Thursday, January 27, 2011

Better than Ever!

Nineteen and a half years ago I joined AYF at Rexdale Alliance Church (youth group for Grades 9-OAC).  I was 15 years old and in grade 10.  It didn't take me long to meet Tim Repetski.  He wore Oakley Frogskin sunglasses and he was so cute.  My crush started in October 1991.  Being a 16 year old guy he didn't really notice my advances....I always tried to sit beside him at church and during youth group - so aggresive, right? 

I remember having a conversation with one of my guy friends, Andrew P, and he told me that Tim was definetly interested in me.  Well...finally, I thought, now I just have to turn 16 and I'll be officially (according to Tony and Brigitte Peron) allowed to date.

On January 25, 1992 it was a day with no school.  I had just finished my first semester exams and we had the day off before semester 2 started.  I was hanging out at Vijay Krishnan's house with Tim, Andrew, and Terrence.  Don't ask me where all of the other girls were...I was so pleased that there were no other girls vying for Tim's attention.  I knew that there was a group of people going rollerskating on the Thursday of that week - one day after I turned 16!  So while Tim and I were sitting on the floor of the living room  of the Krishnan's home I asked him if he wanted to go with me...he hesitated and so I said it would be my treat.  So embarassing....but he had never had a girl pay for him before and so he thought that was pretty cool. 

Two days later I was 16 years +1 day old and now officially allowed to date.  I think Tim and I drove with a few other people to the roller rink.  We skated and talked and he bought me a drink and somewhere near the end of the evening we held hands as we made our way around the rink. BTW, we didn't have our first kiss until a few months later.

April 1992 - our very first picture together

May 1992 - at the Bijl Wedding. 
For all of you who want this dress - it was made from a Laura Ashley pattern
by my Oma for my grade 8 graduation. 

 Tim and I attended separate high schools and I believe that is why we were able to have such a healthy dating relationship.  We only saw each other at youth group on Wednesday nights, one date on Friday or Saturday night, and at church on Sundays.  We always kept our own circle of friends other than the church friends that we shared. 

We took driver's ed together and both failed our first road test within half an hour of each other.

When I shared with him that I had decided to be baptized at 18 years old he said that he had also decided to take that step of obedience.  We were baptized on the same Sunday evening.

In August 1997 Tim proposed to me at Killbear Provincial Park by having a Park Ranger pull me over and issue me a ticket.  When I was given the ticket the officer had written in large letters:  "Will you marry me?"  I was totally confused and wondered why this guy was asking me out?!?  I turned to Tim sitting beside me and now ready with the ring.  He then asked me himself "Will you marry me" and I of course burst into tears and then said yes!!

 10 months later...on July 4, 1998 I married my best friend.

Six and half years of dating.
Twelve and half years of marriage.
And each new day I love him more.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Favorites Moments from today.

I am 35 years old today.
I have been so loved today - all week really.  Starting last Friday my friends and sisters threw me a surprise party.  I was so very very shocked - believe me .  I had no idea that they were doing this for me which was evident in the way I looked.  No make-up.  Three-day old hair which means overly large and frizzy.  But, I loved every minute of the party.

I'm pretty sure I stayed in this position for too long....and I couldn't quit smiling.

Sunday afternoon my mother-in-law prepared a feast for me.  Yum.
And Monday evening my mom called me up and had me meet her at the mall.  She took me for dinner and then over to MEXX to buy me a church outfit.  Honestly, it felt like I was 15 years old all over again.  A skirt and blouse were on her mind for me.  And it would have made her quite happy to have me choose a matching blazer.  :)  Too bad there were no skirts that I liked...wink wink.

Today - my actual birthday - began with the girls giving me tulips.  I love tulips during the winter...they make me think Spring is just around the corner.  My dad brought me coffee and flowers mid-morning and my very good friend brought me a delicious lunch from Szechuan Szechuan.  (plus a beautiful new purse.  I love purses and it takes a good friend to be brave enough to know what kind of a purse a girl will like.  She was right on). 

I asked for "breakfast for dinner" for my birthday dinner.  In my mind all I needed was crispy bacon and eggs.  But Tim prepared an absolute "breakfast for dinner feast" including french toast, sausage, homemade hashbrowns, orange juice with pulp (!!), malt bread (blast from our cottage days with our friends before kids past), bacon, eggs, and coffee.

Tim sent me to my crafting space to make cards while he cleaned up the kitchen and got the children ready for bed.  If you know me well then you'll understand that this was a huge gift too. 

I am so thankful for my wonderful husband who knows exactly my language of love
 for my girls who all made me handmade cards,
for my family (my sister is hosting a family party this coming weekend)
and for my friends.

favorite moment from the day: receiving a card from ALison with a poem that she wrote which reads:
"Once there was a catrpiler [caterpillar] so they say
 a 34 lady turend [turned] 35 today!"
[re] learned today: my husband knows me so very well
frivolous thing i'm most thankful for right now:  the chocolate birthday cake waiting for me to eat a 2nd piece with a glass of red wine 
song i'm listening to right now: Tim singing with his uke
[ it's your turn! you answer these 4 things.]
(idea used with permission from Love)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Little Bit of Me

Just some pictures to show you what I do when the kids are at school. 
Me at play work.
wording waiting to be added to interior

perfectly aligned ribbon = a happy bride and a happy boss

the workshop

Catherine and I assembling invite pockets

Amber scoring the invites
  Did I mention that I LOVE my job?!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thru Others

Last night I shared with people how difficult it is for me to "FEEL" for people in other nations.  Sure...sometimes I hear of a story or read an article and my heart trembles a little for people in other countries experiencing tragedy in their lives thru sickness or natural disasters. 

One of the ways that I try to learn more... feel more is to read other people`s blogs.  Blogs written by people that are living in the heart of these places. 
I was brought to tears reading Sit a Spell - written by a woman named Heather.  She is a young mom of four boys!! Three are her biological sons, one is an adopted son.  This family heard the call on their lives last year following the earthquake in Haiti.  They left their very comfortable lives in Texas during the sumer of 2010 and are now living and serving in Haiti. 

If you have trouble relating to countries other than where you live or imagining the lives of missionaries, I suggest you check out the blog  Sit a Spell.  Heather is a delightful and inspiring woman who deeply loves the Lord.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

All set and ready for church....

I have the girls choose their clothes for church on Saturday nights to decrease the craziness of Sunday mornings. 

This is what their floor looks like right now:

Emily even chose her jewellery.  And apparently a mask of some sort...??!!

How cute are they?

Friday, January 7, 2011

May I make a suggestion.....?

Do you find it difficult to apply God's word to your present life.  Or do you find that when you read Scripture you walk away thinking "well, that's done...not sure what it meant for them (the Israelites) and I for sure don't know what it means for me". 

Well, I have a suggestion for you.  I just completed it for myself...and I think it's worthy to share with you.  The suggestion comes from the book "Shopping For Time" mentioned in my recent post.

 Maybe you are new to making Scripture reading a daily activity.  More often you hear the bible read to you at church where your Pastor chooses a passage and then neatly unpacks it for you and delivers you with a message that you can then understand and apply to your daily life.  But now you have decided to crack the spine of your Bible at home; perhaps at 5:42 a.m.  :)  Don't you love the sound of those crinkly pages?

Developing a plan for systematically reading portions of Scripture will  most likely keep you from becoming frustrated and/or bored with reading the Bible.  Following a reading plan is a good idea, as long as it doesn't become a journey of ticking off the little boxes showing that you've completed the day's "work".  I've been there....and it wasn't a very fruitful time.  But whatever your system is for choosing where to read I think it is beneficial to read thru a book in order rather than just opening your bible and letting your finger drop on a passage. 
Once you've chosen where to start read the passage (keep it short - perhaps just one chapter or less if it's a long one) and consider the following:  write two sentences (or more if you want) one beginning with "God" and one beginning with "I".  To complete the sentence beginning with "God", ask yourself, "what do these verses reveal about God?"  You may see examples of His love, His faithfulness, His compassion.  Write it down and maybe jot down the verse where you saw evidence of this.  Then for the sentence starting with "I", ask yourself  "What do I learn about myself in relation to God from these verses?" and "What do I resolve to do in response to God's revelation of himself in these verses?"  The example from my own devos this morning had me reading Isaiah 2.  (that's all, folks - just one chapter).  Isaiah 2:22a says "stop trusting in man..."  So I wrote in my journal:  "I will not trust in man".  And then to answer the second question I wrote:  "I will seek the Lord daily to find strength in Him alone." 

Then take your sentences and pray them back to God.  Worship Him first for the aspects of His character that have been revealed to you.  Thank Him for the many facets of His grace you've glimpsed.  And ask Him for his assitance to respond in obedience.



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The 5:42 a.m. Club

Before I had children I had little problem with the discipline of finding a time to sit and read my Bible and spend some time in prayer.  I lived close to my workplace and didn’t have to leave home until 8:40 to arrive for my start time.  Tim left for work around 6:30 and so I had at the very least 2 hours every single morning that I used (not all of it, don’t be crazy) for my devos.
Then 2002 happened....and Hannah happened.  And then 20 months later, Alison happened.  And 2 ½ years after that Emily happened.  And do you know what didn’t happen?  My quiet times.  They all but disappeared.  Sure, every so often I would rally and out would come my bible and for a few weeks I would read and pray regularly.  But then sickness would strike....and once again it would be months before I would pick up my bible or prayer journal.  Mostly I would placate myself with the words “these are difficult times, Melissa.  You’re not sleeping full nights and your days are certainly stressful caring for the three young children.”  Tim worked long hours six days per week so even as a family we were running on almost empty.  I felt that my passion for Christ was lukewarm.  I certainly wasn’t enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. My sinful attitudes such as anger and a critical spirit were at an all time high and my desire to fight sin was weak. 
I knew in my heart that I needed to seek God every day and ask Him for His strength to get thru the days.  I continually relied on my own strength and was failing pretty miserably.  I often thought about a conversation with a much loved and well respected woman from my church – some of you may know her, Florence McBride. She shared with me about how as a young mom she knew that she needed to intentionally carve out time in each day to spend with the Lord.  The only time that worked for her was 5:00 a.m.  That’s crazy, I thought to myself, in my “no children days” mind.
But something had to change.  As I mentioned earlier, Tim leaves for work very early.  For all of our almost 13 years of marriage I have woken with him, packed his lunch and prepared his breakfast.  I have always enjoyed doing this for him and never had an issue with getting up to do something loving for him.  About two years ago I made the decision to stay up rather than return to bed once the morning duties for Tim had been completed.   For me it’s actually quite easy to use this time for my devos.  I’m already up, the coffee is hot and fresh and I have no kids to bother me. 
There is no scriptural law to rise early and spend time with God; however, there is biblical encouragement.  Psalm 5:3 says “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation”.
I just finished reading a book called “Shopping for Time: How to do it ALL without becoming overwhelmed”.   A few chapters are dedicated to extolling the virtue of rising early (or earlier than you are currently getting up.  Here’s a great quote from John Piper from his book “When I don’t desire God”: “I earnestly recommend that it be in the early morning unless there are some extenuating circumstances.  Entering the day without a serious meeting with God, over his Word and in prayer, is like entering the battle without tending to your weapons.  The human heart does not replenish itself with sleep.  The body does, but not the heart...We replenish our hearts not with sleep, but with the Word of God and prayer.” 
I was talking about this with a friend last night and she had this to add (in my own words).  What are we afraid of?  What keeps so many of us from rising early to spend time with God?  I think the most popular reason is that we say “I’m too tired.  I’ll be too irritable during the day with one hour less of sleep.”  But let’s remember our friend Daniel from the Old Testament.  He was much loved and well-respected by King Darius.  Daniel worked alongside 2 other administrators who did not believe in God.  Daniel worked more efficiently and capably than all of his colleagues and thus gained the King’s favour.  Daniel’s colleagues schemed to find a way to kill him.  They convinced the King to enforce a decree which forbid anyone to pray to any god or man during the next 30 days or he shall be thrown into the lion’s den.  So King Darius agreed and issued the decree.  But did this stop Daniel?  Did he stop praying to his faithful and ever-loving God?  Did he choose his life over death in the lion’s den?  It would be a horrific and terribly painful death to be thrown into the den of lions.  But “when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem.  Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”  (Daniel 6:10, NIV).  It was discovered that Daniel was praying to God and we all know what happens next.  He is taken before the King, accused and ordered to be thrown into the lion’s den.  And we also know that God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouth and keep Daniel safe.....all because he continued to TRUST the LORD. 
Can we not also trust the Lord?  Trust Him to bless us with energy to get thru a day with less sleep?  Seems nearly ridiculous right? compare our issue of praying early in the morning to Daniel’s issue of making the choice to pray or be thrown in the Lion’s den. 
These thoughts are not to condemn you....or make you feel guilty.  My intention isn’t to make you believe that I have it all together and no longer sin throughout the day or make all of the right choices all of the time.  Rather it’s to encourage you and remind you that “When we seek God through his Word and prayer, we glean wisdom for walking carefully.  We obtain guidance for daily decisions.  We find peace in the midst of life’s whirlwind.  We are infused with strength to complete our tasks.” (Shopping for Time”).  Are you able to find quiet time during the day....or do you need to join the 5:42 a.m. club with me and rise before the rest of your household. 
May God bless you with courage to rise early and trust that He will carry you through the day.
Thank you for staying with me thru this very very very long post. J
Have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Look Back at 2010

Hannah's 8th birthday party at the local nail salon.


-I begin my job with Catzy's Creations working one evening per week.

Emily's 4th birthday


-I become an Aunt again on March 5th to Paul Marcus Zegers!
-I attend a live conference with Beth Moore as the speaker.

 We take the girls to Spring Fling at the Roger's Centre.  Expensive...but a fun winter treat.


We celebrate Easter at the cottage. The girls participate in a community Easter egg hunt. 10 000 eggs were placed on Wasaga Beach`s YMCA property. We spend the afternoon on the beach. Do you remember how warm it was that weekend?


Our first road trip!! We loaded up our Mazda 5 and travelled to Myrtle Beach.

We had the most perfect weather.

My garden was coming along...this is one of my peonies. They say another name for the peony is "the Dolly Parton of the Garden".
We started work on "Project Pergola". I say "we" but I really mean "Tim".

I took the girls to the cottage for a few days. We celebrated Canada Day at Blue Mountain's The Village.

Tim took the girls on a Father-Daughter camping weekend. Too much candy was consumed and late nights were had by all - the girls loved every minute of the trip.

The pergola was completed to a point that we could go ahead with our 2nd annual "Under the Patio Lanterns" Party. Breathing made us sweat that night!!

We had our family camping vacation at Killbear this year All four of us are blurry in the picture...but I wanted you to see the luxury we were afforded for the second year in a row. Check out the 37 foot trailer Tim pulled and we lived in for the week. Many thanks to our friends Dave and Gail Clements.

A rare family portrait.

-I continue doing child care for family friends two days per week and working for Catzy's Creations when Emily is in school.

My youngest child heads off to school.

27 women register and attend the Beth Moore simulcast with me. I prepare and make gift bags for each of them.

-Fifty seven women sign up and attend our fall women's bible study!! I had hoped and prayed that at least 6 would come....I was totally blown away and thankful to God for answered prayer beyond my wildest imagination. We journeyed thru the Fruit of the Spirit together.

Alison celebrates her 7th birthday


-I rejoin the world of Facebook. I join the world of Twitter.

I try my hand at "picnicking".com.


-I launch my blog.

Tim starts playing the ukelele. So do the girls...

The girls were given a DSi for Christmas - not sure if they were more surprised than I was!

I have truly enjoyed beginning this blog. I have so many ideas percolating in my mind and often find myself writing a post while doing the dishes or trying to fall asleep. Now if I could only get myself to actually write those posts....:)
 Thank you to everyone who keeps checking back to see if I have added a new post. I love your comments! And many of you have said to me in person things like "I totally laughed out loud when I read that on your blog" or other such niceties.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Have a blessed and happy 2011!!

HELP: I must be quite honest: this post was really difficult to do. Does anyone out there know of a more blog friendly way to post pictures? Each of my pictures posted to the top of the post and then I had to manually drag each down to the correct spot. It took FORever. Maybe blogger isn't the best option for me. I welcome all help. :)
UPDATE:  thank you problems are no more.