Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Praise in the morning and thankfulness at night!!

Harvest has begun!  For me anyway, the fields will take a little longer.  However, this morning I found two pails of cucumbers, the beans need picking and I just received my cherries from B.C.!!  So time to swing into high gear on the preservation trail.

So this will be a quickie post, hope you don't mind.

Yesterday I woke up tired and grumpy and not too excited about the day...we needed to clean, a lot!  I was discouraged about what didn't get done and then proceeded to play a game on my ipad (with my kids) for about 3 hours! (really, my oldest got me started on it and then the younger three helped out for awhile and then Sam hung out with me forever until I made him go to bed and then the older girls got in on it and finished it off! We had fun)

I went to bed a little deflated until we started praying and thanking God for what HAD happened that day.  This morning as I read Psalm 91 I was reminded about it one more time.  We give praise in the morning and thankfulness at night.  It was encouraging to look back on the day and see all that had been done.  Yes, there is still TONS to do, but we moved forward and that was worth being thankful for!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Sampler

Weather:  atrociously hot
Wearing:  my work uniform (I changed my shirt to my new MBMission shirt)
Waiting for:  meatloaf to bake
Watching:  most recent watch is "I Am Number Four"  rating:  not bad
Weary of:  whining
Winning at:  getting flubber out of little girl's hair
Word for the day:  Colossians 3 and 4 - don't be afraid to raise the bar, God has called us to a HIGH standard

I work very casually at the Post Office in town and today was one of my days to work and today was so dead, deader than usual. Not so exciting, I like interacting with customers, even when I have to admit that I may not know what I'm doing!   It was perfectly quiet all morning and I honestly missed the noise of my kids and the noisy fan that is attempting to keep it cool in here, it's not working.

I got two calls from home as the kids actually tried to keep on the schedule without me there!  That is impressive.  When I got home the dryer was running, Sasha was cleaning out the dishwasher and Lizzy was clearing the table. (Sam was at Grandma's for a birthday sleep-over)

The older kids....were sleeping...

Okay, they have an excuse, Abby just got home from camp last night and was a wee bit tired from all the exertion and excitement of camp.  Chris came home, too, but promptly went over to a friend's house that we hooked up with at the ice cream stand on the way home.

The eldest doesn't have an excuse, he was just sleeping.

Excitement for the day:

1.  Cucumbers!  My cucumbers are actually producing something for the first time ever!!
2.  Chris and Abby are home from camp.
3.  We have the majority of the parts to repair the burned out combine.
4.  Flubber!  We made some and I earned points for being a cool mom... (and it actually worked!! sometimes our experiments are kind of a bust...very disappointing, but not this time!)
5.  Harry Putty....Lizzy put the stuff in her hair...not so much fun :( but exciting nonetheless

glue, water, borax and food coloring

pulling it up!!

what is that!!??

Flubber Fun

Flubber Fist!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Frustrated Rant and Happiness

This morning began with extreme frustration...I stepped on the scale and it went up.  I hate that, especially because this week I have been trying hard to watch what I eat I've done some exercising and...yeah, bummer! (bummer getting bigger ;().

For the first three decades of my life I never struggled with my weight, it was a non-issue.  Then 10 years ago extreme stress took over my life and the weight has piled up and my ability to lose it has vanished.  I'm not extremely overweight, just enough to notice and be annoyed by it!

I have to admit that over the last few months I have done very little to try to get it off.  Probably a backlash from the six months prior to that where I worked diligently to exercise faithfully and did not lose one solitary pound.  Sure I was a little firmer, but not much and super frustrated by the lack of results.

I have read plenty of weight-loss books, looked for different reasons and found no answers.  My dear husband, bless his heart, has purchased many things to try to help me out.  In fact, we've spent a ridiculous amount of money on exercise videos, equipment (though I refuse to buy a treadmill or anything resembling such) and books/plans.  I'm so tired of all of it.

Okay I think I'm done ranting now.  Phew, I feel a little better, that's a load off (one that won't be reflected on my scale unfortunately).

On a brighter note...we're on day 2 of using our new schedule and it has been marvelous.  It is a little more work for me to watch the clock, but so far, we're liking it.  The kids are positively engaged and the screens are off!!  At the moment Lizzy is doing ballet in the living room listening to Mozart and Tchaikovsky and the boys are exploring in the trees and here I am taking a little time out and writing!!  So much more pleasant than the paragraphs above.

Sounds like it is time to change the loads in the washing machine and then put at least one basket of clean stuff away!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

organized summer...maybe??

Today was the beginning of my new leafiness!  I think we've done pretty well today.  I slept in a bit but I decided that doesn't happen very often so I enjoyed it.  THEN...we got the party started.

I just had the three youngest at home so I thought we'd get a schedule going with them the hopefully we can use until school starts.  The older three are supposed to be working anyway so the schedule we drew up won't work for them...THEN we tried it out this afternoon...cause it took us that long to figure it out!

It went pretty well I thought and they seemed to enjoy it...what got accomplished?

- we all read today
- all the kids played outside for awhile
- they all had only 1/2 hour on the computer
- we did some chores (the hallways are clean, some laundry got put away and one boy learned how to sort laundry)
- they played piano for awhile
- we had a good lunch and cleaned it up
- we blessed a big brother by cleaning his room (this was part of our 'bucket' time)
- I managed to get all my living room drawers de-cluttered and sorted (all homeschool stuff) I know no one can see that but it sure felt good to do it! :)
- supper is in the crockpot

This evening we are planning for a movie time (another 'bucket' item).  If this schedule works for us I'll post it and maybe it can help someone else get their summer organized.

psst:  this should be under the NEW LEAF page I made but I don't know how to get it in there!  HELP...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Turning Over a New Leaf!!

I am attempting to turn over a new leaf in my life!  I know it isn't January 1 or anything but I just have this feeling bubbling up that change is coming and the time is now...Of course, I want to do it all at once and have a perfect life but that isn't going to happen!

So one step at a time...just little ones and hopefully the result will be wonderful.

Before I begin this remarkable transformation I will just need to assure you all that I am far from perfect and I'll probably have to go back to square one more than once.  It's going to be a journey, one that's been a long time coming but I'm ready to begin!

I think I may even put a new tab on my blog site for these kinds of posts! (I have no idea how to do that, but I'll give it a go)

Things I'd really like to get more disciplined about...

1.  Cleaning my house...I hate the piles and debris that are everywhere...all.the.time.  I'd like to think that my house is clean some of the time but if I'm honest...it's pretty rare.  I got inspired from reading www.aslobcomesclean.com  she is funny, honest and has a messy house like mine!

2.  Reading the Word - I'm actually doing not to bad on this one right now.  I got myself a through-the-Bible-in-a-year program and I'm not ridiculously far behind.  I'm actually kinda proud of myself on that one.

3.  Exercise - I have started and stopped more exercise programs than I can count.  I have tons of videos and work-out stuff...I just don't use them very consistently.  I want to do better at this, whether or not I lose any weight.  I'm going to use www.myfitnesspal.com on my phone to help track progress.  I have even, *gasp*, invited two friends to see my progress...

4.  Finances - we have been failing miserably in keeping up to date with our farm finances and getting more in debt with our personal finances.  We just signed up for personal coaching which means I'm going to have to stay on top of things and hopefully better decisions will be made!  I'm really excited about that.  We are using www.mvelopes.com so far I like it.

5.  Writing - I am a writer who doesn't write very consistently.  I want to change that and perhaps get the ideas I have in my head onto paper (or cyber-paper)!

There are alot more things in my life that I'd like to tackle but that's probably enough for now.  I'm not even sure how I'll do all of it but I'm going to post about it here for your reading pleasure, hope I don't bore you to tears.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hold My Hand

"Mommy, I need your hand!" "Why?" I queried, "You seem to be keeping up okay." "But you let go of my hand and I don't think I can keep going without your hand." Her little six year old legs had already walked a mile and a half with me, only half a mile to go, but she was getting tired. As I took her hand in mind it made me think of the journey we are on with our RAD son. There have been many days lately where I don't feel like I can take one more step. I told God right then and there that I'm just like my little girl, I need to hold His hand if I'm going to make it all the way. Today He encouraged me through phone calls from two unexpected places. Both of the gentlemen who called reminded me that kids his age need to know you love them no matter what, that he is pushing all the boundaries to see if we'll go the distance with him. They reminded me that this too shall pass and on the other side he might even thank us for sticking in there with him. I was reminded of a friend with whom we prayed for years and years when her sons were this age and they strayed far away for a long time and now are back where they belong, wrapped in glory and doing well. I was reminded to remember the positive things. Our situation could be a lot worse if we still lived in the city. He is almost 14 and many kids with his type of challenges are already in juvenile halls by the time they are 12. He doesn't have some of the issues that many kids similar to him have. There are things to be thankful for. So today I'm saying, "Daddy don't you let go of my hand, I know we've got some tough pieces of road ahead yet, hold me tight and don't let go."

Friday, July 20, 2012

This and That

This morning feels like a struggle. There are many demands pulling on me today...

* cleaning - the house is a disaster - I haven't been home most of July and it shows
* laundry - piled high and waiting for me is Mt. Washmore
* accounting - always, always lurking in the back of my closet
* weeding - the unrelenting task of summer
* de-cluttering - I desperately want my house to come out of this summer feeling a little lighter!!
* I need to start looking through all the home-school teacher guides so I'm at least a half a step ahead of my kids this fall
* exercise - I have fallen and I can't get up!!!
* relaxing and enjoying summer
* endless craft projects that I am itching to get my hands on

And I'm wondering if I should re-name my blog, move to a new space, start it fresh...I'm super tired of getting comments from flower shops in India!!

I would apologize for my sketchy blogging over the summer but that has just been my life lately. I really appreciate my readers, commentors (except the Indian flower shops) and lurkers. You bless my heart and I hope I bless yours. I would really value your opinion about moving. I have no idea how big a job that would be. I'd kind of like to revamp the whole thing, make a space for my writing stuff and all that. I know I said I was going to get a private blog going but that has proven to be a struggle in and of itself.

I'm really just babbling this morning. I hope you are all having a wonderful summer. Personally, summer is NOT my favorite season. My work load increases dramatically. However, I do love all the colors of summer and I am so thankful for my generous friends who have cabins at the lake. The girls and I had a wonderful time hanging out there yesterday. It was a summer day that I fully enjoyed!

Question for today: What's your favorite season? Why?

Friday, July 13, 2012

more solo travels

Just came back from eating at an excellent east indian buffet called the East India Company. It helped tremendously that several of our dining party had lived in India and knew what everything was. Soooooo tasty with just the right amount of heat! So, life as a single person where you're normally a couple has been quite an eye-opener. Kelly is the mingler in our family and I usually just float around on his coattails. Without him here that wasn't an option. It is a very different thing to travel solo as a woman, especially at a conference like this one. Here are some of my observations: * breakfast is the most awkward meal to eat alone in public * it is far more uncomfortable for me to sit down with a group at a table than it is for the group to have me sit down with them * it is a good idea to seek out the other lone females in the room and stick together! * men are way better at doing the solo thing than women Some gifts that I've enjoyed: * corporate worship, there is nothing like standing in a crowd of Mennonites when they start singing * some excellent speakers who inspire and teach * being able to see up-close some of the things that God is doing in this city, in our country and around the world * being able to talk with people face to face that you'd normally have to use a phone to reach * networking and meeting new folks from different areas of the country * the Vancouver gathering had a lot of gray heads, I have noticed that there was a significant increase in younger generations at this gathering * the friendly and congenial atmosphere among the delegates * having the opportunity to talk freely with the Excecutive Board members and BFL members as they dispersed themselves liberally among the delegates for more information on the Gathering visit the MBHerald blog at: http://gathering.mbconf.ca/eventblog/

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adventures of a lone traveller

This journey began a few months ago. The last few months have been rather exhausting and Kelly and I have been looking for a way to get me away for a few days by myself. We were having a difficult time finding space to let me get away. Enter Gathering 2012, the Canadian conference for our denomination. Kelly was supposed to go as a delegate but after looking at his schedule he decided he just couldn't get away for that long. I, however, did not not have any looming responsibilities for a change so we decided that perhaps I could take his place. Yesterday I headed to the city so I wouldn't have to get up so early. I got to hang out with one of my best friends and a place to stow the van while I'm away. I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous to go out on my own. It's not that I've never travelled by myself before it's been a long time. Flying with Westjet means that I got to go West before I could go East. While waiting in the Calgary airport I got to witness a very rude man yell at a poor young father to control his son. The little boy in question was only three years old and this guy just started talking very loudly to the dad. The dad didn't take too kindly to this line of correction and the situation escalated. Grandpa got involved and they almost came to blows. The fella declared to one and all that he wasn't being rude...I beg to differ. When I arrived in Winnipeg ther was supposed to be someone to meet me but there wasn't anyone there. The good news was that I was reading a book that I am to review for the MB Herald. It was a lovely little book and encouraged me in my walk with the Lord tremendously. I'll talk more about it in a future post. Because of this encouragement I was able to rest easy, knowing that I could trust the Lord to get me where I needed to go. Another gentleman came out to the same place as me and I took a chance and asked him if he, too, was heading to the convention centre. He was, so we started working together to figure out where our ride was. We finally managed to find it and we were off. So here I am, in a hotel all by myself, with a king size bed, my new Ipad and 4 days of meetings and such things. I am looking forward to this week. The first celebration service was a great time of worship and listening to stories of what God has done and our vision of what we hope to see happen. The celebration service was followed by a Steve Bell concert, which was lovely, especially shared with a few friends. Now it's off to bed, I'm tired!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Where an invitation to speak may take you

Tomorrow we are heading to family camp to speak on insecurity.  If you've ever spoken at an event you'll know what I mean when I say, "What were we thinking to pick such a topic!"

{insert God's voice, "Ahem, I picked it, not you...and by the way...you asked!"}

So guess what's been happening over here on the farm for the last couple of months?  Our security has been rattled on way more fronts than I am comfortable with.

* 4 of our children were faced with medical challenges that require specialists
* 1 aunt is currently in the hospital and doing very poorly
* my dad underwent surgery
* we took a huge financial hit when we got our tax bill
* the weather did not cooperate with our farming operations
* since spending the week in the hospital with our youngest son my neck and shoulders are in pain most of the time, which makes it hard to concentrate
* I had to battle through relationship hits
* we had a massive storm pass through the area that had us all squirming just a bit and without power for an evening and another day (tornadoes touched down not too far away)
* our issues with our RAD son flared up and now we need to replace a living room window which feeds into my insecurities about our less than perfect home

Add those to my ongoing insecurities about my body, my abilities and playing the comparison game and you can see that I have been a mess people!  I did not like the month of June at all.  Not to mention that it has been too hot for my liking and my hip is covered in mosquito bites.  Aaarrghhh

However, God in His mercy takes us through these things in order to teach us, refine us and have us looking just a little more like Jesus.  Months before we decided to speak on insecurity I picked up Beth Moore's book, "So Long Insecurity", it's been a wonderful help in preparing for these messages.  Then as I was reading through 1 Kings I saw so many of God's people who wrestled with insecurity and what it cost them in the end.  Jeroboam, Rehoboam and Solomon all threw away their kingdoms through insecurity.  Sarah and Hagar with both insecure women, the results of their insecurities made them both miserable (and all generations after, too). Our insecurities can have far reaching effects.

The truth is that all of us have insecurities.  They don't look the same and are not triggered by the same things. We are insecure to different degrees.  Some of us are very clever at hiding them and some are just fooling themselves.

Our insecurities wreak havoc on our lives and relationships and they need to be taken down.  Each and every one of them is based in fears and lies.  God's word is full of rich promises that help us combat the enemy of our security.  Satan knows, and we need to remember, that God has already made us secure.  As Mrs. Beth says,  "God gave us our security.  It is ours to keep. No one else can have it."  Even though we may be embarrassed, feeling under-dressed for the occasion, or gossiped about we do not need to let go of our security, it is ours, bought with a price and we need not let go of it.

Here are a few more thoughts to bring it home:

Matthew 6 - Don't worry about what you eat or drink or what you wear...don't worry about your life your heavenly Father already knows that you have need of these things (paraphrase mine)
Proverbs 3:26 "the Lord is your security.  He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap."
Psalm 112:7-8 "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes."
Hebrews 10:35-36 "Do not give away you confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."
Romans 8:28 "God works ALL things together for good."

Believe the truth, God is trustworthy, He has got you covered from every angle and He is fighting for you.

Lani - the flowerlady

on facebook:  Lani Fast Wiens
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"So Long Insecurity" by Beth Moore is available at www.christianbook.com and amazon