Thursday, May 31, 2007


My friend Erin has linked to a blog in Austrailia called [hold :: this space] and the author, Cheryl Lawrie has been ministering at Port Phillip Prison and helping the prisoners to express their souls with Psalms. They are the most moving pieces of writing I've read in quite some time. I would love to facilitate this type of writing for a group. I know many of us blogged our own Psalm 23 a couple of years ago, but this free-form Psalm writing is incredible, and these men's honesty of soul is so touching:

[hold :: this space] - Psalms

[hold :: this space] - Psalms of Hope, Love, Fear and Despair
[hold :: this space]- the bits that were missing - Psalms of Boredom

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I needed this today:

It was Argentinian doctor and pop-revolution icon Che Guevara who said, as he was leaving Cuba for Africa, "Let me say, at the risk of seeming ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love."

But lovers are hard to come by. And I think that's what our world is desperately in need of - lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about. We are trying to raise up an army not simply of street activists but of lovers - a community of people who have fallen desperately in love with God and with suffering people, and who allow those relationships to disturb and transform them.

Source: The Irresistible Revolution - Shane Claiborne

via - Inward/Outward

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Keith is the best grocery shopper!

I love my hubby and the produce guy at our Atlantic Superstore!

Look at this!

Keith always seems to hit to grocery store just as the produce guy has marked everything down. It's all still lovely and ready to eat!

$10.00 and great timing has gotten us:

- 8 large cremini mushrooms
- 11 fresh peaches
- 26 ripe tomatos
- 4 lovely avacados
- 2 large bags of spinach
- 1 perfect bag of cherries

Home made Salsa & Spanakopita is on the recipe docket for the next couple of days! (and the best thing about him is that he makes it too!!) I'm just so blessed!
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Six weird things about me

I got a tag from Dizzy Lizzie to share six weird things about me.... hmmm, only six, eh?

1. I have an anonymous blog that I've been maintaining for the past three years. It's where I share the really weird things about myself. I started it anonymously not because of the weird stuff I wanted to share like most people think, but because of the journey I was/am taking theologically. I was raised in a super-duper conservative church where women were silent with their head's covered - I live very far from that now, but getting to this place was excruciatingly painful and full of questions. They weren't safe to ask while in ministry - we were supposed to the "the answer people" not the question people. I love the support and friendship that came about through that blog. I am best friends with some people I have never met face to face because the blogosphere has the ability to link kindred souls together that would never be found in a face to face community.

2. I read about six non-fiction books all at the same time. It takes me ages to get through non-fiction because I only read what I think is transformational and I truly want it to change me - so it takes me such a long time to move through the books - I have them placed all over the house and read them in different spots. Right now I am enjoying Sleeping With Bread by the Linns, Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott, The Dawsonwood Diaries by my dearest friend and adopted mom, Connie Knighton, So I Go Now by another blogging friend I have yet to meet, Jeff Jacobson, Weight, Sex & Marriage by Richard B. Stuart & Barbara Jacobson, Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and finally A Tree Full of Angels by Macrina Wiederkehr. Okay, that's 7, I snuck the Sleeping with Bread in because I'm using it to help me work Step 9.

3. If I have to explain something to someone, Keith or my kids (or maybe even others) I say a quick prayer asking God for a word picture or a metaphor that explains this concept well and I am regularly astonished at how they come to me and I am able to help the person I am talking to understand almost exactly what I mean because of it.

4. I type faster than I can write, and usually even faster than I can think... It's very frustrating for me to have to use a pen/pencil and paper sometimes. It's good because it engages my emotions more quickly than typing, but I still find it very stilting and frustrating that I can't just "move stuff around" at will like I can with a word processor...

5. I loathe the smell of cigars and cigarettes. It engages deep emotions within me and I hate being exposed to second hand smoke.

6. I love broken things. Beach glass, broken pieces of pottery, mosaic and collage speak of redemption to me. Outsider art is my favorite and it moves me very deeply to sit with a piece done by someone else who feels as "outside" of things as much as I do.

I tag anyone who wants to play - just leave a comment and I'll post a link to your 6 weird things!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This is your life

The implications of this article Bob linked to in the New York Times are so incredible I think I'll have to re-read the article quite a few more times:

The Corner: On Telling My Story

NYT: This is Your Life (and How You Tell It)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Missing Madeline

This just tears at my heart. Oh God, keep her safe!

BBC NEWS | UK | Millions visit Madeleine website: "The website also features more than 7,000 messages of support.

Mrs McCann's brother-in-law Michael Wright said Madeleine's parents had been "totally overwhelmed by offers from individuals, small companies, and large multi-national corporations".

He said: "Both of them are firmly fixed on the campaign which is designed to raise Madeleine's profile right across Europe and ensure we bring her home."

Missing Madeline - Bring Madeline Home

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

G8 - Keep your word to the poor!

Please join with me in supporting Desmond Tutu in addressing the G8 countries as they meet to discuss their funding (or lack of) for the worlds poor. has a petion you can sign. Their website states:

This Friday, the finance ministers of the world's richest countries meet to plan the G8 summit in Germany. Two years ago, they pledged to double aid to Africa--but despite their promises, aid from the G8 has actually gone down, and 20,000 children every day are still dying preventable deaths.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has signed on to a letter organised by Avaaz and our friends at the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. The letter will be featured in big ads in the Financial Times and German press on Friday morning, so that the finance ministers are reminded of their promises before they meet. Let's show how many of us want the rich world to keep its promises to the global poor!


Monday, May 14, 2007

How did I get 7 kids at my house today???

Our house is Kid Central today as Ali & Jake have a PD day. These 3 day weekends are great - but I know that they are the reason Canada doesn't get out of school until June 22nd!

Anyway - they are all playing nicely and hopefully will continue - the noise level is definitely a bit more intense than usual though. Hope the neighbors below don't mind! :)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mommy needs a new blog design!

Everyday Mommy is giving away a new blog design for Mother's Day - she is so talented and I want one!!

You can find a her lovely blog here:

Everyday Mommy

Caring for the next generation

Quote from Scot McKnight's blog on storytelling - taken from the Pilgrim Heart by Darryl Tippens:

Jesus Creed » Friday is for Friends: "“An abundant and growing body of evidence shows that stories have a unique capacity to transmit values, shape identity, move people to action, and preserve memory” (175). Thus, “people who care about the next generation will be experts at telling the community’s story” (175)."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Yes, I'm from Wisconsin

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

thanks Jen!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Why I love my community here!

Today's quote from Nouwen:

The Mosaic That Shows Us the Face of God

A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself.

That is what our life in community is about. Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world. Nobody can say: "I make God visible." But others who see us together can say: "They make God visible." Community is where humility and glory touch.

Ceramic Mosaic done by Cleo Mussi

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Organize this...

Part of this process of redemption that I go on about here is that I believe God wastes nothing. He calls forward pieces of our story from the past to be used in the present for the Kingdom. Part of my past was about 3 years spent running a closet/organization store in the west end of Hamilton, Ontario. It was called "The Closet Wizard" - the Wizard was one of my favorite people I had the opportunity to know in Hamilton, Charles. He was a Jewish, South African husband and father who was so much fun to be around. I kind of fell into the job but found that it suited my skill set well.

I am a helper by nature, I never wanted to be, but it just is resident inside of me. I can't stand in the grocery store without noticing someone who can't reach something or who has a question about a product I've used on their face. I am the person you regularly ask "do you work here?"

During the whole time of my employment at said closet store I mourned the fact that we longed for ministry and God closed the door and here I was stuck organizing rich people's closets. I promised myself in that time that if I could ever use this skill in the kingdom that I would do so willingly and make some sense about why I lived that piece of the puzzle of my life. And I have been able to keep that promise in strange and wonderful way - from organizing retired missionaries closets on vacation in Florida as they were panicked about how they were going to downsize into a tiny condo to helping young mothers make the most out of their kids small space and find a way to get things out of site and out of mind.

You can't believe the way women's eyes glaze over when they hear that I have this skill set - they get all dreamy and distant as they think about how many more shoes they could fit into the spaces they have if they just had them organized. Guys, the way to a woman's heart is not only jewelery - organize her closets and you will be her friend for life!

It truly is a life-giving enterprise. I never realized it at the time, but having a place for people to put things away and find them again makes life easier. How much time do we spend tripping over things or looking for the lost items? Maybe if we all were a bit more organized the world might be a less chaotic place to be? Closets for world peace? Well, that might be a bit much, but I tell you this because today I have the opportunity to put my promise into action.

I have prayed for quite some time here that way would open into the community here for me to begin to use my gifts and learn from those doing the work. I have a pretty big personality. Being in a new culture (yes, the Maritimes have a distinct culture all their own - anyone not born here is from "away" - and those of us from "away" have much to learn from this large hearted, kind, centered people) the last thing I want it to bust into a place that is already doing great work and tell them how it should be done. I have seen it happen far too often, in my mission class in college it was termed "Big Bwana Syndrome" - I never wanted to be Big Bwana. I want to learn - but there is something I miss sometimes if way does not open. My big feet tramp down in ways that I miss many times.

This opportunity is too precious to me to step on any toes or blunder in a look like I know what I'm doing. So I am honored for this opportunity, but there is trepidation in my heart. I long to offer my skills and yet learn at the same time. It is new for me. Far too many times I promise what I am unable to deliver - and it is my prayer today that I refrain from doing just that. God help me to keep a reign on my tongue, to sense your leading and not my own here. To listen more than speak and to live in the moment of opportunity - helping others, instead of trying to make myself look more important.

Today I get to go to the Volunteer Centre (our local food bank) and help Donna, the woman who has been doing the work so well for so many years, with the basement of the centre. For those of you who have been following my story for a time, you will know how deeply this opportunity moves me. Please pray for me.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Share, Save, Spend

Since choosing a life of simplicity Keith and I have known that we would be raising Alinea & Jacob in a different way than we were raised. Neither of us ever received much in the way of financial tools and training as children and we have spent much of our adult lives recovering from poor financial decisions. We wanted more for our kids.

The two pronged approach we decided upon was to help them understand the value of things and not their cost, which we aim to do by leaving a gentle footprint, reduce, reuse, recycle. We buy our clothing second hand, redeem things we can find either curbside or at garage sales or thrift stores and choose to live as simply as we are able. The second prong involves learning to manage what money they have access to.

Living as we do and choosing a life in ministry can give a kid the impression that they are "poor" - we have never wanted that for Ali & Jake. We knew we needed to be intentional about making sure they had money to spend, and learn and make mistakes now when they are this age and "under our wings" instead of at college when financial mistakes can sandbag a future.

About this time we had also begun to hear about a ministry called Share, Save, Spend and Nathan Dungan - it's simple kingdom economics that have seemed to fall out of favor in this highly materialistic world (church) we find ourselves. We took what we read there and coupled it with an idea from Larry Burkett and homogenized the peanut butter jars you see above.

We long for kingdom economics to play a large role in our own financial decisions, so we want to model and teach that for Ali & Jake. This small way has been a great tool for all of us and we began it at Christmas this past year. Up until this point we have had no financial "allowance" or fixed amount we gave to the kids. We knew that had to begin if they were ever going to a) learn for themselves how to manage money and b) not feel poor. We made three peanut butter jar banks for each child, cut a slot in the top, made the labels and wrapped them up as part of their Christmas presents with the promise of $5.00/week to share, save & spend.

We committed to providing them with an "income" (we are shying away from allowance because it's not a chore based system - they do their share of the work at home because we all share the load). Every pay check Keith brings home a roll of loonies (CDN $1.00 coins) and they each get 10 of them, 8 go into their spend bank and 1 each into save & share - it's not rocket science, but it does take some intention. When they receive a gift they are expected to do the math and put 10% into save and 10% into share. They get to decide what it is they are saving for and where they want to be generous with their "share" monies.

What we have seen since that time has been incredible. They have independence and can make their own decisions about their "spend" monies, are learning about the value of that money and the cost of things they dream about - and are learning to set some aside for the future and also be generous out of their own pockets. It's been really great for all of us.

I just thought I'd take a sec to blog about it in case it helps any other families in this situation. We felt for so long that we really didn't have any financial tools to pass on to our kids except for a bunch of "rules" that never seemed to help us. This simple beginning has given them a great launching pad for the future. It's opened up tons of doors conversationally and allowed us to begin to see their hearts and how they interact with finances.

I think Jesus talked so much about money because it exposes the motivations of the heart. Taking this development of this stage of their lives seriously has been really good for us all.