Happy New Year!  As the new year was approaching, I began to think about what might be in store for my husband and I and our family in 2015.  I began to think about my priorities and goals for my life.

If you were to ask me to list my life priorities I would easily list them as God first, my husband second, my children third, and everything else would follow after that.

I feel strongly about my list of priorities, however, most people would probably incite their list quite similarly.  Priorities are more complicated than this though.

I try to be purposeful about my life and plan ahead to ensure that my calendar works for me and that it doesn't take over. Our family schedule can be busy and I want to make sure that we are saying 'yes' to the things we need to and omit the things that aren't necessary. 

As I was considering my life priorities I felt myself being challenged.  Am I actually living out my life according to my priorities?  Would my husband and children feel that they are important in my life?

As a Christian, God should not only be my first priority, He should invade every area of my life.  My love for and obedience to God should cause Him to be a priority in everything I do.

My husband should never come second to my children, even during the seasons of life where my children are fully dependent on me.

As I was looking ahead into the next year, I became more aware of being purposeful and to make sure I'm living out my priorities.  I don't like to get so busy 'doing' that life just happens and my schedule overtakes me.  I want to know that I'm living out my purpose.

My husband and I reflected back over this past year, as we do every year at this time.  It was fun remembering all of the great experiences and accomplishments. It was a great opportunity to remember how blessed we are.  

Take some time to reflect, then take some time to look ahead and dream.  Decide what your priorities are and see how you can choose to set up your life to live them out.



ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - He Did It!

I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I challenged my husband to do it too.

My husband decided to do two ice buckets!  What a man.  I am so proud of him.

I jumped at the chance to get to dump ice and water on him.  

The Ice Bucket Challenge has brought increased awareness to ALS and donations have far exceeded expectations!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Like many other people, I was nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

We decided to research it first, before committing.  I recommend you read the information for yourself here

My son, Jonathan, decided to join in the fun.  We donated $100 to ALS Canada

I think that my husband got far too much joy out of dumping the bucket of ice and water on me.

Because of the viral success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, donations to the ALS foundation have gone off the charts. The viral craze keeps gaining steam and has raised more than $2M in Canada in less than a month. 

Commentary of My Husband's Preach - Getting Stronger

This is late coming.  A couple of weeks ago my husband spoke on Faith at church.  

What an incredible time we had at church!  We experienced God's presence and saw two people receive physical healing during our worship service.  I just love seeing people step out in faith and be healed!

The title of his message was Getting Stronger.  I love sitting in the front row and hearing my husband share from his heart.  His words are always relevant and practical.

Hebrews 11:6 
"Without Faith it is impossible to please God."

A Children's Pastor for the past fifteen years, of course he brought props with him for his message.  

He brought along an arrow, extension cord and a gas can.  

We need gas to run our cars.  Have you ever run out of gas?  I have.  More than once. It's not fun at all.

We need the extension cord to connect to electricity.  Hunters need arrows for their bows if they want to catch that big buck.

These three things are simple items, but when connected to something more complex they make all the difference.

Life is full of complex problems.  Some problems are so complex that you don't know how you'll fix them.

No matter how complex the problem, the answer is always simple.  The answer is FAITH!

Faith simplifies life.

We have to become stronger in faith to the things that God has planned for our lives.

The connection with the deer for the hunter is the arrow.  The only way to make your car run is to have gasoline in the tank.  The only way to watch your game on television is to have electricity.

All of these things represent connection and are like faith.  If I don't have my faith at work then my connection to God is lost.  Faith is your connection with God.

You can't see God, you can't audibly hear God, you can't reach out and touch God.  The only want to connect with Him is through Faith.  

Faith is not self-generated or self-given; it comes supernaturally when we hear the Word of God.

Romans 10:17
"So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God".

God is able to transmit from His word into your heart.

You don't pray for faith, it comes from hearing the word of God.

Psalm 119:130
"The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple".

The first part of faith is hearing and the second part is doing.

My husband then surprised the congregation by making a peanut butter sandwich and taking a bite of it.

He pulled out some weights and did a few reps.  He explained the process of weight lifting and how after eating the protein, he could build muscle by exercising.  You need to eat the protein, then exercise consistently to build the muscle.

Faith works the same way.  

When you come to church and hear the pastor speak about how love overcomes, how giving causes blessings, how God wants to heal and deliver, when you have heard that, you are feeding your spirit.

Later when something arises in your life, you will start to do what the word of God says to do in that situation.  

Faith doesn't grow just be eating alone, in James 1:22 it says "But be doers of the Word, and not just hearers only, deceiving yourselves".

When you hear the Word of God, but don't do it, then you deceive yourself that it doesn't work.

That's why we have to be people that don't just eat the word, but also exercise it.

If you don't use your faith in the small everyday things, then you won't be ready for the big things.

Jesus has us on a development program.

Hebrews 12:2
"Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith."

When you encounter a challenge in life, Jesus will coach you along and there will be parts of the Word that will jump out at you, because it will be what you need.

We all have faith in different areas.  That's why Jesus develops each one of us according to what our greatest needs are going to be.

If you want to grow in your faith, you can.  You can start the process and it is customised just for you.

Romans 12:3
"God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."

We have to become stronger in our faith if we are going to accomplish the things God has planned for us.  

I'm not even coming close to describing how powerful this message was.  

And don't forget!  Every sermon is available online.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

I recently made my first strawberry-rhubarb pie.

My husband loves strawberry-rhubarb and I have no idea why it took me 26 years of marriage to make him one.  He has other favourites that I often make; lemon pie, coconut cream pie and butter tarts, but for some reason I missed making this yummy treat.

It's now one of my new favourites.


1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chopped rhubarb
4 cups sliced strawberries
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp white sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add strawberries and chopped rhubarb. Toss with sugar and flour and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour filling into pie crust. Dot top with butter, and cover with top crust. Seal edges of top and bottom crust with water.
  4. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut small holes in top to let steam escape.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and brown. Cool.

No Limits!

Last year I joined my daughter along with some friends and ran our first 5K.  We signed up for the Run or Dye and trained diligently with hopes of successfully running the entire course.  The option of alternately walking and running wasn't a consideration for us.  We were focused on building our endurance to complete the distance.

The day was filled with intermittent down pours of rain which tried to kill our enthusiasm, however, the contagious excitement of the crowd of runners along with the fun energizing music kept us pumped up and ready to tackle our race.  

The terrain of our 5km was over grassy mud and our course was full of twists and turns and hills.  This made it difficult to stay focused on running only without walking.  There was nothing that could take away from the thrill of the finish line, however.

Setting our goal and completing it was the best feeling! 

My husband didn't run this race with me, however, his support at the start and finish lines were the best encouragement I received.  He was so proud of me and I know that having him there made it more meaningful. My husband has always been my strongest encourager, forever inspiring me and cheering me on to reach what I might feel is impossible.  I'm so thankful for his love and support in everything I do.

This past weekend I ran my first 10K!  I ran it along with my husband and our daughter.  It was our daughter's first time running 10K as well.

What an amazing feeling to reach the finish line after running the whole race.

I woke up that morning not feeling as though I had trained enough.  I hadn't slept well the night before, nor did I feel as though I drank enough water in preparation.  

None of these deterred me from finishing the race and making a satisfying finish time!

I love that I was able to train and experience the race along with my family!  It's so encouraging and rewarding to accomplish your goals together.  I'm looking forward to tacking more mutual goals as we continue to take the limits off!

Thank you to Mark and Brittany for pursuing the 10K along with me!  
Team McFaul for the win!

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

Flirting. While Married?

(If there are serious problems in your marriage, please seek godly, experienced help.)

Our culture thinks nothing of married people flirting with others, that it's no big deal, that it won't hurt anyone.

When you flirt with anyone other than your spouse you are seeking to boost your own self-image with others. Flirting is only seeking to fill something that is lacking in ourselves.

When we flirt, or we accept flirting from someone else we are passively telling our spouse, “someone will appreciate me if you don’t”. Even if your spouse never sees or knows about the exchange the seed is planted in your brain. That seed will grow and change your interactions with your spouse.

If I was in a situation where I was meeting a person of the opposite sex I would naturally be talking about my husband very quickly as I got to know this person. 

My personal convictions are to avoid:

private texting or Facebook chatting
building close work relationships with men
not eat out alone or travel alone with another man

I will speak lovingly of my husband
I will openly share my phone with my husband
I will share my Facebook passwords and email with my husband

Do you call people of the opposite sex the same endearments that you use toward your spouse?  Those no longer mean anything special. If I have a special name for my husband, it is reserved for him only. 

What about winking?  Are you a winker?  You might feel it is just being friendly, but how does your spouse feel about you winking at others?

I wouldn't sign off an email or text to someone of the opposite sex with any term of endearment.  For me that includes a 'winky face', a heart, the word 'Love', or even 'Hugs!'. 

When you have been flirting outside of your marriage it is much easier to look only on your spouses faults and ignore your own. Flirting says, “I don’t need to change, someone likes me the way I am, you must be the problem”. That message is a dangerous enemy to any marriage!

Flirting can set off a relationship with the opposite sex that quickly slides into temptation. Innocent glances, turn to jokes, jokes to conversation, conversation to sharing, sharing to relationship.

Very few people set out intending to have an affair. 

It almost always starts as a friendship or close work relationship then proceeds to slowly flirting and confiding emotional details and problems. 

It is a lot harder for an affair to happen, whether sexually or emotionally, when we purposefully stay away from comprising situations and provide no opportunity for your heart to get distracted.

I Would Never

Before you just say “I would never flirt.” I challenge you to think through every relationship you have with a member of the opposite sex: neighbors, friends, colleagues, the stranger you see at the coffee shop in the morning. Are there any of them that you really enjoy getting them to smile, you look forward to talking to, or that you haven’t told your spouse about? If you answered yes, then figure out what you need to do to dramatically change or sever that relationship. If you answered no, think about what boundaries you need to put in place to keep it that way!

Flirt with your SPOUSE! Redirect your attentions to the one you're married to.  Flirting is fun - just do it with your spouse.  Enjoy and have fun with it.

Make much of your marriage in public. There shouldn’t be any doubt in the minds of the people you’re serving that you’re happily married. 
Never discuss your marriage problems with anyone of the opposite sex. If you do, you’re asking for trouble. When your marriage is hurting, it’s too easy for you to see someone who is listening to you as the answer.

Would you be comfortable if your spouse were to read your private emails or texts?  Let's assume that they should never be private, then what would your messages look like?  Hopefully they would be the same as they are now.
Your marriage matters. It matters enough for you to protect it. The best way to protect your marriage is to keep working at it. Never stop growing closer to God and your spouse. The moment you’re not growing closer, you’re growing farther apart.