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Part 3: Moving Forward by Gillian Russell Meisner

Gill Intl Life
(Flying home again from Texas I was really tired, and a little bit sad to be leaving, and it would have been so easy to just let myself come crashing down…but I had said no, I’m not going to live that way anymore—”I will live in FREEDOM!! Right now, going back home is Your will and in it I will rejoice!”)

On the flight home it was a much quieter trip, and I had lots of time to think. It began to hit me just how much time I have spent striving! How much energy I had wasted! I really had been trying way too hard! Jesus tells us, His yoke is EASY! His burden, is light!!! Staying close to God in His arms by following His leading: letting go in that place of complete trust is effortless, and it makes everything else so easy! *

As I looked back at how God had taken care of me that week, the care and attention He had taken in all these little details for me, I felt His love on a whole new level. In particular, it was not lost on me that my trip was ending on Divine Mercy Sunday. I had had a week of adventures, the conference, the incredible lessons, all culminating with confession and Mass for the feast of Divine Mercy THE SAME DAY; an abundance of sacramental graces to infuse these truths even more, and give me a completely fresh start in life.  And I was just in awe at the thought:  as most certainly the only Catholic attending this conference at a Lutheran church, did God really time the conference, perfectly with Divine Mercy Sunday, JUST FOR ME?! *

One other thing, Lynn had spoken freedom to me just to enjoy my kids again. I had gotten so caught up in all the other aspects of parenting and trying to bring obedience out in them, I had forgotten how to just enjoy their company and the incredible gifts that they are to me.

 

 

 

Back home I could see a major change in myself. Of course over the next few weeks I had to figure out how to integrate this new outlook of freedom into my life, but already I was catching my thoughts and surrendering when I never could before.  I had really been plagued by worry and negativity and now I could often catch myself in that thinking and take those thoughts captive to Christ instead. But the biggest thing is that freedom from stress.

A HUGE weight had been lifted.

I knew control was a lie, and I had known better, but I hadn’t lived it. Honestly I don’t think I even knew practically how to let God be in control before. It was incredible, and I just knew this was going to bring new freedom to every area of my life! It was going to permeate every one of my relationships: with my husband, with my kids!

I have been quite controlling at times, particularly of my kids, especially because I felt that if I didn’t make sure X happened then it would be the end of the world. It was like a compulsive thing. I have had a deep need to be in control, and in the past it used to make me incredibly anxious, stressed and upset, every time something did not go how I wanted and felt it should. (which as a parent of young children, is, a LOT of the time!)

I used to spend so much time and energy worrying about how to fix things: my kids not obeying or cleaning up etc…our daily schedule not working – and I’d have to stop everything else and fix it, right now!

Instead, I’m learning that all these things will work out eventually, in God’s time. And the mess and clutter in the house, I can let go even more, because I know ultimately my heart (and theirs’) are more important than any tidy rooms…

 

 

 

(The other change I see is with my oldest. To this day he has a zeal for his faith that none of my other boys have. I noticed the day he came home, that something was different about my five year old.  He just seemed so different, that I asked him straight out if he met Jesus while I was away, and  he said yes!  He said Jesus was there at the end of Nanny’s bed, and Nanny was asleep, but he was awake. His hair was black and his clothes were brown and white… He told me, “Jesus said if I be bad, then I don’t get candy.”
I am still blown away by the simultaneous stories God wrote for me, my son and this family all while we were miles apart! Seriously, I just love how God works because back home I actually felt relaxed enough to let them have candy/treats– especially because they were being so good!  Meanwhile God had told that to my son he’d get candy if he was good, and then He put on my heart that it was ok for me to give them some!! God is too funny. 🙂 And my son seems different, he is so much more obedient. It’s like he’s made up his mind now that HE wants to obey, and there is also a fresh enthusiasm to his faith (which was really only mine before). He is so excited for Jesus. We were singing the rise up song from the Easter flash mob and he was dancing around. I played the Newsboys song, God’s Not Dead a few times around them, and then one night he was just screaming it over and over! ‘God’s not dead, He’s surely alive!’ It was so funny 🙂

 

I still struggle with trying to take control in small situations, conversations, frustrations etc, but stepping out of the driver’s seat of my life and letting God take over has brought unbelievable freedom and an abundance of blessings for me and for my family that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I know this freedom is nothing I could ever do. I could never break those chains that held me, ** It has been entirely His grace, for this freedom that I discovered is nothing short of the power of Christ, who lives in me.

I still typically make some kind of plan for the day, but I try to do it WITH Him, and then just let Him work out my day, my week, moment by moment. I also really try not to make firm decisions myself anymore, even in areas where I do have control. I know how strong my will is when I decide something, so I prefer to let God have the first say. Ideally, I try to take my own desires of it and then let God speak through my circumstances and through others. (Last summer we decided to move from our first little home. I knew I wanted the house that God had for us, so while I gave input in what I liked and didn’t, I really left the final decision up to DH and his friend who would be renting from us, trusting God to lead us all to the place where He wanted us. The house they both picked in the end wasn’t my favorite at the time, but it has turned out to be the perfect fit for us and I know we are exactly where we are meant to be.)

 

God has taught me in a very real and practical way how to let go and give up control of every detail of my life, so that He can be the One in charge.

He taught me that true surrender can only happen when we are willing to accept the real possibility of what we don’t want, happening. 

And in that profound lesson He gave me the freedom I needed to say ‘well, if my son misses praying first thing in the morning today, it’s no big deal, God’s got it! God will take care of him.’

And so, on this trip, along with the freedom, God birthed in me incredible, unconditional trust. An unconditional surrender that He knew I would need down the road.

Jesus calls to us, come, ‘shoulder My yoke and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ It is only in the moments when I surrender completely to God that I find that rest that my soul longs for.

Everything God did for me He wants to do for you too, and for all of His children, if we will only surrender and put all our trust in Him. It all begins with a simple prayer from the heart, even if you feel nothing, if you have the desire to know or trust Him more, 5 small words is all it takes: ‘Jesus, I trust in You.’ Those 5 words could change your life forever, because you can bet, He’s listening.

God is good. He is in control. And if we will surrender ourselves completely into His hands, He will take us on the most amazing adventures! It is my great hope that my story will encourage you to step out and trust God more in your own lives. He really does have every little thing under control. And at the heart of everything He does, is love.

 

 

 

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Part 2: Freedom: God Always Knows Best

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Part 2: Freedom: God Always Knows Best by Gillian Russell Meisner

Because the trip to Texas for the SUM conference was entirely God’s idea, I knew this was a tremendous opportunity, and I didn’t want to miss ANYTHING that He might have planned for me, so I gave the entire week over to Him.

The whole time God took excellent care of his little girl, but He didn’t make it easy, (the cold, getting lost, discovering I was without my passport the night before an early flight) and yet through it all I discovered incredible freedom: For example: after a day and a half of travel, when the cabbie and I were driving around at 2 in the morning unable to find the house I was to stay in, I discovered to my astonishment I wasn’t upset, or frustrated or stressed about it. I didn’t even care, because I knew God had a plan and would not just leave me there stranded. And eventually we found the only house with a light on downstairs at 2am.

I continued in this spirit of surrender and experienced such peace and joy all week, until Friday. The day started out fine but by the evening, as I was heading to the church for the meet and greet w the ladies I just felt so scattered. My peace was gone and it was like I couldn’t even enter into the moment.

Then I was inside and I saw Lynn and Dineen standing by the table and I was like, ‘ahh! I’m not ready for this!’ So I tried to find a spot off by myself to try to get back to God, and then Lynn came over and found me. 🙂

But driving home that night I realized what had happened. That morning I had made a simple list of the things I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out on before I left the house where I was staying. I wasn’t obsessive and I had let the Holy Spirit remind me of things I almost forgot, but in making that simple but deliberate list, I had taken back control from God. I had my own plan and was no longer open to other things He might have asked of me should they have interfered with what I wanted.

When I realized what had happened I knew I never wanted to do that again, here I was unable to really enjoy the amazing experiences I was having and now the conference was tomorrow! After all, that was the whole reason God had led me down here in the first place, so I knew I had to find a way to give the control back to God, not just a simple ‘I surrender God’, but from my heart. And there was a sacrifice I knew I had to be willing to make in order to do this.

That evening Lynn had told me there would be a dinner after the conference for some church ladies and the ladies of our community. I very much wanted to attend especially to have more time to talk face to face, but before coming down I had already committed to going to Mass on Saturday afternoon since I’d be flying all day Sunday. And I knew from the website Mass was right at 5:30, dinner time. And so, if I wanted to give control back to God and experience everything He had for me I knew I had to be willing to let the dinner go. And so, I did. Whatever God did have for me, even if it didn’t include the dinner was more important. And as soon as I surrendered my heart wholly back to His will, my peace and joy came flooding back again.

At the Conference: At the time I felt that 2 months of suffering had better birth tremendous grace and let me tell you, God does NOT disappoint! I felt like a brand new woman!

Lynn talked about the lies we believe and how to replace them with truth, and Dineen spelled out 4 awesome principles for trusting God. It was exactly what I needed to hear:

  1. God is good. God is good, God is always good, God can not be anything but good. 2. God is in control. 3. God is an equipper (if He calls you to do something He will make it happen, even changing the hearts of people who stand in the way). 4. God is a redeemer, He brings good out of everything, it’s who He is. )

During the freedom portion of the conference when Lynn and Dineen were praying and people were going up to the front, laying down the lies they had believed and coming for prayer, I was still working through my own stuff and the band was wrapping up their song  and I heard Lynn say, ‘Lord, someone in here isn’t finished…’ I just knew, that was me.

So the band played another song and God kept speaking truth into me and blowing me away. After everything He had been teaching me this week, I knew one of my biggest lies was that I needed to be in control. I remember it was the moment God’s voice just broke through everything and He spoke to my heart : “You will have absolutely EVERYTHING you desire, you dream about, just leave it in My hands.”

I was overcome with emotion and His love and I just melted! But, what I didn’t know until later was the chains that He broke at that moment: my desperate need for control and the negative thought patterns that seemed to follow me – they were a great source of stress and both of them used to trap me in great prisons of frustration and discouragement. Now, by His grace, I had a way out. (These were major major issues, I figured ‘thorn in the flesh’ type, or maybe just MAYBE with enough patience and perseverance, really gradually, they might be broken, months or even years from now. But no. God said enough, she’s struggled enough, set her free! )

After the conference that day at the other church as I sat w my little one asleep in my arms I could hear my thoughts, ‘I need to take this photo and Lord, I still have to prep my confession and … And I so want x….’ And He just cut straight through all of that: “Haven’t I shown you I can take good care of you?? Haven’t I shown you that you can trust Me???”

“Yes Lord, but…”

“No. Stop. Be IN Me. You let go and let Me take charge, and You will see and I will give you everything. Just let go and trust Me.”

So I let go and gave the whole day to Him. And in return He gave me everything: time for confession, and thus to receive divine mercy, Mass, and time with my hands free to take photos of the beautiful church afterwards, AND to go to the dinner as well, photos at both churches, a picture with Lynn and Dineen, my book signed by both, and even time to sit and chat w Lynn as old friends for close to an hour! Looking back on my day there is not ONE thing where I think, ‘oh I just/still wish that…..’ because God gave me everything!!!!!

So then that night, getting ready for my early flight next morning, the person I was staying with asked, “Have you got your purse? Yep. You got your passport?” I looked in my purse, the other bags – and it wasn’t there! I felt God say ‘Trust Me’, so I reluctantly agreed that I would go along for the ride… But then as I stepped outside for a moment I heard myself say, “Really?! Really, Lord???” And woah it hit me, that’s fighting Him, that’s not trust! I resigned from living that way, I don’t want to live like that again. When I fight God, that’s when I get frustrated, that’s when I get hurt! – He has shown me all week that He is MORE than capable of taking care of me so why take that back from Him now? And so instead I let go and told God I accepted it, and to have His way with this too.

I knew control was a lie, and I had known better, but I hadn’t lived it. Honestly I don’t think I knew practically how to let God be in control before. It was incredible, and I just knew this was going to bring new freedom to every area of my life! It was going to permeate every one of my relationships: with my hubby, with my kids!

 

I have been quite controlling at times, particularly of my kids, especially because I felt that if I didn’t make sure X happened then it would be the end of the world. It was like a compulsive thing. I have a deep need to be in control, and in the past it used to make me incredibly anxious and stressed every time something did not go how I wanted and felt it should. (which as a parent of young children, is, a LOT of the time!)

Instead, God taught me in a very real and practical way how to let go and give up control of every detail of my life, and on a moment by moment basis, to let Him work out my day,(instead of planning and then anxiously seeking to control everyone around me to make sure everything worked out. ) He taught me that  true surrender means being willing to accept the possibility of what you don’t want to happen.  And in that profound lesson, He gave me the freedom I needed to say ‘well, if my son misses praying first thing in the morning today, it’s no big deal, God’s got it! God will take care of him.’

And so, on this trip, along with the freedom, God birthed in me incredible, unconditional trust. An unconditional surrender that He knew I would need down the road. And of course, it all worked out in the end.

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I wrote this series of posts for the SUM Mismatched And Thriving Site 🙂 This is Part 1.

Providence
by Gillian Russell Meisner

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Back in the winter of 2012/2013 there was an announcement on the SUM blog, a special conference, for the Sumites ( and others too). I saw the post and immediately my heart soared at the possibility, but I knew I had 3 small boys at home, and it was such a long way to travel from Canada for a one day conference, so I smiled at the thought, decided it wasn’t the time, and let it go.

But then about a month later something happened as I read one of the SUM posts and all of a sudden, I really, really wanted to go. It was as if I no longer had peace with my decision. The same thing has happened a few times before, I will have, in peace, made a decision to decline an opportunity, and God will swoop in and change my heart. That’s how I know it’s Him.

I did a bit more thinking and discerning about the conference. It started after I woke up from a strange (as in how did that get there) dream about tornados – little ones that would spring up out of nowhere… and winds that were so strong you had to bunker down. Like every 5 minutes :S

Besides the whole I’d never done this before, the thought of flying by myself was nerve racking because what if I missed my flight or even get on the wrong plane! There was a certain amount of fear associated with traveling all alone, with an infant, to a state down south where I’d never been. Strange city, young woman all alone… you know… Fear… I had just been reading something about fear the other day! Fear: A catalyst for growth, This would be a chance to really, practically put my trust in God. And really, if the main reason I was leaning towards not going was based on fear, then it suddenly seemed pretty clear.

It still seemed pretty crazy, to want to fly all the way from Canada down to Texas for a one day conference, but in particular I recalled something I had been reading in Rediscover Catholicism, about living for God alone:

The saints simply asked themselves, “What is God’s will for this moment” If they concluded that something would help them draw nearer to God and the best version of themselves God desired them to be, then they embraced it. If they decided that it wouldn’t, then they turned their backs on it regardless of how alluring the opportunity was.”

And when I thought about it in that light it didn’t sound so crazy anymore. I had already come to a place where I knew I wanted to trust God more. I knew it would force me to rely on God in a big way (travelling alone, navigating airports and even another country without anyone else to follow), it would teach me more about the world and people far away that I could better share God’s heart for them too, it would be the fulfillment of a dream to meet these ladies and I knew it would help me grow in my marriage as well. Also, I always find it easier to make a concrete change when I’m at a conference. I mean, when I just resolve 1 day to make a change, it usually doesn’t stick very well, it’s when the resolve is coupled with an EXPERIENCE that I find myself truly changing on a deeper level. So I made the decision in my heart and while my husband was concerned about the money and asked if it would be web cast etc… otherwise he seemed ok with it. He agreed I could go, but was clear with me that this trip was not in the budget. I had no choice, but to step out in faith and ask for help.

And God was faithful. Leading up to my trip God was already wowing me with His provision as He took care of every detail of getting me to the Southern US, while still honoring my husband’s wishes. God provided for my flights, and also abundant funding, more than I could have dreamed. Then in the span of about 15 minutes He provided me with a place to stay so I didn’t have to worry about hotels, food or cabs while I was down there either, except once from the airport.

CCO puts on retreats for young adults and I have gone every year since 2009, and there was one coming up that spring as well. Usually they have a priest or speaker flown in from somewhere in Canada, yet this spring they had chosen someone different. And as I was discerning I was blown away to see that the speaker they had chosen for this retreat was from Texas. Houston, Texas! Now, if that wasn’t confirmation from God I don’t know what was. That was that, I booked all my tickets, and would be leaving the Tuesday after Easter.

God wasn’t finished though. At the retreat later that March I sat eagerly in the front row w my youngest child on my lap. Out of the blue the speaker stopped his talk, looked right at me and asked, what’s the baby’s name? I told him Noah and his jaw dropped. He asked the middle name and I replied Joseph, and his jaw dropped further. Then he made some little comment about it being like a sign, and went on with his talk. After he finished I went over, knowing it was more coincidental than he thought, and knowing he was from the area intended to ask if he knew of a place to stay there, maybe a convent or something etc. I told him it was like a sign because I would be in Houston in April for a conference. I said nothing more yet right away he told me if I needed a place to stay I was welcome to stay with him and his family. That was that, I booked all my tickets, and would be leaving the Tuesday after Easter.

Yet for those 2 months leading up to my trip to Texas my whole family had been suffering from colds and sickness every weekend, and I had really been struggling with feelings of discouragement. People would question my decision to go, especially when I had a cold again, Easter weekend, right before my trip. But I had felt God’s call on my heart and had no peace in the thought of not going, and so, even though the thought of actually being on a plane and ending up in Texas still seemed impossible, I kept taking little steps, and was amazed to find myself actually sitting on the train that Tuesday, about to leave. And then, by the time I got to Toronto I already felt it had all been worth it. The whole way down I discovered that every person I met on my journey, every encounter, were all divinely ordained and planned out in advance by God, just for me. All the way He provided me with people to talk to and little opportunities to share about His Love and Truth with others. :).

And the whole trip He also taught me a lot about myself and about His provision and care. Over and over and OVER that whole week, God proved His incredible faithfulness to me as I watched my Daddy take care of His little girl like I had never seen before:

Travelling down I had to walk a lot with a young toddler and several heavy bags and every time I needed help, God sent somebody to help me carry my stuff, I never had to ask. Then early one morning a stranger on the train who hadn’t spoken a word to me the entire trip just walked over and put a homemade sandwich on the tray in front of me for my breakfast. Everywhere I went God made sure I had everything I needed and more: He provided food and drinks, directions, additional donations, rides, and even coffee! The way He put it on other people’s hearts to reach out to me, it just showed me in a very powerful way how very much this world is still under God’s control, much more than we realize.

Everything God did for me He wants to do for you too, and for all of His children, if we will only surrender and put all our trust in Him.

 

 

Action Points:

– remember God is in control, in your life and the world, even when you can’t see it.
– The God of love will care for ALL of your needs, and more if you let Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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God still wants things to remain a mystery. For now I have to come back in 4 weeks…

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Fri Mar 14

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– all the boys making silly noises on the couch for no reason

– everyone sharing pikachu
– mmm creamy tomato soup for a light lent lunch
– fellowship, w a true fellow SUMite in person
– sharing SUM broadcasts w her

– pink feathers everywhere, following us all through the metro center
– little toddler waiting patiently in line w me at subway, clutching a pink feather tuft
– how he would wiggle about to the beat of the music
– 2 cushions under my leg, w the pain that was the only thing to let me drive home safely.

Sat Mar 15

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– breakfast in bed since I’m sick 🙂
– house to myself!
– that Lenten reflection, it’s changed the way I look at the sorrowful mysteries !
– grace springing up around Jesus

– new measures to restore a sense of order and responsibility
– ice chunks separated up from the blanket of snow, like raised footprints

– new Otter box case for my iPhone, on mega sale, the awesome indestructible one
– toddler fallen asleep with his hand on my tummy

-toddler putting his first bean in the jar
– grace out of my suffering, opportunities for him to serve and grow in love
– wonder and awe at how far we’ve come!

Sun Mar 16

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-waking up bright and early, and feeling half normal
-wiriting the rest of my Texas testimonies so they are ready to send off too

– coke zero cans on the counter
– my oldest standing in front of me, singing, his head right in front of my growing tummy
– little superman, who normally just plays about at mass, standing attentively w his hands open in praise.

– so apparently all my feathers from the other night were left in the car and had flown off when the door opened yesterday, but God caught one right on the snowbank for me
– great clouds spread out across the sky

– mmm homemade shepherd’s pie, perfect comfort food for a day w a cold
– 3 boys being crazy
– mmm chocolate brownie w banana and ice cream
– recreating a special photo w/o being anywhere near on location

– the 3 most precious and beautiful moments in a long time, all in one weekend

Mon Mar 17

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– Ty Lord Heavenly Father that You always know what is best, at every moment, and that You understand me completely, even when I don’t
– Ty for good kids who will help mummy out when everything gets to be too much and she needs it

– all the ups AND DOWNS this week gave me a first real longing for heaven
– sad Jesus radish
– grace and comfort curled up, just letting Him pick me up and rock me in His arms

– remembering to repent and ask the kids forgiveness
– at last, green trinity shamrock pancakes
– group hugs for everyone
– happy kids w green

– 15 ways to happier more grateful kids, yes please! http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/03/when-youre-tired-of-kids-complaining-15-ways-to-happier-grateful-kids/

Tues Mar 18

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– Ty Lord that there’s no more waiting
-surrender: Though I am weak and sinful, and though I have my own desires about this, I love You and I trust in You, Your. Timing. Is. Perfect.

– the perfect songs on the radio
– green!
– DH by my side
– adoration, being able to just run to The Lord
– 16.5 weeks just seems so long to wait given all the movement I’ve been feeling. Nanny thinks the ultrasound was wrong 🙂

– a long chat w a good friend, who said everything I really needed to hear

– mass, and the light colors on the wall
-Ty Lord for this little blessing, and for the journey.

Wed Mar 19

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– Jesus Calling- a year later and still just as awesome, and as relevant
– toddler feeding toast to his baby
– boys raiding the clean dishwasher to get their breakfast

– potty doodles- he decided to sit there a while
– train track spiral
– boys in their new pillow fort- easiest thing ever lol

– rosary just focusing on his face

– superman drew beedrill, not half bad actually
– lol, a carrot fruit snack
– one kid is sitting in a chair on the bookshelf, another keeps running up into my bed and laughing

– Ty for helping me keep serenity in the chaos today , I trust what Your doing, and it makes all the difference

Thurs Mar 20

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– a dream reminding me of the beauty of my relationship w Jesus- oh I miss those prayer walks!

– well I knew I needed a supper I could put on in my crock pot in the morning ( if we were going to eat) because I’m so tired afternoons and evenings this week… We had almost no spaghetti sauce and not a lot of chicken- so I am making my first pork roast 🙂

-treats hidden under the table by a sneaky child.. W a spoon ready to enjoy!

– toddler w his two babies
– my big kid is getting better at stacking the rinsed dishes 🙂
– toddler sneaking up on his brothers w cold hands- too funny

– mmm my first pork roast was a success 🙂 Only a few carrots left.
– Pokemon battling again, to get all their favourite Pokemon into the hall of fame. P

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Tues can’t come soon enough 🙂 I will finally get to find out just when this special little blessing is coming!

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Fri Mar 7

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– Ty for mass and homeschool group today
– Ty fit a tidier house that we can either tidy some more- toys, playroom etc, or just take it easy)

– rosary w just baby
– stations of the cross w the kids, w little tea lights

– ( original) Pokemon w the kids 🙂

– surprise, a visit from my close friend for the afternoon
– a walk to the park to get some fresh air and energy
– snow oak leaf

– kids playing Pokemon beach
– DH came home w energy, put on music and is cleaning up the kitchen/dining room and making supper 🙂
– and then he held hands w all the boys at the table ( while I was on the couch) and said grace with them. ❤
– the cutest little smiley toddler splashing in the tub

Sat Mar 8

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– little toddler helping clean up the mess his brother left

– marble on my tummy
– superman telling little toddler the colours in the book when I stopped
– little lion through the peep holes

– grace as I learn to better explain how I feel without criticizing

– DH and I working alongside each other in the kitchen 🙂
– mmm BBQ steak dinner
– BBQ in the snow 🙂

Sun Mar 9

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– beautiful dream of what God sees in me
– perfect timing, new grace and resolve to grow in my ability to love my husband, no matter what

– mm pasta w 3 different sauces, the colors of Italy
– the most colourful salad I’ve seen in quite a while
– superman made a bunk bed, the baby sleeps on the bottom and the big kids sleep on the top
– a 2 hour nap I desperately needed, and the aftermath of grandma riding quiet herd on the boys
– toddler waving at grandma w a big grin on his face and a chunk of ice on his other mitten

– clouds of wonder like I haven’t seen in months 🙂
– clouds like creatures from revelation, standing guard
– toddler eating an ice chunk
– a flock of dove clouds flying over our house
– golden angel on the house next door
– after 6 and the sun is still up

– mmm hot chocolate just the thing on a chilly Sunday in Lent

– little chefs
– big kid got bored stuck in his room, moved the green hearts from his door over his bed
– reading old words from God that lifted my burdens and helped me rediscover the serenity and peace that I had lost

Mon Mar 10

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– Ty for sleeping kids this morning
– Ty for supper in the crockpot today, I know I’ll be tired by this afternoon
– lent reflections to deepen my journey and reawaken my heart

– just simple uneventful school time
– a new food to feed my toddler, potatoes w ketchup 🙂

– rest, glorious rest well before 3pm!
– listening to our adventure while I cleaned up the kitchen- we’re actually back on schedule despite being way late 🙂

– superman running away from the hot pot
– mmm bowtie pasta casserole

– time alone in my room to pray and reflect
– an awesome SUM broadcast, they truly just get better and better!

http://www.familylife.com/audio/topics/marriage/challenges/spiritually-mismatched/not-alone/20140310-raising-kids-in-the-faith#.Ux7mZP-9Kc0

Tues Mar 11

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– Ty for another play date today
– Ty for the awesome SUM radio broadcasts

– big kid, “mummy, I hope you never get earnings cause I think you’re beautiful, you’re so pretty, just the way you are!”
– learning about the call to be fishers of men

– just getting out of the house for the day
– a lovely walk through the snow
– brothers walking together, ‘ just the two of us!’
-Snow covered mummy

– little baby surrounded by his new tiny cloth diapers
– ALL the girls w the new play food spread out on the floor
– little helper emptying her little dustpan in the kitchen

– we did get to read a few pages of the book
– a storm of pale pink feathers on the living room carpet
– the kids made a zip line in the boys’ bedroom
– little toddler dancing w a microphone
– a new little diaper tiger cub
– words of truth in the Word Among Us

Wed Mar 12

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– baby’s kiss ‘ow!’ copying mummy ( daddy was scratchy)
– toddler looking at the kids missal w interest

– egg pancake for everyone and whole grain toast
– sharing w a lady from church all about Texas and the things God has shown me and how He has been working in my life
– sending off my first blog post Texas part 1, to SUM for review 😀

– time while supper cooked to chat w a friend and then even to put some more paper grace together
– mmm cordon Swiss chicken

Thurs Mar 13

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– Ty lord that it’s so mild today
– Ty also that we don’t have to go anywhere today.

– Ty for my little toddler w a ‘cowboy hat’ riding horsey in my lap

– Jesus w me in the mess

-‘ I can count to 100!’
-‘oh, 77, 78, 79, … 90!’ No.. ’77, 78, 79,….80 🙂 ‘
– 100!

– toddler still w his coat on his head, sitting on the floor w a book

-Chinese! beef and broccoli and an unexpected surprise 🙂

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Qt

Photobucket

Fri Feb 21

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– amazing news from DH
– “Daddy, we need to go to Mcds! Because we need more toys and I’m hungry right now!”
– Ty that we have the car if we just need to get out of the house

– pikachu eye surgery
– my toddler hiding guiltily by the fireplace, so I wouldn’t see the sucker he’d helped himself to

– old cheese!
– snack lunch w pattern blocks and Odyssey
– now they’re starting to build up!
– pattern block pizza
– a moment of grace w my son thanks to rend collective – strike 7, but I love you no matter what 🙂

– after watching potty training videos for parents in my lap, my little toddler was happy to pick out some big boy underpants from our collection
– my big boy playing w the unit cubes

– spontaneous happy Friday present
– their cars magic marker pictures fit perfectly in the cars photo album! Thanks Holy Spirit!
– baby taking self-portraits
– beautiful chaos as the guys got out some crazy energy w daddy
– impromptu reading practice w Daddy

– grace from God as He carried me gently through a difficult day until DH was home, and even after. Awesome 🙂

Sat Feb 22

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– Ty that we have some time w just the big kids today while our 2 yr old goes on a play date 🙂

– the ascension of Christ from this world into eternity, played out on the boys green wall
– an exclusive chocolate chip muffin party
– baby in hat and mits, already ready to go on his special outing

– a play date for two, aww they’re so cute 🙂
– toddler’s gone, break out the k-nex!
– getting superman to read his books as the star in my videos- so I could have that sweet voice- I paid him in chocolate and we got them all done 🙂
-big kid’s clock flower creation

-big kid’s steering wheel
– granola and fruit yougurt topped w honey
– boys working together, to count fingers and toes

– pikachu on his jet ski
– my robot, not bad lol
– still making contraptions!
– introducing the kids to robot and junkyard wars 🙂

– mmm italian beef and pepperoni soup!
– my toddler hugging his Jesus all the way to bed, and then w the juice cup too, bawwww!
– singing their favourite song for bedtime 🙂

Sun Feb 23

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– Ty for hockey today
– Ty for a day for just rest and family

– hockey baby!
– patriotic breakfast 🙂
– all of us piled on the bed to watch the game
-making Canada flags so the kids could all have their own
– gold!
– a big thick jet trail straight up from the house across the st

– baby carrying Jesus out of church
– a feather across the sky
– a beautiful mild day, 6 degrees!

– mmm Greek today
– pikachu joining us in the circle dr grace

– another great talk on the light
– church again, w the big kids
– teachable moment, my big kid didn’t pick up his blankie from church, he was really upset so I said a prayer and sat w him, and helped him to pray and learn from the experience- God’s grace to carry us both through
– and then all of a sudden he was giggling, happy

– extra grace for this week from receiving holy communion twice
– Ty for lovely time this afternoon and the grace of this miracle starting to come to light- it’s what I know You want- the world- needs this. And You chose me!
– Ty for all the good things You give !

Mon Feb 24

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– Ty for a new week and flexibility to shift around school for the doctor’s tomorrow
– Ty that maybe DH is feeling better
– Ty for another day w these wonderful kids, even if they’re driving me crazy

– pikachu swaying singing the alleluia
– religion lesson on the couch, look mummy can turn a pencil to rubber! It’s a miracle! ( not)

– big kid is customizing the k-nex creations, he made a battleship like in junkyard wars
– easy meal for later
– sweetest little face bouncing around my kitchen w a backpack

– my fish dish was a delicious success, yum!
– squeals of success for Canada as the boys play hockey w daddy in the living room!
– our house is suddenly getting brighter 🙂
– my toddler fell asleep w an unusual cuddle buddy 🙂

Tues Feb 25

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– Ty that I get to see the Dr today 🙂
– Ty that nanny is coming too, and we’re going to get some things taken care of
– Ty that You walk with me every step of the way

– superman reading his book 4 to grandad
– school at Nanny’s and done by 10:30!

– Thy will be done, I had an intern do my check up first!
– heartbeat!
– boys all being brave for their needles
– kids meal reward for my big boys 🙂
– and playtime in the playground
– meaningful figures there in lawtons
– there by Nanny’s driveway- a feather!

– just maybe an answer to Tyler’s prayer to see the Newsboys – God, it’s in Your hands
– my kitchen is just in utter chaos, but what should I expect w a miracle on the horizon! Everything can’t be that easy in this life, lol 😉

– Jesus has a wound? I never noticed before….

Wed Feb 26

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– big kid built a woman out of k-nex!

– look what came to me on the side of my toddler’s head, a white feather!
– a really good phone chat w a Mommy friend
– renewed energy after a nap!

– potty books for my toddler 🙂
– phone chats w family and friends

Thurs Feb 27

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– Ty for a day w structure- to test out what alarms I do and don’t need.

– baby, dry all night, sitting up on the potty first thing this morning 🙂
– perfect crystal puff balls on everything
– mmm cinnamon oatmeal
– a new catchy faster version of our favourite rend collective song
– two little boys finger drumming on the blue desk
-yeah, 11 weeks is way too tiny!
– explaining to my 4 year old what a pun is
– storytime, reading through the life of St John Vianney

– potty party, w the big kids to keep him company

– a pretty paper angel under my dishwasher, just when I needed some divine assistance
– mmm crockpot chicken and bacon take 2 ( creamy bacon chicken) was delicious! Yum yum yum 🙂
– captain barnacles w a light sabre
– Once Upon a Steak

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Who But You?

Who But You? – Mark Hall and Megan Garret – [Music Inspired by “The Story”] 2011

Too little too late
His time has come and gone
Is that what they say when I walk by?
I’ve got a little more grey
My steps are slow and long
And the promise you’ve made fades in the moonlight

I see a star
You see the Milky Way
I see one man counting sand
But you see generations

Who, but You, would ever choose
To dream Your dream in me?
Tell me who, but You, would dare me to
Believe what I can’t see
Who, but You?

You’d think by now
It wouldn’t bother me
The hush from the crowd when I walk by
And you’d think somehow
I’d let my heart believe
It’s time to let go of lullabies

I see a star
You see a galaxy
There’s just one hope
Just one way
These arms will not stay empty

So call me crazy
Call me a fool
You alone can do the things You promised to
You are Yahweh
I’m just a man
I’m counting tiny grains of sand
Placing every promise in your Hand

Great and Mighty God, I believe. I believe you
Keeper of the stars, I believe. I believe you

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