Tuesday, November 23, 2010

::It's name was Montreal::

I had an itch, and it's name was Montreal. The girls and I used to go once a year, simply as a chance to be all-out girly. As babies began to arrive, this trip became less and less frequent until it ceased altogether. Now, of course, my baby-having years are newly behind me. And the itch returned.

A very small gaggle of three: Tara, Kate and I. We set out in the wee hours of the morn, with me, strategically opting to sit in the back seat. I definitely passed out for a bit. We parked at the mall and hit the pavement, making our very first official stop Starbucks. The timing was perfect, as it began to hail upon the world outside. The coffee boy sighed, and uttered in a very french way; "I guess it will make everyting clean for de parad."

Yes, the parade. . . Partly, this gave us all a festive boost. Partly, it made us all very peeved, as we had to squeeze our way throw the mob just to get to the next store. Kate was actually squeezed right on out of our vision. Tara and I had to perch under an awning and wait for her to be squeezed into sight.

I like the way we shop, as a threesome. We, generally, followed one another around making comments about the prettiness of this or the ickiness of that. Kate's hat, {below}, falls under the category of "very Canadian." We modeled clothing for one another. I had high hopes of finding some outrageous outfits to do a photo shoot with. It turns out that the most hideous, and picture-worthy, clothing came with $4000 price tags, and were anchored to the racks with padlocks. So true what they say; "money doesn't buy good taste."

As we neared the end of our shopping sojourn, I spotted a lamp that made me want "to jump inside of it and live there." My sneaky sister managed to purchase it while I was elsewhere and present it to me later with a; "Thank you for letting me live with you!"

There were antics. How could there not be with a combination of sister-ness, deep fatigue and an exhilarating sense of emancipation? This tree was such a likely canvas upon which to make ourselves look very silly. And that we did!

The day began and ended with coffee, as all good days are want to do. We had hoped to catch a chick-flick before heading home, but found there was nothing appealing on the big screen. So we grabbed a slice of cake at a sadly altered Calories, {our favourite desert joint}, and headed back home. I grabbed the backseat again but didn't sleep a wink. We had too much to chat about, as sisters do. My itch was most satisfyingly scratched.

Friday, November 19, 2010


My life and choices have kept me from my photo journal here, in this on line space. It saddens me, because I love my life. I love my camera. And I love to share the bounty of both. When is the last time I posted about everyday life? I looked back at some of the accumulating photos and found a very few that can fill in some of the blanks.

With great sadness, the girls and I have been piecing together a scrapbook for our dear friends the Firths. They have been with us for a year, but are returning home in a few weeks. That's Talitha and I above. Some people radiate goodness and warmth from beginning to end, and she is one of them.

May I just say that this photo makes me good and happy. Look at the faces on these kids. They look entirely unimpressed. And then there is the pudgy butterfly assaulting her older sister. Great stuff. . .
Our Halloween was spent in Wakefield with the gang. This year, I saw a costume that set my handmade heart aflutter-- a little girl dressed as Autumn. Seasons! Winter, I figure, is the most masculine of the seasons to personify. Elijah was decked out in white and "ice"-covered twigs. I even sprayed his hair white. Caelah was wrapped in autumn leaves from her head to her waist. Gabriel wanted no part of this, and so he donned last-year's Road costume. {Later that evening, when he began to turn blue with cold, I shoved the costume over his jacket. He groaned; "I don't look like a road! I just look fat!"} Road-Hog?
Annorah was a chubby pink butterfly. She spent her evening cocooned inside Daddy's coat, wings peeking up over top. And Isaiah was, yes, the bumblebee. This costume has been in circulation for nearly ten years now. As a whole, I remarked, we represented four parts Nature, and one part Nature-killer, {paved highways aren't so Nature-friendly, huh?}.

On that note, our chubby butterfly began to walk last week. Our last first steps. She is very pleased with herself. It took her awhile to really gain her balance because she has become joined at the hip with this baby doll.

Along with this development has emerged a very strange habits. She now has a propensity for eating sweater lint! Yes, she reaches across space to pluck balls of pill off a sweater and pop them in her mouth. This baffles me because no sooner has she done it, she begins spitting it out and grimacing over the strands caught on her tongue. The other day I saw an angry red mess in her mouth. It startled me, because it looked she had blood everywhere. And then I looked down at my read sweater and put two and two together.
Let's just hope this passes soon.

I will sift through some more photos and life bits soon.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

::I Caught It::

"Love never fails. . . When you put it out there, and it feels like it fell to the ground, God says; "I caught it!" "
~Beth Moore~

A bunch of young mothers, having tucked little ones to bed and ventured out of the house in the dark, huddled around a big television with mugs of decaf coffee, watching a video on the topic of rejection. Mrs. Moore began by asking us all; "Who hasn't loved you?" She looked at the audience and stayed silent for a long time. "Who have you loved, and been spit out by?"

A few of the girls wiped their eyes. A few were quietly crying. But I remained calmly still. I searched my mind.
Who hasn't loved me?

It took another ten minutes before a thrill shot through me, and I realized how completely healed I am from last winter. {Read ::HERE::} I am so saturated in love I am nearly blind to past rejection. What an exciting realization!

A bold call went out to us all that evening. A call that has been resounding through my skull like a gong for nearly one year.
Love never fails.
~1 Corinthians 13:8~
When you plead with God to fill you with a love you could never manufacture yourself. And you cover over everyone around you, regardless of whether or not they have ever even looked in your general direction, it will never fall to the ground--never remain on the floor to be trampled. It goes up to God like incense. He receives it and gives it back to us in the form of abiding joy and peace in our hearts.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

::What Spills Out::

"There you are, you see. . . when you are jolted, what spills out of you is whatever is filling you."
~::After You Believe: Why Character Matters::~

This impacted me.
I looked up from the book. This quote came from a pastor who had intentionally sent one of his students into the next room with a few very full mugs of coffee. He nudged the student and watched the liquid slop over the sides. ". . . it's what spills out of you when you are jolted."

I took a moment to visualize myself being "jolted" by the cracks in the pavement of my life. And rather then seeing a substance spilling over the cup of my character, I could hear a noise: a low, impatient growl. This noise comes out of me, far too often, when small annoyances jolt me off my stride-- by a newly acquired mirror splintering into a million pieces on the basement floor, or too many stubborn questions, or a recipe failing me just as it needs to be served.

The Greek word for character, as used in Romans 5:4, is dokime, which actually means "tested for worth." This involves having experience, or having come through trial and proved oneself. This word not strongly denote a positive or negative connotation. Character, is seems, is simply the canvas of our hearts-- the empty cup that is waiting to be filled.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
The root of this word is, oddly, in the positive: dokimos, which means "being found worthy or pleasing." Normally I would expect the root of a word to be neutral, and its derivatives to take on positive and negative meaning. . . We see this word in James 1:12:
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Here is a very interesting historical tidbit:
"In the ancient world there was no banking system as we know it today, and no paper money. All money was made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into moulds and allowed to cool. When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to smooth off the uneven edges. The coins were comparatively soft, and of course many people shaved them closely. In one century, more than eighty laws were passed in Athens to stop the practice of whittling down the coins then in circulation. But some money-changers were men of integrity, who would accept no counterfeit money; they were men of honour who put only genuine, full-weight money into circulation. Such men were called dokimos, and this word is used here for the Christian as he is to be seen by the world."
~Donald Grey Barnhouse, Romans: God's Glory~

Integrity. A word I do not associate with myself, or many women I know. We are so full of hormones that we are often like rag dolls being tossed about on the waves of our emotion. We say what we think. We do what feels right. We act spontaneously. How often have I heard myself, or others, say; "I hate that feeling of being completely out of control!"
But are we?

I will be unpacking this topic a lot over the next year. It is what I am teaching my Sunday School class. Already, I am thrilled by the revelation of many Truths I am experiencing as I study.
Here is a last quote to mull over:
"The test will be, whether your character is so formed that when the challenge comes you can meet it with a second-nature Christian virtue, or whether you will flail around, panic, and wonder what on earth you should be doing--and quite possibly fail to act in the way you should have done. . . But sudden moral challenges are not, in themselves, the staple diet of Christian living, anymore than flock of geese is to an airline pilot. They are the emergencies, when the character, quietly formed over many years rings true, comes into its own."
::"After You Believe" p.32::