Saturday, February 28, 2009

My How Things Change

I wish that I had something positive and uplifting to post about today, but I don't. I have had a very tough week. Now, before you all think that someone here has died or something, let me just say that Rob, and the kids and I are just fine. But, we had a call from very good friends of ours in Wisconsin this week. It was the husband calling to inform us that his wife has left him. I have to say that I was completely in shock. So, we have spent this week talking with this distraught husband and praying our butts off. I had left several messages for my friend, and she finally called me back today. It was great to talk to her. It was so hard though hearing her pain and knowing that there was nothing physically I can do about it.

I have to be honest, when we got this call on Monday, my gut reaction was to fly to Wisconsin and intervene in any way that I could. However, my very logical husband pointed out that I couldn't do that and even if I could, this was a situation that I am powerless to fix. I sure wish that wasn't the case. Don't you wish that you could fix situations like this? Am I the only one that feels that way?

While talking with my friend on the phone today it was like the miles had melted away and we were together again, sharing our lives honestly and completely. I could hear her pain, confusion and also her love. It made me again want to make the trip and help to reunite these two that Rob and I love so very much. But I can't. So, I will pray. I will pray diligently that God will break through and have His way in this marriage and in these lives. He knows both of them and what needs to happen to bridge the gulf that sits between them, and only He can mend broken hearts and release people from the bondage of their past and allow them to live the life that He wills for them.

I am thankful that God does care about His people and that He never leaves them. I am thankful that I don't have to intervene, because I can ask the One who is all knowing and all powerful to intervene. Please pray along with us for our friends. God is still in the business of miracles and we need one!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feeling Blessed

I have to say that I am having a time in my life in which I am feeling incredibly blessed. Rob is loving his job at CrossRoads, I am starting at Red Deer College, the kids have all settled in at their schools, the baby is loving her new sitter, the house we live in is the by far the best we have ever lived in. It is a little overwhelming actually. As I look at our current circumstances, it makes me realize how dark our life had been sitting in limbo for the past 2 years.

Looking back on that time, I see that it was a very, very lean time. It was lean in a number of ways: it was lean financially - 6 people living on 1 income is very challenging. It was lean relationally - Rob and I did very well in our relationship during that time, in fact, it was one of the best times in our marriage, but with our families in Canada and many of our friends busy or going through difficult circumstances, many times I felt very isolated. It was lean spiritually - it truly was a time to seek God and talk honestly with Him about the 'why' of our circumstances. I know that I am not alone in wanting to know the 'why' of my circumstances. However, I went through some long moments with God desperately wanting Him to talk to me and having Him ask me to trust Him and wait for Him. I don't know about you, but the trusting and the waiting are very difficult things for me to do. I do understand that we can't always live on the 'mountain top', and that the valleys of life are very important for us to learn to lean on God and develop trust in God's faithfulness. I do really believe that we did learn a whole lot about God's character and quite frankly our own, as we walked through those days, months and years.

But, sitting where I am sitting right now, I wouldn't change the last several years for anything. I see now that they built our marriage up to a place of great strength, honesty, love and reliance on one another. I see that it built my faith that God would meet our needs. He certainly did. We didn't have savings but we our bills were paid every month because of His provision and Him moving people at various times to bless us. It built my character as I was forced to take my eyes off of myself and focus instead on The One who held my life and circumstances in His hands.

I am sure that many of you are going through valleys right now. I just want to encourage you to spend time with God. Talk to Him, and really wait for Him. Listen to what He is trying to tell you and walk where He opens the doors.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Trying to take the whirl out of the whirlwind

Well, my life is officially a whirlwind!! It is very difficult trying to juggle 2-3 paid shifts at the hospital a week with a day or two of unpaid orientation at the College. It is especially hard when the hospital shifts are night shifts. I am trying to do this so that when I walk into the College a couple of weeks from now, I don't look like a complete idiot. If there's one thing I know about teenagers and young adults, it's that they can spot an unprepared phony in a heartbeat. These students will have paid a lot of money to the College for this experience and I want to do a good job, so I have to put the prep time in. Along with that, both Lauren and the baby have colds and have been up in the night stuffed up and just generally not feeling well. That's always the way it goes right?? When the parents are stressed, the kids seem to get sick and add to an already busy time. Not that you don't love your kids, but it just seems that sickness comes at the most inconvenient times.

I do want to take this moment and give my wonderful husband a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the back. Rob has been wonderful through all of this. He has by and large managed the night duty with the sick girls because I have been at work and he is covering the home front while I am at the College this week because, of course, the school age kids are off school due to a Teacher's Conference. Thanks Rob. You continue to be my knight!!

Well, I found this picture of the baby that Jonah took last week, and it just made me smile and melted some of the stress away. Because of that, I decided to share it with you. Happy melting!! :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

CrossRoads Church

So, I just thought I would give you guys a glimpse at our new church. CrossRoads Church is a church unlike any other that we have had the priviledge to work at so far in our ministry career. This building houses a sanctuary, multiple offices, a first aid room, library, gym, cafe with large seating area, a chapel for smaller weddings, and funerals and for overflow seating on Sunday mornings and a full commercial kitchen. The have multiple pastors and support staff as well as maintainence staff and a full time chef. That's right a chef!! Maggie is wonderful and she and her team of volunteers cook up wonderful things that are sold in the cafe on Sunday mornings. They also make the food for funerals, and they cater many of the weddings that happen at the church. The cafe is the site of many wedding receptions for the Red Deer area. The church is always hopping with activities, not just church activities either. Many of the facilities are rented or borrowed for community events. We are quickly outgrowing these facilities, but with the current economic conditions, going ahead with the planned building expansion may have to wait a year or two. I will try to nab some pictures of the inside so that you can see it first hand.

Rob, Anton [the new Missions pastor], and Jordan C. [the Sr. High youth pastor], spent a day last week on some Indian Reservations up in Rocky Mountain House, a community about 45 minutes from Red Deer. The conditions on the reservations in some cases are awful and it will be nice to take part in some home missions projects geared at blessing the Native People around us. On many of the reserves the water is not safe to drink and many people share homes due the level of poverty. They have very sub standard health care available on the reserve and many have little or no way of getting transportation into town to see a doctor. Substance abuse and domestic violence are huge issues as well.

Pray for Rob, Anton and Jordan as they work with a couple who are living on the reserve and trying to reach out to the Native people. This is missions at it's best - meeting the needs of people right in your own community.