wiww -week 3

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for week 3! (i'm very impressed with myself!)

Can I just say - this accountability thing really works....  I can't believe how many times I thought about YOU when I was getting dressed.

honestly, that weirds me out just a little, but the point of being mindful about my choices - clothing and otherwise - remains.

And so here's some of what I wore last week:
[wednesday is my busy day, work-wise.  afternoon at the church,
running around with kids, worship team/choir practices, home late!]
(comfort is key!)
jeans - gap
black pleated top - h&m
sand dollar pendant - bought on vacation last year
[home with the kids - no school- and running errands]
jeans -dkny
white long-sleeved scoop neck - old navy
bulkiest sweater ever made - abercrombie 

later that day we went to a couples wedding shower, so I took off the huge sweater and added...
taupe top - rw & co
necklace - gift from my BIL from Mexico, or somewhere...

(my brother-in-law buys me MOST of my interesting jewelry when he's on vacation...)

(I took the skirt off and put on -gasp!- jeans for the afternoon helping with the band at church in the afternoon and hosting our young families small group in the evening.)
black tank - old navy
black cashmere cardi- anne taylor
dark denim skirt - gap
bracelette - gift fr BIL a long time ago
[regular Monday at the church office - calls for layering and warmth.
my workspace is chilly!]
long sleeve black scoop - joe fresh
jeans - gap
grey sweater - banana republic
locket - mom's

blessings to you today!


what a ride

I used to love rollercoasters.

I can't stand the round-and-round of most amusement park rides, but after riding the mind-bender at West Edmonton Mall for the first time in 1993 - I was hooked.

It's such a rush, getting locked into your seat and slowly tick-tick-tick-ing up the long slow slope before the first drop.

And then you're off!

Up and down, round  and upside down.... at times lifting out of your seat...coming to the very tip top and having full view of the park before the next sudden drop.

I used to love rollercoasters.

 On our honeymoon over 13 years ago, my brand new husband and I spent the day at Valleyfair in Minnesota.  Besides getting burnt to a crisp - which never fails to happen when you're as fair as I am - the most memorable part of the day was riding the Wild Thing.

We even got one of those key chains showing your face as you travel through a dark tunnel.  It's still kicking around here somewhere...

It was so fun to experience the thrill of that kind of "safe fear" together and we joked about how we'd travel to all the Six Flags amusement parks and ride the biggest, baddest coasters we could find.

Yeah, I talk big.

The last big coaster I rode was in southern Ontario at Marineland.  We were thankful at the time because my brother-in-law was with us and could hang out with the kids while we went together.

That was my last big ride.

As we whipped around the corners and loops I thought of my 3 little kids.  They were 7, 5 and 2....and I couldn't help but wonder what would happen to these little lives if the tragic worse case scenerio happened during our ride.  I tried to focus on the fun of losing gravity but I just pictured their pink cheeks in the morning, rosy from sleep and their sweet voices telling me all their very important stories.

The thrill of adventure no longer seemed important to me, what mattered was having my feet firmly planted on the ground.

Up and down, round and round.  There have been times I have let my emotions run my life.  There are still times that I struggle with being driven by how I feel, but as I watch my children grow I realize how important it is for them to have people in their lives that not only are consistent in their parenting (because don't we all know that) but that are consistent in their walk with the Lord and trust in Him.

Does that mean I should never doubt, or question or even secretly wonder?

I don't think so.

I do think it means that I need to build spiritual disciplines into my life that enable me walk with God even during dry or doubting times.  And I also think it means I need to be (carefully) honest with my kids about how being on the journey with Christ isn't a smooth and easy road, but it's still worth it.

The satisfaction of feeling every feeling (and usually acting-or acting out- on it) has lost its shine; what matters now is that I take every thought captive and make it obedient to my Saviour. (2 corinthians 5:10)

And hey, I can always use the rollercoaster as a metaphor -especially now that my first born is hooked on them and tends to be a little up-and-down herself!

...with His help...

 I will sing of your strength, 
       in the morning I will sing of your love; 
       for you are my fortress, 
       my refuge in times of trouble.

    O my Strength, I sing praise to you; 
       you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
psalm 59:16-17



Who isn't looking for ways to multi-task these days?  I know am!  It's actually kind of a chronic problem for me... when I'm looking for new shoes, I tend to leave empty handed because - go figure - there just aren't shoes out there that I can wear to work, to the grocery store, for exercise and a date night.  They just don't exist.

But when I find a way that I can multi-task, I like to share.  So here it is - if you want to clean your house, exercise and have a great worship experience you have to listen to my new favorite album:
see the website!

Gather your cleaning supplies and blast this music in your ipod.  How can you help but not work faster - praising God for even having a home to clean, worshiping Him for His mercies - new every morning (Lam 3:22-23).  And I dare you not to break a sweat!  And when you finish listening, your heart will be blessed, your house will be clean, and if you're like me, you'll need a fresh t-shirt!

See if this gets you in the mood.....


wiww -week 2

Before we take a look at some of what I've been wearing in the last week, 
can I just acknowledge something?

I wear alot of grey.  

I know it, and I've actually mentioned it here before.  

I may try and move out of grey - I may not.  
Is that ok?
good.  let's move on.

[2 ministry meetings, shopping with Abbey for a birthday gift]
jeans- gap 
(i also wear jeans: almost always)
grey t - roots
grey cord blazer - h&m
rose pin- made by me (when I gave up tv for lent)
[groceries, work @ church, swimming lessons, kids club - regular Friday]
jeans - old navy
white tank - american eagle
grey cardi - gap
here's a close up of my necklace.
it's kind of tiny, but i like it because it's one of those scrabble tile pendants,
it has 3 eggs (one for each of my chicks)
and it reminded me of a picture in our bathroom.
[monday at the church office]
jeans - dkny, too stretchy kept falling down
black v-neck t - gap
black sweater - club monaco
wooden necklace - dollarama; seriously $1

and because I'm a very goal oriented person 
(and my goal was to try and capture at least 4 days in a week): 
here's the look I had going on yesterday.
I literally didn't leave the house, don't worry.

how'd you do this week?
check out the cute creator of this project at
The Pleated Poppy



I'm still recovering from a very busy weekend, but what was so great about this particular weekend was the way the Lord emphasized the blessing and importance of FAMILY.  (Not a new concept, of course, and not the first time I've ever been thankful for my family.... just a really nice reminder!)

 Psalm 127:4-5

 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. 

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. 

Whenever I have the fun of spending time with my extended family, I tend to wish that my own family were just a little bigger.  My grandparents, John and Anne had 7 children (my mom is their baby).  Each of these children married and had children of their own - 16 in total.  Many of these have married and had children, giving my grandparents around 32 great-grandchildren!  (I hope that number is close to being right...)  

Our family is spread far and wide across Canada and the US, so getting everyone together is very rare.  I think the last time was two weeks after my son Ethan was born (who is now 8).  Sad, but real life.  So when my very organized and motivated cousin offered to arrange an afternoon for the family to get together, we were happy to be part of it.  Of course, no one out province could come, and not everyone in province either, but being together - eating, visiting and playing games - was still fun and meaningful!

My grandparents sat near the entrance to the church we gathered in and watched their offspring bound in with much enthusiasm.  I wondered what that felt like.  As they held the latest addition the family (my sweet niece, Grace), I wondered if they remembered what it was like to hold their first baby, and then their first grandchild just nine years after their youngest was born!  I wondered if they looked around that noisy room and asked themselves where the time had gone - how this all had come to pass.  

My grandparents came to know Christ after they had begun their family, but once they made that commitment, they became devoted followers, teaching their children the ways of the Lord.  Each of their children married believers who raised their families to know about Jesus.  Seven families, covered in prayer, not without their hardships, not without their trials and mistakes.  Many families going on for the Lord have come out those seven.  Many families active in their local churches, doing what they can to spread the kingdom of God, doing what they can to raise their own families to know and love Jesus.  Generations of Christ followers already, blessing poured out on John and Anne Thomas and their choice to give their lives to God.  And the double blessing of seeing it in this life.

It seems so perfect then, to end the weekend with the first night of our Young Families small groups.  We started a new DVD series, and the whole emphasis of this group is to support and encourage one another to raise families that look like what my grandparents have, Lord willing.  Not that we will be perfect, or get it all right.  Not that there are any guarantees.  Just to have a heart devoted to the Lord first above all and to make it really obvious to the lives in our charge.   

Deuteronomy 6:1-2 

Love the LORD Your God
 1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.

and just so you know - getting the kids to bed Sunday evening after a weekend like that reinforces to me that our quiver is indeed full....and I am thankful.


intention: my first wiww

Part of my personal mission/vision with this blog and in my life is to live intentionally.  I don't want to be the kind of person who moves from one reaction to the next but graciously lives responding to people and circumstances consciously....intentionally.

I've been following the blog of this sweet lady for a while now, and I think I was drawn to her because of a weekly post she does called "what i wore wednesday."

the pleated poppy blog

It's about being intentional!
It's about not just falling into whatever sweats that lay by the side of the bed (or the jammies that just got slept in!) but to do your family and the world a favour by choosing outfits, making the most of the things you have, and being creative.  

I love this idea!  I've thought for a while since I started up the blog again that maybe I would join this so-called 'linky party' but honestly, I was a little reluctant.  I mean, who cares what I'm wearing?  

The thing is, this blog for me is also about accountability.  If I write it here, it's open game for conversation...  therefore, I choose honesty for the sake of making things happen...  you know?

So here I am, posting some random outfits from the last couple of weeks.  My only full-length mirror is in kind of weird spot, so you won't usually get to see my feet, but since we here in Canada don't usually wear shoes in the house, you won't be missing much!

[day running errands, maybe went into the church office]
long sleeved t -old navy
grey tank underneath - american eagle
silver locket - my mom's (has some cool 1970's pics in it)
jeans - old navy 
[afternoon at the church, swimming lessons, serving at Finding Freedom]
t-shirt - american eagle
turquoise cardi - walmart
ripped jeans - gap
red shoes- gift from my bro-in-law off the streets of new york
necklace - gift from friend, hand made heart

[church, young adult lunch]
ruffly tank top - gap
white blazer - old navy
dark jeans - gap
brown slingbacks- shoe warehouse
[around the house, out for a couple errands]
white cardi - zellers
grey tshirt - joe fresh
jeans - gap
cake pendant - farm chicks

[day spent baking for thankgiving dinner - pies and buns!]
white t- joe fresh
pink tank - american eagle
jeans - gap
pendant - american eagle

So, I have a ways to go in the creativity department, but there you have it!  Of course, what I most want to put on is this, but I also can delight in being intentional about my clothes.... I think.

What are you wearing these days?


my heart will choose

I think it's safe to say that we all know how blessed we are.
...to live in a free country,
...to have more than enough food,
...to have clean water

I think it's safe to say we all know we should be thankful.

and yet....

Some years as this occasion set aside for expressing gratitude rolls around, 
it's just not that simple.  


These are our reality in this part of the world.  

and yet....

gratitude is a choice.

I will be thankful for all I have
even though there are ways I'm praying for the Lord's provision

I will be thankful for my family
even in the midst of the daily grind

I will be thankful for my supply
even though there are endless pretty things I could wish for

I will be thankful for friendships
even when they are distant - physically or emotionally

I will be thankful for a God who loves me and has a plan for me
even when I don't understand the plan or wish for a different plan

I will be thankful for my ministry
and continue to pray for greater vision

I will be thankful for my health
and not be distracted by my wishing to look or be differently

I will give thanks in all circumstances
those in and beyond my control

I will TRUST that God is in control
even though the world isn't


Yours, O LORD is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honour come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:11-13



I've never been one to use expensive products.  One time I thought I would convert and wear only MAC makeup, because how cool is that, but I just couldn't make myself give up my $2 eyeliner....  I've heard that if you start using Chanel face powder, you'll never go back.  A lifetime of fifty dollar powder is just not something this mrs. pastor can commit to!  I'll stick with my drug store finds.

One of my faves is Aveeno skin care products.
I've been using the Positively Radiant line for several years, and I really feel like it's the best for me.  As I washed me face the other day I began to think of someone else who was radiant: Moses!  Remember him?  Remember how he would go up Mt. Sinai to meet with God and when he came back he was so radiant that he actually had to cover up! (see Exodus 34)  I looked more closely at the bottle I was using and noticed this: "brings out skin's natural radiance and evens out skin tone and texture."

I think this is what Moses experienced - not in the appearance of his skin (though maybe, who knows?) - in his spirit....radiant and evened out.

One of the verses I keep by my kitchen sink is from Psalm 143:10
"Teach me to do your will for you are my God,
may your good spirit lead me on level ground"

As a woman, I know what it feels like to walk on un-even ground.  The up, the d-o-w-n!  I want my soul to be evened out, I want to radiate God's love and grace.

I haven't been very disciplined about getting up early for my quiet time lately.  I did well for a while, but you know how it is, you stay up late a couple of nights which makes it hard to get up early.....

I know there's no rule about having your devo time first thing in the morning, but I've seen the fruit of getting up and being spiritually grounded for the day and I want that again.  And as I think about Moses, and how spending time with the Lord made him radiant, I consider how my family would benefit from a wife and mom that reflects God from the earliest part of the morning - this would have to be an act of God, since I don't wake up "well." I want to be the kind of woman that isn't ruled by her circumstances or mood, but trusts the Spirit to lead me level ground, emotionally speaking.

Tonight I'm setting my coffee pot, laying out my Bible and putting a cozy blanket on my favorite chair, ready for an early(ish) morning visit with my loving God.

When do you have QT?


don't forget

I went through a very brief phase where I wore short red cowboy boots. Hard to believe?
I hope so!

(They were not a cute as the ones in this picture.)

If I believed in luck, I might say these boots were lucky.  I was wearing my red cowboy boots the night Gavin Hall asked me on a date - the first of many, many dates and 13 years of marriage!

He invited me to go with him to dinner (Tony Roma's) and a show (Jesus Christ Superstar) and out after....  He teased me about my boots by saying "there's no place like home."  I never wore them again!

The next day, we drove with his brother out our favorite place, Faith Bible Camp, for a weekend retreat.  I found just a few pictures from that weekend.  None of them are of us together - too soon for that! :)
remember MONDETTA?  It was very cool.
I took this picture- it was my "thing" that summer,
pictures of people laying with their heads together.

If you don't know, you won't get it....oh, Kev!
I took this one too-I tried to appear "cool" about it,
 but I did NOT like it, Kramer girls! ;)
How secure must I be to put the UGLIEST picture
of myself on the world wide web?!

We were reminded around the communion table this past Sunday about the verse in Hebrews 10 that says:  "Remember those early days after you had received the Light" (vs 32a)  It was a great reminder as I reflected on Christ and the sacrifice He made to give me life.  To look back at the times where the love overwhelmed my heart, making my Saviour irresistible!

It also occurred to me that it's a good thing for marriage too.  To remember what it felt like in those early days...to reminisce about first dates, first kisses, the first year of marriage....to see my spouse through those 19 year old eyes, before kids and bills and life...

Do you remember?


what you see

When I am sad, I hide.
When I am burdened, I keep to myself.
When I am lonely, I stay lonely and I don't mind.

When I feel restored, I want to reach out.
I wonder how many people have been wading through the waters of life, and like me, don't talk about it.

When my brother-in-law won a gift of a photo shoot with an amazing photographer and gave the gift to us for a (first ever) pro family photo, I didn't book the appointment.  I wanted to wait until the "sad" left my eyes.

I took this picture of myself a couple of months ago.

I wondered if my eyes would tell too much of my heart....maybe you don't see it.  Maybe you didn't see it.

That's ok.

Only a couple of people knew vaguely about my struggle and it's probably because it was tough for even me to define.

Today I praise God because the cloud is lifting and I've been given a fresh realization of who He is and how He is at work in and around me.  I thank Him for the many times He gave me the power to live beyond my circumstances and do the work He has called me to do - in my home, in my church.  I'm grateful that even though the waters felt deep, I did not drown.  I am not drowning.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; 
       my hope comes from him.

  He alone is my rock and my salvation; 
       he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

  My salvation and my honor depend on God
       he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

  Trust in him at all times, O people; 
       pour out your hearts to him, 
       for God is our refuge. 
       psalm 62:5-8

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