your who, not your do {calling & office}

there is a fight.  a fight to fit.  to find my function. to find fulfillment.  to find it... right here.  i felt like i had finally grasped it once i found my profession.  found a position. found something i was good at.  great at.  a way to express myself that was admirable.  an office that looked good on me.  and then i laid that office down to become a mother.  and i chased my fleeting fulfillment & fumbled over my fickle fit through the function of motherhood.  i lost it.  lost my grounding.  lost the perspective of truth.
the truth is i have a life calling.  my life is driven by a mission.  by a vision.  when i begin defining myself by what i do, that is dangerous.  when i weave my identity into an office, into a position it is a short lived fulfillment.  all positions, all offices are meant to simply be an expression of who i am, not define who i am.  position is intended to serve my calling, not be my calling.  with so much frazzle-dazzle around position, we get caught up in questions of position instead of how this office can serve my calling.  it's all about our personal truths. knowing who we are & what we were designed for. it's who you are not what you do.  and that means that the worst position i can be in, is a position i feel i cannot live without.

when i was younger, when someone would ask me what do you want to be when you grow up, i would say... " i would love to be a mom... or i would love to be a teacher"  instead of articulate a vision for my life.  instead of saying, "i want to serve children.  i want to empower the tiniest of kingdom.  i want to better cultivate the genius of our greatest natural resource, our children."  and i can do that whether i am a mom, a teacher... or a great many things.  the question isn't what position, but rather how can this position or this space in my life, help me achieve my vision.  when i hang my security & fulfillment on an office or a job, when i let those things define me, i dilute & minimize the original intent for my life. after all, positions are temporary, callings are eternal.  and i am shooting for the eternal.

"where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained." 
{proverbs 29:18}


centre of unbroken praise {a song diary}

i love it when old songs, songs you've sung for years without any awareness of their weight, suddenly hit you.
this is one of those.
it is being in the "centre of unbroken praise" that one really does find Joy. find unending pleasure. find eternity.

Joyful, Joyful we adore thee; God of glory, Lord of love; 
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee;
Opening to the sun above; Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness;
Fill us with the light of day.

All thy works with joy surround thee; Earth and heaven reflect thy rays;
Stars and angels sing around thee; Center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, wind and mountain; Flowery meadows, flashing seas;
Singing bird and flowing fountain; Call us to rejoice in thee

We sing in jubilation; Adoration to a joyful king;
You are spinning and you are singing; Zealous love over all your children

I've got the joy, I've got the joy, I've got the joy (repeat)

Mortals join the mighty chorus; Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o'er us; Brother love binds man to man;

Ever singing, march we onward; Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music lifts us Sonward; In the triumph song of life.

In the presence of God there is fullness of Joy; At Your right hand Oh God
There are pleasures evermore; 


sobering up

i have been thinking a lot about how impressionable i am, how easily influenced. a holy dissatisfaction with my own lifestyle choices & habits is rising to the surface to be purified, purged. a deep desire to get back to the original plan & purpose i was called to.  the original gospel.  not the watered down version i've been illustrating. ready to wake up from the cultural mirage & live free.

"i consider that the chief dangers that confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, and heaven without hell." 
{general william booth}

"how much more will the magnificence of marriage in the mind of God be unintelligible in a modern western culture, where the main idol is self; and it's main doctrine is autonomy; and its central act of worship is being entertained; and it's three main shrines are the television, the internet, and the cinema... my own sin & selfishness and cultural bondage makes it almost impossible for me to feel the wonder of God's purpose..."
{john piper}

"we are not relevant when we mirror the world around us, we are relevant when we model what they long to become."
{bill johnson}


in the fullness of time... all things {womb wisdom}

this was originally posted in september, while waiting for livi to arrive. but i feel even more pregnant today than i did when i first posted it. so here's to this blog's first official re-post.

we are all waiting.  waiting for the light to change.  waiting for the leaves to turn.  waiting for the day, the week, the month, the busyness to end & then start again.  waiting for round belly to birth precious child. waiting, expecting... seasons pass, rains fall & then dry.  and i wait with hand on belly. days roll into months, months into trimesters until the inner transformation begins to take outer shape heralding the news of a forth coming life.

and there are lots of false starts.  lots of almosts & not yets. lots of belly contracting preparation, sleepless night anticipation.  lots of lip quivering. lots of day dreaming.  and yet, with all this, no one can tell exactly when baby will decide to make her gracious entrance.  due dates fly by & babies huddle warm in space scarce wombs.  waiting.

waiting for change. isn't that what we all wait for?  and the Lord gently whispers to the impatient heart, in due time, change in it's due time.  we march into september with ideals held high, hope that this year's resolution will hold fast.  this year it will be different.  what was, will be no more. this year i will change. and yet somewhere deep inside, a small scared voice chants 'foolish to think this year will be different, foolish to think you will be different'.  dare we hope for time to be fulfilled, fulfilled in all we have ever hoped for, all we have dreamt of this long, long journey?  but somewhere, at some point, a seed was planted in the dark.  and it grew.  maybe unnoticeably at first, but now it swells, it flourishes round. despite all the wearied, discouragement, it grew. hidden in dark womb, veiled signs of life twitch & stir, growing into long limbed jabs. back twinges wearied from the weight of carrying the promise.  and then the time to birth comes, comes of it's own accord.  a mother cannot force it, rush it or will it. only in it's rightful time.

in due time.  in perfect time, it will be fulfilled.  all the dreams, all the hopes of Christ made full in me. fulfilled.

all i can be is a dwelling place, a dwelling place for change, a dwelling place for the seed of Christ to grow in all His fullness & abundance.  life's ultimate fruition, coming to term. for Him to live His life through me, not me through Him.

and so it is with this womb's last visitor, that i refuse to watch the clock, neglect to keep track of growing discomforts & stretched skin.  and instead i savour.  i revel in God's belly stretched goodness.  and i know the coming is imminent.

this womb waits expectant.

"but when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son..." {gal 4:4}

originally posted: 9/20/11 7:33AM


shekinah glory come {a song diary}

Shekhiná, Shejiná, Shekinah, Shechinah, Shekina, Shechina, Schechinah

The word for the translation of the Hebrew for the glory, radiance or presence of God is derived from the Hebrew verb 'sakan'or 'shachar' which means to dwell or reside, and is used to denote the room or house of God, especially in the Jerusalem Temple
Exodus 40:35
"And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud [shakhan] settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."

i have been wading deep into the anointing of this song this week.  swells of Spirit washing over old, tired bones, sowing sinew to bone, flesh to tendon. shekinah glory come.

if you have ever experienced the tangible presence of the living God, it leaves you wrecked for anything else. it leaves you starving for more.
and so, this song is my heart's prayer, after being witness to a great move of God... You move and we want more, You speak and we want more, i can't get enough of Your presence. release the fullness of Your spirit.  oh, shekinah glory come. shekinah glory come.


bury your wife {entitlement & indulgence}

the soul indulges in its various delights. a movie & a glass of wine at the end of the day. delight. a day at the beach, making eye contact with no one but my book.  delight.  but say the word sacrifice & my flesh screams. say three more sleeps until daddy is home & i begin to cry. just mention the word airport or meeting or delayed flight & my soul sinks. there is sacrifice & then there is just life.  i have spent the greater part of this year learning to distinguish between the two.
when my two year old beckons me up twenty one stairs for the upteenth time well past bedtime. that's life.  when my husband is caught in traffic, two hours away or dinner has been burnt to a crisp & i am frizzed to a frazzle. c'est la vie.  when poop is pouring out of every clothing orifice on a sunday morning & i have less than a three wipes chance of saving that onesie.  that's having kids. sacrifice is all about the giver.  all about the heart. it isn't sacrifice until it's intentional. unless there is a choice. a setting apart. a giving of one's self willingly toward the other.  it cannot be forced or squeezed from one's heart, pried from one's fingers.  it is the tangible manifestation of a generous heart.  an overflow of love broken on the alter. an offering of one's conveniences, of one's comfort, of one's priorities, of one's plans. a surrendering of one's life.  a death to self.
it is the same with marriage & entitlement. gathering all of my husbands nights off to myself. entitlement. having him by my side for every uncomfortable moment in life. entitlement.  having my husband share the night shift with four sick kids.  entitlement.  having my heart awakened by my husband's passion for the kingdom, his fervour for the King. that's marriage. oh, how that makes my spirit leap. sharpening like iron meets iron, pushing me toward my Saviour. marriage.  illuminating & awakening the work of the Holy Spirit in me, pursuing the magnificent perfection of Christ's glory here on earth.  that, is covenant keeping marriage. he is not my fellow mom. he is not merely my aid. and although he is indeed a helper & a comforter, he is not the Comforter, the Councillor, the Helper. he is my God-given partner on this journey called life.
i have often made marriage something it is not.  i feel as though i have woken up from a "cultural mirage" as john piper puts it.
"how much more will the magnificence of marriage in the mind of God seem unintelligible in a modern western culture, where the main idol is self; and its main doctrine is autonomy, and its central act of worship is being entertained... such a culture will find the glory of marriage in the mind of Jesus virtually incomprehensible." 
{john piper, the momentary marriage}
marriage is not, in essence, about me. it is about the glory of God. there are times when marriage is sacrifice.  not necessarily to the other person but to God. it is a picture, a reflection, a display of the most intensely wild romance of all time, Christ's pursuit of the church, His pursuit of me.  i have only begun to scratch the surface of this revelation & i already feel like i've been set free from my "small, worldly, culturally contaminated, self-centred, Christ-ignoring, romance-intoxicated, unbiblical view of marriage" and released into the wild wonder of God's purpose for marriage {john piper, the momentary marriage}.
i once heard keri jones share a story about the best advice he had ever been given about marriage.  at the announcement of his engagement to his now wife of many years, a wise man said "don't forget to bury your wife".  keri thought he miss heard what he said and clarified that it was indeed a marriage they were to celebrate not a funeral.  the wise man said "i know. don't forget to bury your wife on the other side of the cross".  this story has completely radicalized my perspective & experience of marriage. the wise man was opening a revelation about putting the pursuit of your wife second to your pursuit of Christ.  some could argue that you serve Christ while serving your wife, a two-in-one deal.  and that is true to some extent.  but there is a seat in your heart that only one can sit on.  i have seen many enthrone their loved ones or themselves unknowingly on that throne, in the name of marriage, in the name of family, even in the name of Christ.  but there is only One worthy to sit in that throne.
i have made the mistake of thinking that because marriage & kids have been a part of my life long dream, because i have wanted it since i was small, that it was about me.  about my dream.  about serving my own happiness.  my own fulfillment.  but alas, it is the holy sacrifice of dreams.  it is an all consuming flame.  an alter to the King.  in essence, when marriage is purposed, for those who carry the same revelation, it is an invitation to come die with me everyday, in every way. it is but a door to the cross.
the time has come for me to make the choice to live for the King & build His kingdom instead of living for myself & building my life.  i know i could build a happy life, with my four beautiful kids, in my lovely home, with my loving husband, living in the top 1% of the world.  and i could be content.  it would be a good life.  but good is the enemy of great. i know i would rob the world, rob my children, rob my spouse, rob myself & my soul of what i was born to be. in truth, if what i live for at the end of the day is a glass of wine & couch time with my hubby i will be wholly unsatisfied & i will gradually lose myself. at the end of my life, when i stand before the Holy King of Kings, in all His majesty, i will stand as an individual, without the things of this world surrounding me & i will have to give an account for how i spent my soul.  and what i want say on that day, what i want to have lived without any doubt is that He is my Lover, my Pursuit, my Life and i cannot live for anything less than seeing the fullness of His glory perfected in me here as i am a wife, as i am mother... as i am a great many things. and this is the great mystery. when one gives up something of great cost to the Beloved, when they plunder their lives for Him they are found full. filled to overflowing satisfaction. complete. unwanting for anything. when they break themselves open for Him they are found whole.

"marriage refers to Christ & the church- every marriage, no matter how pendulum-like because of our sin; every marriage, even if the couple doesn't care a bit about Jesus...God designed marriage to be a picture.  that makes me ask myself, how clear & well focused is the portrait of Jesus that our marriage is displaying" {noel piper}


eye to eye, soul to soul

 eyes speak louder than words.  with one glance, a child experiences how a parent is experiencing them. he can tell by your eyes whether he is invisible.  whether he is truly accepted & valued.  whether you are pleased or disappointed with him. he can see your heart through your eyes. do your eyes light up when he comes into the room?  or is that ever critical eye searching for something to fix, something to mend, something to straighten? a loose thread, a peanut butter smudged cheek, a cowlick perhaps is where the eye might land.  i think i am showing them i love them.  i think i am showing them i care.  but what my eyes have been teaching them is how to be a subject of criticism.  the windows of my soul have needed some cleaning, some clarifying, some focus.  to express how i really feel about my love ones.
"one of the most powerful body language tools that a human being has is one of the subtlest movements we can make - eye contact." - tristan lee
do i see them when they enter a room? does my body language reflect how precious they are?  how dearly they are loved & wanted? how much they matter? it validates the soul to see someone.  to truly see.  to acknowledge their being.  to make contact with my eyes all aglow, all invigorated just by their presence. 
i have heard it said that the first point of disconnection in a marriage is eye contact.  when you become so preoccupied with life, hustling in & out of the house, drudging grocery bags in from the car & hanging up coats, mumbling the standard, 'hi hun. how was your day?' while rummaging through drawers, one can easily forget to make eye contact.  to see the other person.  to truly engage eye to eye, soul to soul.   eye contact can change the entire dynamic of any relationship.  
there is a verse in the bible that says "i will instruct you & teach you in the way you should go; i will guide you with my eye upon you" {psalm 32:8}.  it is not with the eye of punishment that the Father guides us. nor does He have a critical or perfectionist eye.  but it is with the eye of Love that He captures our hearts.  that He sees into our souls & validates our being.  and that is how i want to relate to my spouse, to my children, to those i love. looking eye to eye, soul to soul. to take my attention off of what is in front of me & put it all towards the one i love. to show them with my eyes, that they light up my soul every time they come near. 
that has been one of my greatest revelations as a parent. that more than obedience, more than compliance or good behaviour is my heart-to-heart connection with my child.  if i can guide my children with my eye, with all that is in my heart, than i have succeeded. to be able to have them look into my eyes, see my heart & change their decision to protect my heart because they value our relationship. when i can inspire them & empower them with the substance of our loving relationship then i have become a little more like the Father.
and it is the same with any relationship, in the end, we are all looking for the same thing...
to be seen & validated.
*this is a small fragment of a larger revelation that God has been unfolding in my life over the past year.  i am not so sure if what i have written makes sense without the greater context but such is the challenge of blogging, parcelling large chunks of soul into small bite sized packages.  i am still on a sharp learning curve when it comes to writing, and becoming the competent, concise writer i know i can be, instead of the blubbering, anthology of incomplete thoughts which i feel i wander into all too often.  writing is a journey, just like anything else & i am glad to be on this journey with you. :)


fruit flies, giants & the like {letters to evie}

"hi mom!"  you say from your perch on the step, scribbler & pen in hand.
"hi evie, we draw just on paper right? just on paper... not on legs or the deck or anything else, just paper..."i say as i string along a wet load of laundry onto the line, pinning tiny shirts & shorts after close inspection.
the backyard thrums with the sound of a distant whipper-snipper. i continue folding the previous load of laundry now dry on my makeshift hot-tub folding table. i wonder if i should add a booster to the wash from now on.  these clothes are never going to make it to livi if i don't start making an effort.  i seriously need to teach them to learn to eat with a spoon, this is ridiculous, is that a whole banana coin dried to the back of that...
a shreik shatters the strategic laundry meeting in my head...
"A BUG! a bug mommy a bug!" you scream, fists clenched up to your ears & face scrunched as you wince to avoid the most certain demise as a teeny fruit fly flutters by totally oblivious.
"just say shoo bug, don't bother me!"  i instruct, knowing that if i don't teach you how to do it yourself, you'll never be able to be outside without your mother, the bug squasher, by your side.
"shoo bug! shoo bug! shoo you!"   you say with as much command as that tiny voice of yours can carry with your finger in the air like you mean it.
i peer down to notice that you have coloured in your knee with blue pen.
"evie! what did mommy say about colouring?"
you are distracted from the bug momentarily to explain your knee's misfortune.
"oh no! my knee... no colour my knee.  i stop it me!" you say now pointing that finger at me.
"oh no, is right.  no more pen evie.  all done."  you fuss, unhappy with reaping the consequences of your body art.
sigh. i look for another distraction before this fussing snowballs into a fit.
"evie, can you go get those pants?" i appeal to your love of helping, as i point to a pair of shorts that have flown off the line.
"sure! i do it mom.  i do it."  you say enthusiastically. "i be right back!" you say, pointing that little finger again.
"good girl evie.  thanks sweet heart."
you haven't even made it to the bottom step before another shriek, followed by a wince & a scramble back to the top of the stairs.  it would appear as though the little unassuming fruit fly is hovering above the very shorts you were asked to pick up. sigh. i gently encourage you back down the stairs with my hand on your back.
"that's it evie.  you just say, shoo bug, shoo in Jesus name."
"shoo bug & Jesus!"  you shout as you suddenly spring down the that step & march across the lawn with conviction, grab the shorts & point your little finger threateningly off the end of your nose. "shoo, i say!" you flip your hair in disgust as if to say how dare that bug try to intimidate me!
i am impressed.  speechless even.  swelling with pride. moments ago terrified of this microscopic organism being in your space to walking right up to the source of your fear & giving it heck.  so proud to witness this first moment of many, where you fight for your ground, where a warrior woman is born.  where you stand fast & dig deep inside to find courage & conviction & resolve to fight the good fight. where you run to the battle line to take what is rightfully yours. oh, this is a victory indeed.  it may have been a fruit fly today but it was a giant in your eyes & you cut him to the quick, looked him in the eye & stood your ground.  beware world.  evie joy nouvelle knows who she is.  she has a finger & she knows how to use it!


recipe repertoire & the breakfast camels

we wilkins' are breakfast lovers.  for our kids, who rarely eat more than the mandatory two bites at dinner, breakfast cannot come fast enough & is much anticipated.  once kai ate 3 large bowls of steel cut oats, a scrambled egg, 2 bananas, a pear & 2 pieces of peanut butter toast. these kids are like breakfast camels.   they gorge on breakfast & then eat hardly anything for the rest of the day.
our wee wilkins thrive off of variety.  i started recording a little list of our recipe repertoire just to make sure i am using my recipe scavengering skills to their fullest potential & don't forget to include some of the awesome finds that often get crumpled between cookbooks.  we've been rotating through the usuals, toast & pb, smoothies, steel cut oats, breakfast quinoa, cereal & fruit, yogurt & granola, one eyed monsters, fortified french toast, green eggs & ham  and scrambled egg muffins... and then repeat.  i can get through our whole breakfast repertoire in almost a week which saddens a creative soul like me.  so much breakfast potential.  and so i took on the challenge to expand our repertoire of the grandest meal of the day and i found this super cool recipe that was a real hit.  the possibilities are endless!

"summer porridge": blueberry maple
overnight, no cook refrigerator oatmeal
source: theyummylife.com
strengths of recipe: high in protein, calcium & fibre, low in fat & sugar
1/4 cup uncooked old fashion rolled oats
1/3 cup skim milk (i used goat)
1/4 cup low fat greek yogurt (i used vanilla greek yogurt)
1-1/2 tsp dried chia seeds (you can get these little health boosters at the bulk barn but they are not essential to the recipe if you don't include them)
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup blueberries (or enough to fill jar)
* i used half pint mason jars & they worked perfectly!

in a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds & maple syrup.  put lid on jar & shake until well combined.  remove lid, add blueberries & stir until mixed throughout.  return lid to jar & refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.  eat chilled.
* these were really filling... i made three half pint jars & they lasted for two breakfasts, which was a miracle in this household!

other fantastic flavours are: mango almond, apple cinnamon, banana cocoa, banana peanut butter (* learned about this awesome but impossible product to get called PB2 - powered peanut butter with all of the protein & 85% of the fat removed, does anyone know where to get this?), raspberry vanilla
(click here for the specific recipes & pictures of directions)
we loved blueberry maple & tomorrow we're trying raspberry vanilla soon followed by all the rest!