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.