable memories, unending moments forever tucked away…That’s what these walls would say.”

Sharing just a glimpse inside these walls over the holidays.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I'm no longer dreaming of a white Christmas, I KNOW we'll have a white Christmas.

I'm either shrinking or the snowbank at the end of our driveway is growing!

God bless us every one!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home for Christmas

Today we celebrated Christmas with all my family. It was a wonderful time of laughter and love...lots of love. Thought I'd share a 'taste' of the day. A few pics of my Christmas decor and our dinner this evening. Enjoy!

Yes, we have snow! It's a winter wonderland here!

All Hearts Come Home for Christmas!



My husband made these lanterns for all our friends and family one year for Christmas!

Our WillowTree Nativity on our fireplace.

Our fireplace!

The Stockings Were Hung...

Looking down on the tree from our second floor.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

Second floor lit railing.

My son's bathroom. (You can only imagine how he loves to share his washroom with a couple of carolling dolls! It's only for a few short weeks!)

Our Ensuite! (Guess I should have cleared off the counter a little more before taking the picture! Oh well, hope it makes you feel at home.)

A touch of Christmas by the tub!


Proof that I made Candy Cane Crunch and Peanut Butter cookies! (Tracie and Karen please take note if you read this! I used your recipes!)

Our Christmas table!

A sample place-setting!


May you and yours have a very blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Devotional 2008

Years ago the Lord spoke to me as I sat down to write the traditional family newsletter to be included with our Christmas cards. As I was jotting down the highlights of the past several months, excited to share successes and accomplishments, the Lord revealed that my heart was filled with pride. Our family had been truly blessed, but my motive behind my sharing was wrong. Christmas was not about me or my family. Our Christmas letter was not to be used as a bragging tool, but a time to point friends and family to the real meaning of our celebration. Since that time I have written more of a devotional each year to share His heart. I thought I would post this years letter. I hope you enjoy.


Do you ever get a thought in your head that persists like a broken record? Recently the title of a very familiar Christmas carol will not stop circulating in my mind. Actually, the title of the carol asks a question that requires an answer.

“What Child is this?”

So much rests dependent on your answer. To some He is nothing more than a fairytale. A myth. A sweet baby with a story surrounding His life that holds no meaning whatsoever. A glance at the nativity stirs no feeling. They see the figures as manmade and assume the same for the epic account encompassing them.

Yet, for thousands of years, He is still remembered and His birthday marked on every calendar. From shepherds to Kings, from homeless to millionaires this Child still receives attention. Although cast aside by some, He remains the center of our celebration. Whether you choose to acknowledge Him or not, His existence is not dependent upon your opinion.

I can answer the question above with confidence. In Luke 2:11 we are told, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord.” What Child is this? He’s our Savior. He’s my Savior.

With the economic upheaval we are all facing, I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful and glad to have a Savior. Placing our trust in someone else or anything other brings false hope. There is only One who can give the peace for which our hearts long in these days of uncertainty.

If you acknowledge the answer to the first question, another one begs to be asked. A question asked of Peter in Matthew 16:15 - “Who do you say I am?” It’s one thing to believe there is a God, but quite another to know Him personally.

This Child is also called Immanuel - God with us. Do you hear the cry of His heart right now saying, “Child I want to be with you. Not only will I be your Savior, I will remain with you. I already know you intimately, don‘t push Me away.”

There is no better present you could unwrap this Christmas than His presence. Who is this Child to you? Have you even stopped to consider the reason for the season? If you celebrate Christmas at all, you are celebrating Christ. Christ cannot be separated from Christmas, only ignored. He is there amidst your tree, parcels, feasting and decorating. As my friend Renee reminded me, it’s not too late for your heart to be His manger.

Receive. Believe. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 08, 2008

And The Winner Is.....

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2008-12-08 12:01:24 UTC

So....number 21 is.....



Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. I had so much fun doing this, it will not be my last GiveAway! Thank you to Lysa for hosting such a Cool Christmas GiveAway and congratulations to all the many winners today!

Be sure to visit back again. It was fun to meet so many new friends. Regardless if you win or lose, know that you can freely embrace the most precious Gift of all - the Lord Jesus. May He be your most treasured Gift this season and every day!


Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas GiveAway

Cool Christmas GiveAway Day!

A wonderful warm wintry welcome to all of you who are visiting via "Mr Linky" today. I am soooo excited! This is my first ever blog-giveaway. For those of you who don't know, I'm participating in Lysa TerKeurst's Cool Christmas GiveAway!

You can enter to win my prize by clicking on the word "comments" below and following the prompts. If you want to enter as anonymous, be sure to leave some way for me to contact you in your comment in case you win! You can also hop around to other's sites by clicking on the links provided in the Mr. Linky system set up on Lysa's blog by clicking on her name above. If you do have a blog, feel free to enter my contest by leaving a comment.

Before I share what you could win if you leave a comment on my blog, I want to share with you some other free gifts you could all walk away with simply by receiving and unwrapping them today. You don't even have to identify yourself, as the Giver of these gifts already knows your name :o) No-one needs to leave here without carrying a treasure away. Everyone can receive these gifts in abundance.

Today you can enjoy:

The Gift of Peace: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

The Gift of Freedom: "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

The Gift of Hope: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

The Gift of Joy: "...in Your presence is fulness of joy" John 16:11

The Gift of Forgiveness: "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:13,14

The Gift of Eternal Life: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

The Gift of Comfort: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

The Gift of Refuge: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

The Gift of Love: "But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children." Psalm 103:17

I pray that many of you have already enjoyed years of each one of those gifts as Christ, by His grace, has given us so much. Freely He has given - Freely receive.

Now, for my GiveAway!

Writing is my passion and the first time I ever read the saying below, it touched something deep within me, because truly, "Home is where my story begins".

Included in my Christmas GiveAway is a beautiful wall plaque that says, "Home is where your story begins" (Dickens); a tin of Rejuvenating Pink Candles; The Christmas Story CD; three yummy flavoured Hot Chocolate mixes - Dark Chocolate (for gals after my own heart), Gingerbread and Candy Cane and finally, a container of red Christmas Popcorn!

Remember, in order to win, you need to leave a comment below. If you don't have a blog, be sure to leave an e-mail where you can be reached if your name is my winner!

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you come by again.

The winner will be announced Monday, December 8th.

Love to you all!