Friday, 27 January 2012


Writing with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday this morning over at The Gypsy Mama.  Won't you join?


Sometimes she holds me in the biggest bear hug imaginable and she reminds me so often of animal from the Muppets with hair flying wildly and is all arms and legs.  Not a baby in arms but she is 5, this girl child of mine.  But other times, she will pause long enough to be still and her breath is sweet and gentle on my face, and one arm curls round my neck in the most tender of embraces.  She cradles her other arm tightly round bunny and lodges her thumb firmly in her mouth, and her arm brushes softly against my hair.  She loves tenderly as well.  What stops a busy mum long enough to know this tender love?  Just be still is whispered.  Be still.  Over and over again that tender refrain to pause long enough.  Be still and know that I am God.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Zumba or Rhumba?

I recently embarked on an effort to de-clutter my home (still a work very much in progress!) so whilst feeling enegetically radical, I also decided to try something new for myself.  An advert in the local rec centre for a new fitness class called "Zumba" caught my eye.   It promised me a fitness class with a difference and would indulge my passion for dancing incorporating salsa, jive, tai chi and a bit of belly dancing to round it off.  Feeling keen, I signed up.
The week before my first scheduled zumba, I started to wonder what one wears to a fitness class these days.  I've never been a gym babe with lycra and sporty tank tops showing a toned and tanned mid-riff, not even when I was a whipper-snapping twenty-something.  So I decided yoga pants must be the thing as yoga studios are everywhere.  This wasn't as simple as I'd imagined. It seems yoga pants come in a whole slew of designs, lengths and varieties.  Does one want hip hugging, low or mid-rise, capris or long length for zumba I started to wonder?  At least I had a pair of runners I thought with relief!
Having obtained said pair of yoga pants, I started to look forward to my first lesson.  Then it happened.  Youtube can be a girls best friend or .... not.  I decided I'd better find out a bit more about zumba and started looking for a video.  It started out OK, then I started to watch in stunned silence thinking - YIKES!  what have I just signed up for?!!!  Will my body even move like that?  Never mind calling it zumba - zimmer may be more like it, as in frame as I was convinced I would need one at the end of giving this baby a whirl.   Who was I trying to kid?  I'm not twenty anymore!   What was worse - I had persuaded my friend to sign up with me - my slightly older friend who warned me she'd love to do it if it wasn't lots of high-impact aerobics.  Looking on the bright side I was heartened to see that at least I'd got something right - yoga pants seemed to be OK.  The bikini tops that these energetic, flexible and lythe young things were wearing with yoga pants may require a re-think, but otherwise I'd got part of the outfit right.  Sigh of relief!
Well, with a "nothing ventured, nothing gained" mentality, my friend collected me and off we went to our first Zumba class last week.  Ironically, the class is held in our local Senior Centre.   (clearly so the walking frames would be handy when required after the class!) When we arrived there was a dance class taking place already and my friend and I looked longingly through the window at these seniors having the time of their lives doing a nice gentle formation dance followed by a laughter filled folk dance.   One kind gentleman on leaving enquired what kind of dance we'd be doing.  He'd never heard of zumba but offered to teach us a nice waltz, or said he knew some salsa steps if we fancied something a bit racier and our teacher didn't turn up. I liked him instantly.  Looking in to this kind man's face I realised my folly and that I should indeed be considering the rhumba and not zumba.  With courageous heart, off we went to class, and I can say 2 weeks in, I'm so glad I signed up before I knew what I was getting in to.  I love it - and what's more - I can just about still walk the following day.  I may need a hip replacement sooner with all that wiggling and swaying but at least I'll have danced my happy way to it!

Friday, 20 January 2012


Today I'm writing with Lisa-Jo at for 5 minutes.  The word today is Vivid

I love the word vivid - because it breathes life.  Vivid can't be dull and forgotten, but begs to bring clarity to memory and vibrancy and life to all.  My children are etched vividly in my mind and I love that the memories of them will burn that brightly forever.  Sometimes vivid memories are not so great, but they too serve a purpose.  They steer me to the path I'm now walking and if I use the vividness of the painful experience, it was not in vain.  God can use all to strengthen, mould and shape.  I need to show up with willingness to learn and keep taking the steps.  Vivid can be present too me as well, not just in my memories.  As I experience the day around me, the colours, smells, textures, words and moments make up a kaleidoscope of grace and beauty.  I write to sometimes capture this, in case I should forget - but with vivid - there is no forgetting!  They bear the hallmark of the sharpest pictures of both pain and joy - the moments when perhaps we feel most keenly alive.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Freakin' Clutter

With great intentions I have embarked on a de-clutter challenge with Glynnis this week. She calls it her 15 day clutter free challenge.  Looking round my chaotic home, the thought of being clutter free in 15 days seems very appealing.  A few days in and I haven't even begun to bust my way through the debris.  Instead, I've been instructed to spend time in prayer and prepare myself for the de-cluttering of my brain, and in effect my life, before the possessions.  Yikes!  I'm already apprehensive.  On day 4 and I haven't moved a single thing, except for the usual shifting of "stuff" from one place to another in an attempt to tidy up.  I am starting to think that maybe my house will not be looking clutter free by the time the 11 remaining days of the challenge are over.  Yesterday, I was instructed to begin the mother of all to-do lists.  In it, I was invited to include absolutely EVERYthing I do.  This list includes everything from the mundane everyday loads of washing, cooking meals, tidying toys, school runs, making packed lunches, grooming the dog, to the less frequent managing dentist and hair appointments, buying school shoes for the children, organising and packing for holidays, taking the dog to the vet and so on.  The list is being built over a few days and the really scary part is I'm adding to it at a fairly constant rate.  Todays additions included filling out school permission slips, supervising and signing off homework and hunting down and printing the requested family photo for the latest Kindergarten project.  I made myself feel tons better by only taking up one line on the to do list by heading it all school administration.
Glynnis assures me that I'm going to feel so much lighter after doing this list and that all this information that I carry in my brain isn't doing me much good.  It sends me reminders constantly so I find it hard to rest and often feel like I need to be doing something.  Sound familiar?  It certainly did for me.  What Glynnis didn't tell me though was that at this stage I might be FREAKING out!!!!!!  My list is 5 pages long - and I'm fairly convinced it isn't complete yet!  No wonder I never get everything done.  I'm thinking I need to clone myself several times over.  Or I'm really not kidding when I say I want to simplify.  Who wouldn't with that lot going on?  Clutter!  Ha!  I laugh at the cluttered "stuff" now.  I'm fretting about the rest of the challenge.  Clearly I've been tricked! - this is not about a nice tidy house, this is about getting my house in order.  11 days left - ha!  I laugh at that too - I'm thinking could be a lifetimes work, but I'm all for believing in a bit of a miracle so bring on Day 5 of the challenge I say!  Let's see what's next!

Friday, 13 January 2012


Writing for 5 unedited minutes this morning with The Gypsy Mama on the topic awake.  Click the link or the button in the sidebar to join in.

Go -

My first thought is awake - I'm just not awake properly yet this morning after a disturbed night with small girl.  But then awake starts talking to me and before long it is shouting AWAKE!  I cast my mind back and I'm thinking of a christmas holiday in B.C's Interior.  I had never experienced -40 degree cold before then.  I used to think -2 was cold!  I remember inhaling the crisp air and feeling it cold in my lungs.  It felt as though that cold air was reaching the very depths of both my body and soul.  As I exhaled longing for the warmth of life, I realized I am alive!  And it was like the bold awakening of realizing that every breath I draw brings life.  I looked round at this beautiful creation with new eyes that had been opened and a mind that had been awakened.  Everywhere there were glints of colour throughout the white.  The contrast between blue skies and white mountains, and snow laden trees was so sharp it could pierce me.  The groaning of the thick ice as I would trudge across a frozen lake made me realize that I was alive and all this - all this great big something was awake and joining in the celebration of creation.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A Time To Dance

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Do I believe this statement?  I was recently chatting to a friend about this.  I have been spending a lot of time in thought about time - and I realize the irony as I write that. Time seems to be such a precious commodity, and the world seems to be living at an accelerated pace of life, where time dictates much and drives us at an impossible pace.  I find myself longing to simplify and with that, wanting more than anything to focus on this time and just one moment I have, instead of spiralling in to this afternoon, this evening, tomorrow, next week.  Always driven by an impossible to do list, fretful as I don't have enough time for it all.  But I've felt drawn to question that too. I do, in fact, have enough time.  I just should be more considerate about what I'm doing with it.  Where am I investing my time? Who gets my time? Does my family get my time? Do I spend it in spiritual contemplation of the eternal? Should I be walking in the fields with daisies or cleaning the floor?  Is there time to read an extra chapter of that book to my children or am I speeding up bedtime to check my email, clean the counters, make lunches for the next day?  What in essence are my priorities? There really is a time for all these things, but I must guard about spending too much time doing one thing at the expense of another. I need to find balance. 

This comes after a hard year.  2011 was exceptionally tough for me on many levels, and though nothing circumstantially has changed, something in me has changed. I have been drawn to this passage of scripture over and over again.  As I read all of Ecclesiastes 3, I sense that there is much I have missed in 2011.  There is a season for everything, and if everything has a season, how much of 2011 did I spend broken hearted and broken spirited, really believing that because I'm in a season of trial that only the worst is happening. It doesn't mean it is all bad because it feels all bad.  Did I give myself permission to live it all or just feel the bad during this harder year?  If I believe there is a time for everything, I must believe there is a time and season for trial, and it may be that mine must continue a while longer. But I know that as surely as there is a time to be born and a time to die, my time to dance is coming.  There's more to this journey, but for now I'm cranking the volume and dancing anyway. 

Friday, 6 January 2012


Writing for 5 bold, beautiful and unedited minutes this morning with the Gypsy Mama.  Click the button or visit to join the fun


I want to roar.  I want to roar long and loud and fierce.  I think it might provide some kind of expulsion I need.  Pent up frustration, heartache, heartbreak, anger, despair - all of that could be summed up in a roar.  The lion has it right.  He can also roar for joy - and just because he wants to and that's how I want to roar too.  It is magnificent and expressive and most of all LOUD!  I need something loud, because my prayers feel smaller and smaller and less heard and somehow less important.  The roar would just say it how it is and the very act would maybe make me feel better too.  Maybe that's how we should pray - roar our prayers!  Roar the joy!  Roar the hunger!  Roar the praise!  Roar the hopes!  Sometimes we just need that big and bold and beautiful, and not the whisper of a spirit.  And I ask that God guides me in roars too!  Not the whisper so uncertainty can creep in - let it be big and bold so I can step out in faith and roar through this life I've been given, knowing I walk harmoniously.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

If it ain't broke..... don't fix it

All over the blogosphere I'm reading about people asking God to shake it up a little and "unsettle" them.  It seems they all want their comfort zones challenged and bit of stretching to go on.  I'm all for a bit of spiritual growth, but I just want to shout be careful what you ask for!  If it ain't broke - don't fix it! Really - don't mess with a good thing, just be grateful it's good.  I'm craving stability and to feel settled.  I'm currently running a marathon of being unsettled and this challenge isn't pretty - it's full of stress, anxiety, uncertainty and heartbreak.  Yes, I can choose to trust that God has me, and He knows what's going on, but the battle between rest and respite with the Lord, and gnawing my fingernails and then fingers rages every day.  I may have grown spiritually through the trials, and trusting that God has me where I'm supposed to be is unshaken, but my world shaking round me is not fun.  I'm craving peace, joy, stability and harmony.  I long to bear my trials well, but I'm longing to have gratitude for an easy day instead of finding the gratitude through the hard.  Is it just that we only remember to give thanks and cling on when we're shaken to the core?  I wonder.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Time to hang with friends

I got to hang out with my friend today, and as we chatted I was really grateful for friends and really good friends in particular. They make the best counsellor, cheerleader and honest sounding board that a girl could wish for.  I enjoy that Jasmine got to play with my friend's daughter whilst we chatted over coffee.  I wonder if they will continue to be friends over the coming years, and I realize that these childhood friendships are as precious as my own now.  I need to nurture the friendships that are beginning in my children's young lives.  And I hope and pray that these new friendships become old friendships.  I love that when I hang out with these girls, that there doesn't have to be anything fake or showy.   I am uniquely made, and I can bring that to my friendships, and enjoy each and every person that comes in to my life for their unique qualities.  Note to self - I must remember to spend time with my friends more often.  There's always time to pause long enough for friendship.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year's Day

The children and I headed off for a walk this morning with Monty Dog.  He was disobedient as ever but I suppose he must have a joyful heart to skip so merrily in the sand.  And there's something reassuring about a belly giggle from the small girl as she decides to build a sandcastle with her brother on this mid winter day.  I didn't join in, I was too mesmerized by the bleak grey and winter scene unfolding before my eyes, and if the truth by told, a little numbed by the cold.  There are eagles here.  They sit silent and watchful, but their unique call always gives them away, and sometimes I am lucky to have one swoop by, almost in slow motion, but passing so close that I can look in to his shiny black eye, as he looks in to me.
My thoughts are a long way away, maybe on the distant shores of home, not on the nearby shores of this riverbank.  
I long for fresh starts at the start of the fresh year.  Can a heart really be transformed, and can a fresh start really be given daily?  I wonder about these things, and I wonder what the year ahead will bring.  
In the unrest, upheaval and unknown of today, the snow starts to fall and gleeful feet jog homeward.