Thursday, December 29, 2005

almost there

This journey has been a most interesting one. I can't give all the details yet as we're off to another family Christmas celebration. However, I can say this. I stand in awe of how God can move things without my help! He's really very capable of handling things without me, amazing as that may seem. Even my incredible administrative capabilities don't hold a candle to how our Creator can manage myriads of details and make things move when He decides it's time.

We signed papers yesterday. Now we have to wait for the bank's okay and we are on our way. Possession date is January 15th, though we have freedom to be in before that, we've actually had the keys for quite some time but not the freedom to possess the land. So close. Not far.

I got worried for a few seconds that perhaps something would go wrong now and I'd be in for yet another big disappointment in my life (has God every REALLY disappointed me? - only in my expectations and vain imaginings). I've been reading a series of books by Liz Curtis Higgs based on the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah - I highly recommend them!! Anyways, one character says to another, "God has been with you this far, don't you think He'll be with you the rest of the way?" His grace is sufficient for my weakness.

We'll keep watching and waiting as we see how God will continue to move this forward. The letting go begins, embracing the new begins.......what a trip.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Why am I always so shocked when God does something that He tells me He's going to do? We're moving! This week! God has opened the doors, moved things around and we're on our way to our new house.

I'll let you know all the details once I know them, but I'll be shutting this thing down here in the next few days and we'll be on our way.

He told me this was going to happen - that we'd be in our new house by the end of the year. I didn't quite believe it would happen. Oh me of little faith. Why didn't I believe? Cause I couldn't figure it out in my own puny brain.

The best part of all of this is we know for sure it was God because none of it came from us. I like that. Anyways...I'm a little wowed, etc. at the moment. I little nervous, a little scared, a little sad (I'll miss my neighbors). I can't think of anything more to say - my sweet princess and I are going to have some tea.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

waiting to breathe

waiting to breathe
copyright 2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

Have you ever had the profound sense that something is about to happen? There's an old song that we had on a record when I was a kid that went like this...

"I just feel like something good is about to happen,
I just feel like something good is on its way,
He has promised that He'd open all of heaven,
And brother that could happen any day.
When God's people humble themselves and call on Jesus
And they look to heaven expecting as they pray,
I just feel like something good is about to happen,
And brother this could be that very day!"

I wonder if that's how Mary and Joseph felt as they made their way to Bethlehem.
I wonder if that's how the shepherds felt sitting on the hillside.
I wonder if that's how the wisemen felt when they first saw the star.
I wonder if that's how God felt as he placed Jesus inside Mary's womb.

Did all the heavens tremble with the anticipation of this event....I expect they did. In the meantime, the vast majority of folks went about their daily business without any idea of what was on it's way. When the angel told the shepherds what they'd find in the stable they just couldn't contain themselves any longer. They spilled over the edges of heaven and exposed their joy for the world to see. I don't think they were in stately rows, each holding a celestial hymnbook. I think they were dancing and spinning and letting loose their contained exuberant joy! And the only ones who got to witness it were some dirty shepherds and their sheep.

As I anticipate long-awaited events I get just a momentary glimpse into the heart of heaven. I expect that heaven holds its collective breath each time a soul teeters on the brink of decision...waiting
.........will they?
.......please, take the gift, oh please, oh please
...........come on, NOW, do it now!!!

I can only imagine.

AND THEN, the waiting is over!

The celebration begins! All heaven breaks loose! God just gives us little glimpses of this amazing celebration that our frail bodies can handle by allowing us these 'gifts' of waiting - for the birth of children, a spouse, an answer to prayer. When these things come to pass the joy is so intense we can hardly contain it, we weep, we laugh, we jump up and down, we hug everyone in sight and announce the great thing that has just happened. We think we have huge celebrations when we are through waiting and begin to breathe again but our limited celebrating techniques cannot compare to the glory of heaven hosting a gala affair.

So while you wait in anticipation to open your gifts this Christmas, or wait for that answer to prayer, don't forget that all of heaven is holding their breath along with you. And when the answer comes......CELEBRATE!!! Let loose with your joy, let the world know how good God is and what He has done, I don't think He'll mind you going on a little!

Merry Christmas all, and see you next year. I hope your celebrations are joyous.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

in need of grace

The effects of three concerts, rehearsals, funerals, recitals, Christmas program preparation, not to mention, preganancy, homeschooling, daily life and and irritable digestive stystem are finally ganging up on me. I'm exhausted. I want to lock myself in a closet with a bed, some fabric and my sewing machine so I can refresh my body and my spirit (believe it or not sewing is a very spiritual activity for me, it allows me to concentrate on my Maker as I make things). Anyway, I'm too tired and weary to write anything else.

Monday, December 12, 2005

fresh flowers for December 12

Moving Forward
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

It was Monday morning. The cold darkness of a Canadian winter was still thick in our room. I rolled over in bed thinking I would maybe look at the clock to see if it was soon time to get up. Before my eyes could open of their own volition, my husbands’ words caused them to pop, “Oh no, it’s 7:55. Do you think we can do it?” After a moment’s hesitation I replied, “Of course we can, you take the food, I’ll get the girl.” We zoomed to our assigned posts. While my husband worked in the kitchen I got a sleepy five year old into a school outfit and did her hair. We met dad at the bottom of the stairs backpack ready and breakfast in hand. Quickly she got shoved into ski pants, jacket, hat, mitts, scarf and boots. Whew, look at the clock, it is now 8:10, five minutes to spare before the school bus arrives. Two tired parents and one small girl pointing in the same direction, to get to school on time, warm and well fed.

The spotlight moves from one performer to another. Candles flicker on tables as people sip coffee and taste decadent desserts. The story of God from creation to beyond the pearly gates unfolds through song, dance, drama and multi-media pieces. Behind the scene technical crews, decorators, food crews and hosts work to make sure that everyone is where they belong and all runs smoothly. A prayer team offers up intercession in the basement. Seeds are sown. Hearts are touched. Tears are shed. Lives are forever changed. Three performances, dress rehearsal, sound checks, more than fifty cast and crew, strained muscles and voices, tired bodies all pointed in the same direction to extend the kingdom of God.

While the goals and amount of people involved were vastly different, these two events illustrate the same thing. There is power in a team that is focused on one goal. While one determined person can accomplish a lot on their own, even more can be done when two or three work together. Unity of vision and a willingness to move toward that goal is a powerful thing not only in individual families but in the church. As my husband and I waved good-bye to our daughter we had a feeling of accomplishment realizing what we can do when we work together in a focused way. We have a long-term vision that we want to see accomplished in our family that will take many more years of effort and discipline and moments like that to accomplish, but we know that it can happen – we believe.

That sense of accomplishment, focus and teamwork was multiplied many times over in our spiritual family as individuals gave of their time, talents and gifts to a common goal. We’d never done something quite this big before. I could feel a sense of family and team as ‘good job’ was whispered here and there. Prayer being offered up for those who were feeling weary and weak, undergirding each other with the power of love and unity of purpose. We needed each other, not one of us could have done that on our own. Who knows where God will take us from here. One thing we know for sure, there is no going back, only forward. Where will God take us? We don’t know, but we know why. There are two kingdoms, one to be advanced and one to conquer. We know what our purpose is and we will continue to work towards it.

The underlying forces in these events were belief that the impossible could be accomplished and a willingness to try. And why bother in the first place? The reason was clear as we all stood together at the end to sing, “I believe, and I will always sing, this little child, He is the King of Kings!”

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Today's musings

I just got home from dress rehersal for our church's Christmas Concert of the Heart. Wow!! We have some amazingly talented and wonderful people in our family. Singers, dancers, actors, artists all proclaiming the story of God. An amazing opportunity to proclaim Jesus. I am so thankful for all these incredible people that I call family. You should all come!

Today we saw another amazing thing. We had the full ultrasound of our tiny unborn babe. He or she weighs a little less than a pound right now but all the parts are there and working beautifully. It was awe-inspiring to see these fuzzy grey and black pictures of our new family member. What love burst within me as I looked into that tiny face whose jawline is just like Sam and Abby's and mine. Seeing little fingers and toes. We got to see that little one open up it's mouth wide in what looked like a laugh. Now I can hardly wait to hold that precious one in my arms.

We didn't get to see the gender, apparently we have a very modest child, wouldn't let us peek. Oh well, we can anticipate the surprise, I am definately hoping for a girl but the boys are all hoping for another boy, they don't think we have quite enough yet.

After the ultrasound Kelly and I went out for lunch all by ourselves. It wasn't even fast food. We had a lovely time talking about the things that God has shown us over this last week as we fasted and prayed into our house situation. Nothing has changed that we can see with our eyes but I think our hearts have been. The Jesse tree readings that I got from the internet all spoke about how God took people from one place to another for a specific purpose - Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Joshua.

Oh God grant me faith so that I can really see what your purpose is and to rest in the truth of who you are, the God who knew me before I was born and has planned the times and seasons of my life and the places in which I will live so that some might come to know YOu.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I've been cruising around the blog world. haven't done that for ages. Want food. am hungry...want things that are bad for me like zesty cheese doritos or McNuggets or something like that. Good thing my dear fetcher of bad food just had a shower and is in his jammies and refuses to move for his poor, pregnant, hungry wife. Guess I'll go eat a fresh bun that I made today. it'll have to do..............

a little life lesson today, otherwise known as a flower

My seven year old sometimes gives way to irrational fears. Some days he conquers them and some days he doesn't. Today he didn't. I wanted him to take the bread down to the freezer. He wanted me to go with him. Of course, in my brain, going with him would completely defeat the purpose of sending him to do the job. Couldn't someone come with him? Everyone was busy doing something. Just go down the flippin' stairs, I'm thinking to myself. He wouldn't. I told him to remember that Jesus was with him and would help him conquer fear. This didn't help, he decides that Jesus was just a man and can't help him. Just take the bread down!!! He throws it on the floor. Fine, I'll do it myself and there'll be consequences for you buster. I'll do the job, I'll do it he yells. Too late, says I.

Later, after he's calmed down he comes and I ask him if he's learned something here. Of course, he doesn't see any lessons to be had. Here it is folks - in follow up to Nin's post on choices....when we choose to believe a lie - that Jesus isn't who he said he is, that He can't possibly help me through my fear, etc., etc. we can get ourselves disqualified from doing that job that God appointed us to do in the first place. Sometimes we get a break - Moses whines and cries that he is not the man for the job until God gets fed up and sends Aaron along to help, but Moses still gets the credit. But sometimes, we don't, Saul for example, he was the annointed king, he gave way to fears, doubts and anxieties to the point that the Spirit left him, he got fired.

My son will have to live with the consequences of his disobedience and the lies he believed today, fortunately for him, it won't be a life-altering thing, but you never know.

God not only wants us to follow Him, but He wants us to fear Him, stand in awe of Him, be amazed by His power and presence and ability to do whatever He wants. This is the God I serve, He made me and knows what I'm capable of, if He's asking, I better hop to it, knowing that He will enable me to do whatever He has asked.


My wonderful husband has re-entered the blogosphere. His last blog refused to let him post anything so he just gave up. But he was inspired by Moose at Moose's Place and there you have it. All it takes is a little inspiration!

You'll find Minstrel's Musings here

There are a few other blogs that haven't been on my link list before but I finally got them on. Moose's Place, Firestarter and Walking Again are in the list.

Livin Forgiven has a great post on choices that you need to read - has me repenting for my rotten stinky attitude toward God regarding the house stuff. Forgive me Lord for doubt and fear!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

fresh flowers for December 3

From Hot Chocolate to Hot Water
copyright 2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

“…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14, 15)

Hot Chocolate. That’s what I wanted the other night. Too bad for me the only hot chocolate we had in the house was the kind you have to mix with milk. Pasteurized milk and me do not have a very good relationship, especially since I’ve been pregnant. But I was tempted, dragged away and enticed. My desire was conceived and I didn’t care what I would suffer afterwards I carried on to the sin part and made that hot chocolate, drank it down and enjoyed every lovely chocolaty mouthful that went across my tongue.

There was no immediate reaction. “Ha ha,” I thought to myself, “no problem, it will be different this time.” Boy was I wrong! And while I didn’t die and the reaction didn’t make me wish I was dead I realized full well that I had sinned against my own body. Certainly no one else was affected by my transgression, except that my husband had to put up with a miserable wife for an evening and night. It was even more foolhardy considering I was already sick with the flu and a cold and this just exacerbated that problem. I was miserable. The only thing I could do from then on was to let the reaction run its course and beg my body’s forgiveness, promising myself NOT to do that again.

It’s hard sometimes to say no to sin. Especially when it looks like a cup of hot chocolate. Smells good, tastes good, doesn’t look particularly like an evil desire at all. But we all know, way down deep that we have these little sins that carry us away without a thought. Okay, I have to admit there was a lot of thought put into my sin. I knew full well that it was a bad idea and shouldn’t do it. The problem was, I didn’t care, I was after that warm chocolate going down my throat. I was jealous of the 101 cups of hot chocolate I’d made my kids and watched them enjoy. I wanted it and the end result didn’t matter. When we take a look at James 1 we see what the result of even this little transgression is – death. Your death might look different than mine did but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Fortunately for my family, this particular death affected only me, good thing that it wasn’t alcohol I craved or cigarettes or the need for a cat in the house – any of those would have put my unborn baby, myself and my kids in certain danger.

The good news is that God also gave us 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man (hot chocolate) and God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear (it wasn’t that truly decadent triple chocolate blend from the Victorian Epicure party), but with the temptation will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (yeah for apple cider, instant hot chocolate and non-pasteurized milk, apparently I am also supposed to be thankful for soy milk but I haven’t quite made it that far yet – can’t quite bring myself to pay the exorbitant price for something I may detest).”

Go and sin no more.

in a vaccum?

I'm beginning to feel like I live in a vaccum. I write response. I leave messages on people's response. Perhaps I don't really exist and this is all a dream.

It would have been good if Thursday had been a dream. It was supposed to be a warm and wonderful day of putting up our tree, reminiscing over ornaments, etc. Instead it was chaos, bedlam and shouting matches. Add to that one sick mommy (who was getting decidedly grumpier by the day) and a couple of kids who were still sick and whiny. It wasn't a very pleasant day in any way, shape or form. The only thing that went well was having our morning devotions using the Jesse Tree readings I found on the internet. The scripture spoke to my heart anyways.

Friday was much better, finally done being sick myself (a little coughing still but nothing major) though the two youngest are still coughing and runny noses. Had a great family night last night playing games, eating popcorn and having an impromptu concert of recital pieces, dancing and singing. Maybe today will be better yet...