Saturday, March 25, 2006

A new baby is here!!! Nope, not ours (hee hee, almost had ya didn't I)! Krista had herself a little girl - some pics and details at Unedited Ravings (link is on the sidebar).

My two little boys are SICK. Really high temps.

I have a confession to make. I don't really mind when they get sick, in fact I sort of enjoy it in a weird sort of way. They're all cuddly and sleepy and dependant. You get to snuggle and buy extra apple juice and read lots of stories and stuff. My honey was sick earlier this week and it felt kinda the same, so nice to see him all day long even if he was just lounging on the couch in a comatose state. Call me weird, I like having my chicks nearby...I know of at least one other person in this world who feels the same so there!!

But please pray that I don't get this virus, it could land me in a hospital - that would not be sweet and cuddly at this stage of the game.

Friday, March 24, 2006

fresh flowers for March 24

copyright 2006, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

Our family has been in a season of preparation for a long time. Preparing to move, preparing for the baby to come, preparing for taxes. We're getting a lot better at preparing than we used to be. We'd been 'fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants' people for a very long time. However, with having a large family, ministry and a business to run we just couldn't do that anymore. So we've been learning to prepare for things, thinking ahead, scheduling, planning. The Bible encourages us to look at the ants to see how they prepare for winter and how hard they work. This is the learning curve that we've been on for several years now.

What are the results of preparation? There are many benefits and I want to touch on several. Knowing that all your ducks are quacking where they belong as far as it concerns your human capacity is a very good thing. It helps you deal with the unexpected 'quackers' that always show up. I'm sure we have all been in situations that we were completely unprepared for and they sure throw us off course. For example, the sudden death of a loved one, an accident, natural disasters, an unexpected pregnancy, job loss. There are some things one just can't prepare for and those things bring great anxiety, turmoil and stress. So it is good to prepare for the things that we can, it can greatly alleviate the burden of the unknowns and unexpected.

Preparation isn't an easy task. It takes planning and forethought. It cuts into all the regular chores and seems, at the time, like you could use the time slot in a better way. The other day I felt strongly impressed to get things ready for our baby to arrive. Technically we should be a few weeks away from that event but I did it anyway. I sent my husband off to the store to get the necessary hospital items, found some newborn baby clothes and got the bag packed. What a relief it was to know that should anything happen, I was ready, the sense of peace and accomplishment that washed over me when I set the baby clothes in the cradle and zipped that bag shut were enormous. At my last appointment the doctor said the baby was ready to come at anytime and I should be ready, how thankful I was that I had already prepared. After that appointment my body has been physically practicing for the great event (read - lots of Braxton Hicks contractions), my husband has been sick and I've had trouble with my hips and am fighting off a cold myself. Whether the baby comes now or in a few weeks, at least that little bit of my world is ready. I'm also learning how to schedule our family's time...but that is another post altogether!!

Sometimes preparation seems to make more mess than not preparing would but I think we all know that is not the case. When my husband isn't teaching music or tuning pianos, he paints houses, interiors and exteriors. He could tell you about many difficult days that have transpired when he decided to skip a preparation step. At first it seems like things will go faster, you'll be careful, it will be no problem, then, the inevitable happens, a paint can spills, you used the wrong paint or some other catastrophe. The mess or mistake needs to be cleaned up and corrected, hours later you are finally back on track, you haven't saved any time at all. Preparing saves time and brings peace to the process.

My mom and dad are avid gardeners and have been planning and preparing for the coming growing season with eagerness and anticipation. When I talked to them earlier this week they were preparing to plant tomato seeds. Their preparation will provide many tomato plants for their gardens as well as mine. Their preparation allows them the opportunity to have enough for themselves, to be generous and to save money in the process. Their careful preparation of the soil will result in another wonderful garden I am sure - abundance, provision, pleasure in the task - more results of preparation.

God has given us a task as his children to prepare His bride, the church. One day, Jesus, the glorious bridegroom is going to come back and the wedding of the lamb will be upon us. I have been a bride and have helped many brides prepare for their wedding day. As friends of the bride we do everything we can to help the bride be beautiful, spotless and prepared for her groom. Sometimes it concerns me when I see those that call themselves friends of the bride drawing mustaches on her face and tearing her clothes. We spend many hours complaining about what the bride could do better, pointing out all her faults and weaknesses. None of us were perfect brides, somewhere along the way we may have gotten mud on our dress, perhaps there is a blemish hiding under some makeup but no one would dare to point that out on a bride's wedding day. If we can help and make corrections in a loving way as we help her prepare that is what friends do. However, whispering, gossping and pointing out all the yuckiness is not what preparers of brides do. We are there to make the process better, to walk alongside and help.

We are called to be preparers of the bride, friends of the bridegroom. If we are truly friends we won't cheat on, deceive or slander the bride, we will do all we can to help her get ready. May I encourage you to examine what sort of 'friend' and 'preparer' you are. A wedding day cannot happen without the help of many hands, we all have preparatory work to do in the kingdom of God.

Spring seems like a time of getting ready and preparing for so many things. May I encourage you in all your preparations to watch for God's flowers to bloom in your gardens.

the flowerlady

PS - The baby's arrival is rather imminent, so if you suddenly don't see any posts from me, you'll know why, though we will let you know of the arrival!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Baby Update

Saw the doctor today and he says we're pretty much good to go. He's fine with me having this babe anytime. I wish willpower could factor in there somewhere but it just doesn't seem to have any bearing. Baby's a little smaller than average and so he said that it would probably be better coming sooner rather than later, I thought it was the other way around, oh well. At least I no longer have to feel guilty wanting this little one out where I can see her/him. My body is definately ready to get on with things!!

If you haven't entered the contest you better go pick a day quick!! Scroll down a bit to find it....

oh yeah..........someone else just found out they're pregnant but I'm not telling who!!!!!!!!!!!!

Figured I'd put the list up........the deal is...pick the right day for the baby to arrive and win a prize!!

March 24 - Camille
March 25
March 26 - boy #1
March 27 - one and only girl (so far)
March 28 - rene the rugrat
March 29 - Dad F (because he doesn't want it on his birthday - it will cost him money!!)
March 30 - boy #2
March 31 - Rachy
April 1 - Sparrow
April 2 - Carebear
April 3 - Nin
April 4 - Sonya
April 5 - CWG's wife
April 6 - starting over
April 7 - Mom W.
April 8 - my husband, Marlene (she can share since my honey wins all the prize anyway!)
April 9 - Marilee
April 10 - Lori
April 11 - CWG
April 12 - living by faith
April 13 - Bethany
April 14 - bayoumama
April 15 - Heather (cause she thinks just maybe something really different will happen this time)
April 16
April 17
April 18

Sunday, March 19, 2006

fresh flowers for March 19

I Know Someone Who Can
copyright 2006, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

In the early 80's there was a gospel singer by the name of Evie. I loved her music and sang many of her songs. One of them had this line in it..."follow me, I know Someone who can." I can't remember the rest of the song, just that one line but it illustrates part of the flowers that I'm picking for you this week. In Hebrews it says that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. I like to picture this as a huge cheering section, rooting for us, I love that picture, it is so encouraging to know there are those who have gone before that are for us in every way. I also believe that God gives us a cheering section with skin on in the form of our spiritual family, both in a close way but also in the broader sense of the family of God. I was in several situations this week where I saw this lived out. My encouragement today is not only to be thankful for those who God places in our path but to remember that God is placing you on someone else's path.

The Director

I was peeling an orange for son #3 in the kitchen when son #4 came in and decided he wanted an orange, too. He handed it to his older brother and asked him to peel it for him. Son #3 lovingly took the orange from his grasp and said to him, "I can't do that for you but mommy can." So often we forget who we are and try to do things for people that we either aren't called to do or aren't equipped to do and make a mess of things. Often, we simply need to wisely acknowledge our inadequacy and say, "I know Someone who can." We need to constantly be directors in each others lives in the form of directing to Jesus. Point the way! I am not the answer to your problem but I know who is!

The Confirmer

We ran into some friends at the Home Show this weekend and got to talking about kids and school. We found out that these friends had their children in the same French Immersion school that we have our daughter in. Sometimes having her go off to school while I homeschool the rest is very difficult, though we strongly believe she is where God would have her be right now. This friend encouraged me greatly in the quality of the school and the teachers that my daughter has. She told me of the experiences that their family had had (and are still having) in this school. They have a high moral standard, though they aren't a Christian school because of their affiliation with the Catholic system there is freedom to talk about Jesus, and they do! She so encouraged my heart in the path that we've taken in putting our daughter in that school, though she didn't know that she was doing that. We need to remember to speak positively into people's lives, being encouragers and saying what is good and right. We don't know when we may influence the path that another is on.

The Corrector

Our youngest son is VERY two!! All those things you read about two year olds - he is. Active and silly, energetic and curious, gets into everything and likes to play 'come get me', especially when it comes to changing his diaper. He loves to climb onto things - like the top of the fridge and the piano. My hair is getting gray- er every day. Yet he is a pile of smiles and giggles and hugs at the same time. I spend much of my day correcting his path, training him in the way he needs to go and believe or not, that constant correction is finally beginning to sink in. There are times when I tell him not to climb up on things, where he actually doesn't!! Correction is tiring and repetitive and not so very fun most of the time. However, there is reward in it as the training begins to settle in. When we are discipling and training and walking alongside other believers we may have to step into the role of correcting. It needs to be gentle, repetitive and consistent with the word of God. It is a tiring role to play. It is not always pleasant to be on the receiving end of correction but God lovingly puts us into the role of corrector or receiver and we need to walk that path.

In all of this there is the over-arching principle that it isn't about us, it is about the kingdom of God. It is about pointing people to Jesus. We are here to comfort, encourage and edify one another and yes, sometimes to admonish and correct. We will meet people along our path who will do these things for us and we will be the people along someone else's path to do those things for them. It need not be overwhelming, we don't need to have all the answers because we all know Someone who can.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

our life on a side table

We have to call them something other than 'coffee' tables in our house because we don't drink coffee.

Yesterday I needed to clean. Not sure if that was the'nesting instinct' thing or sheer willpower because I couldn't stand the mess can decide.

Anyways I looked at the objects on the side table and here's what I saw...

my Bible and journal
the baby quilt I am currently working on
a quarter
2 books (The Explosive Child and Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems)

I had to ponder that little vignette because it was a stark picture of what drives our lives right now.

- the Kingdom of God and His purposes are the underlying reason why we do anything at all and give us the strength to keep going even when we're wiped out (which we are)
- the impending birth of our little one - coming soon to a maternity ward near you
- work that earns income - we own our own business so if we don't work, we don't have income, it feels like that's ALL we are doing lately - being self-employed is sometimes difficult because there is are sick benefits, holiday pay or time off.
- our 2 sons (#2 and #4) are making life difficult. #2 exhausts us during the day with trying to head off explosions and understand what's going on with him, #4 exhausts us at night because he has really bad sleep problems and always has (we've tried pretty much everything so please don't give us any new suggestions - just pray that God will show us what will work)

And that's our life in a nutshell, or rather, on the side table.......

Monday, March 13, 2006

Contest Update

(Don't know what I'm talking about - look at the post below)
This is getting kinda fun!! Pick the day the baby will show up and win a prize! So what is the prize, people are wondering...could be many things, maybe I'll have to let you pick depending on proximity! Maybe I should add a poll for boy or girl...not sure how to do one of those, but I know you can...

Could be............
A freshflowers journal
A soak in my spa tub
fresh bread
the opportunity to have all of my children at your house (just kidding)
serenade by Kelly
?????? - I'm open to suggestions

Here are the current date picks: (pick an open day!!)

March 18 - boy #3
March 19
March 20
March 21 - Tianna
March 22 - Mom F (my dad's birthday)
March 23
March 24 - Camille
March 25
March 26 - boy #1
March 27 - one and only girl (so far)
March 28
March 29 - Dad F (because he doesn't want it on his birthday - it will cost him money!!)
March 30 - boy #2
March 31 - Rachy
April 1 - Sparrow
April 2 - Carebear
April 3 - Nin
April 4 - Sonya
April 5 - CWG's wife
April 6 - starting over
April 7 - Mom W.
April 8 - my husband, Marlene (she can share since my honey wins all the prize anyway!)
April 9 - Marilee
April 10 - Lori
April 11 - CWG
April 12 - living by faith
April 13
April 14 - bayoumama
April 15 - Heather (cause she thinks just maybe something really different will happen this time)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Pick a day........any day..........

Just for fun I thought I'd throw out a little competition! Who thinks they can pick the day that this babe is showing up! My technical due date is April 26 according to that little counter up there, but to give you all a fighting chance you need to know that I've never had a baby after 37 weeks and 5 days, in fact the last two average out to 37 weeks on the nose (which would mean chopping 21 days off the counter).

So pick a date and whoever's closest will win a prize or something!

My #3 boy says one week from today (that would be March 18th) - little early yet I'm thinkin'
My mom wants March 22 (my dad's birthday)
My oldest son says 15 days from now which would be...March 26
My girl says March 27
My dad doesn't want it on his birthday, he says March 29
#2 boy says March 30

Sparrow is taking April 1
Carebear is taking April 2
Nin has April 3
Sonya has April 4
CWG's wife takes April 5
Mom W. has April 7
Husband says April 8..........
living by faith has picked April 12
Heather has April 15 - she figures that she'll bank on something unusual happening!

Pick your day!!!!

fresh flowers for March 11

Lessons Learned on a Day of Rest
copyright 2006, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

I have been looking forward to this last Friday for a number of weeks. Ever since my dear friend suggested it and planned the date. She offered to take all five of my children for the entire day. What a gift. We've had a difficult week and I was drained of all energy, this gift couldn't have come at a better time. Of course, contemplating what to do with oneself when faced with precious, empty hours is the first order of business. Even in this she guided me and said, "Just DO nothing." That is a hard concept for me to wrap my brain around, I am a DOER.

One of the first things I did (after posting on my blog) was to sit on my couch with a nice cup of hot tea and pick up my journal and Bible. I have very little opportunity to soak and write so this was a real treat. Someone had opened my Bible up to Romans 5, I thought it odd because that was not where I have been reading lately and I couldn't remember having looked anything up there - that doesn't mean much since I can barely remember my own name lately! I'd like to share with you what I learned...

Romans 5 (first few verses)

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God thorugh our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us."

excerpt from the corresponding devotional by Gladys M. Hunt in the Women's Devotional Bible
(parantheses mine)

"Our resources are inexhaustible...Our trouble begins when we forget these great realities (namely that we have access and God's supply is limitless) and concentrate on our inadequacies our fears and all the other manifestations of our smallness."

That's where I was folks, concentrating on my inadequacies as a mom, my fears over what might be. Worrying over things I have little control over. I had completely forgotten who I am in Christ - a daughter of the king. He has already given me (and you) all that we need and there is no concern of running short. Therefore I can say with confidence that I have (make your own list here):
-all I need to deal with my very stubborn and explosive son
-all I need to train my children in holiness and Godly living
- all I need to love my husband and be his helpmeet and soulmate
- all I need to be a good friend
- all I need to carry out the work of the kingdom assigned to me
- all I need to persevere to the end of this pregnancy and beyond
- all I need to get the most out of this day
- all I need to pay the bills and make it through to the end of this house deal

While I was looking for another verse God brought my eyes to these wonderful apostolic words:

Colossians 3:15 "...let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts..."
Colossians 3:16 "...let the word of God dwell in you richly..."
Philippians 1:6 "...being confident of this - He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion..."
Ephesians 4 "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to KNOW this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Needless to say I was greatly encouraged to keep bearing the load that the Lord has given me to bear, it is NOT to hard for me unless I take on something that isn't mine to take. The rest of the day was spent, well, resting. Napping, reading, having a quiet lunch and tea with my parents. I didn't DO anything...oops, I did do something. I wrote a poem to express my heart after this wonderful ministry from the Lord.

untitled (for now)
2006, lani wiens

Forgive me forgetting that in You I have all things
Access to the throne of grace, the privelege of kings
YOur resources are limitless, your love it knows no bounds
And through the life of Christ Your Son, these riches all are mine.

But I live poor
just scraping by
picking up the crumbs
forgetting who I am and dwelling in the dumps

Today you lift my head up and speak into my heart
A daughter of the KING I am, the one who dwells on high
Up from the trash heap I arise and fling aside my rags
Washed clean in mercy
Clothed in grace
His love the crowning touch

"All you need, you have, " says He,
"All you need and more. Available, just ask of me
the treasure house is full. These present trials, rejoice in them,
the crown upon your head
will sparkle, shine and dazzle me as your character is forged through pain.
Hope will not be disappointed as you put your hope in ME
My glory will not fade away
My glory I give to thee."

Friday, March 10, 2006

in quietness and rest is my salvation

Who am I when I'm all alone?

I get to find out today! A dear friend has taken all 5 of my children for the entire day. This is the first time since we moved that I have the house all to myself (besides the dogs anyway).

What will I do with this gift?

Sleep is definately in the picture.
I'm thinking the 4 baskets of laundry that need folding can wait...
No meals to make except for me, not even supper cause my honey and I are going to a birthday party (also without children).
Quilting will take place or at least some kind of playing with fabric...
I don't think I'll write the fresh flower column just yet, perhaps God has a special something that will bloom in the midst of this day...

Right now I'm going to pour myself another cup of tea and curl up with my journal and Bible and enjoy the morning sun...I'll get dressed later...

Update on this quiet day....

I had a wonderful morning sitting my Saviour's feet, writing a poem, reading the word and journalling.
Then I stayed there and enjoyed a quiet rest...
followed by a quiet bath with worship music playing as I relaxed...
I envisioned a dance that I would love to do with my husband to a worship song.....
I got dressed finally....
Found out my dogs are really good at protecting our property as I saw a stranger come to our front door, the inside dog started barking his head off, the guy tried to go to the back, outside dog took up the tune and that fellow just had to leave. NOTE - I wasn't trying to be rude I'd jsut stepped out of the tub and was not about to answer the door in what I had on....
made lunch
read blogs.....I like quiet.......

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


If you need a lesson in patience, try playing the game Trouble with three children under 6. This is what you may encounter.

- lighting fast reflexes of a 2 year old who thinks it's his turn all the time and feels the need to pop the bubble at least three times with every turn
- having your hand squished as everyone 'helps' you with your turn
- a three year old wearing an oversized jacket who is more concerned with trying to pick off the cookie crumbs that have fallen in and around the game board then the game itself
- a 'helpful' almost six year old who wants to 'help' everyone with their turn
- continuously swatting small hands and arms out of the way so you can see what's going on because everyone is hovering
- a mom who has to move just about everyone's game pieces and remember whose turn it happens to be
All this while eating fresh fudge cookies - so it wasn't all bad. We even finished the game without anyone losing interest half way through. The almost six year old won.

They learned something about taking turns and counting at least. I think I might have a few more grey hairs.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

trying to think of some good things today, kinda tired...

my tub!! - it's a two person deep soaker bubbler tub. It has been a life-saver for my aching back and hips

my baby quilt - I'm at the hand-quilting stage and it has turned out so beee-utiful !!! I will borrow my mom's camera when it's finished and post a pic or two

The Explosive Child - it's a book a friend lent me. This is probably the first parenting book I'll probably read cover to cover and actually do what it says. While it has shown me where I have missed the mark with my explosive son it is showing me new ways to deal with and avoid those same expolsions - a lot of work but worth it so far. Yesterday we avoided at least 4 potentially explosive situations with positive solutions!

My husband - he should probably gain sainthood with no problem (oh yeah, he already is one)! When I am pregnant he gets up with the kids at night because he knows that very soon I will be getting up with the baby.

Tiny bumps and pushes - whenever fear assails me that something might be wrong with the babe he/she gives me a reassuring jab just to let me know they're still kicking - literally

friends and family - those dear souls who understand my pregnant brain and don't bug me about it.

worship songs - 'Grace like rain, falling down on me...." help my flesh to get through the day as those lyrics run through my head and encourage my spirit to keep going

due dates - it's coming soon....this too shall pass

menus - I love it when I actually take time to make a menu so I don't have to think of what to make next - saves a ton of brain power

front-loading washing machines - I'm not sure what I did before I had one of those! If you have to buy a new one, pay the extra money and get one - if you want to know why I could wax eloquent for quite some time

God's unusual answers - my husband has been trying to convince me of getting some help to live in after the baby is born for cheap room and board - I was having trouble with that - FEAR AND PRIDE being the major culprits, I am super-mom after all - but I was laying it before the Lord asking him to show me what he wants for me - then I went to the choosing home blog and there was my answer...a great post from a mom of 7, homeschooler, oldest kid 13, she had this to say - moms of newborns need to care for themselves so that they can continue to be good moms..they need to accept the help that comes with open arm, etc. So I laid down my fear and pride and told my husband that I would submit to his plans....sigh

Friday, March 03, 2006

fresh flowers for March 3

Great Expectations - Part 2
copyright 2006, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

I wasn't originally planning on having a part two to this flower but one seems to have popped up and deserves recognition. Many of you could relate to last week's diaganosis of R.U. E. (ridiculously unrealistic expectations). On Sunday morning a friend jokingly accused me of propogating the illness!! My husband was away all weekend at a men's retreat and believe it or not I managed, in my very pregnant state to get four of my five kids (one was at a friend's house) ready for church, do my own hair a little more fancy than usual as well as my daughter's and arrive for church on time (we rarely get to church on time). So my friend looked at all that and figured that it wasn't quite fair since she has two kids, her husband was home and she had only managed a ponytail that morning. I assured her she needed to hear the rest of the story. The only reason this feat was accomplished was because my kids woke me up before 6:00 AM and even moving as slowly as I was I could get done what needed to be done because I had so much time and they were unusually cooperative - and really, I only needed to dress myself and the two year old - the rest can do it on their own.

However, that interaction caused me to miss most of the sermon that morning because I couldn't stop thinking about it. There are a couple more components to this expectation business that can't be ignored. The expectations we place on other people based on our own capabilities and God-given tasks and the expectations we take on from other people based on their capabilities and God-given tasks. Let me illustrate.

We have a large family by today's standards. When people learn that I am about to have our sixth child jaws drop and eyes roll back. For us, it isn't really a big deal. We always wanted to have a large family. Children are a God-given role for me. I have been a babysitter from the time I was old enough to do it. I have more than a dozen nieces and nephews. I've worked in children's ministry in one form or another for about twenty years. It is not uncommon to have a few extra children running through our house. I am not a perfect mother or parent, I lose it, I get overwhelmed with all of them at times, sometimes I wonder at my sanity and some days I can barely handle having one child around. However, in the grand scheme of things God has equipped me to have a large 'children capacity'. Not everyone has that capacity. For some one or two children is the maximum 'children capacity' that they carry. It would be absolutely wrong for me to put on that person an expectation that because they only have one or two children that they are somehow inferior or inadequate (if I have done that inadvertently to anyone reading this I sincerely apologize).

Only just recently was I convicted about my attitude in that. A dear sister in the Lord pointed out that all of our plates are full, just with different things. For some the largest portion may be children, for some the largest portion may be ministry or working in the marketplace. It is not our place to judge someone else's capacity to do certain things. I wouldn't expect my two year old to do the things that my nine year old can do, that would be ridiculous, but we do it to one another quite often.

As it says in Romans 12, "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought...Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function...We have different gifts, according to the grace given us....." Where would I be if everyone had the same size family that I do? There would be no one able to help me in a time of need. In the same way if someone is saying to me that I should be, oh, let's say, keeping five gardens so that I can feed the poor and I give myself to that at the expense of my children I will not be fulfilling my God-given task.

On the flip side of this is that we must not look at what someone else does and condemn ourselves for not being able to do the same. I do this to myself all the time. I look at what someone else is doing and think that I should be able to do that, too. This is also not right. My mother can sew faster than anyone I know. In one week she took a bunch of little scraps of fabric and made them into a completely finished quilt. It was beautiful. If I take that expectation on myself I would make myself and those around me crazy. There are many factors to look at, for one thing my mom has been sewing for far longer than I have. She no longer has children at home. She has a top of the line 'make you coffee' sewing machine. She is semi-retired. She has time, resources and skills available to her that I don't have. So I should not expect that I can do the things that she can. I need to be content with my time, resources and skills that I have at my disposal right now. There may be a season down the road in which God will give that kind of time, resource and skill but it isn't now. Sometimes the season in our life is our limiting factor.

Each of us is given tasks to carry out by the Lord as it says, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Eph 2:10) To some He will give the task of leading multitudes and to some He will give the task of working with their hands. As it says in Proverbs we need to look well to the ways of our household. Not all of us can sing or dance or draw. Not all of us can teach, weld or sail a ship. Be content with the tasks that God has assigned to you right now. They may be different than what you used to do. They may change in the future.

There is something that we can expect with all hope and no fear, that God will do what He says He will. All His promises will come to pass. That is, indeed, a great expectation.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I'm tooting my own horn just a little. I won a writing contest - acutally 'swept' the category (in their words) for Best Poem for 'The Least of These'. I needed that encouragement today, it's been a bit crazy around here.

For those of you who haven't ever read it I will post it here. (slightly different than the song version if you've heard me sing it). Please go to Choosing Home (link is in the sidebar) and check it out, it is an excellent resource for women (particularly moms). I highly recommend it...

The Least of These
copyright 2005, Lani Wiens

I'm pursuing God, is He here?

I'm down on my knees is He here?

Among 10 scraped knees,

A floor full of debris

Is He here?

While I clean up crumbs

And change dirty bums

Is He here?

When I’m scrubbing out the tub

And hosing off the mud

Is He here?

My mountaintops are far apart

But passion burns within my heart

To see your face

Look in your eyes

Feel your arms

I long to fly

Above the normal things that are each day

The mundane stuff gets in my way

You said you would walk with me

Even here

Even now

Among 10 scraped knees

A floor full of debris

While I clean up crumbs

And change dirty bums

I am shaping history

For the very least of these

May someday be the one

That will bring many to the Son

Thank you for this ministry

There’s glory here in my four walls

While I’m on my knees

Pursuing You

I will pick up after the least of these…