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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

A {tiny} Mission Field


 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me,
it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,
and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Matthew 18:6


“Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a missionary,” my 11 year old daughter firmly stated, as she thumbed through a beautiful book from her Aunty Kate. The book showed how children lived throughout the world, in various countries with different ethnic backgrounds and a wide array of life differences. The pages popped with beautiful colours and attractive scenes, along with wonderful testimonies of how children around the world have been changed and helped through the aid of others. Indeed, it pulled on the heartstrings of our hearts as we read it.

I smiled and said, “That would be wonderful, Lyla. Please, take me with you!”

I remember very distinctly feeling the same way as a child – my heart yearned to be a missionary overseas! I wanted to be work in an orphanage so badly … to travel to Africa … to sail the seas (or rather, fly over the seas) and visit foreign lands, hold little sweet children on my lap and tell them about Jesus. In grade 3, I began telling everyone that did not know about Jesus that He had come to save them from their sins. I remember taking a little Bible to school and “witnessing” and coming home and telling my mother about it in our small bungalow kitchen with the yellow flower wallpaper.

Now, years later, I read missionary biographies to my eight children and make meals upon meals upon meals day in and day out. My mission is different, but I do not begrudge these tasks. They are my mission in life right now and I am so thankful for this “job”.

Later that afternoon, after I finished preparing the night’s dinner meal, I sat down for a cup of tea and allowed my mind to wander to distant memories … when my husband and I were first married, the Lord opened doors and allowed us to go on a few mission trips -which were indeed life changing! We were blessed to travel to Africa and spend almost a month of our newly wed life helping a Salvation Army hospital. It was WONDERFUL. Absolutely wonderful. I loved, treasured and enjoyed every single minute of the trip. Later, I was able to travel to help at a women’s centre on the border of Haiti and the Dominican. It, too, was life changing.

Suddenly, the back door slammed.
I heard a little one call for me to come undo their skates – for the fourth time that afternoon. I entered the backroom and felt a brush of fresh air sweep across my face as the back door remained ajar. My short-dark haired daughter tromped across the mud room floor, leaving piles of snow tracks in her wake. Her cheeks were flushed bright pink and her eyes were sparkling.

“Did you see my skate’, mommy? I can go so fast!” she exclaimed with delight.

I bent down and asked God to give me eyes for the mission field right in front of me. Eight growing children and an energetic-changing home to run.
My mission field is my family now and I am aware, constantly, of this fact. If I have a heart for orphans and the children around the world, should I not be loving and sharing of my time with the little and big ones that God has placed right here in my heart and arms? Indeed.

Sometimes, we are unable to travel or visit foreign countries, but that should not stop us from being missionaries in our own small homes … in our own families …. to our own husbands and, yes, unto our little children.

While I may no longer be afforded the time or finances to travel overseas of visit faraway places, my heart knows that this mission, this little home, this family of mine, is just as precious. And as I mop up puddles of melted snow on the floor and prepare yet another meal to fill hungry bellies, my prayer will be to serve willingly and not begrudge all the little tasks that are before me – Lord, let me be a missionary in my own home – serving with humility and love.



February 26, 2018 - 7:01 pm

Gigi Thank you, mom! xo

February 17, 2018 - 1:20 pm

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) Gillian, this blesses my heart! You ARE a missionary!! To your family, friends and neighbours … and I believe that we need to first be missionaries to these and then God will open doors for us to be missionaries to the world. I personally know of Missionaries who did not go out to the world until their children were “grown”. Some starting at 55 years old and some even older! God can still use you and Abby, as overseas missionaries when your children leave home. In His time! xoxo

February 12, 2018 - 4:42 pm

Gigi Misty, I’m so glad to hear from you. Just yesterday, a sweet 80 year old lady at church told me how much she regretted not staying home with her children during their childhood years. It is, sadly, something that is and was not just common in our day. It is a humbling job to be a stay at home mother, for sure, but definitely a blessed calling.

February 12, 2018 - 3:39 pm

Misty Whitehead Thank you for this. I too love being a missionary at home to my husband and kids. I use to dream of rocking babies in an orphanage when I was a girl also. Several mission trips to Central America before having my children gave me a hunger for missions. Sometimes it is discouraging to look around and see so very few people staying home with their babies and guiding them daily. I’ve been told many times- “I do not have the patience to be with my kids all day.” They do not know what they are missing! I am so blessed and thankful that I have been given this opportunity and pray that others around me will return home to reap the blessings!

February 12, 2018 - 6:38 am

Gigi Renee, my dear friend, so great to hear from you. Bless little Jeremy’s heart! We think of you daily xo

February 11, 2018 - 5:40 pm

Renee I love this post Gillian!!!!!! Today as we were leaving our little church I saw Jeremy swinging a loaf of bread. I wondered what he was up to…until I saw him duck behind the church to a little alcove in the alley where a homeless man lay. My son was bringing him breakfast…my heart wept with joy. Our mission field is our families…and helping to teach them to minister to each other, the neighbours and to the dear man asleep behind the church. Love to u and ur family my friend xo

February 11, 2018 - 6:16 am

Gigi Thank you, Sue. These past few weeks have not been busy but they have been full with meeting the needs of the family. 🙂
But yes, I am so glad to hear of some affirmation … being at home with children is indeed a role many overlook, sadly. I am grateful for this opportunity!

February 11, 2018 - 12:38 am

Sue Its so nice to see your new post! I couldn’t agree with you more about your family being your primary mission in your life now. As i look back on the decision i made to stay home to raise our children and invest my life into my little “mission field”, there are some things i would do differently and i do have some regrets… but that decision is never one of them!

A Politically Incorrect Wife

“… Christian marriage is only possible in Christ.
{and} you cannot have a united church without united marriages.
It’s for that reason, you see, that marriage really, really matters…
because … this is not about us – this is about Christ and the church.
So, the question is,
do I care enough about Christ and the church
to bring myself in line with the authority of the Bible

even when it is so fundamentally demanding,
so politically incorrect?

And some of us are answering … no.”
Alistair Begg, in reference to submission to husbands


It is shocking to think that churches are avoiding this area of teaching in recent years. Would it surprise you to find out in all my years of attending church, I have never heard one sermon in real life on the roles of husbands and wives? I certainly wish we would hear more sermons preached from local churches on this aspect. Thus, in an effort to be encouraged, taught and discipled, I have searched out sermons online to listen to – and there are many wonderful resources online. Here is the link to Alistair Begg’s sermon on wives. It is worth listening to, as I did today while baking some bread for dinner.





Over the past season of my life, I have felt conviction more than even in this area of submission, in this role as a wife. In the world, woman are told to be loud, to be pushy, to be independent, to make their point known, to aim higher and find personal success.  How does this work, then, when that same woman is suddenly married? Who comes alongside and teaches that young woman the Biblical ways on how to treat her husband and how to honour God through her marriage?

It is certainly not a natural inclination to be submissive, quiet and gentle for most women. Indeed, we are often overbearing, munipulitave and powerful! What a taming of character is required!

This teaching of true submission and how to love your husband, according to the Bible,  is missing in many churches, in many sermons and, sadly, from the teachings of many pastors. If you attend a church that teaches straight from Scriptures on this issue, consider yourself blessed!

Over tea last week, my dear friend and I discussed this topic. While the children played and the cookies were being eaten, we sipped our tea and shared how we both had been searching Scriptures and attempting to tame our tongues in regards to how we talk to our husbands. We both agreed that there truly is nothing more ugly than an abrasive, mouthy woman, especially when she is talking to her husband in such a manner! With little eyes watching and little ears listening, we are certainly feeling more accountable, as well. But it would not matter if there were children in the home or not – it is God who is indeed watching and listening.






It may even seem like a small issue and yet, the breakdown of marriage is amazingly detrimental to so many aspects of society. Submitting in these little ways – the building up a godly marriage – may seem so trivial compared to larger issues – and yet, they are all connected, are they not?

I know that, in this modern age, women are certainly not encouraged to be under anyone’s authority, much less their husbands. With an attitude of haughtiness, it seems women try to rule their homes but in turn, destroy their marriages. Following Biblical standards is not something that comes naturally – I have to fight my selfishness, I need to fill my mind with good teaching and Scripture and I need to constantly remind myself of godly instruction.

Proverbs 14:1
Every wise woman buildeth her house:
but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.


And for that reason,  in this day and age, I aim to be a politically incorrect wife in all aspects of my life and marriage.


P.S. I have a Bible study online that has been encouraging to listen to… perhaps it will be helpful for you, as well.



February 10, 2018 - 10:10 pm

Gigi Thank you, Joan. Your words are encouraging.

February 4, 2018 - 10:59 am

Joan Benson Hello Gigi, I so love your beautiful blog. Thank you for introducing me to Alistair Begg. What wonderful preaching!! You are such an inspiration! Blessings!

January 26, 2018 - 11:05 pm

Sue Oh my goodness, i happened upon some more articles about the womens march…it is shameful to say the least. Anyone who claims to be a Christian and is in support of this march…please tell me that you havent seen their signs??! I am so embarrassed for them. They are everything they hate. I can not understand how anyone who claims to be a Christian can condone such foul , vulgar behavior. These are not poor, voiceless women at all!!

Bethany, i dissagree, justice is not at the “core” of Christianity. Maybe you meant Justification by faith? Which is entirely different. It is a work of God, not of man.

January 26, 2018 - 10:08 pm

Katy Reading through the comments and I just wanted to add that I Have read Created to Be His Helpmeet too and it’s good! I also love The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace!!! (And Homemaking by J.R. Miller)

Also…love Voddie and Alistair Begg…as well as many others! Always love to find families who love Scripture and Biblical teaching as much as we do!! :o)

January 26, 2018 - 9:56 pm

Katy Hello! I couldn’t agree with your more Gillian!! 🙂

We honor the Lord when we (although equal with our husbands) are submissive to them as Christ (who is equal with the Father) submitted to Him! :o)

January 26, 2018 - 1:57 pm

Gigi Hello Bethany, thank you for your comment. 🙂
Yes, we, indeed, we as Christians are to care for the poor, the weak and the widow, as you mentioned. In regards to the women’s march, all images I have seen and articles I have read have been clearly un-Biblical and showcasing ungodly attitudes- ie. supporting sex trades and prostitution, supporting abortion on demand, especially abortion of down syndrome babies – that does not sound like caring for the helpless, poor or weak.
In regards to the cherry picking, were you referring to the sermon mentioned about or my blog post? I do not believe either was cherry picking verses, as the Bible is pretty clear about marriage and the roles of husbands and wives. Yes, absolutely, the women you mentioned were great examples of strong women in the Bible. There is no need to give up you womanly strengths and gifts in submission – just learn to use them under the guidelines of the Bible. Esther and Ruth are indeed some of our favorite books in the Bible here in this household of girls!

January 25, 2018 - 8:58 pm

Liz Hi, yes, it’s definitely a good discussion. I was thinking (not sure I can articulate this well)…….I think it boils down to: trust vs. needing to understand. What I’m reading here is if you trust and have faith in how the bible says you should live your life and surrender then things will “work out/fall into place”. God has a plan, trust in His plan for our lives. I think what I hear you saying is if you abide by how the Bible has said to live your life (e.g. submit) then your problems and frictions will be minimal. However there are those of us who have a desire to understand. People in our world who fret about things such as finances (e.g. If one of us doesn’t work, how will we survive financially? How do I afford to give x amount of money to the church each week?) There’s those who want to have a voice or be heard in a marriage (e.g. Having opinions, desires, feelings that are frustrating to ignore and bury and can cause resentment). I read your quotes and I know what it says in the bible however putting it into action when you have worries and obstacles and concerns for your family’s well-being, safety and basic life necessities. I know you say to trust and have faith however those concerns exist in a lot of people.

January 25, 2018 - 4:56 pm

Gigi Liz, sorry for the slower reply. We had a birthday celebration yesterday and I was unable to check messages. Regarding men – one thing to remember, for sure, is that we, as women, do not need to “go through men to be closer God”. We can each have an individual, personal relationship with Jesus, which is so wonderful! Regarding men not being perfect but still being our “leaders”, yes, that is the case – as we are all sinners. Our husbands are sinners and are married to sinners, unfortunately. No husband will be perfect and all will sin. When we submit and allow the natural order of God-man-woman leadership to take place, God covers the details. It is a deep topic, indeed, and one I could write about in a longer post… I hope this helps a little though.

January 25, 2018 - 2:11 am

Lauren Gillian! You seem to have sparked a wonderful conversation on your blog! Did you receive my email? I will resend if you didnt. No more info than that!!

I hope you are all doing well!

The bible is very black and white on the subject of submission.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:22-24.

and that is only ONE scripture! There are more than these! How can a home run effectively if the husband and wife are both the head of the home? It can’t! It’s a battle for authority. It’s a constant head-butting. I’ve witnessed it myself.

God has set our roles. Modern society is perverting Gods order. Christianity is a culture in itself and we are not to adhere to the ways of the world. Take a look at the very early church and do a study on it… that would be my suggestion.

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” – 1 Jude 3

January 24, 2018 - 4:25 pm

Sue Liz, you have many questions and there is an answer for All of them in Gods word, the Bible.
Corrupt men (and women) have been in positions of power since the beginning of time–that is nothing new. It is a sin problem. Yes, there is the human factor and ways of dealing with and bringing people to bear for their sins, but that action alone will never change humankind or bring healing to the broken hearted. The Gospel transcends human reasoning and logic to bring true forgiveness, healing and peace. Have you completely surrendered yourself into the hands of the Lord yet? If not, i encourage you to do that. Then, you can also begin to pray for all women and our world so that they they can come to the knowledge of Jesus saving grace.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land”.

January 24, 2018 - 1:58 pm

Liz Sue, So what would be the answer for dealing with someone like Donald Trump or Harvey Weinstein who are in positions of power but are ungodly people themselves…..assaulting women, speaking vulgarly about women, etc. Women should not react to that? These men need to not be in positions of power however not doing anything about it keeps them in that position that allows them to continue to abuse others. We as women, should support and care for each other not judge each other or call each other names (shameful). We should listen to the concerns and the pain of others.
As for why we need to “go through men” to be closer to God…I will never understand it. It doesn’t make sense to me. Why are we thought of as the “weaker sex”. Is it only to avoid fighting in a marriage? What about men who are not good family leaders (alcoholics, depressed, abusive, uneducated, racist, etc.), how would a women be expected to submit to him? How would he be an expert on the bible? What about women’s talents? Why can’t we explore our strengths like men can? What’s the purpose of needing us in this specific role? Why the only way to be close to God is to be in a very prescribed role? I know the bible says this but I struggle to understand the logic behind it (other than keeping the peace in a marriage….which it might not always).
I’m sure we’ve all had these questions in our heads at one time or another.

January 24, 2018 - 1:56 pm

Lucy John MacArthur has a great set of sermon on the Curse on the Woman (and a great set on God’s pattern for Families). In part 2 of “The Curse on the Woman” he says this:

Now let’s look at the specific of the language here that expresses the conflict. “Your desire shall be for your husband.” Now let’s talk about the word “desire.” What does it mean? It’s an interesting word, it comes from an Arabic root and I have continued to survey this passage because it’s been a passage of some controversy. But it is of Arabic root meaning to seek control. Literally it could read, “You shall seek control over your husband…you will desire to exert your will,” that is a sign of the curse, “you will desire to take charge, to be in control, to master.” And that desire shows up in various women in various ways. In some of them it’s a quiet, silent desire that smolders, with others it is a shouting desire that isn’t much of a secret to anybody. And the more godless women are, very often the more hostile they are toward men. Sometimes that hostility takes the attitude of coldness, indifference, apathy. Because she can’t achieve what she wants, she eventually becomes totally indifferent and apathetic toward the man.

Great stuff.

January 24, 2018 - 10:00 am

Sue Hello Liz, according to New York NBC news, this is what the women were marching for: Organizers said they were marching because basic rights for women, immigrants and others are under attack. ( ie President Trump) Many of them wore pink cat-ear hats as a show of solidarity, while others carried signs stating opposition to Trump and his policies. AND: She said this year’s action is set against the backdrop of Trump’s presidency, which “turned out to be as scary as we thought it would be; I’ve not seen any checks and balances, everything is moving toward the right, and we have a president who seems to have no decency.”
These women have an agenda and it is not towards godliness in any way, shape or form.

Concerning women who have been abused and speaking from my own personal experience in this area, only Jesus and His shed blood can completely wash away the pain and guilt that is associated with sinful acts committed against them. Anger and defiance is the way of the flesh but Jesus said in Matthew 11: 28& 29 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and i will give you rest”.

When i submitted myself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, i put my whole life into His hands and He has given me ” Beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for the spirit of heaviness” Isaiah 61: 1-3. Now, Jesus guides me into proper submission to my husband and like others, i ultimately answer to Him for my own life and no one else’s.

January 24, 2018 - 7:35 am

Gigi Liz, I have not read much about the women’s March but from what I did see, there were a lot of signs with vulgarity and attitudes that were not just for women’s protection against sexual assault. Marching to give rights to be a sex worker is something I would indeed call shameful.
In regards to where the men fit into the Biblical role, there is an absolute definite role for them – it’s all listed in the Bible and could be a long post – however, I am not accountable for any man, not even my husband. I am accountable to God for my own life.

January 23, 2018 - 8:27 pm

Liz Wow, to refer to the women’s marches as “shameful” and “ridiculous”? These women have been recipients of sexual assault! Are you advocating that that is okay? God would rather you be submissive than speaking up for wanting your body to be respected and treated as a temple.
You discussed about how women should be “submissive”, but how about men? How should they behave?! What does the bible say about them?
I think the definition (possibly lost in translation) of the word “submissive” needs to be more closely looked at before studying/discussing this topic further.

January 23, 2018 - 7:37 pm

Regina I have and an reading Created to Be His Helpmeet and I love what I’ve read so far. I also bought have been using the journal that goes with it.

January 23, 2018 - 11:53 am

Sue Yes, I agree, we can be a great help to our husbands. “Gentle” is the word for me to remember lol!!

January 23, 2018 - 11:08 am

Gigi Yes, that is one of my favorite books! It changed my life when I first read it 7 years ago! And yes, speaking personally as a woman who has a strong personality and an “excitement” for life, perhaps it *is* harder to be quiet and allow our husbands to lead… 🙂 But I do believe we can be helpful to our “quieter” husbands with our exuberance for life – if we allow God to lead us and we are still gentle in how we word our suggestions, ideas, etc.

January 23, 2018 - 10:35 am

Sue I really appreciate your honesty in regards to your struggles with submission. Maybe some of us struggle in this area more than others? I am also wondering if women who have a strong personality and sense of interest, excitement and vision for their homes/families may find it more challenging than others? I am married 40 years this year and i still have to be especially careful every day to keep myself in “check” in this area. I find the thing that helps me most is if i am submitted first to Jesus, ( in prayer, reading of his word and general mindfullness throughout the day), then it becomes more natural to be submitted to my husband. Also, a book that has been a great help to me is “Created To Be His Help Meet” by Debbie Pearl. I have read and re-read it several times! P.S. i too am a politically incorrect wife 😉

January 23, 2018 - 9:30 am

Gigi Yes, I, too, enjoy Voddie’s teaching!

January 23, 2018 - 9:29 am

Monica We certainly enjoy Alastair Begg’s ministry, also another one to listen to regarding marriage and family is Voddie Baucham. Sound teaching! So thankful the Lord opens our hearts to His Word and teaching because like you said, it is something that doesn’t come natural to our sinful flesh. He is so gracious!

January 23, 2018 - 5:48 am

Gigi Lauren, so good to hear from you – we have been praying for your family! Yes, let all women be politically incorrect – at least among the Christian church! And yes, there is so much to the Christian walk. I am always amazed at how, even the little things, like submission in daily life and respect, connect with the larger, deeper issues.

January 23, 2018 - 5:46 am

Gigi I did not read about the march but I am sure it was ridiculous.
I hope you enjoy the Bible Study – it has been encouraging for me.

January 22, 2018 - 8:40 pm

Lauren Being a submissive wife is what God calls women to be. The head covering falls right in line with it… the headship order. The head covering is a symbol of the headship.. God-Jesus-Man-Woman. We answer to our husbands (ultimately, at the end, God)… it’s like a chain and of command. our Husbands are directly responsible for us, the weaker vessel, and our husband will be accountable for how he lead the home. We will be accountable how we obeyed God, in obeying and submitting to our husbands. Amongst other things obviously. There’s so much to the Christian walk!

Let all Christian women be politically incorrect! Let us all be women after Gods own heart… not our own!! Let us seek to obey him in all things… that’s how a person shows their love for God. “If ye love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15.

January 22, 2018 - 6:34 pm

Regina I too am happy to be a politically incorrect wife! I feel this more than ever especially after the shameful women’s marches that occurred over the weekend! Thanks for the link to the Bible Study. I have subscribed!

Daily Life & Decluttering {Blessing our Home}

The snow is swirling in a blizzard-like fashion out my frosty kitchen windows. All babies have been tucked into their beds for an afternoon rest and quiet time. The house is fairly clean and dinner is simmering on the cookstove. I have poured my cuppa tea and opera music is playing faintly in the background ….

Earlier this morning, with the warmth of the cookstove keeping the kitchen cozy, it seemed like a good idea to give Loyal his bath in the kitchen sink. He is growing so fast and I just adore his chubby little body! He’s like butter in my hand – so soft and gentle.


My husband and I have decided to transform a tiny extra room we have (on the main floor) into a school room with desks for the girls. As they are getting older and needing more quiet areas for studying, we thought this would be a good use of space. We were inspired by a visit to a friend’s house recently. They had a separate room set up with individual built in desks for their eight children to do their school work, keep their books organized, etc. It was just what I was needing for a mid-winter project inspiration!

So this afternoon, after the school books were closed, we set to spending 25 minutes to emptying out the back room, bit by bit. My husband asked me why I wanted to start this project of emptying out the room when the built -in desks are not even made yet, but I don’t think he realizes how long it takes to get things done with a baby and toddler… homeschooling and, well, life.

So the girls and I started today – I have this procedure where we only do small cleaning projects for about 1/2 hour to an hour as everyone gets a little distracted and frustrated if we spend too much time in the basement, cleaning off bookshelves, etc. So to ensure the children still have free time in the afternoon, I tell them we will put on a timer and set to work for a short period of time. After that timer goes off, everyone will receive a freshly baked cookie (or treat of the day) and the little ones are tucked into bed for rest. It is a good way to get things done in the winter months, when we are all cooped up inside (especially on a wintery, blizzard day like today), but ensure the task or chore does not snowball into a huge day-altering project!


[In just half an hour, we have 7 bags of items to toss to the local thrift store. Amazing how clutter can build up. I am always surprised at how much we collect when I feel as if we de-clutter monthly! Is this, perhaps, a large family problem, or perhaps just a problem in general?]


With the back room nearly cleaned out, I needed to make room in another area for the hutch that was storing fabric for sewing projects. I decided to try it out in the kitchen. We shall see if I like it or if it will feel too crowded – sometimes I change things around too often that the girls always ask me if another baby is on the way… I guess they know me well. 🙂

I love to re-arrange and make the home look fresh and pretty. Yesterday, we took down all the white lace curtains and washed them in hot soapy water. They were hung up by the afternoon, fresh and clean. The week before, we washed down all the kitchen walls which were very dirty from our wood cookstove. We also took down the lace curtains in the kitchen and washed and hung them, freshly cleaned. It did not take long with all of us working together and it was a good way to get warm during a very cold day that came our way (-30 degrees!). Those who were the coldest were the ones that climbed the ladder to wash the 10 foot walls – height rises, you know … they were soon warm enough to throw off their sweaters.

I always find myself encouraged after a room has been cleaned, freshly washed curtains are hung up and shelves are dusted. It makes such a difference! I love making a house a home – it is such a nice way to bless with minimal effort. Lighting a beautiful homemade candle can make a room smell lovely and cozy, as well. It’s a personal goal of mine to ensure dinner is cooking on the cookstove, as well, by lunch time – the house smells yummy and delicious, as we all await the lovely dinner hour. Tonight, we are having lamb chops, raised and butchered by our neighbour, (seasoned with olive oil with thyme, garlic, pepper, salt and rosemary) and garlic mashed potatoes.

Last night, my husband brought home some roses  – they are so lovely and give such cheer to winter kitchen.  I am grateful for them! I love roses, but of course, they are so expensive to buy, especially in midwinter.

What are your favorite ways to bless your home?



January 16, 2018 - 9:05 am

Chris McCoy It gives me such joy to see the impact of flowers… to think of the journey of those vendella roses…grown in Ecuador, they would have come from one of two major producers, both of which have reformed their entire growth operation to become more socially responsible…gone are e days of underpay and temporary workers to farms now which have included schooling for the children of their employees, medical facilities, education for special needs children, family support and a true desire to better the people who work for them. Then a journey by air throught the USA to the doors of Canada where the are shipped to florists and lovingly arranged in celebration of a life…knowing those flowers will share emotions of love, respect, remembrance, and all the while, the family unknowingly are feeling the chemical effects of having endorphins released in their brains (our natural healing and feel good drug) easing the sorrow of a loss. The blessedly being passed along to a family, a nursing home, a hospital, a shelter where the bring joy again to a family! They have a very long journey across the world, to come to serve such a wonderful purpose. They can be dried, make into pot porri, pressed and painted onto pillar candles with melted wax, sprinkled fresh into bath water to release natural oils, composted into soil to enrich growth of other plants…so many things. God had a good plan when He made flowers 🙂 one of my favourite things. Hugs and love to you all from our home xoxox. Chris, rob, wes and Tommy.

January 16, 2018 - 6:37 am

Gigi Thank you, Rebecca. I love having lights around, especially in the dark winter months.

January 16, 2018 - 1:07 am

Rebecca Kurber I love the twinkle lights in the hutch!

January 15, 2018 - 5:35 pm

Gigi Sue, that is too funny – I do the same thing! However, I have an on going box for giveaways, not a garage sale. I don’t think I could manage a garage sale, even though it would be a great experience for the girls!
And that’s a great idea re: the electric warmer. You inspired me to pull out my old scentsy burners – 🙂 Thanks. I just added some of my homemade candle wax to the burner lid. Thank you for the idea!

January 15, 2018 - 9:25 am

Sue We are always decluttering here also, and it is only the two of us! Our years of shopping second hand for the family have really “stuck” with us 🙂 My solution is to keep a large cardboard box at the ready to put in items that we no longer want and when the box is full, i store it away until i have enough boxes to justify a yard sale. This has been a blessing for us as we always bring in a good chunk of cash from the sale! (Maybe ladies with children can partner with other moms to get the the job done?)
I love all your twinkle lights and how you put them on your open shelving! I string mine along the top of curtain rods at Christmas time and leave them there all winter long. I also enjoy comfy smells and use candles but instead of burning the wick, i set the glass candle on an electric candle warmer. I feel like it is safer and and the smell seems much stronger as one large candle smells up our entire house! Thank you for sharing your ideas and beautiful photos of your home and family… it is a blessing to us!

January 14, 2018 - 11:05 pm

Tara C Love this idea! Setting a timer for 1/2 hour is a great idea for getting those things done.
PS – My hubby met your parents recently (through a Kijiji purchase) and we found out that your sister attends the church that we go to. Small world! I met her a couple of weeks ago 🙂

January 14, 2018 - 4:54 pm

Gigi Thank you, Donna. A timer is definitely a great idea. 🙂

January 14, 2018 - 9:56 am

donna I love reading your blog. I always set a timer for work time as well. Even now, with my last two being 19 and 18, when we are starting a project they will ask “how long do you think we will work”. Thanks again for taking the time to post about your life. God bless.

January 14, 2018 - 7:09 am

Gigi Jen, I will surely take photos! It will be a long project though…

January 13, 2018 - 7:55 pm

Jennifer Wow! I would love to see photos your new school room for the older girls! And boy oh boy ,do your two little sons look similar! So cute!!

January 13, 2018 - 6:38 pm

Monica We have six children so far, so eight of us. PS. I’m currently taking a break from “spring” cleaning my dining room (even tho it is near 20s outside and the fire is blazin’) so thanks for the inspiration! We burn wood as well, so my curtains were black on top! Yikes.

January 13, 2018 - 11:31 am

Gigi Monica, I completely agree – the same thing happens with us. It is a blessing but it needs management! A good rule is one thing in, out thing out – of course, that does not always happen in the same day, but I wish it would! When we moved from our last home, our basement was filled with junk and clutter. I am determined to not allow that to happen this time around. I feel like I am constantly decluttering but it is okay, so long as I can stay on top of things. Last week, we also went through the house and de-cluttered and cleaned out all the drawers except in the dining room. It felt great!
P.S. How large is your family?

January 13, 2018 - 9:22 am

Monica I love this post! I can definitely agree that clutter loves to “drop out of the sky” with large families. Last year I probably took 30 bags of items to our local thrift store and already this year I’ve packed up four bags awaiting the thrift store. And still the “decluttering bug” has bitten me hard. It always does with a new year. I think for us, we get such wonderful donations during the year because our wonderful friends and church family think “big family, growing kids” and they are so correct—so they bless us with wonderful hand me downs and other odds and ends. And either the things we replace become clutter or suddenly someone has way too much of something and it does pile up. I love to see how you’ve brighten your space—lovely indeed. I’ve been in a huge decorating “funk” lately so it was nice to be inspired by someone who takes what she has and gives it a new home or a fresh look. Thanks for posting—stay warm!

Sunshine in my Soul

“The value of song as a means of education should never be lost sight of.
Let there be singing in the home, of songs that are sweet and pure,

and there will be fewer words of censure and more of cheerfulness and hope and joy.
As a part of religious service, singing is as much an act of worship as is prayer.”

My six year old had just finished her read-aloud as we sat together on the pink couch in the living room. The little baby boy fussed and was quickly passed back to momma’s arms. Snow was peacefully falling outside but the winter sun was shining ever so brightly, making the snow sparkle and look like little bits of fairy dust whirling past the imperfect windows.

“Did you know the longest day of winter has passed?” my six year old piped up.

Oh yes, indeed, it has. We had pointed to the calendar and counted down the days to remind ourselves that winter is not forever. That is not to say that we do not enjoy winter … on the contrary, we love winter! There is so much to be thankful for during this season of rest …

Cozy books by the fire … family board games by the fire … knitting and crocheting while listening to audio books by the fire … baking cookies and goodies and having friendship teas with good friends whom you have not seen in so long … old fashioned movies … by the fire … 🙂 … the season of quiet in the garden is welcomed, as well, as it is a big chore come the spring time.

… but it is it interesting to note that the days are indeed becoming longer now …

Earlier that morning, just like every other morning, after daddy has left for work and kissed all his eight children goodbye, I had gathered a noisy crowd of children around the kitchen table for our morning Bible and hymn time. Sometimes it is after the oatmeal bowls have been cleaned, sometimes before the cleaning commences … today, together, we opened our many Bibles and went over the Scripture which we are committing to memory along with the hymn of the week. The hymn we are learning right now fills my heart with joy when we sing the verses together …listening to the girls and one little boy sing loudly around the kitchen table, learning beautiful words to a heartfelt song, can be the best part of this mother’s day.

“There is sunshine in my soul today,
More glorious and bright,
Than glows in any earthly sky,
For Jesus is my light…
Oh, there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine,
When the peaceful happy moments roll.
When Jesus shows his smiling face,
There is sunshine in the soul…”

It is very fitting for mid-winter song, I feel. Words written by a bed-stricked young lady from the 1800s, this hymn is now one of my favorites.

“There is music in my soul today,
A carol to my King,
And Jesus listening can hear
The songs I cannot sing…”
We had finished our hymn and morning clean up was happening now. Children were hustling about, starting their morning chores and clearing the breakfast table.

“What does that mean … songs I cannot sing?”

This time the question came from my 11 year old curious daughter. I explained there are times when we cannot sing ourselves, when we are upset or very sad, feeling so lonely or depressed, when our bodies are weary and our hearts feel heavy. This, this time when we are lowest, is when there needs to be stored-up-music in our hearts, ready to fill our souls with praise. A little music box ready to be played for Jesus.

And this is why you are taught these hymns, I told my little brown haired girl, so you can have your own music box inside your heart for those days you cannot sing.

… for those times when you are a child or adult and there is winter in your life and you find you do not have the strength to sing when you so desperately need to … this old hymn that you committed to memory, this relic song will come bubbling up in your memory and you will find your carol to your King …

“There is springtime in my soul today,
For when the Lord is near,
The dove of peace sings in my heart,
The flow’rs of grace appear.
Oh, there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine,
When the peaceful happy moments roll.
When Jesus shows His smiling face,
There is sunshine in the soul…”

When I am going through a season of winter, I can reassured it is not forever … and all those fussy details that make one’s mind whirl and feel overwhelmed or anxious, weary or worried … well, it all does not really matter because … there is sunshine in my soul!


January 4, 2018 - 6:04 pm

Monica Thank you! It would mean a lot! One certainly can’t go by rating anymore.

January 4, 2018 - 11:03 am

Heather This has been on of my favourites my entire life. I love it! Thanks for reminding me:)

January 3, 2018 - 10:11 pm

Gigi This was a new hymn for me but now it feels like an old friend. I had not known it growing up but am so glad to have found it – as per an Elisabeth Elliot suggestion.
Monica, yes, there are some good movies to be watched together, but they are hard to find, indeed. I will work on posting a list. 🙂

January 3, 2018 - 11:06 am

Sue Thank you for sharing this..i went to the links and also listened to the song online. What wonderful inspiration for all of us to remember! I also shared the link with a friend of mine who happens to be bed ridden at the moment with a similar ailment. God Bless You and have a beautiful, Son shiny day!

January 3, 2018 - 10:15 am

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) I love that song … and I love having sunshine in my soul and songs in my heart. Great learning for the children about having a song that we cannot sing but it is still in our hearts. God will be there for us, all the time! and He sings over us too! “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 Thanks Gillian for the inspirational morning message. xo

January 3, 2018 - 9:30 am

Monica Great idea on the hymn study—I didn’t recognize that one! We moved last year to a different church—and they sing the traditional hymns. I’m loving it and enjoying learning those great doctrinal words of faith in song!
PS. You mentioned “old fashioned movies”….any ones to recommend? Ugh—I hate having put on a “decent” movie for the kids these holidays only to have to turn it off when something “off color” is mentioned—and it seems to happen too frequently. Thanks in advance.

True Rest

“May I lick the spoon, mommy?”


Four little ones surrounded me as I mixed the flour, butter, eggs, sugar and molasses for the ever-loved gingersnap cookies that we all so loved. Their little bodies trapped me against the corner cupboard as the mixer whirred a happy humming sound. The children chattered away, fighting over who would get what to lick and who would get the most of such a treat. Flour flew up and generously dusted the worn countertop in front of me. With a warm rag, I wiped off the mess and was reminded of one of those to-dos – fix the counters. The marks of water and constant use on the wooden counters have required a task of sanding down the surface – all in good time, I thought.
I stopped the faithful mixer and quickly scooped out some golden colored batter on a spoon for one of the eager children – and divided the spatula, mixing paddles and second spoon between the rest of the awaiting customers.

Knowing that I had doubled the already-large recipe, I guessed it would take a while to roll, dip and bake all the cookies required for our {large} family.
Coraling two older girls, I asked them to help roll out the cookies. Many hands make light work and that is certainly true in our family. Having the children help might result in a messier endevaour but it might be faster, I thought. I knew the afternoon was quickly slipping away and we all needed some down time.

I popped Lazarus, our resident two year old boy, into his wooden high chair and allowed him the pleasure of licking the mixing paddle. His eyes lit up and he quickly figured out the best way to maneuver the delicious cookie dough from the paddle.
Indeed, this treat was well received!
Glancing at the clock, I saw it was nearly nap time –I knew I needed to wrap up this cookie-mess shortly. My three year old squealed with delight as I handed her the spatula.

“Can I really lick it??” she asked eagerly. Yes, dear, and then it’s nap time, ok?

Her dark head, hair messy and needing attention, nodded in agreement, a fresh change from her usual whining as nap time approached. “It’s good, mommeee!”

We had had an unusually busy morning – with two girls at a dental appointment and catch up-time needed for school. Of course, after a busy weekend of being out, church skating and having company, Monday also brought double-chore day for the girls (as they call it). That meant extra vacuuming, dusting and general cleaning all around. We managed to get our chores done and a haphazard morning of school accomplished, as well. It always amazes me how much can be accomplished when we all try a bit harder. The breakfast dishes were finished, floors were swept and vacuumed, dinner was prepped, the upstairs was tidied, bathrooms were cleaned, laundry was put away and school was all started before 9:30 a.m.

I knew, by naptime this afternoon, I would need a few minutes for a tea break. We were, indeed, all tired.

The two girls continued to roll out the cookie dough, giggling at their creations as they flopped them into a small bowl of cane sugar. Sugar crunched under my worn slippers as I wiped down my now-sticky-but-happy little boy and whisked him into my arms. Nap time was here and it was time for some quiet moments for everyone.

Finished with their task of rolling out four dozen cookies, the girls disappeared to play chess together and quietly read in their room.

Tucking in the toddler and his sister for their naps, I kissed them before their little heads rested on their pillows. Shutting the nursery door with a click, I closed my eyes and prayed a silent prayer to my Heavenly Father. Thank you, Lord, for helping me be patient with my little ones. It truly is not always easy when one is weary, tired and needing rest. But when the day – when the week is busy, when the moments fly by and yet it seems little is accomplished, when my goals of homeschooling at thrawted with important real-life appoiintments – and when there is no quiet time to be found, where does one’s rest come from?

Once back downstairs, I popped the first set of cookie trays into the now warm cookstove and poured a cup of Earl Grey tea for my weary body. Sitting down at the kitchen table, my mind was reminded of one of my favorite verse – one that is taped to the front of my fridge… and one that is highlighted in my Bible.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-30


Yes, Lord, rest is only found in You.

Nowhere else. You will not find it in a fancy spa, an expensive remote vacation or an elaborate restaurant on your night out or even during a humble tea break during nap time – true rest, the kind of rest we all need and crave in this busy, demanding world, is only found with one source:


I sipped my hot tea and tasted the freshly baked gingersnap cookie. The snow dripped outside into puddles on the windowsills and I found my place of rest in a noisy, busy Monday.


P.S. Here is the recipe for the lovely gingersnaps, shared from our dear friend, Miss Amanda.

Gingerbread cookies

-1 cup butter, softened

-1 & 1/2 cups sugar

-1/2 cup molasses

-2 eggs, lightly beaten

-4 cups flour

-1/2 tsp. salt

-2 & 1/4 tsp. baking soda

-2 & 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

-1 & 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

-1 & 1/2 ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light-coloured and fluffy. Beat in molasses and eggs; set mixture aside. In another large bowl combine flour (no need to sift), salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Blend thoroughly with wire whisk. Gradually mix flour mixture into creamed ingredients until dough is blended and smooth. Roll dough into 1 & 1/2 inch balls. (It should make about 3 dozen cookies.) Dip tops in granulated sugar. Place 2 & 1/2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not over-bake. Cool on rack. Store tightly in a covered container.


December 23, 2017 - 10:03 pm

Renee Hello my friend, we too were baking up a frenzy in our little cabin in the big woods. Lots of Christmas cookies to decorate and frosting covered faces to clean up lol. Wishing all of you a splendid Christmas. Much love, from your friends in the west. xo

December 23, 2017 - 10:02 pm

Renee Hello my friend, we too were baking up a frenzy in our little cabin in the big woods. Lots of Christmas cookies to decorate and frosting covered faces to clean up lol. Wishing all of you a splendid Christmas. Much love, from your friends in the west. xo

December 20, 2017 - 10:42 pm

Katy Beautifully written! Indeed….our true, most satisfying rest lies in Christ! 🙂 It reminds me of a quote by John Piper: Christ is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. I always enjoy your blog posts! Glad I found you! 🙂 I pray your week is going well and most enjoyed with your sweet family!

December 20, 2017 - 11:33 am

Gigi Sue, it sounds like a fun week indeed! You are blessed!
I love reading Keepers at Home. I will have to go look to see if I got my winter issue.

December 20, 2017 - 11:13 am

Sue Just this morning, i read the article in the Winter Keepers At Home mag, “The Short Years” by Amy Engbretson and i thought of you. It is excellent inspiration especially for mothers that have young children in their care. In short, Amy speaks about Isaiah 40:11. I love how she gives the analogy of Jesus gently leading “those that are with young” and mothers leading “those that are with young”. She shares, “The knowledge that i am gently led should also make me a gentle leader”. Its like a revelation to me! I will have our 7 grandchildren here in our home this week to make gingerbread houses lol. Lord, help me to remember this and be a gentle leader 😉

December 20, 2017 - 6:36 am

Gigi Yes, I still love that redneck cookie recipe! Yum! Glad to hear you are using it as well, Rebecca.
And thank you for the encouragement, as well!

December 19, 2017 - 5:05 pm

Rebecca I’ve been contemplating that verse a lot lately. Thanks for the great post and the cookie recipe! A long time ago you posted your “redneck cookies” recipe and it’s our favorite cookie recipe now! I’ll have to try these ones as well — they look great. Thanks for posting your recipes and encouraging us with your posts!

December 19, 2017 - 10:03 am

Monica Such a true statement—true rest can only be found in Jesus! Also, I have struggled with looking to other things for *joy* as well—and that can only be ultimately found in Him, also! He is truly our everything! So glad you felt His peace and rest for your soul. We do need it daily with these little ones. Hugs!