Saturday, March 25, 2017

The kindness challenge book

 I thought I would give Shaunti Feldhahn's book 'The Kindness Challenge' a try. I wouldn't normally buy a book like this, but I thought I should find out if I was missing out on something. It was a bit hard to get into, I felt like I was being lectured, but once I let the message of the book really talk to me I was blown away by the impact it could have in my life. I was able to identify areas in my communication skills where I was lacking kindness. I started to notice things about myself that I hadn't considered before.  I was also learning about what real kindness is! It was enlightening!

No matter how kind you think you might be you will surely find a challenge in here for you. We could all use a little bit of more Kindness in our lives. Its takes little steps, little changes here and there, but the impact could be life changing! I will come back to this book for sure in the future, and highly recommend it! 

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for a review. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mountains and compassion

10 For the mountains may depart
    and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:10

Some months ago we went up to the mountains to take a little break. This was my our view from the little cabin. I remember the first time I saw a huge mountain; the first word that came to my mind was "Majestic". It helped me appreciate just how much bigger and majestic God is. 


Ah, my little faithful blog is still here. I don't remember when I last checked my blog, but I am here today, on purpose. I wanted to write a post, not sure about what, but a post nonetheless. See, I started this blog ten years ago. It might seem like a lot to some, but ten years really doesn't feel all that long once you are over thirty years old. Its not that long, and yet so much has happened since I wrote my first post about a cat in Holland...I believe, and where I find myself today in France as a wife and stay-at-home mother of four little ones. As I look back, without going through my old posts, one thing is for sure, God has been faithful and present at all times. Through the good, the difficult, and the sad, and at every major event, and challenge. It has been what I would consider an adventure without having to cut through a thick jungle and fight off wild animals. Or having to dive in the dark unknown depths of the ocean, or climbing the icy tops of white pointy mountains. An adventure because an adventure is really about not knowing where your journey will take you, and yet having the willingness to go no matter where it takes you, or what you will have to face... all because right beside you is the greatest Person: Jesus

The one that calms the most violent storms and isn't afraid of anything! In fact he is very likely to go straight to those places nobody else wants to go to, and say and do the things that nobody else dares say or do. And he's taking you right with him. Sometime we are running along thinking about how cool it is to be living it with him, and other times we are being dragged like a crying toddler who needs to be removed from a candy shop, or dragged into a playschool on the second day of school. Sometimes we will be lifted and carried though long periods when we find ourselves weak, fearful and lonely. But he's always there, always loving, always patient, always full of grace, joy and compassion. I can confirm that in these last ten years He has never failed, that no matter how many times I was faced with difficulties and dispair, I could have trusted His gentil "fear not for I am with you".

No matter where you find yourself today, in your mind, or your body, or your heart I can promise you that there is nothing better than putting your trust in Him. There is so much I could thank Him and praise Him for. Not only for what He has done these last ten years, but also for His faithfulness through my whole life.

I do hope to get back to writing posts. Facebook kind of killed this blog, but I've said goodbye to Facebook and have decided that this is a better place for me. Not sure what I could write about, but I'm sure it will always have something to do with Him.

Happy ten year anniversary little blog!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy New Year!

Well, the more I try to keep this blog going, the least I post. Becoming a mother has killed it... I don't know how women with two or more kids manage to keep a blog going, making beautiful posts with pictures and all. Maybe there is something that I do that they don't do and I guess that's how it is with everything else, pretty much. But, I do keep recording my thoughts and ideas in notebooks and diaries and e-mails and Facebook statuses. I think that the biggest change is that life is not so much about me anymore... it is less about my likes, my thoughts, or my adventures...and that is a GOOD thing. My life is becoming more a life about others... my kids, husband, the church... I desire more and more to have a life about serving others through Christ and His love. (NOT EASY!!!) Blogging for me was really mostly about myself and my little life. I think I would like to continue to blog because I know that this blog has served as an encouragement to some people. People that I'm never really in touch with anymore, but I'm thinking that maybe I'll get to meet new people, and it also serves to help me see what our lives become and how God is always present and never failing. From my first post as a single heart-broken girl living in Holland, to a married lady with two kids living in France His love has always been there, encouraging me, sustaining me and freeing me.

Since my last post we've moved again. This time we moved because we felt led to help out some missionary friends that are planting churches in this region of France. So here we are in this beautiful town waiting patiently and serving as best as we know how to. I know that we have a lot to learn but we have Jesus to show us how, we have His Word to teach us and encourage us and we have the Holy Spirit to lead us. We also have brothers and sisters to share it all with. It's all GOOD!

So anyway... don't have much else to say but I will post a picture, or two! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In love...

...with our little man Ezra David.

What amazes me is that there are still people that check this blog... so this picture is for those of you faithful checkers. 

My blog has continued... just not on the web, but in my prayer notebook as I believe more and more that all my thoughts, worries, cares, dreams, joys, hopes, fears and so on should be turned into prayers. I've also been keeping journals for both of my kids. I'd want them to read about what things were like when they were little and about how much we love them and love God. They are both such a blessing to me. We didn't know we were going to have a little guy this time, and I must say that it has been so wonderful having him in our family. I LOVE HIM!!!!!! (there it's out)

I hope you are also doing well... I hope you too have much to give thanks for... we all do actually but sometimes it is not very easy to see because sometimes we just can't see those blessings. I thank the Lord more and more for those things I don't see that I know are happening around me. For the prayers that others lift for me and my family that I don't hear. I thank God because there is still sooooo much to learn, to perfect, to achieve, and He is willing to help us through it... in His typical loving and gentle way. How wonderful it is to have the perfect Father.

I would also like to encourage you just like I encourage myself to stop complaining. It is the opposite of giving thanks and it doesn't do us any good. I don't know how many times I have read people say that they use their blogs to vent... venting is also complaining and what we are really saying is that God is not fair... and that's a lie. God is just and we do Him no honour by complaining. If there is something you are not happy about, tell Him about it, lay it at His feet... run to Him for direction and support.  
God is good. 

Well... my little man just woke up so I better get going. 
Peace and Love in the One and only :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Changed by love

We just got back from a great spiritual retreat with church friends. It was wonderful because we got to spend time with not only friends, but people that feel like family... real family. I love to see how my daughter and the other children feel safe and loved. I love to see how there are people ready to fill in where there is a need. Whether it is to clean up, or hug someone, or pray for someone, or cry with someone. I feel so blessed to be part of this wonderful family I have found in the Lord. We are also blessed to be living in such a beautiful region were we can constantly be reminded of God's beauty through the mountains, streams, lakes and vegetation that surround us.

There was also another part of it that is just as important. I know that one of the reasons for doing retreats like this is to spend time with God. To seek Him, and delight in Him. I was challenged and encouraged as He kept reminding me that He does not want to leave me as I am. Our teachings were from the first epistle of John, and there was so much in just the first couple of verses to keep me busy and meditating on it all for a long time.

"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." - I John 2:6 
I recently heard a pastor say that the reason we don't do great things like Jesus did is because we don't walk like Jesus did. And well... I have no idea if raising the dead, or walking on water can become part of my repertoire, but... what if I did more walking like Jesus waked? What would that change in my life? I dare say and think that there would be big differences that I am willing and ready to see in my life. I'm so happy that God leads us gently and practically, and that He shows us the things that He would like us to do differently, or the things that He would like us to get rid of.

 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."- I John 1:5

Another reminder/warning I got was that if I say that I love God but I hate my brother, I am a liar... and I got this right after telling someone that sometimes I just wished fire would come down from heaven and consume some folks. I know, way to show some love... Mind you I was telling her that I felt kind of troubled by such thoughts. But then John says...

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." I John 1:7

"He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." - I John 2:10-11 

I have wondered why on earth I would wish fire to come down on people and the truth is that, it is not only a lack of love, but it is also my fear of them. The feeling that they are much bigger than me, that I cannot do any good in their midst... on the contrary they would consume me! So, it is much easier to not have them around. But then again I am so happy for these next verses...

 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." I John 4:18-19

Perfect love casteth out fear; I find that really encouraging, because there are a lot of things that I fear in life from time to time. The older I get it seems the more fears I come across... but that's ok if I can remember that perfect love casteth out fear.

Now, here is a really nice thing about all this as well... when I read books in the Bible I don't really think much about the authors in general. As I flipped through I John I just thought about how John was warning the people with so much love and gentleness and how he kept stressing the importance of love and loving each other... but then as I flipped a bit further and got to Revelation, which is also written by John, I read a little note I had scribbled next to the title. "John the one who asked Jesus to call down fire from heaven. Love changed him."

"And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.                - Luke 9:54-55

The Apostle John, who along with his brother were surnamed sons of thunder by Jesus, were full of zeal, but it wasn't always directed toward love. I'm happy to have an example of someone that was changed by love, because that encourages me to let the love of God change me as well. I know it's easier said than done... but all things are possible in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." - I John 4:9-11

This is not a resent picture, but it was taken during a picnic with church friends by a river. This is a my daughter with one of her favourite friends. As you can tell she was feeling just fine and happy... but right now little miss Sunshine is in trouble for tearing a piece of mommy's Bible cover and chewing on it. But let's walk in the light as He is in the light...