Thursday, December 29, 2005

almost there

This journey has been a most interesting one. I can't give all the details yet as we're off to another family Christmas celebration. However, I can say this. I stand in awe of how God can move things without my help! He's really very capable of handling things without me, amazing as that may seem. Even my incredible administrative capabilities don't hold a candle to how our Creator can manage myriads of details and make things move when He decides it's time.

We signed papers yesterday. Now we have to wait for the bank's okay and we are on our way. Possession date is January 15th, though we have freedom to be in before that, we've actually had the keys for quite some time but not the freedom to possess the land. So close. Not far.

I got worried for a few seconds that perhaps something would go wrong now and I'd be in for yet another big disappointment in my life (has God every REALLY disappointed me? - only in my expectations and vain imaginings). I've been reading a series of books by Liz Curtis Higgs based on the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah - I highly recommend them!! Anyways, one character says to another, "God has been with you this far, don't you think He'll be with you the rest of the way?" His grace is sufficient for my weakness.

We'll keep watching and waiting as we see how God will continue to move this forward. The letting go begins, embracing the new begins.......what a trip.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Why am I always so shocked when God does something that He tells me He's going to do? We're moving! This week! God has opened the doors, moved things around and we're on our way to our new house.

I'll let you know all the details once I know them, but I'll be shutting this thing down here in the next few days and we'll be on our way.

He told me this was going to happen - that we'd be in our new house by the end of the year. I didn't quite believe it would happen. Oh me of little faith. Why didn't I believe? Cause I couldn't figure it out in my own puny brain.

The best part of all of this is we know for sure it was God because none of it came from us. I like that. Anyways...I'm a little wowed, etc. at the moment. I little nervous, a little scared, a little sad (I'll miss my neighbors). I can't think of anything more to say - my sweet princess and I are going to have some tea.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

waiting to breathe

waiting to breathe
copyright 2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

Have you ever had the profound sense that something is about to happen? There's an old song that we had on a record when I was a kid that went like this...

"I just feel like something good is about to happen,
I just feel like something good is on its way,
He has promised that He'd open all of heaven,
And brother that could happen any day.
When God's people humble themselves and call on Jesus
And they look to heaven expecting as they pray,
I just feel like something good is about to happen,
And brother this could be that very day!"

I wonder if that's how Mary and Joseph felt as they made their way to Bethlehem.
I wonder if that's how the shepherds felt sitting on the hillside.
I wonder if that's how the wisemen felt when they first saw the star.
I wonder if that's how God felt as he placed Jesus inside Mary's womb.

Did all the heavens tremble with the anticipation of this event....I expect they did. In the meantime, the vast majority of folks went about their daily business without any idea of what was on it's way. When the angel told the shepherds what they'd find in the stable they just couldn't contain themselves any longer. They spilled over the edges of heaven and exposed their joy for the world to see. I don't think they were in stately rows, each holding a celestial hymnbook. I think they were dancing and spinning and letting loose their contained exuberant joy! And the only ones who got to witness it were some dirty shepherds and their sheep.

As I anticipate long-awaited events I get just a momentary glimpse into the heart of heaven. I expect that heaven holds its collective breath each time a soul teeters on the brink of decision...waiting
.........will they?
.......please, take the gift, oh please, oh please
...........come on, NOW, do it now!!!

I can only imagine.

AND THEN, the waiting is over!

The celebration begins! All heaven breaks loose! God just gives us little glimpses of this amazing celebration that our frail bodies can handle by allowing us these 'gifts' of waiting - for the birth of children, a spouse, an answer to prayer. When these things come to pass the joy is so intense we can hardly contain it, we weep, we laugh, we jump up and down, we hug everyone in sight and announce the great thing that has just happened. We think we have huge celebrations when we are through waiting and begin to breathe again but our limited celebrating techniques cannot compare to the glory of heaven hosting a gala affair.

So while you wait in anticipation to open your gifts this Christmas, or wait for that answer to prayer, don't forget that all of heaven is holding their breath along with you. And when the answer comes......CELEBRATE!!! Let loose with your joy, let the world know how good God is and what He has done, I don't think He'll mind you going on a little!

Merry Christmas all, and see you next year. I hope your celebrations are joyous.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

in need of grace

The effects of three concerts, rehearsals, funerals, recitals, Christmas program preparation, not to mention, preganancy, homeschooling, daily life and and irritable digestive stystem are finally ganging up on me. I'm exhausted. I want to lock myself in a closet with a bed, some fabric and my sewing machine so I can refresh my body and my spirit (believe it or not sewing is a very spiritual activity for me, it allows me to concentrate on my Maker as I make things). Anyway, I'm too tired and weary to write anything else.

Monday, December 12, 2005

fresh flowers for December 12

Moving Forward
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

It was Monday morning. The cold darkness of a Canadian winter was still thick in our room. I rolled over in bed thinking I would maybe look at the clock to see if it was soon time to get up. Before my eyes could open of their own volition, my husbands’ words caused them to pop, “Oh no, it’s 7:55. Do you think we can do it?” After a moment’s hesitation I replied, “Of course we can, you take the food, I’ll get the girl.” We zoomed to our assigned posts. While my husband worked in the kitchen I got a sleepy five year old into a school outfit and did her hair. We met dad at the bottom of the stairs backpack ready and breakfast in hand. Quickly she got shoved into ski pants, jacket, hat, mitts, scarf and boots. Whew, look at the clock, it is now 8:10, five minutes to spare before the school bus arrives. Two tired parents and one small girl pointing in the same direction, to get to school on time, warm and well fed.

The spotlight moves from one performer to another. Candles flicker on tables as people sip coffee and taste decadent desserts. The story of God from creation to beyond the pearly gates unfolds through song, dance, drama and multi-media pieces. Behind the scene technical crews, decorators, food crews and hosts work to make sure that everyone is where they belong and all runs smoothly. A prayer team offers up intercession in the basement. Seeds are sown. Hearts are touched. Tears are shed. Lives are forever changed. Three performances, dress rehearsal, sound checks, more than fifty cast and crew, strained muscles and voices, tired bodies all pointed in the same direction to extend the kingdom of God.

While the goals and amount of people involved were vastly different, these two events illustrate the same thing. There is power in a team that is focused on one goal. While one determined person can accomplish a lot on their own, even more can be done when two or three work together. Unity of vision and a willingness to move toward that goal is a powerful thing not only in individual families but in the church. As my husband and I waved good-bye to our daughter we had a feeling of accomplishment realizing what we can do when we work together in a focused way. We have a long-term vision that we want to see accomplished in our family that will take many more years of effort and discipline and moments like that to accomplish, but we know that it can happen – we believe.

That sense of accomplishment, focus and teamwork was multiplied many times over in our spiritual family as individuals gave of their time, talents and gifts to a common goal. We’d never done something quite this big before. I could feel a sense of family and team as ‘good job’ was whispered here and there. Prayer being offered up for those who were feeling weary and weak, undergirding each other with the power of love and unity of purpose. We needed each other, not one of us could have done that on our own. Who knows where God will take us from here. One thing we know for sure, there is no going back, only forward. Where will God take us? We don’t know, but we know why. There are two kingdoms, one to be advanced and one to conquer. We know what our purpose is and we will continue to work towards it.

The underlying forces in these events were belief that the impossible could be accomplished and a willingness to try. And why bother in the first place? The reason was clear as we all stood together at the end to sing, “I believe, and I will always sing, this little child, He is the King of Kings!”

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Today's musings

I just got home from dress rehersal for our church's Christmas Concert of the Heart. Wow!! We have some amazingly talented and wonderful people in our family. Singers, dancers, actors, artists all proclaiming the story of God. An amazing opportunity to proclaim Jesus. I am so thankful for all these incredible people that I call family. You should all come!

Today we saw another amazing thing. We had the full ultrasound of our tiny unborn babe. He or she weighs a little less than a pound right now but all the parts are there and working beautifully. It was awe-inspiring to see these fuzzy grey and black pictures of our new family member. What love burst within me as I looked into that tiny face whose jawline is just like Sam and Abby's and mine. Seeing little fingers and toes. We got to see that little one open up it's mouth wide in what looked like a laugh. Now I can hardly wait to hold that precious one in my arms.

We didn't get to see the gender, apparently we have a very modest child, wouldn't let us peek. Oh well, we can anticipate the surprise, I am definately hoping for a girl but the boys are all hoping for another boy, they don't think we have quite enough yet.

After the ultrasound Kelly and I went out for lunch all by ourselves. It wasn't even fast food. We had a lovely time talking about the things that God has shown us over this last week as we fasted and prayed into our house situation. Nothing has changed that we can see with our eyes but I think our hearts have been. The Jesse tree readings that I got from the internet all spoke about how God took people from one place to another for a specific purpose - Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Joshua.

Oh God grant me faith so that I can really see what your purpose is and to rest in the truth of who you are, the God who knew me before I was born and has planned the times and seasons of my life and the places in which I will live so that some might come to know YOu.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I've been cruising around the blog world. haven't done that for ages. Want food. am hungry...want things that are bad for me like zesty cheese doritos or McNuggets or something like that. Good thing my dear fetcher of bad food just had a shower and is in his jammies and refuses to move for his poor, pregnant, hungry wife. Guess I'll go eat a fresh bun that I made today. it'll have to do..............

a little life lesson today, otherwise known as a flower

My seven year old sometimes gives way to irrational fears. Some days he conquers them and some days he doesn't. Today he didn't. I wanted him to take the bread down to the freezer. He wanted me to go with him. Of course, in my brain, going with him would completely defeat the purpose of sending him to do the job. Couldn't someone come with him? Everyone was busy doing something. Just go down the flippin' stairs, I'm thinking to myself. He wouldn't. I told him to remember that Jesus was with him and would help him conquer fear. This didn't help, he decides that Jesus was just a man and can't help him. Just take the bread down!!! He throws it on the floor. Fine, I'll do it myself and there'll be consequences for you buster. I'll do the job, I'll do it he yells. Too late, says I.

Later, after he's calmed down he comes and I ask him if he's learned something here. Of course, he doesn't see any lessons to be had. Here it is folks - in follow up to Nin's post on choices....when we choose to believe a lie - that Jesus isn't who he said he is, that He can't possibly help me through my fear, etc., etc. we can get ourselves disqualified from doing that job that God appointed us to do in the first place. Sometimes we get a break - Moses whines and cries that he is not the man for the job until God gets fed up and sends Aaron along to help, but Moses still gets the credit. But sometimes, we don't, Saul for example, he was the annointed king, he gave way to fears, doubts and anxieties to the point that the Spirit left him, he got fired.

My son will have to live with the consequences of his disobedience and the lies he believed today, fortunately for him, it won't be a life-altering thing, but you never know.

God not only wants us to follow Him, but He wants us to fear Him, stand in awe of Him, be amazed by His power and presence and ability to do whatever He wants. This is the God I serve, He made me and knows what I'm capable of, if He's asking, I better hop to it, knowing that He will enable me to do whatever He has asked.


My wonderful husband has re-entered the blogosphere. His last blog refused to let him post anything so he just gave up. But he was inspired by Moose at Moose's Place and there you have it. All it takes is a little inspiration!

You'll find Minstrel's Musings here

There are a few other blogs that haven't been on my link list before but I finally got them on. Moose's Place, Firestarter and Walking Again are in the list.

Livin Forgiven has a great post on choices that you need to read - has me repenting for my rotten stinky attitude toward God regarding the house stuff. Forgive me Lord for doubt and fear!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

fresh flowers for December 3

From Hot Chocolate to Hot Water
copyright 2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

“…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14, 15)

Hot Chocolate. That’s what I wanted the other night. Too bad for me the only hot chocolate we had in the house was the kind you have to mix with milk. Pasteurized milk and me do not have a very good relationship, especially since I’ve been pregnant. But I was tempted, dragged away and enticed. My desire was conceived and I didn’t care what I would suffer afterwards I carried on to the sin part and made that hot chocolate, drank it down and enjoyed every lovely chocolaty mouthful that went across my tongue.

There was no immediate reaction. “Ha ha,” I thought to myself, “no problem, it will be different this time.” Boy was I wrong! And while I didn’t die and the reaction didn’t make me wish I was dead I realized full well that I had sinned against my own body. Certainly no one else was affected by my transgression, except that my husband had to put up with a miserable wife for an evening and night. It was even more foolhardy considering I was already sick with the flu and a cold and this just exacerbated that problem. I was miserable. The only thing I could do from then on was to let the reaction run its course and beg my body’s forgiveness, promising myself NOT to do that again.

It’s hard sometimes to say no to sin. Especially when it looks like a cup of hot chocolate. Smells good, tastes good, doesn’t look particularly like an evil desire at all. But we all know, way down deep that we have these little sins that carry us away without a thought. Okay, I have to admit there was a lot of thought put into my sin. I knew full well that it was a bad idea and shouldn’t do it. The problem was, I didn’t care, I was after that warm chocolate going down my throat. I was jealous of the 101 cups of hot chocolate I’d made my kids and watched them enjoy. I wanted it and the end result didn’t matter. When we take a look at James 1 we see what the result of even this little transgression is – death. Your death might look different than mine did but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Fortunately for my family, this particular death affected only me, good thing that it wasn’t alcohol I craved or cigarettes or the need for a cat in the house – any of those would have put my unborn baby, myself and my kids in certain danger.

The good news is that God also gave us 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man (hot chocolate) and God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear (it wasn’t that truly decadent triple chocolate blend from the Victorian Epicure party), but with the temptation will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (yeah for apple cider, instant hot chocolate and non-pasteurized milk, apparently I am also supposed to be thankful for soy milk but I haven’t quite made it that far yet – can’t quite bring myself to pay the exorbitant price for something I may detest).”

Go and sin no more.

in a vaccum?

I'm beginning to feel like I live in a vaccum. I write response. I leave messages on people's response. Perhaps I don't really exist and this is all a dream.

It would have been good if Thursday had been a dream. It was supposed to be a warm and wonderful day of putting up our tree, reminiscing over ornaments, etc. Instead it was chaos, bedlam and shouting matches. Add to that one sick mommy (who was getting decidedly grumpier by the day) and a couple of kids who were still sick and whiny. It wasn't a very pleasant day in any way, shape or form. The only thing that went well was having our morning devotions using the Jesse Tree readings I found on the internet. The scripture spoke to my heart anyways.

Friday was much better, finally done being sick myself (a little coughing still but nothing major) though the two youngest are still coughing and runny noses. Had a great family night last night playing games, eating popcorn and having an impromptu concert of recital pieces, dancing and singing. Maybe today will be better yet...

Monday, November 28, 2005

I'm still here!

Blogging has become such an extremely low priority in our crazy days lately, there just hasn't been time. I have to admit I miss 'meeting' all of my on-line friends. I took a few minutes to read this morning at Intent and CareBear and Livin' Forgiven', they all have good things to say.

This week has been sick children, way too many bodily fluids being flung around for this queasy stomach. Yup, the gagging and nausea still haunt me though things have gotten better this week has been very difficult. That handsome man in the pictures below has been my saving grace - keeping up with cleaning up the diarhea and vomit on a regular basis. My boys have helped with the laundry and the bathtub has seen a lot of use lately.

We're still here in our old house, it is not sold yet but maybe that will change soon. We've had two people look at it this weekend and one more is coming tomorrow.

We have a date for Samuel's heart surgery. Excited and scared about that.

Leading our Transformations group has been a huge blessing - what a wonderful group of people we've given to lead for this little time frame.

That's all for now, gotta go plan our lives for the next couple of weeks....

Friday, November 25, 2005

fresh flowers for November 25

Recipe for Success
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

Like most kitchens I have a shelf that contains recipe books. Lately, I’ve actually found myself using those things. I rarely bake anything but bread, which doesn’t require a recipe anymore and when I cook, it is generally a little of this and a little of that, sometimes I’ve created new recipes that are actually quite good. My mother calls it ‘cooking by the spirit’. If I do look at a recipe book it is usually just to get an idea of something to make, not to actually follow the recipe.

But lately, I’ve been noting the benefit of recipes and following what they say. The results are pretty good. I’ve actually made a few new things that my family has enjoyed. The other use I’ve found is that I can put a recipe out for my husband or oldest son to follow so that they can get supper preparations under way if I’m not home.

I started thinking about all this when I saw two recipe books out on my counter that I had actually used in my cooking expeditions this week. In our Bible study group we had just completed a lesson on walking in victory over sin. There are some specific things in the Bible that sound a lot like ‘recipes’ for overcoming sin in our lives. I started to note the similarities.

There are some circumstances that we find ourselves in where we need to walk by the Spirit, seeing what God has in store for us where scripture doesn’t spell things out specifically. These are always great adventures, seeing where the Lord leads and how things will work themselves out for our good and for His glory. This is kind of like my experiments in the kitchen, sometimes I don’t quite get things right and I know that next time I will need to follow a different path. I am forging a new trail, going on an adventure to learn something that I haven’t known before. An example of this is our walk with this housing thing, we don’t know what the end result will be, maybe we won’t even move, but we’re learning a lot and will continue to bend our ear to hear what the Lord is saying to us.

Other circumstances require specific instruction where you don’t waver from a prescribed order. When I bake cookies, cakes or pie I definitely follow my recipe books’ instructions. Choosing to go my own way on these things could easily end in disaster and nasty results. God is very specific on many issues in scripture, take the ten commandments for example, pretty hard to misinterpret those. In Hebrews it tells us how we are to relate to leadership in the church. Other scripture gives us clear direction on how we relate to one another in our families, friendships and in the family of God. Not following these prescribed orders for staying out of sin leads to broken relationships with God and others, misery and other nasty results.

In the kingdom of God there is room for great adventure and room for prescribed order. Both are good and both are necessary. Of course, it is important to be aware of when to do which one, when we understand that we have a recipe for success no matter what.

I thought I’d give you one of my very favorite recipes that I follow to great success every time! This page is covered with dots of chocolate and what-have-you. Hmmmm, think I might have to go make one of these…..

Chocolate Cake (from Taste and See – a Wiens family cookbook – that we aren’t actually related to at all, Kelly received it as a gift from some people he met on a plane once!)

I always double this recipe to make a nice deep cake. If you’re doubling use a 9x13 pan if single use 9x9 – unless you like skinny cake.

1 ¼ c flour
1 c sugar

½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp. Cocoa
1 egg
½ c. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c cold water

Sift together dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes – if you double it you’ll need to bake it for 10-15 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Friday, November 18, 2005

fresh flowers for November 18

Every Good Gift
copyright 2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

While we were on holidays we celebrated Christmas with my husband’s family. It was a lovely time. My husband and I grew up a little differently where Christmas is concerned. His family asks for the ‘Christmas wish list’ and you can expect that you’ll receive something off that list. My family did not practice this, we were given gifts that my parents wanted to give us, it was always a big surprise as to what they had come up with that year. Both practices are wonderful, however, it sometimes throws me into a quandary when it comes to giving gifts. Do I honour the wishes of the person on the receiving end or do I go with the idea in my heart that was born for that person and surprise them with something unexpected and unanticipated? I’ve done both over the years but this year I felt really convicted to go strictly (almost) by the lists provided. The interesting thing is that pretty much everyone else seemed to be doing the same thing. The result was that everyone seemed to be quite delighted with all gifts received. We had all received things that we desired.

When we first got married trying to make that list for my mother-in-law was excruciatingly painful. I had such a hard time wrapping my head around writing down things that I really wanted. I was forced into thinking about what I truly wanted but was also scared of disappointment. What if my desire changed between the time I made the list and the gift-giving moment? I had grown up learning to be content with whatever I received, unfortunately, like every other kid, I wasn’t always terribly content and sometimes disappointed with what my parents had hoped to bless me with. My mother-in-law, however, had no idea of my likes and dislikes, my wants or my desires. That list gave her some clues as to appropriate gifts for me, it made her gift-giving much easier. On the other hand the same was true for my husband’s sisters, I didn’t know them that well yet and the lists gave me some idea of what they preferred.

In most gift-giving our desire as a giver is to bless and love the person receiving the gift, sometimes we hit the mark and sometimes we are a little off. We are human, sometimes we get it just right and sometimes we are dreadfully wrong. I’m sure we’ve all given or received a gift that just didn’t cut it. It can be disappointing on both ends. God isn’t like that, He always gets it right, even when we don’t think so initially.

God desires to give us the desire of our hearts, it says so in Psalm 37 and in several other places in scripture. He delights to give good gifts to His children. Sometimes they are the gifts like my parents give, a surprise, something unexpected and unanticipated. Sometimes they are the things we ask for, like my husband’s parents, that bless us and we count them as answered prayers. Then there are gifts that cause us to wonder what He was thinking, doesn’t He know that I really didn’t mean it when I asked Him for more patience? You know what I mean don’t you? You pray for patience and immediately or sooner you get a package wrapped in something that causes you to exercise those patience muscles beyond your human capacity? Like the kids dumping all the cereal boxes out on the floor just after you washed it? You ask God for more love in your heart and your package is a friend saying something that hurts beyond words and your immediate desire is to never speak to them again or hurt them back?

Yup I much prefer those gifts that fulfill the longings and desires - that don’t take much work, the blessings that get handed over without having asked for them or unexpected surprises, those are the ones that come in those great gift bags, easy to open and get at. Those other ones take some work to get at, the packing tape is hard to get through, there are multiple layers of wrapping and the gift is deep inside that wrapping, not unlike a package wrapped by my brother-in-law! No matter what wrapping the gift comes in the unpacking is worthwhile because we can be sure of this; God gives good gifts to His children. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,” (James 1:17a)

To find a few more of God’s gifts look up: Ecc 3:13, John 4:10, Acts 2:38, Acts 1:4, Romans 6:23, 1 Cor 7:7, Eph 2:8, 1 Peter 3:7 and 4:10, Rev 22:17.

Friday, November 04, 2005

fresh flowers for Nov 4

Simple Solutions
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flower original

A few days ago our internet shut down completely. Me, being the ‘worst case scenario’ thinker that I am immediately began to assess all the horrible and expensive things that may have happened. Turns out it was unplugged. Imagine that, an easy solution. Sometimes things really aren’t as bad as they look! I hope that this is an encouragement to you today. Perhaps there actually is a simple solution to whatever it is that you’re going through right now. You see I would have found the problem if I had simply gotten down on my knees. I thought about it, but I didn’t do it. Pretty typical, huh?

In God’s word He assures us that ALL things will be made into good things for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. It may not look like it now, but God is redeeming the nastiness in our lives even as we speak, making them into good things that can affect your current life and the life of others for a bigger picture in a positive way.

Actually, that’s all I have to say for now. My little boy needs to get out of the tub and we’re on our way to BC for holidays as a family. I won’t be here next week so I pray that all is well with your soul until next time.

The flowerlady

Saturday, October 29, 2005

fresh flowers for October 28

What Are You Waiting For?
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

We’ve been waiting for a number of things for some time. Most likely we’ll always be waiting for something I guess. Right now we’re waiting for:

  1. The freedom to move
  2. surgery for our son who has a heart condition
  3. a new baby (at least we know when the projected end of this project will be!)
  4. any number of hopes and dreams
For the last several years we’ve been waiting for help for our second son who has behaviour and development issues related to his birth–mom’s habits in pregnancy. Just this last week our waiting to see some of these specialists was finally over. We have no idea how these appointments will turn out or if we’ll actually be ‘helped’ by the experts but the waiting is finally over. It’s encouraging when you’ve been waiting for a long time.

Ten years ago we were waiting to conceive and then suddenly that waiting was over, too. Now we not only have one child but are awaiting number six. It’s hard to believe that God has blessed us in such a dramatic way, far beyond our imagination. God has used all of these waiting situations to mould us and change us into His image just as a potter changes and moulds clay to suit him. I’d like to share some of these lessons today that will, I hope, encourage you (and me) in our waiting.

The first thing God showed me is not to concentrate on praying so much for the circumstances to change but for strength and grace to endure the waiting. My heart’s desire is to learn the lessons God has for me the first time through so that hopefully I won’t have to go through the same thing again. Sometimes I forget what the lesson was and He gently brings me back, reminding me that some prayers can be answered more quickly than others.

The next thing I want to tell you is that the reason you’re waiting may have nothing to do with you! What an amazing revelation that was. It was so comforting to my heart. I am constantly looking for where I’ve gone wrong. How am I holding up this process? I’m always assuming that I am the cause of an unanswered prayer, there must be some sin in my life or some place where I have yet to obey. Then suddenly the Lord showed me that the reason I may be waiting may be that there are issues He is working on in another party involved or that some part of the situation is only half-baked, not yet ready for completion. Obviously, when God lays His finger on something that needs to change in me I must change it immediately or I WILL be holding things up, but it’s nice to know that it isn’t always about me and that prolonged introspection isn’t always necessary. When we finally had our first baby it was such perfect timing we couldn’t have planned it better. Kelly had just graduated and landed an excellent job. My job was becoming extremely stressful and difficult, Josiah allowed me to quit with a good conscience and in a good way.

Then just last night I learned another revolutionary lesson. How am I waiting? A speaker I was listening to at our church last night was relating a revelation that she found in the story of Abraham and Sarah. The Lord had given them a tremendous promise of a child and Sarah’s response was cynical (her laughter) and defensive (denying that she had laughed at all). The speaker challenged us to BELIEVE and not give way to cynicism and defensiveness. God speaks into our lives to give us a hope and a future and those promises are TRUE, they will happen because that is who God is, our job is to believe. I found myself repenting over my mental attitudes to waiting for our house and to some of my husband’s optimism in his waiting. I found my heart full of cynicism over that and several other issues. It wasn’t pretty. HOW we wait is an important part of our journey. Choose to believe.

I want to invite you to send an e-mail telling me what you’re waiting for. I’d like to send out that list to the entire group so that perhaps we can pray for one another in our waiting, encouraging one another to hang on to the promises of God. I won’t print your name unless you give me permission to do so, otherwise it will be a general list of things that we are waiting for as a group. The Bible says to spur one another on and I felt that this was something that we could do for one another. Send your ‘waiting list’ to my personal e-mail at

I am so thankful for all those who have waited with me in the past and are continuing to do so today. Don’t give up now, just over the horizon is what you’ve been waiting for.

Friday, October 21, 2005

fresh flowers for October 21

Dirty Little Secrets
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

I have a monster in my house. It is an insidious creature that makes it’s way through our rooms each day, throwing clothing out of drawers, hiding socks and soiling towels. Slowly but surely - if this monster goes unchecked there will be a mountain of smelly clothing and linens waiting for me in the basement. But does that monster stop there? Oh no! If I give way to it’s quietly whispered suggestions of, “Don’t do it now, tomorrow will be fine.” Or, “As long as it’s clean….” Things get even worse!

With the large number of people in our household, keeping the laundry monster at bay is pretty much a daily task. But there are times when the lies of, ‘it’s too hard’ and ‘I’m too tired’ get the better of me and that gleeful, cackling creature wins. That’s what happened over the last few weeks. The laundry monster took over my house. I was tired and laundry seemed too hard to deal with. Once in awhile someone would go downstairs and at least throw something through the washer and dryer. But you see, that laundry monster doesn’t really care whether his mountain is clean or dirty, he just wants one to sit on! My procrastination affected my whole family, people couldn’t find pyjamas, socks or underwear. Finally, I went in there this week and shut him down, at least for this round.

As I was doing my laundry duties I couldn’t help but compare my laundry woes to ‘favourite sins’. You know the ones I mean – that thing you do that you know you shouldn’t be doing that you actually like doing that you say you’re sorry about, make a diligent effort for a brief while and then head right back into it. This last week we’ve been learning about repentance in our Bible study. Repentance means that we turn AWAY from our sin and TO the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. Immersed in my laundry piles was definitely NOT righteousness, peace and joy, but I had brought it on myself through my own laziness and procrastination. I needed to repent and I did as I saw what God was showing me.

It doesn’t take much before that sin piles up into an overwhelming mess. It’s those little lies that the enemy breathes into our ear that go like this, “Just this once.”, “Do it tomorrow, one more day won’t matter.”, “It’s not really that bad, other people are far worse than you.” And on and on it goes, a seething torrent of self-justifying thoughts that will bring us further and further into bondage and slavery. There is nothing left to do once you see where you are. Repent. Turn away from whatever has you bound and turn toward the kingdom of light. The absolutely glorious news is that the second you do, God’s boundless forgiveness is waiting for you. He said He would forgive us when we confess our sin (1 John 1:9)

Today my sin showed up in my laundry room, I don’t know where yours is, but I do know there is a way out. Repent, then that dirty little secret of yours will have no more power over you. Kingdom of Light - 1, laundry monster – 0.

Friday, October 14, 2005

fresh flowers for October 14

Thorn Removal
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

It was a windy day and I was sitting in my favorite chair having my devotions, getting ready for our Bible Study that evening. There was a thorn in my flesh. The thorn took the form of my neighbor’s gate. Our neighbor’s gate is attached to our house. It was not latched shut. It’s hinges aren’t great and it scrapes along the sidewalk very loudly. Whenever it bangs shut it sounds like someone has hit our house with a sledgehammer. The sledgehammer was directly behind my chair. As I mentioned before it was a windy day. Every few minutes I would hear the ‘scccccccrrrrrraaaaaaaape – bang’ sequence. It was very annoying. Especially when I am trying to be thoughtful and attentive to God’s word in one part of my brain because in another part of my brain I am having a conversation, polite of course, with my neighbors about fixing that blasted gate so it doesn’t scrape every time it opens and shuts or at least if they would latch the thing when they leave.

This scenario carries on for awhile. Suddenly God breaks into my ever-so-polite conversation with my non-present neighbor and I hear, “So why don’t you go do something about it?”
“Like what?” I say, “Go latch the gate myself?”
There is silence on the other end. Apparently this is a thorn that can be removed.

The light breaks through! By golly there is something I can do about this problem. Instead of commiserating in my head with non-present people I could actually get up off my comfy chair and DO something about it. Fancy that!!

I put my books down, put my shoes on and go latch their gate. It takes all of about 45 seconds before I am back in my house, shucking my shoes and carrying on with my preparations – without the banging of the gate in my ears. I have taken care of this little annoyance without any fuss or bother. The thorn is gone.

A lesson was brought home to my heart in that moment. I spend way too much time complaining about things that I can actually do something about. I have my own personal ‘thorn’ list see if your list matches up with mine:

  • the cleanliness of my house
  • the numbers on my bathroom scale (actually can’t do too much about them at present – but at least I have a REALLY good excuse for awhile)
  • lack of connectedness with other adult-type individuals
  • Not nearly enough time in a quiet space with my maker who gives me wisdom and strength to handle all of the above

God says He will equip us to do EVERY good work. He’ll give us wisdom as we ask for it. He gives strength to the weary and lifts up feeble hands. He can actually help me find the motivation I need to make it through each day. I believe it is time to get up off our chairs and DO what we know we can instead of sitting around waiting for something outside of ourselves to come to our rescue. I’m thinking there are things that God expects we can take care of ourselves and isn’t about to do them for us.

This is not unlike my own children who often complain to me about problems that they could easily do something about, expecting me to come to their rescue. I won’t do it. For example, the dog leaves a calling card in the playroom – their response is to come and tell me about it, who will immediately at this stage of life, begin to gag. I tell them there is no need to tell me about it but to simply DO something about it. They are finally getting that idea into their young heads, especially after a front row seat at a gagging scene. They have been trained in the art of getting rid of doggie-doo and are now capable of doing that thing all by themselves. They are capable of taking care of some of life’s problems without mom’s assistance. Perhaps you and I are capable of taking care of some of life’s business ourselves and God is simply waiting for us to catch on. Most likely He has already given us the training in thorn removal that we need and is expecting that we can now carry on on our own.

Today, if you are waiting for rescue for one of your thorns, take a peek at your training. Has God already given you what you need to deal with your thorn and it could be removed if you did something about it? If that is the case, how about you take on the slogan of that famous shoe company and JUST DO IT.

Friday, October 07, 2005

fresh flowers for October 7

Hey just a reminder to order your "fresh flowers inspirational journal" TODAY!!

At Rest?
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flower original

I learned a lesson from my children the other night. I had just settled back into bed after a brief trip to the facilities at about 3:00 AM. I heard the pitter-patter of feet, the creak of my door opening, the scuffle of bedclothes being moved and then the sound of extra breathing in our bed. I peeked over and sure enough, one of the kids (our oldest) had crawled into bed right on top of my husband’s sleeping form. Not long after another set of feet came in, noticed that the place of honour was taken and made herself comfortable with a pillow and blanket on the floor.

In the dark of night, when things were not well with their souls, my children sought out the comfort of their daddy. He wasn’t awake, didn’t speak to them or even acknowledge their presence. The very nearness of him, the warmth of his body, the knowing of his strength was enough to put them back into a place of security and rest. Though I have to admit that an 80 plus pound weight on your back is hard to ignore – that one got sent back to his own bed.

When my soul is dark and peace is not with me where do I go? These were my thoughts as I listened to my children’s night time activity. Do I run to my Daddy? Do I hop right on up in a good spot so I can be near Him and feel his heart beat as I press my ear to his chest? Is His presence so tangible to me that simply being near enough to hear Him breath sufficient to put my soul at ease?

In Isaiah 30 it says “in repentance and rest are your salvation but you would have none of it”. I do not want to be a stiff-necked person who tries to go on my own, never needing anyone or anything. My big strapping nine year old did not feel a moment of shame in wanting to be near his daddy, there was no need for shame. There is no shame in realizing our need for salvation. There is no shame in repentance. There is however, rest and salvation. In the darkness of your soul come to Daddy, He will give you peace and rest like no one else can. Speak out your need He will come to you.

The Word says even as a father gives good gifts to his children how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to you? My husband cannot resist the call of his little ones, even when he’s tired and cranky he will go to them, he will sing over them in the middle of the night. He will get the drink, he will go to the emergency room because He can’t NOT go, he loves his little ones, how much more does the Father love you.

Shalom – peace be with you.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Christmas Time Help

Christmas is coming and I would love to help you cross a few names off your list. Now let's see who's on that list; mom, grandma, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, niece, daughter, prayer partner, wife, teacher, friend....

'fresh flowers, an inspriational journal - first edition' would make a great gift for anyone on that list. Each journal has 31 inspirational messages along with beautiful photography and journalling space. Every fresh flower cover is unique and hand-made sure to delight and please.

Pricing in Canadian funds:

1 book - $20 (shipping $4.50 in Canada, $6.50 to the States)
3 books - $50


by e-mail:
by phone: 306-652-1607
by mail: 206 27th Street West, Saskatoon SK S7L 0J5

Payments must accompany orders as soon as possible, thank you.

Looking forward to hearing from you!! Merry Christmas

Friday, September 30, 2005

fresh flowers for September 30

Two Way Communication
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

My sincere apologies for leaving you without flowers last week.

We were out at my husband’s family farm last week helping bring in the harvest. As part of their education the two oldest boys were out on the field with dad, grandpa and uncle. Their cousin was out there, too. At one point son #2 and cousin must have been in the grain truck while uncle was unloading. At any rate, we’re pretty sure they must have been on their own for a few minutes or the following event would most likely have been interrupted. I’m glad it wasn’t or I wouldn’t have had this flower to share with you!

Our boy, Chris wanted to talk to his dad who was out driving the combine somewhere. His cousin instructed him on the use of the FM radio that we use to communicate between vehicles and the farmhouse. This is what we heard.

“Dad?” – the unsure voice of ‘is this thing on?’
“Daddy?” – getting a little bolder now
“Daddy, I want to talk to you!” – accompanied by little boy snickers
There is a tiny blip in which Dad attempts to answer but the boys don’t give him a chance.
“Daaaaaaaad!” – accompanied by said cousin in the background encouraging him to try it again only louder!
“DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!” – with gales of laughter which finally prompt the boy to take his thumb off of the mike allowing his dad to answer.
Daddy finally has a chance to break in and explain that Christopher has to stop talking long enough to allow Daddy to answer.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, we women are having a little chuckle. A flower pops up as I realize that sometimes I am so busy trying to get God’s attention that I forget to be quiet and listen. I don’t realize that He has been trying to answer but I won’t get off the radio long enough to let Him break in.

A friend gave this to me once, a paraphrase of one line of a Psalm, let it sink in...

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know that I
Be still and know that
Be still and know
Be still and
Be still

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Don't be too shocked........I'm actually posting something. I'm shocked that I can so easily leave my blogosphere behind when the rest of life gets big. It has been such a big part of what I used to do each day. However, morning sicknes/afternoon fatigue/evening sickness, homeschooling and life in general have pushed this thing way down the priority list and that probably isn't gonna change a whole heap. sorry for all you fans out there who were just dying for any tidbit from me........oh.......there aren't any of those........oh well then , for those of you who drop in now and then;

I'm pregnant
we still haven't sold our house
therefore we still have not moved
I'm extremely annoyed with our dog at the moment
I really would like the baby to go back to sleep without me going up there and getting him another bottle but it probably isn't going to happen
we've been out at the farm helping with harvest
we're leading a bible study group and it looks like it should be a great group to work with
I'm pregnant

still pregnant (this seems to rule my days at the moment)
my eldest son put an extra hole in his chin yesterday trying to be helpful in a store, many stitches later and 4 hours at the hospital we finally got home
#3 son stuffed some kleenex up his nose several weeks ago and we had to go see a specialist to get it removed - very disgusting.
I'm pretty sick of doctors this week - the kids all had their annual physicals this week, too
Had to take girl to the chiropractor cause she fell off and swing and didn't bother to tell me about it until she was jumping on a trampoline and couldn't continue because her back hurt too much - it was waaaaaaaaaaaay out of place.

I'm tired and that babe isn't going back to sleep.

I'm pregnant.
Really enjoying pickles, olives and chocolate.........


Saturday, September 17, 2005

fresh flowers for September 17

Finding Joy in the Journey
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

One of my biggest questions as we’ve explored the road of suffering this summer is this. Where is the joy? We are supposed to be counting it all joy when we encounter trials because it is producing His life in us. My friends, I haven’t always found suffering to be a joyful experience. However, this week God gave me a little glimpse of how it looks.

This pregnancy has had me nauseous from the very beginning. I am deeply grateful that I never actually throw up but nausea as your constant companion does not a happy mommy make. Then there is my amazing gag reflex to top it off, prompted by raw chicken, diaper pails and laundry. Believe I it or not, I am thrilled to death to be sick. I am not so sick as to be incapacitated but feel yucky most of the time. This has not been my experience to date in any of my pregnancies. I have been one of those people who just doesn’t get sick. Not this time.

As I was talking to another pregnant friend who can’t even stand to be in her house because she’s so sick she reminded me of something her mom had told her. That sickness is a great indicator that everything is okay on the inside. Your hormones and your body are doing what they’re supposed to do. So as I gag, I rejoice, this sickness is God’s way of letting me know that my baby is okay and my body is producing life. There is joy in the suffering.

I’m ecstatic that my pants are getting too tight. Any other time of my life I would not be happy about that, but now, my jeans have given way to sweatpants and soon to those lovely panel pants, I can hardly wait. None of these things happened when I was pregnant earlier this year. I was happy that I was 10 weeks pregnant and could fit all my pants, it should have been an alarm bell in my head that things weren’t right. I am an instant expansion model and am usually putting away my regular pants by 8 weeks. I’m there now and I’m packing them up with joy!

Another example of this joy was found in the aftermath of a jam session. This jam session had nothing to do with music and everything to do with strawberries and rhubarb. I made jam this week and it tastes wonderful. My kitchen, however, did not look wonderful after I was done. There was sticky red blobs all over the place, on the pots, spoons, counters, stove, jars and on sticky happy children. That huge mess was necessary to get to the final result. There was joy in the cleaning up because there was fruit as a result of all that mess. My kids’ hard work in the strawberry fields would not go to waste, the jam is on the shelf.

Because I know that there is fruit and life as a result of mess and suffering I can have joy in the midst of it. There IS joy in the journey. Yippee!

Monday, September 12, 2005


You've probably noticed that flowers aren't popping up quite so frequently anymore. Blogging has taken a much lower place on the priority list since homeschool has started in earnest. I thought I'd take a moment to write down some great things that God is doing...

I absolutely love home schooling and am not ashamed to admit it. All my life I wanted to be a teacher. I went to University and started my degree and realized I didn't agree at all with the philosophies behind the public education system and what I'd be forced to do as a teacher in that system. I quit.

We've entered into a lovely 'unforced rhythm of grace' in our approach to our school days and it's been going remarkably well. The boys have been mostly cooperative. I love watching their minds catch onto a concept. I love it when Christopher declares he doesn't need my help with the rest of the questions because he understands. I love it when he chants, "I did it in a zip!" and gets to put another sticker on his page. I love it that Sasha loves Thomas the Tank Engine and will watch it for awhile so I can do one on one time with the big guys.

On the house front - we are free of the shackles of real estate agent world once again. Hallelujah! We'll be putting the house back on in the next day or two - tell all your friends. I love hearing Sam pray for the buyer of our house, and for their dog, he is so full of faith.

Our financial mentor was over last night and continues to help us set up a financial framework that actually works for more than a week or two. Amazing and encouraging!

Our music business grew this year and we have more teaching hours than last year.

So far everything is going fine with the pregnancy. I love it when Abby prays and thanks God for our baby. The other day she asked God point blank to please not let this baby die like baby Channah did.

Our dear friend Joanne passed away last night. Home in glory after a long and difficult battle with cancer. she leaves behind a husband, three young children, many family and friends and a legacy of music.

We had a great weekend with our church family to kick off the start of the church calendar. What a lot of fun! Green Eggs and Ham rules - gotta be a box!!!

That's all for now....

Saturday, September 10, 2005

fresh flowers for September 10

Hidden Blessings
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

I was talking with a friend yesterday about hidden blessings. If you’re like me you tend to focus on the not yet rather than on what is here and now. It’s somewhat depressing and should really be avoided. I chide my children on that point quite frequently, reminding them of what they have rather than what they don’t have. It would seem I need to preach that sermon to myself. So as my friend and I chatted about her own wilderness experience I encouraged her to embrace the possibilities, perhaps God had an unexpected blessing in store for her. After she left I sat down with myself to look back on our own journey to see where my hidden blessings were and are.

In the midst of the grief over the loss of our baby we found some blessings that were hidden and very unexpected. Every other year my husband’s family treks to Fairmont, BC for a holiday in November, this is the year for that trip. It is a wonderful time that the kids anticipate for months. My due date was in early December and with my medical maternity history going to Fairmont would have been very risky not to mention uncomfortable. The loss of the baby ensured my participation in that holiday, a bittersweet blessing but a blessing nonetheless. Another blessings was that as we dealt with our own grief through having a memorial service other lives were touched and healed in a way we could not have anticipated, the loss of our baby has given us a new avenue of empathy and ministry.

The moving experience is still locked on pause. We had anticipated a quick sale of our home. Obviously that hasn’t happened as we still sit here waiting. However, in the time of the waiting we’ve had time to make some improvements to our home. Our friends have had time to come back and do some work on their house that needed to be done that we were anticipating having to do ourselves, blessings for both of us on that front. As well, the price has come down which makes the move even more desirable for us. We’ve also learned many valuable lessons and found some treasured prayer partners as we’ve walked this path.

Every journey’s end really only means the beginning of another, different journey. Here are a few examples of friends and family who have completed one journey only to begin another. They are experiencing the blessings from the trip and now are going to learn even more lessons and experience new blessings.

My sister just finished the journey of pregnancy in her forties. She experienced many unexpected twists and turns on that road, most of them unpleasant. Now she holds her healthy, precious daughter in her arms and starts down the road of training, nurturing, post-partum adjustment and learning the wonder of this new life.

My friend just came through several years of single motherhood and being a widow. Now she starts the journey of married life again, but to someone completely different, adjustments in parenting and living space and the wonder of this new relationship.

My blogging friend has just taken a turn on her journey of a dream to create a country space for her family. The house is sold but where to go is a question. Now they will experience the thrill of tracking down the perfect property and changing it into the image of their dreams while experiencing the questions of how and where.

I have to remind myself daily to look for the good things, the wondrous things, the beautiful things that God puts in my path. Sometimes I miss them because I am too busy blubbering in my soup. God reminded me recently that most of my angst is tied up in my own attitude toward the situation. If I keep my eyes up, to the mountains, where my help comes from, I will see the blessings that God is leaving on my path like so many hidden treasures. Today I encourage you to go on a treasure hunt for hidden blessings. Something or someone is waiting to bless you today.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

are you getting shinier?

This week has had so many ups and downs. My own personal emotional roller coaster could certainly win prizes at any fair ground. The only thing that is keeping me sane is the word of God and frequent naps.

From Psalm 34

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (fears about houses, babies, children, schooling and finances are included in the word all). Those who look to him are radian; thier faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Did you catch that, the righteous man may have MANY troubles. I have not yet found a place in scripture that says we Christians get to have a rosy life without any trials in it. However, I find that God promises himself, his Holy Spirit and angels to walk with us through each and every difficulty. So what kind of gospel are we preaching? Do we tell people that their life will be fine once they have Jesus? The Bible doesn't say that. I think we expect that - Jesus, the magic wand waves his hand over our life and everything will go exactly the way WE want it too. Ooops, think there might be a problem there.

II Corinthians 4

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

The purpose behind all of this is glory that outshines the trouble. I'm thinking I may be getting shined up!

Friday, September 02, 2005

fresh flowers for September 2

Psalm 33
A psalm of David
Inspired by the Almighty
NOT a fresh flowers original

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;

It is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Praise the Lord with the harp;

Make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.

Sing to him a new song;

Play skilfully, and shout for joy.

For the word of the Lord is right and true;

He is faithful in all he does.

The Lord loves righteousness and justice;

The earth is full of his unfailing love.

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,

Their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;

He puts the deep into storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;

Let all the people of the world revere him.

For he spoke, and it came to be;

He commanded, and it stood firm.

The Lord foils the plans of the nations;

He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,

The purposes of his heart through all generations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,

The people he chose for his inheritance.

From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;

From his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth –

He who forms the hearts of all,

Who considers everything they do.

No king is saved by the size of his army;

No warrior escapes by his great strength.

A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;

Despite all its great strength it cannot save.

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,

On those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

To deliver them from death

And keep them alive in famine.

We wait in hope for the Lord;

He is our help and our shield.

In him our hearts rejoice,

For we trust in his holy name.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,

Even as we put our hope in you.

I don’t have anything more to add. The word of the Lord stands firm.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I have been remiss in announcing the arrival of my new niece:

Teresa Crystal
9 lbs 11 oz
born on August 30, 2005
sister to: Tami Lynn, Tonja, Terrell, and Tobia

Proud Mommy and Daddy are Herb and Donna (my sister)

She's so precious, we've all enjoyed holding her already and basking in her newness.

Shhhhh, I need to tell a little secret on my macho nine year old boy.

He didn't want to give her up to anyone else, he just wanted to sit and hold her. When we were leaving he asked if we could come back soon just so he could hold her some more. My heart swells with tears. He's such an awesome big brother. Man I love that boy. No question how helpful he'll be when #6 shows up. I love the wonder in his eyes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

journey mercies

This journey through the wilderness is hard. There's no nicer way to put it. Sometimes it downright stinks. However, at my lowest point, God brings some mercy, another companion to encourage me along the way. Someone to pray and say we'll make it through all this and it will be okay. To pray things that I don't have strength to pray anymore.

Thank you God for praying friends who hear your voice. Thank you for your mercy. Yesterday I took the day off from life in general and read a great book, lighthearted, yet filled with meaning. The underlying premise for the book was from Matthew 11 in the Message version:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace."

Lord, teach me the 'unforced rhythms of grace' how I love that phrase. It speaks to me taking things as they come without all the baggage that I take on my journey. I really need to learn that.

aahhh I think peace is finally at my door, excuse me, I must go let her in..............

Thursday, August 25, 2005

fresh flowers for August 26

Brat Camp for Christians
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

I watched a show on television this week that intrigued me. It was a reality TV show of a different nature. They took nine adolescents with varying problems such as; compulsive lying, drug abuse, violence, destructive behaviour and the like and put them in a wilderness camp setting with guides and mentors to help them get a handle of life and give them an opportunity to make changes. I saw the last two episodes of the show and was encouraged and amazed by what these kids accomplished. They were given many challenges that tested them to their limits. One of the things their mentors were looking for was the courage to work on the issues that they had been facing at home. It was really interesting to watch the light in their eyes and the edges of their faces as they faced their challenges and conquered their fears. It was beautiful.

There was one girl that they were very concerned about. She said the right things, did the right stuff but her heart and demeanour weren’t changing and it was obvioust. The guides and mentors were very concerned that she really hadn’t done the work she needed to in order to make the changes necessary. The last few minutes of the show was six months after their wilderness experience. For the majority of the kids the changes were lasting, they were working hard to keep the life they had been given out in the wilderness. Their futures were bright, their faces soft, their eyes aglow. Most were very thankful for their experience even though they were glad it was over. Except that one girl. She didn’t feel like she’d changed at all. Her parents were very discouraged and didn’t know what the future would hold for their daughter, they considered her experience in the wilderness a failure. Her hard lines never disappeared and the light in her eyes did not grow brighter.

God takes us and puts us into wilderness experiences all the time. The big difference is that you don’t have to be a delinquent to get that treatment, we’re all in for it at one time or another and probably more than once. His purpose is the same, to show us what’s in our hearts, to build character and to help us deal with issues that we have. The end result is supposed to be that we choose a better path as we come out of the wilderness having learned the lessons well. This young girl’s experience in the wilderness was a wake up call to me. She experienced the same things all the other kids did, took the same tests, was given the same opportunities to look at herself. She didn’t take the opportunity. She hardened her heart, she whined and complained more than any of the other kids, she refused to change and the result was that she didn’t reap the benefits.

My flowers to you today are to embrace what God is doing in your life right now. You may hate it because it’s cold, uncomfortable, it hurts and you’re not crazy about your travelling buddies. The fact is that as we embrace and grab hold of the opportunity before us our life will be changed forever, for the better. If we don’t give in to the whining and complaining, if we don’t harden our hearts, we will come out shining on the other side. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that there is another side, the landscape and the experience seems like it is going to go on forever (that’s where I am). But it won’t, there is an ending point to any trial. The last day of the wilderness experience came very unexpectedly for the participants at Brat Camp, they thought they were heading into another challenge – a hike through extremely cold and deteriorating weather. The guide took them one at a time and told them their next challenge before they started the hike was just over the hill. Bravely, one by one, they walked over the horizon willing to take on whatever scheme had been cooked up for them that day. But they were in for a surprise, on the other side of the hill were their families, waiting to embrace them, the journey was over. It was a very emotional time. But if they had refused the challenge, been unwilling to go where their guides had sent them, they wouldn’t have been going home.

There’s a song that we have been listening to that has helped us in our wilderness, part of it goes like this;

Just over the horizon
Passed the mountains of uncertainty
There is a better world awaiting me

Another bit goes:

…the danger will come if you wait……you’ve got to start walking in faith….

(from 4 Him – Face the Nation, Over the Horizon)

That’s the message today friends, just over the horizon this journey is over, the reward is just on the other side of the next hill. We’ll experience many a challenge in the wilderness of this life, they are meant to make us better. Hang in there, take the challenge the Lord is setting before you today, maybe it’s the one that leads you to the end of the journey. See ya on the other side…….

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me!
I'm as pregnant as can be!
We're all very happy
God is so good to me!

So far it's been a lovely day. I got bacon, eggs, toast, orange juice and tea in bed this morning with all of my wonderful little blessings packed into our bedroom. My kids gave me chocolate, chips and a new journal and a beautiful card. My wonderful husband watched over the breakfast preparations and will be taking me out to my favorite Chinese restaurant (Genesis) for sizzling ginger beef, crab rangoon and cashew chicken - yummmmmmm. We found out this morning that we're expecting another miracle. I'm letting the kids watch movies so I can do whatever I want - hee hee! Yup looks like a good day to me - quilting, scrapbooking perhaps, napping! The thing that would top it off would be to have our house sell today! Sparrow has already wished that for me! our last house sold on Kelly's birthday, maybe the Lord will smile even more on me today.

Tons of comments would make the day great, too!!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

bits and pieces

There are so many things going on in my head, I need to get them out. Don't think much of these things are related to each other but at least they can stop ramming around in my head.

bit 1
Earlier this summer we got to participate in three very unique marriage experiences. One was a spiritual marriage, helping to reconcile the differences between French and English Canada. One was a traditional marriage ceremony for our friends. And the third was a renewal of marriage vows at a 25th wedding anniversary celebration. I think there's something significant in that but haven't quite figured out what exactly...

bit 2

We started home schooling yesterday. It was very fun. We got this new artbox thing and the kids couldn't wait to try it out but I told them it was for school and we couldn't use it until then. "Well, let's start Monday morning!" they said. So we did. I've so enjoyed watching them (the oldest three particularly) gel over this summer. There has been a lot of playing together that's gone on (lots of fighting, too). Bionicles and skateboards and rainy days have been a big part of that. Sleep-overs in each other's rooms. It's just been really good.

bit 3

We had an open house on Sunday afternoon. 10 couples came through and 5 of them said they wouldn't buy our house because of the painting that would have to be done. I think they were mostly referring to our kids bedrooms that are all done in mural/themes - Abby's is pink with butterflies, hearts, floors a tree and a lion painted on the wall. Christopher is underwater complete with a boat bottom on the ceiling and an underwater diver. Josiah has a desert race with a huge cactus, a gila monster, scorion and hot wheel cars painted in great detail. They love their rooms. Many people helped to complete that labor of love and the idea of painting over them for some would-be buyer to make them happy makes me cry. When I told the kids that might be what we have to do the looks on their faces broke my heart. I don't think I can do it unless there is a done deal on the table it will just take too much out of would be a huge step of faith or a huge step of presumption to do it. So for now, I won't. Another friend painted the Prairie Fire Music logo on the wall of my office as you come in the front door. It's a work of art, she did such a good job, we think we can just pop the whole piece of drywall off and save it. Frame it and hang it in Kelly's office.

bit 4

CWG and his wife are some of the best relationship keepers I know. They are truly amazing people. i'm guessing that there are alot of us who would call them friends. I've been thinking a lot about relationships and how much I've had to learn to get to where I am in the relationships I have managed to keep alive. It definately takes two way trying to keep relationship alive. We were counselling a dear soul last night on this fact. It is worth it to try again, to risk the hurt to put a relationship back together. if not for your own sake, or for the sake of the other person but definately for the sake of the kingdom of God. When we let our hurt and pain stop us from bridging the gaps we keep ourselves and the other person in prison. We lose, the other person loses and the enemy wins. We'll be held accountable by God as to why we didn't try again. In my own experience it is worth it, it may take years to fix it, but it IS worth it.

bit 5

I think we're gonna fire our real estate agent, or at least not renew the contract. I think we're gonna try to do it ourselves again. Does anyone know anyone who wants to buy a house, not just any house but ours in particular? Pray friends, pray. I would like to move!

bit 6

I'm making myself a birthday cake, it's tomorrow, butter pecan! yummmm tonite my mom and I are getting together to watch Canadian idol and quilt. Our other Tuesday night friends are in Regina and Calgary this week. So she's buying treats and we're hanging out.

bit 7

In reading many wonderful blogs (Moose, Holy Experience, Intent, Sonya's and a few others) God helped me see that He is enough once again. He's in control, he's got it together, and He wants to remind me that He loves me on a continual basis. Sometimes I forget and the peace of Christ is NOT ruling in my heart. It's up to me to come and taste and drink and have my fill, it's all there, waiting for me (and you).

I think that's all for now, got alot of quilting to do.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

more on routines

After my discovery that I WILL have to make a schedule and stick to it (not just a loose collection of thoughts in my head) I hauled out my homeschooling 'helpful' books and started to ponder how to keep it all together. I came across these thoughts and thought I would share them with you, my fellow routine-challenged friends. (Well, maybe not all of you are routine-challenged as I am, maybe I'm ADD or some other label that accounts for my desire to not get locked into the same thing over and over and over and over and over..............)

from "Educating the Wholehearted Child" by Clay and Sally Clarkson

The Invisible Energy of Routine

In the same way that there are universal laws that govern your home universe, there are also invisible powers in that universe that hold everything together. In the physical world, subatomic powers keep everything from flying apart (actually, God does, but you get the picture). In the home universe, the invisible power that keeps everything from flying apart is called routine.

Routine is simply a habitual pattern of living created by effort applied regulalry over time. Once a pattern of living is established in your lifestyle and schedule, it becomes an invisible, self-generating force to hold part of your home universe together. The more you harness the power of rountines, the more energy you will generate to apply to other areas of your home. However, if ignored, routine energy rapidly dissipates, and the elements within the home universe begin to disintegrate at rapidly increasing rates of decay. When that happens, even greater amounts of time and effort are needed to regain stability.

The laws of routine are well-established:
  • The Law of Routine - For every action taken to establish routine, there is an equal and similar reaction generating greater amounts of routine energy.
  • The Converse of the Law of Routine - For every action not taken to establish routing, there is a corresponding decrease in total home routine energy.
All that to say that it takes a lot less energy to live with established routines than it does to live without them. If your children see you establishing routines in your own life (devotions, exercise, house clean up), they will be more likely to imitate you example in their own. And remember, you are the one who will create the routines for them (Bible reading, home0school assignments, cleaning up room).

Friday, August 19, 2005

fresh flowers for August 19

Dirty Work
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

This week has been spent cleaning out little used places. Getting into dark and ugly corners to free cobwebs and the like. I am beginning to see that this house adventure we are STILL on is God’s way of cleaning out my dark and dirty corners. Seeing how much I will walk by faith and not by sight. Will I trust Him and believe what I think He’s said. Will I trust my husband and his leadership through all of this? Will I trust that the real estate agent is really and truly doing her job? Will I trust my friends that are holding the house for us? Will I believe that God is not slow in keeping his promises as some consider slowness? Will I continue to believe that God really does have my best in mind and will bring me to the place that He desires for me to be? Will I believe that all of these twists and turns that require perseverance, patience and endurance are really earning me an eternal reward, will there really be glory at the end of this road of suffering?

One thing I know for sure is that God isn’t going to miss even one dark corner in my life. He will make very sure that all the nasty things that need to get cleaned up are dealt with. He knows that leaving even one little bit of that old nature of mine will ruin my spiritual house’s atmosphere. Let me illustrate with a yucky little story.

As I was cleaning in my basement I smelled a horrid smell. I thought something go into my vacuum cleaner and I was getting the odour through the exhaust. I turned the vacuum off, the odour was still there. A pernicious, nasty smell that can only be one thing – dog poop. I went searching. Sure enough there on the playroom floor was a tiny piece of doggie doo-doo. How could such a little bit be so offensive? It stunk up the entire basement. I flushed it down the toilet and lo there was much better air quality in my basement.

Leaving a little tiny bit of bitterness, rage, mistrust or unbelief in my heart will stink up my life. Its smell will permeate everything I do and make it offensive – counterproductive to the kingdom of God. So I humbly submit myself to God’s dirty work in my life. I want him to find each and every area where I am offensive to Him and do away with it. I want my life to have a pleasing aroma to every one who crosses my path. I know He’ll finish the job because Philippians says that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. I think I have a few more corners to liberate…

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

icky schedules

Last night I started sorting through the details of Christopher's program from Hope Center, my homeschooling thoughts and household needs. I realized the painful truth. I am going to have to create a written schedule and stick to it. Ick. I don't like to actually write down schedules. I have a loose routine in my head that guides my week, but it isn't written down. Once I write something like that down I feel like I'm in jail. If I have to change it or modify I feel like a failure. I'm a pretty organized person, administratively gifted but I get bored easily whenever things look to much the same for too long. But to get everything done that needs to be done - I'm gonna have to bite the bullet, there's just no way around it. And then there will be the discipline required to make it happen - gonna have to bite that bullet, too.

Then if the move happens, which I'm still hoping and believing it will, well that will make everything even more interesting now won't it. Lord help me, I'm gonna need it.

Monday, August 15, 2005

more house adventure lessons

Now we know we only have two choices left: wait indefinately for someone to buy our house, or get off the path and stay where we are. We have learned yet another valuable lesson in the last week. This one being more my husband's revelation than mine, however, I wholeheartedly agree with it.

Once we get an idea, a vision or whatever you want to call it, we have a nasty predisposition to live in and for that vision. Unfortunately when we do this the hear and now stuff suffers. We tend to lose our focus, so keen are we on what the possibilites are before us. The bottom line in this household is that we are being obedient to Christ and that our family is okay. In light of that we decided that we need to concentrate on our present dwelling rather than on the one that may or may not come into our posession. Doing what needs to be done here; fixing the deck, painting the garage and playhouse, hauling junk away, etc. will benefit us regardless of whether we move or not. So we concentrate back on what we're supposed to do, be good stewards of what we have. Make sure our kids aren't getting neglected in the pursuit of the maybe.

Those are the lessons for today. Stay tuned for the up and coming news from the Wiens tribe.