Tag Archive | family

Kodak Moments

To me remains nor place, nor time;
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.

After  settling back into our non-routine routine life, I finally found made some time to compile a little photo log of our journey over the past several weeks; or, one might call it, “really great excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging.”  I think my husband’s seven-year old Kodak 612Z camera still does a pretty good job capturing and highlighting our days.

After Easter, we moved out of our cute little spot in Ottawa.

Then we stayed on the “other” side of the Ottawa River a while with friends:

with dear friend, Elaine!

and moved our “schtuff” into their basement…

Guess I got a little too comfortable in their basement!

Then, it was time to say “See you later” (not goodbye), to some friends…

With Mitch at the Coffee House (JRCM)

Dave speaking at Jericho Road Coffee House

Kim’s surprise party was a success!! ♪ Happy 50th Birthday dear Friend ♪ !!

Last day–Brunch with Mack, Ray, Gloria, JL, and Charlene (taking the pic)

As we headed out of town, some colourful tulips peaking through the snow caught our eye.

At Dow’s Lake, these early blooms held up well to the late snow

Delicate, but tough

Then we drove south, and south, and east a bit…to enjoy an extended stay in Virginia Beach for my mom’s 80th birthday celebration, shared with our daughters and grandkids!  These are just a few pics of all that were taken from our blessed time together:

With my beautiful mom. Willa

With my mom, Hope (& her baby-to-be), and Gracey!

Joy, my mom, Grace with Eva, and moi

All smiles with Gracey and Joy (and her baby-to-be)

Sisters with child(ren)

Say Cheese!! Grace, Joy, Steve, and Eva!

Cousins get reacquainted

Protected and Protector

On stage at the Kid’s Place

Eva is a star too!!

Busch Gardens with Hope, Jon and Andrew

Joy and Eva are not persuaded that the ponies are entirely safe at the Petting Zoo 🙂

John Deere meets John and Jon!

Wrapping up a morning at the Petting Zoo

Time for piggies in the sand!

The whole world’s a Beach for Poppop and Jonathan

Eva’s beach time with Pop-Pop

A few minutes of relaxin’ for lovely Nurse Grace

All done….

After spending time with our blessings, it was time to meet the road again.

highway to the hills

As Bilbo sang in The Hobbit,

Roads go ever ever on,

Over rock and under tree,

By caves where never sun has shone,

By streams that never find the sea;

Over snow by winter sown,

And through the merry flowers of June,

Over grass and over stone,

And under mountains in the moon.

So we return, for a bit, to our hollow in the hills, giving praise to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and seeking Him for whatever lies ahead.

Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived. Psalm 119:5

While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with a God to guide our way,
“tis equal joy to go or stay.

Jeanne Marie Guyon, 1722

What have you been up to lately?

Too Busy Being Me

Amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you–you are “perfect in Christ Jesus.”  ~ Spurgeon

I am so imperfect.  And quite the imperfect blogger.  I’ve been terribly sporadic this year!  So, thought it time to lay out all my excuses and explain why I’ve been less-than-regular with writing and encouragement.

My husband has often says of himself, “It’s a full-time job just being me.”

And so with Linda….I’ve been too busy being me.

Being me, as any beloved child, is about partaking in God’s daily discipline and grace.  Discipline, because I need it so much, and truly deserve it.  Grace, well, because I need it so much, and don’t deserve it.

And being me has felt a bit like Bilbo Baggins, who said he felt “thin, sort of stretched, like butter, scraped over too much bread.”

Stretched, but content…

.

~~Living in Ottawa, but preparing to leave for our “other” home, building on relationships while facing goodbyes, being served by the very people I seek to serve, tutoring and plugging along with my degree, surprisingly chosen for the “novel” task of ghostwriting,  and most recently, selected to be a contributing author for Regent University’s new blog.

~~A grateful wife of 36 years to a lovely, deep man, with an oft broken, contrite, yet humorous spirit!

~~Always a mom, though my daughters are grown and don’t live anywhere nearby.   But I’m a mom, and thankfully, ever will be!

~~A grandma to two precious little ones, with another on the way!  When I’m with them, I can’t imagine being away.  And when I’m away→→I skype!!

.

~~An only, beloved child to my sweet mom, and this year, planning her 80th birthday celebration and reunion! How priceless is that?!

Being me may keep me from blogging regularly, but may it never keep me from daily seeking the Lord, leaning on and learning of His unfailing love and surpassing mercy.

I just pray that me being me won’t get in the way of

Him being Him,

in me,

for

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

~~~

Maybe you could share how you maintain blogging and other responsibilities, while still being you?

Some thoughts on Anger

“Everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”     James 1:19, 20

We are to take extreme CARE with the emotion of anger.  I’ve heard it’s okay to be angry, because after all, the Word says “Be angry and don’t sin.”  But I find there’s quite a blurry line in my life between anger and sin, one I can’t see very well, so perhaps I should avoid that contested boundary if at all possible.

Jonah offers an interesting contrast between man’s anger and the Lord’s.  One is quick.  The other, slow.

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.

He prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

But the Lord replied, “Have you any right to be angry?”

Jonah also illustrates the great chasm between our anger and God’s forgiveness.  Jonah gets angry over a plant dying!  Yet, for the life of him, he can’t grasp God’s mercy towards the 120,000 people (and their cattle) He spares due to their sincere repentance!

He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?” “I do,” he said. “I am angry enough to die.”

But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

In the book of Job we read, that even when we feel sick and tormented, a rash and angry response will undoubtedly lead to sin. “Beware that wrath does not entice you to scoffing” (Job 36:18).

However, God’s slowness to anger always results in compassionate redemption:

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

He will not always strive with us,  nor will He keep His anger forever.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:8-13

And finally, our anger often usually leads to unforgiveness.  Jesus is pretty clear how he feels about that in his parable on the unforgiving servant:

“Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?”  Matthew 18:33

Ultimately, humans have a bad track record with anger.  We are encouraged to put it aside, along with all the junk it creates in our minds (and bodies).  So….

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:29-32

~~~

Dear Lord, Help us to have mercy on others as you have had towards us.  Help us to forgive as we’ve been forgiven, and love as You have loved.  Only then can we experience release from the burden of anger, draw others to You, and accomplish Your redemptive purpose.  You are so merciful, Lord.  Amen.

 

P.S.  A little ♪ note on mercy can be heard in the Music Box above.  It’s a new song by Sovereign Grace Music called, Have Mercy on Me.  You can listen on this site, and dowload at Amazon.com or Sov Grace’s website.

Honouring My Mom

Happy 79th Birthday to my Mom!!

I long to honour my mom whenever possible because, even though everything in Scripture says she should be served by the Church, my mom seeks and lives to serve Jesus and His church with no expectation of return.

Recently, she’s struggled with some upper respiratory issues, and had to be the recipient of others’ servitude. But she felt so uncomfortable with that!  She prays to be fully restored and back on her feet, so she can serve, minister, and fellowship to and with others! That’s just one of the reasons I love her so much!!

The following is a repost from her birthday two years ago, but it’s as true today as it was then:

mom and me!Me and my Mom

Let me introduce you to my mom–not back to when I (or she) was a child, but who she is Today–at 77 years old:

  • She joins others at her church several mornings a week to intercede for their pastor, the country, church family, own family, and many other needs.
  • Several years ago she started a Bible Study in her home–and 5 years later, several precious and faithful women still gather together every Monday night to study God’s Word.
  • She serves on her church’s Mission Committee, corresponding with a LOT of missionaries and their families; sends them cards for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, and keeps them apprised of church events/issues at home.  She also helps plan the annual Missions Conference–contacts missionaries, compiles names of those attending, and helps plan events throughout the week.
  • Four years ago, she started a puppet show ministry, using Bible Stories she wrote for children. Along with other extremely devoted friends from her church, the “Gospel Tellers’  was formed.  They present fun and Scriptural puppet/flannel shows 3-4 times a month at various shelters in the Phoenix area.  And the best part–through these shows, hundreds of children, moms and dads, have come to know Jesus as their Saviour!!

This list doesn’t do her justice, because what really sets her apart is her spirit, her example, and her love for Jesus.  And….she’s my mom!

Her children rise up and bless her!”

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised!! ”

Prov. 31:28, 30

Sin in Control

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.”      Psalm 51:4

I’m not a theologian, I don’t read Hebrew or Greek, and I’m not a subject-matter expert about much of anything. There.

But sometimes I’m burdened about something so much, that I’m compelled to step out of my comfort zone (as a warm-fuzzy encourager), and share my heart. It’s my sincerest prayer that through today’s post and future Titus2sdays, you may grow in the Lord, pleasing Him in every respect, and His name would be glorified.

Even though it’s quite clear that the desire of  human nature is to control and be in control, I think women struggle the most with this battle. I  know—I am one.

Genesis 3:16 reminds us why we’re so encumbered:

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

When boundaries are set, we instantly to try to step over them, climb under them, or reason our way around them.  The apostle Paul discusses this inclination extensively in Romans 7.  Specifically, verse 7 says,

For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”

So, just as the Word revealed Paul’s coveting as sin, we too face an uncomfortable fact:  Our desire for control is sin. We don’t want to be ‘ruled’ by anyone, God or man.  Perhaps because we don’t trust others to make the right decisions on our behalf.  Or, we don’t trust God.  And that equates to sin.

But desiring to control is more than not trusting God, it’s attempting to be God.  One of my favourite authors, Paul D. Tripp, discusses this dilemma:

  • The desire to be God rather than to serve God lies at the bottom of every sin that anyone has ever committed…. Sin is rooted in my desire to live for me. [1]
  • Self-sovereignty is the dream of every sinner. It’s hard for us to trust ourselves to the wisdom, power, and control of another. We want to write our own drama, and we want to be the central character of the story. But the spiritual reality of the universe is that we are not authors of our own story. Our story is a part of a larger story written by the Lord. In this story we are never on center stage. That is a position to be occupied by the Lord alone. [2]
  • You and I can change no one. Ultimately, personal change comes from only one source: the gracious act of a powerful God. When people try to change one another, typically the focus is on behaviour. Yet behaviour is not really the issue…the root problem is the heart. When we attempt to do God’s job and change someone’s heart, we only cause frustration to ourselves and pain to the other person. [3]

So try to control others according to our limited wisdom or for our benefit, we become self-serving, we hurt others, and, we’re sinning against God.

“Against You only, I have sinned.”

Thankfully, the Lord is gracious. He is compassionate, wise, understanding, and above all, forgiving. He is able to help us. We can and must depend entirely on Him, yielding our hearts and minds to His control.

What a wretched woman I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!!  Romans 7:24

~~~~~~~

Let’s pray together about this during the week and ask ourselves:

Where do I need the grace of God to say no to the temptation to step over God’s boundaries and control?

How have I sinned against the Lord by trying to control others?

~~~~~~~

Dear Lord, Thank you for the victory we have through Christ! We are incapable of living out this Christian life apart from you.  Sometimes it’s so difficult, we feel like quitting. Please meet us first thing each morning and all day long, with your mercy and grace, to enable us to relinquish our behaviours, thoughts, and words to You. Your kingdom come, Your will be done…not ours. In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen

~~~~~~~

[1]  Whiter than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy

[2]  A Shelter in A Time of Storm: Meditations on God and Trouble

[3]  Broken-Down House

~~~~~~~

Join us next Titus 2sday for more discussion on control, trust, and the help available through Jesus!

In Pictures

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”     1 Thessalonians 5:18
~
My thankful list in photos, on this Meditative Monday:
~
(Beth custom-made this beautiful purse for me, then packaged it in my favourite wrap–brown-paper tied up with string!  🙂

The Perfect Purse, by Beth Stone

 

 

52-54.  My grandma’s dishes :-), a great deal on this second-hand china cabinet, and one of my current and highly recommended reads, Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney

A few of my favourite things

 

 

55.  John’s laughter and “temp” dog (enjoyment w/out the responsibility)

John with our "Temp" Dog

 

 

56.  The intricacies of a flower

A closer look

Tulip Details

 

 

57.  The deer that come to our yard (before ‘temp’ dogs chase them away)

One of Many

 

 

58. The help, awesome talent, and friendship of our brother-in-law, Harold

Carpenter's Hands

He turned this…..

Before...

Into this…

After....and more to come!

And he continues to work hard (between a much-needed break)!

John and Harold (aka The Finisher)

 

 

This last item for today will get a post of its own soon….
60.  Our peaceful hollow, in His hands…

Ahhh

Roof with a View

 

 

Join me and others here in giving thanks to the Lord for ALL His unspeakable gifts:

No Comparison

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.  2 Cor. 10:12

I think one of the hardest battles we have as women, is comparing ourselves with others.   This thinking can invade every area and role of our lives.  If we’re working outside the home, we look around, and wonder if we’re doing as good a job as others.  Some nebulous standard out there says we must have a cleaner or more creative home than….who?  Others, of course!  And forget it when it comes to mothering!  Organic meals, frugal budgets, home-schooling, discipline, potty-training, Baby einstein…it’s craaaaazy!!!   No matter how hard we try, there is always, always, always, someone doing ‘it’ better…or worse.

There is no peace in comparison.  And, honestly, I am not the best person to offer insight on how to defeat this monster, because it rages in me…everyday.

But, God’s Word can! 

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Eph. 2:10 

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Psalm 100:3   

For you formed my inward parts;  you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:13 

God Made You. 

There IS no comparison.  You are unique in everyway.  Uniquely beautiful, talented, intellectual, spiritual, and, all together Wonderful!   So why still try to measure up or compare ourselves with others?

It’s a matter of Focus.

We focus waaaaaay too much on ourselves.  Or others.  We need to adjust our sights, and focus on only one Person.

Focus on Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.   Hebrews 12:1-3

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  Romans 14:7-8

 

Working, parenting, teaching, cleaning, changing diapers (whether cloth or disposable), serving, achieving, befriending–Living–it’s all for the Lord!

Focus and live for Him.  Freedom from comparing, peace in knowing He loves and made us, strength in living each day for Him, and Him alone…now that kind of life has no comparison!  

~~~

Dear Lord,  It seems that our flesh cannot help but to compare everything we do with everyone we know, and even those we don’t.  It’s a battle we face day in and out.  Help us to focus on Jesus as our standard, and no one else.  Destroy our worldly speculations and comparisons, and bring our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  We yield ourselves to you.  Let all we are, say, and do, be for You glory. You alone are worthy.  Amen.

~~~ 

Please come back every Tuesday–Titus 2sday–when we seek God’s Word for hope, grace, and strength to be the women He made us to be.