Happy Father's Day

>> June 20, 2010

My father died when I was 7 years old.
So for many years Father's Day was a reminder that I didn't have a father.
But then I got married and Bruce and I had children of our own.
And now Father's Day is a reminder that I am married to an amazing man
who is an amazing father.

Happy Father's Day Bruce.
We LOVE you!!!



>> June 19, 2010

Destiny used to live next door to me.
I miss seeing her smile every day.
But at least the time she and her family spent as our neighbors was time spent building friendship that didn't end with their move.
And last week I was privileged to see her graduate from Jr. High.

Destiny, we are so very proud of you.


You are a beautiful young lady with great things ahead of you.
Thank you for choosing to include us in your life!




What a week - part 3

>> June 17, 2010

Part 1
Part 2

In a perfect world my children would have slept until at least 8am, my husband would have had no appointments for the day and instead would have swept my children away so that I could sleep for many, many hours on Monday. But, really, who lives in a perfect world?
Instead, my Monday started at 6:30 am with Mason needing me. I don't even remember why, because my brain was too tired to engage. (At least I was able to get in bed by 10pm on Sunday.)
Molly was up by 7am wanting me to hold her.
(At least she was content with me holding her while laying in my bed.)
Bruce was nowhere to be found (at least in the house), because he was being dilligent about going to the gym and had left the house before Mason was whispering in my ear, "Mom? Are you awake?"
So I eventually got out of bed, got the kids some cereal and found my way to the chair so Molly could "hold me".
Bruce got home, took a shower and was off for the rest of the morning with appointments.
We had 2 cars for the day because Bruce's brother was in Washington DC with his family and let us borrow their car for the week, so really, there was no rush for Bruce to be home (besides me wanting sleep.)
Then I got a call from one of my friends wondering if we were still going to swim today.
Oh yeah, it's Monday and school is out, which means our summer activities have begun.
(I actually remembered this part. I just thought my Monday girls were out of town.)
Yes, we may as well swim because my kids are already stir crazy - and it's only the FIRST day of summer vacation. I had promised them new goggles, because we were down to 0 usable pairs.
I had a car and there was still 2 hours until we would meet at the pool, so off to Target we went.
It didn't take long to pick out goggles since we already know, from years past, which style just don't work that well. And we already knew that we WOULD NOT be spending $17 on a pair of goggles.
So really it was about color and size.
Molly was the easiest - PINK (and the least expensive youth pair available)
Mason was the next easiest - red or blue and which youth size fits best. Size found - check. No red ones available in his size and preferred style, so blue it is - check.
Merritt was a little bit more complicated. He fit some of the large youth styles and most of the adult styles too, so there was a little more to choose from for him.
And then, while I was helping him choose which style was the most comfortable, I heard a large thud.
All my instincts kicked in as I spun around to see which kid and what the damage was.
And as I said Mason, I could see the fear on his face.
The crying was a pretty delayed reaction. I think we saw the blood first as he put his hand to his head where he had slammed down into the side of the shopping cart as he was trying to climb in the back of it.
I don't know if I have ever gotten all 3 kids out of the toy section of Target and up to the front of the store so quickly. I was defiinitely running on adrenaline. (Remember how tired I was?)
I could actually think clearly enough to go get some gauze pads and anti-bacterial wound cleaner to see if we would need to make a trip to the doctor. (I had to get a travel pack of wet-wipes too to clean up all the blood. Thank God they everything was all on the same aisle.)
Once I could actually see the wound, I realized he would probably be fine with some steri-strips or butterfly bandages (neither of which is sold at Target, but the pharmacy employees were kind enough to give me some out of their first-aid kit.) So doctor mom, in her doctor's office of a Nissan Quest, went to work at cleaning and bandaging the wound. (We did mange to puchase goggles too)
We went home and the adrenaline rush stopped and I about got sick.
I could have NEVER been a doctor or nurse!
Do you ever have one of those days where the things that went wrong caused you not to even be able to do the things that caused what went wrong?
Does that even make sense?
I think you probably get what I am saying.
There was no way I was going to let Mason swim now.
But Merritt and Molly were very much anticipating the pool.
We made a compromise and waited until Bruce got home so Mason didn't have to go sit in the heat and watch everyone else swim. (Even though he would have been perfectly happy doing that if I would have let him play his Nintendo DSi, which he had already played all of his earned time for the day.)
He wasn't too much worse for the wear at the end of the day.

The rest of the week put us in the full swing of summer activities.
Free movies at the Regal Cinemas Family Film Festival, reading, playing with friends, more swimming at grandma's house, a Jr. High graduation for a friend that we don't get to see nearly enough of anymore (pictures on that later this week.)
I am finally feeling rested and caught up.
Mason managed to split his eye wound back open on Sunday, wrestling or something like that in Sunday school. This time the wound is deeper.
And I wonder if he shouldn't have seen a doctor.
But it was Sunday and that would have meant a trip to the ER all the way in Fresno.
So we went to the drug store, got some steri-strips and decided to see how it was doing on Monday before making that decision. He's doing GREAT. Although he IS going to have one heck of a scar.
He did miss swimming again on Monday, but he got to go in the pool at grandma's on Tuesday - with lots of rules on how to protect his owie.

Summer's off to a bang here in the Kane household and we have lots of fun and adventure on the calendar for the rest of it.
I hope it will include spending time with some of you!



How He Loves Us SO

>> June 16, 2010

You may have already seen this video.
I just felt it was the right thing for this Worship Wednesday.
It's time to get back to worship Wednesdays here.


What a week - part 2

>> June 15, 2010

Part 1

I was so exhausted when I woke up on Sunday morning.
I just wanted to cry because I was so tired.
I definitely didn't want to lead worship.
I didn't have anything left to give and lead, but that was the whole reason I even drove home on Saturday.
So I clung to 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
And while I was getting ready, Bruce tells me of a conversation he had the night before with Brenda Holz (one of the missionaries from Africa that the team from Epic helped last summer), who was in Hanford to come to Epic that morning, about our family going to Africa next year to minister to the pastors in Africa.
I was too tired to grasp this. My first thought was how expensive it would be to get us there and that we could actually adopt a child from Uganda with that money.
God is so good though.
In my fatigue I just didn't have the energy to be rational or think about the what ifs. I just put those thoughts aside and said, "God if it's Your will, I will go anywhere You call me."
Now, hear me here when I say, I always (although not always very quickly) get to that point.
That is ALWAYS the expression of my heart.
But sometimes I have to struggle with my mind and my flesh in these matters.
I actually surprised myself this time, because my usual response to the idea of a missions trip is excitment, not trepidation.
God is really changing me in so many ways these days.
Maybe I'll get the opportunity to share more about that in other posts.

Back to the purpose of THIS post...
I got myself to Pioneer Middle School (where Epic meets on Sunday mornings) and met with God and His people. I can't explain to you how good that was for me if you don't already know from personal experience.
Just know that It was SOOOO GOOD!
Especially considering all that the rest of the day would hold.
  *  Lunch and Superior Dairy ice cream (a treat saved for when we have visitors in town) with the Volz family and some Epic family too.
  *  Hearing a bit of what God has been laying on Brenda's heart for our family in Africa next year straight from Brenda's mouth. (more on that later too as God reveals His plan.)
  *  And an end of the season Baseball party for Merritt's baseball team.

Knowing that Monday would bring rest kept me going!
Monday brought more than rest, but that is for another post...

(please join us in praying about God's purposes for our family in regards to Africa, and I will keep you up to date as God reveals more to me.)


What a Week

>> June 14, 2010

(Well really week and a half if you count the days getting ready for the weekend and the end of school on Friday.)
It started off with a whirlwind of a weekend, driving to Southern California to throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Stephanie.
I'm soooo excited for my brother and Stephanie to be parents!
We've been waiting for this moment for many years.
So my mom and I got in the car on Friday morning, after getting the boys off to their first day of school
(and hardly any sleep for the previous 2 nights trying to get things done),
and started the journey to Irvine.
The plan was to get there fairly early in the day.
Do the shopping for the shower.
Prep the food that needed to be prepped.
Then, go out to dinner with my sister and her twins, and my brother and his wife to celebrate my mom's birthday.
Oh and get some maternity pictures of Stephanie while we were out to dinner too.
It was not in the plan, however to hit traffic so early in the day.
(It took almost 2 hours to go from Glendale to Cerritos and if you know the area, you know that I was in a lot of traffic.)
Therefore, the food prep would have to wait until after dinner.
(as well as getting the items for the shower that I couldn't get at Costco.)
We had a really nice dinner.
I got some nice maternity pictures.
And I started the food prep at 10pm.
(which equals a third night in a row of only 4 hours of sleep)

Saturday morning started really early - 6:00 am to be exact so that we could get the cupcakes from the bakery by 6:30, get back to the house to finish up the prepwork, get ready and leave by 8:30 for the shower.
That would get me to the shower site an hour early for set up - perfect!

If only things would always work out as planned!!!
Regardless of everything that didn't go according to the plans, Stephanie was blessed and a nice time was had by all.

It was so good to see so many friends.
(I wish I could have visited with and not just seen more than I got to visit with - Christy, Ruth and Melissa!)

I did get to see one of those friend's new house before I went home though.

It's REALLY beautiful Mary!
When all was said and done, we were starting our 4 1/2 hour drive back home starting at 9:00 pm.
(What's one more late night anyways?)
I had to be home on Sunday to lead worship because most of my team had requested that weekend off.
Sunday was another FULL day...
The missionaries that Epic helped in Africa last year were in town so we had lunch and Superior Dairy with them after our worship gathering. Then headed out to Merritt's end of the season baseball team party.
When my head hit the pillow around 9pm on Sunday night - boy did it hit hard!

To be cont....


An appointment with God in Seattle - the end

>> June 3, 2010

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Sunday morning was a little more rushed than Satuday morning for me, because I slept in a little longer.
What can I say? I was tired.

I still left the hotel in time to get to Starbucks and back before the teaching would start.What I wouldn't have the time for was some alone time, sitting and reading my Bible and journaling like I did on Saturday morning (because when we got to the workshop room no one else was there yet.) My roommate opted to stay at the hotel and get some breakfast, so I changed my strategy for getting with God before the workshop as I headed to my rental car. It took 2 clicks on the radio search to find some worship music and because I was alone, I got to pray out loud as I drove. When I got to Starbucks it was closed, but there was another one not far away that was open. Boy was that place hoppin'. The cool thing is, most everyone there had their Bible with them and the conversations I overheard were about God. That completely blessed me!

I got back to the hotel just as everyone was getting settled in for the day's learning.
And the first item on the agenda, was a writing assignment - really it was 10 minutes set aside for journaling.
The only guideline was that it was to be about something that had changed in us since we showed up on Friday evening for the meet and greet.

This is one of the things (among many things) that I LOVE about MeRa Koh.
She gets - and encourages - the fact that what we have to offer others flows from who we are.
Writing is just one tool in that process - one that works great for her that she wanted to share with us.

Here is what I LOVE about God in that moment.
The thing I was most disappointed about in my "sleeping in" was that I didn't get to start my day out in His word and journaling. I got some nuggets from His word on the way back to the hotel from Starbucks. And here was this little gift to me, where journaling was part of our assignment for the moment.

A little of my journal entry:
I stepped off a plane on Thursday anxious and excited about what God had in store for me this weekend. I left dinner last night encouraged and confirmed in what He has been calling me towards. I am confident I am going to step back on the plane Monday afternoon filled because of His mercy and grace, and used for His glory because of obedience.

After a little more instruction, we headed out to the University of Washington campus in Tacoma for another photo shoot, this time of families and high school seniors. Again, the highlight for me was watching MeRa in action.

This day was definitely a little more difficult for me photographically. It was the first time I had ever worked with seniors and I struggled to find the balance with the other photographers I was teamed up with. It's a challenge to work with 3- 4 other photographers like we did. But I had some amazing ladies in my group and went with it.

Ladies, I hope I didn't get in your way too much or take over too much.
Jennifer, I LOVED watching you interact with the models and learned a lot from you.
You have a certain way with people that is amazing.

Here's a few more images from the outing...

You can see some of the images I got from the day here.

We eventually went back to the hotel, had some lunch and got on with the learning.
And at the end of the day, MeRa had us all gather in a circle in the middle of the room and share one word that summed up the weekend for us.

Now let me back up just a little here...
When I was on the airplane on Thursday, one of the things I felt God impressing me to do this weekend was to lay hands on Brian and MeRa and pray for them. I questioned this throughout the day on Saturday.

How could that happen?
Would I have an opportunity to do this with them on Sunday after the workshop was over?
Would they even be receptive to this?
Was that really God asking me to do that?

But after Saturday evening, I knew that God was going to provide the opportunity for it. And when MeRa asked us to get in that circle, I felt that tugging on my heart saying, "this is where I want you to pray for them."

Again, I questioned. I was prepared for Him to provide the opportunity in private after the workshop was over, but I wasn't really prepared for this. What if this would offend some of the ladies here? But I knew I was hearing God, so with my hands shaking from nerves, after everyone was done going around the circle with their one word answer, I asked the ladies and Brian and MeRa if they would mind if we took time to pray for MeRa and Brian. What a God moment that was, for me at least. And how blessed we all were because of obedience. (More than one lady thanked me for that moment.)
We prayed for MeRa and Brian.
We prayed for one of the ladies who was there, who had been diagnosed with cancer just before the workshop AND who was going home to plan a funeral for her father who had died just before the workshop.
We prayed for the Soar recipients who were there with us for the weekend.

I indeed left the workshop full. 
It was called the Confidence Workshop because it was designed so that the attendants would leave being "confident" behind the camera and shooting in manual. And I have to say it definitely does that. I am confident that had I come to the workshop, taking my camera out of the box  for the first time, I would leave with a really great understanding of how to get great images in manual mode - with creative control over the final product. One of the girls there was actually in that position (she just learned how to charge her camera battery the week before the workshop). And she was getting some amazing images (in manual mode) by the time we all said goodbye. 
But for me, the title of the workshop gave new meaning.
I have a deeper Confidence in God -
in trusting His voice as I hear it
in following His leading even when others are trying to discourage me
in trusting His plan and timing

I am incredible grateful for the appointments in Seattle and am excited for what is yet to come as a result of my deeper confidence in Him.


An appointment with God in Seattle - part 3

>> June 2, 2010

Part 1
Part 2

We walked to the Thai food restaurant that we were going to eat dinner at and sat at 2 different long tables - there was a lot of us. I had hoped to get the opportunity to share some of the things I thought God wanted me to share with MeRa about Soar at this dinner, but she sat at the other table. So I figured that sharing would come on Sunday after the workshop was over - if there was time. I knew that if God really did want me to share with her, then He would provide the opportunity.

We ate an amazing dinner and had a GREAT time getting to know each other a little better. And as the evening was winding down, MeRa came and sat next to me to talk to me.
Isn't God so good? I knew what He wanted me to share with MeRa, but I wasn't sure how to make the opportunity happen. The thing is, I didn't have to make it happen, because God worked it all out - just like He always does. I shared all that God wanted me to tell her, but I believe God orchestrated that conversation just as much (if not more so) for me. As she shared some of the details around the things God had laid on my heart to speak to her about, details that I would have never know had she not shared them with me, God spoke to my heart so deeply about trusting His voice as I hear it.
I've doubted His voice a lot in the past year because of what others have said to me.
I've doubted His voice because I've been embarrased to step forward the way He wanted me to.
I've doubted His voice because the things He was telling me seemed silly or insignificant or just plain too hard to handle.
But in that moment God was telling me, "See? That WAS my voice when I asked you to pray for that thing. That WAS my voice when I asked you to step out like that. That IS my voice calling you to the things I am calling you to. Stop letting what others say cause you to doubt my voice and just follow me."

You see, we don't need the details to follow God.
We don't need others to agree with us to follow God - as a matter of fact, if we're not careful, we could unknowingly allow others to quench what the Spirit of God is doing in and through us.
We just need to do our best to nurture our relationship with God so that we KNOW His voice - so we CAN follow Him.

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel to get some sleep for another big day on Sunday.

I'll share the rest of the story tomorrow.
Have a great day!!!

The End


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