the good book

we have been traveling in the states for the past week & a half visiting good friends who have been so missed. it does the heart good. totally worth the 16+ hour drive with four toddlers. ;)
anyways, in one of the hotels on the way down steve was flipping through a gideon bible that had been left on the night stand & he found this written in the front...

"this book reveals the mind of God, the state of man, the way to salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.

its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. it contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

it is the traveller's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, & the Christian's charter. here to, heaven is opened & the gates of hell disclosed.

Christ is it's grand subject, our good its design, & the glory of God its end.

it should fill the memory, rule the heart & guide the feet. read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. it is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory and a river of pleasure.

it is given you in life, will be opened at judgement, & be remembered forever. it involved highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, & condemn all who trifle with it's sacred contents.

owned, it is riches; studied it is wisdom; trusted, it is salvation; loved, it is character; and obeyed, it is power."

wow. perspective. that'll transform any old ritual reading of the Word. 


worshipers & fulfillment & lifestyles

i been feeling a strong call to worship as of late. it could be the places i have had the privilege to have been fellowshiping lately {with two very passionate worshipers, angela & fi} but really it started some time ago & just been re-ignited. i have always felt the call to worship but even more so now in a different sort of way. after everything we've gone through this year, i want to worship as the woman that i am now after deep valleys & sharp inclines. to worship in Spirit & truth. to worship as a warrior. as a son & as a worshiper. to worship to see & to be & to hold & to touch. to worship from the loud places & quiet places & long forgotten places.

"it's the story of the journey, the valleys & the mountains. you can't put it on a chart and sing it; you have to live it to sing it out like this. you can't declare what you haven't embraced & have it ring true. and that's what i love about the worship of God... it expresses the inexpressible. in the middle of this ocean, it's quite beautiful, if you have eyes to see." 
{darlene zchech}

i have been soaking in a few great places, bob sorge's exploring worship is one of them {on loan from fi... but will definitely been needing to get my own copy}. 

"prayer is to the believer as communication is to a marriage - absolutely vital. He defines prayer as communication with God & suggests that the prayerless saint will never be a worshipper...
it is easy to confuse worshipping with being a worshiper. just because someone worships, it does not necessarily follow that he or she is a worshiper. virtually anyone can worship as an occasion might demand, but relatively few seem to manifest the lifestyle of a worshiper. 
when God ask us to be worshipers every day, He is not asking us to do nothing but sung songs all week. He knows we must do other things besides vocalize our worship...[but] we will begin to realize that everything we do truly constitutes an act of worship unto the Lord, for our daily activities are but an expression of our dedication to God"
{bob sorge, exploring worship}

"we have a responsibility to be self-motivated in our praise & worship. Ben Patterson has said that God is, at the very least, unimpressed with merely spontaneous worshipers. how true! 'spontaneous worshippers' are folks who know how to praise & worship when they feel like it, when the goosebumps begin to trickle up & down their spines, or when a worship leader really hits their 'worship button'. how we all love those times of spontaneous worship when it is so easy to lift our hearts unto the Lord! but if we operate at that level only, we have not learned the discipline of being a worshiper...a worshiper worships at every given opportunity & does not demand some horizontal stimulus from the pastor or worship leader before entering into praise."
{bob sorge, exploring worship}

"when that cloud filled the temple, the people & priests could not see anyone or anything around them, because all that was visible to them was the presence of the Lord. and for us today, the goal of our worship should be that we come to the point where we do not see anyone or anything around us, but we become totally taken up with God. that is the supreme goal of worship; to see only the Lord. there is no higher fulfillment for us, nor will there ever be." 
{bob sorge, exploring worship}


mining miracles

the ultrasound pic of the pocket of fluid on
her spine
 i don't think i'll ever get tired of talking about it even if people get tired of hearing it... God is so good.
always has been, always is, & always will be. good in a way we don't quite have the capacity to break it down in our own framework. good in it's purest sense.

i found a notebook yesterday buried in the bottom of an old handbag. only one page written on, front & back in black pen. an address & directions to the genetic counselling department at CHEO. questions for the genetics councillor. questions we didn't have the answers to at the time.

... should we terminate the pregnancy? what does it mean to terminate a pregnancy? will we get to see our baby or hold it after birth, even if it's passed? did we do this? are we at fault for the baby being sick? what caused this?

a torrent of soul contracting torment written out on a page, written out in black trembling ink. i can remember not wanting anyone to see that page. awful, horrible questions written in it, that i thought.

i remember our genetics councilor. she was so kind. so calm. claire goldsmith was her name. and that is what she was, a goldsmith. someone who took meaningless, scary rubble & gave it value & meaning. she took the rugged, sharp truth & made it livable. but i also remember leaving that appointment & still not having the answer to the one question that we needed. we still didn't know what to do. and i remember crying out to God & saying please don't make me choose.

the day we got the good news, i ripped
the other test results in front of the body &
handed them out to people who needed healing
but i did find a sort of answer afterall. i found it by praising Him from the broken place, from the exhausted place, from the terrified & scared place. some answers we can only find worshipping from uncomfortable places. i have never felt such tourment suddenly stilled by such Peace before. and that is where i learned that the key to peace being spending time Peace himself.

i want to completely embrace what it means to live in the reality of a miracle. never taken for granted. to truly treasure it & mine it of all it's delicious wealth.not even with this babe's strong-willed temperament. i can remember thinking to myself that i will never complain again about those late night feedings & poopy diapers because i would do just about anything to get to hold her. that she would live & i would get to watch her sleep. and this is the privilege that i have, to watch her sleep each night all peaceful & perfect in her bed. this is God's kindness that i get to revel in.

to this day every time i see a downs syndrome child in the grocery store or out and about, my eyes well up with tears. for both happy & sad & complicated reasons. but mostly thankful reasons. inexpressible thanks that i get to mine this miracle for the rest of my life.


living Shugyo

someone once gave me a word that the physical bootcamp i was attending in the natural would mirror the spiritual bootcamp going on on the inside. that word is more true today than it ever has been. :) this quote was a great reminder of that 'training' lifestyle.

"most people just live their lives without thinking about it: just eating, working, sleeping. we're different because we train. we live our lives as Shugyo. that means every situation becomes training to us, an opportunity to forge ourselves. we take the attitude that anything which makes us uncomfortable isn't because of the  environment, or because someone made us a victim. we understand that no matter how bad things are, we can still choose how we take it."
{toyoda fomio}

learning to embrace the Shugyo life. feeling this on all sides of life. the training. the choosing. the forging.