Friday, May 20, 2011 |

Our First Race

I've been meaning to talk about how our 8k Ole's Spring Run-Off went a couple of weeks ago.  Maybe you remember me talking about it when I first started running again.

It was awesome.  Kris ended up joining me, and some really good friends from the city came out to run it with us too.  I was really glad for the company.  

The run was not particularly easy, but it was not necessarily grueling either.  There were lots of rolling hills, and one quite steep one at about the half way mark.  I've been doing a lot of incline training, and Kris can't let his wife beat him, so we ended up being able to pass a few people that we were following on that hill.  It felt great.  

What didn't feel so great was my intense urge to use the washroom the entire time.  In both... ahem... ways.  I evacuated my bladder before starting the race, but all of my hydrating (okay, AND the cup of coffee) filled it right back up.  I spent the entire run feeling pretty uncomfortable, and I had to pass up the opportunity to rehydrate at the water station because there was no way I could fit more fluid in me.  

Anyways, here we are, starting out:

We didn't pass this man...

...or this woman...

... until kilometre 6.  They were machines.  

And, Ole himself...

... because you can't have a race without some random mascot to commemorate it.

We certainly didn't come out on top (the winning time was around 26 minutes - which is insane and kind of annoying), but we didn't come in last.  We ran it in just over 51 minutes, beating our trial run time a few weeks before by a couple of minutes.

And we beat the seniors.  Barely.  :)

Here we are coming in to the finished line:

We did it.  We finished it.  And we didn't stop.  (Not even to use the washroom!)

Friday, April 29, 2011 |

Fighting Giants

Life has been good lately.  Things aren't always easy or perfect, but I don't think that is a requirement for life to just feel good, and to know that we are headed towards something.  Something awesome.

Our treadmill has a section that displays the intensity of your workout - everything from "Cool Down" (whose bars light up in a blue colour) all the way to "Endurance" and "Performance" (which lights up orange and red, respectively).  One day while I was running up a hill segment, but keeping up my good pace, I noticed that I filled up all the coloured bars to the top, all the way to the "Performance" section.  It didn't feel good.  But it felt good.  Know what I mean?

It's kind of how I feel about life.  I've really learned lately that in order to grow, to change, to be transformed, to "endure" and "perform" (to accomplish something) in the Kingdom, I must be willing to hit the red.  To not feel good in my flesh, but to feel good in my Spirit.  That's where muscle is built, and where something of real value is accomplished in my life, and in others.

A beautiful, inspiring friend of mine shared a Graham Cooke quote on Facebook recently, one that really spoke truth and encouragement to me:
“If we have a giant in our life it is because we are meant to be a giant ourselves. The circumstances in front of us are designed therefore to increase our size in the Spirit. So upgrade your stature in relation to Jesus; and radically increase your power in the Holy Spirit. Or, if you prefer, just quit and never realize your true self and the inheritance that goes with it.”
I, for one, would like to increase my spiritual size.  After all, David didn't start out fighting his giant - he worked his way up to Goliath.  I would like to be able to face a Goliath without fear, but with trust.  To be able to endure and even perform when faced with adversity and darkness.  

I've lived in the blue a lot of my life.  At times, I've hit some yellow, orange, and on the rare occasion, some red.  I want to live more and more in the red.  Because living in the red means that I'm walking with my Savior every step of the way.  And that's where I want to be, no matter how intense it is.

Friday, April 22, 2011 |

The Death of a Friend

Each year, as I get to know Jesus better and more intimately, I feel a lot more strongly about Good Friday.

I feel sadder about his death, the death of a loved one.

But I also feel the triumph and victory more.  I feel so indebted to this Man that I love, and what He did for me.  It makes me love Him more, and it makes me want to seek His face more and more.

So, today, I am thinking of Jesus, and what how He took all of MY sin upon His shoulders that day.  How He paid MY price.  And how He did it willingly and lovingly, thinking of ME all the while.  

Can YOU say that a King died in your place?

Yes.  Actually you can.  He did it for you too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 |

Letter to the Editor - the follow-up that blew me away!

Remember this letter I sent to the editor of the local newspaper?  Well, I never heard back, and it certainly wasn't published.   

God had bigger plans, it turns out.  And often, when things don't turn out right away, it might turn out BETTER if we just give God some time to work.  And time for me to learn some trust and patience...

Since I first wrote that letter and sent it it, the explicit advertising for the night club in town has continued, and it hasn't ceased to eat away at me a bit.

So instead, I made a phone call and talked to the editor himself.

At first, he was pretty defensive of the fact that the night club is a legitimate business in town, and that as an advertiser, he can't discriminate against certain businesses and refuse advertising.  He informed me that his hands were tied.  We chatted a bit more, and I validated the fact that he was in a tricky situation - on the one hand, serving a paying customer who wants to promote their business, and on the other hand, keeping an entire community of readers satisfied.  He opened up more and more as we talked (for nearly 30 minutes, not kidding), and told me how he tries his hardest to find images that are both appropriate for the reader, but promotes the business as well.  Apparently I am not the only one who has either called or written, and he has noticed that certain weeks elicit more calls than others.

By the end of the conversation, he welcomed, and even asked for my opinion.  He requested that I contact him tomorrow regarding the appropriateness of the ad that will come out in tonight's paper.  AND THEN - he even went so far as to ask if I would be willing to be a bit of a "community liaison" for him to use as a sounding board for future images, to see what I think before it gets printed.  Seriously.

God, you are good.  Trusting in your plan is always better.

Monday, April 11, 2011 |

Little Boys and Farts

Tonight at supper, Sam pronounced to me that he was all done.  We've been trying to work on a few more manners and some more small responsibilities, so I said to him, "Great!  Now what do you need to do?"  

I was expecting him to say that he needed to take his plate to the kitchen, but since we've been working on having him say "Thank you" when we have supper at someone's house, that's what he said (plus, he's a really thoughtful little guy).  I told him he was welcome, and then told him to say "Excuse me", to excuse himself from the table.  Instead, as he was climbing out of his booster seat, he leaned over, grunted, forced out a FART, and then said "EXCUSE ME!"  

I guess I should have know that would be where a 3 year-old's brain would take him.  

Jack, on the other hand, has no clue about farts.  Currently, he LOVES balls, which always causes a bit of a conundrum since he can't really move much.  He doesn't crawl yet (but dang, can he pivot!), and he refuses to roll.  He's getting awesome at walking with our hands, but still needs our help for that.  (Turns out, he's following in his big bro's footsteps - quite literally!)  A lot of my day is spent giving Jack a ball, listening to his sweet little giggles, followed by shrieking, and then returning the ball to him.  

Good thing he's so freakin' cute.   :)

He's starting to babble a lot more, and though he prefers "Da da", I can sometimes eek a little "Mom mom" out of him.  But barking with his brother?  He'll always do that on command.  AND he makes car noises while pushing toy vehicles.  Amazing.

Hopefully it'll be a little while before he learns about the farting.  But at the rate he picks things up from his big brother, I think I may have two little tooters on my hands in no time.  
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 |

The Clothing Battle

Sam doesn't like wearing pants.  It's usually a pretty big fight to try to get clothes on him, so I generally let him just wear a shirt and undies.  It's how he likes to roll.  You know, pick and choose your battles, right?

The problem is, is that we also believe in modesty and discretion.  So, when we have company, we like to try to make sure that all members of the family are clothed.  I have often found myself telling Sam that he needs to wear pants because someone is coming to our house.

I guess the outcome was kind of inevitable.

Now, when I tell Sam that I would like him to get dressed, he replies, "Why?  Is someone coming to our house today?!"  

Oh dear.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 |

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Photo courtesy

I'm the kind of person who likes dreams and ideas. I don't love the piddly little details that come after the fun parts are over.

It's kind of like wedding planning. I loved getting engaged and buying a beautiful wedding dress. I did not like making phone calls, tracking people down, budgeting, or paying bills.  Kris and I often say to each other, that had we known the work and expense that went into it, we probably would have eloped.  Not really.  But maybe.

I've recently ended up in a similar boat.  I'm not getting married again (which is a relief on a few different levels!), but I've committed to something that caught my eye (like a wedding dress), but is going to be a lot of work.

It's called Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.  Kris and I heard about it not too long ago, and we decided, "Let'd do it".  And I don't mean participate.  I mean ORGANIZE.  And all the funds will go to our local women's shelter, which is such a vital and under-supported ministry.  

(As a bit of background on our grabbing of the proverbial bull's... ahem... horns:  Kris and I have always been safe people.  Safe people who like to talk a lot.  Now, we want to move forward.  But really move forward.  We've been reading an amazing book about how God has designed us specifically to do amazing things for the Kingdom.   The author talks about how God has written an extraordinary biography for each of us to live, but that He also made it so that we can't do it apart from Him.  It's powerful.  So, we're stepping out and doing some things that we can't do alone.  But that's just the way He would have it.  "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" kind of screwed us up for the better too.  I think reading both books within a few months is a deadly combination!)

The other day, I had a moment where I realized the sheer magnitude and propensity of such an endeavour.  I have a lot to organize.  I have to get city streets closed.  I have to organize a huge group of volunteers (seriously, if you'd like to help, I would kiss you) to help in many areas of the walk.  I have to solicit businesses for sponsorship.  Panic started setting in.  

Then, I remembered the same Person that laid the idea on my heart in the first place.  God does not lead us into areas that He would have us go, and then leave us high and dry.  I remembered that, and now, I've never been lower or wetter!  I still have moments of feeling like I should freak out, but it all seems strangely manageable.  Not on my own, of course.  But I'm pretty sure that God really delights in His kids doing things in which we are weak, but we allow Him to be strong.  

I am very, very weak.  (Remember how I said I like the wonderful ideas of things, and not so much the doing?!)  But, I'm trusting God to be strong in this, and to equip me.  And, I know that His hand of favour is already upon this.  He has gone before me and prepared and organized this event from front to back.  So, we're all good.  Later today, I'm meeting with our local mayor to get some of the preliminary planning underway.  Yikes.  But not really.

So, if you're interested in helping, I would be very grateful.  And if you would just pray, that would be huge too.  God is going to do some big things with this event.  I can just feel it.

It's time to start writing some good stories.
Sunday, April 3, 2011 |


Let me tell you a story of Jesus' healing and the faith of my 3 year-old.  

Yesterday before supper, Sam had been playing outside in the backyard.  Our backyard is completely fenced, but once the ground freezes and when there's been 17 feet of snow, the gate to our driveway won't shut.  Sam is a great listener, and always stays in the yard on his own, and we check on him every few minutes.  At one point, yesterday, Kris went to call his name, because we couldn't see him, and he didn't answer.  Kris went out to go find him, and I promptly went to look out the front window to make sure he wasn't making his way out to the street.  I couldn't see him at first, and then a little flash of movement on the sidewalk under the window caught my eye - Sam had made his way to our front door.  I called to Kris that Sam was at the front, and went to the door to let Sam in.  We met outside on the sidewalk, and explained to Sam that he must not go down the driveway because it wasn't safe.  And then Kris noticed that there was a little bird sitting quietly in the rocks beneath our front window.  We looked down at him, and noticed his apparent inability to move.  We decided to leave him for a little bit, and see if he would fly away - perhaps he had hit our window and just needed a few minutes to regain his thoughts.

During my growing up years, I was always that little girl who wanted to save every little animal (in between taking any chance I could to fry ants with magnifying glasses...).  I was never allowed to bring these injured animals into our house, and my heart always ached having to leave an injured bird out to fend for itself.  

So I told Kris how much I wanted to bring the bird in the house to see if we could help it.  Kris quietly agreed that he wanted to help the little bird too.  I went back out, and sure enough the little guy was still there.  So Sam helped me fill a shoebox with ripped up newspaper, and I went out to get the bird.  He tried to fly away briefly when I picked him up, but he clearly could not get very far.  

I brought the bird in the house.  Sam was so excited, and decided we should name him "Cindy".  He prayed over the little bird.  He prayed, "Jesus, thank you for this bird and please heal him".  I thanked Sam, who promptly proclaimed, "He feels better!"  I knew, with the innocent, unwavering faith of my preschooler, that Cindy would be fine.    

Later that night, I was able to feed Cindy some water out of a syringe.  He was really thirsty.  Then we talked to some friends to figure out exactly what Cindy was, and what he would eat.  Turns out, he was a Cedar Waxwing, a really pretty little guy.  Our friends also told us just to keep him in the box, and then see if he would fly away in the morning.  They are fellow bird-savers, so we were thankful for their advice.

The next morning, Sam started asking about Cindy from the moment he was out of his bed.  So after he ate breakfast, we went to go see Cindy.  I was kind of half-dreading having my excited 3 year-old be met with a dead, stiff bird.  I picked up the box - nothing.  I nervously gave it a bit of a shake, and immediately felt little Cindy scurrying around.  Phew.  I was thankful that the conversation about death would not have to happen that day!  

We took the box outside, and I carefully pulled the lid off.  Cindy looked around, and then promptly flew effortlessly into one of our trees.  Sam yelled, "Bye Cindy!"  I had tears in my eyes.  We were all so happy that Cindy was okay.   Some may say that Cindy would have been fine anyways.  But I would like to believe that something happened when Sam prayed.  I would like to believe that Jesus heard our prayers.

Later that morning, Sam expressed to me that he was sad that Cindy was gone.  I told him that I was sad too, and I that I would miss him.  And then I told him that sometimes our job is just to take someone who's hurting into our house, to help them to feel better, and then to say goodbye.  

A couple of things happened from having Cindy in our home.  I learned about faith, and that Sam has more than I do.  I want more of the innocent, unquestioning faith my son has.  It also confirmed the call that God has on Kris and my life - to bring people into our home, to help them feel better, and then to send them off and say goodbye. 

So, my son's disobedience turned into an amazing opportunity to help and to be taught.  God is so good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 |

Relaxation Math

Time for some math.  Just some simple addition.  Don't worry.

Take this:  

Add this: 

Throw in a little of this: 

Hopefully subtract this:

 Might as well toss in some of this:  

Add some of this too:  

Better throw in a couple of these:  

And to top it off, add 2 of these:

All of that makes for a nice 3 days.  See you soon!
Friday, March 11, 2011 |

The Mouths of Babes

I love Sam's age right now.  He is funny, wise, learning to articulate his thoughts and feelings, and SO incredibly precious.

Today at lunch, Kris was a bit grumpy.  Usually the grumpy bum around our house is me.  And that usually occurs before before I've had my morning coffee.  (Maybe that's what I should have given up for Lent?!  I don't want to talk about it...)  So please keep in mind that this particular scenario happens far too often with me as the central character, too.  

Kris was trying to help Sam in the bathroom, and was getting a bit frustrated with some whining and lack of cooperation.  

So Sam, sweet, sweet Sam, responds, "Dad, don't yell at people.  That hurts peoples' feelings."  

Wow, how do you argue with that.  If only we, as adults, could permanently impress such a truth on our own hearts.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011 |

Back on the Wagon

I went running outdoors yesterday afternoon, for the first time since getting back on the fitness wagon.  Here are some things I learned from my experience:

  • Car exhaust and the fumes from the back door of Panago Pizza are not welcome smells while breathing heavily in an attempt to stay alive.
  • Running in cold weather makes me taste blood.
  • Brand new running shoes should be worked in prior to running 6km in the first shot.
  • Dogs that need to be contained because they want to eat human flesh should not be taken for walks where people frequent.  
  • I need to practice my Billy Blanks side kick, and preserve it for the neck of the next dog that jumps at me.  (Come get me, PETA.  I dare you.)
  • Though fitted Lululemon pants look cute and fashionable, looser, less becoming attire might be better.  (See next point.)
  • Certain members of the male gender are pigs.  
  • Next time I run in public, I think I will don a sign that reads, "I am married.  I have birthed 2 children.  I haven't shaved my legs in... a while.  Right now, I am listening to 90s Praise music.  I'm sure you are a nice gentleman, but please continue driving."  (See previous point.)
  • Turns out that my issues with worrying about what people think of me actually work in my favour when running in public - I will purposely NOT stop just because I don't want some stranger to think I'm a wimp or a phony.  In fact, I will often speed up as a I pass someone, just so that they will think I'm hardcore.  
  • My 3 year-old son really does have a large head, which came in handy when I couldn't find a light toque of my own, and had to borrow his camouflage toque.  
  • I look terrible in a boys' camouflage toque.
  • My prior concerns of not being able to run the 8k race I already signed up for were completely nullified yesterday.  In 2 months, I am going to be able to kick the crap out of that race.  
  • Running on my treadmill has actually produced some decent results that translate into running on a piece of ground.  I was worried that would not be the case.  
  • I love running, despite the smells, the looks, and the feeling that I might expire at any moment.  I never feel more alive than when I am that close to death.
So there you have it.  
Thursday, February 17, 2011 |

Kids and Green Stuff

Sam will not touch broccoli.  He hates it.  He sees the "green stuff" and bolts.  He'd rather eat bacon.

Blended into a smoothie with cold rooibos tea, a bit of honey, a banana, and frozen berries?  He'll eat broccoli.

Sam: 0
Green vegetables (and Mom): 1

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 |

Another step towards Hippiedom

Do you ever find that at some points in your life, you find yourself swearing that you will never do or become a certain thing?  And then, how-much-ever-time-passes, and you find yourself considering that very thing?  

Mmm hmmm.  One slice of humble pie, thank you very much.

Well, one of those things for me is homeschooling.   (For the record, I've never thought there is anything wrong with homeschooling, I just was very adamant that it was not a route that I would ever choose.)

My consideration of homeschooling as a viable option for myself and my children (mostly myself) was as preposterous a notion to me, even up until a year ago - heck, 6 months ago - as wearing tapered jeans again.  Oops.   

And now?  What do I even say?  I love the idea.  I'm not sure it's the road we will choose, but I'm liking what I'm seeing.  And it may only be for a time (the homeschooling, not the liking - I think the liking will stick).

As a University of Alberta alumnus, I receive a quarterly publication put out by the Arts Student Alumni Association.  It usually consists of a series of sub-par articles touching on topics that I have very little no interest in.  But this last issue contained an article written by a homeschooling mom.  And the thing that really stuck out to me?  The idea that education should serve the purpose of fuelling the natural desires and interests in our children.  That education should be based upon that, even.  Wow.  My education looked nothing like that.  And neither did the author's, which caused her to drop out of high school at 16 years old.  She still does not have a high school diploma; she does, however, have a PhD.

I'd really recommend checking out the article, even if homeschooling isn't for you.  IT's pretty interesting.  One of the sections that really hit me was the one about reading.  Here's a couple of quotes:

"By the time children are 13... you can't tell the difference between a child who first read at age 4 and one who started to read at age 10.  So what's the big hurry?  More importantly, how many children unnecessarily suffer and are made to feel inadequate if they're not on the proper learning curve?"

"...I have learned over the years just how powerful a child's own will to learn can be, and that lesson has also given me a sobering insight into what little faith we actually have as a society in our children's creative and intellectual capabilities."


So that's that.  I'm still not sure if this is what we will choose.  And though my first baby boy turned THREE on the weekend (!), we still have a little bit of time to pray and decide.  But homeschooling does intrigue me quite a bit.  We'll see.

What are some of the things you swore you'd never do, but now here you are?!

(And just as a side note, my friend Robyn is letting her readers vote on her blog topics every month.  My option, "Photos and Stories for Each Year of Your Life" is in second place, and I really want to win.  So head on over and put a vote in!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011 |

Sweet, Sweet Treadmill

I recently started running again.

I used to be a really avid runner.  Before I had babies.  I had one baby, and then picked it up again a bit after that.  Then, I had another baby, and suffered from a serious motivation issue.  (The issue being a total lack thereof.)  

It's tough to find time to run when you have a child.  It feels near impossible to find time to run now that I have two children.  

And I just CAN'T bring myself to use up the one time of day that both of my boys sleep to sweat and work.  The same goes for the evenings.

It's any wonder I have a hard time fitting it in.  I have some pretty lofty expectations.  

However, in the midst of this, I have finally found time to fit it in.  And it's been awesome.

Now that I have found a rhythm that works for me, I love my time.  When you have kids, sometimes you'll use whatever you can for a few moments in your thoughts.  Whether that's in the dentist chair, or perusing magazines in the checkout line, or sweating profusely on a treadmill - all of those are sweet morcels of alone time that recharge my battery.  I will run an extra kilometre for a few more moments to listen to some awesome tunes or a podcast that speaks to me in the midst of the busyness of life.

So, we'll see where I go from here.  (Well, since I'm on a treadmill - nowhere....)  I've always wanted to run a half-marathon and haven't yet.  So maybe 2011 will be my year to kick the crap out of 21km.  Here's hoping!

Saturday, January 29, 2011 |

Beach Glass

There has been a lot going on around us lately.  I have sat down to write a post quite a few times this past week, and each time - nothing.  Then I realized it's because I have a lot swirling around in my head.  

I'm not going to say a lot about it.  But what I am going to say, is this:

God is good.  Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He does not change.  He is not surprised when we encounter hardship or persecution.  In fact, He told us it would come.  

When it does come, we have two choices:  

  1. Run away, and find something else that will make us feel better in the midst of it (denial, addiction, etc.); OR
  2. Let it come, and let it shape us.  
It reminds me of beach glass.  What starts as a jagged piece of a broken beer bottle, results in a beautiful, etched, smooth piece of glass after the salt water has had a chance to toss it around for a while.  If that piece of glass had been saved from the waters, it would remain sharp and jagged.   It would remain an ugly remnant meant for the landfill.  

God talks a lot about peace.  And he talks a lot about persecution and hard times.  Interestingly, when God is involved, both can exist at the same time. 
So that's kind of where I'm at.  Big things are going on, yet I've been living with a complete sense of peace.  Yes, it saddens me.  But it is not manifesting in my life as bitterness, anger, or resentment.  I sleep well.  I feel happy in the day.  I don't feel angry when I think about certain people or situations.  Instead, I pray.  

That is very different from where I used to be.  And I'm glad for that.  

So I'm going to let myself be tossed around in the salt waters, to let God etch maturity, obedience, and a beautiful story onto my life.  I'm going to let him smooth away my rough edges in the midst of this chaos.  
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the LORD your God...  Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life...  Do not be afraid, for I am with you."  (Isaiah 43)

Monday, January 24, 2011 |

Hippie Love

At the risk of sounding like a hippie girl named Meadow who wears grass skirts and has a kiln (although I think that would be kind of awesome, and therefore is a risk I will gladly take), I would just like to say:

It's all about the love, man.  


A few years back, I read "Irresistible Revolution" and screwed up my life forever.  Just to clarify, it's a revolution that is taking a long time to materialize into something tangible in my life, but that book changed me.  It challenged me.  And it made me say, "This is what's it's all about.  And this is what a lot of the church has been missing."

I always remember that old song we used to sing at my church growing up, whose chorus went, "They will know we are Christians by our love...".  First off, the song is not a nice sounding one (odd, no?) and doesn't sound like a song about love at all.  (And I love the "they" and "we" separation...)  And quite frankly, the song has always creeped me out.  Which makes me wonder if the author was missing the point.  But I think I have often missed the point too.

The point is to love.

Have you ever read Shane Claiborne's "Letter to Non-Believers"?  Well, take a minute and read it.

I love it when Shane talks about politicians, and says "If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it's that you can have great answers and still be mean... and that just as important as being right is being nice".  Sound kinda Biblical to me.

I cringe when I think of how I used to act when I was younger - how I used to argue with people about God's existence and slammed doors in the faces of Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons... all in the name of my faith.  I just wasn't nice.  I did more damage than good, because I didn't speak with love.  I was a textbook version of what Paul was talking about in the great love passage we hear at every wedding (including mine...).  But if you back it up, before the part about love being patient and kind, you'll find this:
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."  (ESV)
It's funny to think that we read this at weddings at all, because I don't think Paul was just talking about romantic love and how we should be patient when our husband leaves his underwear on the bedroom floor.  Again.  It does apply to a marriage, but Paul was also talking about being nice - to everyone.  Like Shane said.  You can be a Biblical theologian, a pastor, or even just a "regular" ol' Christian, but it doesn't mean squat unless you're actually nice.

I have a long way to go.  But this is going to be one of my goals.  To just be nice.  To love the crap out of people.  Even (especially!) those who I struggle with, or I think "deserve" less from me.  (It's easier to love strangers sometimes, isn't it?!)  All because God first loved me.

I think it's time to get a kiln.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 |

How cell phones are like wasps.

Technology scares me.  Almost as much as wasps and other things that sting.

I haven't owned a cell phone since my university days, and even then, it was primarily used to play Snake.  And one time, one of the buttons got chewed up by a mouse.  Really.  You can still see little teeth marks on it. 

I think I've sent 2 text messages in my entire life.  

Sometimes, I take Kris' work phone when I drive to the city.  I usually forget I have it, and then wonder who the jackass is who's not answering their phone when it's ringing in the middle of Ikea.


OR, it's on "vibrate", I miss Kris' call telling me that Sam wanted to talk to his mom (sorry, buddy, I don't know how to work a cell phone), and then I have to get a friend to change it to "ring".  


We have an older MacBook - I'm pretty sure we use it to around 8% of its capabilities.  Well, maybe 9% if you include the fact that I've figured out how to distort my face using PhotoBooth.  

I feel a bit like a genius since I recently figured out to use HTML.  Clearly I'm not that great at it since I can't get my special font (a NON-blogger-provided font, thank you very much) to work after I inserted a photo.  

Oh wait.  I'm okay now.  

All this to say - I feel terribly behind sometimes.  But sometimes, I feel really great about it.  Maybe one day I'll get a cell phone, and know how to work it.  Well, let's just leave that at "Maybe one day I'll get a cell phone".  

What technology are you scared of?  
Saturday, January 15, 2011 |

The Best of my Days

I've been reading "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years".  I love it.  It's entertaining, challenging, and makes me want to change.  I'll probably write about this read again when I'm done.    

In the book, Donald Miller talks about how we don't really remember our lives.  We remember really significant things, but not just everyday details.  He talks about a friend of his who does remember everything though, a friend who writes down things he wants to remember.  Even things that seem unimportant.  

I've been thinking about a TON of things since reading this book.  One of these things being how I want to remember more.  Then, I came across this blog post (coincidence?) and decided, "That's it - I want to be better at this."  

Enter the journal.  We started a few days ago, and before we go to bed, Kris and I chat about our day.  The things we want to remember.  Jack's giggles.  Sam's deep and hilarious thoughts.  The bad parts of the day.  The good parts of the day.  Who visited.  Where we went.  Who was sick.  Our hopes.  Our dreams. 
It's been fun.  And we want to start a new tradition with our kids, to reflect on the day together and think together.  

Sometimes what I think is not worth remembering will be the exact thing that will bring a smile to my face when I'm 80 and rocking in my recliner.  The good things show me how many good times there really are.  The hard times show me that they're short-lived, they pass, and there is always something important to take away.  It's ALL significant.  

So I want to remember.  Life is worth remembering.  
Friday, January 14, 2011 |

National De-Lurking Day

I was reading one of my favourite blogs earlier, and discovered that apparently today is National De-lurking Day.

So, in the spirit of such a day, I ask you to show yourselves.  Or, to de-lurk yourself, if you will.  

I don't know if I have many readers or not.  It doesn't really matter.  But quite often, I'll have someone say to me, "I read on your blog...", which baffles me because I really had no idea.  None.  It's all because of the lurking...  But don't worry, we're still friends.  I still like you.  

So today, YOU tell ME something.  Maybe tell me why you lurk in the first place.  :)  Or tell me your deepest, darkest secret.  (Because the internet is always the right place for that...)  Or just say hi.  

Or do none of it, and continue to lurk...  and the mystery will remain...

That's okay too.  I kind of like mysteries.  
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 |

Dancing in the Minefields

This is my new favourite song:

One of the things I like most is seeing elderly people holding hands and being in love.  There's something about seeing their hands - old hands that have been held in courtship, rocked babies, spread peanut butter on bread, helped with homework, cuddled grandbabies, and brought comfort to so many - together in such timeless love.  That would be why I fell even more in love with this song after seeing the video.  I've always been intrigued by elderly couples who are still so much in love.  I want to be one of those couples.

So I'm going to say some things I don't say nearly enough.

I love my husband.  And I just really like him.  I like his heart and his mind, his feelings and his thoughts.  God has done (and is doing) something amazing in that guy.

Also, I'd like to say that I am married to a man.  And I don't mean that he is of the male gender - that's obvious (except when he's knitting or wearing Lululemon pants).  He is a man.  He stands in front of me, and protects me.  He respects me, is gentle with me, and treats me the way he would want his own daughter treated by a man.  I feel safe with him.  I hope our boys will be husbands and fathers just like Kris, and I hope our girls (if we have one someday) marry men like him. 

After having 2 kids and being caught in the whirlwind of bottles, baths, poop, Legos, and the Backyardigans (a whirlwind we love!), God has really rekindled something here.  We've allowed the Holy Spirit to come like fire through our lives - into the deepest parts of our hearts, and into our marriage.  It was good before, but now?  I can't even describe it.  And I'm so excited for the future. 

I think (I know) it's easy to caught up in playing the good Christian wife.  The good Christian husband.  The good Christian family.  The good Christian, period.  I used to think that those things would somehow "save" Kris and I from future problems, that would save us from inevitably ending in divorce.  But they don't, and you only need to google "Christian divorce rates" to see that point illustrated all too clearly.  

Christians can have faulty marriages.  And Christians can have mediocre marriages.  The great news is, is that God isn't a mediocre God.  He's a God who's extravagant.  And that is what has couples dancing and - dare I say it?! - having great sex well into their old age.  

So, all this just to say, thank you Lord, for being extravagant in our lives, and changing me, changing us.  For raising the bar and saying, "I'm not a God of 'good enough'".  And thank you to my husband for allowing the Holy Spirit to do a work in him too.  You are truly my knight in shining armour.  

Hardships will come.  There will be trials.  But I hope that in the midst of it all, we can dance together in those minefields.  
Friday, January 7, 2011 |

The Mullet Lady in all of us

Kris and I are terrified of The Rut lately.  You know the one - where you cling to the style you had in your early 20s, because that was your prime.  And THAT, my friend, is how things like this happen:

Now let's not judge Mullet Lady too harshly.  She just got stuck in The Rut.  And if I maintain the style I had in my early 20s, I will be Mullet Lady in 10 years.  I could easily end up in someone's blog post about terrible fashion.  Maybe I've already done so, and don't even know it.  (But that's the topic of a fear-mongering post for another day.)  

This exact fear is what drove Kris to get his hair cut.  He's been complaining the last little while about looking like a doof.  A doofy dad who's gotten stuck in The Rut.  Kris has had the same "hairstyle" (sorry, honey, the quotation marks were kind of necessary), in various lengths, for as long as I've known him.  So, I made him an appointment at a nice salon downtown for last night.  

So he went in, and upon being asked to remove his hat, Kris said, "Are you ready for a laugh?!"  The stylist replied that it couldn't be that bad.  He removed the hat.  She howled with laughter at the messy poof of hair that had been hiding in the safety of the ball cap, and then told him that she'd seen worse.  I guess that's a relief.  Long story short, Kris came home with a smile on his face, and an awesome new look.  I love it.  My husband is super hot.  He was hot before, but now he's hot and stylish.  (Because I'm sure women who's partners have mullets think they're hot too.  But stylish?  Mmm... maybe not.) 

So, here's to another step out of The Rut. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 |

My boys and I

My good friend Avey came a few weeks ago and took some family photos for us.  She did an amazing job.  Thank you Avey!

 The family 
(and please excuse my terrible hair - I have since had it fixed...)

 Sam "playing" with Jack


 Sweet little boy.

Getting the tired crankies. 

Yes - that is bacon in Sam's hand.  You may or may not recall 

Brothers make the best buddies!

Sam loves his apples!

I am so blessed, with a great husband, sweet little boys, and good friends.