Rose coloured glasses: Five Minutes on the prompt ‘Ordinary’

The crows had gathered this morning. Encircling that white tailed corpse on the road. Its throat ripped out by the speeding car. A murder of crows there, squawking from a sign, from the sky, from the belly of the doe. All I could think was, are they an omen for me?

Of course not. I don’t believe in such things.

And Yet.


Do you see that? The way her hair is glinting in the setting sun? They way their games almost glow in the purple? His face nearly sparkling?  There despite the filthy window, did you notice the sun setting down in pinks and purple splendor? Despite your exhaustion and your frustration, can’t you see the holiness of this moment? The way we are all holding onto life and death with the same weak hands. The way our control of it all is so illusionary. The way, those old crows could be waiting for me just outside?

These ordinary moments are all we got friend. There is no purpose greater than the one you are walking now. No theology preached from any pulpit that doesn’t apply in this absolutely ordinary moment.

So you can call me an idealist if you want to. The way I always see the world as a great romance, but I don’t mind. Even if the pink in my eyes is really from this bone weary mamma season, I’ll pretend it is the reflection of this extraordinary sunset, lighting up their faces with all the splendor of creation. I will keep these rose-coloured glasses on all day long, recognizing that there is no such thing as ordinary. That this moment right now may be the Holiest thing I every touch.


The Everyday Extra-Ordinaries

It is funny when the sun starts to shine on my funk.

Lent always comes at a good time of year for me, a time when it is EASY to recognize the ways I am broken and to look them square in the face. The Februaries will do that to me. Make me terribly introspective, a little bit oppressed. But lent always leaves me hopeful too. I see the resurrection rising, the way the broken in me meets the fullness of Easter, it is the only true way to WHOLE.

Today all I saw were the signs of hope on the horizon.

It started with my girl. We had a tea party and lemon cookies for breakfast. Sometimes you have to do that. We used the good china, she taught me that they are not cookies when ‘tea party-ing’…they are biscuits then. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

DSC_0019 DSC_0022

Next I had some extra quiet time, E is colouring like a mad woman these days. All day, every day. My Lenten devotional is GOLD so it worked out well for both of us.


We had a short walk in the woods. The wind whispered what sounded like a song. The icicles were dripping, promising me a far off spring.

DSC_0015 DSC_0018

We picked up the boy from school and he picked up his trophy again. Note to all parents: A trophy instead of a goody bag at a party? THE BEST IDEA EVER. He tells everyone he got it ‘from hockey’. He refused to make a wish the other day on account of the fact that he didn’t need to wish, because “I already have this (the trophy)”. The kid hasn’t put it down yet.


So often the secret to hope is just about lifting up our eyes. Taking your eyes off yourself, your broken ways, the way you missed the mark today. The secret of hope is to focus on the fullness coming, the way you are getting closer each day.

Today, was the sort of day I want to capture and keep somewhere. Somewhere I can open it again when the fog rolls back in, when I look down too long and stumble over my own feet. For when, the miracles of each moment, sink into the dominion of the ordinary.


Thanksgiving Blessing

May you be astounded anew by October sun on your back, the absurdity of being chased by your own shadow.

May you be wonder struck by the design and softness of a feather, astonished that your own breath can set it aloft.

May you stare into the stagnant parts and eventually see the living things there. Sometimes it takes a long time and maybe what you find will be strange, surprising.

That is ok. You only needed signs of life.

May you watch the horizon with the expectation that beauty will breach, leap from the depths and dark and surprise you with joy.

May you have faith like a child. Bound up in His wonders rather than chained to your cynicism. May you place your attention on the good, the best, where ever you can find it.

May you be thankful for this moment.

Linking with Ann and her grace chasers….

I write often about gratitude…here are some of my favorite posts

How to make fear bow in worship

When mammahood wears you down

When the grass looks greener somewhere else

Grateful for my grandpa and awesome legacies

And my dear friend Michelle is writing on Eucharisteo too…ENJOY her fine words.

Country Chronicles: What I Want to Remember of September 2012

We played hide and seek with the moon tonight. We chased him all the way home and E shouted “surprise” to him whenever we found him. The clouds hid him sometimes and at other moments he covered himself completely with the mountains. Still we chased.

The two point buck ran in front of us for a while. We climbed Sun Valley road and he ran before us, the moon seemed just steps in front of the deer. For a moment we thought he might be able to leap right over it.
Hey diddle, diddle.

And these fantastically ordinary mamma moments are the ones I seek to create. To savour and remember. So…with that…the things I can’t forget, am so grateful for… about September 2012.

717) How our girl shouts “SURPRISE” every time we come around any corner ever.

718) Little girl, pirate swords, dress too short, patent leather boots 😉

718) This week we launched the research study I am co-coordinating. You can read about it here. It is going to be fun.

719) Launched a new church service last week. I really loved it.

720) Worlds. Best. Bird. Nest. The cutest birds ever.

721) Construction projects. The skating rink to be is in the background…the wood fired hot tub, made from a giant dumpster is burning some days. Yes. There is no doubt that Switchback Ranch is fast becoming a hick paradise. And I am in love with it.

722) The most glorious September days…Walks and talks.

723) His quiet dignity…

724) Her exuberance, zest for life…

Jesus. Thanks.

Linking with my friend Emily who launched her book this week! YAY EMILY!

Celebrating with you! 

He made all this for us to play with…

Swiss Family Feddersen in our orange amphibious vehicle, rolling over the tree stumps and broken up trails. We emerge into the open where the whole of the valley opens up to us in glorious and generous splendor. We see the smoke from the forest fire, burning up the end of summer heat. Our dog is running ahead of us, on the prowl for anything that threatens, he protecting us while the children yell for him when he slips from view, protecting him in return. The sun is setting through the trees, fall light casting long shadows and she says what my heart is crying:

“Oh mamma…I think God is playing with us in this night”. I ask her to repeat it because she is three and could she have possibly have really just said that? A smile plays across her lips as she curls into my side, her pirate sword raised high, her hair wild in the winds. And she says it again “God…he made this for us to play with. He is playing with us”. My eyes well with tears and again I wonder how much I’ve missed? How many evenings have I blustered and rushed and missed the God of the universe in her heart? In mine? Longing to bring peace where there has been strife? Whisper love over all the bumps in our family life. How many times have I let the annoyances, that seem so frequent, rule in our household when I could submit to a much more gentle truth?

The truth that gratitude in the moment, for the moment turns ordinary moments into extraordinary ones. That there is beauty to be found even in the most difficult of days. That God, wants to play with us, wants to be our joy, wants us to relish this extravagant world he gave us, wants to speak to us, love on us. Wants all of our worship, all of our praise.

Praising today for:

712) Cousin Love

713) Church Love

714) Home…Sunsets

715) Harvest…bringing it in green…temperature is dropping fast

716) That slow poke moon last week…

Linking with:

The Wellspring & A Holy Experience (you should REALLY follow her today…so amazing) and Emily Wierenga.

When you wonder what you are here for…

My eyes flick open, brain starts spinning, stomach starts twisting.

My skin jumps on solutions and MORE and program and plan. Inputs, outputs, measurables.

But then. I put down my notebook with my own outlines, my own dreams.

This prayer that presses on me heavier than the rest of the weights?

It says.


It says look at me.

It says I WILL be glorified.

To me it says, in spite of you. With you. Not because of you.

It says nothing will rise or fall on account of you.

Breathe deep and go back to sleep.

My spirit left watching the horizon, certain the Son is rising. He is the one who does the work, we are the ones who surrender our hands our hearts to HIS restoring work.


Thankful this morning:

708) For opportunity to join in His redeeming this old world…but not to be in charge of it

709) Grace. Learning to wear it. To walk in it.

710) Quiet family weekend

711) Gods provision even in tragedy. Praying for you Pines friends. And if you want to help with the restoration you can donate here.

Join others watching the horizon at A Holy Experience, the ordinary days for signs of the ways He is with us…

California Chronicles

The air is filled with the scent of the roses now and the grass is nearing one foot deep. The wildflowers have all crept out and all of it, this whole place, the deepest green. Words are growing up in me again too and it feels so good.

This last week we ‘road tripped’. Our little family held tight each moment, recognizing that these bliss filled days need to be cherished.

It has been a hard month, this June. None of the weight of it has been mine exactly, but somehow, I’ve managed to pick it up and carry it around. I am really good at that…I think it is the leading cause of my ‘introvertism’. Being with others means that I pack around their problems, strap them onto my shoulders, take them home with me, find a way to blame myself.

I know.

It is something I need to work on. My wise friend says the body of Christ must function like a mosh pit. We hold up the body surfers, the wounded. We share the load, but none of us can bear it alone, we will crumble under it. So, keep passing. Take back the weight when others start to slouch. Keep it evenly distributed.

But the weight, when it falls on us, doesn’t it remind us not to take a single thing about this life for granted? Doesn’t it make you think that nothing about that blessing you are living is guaranteed? Not even that breath you are breathing? None of it is permanent. We must hold it close enough to notice its beauty, loose enough to let it breath, let it grow.

I am feeling strong again…ready to step back into the pit. Summer…here we go again.

Thanking Him for our blessings, the rest, this past week…

698) Wild flowers on the I-5

699) Kids that didn’t fight, not once, all vacation. I know. I am counting it, many times, a blessing!!!

First night…Lake Chelan

700) Her face…meeting those princesses…

701) His face…in his version of the happiest place on earth

Shasta Lake

702) These three…this moment. No words.

703) Sunset dinners

704) Falling in love

705) Seeing new things

706) A pod of dolphins up for a visit

707) Dancing on the pier.

And many other moments to cherish.

Mothers Day

The earthquakes….

Dear O & E,

You are the twin earthquakes that shook my world to the core. The whole axis is bent and time has shifted. The days are so much longer now, while the years grow shorter. One minute I am trying to speed things a long because somehow its taken eight hours between dinner and bedtime, strange thing is, the very next moment I find myself, eyes locked on you, longing for time to STOP. HERE. NOW. Nowhere else.

You altered time and space for me sweet babies. I’m fused to you with a cosmic bond and with all the strength of gravity. Thanks for showing me which way is up and reminding me how very good the One who made it all is.

Love always,


Thankful this sweet mothers day:

689) Loved ones the deck

690) Overhearing “E, its mothers day, please don’t mess that up for mommy”

691) My sweet mommy.

692) My dear mother in law.

693) A gorgeous, restful week off.


695) That boy

696) That girl

697) The thought today as I was frustrated with 695 and 696 and thought to myself  “Wow this is the life” then suddenly overwhelmingly “YES. THIS is the life.



Emily got in trouble once too much this weekend, she stomped away and shouted,

“I just can’t do dis, I QUIT”

I know only one place she could hear that from. Me. I am a quitter. When the going gets tough, I assume God isn’t in it. I assume, we’ve lost our way. I want to start again.

I think God is teaching me something else. Twice last week, I came across the same message in twenty-four hours. And none of it was about quitting.

Elijah had a heavy call from God. But he was feeling EXHAUSTED. Despite the fact that he had seen God move in AMAZING ways. Despite the fact that he KNEW he was in the centre of Gods will still he said “I have had ENOUGH Lord. Take my life”. So he lays down…ready to die. Instead? He RESTS. He goes to sleep. He is exhausted. Nothing spiritual about it. Did God yell at him? Tell him not to take his call lightly? Tell him to get back on the field? NO. God sent an angel to bring him food and drink. He rested. He ate. And when he got up? He had energy to walk…40 days. And there? He experienced the PRESENCE of God. (1 Kings 19).

That. There. All I want. The gentle breeze of His presence passing by. His whisper.

And am so thankful for these quiet moments of REST. A week…of nothing…

682) A girls weekend COMPLETE. Thank you to new and old friends who sparkle with His wisdom and joy…I think? We done good.

683)Does anything make you feel stronger, quieter, more humble than picking weeds in the sun? The perfect resolution to a busy weekend.

684) Walking in the woods.

685) So many fun projects (a forest chapel, a flattened garden area, a parking lot and the DRIVEWAY redo). Hurray! Pictures later this week? Till then? Construction ZONE!

686) Thankful for all the help with the kids this weekend! Thank you Michelle, Kaylah, Jerry, Matt, Ash-a-lee, Mamma Fed, Ferg. I promise I am not leaving the house for a long, long time (used up all my babysitters in two days!). So thankful that in this season of busy our kids are still so very well-loved. We know that the blessing of community and family we have is not to be taken for granted.

687) The police officer around these days. So fun.

688) Picnic on the deck with my wee lass this morning. The perfect way to start this week.

And so after a season of MUCH, I begin a season of quiet rest. Knowing that, even though it was A LOT, it was also HIS. That being tired, isn’t a call to quit. It is a call to REST, RENEW, SEEK.


When the World Spins Too Fast

Some weeks? You just need to put your head down and ‘git er done’. I am in one of those. Finishing work for the term (reports, planning, etc), planning a large girls conference next weekend and also trying to finish one other important project.

Everything that has been just loosely held together this year is starting to disintegrate.

But. In reality? It isn’t. I am just a wee bit overwhelmed and when that happens the lens through which I see the world gets so very corrupted.

So today? Just this:

“Wilkie said, “Sit down right here at this table, here is a yellow pad and here is a ballpoint pen. I want you to write down your blessings” I said, “Wilkie, I don’t want to talk about that, I’m telling you that I am going crazy.”  He said, “First, write down that I said write it down and think of the millions fo people all over the world who cannot hear a choir, or a symphony, or their own babies crying. Write down, I can hear- Thank God. Then write down that you can see this yellow pad, and think of the millions of people around the world who cannot see a waterfall, or flowers blooming, or their lovers’ face. Write, I can see – Thank God. Then write down that you can read. Think of the millions of people around the world who cannot read the news of the day or a letter from home, a stop sign on a busy street, or…”. I followed Wilkie’s orders and when I reached the last line on the first page of the yellow pad, the agent of madness was routed….”

– Maya Angelou (Letters to My Daughter)

And so, despite the fact that I should be working instead of blogging? Here I sit reminding myself of all the small and perfect gifts that remind me that the world is in fact not unfurling. It is just spinning a little fast and I am the only one who can choose to slow it down…

Thankful for quiet moments and tiny gifts

670) Sunshine

671) Walks with the littles.

672) Treasure collecting bags. Him saying “I think I won’t pick that, I will wait until it blooms and come back to see it”

673) Creativity.


674) Chalk roads on the deck.

675) Just. A. Few. More. Days.

676) A great dinner at Michelles

677) Buds on the trees

678) Messy dinners

679) Making time to see my friends

680) Praying with, being inspired by Jesus chasers.

681) Summer stretching out before me like a clean canvas….I can hardly wait.

Till then? Nose back to the grindstone…feelings of defeat left in my wake.