Wednesday, May 16, 2018

About 2048 Days

Five years, seven months, one week, 144 hours and twenty-six minutes. Something like that. The last time I wrote on this blog.

I am running through my memories to try pinpoint the reason or moment I quit. What made me think it wasn't worth posting on here? I believe, if I am honest, that it was around the time we realized we probably weren't going to Brazil any time soon. And as it turns out, any time ever. That wrecked me a bit, a lot.

And it seems like life sort of stopped. But it didn't, it kept going – hard.

I wound up on this blog today, through a random set of circumstances. I scrolled. And reminisced.

Dreams – or more accurately probably – the things your sense of worth or purpose are attached to, when they die, that part of you dies - hard.

I have grieved a lot in my forty-four some years, but I have not grieved as intensely as I have been since the 'day the dream died'.

And then other really bad **** happened. I am not dramatic enough to say it was the worst possible **** that could happen to anyone, but it was bad and it wrecked me some more.

So I am different now. I have read through this blog and I remember that person who wrote those things and who had that optimistic outlook on life. But I am not her.

I am harder, undoubtedly angrier. And I have learned to say “**** you, enemy.”  A lot. Because I know he came for us. And he did a lot of damage. But he did not win. In fact, he made me harder and angrier and now I know where to laser focus that. I am coming for you now. You probably should tremble. I know now better than I ever knew before Who I belong to and with the two of us in cahoots, you are kind of doomed. Severely hooped, actually.

I know you are already beaten, I do not know how it exactly will look when I add to your *** kicking. It may be in some gigantic, glorious moment, or it may be more subtly, in day by day little things. Or it may be both. But it is going to happen. Your time on this planet is getting shorter and shorter and I will do my part to expedite your demise. I remember now that we were going to do that. It may not be in Brazil, but it...will...BE... Thank you for the new purpose.

And now, to the actual update. We are still in Duncan. We eventually, in miraculous fashion, found a house. Had it dropped in our laps, more specifically - in an amazing crescent, with amazing neighbours. Finances still suck, are worse actually, and I am looking at part time work, which also sucks. I am not a multi-tasker, so the idea of working, organising the house, homeschooling, etc. is hugely daunting.

We have retired from On the Road. Koos and the kids put in about seven years of Sundays. I had opted out at about the six year mark. We are still in touch with some of the families.

Our weekends now are taken up in the winter by competitive junior curling and in the summer by dog agility trials. When we are not completely exhausted, we are thankful that New Life has 7:00 pm services.

Brooke, Delaena and Calahn have been on the youth worship team since last year. We just realized Kael is old enough now too, so he is also going to give it a try.

Koos is a service advisor at BowMel Chrysler. We lost his Dad in March and were in Hines Creek in April for the service.

My Mom is in Calgary now, enjoying lots of time with her two youngest grandkids. We all pop back and forth fairly often to see her and her to see us.  A visit is close on the horizon!

Caitlind is married to the most awesome Travis. Brooke and I got to go to their wedding in September. They are doing really well in Hay River and we are excited that they will be coming to the Island for a visit soon.

Brooke is 17, in grade 12 and just has a couple math courses to officially 'graduate'. She spends her winters curling and her summers dangling from mountains and trudging through caves with WildSide at Camp Imadene. This past curling season saw her and Delaena at BC Provincials with their girls' under 18 team. She is a part time nanny right now and will be headed out on a week long hiking trip with her school's Adventure Discipleship Program in a couple of weeks. She will also take a crack at her “official” driver's license this summer.

Delaena is 15, in grade 10. She spent her last winter curling as well, but is most excited that agility has begun. She has been training hard and will be going to BC/Yukon Regionals on the mainland in June with a new pup named Lotus, she's a Pomeranian x Boston Terrier and seems to be a mad genius at agility. Delaena still runs DoJo, and has started a specialized sort of obedience with him as well. Oats also participates and is getting quite proficient at agility – when the treats are good enough and she feels like it. Delaena is working at Buddies Natural Pet Food part time. She has a great system going to trade for dog food and earn work experience hours.

Calahn is almost 14, in grade 8. She has an amazing hobby designing and building barns, arenas, riding rings, you name it, for her “Schleich” horses. Her attention to little details and patience in constructing is fascinating. She tried her hand at Musical Theatre in the summer of 2016 in a mini-production of “Annie”. She was hooked and debuted in a longer production of Dr. DoLittle as “Emma Fairfax”. This year she has landed the role of “Smee”, Captain Hook's right hand pirate, in a full length version of Peter Pan. They hit the stage in our big theatre in June.

Kael just turned 11, in grade 5. He is still on the swim team and though he isn't really into competing, he is still working hard to become a great swimmer and some day a lifeguard so he can work at camp in the summer with Brooke. He also decided to try Musical Theatre this year and is a “Lost Boy” with a small speaking role, in the same production as Calahn. When he is not busy swimming or practising theatre, he is hanging out with his buddies on the block.

So ya, even though I stopped, life went on. And now I think I am ready to as well. Time to leave the past back there and step into whatever new lies in front. And kick some devil *** while I am at it.

That's better Run devil Run...

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."  John 10:10

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What's Going on Around Here?

It is funny how the same period of time can seem like it rushed by, yet dragged at a snail's pace, or in keeping in the spirit of living on the Island, a slug's pace.

Nothing MAJOR has happened, so in the grand scheme, it seems like these past three months between blog posts have just limped along, grains of sand slipping through the hourglass.  And then I started looking through photos, certain that there would be nothing to post, and ended up having to limit myself to only a few!  I seem to have a habit of doing that.  Not being able to see the little things as building blocks to unknown major things.  I think I did it last year too.  Not realizing what the year had held until I wrote the Christmas newsletter.
I opened my day timer to July 27 and started flipping through the pages.  And it hit me - some of these little things have some fairly major implications if I stop and take the time to consider them.

Here's just a quick rundown:

First ever literacy camp held on Boys Road.  (photos on Facebook)

Awesome visit with my Mom and my brother and his family.  (photos soon to be on Facebook)

Awesome visit with Caitlind.  (most of the time too busy laughing hysterically to take photos)

Brooke painted her first 'commissioned' work for the Bolivia mission trip fundraiser.  (photo on Facebook)

Brooke started youth group.  (I am still not coping well with that one, although Delaena keeps telling me I should just 'deal with it Mom'!)

We got to visit with cousins from my Dad's side of the family that we haven't seen in 20+ years.

We got to participate in Mark and Erika's wedding.

Both Brooke and Delaena have biked 'Mount Sherman' with Dad on his way to work.

We got a visit from Dan and Sandy and Sandy is looking quite healthy and like herself again!

We have resumed homeschooling.

I launched a new blog.  From ACOA to Daughter of God

I have a new favorite song.  Hold On To Me

Nothing huge.  Until I look at the implications:  I have adventurous daughters who are growing up without fear.  There are connections with my Dad's family that I thought might be forever lost, but as you can see from the picture directly below, there is no doubt that my kids are part of his clan.  We will be forever connected to Mark and Erika, we will always be able to say, "We were there at the beginning and we are here now."  My experiences in life and the things I have learned through them, might encourage someone else, just when they need it.  We may not always get to be geographically close to our dearest friends and family, but when we do get to be together, we can laugh hysterically.

So, what's going on around here? 

Nothing much. 

Too much to fully understand.

How about you?  What's going on with you?

So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.  Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.  James 5:7 (NIV)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Many Thanks

 Elli-Rose! One of our best buds from Hay River, here for a summer visit!

So it's been a month since my last blog.  The blog of desperation.  Today is a better day.  Here is the song I am listening to today.  You should give it a listen.  Not just because it is Third Day (although that should be reason enough), but because it is a really cool song:  Your Love is Like A RiverAnd this is the song that has helped get me through the last month and has helped make today a better day.  It is so true.  His love is never going to stop, no matter what circumstances we are up against.

The title of this blog is Many Thanks.  So I will get to that.  We have been encouraged way beyond words this last month.  Emails, phone calls, Facebook messages and even letters via snail mail!!  People have come over for coffee just to check up on us.  Wow.  More opportunities to be humbled and to learn to say thank you without squirming or flinching.  We are getting better at it.

I am just going to list the cool things that have happened.

1.  I have been initiated into the world of bank deposits via email.  That is a pretty neat system.  Friends and family have knocked back about half of our Visa balance all from the comfort of my desk chair and computer!  I can tell they all know I prefer to do my 'banking' in my pajamas.

2.  Conversely, even in this day and age of technology, we are so grateful for those diehards who write cheques and send them in the mail.  And the timing on those things has been amazing.

     We told Calahn we would take her to the beach for her birthday, only to realize we had no gas in the truck.  We were pondering what to do when someone checked the mailbox and of course there was a cheque in there.  We put gas in the truck and went to the beach for Calahn's birthday.

     Calahn and Kael got some dental work done.  I handed the debit card to the receptionist and wondered how this was going to work out, since our 20% was going to put us over the 'down to the penny' budget I managed to create.  We got home from the appointment, grabbed the mail and you guessed it, there was a cheque in there. 

3.  Friends have come to our door and said, "This cash was just in my pocket, it is yours."

4.  We've been handed envelopes of cash, by friends from themselves and by friends on behalf of others who wish to remain anonymous.  

5.  We found an envelope of cash in our mailbox with "For the Reintjes Family, Love Jesus" written on it.

     This one particularly impressed Kael,  "God really does know EVERYTHING!  He even told Jesus which mailbox belongs to us!"

6.  We've been given baskets and bags of fresh garden veggies and 'canned at home' goods.  We've been been given large coolers full of frozen meat and vegetables.  We've been given gift certificates for Walmart and Superstore.

7.  My child tax benefits have increased significantly (about time I see some payoff for putting up with these kids for so long).  Just kidding - I've learned my lesson about entitlement, remember?  But now there is a greater margin between our income and our expenses.  We have some more breathing room.

People have been praying for us and sending us encouraging scripture.  That is the most noticeable thing of all.  Even though circumstances haven't changed much, we have.  And that is always the point.

We've been humbled, but at the same time, graciously and abundantly provided for.  That is just how our God gets things done.  And though it seems rather inadequate we say again, 'thank you' to all of those who were obedient in playing a part.

And may your blessings be returned upon you a thousandfold.




Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting Kicked in the....


That's what's been going on in our lives lately.  We've been getting the pride kicked right out of us.  It hurts.  I don't like it.  It really stinks when you realize you are wrong.

Here's a snippet of the conversation I had with God the other morning at about 5:00 am.

Me:  This stinks God, I don't like it.  You can do the miracle any time now.

God:  Good morning to you too.

Me:  We didn't win the 50 million again on Friday.

God:  You're not going to win the 50 million.  You'd best get over it.

Me:  Oh, so You're going to do the 100 million from some gazillionaire in Dubai, I just have to have a little more faith and patience, right?!

God:  Stop now.

Me:  We're really, really, really broke.  Credit card is officially maxed out.  There is now $400 to spend on groceries, etc. after expenses.  One trip to Walmart costs at least $200, one fill up at the station $100.  Numbers don't add up.  I don't want to clip coupons.  Home and auto insurance, due soon.  Kids need to go to the dentist, we still have to pay that 20%.

God:  I know.

Me:  Now is when I'm supposed to ask, "What am I supposed to learn out of this experience?"  Right?

God:  Yes.

Me:  I hate that question.

God:  I know.

Me:  What am I supposed to learn out of this experience?

God:   Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Me:  No.  I don't want to ask for help.  I don't want to tell people how needy we are.

God:   Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Me:  What?????  I am not proud!!!  Have You not noticed that we are amazing helpers?  We have NEVER been the helpees.  We are NOT LIKE all those people who are always asking for HELP and acting all NEEDY and stuff.  We are always putting others before ourselves, we tithe (except for when we got mad at You and didn't), we have sponsor children.  Are You not paying ATTENTION, God???  We ROCK at this not letting money be our master thing.  Pride? Are You kidding??

God:  silence 

(if He had eyeballs, there would have been a colossal eyeball roll)

Me:  Oh, c**p.

God:  Mmmhmmm.

And so now, here I am.  I am not sure really what I am doing.  Asking for help? Confessing?  Feeling really stupid?  Well, no, I know I am feeling really stupid.

I've had the opportunity to spend some time in a local food bank.  When I am there, I am the helper.  I help the needy.  And I know that good and decent helpers do not judge the needy.  But guess what?  What I know and what I do are apparently two different things.  So I found out at 5:03 that morning.

Part of what I've had to do is look at people's 'financial situations' and basically decide if they are trying to scam the system or honestly are 'needy'.  I find myself looking at the 'magic number' of income left after expenses and questioning in my mind, 'Seriously, you can't buy some groceries with some of that money?  You can't make it stretch just that little bit farther?'  'Well, that's what happens when you don't have a job and are trying to live off the government.'  Rational and responsible thoughts.  Because I am the helper and I know what I'm thinking about.  Not.

We are responsible citizens.  Koos does have a job and he's been promoted to manager after only six or so months of  working there.  (No pride there, really, just kind of astonishment.)  We even give unto Caesar what is Caesar's without grumbling too much.  

Practically, we have a plan for this.  We will apply for a line of credit with a lower interest rate than the credit card.  (As if the bank will give us one, after they look at our financial situation.)  I guess I can jump back into the workforce, the kids can go to public school, cash in the RRSPs, sell the dog.  We've had all the 'what to do in a financial crisis' conversations.

But what has caught me off guard and what I think (at least I hope) is the point of this exercise, is that I have now been exposed to the way having not quite enough money - in a society that is all about money - makes you kind of crazy in the head.  I assumed that if I ever 'got here' I would put all my faith in Jesus, recite all the proper money related scriptures, carefully plan and scrimp and save, and fall asleep peacefully at night waiting for the miracle to happen.

Not so.  In fact here's what has actually happened:

"I don't care if the credit card is going to max out soon.  I AM GOING to the Third Day concert and I AM BUYING the VIP tickets.  And the T-Shirt and the wrist bands and the hoody AND the online concert."  "Take that financial responsibility."

"Kael will be sad if we don't go to Camp Qwanoes this year.  It is okay if the credit card is almost maxed out, we don't want him to be sad about Camp Qwanoes.  He really likes it."  Well, there's a good chance he's going to be sad if we have to tell him he doesn't get to eat next month, too.

That government system of giving handouts that I've criticized people for using?  Can't wait for it to kick in.  I am feeling pretty 'owed' for all those years Koos and I have paid into it.

What the???  Where has all the logic gone?  And so much for dignity and scoffing at those with entitlement issues.  I have learned of late that when desperation (even perceived desperation) sets in, logic scampers off.  And I know better!  Whatever that means.

And I have support.  What if I didn't have support?  And I have hope.  What if I didn't have hope?

And now, I seem to be getting some compassion.  

Ironically, this is about the time we are supposed to be starting to 'fundraise' if we are serious about going to Brazil in the fall of 2013.  I have been loathe to begin that process.  After all, that must be the most humiliating part of working outside your own country, right?  It is very cool and awesome of us that we like to give to missionaries, but please oh please, do NOT make us ask.  Speak to that guy in Dubai, God.

Instead, I feel like I am basically fundraising while we're still in Canada, so we can live in Canada.  I am gagging on humble pie as I type this.

All attempts at humor aside.  We are broke. It has taken me two days to finish this blog because I just do NOT want to post it, but I know it is part of the process.

I have no problem asking people for prayer.  We are going to need a new skill set to manage this next way of living.  I haven't had to budget to the penny since before we had kids.  I haven't had to say no to my kids when they've asked to go to the pool or the movie theater.  I have teetered on the edge of depression lately and I do not want to fall back into that pit.  I am questioning.  Did we make a mistake moving here?  Did we not hear God right?  Are we doing something wrong?

But at the same time, there is this strange undercurrent of excitement!  What ARE You up to God?

Recently, new friends of ours from church have been going through a similar experience and I am buoyed by the grace they've walked through it with.  Incidentally, she pointed out that there is a little comment on the back of a Visa statement that indicates how long it will take you to pay it off if you only make minimum payments.  We are up to 75 years and 11 months.  Nice.

And I am reminded already that God is good, and faithful.  Even in my procrastination, He has blessed us.  I opened an email from Hay River yesterday in which our Pastors stated (paraphrased), "We were praying for you last night and God told us to send you a cheque for $significant.  What is going on?"  Blessed and busted all at the same time.

We got a phone call yesterday morning from our dear friends John and Antoinette - that knocked our socks off with its possible spiritual repercussions.  If we hadn't have come to Duncan, this definitely would have been a missed blessing.  Maybe we are supposed to be here.

I do have a problem asking for help.  I am not sure really what to even ask for.  It honestly does seem dumb to ask for money.  But when it all comes down to it, that is what we need.  And I know that His ways are not mine and His thoughts are not mine.  He might be doing something - in, for, with - someone else, as well as us, that I have no concept of.

So....gulp.,  I can't even assuage my pride and say we would pay you back.

As my theme song to this final part of the blog, I am listening to 'Blaze of Glory' by Jon Bon Jovi.  'Cause it feels like we are about to go down in one.  Next up on the mournful, feeling sorry for myself playlist, Guns N' Roses 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door'.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Third Day and Bits of Info.

Mother's Day weekend 2012.  One I will never forget.  I got to spend about two hours with the two coolest groups of people in my life.  My family and Third Day.  I really don't have the words to describe it.  So I won't try.  But I will share a few little highlights.

1.   We splurged on VIP tickets and were at the concert early.  While in line we met a fabulous couple who live in Vancouver.

2.  Brooke made a poster that said, "You Rock, Tai!" and he saw it and waved at her, and Koos just happened to catch it on video!  And by now everyone knows the sad story of the guitar pick, so I won't go into that again.

3.  We were in the second row, so Mac saw Delaena, Kael and Calahn all rocking out and having a great time and at some point in the show, pointed at, or gave a thumbs up or smile to each of them.  I managed to catch him smile at Kael on video too!

4.  Delaena seems to be a natural born rocker.  I think she maybe sat down twice during the whole show (all four artists).  We could barely roll her out of bed the next day!

5.  We had written out the lyrics to Show Me Your Glory, my favorite song, because sometimes if you have the lyrics for a song, Third Day will play it for the acoustic set.  Surprisingly, they played the acoustic set in the middle of the arena instead of on the main stage.  We were very far away and kind of sad, but someone else wanted Show Me Your Glory and Mac heard them yell it and they played it!!  It was as awesome as I thought it would be!

6.  Calahn fell asleep right near the end of the concert on my knee.  She was out like a light, but when the guys started playing Tunnel, one of our favorite songs, she jolted awake, rocked out to it and then passed back out on the chairs when it was over.

7.   On the very last song, the guys sang part of a tune that I was sure was by the Eagles, which totally took me back to my childhood.  Upon further investigation, I discovered it was indeed the Eagles, Seven Bridges Road!  Koos got that one on video for me!

8.  We met another amazing couple at the hotel (from William's Lake) the next day, who had also gone to the concert and loved it.  Had a great conversation with them, too!

Treasured family memories and new friends, what more could a Mom ask for?

Oh wait, there WAS even more!!  Rick and Deanna graciously fit a visit with us into their crazy busy schedule and just before we were ready to head for the ferry, who comes strolling up the hill?  Dan and SANDY!!!  My goodness, was it good to see her up and about!  Perhaps a little weak physically, but strong and encouraging in spirit.  The kids had a blast with the Bergen girls as always!  Knowing these two families has been such a gift to us.

On a bit of a general update note:

I connected with an inspiring lady here in town who was a missionary in Portuguese speaking countries for 30 years.  She is patiently sitting with me an hour a week while I butcher the language.

Just yesterday, Koos was asked if he would consider the manager position at the Lake Cowichan shop.  We will know the details by the end of May.

Brooke had a fantastic time with her Grandma, Uncle, Aunty and cousins in California.  The experience ignited a fire in her bones to travel, that is for sure!

And that is about it for now.  I want to keep this blog for family updates, but have been feeling like writing about other subjects, so I'm gathering the courage to launch another blog soon.  Keep an eye out!  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Worse Than the Worst Case Scenario

A quarter of the way through 2010, Koos and I were presented with a decision we had to make. Some of you may jump ahead and conclude that we had to choose if we were going to move to Duncan or not. And knowing the surface details, that would be a good conclusion. But deep down, that wasn't the real decision. The real dilemma was, 'are we crazy or not?'.

Did Koos actually 'hear' God say, "Go help Rick and Deanna." or was it the product of being on night shift for too long and inhaling too many diesel fumes? Was his hard hat too tight? Trust me, I asked ALL the questions.

If Koos really wasn't just having a mid-life crisis, God was asking us to give up (materially) a six figure pay cheque and a lovely five bedroom house with a fully finished basement and three full bathrooms. (I am trying to sound like a real-estate ad on purpose.) Not to mention the majority of our earthly possessions because we could only take a small cargo trailer with us.

We had moved before at God's prompting, but - materially speaking - we were going to be 'making progress'. The pay cheque and the house would be bigger.

So in 'debating' whether or not this move was of God - (and yes, I have submitted a new definition for 'debating', which goes like this: to scream and shout loudly while including the occasional profanity and maintaining just enough to self control to not hurl objects at the opposition) - we thought it would comfort us to come up with a 'worse case scenario'.

And it was this: Worse case scenario, we get to Duncan, realize we aren't supposed to go to Brazil and have to start life all over. Starting life all over would entail finding a new job and purchasing a new house and getting re-established, not too big of a deal. We can do that.

Except. We can't. Oh, oh. Our current situation is in some ways worse than our worse case scenario. Now what? As far as we know, we are still going to Brazil. Sometime in 2013 hopefully. We hadn't really 'planned' on being here that long, so that was the first adjustment we had to make in our minds. And Koos found a job and there is a really neat house close to the school we would like to purchase.

But, we appear to have been done in by the current economy. Koos' pay cheque and the price of the house are not being friends, they are not co operating. In fact, Koos' cheque won't even qualify us to buy this place when our contract expires. We do not qualify for a mortgage on beautiful Vancouver Island.

I am wondering if I am in shock and denial, because this technically should be cause for panic and depression. This is some pretty good evidence that we may indeed be crazy. Bonkers. Completely out of our minds.

I am not panicking though and so far depression has kept to itself. The timing of this news was interesting, considering I had just posted a blog about Sonshine. Perhaps this is the first test of how solidly rooted this new joy thing really is.

And I am doing a second thing that is completely out of character. I am asking for help. We could really use some extra prayer and encouragement right now. Above and beyond what we are already blessed with. Especially some encouragement in the form of stories that go like this, "Once... we thought we were crazy, but in the end, the Creator sorted it all out and it was awesome." Yes, we'd really like some stories like that.

Have you ever thought the scenario you were in was worse than the worst case, but then were 'rescued'?

I have added a picture of our old house in Hay River for dramatic effect.

PS I don't miss the snow, just the house.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sonshine Anyone?

Caitlind gave me this mug. After about six months of living with us, she had me pegged.
If she wanted, 'solid advice', 'Biblical wisdom' or 'accurate psychological analysis' of an emotional issue, I was the girl to come to. If she wanted sunshine, too bad. Call a different friend.
Now, does that mean I was rude, derogatory or insensitive? No, in fact, by the grace of God only, I was usually none of those things. I could quite effectively boost her spirits, cheer her on and coax her to finish that Bio. assignment that she just didn't want to finish. Just without the sunshine. I had perfected the art, somehow, of blowing sunshine, without the ummmm, sunshine.

For the older generation out there, when Caitlind was frustrated at my lack of sunshine she would call me Spock. For the younger generation, when Caitlind was frustrated at my lack of sunshine, she would call me Sheldon. Crazily enough, I didn't mind either. Had a distorted sense of pride about it even.

Until just recently. Something started to stir in me. Caitlind was here when it began. We were having one of our usual 'gab sessions' in her room and she was pondering some important life question, rather sadly. Some optimistic, almost cheerful comment came out of my mouth and stopped her mid-sentence. My eyes widened in horror.

"You didn't just?..."
"Oh my, I think I may have..."

I had blown sunshine. For no other reason than - I could. I wasn't trying to impress anyone with my sensitivity to their situation, I wasn't trying to put a 'positive spin' on an otherwise dreary circumstance. It just seemed like a good time to be (gasp) happy.

Now, I realize I might be getting myself into some hot water here. There may be people reading this and thinking, 'Hang on a minute, Aubrey said this encouraging thing to me once or offered me that piece of merriment. Was it fake, was it NOT REAL SUNSHINE?'

And this is where I have to hang my head and confess. In all likelihood, it was not real sunshine. It was well intentioned and sincere, but, I probably wasn't feeling it with you. I was telling you to go ahead and do it, but wasn't willing, or able in fact, to participate.

Hmmmmm. Weird, huh? Well, not really. I think there are a lot more Spocks and Sheldons out there than one would guess. At least I am hoping. I can't possibly be the only one who was dead inside to joy?

And here is where I insert a piece of 'news'. I am going to be attempting a new blog. This one will continue to be for updating interested parties of our comings and goings as a family. The new one will be for me to hopefully encourage people who have come from pasts similar to mine, (or maybe completely different) to see that lasting, sunshiny change is possible if you know where to look for it.

Back to the point. One of my favorite Third Day songs is called "This is Who I Am." Part of it goes like this:

This is who I am, oh, this is who I am
So take me and make me something so much more
This is who I am, oh, this is who I am
So change me and make me someone better than before

Apparently, if you belt this song out at the top of your lungs for enough days on end, God listens and starts changing you. Either that or He just wants you to stop singing, so He starts doing what you've asked.

Regardless, He has done it. I had deadened myself (on purpose) to pain and in the process (but not on purpose) deadened myself to joy. But He has awoken that sense of joy in me (and with it a sense of pain again, but that I will talk about more in the other blog) and my outlook on life has become - surprisingly sunshiny.

Darn it, I meant to get to the point, and I didn't. Here it is for real this time. All the sunshine around here has been a bit blinding and I think has made us all a little strange in the head. It has made us think taking Godly risks might not be such a bad thing after all and it has overridden a lot of the 'well that's just not practical' objections.

And now we have a list. A list of positive, exciting, character and faith building things we want to do. And we have no way financially or time-wise to do any of them. Fun and sunshiny, eh?

Here is the list:

April - send our oldest daughter to California with her Grandmother, Uncle & Aunt and two cousins and not us

May - Third Day concert in Langley (6 VIP Packages)

June - Family Retreat at Camp Qwanoes

TBA - Short Term Mission to Brazil

1 Chronicles 16 says this:

23 Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
25 Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.

And that is what I am doing today. I am publishing His glorious deeds - well the one that involved making me feel sunshiny anyway - and am looking forward to publishing some more, when He shows us how He's going to go about helping us get that list accomplished.

Aahhhhhh, feel the Sonshine!

About 2048 Days

Five years, seven months, one week, 144 hours and twenty-six minutes. Something like that. The last time I wrote on this blog. I am ...