On the days I’m feeling most empty and broken, I remember the woman who reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

The one whose touch He felt amidst the jostling crowd.

The one He stopped to not just look at, but to truly see.

The one He called “daughter.”

Read more

“Thy will be done.”

The words are familiar to us. Memorized and held close against our hearts, this prayer was given to us by Jesus himself in Matthew 6. It is a simple but weighty instruction manual to prayer.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:9-10

But those words, “Thy will be done.” My sinful self finds them much harder to say.

It’s difficult to say, “Thy will be done” when faced with tremendous pain or suffering. How can I pray “Thy will be done” knowing that I may not be comfortable with the answer? Or when faced with the realities of this world — with sickness and job loss and injustice and brokenness? Can I trust His will even then?

Read more

It doesn’t matter who they are. As soon as she sees them walking towards her, the little hand pops up over the edge of the stroller, waving hello.

She sees them.

The neighbours. The dog walkers. The ones busily shouting into their phones. The ones walking alone. Old. Young. The ones I’d chose to avoid eye-contact with.

She sees all of them.

And I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if I stopped to truly see them too.

Read more

A year ago today, we said good-bye.

In an ugly hospital room, surrounded by friends and family, my mom gave up her failing, earthly body for the arms of Jesus. And if I’m honest, it felt too soon. This wasn’t the script I’d written. There were more grandbabies for her to hold. More laughter and smiles for her to wrap us in. More life.

It seems fitting that this one year anniversary falls on Good Friday: a day marked by death and sorrow. A day for tears and mourning. A day when the clothes are black, the mood somber. But what man meant for evil, God meant for Good — even death upon a cross.

Because Good Friday holds such GOOD news.  Read more

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we’ve spent the past two weeks working our way through the Fruit of the Spirit! Originally, I’d planned for more low-key lessons but, with a global pandemic and who-knows-how-many-weeks of self-isolation, we had to ramp things up for the sake of staying busy. (And let’s just say that these lessons are even more pertinent when you’re crammed together in close quarters for so long!)

Overall, these activities and discussions have been “fruitful” reminders for the whole family. It’s been a joy to watch our children grow in their understanding of scripture and what it means to follow God!

Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

(For those who are just joining in, be sure to check out Week One!)

Read more

We had big plans for this spring break but alas, with travel and playgroups, pools and playgrounds, libraries and kids play areas all closed for a global pandemic, plans changed — causing my son to declare this “the worst spring break ever.” (A sentiment which honestly, just made me giggle a little since he’s in kindergarten… This is your only spring break experience, kid!)

Nonetheless,  I did want him to be able to look back on a fun (albeit low-key), first spring break. I also needed projects to keep him from getting bored while we’re stuck social-distancing at home. Learning about the Fruit of the Spirit is a great way to integrate numerous Biblical lessons throughout the day, all the while having fun with crafts and activities.

Each day includes a verse, an activity, Bible reading, and a few other suggestions for how to tackle each “fruit.” I may not be a “homeschool” mom but we’re trying our best to keep learning and have fun doing so!
Read more

Remnants of breakfast muffins sprinkle the floor. Toys dance across kitchen counters as I appease hungry babes with slices of vegetables and bits of bread. I search for the holiness permeating the mundane. The transfer from ordinary into missional.

It’s here. The call to more.

Not to do more but to be more. To look closer. To scrape off my blinders and truly see.

A call to holiness.

A holy call.

The dishes and the diapers. Toilets in need of scrubbing and laundry still to be hung. Downy hair softly caressed as sobs make way to comforted sniffles. Sibling arguments broken up and consequences meted. Snacks diced into perfectly-sized bites. Midnight prayers offered as patience wanes and exhaustion sinks deep and grace abounds. Everyday moments with Kingdom potential.

Look up, sweet child, fix your eyes on Him and see all that which He is calling you to.

A call to more. A call to holiness.

A call to intentional living in the ordinary. Missional motherhood. A holy calling. A call to follow and serve and love. To see HIM in each of these otherwise unremarkable seeming snapshots of life.

A call that transforms the everyday into eternal promise. Never by our works but His. This redeeming, life-altering act of grace that touches everything.

Read more

This is the face of someone who was riding the rollercoaster of “pregnancy after loss” emotions: excited and anxious, nervous and confused, joy-filled and overwhelmed.

The day I found out about this baby, I was at the hospital. It was nothing scary, just my GP being cautious and a fun, human puzzle for the doctors to unravel.

But as I waited on bloodwork and tests, the nurse gave me a little, “Congratulations.” Because those very faint positive pregnancy hormones showed up in my bloodstream and it was official. We were expecting again.

For someone who’s lost five babies, this wasn’t the way to start a calm pregnancy.

Read more

I want to walk in her shoes. I want to follow in her legacy.

Rooting around in the bottom of my closet, I dug out a pair of black boots. I don’t know if I ever saw her wear them, but they were hers. They’re not a pair of shoes that I would have purchased for myself, but when she passed, I took them home.

Today, as the wind blew and the fall leaves rustled, I threw on a thick pair of socks and slid the boots onto my feet. With feet planted in my mother’s shoes, I remembered the path she’d walked. I remembered the woman these shoes had once held.

As a child, she helped point our feet in the right direction. Walking in the footsteps of Christ, she held our hand as we toddled along — until the day came when we learned to walk on our own.

Read more

The words were barely audible — a quiet whisper to a bruised heart.

Write.

The newborn stirred sleepily in my arms, a slice of my heart set out for the world to see. But there was another bit of my heart that wasn’t so noticeable — a piece that belonged to the baby not in my arms but in an infant-sized grave.

His death brought me to my knees. Like the tear-soaked tissues I clutched, the trite answers to “how I was doing” fell apart upon further prodding and yet, I wasn’t ready to wade deeper. I hid behind a veil of fake smiles and flimsy responses, a pretense at normality when I genuinely didn’t know what to feel.

But the word, write, burned ever stronger. As my fingers twitched and fluttered over the keys on my computer, a blog was born.

I started writing as a way to process my grief and as an outlet to the new world of motherhood in which I now stood. It was a type of motherhood that was significantly more messy, more broken, and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. But it took time to discover that that beauty and pain could coexist — that they were, in fact, a glorious roadmap to a life lived more fully in Christ.

I uncovered grace as I wrote.

Grace as I dug deep and pushed my way through the walls of grief and into the comforting arms of Christ. Arms that hold tight. Arms that give freedom to grieve wholly and fully.

Grace to embrace the gift I’ve been given — a gift of tears and love that led me closer to the cross.

And out of those blog posts came a book about pregnancy loss, about stillbirth and miscarriage and clinging to Christ in the midst of it all.

A few months ago, I submitted my manuscript to an amazing, Canadian based competition called the “Women’s Journey Of Faith Contest.” Every year, the winner of this competition has their book published by Word Alive Press (an incredible opportunity for hopeful authors like myself.) I had previously entered this contest in 2017 and been shortlisted, so sending this in felt like a longshot. There are so many talented writers out there with stories that need to be heard. But I also knew that I needed to be faithful with the story that God had given me — and so, with a deep breath and more than a few prayers, I submitted my manuscript.

Read more

Church life with a baby is hard. I forgot how hard.

I haven’t heard a full sermon in over half a year now. The messages are fragmented: bits here and there, snatches of verses and sentences caught and quickly forgotten as I scurry out to quiet a hungry babe. I sit in the nursery, rocking and burping. Sometimes the sermon plays through the speaker, sometimes it doesn’t. Most often us moms are all too distracted by feeds and naps and foul-smelling diapers to hear the words anyway.

Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden.

The invitation presses against my soul. To come and lay down my aches and my insecurities, my doubts and my fears, and to simply sit in His presence. To stop striving and simply worship.

This is a season too.

Read more

**Post originally appeared on the Christ City Church blog in 2015 as
“When Devotions Aren’t Pretty.”**

Sitting on the porch under a soft, golden-hued sunrise, a woolen blanket draped around my shoulders, a steaming drink in hand and an open Bible in the other – this is what I’ve always dreamed of.  Like a childhood word-association game, this is the image that floats unbidden to my mind whenever I hear the words “morning devotions.”

This mental picture could have very easily been plucked off someone’s social media account. It’s flawlessly filtered, cropped, and splashed with cringe-worthy hashtags like #sunrisewithJesus. The epitome of an Instagram photo, it has somehow attached itself to my ideals of what devotions should look like. And since my devotions, in reality, look nothing like this, it ends up being yet another sobering reminder of my shortcomings.

I’ll be the first to admit that this past year of motherhood has rocked my devotional time (and not in an awesome party-rock kind of way.) It seems as if each day slips away in a blur of busyness, leaving me feeling exhausted and drained. It’s easy to flip on Netflix and tune out. How many times have I raced through my devotions, viewing it as simply another item to cross of my daily to-do list? How many nights have I fallen asleep before gathering the strength to grab my Bible off the nightstand table?

Read more