Saturday, July 30, 2005

perplexed but not despairing

Don't ya just love that phrase. The Lord has highlighted it to me in a big way this week. I don't think I have ever noticed it before. It's smashed in between 'pressed on every side but not crushed' and 'persecuted not abandoned'. It was so encouraging to think that the wise men and followers of Jesus sometimes wondered what was up with whatever was going on. (that's 2 Corinthians 4 by the way).

On another note, we just had a delicious time with our friends from Airdrie whose house we are in the process of buying. Our current plan is to rent out our house and finalize the deal on their house. So if y'all know of 4 singles of the same gender that want a lovely house to rent, we've got one... If you've been praying for us in this house adventure keep praying! If you haven't been, please start!

Sparrow, see what you have to look forward to in moving adventures - perplexed but NOT despairing! Lots of great character building stuff!

Friday, July 29, 2005

fresh flowers for July 29

©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

I have two very devoted followers whose number often increases to five throughout the day. The youngest two, however, are by far the most faithful at this time. So faithful in fact that they often cause me great frustration, I can’t even go to the bathroom without interruption. On the other hand when they aren’t following me around they are quite often doing things like distributing the dog’s food to the kitchen floor, flooding the bathroom, eating markers or taking adventurous trips around the neighbourhood. Having them underfoot isn’t always a bad thing.

I realize that my main role in life right now is to train these disciples of mine to do exactly what they’re doing. Following my example as I follow the example of Christ. That realization often brings me to my knees as I fall so far short of being a godly example on many days. Trying to teach the not-so-simple concept of obedience is a moment by moment training exercise for them and a character building experience for me. I can take some comfort in the fact that I remember the precise moment when my eldest son grasped the concept of obedience. It was a marvellous thing.

I got to thinking about all this in light of Jesus and his disciples. I wonder how frustrated Jesus got with these guys when they just didn’t get it. The twelve were full grown adults not small children and yet you can see as Jesus spoke to them that His words were often simple and He repeated Himself a lot. I can also see how He drew away by himself to commune with His Father, perhaps to get away from the hard-headed lot that was assigned to him and get a bit of a breather. No wonder he was asleep in the boat during the storm, he was most likely exhausted from suddenly having twelve kids at one time!

I can take courage from Jesus’ work with His disciples. They turned out pretty good in the end for all of their ineptitude and screw-ups in their early days. This example of my Lord patiently training up his spiritual children in the way they should go gives me good reason to stay in the trenches with my little ones. I’m not sure who gets trained more, them or me. After all I have to be a good example to follow. It makes me cringe every time I reprimand one of my kids for doing something and then realizing that I’m the one who showed them how to do that, ouch.

Whether you are a parent or not, being involved in the discipleship process is something all of us are assigned to do. Don’t lose heart, 2 Corinthians 4 says that though we are outwardly wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Our light and momentary troubles are gaining for us an eternal glory that FAR outweighs them all.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

New Bloggers on the Block

Two more fabulous people from our extraordinary community of believers are now blogging:

The Inner Room and True Beauty...Always Blossoms From Within

Speaking of our amazing family wasn't tonite good, sorry to anyone who has no idea what I'm talking about. We had the most bestest worship time that I've been to in a long time. Haven't danced so hard in a long time, guessin' I'll be a little stiff tomorrow, but it was worth it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Shopping Challenged?

I am shopping challenged. I needed to pick up a couple of things at Wally-world and the purses caught my eye. I've been wanting to buy myself a cool purse for a long time and I actually had some money to do it today. Most of my purses have been pretty boring and I use them for a looooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggg time. My current one will probably never fall apart. Anyway I loooked at quite a few and narrowed it down to two I liked, both red! I couldn't decide. I got my kids to vote on it. That wasn't productive *******sigh********** I didn't buy anything. Perhaps this is why my closet is so pathetic. I think perhaps I need some help, I probably shouldn't shop with my children along either. Though Chris did find a pretty little bracelet that he thought we should buy for me. Maybe that was making up for his comment earlier when I first stopped to look at the purses - he said, "Mom, you don't need a purse." Kinda throws a bit of cold water on the shopping fire. I could lone him out if anyone needs help curbing their spending hee-hee

A Lesson from the Phantom Menace

We've become Star Wars fans over the last few months. We still haven't seen Attack of the Clones or the Revenge of the Sith but my son has watched The Phantom Menace at least a dozen times now. There are a lot of interesting tidbits in there to chew on. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm.............

One of those things is Quigon's (not sure how to spell that) insistence on training Anakin Skywalker, who later becomes the evil Darth Vader. I couldn't help but notice a little something that bothered me about that whole thing. Our church is really digging into understanding submission, authority and that sort of stuff. It's been humbling for all of us. One of the things I'm learning in the process is that submitting to authority (whether they're right or not) keeps me in a place of protection. A theme that comes out in the Phantom Menace is Quigon's rebellion against authority. Obi-Wan Kenobi encourages him to submit to the Jedi Council and listen to their advice. Quigon won't do it because he is so convinced that he is right, not just about Anakin but obviously in previous things as well (Obi-Wan chastises him and reminds him that he would be part of the council himself if he wasn't so stubborn). Yoda and the rest of the council listen carefully to Quigon but then say to him that they will keep their own council. Yoda sees the beginnings of the dark side of Anakin right from the beginning. If the council had continued to walk in their authority they would most likely have saved themselves a lot of grief. Yeah, yeah and then there wouldn't have been the rest of the movies and George Lucas wouldn't have made so much money - it's in the script, I know!

Anakin's accidental heroism and Quigon's death seem to bend the council a little. It also moves Obi-Wan (Quigon's padawan learner - or disciple) into the same place that Quigon formally occupied, a stubborn willful Jedi knight. The power of apprenticeship is obvious both in a good and a bad way.

Just a few thoughts on Star WArs. I'm sure someone will have something to say about this sacred cow being touched **grin**

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

okay, haven't got anything really profound to say, just want people to comment and remind me that I am not invisible. That message on Sunday was something to ponder but it's still so in my head and heart that I can't think of what to say about it. Just the words to that song...

O Lord, my ears have heard of you but now my eyes have seen....

You're worthy, you're worthy, you're worthy
You're worthy to be praised, forever and a day........

Friday, July 22, 2005

fresh flowers for July 22

Plan A or Plan A?
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

So have you ever made a plan that turned out exactly the way you planned it? Very rarely this has happened to me, very rarely, but it’s happened, usually when I am complete control of the situation, which doesn’t happen very often. Most often the plan I make is vastly different then the end result. Sometimes they don’t even look remotely the same. It makes for a lot of fun when you’re quilting but for the rest of life it can be a little troublesome. I’ve been pondering this in relation to this house adventure. (yes, I’m still on this house thing, maybe I’ll make a whole book just out of this experience, who knows!)

I just read a fun little book called, Sisterchicks in Sombreros by Robin Jones Gunn. While being a light-hearted read it held out to me a few excellent lessons that I needed to learn. (Who needs theology books, read a great novel!) One of the sisterchicks was trying to explain her new romance with God. One of the things that had sparked this new passion was her prayer for God’s dreams for her to be accomplished. You’ll find this idea in the scripture embedded in the Lord’s prayer – Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven – and in Proverbs, “Many are the plans of a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

The idea that God is dreaming dreams for me made my heart smile and I began to pray this way as well. What is God dreaming up for my family with this house business. We have had a plan that looks like selling our property. But what if God’s plan is not that? Many people have encouraged us in considering making it into a rental property because of our proximity to a local technical institute and the bus routes to the university and downtown. So we’re pondering that, asking God for wisdom. At first I thought this is Plan B, not Plan A. After reading this little tidbit from Gunn’s book I wonder if this is God’s Plan A and has been the whole time. Perhaps there are lessons we need to learn as managers and stewards, time will tell.

We know from experience that God’s timing and agenda are much better than ours. He is extremely organized and detailed. When we were first married and praying that we would be able to have children we were convinced of the way it should happen. God wasn’t particularly interested in our timetable. The timing of our first baby’s arrival was perfect. Kelly was finished school and had a great job. I was in a working situation that I desperately wanted out of. Along came Josiah, just at the right time. Our Plan B, God’s Plan A.

I’m not sure why I find this so difficult to grasp……oh yeah, I have control issues! Anyway, for all my flower friends, today, ask God to bring forth His dreams for you, and recognize them for what they are. Each day is an adventure waiting to happen. What are we going to do with the opportunities presented to us today? Pray for us as we discern God’s plan A for us and our house. Blessings on all of you, pick lots of flowers, dream big dreams!!

Sunday, July 17, 2005


There isn't anything much sweeter to this mom than seeing my kids enter into relationship with their heavenly Daddy. At the beginning of the worship time this morning my little 18 month old turned his face to heaven and lifted his hands as the worship leader invited us to join in. It was beautiful.

This afternoon my little girl was playing off by herself when we heard her singing. Suddenly we tuned into her words. She was singing a prayer asking God to sell our house, then the song changed and she started singing His response to her which was, "I will, I will, I will........"


Friday, July 15, 2005

YEAH ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just finished sewing myself a T-shirt that actually fits........perfectly! I had to tell the world. I am extremely unconfident in sewing garments for myself. I have had ZERO luck with knits to date and today, I conquered the mountain. I am so proud of me!
was just typing the word wedding and it came out weeding, not too different really are they? The wedding just begins the weeding process in our lives.......

have a happy day *****flowers to you**********

fresh flowers for July 15

Becoming a Son-Worshipper
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

A flower popped up in my shower this morning. My feet looked like they were really dirty but when I got down there to really take a look I realized it wasn’t dirt it was tan lines from my sandals! That got me to thinking…….

I have never been a sun-worshipper. Didn’t do the go out and slather yourself in oil so you can cook (not mentioning any names here of people who do that :)). However, for many years I spent all my time at the swimming pool, first as a patron and then as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. Needless to say by the end of summer I had a Malibu Barbie tan (unfortunately not the figure – hee hee). But as an adult I have withdrawn to the indoors. I’m not much of an outdoorsy type. Not so long ago as I was praying I heard the Lord whisper in my ear that as we move over to the new place I was going to become a gardener, in fact, I would learn to love gardening. I laughed out loud. Here’s why.

My mom and dad are avid gardeners. They grow absolutely gorgeous, productive gardens. They love being out there, puttering, weeding, watering and all that green-thumbish sort of stuff. I, on the other hand, have not acquired that love. I garden only when I have to for survival. When we bought our present abode Kelly and I were thrilled that there was no garden space, no one would require this of us, no one would expect us to grow a garden, happy day. However, one of the things that we felt we were supposed to do as an act of faith in this house adventure was to plant a garden at the new house. Our friends were happy to let us do that. So my mother-in-law (also an avid gardener – over 800 bedding plants/year) went over and did the deed. Now it’s been up to me to care for the thing. My dear friend planted my flower beds at our house to up the curb appeal (they’re mostly full of perennials so I haven’t done much with them), once again, it’s up to me to care for them.

Now here’s the kicker, I have been taking care of them and I have been enjoying it – gasp! I have all kinds of ideas about transforming our new back yard into a lovely garden paradise. I’ve been working out in my own backyard, pulling weeds and trying to make the weed and dirt patch look as nice as possible. I’ve only killed one potted plant that I received this year (1 out of 7 isn’t bad – okay 5, 2 got stolen), in fact they are thriving.

So, as I’ve followed the directives of the Lord, spent time in the sun, the mark of the sun is on me, I’m no longer pasty white as I have been for years. The rays of the sun are bringing out the colour in me. I know that as I spend time with the Son, His mark will remain on me as well. The colours that the master gardener has planted in me will come out to bless other people with their beauty just as the flowers bloom in my garden. I am convinced that it is a good thing to be a Son-worshipper. I want His mark left on me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

in need of encouragement

Carebear, here's the link to that post on Intent. And for anyone else who cares to read it!

Anyway, today I could use some encouragement. My site is dedicated to the encouragement of others but today I could use some. This house selling thing is weighing heavy today - or should I say house NOT selling thing. Our friends have moved, they gave us keys to their house. We can go and start doing whatever work needs to be done as we please, but somehow it just doesn't feel quite right when there's absolutely nothing happening with our own home. We haven't even heard from our real estate agent in the last 10 days. There's a house 2 doors down from ours that has been for sale for about a year already. This is not encouraging. One street up things are moving, but not here.

My sister is in the hospital trying not to have a baby (she's only at 32 weeks). It's hot and my house doesn't have air-conditioning. The kids don't want to go outside because it's either too hot or too many bugs (can't say I blame them).

Okay I guess that's enough pity party for one day. Sorry. This is me today.

Monday, July 11, 2005

not so fresh flowers for July 11

A few flower petals...

Well friends, flu bugs and family affairs managed to combine and pluck the flowers out of my brain. So I will resort to amusing you. Hope this will hold you over until Friday.

This morning I was sweeping my floor and came across a piece of Barbie ‘food’, a little bit of plastic bacon. My little girl was playing with her Barbies in the middle of the floor so I tossed it over to her. She immediately put it in her mouth. (Keep in mind she is no longer a baby but a big girl of 5 years). “Honey, that was just in my sweeping, it’s dirty don’t put it in your mouth, that’s yucky."

“It’s okay mommy, I’m washing it.”

The following comes via a friend, enjoy….


Most people got married in June, because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children! Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


The calendar finally has blank days ahead, I'm so thrilled. Life has been so incredibly busy these last few months, every day filled to overflowing. I just got caught up on reading all the 'family' blogs - that would be the Hope section on the side. I belong to an awesome family of believers and just want to tell you and the rest of the blogging world how wonderful you are.

The great mystery is - who is 'the blogless one', they say that they have a blog but I can't get to it. What do we know for sure:

-it's a she
-she has children
-she is wise
-she knows words to songs
-she has bought and sold houses

Hey maybe she's the Proverbs 31 woman in disguise. So I have my suspicions, what's YOUR best guess?