Monday, April 27, 2009


Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
Proverbs 27:5

A well timed encouragement can pull me out of self-pity. A well timed rebuke can sting me out of lethargy and inaction. I would argue that the latter often packs more of a punch, and effects the greatest change. When a good man or woman reveals a weakness in you, prepare to hear God speak through them.
It is an uncomfortable pain that took hold of me when I received words of rebuke this past Lord's Day. But there was a marked difference between my response now and my response last year when a similar conversation took place. Last year I balked. Last year I justified my own path and philosophies. Last year I had my fingers jammed into many ears. Lah, lah, lah! I can't hear you! This day, I truly heard, and my heart broke at the truth of it. And now I have to get to work.

Yes, there is such a thing as malicious critique. And, yes, it happens in the church all the time. These "rebukes" come from people who do not look inwardly at their own hearts, but are eager to put others in their place. Such people are used to strike uncertainty into the hearts of faithful people. However, there is a rebuke that is life-giving. The Bible says so. It comes out of love to awaken the unwary, the apathetic, the lazy, the oblivious among us. Yesterday it came to awaken me.

My stung pride is healing, and I am beginning to labour. I will not let wise words fall to the ground.

Friday, April 24, 2009

::Pretty Packaging::

I went to a wedding shower last night, and left feeling like I had attended a Bible study. It was intense and moving. I hope that the ladies leave there with plans to model all future showers after this one. Not one gift was opened. It was a time of sharing the truths of our marriage. Offering them up to the bride-to-be as a blessing. We all were blessed.

I was asked to be one of four married women on a panel. Here are the questions we all answered, along with the answers I provided, although, in hindsight, I was the least candid of the bunch. Those older, wiser women, told their stories raw. The power of their stories came from the lack of pretty packaging.

1.We are all works in progress...and all marriages are works in progress...what piece of advice would you give a “bride to be” about marriage being... a work in progress ?

The "work" is in every moment. I have a choice to respond wisely, lovingly and well. Or I can respond according to my hormones, my fatigue. daily stresses... "Progress" is what I have seen when I look back on these daily choices. I see the results of choosing the better way more often than not. Yeah, sanctification!

2.What is something you wish someone had told you about marriage, before you entered into it?

I would have loved more examples of how to carve out a time for devotions as a couple. I had heard a lots about personal devotions, and plenty about family study, but what about study time as a couple? Aidan and I have discovered, on our own, the blessing of ending the day in shared prayer, and waking early to study the word side by side. It unites in a very special way. But it has been hard to be consistent. Perhaps it would have been easier to establish the habit had we begun on Day 1.

3.Please share one special time / memory from your marriage ...that would be instructive and / or encouraging the women in attendance at the shower...

Journal excerpt:

I fell asleep on the couch around 11:00, waiting for him to get home {safely}. When I woke up I found him nestled on the floor beside me. Unwilling to go upstairs to our bed without me.

I have many such examples, but this one really stands out as an example of the oneness of marriage. Even physical comfort gets left by the wayside for the sake of being together.

4.Life is made up of mountain top experiences and valley experiences...please comment on one or the other experiences in regards to your marriage...and share with the 'bride to be' what was helpful for you in that experience...

Mountain tops: Our mountain tops have been very related to God's open hand of blessing toward us. We have revelled in His goodness to us. He has provided us with health, children, comfort and ease. We have learned much about the blessing of taking the abundance of what we have been given and sharing it with those around us in the form of opening up our home, opening our lives and giving of our time. Serving where we can. Along with this comes a lesson in humility. We have not gained anything apart from what God has decided to give. Each precious baby. Each new friendship. Each scrap of food. We accept these things with many thanks, and then seek to use them well.

Valley experiences: Ironically, our valley experiences are also related to God's open hand of blessing. As is often the case, with ease comes neglect. Neglect of our relationship with God as we coast along, seemingly steering our own happy course all on our own. But then comes a growing awareness that we have strayed from the most excellent way. And we become deeply unsettled. We then must labour, as a couple towards reliance on God once more. We have learned about the need to be watchful and to exercise self-discipline or relationship is lost and it affects the whole family.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

::Two new quilts in the works::

I have shared photos of Karin's beautiful gifts to my children before:

Now, she is beginning to gather material for the last two. Sniff. Sniff.

This beautiful fabric will be used to make a classic white-based quilt, like the one above, for Isaiah. And then we will go shopping for girlie fabric for my baby girl. I'm thinking deep purples and fresh greens. Can't wait.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


We parked the car and made our way around the front of the building. There was a door set into an alcove covered in graffiti. I checked the listings board to make sure we had the right place and we headed for the stairs. Up we went and knocked on the door. The door unlocked with a click and a girl, Jennifer, opened it up with a smile. "Hi! I've come with cinnamon buns." Jennifer knew who I was. She welcomed us into the small office and locked the door behind us. "We lock you in. We lock you out. You never know with the guys," she said. I filled in the blanks in my head.

In the room were four people labouring over loads of baguette and egg salad. It smelled great. "This is our office. Drop-in is actually around the corner at the Salvation Army. We'll meet you over there in a bit." Down the stairs. Out the door and back into the car because 'around the corner' feels far to two sets of small legs. No sooner had I helped the kids out of the car when a man in a red wind breaker, holding a Timmy's quipped; "You coming in? I'll take you to the back door. Follow me." Mike, it turns out, is a faithful visitor to the Mission, eagerly volunteering whenever help is needed.

We were ushered into the hands of Jelica. It became clear that the place was hopping with activity, and Jelica was at the helm. Yet, she took the time to walk us through the place and introduce us to all of the giving souls there. There was the woman who distributed toiletries to those who need them. {Caelah: "Toiletries?" She learned a new word that day.} Then came the kitchen crew who wasted no time in pointing the kids towards the bake table and insisting they take one of the chocolate muffins. "But we're here to give you food, not take it!" I laughed, handing over the batch of cinnamon buns.

At the top of the stairs was the man who gave haircuts. "Once I made a slip and off came the guys whole pony tail! At first he just reached back and gasped, but thankfully he said he was thinking of cutting it short anyways." Then the ladies who, bless their hearts, do foot care and massages. "We do this in our sleep," one lady joked making a massaging motion with her hands. In addition, there was a back massage station. Finally, up in the attic, racks of clothes for the taking.

The kids and I were welcomed down to the kitchen once more where all of the volunteer staff were gathered. We were pulled into a circle as the morning was covered over in God-exalting prayer. "Let's open those doors!"

It was just a glimpse. But it revealed much about the meaning of love and service.
Open. Those. Doors.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Aidan took this last month, but it sums up my daily life perfectly:
Sweatpants & cuddles.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

::Monkey faces etc.::

So, a few months ago we were part of a photo shoot for
No, we didn't seek this out. We aren't CRAZY!
It turns out that a friend heard that the magazine was doing a feature on first homes, and they needed a big-ish, rural family. She put our names in and we got a call.

The process was painless. Two guys came by in December and goofed around with our kids. They set up complicated lighting all over and Click-Click-CLICKED away. There were a few hiccups. The boys didn't want to sit still, of course. And Isaiah smashed a glass water pitcher all over the floor at one point. But the photographers patiently waited it out.

Our photo appeared in this month's Ottawa Magazine.
I still haven't got a copy, but Remi posted his photos on his blog:

As you can see, it is not a polished picture. Aidan has a rip in his slipper. And Remi wanted Elijah to make a goofy face-he was happy to oblige. But, hey, we're in a magazine!
Very fun.