Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What Would My Response Be?

"You are to have a son" - the angel.
"May it be so" - Mary.

Do I live out my faith? Do I make a conscious, daily effort to live God's way and not my own?

Naturally at this time of year there is much talk of Mary and Joseph and their faith, but I don't think I've ever looked at it so deeply before. What it must have been like for both of them I cannot even imagine! For Mary it might have been dealing with the thoughts of others, how they thought the worst of her, but for Joseph, what must they have thought? Probably that he was the father, and maybe they were both trying to make up for their mistakes by continuing on with the marriage even though according to everyone else they were no longer pure before the Lord. And yet they were, both of them, and they both chose God over the thoughts of others, over the looks of disapproval and possibly loss of friends and maybe even family who didn't understand. What a faith. What trust in the Almighty One, in our Provider. Though the Lord does promise provision, I find it is often difficult to trust, or to see it when it is right in front of me, because often His provision is different than what I would have thought it should be. And yet every time it is always enough, it is always exactly what I needed, I just have to open my eyes and be willing to see it. I am a planner, so I have all these pictures in my mind about how I think life should turn out, often times those "plans" are the very things that keep me from seeing what God has given me because it does not look like what I had "planned". What He must think of me as He watches me struggle through my plans blind to the ones that He has laid down right before me...

The Lord is so patient with me, and I am so grateful for that patience. During this Christmas season He has challenged me with what my response might have been if I had been in Mary's shoes, or if tomorrow He asked something "outrageous" of me. What would my response be? Though an angel has never come to me and told me that I am to have a son out of wedlock, I have had my challenges, and I have acted in faith. Maybe not every time, well lets be honest, of course not every time, I am not perfect. But I have trusted that the Lord knows better, that He is greater, and that He has a plan. I struggle through my trusting, I take back certain things that I have given over to Him, but I do always come back. I always end up at His feet, kneeling and wondering why I take things back when it never does any good. Why do I feel the need to be in control? Why do I have the desire to know exactly how every decision is going to turn out? Why? Because I am weak, and yet in my weakness He is strong. I am in awe of His love, His mercies that are new every morning, His patience which I constantly seem to try. What a Savior, what a God. I am one who trusts and yet fails in my trusting. I am one who hopes and yet worries in my hoping. I am one who loves but one who often fears in my loving. I am sinner. I stumble and I fall. I make wrong decisions. I worry. And yet here I am, a child of God, sitting at His feet crying Abba, crying Father.

Here's a song by Shane and Shane, it's called Without You, I hope it touches your heart.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wherever you are, be all there

Life has flown by these last weeks and I have allowed it so without taking the time to savor, to enjoy. I haven't hurried but I haven't "been all there". You know how you can look back on a day or a week and wonder "Where in the world did the time go?!", well that's how it feels now. I wonder how my last post I was sitting, waiting to finally be back in Charlotte, and yet now, here I sit in Ingersoll, all moved into our new home sitting on our new couch. How did that happen? Where did the time go? Well, I can tell you where the time went, every day comes and then it goes, there isn't a day that is more or less than 24 hours, and yet somehow I seemed to have missed so many. I have missed moments. I have been too worried or preoccupied with the "what if's" and the "oh that will be here soon, better get ready!" that I've missed out on the right now moments. I am sad, and yet I don't want to miss this moment because I'm focusing on what I've missed. I just want to be more aware. I want to stop, I want to enjoy, I want to be all there. I want to watch the snow flakes fall like I did this morning, I want to sit and soak up every word I read from my Bible, from Jane Austin, from Brennan Manning, from Ann Voskamp. I want to relish in the washing of dishes and cleaning of floors, of washing and drying clothes in our own home, in the new oven that burnt our bacon and the amazing cabinet space that we have in our new kitchen. I want to experience every moment and not let them pass me by.

Christ calls us to a life of joy, and how can joy not be found when we enter into life, enter into each moment that we are given and give thanks in and for that moment? Giving thanks makes each moment greater, it gives each moment a greater depth of meaning, each moment becomes a sanctuary. Joy is found in moments of thanksgiving. Peace is found when I give over my control, that I only think I have, and lay my moments at His feet, and trust Christ to be my Provider, my Wisdom, my Healer.

Jesus, allow me to be "all there" as I live this life that You have given me. Let me see You in new ways, let me see Your wonder, Your beauty that You have designed for this life. Give my a heart of thanksgiving so that I might keep my focus on You rather than becoming distracted with the fast paced life the world offers. I want to enter every moment and savor it, cherish it, and see Your grace and provision in its midst ~ Amen

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flight 3221 Service to Charlotte

I am currently sitting in the Toronto Airport waiting on my flight to Charlotte. I've done this several times over the last year and half, but there is something very different about this trip. I am headed to Charlotte for a visit, I'm not coming home from one...this is a very hard concept for me to wrap my mind around. The thought of visiting Charlotte is just weird. Charlotte is where I grew up, it is the familiar, it is home, and yet I am coming for a visit. A rather long visit which I am grateful for, but a visit all the same. It's so weird because I am so excited to come, to see people, to eat at Chickfila and go to Target, but I will dearly miss Ingersoll. I will miss my husband, I will miss Juanita :) I will miss waking up to snow (as long as I can stay inside in the warmth and not have to go out and brave the cold!), I will miss family and friends, I will miss home. I feel torn in two different directions, I want to be in Charlotte and I want to be in Ingersoll at the same time. They are both home, they both hold my heart, they both call my name asking me to come and be, but I will always have to leave one for the other. But in the midst of the leaving I am grateful for technology. I am grateful that I can see faces even when I'm not there in person. I am grateful that I can send "letters" that will be received instantly rather than barely arriving before I return. I am grateful for love and grace in both places, for my Charlotte home being grateful for my presence and yet knowing and encouraging my return to Ingersoll, and my Ingersoll home knowing that I need a touch of the South, of my roots, and granting me the grace to visit knowing that I will return soon. What love, to be pulled in so many directions, but how hard it is to leave both homes, no matter the length of absence it is hard to leave either place. But I am grateful that I have the ability to go home, to drink sweet tea and go to Joan's for Thanksgiving (Oh I cannot wait!!!!!!), to see my brother graduate from boot camp (what a proud sister I am!!!!), to see friends and family in person, to touch and hug and laugh, to be home. And I am grateful that when I return to Ingersoll I will be glad to be home. I will go to Coffee Culture and get a Chai Tea (love it!), I will go to Juanita's and distract Liam from school, I will go to youth group and laugh and build relationship, I will be home. What joy I find in both places...thank you Jesus for granting me the grace to be so loved and to have the ability to be home, wherever that might be at the time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Today I am challenged with a blog post by Ann Voskamp. If you are not familiar with her she is the author of the book One Thousand Gifts and has a beautiful way with words. Check out her post from November 2: When you desperately want God to hear your prayers. For me it was a great encouragement and challenge to look deeply into my prayer life, into my heart and look at my motives behind prayer. Why do I pray? Do I pray for my benefit or for anothers? Do I pray in faith or do I pray in want? I remember hearing it said that God always answers our prayers, it's either Yes, No or Later. So what happens when He answer's my prayers in a way that doesn't please me? Will I still trust Him? What if I am praying selflessly for another, truly longing for their good and God answers No? What then? How do I respond?

I want to respond in faith, in trust, in the the knowledge that He can see the whole picture and I can only see glimpses here and there. I want to remember Romans 12:2 which says "...the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Do I believe that? Truly, no matter how my prayers are answered will I choose to believe that He knows better than myself? Even if circumstances seem everything but good, acceptable, and perfect will I choose to believe, and trust and continue to pray anyway? I long for this to be true, though we all struggle, stumble and fall our Father is always there to pick us up again. How amazing He is!

I choose to believe that no matter what happens, no matter what my struggles are, that He is greater and that His plan is perfect. No matter what is going on around me, no matter who is struggling, I will pray for the Lord's will to be done and not my own, and not their own. Because I only want His will in my life, my will, though it may look better at the moment, is nothing if Christ is not in it. And if I do not want anything that He has not granted for myself how could I want something that He has not granted for another?

Jesus thank You for Your will, Your good, acceptable and perfect will. Thank You for the knowledge that no matter what happens, You are there, and You are greater. What a comfort that is! Thank You for Your love, Your peace, Your grace, Your mercy, Your faithfulness. Thank You for this reminder to pray Your will to be done and not my own.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Freedom is found...

...on the dance floor.

When the music is playing and it is just me and Jesus and the dance floor, that is Heaven on earth. How I miss the days of classes full of stretching, both in spirit and in body, moving to the rhythm and beat of the music, full of His leading. I believe everyone has their "Jesus thing" as I like to call it :) Some find it in music, either played or sung, some in the written word, some in capturing moments through camera lenses, some through the playing of sports, and the list could go on and on, and then there are the dancers. That's me. I find my true self in the grace filled movement that is found when the body lives out the music that is played. That is where I find rest and peace, where I can see the face of my Creator and feel His presence all around dance I find Christ and in Christ there is freedom.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


What is home? Home is where the heart is. Can your heart be in more than one place at once? I think so, because when I think of home, I feel like I have many. Charlotte will always be home to me, it is where I grew up, where the familiar is, where so many friends and family are, it is home. Ingersoll is also home, it is where I am a wife, I am Mrs. Boniface, a woman, not just a girl that many have known since childhood, it is where Matthew is, and wherever he is that will always be home. Capernwray is home, it is where I truly found myself and then gave myself back and chose to choose Christ over anything or anyone else no matter the consequences, it is where I learned in my heart that Christ is LIFE and there is nothing outside of Him. Heaven is home, it is my eternal home, where I will live in the presence of my heavenly Father forever when He chooses to take me there, and what a day that will be!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quiet in the midst of Chaos


What a lovely word. I love peace. I love the sense of well being I have when I am at peace. It is rest. It is Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." I long for rest, I long to "be Mary" and sit at my Father's feet and not "be Martha" who doesn't take the time to sit at her Father's feet. But alas life happens. The chaos. In this fast paced world where is peace? Rest? Where is the time to sit at the Father's feet? The time is waiting for me to stop, in the midst of the chaos and be quiet. To "be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 42:10). We are to be still and in the stillness we are to know that He is God.

On Sunday afternoon Matthew and I took time to sit at our Father's feet. He sat downstairs on our couch and I sat up on our bed, and we were still, quiet before our God. I read my Bible, I wrote down scriptures, like the ones above, to remind me of the stillness He calls me too. I prayed. And I was quiet. For anyone who knows me, you know that I love to talk. I can talk to just about anybody about just about anything, it's just who I am :) So for me to sit down and shut my mouth and quiet my mind is a big thing...but I did it, and it was wonderful. It was peaceful. For me I find peace in the will of God, and that is how I have chosen to decipher if I am in the will of God or not. I don't want to freak out or always worry about if I'm in the will of God. So I have decided to trust. God is not a God of confusion, He does not call us to a guessing game, He calls us to Himself. And He says if we seek Him we WILL find Him...and for me finding Him is peace. If I am truly seeking Him above everything and everyone else, He will reveal Himself. But if I am not looking I can miss Him time after time, because I wasn't willing to take the time to be still and know that He is God. So when I take the time to be still, I seek peace. I seek for the beating of my heart to slow and for that nervous feeling in my stomach to disappear. I seek to clear my mind and allow Him to speak into my heart, my life. I open my heart to my God and I ask for His will to be done and not my own...and then I wait. I wait for the stillness, for the quiet, for the peace. And it always comes, maybe not in that instant, but eventually, if I'm willing to wait and be patient (which can both be struggles for me!), whether for 5 minutes, 5 days or 5 months, eventually it always comes. Because when I truly give up my desires for this life, and actively seek His desires for this life, my perspective changes. I remember that this is His life that He has given me to live, not the other way around. My life is but a breath, a moment, in the grand scheme of things, so how am I going to let Him use the moment that He has given me? I will seek Him above all else, I will learn from my mistakes which I will undoubtedly make, and I will take the time to sit at my Father's feet. To be still, to find peace, and to be quiet in the midst of the chaos.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What a Lovely Evening

With the hubby working late, what a lovely way to spend an evening...Curled up on the couch, peppermint tea steeping in my lovely little teapot with a mug already full, sweetened with honey, and Pride & Prejudice ready to take me away to another world while I wait for the arrival of my Mr. Darcy :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Thankful Heart

Tears...ibuprofin...more bath...and finally sleep. That was my night last night. I haven't ever had a migraine that bad. It was brutal, and, unfortunately, sucked all the life right out of me. I had been functioning a bit better these last few days, and then another set back. But I found a quote today that really convicted me:
Instead of looking at what you’re not doing, consider how you can do more good in what you are doing.
Now it took me a while to think of what good I could do while laying on the couch all day, but then I started thinking...I can pray. I can say thank you to my husband for being willing to get things for me so I don't have to get up and use the little energy I have left. I can not feel sorry for myself and be thankful that I was able to get up out of bed this morning (even though it was with a lot of help, at least I'm up right?).
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  ~  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Lord placed this scripture upon my heart when I was at Capernwray two years ago. What a high calling! These verses have shown me an enlightening way of life. I'm realizing that finding things to be thankful for brings joy and as I'm focusing on the things I'm thankful for, I pray. Isn't it a beautiful picture? Joy. Now I do not consider joy as an empty happiness or smiling all the time, but rather a deeper experience. Happiness is so often based upon our circumstances. To me joy is a peaceful heart, a serenity that is discovered and lived out despite my circumstances; it is where faith and hope meet :) It is when I choose to see through where I am and acknowledge that God is bigger and greater than my "right now" circumstances. He has the bigger picture and I cannot wait to get to heaven and see how He chose to use me, even when I was on the couch. Because I believe that He is big enough and that anything is possible :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Remind Me...

Lately I've been thinking a lot about Psalm 23. Not intentionally really, it just keeps popping up in my mind, so I finally spent some time this morning reading and studying these familiar and yet powerful words:
The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Do I live out the Scriptures? Do I live out what I believe or do I express my faith with words alone rather actions? Words of course are important, but faith without actions is dead (James 2:17). Do I live my faith and not just speak of it? Do I live out the precious words above "I shall not want" "He restores my soul...For His name's sake" "I fear no evil, for You are with me" "My cup overflows" "Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life"? I would love to say that I do, but so often I live in a state of always wanting more than I have, worrying or fearing what is to come and which kind of "evil" might be lurking around the corner waiting on me. How do I live out these beautiful promises? I believe it starts with understanding how great and good my LORD is. To take time to grasp that the God of the universe knows every intimate detail of my heart, He knows my failings and yet He loves me. He loves me! Do you realize how truly amazing that is? And not only does He love me, He wants to spend time with me, listen to me, interact with me, speak with me. How could I want more than that? I would definitely say with that knowledge my "cup is overflowing". So why don't I always feel like my cup is overflowing? Well first off faith is not a feeling, it is a choice that I have to make every day to believe in spite of my unbelief and in spite of not always feeling His presence with me. And I also try and fill up my cup with other things and I take my focus off of how great my God is and how He is the only One who can truly fill and overflow my cup. He is the only one who can fill the gaping hole inside of me. So today I will choose to let Him restore my soul, to overflow my cup and to acknowledge His greatness.

Thank You Jesus for my time with you this morning. Remind me of Your greatness, remind me of Your provision, of your goodness and lovingkindness. Remind me Father God. (Joshua 4:6&7)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


So many things vying for my attention...the dirty dishes still in the sink, the clothes needing to be washed, the boxes still waiting to be fully unpacked. Restless. My desire to always have a plan is waging war inside of me...what are you going to do about the dirty dishes, the laundry and the unpacked boxes waiting on you? What are you going to do about the house not being organized the way you want? What's your plan? What to-do list will you make to get back on track? Restless. There is always something pulling me away from the quiet. There is always something "more important", "more pressing" than sitting curled up on the couch, cozy underneath my fuzzy blanket with hands wrapped around my tea for extra warmth and being still, being quiet before the Lord.
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
 As I sit here in my restlessness I am challenged with contentment no matter the circumstances. In want and in plenty, in joy and in sadness, in the rain shower and the sunshine, contentment. It is frustrating at times when I feel like I'm relearning lessons that I thought I'd already learned, but that seems to be how things go. I learn, I live, I get distracted, I relearn. And it repeats as many times as I need until I've learned my lesson in my head and my heart. I find I have a lot of head knowledge that doesn't always make it down to my heart the first time. Hence the relearning. Or maybe I'll always be learning what it means to be fully and completely content no matter my circumstances. Life changes, new circumstances arise, and there are adjustments to be made to being fully content. I get comfortable in life, and then He changes things up. I think He does it on purpose, how else would I fully know what contentment in all circumstances means if I don't experience "all" circumstances. I get comfortable with "being a Christian in Charlotte, North Carolina" then He rocks my world and off I go to Bible school in British Columbia, Canada. There I meet my husband, I get back to Charlotte, get comfortable again, and SURPRISE I'm moving to Canada. What?! Me, the person who is always cold is moving to Canada? Well yes, yes I am. I think the point is to get me out of my comfort zone, well I mean I know that, I know that when I get comfortable, I don't lean on Him and trust Him the way I do when I'm uncomfortable or establishing a new normal. But I've had lots of practice with "new normals" more with my health over the years than my location, though my location has thrown me a few curve balls over the last couple years. But you know what? They have been the best years of my life. Living in the presence of Jesus, knowing that He alone knows what tomorrow holds. Though that is always true I find that when life becomes predictable I conveniently forget that truth. I forget that I'm not really in control, but when I'm in the midst of the changes, I'm very aware of the fact that I am not in control. He is very faithful to remind me of that :) So now that I've gotten all my restlessness out, I am going to be still, and trust. I'm going to focus on contentment, and on living in the truth that I am not in control, that He is. That He will always provide and there is no need to worry...
 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
   “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25-34

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Show Me How To Die...

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." ~ John 12:24 (NASB)

"Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal." ~ John 12:24 (The Message)

 Show Me by Audrey Assad

You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry

You could raise me like a banner in the battle

Put victory like fire behind my shining eyes
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie

Bind up these broken bones

Mercy burn and bring me back to life
But not before you show me how to die

Set me like a star before the morning

Like a sun that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I'll illuminate the path You've laid before me
But for now just let me be

Bind up these broken bones

Mercy burn and bring me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
No, not before You show me how to die

So let me go like a leaf upon the water

Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me

I long to die to this world, to this life here on earth so that I might live in Christ alone. To die to the distractions that pull me every way but towards Christ. To live IN Christ. To be aware of Him living in me. Longing to mold me like only He can. But I pull and struggle to take back "my life" as soon as I lay it at His feet. Why? Because I am sinful, and I lose sight of the wonder, the glory. I lose sight of Christ displayed in His creation all around me because I won't sit, be still, and let Him be God. As soon as I give up my desires, as soon as I utter the words "not my will but Yours be done", Satan jumps in to distract me before I live in that attitude too long. Before I settle into the peace, into the grace, into the wonder, into the LIFE of Jesus Christ. But no matter how many times I get distracted. I will always come back to my Father, and He will always take me back. He will lead me beside quiet waters, He will calm the storm around me...or He will calm His child in the midst of the storm, He will take my burdens upon Himself and grant me rest. So here I am Jesus. Show me how to die to myself, and grow in You. For that is the only LIFE that is worth living.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tired and yet Alive

This past week has been wise at least. For those of you who don't know I have Lyme disease so my life is a little different than most, though I try to hide it. I am tired, though that is normal for me. It is not often that I don't feel tired, but those days do come and I try my best to make the most of them without pushing myself over my breaking point. And when I don't feel well it is very easy for me to become discouraged. Like I have been over this past week. I focus so much on the negative things, what I am unable to get done rather than what I am able to get done. It is a hard place to be. I long so desperately to seek Him in all my ways and to find my satisfaction and purpose in Him rather than in the things of this world, but that is very hard and I fail often. Though I do find myself sitting at the feet of Jesus and pouring out my heart to Him, it doesn't happen as often as it should, though I always feel much brighter and more alive once I have given over my burdens. I can be very prideful and stubborn, and I like everything to be done to perfection. Which of course everything is not so it is a losing battle, but for some reason I choose to fight it anyway. But I am weary of this fight. Of this fight to be perfect in the midst of my imperfections. I will never be perfect, not until I stand in Glory when my Father calls me Home. Oh how I long for that day! No more guilt, no more shame, no more trying to measure up, no more trying to be perfect.

I found a link the other day that brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face all at the same time. I found that I am not alone in my struggle for perfection. I hope you will take the time to read through this link, it spoke peace and encouragement to my tired and weary soul.

I will forever struggle with being perfect, but when I think of perfect, so often I think of the mundane, everyday life things that I would like to be perfect. I want my house to always be clean, I want my dishes always washed and put away, I want my floors clean and everything organized, I want plenty of money in the bank for "security". I want. I want. I want. Why is it always about what I want and not about what He wants? So, in my desire for perfection I long to think of Christ rather than this world. Why not focus on humility (Philippians 2:3-11), on hospitality (even when the house isn't clean), on love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a), on patience (even when everything isn't organized), on trusting in Christ for my security and not in a bank account? That is the life that I am called too and yet one that I so often get distracted from. I focus on the here and now, the things that are right in front of me, the things of this world that will fade away and not the things eternal that will last forever and ever. Jesus gave a higher calling than the everyday, mundane life. His calling is one of eternity, of security that will never end, of peace, of joy, of love, of LIFE. I want to choose every day to strive to His LIFE. In the midst of my failings, of my yearnings for perfection, I want to choose Christ. I want to lay down my desires, my wants, my "needs" and place them at the feet of my Heavenly Father who loves me more than I could ever dream and He has a plan for me. A plan that is perfect in the midst of imperfection, a plan that is good in the midst of the bad, a plan that is pleasing to Him. What more security could I ever hope to find than that promise? I want to focus on what I am able to do rather than what I am unable to do. To take life one step and one day at a time and to trust in the Lord to take care of the rest.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I love the book of Ruth. It is probably one of my favorite Old Testament books.

When I was at Capernwray, the week of Thanksgiving, Christine spoke on Ruth and Lawrence spoke on Colossians. It was probably one of my favorite weeks of teaching while at Capernwray. Those two books flowed together so well in my heart and at times I didn't feel like I could take notes fast enough to write down everything the Lord was revealing to me through the them.

But back to Ruth. I have times when I sit down to read my Bible, flip to where my book mark is and think "I would like to read somewhere else today". Do you ever feel that way? I like to keep things interesting and not get into a rut with my quiet times, so whenever that happens I just start flipping through my Bible and start reading when something catches my eye. Sometimes it's a place I am very familiar with and other times not so much, but I stop anyway and begin reading. Well today was one of those days, and as I began flipping through my Bible I ended up in Ruth. Now I have read Ruth many, many times so this time I decided to get out my study Bible and read it in The Message. As a I read I referenced back to my notes from Capernwray and my NASB Bible to keep track of where I was and how these scripture verses had spoken to me in the past. This time as I was reading I spent a lot of time in chapter 2. You see when Ruth arrived in a foreign country with her mother-in-law after both their husbands had died and they didn't seem to have much at all, she went out to find work. Are we called to wait upon the Lord? Yes. Does that mean sitting around being lazy? No. I often times struggle with the "being active in the waiting". What does that look like? What if I'm doing something that will distract me from hearing God's direction and guidance? I used to be very concerned about being "in His will". I am slowly learning that if I am in constant communion with Him, if I am seeking Him in what I am doing, than I will know when something isn't right or if I am out of His will. I remember sitting around worrying about if I was doing things the way that God wanted and worrying about if I was living my life the way that He wanted. Then I was reminded of Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:6, where the Lord clearly says that we are not to worry. So I have decided that I will pray, I will seek the Lord, and I will wait on His leading. But I will do my best to remember to not worry and to trust Him, because He loves me, He is faithful, and His plan is perfect. With promises like that, why should I worry? (Feel free to remind of not this decision when I begin again because I'm sure I will!)

And again, back to Ruth :) Have you ever thought about the parallels in Ruth? When Christine was going through Ruth she listed off a few and I love to be reminded of them as I read, a few of them are...Ruth:Boaz...Me:Jehovah (LORD, LIFE). As I read I think about the words that that Boaz says and I imagine them coming from God. In Ruth 2:15&16 coming from The Message, Boaz (or God), speaking of Ruth (or me) says "When she (Ruth) got up to go back to work, Boaz ordered his servants: 'Let her glean where there's still plenty of grain on the ground - make it easy for her. Better yet, pull some of the good stuff out and leave for her to glean. Give her special treatment.'" What a beautiful picture of God's provision and faithfulness! I know that things are not always easy, but I also know that the Lord will never give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). I am so grateful that the Word is living and breathing. That every time I read it I learn something new and see Him in new light. Though He never changes, and neither do the words, I change, and therefore I read words differently depending on my circumstances. And He never fails to meet me right where I am. It is amazing the peace and encouragement that I feel when I finally put aside the craziness of life and sit down and have time with my Heavenly Father. I wonder why it always seems to take me so long...sometimes "so long" is only a couple days, but unfortunately "so long" many times turns out to be much longer than a couple days. Why is it that He's my last resort? I long for Him to be my first resort. It seems that I take two steps forward but then take three steps back. Though I guess no one ever "arrives", right? I will never be perfect. I will never always turn to Him first, because I am a sinner. But I am grateful that He knows my heart, and that He is willing to take me just as I am. I don't ever have to be "good enough", because Jesus took care of that when He died on the cross, and that alone is more than I could ever hope or wish for. I love you Abba, thank You so much for being who You are, for being I AM, and for taking me as I am.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweaters in September... September? Yes, it is true, I am already breaking out my winter sweaters and almost wore my winter coat the other day but decided to refrain so that I wouldn't have to explain the fact that we're getting into North Carolina winterish weather right now, but for Canada this is nothing! Yeesh! What have I gotten myself into! Well I've gotten myself hitched and I'm very grateful to be with that lovely person, it's just a bit cold in this part of the world...who knew? Well most people...except me I guess...

Anyways, enough griping about the cold weather (imagine what it's going to be like in January...oh deary me, lets not and say we did, k? k.). But honestly, the cooler weather isn't really all that bad, it's just taking some getting used too. I'm actually enjoying the chances that it gives me to take walks around town and to get to know my surroundings. I walked to the post office the other day. How cool is that? I mean in Charlotte, I drove everywhere and never thought twice about it. Now I can walk to lots of places and I'm loving it! I really do love the "small town life". I love being able to walk to a friends house and have a cup of tea together. The fact that I can walk to the library or to Coffee Culture which is the lovely coffee shop in downtown Ingersoll that I love so much, or that we can walk to church, that all amazes me so much!

When I left Charlotte I was really looking forward to making good use of my time while I am unable to work and really learn how to cook on my own. It's just different when mom isn't always around to help whenever I need her. Now don't get me wrong, I still call her all the time with questions and stuff, but I'm more inclined to try things on my own first when she isn't sitting in the other room. I've really been enjoying figuring out what I want to cook and then trying things out. Though cooking hasn't exactly been easy with Matthew's schedule the way it is. You see I never know when he will get home, it could be anywhere from 3:30pm to 9:30pm or anything in between. So yes, planning has been a bit of a challenge, but I've decided to try and do as many meals as possible in the crock pot so I can just keep them warm that way. Tonight I'm making Hawaiian BBQ Chicken and we'll have to see how the time line works out, but hopefully it will go well. And then, sometime this weekend I'm attempting chicken pot pie. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not, and I have no idea how it's going to turn out, but I've been craving it so I'm gonna try, and hopefully I won't fail miserably! But you never know, it could turn out to be the most amazing thing ever...and if not thankfully my husband will love me anyway and will have no trouble scrounging through the freezer in search of something edible :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I'm sitting here in our living room drinking my first cup of tea made with my beautiful red tea kettle and I am content :) It's just a little thing, but so often, I find it's the little things that matter most.

Yesterday, Matthew and I rearranged the furniture in our apartment. It was fun to work around the house together and try and figure out what we liked the best. I'm still trying to organize everything that we have, from appointing certain pictures to particular pictures frames, to trying to figure out where everything in our kitchen is going to seems that we have too few cabinets to hold all of our stuff. Soon we'll be going to the store trying to find some sort of stand alone pantry to hold all of our food since right now it's just kind of all over the kitchen trying to find a home in the midst of the chaos. But I am making headway. The living room and dining room are looking much more put together and organized and I am looking forward to the day when we are able to have friends over and there will actually be somewhere for all of us to sit and relax! The thought of entertaining excites me and scares me all at the same time. I have a great desire to have people over to our home, to spend time and to get to know the people around me here in Ingersoll. But I am very intimidated at the thought of only being a home maker for a short time and that I'm going to invite someone over to, it seems, inspect my abilities and my failings. But, despite my fears, I still look forward to the day when Matthew and I will invite our friends and family over to enjoy a meal together, to play games and to laugh together. The thought of it brings a smile to my face :)

Over the last few days I have been reading through Proverbs and Colossians. Colossians is probably one of my all time favorite books. I could read Colossians 3 over and over, and I sometimes do! Today while I was reading these verses really stood out to me:

"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patients; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."     ~ Colossions 3:12-17

When in life would these verses not be applicable? When do I not need to be reminded that whatever I do I should do it unto the Lord? When do I not need to be reminded of the Lord's forgiveness towards me and therefore how I should forgive others? How easy it is to just "live life" and to leave God out of it. I pray that I don't. I pray that I remember Him, that I remember what He has done for me and that that affects how I live the life that He has given to me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I have been in Ingersoll with Matthew for a day now, and in some ways it feels entirely normal and in others it feels quite foreign. I love the fact that when he came home from work yesterday that I was here waiting for him. I wasn't waiting for a phone call or for us to skype, I was waiting for him :) Then we were able to eat dinner together at our very own kitchen table and talk about our day. You see for me it's all about the simple things, the little things, that for everyone else are just a part of their normal, everyday life. But for us, up until yesterday, our normal consisted of technology. Phone calls, skype conversations, we might even break out of our box and send a card or two but even those were very few and far between.

I am enjoying being able to make our apartment our home. Matthew has been living as a bachelor since he moved in here in March, and as he says, "It needs a woman's touch" :) That makes me happy. The thought that he needs me, that he wants me to come in and organize what I can and move things around and make it ours. I'm loving having my own kitchen, and trying to figure out what to have for dinner each night. It makes me feel important and useful, which is exactly what I need right now because until I am granted permanent residence status I am unable to work. Which some might think is nice, to have some time to yourself, to take a break and relax. But it's hard for me to think of Matthew going off to work everyday and here I am at home, not working. It makes me feel lazy and that I am not contributing to our life. And that is exactly the thought process that Satan tries to bring me down with, I must be strong and fight against such thoughts that are not true and not given from my Heavenly Father. I am choosing to think of my time of not being able to work as a gift. I am in a new place with lots to learn and many relationships to build, and I believe that this time can be a wonderful gift if I use my time wisely. To keep our home clean and welcoming to anyone who might pass through our door, to make an effort to build relationships and get involved here in Ingersoll. I am trusting my Jesus to guide me over these coming months without work, it will give us plenty of time to spend together and plenty of time for Him to mold me into the woman and the wife that He longs for me to be.

I am really looking forward to this weekend because my parents and my brother will arrive here on Friday and stay through the weekend for mine and Matthew's Canadian reception that is on Saturday. It will be great for them to be able to see where I am living and to be able to meet many of the people who will be involved in my life over the upcoming months and years. Elinor, Matthew's mom, is planning our Canadian reception and I am so grateful to her for planning a reception for friends and family who are here in Ingersoll and the surrounding areas. I am looking forward to meeting many new people and also seeing some familiar faces :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oh the Packing...and the Stress

I have so much packing that needs to be done before Matthew arrives on Friday night and I am feeling so very overwhelmed at the moment. How do you pack up your whole life into boxes and suitcases? Furthermore, when you cannot take everything with you at one time how do you choose what comes with you and what has to wait until the next time, or the time after that? You see getting our wedding gifts along with all of my stuff up to Canada is much more difficult than we had expected. For instance, I have to cross the border with Matthew in order to be granted a "Visitors Status" which will enable me to be able to stay in Canada for 6 months at a time, but I am not allowed to cross the border with many possessions until I am granted Permanent Resident Status because I can't look like I'm moving when I'm just a visitor. So at this point we can't just show up at the border in a U-Haul with all of our stuff, we have to be very strategic in finding ways to get things up there in shifts. Like when my parents come visit they'll try and bring a present or two, because they're only allowed to take $60 or less across the border. Or my parents will drive and pack their car full and one of our Canadian citizen friends or family members will meet my parents across the border, put the presents in their car, and then drive back across the border because Canadian citizens don't have a limit on things they can bring across the border. Do you understand my stress? It's very difficult for me to pick and choose things, whether it's jeans (which I love immensely), or choosing between our crock pot and our dishes. But I am trying to see this in a positive light. Such as it will seem like Christmas, up until I become a permanent resident, every time my parents visit or they send us a package in the mail if I'm really needing something particular. But all in all it's not about the stuff you have it's who you're with right? And I get to be with Matthew, and that is something that I cannot wait for! It will be amazing to finally be able to talk in person on a regular basis, or if we don't want to talk we can just sit together instead. I am really looking forward to just being able to live life together, it will be fun, and challenging but that is what marriage is about, being stretched in new directions and allowing God to mold you both into the people He has created you to be as individuals and as a couple.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

6 Days and Counting...

I will be with Matthew in 6 days!!! I am so ready for us to be able to live together as husband and wife. It has been quite the journey the Lord has taken us on over the past 6 months of marriage, seeing each other only twice since our wedding back in February. But the Lord is faithful, and that is what I am choosing to cling to as I get ready to move from my home town of Charlotte, NC and move up to Ingersoll, Ontario where Matthew and I will begin our married life together. I am nervous and also so excited. I know that there will be lots of adjustments to be made and that it won't be easy, but I also know that my God loves me dearly, that He will never leave my side, and that He has given me an amazing husband to walk through life together with.