Category: Life

Waiting on God’s Help

For several months, Matt and I have been planning an amazing family vacation, and this week it almost came undone. Our three week trip to Nicaragua is a culmination of years of dreaming, months of saving money, countless hours spent reading hostel/hotel reviews and travel blogs and drafting itineraries, then going back to square one and repeating the whole process. We chose this Central American country because Matt has been there before on mission trips and loved it – he has always said how much he wants me to travel there and experience the culture and see some of the amazing scenery Nicaragua has to offer. We also sponsor a child who lives in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, and we felt that having the opportunity to meet her in person was one we couldn’t pass up.

This may be a once in a lifetime trip, although I hope it isn’t! In the short-term, however, we do have a very special window to both take three weeks off work, for Torre to fly nearly free of charge, and to have pulled together enough money to make the trip happen. I joked with Matt that even though Nicaragua doesn’t really have any resorts, we can tell people we’re taking an “all expenses paid” vacation – it’s just that we’re paying all the expenses as we go 🙂

My passport has a few years left on it, but Matt had to renew his passport for this trip, which he did without any hiccups. Then Tuesday afternoon we found out Torre needs a passport to travel. Now, everyone who I told this to more or less responded with, “Well, yeah.” But we just didn’t realize. Honestly, I had no questions about showing up at the airport with our tickets and our child and his birth certificate and getting on a plane, but that’s not how they do it any more. Doh.

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Getting Ready to Dance

A week from today, I’ll be heading to the East Coast of Canada for a mission trip to Bathurst, NB. It is my second year going, and like last year we’ll be driving for two days to get there (I appreciate your prayers that Torre travels well!), but.

Unlike last year, our team will be much smaller: 8 people instead of 17, and our trip will be a few days shorter. I’m really looking forward to going, and I’m excited for what God has in store, but I also have no idea what to expect. I am in a state of hopeful anticipation, confident that God has prepared good works for us to do and that He will take this time we are dedicating to serving him in order to shape us and grow his Kingdom, but.

This is certainly not a mission trip that we are entering into from a position of strength. Planning for the trip has been a bit disorganized, and we have spent very little time together as a team. A lot of the details for how we’ll spend our time in Bathurst are still up in the air, and I foresee some challenges for our team to live up to the expectations of past years, but.

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Clean Your Rings!

A few weeks ago Matt and I started a marriage training course with friends from church who are getting married at the end of the month. The course is put out by the same people who do Alpha, and so far I’ve found it to be a highlight of our week. Much of the material so far has touched on similar themes as our own pre-marital counselling sessions: take time to connect with each other, but don’t smother each other either; communicate your feelings and listen without judging; love must be nurtured if it’s going to last; and good marriages don’t happen by accident.

But here’s the thing! I have gotten so much out of these sessions compared to the counselling we went through five years ago, and I couldn’t figure out why. But I think it’s because…. we’re married now! Dating and being engaged are simply not the same as being married, and although I believe Matt and I entered into marriage as well prepared as we could have been, it’s simply a different matter when you put things into practice compared to talking through the theory.

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A Camping Adventure

This week our family shared our first camping trip! It was my third time camping EVER, and the first time I’ve ever hiked into a campsite, and Torre spent his first night in a tent with great success. Originally I had booked a day off work so that Matt could go camping with friends and I would stay home with Torre, but at the last minute some people decided not to go, and I asked Matt if it would be too crazy for me to jump in last minute (and by last minute I mean at 9:30pm the night before their 6am departure time!). Matt was up for it, and so was our friend Benson, so Matt rearranged the supplies to make one backpack as light as possible so I could carry it while wearing Torre on my front, we grabbed a couple hours of sleep and hit the road bright and early.

Torre in car

How could you not be a morning person when you wake up to this smile!?

The campsite we reserved was an 8km hike from the trail head, but due to a road closure we had to leave the car at the park office and started our adventure with a “bonus hike” of about 2km. Matt set a quick pace so we could make it to our campsite before the rain that was forecast, although we stopped at a few lookouts on the way to take in the beautiful scenery.

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Book Review: The Queen’s Handmaid

The Queen’s Handmaid, by Tracy L. Higley follows an orphaned servant girl from Cleopatra’s palace in Alexandria to Herod’s seat of power in Jerusalem on a quest to deliver secret writings from the prophet Daniel that foretell the coming of a Messiah. Along the way she must elude the schemes of petty fellow-servants and the dark magic of those who want the scrolls to remain lost forever. With no idea of who her parents were, she is also on a personal journey to find her place in the world and her true identity as a child of God.

Before reviewing this book, I read another historical fiction novel by Higley titled Garden of Madness which I thought was fantastic (two reviews for the price of one!*). That book brought ancient Babylon to life through the eyes of a likeable character and a plot that featured romance, mystery and a great spiritual connection. I was hooked early into the story and followed all the twists with so much excitement. I was truly entertained and inspired by the tale, and for this reason I was so excited to review another novel by the same author.

Unfortunately, The Queen’s Handmaid did not measure up to my expectations –

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