Thursday, November 27, 2008

Playing with Barbies

Is it just my children that play with their Barbies like this?

1. A "free" shelter for people who need a place to live. And it should be fancy so that even poor homeless people feel special for awhile.

2. Said shelter has free medical care. Every Friday the Doctor comes in and gives everyone a check-up.

3. Then of course there is the church service on Sunday where Greg (our only Boy 'barbie') preaches. The song they chose this morning was Blessed Be Your Name, because some hurting people needed to hear those encouraging words. His sermon text was John 3:16.

4. Afterwards Pastor Greg and his wife Michelle ride off in to the sunset on horseback for a date night. (my favourite part).

I mean this is some good imagination! Meanwhile my poor son is playing with Lego in the corner. He really either needs Daddy to get home from work or his baby brother to grow up ultra-quick.

Good times. Good times, indeed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

If I show up with my hair cut short one of these days, this is why.

Oh how I love this lady's voice. I remember quite clearly thinking she was brilliant (even though I didn't know half of the lyrics to any of her songs). I was heartbroken forever in teen years (which in real time converts to about 45 minutes) when 10,000 Maniacs split up and Natalie Merchant went on a solo career. But that is awkward because she sounded just the same either way so I was never really sure if I was listening to Maniacs or just Natalie...complicated.

I also remember loving that she was in a relationship with REM's Michael Stipe for awhile. That is the cultural equivalent to Fredic Chopin and George Sand or Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley. I mean really? Two such incredibly talented artists together? Just like everyone assumed that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would have beautiful kids, we assumed then that Stipe and Merchant would make beautiful music together.

So here is one of those "feel good songs". From the first beat at the beginning of the song I go "oh yeah. I love this song!" Enjoy.

(Oh read the p.s. at the bottom of this post. I have some homework for you).

These Are Days -- 10,000 Maniacs

These are the days
These are days you’ll remember
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it,
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

These are days that you’ll remember
When May is rushing over you
With desire to be part of the miracles
You see in every hour
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you are touched
By something that will grow and bloom in you

These are days
These are the days you might fill
With laughter until you break
These days you might feel
A shaft of light
Make its way across your face
And when you do
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It's true
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking
To you, to you

P.S. If you have any Wow-ful Women that I am clearly forgetting feel free to leave a comment and let me know. You may very well remind me of a favourite of mine!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Random Thoughts and Apologies

It has been nearly a week since I last posted. I'll blame it on the snow. Wait; that was almost a song title. Except I wasn't really singing. I was just lip-typing.

Okay that wasn't funny. Do any of you even know what I'm referring to, or am I just that much older than you all?

In other news, I am marvelling at how entirely different it is teaching my son his letters than it was the girls. Perhaps it is just that I've forgotten how long these things take or how it comes in bits and pieces. Or maybe I really have so many children I don't know what to do....

nah. can't be that.

On top of that I am toilet training my 2 year old. I think knowing that you need to eventually toilet train a child is one of the best methods of birth control around. Can't stand doing it. There are so many things that are easier about parenting than that.

Also, I've decided that Facebook can be a tool that satan uses to defeat me and amplify the lies that he has been speaking to me for years. Isn't that crazy? Stupid Facebook can become a foothold for the enemy. Lame. I won't even bother explaining how because it will just sound pathetic. And it would make a weird Status, so I thought I'd just mention it here so you all know what bizarre things I pray about... not even making this up.

Alsoly also, I think I would be willing to put up with a really good stomach flu to break my weight loss plateau. One weekend of feeling yucky for the chance to get down to the next weight-loss milestone? Sounds fair. Or I could just start exercising more regularly.

nah. Can't be that.

So maybe I shouldn't have blogged today. This is getting weird.

Let me redeem myself by saying I watched the most excellent sermon on Sunday. I was home with sick kids and so watched Mark Driscoll's sermon entitled Worship: God Transforms. Yikes. And here comes the 'apologies' section of this post.

I do hope you watch more than just that clip. The rest of the sermon is brilliant. Especially the part when he asked a question that reminded me that I still have my poor husband on a pedestal and worship him. I look to him to be my mediator, my judge, my sanctifier, my functional heaven and functional saviour. This is not okay. To him I apologize. To the Lord I apologize. More to pray about to be sure. Watch the sermon and find out what false idols you are worshipping.

And have a lovely day. I promise to be less random tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

And now for something totally different:

I just realized it is Wednesday. And I do not have a video selected for today. Shameful.

So with my daughter beside me (happy 10th birthday yesterday sweetie) I log on. She suggested that I look up the following video for my selection today.

The quality of this video is lacking; still, I am posting it for a very good reason. As I was watching it with my two eldest daughters they were singing along, and one was doing the actions. Typical of my personality, I welled up with tears with the realization that my daughters, all 5 of them, are on their way to becoming seriously Wow-ful Women. They have a headstart on their spiritual walk that I certainly didn't have. They have a passion, a sensitivity, and a desire for the things of the Spirit that is so remarkable for ones so young.

Therefore, in honour of our Supernatural God who gave Jesus for my Daughters, and in honour of my Wow-ful Women in training, here is today's video.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


How predictable that I would post on snow today given the blanketing that we got over night and that is still wrapping itself up around my porch like a turtleneck fresh out of the bleach.

And trust me, now that I feel a great obligation to be funny on a regular basis for Andrew, I do have things to say about the "counting it all joy-ness" of getting 7 kids winter-dressed and into the van. What a great math lesson: how many pairs of boots do we have, subtract the number of boots that still fit from last year, multiply by $30 per new pair needed equals how much leftover for the Christmas Hampers we hoped to buy?....

Thank goodness for a good budget that allows for all these things.

But I, as usual, digress. I'm not feeling funny today. Sorry Andrew.

I went out this morning to shovel the driveway clear so that we could go to the store to buy toilet paper. Trust me; had I needed any other item I would have let it wait until the plows came and spring was around the corner. For toilet paper I have walked through the heat of summer and driven in the dead of winter. There comes a point where the kleenex box is empty and using a baby wipe just isn't appealing for a grown up. So out we go.

My darling man had begun the job for me before he left for work at 6:45am and said "It would be great if this was clear when I got home. Get the kids to do it. They'll think it's fun".

And he's right. They were chomping at the bit to help out. I would have none of it though. Somehow it just seemed like my responsibility. I should clean up a mess like that.

So out I go. Now you should know that despite the procrastinating sloppiness that dictates other areas of my life, shovelling snow gets to be a bit of an obsession for me. I know there is sidewalk and driveway under here and I intend to bare it. All of it. Without a speck of fluffy whiteness to marr its complexion. This is very difficult to do when you go out while it is still snowing. Working for 20 minutes and then turning around to see a Hallmark Card dusting over the part I just cleared is frustrating to say the least. Determined to clean up and make it right I begin to tackle the rest of the driveway before I fix the sidewalk, again.

Then I hear it. My neighbour's snow blower. Then I hear this "Hi there Barbara! How about letting me do that for you? I could be done it in 4 passes."

Now here is a funny thing. I say no. Huh? say what?

No kidding. I try to get him to not do it because, I say, "There is something peaceful and therapeutic about doing this on a crisp day like this". And I'm not even kidding. That was serious.

He will not relent and insists on helping so I can go back and warm up. So what do I do? I smile and say thank you. And then to punish myself for not doing that front bit, I go back and shovel off the patio THAT WE WON'T USE UNTIL JUNE.

Why? What do I mean "therapeutic"? Why did I feel a building resentment that he was doing this work for me? Why do I think Chris would be any happier knowing I had done it rather than the neighbour? Why wouldn't I let my kids do it like a game. Why do I need it to be so perfectly clear?

So the Lord shows me a picture of my state of heart.

"Will you not just stop? You CANNOT do it. You cannot make yourself clean, or good enough, or perfect. You will NOT be done this side of heaven. You cannot get rid of all the sin in your heart. You do not need to reject the support and help and discipleship of others. Just let yourself accept help."

Hmmm. So picture snow as my sin. I try and try and try in all futility to make it go away and look like it is June. Meanwhile there is more and more coming down all around me. Snow won't go until the sun shines down and melts it away, just as my sin won't go until the Son makes me clean and whole.

I feel the need to do it myself, not admit that I need help. I don't want Chris to do it for me when he comes home. I don't want the neighbour to help. I want to be able to fix it. Except it is impossible. There is a simpler solution for me. In this case it is called Faith. And Community. And Trust. Apparently I'm running short on all those things.

Chris is reading a hefty book called "The Politics of Guilt and Pity" by Rushdoony. He talks in there about the different faces of "self-atonement". If I can make myself suffer enough then maybe I can justify myself as well.

That same funny Andrew made a bunch of us cry like girls last year when he shared a story of a life-threatening nature. The punchline of it was as he was nearly drowned he reached his hand out of the water to be pulled up and out to safety by a friend. At the time, and again this morning, I just was struck by how much I need to submit to that. The Lord uses His people to shape and support and change me. Chris is the most incredible husband in this and I am so grateful for his loving, faithful working to present me blameless and without blemish on the last day. With him I can shout "HELP" and know that he will just swoop in like the Knight in Shining Armour.

But this community thing. This is harder. When I come together with my worship arts friends I am struck by how much I need them too. Sometimes I'll need them to come alongside and shovel with me. Othertimes I'm sure they will tell me to go inside and warm up while they carry the burden for me. I don't want to need them. Just like I don't want to need a Saviour.

Funny, that. The most incredible gifts and I'm tempted to say no thanks.

Fortunately for me, I serve a relentless God. He will not let me work my way towards Him. His plans will not be thwarted. Mine? well, that's another story.

So Thank You Lord, for a husband who is one with me and who will not let me wallow in my wrong thinking, who directs me to You and leads our family with love and truth.

And Thank You Lord for a body of believers that I am loving more and more every moment, who I can trust with the details of my life, and who will also give wise counsel, praying for me and helping in practical ways.

And Thank You Lord for your unending, longsuffering, everpresent Spirit who has chased and pursued me, who is dwelling within me, and who is slowly making me more and more like Christ.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Embracing Accusation

The lies of satan are so effect in crippling us simply due to the fact that what he says to us is partial truth. The part that he shares with us are the parts that condemn. The unspoken part is the truth that sets us free. Shane and Shane capture that powerfully in this song:

Saturday, November 15, 2008


What I'm thankful for today:

1. That my seven year old still fits in my lap for a hug.

2. That she still wants to sit in my lap for a hug.

3. That my 2 year old has new glasses.

4. That her sisters won't tease her about them.

5. That my husband is brave enough and loving enough to not let me get away with sin and irrational fear.

6. That I know a really great tomato soup recipe, and that I made it today.

7. That it is raining, not snowing.

8. That I get to go to band practice tonight and see some people I really love.

9. That I made 2 (count them TWO) phone calls today and didn't freak out (see #5).

10.That my baby is learning how to wave 'hi'.

11.That the Lord brings new friends into my life when I need them most.

12.That the Lord is allowing me to hold onto old friends too (hurray for Skype).

13.That there are only 2 more weeks of HIGH Day.

14.That some guy in the grocery store yesterday didn't believe that *all those kids* were mine because I was *so skinny* (snort).

15.That Tim didn't laugh at my songs yesterday.

So there you have the first 15 things that came to mind. Are some of them superficial? Yes. But is God in the details? Yes. So I am very grateful that the Lord doesn't read my blog and say "Well, that's just pathetic". But that He knows my heart and hears my prayers and says "You're Welcome".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

This is my motto for today. Love this song.

This is who I was trying to emulate in my sound check that day (for the few of you who were there).

She has an incredible voice (not to mention perfectly formed lips through which that voice exits).

Holly Cole Trio...delightfully relaxing. And Canadian to boot. Gotta love that. Plus the pianist plays like Steve R. That always makes me happy. Now if only Steve would play on Sundays again...oh but I digress.

Hearing her always reminds me of when I lived with my sister. Back when she didn't think I was judgemental and 'religious' because, well, I probably wasn't.

Here's hoping you have a sunshiny day too. I've decided it is a choice. And I WILL have one. No matter what.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Struggle for today.

I am not enough.

I will never be enough.

I have not enough time, nor strength, nor energy, nor wisdom.

I am entirely lacking.


The Lord is all, and more than enough.

He has done it, He is doing it, He will continue to do it.

Show me how to rest in that Lord. Today it is an uphill fight.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Cure for Post-Partum Depression

A lady at church asked me once if I didn't think I was being very irresponsible for not seeking medical attention and prescription drugs as a cure for my Post-partum Depression. She felt I should have valued the "certainty" of pills over the "hope" of the gospel. You may remember from my other posts about PPD that how I was redeemed out of my pit was by meditating on the Word, choosing to believe in the promises of God as laid out in the Bible. The Psalms were certainly my most favourite spot to rest.

I have also said that I am grateful that I have never found myself back in that dark place, and very much would prefer to never return.


There was a closeness and a clinging to my Father that came through that time that I would not trade for the world. I have wandered away from Him and that utter dependence for every breath and every minute of survival. That I want back.

I listened to this sermon by John Piper and thought I would add a clip here as a picture of what my getting through PPD looked like in part, and what the desire of my heart ought to be even now, perhaps especially now, in my time of comfort and relative ease.

So what do you think? How badly do you want God? I know my wanting is, well,....wanting. Lord increase my hunger for you and my desire for you. Restore me to that place of You first and You only as my survival.

EDIT: I just re-read this imagining I was someone in the midst of the grip of Post-partum depression. A point needs to be added here in that case. If you are reading this and are today suffering and desperately looking for a way out, I in no way intend to make light of your state. I in no way mean to make light of your pain. I am still close enough to it to remember. What I would want you to hear from me is that right in the middle of that pit of despair is a Hope and a Freedom. That is what I found only in worshipping and following Jesus Christ. Are there times for medication or therapy? Sure. But even if those means get you out of your depression, they will not fill you the way only Jesus can. That was the true healing I experienced: not merely the removing of my pain and symptoms, but the vast freedom and hope and lightness and joy that only comes from the Father through His Son Jesus, and wanting Him and choosing Him above everything else.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

Today I am picking a closer to home lady. Well technically, right now, she is the furthest person away from me. But typically she is closer to home.

This is my dear friend Kristina, who is currently working along side her man, Neal, as a missionary/support worker/teacher lady in Papua New Guinea. (Neal is highly busy too sweating it out digging and building and solving moral dillemas on the base).

She filmed this before she left and likely never actually thought any one would watch... until now, where with the staggering readership I have on this blog, 7 more people are going to see her sing! (*snort* I'm so funny)

This song she sings, "Legendary" by Lou Barlow, I had never heard before (ashamed to say). So after I heard Kristina's version, I decided to listen to the original....guess which I liked better? I could be a bit biased though....

Hope you enjoy it! (and don't forget to pray for her and her husband and boys off in PNG in the sweltering heat and malaria filled mosquitoes).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Galatians is tricky

Somehow, in my mind, I have always slotted Galatians as the epistle I could figure out. It just sounds happier, less complicated, than say "ROMANS" (as the lightning crashes and thunder rolls). Do you know what I mean? Say some one asks what your cell group is studying. If you answer "Galatians" they'll say, "oh, nice". If you say "Romans", they'll think your cell group is ultra-spiritual for tackling such a heavy book.

But this morning I read Galatians 2:20: "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."

I've always found this verse freeing to some extent. Almost like I get to be that passive, irresponsible, "hey it's not up to me" kind of person.

But then I grow up a bit and realize that this is hard. It means dying to self and choosing what Christ would choose over what I want in my flesh. It is being the ultimate in responsible: no more shoddy excuses for bad behaviour because all that sin was supposed to have been crucified. This is getting much more difficult.

Then today, I read Oswald Chambers on this. It just made it worse. He writes:

These words mean the breaking of my independence with my own band and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may bring me up to the point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He cannot put me through it. It means breaking the husk of my individual in dependence of God, and the emancipating of my personality into oneness with Himself, not for my own ideas, but for absolute loyalty to Jesus. There is no possibility of dispute when once I am there. Very few of us know anything about loyalty to Christ.

The line "It means breaking the husk of my individual in dependece of God, and the emancipating of my personality into oneness with Himself..."; that is complicated. So my choosing to do what Jesus wants isn't just enough. I can't say "well I really don't feel like doing this, but I should so here I go to do it anyway because it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."

The emancipating of my personality into oneness with Himself.

I need to still get to the place where I am freed to not be bound by the lack of desire to obey in my flesh. I need to still get to the place where my very essence has blended so completely with Jesus' that it is a literal oneness. Not I choose His will over mine: His will IS mine.

This is kind of making my head hurt because it seems so incredibly impossible this side of Heaven.

For years if people asked me "what is the Lord teaching you these days?" I would say "Oh, I'm learning to die to self".

And I really meant that. But today I think I just realized that I haven't been putting my self to death. I've been putting self into Time Out.

I have a lot of thinking to do today. How do you go from "being dependent on God" to becoming actually one with Him? How do you go from living "like" Him to living "as" Him?