Jun 16, 2015

Remembering Elisabeth

You've probably already seen the news, or tributes popping up here and there to remember and honor a faithful and godly woman who died, entering the Lord's presence, yesterday morning - Elisabeth Elliot.

I'm thankful for her life and ministry on a personal level because, through her writing and speaking, she's been a close mentor to me.

I can look back over varied seasons and struggles where her practical view on faith and living the Christian life has given me encouragement or a needed gentle rebuke, inspiring fresh resolve to do the next thing, to keep a quiet heart, to trust, to obey.

In thinking about her life, I'm struck by the thought that in many ways, as she would admit herself, she was just an ordinary woman, nothing special. How then, was her life marked by such extraordinary sacrifice, by such wisdom and far-reaching impact? The answer, of course, is God. One day, one moment at a time, she made the choice to surrender, to turn to Him, and in doing so she was transformed more closely to the image of Christ, made more useful for His service.

This process, the daily opportunities to choose faithfulness, are the same for us.

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“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” 
“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.” 
“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security.”
"We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive his poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others."



 Go to Revive our Hearts for tributes, a collection of messages and an upcoming special series celebrating Elisabeth's life and ministry.

Jun 15, 2015

Summering.



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Wanting to do a couple little trips before baby arrives in August, we took advantage of the lovely weather this past weekend and crossed the border to visit a wildlife zoo in New York state.

Blue sky and lazy early summer landscapes made for a perfect hour or so drive, plus it always feels like a bit of a vacation when the kids are trapped - I mean strapped - in their carseats and we can talk and just enjoy a bit of quiet time together...or at least time spent not having to supervise or be a human jungle gym.

























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Growing up, my family went on lots of daytrips like this in the summer and I have many fun memories of the whole crew of us (at some points nine people) stuffed into the family van and heading with excitement to this place or that. Nothing elaborate or too expensive, but breaking out of the norm to see new places, even if only for a day, seemed special.

We're at the beginning of this building memories as a family thing, and I love the possibilities, love watching our little ones have fun.










































































And could these two be any cuter? I love being their mom.



Jun 10, 2015

Learning and growing...and growing.

I feel like God has been teaching me and revealing many things in my heart these last months. There is so much I want to learn and understand and I feel well my finiteness. I grow impatient with limitations but I'm reminded to rest in Him, to find my joy in Him amidst this imperfect world.

I've thought about posting through some of what I've been learning - spiritual lessons and ponderings, but somehow the words don't come easily these days. Perhaps because for now, these lessons are for me and I need to think and study more deeply, not search for the right words to share them.

Blogging right now might be more pictures and mom stuff and daily happenings, even with other things flowing beneath the surface, but I think I'm okay with that.

Someone asked for a belly shot, so here I am in all my tired and awkward glory, taken last week:



We're getting closer! I think I am getting pretty anxious to have this baby, even with the busyness of two other little ones. One part I can't wait to see him and snuggle him! And one part I feel so big and clumsy and look forward to not feeling that way!

Some evenings after supper look like this: Joshua just wants to sit and "feel brother kick" and Miriam can't be left out so she comes scooting over and screams to be in on the fun. Another tidbit of information: Joshua has decided to name the little brother Peanut Butter.



May 29, 2015

A few summer happenings.

Today the house has somehow fallen apart and it's raining outside so I have on my list of to-do's exciting things like folding laundry and cleaning out the fridge and tackling dishes. My little ones are almost finished quiet time but I thought I would take these last few minutes to at least start a post in keeping with my goal to write a bit more through the summer.

Here are some things I'm excited about in the month ahead and some happenings of late.

First, this summer will mark four years of marriage for us (on July 23rd) but we've decided to celebrate in June as that's when Loris is able to book a couple of days off during the week. As we haven't been away together for a single night since before babies, we've decided to head to a nearby city for an overnight stay. (The thought of a nice dinner and relaxing evening and some strolling and market/shop exploring the next day makes me a bit giddy!)

I'm a little nervous about being away from our children overnight but for no good reason - I'm blessed to have a mom nearby that will be excited to have them. Being a mother is my joy and responsibility, but I think little getaways like this can serve as a fresh reminder of my joy and priority in being a wife, too.

June is also an exciting month because my dear friend Kendra is back from Africa for a couple months and will be staying with us for several days. She's been helping African Christian University in Zambia by cataloging books and setting up their library among other ministry roles and will be returning to continue her work in July. Doubtless, our visit will include catching up, many cups of tea (or more likely coffee for me) and maybe an adventure or two. The last time I saw Kendra was before Miriam was born in March of last year so it will be fun for them to meet!

Something I've been grateful for is our fellowship group made up of a handful of friends. We've been meeting Sunday and Wed evenings for an informal time of prayer and reading the Word and sharing what's going on in our lives and hearts. Because of the distance (we live an hour or more apart) we either meet on skype (not ideal, but it works) or they try to all drive here at least once or twice a month. Since leaving the church we were attending last year, it's often been a struggle for me to trust God's guidance and purpose in that decision. Loris and I both desire to be in a good church but for now (without driving some distance) that doesn't seem to be an option for us.

It's a decision that's been misunderstood or disapproved of by some, but I keep coming back to the Lord giving me His peace and asking us to trust Him. We want to be faithful with the convictions and burden He's given us and not just do what (often feels like) would be easiest.

All this to say, while we don't view our group as an organized church (with elders, etc) it has been a source of encouragement and fellowship and I'm thankful for God's provision in this area as we wait on Him.

And to end on a lighter note, here's a keeper recipe I just tried for buttermilk muffins. I had some leftover buttermilk to use up (I bought it for the first time to make salad dressing) so I decided to make muffins. I wondered what the point of using buttermilk instead of regular milk is until I took one bite - truly muffin perfection! I read that the buttermilk gives a nice rise and texture and different taste and that's proved true! I doubled the recipe, split it up, and made a combination of a lemon raspberry loaf and a dozen and a half lemon blueberry muffins. Now let's see how long they'll last around here...