When I was three months old, the Christmas tree fell on me.

I was lying on a blanket underneath the fir, apparently fascinated by the twinkling lights and sparkling ornaments. My mother only left the room for a moment. And it was then, for whatever reason, the tree toppled. With me underneath.

As my mom rushed back into the room, she saw the fallen tree, couldn’t hear me making any noise and immediately assumed the worst.

Fortunately, I was fine. Not a scratch, not a bruise. The branches of the tree had landed perfectly on either side of me. I was just chilling amidst the boughs, unaware of what had happened. My mom always credited an angel for that one. 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.

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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.

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I’m always skeptical of women who say their pregnancy “just flew by.

For me, each trimester is a slow plod forward. The passage of time stutters and hesitates, marked by weekly checks to see “what size of vegetable the baby is today.” I wait for the bump to grow noticeable, for the flutters to erupt into kicks. I fight down the fears: the wait for the bleeding to begin, the wait for the instant everything goes wrong. I mark the milestones as impatience abounds. 

I remind myself to soak in the slow. Waiting is a gift too.

But this time around, things have been different. Life is busy. The days pass in a blur of school drop-offs and lunches made, of nap times and groceries, of walks to the library and full schedules. With two other little ones to keep up with, pregnancy happens quick.

And so, I’m almost startled to find myself past the halfway point.

Now, I have to actively remind myself to search for the slow.  To pause. Stop and cherish. Because now, I am the mother who says it’s “flying by.”

At the ultrasound appointment, a few weeks back, the technician looked over and asked if we’d like to know the baby’s gender. For us, this is an extra gift to bond. A chance to call our child by name. To love them, no matter what, as they are — an incredible gift. Placing my hands on a rounding belly, I thank God for life.

Another miracle.

A story that feels a little more complete.

And so, it is with great delight, that we announce… Read more

We’ve all heard the statistic: 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.

The ultrasound machine that once pulsed with the echoes of life is still. There’s no heartbeat. No baby. This good-bye was too soon and the empty womb is matched only by the hollowness you feel within. 1 in 4.

A few months after my first miscarriage, I entered into a new statistic: “1 in 50.” This is otherwise known as the approximate 2% of women who experience two miscarriages in a row.

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To This Year’s Kindergarten Teacher,

Your classroom is full. It bustles with kids in squeaky, new shoes and oversized backpacks. Some of their smiles are shy, their eyes wide and nerves evident. Others squirm and hop their way around the room, their energy radiating out through a little body that struggles to hold still.

“Welcome to Kindergarten!”

You’ve written each of their names on little placards dotted with star stickers. Over the coming year, these names will grow from mere faces into personalities and stories that you know and love.

But what you don’t know is that there’s a name missing from your class list this year.

You’re one spiderman backpack short.
One tousled-haired child with a mischevious grin is missing.

You don’t see him. But I do.

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I’m not the mom who loves to play.

I’m not the one who enjoys scuttling around on my hands and knees, driving cars around an invisible track or fighting off pretend pirates.

Imaginary play is NOT my strength.

And sometimes, I feel guilty about that.

I want to be the mom crawling around the park, pretending to be a crime-fighting dinosaur named Nora. The mom who spends hours acting out intricate storylines about robots and aliens, running around the house in costumes as we dodge lava pits and trolls. The mom who doesn’t get bored after a couple minutes of playing with Lego people.

I want to be that “uber fun mom” with endless energy and creative passion for free play. I want to give my kids that experience.

But that’s not me.

And that’s okay too.

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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.

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For decades, women have been told to wait until the end of the first trimester before announcing their pregnancies. After thirteen weeks, the chances of miscarriage decrease dramatically and you can avoid the awkwardness comes with having to inform everyone that you are “no longer pregnant” if you lose the baby.

This is one of the main rationals behind this advice.

And I hate it.

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I’m lopsided.

And not just “a little.”

This isn’t the first time it’s happened either. It seems to be that when the milk comes in my babies immediately turn up their tiny noses and deem one side to be of “sub-par quality.” The quintessential picky-eaters from birth.

When my daughter was born, she struggled to stay latched. Those first few days were anxiety-riddled as her weight decreased and her diapers dried up. It didn’t matter that I had a full and healthy milk-supply. It didn’t matter if I used a nipple shield. One side was simply boob-non-grata.

It was exhausting.

It was stressful.

I felt like a failure.

And it took me three times as long to feed.

And so I quit.

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These are the early days. The nights when the baby fusses and you awake every half-hour, bleary-eyed and exhausted. When you’re no longer able to string cognizant sentences together and your nightshirt smells like spit-up and baby lotion.

You’re tired. Oh-so-tired.

If you could wish these nights away, you would. They’re exhausting and mind-numbing: this endless cycle of sleeping, eating and changing.

And yet, you find yourself inexplicably passing up moments of sleep to stop and marvel at this new child in your arms. You kiss the top of their downy head and soak in the syrupy smell of milk and baby. You watch them sleep with wonder.

The little one’s breath comes soft and quick after months spent immersed within. The squeaks and gurgles, murmurs and bubbles from within the bassinet make for a noisy roommate. But when they quiet, you peek your face over the edge of her bed. Your hand hovers over her chest, feeling the gentle rise and fall of new life. For now, life slows.

Yes, these weeks and months are draining. But through these longest of nights, we hear the never-ending whispers of a mother’s love.

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We all know that there are a lot of unseen toxins in the world around us. We use products everyday without knowing exactly what is in them and are just now beginning to learn how some of these chemicals affect us long-term. Most of us have started to think more about the food that we’re putting in our body, but have we ever stopped to think about what chemicals might be hiding within our every-day beauty products?

When I saw friends and family begin promoting and talking about a safer beauty option, I was intrigued (and admittedly, slightly skeptical.) The company is called Beautycounter — a consultant based sales company that markets itself around safety and transparency. 

The premise behind the company is simple: many of the every-day products we currently use contain toxic or harmful, unregulated, chemicals. Beautycounter aims to fix that by providing “cleaner” options. With lotions, makeup, shampoos, and kid collections, Beautycounter offers a wide variety of products that are said to be safer and healthier for consumers.

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