Hey God, I have a question.

There’s some questions that we will never know the answers to….at least not here on earth in this time.  Many may try to find the answers, but they will only be theories.  So, if I could have the chance to sit in God’s throne room for a few minutes these are some of the things I might ask…..and I know, most of them I’ll never really know~ maybe someday in Heaven they will become clearer.

1. Whatever happened to the Garden of Eden? Did anyone ever go back there? Was it a theme park that shriveled up and died? Did it just become an over-grown jungle?

2. Did the Ark of the Covenant really get stored away?  Is it still on the earth or was it destroyed many years ago?  Was Indiana Jones really able to find it?

3. What about Noah’s Ark? Did pieces of it become petrified on Mt. Ararat for generations later to find?

4.Why has this winter been so long and so cold?

5. Why are you not stepping in to show your power to all of these Muslims who are trying to kill your people?  Like now?

6.Why have some of my family members chosen a life of sin over a life of grace and mercy with you?

7.When will Jesus return? Will it be soon? Because things around here are getting out of control.

8. How come my family is healthy but my friends have several high-needs kids and constant doctor’s visits?

9.And God, why do good people suffer so badly? Why do mothers watch their children die helplessly?

10. And one last thing, why do you put up with my questions anyways?  I don’t understand your patience, but I’m so thankful for it.

Not lent, just love.

A quick study of the History of Lent leads one to believe that it appears to be instituted and mostly observed by those in the Catholic faith.  Now, that’s not to say that born-again evangelicals can’t or don’t observe it but typically it is a liturgy reserved for more traditionally observant groups.

A couple of years ago I went on  a fast for lent which was interesting.  I also fasted from Facebook last year. Did I reap the benefits that I was hoping for?  Not too sure.  What I’m realizing now is that although the premise behind Lent~ to focus on the sacrifice Christ made and the road to the Cross~ is noble and righteous “looking” it is mostly for selfish gain.  Meaning, that the super-spiritual people who fast or deprive themselves during this season do so in an effort to gain some “brownie points” in the Church or in the Kingdom.  I’m not saying it’s wrong…but it sounds a lot like legalism to me.

I actually like the ideas around lent.  I like the daily study into God’s word, the intense process of preparing for Easter.  But as a Christian, should I not be living that in my daily walk anyways?  Should I not be remembering the Cross, the Sacrifice, the Blood, the Resurrection all the days of my life?   Isn’t that what LIVING out my Faith really is?  It should be.  And sadly, it is not.   I lack the discipline and the commitment that is required.  I am simply not diligent.  But I want to be.  I so want to be. I want my walk with Christ to be real, obvious and practical.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath~ much to the disdain of the Pharisees….the legalists.    They had rules for how a Godly person should act and Jesus was bending, breaking and bull-dozing through every rule.

I am by nature, a non-rule breaker.  I find it hard to fathom how it is fun to break rules.  And yet, when it comes to the commands of Christ(notice I did not say “rules”) I fail miserably.  Why do I find it so easy to not follow the simplest of commands?  He made it so easy.   I mean really, the Pharisees made it hard to do good.  They made it hard to follow the “right” path, but not Jesus.  His way is simple~ Love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.  That’s it.  Just love.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, my passion, my goal, my prayer  is to live out the Love of Christ.  This is not a Lenten goal~ this is my life’s goal.  Do away with the rules and the legalism and get to the heart of it all.

I’m feeling lost in my life right now.  Things aren’t really going as I had planned.  I feel disconnected, not productive.

I’m praying for the Lord to have His way with me.  Not my will but His be done.

My new favourite song is my prayer.

Zoom out

I love my new camera.  The things it can do!! Oh my goodness I haven’t even tapped into 1/2 of its capabilities! One of the best features is the clarity of the photos.  They are so real I feel like I can reach out and touch the subject when it is on my computer screen.  The only problem with that kind of detail is you see every little fuzz ball, blemish, wrinkle and dirt.  Thank goodness for photo editing software!

My favourite type of photo to take is macro.  I just love zooming in on the details.  Especially things like hoar frost, snowflakes, flower petals, and so on.  The intricacy of God’s creation is amazing. There are no words, I am simply in awe.  I have had to stop myself from posting too many of them as I’m sure most people can’t really appreciate what I’m seeing or looking at. 

That got me to thinking about how I percieve everything around me.  Sometimes it’s just easier to tackle any situation with a very narrow lens. My husband gets frustrated how I can work at a messy desk, bake in a messy kitchen , read a book in a messy living room.  But I don’t look at the mess, I just focus on what I’m doing. It’s easy once you get the hang of it!  But truthfully, I’m just avoiding the rest.  Denial is great, for a moment but the problems, messes and issues are still there.

I am learning to zoom out my focus.  In photography, using a wide angle lens gives you a completely different viewpoint than even the naked eye. It is incredible what you can gather into one shot with the right lens~an entire scenic view captured in one shot. 

Denying what’s going on around me~ in my space, in my family, in my life may give me momentary peace but it doesn’t solve the problems and the mess is still there.  I have made a concious effort as of late to step back, zoom out my focus and really look at the situation.  I am easily distracted.  I have been my whole life.  I jump from one task to another and rarely finish on time or on task.  It’s taking a lot of discipline on my part and it’s harder than I want it to be.  But I need to pull out the wide-angle lens and look at my life from an outside perspective.  Am I accomplishing all the should be? Am I being productive?  Am I fulfilling the obligations of a wife and mother to my family?

Last night I made cinnamon buns and a pan of white buns.  I haven’t done that in years. Too long.  My family what out skiing and snowboarding for the evening and so I had the house to myself.  Usually I would take that time to watch a movie  , crank up my music or play piano~ all things that I only do by myself.  But last night I decided it was time to zoom out and look at the situation from my family’s viewpoint. If they came home and saw no change in the landscape of the house they would think that I had done nothing and maybe that’s okay.  But I want my family to know that I think of them , I care for them and I am trying to change my “macro” ways.   So, I baked and I cleaned the kitchen(something that rarely gets done on a Friday night, let alone any other night).  I listened to the hockey game in the background and I stuck to my task.  When they got home, they were tired.  And does it matter what they thought or if they thanked me?  No, because the point was not for me to be rewarded but for them to feel loved. As the ooey, gooey cinnamon buns were gobbled, no one was looking at chores for Saturday~ the main one was done.  Instead, everyone relaxed, got ready for bed and rested well.  All because I zoomed out.

Freedom of Speech is dying.

In our house, freedom of speech is trumped by a few rules.  Maybe there’s a few people around the world that could learn a few things from our simple household etiquette.

When my kids were little we had rules that “shut-up” , “stupid”, “dummy or dumb” were swear words. And really, they are. They’re hurtful and they do nothing for the person saying them except make them sound ignorant and petty.  My 15 year old daughter remarked the other day how when she was in grade 5 “stupid” was the worst word she heard or knew and my youngest, now in grade 5 , is subjected to hearing every vile, vulgar, grotesque word coming out of the mouths of her peers.    It used to be that in a school you would never hear the sort of language that you hear today.  There was respect for authority, respect for each other and restraint on the tongue. All of these have been thrown out in favour of “free speech”.

Just what did our founding fathers have in mind when they wrote that into our Canadian constitution and the American Declaration of Independence?   I’m sure it was more about our freedom to be individuals capable of sharing and seeking out ideas and opinions rather than our right to spout off in any public square our vulgarities and hatred.  But that is what it has become.  There are no longer filters for what is appropriate to say in public and what is not.  And even further still, there are people dying to defend the rights of others to have that freedom who themselves are being targeted by the oppositions to free speech.  It’s chaos.  It’s getting worse.  And it will get worse.

This week, the only Christian government minister in Pakistan was shot dead for trying to salvage the rights of Christians, Hindus and other minority  religions in that country.  All he wanted was for them to be able to talk about their faith, or even be left alone , in a country that is predominantly Muslim.  The Muslim government has imposed a blasphemy law where anyone caught speaking out against the Muslim faith in even the simplest terms(seems to be up to their judgement what “speaking out” is) will be beheaded.  This is 2011 and we still have this sort of oppression!!

Our Canadian and US military are fighting for the freedom of Muslims and others to have the freedom to seek out education, religion and economic progress for themselves.  But the men and women who die fighting for that cause are subjected to, in death, the “freedom of speech” of groups like Westboro Baptist Church.  Now, I’d like to just state that it is their “right” as a “church” to name themselves whatever they want, but they are not evangelical born-again believers.  They do not represent Baptists or any other denomination.  They are hate-filled, fear-mongers and they have the freedom to be as such.  They picket the funerals of fallen soldiers with their signs saying the soldier deserved it.  They chant, yell and sing how God hates America and  God hates soldiers.  It is sickening.  God hates no one.  And yet, because of the sacrifice of those soldiers they have the “right” to do it.

So how did we get here?  Where has the sense of decency and respect gone? How do we teach our children what freedom of speech is without them taking it to a whole new level of “anything goes”?

I would just like to invite the members of that “church” and some of the Pakistani parliament members over for supper. Yep, I really want them to come here, sit at my table and I will show them how freedom of speech works in my house:

You take the Lord’s name in vain,  you yell at your brother or sister, you curse someone, you judge another unfairly, you prevent someone from speaking their mind in a respectful, thoughtful manner or you disrupt someone’s prayer time or grieving time……………expect your mouth to be washed out with soap,  write a letter of apology, say you’re sorry, hug them and say you love them.   And you will do it, or you will be grounded.

Sound too simplistic? Yep, it probably is.  Will it work?  Probably not.  Why?  Because the hatred behind these people’s motives is not simply ” I’m right and you’re wrong”.  Oh , if only it were that simple. The hatred comes from Satan himself.  He is on the prowl.  He is moving and working and scheming and plotting.  He wants Christians and Jews dead.  He’s not giving up and it will get worse~ much worse.

I’m seeing it already on the statuses of some friends and former friends on FB.  People seem to have no problem blaming Christians and Jesus for the problems in the world.  There is a hatred brewing towards anyone who defends Israel.  The world is closing in and closing doors.  Muslims and Atheists have the soap box now.  They spew their hatred and they get away with it.  They call for the murder of thousands and no one bats an eye.  But Christians are condemned for causing religious turmoil.   Many are saying that God has no place in our country because the idea of Him is too controversial .

I will tell you, Jesus does not mind being controversial~ He’s been that way since He was born. But for us, as His followers, we need to stand up and speak up.   We need to defend His laws~ loving your neighbour, loving your enemies, praying for those who persecute you, praying for the Peace of Israel.   Our very freedom of speech is on the brink of collapse.  Those who defend the rights of Westboro church or any others to rant and condemn are the very ones who will be taking our rights to share our faith.  The day is coming soon. So speak now, or forever hold your peace.

To paint the oak or not to paint…

Writing has not come easy this week so I have abstained.  It’s not that I don’t have things to write about~ there are many, just not getting the content and “meat” that I want.

So, I will start this week on the lighter side of things.  We bought this house last fall with lots of oak..it was built mid-90’s.

Saskatchewan farmers LOVE their oak!! I hate oak.  Okay, well hate might be a strong word but it is not even in my top 5 choices for trim and cabinets.  So, here we are in this house where every bathroom has oak cabinetry, the kitchen is full of it, the banister, all trims and doors……ugh.

I want to paint~ I’m GOING to paint!

My husband is cautious though. He thinks for resale(if we should ever need to) I may scare people away. I’m saying, “What people??”  The only people buying acreages in Sask right now are Albertans under 40….hey that’s me!! And we don’t like oak.

In the kitchen I have decided on black…yes , BLACK!

In the living room there is a large mantle and fireplace~ all oak.  I want to paint it a creamy white and lighten up the walls with a buttery yellow. So, here’s the question~ What do YOU all think of me painting the oak in our house? Good idea or not?

our current colors in the living room

I didn’t make supper tonight….does anyone really care?

I’m having one of those days.   You know, the kind of day where you wonder how in the world it started and how or when it  will end.  It started off too early~ 5:15 a.m.  I awoke with pain and restlessness and the usual “you’re not going to fall back asleep” feeling that I sometimes get.  So I got up to get a drink and walk it off(and by walk, I don’t mean outside..I mean 12 paces to the kitchen).  My daughter’s light was on because she’s a nighthawk and sometimes falls asleep with the lights on and no clue of the hour.  But no, she was awake too~ with a pain in her leg.   So here we were~ me being mom and telling her to go to bed while I am likely looking at a restless morning.  I took a blanket to the couch and attempted to fall back asleep.  Another daughter woke me up at 10:30 as we had places to be.   And so began a day of me forgetting …..something.

11:30 off to town for trip one to get 2 girls to figure skating practise

11:55 drop off girls and find out that the 3rd kid needed to be there too(thought that would be 3 p.m. but they changed the schedule without us knowing)

12 noon  pick up mail and discover a flat tire

12:05 drive to tire shop to find that they have left for a one hour lunch(my temp is boiling)

I waited and called my husband to the rescue; he brought Lauryn into town and picked me up for lunch~ this was turning out to not be a good day as I had planned to finish painting at least one bedroom.

12:55  tire shop opens and I leave it in their capable hands

1:15 tire shop calls us while we’re out to lunch and inform us that tire is completely ruined…great

1:45 back to the shop, get a spare put on as they don’t have the tire we need.

2 p.m.  make appointment at bank for setting up business bank acct

Drive to arena to insure the girls are prepared to be in town for a couple hours, give pep talks as they are all frustrated with various problems with coaches and skaters and then head home

2:40  arrive home and begin to prep for painting

4  p.m. send son to town to pick up girls

4:45 kids arrive home and one daughter is pale, shaking and crying….she’s sick and over-skated because the coach would not let her off the ice(my blood is boiling again)

5 give medication, feed someone who hasn’t eaten all day, try to get painting done

5:30 to 8:30~ nurse sick kid, stop fights between others, watch the news, paint, patch walls, paint some more, forget to make supper

Did I mention I forgot to make supper? Well I did . I don’t know who got fed~ hopefully someone did.  Husband came home after 9, I watched American Idol between painting during commercials.

I painted, I nursed, I cheerleaded, I watched, I sat , I waited and I got annoyed.  What a day.

And I didn’t make supper.


I am not a theologian~ you may have figured that out by my lack of Bible smarts along the way in this little blog.

I’ve never been to Bible school~ one of my lifelong regrets.

I don’t read my Bible everyday~ a very bad habit and a very sad commentary on my walk with Jesus.

My little brain~ this grey, mushy matter squished between my ears~ it does not comprehend infinity.  In fact, I have such a hard time grasping the concept of something outside the realm of time that I’ve just decided not to think about it at all.  It makes my head hurt.  How can my one dimensional, start-to-finish life comprehend the vastness of a God who never had a start and never will see an end?? Alpha and Omega.

And then there’s Jesus.  He’s my friend.  I’ve been taught that.  He’s the lover of my soul.  Very heavy comment.  He’s the one I call when I’m in need and He’s the one I cry out to when the joy overtakes me.  But I’ve never met Him.  I’ve never touched His nail-scarred hands.  I can’t tell you what His face looks like or what His height is.  I have no idea how big his feet are or if He has broad shoulders~ I’m sure He must~ He bore a cross upon them.

Holy Spirit.

Even the name perplexes me.  He is HOLY and He’s a SPIRIT.   I’m not one for ghosts, although I do believe they exist when the Devil chooses for them to confuse and assault the psyche of a vulnerable person.  But a Spirit?

There are some things that I cannot explain.  I cannot tell you how to feel about the Trinity.  I cannot make you understand.  My words fall short and there is nothing that I can say to adequately describe why I believe in an invisible, omnipotent, perfect and Holy Creator.  I just do.

It is a Holy place to be when I close my eyes and praise the One who died for me.  It is a Holy experience when I feel His presence within me, around me and through me.  It is a Holy mandate that I know He has placed me where I am, in this time, for His glory and His purposes.  This is all I know.

Holy Place.

Holy Experience.

Holy Mandate.