It’s o.k to say no

I realize that might sound a little strange but hang with me for a second.

From early on in life one of our first words uttered with force from our lips is “No!”

We all have seen “that” child with arms folded, pout painted on their face screaming “No,no,NO!!”

Chances are if we are honest with ourselves we can admit we have all been that child too.

Don’t believe me? Ask your mom.

It Doesn’t matter if it’s because your sandwich was cut the wrong way or are refusing to get back in the car.

Unless we can be convinced otherwise we have made up our mind and that’s that! But along the way something happened and slowly our “no’s” morph into “yes”.

It’s almost like we have been taught that it’s not ok to say “no”.

Yes, we have all had our feelings hurt by a negative reaction but has anyone ever died because of one? I have never,ever seen anyone drop dead because I have rejected their movie invite and I doubt you have either. sometimes I wonder if we are trying to protect ourselves from a negative reactions our “no”‘would bring even if deep down we feel like folding our arms across our chest, stomping our feet and screaming “no!” We find ourselves pulling out our calendars and hear yourself saying “yes”. What?!! We all do it in one form or another. Sometimes without even realizing it. Accepting invitations to events we really don’t want to go to or have the time to enjoy. Adding more work to an already tight schedule. Running to the store to grab something for someone else when we just got home and want to put our feet up and rest. You get the idea. Well, this summer I decided it’s o.k to say “no.” Continue reading

Worth the wait

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Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn and before you even realize it you find yourself smack dab in the biggest faith walk you have ever been in.

If this is where you find yourself today to hang on!

Don’t look back.

Don’t allow yourself to get side tracked because the journey you are on is leading you somewhere exciting.

Through this journey I have learned that if you really want to see God’s fingerprints in your life keep a journal.
Write what’s on your heart.
What your worried about.
What you are dreaming about.
What you are praying about .
As you are flipping pages its easier to see His fingerprints are all over your life.
And yes, even the little ones like “help me snag a great parking spot” Or “help me find our misplaced Michael buble tickets*”. The little prayers I find are easier to have faith in but sometimes I get caught up in thinking that God doesn’t care about those little ones so “why bother” right?
Wrong.
If it matters to me.
It matters to him.
Write down what He tells you so isn’t erased by time.
Jot down scripture that speak to your heart.
Be intentional in your walk.
Have faith.

I can say that because I have been on the biggest faith journey of my life.

Seven months ago we whisked our family away from the land of snow and cold and traded up for sunshine and palm trees.
Excited to take the kids to California we filled almost every waking moment of our trip months before we even packed our suitcases. Our date with “the mouse” booked.

We had planned on a day relaxing by the water’s edge where we could bury our feet in the soft sand. The kids could play in the ocean and my husband could fly his kite.

Canadians are always the easiest ones to spot at the beach because we are only ones enjoying the water.

My husband had just taken a layoff the day before we left for our vacation but it hadn’t come as a surprise.

Years working in the construction industry you naturally accept the fact that this line of work it is very much like the cliche “feast or famine”.
We have ridden this roller coaster before so were expecting the layoff to come just a few days before Christmas.
We had planned that my hubby would use the time “off” to get 9 out if his 11 safety courses out-of-the-way but now that he was out earlier we adjusted his schedule and he finished the program and became an NCSO officer.
Somewhere along the way I had this impression that he would finish his courses and start back to work the beginning of January.
I mean we are a family with four kids and bills to pay.
So it’s understandable to see why I believed the way I did.

Right around this exact time if you remember me mentioning
we had just started the study “Not a fan” by Kyle Idleman and our lives have never been the same since.

Continue reading

I have a love/hate relationship

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I have a confession to make.
I’m the worst person for you to email.
Seriously.
The worst.

Yet I’m the first person to jot my name down and join that email list.

I have no issue giving my email address out to anyone.

I have yet to receive an email from “The children’s place” regarding a recent purchase so I’m not sure why they need my email address in the first place.

Don’t hate me. Continue reading

Easy lesson to learn and forget

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Have you ever noticed that sometimes the easiest lessons to learn can also be the simplest to forget?

You mess up.
fall down.
Pick yourself up and dust yourself off.
Make the same mistake over and over.

Why do we do that?

Could it be because we are so caught up in what we want that we completely ignore what’s best for us?

Sometimes it’s as simple as not being happy with what we already have that spurs on the changes. Continue reading

Winds of change

There’s a saying in our parts.
If you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes.
It will change.
Spring time in Alberta is a fickle creature.
One minute the warm sun is shining and the next it’s over cast and snowing.
In the course of a week we can go from -30 with the wind chill to +14.
I wish I was kidding.
If you were to take a peak in my front closet You would find our winter boots lined up next to our sneakers.
Spring jackets hung up in between parka. It’s seriously that ridiculous. Continue reading

Saving simple

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[Chris_McVeigh]

Do you remember the first time you saw a computer?

I mean a real one, not the cool lego one pictured above.

Do you remember? Or have they just always been there?

What was your initial reaction?

I’m pretty sure I just dated myself a little but bear with me a minute.

It was 1987. Continue reading

A lot can happen in a hallway

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“When God closes one door he opens another”

what happens when you find yourself waiting in the hallway?
One door closed and the other yet to be opened?

What then?

Well….you take one step at a time and put your trust in him.

That’s what.

So simple yet something that has taken months to finally sink in.

we have found ourselves in a “growing season in our walk” .  God is stretching our faith and tested us in areas we didn’t even realize needing tending.

It’s almost like a “reset”‘or a “‘do over” but what started out as unintentional has switched to completely intentional on our part and here we are “in the hallway” patiently waiting for God to intervene on our behalf.

It wasn’t always like this.

We lived our lives in the comfort behind “one door” and now we are moving towards another.

We weren’t living the life that he had designed or wanted for us. But with closed off ears which sadly, we  never even noticed.

From June until the end of November 2013 our family learned first hand what it was like to have daddy work out-of-town.
At first it looked like an amazing blessing.
A change in careers, change in site and a raise.
His shift was 10 & 4 so he worked 12 hour shifts for 10 days straight and was home for 4.
Really if you count travel time he was really home for 2 days.
Off early his last day of work he would drive 4 1/2 hours home one way.
When the weather changed and the roads started to get bad he would take an overcrowded bus home which wouldn’t get him into the city until after 11:00pm.
When he was home we would do our best to squeeze in 10 days of family time into 2 but it was hard.

We hardly went to church and it felt like all we were really doing was preparing him for another 10 days out-of-town.

I would pretended that it was like a normal 9-5 job but nighttime was an entirely different entity.

The kids missed their dad and I missed having my best friend lying in the bed beside me.

The youngest took to sleeping in my room night after night “because mommy was afraid of the dark”.
I found her snoring strangely soothing.

Summer came and went while we both worked and tried to get as much family time in as we could.
Summer quickly disappeared into fall leaving us both feeling exhausted and disconnected.
I have many girlfriends and this is how they spend their married lives.
Some fair well, others not so much.
I’m still confused why anyone would intentionally sign up for a part time marriage plus being a single mom the other part of the time.

The money is extremely good but it’s not the life we pictured having.

For ourselves or for our kids.

By the middle of September we had planned a week-long family vacation to sunny California where we were going to go to Disneyland, play at the beach and enjoy the sunshine.

A chance to reconnect, to laugh and to play.
The day before we left his job ended which throws an entirely different curve ball when you are about to embark on a vacation.

He was home for good this time.

Normally when you’re working with big oil the site shuts down for Christmas so we had already planned that he would start the courses needed for him to become an NCSO safety officers.
With a little shuffling he was able to finish the course just after the new year.

We are morphing into the family we believe God designed for us to be.

More connected to each other and to him.
To follow after him one step at a time, trusting him for our needs every day.

To be authentic in our faith walk so that people will know that we are followers of Jesus and “not a fan”.

And we want to show our kids too.

We have added a nightly meal time devotional which felt weird at first but it’s getting easier.

Because the middle two kids can read we get them to help and they seem to genuinely enjoy the conversation.

I enjoy hearing their answers and am not missing any tales of Lego characters or who got a “yellow” at school.

We just added a weekly board game night which if you know my hubby at all this is almost close to pulling out teeth.

Perhaps he doesn’t appreciate my mad skills playing candy-land?
Whatever the case  the kids love it.

I would have to say that real change started after my hubby and I attended a bible study at church called  not a fan “ by Kyle idleman

This is the first study in a long time that crawled under our skin and kick started our faith into a place neither one of us had been in a long time.

Our quiet time with God has increased and we are becoming more aware of changes that we need to make to draw into a deeper and closer relationship with him.

We are tithers even when it was sporadic but we never gave it a second thought if we were putting the money where he wanted us to.

We just put it our envelope in the plate and pass it to the next person sitting in the pew beside us.

But when your intentional about listening to God and putting the money where he wants it to go change happen. Even if you can’t see it at first.

We are stepping out in faith in areas of our lives that has surprised a few of our closest friends but that’s ok.

It surprised me too.

Trusting isn’t always easy but that’s something he’s working the kinks out of too.

We have changed our prayers and are believing God for an amazing work opportunity here in the city.
We are believing he will be able to stay home.
No more traveling for work.
And we took it a step further.
One of my husbands dreams has been to open his own company so we took a leap of faith and opened one believing he will get hired on as a private contractor and his business will be off and running.

We have had a lot of encouragement along the way but there have been those who believe they are a “voice of reason” and have been more discouraging than encouraging.

Who’s to say where this will end up. Where we will be at the end of this year? Or even a year from now?

That’s the funny part when you’re a follower. We are going to say things and do things that will seem foolish.
We are going to believe things that are controversial and against what the world says.

I have already lost friends over comments that made on Facebook because my views and opinions are different from theirs. I’m okay with that.

We will follow where He leads even if the door isn’t quite open yet.

For now we wait in the hallway.

Enjoying Him and each other.
Exactly where I am supposed to be.

Spoil me Saturday!

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I am the worst at putting myself first.
When it comes to pampering I’m usually the last one in line.
Don’t get me wrong.

I have a Pinterest page devoted to all of the manicures and pedicures I have had so I can remember what I loved.

It’s just My days are already so full that it can be impossible to squeeze in one more thing even if it’s for me.

Today was a big ol blank on the date planner. A “break out the gift cards and get a free pedicure and manicure kind of day.” So I jumped at the chance for a little pampering.

Doesn’t bother me in the slightest that I had to wait for two separate appointments or that I had to go to two locations.

Seriously call me frugal I don’t mind and neither do my nails.

Manicures and pedicures can be really expensive so I saved theses gift cards for the first lazy Saturday of the new year which just so happened to be today!

I ❤️Lazy Saturdays and because they are extremely rare I try and enjoy every blissful second.

I drank my coffee in quiet while I surfed the internet.
The massage chair worked out some of the knots in my lower back.
No children whining or complaining.
No one needing me to make them a sandwich or change a stinky pull up.
Just quiet.
Normally I’m chatty with the nail tech but today I just sat back and enjoyed the stillness.
My mind has been so busy lately that it was nice to turn it off.
Besides, Nothing compares to the feel of toes softened by a good scrub and a soak in hot paraffin wax.

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I’m horribly rough on my feet.
Barefoot all the time I forget the need to moisturizer until my feet resemble those belonging to a lizard but after a little tlc they feel amazing!
Home for lunch and a little reading before I was out again.

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I listened to instrumental music while I say by the fireplace sipping “fruity” water.
Hushed voices in the background.
I can’t even remember the last time I had a manicure.

Quick soak before the magic happens!

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Relaxed, pampered and ready to head back home!
Love lazy Saturdays!!
How do you pamper yourself on a lazy Saturday?

Some friendly advice…

lucy
“Don’t talk with your mouth full”

 

” use your manners”

“wear clean underwear”

“Don’t stick your tongue on the flag pole in the winter time”

“No, you can’t play in the dryer”

“Stop sucking on the cat’s tail”

Advice comes in many ways..
we disguise it and dress it up to looks nicer than it is. We dispense it whether the person is receptive or not.  We seek it from self-help books and our friends.

In my life I have found that many times God will use the right person at the right time to tell me exactly what I need to hear right when I need to hear it.

sometimes the advice is nothing but meaningless drivel needing to be tossed away.

Trust me, I have heard it all.

As a mother I find myself saying things I never dreamed I would.
I chuckle sometimes wondering what if anything my children will Remember.

Will the nuggets of wisdom rise to the top of their subconscious or if they will remember the ridiculous comments muttered during moments of sleep deprivation? Heck the stuff I remember from my childhood is all mismatched already so I’m probably remembering a lot of it wrong.

I wonder if that’s happened to them too?

When I was in high school my dad told me the best way to catch a fish was to make sure my pant zipper was down.
I unzipped my zipper, planted my feet on the dock with my fishing rod firmly grasped in my hands and waited while my dad chuckled under his breath.

He was wrong.

I didn’t catch anything.

Not all of the advice I’ve been given over the years has been horrible.

Some have been life changing.

My Nana encouraged me to start writing so that’s how my first blog “adventures with three” started way back in 2007. Sharing my stories over the phone spilled out over there and then when the youngest came we became “Adventures with Four”.

Transparency had been hard and sometimes I’m more guarded than I really needed to be. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows but the good out weighs the bad.

I shared a little about my early miscarriages, our travels and everything in between.
It’s been an amazing creative outlet and a great way to meet new people.
I just wish she was still here so she could see where I am now.

Years ago my dad told me to make sure that I was being true to myself.

It doesn’t matter what other people think about me or what they say about me. No matters what.

Be yourself.

The rest will fall into place.

I will admit I’m a people pleaser and my nose gets out of joint sometimes when I feel like I’m being mistreated but he was right.

Since we all love to share advice (and we receive it more than we recognize)
What is the one piece of advice that still sticks with you today?

What are you reading in 2014?

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” All the books in the library holding their breath waiting to be taken by a kid just like me”

-Abigail age 7

I will admit, I am beyond excited that I am raising a houseful of young readers with a ferocious appetite for a great books.

I’m very much like that too.

I latch a series and finish it before I move on to something new.  It’s almost painful when you have to wait an entire year for the next book in the series but I have done that.

Sometimes I already know what I want to read next and have a huge stack waiting on my night side table.

Sometimes I feel like I’m floundering around for a couple of days waiting for the right book to catch my interest.

Awhile ago I read an article by Huffington post of the ” 30 books that should be read in your 30s”.

Perfect starting point if you’re looking for something to read right?

I scrolled up and down that list but I just couldn’t find anything  I wanted to read.

Nothing.

Perhaps  I have  diverse tastes but nothing appealed to me but I think it’s simpler than that.

My husband can vouch for me on this one.  Tell me I just ” have” to try this or do that and something inside of me slams shut and I don’t want anything to do with it. At all.

I’ve been trying to work on that flawed character trait.

I haven’t read a romance novel since college and to this day I feel were directly responsible for many of my unrealistic relational expectations and more horrible dates than I care to remember; but that’s a post for another time.

I don’t read true crime books because they are just too graphic for my taste and out of respect for the victims I just can’t put a book like that in my library.  Perhaps I am just too picky?

I’m not “stuck” for anything to read now as I have two books “on the go” already.The first book we are reading As a church.  I know this might sound a little strange at first but just hear me out.  We are spending the next six weeks submerged in a book called “not a fan” by Kyle Idleman.  We will be hearing sermons preached on this book and our small group discussing it on our study night.  Great way to get into a book eh!

photoIt’s about being a completes the committed follower of Jesus and what that looks like.  I read the prologue (which I never ever read) and was instantly hooked so every free chance I have had I sneak off somewhere quiet to read.

I.can.not.wait.

The second book saving space on my Kobo is Unspoken  by one of my favorite authors Dee Henderson which I am super excited about AND when I peaked on Amazon I learned that in April she will be releasing another new book so I will have something to look forward too.

Three, I have three books.  That should last me till oh, February and then I will start looking all over again.  What about you? **sigh**

What are you reading in 2014?

**updated** because this is too good to keep to myself but it’s only available until the 10th of January so act fast!

16 free books from Beth Moore