Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A gal can only dream :)....

So one of the ideas I've had for a while is to make COOKIES to sell for the Ride for Refuge.
And not just ANY cookies --- cookies that are a work of he[ART].
I have spent (too much!) time browsing a blog I stumbled across just before summer mayhem hit!

This woman is a cookie-creating-GENIUS!!, and I stand in amazement (especially after my own feeble attempts!!). If you want to drool and learn a thing or two about flow icing and the art of a sugar cookie please pay a visit --- http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com

Here are a few ways I've played with dough and icing ;)....

Sweet Cupcake cookies for L's 2nd birthday party - cupcakes without the mess :)

I also made daisy cookies for a Neighborhood Cookie Party I hosted this summer.
Somehow I forgot to whip out the camera on that one :)....

And with practice, hopefully the lines will be a little straighter, the process will be smoother and perhaps a little quicker too :).
And life, and a cup of coffee, are both a little sweeter with a cookie don't you think :)?

Week 1: Mission Accomplished!

It feels like so long ago since we heard the news that K had received full time funding for THREE years; and since that very moment, I've been preparing myself for these past two weeks when our two oldest girls would be headed back into public school.

The last week of August flew right by. In the midst of the swirl, we talked about the upcoming transition, we organized school supplies, and set out the first-day-of-school clothing.

Thankfully, the transition was gradual.

FIRST, I should say, we got Jon settled back into school :). It is a change around here without him around, and his days are long and full trying to help other kids find their way (he works in the public school system).

The next week we got M settled in her class. She embraced the change like she does many things in life - with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. She's sure been more tired these days :), but each day she comes home with tales to tell, and is taking it in well.

And finally, oh finally, it was Sweet K's turn. There is a certain ache-of-heart that only mothers know. As I prepared her little back pack the night before, tears came quickly. She has tolerated, but never enjoyed, preschool. How would she do with THIS? How much did she understand as we tried to prepare her? I prayed that morning that she would know that Jesus is near.

Seems like God has been preparing her heart for this challenge. When I asked her if she was ready to meet her teacher, she says, "Yup!" And into the school she went. Not one look back. Not one panicky moment (and I was definitely one of "those parents" peeking in the windows, watching her walk down the hallway, checking to make sure everything was alright!). When I pick her up at lunch time, there is encouragement from each grown up in her life. She is participating, talking, learning and having fun!! And when I ask her if she wants to go back, she says YES!!


It is hard to know, sometimes, which path is best.
We plan and pray, pray and plan, and then w.a.i.t. for the LORD to show us the way.
The wrestle is hard work.
And sometimes it makes perfect sense, and sometimes it doesn't.
However, at the end of it there is peace, and it is good.

And now ... more time for myself!
Who can complain about that ;)???
Seems like there's always something that needs attention, but now there is a bit more space to accommodate that :).

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Ride To Remember...

When it comes to life, we are offered a plethora of opportunities! Everything around us calls for our time and energy, beckons for our commitment; hails for our money.

Sometimes it is hard to know when to say "no."
Sometimes it is even harder to know when to say "yes."

I struggle with feeling overwhelmed, especially when life is already full and there is always more need. I often deal with this by shutting down and shutting out. If there is too much on the to-do list, and not a pencil-marked game plan, I allow myself to postpone, procrastinate, get stalled on email, facebook or pintrest :)!!

OR. A new challenge beckons and in great excitement, I say YES, only to wish I hadn't once the enthusiasm fades and I'm slugging through commitments, drained of life and energy, thinking, what was I thinking!????

So, when my friend Ruth contacted me about this opportunity, I wondered .... yes? But why?

Of course it is good to raise funds. I will connect with a few people and see if they will be willing to share a few shillings, and as the collection grows we will offer it to the fine folks at the Crisis Pregnancy Centre (Winnipeg) to do good things; to minister to people in need, to walk alongside those in grief.

It is good to let others know. When I send out my emails, I am fully aware that there are folks on the list  that do not share the same values that I do. Facebook friends? The same. This is a challenge to myself to let what is in my heart shine, whether or not others agree.

It is a good example for my family. From time to time we talk about these issues. When life gets hard and different from what we know. As I teach my children, the LORD teaches me.

It is good to remember. Last year I thought of those who had no home to call their own.
Or a house that lacked the love and nurture and support and didn't feel like a home.

This year I will think of those who have yet to hear their name spoken in Love.
Perhaps it is an unborn child whose presence is a challenge.
Perhaps it is a mom, who has been a daughter unloved, or a friend wounded.
Perhaps it is a father, confused, scared, angry, sad.

Do they know they are loved? 
Through their CPC connections, I hope that they will hear their name spoken not with harsh anger, shame, disdain or condemnation, but perhaps for the first time, spoken with kindness, gentleness, respect. Love.

And that is why I ride.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me. Isaiah 49:15-16

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The King's glory in unexpected places

During our final camp-out of the summer, I ran into a gal who I used to work with. We don't know each other very well, but had shared a few conversations many years ago, so I didn't hesitate to say hello and catch up a little bit :). My how time flies :)!!!

We chatted about the kids and school and what we were doing these days :), and in the course of conversation, I shared that one of our daughters had learning difficulties.

Her response was a very genuine, I am so sorry.

And I wasn't quite sure what to say.

I knew her heart, and the intention behind the statement, but something in me resisted. I acknowledged that it had not been easy, shared the short short version of the story. And it can be hard, and sometimes it still hurts, but... I can't say I'm sorry.

I was a bit flustered, I admit. And I think, in hindsight, I would respond differently.....

Here is my unsightly tomato patch. It is presently full of thistles and weeds because of an undeclared resistance to weeding during the hottest, craziest, busiest months of the year (aka. summer holidays!!).

It is not beautiful, but it yields fruit (or veggies, still not sure where the argument sits on that!).

And woven through all this tangle of green and life and growth is Glory - a morning glory in fact; an unpredicted gift that has been fun to watch. And sometimes life is a bit messy. It is not simple. There are things that could be different, but aren't. But doesn't His Glory shine more brightly because of it!?

I think so.

I will speak of the hard stuff.
And I will cling tightly to what is good.
And I'm not sorry. 

Because, if knowing her means knowing how to learn differently, then I'd do it all again in a heart beat.

And if knowing this journey means knowing our Jesus more intimately, then I wouldn't hesitate a single second.

Because in the end, His Glory is there, creating a life meant to be shared with others.


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