It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Letting Go....

As I sit here eating Turtles and drinking coffee alone at my computer with TV in the far distance and my mind racing, I am reveling in the joy of today and pondering what it is like to LET GO!  Soon we will come together with dear friends to celebrate.....

I have soooo much I would like to share!  Wisdom I have acquired from others and  wisdom from my own life journey regarding motherhood.  I have many many many questions I continue to seek answers to regarding raising children and surviving that pivotal moment when your child becomes an adult.  But for now I will share regarding the past 18 years.

Grade 7

Today my firstborn child turned 18.  For him it is the day that defines his transition from teen to adult.  I find it interesting that it is just a day,  a small moment in time comparatively speaking.  12:01am today to be exact that he decided he was an adult. 

For me it has been a journey of 18 years that I have embarked on trying my best to teach him life lessons.  Little does he know that this day does not magically make him ready to take on all that adulthood brings.  This only gives him more freedom to make choices that will even more fiercely mold and shape him in to who he is designed to be.  I however will let him revel in today making adult choices to allow him to feel adult all the while resting in the comfort of knowing that he will still ask me to go out,  ask me for money and ask me to drive him somewhere.....if only for a while longer I will hold on.

For me the last 18 years have been most amazing. For me I was and still  am embarking on my journey to become who I am designed to be.  It has been challenging and rewarding to understand what it means to nurture a child's soul as I was nurturing my own and that of our other family members.  It has been amazing to watch how God has been at work in his life as well as mine and those around us.  It has been freeing to learn what it means to experience hurt, pain, pleasure, desire and joy while making sense of the fact that although he was given to me only for a while I would some day let him go.

I spent most of these years trying so desperately to protect him and give him a happy comfortable life.  Unfortunately for him he did not come with a manual therefore we were embarking on trial by error with a loaded suitcase.  It took me 16 3/4 years to begin to understand the letting go process begins when they become a mobile baby and begin exploring their world and making choices regarding their own will.  I was only 15 3/4 years behind on that memo!

Paul Brandt's song "Learning How to Let It Go" became my cry to God as I realized I needed to let him become his own person and I could not protect him from the evils of the world nor the pain the evils would bring.

So today as he has set off in a car on slick roads to go skiing on a hill and knowing that he won't be wearing a helmet I delight in the fact that all in all against the critics notion I have raised an amazing child who is fun, charismatic, compassionate and wise beyond his years.  He will fulfill the plans God has for him and he will fill them boldly and passionately bringing an absolute love for life and love for people as he journeys forward through the time we call life.

We do not know what lies ahead but we can rest in the promises of the Lord knowing that if we raise a child up in the way he should go he will not part from it and that God has plans to prosper us not to harm us plans of good not evil to give you a future and hope.  You see God knew us before we were in the womb.  We are His workmanship created for good works which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them.

And this is what I will rest in as I let go of my first born child and release him completely in faith to journey on his own and become who he was designed to be.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Simply simplifying.....

Well now that the holiday season has passed I am left with the remnants of the fun....
And  I simply do not know where to start.  I am a bit overwhelmed.  I did however start in the "bonus" room yesterday.  Hhowever in my attempts to organize and simplify I simply had to run out once again and find a tall bin of some sort to hold all of the Nerf guns that live here at my house!

Whew...accomplished that task and continued to clean and organize once again trying to simplify my stuff, house and priorities.  Fortunately our children did not get much for Christmas and the only toys they got were a small Lego and one big Nerf gun.....

In about 12 days our life will take on a new direction and when I look at what it brings I am a bit nervous and scared.  I will share more on the new adventure soon but for now I will tell you that it is taking a toll financially that we did not anticipate.  I know that I should not fear and that I must Trust and have Faith that all things are working together for good and so I will continue to press in to HIM and do what I can to simplify on my end! simplifying I shared with my dear husband what I was going to do in order to help save money and simplify our fast paced life here in the wild west.  With eager anticipation and a sigh that means "oh no what is she up to now and what am I going to have to endure as she is on this simplifying adventure?"  HEHE......And so I revealed my grand plan.  NO MORE STARBUCKS!  AGGHHHH!!!! 

I love Starbucks and have even found a way to simplify a peppermint mocha in order to keep costs down but as you all know it still is an arm and leg and I am running out of arms and legs (my children lost theirs long ago and now it will be mine)...HEHE...JK, JK...we all still have our limbs!

This is not a New Years resolution this is a lifestyle shift.  It is going to be like healthy eating and working out or memorizing scripture (which I am embarking on and will tell you about in two posts).  This is going to be a discipline.  Actually it goes beyond my Starbucks addiction. 

It is really about need vs. want.  What we need vs. what we want.  You see I am a lazy mom.  I often stop by Starbucks or Tim Horton's to pick up a quick snack for the children or if we are out and it is in the evening...lazy me drives through a restaurant to pick up fast food.  This certainly does not fit with the lifestyle we are trying to live or the values we are trying to instill in our children.  They then begin to expect treats and eating out and don't understand when we say "NO". 

So...Good By Starbucks and hello Betty Crocker!  I am once again going to bond with my kitchen appliances, coffee beans and water bottles along with a family size lunch bag.

Do you have any ideas to share on how to simplify or snack/dinner ideas for the crazy family here in the wild west?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday.... Happy Happy Birthday!

My children love parties!  Parties mean friends and fun!  They especially love Birthday parties.  What kid or adult doesn't for that matter ???

As the years passed and my children became older (3 was the magic year I think:) I realized that  1. They wanted to invite ALL of the people they knew.  I loved this about my children because I believe that no child should be left out.  It is not a nice feeling to be in kindergarten and not get invited to birthday parties that your other classmates were being invited to.  and   2.  That if they invited ALL of the people they knew they received far to many gifts and did not appreciate the gift nor play with the gift in a way that showed gratitude.

So....together my children and I figured out a way to make their Birthdays be what they were intended to be.....a celebration of them.  My children are a gift to me and my husband.  A beautiful gift created to do great things.  A gift given with a plan and a purpose.  With this in mind we set out to figure out how to celebrate who they are and the gift that they represented.  You see we are all gifts and deserve to be celebrated. 

In order to celebrate we decided to choose a charity to represent  for each birthday.  We research and find what the charity of choice needs.  We ask that the children bring something from the list of needed items.  Because children do like gifts we ask that if the guests would like they bring a dollar or two for the Birthday child.

2010 Charity Birthday Collection for the Dream Center

2008 Charity Birthday Collection for the Women's Shelter
This allows my children to live beyond themselves and share the gift of giving.  This celebrates their ability to make a difference in their world.  It allows them to celebrate the blessings they receive by giving in love to others.  The gifts allow someone to experience hope.  It  allows my children to experience the joy that comes from being with  friends because they ALL got to be together and have fun!!!!

Today the Birthday party we are participating in is a celebration of a Gift.  A birth 2010 years ago.  It is a celebrations of the  Greatest Gift that can be given.  A Gift that will fill your heart with joy.  A Gift that will comfort you when you are lonely.  A Gift that will celebrate you because this Gift gives you life.  A Gift that will give you hope.  A Gift that gives you a peace that surpasses all understanding. 
A Gift given to walk with us.  Emmanuel-God WITH us. 

Today 2010 years ago a child was born in Bethlehem.  God in the flesh.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 

May you enjoy the Birthday celebration as you His friend, His guest of honor come to celebrate and be celebrated WITH Him on this day.

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."  Luke 1:30-33

behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:  "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "GOD with us."  Matthew 1:20-23.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The season of togetherness started on November 19th as my mom and I joined a wonderful group of women in Rapid City South Dakota. This was a truly moving experience as I met with and old friend and she shared her friends. An instant connection with them. A beautiful connection. A refreshing and deep connection with them. A connection that seemed like I had been friends with them too for 16 years. A connection that allows me to be me authentically with out fear.

As this season progresses I am so happy with the togetherness it brings. I love togetherness and often you will find many people especially women at my house celebrating. Celebrating who we are and and encouraging each other to become who we are designed to be. As women we long to be known. We long to be connected. You see in the beginning we were created to be a helper. To help Adam. To walk beside him. Yes beside him. A complimentary relationship.

Our heart longs for intimacy. We long to feel safe in relationships and have the desires of our hearts known and embraced. We want to be able to be our true selves, authentically with out having to be on guard. We want to know we are lovely and that we are delighted in. We want to be irreplaceable. We want to live an adventurous life full of joy.

Often we live in fear...scared of revealing our true selves. Scared of rejection, scared of pain of fallen relationships, scared of loneliness, scared of not being in control. Our deepest heartaches come from relationships.

And so as I have journeyed toward understanding this wiring in me, the burning desire to connect women has welled up in my like a volcano and has slowly festered over the years. And as each year passes and I surrender to my Maker, He reveals to me my beauty and your beauty. Now my volcano is erupting. My desire is pouring out and running like a mass. It is amazing to see how the fear of rejection and loneliness has left and I can fully embrace my beauty and be me authentically.

What is most exciting is sharing this with you, with other women. I have seen this unveiling of fear in many of the women I have invited along my journey. I will share with you stories...I love stories as they are what sews together the quilt of life one different piece at a time. Piece by different piece we are brought together to form a beautiful work of art!

As you know from the post Friday, December 3, 2010 titled Knock Knock....I am busy with parties....parties that I am invited to and parties/gatherings I will host. What I love most about these is the togetherness is brings. The last gathering was our first annual Christmas purse exchange. 14 women came together and delighted in each other and handbags. The idea was to purchase a handbag fill it with purse pleasures and wrap it...and viola...a Chinese gift exchange would ensue. Me, and my Tas Philas Amy and Patti invited women we thought would enjoy meeting others and who could possibly be desiring to connect.


It was absolutely amazing to see how this event touched the hearts of women. You see some of these women stepped WAY WAY WAY out of their comfort zones to attend this event. Some were shy, some were strangers, some were insecure, but they came. They were courageous and brave.

Strangers were strangers no more and personalities were revealed through the choice of hand bags purchased and chosen to keep.

At the end of the night as the women were leaving it was so amazing to hear their response to this event and how it made them feel. They felt connected, accepted, inspired, encouraged, delighted in, celebrated and free to be themselves in a safe environment. That my friends is authenticity. Being who you were designed to be authentically.....and even as scary as it is it feels great when you are able to experience it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Knock Knock....

As December 1st began the Advent calendar countdown to the most wonderful day of the year it also will bring the hustle and bustle of going here and there desperately trying to meet with friends and family to celebrate this season of sharing and togetherness. Togetherness....something I dearly love and cherish

As I sit here at look at my December calendar and cautiously peek into the New Year I am gently reminded as to what this past year and all of the years past have meant and brought to me.

The Holiday season is in full swing here as I am sure it is for many of you! I began December with the first party of the season last evening. For some reason it seems to be the year for jewelery parties. I have been to a few the last couple of weeks and will even be hosting one. My man keeps wondering how much more jewelery a girl could need. I am not sure I can answer that for him....

As I arrived at the party and was so wonderfully greeted by all of my Tas Philas (best friends)and introduced to strangers who are strangers no more I felt warm inside. I instantly thought "This is what it is about.....meeting, sharing, edifying and encouraging each other!"

One of my long time Tas Philas whom (because life is busy) has been distant said to me "how have you been?" My reply..."I am wonderful!" Her reply "you are always wonderful and so happy and so good.....I want to be you."

I was surprised by this. Surprised because at that moment my life whizzed through my head. You see my life was not as bad as some but it was riddled with bondage. Bondage that was packed in a suitcase that I carried around with me. The longer I carried it the more angry and bitter I became because it was a lot of work to carry this baggage. Along with the fact that no one wants to deal with a big bag in their way because it tends to trip them up as well.

I instantly replied...."OH don't want to be me." That was a reaction. A reaction my knowledge of her story coupled with my story. What I wished I had done is breathe, think, and let the Spirit move in me. I know my response would have been....You can be like me.
I am this way because a baby was born in Bethlehem 2010 years ago. He was given to us so He could live amongst us, feeling what we feel and showing us His amazingness, only to soon die so we could have life. You see my Life has been transformed because I gave it to my Saviour Christ Jesus...

I am not the girl hauling the baggage around anymore. He sweetly whispered to me...."Leave it at the foot of the Cross and I will take care of it." What an relief. I am free. Free from the bondage that weighed me down. Free to be me. Free to be redeemed and transformed because a Baby was born in Bethlehem.

And friends...know you can be like me! You can have what I have. Jesus offers it to everybody. It is yours for free. When He knocks on the door of your Heart you can let Him in. "So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Luke:9-10.

So as you celebrate this Christmas season remember that it is a celebration of Christs birth our Saviour. He came so we could have abundant life.

Will you allow Christ to take care of your baggage? Will you let Him into your heart?