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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Beautiful Mess We Call Life!

Sometimes I get really frustrated with myself when I bake, although I enjoy it I usually end up with a mess, yet the end result of the delicious mouth watering yumminess that comes from the oven is all worth it.
What if we looked at life like that?
What if we allowed ourselves to see our lives as a work in progress and be okay with that?
What if we didn't define ourselves by the mess we sometimes find ourselves in but rather what it was producing inside of us?
What if the mess was indication of a greater picture something we don't see immediately but rather a process of movement towards something beautiful and something to be enjoyed?
What if in the midst of the mess we could still lean into the process and move forward without getting discouraged and quitting?
What if after that momentary mess was cleaned up we could enjoy the deliciousness that is our lives and see, taste and acknowledge the beauty that this moment and this life holds!!
Life is a series of mess after mess and
I think it's time for all of us to stop, take a deep breath, remind ourselves that what we see and what we are experiencing is not the end of our story but only a part of it.
Sometimes we just need to embrace the next second, the next breath, the next step forward, the next moment for these moments make up our lives and we don't want to miss out on this big beautiful mess we call life, do we?!
You are precious every single moment of every single day whether you believe it or not!!!
And now I will enjoy that cookie.....
Love
You friends!! ❤️


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Monday, July 11, 2016

It is Enough...

What counts is your life. Is your life green and blossoming?
You are to be salt seasoning that brings out the God flavours of the earth.
You are to be light, bringing out the God colours in the world.
Be generous with your lives. (Matthew3&5)

Blossoming, salt, light and generous just some of the markers of the God life and yet I don't know about you but sometimes I feel as though what I'm doing is never enough and yet today as I read this I was reminded of some gentle truths and I wanted to share and encourage someone else who may be feeling the same way....
Adding even just a bit of salt adds flavour, just a bit of your love, your passion, your kindness and your compassion has the power to add flavour and life to any circumstance....
Even a pin prick of light illuminates the darkest of rooms, when you love without conditions a light shines, when you care a light shines, the tiniest of prayers from a heart that is broken shines a light of hope and never underestimate the light that shines from you just being there with someone for someone....
Have you ever walked down a sidewalk and seen some green peeking through the cracks, our hearts can sometimes feel unmoving and so solid and yet somehow someway growth happens and it may even surprise us. When we open our hearts to the love, the grace and the truth of God and His word growth is bound to happen it may not be fast or explode or be as blossoming as we would like it to be but growth is happening even in the toughest and hardest of spaces, trust....
Finally even a bit of generosity has the power to change someone's day, just opening up to someone and sharing your journey and some of the tough roads you have traveled is being generous with your life and your journey. Our lessons and our experiences were never meant to be ours alone but rather to be shared to encourage someone else. Be generous with your love, your life and your gifts today ....
Let us not be so quick to heap judgement on ourselves and find ourselves in the space of "not enough" let us rather never forget the biggest part of the life equation and that is God and with Him our not enough is always enough and has the power to make an impact!
You are so loved today!!!
Have a great day!
❤️ Love you friends


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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Bigger Picture

I was reminded of something beautiful today as I was walking back to my car after work.
I headed across the bridge and through the parkade and as I looked way ahead of me I could see the outside world, beyond the cars in the parkade and the cold, damp and dirty surroundings I could see the brightness of the world outside but I could only see a sliver of it.
With each step I took forward the outside became bigger, brighter, clearer and I could see more and more of what awaited me.
In that moment I was reminded that right now as I'm walking some stuff out in my life I can only see a sliver of the bigger picture but with each step I take forward the picture will become clearer and clearer.
Nothing that is happening is a surprise to God, He is above it all He sees my whole picture never once losing sight of me and where I am. I am only to trust that with each step I take things will become clearer and the light will get brighter and continue to shine. I am not to stay stuck in my cold, ugly darkness but to keep moving forward!
Friends we are never alone, we are so LOVED and so CARED for, there will be times when it's hard to trust and it may be hard to take the next step forward but let's remember never once does God scratch His head saying " I didn't see this coming, I don't know how to fix this mess, or figure this one out," instead He lovingly says, "I will make a way where there seems to be no way, trust me I will never ever leave you alone, no matter what!!"
Hang onto that love and that peace knowing that He sees the big picture and He always has a plan and it is GOOD!!
Keep on moving forward one step at a time and may your picture become clearer and brighter each and every day!
Love you friends!!! 💗


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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Barricades and Paths


How often are we found on a road that leads nowhere or worse a road that leads to destruction. A road that we have chosen for ourselves and how awesome would it have been if there had been a big bold sign saying 'DO NOT HEAD THIS WAY, THIS PATH LEADS TO NOWHERE!' and even better if there was a HUGE barricade in front of it.
Yet I know for myself I have probably climbed those barricades and headed down those roads anyway to check it out "just in case" and ended up wasting moments, months and maybe even years of my life.
This path can be a path of seeming success as the world sees it, chasing a financial dream, chasing being skinny so then I will be happy, going down a path of wanting likes on my social media profiles so I can feel validated. Oh there are so many paths to chose from and I know I've chosen wrong too many times to count.
I love this passage I was reading today and I may just have to print it out as a reminder this year, I wanted to share it with you;
Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
Grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God don't let me down!
I'll run the course you lay out for me if you'll just show me how!
Psalm 119:30-32(MSG)

Lord when I am tempted to head for the path that leads to nowhere speak to me and help me to listen to your voice and your direction only. When i am tempted to head down a road to fill a void that you alone can fill, gently reassure me of your presence, your guidance and once again lead me to your path. Your path is the only path that leads to true and ultimate fulfillment, as this year looms ahead may it be a year of drawing closer to you in every way, may it be a year of walking hand in hand on the path you have laid out before me! Help me to continually trust you for all that I need!!
Amen

Love you friends! Praying this is your best year yet!!

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Monday, November 09, 2015

Understudy of Greatness


'An understudy is a performer who learns the lines and blocking/choreography of a regular actor or actress in a play. Should the regular actor or actress be unable to appear on stage because of illness or emergencies, the understudy takes over the part'....as defined by Wikipedia
For some reason I've been thinking about being an understudy these past couple of days, it could be because I have spent time shadowing people at work.
So as this was on my mind I wanted to write about it and one approach to this was to say stop being some one else's understudy and go live life being uniquely you. Although a good message indeed that's as far as that went in my mind.
Then I came across this verse, 'Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.' It was a reminder from the one who loves us more than anything or anyone else, an invitation to walk alongside him every moment of every day and work alongside him in the mundane moments to the most exciting moments and watch how he does things. Now you may be thinking, okay Louise I can't physically walk with Jesus and you are right we may not feel him physically walking alongside us but we have a great picture of who he was walking on this earth and how he did things, how he treated others in the stories written about him in the bible.
We can get a clear picture of how he handled every day moments from those stores and he also sent his helper the holy spirit to lead and guide us in the every day moments right here and now.
The coolest thing about this is that my first initial thought about writing this came full circle when I read the last part of that verse.....'learn the unforced rhythms of grace I won't lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you'.
He has designed a life for you and I that flows naturally out of who we are, we were never asked to put on someone else's costume, someone else's personality, someone else's words and live life imitating someone else, we can try so hard to be like someone else that this can become a heavy burden to carry. You were only called to be the understudy of greatness.
The understudy of the one who created you to be uniquely you with your dreams, desires and goals placed in there by him that will flow naturally out of who you are. He won't ever place anything on you that doesn't fit who you were created to be.
Isn't there something so incredibly freeing about this? It has the potential to alter your heart and fill you with such peace knowing that you don't need to be like anyone else.
Sure learn from great leaders, learn from those around you, there are great lessons to learn but never study them so intensely that you lose sight of who you are and who you were created to be!!
There is no one else out there like you, there is no one else that sees things just like you do, you have purpose, you have something so unique to offer this world, you have an important part to play!!
Trust him to show you in the moments of today just how wonderful he made you!!
Shine on friends!!
You are loved!!





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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

When it Feels Like You are Going Backward

Today pushing my cart through the store the cart suddenly skidded to a halt, one of its wheels locked up, and I couldn't move it forward properly.
So I backed it up and found that the tiniest of pebbles was the cause of the abrupt stop.
So I simply backed up my cart and proceeded around it and went on shopping when I felt this lesson drop into my heart "sometimes you have to move backward in order to move forward on a clear path."
Hmmm not exactly what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear that the path is smooth, the direction clear and that nothing will get it my way.
Yet here was a gentle reminder that sometimes I gotta take a step backward and clear what ever is standing in the way and then move forward.
This has been my journey lately, it seems I am moving backward in more than one area of my life.... it's hard, I have a bad attitude, and it simply sucks, yet I know I need to take the steps, that I think are backward, so I can move forward onto the clear path.
Whatever it may be, and no matter how far back I have to go, if the King of Kings cares enough to whisper those little lessons to my heart He cares enough to prepare me for what's coming ahead.
When I think I am moving backward He sees what's in store, He sees what I need to learn and how I need to grow to prepare me for what's to come, I need only trust Him.
I can trust that He will direct the path, help me to remove the pebbles and then guide me forward into the journey ahead!
So if any of you are feeling like me, like your life is slightly in reverse, hang on, hold on, learn, grow and trust in Him.
He will never ever leave you, He thinks the world of you and loves you more than you can imagine and He sees what you can't.
With the love of a daddy guiding his child to safety, knowing what's best for the child, trust that no matter what it feels like now there is goodness on this journey in the midst and ahead!!
Ride on friends! Love you!



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Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Beautiful Garden

This is a beautiful time of year. Gardens are in full bloom and I love to see people posting pictures of their flowers and their produce proudly showing the fruits of their diligent labours.
When I came across this verse this morning it gave me a loving picture, with the same care the gardeners take to weed, water and nourish their gardens God takes with us if we allow Him full access to our lives. He lovingly restores the dried up broken pieces, add the fresh water of His love, removes the weeds that are stealing nourishment from the beauty and brings about something so beautiful in our lives. I'm sure He too looks lovingly at us and His 'wall' is filled with pictures of our beauty. So can we trust Him today to bring beauty out of our weed patches?!



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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

The Randomness of Ichabod...What a Strange Title


'Ichabod…Ichabod….Ichabod……what the heck, why does this name
keep ringing in my head?!’

That was me yesterday and so I had a quick minute to do a
google search on the name and found it was from Samuel, in the bible, and the
meaning was ‘the glory of God has left.’ 
That’s as much research as I did and I was thinking to myself…yikes okay God
, that’s kinda scary, are you telling me something here that I don’t actually
want to hear?!

So I resolved to study it more thoroughly during my next quiet
time, which happened to be this morning and let me tell you, you wanna stick
around to hear this ending…it left me in tears!!

Okay let me give you some background here in 1 Samuel this
is a story of the Israelites vs the Philistines, the Israelites decided that
they would surely be undefeated in battle if they had the covenant chest of God
with them, or otherwise known as the Ark of the Covenant, so they brought in
the Ark to the front of the lines and proceeded into battle.

Eli, an old man, sent his two sons Hophni and Phinehas to
the front of the battle with the Ark.

The Israelites ended up being brutally defeated 30,000 foot
soldiers died, the Ark was captured by the Philistines and Eli’s sons both died
as well.

A messenger escaped the battle and went to tell the news of
the defeat and approached Eli to tell him the news of the capture of the Ark
and the death of both his sons.  Upon
hearing this Eli, a heavy man apparently, fell off his chair, in shock, broke
his neck and died as well.

The messenger continued on to Phinehas’ wife and told her
the news of her husband, brother in law and father in law’s death and she also
in shock, and pregnant, went into labour and just before her death named her
son Ichabod meaning ‘Where has the glory gone?’ In some other translations the ‘Glory
of God has left.’

The next few words popped out at me so boldly it was like
God himself was underlining them so I wouldn’t miss them…’Where has the glory
gone? For so it must have seemed to her with the loss of the Ark and the deaths of those close to her.’

Even though the words stood out it didn’t end there, I knew
I had to keep reading, so the story went on to tell of the Philistines and what
was happening everywhere the Ark went.  Everywhere
they placed the Ark their false gods bowed down, people were covered with swollen,
painful tumours, the young and the old, all around people were dying.  They moved the Ark from city to city in the
hopes of the death and disease stopping and yet everywhere they brought it
death and disease followed. 

They decided they would send the Ark back to the Israelites
to rid themselves of this destruction, they did this along with offerings of
gold and cattle, a guilt offering.

This is where the revelation exploded in my heart and I want
to share it with you because I know it’s not meant for me to keep to myself……

Louise what areas of your life do you feel as though my
glory has left?  What areas does it “seem
to you” because of circumstances and situations does it feel as though the
glory is gone? You have yourself so convinced that this is the end, that my
glory has left and you have allowed hopelessness to creep in and destroy any
hope of a good future!


Could it be that I am going before you into your
strongholds, behind enemy lines and I am tearing down every false god that you
have placed before me and I am bringing you a victory over your strongholds
that couldn’t have been won on the battlefield?
Could it be that the battle I go to into is one that takes me where you
can’t go, you’ve tried over and over to win this battle on your own, putting me in front of you as a symbol yet
not actually inviting me into the battle
.


I go in behind enemy lines, the lies that you’ve been told I
am coming to destroy, the false god of vanity and ‘I’ll be happy when’ I have
come to destroy. The mounting stronghold of hopelessness, doubt and fear I have
come to decimate.  I go into places that
an army can’t go, I go where only I can go and bring you victory over every
dark corner that you have hidden, areas where all hope is gone and I have come
to bring my light, my life, my victory and nothing and no one can stand against
my power and my strength. 


Will you trust me to bring a victory in your life that only
I can bring?  Will you stop trying to do
everything on your own strength and will you be patient and wait as I bring
about victory in every area of life?!


………………………….

Wow, so Ichabod wasn’t just a random name rolling around in
my mind, it was a special invitation from the King of Kings to discover this
nugget of astounding truth tucked in His word for me and you!!

Friends God is good, I have been guilty, oh so guilty of
just letting that roll off my tongue as a platitude of something I should say
because it’s the ‘Christian’ thing to say but today I am here to say I believe
it with my whole heart.  I believe He is
for us, I believe He wants victory in EVERY area of our life, I believe we have
suffered long enough with insecurity, self-doubt and hopelessness.

So my question for you today is this, what area of your life
does it feel as though the glory of God has left?  What area that seems lifeless, hopeless and
doubt has taken up permanent residence?  

I believe today is the day God wants to set you free, He wants to break
in behind enemy lines and set you free, He wants to bring life where before
there was no life, He wants to bring healing to a broken diseased body, He wants
to set you free from every insecurity and He wants to breathe life into your
dreams today!!

I love you friends, I really do and my heart is to see each
and every one of you set free in every single area of your life!!  We are ALL a work in progress, me included,
but if I know one thing for sure we all woke up today so that must mean He isn’t
done with us yet!!!!!

Hope on friends!!










Monday, June 22, 2015

How Important is Having a Title?

Im gonna jump right in... After Judas died( the crazy disciple that betrayed Jesus and handed him over to be crucified) the remaining disciples had to pick someone to fill his place amongst the twelve disciples.

They were to pick from the men that had been with them throughout Jesus' time leading the disciples on the earth ,from His baptism to His ascension into heaven.

This stood out to me that these men, on their own accord, followed wherever Jesus went, leaving behind everything to follow Him and yet not being named as a disciple or even chosen by Jesus to be part of the select group.

This left me with a few questions because they were human after all....as they were following Jesus did they ever feel as though they didn't belong because they weren't part of the twelve disciples?! Did they ever feel like they were wasting their time trying to be a part of something they weren't chosen for?! Did they ever try to get Jesus to notice them and secretly crave that He would add 13th or 14th disciple?!

Or did they know in their heart of hearts that any time spent with Jesus, following and seeing the miracles He performed and being a part of the crowd was all they wanted or needed.

Could it be possible that carrying the label of disciple meant nothing to them?!

Maybe, just maybe, it was all about Jesus! Maybe just being near Him drove their passion to continue following Him.

How often have I craved a title?!
Louise director of ________,
Louise VP of _______
Louise owner of _________, Louise part of the team at _______?!
To be perfectly honest ...more times than you know, as if carrying that label will somehow boost me to some level of significance and status. It's the first question people ask, 'what do you do?' So yes I admit I've wanted a title!!

Yet today as I sat here and read this passage I found my heart's cry was to be like these men who followed Jesus, with no title, no significance, no tether to the select group that Jesus chose as disciples.

I really truly want to be like them where the only title I need is Louise, follower and pursuer of Jesus.....It's a journey, I hope to get there yet!!

So for myself, I know I need to stop worrying about the future and what my journey may be here on earth. Not to be concerned about having a title or a role that carries the human standard of significance.

Instead I want to be incredibly aware and in awe of His glory all around.

Like the people that followed Jesus but weren't disciples, I want to see Jesus at work in the lives of those around me, to be in His presence and soak in all that He has to teach me. To live life each day learning, growing and hopefully changing for the better.

Maybe the best title to carry and be known for is, follower of Jesus.

Anyone wanna join me?! There is plenty of room on this road ahead and I'm sure there are plenty of adventures awaiting us!!

Signed yours truly,
Louise, follower of Jesus in training!


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Saturday, April 18, 2015

I Am Free

"You are my hiding place. You will keep me out of trouble and envelop me with songs that remind me I am free."
I have felt anything but free lately caught up in the mental anxiety and worry of everyday cares and concerns.
The what if questions that haunt, the how is this going to work questions that try to figure out tomorrow trap the mind in the endless cycle of worry.
What would it mean to you right now to be free?
For me I know exactly what that looks like, free from worry, free from wheels constantly spinning in my mind trying to figure things out, free from any anxiety over what tomorrow may bring.
So for me this verse was such a great reminder that Jesus is constantly sending me reminders that I am free, that true freedom comes from knowing I'm secure in Him, that circumstances of life may change but my position with Him, my hiding place never changes.
The verse goes on to say " I will teach you and tell you the way to go and how to get there;" wow this sounds like He's got a plan for this all to work out......"I will give you good counsel and watch over you" there He is again always keeping an eye on me wanting to give me the best advice ......" The one who trusts in the Eternal is wrapped tightly in His gracious love".....reminds me how we swaddle babies to get them to quiet and this soothes them, this picture is a powerful reminder that we are wrapped so tightly in His love, it's all around us enveloping us like a cozy blanket.
This picture becomes so clear,if even for a moment, the anxiety and worry disappears and I see a loving father take my hand, whispering and singing songs of peace and love reminding me that He has a plan and it is good.
Anyone else need to cling to that today?
Join me friends and I pray that today the load feels tangibly lighter, that the chains that have held you captive are broken free and that you experience His peace and His tightly wrapped up love for you!!
I love you friends!! Happy Saturday!



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Thursday, February 26, 2015

He Loves You

~God is so good and He truly cares for each one of us! We can blame God for so many things that happen to us and happen in our lives and He is strong enough to shoulder the blame, yet I truly believe in my heart of hearts that God is not the cause of illness, death, disease, and the myriad of awful things that happen in this lifetime. I am so thankful that no matter what our beliefs may be on that, He cares, He can handle the tears, the blame, the angry fist shaken towards heaven, the doubts and fears and yet....and yet in the midst of it He promises that He will never leave us, never forsake us, always comfort us, count our every tear and longs to show us Himself in every day life!!
I was recently shown His love in such a tangible way through my son Ezra, my 14 year old son has been walking the malls praying for complete strangers..... not in a freaky way just a really approachable way... and he honestly sees people healed every single week from life long back injuries to broken bones..... something I personally don't think i could do , way outta my zone!!
Anyway one day we were driving and I said some extremely fearful words. Words filled with fear, doubt and anxiety, he was sitting behind me at the time and immediately he leaned forward and put a hand on each one of my shoulders and proceeded to pray quietly for me.....I felt incredible heat on my shoulders, something I've never experienced before, like something was burning through my parka and felt an incredible peace wash over me, he left his hands there all the way home and I don't know the words he was praying but I felt the change. Why do I share this?!
In that moment I was filled with fear, filled with doubt and incredibly anxious and God reached out to me through my son, I didn't ask for it, I didn't have to amp up my belief or faith that God cared enough for me to do something....He just did, He showed up to say I love you in the midst of the struggle and lifted it in that moment! I believe all around us are glimpses of God, a God who loves us so much He sent His son Jesus so that we could spend eternity with Him forever at the end of our life!
Yes there will be extremely difficult circumstances in this lifetime, there is illness, there is cancer...STUPID cancer, there is death, there is heartache, there is struggle...we are not promised a perfect, struggle free life but we are promised love, comfort and peace that passes all human understanding and reasoning in the midst of it all! He loves us so much and is ALWAYS there with arms wide open in a posture of a parent waiting for His child to run into His arms! He will scoop you up, wipe your tears, listen to your worries and fears and cover you in His care!
Friends I hope you know how incredibly special you are, you are loved completely today, there is NOTHING missing in His love for you, it is complete! I hope you feel a tangible moment of His peace and comfort and love for you TODAY!!!
Love you all!!!!


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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Beginning of Us

17 years ago on this day, a barely 21 year old version of myself walked down a long church aisle....most people fall in love, get married and then have children, ours was a little mixed up.
To say I didn't have doubts would be a lie.
To say I wasn't terrified would also be a lie.
I stood at the back of the church holding on to my dads arm and a stream of not so nice words was coming out of my mouth..( starts with s ends with t and says hi in the middle :S).....yes classy I know, and definitely not the magic words every bride says when she is about to head down the aisle on what's supposed to be the day she's always dreamt of.
My dad stood beside me and calmly said "It's going to be okay."
His chin quivered and we were both overcome with emotion, in that moment he was my rock!
My dad and I headed down the aisle and it was a beautiful ceremony, Conrad and I cried during our vows pledging eternal love, and the rest of the night went by in a blur.
We had two whole days of a honeymoon because I was in school, our wedding was on a Friday and I was expected back on Monday.
The first day I spent crying.
It could have been the pregnancy hormones, as I was 4 months pregnant at the time of our wedding (shocker), or it was me being me and doubting my decision.
I wasn't a big Jesus girl back then, sure I called myself a Christian, the kind that goes to church on the occasional Sunday and says the right things to the right people, but I didn't have relationship with Jesus.
I loved Conrad, at least was convinced I did, but did I really know what love was, it all happened so fast. We met in June and were married in January and we were pregnant, did we truly believe we loved each other or was it infatuation and lust?
Well 17 years later I can say that our growing relationship with Jesus has made ALL the difference!! The craziness of starting a life together pregnant, having Noah and then adding two more kids to the mix within a few years...we are still standing. Even though at times I wasn't actively pursuing Jesus, He never let go of me and us!!!
The ground in our marriage has been shaken, a few times to the core. Love at times was a definite decision, but through it all Jesus has remained our rock and He turned what could've been a statistic into what we have today; A marriage that is loving, growing, always learning, hopefully changing for the good and yes still takes work. We have three amazing teens, a family we are so blessed and thankful to have!!
Why did I share all this?!
Because we ALL need hope, Jesus was our hope! He was our only chance of survival, starting out barely knowing each other, and today I am so thankful that we have made it this far!!
Wherever you are, whatever circumstances in life you are facing...married, unmarried, divorce, job loss, young, old, facing illness, loss of a loved one, brokenness, doubt, insecurity .....whatever it is hold on to HOPE friend, Jesus truly loves you sooo much, trust Him and He will make a way, a path just for you, where there seems to be no way!
We are all on this journey together I am still learning to keep hope alive and to trust every day!!
Love you friends!
Finally
HAPPY 17th ANNIVERSARY BABE!! Love you party in a can and barrel of monkeys much!! Praying for many more years together 😘!!



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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Gurgling Choruses and Shouts of Praise


 

 

 

God, brilliant Lord,

Yours is a household name.

Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;

Toddlers shout out the songs that drown out enemy talk,

And silence atheist babble

 
I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,

Your handmade jewelry,

Moon and stars mounted in your settings.

Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,

Why do you bother with us?

Why take a second look our way?

......
 
God, Brilliant Lord,

Your name echoes around the world.

Psalm 8 (MSG)

I love the picture that this scripture paints for me.  There are two sweet babes in my life right now, Esmay and Scarlett and they have recently come into the stage of shrieking and babbling and it is so funny to listen to.  As I read this scripture I was reminded of often what we call 'noises', these babes especially can get quite noisy and the picture it painted for me was one of beauty and praises being sung to God.

We can get wrapped up in our daily 'stuff', the cares of this world can weigh so heavily and yet evidence of God and praises to God can be seen and heard anywhere if only we look and listen. 

This passage goes on to say how vast and glorious God has made the skies and everything in them and asks the question, why would you bother with us?  It is a reflective question and yet I think the answer is simple, we are the ones with a voice, we have the ability to offer praises continually on our lips to our creator.  The rocks, the trees, the animals,  yes they will offer their praises and yet I believe our voices and our lives have the ability to create the most beautiful sound to God.  I'm not saying that our voices need to sound beautiful, although that's a bonus ;), I believe it’s all about using our voices, however they may sound and using our lives, no matter what we may be walking through, to offer continual praises to God.  He can take whatever we offer, the good, the mess, the shambles, the confusion and chaos of our lives and only He has the ability to create something beautiful out of it all!! 

Esmay and Scarlett have this mastered, they are continually chattering and shrieking and we may say it’s just part of development and learning how to talk but what if, as this passage states, they are shouting out songs and gurgling out choruses that are worshiping the King of Kings and in doing so drowning out the negative!!

I encourage you to walk through this day with eyes and ears open to the praises being offered to God, our saviour and our creator after all HIS NAME ECHOES AROUND THE WORLD!
The second part to that is let’s offer our praise to God, offer up our lives; the mess of your marriage, the brokenness in your heart, the depression, the sorrow, the lack, the desperation, the guilt, the fear, the condemnation, the promotion, the excitement, the anticipation wherever you are at RIGHT NOW and watch and see what He can do!! He will bring beauty from the ashes and turn around all things for good, He will smile along with you in your joy and wipe away your tears of sadness…..Praise Him in the storms, the valleys and on mountain tops of life, because He alone is worthy of our praise!!
Love you friends! Hope you experience His love today!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fix Your Eyes on Me

The scene looks like this, a father and son are in a perilous situation the only hope is for the father to defeat the dragon with one single arrow. Due to the bow being broken the arrow needs to rest on the sons shoulder while the father creates leverage using what's around him and then launch the arrow off the sons shoulder to have any chance of killing the dragon. If you've watched the latest Hobbit movie you may remember this scene now here's what struck me. 
The son afraid of the dragon, is facing his father with his back towards the angry dragon and a fiery scene surrounding them, the son is fearing the worst and wants to take a peek over his shoulder to have a look at the deadly dragon at this point his father says "Look at me son, keep your eyes on me."....this struck me like a ton of bricks in this moment it was as if God himself broke a wall that was between Him and me recently, one I created, and said
"Louise look at me, you are afraid of MANY things, fearing the worst, keep your eyes on me no matter what and I will fight for you."
If I had been alone in that theatre I may have wept uncontrollably but I managed to keep it together.
Friends life is not easy, there are storms raging all around us. We are each facing things that are very real to each one of us individually and this may make our hearts feel heavy or stress to overtake our minds and fill us with anxiety.
I hope today you find moments where you can lift your head and fix your eyes on Jesus.
Fix your eyes on the source of HOPE instead of the storm, the HEALER instead of the disease, the RESTORER of all things instead of the brokenness, the GIVER of unspeakable peace instead of hurt and anxiety and the one who LOVES you completely instead of those who are against you.
Friends my hope is that you sense His closeness today, the walls created or the distance felt is never created by Him but rather something we build to try and protect ourselves. I encourage you to take down that wall and open up your heart completely to the only one that can truly protect what you have hidden there and the only one that you can truly trust with anything.
I pray you feel loved today, I pray you have the strength to see you through this Christmas and I pray that as you fix your eyes on Him you will be filled with wonderous hope!!!
I mean it with all my heart I love you friends and I care deeply for you all!!
Merry Christmas and God Bless you everyone!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Sewing Chair

Kez received an antique sewing chair filled with thread from a great-great Aunty.
It is filled with spools and spools of thread of all different colours, many still wrapped in plastic and multiples of the same colours on wooden spools.
I was taken aback by the variety of bright bold colours and the fact they there were so many, it looked as though she kept on collecting them in the same colours and didn't use them. Possibly saving them for a special project.
To be perfectly honest it didn't look to me like a collection of thread an old fashioned Mennonite lady would have. This made me smile!!
I imagine buying the thread for her was a treat and every time she went to the fabric store the same bright colours would catch her eye and she'd buy some more only to realize she already had some safely tucked away, yet secretly loved her growing collection of colourful threads that never saw the light of day.
I wonder what projects she imagined when she bought these bright bold colours, was there always a little girl wanting to come out and wear a beautiful brightly coloured dress and why didn't she use them?! Was she afraid of what others may have thought of her style ?!
Makes me look at what I have and what I enjoy and what am I secretly holding on to, a stash of goodies that would be better shared than hidden in private.
I think each one of us has a hidden stash of goodies that we were meant to share with the world maybe it's your voice, your writing, your ability to make someone feel welcome, to make someone smile, the way you encourage someone, your ability to sew or build anything without a pattern or plan, your love for science or numbers, whatever your passion is, it was never meant to be kept just for yourself it was meant to be shared and enjoyed by others!
Don't ever hide your special colourful gifts because you are afraid of what others think, take what you enjoy and share it with others today!
I hope Kez can create something beautiful from all these wonderful threads, something that would make her great great Aunty in heaven smile proudly!!



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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Messed Up

~Woke up incredibly frustrated by the circumstances of life and went to journal about it because that's how I get it out of my system.
Then decided to begrudgingly read my bible...quite frankly I didn't feel like it because, just like human nature, we love to blame God when everything doesn't turn out the way we like it to.
So there I was reading in consecutive order from where I left off last time and came across a character who had extreme doubts and unbelief and because of his unbelief he as unable to speak until what God had promised came to pass. Thought to myself, wow that sounds a lot like someone I know, sometimes I wish my big mouth would be shut so that the promises God has made could come to pass in my life!!
As I sat there I was reminded of all the messed up people in the bible....Peter had a temper and he denied Jesus, Thomas was known for his doubt, Paul was a murderer, David was well David, messed up, and so up and down in his emotions reading the Psalms is like going on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Honestly the list could go on for quite a while and yet, yet God was patient and He used each one of those people for something good!!
In some strange way it brings me comfort. Oh I can get angry, I can even give God the silent treatment and secretly blame Him for whatever is going wrong in my life and accuse Him of wrong timing, and yet, yet He chooses to love me and be patient with me. Then He shows me someone in the bible not so different than me at this moment as if to say, ' I see you, I know what you are dealing with and my promises are still there no matter if you believe them or not'....wow now that is a loving, trusting God wouldn't you say?!
We tend to put the biblical characters on a pedestal and tell of how wonderful they are, and they are, yet we don't have to look too far to see their humanness to see their downfalls and I believe that is there for a reason, to give us hope!! Hope that in all their humanness and human mess God is still God and His promises and His love supersedes all our feelings and emotions!!
Preaching to myself today, trust me!! I need this more than ever today and I pray that you too find a glimpse of hope and the energy needed to see this day through!! He loves you so much and He sees your struggles, He can handle your tough emotions! I pray you feel His tenderness and love surrounding you today!!!
Love you friends!



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Monday, November 17, 2014

Memories Of Christmas Past

Putting up the Christmas decorations today I couldn't help but remember our first Christmas after we got married almost 17 years ago.
Noah was five months old and we were renting a really cute house, I wanted to decorate but we had little money so I went to the local gas station and I bought the cheapest tree I could find and brought it home, it was shorter than me and slightly crooked. I invited some friends over and made cookies to decorate and hung them as ornaments, strung popcorn on a string and that was our first tree.
We had no money for presents that year. Conrad's grandparents sent out $35.00 to buy Noah a gift and bring it to the gathering, which we did, then we rewrapped it so he had a gift to open on Christmas morning.
It brings tears to my eyes when I think of how far we've come, see we were also on the local helping hands foodbank and we didn't tell anyone, had either of our parents known they would've stepped in to help and they already often did with groceries, diapers and many meals.
Now I sit in my beautiful home with a tree in almost every corner and bins of decorations and yet still remember our first Christmas fondly and recognize this is all fleeting!
To be honest this year we've seen our share of ups and downs financially. Who knows if next year we could be spending Christmas in an apartment. Yet it is truly amazing to know in my heart I'm totally okay with whatever the future holds.
That is the miracle in all this, to know God has worked in my heart in such a way that going through the various seasons of life I've learnt the value of family, not things or the house I live in. That my security comes from him, not a number in my bank account.
I've learnt thankfulness in whatever circumstances I'm faced with, in all seasons.
I know I will never go hungry or homeless and that is truly something to be thankful for!
Friends no matter where you find yourself this season, in plenty or in want, I pray you find the love of family, friends and the peace of God that surpasses all human reasoning!!

Who knows what the future holds?! For today I will enjoy the warmth of the fire, the flickering of lights in my home and thank God I get to enjoy all this for another year!
God Bless you friends!!!
Love you all!!



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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Struggling


There have been some areas of my life that I've really been struggling, even borderline feeling hopeless and then today I came across this again... it is impossible to please God apart from faith...and I sat there feeling a little guilty that I don't have what it takes and I try to ramp up my faith in these areas, struggling to be free.
Then I kept reading.....anyone who approaches God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
It dawned on me, that is faith, the fact that I believe He exists and He cares enough to respond to me!! I don't need to ramp up anything I need to simply believe He is there and He cares for me!
So what area are you struggling with? Relationships, loneliness, finances, doubt, fear, illness ? Instead of asking yourself if you have faith to see these things through ask instead do you believe that God exists? Do you believe He cares enough to respond to you? If the answer is yes, even if the answer is a shaky yes because you are not yet fully convinced He cares, I believe He can work with that!!
Don't give up!!! He does loves you, He cares about you and He doesn't want any of us struggling alone in any area of life!!!
So although I am not experiencing victory in the areas that I'm struggling, I do believe that He is there and He will see me through and eventually I will come through this victorious because I am choosing to believe!!! I know this is not always easy, choosing to believe, yet living in hopelessness much harder! So will you join me today dear friend? Believe with me that He is with us and that He cares deeply about us and He will see us through!!
I love you friends I hope you find the hope, strength and encouragement you need today to keep on moving forward!!

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Friday, October 31, 2014

My Precious Dog

It's been a busy week and I've been gone a lot and it's so neat to me that every single time I pull up onto my driveway my dog is sitting in the front window in a posture of anticipation. He is not just lazily laying there, no he is upright front paws on the windowsill waiting.
I always do a wider turn onto my driveway so he sees me and I wave then he jumps off his chair and runs to the back door. When I come in it's all smiles and sneezes, he sneezes to show me how excited and yes I am convinced he smiles.
Yesterday was an exceptional greeting, he was thrilled he sneezed, he scratched my legs and he wanted up for some hugs so I picked him up he tucked his head under my chin and gave me a low murmured sound of appreciation...I really felt the love.
In that moment I realized how much his posture of anticipation and his excitement to see me is like that of God. It's didn't matter to my dog if I had a horrible day, if i just had a fight with someone before I walked in the door or got mad in traffic, his greeting was the same simply because he loves me!!
Friends God is like that...He is anticipating you right now, He is waiting just for you and what you've done doesn't matter what matters is that when you open the door to Him in any and all circumstances He has His arms stretched out so wide to envelop you into His love and His embrace!!!!
Whether you've been gone five minutes or five hours or five years the reaction is the same!! He loves you, He loves us....oh how He loves us!!!!!!
I pray you caught a glimpse of that love today through this little story and I pray that love becomes so real and so evident to you today that it is simply undeniable!!!!
I love you friends and hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Come to Me

"Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 CEB)
Notice it says ALL , not just those that have it all together and those who follow the rules perfectly...no this is ALL! Often we think we can't go to God because maybe it's our fault and the problems we are facing are because of the choices we have made, that very well may be the case but He still invites us to come!! He loves you SO much and doesn't want you to carry anything alone! What have you been holding onto too long that you need to hand over today? Guilt? Shame? Fear? Loneliness? Doubt? He wants to help! Will you trust Him today?! Come JUST AS YOU ARE (that is 100% loved and valued) and He will give you rest!!
Love you friends!!


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