Monday, June 27, 2011


My husband, bless his heart, is a Lord of the Rings fan! He was a fan way before the movies came out. He would read through the Trilogy every summer, and has read all the books! Any question I have he is willing to give me thourough answers - such as the genealogy of an elf, or of a ranger such as Aragorn, or the history of middle earth, or even better pull out a map to bring clarity! What can I say - he is a nerd and I love him for it!

As we were watching The Fellowship of the Ring, it came to the part where Frodo is tired of bearing the weight of the ring...

"Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil."

I was next to tears. I have seen this movie a few times, and it never fully hit me as it did the other day. The word 'ring' could be substituted for illness, infidelity, abuse, pain, betrayal, etc. Our world is full of such pain. This week my heart was greatly troubled and burdened with some incredibly sad news of a friend. This amazing woman of God is now facing the fight of her life. I couldn't help but think of her as I heard these words.

We don't get to decide what tragedies come our way, but all we do have is the TIME given to us. Even when it seems that evil prevails in this world, we are reminded that there are other forces at work. GOD is still at work in our world today. He still has the power to heal, comfort and restore. And though He promised that in this world we will have trouble, He also promised that HE has overcome the world.

In the grand scheme of life - what is our most valuable possesion? A mansion, an SUV, designer labels? Of course not -I believe it is TIME. Time is our most precious gift. Yet, time slips through our fingertips like sand. Do we really appreciate each moment? When I walked through the deepest valley with Gracie, every day was gold. I understood the importance of time. Yet, when crisis ceases, we often forget this precious gift. Each breath we take is given to us. We are living on borrowed time.

Today I am learning a lesson from good ol' Gandalf - I am choosing to decide what to do with this precious time given to me...I think I'll start by saying a prayer for my friend, and then hugging my kids extra close tonight.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Unforced Rhythms of Grace...

This weekend I had the honour of sharing with some amazing women at LinwoodHouse in Robert's Creek on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. From the moment I stepped on the gorgeous grounds it was as though all the weight and stress I had been under seemed to trickle away. Water in a creek is always changing, always flowing and this place, LinwoodHouse, is a reflection of this thought. Gwen & Ron open their beautiful home as a get-away and retreat center for those who are in need of refreshing. They serve not only ministry-minded folks and church groups (like our group this weekend), but also to the forgotten and the 'least' of these. They are passionate about reaching out to the women on the East Side of Vancouver. They began a ministry meant to bless the most vulnerable, and seemingly unlovable women with an encompassing and lavish love. The love of Christ reigns in every inch of that home and grounds and the home is drenched in peace and tranquility.

My sweet friend Jodie invited me to be the Guest Speaker at her church's Ladies Retreat and even though I was the 'key-note'speaker, I left feeling spoken to, blessed, challenged, and refreshed! The lovely group of women were fun, friendly and were so ready to hear from the Lord. Their hearts were primed and the Spirit moved as I shared my journey of Gracie. It is amazing to think that Gracie is still challenging lives. Sharing her journey, our amazing journey of Grace, truly makes this grieving heart sing!

I shared on how we all hold preconceived ideas of who Jesus is, and how challenging these misunderstandings can lead us into a closer communion with Him. How do you reconcile a God that has unlimited power to heal, yet chooses not to? How do you serve a God who does not work in linear fashion? How do you look into the face of fear and still trust an unseen God? My journey with Gracie touched on these questions and more. In the end, choosing to obey even though I did not understand allowed the Spirit to bring revelations of His love and will. Once you catch but a glimpse of Him and how great He truly is - you will never be the same. Your vantage point shifts. Instead of zooming in on the problem at the time, you zoom out and see the grander scale. When you become heaven-minded and Christ focused, you can't help but see through the lens of eternity - and once you do...everything changes. This life here on earth is but a vapor. When you truly understand that you are living on 'borrowed' time, you sense the urgency to live each day to the fullest, sharing His love with others.

My personal goals have changed so drastically since losing Gracie. No longer is the big fancy house, beautiful vehicles, and a comfortable 9-3 teaching job my 'be-all-end-all' life goal. Loving my family and teaching them the ways of Jesus so that we can make a difference for Him in our world has become the greatest goal and challenge of our lives. Is there anything truly more important as a parent that solidifying Christ in your child's heart so that they too will one day be with Him, dancing at His feet for all eternity? Do I want my kids to do well in school, get a good job and marry and have a wonderful family? YES, of course I do! Yet, that is not what spurs this heart everyday. The desire of this Mama's heart is to show Jesus in all I do and proclaim His love, sacrifice and forgiveness so that my kids will not only learn to follow Him, but also to know His voice, and take that life-changing love to the broken world around them.

There is such a blessing that flows when we press pause on this busy life and take the time to listen and be still to the Spirit's call. My spirit was re-acquainted with rest and tranquility this weekend, and once again learned the unforced rhythms of grace.

Matthew 11:28-30 - The Message (MSG)
28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."