Tuesday, 9 April 2013

faith in the storm

I felt enormously encouraged by this post today, by the song chosen to still believe, to continue, defeat never allowed to do its work. Overwhelmed with the thought of hope these days, but not only that, broken for those who have no hope, for those walking alone in their troubles. Having grown up in a Christian home, I sometimes forget the hopelessness people far from God experience, the depth of grief there must be. We have troubles in this world, BUT GOD... BUT GOD fights on our behalf. And we can surely trust.

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait
I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve you while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

Tuesday, 2 April 2013



I am not good with making decisions, little ones maybe, but certainly not the biggies. I've come to notice lately that life's decisions have been ordained from above, now I need amped up courage to follow that lead, the only decision I am making is to follow Jesus or not. Some days I enjoy the safety of taking the easy route, that of burying my one talent, safely in the ground, rather than using and doubling it, with courage*. This year, and for the years to come, I want to courageously follow my Father's lead, because I know He is the rock, not sand, so really, it shouldn't take courage at all, really, it's plain old common sense.

*13 “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. 14 For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work270 and gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two gained two more. 18 But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it. 19 After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 The one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! 28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. 29 For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” (Matthew 25:13-30).

Monday, 1 April 2013

how'd that happen, anyway?

So much has happened, almost since the minute I hit "publish" for the last post, I can hardly wrap my head around it, never mind explain just how it went down. All I know is, it's very evident to me that God put the brakes on our house sale until we found this place. All those closed doors opened so quickly, I can only compare it to that last part of labouring with child, many weary hours, until the final push. Yes, I did just say that - I kind of feel like I gave birth to this house. Probably not the prettiest image, yet just like I had nothing to do with making sure cells grow and hearts form, and a baby comes to be, we did not build this house, but here it is and it's perfect and I feel like a momma in love.

A time line which only God can orchestrate:

* Sunday - March 24th Viewed country house, wondering if a small subdivision lot is truly where we are our best
*Monday - Tuesday, many good chats about our next ten years, thinking country would win this one
*Wednesday - Receive information about NASCAR race track proposal just a couple km's down the street from that gorgeous red barn
*still Wednesday - prayed about it, knew right away country was out
*Thursday - feeling discouraged and confused, but feeling renewed trust in our Shepherd
*still Thursday - up and unable to sleep... in a sleep filled daze decided to jump online to see if there just happens to be a house with everything we need and want, with a quick close since we had a sense this would bring offers, quick.. oh and new would be nice
*Friday - early - 2am, so really Thursday night, still, we find this amazing home, with everything we need and want, plus a huge yard, a very quick close, since it's empty but brand new
*Friday, day time - we run the numbers and figure out we could make this place work, call to make a viewing appointment, and drive by the house several times, feeling that sense of home I can not put to words
*Saturday - noon - walked through the house, and knew it was meant to be
*still Saturday - make a call to an interested buyer on our end, confirm a possibility for a rather quick closing

and before you know it, we are signing papers to sell our place at just $2000 under asking, draw up papers to buy the new one, turn away several other interested buyers (really, that same day), get approved by the bank, receive an accepted offer with $5000 cash for appliances which we requested (hooray, gas stove!), and celebrate Easter in a way that seems bigger this year, because we've just seen the victory of God in our lives, all because His Son went to the cross.

We sense there is a bigger purpose for this house, to not just serve our family, but more. What that looks like, I don't yet. But we are suddenly noticing a few glimpses of the whats and hows, little bits of information released to us, just at the right time.

Jesus is never late, never early, but always right on time. Some days this, if I can be honest, is a little annoying to me. But I know it's for the best, because a relationship built on trust flourishes under these circumstances.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

lost and found

I have no photos to share today. Just words, in black and white, no grey areas, no in betweens, of soul searching completed.

There's more on my mind than making home. Really, it's the bigger picture of life, and how life is lived, that I am after. The house is just a by-product, or maybe an enabler, or maybe a bit of both.

But first, I want to put to words the more important, and that is family. In specific, raising children, at home. It's been two years since we pulled the girls from school. Two years of life outside a system I had no idea how much it controlled us, until we were far removed from it. And yet, just in my mind, I feel its control, still today. It controls my 'what ifs', it fights my trust in God, it brings doubts to my capabilities, even though the short comings of public school are not hard to miss. When I allow God to lead my school days, they are peaceful, they are more about spending time nurturing human needs and growing spiritual qualities. They are filled with good conversations, time slowed to really listen, time slowed to allow children, who in their nature are curious, creative and filled with imagination and potential, to become who they have been created to be. I struggle with this far too often. I find myself stressed and anxious, which should be my first red flag that this is not God's way. I find myself so far from qualified to be raising these kids, my kids, for me to step into and do right what has been entrusted by HIM to me. I go between putting my trust in completed workbooks rather than God's ability, through my husband and me, to do them right. I have been striving to win this battle, once and for all.

Easter is this weekend. I've been reading the gospels in the New Testament, the times of Jesus on Earth before He went to the cross, in my well worn Bible, leading up to the Cross. Most of the time I focus on the red letters, the words which came directly out of the mouth of Jesus. What was His perspective? Who did He spend time with? What was His heart in these varying moments? Suddenly, in a quiet moment, a stumbled upon something new. I wasn't looking for it. I was in the shower, actually, just getting myself ready for the day. Was Jesus not home schooled? He spent every day with his carpenter Dad. I can almost picture it: learning math through building with wood, listening to wise counsel from the parents He was entrusted to, Mary caring and nurturing, going about their days as Mother and Father and Son. I don't read any verses about Mary or Joseph worrying about Jesus' future, by enrolling Him in all sorts of programs, or activities, or things that would look right on paper. They simply took care of Him, knowing God had a purpose for His life, never doubting themselves or God's ability to pull it off. In fact, they were surprised when Jesus went off in His early teen years to sit with the Godly, to listen to them and astound them with His understanding of God the Father and Heavenly places. Mary and Joseph did not plan for this meeting. But still, God's purpose came to be, though his earthly parents were simple carpenters, not scholars, or teachers, no, they were young, very young without much life experience. That's how I feel some days - too young to know what I am doing, not schooled enough to know the psychology behind raising a human being for success, and certainly not wise enough to know who these beings really are, and how they will find their purpose and fulfill it. Is it not our jobs to nurture, to love, to teach them regular life skills, and through these, things like math and reading and writing? Can we not achieve in them all these things as a by-product of teaching them how to love Jesus, to bring out character in them, to serve others? These young years are short, far too short. Jesus' purpose came to light at the end of these years, not at the end of His teen years, which is an entirely other conversation altogether, one of which I am still searching the heart of God for. One of which raises the standards from the low expectations we have for those in-between years, to entering life as young adult, with purpose.

My heart yearns to trust God fully, because I know He knows best, He's the one who created them, I simply carried them for nine months, and have been chosen to love them, unconditionally, just how they are. What a gift this time is. A time so different from the rat race of adult life.

And so, as a side note only, I would like to announce we have carefully chosen the city house. We didn't even go see the country house with our contractor. No, God brought to light a fact we are not prepared to live with, and had no idea this was coming until yesterday, late afternoon... a NASCAR race track in the planning stage, to be built just down the street from that perfect, three stall red barn we fell in love with. I can not imagine moving there, later discovering there is no peace as it should be in the country, because car engines are roaring in the background. I am thankful for a God who leads, even when we usually don't quite understand in the moment. We can trust Him, with our future, and that of our most cherished.

Monday, 25 March 2013

making sense of it all

 I am going to allow you into my head for a moment, although I am not sure that is somewhere you would like to go, because there's confusion and a big mess in there. But join me, will you?

My husband and I are at a fork in the road. Two lives working out as one can bring its challenges, it brings compromise, but there's nothing like a good, long, emotional chat to show us once again, that we are walking side by side, and want to continue to do so, forever. Still my heart pulls me in a direction that his does not. And his heart dreams of things that mine does not. Is it possible to have it all? To live it all, together? I thought I was sure, sure of city life, sure of its security, sure of its predictability, sure of its comfort. Why then, for these past 6 weeks since putting a deposit on a brand new, quality built house which is oh-so-perfect inside, have my emotions hit rock bottom, have I felt this out of sorts, this kind of unrest, like none I have felt since we truly endured hard days, days of no income and toddlers in diapers, days in which we simply survived from one to the next. Could I possibly want a life less ordinary, less secure, days with hard physical work, ones that require an incredible amount of commitment, daily? Look at my bookshelves, and you'll see where my heart truly is. It's in family, in cooking, in Godliness, in mud and vegetables and chickens and horses. As I approach mid-life, a sense of urgency to avoid squandering the few days given to me, to us, husband, me, the two girls entrusted to us, grows with intensity. Living big, albeit simple, country living, seems more meaningful, satisfying, more grasping of what a life well used would look like. And it scares me, incredibly.

This beautiful house has more space than we can fill: four bedrooms, three and half baths, three family rooms, a kitchen and a coffee bar. Nobody can argue with the value of a new furnace, new windows, a perfectly sodded yard, common sense, really. Why choose an old, unpredictable farmhouse, which is far too small, and would need a messy addition. 

But oh, how my soul comes alive when I allow dreams to come flooding back in. Dreams of space, of barns full of life, of kids climbing trees, of my best friend enjoying a well deserved cup of tea with me overlooking our long days work, our hands tired but satisfied, the dog sleeping at our feet. 
 We've given ourselves one week to decide. Will our path take us to the right or the left, will we choose common sense or unpredictable. One thing is for sure:
Deuteronomy 28 promises us a future, one of a blessed life, and I know I can put my life in HIS hands, no need to worry here.

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


I honestly do not remember selling a house to be this much work! I guess that's part of the package when you attempt a private sale. So far we have had 30+ showings, that's an average of one a day... I won't even begin to tell you how many hours of cleaning that is. I am sure you can imagine. I'd like to stay positive and say, we are close... so close I can some days taste it, so close, on other days I want to rip my hair out and give up. What I do know is I will never, ever take our new home for granted! We've certainly worked long and hard to get to this point (including many hours of renovations in the past few years).

In the meantime, we've kept up on home school activities, planned our next school year (and revised several times), enjoyed family time with family from the warm south, visited local farms (which I plan to make a big part of our 2013), read many good books (check out "Locavore" by Sarah Elton, a Canadian writing about the change of farming in Canada, and how to eat local in a country frozen half the year), dreamed about the new house, and started the girls with horse riding.


Monday, 11 February 2013

our home is for sale!

After several years of trying to figure out our next step, we have finally managed to make a decision!

And here's the fine print:


1,173 exterior square footage. 1800 square feet of living space.

Nothing to do but move in! This beautifully renovated four level backsplit is close to all amenities including the YMCA, Wal Mart, highway, and the best schools in town. New roof 2011. Rich brown kitchen cabinets are finished with stone and glass backsplash. The modern bathroom features double sink and dual flush toilette. Bamboo floors cover the entire main floor - living room, dining room, kitchen. The mudroom on the lower level is perfect for families and pets. Lower level also features large family room with fireplace and large windows. Basement includes plenty of room for storage, a den and spacious laundry. New doors throughout. 

Lot is 50 x 108.88. Lots of room for the kids to play, plus a pergola for mom and dad to enjoy shade all day long. 

Do not miss out on this one. Call today for a private viewing.

Paul Clark - 905 351 1146



Westwood St. Interior Square Footage

Main Floor 510.76
Upper level 479.46
Lower level 425.52
Basement 466.35
Total: 1882.09

Main Floor - Kitchen Dining Room, Living Room 22' 6" x 22' 6"

Upper Level:
Master 11' x 13'6"
Bedroom 11'6" x 10'10"
Bedroom 10'1" x 9'4"
4 piece bathroom 7'4" x 8'7"
Landing 8'1" x 6'6"

Lower Level:
Mudroom 9'10" x 7'4"
3 piece bathroom 6'7" x 6'11"
Family Room 13'5" x 23'5"

Laundry 14'9" x 7'5"
Den 11' x 14'2"
Storage 10' x 14'4"

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

home made inspiration

Inspiration. One word which can mean so many different things. I like to think of it as the sparking of an idea, but never, ever copying or recreating what already exists. 

Home made. Another word with diverse directions. I happen to adore all things home made, whether it remains an attempt and is left behind as a fail, or daring to try something and a whole new world discovered and opening wide, quick. 

When I put my home together, in an ultimate attempt at creating welcoming warmth and coziness, yet uncluttered and a therefore calming atmosphere, I tend to look in two very different directions, resulting in a space which feels "us" and therefore, home. I suppose my European and North American roots compiled have lead me to inspiration found just there, too - first and foremost my eye wanders to anything Nordic (I have *some* Danish roots, after all). It's natural and unpretentious style is never out of date. I love the lack of color, choosing instead texture in materials from blankets and pillows to stunning woods to small hits of metals presented in a simplistic way. On the other hand, I can not in my life resist a huge leather club chair, rustic, brown, did I say huge? I love Pottery Barn. I feel welcome there. Pottery Barn inspires me to create. Or at least design, and then let Dear Husband at it with the power tools, as they still scare me enough not to attempt even picking them up. Dear Husband and I discovered we make a good team (phew, since our wedding rings have been on for over 12 years). Chatting about making furniture has been a hot topic around here for a little while, and so we finally gave it a shot. 

It's natural, rustic, big and comfy. It's our very first coffee table.

Monday, 4 February 2013

101 things

I felt different this time, leaving behind so much that I love, so much that takes up big chunks of my soul. I felt satisfied, not sad, grateful for a life not sparse of small moments, which do a fine job of telling the big story. I was able to wipe the tears off my cheeks with a smile underneath, a joy that comes from feeling secure and loved and well traveled. 

So when all is said and done, when memories that will last forever are closed and stored in hearts and photo albums, I have learned a new thing: Home is where today is. Because today is a good day, I don't feel the pain of missing and good-bye as deeply. Having two homes has, in the past, been hard for me. I never quite felt fully belonging to either. But now, now I see things differently. Today is home. Today I smile because I love and am loved, in two places of the world. And I am thankful, so thankful - really that's what is hard to wrap my head around - for everything that shares my todays, for everyone that walks them with me. I love you (you know who you are, all of you).

101 things, minus a few

Europe is beautiful. There's no comparison. Please go there one day and see it.

People are what's most important in life. I plan to hug you all more than I have in the past.

People are people, no matter where they are  - they get up in the morning, hope to accomplish their days work, connect with others, eat good food, and have a place that feels like their own. Europe sounds fancy, and let me assure you, it is, but even there people have their own need for normal.

Home Schooling is not equal to Alone Schooling, I felt a great appreciation for the many families I am honored to call mine during these weeks without.

Getting all school work done is not as important as staying up late laughing with aunties, as seeing the world, as learning from our surroundings and the curiosities that so very naturally enthrall.

Learning is really, really fun. Experiencing learning through living is even more fun. And that is why I love what we do.

Sisters are to be cherished amongst the most important. I have the best three of them in the world, so sorry, they are taken!

Parents don't live forever, for the next years, they are high on my priority list.

And in this new year I plan on lighting candles every day, watching a lot less TV - instead reading, talking and listening to end a day, celebrating the here and now much more often, finding new ways to connect with deeper meaning than emails or phone calls, hugging whenever the moment calls for it since a 2.5 second hug creates trust in your head and your heart for the other party involved, did you know that? So hug more often (did I mention hug more?)!

*Good-bye and see you soon*