Saturday, February 6, 2016

Psalm 103

I've spent the last few months memorizing Psalm 103 and I can hardly believe I'm saying this, but I did it!  I recited the whole chapter to my husband 2 night ago.  I am not good at memorization.  Like, really bad, actually.  My sister would memorize sheets and sheets of Scripture to subsidize the cost of attending Bible camp.  When I went to camp, I tried memorizing as well, and it didn't work.  Thankfully I never loved camp as much as her!  I love acting, but hugely struggled with script memorization, so never pursued it beyond church drama team as a teen.  Once, in high school, we were required to memorize 20 verses of Scripture for Bible class.  It was hard!  So why attempt to memorize a whole chapter again?  Because I wanted the words to stick in my head (and heart) long-term.  I was reading through Psalms in my one-on-one time with God, and when I came across Psalm 103:10, it really hit me (you can read it below).  I love that verse.  So I decided to memorize the whole chapter.  I love the idea of being able to bring God's words to mind, and to share them with anybody who needs, even if I or the other person doesn't have a Bible on hand.  Now I guess we'll just see how long it sticks!  Hopefully if I brush up on it occasionally, it will.  However, I found there are 2 cons to memorizing this much, at least for me.  It may be different for you.  For me, it took me months to memorize it.  During this time, I felt I couldn't move on with reading my Bible, because I felt it would "write over" the words I had memorized.  This had the effect of pausing my spiritual growth a little.  Don't worry, I still did spend one-on-one time with God, it just wasn't as frequent or always as in-depth as it was before.  Also, when I was continually repeating the verses to memorize the words, they became just that - words.  That was a little disappointing, and something I didn't expect.  I'm hoping that now that it's memorized, these words can be brought to mind and dwelt on, so that I can treasure them more again - and I think that will be the case!  I'm excited to have more of God's Word hidden in my heart, ready to be brought to mind when I or others need it!

I have highlighted my favourite verse, the one that inspired me to memorize this chapter, below.  Once you're done reading, could you please share your favourite part of this chapter in the comments?  Thanks!  I'd love to hear what was the most meaningful to you!

 "Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will He keep His anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does He remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear Him, 
and His righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep His covenant and remember to do His commandments.
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
and His kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you His angels,
you mighty ones who do His word,
obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all His hosts,
His ministers, who do His will!
Bless the Lord, all His works,
in all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Life Goes On

As we continue waiting to adopt, life moves on.

Yes, there are still moments when the phone rings and my stomach lurches, but they are few and far between.  I won't deny that, the longer the wait, the harder hope is to hang on to.

But I have not given up!  Recently I have been thinking about tweaking our Dear Birthmother letter and making it more reflective of my heart, and less of a history write-up of ourselves.  Also, a few times a week I work on our baby room.  We are renovating our house ourselves, and what I've been doing is tearing wallpaper off the walls of the baby room.  It's a chore to say the least, but every strip torn off makes me feel like I'm that much closer to bringing Baby home :)  Also, this week we are going to be attending, for our first time, a support group at our agency for waiting adoptive parents.

Hubby taking a pause during renos.  This is looking from the living room to the wall of the baby room.  We are widening one closet into a nook for our computer desk; this will make the baby room closet slightly smaller.
Besides renos, what else has 'everyday life' looked like for me lately?  Well, I have been reading a very good book about friendships.  I am learning a lot about myself and how to do friendships better in the future.  Also, I've been working on a system to prioritize how I spend my days.  I don't want the little time that God has given me go to waste doing unimportant things.  Important things to me, that I want to do every day, are one-on-one time with God, one-on-one time with my husband, doing housework, scrapbooking, going outside for fresh air/exercise, and the list goes on.  Checklists work for me to get into good habits, so I'm leaning towards doing something like that.   

Perhaps one day I will write a series of blog posts on friendships. 
By the way, did you notice I am Top Mommy Blogs approved?  Exciting stuff for me!  Clicking gets me 1 vote! You can vote once a day.  Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Motherhood Month - 20

Progress:  2 years + 8 months

How I'm Feeling:  Expecting the call any time, yet most of the time just moving on with regular life.

Craving:  I'm really hungry right now, so I'd take almost anything.  Maybe a burger.  I haven't had one of those in months.  And chocolate.

Thoughts About Our Future Child:  I want to introduce you to everyone in our families; I know you will be loved!

Thoughts About Our Child's Expectant Mom:  I won't deny I'm nervous about our first meeting!

Most Recent Baby Purchase/Gift:  I did receive two items for Christmas!  One from my mom and one from my husband.
My mom gave me this fleece pullover.  Despite how the colours may look here, it is actually a true red & black.  It will look great on a little lumberjack if we have a son :)
My husband got me this ADORABLE fleece sleeper!  This one I had pointed out to him that I wanted.  It has kitties all over it and you all know I am a cat person!!
You know what's weird?  Somehow, I totally skipped my last category - 'This Month God..." from my Motherhood Month posts the last three times!!  I have no idea how that happened!  So without further ado...

This Month God:  These are the verses God has been reminding me of lately:

"And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone,
and especially to those who are in the household of faith."
Galatians 6:9-10

Friday, January 8, 2016

Still Waiting

^Do you see that ticker above this post?  It says 2 years, 7 months, 3 weeks, & 4 days waiting for our baby bird to find our nest.  I'm not sure why it's taking that long.  Granted, we took a five-month break, so subtract that.  But still.  I didn't think it would be this long.  Even though I know God's timing is best, the waiting is still sometimes just hard

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Most Popular Posts of 2015

Here are the top 10 blog posts you read most in 2015!

#10 -  Motherhood Month - 14  - A monthly post I, as an expectant adoptive mom, do similar to the ones expectant pregnant moms do to document their wait.

# 9 - Motherhood Month - 15 - I can't get over how cute that hat is and can't wait to see it on someone!

#8 - Giveaway! - Everyone should read this book!

#7 - Motherhood Month - 16 - Sharing my feelings of the wait.

#6 - Rough Day - We all have hard days as we wait for our arms to be filled with a little one.  This was one of mine.

#5 - His Steadfast Love is Clear - One of my favourite posts.  I find it encouraging reading back on it now - and I hope you do, too.

#4 - I'm Not Super Woman - Re-reading this was a good reminder for me that, "if I desire to be a woman that pleases God, I will most likely lose the desire to be "super woman"."

#3 - Mothers with Different Abilities - Kara - This is the personal, touching story of a woman who parents well, despite living with physical challenges.

#2 - Mothers with Different Abilities - Intro - The reasons behind this series.  Maybe you want to participate? :)


#1 - Ten Years!  - The post about my husband's and I wedding anniversary!  A walk-down-memory-lane timeline with pictures! 

Thanks for reading and sharing my life with me!

Just a note:  For those of you who follow my blog with Google Friend Connect, if you don't have a Google account, Blogger will be removing your profile and you will no longer be following my blog.  That is sad :(  I want you to get notified of blog posts!  So, either sign up for a Google account and double-check to make sure you're following.  Or, follow via another option - such as Bloglovin' or by email (available in the sidebar).  Thanks!  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Story of Being Set Free

One of my goals for 2016 is to share testimonies with you!  These will be personal accounts from my friends & family of how Christ saved them and what He is doing in their lives today!  You can read my salvation story here.  I share a little more here, and you can also click here to read all my posts about faith. 

Today I'm sharing the testimony of my big brother!  Well, he's my only brother, actually ;)  He is eight years older than I, and he's a typical older brother - a pest! Ha!  I'm sure he'd say the same of me! :D  But I've always looked up to him, and now that we're both adults, I consider him my friend.

My brother, Vic, and his wife, Renee, have been married for 18 years and have one child, my precious, awesome niece, Acacia, who recently turned 11.  Adoption is very near & dear to their hearts, as Renee and her brother were both adopted, and Acacia joined the family through adoption as well.  She was born in China and Vic & Renee brought her home when she was almost 2.  I cannot imagine my life without any of them!

Vic shares on his blog What Path?  Go visit! :)  As well as having a passion for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, Vic enjoys being outdoors in God's creation, and spending time with his wife & daughter.

Here is his testimony:

My Desperate Search For Truth

Hi, my name is Victor Reimer, and I would like to share with you how I came to find the truth. The truth that set me free!

My beliefs started to form at a very young age, perhaps being as little as five years old. My parents attended a typical Mennonite church and of course I attended their Sunday School. I still remember that one Sunday when they brought together all the classes and showed us a film. I don't have any recollection of what the film was about, but I do remember someone going up front after and saying that we needed to “invite Jesus into our hearts” if we wanted to go to Heaven. It never occurred to me to talk about this to anyone. I simply went home and naively did as I had been instructed! It wouldn't be until I was thirteen years of age that I was asked about my spiritual condition. When asked if I was a Christian, I simply responded, “yes,” and that was the end of that conversation.

I remember, too, that my sister had done something wrong one day, and I told her that she would go to Hell. My Dad quickly responded, saying, “That is not how it works.” Yet, I don't remember hearing anything beyond that -- though I recollect that every night before falling asleep, I would confess all my sins to God. Later in life, my dad would instruct us kids that we should also be reading our Bibles.

Growing up, church attendance was a pretty big deal, though Dad eventually let me skip out on Sunday School, because all they did is talk about sports! Going away on fishing trips, or any such thing, was also good grounds to skip out on church!

However, things did not sit well with me. I had a whole “other side” to me. I had a life of sin. I was in bondage to all kinds of sins! I would faithfully confess these to God every night and then turn right around and do them again! Clearly, I was a slave to sin. This caused me to begin a desperate search for the truth.

I had begun to see that I was not in control of these sinful things in my life – I was a slave to it, and I wanted my freedom! Yet, I hadn't much a clue as to how. I wrote letters to different ministries, but nothing availed. I would try inviting Jesus into my heart many times over, but again, to no use whatsoever! I tried saying different prayers, but still there was no change. Whatever was I to do?! I needed help! I knew that within the Word of God was the answer, but it seemed as if I was blind! I couldn't understand that which I read.

By this time I was in my early twenties, and still I was not free. I still hadn't heard the gospel. It was around this time that a fellow by the name of John Cross came by my parents' place. It was shortly after this time that I read this gentleman's book, “The Stranger on The Road to Emmaus.” I would come to see a very simple, but tremendously freeing, truth. That truth, quite simply, was that Jesus Christ had taken the full punishment on the cross for all my sin! I came to see that I had been looking to myself for freedom. That I thought that I needed to somehow do or say the right thing to get saved! I was so wrong. Jesus had done it all for me! That is why He cried from the cross in victory, “It is finished”! (John 19:30) My very own sin-debt had been paid-in-full by Jesus Christ! Wow! I was free at last! Jesus won the victory for me! Hallelujah! “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”! (Ephesians 2:8)

Verses like the following now made a whole lot more sense to me: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – everyone – to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) Well, if the Lord had already “laid on him” my iniquity, what was I to worry about? If Jesus was already punished for all my sin, why should I be anxious about being punished for it? All that was required was that I accept “The free gift of God” which “is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Wow! Here I had been trying to make it so complicated. Yet, it was so simple! Not that it was simple for Jesus, but for me it sure was! All I needed was to trust Him as my own Saviour, and I was free! No more slavery to sin! As Romans 8:1 says, “No [more] condemnation”! Jesus had already been judged for my sin. There was no judgement left for me!

After all these years have eclipsed, I'm only increasingly more amazed at the love, mercy, and grace the Lord has bestowed upon – even me! I in no wise deserved to be forgiven of my sin – to be pardoned. Yet He did, at the expense of His Son, Jesus Christ. I should have gone to Hell forever, but Jesus took the “Hell” for me upon the cross! So amazing it is, that the search is finally over, and that I now know that I have eternal life. For John 3:16 says, “...whoever believes should not perish but have eternal life.” Then too, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1John 5:13) How can I “know”? I can "know" because Jesus already died as punishment for all my sin! There's nothing left for God to punish me for. Praise God!

Still today, I enjoy the Lord Jesus more than ever before! Oh, how I long to look upon the face of Him who was willing to leave Heaven's glory to die for me upon that shameful cross! I know soon He will return and take me to be with Him! How I long for this to come about! To be freed from this world of corruption and sin. Then I will have rest for all eternity without end. Amen!

What about you? What's your story? Do you “know” that God will let you into His holy Heaven? Make sure that you “know” before it is to late. He is risen from among the dead and His judgement is coming very soon. Don't put it off! Know that you are forgiven!

Victor J. Reimer
Thank-you for reading!  Feel free to comment here or pop on over to Vic's blog, What Path?, to comment there. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Summing up 2015...Looking Forward to 2016

My 2015 was a year of highs and lows, big changes and not much change at all.  Here's a recap highlighting my ups and downs of the past year.

  1. In mid-January, due to a seizure I had last year in September (I hadn't had any in almost 6 years), we started thinking about not adopting at all.  This was so painful it is almost impossible for me to describe.  The indecision, prayer, talking, and crying went on for months. 
  2. In mid-March our agency let us know it was time to do our annual update.  
  3. In mid-March we put our condo up for sale again (had tried to sell it the previous year as well).  We loved the renovations we had done but wanted a place with more privacy in the backyard. 
  4. At the end of March I had a seizure
  5. In mid-April, we celebrated our TENTH anniversary!!
    My husband and I on our anniversary before going out on a date to Red Lobster.
  6. Despite the seizure and our continued consideration of not adopting, we went forward with updating our profile and went for our physicals in April. 
  7. At the end of April, we went to our agency for our update meeting, and told them we are putting our adoption on hold.  We decided we needed to get my seizures under control before continuing with adopting.  It hurt but at the same time I was okay with it.
  8. TWO DAYS after putting our adoption on hold I had another seizure!  Decided to go up on my medication which I did the following day.
  9. In May we went on a 17-day long road trip to celebrate our tenth anniversary!  Leading up to it life was very stressful, what with seizures, putting our adoption on hold, and our condo up for sale.  But it was a good trip.  You can read about it here, here, here, here, here, and here.
  10. THREE DAYS after arriving home from our trip, we got an offer on our condo which we accepted that day.
  11. In early June we started looking at houses, and a couple weeks later made an offer on one which was accepted within an hour.
  12. In late June my husband and my niece both got baptized!
  13. On the last day of June the sale of our condo and the purchase of our new home were completed!
  14. In early July, we got the news that my husband's mom has been diagnosed with colon cancer.
  15. We took posession of our new home, a 1970's 3-bedroom condo, on the last day of July, and started renos right away.
  16. We moved in early August and started talking about going active with our agency again, as my seizures seem to be under control!   
  17. My mother-in-law had radiation for the last week of August, and in early September had surgery.
  18. In September we let our agency know we wanted to go active again which they made happen the next day!  I'm excited and hopeful, but have more of a peace than a desperation like I did before.
  19. We went away to a cabin for a weekend with my family like we have done every fall for as long as I can remember, but this year it was our last year.  The 3-bedroom/7-bed cabin has gotten too small for our family of 12!
  20. On Thanksgiving Day (October 11) my grandma passed away.  She was 91.  This was the grandparent that I, and everyone in my family, was closest to.  We were next-door neighbours my whole growing-up years.  The funeral was five days later, on my husband's birthday.
    My grandma and I at her 90th birthday party almost exactly one year before she passed away.
  21. Our country voted for a new prime minister in October and in my opinion made a very big mistake.  (Yes, I'm one of those rare people who actually cares about politics, lol!)
  22. In November my mother-in-law started chemo.  She is doing really well. 
  23. As of December 1st I quit selling Regal.  
  24. On Christmas Day my uncle (my aunt's husband) was in a snowmobile accident.  Three days later, after being taken off life support, he passed away.  It feels completely unreal.  The funeral will be in January.    
So that was my 2015!!  How was your year??  Of course I can't predict 2016, but here are my hopes and expectations:
  1. There will be a couple big birthdays in my family.  My sister turning 40 and my other sister's husband turning 45.  Of course my niece that is turning 13 counts that as a VERY big birthday, lol! Cute :)
  2. We'll be doing lots and lots of renovations on our house.
  3. Of course I really, really hope we'll be chosen to adopt!
To my readers and followers, thank-you for coming by to read my blog, thank-you for sharing my ups and downs with me.  To those of you who also have blogs, I enjoy reading and commenting on yours as well, and sharing in your ups and downs!  See you in 2016 and may you have a happy new year!