Monday, November 28, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (con't)

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16).

Continuing to live in gratitude for so many things...

-annual poinsettia pictures went relatively smoothly

-photographers in training (good job, Jesse)

-our attempt of a family picture!

-having fun with each other

-greenhouse footwear

-falling asleep with her books
-the first Sunday of advent and preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate the birth of our Saviour
-friend's daughter's life and friend's husband's life spared after a terrible car accident
-soaking in God's Word and listening to His voice
-prayer warriors
-prayers and encouragement of others
-friend opening up her house for a prayer ministry/Bible study
-Deborah's play date
-encouraging and positive learning dialogues with our children's teachers

Monday, November 21, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (con't)

"From the fullness of His grace we have all received on blessing after another"
(John 1:16).

A time of confession draws us closer to God as we recognize our need for grace and forgiveness and His willingness to give that to us. But, how about when our children confess? I find that humbling. I am reminded again of my own sin and my gratitude for God's grace is even greater.

Continuing to give thanks...

-child's prayer of confession
-God's grace
-Nicole's many "God" analogies

-early Christmas pictures

-a sea of colour

-goofy glasses

-camera smiles
-girls playing together

-snow pants

-memories of Jesse's Thomas obsession

-heat stealers and warm bums
-our family of six playing ring around the rosie
-Curtis and Deborah chasing each other in circles
-outstanding report cards!!!
-playing games at Beppe's
-a successful Veggie Tales fundraiser movie event
-helpful, willing popcorn server

Monday, November 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (con't)

"Jesus said, 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives'"
(Matthew 5:9 TNIV).

Hey, Nicole, do you want to sit and cry with me? (sounds like fun, eh) Well that's what my daughter and I did yesterday as we watched this video sung by Mark Shultz. In fact that's what I did this past summer on our road trip listening to his whole CD, "The Best Of Mark Shultz". We finally changed the CD as I was a mess.

While watching the Remembrance Day ceremony on TV, it was the wreath from the Mothers of Soldiers that chocked me up. I can't imagine what it would be like to be a Mom having your son fighting in war. But that's what it's like now for many Moms, and what it was like many years ago during the World Wars.

We don't know what it's like to live in war, but many people around the world know and live in constant fighting.

Our parents remember what it was like during the war.

My mom still remembers the name of the German soldier who was in her village. He didn't want to be there (how hard that must have been too). He was kind and he would take my uncle by the hand and go get food.

She remembers hiding under the table when the Germans came barging into her house looking for her dad (he was hiding somewhere in their butcher shop).

My father in law remembers his mom getting shot AFTER the war was over.

I'm grateful that I don't have those memories, but I don't want to forget the many lives that have been risked in order to defend our country. Our parents remember getting liberated when the war was over- what a celebration that must have been. But, how tragic it was that so many lives were lost.
Let's not forget.

giving thanks...
#2097- #2120

-for the many lives that have been lost while trying to fight for peace
-for brave soldiers
-for the prayers going up on behalf of the many brave soldiers
-a moment of silent prayer with my boys while watching the Remembrance Day Ceremony
-Curtis' prayer: that Beppe was kept safe during the war

-school Remembrance Day assemblies

-future pastor

-poppies, crosses, poems, and songs
-the whole school being divided with mixed grades to write letters to soldiers
-songs that make you cry
-songs that make you laugh and dance (not in front of others, though)
-tears that bond my daughter and I
-playing games with my boys
-Deborah- a patient shopper
-Deborah's little excited dance when the bus pulls in front of our house in the afternoon
-Curtis teaching Deborah hide and seek
-Nicole teaching Deborah her night time prayers
-Jesse teaching Deborah right from wrong
-a VERY successful school bazaar
-dinner treat from my mom for our whole family
-dinner treat from my in laws for the whole family celebrating his birthday
-75 years
-a father and a grandfather who's a godly, fun loving role model

Monday, November 7, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (con't)

"You make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands"
(Psalm 92:4).

Continuing to be joyful and giving thanks...

-God says "yes" to His promises
-Christ, my Saviour is all sufficient

-completing another race
-thousands of runners raising money and awareness for great causes such as edu deo ministries https://edudeo.com/

-daughter wanting to run in a race, just like her mom (every runner received a medallion, by the way)

-great weather for running
-the hype before the race
-a well organized race with lots of volunteers

-my favourite fans cheering for me as I cross the finish line

-learning to play with toys

-grandparents giving away loot (treats specific for their grandchildren)

-the easy way to "carve"/decorate pumpkins, yet still creative

-creative decorations

-evidence of "a kid was here"

-celebrating "gotcha day"

-uncles who read to their little niece
-Deborah's giggle
-playing ring around the rosie with my 11 year old, 7 year old and one year old (and a couple of dolls/stuffed animals) and having LOTS of laughs!
-grade five girls working on a project together
-daughter who loves to whistle -just like her daddy
-prayers answered as news was shared of a young couple getting pregnant (expecting quadruplets)

Friday, November 4, 2011

One Year Ago (Part 10) Welcome Home!

"Praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp. For the LORD takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honour and sing for joy on their beds" (Psalm 149:3-5).

-a proud big brother!!

One year ago today...
We were going home!!

We boarded the plane from Addis to Paris at 12:30 A.M. We requested a seat with a bassinet, however they were unavailable. Although we were disappointed at first, we were rather THRILLED to find out that they bumped us to first class instead!!! While Paul made sure that he took advantage of all the yummy food, me and the children slept most of the flight. It was quite nice to have SO much room to recline and stretch!

We hung out at the Paris airport for a few hours, and then boarded the plane to Toronto where we were greeted by many friends and family members!! I was so excited to see/hug Curtis, but when he came running toward me, he ran right past me and straight to Deborah!! After 3 years, he finally was able to meet his little sister! It was so good to be home and be so warmly welcomed. God is Good!!