Love Wins

love winsWe live in a hurting and broken world.   But amidst this hurting and broken world are moments of love, joy and peace.   Life is good, life is grand if you allow yourself to experience it in its entirety; and observe and be still.  

What drives your sense of being?  When do you feel full? What moments in your life were defining for you?  Could it be moments that you experience deep love and joy? 

I use to think that love could only be experienced when the moments were just perfect.   Happiness is present, joy is present, and everything seems like perfection. 

Over the past years, our family has had their share of pain, suffering and hurting.   There were moments where I stood back and pinched myself, and asked, “Is this for real??”   But I will tell you this much, in those moments I felt the deepest unconditional love that one could ever experience.  

  • A fractured C1, in an 8lb halo, observing my children laughing in the household, my husband holding it together, my parents unsure of what is next for their daughter, my brother calling and checking in, my in-laws travelling to see us and show that they care, feeling so thankful and much gratitude for my beautiful messy life.  I had a second chance and was fully alive.
  • My father in law and my mom both going through health issues that were unbelievable, moments where you wondered if they would live a normal life.   Two moments I recall in my mind, the day I shaved my mom’s hair for the first time, trying to be strong and at the same time feeling like a child.  My mother, so beautiful, so strong, always there for me. Smiling as I glanced at my mom, and told her how beautiful she was.  I was in complete and utter adoration.  Another moment, heading to see my mother in law  in another city.  She was trying to keep everything together, trying to be strong, and at the same time shed a smile for me as we heated up a nice Ukrainian meal for her and one to take to my father in law in the hospital.   I made her laugh in the pain.  She was so appreciative, and felt so loved, and so was my father in law.  He was overjoyed with us coming to see him, not so much the meal but coming and really being there.  I remember thinking, I love these people so much and was so thankful to be able to help in some small way. Unconditional love.

These were moments that made time stand still.   My discovery –  there is purpose in pain, and love shines through.    There can be moments where we feel complete loss, but at the same time, love shines through.   People come together to help, to contribute, and to show how much they care. Unconditional love, expecting nothing in return.

With the recent events in Paris we all are in tune to what is happening.  A beautiful friend of mine is currently in France.   The first person I thought of when all of the events happened was her.  She was recently married, and I wondered where they were.     After connecting, I was reassured she is healthy and good.   She gave me a picture of her experience in the pain.   She has exposed me to a wonderful perspective of purpose in pain:

My favorite part of the news coverage is the words of survivors, because it’s actual quite balanced, revealing all aspects of the situation, not hateful.   Many survivors are saying such wonderful things.  Yes it was a horror.  But they talk about the love, watching people protect their loved ones, the kindness of strangers in helping them escape or hide, and the kindness of strangers in consoling them.   But the most comforting statements of all are about watching people cradle their loved ones as they lay injured/dying, and noting these last conversations were all about love, and the people they loved most.   I love the thought that people’s last thoughts as they suffered were not in fact of the terrorists, were not hateful – but instead positive in that people were thinking of their loved ones.  No, it may not be happiness they were feeling, but it was love.  Such a beautiful thought that in some way, its proof that in those last moments, love won out over hate.  

Love Wins my friends, love shows through the pain, and the adoration we feel for one another is amplified.      No matter what happens, we can choose our response.      Love Wins. 


Dear Lord God,

Thank-you for this perspective today, I am rest assured that the happiness and pain bring love.   Love always shines through, and love wins God.   Today I am still, and observe Your great works in the pain.   No one can overcome this.   I pray for those family going through difficulty, illness, or loss right now, help bring them purpose in the pain.   I pray for your love to erode their lives in actions and the reactions of others.   Through this, we will reign.  I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.


May you be blessed today my friend, Be Still and Know that He is God and that His Love will always overcome.  

The 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month ~ Remember

IMAGE1We are so fortunate to live in a country where we live free, and have the ability to choose. We should never take for granted this gift.

We Remember….

The 11th hour, the 11th day, the 11th month
We remember what you gave,
What you gave up.
We remember……
We remember when,
We saw how,
How you gave everything for us – we remember.
We will not forget all that you have done,
So that we may be here, now….
We will remember, always and forever.
Bless you all, and thank-you for the gift you have given us.
We honor you.

Take a few moments to click on the following link and “pause in remembrance, and choose to give thanks”

Being Hands-Free

I receive a text message, immediately looking at my phone,I choose to respond.   Emails trail in, approximately 100 a day when looking at both work and home.   The phone rings, appointments, schedules and my time is all used up.     I feel frazzled fall is here again.  The calendar shows sports, events, schedules, the balancing act begins with work and life.    My inner self is suffocated – I need some time for me.    We can all relate to this circumstance at various times in our lives, how can we balance it all?   How can we open up some space in our day?

Have you thought about being hands-free to provide some space and time?image1 (2)

Hands-free (Wikipedia) an adjective describing equipment that can be used without the use of hands (for example via voice commands) or, in a wider sense, equipment which needs only limited use of hands, or for which the controls are positioned so that the hands are able to occupy themselves with another task (such as driving) without needing to hunt far afield for the controls.

Can we broaden this definition of being hands-free? An adjective describing letting go and allowing God to be in the driver’s seat.

A lot of items that fill my day really are beyond my control, it is how I choose to respond that makes all the difference.  As I look ahead in the day or week, I see so much to deal with, but perhaps I need to focus on the right now.

Do you know that we are called daily to be hand’s free and let God lead?     Have you ever noticed when you try to control your schedule, the kid’s reactions, and every facet of your life that things feel out of control?

Freedom comes from knowing that God has your back, and that He is in the driver’s seat.   He also has your best interests at heart.  He tells us to come to Him if we need rest or be anxious in nothing at all.  If you are running on empty, He knows how to fill your tank.   So how do we take conscious steps while letting Him lead?    I believe this is the real question.  What are some actions we can take to support letting God lead?

  1. Take time to reflect, pause and renew – take time for prayer, time for God, and time to rest.  Renew your spirit.  It is times where we feel zapped because we have overextended ourselves that cause us the most discontent.   Make this a number one priority in your day, take the time.  This one action will make all of the difference.  Present your requests to God, acknowledge that He is in the driver’s seat and you trust Him.
  2. Decide you can be physically hands-free.   Take a break from texting, looking at your phone and responding.  Don’t respond out of obligation –take some time and then respond when you want to.
  3. Be Present. This is a big one.    Really live in the NOW, take it all in and breathe.   
  4. Do not plan ahead. This is a tough one for many, and something I am learning.  I am finding when I don’t look to far ahead, things flow a lot easier.
  5. Realize you don’t need to be everything to everyone and everything. I think many of us have such high expectations of ourselves.

I am learning to be humble in my thoughts, and to simplify my life.   Recently I have felt like I am changing within.  The change is frightening and exciting all at once.   I am seeing pieces of me leave and other pieces being refined.    I believe this is a process we all experience in our lives.  For some the process is quick, for others the process is a long one.  God makes all things good.

I see His good work in showing me how life can be so much better, if I trust Him, Lean on Him, Love others as I would love myself, and Let go of fear, and anger.    I also am realizing I am beautifully made, which is a bit of a hard pill to swallow for a woman that constantly sees where she can change.     Thank-you Father for being so patient with me again and again.  Thank-you for showing me what needs to adjust in my life.

Dear Lord God, there are so many moments of complete bliss, that I feel full of your glory.  I know that this is what you want for me.   The sunshine in my children’s eyes, the sound of laughter, and the glow of smiles, the love of friendship and family.    These are the moments that I cherish and hold close and never want to let go.     Many times I feel like I am falling short.   I feel the pressures of this life, to be the best, to climb the corporate ladder, to participate in the race and get caught up in it all.    I want to feel complete peace, even in the face of trials or adversity. I need you to lead me, without you I feel so lost.      Lord, define my path for me, guide me, help me to make the choices that are best for me and those I love.      I want to be full of your peace within.    Help me to be hands-free.  You are in control.  I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

Be blessed my friend, how can you become a little more hands-free?



Thanksgiving in Second Chances

In Canada,  we celebrate Thanksgiving on October 12th.    Every year as I approach this wonderful fall weekend, I look back on the moments and am full of gratitude.      We all have been through precious moments that have taken our breath away or experienced bliss or joy.    

In all of the moments lately, I have been hearing God say, just BE.  

Be willing to follow wherever I lead. 

I am unsure of what the next step is, and being a planner like me, it is tough to give up control.  He wants me to give up control, and reassures me that some of the most wondrous blessings are around the bend and have yet to come.

Just BE my child, walk by faith not by sight.  Trust in ME.

This is a simple ask, and at times in my life has been hard to listen.   What I have discovered, when I try to control an outcome, and choose not to trust, uneasiness sets in all around.

It wasn’t long ago, that He asked me to walk by faith.     I remember it was just like yesterday, I was sitting in my front room, and my two beautiful gifts were sleeping.   Earlier that day I found out that after being in a halo for 80 days to stabilize my spine, my C1 fracture (hangman’s fracture) did not fuse together.    Worry and anxiousness set in, and I sat in disbelief and stared at my bible.  The voice of fear crept in.   Not knowing what the future held for me, tears fell down my face.    What kind of mother would I be?   What if I couldn’t participate in every day life the way I did before?  Why did I make such a stupid decision that would change my life for ever?   I hurt the people I loved, and this all was my payment.  

The thoughts were of fiction, a story I was creating in my head.    God wanted to restore me, refine me and bring forward the truth.     I turned the page and John 10:10 was revealed.    My thoughts were being stolen, and I did not trust the truth.    God saved me for a reason.  In that moment, I felt like I was being asked, “Do you Trust me?   Do you trust that my acts are beyond all comprehension?  Do you trust that I love you?”

Tears continued to flow, and I realized in that very moment –  I was not stepping out in faith.   I was given a second chance for a reason.   I chose in that moment to trust completely and let go of the fear.  

Four years later, I feel like I still have some work to do.   There are moments where I get lost, and I still let my mind wonder into the “what if” scenarios.   But He has reassured me, that He is miraculous and Promises me he is in control, and I am His miracle.    I need to walk by faith and not sight when I feel anxious, or unsure.     

Thank-you Father on this Thanksgiving for second chances, thank-you for allowing me to be here and present with the ones I love. I am thankful for the gifts you have given me in so many ways.   On this Thanksgiving, I am so very grateful for my babies, their father and the love of family and friends.   I am His miracle, in flesh, my fracture has never fused, but my life is better than it was before.

Dear Lord God, thank-you for loving me the way you do.  Help me to walk by faith and not sight.   When life gets messy, be the navigator; reassure me, and fill my mind with your voice.    I know you are here with me always, and Trust you have my best interests at heart.  I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

Be blessed, Ness

To learn more about my C1 fracture experience go to my personal blog on Being Fully Alive

The Power of Pride

image1It’s that time of year again.    The hustle and bustle begins, schedules start up again.     Over the years, and after experiencing some major life changing events, I remind myself that NOW is all we really have.  I also cannot shake the feeling that I need to be still.    

As the boys get ready for school, anxiousness bubbles all around.  As the school year begins, the first thing that comes to their little minds, is that they hope to be with their favourite friends in their classes.     Once the boys see their class lists, they are beaming, out of the corner of my eye I notice another boy in tears.   My heart breaks.    His mother tries to console him and tries to maintain composure.   I head to my car and pray for him, I pray that his day gets easier.    This may seem like a small problem, but in their little world it is everything.  Someone loses.   It is like a lens is shining on my past.      The new girls sits and looks around, she knows it’s up to her to find friends.    Acceptance is all that she wants.

Days start to fly by, and schedules begin. Classes, try-outs, prep camps are all in motion.    My boys are busy again, and I feel frazzled, as the family time starts to diminish.     How can I control all of this?  One activity – but seems to be taking up so much time.   Is it that I am overwhelmed and is it only me?   My boys seem to be full of excitement.   Why is it I feel so unsettled?  

It is such a fine balance, we want to support our children, but who is driving the schedule?   Is it me?  

The drive to be the best, to be an individual surrounds me, and overwhelms me.    It is everywhere, at school, in the workplace and has become part of our culture.    

Time is flying by, and I feel like I don’t know what is best.   The balance is hard to achieve.   I look to Him to guide me.

My goal as a parent is to develop kids that have a heart for the hurting, and realize that within they are good people, but mostly for them to be humble in their accomplishments.    Perhaps this is from going through being an underdog in my childhood – being the new girl and at times feeling like I needed to build a wall up so that I could protect myself against the disappointment.      Disappointment is all part of life; this is something I cannot protect my children from.   

The truth is, we live in a hurting world, and disappointment helps us grow.  Disappointment helps us develop if we are open to it.    I know this; there have been many times where disappointment has turned into something wonderful.   So why is it as parent I want so badly to protect and shelter my children from the reality? It is because I love so deeply.    I love my children, and the people that surround me.

Try-outs begin for sports, and I am reminded again of disappointments and accomplishments.  I see perfection in my children, as I watch them play.   They are so beautifully made.  So many parents looking the same, and at the same time many feeling worried for what is to become.  Why?  We want to shelter them from the disappointment.     But is it a reflection of their ability or ours?   Do you see where I am going with this?  Is it our pride that is driving this?  


 “That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  James 4:6b

What I have discovered through this process is that our kids are oblivious to the hierarchy.  They are also acutely aware of what we say and do.  They would not concern themselves with the hierarchy if we were not concerned.    The quest to be the best isn’t achievable.  It may be temporarily, but there are always winners and losers.   

The question I ask myself is what is the balance?   How do I set my kids up for success while ensuring that they live a humble life?

I think the answer is simple – I model it. I have not been always the greatest model, but I strive to be humble, kind, and show my thoughts through my actions.    The reality of every situation is that there will be ups and downs.   It is through the downs or disappointments that we learn adversity and how to overcome it.    But this has to come from within us.  

I will build my children up while reminding them, at the end of the day, some will win, and some will lose. It is in their reaction to the losses that our true selves become evident.

I believe in my children, but also tell them we all have learning to do.   

I recognize I am not in control, all I can control is how I choose to respond.

My choice is living in the moment, encouraging, and believing the best in everyone.  Hopefully by choosing this, my children will follow.

I wish there was a manual – God knows.  But there is not.  One thing I do know for sure – God is in control; when I try to control life – it gets messy.

Dear Lord God,

Open my eyes to reality, lead me in my actions and reactions.   Help me to be the parent my children need.   Life can be  chaotic, but it is through you that we achieve clarity.   Help me to be humbled and to be aware of my actions and reactions.  Show me  YOUR way father. I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen

Be blessed,



To BE or Not to Be

IMG_6113As each year passes, I feel like the hands of time are slipping by.   I look in the mirror and looking back at me, I see a woman that has changed, and still requires refinement.     I hear a voice that tells me I could do better.    The voice has been with me for most of my life, I am learning to snuff it out.     John 10:10 comes to mind so many times when the voice comes upon me.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.

I am still finding me.    As I sit still, I look at all of the blessings.   Striving to be perfect in all areas is impossible.    But through Him all things are possible.    I cannot carry it all, which is why He is there – to support me through it all.     I am working on me; discovering what drives me, who I want to surround myself with, how I choose to spend my days, and what I choose to focus on.     I have been given so many blessings, and abundance.   I need to press mute on that voice and push forward, and hear the truth, hear the voice of unconditional love.

  • You love with all your heart
  • You are an intelligent woman
  • You give where you can
  • You love your family to the moon and back
  • You genuinely care for all people

Right now I don’t know where I am going; I lack a direction.  In my past it was like I kept striving for achievement and accomplishment in all areas of my life. Now I am at a standstill not knowing where I need to be.   Perhaps where I need to be – is exactly right where I am?

Maybe it’s time to recognize, I don’t need to be in the drivers seat.  Maybe, I just need to BE.

To BE here

To BE still

To BE present

To BE content

To BE fully alive

To Let Go and Trust; and just BE

The Gift of Friendship

gift of friendshipFriendships – we all have them.    Over the years, I have come to realize that these gems in my life really help me navigate through life’s hills and valleys.    As a young girl, I wanted so bad to be accepted.    I wanted that special friendship that many girls had, and many times I was envious.     We moved around a lot and it sometimes was hard to make lasting relationships.      But life has come full circle for me, and I am so fortunate to have a few friends that make me laugh until my stomach hurts, and help me navigate through the ups and downs in this life.       God has been so good to me; He gave me what I needed in His perfect time.

I have sorted through what makes a good friend many times, and there has been times in my life where I thought the relationship was something it wasn’t.     There are seasons in friendships too, people change, we evolve, we shift, and our focus changes.  Sometimes we have to let go, and see where the relationship goes.   Sometimes it will leave and come back.     Flexibility with the changes is key – if the relationship can be flexible, it likely will last.  

Some of the elements that I believe are essential in a great friendship are:

  • The friendship is built on trust. What you see is what you get, if there is ever a bump or problem you can deal with it open and honestly.
  • There is no envy or jealousy that exists in the relationship. You truly are happy when something good happens to the friend you love.   You don’t wish for what they may have, rather you are excited for them and want to throw a party for their new opportunities.
  • You want the best for them no matter what.   Sometimes this means being the only honest one in their lives to tell them when something may not be working.   You hurt for them when they receive the information, but you know that you have their best interests at heart.
  • The relationship is easy. It is not forced in any way.   It should be effortless in all interactions. 
  • You pick up where you left off every time you see each other. No time has passed.  It seems like it was just yesterday that you saw each other.   
  • There are no expectations; the relationship is based on love and is unconditional. As we overlay expectations, if someone does not fulfill the expectation there is disappointment.   The expectations of ourselves are different, we are not facing what the other person is facing in their day to day life, and therefore we should remove judgement from the circumstance, and always respond in love and understanding. Seek first to understand.
  • You can be completely honest always.

I am so very fortunate to have a few relationships like this.   I am thankful for my girls that keep me strong and give me a strong cup of coffee when I need it.   I am also thankful for the times where we laugh so hard that our stomachs hurt.   Thank-you for the wrinkles.  I am thankful for you, and wanted you to know it.    

Love Ness