Friday, August 31, 2012

Looking back and looking forward!!!

This upcoming week "Passionate Women" Will be pausing as I head off on our family vacation till next Thursday. I look forward to be back up and running the following week on Sept. 10th.

I thought it would be pretty cool to look back for a minute on where we have been. Passionate Women has welcomed 44 guest post and been viewed 8,857 times. Over half of which has been this summer from all of your words and encouragement.

We have heard about promises of God, calling on our lives and healing. We have heard about restoration, fear and despair. We have been encourage with parenting, anger and learning to trust God.

What have been some of the most hitting points for you?
What have been the topics that have hit home?
What would you like to hear more on?




Please pray for me this week as I wait on God for inspiration for September.
Feedback is MORE than welcome, to help guide me to our September Focus!!!






Then to build up a bit of anticipation...!!!!!

In October the journey continues as Passionate Women follows along with a small group that Cecile Turner (one of our Passionate Women) and I will be doing on "Lioness Arising" by Lisa Bevere.
If you live in the area think about coming out!

In Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere, learn what it means to be a stunning representation of strength, fiercely protect the young, lend your voice to the silenced, live in the light, hunt in the dark, and raise a collective roar that changes everything. It is a call for women to rise up in strength and numbers to change their world!
Requirements: For women. Bring your Bible and a notebook. Limited copies of Lioness Arising book and workbook are available for purchase at the Koinonia Bookstore. These are optional resources for taking this course.
  • Location: Koinonia Christian Fellowship, Bloomingdale, ON
  • Date & Time: Wednesdays 7:00-8:30
  • Leaders: Nicole Brodrecht, Cecile Turner
  • Childcare: Regular Children's Ministry!!
Feel free to sign up at Koinonia or sign up online here http://www.kcf.org/connect/life-groups!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beautiful - by Shelisa Cherri

Where do I even start with this amazing woman. Shelisa seems to have grown in the last two years with an undying passion to serve God. She has an inspiring drive to find out all the promises that God has for her and her family. We first met her husband Jason about 4/5 years ago and his story moved us to tears and stirred a passion in us again of the incredible saving power of our God. Since then we have seen such an amazing restoration of relationship between him and Shelisa. We wondered for a couple years about who Jason's wife was and I remember the day we met Shelisa. Adam and I walked away absolutely amazed at God's hand. We can not imagine a more beautiful, sweet, loving, amazing, passionate woman to stand by Jason's side through all the trials that can come at any family through the years!!!

Shelisa thank you so much for being a part of this Passionate Woman blog. I am honoured to be able to post a small portion of your story and a revelation of what God is showing you right now in your life. I pray continued blessing and favor on you, Jason and your two boys. May your child like faith and passion to learn more of God never fade. May your desire to serve God be a powerful example to your children of the saving Grace of Jesus Christ!!!


 
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Beautiful
By Shelisa Cherri



The definition of beautiful is said to be having qualities that delight the senses especially the sense of sight.

For many years I struggled with feeling beautiful. I mean really feeling beautiful. Looking back I don't see why I had such a hard struggle. I was thin, an average size, always presented myself well, received compliments, but just something made it hard to accept. I always tried different things as many of us do to alter or enhance what I thought I needed to be beautiful. I had braces, I used makeup (even when I wasn't allowed), changed my hair, kept up with fashion, worked on a fit body, and yet I still didn't get the validation I was looking so hard for. I would get down and really scrutinize myself when I looked in the mirror and didn't see what I wanted to see. The ironic part was when I did get the compliment that I was looking for I would not accept it or have a really hard time hearing it as I didn't believe it.

Things became harder, when someone was willing to tell me how beautiful I was and I doubted them. They would persist and slowly I loosened up and began to believe. The guard began to come down. I would give them everything from my mind, body and soul and only to have it given back crushed.

Today I am thankful that I have moved into a different season, a season where my husband has new eyes for beauty. I am showered everyday with compliments of being beautiful, the difference is the compliments are of character and beauty from the inside and of course out. This is what I was having a hard time seeing and especially having a hard time believing.

I have begun a journey which has made me realize that I was created in a very unique way. From my most prominent features to the ones I still see as flaws. They all were sculpted very thoughtfully and with much consideration. I am a masterpiece as are you, we are God's finest creations, and made to be truly beautiful in His eyes.

Now don't get me wrong if you know me I still love enhancing the outer appearance. I mean I have chosen a career where I love to beautify both men and women each and every day. I mean come on we are the King's children we should always look our best! One thing I do know for sure is that maintaining the outer appearance is an everyday upkeep, and we all know what happens if we let this go. Well then why are we so easily able to let the upkeep of our insides go. Being beautiful in Christ is a everyday cleanse that will ensure the radiance from the inside out. We must constantly keep working at it.

Sometimes I forget this and get caught up in our world and images of who I should be or what makes me beautiful. I know now that when this happens I must refocus and bring myself back to God and back to his heart and just remember I'm His creation, His masterpiece, and then I hear Him say loudly to me "You are my daughter, my beautiful daughter."

All women want to be beautiful, we all want to know our husbands see us as beautiful. Our outer appearance is important and its what sometimes catches the eye first, however true beauty that shines glowing radiance is the beauty of knowing Jesus.

The definition of beauty can always be redefined and in my life it now has, lets continue to grow ladies into the beautiful women that we were created to be and remember if you put your faith and trust in external beauty alone you will always be disappointed and empty in the end.
 
 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Weirdest Morning, An Amazing Community & God's Hand In All Things - Feb 1, 2009


Hi Everyone!

Many of you have heard this story that Adam wrote by now, from either Facebook or from our testimony on a Wednesday night last year at church. But I really felt stirred to put it up again for those of you who were not around to hear a real healing in my life 3 years ago.

Recently I just found out about a really good friend of ours Ryan, who's wife Heidi is in the hospital right now with what the doctors are saying is an inoperable tumor in her brain. This is something that was fought before and healed with a clear scan just this April 2012. So what a shock to the family to be given this news after some pretty worrying symptoms started to arise again.

My purpose for sharing is to stir our faith to believe in miracles and complete healing. But most of all to ask that you to partner with us and pray for Heidi and believe for her complete healing and miracle!!!!

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Here’s the Story (It's Really Long):

Nicole woke up Sunday morning, 6:20 am, with numbness in her arms & legs, no feeling what-so-ever. In panic she stood up and collapsed to the floor. This woke me from my sleep, and I got her back up onto the bed. She was panicking of the numbness "rolling" over her, so I rubbed her body vigorously and feeling began to come back.

(6:30 am) At this point, I ran to the phone and called Chris Mitchell who said he would be there asap. Chris called Jim Lee and the prayer chain ball started to roll.

While on the phone with Chris I quickly Googled "Sudden Numbness". What came up made my heart drop, “Stroke, TIA…” So I grabbed "Faith & Confession" off my bookshelf and ran back upstairs. Nicole was still on the bed; however the numbness was back and spreading to her mouth, lips, tongue and chest. While I was putting her clothes on her, she lost her speech, and became weak all over. Her face began to droop on the right side. Not my favorite memory! This lasted for the longest 30 seconds I will ever remember.

(6:35 am) Once this pasted she began to show very odd Neurological symptoms, left was right, right was left... up was down, depth perception was off, trying to get socks she got my shorts, couldn't find things that were right there. Then her speech began to not make any sense, English words that shouldn't be in the same sentence (Ex: "I house feeling same shoes go")

What I had been told in First Aid to deal with these symptoms (ie: stroke and such) was to get the brain active and translating information. So I gave her the phone and told her to punch in our number, over and over. She had a great amount of difficulty doing so, but seemed to get progressively better as time past.

(6:45 am) Chris showed up, so we gave him a brief synopsis and left for the hospital immediately (van was already running). Chris called Jim Lee to give him the update of all the weird symptoms.

On the way to the hospital I kept telling Nicole of memories in the past (birth of kids, birthday parties, dating stories, engagement, wedding day). Her comprehension of what I was telling here seemed to deteriorate as well as her awareness of her surroundings. She kept praying the whole drive and her countenance improved. She became pleasant and calm. I hit all green lights on the drive to the hospital and got the parking space closest to the emerg doors.

(7:00 am) We walked into Triage and the nurse waved us right in. Zero wait. At this point Nicole could not understand what was being said to her, and couldn’t read. The nurse moved surprisingly quickly and we were into Emerg Acute Care by 7:10 am.
Things started to move fast for the better now, in between 7:10 am and 2:00 pm, Nicole was given a CT Scan, Blood Work (with results returned), a Lumbar Puncture and an MRI. Pretty impressive for a Sunday! We call that favor!

At 8:08 I texted Jason Brown to have him tell Nicole’s father the situation. I did not want him to find out through Pastor’s prayer! Jason was walking into Worship Team pre-service prayer at Koinonia (normally starts at 8:15), and they were already praying hard for Nicole.

By 9:00 am, we had the entire day worked out for babysitting. Tim & Becky Staken took over at 10:45, which allowed Chris Mitchell to go to second service, and Dennis & Jannette Drost took over at 6:00 pm and stayed overnight.

The Neurological symptoms were gone by about 1:00 pm and my dad came to visit. Then Pastor Paul. Nicole was looking alert and “back”.

Nicole’s parents were able to be there for when Nicole came out of the MRI, and Jason Brown took me out to get some lunch.

From here on in (rest of Sunday) Nicole fought an incredibly intense Migraine and nausea. However, this dissipated by midnight and they moved her to a bed on the 6th floor at 1:00 am.

She had a rough night with nausea and constant vital checks, but by the afternoon on Monday was back to a tired, but pleasant normal.

Tuesday/Wednesday was filled with blood work, an EEG, meeting with a Neurologist,
Infectious Disease Specialist and the resident Doctor.

The complication was that everything looked like a full-blown stroke, but by 9:00 am the CT Scan was clean and the MRI was also clean. Then lumbar puncture then indicated that it could be an infection in her brain, Viral Encephalitis. Except that she recovered in remarkable time. “Infections don’t just disappear.” the doctor commented. Viral Encephalitis has an 10-14 day treatment of anti-viral drugs administered through IV.

After three or four meetings with the Neurologist they moved the diagnosis from Viral Encephalitis to HaNDL This is a rare condition that has only 100 published cases in the world. This condition lasts for three months and then the patient should never encounter these symptoms/episodes again. They called this a “diagnosis of exclusions”.

I have my own theory. There was a major attack on Nicole on Sunday morning. But God just intervened in incredible ways.
1. I was not on Worship Team that Sunday, due to meeting with Steve Warner and arranging a couple of Sunday’s off in February. I would have been driving out the drive-way at that time.
2. Since I was not on, I planned on going to the gym. The night before Nicole says to me (and I quote) “Don’t go, I’m going to need help tomorrow morning.” It’s taken me a number of years, but I’ve learned to heed her warnings. I didn’t go to my normal 6:00 workout.
3. When our community of believers prayed, I think Nicole had some supernatural surgery at about 8:15-8:45 that morning. It should have been something more serious, but by the time the hospital got around to checking it, they were seeing the repaired state of Nicole’s brain, not the damaged. God has completely healed Nicole!

Now, I understand that they have to title it something, “HaNDL”, but we title it “JESUS!”


Thank you so much to our friends and family!!!! Mom’s and Dad’s, you are blessings beyond what we can express. We could not have done this without you! Koinonia, we are so incredibly blessed to be in a community such as this! Your overwhelming support on so many levels has been a blessing that I cannot put into words! We love you all!




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For those of you who are going through something right now. God is a great God and a God who heals. I know that first hand.

If you would like more information on healing please take a moment to read this blog that is filled with scriptures on healing. http://www.bible-knowledge.com/healing-verses-of-the-bible/ Print it off, read and claim those scriptures for your life or the life of a loved one!!!!
 
A friend of Heidi's posted this song on her prayer support facebook page and thought I would share the song here too for all of you!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8MfBQ30Ta9w

GOD OUR HEALER HAS OVERCOME!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Embracing God’s Calling - By Charmaine Brown

Charmaine has been a good friend for about 6 years. I have watched a late teen become a beautiful young woman to an incredible wife to her hubby Jason. It has been a blessing to see her embrace the beautiful calling that God has had on her life and a joy to stand beside her in tears and in overwhelming joy. As those dreams have become clearer though the years it has been incredibly exciting to see the journey grow as Adam and I have gotten late night updates. As she heads into another brand new season I am praying favor to continue going before them working out all the details even before they know it needs to done.
 
Thank you Charmaine for putting these beautiful words together. It has encouraged me so much!!! And made me absolutely ecstatic to see the story unfold in Jason and your life!!! Know Adam and I will always be merely a phone call away, forever friends!!!!
 
 
 
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Embracing God’s Calling
By Charmaine Brown
 
 
I’ve always found it hard to open up “the real me” with others, especially when it comes to the dreams inside of me. If I don’t share my hopes and dreams, then I won’t disappoint other people (and myself) if they don’t happen. I’m the person who secretly hopes for the best, but never lets on to others that it actually matters to me if things work out. I’m discovering this is not a way to live life.

Five years ago, I was approached by a producer who heard me sing at church, I recorded my first album, and somehow tumbled into the Christian music industry. Previous to that, I had no aspirations of becoming a singer, recording, etc.; it honestly hadn’t even crossed my mind. I had struggled for years thinking I had a terrible voice. But someone believed in me, and a dream suddenly sparked alive at that time in my life. A year later, I was signed to a small Christian record label and moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba where I recorded my second album, was nominated for a Christian Gospel Music Award, and went on tour for a year.

The tour was called “Beautiful Unique Girl”. I was the singer, speaker, and leader on a team of five, and we travelled across the country putting on events for teen girls and women to tell them about a God who loves them and wants them to walk in freedom, discover their beauty, and live a life of purpose.

Meanwhile, I was the one who desperately needed the very message I was preaching night after night. I still do.

It’s amazing that no matter how many people may believe in you and encourage you, the power of a few naysayers can override them. And I did have a few. A few very influential people in my life were surprisingly unsupportive of my foray into the music industry, and between that and some very difficult experiences out on tour, I gave up on my dreams.

I stopped songwriting. I stopped working on bettering my voice. I stopped dreaming and planning for more songs, albums, and performances. I dropped off the map musically. I focused on getting married, purchasing a house and making it home, etc. I finished up my post secondary schooling and focused on vocal coaching. I figured, here’s a career where no one’s going to judge if I “make” it or not. And that maybe, by coaching others to success in their voices and music careers, that I would find fulfillment. I told people I wasn’t interested in making my own music anymore.

This past year, as seemingly all my friends were already in the next stage or moving to the next stage of life — starting a family — I considered it myself, for all the wrong reasons. I wasn’t fulfilled in my career, marriage, friendships or family relationships. Everyone had kids now and I didn’t fit in. So maybe a baby would solve all this?

Every once in a while, I would start to dream of more, but I would convince myself of a few things: I’m too old to start again in the music industry. People have forgotten I exist and they don’t care anymore. I have nothing to say as a songwriter. My voice isn’t good enough. I’ve lost so much time. I’m not beautiful enough.

Maybe now’s a good time to let you in on my secret. The dream that’s in my heart. And by saying it, I risk letting you down. I risk letting myself down. I risk it not happening. I risk your judgement. I risk people gossiping about me. I risk the naysayers all over again. But here it is... here is my dream: To write and record original songs. With top-notch producers who can convey the message in a beautiful way. And not just any songs. I want to make music that moves people. I want to sing on big stages, for big crowds. Not for the fame, although I’m not going to lie it would be nice to have success. But because I want and desire and believe that God has placed a calling on me, and specifically my voice and my songs, to bring healing. Emotionally, physically, inspirationally (is that a word?), whatever the listener needs. Whether this is in the Christian arena or mainstream, I don’t have a clear idea yet. Maybe both.

Where there is a calling and a dream, there will always be opposition. And I regret how much I let that affect me. But I will not let these regrets hold me back.

About a month ago, Jason and I decided to move to Nashville (“Music City”). We are selling almost everything we own and giving up almost every ounce of earthly stability we have to pursue God’s calling on our lives.

Since that decision, there have been a lot of tears. A lot of fears. A lot of God peeling away the layers I’ve built up. A lot of trust being built deeper and deeper with a God who I know loves me and wants me to bear fruit. And most exciting for me currently is the songs that are flowing out of this season of transition. A new song is writing itself on my piano and my voice almost every day. For a girl who hasn’t written in almost 3 years, this is a big deal.

For me, this is a season of preparation for what God wants to do in me and through me. I believe there will be many more songs written in upcoming days and months. There will be people who come alongside me to encourage and strengthen me. There will be connections made that only God could bring about.

There’s a song called “For Your Splendor” by Christy Nockels (Christian recording artist and worship leader) that has touched me in a deep way over the past few weeks. Here are the first bit of lyrics from the song (I’d encourage you to listen to it sometime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC_QCKCuAM8)

“I’m so concerned with what I look like on the outside / Will I blossom into what You hope I’ll be / Yet You’re so patient just to help me see / The blooms come from a deeper seed that you planted in me

Sometimes it’s hard to grow when everybody’s watching / To have your heart pruned by the one who knows best / And though I’m bare and cold I know my season’s coming / And I’ll spring up in Your endless faithfulness

With my roots deep in You / I’ll grow the branch that bears the fruit / And though I’m small I’ll still be standing in the storm / Cause I am planted by the river, by Your streams of living water / And I’ll grow up strong and beautiful all for Your splendor Lord”
- Christy Nockels, “For Your Splendor”

The words of this song ring so true for me. It is hard to grow when everybody’s watching. And it’s hard to let others in on the pruning process when it feels like it would be much more easily done in private. It’s hard being a woman in this crazy culture. It’s hard to find the balance between family, career, and everything else. To find value when the world clearly doesn’t see value in you.

We all want blooms. We want others to perceive us as beautiful. As having it all together. As having an impressive spiritual life. But in Christy Nockel’s words, the most beautiful blooms come from a deeper seed. For those blooms, we have to plant ourselves by the banks of the river and stretch our roots deep down.

My commitment to God, to myself, and to those who have always believed in me and my music (thank you for your patience!), is to stretch my roots deep down and to let God have His way in growing me in order to bear the fruit He wants.

I hope and pray that something in the little bit of journey I have shared has spoken to you, wherever you’re at today in life and with God. No dream is too big or too small for God to work with. He just has to have you planted by His streams of living water. And He’ll make sure that all of us as women, through our journeys, our struggles, our tears, and victories... that we are beautiful for His splendor.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fear. By Robyn Raben

Courage and Strength are the two words that come to mind every time I think of this amazing woman Robyn Raben. Robyn and I have known each other since I was around 12 years old. Although over time we have grown a part in distance we have kept in contact over Facebook.

Her topic today is one that I believe everyone needs to hear and know that they are not alone. I think most of us fight fear to some extent. And anyone that has been through something traumatic can agree to the struggle of not allowing fear to claim their lives.

Robyn thank you again for opening up your heart and sharing your testimony. I pray that you continue to gain such an overwhelming revelation of the purpose and future that God has for you and your family. And may you find a peace that over flows like a river over you and your family no matter the circumstances.

Here is a verse that I am passing on to you that someone passed on to me during a hard time.

People with their minds set on you,
you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
because they keep at it and don't quit.
Depend on God and keep at it,
because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (msg translation)



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Fear.
by Robyn Raben


FEAR.  We, as Christians, know we are not to fear, and that God will protect us.  But, why then do I battle with fear/ anxiety/ worry almost daily?  My family has always blamed my grandmother for passing on the “worry gene”.  She was the BIGGEST worrier I had ever met.  But, my issues with fear stemmed deeper.  I have been fighting this spiritual battle even before I knew what a “spiritual battle” was.

When I was seven, my mom was diagnosed with cancer –Lymphoma.  She was given two years to live, and at a young age I had to come to terms with the fact that I would be motherless before my 10th birthday.  We were not Christians at the time, and because of the stress of the situation my parents separated.  My mom moved out thinking that it would help my brother and I learn to be without her.  Like to kind of make her death not quite so hard on us because we wouldn’t be used to having her there all the time.  (I do not recommend this!)  BUT, God had bigger plans.  My parents started seeking the “meaning of life” and this brought them to a place where they knew they needed God.  After about six weeks my parents got back together, and we started looking for a church family.  Life changed drastically and we saw many miracles including the birth of my younger siblings, and a complete healing of my mom through prayer.  (I am not going to go into detail on all the happenings, but could maybe write another blog some other time to share all this).  My mother lived cancer free for five years, and then she was diagnosed with a different strain of Lymphoma.  I was in high school making plans to go to college when the second diagnosis was given.  To make a long story short, and for the sake of keeping on the topic of fear, my mom passed away five years ago.  I was 26 weeks pregnant with my first child and I believe because of the stress and emotional turmoil, I delivered a tiny baby boy @ 36 weeks, and just in time for Mother’s day (God’s timing is perfect)!

Being a mom, I deal with fear all the time - Hoping my boys are healthy, and all the other “natural” things a mother worries about.    Maybe I have a bit more “worry” than the average mom, and I can maybe blame that on my Grandmother.  But, I often am brought to thoughts of cancer.  What if my husband gets cancer, what if my boys get cancer, WHAT IF I GET CANCER???  What would I do???  I have recently had to deal with this straight up.  My mother was diagnosed with cancer the first time, when she turned 30.  And for some crazy reason I had been expecting something to happen to me when I turned 30, also.  This burdened me greatly, and as I was nearing my 30th birthday I had to take a good look at what I was allowing in my heart and mind.  I knew God had the best plan for me, whether I got sick, or lost another family member, or whatever his plan was.  But, I had to work through the fact that I was allowing my mom’s story to over shadow mine.  God had to very clearly tell me (not audible but, I know this was from God) that my mom’s story was not my story, and just because she got cancer at 30, did NOT mean that I would get cancer at 30.   I am pleased to say that as I near my 32nd birthday in the next few months, that I am healthy and I DO NOT have cancer.  I praise God for this!  But, I still deal with fear on a regular basis.  I went to a Christian family camp this summer and the speaker preached on fear, and as you allow it in one part of your life it takes up residence and spreads to other areas.  I know I have given these negative thoughts and “fear” too much of my time and it has taken up too much of my life.  I would get worked up over things that seemed like a big deal to me, but probably not to the next person.  I went up to the front for prayer at camp and kicked that spirit of fear out of my life.  I have to do this almost daily, and I had a test just a couple weeks after returning home from camp.  I noticed two marble sized lumps on one side of my 2 year olds neck.  OH MY GOODNESS!!!  My mind went to the worst possible place.  But, as I prayed for God’s protection and told Satan to take a hike, a peace came over me.  I did take him to the Dr. a couple weeks later, and they said that the lumps have benign features, (which is good) and they have since gone down a bit in size.  So, I thank God for bringing me though this test, and for the health of my family.  I will probably have many more tests to go through, and who knows, one day I may have to deal with my greatest fear head on.  But, I know that whatever it is, God is bigger and he will bring me through.  I just need to stay focused on Him.  Life may not be easy, and things will not be perfect, but life is always sweeter with Jesus.

 
 
 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7





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I ask all of you my Passionate Women to hold up Robyn's two year old in prayer.

We are believing for complete healing and that those two lumps will completely dissolve in Jesus Name and His holy power. -Amen

We pray for it and expect it!!!

Blessings to you Robyn and your family!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Heading into the changes of fall.

Hello all my incredibly wonderful and passionate friends and family!!!

So we are all heading into the new school year. I can smell fall in the air and see the colours on the trees start to change. So hard to admit when we've had such a wonderful summer with the awesome heat and sun.

This year our family is heading into a new season. My oldest baby. Leanna Harmony age 8 is going to public school. I can barely believe it, even as I write the words now. WOW where has the time gone? I know this whole feeling of my kids growing up has been somewhat delayed because of them being homeschooled. But again WOW! I have a young lady in my home. She is such a solid kid. Not perfect, her attitude and reactions have much to be desired at times, but if you were to ask her questions about her value and worth, she would know exactly who she is! If you were to ask her who she is in God, she would relay a beautiful story of how much God loves her and that she is absolutely perfect just the way she is! I know our job is not done with her even remotely... but I am soooo proud to say we have followed God's leading so far in the first few years of her life. I believe we have stewarded her life to the absolute best our abilities. I have fought Adam so many times on homeschooling. It isn't something that comes naturally. It is hard work. I struggle. But year after year Adam has said to me... "Nicole it has nothing to do with academics, but everything to do with building character in her."

Anyone that knows me knows my journey through all the pregnancies... eekkk... it was hard. I got really really sick so teaching them became an arduous task fighting my physical needs and their schooling needs. I wore the guilt of Leanna being a "late" reader and her not knowing how to spell things correctly. I wore the guilt of her not knowing all her math facts or even the order of the months properly.... but now looking back. I am such a proud mommy. She is a smart and amazing girl! She has picked up everything that I have put down and more. Her desire to serve God and her family overflows from her. Her love for God and her sisters is a pleasure to watch. I am so confident in this next step of her growth. It's going to be hard for her. Not only is the learning curve going to be great but it's a whole new social environment. But thankfully I believe God has been preparing her. She has made some amazing friends in our neighbourhood who will be going to the same school. We have been going through a study with the girls on purity and "saving" their "kiss". And she has been growing in her relationship with God at an astounding rate.

A couple weeks ago, I started a conversation with Leanna about school and I said that her dad and I haven't decided yet whether we would be putting her in or not... and wondered what she thought about it all. Leanna said, "Mom, I am really really excited about being able to go to school with my friends, but I trust you and dad. If you say that I am not ready yet I will be totally okay with that decision." Brings tears to my eyes now. That is when I knew my baby was ready!!! She will be mature enough to handle mean kids, or social issues. She will know when to go to the teachers for help and most importantly she will know that her dad and I are completely behind her ready to help in an instant no matter what.

That brings me to the rest of the girls and specifically Cadence. We had been struggling the whole summer with putting the "girls" (Leanna and Cadence) into school and after talking to Adam, the unrest was the "s." We just do not have that same peace for Cadence. She is an incredible young lady. But the maturity in her has not quite gotten to the point where we have the confidence that she can handle the social and academic pressures that will come at her in school. To solidify the decision even more, when I talked to Cadence about what were we thinking and feeling and said, "Cadence, you are such an amazing girl, I was wondering if you would be okay with spending another year with me at home?" her response made me cry... she said, "Mommy, I really really (with tears in her eyes) want to stay home with you. I'm not ready to go to school yet." Wow. God had her heart prepared already for our decision. That being said, we are sooo excited for her to be initiated into the role of the oldest sister here at home. She will be able to mature into guiding and leading her sisters while continuing to build her self worth and understanding of how much we love her and God loves her. This year I hope to see a beautiful unwavering confidence grow of how valuable she is with out a shadow of a doubt!!!


Thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with us so far. Your encouragement, insight and wisdom is what has consistently kept us on the right course and we pray that as the changes continue on this amazing journey we call life, we will be found relying completely on God  in all circumstances.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why Am I Hanging On So Tightly To Stuff? - by Jen Choong

I think it's amazing how God works. So here I am being hit with a conviction of where I put my value and my money. And I find an incredible blog on stewarding finaces which I posted yesterday... and then I proceed to put up Jen's blog and I had totally forgotten what the topic was... wow... right on track again!!!!

Jen is a passionate woman that constantly inspires my relationship with God to go to the next level of intimacy!!!! The stories that I hear from her and the insight that I read all the time is amazing. So to have her write again for the blog is so exciting.

Jen thank you for being such an encouragment to me. You have inspired me in so many areas of my life and helped at many moments to refocus on what is right. Thank you thank you thank you. Blessings as you continue to live out an extravagent life of worship!!!


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Why Am I Hanging On So Tightly To Stuff?

 By Jen Choong



I love how God speaks to us through normal happenings in life. It’s a relief that we don’t have to have an extraordinary set of circumstances in our life for God to speak to us in profound ways. I love how Holy Spirit is always dialoging with us, teaching us, mentoring us, growing us as we bumper-car our way through life. Here’s an example of how He spoke to me recently.



Probably back in March I wore a jacket/shirt to church that I hadn’t worn in a while. Likely it had been a couple of years since I’d worn it. I really loved it when I bought it. To me it symbolized being able to dress funky after having my first baby. I used to love fashion and dressed with a pretty artistic flair, but after having my 10 pound 10 ounce baby girl (and then my almost 10 pound boy 5 years later), things were never the same in my mid-riff. So I sort of pined away at the loss of my freedom to dress the way I felt I wanted to, not having an abdominal area that matched the rest of my size elsewhere. Anyway, even though I didn’t wear this particular jacket much anymore, I still really loved it. The jacket seemed to mean something to me on some level that I didn’t understand. (Yes, I know that sounds a bit like – GET THERAPY JEN!)



So back in March I decided to wear this jacket. It was really beautiful. It was a one of a kind thing – honestly, I never wore it without people commenting on it. I didn’t wear it for the comments, I just really enjoyed the artistic nature of the design. So my friend that was sitting beside me said, “Wow, Jen, do I ever love your jacket!” And without thinking I answered, “Would you like it? Why don’t you try it on and if it fits, you can keep it.”



Immediately I knew where this was going. I knew I would have to give it away. I am a woman of my word, and my friend, being a very generous giver and receiver would probably try it on, it would fit her better than it fit me, and she would keep it. Of course. Because I had honestly offered it to her. During the whole service I thought over the possibilities. She might forget to try it on. It might not fit. She might not like it once she tried it on. Maybe the colour wouldn’t look right on her, and she’d say, thanks, but no thanks.



I really began to examine my motives of how it could be so difficult for me to give away a jacket. I asked the Lord what it was in me that clung to things so tightly. He was pretty free with gently telling me that He was cleansing me of letting things define me, and that after growing up in a family that fell apart in my mid teens, there were still some wounds that needed healing. Issues of loss were still needing some attention – and He was wooing me into knowing that He is my provision and definition. I don’t need things to do that – He is all of that to me.



Well, yes, the jacket. She tried it on after the service, and it wasn’t the right fit, so she said thanks, but no thanks. Phew. I sighed my relief, and smiled and said, “Oh, that’s too bad.” I felt that I should confess my thoughts to my friend, but she needed to head off right away. So I told myself I would confess my heart to her later (and I did).



I had the sense that the Lord wasn’t done with the jacket yet. Which meant I wasn’t done with it either! So skip ahead to June, to the annual Women’s Conference at our church, Divine Women. The speaker challenged each of us to commit to going home and choosing something that we could be generous with, something significant that we had at home that we would give away the next day. Not junk that we didn’t want, but something sacrificial. We were exploring the theme of “Live Generously”, and we were going to practice living generously, by giving away something that we liked from our own personal possessions. IMMEDIATELY I thought of this jacket, and I thought, “Oh no Lord, I don’t think you’re really asking me to give this thing away, I think back in March it was just a test, to see if I would be generous and give away something that was dear.” I felt I had passed the test back in March, because I had been “willing” to give it away.



The Lord reminded me of how much of a struggle it was to give it away, and that there was still unfinished business. Right. He examines the motives of our hearts, and knows us better than we know ourselves right?



So as I wrestled with it the next morning while I was getting ready for the day, I told my husband the whole deal. We talked about March, we talked about the give-away session that I was trying to figure out. He said, “If you think God is asking you to give it away then you should.” Pretty simple right?  Guy advice all the way. Cut and dried.



So I asked the Lord, “I don’t really want to give it away. Why would you ask me to give something away that means so much to me.”



I totally felt a weighty pause in my conversation with God. Then He said to me, “Do you really think I wanted to give my Son away? I did it because I love you. It cost Me something to give Him up. And I was willing to do it.”



I felt the reality of His comment. How foolish of me to place so much value on a jacket. If the Lord was asking me to give something away that I liked, wasn’t it worth it, because He is trustworthy? Everything He asks me to do is for my good and His glory.



But then then I asked Him sheepishly, “But Lord, if I give it to someone who goes to our church, I’ll have to see them wear this jacket that I gave up. It’ll remind me of what I gave up.”



I felt the same weighty pause, and He said to me, “What do you think I see when I look at you? I see My Son. You are wearing My Son’s righteousness and it cost Me something. I had to turn My face away when He died, because it was painful for me. Giving this jacket away is good for you. It will free you from your attachment to things and you will understand My heart. Abandon yourself to giving how I give – and you will be free to live generously in all ways.”



Well, I can tell you, I was undone. I bawled about how ridiculously self-centred I can be, and how deeply God loves me, in spite of myself. I saw beyond myself and into God’s heart. I felt Him birth His heart within me on a new level. Not much comparison really between giving away a jacket that you like, and offering up your Son as a Ransom for many.



I packaged the jacket up in a beautiful gift bag, and I couldn’t wait to give it away. It was a prophetic action that has freed me to let go of things and go deeper into God’s heart. God is not satisfied to leave us comfortable but still wounded. He desires to lead us into healing and perfect shalom, where we are made complete and live richly in His presence. My deepest heart cry is that Father would expose within me anything that hinders me from walking deeply in His presence, and I desire that He would pull me close and conform me into the perfect image of Christ.



Blessings to you today as you read this post, that the fullness of the heart of God would be made known to you. May you journey deep into His presence and find that He is your Completor and Restorer – in every way!



Jen Choong



“28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

Romans 8:28-32 NIV 1984

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Spiritual Discipline of Being Frugal - blog link from "IntentionalByGrace"

Please enjoy this link from a blog that I am following A LOT lately!!! This specific post has such wisdom on the "Spiritual Discipline of Being Frugal." Definatly hit a chord for what Adam and I are really focusing on lately!!!!

Some of you may have seen a Post on FB about doing a one month plan for groceries. We have been really taking account of where we are spending money and desiring to become better stewards of what is coming in. We have been realizing how much we are using an entitlement mentality to many purchases lately. The "we need and we should" has been infecting our reasoning.  We've been chatting alot about how our parents, grandparents, and even great great great grandparents lived and desiring to embrace more of that mentality. To the point where listening to the 40's has become our new favorite background music.

We now are starting to realize we have a family of 7... yup I know took a while... but our girls each eating almost as much as I do, plus heading into seasons of new financial needs as far as schooling is concerned, we have to be ever more vigilant of the money being spent. We can easily justify "needs" that just are not needs.

Shesh, so I just watched a video on consumerism and the one stats that hit me the hardest was hearing that 99% of what is purchased is thrown out within 6mths and that we are spending twice as much as our grandparents did 50 years ago. That is crazy. So... all that being said. Lets be aware of what's actually needed to be spent and what is not. Lets not take advantage of the privilege of living in Canada!

http://intentionalbygrace.com/2012/08/20/the-spiritual-discipline-of-being-frugal/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IntentionalByGrace+%28Intentional+By+Grace%29

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Cycle - by Ariel Bondy

I am so excited to post this blog today. There is something incredibly beautiful about a young woman looking deep into who God created them to be. Then learning to go through trials, learn from it and not be defeated!!! God is so great and so faithful even in the darkest of times if we are open long enough to hear His words through the word, our friends and our family!!!

Ariel, what a beautiful blog. Thank you for you openness and encouragement to so many women. I pray that you continue to see the immense value that God has created in you. May you grow in strength and maturity. May you see the light in every circumstance and the power of being led by the authorities in your life. May your family be core and your friends be an overwhelming healthy encouragement in your relationship with God!!!

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The Cycle

by Ariel Bondy



So, I decided to share with all of you something I have struggled with since last summer. I believe each woman, young or old, struggles with this in some form. Not to point out how terrible my life has been, but so you can learn from my mistakes.

 It all started when I bought my grade eight grad dress. It was tight and I was terrified I wouldn’t fit into it by grad. I didn’t know it then, but that started a long journey in the world of self worth that I am still going through today. I started to worry about my weight. When I started school, I was so self conscious about myself, simply because the waist of my pants were so tight! I began comparing. Everyone else suddenly seemed skinnier. And to me, skinny suddenly meant perfection. So, I just stopped eating. I hid it from my parents. I would eat very little at breakfast and dinner and skip lunch at school. In a few months my already healthy weight dropped eight pounds. Soon, symptoms of anorexia were starting to appear. I would get exhausted very, very easily. I was suddenly into exercising, and I hadn’t had my period in months. My teachers told my parents they were concerned because my bright personality had changed, the sparkle in my eyes had vanished.

 It was all one big cycle. I found my worth from appearances. So when I compared to others, I felt worthless, and the way I handled that was to starve myself to be more beautiful. But once I did that, I would look in the mirror and feel even uglier, because of how gaunt I looked. So, to deal with that, I would cease eating more. Get the cycle idea? And then, when my parents found out, they really helped me and encouraged me to gain my weight back. But, when I gained weight, I would feel worthless and want to lose it again. So, I was in a pretty dangerous position.

Right now, I have been set free from that. It was a long painful process, because my stomach had shrunk, so I had to eat a bit more than I used to each day, which resulted in many stomach aches after each meal. But, looking back, I am so happy I’m through that. With that said, although I am physically healed, emotionally, I still really struggle. I don’t feel the need to lose weight anymore, but the thoughts or lies behind them are still woven deep into my heart. So, it’s still something I am working at.

So, through all of that, I want to encourage each of you to stop and find where your value lies. We should find our value in God, because when we don’t, we look elsewhere. Then, we are trying to fill a void impossible to fill by ourselves. When we aren’t in God’s presence, we lose our sense of purpose and value, because God is our purpose and value. The farther away you are from God, the worse you will feel about yourself, and trust me, I know first hand how that feels. So, we just need to maintain a strong relationship with God. And don’t ever reject yourself, because in doing that you are rejecting God. Because I can promise you, that you will disappoint yourself every time, but God won’t. Ever.


Let Him break whatever cycle of lies you find yourself in, because only then will you reach His light…


Monday, August 20, 2012

Lost in Despair - by Dawn Ward

It is a pleasure for me to introduce you all to Dawn Ward. A passionate loving woman who's humility seems to stop me in my tracts often. She continues to amaze with how she is willing to consistently  re-evaluate where her relationship with God is at and re-focus her life to make sure she is serving God with all of her mind, body and soul. I was planning on writing a list of all the things that I have seen Dawn involved in. But, I believe beyond all the success and impact she has had as a woman the area that I am most in awe of is who she is as a mother!!! Her driving desire to see her children succeed and experience the same beautiful relationship with God is such an inspiration to me!!!

Blessings to you Dawn for taking the time out of your life to put this spirit filled blog together. Again your raw and real heart is displayed so beautifully to inspire all those who are around you!!!! Lots of love and prayers your way as you continue to step into all the blessing that God has paved for you and your family to enjoy!!! Through the trials and the blessing God clearly shows His faithfulness in you and your family!!!


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Lost in Despair
by Dawn Ward

I’m sitting here, lost in despair (despair: to lose all hope or confidence, lose heart), looking at the bottle of pills on the coffee table that says “Do not exceed 6 in 24 hours” and wondering how many it will take to take me away from the despair…why? Because I don’t know how to crochet. That’s right; I don’t know how to crochet. Don’t all real grandmas know how to crochet? I don’t measure up. I’m not good enough. It’s real, the pain I feel; the attack for my hope.

Not only that, I should have gone to college or university instead of Youth With a Mission and Bible school. I shouldn’t have homeschooled, I should have worked and bought a house then had children, and I should have worked instead of being a stay home mom. My family looks different than other families that look so perfect… I wish I had natural childbirth…after all real faith women have natural childbirth not cesareans. Nothing fits right because my twins weighing in at 8lbs 4oz and 7lbs 14oz left me with a pretty flabby tummy. No one wants to be your friend because you’re boring and have a small house. You’re getting too old to lead worship. These may seem like trivial things but despair often starts with the little things to get you away from His truth. It can tear at your heart. It comes from all directions.

I wish I could say this battle with despair was many years ago, but it was yesterday, it was today and it will be tomorrow. The despair has lessened as I’m learning to recognize the voice of deception and fight back quicker but the battle for our hope and joy will go on. That sounds like a negative confession and it would say that the enemy is stronger than God but not so. But when the lying voice comes with true facts it can be hard to fight back.

Fight back? How in the world do you fight back when the deceiver is deceiving with his lies? With absolute higher truth. What truth? The truth that Christ is in me, my hope of glory! The truth that He is so in love with me that He has no expectations of me, because He came to love me first and He knew that love would draw me to Himself so that He could hold me. He’s not drawing me to Himself to condemn me and tell me I don’t make the cut. He’s drawing me to Himself to lavish me with love, to heal me, to strengthen me from deep within. It’s this love that will fight for me. His love is truth! His love destroys the lies! We have to experience His love daily. It is necessary. Yes, we deeply need to feel His presence. In His presence is fullness of joy, pleasures forevermore. He wants us to enjoy Him. He enjoys being with us. Yes, He wants us to walk by faith that He is with us and not by sight but that simply means we believe He loves us and His Word is truth no matter what our circumstances scream. Come to His Word of truth, worship and feel the goose bumps (His presence) for it’s in acknowledging His presence that His presence will manifest and in that place our hearts are open to His healing touch. Sing at the top of your lungs, cry as His Spirit pours over you, and let Him in. Receive the kiss from heaven.

It took me 3 days after Ariana was born to wake up to truth and let the voice of my Father in heaven speak and tell me it’s ok and that I had a beautiful red haired gift from God in my arms and that that truth superseded how she entered the world. He didn’t judge me for my birthing performance.

My flabby tummy is a reminder to me that God gave me two beautiful, healthy girls and two healthy, huge baby boys.

My family will never look like your family but I rejoice that my God has made each one of my children (this includes the sweet spouses) and grandchildren unique and His own and wraps them in His love. He is well able to complete the work He has begun in us!



I don’t know how to crochet (I’m open to lessons and thank you so much to Nicole for the beautiful little crochet hats for my grand daughter) but this grandma has been anointed to preach the gospel to the prisoner, sing the gospel of His grace and love and lead others to His throne of love and grace, love her husband and family without reservation and the world beyond her comfort zone with the power of Christ’s love that dwells in and rests upon her! The things I do are not what make me good, acceptable or successful…it’s His life in me. I’m loved; I’m accepted whether I perform or not. Just like I love my new little grand daughter and can’t stand to be away from her, who hasn’t done anything but be born, …He just loves me but even more. WOW!



 Despair, you can not stand in the presence of the highest truth! You must bow your knee! His love fights for me! He is love and His love is coming after us like a hurricane and like a warm, cozy blanket! So take heart! I am!




Friday, August 17, 2012

Embracing the beautiful Tapestry

I'm in the kitchen. The patio door is open and the fresh breeze is blowing in. I am sipping my tea as I watch my girls jump on the trampoline.

They are free. They are creating a poetic tapestry of imagery and story lines, all of what their future  could be. They are princesses, queens and duchesses, bowing, dancing and singing. They are girls captured by a great force that gets saved by a hero, lifted up and rescued, from crying to rejoicing. They are hero's themselves with all sorts of powers fighting off evil and sharing good wherever their little feet land. They are doctors, midwives and teachers, mending and healing, helping the birth of a baby and guiding the children. They are mothers, wives, daughters and sisters living a beautiful life of relationships.

THEN in one quick swoop.... the game becomes selfish. Suddenly it's now all about each individuals role in the play. The life and joy of the game gets crushed by the smallest of issue. A word, a look, a bump the wrong way.... they are offended and done. The world around them has disintegrated and they no longer have the emotions to handle dreaming any more. They rely on themselves to handle the situation and can't. So they sit down defeated. That's it!

How often is that me as an adult. I dream and love life. I am living it to the fullest!!! I am growing and building relationships. Then in one small swoop, this journey becomes all about me. My value becomes what I am doing. I become so self absorbed that all it takes is someone saying a small negative word, or someone looking at me the wrong way or how terrible, they share their dreams and goals.... and that's it. My value and world seems to have come to a halted stop.  I am personally defeated in that moment.

I need to to be aware never to allow this life to become just about me. I need to embrace that beautiful tapestry being created between ALL the roles each woman holds. I need to rejoice in their story and leading part of the "play." Then when it comes to my time of being the "princess", I have the sensitivity to still be aware of those around me still working on their script. I need to be open and humble enough keep serving others while feeling on top of the world.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

YOLO

YOLO

I had no idea what this meant until the beginning of this year.  On a friends FB wall I saw these photos and it really hit me.

It's overwhelming thinking of those who throw their lives away making decisions that they will regret all over the message of YOLO.




BUT!!!!

YOLO doesn't have to mean this!!!!

Here are some "YOLO" pictures that I have collected of some amazing women!!! There are soooo many that this is only a very small snipit of Women around me living out YOLO!! They are all living their dreams and calling on their lives, allowing God to use them to love on others and grow as a woman!!!


















 





We are women called to do great things! We are the heart of this world intended to mend, heal, serve, care, love, teach, mother, reach out, inspire, encourage and so much more!!! Lets all fulfill God's calling on our lives. You Only Live Once!!!! Lets make it count!!!!!


All my feelings end up connected to a song... here's another one!!
http://grooveshark.com/s/It+s+Your+Life+Dented+Fender+Sessions/2GSLFQ?src=5

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Super Mom" - by Jacqueline Ninaber

Hi all!!!! Lets welcome Jacqueline Ninaber to the blog!!!!!!

Jacqueline is a determined awesome passionate woman!! She is a supportive wife, involved in serving at church and now a new mom!!! She has a beautiful personal blog too that she writes called "Life as I know it." You can check out here http://jninaber.blogspot.ca/. Taking time to keep up with her blog alone I am sure is a challenge which makes it even more exciting to have her put together something for all of us!! Being a new mom changes everything including free time!! So what a blessing to have some straight forward easy to read thoughts from Jacqueline for all you new moms!!!

Jacqueline, I have enjoyed some pretty cool moments getting to know you, it is truly a joy to see you settle into mommy life!!! You shine with an overwhelming joy over your little Ryder!!! Blessings to you and Matt as you continue to figure out new schedules, priorities and "norms." The closer and connected you are as Husband and Wife, the easier it is to parent through even the toughest of times!!!! Even more blessings to come for you guys!!!!




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"Super Mom"
By Jacqueline Ninaber



I am a mom. Wow. Those words still feel strange on my lips. It’s funny, as a little girl, you play house and dress up and have your little baby dolls that you carry around pretending to be a mom. You dress them, sing them lullabies, change their diapers and you pretend you are the best mom in the world.





But with all of the above practice, nothing can really prepare you for motherhood.







When Nicole asked me to give some insight in to what life is like as a brand new mommy, I thought to myself “What do I really have to offer?” I mean, there are a lot of moms out there who have wayyyy more experience than the seven weeks I have under my belt. But then I started to think about some things that I’ve learned over the past few weeks and put together a few points that may help or inspire you new moms.





1.      Ask for help. You’ll hear this from everyone. Every website you see, people you talk to, they’ll tell you to ask for help. But seriously, do it. You just had a baby, and as much as you want to be super mom, that can come in a couple weeks. Whether it’s your mom, a sibling, a friend, or even a neighbor, if someone offers to give you a hand, reach out and grab it. The first few days home are so overwhelming, that it can be really difficult to stay on top of things. One word of advice though: make sure to communicate what you expect when people come to help you. You need help washing the dishes, cleaning the house, getting dinner on the table. You don’t need help holding the baby while you putter around the house taking care of guests. Obviously people will want to hold your new little bundle, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Just make sure they aren’t adding more stress, but helping you relieve it.


2.      Breastfeeding is hard. After my first few weeks of nursing, I totally understood why some people give up on breastfeeding. Man, is it tough. Between learning how to help your baby latch properly, to cracked nipples, engorgement and leakage, nothing can really prepare you for the task ahead. But press on and work through it. It may take awhile, and there will probably be some (if not a lot) of tears, but eventually those nipples will heal and your baby will open wide and latch on with little guidance. You may even get a few smiles throughout it.  Plus, the bond you’ll create is priceless.
I also understand that some people are unable to nurse for numerous reasons, and if that’s the case, it’s okay! Don’t feel that you are any less of a mother because you are unable to nurse. You can still make the feeding experience so great and create an amazing bond with your little one.


3.      Knowledge is key! Learn as much as you can about everything and don’t be afraid to ask questions. One of my favourite websites is www.babycenter.ca. Every time something comes up with the little man that I’m unaware of, I go straight there. Between dealing with baby acne/heat rash, cradle cap and mastitis, to how to bathe your baby for the first time, Baby Center has been such a help to me, understanding what is all going on in my baby’s life. Oh, and Dr. Google is a great source of help, too.


4.      Emotional Crazy. Once again, nothing prepared me for the emotions that I would go through once I delivered the little man. I had more ups and downs than the Behemoth at Wonderland. Trust me. You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone. I was so thankful when my midwife told me to expect my emotions to be all over the place. Things would be great and I’d be happy, and then a friend would come over and I’d start bawling. For no reason. I realized that all I could really do was laugh it off and hope to get some much-needed sleep that night. I think the worst was when my mom would arrive. I felt like a kid who hurt herself and was fine until she saw her mom. Waterworks galore. Thankfully, that only lasted a week or two and now things are back to normal. If you notice, though, that things have not gone back to normal after two weeks, please talk to your doctor. Post-par tum depression is a real thing and not something to brush off or mess with. Never be afraid to talk to someone about how you’re feeling.


5.      Sleep when the baby sleeps. I realized that I sound like a 40-year-old mom, because I’m sure everyone has heard this, but seriously. The dishes can wait for a few hours, so can the laundry and dinner. Especially if your little one enjoys waking up a few times a night. Get your rest. That’s the first step to being super mom.





Being a mom is great. I grow more and more in love with my little guy every day. Cherish every moment, take lots of pictures, and don’t wish this time away. Before we know it, they’ll be walking, then running, then driving cars and getting married! Have fun and don’t stress. You’ll be super mom in no time.