Carla's Heart
The music washed over me like waves from the ocean. Warm and gentle, but forceful enough to jostle me out of my selfish thoughts. "Give thanks with a grateful heart ~ Give thanks to the HOLY ONE...and now let the weak say I am strong ~ let the POOR SAY I AM RICH because of what the LORD has done." I am certainly rich. I don't know about you, but I have seen the Hand of God in my life and HE has "done" so much for me and with me...therefore I am rich, because of what the LORD has done for me. I want my 'grateful heart" to be the thing people notice and remember about me. I want my legacy to be that of a runner...not away from disaster but TO GOD. I want my loyalty and hunger for Him to be the most memorable thing about me. Many years ago as i was rocking my baby, (who is now 17) I remember singing a song that led to sobbing as I realized how flippantly I was singing the words. "You are the potter, I am the clay, mold me and make me, this is what I pray..." After I tucked my wee one in bed, I prayed that God would do "WHATEVER" it takes to me make me like Him. Be careful what you pray for. He has been doing that ever since...and I am surprised and fight it at times...but He is faithful to that which we ask of Him. I still have so far to go before I am anywhere near "like Him" and it is discouraging at times...but He is at work.

Change my heart oh God.

Proverbs 3: 3-6

3-4 Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people. 5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline; don't sulk under his loving correction. It's the child he loves that God corrects;
a father's delight is behind all this.
So we have moved most of our stuff…and we are very tired and emotionally drained. Moving many ways.

The weather was great on the weekend…sunny but not humid. Today was a different story…very humid. I have learned a few things about me…mostly things I’m not good at.

I’m not as organized as I used to be
I’m not very good at packing
I don’t like being uprooted
I don’t have the brain power to balance too many things at once
I’m not as organized as I used to be
I might have Alzheimer’s!

We have had minor cuts and bruises, (including when Noah ran over his own toe with his scooter) but nothing major. And in the midst of this Terry’s vehicle died a very sudden death…just what we needed. There were end of year events up the wazoo…just what we needed. Come the actual move day, we had fewer friends than last we counted…just what we needed. Or was it exactly what we needed? ” This is the very day God acted— let’s celebrate and be festive!” ~Psalm 118:24
Each of these days, even the last few were planned form me, by God Himself! Have I been glad and rejoiced in them? Not really…I am ashamed to say. I have wanted to be joyful in this journey, but I have to admit I have been a bit cranky and even ugly at times. But I am reminded that all this is no surprise to God. Not my whining and complaining, not the broken car, the unorganized mess we have been trying to move…not even the way I am feeling at this moment. He planned me and all my days. And even when I am not walking in the way He had planned for me, He is there with me. I never lifted one box alone! It is my choice however, to either complain and grumble or celebrate and be festive…I have decided I like being festive.
If God took the time to plan ALL my days for me…the least I can do is honour him while I live them out.

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvellously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.” ~Psalm 139:16

Packing up the dreams God planted….

I’m packing…well actually I’m writing, but I SHOULD be packing! We are on the move again. Not exactly what I expected when we moved here 4 ½ years ago. I really thought this house would eventually be ours and that we would put down deep roots and never leave or move again. I thought this was an open door from God and that He was planting us in this neighbourhood and this house to be a beacon of light for Him. We prayed that we would be a lighthouse in the midst of this street, pointing each of our neighbours to the Cross. I was sure He planted us here … to stay.

But we are moving…two doors down. I have shared how I think God must not just get a chuckle over me, but a full belly laugh! I realized that I truly believed that “I” could direct God through my prayers. I told Him, that we have been praying for our neighbours and that we need to stay and continue the work. That Gracie considers this her mission field. Thinking all the while that He would keep us here in this house…He planted the dream, and I couldn’t even recognize it. It’s not about the house or my comfort level but about my obedience to Him…to give Him that “thing” I am holding back from Him. And the realization that it is not about me, but about how and when and where He chooses to use me. I wanted to make an impact in this neighbourhood and wherever I go, but without obedience to Him He cannot use me.

But it is not we who will remain, but HIM. We may be remembered by some people on this earth, but our calling and our obedience to that calling will be what lasts forever, to the Glory of God. 1 Peter 2:9-10 says: “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”

He plants the dreams…and sometimes we live out the plan in one place…and then sometimes we pack up the dreams God has planted and move on to the next gig. As long as the spot light remains on Him and I can look forward hearing “well done thou faithful servant”. The great thing is the dream isn’t dead…it’s just being relocated.

I surrender all! Whatever I hold onto is YOURS OH GOD.

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he ploughed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” ~Hebrews 12:1-3

Back to my packing now ...just remember which side is up! - - cb

We recently added a new member to our family...and it's not what you think!
About a year ago we started discussions on getting a puppy for our family. We mulled it over and talked about what kind we might like and what colour.
In February we finally decided on getting a dog and that we would like a Cock-a-poo but Terry's stipulations were that it had to be black and in a certain price range. That same morning a friend sent us a link to an add for a black Cock-a-poo named Annie.
She was 5 months old and this sweet lady and her two boys had decided that, due to their busy life style and long days that it would be better for their puppy to be in a home where there was somebody home more.

We contacted her to learn more about Annie, she told us she was great with kids, paper trained and a cuddly puppy. Her asking price was out of range for us so we wished her well with her search for a new family for her puppy.
I was really sad, because I really loved this dog right from her picture, but knew that there would be other expenses along with her. However, after about 3 weeks of wondering I emailed her again, just to see how it went with placing the pup in a new home. While I was out, my husband received this lady's response only to find out she had been uncomfortable with the other family and still had Annie and she had dropped her price! Terry made arrangements to adopt her and when I got home there was a framed photo of Annie in the front hall with a sign that read: "welcome home Annie". What he didn't know was that I was planning to take him away for the weekend as a surprise. After much juggling and many secret calls, I arranged to have this wonderful woman to hold on to Annie for the weekend and she would deliver her on the Sunday.
When Sunday finally came, she arrived with her two, very sweet boys, her oldest boy's girlfriend and "ANNIE"!
I felt so bad for them, they clearly loved their pup, but they knew they were making the best decision for her, even though it was hard.


She suggested that she was probably young enough for us to change her name if we wanted to.
After a tearful goodbye, we started showing Annie around and immediately started training her to "go" outside. She did really well. We decided that we would call her "Holly" and off we went to the pet store to pick up a few things and a new collar, because her's was not clasping properly. I settled on a brown collar with green paisley and a matching leashe. I also had her new name tag made with the name "Holly" engraved on it.

Upon arriving at home, I showed Terry her new fashionable look and he said, "PAISLEY, that's her name!"
And that's how we learned that even Black Puppies can be PAISLEY!


My husband & I attended the Easter Musical Production put on by our church choir, entitled “HIS LIFE FOR MINE”. The idea was to give a musical portrayal of Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection. Along with visual media’ amazing soloists, and a strong choir, the message was made clear.

Now I have been thinking a lot lately about my legacy and the heritage my children will receive from me. What will people say about me when I am gone and even while I am still here? Am pointing them to the Cross? Is my Legacy worth leaving? In the midst of this my sister gave me a card that read: “Thank you…to someone who genuinely finds joy in the happiness of others…someone who’s soft at the edges and strong at the center…” This was a great gift of confirmation for me as this is how I want to be seen by others. But I still want my Legacy to have an eternal effect.

Yesterday morning as we stood in church at our Good Friday service, I sobbed through “How Great Thou Art”. This is not an uncommon thing for me…usually because I can see my Nana with her head back, eyes closed and the odd tear running down the side of her face as she would belt out this great hymn from the bottom of her soul. Which reminds me of the amazing heritage I have received…to be raised in a home where love was God’s brand, the truth was spoken, and the example was sure. To have a husband who loves and serves the Lord and children who have accepted His gift of salvation. To have grown up and been taught in a church whose foundation and roots are 75 years deep and rooted not in the accomplishments of its founders but in the very word of GOD. I am truly blessed!

That’s not to say that there have not been hard times. I have had some really lousy things happen to me and I have made some really lousy choices that brought really lousy consequences! But through it all my heritage has been the CROSS!

I am often overwhelmed by a feeling of many areas of my life. I have a husband and children I am not worthy of. I have gracious & loving friends I am not worthy of. I live in a house I am not worthy of...but most of all I serve a God I am not worthy of. And yet He loved me so much He sacrificed His only Son for me! For me! Knowing full well all that I would do in my lifetime, all the ways I would shame and disgrace Him, all the destructive thoughts I would have even before I had them!
Yet He died for me! For me! Jesus endured one of the most painful, gruesome and even shameful deaths, so I wouldn't have to. So I could live eternally with Him.
As I sat through Communion service this past Sunday and watched as my Husband served the elements I was overcome by HIS AMAZING GRACE. Pastor Reed reminded us that this was JESUS' body, broken for me and for you!
He knew, and yet he Loved. He knew that even though He had a path planned for my life that I would wander off of it and He planned a way back for me even before I needed it. He knew me, before I was here and He loved me knwoing all that I would do and not do.

"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, know I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day. "
It's true! I'm not Worthy! And yet in His eyes I was worth it all!
"He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum.But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him. "
If I hadn't been unworthy...He never would have saved me!

She moved about her home, like a robot, trying her best to keep it together to do what was needed -- what is expected of her. Something was missing and had been for awhile, but she couldn't put her finger on it. It must be the must be the must be not knowing...She stopped and lingered on the edge of the canyon -- feeling the pull she tried to move on so as not to slip on the crumbling ledge...if she stood there much longer it surely would not hold her weight and she would be lost forever.

As she turned to distract herself it happened....the force was winning and she was pulled under the wave of grief and anxiety.
"Why?" was all she could say as she fell to her knees. Clinging to the side of her bed, as if it were the only thing that could keep her from slipping all they way into the dark hole of her despair. The tears made tiny puddles on the hardwood floor and her nose ran onto her lips and she did nothing to stop it.
"Father? Are you even there? Where have you been? We need you LORD! I'm sorry -- I haven't been coming to you. I can't even hear you anymore -- oh Lord I need to hear from you.!" I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. Oh Father forgive me! I am so weak! I am not worthy of you or your love or your protection. HUSH CHILD -- MY SON DIED FOR YOU -- I AM WAITING FOR YOU. MEET ME AT THE RIVER. I WILL BE THERE -- AND YOU WILL NOT BE FORSAKEN.
She pulled herself off the floor, almost too drained to move. Her legs shook as she made her way to the door. But deep inside there was a warmth. Something was happening, the flame was being fanned -- she thought it had long been doused -- but even in the cold, dank darkness it couldn't go out...the flame of hope is eternal.

"I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what he'll say and do. My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning. " ~Psalm 130:5