Monday, October 31, 2011

October's Last Laugh....

My morning started off with a goodbye kiss from my husband as he headed out to work. (yummy)
The kiss was followed by a steaming cup of Three Sisters Coffee ( Kicking Horse) delivered to my bedside by my 18 year old son just before he headed off to work. ( accompanied by yet another kiss on my cheek:

My hands were still wrapped around my steaming mug, my face hovering over the gorgeous aroma wafting upwards, eyes closed in bliss, as my 16 year old son bounds into the room , bumping into the end of my bed as he reaches for the strings to pull up the blinds bellowing with glee:


Welcome to Canada where you can see this white stuff sometimes 9 or 10 months of the year, even this close to the 49th parallel.

This year I greeted  the frozen, falling moisture with a smile.
I have been doing the twelve step program all summer long in preparation for this event.
I am strong. I will not retreat.
Winter is good.
Winter is beautiful.
Snow is pretty rain.
Rain with color.
A beautiful white carpet spread beneath my feet.

Bah..who am I's not winter's fall: someone jumped the gun!
They should be fired!
It's not fair..I thought I had more time...

Breathe... Just Breathe...pass me the brown paper bag please.

And now..I sit here waiting for my friend Lisa to appear in the comment section or on my facebook status.

I sit here waiting...rocking...muttering...

Repeating: I love winter...I love winter...I love winter...

It's Autumn dressed as winter that I can't stand!

Now I feel better!

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Please drop me a line, I really want to know!

I'm Canadian..what else do we have to talk about for the next nine months?

Friday, October 28, 2011

It Is Possible... ( from the archives )

It is possible :

~ for a heart to be full of joy and sorrow at the same time.

It is possible :

~ for awareness to co-exist with ignorance.

It is possible to look into the face of a child and see innocence and guilt mirrored in their eyes.

It is possible :

~ to have hope intermingled with despair.

Peace at war with chaos.

Patience threatened with anger.

Kindness walking hand in hand with greed.

It is possible for coldness to penetrate warmth.

Light to pierce the dark.

Streams to flood the desert.

It is possible for strangers to be friends.

Friends to be strangers.

Family to be estranged.

It is possible for :

The unlimited to become limited.

The timeless to be constrained by time.

The invisible to become visible.

For the uncreated to become..kill-able.

It is possible for a person to gain the whole world and lose their soul.

It is possible to honor with words and not your heart.

It is possible :

~ to give your body to be burned
~ give all you have to the poor
~ understand all mysteries
~ have all knowledge

...and STILL not have Love...

It is NOT possible to love God and hate your brother.


Love by its very definition must flow through.

Forgiveness must be received into and flow out of ones heart unhindered or it's not forgiveness.

Love and forgiveness cannot be stopped or stored up.

Grace and Mercy must flow freely.

It is possible.

With God.

All things are possible :



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wounded Loving

It has been a rough couple of weeks years.( the time is blurring )

Thankfulness rises accompanied by tears today.
It is a messy sort of gratitude grown from within the crucible of suffering, pain, frustration...exhaustion...

It is as my beautiful friend Shawntele put it: Joy in the Midst

~ I am grateful for the miracle of Love : whereby we hold our wounded selves against another wounded soul and trust that the Father is making something beautiful out of the mess.

~ I am so thankful for mercy and grace extended when fear dominates and clouds vision and reason.

~ My heart  is humbled by fractured hearts still reaching out, blossoming in the reality of our Heavenly Father's unlimited, matchless Grace and Love.

~ For breath and hope and the ability to let go and trust when everything that can be

~ For Life distilled into precious oil...that anoints and infuses the soul with a sense of eternity.

I am thankful for you....for all of you who read, who comment...who bless me with your lives...

We the broken, wounded lovers..are being made beautiful....just wait and see!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Great Absurdity { from the archives }

"The cosmos turns on our little prayers...
the greatest danger is that we are kept from our worship and our prayers."
Harold Myra

Prayers are not like fog that rises and dissipates in the wind or the sunshine.

Worship is not songs sung in the middle of religious rites.

I have known and walked with God from my infancy.
He has shattered my life with his grace and mercy.
The fabric of who I am has been worked by his hands..
the hands of a master weaver.
The hands of love.

Life is devastating.
Unrelenting in it's forward motion.
It's lessons immovable.
How soon I forget the simplicity of the gospel.
Walk in the light.
Seek first His kingdom.
Cry out.
He will answer.
Draw near.

Love does not exist at a distance.
Communion exists face to face.
Hand to hand.
Mouth to mouth.
Intimacy: heart to heart.

Every day I stand upon new soil.
Upon a new shoreline.
Mercies new.
Each moment heavy with possibility.
Saturated in the miraculous.
He fills all.

I will worship.
I will cry out.
I will offer my prayers.
My little prayers.
I will trust Him to:

How absurd.
How simple.
How like a child.

Will you worship and pray with me today?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Family

The view from my window back home in Nova Scotia (photo: Tracy Auton Stuit)

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time you will know that I grew up in the belly of a large extended family in rural Nova Scotia. (you can check my About page to confirm).

In September 1992  my husband and I and two infant sons crossed this great nation from East Coast to West. We left behind our family, the Atlantic Ocean and it's glorious beaches, blazing autumn colours, fresh seafood, perfect donairs, ice storms and hurricanes. We embraced mountains, the Pacific Ocean and Spring in January.

Cousins and sisters and a brother soon followed. British Columbia has a definite allure!

Nineteen years later we are situated on the east side of the Rocky Mountains in the foothills.
Home to the Calgary Stampede and the largest city per square km in North America, Calgary has been home for almost 7 years.

We now have family north of us, west of us and far far east of us.
This year we have never felt so far removed.

During a crisis, the distance between us feels like from the earth to the moon.

My health has been steadily worsening.
My emotions raw and vulnerable.
Friends have rallied around and been amazingly supportive and helpful.
We are truly blessed.

But we miss family.

This weekend we had a special treat. An aunt and uncle and cousin and her daughter came through on their way to Kananaskis to a wedding. They spent Friday night and part of the day Saturday with us.

From the moment they entered our front door, there was something different in the atmosphere.

The hands that reached for us, I had known since infancy.

The voices resonated deep within my heart, familiar, comforting....KNOWN.
Nuances colored our conversations, memories evoked..the familiar patterns woven with ancient bonds...treasured. PRICELESS.

I leaned against my aunt sitting on the couch, her arm wrapped securely through mine, holding my hand.
My cousin at my feet with her hand on my foot and knee...I breathed deeply of love... of home.

My husband brings out his guitar and with a precious little girl wrapped in a blanket lying beside him, he lifts his voice, weaving it with the music and we worship the One who put us in this family.
The One who keeps us when miles lay between us.
The One who binds us together and to himself.

Family...  beautiful, blessed, broken, unique individuals...precious in progress....

So grateful am I ....for mine.

What are you grateful for on this beautiful Thursday? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{ a pinch, a dash & a dollop }

I had a friend call me not too long ago asking me for my recipe for slow cooked pulled pork.

 Ummmm.Sigh.This happens to me periodically quite a lot.

I am a good cook { that's not vanity just the plain truth}.
There's just one teeny tiny problem:  I never use recipes except for when baking, and even then I fudge everything depending on my mood. To my mind all recipes originated with someone so most ingredients are fair game for change.

For me it's a dash of this and a pinch of this and a dollop of that other thing.
I discover: ooops, I'm out of that,  and stand in the pantry wondering what I could substitute. I can make anything from scratch.
I mix and match items from an almost empty cupboard and come up with a great meal. Don't know where I got it from but there it is.

Makes for awkward conversations when someone wants the recipe however.

I find it difficult to explain what I do, when I cook and why it turns out and how my brain works when I am putting something together.
I am fearless in the kitchen and I don't mind failing.
Somethings might get a bit spicy: oops {wink} but a little extra chili peppers never killed anyone, not that I've heard anyways. {grin}

Have you ever noticed when cooking that: 
once the salt is in, it's in for good ? 
You can't get it back.

Once the hot sauce/chili pepper is added there's not much you can do except grab a glass of milk on the side and hold on for the ride.
Certain ingredients take a careful hand, a watchful eye and lots of taste testing!

I wish I did that more with my words.
Every day has a recipe.
You can trace it back from the end to the beginning.
Look at the ingredients.
What was the end result?

Some days need a little more grace than others.
Some demand extra patience and mercy.
Others need laughter and compassion.
Every day requires a full storehouse of love.

I am learning to keep my pantry stocked and a watchful eye on the levels in my jars.
There are certain things I can't live without.
Daily essentials.
I need to care for my spirit and tend to my soul.
I need to feed myself so I can nourish others.

Have you looked into your pantry lately?
What do you need to stock up on?
What needs throwing out?
What needs refreshing?

Grab your bible :: dive in :: feed your spirit and tend to your soul.
Bow your head and heart :: worship, pray,
and then go out and live abundantly, love extravagantly !

Let me know how it's going, if you need anything: we can pray together.
That's what neighbors do, neighbors share !

{BTW, my friend said her pulled pork turned out great, I went over and peeked in the crock pot myself just to make sure! Yum-o!}

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

But It's Just Not True

Northern Parula ~ Photo: Tracy Auton Stuit

How many times have you poured out your heart to God, telling him how lost you feel, how disappointed or how abandoned ?

You fill in the blank:

" But God, I feel so_________________."

"God, I feel like a_____________________!"

I don't know about you, but for me the battle is always raging.

My words go something like this: {in no particular order}:

I feel so: helpless, hopeless, useless, undesirable, unworthy....

I feel like a :  failure, loser, disappointment...

At home group last week we were talking about how our relationships with our fathers affected our view of God.

For the good or the bad.

We discussed how we are unable to see clearly and trust in grace because most of us feel the need to perform for God's approval.

We try so hard, as if in the doing we become acceptable.

The simple things of God confound the wise, that is what my bible says.

There is a line in the novel 'The Shack' that speaks directly to the heart of this issue:

The main character Mac says to God:

" ...but God I feel so...lost..."

The reply is so simple, so peaceful, so deeply profound:

God reaches out, takes him by the hand and says:

" I know, but it's just not true."

Let that sink in for a minute...right into the core of your being.... let the echo resonate deep inside:

God is who he says he is.
I am who he says I am.
You are who he says you are.

Is there an area in your life which has you imprisoned or immobilized?

Are your feelings or your opinions regarding who you are, your situation and circumstances in conflict with God's viewpoint ?

He takes care of the sparrows and the much more is he caring for you?

Maybe it's time you stretched out your hands, looked into his face and trusted him when he says:

I know...but it's just not true...

Monday, October 17, 2011


Soaring Eagle, Lochaber Nova Scotia  Photo: Tracy Auton Stuit


Nothing to Hide

There is nothing covered that will not be revealed,
and hidden that will not be known.

Nothing to Lose

Whom have I but You?

Nothing to Fear

Perfect Love casts out all fear.

Nothing to Prove

If God be for me, who is against me?

Are you free? 

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  
Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

~ John 8:34-36 ~

I have been wrestling with issues of slavery this past while.
It takes humility to stand in front of a mirror and acknowledge the bondage you have chosen.

Yes I did say chosen. 

I recognized last week a propensity I have for putting a whole lot of effort into appearing free rather than putting that effort into seeking out the only One who has the power to truly set me free.

The results were not pretty.

I ended up in a fetal position in my bathtub with a cloth pressed over my face sobbing my heart out.

Life is too valuable and too short to play "let's pretend" :

Let's pretend we're ok.
Let's pretend we're strong.
Let's pretend we have it all together.
Let's pretend we're not scared.

It may work for a while but it will all unravel eventually. 
I can testify from first hand experience!

I pray that you find true freedom this week as you step out and meet the challenges that are uniquely yours. Those challenges are opportunities for you to turn and find freedom in Jesus.

Today, if you find yourself struggling, if the battle is raging and you feel weary and battered, leave me a comment and we will stand together.  We will go to the Father together and find grace in times of struggle.

Freedom is yours for the asking.
You can trust the One who paid the price for that freedom.
What He says He will do...HE WILL DO.

Come fly free....for real...

Friday, October 14, 2011

#FF: Follow If You Dare

Horseshoe Canyon, Drumheller, Alberta
In the magical "Land of Twitter" it is Follow Friday.
A day where you recommend  @soandso or #shessogr8.

It kind of reminds me of a school yard where you stand on the sidelines and try to look nonchalant as you dig your toes in the sand, twirl your pigtail and try not to look desperate.

Who wants to be the last picked?
What if they want even teams and I'm the odd girl out?
Who has the power, and have I done anything to make them choose someone else over me?

I think one of the greatest fears we have during our life span is that of feeling invisible.
We fear that our significance, accomplishments or our impact is not worth mentioning.

Have you ever felt like shouting:

Does anybody see me? Is anybody listening? Do I make a difference?

I've been asked the question a few times in my life:
Are you a leader or a follower?
Everybody knows the only answer to give is : Leader {duh}
It seemed to me that in this context, follower always meant..easily led, no initiative, lacking something.

I disagree:  I am both follower and leader.
You are both.
We all follow. We all lead.
Whether we admit it or not.
We are influenced, and we influence.

For me personally, both characteristics revolve around one person:  Jesus Christ.
 He, by far, has the most Klout in my life. His reach and influence stretches into eternity.

Back when I was a young child, I made a commitment to follow Jesus.
My mother led me straight into his loving arms and I have never been the same !
It is a decision I have never regretted.
I have never 'un-followed' and he's never left or forsaken me.
The greatest attribute in my life is His grace, which is an extension of His love, and that love never fails.

As I matured and gained confidence and skills, I became a leader.
Second only to following Jesus, the most significant role I will ever have is one that leads others to follow Him as well.

So #FF recommendation is @JesusChrist :
Once you decide to follow him I know you'll never regret it!

RT #FF @JesusChrist {i heart jesus}#John316

Follow if you dare!

{P.S : There are loads of lovely bloggers out there who are encouraging and who also follow Jesus.
I know because I have clicked the follow button on your page. (grin). If you are one of those visiting here today drop me a comment. I always love hearing your heart and seeing the love of God poured out to you and through you. If you are new here leave your blog addy and I will hop over and visit!}

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for sisters. 

With one on the East Coast and the other on the West
and me sandwiched in between,
we don't get to hang out as often as we would like.

This picture was taken in October 2007: 
the last time we were all together.

I am thankful for moments like these, 
even more precious because they are few and far between.

What are you thankful for today?

A Legacy: A Lasting Impression

Dawn~ Lochaber, Nova Scotia  Photo: Tracy Auton Stuit

In those last moments between sleep and awake this morning, I felt my conscious thoughts turn from pain to Jesus.

It was like there was a switch in my brain that redirected my thinking.

I woke, shifting my body into a more comfortable position, only to find that there was none.

Words tumbled through my mind and I swung my legs over the side of the bed, wincing as I stood.

My destination? My ancient laptop { an old mac~ powerBook G4}.

{I can hear you laughing from here, but let me tell you something: It has a keyboard, it connects to the internet and it fits within my budget. It owes me nothing, which is the sum total of our finances at the moment since I haven't been working for almost a year. }

Pain has been a constant companion for a while now. The ability to stand on my own is not something I take for granted. It is not a given.

Every day is a different story. The results of my attempts sometimes end up with me on my knees in strange places like the bathroom floor, the middle step or halfway to my desk chair. I sometimes find myself frozen between my place of origin and my destination unable to take another step.

This is my life.

We live in a world maniacally focused on diminishing our impact on the environment.
This impression is described as a footprint.
For all intents and purposes we are all supposed to leave a smaller one.
An admirable goal on a waste/recycling/polluting scale.

We also live in a world where making a lasting impression is something to be sought after.

Society tells us that it is important to leave a legacy. We esteem visionaries like Steve Jobs.
We extol celebrities/musicians like Michael Jackson. There are countless others we could name.

 Pain woke me up this morning, but within moments the focus shifted and a whisper blew across my soul. A name formed upon my lips:  Jesus, and there in the midst of the pain, peace ruled.

This was a classic re-direct.

My body sent instructions to go to a certain place but a switch was flipped and deep within me in a place only God himself knows, a place where He alone has access and is at work....something life altering occurred.

I am filled with wonder. I worship. I lie here and in the darkest reaches of the night and I begin to understand in some small way: that every time my soul reaches for him, he is already there.  

Pain shrouds. Disappointment blurs. Anger distorts. Bitterness erodes.

Jesus comforts. Jesus heals. Jesus restores. Jesus forgives. Jesus loves.

Jesus left a HUGE global footprint.

We were all born into iniquity, the bible says.
The bible also says that before the world was formed He knew us.

The first impression is always the strongest. I was His first.

As I write I feel compelled to disclose the legacy I want to leave:

  • When someone begins to talk about me I want the conversation to turn to Jesus.
  • When my name is spoken, I want the frame of reference to be His work, His character, His promises, His impact.
  • When I breathe my last breath I hope and pray that the footprints He left in my life are HUGE!

I want everyone to be redirected.
Nothing to see here folks.
Let me direct your attention to: Jesus

In a society that fears invisibility.
In a society that worships fame.
In a society consumed with self promotion....

Jesus calls us to another way.

In the gospel of John we are told that God loves each of us  as much as he loves his son.
{grab a bible check it out!}
Jesus said: if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.
{those words got him killed}

That is my prayer.
That is the impression I want to leave on this planet.
That is a footprint of global proportions, with eternal ramifications.

What has left indelible footprints on your landscape lately?

What type of impression are you leaving in the lives you come in contact with?

What do you want your legacy to be?

Drop me a note in the comments...I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Blessed to have this landscape on my doorstep,

Linking up with these fabulous blogs:
My Wee ViewMerry With Children
NapTime MomTog

Monday, October 10, 2011

With Gratitude I Remember

Gang-Gang's Farm: Lochaber, N.S ~ photo credit Tracy Auton Stuit

He is a wise man who does not grieve 
for the things which he has not, 
but rejoices for those which he has. 

Some of my happiest moments were spent in that house and playing in the surrounding acres of fields and forest. 
Jumping from the rafters of the barn into the sweet smelling hay. 
Carrying buckets of water from the spring at the bottom of the hill, there was no running water. 

I remember candlewick quilts, chamberpots and the outhouse. 
Cousins, aunts and uncles.
Deer under the apple tree, roses on the wall paper, carrying wood from the wood-house.
The wood stove, ice on the windows and the tree house.

This is where my memories begin: at Gang-Gang's.

I remember her strong gnarly hands grasping mine as she taught me how to knead biscuit dough in the old pantry.
Day dresses and thick nylons were her regular attire. 
A glorious crown of white hair framed a wrinkled face. 
She always seemed old to me
Her skin resembled parchment paper except soft: it was her "raincoat" as we kids called it. 
Bernice Malloy was her name. Mother to my maternal grandfather Alexander.

These people are my heritage. Their fingerprints are indelibly imprinted upon my soul.
Gratitude  wells up within my heart as I whisper thanks for those who loved and nurtured me as a child.

For this I am grateful :
I have been loved.
I am loved.
I love.

I rejoice.

What are you grateful for today?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Everyday Miracles

A hurricane made landfall in our lives this week.

The gale force winds decimated everything that was not anchored securely.

Pay-pal dipped into our bank account twice and left us holding an empty bag, trying to pay bills with a whole lot of nothing. The money would be returned they said.. within 8 business days.

The brakes on our van went from silent to grinding over a 48 hr period.

Jobs supposed to start Monday are still on hold by Thursday.

My health remains the same but was given it's own special name this week.

These are the facts.

Here are some more:

While updating a friend on our current circumstances, her husband was immediately on the computer looking up the inventory at the local wrecking yard. Within 15 minutes of the call, they had driven their cars out of their garage, had our vehicle up on jacks and they were off to the wreckers. Several hours later and spending less than $10 our van was back on the road. Helpful.

My neighbors next door who have started a company designing custom motorcycle seats, belts and other leather items, showed up with a custom leather belt for me designed with a rose motif: Rose is my middle name. Beautiful.

My girlfriend from around the corner shows up spontaneously at my door this afternoon with a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Thoughtful.

A good friend shows up this afternoon with a sealed envelope, the contents of which matched the total that was taken from our account.Generous.


I discovered the strength of my anchor this week.
I discovered the sureness of my foundation.
I discovered {again} that the Rock on which I stand is trustworthy.

Life is meant to be shared.
Right now it feels like we are drowning in need, but I know that we still have something to give.
We have love, friendship, gratitude, smiles, hope, prayer,

If you are overwhelmed with needs today, don't lose hope....and remember:
You are a unique gift....and that gift is of incredible worth...
If you have abundance today....look around you: give with an open hand.
It is the lives around you that are eternal not the stuff you possess.
Share what you have... that's what you have it for...

Drop me a comment, I'd love to hear your stories...
It's a pay-it-forward Friday.....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Now that I know....

I thought she was going to say they didn't find anything wrong.
I thought the Evoked Potentials Test would come up clean and clear.
I was sure.

I was wrong.

Damaged nerves. Deterioration.
The ugly diagnosis emerges from the fog where it has been lurking and fills my horizon.
She speaks the words: Softly now : M.S
{Those two letters lend themselves to whispering very well}

I have the same body I did yesterday, but I have significantly more information than I possessed a short 24 hours ago.I have discovered, much to my surprise, that information weighs a lot.
I feel like I have been binge eating.
I don't dare step on the scale.

Did you know that a mind can race and crawl at the same time ?
It is one of my latest discoveries.

I am sure there are more to come.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011