Today I’m going to talk about 1/2 of my inspiration (the other being my dad)I’m waiting for international men’s day too because I believe men have a huge significant role that can’t be undermined!!) but its international women’s day so today I’m going to hi-light my mama! My mom would agree that she isn’t who she is without my dad too…they really are a power couple!!
She had 4 kids in 5 years. She made being a wife and motherhood her everything and did it well. Taught us. Encourages us. Sacrificed for us. Supports us. Respects, supports, and loves my dad. (The dream team haha) Went back to university now to reach her dreams of being a psychologist. Teaches gym classes weekly. volunteers at the pregnancy care centre. Her and my dad mentor young couples. Does everything in excellence. Seeks God in all things.
Thanks for encouraging us, uplifting us, supporting us, and believing in us mama!!
I asked her a few questions about life a few months ago and here are her answers…
- If you could go back and do one thing differently, what would it be?
Actually, there’s nothing I would do differently! I loved being able to be married and have children young. That was always my primary goal in life. However, another goal was to go to university to become a child psychologist. I was planning to begin my education part-time while raising a family, but I soon realized this was an impossibility at the time due to finances as well as homeschooling the kids. Sometimes I think it would have been nice to have my education/career in place alongside having raising a family, but realistically, I don’t think it would have been possible. I would never have wanted my family life or children to have lacked as a result of my being torn in too many directions. As it was, having 4 kids close together caused me to be pulled in enough directions as it was!
2. If you could tell our generation one thing, what would it be?
I know this may seem simple and cliché, however as a Christ follower, it really is simple. When life’s many questions and decisions attempt to turn our minds inside out, it’s encouraging to remember to pinpoint our focus on one thing first:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean NOT on your OWN understanding; in ALL your ways submit to HIM and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3: 5, 6 (NIV)
3. What is the thing that frustrates you most about our generation?
This generation doesn’t frustrate me. For the most part, it inspires and encourages me! However, the subjective relativism that seems to permeate this culture is troubling. In other words, the attitude of “what is good for you is ok, but it may not be good for me,” is concerning. There seems to be no absolute truth anymore, even for many so-called Christ-followers. This generation seems to be open to many perspectives and ways of thinking, which can be positive. But when one’s perspective is not grounded in any foundational truths, then relative thinking and compromised decisions/living may prevail. This is what troubles me about this generation, though not necessarily a fault of their own. I think many factors affect why this generation views life from this perspective: media, global and world events, the enemy.
4. What is something that inspires you about our generation?
The abilities, resources, and initiative when it comes to following their dreams and trying to make a difference in the world if they want.
5. What are the most important things in life
1.Making God and faith priority.
2. Living out one’s faith and not simply speaking about it.
4. Allowing God to help one be excellent in whatever He’s called that person to do or be.
5. Tell a story from your life where you had a breaking point or a revolutionary moment.
I was 26 and pregnant with our 4th baby. I was scared to tell dad because he really didn’t want a 4th child, even though I did. I had been taking birth control pills for this reason and had resigned myself to the fact that 3 children would be it for our family.
Then I became pregnant. I had to tell dad of course and like expected, he wasn’t really happy. (Over time, however, he overcame his negative feelings and moved forward). Prior to this however, I had been washing dishes in the kitchen at the blue McKenzie house, feeling stressed and emotional. Suddenly, I “heard” a voice speaking to me in my head. He was saying that what had happened was from Him and what was about to happen, was also from Him. I knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. I had never heard such a clear voice in my head before and never since. I thought He was comforting me about becoming pregnant even with dad being upset and that having this baby was going to be ok because He had allowed it.
But then, 9 weeks into the pregnancy, I lost the baby. It was a very sad and confusing time for me; it was like an emotional roller coaster. Why had God allowed us to get pregnant and go through all those stressful emotions with dad and I, allow us to adjust to having a 4th baby, just to take it away? As I pondered back at His message to me, I realized He had been preparing me for the miscarriage; I just didn’t know it at that point. He knew the future while I only knew the present. So then we were back to the position of accepting we were going to be a family of 5. And then, back on birth control again. Dad had made an appointment to get a vasectomy so as to ensure we wouldn’t get pregnant again. The day he was supposed to go in to see the dr, we got a call saying the dr. had been called out for an emergency so dad would have to come back another day.
While on birth control again, I became pregnant with baby no.5…who of course, we have intimately known for almost 21 years now…your baby seesta poopy pants!
So God’s message became clear again: “What had happened (4th pregnancy while on birth control and miscarriage) was from Him and what was about to happen, (5th pregnancy while on birth control and Jenessa) was also from Him.”
6. What are some important lessons that you’ve learned over the course of your lifetime?
That my plan or expectation in life, no matter how much it makes sense to me, is not what is necessarily going to be fulfilled and that’s ok. I need to learn to hold on more loosely to my plans, so that if they don’t go accordingly, then I won’t be discouraged or let down. Similarily, unmet expectations have sometimes caused me to get down, so I’m learning to try and not hold expectations as much. I’m not saying not to plan at all, nor to not hold any expectations at all; I’m just saying to not place too high a value on them so that if they fall through for whatever reason, our hopes are not shattered. (Refer to answer from question 2)!
7. What is your definition of success?
I feel successful when the goals or plans I set for myself are reached. Sometimes those goals or plans involve others that indirectly or directly effect me, but mostly, it’s my own personal goals that God and I solve together. When completed or solved, then I feel success!
8. What would you say now about living a successful life that you didn’t know when you were 20?
A person can live a successful life at any age! You don’t need to wait to feel successful once you’ve attained ________. You and God living life together is what brings success in whatever a person allows Him to help with: big, small, significant or seemingly insignificant.
9. What is your favourite childhood memory?
I thought flying in a plane with Uncle Curly was very cool! He took my cousin and I up in his small plane and performed dives and turns! I also loved when my uncles would take us out for ski-doo and motorcycle rides. Soooo fun!
10. What were you dreams when you were young?
1. I wanted to be married and have 4 kids.
2. I wanted to become a child psychologist.
11. When it comes to relationships, what advice would you give our generation?
1. For Christian young adults: wait for a strong, passionate follower of Jesus to partner in life through.
2. Faith in Jesus matters.
12. What have you learned about God throughout your life?
To quote A Walk To Remember: “Faith is like the wind, you can’t see it but you know it’s there.” I would change this slightly by adding that “God is like the wind, you can’t see Him, but you know He’s there, past, present, and future. You can see the effects of His passing even though you don’t necessarily see Him.”
13. What is your favourite bible verse and why?
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)
This was the first verse in my life that I had ever read that literally made me gasp out loud! I was by myself in the schoolroom doing my devotions and this verse literally leapt off the page and hit me in the face! God must have known I needed it at that point and would need it again in the future.
God, the sovereign of the universe, tells me He is in control.
Even when I don’t yet see it, He IS doing something!
He gives me hope when I think things are hopeless.
He will make a way through trials so that I will be able to move forward.
He will create something out of nothing!
It is all about what He can do and not about what I can do!
I feel secure and comfort in surrendering my life to such a King as this!