Wednesday, December 18, 2013



Today marks nine years of marriage.

As Justin and I reflect upon nine years of living side by side, hand in hand, we rejoice! We love one another more deeply today than ever before. We rejoice that God has given us genuine friendship with one another and that going through life together, though not trial-free, continues to be light, loving, and fun.  

But in addition to rejoicing, anniversaries are opportunities to remember and reflect. We remember the vows we spoke to one another; we remember the hopes and dreams of our idealistic 25-year-old selves; we remember the magic of our Christmassy wedding day. We also reflect. How is God shaping us and changing us? Are we living out those vows we spoke nine years ago? As we look back and now look ahead, what can we do better?  
I think back to that cold, festive December in 2004. An anticipation once marked in months becomes only weeks, then days. And then suddenly, the season of anticipation draw to a close and it’s December 18th, the morning of our wedding. There are so many things I remember about that day. So many treasured moments with my new husband, with my family and friends, with people I love.

But today one memory stands out.

Before walking to the church, before the grand old doors of the church building swung open, before walking down the aisle on my Pop’s arm, before having that first glance at my handsome groom, I remember sitting on my bed dressed in sparkling white, hair swept into a low bun, tiara in place, and a dear friend and I reading God’s word and praying together. We read the prayer of King David in Psalm 27. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

God, one thing we ask: let today be a day when Your beauty is made known. Let us see You today. Let us gaze upon the beauty of Christ Himself.

These nine years I’ve remembered and oft repeated the words Psalm 27 and the words of that prayer because it is the prayer not just of a wedding day but also the prayer of an every day. On my wedding day, I didn’t want to forget the One who had brought that day about. As I walked down that aisle holding my Pop’s arm, looking to the front, heart beating fast within as I looked at my love, I didn’t want to forget to behold the beauty of Christ, the Giver of this gift.

And then of course, as the excitement of a wedding day transitioned into the everyday life of marriage, that one thing was still what I needed most. Today, nine years later, it’s still the one thing I need most. As I walked down that aisle to the man I loved, it was Christ who I needed. The wedding day ended. Marriage began. Nine years passed. Now, as I continue to walk through life beside the man I love, the thing I need the most is still the same: beholding the beauty of Christ.

The greatest need is always the same, isn't it? More of Jesus Himself
An ancient king’s prayer; a bride’s wedding day prayer; a wife’s every day prayer: one thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may gaze upon the beauty of the Lord all the days of my life.

More than any other person in my life, God has used you to answer this wedding day prayer of mine. One thing have I asked of the Lord… that I may gaze upon the beauty of the Lord all the days of my life. As I remember and reflect, there are so many reasons why I love you, Justin, why I give thanks for you, why you are a gift beyond what I deserve. And this tops the list. Thank you for being a husband who loves me enough to help me see the beauty of Jesus.

Happy Anniversary, Justin. 

I love you. 


Sunday, December 15, 2013


We stayed with Grandpa and Gigi this visit, and among many other things, Josh and Jake loved playing computer games on Gigi's computer.


For a day-after-Thanksgiving feast, Grandpa prepared a prime rib on the grill...

And Gigi made the twice-baked potatoes.

Grandpa and Gigi and all 6 grandchildren. 3 girls 3 boys!

We also celebrated Justin's 36th birthday.

It was a wonderful visit with family, and we were so thankful for our time with people we love.

And at the end of the visit, drove to Stratford where we celebrated Grandpa Turnbull's 90th birthday. Below is a picture of my Grandpa with his big sister, my Aunt Tibbie.


Each year we travel to New York for American Thanksgiving. This year, Justin planned a surprise night in Manhattan, staying at the Crowne Plaza, as an early anniversary present. It'll be 9 years on the 18th of this month! Though it was a rainy night, we took in the city and walked through much of the downtown, enjoying the Christmas lights and festive displays

Thanksgiving day was a beautiful day, with much to give thanks for.

We started the day by meeting up with the Christina and kids, and Sarah and kid, and delivering meals.

Jay and Justin kept the wood chopped and the fire burning bright.
So thankful for our family. We love you guys!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Waiting doesn’t come easily. We often want to know how a story is going to end whether in fiction or in our own lives. For me, though I don’t wish to speed things up, I’m still often eager to glimpse the next chapter, curious what it will look like.

By God’s design, the future is unknown to us. We know not what next year or even tomorrow will bring; we know not what our children’s lives will look like when they’re grown; we know not how many days we have ahead of us—there could be thousands or there could be but one. Between this day and our last, there are pages, chapters, of our story that we can’t possibly anticipate no matter how much we try. Though we know there will be seasons of joy and of grief, we don’t know the details.

Do you ever wonder why God designed life—our future—to be something we cannot know? Perhaps one day He’ll illuminate his reasons, but even in simple, finite reflection we realize how the unknown cultivates in our hearts a deep trust in the only One who knows all things.  

Yes, the days of our future are uncertain to us. Except for one. There is one day God has told us about in detail.

In His grace and care for us—for our fretting hearts—He has revealed to us how our lives will conclude. It’s true, of course, that we don’t know any details. We don’t know if we’ll die young or old, surrounded by loved ones or alone, peaceful or suffering. But this we know: if we are trusting in Jesus, we will be sustained to the end, guiltless!

There will be perseverance of the saints; God will sustain His people; we’re covered in blood that cannot be washed away. With all that is unknown between today and our last day, what grace that He has written—yes, actually written!—the final words of our story.

In the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he offers these words of encouragement: 
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
Knowing that He will sustain us to the end is not only about the last day but about every day in between. 

There’s such incredible hope in knowing that He will keep us. Even during agonizing seasons where our faith wanes feeble and we grow weak, our hope is not in ourselves. We trust we will persevere in the faith because of Him! We believe that we will be sustained to the end, guiltless, because Jesus came and took our guilt. The perseverance of the saints is a gloriously hopeful doctrine not because of anything within, but because Jesus already persevered and, for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross for us.

For any runner, seeing the finish line infuses the mind with hope and the body with strength. The end is in sight! I can do this!

So it is for the Christian. The last day is not unknown, for God has promised that He will sustain us to the end, through our last day.

Do we see the finish line? When the days are hard, when sin looms ugly, when weariness takes hold, there is hope when we lift our eyes and look to the finish line. For standing there, at the end of the race, at the end of our days, is our Saviour. And He’s standing in our place as though we’d already run the race and reached the finish line ourselves.

It's a promise. God will sustain us through each day and He will sustain us to the end.