Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hydro-less Wanderings

Yesterday the hydro was scheduled to go out in the morning. So, after the hurried preparations to make certain we did everything we needed to before our wifi, I mean hydro was gone... the house seemed super quiet. 
After a fruitless attempt to do all of the things that need hydro before I realized that I needed hydro to do them, I grabbed my camera and found all of the people doing all of the fun things. Namely, playing badminton, picking wildflowers, and playing with the puppy. (Which, btw, now has a name! We decided to call her Piper, Pipes being the nickname used most... we are all about the nicknames around here! :)

Anyhoo. These are the pictures that got snapped during my outdoor wanderings.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Learning to Trust

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.
And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. 
Psalm 37:3-7a 

Trust. I thought I knew what it meant to trust.
I thought I had fully placed my life, my future, my hopes, and all of my dreams in God's hands.
But it is easy to say when life is rolling along smoothly, and everything is normal.
Sure, there is a level of trust in God that you maintain in every day living, but when your path takes a turn into the unknown, it is a very different story.

I'm a little bit (quite a bit if you ask some people ;) of a control freak. Things that are out of my control, they freak me out. Living in a large family has helped me out with this, but I still struggle sometimes with keeping my hands open to whatever God has in store.

Recently I have been placed in a situation that is completely out of my hands. With my life and future hanging in the balance, my initial reaction was complete trust. As I walked and prayed one day, I told God that I trusted Him, that He could do what He thought was best, and it was like He answered with "Do you really?".
Shortly thereafter the way became more unstable, increasingly terrifying, and I struggled for a few days to get back to the place of trust. It seemed like as soon as I would get back there, I was thrown for another emotional ride, and I'd find my stronghold of trust shaken.

It was like God was building it little by little. Gifting me with these moments of rest in-between the struggle to rise higher in the level of trust.
The truth is that my world is still up in the air. And the truth also likely is that I still have much to learn in the trusting God department.
But here is my "So far" story.

One of the first things I learned about trusting is that it is all about knowing Who is in control.
I can say God is in control, but do I really believe it? Do I really KNOW that no matter the kind of mistakes we make as human beings, or the paths that we decide to take, God isn't surprised by them? He foretold them, He already knows the choices that we are going to make, and better still, He is guiding us to make the right decisions in our lives. Not only that, but also the decisions others make that affects our lives.
He isn't up there up in heaven just holding His breath wondering what His children are going to do next, rather He is up there orchestrating our lives, supernaturally inspiring us, and guiding us.
My job as His child, is not to try to take control of the happenings of my life, but rather to trust that He has it covered. He is waiting for me to lay all of my hopes and dreams out before Him. He wants me to ask in faith for the things that I desire, but then to wait, and watch Him bring it all to pass.
Ask, seek, and knock, but then rest, and wait patiently for Him.

During this intense season of waiting, I have committed to focus on seeking His kingdom, which has not been an easy task.
It would be so much easier to wallow in the mire of what ifs, and could have beens, or even maybes. To simply hold my breath, and not move a muscle until everything is resolved.

But the bible says to delight ourselves in Him FIRST.
To commit our way to Him, and trust in Him FIRST.
And you know what, through all of this, and because of this, I have drawn so much closer to the heart of my Father.

Finally, I have learned not to focus on the waves.
You know the story in the bible of Peter walking on the water towards Jesus in the midst of the storm? When he saw the waves, and doubted God, he began to sink.
In this journey, there would be times when I would see the waves, and start freaking out say "Hey! There is a big one coming God! I don't think I can walk on this water anymore!". But He has taught me in those times just to take a breath, and focus on Him. To trust that He won't let me drown. Then to keep walking, having faith that He will sustain me. He will bring me through.

As my heavenly Father, God not only WANTS what is best for me, He KNOWS what is best for me.
I have chosen to trust in His perfect plan, that He will bring to pass in His perfect time.

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. :)