October 24, 2016

Bigger than Fear

It was shortly before Austin's 17th birthday when
we found ourselves at Children's Hospital in the ICU.
He had been admitted for one malady which very quickly took
a backseat to a much more serious one.

During that hospital stay, 
our Austin was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy 
which had not previously been on anyone's radar.

DCM, as it is commonly referred to,
is a life-threatening condition.  Austin was given a little booklet
to read in an attempt to inform him of his new diagnosis.
He was too weak to read.  So, he left it.

When I had a moment, I picked it up and read it through.
Austin asked me to give him the run down.  I didn't want to.  Not then.
I told him that I wanted to wait until he was out of ICU.
But, he insisted on knowing what he was up against.

I resisted.  But, he pushed me for a brief synopsis.
He really wanted to know.

It was grim and I didn't want to upset him unnecessarily.
The statistics for DCM were grave.  One third of children
diagnosed with the condition die, one third live with
impaired heart function, and one third fully recover.

I told him the potential was that he could die.  
He replied after only a moment..."That was blunt!"
And then, after a pause and thoughtful consideration,
"But, I'm not afraid to die, because I know where I am going".

It was a profound moment we shared.
He and I were alone and it was precious to witness his response.
Austin had looked death squarely in the face and was able,
as evidenced by his bold declaration, to prove his faith was bigger than fear.

From that moment on, he had a boldness in his witness 
for the Lord and all that He has done for His people which warmed my heart.
He was able to testify that we serve a good and gracious Saviour
Who does all things well and without mistake.

It was incredibly encouraging to us as his parents.
It was clear where he stood and in Whom he had put his trust.

Austin was well aware of the situation he was in.
However, he sought to live life to its fullest in spite of it.
By God's great grace, he knew what was most important and lived accordingly.
         It is how we all ought to live.  It is something we all ought to consider. 

Eternal focus has a way of clearing out clutter.
All that really matters is all that is left.
We have many happy memories of our precious son.
This particular memory is one that I hold dear to my heart.
We really didn't believe that Austin would fall into the one third
category of children who eventually die from DCM.

The Lord graciously gave us just over 14 months more with our son
after his diagnosis.  For that, and many other mercies, we are thankful.
One day, the Lord will cause us to know all that we need to about these things.
Until then, we trust in His perfect and sovereign plan for us all.

It is a blessing to rest our hearts in His good purposes.
It is truly a wonderful thing to belong to Him.

Are you the Lord's?  Do you have the confidence in your future that our Austin had?
It is only possible through the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work.
The assurance of salvation is available to all who come ~ see John 6:37.

There is nothing more precious than trusting in the Saviour
and knowing that you belong to Him.  There is a wonderful peace
that comes with knowing where you will be for all eternity.
 Look to Him and live!

With Love,

**The first photo in this post is from the hospital stay when we first learned
of Austin's DCM diagnosis.  He was out of ICU and upstairs.

**The second photo is from Austin's last birthday card ~
the verses written there were such a comfort to his heart, and to ours.

October 20, 2016

With Christ

"For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart,
and to be with Christ, which is far better."  Philippians 1:23

"Believers after death are 'with Christ'.
That answers many a difficult question, which otherwise might
puzzle man's busy, restless mind.  The abode of dead saints,
their joys, their feelings, their happiness, all seem to be met
by this simple expression -- they are 'with Christ'.

I cannot enter into full explanations about the separate 
state of departed believers.  It is a high and deep subject,
such as man's mind can neither grasp nor fathom.

I know their happiness falls short of what it will be when
their bodies are raised again, in the resurrection at the last day,
and Jesus returns to earth.  Yet I know also they enjoy a blessed rest,
a rest from labour, a rest from sorrow, a rest from pain -- and a rest from sin.

But it does not follow because I cannot explain these things,
that I am not persuaded they are far happier than they ever were on earth.
I see their happiness in this very passage:
they are 'with Christ', and when I see that I see enough.

If the sheep are with the Shepherd, if the members are with the Head,
if the children of Christ's family are with Him who loved them
and carried them all the days of their pilgrimage on earth,
all must be well, all must be right.

I cannot describe what kind of place paradise is,
because I cannot understand the condition of a soul separate from the body.
But I ask no brighter view of paradise than this -- that Christ is there.

All other things in the picture which imagination draws of the
state between death and resurrection, are nothing in comparison of this.
How He is there, and in what way He is there, I know not.
Let me only see Christ in paradise when my eyes close in death, and that sufficeth me.

Well does the Psalmist say, 
'In Thy presence is fullness of joy' (Ps. 16:11)...

...It may be you do not think much about your soul.
It may be you know little of Christ as your Saviour, and have never
tasted by experience that He is precious.  And yet perhaps you hope to 
go to paradise when you die.

Surely this passage is one that should make you think,
Paradise is a place where Christ is.
Then can it be a place that you would enjoy?

It may be you are a believer, and yet tremble at the thought of the grave.
It seems cold and dreary.  You feel as if all before you 
was dark and gloomy and comfortless.  Fear not, but be encouraged
by this text.  You are going to paradise, and Christ will be there."

Quoted from "Holiness" by J. C. Ryle pages 186-87

With Love, Camille

**Photos in this post were taken just days after
our Austin's body was laid to rest in his resurrection bed,
and later in the summer after a marker had been installed.

October 18, 2016

Two Raggy Quilts

In recent days, I put together two raggy quilts
for two precious little people. It was so much fun!
  One side is made up with squares of flannel...

...and the other side is made up of cotton prints.

I used 7 inch squares of fabric for these two quilts.
And, they are both 8 squares by 8 squares in size.

I feel like a kid in a candy shop when I am choosing fabric.
Piecing that fabric together, however, can be a bit more of a challenge.
My sister helped with that process via texting.
Technology can be an amazing tool, can't it?  Thanks again, Janine.  XO

For step-by-step instructions on how to put
a raggy quilt together, click here.  So easy and so forgiving.

The main difference between these quilts and my first one is this ~
the edges of the jean quilt haven't been snipped.  But, I am planning to change that soon.
The quilts in this post have been washed up and are all ready to be given away.

What projects do you have on the go?  Tell me everything!  :)
Have you ever made a raggy quilt?  If not, why not?  Ready...Set...Go!

Happy sewing/crafting!
With Love, Camille

October 17, 2016

The Hills are Alive....

"The hills are alive, with the sound of music..."

It's what plays in my mind each time I look at this photo.
Calvin took it with his phone on a hike he was on last Monday.
Fraser and Emma, along with extended family, made up the hiking party.

Howie and I opted to stay home for the day.
After seeing this shot, I am not so sure we made the wisest choice.
God's creation truly is glorious, wouldn't you agree?

Happy Monday!

With Love, Camille

October 14, 2016

Flashback Friday ~ Pink!

Three boys.  In light of that fact, I was convinced
that our fourth child would follow suit.
We had chosen names for our soon-to-be-born little man.
We were prepared.  Or, so we thought.

On the way to the hospital, while in labour, it dawned on me
that we might actually have a daughter this time around.  
We hadn't settled on a name if that were to be the case.

But, it wouldn't be required.  We just knew.
It should be obvious how that turned out.

Howie had a favourite name for a girl, and I had mine.
As soon as she was delivered, however, I had the final say.

We were beyond thrilled with our newest little family member.
The boys were excited to take on the role of being 
 big brothers to a little sister.  Life as we knew it would never be the same.
And, we all happily embraced our new world of pink!  :)

Happy Friday to you!
With Love, Camille

**Photos in this post were taken in 2003 ~
Austin (8), Calvin (6), Fraser (4), and Emma (1)

October 12, 2016

One Thing Needful

"Oh, it is a great thing in these days of unbelief to believe the whole Bible!
If you would ever be a healthy and scriptural Christian,
I entreat you to beware of any ministry which does not plainly
teach the reality and eternity of hell.

 Such a ministry may be soothing and pleasant,
but it is far more likely to lull you to sleep than to lead you to Christ,
or build you up in the faith.
It is impossible to leave out any portion of God's truth
without spoiling the whole.  That preaching is sadly defective
which dwells exclusively on the mercies of God and the joys of heaven,
and never sets forth the terrors of the Lord and the miseries of hell.

It may be popular, but it is not scriptural;
it may amuse and gratify, but it will not save.

Give me the preaching which keeps back nothing that God has revealed.
You may call it stern and harsh; you may tell us that to frighten people
is not the way to do them good.  But you are forgetting that the grand
object of the gospel is to persuade men to 'flee from the wrath to come',
and that it is vain to expect men to flee unless they are afraid.
Well would it be for many professing Christians
if they were more afraid about their souls than they now are!    
If you desire to be a healthy Christian, consider often what your own end will be.
Will it be happiness, or will it be misery?
Will it be the death of the righteous, or will it be death without hope...
 ...I beseech you, by the mercies of God, to look this question fairly in the face.
I entreat you not to stifle conscience by vague hopes of God's mercy,
while your heart cleaves to the world.
I implore you not to drown convictions by childish fancies about God's love,
while your daily ways and habits show plainly that 'the love of the Father is not in you'.

There is mercy in God, like a river,
but it is for the penitent believer in Christ Jesus.
There is a love in God towards sinners which is unspeakable and unsearchable, 
but it is for those who hear Christ's voice and follow Him.
Seek to have an interest in that love.
Break off every known sin; come out boldly from the world;
cry mightily to God in prayer; cast yourself wholly and unreservedly
on the Lord Jesus for time and eternity; lay aside every weight.
Cling to nothing, however dear, which interferes with your soul's salvation;
give up everything, however precious, which comes between you and heaven. 
This old shipwrecked world is fast sinking beneath your feet;
Give diligence to make your calling and election sure.
Whatever happens to your house and property, see that you make sure of heaven.
Oh, better a million times be laughed at and thought extreme in this world,
than go down to hell from the midst of the congregation,
and end like Lot's wife!"
Quoted from "Holiness" by J. C. Ryle pages 172-174

With Love, Camille