Monday, August 21, 2017

The Solar Eclipse and a New Puppy

I was totally bummed this morning. I had been looking forward to watching the solar eclipse for a couple of days, but alas, it was rainy and cloudy.
Little did I know that we were going to be able to not only get a glimpse of the eclipse through the clouds, but also take a good picture of it, because those same clouds I was bummed about was shading the sun just enough to get a good view and a good picture.

We did not get to totality here in Manitoba, I think it was somewhere around 70%, but it was cool anyway.
I am so thankful that God gives us these beautiful acts of nature to enjoy.

In other news... we got a new puppy!
Our good old farm dog is getting, well... old, so we decided to get a pup so Teddy could help her learn how to be good before she passes on.
So far Teddy has been quite grumpy about the new kid on the block, but hopefully she will warm up to her soon.
No name yet! We are looking for something unique, so if you have any suggestions, comment away. :)

There is no shortage of lovin'.

Currently the combines are rumbling, and the guys are out checking on a field to see if we can begin harvest. I am just waiting for the call, and then... to the grain cart! :)
Let harvest begin!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Stomping On the Lies

I told you all at the end of June that I was planning on shutting down all avenues of social media and simply enjoying the time with my family.
It was amazing.
Though I missed blogging, and interacting with you all, I felt so connected with not only my family, but also myself, and God.

The same time that I put my phone away, I picked up my bible.
I did a 30 day read through the bible, which saw me gorging on the word for about two hours every day. It was a download, let me tell you.
The biggest thing that I gleaned from that experience was an overall look at the bible, in essence, an overall look at who God is, how humanity functions, and what God wants our relationship with Him to look like. I learned so much.

For the first couple of weeks, I felt genuinely happy as I could feel God strip away all of the layers that I am guilty of plastering on every day. The joy continued to accumulate and spill over, and I remember one day I said to myself, "I don't think I could be any happier." I mean, not only did I feel these connections with family and friends, but I also was camping beside a beach. What could be better than jumping in the lake on a hot day, or taking a nap on a blanket atop the sand in the cool of the shade after a full day of camping adventures?

Then, I suddenly came crashing down to earth, from my little paradise, as the last layer stripped away. There was nowhere to run from my feelings, I was raw, exposed.
The things that I have hesitated to deal with hit me like a freight train, all at once.

 Somehow, I knew that it was coming. I think God gave me that extra joy to prepare me for what I was about to go through.
A spirit of heaviness, and loneliness came over me. I was attacked by lies that I had put a blanket over. Bombarded by issues that I thought I had already dealt with, I felt like I was suffocating.

"You are unlovable."
It became my heartbeat as I rode my bike away, alone, to a secluded place where I could overlook the water, and watch the sun fade behind the hills. The truth is that I had been hurt, I had stuffed the hurt, and now it threatened to overtake me.
"What do you want me to learn from this?" I have tried to make a habit of asking this question every time I feel like I'm going through a valley.
His answer came quickly, "I want Me to be all that you need."
I wept as struck me then how much worth I put into the actions and reactions of people I call, or once called my friends. How much pressure I place on myself to fit in, to be accepted, even to be loved. How Jesus is standing there, waiting to shower me with all of the love, and acceptance that I need, but I am running around desperately trying to find it in all of the wrong places.

The admittance of that began my healing.

Immediately returning from my short hiatus, I was faced with another obstacle. Once again, being alone, but this time in the physical sense.
I have been deathly afraid of being alone in the water for as long as I can remember. Anytime I would try to swim on my own, I would feel like the deepness, and the unknown below me threaten to swallow me up. I hated swimming. I could hardly stand being in the water after skiing, waiting alone for the boat to pick me up. I had even tried while we were camping to swim off, even just a little bit without anyone beside me, but would always have to return to avoid a panic attack.
When our friends came to camp with us, they got us into swimming across the docks, which is a good distance, especially for my non-swimming self. I actually began to enjoy swimming, slowly feeling my fears of the deep slipping away.
That day, everyone had gone ahead and swam across the docks.

I was faced with the choice as the rain began to softly cause ripples in the water. I was so sick of my fear, that I jumped in without a second thought. I would physically conquer the the fear that manifested so deeply in my soul.
It was in the middle of the lake that I had my breakthrough. While the darkness threatened to drown me, I said aloud His promise.
"When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me."
Slowly the light overcame the deep. The shadows fled, and I swam.

Once I pulled myself out of the water, God shone the light in my heart through the hands of a little child, the cheers from those I love, and I finally believed.
I will always be surrounded by love, because God is love.

The next day, I stomped on the lie.
I am not unlovable.
God made me to be exactly who I am.
I will stop seeing rejection as a belittling of who I was created to be.
I will shine the light that I am called to.
Because no matter who comes and goes, I will never be forsaken, I will always have a best friend, because I have Jesus.
He is enough.

Friday, August 4, 2017

On The Water

These last camping pictures were taken by the waterproof camera, mostly aboard the tube as I was helping give the little kiddoes rides. We brought our little fishing boat from home, special for this purpose, so everyone else could do the more serious water sports, and the kids could ride to their little hearts content.

Our little "Putt putt". 
The plan is to paint it green, and give it a face to look like an alligator, we shall see if this happens. Right now it remains the mighty F 16. :)

Shay Shay trying out knee boarding for the first time...

Playing on shore whilst waiting for another ride on the boat!

Guys! That's all the pictures I have!
Let me sum it all up by saying, wow. That was fun. :)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Second Bundle of Camping Pictures

Ok, we are about to get extremely random here, but hows about some more camping pictures??

Pops, grilling up a mess of thee best steak you will ever taste. 
(In my humble, unbiased opinion)

The Thiessen family came and camped with us for ten days. 
We had an absolute blast doing the camping life with them!

A lot of boys... a lot of fun!

One evening, Ker and Becs made us doughnuts.
Oh. My.

I think they were talking about how scary/not scary this toy snake was...

One evening there was a free movie at the drive-in theater for the kids.
Us "older people" decided to have a little outdoor movie night of our own.

Sand, water, tubes, blankets... ah, take me back.

July 29th was Jaden's 7th birthday!

I love this little man! <3

That's all for today!
One more picture post to go!