Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When I am Full of Wonder: I Forget to Whine

When I am full of wonder, I forget to whine.

I know this because just yesterday that truth was put to the test.

I got stuck in the swirling around the toilet bowl downward spiral 
of comparing and contrasting my life with the lives of others.

I got lost in judging the reality and life path of someone  else.

I staggered under the load of criticism I was silently screaming 
and sometimes muttering under my breath.

I wallowed in a puddle of arrogant assumptions.

This, all in a space of five minutes.

One of my sons waded into my mental quagmire and led me 
gently to a video he had watched on TED Talks.

He was my delivering angel yesterday. 
He led me feeble and blind, 
severely malnourished and swollen with an infected spirit, 
into worship, wonder and truth.

This is not a wordless Wednesday post.

As you watch the video, let your eyes feast, listen to the words 
and let yourself: your heart and your soul, wonder with me...
and let yourself be filled with gratitude.

The whining will take care of itself.

Walk into your blessed day and see it for the precious gift it is.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday's Child

"Tuesday's Child is full of Grace"
Tuesday, August 8, 1967 was a stormy day.  I don't remember it at all, but I am told I made my debut into the world in the middle of a summer storm. That fits my personality to a T, although not in the conventional manner. I love storms to this day.

Upon waking this morning the refrain 'Tuesday's Child' played  over and over in my head. Quickly turning on my computer I googled the rhyme. A website containing the classic verse popped up and I noticed that it also had a search box which you could employ to find out what day of the week you were born on. Lo and behold: I am Tuesday's Child.

The name Juanita is a feminine version of John in Spanish, it is translated: God's gracious gift.
My middle name Rose is regarded throughout history as an ancient symbol of love and beauty.

Juanita Rose: God's gracious gift of love and beauty.

Me.{ you wouldn't think that if you saw me this morning}

It took every bit of strength I had to turn my inward critic off.
My deep down self loathing, arrogant, bitter, comparing, judgmental, whiny voice was clawing at me today.

Self worship is what I was truly engaged in: Ugly. Deceptive. Crippling.

I didn't succeed in hitting the off switch on my own, a son stepped in and turned my head and my focus to the wonder of creation, the breathtaking beauty all around and the blessing that each day holds.

He shifted the attention off myself and transferred it to my Father.
He invited me to worship elsewhere.

Gratitude for the gift of my life fills me.
God's gift of abundant grace overwhelms my soul.
A sense of wonder of all that has been given sinks through.

Today is a good day because God is in it: He is in every day.
Give me eyes to see and ears to hear.
It is well with my soul because He does all things well: All.the.time.
Lord I believe, help my unbelief.

"This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
~Psalm 118:24
Are you looking at your day in wonder and awe at the gift you've been given?
Do you have a sense of gratitude for the breath in your body, eyes to see, ears to hear, mouth to praise?

Monday, November 28, 2011

But He...So I...

 It's a simple line that has come to have such a deepeer meaning in our home.

Four powerful words that when used to defend selfishness, greed, laziness or just plain meanness resulted in timeout and double the chores or grounding. (mine included!)

A statement which when used in reference to Jesus made all the difference in our attitude and life.

"But He, so I."

The challenge today is to ask yourself if your decisions about your behavior and your beliefs are related to how others behave towards you or how He behaved.

Do you start out defending your behavior by attaching it to someone elses choices?

"Well they did...that... so I did this."

It is the season of Joy to the world the Lord is come.
We sing: Emmanuel: God with us.
We declare: Glory to the new born King.

Today is Monday, first week of Advent: Will you anchor your life to His?
When you are faced with conflict or tough situations this week will you remember that: 

God loved.
Jesus came and died to save us.
So I / you________________ !

Blessings on your week. I know He loves you...and because He do I!

Drop me a line and let me know how His actions towards you have changed your actions toward others.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

In Search of a Soul

I went looking for my soul on Saturday.

I had thousands of pictures to choose from after spending 90 minutes in an MRI tube.
{IMHO that was 89 minutes and 59 seconds too long }

I searched for my sanity too but it was long gone.{grin}

My brain and thoracic cavity was lit up and through the miracle of technology
I could traverse my central nervous system with the click of the mouse. 

I saw my heart luminous in it's electrical splendor.

Beating strong and steady now as I place my hand on my chest, 
I know it's not the heart of ME.

All these visuals, all my significant parts laid bare, skin, tissue and bone
all stripped away and I still couldn't see me.

I couldn't pinpoint the person behind the eyes.

I couldn't identify the part that is unique and vibrant with personality.

Pointing out the section that believes, that has faith and an eternal perspective 
is an exercise in futility.

The brain in the picture is a miracle of engineering.
It makes choices for my well being without my conscious thought being required.

What I find amazing is that while I know that there is something wrong 
with my central nervous system,  the system that runs my life, 
that keeps me functioning and alive,
it is the condition of my soul that concerns me more.

Searching for my soul has been an incredible exercise. 
This body with synapses firing, electric rhythms, pumping, contracting, regenerating...
is a miraculous, mysterious and beautiful but temporary house.

There is true joy in knowing 
that I am so much more than the sum of my parts.

I am my soul.

I have entrusted myself to God, through faith in Jesus.

It is well. With my soul.

When's the last time you went looking? 

When is the last time you  gave a thought, a care for the state of your soul?

Turn to Jesus, entrust your soul to his keeping, and live.

"I know in whom I have believed and am convinced that he is able to guard 
what I have entrusted to him for that day."
~ 2Timothy 1:12B

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: What Goes Up...

What {Whoever} Goes Up, Must Come Down
Horseshoe Canyon: Drumheller, Alberta, Canada

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Strings Attached.

Leaning forward in the leather chairs at Starbucks, we talk a mile a minute. We've been friends for several years now, but it seems longer. I think it's because after five minutes had elapsed on our first coffee date we were in the deep end, way beyond the shallows. Our friendship was forged in authenticity.We never looked back.

It's been a while since we sat and shared face to face time. Lots to catch up on.
One thing is certain however: our common ground is Jesus. Our deepest hunger is to know God, to love God and to give God glory.

As topics come up, get discussed and set aside, we circle around to relationships, the roles of daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.

This is something I have been pondering for a while now, this concept of someone being 'mine'.

We operate in our relationships based on the concept of ownership.
 Individuals are defined by society in reference to ourselves: They are designated as: "Mine".

My father. My husband. My kids. My friend. My boss. My family. My neighbors.
We anchor these relationships to ourselves, and we react according to behaviors related to our expectations.

We relate people to ourselves. We are the frame of reference.

I look at the precious woman sitting in front of me sipping her coffee and whisper silently to my heart:

She is His, more than she is mine: His gift. His precious creation. His priceless treasure.

The realization struck me hard.

No one on the planet is mine.

The minute I anchor someone to myself I limit their growth, their value, their life. I make them about me.

This was something I had been mulling over for a while. Last week I had been wrestling with how I react to situations based on the  fact that this was MY son or MY husband or MY father.

I discovered that when I cut the tie to me and established a thread/string/connection to the Creator, the landscape shifted.

My perspective was altered. My responses changed.

I was born to parents, but I was God breathed.
I was placed in a family of siblings designed and ordained by God.
I chose a husband, also God breathed.
I gave birth to sons: woven together in the depths, before the foundations of the world.

None of them are mine.
Nothing originated with me.
There are over 7 billion people on this planet.
I had nothing to do with the creation of any of them.

Everything created was designed to glorify God. He is the anchor. Everyone belongs to Him.

They are all related to Him. He is the frame of reference.

When I cut the tie to myself and place these people securely in the hands of God, then what I say and do with what is HIS takes on a deeper significance.

I find myself intrigued, there is a correlating reaction inside me.

I trust more.
I hope more.
Peace reigns more.
Faith grows more.

I read in a blog post this week that Simple is not the same as Easy.

This is a simple truth:

Just let go. 

I can trust them to the Father more than to myself.

 God takes care of His own: I am one of His own.

If you are holding on tight to someone today I encourage you to let go of the string. 
You are not the anchor.

TRUST. Believe.

God is the only one who can be trusted with any of us.

It is in this atmosphere of TRUST that LOVE is able to grow, flourish and REMAIN.

This Love, never fails because it's His not ours.

Won't you tie off those strings today? 

P.S Make sure yours is anchored in the right place too.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Something to Talk About....

In a conversation with a friend recently we started discussing  the purpose behind our blogging.

We questioned the value of what we were doing.

What's the meaning of it all?

I open up my blog on any given day, click on new post and sit in front of the screen.

The questions pile up like laundry in my brain:

~ Why do you do this?
~ Who wants to read this anyways?
~ Why do you have to blurt so hard and so long?

Compelled is what I am. That's all I know.

Stacks of old journals sit on my shelf:  full of years of laughter, tears and prayers, conversations with God.
Pages of passionate handwriting reflect everything from outbursts of temper to soul deep resolve.

I blog because I can. Because I must.

There are days where I wonder if what I say or share has any impact.

There are moments when bone deep insecurity grabs my throat and I want to scream.

There are things about me that I don't like.
There are broken places and messed up spaces.
There are shadows intermingled with patches of light.

I crave attention. I desire affirmation. I hunger for praise.

Human nature.

Along the way I have learned that attention from others does not satisfy, I always need more.
Affirmation always requires re-affirmation.
Praise needs to be repeated over and over and over again.
They are Black Holes unable to be filled.

Unless...the One who you turn to is eternal. go to the source.

His word forever settled. Unchanging. Far-reaching.


I have His attention: He gave Himself entirely for me.Suffered and died for me.
He affirms me as His own: Paid in full, bought back by His sacrifice.
I was not made for praise: I was not designed to be worshiped: but to reflect His Glory.

This is why I have something to talk about.

He is what I have to share.

Will you join the conversation?

Friday, November 18, 2011

T.G.I.F. Joy and Friends

It's Friday and for some reason I am bubbly.

I can't for the life of me figure out why.

The snow is falling the temperature fell to below -20 with the windchill and my feet are perpetually freezing.

However...come to think of it....there is:

~Kicking Horse 454 Coffee steaming in my red mug
~Christmas Lights sparkling on my stair railing.
~Christmas music playing
~Gingerbread cookie dough chilling in the fridge
~Fleece blankets trailing over the arms of sofas and chairs
~Candles everywhere



My Starbucks friends, my chiropractor and Costco friends, my twitter friends and bloggy friends, my Facebook friends and childhood friends, my neighbor friends and far-away English friends and American newer friends, my once upon a time sure to reconnect again soon to meet pleased to know you friends...

You are the reason for my bubbly spirits today.

I dedicate my Friday Joy to all of you! Consider yourselves loved and hugged!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dust, Pennies & Furnace Cleaning

They arrived at 8am.
Is that even legal?
I was pre-coffee, sans make-up with a brown kerchief and pigtails unsuccessfully hiding my bad hair day.

All the vents were accessible and the furnace room was tidy thanks to my panic the night before.

One gentlemen kneels beside the vent in my bedroom, pulls off the cover, points and declares in a heavily accented tone of shock: DUST!
He looks at me and I blush , desperately wanting to whip out a dust rag and vamoose the evidence I could see clearly on every shelf within my view. { My city is a dust bowl and keeping up is IMPOSSIBLE}

Solemnly handing me a shiny penny pulled from the wreckage of my floor vent, he moves on to power cleaning away the evidence of my unsuitable housekeeping skills.


Why do I feel this rush of insecurity?
Why do the emotions of unworthiness grab me by the throat?
Why do I feel measured and found wanting?

The worst of it all...

Confession time...

I feel more guilty because to me: dust doesn't matter so much.

A perfectly clean carpet and stairs is not a priority.
Washing my floors every day is not a neccessity.
and worst of all...
I use my shower towels more than twice in a row before washing.{gasp}

I look around me and it's the living breathing bodies that matter.
The joyfully employed sons who ask if I want to walk over to Starbucks this morning, their treat.

The seekers who find me wherever I am in the house and ask me how I slept and do I want a plane ticket to go see my sister next Spring for a Christmas present.

The ones who see my fleeting glance at the dust and say: " I'll get that mom."
The ones who take out the trash every Friday without being asked and who jump in to do some of the things that slip through the cracks when I am not paying attention.

My furnace is cleaned, the vents and ducts are pristine...but the laughter spilling out of my kitchen where my youngest makes his Christmas list on the chalkboard trumps it all.

The air is full of Love. I breathe deep. I smile and draw a heart in the dust.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Have Heard of Your Fame

"Lord, I have heard of your fame 
I stand in awe of your deeds, Oh Lord."

~ Brian Doerksen: Remember Mercy

We live in a world driven by marketing, fueled by personality, style... that little something extra.

We are asked questions like: Define your message....find your your audience.

We compete for followers, friends, acolytes, apprentices, viewers...

I understand the business side of things. I understand making money.

The problem I see is that we are buying our own PR.

The self promoting Law of Attraction attracts us all:
Be attractive, think attractive thoughts....project attractive .. and it will come to you.

Who doesn't want that???

Your name becomes equated with significance and influence.People want to know what you think. How you think. How you became powerful. How you got to where you are. Your story becomes the rage, the model. You become the pattern.

Sell. Sell. Sell.

What are we selling exactly?

The truth is we're selling ourselves: We are the product.

Things are not famous. People are.

" When we say, 'What a wonderful personality, what a fascinating person, and what wonderful insight!' then what opportunity does the gospel of God have through all of that? It cannot get through, because the attraction is to the messenger and not the message. If a person attracts through his personality, that becomes his appeal.If, however, he is identified with the Lord Himself, then the appeal becomes what Jesus Christ can do. The danger is to glory in men, yet Jesus say we are to lift up only Him.(See John 12:32)"
~Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest

Jesus called John the Baptist a reed, shaken by the wind:

As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John:
"What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?" 
~Matthew 11:7

Even way back then, people ran to the latest and the greatest.


John only points to Jesus and Jesus pointed to His father.

Who are you pointing to?

 Lately, my prayers have gone something like this:
Lord make me transparent, see through, a way maker: one who directs others beyond myself to the Only True source of Life.

We are in a society that thrives on the spectacle, elevates the performer, venerates the gifted.
We worship success.

Jesus said: He who is least among you shall be the greatest. 
No one I know pursues a life of invisibility.
Who wants to be anonymous?

God have gracious to me... grant me humility....

Water is one worships the pipes that transport it: they are buried behind walls, underground...
Some are rusted and weathered, dented and beaten by the elements: They are not the point.

Water is the treasure.
Jesus is the Living Water.
He has offered us the role of a lifetime: to make His name glorious...

Have you accepted the part?
I am not auditioning for any other about you?

"A gift is worn on the outer man, an inheritance is planted deep inside."
~Gene Edwards

By the time our lives are finished the inner life will be revealed...what story will be told then?
Whose name have you made great?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sacred Circumstances


"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, 
to them who are the called according to his purpose."

~Romans 8:28

I didn't wake up this morning full of faith and wonder.

I didn't jump out of bed enthusiastically.

 I hauled myself to the coffee pot in a stupor.

I woke my baby boy (16) up and almost crawled back into bed.

Instead I reached for "My Utmost for His Highest"
The title of today's reading is:"The Undetected Sacredness of Circumstances".
The verse is Romans 8:28.

This week in my city a young woman was killed in a hit and run, a woman was murdered by her common law husband, a 23 year old young man killed two people while drunk driving.

On a small island in the Caribbean, a young boy who was missing for several weeks was found dead at the bottom of a cliff, his 55 year old killer is in custody.My mother who is there on a missions trip knows the family. She wrote asking for prayer for the victim's family and the killer.

The world is a mess.

Oswald Chambers puts this mess into perspective:

" Never put yourself in front of your circumstances and say: 'I'm going to be my own providence here; I will watch this closely, or protect myself from that.' All your circumstances are in the hands of God, and therefore you don't ever have to think they are unnatural or unique. Your part in intercessory prayer is not to agonize over how to intercede, but to use the every day circumstances and people God puts around you by His providence to bring them before His throne and to allow the Spirit in you the opportunity to intercede for them. In this way God is going to touch the world with His saints... I must keep my conscious life as a sacred place for the Holy Spirit...then as I lift different ones through prayer, the Holy Spirit intercedes for them. Without that intercession, the lives of others would be left in poverty and ruin."

It's Monday morning, what are you facing today...this week?

Are you overwhelmed? Hurting? Sick? Defeated? Broken? Afraid?

Have you lost sight of God?

Have you discovered that trying to be positive is not enough ?

Trusting in the character of your Creator is a whole different ball of wax. 

Your circumstances have not escaped His notice. They are sacred.

He is with you in them. Always.

His thoughts are not our thoughts....His ways are not our ways...

Today, I am allowing Him to change how I think.
I lay down my opinions about my circumstances and consequently how I behave is altered.
My thoughts and my ways subject to His.

I don't have to know what He knows. I only have to know Him : That is enough.

If you need prayer today leave a comment and we'll turn together to the One who intercedes on our behalf.

He does all things well. That is the truth.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tell Me About Yourself Award

 I received this special one-of-a-kind : "Tell Me About Yourself Award" from Growing Old With Grace

 As my guys would say....clapping in my general direction.."YAY MOM! You did something!!!"

Picture me humbly bowing and blushing as I approach the podium.
(There has been a singular lack of awards and medals flowing in my specific direction lately.)

There are disclaimers and protocols involved with my acceptance of this award (aka: FINE PRINT).

1. I must disclose seven things about myself.
2. I must pass this award on to 15 other bloggers.

Part A: Seven Things You Might not know/or ever want to know About Me:

1. I am left handed. (I have two left handed sons)
2. I hate Sushi : it's not just a simple dislike: I H.A.T.E. it!
3. I am the most unorganized person I know...not messy... unorganized...(#justsayin) :0)
4. I read EVERY night until I can't keep my eyes open. ( we don't have cable)
5. I prefer baths to showers. ( boiled lobster) ( um...TMI?)
6. I do not own a cell phone. ( if #apple is reading this feel free to comp me an iphone so I can be converted)
7. I secretly (not so much any more) would love to build a rammed earth house on the edge of nowhere in the mountains of BC, have a root cellar, start a commune with friends and live totally off the grid.

Part B: The AMAZING blogs I am certifying  for this prestigious Award:

1. Rambling With Grace
2. His Grace My Weaknesses
3. Lost in the Prairies
4. Exploits of Mommyhood
5. I'm a Lazy Mom

Now you see only 5 not 15...but I am certain that these are special circumstances. I am a small blog with a small following. I value quality over quantity. I go to these sites often and each one of them is unique. They reflect authenticity and are down to earth, everyday people who tell their stories from deep in the midst of life.

I like'em!

{ More rules: Each person who received this award must write seven things about themselves and then pass the award onto 15 other bloggers. To copy the award logo, right click, click on copy, the go to your new blog post and click paste. }

Have fun..I must go polish my award now....