April The Giraffe

April the Giraffe is now a worldwide star!  I found out about her through FB from someone else.  She was being streamed live of her pregnancy via YouTube 24/7 since February from her home at Animal Adventure Park (New York).  I got hooked on watching her and her boyfriend, Ollie (Oliver). This was in mid-late February.  While I knew what giraffes were, I didn’t know much about them.  So because of AAP through their Facebook page and the Giraffe cam, I learned so much more  especially giraffes in general and got to know the giraffe family and the AAP team (especially the owner of the park and the giraffes’ handlers).  I have spent days and nights watching April and Ollie via my phone, and the TV.   The whole meaning of the giraffe cam to was to educate on giraffes and how much in trouble they are globally in the wild (especially in Africa).

It was such a special time to watch April labor and deliver her baby boy calf on Holy Saturday (April 15) in the morning and we got to watch how her baby does for the rest of the day.   April was amazing.  She gracefully did so well. She even cleaned her baby as it was coming out and giving so much care and love and especially afterwards.  It’s been amazing to see how Baby G bonds with April and especially with Ollie. 

The giraffe cam got taken down last Friday because the park needed to open soon and they are in crunch time to get ready.   But they just put it back up yesterday and will be only on Tuesdays for the time being for only 4 hours. So that we all as a global crew can check on April, Ollie and baby.   It’s amazing to see how much the baby boy has grown in a matter of days.

I’ve been a huge supporter of AAP and April and family.  I donated twice to their GoFundMe page, subscribed to their text alerts (good until end of May), subscribed to their Facebook page, I’ve bought a shirt and giraffe plush from their online store and I’ve voted in the naming contest and participated in the live chats via YouTube.

I have noticed how much the giraffe family has also helped a lot of people especially to those who are struggling health-wise whether it’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  IT has brought them so much joy and peace and love.  And I can totally see that.

I love AAP so much that I am willing to make a trip down there with my husband in the near future, hopefully this summer/early Fall since they are only 6 hours south driving distance wise from us.  And while it’s mostly for April, Ollie and Baby G but I want to see all the other animals and to meet the park owner and the rest of the AAP team!  🙂  And It’s also inspired me to visit other zoos that are in my province which I also plan to do this year with my husband and my boys 🙂 

God is so good and especially with AAP and the giraffe family!!!  They have given so much love and light in this troubled world<3

 

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Easter 2017

Easter was blessed!  I have lots to thank the Lord for!    Good Friday was spent with taking the boys to Apple land for an Easter hunt, and family walk and then we had a game night with some good friends.  Saturday was about April the Giraffe having her baby calf (more on another post) and spending the rest of the day at my in-laws.   Sunday was spent in the morning at home with the egg hunt and the rest of the day at Spring Stone with my parents, Alex and Amanda. 

 Easter is about Jesus.  But also Easter brings rebirth, hope, love and faith.  And I received all of that this Easter.   It was joyfully wonderful  to spend it with my husband, my boys, our families and friends!

 Here’s some pictures from Easter Weekend 🙂

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Forgiven

A couple weeks ago,  we started watching Forgiven at my church during mom’s group.   It’s basically about confession and the power of forgiveness. We finished it on Tuesday.  It was only 3 sessions.

Guilt defined in the video is a feeling we get when we do something wrong and it’s basically a wake up call for us to go back to Him.   God wants to offer us healing and forgiveness. This is a step towards reconciliation with Him.   God is the ultimate loving Father. He is love.   The guilt also means that we need to change.  God absolutely doesn’t want anything to stand in the way of our relationship with Him, especially of His love.

Confession and forgiveness is an encounter with mercy.   God sees us as the sum of His love for us and our capability to become the image of Jesus.  God always knows our sins and still loves us so he wants us to repent and go back to Him.  His healing grace has the power to heal broken relationship and heal our wounds.

Confession is certainly a powerful encounter with Jesus.  Jesus is mercy himself.   Jesus wants us to know that we are NOT our sins.  This is to choose life.  This is a new beginning.  God’s mercy means a human need to say that we are sorry and that it is also a human need to hear that we are forgiven.  Confession is also defined as that we are given grace to go and sin no moreWe are defined through God’s love.   Our identity is through baptism which makes us sons and daughters of God.   Jesus is our divine physician.  This helps us gain real grace to heal and grown in our Christian life. 

Sins can be mortal or venial.   It can be committed in thoughts, words, actions and inaction.  They are forgiven to make us free to love.

My personal sins that I have done in the past per the 10 commandments (not all of them) are as indicated as follows.  

I didn’t always put God before me; I didn’t always pray daily; I have used curse words and have heard other people curse in my presence;  I don’t always attend mass on Sundays ;I have had one abortion (at 18, not my choice); I have lost my temper;  I have harmed people emotionally; I have watched pornography and sexual movies; I have had lustful thoughts; have masturbated;  indulged in premarital sex; have gotten drunk;  not always generous in serving the poor; have told lies; been unfaithful to my husband with my actions (in the past);  used my husband (in the past) to satisfy my sexual urges. 

Now, this is all in the past… yes, the curse words still occasionally slip and we still do sometimes skip mass (with good reason) and I rarely get drunk anymore (I did this past weekend during a stag and doe though). So this is as transparent I can be here.  All these sins may sound really crazy as if I’m really bad, but honestly, there are a lot more things that I could have sinned and I have not gone that far.   I have a love and hate relationship with myself, but everything that I’ve done up to this point in my life has put me where I am today as me, and I continue to grow in the woman that God has intended for me to be with Jesus living in me.

So,  I haven’t honestly gone to a confession in a long time as to a real priest at church, (as I don’t remember honestly when it was the last time, but it’s been years, I will tell you that)  but I have prayed to the Lord whenever I do feel really guilty and ask for forgiveness. And to people that need my apology.  Even in marriage, you should say your sorry and ask for forgiveness when something not pleasing (to them, to your marriage and to the Lord) was done, and say to your spouse that  you are forgiven as they won’t move on until they hear that.

So even as Christians (and even non-Christians), we aren’t perfect.  Honestly, we are born as sinners and will be until we go home to the Lord.  Jesus just wants  us to grow in more in Christ as we journey through this life in this physical world.

 

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Pressing Pause Part III

I’m back with more notes on the current book that I’m reading on my kindle which is Pressing Pause by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk.

Karen and Ruth say that when you find yourself whining or comparing yourself to someone else,  remember to go spiritually free and walk in the ways of God.   Don’t let Satan win.  Pray to the Lord.  Allow God to lead you.

The real you is your character, who you are becoming through the work of the Holy Spirit in you.   Who we are is more important to God than what we do.  Letting God change  you in who He wants you to be.   The works of God in you is really amazing.

As a mom, you are to show your children how to listen with your eyes.   Speaking and listening with our eyes make for more intimate conversations. We are all to look to the Lord in His eyes.  If we look to the Lord with our eyes ourselves, it’s easier for the kids to look to you with their eyes and to the Lord as well.  It’s  work in a progress but it can be done.  Eyes are the beholder of the soul.  It’s your window in life, your feelings and more.

United and cleave mean the same definition which is to stick together, be committed or hold fast to each other, two individuals becoming one.  Our marriage relationships is to become the most important relationship. Our spouse is our priority.  Keep your marriage a priority.   Grow in oneness. Cling to each other is what Karen and Ruth say.   Marriage is a gift to be enjoyed and bring life to each spouse.  Always choose your spouse over your family that you leave from, 100%.  I devote to always stay committed to my husband always and keep bringing him up in love 🙂

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Pressing Pause Part II

I read some more of the Pressing Pause book on my kindle the other day.  The book’s authors are  Karen Ehman and Ruth SchwenkI wanted to share more notes from it with you. 

Ruth and Karen tell us that there are four words that we should say to the Lord and that is “Your will be done“.   Your will be done means surrendering our plans to God, choosing His over ours. I don’t say these four words often enough, but I should say that more.   My life on and off has been more like Give me if I.  I don’t always choose His over mine, but we all aren’t perfect and I always try to remember that God’s plans are better than mine and his plans are always perfect and right.  He knows what’s best for us, even if it takes us through trials before we understand and see the success that come through it in the end.

We have to remember that God is coming to us to put on one flesh through incarnation though Jesus.  We are to be making God real to our children, us as parents.  They are to see us following Him through loving & serving others, treasuring Christ and his word, opening our homes to friends and neighbors,  saying God’s will in prayer and sacrificing time, talents and treasure. This is about living out faith that is real.  I am always aiming to model God through my parenting and again, I’m not always perfect but I try.   I try to remember that as for me and my house, we serve the Lord.

For love, I am to say that Julie is patient.  That is through prayer, holding tongue, and walking in spirit.   Julie keeps no records of wrongs. 

Table is to be used, a place to eat, a place to gather,  to talk, dream, discuss God’s word,  laugh and share life.  Jesus always shared  a table with someone.  Table is what will enjoy in heaven which is of communion, friendship and belonging.  This is eternal and sacred space.   This is a slice of  heaven.   I do eat at the table with my boys and my husband, and we also use it to talk about stuff and do homework with the kids on there on a daily basis.    Personally, I grew up  having dinners at home with my parents and my brothers.  And then when we got older as teenagers, it was stressed that we have it once a week and that was Sunday nights.   We even continued that in our early dating years and the first couple years of our marriage before Logan joined.  We still have dinners with my parents and my in-laws whenever the boys have a sleepover with them and with the whole family on holidays and special occasions like birthdays and etc.. So I’ve obviously carried that tradition with my kids and my husband.  We definitely eat more dinners together on the weekends than during the week, but definitely the kids always have dinners together at the kitchen table no matter what.

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Pressing Pause Part I

I’m reading a new book on my kindle about Pressing Pause by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk.   Here’s some things I learned from the book that I would like to share with you so far from the book.

With God, we will have peace.  God wants us to be instrumental of peace in our homes.  Our unique skills/talents are ways for us to participate in obeying Jesus which are also tools for loving others.  I am absolutely working on adding more peace in me, in my house, and in my family and in my marriage and in my boys.  Because we serve our house to the Lord.

I have talked to myself like I am failing on many occasions in every area of my life at one point or another.  They say that thinking like that you are failing are father of lies.  We aren’t to let Satan rule us.  We are to renew our minds with God’s word because it’s full of life and truth.  We are to allow God to change/transform us into the image of Christ.  We aren’t failures.

We’ve all suffered in motherhood (or felt like that) in many ways like newborn stuff with feeding, and etc.  But Karen and Ruth tell me (and you) that this is not suffering.  These are opportunities to hear from the Lord to “soul-grow”.  We are blessed at what we do because it’s a act of service.  Motherhood is an act of service.   And I  have certainly grew in my soul through motherhood, all good and bad and I know this continues.  Motherhood is a lifetime thing just like marriage is.  You find ways to make things work. You don’t give up.  You allow God to guide you in what’s the next step to take, whatever it is.   You allow God to give you grace, strength, courage, and more.  All my boys went through stages of newborn and beyond differently. Somethings worked for one, and not for the other.  So it’s all trial and error. We’re not perfect.  But we can be better and so our kids can be too 🙂

Whatever we do, we do it for the Lord, not for man kind.  We serve Jesus as we work.  We’re to replace do with get and add in serving the Lord.   Like for an example I am to say that I get to be a mom of my three boys because I am serving the Lord.  I get to make love with my husband because I am married to him and love him so I am serving the Lord at the same time.

Motherhood is a noble and sacred calling.  Our life is hidden in Christ.  We are His daughters. Being a mom doesn’t mean you can’t pursue Christ in other ways too.  So for me, I want to also pursue Christ through photography, blogging, reaching out to other moms, and in my marriage as well.

We pass on faith when faith is alive in us.  Full and free is marriage where you find your fountain in Christ.   Our marriage to our spouses are to be an overflowing spring.  We are God’s handiwork. Solitude is good for our souls.   We are to stretch towards Christ with desire in all that we do.   We as wives are to be respectful, pure, honoring, loving and gentle.  I want to pass on faith to my husband and to my boys. We are to do things as a  mom with the heart to I will in praise and love.   We are to step out with grace and live with greater love.

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Sacred Marriage Part V

I’m back with final notes on the book that I had been reading on my kindle which was Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.  Finishing off with Chapter 13 and 14. 

Chapter 13 was about sacred presence.   Christian family defined as product of faith and daily life with the Sprit of God.   Christian Spirituality involves a passionate pursuit of and response to spiritual being which is God himself.  God is always watching, caring and hearing us.   Union of marriage is about a husband and wife who want to invite Jesus into the deeper parts of marriage and to live out and deepen their faith in God. 

Marriage is a duty to communicate with each other which is a discipline of love. It’s about reaching out to each other which mirrors God reaching out to us.  Communication has us entering each other’s world.  We’re to talk in words that blesses God and listen to each other.  Marital virtues include listening, patience, humility, service and faithful love and you do the same towards God as well.  Communication should be about  words that draw forth to God, not to push away God.   Christianity calls us to be the right person.  We all need God’s love and active presence in our lives and in our marriage.  We all are made in the image of God.   In marriage, we learn to become more like Christ in prayer to God. Creating a family is the closest things we can get to sharing an image of God. Family of deep faith requires energy, concentration and self-denial.

Chapter 14 is about sacred mission.   Marriage develops our spiritual calling.   We are to be married and stay married and for that to happen, we have to act like a married spouse (husband/wife).   Being devoted to marriage includes lovable energy, initiative and time into building and nurturing the relationship.   We grow in God by having our focus on serving Him through out the day chores.  The two visions become one life in marriage.   In marriage, we are to moderate and redirect our dreams.  God is creating our world.  Marriage is about love for God and love for others.  This is two aspects of a single total love.  

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