A little child shall lead them

A few weeks ago found us in Winnipeg for an evening of African music. And not just any type of African music, mind you! This was special... As special as each one of the 22 children that formed the traveling choir.

Around us were several familiar faces. Many of our friends had also traveled to the city to take in the annual event. In front of us were familiar faces as well. Familiar, not because we had seen them before, but because in their eyes were the reflection and twinkle of vibrant childhood. Bright eyes shone out of ebony faces, and the slightest recognition and glance was rewarded with a dazzling white smile.

These weren't just any children. These were Ugandan orphans. Having lost their parents through disease, war, or desertion, each of them had a story. A story that tugged on the heartstrings of every person in that auditorium.

As the evening of music and traditional dance unfolded, so did those little live's tales. Stories of pain, of hopelessness, and feelings of rejection. They had seen more in their short lives than any child should have to.

Here's the good part of the story though. They had also seen and experienced hope and redemption. Through the work of children's villages started by believers with a heart for the underprivileged of Africa, these children could say they had found love, acceptance, a future, and parents who loved them.

Their songs nearly lifted the roof. The energetic, exuberant and triumphant "I am not forgotten, God knows my name" mingled with the tender and heartfelt prayers of "Lord, I need You, Oh, I need You. EVERY hour I need You," finished with the testimony of their personal knowledge that "I am not alone" ministered to me deeply. 

The last couple weeks I've thought a lot about what these little children have taught me. Despite their background, their simple, childlike faith in the loving care of their Heavenly Father is something I need more of. A complete rest in His tender care for me. A life lived, knowing that I am not forgotten, and that God not only knows my name, but every intimate details about my life. He knows all, and yet He loves unreservedly. 

That, my friends, is absolutely amazing. Amazing love.... May I never get over it!

Eight Months


  • You are really starting to enjoy playing with other babies. 
  • More long days surviving through blizzards!
  • You have discovered the vast and exciting world of solids, and is completely hooked. 
  • First time being left with a sitter more than an hour-and-a-half!
  • First time sitting in the front of a cart instead of in your carseat. 
  • One morning you melted Daddy's heart by waking up, blowing him a kiss, and saying clear as day, "Da-Da."
  • Picking up puff cereal with 2-3 fingers. 
  • Starting to interact SO much. You are turning into a very energetic, affectionate little girl!

Book Review: Trim Healthy Mama

Those who knew me in my single days are probably thinking, "What? Andrea's doing a review on a health book? Has she gone nuts, or crazy... or....what?" "That Manitoba cold air must have really gotten to her head!" "This is not the person I once knew..." and on and on with such disbelieving thoughts swirling through their heads. 

Ok, I'll be the very first one to admit I am not a health freak, and I probably never, ever will be. I've treaded too many waters in my short life of 27 years to find that title even desirable. Nevertheless, the last few years have brought about circumstances that I think have finally allowed me to leave behind some of the negative experiences on healthy living I've had in those said 27 years, and find out what is right for me and my new family. The biggest thing that has shaped that? Hmmm...probably becoming a mom! :-)

After a very challenging, and in looking back, rather debilitating 3rd trimester with my firstborn, not to mention topping the scales with 50 pounds of weight gain, I knew I had to take my health in my own hands, and be very proactive with taking care of my body. I knew the statistics out there. 10-15 pounds weight gain with each baby was not an option for me, especially considering that I very definitely envision myself with a large family someday! (And not large, width-wise, mind you!)

After several months postpartum of some success, but nothing I felt I could maintain long-term, (read guilt-laden-bondage and LOTS of time) this book was released by two very amazing sisters out in TN. Written by mom's, and for ladies in the child-bearing years, I felt I had in my hands the answers to so many struggles and questions I had wrestled with over the years. I wanted a lifestyle that was not extreme, one that included all the food groups the Bible endorses, one where I did not feel like a matyr for the cause of health and well-being, one that would not consume my life, and most importantly, one that I felt good on and that worked. After 5 months of implementing the principles Serene and Pearl lay out from their countless years of study, I know I've found it. 

I'm not a purist by any stretch of the imagination, and I'll be the first one to admit I don't follow this plan 100%. A more accurate figure would probably be in the  60%-70% range, and yet it's changed my life in a very positive way. Every last pound of that baby weight is gone, and I feel amazing. I don't feel deprived, I don't feel consumed, and most of all, the things I've learned are principles rather than laws that are very easily incorporated into a normal lifestyle, rather than a crash-fad diet. 

With that, I'm going to stop. If you are interested in learning more, you can follow this link to read a far better review than I will ever be able to write. And if you're not the slightest bit interested, rest assured, this is not going to turn into a health blog! That's just. Not. Me. ;-)

I may throw in some recipes here and there, but that's going to be the extent of this topic. :-D And all those of you not the slightest bit interested, I'm hearing a collective sigh of relief. That's ok. I've been there. :-)

Grumpy Met His Match

It was one of those mornings where everything seemed to be going wrong in my little world. Notice I said seemed.

You know, one of those days where the most random things that never were a big deal before are mountains of irritation under your skin. One little thing piles on top of another, until your whole spirit is just an unsettled mess of quick retorts and sarcasm ready to spill out. A crabby baby is added to the mix, and you really wonder if it would've been best for everyone if you stayed in bed all day rather than getting grumpy up and walking about. Yeah, I'm talking about me. It was one of those days where I looked at myself and wondered where I had come from and who I had turned into overnight. It was scary.

In my single days, I would've grabbed up my journal and Bible, and headed to the back hill for some alone and regrouping time, or at the least, up to the undisturbed quiet of my room. This wasn't an option this time. Wife and motherhood does that, ya know. Instead, I had to face this monster inside of me during the thick of the battle.

As I prayed for grace to handle the inner turmoil which was making my current circumstances so disturbing, God stopped me in my tracks with a whispered emphasis on that very word I just breathed out. Grace. 

I had been thinking on that concept that very morning while reading in Galatians, and had even been prompted to look up the definition. 

Summed up, it is:

'Favor and acceptance, given freely by God, motived not by our righteousness, but by HIS character.' 

So, in short, God's merciful kindness on my life was not deserved, His current favor can never be earned, and His future grace I will never be worthy of. I have grace and favor on my life because of who Christ is, not because of who I am. In essence, God IS grace, and can give nothing less.

Then came the prompting to apply that to the irritations I was dealing with. While I was praying for grace, God asked me to give grace. What did grace look like in this situation? A merciful kindness and longsuffering bestowed where it was not (in my mind) deserved. And you know what, when I submitted those prickles under my sin to the Lordship of Christ, asking for HIS grace to flow through me, all of a sudden those irritations seemed so petty and childish. 

So what if my socks got soaked from an unnecessary puddle of water on the kitchen floor. So what if the tub drain is plugged and I have to stand ankle deep in dirty water. So what if the bedroom stinks from the forgotten dirty socks under the bed. So what if I accidentally broke the coffee pot and brown liquid covers my counter. Grace doesn't let those things ruin my day. Grace remembers who I was, who I am in Christ, and who God is molding me to be through Him. 

"Lord, make a graceful person, giving out freely to every person and circumstance that comes my way." 

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