Thursday, May 31, 2012


The last two weeks have been filled with data entry, numbers and computer screens.  Accounting is an extremely left-brained activity that doesn't fit very well into my right-brained self.  There isn't anything pretty to look at, there's nothing to re-arrange, there isn't anything poetic, there are just numbers and a lot of paper.  However, accounting has it's place in this world.  It's the thing that gives you that big ol' reality check that none of us really likes but has to be done.

I can't wait for the moment when we hand over everything to the accountant and he goes through everything with a fine-tooth comb and announces the verdict (only because it means that I'm done my job).  Accounting tells you exactly what has been going on in your bank account.  It tells you exactly what you've done with what you had over the last year.  It can be very painful, especially if you haven't really been paying attention to what's going on, chosen to ignore the truth of your bank balance or pretended not to notice what was really going on with your finances.  On the other hand it can simply be a confirmation of what you already knew.  If you have one more hand to offer you can have a pleasant surprise at the end of the day where your net worth is actually a lot better than you thought it might be.

Whether we like it or not accounting has to be done, we can procrastinate and put it off, pretend like we don't have to do it or ignore it all together but one day the government will call you to give an account for your assets and liabilities and demand its due.  The government has the right to audit your accounting to see if you've told the truth about what you've been up to all these years.  An audit can be a nail-biting affair, especially if you have something to hide.  I have bad news, all of us are going to be audited one day...and not by the government.

God is the grand-daddy of all bookkeepers!  It says in His word that each of us will be required to give an account for what we've done with what we've been given - the good, bad and the ugly.  God doesn't lose statements or receipts, His bookkeeping is perfect and He doesn't forget where that deposit came from or what we bought at this or that store and whether or not it was personal or a business expense.  He has all that covered.  Whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not, we will be called to account, our lives are going to be audited and we will have to answer for all we've done.

Thank God for GRACE!!  All the screw-ups, sins of omission and those I did quite deliberately are written down for all to see...yet when I repent and plead for Jesus' blood to cover those sins, they are wiped away as if they never existed.   I have no Grace eraser in my accounting program but I have one with my Saviour.  I can be confident that when I stand before my God that there is one who speaks on my behalf.  I know that I can't hide anything because it's already been seen.  I can't hope that my good will outweigh my bad because there is no hope in that, I couldn't possibly keep track.  My hope is in Jesus Christ and the power of the resurrection.

How then shall I live?  Like one who is forgiven and free.  I need to keep my books up to date, to quickly repent when I see that I am on a wrong path so that a corresponding entry can be entered on the forgiveness side.  I need to keep my life in balance, constantly checking with my Accountant to see where I am at.  I want to keep a great looking bottom line.

Even though I truly hate bookkeeping apparently there is some value to accounting after all...I believe I may have learned something with my left-brain!

Have a fresh picked day!!

also on:
Facebook:  Lani (Fast) Wiens

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Of Burkahs and Bikinis

I've been watching with interest the debate that was generated over here by a post entitled Should Christians Wear Bikinis. There's nothing like the question of modesty to rev up the people and get them talking.  I posted it on my facebook account and I agree with what the author has to say, HOWEVER, I decided to write something myself because I also believe there is something very significant that she missed...

My husband and I are youth pastors, we work with teens on an ongoing basis and have teens of our own, both male and female.  The subject of modesty is very close to our hearts largely because of the struggle that my husband has experienced with pornography in the past and the struggles that we have walked through with many others some to a glorious breakthrough and some to heartbreaking downfall.

We can stand on our soapboxes and say we should wear this or wear that we should have hemlines to here and all of that.  We can set up rules and point fingers at whose fault it is should someone have a lustful thought.
 Modesty is a heart issue.
We can be immodest not only in our attire, but in our speech, in our attitudes, in our wealth, in our actions and so on.  The question we must ask is not IF we should wear a bikini but WHY would we choose to.

We have created an indecent, immodest, extremely sensual society where much of our value is ascribed to whether or not we can create a sensual sensation.   If we aren't able to...we don't have value. It doesn't really have anything to do with female or male.  There are many men that are equally immodest as the women.  I will take a moment to quote Beth Moore from her book So Long, Insecurity:

    " Life has changed - and in countless ways, it has changed for the better.  but here's that line in the sand I promised you:  our foremothers did not have to put up with the media madness that we women do today.  They did not check out their groceries next to a magazine rack of gorgeous, half-dressed, airbrushed women.  They did not rinse the leftover Hamburger helper off the supper dishes while their husbands watched Victoria's Secret models traipsing around in high definition.  They did not stumble on pornography or chat rooms tucked in the closets of their computers - nor did they seek it out for themselves.  They did not get explicit mail from complete strangers in their in-boxes.  They could never have imagined the quick trip a woman could take from double-X chromosomes to triple-X movies.  They were not immersed in a society where a woman is only as valuable as she is sensual.  Simply put, they were not surrounded by our harrowing culture."

Our culture has bludgeoned us over the head with this concept, whether you are male or female, you must have a great body, you must show it off and if you can create a bit of a are valuable, if you can't, you better work harder.  This is completely opposite to what scripture tells us.  Our insecurities are what fuels the drive to show off what we've got, whether it's money, power, a great body or intellect.  We are desperate for someone to tell us that we are okay, that we look good, that we've arrived.  The reality is that this kind of intrinsic value affirmation can only come through Jesus Christ.

Scripture is pretty clear on this subject:

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
1 John 2:15-17

Lust isn't just a man's problem.  As women we wield a mighty power in our body, we can use that power to help or hinder the men in our lives.  We get proud of what we have and flaunt it, whether male or female.

 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Pet 3:3-4

While women were being addressed here, a beautiful spirit can belong to male or female.

Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart 
    and examine the mind, 
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”

The part of us that really needs to be addressed is our hearts.  Are we secure in who we are in Christ?  As one who is still struggling with that issue, I am fully convinced that when we are truly secure in the fact that God loves me and I have unimaginable worth in His sight I will no longer seek after the affirmation of people who are fickle.

(this part is written by my husband)
God created us with a 2-part need that is symbolized by the cross. The vertical piece, our relationship with Him, and the horizontal piece, love of humankind (companionship/fellowship are reasons for Eve's creation and subsequently children and family and community etc.)  Eve is the community creator, I think because of this God-created capacity to create and nurture horizontal relationships, women, as her lineage, are vulnerable to looking there for security and worth, rather than to the husband, Jesus, who gave himself for her and loved her, despite her fallen nature.

If a woman has an earthly husband, that is the next place she needs to get love, affirmation and security. because it is the husband's mandate to love her as Christ loved.   When this is there and she is focused on loving Jesus and loving her husband and her husband is focused on loving Christ and loving her, there will not be temptation to get attention and "love" from others by dressing sensually etc. and doing things for the praise and pleasing of others, etc.

(me again)
At the end of the day we can go around and around about burkahs or bikinis but we would not be at the core of the issue.  It's a matter of our heart, whether or heart is modest in what we wear, think, and do.  Are we living to please the Lord or are we pleasing ourselves and trying to please the society that is around us?  We also need to take God seriously when He says that we'll be judged for all our actions - I believe that will include how we've handled the issue of modesty and sensuality.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A 1000 Thanks for 1000 Moms...

Maybe there aren't quite a thousand who have mothered me but there have been a lot of women who have poured their cups into mine and made mine richer.  I want to honor them today on this eve of mother's day.  My own 'mothering' road hasn't been easy, some of these women haven't born a child in the physical sense but they have borne me in their hearts and in their prayers.  I wish I had a picture of each and every one, but I don't but I thank you all the same!

My first word of thanks has to go to my own mama who has been a comfort, support and sounding board for all these years.  I am so thankful that we have never had a time, at least that I can remember, where we were estranged from each other.  I loved sitting under my mother's sewing table as a little girl sorting buttons while she sewed me another beautiful dress. Now she sews while my little ones sit at her feet learning from her.  I treasure her wisdom and her amazing creativity and her slightly off-the-wall personality.  You have taught me much, living your life in front of me through all kinds of ups and downs.  I love you so much!

So glad she is my mom and my friend!
 Then there is this wonderful women who bore my husband and raised him up for me to be the amazing godly man that he is.  You have faithfully prayed and supported us these last 20 years and our lives our richer because of it.  You came out of retirement to pass on to my children your talents in music and I love that.  Thank you for loving me.
Isn't that just the most beautiful smile! 
This lovely lady is my big sister and she has done a lot of mothering since I was born.  I know I screamed at you many times and sometimes resented your mothering but not anymore dear one.  You are gracious woman to have put up with me all these years.  It was so fun having babies with you and bringing them up alongside you.  Blessings sister dear!
My big sister, Donna.
 These crazy women!  I am so thankful for the group of women that I hang out with in Beechy, you have added much to my life out here on the farm.  You are such an encouragement to me.  I am so thankful to have a bunch of ladies to quilt with and such.
The 'old ladies' cabin from Mexico Mission 2012!
 These lovely women represent all those wonderful ladies who held my babies so I could have a moment.  These three are all dear to me, have walked with me and helped my heart grow up into the woman that I am. (and Heather introduced me to my husband, I am forever grateful!)
Lovely ladies holding babies!  Love you Heather, Lloanne and Dianne.
 Where would we be without those women who have gone before us to show us how it's done, encourage us along the way and give us a pat on the back once in awhile.
The Blocks - so dear.
 I don't have a picture of this guys wife so he'll have to do.  Sue you've prayed down angels for us and asked us the hard questions then stood with us to help us walk it through.  You are a spiritual mama if there ever was one!  And that young lady...can't say enough good about her!  I got to mother her a little and then she came to help me mother mine for a season and now we just walk together.  Love you warrior princess!
Bill and Sherry
 Spiritual parents to us that have invested so much in who we are and where we are today.  Couldn't do this thing without you.
Pastor Terry and Wanda
 My sisters, friends and fellow mothers!  Linda you've been the string on my kite for ever so long, loving the little ones together.  Marilee I'm reminded of when I was grieving the loss of my heaven-bound baby and you whispered in my ear, "This too shall pass", because you knew how it felt to lose someone you love.  Carol and Holly, we've had babies and tears and laughter together...may it never end...
Marilee, Linda, Carol and Holly
Oh, you two, just want to squeeze you both.  Second parents to those two little guys who look up to you and love you soooooooooooo much!  May you soon know the joy of being first-hand parents! So excited to walk the journey with you, God has exciting things planned for you, I know it!!
Andrew and Camille and my guys who look so little!!  An old picture for sure!
There are so many more mamas that I love!  Like all the aunties who have prayed and been interested and sent practical gifts here and there you are so precious!  All my sisters-in-love with whom I've laughed and cried and had oh so many deep discussions.  My newer friends that I'm beginning to know better as we walk this road through the teenage years together.  And those who don't want to have the spotlight turned on them who bless my heart in such practical ways, like giving me an Accuquilt because you weren't using it and thought I might like it.  Ladies you are my sisters and my friends and my mamas.  This mother's day may you each feel the presence and touch of God on your life this mother's day and each day henceforth.  You are gold!  And if you've read this and wondered why I forgot to mention you don't be alarmed, I love you and value your friendship and prayers and mentoring over the years.

Have a fresh-picked day

Lani, the flower-lady
also on:
Facebook:  Lani Fast Wiens
Pinterest:  Lani Wiens (lanireneewiens)

1000 Moms Project

Friday, May 11, 2012

And the winner is...

Thank you so much to all those who entered my first give-away, I promise it won't be the last!!  Need a little drum roll.  The choosing was very scientific.  I wrote down all the names, numbered them, then had one of my kids pick a number....

Sarah Wiens you are the lucky winner.  I can assure you with full confidence that Ann's book, should you choose to, will change how you view life.  I have been reading her blog since it's inception, mine started at about the same time.  Our lives looked so very similar.  I don't think she ever expected to gain the fame that she currently has but it is well deserved and I believe she is handling it with grace.  ENJOY the book!  I will get it to you as soon as I can.


Remember back a few months ago I said I was going to start a private reading blog with my own writing and issued an invitation for you, my faithful readers to join it?  I finally got enough courage to create the blog yesterday only to find out that I can only add gmail addresses (google account) as readers.  So if you would like to participate with me in this, please leave a comment or e-mail me with a gmail address (they are free). (Some of you I don't have addresses at all...)  Marilee and Sonya, you're in.  Once I have your gmail address added I will send you the link since you won't be able to find it on a browser.  Very exclusive! :)  Any questions?

Once again THANK YOU for reading here.  It's going to become much more regular as the Lord has been convicting me STRONGLY about writing regularly so I better listen.  Come back often, the teapot is always waiting for you!

Have a fresh-picked day!

also on facebook:  Lani Fast Wiens
also on Pinterest: Lani Wiens (lanireneewiens)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Good morning!  I've been having a stellar morning so far.  A morning which has included getting kids ready for school, having a little discussion about honesty, railing at them a little bit because they didn't really practice for today's lessons, a discussion about faith moving mountains and praying together about such, cleaning up the morning mess, sitting at my window reading the word and being thankful, conversations with friends and family, paging back through a journal and finding this poem - I edited a little and would like to share it with you.

Every Day
by lani wiens

                           You are the God of Every Day;
Every day grace
  Every day favour
    Every day guidance
      Every day direction
        Every day strength
          Every day wisdom
            Every day peace
              Every day truth
                Every day love
                  Every day self-control
                    Every day kindness
                      Every day joy

                         Every day I am in need
                           E-v-e-r-y day
                             ALL DAY
                               day in and day out
                                 I need you
                                   to be my
                                    EVERY DAY

PS: there's one more day to enter my give-away for Ann's amazing book!  Leave a comment on the previous post on my blog or on the facebook post with the same name!!

Friday, May 04, 2012

First EVER Give-Away on fresh flowers

I am in a bit of a flutter today.  I'm supposed to be getting ready to take the junior highs on a retreat, grad is tonite and I need to bake bread and do laundry.  I have grad gifts to prepare and wrap get the picture.  This really isn't the time for blogging , however, I have been inspired!  It might be my new pink shoes wrapped around my feet...or I'm just procrastinating.  Doesn't matter!!!  I won a little on-line give-away today and decided it was high time to do one of my own.  There have been close to 600 posts on this little blog and over 14 000 views, reason enough to celebrate!!

So you can thank Mrs. Harris for this one!  I am thankful for those who come regularly to read even though I'm not always regularly here to blog.  I am thankful for all the wonderful things I've learned and been inspired by through other blogs.  Soooo...I'd like to do my own little give-away!

What am I giving away? Something I am very thankful for:

and if I get inspired some more, I might just add a few more little goodies into the mix (really, these pink shoes are amazing!).  So, please leave a comment with something that you are thankful for today.  You are free to share this but please link back!

I will draw for the book on Friday of next week (that would be the 11th)!

blessings, have a very fresh-picked day!!