Humble Yourself Before The Lord…

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. -James 4:10

When I read this scripture I have to think to myself what it means to be humble before the lord. We live in a society that promotes self praise and individuality but at what cost? 

I read a message from Billy Graham bout being humble before the lord and here are a few things I took away from it:

1: Routinley confess your sin to God (Luke 18:9-14): We all fall short of the Glory of God and my regularly take inventory of our hearts. Monthly, weekly, and even daily reflection, confessing our wrong doings to our Heavenly Father.

2: Aknowledge your sin to others (James 3:2 ; James 5:16): Humility before God is not complete without humility before man. How can we expect ourselves to be humble before God if we can not admit to others the weakness we confess to Him? It’s never easy to admit the things we struggle with but it is a very humble act.

3: Take wrong patiently (1 Peter 3:8-17): Janet Chismar Said “When something is unjust we want to react and rectify it. However, patiently responding to the unjust accusations and actions of others demonstrates our strength of godly character and provides an opportunity to put on humility.”

4: Activily submit to authority. The good and the bad (1 Peter 2:18): We live in a society the promotes individualism but purposefully and activily striving to be submissive infront of those who God has placed in authority over us is so important. When we do this in a good way we are being humble in the eyes of God.

5: Receive correction and feedback from others graciously (Proverbs 10:17, 12:1): This is something I personally struggle with every day. I don’t like it when others try to correct me especially when I feel I’ve done nothing wrong. What we need to do is say “thank you for pointing that out to me!” See what truth is in what they are saying to us, and then take it back to God and ask him what he is trying to show us or teach us in that moment.

6: Accept a lowly place (Proverbs 25:6,7): If you find yourself wanting to sit at the head table, wanting others to recognize your contribution or become offended when others are honored or chosen, then pride is present. Purpose to support others being recognized, rather than you. Accept and look for the lowly place; it is the place of humility.

7: Purposely associate with people of lower state than you (Luke 7:36-39): Jesus himself spent time with the lowest of low. He purposely sought out the beggars, theives, dunkards and prostitutes. He was a friend to sinners and the sick. The Pharisees hated that he spent his time with these people. We live in a society that is obsessed with class and status and it’s destroying our communities. Resist the temptation of being partial to those with status or wealth.

8: Choose to serve others (Philippians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Matthew 23:11): We need to have a servents heart. When we serve others we serve God and his purpose for us. When we serve others we take the focus off of ourselves and our desires and build up God’s Kingdom. Serving others cots us nothing!

9: Be quick to forgive (Matthew 18: 21-35): Forgivmess may be one of the greatest acts of humility that we may ever do. Forgiveness is the act of acknowledging what is wrong and moving forward releasing the need for repayment of the wrong doing. Forgiving denies self. This is not a bad thing and it will help us heal!

10: Cultivate a grateful heart (1 Thessalonians 5:18): The more we develop an attitude of gratitude for the gift of salvation and life He has given us, the more true our perspective of self. A grateful heart is a humble heart.

11: Purpose to speak well of others (Ephesians 4:31-32): Some of the most amazing People I know never speak ill of others. Even the people that have wronged them are always spoke. Of with kindness and love. Saying negative things about others puts them “one down” and us “one up.” Speaking well of others edifies them and builds them up. Make sure, however, that what you say is not intended as flattery.

12: Treat pride as a condition that always necessitates embracing the cross (Luke 9:23):  It is our nature to be proud and it is God’s nature in us that brings humility. Committing to a lifestyle of daily dying to ourselves and living through Him is the foundation for true humility.

Balancing Faith and Heritage

Today I sttruggled not to be angry or frustrated but approach a very sensitive topic with an open mind and heart. The topic was that of being First Nations and a Christian. The two don’t seem to go together but they are, in part, who I am. 

Growing up we knew more about my moms family. My maternal Grandfather made a point of sharing with family about our Norwegian and Pennsivaniyan Dutch Ancestors. We learned a lot about Christianity and faith then we were taught the importance of giving back to our community, standing up for others and what was right and being strong in our walk with God. When it came to my dads family we knew we were Metis (Native and Scotish), but we were not taught much about of native heritage and I wish we could have learned more but it just wasn’t how it worked out for us. I truly believed my father wanted to teach us more but perhaps he just needed to learn more himself.

As time went on we all learned more. For me there was a lot of piecing things together and I am still learning and teaching my daughter along the way. Growing up in a small BC town with a large First Nations population not far from a Reservation with an old residential school. I was able to start the process of educating myself about the wrongs done to my people in the name of God. I was devastated at the thought that anybody could consider themselves a Christian while being involved in such terrible genocide that was almost completely dismissed as nothing.

I  have spent so many hours in prayer and council trying to balance my faith while embracing my Native heritage. I have had to struggle with other First Nations people telling me that I can not or should not be a Christian because of the wrongs committed in the name of God and Christianity. I think it is unfair to judge an entire group of people because of the actions of others. This the case in all walks of life. Stereotypes are an unfortunate part of society . 

Be strong in your faith, embrace your heritage, love all human kind, be generous,ecourage others, admit when you are wrong, standup for what is right,  listen to your heart, find comfort and forgiveness in your walk with God, and remember you are not responsible for the actions of others or the wrongs they have done.

He Did, She Did, They Did!

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It all started in October 2013. After meeting a man on a dating website and communicating for a bit he invited my daughter and I to tag along to a bowling birthday party for his friends girlfriend. There were going to be other kids around my daughters age so I thought what the heck and we went. It was going to be an easy going relaxing atmosphere to maybe get to know each other a bit better and I would be able to see how he acted in front of his friends. After bowling we dropped my daughter off at home and went for drinks at a friend of the birthday girls. The night was filled with laughter and music and for the rest of the week (when neither of us were working) we were joined at the hip. We grew up in a very small town and even attended the same elementary school and had several mutual friends. As we continued to get to know each other and discovered the web of personal and family connections it made us wonder how we had never met before (except the one time before we started dating when he was very rude and even closed a bus door on me and I decided I didn’t much care for him).

In December of hat same year my grandma passed away, my niece had baby number 2 and then one of my good friends passed away and he was by my side supporting me through the crazy emotional roller coaster. At Christmas he asked my dads permission to marry me and in January we moved in together. We have been living together building our relationship for over a year now and it hasn’t been without its struggles, but one thing that is certain is that, no matter what, we love each other and find a way to get through it.

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These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love, 
that hold yours on your wedding day.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours as you build your future together.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and care for you throughout the years.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief torments your mind 
and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you struggle, 
and support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, and help keep your family together as one.
These are the hands that will, countless times, wipe the tears from yours eyes, 
tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled with age, will still be reaching for yours, 
still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch—- a touch from these hands

On July 25th, 2015 we were joined as husband and wife in front of family and friends on Jeff’s mom and step dads property in the East Kootenay’s.

Morning Sunrise (2 days after the wedding)

Morning Sunrise (2 days after the wedding)

Now we will continue our journey together as husband and wife. We will have moments of conflict and struggle but I truly believe we will have more moments of joy and peace because our lives are filled with love and support.

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John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”

Can you imagine that kind of love? God cares so much for his people that he sent his only son to become a sacrifice for our sins!

This pat week we have been in discussion about Passover, Jesus death and resurrection and what Easter means to us as Christians! My daughter was heart broken learning more about judas Iscariet! She couldn’t understand what would motivate somebody to want to betray Jesus. Nobody knows for certain what his motives were but it was all part of Gods plan. Even knowing what was going to happen Jesus still washed the feet of the man who would betray him! This is significant in the fact hat he didn’t hold a grudge and wanted his betrayer to know he was still loved dispire everything that was going to happen!

This love that our Heavenly Father has for us is a powerful love! We are so fortunate to be loved unconditionally. It is our choice what we do with that love and if we are going to follow where he leads but he is always their waiting with open arms and because Jesus hung on the cross and bore the pain of our sins, we can walk in faith and be comforted by the fact that one day we will enter his kingdom where we are heirs to the thrown! 

A Crash Course in Home Education!

It was a lovely day spent with family. We woke up opened our Christmas gifts, hung out as a family and then headed over to my parents house for Christmas dinner. December 25th 2014, the day we all agreed that my mom and dad should take their 11 year old granddaughter to Fort Mac. for 3 weeks. the plan was that she would drive up with my dad and spend a week of bonding with Grandpa, my mother would arrive a few days later by plane and then at the end of the 3 weeks they would all fly home. We booked her flight, my dad changed his original ticket information to accommodate having to now travel back with his granddaughter. The phone was passed bak and forth between my dad and my fiancé as things were sorted and payment was made. It was after all was agreed upon that I reminded them that their daughter was homeschooled and she would still need to get her work done…. I smiled on the inside at the thought of getting a break from her pre-pubsent crazy for a couple weeks and that somebody else would be in charge of making sure she still did her school work… I also felt kind of bad that somebody else would have to deal with the crazy and the school work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter with all my heart and I miss her when we are apart. We have finished the first week and have spoken every single day and every single day she try to get me to help her with her school work over FaceTime….. It’s not easy and I have to remind her that her grandparents are smart people who are perfectly capable of helping her. Today I told her “Grandpa and Grandma are there to help you. Whatever you can’t complete we will work on when you get back… I will review all your math with you when you get home… Don’t worry you’ll be fine.

I was informed not much was done the first week. My dad was working so it made things a little difficult but Grandma is there now so today they were playing some catch up. One of the perks to homeschool is that you work at your own pace so if you don’t get it done in the “allotted time” its not a big deal. I do try to keep her on somewhat of a schedule but thats more just because some structure is good for children. It teaches them time management, deadlines and responsibility. My parents haven’t been on “homework” duty for a while now (their last child left high school almost 12 years ago) and homschool is a little more in-depth than homework. I honestly believe they will do well… I have complete faith in my parents as they continue through the next couple weeks helping her. Sure, it’s a crash course in home education, but they are getting to experience a unique bonding experience. Praying that God grants my daughter the ability to stay focused and my mother an over abundance of patience for the times she decides she’s “just not that into it”

When I learned to love all of me… Including my lazy eye!

I honestly used to hate myself… Oh that word…Hate… It makes me cringe. My mother always told me that we should never hate. We may dislike, but hate is such a strong word. I don’t hate anybody and don’t think I ever really did. I have disliked people so much I never wanted to speak to them again but I still loved them and kept them in my prayers because that is what I was raised to do. But in all my love for other people I was carrying around a deep rooted hate of myself. I didn’t like the way I looked, or felt, or how I was treated by society. I suffered depression, anger, bitterness and many times and hid it well and others not so much. I walked around, most days, with a forced smile while deep inside I wanted to die. In my search for happiness and a sense of belonging again a drifted away from God and was on a path of self destruction and it was honestly all because I hated being me.

In 2003 I gave birth to my daughter and my life finally meant something to me. It was no longer just about me but about her. This tiny little person was completely dependant upon me. I pushed on through life for her but she was the only thing about me me that I loved.

I settled in life for far to long thinking I didn’t deserve the best, but we all deserve the best life has to offer. About three years ago I decided that I had enough pain to last a lifetime and I needed to take care of myself. I left a man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with and the hardest part of that was leaving behind his 3 amazing children who I will always consider mine. I took my daughter and started a new path in life… It’s been bumpy but it’s been worth it. Her and I are both stronger because of what we have gone though together. The new path led me to Jeff. He may not be perfect but I know he loves me and even when he’s frustrating me I still love him. Finding him would have never been possible if I hadn’t have learnt to trust God and love myself.

I may not have what society views as a perfect body, or a perfect life. We may not have a ton of money or all the answers to life’s questions. I may still get down sometimes but hey that’s life. God has brought me through a lot. I know that I love myself, finally. I am perfect in all my imperfections.

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A Future Full of Possiblities… Happy New Year!

As I prepare to open my home for celebration of saying goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015 as well as celebrate the birthday of a dear friend of mine, I need to take a moment for myself to reflect on how far we have come and where it is we are headed.

A year ago Jeff and I were just starting our engement. It was our first New Years together and we were surrounded by friends. People wondered if we would last this long as things seemed to move along fairly quickly but it has worked for us and in less than 7 months we will be husband and wife. I am thankful every day that God placed him in my life. Our relationship isn’t perfect but we learn and grow together.

This year there were moves and job changes and family growth. Joy and sadness, laughs and frustration but we came through it together.

I have watched my daughter change so much over the year. She is in that very awkward preteen stage but I am so proud of her and her willingness to try and set a good example for others.

I am so very thankful and humbled by all Gods gifts this year and am looking forward to all he has in store for our future.

My prayer for you is that in the good and bad you rejoice in our fathers gifts and are humbled by his greatness.

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