Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A great year to be a writer and final blog of 2011

It has been another year of blog posts, 47 this year and over 5200 readers. That is cool. Some posts that came to me in the night and some that when I sat down to write, morphed into something completely different. I love to write and this year will symbolize the year that I became an author.  I have signed my first book deal. It is a children's story and it too morphed from the original idea but I have dreamed of writing a children story for about 5 years; this from a kid who never passed English in high school. So where is the difference, where is the change, what was the shift? It all happened with life experience and the encouragement from my husband.  For years when I was looking for a career change, he encouraged me to pursue writing, he encouraged me to spend time locked away, banging away at the computer keyboard with the relentless spell check for the part of me that didn't pass English 12.
The story is due to be out in the spring of 2012, and is called Carry me to Kinshasa. It is the story of our adoption journey and the love a mother can have for children living half way around the world, that she has never met. It is the story of her friends and family and what they were prepared to do to carry her to Kinshasa as she walked in her heart the 13808 kilometres from home to Africa.  If you are at all interested in the trek or the journey you can check out www.carryme.ca  From there you can read more and read the progress and you can also follow what we are up to. For Life Happens I will continue to write but life is going to change one day in 2012 and so I know time to write will be a gift, rare and treasured.
I am thankful for all the readers that have read this blog and if you are thinking I have fallen off the face of the planet, check out the other site and see if I am still up to something.

My favorite blog of the year would be a Super Size in January... a small tidbit.. This weekend our Pastor,  Scott Gaglardi, preached about our burdens and not the daily grind that feels like a burden, but the burdens that God has given you, that you can't escape, the kind that you cannot possibly do on your steam, the burdens that require, planning, prayer, resources, and a big dose of humility, the ones that seem like mountains. WHY... because without these burdens we cannot see our faith in action, we cannot see His control over the physical, when we reach out to Him in the spiritual, and we can't share the story of His glory.
I totally get the entire concept, but today while talking to Kelsey, we were both relenting to the facts of why some days the practical side of going, money, time and commitment seem like it over takes the faith side. Are we willing to sit and do nothing and wait upon the Lord to move in our finances or our time frame, or are we willing to look at how we can make it happen. Which brings me to the second part of that, if we waiting looks like we are doing nothing, are we really stepping out? Is we waiting look like a person that says "yes" when this happens or that happens, then I will be able to ...fill in the blank. It could be go to Africa, it could be go to bible college, it could be serving at soup kitchen , it could be raising funds for programs that work in addiction counselling. Either way you cut it, we live in a world of me, instant gratification and self serving attitudes., not in a world of faith, we are a "sure thing" culture.
This is not about raising money, or asking people to commit to anything, it is about asking are you wondering where the "supersize" miracles are? I am. I pray that there will be a day when mission fields have waiting lists, where ministries that feed the poor, have to rotate volunteers to make room for everyone, and a day when we don't doubt in our heads and follow the faith of our hearts. A day when practical isn't our first response. What is God calling you to....


God's gifts and God's call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded. Romans 11 v 29 The Message.


Yep I love this blog post....


So for this year I say Praise to God for He has shown us the full warranty, He has shown us that practical is his business and our business begins with faith.....

Blessings to you and your family for 2012. I can't wait to see all that He has planned for us in 2012...well the wait for the ride is long, it is going to be worth it....C

Monday, November 28, 2011

Carry Me to Kinshasa

 what does jesus walking on water,  the drc and dr suess have in common check it out...

Checking out we are moving right along 669 kms into the open ocean this week....check it out Carry Me to Kinshasa

Saturday, November 19, 2011

As the season of Christmas approaches...remember to share GRACE

I have written about grace many times, and I assume I will write about grace many times more. I am nothing without grace. Our Pastors have been preaching on grace (click link)
Northgate Foursquare Church, and if you want to understand the beauty of grace, the walk of grace, the outcomes of grace, you need to listen online, click the Grace series and watch the sermon videos. This walk through Romans that has me looking at Romans in a whole different way.
Grace is more than sufficient, grace is my sustenance, part of who I am. I give and freely receive grace daily. I understand the joy that comes from grace. I understand the restoration and healing that comes from grace. I pray for grace to wash over me, my family, my friends, those that I meet, for without grace I am nothing. I pray that through grace God allows things to shape me, that it allows me to grow in Him.
I know that grace is an incredible gift that we will never understand the completeness or the ends of grace, grace is like eternity, there is no end to God's grace. No matter how often I mess up and need to ask for grace or how often I see areas of my life that I need Him to give me grace, the cup is bottomless.
Our devotions are also in Romans and grace. Suppose maybe I needed a double dose of grace this week. Here is what our devotions said. Grace to keep going

  1. The Lord’s grace releases His supernatural power within us so we can endure life’s hardships with a godly attitude. In fact, we’ll even be able to rejoice in what He is doing in us through the adversity.
  2. Grace builds our confidence in the sovereign Lord. Nothing looks hopeless when we focus on Him instead of on our problems.
  3. We discover the assurance of God’s sustaining presence as He walks with us every step of the way.
  4. Because we’ve experienced His care for us, we are able to show empathy and love to others facing hard times.
  5. During fiery trials, grace works to transform our character so that others can see Jesus reflected in us.
So as the Christmas season fast approaches and we have more opportunity to share about Jesus, keep in mind, that sharing about grace is a great lead in. Grace set the captives free, it heals the broken hearted and it always strengthens and holds us up. 
Today I am thankful for many things, but number 3...HIS sustaining presence as He walks with us. I told you, the cup is bottomless, endless, infinite, into the wild blue yonder, till kingdom come, forever and a day, it is measureless! 
Now share the Christmas story, share the story of grace, the story of how He meets you just where you are and show empathy to others. To those that Christmas is not so easy for, not by making them some cookies but by listening to their story and not impressing the "have to" celebrate Christmas (to get in the spirit) and that to be happy you must have the festivities in full swing. BUT...by sharing the story of Christmas and the HOPE that a baby brought. No trees, no decorations, no baking, no fancy parties, just the simple act of saying I hear you, followed by a kind word, someone is calling out to you...are you listening. 
New International Version (©1984)
"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: Matthew 11 v 16



Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16 v 24


“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Monday, November 14, 2011

Carry Me to Kinshasa

Just wanted to share another blog I write weekly. It is a story I was not sure if I wanted to share out there but for many readers they may wonder what I am up to.
So check out
www.carryme.ca

Next week I will be back on the blog writing, and sharing about the grace that comes from humbleness.
Stay tuned!
C

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

life does happen...praying we can tear down the walls

The last month has been a blur. I am saddened and broken and then restored and feel hope. My last blog post was of a young girl who took her own life and two weeks after another young girl dies the same way alone, lost without hope.
The agony of staff at both of our local schools was raw, but imagine the families, now that media coverage was paying close attention. Apparently the statistics are that 5 young people in 4 years have died by suicide. As our community rallies together to try and make sense of the staggering numbers, the losses and work with many organization to make sure it doesn't happen again. So both of the schools I work have suffered so that is my work life. I have started praying outside and inside the schools each week and God is revealing words, hope, peace, comfort and protection on the ground I walk on. I felt called to walk the paths, the parking lots, the routes, the outside streets leading to the school. I have been blessed with such an enormous surge of hope. I wish I could shout it to all that would listen. God has this valley in His hands. Check out the you tube below...I pray we can tear down these walls!

So that is work and home has also been a little rocky, with a case of salmonella poisoning from a chicken burger at the golden arches...if you get my hint. So I lost about 6 days, my husband taking two days off work to care for me, and doing a million things above and beyond his regular duties LOL. So after reclaiming my balance from pancreatic induced vertigo, chased by low, low blood pressure, freezing cold hands and feet, and not yet the ability to down my morning coffee, I am on the mend.

So if I have been slow on the posts, please forgive me. I am also writing a children's story and so now I must sign off while i try and work out some images to match the book, so the illustrator can get me some sketches. It is the fun part of my day.
Before I know it, it will be time to start sending my Finland Christmas cards...wow time flies!
Happy November, C


http://www.songlyrics.com/hillsong-united/tear-down-the-walls-lyrics/

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Grief abounds




After a very sad week at our school with a young girl taking her own life, a second young girl and her father were killed last night. The town is very small and with the two girls, 14 and 12, there are many young teens that have both as school mates if not friends. It has the entire community trying to grapple to try and understand the sadness and the far reaching grief that wraps itself around our young people. Please pray for the community of Comox and for the families of the girls, for the teachers, friends, coaches and neighbours., for the crisis management team. Pray a special blessing on the friends and fellow students of both girls. School tension is still reeling after a summer murder of a young man who had graduated from the same school. I am speechless to try and make sense of it all, but know I want to be there and be a listening ear, part of a solution to bring peace, restoration of broken hearts and healing from the inside of each young person in our valley. Nothing is too big for my God
\

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Catch and Release

Recently I asked some Facebook friends what they thought of when I said "catch and release". I got answers...some that made me laugh, (check out the last one below) and some that made me think. Then I thought about what is like for God when His children are set upon a path,  as we all are. Does He catch and release us?  Is the acceptance of Him as our Lord and Savior the catching into the kingdom, although we are not captive, and is the process of our walk the release? 
I got to thinking, am I walking through the life He had envisioned for me, prepared for me, breathed into me?
Or was I a feral cat, a wild animal, not willing to conform, most comfortable without rules, or a random fish fighting to get back to the place where I will die? Would I be willing to live in harmony with the plan and purpose for my life?  Would I be willing to accept it unconditionally or would I wait for the big one"opportunties " or would it be too late?
Imagine what God thinks some days, because we know he sees our thoughts, knows our inner most desires. Some of which will  obviously be against His will, some along the lines,  but on our terms,  and some that we can fangle to believe that they line up because we are a good person. 
Oh Lord it is the cry of my heart to be the wife, mother, aunt, cousin, nana, friend, employee, Christian you called me to be.
Some people need to learn from their mistakes, one of our children who will remain nameless is a "need to learn for myself" learner. Even if it was a hard lesson eventually as parents we realized this and allowed it happen. What does God say when he knows that is our learning style. I know I am a "learn from other people and from experiences" not always having to be the person directly involved. Does God look at me and say Colleen it was happening all around you and you didn't see it.  Imagine every person on this earth being His creation and every person that takes the long way around to learn something. Wow,  HE is patient and loving and merciful and always there to scoop us up.  I am so thankful for His release of me into all that He has predestined for me to experience, the happiness, the sorrow, the learning curve and the blessings. Best of all I am happy because I am a catch! 
Today as Thanksgiving approaches I am going to pray for more to be caught and launched and released into HIS perfect plan, ups and downs and all. 

Thanks to :

  • My Facebook Data Group
    • Lori Wear before its to late
      19 September at 19:28 ·  ·  1 person
    • Callie Finley fishing
      19 September at 19:50 ·  ·  1 person
    • Marianne Harris spaying & neutering feral cats... :)
      19 September at 19:53 ·  ·  1 person
    • 19 September at 20:02 · 
    • Lois Reimer endangered fish
      19 September at 20:23 ·  ·  1 person
    • Cody Pfl Eliason Waiting for the big one.
      19 September at 20:42 ·  ·  1 person
    • Gill Shoemaker raising kids
      19 September at 21:43 ·  ·  1 person
    • Amy Emery Wild animals (raccoons, possums)
      20 September at 09:37 · 
    • Ernie Peters Wife?
      20 September at 22:04 · 
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wow it is fall again!

How does it happen so fast, I mean summer being over. One day to the next and it seems like everything changes. I also work at a school so of course it is always a new beginning. This week we entered another year of educational fodder. This time to fill the brains of young people in high school of all that can and will await them if they can just get through. Oh wait, they are supposed to be having the time of their lives. So why is it, all they want to do is graduate and be done. Do they not realize what life as an adult is like? Oh please take me back to a time when my greatest  decision was the color of the earrings to match a multi colored top, or whether I worked Friday night with a friend, so we could have more fun at work? When we didn't have to pay bills, buy our own clothes and make big decisions. Being a kid was great!
We as adults in todays world have a huge influence on the young people we come into contact with. I am so thankful to be put in positions where we can discuss issues of social justice! with the bright young minds of today. I also love the vibe of high school, although the sizes of students nowadays is a marvel. What are you parents feeding these children?  It is not unusual in a school of grades 8 - 12 to find children roughly the size of ten year olds and then full grown men with beards. I can never quite get a handle on it.
But it is fall, and I love the seasons. I love the leaves and the way the light is refracted off the colors. I love the way the mornings are crisp and cold and the days warm up. I know the rain is coming but I am in denial. I love the way the lawn doesn't need to be mowed and the garden gets natural dew enough to sustain is for days at a time. I love that the hay is in the barn. I love that fall bring everyone back from holidays and church is a big party of chatter.
I love taking pictures of fall, I really do and this fall we are currently working on a fundraiser and I cant wait to start pictures of the progress. send me an email if you want to help it is going to be great!
hearts4africa@ymail.com
Happy fall, C
Lancaster County Photos
This photo of Lancaster County is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Being Reminded of Reality

I love routine, I love organization and maybe I love the fine execution of a plan, but what happens when things take a sudden turn. Our lives seem to go in circles some times, where we left off once before we seem to come around to again. How does that happen? Is there such a thing as deja vu? Do you get that when something comes up and you know you have had this conversation before, been in this place, but it isn't realistic? It could not have happened.
So my thinking brain tries to make sense of the weird phenomena called deja vu. Is is real? It comes from the French word, already seen. Does that mean I have seen it? Does that mean that God planned for this time and place to happen again because I didn't get it right the first time? Questions, absolutely, answers not so much.
As we settle into routine here at home and praying for some major life changes for us, we are reminded that reality is what you make of it. It is what it is...we have said that many times. Right now as we get the hay in the barn, a few weeks later than usual, it is still routine. We miss the banter of many friends from the church that come out each year to help, but with the amount that needed to be done in a short time we hired a crew. I have done this before, every year for 15 years here and prior to that at my parents farm, same fields, same tractor, green square bales scattered throughout in random patterns. Yep this is normal.
I know God continues to teach, I know He provides us with routine, I know He gives us glimpses into His plans for us, but have I been there before, no, He has. He has set a path before us. I am so glad he can see the finish line, or the big picture, because now I need to believe in the impossible.  Don't you hate a cliff hanger... email me: hearts4africa@ymail.com if you would like specific prayer direction on our behalf. C

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.
 
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
 May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
 
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
Amen
Ps Jerry missing you, thought you would like to hear and see...ps we miss you too T