Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the routine

For 7 hours near straight today, I cranked the music and I sang, like there was only One listening - and no one watching ;)
The moment I am settled alone in the driver's seat of my car, the music is on and drivers of Ontarian roads get a show. This has been my driving routine since I began making my many epic treks across the country in university and continues today.
Music is so much a sacred space. It helps me concentrate (and, when driving long distances solo, it's a whole lot more appealing than talking to yourself when you've become bored).

When I'm buckled in, Pearl is my sanctuary, where I sing His name.
The same CD's have been in there for ages.
Elohim, the Creator - as green, blues, and buds, and raindrops flash beside me; as others pass me and I pass them, and smile at them laughing at me as I sing.
Songs of His character, joy in Him - singing out frustrations, and questions. Songs of prayer. Meditations to melodies.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • sleepy first hours together on the front porch.
  • time for breakfast with N.
  • driving toward a rainbow.
  • smiles.
  • stretching.
  • coffee in to go cups.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

more and more and more.

In the early hours of tomorrow I'll have one last cup of fresh ground coffee with my Dad and I'll be off - bunny in the backseat, CD's in the front, ready to be sung to for the next 7 hours home.
And every time I turn north-east, more home comes along in the back of my truck.

Investing more pieces of the past into all of this now that you might continue toward His hope and promise. becoming less that He might become more.
letting Him have more and more and more
it's not mine anyway.

Today I am thankful for:
  • five days in Blyth.
  • another road trip.
  • breakfast tomorrow.
  • trajectory.
  • the bro-ski(s).
  • crazy laughs at the table.

Monday, June 28, 2010

handing over

I found a photo at Thanksgiving.
I was sad that he wasn't in more of them.
But then I noticed something I hadn't yet before.
His hands. And a "half a cup of diet Pepsi".

Farmer's hands.
Inventor's hands.
Painter's hands.
Hands that painted fences into his eighties, gripped a cane and pulled his body up into a loader to clear snow from the lane.
Rough hands - arthritic hands.
Hands that used to smooth up my arms as a little girl, as his voice would tease that that arm was as tempting as peaches and cream corn.
And then he would nibble and give me grandpa kisses.
He would send me into giggles.

I went to the farm today. It's changed from when he & she were there together.
And I find little things to take with me to remember.
The farm is moving on in the family, as it should.
And I don't quite know how I feel as I look through the familiar things set up unfamiliar on the basement table, to be taken home by grandchildren.

This home was not on the walls, or in the chimes of a certain clock, or the colour of the rugs.
Home dwells within, and is shared.

Her hands hold mine just the same as when I was five.
They are small and soft, with the gift of soothing to sleep, and mocking one-finger wags that rehabilitate the worst offender with a laugh.
And we kiss each other's cheeks and laugh at all the purses you collect over the years.
And we miss him together and share so much excitement at preparing her new home for this next chapter in life.

Today, I am thankful for:
  • Book after Book.
  • our fellowship.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

sunday morning.

Pearl and I pulled into the drive this morning - back from our yesterday's adventure for friends' shower and dance and party.

I come into the house - loaded with bags.
And unload the burdens.

In here, I sit in a worn chair.
They've gotten some new ones too since I've been away.

I hear familiar sounds. An old creaking fan, the dog's tail thumping as she chases frogs in her sleep, our grandfather clock ticking away the bounds of Sunday.
And outside, I mostly hear birds and nothing but pre-storm breezes, and the occasional car through the village - maybe a lazy lawnmower breaking Sunday's quiet.

Sunday's have been my favorite days.
Collective sleepiness of Christians and small communities.
Everyone walks slower - talks longer.
Strangers rest in stares and smiles in parking lots.
We sip coffees, and silence.
We turn pages slow.
We find cozy blankets, and windowsills lit with gentle Sunday light - and sleep.

Today, I am thankful:
  • for face to face.
  • T & M and one month.
  • M's nap.
  • J's stories.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

road - trip

Homework, then bed, then one sleep, then hit the road. nice and early.

I'm going to

Sweet country roads calling my name, and a weekend with oldies and goodies.
been itching for a road-trip for a while.

I am thankful for:
  • Pearl.
  • work today.
  • peace which surpasses all understanding.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

saucy ribs.

It's Rib Fest in the city.
Friends and I sat on the street edge, fingers slick and faces messy - and enjoyed the finest offerings of spare ribs. Mmm.
These two friends were guys, and were rooting for the 'manly' meal choice for the evening.
But, without hint of gender identity crisis I conceded, because I really do like ribs.

And here's where we go for the stretch, but track with me :)

I do acknowledge that it's pretty confusing to be a man or a woman nowadays - this topic consistently comes up in conversations I have with male and female friends alike.
The shelves at bookstores devoted to the topic hints at the trouble.
I was part of a gender studies reading group in my last year of university: grappling with men, women - girls and guys, who (to my thanking heart) were just as confused at who they were and what they were to be doing.
Men struggling to find place for impulses to provide for women who slam the door of their chivalry; women struggling to find a place for desires to be settled who are disrespected for not having goals. And there are a whole host of other tensions to navigate without the bounds of clear roles of how to go about it anymore.
In one respect, what a freedom to be celebrated.
On the other hand, what a landscape to navigate - to risk vulnerability in.
Who will be your guide?
at this point I am not suggesting any prescriptive material here (issues, I have issues with such things...), but to wonder at who you are, and who man is.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
To wonder is to ask Him.

The creation story tells of woman,
being made by God, from the rib of a man.
A companion and helper - the woman to work the ground and tend creation with man.
Her to fill in the space she came from with a womb.
Him to keep her near the ground he was raised from.
Dirt and bone worship.

I'm celebrating with a couple this weekend that are soon to be married.
They are so great - they worship and wonder at their Creator. Each as their own self, and soon together as one, bound together by Him whom they worship.

What is so striking about this friend is her assuredness - I'm not sure she sees it that way, but from a friend's perspective, I have watched her grow in confidence and transform in love.
She is sweet, playfully giddy, affirming and yes... even, in the cleanest possible of ways, a bit saucy at times. I've seen the pleased smile as she finds the perfect peices to adorn God's already-made beauty.
In love. And she draws us in - him in.
It is the becoming more of woman; in deepening touch with with deep-in-bones self, who invites another - others into space.
Space where God does His work - fashions, molds, builds into the bones.

Today I give thanks,
  • for reconnecting with L.
  • playing tag, late at night with bunny.
  • chance to pray.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Today - the third day of summer, I spent part of the day on housework.

Some might call this anal - I stay on top of it as I go along. And, with the change of a season comes new priorities.

Dusting, scrubbing, laundering, sweeping unseen corners, taking into account stock in the cupboards, and, my summer edition to household chores: checking, setting, and fine-tuning mouse traps (yes, what a fun thing to discover on my foot the other night...ugh).

Life is like that - at the change of a season, God shines His love-light so I see all of Him in me, and the streaks of friction on over-used parts and dust gathering where work has stopped.

And together we take account and prioritize steps ahead: Him shining and sharing, judging and redeeming; and me, thanking, resting, wanting and willing to be wiped clean again, so I reflect better - to be rolled through the wash cycle and set out to dry warm in the sun, so I smell of His fragrance.

I am thankful for:

  • laughing - because it's ironic when you are feeding the mouse you are trying to catch.
  • floating soap bubbles.
  • big, dark storm clouds.
  • surprise.
  • a hidden book of prayers.

with supplication and thanksgiving...

Today, I give thanks for:
  • cuddles with a sick bunny.
  • solidarity.
  • warmth steaming up from sidewalks at dusk.
  • phone calls for nothing to say.
  • reframing.
  • cool lemonade.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

back to work.

Soft crying in the dark - given hugs tight, and kisses to tear stained cheeks.
It's pain that doesn't have a pill to chase it. It's bearing cross pain.
Wait and look, see what to say. Maybe nothing at all.
Maybe just stand near.

With family gathering, breaths lingering.
Living pain subsiding and looks of peace on face.
And hold hands, cradle head. Annoint lips.

I get to be here. And watch Christ here.
I get to participate, in my little way.
And wonder at what it is after that 'end'.

And it's incredible.
And I never do it alone - because I never could participate in something like this myself.
It is too much to grasp for feeble ones like myself.

Tonight, I give thanks for:

  • Counsellor.
  • trust.
  • hope.
  • expert colleagues.
  • ... but you have the mind of Christ.... (1 Cor 2:16)

Friday, June 18, 2010

secret heart.

not in anxiety, but in trust.

kyrie eleison.

The lyrics of this piece are Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy), Christe eleison (Christ have mercy).
I have been singing them out of an anxious heart, because my heart tends to be anxious - tender spots that still spike pain and I try to defend. My heart is shy - and I often stress myself out trying not to be (counter-productive, believe me), because I grew up receiving and believing that it wasn't good to be just myself with my peers. I know I am not alone here.

I've grown up. His victories through fears abound.
And I know I am still quiet country-girl, now with Saviour-friend and lover, university degree, laptop, stamped passport and the ability order a latte without fumbling over words in shear awe of "grande" and "venti" ;) - who likes wide, gravel roads best over paved, but who has had love cultivated for many in tight city-spaces.

His gentle love calms my storm of fears and stills my frustration with my shy-at-deep-self, my not-yet-there-self, my why-do-I-do-what-I-do-and-don't-do-what-I-should?-self. His eyes are of forgiveness and love that conquer my fears, so I can repent, forgive and love.

Lord have mercy on this anxious heart, that it would trust You more and more.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • her face :)
  • early morning walks.
  • last-minute preparations late at night.
  • "love you too".

(photo credit: Second Book of Masses, 1598 edition,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Today time just seemed to really sneak by.
His graces remain steadfast and solid. Time passes, He punctuates :)

Tonight I am thankful:
  • that the Lord hears.
  • for safety.
  • for being held.
  • for grace and mercy.
  • for Skype french lessons.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

around all the letters

...on a page of type and words, there is white.

White is all of colour combined. Whole as He is whole - He is in all things, and through all things, and is all things - He holds all things together.

! I am in the final weeks of a policy course before a few months of break - then there will be less discourse on written word which has been long-holding a prominent place in my schedule, hehe ...

But, looking at a page of words, I've been thinking about how I've found myself pretty absorbed in the marks that spot the page of life - on the quality and number of letters, and how they are arranged. Those things aren't anything without the page - they have no place or meaning without a page to be written upon.

It seems basic (acutally, it's fundamental) remembering the Page lives are written upon; God in the white space around my marks, the white showing up the dark of a life script - the margins giving place, the white giving them sense and showing up mispellings and grammatical error.

Today I'm thankful for:
  • His mercy.
  • a place.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Every day is a resurrection.
I was thinking about this as I got my sleepy bones, sore muscles (from yesterday's very great and long bike ride) and tired mind up from under the sheets and to my feet - to step into the kitchen for breakfast; to step into the day for its opportunities.

Today is a chance to walk with Christ, out from the cave marked Death to surrender to the power of His resurrection - to be lifted up, not by man but in the glory of Christ. In today is always the chance to embrace His Shalom heart; to find that others and you are swept up in the breeze of His ascension. The same is there for us tomorrow - and in the next and in all nexts.

When I tuck myself into bed tonight I will be changed, because of His love and power and will, because the day is about resurrection - from less of our condition into more of our beautiful hope.

Today, I am thankful for:
  • participation.
  • thanks in wooden bowls.
  • new, real bookmarks.
  • the paradox of the general and the particular ;)
  • hope held out on handle bars.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

until we meet again.

Soft breeze drifting in skirts and sun glows with dusk-rich intensity though its slipping into hiding. Hugs given, eyes captured once more - grace until we meet again, with grace and stories and papers behind us. Sunlight rich at lake and city edges and in reflection of moon; reminders that it has been and will be again.
My mind is full, my heart ready for quiet evening, full of song and dance and rest to Him - as the week's work has been to Him.
Nestled into summer's night in that hammock way with reading ready. Doze. Smile at bunny jumps and kisses and bites.

I am thankful for:

ties that hold

We've been sitting around the table, talking hope for the future.
We come together to be sent out.
So, we will go off again to walk out that hope - in ties that hope, that hold fast to vision and dreams and faith.

I give thanks for:
  • walks home.
  • suppers with such incredible colleagues.
  • ducks catching crumbs tossed at rivers edge.
  • friends with common languages.
  • tenacity.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


We pass through times:

Of standing and sharing - of declaring intentions, commitments, acheivements, imagination and hope. Excited joy meeting holy dread. Struggling to learn this new movement in unfamiliar clothing: checking and rechecking labels, just to be sure it really is meant for you;"will I grow, up into this?" asks a heart and head captured in this moment of drooping sleeves, hems past knees, tightness at neck and new colour. Knees shake, cheeks blush - cold and hot, sweat. Mind racing, and wondering if there will words or voice - and then the mind blanks as if thought had never dwelt there.

Open eyes, heart, ears, will and faith to God. And you step, step, step...

Do not be alarmed if you find yourself wondering who and where you are; wondering how the mantle fits; wondering why this path and when is the right time to move? Ask and He.

it is okay if you get tossed in the tumult - for He calms torrents.

it is okay if you don't have the strength to move - for He is the breath teaching lungs to expand.

it is okay if you can speak only silence - for He is Truth and Word.

it is okay if you are vulnerable and weak - for He clothes the naked, heals the broken and gathers children - nestling them beneath His wings: comfort and protection.

it is okay if you simply are - for you are fearfully and wonderfully made; He has redeemed you from all Hell's grasp and He has called you His - you are His; as you are, as you will be.

it is okay.

Not polar, discrete, or one way or another - just a simple, okay.

Peace, filled of gentle and might, finds us - finds me there;

in the flux of wait and hope and blossoms of fruit trees.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • blushing side glances of small girls.

  • flushed faces of intention.

  • quiet, courageous eyes, looking out and taking in.

  • sleep, in quiet corners of an old house.

  • a few, brief, rich words with a dear dear friend.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Today I am thankful for:
  • bunches of fresh, leavy market vegetables stirred in pasta for friends.
  • being new and inexperienced.
  • cultivation and spontaneity.
  • embracing the new things and cocreativity.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

white clouds.

I'm looking up at the clouds - with their sunset golden tops and deep purple-blue bellies floating gently away from where I sit here on my deck, reading articles on my laptop. It's been a long and intense day in the classroom - ideas and names and new terms floating around in my head. He was in that room, in the midst of us, His temples - individuals, shining out Him in every crevice, crack and detail. The depth of Him - down, down, down in mysterious, wonderful human souls and soaring minds.
This time to sit out under the sky and remember Him in His vast grandeur is precious. The white space to let one absorb all of His goods.
Praise Him from whom all blessing flows......

Today I am thankful:
  • for finding a friend at the end of the road.
  • red licorice :)
  • the diligence of others.
  • cool nights in June on a back porch.
  • building trust.

Monday, June 07, 2010

her of Him.

Settling down to homework and soon bedtime.
I am listening to the beautiful work of Helma Sawatsky.
So striking. So rich. So home for me.
Drawn to the mother-breast of God - in an infant's awe that memorizes her face; drinking in everything about her in touch, and smell and taste.
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!"
Psalm 34: 8

I am thankful for:
  • the resonating words of my mother.
  • the book I can hardly remember, written on child-painted paper, telling things she loved - simple things.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

common cup.

My Master's classmates just arrived to town today for the beginning of a week-long course.
We're all sitting around, looking tired, sharing what the last 6 months separated physically and connected online has been like. We are finding encouragement in the common confessing of crying and general emotional exhaustion during our last statistics course, and listening to each other's new ideas for theses and projects with weathered looks of determination on our faces.
We are nurses, and we love what we've been called to. We want to see it in God's Shalom.
We are resting with and sharpening each other in shared meanings and words. We are each surrendered to the more and better of the plans He has for us and our profession - taking up our own place at the table, taking our own sips of needed wine (bitter, dry, sweet, refreshing & atoning all combined) - but we are supping and drinking, together.

Today, I am thankful for:
  • a good laugh at installing my new air conditioner, when its 18 degrees and raining :) but it's ready.
  • proximity.
  • becoming a regular at the grocery store. unanticipated.
  • asking questions.

Friday, June 04, 2010


I just started guitar lessons today.
The session was pretty fun - I want to learn what I don't know, and improve my skills.
I have been adamant with myself that with will power, I could teach myself enough - but that initiative began over four years ago, and little progress has been made. Independence can sometimes be a hindrance to better music...

Submission is a choice, an honour given us, an act of will.

So, I've chosen to learn under someone else - to give creative control of my guitar playing skills over to someone who knows how to assess my needs, who sees potential pitfalls and encouraging signs, who offers wisdom and perspective. Submission allows the other to shine in their abilities and character as you grow into your own.

Submitting to the Teacher is an act of trust and hope toward His better music.

Today, I am thankful for:
  • villages and their people.
  • kinship.
  • fresh produce in the market.
  • keeping up history.
  • trusting in others.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

quiet. simple. normal.

... just sitting quiet here, in dimmed light, on the floor, with an emptied cup of coffee - dishes washed, books and papers stacked in my lap, a good movie over, windows opened for breeze (carrying currents of thready rock music from the market...not so 'quiet', hehe) and a bunny quietly munching hay - self-returned to her cage. Not much to say, or that I can say - it's nice.

Simple and normal. I am thankful for it - to co-create this tiny inheritance afforded me in His holiness and smile and grace.

I'm going to go to bed. As usual. Like we all do.

peace. the day and night is full of Him.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

wounded. healer.

I'm processing the last day I had at work, as I prepare for the next. I had one of the most, well -profound wound dressing experiences of my career - it lasted 1 1/2 hours and required two nurses. That wound was doing what wounds untreated do: consuming - a body, time, resources, whatever it could take. As a team with the patient, we worked diligently to quench it's gluttony and to promote the health: of surrounding tissues, the patient's emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Sometimes I get consumed in the illumination of my sin and the pain of my condition without recognizing the light of God's grace, and its implication toward health and restoration.

Perhaps, you've known the situation. You're dealing with a wound - sin, and that wound makes you sick - you're repulsed by the wound. I don't know about you, but I so don't want to be the sinner hurling insults at Christ dying on a cross for me...

But if you aren't careful, you make you out to be sick - you're so repulsed by yourself that you lack the capacity to believe that you can be healed.

I've seen it happen with my patients: some who suffer as their self becomes consumed with illnesses and physical wounds. (To be honest, I've been there...)
Others though, have been held fast - centred in who they are created to be.
I would say that we probably all toggle between the two ends of the spectrum in different seasons and circumstances.
And the truth remains: Christ is always offering the healing and redemption we need in His sacrifice - once, for all - it just doesn't stop; it's on a healing, restorative trajectory.

Each of us knows the courage it takes to acknowledge, and to enter our wounds - to orient ourselves to saying 'Yes, Lord' as He first reveals our wounds' ugliness, then takes to cleaning them out, and covering them.
Hard still, our wounds need many treatments by the Physician. Our Selves (just as our bodies) are wonderfully created for wholeness (thus healing), but the wounds must be prepared and tended to like gardens, full of the promise of beauty. Our wounds need time penetrated by the hands of the Healer - gently covered with His remedy: God - intimately acquainted with our condition, and wounded for our transgressions.

Today, I'm thankful for:
  • studying on the beach.
  • space to warm up, slow.
  • a thunderstorm!
  • time again with B :)

Two great reads: Henri Nouwen's The Wounded Healer and The Inner Voice of Love. Henri is a dear companion in Christ, and a gentle writer of Truth :) Peace.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

sign of seal

I need to know that I am protected, looked out for.
For all of the independent ventures of modern women, there remains a tenderness needing to be cherished in its delicacy. Same goes for our brothers too.

Sometimes (…lately, with work), I find my soul and heart feeling so raw, so over exposed as I'm working out the call to love God and others.
The rawness is disorienting and disturbing, and so I am given a critical opportunity to reflect and meditate upon this - deep in the Song of Solomon,
‘...Me as a seal upon your heart…’

I am getting more deeply acquainted with how great this truth is:

A seal: something used both for the marking of an impression in a soft substance, and also to the tenacious substance itself; a method of authentication or security, confirms, ratifies – making stable, assured – preventing the loss of contents and the infusing of impurities; that which affixes paradoxical edges.
(thank you Webster’s dictionary)

Aside from secluding oneself: building up walls of defense or veils of secret & superfluous that the Lord's only desire is to take down, is the option to sumbit ourselves to the impression of the One who desires to guard us, His treasured possessions - His weak children, as we encounter all that we do in the lives and calls He's placed before us.

Today, I am thankful for:
  • an air conditioner waiting for hot days - bring it!
  • together prayers and dinner.
  • an opportunity to learn.
  • the Rain (thank God! thank God!)