Thursday, January 14, 2010

Flying with faith

Today I realized that when I leave I miss their faces from the last moment I see them until the first second I see them again...their sound, their touch, their smell...and I prayed for a flight that would have me looking forward instead of looking behind.  And guess what happened?

Today I flew west, bucking a head wind, bouncing over the Rockies towards a meeting for my work.  This last leg of my flight is relaxed spiritually even as the plan bucks and bounces.  The reason?  I was given a great gift in the hours before by my seatmate.  I'm blessed to do work that I love, and while I look forward to seeing my colleagues and friends I always miss my home and my boys.

Usually I'm sad to go, sad when I leave and the first hour of the flight anywhere is sad with me missing them.

This time I prayed for something different, I got a lighter book, some good snacks and took my seat on a very full flight.

The lady next to me is a Pastor's wife from Thunder Bay and we had the most marvelous visit - two Christian women, to moved far away from family, proud Mom's and loving wives talking.  We talked about children, about faith, about prayers, renovating churches, building new, planting seeds and how it comes down to grace and redemption.

What a blessing!  It was so nice to be with someone who I could relate to on so many levels, to discover bits and pieces of our lives, tied together by common faith and when we parted it was with the affection of sisters in Christ who knew the other would be praying for her, just as she prayed.

It was wonderful to meet you and I'll look forward to the day we meet again...holding you in prayer...

Word art from Scrapgirls, your online source for great digital scrapbooking treasures!

Friday, January 8, 2010


My Blog friend and sister in Christ, Ann, has inspired me today to a degree that she won't believe.
Check out her Holy Experience post here: then come on back and meet our holy mess :-)


Now that you are back, what did you think of that?  I can share what it did for gave my world a little tilt in the direction of accepting love.

I look around my house and I used to hear my Grandma's voice in my head - dust, dirt and dismay at it all.  She was, to me, a perfect house keeper - dust didn't dare settle on her knick knacks, mud would never smear her floors, feet wouldn't dare touch the top of a coffee table and socks never were up on the slip covered couch (unless sneakily tucked under a blanket).  Her dogs were small and tidy, and knew their place.  Or they lived outside.  Her husband had a porch to drop his things in after work.  Everything that could possibly wrinkle was ironed and sometimes starched.  She had different cloths for washing and drying dishes (and an order too).  Her pride and joy was her home and how it looked.  It showed.  She was a phenomenal cook and baker, but that's for another post.  She was a loving lady who had a real pride in her home.

I have some people in my family who do 'dust checks' and feel that that is a sign of a good housekeeper.  It may very well be, but I am not a housekeeper, I'm a homemaker.  I have dust, thank you, and you can write it it.  Just don't leave a date!  I am proud of our home, the creative things my dear husband makes, the renovations to turn an older house into a home.

Our house is full of many things that are our lives.  Some of the things you might see when you come to visit could be surprising but all have a place here.  The front door is crowded with boots, mitts, hats and scarves.  We have jackets and caps, mostly hung but some draped.  There are two boots at the top of the stairs, they are a boundary for one of our rescue dogs, Abby the Pyr. Activity books and markers scatter the floor, overflow their bin.  The dogs lay where they will amongst cars, trucks, books and work things.

The laminate floor doesn't shine much anymore, and it shows scratches and scuffs from a happy little boy driving trucks, dragging a second generation rocking chair and has some dull spots from spills that got missed in the last cleaning swipe.  There are some dustbunnies, the family called Fluffypants, that come mostly from our four dogs.  All rescue dogs, all living here in a heaven they never could have imagined, and leaving their wet with snow, shedding in season, sleeping and drooling mark upon us.

Swiffer should sponsor rescues, the number of those dusters and pads we go through to keep the bunnies under control is mad - but worth it. Worth it to see the sweet relaxed faces of animals that know in their animal souls that they are safe, loved and home.

My kitchen can be tidy as a pin, for about 10 minutes at a time, and then it comes undone.  I bake, I cook, we snack and use dishes.  They get washed, and sometimes we let God's air dry them and others we use the towel.  Juice boxes and coffee mugs, spoons and bowls clutter the counter between washings.  When Luke wants to be a chef we don't fuss over egg shells, spilled flour and dirty measuring cups.

The laundry piles up, and joyfully gets 'smash crashed' on our bed before being folded.  My iron hasn't seen water or the light of day for years, I'm not sure where the ironing board is.

The sunroom is the Lego Room and is full of Lego, love and fun.  No grownup space for visiting, no clutter free zone of peace.  Even the smallest of rooms shows evidence of our child, animals and our love for our life.  I'm not a housekeeper, although I can be a homemaker.

I say yes to wiping up markers off the floor because that means he was learning printing with his Dad.

I can pick up dust bunnies because that means we have furry love in our house.

I can let the laundry get smashed before folding because it brings him and us joy.

I can try to be tidy and neat, but would rather be creative and free which hurts much less and allows for such abandon.

When we do our tidy up - sweep, swiffer, wash and tidy it isn't to meet the standards of an inspection, but rather to clear the decks for another round of life.  A clean floor for building, playing and driving cars.  A clean counter for making waffles and cookies.  For peeling apples for pie.  Clean clothes to wear, smashed into a pile on the bed, means someone was using his imagination for wonderful play.  Books scattered to the four winds means we have places all over to rest, read and be close to each other.

When we are cleaning up his room we find a book, Bible Adventures, so we stop cleaning to read.  We find some other books to read and talk about.  He goes to Lego Town and finds is Grandma in church.  He talks to God everywhere he goes and sees Him everywhere He is.

Sometimes we have a calf in the house, new born, wet and dirty. Sometimes we have wet dogs, paws frozen but melting, leaving wet trails on the floor. Sometimes we come in cold, tired and drag ourselves to the shower leaving a trail behind us.  We have made a home here, with the Grace of God, that has love, creativity and is welcoming to all.  Our friends with tidy and pin neat houses come and relax, they sprawl out.  Our friends who live in bigger chaos than us marvel at the serenity of our 'mess'.  We look around at the signs of love and living and are thankful...for this too is a blessing.

This is a reminder to me that God loves us in our tidy places and in our messy chaos.  He loves us through the dustbunnies and the spilled milk and cereal.  He loves us through dusty picture frames and finger print covered TV screens.  He loves us because He sees past it to the heart and soul beneath.  No hollow shell of tidy here, we have no time to put up a facade.  This is the tidy moments and in the daily prayer is that no one who enters our home feels that they cannot be themselves, and that they won't leave without feeling God's love and acceptance here.

*Word art is by my blog friend, Bethany, at Elegant Word Art by Bethany. She does wonderful work, check it out...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What warms your cold night?

The fire warms the heart, even through cold and ice...

It's been very cold to quite chilly here and with four dogs, a hubby, me and Luke the doors are open and closed LOTS!  Our pellet stove keeps the house toasty warm but the ice patterns on the storm doors seem to be getting thicker and more intricate as the winter wears on. This one on the back door looked like beaded flames in the ice - so lovely and such a contrast.  How the image of the flames and the meaning of their warmth was etched into very cold ice on a very cold door.

Reminds me very much of faith - the images of heaven, the message of our redemption, the clarity of the Word yet it is masked in the ice and frost of the world around us.  We don't always see the beauty in the ice because we long for the warmth of the fire.  But through the ice we can see a fire, through the fog of this world we can see through the Word.

Winter used to be seen as a season of rest or death - nothing much grows except piles of ice and snow.  It can be a hard season of short days and long, dark nights.  We often deal with seasonal disorders that directly relate to the lack of sunlight - how much more are we suffering from a lack of Son-Light when we are in the winter of our faith?

Wen I'm in the dark and cold I seek the light, even an icy flame on a frozen window can remind me of the warmth of faith, the comfort of grace and the joy of being a created child of a loving God.

God's grace is our only hope! "But in your great mercy you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!" Nehemiah 9:31, TLB

In the winter when the nights are cold, dark and long how do you bolster your light?  How do you light a candle of faith in the winter of your world?  So much of the world never experiences a death cold, a deadly winter night, and yet it is in this very season we celebrate the birth of our own Light, our Christ, born humbly attended by animals in a stable in the winter.  Even a desert winter isn't a warm and light filled way to enter the world.

The lights of my Christmas tree spread a glow over the room, the lights outside on the fence warm the winter's night.  Listening to my little boy say his prayers and talk about how excited he is about Jesus being born and the gifts we have to that enable us to talk to God and share in His Holy blessed are we to be Children of Grace!

Thank you God for the short days where we cherish each hour of light, no matter how cold or grey.  Thank you God for the dark nights which grow shorter as we near spring.  Thank you God for the blessings that warm our lives and light our hearts.  Thank you for Your gifts and Your grace...


I have been so inspired by my blog-friend and sister in Christ, Ann,,  and her words and wonderful photos. Please visit her blog and those linked there - your hearts will be filled with many wonderful words and visual treats for the soul. Visit (in)courage at for more great blogs and messages...