as you may have already noted, i have been a little interrupted in my blogging pursuit as of late. but it hasn't been just blogging, really it's been a whole ream of things that have been, well, "interrupted", for lack of a better word. my breakfast is interrupted. my sleep is interrupted. my sentences are interrupted. my thoughts are interrupted. most of my daily pursuits are constantly being interrupted. i might even say the word for this season in my life is "interrupted".  i won't say on hold because i usually get back to tinkering with whatever it is, if it was actually important, that was interrupted by either my four young children, a rebellious animal or arduous farm task, the sudden collapse of our home as we know it from long time neglect & other such things. (i kinda feel as though i am constantly in a triage situation. like which things is the most important for me to tackle at the moment when there are a billion things screaming my name. there is no pretty cleaning schedule on my fridge or chore list. just which thing has to get done today or else).  blog posts are always getting spun & evolving in my head but when i sit down to write anything, whether at 4 am or 1pm when everyone should be sleeping or elsewhere, i am inevitably interrupted. so hold on world... there is a whole lot of back logged thoughts yet to be written & caught up on particularly from this very fast paced, steep learning curve we find our family on. so much learning, so much growing, so much grace, so much God.

but as a bonifide "doer" kind of a personality, not being able to finish a task has been a difficult reality to accept. we live in a construction zone, both literally & figuratively. we're not done building character into our kids or cementing Godly values in our home or cultivating the Presence the way we'd like to or keeping that unruly attitude in check. what's worse is that when you live in a construction zone, physically or metaphorically, you are always stepping on nails or trying to come up with solutions for seemingly "no win" situations for that hole in the wall that you don't want anyone else to see because you would never want anyone to assume that this is the way your house always is or will stay. construction is uncomfotable. not seeing anything through to completion is super challenging for me. the Church isn't finished. our home isn't finished. our family isn't finished. my marriage isn't finished. i'm not finished. when all i want so badly is to finally get to hold up a beautiful masterpiece that i've worked so hard for.

but i started to change my attitude about construction zones in my life when i began to see that i am called to change & construction. i am called to the undone things in life. so no use in running the other direction every time i was beyond frustration with a particular task. i realized i was far to preoccupied with the end product & could not embrace the process that would eventually, one day, get me there. embracing the process is challenging for a neat freak because, well, it's sticky & dirty & it smells & it's full of constant interruptions & perceived set backs.

but i found encouragement from the story of the little children running to Jesus with their sticky fingers & dirty faces to interrupt Him... and He let them. He let them interrupt His important kingdom preaching & teaching because they were His kingdom work. they were the whole point. so, if the God of the universe doesn't mind or even encourages the little children to interrupt Him, then how much more willing should i be? the pigs on the other hand should learn to wait their turn. :)

there is also value in "practicing the Presence" even amongst the many interruptions that may occur over a day. it's like working a muscle. and i for one am getting lots of practice keeping my eyes on Him & cultivating the Presence despite goats at my door & emails binging in my inbox & children running through the house covered in swamp muck. i've spent way to long seeing interruptions or a chaotic home as a sin when it is assuredly not. it's just young family life. and here too i can find a sweet spot in the Spirit if i chose to embrace interruptions & all the mess that comes with life construction.

"without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest."
 - proverbs 14:4


ode to nicole

we recently had the lovely pleasure of meeting my brother's girlfriend, nicole. they live in edmonton which is why we hadn't met her up until now. they had come to ontario for a family wedding in grand bend & had stayed on for a week to visit us at the farm & help move my mom into the guest room. they were both troopers. david "slept" in the boys room which i'm afraid the boys were entirely too excited about & nicole snuggled in the guest room with sadie, my mom's dog, & of course my mom. there was all to early risings after all night parties in the boys room, lots of chainsawing & tire swing hanging & bush hogging, haying & loft organizing, riding & subsequent falling, duck pluming & porcupine murdering & chick disposal. it was a productive & yet memorable week to say the least.

my absolute favourite memory of that week was the loft door raising (or rather the image of nicole in a beautiful green dress holding onto a thread bare rope while hanging from a meat hook suspended from the roof of the barn). let me elaborate. the highest door of the loft, which we had just spent the day stacking hay into, had fallen off & needed to be reattached to the highest peak of the tallest barn. my brother bravely stepped forward to be the guy that hammers it back on at ridiculous heights. he straddled his ladder precariously on the weakened, definitely-not-safe roof of a conjoining barn & us girls up in the loft tried to tie an old rope to both the top of his ladder securing it to a beam & the triangle piece of missing loft door to hoist it out to be nailed on by my brother. we each had our jobs. david was to nail the piece back on, mom & i were to hoist & hold the triangle piece in place so it was nailed in right & nicole, in her beautiful green dress, was to hang onto the rope that both secured the ladder & the piece of loft door that hung over david's head so's not to knock him clean off the ladder if it fell.

all was going as planned. nicole held the rope. we held the wooden door in place & david started hammering until the faint hum of a single bee could be heard on the outside of the barn followed by the subsequent squeaking of the ladder & a long roll of profanity. us girls looked at each other wincing each time the ladder squeaked & an obscenity followed, afraid to ask if he was ok. and then with all the jarring of the ladder being moved to & fro the rope that nicole was holding onto began to fray & break. she helplessly kept trying to hold on just a little bit higher than the last break, we quickly helped her tie the rope around an old meat hook looking thing hanging from the ceiling until that very unhappy bee came for us inside the barn. we screamed & danced around trying to avoid being stung while still holding our positions. and poor nicole hung for dear life to the rope that dangled her boyfriend's life on the squeaky ladder outside while trying to avoid letting go altogether.

it is this picture that i will treasure always because not only did it mean she had successfully been initiated into our family & the brutality of farm life but it spoke volumes about her love for my brother... that she chose his life over hers, bumblebee torture over dropping that itchy, thread bare rope, hayloft nonsense over her beautiful green dress. i am impressed to say the least.

if she can sleep with stinky sadie, fall off an attitudinal pony, face her fear of birds gracing our poopy chicken coop with her presence, hay her heart out in the sweatiest season of the summer & subject herself to bumblebee torture ... well, i think that deserves a toast of some kind!

and to this i raise my glass & say "here, here! ode du nicole!"
we hope you will be a long & lovely part of our family for years to come.

p.s. oh, and that loft door did get hung without any major injuries ;)