The Winter is Over.

The sound of melting is music to my ears, peppered with little boots splishing and splashing alongside stroller wheels on the sidewalk.

The first walk of Spring is underway. I can hear birds twittering and flittering from tree to tree, preparing for a long season of growth and change.

The winter is over. We breathe a sigh of relief. Yes, we know that more snowflakes will fall before summer arrives, but in the meantime, sun bathes our neighbourhood in warmth and beauty. Even the runoff, meandering down the middle of the road, is sparkling with life and hope.

“Look at the way this one curves back and forth,” I say, pointing to a small stream trickling down the sidewalk in front of us.

“Wow!” they shout, zigging and zagging through it, pants wet to the knees from all the joys of puddle-jumping.

One bends down and fishes three soggy pinecones out of the mud puddle, tossing them happily into the middle of the road. “Here ya go, squirrels!” she shouts. “Some food for you!”

Simple joys.

Thank you Jesus for the beauty of this moment.


White tulips growing in my living room!

Because He is Good

Today I’m sharing a quick thought on Psalm 100 – a psalm written for giving thanks. 


“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Psalm 100 (NIV)


If you’ve had a tough week, you may have to choose to shout for joy to the Lord. This psalm is full of not just suggestions – but commands to praise the Lord and give Him thanks, and a call to understand that the Lord is GOD, and we belong to Him. For me, the final verse is the kicker – why should we praise Him? Simply because the Lord is good, and His love endures forever, and His faithfulness continues through all generations. Today, in this moment, that is enough for me.


My piano


I’m Typing With One Hand

Frozen mornings and warm afternoons.

March sunshine is powerful here. It melts away a landscape full of snow and cold, and brings the hope that one day soon it really will be a new season.

These sunny days are a balm for winter-weary souls. We are the hearty, the strong Canadian kind who look forward to snowstorms and can’t wait to play outside. But come March, even we long for the tradition of swatting mosquitoes around the campfire.

I am learning this simple truth: there is beauty in every season.

Winter’s frigid cold brings pastel skies and pale sunshine that makes the air sparkle with diamond dust.

Spring holds the beauty of birdsong and budding trees and flowers.

Summer’s heat grows our gardens and offers us long, warm evenings to play in.

Fall’s glorious colour is a second Spring of sorts, and its crisp air refreshes our senses.

Every year we receive these blessings without fail.

In my life I tend to see the glaring difficulties of the season I am in. And in my haste to focus on the negative, I sometimes miss the little lovely moments that really make this season beautiful. This morning, for the very first time in her seven years of life, our oldest daughter, our early riser, sleepily asked me to “wake her up in ten minutes”.  I got to kiss my husband and we laughed together before he left for work. I have a small silky-headed boy in my arms, gnawing on my shoulder, chattering away, slowly tuckering himself out for a nap. And the middle two girls are currently wrapped up in a world of their imaginings, creating a story out of thin air and random household objects.

I kiss my boy’s chubby little cheek, knowing that before long, he will be right in the middle of all if it, running to keep up with the big kids.

I’m typing with one hand. It is taking me three times as long this way, but I don’t mind.

This is the beauty in my season – all the ordinary moments that are extraordinary to me.

Bluebird sky

A Bluebird Sky in March – my view from the backyard.

Seeing with “Grandma Eyes”

I wrote this when my first two daughters were just 3 and 1, in Spring 2014. These memories are so close to my heart! And I still wish I had “Grandma Eyes”, but I know that it often takes the passing of the years to bring the important things of life into sharper focus.


I came across a photo this evening from my trip to Tanzania nearly six years ago.

woman in tanzania

She was waiting for treatment outside an HIV clinic in one of the villages we visited.  I have no idea what happened to her.

In fact, I had forgotten about her until I saw this.

She said it was okay for me to take her picture.  I was grateful.  I never thought that six years later I’d look back on it and wonder if she was still alive.

Six years.

We spend our lives wrapped in the small moments.  Then suddenly something from the past appears to remind us that time waits for no one.

I was thinking about what happens every night at bedtime at our house:


I enter the darkness and lean down over her little pink and yellow bed.  “Yes?” I whisper, and kiss her little plump cheek.

“There’s one thing I want you to do for me.”


“Ummmm…” (quickly thinking of something) “…can you turn up the story?”

“Sure sweetheart.”  I move the volume button on the iPod dock one notch up so she can hear the story-on-tape a little better.

“Thanks Mama.”

“You’re welcome sweetheart.  Goodnight.”  I lean down for another kiss on her cheek, and stroke her hair.  “Time for sleeping.”

And then a cry from the other room, and a little one who just wants to throw one arm around my neck and rest her sweet head on my shoulder with her pint-sized stuffed Snoopy tucked under the other arm – the perfect position for the night.

Absolutely THE best.  And I slowly set her down with a kiss on her squishy cheek.

And then I stand up from the sides of their beds, and suddenly she’s three and she’s one and here we go into month 4 of another year.  My half-birthday has come and gone, and we’re nearing Easter celebrations.

Wasn’t it just Christmastime?

I’ve often said I wish I could see these moments with “Grandma Eyes” – with the wisdom and perspective of all those wonderful women who have gone before me.  The ones who know better than anyone that they sure do grow up fast, so don’t sweat the small stuff (and there is ALOT more small stuff than you realize, young mama!).

I look again at the woman above.

Time is short.

We must make the most of the moments, because the milestones come faster than we realize.

Oh Lord Jesus, help me savour the sweetness instead of sighing with heaviness.  Give me even just a glimpse of life through Grandma Eyes!

Do I Really Have Time to Think About This?

With the passing of Billy Graham, my mind has turned to the idea of legacy. His is one of evangelism, and will continue on in part because of his ministry organization. He will always be remembered for his passion to point people to Jesus.

I have no intention of dying anytime soon – most of us don’t. But when I go, what will I leave behind? What will be my legacy? What am I building with this life I have been given? Not really the kind of question I have much time to think about these days, especially with a young family and all the little things that pop up each day. So I’ll tuck it away in the back of my mind for a quiet moment, when I really have time to think about it.

Except, it doesn’t work like that.

Most people in my stage of life aren’t really thinking much about legacy because we are pretty tired. When you’re raising tiny humans and dealing with the day to day stuff, it’s easy to let grind carry you away into a place of exhaustion, longing to escape into a book or show for a little while.

And let me just tell you, I am ALL for taking a break! I know I need that self-care in this crazy season of life. But I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I’ve been building a legacy all along – just not the one I’d been hoping for.

So what am I really building here? Is this something that will last into eternity? Am I passing on my faith in Christ in a way that makes a difference to my family?

I know – heavy questions for a Tuesday. But questions worth wrestling with.

The truth is, I want Jesus to be my legacy. I want my family to see Him in the little things I do each day. In the way I handle conflict. In the things I choose to spend my time on. I want them to see me running to Him when I’m overwhelmed and throw my hands up in the air in praise when I have a reason to celebrate.

Let them see more of You and less of me, Jesus. Let your beauty draw them near in a way that captivates their hearts. Let Your love bring healing and forgiveness when I make mistakes and let Your grace fill in the gaps left by my grave imperfections.

Thank You Jesus, for this gift of life. May I never waste it. May it always be pointing back to You, the Giver.

cross fence

My parents’ fence. Quite appropriate, if you ask me. They are passing their faith on to the next generation, and the one after that too. For that, I am grateful!

Really Having It All

Our culture tells us that in order to “have it all”, we have to be rich, famous, powerful, attractive and in control.

The Bible says that in order to “have it all”, we have to have Christ!

What a difference.

Philippians 3:8-11 (NLT) says,

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.

I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”


Every spring, after a long cold winter, this bush in our backyard comes alive.

An Anniversary Lament (well, it started that way)

I am literally trying to do three things at once, with only two eyes to help me. I have one eye on the stove, cooking dinner, one eye on the preschooler who is “playing with” the baby (which requires fairly close supervision these days), and luckily, no eyes left to look at the pile of dishes spilling out of the sink onto the counter beside.

Sleep has been minimal recently because little kids, life keeps on handing us repairs upon repairs, and in recent weeks we’ve seen our fair share of “teachable moments” in our family.

We are in that season – the one where you rarely find yourself wondering what you should do with all your free time! haha!

I was secretly (or not-so-secretly now!) lamenting the way this season of life will affect our anniversary celebrations this week, with all the regular stuff on the schedule. Parent-teacher interviews. Work committments. Tax prep. Where is the romance in all of this?! I grumbled to myself.

Then it dawned on me. Two nights ago at 2:25am, our three year old woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep because her blanket wouldn’t fit over her six stuffies lined up beside her on her bed. Of course they NEEDED a blankie because they were scared, she insisted. This amazing man got up and tucked her back in, MORE THAN ONCE.

Every day, I see him making little sacrifices (and big ones) because he loves me, and our family.

Where’s the romance? Yep – found it. Over and over and over again.

Love you, Honey. Happy Anniversary. Here’s to many more.


One of my favourites from our wedding day!

Streams Will Water the Wasteland

Today on my radio show, I’m sharing a couple of verses from a Lent Reading Plan I found. I love the book of Isaiah for its imagery and prophecy, which we later discover is fulfilled in Jesus! It reminds me that God’s plan to redeem the broken moves forward despite what appear to be large, daunting, immoveable obstacles. He is the God of restoration!


“And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
    and unplug the ears of the deaf.
The lame will leap like a deer,
    and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
    and streams will water the wasteland.”

Isaiah 35:5-6 (New Living Translation)

My heart is lifted by these words today! Isaiah foretells of a person who will bring healing and hope: Jesus. Yes and AMEN! Streams will water the wasteland. This is the kind of God He is – bringing beautiful life to places that we thought were hopelessly dead. Let the hope of restoration fill your senses and your heart today!


Ripples in the water

Jesus, Are You There?

Sometimes circumstances feel overwhelming. It might not be any one particular thing, really — it’s just all of it put together. In those moments, I am learning to cry out to Jesus! I wrote this a few months ago and rediscovered it recently, finding that even though our challenges have changed, it still speaks to me today. My heart is reminded, yet again, of the God who does not forsake.


“I’m hungry but I don’t want these apples! What else is there?”

“I got a paper cut, can I have a princess bandaid?”

“Can’t I just have one more candy from my candy bucket?”

“LOST BOOK! LOST BOOK! Where is that book I had yesterday?”

All the questions, all the time.


The washing machine has been going non-stop thanks to cold and flu season. As I scrub my sandpaper hands for the thousandth time, cracked and bleeding from the freezing cold outside and my attempts at keeping the germs from spreading, I glance up at myself in the mirror. I try to smile, but I can’t. Literally. The right corner of my mouth moves up slightly, but is stopped by my chipmunk cheek, swollen from having a broken tooth pulled.

Jesus, are you there?

I gently set the baby down. Finally! He is sound asleep. Or so I thought. Eyes flutter open, restless wiggling begins. Sighing, I gently pick him up and accept that my evening plans have changed. Tonight I’ll be wearing grooves into the floor where my feet are planted, in front of the crib, rocking him in the dark, quietly singing and praying for my boy.

Jesus? Can you see me?

I’m climbing a mountain, but I can’t see the summit. I’m reaching up for the next ledge, but I can’t find it. There’s no place to stand up straight and look around, to breathe deep, to enjoy the view.

Frustrated tears stream down my face.

Where are you Jesus? Are you here, even now, in this time and place? In these moments of a million questions, inconvenient illnesses and pure exhaustion?

My heart knows the answer.

Yes, when I don’t think I can deal with one more question.

Yes, when the kids are sick and I just don’t feel like it.

Yes, when my back is sore and my legs are screaming and I just want to sit down.

Yes, when I feel like it will always be like this.

“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b

trees in sun

When things aren’t fully in focus, God is still glorious.

Love One Another

With Valentine’s Day behind us and Lent right in front of us, I was thinking about these verses from John 13 this morning.


 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 (NIV)

If you read John 13, you see that these two verses come between Jesus foretelling His betrayal by one of His inner circle and His public denial by a dear friend. At the beginning of the chapter, He washes all of the disciples’ feet, even the ones who would betray and deny Him just a short time later.

We sometimes wonder what it looks like to love as Jesus loves. It’s easy when we think people are worthy! But what about those in our lives who cause deep wounds that last? Can we love even these? Jesus’ love looks like sacrifice. It looks like something so irrational and extravagant. It is love lavished on the undeserving, love that goes beyond any expectation, love that feels excessive.

The extent to which we can accept this kind of love is the extent to which we can pour ourselves out for those God puts in our lives.

When Jesus gave this instruction, He knew He was asking us to do the impossible. That’s why I’m praying today – Lord Jesus, help me receive Your amazing love in my life! And teach me how to love like You do. Show me what that looks like at this very moment, with the people around me.


Image: “Hearts”, Beatnik Photos, Flickr