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