Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love Never Gives Up

Well today has me reflecting how I struggle to look after myself. Its not a pretty picture. Yesterday a good friend of mine started hassling me about "when am I going to get that tattoo that I promised myself for my birthday way back in June." Of course he assumed that I was afraid to get it, but as I thought about it I know that the real reason is that it is just frivolous, and I have to make time and effort to do something just for me. And I get this distressed feeling inside, and tears come to my eyes, because how do I justify doing something frivolous just for me...I don't believe I am important enough. This has always been my struggle as far back as I can remember. Admitting to any one out loud what I really wanted was impossible. I remember when I was eight having a conversation with one of my uncles about what I wanted, and kept saying "I don't know" and he kept saying "I had to tell him what I wanted." I think I ended up crying, I know I never gave him an answer. Now I realize he was trying to help me and I could not receive it. It would be so much easier if some else needed a tattoo and I took them and just got one for me while I was there. So my friends suggestion was lets fly to Toronto and get his tattoo finished by the guy he met out there and get one for me too...not practicle enough for me.

But this got me thinking, sometimes we just need that extra push from a friend to look after ourselves. Just someone taking us by the hand and saying I will go with you, you deserve it. So sometimes when I push you away I really am saying I need help, and I would like someone to break through my barriers and walls and say that I matter. Life beats us up on a regular basis and sometimes we get lost in the fray.

So last night I forced a better mattress on a friend of mine...cause I knew I could not be polite about it and wait for my friend to be ready. Kind of like yesterday another friend and I tried to give someone a couch, who broke theirs and by the time we got there they didn't want it. So we drove around town with a couch for nothing...but the thing is we tried. Always try, keep trying and don't give up. Sometimes we must step back, to protect ourselves so we survive, but I believe love never gives up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Thanksgiving weekend reminds us to at least be thankful once a year. I am thinking we would be far better of if we would learn to be thankful every day, because no matter how hard the day was there is always good things to be found. At the very least we can be thankful to be able to read, if you are reading this. Some days I know it takes all ones concentration to be thankful, but when we think of something we are glad for it lifts our spirit.

So here goes my thankful list:
1. I am thankful for a nice warm house and a bed to sleep in, especially when it starts getting cold outside.
2. I am thankful for my husband who loves me, even when I wake him up in the night to talk.
3. I am thankful for healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids, who are no longer needing diaper changes and don't wake me in the night.
4. I am thankful that I have friends and family, even if we have lots of disagreements.
5. I am thankful for food to be able to put on a Thanksgiving dinner, even if groceries are expensive.
6. I am thankful for freedom and safety in our country called Cananda, even though I have to pay taxes.
7. I am thankful for my pets, even though they are underfoot.
8. I am thankful for running water, power and heat, even though I might not like my bills.
9. I am thankful for my van, even though I have to put expensive gas in it and it is apparently ruining the environment.
10. I am thankful for my health and that I am able bodied, even though I am 40.
11. I am thankful for God and my relationship with Him, even if I don't get why He allows so many terrible things to happen in the world.
12. I am thankful for phones and the internet and how they allow me to communicate long-distance, even if you all don't want to know what I think.

I know there is more...but that generally covers it. I just had to add the "even thoughs" because otherwise it just isn't real enough for me. I can choose to be thankful even though I know its not perfect or even very wonderful at times.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Life this Week

Life is washing over me at this point, maybe I am in boot camp, whatever it is I can not even get upset at this point. When a steady stream of life and people come at you simply because you are using your gifts it gets to the point were I am just sitting down and the crowd flows around me. Sometimes it feels like its a taste of how Jesus felt when people just wanted to be touched by Him, healed by Him, listen to Him teach or just be near Him cause He had something special. I used to be shy and careful about who I was 'real' around and then God convicted me to be who He created me to be all the time. I am still not always the 'real' me, the worst place of course is the church. I know that comes as a shocker to you all(enter sarcasm).

I think its also a big adjustment to have Jon gone again for another week. I know there are lots of you who live with husbands who work away a lot more than what my Jon does, but I miss him, and feel the extra burden it is to have him gone. He supports me A LOT in my ministry to people, and he is one who I debrief with at the end of the day. And when he is at the mine he is too busy and too tired to do much of that for I must stretch some more. And God seems to always make sure there are a few crisis that happen while Jon is gone so I have to grow a little further. Most of what I would like to share I can't because it affects other people and most of the stories are just too personal.

But these two anecdotes I will share, I got hit on twice this week by men who I don't think will ever read this and I just must share cause they are so funny. One guy was in the medical waiting room and needed to spend a minute telling me that I had really cute toes, were my feet cold and he liked that my toe nails were not painted. This struck me as hilarious because my friends and I have a running joke about now our joke came true and I was surprised. I am a barefoot and sandals kind of girl from about May till September, or as weather allows it, and I have never had someone focus on my feet. Then last night in the grocery store I smiled at a man, which I normally do smile at everyone as I go about my business. Anyways he responded with you have such a beautiful smile you should get flowers every day!!! Hilarious!! I laughed and said of course I don't get flowers everyday and I was amused for the rest of the evening and shared the line with my 17 year old son who laughed and said "that is the cheesiest line he ever heard." I told my husband Jon that I must be wearing a t-shirt that says "My husband is away working in a mine, I am lonely." Life is funny if you let it. I can either laugh or get upset....I choose to laugh.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Well my silence is usually due to being overwhelmed with life. Or else I am trying to say things tactfully so as not to make the people I live with in my small town take everything wrong. You can light your world on fire quickly with a few sentences...and do I know it. But I still think its better for freedom of speech to rule. I am admitting my struggle with this due to much judgment of others I find it hard to write from my heart, but the passions in my soul tell me to speak. So we have the balance beam of truth and love to walk...I think some people in my culture think truth and love should feel good. But real love is painful and we all know truth cuts like a knife...especially the truth we don't want to hear. YOUCH!!

A little over two weeks ago we moved our oldest son to a city about 2 and a half hours from us to go to University. He took his first year by long distance and was able to save money and live at home. I liked this and it was a nice adjustment time for him and he got more scholarship money, so it was a good plan. Then from May to August he worked at a kids camp and lived there so he was kind of already moved out. So the trauma was not as great to my heart, but you really want your child to be happy, safe and as I have learned every change brings a clutching of my hands as I hope and pray it works out. And the interesting thing I have also learned is as they get older they have to take more risks and they most definitely do not always need or want you present. So off he goes into the world, calling when he needs something or when his heart's gotten broken, meanwhile I live my life....with an open hand, not making demands of phone calls or guilt about when are you coming home comments. Loving unconditionally, no matter what is my motto.

Then I had a cat up until a couple of weeks ago who was just a lovable little fellow and I fell in love with him, Chubby was his name. But unfortunately he was eaten by one of our wild coyotes, cause we live in the country and I have always let my animals roam freely because they want to and I usually let everything around me follow its heart. But I have come to realize that the pain from the loss of Chubby makes me want to not love my other pets now, I want to harden my heart and withdraw from my pets. But this is not okay for me or my other pets. So I will work at loving with my heart wide open, taking the risks and losses that come my way. Because I do not want to miss out on all that life and God have to offer...and I know I will have pain. That is guaranteed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Toxic Thougts

So I am reading another book called "Who Switched Off My Brain?" by Caroline Leaf this is not a big surprise but I would like to consider something she writes. She writes that a Dr. Aaron Beck believes that toxic emotions arise from three negative and incorrect beliefs that people commonly think, these being:

1. I must do well.
2. You must treat me well.
3. The world must be easy.

The first thought really threw me. I thought of course we are supposed to do well, what would happen if I did not try to do well, that would be no good. But at second look, if I stop demanding unrealistic expectations of myself I would be kind to me and my brain. Otherwise I find myself going through all the things I did not get done today, and thinking through all the ways I failed today or could have said something better. Been kinder, shared more, worked harder and then I just want to hit myself on the head and pass out.

So being kinder to myself and extending grace and mercy to me would be like being a good friend to Becky. I like this.

Then the next thought that 'you must treat me well' is definitely going to give me a headache. Cause we all know that life is not kind and nothing is I will continually be upset by disappointment when people are not kind either on purposely mean or just not noticing my needs due to self absorption.

And lastly the world is most absolutely not easy. Lately I have been just sit down silently shocked at how not nice it really is: tragic deaths, sickness, job loss, abuse of all kinds, homelessness, and the list goes on....and if you hear some people's story, its amazing how a bunch of really ugly things will just pile in on one person. Leaving me just speechless. There are no explanations, Bible verses or platitudes for some of the things I have heard this week...but there in the middle of the darkness I see a ray of light, just a trickle but it helps us to keep hanging on just a little longer and then eventually the sun rises again and we go on, against great odds the human spirit struggles on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Following is it Worth It???

Well this evening I am feeling overwhelmed by the pain in the world...and I am aware that I was only seeing a very small portion. I moan inside at the struggling, hurting, meanness, pain, and why oh why thoughts. I believe that God is good, it took me most of my adult life to come to believe it...and it is true. But God allows free will, so we humans can choose whatever we want and oh the pain it causes!!! But I also have come to realize that the pain allows growth and sometimes even a change of direction that can be quite wonderful if we let it. And so I will allow the pain in and carry the burden with those who are along the paths God sends me...I will obey. I say this very seriously because I know what this means...I know that it will mean risk, suffering when I don't have to, stopping to help when it is inconvenient and exhausting and loving with my heart wide open whether they deserve it or not...because you tell me which one of us deserves God's love?

This book "crazy love" written by Francis Chan asks would we follow Jesus? "Maybe He would lead you to another country, and you would never see your family again. Or perhaps you would stay put, but He would ask you to spend your time helping people who will never love you back and never show gratitude for what you gave up? Consider this carefully---have you ever done so?"

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Think I Might be a Redneck

Okay for all of you out there in blogland, I live in rural Saskatchewan...and sometimes things just happen. Two separate instances of "you might just be a redneck?" happened I shall share.

The first was when I went walking down my lane to deposit my household garbage in the burning barrel(yes some of you are getting the picture already), who should come driving down my lane but the sewer truck. Now we have a lagoon system for our sewer, so the sewer truck never comes by as we have no need for him. So he stops by me on the road, rolls down his window and I ask who are you looking for cause its not us. Well he says he doesn't know the name of the people, but he was supposed to go past two houses, down the town lagoon road and find a religious fellow with a sewer problem. Well who but a rural redneck goes driving looking for a religious fellow with a sewer problem down a gravel road. I described all the surrounding neighbors and he decided to head down the road a little farther...hope he found the religious fellow?!

Today was my birthday so I got a air-soft pistol in the mail from one of my dear friends, Tara, along with a number of other lovely things. Now this is my second or third gun this I broke the first...actually one of the my children sat on it and broke off the barrel. Anyways my dear husband Jonathan was trying to show me all the guns lovely features like the safety...well apparently the safety was not on because as I leaned over to look at the gun BAMM he shot me in the boob at close range. Well let me tell you that hurts, so my new warning is don't just watch your eyes watch out for your boobs too. The horrified look on Jon's face was so funny it was worth the injury. I walked away laughing.

So today leaves me I a redneck?! I don't know?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spiritual Gardening

Well with the warm weather I have been spending my time outside digging in the dirt, planting flowers and cleaning up the yard. It has been almost like a totally new thing for me because last year I hurt my shoulder and I was in so much pain for months that I did very little and couldn't enjoy much. So its like enjoying with a new body...sore muscles from working are minor after a long term severe kind of pain. I guess that's kind of how life works. If we let the difficulties flow through us and change us we are better after...but I must say that when things go on for months, years, decades and gets a little hair raising!!! Like all the injustices in the world, the trafficking of children, world hunger, abuse of all kinds, illness, addictions, homelessness, lack of education and on the list wonders about God. As I get older I think that God is right there in the midst of all the varieties of suffering with each individual totally engaged with tears running down His face waiting for people in general to come to Him. He does not force Himself on us ever...that seems to be an absolute truth...we must want Him in our lives. He instead woes us through the struggles and joys of life to want Him, to want to engage with Him and learn about how much He loves us. This means that He will do absolutely anything to get our attention...and sometimes when I think He has my attention, He will show me new ways that I am ignoring Him. So it never ends...this opening up to more of God and then on the opposite side struggling to try to do it on my own. The tug and pull, the ebb and flow, the give and take...will I ever get it...probably not...because then I would probably grow independent of God.

There we have it folks torture mixed with great joy...enough to make me crazy!!! I giggle because one of the things my counselor has me working on is taking my walls down and being vulnerable with God and people...well this alone gets a little crazy...because when you change things inside yourself, things change outside of yourself because you can't help but affect those around you...just like throwing a stone in a pond and watching the ripples. The change I see the most of course is in me because I am the center of my universe, this is where you burst out laughing. Seriously it has scrambled my brains and at times I feel like I could pass out, I can hardly remember some things anymore and I feel like wearing a sign that says "NO I AM NOT DRUNK OR STONED, THANKS ANYWAYS" Who knew that having more of God would leave one on a continual high, or just a little spinny...and my mentors tell get used to this it never goes away. I am thinking its pretty wild!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Interesting Anecdotes from the Last Few Days

A couple of interesting incidents I thought I'd share from the past week. Yesterday was a run around and do errands day with Jonathan, my husband. One of the appointments we had took us to a neighboring town about a half an hour away from where we live. As we were driving there I saw a young man walking in the opposite direction along the highway carrying nothing but his jacket, I said to God well if he is still walking when we come back I will offer him a ride. Thinking that surely someone else would pick him up...I thought no more about it. Well we were there about two hours, and driving back I see this same young man. I said to Jon, I think we should stop for him, he said he doesn't have his thumb out. I said I know but he was walking a few hours ago and he has no water or anything...and I told God I would stop. Well if you told God you'd stop we'd better, said Jon. So this young man gladly took the ride we offered to our town...even though he still had another half hour drive to the town he wanted to arrive in. He used my cell phone to find a friend that would give him a ride and I gave him some money for a drink and some food. He had started walking at noon and we picked him up at 4:40pm...this young man had walked for almost five hours and had used his thumb until his shoulder was too sore...and no one had offered him a ride. When he had found his friend in the Seven Eleven, he put his hands together in a prayerful posture and did a gentle bow, thanking us with his beautiful brown eyes. God and he left a lasting impression on me and my husband. Our sons are around the age of this young man and I have always hoped that some lovely people would help my sons if they were ever in need.

On the previous Thursday, with God's help I stopped and helped married strangers who were having what looked from a distance a fight in the ditch. I saw the woman running away from the vehicles and a man grabbing at her from behind when a rock flew up in the air. I could not drive by, sorry, I know it seems dangerous but when someone is getting injured I can not ignore it. So I stopped and rolled down my window and asked if there was a problem and could I help? The man proceeded to tell me that they were locked out of their van and their child(3) was inside and his wife was upset and wanted to break the van window and could I calm his wife down while he went with their other vehicle and got keys. So I said sure. Parked my van and approached the van and the upset woman and started talking about what was wrong. She was also worried about her five year old that she was supposed to be picking up, so she used my phone and found out he was okay. Then we just visited until about five or ten minutes later the little boy pressed the unlock button and she had her van back. Just a minute before the little boy pressed unlock I thought to ask God to help him press the button the right way...and suddenly it happened. God the midst of upsetting situations big or small He cares. And if I do what He asks of me and remember to involve Him in the things I am doing I get to see miracles everyday...and I get to meet some of the wonderful people He created.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Well as I have previously mentioned I am going for counseling, the ladies name is Val and I find it most useful. She is presently helping me to overcome what could only be called rage at the church, due to being raised a preacher's child and exposed to what most people would call abuse. Yes I believe that the church abused me throughout my upbringing and then of course I have yet to see it stop. With her help I have come to recognize the wrong beliefs and values I once thought foundational, and sort out the parts that I am responsible for and the parts that just are what they are. Anyways it came out at my last session that I have a huge trust issue with God, and anyone for that matter. I learned that I very quickly put up walls and protect myself from others, including God. Its kind of like I make deals...I will do this if you do that...or I will tell you this if you tell me a secret. Bargaining. But you see there is not a lot of room for love or grace to flow with a bargain. Logically it should be less risk, but actually its pretty lonely.
So my homework for this session was to spend four hours with God with no distractions. No phones, no computer, no tv, no radio, no people....just me with my thoughts and God. So one morning after everyone left the house, I wrapped up in a blanket and sat on the couch. It took a while for all the to do lists and should do requirements to stop running through my mind, but eventually they stopped. And every once in a while I would drift off to sleep and then wake up and think my thoughts, think about God, leave all my worries with Him, and slowly but surely as time went by I got more and more relaxed. I experienced peace and acceptance like I never have before. I felt like a child, sitting on God's lap and had no cares in the world. I made no bargains with Him and He required nothing from me. I was not convicted, shamed, guilted, judged, nothing negative. He just accepted me for who I am. His creation. No pretenses. Just being. No fear. Just peace. And when I was finished my four hours, I could barely get myself pulled together to function. I was pleasantly surprised, I had actually been afraid to spend this much time with God because I was afraid of what He would expect of me. And much to my surprise He expected nothing.
I think that I would like to go back and have another visit with my Maker.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Slow Dawning

I just read a verse that turned a light bulb on for me in my brain. For those of you scholars out there it is the Message translation and Matthew 17:22 "The Son of Man(Jesus) is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God."

My dawning comes because it was the religious leaders who had Jesus killed and in this verse Jesus says they "want nothing to do with God." And my poor little brain goes oooh. Now I understand. Most people in church want nothing to do with God. This makes so much sense. They just want some form of religious theory to make them feel better and give them some sense of security. Because as far as I can tell wanting to have more of God is absolutely certifiably drop dead not safe!!!! So of course the pew warmers are just their to get their junkie fix from another shot of religion found in church. Not that God can't be found there if you are really looking, but God is everywhere in my experience from the bar to the strip joint and the crack house, so that is no surprise that He is at church too.

See all my life I have tried to put together something that I saw as polar opposites. How the polite, nicely dressed church leaders behaved on Sunday and then what happened all week long when they tried to under pay employees, barter people down, take a little extra for themselves, be stingy, no compassion, impatient, pushy, critical and on and on and on. You get my drift. And this explains it they don't want anything to do with God. Because all of the above behaviors would be totally ruined and you would give your last dollar away and that would be absolutely ridiculous. Cause we have to be logical and practical in our walk with God and keep control of ourselves and our belongings so we can be responsible. Right. Oh but this is not the God of the Bible, but this is the God of religion. So the next time I see the hypocrisy I get it.....they just simply do not want anything to do with God....and I will pity them, because it is truly their loss. And I will extend grace, love and mercy to them because God freely gives it to me and I desperately need it because there are days that I too have been too frightened to have more of God.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Too Busy

Too busy is how I feel right now. Too busy to sit down and blog, but sometimes you just have to shut down the busy and evaluate and reflect on your own thoughts. My son Aaron turned 17 today. Seventeen years ago he was born, a ten pound 14 ounce baby boy, who ended up in the neonatal ICU because he had trouble breathing when he was born. I did not get to hold him until the second day when they took him out of the incubator. He was a huge baby beside all the tiny preemies. Oh well that was Aaron. He was born being able to hold his head up and by three and a half months he was on all fours. He has turned into a wonderful man and I am proud of him.

Well the plumbers came again today to look at the job of plumbing the sink and tub in the other house. Apparently it is a bigger job than I thought cause this is the second trip to look at it, and I think a different man is going to do the job. They told me Friday they would come and work on it. Oh how I hope so!!! I would like that hurdle crossed. I keep climbing that mountain of a house and one day it will be finished. It looks finished, but those of us who are involved know its not yet.

Tomorrow I get my housekeeper to help me clean my house, which is truly a blessing. She and I clean together and I am blessed in my heart as this older woman teaches me and encourages me in life. God has brought Sheila into my life and I can't say enough good about her. She is 69 years old and has some health concerns, so I don't know how much longer I can have her, but she has come into my life and helped me when I really needed it.

Also tomorrow I have my wonderful counselor Val come and she too has truly been another blessing. Just when I was about to totally give up on church, along came Val, and she has loved me and accepted my rage and pain and cried with me. There really are no words to describe that gift. It is really hard work right now to keep digging around in my heart and getting the garbage cleaned out, but I know it is for my own good. It makes me tired thinking about doing this tomorrow.

I also have been blessed by a young man named Jay, who has helped me build the other house in our yard. Without Jay's help and encouragement I could not have done it. Jon, my husband was busy with his work, and so I had to enter the world of construction and men, and learn how to do many jobs. I had the courage to keep going because of my friend and work partner, Jay. He has taught me much about life and God. I can't say enough about him either, and when I look around the gorgeous house we built together I think we make a great team.

Yesterday I sat in the restaurant having lunch with my friend, Cecile, and I was crying. My heart just got too heavy and full and the tears just came. I was very grateful for her listening ear and understanding and kindness. I am not sure what I would do without this dear friend either. Until Tara moved away we were the three musketeers...but now it is just the two. And we do miss Tara, its just not the same as in person. I have other dear friends who have moved away or our paths did not stay intertwined, people who I would call soul mates, like Gayle, Elizabeth, Victoria, Katherine, Carol and Audrey. I talk to some of them once and a while and some of them I never see, but I never forget how much they mattered. Sometimes when the sorrow flows over me I think oh I should not love so deeply, cause then it would not hurt so bad. But then I would not have all the rich, deep treasures in my heart. So I will keep loving with God's help and the help of the beautiful people He brings into my life.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I am going to use my last blog as a spring board to continue this discussion on religious legalism which essentially boils down to one word, judgmental. I am still exploring this, but I am getting frustrated with the group of people that declare someone as knowing God or not knowing God according to their list of requirements. As if anyone of us has the perfect ticket to heaven and understanding of God here on earth.
The older I get, the more I realize there is a lot out there and the less sure I am about what I know. We in the church talk a lot about God being big, great or amazing, and then when we are faced with another view on God where our beliefs might be challenged, we go running to quickly dismiss what we just saw. See my thinking is that if God is BIG and I am small I have a skewed view of God.
When we stand at the base of a huge mountain, we don't claim to be able to see all of it...same with God. So if I am standing on one side of the mountain and you on the other, we will both see something different...even though looking at the same mountain. So why not compare notes, discuss differences and accept that there may be more out there than I first thought? Would it be because then we would have to seriously look at our beliefs and throw some of them away? And the religious box could fall apart?
See I have always loved Paul, who was one of the first missionaries in Acts, in the Bible, to share about Jesus. He walked into a town full of all sorts of religious beliefs and started talking about 'the unknown God.' He didn't say 'oh by the way you are totally wrong and I am right,' no he said 'hey this is what I've been learning about God and I am excited to share it with you.'
I also really loved the book "The Shack" because it gave me a totally new perspective on God, and suggested that there are many routes to finding God, and that God is not above using anything to draw us to Himself. I think Christians have had so many conforming rules that its extremely difficult for God to be in relationship with the very people who He longs for and who He created to be like Him.
I don't think I can tell where anyone's spiritual journey is going, its hard enough keeping track of myself.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I was raised conservatively and have held to what I would now call a lot of judgmental thoughts. I am not one to jump quickly into something, but I found this you tube which pushes the envelope about mixing Jesus and marijuana. Because I love to rock the boat I just must share, I look forward to a mixture of reactions. Before you jump to conclusions I don't use marijuana, but I have been convicted to stop judging those who do. I think we love our boxes and we want to fit people into them and label them for life. This judgment goes all directions those who would say we don't want Jesus just the mary-jane and those who would say you can't have Jesus if you use pot. I say I need Jesus, and Jesus says He loves the WHOLE world, unconditionally. What do you say?

Friday, May 1, 2009


I realized something about myself just a minute ago, I blog when I am needing to sort out my emotions. I notice that I have been silent for a while and that was primarily because I was content and busy. I am a person who is passionate, and so my feelings any direction are strong, and I have learned in order for me to stay healthy I must regularly spend time sorting through my emotional vaults in my head and heart. Otherwise there can be landslides of all sorts that can hit innocent people just walking by.

I was trying to file a tax return for a friend last night and it got messed up somehow, and I feel discouraged about it this morning. I was able to do this last year and I am uncertain why the big change. I do not like to fail and because it is May 1st I missed a deadline which adds to my feeling of failure. I have always been anal about meeting deadlines, but I did not get some of the info I needed until yesterday and then the glitch. So I have a problem and I must inform my friend this day that I am not the hero I had hoped to be. I prefer being the hero...but no happy ending yet.

Also I and some of my family went for counseling last night, which always brings out lots of feelings. Of course as usual I have homework from that. You know turning 40 this June and having gone for lots of counseling in the past you would think I had it more together. But alas, no, I am human and must work on my problems. My most recent revelation was that I must become brave enough with my relationships to be vulnerable and tell people nicely at the time of the pain that how they just hurt me. Ouch! OUCH!! OUCH!!!!! Okay always embrace the pain, be vulnerable and never stop loving, this is one tall order. I think I will never get it all right. One emotion of mine or another always gets in the way and I must extend grace to myself in my blunders. Oh the pain of being human. Like when I get hurt by someone, to know what I feel enough or to be aware of what just happened to politely and objectively explain how I feel. My tendencies are to walk away thinking you are a complete moron or get mad and say some hurtful thing back at you. Groan...I think I would like to quite, but I won't. And tomorrow I go to see my own counselor, to discuss some more of the reasons why I hate church, cause this is the present issue I am working on. For all of you this is a life time issue for me, dating back to when I was born a pastor's child, and before you get your underwear in a knot I do still love God. I just don't have much use for organized religion called church, even though I usually go.

Tonight is the Awana Penny Carnival and I will be putting washable tattoos on children and teens all evening. My husband Jon will be doing balloon animals and my son Aaron is doing a dart board. Its just a fun windup for the kids, they can do any booth in the whole gym for a penny, and then they collect tickets from doing the activities and cash them in for candies. It is a lot of fun!
This year to celebrate my 40th I am going to get myself a tattoo for my birthday, if I get myself in shape. This is my gift to myself. So I started working out on WiiFit and so far I have lost 1.8lbs. I had to laugh cause this computer thing assesses you and it says I am overweight my co-ordination says I am 68 Wii years old and it asked me if I trip when I walk. How rude eh?! Well I guess I can only improve. My teenage children were present while I was doing this assessment doubled up laughing at me on the couch, because I needed there help to start the Wii up. Fortunately I was laughing with them, it was so incredibly rude it was funny!

Oh and by the way on Tuesday night a moose sauntered through our yard, went right through the garden and down the lane. He kept perking up his ears at the rock and roll that was coming from the music lessons in the other house. Rock and roll is alive and well out here in my yard. I find it makes me smile every time I here any of the kids and even a few adults playing, its very good for their souls. Its a rare day that I don't hear live music coming from either drums or guitars. I love it!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Heart

If you are following this blog at all you can see that I am wrestling with who I am and what I believe and what that looks like at the end of the day. Growing up in a preacher's family and all the circumstances around that pretty much destroyed my ability to have polite religious relationship with God, church or any form of religion, unless it is radically authentic. Which isn't always a bad thing, but it certainly comes out looking a bit crazy. I have totally had direct personal encounters with the spiritual world, both the good and the bad. And then my gifts allow me to know and see things that I can't do on my if you tell me you have visions, hear voices, see ghosts etc...I don't automatically think you are crazy, and if you are crazy well I am okay with that too.

Anyways I was lent this book called "The Sacred Romance" by Brent Curtis & John Eldrege and it touched my heart, it speaks of the struggle my heart and soul is in. So I will share this paragraph: "Starting very early, life has taught all of us to ignore and distrust the deepest yearnings of our heart. Life, for the most part, teaches us to suppress our longing and live only in the external world where efficiency and performance are everything. We have learned from parents and peers, at school, at work, and even from our spiritual mentors that something else is wanted from us other than our heart, which is to say, that which is most deeply us. Very seldom are we ever invited to live out of our heart. If we are wanted, we are often wanted for what we can offer functionally. If rich, we are honored for our wealth; if beautiful, for our looks, if intelligent, for our brains. So we learn to offer only those parts of us that are approved, living out a carefully crafted performance to gain acceptance from those who represent life to us. We divorce ourselves from our heart and begin to live a double life. The inner life, the story of our heart is the life of the deep places within us, our passions and dreams, our fears and our deepest wounds. If is the unseen life, the mystery within--what Buechner calls our "shimmering self." It cannot be managed like a corporation. The heart does not respond to principles and programs; it seeks not efficiency, but passion. Art, poetry, beauty, mystery, ecstasy: These are what rouse the heart."

This touched me because this is what I believe life is about. If I don't live here in this above belief and protect my heart I soon loose desire to exists. I have tried to teach this to my children and sometimes I think they live it with more confidence than I. Each of my children are very unique, my oldest Josiah (18), is very academic, he can give you a guided tour about each animal at the zoo, even ones I did not know existed, and he is not reading the signs. But he also is very tenderhearted and can have deep conversations with his friends, he pays attention to people's feelings, he also plays drums and guitar and has written a song as well. My second son Aaron(16), is very artistic, whatever he sets his mind too he does with his whole heart. His room is painted black with different gray and red artistic accents on each of the four walls, he has long red hair and a lip piercing and is considering tattoo sleeves on his arms and he plays drums and guitar as well and is working on a band and writes music too. He also is compassionate and has many friends which he thoroughly enjoys. My daughter, Angelle(12), is also artistic, she loves to paint, takes art lessons,and is very aware of fashion. Not fashion in the just the shopping, but in creating her own clothing and mixing just the right clothes to portray different looks. She just got a sewing machine for her birthday and loves creating fashion for her Barbie's. She already seems confident of who she is and what she likes. She also does very well in school and has many friends. I am glad that my children can be whoever they are, I refuse to say no to things just because they make me uncomfortable or stretch my personal boundaries. This has enriched my life and I am grateful for all the expansion even when I am scared spitless and shitless.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fair and Just

This is the main thought rolling around in my head since yesterday, and the preacher who I felt I disagreed with. (I really wished I could have asked some questions in the middle of church yesterday, because I had a lot of them.) I don't believe it is possible to have everyone feel like there is fairness and justice for everyone. In order for one person to be taken care of it always comes at cost to another. For instance if I am putting on a party for someone, I am trying to honor this person. I can not invite everyone who would want to come, because not everyone makes this person feel special. So in essence I am not being fair to the person who is not being invited.
I have this issue with many things, like family too, not everyone gets along...and when you add divorce into the picture...funerals, weddings and family gatherings are awkward at best. If things are handled somewhat civilly we can usually cope, but things being fair and just, not even maybe. A friend of mine, Dr. Jay Rock wrote a song called "Why?" basically saying "why can't we all get along?"
There is the clash of culture too, something like belching is a compliment in one persons world and an insult in another. Different beliefs, ideologies, and philosophies all contribute to our difficulty. The stronger someone believes that they must make others conform to their beliefs the greater the struggle becomes to have any semblance of peace.
I tend to be a right fighter, bluntly stating what I think, but the older I get the more I realize being right does not bring happiness, getting along does. But there is also a balance here, because if I am willing to have peace at any price, I will loose myself and find no happiness. So I come to the conclusion that this thing called 'fair and just', is far more like walking a tight rope...if I get over balanced either way, I can fall off. And when I fall I always hurt more than just myself, I also injure others, due solely because of community and all the many and varied relationships I have.

Friday, April 17, 2009


This is not a popular thought. I do not like it either. But my counselor keeps telling me to embrace the pain, face the pain, accept the pain and in that comes deep healing. Fortunately for me I have experienced that healing before with other pain. But I still try fighting the truth and running from my feelings only to make this thing called pain last longer...I am a slow learner. Especially when pain comes from many directions at once.

One of my pains comes from the loss of key people in my life, both my parents-in-laws passed away and though that sounds strange I grieve their absence, both because they are gone and the changes that has brought to our lives as their children. This change, them being gone, has come at great price and not all relationships are intact this side of the estate being settled, and that brings great grief. We lived in the same yard as my parents-in-law and inherited the home they used to live in, and much as this is a privilege. I must also work through all my feelings while I work on this house, because it is another piece of them. I grieve that they did not get to finish or enjoy the beautiful home that I am building and at times in any building project I feel anger or confusion when I have to solve building problems that were left by them. I know that God told me to finish this house and He will use it for something special but their is still sadness. I know that this house building, along with this sadness has done a very special work in my heart and for this I am extremely grateful, but the tears roll down my face at times.

I am surprised sometimes where grief comes from too. Like my children growing up which is something I have worked hard to make happen, but as they pull away and become independent I feel sad. I guess a mixture, I am proud of them and who they have become, but a part of me feels lost as my role with them changes. But once again accepting my grief and asking God to help me, I can release this beautiful emerging adults and trust them to God, no matter what happens. And I can see all the new opportunities there are for me with these changes.

Some of my sadness comes as a really good friend of mine, Tara Robertson, had to move away to Ontario with her family. I miss her. Even though we are all grown adults and can understand that moving for a job is a necessary part of life, I still grieve, and sometimes more than others. It is an adjustment to be far apart and at times I am very lonely.

Acknowledging my feeling as sadness, understanding what is making me sad and then allowing myself time to feel this feeling and spending time alone with God and my feelings eventually bring healing. And when the sadness comes again next time hopefully I will embrace the feeling.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amusing Wisdom

Quotes from Maya Angelou

In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And there on television, she said it was 'exciting.' Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every her breasts. They seemed to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first. My mother sent me this by e-mail and I thought they were worth sharing:

'No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow!'

'You can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'

'Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'Making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'

'Life sometimes gives you a second chance.'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.'

'Whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'Even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'Every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.'

'I still have a lot to learn.'

'People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

Please send this to five phenomenal people today...
If you do, something good will happen: You will boost another person's self-esteeem.

If you don't...the elastic will break and your underpants will fall down around your ankles! Believe me, I didn't take any chances on MY elastic breaking....I sent it to a lot of special people. This was the part where I doubled up laughing...hope you enjoyed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Sequel

Okay, just like usual God showed up. This is the bizarre but real relationship I have with God. I rant and rail about whatever is bothering me in my inner being and feel better and then am able to see more of God and have intimate talks with God. My previous post about religious holidays, traditions and symbolism was frankly how I felt.

I went to church on Easter Sunday because I continue to pursue God and I usually find Him there at church (I also find Him a lot of other places too). But finding Him at church is rather consistent for me. Although I won't say that I don't have to work very hard at finding Him there most Sundays. See I believe that God rides with me wherever I I am not big on inviting Him to come because He and I have this understanding that He is already its kind of redundant. Anyways I was busy sitting in the pew sorting out what was God from what was driving me crazy from what was truth and what was lies...normal Sunday morning activity for me. It usually takes me the rest of the day to find equilibrium again. Some of the songs we sing are lies you know?! Anyways that's another topic. I was sitting there realizing that we all come to God differently, we all have different backgrounds, personalities and life obviously God has to use very different approaches for each human being on the planet. WOW!!! So as this came to me I suddenly relaxed and felt okay, its okay for some to like what I don't, its okay for some to see God totally different than I do, and He is so big that its just fine! I don't have to conform and shut down me in order to fit with God and church, and I don't have to try to change anyone else. And its just fine that it seems to be a mess this thing called church. I can handle that!! We are just human beings in search of a God we will never understand.

I ran into a book yesterday called "crazy love" by Francis Chan, this man says in this book " Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of understanding. What a stunted, insignificant god that would be! If my mind is the size of a soda can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop into my little can. God is so much bigger , so beyond our time-encased, air/food/sleep-dependent lives." If you are interested Francis Chan, he has a website you can see some of his thoughts there. So thanks for thinking about my crazy thoughts.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Religious Holidays

Okay truth be told I am having trouble with Easter coming. I always have a lot of trouble with religious holidays...if I could avoid church around Christmas and Easter I would be good. I was raised a preacher's daughter and I know that the religious part of church killed me, and had God not intervened and supernaturally became part of my everyday life I would have no room for spirituality. Instead I have a hard time with structured religion. It has nothing to do with my relationship with God or Jesus Christ but I sure could rant on about the church!!! And for whatever reason those who like traditions and sayings, pat yourself on the back your a good person bunk are raring to go when it comes to religious holidays. The preachers who will stand up on Sunday morning and say "He is risen" and we are supposed to say back "He is risen in deed" drive me around the bend and back. To me doing the same thing as we did last year at Easter makes my relationship with God dull. I dislike the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 23 all for the same looses its value, I can say it without thinking...not a good thing. I don't like lent, the ministerial lunches leading up to Easter and you will never catch me wearing a cross. Speaks of traditional religion and I have absolutely no use for it. I want the real God who is busy today doing something that will rattle my cage and others around me. I want to know what He is challenging you with today and I want to share the miracles that He did this week. Not what he is doing in a book you read, or in another country. TODAY, HERE, NOW, ACTIVE PRESENT TENSE!!!! And if you find yourself not knowing the answer to that then I would like you to question whether God is actually a part of your life or if you are just practicing religion. And even as I write this I know that I love the sweet old ladies, nice elderly gentlemen, the young children and all the rest who are trying to find God may feel offended at my writing this because these traditions are how they find God. I am not trying to offend you, I just need to write another opinion because there are a lot that think like me and they need a voice too. And I am sad and angry when religion keeps people away from a relationship with God.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Well I just got back yesterday from a weekend with my family as we had my Grandmother's funeral and celebrated her life. I really did enjoy seeing everyone, but it is just such a large number of people that my brain is still trying to sort and file it all away. My Grandmother had ten children, five boys and five girls. My mother was the fourth child and second daughter. I am the second grandchild and first granddaughter. Being one of the oldest grandchildren gives me the advantage of being able to remember when most of them were born and watching them grow into wonderful adults. That was what impressed me the most was seeing them, meeting their spouses, hearing about what they are doing, meeting who they are dating, meeting their children, hearing their passions and being reminded of what makes each of them so individual.
Getting together with family reminds me of who I am, and what parts of me come from them. Some parts I love, some parts I don't understand, some parts I wish I was more like, some parts I don't want to copy, and some parts I would like to change. Family is fun and frustrating. I have my own immediate family, my husband and my three children. I have my husband's family and then my own extended family. I am married into a family with culture and traditions which are foreign me and at times I find my own biological family weird. We fight, love, terrorize, joke, play, tease, and much more... We learn about ourselves and others as we interact, through life together, it seems to me that it is a pulling together and apart, sometimes it seems we fit and other times we don't. We are all alike and yet different. A beautiful mosaic that is always changing. And now with the death of our Grandmother we will still change again.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Cool God Moment

Today I saw God intervene. Did ya know that God loves cats? I have to back track for a moment so you can understand. There are two houses in our rural yard and each house has several cats. This story is about one cat that we call Mama, and she was always outside and pretty wild and aggressive. She was not my cat but my in-laws cat until they both passed away. Then about a year and a half ago a guy named Jay moved into the upstairs of this same house and began taming this wild cat. She fell in love with Jay and would let him pet her and she finally got so tame she would come in the house and not freak out. My brother-in-law Randy lived in the basement suite of this same house and they kind of shared the cat. Anyways when Randy moved to his own acreage about 7 miles away, we decided he could take the cat when he was ready. So about two weeks ago Randy took Mama home with him. She did not want to leave, was afraid, would not eat and hid all the time. Finally, Thursday Randy said she disappeared, but we did not learn this information until Sunday. So by the time I told Jay on Monday she had been gone for five days, living in the bush, where there are coyotes, which would kill her and we still have snow and it gets cold especially at night. Yesterday, Jay and I got talking and I realized how distressed Jay was about the loss of the cat and that he thought maybe if the cat heard his voice or the sound of his truck that she might come out of the bush. We both have been learning to listen to our souls or emotional tugs, regardless of logic. So off we went on a wing and a prayer. Much to my amazement we were not there five minutes when who should come traipsing out of the bush but Mama!! Randy said she had only come back about an hour before we got there. She had lost a lot of weight, but we were all sure glad to be reunited. We decided to take her back home. I was amazed that the small faith we had was honored by God. And before we started looking God arranged for her to come back to the yard within the same hour that He prompted us to action to go looking. These are the kind of things that remind me that there is so a God who cares. Life has been hard at times but then God shows up when we don't expect it and it is so cool!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Whoops...I Made the Mistake of Goin' to Church

Do they hand out "let's suppress and mask our real emotions at the door pills"...cause if they do I missed getting mine? I know they will say I need to pray more, read my Bible more, have more faith, let the Holy Spirit in more...I haven't followed the Christian formula quite closely enough. Otherwise I would be HAPPY like them. Apparently we are only supposed to read the positive, think about the positive and speak the positive and all without drugs....unbelievable! The trouble is I used to believe this mother load of crap until the last few years...when I actually went out and got personally involved in real people's lives.

It gets messy!!
Sometimes we are in jail,
sometimes we are abusing someone,
sometimes we love our abusers and just can't leave them,
sometimes we are addicts,
sometimes we lost our job,
sometimes even though we did the work there was no pay,
sometimes there is no milk for our babies,
sometimes we steal formula to feed our babies,
sometimes we become homeless because of the economy,
sometimes we can't read because we need glasses,

Then the thing that really gets me is GOD opened my eyes and I have not been the same since. See as long as I stick with people just like me, I don't have to get uncomfortable and have my pretty little theories challenged. I am angry at God today because thanks to Him church sucks!! Not all the time, but often. I can't stomach the pat answers, hugs, smiles and "praise the Lord's" without the flip side being truthful about the pain of real life. If I feel shame about my negative emotions and believe that they are wrong, then how the hell do I pull it together enough to get to God when I need Him most. Its feeling my pain, embracing it for what is worth and asking the God of the Universe to extend mercy to my soul...then we get somewhere deep, powerful and earthshaking. This is the God I know, the Great I Am who can handle everything even my anger at Him and His church.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Bachelor

I have a 76 year old bachelor who has no living relatives. He was never married and had no children, his only brother who also was never married and never had therefore when his only brother died in January 2008 he had no more family. Just distant cousins, on to the stage steps me. So Charlie and I have been getting to know each other for a year now. Today Home Care called it seems that he has once again started yelling at them and not co-operating with day program. What to do? Getting old is hard! Having no more relatives except for this 40 year old chicky that they found to look after you is hard. Having a limited income with your health decreasing is hard. Being bored rattling around in your little apartment suite is hard. Having Home care workers come in to tell you when to eat, go to bed, take your pills and give you baths can be humiliating. But we can't be yelling at everyone because life is hard. So I guess I will go and care and love Charlie and try to help the situation where I can. It is no ones fault....just life. And I know that the Home Care workers are wonderful ladies who are kind and giving and I am sure don't get thanked very often. I would love to wave a magical wand and fix all of Charlie's problems and make the Home Care workers lives easier too. But alas my magic wand is broke.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Grandmother

My mother's mother, this is my grandmother. Her name is Millie and she is 92 years old. She is palliative. I am turning 40 this year and I am still sad that my grandmother is going to dying. She is a woman who hauled water, cooked on a wood stove and raised ten children on a farm. My favorite memory is climbing into Grandma's bed early in the morning after Grandpa got out to fill the wood stove with logs. In my memory my grandparents had running water, but Grandma washed clothes with a ringer washer which I thought was cool. The washing machine washed the clothes but then to squeeze the water out of them you carefully stuck the clothes through two rollers. Grandma was always warning us to keep our fingers away from the rollers. The clothes came out the other side flat as pancakes! We thought this was a wonderful game. Now as an adult I realize how patient Grandma was...this was her work and she always had lots of it. She gardened, canned, baked, raised chickens which provided both eggs and meat. My Grandpa had beef and dairy cattle, which meant they always had fresh milk. She knew how to sew, quilt and knit. She did a lot of mending. This was her sitting down time. I need to learn from her example to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I don't have to get everything done today, as long as my children are fed, clothed and sheltered, things are good. Not everyone has this. Sometimes I am hard on myself thinking I must do something of significance to better the world...but most times its the simple things:

A smile
A hug
Stopping to listen
Having a cup of tea
Watching the sun set or rise
Smelling a flower
Sharing a laugh
Holding a door open
Giving someone a helping hand

When I get to the end of my life like my Grandmother...what will be most important to me?

I am thinking: the health of my soul...if I listened to it
my relationship with honest and close is it
my real are they and did I let them know they mattered
my family......did I share as much of myself with them as I could

So today I will attempt to live with this in mind and enjoy every moment.........even if I don't like them all........because sometimes life kicks the shit out of us.