Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lists with Friends - 1

Today I am starting something called "Lists with Friends".

I don't know much about it - who started it, if it's been going on for longer than just 2014, who can participate, what one's lists are about, what it's point is, really.  So I'm sorry I don't have a link for you to click on.  I'd love if I could find a list (haha) somewhere of all the people participating.

Anyway, from what I have gathered, generally it is a fun blog thing to do if you love making lists (ME!) and it seems like most, if not all, of the people participating are into scrapbooking (ME!) or at least crafts in general.

I'm not sure how often I'll post a list.  I'm not going to commit to one specific day of the week because that type of thing just doesn't work for me.  But we shall see what happens!  Here is my first list:

13 Things I Love Like About Winter
(Because, really, there's not much to love about Winter in Manitoba, Canada!)  I love God's creation (most of it - I could do without spiders!!) and I enjoy photography, so each season you can find me outside, camera in hand, finding things in His creation to praise Him for.  Ever since we moved from the country into town this has required a little more effort & imagination!  But here is what I am thankful for this Winter:
  • That first snowfall, when everyone gets excited and is announcing it all over Facebook, and people are boasting about how much they got in their area.  This year our first snow came on October 20, but didn't stay.
  •  The first big snowfall that turns your world white and means Winter is here to stay.  Ours came on November 17.
  • Any time there is big, fluffy snowflakes floating or swirling down.
  • When the pine trees get heavy laden with snow and the branches droop almost to the ground.
  • The anticipation of the Christmas season coming.  
  • Getting ready for Christmas - shopping for presents, putting up the tree, decorating the house, wrapping presents, the smell of cinnamon candles, Christmas music.
  • Going to all the gatherings - spending time with people, exchanging gifts.  All the better if there are those previously mentioned big, fluffy snowflakes on Christmas Day!
  • Birthdays in January - two of my nieces and my sis-in-law.  Having parties to attend makes the bitterly cold January go by faster.
  • When fog the night before causes there to be stunning frost on everything in the morning.
  • Blizzards that cause a little excitement.
  • Valentine's Day - another thing to help Winter go by a little faster.
  • Finding God's beauty in unexpected places - frost patterns on the sidewalk, little birdie footprints in the snow, crazy ice formations on the neighbour's chimney, frost-covered dried-up fruit still hanging from the trees, etc.
  • And when a fresh snowfall covers everything in yet another coat of white, covering up the dirt and footprints underneath, I'm often reminded of Psalm 51:7 - "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." and Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:  though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."
What are your favourite things about Winter?  Are you doing Lists with Friends this year?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hannah Prayed

I just wanted to share this song with you, Ha.nnah Pr.ayed by Je.ff & Sh.eri Ea.ster.  I heard this song a long time ago when I still lived at home with my parents but it didn't make a huge impact on me then because I was not in the stage of my life that I am now.  Now the song brings tears.  If you are unfamiliar with the story of Hannah, or would just like to refresh your memory like I wanted to, here is her story, from the Holy Bible:

1 Samuel 1-2:11 

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Birth of Samuel

There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
12 As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”

Samuel Given to the Lord

21 The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.” 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. 27 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”
And he worshiped the Lord there.

Hannah's Prayer

And Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord;
    my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
    because I rejoice in your salvation.
“There is none holy like the Lord:
    for there is none besides you;
    there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
    let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
    and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
    but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
    but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
    but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
    he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
    he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
    he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
    and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's,
    and on them he has set the world.
“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
    but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
    for not by might shall a man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
    against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
    he will give strength to his king
    and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.

Here is the lyrics and the song (below):

Hannah Prayed

Hannah prayed for the child she had longed for

Crying out to God for a son

She promised she’d give the child she would rear

For God’s perfect will to be done



Chorus:

For this child I have prayed

And the Lord He has heard

And has given me all that I asked

He sent life from above

Wrapped in blankets, tied with love

I knew joy when I held you that day



Like Hannah I had prayed to God for children

Wishing I could sing sweet lullabies

I longed to hold a child

Rocking in my arms each night

I see an answer to prayer when I look into your eyes

chorus



It may appear old-fashioned

And some may not agree
But I know I was born to give unselfishly

chorus

                

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Motherhood Month - 4

Progress:  It has been 8 months since we got approved.

Mood:  Fairly good. 

Cravings:  Chocolate.  Water.

Thoughts about our child:  I cannot wait to hold you in my arms and cherish you and call you mine.  You are so precious to me already.

Thoughts about our child's expectant mom:  Still always wondering where you are at right now and what you are experiencing in your life.

Most recent baby gift/purchase:  Well, I showed you here what I received for Christmas.  I mentioned here that I had bought my hubby something for Christmas but never showed you what, so here it is: 
My husband is a birder so I love buying him anything with birds on it.

This month God:  Wow, He is so patient with me, continually teaching me truths and reaffirming to me that He has saved me, not by anything I have done, but He did it all.  And if He is the one alone who saved me, He is also the one alone who maintains my salvation and keeps me saved.  My holding onto Him helps me nothing.  His holding on to me is everything, and nothing I do or don't do will cause Him to let go.  Praise God!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Summing up 2013...Looking Forward to 2014

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I did.  I love gatherings, people, presents, etc!  We spent all day Christmas Eve at Hubby's parents' with them and Hubby's brother who was home from university for the holidays.  Christmas Day was spent with my mom-in-law's side of the family at Hubby's uncle & aunt's.  Boxing Day was spent at my parents'.  I always look forward the most to Christmas at my parents' and this year was no exception.  The next day we got a bit of a break until suppertime when we went out to eat with my dad's side of the family.  A lot of these people I only see once a year.  The next day we finally had Christmas with just the 2 of us.  It was very relaxing and I didn't have to worry about food (I am intolerant to a lot of foods) and we could just enjoy each other.  Of course I am still hopeful that it was the last Christmas with just the 2 of us, but who knows!  God does, and I like knowing He's in control. 

To read my summing up 2012 post, click here.

2013 was a year of a lot of changes.  The main things (that I am willing to share) were:
  1. We bought a new place and started renovations.  
  2. Hubby switched positions at his job from being a truck driver to working in the office.
  3. Moved from the country into town.
  4. Completed all the adoption paperwork we've been working on for so long and submitted our file to our agency.
  5. Hubby got politely fired from his office job for refusing to ask his drivers to break rules.  After we got over being devastated, we decided he will continue pursuing his flight training instead of driving truck again like they offered him.
  6. Both homestudy interviews got scheduled and rescheduled until they were finally completed.
  7. We got officially approved to adopt and started waiting on May 14.
  8. My sister E landed up in the hospital due to pancreas inflamation.  She was in good spirits so unlike the whole cancer thing she went through last year.  She had surgery to have her gallbladder out.
  9. Started hosting our church group at our house for church every Sunday morning.  Up til now we'd always had it at my brothers'.  We are a small group of 8 regulars but I love them all dearly.
  10. I became an independent rep for Regal to start helping earn a little income.
  11. Hubby completed his flight training and passed his flight tests.  He put in applications for flying jobs.
  12. Hubby started driving truck again, for a different company, as we wait for a flying job offer.
  13. We had adoption maternity pictures taken with a professional photographer.  It was a great experience and we love the pictures!
  14. I had a benign cyst removed from my breast.  Did not enjoy being awake for the surgery!
  15. We reached the 6 month mark of being approved.  Found out we haven't been shown yet which was not surprising but still disappointing.
  16. Hubby and his fellow employees were laid off for the Winter.  He has applied for EI which we are waiting on but he does get called in to work some days, usually to haul snow after blizzards.
Of course there were also many not-so-big things interspersed throughout the year, happy things and sad things both.  Ultimately I am just so thankful to God that He is unchanging!

Here are some of the things I am looking forward to in 2014, the Lord willing:
  1.  Well, obviously I think it would be AWESOME if we would be matched and be blessed with a baby!  
  2. It's my hubby's big 3-0 this year.  I would love to throw him a huge surprise party but he is an introvert and big crowds of people is so not his thing.  And definitely not surprises!  
  3. Assuming we don't have a baby by then, we'll be updating our profile this Spring, since it will be the 1 year mark.
  4. I'm hoping God will answer some of my prayers with a "yes!".
  5. I'm sure there are other things I am looking forward to in 2014, I just can't think of them right now!
 Just one more thing.  Remember that little yellow baby blanket my mom started knitting for me last year?  Well, shortly before Christmas she finished it and gave it to me.  So precious.  Here it is:

Oh, and you know how I was pessimistically saying I didn't think I would get any baby-related stuff as gifts this Christmas?  Well, I was wrong.  I'm starting to feel like I don't need a pre-baby shower after all, because people are definitely showing me they care!
These are onesies, sleepers, a blanket, and a soother with clip that my mom-in-law, bro-in-law, and dad gave me this Christmas.  Feeling loved :)