Search This Blog

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Now Izzy, Too

Sheesh!  Would you believe that Isabel needed her seizure rescue med tonight?  As if picking up on the cue of my last entry, she starting seizing at 7:55 pm.  Five minutes later, we administered her Lorazepam which took eight minutes to dissolve!  Finally, seven minutes after that, she stopped twitching and was making good eye contact again.  Twenty minutes of seizures... I think today officially sucks!

Or maybe it's all about balance?  Afterall, today is First Fruits (depending on which observance of "the morrow after the sabbath" one observes)... which means that our Lord and Saviour is risen today.  Perhaps the wonder of this alone explains the "extra" activity in our home today!

Now we are "counting the omer" as explained in Leviticus 23:9.  Fifty days we are to count (and seven Sabbaths) until the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot which post-Christ becomes Pentecost.  How incredible that our Saviour would have chosen His Father's appointed times for His gifts... His death on the cross at Passover when the lambs were being slaughtered, then rising on First Fruits as the first of the resurrected "harvest" and then the gift of His "comforter" (the Holy Spirit) which is the law within our hearts given fifty days later matching perfectly Shavuot which was the giving of the law through Moses.

Wouldn't that be just like Jesus to make sure that by honoring His timing He has made sure that we have honored His Father's timing?

So despite the upheaval in this house today, we remember the significance of these days and give thanks for a God who loves us so much, He sanctifies us through His commandments.  And what a joy it is to KNOW Him through them!

In the Blink of an Eye

There's much work beckoning me but I am having a hard time focusing after what has just happened that productivity is pushed aside for a moment as I sink into solemn thought.

In the blink of an eye... Surely you've heard that expression but what do we KNOW of it?  Even something as simple as five minutes can change your life forever.  If Isabel is left unattended and she goes into a seizure for greater than five minutes and we are not able to administer her emergency medication, the prolonged seizing could have serious if not deadly ramifications.  Five minutes.  In the blink of an eye.

Or today, on a day when I am by myself with five little ones, cleaning poop blowouts requiring an emergency bath time, potty-break time with a potty-training partially deaf two-year old, med time for Isabel, g-tube feeding setups and dismantlings, tending to countless other little tasks that add up to a morning come and gone in the blink of an eye.

Or lunch prep time in prayer that all the children can keep the peace for the next half hour while I get Ethan's custom food warmed up, Avalyn's baby food made & the rest of us served reheated leftovers.  Thankfully I was getting along without interruption only to hear Avalyn make a strange noise in the other room.  I went to the living room where I had left her with some toys and she was not there.  I called to Anika "Anika!  Is Avalyn with you in Izzy's room?"  "NO!"  Sometimes she likes to crawl to the shoes in the entrance and makes a mess there but she wasn't there either.  Then I heard her make the strange sound again from the bathroom.

My heart stopped.

I ran.  She was upside down, head first, in the toilet bowl!  She must have climbed the stepping stool we keep nearby for the three kids to be able to sit on the toilet unaided and fallen into the toilet.  I screamed and pulled her out so fast... I looked her over as my breathing hurried and before I could help myself, I began sobbing.

Had she not managed to push her head up enough to make those noises, I would have finished up with making lunch in the kitchen unaware of the full implications of what was going on.  My baby could have drowned... in the blink of an eye.

Instead, she burped many times over the next thirty minutes and was delighted to have a second emergency bath for the day, only this time to get the toilet paper out of her hair (did I mention the toilet had been used and non-flushed?).  Her big eyes looking up at me with her big smile which did not help the lump in my throat nor stop my imagination from wondering what on earth our home could possibly be like had things turned out for the worst.

And what of other moms who trusted accomplishing a simple task like lunch prep would bear no harm only to discover that something horrible happened to their child?  How do you comfort a mother who has experienced such a loss?  A life-altering experience "in the blink of an eye?"

While I thank God that my baby alerted me (and while I humbly beg His forgiveness for not having checked on her sooner), my heart aches for the mamas out there who have to carry a heavy burden of having lost a precious child "in the line of duty."  I cannot image how life proceeds nor the struggle of having to face each day knowing each one takes you further and further away from the last moment the child had been alive in your arms.

For those of you out there who have suffered this, may God embrace you and comfort you as His child... even while you are kicking and screaming through your anguish... and may He hold you as though your very life was the one at stake!  May you find a fullness from Him to fill the void and find peace in the promise of His grace.

In this blink of an eye moment, I am reminded of the meaning of Avalyn's name... beautiful breath of life.  While the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, I thank Him for the breath of life in each of my precious children and the gift they are to my life.  And short of getting rid of all the toilets and having everyone pee outside from this point onwards, I am reminding myself that to cling to life means to surely lose it.  But to surrender it willingly to His will is to truly give it life.  I hold my little Avalyn knowing I have to trust being able to set her down and tend to my duties in this house without having her tied to my back 24/7... that I will be more dutiful but still trusting while seeking balance between taking good care of the lives entrusted to me (without trying to outsmart God's will) and trusting His care and plan for them.

In this humbling moment, I reach out to you and ask that God bless each one of you.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Adventures of Going Anywhere

For the sake of brevity (as I type this on an iPhone) here is the series of events as Duane and I attempt to bring the kids to the dinosaur exhibit at the museum this morning:

10:00 pm last night - Try to ward off any thoughts of impending series of unfortunate events which always seem to "highlight" attempts at outings.

11:00 pm last night - Ethan throws up in his bed... Long sleepless night, here we go.

1:00 a.m. - Avalyn up again with fever and fussiness.

8:00 a.m. - phew, decent night, we're good to go! Snacks packed, emergency med bag for Ethan, MedicAlert bracelet, diaper bag for Sivana (Avalyn will stay back with Antoinette to ensure proper nap given she's not well).

8:30 a.m. - breakfasts, get dressed, and a few tantrum interventions between Ethan and Sivana.

9:00 a.m. - (when we were hoping to leave) Get jackets on but wait! Who needs to pee? Ethan in one bathroom, Anika in the other.

9:07 a.m. - where is Anika? She finally comes out "I'm so sorry mom but I didn't sit on the toilet properly and I peed on the floor." Ok then... "But don't worry mom, I cleaned it up." Phew!

9:08 a.m. - Mommy's turn for potty break while daddy loads kids in car seats... Mom steps in big puddle of pee.

9:09 - 9:15 a.m. - New socks for mommy, wipe up puddle of pee, mop the floor!

9:18 a.m. - Mommy potty break attempt #2.

9:20 a.m. - while mommy gets jacket on, Daddy storms in, grabs a towel and walks out saying "I just spilled coffee all over the car seat."

Antoinette and I look at eachother and she bursts out laughing while I shake my head. She says "it is NEVER boring here!!"

9:35 a.m. - we finally leave home and are on route to Museum.

Stay tuned for the anticipated "adventure" at the Museum!

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 7 March 2013

FIGHT for What's Right


That's something worth fighting for.  Yet, ironically, being honest with each other is avoided as though it was the plague itself.  I do my best to speak truthfully.  This, by no stretch of the imagination, means that I do this well... but I seek to consciously to do it from the heart, from a place of love that believes truth between people is something worth fighting for.

Afterall, the saying isn't "Run away from what's right!"  The saying uses the word "Fight" as though it knows there will be upheaval, maybe even opposition, but one worth persevering through to the end BECAUSE it is worth it.

The greatest place of love I can think of, is that from a parent's heart.  We, as parents, fight for what's right for our children, which means there is often a lot of fighting WITH our children, particularly when they are older and seem to believe that discipline is a language of "that sucks, man" instead of "hey, thanks for wanting me to be the best I can be BECAUSE you know I am better than these choices I've made or am about to make."

God himself makes it clear that His love for us is evident BECAUSE of His laws and consequently, His discipline.  He knows first hand what we CAN be and when our choices keep us from being what He created us to be... glorifying to Him.  Going back to Torah (the first five books of the bible, meaning "God's instructions") has revealed to me the greatest love story from our Creator.  And even as I read some of those rules and go "that sucks, man", I can pause just long enough to reflect on my own love language with my children and recognize yet a greater love pouring through God's word.  This is quickly followed suit by the Proverbs verse "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

How often is God's truth touchy-feely warm and fuzzy?  Sometimes it can be and sometimes it is bold, just and hard to face.  But it is ALWAYS fair.  Always.

Can you imagine being true friends with one another in being that same way?  Can you imagine putting an end to assumptions and being truthful and honest in the spirit of love because we loved eachother that much?  The closest friends in my life are the ones who can say "Hey Rita, what you just said kinda stung, not too sure why but it's not sitting well with me."  Rather than let distance grow between us from what does NOT get said, they closed in the gap by saying something!  Something important that we can work with!

This is just like when I teach the kids about a mistake they've made in their homeschooling books.  Sometimes they catch it themselves and I usually stop and take a moment to commend them on the depth of what they've just accomplished.

"Ethan, how did you find that mistake?"

"I looked over my page to see if I did anything wrong."

"Did you make a mistake?"

"Yep, right here."

"Did you fix it?"

"Yep, see?"

"Would you have found that mistake if you weren't looking for it?"


"So do you think it's important to look for our mistakes?"

"Unh hunh"


"So that we can fix them and make them right."

Can you imagine loving each other so much that we are constantly asking ourselves "Where have I made a mistake?"  To invite feedback from your friends when they take that scary step of actually being honest with you about hurt feelings?  To see that the feedback comes from their belief that they LOVE you and think it's worth taking that scary step BECAUSE you're worth FIGHTING FOR?

Can you imagine what this world would be like if instead of running away from honesty (tactful honesty... otherwise you're using "truth" for the purpose of being hurtful), we embraced it and took it at its face value?  A language of great love?

So my darling friends, both known and unknown, may this find you asking yourselves "where have I made mistakes and how can I make them right?"  And in that moment of angst (cuz it's never fun finding out we did something wrong), I pray you find peace in knowing you CAN make it right.  If you've hurt someone, you can reach out in the great love language of truth and humility (cuz the two always go hand in hand) and say "I'm sorry."  Anytime I have resisted saying I am sorry, it was because I loved my ego more than the person I had hurt...(speaking of humility and truth going hand in hand... sucks to admit that).

My dear ones, do not make these same mistakes as mine.  Love each other more than your egos and rise above on wings of eagles!  That great love language begins with our own willingness to look at our own actions to see where we made mistakes.  Consequently, this means we stop pointing out where other's made their mistakes and ask where we've made ours.

Accountability always leads to resolution... if not with the other person (because it is their choice whether they will hold on to bitterness or forgiveness), at the very least the resolution is worth reaching within your own heart.  Afterall, in Matthew 5, Jesus reminds us that offering our gifts to the Father is pointless UNTIL we have made things right with our brother(s).

It means being willing to FIGHT for what is right, which could entail a little fight but one worth having for the purpose of making things peaceful in the end.

I love you all and may the Lord bless and keep you and love you so abundantly as to discipline you without getting the response "Hey man, that sucks!"  But rather, "Hey, thanks for knowing I'm better than this and not settling for anything less from me.  You must love me very much."

And indeed, He does.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Our Family Farm Video by One Degree Organic

We are excited to work with One Degree Organic in providing them with our oil sunflowers to be used in their consumer products.  They flew out to interview Duane and get a few pics of the family.   The goal being that consumers will be able to scan their product barcode and access videos of the farmers who contributed to one or more of the ingredients.  A really awesome concept that brings consumers back in relationship with their food.

Hope you all enjoy a little snippet into what my husband, Duane, does with every ounce of his moral fibre!