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Sunday, 26 June 2011

Wind in my Sail

I was sitting on my veranda just now with my cup of coffee in hand, my heart feeling unsettled and restless.  In fact, it has felt that way for a couple of weeks now.  Right after I posted about going on a near ten-week stretch of being on top of my household tasks, I began to notice a dwindling.  At first, I figured maybe it was just an off day but that lull has been making itself at home and is beginning to overstay its welcome!

So I walked away from a disorderly kitchen this morning with the need to turn my heart to God.  Afterall, those ten weeks were filled with my singing His praise for the energy and self-discipline I felt He was blessing me with.  It felt like an undeniable reward for the complete willingness and surrender of my heart to embrace His appointed time, Passover.

It was so affirming.

But fifty days after passover is Shavuot which perfectly aligns with Pentecost.  While Shavuot was Moses coming down from the mount with God's laws, Pentecost was the gift of the Holy Spirit (the law within our hearts) fifty days after Jesus was resurrected.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Shavuot was fast approaching but instead of turning my heart to His appointed time, I got caught up within my self and what I wanted and watched Shavuot come and go with no special attention from me.  "Oh well, next year I will be more diligent."

It has only been the last few days that I have been connecting the dots and adding up how long I have been feeling deflated and it hit my like a tonne of bricks that my fatigue and sheer exhaustion coincides perfectly with Shavuot.  Could it be??

So my spirit fell to its knees and asked forgiveness for fearing pleasing those of this world over pleasing our God!  His special day had been filled with my attention placed on things and people of this world rather than on Him and the simple commandments He asked of me.

Yes, they are simple.  Far more simple than the complicated webs we weave in this world of proper etiquette in pleasing others!

"Love me and do as I say."

As I sat there just moments ago, a prayer poured forth from me and words flowed through me that revealed so much more than just a questionable unrest.

"Father, I come to you now feeling as though I have lost the wind in my sails.  Forgive me, Father.  Look at the environment around me, the luxuries that I know... the freedom I live!  This is the life of someone who has been richly blessed.  Forgive me that my gratitude is so fickle that I am so easily distracted by my own heart's desires and far too willing to push you to the wayside as I pursue what I want.  In so doing, I turned my back on you at Shavuot.  You did nothing but wait lovingly for me and I did not come.  And now I am restless with missing you and feeling distant.  I know you have already forgiven me so I ask that you help me to forgive myself.  I ask that you help me shed whatever it is that inhibits my sail from rising up and catching wind of your Holy Spirit once more... to propel me forward towards your good and pleasing Will.  Help me to rejoice in my daily tasks and the ABILITY you give me to administer them.  I love you so much.  Thank you for your constant willingness to work on me, to refine me, to believe that I am worth the work.  In Jesus' precious name... Amen."

With that I hopped up and came right to you to confess what I have struggled with these past couple of weeks.  And as I typed about the meaning behind Shavuot, I literally gasped in realizing how much it aligned with my prayer!  The literal feeling of the "wind in my sail" and feeling its absence affirmed the discord with my soul about Shavuot... the giving of His laws, the giving of His Holy Spirit.

Oh how He is gracious and patient with me despite such obvious "connect-the-dot" moments.

So there you have it folks.  I've shed some healing tears and have tasted the freedom of humility from the revelation given to me thanks to the time taken this morning to truly SEEK what has been inhibiting me.  No distractions, just the truth, please.  And He gave it to me in full dose.  Praise be to God!

Once again, I cannot thank you enough for the freedom of expressing my journey and the comfort of knowing you care enough to touch base.  May you feel my love pour forth towards you this morning with the humility of knowing I am your simple servant, ever striving to look outside of just my SELF and to truly reach out with purpose and above all, love.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

To Pee or Not to Pee

Apparently this is the question Ethan's bladder does not always let his conscious mind in on!

Ah yes, you guessed it... Potty Training.

As if my days were not filled enough with household tasks, custom meals, chauffeuring, etc... we now have to add a ridiculous amount of time spent sitting on a bathroom floor coaxing my two year old son to let all the "pee pee and poo poo" out into the cool red potty.

Cue tangent #1
I remember dreaming of the day I would be a mom.  You know, cute babies cooing happily, onlookers smiling at the sight of your darling little angels, patty-cake and first steps, etc...  Yeah, no one EVER warned me that my life would completely revolve around other people's bodily functions!  And that I would barely have time for my own!!


Between changing Isabel's diapers, cleaning up Ethan's accidents, getting wacked in the back of the leg by Sivana in her walker signing "DIAPER" because she's pooped... again... yelling at Anika to sit on the toilet because she's doing the pee-pee dance... again... as I step into a "puddle" Ethan did not yet tell me about.  In this blasted heat, I go to the bathroom to splash some water on my face and wipe my face thoroughly on the hand towel lying next to the sink only to hear Anika yell "ETHAN POOPED ON THE FLOOR!"

Okay, in all fairness, Ethan has only pooped on the floor about five times thus far into two weeks of potty training but it sure feels like more!

Hose down Ethan and his new Thomas the Tank Engine underwear, wash his hands that were too curious to pass up feeling what was sticky on his bum... sigh... (and if I wasn't so tired, I would even say EWWW!!!) go back to the kitchen where I have been trying to get lunch made for the last hour... wash my hands AGAIN... only to hear the water running in the bathroom.

There is my son dumping his pee-filled potty in the sink and wiping it with the hand towel!!  GULP... the one I had been wiping my face with ALL DAY!  How many times has he done THAT???

Okay, now I am NOT too tired to exclaim EWWWW GROSS!!!!

It's at the point now where going out in public visiting with other adults feels... well... like something is missing!  I have to squelch the instinct to ask if I can double check to see if they've wiped their bums properly and did they wash their hands?  Did they pull their pants all the way to the floor to make sure they did not pee on it?  Or clap my hands excitedly when someone walks out of the bathroom and say "YEAY!!!  WHAT A BIG KID!!!"  Or look at my watch and say "Hey Mr. ______, it's been two hours since your last potty break.  Do you need to do a pee?"

Maybe there's a reason us parents are house-bound when the kids are little!  We'd risk acquiring restraining orders otherwise!!

Melina is having a birthday party as I type this... ten sixteen year old girls... on the brink of realizing that other people's opinions do NOT have power over them... but still blushing at moments that could/should be embarrassing.  My younger children do not clue in on social awkwardness (heck, neither do I!) so much to these girls' horror, Ethan was just sitting on his potty with me holding a book in front of him while Anika was on the big white toilet next to him, both of them grunting up a storm... bathroom door wide open as the girls are needing to use the sink to wash off the makeovers they'd been doing.

I cannot help but laugh.  "Sorry for the grunt fest over here, ladies."  Their nervous giggles make me laugh even more!  But it's Ethan exclaiming "Mommy, (GRUNT) I think my poop is still shy!" that has the girls scurrying awfully quick out of the bathroom.
Lastly, there was the time when Duane and I finally stole a moment of just sitting together before being swept away by our hectic lives.  It had been a day of split kiddie tasks - he was responsible for Isabel and I looked after the three little ones.  The day presented this precious, precious moment of just breathing together.  To make it even sweeter, Duane started to caress my face gently as I closed my eyes soaking up every glorious sensation and act of gentleness.  Around my eyes, down on my chin, along my cheek and my upper lip... sniff... along my cheek again.... without opening my eyes, I felt the moment slip away from me all too quickly as I asked him slowly... "did Isabel have a poopy diaper?"  Still loving with the moment, he continued to caress my face as he answered "Yes."  "Duane, did you wash your hands?"  His caressing fingers froze right over my upper lip... "Yes."  Which is a testament to the potency of Isabel's... aroma... and the fact that despite our raw hands from constant washings, not even a tiny moment of togetherness can occur without an interruption of pee or poo.

Ah sweet dignity!  By any other name would it still smell this NOT-so-sweet???

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tractor songs!

For all you moms and dads out there who are looking for fun-filled and colourful songs for your kids to enjoy!  Or if you're like me and enjoy these whether the kids are sitting next to you or not... hee hee hee!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Cruisin' Down the Crescent

Well, because we are partly crazy, we are attempting to participate in the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation fundraiser entitled, Cruisn' Down the Crescent.

Over these years, this foundation has been responsible for providing many specialized equipment for Isabel including her wheelchair, stander, bath seat, etc...  More recently, we have submitted a request to help fund a portion of Isabel's $4,000 tandem bike.

I can only imagine the many, many families who have been blessed by their diligence, their expertise and genuine willingness to help families with children who struggle with various disabilities.  It's wonderful to know the world is full of people who strive to make a difference!

Should you feel compelled to contribute, just click HERE for our family's campaign (located in the upper left window) or feel free to visit their website for a generalized contribution.  Either way, your generosity will make its way to families whose lives are richly blessed by it.

Wish us luck!  We'll post some pictures of this adventure as soon as we can!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Chocolate Chip Song

Ethan is in love with his special allergen-free chocolate chips.  In fact, any time we sing our Sabbath song and it's his turn to tell us what he is thankful for, it is always (always, always) "CHOCWAT CHIP!"

Tonight, he wanted me to write a song about his chocolate chips and here it is along with a little slideshow.  The kids' favourite part is when I make an attempt at Cookie Monster singing the chorus about how is tummy is "oh so full of chocolate chips."

By no means is this a professional recording (or talent, for that matter... in fact, you can hear the kids yelling for me in the background) but it made us laugh and of course, that means we have to share it!  I am also chuckling at the fact that Melina now has the tune stuck in her head!

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Friday, 3 June 2011

Good Morning Sunshine!

Well, the sun is actually shining brightly this morning; however, the weather these past couple of weeks has been as predictable as my mood!  It amazes me how too much gloomy weather can really lower one's spirits!  Particularly when that "someone's" spirit is Duane during seeding season.


Poor guy.  How many consecutive years in a row of not being able to get seed in the ground do we need to have before something changes?  So many farmers are watching the rain wash away the promise of getting into the fields for another couple of days.  You can almost feel them all holding their breath when a sunny day appears and the notion of "just two more days like this and we can get back in those fields".  Seeding trucks, augers, tractors and other planting equipment all buzzing with anticipation... watching every piece of earth respond to a drying sun!  Almost there, almost there!

And then the clouds roll in as though from nowhere!

It has already been too much for some farmers.  One in particular tried to take his own life... so this morning, while the sun is shining bright, I wanted to send out some prayers to find each of you but also to unite with your good hearts to offer encouragement and support to all of our farmers out there.  Without them, we would not eat.  Their work is arduous and the outcome as unpredictable as a game of russian roulette!

These are hard-working people with families to feed.  I wish there was more we could do than offer up our prayers but for now, I hope it can do more than we realize.  Seeding deadlines are fast approaching.  So to all of you out there, bless you this beautiful morning!  And for all of you farmers, we are so grateful for your hard work and may you literally reap the rewards of your efforts.

May the harvest be rich that all may delight and share in the bounty.