Friday, October 30, 2009


There is something great about having a housefull of under-the-weather but not flat-out-sick kids. You know the days: No one is quite up to snuff enough to do all their school, or to be loud and wild. But no one is quite sick enough to just lay deathly quiet on the couch all day either. Just a mellow, hanging out, reading great books out loud together while snuggling under comfy quilts, and drinking lots of fluids kind of day.

And don't forget the soup.

Mmmmmm...Homemade soup. If you know me at all, you will know that my favourite thing in the world to create in my kitchen is homemade soup. It is so simple, but is so satisfying that you feel like a genius at the end of it all. And it is so comforting, both in the preparation, the waiting, and the eating of it.

My delightful kids even said this morning, "Mom, could you only make us healthy food today?" Love that!

So, into the pot went lentils, celery, carrots, potatoes, kale, corn, green beans, and my own canned tomatoes. And into my home went the most incredible aroma. I think the water was barely simmering when one of the girls said "Oh, this smells so good." We just know that a homey, comforting, satisfying bowl is awaiting us. And it is so hard to wait.

Now the potatoes are softened, the flavours are blended, the tummys are rumbling.

Will this take away all of the coughs and sniffles in our house today? Not likely. But it sure will keep our bellies content while we read the next four chapters in our really great book this afternoon.

And somehow, we'll all feel a little better, and more able to enjoy a peaceful, restful day together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


For the last several years if you asked me what the Lord was teaching me right now, I would have said "Death to self". Man, that is some lengthy lesson! Except just lately, I'm finding that the key to the lesson (as to most, I would wager) is submission. Submission to the will of God and resting in His plan rather than fighting for "my way". Because, seriously, I've seen how my way works. Not so good.

If you asked me to clarify what I was learning in that massive topic of death to self, I would say that I am learning to do only what the Lord is calling me to, and nothing else. This looks like me with my nose in my journal making lists of the roles I know for certain that I am called to fill, and then making lists with question marks beside for the roles I could fill, but maybe am not really required to fill. For example: I'm married, so I'm clearly supposed to be a wife. I have kids, therefore, I'm called to be a mom. And so on. But then it gets hazy. I sing at church. Does that mean for certain that I'm to be a worship leader? Or I write. Does that mean for certain that I'm to be a writer?

And then the complicating factor to all this is that I want to really serve the Lord. You know, the missionary comes to church and your heart is quickened by the crazy-faith they are asked to live out. Or that guy at church starts some wild outreach that terrifies, yet excites, you and all you want to do is find something "Big For God" to do. And truthfully, being a "writer" seems bigger and more impressive somedays than being "chief dish and bottle washer".

Yes, well, having 7 children and homeschooling them is a big job to be sure. And I have been convinced for some time that the Lord builds his Kingdom through families as much as through overseas missions, for example. There are many ways to build the Kingdom and I am honoured to serve Him in this way.

But sometimes that little "Look at me! I want to be important too!" attitude rears its ugly head and I question the value of the mundane tasks of my role. And the questioning doesn't squelch my doing the mundane, but certainly the enthusiasm with which I do it.

I want to be Peter walking on water! I want to be Stephen stoned for his faith (well, a little less of that, actually). Then I read this:

"Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on water to go to Jesus, but he "followed Him at a distance" on dry land (Mark 14:54). We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises -- human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through the drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God -- but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people -- and this is not learned in five minutes." (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, October 21)

This is confirmation to me that it is the slow-plodding and small beginnings of being faithful in little before you are trusted with much that builds the Kingdom. And what do I want? A big one time blast of "super-holy-change-the-world" faith? Or a life time of faithful, useful, life-changing (mine and others) faith? Clearly the latter.

And so I continue, changing diapers, making meals, inviting folks over, honouring my husband, loving my kids, serving in the church where needed, and watching to see the Lord make me, and those in my sphere of influence, more like Him. By His strength and for His glory. There is a way to serve at home with the same passion and commitment I would need if I were at the "end of the spear", so to speak. My prayer is that I would approach this Home Mission Field with just that zeal.

This is my marathon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays - Deja Vu

Alright, so I don't know how to type accents on my "e's". Sorry about that.

And truthfully, I am struggling to find blog time lately, which is devastating to me. But I have a few minutes now, and so I thought I would cheat slightly and re-post an older Wow-ful Woman clip about which I was speaking to someone just last night. That little bit of recycling will free up a few more minutes to write a post about the most stunningly confirming word I read in Oswald Chambers today. Then, by the magic of techinology, I will schedule that post for tomorrow, it will post without any time from me on Thursday and it will be as if I blogged two days in a row! Fabulous.

So without further ado, as I find myself neck deep in preparing for Christmas plays and Christmas choirs, here is a very relavant (and possibly my favourite ever) Wow-ful Women Repeat. And do check back tomorrow to see what is going on in my brain!

Click here to relive the moment. (And interestingly, I just realized that my first Wow-ful post was Sept. 2, 2008. I've been doing this feature for more than a year! Shame on me for missing my own anniversary. But really really do go and re-watch this link.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

I do believe I have not posted a WWW for 2 weeks. Can that be true? Shocking. Disgraceful. But don't worry! Have no fear! I am back with a doozy today.

My dear friend, Kate, introduced me for the second time to this lovely singer. I say the second time because the first time I heard this lady sing, I had no idea who she was. The only thing I knew was that she was ridiculously fabulous. So Kate suggests a video to me which shows me the name of this girl and now I find my self watching an embarrasing number of videos of her on YouTube.

Previously, I have posted jazz singers here. I have posted more "trained" operatic singers. I have posted Broadway singers. But I have never posted a gal who could do all the same song....from one measure to the next.

Brilliant! Kristin Chenoweth singing 14G.

Well, okay. One more. This is the first video I ever enjoyed of her: Taylor, the Latte Boy. So excellent!