Friday, June 29, 2007


Well, the Volvo is FINALLY repaired and we are heading out tomorrow as planned. One week in Ontario with Keith's family and a week in Northeast Pennsylvania with mine. My sister Denise and her husband Andrew are working at a camp there and Ali & Jake are going to attend Junior Camp. My father Erv is coming from Wisconsin to join us. It should be a wonderful time for all. Happy Canada Day & 4th of July - enjoy the celebrations and we'll be checking in from time to time as we have internet access.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Afraid to Be Alone

Peter has been talking about Life Together, Bonhoeffer and community at church lately and this quote just sprang out at me today - from inward/outward

Many people seek fellowship because they are afraid to be alone. Because they cannot stand loneliness, they are driven to seek the company of other people. There are Christians, too, who cannot endure being alone, who have had some bad experiences with themselves, who hope they will gain some help in association with others. They are generally disappointed. Then they blame the fellowship for what is really their own fault. The Christian community is not a spiritual sanatorium. The person who comes into a fellowship because he is running away from himself is misusing it for the sake of diversion, no matter how spiritual this diversion may appear. He is really not seeking community at all, but only distraction which will allow him to forget his loneliness for a brief time, the very alienation that creates the deadly isolation of man.

Source: Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Savage Joy

Real Live Preacher has been one of my favorite reads for years now. Every so often he opens the door of his heart on parenting his three daughters. It is always a beautiful thing.

As Alinea and Jacob have so recently grown past the stage of needy childhood I resonate so deeply with these words:

I was drawn to my little girls in those days in ways that are quickly fading as the three sisters grow into young women. Our biological connection showed itself in my love of the smell of their scalps, my physical and intense need to hold them, and my desire to feel their small bodies pressed against my own as we watched movies together on the couch. And I always had a strong attraction to the sounds they made. Their voices were a kind of OM for me, a sound from below all sounds, a noise from the foundation of my existence. Hearing my daughters play was a joyful thing, and the ache of its absence will never heal. It is a wound I will carry as long as I walk this earth.

The best things are like this, aren’t they? They are savage and untamed. Like a great sunset, they can be discovered by chance and enjoyed, but never owned. Like love they can be received but not bought. The best things in life ride a ticklish wave along the surface of your skin, leaving raised hairs in their wake. They move through the world leaving no visible sign. You cannot follow them, nor anticipate their direction and wait for them in a blind.

You will come across spontaneous, unique moments of joy like this now and again. They are Life’s gifts to us all. They come to the washed and the unwashed, to the common and the sophisticated, to the rich and the poor, to the just and the unjust.

Moments of savage joy are there for all of us to find. If you haven’t seen one lately, you only need to slow down a bit and keep your eyes open. I can give you no counsel beyond that. But if you come across a moment of wild, untamed joy, for God’s sake eat it; drink it; hear it; receive it. This is the stuff of life. It doesn’t get any better.

You can read the whole post here: Savage Joy

Monday, June 25, 2007

Healing but never whole

It always gives me peace to find out that maybe I'm not the only person who struggles. My friend highlighted this poem on her blog today and wrote so honestly about her own struggles in marriage. She remembered reading this poem way back before she was married and how it returned to her at just the right time.

It's timing for me is perfect too:


It is to be broken.
It is to be torn open.
It is not to be reached and come to rest in ever.
I turn against you, I break from you, I turn to you.
We hurt, and are hurt, and have each other for healing.
It is healing.
It is never whole.

by Wendell Berry

You can read what my dear, deep friend Claudia Mair wrote about Wendell and marriage here: Wendell had it right

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Living so far away from family our kids are given lots of $ gifts from the grandparents and since we started the "share, save, spend" back last Christmas our son Jake has been saving his pennies. We had told him if he saved 1/2 of the cost of a Nintendo Wii we would pitch in the other half. Well, today he called our bluff and we are now have our Mii's bowling with the best of them.

It is a happy day for the Turner children. I on the other hand never realized virtual bowling can cause back pain... sigh. You know you're in REALLY BAD SHAPE when you hurt your back playing video games...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Making Bubbles & Bubble Wands

I am in charge of the bubble booth at our kids carnival this weekend and am doing research on the best, least expensive (read FREE) ways to make bubbles in big batches for lots and lots of kids.

Here's what I've found:

Magic Bubbles - Creative Kids At Home

Bubble Town - Bubble Making Solution

Bubble Town - Bubble Making Device

eHow - How to make a giant bubble wand

DIY Bubbles & Bubble Wands

Martha Stewart Living - Bubble Wands

WikiHow - How to Create and Use a Large Bubble Wand

One of the reasons I love living in St. Stephen

My friend Dan wrote this gem about one of our town gems Dot, our local crossing guard (who by the way is the TOP crossing guard in all of Canada!): :: Conversations On Emerging Worship - Moments in Time - Dot the Crossing Guard"

Cape Enrage, New Brunswick




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Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick




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Friday, June 08, 2007

Did you really need a sign to tell you?

Saw this on the island the other day and it gave me a good chuckle.


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Thursday, June 07, 2007

A foggy day in Grand Manan - Part Three




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A foggy day in Grand Manan - Part Two





Foggy Grand Manan - Part One





Obvious Mistake

Some of the stuff I
learned early on was useful,
she told me,
but most of it was
obviously meant for
someone who was not me.

STORYPEOPLE - Brian Andreas

Sign up for your own Story of the Day

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Takin' the ferry today

I got an invitation to join my beloved on the Big Island today - we are taking the ferry to Grand Manan. It's a major sea-going vessel and I have to admit I am a bit nervous as I don't know how my constitution will respond to those waves! I am excited to see the Swallowhead Lighthouse and maybe spot some wild life. I am still on the "Great Puffin Hunt"

Last night when we were doing the food collection we got to see a mother wood chuck carrying her baby right across Main Street. I was so afraid they were going to get smushed right in front of us. I think I might have dived right into traffic to stop it. More to keep my kids from having to be a witness to it than to save the wildlife, but that might have motivated me a bit too.

Hope you have a glorious day! I'll post pictures, promise!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Better Storyteller

Too many wonderful links today! LOVE Donald Miller!!
A Better Storyteller | Christianity Today: "'The chief role of a Christian,' he says, 'is to tell a better story.'"

It's all about mission

Bart Campolo has linked to a good friend of his in Toronto who is doing amazing missional community work - amazing article!
Anglican Diocese of Toronto: "It's all about mission, says speaker"

Hunger Awareness Day

Helping with the local food drive here tonight - I'm sure your community is doing something special today too - please be generous and share with the hungry in your communities!

Hunger Awareness Day

Want to be perfect?

Reading today from "Praying with Jesus, Eugene Peterson" - June 5th. I was surprised by the tone of this small/mondo beyondo verse:

"If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." Matthew 19:21

The young man thought he had kept the Levitical command, "Love your neighbor as yourself," but it had never occurred to him that his neighbor might be the poor man, and love might have something to do with how he spent his money.

Who are some of the unseen neighbors in your life?

PRAYER: I know the commands, O God, but I need your help in seeing the people and circumstances where my obedience is commanded. Open my hands that have been clutching possessions; open my eyes, too long blind, to certain neighbors. Amen.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Taking care of the inside of things

As some of you know I adore the high-priestess herself, Anne Lamott and am slowly relishing her newest book, Grace (Eventually). Today found me in the chapter "Cheese Monster" where she is processing her relationship with her mother and how having a teen-ager mellowed the anger of her grief and allowed her to be far more sympathetic to her memory. I am finding so much resonance in her words as I walk this similar path.

This paragraph leapt off the page at me and I wanted to shout a loud AMEN to no one but myself. She verbalizes the ethereal difference that I have tried to put words to between those families who stride through life, seemingly effortlessly, while others stall, stumble and struggle forever.
"My mother's bed always looked like Krakatoa, unless I made it, because she didn't have a clue that you could take care of the inside of things, like friends or your own heart, by tending to surfaces: putting on a little moisturizer, say, or making the bed. Surfaces were strictly for tricking nonfamily into thinking you and your family were enviable, more functional than you were."
This is why recovery has been so important in my life. It has helped me where parenting fell short. Caring for the inside of things was never taught to me. It was probably never taught to my parents either. Generations of my bloodline have probably all struggled with making the outside seem far stronger than the inside could ever bear.

I have found that far too many churches tend to focus on the surfaces too. How tragic it is that those of us who know the Centre are spending too much time on the exterior instead of the core. God forgive us and help us to help these families find and care for the core.

Friday, June 01, 2007

How (Not) to Speak of God

I have got to get my hands on this book:

“…I discovered a way to embrace both the wisdom of those who would say that God is unspeakable, and must therefore be passed over in silence, and the wisdom of those who would say that God can, and must, be expressed. The union can be articulated like this:

That which we cannot speak of is the one thing about whom and to whom we must never stop speaking.

…those within the emerging conversation perceive a very different way of understanding theology. It is no longer thought of as a human discourse that speaks of God but rather as the place where God speaks into human discourse. In other words, theology is understood as the site in which revelation makes its appearance in the world…If theology comes to be understood as the place where God speaks, then we must seek, not to speak of God, but rather to be that place where God speaks…Our ‘theological’ musings can thus be called a/theological insomuch as they acknowledge that we must still speak of God (theology, as traditionally understood) while also recognizing that this speech fails to define God (a/theology).”

Peter Rollins, “How (Not) to Speak of God” (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2006), xiii, 21

ht - Adam Walker Cleavland - pomomusings