Thursday, March 31, 2005

fresh flowers for April 1

Baking Bread

copyright 2005, Lani Wiens

a fresh flowers original

My kids love to be in the kitchen with me. Adding things, stirring things, peering over my shoulder watching the mixer go round and round. One of their favorite things to ‘cook’ with me is bread. As Samuel was ‘helping’ me today I couldn’t help but notice a little flower popping up in the bread dough.

Samuel is only 2 and therefore time is irrelevant to him. Waiting? What’s that? He wanted his little bit of dough so he could make bread. Within seconds he was throwing it the pan. Then taking it out. Then throwing it in. Then walking around the house with it. I believe the worst moment was when I asked him where it was and he said, “I get it! It’s on the plano.” (piano, for those of you who don’t understand toddler). His poor little lump of dough never achieved its purpose in life, it ended up stuck to the floor and trodden upon and then into the trash.

I wondered if that was what I do with God’s gifts to me. At first, giving what looks like a good attempt at letting the gift reach its potential. Even putting it in the correct spot in the right circumstances, only to snatch it back again within a short time? Do I parade around with my gift declaring that ‘I’m making bread’ only to leave my gift somewhere and forget about it until someone asks me to give an account of where it’s gone. Or do I stomp on my gift, leaving it on the floor, neglected and abused to be trodden on and destroyed.

I’m pretty certain that none of us would choose to do those things and yet we do. We miss opportunities to love and be loved, to serve and be served every day. We want to experience the aroma and taste of fresh, warm bread but we don’t have the patience to let the Holy Spirit do His work in us. Baking bread takes a little know how and a little time. You need to have the right balance of ingredients. You need to be patient as the yeast works through the dough and causes it to rise. The oven temperature needs to be right in order to bring the bread to its full potential without over-doing it. Then, of course, you need the right complimentary items to fully enjoy that fresh bread; butter, cheese, honey or peanut butter.

So, too, our gifts need to be mixed with character and perseverance. We need patience as we wait for the Holy Spirit to do His work in us. We need the fires of testing so that we grow strong and ready to be of service. We need to work together with complementary gifts so that the full flavour of all the gifts can be enjoyed. Next time you bite into a warm piece of fresh bread consider what gift God has given you. Consider what stage of development it is in and wait on the Lord to bring it to completion.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

reflecting on light

It is Sunday afternoon. Resurrection Sunday, not just any Sunday. It's been an interesting weekend. We celebrated my husband's grandma's 90th birthday this weekend amidst services and such. The thing that stands out to me about this weekend is the power of light.

Just a little light dispels darkness.
A little light can cause you to wake up, become aware.
Even though your eyes can adjust to darkness, it is far easier to see with a light on, even if it's dim.
The light of love in another person's eyes makes their whole face softer, shinier, open and inviting.
Jesus is light.
When the stone rolled away the shafts of light that must have burst forth would have knocked anyone in the near vicinity down. Oh yeah, they did!

This morning I was moved by the power of light as they projected images of the stone being rolled away, as the light was slowly revealed, they simultaneously raised the blinds on the sanctuary windows letting the light flood our souls as we sang, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty!!!

Even in the midst of trial, light comes in the form of truth and dispels the darkness of despair. I pray that today, the true light would be resurrected in your heart.

Friday, March 25, 2005

fresh flowers for March 25

House Cleaning

©2005, Lani Wiens

a fresh flowers original

Seven human beans live in my home. That translates into at least 7 pairs of underwear every day (one is potty training so it sometimes it’s more, one in diapers). Tally 14 socks, approximately 13 pieces of other assorted clothing unless of course we’ve had pancakes for a meal or the little princess has decided to change her clothes several times that day OR it is spring and they are out experiencing nature. Many towels, dishcloths and various other cloth-like items get dirty in our house every day. That’s before we get into changing sheets and the like. It’s a LOT of laundry.

Seven human beans live in my home. We ran out of dishwasher soap the other day so we’ve been doing everything by hand. All seven are home for three meals every day. Do the math, it’s a never ending stream of dishes. I’m thinking we should get stock in Royal Chinette and start buying paper.

Seven human beans live in my home. Three or four of the smaller beans are home every day, playing with play dough, using the window writers, playing games and driving their cars through the house. That adds up to general debris littered pretty much everywhere.

The head bean works out of our home. His office is located in the garage but various papers, envelopes and equipment find their way into the house and can’t find their way out again.

The lady bean is very creative and crafty and some of those projects take up floor space in the house. Most of her stuff is contained to one spot, but sometimes it spills over.

Sometimes the beans make choices that cause the dishes, laundry, resentment, anger and other debris to pile

up. The beans get discouraged. It is harder the next day to make the choice to die to playing all day because today the pile is a little bigger. The beans know if they keep on this way the piles will be so big that they won’t want to ever move them.

Every day this bean has to decide to be pure and holy, to tell the truth, to love my family and neighbours and to be obedient to God. I don’t always choose well and the debris that litters my heart gets a little bigger. Jesus said that we need to choose daily to walk with Him, to choose Him over our own desires. I want my physical house to stay tidy and clean. That means making the choice every day to wash the clothes, do the dishes and sweep up the debris. It means I need to put the silly cushions back on the couch for the 10th time that day. I want my spiritual house to be clean as well. That means making the choice every day to wash my spirit with the word of God, to clean up relational messes and to repent from my own nasty ways. Every day I let go by without doing that cleaning, either spiritually or physically makes it more difficult and discouraging to do it the next day because the pile is a little more daunting.

The bad news is that those piles will keep coming. All of us beans are pretty human and we have to keep cleaning up the messes we make. The good news is that Jesus said he would give us the strength and grace to do the cleaning that needs to be done. He also said he would never leave us alone to face it all by ourselves. That is really good news. Don’t get discouraged by the piles, if you keep working at them you will get to the bottom, especially those ones that have been building up for awhile. Don’t lose heart you have a cleaning buddy who will stick with you until the job is done.

Ps. For help with the physical chaos of your home (if you have it) check out for some very practical help.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Cost of Kids

I can't take credit for this, it came in an e-mail thingy, but definately worth posting!!

I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice, really nice!

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.

But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour. Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be "rich." It is just the opposite.

What do your get for your $160,140?

Naming rights,--- First, middle, and last!
Glimpses of God everyday.
Giggles under the covers every night.
More love than your heart can hold.
Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.
A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.

You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.
You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney Land, and wishing on stars.
You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck.

You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling a
wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a soccer team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel. You get to be immortal.
You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.
You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God.
You have all the power to heal a booboo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

.... I think it's worth it! :)

off to a good start

My Proverbs 31 halo is firmly in place this morning! The baby got up at 5:30 and so after battling with my flesh a little I decided I might as well stay up and get a few things done. Soooooooo, I've had my quiet time, a bath, sorted laundry, made muffins and milkshakes for breakfast and served everyone in bed (cut down on the dishes tremendously!!), have cinnamon/raisin bread rising on the counter, the kitchen is clean, the bed is made and I am all dressed, before 8:00 am!! I'm just hoping that my halo won't slip off later today when the lack of sleep sneaks up and catches me off-guard.

Today is my daddy's 71st birthday. Wanna have some fun? Why don't you call him and wish him a happy birthday, he's got a great sense of humour and would love it!! Tell him the flowerlady told you to call. His number is 306-665-1798 - his name is George. Remember we live in Canada so the country code is 01 I think. Have a great day........

Monday, March 21, 2005


It's been an interesting weekend. My husband and I kind of flip-flopped. I was out and about most of the weekend and he did most of the kid duty! We went out on a date on Friday night proving once again that the more you pay for a meal the less you actually get to eat!! (thankfully we had gift certificates and the food really was very good!) We got to serve a part of the body by leading in worship and intercesson and that was wonderful.

Saturday morning I went to a 'clay date' and got to paint some pottery with a bunch of other wonderful women. What a heap of fun that was! (Thanks Audrey) Let me put in a shameless plug for Riverstone Studios - our dear dear friends who are getting up and running in pottery, photography, music lessons and more! They'll have a website soon so watch for it!! Little lesson there - when you paint pottery you don't get to see the intensity of the colors, just a vague representation - it has to go through the fire for the brilliance to come out!! Go chew on that for a while - you are a in the fire for a reason.

Saturday afternoon I chauffered kids around to practices and birthday parties along with the ignomious task of finding myself some personal apparel items that I loathe shopping for. I also had a great lesson in obedience! I felt that God had said to purchase a certain item when I was at the grocery store, I looked at the price tag and figured I must not have heard right (cash is pretty tight at the moment). I carried on and told my husband about it, he prayed about it and told me I had been hearing right so I better go back and get it, we'd figure out the why later. I thought I should be able to acquire it at the mall in which the birthday party was located. No such luck, I searched the entire mall and could not find it anywhere. I had to go all the way across the city back to the original store and purchase said item there. It does not pay to be disobedient, it costs you time and money!

We had a lovely family time on Saturday night. Then a glorious time of celebration with our spiritual family on Sunday morning. As a body we began to grieve the passing of a dear lady in our congregation and got to witness the baptism of a young man who had strayed from the Lord and has now come back. I was particularly moved by that since he was one of the kids I had in club way back when I first really started into children's ministry.

I had a nap in the afternoon and then spent the evening with the artisan's guild in our church putting together banners, sharing and loving each other with the gifts and talents that each one has.

I also found out that a Christian newspaper is going to launch in our fair province in May! I'm so excited. There's an excellent opportunity for me to submit 'fresh flowers' to the paper or at least to write for them on a free-lance basis. I'm scared to death!! But I think I'll give it a whirl.

Tonite we had supper at a friend's home. This is so unusual because most people are a little nervous about inviting a large family over - we take up a lot of space!! Anyways, it was a wonderful evening, the kids had fun and the food and fellowship were lovely.

Does anyone know where I could get a small non-shedding, fully trained and vaccinated dog for really cheap - like free?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

fresh flowers for March 18

Don’t Give Up

©2005, Lani Wiens

a fresh flowers original

This is too hard. I’m too tired. These are the thoughts that have been in my head and the words on my lips for the last number of weeks. God has been moving in my heart through my brothers and sisters to show me some truth, to pick me flowers. The flowers for the season are tulips.

Tulips represent perseverance. This is what God has called us to. Perseverance goes completely against worldly thoughts and opinion. Perseverance is long range planning without any instant gratification. Perseverance requires faith to believe that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Tulips have to endure cold, ‘flower un-friendly’ conditions in order to bloom. Tulips are one of the first flowers of spring and speak of new life, that winter is past. Tulips are also brilliant, rich and exuberant in their colour as if to say, “Hah, it was worth it to go through the cold, I have overcome!”

Another friend has been speaking to me about losing heart and what occurs when we allow that to happen. When we give up hope we lose our faith in God, we betray His trust and consequently we betray our family and/or friends. The road back from betrayal is long and difficult.

Some of our dear brothers were over praying with my husband as they do on a regular basis. One of the things they discerned is a ‘spirit’ over our house that says, “I’m too tired, it’s too hard.” The end result of those words are despair and hopelessness, losing heart, not persevering. As we recognized and repented, joy and life flowed back into our home because those words are not truth.

How can that be you ask? I AM tired! This IS hard! Of course it is. Nobody said that it would be easy or that we wouldn’t get a little pooped here and there. But there is a bigger truth that needs to be told. Get ready for a little wind in your sails because here it comes…

Truth #1

God has already given you everything you need for the journey that you are on! He is not surprised by what is going on in your life. If you let them, these present trials will create a beauty in you that you could never imagine and they will bring God glory. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make ALL grace abound to you, so that in ALL things at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in EVERY good work.”

Truth #2

It is possible. You CAN do whatever it is that God is asking of you. Not because of how wonderful you are but because He is working in you! Philippians 4:13 “I can do EVERYTHING through him who gives me strength.”

Truth #3

You will survive this because LIFE is at work in you. Read all of 2 Corinthians 4.

Truth #4

If we don’t give up, we WILL reap a harvest. Hebrews 10:36 “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” And verse 39 “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who believe and are saved.”

God is good all the time. Don’t give up, not now when victory may be just around the corner. No matter the trial, whether it is difficulty in marriage, a wayward child, disease eating away at you or your loved one, division in relationship, financial disaster, or some other test of your faith. God is faithful, He is NOT slow in keeping His promises and if you do not lose heart, you WILL receive a reward. Claim what is true today friends. Plant some tulips of perseverance. Don’t let the enemy steal, kill or destroy in your territory. Stand your ground. Even though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (that’s from 2 Corinthians 4).

Saturday, March 12, 2005

enough with the debate already

This post is in response to the seemingly endless (and in my opinion fruitless) debate about homeschooling/public schooling/private schooling in general and specifically to a recent post on 'my three pennies' on this subject. I do not believe that one is more 'righteous' than another. We are very pro-homeschool, we also support our local community school. We homeschool some and others are in public school. We have friends who do the same. We have friends who homeschool only. We have friends who public school only. We have friends who send their kids to a private school. And believe it or not, we ALL love each other and get along. We have a friend who has been a principal and is now in a place in the provincial school system where he sees every imaginable type of school you could name and readily agrees that for training your children, if you are able and willing, homeschooling is the way to go. With that said, read on...

We are planning to homeschool our two older boys in the fall, we are currently working out a program with our local school where we will cooperatively school our 6 year old who is having great emotional/behavioural difficulties. We have enrolled our daughter in French Immersion for the fall and would like to see her graduate with her bi-lingual diploma. The Lord has not yet made it clear how He would have us educate our two younger sons. We have been in a place in our life where homeschooling would most likely have been detrimental to our existence as a family and to my own personal emotional/physical health. We have completely enjoyed our homeschooling experience and will be returning there. We have also fully appreciated the input that our local school has put into our children and how they have supported us as a family. I have no idea what the American public school system is like other than what is portrayed by the media (it doesn't look good). While the Canadian public school system is far from perfect I must say a word in defence of it and in particular our local community school here in Caswell (which is a 'core' community school - read inner-city). They have set up a nutrition program where they serve breakfast and lunch to kids who need it. They have a clothing depot and watch for kids who are missing jackets, shoes and other appropriate attire. The teachers obviously genuinely care about students and stay involved with them beyond the classroom. (Our pre-school teacher is a fine example of that.) They are working hard at literacy and have a goal of reading 14,000 books this year, they just celebrated their over half way there mark.

In Canada public school is by far the norm across the board. Access to public school extends from the top of the government down to the most impoverished. Private schools are not prolific in our province particularly, and I don't think they are that common in other parts of our country either, though they do exist. We also have a separate school system that is run by the Catholic school board that all the public has access too as well. The French Immersion school that we're sending our daughter to is affliated with that particular system and is not costing us anything more than our regular tax dollars. We are very thankful that our daughter has the opportunity to become bi-lingual and that opportunity exists for ALL Canadians.

The bottom line is that you are not mindlessly educating your children! Not just sending them blindly into any situation but seeking the Lord as to what He wants for each child. Saying that your child CANNOT be salt and light in a public school leads me to wonder what you are teaching your children. What foundation are you laying and why do you expect so little of them? Our son is not reading apologetics in his spare time, he does, however, read his Bible regularly and we actively seek out teaching moments at all times. He's not an 'out there' kind of kid but he is wise and discerning. While he may not be preaching in the hallway he is obviously making a difference since the principal let us know that he is very happy to have our son in his school because he is a good leader and influences the atmosphere of the classroom. He is 8. Many of our church families have put their kids into this particular school. Our son sees several other church kids in school every day. What would happen if they were all suddenly pulled out? The light would be gone, the saltiness would disappear, that school would become an increasingly darker place. We have seen this when our friends needed to enroll their son in another inner-city school where there were no other Christian families - it was very dark and they were glad to get him out as soon as he could - (he has some learning disablities, was very young at the time, easily influenced and homeschooling was not an option for them).

I have been a children's pastor and I have seen and led the children I work with into times of intercession, worship and listening to the Lord that many adults never sniff at. There are children around the world that go on their faces before the Lord crying out for the lost and making a huge impact on their communities. I am all for protecting our children from worldly influences. We carefully monitor activities, friends, books, movies, they don't watch TV, radio and all of the rest of the media influences. We are not sinful or evil for having sent and continuing to send our kids into the arena of public school. We must, as parents be vigilant in our watchcare and training of our children. We have definately been concerned at times as to some of the things that go on in our school, but we are also concerned about some of the things that happen on a Sunday morning in that teaching environment. At all times, and in all ways, we must train and pray so that our kids are ready to stand against what comes at them. In my opinion the whole debate needs to stop. It is pointless and fruitless. Do what is right for your children in the eyes of the Lord.

Friday, March 11, 2005

fresh flowers for March 11

Of Diapers and Discipleship

©2005, Lani Wiens

a fresh flowers original

Diapers. We go through a LOT of diapers in a week. Sasha is still a baby and even though Samuel is in the midst of potty-training and doing very well he still needs a little extra protection for night time and naps. It’s a LOT of diapers. I am very thankful for diapers, they make the clean up of a baby so much easier than if they didn’t have such a device. I realize that there are some cultures who do not use such things but I’m really glad mine does. In fact I was rejoicing in diapers the other day and thinking that maybe it would be nice if we just reverted back to having Samuel wear diapers all the time and forget about this whole training thing. It’s so much ‘easier’ on both of us than having to think about bodily functions for a good portion of each day. God picked a flower for me in the middle of my musing, which I will share with you – I warned you that there would be flowers in the diapers - so let’s drag that theme out just a little….

Imagine a five year old (fully functioning – I’m not talking about disabilities or physical issues that cannot be avoided) that was still in diapers. Age that child by another 5, 10, 20 years. Who would want to be changing the diapers of a 30 year old fully functional adult? Not me! That is just too disgusting for words. (Once again may I say that I am referring to FULLY functioning people here.) Think about the 30 year old who is in his/her office or on his/her job site asking one of his/her co-workers to help him/her out with a diaper change!! Seems just a little ridiculous doesn’t it…now…

Switch gears.

Paul says to the Corinthian church in chapter 3, “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed you are still not ready.” Paul goes on to say that the Corinthians’ hearts were still too caught up in worldly things, things like jealousy and quarrelling that brought divisions among them. In other words (the LVLT – Lani’s very loose translation) Paul is saying, “Hey, y’all it’s time to get out of your diapers and grow up. You need to leave behind the trappings of ‘childishness’ and move on to maturity. There are things that you need to be learning and doing that require you to have self-control and independence. Quit acting like babies [or toddlers].”

But how do we do that? Are we doing that? Am I doing that? Are we grown up? Is there jealousy and quarrelling among us? Are we fixated on worldly things? How exactly do we grow up, or help someone else grow up? We do that by watching how Jesus trained his disciples and doing what He did. We do that by engaging in what Jesus commanded us to do in Matthew 28 – we make disciples. Training Samuel to use the toilet on his own is a conscientious effort on my part that is gradually being released over to him. He is learning how to control his body so that he can mature and move on to other ‘big boy’ tasks like cleaning up after himself, taking care of getting dressed and contributing to the workings of this family. If we never get past the diaper stage, his ability to contribute, to mature and to function as an individual will be hampered. I could leave him to figure it out on his own, which he probably would at some point through observation and discomfort. He may even ask for help if , or when, he realized that he was not functioning like the other family members. However, it is much to our benefit as a family to train him, to walk alongside him and show him the ropes, teach him the rules of the bathroom and help him clean up the mess when he misses. The training will go much smoother and more quickly, if we disciple him in this process. The whole family is involved in Samuel’s training, encouraging him, cheering him on and cleaning up after him. It’s a wonderful picture of the spiritual family and how it was made to function.

Training a new Christian, or one who has never gotten out of infancy takes some conscientious effort on the part of a more mature Christian to go on to deeper things.

If you recognize that you are still in infancy as a Christian ask someone who you can see is farther down the road than you to teach you what they’ve learned. Then, start teaching someone else what you’ve learned. That is how the process of discipleship works. It doesn’t have to be difficult, though it may be at times (sometimes growing up involves confrontation and discipline), it is, as my pastor’s wife says, inviting someone to be part of your life. Engaging in relationship that builds up the body of Christ is what Matthew 28 is all about. Bringing about maturity so that we can grow up into all things – into unity in the body of Christ. The entire spiritual family benefits when we help out our infant Christians grow up into maturity. Unfortunately, there are people who are in the church that have been there for a long time that have never ‘grown up’. These people aren’t going to be able to contribute as fully as they might until that maturing process happens. It is a credit to our whole spiritual family to have EVERYONE growing up and maturing. All of us will need help, training and encouragement along our journey. We can all be lending a hand to someone else as we take another hand to be helped along the way.

It is a joy to watch my little ones grow up and achieve the steps to maturity that they are currently working on. I will be glad when my babies are out of diapers, there will be a lot more room in my bathroom when the change table and diaper pail are gone. There will be a little more freedom in our activity choices. There will be a few dollars that can go somewhere else. There will also be other issues that will require us to continue in the training and discipleship of our children, probably bigger issues than how to use the toilet. I trust that God will grant us wisdom along the way and grace to implement what is necessary for our children to reach their full potential. This is the good news, He offers that to each of us.

Discipleship. Engage in it. Ask for it. Begin at home if you have other people that you live with. Discipleship is what we are commanded by Jesus to do, it starts at home…and that’s another topic for another day.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


You are minding your own business, carrying on with your day when you hear from the bathroom, "Mommy, Samuel just stuck his gotchies in the toilet!" The next sound you hear is the flush of the toilet and a giggle from your 2.5 year old as he bids a fond farewell to the gotchies. What do you do?

a. lose it
b. laugh

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Just for Monica

This is really just for my friend Monica. The rest of you can read it if you want. Monica is my dear, dear friend and sister in the Lord who has taught me so much, including how to plan properly and about organization, cleaning, running a business and so much more.

So, Monica if you are reading this! YEAH, YOU GOT HERE!!!! Now, to read the little thingy I was talking about, scroll down on the right side of the screen and you'll see a little heading called Recent Posts - click on 'Routines - gotta love em'.

After you read it, if you want to post a comment you click on the little line that says "Post a Comment", type whatever you want (with your name in it) and then click on 'Anonymous' and then click on 'publish'.

OR, you can just scroll down and read whatever you like (or click on a title that sounds interesting to you). To get to other interesting reads, scroll down to 'places I go and things I read' Kelly's is Heart of a Minstrel, Carol Fisher's is Worship Warrior, and Darcy's is In Search of Truth, Josiah's is FireKid. Hope you have fun learning something new!!!

I love you ever so much, you are a treasure to me!


Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Least of These

As my contribution to Amy's Vox Apologia III (Amy's Humble Musings) I can't get past a few things that I see every day. My own sweet children. Every time someone finds out that I have 5 children they snort and wheeze and pound their chests as if I may be the carrier of some horrible infection. How could I possibly WANT that many children? What a horrible burden! You poor dear (as if I was suffering from a terminal illness). Or my favorite, "I couldn't do that, I'm just to selfish" as if that makes a good justification!

One of my babes came to us through the social services system, for a time in our lives we were foster parents and had several children come through our doors. Two didn't leave. Brendan passed away in our home. He was severally disabled and most people would have thought that he wasn't much good for anything. They never saw him smile. Christopher lives with us and always will. We hope that we can sort out the red tape and get him adopted one day. Christopher has some behavioural problems that most 'normal' homes would not care to deal with. We don't particularly enjoy dealing with them either but he is our son. Every once in awhile some one implies that we could give him back - get rid of him so to speak. Then voila, problem sovled!! But for whom? We aren't heroes. We're an ordinary family who gets mad at each other sometimes. We have to apologize and we have to forgive. What would sending away this one do to him and to the others kids? What would that do to the security that is necessary in the heart of a child? Why is he more dispensible than our other children? Because he's already been rejected and abandoned more than once? Does that make you of less value than someone else? The reason that we have Christopher at all is that no one else wanted him. Social services couldn't find a single relative anywhere that was willing to take permanent custody of the boy. We win!!

We win because Christopher is compassionate.
We win because Christopher has a strong sense of justice.
We win because Christopher completes our family in a way no one else could.
We win because we have had to address the deep anger issues that every parent has but doesn't want to deal with or admit to having.
We win because having Christopher in our family makes us more sensitive to other 'problem' children.
We win because grace is being grown in our family.
We win because Christopher has the sweetest smile and brightest eyes.
We win because we are seeing Christopher learn to control his emotions.
We win because God is teaching us patience, growing His character in us because of the perseverance needed to tackle these issues.
We win because Christopher loves us and we love him.
We win because God chose Christopher for our family.
We win because Christopher likes to make eggs in the morning so mommy doesn't have to cook and enjoys washing dishes!!

If we chose to abandon Christopher there is no question that he would become another non-success statistic in our country. He is an orphan, abandoned, rejected, the least of these.
And he is ours.


PS - We had an incident like the 'Tracey' story in our community. Robert Latimer chose to asphyxiate his very disabled daughter so that she wouldn't have to 'suffer' anymore. He was convicted of murder (her name was Tracey, too). Pray that this husband's heart would be changed. God can still do wonders.


It is very quiet in my house at the moment. The only other person home is Sasha and he's sleeping. It's been an interesting coupla days...

**I reached my spilled milk limit yesterday - 5 cups in one day IS enough to cry over
**When your husband is gone for 4 hours without any communication it CAN bring you to a place of near panic
**Dealing with two toilet accidents of the #2 nature in one day is TOO much
**I am not a blogger that generates controversy and huge discussion, why is this? I am a vase, not a meat platter.
**I greatly enjoy a good discussion on literature and entertainment, check it out on 'Walking Circumspectly' (I have no idea how to do those cool linky things that you can do so you just click 'here')
**The Lord is showing me once again that I don't have to be anyone else, just me, what's He's called me to do is just as important as anyone else (good article at
**One day ALL my children will be able to feed themselves
**One day I won't be the 'poop-checker'
**I really enjoy quilting
**I realy enjoy reading other people's blogs

my baby is crying and the house is no longer quiet, so I can no longer in good conscience sit here, see ya............

Thursday, March 03, 2005

fresh flowers for March 4

The Brotherhood

(dedicated to the fearless and faithful, men of Hope)

©2005, Lani Wiens

a fresh flowers original

If you haven’t seen the movie First Knight with Richard Gere and Sean Connery may I encourage you to do so? It is one of the few movies I know where you see men walking in right relationship with one another and in their proper authority. King Arthur and his knights of the round table have a vow that they make to each other, “Brother to brother, yours in life and death.” Their motto is, ‘in serving one another there is freedom’. There are a good many other excellent points that this movie has to make but these are the ones I wish to dwell on.

The bad guy, Maligant, states to Lancelot that men don’t want brotherhood, they want leadership. Maligant failed to see what true authority and brotherhood really are. What he passed off as leadership was merely control and fear. It made his men loyal after a fashion but it did not endear them to one another or to him and it did not strengthen them as individuals. King Arthur’s men walked with the love and confidence of their king, knowing that he would lay down his life for them, just as they were willing to defend him to their own death. Even though the King sat among them as an equal at the table, when he needed to, he took on the full authority of the King and made decisions and proclamations. My husband has recently experienced the strength of the brotherhood and learned some things about walking in authority along the way. I think it would be safe to conclude that he prefers brotherhood to a controlling and fearful regime. It would also be safe to assume that he prefers authority and submission rather than control and fear.

Because of some unfortunate circumstances that occurred in our fellowship Kelly was given spiritual authority for the men’s retreat and another on the original team was given logistical authority on short notice. It wasn’t an easy task, he struggled, but he was convinced that God had something in mind for our men and so he persevered. He had a team (his brothers/knights) to work with and overseers (kings) to guide him along the way. There were times when he was feeling unsure of himself or wanting to please someone that he was tempted to lay down the authority that had been given to him. However, he was walking in submission to our lead pastor and elders who had given him that authority and they encouraged him time and again not to do so. He learned along the way that as he walked in that authority and communicated it clearly things ran the way they should and God moved in ways that Kelly had anticipated. Possible miscommunications were avoided, messages that needed to be delivered were clear, jobs got done that needed to be done, people were free to be where they needed to be. The men were greatly blessed as they met together over the weekend and God ministered to them in a powerful way. Bonds of love and unity were built, strengthened and tightened.

Then they were tested. Sunday evening we had a service after the men returned. Our son, who has been experiencing trouble containing his emotions, was very agitated and it was hard to keep from being a distraction to the rest of the congregation. Kelly was taking full responsibility for him and took him out of the service. Chris ran off and Kelly went after him. Then several of his ‘guys/brothers’ wondered where Kelly was and took off in pursuit. Those brothers covered my man in a way that makes me cry even now. They prayed over Kelly and Christopher and wept with him and for him (real, unashamed, very manly tears). Then they met the physical needs we had. Those men have called and encouraged him and have continued to support us in our struggle. When our van was broken into a few days later, they came again. What was taken is quickly being replaced. They have been shoulder to shoulder with my husband and I am so thankful for these brothers. They have served our family and us in ways they don’t even know.

To the knights of the Hope table, I salute you. I assure you we will stand ‘brother to brother – yours in life and death’. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Parenting Job Description

PARENT - Job Description

This is hysterical. If it had been presented this way, none of us would
have done it!!!!


Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa


Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an,
often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and
organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will
include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some
overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on
rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel
expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily,
until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also,
must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from
zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the
backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face
stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair,
mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain
calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must
have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and
mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an
embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of
a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must
always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final,
complete accountability for the quality of the end product! Responsibilities also
include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without
complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those
in your charge can ultimately surpass you!


None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually
exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon
payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college
help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them
whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is
you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement,
no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies
limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you
play your cards right.

Progress Report #2 - Christopher

The battle for Chris continues. We are very thankful for the institutions and professions that God has set up to help deal with these kinds of issues. We were advised by our Social Worker to take Christopher to our pediatrician. We did so and that resulted in a medication designed for helping children deal with aggression. We are starting to see that medication work in his body to bring down the intensity of his emotions.

We were able to get in to see the play therapist that worked with him a while ago at the Mental Health Center. She is a jewel and very helpful in assessing what needs to happen next. Through her efforts we were able to get a 'quick' psychiatric consult at the hospital. Small wheels are moving all over on his behalf. We have also received informaiton and names and numbers for other people who may lend a helping hand with all of this.

We continue to seek the Lord as to all the whys and whats of this learning experience. We assume that there are lessons that we need to learn that will make us all stronger in the end. We very much value your prayers and support as we continue to walk in this way.

Chris actually had a really good 6 days or so after his last MAJOR event which included breaking his window. He spent the weekend with Grandpa and Grandma with no problems. Church on Sunday evening was a struggle (a little over-stimulating). Our van was broken into which resulted in the loss of his scooter ( and 2 car seats - go figure) which he was very sad about. Later that evening he had a meltdown that we think may be related to the break-in. BUT we had 6 whole days without a major thing so we are once again hopeful that the time in between will become longer and longer and that he will employ the things he's learning to cope with his intense emotions.

Things to pray for:

1. Kelly and I - we're constantly vigilant watching for signs of trouble and trying to intervene before he get's too far down the rage road - this is VERY tiring, pray for strength and wisdom
2. The sibs - they are sometimes the target of his anger (particularly Abby because they're together the most), she is bearing the brunt of much of this as my attention is often spent on Chris and she feels left out.
3. Chris - that the Holy Spirit would come and heal the wounds in his spirit that are triggering these rages. We know and believe that He will be the most effective treatment for all that troubles Chris (and the rest of us), however, Chris' spirit needs to be open to that healing water, please 'fill up the bowls' with us.

Blessings to each of you...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

hoping it's fixed

My computer guru has been working at this thing to get it fixed up and running properly. If you are having any trouble with the comments could you please e-mail me at: I'm going to try taking HaloScan off and see if that helps.......computers.....some days.........