Monday, December 28, 2009

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

146) the miracle at Bethlehem
"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about'" (Luke 2:15).

147) Christmas music (I've enjoyed this particular CD a lot)!
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests" (Luke 2:14).

148) Opa and Oma hugs
"Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children" (Proverbs 17:6).

149) night time illumination
"God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5).

150) games with Beppe
"...the cheerful heart has a continual feast" (Proverbs 15:15).
151) jogging in the snow
152) rosy cheeks
153) a hug from a friend
154) hours and hours of skating
155) Christmas family gatherings
156) church family
157) beds
158) fire place
159) a day for scrap booking!
160) a daughter with a giving heart
161) a son who loves sports
162) a son who loves crafts
163) a loving/forgiving husband
164) holidays and a husband who's home a lot!
165) hot chocolate after skating
166) hand-me-downs (Jesse loves them)!
167) hats and mitts
168) devotions with my husband
169) scavenger hunts
170) the three children playing Twister - hilarious!
171) coming home to a house with children laughing
172) slippers
173) the gift of giving
174) the Greatest Gift of All- Thank-you God for your Son!

holy experience

Monday, December 21, 2009

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

135) snowmen (made with carrots and double zoute dropjes)

136) backyard skating

137) birthday candle light dinners (with left overs)!
"If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that" (1 Timothy 6:8).

138) talented piano player (my niece)
"...make music in your heart to the LORD" (Ephesians 5:19).

139) singing in the Christmas program
"I will sing to the LORD, I will sing; I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel" (Judges 5:3).

140) decorated houses
141) smelly candles
142) birthdays (Happy Birthday, Mom)
143) special Christmas services
144) sleep overs
145) thousands of beads for hours of craft time

holy experience

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Princess

"Every good and perfect gift is from above..." (James 1:17)

God has blessed us immeasurably with the gift of our daughter (and sons). Today our daughter turns 8! I remember at one of our children's baptism, the pastor reminded us that our children do not belong to us, but that God has entrusted us with them. We give thanks to Him for entrusting us with this precious gift. We are so thankful for our daughter, her love for others and her Saviour, and her heart for giving. Happy birthday, Princess!

About Nicole...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Adoption Update

Ethiopian flag

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us- whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of Him" (1 John 5:14-15).

We are very excited that our adoption agency received their Ontario Ministry License renewal earlier this week! Also, at least 2 families were given their referrals (matches of their child). We are praying for that day to come soon for us! I was very excited to hear of other families' referrals; I can't imagine how excited we'll be when we get our referral! It is truly an answer to many prayers that the agency is up and running and referrals are already being given out. Praise the LORD!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here is a video Christmas card we made for your enjoyment. We wish you the Lord's blessings on your Christmas season and also for the year 2010!

Monday, December 7, 2009

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

121) shimmering, brightly lit decorated Christmas tree
"...and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel..." (Revelation 21:11)

122) eager, helpful tree decorators
"For I know your eagerness to help..." (2 Corinthians 9:2)

123) an inheritance of our tree cutting tradition
"A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children" (Proverbs 13:22).

124) Father-son moments
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the LORD" (Ephesians 6:4).

125) time for silliness
"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart" (Proverbs 15:30).

126) Oma's pancakes

127) children's enthusiasm

128) ice rink preparations

129) first snow flakes of the season!

130) Christmas lights, but more importantly, Jesus, the Light of the world

131) forgiveness

132) healing

133) new day, new week

134) children singing Christmas songs

holy experience

Monday, November 30, 2009

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

114) thoughtfulness of someone tucking in the cat

"The LORD knows the thoughts of man" (Psalm 94:11).

115) angels watching over me (a little gift from my little angel)

"For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways" (Psalm 91:11).

116) words of thanks from the heart

"Just as you received Christ Jesus as LORD, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness" (Colossians 2:6-7).

117) sun rising trying to warm the cool air

118) completed errands

119) sharing laughs with a friend

120) prepared meals (thanks, Mom)

holy experience

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mood Booster

"Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"

(1 Corinthians 15:57).

Shopping... chocolate... candy... pills...alcoholic beverages...food...etc. These may seem like they work to boost one's mood, but I beg to differ. While moping in my chair, I felt God telling me to "give thanks, give thanks, give thanks". I rose from my chair to get my camera and find something to take a picture of that I am thankful for. Indeed, watching our youngest play with his sister's things in her room and watching them getting along so well for a surprisingly prolonged period of time was something to give thanks for. Thank-you, God for my many blessings, and forgive me when I fail so often to recognize them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

101) myriad of colour
"O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth" (Psalm 8:9).

102) poinsettia details
"I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders" (Psalm 9:1).

103) shipping season
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven... a time to plant and a time to uproot" (Ecclesiastes 3:1,2).

104) my hard working man!
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the LORD as a reward" (Colossians 3:23-24).

105) musicians?!
"Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints" (Psalm 149:1).
106) family pictures with the poinsettias
107) pastors
108) guest pastors
109) reminder yesterday that God does not keep us from the fiery furnaces, but that He is in the fiery furnace with us
110) reminder yesterday that God has His invisible army watching us and protecting us
111) my gifted sister on the organ (our dad would be proud! next time I'm bringing the camera!)
112) family game time yesterday
113) sunrising through the thick fog

holy experience

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tea Time

"If we walk in the light, as (God) is in the light, we have fellowship with one another"
(1 John 1:7).
One prefers trying to beat his mom in mini stick tournaments, one prefers to cuddle with his mom in the mornings, and one prefers just to be listened to! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to my daughter last night as we had tea (juice) together and began a Bible study together. Although the treats were definitely a perk, we both enjoyed diving into Scripture together, praying together and answering questions together. Spending time with my daughter was delightful and her answers were inspiring. In our first lesson, we praised God for creating us and making us special. We were reminded from various Scripture passages how wonderful it is that God made us. It is my prayer that as we continue with our "tea parties" that our mother-daughter bond will be strengthened as well as our walk with the LORD. We're already looking forward to the next one!

Friday, November 20, 2009

National Adoption Day

the Ethiopian flag
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone" (1 Timothy 2:1).

Today is National Adoption Day. The Adoption Council of Ontario sent an e-mail inviting all those who have been touched by adoption to take some time today to celebrate their connection with adoption. I would like to do that through prayer.

Our devotional at breakfast this morning, was based on the passage of 1 Timothy 2:1. It challenged us to pray for all people and to do so specifically. Pray for specific things such as wisdom, strength, happiness, guidance and that God will work in their lives.
As I celebrate adoption today, I give thanks for the blessing of making such wonderful friendships through this process and I rejoice for those families who have brought their dear children home! I pray for the many families that are waiting to be united with their children that God will grant much patience and perseverance. I pray for our little girl whom God has chosen for us that she will be kept safe, well fed, well cared for, and loved. I pray for her biological parents that they will experience the peace that comes from God as they make an adoption plan for their baby girl. I lift up all the workers of our agency as they strive hard to speed up time lines and as they renew and build relationships. I pray for the many volunteers who are giving their time to help our agency get reconstructed. I pray for wisdom and strength for them.

I am thankful to God for this whole experience so far. It has taught myself and my family many things. Praise be to God!

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

91) Little fingers making music
"I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel" (Judges 5:3).

92) Helicopters falling from trees
"My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?" (James 3:12)

93) Joyfully catching helicopters falling from the tree
"Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD, for He comes to judge the earth" (1 Chronicles 16:33).

94) Appreciation for creation

"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

95) Busy little hands
"The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied" (Proverbs 13:4).

96) a successful school bazaar

97) numerous hard working volunteers
98) numerous loving donations

99) frost decorating the grass this morning
100) restful sleep

holy experience

Friday, November 13, 2009

Adoption Update

Adoption Update
"Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ"
(1 Corinthians 15:57).

When all seemed lost this past July with the bankruptcy, we are pleased to read the report prepared by the new Board of Directors from our agency, Imagine. A few representatives from our agency recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia and were pleased to meet their goals. One of the accomplished goals was signing two new two year contact with two orphanages! These orphanages also gave the Board confidence that referrals will start sooner than anticipated (we'll keep praying for that and continual patience). Also, working relationships with key staff members on the Kids Link (Imagine's former name) management team were re-established. We continue to praise God for the progress being made and we pray that enough clients return their new retainer agreements and renewal fees by the end of November.

Monday, November 9, 2009

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

76) Flowers- "Just Because I Love You" from my hubby
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins" (1Peter 4:8).

77) Angel notes from my little angel
"Encourage one another and build each other up..." (1 Thessalonians 5:11,14)

78) creative creations
"LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us" (Isaiah 26:29).

79) Excitement
"(God) will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy" (Job 8:21).

80) Leisure time for reading
"There will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed" (Ecclesiastes 3:17).
81) God's faithfulness to my father-in-law as he celebrates another birthday
82) God's faithfulness to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law as they celebrated 25 years of marriage
83) a spring day in November
84) spiritual mentors
85) God's unfailing promises
86) Lego characters all over the house
87) mud on the stairs from our 9 year old son coming upstairs to kiss me good-bye this morning
88) markers, crayons, paper, and creative "master pieces" spread across the dining room table
89) hugs before the bus comes
90) memory work

holy experience