Friday, May 27, 2005

flower delivery for May 27

copyright 2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

Imagine the scent of a tightly closed flower bud. It’s hard to do because you can’t really capture the scent of the flower until it fully opens. That’s what my faith regarding all of this house business is like right now. I’m guarding my heart carefully and my faith has not exactly burst into bloom as of yet. Kelly told me I needed to write this struggle so that there would be a witness when God does what He’s going to do regarding our living accommodations. Yet another unusual flower in my garden, please bear with me.

God does not always answer prayers the way we think He should. I’m sure everyone knows that. Our last few weeks have given me sufficient evidence to firmly believe that. God is wild, not tame doing our bidding, but doing as He pleases. There are several scriptures that support that. In Proverbs it says, “Many are the plans of a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” We have an amazing tendency to believe that we are in control when in fact we are not. I love the verse in Acts 17 that states that God has planned the exact times and places where we will live. Isn’t that just mind-boggling? So where is my struggle?

Exhibit A: Kelly had heard from the Lord that we would conceive in March. We did. When I first started having difficulty the Lord assured us that the baby was okay, it was. When trouble kept coming I had no assurance that things would be fine in the way I thought fine to be. In fact I had had a feeling that things wouldn’t be ‘fine’ soon after I found out I was pregnant. We prayed fiercely, but our baby was gone. Things didn’t go the way we wanted them to.

Exhibit B: Kelly and I each heard individually from the Lord that we needed to pursue getting a dog. We laid out some very specific criteria about what kind of dog we would have. We prayed fiercely, we got exactly what we wanted. Things went the way we wanted them to.

Now here we want to buy our friend’s house, the bank system has been extremely slow in working out our financing therefore making things drag out to even put an offer on the house we want. We have to sell our house. We are convinced that we need to try selling it ourselves so that God will get the credit and not a real estate agent (though we have nothing against real estate agents, we don’t want to pay that high commission, we’d rather have that money go to paying off some debt). Real estate agents are telling us that we are crazy to try selling it ourselves and we really need their help. It’s tempting. It would probably be easier in some ways. We have a limited time frame that we’re working in. We know that if any of this happens it will be because God wants us to live in that other house.

So I struggle in my trust/faith. Will the outcome be like Exhibit A or B or will we have a C which is….who knows what? Kelly is convinced of what He believes He’s heard from the Lord. I feel a little out of control because I am! The message the Lord has been giving me all week is to trust Him. I’m not doing a very good job of that. So this ‘flower’ is a declaration of what we believe that God has said, that our house will get sold quickly and we’ll be able to move. I guess you and I will have to wait and see what the outcome is. We will continue to pray fiercely. These have been great lessons for the kids as they’ve been included in all our praying and have faithfully prayed for the dog, the baby and the house.

In the meantime I’ll be keeping my house in its current pristine condition in hopes that it will make a difference to someone who may want to buy our house. What will the fragrance of this flower be? I don’t know, I hope it will be pleasing and that we will have done what was asked of us. When it comes down to it, that’s all I want anyway.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

boys will be boys will be boys

It would appear that it doesn't matter what age you are, if you are male, you are likely to think that whoopee cushions are a hoot! A couple of weeks ago we went to a little marriage retreat. At this retreat they gave each couple a gift bag at the end of the day making sure that there were boy and girl things in each bag. My dad received a minature whoopee cushion. On Sunday he tried it out on my second youngest, he thought it was pretty funny. On MOnday he tried it out on my oldest but it didn't quite work. However, they went on their monthly trip to the dollar store and he pointed out a full size one to my eldest explaining what it was. He was thrilled and bought it on the spot! He immediately began making rude noises with it wherever he could much to the amusement of the entire household.

On Tuesday evening he tried to get his aunt but she was too smart for him. On one occasion he had hid it and his baby brother saw him hide it. My sister and I couldn't figure out why the baby was throwing himself at the towel on the bench until we discovered said whoopee cushion. He was trying to make it go!! A day or two later the baby got hold of it and figured out that if he put it on the floor and laid down on it he could make it do the funny sound. Much giggling ensued!

Friday it goes to school as a show and tell presentation!

The next Monday the other grandpa finds himself the victim of the whoopee cushion! He thought it was funny, too.

Today the baby found grandpa's miniature cushion and figured out that it works just like big brother's. Cool. ppppppphhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttttttttttt

Boys will be boys whether they're 72 or 17 months!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Check It Out

Choosing Home - a great website (check my sidebar for the link) is having it's grand opening on June 1st! Make sure you check it out!

Friday, May 20, 2005

fresh flowers for May 20

One Little Life
(a memorial for our baby)
copyright 2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

Flowers and grief are often seen together. This week has been no different. As we wrestle with the grief over losing our baby we (Kelly and I) are looking for the flowers God is going to pick for us through this experience. We have been given one already.

I did quite a bit of research on miscarriage as I went through the last few days. My doctor explained some things to me and the research I did confirmed what he told me. Miscarriage at this point in pregnancy is largely due to chromosomal abnormalities. That means that when the sperm and egg came together something misfired and pieces of information that were needed for sustaining life went missing. Everything can continue along until that bit of information is needed, when it isn’t found life cannot continue.

We have been greatly impressed by the Lord over the last number of months on the importance of good communication. So much misunderstanding, hurt and rejection occur when information is lost or miscommunicated. We spend a lot of time being jealous of the other body parts and withhold our bits because we misunderstood someone else’s bit. This ought not to be. All of our little bits are vitally important to the process of producing life in our families and in the church. When bits are missing for whatever reason the production of life stops and the life cycle must start all over again.

The scripture in 1 Corinthians where Paul speaks about being all part of one body is such an important principle to grasp. Each and every one of us is vital to the life of the church, whether it is in our home, in our neighbourhood or across the globe. God has fashioned each of us with an important role to play. As I lay resting, contemplating the loss of one we’ll never know I pondered at the impact that his/her life has made.

This little one expanded our hearts and those of our children, we were all hoping and dreaming about what our family would look like when he/she arrived. Because of the walk that we have chosen over our convictions about conception and life, this little life impacted others and made them consider their own convictions. This little one positively impacted the faith of at least one other person whom God told to pray at a certain time helping her realize that quickly obeying is vitally important. We now know what it is like to walk through this process and will have compassion and empathy for others who will walk this path as well.

That’s a lot of impact for a tiny life that we only knew for a few short weeks and never experienced the light of day. Each one of us greatly impacts the life of others whether we know it or not. We are walking, talking living epistles of Jesus Christ to those we meet and interact with each and every day. Let’s not only be careful how we walk but let’s do it with purpose, knowing that we can make a positive impact on those we meet. Let’s leave behind the jealousy and choose to believe the best about everyone we meet. When we hear something that doesn’t quite make sense, let’s dig a little deeper and seek to understand what was really being communicated. Let’s learn to listen both with our ears and with our hearts. Let’s seek to understand and to be understood. Let us love one another so that ‘they’ will know we are Christians.

Blessings as you walk.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

some slightly better news

Our prayers for a dog have been answered. We will be picking up an 11-week old puppy (Bichon/Shitzu cross) this weekend. A good lesson in answers in prayer for the kids, we're praying that we'll be able to teach our kids through the difficult and not so difficult situations. What God allows in our lives, He equips us for, whether it is pleasant or not.

sad news

The pregnancy counter is now off due to the unfortunate fact that our baby has gone to be with Jesus. I guess that's good news for our baby, but we're kind of sad.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

13 Years Today

We have been married for 13 years today. What a gloriou*es 13 years it has been! I have the most wonderful husband in the world and everybody ought to know!!

ps - my generous little girlie has been showering me with anniversary gifts that she made as I'2m writing+96
33 any weird 7stuff is co//8ourtesy of Sasa/h/ just one- /more4blessing of 13 years....02

lessons from leviticus - cont'd

Well, I'm actually done reading Leviticus and forgot to put some of the interim stuff up here that I gleaned. it was really very interesting and relevant to current life. These are some of the things that come out.

1. Same-sex anything - really NOT a good idea. God is totally NOT for these types of relationships, nor for incest or beastiatlity.

2. Land usage - hmmm, perhaps if we employed some of these land rules the rape and pillage or our soil may not be so bad as it currently is.

3. The year of jubilee and debts - now this would be revolutionary. Land being retained by original owners, purchasing the crops off said land and then it reverting back at the year of jubilee. Once again, some serious issues in our country would be non-existent if we employed these principles.

4. All that infectious disease stuff - if you're sick - STAY AWAY from other people until you are well! That isn't rocket science.

5. Giving of the tithes and honoring the Lord because He is worthy and it belongs to Him already - the priests are taken care of , the people and the land are blessed. It is all makes a lot of sense.

Monday, May 16, 2005

fresh flowers for May 16

Poverty and Plenty
copyright 2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

I noticed a profound difference between my daughter and myself the other day. One I can’t say I’m terribly proud of. I could blame it on being Mennonite. I could blame it on my parents or something else if I really tried but when it comes right down to it it’s my own grid of thought that has done me in. I and none other is to blame.

My little girl got a groovy little gift from her grandmother for her birthday. It was a decorative box that held all sorts of little treasures; stickers, glitter, sparkly glue, markers, a bunch of little posters to colour and the box itself was made of little fuzzy posters on each side that she could fill in. What fun for a five year old! She immediately started working on it, gleefully colouring, stickering and glittering everything up.

When a friend or her cousins showed up she encouraged them to colour, sticker and glue with all her stuff. She was thrilled to be sharing her treasure and was quite happy to give away the things that had been created to her equally thrilled playmates.

As I watched her use up all the little vials of glitter and glue my own heart had a pang. I wanted to tell her not to use it all up, to save some, to be a bit more cautious. Then a little voice in my heart asked, “Why? Why should she hold back, she has no reason not to believe there will be more glue and glitter and stickers in her life? She is enjoying her treasure and sharing it with those around her, let her be.” I felt thoroughly chastised. When I told my husband about it he made my chastisement even more clear. “You, my dear, are still holding on to a poverty mentality."

Oh dear. I thought I was done with that but obviously not. While it’s true that the last number of years have had us counting every penny and being very careful with what we have I thought I was conquering that thing. Apparently I still have a ways to go on this one. I like to hoard, stash, eek things out to make them last as long as possible. Not that this is always a bad thing. I remember road trips with my family, I could make a bottle of pop and a bag of chips last longer than anyone else. Of course I’d have to fight off the scavengers who ate theirs in a matter of minutes, but I could hold my ground.

How do I live frugally, being a good steward and not give into the mentality that continually tells me, “there isn’t enough?” To be perfectly honest, it is something I still struggle with. I am glad that I have many ‘stones of remembrance’ to look back on. There are many places that I can point to and show my children how God faithfully took care of us when we couldn’t take care of ourselves. Our faith seems to be put to the test in this area quite often. One day I’ll be free of that nasty little voice. Until then I’ll sing with the psalmist, “I lift my eyes up, unto the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from you, maker of heaven, creator of the earth.”

I hope today you’ll live in the glorious treasure that God has given you, not holding back but living and giving freely with a full expectation that there is more to come. I hope that’s where you’ll find me.

Friday, May 13, 2005

walking by faith and not by sight

I've been on a bit of a computer fast over the last few days, I must say, it does free up a lot of time. Know what I've been doing with all that time? Cleaning!! Yup, the energy levels are starting to perk up a little and the drive to get it done has kicked in...why you may ask? Well, we're hoping to move, this is yet another fantastic journey to test our faith and see if we'll stick our faith where our mouth is. Here's what has happened so far...

1. We are perfectly content in our home, realizing it is a bit small for a family of eight but we can stack the kids for a couple more years yet.
2. We are planning for upgrades, renos, etc., realizing we'll probably still have to move in a few years.
3. Friends call, they're moving, would we like to buy their house?
4. Naaaa, too much work, could never happen anyway, we're self-employed - banks don't like us, etc.
5. They have us over for supper, we look around, we were told to go with an open heart.
6. We talk, discuss the house, realize if we don't try we may regret it. The house appears to be a good size, the yard is big, it's already survived four kids, the price is good, we have friends in the area - downside that looms up to have us run in fear is.......................not there.
7. We continue to pray and start talking to some of our mentors/parents, etc. They appear to be in agreement that this could be a good thing for us.
8. We're shocked.
9. Selling our house could prove to be difficult, causes much anxiety for wife and husband (LOTS of work to do to get ready to sell)
10. Cleaning and lists begin.
11. We talk to the bank, they didn't even laugh at us. We still need help but not as much as we thought.
12. Wife goes to a quilting thingy and a friend there says she has friends who are looking for a bigger house in our area, blah, blah, blah - looks like there is the possibility of potential.
13. Plenty of people are confident that this thing is for sure going to happen.
14. We're shocked.
15. Wife's faith is definately less than a mustard seed.
16. We may even get a dog out of the deal.

Anyway, here's the first installment on this journey to see what God will do. He's done some pretty amazing things before (ie. Red Sea, creation) so we'll see what He does with this...hope you enjoy the ride.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

an old dog and new tricks

My son taught me a lesson today. He showed me something he had been working on on the computer yesterday. He played around in Word and made all these cool things simply by accessing the drawing toolbar and having some fun with it. I felt downright silly. I've been on the computer for eons and have never even touched that toolbar to see what it did. I don't usually take time to 'play' with stuff like that and now my almost 9 year old has shown this old dog that she has a few tricks she could still learn...

Friday, May 06, 2005

fresh flowers for May 8

Asking for Blessing
copyright 2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

Yesterday I asked God for a flower for today. Normally I don’t have to ask, they just arrive, however, this week my brain has been very busy mulling over a situation and I hadn’t seen anything yet. I almost missed this one, God not only has a sense of humour He made sure I got the message. Here’s what happened.

Samuel has a strange fascination for stealing his younger brother’s drinks. I am continually retrieving Sasha’s cups from Samuel’s grabbing hands. This time the circumstance was a little different he was actually asking if he could take Sasha’s milk. He asked Sasha, “Please can I have your milk?” While Sasha is not well versed in verbal skills he had no problem communicating that he did not want Samuel to have his cup. So Samuel turned to me and asked me if he could have Sasha’s milk. I declined. He kept trying. Finally I said to him, “Samuel, why don’t you just ask me if you can have your own cup of milk? Then you have one and Sasha has one and you’ll both be happy.” At first this didn’t seem like a very good idea to Samuel and he kept trying to convince Sasha to hand over the cup, nicely. I laid out the idea again. He thought about it and then finally asked me for a cup of milk, which I gave him. Everyone was happy.

In the middle of all that I was still mulling over my situation and having a conversation with God about it. Telling Hm obvious things that He already knows. Reminding Him that similar situations had been fixed in this way or that way, letting Him know that I would be happy to have that person’s resolution to my problem. The light dawned on me after I finally tuned into my sons and their discussion about the milk. After I had come up with a very workable solution for them to both win in the situation I clued into the applicability of my own musings. Sometimes I’m a little dense.

I was asking God for someone else’s blessing rather than asking for one of my own. God has a desire to bless His children we forget sometimes that we can ask. Jesus said, “You have not because you ask not.” Suddenly I could take a new perspective on my situation, I could simply ask God to bless me in that situation anyway He chooses, He is quite capable of working it out and I don’t need to point out to Him how He can go about doing it. More than that, He has said that He wants to help me work out stuff like that and is perfectly willing to do so. I don’t want to be jealous of someone else’s blessing, I want for them to enjoy it. I want to have a blessing that is designed for me and I would hope that when it comes someone else won’t want to take it from me because I won’t be willing to give it up.

Today, make sure that you aren’t going after someone else’s blessing, if you are, repent and stop what you’re doing. Ask God for your own blessing and be content with what He has in store for surely it will be good. We serve a great and mighty God who gives good gifts to His children. Ask for it. Be blessed as you wait.

Ps. It’s not too late to order your copy of the first edition of ‘fresh flowers – an inspirational journal’. For more information e-mail me,