Friday, June 16, 2017

Deeper Things: Love



I don't know how old I was, maybe eight or nine, but I remember picketing with my grandmother in front  of an abortion clinic in Ontario one summer. At the time, I didn't really understand what we were doing, but it felt purposeful. I don't remember what the sign I was carrying said, but I remember walking in circles around the clinic. I remember thinking that my grandmother was a warrior and I admired her passion and her fearlessness. While I admire her immensely  I couldn't fathom doing something like that again. Not because I am afraid , I'm pretty fearless, but because it isn't loving.

Furthermore, I  don't think that's how Jesus would have handled things.

As much as abortion makes my heart ache, Jesus gave humanity the freedom to make choices whether they are life giving or otherwise. We are not responsible for others actions but we have been called to love. Period. Being loving means supporting someone when they decide to make the decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, love means walking them through the heartache and speaking life and hope and grace into their lives.

I understand righteous indignation, I understand wanting to save babies lives, but I don't think that we will ever achieve that through shaming, condemning or pointing
fingers.

As a Doula, I am passionate about providing women with information so that they can make informed decisions about their pregnancy, birth and postpartum. My job to is prepare women and then support their decisions along the way. My job isn't to dictate a women's journey so that she achieves my vision of a "dream birth". My job is to help her feel supported and empowered regardless of how her birth unfolds.

I think this is how we need to approach women with unwanted pregnancies. They need to know what their options are, and have support regardless of the choice they make. They need to have the facts but they also need to feel supported regardless of what  they choose. That's why I love our local
Crossroads Pregnancy Center. They are an amazing non profit facility that does just that. They offer free pregnancy tests, options counselling, post adoption support and counselling, miscarriage support, parental support and counselling, and free baby supplies. They are amazing!!!!

If you would like to partner with crossroads pregnancy center you can support them by clicking HERE.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Deeper Thoughts" "Who do you say that I am"?



I often like to listen to worship music when I am cooking dinner or washing a mountain of dishes at the end of the day. It drowns out the sound of my children bickering and helps keep my heart in the right place. A couple months ago, I was listening to music on spotify when "Let it be Jesus"  by Christy Nockels started playing. I suddenly found my heavy heart springing to life.

In that instance, my heart was particularly heavy, especially in the wake of
reading a book called "How Jesus became God" by Bard D. Ehrman. It's a book that I have wanted to read ever since I spotted it at chapters a couple years ago. It deals with a difficult and intimidating topic but one that I have been thinking about researching for some time.

Some people are able to accept things easily, but for some reason, I continually wrestle with my faith and beliefs. Perhaps it is because one time a  friend said "maybe you believe what you believe because you want to it to be real so badly". Nevertheless, I  find myself continually examining my beliefs, weighing them, testing them and ultimately, challenging them. I refuse to believe something just because I have been told to or because I "should".

The topic of Jesus is one that I am heavily invested in. Why?

Who Jesus IS MATTERS to me. It is the crux of my faith. If Jesus is not God, it changes EVERYTHING. If Jesus is not 'the visible image of the invisible God", then my understanding of who God  is, is flawed and incomplete. It means I only have half the picture. It means that the only aspects of God that I know are those that are demonstrated in the first half of the Bible.  It means that we have not been liberated from the old system that was in place during in the Old Testament among MANY other things.  If Jesus is not God, then I am following someone who was either delusional or skilled at convincing people that he was God.

Many people believe that he was a good man, a prophet, or a teacher. Others believe that Jesus was Satan's brother, a glorified man, wise man, or an apostle of God.

In Mark 8:28 Jesus asks, "Who do you say that I am"?

Now that is a powerful question!

This morning I was listening to "Barabas" from Judah Smith's "Jesus_Is" project and I found myself captivated by the following phrase....

"Could it be that there's a God with a love so scandalous, so wide, so deep, so vast, so high, so expansive, so welcoming and so inclusive…? "

Could there be a God with a love so scandalous?

Most people don't think so. Most people either think that if there is a God, he is cruel, uninvolved or non-existent. There are times when I am tempted to believe that....but then I remember who Jesus is.
Jesus shows us that God is involved, intimately acquainted with us and ever present. He lived in our shoes, ached, experienced hunger, and ultimately sacrificed his life for ours.

If I truly believe that Jesus is God, I am ALL in because who wouldn't want to follow someone with a love so scandalous.

These days some of my most profound moments with God happen the gym. Sweaty, grunting and panting through my workout, I find tears gliding down my cheeks, I find my heart wrenching and softening ....becoming putty in His hands.  I find myself relinquishing everything that burdens me.

What I love the most, is that these moments happen in a sweaty gym,  over  sink of dirty dishes,  and in the throes of making supper for tired, cranky kids.

They are profound, undeniable and  startlingly beautiful.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Finally!



This past week I FINALLY figured out how to take the kind of photos I have been longing to take. 
It's sounds silly to admit this, after having owned a digital SLR for over seven years, but I have been terrified of shooting on M (manual).  I couldn't for the life of me, wrap my head around  how the ISO, shutter speed and aperture worked together.  For some reason, everything finally clicked.
I am doing a happy dance over here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wide open Spaces



This weekend we finally got around to weeding, weedwacking, and prepping our garden beds. We had our work cut out for us. We have twice as much garden space as we have had in previous years, so we are looking forward to growing squashes and possibly even some watermelon. I intend to grow an obscene amount of cherry tomatoes.

Nate's hives suffered over our long cold winter but have improved in the past month. He built a ton of bee keeping equipment over the winter and I'm glad he did, otherwise we would have had a few hives swarm already. The tall hive on the far left side of this photo is one of the most aggressive he has ever had.


Being able to keep our bees and have a garden on this lovely five acre farm has been such a gift. There is no way that we would be able to grow vegetables in our shaded back yard. Perhaps one day, God permitting,  we will have a property with lovely rolling hills like these.


Being able to spend time at farm has also been a gift to our children. While we enjoy hiking and exploring in the many parks in our community, it is nice to have wild, open spaces a two minute walk from our house. In the winter the children sled on the hills and in the spring the girls spend hours at the pond catching frogs. In the  summer  they spend hours catching snakes, cuddling chickens and foraging in our garden.








Monday, May 22, 2017

Celebrating the ordinary: May

Being without a camera for three months made me think about the things and moments  I am drawn to photographing and ones I avoid. I like capturing moments that bring me joy and avoid the uncomfortable, messy moments that compose the majority of my day. I want to change that. I was to start celebrating the ordinary. I want to get better at being present in the less than glamorous moments- you know, the downright crummy ones. So am going to start taking pictures of my disastrous laundry room, the fight to get the children out the door on time, the meltdowns, the tears, the time outs and other moments that make up my ordinary life. I want to remember those moments as well as the lovely moments. I want to capture and celebrate my world in its entirety.

Climbing under our deck.


We have come a long way in the hair brushing department but it can still be quite tedious.


Walking home in the sun turns my five year old into a puddle of despair. She was actually thrashing and yelling at the top of her lungs. I am so glad that Levi was paying such close attention. *sigh*


Okay, so this photo makes my heart feel a little mushy, but the truth is,  my naked son is sitting on our kitchen table for the zillionth time despite being told not to.


 Grocery shopping. We all do it. It's life.

Another meltdown.


After watching  YouTube tutorial about how to de-tangle doll hair, my girls tried it out. They destroyed the bathroom.


A very dirty entryway and a little man who wants "up" every other minute.





Sunday, May 14, 2017

Motherhood

Motherhood. 
A gift. A life changing commission.  
It will wreck you in a thousand ways
and then turn you into mush.
It will stretch your body and your patience past what you thought possible all the while
revealing your inner ugliness as well as your boundless love.
It will challenge your expectations, hopes, fears and values and force you to surrender
everything.
You will experience every emotion known to mankind while you navigate its uncharted waters, grasping at lifeboats as they float by.
It is intense, it is lifelong, it is eternal.
It is one of the most incredible gifts you will ever receive.
Hang in there mommas!



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Currently: May



Planning
on ordering a new camera this week. It took me awhile, but I finally decided on the Nikon D7200 with a Nikkor 35mm  f/1.8 lens. Initially I thought would purchased a full frame DSLR but then decided otherwise when I borrowed a friend's camera and it was a dream to use. Furthermore, I
am not a professional photographer and I don't have unlimited funds. I  really wanted something that could handle low light situations and be compatible with my other lenses. The D7200 fit those requirements.

Painting
an old headboard that I found on the side of the road... its been a work in progress for a couple weeks now. I used to finished a piece of furniture in a couple hours... now it takes me a couple months.

Working
on a birth preferences sheet for a client I will be supporting next month.

Learning
about  victim impact statements and the healing they can bring to those who have been victimized.

Dreaming
about the day that Levi sleeps through the night consistently, doesn't want to be held 24/7 and will allow someone other than me to do things for him.

Longing
for rolling green hills, dogwood trees and river views

Designing
my dream home (if we ever build one) using a program called floor planner.

Eating
roasted yams and brussel sprouts. No one else in my house likes either of them so I get to have them all to myself.

Wearing
Dark blue denim jeans from H&M, a colorful blouse from bootlegger and earrings from a cute shop downtown.

Thinking
about how isolating depression can be

Listening
Amanda Cook's album "Brave New World"  on Spotify. It is so good, so powerful and so uplifting that I wish I could play it at full volume every.single.day. The music, the worship and the lyrics always carry me to beautiful places.
*sigh*

Picking
armloads of lilacs at all my favorite spots. Over the years I have found spots in my community where they hang over fences or grow in abandoned lots. I love the deep purple and white ones. Their fragrance is intoxicating.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Quote of the day


" If we could learn how to balance rest against effort, calmness against strain, quiet against turmoil, we would assure ourselves of joy in living".

- Josephine Rathbone

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Instagram Saturday: Birth

A couple days ago I received an email from Photobook Canada reminding me that the voucher I had purchased was about to expire. I had initially planned to make Claire a photobook for her birthday, but then had forgotten to collect all the photos from the past six years of her life to do so. Opps! I didn't want to waste the voucher so I decided to make a photo book from Levi's birth. I had meaning to put all the incredible images that Nancy had captured the day Levi was born, but hadn't gotten around to it. It took maybe about forty five minutes to make something that I will treasure forever.

I decided to share one of the images on Instagram. The caption reads:

"I finally got around to making a photo book of Levi's birth. It was the most challenging birth of my three children but incredible nonetheless. I loved bringing him into the world
 surrounded by my amazing team. I love that my children were able to witness the birth of their little brother. I love that I live in a country that allows women to choose where and how hey want to give birth. While I am finished having babies, I am honored to support women as they bring their babies into the world. #thejoysofbeingadoula#empoweredbirth#choices#rawrealimages#midwivesrock"




If you would like to see more images from that incredible day you can view them here.

No matter



"No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere."

- Sheryl Crow


Friday, April 7, 2017

It's been awhile....

Sometimes I wonder if my blogging days are over. It seems like the only time I get to sit down is to eat or pay bills, so finding time to sit still and write feels nearly impossible. I find myself asking "what purpose does blogging serve" when I  have so little time as it is? The thing is, I like to write. I like to  share my musings with the world, especially since my "role" in most relationships is that of a "listener". I'm not much of a "talker". I swear my husband has a larger "word quota" than I do. When my hubby gets home from work I am more likely to retreat to my room for some much needed quiet time than talk about my day.

Part of reason I haven't posted much is because I don't feel like I any "pretty pictures to post". Since my lovely DLR met an untimely end in Hawaii, all I have are grainy, out of focus photos taken on my
iPad. *sigh* Needless to say, life marches on with  all its joy, upheaval, tears, triumphs, hopes and mundane moments. Here are a few recent snapshots from my life.

Enjoying a lovely evening at our Church's 20th anniversary


Cleaning out the shop while Levi enjoys some coveted time on Nathaniel's dirt bike.  


 Taking an impromptu bath in my kitchen sink... by himself.



Amelia turned eight and invited WAAAAY too many people. I survived. Barely.


Early morning sweetness with this sweet boy


My eldest got her ears pierced!!!!


This little man stopped taking naps in January, except for the occasional snooze while watching his favorite show.



Visits with sweet friends


Beekeeping with my husband. Notice Levi in the tree behind him. We stuck him in it to keep him away from the cranky hives.



Watching daddy prune a local apple tree.


A typical breakfast: Omelette, bell peppers, avocado and some wasa rye crisps. 


Just a typical meltdown... every day... multiple times a day...


Finding beautiful spots in my neighbourhood that refresh me


Who knew that clam digging could be SO FUN!!!



Both sets of grandparents at the same table. My heart is FULL!


Love watching these men whip up incredible food in the kitchen. 


SPRING!!! 


Saying goodbye to daddy as he heads off for a week of tactical training.


Thoroughly enjoying all the gold I have been finding at value village.