My Heart to Yours

You are Loved. You are Valued. Be at Peace.

A Memory in My Heart

First of all I would like to say sorry for being so absent in the blogging world lately.  Life has a way of taking some random twists and turns and then before you know it it feels like you’re slowly crawling out of a deep, dark cave and you have no idea how you got down there in the first place!

My heart is sad and it now holds a memory of a baby I will not meet on earth.  On June 4, 2013 my husband and I went to an ultrasound appointment that we thought would be our first glimpse at our fourth miracle baby.  To make it simple, at 13 weeks along our baby only measured 8 weeks and had no heartbeat.  I think the most difficult thing to accept was that our baby had been gone for 5 weeks already and I had no clue.  I still had awful nausea and was very tired most of the day…all normal pregnancy symptoms to be expected during the first trimester.  After having 2 ultrasound techs and the radiologist and my husband looking at the ultrasound I was confident that what they were telling me was true and our doctor also confirmed it with us later that day.  After a failed attempt to make my body start the miscarriage process on its own, I was sent to have day surgery to have my baby removed.

June 11, 2013 our sweet baby was taken from me even though I knew he/she was already gone.  I think this was one of the hardest parts of the whole miscarriage process…to know that a baby had left my body, but I would never get to see their precious face or kiss their sweet lips or hold their small body against my own.  There is an emptiness that cannot be explained unless it’s something you have experienced for yourself.

BUT….God is good.  God is faithful.  God provides.  God is compassionate.  He was there with us through the whole thing.  The night that I found out that our baby had no heartbeat I was looking through my oldest daughters backpack from preschool and  I found her memory verse for the month of May stuffed inside.  At a really dark and sad moment the Lord gave me just what I needed…

“I know the Lord is always with me.  I will not be shaken for He is right beside me.  No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.  My body rests in safety.”    Psalm 16:8-9

So even through the heartache, loss and sadness I feel peace, comfort and strength.  I am still amazed at what wonderful people we have surrounding our family.  God provided us with loving and caring friends who brought food, watched our kids during doctor appointments and my surgery, upheld us in prayer…friends who were a shoulder to cry on, to lend a listening ear and a caring heart, friends who knew EXACTLY how we were feeling because they had been through it too.  He even blessed my husband with a new job after he had been laid off for over two months.  I am overwhelmed at His goodness in our lives even during one of the darkest times we have endured so far!

I was reading my Bible a few days ago and would like to share with you the verses that I will proclaim again and again…even in the hardest times.

“Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again; Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:4-7

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”     Philippians 4:19

And so it is with hope and the confidence that I have in Jesus Christ I know that one day I will get to hold my precious little one in my arms.  I know that my babe is safe and loved by our Heavenly Father and that alone will carry me through all of the sadness and heartache that I will feel for a little while.  My heart holds a memory, but it also holds a wonderful anticipation for Heaven…more now than ever before.

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Living in the Spirit

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The thoughts that I am sharing today have been taken from my own life journal.  The passages that I give became real to me and spoke to my heart, confirming the above scripture.

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”  Galatians 5:6b

I found this passage so simple, yet so challenging.  I can’t say that I have ever fully lived this Scripture out….God help me to do this more.

“You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.  The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”      Galatians 5:13-14

Again this passage is simple and powerful.  I think a lot of Christians use  “God’s grace” as an excuse to continue doing whatever they want and living however they want….”because they’re forgiven.”  Yes our sins are forgiven!  Yes we still screw up in life!  God IS gracious to us when we ask for forgiveness of our ‘screw ups!’  BUT….we are not to indulge our old thoughts and actions.

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”   Galatians 5:16

We need to ask the Holy Spirit daily to be our guide.  When we do this sin has no place in our lives if we are truly following the Spirit.  I have seen this in my own life.  Yes I still sin, but not as much as I used to or as often as I used to.  Am I perfect?  NO!!!  But the Lord is with me and He makes ALL the difference.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”    Galatians 5:22

When you ask the Spirit to lead you, these fruits begin to develop in you!  I still struggle with some of them, mostly self control, but at different times I do struggle with all of them in some way or another.  When people used to ask me, “How are you so patient with your kids? Spouse? Family?”, my old reaction was to just shrug and say I’m not really sure, but recently I have realized that it is a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It’s NOT ME…it’s Him in my life.   This needs to be my answer from now on so that He receives all the glory for the goodness He is showing in me and through me.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by  the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”      Galatians 5:24-26

Encouragment!  We are brothers and sisters in Christ!  Don’t envy each other in material things or even in the different gifts or fruits of the Spirit that we have.  We’re all created differently and will have different giftings during different seasons in life.  The point is to live in the Spirit…always!  Ask Him to guide you, to work in you and to show Himself through your words and actions.

I hope this encouraged someone today.  Don’t feel down or depressed about where your life is at right now.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you, to teach you how to live a more Holy life.  He wants to do it!

Charissa ❤

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Victor’s Crown

This song is by Darlene Zschech from Hillsong. Her passion is amazing and her worship is sincere.
As Easter approaches this year I am again overwhelmed by what Jesus Christ has done for me…for you….for the entire world! Please allow the words of this song soak deep into your soul! Remember that He has overcome everything…including Death!!! There is everlasting life through Him alone! Blessings!

Charissa ❤

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Encouragement :)

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Ok….so I read the book of 1 Peter today….it’s only 5 chapters so it was pretty easy, but I just felt SO encouraged that i thought I would share some things that stood out to me.

Written by Peter himself the purpose of the book is to offer encouragement to suffering Christians.  North American christians are not persecuted physically or as harshly as many other places around the world, but we do have our own unique challenges that we face each and every day….namely slander, mocking, scoffers, ridicule….you get the picture.  Even though I may go days, months or longer without feeling personally attacked for being a christian, I still feel a jab somewhere in my soul when I hear of fellow brothers and sisters suffering for the name of Christ….so for those who are feeling condemned or trampled on because of your faith, here are some reminders of how wonderful our Lord is and why we should be JOYFUL to be ‘trashed’ for His sake.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”    – 1 Peter 1:8-9 –

“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear….Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For, ‘All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.'”  – 1 Peter 1:17,22,24-25

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.  Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”    – 1 Peter 2:1-3 –

These next few passages are encouraging to keep on doing good even when you suffer for it.

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”  – 1 Peter 3:8-9

“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.”  – 1 Peter 3:14 –

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.  For it is time for judgement to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, ‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’  So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”  – 1 Peter 4:16-19 –

Be encouraged that to suffer for the name of Christ is the greatest honor that you could ever have in this earthly life!!  I don’t know who needed to hear this today, but I felt in my heart that someone did.  I hope you are all encouraged to ‘keep on keepin’ on’ for the sake of our Lord and His name….to keep sharing with those around us what He has done in our lives and how he has saved us!!  May God receive ALL the glory and honor and praise!

Charissa ❤

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Anxiety by Dr. Rininsland

Anxiety by Dr. Rininsland

Hey everyone!  If you or someone you know suffers with anxiety then this is a perfect message for you to listen to!  Dr. Rininsland gives some wonderful insight into why anxiety has become so prevalent in this day and age, how to cope (including Scripture to back it up!) and how to be a friend to someone who has anxiety problems!  I hope that whoever listens to this podcast will be encouraged and can find help around them whether through a church group, family friends or seeing a counsellor.  God bless you!

Charissa ❤

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ALIVE!

Alive All the Sons and Daughters – YouTube.

 

So this post is sort of a response to what my friend Anita wrote on her blog http://pursuitofproverbs31.blogspot.ca/2013/02/death-and-new-life.html?spref=fb  check it out it’s great!  She talks about how we don’t have to fear death and as Christians we have the comfort and hope of eternal life with Jesus in Heaven!  This song by All Sons and Daughters is short, but powerful.  I especially love the second verse….”Your mercy is rising like the sun on the horizon and we’re coming home!  Oh we’re coming home!”  I just can’t help but fell giddy with excitement at the thought of spending ALL ETERNITY with my Lord….the One who saved me from certain death and despair and pain and suffering.  I don’t mean that we won’t have heartache and pain here in this life….but this life is just a whisper compared to forever.  And death….the only death there is for those who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ is a physical death.  After this life there is more joy and love than we can even dream of right now!!! 

I believe we are living in the last days before the rapture of the church.  Not all of us will have to taste death….won’t that be amazing!?

Listen, I tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed….Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

                                                                  1 Corinthians 15:51,52 & 54

I hope this song is encouraging to all who hear it.  Believe that we ARE GOING HOME! 

Love to All

Charissa ❤

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“Bringing Up Girls”

Just a quick note.  I recently started reading the book entitles “Bringing Up Girls” by Dr. James Dobson.  I am only in the second chapter, but found something thought provoking that I wanted to share with anyone who has girls, might have girls in the future or has friends with girls….so pretty much all of us.  Dr. Dobson quotes a columnist named Michelle Malkin in his book and this is what she has to say.

“As a mother of a 4 year old girl and an 8 month old boy, I am increasingly dismayed by the liberal assault on decency, the normalization of promiscuity, and the mainstream media’s role as shameless collaborators…. You would think that it’s normal to dress up in [Little Miss Hooters] outfits at 5 years old, to wear sex bracelets and discuss oral sex at 10, to flash your breasts for the cameras at 15, to get paid for anal sex at 20, to keep Excel spreadsheets of sexual conquests, and to use abortion as birth control until menopause.  When conservative women say promiscuity is degrading and self-destructive, liberals in the media call us prudes.  When liberal women raise their voices, they are praised as ‘passionate.’  When conservative women raise their voices, we are condemned as ‘shrill.’  Be ‘prudes.’  Be ‘rude.’  Be ‘shrill.’  And never, ever feel ashamed for asking out loud, ‘Have you no shame?'”

My intention is not to start a political argument about liberals and conservatives…my intention is to raise awareness about the lives our girls could live without our guidance and protection.  Pray for us as mothers and fathers that we can direct our children to see their worth through the eyes of Jesus.  Pray protection over their eyes, ears and hearts as they grow up in such a corrupted world.  God show your love and grace by miraculously protecting our sweet children from the evils of this world.  And give us as parents courage to stand up and say to the world, “You can NOT have my children.  They belong to Jesus!”

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How Many Sleeps Til Heaven?

Sometimes my four year old surprises me with random questions, but the one she asked me a few days ago sort of caught me off guard.  I have been talking to the kids about Heaven and how wonderful it will be when we get there.  I have been telling them that Jesus is coming back for us someday and that we need to have Jesus in our heart to go to Heaven.  Olivia, our oldest, also loves to know exactly when things are happening.  She is very organized and likes to know what is going on tomorrow, next week….anything.  She is always asking, “How many sleeps until…..?”  You name it she asks about it.  We were doing a puzzle together the other morning when she randomly asked, “How many sleeps until Heaven?”  Surprised, I answered that I had no idea.  I said that it could be one sleep or it could be thousands of sleeps!  She looked at me and said, “I hope it’s only one sleep.  I want to go to Heaven tomorrow!”  I smiled at her and replied, “Me too sweetie.”  When I thought about it afterwards part of me was a little thrown off and was almost sad that she wanted to go to Heaven, but I was immediately reminded by the Holy Spirit that this world is not our permanent home and that we SHOULD LONG FOR HEAVEN!!! 

“But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

                                             – Philippians 3:20-21 NIV-

I do not know the day of the Lord’s return or when my time on this earth may be finished, but I do know that we shouldn’t fear it!  We shouldn’t long to stay here on this earth when our Lord has sacrificed so much for us to be with Him for all eternity…His very LIFE was given so that we could have eternal LIFE with Him!!!  So…..I think I will join with my daughter and start wondering….How many sleeps til Heaven??  Because I really want to go!!  I can’t wait!  Like the verse above says….”we EAGERLY AWAIT a Savior from there!”  I encourage you to examine your hearts and think about if you REALLY want to go to Heaven.  If you are troubled by the thought then I would also encourage you to read your Bible!  Search the Word of God for what He has to say about our eternal home.  I pray that you will find peace and a new excitement and passion for the Lord not only for yourself, but to share it with others! 

Blessings to you Friends….”Til He Returns or Calls Me Home…”

Charissa ❤

 

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Our Olivia

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Oh How I Need You

By All Sons and Daughters

This song really lifted my spirits today as my kids are sick and I had no sleep last night. I can’t do anything without Christ, but with Him I can do ALL things…Oh how I need Him!!! Hope someone is encouraged by this song as well today 🙂

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The Young and Old

Tonight my family and I had the opportunity to go and visit my husband’s great uncle at Extendicare.   I think I have only ever met the man once before and he has never met any of our three kids.   The care home had put on a special supper and the families of those living in the home were invited to come for a great meal.  As a kid growing up with a pastor as a dad I remember visiting the “old folks homes” very often.  Usually on Sunday afternoons for an hour we would go and sing some songs, my dad would give a brief message and then we would just visit with the people there.  It was a part of my life and I grew to really love it.  I loved the people.  Even at a young age I loved going there.  I felt welcome.

That is how I felt again tonight.  It has been a long time since I’ve been to a care home, but it was like going back to my childhood tonight.  I felt comfortable.  Our kids were the only ones there.  They behaved wonderfully (surprisingly :p) and I had three compliments in a row from residents of the home or their own grown children.  My husband’s uncle was so sweet to the kids.  He played a little with Sam, he helped me put on my coat when it was time to leave and he gave each of my girls a kiss when we left.   I could see that they were a little shy, but they didn’t put up the usual fuss of being somewhere they didn’t want to be or doing something they didn’t want to do.  I could tell they were comfortable too.  It was a short visit, but something sparked within me as we were leaving.

I saw the joy and sparkle of youth in old eyes when they looked at my children.  I saw smiles on what were frowning faces when we first arrived.   My four year old was happy to give a hello to anyone who said so to her and she received many warm smiles in return.  I want that for my kids.  I want them to feel like they can be comfortable around ALL people, no matter what their disability may be or how old they are or where they live.  I don’t think that many people from my generation really think about taking their kids to visit the elderly, but I know in my heart that’s what I want for my children.  I want them to have respect and love and to learn from others….to learn things that I can’t possibly teach them because I don’t have the experience.  I want them to grow a love for all people, to be able to share openly, to share their contagious joy and touch lives in a positive way!

Most importantly I want them to see God in others.  I want them to be a shining light in what may be a dark place for some.  I want them to learn compassion, care and how to love others outside of their normal circle of friends.  I know that this will be a great teaching opportunity for me to my children and a wonderful learning experience for all of us.  My prayer is that the Lord will work through our family to reveal Himself to those who need Him.   God let us be your hands and feet, your smile and your warm embrace to the lonely and the sick.

“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.”     

Proverbs 13:14

Uncle Tommy probably won’t remember that we were there to visit him a week from now, but I am thanking the Lord for a renewed love and respect for those that are older than I am.  I am thankful for a new opportunity to show my children a new way to serve the Lord and to learn from the elderly and to maybe, one day… share their own hearts with them.   Lord help us be Young at Heart, no matter how old we are.

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