Let's Thrive Together!

Are you tired of just surviving?

Thankful with Nothing

After a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend full of time spent with family, delicious food, exploring the outdoors, I had so much to be thankful for…but what if I had none of those things?

For many people it’s not hard to imagine living pay cheque to pay cheque but think of not having any spare money in order to make a Thanksgiving dinner and having to have hotdogs and Kraft Dinner for your Thanksgiving…would you still be thankful?

If you were recently diagnosed with end stage cancer and were only given a short time to live would it be possible for you to still be thankful?

What if your family had slowly passed away leaving only you left to fend for yourself; or maybe only one person in your family has died but it has left a hole that the rest of your family can’t fill…would you still be thankful?

Imagine living in a place like Syria that has been decimated by war, or in Haiti where your home has just been torn apart by Hurricane Matthew – would you still be thankful then?

How about if when you went to church for Thanksgiving Sunday there was a raid and you and your spouse with your three young kids had to go into hiding to avoid going to jail and maybe even death…could you still feel thankful in hiding? (this really did happen to a missionary family in China this weekend, please pray for them)

So when all is said and done, if you had nothing would you still be thankful?

Can you be thankful just for living? Can you be thankful just that you have breath in your lungs this very moment?

My thankfulness wells up inside me for my Saviour.  Even though I didn’t do anything to deserve it, I have someone who died to save me from dying.  Have you realized that you too need saving?

In spite of anything that’s going on in my life my prayer is that I can still be thankful for God and who He is, for His Son, and for being saved.  I hope that you can say the same.

 

Leave a comment »

It’s that time again…

Printmy tires have been pumped up, my chain lubed, and my outfit ready.  I’ll be riding, for the 4th year in a row, 50 km in the Ride For Refuge.

Why am I riding?  I’m riding to raise money for Kids Alive (and because I love riding my bike – especially in Muskoka, and especially in the fall when the leaves on the trees are so beautiful).

I’m sure you hear of organizations raising money for this and that all the time.  I’m sure you’re getting sick of turning people down or giving money.  I hate asking people for money…so I’m not going to ask.  I’m going to tell you instead about Kids Alive and the great work they are doing around the world.

Kids Alive has children’s homes (they frown upon the word “orphanage”) around the world.  Instead of Canada sending missionaries to different countries to live and run these homes they find people who live in that country that can do the work.  Orphans and vulnerable children get taken off the streets and out of bad situations and put into these children’s homes where they have a mom and a dad and now have a house full of brothers and sisters.  They are virtually adopted into a family.

So why do they need our help?  Well because these countries are poor countries with hundreds of children that could use help every day they do need our help.  Our country is so rich and full of opportunity that we have such a hard time comprehending their life.

Kids Alive comes behind these new families and supplies the “mom and dad” with the funds needed to run this house full of their adopted kids.  Since most of the operation is run by people native to their own country the cost of running things here in Canada is very low…they strive to send most, if not all, the funds raised to needy countries where they can bring more children off the streets and bad situations and into a house of love and acceptance.

Some of these kids have never been in school before.  Some of these kids have never had three meals in one day.  Some of these kids have never owned a pair of shoes.  Some of these kids will not live to make it into a home like this before they die of hunger, abuse, dehydration, or the elements.

Has what I’ve written sunk in at all?  Has anyone heard and let their mind go to what it would be like to be in their shoes?

Here’s my ride page info if you would like to donate: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=3492508&langPref=en-CA

Here’s the Kids Alive website if you want to check them out:  http://www.kidsalive.ca/residential-childrens-homes.php

Leave a comment »

Supernatural Occurances – Part 1

Have you ever had something happen to you that is completely not humanly possible but happened anyway?

I have had a few supernatural things happen in my life, and I’m sure there have been some that I haven’t noticed.

I think sometimes God intervenes sometimes when we ernestly pray and causes supernatural things to occur.

I have two stories…one i will share with you now and one tomorrow (since the stories are too long to tell in one post).

….

Back many years ago when I was working at a summer camp near Haliburon, my best friend was about an hours drive away working at a lakeside resort in Muskoka.  She called me and said she really needed to talk.  I was able to get the afternoon off and drove to her in my beat up Geo Storm. I was so anxious about what could be happening with my friend I didn’t take the time to make the 15 minute detour to get fuel.  Being the backwoods of Haliburton and Muskoka there weren’t any stations on the way. I drove there quickly and got the awesome news that she was engaged! 

Getting in my car to drive back to camp I realized my tank was empty, there’s no way it could make it anywhere near a gas station. I started driving and started praying…I was needed at camp. There were people depending on me and I hate letting them down, especially the little kids. 

I prayed continually. I prayed that somehow I would make it back to camp on empty.  I prayed that somehow there would be a gas station to stop at.  I prayed if I was stranded on the side of the road that someone would help me.  I prayed and prayed.

As I was driving on Hwy 35 (about halfway between Carnarvan and Dwight) there was a one pump, old style gas station. I was so thankful that I had made it!  The pump was so old there wasn’t an option to pay at the pump, so old that there weren’t any
buttons to push to select the type of fuel.  Such an old fuel station that it was gravel underfoot.  I put the fuel nozel in my tank and lifted the on lever. I put $20 in and went into the old shop to pay.  In the store were many old items, they looked as if no one had bought anything there in decades.  There were camping supplies and grocery items but they were all old styles and labels. There was a very old man behind the counter that rang through my gas. I don’t even remember saying anything to him or if he said anything to me. I got back in my car and drove back to camp. Not thinking anything strange had occurred.

A few days later I went on a climbing trip with a group of kids up Hwy 35. On the way there I failed to see the gas station that I had stopped at, thinking I just missed it while I was talking with the kids. On the way back I was careful to watch for it…imagine my surprise when the very spot I had filled up gas at was just a boarded up building with weeds growing up in the gravel parking lot. No fuel pump, no store, no old man.

Whenever I pass this spot to this day it makes me remember how God provided fuel for me when I needed it.

Do you have a story of your own that you can’t explain?  Did God intervene for you sometime in your life? Over the coming weeks I want to tell your story – contact me and either you can tell me about it and I’ll write it or you can write about it yourself.

My mom has a number of stories that I’ll be sharing with you as well…so please come back and read some more supernatural stories where our great God has intervened in earthly matters for the good of those who live Him.

Leave a comment »

Change of Power

It’s been unavoidable, all the talk about American politics that has been going on over the past months it would be impossible to have missed it.  Will Trump get elected or Hillary?  Though we are North of the border I’m sure there will be ramifications for us with whomever gets elected.

Next month the District of Muskoka is taking over running the ambulance service.  It will no longer be an outside contract running things, instead it’ll be run in house.  What does this mean for me?  It means that I’ll have a new boss, new supervisors, someone new making my schedule…change can be good but it can also be very stressful.

What can we do in the midst of all this?  We don’t have any control over what is going to happen South of the border or who’s going to run the ambulance service.

Let’s now go way back in history…back to the time of “Cyrus the Great” who is talked about both in the Bible (you’ll find him in 2 Choronicles, Isaiah, Ezra, and Daniel) and also many historical records.

Think of yourself as a Jew back in 539 B.C. Cyrus, a pagan king, had just taken over as king of Persia.  We have been in captivity and not allowed to return to our homeland for 70 years.  All our gold and treasures from our temple were seized and our temple was destroyed.  The new king, Cyrus, does not seem to be the kind of guy that is going to work in our favour.  He is quoted saying “I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon…” (this quote is written on a scroll that is housed in the British Museum – you can read about it here).  Hearing that quote it makes me think Cyrus was much like the-man-whose-name-rhymes-with-rump. He was not the king of the world but he did think of himself as that.  So when he came in to power, I’m sure the Jews were frightened that things weren’t going to be getting any better.  Yet, despite all this, God used him, the pagan king, to send the Jews back to their homeland – and even gave them all their treasures back and assisted the Jews in rebuilding their temple. (2 Choronicles 36:22-23)

God can use anyone to accomplish His goals, even if it’s the less than ideal candidate.  Instead of stressing and worrying about what will happen when power changes hand, lets instead go to our knees in prayer that God’s Kingdom would advance here on Earth and that He would use whomever is in power to get His work done.

Leave a comment »

The Love is Back

image

I didn’t realize that I had lost it. I don’t know when or how but all I know is that it’s back.

I had been going through the motions like a robot just doing what needed to be done…

Then WHAM I’m knocked out of my stupor and the love that I used to feel comes crashing back.
image

I think I lost it when I stopped paying attention, when I stopped caring about and noticing the little things that I used to pick up on and love.

I lost it when I let myself be bothered and annoyed by things and people I have no control of, that should be unrelated to my love – but they ended up changing my view of things, changing my focus from what it should have been.

How about you?  Is there some area of your life that you’ve lost the love for?

Have you lost your love for God, your spouse, your job, or your life?

Are you stuck in a vicious cycle of just going through the motions for the sake of it?

When you lose a love that you used to have it can affect your entire life including your other loves.

How do you get that love back? How can you reignite that flame that you used to have?

For me I needed life threatening occurrences to spark that flame back to life.

For you,  I hope it’s not that dramatic – although sometimes it could be.

The last few weeks at work have been intense – a crazy motorcycle accident, a patient close to death and hallucinating, a child whose airway was almost fully closed…all three of those patients probably would’ve died without my quick interventions.

These three calls were able to draw me out of my stupor of just doing the job and have brought me back to loving what I do.

We do so many calls where there isn’t anything I can do for the patient except transport them quickly to the hospital. So much of our job is in our interaction with people and everyone we come in contact with. I had forgotten that part of the job that I love. I let different partners and stuff going on with scheduling and changing of bosses affect how I viewed and did my job. I stopped going above and beyond with every patient and just did what was required of me.

image

Doing those three calls made me realize that this job, though I’m not always doing life saving interventions, matters. What I do and how I interact can really affect those around me.

These past months have been hard and I didn’t even realize why…when I didn’t love my job anymore it changed my outlook and robbed some of my joy.

I’m happy to say it’s back – I love my job once again.

4 Comments »

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today is chocolate chip cookie day!!! Take some time out and bake some cookies with your kids.

Here’s my favourite recipe:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/3 cup butter
1 heaping cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method:
Mix together first 5 ingredients then put flour on top add the salt and soda and just mix them into the flour before mixing all together. Add chips and mix.   Roll into 1″ balls and push them down with palm of your hand.  Bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes

image

Leave a comment »

The Unseen Battle

image

There is a battle going on that is unseen and rarely spoken of. A battle that changes lives for the better or for the worse.

This is a spiritual battle that is constantly going on.

Have you noticed it?

The way your mind can get overcome with worry or fear all of a sudden – it can cripple your entire being…give it over to God, worry doesn’t change things but prayer does.

The way your mouth sometimes seems to have a mind of it’s own and you say things that you shouldn’t – the tongue is impossible to tame (James 3:8)…what you hear each day influences how you speak so be careful who you hang around with, what you’re listening to, and what you’re watching on TV.

The sleepiness and distractions that overtake you while you are trying to pray – those prayers change things…move to a less comfortable position and a place free of distractions.

The church service that you just can’t keep your mind focused on – someone doesn’t want you to hear what is said…pray for focus, take notes, get a good sleep the night before.

The health problems that always seem to arise disabling you from attending church/study/friendships – you do have a lot of control over your own health…eat healthier, exercise more, get enough sleep, PRAY.

The busyness that crops up when your trying to have a quiet time with God – kids, jobs,  housework creep in to try to make your life too busy to have time….schedule it in to your day,  try changing up the times until you find one that works and stick with it.

The Bible study that keeps getting disrupted – we need this teaching so we can grow…pray that the disruptions would stop.

How is so easy to talk about “fluff” and things in life that don’t matter – we should be talking of and sharing uplifting and things that further the kingdom…pray for more opportunities for deeper conversations and even think of topics ahead of time to talk about.

These battles and more are going on constantly trying to distract you from the abundant life God wants you to have. Please rejoice that He has already won the war – we can know that victory is ours, the question is are you living that victory out or are you still living in bondage?

photo credit to Randy Verheye find him here at http://www.wildspectrumphotography.com/#
Leave a comment »

Are you willing to sacrifice your kids to God?

noun sac·ri·fice \ˈsa-krə-ˌfīs, also -fəs or -ˌfīz\
  • : the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone

  • : an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god

  • : a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice

As a mom I feel like my whole life is full of making sacrifices – the loss of sleep from getting up each night, the last cookie that I was hoping to eat but instead put as a treat in my 4 year old’s lunch, all of that alone time where I could do whatever I pleased – gone to serve my kids.

I wouldn’t change any of it.

The sacrifices I make for my kids are worth every bit of it. I want them to feel special and loved.

We see sacrifice a lot in the Bible, but there are two stories in particular that I want to touch on today – both of these have to do with parents sacrificing.

Wood+in+FireImagine being asked to sacrifice your own child – killing your own child, by your own hand.  I can’t think of anything harder to do than that…yet when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Issac, he was ready to do just that.  Check out the story in Genesis 22:1-18 Abraham and Issac set up the wood and fire for the burnt offering and then Abraham bound his son and laid him on the alter.  God interrupted Abraham just as he was about to stab his son with his knife.  God blessed Abraham because he was willing to kill his only son because God asked him to.

The next story I want to open up to you is the story of Hannah – read about her in 1 Samuel 1-2 Hannah was a woman that couldn’t have children it says that “the Lord had closed her womb” (1:5) she was so upset that she couldn’t have children that she wouldn’t eat.  She cried out to God in distress, He heard her cry and she gave birth to a son, Samuel…then as soon as he was weaned she gave him up to the High priest, Eli, to raise in the House of the Lord.  How hard would that have been?  To have dreamed of having a baby for years and then finally once you have him and have nursed him, you give him up to the Lord and only get to see him once a year. (It says that she made him a new robe and brought it to him each year in 2:19.)  That is what I call sacrifice to God.

These two parents had so much faith in God that even the most important thing in their life was willing to be sacrificed to Him.

How about you – would you be willing to sacrifice your child to God?

God probably won’t tell you to kill your own child, and He probably won’t tell you to leave your child at a church when he is just a toddler so the pastor can raise him but are you willing to sacrifice your own child?

Are you willing to sacrifice your dreams and desires for your child and surrender them to God so that He can use your child as He pleases?

Are you willing to let your child suffer if God wills it?

If you have given your own life over to God then you need to be ready to let go of your children and give them over to God as well.

I think back to when I was just graduating high school – I was just turning 18 and I wanted to go away for a year and work as a missionary in orphanages.  When I think back now to what my parents must have went through – I was their only daughter of 5 kids and still so young.  I left Canada and went to Zambia – a single white girl on a dangerous adventure.  So much could have happened to me.  My parents could have put a stop to my plans.  They could have discouraged me from going and convinced me to stay in Canada and get an education before heading out on crazy adventures.

They encouraged me, they supported me, they prayed with me.  They let me go.

Did they worry about me?  I’m sure they did…but they didn’t let that worry of things that could happen to control them, they gave up their daughter to God’s plan.

Are you ready to release your kids to God?  Are you ready to lay them down in sacrifice to Him and let Him take control?

Photo credit to my brother-in-law, Randy Verheye.  Check him out at http://www.wildspectrumphotography.com/
Leave a comment »

Little morning adventure on the pond

This morning after waving good bye to Kaley on the school bus Kenzie and I loaded the kayak on top of the car and drove the 2 minutes down the hill to the large pond in the middle of town near the high school.

We paddled and floated around enjoying being out with the birds singing.

image

We found a beaver’s house and sat quietly waiting to see if they’d come out. Kenzie decided there were 3 beavers in there but they were sleeping and didn’t want to come out.

image

After a while of waiting quietly Kenzie thought it was time to keep going on our adventure and across the pond we saw two beavers swimming – just their heads above the water to be seen. By the time we had paddled across they were long gone. We sat quietly for a bit and eventually we saw one beaver pretty close to us – then it went down a small water path and kenzie said we were too big to fit through – I think she was right!

image

Though we were only out for a few hours and we were only on a little pond we had so much fun exploring and watching for wildlife. Many times while paddling Kenzie would say out of the blue “so pretty”.  I’m not sure what she was referring to but I think that was her way of saying how nice it was out there.

So I’d like to encourage each of you to get outside and enjoy nature – in a boat or on land, with a friend or by yourself. Get outside, soak up that vitamin D and praise God for the beauty of all He’s created.

O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
    In wisdom you have made them all.
    The earth is full of your creatures.               Psalm 104:24 (NLT)

Leave a comment »

Make Your Own Natural Weed Killer

My kids and I love running around outside with no shoes (going on and off the trampoline it’s hard to keep putting shoes on and off).  The only problem with our back yard is that the grass is full of weeds.  I really don’t mind the weeds as long as they’re green, it’s ok that its not actual grass but then when I step on something prickly that hurts my foot I am not impressed.  My two year old especially hates stepping on the prickly plants – so I had to find a solution.

20160510_150138.jpg

Upon research I found out that this plant is called the Canadian Thistle and it’s hard to kill.  It has a deep root system so when attempting to just pull it out it will often grow back with multiple plants because you’ve split the roots.  The best way to deal with this pesky weed is to just keep killing the top plant which can be done one of two ways:

    1. Cutting the plant out with scissors – you have to get as far down as you can.  Be sure you wear some thick gloves because when I attempted to cut them out I wore thin gardening gloves and the prickly spikes went right through.
    2. Spray I with weed killer!  You can buy weed killer like “Round Up” or you can20160516_090810.jpg make your own with natural ingredients that you probably have at your house.  What you need is:  an empty spray bottle (I used an empty “Windex” bottle), 1/4 cup Epsom Salt, a squirt of natural soup (like dawn or, as I used, baby shampoo), and fill the rest with vinegar.  Squirt it liberally with the mixture and by the next day you’ll notice the plant is dead.
20160510_150241.jpg

As you can see I focused my spray on the centre, killing the plant being my goal.

With both of these solutions you will need to do it a few times because they will continue to try to grow back – your best option is to plant grass seed around them and try to crowd them out.  I will be putting out grass seed with fertilizer to try and make my yard more hospitable to grass and less hospitable to thistles.

The weed killer I made works to kill any plant – don’t spray it on anything green unless you really want to kill it!

2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: