Archives for August 2011

In which I realize my smallness

Too often I spend time making comparisons. Wishing for her talent, his intellect or her success. I go round and round in circles with it, always with the same outcome. The same fears take shape, and I convince myself of my smallness. I think we’re all wired for it, this desire to be bigger than we are. I realize the futility in it, this comparison between myself and others. Why choose to compare my flawed and broken against the brokeness of another?

Instead I must choose to see that we are, each of us, small in the hands of a Creator God. This is a place where smallness makes sense. A place where I can let the fears and wonderings rest in His greatness. Where the insecurities that I carry are set down at His feet and released, because He is so much better at carrying it than I am.

His greatness, our smallness, weary souls rest.


Death defying acts of bravery or How not to look like a wimp in front of your kids

We recently spent a weekend in the mountains, Interlaken to be exact, and I kind of, a little bit, lost my mind and allowed my husband to convince me to go paragliding. I have a confirmed, long standing fear of heights, as well as an aversion to anything that might make me vomit. You can see how this was a difficult decision for me. However, upon learning that my nine and eleven year old children were fearless enough to do it, I signed up. There was no way I was going to let a kid who still likes being tucked in at night out-brave me.

It was glorious, just a wee bit scary, and definitely nausea inducing, but worth every moment. I nearly cried on the way up the mountain when the pilot informed me he had only been flying since May. E turned to me with wild eyes, as I silently devised a way to fling us from the vehicle while not falling off the cliff. After a very awkward pause, he said ‘May of 1996’.

Never let it be said the Swiss don’t have a sense of humor.

We reached the launch site, and after a running start down the mountain, the wind lifted us above Interlaken for breathtaking views. The currents blew us above alpine forests, lakes and the town below. Just above us, two eagles circled and we followed the pattern of their flight for a true bird’s eye view.

I don’t know that I would do it again, as it took me about 45 minutes on land to gain a sense of equilibrium back. But to drift to the current of the wind beneath eagles wings was the chance of a lifetime. I’m glad I took it.


PS Photos from the air were taken by husband. I would not have had the presence of mind to do so, nor was I about to release my death grip on the safety handles.

Five Minute Friday: Older

I am once again joining up with (the birthday girl) Lisa-Jo for five minute Friday. 
      1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
      2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
      3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.
    OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:


    I try not to fear it, but my years as a nurse in a retirement home make it nearly impossible. Growing older is a lot about loss. I wonder what I will lose as I age? Will it be my home, my independence, my mind? I like to think that my children will take care of me in my old age, but that’s not always the case. They may have families and responsibilities that don’t include the title of ‘carer’. 

    Regardless of the losses, I believe I will still hold onto hope. Hope that doesn’t rest in my children, my husband or some nurse, but rather in my Father. A Father who knows my beginning and my end, whose compassion and grace grow deeper and wider with age. His love never grows old, even though I do.


    I feel like I’ve grown older in the time it’s taken me to write this. The computer ate my first draft and is messing with my fonts, which may have resulted in some gray hair and a lack of grace on my part.

    For more five minute thoughts, head on over to The Gypsy Mama, and wish her a happy birthday while you’re at it.



    ‘Living is being born slowly. It would be a little too easy if we could borrow ready-made souls.’
     ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    It would be easier to assign the hard work to someone else, to let another do the living and soul-birthing for us. But it’s in this long and painful process that we come alive, to become exactly who and what we are meant to be. 
    This slow birth feels like it stretches from here to eternity, and I think it does. I find that too often my soul wants to go the way of the flesh, when it should be gestating and birthed in the spirit. It’s in this wrestling of spirit and flesh that we meet grace. And grace is where the living really begins. 
    Wishing you much grace for your birth-weary souls today.

    Soul Food

    While I wholeheartedly believe in living life to the full, sometimes it becomes a little too full. A few too many items on the to-do list, too many trips planned, and too few moments to spend staring out the window. Or listening to a new song. Or reading a book.

    For years, I wasn’t able to identify what it was that made me feel alive. I knew it wasn’t my job or my checked off to-do’s or my fight to maintain a mold free shower. Mothering made me feel alive, but more in the way that jumping into an ice cold pool makes you feel, simultaneously painful and exhilarating. What I discovered was that I am wired for words and art and beauty.The things that make me feel most whole, are not the things that are valued in this ‘Just Do It’ kind of world. Let’s be honest, ‘photograph a sunset or read a poem’ look slightly ridiculous on anyone’s to-do list.

    And so a cycle of denying those desires begins until I can’t even visit a friend for lunch without guilt creeping in. I’ve lived a lot of my life feeling guilty. Guilty that I’m not as productive, busy, or capable as you or him. Guilty about needing time to read and write and think when there is a huge pile of garden rubbish mocking me from the yard. However, I’m not me without this time, this soul food, and I feel a little smaller for the lack of it.

    I haven’t worked my way out of the guilty cycle yet. I’m getting better, but I’m still a good girl at heart, and good girls always want to do the right thing. For this reason, I am so looking forward to Emily’s new book ‘Grace for the Good Girl’ (releasing next week). Hop on over to her blog, Chatting at the Sky, for more on her book and her life as a recovering good girl. Stay a while and let it feed your soul.