Sometimes God showers his grace on us in big, glorious ways; often, it comes in small acts of providence. Today I again experienced the latter.
I was completely knocked out this morning with a horrific headache. I’ll skip a gory description, but just say that the pain was so severe at times that all I could do was cry out in pain, as if I were in labour. There was however no apparent purpose to this pain. I was stuck in bed except for the times I was running to the bathroom, sick to my stomach. It was not pretty.
My children spent these hours watching Netflix, fighting about what to watch on Netflix, as yelling about who could and could not sit beside them. As lunchtime was upon us, and I drifted in and out of sleep, I wondered what I would do about feeding the kids. Perhaps I would just have Markus serve everyone Cheerios, since there was no way I could get up to help them.
And then the doorbell rang. It was my mom. She went to buy the kids chicken nuggets and fries, while I prayed a prayer of thankfulness to my Father in heaven who loves this daughter enough to send help when the need is great. Amazing grace.
As a child, war seemed like a distant fabled tale, but the older I get the closer it feels to me. This morning we observed a ceremony of remembrance, paying tribute to the men and women who have served our country and are currently doing so. I was struck with a deeper realization than ever of what the cost of freedom is. I’m sure the recent attacks on our own soil have made the reality of threatened freedom much more real to me, and I am so grateful for those who have sacrificed to make possible the freedom we enjoy in Canada.
Thinking about doing something, and actually doing something are two very different things.
I often think about walking the leafy path at Beaver Creek, but I rarely make the time to actually get there. I think about mastering a new song on the piano, yet I don’t often make time to sit down and practice. I think about all the books I want to read to my kids, but I assume said children will be difficult and unable to sit still and I will inevitably lose my mind (likely true!) so I don’t even start the books. I think about having my friends over for a party just because we’re friends and I enjoy their company, but I don’t take the initiative to throw that party because I’m busy and so is everyone else. The list goes on and on with all the things I think of doing, but don’t.
Writing is one of those things. I think about it too much, and don’t do it enough.
Thinking is a good thing, but doing: doing is also very good.
I’d like to be more of a doer.
“Among conservative Christians there is sometimes the mistaken notion that if we are truly gospel-centered we won’t talk about rules or imperatives or moral exertion. We are so eager not to confuse indicatives (what God has done) and imperatives (what we should do) that we get leery of letting biblical commands lead uncomfortably to conviction of sin. We’re scared of words like diligence, effort, and duty. We know legalism (salvation by law keeping) and antinomianism (salvation without the need for law keeping) are both wrong, but antinomianism feels like a much safer danger.
“Then there’s the reality that holiness is plain hard work, and we’re often lazy. We like our sins, and dying to them is painful. Almost everything is easier than growing in godliness. So we try and fail, try and fail, and then give up. It’s easier to sign a petition protesting man’s inhumanity to man than to love your neighbour as yourself. It’s one thing to graduate from college ready to change the world. It’s another to be resolute in praying that God would change you.”
– Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in our Holiness
“My soul, begin this wintry month with your God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind you that He keeps His covenant with day and night, and tend to assure you that He will also keep that glorious agreement which He has made with you in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with his own dearly-loved Son.”
– C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
“It is at once the most Christlike and the most happy course for a believer to cease from living for himself. He who blesses others cannot fail to be blessed himself. On the other hand, to seek our own personal greatness is a wicked and unhappy plan of life, its way will be grievous and its end will be fatal.
Here is the place to ask you, my friend, whether you are to the best of your power seeking the wealth of the church in your neighborhood? I trust you are not doing it mischief by bitterness and scandal, nor weakening it by your neglect. Friend, unite with the Lord’s poor, bear their cross, do them all the good you can, and you shall not miss your reward.”
– C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
My friend James is always posting quotes on his blog from great writers. They sometimes make my head hurt as I wrap my mind around the language, but my heart expands in the process as well. In an age where everyone has an opinion and voices it loudly, it is helpful to listen to people who have walked before us and speak with an eloquence that is nearly extinct. It’s all been said, and likely with strings of words that exceed my writing ability.
Classes at Bitner Academy are now in session. I like to take advantage of my freedom by not starting school when everyone else does. Setting our own schedule means starting a week later than everyone else, just because we can.
Markus, grade 2.
Wyatt, grade 1.
Deacon, 2 years old and along for the ride.
My favourite students.
I had promised the kids we would paint this summer, so we pulled out the supplies and got to work this morning.
Bailey loved mixing colours, and adding more. And more.
Wyatt’s finished piece.
Take a guess as to whose creation this is.
“Markus, please go close to Bailey and pretend you are helping so I can take a picture.”
As I promised them, an ice cream sundae at Homestead Ice Cream. In that bowl are 9 scoops of ice cream: Dill Pickle, Licorice, Caramel Cone, Cookie Dough, Grape, Peach, Bubble Gum, Oreo Cheesecake, and Maple Walnut. Wow, I remembered them all!
And what’s the start of a new school year without new pencils? I splurged on these Staedtler ones…there’s nothing like a good pencil.
Greetings, friends. It’s been a while.
I’ve been thinking lately about returning, then I wonder what I would write, and then I am flooded with ideas yet am bone dry at the same time. So I stay away.
I read something this morning I just had to share. I first thought I would put it on Facebook, but my relationship with it seems to wax and wane with the moon. That’s another topic for another day, if I ever approach it at all.
On Sunday I began reading Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. I’m three days in, and I can already say I recommend it. The lack of worldly introspection and self-centredness is a welcome breath of fresh air in contrast to what is often written today in the name of personal devotions.
I hope you’re blessed by this reminder of the the all-sufficiency and trustworthiness of Jesus, and fight against unbelief when it will tempt you away from our beautiful Saviour.
“Jesus is the Son of the Highest, and has unbounded wealth; it is shameful to doubt the Omnipotence and distrust all-sufficiency. The cattle on a thousand hills will suffice for our most hungry feeding, and the granaries of heaven are not likely to be emptied by our eating. If Christ were only a cistern, we might soon exhaust His fullness, but who can drain a fountain? Myriads of spirits have drawn their supplies from Him, and not one of them has murmured at the scantiness of His resources. Away, then, with this lying traitor unbelief, for his only errand is to cut the bonds of communion and make us mourn an absent Saviour. Bunyan tells us that unbelief has “as many lives as a cat:” if so, let’s kill one life now, and continue the work until the whole nine are gone. Down with you, you traitor, my heart despises you.”
So, um…I guess I quit my 52 project? In my defence, it was a lot harder than doing a 365 project! That doesn’t even make any sense when you hear it, but trust me. The confines of working with a weekly theme was so hard to deal with. It would nag at me every day, while I was busy with a host of other things, and I’d say to myself, “I’ll get a good shot tomorrow,” until the week came and went. The week’s themes aren’t even being given until Monday, usually mid day, and by the time I got my mind around what I might try to shoot the week was nearly over…I could give you excuse after excuse, I am sure. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t working.
So anyway, here are some pictures. The kids and I made granola a few weeks ago. We found a recipe online with rave reviews, and after explaining the concept of rating systems to them, they were eager to cook and eat so that they could deliver their own rating. Five stars all around for Megan’s Granola!
Aprons are a must.
Mr. Meticulous. He is so helpful in the kitchen already.
My little messy-haired princess.
A granola bake is not complete without a marching band!
Deacon. Pure trouble.
Finding the light.
I feel like I’m stretching the theme a bit here. I wanted to do something very creative. Something involving sunlight and warm feelings on a cold day. But you know, sunny days don’t come consistently in the great white north in January/February. So I say this photo still works, because I got some awesome catch lights in Deacon’s eyes.
This boy sure loves his Grandpa. Since he refuses to say anything that contains more than one syllable, he calls my dad, “Pa”. It’s pronounced ‘puh’, and is not to be confused with his word for my father-in-law, which is “Pa” (short for Pappy).
I will make an effort to take photos of my other children in the coming weeks…this guy is just so much easier to get candid photos of. The others are always giving me goofy grins: which are great, but not really what I am going for in shooting lifestyle photos.