60Days of Jesus- Week 1

So last week I shared a little bit about what the past 6 months have been like in the blogging arena.

I have decided to get back to the basics this summer and I’m posting on my Facebook page every day.

Here is the past week’s posts for those of you not on Facebook. I don’t think we can ever read these words too many times. The words of Jesus are life.

day1 60days

day 2 60days

day 3 60days

day 4 60days

day 5 60days

day 6 60days

day 7 60days




Not Up for Interpretation

Blogging is a funny business. I cannot really explain to you all why I blog. Initially I started when we moved from Alberta to Saskatchewan in 2010. Blogging was a way to journal my thoughts and feelings. I didn’t much care who read it. I still don’t- most of the time. Every once in a while,  a blog post from years ago gets picked up and someone shares it and I get little blips of activity. But in the last 6 months I have barely looked at my stats to see if anyone is even reading. As of this moment, I haven’t got a clue where things are at. It’s been a bit of a struggle for me to decide if I even want to blog anymore.

At Christmas, I posted something off of my heart without editing. That post when viral. It was crazy. On Christmas Eve alone it was viewed by over 120,000 people. That’s INSANE!  Most of the comments were really tender and heartfelt. But some weren’t. And isn’t it just like a human to take the couple negative responses and focus on them rather than the multitudes of others?  It took me a long time to shake off what had been said to me, about me and at such an emotional time of year. So I stopped. I stopped reading the comments, stopped tracking stats, stopped writing. Even now, I feel conflicted because what I wanted to say– what I always want to say———–it gets interpreted in ways that I wish it hadn’t. I really want to blog and write and let my words just be.

 I want them to be what I say. I want them to be what I say in the tone and in the manner I wrote them with….But ….interpretation. I do it. We all do it. It’s a fault of humanity to nit-pick, cherry-pick, pick-pick-pick apart someone else’s words and make them what we want them to be.

I have opinions that are probably not popular with a lot of my blog readers and even my own friends. I am opinionated. This has never been a secret. But opinions can hurt. And I have chosen to refrain from sharing my opinion as of late because I actually have the power to offend and hurt. And that is one thing that I never want my words to do.

When I read comments from other threads and posts I am mortified beyond belief that people have zero shame in condemning, criticizing and grotesquely over-stepping when they comment. I have done it myself. And I deleted them all. Because words have the power to curse and the power to heal, we must choose the latter.

My mom always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” We all ought to keep that in mind.

All of this to say that I have decided I need a bit of an attitude adjustment. I really want to blog about current events and topics of interest. I have had multiple posts swirling around for months. I love to engage in dialogue and thoughtful conversation. I love the stories of humanity. But too soon, interpretations get in the way of the Truth. And this is where I must stop and readjust my focus. My eyes are on the words instead of The Word. And for this reason, beginning today, I am going to do 60 Days with Jesus. Not that ONLY 60 days will do, or that it is enough. But it is a start.  For the next 60 days, I am going to post on my Facebook page the words of Jesus. Just HIS words. Not mine. And yes, I will use paraphrased versions like the NIV or The Message.  Please don’t rake me over the coals for not having a degree in Greek etymology.  I’m just a prairie girl who loves The Word. And I love His words. And  I need them to remind me that some things are not up for interpretation.

It is easy to misquote Moses or Paul or Isaiah. We can get confused with cultural settings and poetic prose. But the words of Jesus- they just are.  They don’t need blog posts and commentaries.  Jesus spoke in plain language to plain people with real issues.  He said the simplest, most loving, thoughtful words ever spoken. And more than ever, our world needs to be reminded–*I*  need to be reminded of what He really said.  Yes, you can interpret them however you want. I will not be doing that. I will simply quote them and I will be praying that all who read them will allow the Holy Spirit to do the translating. If there is any confusion, may it be gone in Jesus’ name. Let’s let the Words of Life speak to all of us. I think you will find, as I am planning on finding, that when Jesus’ words are clear, everything else will come into focus.

Tonight I was at worship practice for Sunday’s service.

We closed off with an old chorus- sung in 3 part harmony- which made my soul weep….

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will go strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.


That is my prayer.  #60DaysofJesus

I hope you will join me on Instagram and Facebook.

My kids go back to school in 60 days- I think this is the perfect way to refocus this summer.

44 Things

It’s the last day of June and that means one thing. I’m older.

When you’re a teenager or in your 20s you really do think “wow, I’ve arrived”.  But you haven’t. You’re an idiot. fool.

The crazy thing is this; I still feel like I’m 20 in my mind. Some days I cannot grasp the speed at which my life has raced by. I recently told some moms on a Facebook thread who were dying in the throws of their toddlers, preschoolers and the mayhem of it all:  ” The days are so so so long….but the years go by so fast.”  It’s true. Here we are. 44.

So, 44 things that I have learned:

1. Convictions rarely change, but opinions do. And opinions should.

2. Little kids are cuter now that my kids have grown.

3. Spanking isn’t the best way to discipline your kids. Really, on this side of things…..there’s better ways. Most of the time.

4. Nude camps and beaches totally make sense now. Because no one cares after 40.

5.Not eating dessert every day does not keep you from gaining weight. So, eat the pie! Buy the ice cream! Live!


6. Moms who don’t have hobbies and passions are moms who go literally half-way to crazy land when their kids grow up. Really moms, get a life outside of your kids. You’ll thank me for it later.

7. You don’t have to have lots of friends, but you need to have good friends. Quality vs Quantity.

8. I will never be done decorating my house. And that’s okay.I will also never wear the same clothes for 40 years.  Right? Right.

9. Sometimes your cousins are your closest family. I think they’re God’s gift- similar history with different perspective.

10. People’s stories matter more than your opinion of their stories.

11. I’m going to be the best grandma. Watch me.

12. I have less than 44 things to say but I’m going to finish this list on the principle of the matter.

13.  Principles matter more to me than lists.

14. I have an opinion on almost every subject. And if I don’t have an opinion it’s because I know nothing of the subject. This makes me a hoot at parties.

15. I’m not really a hoot. I have never been a hoot. I learned after 40 to be okay with not being a hoot.

16.  My husband loves my hooters. And that’s a hoot.

17. Hoot is the dumbest word.

18. Right now I’m losing about half of you. Totally okay with that.

19. My kids think I’m weird.  I’m just trying to teach them the value of being an individual. Also, I’m lame.

20. I only like the King James Bible version for reading the Psalms. Also, the word “dung”.  Because dung in the Bible is modern man’s “shit” and seriously, that makes me giggle.

21. In my 44 years I have learned that you actually don’t need to agree with everything in the Bible. Isn’t that fascinating?  It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or isn’t true- You just don’t have to agree with it!  Freeing! Also…..life lesson. See #22

22. I can disagree with you and we can still get along. Also fascinating.

23. I would live poor in the country  any day rather than rich in the city.  City folks have no idea what they’re missing.

24. I miss singing in a choir.

25. There is no perfect school for your kids and every school has at least one teacher who probably shouldn’t be teaching. It’s better you know this now so there are no surprises or disappointments. Again, thank me later.

26. I truly believe that a large chunk of my fibromyalgia pain is exacerbated by over-peopling and extroverting. I’m totally serious.

27. I wish I had known when I was young that I was not shy, just introverted.  It would have helped me so much.

28. Our parents did the best they could with what they knew, but they didn’t know everything.

29. You should always go with your gut. Your gut is your guide.

30. Being an adult with responsibilities can really suck but I would never ever want to go back to being a teenager.

31. Buying fresh flowers every week is a must. Don’t even look at the price. Just stop and smell the roses.

32. There will always, always, ALWAYS be someone who thinks you’re wrong. Some people just like to be contrary.

33. Growing older makes you care less and less about what others think. It is one of the beautiful gifts of aging.

34. Having our kids young was one of the smartest things we have done in our marriage. Here we are- mid 40s and we can leave home for pretty much any length of time without stocking the pantry or fridge. It’s awesome.

35. I have learned that I was not a great mom, but I did my best at the time. I wouldn’t go back and change things. If I didn’t mess up, I wouldn’t have learned that I was wrong.

36. All those years growing up with parents who listened to the weather and the news daily, sometimes hourly, made me learn about the world, politics and humanity. Some call it street smarts. I call it socially smart.

37. #20 is the best, right? *shit*

38. Most people are just trying to live their lives, mind their business and do right. Most people. Think about that the next time you get annoyed with someone.

39. I love, love, LOVE reading other people’s stories. I would rather read about someone’s life than watch a movie. I am completely fascinated by the story of humanity.

40. Friends are the best. They really are. When you find friends that get you, expect nothing from you, challenge you, love you, care about you but never berate you……that’s the best gift there is.

41. Having a spouse who is your best friend is how people stay married so long. I’ve watched it, learned from others and I’m living it. Also, marriage is better after 15 years.

42. You cannot have everything you want. Get over it.

43. Integrity of character is a good goal for life.

44. Naps are king.

I’ve learned a few more things but this is a good place to start. I wonder what I will write when I’m 88? Nude beaches really are awesome? :)



It’s really late. I should probably be sleeping. But I’m on YouTube and listening to certain kinds of music just makes me all weepy.

I must confess, that sometimes, my theology is propped up and fortified by network TV.

I watched the 2nd last episode of Parenthood tonight. I cried. A lot. This show has become my family in so many ways. I keep saying I’m a Braverman on the inside. Zeke reminds me of my dad. The ups and downs, the drama and the stories…I love it all.  The writers on this show are pretty incredible people- of that I’m sure. If you have no idea what I’m talking about I encourage you to watch it. I only started at Season 3 and I grew to love these people. I even prayed for them. Weird. I know. Maybe I was just praying for the people who are like them. I relate to them all.

On tonight’s episode there was a lot of full circle moments. (spoiler alert) And there was an over-riding message: MERCY.

It’s a theme that we don’t talk about a lot. And we should.

The dictionary describes mercy as *compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender*.

Tonight, Joel extended mercy to Julia. And it was exactly how it should be. She had cheated on him and although love is strong, it’s not always enough. Mercy is required.

I was reading a thread regarding the visit of Senator Hillary Clinton to Saskatoon this week. One person made an extremely egregious comment:  “I’m sorry but I can’t completely trust a woman who stays with a two-timing husband, all for the sake of power and money.”  And my one and only thought was how sad that a woman who stays with her husband 20 years after the fact has her integrity called into question. I am not a Democrat. I’m not an American. I actually have zero opinion on her as a presidential candidate. But she extended mercy to her husband. And that’s worth something.

Compassion shown, even to one who has offended you……..

And all of this is just rambling to get you to read these words and listen to this song because it speaks to me deeply and maybe it will speak to you too:

“Mercy Came Running”

Once there was a holy place
Evidence of God’s embrace
And I can almost see mercy’s face
Pressed against the veil

Looking down with longing eyes
Mercy must have realized
That once His blood was sacrificed
Freedom would prevail

And as the sky grew dark
And the earth began to shake
With justice no longer in the way

Mercy came running
Like a prisoner set free
Past all my failures
To the point of my need
When the sin that I carried
Was all I could see
And when I could not reach mercy
Mercy came running to me

Once there was a broken heart
Way too human from the start
And all the years left you torn apart
Hopeless and afraid

Walls I never meant to build
Left this prisoner unfulfilled
Freedom called but even still
It seemed so far away

I was bound by the chains
From the wages of my sin
Just when I felt like giving in

Mercy came running
Like a prisoner set free
Past all my failures
To the point of my need
When the sin that I carried
Was all I could see
And when I could not reach mercy
Mercy came running to me

Sometimes I still feel so far
So far from where I really should be
He gently calls to my heart
Just to remind me

Mercy came running
Like a prisoner set free
Past all my failures
To the point of my need
When the sin that I carried
Was all I could see
And when I could not reach mercy
Mercy came running

…..When the sin that I carried
Was all I could see
And when I could not reach mercy
Mercy came running to me

Stories to Tell And Secrets to Keep

Good morning 2015!

Do you want to know how I awoke today? To pictures and surprised comments blowing up my Facebook feed. You see, my friend Lise had twins yesterday and she kept it a secret! Yes, she really did. “How”, you may ask?  She just did.

I caught her in it about 4 weeks ago. She was on bed rest and she said something that made me curious but I didn’t push the issue. And then she ‘fessed up. If you’ve ever seen a woman pregnant with twins there’s a line on her abdomen that is drawn between the two babies- the borderlands. I’ve seen this before. Let me tell you a story that I’ve been wanting to write for a few months now….

Early last year we got word from family members that a new baby was on the “to be made” list for 2014. Family who have had to go a more planned and medical route for making a family. It happens. This would be their fourth. There’s more to their story that isn’t mine to tell. When I saw T. for the first time in February and she was SO sick, I chuckled to my husband that I thought she was having twins. I’ve seen it before- so sick, so early.  She asked me point blank if I thought she was- what could I say? I had to smile.

I always wanted twins. My aunt had twins when I was a teen and I loved the thought of two babies and double the love and snuggles! I was always a baby person. Even from a young age I would be the one who would hold the babies rather than play with cousins or friends. In church I was always on the nursery schedule. My teen years were spent babysitting- sometimes 6 nights a week. I loved little ones. Dirty diapers, temper tantrums, bedtimes, bath time, feedings- none of it bothered me. I knew someday I wanted to be a mother and in the mean time, I enjoyed the chance to love on everyone else’s babies.

So back to the story….

In April we got a message privately:

twin announcement

And so it was confirmed. But as you can see in this photo, this couple was not new to the parenting gig and I knew right away they would need help; and lots of it!

I sent C. and T. a long-winded message(of which I am quite proficient I’ll have you know).  I let them both know that having been the new mom of four babies in five years, I was well aware that they would need help. Whether it was twins or not made no difference, a fourth pregnancy is exhausting. I think my words to T. were like this: “you will hit a wall and you will be done- you will need to sit and do nothing…and that’s when you need to call me.”

But here’s the thing:  they live an eight hour drive away. This is not as easy as jumping in the car for a weekend. And so as May and June rolled around we all had to start figuring out what was going to happen. I sent my daughter there for 3 weeks in July.  Summer heat and a pregnant mommy is hard enough but add an extra bump and this mom was going to need extra hands and feet for trips to the park. But it’s all good:  Emily loves those kids and those kids adore Emily. So off she went…


Can I admit that it was right around this time I started to panic? I was worried.

I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it. I thought I was too old; too out of touch with little ones and busy households. I figured I might clash with T.’s housekeeping style(I have no style- she’s super organized). I felt inadequate and suddenly realized maybe I over-promised. Have you ever done that? Said you could do something but when the time came, you felt too small for the large task? I didn’t have my own house in order. I wasn’t in great physical shape. My fibromyalgia symptoms were flaring up more aggressively over 2014 than previous years. Mornings are brutal. Pain management was sketchy at best and I was suffering with unexpected random migraines. HOW was I going to jump in and fulfill mothering and housekeeping? I just didn’t know. But I will tell you what I did know:

This family didn’t have a lot of options. Yes, they have family. But family with little ones and obligations. And I remembered back to my own struggles with a newborn and three little kids: you just cope. You just maintain a level of chaos and then POOF! one day, it’s over.

 So I waited and prepared the best I could. I finished up some custom furniture orders and tried to get my kids ready for the fall– a whole month early.  August 1 I received a message from C. “When can you come?”

So this was it. I thought maybe they could hold off until late August. I asked for 2 weeks. That was terrible. But I wasn’t ready. Thankfully, they had one option for temporary help. Long story short- that was short lived and they had to scramble till I got there on August 19.


6:30  a.m. is really early to wake up when you are used to teenagers and no morning obligations. REALLY early.

But that first day, we did okay. And then the next day, we did okay on that too. And we just found a loosey-goosey, mumbling, fumbling rhythm.  I’m pretty sure I drove them nuts. I could barely form a coherent thought before 9 a.m.  I’m not a busy homemaker. But you know what? I was there and T. could sit all day and be the host for her two growing babies. That was my job: to keep the home fires burning while she did all the hard work.


So the days turned into weeks and E. started school, an early snowfall leveled me with my ONE AND ONLY migraine while I was there. 32 weeks turned to 34 and we all breathed a sigh of relief. And then…..babies! Two gorgeous, healthy, beautiful babies were born at 34 wks 2 days.  A boy and a girl. Both over 5lbs. Both with minimal issues.

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For the baby lover in me, holding these two precious beings was about the best thing ever. But that wasn’t my job. My job was E.- 6yrs, L.-4 yrs and M. – almost 2. And we had some good days. ( and some not so good days). And I cooked and cleaned and laundered and watched and waited and rescued and mediated and rested and woke early…..and then it was time for me to go home.

I would have loved to stay and be the baby cuddler and diaper changer. But 5 weeks was long enough. The babies came home, Grandma moved in, my job was done and that was that.


You see….sometimes your job is not what you think it is. Sometimes your job is just to be available. And do the work.


Saying goodbye three days after the babies came home was a little more emotional than I planned.

And sometimes when you do the hard things, you make bonds and friendships for life. Because there is NOTHING like washing another man’s underwear or watching a new mom pump her milk for hours a day. Nothing. :)


Part 2 is coming up on another blog…..all about how to help new parents and how NOT to help. Believe me…there’s a BIG difference.



Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are NEW every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.


And so it begins. This new year.

It’s interesting and thoughtful of our forefathers to have placed the celebration of the Birth of Christ in this month preceding a new year,isn’t it?

The revelry and celebrations that carry on for weeks it seems- feasts and gatherings, too much food and too much drink, concerts and choirs.  It all becomes so loud and crazy and we love it and then we need it all to stop.

I sometimes can’t get enough of the songs and the carols- worship in the halls and malls and bells peeling and choirs singing. The lead up is incredible. And then it’s over.

We want to shove our trees back into their dungeons, squirrel away the ornaments and the candies for another season. We beg for it to come and then we beg for it to go.


Solomon had it figured out long before you or I ever thought about a tree or gifts or what shall we eat. He had it all wrapped up in this :

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

…..a time to keep and a time to throw away.

Do you think King Solomon and all his 700 wives ripped the page off last year and started January with a list of things to do and baskets to give away, throw away, sell and purge?  I wonder sometimes….

I don’t do resolutions. Mostly because I’ll break them too by the time week 3 rolls around. Enough of the breaking. We’re already broken enough, aren’t we?

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What do we  I really need to focus on?

January is the morning of our new year. You know, the morning…where the sun breaks through the darkness?  The time of day when nothing is spoiled yet. That part of us that yearns for schedules and focus- that’s the part that craves the morning. We are in the morning of 2015. And thank God for mornings- the night is so much better knowing that morning is coming soon.


Psalm 5:3  In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 30:5 ..weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

All I really need to write on my list of things to do is this:

In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus. 

because HE makes all things NEW. (Revelation 21)

You might also like this from Mrs. Gore’s Diary:
A New Wish