Monday, September 28, 2009 |

Letters from Grandma

Yesterday I went through a box of old cards and photos. I found a stack of letters that my Grandma had written me during Bible school and the few years after. I set them aside to read later.

I opened one up before I went to bed and read the sweet words she had written me so many years ago already, in her cute, wobbly little letters that had once been perfect script. I read about life in her nursing home, her joys, and her sorrows. Dropping her remote and breaking it, waiting for a visitor, the rainy weather. And at the end, how much she loved me and Kris. She always made sure to include Kris.

It's been almost 3 years since she passed away. It's funny how time can pass, and yet I still miss her so much. The littlest thing can bring her back - the smell of Avon lotion, an old hymn, a letter. And sometimes I just wish her back, so I could ask her more about her life and her faith, about life with my Grandpa, to have her meet my son.

But yet, I know she is exactly where she wants to be, and had wanted to be a while before she even got to go there.

Grandma had the most amazing faith of anyone I know. She used to use the church directory as a prayer guide - she just prayed for everyone! I strongly believe that a lot of the reason I'm where I'm at right now is because of her fervent prayers. She really prayed.

Now she gets to be with the Man who answered all those prayers. And although I miss her dearly, she has left a strong heritage of faith with me. And a model to look up to and strive towards. Things that I hope to pass on to my kids and grandkids.

And in the meantime, I'll laugh and cry as I read through more letters, and be thankful for finding an unexpected blessing in an old box of cards.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 |

Spotting Daddy

My son is obsessed with his father.

(He likes me a lot too, so it's all good. :) )

He cries for his Dad when he leaves for work. He'll randomly ask for him throughout the day. He looks for Kris wherever we go. He cries when he wants him and he's not there.

A few times recently, Kris had to leave for work before Sam got up. One of the days, Sam looked on his side of the bed, and searched the house high and low, calling "Daddy". When he realized Kris wasn't here (and I had to explain that Daddy went to work), he was really upset. Mommy had to step in and give cuddles. (Alright by me!)

Today, we were at the Bible school for a meeting, and Sam thought Kris was there (he had done a bunch of renovations and we went and visited him a few times). It's funny how he just knew that that was place that his Dad has been, and that maybe he was there this time too.

Even as I went to write this blog, Sam could see a thumbnail of my profile picture of the three of us, and could even spot Daddy there. No matter how small, Sam can spot his dad. He really, really loves him.

I really need to be better at spotting my Dad. (You know, the creator-of-the-universe, Alpha-Omega one.) I need to be more obsessed with my Heavenly Father. Seeking him out anywhere he might be. Looking for Him in the smallest places. Crying out when I feel separation from him. I need to put my Jehovah radar on. Just like Sam has his Daddy radar on all the time. I need to be excited to look for him, excited to find him, excited when I know he might be somewhere.

And the best thing about my Father, is that He is ALWAYS where I look for him. All I have to do is look. And He'll be there.

Why aren't I looking more often?

I need more of a heart like Sam has. Seeking, wanting, watching, waiting...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 |

T-Shirt Undies

While digging around for patterns to make homemade underwear (which is weird, I know - so go here to read my post on why I want to do this), I came across this page. How wonderful and crazy! Who ever would have thought?! I really wanted to post one of the photos off of the page, but for fear someone would think it was actually a photo of ME in my t-shirt skivvies, I thought better of it. So you'll have to check it out on the site.

It seems fairly simple. And what a great way (and a great place!) to be able to wear those old t-shirts with fun logos. I think I should find an old Gap t-shirt with that classic Gap logo, just so I can put it on my posterior. As a bit of an affront to a company who uses sweat shops. Think of the possibilities!

There's another site that tells you how to make them, too. And my favourite thing about that one is the first comment at the very bottom. Just read it. I won't tell you. And let me know if you also think that's weird. I did. And I still do. Even after the shock has worn off. (Now, maybe I have talked it up too much...)

Oh, and here: I found a picture that DOESN'T involve people getting the wrong idea.

Aren't they just glorious?

Everything looks better hanging on a clothesline.

Let me know if you give them a try. I think I will. I'm kind of excited! And I just pray my mother-in-law doesn't see one of the shirts she has given me sticking out the back of my jeans one day...
Saturday, September 12, 2009 |

Second-hand and Local

This morning, I bought green beans, potatoes, and Canadian-made yarn at the Camrose farmers' market. And then went to the ReStore (Habitat for Humanity second hand store) and found a PERFECT old dresser-type thing to use as a change table in the bathroom. It fits like it was made to go there, AND the colour is just right. (We've used a few different pieces of furniture as a change table - because an actual change table will be of no use to us in a few years or so - and then moved it recently into Sam's room. I decided, after much prompting from Kris too, that I like it far better in the bathroom. It's handier for us there. It fits in there. And also, I can use washcloths instead of wipes, because the sink is right there. And toilet paper for messy clean-ups, because the toilet is right there! In your face, landfill!)

It feels really good to put old things to a new use, to support local farmers, to buy items that NO ONE suffered to make for me to consume, and to shop within my community.

It's sort of like exercising. You don't really want to do it at the beginning because it's difficult, but once you do, it feels amazing.

Which reminds me - I need to start exercising regularly again...

Isn't this FAR more appealing than the produce aisles at Superstore?!
Thursday, September 10, 2009 |

What comes out of my mouth

Some sentences I've said since being a parent:
  1. "That is not appropriate!" (As if a 1 year old cares.)
  2. "Don't put your toothbrush on your penis." (While getting his diaper changed.)
  3. "Don't put Barkers on your penis." (Barkers is his stuffed puppy.)
  4. "You don't need chocolate chips at 8:30 in the morning."
  5. "Sure! You can have chocolate chips at 8:30 in the morning."
  6. "When you're a daddy, you will understand." (Along the same lines as #1.)
  7. "Please don't make a mess!" (Huh?! He's 1...)
  8. "Mommy would be a bad mommy if she let you do that."
The moral of the story is threefold:
  1. Parenting makes you say sentences you never thought possible.
  2. 1 year olds are oblivious to the expectations adults put on them. For the most part, this is probably a good thing. A lot of my first expectations are re-thought out after remember that my son is 1. Still a baby.
  3. Don't let a boy hold things while you're changing his diaper.

And here's a picture of me and my precious, precious boy (one of them):

And please excuse my look of "more-than-appropriate-for-the-situation" excitement. Sam looks worried. And so he should. His mother is weird.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 |

A commitment

While reading Isaiah 58 everyday, one of the verses that has struck me is this one:

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people. (NLT)

While praying through these things, and thinking and reflecting, I've realized that while I don't run or own a sweat shop, I keep them in business. Kids who are the same age as my precious nieces and nephews, and Sam in not that many years, are making the clothes that I am putting on myself and my family. I am not proud of that. Those are the people who are "wrongly imprisoned" - what I am doing to lighten their burden? Am I letting them go? Am I removing their chains? No. Rather, I am keeping those chains on them because I bought a Gap sweater on sale.

The solution? Maybe committing to only wearing things that are made in Canada, found in a second hand store, or EVEN made by myself. Is that something I can do? With a little help.

I'll keep praying about that one. Maybe you even want to join me in that commitment.

Monday, September 7, 2009 |


Warning: I'm about to be pretty vulnerable here.

I have realized over the past year and a half that no role in life has the possibility of causing more guilt and worry than motherhood. If you let it. And sometimes, I do.

I have been sick the past few days. Some really crappy head and chest cold. Today, Kris went to the city for the day to go mountain biking with friends. I am glad he could go. And because my husband is very sweet, he arranged to have his mom look after Sam for a bit today, so I could have a break and get some rest. But I feel guilty about it. She even offered to have him the whole day if I needed it. To not worry and just rest. Which I would like to do. But I feel kind of guilty for wanting that.

I have known some mothers who all they seem to want is to get away from their kids. Who complain about their roles as mothers, who seem like it's something they need to escape from. Who can only feel filled up when they've been away from their everyday life. I have (and do) judge those women.

And I realize, a lot of my guilt is just a by-product of my judgement. Because I judge, I fear I will be judged. Because I see in them something I don't like, I try so hard to do the opposite. For fear of being like them.

Isn't it funny how often WE'RE the ones who suffer from what we put on other people?

If I didn't judge, didn't worry about what other people are doing, didn't measure others by MY ruler of what I think is right, I don't think I would feel such bondage to guilt. If I didn't have such high expectations for others, I wouldn't assume others have them for me. I would probably feel more freedom. I would take a day off when I feel crappy as a huge blessing, and not have to justify it. And just let it be what it is. And not worry so much about NOT being like so-and-so who does something I disagree with. To just do what I think is best for my family and I.


I think I need to pray for spiritual blinders. Like those ones that horses wear. So that I can focus on me, and my own family, and what is directly ahead of us. And not on what everyone and their dog (sometimes literally) is doing. And the less I worry about others, I think the less guilt and bondage I will feel in some of these areas. The less I will assume that others are judging and critiquing me.

You know, the whole "speck in another's eye" and the "log in my own eye" thing.

And as much as I hate having to stare my own flaws in the face, I am glad that I am being refined. Because what is on the other end should be beautiful. And freeing.

Friday, September 4, 2009 |

Peace and Unrest

I am more at peace than I've been in a while.

But I am less at peace, too. Less of the comfortable/ignorance-is-bliss/forget-what-I-need-to-be-doing kind of peace. Which isn't peace at all. It's more like just standing in the street, watching a war going on, and shutting my eyes tightly like a child watching the scary part of a movie, pretending it isn't going on.

But in that peace, I also feel unrest. I have so many battles going on in my flesh. I want to love and serve people like Jesus did. But I also want to look and feel good for doing those things. It's not completely selfless. Yet. (I am praying that God makes me more selfless, that he breaks my pride. Not such a smart thing to pray for...) Sometimes I think I should take on something that I totally and fully do NOT want to do. Just so I KNOW that I'm doing it for God's glory and not for myself. But then that seems kind of silly.

And then there's the whole global vs. local issue. I would love to go overseas and get involved in some cool ministry there. But there's a lot of need right here, too. What to do? What to do? And while I'm all for just jumping in and starting something (I like to think I am... at least in my head), I also want some direction. Some sense that that is where God has put me. That it is of HIS doing, and not just on my own whims.

And then there is this whole issue. She puts it perfectly. I struggle with those exact same things.

I've committed to reading Isaiah 58 every for a month with a friend. A beautiful friend who gets all these things about me and is on a similar journey herself. I'm praying that God changes me through it. That He shows me the answers (for lack of a better word) to all my wonderings, my struggles, all this STUFF. And He'll probably ruin my life. But that's okay. Because I kind of want my life to be ruined right now. I want Jesus to mess up my life so that it's not possible for me to in my comfortable little bubble anymore. And to show me how I can be his hands.

Another step in the journey...