conversations with fear

i am afraid.  i am afraid of the day that awaits me tomorrow and of the dark night that lingers in between.  chest winces with fear as imagination runs wild with wicked possibility.  afraid of the struggle.  afraid i won't have what it takes, won't possess what is needed.  afraid of the exhaustion, the burn out, the soul sucking tired.
strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way...
anxiety cripples me in my bed at morning's first cry.  how am i going to do this? how am i going to get through this? afraid of my children, of my reaction, my resolve crumbling beneath me.  afraid i won't have the answers.  afraid i'll loose something. loose ground.  loose hope.  loose ability & conviction.
say to those with fearful, anxious hearts,
"be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
and He will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you..."
afraid i'll fall short, fall fast.  afraid of my inevitable mistakes & missteps.  afraid to be left where i am as i am.  afraid of the imperfect me in an imperfect world.
live in the house of the Lord all the days of your life,
delight yourself in the Lord's perfections...
for He will conceal you there when trouble comes,
He will hide you in His sanctuary.
He will place you out of reach on a high rock.

then i will hold my head high above my enemy...
at His sanctuary i will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing & praising the Lord,
delighting Him with the music of my soul... 
so flex strong feeble hands, steady now shaky knees.  take heart, take strength, take perfection from Him.  for He alone is the redeemer of all things.  all days, all dingy floors & chipped walls, all hope.

{passages paraphrased from isaiah 35:3-4 & psalm 27:4-6}


true story. {post traumatic growth syndrome}

"we are defined by the stories we tell ourselves." 
{tony robbins}

story weaving.  story spinning.  tale telling.  one of the oldest art forms known to man.  we are all storytellers.   every single one of us has a story or a set of stories that we tell ourselves.  and stories are powerful.  they are possessive.  stories can inspire, they can propel, empower, convict & colour just as they can deflate, depress, deject, imprison & rob.  those of us who own a limiting story, in one area of our life or another, become victims of it.  a limiting story, an excuse, the reason, to not do well in any given area, can be totally legitimate.  just because it's a story doesn't mean it's not true.  it just means that fixating on it will not empower.  it robs potential, like a thief in the night.

"biography is the furthest thing from destiny.  your biography is not your destiny, your decisions are."
{tony robbins}

i remember hearing steve jobs' story.  as a young boy, unaware of his own adoption, a neighbour girl informed him that he had been "discarded" by his biological parents.  he was broken, crushed.  but his adoptive parents rewrote that history for him.  edited the story if you will.  his story became i am chosen instead of i am discarded.  i am loved not lost. both happened but which story is true?  the one he chose to believe, to focus on, to build & bond with.

most of us learn to connect through pain and so we learn to create pain when it's not there.  problems are the biggest addiction in humanity.  and if we're not careful they can be an unhealthy basis of relationship and so become an unhealthy basis of identity.  this is aptly called trauma bonding.  problems allow us to escape our fear.
"if the problem is big enough, bad enough & certainly not our fault we use it as an excuse." 
{tony robbins}  
recognize your story for what it was & erase your fear.  change your story.  rewrite it.  don't become a victim of it.

this becomes tricky as we all know stories have ugly facts.  but to go there, to live there in the ugly facts doesn't give us anything.  every story is an opportunity, no matter how dark, how evil it's origins.   the opportunity for change is always there.  there is something to learn from every story.  every life.  every biography.  and no matter how dark your story may have started, there are always darker stories, always someone who was worse off.  take your eyes off of your own story & read the narrative of someone else's.  perspective is a harsh editor.  because it's either accept the grace to live despite it or lay down in it as a grave & that will be where your story ends.  it's choosing post traumatic stress syndrome instead of post traumatic growth syndrome, mourning & grieving your story instead of realizing only you have the power to change it, to grow it, to farm it.

everything in our lives are dictated by the stories we tell ourselves, not by the stories we were given.  so many stuck in the story they've told themselves for the past twenty years, still living out of that limiting place instead of allowing the narrative to evolve, to grow, to change.  you can't access the answers as long as you have a story that says it's impossible, it'll never work, i've tried everything, i can't be that.  we all know the power of belief.  it might be true that you have lived a hard life, you lived through horrific things but that is not why you're not who you want to be today.  the only thing that is keeping me from who i want to be is the story i tell myself as to why it can't happen.  breath meaning to any dark edges of your story writing & allow it to be used to propel instead of continually victimize.  believe that you were made for more than yourself.  your story was written to be read.  i am a history writer. i choose my perspective. my story is limitless.  i am story teller... of growth.  


the extravagant father {coming home}

the return - rembrandt

he was an extravagant father when his youngest son demanded his inheritance.  he was an extravagant father as he waited & watched his son squander his inheritance on frivolity & foolishness knowing that inheritance without identity is just a bunch of expendable cash.  cash easily spent, easily lost.  identity costly, irreplaceable, priceless.   he was an extravagant father while his son slid to his lowest, struggling to slop pigs, stealing the pig scraps for his own nourishment.  he was extravagant as he sat at the family table, looked out the window & waited.  the very things the son sought in the city, were the very things the father lavished on him when he came home.  the party, the peace, the identity, the authority, the feast... he bestowed them generously, lovingly, extravagantly.  the peace, the feast, the identity were there all along but the son refused to position himself to receive them.  the father was an extravagant father all along.  the issue was never the extravagant father, but the son who rejected his sonship.  the son needed to find out who he wasn't before he could find out who he was.

the prodigal son is the pinnacle of all parables.  without this as the centrepiece, without an understanding of sonship, everything else tastes sour, bittersweet, unauthentic.  the significance is in finding a son or daughter in ourselves.  if we are not first sons, every father, earthly or spiritual, will disappoint.  how many have become casualties of imperfect fathers.  father hurt & father wounds.  even Godly fathers of the house, those we look up to, we draw from, we depend on.  all disappoint, fall short.  be them wonderful, loving & kind.  none of them are extravagant like the extravagant Father, perfect like the perfect Father.

there is another son in the story.  the elder brother.  the hurt son.  jealous, legalistic, bitter, angry, disillusioned, insecure, competitive.  when we reject our sonship, we revert to the elder brother syndrome.  he wasn't secure in his own relationship with his father.  his security in that relationship had come only from his own performance, his glistening record.  the elder son also robbed himself of the rich inheritance he'd been given by the extravagant father.  if we don't position ourselves as a son, we'll end up a hurt son.  you'll question your sonship, without a real relationship with the father. you become critical of the father just as the hurt son did.

"but he answered his father, 'look!  all these years i've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.  yet you never gave me even a young goat so i could celebrate with my friends.  but when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' 
'my son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything i have is yours. but we had to celebrate and show our joy, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he is lost & is found'" {luke 15:29-32}

it wasn't enough for the hurt son.  he wanted recognition.  he chose works when what his soul craved was relationship.  and that is all the extravagant father wanted all a long.  relationship. he wanted his kids back.  same as God the father.

sonship & daughtership is an issue of the heart, an issue of positioning.  He is calling us to the family table, to His outstretched arms. and yet we flee to seek identity, security, peace in the wasted, wayward world.  living well beneath our identity, seeking what i could only find at home.  home in the Father's arms.  so come home. turn your heart & make the long journey home.  take the ring of authority, proudly wear the robe, your identity, peace, the shoes on your feet & feast on the fatted calf of favour.  walk into that life long, extravagant celebration, into relationship with the extravagant father.  and know you are a son, you are a daughter.      
coming home

"'i'm going back to my father.  i'll say to him, Father, i've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; i don't deserve to be called your son.  take me on as a hired hand.' he got right up and went home to his father.
when he was still a long way off, his father saw him.  his heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him and kissed him. the son started his speech: 'father, i've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; i don't deserve to be called your son ever again...'
but the father wasn't listening.  he was calling to the servants, 'quick. bring a clean set of clothes & dress him.  put the family ring on his finger & sandals on his feet.  then get a grain-fed heifer & roast it.  we're going to feast!  we're going to have a wonderful time!  my son is here - given up for dead & now alive! given up for lost & now found!'"
{luke 15: 17-24, msg}


tooth & teeth alike

in honour of dental awareness month & livi's first tooth, davith & a few of his little friends went to a free dental screening this week that ottawa public health was putting on to educate parents on appropriate dental hygiene for kids age 0-5.  i must admit, i had no idea up to this point what 'appropriate dental hygiene' was for a toddler or a baby for that matter.  well i was schooled! here are some of the fun facts & cool little tips/strong advice that they gave us:

did you know...
  • plaque grows in the baby's mouth even before the first tooth erupts
  • baby teeth are not just practice teeth: they are important for eating, talking, smiling & holding a place for healthy adult teeth
  • begin flossing once a day when your child has teeth that are touching
  • do not put your baby's soother or spoon in your mouth; this will pass bacteria that cause cavities
  • you should no use any kind of toothpaste {even flouride free} until the age of 3 when your child can spit it out.  using it before then will only develop bad habits for the future.  for children under 3, just use water with toothbrush or a wet facecloth to clean teeth & gums.
  • as soon as teeth appear, you should brush twice a day, but brushing before bed is the most important as bacteria has longer to fester through the night
  • if you can't brush, rinse your mouth with water, eat a piece of cheese {which has sugar busting enzymes} or chew a piece of sugar free gum
  • juice is a BIG no, no.  it does not have the fibre that fruit does & is basically just a tall glass of sugar.
  • limit sweets or sugary foods to special occasions and only serve them at mealtime.  the increase flow of saliva during a meal helps wash away & dilute sugars.
  • choose snack that are nutritious & unsweetened.  healthy foods are good for both your dental & general health
  • continue to help your child brush until the age of 8
  • give your baby water to drink in a plastic cup when he or she can sit up alone
  • only give children water or milk to drink
  • your baby's first visit to the dentist should be around the age of 3, unless you see brown or white spots during your monthly cavity check {just flip baby' lips to look at gums & teeth once monthly}
  • the best way to brush your child teeth is to lay them on a bed or couch with their head in your lap facing up at you, turn a two minute timer on & brush using the correct technique {back & forth on tops, circles on the outside, flick outwards on the inside}.  make it a fun, bonding moment by singing songs {like 'one little, two little, three little sugar bugs..." or 'you wake up in the morning & it a quarter to 8, you brush your teeth...'}

these pretty much sum it up...
and this health minute is brought to you by grover

this could be taking it a little far... maybe try brushing your hair?!

glistening hope

hope is all about your view of life.  all about what you believe you were created for.  if you believe you were born to go from crisis to mediocre & then back to crisis, you'll constantly live from average.  i believe God is delivering us from mediocrity & giving us a whole new thinking to walk in radical hope & joy.  we can't take mediocrity with us were we're going.  they are like bricks in a backpack.  must unload the lies i've built my life with.  innocent, unknowing, sweet little lies.  must cast off those weights & reach for something higher, something better, something glistening.

"any area of your life that does not glisten with hope reveals that you are believing a lie & is a stronghold of the devil." francis frangipane

this is salvation.  salvation from mediocrity.  from average.  from common experience.  my battle is for hope.  and the battleground is the mind.  what i believe, i create for myself.  and so what do i believe about God, about myself, about others, about my circumstances.  not what i have said i believe, where do i have hope & where do i not?  reality is a result of my past belief system. my future depends on my beliefs.  and my emotions are usually an accurate indicator of my beliefs.  once we lose our hope, we lose. there are no hopeless circumstances, only hopeless people.  all christian life is meant to be a progression of trading lies for truth, average for revelation.  all these years i've walked thinking character was the goal.  and knowing i will always come up short in that department.  you're not good enough. too small. too fat. too sensitive. too young. too insignificant. too flawed. the lying one whispers, and i am all too eager to take his encouragement & meditate on it until it produces empty, hopelessness.  but you don't receive by feeling, you receive by faith.  feelings, ultimately, always follow what you believe.  the more hope in your future, the more power in the present.

"according to your faith, so be it." Jesus, matthew 9: 29

those who say they can't & those who say they can are both right.  stop believing that you can't and you'll get a different experience.  it wouldn't matter if i had the biggest names in town pray over me, had the greatest encounter.  breakthrough can only be sustained if it changes what i believe.  we are not victims of others or circumstance.  we are a product of what we believe.  and by the grace of God, He is always gently leading us down the path of change.  good, soul reviving change.

"may the God of hope fill you with all joy & peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." romans 15:13

if what i believe does not produce joy, peace & hope in any area in my life, no area too insignificant, i need to take a good audit to see where i have been lied to & then take an axe to the root.  ask for the revelation and He gives it.  hold onto truth.  soak in it, bathe in it, drink it in... daily, hourly, minute by minute if need be.  hope is just a way of viewing life that is birthed out of the promises of God & His goodness, which always advances the kingdom & overflows peace & joy.

i used to think that repentance was just feeling really bad about what i did & then promising not to do it again.  but it is so much more than that.  it is a lifestyle.  the lifestyle of change.  my repentance isn't over until i am walking in glistening hope in every area of life.  so pull down those strongholds, let the demolition begin & remove those old ways of thinking so intricately sown into our everyday experience.  dig up those hideous, hidden lies, buried deep in decay, so that the actual presence of Christ can be manifested, resurrected in us. 

cheers to the relentless journey of glistening hope.

{notes from steve backlund's message 'abounding hope' with a little creative license taken & expanded upon...}

smile style {small style}

here's our little victorious, conquering peace in action... she smiled through all of the doctor's poking & prodding, suctions & masks... she truly suits her name.  i want to be like her. :)  it is so nice to finally get to dress her up again!
almost fully recovered!

still smiling

and loving those hands!
she cut her first tooth during the process!

i just love her

God is SO good!
{hat} mexx {jeans} old navy {shirt} joe {sweater} joe
hospital picture: {undershirt} carter's... these have come in handy in so many ways over the past two years!


the marriage chronicles

in honour of valentines day, elisabeth elliot & all things love, i thought i'd write a little bit about marriage for a change ... after all, that's where this story began! all the kids, all the homemaking, all that is life as i know it now started when a man asked this woman to be his wife.  and i've never regretted my answer!

cheers to this wonderful adventure called marriage!

a marriage in the making

  Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become "whole" and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.
We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married. - Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University Ethics professor
oh, how culture can be deceptive. enjoying this, knowing this is where we started... and oh, how far we have come! loving life learning to love. loving seven years of marriage to the most wonderful man i know!

notes to a daughter {love letters}

i stumbled upon this the other day and it made me smile.  as a wedding gift to her daughter & son-in-law, author elisabeth elliot placed her book 'let me be a woman' into her daughter's hands on her wedding day. the book was subtitled 'notes on womanhood for valerie'.  i love reading notes from fathers to sons, mothers to daughters.  it's like watching the baton being passed from one generation to the next.

the book, written in 1970 as feminism was in full swing, was quite controversial for it's time as it provided instruction on femininity in marriage. still not a popular concept these days.

this collection of letters to her newly wed daughter is all about serving God through her calling as a wife.  i hadn't never thought about it that way before.   serving God by serving him.  at the beginning of our marriage, i confession, my soul goal was to convert steve into a little mini-me.  but in my heart of hearts, that's not really what i wanted or needed.  all is growing grace in love. this is why i love these letters so much...

you marry a sinner.  there is nobody else to marry. that ought to be obvious enough but when you love a man as you love yours it's easy to forget.  you forget for a while and then when something happens that ought to remind you, you find yourself wondering what's the matter, how could this happen, where did things go wrong?  they went wrong back in the garden of eden.  settle it once and for all, your husband is a son of adam.  acceptance of him - of all of him - includes acceptance of his being a sinner.  he is a fallen creature, in need of the same kind of redemption as the rest of us are in need of, and liable to all the temptations which are "common to man".

you marry not only a sinner but a man.  you marry a man not a woman.  strange how easy it seems to be for some women to expect their husbands to be women, to act like women, to do what is expected of women.  instead of what they are men, they act like men, they do what is expected of men and thus they do the unexpected.  they surprise their wives by being men and some wives wake up to the awful truth that it was not, in fact, a man that they wanted after all... the world cries for men who are strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer & shoulder the burden of manliness in a time when to do so will often bring contempt.

we are called to be women.  the fact that i am a woman does not make me a different kind of christian, but the fact that i am a christian does make me a different kind of woman.  {elisabeth elliot}

i can only hope to encourage my daughters & sons in their respective femininity & masculinity with the same conviction as elisabeth.  she is at the top of my life list of those that have inspired me {did you know she was widowed twice, married thrice? such a strong woman full of faith!}.

 steve is everything i never thought i needed & wanted. he is the perfect provision of God to me.  there are many great things that i find the provision of God in him... but this one thing i am very glad of... he has never shirked the burden of manliness. thank the Lord that He guides my feet along the path of life.  is there anything more fulfilling than finding your love & living out your calling passionately in grace?

"if you really want to motivate your man and communicate with him, as well as enjoy a fulfilling marriage with him and raise healthy kids with him, stop expecting him to act or think like a woman. he can't do that. nor should he." 
gary thomas, sacred influence

hello jello

a little update: after all the anxiety, the sickness, the long nights & multiple doctor/hospital visits... we are well on our way now to being well.  hallelujah! i don't believe in sickness.  it has no place in this world, in my home, in my children.  it was never God's design or plan.  i personally feel like it is my duty to rid the world of it & cast it right back into the pit it came from.  but with all that said, we are never to proud to take medicine when we need it. we should never feel condemned or like failures when we see those wise doctors.  being antibiotic virgins, we have found them a bit hard on our tummies but so thankful to put an end to this nonsense! steve flies home tonight & will hopefully find a peace-filled, health-filled home waiting for him.

one good thing that came out of this whole fiasco was i learned to make eat-clean jello!  after several failed attempts, i finally succeeded! {the recipe was a little hard to follow}  so here is jiggling jello recipe below from {your best body now by tosca reno, p. 285}:

99 calories, sugar 12 g

  • 4 cups fresh berries or your choice
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 1/3 cups fresh apple juice * see recipe at bottom or use store bought
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin *i used Knox brand & followed directions on packets which turned out to be four packets if i remember correctly
  • 3 tbsp honey or sucanat
directions: *this is where it confusing, hence the failed attempts to i added a bit to explain in italics

  1. bring berries & water to a boil in a large pot. lower heat & let mixture simmer until berries are very soft (about 15 minutes). strain liquid through cheesecloth lined colander into a large bowl {i didn't have cheesecloth so i just used a fine strainer}. press on berries to release all juice. discard berries
  2. in large saucepan, add 1/3 cup of fresh juice & 2 packets {or four depending on serving sizes noted on back of package}.  stir on low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved.  increase heat to medium & bring to boil, add honey or sucanat & lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. the recipe didn't specify when to add the berry water back into the recipe so i did it during this step.
  3. remove from heat and add two more cups of fresh juice, stirring constantly.
  4. transfer to large glass bowl or tupperware, cover & refrigerate until set, about 30-60 minutes {mine took all night to set}. 
  5. serve with fresh berries
this recipe make like 10 tons of jello.  in retrospect, i think i would have halved all of the ingredients.  i made this on monday & still have two full containers of it!

here is what i used for fresh apple juice
it taste pretty nice on a sore throat... kinda like cider! and it fills the house with a delicious smell... which helps to cover the smell of puke & fever sweats!

check out this other really cool way to serve jello in little doses or a neat way to present it at a party!


i love to laugh {a song diary}

a tribute to my last post & a childhood favourite...

joy warfare

i have been reading a lot of steve backlund lately & absolutely loving it.  it is life transforming, hope spinning, joy gestating, peace provoking, faith sparking revelation.  and i feel like i want to wade neck deep in it all! sinews & meat to dry bones!  it's part of what is taking so long to "unpack" from our trip to cuba. i just want to reveal in it, savour it, pour myself into it.  it's hard to articulate.  but i need to start somewhere, so here is my feeble attempt to articulating just what God has lavished with His grace on this heart...

in his book "let's just laugh at that", steve backlund confronts common lies that we believe that undermine & limit God's ability to work in our lives.  he encourages us to read the lie out loud & then laugh audibly at the laughable assumptions that follow it.  it feels a bit awkward at first, i know.  but something powerful happens when lies are exposed to the light.  psalms 2:4 says "God laughs in heaven".  He laughs at the futile, ridiculous plans of His enemies. the phrase "let's just laugh at that" has the ability to take the power out of demonic deceptions and set us free to truth.  in fact, we have to let go of something in order to laugh.  we let go of manipulation, bitterness, unbelief to name a few.

truth brings hope. "now may the God of hope fill you with all joy & peace in believing"{romans 15:13}.  truth renews our minds, transforms our future experience.  we don't need a new set of experiences as much as we need a new set of beliefs.  the flow of power & blessing is blocked when we believe lies.  and so, right believing will provoke a transformed experience in the promises of God.  it is also, important to ask "who told you that?" after declaring something contrary to God's perspective about our circumstances or our identity, just as God asked adam in the garden {genesis 3:11}.

and so here are some of the lies backlund confronts, axes to the root.  won't you join me in having a good hearty laugh... or cry & then laugh...

  • it's not my personality to be joyful or to laugh much
  • there are no solutions for this situation
  •  good things can't last
  • i am not physically attractive enough to be significant
  • fear of punishment is how God primarily motivates us
  • it's hopeless
  • i will always be sick
  • i am too old or young to make a difference or impact
  • i am a failure
  • i am not evangelistic 
  • i cannot fulfill my call because of the people in my life
  • i am not to worthy to be blessed
  • i am who my experience says i am
  • the greatest christians are those with public ministries
  • i am a disorganized person
  • in bad economic times it is unwise to have children
  • i will never loose this weight
  • my life is ruined by that decision i made
  • i cannot change
  • a curse is more powerful than a blessing
  • that relationship can never be healed or restored
  • i don't have any influence in this place
  • i am always stress in airports & traffic jams
  • if i am not popular, i am insignificant & a failure
  • because is don't shake or fall down, God must not be touching me
  • i am not spiritual enough to be used by God
  • higher-levels in God attract higher problem-causing devils
  • my expectations have nothing to do with experience
  • if my ministry does not appear successful, then it is not
  • nobody around here want to become a christian
  • i am not educated or smart enough
  • i do not have the gift of healing or miracles
  • money is the root of all evil
  • this area is spiritually hard ground
  • women should not expect to be as powerful as men
  • i need to walk in fear of the devil
  • i am too busy to do things right
  • it may work somewhere else, but it won't work here
  • i will never get out of debt
  • it is too late for this nation
  • one person cannot change the world
wow!  and that is the scaled down version.  it is amazing what you believe subconsciously & how much it can effect you.  for every single one of these, the opposite is true.  backlund details every one of these lies with the implied assumptions behind them, the actual truth, strategies for overcoming the lie & declarations to renew your mind.  it's like a polygraph test on your thinking to detect if you are enjoying the privilege of a renewed mind.  so take a good audit, a deep breath & laugh loud & long & clear... :)

"a joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" {proverbs 17:22}
"but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that His day is coming" {psalm 37:13}
"and sarah said, 'God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.'" {genesis 21:6}


what to do when sick knocks at the front door

so the kids are sick... not just a little sniff, sniff, cough, cough sick... double ear infection, bronchitis, lung infection, bad croup, cough so bad they puke kinda sick... and not just one but all four.  my kids have never been really sick like this so it has been pretty scary for me, especially while daddy has been away.  thank goodness for lovely aunties from far away who come to help with the puke, the fever, the menthol baths & stroking of sweaty brows. thank God almighty who always has a plan & always faithfully provides.

i have learned a lot about sickness the last couple of long nights & so i thought i would capitalize on it while i remember.  here are some of the things that have been super helpful in surviving the fevers & runny noses...

  • be proactive: i am a big fan of being proactive in just about every area of life including health.  we love our vitamins & homeopathic remedies.  a healthy diet full of immune boosters like blueberries & strawberries are a staple of our everyday diet.  i really believe this is why we have never been sick like this before.  exercise & water intake are also a crucial part in circulating those immune fluids.  all of these things should only accelerate when the chills start to set in!
  • get a breath of fresh air: cold, fresh air is the best medicine for any kind of sick... especially respiratory sick.  even though none of us felt like it, a morning & afternoon walk out in the winter air was the perfect remedy before nap & bed {i did make sure they were bundled!}.  open windows are a great option too.  it is also important as a care taker to embrace other forms of fresh air... like a phone call to a friend, a three minute nap, a good muscle stretch, a lit candle, a shower or getting out even if it's just to get more tempra from the drugstore. prioritize it.
  • be thankful:  it could be a lot worse.  i recently heard some say "look for the Christ not the anti-Christ" and it just blessed me deeply.  don't look for sick to get worse, look for the Christ to get bigger.  He always provides... without exception.  you just need to be open to receiving... avoid martyrdom at all costs.
  • never give up the fight of faith: when proactive measures don't fully prepare you, it can be very easy to give up the fight & wallow in discouragement.  as a woman of faith, i pray, i declare, i fight for what i know is mine. this includes the sniffles, the flu or anything else that dare cross my path.  it will all bend it's knee before the King of kings.  just because the terrible can sometimes intensify while declaring, this is no reason to give up.  just see it as a challenge... and keep fighting the good fight!
  • feed your soul: nothing heals like the Word does.  this psalm pretty much sums it all up...
psalms 27

The LORD is my light and my salvation—
      so why should I be afraid?
   The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
      so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
      when my enemies and foes attack me,
      they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
      my heart will not be afraid.
   Even if I am attacked,
      I will remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the LORD—
      the thing I seek most—
   is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
      delighting in the LORD’s perfections
      and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
      he will hide me in his sanctuary.
      He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
      above my enemies who surround me.
   At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
      singing and praising the LORD with music.
Hear me as I pray, O LORD.
      Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
      And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
      Do not reject your servant in anger.
      You have always been my helper.
   Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
      O God of my salvation!
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
      the LORD will hold me close.
Teach me how to live, O LORD.
      Lead me along the right path,
      for my enemies are waiting for me.
Do not let me fall into their hands.
      For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
      with every breath they threaten me with violence.
Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness
      while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the LORD.
      Be brave and courageous.
      Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.


a birthday boy & his dinosaurs {celebratory}

davith is three... well, actually he was three on january 13 but we didn't get around to celebrating it until this past week.  he decided he would like a "gween dinosaur party" & so that's what we did!

i am a big fan of tori spelling... well, let me qualify that... i am a big fan of her passion & creativity both in her mothering but also in her desire to celebrate.  that girl knows how to celebrate like i've never seen.  and why not?  there really are so many reasons to make a big thing out of nothing.  why not celebrate a gorgeous sunset by grabbing a hot chocolate & heading out to the backyard to warm by a winter campfire?  so many moment get ignored or pushed aside when they were put there for our enjoyment. celebrating the good & enjoying life to the fullest is a motto i would really love to embrace.  she's often talked about the traditions her parents started that she still carries close to her heart & are a hallmark of every celebration.  very heart warming accounts of the way they extravagantly poured out their creative resources to make every birthday, christmas, easter, you name it occasion, special.  they lavished each occasion with their love & talent.  it wasn't about the $, although i'm sure that helped.  it was about the soul they put into each. the care.  the detail.  the enjoyment of life. this is what i hope to be one day.  a celebratory connoisseur. 

so here's to celebrating life & my little boy whom is so well loved & his love of dinosaurs.  cheers to that!
healthy zucchini carrot cupcakes

three candles for my big boy!

fruit kebobs


polka dots & eyes
we had dinosaur pancakes for dinner {really just pumpkin pancakes that were cut into the shape of a dinosaur by a sandwich cutter i got from dollarama}.  so i thought the pancake garnishes should be dino themed as well {scales, polka dots, toe nails, back plates & spikes & of course green whipping cream}.
dino toe nails {raisins}

back plates & spikes

a dinosaur restaurant
green whipping cream

fossil magnets

sand, paint brushes & dino skulls

tent turned into a cavern
davith loves making caves
with the couch cushions which
worked perfectly with our theme

goodie bags

adopt-a-dino: guests got to take home
their very own dinosaur
pterranadon nest {aka our nursery} complete with dino eggs & books
{really just a pile of blankies & balloons}
a huge thanks to all of the little & big people that made the occasion so special!
is that a parasauralofus saying happy birthday?
yes, yes it is!