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

Moment in Time Photography - Blog

January 31, 2011


The silence this morning is welcome, the emptiness of the house, the murmur of a clock, the sounds of deep breathing from the bedrooms, the chance to come before my God alone, without (much) time restraint.

It is precious to me.
I have needed this chance to let the emotions flow and the prayers to be lifted up.

I am thankful that in moments like this I can look back over the last few days (or weeks) and see the evidences of God's grace that I couldn't see while I was in it.
This weekend it has been that I was able to capture *life* and moments of joy with my camera.
I am so grateful that even in the middle of the darkest days I can pick up my camera and let God lead me to pictures of life.

 I love that God does that for me.

I long for a place to be real, to not have to hide what is going on. God carries me and loves me through the darkness, He is my constant.  
 Called to pray, to cry out, to worship. Those prayers are the same, continuously. Are You hearing me Lord?
I sit, longing for something more. Questioning what I share and how I do that while pointing to God.

I want to praise Him, fearful if I put voice to the turmoil that the carefully balanced faith will crumble and vanish and I will be left crying out to nothing.

That's not true though. God is holding me. I can fall under the weight, and His hands will lift me up, guide me and carry me when I have nothing left to give, when I don't want to take another step, God is there, coming along side me.

What are You doing Lord, why? What are You teaching me? How long must I wait for You to rescue me, to sustain me? Are You here, do You see me?

I want to be faithful, but I am so weak. I need God now, longing for Him to be real in the midst of this.

January 30, 2011

i heart faces - Best Face Photo

This week at i heart faces it your best face picture of January. I was having a hard time deciding which face to use, and then I took this one on Saturday while we were out exploring a local park.

January 29, 2011


"When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

Psalm 73:21-28

Working on memorizing this. 

It's a great reminder of Truth on the days when it's hard. When I would rather not. When life seems chaotic.

God's Truth. 

It settles, fills with hope, brings peace and perspective.

Happy weekend my friends. 
May it be filled with wonder and glory in the midst of life. 
His wonder, 
His glory.

January 27, 2011


My mom came on Sunday.

She's here until Friday night.

I have needed this.

This break, this help, this gift of time.

She has blessed me with a break, with the ability to not HAVE to d throughout the day and I am grateful.

Troy and I got to take just Anthony out for dinner on Tuesday night, it was so much fun and such a special treat for our oldest (who too often gets lost in the shuffle!)

Last night just my mom and I went out to see the movie 'The King's Speech' - really really really good. But beyond that, it was so nice just to hang out with my mom, without the kids.

Sometimes, in the midst of everything I forget just how blessed I am and how much I have to be thankful for. There is no concrete reason for me to feel the way I do, yet I do. And it's ok.

It's not ok to stay here, in the dark, in the fog, in the nothing. But it's ok to walk through it. To trust that there is a light on the path at some point, that God has a purpose for this in my life, at this moment.

It's not easy. Not. at. all.

But I am learning, slowly.

And this week has been needed.

More needed than I realized. And I am so incredibly thankful and grateful and words just cannot even begin to express that.

January 23, 2011


What better way to spend a *freezing* Sunday morning when the car wont start, then curled up with a good book (and a cup of coffee) in the warmth of a house filled with laughter?

January 22, 2011


Silent, invisible, all consuming. There are moments in these days where it is easy to get lost in the winding paths of darkness, side tracked by the pull of a cavern.

Yet there are also moments - which I hold desperately too - where there is a glimmer of light on the path, a warmth to the wind that whistles through the empty places, a strength and peace holding me. They are few and far between , these moments of hope that give life, but there are enough.

I cannot put words to the change, but I have felt the shifting, can sense it in the tears that fall too easy and hear it in the thoughts that drown out His whisperings.

It is a strange sensation, feeling safe, held, protected in the midst of the icy fog. So thankful that I can feel it, for it holds me close.

On the days when I am afraid to reach out, but long to talk, I am thankful that there is Someone I can turn to, without fear and without having to find the *right* words - or words at all for that matter.

I am thankful I serve a Holy God. A God that knows my thoughts, One Who is more than capable of leading from this darkness or sustaining me through it.

On days when I want to call someone and say 'pray for me' but don't want to have to explain why, I am thankful I can fall at the feet of the One and Only and cry. My tears the only prayer I am able to offer. Thankful He knows me.

I hate pretending that everything is fine, but I don't want to let the darkness take over and the tears to be come common place. So I do what I normally do, I get out of bed, I function I act like everything is fine. Because sometimes it is just easier that way.

My mom comes tomorrow. I am thankful for that!

January 21, 2011

Grace Notes

The body of Christ, reaching out, loving.

It is humbling to watch the family of God work.

I am so thankful for friends who hold me and pray for me, reach out and help - even when I don't know how to tell them what I need. Because if I knew what would help, I would ask, but I don't and I sometimes (often times) feel guilty for asking (which is ridiculous, I know!).

Today was God's mercy and love poured out through a number of wonderful, loving women. I thank God for each and everyone of them. They prayed for me, they offered help with anything, they loved me and I needed that reminder that I'm not alone, that there are many many people who DO care and WILL help.

I told one friend that she probably shouldn't ask if she could help, but that she should just stop by or tell me she is coming (because if given the chance, I would probably say no.....)

But I am learning to say yes. Learning that most people truly don't mind. Again though, the fog of darkness likes to whisper that I'm not worth their time, and when the darkness is all you can see, it is easy to believe and then the hold tightens.

I wish I knew what made one day worse than another. But today - though hard, was a blessing. I was reminded that I am cared for, which is easy to forget in the midst of a darkness which closes me off and tries to isolate. Because depression does that. It tells you you are on your own, that no one understands, and when I am in the middle of it, it is easy to believe that to be true.

January 20, 2011

Oh how the days fill, spill from endlessness to chaos to stillness. Laughter falls from lips and squeals peal loud, joyful noise in the midst of life.

January 18, 2011

My Strength

Darkness, no matter which way I turn. It seems to creep closer, grow thicker. The voices grow braver and call louder. Trapped, longing to grab hold of light, but not knowing which way is up, which way is an illusion that will pull me deeper, farther into the nothingness. Maybe there is comfort in the nothingness, and maybe there would be if the voices were silent. But they are not and I can, sort of, mark my bearings by them.

At the same moment the voices call, the fear increases, hems me in and mock at me to reach past. Worthless, hollow, a waste of time, not good enough, selfish. Pain, this constant ache in my heart. If it would only stop, let up momentarily. I cry out to a silent God, waiting, searching for a glimmer of hope. Somewhere deep, and barricaded in, is what remains of the Truth I cling to for life.

Standing guard are the lies that sow seeds of deepest doubt and in the fog of emptiness, I  cannot stand to fight. Feeling like a failure, I creep back and hope the He will rescue me.

I am thankful God can look past words and through darkness to see my heart, my longings, my desire for Him. His loving-kindness and patience continue to amaze me. God is my strength, my hope, my joy and I praise His Name. I am thankful He sustains me. He is with me and that is reason enough to press on.

I am always floored by the grace God pours into my life, the glimpses of hope and reminders that He cares enough to reach down and show me Who He is. Because even if this darkness never leaves, I will hold fast to my Lord, the Holy One who pours His mercy
and grace into my life. He caught me and held me.

He gives me the strength to get out of bed and do what I do when it is the last thing I want to do, when I would rather hide in bed with the covers drawn, ignore the world around me.

Today that mercy came in the form of a friend dropping by to visit. It was what I needed, though I couldn't have told you that at the time.

Thankful for her and for the way the conversation flowed.

January 16, 2011

Dear Anthony

My Anthony James;

There are days when you will do everything in your power to drive me up the wall and we do nothing but butt heads constantly. There are also days when you will do something as selfless as share 1/2 your brand new package of silly-banz with your sister. (who then proceeds to lose them, causing a major melt down that comes in the form of sobbing because I told you you had to stay in bed 10 more minutes!)

I love you so much. I love watching you grow and change and mature. I love watching God start to stir your heart. It melts my heart to see you reading your bible and trying hard to memorize.

God is going to use you my son and I pray that you will let Him. That you will listen to His voice and heed His calling in your life.

If there were anything I could change about the past months it's that I wish I could have spent more time with just you.

I miss that.

The special time you and I have just the two of us. Sometimes life gets crazy and your brother and sister require more attention and you get left out. I hate that, for I know that you love being able to spend time with me, to do something that's just us. To sit and cuddle and read stories together, to chase and play and build and explore.

You are growing so quickly, that there are days I forget that you are still little. That you are a boy and like to be silly and crazy.

I love you my oldest child. I have loved you from the moment I knew you and I will always love you. I know there are days when you might not believe that because we have done nothing but argue but it's true. God blessed me with you and I am thankful for that. God knew exactly who you were going to be and who I was and He blessed me with you my sweet, sweet boy.

I love you Anthony and I pray that you will grow closer to God in the coming year and that we will make time for just us in the midst of school and siblings and crazy, busy days.

January 15, 2011

When Darkness Falls

How does one begin to look someone in the eyes and tell them of an indescribable darkness? About a nothingness that threatens sanity and the whispering lies that grow louder, which can only be held back by the Truth? How does someone start that conversation and NOT sound like a lunatic?

Where do you go to reach out when you have worked so hard at building walls to keep it in, when the 'right' answers come unbidden and the harder ones get stuck in your throat?

How do you explain the fingers of icy fear and worthlessness that seem to daily tighten their grip on your soul?

There are no words to describe it, this path, this dark abyss. And even if there were, I am not sure I could choke them out and risk hearing answers ("Maybe you aren't praying enough." or "Your faith just needs to be stronger." or "There's nothing wrong in your life so get over it already.") These are things I question and ask myself on a daily basis.

I fear speaking it out loud for what if that's all it takes for the darkness to completely engulf me? But how can I honour and glorify God when I have plastered a smile on my face in the hopes that the wall will not crumble in public? Am I allowing God to work when I am so busy trying to stop it? Have I truly surrendered to His (perfect!) will when I am trying desperately to ignore?

I struggle with knowing that God is in this yet feeling like He has checked out. I know He is there and my head will praise Him daily and I just pray that my feelings and emotions will catch up. For I do not have to feel it to know He is good and to know He deserves all my praise. So I will obey and worship from this darkness, knowing that He IS God and that is enough.

I will not knowingly walk away from my God, I cannot choose to turn my back on Who He is. I may struggle and question and the darkness may still be black as ink, but I will trust in Him for He is my Hope and without that, the darkness will win.

So I cling. Tightly.

January 14, 2011

All on a Friday Morning

This week has been long. Owen hasn't been sleeping well, up at 4am for the day. Which translates into me putting him back into bed every 30 mins until 6 or 6:30am when I am finally out of bed for the day! Anthony and Alexandra have been getting back into the routine of school and as a result are extra tired by the end of the day and fighting constantly with each other.

I'm tired and cranky, the kids are tired and cranky. I want it to be about me, they (obviously) want it to be about them....this week has not been one of my finer moments in parenting. I'm done, the kids are done, it makes for a stellar combination (don't recommend trying it)

We were supposed to go out this morning, but I opted to stay home (sometimes it is helpful to get out after a long week and there are other times when I just want to hide away), it wasn't worth my sanity to drag them out and have them cling to me the entire time and then throw a fit when it was time to leave. So we had a friend over instead and kept busy with
rice and diggers (of course....)
markers and cutout animal shapes 
and ice cube sun-catchers
(idea came from another blog I read, who got it from a blog she reads...) 

Now Owen is sleeping and I gave up fighting with Alexandra to sleep so she is watching Dora Saves the Snow Princess (which gives me about an hour)

Despite the fact that this week has been long and trying, the kids and I had a great morning together. I think it helped that there was another child here to keep them distracted! 

Thankful for a God who knows what I desperately need and is more than willing to lavish His grace and love in the form of really good moments in an otherwise long week.

January 11, 2011

Faithful, Godly Women

She's 82, but she stands tall, eyes sparkling as she address the ladies in front of her. All of whom are significantly younger than she.

She speaks on the role of a mother, of a woman. Of being called to do what we, as woman do, for the Lord.

I've sat a few rows in front of her at church for years and never really talked to her. It's hard juggling little ones in the pressing throng of worshipers to actually have a conversation. It's hard to reach out when I would rather duck my head and head for the exit. But those aren't excuses (at least not good ones) to keep from getting to know these ladies.

I was thankful this morning for being able to listen to Dallas, to hear a bit of her life story, to hear her give testimony to God's faithfulness and to see what being a godly woman looks like. You can tell, just by looking at her, that she loves her Lord. Her eyes say it all, even before she opens her mouth to speak.

These women, women who have been faithful to Him who has called them, have so much to teach us about life, about faith, about walking with Jesus through life.

All too often, I find I tend to surround myself with people who are in the same stage of life as I am (you know, the busy, tired, at the end of my rope, little kid, covered in snot stage) But I am missing out on so much. We, as Christians, aren't meant to cluster together in comfort groups, but to stretch, to let those women who have walked in faith, teach us about what that means. To encourage and admonish us when we can't see past the stage of life we are in.

As a young woman, a young mom, I long for that mentorship, that example. I know these ladies aren't perfect, that they have their share of struggles and snares, but they have weathered far more *storms* then I have, they have seen more and, as a result, are wise in their years. A wisdom that comes from walking with God, that comes from trusting Him through everyday life. Not just the *big* things, but all the little mundane tasks that fill our lives as women.

January 10, 2011

An Act of Love

There are days where is it so much easier to love my kids selflessly (not that it's easy, just easier) then it is for me to love my husband that way.

Is that just me?

Maybe it's because the kids are still so little. There are still a whole lot of things that they can't do for themselves, or that they just don't know, or have only learned a little while ago.

So maybe that makes it easier. To let go of myself and love them, guide them, teach them.

And some days, by the end of the day I really really really just want someone to think of me. (o.k if I'm being honest, there are some days where I feel like this and I've only just rolled out of bed, today would have been one of those). And when I get in that mood, I forget that my husband needs the grace and patience and love I have *attempted* to show my kids all day, because he has been *giving* at work.

But again, I don't do what I do for others, I do what I do for God. Because He has called me to be a wife and mom and I want to be a godly wife and a godly mom. To teach my kids what a godly marriage looks like, to teach them through my actions what it means to live selflessly, to think of others before they think of themselves.

And to do that, I need to not only act that way towards them, but towards Troy and everyone else I come in contact with.

This laying down of self - it's been a theme in my life lately and I have a feeling God is trying to hammer home a point that I am just. not. getting.

It's painful, the surrendering of self, and I find that I am constantly telling myself that it's NOT about me and asking myself if I would act like that if Jesus was standing beside me in person (whom I could see and touch and who could speak to me)

I pray that God will help me to become more like Jesus. That my love may be selfless, that my actions may shine His light. I know I'm gonna stumble, I know I'm gonna have to seek forgiveness. But I pray that I will allow Him to work.

January 09, 2011

Bittersweet (and a recipe too)

It's been a week. Good, bad, a roller coaster of ups and downs.

It always seems funny to me, that there are certain things you wait for and then, when they come, you realize that you aren't sure you wanted it, because it means that there is a new stage in your life and the life of your kids.

Owen potty trained himself this week! I put him in underwear on Monday and by Saturday he had been over 24 hours without an accident (even at nap and overnight). I am so excited and proud of my littlest.

Yet, I am sad. There are no longer babies in the house, these precious kids of mine are growing up, rather quickly, and I didn't realize that I wasn't quite ready for that!! There are still unopened packages of diapers stacked next to packages of wipes and I walk past them and think that that's it.

Anthony is no longer a *little* boy. He has changed so much in the past 6 months and he has most definitely made the transition from little boy to boy. Sometimes I forget that 6 is still little, that although he is getting bigger and smart, that he is still a little kid. And there are days when I expect to much from my oldest - and all I can do on those days is tell him I'm sorry and pray that God uses it for good. That is part of what has made this past week hard. Anthony and I have been butting heads pretty constantly.

Alexandra is my little spitfire and she always will be. But at 4 she longs to be so much older than she is, she strives to do things on her own that she isn't capable of yet is unwilling to let me tell her the things she CAN do on her own! The start of school for her this year has been wonderful. She needed that in her days and her teacher is AMAZING! This child of mine comes home beaming and then opens her mouth to speak and I am shocked by the things she is learning (in a good way) from J.K. I didn't get a chance to work a lot with her before school (not in the way I did with Anthony) on her letters and numbers and printing of her name and short words. And she is just thriving with her teacher who expects much but is so very kind.

Owen, he will always be the family clown! It makes me sad that he is growing up so quickly yet I love watching who he is becoming, watching his personality develop. I am so thankful that potty training went so well. It truly is nothing I did. He was just really ready, that and the first time he had a poop accident I threw him in the shower to clean him off (which he hates!...but that was the end up wanting to go in his underwear!)

Thankful for these 3 kids of mine. Working through the being done with babies (part of me still would like one more), letting God work in me and trusting that He has so many wonderful plans for me, for my family. That More than anything, God knows my heart, my dreams, the desires I have, for He put them there and if they are not from God, if they are desires from a different motivation, then I will willingly lay them down for what He has in store for me.

And dinner tonight? (in the slow cooker of course). . .
I love the website Allrecipes.com because as long as I choose a recipe that is 4 stars or higher, it almost always tastes good! Occasionally I tweak it a little after making it the first time but not often. AND, if you become a member (free) you can save your favourites in a recipe box on the site and always find what you're looking for (because if you're like me, I print off a recipe, make it, my family likes it and I end up misplacing the paper that had the recipe on it!)

Anyway, dinner tonight: (I'll have to post what I think after we eat it)

Slow Cooker Mole-Style Pulled Pork

edited to add:*so, its not bad. Personally I would put it on a pannini bun rather than tortilla (there's a lot of juice) and then I would top with pickled jalapenos and a sharp cheese (like swiss or provolone) as the pork itself is more savory and needs that *kick* of something. (Frank's Hot Sauce, or something a long those lines would probably work too)*

1 (10.5 ounce) can Campbell's®
Condensed French Onion Soup
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate
12 (8 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1.Stir the soup, water, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin and cinnamon in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the pork and turn to coat.
2.Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or until the pork is fork-tender. Remove the pork to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred the pork. Add the chocolate to the cooker and stir until melted. Return the pork to the cooker.
3.Place about 1/2 cup pork mixture onto half of each tortilla. Top with the tomatoes and cilantro. Fold the tortillas over the filling.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2011 Allrecipes.comPrinted from Allrecipes.com 1/9/2011

January 04, 2011

Always Double Check (or triple check!)

When reading a recipe for the first time you should

1) make sure you pull all the ingredients out before hand
2) read it through once
3) do it while NOT carrying around a little boy
4) make sure it really DOES call for 1 and 3/4 cup of brown sugar BEFORE adding it to the liquid
5) double check the second amount of brown sugar in said recipe, or else you will end up with ANOTHER 1 and 3/4 cup of brown sugar for the sauce......

(for the record, I was only supposed to add 3/4 of brown sugar in the first spot and 3/4 of brown sugar in the second spot!)

I have a feeling that chocolate fudge pudding I was looking forward to for dessert tonight, will be WAY to sweet to enjoy.....sigh!
Oh well, at least it's not like I was wasting meat or something like that......

C is for Cookies

Owen loves to bake. 
Or maybe, he loves to taste..... either way!
  So what do we do when his brother and sister are at school?? Bake dozens and dozens of cookies. Some go into the oven right away and some get put in the freezer (before baking) for when I want fresh baked cookies without having to make the dough first!

On a side note, I got a crockpot for Christmas and am loving it! It makes my life so much easier (I can throw the frozen meat in first thing in the morning and it's ready to eat by the time Troy gets home from work!) Tonight, I am making chocolate fudge pudding in it, I'll let you know if its good.