"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Saturday, March 04, 2017

testing, 1 ... 2 ...

Hey ... :)

So it's been awhile.

But life is so good. I'm SO very grateful, truly.

We moved into a beautiful condo, perhaps the loveliest place we've ever lived. I still miss our giant back yard, with its gardens and hammock and private, ramble-y, slightly overgrown feel. I miss our north-end neighbours. But ... that's ok. We have scads of sunshine in this new place, and we're in a city that is filled with ramble-y adventures and #MontrealMoments, so I'm not complaining.

Not even a little bit.

I've discovered dumplings, and last week had them IN Chinatown. Before moving to this city, I didn't know dumplings were a thing, as in "let's go for dumplings". Dear merciful heavens above, I have been MISSING OUT. It's possible I have a mild dumpling addiction now.

I'm ok with that.

And spring is coming.

My favourite season.

Plans are being made to head to Ukraine soon, so I'm all a-twitter about that.


And The Boy and I managed to assemble a chest of drawers this weekend from Ikea, without significantly damaging our marriage.

Impressive, right?

Anyway. I've missed you. Hope you're well! ūüėÄ

Thursday, November 10, 2016



The US election is over. As a Canadian (we're all about peace and good government over here), I find the whole US campaign process to be ... just gross. Sensationalized, untrustworthy, small-minded, and way too long.

But I'm not an American, so (rightfully), my opinion carries little or no weight. 

However, as a follower of Jesus, ugh, I just weep, I actually cried yesterday over the ugliness of fellow Christians (on both sides, for the record). The deep division within the Church, which is supposed to be known by the "one-another love" within.

And I cried because we get awfully worked up about votes and policies (which I care about too, for the record). But I'm not sure we live with the same worked-up-ness in our daily lives, not like Jesus said to, with humility, and a heart to serve, and self-sacrifice, and generosity. I think that matters more than a vote (and I DO vote, for the record).

So this morning, a friend of a friend posted this, and I'm sharing it with you. She's an American in Ukraine. She and her family live there intentionally to help at-risk kids, people in poverty, displaced people. They do that in their everyday lives, with ferocity and passion.

"So here's the thing about the people who are followers of Christ.  Some of us are celebrating. Some of us are devastated.  But our job has not changed.  We are supposed to be the defenders of the weak and fatherless.  We are supposed to be the champions of the alien, the widow, the outsiders, the oppressed, the vulnerable.  We are supposed to be the first-responders when hate or tragedy attacks.  So no matter who is going to be living on Pennsylvania Avenue, no matter what changes in our policies or laws or government, we are still supposed to be the ones to shine light, to exemplify love, to show hope.  And if anyone anywhere goes after the weak or oppressed or alien or orphan, they'll have to get through us first. If we claim to follow Christ, this is our job.  The election is over, let's get back to work."


Thursday, August 11, 2016


This morning, I brought another journal to an end.

This one was giant-sized and ornate, not my usual choice. But at the time, it felt like a significant moment was about to happen, and although I had absolutely no idea what that might look like, I didn't want to miss it.

I didn't know it then, but by the time I closed it, everything would change.


It's possibly been
the most intense period of life
we've ever experienced.

Just as an example, one tiny little piece - as of last weekend, our church had served over 10,000 PokémonGo players who landed on our doorstep, about three weeks ago. Four weeks ago, I didn't even know what PokémonGo was!

And there are countless other examples of change. 

From owning a small home with a giant, ramshackle, peaceful backyard -- to renting an apartment, right in the city. From driving everywhere to walking everywhere. From an all-English community to a multi-lingual one, particularly French. From a community whose history, people and ethos I knew to one in which I knew no one and almost nothing. 

And of course -- Andie. 

She's a massive, joyous, delightful, messy change.

But then again - I'm still me. Spike is still Spike (although his hair has changed).

And God is still God. 

I'm thankful for social media and texting and FaceTime that keep me connected with friends, old and new. I'm thankful for years of foundation in my faith, for Scripture I read today that reminded me, "If you love your neighbour, you will fulfill the requirements of God's law". And, "The Lord is my shepherd. I have all that I need."

So today, I've begun a new journal, and it's the first one that I've started here, in ma nouvelle ville. Strangely, that makes me feel at home. It's more of my usual style, peaceful, simple. 

And maybe I'm finally back to blogging again. We shall see. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

pastor ponderings

As part of my own faith, I have a (not perfect) habit of reading Scripture each day. Sometimes I read a very short amount, allowing time for that one little bit to sink in. Sometimes I read lots at a time. Right now, I'm in the "lots at a time" phase, which means reading several selected segments from different parts of the Bible. 

Which led to this juxtaposition today, demonstrating the social contract or expectation between a king and his people in ancient Israel.

First - what would help him stay on track. I don't remember ever noticing this before. Essentially, he was supposed to hand-copy Scripture, in the presence of religious leaders (probably to make sure he copied accurately), and then read some of it every day. It would keep him from becoming ... um ... a tyrannical idiot. It would keep his head and heart in the right space, with humility as key.

“When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way.”
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 NLT

Second - the people prayed for him - that what mattered to God - people, especially vulnerable people - would matter to him.

“Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly.

Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors.

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.”
Psalms 72:1-2, 4, 12-14 NLT

Probably can't apply this completely to national leaders today, as our political system is not tied to a national faith system. (Although I do pray for my nation's leaders.)

But, it's not a bad approach for expectations between pastors and their congregations, i.e. leaders leading with humility and a heart for the most vulnerable (instead of always demanding respect and power from the people they lead) ... and people praying for their leaders, supporting them as they attempt to lead with a heart for God, and for the most vulnerable (instead of demanding that their wants be considered above anyone else's).

Interesting thought. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

puppy play

A long time ago, I learned about five "love languages". Ways people communicate love.

They are: gifts ... quality time ... physical touch ... words of affirmation ... acts of service. 

Andie's a quality-time kind of puppy. She looooves to play. Not so much by herself. With somebody.

The first night she was here, exploring, she accidentally nosed the XBox touch-sensitive power button, which made a startling little beep. 

Now - she's figured it out. And if she feels we have gamed or watched Netflix long enough, she casually wanders over, brushes her nose against that power button, shutting it off, and then looks at us expectantly. 

"Wanna play?"

It's hilarious.

We call this guy Rudy Roadkill. 

And it's a good thing we have an open stretch in our apartment. 

For the chasing of balls.

She brings the ball back and dares us to try to get it from her. If we can't get past the sharp puppy teeth, she noses it away from her just a little bit - "Come on. Try."

"Look, I rolled it away. Just tryyyyyy...."

And then she buries it deeply in her bed,, with lots of snuffles and snorts, head nearly disappearing. 


Monday, March 14, 2016

that time when

Remember that time I had the chance to speak at a conference out west ... and separately, someone wanted to interview me ... and separately, someone else wanted me to write an article ... and it all happened around the same time that we moved to a new city and a new church, and then got a new puppy?

Yeah. That time.

It's been quite a time.

It's why I've been a little bug-eyed.
And also why I've been barely blogging.
Or running.

At any rate, the article I wrote for these guys was generously shared by them as a blog post for someone else, and if you want to read THAT, it's right here.

And if you do read it and think, "Heeeeyyyyy ... I'm sure I've heard her say some of that before, somewhere," you're not crazy. Some of my most long-standing thoughts started out as rambling rants in this space or over coffee with someone.

I'm nothing if not consistent.

And if instead, you think, "You know ... I'm good. I know her. I can probably guess what she said. And instead of sitting inside reading a blog post she wrote for someone else, I'm heading outside to find a beautiful dark roast coffee to enjoy with a chocolate croissant," then you're my kind of people. Because GUESS WHAT??!!!! It feels spring-y in ma nouvelle ville!

I know, I KNOW, it might well snow again before the sunshine finally wins. But yesterday? Yesterday was lovely. And today seems awfully nice too.

Yay :)

Friday, March 04, 2016

a day off

We sleep in until 6:34 AM, when Andie suddenly bounces awake at the foot of the bed, and scampers up to say good morning, nose to nose.

We both burst out laughing.

Spike makes bacon and tomato sandwiches for breakfast, served with steaming hot, dark roast coffee. Brief moment of panic when the smoke alarm goes off.

Note to self:
Bacon makes the smoke alarm go off.

I retreat to my at-home workspace, because day off or not, I have a boatload of work to do. My brain, overloaded for the last while, finally starts functioning creatively again. It's been awhile. Andie plays for awhile and then falls asleep beside me. 

I can hear Spike cleaning the apartment, washing things, straightening things, putting things away, all as quietly as possible. And then he picks up his guitar to learn some songs. He'll play through his headphones for the next several hours and wonder where the time went. 

I've said it before,
and I'll say it again:
he's never more himself
than when he has a guitar on. 

Andie stands up, stretches, turns around and flops down again with a deep sigh of contentment. I keep writing. 

It's a good day.

I'm grateful. 

Happy Outrage-Free Friday to you!