Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

It has become a tradition for me to write a New Year's letter, but this year it's hard to know where to start.  2012 has been a challenging year, with many positive moments as well as many opportunities to learn and grow. 

Our family went through a number of significant events this year.  Zoe turned 2, with all the joys that a toddler brings, and Sabrina turned 10.  The girls are our delight and as we all grow older we continue to grow closer.  Corrie's mom and little sister moved back to Manitoba from BC in April and stayed with us until they moved in to their own place down the street in November.  There were many rich moments of reconnecting as family, and a lot of learnings too. 

Professionally, I was privileged to take part in a leadership training program that took me to Minneapolis and New Orleans, all over a number of months.  It was an incredible learning experience and was very exciting to see a greater perspective of the excellent company that Cargill is.  It was also a great opportunity for Corrie to play "Mr. Mom" while I was away.

Personally, this year ended on a low note for me.  I don't know how to describe it other than "burn out" and couldn't begin to describe where it came from in a letter like this.  Let's just say that it's been a long time in coming.  The beautiful part about it has been that I found Jesus.  And He wasn't the Jesus I thought I had been following.  I have been astonished to find that I have missed the mark for a long time and now am on a search to know everything I can about who He really is.  If that doesn't make sense to you, I say "great! join me!"
I feel that as a family, we are at a critical place.  We have wanted to see change in many areas.  We are working through what has held us back and exploring what we can do differently.  While we both love our peaceful, cozy home and love to spend time recharging there, it's time for some adventure.
Bring it on, 2013!

Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-19

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Still Heartbroken

On a day such as this where we remember that it is possible that a little boy who looks like his dad can go to heaven far too soon, we will also honor that a heart can still be broken.

For the past 5 years, I have been ignoring my broken heart, not listening to my broken heart, medicating my broken heart, running away from my broken heart, tending other people's broken hearts, focusing on other things than my broken heart, escaping from my broken heart, and being angry the whole time that it is still broken.

I started being angry last year at Sabrina's Christmas pageant when I realized that I would never see my twins-who-would-start-kindergarten-this-year in their first school pageant.  I love watching the kindergarten kids at the Christmas pageant.  I would have dressed Nicholas in stiff new jeans and probably tried to get away with a sweater vest and collared shirt.  His little blond head would have shone under the lights and I like to believe that he would have sung his little heart out for Baby Jesus.

I think I have been angry since then.  I'm really tired.  And still heartbroken. 

I think confronting my brokenness puts me in a good posture for awaiting my Saviour this Advent season.  Thank you, Nicholas, for continuing to grace my life with your sweet presence.  If 5 years can pass so quickly, then I am grateful that the day we will see each other again in spirit and body isn't as far away as it seems.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

5 years

I feel like I've said everything that can be said about my Nicholas and Olivia - their birth, their life, their death, their purpose.  Today marks 5 years since I gave birth to twins on their father's birthday.  I've never said that yet.  Parents always marvel at the passage of time, but we still marvel at the widening gap between knowing them and living without them.

This picture is from Sabrina's 5th birthday.  I did not get a chance to celebrate this milestone with her either because I was with her brother in the hospital.  I am sad about that too.

We will celebrate this day and remember.  There will be balloons and cards and cake.  There will be laughter and memories and love.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy father's day

 The best darn dad we ever had.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127: 4-5

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Me and my girls.
One of the few pictures of the three of us.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalm 127:3

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday!!

Zoe, each day we get to share with you is precious.  You are a gift from God indeed.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23:6

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Robbed, Part II

I hesitated at going through with my previous post, but there is something healing in being truthful and bringing dark places to the light.  I didn't mean to leave things here that raw for so long, because in fact just by sharing it took the power out of it and it is a healed place now.  So, here is the conclusion:

Yes, I was robbed.  But Jesus made it right.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I was robbed.

For a long time I have not wanted to admit this.  Because I didn't want to acknowledge that we live in a world in which I can be robbed and God is still good.

But I was still robbed.  And God is still good.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
Job 19:25

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Remembering Olivia

Where has my little Livvie gone?  Where is the sister that belongs between the oldest and the youngest?  Where is the tiny bright one?

Olivia's death was so desolate because we thought she was to be our consolation.  We were determined that her loss would not be the death of hope as well.  We were determined that hope would continue on.

That's a lot of responsibility for a baby girl, but I think she would have been able to handle it.  I was so curious to see the woman she would grow up to be.  I could see a glimpse of it in the little person she was.

Olivia Hope, what more can I say?  You already know my heart.  Peace, little one.

But I am like an olive tree
   flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
   for ever and ever.

For what you have done I will always praise you
   in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
   for your name is good. 

Psalm 52:8-9

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I love the start of a new year.  It is fresh, full of possibilities, and a chance to begin again.  I'm also into making resolutions.  I am a person for whom the possibilities are endless, and I need the structure and discipline of narrowing my focus.
I have only one resolution this year.  
Not to be so hard on myself.
I also know that there are some areas of my life that I need to establish some convictions, but I wouldn't call those resolutions.  They are just part of fulfilling the big one.   Because in my world the possibilities are endless, I have a hard time making decisions.  Coming to conclusions.  Finishing things.  I am embarking on a journey in prayer and in the Word to establish God's truth in a number of areas in my life.  Being a mom who works.  How to manage our money with both discipline and generosity.  How far I need to go to ensure my family is healthy.  Being a person who makes decisions with wisdom and discernment, and not impulsively.  How to balance all the people and things I am responsible for, and to give each of them their appropriate place and energy.

I have felt a heart call to seek what holiness means.  What it means to live as a Christ-follower in this society, this time in history, the relationships in which I have been placed.  While this may sound counter-intuitive to my one resolution, what it means is that it forces me to learn how to run to the Lord's throne of grace and receive mercy in my time of need.  I don't know how to do that, but I sure do mean to find out. 

As far as taking stock of 2011, I would say overall it was "no better, no worse".  The areas in which we seek significant change still continue to exist.  No better, no worse.  What that tells me is that we haven't found the root causes yet, and if there's something I love to do, it is to seek out why things are the way they are.  The only area I would say that this doesn't apply is how we relate to each other as a family.  We delight in our children in a way that is better and better every day.  We have realized that the "keeping up with the Joneses" kind of world we are surrounded by is empty and false, and long for simplicity and sweet time together.  The Lord continues to be gracious to us in this area, but of course we always want more.

Practically, the significant event of 2011 I would record here would be Corrie's return to Dr. Hook early in the year.  He finally has a Ford with an auto-loader, a dream come true for him.  However, I wouldn't be surprised to see a change coming up soon, if the right truck comes along.  Or if the right job comes along.  While towing continues to be successful for him, it is at a cost of a lot of time away from his family.  We would like to see that change, if possible.  I also returned to work in February.  I returned to my same job and the Lord linked us up with a loving family close by who takes excellent care of our kids.  I think we have settled into an acceptable routine.  When I despair that I don't get to see enough of my girls, I remember that it is a gift that I even get to see them every day.  I remember that we have two more kids that we can only see in our memories.

As I was thinking of a Scripture to proclaim over the coming year, this one came to mind.  I am encouraged by the truth that God wants to refresh us from "the river of His pleasures".  Dear friends and family, it is our heartfelt prayer that you receive all the blessings God has in store for you in 2012!

Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens;
       Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
 Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
       Your judgments are a great deep;
       O LORD, You preserve man and beast.
 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
       Therefore the children of men put their trust
       under the shadow of Your wings. 
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
       And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
 For with You is the fountain of life;
       In Your light we see light. 
Psalm 36: 5-9