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!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vote for me:)

A dear friend of mine emailed me this morning to say that I should sign my blog up on “Circle of Moms”.  They’re doing a vote for the Top 25 Faith Blogs by Moms.  Although it’s not something I would have signed up for on my own, I am honoured that she thought of me so I thought I may as wellJ.  If you’d like to vote for me, check out the link on the right.  You can vote once every 24 hours till June 8.  Thanks in advance if you choose to vote...and thank YOU for suggesting it...you made me feel really specialJ.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Prayer for a Friend

I just had to share this song.  It’s called “Prayer for a Friend” by Casting Crowns.  I’ve listened to it before, but hadn’t heard it in a while.  Nearly every time I hear it though, it brings tears to my eyes.  It automatically brings some very dear friends to mind...and speaks of my longing to bring them to my Father.  Not all the words fit exactly...there aren’t necessarily any “circumstances” or wrong decisions in...it’s just the whole tone of the song to me is a longing to bring those who are dear to our Father. 

I put my iPod on shuffle today & when this song came on tears immediately came to my eyes.  God has laid a number of friends on my heart in the last few weeks...who I’ve thought of nearly constantly...and today I prayed this song twice for them...lifting them up to Jesus!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where I'm At...An Idea Stolen from my Beautiful Sister:)

10 things I'm grateful for...
...an amazingly supportive husband
...my kids
...an amazing church family
...my Christian heritage
...having parents (grandparents) living so close by
...amazing opportunities to create memories & learn with our kids because they’re home with me
...living in Canada
...memories my kids have with my grandparents
...that I was able to visit my dear friend Sheri in Mexico & get involved in their lives there
...a cousin who is willing to pray with me when I’m in the deepest depths...and allows me to do the same for her

9 things I miss...
...my sister-in-law & friend, Cheri who lives in Norway
...our wonderful friends, the Elliotts who are missionaries in Mexico
...being in shape
...sweets...but Lent will be over soon enough
...having time for myself
...having all of our family (Ben’s & mine) living close by
...heading out west with Ben & the kids to enjoy the outdoors
...regular dates with my hubby

8 things I look forward to...
...visiting my grandparents
...going swimming with my big little brother
...making memories with my kids
...a visit with my friend Jodi
...a game night with my family when everyone is home
...being all together with Ben’s family & meeting my baby niece
...another chance to visit Beckie
...warmer days with no snow & spending more time outside

7 things I hope for...
...having the opportunity to watch our kids grow deeper & deeper in their relationships with Jesus
...being able to live close to my Auntie Debbie someday...and my cousin Beckie...at the same time...here in Sundre
...the chance to take a photography course someday
...the courage & wisdom to listen & obey when God speaks
...a more reliable vehicle before winter
...the ability to see life through the eyes of a child
...being debt free
6 things I dream of...
... taking Ben & the kids to Africa
...having the money to travel with the kids
...being able to build our own house...out of town
...adopting a child from Africa
...becoming the wife & mom God intended me to be
...laughing & being completely in love with Ben when we’re old & grey

5 things I'm afraid of...
...losing Ben
...anything happening to my kids
...making wrong decisions
...carbon monoxide poisoning while driving
...a house fire

4 risks I'm glad I took...
...deciding (through tears & distress) to go out for “coffee” (tea) with Ben
...going to China for a month to babysit
...going on a missions trip to Mexico on short notice
...travelling on my own with the kids when Ben couldn’t get away

3 things I plan to never do again...
...text while driving
...say “yes” to too many things & therefore set myself up for a nervous breakdown
...break my ankle...or any other bones

2 things I dread...
...phone calls with creditors
...the day I don’t live close to Drew (my brother)

1 thing...
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers...Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions & in truth.”  I John 3:16, 18

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Soul Surfer

On Friday afternoon I had the privilege of going to a movie on opening night!  I’m not sure that I’ve ever done that before.  I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Jodi & her kids to watch “Soul Surfer”.  It was so refreshing to see a movie that had no questionable content!  For those of you who haven’t heard about it, “Soul Surfer” is based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a teenage girl who lost her arm in a shark attack.  I loved the healthy family & marriage relationships portrayed in the movie.  I loved the message portrayed that “I” am not the most important thing.  I loved the way the movie showed how the Holy Spirit works in people’s lives....when we are following Him, our lives become a testimony in themselves. 

I would definitely let Benjamin (9) see this movie...and I think that’s huge considering the VERY small number of new movies that I would let him see.  The only intense part is when Bethany is attacked by the shark.  If it weren’t for that I’d let Amanda & Kirby see it too (I still might & just take them out of the room for that part).  Anyway...all that to say that I’d highly recommend you go see it!!! 

Oh, one more thing...I LOVE biographies...so I also loved the fact that this was a true story...and that the movie showed pictures & video of the “real” Bethany at the end (I’d have to watch it back, but I think there was also home video at the beginning).  I came across this youtube video after I got home & loved being able to hear Bethany share her heart in her own words...check it outJ.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Struggle & encouragement

For those of you who read my blog & have wished I’d post more, it’s your lucky day...you get 2 blogs in one dayJ.  This spring has been an emotional rollercoaster for me.  With only one basement so far in 2011...we’ve been relying heavily on finding other work to try & pay the bills.  The key word here is try.  God has provided work for us in numerous ways.  We’ve also had numerous weeks with no work.  The combination of less work, working by the hour, & still being behind from last year because of the economy, has felt like a slow death.  It hits me in waves.  Some days I don’t think about it much & feel peace about it.  Other days I feel like I’m drowning.  Discouragement & hopelessness overwhelms me & I struggle to breathe.  I have been extremely thankful for friends who have helped hold me up on those days.  We definitely appreciate your prayers if God lays us on your heart.

Yesterday afternoon I was listening to music & when this song came on I couldn’t stop the tears from running down my cheeks.  I think it was God speaking directly to me & I just had to share itJ. 

Believe Me Now
Steven Curtis Chapman

I watch you looking out across the raging water
So sure your only hope lies on the other side
You hear the enemy that's closing in around you
And I know that you don't have the strength to fight
But do you have the faith to stand and...

Believe Me now
Believe Me here
Remember all the times I've told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe Me now
Believe Me now

I am the One who waved my hand and split the ocean
I am the One who spoke the words and raised the dead
And I've loved you long before I set the world in motion
I know all the fears you're feeling now
But do you remember who I am?
Do you..

Believe Me now
Believe Me here
Remember all the times I've told you loud and clear
I am with you
And I am for you
So believe Me now
Believe it's true

I never have, I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always been
I will forever be
So believe Me now

I am the God who never wastes a single hurt that you endure
My words are true, and all My promises are sure
So believe Me now
Oh, believe Me now

A side note...I believe this has been more of a struggle for me since I’ve started doing Lent with the kids.  A month ago I still had days when I struggled, but nothing like what it’s been lately.  I fully believe that Satan is not happy about us drawing closer to God & he’s doing whatever he can to stop it! 

Closer to HIM

I’ve had this update floating in my head for a while now, but haven’t had a chance to write it.  I wanted to give you an update on how Lent is going for the kids & I.  Like I explained in my last post, the kids are switching what they’re giving up each 10 days.  The first “segment” was sweets.  When I first told them about Lent & that we were going to do it together they weren’t all that impressed.  I second guessed myself a little...yet I really felt like God was asking me to do it with them, so I pressed forward.  It was about the middle of last week when I asked them how they felt it was going & what they were learning.  Almost immediately they all agreed on one thing...that they had learned that sweets weren’t that big a deal.  They hadn’t thought about it that much.  Made my heart soarJ.  Not that that’s the ultimate goal here, but it was a start. 

Along with Lent we’ve been working through a book together called “Seek God for the City”.  The idea is, that there are people all over the world praying for the same things on the same day...and that by the end of it, we will have prayed for everyone on earth.  Each day it gives us about 5 countries to pray for...along with a “category” of people (teachers, men, homeless, etc)...and a few ways to pray for people in our community.  It is 40 days of prayer (Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday) for our community & the rest of the world.  There is a kid’s version of the book as well which I love.  The kids & I have been working through it together each day...and I’m thrilled with the outcome.  Not only are we praying together...which is wonderful in itself...but I’ve really noticed a change in the way the kids pray.

I’ve struggled for a while now about how to teach the kids to pray...really pray.  Not just saying the same thing night after night.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t repeat things...but I want them to pray from their hearts...not just saying some words they’ve memorized over time.  Well, we seem to have taken one small step in that direction & it’s so fun to hearJ.  After we read through the “Seek God” thoughts for the day, I give each of the kids something different to pray about.  It seems that having to think about that extra thing & remember it, has made them think more about what they’re saying.  Whatever it is, I’m just so excited to see that little step forward.  It has encouraged my heart this week...and confirmed that I am indeed doing the right thing in doing all this with them. 

Jesus please continue to use these weeks leading up to Easter to draw us closer to You.  Make Yourself real to the kids Lord.  Help them to know Your love for them.  Help them to understand who it is they’re talking to when they pray.  Give me wisdom as I do this with them.  Give me words to say when they have questions.  Help me to know when to explain something & when to just let Your Holy Spirit work in their hearts.  Work in my heart too Lord.  I want to grow closer to You.  I want to know  You more.  I love you Lord!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Little Update & Some Thoughts

I know it’s been much too long since I wrote...but I don’t think I’m even going to apologizeJ.  Feeling guilty won’t make me write more...so I’m just going to enjoy this opportunity to write again.  I’ve been kept very busy with being a mom, doing bookwork, running a household...and homeschooling.  This year has been a bit more of an adjustment than I expected.  Suddenly teaching all 3 kids & needing to keep them all busy has definitely pushed my ability to multi taskJ.  I am however, thoroughly enjoying it.  Having my kids home & being able to be a part in those everyday parts of their lives...I just love itJ

Did you grow up giving up something for lent?  Or maybe seeing your parents do that each year?  I didn’t.  I don’t remember ever hearing about it or...once I did hear about it...understanding what it was...until sometime after we got married.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing...that’s just not something that was a part of our family.  Or maybe it was & I totally don’t remember!  At first I only understood it to be a Catholic tradition & didn’t think much of it.  In the last few years I’ve come to realize that many Christians use lent as way to draw closer to God.  No, it’s not Biblical, but I really like the idea of giving something up in order to focus on my relationship with Him.  I never knew how people knew when lent started...and I would only hear about it the day it was starting.  In my mind I used that as an excuse not to do it the last couple of years.  Really there’s no reason I couldn’t have started a day or two late!  Anyway...all that to say that I’m going to do it this year...and I’m really excited about it.

I’ve been thinking for a while now that I wanted to deepen my relationship with the Lord...but have felt kind of lost as to how to go about it.  Or maybe I just felt like I didn’t have motivation.  I know that sounds terrible.  If He’s #1 in my life then He should be motivation enough.  I know that...and I guess that’s why I knew something needed to change.  I just wasn’t sure how to go about it.  I also feel strongly that I haven’t been setting a very good example for the kids.  Not that I’ve been doing anything terrible...it’s more what I haven’t been doing.  How am I supposed to pass on to them a passionate love for Jesus...if they never see that in me?  Benjamin is already 9 (yikes!)...and they say that we only have till they’re 12 to really influence them...till they start looking at all the “options” & weighing them out themselves.  That means I only have 3 more years...double yikes!  So what kind of view of a relationship with Jesus will Benjamin have?  What have I passed on to him (& the other kids)?  Yes we do devotions together (although I have to admit it’s not always daily), yes we pray together daily, yes we have many, many God related discussions (one of my favorite parts of homeschooling)...but really what have I shown them about what it really means to have a RELATIONSHIP with JESUS CHRIST?? 

This is something I’ve been pondering & wrestling with for a few months now...but it hit home again on Sunday.  Pastor Kent has been preaching through a series called “Not a Fan”.  In a nutshell it’s about the difference between being a fan & a follower of Jesus.  It’s easy to be a fan...but I want to be a follower.  In the video clip he showed on Sunday it talked of a father whose daughter had walked away from her faith.  The father wasn’t asking “why”?  Instead he made this statement, “We raised her in the church, but we didn’t raise her in Christ.”  This statement put into words what I’ve been feeling the last few months.  Yes our kids go to church nearly every Sunday & we do all that other stuff...but how on earth do we truly teach them who Jesus is & what it means to have a real relationship with Him?  If you’re hoping for an answer you’re in the wrong placeJ.  I definitely don’t have one.  But I do know what I’m going to do to start.

The kids & I will be doing lent together this year.  It’ll be a first for all of us & I pray that we can all learn something from it.  Based on some online research & what my “gut” says I’m going to break up the time for the kids.  40 days is a long time for kids to give up one thing...and I think would be setting them up for failure.  So we’re going to break it up into 10 day segments, giving up something different each 10 days.  I haven’t figured out just how we’ll arrange it yet, but sweets & screen time will be in the mix.  In order to do somewhat the same thing as them so that they don’t feel like I’m asking something of them that I won’t do...I’m going to give up 2 things.  I know it’s a big step from never having done lent before...but I really feel God asking me to do this.  I’m going to give up sweets...and I’m going to give up my “during the day” facebook time.  That may seem half hearted...not to give up facebook altogether...but it’s really a huge sacrifice for me.  Since I’m home all day with the kids, I’m quite used to checking facebook 15-20 times a day.  I won’t be on for long, but I’m on often.  Anytime I sit down at the computer to look something up for the kids, I check facebook.  So I’m going to limit myself to once a day for a maximum of 20 minutes.  This will allow me to stay in touch with numerous family members who live across the province, the country & the world...but will still be a big sacrifice for me.

Why?  What’s the purpose for all this?  First & foremost because I feel God leading me to.  I pray that God will use this time to bring me & my kids closer to Him & to each otehr.  I want to be purposeful about using that extra time to spend time with Him.  I want to spend daily time reading the Bible with my kids.  I want to seek Him about how to make Jesus real to my kids.  I want to start thinking about the meaning of Easter now instead of waiting till 2 days before & then trying to make it meaningful for the kids. 

So why am I telling you all about it?  Well, I’m hoping that you can help hold me accountable.  Ask me how it’s going.  What we’re learning.  Let me know your thoughts!  Offer any advice you may have.  Maybe it could even be an encouragement for you to give up something of your own.  Not because it’s “lent”...but because you want to deepen your relationship with Jesus!

Side note:  Did you know that if you actually count the calendar days, lent lasts for 47 days?  I never knew (I’ve never counted) till I was researching last night.  It’s 40 days not including the Sundays.  The Sundays are supposed to be a break from the fasting because that’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with that yet.  In one way I can see it being nice to have that “break” from the fast...but it would also make it really easy to “over-indulge” on that day...then again maybe that would help prevent over-indulging at the end of the 40 days.  Like I said I don’t know, but I’m not worried about it.  Like I said, this isn’t Biblical.  It’s a choice I’m making to draw closer to my Lord...so we’ll deal with that when the time is right.  I just thought it was an interesting tidbit of infoJ

I’ll leave it at that.  If you’re my friend on facebook & you don’t see me throughout the day you’ll know why.  Also, if you use facebook to get ahold of me throughout the day, you may want to email or phone instead if it’s something you need before the end of the day.  I’d love to know your thoughts on any of this!