Thursday, March 12, 2015

This Is Me. This Is Us.

So this happened. I saw this and I have to be honest, this picture stopped me dead in my tracks and made me literally gasp and then I had to literally tell myself that it's okay, you can breathe again. This looks like me. This made me sob. This is me running scared out of mind with Frank in my arms. This is happening to us. This is wrong and heartbreaking and we somehow see these kinds of images and just keep breathing. We have to keep breathing, we have to keep on going. I will forever and always pray and hope that there will be peace, that love truly wins. I'm praying that this scared woman and child, found a safe haven from the madness that surrounds us all. That's my prayer tonight. My heart is feeling so heavy; this is heartbreaking. This isn't happening to her alone, we're all in this together, it's happening to all of us. When one of us suffers; we all suffer together. This is me running scared out of mind, holding my baby Frank. 

I'm praying for my sister above and her beautiful baby. I don't know what the hell is happening in our broken world and I don't know why it's all happening; but I know that I love you and your sweet baby. I know that you are just like me. You just want your baby to grow up feeling safe. I will pray for you always. I don't know you; I will never get to know you, but I will never forget you and you will forever be apart of me. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Our Tree Of Hope

Remember this post? Well any how, if you don't feel like re-reading it; it was all about the depression of the empty after math that Christmas leaves us with. All that glitters isn't gold for us deep feelers and thinkers and Christ Followers. So I did in fact vow last year that things would be different this year, that this year I would be the change I wish to see in the world. So many times I have declared so many things and so many times I fail, but not this year; this year I really meant it! I've truly had enough of the false empty hopes of Christmas. Watching so many gather together in warmth and love and gifts and glitter, while so many go without. It's just WRONG. Remember the story of how our King of Kings was born?; He was born in a lowly manger, in a stable filled with animal manure! Even I can say that I was born in a better state than He was! So in a crazy way God spoke to me and said; "Tanya: What are you going to do for my lost sheep? They have strayed so far from me. I love you all exactly the same, just as you love your children. Is Christmas for you? Or is Christmas for ALL?" You see, I find that God really only ever asks me questions and then it's really up to me to answer these SUPER HARD questions! So in my humblest and smallest attempt; along with my family, we tried to RIGHT THIS WRONG. This year we welcomed our TREE OF HOPE. This magnificent tree bared not a single gift for us; but for the hope of humanity. We rallied together as a family, we hit the pavement and we asked our friends, families & neighbors to help us make up these gift bags for our homeless and displaced neighbors. We rallied together for JUSTICE and PEACE and HOPE and LOVE and all of the goodness that comes along with the birth of CHRIST. Christ gave us holy hope and our joy as believers; is to pass along this holy hope to the suffering. My God; my heart has only ever sunk during the Christmas season and now I know why; serving the flesh with empty gifts are hopeless, serving other's with gifts of God's holy hope are filled with the promise of His unending love and grace. I get that now. I get it. It's not complicated or hard, it's holy hope; to the hopeless. My job is to EXTEND His holy hope into the darkness. We are to spread His joy and peace out into the atmosphere, not just at Christmas; but EVERY darn day of our lives! God bless us ALL, Everyone of us!!! Merry Christmas! 

Thank-you Lord; The lessons that you are teaching this little caterpillar of yours, are shaping me into the butterfly that you intended for me to be! I have to admit that it's a VERY SLOW AND PAINFUL PROCESS for me but I can say, that it's filled to the brim with your HOLY HOPE!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Christmas Wish For Janie

Dearest Janie,

Perhaps I have no place in saying so, I certainly don't want to cause any more grief or pain in your heart, but I have a Christmas wish for you;

I don't know what you're going through, or how heavy the weight may be; but I'm holding a space in my heart for you, in hopes that it helps you breath. This must be a hard time of year for you, or so I would think it would be; to remember her face all a glow on many a Christmas Eve. Please know that I sit in silence with you, as tears stream down my face; for I am a mama too and I can't imagine your pain. I am holding a space for you; it's right in the nook of my heart, it will stay here on earth with me, while you are both apart. My Christmas prayer for you; is to exhale the heavy weight in your chest, give it to God Janie & let Him give you some rest. You can pick it up again and you can hold on to it tight; but every now and then my love, lay it down with Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. 

Always & forever remembering you in my prayers!

Tanya xo

Monday, December 1, 2014


Today marks the first day of Advent!

What is your family doing to prepare His way? 

I've seen so many amazing advent calendars, but they have all been a tad too complicated or time consuming for me to pull off.

I went on Pinterest and had to combine a few ideas to simplify what would suit my family. I came up with this Popsicle stick advent calendar. It's not fancy but we're not fancy either, so it suits us well. I put 24 coloured, Popsicle sticks into a jar and tied a ribbon around it (DOABLE!) On each stick there is an activity for us to do & a bible scripture marked on the back, for us to look up about the birth of our King! The activities can be ANYTHING that you already enjoy doing together as a family, during the Christmas season. 

This advent was simple and fun to make. My kids all woke up this morning and ACTUALLY REMEMBERED ADVENT! We read and prayed over our scripture this morning and we'll be doing our activity together when they get home from school. Activities will be prepped in advance so that when the kids get home from school we'll be ready to go!

Have fun with Advent, the possibilities are endless. Everyday will be marked as one day closer to His glorious birth. 

I'm trying to simplify our Christmas so that we're truly celebrating Jesus, the reason for the season!

Here are a few activities to get you started;

Make an ornament to place on the tree

Make homemade hot chocolate

Go look at Christmas lights

Sing carols by the tree

Bake for your neighbours

Make your Teacher a present

Eat a party platter for dinner

Go visit Santa

Act out the Nativity

Hide baby Jesus & pretend to be the wise men who have to find Him. 

Decorate a gingerbread house

Bring gifts to a shelter

The possibilities are endless. Be creative and have fun! 

Also; please share with me your family advent activities & traditions, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saluting The Fallen

Honouring Nathan Cirillo today. With a heavy heart Canada is mourning the loss of our young soldier Nathan Cirillo. He was gunned down yesterday, in cold blood during a National war memorial tribute in Ottawa. Nathan represents all of our Canadian soldiers who love and protect our native land. Nathan will always be remembered and will always wear a badge of honour within our hearts. In true Canadian fashion we will unite in solidarity by wearing red tomorrow (Friday) to pay our deepest condolences and respects to the Cirillo family, as well as to every fallen soldier and to every Canadian soldier who is currently continuing to fight for our freedom. We will love, honour and commemorate your lives, not just tomorrow or on Rememberance Day, but every single day that we walk out of our homes with peace in our hearts. 

Now is the time more than ever before, that we need to proudly and firmly stand together in the name of LOVE. For every action there is a reaction, let us pay acts of wickedness with acts of love and kindness! Let us show the lost souls of our world that LOVE ALWAYS WINS!!! 

Praise God and His word. Wrap yourself tightly in the comfort of His word. Let it be your beacon of light, let it uphold and sustain you. His word is good and provides refuge for those who believe;

  1. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
  2. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 NIV
  3. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Psalm 34:7 NIV
  4. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matt 10:31 NIV

Keep shining your beautiful lights, wave them like a brightly shining Canadian flag my friends & be the change you wish to see in our world!

Rest peacefully in the hands of God, Nathan. You will never be forgotten. Canada loves you. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I've got to let you go

What do you see when you look at me? Who am I to you? I guess I'll never truly know. I guess you'll never really know who I am. I'm hurt because, you never took the time to get to know me. You always told me right from wrong, but never followed your own rules. We were a burden, we were too heavy of a load for you to carry, you always made that clear. We bled you dry. Your best was never enough and it still isn't. Your intentions as "good" as they were, always fell short. It's too bad that it just didn't work out. 
I've gotta learn to let "things"/"it"/"you"/"them" go. I have to. It's breaking me down, consuming me and wearing me out. I'm tired now and I need a rest. I'll give it to Him, He can carry the load, He said so and He always speaks the truth. His burden is light and His yoke is easy. I'll pray for you until the day I die, it pains me deeply to say that. 
I have to re-learn life/love/happiness and what it means to live fully. He'll teach me, His ways aren't my ways. His ways are higher than my ways. I'm learning to listen to His voice but far better, I'm learning to obey His commands. And so although you will never truly know me or even care to know me, I'm learning to forgive you and I'm learning how to truly love you in spite of everything. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Let The Games Begin!

Our 1970's summer is about to begin!
Wishing you all a safe & happy summer!

Love & peace,
The Brown Bunch! ❤️