On Terrifying Lucidity


Today I stayed in bed till 10 am, went downstairs made pancakes, held both the small people in my arms and napped while they watched a movie and then promptly went back to my bed with my third cup of coffee. I also had a bubble bath at some point. So you know…my life is rough.

I started a second job a month ago so while my time is actually manageable my brain is spread a fair bit thinner then perhaps it should be. Our community, our family, has been under pressure and to be honest I am out of the fog but am still needing to nestle in, read, stare at walls. It has been…All the people. All the time.

My new job has to do with youth mental health and not to be a pessimist but with a youth pastor father and a youth mental health advocate mother it is almost assured that our children will be raging, strained teenagers. Here is my plea: Joel and I both just believe in building community that will help to catch your kids if they start to fall. We trust you to do the same. How about we just show up for each other ok?

O spent the day building Rube Goldberg machines with dominoes and marble runs. There was a dog treat dispenser and a book closer (important for a son like mine ;-). He called me seventy-seven times to come watch and of course I did (though my book was great and my bed was soft)…watching their passions emerge is the greatest honour of my life. Last night O played his first basketball game and I got so close to the edge of my seat that I actually fell off. Turns out it was a stage and I fell onto the court. Bless. So thankful my son is not yet the raging teen he just might be.

Elvis Costello said his grandmother (while tremendously ill with Alzheimer’s disease) had moments of terrifying lucidity. I have finally had those again lately. Do you know those? The moments of profound and intense and terrifying lucidity. I am certain you feel it too. When, just for a moment, the world of life and death and real and true hits you right between the eyes. The instance when you see another parent with your identical parenting style and it terrifies you. The moment when you watch a women in her older adulthood still so bound by fear and insecurity that she can’t choose her own life. Can’t listen to the call of God.
It beckons us doesn’t us? The moments when we just can’t ignore the nudges and inklings and can no longer eclipse the truest of the trues.

If I were a writer I might have called it writers block but I think of it more as spiritual dementia, profound aphasia that I am finally overcoming. I feel myself waking up, able to speak…watch out world.

Today the children dug into my hope chest, which at this point in life is actually a time capsule. I held my high school diploma and E found a cheap ring Joel gave me as a joke in high school. O found my basketball jacket and various sports medals. I found my poetry and small books I had bound when I was seven. These words have always been my way. Broken and terrible, weird and intangible.

I am too busy for this blog.

I am going to do it anyway.

On Hope

wpid-wp-1443367558392.jpegWell hello. Are you still there?

I am and I’ve missed you.

If you want to know the truth, here it is- my emotions have been a bit too raw to stand up and say ‘this I know’ even though I do.

This summer  set me on the edge of life and death and forced me to peak over. I knew what the bottom held but still, I didn’t want anyone to go over. We miss them don’t we?

I guess you can know, I stopped at traffic lights and cried sometimes. I had to stop reading the news. There are things we cannot understand, answers we don’t get to know.

I’ve healed now enough not to weep at the kind words of a friend or even the commercials on TV. I don’t blog when the wounds are raw. I want to show you all my scars well healed, the strength in my spirit healed flesh.

So here, this is the truth I know for sure:

Life can be just so painful. Hope does not disappoint and we are never alone…not once.

First Days: O to GRADE 4!


An interview with O on the first day of grade FOUR

My favorite food is: “Pasta, hot dogs, mashed potatos and gravy, chicken fried rice, sushi and bacon chowder”

My favorite colour: “Orange”

My favorite toy: “Lego”.

My favorite TV Show: “Scooby Doo”.

My favorite movie: “Nacho Libre”

My favorite thing to do outside: “go quading”

My best friend: “Lane”

The coolest person in the world is: “Emily, mom and dad”

My favorite sport is: “Hockey and baseball”

My favorite animal: “Monkeys and snakes”

My favorite thing to do with daddy: “Go in new vehicles”

My favorite thing to do with mommy: “Go on a date”

Favorite place to go: “Forest”

When I grow up I want to be: “An inventor”

My favorite snack is: “Popcorn and crackers”

I LOVE to…”Play lego”

My favourite thing about me is…”MY BRAINS”

This year I want to…”DO SCIENCE”


First Days: E to GRADE TWO!


An interview with Emily on the first day of grade TWO!

My favorite food is: “Pizza”

My favorite colour: “light blue”

My favorite toy: “stuffed dogs”.

My favorite TV Show: “Scooby Doo”.

My favorite movie: “Scooby Doo”

My favorite thing to do outside: “Mostly everything”

My best friend: “I don’t have one”

The coolest person in the world is: “I don’t know”

My favorite sport is: “Soccer”

My favorite animal: “DOGS”

My favorite thing to do with daddy: “Going on daddy daughter dates.”

My favorite thing to do with mommy: “Mommy daughter dates”

Favorite place to go: “HOME”

When I grow up I want to be: “Dog trainer and an artist”

My favorite snack is: “Crackers and cheese”

I LOVE to…”Play with dogs”

My favourite thing about me is…”I am good with puppies”

This year I want to…”More about dogs”


You Deserve Better…


When I die, cremate me with all my journals and crummy short stories; Mix my ashes with a pack of lupine seeds and plant me under a pine tree at dusk.

It is a romantic thought, if I save you from the preceding one.

The thought in which I considered my death. Thought about how, the world I inhabit could do a little better next round. Like how my husband could choose a woman who could keep up with him. Like how I wish my children had a supermom…they deserve better than what they got.  I imagine they could come across a woman strong enough to parent our daughter, gentle enough to mother our son.

I want better for you too. I want a pastor’s wife for you who inspires you to righteousness. Who makes you want to join in this story and adventure. One who is wise and brave who shows up when you need her.
I want a better daughter for you, a better friend, a better sister, I want to be better for all of you. You deserve better.

But here is the thing. I am the one here now. I know better than these thoughts. I know better. Stop that email you are composing about my worth put the facebook comment away about how I am the mother meant for these children. I know that I have the capacity and the wisdom to love my kids well, to lead them.

I know.

I am the one here now. I am the one tasked with the ministry of these 18 inches in front of me. We are forgetful though aren’t we?

We need to remember.

I think we all feel this way some of the time and so we don’t step up and choose the life meant for us. We all feel like frauds, fear that any moment now someone will show up, figure out mind reading and will put all our sin and disfuntion on display. We will be shown for the short cut takers we are.

These thoughts keep us from being bold enough to step a little further in our calling. So many trade the crown of authority for the sludge of mediocrity, let insecurity rule when faith should.When we fail, when we compare, when we measure our progress – spiritual or physical. When we falter. We step away from the call on our lives.

I might be failing you even more than I realize but that might be the point. I know grace. I know my failure is the starting place and the finish line. My inadequacy is my blessing and my curse.

There are people better than me at everything in my life. But they are not here, do not have the authority to breathe on the lives before me. I am called to this space…only me. YOu are called to your space…only you. Tomorrow, may we walk into our days knowing this truth.

Grace. It smells live wildflowers not yet in bloom, apple blossoms, whatever that pink burn on the horizon might smell like.

Breathe deep.


A Gift


Last night we went out for supper. Last night…of all nights…was a night we should not have gone out for supper. Last night, we could not afford to go out for supper, but we have hosted close to 500 people at the ranch in the last eight days, and tonight? Well…we needed someone else to make our food for us.

So off we went. We found a hole in the wall restaurant we have never been to before. As we were finishing up the waitress came to us and said “I will not be bringing a bill for you tonight. The elderly couple in the corner told me they were just so blessed to see a family like yours out together on a night like this”. We went over and thanked them, and I (as is my way) ugly cried and embarrassed the lot of us. The gentleman just gave each of the children a dime to make a wish in the fountain, turned and said “you’ve no greater gift than those children in front of you”.

We cannot know what our seemingly small gifts could mean to someone. We cannot know.


I’ve rested recently. Not in the sense of sitting still exactly (but a little of that) but also in the way of pure intention. I have been alert these lasts weeks, watching for all the ways God was speaking, healing and resurrecting me. It is amazing what you notice when you look up.

Some weeks ago I was out for a large group jog. I took my place nearly smack dab in the middle, and oh, this night. It was one of those evenings when the temperature is perfect, the sun is setting all red and blurred on the horizon. The cows in the birch trees are grazing on grass that looks neon green. Two Canadian geese landed on the creek beside me, a storm of starlings settled on the branch, the air was filled with all the promise of spring and new life. Most of the runners wore ear buds…sun glasses…they stared at their shoes obsessed with the immense pain of kilometer eight. But here is the thing…sometimes we run so hard in the right direction that we don’t notice the beauty until we are forced to stop…until we hit that wall.


Recently a woman I have admired and adored the whole of my life said something to me. If it had been anyone else, I would’ve shrugged it off, as we do when someone says something kind (Why is it that a word of discouragement near melts our bones but words of affirmation run off of us like water?). I let these words of hers sink deep into me, I accepted them as blessing and maybe even prophesy. Words that would have meant nothing from any other lips. There have been wounds healed that I didn’t even know had not yet scarred. There has been inspiration reignited that I did not even know had been snuffed.

What is it you are holding in your tight and fearful fists? What gift do you possess that is absolutely meant for your neighbor? Who is it, facing a giant, that would be so much  braver if you just stood behind them? What is it that you will not miss, but will mean the world to someone? What candle could you light for someone trying to make their way in the dark? What elbow could you steady? What leftovers could you deliver?

What…what gift is it you hold? Who looks to your for affirmation, conviction, forgiveness? Who is the recipient that is desperate…right now.

Look up.

A Blessing For the Hectic Heart


All of April, I felt a bit like a kid on a merry-go-round who has been spun entirely too fast. Our crap was flying every which way and I was creeping near the edge. Now it is May. Watch me…hand over hand…creep towards the Centre…find me there where all the forces are held in balance by the One who hung the stars.

I was carrying your burden heavy on my broken heart.

I was allowing your pace to infect my plans. Your vision to dominate my view.

I was allowing my pace to quicken under the weight I kept lifting, thinking I could handle every speck of it.

It reminds me of a yoke I once wore.

But no. I won’t go back.

Instead, I will listen to the Pacific Chorus Frogs as they sing me to sleep, smell the wind through my metal screen as I finally still at night. I will let the wind in the pine trees blow and I will think about my smallness. I will rest as one who knows my God is Sovereign.


We begin…with extravagant picnic in the woods.

If you are tired, like you think there is no cure, I promise you there is…

This blessing is for you…