Monthly Archives: May 2010

My Monday Morning View

This was my view first thing this morning. It was the morning that I was planning on sleeping-in but instead I woke-up at 6:30 to this little girls face right beside mine, grinning and declaring that she was no-longer sleepy and that she was, in fact, a kitty cat.

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Early Morning Reflections – Rest.

James snapped this picture of me as I was coming down a pile of rocks this past weekend. I’m not usually a huge fan of pictures of me, but there’s something about this one that I love (too bad I’m wearing frumpy clothes though). I think it might be the Gull in the background that gets me.

Anyways, I’ve been feeling rather stressed this week. The kind of stressed that seems to fry my patience the moment I wake-up and causes me to have a cosmic meltdown by noon. I hate feeling this way. I wish I could just go and sit by the beach for a few more days, it was so soothing to hear the soft waves hitting the shore first thing in the morning.

I’ve also been working-out everyday for quite a while (quite awhile for me at least) and for some reason it hasn’t really hit my body until today…the stiffness that is. I could hardly peel myself out of bed, I was sore from head-to-toe.When my alarm went-off at 6:00 I was so disappointed and coffee was the first thing on my mind.

I think that today should be a day of rest for many reasons. I will try my best to breath and relax and let things go.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

Psalm 62: 5 & 6

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Camping with kids – Part 1

So we did the unthinkable, we went camping on May-long. I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t go camping on the long weekend in May because it will inevitably be rainy and cold but we decided to ignore what the weather stations were saying and head-out anyways. After all, the kids have been counting down the number of sleeps until they get to have a fire, roast marshmallows and sleep in their tent…how could we say no!?

For our first camping trip with the kids (this season) we decided to keep it fairly close to the city so we went just north of Gimli to Camp Morton Provincial Park. It was a small campground (about 17 spots, I think) which turned out to be great for easing the kids into living out of a tent surrounded by bush and using an outhouse. There were mainly young families occupying the rest of the spots so the kids quickly made friends and ran around non-stop with a mob of toddlers and their dogs.

We had a thunderstorm Saturday night, which the kids slept through, but we were unaffected since we’d put up a tarp across both of our tents. Sunday proved to be a scorcher and we made the most of it by going on a hike, playing in the water, reading out in the sun and napping in the shade. The kids had so much fun camping and playing with their friends that the didn’t want to come home. I’m glad they enjoyed a few nights of sleeping in their tent…now I don’t feel bad about dragging them out into the wilds of Manitoba every couple of weekends. Here are a few pictures of the kids at Camp Morton.

{okay, this isn’t the kids…but it just seemed fitting}

{probably one of my favorites of the weekend – this is at Gimli harbor}

{enjoying a snack, sitting by the fire}

{checking out the lake and throwing rocks in the water}

{rhys and ammie playing Red Rover for the first time – ammie didn’t really get it}

{trying to re-route a little stream}

{playing in the water – rhys went all ‘swiss family robinson’ and was hauling driftwood around the whole beach for a good 45 minutes}

I think that I’ll be doing a post sooner or later with tips for camping with little kids. I already have a number of good pointers that I’d like to pass along to those of you who are thinking about take your own kiddies out to the bush. But this is all for now and I hope you all had a great long weekend!

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I can’t dance.

There are lot’s of things that I can’t do well that I wish I could. Things like math, speaking a different language, saving money, wearing shorts. But I’m pretty sure that at the top of my list (if I had to sit down and make a list) is dance. I wish upon a star that I could dance. Part of me is slightly bitter that my parents never took a chance in sending their second daughter to dance class (my sister ruined the experience for them…). I think that if I had started out young I would have been great. But I didn’t, and so I’m not. Sure, you can pass a few rum and coke over my way and I’ll think that I’m a great dancer, but it just isn’t reality. I’d like to think that I’ll be an amazing dancer in heaven…and that heaven is a musical (but that’s another dream for another post). Anyways, this is a beautiful dance and when I watch it I get shivers, very romantic.

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Silly Morning.

Ammie (after having just woken-up and now lying on the couch): Mom, why did people build this house?

Bria: Well…someone wanted to live in a house and so they built this one.

Ammie: I don’t like this house.

Bria: What don’t you like about it?

Ammie: I don’t know.

Bria: Then go live in the yard.

So she got up, put her runners on and walked outside still in her jammies. I walked out after her and sat down on the front steps and drank my coffee as she wandered around the front lawn.

(As silly as it was it turned out to be a wonderful moment enjoying the first bits of sunshine, the quiet streets, the chirping birds and watching Ammie sleepily play on the sidewalk. Growing-up my mom and I would often sit on our front steps early in the morning and have a cup of coffee or tea. Even when we lived in her basement just after Ammie was born I would still look forward to the days where we could sit on the steps. Now that I’m in my own house and have my own kids I often forget to soak-in all those little moments of being a stay-at-home mom. I’ve gotta remember to sit on my front steps with my kids and enjoy the sun’s first ray’s more often.)

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Things that I find beautiful.

{finding beauty in the curl of some birch bark}

{watching little hands learn how to garden}

{seeing ammie and eeyore eat breakfast together}

{snapping photo’s of a very content little boy}

{having a spontaneous picnic in the park}

{lazing about on a blanket, soaking-up as much sun as possible}

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Fragrant Blossoms.

Our church has been going through an awesome series called ‘The Spirit Speaks Through Community’ where different people from our community can talk about what’s going on in their own life or what God has put on their heart to share. James and I did this past Sunday’s service. I was horribly nervous and calm at the same time, weird combination. We took turns sharing about the past few years of our marriage; the low points, the learning, the stretching, the (hopefully) growing. It actually felt really good (when it was all said and done) to get up there in front of our faith community and be completely real with everyone. I didn’t try to be someone who I’m not and I shared straight from my heart. Considering where James and I have come in the past 3 years this was a HUGE step for us. In the past little while I’ve felt as though my heart is coming out of a deep slumber. It’s waking-up and stretching out, getting excited to be alive to the world again. I can feel it start to thrive and even blossom. It makes me smile. It’s a great feeling and I think that this was just one step that has helped it get there. Anyways, I thought that I would share the last part of what I spoke about on Sunday. I know there were a couple of people who wanted to hear James and I speak but couldn’t make it so this will have to do.I suppose you have to know the rest of our story for it to really make sense, but even if you don’t I hope you can connect with at least a small part of it. Enjoy.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.”

James 1: 2-4

Do you ever have one of those moments where you just stop in your tracks and that light-bulb goes off and you think, “MAN, I have had a MAJOR gap in my thinking!” I’ve recently had one of these shifts happen.  For some time I’ve had a prayer for my life. My desire is that I become a woman who when you spend time with, you feel at rest. Now, that can come across as sounding odd at first, but let me explain. Have you ever known a woman who when you sit with her you’re at peace, you feel comfortable, you feel at home? I’ve known a few women like this. They are the fruit of the spirit, they are the Ruth’s and Ester’s. I encountered this a number of years ago and quickly began to desire the same thing in my life. I prayed that God would mold me to be more Christ-like so that I will, over the years, become a strong and peaceful woman.

But I found that even though this was my prayer I wasn’t willing to go through the molding process. I didn’t want to be pruned so that I would, in turn, become more fruitful. And not that it was this actual thought that I was having where I was saying, No! No pruning! It was more of a desire to have everything perfect and smooth and then somehow – one day – I’d wake-up and be Christ-like. So when James and I would go through things I would just get confused and angry and defeated and depressed. ..and then I’d get bitter and just want to turn down the dial on the whole God thing. There was NO joy in my suffering.

Then this past year I had one of those light bulb moments.

How can I expect to become a woman who genuinely and fully trusts in the Lord if I don’t live through situations that require me to trust?

How can I expect to become a woman who is peaceful if I don’t live through situations where I see God’s faithfulness?

How can I expect to become a strong, Christ-like woman if I don’t live through situations where God is challenging me and pushing me and stretching me…molding me into the woman I am praying and desiring to be?

How selfish of me to want to be a follower of Christ who’s life is full of fragrant blossoms who is in no way, shape or form willing to go through any sort of pruning process. How selfish.

When I fall into the thinking that I will mold myself, I will prune myself, I will be my own gardener – I will not cut as deep, I will not stretch as far…I will go easy on myself and the outcome will be significantly less stunning. This is the truth. This was my light bulb moment. I have a feeling that God is wanting to use these situations in my life to make me stronger and healthy, to help me to thrive.  And the thing is, with my plant, the pruning is a constant undertaking. Every few weeks I look over my plant and see what needs to be done.

I am finally able to look back on the years of our marriage, and be joyful and thankful that God didn’t go easy on me, or on James, because I can see the direction He has pointed us in, and I feel Him so deeply at work in our lives.

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