Friday, 20 March 2015


I love to take small moments and see the beauty in the world around me.

The other day I was waiting for Colin to finish at cubs, and he was dragging his feet.  When James finally texted me through a friend to ask where I was, I insisted Colin get a move on.  As I dragged him out of the building, I was caught between rushing to pick up James and the kids and being stopped in my tracks at the breathtaking shade of blue in the evening sky, just before all the light disappeared.  The sky was actually glowing.

"Colin, let's go NOW.  Hurry and get in the car.  But first notice how amazing that shade of blue is in the sky!"

As we darted through the parking lot, we kept our eyes fixed on the liquid blue that blanketed the world beneath.  We leapt in the car and I continued my lecture.

"Colin, you are going to have to apologize to your Dad for keeping him waiting."
"Yes, but if I had come when you first asked," Colin replied, "We would have missed that amazing sky."


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Canada Reads

This week I've been listening in to the radio program "Canada Reads" on CBC radio.  (I love CBC.  I definitely consider our public broadcaster a national treasure.)  For five days, five panelists debate the merits of five Canadian books, and eliminate one each day until only one remains as "the book that Canadians should read this year."

Particularly interesting is this year's theme: one book to break barriers.  Books this year are all dealing with fringe themes, like immigration, religious extremism, a gay teen, aging, and racism towards First Nations people.  So thematically the debates are interesting on their own. I also like that they touch on the art and craft of writing itself, examining the merits of the book as a work of art.

But more than all this, however, I am enjoying the art of debate.  The debaters are understand the form of a debate, directly answering questions posed, and waiting patiently to rebut.  The moderator is respected and keeps the conversation on point.  Debaters are defending their own book choice, but also are able to graciously concede the strengths of books other than their own.  When negative points must be made, they are made with tact and from a well-thought out standpoint, without any feeling of attack.

I have a deep love of good conversation and a well-constructed debate.  So few people understand the different between debate and argument.  Too often I think I'm in a debate, then the other person seems to either a) feel personally attacked by a point against their position or b) continuously return back to points already made.  It's frustrating to listen, watch, or participate in a debate when the other person doesn't understand the art form.  Which is why I'm so enjoying the Canada Reads debates this year.  Plus, I've been introduced to a handful of new books and authors I'm excited to delve into (Canadian authors are among my favourite in the world.  Our library tags the spines of books with common genres like mystery, religious, and Canadian, and I will often simply choose books from the shelf because of that little red maple leaf.)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Colinism and Calebite

Today, my two oldest boys, had their very first fight.

I've been saying over the past year or so, as I observe their relationship, that they are more like best friends than brothers.  (Until today) I could not remember a single time when they fought or teased like most brothers.  They are the same size, and Caleb has always pushed himself to be at Colin's level in almost every area.  The result has been that they have found playmates rather than annoyances in each other.

Today, however, something was off.  It began with a wonderful hockey creation built by the two of them: a hockey rink complete with arena and players on the ice.  The detail was incredible and I noted that I would like to take a picture.  Colin asked if we could submit the photo to the Lego contest, to which I agreed.

Then the floodworks opened.  Caleb was excited to be a part of it.  Colin insisted his brother's participation was so limited it didn't count.  So Caleb decided to take apart any piece he had built.  Both boys were quickly in tears, sobbing about the injustice and so genuinely sad I was surprised by the emotion.

Caleb fled to his bedroom.  Colin fled outside.

After ten minutes, I went looking after the two of them.  I found Caleb flung across his bed, sobbing into his pillow.  I found Colin outside shovelling snow off the back deck with a determined face.  Another ten minutes passed and I checked in on Caleb to find him staring sadly out the bedroom window at his brother, who was still shovelling.

I was struck by the fight, and once again, how it was more like how best friends fight than brothers.  With siblings, the fight usually descends into name calling, teasing, destroying toys, or even shove or two.  But with friends, it's the self-imposed separation that feels tortuous.

Within the hour I found the two of them together again, united in a game of mini sticks.  "Did you make up?" I asked and their happy reply was "of course!"

And once again their best friend relationship is restored.  They shared novels back and forth, worked together to clear the back deck (for ball hockey), and shared in Colin's successes on his soccer team (when my mom called, Caleb's only news was a play by play of Colin's previous game and goals.)  How wonderful these two have each other.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Spiritual leadership

I find myself in numerous positions of spiritual leadership this year.  If you had asked me as a confident teenager I would have said that I relished leadership positions, but in the last ten years I have realized that I much prefer being a little worker bee.  Mostly this is because I like getting a task and then going back to my little corner to complete said task.

This year I have found a new hardship to leadership - the task of standing strong for others.  Each week requires me to reach into my own spiritual reserve and mentor others who are brand new in their faith, or perhaps even still seeking for something.  Even more than that, I have found myself as a mother mentor, a good 6 or 7 years ahead of most of the women in my study group, and just on par with the others.

I find myself craving sage words of advice and experience from one who has gone before me.  This year I have suddenly realized that I lack such a mentor for myself in my own journey.  I am not one to step out of a comfortable circle, which makes it hard for me to make new friends.  Usually I can only manage to get at ease with someone who has quite a bit in common with me.  Otherwise I can spend most of the time in utter silence, desperate to come up with something to say.  this girl doesn't do small talk.

I have one friend who is five years ahead, and who just happens to have a carbon copy of my family (children, ages, sex, birth order, and even personalities of each one, plus each of us as a couple are uncannily alike.)  But she in a busy stage of life herself and still without enough distance from those young years to garner enough perspective.

So now I'm on the lookout for a mentor for myself, someone to sit with me, share with me, and help me fill up so that I can pour out into those women I am leading.