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.

Sunday, January 2, 2011 |

A Year in Review

2010.  Pregnancy.  Praying for a new little person being formed.  Sam's 2nd Birthday, and thankful foramazing years.  Nudgings from the Holy Spirit.  Spring, and a feeling of change.  Cranky and sore as 41 weeks approached.  Jack Robert - "God is gracious".  Potty training.  Blessings in the form of 2 perfect little boys.  Beach days.  Chubby baby.  Freedom.  A preschooler who knows and sees Jesus.  Having our sons teach us about the character of God.  Lessons in parenting.  Restored relationships.  Wine and movie nights.  Good books.  Dreaming Planning big. Learning to love.  Rediscovering my husband.  Playing trains and Playmobil.  Tickling chubby legs.  Sweet laughter.  Daily evidence that Jesus lives and saves and redeems.

2011?  It's going to be even better.  You just wait and see.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the FULL."  ~ Jesus