I’m so glad you’re here

SV-porch1-altered1_bwHe’d be dressed in plaid, because that’s what a father should wear. But not the cotton plaid, no, it’d be the felt kind. Thick. The kind that attracts remnants of everything it touches like a burr; almost as if to keep a memory of everywhere he’d been. It’d be that kind of plaid.

He’d have a front porch. A porch that always had a light left on. Where the neighbours from all around would come and settle into the wooden rocker and stay long past midnight. Laughing. Sharing. Crying if need be.

His scent would be sweet and strong. Because he’d be both inviting and protective.

His voice would ring out. Welcoming. With authority. But it’d be the kind you never tired of; the kind that you would beg to tell you just one more story.

He’d teach you about what makes the oak tree grow strong, how to keep your roses from dying, and how to decipher between each beautiful bird song. He’d teach you to see everything around you with his eyes.

The twinkle in his eyes would almost be transparent. Full of love. Care. And humour. Slight creases around the corners. Oh, if those wrinkles could talk. They wouldn’t tell of the worries, they’d tell of the joys.

He’d be both the life of the gathering, and the best one-on-one you’d ever encountered. He’d be whatever you needed in that moment. Because, he delights.

And when you pulled up from a long trip away, he wouldn’t say, “It’s about time you came home!” No. He’d be the first one to his feet. The first one off the porch, increasing his gait to reach you as quick as he could. He’d bring twinkle and scent, strength and love all in one embrace. And you’d melt.

Because that’s the kind of love our Heavenly Father brings. Actually, is.

He’s what you need when you don’t know anymore. He welcomes, when you shudder at coming home, weak yet again. He’s the first one to say, “I can heal that.”

 

***

For some reason, we can have a hard time picturing our Heavenly Father this way, don’t you think? Not that I think He’s robed in plaid and Old Spice! But I can’t help but share pictures that I get, with you. God is revealing Himself more and more to my heart. That I can learn not just to see Him as One who wants to teach me and make me more like Jesus (which is truth, but….).

But, He’s a loving Father God who sometimes just wants to say, “I’m so glad you’re here.”

 

Mountain Getaway: six months baby

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My honey Troy and I took a couple nights away to Banff this weekend. It’s been a busy month, and a hot holiday isn’t on the radar for this winter, so a blissful +10 degrees awaited us in the mountains.  It was perfect timing to get away as today is our six month anniversary, t’was my birthday last week, and of course, V-day is this week. We chose to relax, meander, go skating at Lake Louise, eat good food, and enjoy no distractions for a couple days!

To my Troy I say… thank you for your love. Your patience. The facetime before bed and whenever I need it.  The ears to hear me and the strong arms to comfort me. Thank you for your sexy greek god shoulders I get to admire and that you know what to do with a tool-belt ;) But most of all, thank you for always grabbing my hand to pray and bring Jesus into it all.

I love building a home and life with you….I love you with all my heart baby!!  xo

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Faces of 2014

Last year was a year of less photography for me (you know…planning a wedding in 3 months and moving to a new city takes one’s time!), but there were still some beautiful faces, families and moments captured. I am honoured to be asked by those who did! I realized I hardly shared many of the portraits, so I wanted to do one blog post sharing some highlights of 2014… Thank you again, for bringing me into your vulnerable spaces of homes, hearts, and hugs…

Faces of 2014

Sweet Baby Kaisa

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Parker Fox and Family

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My sister and James had their first baby, Lily Jane. She is a long-awaited gift and we love her to bits!_MG_0699 _MG_0664 _MG_0659

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The Flaman Family

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The Greenberg Family

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Tammy, Gary and the Kids

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The Willie Family

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The McArthur Family

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The Schmidt Family

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Thank you again!

~ Lani

Quit limping

You know those moments when a Pastor’s sermon hits you between the eyes, out of nowhere, and the more you try to hide the tears welling up in your eyes, the more obvious those tears become? Not tears of sadness, but tears of “Oh wow, that’s so true!” My butt could’ve melded to the seat for the settle-in-and-let-this-hit-impact his message had on me.

The pastor, in our new hometown, recently preached on the God of our hearts and idolatry, from 1 Kings 18, where Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal on their idol worship.

According to the dictionary, an idol is: “any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.”

limp walkingIt is something the Lord has been talking to me about in increasing measure. Even good things, when taken out of priority and made greatest in my heart, can become idols. And while the Lord is good and kind and love itself, He is also a jealous and just God. There is a reason why one of the ten commandments is, “you shall have no other gods before Me”. It’s not because God wants to ruin ‘fun’, it’s because God wants to purify our hearts to the point where nothing else rules or pleases the way He does.

It. Is. Always. For. Our. Good.

Period.

Anyway, back to the text, back to the moment.

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah confronts Ahab and the 450 prophets by asking them a very pointed question, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?”

This nation had, at one time, served the one true God. They had prayed, and He had answered. But over time, they had lost their fear of the Lord (reverence), and began to look for something else to tickle them; something else to satisfy. The Lord was no longer enough. And it caused a limp in their step. Elijah was essentially telling them, “just decide!”

Any time we look for something else, other than Jesus, to satisfy,

we will limp through life.

I always try to ensure I am walking what I am writing, as whatever I write here on the blog is usually something that my heart is also working through. This message hit me hard because it confirmed a dream I recently had where (in reader’s digest form) I was worshipping at an altar, and the idols in front of me came crashing to the ground, one by one.

In our day and age, an idol is rarely the golden calf that we erect on our coffee table and bow before three times a day. It could be our concern for the future that leads to distrust in the Lord. It could be our family and its ranking priority over the Lord, or it could be our careers, food, identity, or an addiction. For me, I can try and get my peace out of things that can never really promise lasting comfort. Some of them can even be good or neutral things in and of themselves, but if they consume our hearts more than Jesus, the sweetness of it can sour.

In the text, Elijah confronts the prophets, and they try to call on their god of Baal to answer them with fire, but he doesn’t come. And they continue to limp around the altar they built; because, as our new Pastor stated, “false gods (idols) only promise what God can fully provide”. Immediately following this scene before the altar, Elijah steps up to prove that God hears when we call. And God shows up in a mighty way.

You see, God contests for our hearts. He longs to be the God of our heart, end of story. And it is never to poo-poo something we enjoy; it is actually to increase and fulfill our joy to a level where it can only come from Him.

For me, the Sunday message and my dream hit hard. But God is so kind to show me His way to life!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to limp through life.

How long will you keep limping?

On a giggle note, here’s a good kind of limping ;)

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