Sunday, January 22

30 things about my Son

Happy 30th Birthday to my Son
Joshua Gerald

Saturday, January 21st, 2012 ~ a celebration!!  30 years ago today, I gave birth to our firstborn, our Son, Joshua Gerald Klassen Klassen!  (yes, Klassen Klassen!)  (More about that in a minute).  Today we spent time together as a family.  As we have done in the past two years we get requests from the "Birthday" child and then go ahead and make the meal, and celebrate at Josh and Leah's.  Since they are the ones with the children so far, it makes sense to do the birthdays there so that it is easier all around for the children.

So today we celebrated Josh's 30th birthday!  THIRTY.  I can hardly believe we have a child who is now 30 since it seems like we aren't much older! Hmm guess we are!

Joshua said today, that he wants to make "30" the best year of his life.  I remember 30 too.  It was not a bad thing at all, in fact, it was just the beginning of the rest of our lives!  And, it really has gotten better and better. So since he wants to make "30" his best year, I want to write 30 things about my firstborn today on his birthday.

  1. Joshua Gerald Klassen Klassen is his name on his birth certificate.  We realized this just a few years ago when going to get a passport.  Klassen Klassen?  What the heck?  Well, as it seems, in my excitement to fill out the information on the birth papers, I wrote his WHOLE name on the first line:  Joshua Gerald Klassen.  And then on the SURNAME line, I put Klassen.    Thus they took it to read Joshua Gerald Klassen Klassen.  I told Josh that I would pay to get it changed, and well, he liked that it was different, so nothing has been done about it.  (although I think on his passport there is just one Klassen after all!)
  2. We prayed for a boy first.  We would have been thrilled with boy or girl (and I didn't have an ultrasound so we did not know anything ahead of time)  I just wanted a boy first, so that the next one would have a "big brother" .  We only had one name picked out.  A boy's name.  There was NO girls name picked just in case.  I had a strong sense that we were having a boy, and well - God gave us the desire of our hearts with a boy born first!  
  3. Josh is named after his Poppa Thomas (my dad, Gerald).  My dad was so thrilled.
  4. At birth, Josh was 7 lbs 11 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long.  Jay and Roger were both very similar to their daddy's birth stats.
  5. Josh shared the nursery at Concordia with a friend that he met in grade 3.  Actually Bryan's mom and I shared the same hospital room, but only realized it when we met while in a mom's prayer group.  Josh and Bryan felt this unique friendship after finding that out.  (Bryan was taken to Heaven at the young age of 16, in 1998)  
  6. My dad's sister had a dream about Josh being born.  I am pretty sure in the dream she also knew his name.  Interesting.
  7. From the beginning, my dad told me that God was going to do great things through Joshua.  My dad was right!  
  8. Josh started Sunday School when he was 2 1/2, and he cried even though he liked to go.  
  9. Josh only spent 1 hour in the baby nursery at church.  It was not a great experience, he cried alot and they did not come and get me.  I felt so bad!  Thus, I never tried out the nursery again!
  10. Josh asked Jesus to be his personal Saviour at the age of 5, and one time had his cousin in the closet and explaining that he needed Jesus too.  Josh does not take this aggressive approach, but instead "lives" what he believes and is able to provide answers to those who ask him about Jesus.  I have learned alot from watching Josh grow in his faith.
  11. For the first 13 years of life, Josh was the only boy on my Thomas side.  He and Poppa had a very unique relationship.  When Josh was thirteen, his only other male cousin Daniel, was born.  
  12. Josh played hockey (Hazelridge); football (Eastside Eagles) (I think that is what they were called); took Tai Kwan Do.  He also was the mascot for a while at MBCI.  I especially loved watching him play hockey.  He also became very good at being an "illusionist" ... ask him to do a few tricks for you!
  13. Josh loved his sister Ashley, who was born when he was just over 3 years old.  He has always looked out for her, and has been the "big brother" I had prayed for her.
  14. Josh grew up at Faith Bible Camp (which his Poppa started after God gave him the vision for Children's Camps).  The first year he didn't really want to go, but Poppa and Granny promised to bring him treats for him and his cabin (and so did Mom!!)  This is where he later worked, counselled, co-directed and met the love of his life Leah!
  15. Still unable to reach the stirrups - Josh was an avid horseback rider, and loved to ride KING who we bought from Bird's Hill stables.
  16. Josh tried hard to teach Nikki how to pull a sled!  However Nikki was not the least bit interested, and on the first test run, went directly into her doghouse with the sled pulled right up to the opening!
  17. Josh has always been an entrepreneur, and often convinced me to help out (paying for some of the supplies, and at times even dropping off things on the route for him).  His first t-shirts were KTS which stood for Kiss the Sky.  He had Grandma making him knit toques with KTS on them, crocheting hacky sacks, and later helping him make fleece boxer shorts with mesh for breathability!!)  Grandma let him keep all the money.
  18. Josh played trumpet like his Dad ... but band was short-lived.
  19. Josh graduated from Brandon Fire College in 2002 at the age of 20 and got hired with the city of Winnipeg in fall.  An answer to prayer!  (one of many) Not many people have gotten hired at such a young age of 20.
  20. Josh fell in love with Leah!  The best friend and wife he could ever have!  We love her!
  21. Josh's first trip to the hospital was when he was about 2 and a half or so.  He was so excited to see me arrive at Granny and Poppa's and took one run around the living room and dining room, only to fall and hit the little rocking chair.  We took him to Concordia where he got his first stitches in the top of his forehead.
  22. When Josh tells you something funny, his eyes water.  He has always been able to make us laugh!  At one point he was going to write a book, but instead used some of the chapters he had written for some stand up comedy.  I still think he could write that book!
  23. At the age of 5, for kindergarten, they had "career" day and each child had to dress up in however they wanted, to represent what they wanted to be when they were older.  Their kindergarten teacher filmed them, since they were the class of 2000.  She called them all together and they watched the film.  Josh wanted to be like his Dad, a firefighter.  I made the costume. He also wanted to be (later in life he added these) a Youth Pastor and the Prime Minister of Canada.  He did part-time Youth work with Leah.  However, he has never run for PM!
  24. Josh and I often went for mom-son lunches.  If there were times when I knew he was having a bad day, or something was up, then I would pick him up from school and take him for lunch.  I am glad for the chance to still eat lunch or drink coffee with him only from time to time.  There is a very unique mom-son relationship I figure.
  25. Josh and his dad are like two peas in a pod!  Every kid wants to hear that right?  I watch them walk together, and they are so similar!  Alvin has the greatest respect for all that Josh has done and learned to do, and loves working alongside of him!
  26. Josh is very skilled at plumbing, and also tiling, and well.. you name it, he can do it.  His dad says there is really nothing that Josh can't do!
  27. Joshua is a friend to all.  He looks out for the "least of these".  One time he came home and told me that he had given his brand new down jacket plus some pocket change to a guy who was begging.  Another time, he gave his sweater (I think it was one that his grandma had knit) to a person who needed one.  He looks out for all, and has a heart that is compassionate, loving and giving. 
  28. Joshua is not prone to gossiping.  I really admire this in my son.
  29. Joshua loves fully.  I have felt his love and I am so proud to call him my son.  I have been blessed by him.  When he was in Brandon at Fire College, I missed him alot.  It was his first experience living away from home, and on his own.  One day I got a Mother's Day card in the mail.  I think it was April.  In it he said that he realized it was not Mother's Day yet, but that he saw the card and wanted to send it to me, and tell me how much he loved and appreciated me as a mom.  I wept.  You see I did know that, but it was another thing to see the words written in a card for me!  And to think he took the time to send it in the mail!  Totally blessed!
  30. God gave me a son 30 years ago.  We have walked through alot together and I admire the man of God that he has become.  I have learned and continue to learn alot from him.  I watch him as he loves his sons, and I see that he will have a wonderful relationship with them too.  I watch as he loves his wife Leah, and I am so thankful.  
I am blessed!  My Son, you are a gift to me.  There is way more NOT said, than SAID.  Way more than 30 things.  These are not in any specific order either, just as some memories came!  Robert Munsch says it best in his story:  

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be!

love always,
Mom  xo

Thursday, January 19

Wednesday with Everett and Roger

Today was a full day ~ start to finish.  We spent the day with our 2 year old Sweetness ~ Everett.  There were so many things about today that makes me smile! Like for instance, the way he runs to the door, saying "Granny!  Poppa!"  There is just pure joy written all over his face!  I am sure that he also greets his Grandma and Grandpa this way too!  Absolutely heartwarming for any grandparent!

Everett quickly spied the watermelon that I had brought for him in a clear cup!  "Melon?" he asked.  "Yes, I brought it for you!"  He quickly ate it up!

We played upstairs for a while.  He has a little kitchen, and gave Poppa and I "sausages" to eat.  (We all pretended to eat the same ones).  Then we went downstairs to play with the farm.  Out of all the gifts we have chosen for him, I think the farm is the most played with toy.  It is so much fun watching him play.  And talking as he plays.  When I was in daycare, I remember observing the different children and the stages of play that developed as they grew.  Our Everett never ceases to amaze me!  He just loves life! I am glad that he is still so small and doesn't yet know how hard life can be at times. Right now, the hardest thing is when he is done his "One Show" and can't watch another show on tv.  Or when we are done the book and now it is time for bedtime!

He was pretty excited yesterday.  Of course that makes sense.  His world has already changed.  His mommy isn't home right now, and he also knows there is a "baby wodge-er" and well, that alone is enough to throw his little world off kilter a little.

We went to the hospital yesterday and he was so happy to be there.

 He was also so happy to see the new ball that his brother gave him  :)  and to check out the ice maker when he went with daddy to get some ice for mommy.  Oh, and the bed.  When Leah got up, he quickly climbed in, and proceeded to get a little ride ~ which he loved!  (see the video)

Later we went back home, watched the "one show" that he was told he could watch (Curious George and the boats) and then we had supper, played, had a bath, and then quickly got into the bedtime routine ... jammies, teeth brushing, sing together and pray and then tuck in.  Everett was tired!  He played hard in the bathtub.

Poppa read his his book, and then we went into the bedroom.  He didn't want to sit and pray, but got immediately under the covers.  He also said no when I asked if we should sing.  However, after I prayed, he said "sing" and we sang the song "I Love You Lord and I Lift my Voice"  We actually sang it three times (mainly because I just love to hear his little voice singing!)
Then it was kisses good-night and we shut the light off and shut his door.  And he was fast asleep.  He had embraced life to the fullest yesterday.  He had a couple hard moments, but when I think about it - he is processing alot of stuff for a little 2 year old.  So a couple hard moments, heck - that is nothing!
(I need to learn that lesson for myself!)

I am so glad to have the blessing of being a granny to my sweet grandsons.  It is truly a gift from God.  I always want to watch with eyes wide open, as I see the gift of life through their eyes.  I want to continue to revel in watching their glee from their perspective and vantage point!  I want to continue to marvel at how quickly they learn, how quickly they grow and how readily they love!  (of course, watching this will come with our little Roger since he is only 2 days old!)  I am so thankful for our 3 grandsons, and thank God for the blessing.

Oh and one more thing!  Today I did get a picture of me with my newest Grandson Roger!  The Sweetness just keeps going!

Tuesday, January 17

Welcome to the World Little One: Roger Thomas Klassen

Announcing the arrival of our precious 3rd Grandson:  
Roger Thomas Klassen

What can I say ... Poppa is as proud as punch of this little bundle!

Auntie is pretty happy too!

He has the sweetest little face!

God has blessed Josh and Leah with 3 boys:  
Jay Benjamin who is in Heaven
Everett John who just turned 2 and 
Little Roger Thomas - born today!

I love this picture ... with Roger in the forefront and 
Leah watching from the back!

Just one more of Poppa and Roger
I was there too - just didn't get any pics of me and Roger on my camera!
We will have to remedy that one tomorrow!

To our sweet little Grandson Roger Thomas

Sweet boy
how our hearts overflow with joy
and again
and today again!
we have waited for you little one
we have dreamed
we have imagined
we have prayed
and prayed
and prayed

Sweet One
we waited to hear of your birth
and then delighted when we got to hold you for the first time'
and view your little face
your little rosebud lips
your sweet little shoulders
your little ears
your fingers and toes
your belly button
you are fearfully and wonderfully made
thank you Lord for our little Sweet One

You have made our joy overflow
And we can only imagine the fun you and your big brother will have
We imagine the sight of you two
walking arm in arm
helping Mommy and Daddy
or even riding over to Poppa and Granny's

Sweet One
You are not yet a day old
And we don't want to miss a moment
but instead to savour it all
to take the things we see
the things we hear
the things we imagine
the things we pray about
the things that make YOU the special little guy that you are
we will take those things
store them away
treasure them in our hearts
and enjoy each moment of each day
watching you grow

We love you little One
You and your brothers have brought us much joy
We promise that we will be here for you
to pray
to hold
to love 
to hug
to kiss
to listen
to wipe tears
and bandage booboos if needed
We are your Granny and Poppa
and we love you so much.
Welcome to the World Sweet Roger Thomas Klassen
We are so glad
that you
have arrived

Granny & Poppa

(we love you to the moon and back!)

Sunday, January 15


I have thought about transformation lately.  Sometimes I am even unaware of transformation that is happening in me.  At other times I wish transformation would happen overnight and get easily and quickly disillusioned with the slow progress.  (transformation should be measureable somehow shouldn't it?)

I have sat with a friend who raises monarch butterflies and saw the beautiful "chrysalis" stage.  If you have never seen the green chrysalis with the thin gold line around it, you have to look into that!  (our God is such an amazing God, and the detail He puts into transformation is amazing!)

Today Pastor Dave delivered his part 1 sermon on Transformation (can hardly wait for next Sunday) and he talked about how "true transformation needs something greater than ourselves and our "will" to change.  Oh don't I understand that one!  He also asked those of us who have made resolutions and already broke them, to raise our hands.  Not sure anyone did!! But really, resolutions are about things we want to do/change in our lives, and I will speak for myself ~ it really is about my will!!  WHICH IS WHY AT THIS POINT I AM ALREADY FRUSTRATED WITH FALLING OFF THE WAGON so to speak, in regards to the resolution I may have made on Jan. 1. (then again, maybe I didn't write it down, so maybe it didn't count!)

I will be honest.  And it will be no surprise to anyone who knows me.  MOST OF MY LIFE I have struggled with weight.  Actually TOO MUCH WEIGHT.  I have done all kinds of things to bring about transformation in that department.  I have read (and bought more books than I have read) on weight loss.  I have paid more money than I care to think about trying to find the right program for me and my weight loss.  (In fact I have often joked that I likely own Weight Watchers or have a big share in the company).  I have wept over the dilemma.  I have made rules.  I have used systems where I checked off days exercised. I have ....(on and on and on!)

But today it made sense.  Pastor Dave referenced one of my favorite passages in Romans.

Romans 7:15-25

New Living Translation (NLT)
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
 21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power[b] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

He talked about how we desire to do better ~ or be more ~ and yet how we continue to return to the very thing(s) that we don't want to return to!  He talked about how we "assert our will and draw on ourselves" to do the transformation but it just doesn't work!  He talked about how e were made by God to have our BODY ~ SOUL ~ MIND working together in harmony.  

Pastor Dave said that "true transformation needs something greater than yourself. "  Oh don't I know that one. I KNOW how much i need the Lord.   On the 26th of this month it will be 46 years since I knelt by my bed and asked Jesus to forgive my sin and be my personal Saviour.  I have walked with Him for a very long time.  I know that I have experienced great transformation in areas of my life.  I know that.  

I know that I need God in a big way in my life, but why why WHY in the area of weight, is the transformation NOT happening.  After all, haven't I given it to Him so that it could happen?   Why can't I experience transformation out of that big chubby cocoon stage into the transformed butterfly.

Side Note:  In the summer of '76 I think it was, someone sent me (in the mail) a cute little Hallmark book titled The Fable of Fat Fanny.  Fat Fanny was a caterpillar that ate herself into a cocoon frenzy.  All of Fat Fanny's worm friends laughed at her and called her names.  She ate herself through life, and then went and spun her cocoon only to emerge as a beautiful butterfly that took the breath away from all those who witnessed her transformation!  I am not sure why the sender sent me this cute (NOT) little Hallmark card/book, perhaps it was because they wanted to encourage me, or if there was some other hidden meaning in the Fable,  but I think I may still be dealing with some scar tissue over that one! 

Now Dave was not talking about my weight or anyone else's this morning.  He was talking about transformation.  It just happened that I had been having a little chat with Alvin this morning about my journey in making some changes to do with my health (wanting to be around for a long time yet) and then we get to the pews and the sermon was very relevant to me (and most likely the other few hundred in attendance this morning).  Paul, in Romans really says it the way I have often paraphrased.  "I always seem to be doing the things I do not want to be doing .... and the things I want to do - I keep screwing up on" .

It clicked again this morning.  I. CAN. NOT. DO. IT. IN. MY. OWN. WILL. It is all about letting HIM transform ME!!!    It is not all about what I want to do - need to do - it is about allowing God to make the transformation and allowing Him to change me in the process.  I guess I am more stubborn than I will admit.  For some reason I keep thinking it is ME that does it .. obviously which is why in 29 years I have not tasted success.

Okay, I am rambling again.  What else is new!  Bottom Line:  I do not want to be a slave to sin.  My stronghold with food is a spiritual struggle that I need to give to the Lord many times throughout the day!  True Transformation is greater than what I can do for me ... it is all about needing something greater than myself to have the transformation!  That something/someone greater is Jesus.

Pastor Dave encouraged us to "allow God to invade our heart" and to focus on Him (Jesus Christ) and to will that God would do the transformation that we are unable to do on our own.  (feeling a weight lift)  (sorry, a play on words!)  And in the end he encouraged us to do something that I had decided to do anyhow.  That being to memorize Scripture which will help us to keep Jesus as our focus.

So, this is a long blog post, but it was such a freeing sermon that I needed this morning.  Timely in regards to the discussion my husband and I had on the way into the city.  Interesting how God does those things!  Looking forward to the transformation!  The cocoon is getting way too tight!  (insert smile here)

thanks for listening,
Fat Fanny      
 Joy   :)

Thursday, January 12

the First of 66 Love Letters

I am a lover of books by Dr. Crabb.  Shortly after I was taught in his School of Spiritual Direction Class 33, he came out with the book he wrote called 66 Love Letters.  He refers to each book of the Bible as a Love Letter that God has written to us.  I have given this book to my kids, and bought one for myself, but I will admit, it got mixed in with my "books to read" pile and although I began it, did not get much farther than the opening intro chapter.  SO I decided this is the time to read through the WORD start to finish, and to read through the book start to finish, allowing Dr. Crabb to be my commentary along the way.
Thus I began the other day, with the beginning - GENESIS.  I have read through this before, and often we wonder what we will glean afresh from it, but that is just how God is through the Bible ...  he often "opens the eyes of my heart" and allows me each time to learn something new!

I will admit that the first two verses of Genesis however, always speaks to me!  That morning I read it from THE MESSAGE which is the translation I am going to use with 66 Love Letters.  I love how it is written:

Genesis 1:1-2

The Message (MSG)

 1-2First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

Genesis 1:1-2

New Living Translation (NLT)

 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.[a] 2The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

In other translations such as NIV and New Living Translation which I use the most, it describes the HOLY SPIRIT as "hovering" .  Hmmm... you see right in the very beginning the Holy Spirit is mentioned as being present!  Hovering.  Brooding.  

Growing up I will admit that I found any mention of the Holy Spirit rather scary.   The Holy Spirit was always referred to in my church as the "Holy Ghost" which when I think of it, would scare any little child!  I can't say that I had much teaching on the Holy Spirit other than I knew the Holy Spirit was one of the three parts of GOD as the Trinity.  (Father ~ Son ~ Holy Spirit)

I became very interested in learning more about the Holy Spirit when I was in my 30's.  I guess part of it was the charismatic movement that was happening in many churches.  I had a couple friends who had an experience with the Holy Spirit and no one could tell me that the change in them was not real as a result!  I know that I put up a wall toward one friend when she talked about this ... after all "those things didn't happen today the way they did in the New Testament days!"  Hmmm.... I am so sorry about that "defence" I put up.  All the time, my interest was piqued more and more.  

I think that was when I began searching Scripture.  I also began asking the Lord for a revelation of himself in my life ... for a strong presence that was tangible.  It was around this time that I heard God speak audibly.  That was an encounter!  And, I found as I hungered and thirsted more after him, the Holy Spirit within me became alive more than I ever knew before.   I started to do more waiting on him... more listening ... and as a result heard him speak more and more often. 

The Holy Spirit hovered.  The Holy Spirit "brooded like a bird above the watery abyss".   The Holy Spirit was there in the beginning just as he lives within me now and will be for eternity.  Hovering.  

I checked some online definitions for both hover and brooding.  And really, the bottom line is that hovering means you are staying in one place, standing over someone or something and watching all that is happening.  Bottom line for brooding is being in serious, deep and persistent thought or meditation on something.

In some cases these words have had a negative connotation as in "quit being a mom who hovers over your children" or when you tell someone to "quit brooding" because we think it isn't a nice thing to do!  But in the case of the Holy Spirit - to me it brings peace and comfort and reassurance that HE IS PRESENT even if we can not see him hover, or brood.

Personally speaking, I struggled with moving ahead in my walk with God because of the fact that I really was not taught about him (limited) in my first 20 years of life (although yes, I knew the HS was a real part of the trinity.  Period)  At one point I wrestled with why did I need to know more.  Why did I want to know more.  Why did I want to experience the HS in a powerful way?  Was this right or wrong?  Was it necessary?)  To me, it was and it is.  Period.  

I am thankful that the Holy Spirit was there hovering and brooding above the waters.  I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is the part of the Trinity that takes up presence within me.  I am thankful that when Jesus left to return to Heaven that He told the disciples to wait for the promised gift - the Holy Spirit to come as comforter!!  Oh Jesus thank you for that promise.  O Holy Spirit, thank you for living within, for your guidance, and for your presence in my life!  Help me never to quench you!  

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth ... and the Spirit of God hovered...

also posted on The Journey on

Saturday, January 7

finally a "resolution" for 2012

For this year - there ARE some things that I want to do ... or resolve to do ... or set as goals.  (whatever word you want to use is fine by me.)  This post is going to be short - mainly because it is something I have been thinking of, but only for the past little while, and I am trying to figure out how to do the things I desire.  What are they?

Well, this year I resolve to be ME .. to live a life of integrity, tranquility, transparency and authenticity.
Big words.  Bottom line - I want to live life fully with Jesus as my Lord, and live so that others will see Jesus through my eyes, through my words, and through the way I live my life.  I want to forgive fully and finally those who hurt me deeply.  I want to do what I do - with excellence, as a testimony to the Lord.  I want to love those who are unlovable and to give grace generously especially since the Lord did that for me!  I want to love fully.  I want to be aware of the God-moments in my life.  I want to take less for granted and become more thankful!  I want to include God in the daily grind ... and not just when things get hard, or stressful.  Really I just want to live fully!

I want to sing more... laugh more ... listen more ... talk less.  I want to reach out and be helpful ... to sense when to pray with and for someone.  I want to swing with my grandson and listen to him talk.  I want to hold my new grand baby and smell their sweet baby skin.  I want to enjoy time with family and friends around my table or over a good cup of coffee at Mountain Bean.  I want to read through the Bible (finally) and also to journal every day (in some form or another) This is the year I finally want to write and finish my story.  I want to eat better, and move (aka exercise) more.  I want to embrace life an live each day as if it is my last!

I want to be ME!!  
With God's help -
 I want to be authentically JOY.
and through it all - to bring praise to the Lord!

also posted at

Thursday, January 5

Reflecting back to Sunday's Sermon: Seizing God's Moment for You

I am a note taker.  Always have been - likely always will be.  Taking notes helps me to focus.  It also helps me to remember.  And, it is something that helps me to reflect!  Last Sunday, as I listened to Delbert's sermon, it was no different.  I took notes.

Of course, being January 1st had something to do with my "reflection" backwards.  I don't think I am at all unlike most of the population that looks back in order to help look ahead.  We all know that January does bring new chances, new starts (just posted about that on my other blog )  There is just something special about a fresh start don't you think?

Delbert talked about looking at our past year and asking "what moment last year was a transcendental moment in my life?"  and "What if you entrusted your life completely to God?"

He said "too often we just want God to "tickle" us and then we walk away with nothing changed."
hmmmm..... yes.   He invited us to "seize the diving moment" and said that "most important moments rarely come at the most opportune time!"  (oh so true)
He talked about how God has given us the opportunity to make choices.  To choose.  And then suggested that there may be three markers in making choices:
1)  Choose to live and "other-centered" life.  In Jeremiah 29:4-7 it talks about doing some things very intentionally!  He talked about how sometimes we may have some fear but asked "Can God choose your greatest fear or weakness to be an opening to your greatest moment?"

2) Choose to live as a "broken" person.  1 Peter 5:6     He then talked about UNbroken people vs Broken People.  Oh, I know a bit about being a broken person.  (I actually have this button on my coat.  see pic)

a little blurry, but you can see it here

3) Choose to pray.  Jer 29:7

I can choose.  God gave me the free will to make choices!  Oh Lord, today and all the tomorrows of this year, help me to make the best choices that will reflect YOU and bring you praise, honor and glory!

Monday, January 2

2012 ~ welcome January!

It is January.  A time to make changes.  A time to make "resolutions" or "goals".  A time to begin using a new day-timer.  A time to clean up Christmas stuff and get on with routine.  Days are getting a little longer with each sunrise and sunset.  Somehow the turning over into a new year just feels right.  It just feels like a clean slate ... a fresh start... or a new chance to make changes.  I don't know about you, but I actually "feel" more optimistic, more promise, more excitement!

I look ahead to this next year and wonder exactly what it will hold.  As we were driving to Eastview yesterday morning, I was sharing with Alvin that I had such a strong peace about the year ahead, and a strong overwhelming sense of God's presence in my life.  It feels like I am constantly sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what God is going to do!

Today I had the pleasure of sitting and talking with Kristin.  She wanted to spend some time with me and to hear more about what God is doing in my life.  Before she came, I was reading some stuff from the past, from some journal entries ... and I came across the entry from my journal 11 years ago! I read it out loud to Ashley.   It was written by Betty Stam who had been a China Inland Missionary. This quote became my prayer to the Lord:  “Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my time, my all, utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. Fill me, and see me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt. Send me where Thou wilt. Work out Thy whole will in my life, at any cost, now and forever.”  
Sometimes we say things, sometimes we think them to ourselves,  and sometimes we write them, not understanding the seriousness of the words. Did I really mean this?  At the time?  For sure. In hindsight, I realize God really took me at my word (not sure He does that, but you get what I am trying to say)  It made me realize what I HAD really said ... "work out thy whole will in my life, at any cost, now and forever."  This part actually made me stop in my tracks when I read it today, and thought backwards over my life.  Work out Thy whole will ... at any cost ... hmmmm.

So this year ahead, I have not yet committed myself to any resolutions. Believe me there SHOULD be a number of them to write down if I chose to!  I do want to make some changes. Changes in my spiritual walk with Jesus (in my devotional life, in my QT with Him) Changes in my physical life (perhaps THIS will be the year I lose that darn weight that is affecting my life!)  Changes ... all over, I can improve many things about me!!  (lol)   Is it all about the "term" that we use?? (resolutions?  goals?)  I don't want to do anything out of legalism ... but instead want to live all out for Jesus and do what brings the glory to Him.  Lord give me strength.  

The one things I do know that I want to do is fall more and more in love with Jesus!  I want that love to be reflected in my love for my sweet man Alvin, and for my children:  Josh and Leah, Ashley and Michael, and for my sweet grandchildren:  our Jay in heaven with Jesus, our Sweet Everett who is just into the wonderful age we call the 2's, and for our little Sweet Grandbaby to come, being born by c-section in two weeks (January 17th!!)  

O Lord, thank you for this new year.  Thank you for the fresh start.  Thank you for walking us through the past year(s).  We give you the honor and the praise for all you have done and ask you to continue to give us the strength to be used of you.  Change us Lord.  Use us.  Thank you for your blessings!  I love you Jesus!!  Amen. 

My daughter took some pictures of Alvin and I - I especially love the one that says "blessed" ... this is how we feel!  Take a look at her photography blog.  She is talented with a camera!