Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy 7th Australian Wedding Anniversary - WOW!

A lot of people reading my blog would be familiar with Peter and my story about how we met....but reflecting today about seven years ago, even I have enjoyed re-reading my story that I wrote as a testimonial for the ChristianCafe website where Peter and I met.

Here is a little history about how we met.  If you had told me that I would log-onto a Christian Singles Internet Website, I would have never believed you, but never say never.  On June 23, 2002, I signed up to the Christian Café as a trial member just to check it out; you know, a different way of meeting people, maybe make a few more friends.

The short story is that Peter and I started chatting within a day of each of our joining the café.  I remembered my trip to Australia in 1989 and thot, hey, I should say "hi" to this guy from ‘down under’.  Well, that was the beginning of the end so to speak.  We hit it off and chatted lots via the website (our record typed conversation is 5 hours) and then we started talking over the phone, but not before I put my Private Investigator Hat on and confirmed that Peter really did exist.  After many more chats & phone calls, we discussed next steps because we were definitely going somewhere with this relationship.  Both of us had told a few close friends to be in prayer with us and to be accountable to as well.  So, I traveled to Australia in September 2002 and had the most amazing 5 weeks of my life.  I stayed with friends of Peter’s from his church who also were amazing.  God is so Good!  I felt a peace from the moment I arrived at the airport & met him for real.  We became engaged on September 30, 2002 and below is our engagement pictures we had taken while I was there.  Check us out!
So, we were planning our wedding in Canada on April 26, 2003 & then I’d move to Australia.  Well, Peter came to Canada for Christmas 2002 and met my family & friends.  Peter’s itinerary was very full and it was not until January 1, 2003 that we had time to just “sit, chat and veg”.  As we reflected on 1) our two trips, 2) his returning to Australia on January 10, 2003, 3) the 15 hour time difference between continents and 4) our being apart again, Peter re-proposed to me and asked me to marry him and return to Australia with him as his wife.

So, we were married on January 7, 2003 at the Hess Village Wedding Chapel in Hamilton, Ontario.  The candelit service was attended by immediate family and friends and was followed by a Chinese dinner.  We accomplished a lot in a very few days—in fact, we both believe that if we could survive those few days of 1) packing up my apartment and office, 2) arranging the marriage license (which is a story in itself), 3) organize a wedding, honeymoon in Niagara Falls (honeymoon capital of the world) and 4) move to a new country, we can survive anything.

My parents and Sheeba (family pet poodle) saw us off at the airport on January 10, 2003 and we arrived in Australia on January 12, 2003 with our winter gear on to surprise Chasely (Peter’s daughter), and his family and friends.

As I am writing this, Peter & I recently celebrated our 1st Anniversary and we are both very happy and know in our hearts that God brought us together.  Like some other testimonials I have read, my (Brenda) family found it hard to understand my meeting someone over the internet and discussing marriage so soon after meeting and I believe that unless you actually experience it for yourself and know God’s peace, it is not easy to comprehend.  To others reading this that may be experiencing similar challenges, let us encourage you to allow your families time to adjust to the idea and pray that God will confirm this in their hearts, too.

We look forward to holding a post-wedding in Australia in June 2004.  We stay connected with family and friends in Canada and Australia via the internet, e-mail, phone calls, webcam videos and by good old-fashioned snail mail, too.

Thanks to Christian Café for making our meeting possible.

Brenda (Canada) and Peter (Australia)

talkinghands252 & grimsey828

Since that was written in early 2003, we held our post-wedding renewal of vows celebration and it was a lovely day.  I reckon I will blog a bit more about that another day; but for now, I have included a photo of our wedding favour from the day and one of the happy couple.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Faith Journey Part 2

Wow.....four weeks ago today I was almost waking up in recovery after having had surgery.  So, God did not provide a supernatural miracle; for whatever reasons, it was His will that I have the surgery and go through a little bit of inconvenience and some pain, but I know this - I trust Him.

Now, this is an interesting concept, trusting God because there is an element of unknown in this trusting thing.  This requires faith which comes through a relationship with God. It is through my knowing God as my Heavenly Father or Abba Daddy as I like to refer to Him, that I learn more and more about His character and hence, I can put my life in His hands.  No, not always easy because we are still human and struggle with the flesh daily, but by reading His word and letting the truths of His promises get into my heart, I can battle the thoughts of my mind and live by faith.

A good verse that I just thought of is 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, King James Version

I never went to bible school so I am not a expert, but my testimony is based on personal experience.  When I call out to, talk to and pray to God, I know that He hears me.  This is exactly what happened that very first night in the hospital as I was recovering from the operation which ended up being a bigger deal than I originally expected.

Despite the good drugs they were giving me and my pain was under control, I did not sleep well. So I made good use of the time by calling Canada and talked with my parents seeings how while I should have been sleeping, they were in the middle of their day!

After my phone call, I thought to myself, "I know, I'll listen to some music."  So, I plugged my earphones into my phone and had a look through my library of music and found a couple of 'unnamed' songs and my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to check it out.

My God, my Heavenly Father, my Abba Daddy had heard my prayers before surgery and even the ones following after and this was His personal answer:

I do not know what or who you believe in, but I wanted to share my testimony with you, in the hopes that it may encourage you in whatever chapter of your life you may be in - whether it be a challenging or difficult time, a stretching or uncertain time or even if you are in a good place at the moment.

My life has had good times, not so good times and yep, even bad times and I am so thankful that I have never had to go through any of those times alone.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How To Decide What To Do Today?

I cannot remember who actually gave me this picture (my mom maybe?), but it captures me to a 't'.  The quote says "I mean to work hard, Lord, but I keep running across things that are more fun to do."
Today I have a few things that I could do but it is deciding what to do.  It is a gorgeous day outside but I am still restricted to light duties, so no gardening/weeding for me today!
I should probably go for a walk, but I am a bit nervous navigating two kelpie/cattle dogs on my own...they are pretty strong and given the right or wrong conditions, depending on which way you look at it, they could easily cause me to lose my balance and splat!
My husband has gone out this morning, so I will give walking the dogs a miss at the moment, and I reckon I should go and tickle the ivories for a bit.  Reorganizing and tidying my messy desk can wait until later!
Are you a bit like me in that yes, you can multi-task, but in doing so, you tend to do a little of each thing but not enough to actually get the job completed?  I am reminded of the words on a paperweight that I was given by a dear colleague who has since passed away, Bonny Phalen, it says "Do It Now".  That has always been a challenge for me, but I will keep trying....focus on one thing and get that done and then move on to the next task.
Make a list and tick them off as you complete them - a sense of achievement!  It does not have to be fancy - it can be a list on the fridge (goodonya mom) or a list in my diary or yes, I can even use tasks in outlook.
Just decide on what to do and stick with it until it is done.  Now, I will have a go at listening to my own advice! lol
Have a great Saturday everyone (or Friday if you are still behind us) in another time zone.