Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Thank you God for praying friends who hear your voice. Thank you for your mercy. Yesterday I took the day off from life in general and read a great book, lighthearted, yet filled with meaning. The underlying premise for the book was from Matthew 11 in the Message version:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace."
Lord, teach me the 'unforced rhythms of grace' how I love that phrase. It speaks to me taking things as they come without all the baggage that I take on my journey. I really need to learn that.
aahhh I think peace is finally at my door, excuse me, I must go let her in..............
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Brat Camp for Christians
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original
I watched a show on television this week that intrigued me. It was a reality TV show of a different nature. They took nine adolescents with varying problems such as; compulsive lying, drug abuse, violence, destructive behaviour and the like and put them in a wilderness camp setting with guides and mentors to help them get a handle of life and give them an opportunity to make changes. I saw the last two episodes of the show and was encouraged and amazed by what these kids accomplished. They were given many challenges that tested them to their limits. One of the things their mentors were looking for was the courage to work on the issues that they had been facing at home. It was really interesting to watch the light in their eyes and the edges of their faces as they faced their challenges and conquered their fears. It was beautiful.
There was one girl that they were very concerned about. She said the right things, did the right stuff but her heart and demeanour weren’t changing and it was obvioust. The guides and mentors were very concerned that she really hadn’t done the work she needed to in order to make the changes necessary. The last few minutes of the show was six months after their wilderness experience. For the majority of the kids the changes were lasting, they were working hard to keep the life they had been given out in the wilderness. Their futures were bright, their faces soft, their eyes aglow. Most were very thankful for their experience even though they were glad it was over. Except that one girl. She didn’t feel like she’d changed at all. Her parents were very discouraged and didn’t know what the future would hold for their daughter, they considered her experience in the wilderness a failure. Her hard lines never disappeared and the light in her eyes did not grow brighter.
God takes us and puts us into wilderness experiences all the time. The big difference is that you don’t have to be a delinquent to get that treatment, we’re all in for it at one time or another and probably more than once. His purpose is the same, to show us what’s in our hearts, to build character and to help us deal with issues that we have. The end result is supposed to be that we choose a better path as we come out of the wilderness having learned the lessons well. This young girl’s experience in the wilderness was a wake up call to me. She experienced the same things all the other kids did, took the same tests, was given the same opportunities to look at herself. She didn’t take the opportunity. She hardened her heart, she whined and complained more than any of the other kids, she refused to change and the result was that she didn’t reap the benefits.
My flowers to you today are to embrace what God is doing in your life right now. You may hate it because it’s cold, uncomfortable, it hurts and you’re not crazy about your travelling buddies. The fact is that as we embrace and grab hold of the opportunity before us our life will be changed forever, for the better. If we don’t give in to the whining and complaining, if we don’t harden our hearts, we will come out shining on the other side. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that there is another side, the landscape and the experience seems like it is going to go on forever (that’s where I am). But it won’t, there is an ending point to any trial. The last day of the wilderness experience came very unexpectedly for the participants at Brat Camp, they thought they were heading into another challenge – a hike through extremely cold and deteriorating weather. The guide took them one at a time and told them their next challenge before they started the hike was just over the hill. Bravely, one by one, they walked over the horizon willing to take on whatever scheme had been cooked up for them that day. But they were in for a surprise, on the other side of the hill were their families, waiting to embrace them, the journey was over. It was a very emotional time. But if they had refused the challenge, been unwilling to go where their guides had sent them, they wouldn’t have been going home.
There’s a song that we have been listening to that has helped us in our wilderness, part of it goes like this;
Just over the horizon
Passed the mountains of uncertainty
There is a better world awaiting me
Another bit goes:
…the danger will come if you wait……you’ve got to start walking in faith….
(from 4 Him – Face the Nation, Over the Horizon)
That’s the message today friends, just over the horizon this journey is over, the reward is just on the other side of the next hill. We’ll experience many a challenge in the wilderness of this life, they are meant to make us better. Hang in there, take the challenge the Lord is setting before you today, maybe it’s the one that leads you to the end of the journey. See ya on the other side…….
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
I'm as pregnant as can be!
We're all very happy
God is so good to me!
Tons of comments would make the day great, too!!!!!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Earlier this summer we got to participate in three very unique marriage experiences. One was a spiritual marriage, helping to reconcile the differences between French and English Canada. One was a traditional marriage ceremony for our friends. And the third was a renewal of marriage vows at a 25th wedding anniversary celebration. I think there's something significant in that but haven't quite figured out what exactly...
We started home schooling yesterday. It was very fun. We got this new artbox thing and the kids couldn't wait to try it out but I told them it was for school and we couldn't use it until then. "Well, let's start Monday morning!" they said. So we did. I've so enjoyed watching them (the oldest three particularly) gel over this summer. There has been a lot of playing together that's gone on (lots of fighting, too). Bionicles and skateboards and rainy days have been a big part of that. Sleep-overs in each other's rooms. It's just been really good.
We had an open house on Sunday afternoon. 10 couples came through and 5 of them said they wouldn't buy our house because of the painting that would have to be done. I think they were mostly referring to our kids bedrooms that are all done in mural/themes - Abby's is pink with butterflies, hearts, floors a tree and a lion painted on the wall. Christopher is underwater complete with a boat bottom on the ceiling and an underwater diver. Josiah has a desert race with a huge cactus, a gila monster, scorion and hot wheel cars painted in great detail. They love their rooms. Many people helped to complete that labor of love and the idea of painting over them for some would-be buyer to make them happy makes me cry. When I told the kids that might be what we have to do the looks on their faces broke my heart. I don't think I can do it unless there is a done deal on the table it will just take too much out of me....it would be a huge step of faith or a huge step of presumption to do it. So for now, I won't. Another friend painted the Prairie Fire Music logo on the wall of my office as you come in the front door. It's a work of art, she did such a good job, we think we can just pop the whole piece of drywall off and save it. Frame it and hang it in Kelly's office.
CWG and his wife are some of the best relationship keepers I know. They are truly amazing people. i'm guessing that there are alot of us who would call them friends. I've been thinking a lot about relationships and how much I've had to learn to get to where I am in the relationships I have managed to keep alive. It definately takes two way trying to keep relationship alive. We were counselling a dear soul last night on this fact. It is worth it to try again, to risk the hurt to put a relationship back together. if not for your own sake, or for the sake of the other person but definately for the sake of the kingdom of God. When we let our hurt and pain stop us from bridging the gaps we keep ourselves and the other person in prison. We lose, the other person loses and the enemy wins. We'll be held accountable by God as to why we didn't try again. In my own experience it is worth it, it may take years to fix it, but it IS worth it.
I think we're gonna fire our real estate agent, or at least not renew the contract. I think we're gonna try to do it ourselves again. Does anyone know anyone who wants to buy a house, not just any house but ours in particular? Pray friends, pray. I would like to move!
I'm making myself a birthday cake, it's tomorrow, butter pecan! yummmm tonite my mom and I are getting together to watch Canadian idol and quilt. Our other Tuesday night friends are in Regina and Calgary this week. So she's buying treats and we're hanging out.
In reading many wonderful blogs (Moose, Holy Experience, Intent, Sonya's and a few others) God helped me see that He is enough once again. He's in control, he's got it together, and He wants to remind me that He loves me on a continual basis. Sometimes I forget and the peace of Christ is NOT ruling in my heart. It's up to me to come and taste and drink and have my fill, it's all there, waiting for me (and you).
I think that's all for now, got alot of quilting to do.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
from "Educating the Wholehearted Child" by Clay and Sally Clarkson
The Invisible Energy of Routine
In the same way that there are universal laws that govern your home universe, there are also invisible powers in that universe that hold everything together. In the physical world, subatomic powers keep everything from flying apart (actually, God does, but you get the picture). In the home universe, the invisible power that keeps everything from flying apart is called routine.
Routine is simply a habitual pattern of living created by effort applied regulalry over time. Once a pattern of living is established in your lifestyle and schedule, it becomes an invisible, self-generating force to hold part of your home universe together. The more you harness the power of rountines, the more energy you will generate to apply to other areas of your home. However, if ignored, routine energy rapidly dissipates, and the elements within the home universe begin to disintegrate at rapidly increasing rates of decay. When that happens, even greater amounts of time and effort are needed to regain stability.
The laws of routine are well-established:
- The Law of Routine - For every action taken to establish routine, there is an equal and similar reaction generating greater amounts of routine energy.
- The Converse of the Law of Routine - For every action not taken to establish routing, there is a corresponding decrease in total home routine energy.
Friday, August 19, 2005
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original
This week has been spent cleaning out little used places. Getting into dark and ugly corners to free cobwebs and the like. I am beginning to see that this house adventure we are STILL on is God’s way of cleaning out my dark and dirty corners. Seeing how much I will walk by faith and not by sight. Will I trust Him and believe what I think He’s said. Will I trust my husband and his leadership through all of this? Will I trust that the real estate agent is really and truly doing her job? Will I trust my friends that are holding the house for us? Will I believe that God is not slow in keeping his promises as some consider slowness? Will I continue to believe that God really does have my best in mind and will bring me to the place that He desires for me to be? Will I believe that all of these twists and turns that require perseverance, patience and endurance are really earning me an eternal reward, will there really be glory at the end of this road of suffering?
One thing I know for sure is that God isn’t going to miss even one dark corner in my life. He will make very sure that all the nasty things that need to get cleaned up are dealt with. He knows that leaving even one little bit of that old nature of mine will ruin my spiritual house’s atmosphere. Let me illustrate with a yucky little story.
As I was cleaning in my basement I smelled a horrid smell. I thought something go into my vacuum cleaner and I was getting the odour through the exhaust. I turned the vacuum off, the odour was still there. A pernicious, nasty smell that can only be one thing – dog poop. I went searching. Sure enough there on the playroom floor was a tiny piece of doggie doo-doo. How could such a little bit be so offensive? It stunk up the entire basement. I flushed it down the toilet and lo there was much better air quality in my basement.
Leaving a little tiny bit of bitterness, rage, mistrust or unbelief in my heart will stink up my life. Its smell will permeate everything I do and make it offensive – counterproductive to the kingdom of God. So I humbly submit myself to God’s dirty work in my life. I want him to find each and every area where I am offensive to Him and do away with it. I want my life to have a pleasing aroma to every one who crosses my path. I know He’ll finish the job because Philippians says that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. I think I have a few more corners to liberate…
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Then if the move happens, which I'm still hoping and believing it will, well that will make everything even more interesting now won't it. Lord help me, I'm gonna need it.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Once we get an idea, a vision or whatever you want to call it, we have a nasty predisposition to live in and for that vision. Unfortunately when we do this the hear and now stuff suffers. We tend to lose our focus, so keen are we on what the possibilites are before us. The bottom line in this household is that we are being obedient to Christ and that our family is okay. In light of that we decided that we need to concentrate on our present dwelling rather than on the one that may or may not come into our posession. Doing what needs to be done here; fixing the deck, painting the garage and playhouse, hauling junk away, etc. will benefit us regardless of whether we move or not. So we concentrate back on what we're supposed to do, be good stewards of what we have. Make sure our kids aren't getting neglected in the pursuit of the maybe.
Those are the lessons for today. Stay tuned for the up and coming news from the Wiens tribe.
Friday, August 12, 2005
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original
Every once in awhile my #2 son decides that I’m too bossy and lets me hear about it. Usually it’s because he doesn’t want to do whatever it is that he is supposed to do. If his older brother or younger sister tell him what to do too many times he calls them bossy as well. At times I’ll come to his defence and agree that they are indeed being too bossy and they need to back off. However, when he tells me I’m being bossy I inform him that it’s part of my job description and he’ll just have to deal with it.
The other day he was really in a snit and this explanation didn’t sit well with him. Especially when his sister got to being bossy and I told her to back off. The question finally came, “Why is it okay for you to be bossy and not okay for us to be bossy?” Why indeed!? Answer: What is authority?
As a parent God has given me a mandate to train my children, to educate them, to love them, to protect them, disciple them, discipline them and sometimes that looks like ‘bossy’. It’s a big responsibility. Because of that responsibility it puts me in a position to make decisions on their behalf. No you can’t play with razor blades. Yes, you can clean up your room before you play on the computer. He’s put me in a place of authority over them. Along with authority comes responsibility.
So why isn’t it okay for them to boss each other around? At this point in time they do not have responsibility for one another other than what we give them. For example, if oldest was old enough to babysit the younger ones we would give him the authority to tell them what they can eat and what they can’t, when they’ll go to bed and to break up fights. They are responsible for keeping their rooms clean and therefore we give them authority to send out anyone whom they deem to be making a mess. However, in the day to day running of the household and life in general they don’t have the responsibility and authority to tell each other what they can or cannot do. They can, however, remind each other of what we as parents deem acceptable behaviour and conduct so long as they do it in a kind and gentle way for the good of the other person. (yeah, yeah, you can snort all you want, it doesn’t happen that way here either)
As an adult we place ourselves in the same position as we allow (sometimes whether we like it or not) others to have authority in our lives. The bank, for example, has authority to say whether or not we can pursue certain avenues even though we don’t like it we are subject to them. I had to catch myself this week as I was told by someone who had authority to say so that we couldn’t do what we were proposing to do. As an adult I can take a step back (after having a little pity party) and realize that the bank, my pastor or _________(fill in the blank) has my best interest at heart and doesn’t want me in a place that will jeopardize my future well-being. They will carry the responsibility of those decisions and therefore have authority to say yes or no to the proposal. Thinking this through in this way has helped me to put the decisions of those in authority into proper perspective, however, like my children, I still sometimes give in to a pout now and then.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
So we're down to two options. Stay put or wait for the house to sell. Perhaps a really good offer will come on Sam and Vi's house and that will put an end to the whole thing. Or we'll get a good offer on our house, that, too would put an end to all of this. Either way, I'm good. Good to go, good to stay. This house is enough for now. That house has some great features that I'd love to have.
The only thing is now I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. Do I pack? Do I do more painting over there? How much of myself do I invest into that property before its really mine? What is faith and what is stupidity?
On another note, had tea with my pastor and his wife today. They're wonderful people and I really like them. Just want everyone to know.
Have you every wondered what your life would be like if you were a cheerleader? Cheering would be your job. You'd travel around and cheer....
No more anonymous comments will be allowed on this blog, sorry. Got some weird ones posting on the post below this, fortunately they aren't porn sites or anything, just ads, but still, our dear friend over at The Inner Room wasn't so fortunate. Be careful out there...
God has blessed me with some great blogs to read lately. Most of them seem to be moms with lots of kids who homeschool, but not all of them. Holy Experience is seriously worth the read, Ann has an annointed gift for expressing her heart to God and cutting through alot of junk. Really good stuff. Sparrow at Intent is an excellent source of daily thoughts that make you think - actually she isn't always daily at the moment, but often enough. She's fabulous - a thinker - actually, read this post, got me thinking about a lot of things.
Ron's message on Sunday - I love it, I think he should have a daily service where you can call in and get your daily dose of how to live the Christian life. Perhaps you could choose your message depending on your mood for the day:
- Choice 1: Embrace the road of suffering dear friend, there is glory in the end. (compassionate and caring)
- Choice 2: These light and momentary troubles are achieving for you a glory that far outweighs them all (scripture)
- Choice 3: DIE (for those who like it nice and clear)
Monday, August 08, 2005
God has settled my heart tremendously. He hasn't made it one bit clearer about selling or renting this place. All we know is that we can work on the plans and paper that the bank asked us for. We can continue to prepare the new place for occupancy and we can start packing things up here. Once I let go have having to know the big picture I was suddenly at rest. Please don't laugh at me none of you realize how big of a control/gotta know the details kind of freak I can be at times. This has been so hard. There have been many tears and prayer along the way.
A dear brother has been feeding us a wonderful meal from the scripture lately, reminding us to embrace the road of suffering because it leads to glory. I don't know what glory God will get from all of this but I do know that it is producing something stronger in me than there has been before. He has carried us through all kinds of strange and wonderful (and painful) adventures before, He can carry us through this, too. I must remind myself that if He can handle Genesis 1, He can certainly take care of this bit.
I want to encourage you to go and read over at Holy Experience. This lady is such an encouragement, speaks to my writer's soul and touches heaven, too. God is leading me to such wonderful, uplifting blogs lately, I am so glad for this venue.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
10 years ago today...
- I REALLY wanted kids and didn't think I'd ever have any
- I was married for only 3 1/2 years
- I weighed a lot less
- I worked full time as an Administrative Assistant
- I had a much bigger and more coordinated wardrobe
1 year ago...
- my niece and nephew were living with us and working for us
- we were really, really strapped for cash
- I painted my son's bedroom floor an incredibly bright lime green (we both love it)
- I picked beans
- I went shopping with Camille and bought things just for me!!
- Kelly and I sang at our friend's anniversary party - a renewal of their wedding vows - we sang a song Kelly wrote for me (a love song of course) and our friends Gilles and Lloanne danced to it
- freeze or can my beans
- attack Mt. Washmore
- tidy the house
- work on finances and business plans
5 snacks I enjoy...
chocolate, chips, cheese and crackers, grapes, strawberries or raspberries or peaches with sugar and cream
I can do an English accent pretty well (had to do one for a play I was in - a cockney maid)
I'm pretty good at Texan.
I can do stupid, goofy, blonde, etc.
5 things I would do with $100 000 000
- give a bunch away
- pay off debts (mine and a few others)
- finance some businesses
- save a bunch
-spend some on a few fun things for my family
5 locations I would like to run away to
- the Maritimes
- somewhere with rocks and flowing water and not much else
- Europe (in general), my relatives in Germany specifically
- I'd love to tour through Russia and see where my people come from
- I'd love to go on the 'leaf drive' through the New England states, visit Amish country then head all the way to the southern states and see the plantations and bayous and things like that
5 bad habits I have
worrying, imagining the worst case scenario, assuming, letting my frustration get the better of me, perfectionism
5 things I love doing
anything that includes fabric, particularly quilting
decorating and/or planning events that need decorating
being with people I love
5 things I would never wear
western clothing, ie. Wranglers, large belt buckles, cowboy boots
prim and proper blouses
super low rise jeans
ugly, outdated anything
5 movies I like
Father of the Bride (part 2)
The Sound of Music
My Fair Lady
Master of Disguise
5 famous people I would love to meet
Jesus, can't think of anyone else that rates up there, when all my friends get famous I want to meet them
5 biggest joys at the moment
my kids (there's 5 of them)
writing the fresh flowers column
having a really good uplifting time with friends over good food
5 favorite toys
my quilting gear, particularly my quilt rack
my sister's Bamix (I wish I had one, I have to be content to play with hers)
my sewing machine
can't think of anything - somebody get me something worth mentioning
5 people to tag
Sparrow, Laconic Logic, Katrina, the blogless one - if you read this you can post in my comment box, rene the rugrat
Friday, August 05, 2005
A Bouquet for Today
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original
There are many little flowers that have come my way this week. So I thought I’d send you a bouquet today. Hope you are all having a marvellous summer…
My little girl needs a tissue as we are driving down the road towards a day at the beach. Knowing I have no tissue in my purse (the brand new red one – hee hee) and that there isn’t any in the glove compartment I hand her the closest equivalent that I can find, a dried out, but clean, baby wipe. She flips. She turns into the drama queen and insists that I check out my purse and the glove box. I assure her that this is pointless because I am very aware of the contents of the purse and the glove box. She carries on. As calmly as I possibly can I assure her once again that I can be trusted and at this moment in time the baby wipe is all I can do.
I am struck by my own whining, crying and carrying on when God has already assured me that this is what is available for the moment and I better make the best of it. What I have in my hand may not be what I want or even the best tool for the job but it does what’s necessary and it’s better than wiping snot on my sleeve.
Son #2 has a bad habit of repeating himself. Especially when there is something that he really wants. On the same road trip as above he decided he is hungry and chips are the only thing that will satisfy him. We tell him he’ll have to wait. There are no stores between home and the beach. Grandma may have chips along but we’ll have to wait and see, at any rate, Grandma is bringing the food and we’ll have to be grateful for what we get, etc, etc etc. None of our responses are good enough and he keeps asking what we cannot possibly give him. We are not the source of food this day, we can’t procure food for him and the incessant begging is making us want to withhold anything that might be available. When Grandpa and Grandma arrive at the beach the first thing Grandpa does, not knowing any of this, is pull out a bag of chips. Does son #2 realize or care that they’re there? Nope, doesn’t even notice as he is caught up in the joy of being at the beach, seeing the relatives, and all that. Not until much later does he realize that what he asked for was given and he almost missed it.
Do I do this? Naaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwww, she says as she hides her face in shame. ‘Nuff said.
I had the honour of being a bridesmaid for my friend this weekend. Her husband passed away suddenly three and a half years ago. From that time she has steadily held to a promise that God gave her shortly after her husband died. We got to witness the fruit of her perseverance on Monday. Holding on when things look exactly the opposite of what you’re believing for. Persevering in prayer. Going beyond the point of giving up and not giving up. These are things that I can learn from my friend.
Sometimes God doesn’t make things clear in the way you think He should. Sometimes you just need to keep walking step by step, moment by moment and as you do the next flower in the bouquet pops up. We are learning so much from our house adventure that I can hardly believe it. I am grateful for the lessons that I am learning. My deep desire is that I will ‘get it’. Whatever it is that God is trying to teach me as He shapes and moulds my character to look more like Jesus is what I want and desire more than anything else.
Until next time have a flower filled week
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
The one thing that I know is that God is in control. I'm certain that moving is His idea not mine. I'm just not certian what His plan is... The three choices are:
1. To stay where we are, not move. (not really a choice if I believe what I just wrote up there, hey?)
2. Retain the house and turn it into a revenue property, providing the bank likes that idea.
3. Wait for the sale of this house and then not have to care for it any more.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - could use some clarity!!!!
maybe we should take a vote................