Wednesday, March 30, 2011


 Emily speaks about the brokenness surrounded by beauty, and I feel it.  Her heavy heart and tearstained face come through the screen as if I was sitting next to her, watching her tears fall.  And this brokenness, this pain of life, it's here too.  I see it in my friend who keeps turning to new relationships, looking for peace and joy and instead finding new heartache.  It's in my family, in disappointments, horrible work situations, mental health issues and failing health.  Brokenness haunts us all, in so many different ways.  So we hate the pain, despise it, keep looking for the next best thing, for the thing that will fix us.  When it doesn't get fixed, when the pain continues, we get angry.  Disillusioned.  Hopeless.  Broken.  Or in my case, even more broken.

 I am memorizing Colossians piece by piece this year.  I'm behind by a week or two because I'm stuck on a verse. (My week of being mad at God may also have played a part in why I'm behind)  In Colossians 1v24, Paul says: Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the Church.

 This verse causes me to stumble.  Paul rejoices in his suffering? He keeps looking for more suffering for the sake of the Church?  Was he nuts?  I mediate, walk away and come back, all the while with these themes of beauty and suffering running through my head.  As I mix together the ingredients for dinner, sweep flour off the floor and calm the screaming child, my heart continues to churn.  Why suffering? Why should we feel pain so deeply?

 Last Thursday, I had a meltdown.  In tears, I screamed at my husband that I wished I could remove my emotions, cut them out.  I wanted drugs that would shut down my feelings, numb me, so I could be an automaton performing my task perfectly without any extra emotion.  I feel too broken to be worth something, as if my pain hinders me from being valuable.  I cry over and over again that I didn't ask to be broken.

 Much later I realized that it is because of my brokenness that I seek God.  When things get hard, I cry out.  Sometimes, I shut down, shut God out and walk away.  But more often, it is in these hard times that I grow closer to God, that I am refined.  Without such deep pain in my life, I might not seek God.  This answer seems too simple for such deep questions and hurt.  I know that there are many reasons for pain, sin being chief among them.   But I am comforted for the moment with the knowledge that pain sparks change, primarily in my relationship with God.

Celebrating the broken redeemed

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Gift for Beauty

I can't make things look pretty.  No matter how hard I try, or what I envision in my head, I can't make things beautiful. I can make things taste good, but it won't look pretty.  Thanks to a very determined friend, I apply makeup with reasonable proficiency and I can pick out a nice outfit.  But even those skills did not come naturally. I just can't make things look good.

 Then there is my husband. That man is gifted! No matter what it is, he can make it look good.  He's sprinkled sugar and arranged strawberries on cake, decorates the Christmas tree and has hung all of the decorations in our house.  He has an eye for beauty.  Out of that comes a gift for photography.  His pictures are stunning.

 Steve's been working with the kids on their science fair projects.  He and Aris decided to take photographs of her experiments.  I did not know that science projects could look that good!  If I had done it, it wouldn't be nearly so pretty that's for sure!  Zane's project pictures are also works of art.  After seeing the pictures of both projects, I have been ruminating on how talented my husband is.  Wow!  I'm very blessed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Multitude Mondays 38-52

 I'm tired and starting a headache, so this will be short.  But I've had a delightful day and I'm full of joy and thankfulness.

38. Daffodils on my kitchen table.
39. Golden light slanting across the blue-white snow.
40. A husband who lets me sleep in almost every morning.
41. A visit with a friend
42. including three cups of delicious Bengal Spice tea
43. and fantastic chocolate chip banana bread.
44. Being part of the body of Christ.
45.  Sweet Potato Chili for dinner
46. New geek t-shirts including a "Soft Kitty" one!
47. Being geeky with my husband.
48. A surprise visit from a dear friend.
49. Peanut butter chip cookies.
50. Getting my baby to eat his dinner and drink his milk.
51. My husband thinking I have super powers!
52. Aris and Steve working happily together on Aris' science fair project.
53. A happier heart.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thoughts on Sabbath

  My husband and I both grew up in more conservative Christian homes. Although we grew up in different traditions(he's from a Brethren background while I grew up in a conservative charismatic church), much of our growing up experience was the same.  We(or our parents) took part in the March for Jesus, we worked at Christian camps, sang the same kids songs, memorized the same Bible verses, read the same version(KJB anyone?), and fought the same battles to listen to that newfangled "Christian" music that our parents thought might lead us astray(Petra for him, Point of Grace and Third Day for me).  We also honoured the Sabbath similarly.

 As the church culture has migrated away from legalism, our practice of the Sabbath has drastically changed.  As we've become parents, having a day of rest has both become more important and yet less practical.  We do our best to cling to the tradition of Sunday afternoon naps, but that's mostly because we're so tired.  Over coffee this morning, Steve and I started talking about the practice of Sabbath.  I've been re-evaluating my routines(or lack of) and trying to build better practices.  Yesterday we made a good start as we worked together as a family.  Being industrious felt good! Today we were tempted to keep on organizing, but instead began to discuss how to rest as a family.  The discussion was interrupted by screaming children and we really didn't pick it up again before leaving for church.

 Guess what the topic of today's sermon was? Sabbath! During the first half of the sermon, the minister spoke on the need for Sabbath rest.  After the offering and a period of reflection, the pastor(different person) began to speak on Sabbath renewal.  Although I missed the ending of her talk, it was the second half that really caught my attention.  I'm quite familiar with the concept of resting for Sabbath.  But  the concept of renewal was something new.  She painted the Sabbath as an opportunity to taste beauty and thus whet the hunger for the Holy.  This intrigued both Steve and I.  We discussed this on the way home and came up with some very practical ideas as to how to implement this.  Attending church in a picturesque small town will certainly help.

 Celebrating the Sabbath will probably not look the way it did in our homes growing up.  I imagine that it will be an organic process, moving in different directions according the needs of our family.  We didn't exactly rest today as Steve did some work for my parents.  But we fellowshipped, breaking garlic bread with my parents, sharing our lives together.  We didn't impose a media fast on our children, but we did have an adult naptime.  I actually slept!!! Between the nap, new routines and the glorious sunshine, I have ended this Sabbath feeling refreshed, rested and renewed.  Monday, here I come!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


 I feel like I need to apologize for not posting recently.  I've either been in funk or really busy.  Owing to my recent busyness, my house is much cleaner than normal.  There's still a lot of clutter to be dealt with, but I've been slowly getting the walls and surfaces cleaner.  At least part of that has been child labour.  Today one child grated a bar of soap to make laundry detergent, while another scrubbed a door.  The youngest was supposed to be wiping down a wall, but he had issues so his daddy helped.  The walls and doors that we've managed to clean glow!  It's a lovely feeling. :)

 Part of my motivation in working so hard today was an upcoming date night.  Friends of ours are opening a restaurant downtown and invited us to the grand opening.  She is a refugee from Eritrea.  We met her through our school.  I've been reading a lot about Ethiopia and Eritrea recently.  During my reading, I've learnt a lot more about their food.  Since I'm a foodie, I was quite excited to get to try their cuisine, especially the coffee!  Ethiopian coffee is made very specially and is rumoured to be quite good.  I'm happy to report that it is amazing!

 Tonight was not my first time trying Ethiopian food.  Several years ago, I tried it at the Multicultural Festival.  I hated it.  Seriously, couldn't finish it, had to dump my plate.  I felt horrible.  Two years ago, I had it again at F&ST.  This time, I liked it.  Since then, I've had the odd Ethiopian/Eritrean dish and I've enjoyed it.  Then I began to do a lot of reading on the culture.  Shortly after my reading blitz, I spent the evening my friends from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.  This time I actually had good questions to ask as I finally knew something about their culture.  After I expressed interest in their coffee, my friend told me about the restaurant she is opening.  We received an invitation and off we went.

 We weren't the only white people in the restaurant, but we seemed to be the most out of place.  I'm very glad I had the foresight to dress up.  All of the staff were in traditional dress and the other patrons were dressed up either in Western or traditional garb.  I like African clothing. :) One woman even had a headwrap on.  I like headwraps. :)  This was my first time going to an ethnic restaurant after learning a lot about the culture I was visiting.  We surprised some of the staff by knowing the names of various things, like injera.  As we were leaving, our friend introduced us to the manager and said that we know a lot about Ethiopia and Eritrea.  Normally, I'm very open to new cultural experiences, but not very knowledgable.  It was a neat experience to be more the culturally aware of the two of us.

 I have more to write, but we're going to finish our date by watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  Since I'd like to get to bed at a reasonable hour, we'd better start. Hopefully I will write again soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Toronto Adventure

 About a month ago, I saw an early bird sale on tickets for Canada Blooms.  As I've been before with my mom and enjoyed it, this event registered as something I actually wanted to go to.  But as time went by, it didn't seem like it would work.  Oh well...there's always next year, I thought.

 Then on Thursday, Steve called from work.  "Love, my boss just offered me three tickets to Canada Blooms.  Are you interested?"  Was I interested? Um...YESSS!!!! Excited, I tried to get someone to go with me, but I either didn't hear back or people were out of town.  Eventually we decided that Steve would drive down with me, drop me off and then take the boys to the Science Centre as we have a membership there.  I wasn't enthusiastic about going on my own, but figured the alone time would be good.

 While shopping with my best friend on Friday night, she asked if anyone was going with me.  When she heard our new plan, she volunteered to come with.  I had asked Kate, but she had staunchly replied negatively.  That was fine as I wasn't forcing anyone to come with.  However, I was very excited when she agreed to come.

 We left around mid-morning, reaching Toronto just before noon.  Steve dropped us off, and we trying to be smart, left our jackets in the van.  Although it was chilly, it wasn't like we were going to be outside.  Little did we know what our day would hold.  We entered the venue, looking for signs for Canada Blooms. There were signs for the Sportsman Show and signs for Anime North, but none for our event.  Loitering near the Guest Services desk, we heard someone else be told that Canada Blooms was at an entirely different location.  Tentatively, we approached the desk and asked for help.  The man behind the counter was extremely helpful.  He pulled off a map and gave extremely good directions.  Then we were off.

 At this point, I was extremely thankful that Kate was there.  Had I been on my own, I would have panicked.  Although I'm a confident user of the bus system here, I've only used the Toronto transit system once, and that was with others.  Together, we figured it out, although it was much more her than me.  Once we  figured out where we were, the journey became much more fun.  On one side of the streetcar was the Lake Huron, downtown Toronto on the other.  We had a great view.  There was also great people watching to be had as both Anime North and a Comic Con were happening that day.  A woman dressed up as a demon complete with red skin, horns and wings boarded the streetcar with us.  On our way to the station, we passed several girls dressed in the typical anime dresses.  It was very fun.

 It turned out that the comic con was being held at the same venue as Canada Blooms.  The people watching was great there!  I did however have a moment(several really) of geek envy.  Hopefully I will remember so Steve and I can go there next year.

 Compared to our adventure and the cosplayer sightings, Canada Blooms wasn't very exciting.  But I did enjoy myself.  Greenery and flowers always helps make me feel better.  It was a long day, but a happy one.  After our return home,  Steve and I capped it off with a couch date complete with wings and the sixth Harry Potter.  All in all, yesterday was a good day. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Food, Food, Cleaning!

 For some reason, today revolved around food in my mind.  I'm not exactly sure why, it just did.  For starters, I was bidding on some Toffee Bacon Shortbread.  No, I didn't win.  But now I'm going to hunt down the recipe.  While surfing through the site, I also found a recipe for bacon jam.   Oh, I need to try this! I'm just a wee bit of a bacon fiend. :)

 We get a local/non-local organic food box.  Last box came with a lemon and I stumbled upon a recipe for lemon squares calling for a whole lemon.  My best friend is in town and loves lemon, so I made that for her this afternoon.  They are seriously good!

 Yes, I did more than think about food today.  In keeping with my Lenten goals, I not only cleaned, I made my children clean.  They were slightly bitter about this(and my blood pressure went up several notches), but after my speech on learning responsibility as children so they could succeed as adults, they stopped complaining.  I'd like to think that they were motivated when really they just wanted to switch me out of lecture mode.  However, I think my house is slightly cleaner...We did vacuum and mop but I'm really not sure you can tell.

 Tomorrow I hope to make guacamole soup and maybe some borscht.  I haven't decided yet.  But I think my leftovers stash is running a bit low, as Steve takes leftovers to work with him.  I much prefer this to his earlier habit of eating canned stew. *shudder*

 I'm exhausted, so good-night all!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Break 2011: Days 1 and 2

 It's March Break here so I have all three kids home. By this time of the year, I'm exceptionally excited about the opportunity to not get kids out the door in the morning.  The last week before March Break was brutal.  Kian has been particularly missing his siblings, so he was ecstatic to have them home.  So far it has been a very good week, but it's only Tuesday.

 Yesterday, the kids played really well in the morning.  I also put the older two to work.  Aris unloaded the dishwasher while Zane was given a paid job.  He was informed that the rate of pay was determined by how hard he worked.  He cheerfully scrubbed the bathtub stark naked(because how else can you clean a tub?) for well over an hour.  It is now clean.  After lunch, the older two went swimming while my best friend came over for a visit.  Kian was rather grumpy then, but cheered up as soon as his siblings returned.

 Today we had a bit of a girls' date.  Aris and I went to see Tangled at an indie cinema in uptown.  I've never been there before, although I've heard a lot of good things about this particular cinema.  A couple of years ago, they took over another theatre across from their original one and it's been a good thing.  They've also added in a cafe at the newer location.  Aris and I quite enjoyed our lunch.  She had the uptown grilled cheese with smoked provolone, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, and kalamata olives. It was nice.  Then she enjoyed popcorn with extra butter while I had local hot apple cider.  I will definitely be going back to this theater again, largely because of the great food options.

 I need to go to bed, but it's a been a very good day.  My best friend is in town during March Break which makes it even better.  Last night we played Agricola.  Tonight we played Dutch Blitz with Veronica.  Earlier I had turned on an 80s mix and it never got turned off.  At one point, we took a break from playing to dance along to YMCA.  I also discovered that my daughter is familiar with Thriller.  She was disappointed when we sent her to bed. Apparently she really likes 80s rock. :)

 For all my friends "celebrating" March Break, I hope you're having lots of fun with your littles!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time Change and other stories

 Just to let everyone know, the time changes tonight if you practice daylight savings time.  If you live in my house, the time was changed first thing this morning which led to great confusion on my part as I was unaware.  I began to wonder if I was just losing(and gaining) blocks of time, but eventually figured it out.  We'll chalk the confusion up to sleep deprivation.

 One of the "miracles" of today's time stretchiness meant that I arrived early(gasp!) for a used children's clothing sale this morning.  (When I told Steve about it, I left off the word clothing.  He informed me that we had quite enough, thank you.  Then he told me to be sure to only bring back a quiet one. My husband loves to tease me!) There weren't a lot of the larger children's sizes, which was what I was looking for.  I did find several skirts and one shirt that Aris liked and she bought herself a Mr. Potato Head.  I also bought a "tagged" blanket.  Later, I noticed that Aris was cuddling with it, so I asked Steve to go buy another one. He was nearby, so stopped by and picked one up.  She loved it so much that she took it to bed with her this evening.  The extra sensory stimulation really helped her mood. Yay!

 Today has been a better Lenten observance day.  There will be a used women's clothing swap after church tomorrow, so I went through my clothing and sorted out quite a bit.  This definitely counts towards cleaning my room. :) I also set a menu yesterday for today and hit both of my goals.  For lunch we enjoyed a Quebec version of sloppy joes.  My friend introduced me to it several months ago and it is a huge hit at my house.  She served it to Kian and I recently.  Not only did he ask for seconds at her house, he remembered the dish before I served it and exclaimed excitedly "I yike dis!!!!" Once again, he asked for seconds, as did all of my children. Score!!!! For dinner, I made cornbread(johnny cake) and served the amazing baked beans recipe my friend posted.  It wasn't as spicy the second time around, but the kids still didn't eat much of it.  They did however devour the cornbread and the salad Steve made.  I will count this as a victory, both the day and the meal. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Practicing Grace

 I had to practice grace today. I didn't want to.

My day was filled with plans, the things that I would do to earn the label productive.  Oh, I had plans.  But fulfilling those plans just wasn't going to happen today.  It started off with walking the children to school.  My neighbour and I have been sharing that responsibility.  He really enjoys walking them to school.  I feel guilty though when I let him.  It's about striking a balance, always a hard job.  Today I wanted to walk them.  Upon coming downstairs, I discovered that the previous day's puddles were now covered with snow, turning them into epic slush piles.  Slogging through slush with a baby on my back while carrying a cake is hard going.  But I was determined to do it.  Until my neighbour knocked on the door and I wasn't ready and my knee hurt and...I caved.  Kissed my children, thought a prayer over them and passed the cake over to my neighbour with instructions on which teacher to give it to.  I felt guilty...but also relieved.

 That was the beginning of a day of compromise.  Some chores like grocery shopping, picking up the kids and making dinner happened.  I modified cleaning the rest of the bathroom(just did the mirrors today)  and completely scrapped cleaning the kitchen.  But I added in playing video games with my boy. That earns me bonus points, right?  Through all the changing plans, I kept having to have grace towards myself.  It was hard, until my parents came over and my dad immediately asked if I was running a fever and told me to take some tylenol.  Then I didn't feel so bad.

 Today wasn't exactly unusual for me.  I often have to compromise my productivity because of pain or fatigue or sickness. Having Lenten goals complicates matters and yet, if I hit the mark every single day, would the cross mean as much?  If I could do it on my own, would I need grace?  Yes, I need to strive in all areas of my life, especially regarding housekeeping, but I need grace more than gold stars, more than coffee. I hope that tomorrow will be a more productive day, that my knee finally heals.  But more than that, I hope that in whatever befalls I find grace, both to give and to keep.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yellow Wellingtons

 It may be cold, wet and gross out there, but when you own a pair of rubber boots, all is passable(and possible too!).  Today I donned my bright yellow rain boots for all excursions outside of the house.  Although I probably looked like an idiot, I had dry feet.  Wearing my wellies, I cheerfully tramped through the rather deep puddles on the sidewalks and had an even better time walking through the swamp that is our forest in the spring.  Kian, on my back, kept begging me to walk through the puddles, as if he was living vicariously through me.  I must say, my rubber boots turned a miserable wet day into a much funner wet day at least for me.

 I'm trying to use all the different names for rain boots I can think of.  Any other ones you can add?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lenten Change

 Yesterday, I awake with good intentions.  It is Shrove Tuesday and I resolve to indulge, to get it all out before Lent.  My library books must be finished as I am giving up fiction, so I devoted myself to reading.  But a stiff neck turned into a migraine and even reading lost its pleasure.  Being Shrove Tuesday, we planned to eat pancakes for dinner.  My proposed menu included apple gingerbread pancakes with cinnamon molasses syrup.  But then the pain came and left me in tears, nauseous.  My mom and husband prayed, my stubborn nature welled up, my wonderful husband helped and dinner was made.  A yummy reward for perseverance.

 Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of my Lenten fast.  Not only am I fasting from, I'm fasting to, wanting to work on instilling good habits as well as breaking bad.  My house is often cluttered, I am plagued by procrastination and laziness, an addiction to pleasure.  Something needs to change.  So I resolve and start out wanting to make a difference in my home.  But on the walk to school, I fall injuring my knee.  Walking hurts, sitting hurts, I don't want to do anything.  I long to sit, read a book.  After all, I'm injured.  It's okay.  Grace, right?

 My flesh longs to cave, but my spirit has other plans.  I set a goal just to carry up my fiction books upstairs so they can be put on our new bookshelves.  While I'm there, I find another small chore so do that too...the pain is still there, but I can do this, just this little task.  I find children's books in the hallway and on the diaper drawer, scoop them up and carry them downstairs to be put away.  There are books everywhere in our house.

 I rest for awhile, sleeping toddler on my lap, non-fiction book in my hand.  Then I gear up for the walk to school.  This I can do, even with 30 lbs on my back.  We return and I think of ordering pizza for dinner.  But I can do this, I am determined to.  So I scoop out the cabbage, carrots, onions, celery and garlic from their hiding places and begin to chop.  My oldest boy wanders into the kitchen, whining.  I give him a job peeling crust from bread and he begins to talk, telling me about his thoughts.  I listen, happy that I'm choosing to work, to make this meal for my family.  The soup is done and I could go blow up jewels, but but but.  I take a deep breath...I can do this too.  So I lay out eggs and begin to peel the speckled and fragrant bananas on the counter.  Strangely, this task that seemed too much becomes much easier than anticipated.  My daughter greases the muffin tins and my son demonstrates his push-up abilities. I laugh, the pain in my knee easing a bit.  When all is done, I keep going, clearing and cleaning determined to do this first day of Lent well.

 My husband returns from work and we sit down to eat.  Up we get again, turning on our 80s hits compilation much to our children's delight.  Then we sit, with buttered bread, carrot salad and a simply delicious garlic soup with pesto.  My children declare the soup spicy, but my husband and I just keep eating this, quite possibly the best soup I've made yet.  And I have hope, that even when my body rebels, that I can do this, I can be an overcomer, someone who learns new habits and breaks the old.   Even better than a belly full of delicious, mostly local food is this heart full of hope.

 Linking with Emily

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Scattered Sundays

 I don't often cook during the weekends.  This should be the time that I cook, as Steve is around to manhandle the children as necessary, but for some reason I don't.  Instead we either end up eating leftovers, doing something special like a snacky supper or Steve cooks.  He is an excellent breakfast-maker which is quite helpful as my brain doesn't kick into gear until I've been up for about an hour.  Trust me, you don't want me cooking first thing in the morning.  Thankfully, Steve is a morning person.  He's also a very inventive cook and enjoys creating in the kitchen.

 This evening Steve prepared "Steve's special of the day".  He tends to make pasta dishes, although he does branch out into other areas occasionally.  Pasta tends to be his favourite.  Tonight he began by sauteeing minced garlic, raisins, walnuts, and sunflower seeds in sesame oil for 5-10 minutes.  Then he added in crushed tomatoes, basil, chili powder, cinnamon, sugar, molasses and liquid smoke.  When this was all mixed and heated through, he tossed it with hot pasta. Surprisingly, it was delicious. I'm never sure what to expect when Steve cooks dinner, but this goes on the make again list.  My personal favourite is when he uses curry paste in the pasta sauce, but we've been out of that for about a year. Clearly a trip to the Asian grocery is in order.

 After dinner, my parents came over to babysit*.  We knew we needed a date, we just didn't know what we wanted to do.  After heading out the door, we decided to walk to Chapters. It probably would have been a better idea to decide that before we left, but we didn't freeze.  Thankfully most of the snow has been either shovelled or packed down enough that my shoes weren't a problem.  I can't believe it's March!  Snow, please go away!

 The date was lovely.  Upon our return home, a close friend popped in to say her  verses to me(we're memorizing Colossians in a year).  After we said our verses and my parents left, we had a good chat.  I've been praying for her and felt that I needed to speak some strong truth to her.  It went really well and she was encouraged by my words. Praise God!  It's been a scattered day with a lot happening, but I'm really happy.  Yay for weekends!

*The babysitting arrangements were a story all in itself.  It started yesterday when I called my parents to see if they could babysit.  While on the phone, I had a client call and ended up spending yesterday afternoon at the hospital.  All turned out to be well, but I decided that we would just hang out at home.  However, I still really wanted to get out with Steve, so I called my parents again this afternoon.  They agreed to babysit, but we figured it would be best to see how Aris was doing first.  She wasn't feeling well, and although my parents were still amenable, Aris wanted us to stay home.  I called and cancelled. Then Aris changed her mind, feeling guilty that we were staying home because of her.  I called back again.  Thankfully, they agreed to come and the kids did really well watching nature documentaries.  Aris said they could babysit only on the condition that they brought their Planet Earth DVDs.  Why does my child prefer to watch documentaries to videos?  Not that I'm complaining....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Movie nights

 Every three Fridays or thereabouts, our school council hosts a movie night.  As my husband is the school council treasurer, we always attend.  Typically I help sell admission and refreshments before and during the show.  I should clarify that the last couple of movie nights, my "help" has been sitting next to the people doing the actual work.

 The council started hosting movie nights as a fundraiser and community builder.  So far it seems to be working.  Although we often only come away with a modest profit, there are more than a few families that come out regularly.  We offer halal and regular hot dogs, a variety of pizza including vegetarian as well as the standard popcorn and drinks.  It's been neat to see how many different families come regularly, especially those that are new to Canada or the community.  I think our goal of building community has been successful!

 While the movie plays, I sit in the lobby with some of the other staff and parents.  During the movie, we continue to sell admission and refreshments, but we also enjoy the fellowship.  For some of us, that's the most important part.  We talk about just about everything and sometimes plan events.  Last night, we began to discuss a camping trip during one of the summer long weekends.  One family has gone every year for about eight years and has opened it up to the other families.  I'm looking forward to both the warm weather and the possibility of further developing these friendships. And of course, it's exciting to be going camping again after a few years off.  However, it snowed again this evening causing summer to feel even farther away.  *sigh*

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Crashing Down

 The world is spinning.

 Round and round it goes, us clinging to its sides, unknowingly.  Days pass in a fleet of minutes, long drives through the country flashing past in a flurry of barns backlit by a fierce sun, horses pulling buggies, bare trees silhouetted against blue sky and white fluffy clouds.  Then it stands still, in minutes of fierce driving through snow so thick I can just make out a set of tracks. Minutes feel like hours as I follow the tracks closely, praying that the car ahead didn't go into the ditch because if it did, I'm coming too.  The whiteout ends and time resumes its fast spin.

 Time keeps spinning with diaper changes, conversation jumps, cups of tea, mediating between preschoolers and feeding kids.  The return drive flickers past, moments of beauty blending into each other, nourishing my soul, making me long for a driver and my camera.  Little boy naps, brief moment alone speeding past and then into the grocery store, rushing before kids come home, all blurring fast, the world still spinning.

 With teacher's quiet words, the world stops again and all comes crashing down.  Little girl wrote "I am bad" in a description about herself.  My heart breaks.  The children fight, refusing to listen, to work together.  I am crumpled, standing there crying, leaning against the van.  Despair lingers, children continue to scream.  The phone rings and rings and rings as I open my door, trying to enter with bags of groceries and disgruntled children.  Finally, I answer.  My mother in crisis calls to update me, only to find my world crashing to a halt.  She musters the cavalry and over she and dad come to start my world spinning again.

 She brings cookbook, Beth Moore audiobook, and her crocheting.  This time the project is for me, a bright shawl/poncho made with ribbon yarn. I model it several times.  My dad plays with the kids, working with my oldest boy on his reading.  While I bring in the rest of the groceries, he convinces Zane to put on a shirt, and dresses Kian in shorts, a t-shirt and socks pulled up to his knees.  Strange winter attire, but better than his previous nudity.  The world starts to spin again, slowly.  My heart is still heavy, but no longer bogged down.

 We go to our Lifegroup where they play the latest message from LifeChurch on overcoming.  I am encouraged, challenged, hopeful.  The little girl disobeys, plunging into despair again.  But this time, I have  hope.  We will overcome.  My world doesn't stop.  I pray, we chat and I come up with a plan. We will start tracking her obedience, chart it and then start memorizing scripture.  And I will pray for this dear little girl who is not a failure, not a problem, but a beloved child of God, just like her mom.  Just like that, my world is spinning, restored.  I can go to bed now.

Joining with the broken redeemed at