for what lies ahead

For What Lies Ahead

Easy times are coming to an end, persecution is coming. It’s something I think we all know, we can see it every time we watch the news. I can look just 4 hours south and see a city where Sharia law is already in effect to know that persecution like Disciples of Christ have experienced as normal is coming here and it will not be long before it is widespread.

More than one person recently has mentioned to me that they believe our children will face real persecution in their lives, not just the stuff we  think is “persecution” here in our comfortable lives, but real persecution, the kind that early followers of Christ faced in Rome and have faced ever since in the majority of the world. That is what is normal. What we have grown up in and our parents grew up in is not normal; our children will probably not have the same privilege, they will likely be tested in ways that we have never been. How can I be preparing them for what lies ahead?

Yesterday I read the horrifying story about 12 Muslim-background Believers who were tortured and martyred because they wouldn’t renounce Jesus. One was a child. I could hardly get through the article, it is heartbreaking. I can’t help but imagine myself in their place as I look at my little children and think of the sweet boy who is now with Jesus.

If persecution on this scale is not far off for those of us in North America, We as mom’s need to be preparing our children for it. Praying for them is obviously the most important thing that we can do, it is our most valuable asset. Besides prayer we need to teach our children the word, not just cute Bible stories but all of it, have them memorize Scripture from a young age, remind them of those verses when they are afraid or when they doubt. Teach them about other religions and how they differ from what we believe. Teach them critical thinking and apologetics from a young age so that when questioned they will know how to answer intelligently. Then pray some more! Pray for them and pray with them, pray of the persecuted church with them and help them to be aware of what is going on in the world without filling them with fear. It won’t be easy but it will help our children be more prepared for life especially if their lives will be harder than ours have been so far, and along the way we will be preparing ourselves as well. Kristina

when you are exhausted

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When part of your heart is far away

I’m staring at a blank screen trying to think of what I should write about motherhood today and all I can think about is a mother I met yesterday.  She sat right in front of me at a refugee sponsorship meeting I was at with a group of other from our church. She listened carefully and towards the end of the meeting mentioned that she moved to Canada from Afghanistan about ten years ago and her family is still there, far away. Her brother and his family are refugees who have fled for another country but her parents and younger siblings are still in Afghanistan (therefore are not classified as refugees even if they are in danger and living in a war zone). She is most worried about her young sister because of the vulnerable age she is at in a part of the world where child brides are very common.

After the meeting I started talking to her and before long a few of us were listening as she shared her story. She has nightmares still about men chasing her with guns, she wants, so desperately, to bring her family over but with a special needs son and a disabled husband money is very tight and writing a check for $30,000 to start the process is just impossible. She has looked for help in local mosques but they are busy with their own crises and can’t offer any help. She is desperate and ready to begin looking to churches now or anyone that can offer her some help.

My heart broke for her and I wanted so badly to give her the money but for me it is just as impossible as it is for her to come up with that money.

We talked with her for a time and exchanged information because even though I can’t write a check that big I can offer ideas for raising that money. I can put the word out to my circle while the other ladies put it out to their circle and hopefully together we can all provide her with the help she needs.

Being a mom is hard enough, especially if your child has special needs, without worrying about getting your family out of dangerous situations.

I hope to share more information in the next little bit about how we can help this family. In the meantime would you pray with me for her? Pray that she would not become convinced that it was just words and we don’t really want to help. Pray that we would be able to help her become reunited with her family. Pray that we would have more chances to get to know her and show her the love of Christ. Pray for safety for her family and especially of her teenage sister.


when you are exhausted

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mother of a prodigal

mother of a prodigal

Across the isle she sat, Kleenex in hand, watching her son speak. He is man now, but in her mind he is still the tiny boy whose cheeks she used to kiss and who would run to her crying when he got hurt needing only a hug from her to feel all better.

He spoke about how he got addicted to drugs, ended up in jail, homeless and broke her heart so many times. Tears fell as he talked about turning his life around and rebuilding relationships with her and his father.

I looked over and tried to imagine the heartache she has been through, tried to imagine watching a child you love so dearly choose to hurt himself again and again. I thought about all the nights she must have prayed God would spare his life as he did everything he could to end it. I tried to put myself in her shoes as she sat there and watched the answer to so many years of prayers, the prodigal son returned, making amends and getting help. I thought about the long road she has walked and how it isn’t finished yet, she will continue to pray for her boy as he walks this long road. She will always worry for him that he will fall back but will praise God for how far he has come and pray with all her heart that he will keep moving forward.

When I picked up my little Gideon after the service and kissed his little cheeks I thought of her again and prayed for her. They say that moms have pieces of their hearts that walk around outside their bodies and they are so right. There are so many moms like her that have had to watch their hearts destroy themselves and a few are lucky and able to witness God mending them.


when you are exhausted

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When you are exhausted

Today was one of those days. Yesterday Faith and I shot our last wedding of the season, a ten hour one out in the cold, damp and very windy weather. It was very beautiful but cold and about midnight by the time I got home.

This afternoon I was useless, I sat in my favourite chair, watched a little bit of Dowton Abby before falling asleep. Afternoon naps are extremely rare for me even when I am really tired but today it was unavoidable. The kids, on the other hand, were flying off the walls hyper. There were fights and lots of drama before they finally decided to play nicely in one of their rooms.

I fell asleep to the music of fingers on a keyboard (which I love) as hubby worked on papers, and the muffled sound of the kids playing in their room, It was glorious. Before that I had endured a very hyper boy using me as a trampoline though so it wasn’t all peaceful and pleasant…

It is so hard to parent when you are exhausted and they are climbing the walls. It is hard to be intentional when you can hardly keep your eyes open. Thankfully today I wasn’t alone in this parenting thing and was able to rest. I have so much respect for single parents who never have a partner to rely on when they are exhausted. I have had a taste of it because of the schedules that Caleb has and it is not easy.


when you are exhausted

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loving the annoying parts

Sometimes it is hard for me to appreciate how amazing my daughter is. She is not quite seven and already we butt heads constantly.

She is so much like my “baby” brother, it isn’t even funny, which has a lot of really great advantages but also means that she pushes all the same buttons that he used to (and sometimes still does) enjoy pushing.

She is loving and kind, she never wants anyone to feel like they are not special. She is gentle, silly and extremely forgiving. Her whole day can be made perfect by one word of approval or a good hug. She is also stubborn, willful and whiny.

How can such a little person who I begged God for five years for drive me so insane sometimes?

I feel like a horrible person admitting it.

Then I sit next to her teacher at a party and hear how she is sweet and kind and never gives any trouble; and later hear from a friend whose son is in her class how special she makes him feel and I wonder how I could possibly deserve her. I don’t deserve her.

I see her face light up when I thank God that we are a family as I put them to bed. I see her joy when I tell her she can put her spelling test (she got 100%) on the fridge. I listen to songs she makes up every day about how she loves her family or loves Jesus.

She is an angel and I am so thankful for her. I know that tomorrow she will likely push my buttons a few more times, but I am thankful for even those annoying parts of her because they make her who she is.

Loving the annoying parts

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Mothering a Drama Queen

Mothering a Drama Queen & King

Nearly seven years ago I gave birth to a drama queen. I knew right away that she was, there was no denying it, she reminded me every hour on the hour all through the night for the first 15 months of her life. She reminded me of it every time I attempted to put her in the nursery at church until she was four. That didn’t work out so well. She reminds me every time I pick her up from school and she finds out that we aren’t going where she wants to go. As she has grown the level of drama has not decreased in the slightest, if anything it has grown.

Almost three years later when my son was born I thought, “OK he will be like his daddy probably.” Even tempered if ever anyone was. in more than eleven years of marriage I have still never seen him cry, I am not sure if it is even physically possible. While Gideon does resemble his daddy in a lot of ways he also has A LOT of his mommy in him and almost as much drama as his sister.

Oh goodness Lord, what are you trying to teach me through these two little dramatic angels?

My days (once Aurora gets home from school) consist of breaking up a hundred fights, calming down the panic attacks over the grapes that spilled or the brother who won’t sit still with thirty stuffed animals and watch his sisters “concert”. He torments her, she fusses. She torments him, he cries or hurts her. Drama. Drama. Drama.

There is never a dull moment, or a quiet one, in our house.

I struggle to be patient. I fail…daily.

They drive me insane but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  Kristina

Mothering a Drama Queen & King

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when you are exhausted

Night Terrors and Spiritual Warfare

As I write this, I am sitting in bed beside a finally peacefully sleeping little boy. Gideon was barely a year old when he had his first of many night terrors. Thankfully I had heard of them before or I cannot imagine how I would have coped with that first one. Even knowing what was going on, I was shocked at how scary and emotionally draining it could be to hold a small child who is screaming in a way that is very difficult to imagine if you have not heard it yourself. His whole body would go rigid and he would shake and scream in terror for an hour or more before snapping out of it as suddenly as it began. Sometimes his eyes stay closed and sometimes they are open and he points at things that I cannot see.

From the very first experience I began to wonder if this is really something “natural” like doctors claim it is, it seemed like more. I was reminded of my summer counseling at a camp for Cree children way up north, the things that young children described seeing during the night, especially the night before the Gospel message was taught. Things I had read about in one or two Frank Peretti books and heard missionaries tell stories about but did think much about.

With each time the terrors seemed to get worse, they would last longer and longer. My tiny toddler tried to throw himself down the stairs during an episode more than one time. I remember holding him and crying and praying and feeling so helpless.

Then suddenly they went away, for a long time he didn’t have one after having them almost every night for so long. Several months ago they started again. They aren’t every night but still often enough.

One night I was talking with a friend when one started, as i held him through a particularly bad one and tried to calm him while my friend sat with me, I mentioned how I thought that they must be demonic. Gideon was pointing at nothing that we could see and screaming with eyes as wide as saucers. She agreed and suggested I sing to him, sing Jesus’s name and pray aloud. In my stupidly self-conscious state I fumbled and flailed not able to bring myself to do so with her watching me so she did for me. She prayed over him and sang to him and he calmed so quickly. I was shocked. How many times had I held him and cried and not even thought to sing to him about Jesus. I had believed the “experts” who say no to talk to them, not to talk at all during night terrors.

I started paying more attention to what he was watching, I’ve never liked Scooby Doo but I had given in and let them watch a few after they begged. No more. I noticed how many kids shows have witchcraft in them (Let me interrupt to say that I am a major Harry Potter fan and I think that is VERY different and not at all what I am talking about but that is a whole other story) not just a witch who shows up, but actual creepy stuff. We talked about why we weren’t going to be watching those shows anymore, magic stuff is one thing but one of the shows they really liked was pushing way past the limits of what I thought was ok for them to watch. It seemed harmless until I looked at it through the lens of “what is letting this stuff into my house and into my son’s mind and causing these terrors”.

They come and go still, tonight was the first one in at least a month, I’m not sure if he watched something or heard other kids playing something they shouldn’t have been playing or if it is just a fluke thing, his eczema is especially bad right now and that might be factored into it too. I am sure there are physical things that make these more likely but even so I can never believe that it is purely a physical thing, I believe that there is war going on for the souls of our children and that part of that warfare is night terrors. There is no other way I can describe him seeing something that terrifies him and when I sing the name of Jesus to him, or pray aloud The Name it flees.

There is a war going on that we cannot see but we have a Saviour who is more powerful and He will never leave us. Sometimes all we need to do is say His name.



31 days of motherhood

31 days of motherhood

I have been neglecting this blog a little more than I meant to since I began writing for New
Tribes Mission so a few months ago when I saw the Write31Days challenge I took about 5 minutes thinking about it and then signed up

The challenge is to pick one topic and write on it EVERY DAY for the month of October. No weekend breaks….. write every day. A bit scary.


And one topic – planned ahead… that is a stretch for me! I like to just make it up as I go normally but which of course means that I decided at the last minute to change my topic… My original plan was to blog through a book of the Bible, I had studied and written for it already all prepared to of course decide the night before that this wasn’t it for this month. Sometimes you have to just go with the flow and save the other posts for another time.

So instead of spending 31 days in Romans as my original plan was, I’ll be taking October to blog about being a mom. I’ll be writing about my struggle to model the love of Christ to my children and show them what it is to be a follower of Jesus. I’ll be honest about my daily failures and how often my selfishness interferes with my desires to be a good mom and my thankfulness that my Father forgives me and my children do to when I fail.

31 days of motherhood

I will be updating this post every day and adding the new link for the day so that by the end of October there should be 31 links below:

31 Days of Motherhood

October 1 – Night Terrors and Spiritual Warfare

October 2 – Mothering a Drama Queen & King

October 3 – Loving the Annoying Parts

October 4 – When you are exhausted

October 5 – Mother of a Prodigal

October 6 – When Part of your Heart is Far Away




PS How exciting it was to go to our first Writer’s group meeting on Monday and discover that out of the four ladies who made it the first ever Writer’s Jam two others were also planning to also participate in this challenge!

People, not projects

People, not projects

There is a lie that seems to be going around a lot lately. I am sure it isn’t a new lie but with things like social media these types of lies are able to gain WAY more momentum than they used to have. This is a lie that I have been finding particularly troubling and the more I think about it the more frustrated I get that this idea is being perpetuated and believed.

The lie is the that missionaries view people as projects.

I am sure that there has been a few so-called missionaries who did have this view over the years, probably about 1% of all Biblically minded missionaries start out this way and the others are just not even close to the same thing but are still lumped in to give fuel to this fire of suspicion and hate.

This lie is really no different that than the lie that all muslim people are terrorists, Oh, that one sure gets people riled up but often they are the same people who perpetuate the lie about missionaries. 

Satan loves these kind of “white lies”, one of his favourites is that Pastor’s can’t be trusted – they are just power-hungry or that men who want to be involved in Sunday School or nursery/toddlers must be up to no good…the list goes on an on. If it can cast a shadow on something God is doing, if it can make people suspicious of a pastor or a missionary so they stop praying for them and encouraging them then Satan wins.

I grew up as a missionary child, surrounded by missionaries and I can say with absolute honesty that I do not know a single missionary that views the people they serve as projects. They weep with them, they love them just as the rest of us love our friends and neighbours, they care for them when they are sick and miss them intensely when they are away. It is this love that leads them to give up a comfortable easy life for a life far from family, friends, the comforts of home, stability and modern health care. A project may have been what took someone to a mission field (either local or abroad) but a project will never keep a missionary there.

A project may have been what took someone to a mission field (either local or abroad) but a project will never keep a missionary there.

I think part of what fuels this lie is the difficulty a missionary has in expressing their feeling in a letter or during short trips home. It is difficult to share all that is happening in your life  in a short update while also expressing your love for the people; so often one is sacrificed for the sake of getting out the information to people back home. Try to think how hard it would be for you to write to people you see once every four years and express everything that you are involved in and working on while expressing the reason that you are doing so and how much you love the people who you are working with and that you view them as people instead of projects all in a one page letter (including pictures) or a 5 minutes church update from the stage. Ya, it is almost impossible. 

So next time you are tempted to “like” a post about how evil missionaries are, or repeat the lie that missionaries need to stop viewing people as projects, stop and think. Imagine how difficult it would be for you to do their job and how much more difficult it is when people in the church are spreading hate about you and questioning your motives instead of supporting and praying for you. Stop and think about who wins when Christians turn on each other and gossip about each other. Just stop.




distracted conversations with the king

Distracted conversations with the King

I was trying to have a conversation with the King the other night and was had so much trouble keeping my mind from wandering. Thoughts of the rest of the week, thoughts about blog posts and to-do list kept storming in, so distracted I could hardly get a thought out.

I think this is a problem for more people than just me, and it is far from the first time this has happened to me.

I started to think about how it would be if I had the chance to talk to a human that I admire, or a human ruler, most likely they would have my full attention regardless of whether I agree with their politics or opinions or not. If, for example, I was given an hour to speak with the Queen,  just the two of us,  I doubt that I would have to remind myself to focus and chase away mental grocery lists. If I were given an hour with the President, even though I am far from a fan of him, he would likely have my full attention. I would be shocked that either of them wanted to take the time to speak with me when they have many more important things to do and more important people to talk to than me. Most likely neither of them would really care at all about me or what I have to say. I am sure they would pretend otherwise but the reality is that I am nothing to them.

We have this awesome privilege, to speak with a God who actually cares about us and yet we so often either don’t bother, or do so but only give Him half of our attention.

I realize that the big difference is that we cannot see God, we have to take it on faith that He is listening to us. Sometimes we can feel that He is listening and then prayer comes easily but most of the time we just know  in our heads and have to remind ourselves that He is actually here and actually cares and that makes it hard. I doubt that this will be a struggle for us when we see Him face to face, but I don’t want to wait for that to give him my undivided attention.