Posts Tagged ‘Journal’

Marvellous Monday

What a fantastic weekend in the Lariviere house!  I had a great week leading up to the weekend that I was (and have been) looking forward to.  I have been a Christian for a couple years now and I knew it was time to be baptized!  An exciting step in the life of a Christian.  It was exciting and exhilarating and just so awesome to be able to proclaim my life is God’s in front of family, friends and my church family.  By the way – for anyone who is local – Caledonia Gateway church is truly amazing!!!  The people are fabulous, the minister is young and fresh and so excited to talk about God…and he explains everything so well!!  There is a service every Sunday – one at 9:15 and one at 11:15.  There is FREE child care for both services so that you can actually enjoy the service and really listen to what is being talked about….and believe me, as someone who used to go to church once a year and sit with grandma’s and listen to opera sounding hymns…I never EVER thought I would go to church voluntarily as an adult.  I LOVE IT!!! I love Gateway, I love our pastor, I love the fellowship and the caring and the spirit that moves through our church-please come and join us!!  Okay, so here are some pictures from Sunday…the first one – I’m on the stage in the baptism pool with our pastor Steve.  I’m giving my testimony of faith – how I was lead to faith.

After I nervously read my testimony, it was time to answer pastor Steve’s questions…then the big moment…

The excitement poured through me and I think it showed on my face.

The question I guess for a lot of people who don’t believe is “how do you KNOW” that God is real?  Or “how do you KNOW” that the bible speaks the truth and isn’t just written by someone years ago?  A part of it is called “FAITH”.  I will tell you a little of my story.  I have always believed there was a God.  I always prayed when something was wrong or things didn’t go my way (the last time you were in a horrible situation did you say “please God help me”?).  So I always believed. I never “knew” about Him, or prayed like I was talking to my father.  I just believed there was a God.  Through out my last 11 years as a paramedic, I have come across some pretty unbelievable scenes.  I have met a lot of people and one of the people who had great influence on me was my (now husband) Will.  I would talk to him about “religion” and explain that I believed in God but that’s about as far as my beliefs went.  I knew I hated going to church and remember it always being boring.  I even had my baby baptized because that was thing to do?  I used to go to United Church (and please forgive me if you go there) but my experience in a United church was that everyone sat in pews (I think that’s how you spell it?) lol…and didn’t say a word to each other unless they were over the age of 70 and had been going to that church since childhood.  I’m not slamming United, I’m just sharing in what I experienced in the United Church that I attended.  The songs were boring, the sermon was boring and rarely ever kept my attention and I always found myself looking at my watch to see when it was over.  So one day Will said to try a Baptist church…so I did.  My first Baptist church was Binbrook Baptist.  I couldn’t believe the difference.  I walked in and it was like walking into a high school classroom before the teacher arrived.  Everyone was chatting and laughing and smiling and it was just so great!! I loved it! AND get this – they had a BAND that played the music! Not a piano or an organ but a BAND!?  I’m thinking “uh – THIS is church?”  I really enjoyed it.  Then I thought I would go to different churches to experience different ones – so my next stop was Gateway in Caledonia.  I LOVED IT!!! Every Sunday that I went – I cried.  I didn’t want to, I didn’t mean to…I just cried.  I felt so emotional all the time!  The sermons spoke to my heart.  The amazing band that plays fantastic music at the beginning of every service melted my soul and literally made me weak.  Why would this happen?  I knew – I KNEW there was something to it.  So I began to ask questions.  I was told that to become a Christian I just needed to ask Jesus into my heart.  Lol..now how funny does that sound when your first of all not a Christian and second of all – perhaps not a believer?  So I would always say there has to be more to it.  There HAS TO BE MORE TO IT!  You mean I just “say” those words and I’m promised Heaven? No way.  For me, I knew I had to FEEL it.  I had to FEEL that I truly BELIEVED that the Lord sent his one and only son to the world in human form to die on the cross for MY sins.  I had to believe it in my heart and KNOW it in my soul.  For months, I would go to church, cry during the service and always leave feeling hungry to know more.  One night, while my daughter slept, I just prayed and I cried and I prayed and I cried and I just said “God, I want to know you are real.  I want to believe that you sent your son to die for me.  I want to ask Jesus into my heart and I want to live for you…but how do I KNOW”?  and I kid you NOT…I heard my name as clear as having a conversation with a friend…I heard “Tonia” – on my left side behind me…I literally turned around scared out of my mind that someone was in my house…and there was no one.  God said my name…and that very moment I became a Christian.

It is an amazing journey.  When I’m sad, I lift it up to God.  When I am in need – I pray and He delivers EVERY SINGLE TIME!  When I swear, which is not often, I find myself feeling shameful and guilty…I know God is real…and it’s amazing the feeling that gives me knowing where my eternity will end up!  Want to read a couple great books that may help you understand the Lord a little better?  1  –  Heaven is For Real.  2 – 90 minutes in Heaven.  I’ll just leave it at that – but I tell you, you won’t regret it!  AMAZING!

Okay now that I have told you my life story (lol)…after my baptism we headed home for celebration.  My husband ❤ :

My 11-year-old daughter who told me after the service that my testimony made her cry…

(I know – it’s fuzzy – but hey, I didn’t take the picture) lol…

This last picture means a lot to me.  When you think of the typical teenager, what do you think of?  Lazy?  Mouthy?  Irresponsible?…well this is Evan.  He is my stepson…and he is a great kid!  After the service on Sunday – he hugged me like he has never hugged me before…and he said “I love you mom”…which he has also never said before.  MELT MY HEART!  I’m so happy and so blessed and so thankful for so many people in my life.  My in-laws live upstairs, my “son” and daughter live with us…we have jobs, and passions, and a marriage that I ADORE…and it is ALL because of God!  All because of HIS divine plan.  Here is my boy….who I’m so blessed to have in my life:

One last message….GOD IS AWESOME!!!!!!!  See you all at church!!!  Happy Monday everyone!!!!

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Monday Madness?

Wow – I am not sure where the time is going or what is happening to 2011, but it seems like it’s flying!  This past week since my last “Marvellous Monday” entry has flown!  Lots have happened this past week that make me really reflect on life and truly want to stop and smell the roses.  I have had many wonderful sessions in photography, met some great people, touched base with a few others and I now have FOUR sessions to blog…I’m getting behind and taking a deep breath with every tick that gets added to my “to do” list.

I have a story to tell of a journey I went through on Friday while working on the ambulance.  For those who don’t know – I’m a paramedic FULL TIME…and my business (also full time) is my passion – my paramedic job – well, it’s just that – my job.  Sometimes my job can get very personal.  Friday morning, I reported for work for my 7-7 shift in Caledonia.  At 8:00 we received a call for an anxiety situation to which we attended, calmed the patient down and in doing so, he ended up signing off.  That just means a patient has refused to go to the hospital, feels better and signs a form saying that paramedics came to attend to him and that he has been advised to go to the hospital but has declined to do so.  So I’m sitting in the front of the truck and filling out paper work while my partner changes our empty oxygen tank.  Now normally I wouldn’t give out information because I’m legally not allowed (patient confidentiality)…but when I tell you what I’m about to tell you- you will understand why.  So picture me sitting there filling out paper work…then I hear dispatch tell the crew that is in Caledonia on stand by for us because they thought we were still busy on a call….”respond code 4 to 159 Haddington Street in Calednonia for a __ -year-old male patient having chest pain”.  Let me interpret this for you….”respond LIGHTS AND SIRENS to MY HOUSE for MY FATHER IN LAW having CHEST PAIN!”  Yes…a call to MY OWN HOME for MY OWN FAMILY!  My heart dropped, my partner said I looked “terrified” as I turned to him and said “THATS MY HOUSE GO GO GO!!!”.  I walked in to have the other crew bolt out of my way as I headed straight to my father-in-law who looked like he was about to arrest (“die” in easier terms).  Horrified!  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…together, with the help of three other paramedics and my manager, we worked at helping my father-in-law and I am happy to say he is not home safe and sound.  You can’t understand my heart, my emotions and the unbelievable shaking that I couldn’t seem to stop my hands from doing.  The wonderful thing about being a Christian is that I always know that no matter what I do (no MATTER WHAT I DO)…everything is in the Lords hands.  I’m thankful that I was working that day, that I could help, that he had a familiar face helping him in what was a crisis at the time.  So much to be thankful for  – and we are so blessed that he is with us for hopefully years to come!

I have so much to be thankful for…and have been blessed in so many ways that I selfishly haven’t said “thank-you” for…and yet my life will go on…unlike tragedy that struck down a Toronto Police officer last week.  Today, for 3 hours, I watched the live broadcast of his funeral at the Toronto Convention Centre and just cried…my husband is an OPP officer and is still out from being one of the 12,500 officers who attended SGT Russell’s funeral.  I can’t imagine what the wife of the officer who died is going through.  Leaving behind a wife, a two -year-old son and having to be put to rest by his parents…something a parent should never have to go through.  It’s so amazing to see how emergency services from across the country came together to show their support of one of their own.  Police, EMS, and fire from across Canada attended the service today that I could only sit home and watch… So emotional.  So heart felt.  So unbelievable.  We take for granted so many things..walking, moving, laughing, talking, hugging…we don’t spend enough time doing the little things.   Not enough time hugging our children, snuggling, talking to our family and friends.  The other night it was past my daughters bedtime when she said “mom can you come snuggle for a bit”…and my answer was “not tonight hun…I’m busy”.  Can you belive that?  A wife will never again be able to hug her husband…a little boy will never be able to snuggle his dad…and I say “I’M BUSY???”  Are you KIDDING??  And why?  Because it was 10pm?  Who cares!  She’s going to be 12 soon and still wants snuggles from her mom! Does it matter that it’s past her bed time?  For that matter does it even matter that it might be just an excuse to stay up a little longer?  NO.  Life is too short.  Hug your kids!  Snuggle them!  Play with them all hours of the day and even just once a week, let them stay up until whenever they fall asleep.  Stop…and smell the roses.  That’s what God created them for – so do it.

Before I head off for the night to spend some quality time with my family, I just want to share a picture of our second sweet heart that we brought home.  Born in April of 2009, she was a puppy that went un-picked by families.  So finally – she has found her forever home.  Meet Kingston’s new sister….”Tiger”.  Good night everyone!  God bless you all…and go kiss your kids!

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