Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Love Alone...

I couldn't sleep last night.
Or the night before.

As my husband of 20 years + .... breathed gently beside me
I found myself contemplating all the needs I had that weren't being met.
As a woman of many words you would think that I could give voice easily on that topic
after all these years...
You would also think that I would be far beyond feeling needy.
Aging brings perspective.
Thank God.

The 40's are great.
They have brought such liberation.
They have brought such hope.
They have brought a whole slew of other things as well : including more questions than answers.

I have never been so alone.

Let me rephrase...

I have never known such alone-ness.

As my husband lay sleeping I reached out and wrapped myself around him from behind..
( I think this is called spooning)

My thoughts were a jumble...a collage of feelings and questions...wonderings and illuminations.

The longer I am married the more I realize that it is not about marriage.
The longer I spend with this person...my husband...
...the more I realize that...

this is NOT about Us....

It is about ME.
( contrary to the Purpose Driven Life)
It is about God.
In me.
Around me.
In all of it.
All of life.


How then do I live?

So many roles.
So limited by time.
So defined by the temporary.

Life is not lived in single file.

It is traversed shoulder to shoulder...parallel journeys.

No shadows cast.

The Light is an ever fixed mark.
Love is an ever flowing river....

When I was a teenager I used to read 1 Corinthians 13 and wonder.

I prayed...to know love.

Somehow I knew..

That was my reason for existing.

To know love..and love in return.

Not friends.

Not family.

Love itself.

I have wandered.
I have drifted.
I have gotten lost.

Or so I thought.

The great thing about believing in God is that deep inside...
The knowledge of his EVER-present-ness becomes an anchor.

The knowledge of his overwhelming goodness..faithfulness and mercy...
At the end.
Of me.

To be loved..beloved
by God...

Is the center.
Is the reason.
Is the definition of life.

Searching for love from others...


Disappoints... destroys....corrupts...


I know..because my love fails all the time.

It demands.

This morning I choose to be loved... beloved...

I believe.

Only then... can I let it flow through...

Love flows in one direction...from the heart of God...

There is no other source.

I cannot direct it's flow...contain it...re-direct it...control it...demand it


bears me...and all my burdens
believes in me...and the purpose for my existence
hopes for me...eternally
endures for me...all things
never fails me...

I don't love the people around me because I must...
because I am their mother...
their wife..
their sister..
their friend...
their daughter...

Love is not so limited... so confined... so self-serving...

There is not more or less of love...
There is not deeper or richer love...
It has no spectrum.

It is incomparable.

It is my reason for being.

Love alone.

Consider yourself...


Sunday, October 18, 2009


I've been living a little too much inside my own head lately.
Although....considering the fact that it is MY head...well....

It becomes a problem when I get so wrapped up in my own interpretation
of events, situations...other people's actions and reactions.

I spend a lot of my life interpreting.

It gets pretty busy inside my head.
Synapses firing..shooting off in all directions.

It makes me tired.

I am officially tired.

Bone weary tired.

But at the same time...

I am relieved!

Just because I am....
...doesn't mean I have to remain so.


Acceptance of who one is in all one's ugly mess...can be followed swiftly on the heels by..

Who one chooses to become...

Maybe even who one always has been...but was just masked...hidden...shrouded...

..by a limited perspective.

This is why I enjoy getting older....

I am soooo hoping that some of my present perspectives
get challenged and eradicated sooner than later...

I can feel my self delusions choking me....

The greatest thing about my journey...

Is the companion I have along the way...

The One whose perspective is clear and unflinching...


The Author. And Finisher.

It's all a matter of perspective.

I prefer His.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Remember God...

You know when something so profound registers in the depths of your being?
Deep in the core.
Way in there.
As deep as it goes...

... kind of like where the red blood cells are formed in the marrow of the bones deep...

That's how deeply my Father went today...

It took my breath away and I am still recovering..
And I am soooo thankful.

How does he do that?

Just by-passing all the junk that has built up?
All the leftovers from all the storms of late?
All the frightening failures and ignominious defeats?

It is like the build up of dirt and debris that is left when the snow melts after winter.
The remnants of the season before merge with winter's remains...

We remember the storms..the dark..the cold..the pain...the loneliness...
The car breaking down...
The heater not working...
The bills piling up...
The food prices soaring...
The flu...
The lingering coughs...
The unemployment...
The loss...
We remember death...

At my Heavenly Father's instigation..

I remembered him.

He penetrated.
He invaded.
He permeated.


It's not like he wasn't there before.

I know.

But he reminded me.
To remember.

This was our devotional lesson for the day.

Trouble in Hebrew..means " a tight place".

How well I know.

Narrow is the way that leads to God ( LIFE).
Few there be that find it.

No wonder.

Tight places are not fun.
Not much room for maneuvering.
Uncomfortable at best.
Terrifying in the extreme.

Today is my Remembrance Day!
In his goodness my Papa is reminding me that he has always been with me...
Has always sufficiently sufficed..
Has always made a way through..
Has always provided..
Has always redeemed...renewed and restored..
Has always sheltered..
Has always counseled..
Has always loved...

I will always have trouble.
The joy comes when I realize (remind myself/get reminded)
...that as I meditate..think on...fix my heart and mind on : HIM
...the trouble no longer defines us....
It becomes secondary to the knowledge of WHOSE I am...not just what I am going through.

This is my life.
One life.
Under God.
In God.
By God.

Just the simple act of remembering.
Shatters the chains in my mind.
Springs the traps at my feet.
Frees me from the quicksand.

Today I pray you all... remember God.
He has not forgotten you.
You are His.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Truth and Meaning....once again with feeling!

A year ago I blogged this... and today I needed to hear my own words again...

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's been a while.
Blogging is good for the soul but there are times when even I...
yes I...
am so far deep in the muck that breathing is the only landscape.
Face down.
Full length.
I guess it's better than 6 feet under looking up at the dirt... pushin daisies...
But some days I am not too sure.
This emotional... feeling... experiencing... life...
is at times beyond expression... and the pain is soul deep.

What is the truth?
Where is the meaning?

Am reading a book.

"Searching For God Knows What " by Donald Miller, who is also the author of " Blue Like Jazz" and " To Own a Dragon". ( fantastic reads all around)

Among other things he talks about how we have reduced the bible to a Self Help Manual or a treatise on right and wrong. We have systematically created lists and systematically go about checking them off.

Just think about it.
God has somehow become like Santa... he's making a list and checkin it twice.
Check your list of do's and don'ts for the day.
Do pray.
Don't yell at your kids.
Do go to church.
Don't steal.
Do honor your parents.
Don't kill.
Do... don't ... do... don't
They did.... ooops..naughty naughty...
I didn't... way to go.... two thumbs up....
They bad.
Me good.
Me right.

Check the list.

What if you made a list of the physical features of your lover? Your parents? Your best friend?

Brown hair.
Green Eyes.
Slim build. Small feet.
Long Eyelashes.
Narrow waist.
Full lips.
High cheek bones.
Long legs.

What if you carried it around with you everywhere you went.

It is all true.

But has no meaning.

Separate from relationship.

Miller talks about how we have managed to separate truth from meaning.
What is the purpose of truth?
What is the purpose of the Bible?
What is the meaning of it all?
What are we missing?
What am I missing?
He goes on to speculate about what drives us and I think he hits the nail on the head.

We are desperate for something to give us meaning.
We search for it every second of the day.
We seek it out in our family, friends, co-workers, classmates.
Our religions.
We try to find it in our gifts, talents and percieved strengths.
We try to avoid it in our weaknesses and failings... obsessions and appetites.
We whisper it in the dark and scream it in the car on the way to church.
We wear it... read it... record it... watch it... advertise it.... hide it.... broadcast it
We collect it around the watercooler...
Gather it in our bank accounts.
Document it in our preformance reviews.

Someone tell me again who I am.

It's why we work so hard to make the rules... keep the rules or break the rules.

The problem is... it never lasts.

Human love...value... definitions... must be given over and over and over...
They are incapable of satisfying.

Think about it.

Telling someone you love them once is never enough.
Hugging someone.
Praising someone.
Encouraging someone.
Sexual satisfaction.
Emotional satisfaction.
Physical satisfaction.

These are vessels that constantly need topping up.


Can it be as Miller puts it that we need to look through the truth to find the meaning?

Was this what was lost in Eden?

Were we separated from what gave us meaning?

Are we so deep into self-help...self-worth...self-esteem... that we can't get it?

a painting does not give itself worth.
a pottery urn doesn't assign itself value.
a crystal vase does not fill itself.
a rare orchid cannot give itself it's rare status.
a diamond has no capacity to define itself.

A husband is incapable of bringing meaning to his wife.
A child has no power to establish worth to its parents.
A father is powerless to bestow value on his children.

I cannot give myself meaning.
I cannot deprive myself of worth or value if I cannot bestow it in the first place.


If I cannot give it.
I cannot take it away.

I am not a list.

What if it is all about relationship?
All of it.
What if it is all about restored realtionship?
What was lost.
Is lost no longer.

What if God.
Who gives all things meaning.
With intent.
Has always.
Been about.





No wonder when Paul wrote the " Love chapter" in his letter to the Corinthians of the day, he said it was possible to understand all mysteries and have all knowledge.... and be without love.... and it was all nothing!

Getting it right and knowing true things was not what it was all about.
Truth without meaning reduces everthing to a list.

You have to look through the truth to the meaning behind it.

What am I searching for?

Someone to tell me who I am.
Cause I can't.
Neither can my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my enemies...
No one.

It is only the One who made me that has the power to explain me..to give me meaning.


I pray a lot.

I have to.

It seems like my whole life has become a prayer.

It's not about self help.
It's not about fixing the messes.
It's not about understanding everything.

It's about meaning....

try it.

You just might find yourself for the first time.
...the second or third time around...but who's counting?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saving Daylight...and other assorted thoughts

My husband crawled into bed in the wee hours of the morning and informed me as he rolled over that we were having a snow storm.

It was dark when I woke up.
And having lost an hour sometime during the night, I still managed to get up at 7am.
( read: so proud of myself)

Winter's temper tantrum sure put a damper on my enthusiasm!
This happens every year...for us Canadians.
And yet I hope... for the magic of Spring to wave her wand and presto-chango...
Snow be gone...ice melt away...
No boots..scarves..ratty gloves..mismatched pairs...and warming up my car.

I like instant.

I like the word Instantaneous.

I love the word Instantaneous...

It's applications are myriad...and the possibilities are endless...

It is a pretty big word to represent an instant occurrence.

Instantaneous Spring has a nice ring to it...

This morning I wondered where the daylight bank was....
I wondered when we had stopped saving and started spending daylight and why only in March did we get a clue and begin again?
I don't remember draining the daylight account.. if someone had told me I wouldn't have over spent!
I need more light!
Right now.

There are a bunch of sick guys in my house today including my baby.
Who is 13.
What a joy he is.
When I look into his face...
There it is ...
Bone deep...unquestionably...relentlessly bombarding my heart.

Is this how God feels?
I mean really...
I know I am not remotely perfect in loving...
But all He is is available to me ( the fullness of the God-head bodily dwells within my soul)
... and I like to think..his loving is so unstoppable...that is is woven into our DNA...

This love..is so not dependent on success...or failure...
Whether my son(s) accepts it..believes it...walks in it ..
OR not...
The love remains.

In a measurable..measuring world...

We have an immeasurable treasure..
An immeasurable hope...
Immeasurable peace...
An immeasurable NOW.

How deep...how long..how wide..how high..
Is his love for me...
For us?

MY second son...
Is awkward in his speech...
Struggles with insecurities that are bone deep... in his relationship to his peers..and to the world...
HE wouldn't mind my talking about this..
Simply because...
He is..
and Unfinished...
Where his insecurities seem so obvious and his social skills and communication skills are a work in progress..
There is something about him that sinks into everyone he serves.
Luke sees people.
Truly sees them.
And as he has said to me many times...
I am most myself and happiest..when I am serving.
Luke has hands that heal.
His heart is laid bare.
Sometimes it is hard to watch as he sees people...very clearly..
But he remains unseen. or misinterpreted...misunderstood
Left out.
Not cool enough.

Comparisons suck.

There is a light inside every person on the planet...
Our vision is impaired.
Having eyes we do not see.

The world does not need two people alike.
It needs individuals.

Each of my sons is beloved.

The one who defines them...
Never abandons them...

He never runs short of light...
His light is the life of man.

Today I laugh.
And cry.

I am such a paradox .

To the six billion other souls out there...

I declare.
You are worthy of love.
You were born of it.
It is why you are.

Walk in the light...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

All's Quiet on this Western Front...

After a severe migraine attack yesterday at work.. resulting in a painful drive home... in surprisingly no traffic on a Friday afternoon...and a tumble into bed... and unconsciousness... after being greeted at the door by 4 concerned and helpful sons speaking ever so softly..
I am up before the birds this morning...having slept my life away!

The body is so good at protecting..and repairing.
Yesterday I could barely see..was barely coherent...and incapacitated...

Today I am rested and although my head feels a little rattled..like pain takes up so much space and when it's gone..the emptiness is a bit disconcerting..
I feel a bit hollow.

Nothing stirs here in my house.
The quiet is miraculous..soothing and much appreciated.

Dawn is breaking so much sooner these days and tomorrow is daylight savings...
Although this last week looks like winter has fought back...
I know differently.
Spring is fast approaching...relentless... determined...

Thank God for seasons.
They save my sanity.
Like day turning into night turning into day..
They paint such a picture of life.
This too shall pass...
This too shall return...
Life wins!
To everything there is a season.

The silence of this morning fortifies my spirit...
Sometimes in the chaos that is my life..
I can't see the forest for the trees...

OR I focus on what is not happening..
What is not working..
What is absent...

Instead of what is.
What we have.
What we are.

Thank God.
All I need for the day..
Is available.
No good thing...will I lack!


And I know..
Since God is the same...unchanging...

That he is that for all.





God is not in recession.

All's quiet here this morning...
A new day dawns.. it is breathtaking...
Be blessed...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pain...the wise teacher

It's Monday morning..what do you expect me to write about!!

Good grief.

I wracked my leg/ankle/ knee two weeks ago and have been hobbling around and popping ibuprophen by the end of the day..

...for T W O W E E K S... count them... One....Two.... 1....2...

Sigh...confession time.

I don't do well with physical limitations.

I whine.
I complain.
I mutter.
I moan.
Drama drama drama...

Pathetic really.

I grit my teeth as I write because I am big on transparency...so all you who are on the journey alongside..this is me...

There are so many things I want to be today... that I am not yet...

But the first call of the day was from my husband...
He called to inform me that our van..wouldn't start when he got out of the paint store where he was picking up supplies.

IT is like the information went into my head and roamed around looking for a place to latch onto and start feeding....sucking the life out of me...
But it didn't...
It just sat there.


I can't figure it out.
It is an incomprehensible concept when faced with an inscrutable creator...and a crazy world.
It obviously doesn't originate inside of me..so I just have to accept it as a gift from the one who knows me... best.

Sometimes things have to get so hard...so unfixable...so....uncontrollable...

For me to realize...that I am NEVER in control.

The topic of our devotional this morning was : Pain the Preacher (( I edited it for the blog title))

Here is the beginning quote:

"In the modern view pain is an enemy, a sinister invader that must be expelled. And if Product X removes pain 30 seconds faster, all the better. This approach has a crucial, dangerous flaw: once regarded as an enemy, not a warning signal, pain loses its power to instruct. Silencing pain without considering its message is like disconnecting a ringing fire alarm to avoid reeiving bad news. Pain is no invading enemy, but a loyal messenger dispatched by my own body to alert me to some danger."
Dr. Paul Brand

Later we read that: "..gratitude is the single response most nourishing to health.."
..and.... " The emotions of fear, anger, guilt, lonliness and helplessness increase a person's sensitivity to pain."

We were encouraged to consider what life would be like without pain... and the image I got was the image of the lepers in Calcutta....losing sensitivity to pain causes loss of limb and life...

Pain is a friend.
Life would be untold misery without it.

Today things are so far out of my control...so far out of my capacity to understand...

My heart is beating normally...my mind is at peace....

Gratefulness...gratitude are rooted in trust.

God is good... because of his nature.
His goodness brings him glory.
Not my striving.

He is good...all the time...
Everything is under his command..his jurisdiction...his power...
Nothing escapes his purposes...
He doesn't lose...


My soul waits.
Finds rest.
Is defined.
In him.

Then sings my soul...How Great Thou Art...

Today I count it all as LOST...

And part of me found...Him...much more satisfying....

My leg isn't fixed.
My van isn't working.
I don't have the answers.

Pain is present today.
In my life.
My body and mind registers the fact.

...but like the companions on the journey to the High Places with Much Afraid in the book: "Hind's Feet on High Places" ( Hannah Hunnard).... Sorrow and Suffering are necessary for transformation...

...they are what help bring about total surrender... a crucified will laid down in humility...a life offered in trust to the shepherd....at the last moment, Much Afraid asks the shepherd to bind her to the altar so that in her pain she does not turn back from him.
After the Shepherd tears out the root of self love from her heart, Much Afraid receives her new name: Grace and Glory, and her two companions are transformed into Joy and Peace.

Pain...is necessary...
...it exists under God's control...
...he nevers gives us more than we can bear...
...it is only temporary...he will wipe away every tear!

Pain is a wise teacher... I don't want to waste it..
It is what leads me... to where I truly want...need...crave to be...

Through.... the darkness...

Into His glorious light.

Teach me your ways...so I might walk in your truth...

No matter what...

Monday, February 23, 2009

If We Only Knew

"Father forgive them...they know not what they do...."

As I look outside my window..the sky is a uniform color from horizon to horizon...
It's not a lowering gray...more like the colour of faded well worn blue jeans...

There's a lot on my mind today...

You can stop chuckling now...
Lori Dawn..you can stop right now..you're going to go into labor...

Feel better?
Seriously now...

I know you all know me by now..so I can afford to have you laugh at me.
I am getting pretty comfortable...with who I am...
Definitely not a woman of few words..and my mind never shuts off..

It is a good thing I learned to talk to God about everything and anything since I could almost walk.
I think that's what saves me...
All you who are reading... you aren't getting anything he hasn't already heard.

Now there's a comforting thought...

God reads my blog!


Hey it's Monday morning...and I haven't had coffee for ages...


Just in case you don't remember.. today...

Here's a little caffeine for the soul...


You know where it says..

"Thou shalt not have any other gods before me." ???
One of the big "10".
Probably the biggest... since it was the first...



One of the things I have realized is that I have a huge god before him...

The one I've made up.
The one who spells his name the same.
Has the same eyes.
Wears the same style of bathrobe...
Has the same furniture in this big white room...


You know what I am talking about.
The wizard of Oz...

I have this idea of god that I parade around all the time in my head.
And boy does he tend to take up a lot of space..and he is huge...
He has a loud voice too.

But you know...
The more I cry out..
The more I fix my eyes..
The more I let go...
The more I surrender..
The more I release..
The more I question..
The more I embrace...
The more I trust..
The more I humble myself...

The veil... tears.. a little farther...

The image fades...
The voice is being replaced..
The idea..image...form... fashioned by my own imagination...
Is dissolving..

My eyes are opening..
My ears are opening...

I made God in my own image.

He has spent my whole life unmaking...revealing...uncovering...approaching.

Doesn't it just take your breath away...

He approaches me...

When Jesus said..Father forgive them...

It wasn't just about the nails...
It was about who we would make him out to be in our minds and hearts.

We might not make graven images any more..
But we have images engraved on our hearts and in our minds.

My God is an awesome God.

He is inscrutable...yet he makes himself known..
He is perfect..yet he surrounds my imperfection...
He is just..and yet mercy triumphs...
He is Holy...and yet wraps me in himself...

The truth is...
We know not what we do...

But he does.


We DO know...what HE did...

And that my friends...
Changed everything...

If we only knew...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crutches...Hamlet and Life as I Like It...

This has been quite the week.
I fought and defeated a nasty cold...endured and overcame the stomach flu..and am healing from a nasty sprained ankle, wrenched knee and bruised hip.

Just before all that transpired in my life...
...my mother's house was hit by an oil-tanker and rocked on it's foundations.
It has been decided by structural engineers that the house should be torn down and rebuilt.

My Uncle Eric survived another bout with his heart.

I have family who have been living and working in Israel during the latest crisis.

Someone my sister knows lost her husband in a freak snowmobile accident on the night of Valentine's Day.

One of my brother-in-laws has been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease.

My eldest is coming home from Kelowna tomorrow.
He needs a job.

My youngest is thirteen and made me win the game of Aggravation last night...just because he hates to see me lose.

My friend is in her last month of pregnancy and is moving this week.

My bills are paid..my bank account is empty.

Someone on freecycle has a pair of crutches for me.

I hate being laid up.

To be or not to be.

To live...or die...

I woke up today...

Other people didn't.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

What is this thing called life?

My son Jeremy asked me the other day..
"Mom..how do we know that this is all real?"

I told him:

"What you can't see is more real than this."



I can feel it shimmering in my bones.


The limits frustrate me.
My limits.

Deep inside where it really matters...
Where I am...simply who I am...
Defined and held...
Understood and known...

I realize...

He is that for all of us.
Even when we don't realize.
Our knowledge...limited..
Our understanding..

Does. Not. Limit. Him.

Life is not breathing.
Heart pumping.
Synapses firing.
Self knowing.

Can you hear the rocks and trees screaming?

He is bigger.
In him it is all fitly held together.

Today I am sure the sunrise is full of music.
The wind is drifting melodies..roaring symphonies...
The ocean...thunderous rhythm...

And you and I...
We were made to believe...
Woven...in the depths..

How can we not love?
It is why we are.

Today I surrender...to the wonder of being fully known...
Of knowing then...that all is in his care...

He is perfect... the center of all things..
The origin...
The reason...


And yet...

Can you see it...
Sometime I see the truth of it hovering just out of my peripheral vision...
If I could turn my head slightly..I would see...

Today I don't have to see to know..
I guess that is faith then.

I trust.


What relief.

The wonder of that strikes my heart and I can barely see the keyboard to write.

What is this thing called love?

It is what gives meaning to it all.
No matter what it all looks like.

It's a new day....

This is Life...

As I like it!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Not a Matter of What's Better, But of What's Real

Well that struck a chord today.

How many hours of the day..and some sleepless nights...
...do we spend on thinking of what is better?

How many countless lives and life-styles..choices and family dynamics do I compare to my own and try to figure out which is better?

Which way?

We live in a world designed to conform.
It has always been that way.

Counter-culture is not a safe road.
It is not a popular road.
It is not a comfortable road.
It is not guaranteed to produce successful human beings.
That is terrifying to a parent.

It is terrifying to anyone.

Who dares the journey.

We live by definitions.
We thrive on road maps.
Returns on investments.
Group consensus.

We acclimate.
Blend in.
Increase and expand.



We have a clear idea of what better looks like.

Well rounded.

This is the hands down winner by popular choice.

Fit in.

Our culture has applied itself to that aim.

You won't be successful unless.....

God help me.

Blue pill or red?

Rat race...


the real?

The scriptures say that the sole purpose of man is to love God and enjoy him forever.

Very little of our day allows for this reality.

In a life span of 80 years there are 29,200 days.
I'm over half way to that point.

Whatever happened to: Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere?

Calculated: a life time is approximately equal to a month in the presence of the Almighty!

Jesus came to serve..not to be served.

He owned nothing.

He lived with the outcasts.

His best friends were unwashed /uneducated fishermen
....and despised tax collectors

We befriend people like us.

In our society Education is God...Entertainment is crown prince.

The love of money is still the root of all evil.

How much of my time is spent in the pursuit of it?
And what it can do for me?
And my offspring?

In my mindset..decrease is not a fun word.

Less is a shameful state.

Ignorance and dependence...to be abhorred.

The least of these?
Shall be the greatest.
And yet we strive our whole lives to be the greatest.

Oh God.
We are so screwed!

I am not ignorant.
I am however more dependent than ever.
The more I understand...
The more I am torn apart...
I cannot reconcile.. the better and the real in my mind or in my heart.

Something is desperately wrong with this picture.

I will have lived 14,600 days by August 8, 2009

Is my life better?
Are my boys worse off by my choices?
Does my life look successful?
I know people watching are measuring...observing..deciding...
I do too...

What have I secured?
What have I guaranteed?
What have I lost?

The unseen is more real than what is seen.

Someone wise once said..that for every time you look into the darkness of your own heart..
...look ten times into the heart of God.

It is there I lay my whole trust.

I can't compete for better any longer.

I can't live with the measuring stick every day.
I need it broken.

This I know to be true.
My God supplies all my needs.
And I need him more than life.
His heart is amazing.
It is big enough to lose myself in.
I need to be lost...I need to decrease..he needs to increase.

Comfort be damned.

I want the real...not the better.

The red pill.

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking it.

We live what we know.
Knowledge puffs up.

I want to know Christ..and him crucified...
I want to know my Father...and let it be said as it was of Jesus...

I only do what I see my Father doing...

It doesn't get more real than that!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


"We're not changed by the promises we make to God, but by the promises He makes to us."
(Jake Colson)

I guess I needed relief today....
...cause sometimes living with the expectations of performance for love...approval and validation gets old by the time you are in your 40's.

It gets so frustrating to be this far along the journey... and still excavating the bedrock of my belief system...
Actually..I am observing the excavation..my creator is manning the machinery.

It is frustrating and amazing at the same time.
It truly illuminates the otherness of God in the fact that he obviously doesn't see me as a waste of time or effort, and doesn't see my past..my beliefs..my thinking and actions..as an obstacle to his working in my life.

Whereas naturally speaking...demolition at 41 years of age in the North American culture seems such a waste. Remodeling might be acceptable.. a little reno might be in order... a nip/tuck or face-lift...a little Lipo...plastic surgery...add a little here..take away a little there..freeze that expression...
..but razing down to the foundations?

It's soooo not good for promoting the "good christian" walk of faith I have been on since I was a toddler.

"Religion...is man's effort to appease God by his own work."
Jake Colson

I think God loves Tonka Trucks...
He gives every indication that he LOVES excavating my life...and he is not one bit bothered by what he finds...not like I am.
He knows what's there...
He loves me unequivocally.
Even with that knowledge.

How many promises have I made to God.
That I can't keep?
I am not big enough..strong enough...wise enough..pure enough...

I can't even love him....like I want to.

A lifetime of promises sit in ashes around my feet today.

But joy surges inside.... something that cannot be denied.

I Know.
I am.

I know.
He is.

I know.
He never.
Leaves me.

I know.
I love.
He loves.


In the dirt.

In the ruins.

We build buildings and call them church.
They're not.
We build lives and call ourselves believers.
As if it's all good.
In what?
I live what I believe... and some days it's not pretty...

Oh God.

I am saved.

Only because....

He believes.
In me....in us...in this thing...called life...called love...
In his ability... to make all things new.

I promise.
I fail.

He promises.
He never fails.

He loves.
I accept the love and it flows
...continually through...unhindered..not stored...not hoarded...free...

He promises that he is enough.
He is.

I am breathing.
It is enough.
Strength for the day.
Mercy for the day.
Manna for the day.

He is big enough for the both of us.

He can mess around in my foundations all he wants.
It's nothing new to him...and as for everyone else looking on...

He has shown me that in him I have:

Nothing to prove: If God be for me..who can be against me?
Nothing to fear: Perfect love casts out all fear.
Nothing to hide: There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed...
Nothing to lose: All I have is you.

Pinkie swear.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Test Anxiety

I cannot recommend strongly enough the book I am reading aloud with my boys each morning... Practical Happiness by Bob Shultz.
Again and again he delves deep and reveals treasures of wisdom gleaned from years of walking with God.

This morning's lesson was on TESTS.

Test anxiety is so prevalent in our society.
In fact, it dominates lives more than you would think..even the ones who are seemingly passing with flying colours.

Shultz told his children from the age of 7 upwards:

"I don't care if you flunk the test. It doesn't matter to me if you miss every problem. The important thing is that you have a good time. Go and enjoy it!"

Sounds crazy.
No parent I know, including myself, gives that pep talk on test day.

So what makes this so powerful a concept?

Life's lessons 101.

Bottom line:

Accurate tests reveal truth.






In order for test anxiety to be wiped out: I can't be afraid about what the test reveals about me.

As if.
On what planet?????

A poor score simply means I either need more study/input/wisdom or a lesson/insight on how to take/approach/walk through, a test.

Shultz goes on to state:

" Results are not important: if you don't like tests you won't enjoy life."

Tests reveal the truth about you.
We Christians claim to love truth.

( Practical application of above principle..optional..read the fine print.)

It is easy to love the truth when you can do something with ease...
...but what about when you can't?
How do you feel then?

"How can you love truth and like tests when they reveal your ignorance or your faults... How can you like tests that reveal your shortcomings? The answer is simple: Learn to love truth. Love it no matter how it makes you look. Love it regardless of where it may lead you. You will find freedom as you learn to love truth."

I know that pride avoids both tests and truth.
People would rather lie to look special than face the reality of being average or uneducated/unknowing.

Loving the truth sets me free to the point where I welcome tests even as they expose me...the real me. Being open and transparent is all I have time for these days..open ignorance and weaknesses can be overcome...hidden ignorance festers and remains and corrupts.

This is soooooo where I want to live and move and have my very existence.
In him...in the WAY...the TRUTH... the LIFE.

It is impossible for me to gain wisdom..while remaining deliberately ignorant through fear of exposure.

I am finding that the daily tests I face...moment by moment, hour by hour, reveal two very important things:

1. I need God
2. God is willing to meet my need

Again Shultz declares:

"Every trial, test and trouble you face is a friend declaring the truth about yourself and God, about your need and his ability to meet that need."

Thanks be to GOD! Who always causes us to triumph.. through Christ Jesus!

Hindsight is 20/20, so they say...and for once..they are right.

It is not until I SEE..until I actually open my eyes to the fact that trials..tests etc are the pathway..the narrow way that leads to knowing and trusting God.
When I don't see things this way..I live irritated..and in a victim state...and I stop seeing God as good and start looking for ways to perform.. so he will BLESS me and get things back in my comfort zone....my idea of the "succesful christian life".

I know for a fact that I can't love God without knowing him...and I can't know him without experiencing him...




The tests are not enemies.
They are friends.

Love truth.
Love God. ( one and the same)

Love the true you...God does.

"But we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us."
Romans 5:3-5

Friday, January 30, 2009


" The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who seeks happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he seeks to remove. The trouble often is, we are too selfish, to unyielding in our arrangements for life's best good. Because we cannot find happiness in our own way we will not accept it in its appointed way, and so make ourselves miserable. Some excellent people are very unhappy from a kind of stubborn adherence to their settled convictions of just what they must have and what they must do to be happy. They lose sight of the fact that GOD rules above them, partly at least, beyond their control. They have not determined to accept life cheerfully in whatever form it may come."
~S.C. Ferguson and E.A. Allen

If I stopped there it would be enough, but those of you who know me...well....
I must process ....

Out loud...online...

that's just who I am...

Stuffed in a cubbyhole of my coffee table you will find three books written byBob Shultz. They are devotionals for boys: Boyhood and Beyond, Created For Work and Practical Happiness ( A Young Man's Guide to a Contented Life).

Love the books.

The above quote came from the last one: Practical Happiness.

The title threw me and my cynicism almost prevented me from buying it.
Let's be honest...
Happiness is whimsical at best...and very subjective.

The million dollar question is: What makes me happy? ( that's higher than the usual $100 question I know, and since we're all overspending to try and stimulate the economy, I thought I get some back...it's tax season you know!)

The cliche answer: God makes me happy.

In 1980's vernacular: GAG ME with a spoon!

At this point in my life I don't have time for pointless insincerity.
Or religious BS.

What we would like to be true and what is true are two completely different entities all together.

Take it from me: I KNOW!

As each year passes I marvel at God's patience with me.
Having committed my life to Christ at a vey young age you would think I'd be farther along on the journey...a little bit holier.. a whole lot more mature and way more together.

As I read this quote on happiness to my boys yesterday morning while we were all wrapped up in blankets on the sofa, I was struck again by the tenacity and unfailing constancy of God...in his relentless pursuit of the real me...and the relentless unveiling of himself and his plan for us all.

I have said it before and I say it again: We have our entire lives to learn how to die.

How long have I told God what I need to be happy?
How many lists are running through my mind at any given moment?
How many times have I accused him of witholding?
How many expectations have been unmet?
How many disappointed hopes? Dreams?
How many times have I railed at the silence and demanded that he speak?
How many times have I put MY words in his mouth?
How many times have I taken over the writing of my story?
The interpretation of my circumstances...

Instead of accepting what he has offered..I have held up to him what I believe is being denied.
... and declared that the enemy could not stand in the way.

Who is my enemy?

It depends on perspective sometimes.

"His ways are NOT our ways and his thoughts are NOT our thoughts...."


I live in an age, in a country, where I am not likely to be imprisoned for my beliefs...at least not yet.
I have never gone hungry.
Never been without shelter.
Never been thirsty unto death.
I have not been beaten or stripped...or spit upon...or stoned. ( with rocks or otherwise!)
Nor killed. (duh)

I am breathing.
This is a good thing.

I read somewhere once that the 30's are when you see the consequences of the choices you make in your teens and 20's and the 40's are when you decide what to do with those consequences:

1. Accept responsibility for them and repent and be transformed....walking out your life in grace.
2. Avoid and ignore and pretend it never happened....
3. Carry your wounds... and bitterness on you like a garment and remain crippled and disapointed into middle age, and beyond.


Whom have I but you?

I want to live a contented life.

One where I trust implicitly the one who is emminently trustworthy.

One where I don't focus on what is not happening..what is not delivered..what is not offered.

Where I believe that the goodness of God is unfailing.
Where I surrender my desires.

Where I am truly like the son who was happy to do the will of his father.
...and lived among betrayers, fools, murderers, prostitutes, unbelievers, accusers...
..and... was their friend... and died for that happiness.

Love...bears all things...believes all things...hopes all things...endures all things...
Love NEVER fails...

He will never fail me.
He never has.

....and when all is said and done:
That makes me happy....His way.

It is enough.
It has to be.
There is nothing else.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tagged Again...2008 in Retrospect

Tagged by Denise...

1. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A rough draft complete.
A holiday somewhere warm.

2. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 25...we had 5 amazing almost strangers over for Christmas dinner.

3. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Moving back to Calgary/maintaining my sanity

4. What was your biggest failure?
To quote my friend Denise:
"I honestly don't consider things failures, but things that make me stronger. Sometimes it takes me a day or two to get out of a slump and realize that though."

5. What was the best thing you bought?
More bookshelves...for more books.

6. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband and sons..for surviving the year with me!

7. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Several...including my own...but forgiveness is ongoing!

8. Where did most of your money go?

9. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Mama Mia

10. Compared to this time last year, are you i. happier or sadder?
Happier for sure! ii. thinner or fatter? fatter(not for long). iii. Richer or poorer? Richer.

11. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exercise..outdoor stuff with my family.

12. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Watching movies.

13. What was your favorite TV program?
CSI...House...take your pick

14. What was the best book you read?
So many...can't choose... "Irresistable Revolution" "God.com"...

15. What was your favorite film of this year?
Loved...Diary of a Mad Black Woman..watched it this year..know it's old...

16. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 41...girlfriends took me out to dinner and to see the movie Mamma Mia.

17. What kept you sane?
My sister Tanya...and friends...

18. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Glen Beck..Anne Coulter... Mark Gungor

19. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Love by it's definition MUST flow through.

20. Word you said often enough that it should have been your catchphrase: sheep dip!

I tag: Lori Dawn

Thursday, January 8, 2009

• Jan. 7, 2009 - I've been tagged!

Here are the rules to receiving this award:
You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous bloggers in a post.
You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.
You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.
On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.

Ok..Stephanie tagged me so I guess I am it.

5 Fabulous Bloggers...

1. Denise..long time friend who I admire on so many levels and I thank God I called her the day after I met her and we went for coffee...one of the tipping points of my life!

2. Paige...who already got tagged by Steph..but who I love too...

3. Stephen...a dear friend who passed away a year ago...I miss him and his complete transparency and total trust in his maker!



5 Addictions...

I am letting it go without saying that I am addicted to family and friends....I actually said it didn't I?

Ok here we go:

1. Lindt Dark Chili Chocolate

2. Nooma Videos

3. Mark Gungor of Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

4. Love and Logic

5. Reading before bed..actually: reading PERIOD ( thus I am truly addicted to my local library and CHER where I work part-time) ...coffee...cheese...and CSI ( any one of them).

The last addiction covered a broad span of topics, I know, but I felt the need to confess.

I am tagging Denise..just because I can!!!!!