"We have never been called to define God, we have been called to behold Him." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

Moment in Time Photography - Blog

December 29, 2010


As biased as I am, they are still pretty adorable!
And getting big. Where oh where have the years gone?
My baby will be 3 and my oldest 7 in the coming year....yikes!
(sometimes it makes me wish for another, a 4th, a sweet little life to add to the chaos....!)

Because God is always enough

There are moments in my life where I can look back and see the hand of God leading me, guiding me, nudging me in the direction I need to go. Gently, graciously, painfully, calling me to lay down more of my life for His, for His glory, for His hope and joy and love that flows so freely to those so undeserving. That flows so freely to ME.

Me who stumbles, trips, falls clings to the darkness because it offers a twisted comfort - a familiar that I am fearful to leave behind, even knowing that there is something so much better. That when I do step out, lay down and trust, that the joy and peace and learning that comes is worth every step of pain, of struggle, of fear and darkness to better know Him who calls me to Himself. Who works through broken pieces of a life offered to Him.

Do I choose to listen? Or will I cling, tightly, to the spot I am in. Fearful of the next step, of reaching for His hand, of trusting where He leads?

Sometimes, it is with fear that I trust. That I surrender to the the One who calls me out of darkness, out of myself. But just because I follow in fear and often-times hesitation, it is still in obedience. I am learning this. That sometimes, it is alright to obey simply because I know it is the right thing to do - even though my heart may not be in the right place. For when I do obey (even out of duty), I watch the miracle of God transforming my heart, so that I follow not just out of obedience but out of love, out of desire to see God glorified, to shine the flicker of a light for Him so those who know me will see where my Hope lies.

As 2010 comes to a close I find myself looking back and thankful to God for everything He has done for me, for my family, for my friends. There has been so many blessings. At the same time, this year, is not a year I would have chosen for myself. And, if I had been given a choice - in all honesty - it is not a road I would have walked and there were days (weeks, moments) where I did not follow graciously, where I went kicking and screaming and digging in my heels. Truthfully, there are still moments, where I forget. Forget to that my God is trustworthy, forget all the He has all ready done, forget that He knows my heart, my desires, my needs, my wants and the motives that those things stem from.

Would I change it? No! Has it been easy? Not usually Has it been worth it? Yes. Has God taken my tears and turned them into hope and joy? Yes - continually! God is using (and has used already) the trials of this past year and I may not ever (at least this side of heaven) understand why those things, why now, but I don't need to. For He is God and He is sovereign in all things.

This past year has awed me with the faithfulness of God. Even when I have knowingly turned, or ignored, He is faithful (for He cannot deny Himself) and I am humbled by that.

I struggle with just what to share through this medium of words, where there is no filter, where anyone can read. Do I speak in generalities and hope that my reliance on God comes through? That my strength in all of this, is not from me, but from my heavenly Father who loves me (and has always loved me)? Or do I fight past the fear and write specifics? Those who know me well know I am not one to share, to open up, to become vulnerable. Although this past year has taught me that there is joy and encouragement in vulnerability. The stepping past that lump of fear, tends to make the fear dissipate.

So I type words, hoping that God will use them to show Himself, to shine His light and glory through them. For I don't want it to be about me, but about Him who has called me.

December 23, 2010

Skating, Skating on a Skating Rink

We've taken the kids skating two days in a row this week.
 Alexandra spent much of her time laying on the ice the first day we went, but did much better at the indoor rink yesterday.
 This was Owen's first time ever on skates, granted they are the little bob skates, but he did great and had a wonderful time.
 Anthony is great! He remembered what to do from last year and was whizzing are the ice like crazy. It was so nice to see him enjoying himself.

We are taking advantage of having everyone home this week, and the fact that the weather is beautiful (like fleece and vest beautiful, which is unusual for this time of year in Northern Ontario!) and doing tons of things outside together.

December 17, 2010

Her First Recital

Last night, Alexandra danced for the first time on stage - ever, in front of a lot of people. 
She LOVED it!!
She remembered the steps and her smile never left her face the entire night.
The Beginner's group was the last to dance and she kept leaning over to ask if it was her turn yet. It was great for her to see the senior dancers dancing too. She knows a few of the senior dancers, so she knows what she has to look forward to in a few years.
 For know, this is what they wear to dance in. At the end of January they will get the actual Ukrainian costumes so when they dance at the Folklore Festival in and and at their year end concert, they will all be in traditional dress. 
 And this would be Anthony, being Anthony, at his sister's recital! 
It was a good thing that Aunts and Uncles and Gramma were there to keep him occupied (and then Saint Nikolai came and gave all the kids bags of candy!)

I am so proud of my daughter. I danced for years and I remember my first recital (I was a blackbird in Sing a Song of Six Pence). So it was nice for me to see that Alexandra truly LOVES to dance. My social butterfly thrives. 

And you what, for only having had 10 dance classes, she's doing a GREAT job!

December 15, 2010

Melted Snowman Cookies

So, theses were a little tricky then I thought when I first attempted them. But they are SO cute!
(I should mention that I did these while 1 child was finishing dinner and the other breakfast this morning!)

Owen @ 31 Months

December 14, 2010

i heart faces -Pets

It's been awhile since I've entered a picture into an i heart faces contest, but I was playing around with my camera this morning and managed to snap this picture (in the midst of my 2 year old climbing all over me!) and thought it was perfect for this week's theme of Pet Faces! 

December 12, 2010

Mighty God!

Mighty God.

Who, more often than not, chooses to display His might through

Grace, Mercy and Compassion.

Rather than raining down fire from on high.

Today's sermon, was good (Isaiah 9: 6-7 He shall be called.....Mighty God). Although, lately, they have all been speaking (quite loudly) to my heart. Encouraging, convicting, drawing me closer to Him.

Mighty God.

In the form of a babe. 

So does that affect the way I live MY life?? Because if it doesn't, it sure should!

Point after point today, struck me. Do I ask God to rain fire from heaven when I have been offended? When I feel He has been offended? Or do I let Him display grace and mercy through my actions?

And a comment from a friend? "Waiting on the Lord isn't doing nothing. It's an action. It is not sitting passively by watching."

Truth speaking.

I am thankful and humbled that God chooses to work through our weaknesses so that His Glory and Might may be displayed. It makes me long to become more weak, so that He may be seen all the more.

December 08, 2010

A Christmas Present (that requires much praise!)

I got the only Christmas present I wanted this year.

Got it this morning actually.

Well, if you want to be technical, I didn't actually get it.

Troy was the one who got the phone call telling him that he has a FULL teaching timetable starting in February!! Math, periods 1,2 and 5 (which means he gets 4th period prep. which he LOVES) This timetable, is his dream timetable. It's what he wanted. God continues to amaze me at what He is able to do, and HOW He is able to do it. And the little things that He adds to it (like 4th period prep).

I am SO thankful for it.  God has been working lots in me, teaching me what it means to wait on Him and waiting for His timing, teaching me about trust and faith and about His Character. It has been good. Really really hard sometimes (and I wasn't always patient OR gracious) but it has been so good, and I am truly excited to see what else God has in-store for us as a family.

I am floored that we know so early that Troy is settled, that in and of itself, is completely God.

What an amazing answer to prayer!! I am so thankful to all the people who have spent months praying for this, for taking the time to lift us up before God, waiting and watching and anticipating Him answering. I love that God designed us for community and that there is strength where 2 or more are gathered in His Name.

Praise God!!

December 07, 2010

Thank You!!

I was humbled yesterday by the sweet generosity of a lady I barely know. It touched me that she was willing to reach out and help our family, gifting us the way she did. (THANK YOU!!)

I was reminded too, by how God truly does work through everyone, in every season, to teach us more and more of His truth so that it may settle like a blanket in our soul.

This season is not easy, but, as I mentioned to a friend yesterday, if it were easy I am not sure that I would give the credit and glory to God. If it were easy, I'm not sure the lessons I am learning would stick, would change my life for the better. . . my friend jokingly said that God should give us an *easy* button. And you know what? He has. Trusting Him, letting Him be in control.

Trusting that He will work it all out, in His perfect timing, in His way.

He loves us and His plans will never hurt us. It might be painful, it might be difficult, but it will never harm us.

Yesterday's surprise, was a glimpse, a reminder, of what happens when we truly surrender and trust God (instead of just voicing it with our mouths and not letting that trust work it's way to our actions and heart!)

December 06, 2010

The Tree

Sunday afternoon, after picking Troy up from hunting, we met up with my brother-in-law and headed out to cut down our tree.
I have a feeling the kids were much more interested in the fact that they could wrestle with their cousin then about choosing a tree!
But, we did find a tree, get it loaded onto the van and set up in the livingroom. Once again, I am pretty sure the kids were more concerned about the snacks I pulled out for them then hanging the decorations, but as you can see, they came around eventually!
It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

December 05, 2010

Slip, Sliding

Darkness still graces the sky as the kids and I climbed into the van loaded with sleds.

They were up far to early this Sunday morning and instead of getting frustrated, or plunking them in front of the t.v (which is often what happens prior to 7am in this house) I fed them and, still clothed in jammies, bundled them into their snowsuits and drove to the tobogganing hill.

We had SO much fun! It was a great way to start the morning! After an hour we came home, I warmed up some milk, cut pieces of chocolate cake and we enjoyed an after-sledding snack, then proceeded to get ready for church!

December 03, 2010


 I found this book with really cute knitting patterns in it at the library the last time I was there with the kids.
Bella Bunny is one of them!
It is incredible how simple the patterns are to follow!

A gingerbread train this year. We decorated it last week, because we tend to eat it 9or at least pick all the candy off it) the day we decorate the tree. And for us, Sunday is the day we are off to cut our tree! The kids are excited and my brother in law and nephew are going to join us as well. It should be lots of fun!

December 02, 2010

It was Humorous...

I had a meeting today, one I in which I didn't really want to talk. Now, the person I was talking to is pretty smart (and knows me well enough to know what to ask) and asked what I would say if I was the one asking questions, trying to encourage someone to open up.

NO FAIR! Is all I have to say!! (I think there should be something against turning the tables like that!)

So I sat there, and sat there and finally snickered a little and finally answered with:

"Well, I'd tell them that it's o.k to talk, to let the words come because sometimes it is easier to process emotions and struggles when they are said out loud."

And was answered with "So, then maybe we should talk?"  (Grrrr.......! but I did, eventually!)

And it's true. There are times when I will go to say something and it gets caught against that cold, fist of fear clinging. But if I can only choke out enough words, I soon realize that the sharing is what allows me to move past the point where I'm at.

It allows me to trust God and flee the lies that Satan will whisper to the secret places of my heart.

It is not the speaking of the words I have to fear. It is the remaining silent, the listening to the lies, the hiding away in hopes that maybe it will all work itself out on its own.

But God created us for community, gave us people to lean on, to trust, to lead us and lift us when we fear we are falling and stuck.

Although, sometimes the sharing gets caught because the words are not just about me, and it is hard to know what to say when there are others in the midst of the struggles and feelings with you.

Thankful, this first week of Advent, for the wonderful, amazing God. This God who changes hearts and lives, and works in ways that I cannot fathom, to prove His love for us.

Who whispers our worth to Him in the quiet, Who fills the sky with a rainbow to remind me of His promises (when it's what I needed to see right then).

He loves me (and you!) and longs for us to fall before Him in reverance, awe, worship and love.

I am thankful that I am His, that He loves me and created me and knows my heart inside and out!

It is my prayer that if you do not know that this Advent, this Christmas, that God will wow you with the most incredible gift of His Son.

November 29, 2010

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas here. Some of the decorations are up and we have been listening to Christmas music for 2 days now.

I am excited to start a family devotional today for over the advent season. One thing we are not very good at as a family is making the time to worship God on a daily basis. I am hoping that this will help, and that once we are in the habit of it, that it will be something that can (and will) continue into the new year.

I am using the Jesse Tree Advent Devotional from the blog A Holy Experience. Click HERE to find out what it is about.

November 23, 2010

In the World, Not of it

As I sit here and type this, Owen is on my knee, trying to drive his Lego airplane-car across the keyboard. It's Tuesday so my littlest one is attached to my hip, lost and looking for a playmate!

I've been thinking lots lately about how, as a Christian, I am called to live in the world but not to be part of the world. Maybe it is because Christmas is drawing near so everywhere you look one is surround and assaulted by ads that tell you to buy more, that you NEED this or that to be happy. That this new cell phone will help you spend more time with your family (still trying to wrap my head around THAT marketing tool!).

But is it the *stuff* that really makes us happy? That fills that deep need to be content?
Isn't it the *stuff* that drives us to a life of discontent?
Of always wanting more,
believing that we somehow deserve more?
And if we can't have it than we are not meant to be happy?
Of chasing after dust in the wind?

I don't want to raise my kids with that perspective. I want them to grow up being glad to give away, to be content with what they have without always seeking for the newest, biggest, best thing that is out there.

For those treasures will surly decay, leaving them with nothing but sorrow for their striving.

I find myself aching for Truth to be heard, to drown out the lies that more and me are what this life is about. In a society that is very self-focused, I am called to lay down my life and serve those around. To pour out my life as an offering to God, to those around me, to give of what I have so that God, and God alone, will be glorified.

To often I try to make it about me, about wanting that recognition for the ordinary, everyday things I do. But I need to take the time to stop and examine my heart. Am I doing it for the praise and applause of others or am I doing it because it is what I am called by God to do, regardless of who notices?

Because God will always see. 

It's not easy. To surrender that need for acknowledgement, for recognition. It is hard at the end of the day for me to lay it before God, that selfish desire to have the fact that I cleaned the kitchen floor noticed, for a thanks for doing that load of laundry.

Because ultimately it boils down to the fact of WHO I am living this life for. Of WHO I want the glory to go to.

I want to live my life in a way that will shine His glory right back to Him. So that those who are searching, aching to find contentment in a world that offers chaos, will see His light and life and rest easy in Him, knowing that He is the only *stuff* we will ever need to find true joy in life.

November 20, 2010


Today my kids have been crazy.

And that is the polite way of saying it!

They are hyped up on something and I'm not really sure what.

Thankful for a friend who came over with her little girl this afternoon (bringing pizza, pop, chips, swedish berries and a couple movies). It meant that when my kids started running around with most of their stuffed toys shoved down their pants, that I was able to laugh at it. Because given the way the day HAD been going, I think I might just have lost it on them!

But it really was funny!

And now there is pizza in the oven, the kids are getting ready to watch Backyardigans or Veggie Tales and enjoy the dinner.

On a hunting note, Troy shot at a deer this morning. Grazed it, it wandered into the far reaches of the forest never to be seen again...... Here's hoping he has a bit better luck tonight! Although, this is the first time in 4 weeks (or has it been 6 by now?!) that there has been a deer to shoot at (that wasn't being chased by a dog!)

November 19, 2010

Perspective and Prayer

Sometimes, all I need is a little perspective. And a whole lot of prayer from friends who don't need to know the details before praying!

Tonight was really good. Yes the movie was enjoyable, but I was grateful for the time out of the house, for not having to put kids to bed (or feed them dinner for that matter!) and to just sit and wait in a theatre, by myself and with my thoughts.

So good. And I love how God just continues to provide me with the things I need, sometimes even before I realize it is something I need!

Give Thanks.

Thankful this morning for a world clothed in white under a blanket of snow.
For a free movie pass sent in the mail from a very good friend (so I can see Harry Potter tonight)
For friends who go out of their way to pull you out of the box you like to hide in.
For weeks that cause you to lean on God with everything you have, and remind you that it really isn't about you to being with.
Thankful for the way  God provides for every need, in every moment. And the ability to see that.

November 15, 2010

Moments in my days where I yearn for signs of spring in a world on the cusp of winter.
Is there light enough in the days to sustain?
To give life?
To lay hope deep within one's soul?

There are days when I feel anything but in control, where the world seems to spin on an irregular axis and I am left wondering where I fit, if I fit and how to function in a life that seems to be spinning out of control. 

But God.

The days when I struggle to find the light, to see the joy, to feel the hope.
Those are the days when the truth of God's perfect, holy sovereignty is working its way into every fiber of my being.

Will I trust Him?

Do I trust Him?

Or do I say I trust Him for fear of looking deeper, of what I might find in the shadows of my soul, in the darkest corners of my heart?

Childish laughter over snow and the begging to be allowed to go and play, in the dark, in the magic of a moment.

Created by a Creator longing to fill us with joy.

There are tears that fall, sometimes unexpected, sometimes - not so much.

Tears that trickle in a stream on a Sunday morning, in a service where God is preached, where God still meets those who sit in pews, looking for Him, aching to enjoy Him, and sitting silent,

waiting to hear His voice -

In the stillness, in the morning, in the hymns, in the arms of friends encircling.

Oh the grace that flows from tears. The breaking of a heart, the crumbling of walls, the pushing away of boundaries and barriers as He works and moves and speaks to hearts who wait on Him.

Days that start of good, turn to quickly to days where words of grace are not the words that tumble from frustrated, tired lips.

Hugs of forgiveness and love.

The reminder that it is not just the littlest in the house who stumble, who fall, who react in a moment to the action of another.

His forgiveness covers as we huddle, heads bowed in prayer, begging for a change, a chance to try - yet again - to shine the Light that He died for us to live.

Oh for grace and joy to abound in the house.

To cling to a God who knows where we are at.

Who meets us there in the stillness or in the wild, crazy, loudness of the overwhelming.

And will I have courage to pray for the changing of heart, to pray for the dreams that start to form in the quiet corners of a heart, to hold on tight to Him in a moment, day, lifetime where He is {always} everything.

Where no matter where you, or I, are at this week, He is enough for every moment, in every day.

November 14, 2010

Of (snow) Men and Forts

 Morning comes early in our house when there is a fresh dusting of snow!
Mr. Snowman there was built before 8 this morning.
And he would have been built before 7am if I had let them out of the house that early!
I needed to be fully awake (because it is still mostly dark out at 7am) AND, more importantly, I needed to make sure that the neighbours were at least stirring in their houses, before I let my kids lose on the streets!
Our one neighbour was already out shovelling by the time I got the kids dressed and out the door, and he is always more than willing to interact with the kids.
This morning, it was a snowball fight with Anthony. I would have to say that Mr. Neighbour won. He had a shovel and Anthony ended up buried in the snow pile!! So much fun to watch!
Said snowman was built mostly by Alexandra and Owen while Anthony was in the midst of the snowball fight!

 Anthony and I went out during nap time this afternoon (in hopes to wear off some of that extra energy my sweet 6 year old seems to be carrying around lately!) and started to build the snow fort. Anthony truly did most of the work. I just lifted the balls up and made sure they were on there and packed tight!
Unfortunately there isn't a picture of Anthony and the fort because he had been sent inside by the time I got the camera out for not listening (AGAIN!) All in all though, it was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday!

November 13, 2010

Snow falls soft tonight. Tendrils of peaceful quiet falling from heaven, covering the world in a blanket of white.

Grass fights the sudden onset of winter and stands strong, like sentries, poking the last bit of green through the layering softness.

There is something peaceful about a world covered in a soft, shimmering blanket of snow. The large flakes floating lightly, reflected in the glow of the street lamps.

Glimmering stars falling to earth, drawing me closer to Him who made each one different, unique.

November 09, 2010

We picked up her flower girl dress

We drove to the boarder today to pick up her flower girl dress for my brother's wedding in March. She LOVES it (and wanted to wear it all day today!)
 Yes, my sweet girl is home *sick* today (can't you tell how sick she looks in the pictures?) She felt and looked really crummy this morning so because I was going to be gone half the day, I didn't want to send her to school.....I should have. As now she is causing trouble with her brother! Ah well.
They were both SUPER on the car ride, so I can't really complain now! I even got to listen to a CD of my own because I set up the DVD player for the kids.

November 03, 2010

The opening lines to a song (whose name I cannot recall) go something like:

"There's a peace I've come to know. Though heart and flesh may fail, there's and anchor for my soul.....(something something something) It is well."

And that peace fills me.

Strengthens me.

Allows me to rest in Him when the world is screaming at me to run.

God's peace truly is a peace that passes all understanding.

In the midst of where we are walking right now, there is no earthly reason for the peace that covers like a blanket. Yet it's there. Settled deep within my soul and when I let it, it colours my perspective with Him.

God's working and moving and teaching and providing and doing all sorts of things (exceedingly, abundantly, far beyond all I can think or imagine) and I am waiting with anticipation to see what HE is going to bring about.

For it's not my own strength that I am leaning on, and it is not my ability that provides me with rest.

This place, of peace and rest and inklings of joy, are gifts from my Heavenly Father and I am floored by His love and care for me and my family.
("Who am I and what is my family that you have brought us this far?" David speaking to God somewhere in the Old Testament.....like my "ability" to memorize scripture *cough*?)

October 31, 2010

Our weekend

We had a really good weekend. Busy, and the kids were a little high strung from all the excitement, but it was great.

Saturday they had 2 parties to go to, back to back! It was really nice for me though because I didn't need to stay at either of them, AND even better than that, was that they actually slept in until after 7am today!! Owen even made it to 8! This is a MAJOR accomplishment for my kids and therefore, it is blog-worthy :)

Troy still has yet to get a deer....sigh. Oh well, eventually, they can't hide forever...oh wait, maybe they can! But there is still at least 6 more weeks of hunting season left so with any luck, he will get something to fill our freezer with.

October 30, 2010