Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2010...

One year ago today...
...I was feeling so good about being ready to head home for BC early so we wouldn’t get home too late.
...I was working while the kids slept.
...I nearly had the van loaded.
...I heard my ankle snap...and felt the extreme pain.
...I was laying in the hospital in Vernon waiting for surgery.
...my ankle was snapped in 2 places.
...I wished my Thanksgiving weekend didn’t have to end that way.
...I wished Ben could be with me.
...I struggled with how much our lives were going to change.

BUT...even more than those wishes...I was sooo thankful (& still am!)...
...that the kids didn’t see me go down.
...that I could get ahold of Ben before I went to the hospital.
...that my parents were there with me!
...that my mom was willing to stay in BC for an extra week just to take care of me & the kids!!
...that my aunt & uncle allowed us to continue staying with them.
...for the amazing memories Uncle Wilf & Auntie Pearl made with my kids!
...for my wonderful day nurse Yolanda...I wish I had a way to thank you & tell you how much you encouraged me!
...for my very own personal nurse (Pearl!) once I got to their house.

...that God was working in my heart during that time!!!
...for all the friends & family that were praying for me & our family during that time!
...for everyone who brought us meals & helped me with things around the house!

If you’d like to read the whole story, it’s here:  http://bhwerdalfamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/thanksgiving-2010no-accident.html
When we went to BC this summer, I took a picture of the house we were staying at last year.  Our van was parked almost exactly where that black vehicle is (maybe just a wee bit further forward)...so you can imagine me laying behind itJ.

As this weekend approached, I told Ben I felt like having a party.  He thought I was a little nutsJ.  “Wouldn’t you rather just forget that?”  I know what he means...but I am so thankful for where this year has brought us.  So although I don’t think there’ll be a physical party tonight...there’s one going on in my heartJ.

Thank you Lord...
...that I can walk without a limp.
...for walking beside me through that emotional rollercoaster.
...for teaching me to slow down...it has made this fall so much easier!
...for drawing me closer to you!

Yes, that day a year ago changed our lives...for the better!  It was hard...very hard at times...but God brought us through.  So today...the day after Thanksgiving...I am reflecting & don’t want to forget these things that God did for us last year.  I also wanted to take a moment to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who was there for us in that time...from when I very first fell...till I was recovered here at home.  I want to name you all, but I’m so scared I’ll forget someone...so THANK YOU!!!!  Please know that every one of you was such a blessing to us!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Truly Important Things I've Done This Summer

This is a follow-up to my post back at the beginning of August.  I wanted to keep track of what I did & keep myself accountable so to speak.  So here are some of the important things that I’m happy I have filled my summer with so far (in no particular order)J.

v  Went out west to hang out with my family & dear friends the Sawatzky’s (missionary friends from when we were in Africa).
v  Took the kids camping...and along with Ben got to see them all catch their first fish.
v  Sat on the couch with my kids & read stories.
v  Went for a walk with my wonderful friend Jodi & thoroughly enjoyed adult conversation.
v  Hung out with a new homeschooling friend & her kids.
v  Went to the zoo...twice...one of those times with my good friend Kim.
v  Spent time with Kyla (sister in law) & her kids.
v  Enjoyed an afternoon with the Browns...visiting for me & play for the kids.
v  Helped get the Elliotts moved in.
v  Played games.
v  Spent some extra time at camp with Amanda when we picked her up to let her show us around & tell stories.
v  Took the kids on a field trip to a honey farm.
v  Spent an afternoon/evening with our dear friends the Elliott’s.
v  Sat & chatted with my sister Jodi at a church potluck when she came through unexpectadly.
v  Talked on the phone for over an hour with my dear cousin Beckie.
v  Put my camera down & enjoyed the moment.
v  Played catch with Benjamin & enjoyed his smile.
v  Enjoyed holding Kirby’s hand when he was needing extra closeness.
v  Cherished the moments when Amanda comes to me out of the blue & says, I love you Mommy.
v  I have sat here at the computer trying to work on something...and instead I have been stopped in my tracks by my kids’ laughter...and I have just sat here & enjoyed itJJ.

There is still much more I want to do...and I will update again, but I feel good about the truly important things we’ve been able to do this summerJ.  What have you been up to this summer?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Benjamin loves playing tricks on people.  Whether it’s scaring someone or making them believe something that’s not...he LOVES it when he can pull it off.  Well today I decided to play backJ.  Benjamin ran to Sobeys to pick up some milk for me.  We have a system where he takes my phone along & calls me when he gets to Sobeys & then when he’s on his way home so that I don’t worry about him.  (He’s old enough now that I don’t think he needs to do it anymore...but he loves the chance to have my cell phoneJ.)  Well, he called when he got to Sobeys & I got an idea.  I answered, “Sundre Sobeys, how can I help you?”  (dead silence)  “Hello?”  (nothing)  “Hello?”  (click)  He hung up on meJJ...and apparently I haven’t taught him what to do if he calls a wrong number.  Thanks for the laugh Benj...I love youJ.  (In case you wondered, he called back...and I answered the same way...but he knew that timeJ.)

A good book...and lots to think about...

Today was supposed to be a day to tackle at least one thing on my seemingly never ending list of things to catch up.  The kids slept in this morning so I decided to use my quiet moments to read for a bit before I tackled a project (I knew the kids needed the sleep & didn’t want to wake them up by making noise).  Instead of reading a couple of chapters, I sat & read the book cover to cover...and now I’m sitting here writing!  I guess this will be another unproductive dayJ.

The book?  One that I ordered from Focus on the Family probably 3 years ago...maybe more.  When I saw it, I knew right away that I wanted to read it because I LOVE biographies.  When the book came in the mail though, I had a sense (thanks Lord!) that I shouldn’t read it yet.  One of my greatest fears (I have a feeling I’m not the only one) is of something happening to my family.  I just can’t imagine losing one of them...let alone all of them...and that’s what this book is about.  I knew that if I read it, it would only bring that fear to the forefront & make me worry about my own family.  I put it on the bookshelf....and it sat there till this last weekend.  We were getting ready to go camping & I was looking for a book to bring along.  I thought I might be ready to read it now, so I brought it along.  We stayed so busy camping & fishing that I didn’t have time to even open a book....so I decided to start it this morning.  But now I’m getting ahead of myself!  Let me backtrack for a minute.

This summer started out really crazy for me....REALLY crazy.  I was heading up the VBS at our church & it took a lot out of me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love doing it...but it’s a LOT of work!  Shortly before VBS started a good friend of mine wrote this blog post & it really hit home.  I too was exhausted & overwhelmed.  I was running in every direction trying to spread myself as thin as I could to make all the different “ends” meet....hubby, kids, housework (necessities ONLY), VBS...but I wasn't thin enough to cover everything!  I knew it shouldn’t (& I didn’t want it to) be that way.  My family needs to be my priority...not the ones getting the leftovers!  

Jodi’s post really challenged & encouraged me to make not only my family a priority, but to make sure I look after myself too.  Reading a book.  Going for a bike ride.  Locking myself in my room so I can have devotions.  Putting my feet up.  Enjoying the sunshine.  Laughing with my kids.  Going on a date with my hubby.  I want to pay attention to the warning signs & refocus instead of waiting till I’m hanging on by a thread!  At the end of her post Jodi asked what we wanted to be able to “say we did” this summer.  This is the list I came up with at the time:
v Taking kids to the river.
v Reading a book to challenge me (Fearless).
v Tea with friends.
v Read aloud books to my kids.
v Family camping trips.
v Time spent getting to know the Lord better.
v Spending quality time with each of the kids, encouraging & challenging them.

At the end of August if someone asks me what I did this summer, I don't want to say, "Well, I caught up the housework, did bookwork, prepared for Kid's Rock, got ready to start school in the fall & finished wrapping up my VBS stuff."  Yes, all those things need to be done...but if they are so much at the forefront that I can't think of what else we did then I have a problem! 

I read Jodi’s post only 9 days before VBS started.  I knew I needed to just get through VBS...but at that point I committed to taking a week after VBS to do very, very little.  Hang out at home with my kids...read a book...just be.  By the time VBS was done...I was DONE...and I was sooo thankful for that weekJ.  It was a WONDERFUL week.  At the end of it, I realized a week wasn’t enoughJ...we did nearly the same thing the next week!  This week I was supposed to try & get back into the swing of things, but I’m having a really hard time doing it...and that book didn’t help me any!

No, I didn’t tell you all about the book for nothingJ.  You see I’ve had all this on my mind for a month now...so as I read this morning it just brought it all back.  The book is called “Into the Deep” by Robert Rogers.  It’s the story of how he lost his family & how he dealt with it.  Like I said, you need a box of kleenex!  On the front cover it says, “One man’s story of how tragedy took his family but could not take his faith.”  It’s phenomenally sad, yet at the same time sooo inspiring.  I don’t want to go into detail because I think you should read the bookJ...but the back cover of the book sums it up well, “Robert’s moving story will challenge you to live a life of ‘no regrets,’ to cherish your loved ones, & to live life to the fullest.”  The thing that he now stresses to people through his ministry is just that...to live life to the fullest with no regrets & to cherish your family. 

This was confirmation in my mind of what I’ve been processing since I read Jodi’s post.  I NEED to make my family a priority.  I don’t know yet what that will look like...maybe there’s something I need to give up, maybe part of it will just be a change in mindset, or maybe I just need to rearrange things & have a plan in my mind...but somehow it HAS to happen!  Lord please give me wisdom.  Make it very clear to me, where YOU want me to spend my time & energy.  You have given me such amazing kids to look after here on earth & I want to be the mom for them that you want me to be!  I want to be a supportive wife for Ben.  Jesus guide me!

I have no idea how long I’ll be on this earth...or how long my kids or hubby (or extended family or friends for that matter) will be here...it’s not my job to know that or worry about it...but I do need to use the time that I do have with them wisely.  I want to make memories with my kids.  I want to get to know my hubby better (no, I still don’t know everything about him after 11 yearsJ).  I want to grow closer to my Lord Jesus!  I want to be a blessing to people around me.  I want to make a difference in people’s lives!

So has today been an unproductive day?  Nope.  I read a book, cuddled with my kids, spent time with the Lord & have loved listening to my kids play together...I think it’s a very productive day!  If only every day could be this simpleJ

Here’s my struggle.  Now that I’m in relaxing mode...I don’t really want to come out of it!  Yet like I said, I have an endless list of things to catch up.  So where is the balance?  How do I try & catch up on things this summer...at the same time as doing family stuff...at the same time as taking care of myself...at the same time as trying to get ready for the fall?!?!  I know this is probably something that many, many moms (& dads) struggle with...it’s just become very real for me today. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Humbling Lesson

I’ve had a LOT of blog posts running through my head lately.  Some about what we’ve been up to about family...but more about things I’ve been thinking about...things I’ve been working through...struggles I’ve been having...that kind of thing.  I can’t do them all in one day.  And quite honestly, some will probably never happen, but I wanted to start with this story from last Sunday.

Amanda & I headed out shortly after church to go to my good friend, Kim’s baby shower!  Baby showers have become something that Amanda & I almost always do together.  I needed to pick up a few things in Red Deer afterward since we’d be really close & we decided to combine it all & do Amanda’s special night at the same time.  

We were thrilled to meet Makaio at the shower...

And I was very happy to catch up with a couple of friends from highschool...Kim (Makaio’s mom) & Ida!

After picking up what we needed, Manda wanted to go to Edo Japan for supper.  Yes it’s fast food.  But it’s her favourite because there are cooked carrots in the teryaki chickenJ.  For a while now she’s been taking one or more of her babies (she has 3) everywhere & often treating it like a real baby.  She was soooo  thrilled to see that they had highchairs there for her to put her baby in!

I finally convinced her that “baby boy” (can’t remember what his name is!) would probably love carrots just as much as she does & that she should let him try one tooJ.  She thought it was quite funnyJ.

The only other request she had was to play tag together.  I wasn’t sure how that would work with our dress shoes & nice clothes on, but she really wanted to so I decided to find a green area...and ended up finding an amazing park.  She was thrilled to once again be able to take baby out with her (she loves taking the stroller everywhere to push her babies in).  As she was putting her baby in the stroller she told me that the reason he had been laying on the back seat of the van is that he had fallen asleep while we were eating supper.  I asked if she wanted to leave him sleeping.  She assured me that he would stay sleeping in the stroller if she laid him down a little & gave him his "friend" (stuffed animal)J.
As we walked up to the park we saw this neat little "cove" with a very cool tree.  Perfect opportunity for a picture togetherJ!

Between the swings & the very large park, she kept so busy that we both completely forgot about tag, but it doesn’t matter...Manda had a blastJ.  She wanted to put baby on the swing, but I reminded her that she might not want to wake him up.  She assured me that he was awake now & would love to go on the swingJ.

Whenever we’re out late, I like the kids to be in pjs so that when we get home I can just throw them in bed.  I had decided not to bring pjs along this time because I wanted to buy Amanda a nighty.  May sound strange, but she’s never had one before...always shorts or pants.  Well, we got to Walmart & they didn’t have a single one.  As we were about to leave we walked past the ladies ones & I thought the small might be able to work...and just be long.  Well, I didn`t account for how wide the neckline is...but she thought it was a hoot & loved having itJ.

For those of you who read my status’ on facebook...here’s the story I was referring to when I said, Fear of picking up a drunk man late at night...versus...the innocent comment of a 7 year old Amanda.  Which do you think won??

By the time we headed home it was between 10:30 & 11...and getting dark quickly.  We turned off at our exit (for those around here it was the exit by Bowden to go to Olds).  Just as I was exiting (along with a couple other cars at the same time) I saw out of the corner of my eye what looked like someone waving their arms.  I looked again & there was someone in the “V” between the highway & the exit waving their arms.  I automatically slowed down to make sure they didn’t need help.  As I rolled down my window, I was starting to double guess my choice to stop.  Someone waving their arms seemed to need help...and the compassion in me wanted to help...but the common sense in me said that I never stopped to pick someone up when it was only me in the vehicle...and having Amanda with me almost made it worse!  He started running toward me & I called out asking if he needed help...hoping to get an answer before he got too close.  He didn’t respond the first time so I asked again.  Continuing to run toward me he said, “I just need a ride into Olds”.  Shoot...now what Lord?  Its really not wise for me to pick up a drunk man (I could tell right away that he was drunk) with only me & Amanda in the vehicle!  

Well...I panicked.  I didn’t know what to do.  He was still 10 or 12 yards away.  I said, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that...and drove away.”  Almost immediately I felt a tugging on my heart.  Did I do the right thing?  Should I have picked him up & trusted you to keep us safe God?  You know you can trust Me Heidi.  What if I wanted to use you in his life?  But Lord I have Amanda in the van with me...I have to make a wise choice to keep her safe too!  You don’t think I want Amanda to stay safe too?  Of course I do Lord...  Then show me with your actions.  Are You saying You want me to turn around & go back Lord?  Maybe someone else already picked him up.  I drove for probably a full 5 km with all this going through my head.  Finally, I pulled over.  I knew I had to make a decision.  As I stopped, I prayed, Lord please make it very clear to me if You are wanting me to turn around & go back.  I want to follow You Lord!  Within seconds of praying that prayer Amanda spoke up behind me (she had been just getting herself cozied into sleep & I had told her kind of what was going on & why I wasn’t sure if I should stop).  “Mommy, that’s a long ways to walk if nobody else picks him up.”  She didn’t say it as a guilt trip or really excitedly or with conviction...just a matter of fact statement...that’s a long way to walk.  OK Lord, I hear You loud & clear...Im turning around.  Does that mean Im supposed to pick him up?  I guess if hes still there, then the answer is ’yes ’...and if he’s not, then You just wanted me to show I was willing to obey.  Either way Lord, I’m just trusting You. 

As you may have guessed, he was still there.  My heart was pounding in my chest.  Lord give me the words to say.  Help me to be Your light!  I stopped & started to apologize, but he pretty much ignored me & just came around the van to get in.  OK Lord now Im even more nervous...seems like hes not all there.  Give me peace.  Help me not to worry.  I started again once he got in...found out his name is Jeff...and apologized.  I explained that I had panicked because it was just my daughter & I & it was late.  He assured me, through heavily scented breath that he wasn’t ’that guy’ & that we were safe to pick him up.  He brought this up probably 4 times before I dropped him off (about 15 minutes I think)...assuring me that I didn’t need to worry & that he wouldn’t do anything.  At one point he patted a paper bag under his sweater & let me know ’this isn’t a gun’.  Not sure if that was more reassuring or not...

Anyway...we didn’t talk about anything really deep.  I mostly just tried to keep talking with him & let him know I cared.  At one point he let me know that he goes to church too (not sure how he knew that I do...maybe the music playing).  We talked about that for a bit.  He hinted a number of times about not wanting to talk about certain things with Amanda there (when he patted the paper bag under his sweater he said out loud that it wasn’t a gun...but then tried to whisper to me that it was alcohol & he didn’t want her to know that)...he wanted her to go home & say that he was a good guy & hadn’t treated her mom badly.  Overall, there wasn’t any ’WOW ’ conversation.  Maybe if I was better at thinking on my feet I could have had a better talk with him.  I thought of a few things afterward that I could have said.  I can’t regret it though because I was being obedient.  I just pray that something about us picking him up will nag at him & make him realize that there’s more to life than where he’s headed.  

Although I pray that in some way we could have had an impact in Jeff’s life...I think the bigger lesson in it all was meant for me.  I am so glad that I allowed the simple innocence in Amanda’s words to override the fear I was feeling.  I need to be willing to step out of my comfort zone to allow Jesus to use me.  No, that doesn’t mean I should be foolish...but if He is asking me to do it then I have no reason to fear.  Thank you Lord for speaking to me through Amanda.  It was so humbling to hear Your words through her!  Please help me not to forget that...the innocent trust of a child just wanting to do what’s right.  Teach me Lord Jesus!