Thursday, September 26, 2013



When the fields are ripe for harvest, it’s easy to see only the golden grains of wheat, shimmering, and ready to be harvested. When the trees of the orchard are heavy laden with fruit, it’s easy to forget there was first a season of quiet waiting.

A farmer drives up and down the rows and we marvel at the productivity of harvest time. It looks so satisfying. Fulfillment. Accomplishment. Harvest. We forget that there were weeks, months, entire seasons, when the ground was frozen hard. The farmer reaps what he sows and we forget all the days before when all he could do was watch, wait, and pray.
We wait, and all the while, unspoken questions. What will come of this? What is Your plan? How long? Are You hearing my prayers? 

There is a time to plant. There is a time to harvest. There is a time for everything under the sun.

But we’re impatient, aren’t we? We want the satisfaction of a plentiful harvest right now. We want to skip the waiting. We forget that He ordains the seasons. Fall's harvest comes only after Winter's soil is softened by Spring’s rain and Summer’s sun. We want to jump forward and skip the restlessness, the part where having faith is the only thing we actually have. 
Waiting is invisible and it makes us restless. Because waiting requires faith, not sight.

Waiting means that we trust God with the parts of our lives, our families, our churches, that are in a season He has ordained to remain ‘not yet.’ And so we wait with empty hands stretched high as our hearts groan a restless prayer. When? How long? Is this Your will?

In our restlessness, our hurry to begin the next season, we sometimes fail to see what He’s doing right now. Do our hearts only acknowledge His faithfulness at harvest time? It’s easy to give thanks when provision is visible. It’s natural to sing of His faithfulness when prayer has been answered with a harvest that is abundant, that we can touch and see.

But it’s in the seasons of quiet waiting that He so often deepens and ripens our faith. In the waiting He reminds us that His Son is enough, that He Himself is our provision, that His faithfulness has been forever demonstrated.
You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. (Psalm 65:9-10)
Before the farmer harvests the grain, there were dark, empty fields because God ordained the seasons before the harvest. When the fields hold nothing yet visible, God cares for the land, God waters the land, God enriches the soil, God provides streams of water, God drenches its furrows, God levels it’s ridges, God softens it with showers. In the waiting, God is at work!

And God has ordained the seasons of our lives just as He has ordained the seasons of the natural world. 
Waiting isn’t easy, and it's sometimes even painful. But the comfort is not just that His timing is different than our timing, it’s that the seasons of waiting are ordained by His hand. As we wait, He is caring for our lives with detailed, loving precision. He’s leveling ridges and softening hard ground. What sometimes feels to us like senseless waiting is actually a sovereign, loving God who’s arranged every details and is readying us for the season that will come next.

As we wait, God is softening us, preparing us, loving us, and being faithful to us. What we don’t want to miss when we’re in a season of waiting is Him
And this, this is who He is:
You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. (Psalm 65:11-13)

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Over Labour Day weekend, we packed up the camping gear and spent one last night in a tent. Though it was a little cool and overcast, it was nonetheless a restful and refreshing way to spend a day away. Along with some of our closest friends, we swam, we campfired, we cooked (though mostly Jill did all the work) and, more than anything else, we just sat around and talked. One of God's greatest blessings is close friends.

The day after this short little excursion, Jake began school. At the bottom are a couple pictures of his first day of Sr. Kindergarten.



Summer already seems so very far behind us, doesn't it? The air is now cool and the pumpkin spice lattes have returned to Starbucks; it's Fall! But before these pictures grow too outdated, I wanted to post a few concluding special moments of the summer.

A few weeks back, on our way back from PEI and en route to Toronto, we were able to stop The Farm for a wonderful little visit with Nana and Grandpa Ganz. The perfect conclusion to vacation.



My Dad has the boys hooked on doing push ups. :)

The kids and I spent a fun morning with Aunt Caiah and David, playing 'Grounders' at the playground, and then out for Yogurtys.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Conversations with kids. 


It’s the night following Josh’s first day of kindergarten. It was a great day! We had the wonderful new beginning of school, then hours at the local playground with friends, and then a celebratory dinner afterwards at IKEA. (Josh’s choice, for where to dine.)

At the end of this day, after we've brushed teeth and read stories, I’m sitting on Josh's bed beside him, tucking his soft brown blanket around his face, telling him again how proud we are of our big boy going to kindergarten. In response, he looks at me with big, expectant eyes and says, “Mommy, before I go to sleep, don’t you want to ask my forgiveness?”

Taken aback, I think for a moment or two. What am I forgetting? What is on my little guy’s mind?

Concerned, but also thankful that, apparently, he is trying to clear the air between us, I say, “Josh, what are you thinking about right now?”

Tilting his head and furrowing his brow, all sceptical, he asks, “Don’t you remember when you sinned against me today?”

Today was such a peaceful, grace-filled, gentle day. Many days are not. But today truly was. “Josh, I actually don’t know what you’re thinking about.  But if I've sinned, I want to make things right. Can you tell me what you're thinking about?”

Sighing, and with eyes widening in exasperation that his Mommy isn’t remembering her heinous sin on her own, he speaks. “At the playground, Mom. Remember? Remember when you put me on a time out?”

“Yes, I remember. And I remember why you needed a time out, too! Wait… you think that’s a sin, Josh?” And suddenly, as I’m asking, I realize that, quite possibly, in Josh’s 3-year-old mind, every single time Justin or I have ever put him on a time out has been viewed (through his clearly warped theological lens) as a grievous offense. From his perspective, just think of the piles of unrepentant sin that he’s had to endure these past couple years. We’ve been clear (I thought!) and shared with our guys again and again that we discipline them because we love them. But apparently there has been a miss-communication. I ask a follow up question. “Josh, do you think that every time you’re put on a time-out we’re sinning against you?” His response is to the point. “Yes.”

Smiling, and with Justin listening in from across the dark, quiet bedroom, I was able to clear things up for my little man. There was no fake repentance, but I was able to remind him, once again, that, far from it being sin, our discipline is one of the most important ways that we love him.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Like so many other parents out there, Justin and I watched our little guy head off to his first day of school today. There is always such a bittersweet quality to these moments in life: sweet, because we are brimming with thanks that our child has grown and is ready for this new season; sad, because the days of him being a little preschooler are forever gone. But we rejoice. And we give God thanksgiving for giving us our little Joshua James Galotti.

After breakfast, Josh and I headed outside for a quick photo shoot. I want to remember this day. 

In the picture underneath, Josh looks absolutely innocent and adorable. But I know better... I know this is the moment when he was not-so-subtly saying, "Mom, enough! Enough pictures. I'm going back in the house!"  Those eyes, though...

For the past couple weeks, Jake has been such an amzing big brother, and has been encouraging and preparing his little brother for the "first day!"

"Josh, you will be excited and maybe a little bit scared too. But that's OK. There's nothing to be scared about." OR "Josh, I will be in the classroom right beside you. We'll be so close!" OR "Josh, just obey your teacher and be kind to the other kids and everything will be great!" 

Walking into the school yard, Jake took Josh's hand. In they marched, side by side. 

And then it all happens so quickly. The bell rings. They line up. Josh smiles back at me for one final picture. I grab him for one final kiss. And off he goes...

He loved his first day. And one of us shed a few tears... but it wasn't him.
Dear Josh,

Daddy and I love you so very much. You are a gift to us. A treasure. You bring joy and laughter wherever you go; may that part never change. We are praying that your life in school, this year, and in the years ahead, will be full of learning and growth and maturing; we are praying that you will continue to develop your skills and use the wonderful, imaginative mind that God has given you; we are praying that, more and more, you will continue to grow into a boy who is kind and loving to those around you. Most of all, as we think about your life on this day, your first day of school, we pray that God would save you and give you a heart that has faith in Jesus. More than all the school and all the athletics and all the other blessings in this world, we pray God would give you the gift of faith.

We love you, Josh.