Modern Day Miracles: My Testimony

Some Back Story:

Although I grew up in a Christian home and always believed in God, it wasn’t until the last few years that my spiritual journey really began. I remember Oprah saying that turning 50 was a real game changer in her life. I think you reach a stage when you don’t have the energy or interest in doing things just to keep up appearances…you just become more authentic, accept who you are ….the good, the bad and the ugly. You simply become more unapologetically yourself. I have always been a super reflective person and spend most of my time inside my own head. However, for me this spiritual awakening was not so much about my age as my circumstances.

My Belief:

First and foremost, my underlying belief is this: God is a GOOD God all the time. He does not bring sickness, misfortune, bad luck or death. We live in a world in which bad things happen as a result of Adam & Eve’s decision in the garden. What I do believe is that when bad things happen and we are forced to walk through the storms in life, God can and will use these situations to draw us closer to him. He never brings on misfortune, but he is faithful to bring beauty from the pile of ashes we find ourselves in.

A Place of FEAR:

Our daughter went through a very tough time in grade 7 and 8. Without going into much detail, the circumstances got pretty bad and she was eventually diagnosed with severe depression and an anxiety disorder. She went from Principal’s Honor Roll for over 90% averages to scraping by with 51% in math and science courses. I share this only because when you see your child spiral, distance herself from you and the world in general, you begin to parent from a totally different place ~ FEAR! Fear of losing her, fear of failure, fear of doing/saying the wrong thing, fear of doing too much, fear of not doing enough, fear of being a bad parent, fear of the future, fear that she’ll never get better, fear of bad friend choices, fear of bad life choices, literally fear of everything. This is where I found myself.

I can’t actually explain the strain this put on me and my family. I read books on mental health and parenting. I listened to pod casts and took courses. I spent endless hours and dollars trying to figure it all out. As a mom, that’s what we do. We fix things. I was on a mission and when I’m on a mission, I really lock on. Some how in my mind, I was her only chance. I had to fight for her because she didn’t have the will or energy to fight for herself. It is the most horrible place to be as a parent.

What could possibly be worse than this? Doing anything and everything you can and literally getting no where. The harder I tried, the worse the situation got. She hated life and me even more. Everything I was doing was out of my deep unwavering love for her, but there came a point when my efforts seemed futile, our relationship was a disaster and the tension in our home was almost unbearable. In all honesty, there were times I felt like I didn’t have an ounce of stamina left, I had given everything I had to help this child I loved so much and my payoff was being hated and resented. I just wanted out. Walk. Away. I was completely at the end of myself.

Now, being a person of strong faith, I did my fair share of praying and begging during this time, but it really wasn’t until I was in a place of utter hopelessness that I truly surrendered the situation to God. I was desperate to find answers. I was just so weary and it was in this place of vulnerability that I was finally ready to hand it over to God. Our pastors had been teaching on what a true spiritual fast was all about. The ins and outs, the hows and whys…I knew in my spirit that I needed to fast for Eden and do nothing else but seek God through my fast and that is exactly what I did. I did a 3 day food fast, but more importantly than giving up the food, I committed my fasting time to seeking God. This was really something quite foreign to me and I honestly didn’t really know what I was doing so I surrendered that to him as well.

My Experience with a Spiritual Fast:

Friday, I went to work as usual. Listen to a teaching (past sermon) from my church’s app (The Source Church). On the way home, I listened to another message and watched the Jets game with my husband. My search was set to begin on the Saturday. That morning I got up and said a short prayer asking God to show me how to help Eden, to open my eyes of understanding and guide me into truth. I then proceeded to read from my little devotional book that I used every day. However, what made this day different was that as I read my 5 minute devotional something in the words jumped out at me like never before. I really felt that the Holy Spirit was leading me. I decided to look up the scripture the devotion was referencing and what followed was the most amazing treasure hunt I’d ever been on. Through the words in the bible, God spoke to my spirit leading me from one place to another. Reminding me of things I’d previously read or watched and as I followed, I began to find answers and revelation. This process lasted throughout the weekend and well into the following week when I was finished my fast and back to work. I would turn on the radio (Sirius XM: The Message) or my Spotify playlist and the words in the song would confirm the overwhelming message that he had given me throughout the process, but each new “clue” strengthened the message and my understanding of what he was trying to tell me.

Let me tell you…I was in for a rude awakening! The message was so loud and clear. One of the first places he took me was to the love chapter 1 Corinthians 13. I knew this chapter well, but when I read it on this day I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Here is how it translated for me in that moment:

Without LOVE you are nothing. All your striving and good intentions are driving your daughter away. What YOU perceive as help, she receives as not measuring up. GOD’S MESSAGE WAS CLEAR. Her status and accomplishments do not and will never impact my love for her. Just like God loves us unconditionally, I knew I would LOVE her no matter what… if she passed or failed, became a doctor or worked at Walmart. It simply didn’t matter. All that mattered was that SHE KNEW she was LOVED and VALUED just as she was.

I had perceived all of my efforts to be acts of love and support, but they were really giving her the message that nothing she did was ever good enough. I didn’t trust her. Every time I “checked-in” or offered suggestions, it cut away at her spirit. OUCH! Needless to say I was brought to my knees, literally crippled by my new revelation and understanding. Everything I did, I did out of love and with the best intentions, but the way it was being received was giving the opposite message to my daughter. I don’t think I have ever wept as much as I did that week. I repented to God, my daughter, my family…I was just so off base. It sickened me to the core just knowing how deceived I’d been. My best intentions totally backfiring. How could I have missed the mark so badly? I remember one of the final messages I received from God during that week came through a random song I was listening to on the way to work. This is what God said to me:

I do not mess up. EVER. I have created her in my likeness and image. Who do you even think you are to try to fix MY MASTERPIECE?

I apologized to my daughter and asked for her forgiveness. Then I LOVED on her like never before. Right where she was at. The answer I so desperately sought through books, courses, videos, etc. was that simple: JUST LOVE HER. For the first time in over 3 years, I finally got it….She does not need to be fixed, she’s already perfect. NOT. BROKEN.

I was so convicted in my spirit. Talk about knocking me down a few pegs. It still brings tears to my eyes even though it was a year ago (last January) when we were still in the midst of this fiery battle with depression and anxiety. Let me tell you it almost tore our house down, but God’s grace is always enough. He was there the whole time, he just needed me to seek Him, His answers and His way. When I totally surrendered the situation to him and sought Him first….it was like the mountain moved. I could sense something change instantly in my daughter that day when I sobbed uncontrollably and apologized for all my mistakes in dealing with the situation.

We began to see positive changes almost instantly and by May she declared that she no longer had depression. By September she was off her medication and today is completely happy and fully healed. The healing and freedom was there the whole time. I truly believe that I was in the way. There was a time not much more than a year ago, that I really couldn’t see through the mess. I wanted to believe she would be well, but everything was hard. I share this today because GOD is in the business of making miracles happen. The trouble is that it is often based on our capacity to believe. We limit him with our own unbelief.

A Time to Give Thanks and Celebrate!

Yesterday, we celebrated Eden’s 18th birthday! She is a beautiful young woman both inside and out. She is compassionate, kind, generous and is going to accomplish great things in life. She was robbed of her adolescence and her life was sidetracked for almost 4 years, but we believe God has brought complete restoration for her. She has an awesome group of friends and is in a great school. She is engaged in all life has to offer and together we rejoice in this miracle. His promises are always Yes and Amen!

Seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you. My mantra….Trust the signature! For what he says is true.

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].

Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)

Modern Day Miracles

I’m not sure how many of my followers consider themselves Christians and truly believe in God’s power to heal, but I have seen and heard way too many testimonies throughout my life to doubt his ability. People will often explain away situations as good luck or a coincidence, but I know first hand that God has had a hand in completely transforming situations in my life.

Perhaps some of you have heard of “the bible that flows with oil”. I don’t want to misquote or misinform anyone, but it’s pretty radical! Check out this video to learn the story behind this modern day miracle:

It’s quite fascinating! Although many will be skeptical and criticize, what I can tell you is that many people are receiving miracles when blessed by the oil produced from this bible. Perhaps the power is in the fact that it is a tangible illustration that God is still in the miracle business. The bible says in Hebrews 11:1

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 King James Version (KJV)

We live in a world where “seeing is believing”, so to believe something when there is no evidence can often seem irrational. As a believer in the Word of God, your faith is anchored in God’s promises. Even though you may not see any evidence of the promise in your life, you have to “trust the signature”. This has become my mantra in 2020…trust the signature. His promises have absolutely nothing to do with me or my ability to perform well enough….good thing because I would always fall short. I just stand firm and “trust the signature” of the one who made the promise.

Recently the owners of the bible visited our church campus in Florida and everyone was blown away by the miracles and healing that took place. Here is an example of a testimony I found on line, not from our church but involving the oil…gives me goosebumps! Although the bible will not be at our Winnipeg campus, we are super excited because our Pastor Ralph Hoehne is bringing 250 vials of the oil produced by the bible to our Winnipeg campus on Sunday, February 2nd. It’s very exciting! If you or someone you know is interested in attending our 9 am service, please see the video below.

So my point is, in a world where it is so difficult to have faith when their is no evidence, we must grow our faith through our experiences and the testimonies of others. This miraculous bible can be that anchor….you can see it, feel it and even smell the evidence of this miracle. So powerful!

What are you believing for???

Reflect and Re-Set for 2020

In all honesty, by the time Christmas arrived this year, I’d hit a wall. These past few months have been super busy as I pushed through my first Christmas season with my new youtube channel and did all the normal preparations for Christmas. My house was a disaster and I wasn’t as ready for our big Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal, as I usually am. In fact, Tim and I were still pinching perogies on Christmas Eve! When the dust settled, I knew that what I really needed during this holiday season was some time to relax, reflect and recuperate from the crazy hours I’d been pulling since mid November. When I finally slowed down and began to take stock of 2019, I was blown away by all the blessings!

When life is busy, it is so easy to lose sight of all that we have to be thankful for. It seems that the obstacles in life are what garner the most attention. When we zoom in on the challenges and storms we are going through, there is no room in the lens for all of the blessings.

I’m all for New Year’s Resolutions and goal setting, but I encourage you to stop and reflect on 2019 before forging ahead into 2020. Like me, you might be surprised at all the great things that happened in 2019.

So Thankful!

I know for sure that there are so many more blessings, but here is the list I came up with this morning! You’ll notice that some are big and some are little or at least seemingly less significant things, but I can assure you together they make me feel super thankful!

  • December 2019/January 2020 ~ We renovated our upstairs landing so the kids would have a place to hang out with their friends. Our prayers were answered and our house became the place to be! On any given night we might have up to 10 teenagers over. Love having them here! So blessed that the kids have such awesome friends and that they choose to be here. So nice to know they’re safe!
  • January 2019 ~ I had a huge personal/spiritual revelation that I believe eventually led to my daughter’s healing
  • Shelmerdine’s Shopping Spree ~ First time clothes shopping there. Went with $50 gift card and spent $52 of my own ~ walked away with over $500 in clothes! I love great deals.
  • March 2019 ~ Discovered Pastor Gary Keesee and his Faith Life Church app which has totally transformed the way I think.
  • April 2019 ~ trip to Mexico with free upgrade to massive 2 bedroom suite with a panoramic balcony with a private jacuzzi (rents for $750/night) Wowza! It was incredible!
  • May 2019 ~ After approximately 30 years on night shift, Tim got a permanent day position. He now works three 12 hours shifts per week and no lost time for sleep recovery! It’s awesome!
  • May 2019 ~ Eden proclaimed that she was depression free for the first time in 3 1/2 years
  • June 2019 ~ Got last minute Carrie Underwood tickets – 2 tickets for under $100 – 6th row centre stage ~ Amazing show!
  • Summer 2019 ~ 3 girlfriends and I decided to set-up a weekly pickleball game throughout the summer. We have been friends for many years, but would often only see each other once or twice a year. Our games are full of flubs and lots of laughter. I’m so thankful for my pickleball gals and all the fun!
  • Home Outfitters ~ dropped in to see if there were any great deals on housewares as they were going out of business. Shocked to find clothes and shoes as well. Got over $700 of shoes, boots and clothes for $87….score!
  • September 2019 ~ Having an amazing year at school. One of the nicest groups of students and parents in my career and an incredible student teacher as well!
  • September 2019 ~ Eden is medication free and completely symptom free! Yay!!
  • Eden changed schools for grade 12. Scary decision, but for the first time since grade 6….she loves school and has made so many great friends there!
  • My dad is over 80 and has hardly been sick a day in his life. In December he became quite ill with a UTI. It was so hard to see him sick. I am so thankful that his spark is back and he feeling so much better.
  • December 2020 ~ Shay and I upgraded our phones and were forced to give up our total internet plan ~ to our amazement….we are going to save over $50/month! There was a pretty incredible deal if I were to change #’s. I wasn’t keen, but it was about $500 worth of savings so I went for it. I had asked for a number that would have the same last 4 digits as my current #, but it wasn’t available. I was disappointed and picked another. Got home and was having issues with the new number. Evidently it was some how still in circulation (a problem the phone company could not even explain). They said they’d have to give me another number. This wasn’t a big deal because I had only given it to one friend and my immediate family. The one and only number they offered….had the last four digits that I originally requested but was denied. Yay! May seem insignificant but not to me!!
  • Feeling so blessed with awesome kids, a great husband and incredible friends old and new.
  • The Source Church Ministry, Pastors and of course our church family.

You may be asking how I remember all this stuff. Well, I must confess, I literally count my blessings! I keep track because when times are tough and I’m up against something difficult, I can always reflect on all that God has done for me and know that he is and always will be there. Some may call it coincidence and that’s fine, but I know he’s behind the scenes working on my behalf. You can’t make this stuff up!

What I know is this, the bible says to “Seek first the kingdom of God and all good things will be added unto you”. (Matthew 6:33) .  

Sometimes life throws you curve balls. It’s what you do in those situations that makes the difference. Over the past 3 1/2 years, we have seen our share of difficult times, especially as we navigated the stress of Eden’s depression. However, it was during this battle that I finally came to the end of myself, my abilities and my endless striving to figure it all out. It is in this place of desperation that I sought help. When I looked for help beyond myself, I not only found answers, but peace and great favour. I’m truly a work in progress and constantly have to realign and re-set, as it is so easy to fall back into my old habits, but when I truly seek first to know God, his kingdom, his heart and how he operates….life is better! So. Much. Better.

Re-Set for 2020!

Keep it Simple: Daily Routines are Key

As we head into 2020, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. I believe that 2020 is going to be the best year yet. As I set my own goals for the coming year, I can’t help but think about how so much in life is about the little things. It is the little daily habits that make all the difference. Some days I don’t have more than 5 or 10 minutes for devotions/meditation, but that simple daily habit has the potential to totally change my focus, expectations, motivation and energy for the day. On the days when I’m not as pressed for time, I can sometimes spend the first few hours just re-charging my spirit. There is no better way to start your day. I’m not always faithful, but daily Yoga is another game changer for me. Even if I can only squeeze in 15 minutes…I feel so much better. If I have to make dinner, I can choose to make salad or pasta. It really comes down to a simple choice. I still have to put in the effort either way. I have so many different salad recipes, I can honestly say that nothing beats a great salad in my books. Remember, it’s the little decisions we make and our ability to discipline ourselves to stick to our daily routines. Just take one day at a time.


Lofty goals can be overwhelming and end in aborted missions. Your goals have to stretch you, but make them achievable too. When I started my Youtube channel BOWhemian WRAPsody, it was super overwhelming. I absolutely hate having my picture taken, let alone be on video. In fact, this is so far out of my comfort zone, I truly believe it was a God inspired idea. Not only was it a stretch for me to be on video, but also difficult because I had absolutely no idea how to tape, edit, publish or market my channel. I knew my fear could stop me in my tracks, so I had to set very specific, measurable goals that were achievable. Starting something new is often the hardest part. Everyone has good ideas and concepts, it’s the follow through that is hard. My initial goal was to publish 60 videos in my first year. I figured that was a little more than one per week. It was still a scary commitment, but I knew it was achievable too. I launched my first video in June and published 55 before the end of 2019, obviously far exceeding my initial goal. The key is to not give up before you truly get started. Don’t make your goals too hard to achieve.


For me, multi-tasking is key. I have a 35+ minute drive to work. Instead of listening to the radio, I capitalize on the time by listening to apps and podcasts that feed my spirit and attitude. Look at your list of goals and aspirations and try to figure out how to get the best results for your efforts! In 2020, I’m determined to end my struggle with digestive issues and sleepless nights. In addition, I would like to drop a few pounds. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that daily exercise would have a positive impact on all three. If I listen to something uplifting while exercising, I would actually be working on 4 goals at once! Here is the key….I don’t make the goal so crazy that I give up before I ever start. Make it achievable. I know I can 100% totally commit to 15 minutes per day. On days I have the time and energy, I will obviously do more, but I function better on a successful track record. If I were to say I’ll do 45 minutes/day and miss a day or 2, I’ll feel defeated and am apt to throw in the towel. I look at it this way. 15 minutes is nothing really. In fact, probably not enough to make much difference, but if I am not doing anything right now that is 15 times as much as my current activity level…that seems pretty fantastic! Don’t compare yourself to others. 15 minutes might seem comical to someone who sets working out as a priority and dedicates significant time to their exercise program. That is not me. I hate working out. Period. I’m not going to lie. I love activity ~ volleyball, pickleball, tennis, bike riding, etc. but I do not like exercising for the sake of exercising. Yoga might be the exception. I really do enjoy Yoga.


Your goals are your goals. No one else’s. If you want to succeed, make goals that stretch you, but don’t break your spirit when you fail to live up to standards that are beyond your capacity. Make them achievable. Invest time in devising a daily routine that you can stick to. It is the simple daily habits that make all the difference when it comes to making lasting changes. Figure out ways to multi-task to capitalize on your time, energy and efforts. Many of the little things we do, can serve more than one goal.

Positive results aren’t about luck. It’s about forward thinking, planning and of course, execution. You’ve got this! Make the right choice right now, in this moment. Keep it simple and go for it! Happy 2020!

Change that Inner Voice: “I’m Enough!”

Like most women, I often look in the mirror and am immediately drawn in by the flaws I see. You know the bags under my eyes, my aging skin, the blemishes, the extra 5 pounds, etc. So often, as women, we seem to have blinders on when it comes to our own self-concept. We have difficulty recognizing, let alone celebrating our own attributes. We are so much more than these “body suits” we wear ~ we have an inner strength and beauty that makes us shine from the inside out. How do you feel when you look in the mirror? I love the message of this empowering video….”I’m Enough!

1st Mission: Accomplished!

CelebrateScreen Shot 2014-07-11 at 9.13.08 PMHey all! It has been one year since I officially launched my blog. I met my first goal of sticking with it for one full year without missing a day….that’s 365 posts in a row!  This summer, my blog is taking a bit of a detour as I attempt to explore our beautiful province ~ Manitoba! Of course, I still hope to have time to do some DIY projects, try some new recipes and get my house organized, but there will definitely be some “Manitoba” content this summer. It will give me a bit of a chance to unwind and enjoy my holiday and yet not totally lose touch with my followers. If you would like to help me celebrate my 1st Anniversary, just share my link with your friends and family and sign-up as a subscriber, if you have not already done so! My goal is to dramatically increase both my subscribers and my daily views this summer and I need your help. You may even want to copy and paste the URL from the address bar at the top of the page of your favourite post.

The Next Steps:

Want to know how you can help? Here are a few things you can do to help me take my blog to the next level:

1. Share my link with friends and family via email or social media:

2. Think of your favourite post and type the key words in the search bar. Once there, copy and paste the URL and share it with friends.

3. Subscribe. Sign-up as a subscriber and my blog will show up in your email as soon as I post each day. Take a quick look and see if the content is of interest and then decide if you want to visit the site or not. To see all of the videos and pictures you will need to click through to the site by clicking on the post title.

4. Let me know what your favourite topics and posts are by leaving comments at the bottom of each post. I love to hear from my readers and want to take my blog in a direction that appeals to the largest number of people, so I need your feedback.

Thanks so much for your support through the last year! I know that my content is a bit of a “mish-mash” at times, but I need to keep my content quite wide open, so that I can continue to post while working (just shy of full-time) and managing my family life. I enjoy blogging, but in order to post regularly and keep my life in some sort of balance, I need to keep my options open. However, I know there will come a time when I need to have a more specific focus and I would love your thoughts regarding your favourite content. Thanks for your continued support!

Summer Screen Time

empowering parents

Click the image to find out how to tame technology and create balance in your home.

Of course, this type of post is not new for me. I am one of those parents who is very uptight when it comes to screen time. I hate what it is doing to our children and it has become a huge bone of contention in many families. I’m not even going to attempt to paraphrase this letter….you must read it in its entirety. Renee Robinson wrote this letter to her boys to explain to them why she restricts their screen time. I honestly have never read anything more in line with my beliefs about screen time. This letter is the perfect portrayal of what so many parents feel, but can’t seem to put into words. It’s easy to see why her post went viral.  Here is a short excerpt from her letter, but you really must read the whole thing.

Well, boys, it’s not you. It’s me. Me being selfish maybe. You see I can’t bear to miss a moment with you. Let me explain.

I want to talk to you when we are out to eat. I want to listen to your questions. I want to have training opportunities. I want to allow space for conversation that can take us deeper. And if you are always distracted with electronics, well… I might miss those moments.

I could give you all the statistics about how damaging it is to your development, your attention span, your ability to learn. While all of those are valid reasons to keep electronics away, that is not my primary reason why I say no to you so much. It’s more than that. Much more. I need you to understand this.

As we head into summer, please consider Renee’s letter and although it is much easier to give in, lets all make an effort to limit screen time, for all the right reasons!

Is Good Enough?

I serve at church in the Nursery 2 room and we always have a pre-service team meeting. The meetings start with a devotional and then one of the leaders does a very quick teaching prior to heading back to our classrooms. Yesterday, there was something said that really stuck with me. She is used the line “Good is the Enemy of Great!” and I thought it was brilliant. This morning I got up and googled it to see if this was something she may have come up with or if the origin could be found. My search led me to a site with a post from a man by the name of Tom Lemanski. I was so intrigued by what I saw because it is the essence of what I believe. In fact, the title of his post was “Working Smart”.

A few years ago, a colleague and I led a group at work called “Work Smarter, Not Harder”. The concept behind this was to pool our ideas through brainstorming sessions and learn how to streamline the things we do by working smarter and more efficiently. Our goal was to establish specific systems to follow that would essentially help us to share our workload in a more efficient manner and with better results. Basically, figure out what works and what doesn’t, learn from our mistakes and continually tweak what we do, so that the same mistakes aren’t repeated. We sought to increase our work potential, efficiency and the overall “product” by learning to do the same things in a simpler and more productive way.

Tom’s post was based on the first sentence from Jim Collins’s book called Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t. He basically goes on to talk about how in the business world, government, schools and life in general, it is so easy to settle for good. If you attain a level that you believe to be good, progress simply stops. In order to be great, you must seek to continually make things better. To look for ways to improve and enhance what you are already doing. In fact, to truly be great, you must look at it as a journey and not a destination. It is an end that will never be achieved because the premise is that you can always improve. You know the old saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none.” I think “GOOD” is much like that.

It is quite easy to be good at many things, but it takes so much more to be GREAT at even one. So, I too believe that good can in fact the enemy of great. Of course, this does not imply we can be great at everything, but more so that we need to really focus on one or two things that we can become really great at. Status quo is easy and it’s where most of us stay. I have learned that perseverance is truly one of the most difficult qualities to attain. We can all be great for a moment or a season in time, but to persevere is the true test. I can say that I did P90X and that I didn’t miss one workout in 90 days, but that was 4 years ago and now I can barely commit to 3 days of exercise per week. So, woopty-do! I was able to commit full heartedly for 3 months, but that has little impact on me today. I really don’t want to “hang my hat” on something I accomplished 3 years ago. Whether it be in our eating habits, exercise regime, business ventures, career or basic daily habits, it is the ability to persist even when faced with obstacles and challenges that really sets the standard for greatness. Greatness isn’t about being perfect, but more about striving for excellence.

Sometimes it can feel like there is a fine line between perfectionism and excellence, but there are some major differences. Perfectionism is a losing battle with oneself. It is a result that ultimately can never be achieved and the pursuit of it often leaves a wake of destruction in its path. The pursuit of excellence is more about doing the very best that you can and learning from your mistakes. As you pursue excellence you know and accept that there will be challenges along the way. I found this great article on perfectionism on a site called the University of Exeter. This table was taken from the article and shows an excellent comparison between perfectionists and healthy strivers. Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 9.30.38 AM Ultimately,  before you can be great at anything, you must first decide that good is not good enough. Decide what you want to be great at: gardening, parenting, marriage, your career, a business venture, whatever. Once you’ve prioritized and made some decisions, get started right away. Get a vision, read, study, practise, stumble, fall, get up, REPEAT. Remember, persistence is the key to be all that you can be!

Jesus Take the Wheel!

got favor?I thought I’d share a story …. one that will likely transcend time. You know those stories that begin with, “Do you remember that time….”. Perhaps my children will one day tell their children of our little adventure and miracle. If you read my blog regulary, you will know that I have a strong faith and I learned many years ago, that there is no request too big or too small for God. It was from our pastor that I learned there was no such thing as “wasting” a prayer. Thanks to his stories about his wife Sally praying for parking spots, I have also found that with a little prayer, I too can have “rock star” parking! We have taught our kids the power of a prayer and when any situation arises….we pray, trust, believe and then wait.

No Gas…Are You Kidding Me?

Our family made a day trip out to my Auntie Lynn’s funeral on Friday. The weather was good, the service was beautiful and the hours after spent with family were wonderful. After a full and very long day, we got back in the van to begin the 3 1/2 hour drive back to Winnipeg. We were heading out about 7:45, so knew it would be 11:15 or so before we’d get home. Tim is a night hawk, so the thought of driving back after a long day really wasn’t a big deal. Our route took us along #1 Highway, past Brandon.

I’m not one to play around with the gas gauge, I will always play it safe and fill up long before the needle gets close to the big “E”. However, I was not driving and therefor not really paying attention to the gas. We got about 15 minutes past Brandon when Tim casually said, “Oh, we’ll need to stop for gas.” Tim is a born and raised city boy, used to having access to whatever he needs 24/7. I am a country girl. When and where I grew up, the stores were closed Sundays and Mondays and there was no such thing as a Convenience Store. Clearly things have changed in my home town as well, but I knew this highway well enough to know that there weren’t many gas stations along it and I would venture a guess that those that existed, closed early.

So, as we tooted along on our very low tank of gas, we came to the town of Carberry. Carberry sits along the highway, but you have to exit and travel off the highway a bit of a distance (which seemed like a mile or two, especially when you’re running on fumes) to get into town. Our gas was low enough that we were already nervous about making it in to town and finding a gas station before we ran out. We found the two town gas stations, but both closed at 9 p.m. and it was now around 9:30.  As were driving down the street, we saw two guys outside the town bar. We stopped and asked them how far to the closest gas station, but they weren’t much help. I’m not sure if their “bellies were already full” or what, but they were zero help and did nothing more than waste our time and gas as we sat idling while they tried to think outside the borders of their small town. One actually thought he might be able to tell us how far to the closest gas station if he had a calculator. Ugh!  We moved on and went back to the first gas station, as there were a few lights on even though the sign said “closed” and it looked to be closed. Tim knocked on the door to see if anyone was inside, but no one was there. A local man pulled in the parking lot and told us we would have to go back to the highway and head to Austin (Manitoba….not Texas, thankfully!!) He said it was about 20 minutes down the highway. The man left and we prayed. We knew there was absolutely no way we had gas to get there. We had been on empty for longer than seemed possible and there was no way we could make it 20 minutes more.

Only By the Grace of God:

So, we did the only thing we could and prayed that we would make it to Austin and find an open gas station. Shay has a great sense of humour and is definitely the family clown. For months now, he has been looking for the perfect scenerio to use the tag line from Carrie Underwood’s song “Jesus Take the Wheel”. Well, you can bet you picked up on this right away and declared it “Jesus Take the Wheel!” and thankfully, he did.

We got back on the highway and tried to pass the 37 km by playing games, singing and telling jokes. (Shay provided most of the entertainment.) We pulled up to the Co-op gas station just outside of Austin at 9:59 p.m. and Tim began to pump the gas. In the middle of pumping, all of the lights on the pumps went out as the station closed at 10:00 p.m. When the pump stopped, it didn’t go unnoticed that our 75 litre gas tank accepted 74.87 litres of gas before it automatically shut off.  We were literally down to 1/2 cup of gas and had we been even a minute later we would have been out of luck. Thank the Lord for taking care of all of the circumstances and giving us yet another example of his faithfulness. I love watching as miracles unfold, both big and small for it is through the smaller miracles like finding a parking spot, that you build your faith and belief for those bigger situations.

When I was looking for a gas gauge picture for the post, I found one on The Heart of Abba and pastor Ron told a “running out of gas story” as well. I loved this quote that was taken from his article.

The favor of God is not even affected by our immediate circumstances… our job, our family, or even our gas gauge. The favor of God is about His goodness and His faithfulness. We receive God’s favor, not because we are good, but because HE is good.

Hopefully this has inspired you. It doesn’t matter what you are going through, there is no circumstance too big or too small. Just have faith and believe. Be patient and know he is acting on your behalf.  Enjoy your Sunday!

True Friendship: An Awesome Act Against Bullying

My friend Pat shared this video on Facebook. It is such a great example of the power of the human spirit. Some how the fact that it is boys gives the gesture even more impact. I think that experiences like this obviously have a huge impact on the victim, but I would expect that it was also a very powerful experience for each of the boys and their families and may even have a life long influence on how they treat others. Wow!  A real testament to the power of friendship and uniting for a great cause.

Life Lessons

Although it may seem strange, I sometimes find myself looking back over the times in my life when things seemed really bad and surprisingly it is with a thankful heart that I recall many of these milestones. I have certainly had my fair share of events that seemed to temporarily change the course of my life and leave me feeling disillusioned and some what helpless.

Occasions such as Mother’s Day remind of those days when I was able to share my sorrows and celebrations with my mom. Losing her at the age of 30 was not easy. I remember being so sad that she would never know my children and that my children would never be blessed with her presence in their lives. However, as tough as losing her was, I look back on her passing with mixed emotions. I think of her often and speak of her regularly. My kids have grown to know and respect her through me. They often speak of their Grandma Ruth as if they’ve grown-up with her by their side. They make comments about what she was like or how she did things or the kind of person that she was, and I am often amazed at their ability to capture the essence of the incredible woman she was. Despite the fact that she has been gone for over 15 years now, in so many ways she lives on.

Over the years, I have found that the biggest obstacles and toughest situations are often the catalyst that takes you to a whole new level in life. It is in the face of adversity that we gain an inner strength that perhaps we didn’t even know we possessed. I’m a very reflective person, and for almost every difficult situation, I am able to look back and see how each of those events helped me to grow and change, and ultimately have shaped me into the person I am today. I have found that when hopelessness seems to settle in and you feel like things can’t get any worse, it is with your next steps that there is often a break through. For me, it’s usually when I feel that I’m at my breaking point, that I dig really deep and completely rely on my faith to get me through. The most amazing part of this is that for every storm I whether in life, my faith and confidence grow. You come out the other side a stronger and often better person.

When my mom died, I missed her tremendously and was very sad, but embedded in her passing were circumstances that were more than coincidence and the way the days and details of her passing all mingled together so perfectly was nothing short of a miracle. I know it seems strange, but I have often said that losing my mom was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through and yet one of the most miraculous. For me, I have found that my strength can always be traced back to my faith. I know for certain there is a God with a much greater plan than I can ever imagine. I find it so intriguing that losing my mom young was in many ways the event that absolutely solidified my faith. Every detail seemed to perfectly orchestrated in such away, that I am unable to look back without being absolutely certain there was a higher power at work. I’m so thankful for my faith, for without it I’m nothing.

So what is the life lesson? 

Don’t let the obstacles in life bring you down. You may feel brow beaten with what life throws at you, but I encourage you to push on and during the process reflect on the situation, its impact on you and your response to it. Through your reflection you too may be able to find the good in what seems like a horrible situation. It is so much easier to move on when you can find something to be thankful for. Just try it ~ think about what you learned about yourself, others or life in general. What would you do different? How will you prevent the same problem from happening again?

Did you know that one of the greatest predictors of success isn’t your IQ, but rather your AQ. Your AQ (Adversity Quotient) is your ability to rise-up in the face of adversity, to process the situation and learn and grow from the experience. Those that are most successful will often say that they have just failed more often. So when faced with a difficult situation, try your best to stand strong, face it head on and know that if you persevere, it may be the catalyst that takes you to a whole new level in life. 

Have a great day and hang in there!