catastrophizing & open vents

it was another ordinary morning. the kids came bounding down the stairs at 6:17am, eagerly climbing their stools & enthusiastically awaiting their breakfast. it was an ordinary morning until...

...we noticed something a little bit different.
"what's that?" asked dav with a scrunched up nose, pointing to the vent.
stuck in the vent was a wooden spoon with a bunch of bananas hanging off the end.
"i don't know" i said puzzled.
and we puzzed & puzzed until our puzzlers were tired. dav was sure it was an alien invasion. eva thought it was the mice that frequent our kitchen trying to get our attention. kai just cried. it was too weird for him. livi babbled on about some kinda crazy and i was genuinely freaked out. i just could not think of why anyone would come into our house & set that up. we had had the mckinnons over the night before. could it have been them, continuing in their pranking tradition? no, this was too weird. there had to be a perfectly reasonable explanation but i sure was getting worked up into a jitter thinking of the worst possible conclusions.

and so, we just left it there. i made sure no one touched it & tried my very best to resist the burning temptation to bound up the stairs & shake steve awake, who was soundly slumbering, and shout "something's gone CRAZY in the kitchen!!!"

it is upon reflection that i realize i might have the inherited the knack for 'catastrophizing'. 

catastrophizing: the habit of automatically assuming a "worst case scenario" and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.

others have described it as shutting yourself in your own "emotional panic room". this does not only happen when i find kitchen spoons & bananas hanging out of vents but often when facing any kind of routine challenge. if one of our kids behaves poorly while out in public i automatically jump to the conclusion that they will become a menace to society if not stopped. if i make a poor parenting decision or lose my cool, i'm a terrible mother not worthy of her children. i know we all have our moments of jumping to conclusions now & then, but for me, this has been an unhealthy habit which needs to change.

it turns out that steve had rigged the banana-spoon lever system to keep the vent open. we had recently replaced the vents with some antique ones we had bought at a garage sale & the flappy thing kept closing, which was messing with our heat in the kitchen. no aliens. no creepy stalker message. no attention starved mice. catastrophizing, indeed.

but i felt the Lord speak to me through it. that in the moment of intense pressure or anxiety, if i can just remember to keep the vent open & let Him into my little "emotional panic room", i would find my footing in peace faster & surer. it's the first step when getting carried away by my own thinking. and this has given me a great confidence. especially since, the next morning i found our bread box flung out the front door, laundry piled high barricading entry to the laundry room & the dog collar remote in our bed. but that's a story for another time. :)

Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; 
don’t for a minute lose sight of them.
They’ll keep your soul alive and well, 
they’ll keep you fit and attractive.
You’ll travel safely,
 you’ll neither tire nor trip.
You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep.
 No need to panic over alarms or surprises,
 or predictions that doomsday is just around the corner, 
because God will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound.
Proverbs 3:24-26 The Message


daddy-daughter dance {letters to eva}

i was buzzing around the counter making preparations for the long three day recovery of wisdom teeth which was imminent. you sat there pensively licking the beaters dripping with monkey bread batter. 'beautiful ryder' came on my ipod & i turned it up as loud as my little ipod speakers could go, prepared for the consequence of waking the others up from their blissful naps.
"and what's this song mom?" you ask.
"this song is about how beautiful Jesus is. and i love it!" i say belting out the lyrics.
"yeah but there are no girls in this song, because Jesus is very handsome. boys are handsome & girls are beautiful" you say.
"well, sometimes you can be so handsome that you are beautiful at the same time" i say.
"and Jesus is dancing with us isn't He?" you say.
"oh, Jesus loves to dance with you evie"i say.
"and He loves to dance with me but He has no legs" you say.
"why do you think He has no legs?" i ask.
"because He lives in my heart mom. silly, i'm His legs." you say.
i stop & well up just a little.
"oh, yes! that's right. that's very good eva."i say.
"look! and He can even do twirls just like me! and i think He's even likin' dancing with Scout!" you say with a little giggle, demonstrating.
"and Jesus is happy because He loves me & i will always love dancing with Him. He can hang onto my legs maybe for always."

i don't know about Him hanging onto your legs. but i do know that He loves to dance with you my evie. sometimes we forget when we dance or sing for Him that He was the initiator. that He was the one who woke us up with His song & it's our soul that harmonizes with His melody. like a little girl placing her feet on her daddy's & dancing around the room. He's never been an impartial observer of our worship. sometimes we're just oblivious & miss it. we forget to look into His eyes burning for us. but just because we miss it doesn't mean it isn't there. the love songs painted across the skies in tones there is no name for. the passionate ballet unfolded in the rising sun & the earth's waking each day. when He sings His lullabye over us with the croon of the meadow lark or the hush of the stars. the greatest romance known to mankind spread across the universe in all it's vibrance & violence. and it is loud & all consuming when you hear it, see it, embrace it. and so keep your eyes & ears open. for He sings for you little eva joy. He sings for you all day & all night.
and that's the most beautiful thing i have ever seen or heard.
your little heart dancing with His.

'there's a man wrapped in light. 
with eyes of fire burning bright
with feet like bronze & a blinding glow.
with a golden sash & hair like snow.
He is King, He is Judge, He is Mercy, He is Love.
how beautiful is the man on the white horse. how beautiful is the Lamb who was slain.
worthy is Your name. worthy is Your name.'
{jake hamilton, beautiful ryder}


beautiful ryder

Our only hope was wrapped in hay.
Our Father's promise to show the way.
He lived to set the captives free.
He died to live inside of me.

He is Saviour.
And He is Lord.
The Living Word.

How beautiful is the ryder on the white horse.
How beautiful is the Lamb that was slain.
How beautiful is the ryder on the white horse.
Worthy is Your name, Worthy is Your name.

There's a man wrapped in light,
With eyes of fire burning bright.
With feet like bronze & a blinding glow,
A golden sash & hair like snow.

He is King.
And He is Judge.
He is Mercy.
He is Love.

You're a Lion. You're a Lamb.
And all creation bows before you.

How beautiful is the ryder on the white horse.


playing with your food

they say the best way to get your kids to eat healthy is to eat healthy yourself. and that has been a challenge for my choco-cheese-aholic self. i usually manage to just not eat in front of them.  between running kids to the potty, repeatedly asking them to sit on their bums & cleaning up spilt milk, i don't usually have a free hand or mouth to eat anyways.

i'm not sure if it's the different stages they are at currently but dinnertime is fight. they're not usually big evening eaters anyhow but lately just getting the two-bite minimum has been a challenge. and so i have resorted to playing with our food. i know, not the best table manners but when a spear of asparagus suddenly into junior the asparagus, an entire bunch of asparagus vanishes! or when a pomegranate transforms into ruby pirate treasure & daddy-pirate wants his treasure back, suddenly all the rubies are safely hidden in their tummies. and when daddy-bear smells that they've been eating salmon, well, a bear chases almost always ensues. :)

i think dinnertime, for us anyways, has been a challenge for more than just the 'what's-for-dinner' reason. i think we're all tired. all ready for bed & hungry to boot. the kids have been busy. we've been busy all day & then we all come home & collide for dinner. so when dinnertime becomes playtime, we all have a much more peaceful, fun-filled evening. it gives the kids the nutrition they need to stay healthy & the much needed time with mum & dad & each other.  i am shocked at some of the things they've tried 'accidentally' while playing & have now grown to love & demand at dinnertime.

and even the mummy occasionally gets drawn into eating my veggies too.


living in light of eternity

a thought for the day...
i found these pearls of wisdom in a friend's facebook conversation. i hope they won't mind me sharing but they were just too good to keep to myself.

"marriage or motherhood is not the finish line for biblical womanhood. when we live in light of temporary finish lines or milestones, we put our identity in the finish line instead of Christ. we need to know how to live in light of eternity! it's far greater!!" 

{susie romer}
  • "...and His glory is revealed through our satisfaction in Him; there's no beginning or end to that just total Jesus. my identity is in my eternal saviour not my earthly roles; brings so much freedom!" 
     {leah boden}

    there is no beginning & no end, no starting line or finish line to my satisfaction in Him. my satisfaction & fulfillment as a woman didn't start when i got married or had my first baby & it won't end when i inevitably become an empty nester. it always has been & always will be found in Him. 


someone's gotta die

forgiveness has been a subversive issue in my life. and when i stumble over something continuously i like to study it. read it. research it. understand everything there is to know about it until i have conquered it. so needless to say, you may be reading a lot about forgiveness on the ol blog over the next few months.

one of the most powerful things i have discovered about forgiveness is that someone's gotta die. someone's gotta give in, give up & let go.

the best model of this is Christ hanging in all His innocence on the horrible, despicable, humiliating cross for all the wickedness of the world. and then He said, with sheer pain coursing through His veins, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". and then He gave over His life, gave up His rights, & died.  but as we know, He didn't stay dead. He was resurrected & is enthroned in the highest of heaven now.

it's a perfect picture of what happens when we choose the hard road of forgiveness. no wonder my flesh screams at the thought of forgiveness. we die to ourselves. die to our outraged emotions. to our own right to be right. we lay down our own power & control in the situation. and we die.
and yet i cannot say that i have experienced anything so liberating in my life than to truly forgive. never have i felt so uplifted. so strong. so empowered to give up my power. to lay myself, my pride, my own dignity down & then to be raised up with Him. there are no words for the beauty of this emotion.

it's a strange juxtaposition. a strange exchange that's difficult to articulate.
but more soon.


pssst...wanna know a secret?

i'd like to blame my brief interruption in blogging on a little secret i've been trying ti keep. it wasn't for sure until Christmas eve {best Christmas gift yet!}.
and so without further adieu...
we're moving to a farm!
we're moving to a farm in ashton, texas!
just kidding... but we really are moving to a farm in ashton, ontario (about half an hour outside ottawa) & we could not be more excited!
it has been a life long dream for us to run our own organic hobby farm & we still can hardly believe that it's ours. it really feels like the Lord hand picked it for us. it is a restored 200 year old farm {which is weird because that means it wasn't actually built in Canada... at the time we were called the dominion or something}. with it's old pine floors, massive gardens, emerald roofs, open fields, climbing trees, screened in porches, creek & piggery... we instantly fell in love & felt weirdly at home. it's a homestead. a place where we can dig our roots down deep & flourish.
although it will be difficult to say good-bye to the house we've had our babies in, the maple tree in our front yard with the swing & all of the neighbours we care so deeply for, we know God's has been in it all & goes before & behind us.

thank-you Lord for your goodness overwhelms us.