Oct 132016
 

I’ve been staring at the screen and the cursor blinking now trying to write and I am aware of the sound of the fish tank needing water, the rush of the filters flowing hard and lulling me to a different time and place.

Aware that the darkness outside my window seems blacker than usual -a sign that the moon and stars must be covered in clouds that can’t be seen until the sun rises.

The exhaustion that has taken over my body weighing me down, like if I were to fall into waters deep I would sink straight to the bottom like a solid rock -and there never seems to be enough air. The air is tight inside of me, not wanting to escape my lungs and refusing to fill them properly too.

Panic possesses me and heightens the sensations of… everything. My emotions running high, my heart easily wounded and hurt. My bruises coloring me in shades of purples and pinks and blacks and green.

The swelling in my back pressing against my tailbone and causing numbness to painfully run down my legs.

A God who has redeemed me and saved me from all of these things if I simply choose to have faith, and I do. I am aware of that, and when the pain gets too high I pull into Him even more than I do in the everyday mundane and for that I am grateful. The hurt in my body and the broken in my soul are what makes me cry out to the One who has already saved.

And, when it is really bad I can feel His mouth against my ear and His words caress my ear “by My stripes you are healed.” The truth, spoken directly into me by the One who IS Truth.

Oct 112016
 

Author and Farmers Wife, Ann Voskamp, has written a whole book on giving thanks. The hard eucharisteo, and for me her words flowing off the pages was absolutely life changing. I think they were for a lot of people given that One Thousand Gifts was a New York Times Number 1 bestseller for some 60+ weeks.

As someone who reviews books I have an idea of how many are published every single day so earning that spot is insane, earning it and keeping it for over a year is unheard of, or at least it was.

My journals filled each year and put into the box in the closet filled with the blessings of the year, the good and the bad. The unspoken-broken that needed to be acknowledged.

Now, I see that this fellow Canadian who is used to waking long before the sun does, who collects eggs in the snowy minus 40 has written another book, The Broken Way, and while I have yet to read it I also completely understand how broken life can be, how in order to experience wholeness I must first experience a shattering of the soul so that God can place me back together.

I am excited for this book. Even the trailer speaks to my soul-holes and brightens the shadowed spots with the One that is the Light. And, we could all use a little more God, stronger faith, more Light.

As the days shorten my faith grows long.

Aug 112016
 

I take a deep breath and point my bottom up in the air wondering how attractive THAT has to be and sorta laugh to myself how awkward yoga can look and how good it can feel. Even though I am not feeling well I decided to hit the mat and sweat it out and lift up my spiritual energy, centering it, refocusing it on the one who created me in the very beginning and saw that I was good.


It has been easy to be down over the last few months. I have felt a ton of pressure in the little things and a lot of slippery serpent heads slithering their ways into my thoughts and creating anxiety and fear, and a lack of trust. In the last session of Hello Mornings, which I have loved for years and even lead a group with Jen from Faith Mustard Seed in for several sessions. This intimate group of people I thought I could trust and ask for prayer in were the ones I went to when I found out my cousin had another baby born asleep. Before anyone had even commented or offered prayers in the private group I was being tweeted about it and my faith in a female lead church community collapsed -hard.

At the same time I had just finished a course in ministry and had received grades high enough to earn me a scholarship. I haven’t logged back into the site since to see what I would like to take, I haven’t even requested a copy of my transcript or diploma for the first course.


Women are supposed to be building each other up, for ever we have helped one another -raise babies, pray, stay strong in faith, cook meals for other families and even offered to help cook or clean for our female friends and acquaintances when they needed it the most.

We are supposed to be lifting each other up and instead this crazy world of social media, on every platform, has become a game of trying to be better or look better or take better photos or eat better foods or pray better. A game of my way is better than your way and the most beautiful of people from Facebook to Twitter to Youtube have worked hard to cut those life giving umbilical cords to the One who always loves and always pulls us up by showing us their ugly sides.

 

It is hard to not be pulled down when in the back ground they are spreading rumors, exposing your private moments and your broken-hard is exposed for the entire world to see.


I am having to remind myself daily as I check in with my soul that my faith in Christ has not changed, but my faith in humanity is definitely in question. It is so much easier to slam the laptop closed and keep it all inside, locked away inside the confines of my mind, but like the Queen song says “I want to break free” and in order to be healthy, I need to.

I am definitely on the defensive, my stress levels high and every one who I was trusting as my “church” community whether in real life or online has fallen into this line of wonderment where my PTSD is triggered and I have to ask myself “can I trust you?”

As I raise my hands up and breath in deeply and lift my heart I know that I am being held by God. And that is all that really matters.

Jul 282016
 

“I wanna play outside the grave but Satan’s shackles keep me enslaved”

I feel like a child hidden in the shadows and my eyes strain through the darkness to get a glimpse of the light. My heart races faster and faster still and up my spine climbs a goose bump filled chill.

My eyes see darkness, my mind remembers that all shadows are cast by the light, the Light -ever present, all knowing. Seeing everything and brightening a path for each of us lambs to follow. Shepherded by the crook of His staff that never guides wrong.

I am the lone sheep hidden and lost in the woods and I know the heard is safe and He will come for me and His hook will gently press on me and bring me back to the path out of darkness and towards Him.


When I need rest my eyes will close and the lapping sound of waves will wash over me keeping me safe. When I need to wander He will watch. When I fall He will lift me up. When I thirst He will quench it. When I am no longer hidden, He will shine out of me, through me, and everyone will see.

The moment I prayed for salvation I was pulled out of the grave, the shackles fell and I was no longer enslaved. I am not hidden anymore.

Jun 252016
 

Tears are the pain my soul displays when it has nowhere else to go

Pain are the words my soul speaks, the black shroud that makes the dimmest of stars blindingly bright

I’ve needed a rest from words lately. A lot of rest. I don’t know why, maybe because I was diving deep in search of words for so much of the winter and spring.

It is exhausting to go into yourself, into the darkened depths where you have everything chaotically stashed away in mounds that would give a librarian a heart attack. Much like the wall of post-it notes that only an author can decipher and turn into a grand story.

Only life isn’t a post-it and no matter how big they decide to make those sticky sheets it won’t all fit and the darkness will creep over like fog over a marsh when the mercury rises, blanketing over the muck with a reflective dew that disappears with the rising sun and somewhere along the broken road you place your hand in the palm of the Son who has risen and you simply rest.


And yet here I am with the thunder booming in the background and the lightening flashing down on a blackened earth and my fingers are tapping away the thoughts that linger in my head and fear greets me in places I had forgot existed and I wonder who I really am?

Am I the child that hopped from rock to rock over snail infested ponds to find a place to sit and soak up the sun, the child who looked at metal barrels laying in the water 20 years ago and wondered why someone would do that to the earth?

Am I the adult who see’s a saltwater tank and grieves the loss of corals and anemones and secretly blames Finding Nemo for the tang’s and clown fish being stolen from our oceans just to beautify someone’s home?

Am I the girl who prays for the whales and the dolphins and has considered jumping ship just to land in the Antarctic whale sanctuary to protest, protect and fight for the whales whose song often falls on the ears of poachers?

Am I the 16-year-old girl who found herself pregnant and madly in love with a child growing within or am I the mother of that child whose smile is enough to light up any room and whose tears threaten to drown me because her pain are the nails through my hands and feet, the spear in my side. The pain a parent must bare in a twisted way so that their child can be fully alive?

Is that how my parents felt? Is that what Jesus told Himself as He felt the weight of His flesh tearing him apart, the sweat stinging into deepened wounds as the sins of the world separated the darkness and the light causing Him to cry out to God, “Father, why have You forsaken me?” before the sky turned angry and His flesh became Spirit?

And then there is my son, the child who nearly drowned drinking water because his laughter got the best of him and the water rushed into his lungs and sent those watching into a near panic and as he told the story he tells me “I wondered if Darin knew the Heimlich, when he pushed on my belly I knew he didn’t.” And I wonder why I worry more about the girl then I do my boy. Is that how it’s meant to be? That the boys can brave this broken world in a brotherly solidarity where the desire to protect outweighs their fear?



A world where your lungs fill with water and moments later you are playing football in the grass with a fire burning down in the background and your laughter and the sounds of your mother and your sister chatting are what fills your world because the moment you drowned you were also resurrected with a lesson learned?

Did my child really have me in stitches on the clouded, stormy ride home and did we almost hit that blur of a deer that for all I know could have been a golden shrub? Did he really just tell me that 50,000 of my cells die every day and that over the course of 7 years every cell in my body passes and has been replaced with one that is new and fresh? Did he just tell me that a sunburn hurts because the cells are protecting us from cancer and committing suicide so they don’t mutate?

How did you become so wise young children? Where did you learn these things and when? Why is it that I see so much of myself in your love for everything and then sometimes I look at you and don’t see me at all?


I am proud of you, both of you. Because you aren’t me and because you are pieces of me that I never allowed to develop and grow. You take big leaps and tiny steps and go where the wind blows, color outside of the lines and walk against the grain all at the same time. You are far more brave than I ever was or ever will be and I am so happy that you aren’t me. That you walk your own paths.

I love that you embrace conflict and hurt and pain because as the saying goes “no pain no gain” and I want you to gain. I want to see you suffer because that leads to growth. I want you to fear because that leads you to cling to the One who alleviates the need. I want you to love fully and be passionate and chase your calling, whatever it may be, whether it’s the Antarctic whale sanctuary where you take on the poachers of the world, or into a mission field learning a new culture and language and sharing your own journey with the world in the name of the One who saves you each and every day. Maybe your dream is to be a mom or a dad and never leave this small town and you want to plant your roots down deep and firm.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, I will be in the cheering section while simultaneously handing you to God, because while this may be your journey, He is the one who holds the map.

Apr 282016
 

The sky seemed to be another evening boring grey and then just as I was about to write, as my Word document sprang to life the passing of the sun caught my window and shone streaks of orange across the wall. I grabbed my camera because I don’t have a phone and I ran to the window, to look at the magic of the sky. Hues of pink and blue and purples, and yes orange, danced perfectly painted. I couldn’t pass them up. I have said it before and I say it now, it’s like God painted the sky just for me.


In a lot of ways He did! No one else has the view from my window. Theirs all show a similar sky from a different perspective. They don’t get the shadows of the truck or the tractor or the trees and while the angle is all too familiar from sunsets and sunrises over the years, they are never the same.


All those colors like the sky is in itself a rainbow. A promise of better things to come and I pull the blanket a little bit tighter as my eyes feel a little bit more solemn and I shoot a prayer up into those heavenly lines knowing that they can’t escape the rainbow, a direct line to God Himself.

In only a few seconds I have prayed for my best friend who has been missing a year, I pray for Andrew, I pray for the money I don’t have and for broken hearts to mend and friendships to restore. I pray that I can feel a bit more lively tomorrow and get my Bible study finished with eagerness instead of weariness.


I crawled onto the bed and my knees cry out that they are sore, but my heart it is the gaping door to my soul that is vulnerable. Ready to be wounded, ready for whatever is in store.

In life we only have a set amount of sunsets before we exit into Heaven and while I don’t know the number, He does, and it is He who I need. I can chose the achy knees to witness His art or I can pass up the bounty He places in front of me and become a victim of myself.

Mar 252016
 

As some of you may know I have been having serious financial issues, like feed my kids or pay the bills. I have never been in this position before and I am honestly humbled by it and I am definitely getting more creative with shopping and making things go further.

Earlier this month I saw the Maybelline Dream Velvet foundation in my local Walmart, and then I saw the price and knew that I couldn’t afford the 12 dollars and still be able to pay for my medications and feed the kids. Kids eat a LOT for some reason.

Since my Walmart doesn’t have testers I wasn’t even sure what color would match me to ask for it for a birthday or risk the splurge. After moping (literally, I was sad) about the financial situation and not being able to treat myself to something that makes me feel beautiful and feminine I reached out to Maybelline Canada and explained my situation and asked if they had a sample. They said yes and asked me what color I was, I explained that I wasn’t sure what shade I would be and said that I am a neutral fair. They said that was great and that my sample was on it’s way.

I was honestly only expecting a couple of those tear out samples you get from magazines but instead I got a package from them and I literally cried when I opened it because this company who clearly doesn’t need to advertise to sell their products was beyond generous to me and gave me so much. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen a photo I took the other day while playing with some of these products!

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation in 10 Porcelain Ivory


Maybelline Master Conceal by FaceStudio Camouflaging Concealer in 10 Fair


Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in 101 Very Black

Maybelline Colorblur by LipStudio Cream Matte Pencil and Smudger in 50 I Like to Mauve It


Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Gloss in 15 Fuchsia Flicker


Maybelline BrowDrama Pro Palette in 250 Blonde


Maybelline Color Molten by Eye Studio in 304 Sapphire Mist

Maybelline Master Hi-Light by FaceStudio Hi-Lighting Blush in 30 Coral

I am beyond grateful and beyond words for how excited I am that a company would go out of their way like this to help out a struggling mama, helping a mama to feel beautiful and uplifted! It really amazed me to find out there are still companies in the world who care about the individual. I am so excited to put together looks and try out these products. It has been well over a year since I have been able to purchase anything for myself and I am so happy that Maybelline Canada decided to bless me in such a way! Even my 11 year old boy was excited for me and was amazed that a company would just send me so many things!!

Thank you Maybelline!! You really knocked this out of the park. I have used most of the products so far and they all worked perfectly and without causing any irritation to my sensitive skin!

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