Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Monday, May 28, 2012


"When you first arrive at the hospital, they often hook you up to an I.V. At first, the only thing running through your veins is saline water. No medicine. But the preparatory work has been done. Just in case something goes wrong. That's how it should be in the church. We should do the preparatory work with one another so that the groundwork of relationship has been established. In case something goes wrong." ~Jonathan Watt 

I've been walking around this week with visions of us all held close to one another by I.V lines. Tethered. Forced to deal with false-assumptions and hurts and misunderstandings by virtue of our proximity. And I like it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

::Old beat-up wood::

ld, beat-up wood is a personal favourite. One of my greatest misgivings about building new was that we would be working with new materials. But, given time, I've found ways of making the place look older than it is. More wizened. When I stumbled across an old wood pallet behind the garage, for example. I remembered seeing this:

And we got to work. It was really muddy, and huge & ungainly. But we wrestled it into shape by prying off certain board and replacing them in structurally-sound places. And up it went onto our bathroom wall. It was so fun to collect narrow-enough items to perch on the "shelves."

You know what this means, don't you? I will be decking out our whole house in wood pallets now. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

::Garden facelift::

I've said it before. I am not good with green things. So, that's why our garden looked like this:

Notice the sagging upper level? The lack of pruning and the generally sad composition? Thankfully, my Mom is my gardening cheerleader. She came for the day yesterday and we got some serious work done. I almost cried halfway through, when it seemed impossible, but she encouraged me to keep going. There is now the beginnings of a garden I could learn to love. . . if I didn't kill all the plants in the moving process, that is.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

::Collecting my Kids::

When I read, I read to be swept away. If the characters are rich in depth, I'm in. That's why I've never been one for manuals, textbooks, How-To's or anything of the sort. Bleck. So I really shocked myself when I went and read an entire book of secular psychology from cover to cover. I was propelled forward by the importance of the message:
We have to remember that children are in need of being oriented and we [parents] are their best resource, whether they know it or not. The more we orient them in terms of time and space, people and happenings, meaning and circumstance, uniqueness and significance, the more inclined they will be to keep us close. We must not wait for their confused look but assume our position in their life as guide and interpreter. ~p.231
I first heard of the book "Hold Onto Your Kids" {by Gordan Neufeld}, during a CAS training session. I flipped through and read that:
Our children are not manageable, teachable or maturing because they no longer take their cues from us. The result is that children are being brought up by immature persons who cannot possibly guide them to maturity. They are being brought up by each other.  ~p.6
And I thought, really, isn't this a God story? We were created to be oriented to our Creator, revolving around Him in an endless dance of satisfaction and completeness. But we lowered our eyes from the Glory, and our gaze was help by some little shiny bobble that slowly captivated us and held us enthralled. . . And kept us stunted.

What's being dealt with here is misplaced affections and bonds. Specifically, the why's and how's of the loss of our children to peer-oriented lives. The entire structure of society is now set up to weaken, and even sever the hold parents once had on their children. Kids are now being raised by other kids because attachment abhors a void.

Often I read these things and react a lot like that Pharisee. Thank you so much God, that this is in no way relevant to me. But this book offered little shining windows of warning and encouragement. My heart latched onto a particular tidbit concerning false assumptions. One of them being that the bonds with our kids only need to be diligently nurtured for the first few years to make them strong and permanent. But how can this be true when God, the ultimate parent, makes promises to always be near. He, the ever-present One actively lifted our gaze to Him. Constantly sweeping us into fellowship with his gathering-wings.

The author s term "collecting," to describe the repeated gathering-in of our kids. We "collect" babies by making faces until the smile. We "collect" toddlers by reading them stories and teaching them their letters, applauding and cheering when they finally understand. But as our kids grow older, it can all start to unravel. In a society where independence is valued, we seem to want our kids to grow up really quick. We spend less time "collecting" them, so eyes meet eyes, and smiles encourage smiles. And, often without being conscious we are doing so, we are teaching them to make it on their own.

Most of us see don't see it slipping away, I think. One day our little one is waiting for the bus with his arms wrapped tight around our neck. The next, he hops off the bus with a cheerful 'hello' and flies past to find his bike. Then comes the day he lets himself in the door, puts away his stuff on his own and quietly settles into home without you.

I've been reminded to "collect" my little people under my mama-wings in the smallest moment. Moments I have been letting go by. Collect them in the morning before they even set feet on stair. Gather them around until their groggy eyes really see me, so we can tackle the day together. Hair tussles and sleep-warmed hugs. Collect them at each meal by sitting down, no matter how many dishes need to be done so I can meet the eyes of every single one until they can no longer contain the story of their day, and it burbles out between bites from eager lips. Collect them when they return to me from being under someone else's wings. Make sure they know that the hollow place that had opened up in me when they stepped out the door was just made whole again when small arms went round my waist.

And to the mother whose child may already be untethered. Lost.
We can make is as easy as possible for the "lost" children to return and as difficult as possible for the competition to hold on to them. . . The more defiant-- the more they are indicating their need to be reclaimed. . . " ~p. 232
God is a lost-gatherer. And He never rests or sleeps while the lost are still lost. Therein is deep, deep hope. Therein is the strength to keep wings outstretched to our restless chicks so they always turn back for home.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Must every child feel compelled to secretly attempt hairdressing?
Annorah's new hair style is brought to you by Isaiah and his trusty purple scissors. He really went for it. Right to the scalp in some parts. I am doing the best I can with what's left. Every morning Norah's scampered into our bed petting her hair; "Do I still look like a boy?"

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

::Not too much::

Thinking a lot about this verse lately.
. . .   give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God.
~Proverbs 30: 8,9~

Friday, May 04, 2012

::Lime Poppy Seed Cake::

This is one of the first cakes I learned how to bake, back when I was first married. It's a tea-sipping cake. The recipe calls for fresh berries on top, but I prefer to drizzle it with a citrus glaze.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


How sad it is when people only hear about God's blessing, but never experience it, because they are not in the place where God can bless them." ~Warren Wiersbe "Be Committed"

Naomi was in the fields of Moab when she heard that the famine had lifted in her homeland. This was a welcome shift in circumstances for her. She'd lost her husband and sons, and she wanted to go home. She packed up her possessions and started down the road to a place of blessing-- a nation sheltered under the wings of God's covenant. But we soon learn that that there was no blessing waiting for her there. Not because the land was no longer God's. Not because her neighbours didn't call out greetings. Not because she "was empty," and had nothing left-- her daughter was close at her side. But because her heart and mind weren't open to receiving the blessing of what she had. Somewhere along the way, from the graves of her men to the borders of Bethlehem, she had allowed her heart to become encased in bitterness. A hard shell to crack, that Mara.

Ruth was a different sort, altogether. If Naomi was making a trek towards circumstantial blessing, than Ruth was walking away from it. Worldy-speaking, Ruth was removing herself from the benefits of being accepted in her own culture and family, to a place where she was not welcome. Moab, God's "washpot," had a blighted history with Israel. She knew that she was walking into a land that would likely offer her no husband, or inheritence, or kindness. But she was wide open to the blessing of simply belonging to Naomi's God. He was enough for her. This was a girl who was completely and utterly blessable.

My mom has always said I am my own worst enemy. I know it's true. I often strip myself of the contentment that's available to me in heaps. But there is a fresh fire in me to put all that behind and walk in the warmth of blessing. God was enough for Ruth. Him alone. Imagine a life lived that way? No more dashed expectations, or loneliness, or injured pride, or yearnings for more of who knows what. Full. To the brim. With the blessing of Him.