Monday, April 26, 2010

The Colour of Gratitude

(Photo from:

Recently I bought cloth diapers and decided to order them in bright colours. When I got home I took them out of the orange "wet bag" and laid them all out according to size and colour. It was very difficult for me to spend this kind money all at once on diapers. Nonetheless the minute I took out the diapers I was thrilled to see the bright orange fabric beaming out at me. Such a simple thing. Orange cloth diapers. I just could not stop soaking in the warmth and happiness of the colour. Some of my favourite things are orange; the sun, sunflowers, tulips, mangoes, crayons, Orange Blossom, papaya, and my cloth diapers. How brilliant of God to make a colour that could evoke happiness, sun light, warmth, boldness and gratitude. I was encouraged by one of the blogs I follow, (see below) to start making a list of things I am grateful for. It all begins and ends with the colour orange.

--saving money by using my orange cloth diapers
-ice cold water
-Cohen memorizing his blessing (1 Peter 2:9)
-Dairy Queen
-amazing friends who can stay up till 3:00 am with you even though they would much rather be "in bed"
-my Mother
-hearing my baby's heart beat again and again
-Hannah's dimples
-Kiran's love of running, even though it means chasing him down the street when I am 9 months pregnant
-the colour orange

Thank you God for the rainbow at the end of a storm. Thank you for reminding me that goodness and mercy are always behind me pushing me through the storms of life.


holy experience

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cultivating the Life God Desires- A Renewing Heart

As I read Ann Voskamp's blog about Easter I am reminded of renewal. This evening at church we had our prayer meeting. To be honest I am sometimes motivated to do "church stuff" because I enjoy the company of other people. It is not always for the right reasons. I was even afraid that I would fall asleep. This was a plausible outcome because I have 9 more days to go in this pregnancy and I feel that I could fall asleep at any moment and anywhere. I went anyway, and was pleasantly surprised when God revealed something to me.

We are praying for Renewal, Revival and Awakening in our church. I heard the sermon about why we are doing this but it didn't have meaning for me until tonight. I thought about all the road blocks in our family's opportunity for renewal. To name a few, my husband's illness, my difficulties with parenting and anger, and the challenges of a fourth child. Sometimes I get caught up in the disappointments of the day like arguements with my husband about- well every little thing. I get distracted by over disciplining my children. I forget to ask God to sprinkle some dirt and water on my tired and weak heart. I forget in between those moments to whisper a renewing prayer asking God to take over the desires of my heart. In the process the grace that I need to pass on to my kids is gone and the compassion that I should have growing in my heart towards my husband has wilted away.

Titus 3:4-5 (The Message)

3-8It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God's gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there's more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.

I was reminded at the prayer meeting that God wants to renew my weak and tired heart daily. In growing a new heart God can change the stubbornness of my will, the coolness of my attitude and the quick flicking anger that stirs in the pit of my stomach.

Lord as I go to sleep, put to sleep my old, tired, bitter, hasty heart. In the morning let me rise with a heart that is new, alive, and growing according to your plans for my day. Help my heart to inspire those around me to reach out for you and your promise of renewal.

Thank you.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Good the Bad and the Guilty

A few days ago I sat at my O.B.G.Y.N's office filled with exhaustion, guilt, physical pain and frustration. There are many things I felt guilty and exhausted for. I felt guilty for taking out my frustration on my son and I am exhausted because I am 36.5 weeks pregnant. I can’t imagine that in less than 2 weeks I am going to have my fourth child. I always wanted a large family. I always wanted to have a lot of children running around my house and making happy noises. Thoughts of freshly painted pictures covering the fridge, fingers covered in messy food, and quiet moments of prayer and reflection at the end of a day filled with hugs and laughter were ever present. I feel so far from that mother I thought I would be with all those happy noises. My son’s constant need to articulate every thought and action irritates me and the sibling rivalry is enough to make me want to sit them outside our porch with a FREE sign around their necks.

Where did I think I was going to get all that patience and loving tender care from? Most of the time inside I feel selfish and short tempered. I can’t let their need to be children override my need to be right and in control. If they cry because they are upset I have to tell them to stop. I can’t handle them crying – maybe except my middle child. I carry a lot of guilty thoughts about him around. I worry that being my only biological child right now will create a problem for my other two children later. Fifteen years ago I never imagined that being a mother entailed so much worry and guilt. I had my dream of my life as a stay at home mom to adopted and biological children well played out. I remember spending many Sunday afternoons thinking about what my life with my family in my dreams would be like. I thought I would have myself all straightened out by then. All the habits and quirks would work themselves out of my life.
As I was cleaning the kitchen sink this morning I wondered why I thought being a mother was going to be such a dream. Where did I get this idea from? It certainly wasn't from my mother. My mother came to Canada on her own when she was just 23 years old. She worked as a nanny for a while. I saw her struggle to put herself through school and take care of me at the same time. Memories of leaving my mom behind while I went on vacations with another family will always stay in my mind. She struggled to hold her fears in check but at times they spilled all over her parenting. She so desperately wanted me to have a different life. She struggled to discipline me but frustration and worry were usually friends to her discipline. I knew my mother loved me very much. I felt it in her determination and her struggles. When she failed at parenting, it was out of desperate love. When she succeeded it was out of that same desperate love. Parenting didn't strike me as coming easy for my mother. So I don't know why I thought it was going to be such a dream?. It is so much harder than I thought. I thought that I would be a pro at it. Where is the woman who was supposed to be fun and full of patience and love. Where is the woman who is firm but kind? Did I ever have the potential to be that woman?

I sit here tonight with no answers to those questions. I just have to trust that my children will know that in the end I just want to be the good part of their bad day, the good ending to a chapter in their life, the good mom who is desperate in her love for them.