2014 is barely begun. Outside my window a winter freeze is blustering with a fury, and I am hunkered down with a tea and a lit candle gently glowing. One boys is playing in the snow, 2 boys are are reading hoping to have some time on the xbox later… and the baby is napping- for a brief moment it is quiet here. My heart is not completely quiet though.

Christmas is packed up and put away, the house is back in order, laundry and “home love” is under control…in the quiet, I start to think…maybe this year…
Maybe this year, I’ll finally lose the weight that has haunted me since 1999.
Maybe this year, I’ll get the chaos of pictures under control in the office.
Maybe this year, I’ll memorize something grand like the book of Romans, or a passage from the Odyssey or from Othello.
Maybe this year, I’ll write that book, or do something…anything significant…
The expectation is overwhelming…
This I know, I cannot fulfill this list on my own. Impossible.
But this I know more, GRACE. 
The sufficiency of that five letter word, is so simple, it overtakes everything you put in it’s path. 
I have decided to pick a word for this year, to sum up what lies ahead…the great unknown. Perhaps some faith is required. 
The word makes my heart start to race…
So I can only get to it, by going through GRACE first. 
The word is YES.

adverb \ˈyes\

I am so used to having to say no… no to my kids, no to myself, no, no, no.
This is the year of YES. It all started a month or so ago when I watched this…
…and I felt something shift inside me… the road less traveled was whispering my name.
The one who said YES to the cross in my place, is whispering my name at every corner. 
Of course ever since then, I seem to encounter it everywhere…in conversations, on the radio, things I read, blogs, Television… Yes universe, I am listening…
and by grace…my answer is YES.

What’s been going on…

To be fair, I stole this from an email I sent out recently to an old friend who lives too far away, but why try to retype an update on my life (career in this case) when you’ve already done it?

So here it is: I’ve given up leading the Music Ministry at our church. Tuesday was my last day. It took almost a year to get to the decision as God was working his vision into my heart for my life. It’s been 16 years, so I have no problem saying so long and farewell, though I love the people so, and I supposed I will always love to sing and lead worship… it was time to move on.

I started to think about significance – what do I want to give another 10 or 15 years to? I want it to matter, and be what God’s been preparing me for. I started thinking about where my kids will be in 10 years (teens argh!) so I want what I focus on to make a difference in their lives, and still reach outside of the church. I want them to be really “living life” and knowing Jesus. As i was saying, it took a year for me to begin to see again the dreams that He planted in my heart when I was 16 and again at 23 (or before that for all I know).

So now what? You are going to laugh…I’m taking over leadership of the Children’s Ministry (I”m laughing at how absurd that sounds). However, we’re re-focusing it to embrace ministry to “the Family” – have yet to come up with a name. In 6 weeks we’ll move forward to start ministering to the entire family – marriages, kids, single parents, grandparents, etc.

I’ve got lot’s of plans, some already started – a praying wives group (praying for our husbands weekly); an annual Motherhood Conference, monthly family “dates” – we’ve already done skating, a superbowl party, and harvest party. We’ll be hosting mini-events (a princess party for girls, a superheros party for boys – a tween girls esteem building day), etc. A friend in the church already runs monthly date nights for married/engaged couples, and we’re starting up a 6 week bible study through Focus on the Family for marriage building that will be ongoing as people catch the vision and importance. We just hosted our first Family Service this past Sunday morning, and it was great…we change the whole morning service to accomodate the entire family being together for the whole hour and meeting Jesus together.

I’ll be partnering a lot of the projects with the non-profit/ non-religious organization my hubby started up with our Pastor called Elevate Niagara so that we have an open door to work with schools and recieve Government funding, etc…

We’ll also be launching several summer and afterschool outreach programs for kids (there’s already a successful Jr.Youth program that hosts these currently)

I’m probably the most excited about the summer programs because they will involve developing a youth mentoring/leadership initiative (like the one I was a part of as a teen) – we’ll hire and train teens to run the programs, camps and events – blessing the family and all of Niagara. Down the road i see Music, Arts, Drama, Sports, Wilderness, etc. camps, as well as day programs, leadership development events and family focused camps (like father-son/ mother-daughter weekends) and winter camps. It’s way bigger than my words seem to be able to contain and way bigger for me to EVER be able to do on my own – but definately worth giving everything to…

So – I’m crazy I know, and this is all when I’m super tired and just wanting to take a “break”, but once you get the fire of vision ignited – there ain’t no time to slow down…and somehow in the midst of this, whenever I think about it (all the time) – my energy comes back and is multiplied.

breathe, breathe, breathe…