Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

Well lucky me. I had considered posting a Wow-ful Women video of both of these women individually and then yee ha, I find them together on one video. Now mind you I might just still have to post them individually at some point to really highlight them both but it is pretty excellent hearing these two together.

There are just some voices that blend so beautifully together. More than just being able to find the right notes together, there is the need for a seamlessness of tone and timbre (ooh. nice use of a 75 cent word). I think these two ladies nail both those aspects.

Plus it is one of my favourite sappy songs that you are sometimes embarrased to admit you like because of radio over play, but there you have it. I *heart* this song!

Allison Krauss with Shania Twain (WHAT! I know. Fantastic!) Forever and For Always.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside My Window... someone actually cutting their lawn. Isn't it still April?

I am Thinking... that Brother Lawrence couldn't really have been *that* saintly.

I am Thankful For... another chance to start again tomorrow.

From the Kitchen... homemade, seriously yummy brocolli soup.

I am Wearing... my *skinny* jeans (it's all relative) and a light-weight, empire waist blousy thing that probably makes me look pregnant.

I am Creating... a music line up for our ladies' retreat.

I am Going... slowly crazy.

I am Reading... 1st and 2nd Kings, mostly because I can't handle Brother Lawrence any more.

I am Hoping... for less than 2 weeks.

I am Hearing... that lawn mower and occassionally my kiddos on their bikes.

Around the house... a large number of bags waiting to be picked up by the Canadian Diabetes Association trucks.

One of my favourite things... knowing Chris would rather be here.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week... pick up some new keys!

A picture thought I'm sharing...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Alright, show of hands. How many of you parents just today had to arbitrate between two children both wanting the same toy? How many of you wish that children just naturally shared and weren't filled with such outrageous jealousy? Can I hear an "amen"? Come on now, I know I'm not alone.

But today as this happened in my home, the Lord showed me a little glimpse of a pretty great truth.

Picture it with me: child one is holding the precious toy. Child two comes and tries to snatch it away. Child one grasps it all the more firmly, wrapping his arms around himself and the precious item, perhaps turning his body away from the would-be thief and shouting "MINE!"

Yes? Familiar?

Okay: now see it again your mind, but you are the precious item. The Enemy is trying to steal you away, and the Lord is holding you ever so close, jealous for you, saying, "No. This one is mine."

No one can ever steal a child of God out of His hand. Nearly unbelievable, except to say it was unbelievable would be to say that maybe God is unloving. And I can't say that. God is infinitely loving, so of course he would hold me and keep me and be jealous for me. Consider the price he paid to own me. Why would he then let me go so easily?

But now, just stretch your heart a little further. I had a dear friend pray for me once, as I was slipping into despair and depression, saying that he was jealous for me with a godly jealousy. See, he saw the clutch that the Enemy could get on my heart and was refusing to sit by and watch it happen. He refused to not do something to protect me from what assailled me. He was jealously grabbing me in prayer and saying to Satan "No, her heart is not yours. She is mine, in as much as we are all of one body." (Read 2 Corinthians 11:2-3)

Oh, dear brothers and sisters in Christ: we need, I need, to feel that heated, divine jealousy for each other. I need to look at you in the midst of your struggles and feel as desperate for your rescue as you do. We need to look out for each other as if we were protecting our own limbs. With jealousy, holding each other close in prayer.

As much as I hate to see a selfish, jealous streak in my kids, I am so glad to have been reminded today of Christ's beautiful jealousy for me, and the challenge put out to me to be so jealous for you. I need to pray for you like your life depends on it, because it I think it does. Lord give me that love and jealousy for your people that drives me to intercede for them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Well, I wasn't expecting that today

My dear father-in-law sent me a link today to someone he called "Wow-full". As you know, that word is likely always going to catch my attention.

Perhaps you have already seen this viral video, but if not, let me just set it up for you a bit.

First, I'm going to back up a bit and explain why it made me weep both times I watched it this morning. Yes, I said "weep". No, I wasn't exaggerating.

If you've been reading here for awhile you will have read this post which will remind you of how much I love this song and all it implies and says to me and about me.

If you've been reading here even longer, then you will have read this post and will know how I struggle with "going all out" and just doing that thing that seems impossible, or unlikely, or unexpected for me.

Thus ends the preamble: Actually, I'm not even going to say anything about this video now. Just watch it and go back and read my linked posts up there if you want to see what I was thinking watching this lady and why I cried like a girl the whole time. Thanks Dad :-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dining Tables

We have two dining tables. One is a solid oak, Mennonite built behemoth, smooth and long, perfectly finished. It stretches out a mile to fit our family and friends with comfortable chairs to match. I love this table. It makes me feel like cooking a roast of something and inviting everyone I know to come and eat with my family. It deserves table runners, charger plates and a fantastic floral centerpiece. Love it.

We also have an old, scratched, cleverly designed, straight off the Boat from Holland, nearly antique, 2 chairs missing dining set. It is too small for our family, the chairs are very straight backed and not so comfy. It is currently in our bedroom as the "sit and have tea while working on your laptop" table.

But guess which table I love more?

That old Dutch beauty has a place in my heart. I love the story of Chris' grandparents buying it as their wedding set and storing it in the barn during the war. I love the idea of my mother-in-law's family using that table in a part of the world I may never see. The idea of meals shared, stories told, cups spilled on this table just warms my heart.

And yet, we now have it relegated to the bedroom where no one but my husband and I get to see it. Why?

Five years ago, when we had *only* four children, we began to find that the table was getting a bit squishy for all of us. We had the 4 matching chairs for the set and then 2 folding-card-table chairs around the table. It was a sight. We decided it would be easier, and more fun for the kids, if we set up the card table in the dining room too. So there would be two girls at the card table and then the other four of us at the 'big' table. It allowed for more elbow room and a bit nicer looking table.

One day, my dear April (it is always April), who was 3 at the time, was sitting at the card table, where I thought she would feel like a big girl, eating all by herself.

As the rest of us sat down to say grace and fill up plates, tears filled April's eyes. When I asked her what was wrong she let the flood gates open, saying, "I just don't feel like part of your family when I sit way over here."

"Way over here" was directly over my shoulder. I could put my hand on her leg from my seat. We held hands with her when we prayed. I passed her her food and drink as quickly as I did the other children, and yet because she was at the "wrong" table, she didn't feel like part of my family.

Needless to say, we, in very short order, used our Income Tax Refund to purchase the Mennonite Table that fits all of us in one place.

Which brings me to today: Maundy Thursday. Quite possibly the most meaningful day for me in the Easter Week. It is all about 'being at the same table'. It is all about 'feeling like family'.

Do you think the disciples appreciated the significance of that Last Supper? Jesus invited them to his table. He served them, ate with them, prayed with them, taught them. They shared a meal like a family, but so much more. He showed them how he was going to make it possible for them to be at his family's banquetting table forever.

And so tonight, as I go to church to celebrate this mysterious meal with my extended family, I will imagine all of us together at the 'big table' sharing a meal of immeasurable significance, uniting our hearts to each other, and to Christ.

How incredible is that? What a thought: that my Creator and my King would invite me to His table, to His family, to His Kingdom. With that as my focus, the rest of the weekend will be so much more powerful as I discover what great cost that invitation carried for Jesus. A simple invitation to eat with Him and sit at His table will cost Him his life.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

This video has nothing to do with what is going on this week in my life. I usually try to have things line up a bit. However, today is merely entertainment value. The lady is this video is thoroughly brilliant. That goes with out saying.

Gotta love Sarah Brightman. Could her eyes be any more gorgeous and expressive? But I posted this version of a well-known song for the surprise value. You'll never believe (at least I sure didn't) who she is dueting with...with whom she is dueting...whatever. He is equally amazing in a different way. It is a shock to me. Who knew?! And if you say to yourself "is that...? No it can't be..." it absolutely is! Brilliant!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My favourite band

I've been asked a couple of times to post a video of something original I've written, or to post a video that I'm in. Well I thought today I'd post a video of the team I play with at church.

Now you can see why our building needs renovations:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Heard at My House

Three Highly Adorable Things My Two Year Old Daughter says:

1) "Momma, I love you really good"

2) "Can we watch Sleeping Booty?"

3) "Somewhere over the rainbow, Wake Up High"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

Happy April Fools' Day!

April 1st always brings to mind T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land" due to it's opening warning that "April is the cruelest month". I've always loved that poem. All of it. Even the "Shakespearean Rag" bit, which seems slightly out of place.

That poem always reminds me of my first year English prof at University. She told us we were not to called her "Mrs." anything, or "Professor" anything. She was a grad student, and we should call her by her first name: Romaine. Leave the lettuce jokes at home, she said.

She and I didn't always get along so well, and she nearly wrecked Eliot for me. I can't read the lines "Why do you never speak to me? Speak, speak" with out hearing her do her nagging wife routine, all nasal and bitter sounding. Shame, that. I liked that bit best until then, and heard it in an entirely different way until Ms. Romaine shared her perspective.

Regardless, she clearly left an impression on me, and she didn't fail me, even though she didn't like me much. Perhaps I was jealous of this lady who was doing what I always thought I'd do: be the cool English Prof at some cool University, sitting on tables and inviting my students to sit with me in the Grad Lounge someday.

But I digress:

The other thing that is coming to mind today because of "The Waste Land" and that class is the music I was listening to at the time. I had of course just been done with High School where a cool guy I knew introduced me to Kate Bush. Then in first year English class a different cool guy introduced me to the old Kate Bush stuff.

And so, I am posting Kate today. But I had to pick a newish one. I decided on Don't Give Up, the excellent duet with the highly excellent Peter Gabriel...sigh. I was going to post "Wuthering Heights" but that is a seriously weird video. Not to mention what I used to think was an etheral and romantic vocal effort on that track sounded way more screechy and piercing this morning.

So in an effort to not be too weird, I'm posting this lovely duet. Mind you my kids were all "Who wants to hug for 6 minutes and 13 seconds with out stopping? That's weird." and "Are they married? Because seriously, who hugs someone who isn't their husband for that long. Weird." Clearly my kids aren't all "physical touch and closeness" people.

Maybe Kate Bush is just plain weird. And maybe I am for liking her. Maybe you like her too.

Oh what the hay. Here is "Wuthering Heights" too. Just don't say I didn't warn you. (and someone should tell her to avoid the "dancing" Especially of note is the "speed skating move" at 1:42. Excellent. Okay, but true confessions, I still really do like this song. I'll be humming it all day!)