Friday, December 28, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas!!!

this has been the best Christmas season EVER!!! Thomas, the kids and i have had (with the exception of one outing) very little stress and have really enjoyed each others company.

With this time of Jesus' birth, i have been trying to give the gift of love and laughter. We have been laughing lots and showing much love. But for the most part here are some of the funniest things i have encountered this holiday:

deko boko friends: The Prince Egg; when he gets angry his egg hat boils and the shell breaks. he then cleans up the shell and briskly walks away, taking little steps.

Clover referred to herself in the third person: Thomas said "Clover does this and Daddy does that." Clover replied: "no, Daddy does this and Clover does that!"

Oakley is the first grandchild to like Thomas dad... Oakley wouldnt let Ted put him down. And, this evening with my dad he was in hysterics while my dad held him and chased clover. His giggling and smiling face was too funny.

Jul has been going out of his way to make us laugh. Just listening to him laugh usually gets me laughing with him. Last night i was trying to get him in trouble and no matter what i said or did, he just laugh uncontrollably. Both Thomas and i couldnt keep a straight face. He has such a sweet disposition and a joyful heart.

I cannot remember such a wonderful Christmas!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Just after Hallowe'en we got a cd by Gerry Mitchell and it is well loved in our house. He does a rendition of "How much is that doggy in the window" and the last verse is "how much is that trainer in the window". While listening to in it in the car Clover had been making all the animal noises to match the animal... but what sound does a trainer make?


Thursday, November 29, 2007


I often have so much to say. I think about what i want to post. I get it all written out in my head and as soon as i sit down, there is nothing. my head goes blank. I wish i could just sit down and write when i think about it, but really, i often am in bed or in the bath... or nursing.

And to make matters worse, the ones i write in my head are quite beautiful... at least in my head.

Friday, November 16, 2007


My kids evoke such different emotions from me. I know that i felt the same way about them at the same ages, and i love them all so very much. But i do feel concerned. I have been trying hard lately to feel about all the kids the way i do about Oakley. For Oakley i feel completely in
love with Oakley. And i do feel this for Jul and Clover. Thankfully i can recognize that it mainly has to do with the fact that he is a baby. He needs me completely, and his needs are easy to fill.

When i look at Jul i feel such pride. I am so incredibly proud of who he is. And i am so honoured to watch him grow, that i get to be a part of his life and influence him in growing into the man God has planned excites me. Jul has such a sweet and tender spirit. I feel so blessed that God allowed me to be his mother. He is our precious jewel.

When i look at Clover i feel compassion and fear. She started life with so many strikes against her. I just want to protect her from any more pain she might ever come have. I want to fix all that hurt her in the first 18 months of life. My other kids i know so well and Clover is a mystery to me and i am loving discovering all about her. Also, she scares me. She, unlike the others, has such anger, i am pretty sure comes from the torment that the CAS put her through. Although she is not an angry child, she has anger and fear towards certain people for no reason. People dont think that babies know anything. Those people are so incredibly wrong!! The name "Clover" suits her, she is amazingly sweet. OH man, i love her so much. She is our special gift.

Oakley and i are in sync. Completely. I know exactly whats going on with him at all times. I feel really bad for Thomas because i can tell by each little sound or look what he wants. We communicate very clearly. I knew him before he was born. I knew with complete confidence what his personality was going to be like. And i havent been wrong. It amazes and frustrates Thomas. How i wish he wouldnt grow up so quickly!!! He is our answer to prayer.

I am so grateful that i have these precious little children in my life. And i pray that i parent them with gentleness and grace. I know i fail at this often. But i think when it really counts, i do it well.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It has been a very redeeming week. In my defensive times, i have found redemption. In areas where i have felt as if things are going to be torn apart only to have things piece back together. I have been quite concerned only to be relieved.

And just tonight, i felt a shift in my attitude towards disappointment. Thanks, i felt the prayers.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Second Fiddle

I found out last week that my dad and step mom are going to get a divorce. I was shocked and disappointed when he told me. I would not have felt the same several years back. In fact, i would have been sad only for him.

They have been married for almost 20 years. I dont look forward to telling Jul. I wish i could understand it. My dad had us all over for supper on Friday so that i could tell him if there was anything in the house i wanted. As it turns out, everything that I wanted is going with my father (not Thomas, he gets something special too). I was worried that my dad would leave everything. The stuff i really want i cant ever get back, though. but how do i explain that what i want i cant have. I want my family not to be broken. I want him to have never married her if this is the end result. How do i explain to my dad that i want what was supposed to be mine. That i want him back the way he was before.

But something has changed. My dad's attitude was so different. He was hopeful and renewed. Thomas has only known my dad and his wife, but that is what he was always like. I think 18 years of trying to love someone so much has been hard. And now that his marriage might be over, he has new hope to live the way he has always wanted to. And i feel quite excited about this new future.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grace and Mercy... but not for you!!!

...if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (NIV)

...if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. (MESSAGE)

...whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully. (GOOD NEWS)

Monday night, within a few hours of me getting home, we had our double running stroller stolen. It was locked to the porch and used almost daily. I've had things stolen before, and i shouldnt be surprised, given my location and all (we chose this house in this neighbourhood purposely). But i was still hurt and angry. We are fortunate enough to have family who can help us buy a new one.

We are from Kingston. We know it well. We know the "good" areas and the "bad". When we started looking for a house, we had this area in mind. After a very short search, and a shorter purchasing period (we moved in about 20 days after our first offer on this house) we knew that God had a plan for us here. Everything about the mortgage to the move had God's hand on it. We knew that God was moving here, and we wanted to be a part of it.

Skip three and a bit years ahead and our church does a plant right around the corner. Literally! God is moving here!

In the past few weeks and months Thomas and i have been getting more and more involved with our community. Thomas is helping with the "Prospector" (the Rustle news letter) and the small group there. I have been involved with LivingRoom (small group at NeXt). I often find that when i am on the right track that i get sideswiped. We have felt God inviting us to join Him in His work... and now the crisis of belief comes. Our double stroller was stolen, the lock cut and taken from our house. Why would this happen? Why would someone steal from a child, let alone children?

Many thoughts run through my head, bouncing from grace to judgement. Anger to mercy. I try to be loving in that i figure that if they need a stroller that badly that they steal from children, they need it more than I. Those verses at the top are all part of Romans 12:8 (different versions). I felt it quite amazing that we discussed that verse at Living Room (well done Lesley), just the night before. God often prepares me for things that are about to happen... i just dont always notice.

EDITED OCT. 22: I started writing this last week, I was really curious about what God was going to do. And then a lot happened this weekend. Saturday we enjoyed a birthday party for a sweet little girl. And I finally gave up on trying to meet my sisters boyfriend. (leaving it at when he feels he wants to meet me, they can make arrangements.) I was feeling really sad yesterday... and i went to Rustle to see La Tienda. I was not feeling like being there. Soon after i got home, there was a knock on my door, and a dear friend had bought me a necklace that i had looked at. And i cried again, for the umpteenth time that day.

Apparently it wasnt just for me to show grace... but for me to accept it too.

I am shown grace everyday. I hope I show it back.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I have been slowly learning to appreciate silence. Not the quiet house... i am still finding that unnerving. But the silence inside my head. Where i can hear what i need to be saying to God without constant interruption. Distractions.

I am finding it really hard to have Jul at school. But i am learning that we have it really good. Small school... small classes. Lots of teachers who dont pressure. Yet i still dont like it. Jul is so sweet and encouraging, and incredibly sensitive. On the other hand i, really like not having him at PEG. I never have to worry about it being Jul doing things that he shouldnt be doing. Its never him screaming or running around jumping on furniture, or play wrestling. It really isnt him that is "aggressive". Its all of them and i dont have to feel like its my child.

I know its not all about me. But sometimes i forget that.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Letting go

About two minutes ago i let Jul cross the road by himself for the very first time. I stood outside the gate and watched as he walked to the road, checked both ways and walked proudly across the road. Jul made it safely then turned and gave me a 'thumbs-up', and ran to his friends house.

This is a big step for both of us. For Jul, it was him growing up. For me, its him growing up. I'm just not ready for him to grow up. I know i cant stop it, and really, i dont want to. But i love being so important to him. I love caring for him and ensuring that he is safe and having a good time. I love watching him read, and swim and whatever it is he is doing. Watching my first born need me less and less is wonderful and sad. I know he can do so many things without me... but i like watching. On the other hand i am so excited for him to be doing these things all on his own!

This morning Jul asked if he could start calling me Mom, instead of Mommy, "since I'm starting grade one". That was so heart-breaking to hear. Then he said it! "Mom!" I said that once he is at school, he can call me mom. Just as long as he promises to still call me mommy... Once in a while.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Learning Boys Play

I have been thinking so much lately about how boys activity levels differ from girls, and how that affects my daily life. I don't understand how boys play and i really don't understand what they find appealing about playing the way they do. So in order to better understand i have been reading a book who's author encourages parents to allow aggressive play (a little beyond what i feel comfortable with). But it has got me thinking, what is so fascinating about playing wrestling, or shooting or capturing games? There are a few things that i have discovered about this "aggressive play". Boys need to explore their desire to play hard in safe environments. They want to feel powerful and they like to discover the "darker" parts of their imagination.

I was a very girly little girl. I wore pink all the time and everything had to be pretty. I liked watching Peter Pan and imagining i was Wendy being rescued. I wanted to be Cinderella, sweet and hopeful, and to be someone so special that i was noticed across a room. These are fantasies i can share with Clover. But Jul needs more. Jul needs to imagine that he is so powerful that he can concur evil. When he plays these games, he doesn't want to hurt, he want to feel his body move with strength and influence others through his action. Whether it be sword fights to to turn evil into good, or to wrestle until the enemy learns virtue, his desire is to influence his imaginary foe. If he can submit the evil and cruel "Daddy Monster" in his play, he can do it in real life. I thought it was about Jul being violent, but what it is is so much more innocent: its not about being powerful, but about good winning over evil. And only good can win.

On the other hand, he loves being the dark side as well, and being taught that his evil ways are wrong! He will quite happily be the one who gets shot, or fall to the ground when the sword pierces him. Playing the bad guy gives Jul and outlet to try different ways to be bad in a safe way. He can be rude or mean in a way that he wouldn't normally be. Exploring appropriate and inappropriate behaviours knowing that he wouldn't be allowed to act like a 'bad guy' any other time. Showing that there is a difference in his mind how good people and bad people behave in his mind. I enjoy seeing the snarls that he gets when he is bad.

Another thing that i have had to adapt is my idea of "rough housing". In my mind wrestling is violent and they are fighting. Reality is very different for Jul though. He knows that hitting isn't ok, that throwing people to the ground is unacceptable behaviour. But when he is playing it is just that: playing. Only i cant tell. He isn't killing a person, he's using his imagination. I now ask (often) 'are you guys having fun?' just so i know if they are really playing or not. And sometimes i suggest ways to redirect the playing if i think it might become frustrating for either party. Other times i just sit and watch (from a distance) as they resolve problems that they are having because misunderstandings on who's good or evil can arise quickly. But they are just as fast to sort it out and resume the fight.

Imaginative play is so important for children not just because it's creative, but because they become the other person. I cannot imagine trying to convince a little girl that she isn't a princess. In her imagination she is and, one day when she grows up she will be a princess for real. How, then, is it different for little boys? How frustrated a little girl would be if she was constantly told that playing princess isn't appropriate. Or playing 'mommy and daddy'. Why, then, cant children who what to play war, play war? They know that they aren't killing anyone. But they believe that they are going to grow up to be heroes and warriors, changing the evil in the world to good. Who am i to burst their bubbles, if you want to be a princess, then you will be a princess. Likewise with a hero/warrior.

I thought for a long time that i was good at not being a 'helicopter' parent. But i learned that i hover when i am uncomfortable with things. My new friend taught me that because of her cultural differences. When our boys would get together to play, i would watch them and be tense, worrying that Jul might hurt his friend. She would tell me to relax and let them be boys, and when things would happen, she would tell them to work it out. (There hasn't been any blood yet.) This gives them an opportunity to discover boundaries and diplomacy. Jul's friend would come to me and say "Jul did (put whatever it is he is tattling about here)" and i would try to sort it out. Then i watched his mom, and she would say "its ok, you go play". It was so liberating! She could decipher the difference between a complaint and whining, and when to intervene and when she's interfering.

I can't claim to know how all boys play, but I can safely say that I am beginning to understand that i don't have to. I just have to allow my boys to be themselves. Whatever that may mean.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Forgive or not forgive...

I have been thinking a lot lately about forgiveness. About what it looks like and how it feels. Watching it in other people, especially children. It seems so amazing to me how quickly and easily and whole-heartily children forgive. They give all their love over quickly.

I have watched Jul be hurt, sobbing and then seconds later, up and running around like nothing happened. Sometimes with an apology, sometimes without. And there are certain people who hurt him and as soon as 'sorry' is spoken, it is all forgiven. Where as others, he is still (slightly) apprehensive. Jul still gets excited for his cousin to come and play, even though he has been thoroughly beaten by him. But he forgives. When does this end? The forgiveness given later on seems to be somewhat conditional. I see people do it all the time. I am no exception. The "i forgive, but i dont want to deal with it anymore". I have done that many times. I forgive someone, but i dont trust them not to do it again, so i avoid them. I no longer want to deal with the possibility of them hurting me again. Or anyone that i love. I have nightmares about this situation, being rejected at church because someone i dont want to expose my family to shows up.

Does that mean that i havent forgiven? What if they have changed? And then there are more questions like, are apologies always necessary to forgive? Or is forgiving something that is absent of acknowledgement? There are definitely time that i dont need an apology to forgive. However, i do feel that when things are going on, and on, and on, without change that i truly need to work things out and have my hurt acknowledged.

Then there is moving on. When do you move on in the relationship (either with changed boundaries or not) and when do you just move on? Many years ago i read about called "When to Forgive/When Not to Forgive". I found it wonderful to help me understand the difference between forgiving and forgetting. Jesus says to forgive seven times seventy. And sometimes it is really hard to forgive fully.

I try really hard to watch Jul and see the difference. And i find his example inspiring. To be more like a child.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

unfinished... but unsure how to complete this thought

I love these days. They are full of laughter and delight! They are slow but busy, with me being distracted from my other duties. Sunny days riding bikes, playing at parks... long road trips where we end up where we started. Hours upon hours saying be nice, love each other. Changing wet clothes and diapers. Reminders of picking things up. Making yummy meals. Watching my kids enjoy playing games that i do not understand. Silent laughs while watching the kids vacuum.

I have been on hiatus from wondering if i am doing enough. Or what my plan is for September for Jul. I have been trying to focus on what is really important, what they truly need. And i think i have thought of a few things that help me remember kids need:

  • purposeful work... Jul likes to vacuum and Clover likes to help put dishes in the dishwasher.
  • to play imaginary games ( i will be posting more on this in a few more weeks)
  • inspiring things; to show them, and for them to create
  • wonderful books.. and not just the ones i find wonderful, but ones that spark their imagination
  • things to make them wonder... ideas that make them ask questions and discover answers
  • Grandparents (sorry to those who didnt have any as kids)
  • prayer; lots and lots of prayer

And i find that only sometimes do i have to facilitate these. They find them all on their own, if i dont interfere. That is sometimes very hard to do. Partly because i may not like what they are doing, but they do... and because i think it is important for them to be allowed to play and do things without adults, specifically, moms and dads. But i also find that i dont know where to begin or how to enjoy it all. They have so much love inside them, and so little hurt. They have a more direct connection with God and such a great understanding of Him.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Nursery Rhymes

We dont really sing nursery rhymes to the kids... I just never think to. We sing all sorts of other songs. Jul's favourite song is 'Here I Am' by Emmy Lou Harris. It use to be a common song sang at Next, not so much at Rustle. And for whatever reason i am really enjoying the Dead Kennedys. I dont know too many kids who know almost all the words to 'California Uber Alles'. I say almost because Jul was singing it "California Manitoba".

Jul is fascinated by music. He has a real electric guitar and makes songs up frequently. Mainly about dinosaurs.

But, the other day, Thomas and Jul are driving down the street and they are listening to some 90's alt/rock mix and 'Shoots and Ladders' comes on by KORN, they are enjoying it and Jul is singing right along. When the song ends Jul says: "Thats a really good song Daddy, that should be a kids song."

Maybe i should sing more nursery rhymes... or at least more conventional songs to my kids.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

There are little things that i dont want to miss, that i tuck away for save keeping in my memory bank. Little smiles that are given when ever Oakley looks at me. The way his fingers press into my body when he nurses. How soft his little mouth is. The bright and sweet nasally voice of Clover saying "I love you". How it warms my heart to know she says it to Jul, often first. Watching how eager Jul is to please everyone... how he loves deeper than i could have ever hoped from a child. He is so in tune with peoples emotions and reaction. How the two older ones adore their baby so much. And even though i dont get much sleep right now, all these little moments help me remember that it is well worth it.

Monday, July 9, 2007

There is a place in my soul, deep down, that is dark. I dont talk about it. Its a place that i like to keep hidden away. Often i can keep it in check; under guard. But every once in a while it gets rubbed... and the cob webs are brushed away and it sees light.

I dont like this part of my soul. It is a part that i dont want. And no matter how i try to deal with it i cant seem to part with it. Sometimes i think i am free of it. But then something is said to me, or i over hear something, and i find that it isnt completely gone. Its a place that i dont like to give power to. And i, fortunately, wasnt born with this part.

I hate how this part comes out. It doesnt come out because i think about it. It comes out by another's actions towards me. Actions that make me questions my worth or value. I have had two such accounters this week. Or at least two that could have been. One left me feeling redeemed. While the other left me feeling shame. Not only about me and who i am, but about me as a parent and my child. Cruel.

Not only do i feel bad, but i feel like i deserve bad things to happen to me. But my child never does. My children and sweet and easily loveable.

And now, at almost midnight, when i have been awake for almost 20 hours, i feel better.

dark places that cant be navigated. Shame that isnt mine to carry. Does it balance out?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"You want more kids?"

Thomas and i have been debating at more children. I am wanting more... while he is unsure. Yesterday i was talking with a friend who is having the same debate. And i guess it comes down to this:

I have been married for almost 10 years. And it has whizzed by. My oldest is 6 1/2. My youngest is 6 months. In 30 years from now, i dont see having only 3 children. I said this to Thomas this morning. His response was, do you see only 4. I, sheepishly, said no. I do see 5. But to be fair i dont see it by me having 2 more babies. I see one more baby and then an adopted child that is between Jul and Clover.

Also, in reality, these young child years dont last long. They seem long while you are in them... but my first baby isnt a baby any longer. And out of the years Thomas and i will have together, say if we both live to be 80, we will have been married for 61 years... and only 20-24 years of that will be rearing children. And of that, only 6-10 of that will be of babies.

How fast does 10 years go by? Like a blink. I dont want to be 80 thinking of the children i didnt have... I'm trying instead, of looking forward and imagining what my family will look like. I see joy from my many children... and bliss from my multitude of grandchildren. I also imagine that i will look back on this time saying that it went too fast. Because, what is 10 years out of 80 anyways? Just a whiz of memories.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Ugly Safety

When we first moved into this house, Thomas put up a fire extinguisher up on my kitchen wall. While i was gone. He knew i would never allow such an ugly thing on my wall. Especially in such an obvious location... beside pictures of my family.

I know he put it there to keep the family i love so much safe. But ON THE WALL?! Where every one can see it? couldnt it just be in the cupboard? Thomas said that if it were out then neither of us would ever have to fumble around for it.

This past week Thomas redid the whole kitchen for me. New counter top, new (glorious) dishwasher. And part of this was removing everything from the walls and painting them. And does it ever look wonderful! I love it!!! (Thank you again Thomas!!!)

But when it came time to put things back up on the walls, Thomas asked what i wanted him to do with the heinous fire extinguisher. I have grown to love it. I hate that it is there... but i love why it is there. Because of how much Thomas loves me. I hesitated a moment. What to do? I asked him to put it back. I would never remember where he put it and i would always look for it there if i needed it. And i loved the sweet sentiment that he took the time to wait until i was gone to put it up.

So my kitchen is still waiting for the pictures of my loved ones to go back up, but the ugly thing is back up on the wall. Where it belongs.

Cotton Diapers

I love using cotton diapers. I love everything about them. Reusing them, how i feel using them and tender moments.

I love that there are no chemicals that are in contact with any part of him. I love doing laundry. The sorting, cleaning and putting away. Drying them as often as i can on the line outside. They are so fresh smelling when they come in, unlike when they come off of him. (Stinkingly sweet.) But that too, is enjoyable. Knowing that i get to nourish him... and know that it is truly filling all his needs. I feel good knowing that i am not filling up a landfill with a product that doenst biodegrade very well. And, it saves money.

I feel wonderful knowing that i can use something that, by our culture, seems overwhelming to use. Taking the time to be "inconvenienced" for my baby. I feel like a good mom. Taking time to cover him carefully with a liner, diaper, then (normally) wool soakers, ensuring nothing is out of place. I know that i shouldnt place my value in others opinions, but it feels good to see how other moms react when i pull them out. On Tuesday night i took fruit kabobs to Jul's baseball game. I wanted to take something healthy, as opposed to the usual, sugary drinks and Popsicles. But i also wanted to show that i can do it. See the other moms reactions. And i wasnt let down. Mom's were impressed. Kind of like how they react to seeing the cotton.

Knowing that these pieces of cloth, sewn together help keep my child's clothing dry. They are soft against his supple skin. The gentle wipes i use give me an excuse to rub his little body. Ensuring his skin is fresh. It feels so wonderful to touch him softly. Rubbing his legs as i unwrap him, kissing his round little belly... watching it rise and fall with each breath. Looking into his loving, bright eyes, watching them sparkle with pure joy. I love taking the extra minutes to to make him laugh. At first just a little grin, then it grows into a huge, open, two-tooth, full face smile.

These rags and recycled sweaters mean so much more to me. They are more than just rags to me. They are a way i can give back to the earth. They feed a bit of my pride (which is necessary sometimes). They represent precious moments that i wont ever get back. Knowing that i can take the time to clean him and keep him safe. I love that they take longer. And i love every "wasted" second of it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

oh cute

Jul: i want to be like Big Ruth, and play in the World Serial.

Jul: I'm going crazy like a horse!

Jul, after three consecutive hits in baseball: I'm stinging like a bumble bee!

Clover, while being put to bed (referring to the stuffed animal Thomas brought back from Gagetown for her): Daddy, i want giraffe; and not the bad giraffe!

Clover: I look so beautiful!!!

I love these little things that they say. there are several things that Jul still says that i haven't corrected because i think it is too Hangabers, instead of hamburgers. Clover says Augrest. SO CUTE!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007


the past few weeks i have been learning lots. I have listened to Brandon talk about how words can be blessings or they can be curses. I want to only speak blessings. This week i learned about God being transcendent and imminent.... at the same time. I think this speaks for what my heart has been saying to me for a while.

Now, obviously, both messages had more to them... but i have been hearing for a while that i need more substance from preaching... things that arent only relationship oriented. I get that part. And i need it. But i need blessings too.Like a tree... if i only grow roots, eventually i will die because there will be no leaves to catch sunlight to feed me... and if i only grow leaves, i cant collect water to transform the light into food. I need both.

I remember one Sunday Jared saying that he didnt want to feed us any longer, that he wanted us to grow to feed our selves. Right now i feel... stuck... not growing, and not dying. I desperately need pruning, and fertilizer... substance... i need to be clipped back and spoon fed a bit. My roots are reaching out more than my leaves can collect and parts of the roots are shriveling because of that...

Today for the first time in a very long time i feel light coming back. And there is something to be said about returning to our roots to feed them. i love my community at Rustle. I love how interconnected it is. And today i went to Bethel and was reminded of what grew on in my early christian life. For the first time in years i felt like i was on holy ground during worship. The food i was given to chew was enough for me to digest and nourish me for a while... so much to think about. Mainly because it was related to my relationship with God. And although we talk about that at Rustle, its about how Jesus reached out to others... But he too needed some time to be fed on god... (the forty days in the dessert).

I feel torn between my new community and my old, in a way i havent felt before. When we came back to kingston i thought i found something that would alway nourish me. And lately i feel like i have been starving. I can only feed myself so much. Partly because i can only grow so much food and prepare even less.

God help me find a balance between communities... both with You and with those you love.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

so close. such a sweet smell. soft skin. quiet giggles. excited eyes. impatient nuzzling...

The chariots rise
Up high in the sky
What grace have I
To fall so in love
What a wonderful dream
It seems to be
'Cause I love him
Though I have waited long
And they have all been wrong
Now I find in the end
With him I need not pretend
The chariots They rise up high in the sky
What grace have I To fall so in love
What a wonderful dream
It seems to be
'Cause I love him
'Cause I love him
I wonder if i seem like this to God

Monday, March 26, 2007

ballet body

when i was in my early teens i wanted to dance for fun. i enjoyed ballet as a little child and wanted to do it again. so i called around for classes for myself. my parents neither encouraged or discouraged me. i found one place that i could take it... but they required a black leotard and pink tights.


i was so insecure at that age and i thought i was so fat that there was no way i was ever going to be seen in around people wearing that. ....but i was also a swimmer at that age. and although i thought i was fat, i would wear a swim suit. but to me the difference was that i would be in the water where people couldnt see my body and if i wasnt, i was wrapped in a towel.

I look at my children and encourage them in every way i can to suggest that they are good they way they are. My parents had an opportunity to help build my self esteem up... not just on this occasion, but on many others... and didnt. My father especially. And really, the only time i feel actually good about my body is mid- to end of my pregnancies and right after i have had my babies. This is something that i dont want for my children. I dont want them to look in the mirror to see how beautiful they are. I want them just to know it.

I just need to figure out how to do that.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lately i have found that i have been extremely judgemental. I am aware that i am probably perceived as being this way, but when I look and or talk about people i am in wonder. Thursday we went to the sugar bush and i saw a guy i went to high school with who got his girlfriend pregnant. Old Jordin would have been happy to see him and wonder what his life is like now.... but this unknown jordin judged him... looked down on him. I didnt like how i felt. i told people about him in a way that old jordin wouldnt. Saturday night, old jordin came back. I sat and thought about him... there with his 4 children. I know he barely finished high school to work and support his family (when i finished he was married to her, and they had 3 children....) so... that means that he either took time off work to be there with his kids, or he had the day off and took them. What a good man and father. Still so involved with his family... and i think he is still married. ...married for about 13 years at age 30.

i like this part of old jordin

Sunday i listened to Al talk about changing our clothes. We tried to say yes to the kids every chance we got for a different day... they asked to get blueberry muffins from Tim Horton's. YES. I went in and was overwhelmed with joy and amusement because of the man serving us. Fred. Such joy he had working there. Obviously 'challenged' but truly gifted. He was loud but so happy....

Yesterday I prayed in earnest that my clothes become more comfortable. i know it wont be long before they change again. i would love to have them become comfortable at least for a few days. wear them until the become dirty. but that never seems to happen. Instead, i try to break them in, but find i revert to my old, comfy jeans that are ugly. i do want the new clothes. And i want to stay in them even when they are unbearably uncomfortable. stay in the robes of love, instead of the rags of rage.

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Help me, Lord, to wear the clothes that are fitting for you.

Monday, March 12, 2007


there is stuff everywhere. here, there... and over there. hidden in other stuff. boxes of stuff. baskets of stuff. magazines talking about more stuff. how to make your stuff look nicer. new stuff, or antique stuff. how to organize your stuff, how to minimize your stuff. telling you all about stuff you "need". baskets and closets to keep/hide your stuff in. shelves to put your stuff on. walls with stuff on it. basements to hide more stuff. stuff you sit on to make yourself more comfortable. places to buy more stuff, and for us to take our stuff hoping other people will want it instead of us. stuff we are holding onto because of memories, stuff we wish we could get rid of because of memories. more places for the stuff we dont want people to know we have. too much stuff. i am sick of looking at stuff.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I know i have had all year to think of something to give up for lent. But i have been having a hard time trying to make it something more meaningful than a delight. I want this sacrifice to be something that will help me grow in Christ and strengthen me as His.

I have not really finalized on anything. But my big thing right now is to not yell at my children in anger. It is very easy for me to raise my voice when the dont listen to me. I do it to get their attention, and it works. But at what expense? I see the hurt in their eyes and i dont want to be the cause of it. I know that there are better ways, but i havent found any to be effective. I use to get really quiet to get their attention. But in frustration or fear, the loudness comes out of me. I have already failed a few times at this. But not yelling is a true struggle for me. And i believe that i want this lent to help me grow.

Today Carolyn Butler spoke on Ephesians 3:

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

She said (and this is my interpretation) that God has many gifts for us, but we have to be the ones who look for it. That He has greater gifts to give than the ones we ask for... I want His riches to be abundant in my life... she also said about his riches being found in the Bible... that through His word i would be strengthened .... I want this. And part of what He has given me as a gift, that i asked for, were children. Why then would I not ask for the strength to care for them and love them the way He loves me?

"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."

I am a fool. I get angry quickly with my children. I feel frustrated at them for not listening to me... It drives me nuts when they ignore me and disobey me. And instead of being patient like God is with me, i get angry. I dont want to crush their spirits. They have such sweet and loving ones... but i want to do what is right. I want to raise them to know God, to know right from wrong, to have integrity. And i think my first step is to not yell, which causes me to be more patient. If i cant yell, i have to take more time to be loving towards them in my correction.

It has not been easy. And i dont want it to be. I dont think Lent should be easy for me. Sacrificing food is easy. But my soul doesnt feel rededicated. This, giving up something that feeds my soul in a negative way is very hard. And i need to really rely on God for the strength to do it.

.... However, at the end of Lent, i hope not to take it back up again. I want to be changed.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Jul (singing): Old MacDonald had a farm Eei eei ooh!

And on that farm he had a baseball bat, eei eei ooh!

With a smackhead here... (stops singing) Smackhead?! HA!!! Smackhead!

Mommy (through snickers): Its not ok to smack people on the head with a baseball bat.

(But really, all i could think of is how funny it sounds to have a child work "smackhead" innocently into a song.... how do i quash creativity?)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Nursing meals

I love watching Oakley eat. How peaceful and intimate it is to feed him by nursing. When do we lose that intimacy eating? And how do we get it back? How do i help facilitate a more nursing-like meal time for all my family?

When i feed Oakley i take time, and devote it to him (as much as possible). We sit together, look at each other, touch each other. I talk to him such sweet and loving words and in return he smiles milky smiles that allow the sweet nourishment that i create for him run from his mouth. We are embraced in such a tender way that cant be done at a table. Not physically anyways.

Baking for my family (and friends) creates something similar. I dont bake or consume baking for nourishment, but for the love. I pour love into my baking. When i am angry, i am reminded of the love and devotion i have for those in my life and the love pours out. Maybe meals arent as intimate because i dont do them for love. I do them out of necessity. When i have done cooking by pouring love out i have never had left overs. Everyone eats the love. One can feel the difference between the two. Just as Oakley feeds differently when i am calm and peaceful compaired to stressed and rushed, i have to assume the same can be said for my other children (and husband). I want to feed them love.

Hold them close and enjoy the meal.

Monday, February 12, 2007


The taste of sharing love.

The taste of joyful reunion.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


When i was a child i wanted to go to church. My Father would walk me and wait for me but never come in. My mother would at least join me inside.

Last night at WITH tithing was brought up. It brought back so many memories of me as a child taking money to church. I would feel so proud! I was giving to something bigger than myself. I desperately wanted something bigger than myself to hold onto. Coming from a very broken home I wanted to believe that there was something bigger than what i knew of love. Something that loved me no matter what. Something that i could give back to.

How i loved those little envelopes. My dollar might not have been much, but it felt like i belonged. Did i? Probably not. Outside the Sunday school teacher, i doubt anyone even knew my name. Did i belong to God? I really wanted to. I was "christened", but i didnt really know what that meant. To me, it meant that i could be a part of a community of God. That i would be His child if i just kept doing the right things. Going to church, obeying the commandments... keeping secrets.

But that envelope bought me peace and excitement. And i miss that child-like awareness that this, being able to give back to God, is so important. Not an obligation. But joy. Excitement. I try to bring my heart to God like a child. Excitely bouncing and running to my Father who has just returned home from work... And now i want to be reminded of that excitement of bring not just my heart, or cookies, but a gift that He will use to help others meet finacial neeeds. Whether it be our church building, or feeding the pastors and their families... or even our neighbours. I want that joy back.

I am going to reclaim it.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


I have recently agreed to getting a new tv. Thomas has been looking at larger tv's. How large? Between 42" and 50". When we got our last tv for christmas about 5 years ago, i think i just about had Thomas convienced that we didnt need a tv at all. Then his mother got us the one we have. I was shocked and slightly disappointed. I was prepared and excited about not having one. So how do i feel about a jump from this tv to one substantially bigger? Slightly embarrassed. I am scared about what people are going to think when they walk into my house and see a room full of a huge tv. I like the cabinet that we have because we can hide or mask our tv and it's usage. But now everyone will be able to see how often we use it.

Then i got thinking. We enjoy sitting around watching old movies that we have seen a million times... and enjoy playing games together on it... So i need to accept that watching tv is a part of who we are. And i dont want to feel ashamed about watching it because our society is so divided about it... on one side of the spectrum, there are those who feel that it is a drug and the people who watch it are addicts, and the other who believe it is a harmless form of entertainment. I dont fall between the two; but more i agree with both. It can be an addiction, where people unplug their brains and use electronic media to mask their pain, and ignore their world... and used with moderation, at appropriate times, a tv can be a source of harmless entertainment.

Two weeks ago I banned all electronic media for Jul, who, like his father, is a junkie. It made such a difference in his attitude and how he interacted with all of us. He even noticed the difference and we now almost never watch tv during the day and rarely any computer. He and Clover play wonderfully or read together, Jul is wanting to help with housework and now when i do put the tv on or allow him some short computer time, he appreciates it more and relaxes differently.

And i'm glad that we started this. Because today (being Tuesday) SUCKED!!! Every Monday night Jul spends with my father.. and today i realized that what he needs when he comes back is to just be calm, unplug and be shown love differently. After watching tv all morning, i gave Jul a cookie. He felt it was too small and was furious in a way that can only happen on tuesday. I told myself whenever he started freaking out today i would hug him and tell him how much i love him... and when he crumpled the cookie and threw it into the garbage my instinct and initial reaction was to send him to his bedroom to rest for a little while. But i stuck to my resolve and hugged him. Jul said while i was holding him that he felt stupid and like people were calling him "stupid-head". If i hadnt let him just sit and watch tv, and hadnt held him i would have validated those feelings of him being stupid. But instead, i was able to listen and calm his negative feelings.

So as self conscious as i am about having a huge tv, i can remind myself that it has an off switch and i will use it often.

Oh yeah... and my husband IS an electronics junkie.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dont Speak

Seven years ago Thomas and i started on the road to parenthood. We went to a clinic and got pregnant really fast. I was thinking back on that time that i had, just pregnant, not working... All day long Thomas and i would send emails to each other... "I love you" perpetually repeating itself; "I miss you"; and some more intimate things. I thought about this for a while. How i miss getting those little notes of passion and devotion from each other.

When did it stop? At some point when i was barely functioning as a new-ish mother. Thats probably why they stopped too.

So i sent one off today... i still have all those feelings for my husband, and so much more! In the past 5 or so months i have learned so much about myself. About the level of love and devotion that i have for Thomas. And how i have changed in the many years we have been together. When Thomas first joined the army i was left scared and very lonely. It was hard for me to be alone. But i didnt know how to allow God into my life in the way that Thomas was. They were so seperate in my life in some ways it was like oil and water. One day while writing out what i was praying they mixed. And it scared me so much that i didnt know how to make them seperate again fast enough. This time, while Thomas was gone, it all of a sudden clicked. I didnt feel the same kind of loneliness i had the first time. In fact, in some ways i valued that alone time. Time with God in a very silent way. That wonderful unspeakable love.

I cant wait for Thomas and i to be alone tonight. And i cant wait to share that silence with him.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Perfect Birth

When I imagined the birth of Oakley I pictured us (the people i wanted at the birth) in the living room, having a fun time, looking radiant (like how the women in "Spiritual Midwivery" are discribed), and me feeling a beautiful baby exit my body... then having the baby laid on my chest and nursing the perfect little person and enjoying all that I had done with my friends and wonderful husband.

This isnt what happened. Pretty far from it, in fact.

After spending my 9th anniversary in the hospital, alone, being induced, I got to wake up to have my water broken. But I did get to wait for Thomas to be there. Then Rachel showed up and we were rolling. Not the labour, but us... walking around the floor desperately trying to have contractions start on their own. But they didn't. Instead, we broke the final rule that Thomas was standing by and that was to be induced by oxytocin. And so the contractions started. I felt so excited to have things under way... and so excited to have Cathy there to join us.

I loved being in labour. I loved how it felt to have these productive contrations that were working my baby into position to be born. We were just hanging out and laughing like we always do when we are together... only I was naked. I loved that when I got into the shower, they were right there with me, laughing and enjoying themselves too. The energy that my body was putting out due to the drugs amazed me. And I was even more amazed by how comforting it was to lay my head against Thomas while in the shower. I really wanted to feel like it was just Thomas and I, and the rest of the world was far, far away. And it was! It was so peaceful and lovely, and I know Cathy and Rachel facilitate that.

Through it all I was (and am) so grateful that Rachel and Cathy were there to support Thomas as much as me. While in the shower, resting on Thomas' chest, he started talking to Cathy. I was shocked by how his voice resinated, and how furious it made me feel... yet, when he talked o me during a contration it felt like energy. Pure, glowing energy.

Unfortunately, the contractions started to hurt more in my incision. And after trying to labour without oxytocin, and them still hurting it was decided that another cesarean was in order. In between the time that we decided that and Thomas getting dressed into scrubs I was wondering if I was just being a chicken and cowarding out of labour because the contractions were easier again and not nearly as painful. But when Thomas got back, I had the worst contraction and felt very scared because it hurt so much on the scar tissue.

I felt even more scared in the operating room (eventhough Heather, our midwife, was there). But those feelings disappeared when Thomas came in and said everything was alright... telling me I looked beautiful... and then I was able to feel the true atmosphere of the room... Calm, joyful and anticipating the exciting arrival of the baby. I could feel everything... like when ones foot falls asleep, all the pressure, but no real sensations. And his head emerged, crying. As soon as I heard his little voice I couldnt stop myself from crying. Thomas held him close to my face, and he was perfect. Thomas gave me a little kiss with his mask on. I had stopped feeling beautiful when we said I should have the surgery, but I have never felt more beautiful than when Thomas held him close to mmy face and Thomas looked us both over.

As soon as we were able to leave the OR and be moved, we started nursing. Heather held Oakley to my breast for me (i was numb from the ribs down and couldnt position my body to hold him properly the way I was laying) and he nursed like he had done it before a million times. Heather and I laughed at how quickly he latched as we got him only close to my nipple.

So, eventhough some would say i didnt get exactly what I wanted, I would argue with them. I got everything i wanted. And it was perfect. Absolutely perfect.