An overwhelming promise


Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

“I’ve been making major decisions on my own for 20 years now. Why am I so fearful right now that I might be forgetting something? Maybe even making this situation worse?” I pulled my knees up to my chest, stared at my phone pocketed in the white duvet of my bed, it’s speaker icon highlighted.

I had just finished a week where nights were sleepless tossing, and the days hours were dealing with the aftermath of a theft that had me gripped in a fragile vulnerability.

A fragile vulnerability that had left me awake with worry, fear and aloneness.

Worry that more misfortune was to come; fear that I may have forgotten to do something to get the situation under control; and feeling alone in dealing with it all, alone.

Later, my phone off and silent, I found myself drawn to open my Book to Psalms, resting on David’s story when he fled Jerusalem, from his son Absalom and his men.

But you Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. Psalm 3:3-4



Even though David was fleeing for his life, and all seemed to be going wrong for him, he lifted his head high, and called out to the Lord in confidence that God was still with him.

I lie down and sleep, I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though ten thousands assail me on every side. Psalm 3:5-6


Even with an army gathering, and his son rebelling against him, David chose not to fear and slept peacefully with the assurance that God was in control.

He did not worry or fear, give into the overwhelming feelings that can come when everything seems to be going wrong. Instead, he rested at night in the assurance of God’s promise of being a ‘shield around me’, always.

He rested in the knowing He was never alone in His battles.

He rested in the knowing of God’s unfailing love, that sustains and flows from Him no matter the circumstances.


Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are God; may your good Spirit lead me on ground level. Psalm 143:8-10

May you know this Valentine’s Day, my friend, that nothing can overwhelm or consume God’s love for you.  No circumstances is bigger than the One whose compassion and faithfulness is yours, as His beloved.


 “You are altogether beautiful my darling, beautiful in every way.” Song of Songs 4:7








Making a Difference

Hope Mission Invite 2 (35 of 1)

Lifeless leaves in colours of blood and coffee on a dusty foot path crush beneath my worn hikers. I pull my wool hat lower over my ears with one mittened hand, the other grips my camera. Ahead, I know, is a low lying bridge, over a cheerless pond, just four steps wide and seven steps to the other side. 

I’ve been here before, on this trail in this national park close to my home. Been here too, during the times of chirping frogs and singing sparrows. 

But today, under a silvery sky, the life sounds seem hushed. And this feels right. As my brother of only a few years longer in life than me, was recently stilled and silenced.  His path moved now beyond this world.

You can read the rest at Time with Tandy  where I had the pleasure of being a guest blogger! 

My apologies for not being at your places this week. I had technical security issues I needed to sort out for my online presence. God bless! 


Stepping the Way


The wind was gentle on this particular late summer morning. It was a Saturday. My eyes cast downwards at grass clipped short, scanning for the entry.

My journal entry an hour later:

Walked in and decided the entry was not what was laid out. The path was wrong. The start was three steps in, passing two blocked paths on the right. Should not the opening to the circle been the first step in? Took a step clockwise in the direction the lines laid out and then decided to go differently for the heck of it and stepped over a line to start in the opposite direction-counter clockwise.

So I decided what was the right way to go, and then realized my mistake 20 minutes later.

The start point was right all along.

As I took each tentative step I wondered if the circular, meandering path really did lead me out eventually or would I get caught up in it’s loop forever? I wanted to step out completely a few times. I didn’t trust the design. 

Could I trust the designer? 

Do I trust the Designer? 

“I realized how much I still want to be in control. Crazy because if I would have just followed the path as it was laid out, I wouldn’t have been so anxious and enjoyed the walk and beauty all around me.”

The facilitator of our weekend retreat looked at me kindly. We each sat in chairs placed in a circular pattern–about 20 of us.

Each stepping differently on life’s meandering path.

Each stepping in either a choice of  holding back in fears that present as control, worries, and excuses, or letting go in trust.


Jeremiah 17: 7-8 But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”


Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.


Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I pull the zipper up on my jacket, my eyes scanning the tree shadows that reach out like fingers upon the unicursal path. It’s early Saturday evening. The sun has begun is descent behind me.

I take three steps in and turn to the right-clockwise.

I enter the lines of the pathway, following as designed.

A fallen leaf lifts, the wind catching it’s stem, and skims the cropped grass. Five sparrows suddenly let go within a tree and flutter above me. I stop, watch their flight that leads them to another tree, and they rest on a new branch like it was designed just for them. It holds them safely. I tuck my hair behind an ear, the breeze light and refreshing on my face.

I take the next step.







Expanding with every breath


It was a door I had walked through many times, but all wasn’t as it was. To the right where once my eyes scanned a spacious place lit softly but brightly enough to highlight the displays of books, paper and household items–my favourite bling–wasn’t anymore. Plywood, popular in all construction spaces, walled the once Chapters store from the Starbucks where I now stood. Feeling a bit conspicuous (how could I have not known?) I walked past customers waiting for their embellished caffeine pretending I had to use the washroom.

I’d driven by the large sign on the shopping centre in my town indicating a new Indigo Store. It was just a block walk from the original Chapters store in the same centre. They were expanding and moving into the old Target store under the Indigo label. (For my outside-of-Canada-friends, Indigo is similar to Barnes & Noble, and the Chapters name under the same umbrella. And just in case you didn’t know–Target came and left Canada as quickly as a fox spotting a rabbit. It never made it.) Now it seemed the new store was open, and the old now empty and boarded.

I pulled my hood up, stepped back outside making my way to another door in the direction of the new sign I’d seen, the new home for the items of the old space I’d spent many hours in over the years, browsing, buying, and discovering.

Adventure being a top value of mine, I found myself light in step. Yes, it was just a new store, but adventure can be had in the smallest of activities….yes?

Adventures, though, can turn out the unexpected. And the unwanted.

Continue reading “Expanding with every breath”

Lessons I Learned from Skiing

It’s that moment, ski poles gripped in one gloved hand, other circling steel pole, body shimmering up to edge of chair, waiting, waiting as elevating and then levelling. Point ski tips up, loosen grip from steel pole, push off, disengage. Skis hit flattened snow, bend knees, lean forward, let pressure off right leg.  Empty chair circling right, poles pointing down, skis coasting left, stop, plant poles in loose snow. Skis point just slightly downward, hill trails ahead, signs with coloured circles of either green, blue, black.

And then that first interruption from complete engagement with the moment.

Which run shall I take?nov83

Whenever asked when was the last time I felt completely in the moment, I don’t have a specific one time. Yet while down-hill skiing, that moment just coming off the chair lift, or navigating the turns, the bumps, the bare spots, and powder while skiing down the mountain, I can’t NOT be in the moment. Plant pole, turn, plant, turn, plant, turn, bend (for speed), lift, plant, lean right, wide right turn, plant, turn…

And then there is the wind that caresses my bare cheeks under googles and over my neck warmer, the swoosh sound of skis on snow, and my mind, my body, even my soul gliding in the moment feeling fully present and purposeful.

Aware and engaged.



Honestly, it has been a couple of years since I last pointed my feet into stiff ski boots, and snapped them into bindings, and then feeling that awkward body position where lower body is forced forward and upper needs to lean back for balance.

But, ah, I miss it!

However, maybe it’s more the feeling of my body and my mind needing to be fully present– focused– so to see the trees ahead, to move my body correctly to navigate the bumps, or to tune in my hearing to what is coming up behind–that I crave, rather than gearing up, bearing cold temperatures, and sliding down a mountain.

For it is in the missing of details, when my senses are dulled, when my mind moves away from the moment, that could lead into snow up my back, googles skewed on my face, poles lost up hill, bruised limbs, and a very sore behind!

When skiing those in-the-moment details of sounds, sight, and touch not only give me a bolder experience but also, I can see now, keep me safe.


So what’s the trick? How can we be fully present, aware and  engaged, alive,  without needing a mountain to transcend? What are ways we can create a presence of ourselves that navigates the ordinary to boldly experience every moment?

We can….

  1. Stay Focused:  Focused on what is happening now, and navigating each bump and turn with no worrisome thoughts invading. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
  2. Be Content: Content in the moment, tot struggling against or wishing we were on a different mountain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, as we can take nothing out of it. 1 Timothy 6:6
  3. And Thankful: Thankful for our senses, alive and firing to fully experience the all in the moment that is a gift to us-now. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

   “The greatest moment of your life is now. Not because it’s pleasant or happy or easy, but because this moment is the only moment you’ve got. Every past moment is irretrievably gone. It’s never coming back. If you live there, you lose your life. And the future is always out there somewhere. You can spend an eternity waiting for tomorrow, or worrying about tomorrow. If you live there, you likewise will lose your life. This moment is God’s irreplaceable gift to you.” ~John Ortberg,“God is Closer Than You Think.”

Do you have something that has shown you how to navigate the ordinary to boldly experience each moment, engaged and alive?








Good and kind

“You made it seem so…” Hannah’s voice on the cassette tape.

Clay pulls off the headphones. “Easy? Is she kidding me? I was s— myself. She’s not telling the truth about the way things happened.”

Tony. “She’s telling her truth.”


The above scene is from 13 Reasons Why, a Netflix original series about a teen’s suicide, Hannah, and the tapes she recorded before her suicide. Clay’s tape was number 11. However, the late Hannah’s voice on his tape tells Clay he doesn’t belong as part of her reasons why as he is “good and kind.” But he needed to be part of her pre-suicide recordings to help explain why she did what she did. “I didn’t deserve you,” her voice tells Clay through the tape. “I would have ruined you.”

Clay wrestles with his insecurities that stopped him from pushing in, finding out why Hannah aggressively told him to go away before she died. He pictures a scene where he does probe to find out what is really going on instead of walking away with an ego bruised, and hurt feelings.

This past summer I found myself the centre of a Circle of Trust. Based on Parker Palmer’s teachings, the circle is a sacred space where one can show up exactly as they are. At first I was uncomfortable with the idea of no eye contact when speaking, yet the freedom from not judging or trying to read others while I talked let me show up in an authentic way I had not experienced before. And when I respected the space of others by listening only, I allowed them the safe space to be open, vulnerable, and true.


Continue reading “Good and kind”

An upside down kind of way


“No one does that anymore,” my eldest sister replied. The fall day was hotter than summer, some tree leaves green, holding on to bonds of chlorophyll, and I wondered if  maybe even confused. The summer season had brought rain and temperatures a season ahead, while now this mid September morning we walked a park trail, sleeveless and sandal footed, a ‘record breaking temperature day’ with heat warning announcements. Summer was fall, and fall is summer.

An upside down kind of day.

Continue reading “An upside down kind of way”

Just a little bit of happy


“I can’t stop laughing,” said my 8 year-old granddaughter. And her candy-coated laughter continued to erupt as she stayed on her feet while propelling usbubble in a jumbo bubble-wrapped balloon of plastic. Meanwhile I was on my knees trying to stand up (which is where I spent most of my time). Back at the starting point, tumbling out of the bubble’s door, we both wiped sweat from our foreheads. Her laughter burst on.

I giggled with her, her joy positively contagious (even though I wondered if I needed to call a chiropractor).

Ahh…Joy. Webster definition of this noun includes a feeling of great happiness.  When was the last time you did joy? Sometimes it needs to be almost intentional, doesn’t it? Or we might feel we need to get our work done, our relationships right, our finances balanced before we allow ourselves to experience joy.

But….look here! How, in His word are we directed to do joy?

Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.

He’s already approved what you do. You can do joy….now!

Doing joy could be making a cake, decorating a sugar cookie, drinking sweet tea on a park bench, visiting a bakery store with your favourite macaroons, or dining at that awesome ‘only the locals know about’ cafe.


Ecclesiastes 3:12  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

Joy could be doing a little bit of silly to make some happy, like having a (fun) battle at a wedding.


Joy could be doing a bit of crafting, to create something for a smile of another.


Joy may even be had after a long line-up for a once-in-a-life-time meet-up of Lightening McQueen.


Joy could be doing a little looking at some shiny bling, or in that moment strapping on that luggage for the road trip.



Joy could be in the doing of a little watching of feline creatures.


Or in taking the time, that moment, to pick up that hobby you’ve left behind (but oh so wants you to be happy).


And doing joy could be while doing good when volunteering. And even sweeter joy meeting ‘the band.’ (Tim and Glory Boys at Youth Conference 2017, Red Deer, Alberta)


What is your list of joy, my friend? And what is one thing you could do today, even if small or silly, to “to be happy and to do good“?

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

A place to re-start the party-FMF


I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday where we are instructed to “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.” This week’s prompt is “Place”.


In the slower days of summer, I am led to thoughts that create new adventures. I sometimes though ponder the thoughts of measuring how well something was doing in the past, and why now it seems to have changed, along with my passion for it. Or, a better description may that my intention is changing.

I ponder about going back to a place where it seemed more productive, more passionate. Don’t get me wrong though! Even with those essential “P” words, the place could be hard work full of sweat and tears too.

This place was in the days when I was awake at 4 am and writing. I was writing my teenage novel at the time, as well as contributing at least 3x per week in a new forum to me–blogging. My first blog was call Connecting Stories, over on the blogger platform. There I met, never physically, but through many words and correspondence via comments mainly, other writers. Most were fiction, as I inspired to be, as well as teachers of writing. I even entered contests and received a honourable mention at one place, won others. As well, it was a time where blog awards were given by other bloggers–fun badges you could post on your blog like  “encouraging blogger”, “sweetest blog,” and “amazing commenter.”  And blog hops were hopping, and popular!

It was a time where no one seemed left out of the party too. If someone visited your place, then you would for sure go to hers/his, and leave a comment, making a new or cultivating a connection. I still have a handful of bloggers from those days that I connect with today and consider friends. So, lately I’m feeling somewhat nostalgic for that other place of mine, Connecting Stories, and considering writing again there with the focus on writing!


Do you write on multiple blogs with different focuses? Do you feel it important to connect by commenting on the blogs of those who left you comments?

#FMF – Click here for more!

Being lovely

It was such a lovely day, and the sky and the sea were so blue. They sat eating and drinking, gazing out at the sea, watching the waves break over the rocks…Enid Blyton, writer (1897-1968)


Our prairie waters in my part of the province do not have waves breaking over rocks like the seas on the east and west coast. However, the glass-like shimmer of calm lakes under an aqua coloured sky dotted with milky clouds can make for a lovely day. I’ve had those lovely moments this summer while spending weekend time with family in campsites of tents, dirt roads, and mountain ash trees. Or while paddling in my small (and very stable) kayak.

You have to schedule time for yourself even if you have no idea what you’re going to do with it. Susie Bright, author 


The summer season has been a new time for me, with no two week vacation planned, or scheduled days off work. Instead, when no festival or camping outing is on the agenda, it’s been working on checking off lists of projects left to the long days like house painting, cupboard and closet organization. Although, even with all the time that seems to be, all the time I let open for completions, many improvements are still to be.

And, it’s okay.

We constantly feel like we need to improve ourselves, but in fact, we’re already pretty great. We just need to see that. Leo Babauta, writer


With our social media feeds bombarded with how to be more productive, with our bookstores that dedicate sections to how we can be richer, be skinnier, and be faster achievers, writers, and cooks, sometimes it can get confusing of what is it to really ‘be.’

Yet, it can be so much simpler, can’t it?… of how we are to be, when taking in the words of Paul.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

And being in that way can make all days lovely indeed, yes? And remind us no improvements needed when we look to who we really are.

Linking up with Patricia Holbrook today! May you be recharged by all these lovely writers by clicking the link below.

Soaring with Him Ministries