Why We Sometimes Find it Easier to Talk About Amazon Prime than Jesus.

Why We Sometimes Find it Easier to Talk About Amazon Prime than Jesus.

A couple of years ago, I posed a question to my women’s small group: What is something that has recently changed your life? Tell the person next to you about it.”

With ease and excitement, they buzzed about how Amazon Prime had transformed their shopping experience, click and collect had taken the stress out of buying groceries and packing cubes had brought much needed order to the chaos that formerly ruled in their suitcases while travelling.

Transformation is easy to talk about because we’re simply testifying to our experiences. A clear problem was overcome by a clear solution. What is clear to us is easy to communicate to others.

My next sentence was, “Now turn and share the gospel with that same person.”

Only crickets could be heard.

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The gift of presence

We walked by several people in several waiting areas, and though I don’t know what brought each of them to day surgery, I noticed that some were alone, and some were accompanied.

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As we planned for the specialist appointment, today’s surgery and the upcoming pathology appointment, all of us rearranged our schedules because we simply wanted to be with our mom.

This morning there was a lot of time to be present, and for a family that is used to being very productive, simple presence today was a gift.

The morning after the diagnosis, I had my first bout of ugly tears as I spoke the words aloud to a friend at school drop-off. She texted me shortly after we parted ways, sympathized with how I was feeling and said, I don’t know what to say, or what to do, I just want you to know I’m here. 

Don’t underestimate the simple gift you can give a person by simple saying, I’m here. When you’re going through something that’s hard, it’s really good not to be alone.

I’m reminded of the power of presence, and the one who embodied it, Jesus. He left heaven not only to rescue me, but to enter into human flesh so He could sympathize with my humanness, be with me in my struggles, and offer His presence as a permanent gift that no diagnosis, stormy weather, or hard thing can take away.

Grateful for thr gift of dawn on our early morning surgery commute… the promise that light is coming.

Grateful for thr gift of dawn on our early morning surgery commute… the promise that light is coming.

Mom is in surgery right now. Doctor said everything was looking really promising. We are praying for precision in the removal of the cancer today, clear margins, no spread of the cancer and a positive pathology report on the 24th.

Thank you for the prayers, the texts, the comments, the calls— the numerous gifts of“I’m here”. You are being the very hands and feet of Jesus. I know He’s pleased with how the members of His body have responded today.

When You Get Results You Don't Really Want

When You Get Results You Don't Really Want

My eyes skimmed over words from my mom that we knew were a possibility, but seriously hoped not to be ours to process:

“Biopsy result is showing breast cancer in tiny 6mm lump. It’s 1/4 of an inch. Specialist appointment on September 26. They will decide if they will keep an eye on it or remove it. Blood work is good and clear.”

When you’ve already lost one parent, it’s easy to want to hold on for dear life for the one you have left.

“God wouldn’t take them both, would He?” I desperately wanted to be able to reassure my sister by saying, “Of course He wouldn’t,” but you and I know we don’t control God. We simply have an invitation at every turn to trust Him.

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Dear Dad (10 years)

Dear Dad (10 years)

I still remember answering the phone and hearing mom say, “Say goodbye!” We had just returned home three hours south of where you were, unsure of how much time you had left here on earth.

I don’t remember what I said, only that I didn’t know how to say goodbye.

Mom said you looked up to the corner of the living room and smiled your famous smile you hadn’t smiled for weeks, looked back and her and just like that, you were gone.

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Where to Hide When the Storm Rages

Where to Hide When the Storm Rages

We stood inches from the window and watched as golf ball-sized chunks of hail pelted at our bonus room window. I had never seen anything like it. Only minutes earlier, it had been sunny and then with no warning, the hailstorm of all hailstorms was threatening to break through our windows and take down everything in it’s path.

Storms are like that— unwelcome and unannounced.

This particular hailstorm was fast and furious. The sun was quickly restored to shining; everything else outdoors was not. The south side of every house in our community looked like a victim of a drive by. Everything and anything that was left outside was ruined— plagued by dents at best, and holes at worst.

Our truck and our van were packed only two feet away from each other. The truck looked like a giant golf ball, ironically with golf ball sized dimples. It was a write off. My van however, came out unscathed. And it was parked only two feet from the same vehicle. If you’re scratching your head wondering how is that possible…

(CLICK to keep reading!)

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Lesson 11 from Our 11th Year of Marriage

Lesson 11 from Our 11th Year of Marriage

My not-so-little sister got married this past weekend and as part of their celebration, they did a generations dance. All the married couples danced to "Remember When." People with smooth skin and wrinkled, smiled at each and swayed to music. Slowly couples married less years sat down until one couple was left standing — a marriage 67 years in the making, my grandparents.

Can you imagine being married for 67 years in a culture where a marriage lasting more than 67 weeks is a rarity? Can we not simply hang in there for 67 years, but also enjoy the ride? That's our plan.

Last year to mark our 10 year anniversary, I wrote 10 Lessons from 10 Years of Marriage. Last Saturday, my husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary and I've been mulling over what I've learned in our past year of marriage. If you stop learning, you stop growing. 

So, here I humbly offer my lesson 11, from an 11 year + 8 day old marriage: 

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When You're Afraid You Haven't Changed

When You're Afraid You Haven't Changed

I answered the phone to the sound of tears. Not just the soft kind, but the kind that you shed when you're on the brink. The kind you shed when you're staring into the same old pit and feel like there's nothing you can do to keep yourself from tumbling down. The kind you shed when you feel like you're there all over again, in the place you never wanted to go back to. And it feels like the same old struggle is the same as it's always been. 

Between tears she said, "The thing I'm the most scared of is that I haven't changed." 

Lean in loved one and listen closely, because truth sets us free. Imagine we are face to face, I am staring you in the face with my finger in the truth, and maybe a bit of your face, because it’s a battle out there, but we have what we need to live victorious.

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Answering the Call Part 5: they Said Yes

Answering the Call Part 5: they Said Yes

How did we get here?

My mom and I were on the plane to Abbotsford both grateful for another opportunity to serve God by serving His people. We were also both not entirely sure how to answer that question. We pondered and then my mom went first.

She told me when she was a new believer in the 80’s, the church she was part of was hosting Vacation Bible School. Someone asked if she would lead a Bible study for the moms who were dropping their kids off. She said yes. It was the first of many yeses, followed by many more over many years. 

Many yeses to God over many years eventually equals a surrendered life.

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Answering the Call Part 4: What Only God Can Do

Answering the Call Part 4: What Only God Can Do

I was appointed to navigate us across Toronto since I was from "around here" (AKA Canada). Thankfully, we did eventually arrive at the restaurant after much prayer and the GPS recalculating. We headed to the reserved area in the back where the two teams were meeting to eat. I rounded the corner and stopped dead in my tracks. Beth Moore was standing six feet away casually chatting it up with her team members.

I reminded myself to think like a cucumber and be cool. I appeared to be the only one in the room fighting the urge to act like a crazy person. I sat down and channelled my crazy into a text to my friend who was with me in Vancouver in 2008 (whose goal in life is to sing backup for Travis Cottrell one day). I typed, Oh my goodness… I am at dinner with Beth and Travis!!!!!!!

Her immediate response (which I fully anticipated) was, I'M DYING! I’M DYING! Feel free to introduce me! I know they're real people but seriously! This is an 8 year old miracle.

Then I remembered that I never play it cool nor I’ve never been cool. Crazy is so much more me. So I got up and casually walked over

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