Tuesday, February 28, 2006

another admission.........

I have hit the point in this pregnancy when I become impatient (and extremely uncomfortable). I just want to hold this baby in my arms, wrap a cozy quilt around her (I say her in faith) and put her to my breast. I want to see her face and tell her her name.

The reality is I've got somewhere between 5 and 6 weeks if all goes well. It seems like an eternity. The baby is sitting so low I can barely keep my legs together when I'm sitting down. My belly cuts off the circulation to my legs. Meanwhile those little feet are stuck in my ribs so I can't get a good breath to read to the kids. My hips just hurt, all the time... I promised myself that I wouldn't complain this is just the reality of life in my pregnant body.

A friend who just had her baby was at church on Sunday and I just couldn't hold him because I want so badly to hold my own, I knew it would just make things worse. He was a big boy, 10lbs 12 oz. that had to hurt.

anyway that's all for now...........

Monday, February 27, 2006

the embarrasing truth

I'm playing a little 'reality blogging' with RAndi over at I Have to Say, which I just realized is NOT in my sidebar. Sooooooooooo go over to Intent and you can link to Randi (there's my first reality piece - procrastination and forgetfulness).

I can't give you any nasty pictures to share because I don't have one of those funky little cameras that everyone else has. So you'll have to imagine with me..............

* it took about a month before we finally vaccumed upstairs after we moved into our new house.
* there are days when I am simply too tired too care whether we do any school work at all, so we don't - building Bionicles is educational isn't it?
* our back deck is a renovation disaster zone as well as the playground for the dogs to eat garbage, play with the recycling and generally make a mess.
* speaking of recycling - I only do milk jugs, pop bottles and juice boxes - haven't gotten into paper, tin cans, glass or anything else
* I feed my dogs leftovers from the table
* if my kids fall asleep in their clothes they stay that way, maybe the next day, too
* I often forget to remind my kids to brush their teeth
* once in awhile we eat chocolate cake for breakfast
* My basement is a maze of boxes and debris and will remain that way until I can bend again...
* I don't always cook vegetables with every meal - I figure if pasta restaurants can get away with it so can I

My brain is a little overtired from the weekend so I'll have to stop there...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

the flower revealed

Don't usually do these things, but hey, I am the flowerlady and needed to know...........

HASH(0x8599534)
You are a Lily:

You are graceful, gentle, calm, and pure and

perhaps a little shy (though your shyness is

part of your charm). You are a very honorable

person who always wants to do the right

thing. Your calm attitude has a soothing

effect on others.

Symbolism: The lily has long been used as a symbol

of majesty, honor, chastity, and purity of

heart.


Which Flower are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, February 24, 2006

fresh flowers for February 24

Great Expectations
copyright 2006, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

I'm wondering how many of you suffer, like me, from R.U.E. (Ridiculously Unrealistic Expectations). Here are the symptoms so you can check yourself:

1. It starts with a dreamy expression and an ideal coming from your own imagination or some other source (i.e. a book, magazine article, picture or someone else's story of success)
2. There is a burst of energy as you attempt to implement your plan that formulated out of the ideal.
3. You begin to feel frustrated as you realize that things are not going as you planned.
4. You are discouraged when it becomes clear that this ideal is harder to attain than you thought and the book, article, picture or person didn't give you the whole story of their journey to success. This thing is hard work and looks like it will take a long time to complete.
5. You either throw your hands up in defeat or lay your head down and cry, believing that it is indeed a hopeless venture and you should put yourself out of your misery and give up.

This cycle can be repeated endlessly with either a new ideal or a renewed sense of 'I will do or die trying!'

Check yourself. Been there? Done that? I am a victim of R.U. E. far more often than I care to admit. I've seen it happen in my husband and my children. As I'm writing this my eldest son is attempting to create a backpack for his Bionicles. His first attempt fell far short of his expectation and he burst into tears. Earlier this evening my little girl was trying to wrap a birthday gift and she just couldn't quite get it right, again, the tears. If you recall a few weeks ago my friend's little girl and her first crochet project that came with the words, "This was not what I imagined." Things rarely go as I imagine.

My first reaction to my son was to ask him if he'd like some help. My compassion for him was great as he struggled to make this project. I could do one of two things. First, I could rescue him and do the project myself, knowing that it will most likely turn out the way he wants it to. Second, I could give him a few pointers and suggestions to help him meet with success and help him build some character and learn a bit more about sewing and planning a project. The second option will also allow him the dignity of completing the project on his own and knowing that sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing you did something well. I decided to take the second course, though the first one would be much faster. The second one means I'm going to let him stay up later, but I'll have a happy boy in the end who feels good about what he did.

I'm guessing that the second option is what God does with us. He lets us get our high and lofty ideals out, lets us try in our own strength to accomplish them, lets us fall on our face so we realize we're not quite as wonderful as we first thought and then gently gives us what we need to do the job. He teaches us the lessons in character required to reach that ideal. He gives us endurance and strength to go the distance to reach that ideal. Because in the end, the ideal is His and He actually wants us to get there.

In the meantime He reminds us that our expectations are a little out there - too much, too fast. This week he reminded me that my boys are boys and I am not. I need to remember that for them hanging ropes out of windows and raising and lowering things is fun and not actually dangerous (with the exception of the metal pipe that almost came through the kitchen window). I was also reminded that themany character issues that need to be dealt with (pride, jealousy, quarrelling, anger, foolishness) won't be dealt with in one week of my trying to get it through their heads. I believe His words to me were, "They didn't get like this overnight and they aren't going to change in one week, lower your expectation, they are kids, they are foolish and they will learn....over time."

Then there are the expectations I place on myself. I am extremely pregnant. I don't move very quickly. I don't bend well. I have a few aches and places of uncomfortableness. It is physically impossible for me to do things as quickly as I normally would. I was so discouraged this week when I set my timer to give myself 15 minutes to tidy up my kitchen, normally that is plenty of time to do what I need to do in there. That day I barely got my dishes washed, forget dried or put away and I didn't even glance at the floor. I get discouraged that I don't have the energy to play the 'come get me' games with my two year old. I get discouraged that I can't carry him up the stairs and can only pick him up for a few minutes before I simply must put him down. The Lord reminded me that in a few short weeks that will change. It won't hurt anymore to have them snuggle up on my lap, but there will be another one to share it with.

Our family has been meditating in Proverbs a lot lately. The Lord has been highlighting verses on diligence, perseverance, wisdom and much more to us. As you check where you are in the R.U.E. cycle I hope that some of these will encourage you as they have encouraged me and get you out of there permanently.

Proverbs 13:4 - The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisified.

Proverbs 14:23 - All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

1 Samuel 30:6b - But David found strength in the Lord His God. (this was after being rejected and then finding his wife and children kidnapped)

Psalm 22:5b - In you they trusted and were not disappointed

Proverbs 23:4 - Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. (this one is difficult for two German-Mennonite work-aholics, we're not trying to get rich, just get out of debt, but that wearing yourself out part is sure true)

Proverbs 23:18 - There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off.

Isaiah 30:15 - In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength (the verse goes on to say, 'but you would have none of it' - I don't want that part to be true of me)

Lamentations 3:22ff

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

today

Today began a little too early. I woke up just before 5:00 AM and couldn't go back to sleep. So I decided I might as well get up and make use of the time. Say hello to my wonderful soaker tub. That thing has been such a blessing and has been a pain reliever like no other.

This morning I turned on some worship tunes, kept the lights dim and sat in the warmth and worshipped. It was a marvelous way to begin a day that wasn't without its difficulties. Everyone is in bed now and I just finished making some fudge cookies which I will indulge in once they're a wee bit cooler.

Oh and we have a new family member, Scotty. This house has been guarded by Scotty for many years and he just came back home yesterday (he belonged to our friends). The kids are loving him like crazy. He's the sweetest dog and easy to love. I think I'll be able to learn some lessons from him.

Fudge Cookies (no-baking required)

Boil together for 5 minutes over medium heat:

1/2 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk

Add:

3 cups oatmeal
1 cup coconut (or just add a little more oatmeal)
1/2 cup cocoa

Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper. Work fast, they harden quickly!!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

beast removal update

It's been a week now since the television left our home. There have been moments when I longed to stick a video in just to get a little peace and quiet. Keeping the two year old busy has been the biggest challenge, I didn't realize that he was spending so much time in front of the glowing box. The extremely cold weather didn't help matters much either. We also had lots of visitors this week so more stimulation than usual from outside sources.

At any rate we came to the conculsion that with as much opposition as we encountered we must be on the right track. We've had much more focus on feeding our spirits than before. Having our own quiet times more regularly and feeding our kids more scripture. There have been some huge blessings from this and we are glad.

Next huge monster to tackle - making a schedule for the household to run on.....

Friday, February 17, 2006

fresh flowers for February 17

Be The Center
not an original today

Today I felt that I would like to encourage you with the encouragement that the Lord has given me this week. These are the words to a song that our worship team led us in this Sunday, they were a balm to my spirit, I hope they are the same for you. This song has been the prayer of my heart for the last week, I pray it becomes yours as well. I'm sorry I can't remember who wrote it, perhaps someone would be so kind as to remind me...




Be The Center

Jesus,
Be the center,
Be my source,
Be my light,
Jesus

Jesus,
Be the center
Be my hope,
Be my song,

Jesus

Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails

Be the reason that I live
Jesus, Jesus

Jesus,
Be my vision
Be my path
Be my guide
Jesus


Thursday, February 16, 2006

the beast has a master...

Apparently, if you are planning on ditching your beast you ought to be prepared for a bit of the backlash from the beast's master. He doesn't like it when you cut it off this source of input and encourage others to do the same.

In other words, today was less than pleasant. And that's all I will say about that........

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

3 days after idol removal....

We have now been without the black beast in our home for three days. It has been wonderful!! The peace that has come to our house is quite astounding. The fighting has diminished considerably. I am finding that my spirit is calmer, not so much frustration and irritation (that may have more to do with the fact that I have finally been able to start having regular devotions again). Seriously, though, I stand amazed. I thought it would be much more difficult, but it isn't.

Benefits for this particular day:

* did not have a fight with my son about doing school work - even with grandpa and grandma waiting to take him to their place for sewing lessons
* cleaned the entire upstairs with all five kids in tow
* oldest two boys made lunch together
* more books are being read
* more schoolwork is getting done
* more playing is happening
* mommy is far less irritated and impatient
* the dog is seeing more play time

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

better from blogging

Found this at Intent, Sparrow is one of those persons for me.


If there is someone on your blogroll who makes your world a better place just because that person exists and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence on your blog.

Beast Removal

We attended the provincial home-schooling conference this weekend. Our first one. It was sooooooooooo good. The speakers were Steve and Teri Maxwell from Kansas. Their website is www.Titus2.com, I'd highly recommend what they have to say. We left with our hearts and heads full, but not overwhelmed. Much of the information was like water to my weary soul. So much of what Teri particularly spoke about were things that I have been or am struggling with. Other things were a confirmation of what the Lord had already been convicting us of.

Now we need to sift through all of this and ask the Lord what we are to apply and when. The first thing was the TV. It took a trip out to the garage yesterday. I am already amazed at the difference in the atmosphere of our home. There is a new peace in our living room. I did not spend half my day trying to referee fights about what movie to watch or saying No and dealing with the whining and fussing about why not.

They played with toys, they went outside, they did their chores and their school work. Our plan is to walk this out for six months and see what fruit it bears and then we'll weigh whether or not we want to bring it back.

So far, this has been a good change.

The reasoning behind it. It's a huge waste of time. It's benefits are very limited. It's pitfalls are myriad. The Lord convicted us that it was something we needed to do. Our children's hearts are too tied to that thing, they need to be tied to the Lord Jesus first of all and to us - that beast does not contribute in anyway to either of those goals.

So........the beast is gone and I'm glad.

Friday, February 10, 2006

fresh flowers for February 11

Season of Change
copyright 2006, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original


I am astounded by the volume of change that I am seeing around me, in me and even through me. It is staggering to me. There are some huge changes, like our government which will affect our entire country. I see changes in the weather and in the lengthening of days as we approach a change of season. I see changes in our church as we get set to go to two services. I see changes in my body as I get closer and closer to giving birth to this baby, who will also cause massive change in our home. I just spent the weekend at a home-schooling convention and know that lots of changes will be coming into our home, our minds and our hearts because of the puzzle pieces that God gave us to put together into a picture of our family. I see changes in the lives of the individuals that have been part of our bible study group. I see changes in my children as they grow, learn and mature. I see changes in our back bedroom as the paint and flooring is finally going in. And I know that the changes will not stop coming, they will continue as surely as the seasons change.

What strikes me the most about all these changes is how very difficult they all are. It would seem that no change is easy even though some changes require less effort than others. At the moment changing the sheets on my bed requres much less effort than changing positions in that same bed. On the other hand, for my small son changing the bed would require huge effort while changing position would not. It is a matter of physical differences, abilities and knowledge.

When I think about how difficult it is to change someone's mind about something once they've come to a conclusion or how difficult it is to change my own mind about something once I've made it up I'm astounded that some changes ever take place at all. Some changes are imposed on us while others we can participate in either positively or negatively. Our government has changed, we all were given the opportunity to have a say in that change. However, the overall outcome is imposed, we must now live with the change and learn to live with the consequences of the changes that our countrymen as well as ourselves have brought about, for better or worse.

In the election campaign, hundreds of people worked tirelessly to sway opinion and change people's minds. Each candidate was attempting to change the heart and mind of every single voting person in this country to their party platform. That is no easy task, obviously none of them were completely successful in their endeavour or we would have had one party having 100% of the vote.

I've often read and heard how people are upset that the church doesn't change. I'm wondering how closely they are looking. If it's impossible to change the mind of the whole country and almost equally impossible to change the mind of a single individual who doesn't want to change, change in any organization that includes a number of individuals will, at best, be slow. But change it will, because change is inevitable and necessary. For some people in our congregation going to two services may appear to be an abrupt change, having been on staff several years ago, I know that it isn't, we've been talking about it and praying about it for years. We must be patient and see that we are part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Like the changing of the seasons, or the metamorphisis of a caterpillar to a butterfly, it may look at first glance like nothing is happening. Yet under the surface a miracle is taking place and then, voila! the change happens and it seems like it was instantaneous. The scripture declares that outwardly we waste away, yet inwardly we are being renewed (changed) day by day. What a wonderful promise. God is transforming us little by little into His image. Sometimes it seems like nothing is going on, but underneath a stirring has happened, the Spirit is at work. Be patient dear ones, cooperate with the Lord in whatever change is taking place, submit to your leadership, look for the positive, perhaps the change will come a little faster. While not every change seems like a good one at the time, we can be assured that the over all picture is being fitted together by the Lord God himself. No need to worry in this season of change.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

new groove

We are getting closer to finding that new groove. So far it feels more like we're bumping along on a very nasty street. We need to discover new ways of doing our routines and living in this new space. I didn't think it would be this difficult. We've cut out a few things for a now, like program for Chris and piano lessons. School work is minimal but still there.

We've managed to keep our weekly management meetings and finally got all the bookkeeping back on track, that was difficult. Kelly isn't quite into his work groove as of yet. Kind of difficult when your office isn't put together yet. He's painting right now, then the flooring goes in, the doors go up and trim, baseboards and light fixtures appear. THEN we can move in furniture that doesn't presently exist but hopefully will by then. Anyway, finding this groove has been an adventure... one day we'll get it back...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

fresh flowers for February 4

The Mess
copyright 2006, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original


I was greeted with an interesting sight when I got home from the ballet run today. My eldest son was beaming from ear to ear with the joy of discovery. He was also covered head to toe in green glop... so was the table, the floor and the nearest chair. Bits of glop found their way into the hallway and living room. The counters and sink had remnants of other experiments that had gone on this morning. But my boy was radiant with what he'd learned and managed to accompish on his own, telling me about the things he'd found out about the glop he'd created. He valiantly attempted to clean up his mess, however, nine year old mess cleaning up isn't quite the same as mommy cleaning up, I was glad he attempted to undo his mess at least.

I thought about the other messes I'm encountering lately. My two year old is learning to go to the bathroom by himself. For any of you who have been down that road you may recall the joys of this time of life - it is messy, but the results are great when the journey is over. My three year old has discovered puzzles, I am constantly picking up puzzle pieces from interesting places.

Anytime a new thing is being learned there is sure to be a mess involved. It may not be a physical mess but there will be a mess of some kind guaranteed. Think about this in the context of a new believer or someone just discovering and experimenting with their spiritual gifts. The first time someone using a gift of prophecy steps out there is usually a little correcting needed, perhaps some fires to put out but do we stop that person from prophecying again? I hope not. What about the first time someone tries to lead a group or head up a ministry. There will be mistakes, things to be cleaned up but we don't stop trying.

What would happen if you had a baby learning to walk and because they kept falling on their bottom you decided it would be better if they didn't do that again. You had better strengthen your arm muscles because you'll be carrying that child around for the rest of your life unless someone else intervenes. Any parents I know of would never even think of doing that in that context and yet we do tend to limit people in our sphere when they are learning something new because we don't want to be bothered with the mess. If I am too tired and it seems like a lot of work I am eager to put a diaper on that 2 year old bottom and not bother with the underwear, but he won't learn without my consistent support, encouragement and cleaning cloth.

In this process of discipleship, learning and growing we must be prepared for the mess, it will surely come. We need to remember that we once had to learn those things, too and there will be new things that we still have to learn, we will make our own messes that someone else will clean up. Love one another, bear one another's burdens, these are the commands of God. They will know we are Christians by our love for one another, or perhaps by how merciful we are during the messes. Keep your cleaning cloth in your back pocket - don't leave home without it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

WARNING!!!

For all my blogger friends who are eagerly watching the countdown meter above (okay so maybe I'm the only one eagerly watching) I need to warn you.

Cut off the last two weeks of that thing. I've never yet made it to 38 weeks and I'm guessing I won't start with #6!!! (Blow up a balloon six times and take a good look, you'll get the picture).

So we are under 10 weeks and counting down. YEE HAW!!

Of course this is the part where I start to swing between coming way too quick and can't get here soon enough. Oh the joys of being pregnant.

My sweet little friend over at Livin' Forgiven' just found out she's expecting, the wave of Hopeful babies continues. I believe there are a few more that could join the ranks don't ya think........no pressure, but us old-timers have to stop somewhere!!