28 June 2014

a holiday by the sea

picture found at trip advisor
In my early twenties I had saved enough money and time to travel to the East Coast. I had dreamed of fishing boats and lobster traps and long piers, sails, seagulls and salt in the air. Such was my idea of the sea.  Everyone thought I was crazy to want to travel alone, but I wanted the time to walk windy shores, where I wouldn't expect anyone to know me.  I didn't want to take anything or anyone along that would remind of me of home and the life I lived.

I wrote in the new journal I had purchased for the trip:

I shall wander to the sea, and by the sea yet I shall wander.  I will listen to the secrets that the waves call out to me. And I will be changed, forever changed by the mysteries of the waters.  I will finally be who I am meant to be.

Vacation plans take on a life of their own, and hearts create expectations that can rarely be fulfilled.  But for once in my life, in many ways I was not disappointed.  I longed to hear the calling of the waters.  For three weeks, the waters sang.  For three weeks I was free of any sign of home.

I found a waterfall in the middle of a small Maine town.  I was dismayed to find only a trickle of water flowing over the rocks. Passing by later that day, the trickle had expanded a bit, flowing faster and fuller. My motel was only half a block away.  When I woke the next morning, I could hear the song of the water, and  rushed down to check.  The little bit of water had now grown to completely cover the rocks, leaping, dancing and bubbling into the bay.  I sat beside it on a rock, and let the sight and sound empty me of any other thoughts.

Soon I opened my journal to write:

I could stay here forever.  Here I can be whoever I chose. This would be a chance to create myself again..  I would live here by the sea and have friendships with sailors.  When they hauled in their nets I would have a comfy place for them to rest.  Fresh bread and wine, coffee and cookies, flames in the fireplace to chase away any chill in the air.  I would write music and sing them to sleep.  There would always be flowers, their fragrances  fresh and sweet.  Life by the sea has a life of its own.  Morning light would shimmer through lace curtains.   Maybe I would learn to paint expressing myself with colour as well as words, filling journals and sketchbooks.  I would take a  basket down to the waters edge,  picking up shells and beach glass in all the colours of the sea.  I would give them as gifts to my visitors as they departed, as if the tokens could show them the way back.   I would be known simply as “the woman who lives down the lane” and that would be enough.

Closing the journal and taking a last look at the waterfall, I went for a walk down narrow streets dreaming of houses I could own. I  remembered  I had reservations in another town further up the coast. I stopped one more time at the waterfall, then back to the motel to shower and pack.  I grabbed a sandwich and drink for the road.

I am always saying goodbye to my dreams I thought as I drove through the changing colours of the New England autumn.

linking up with friends sharing vacation stories at The High Calling


brave goodbye

If you're brave to say "goodbye" 
life will reward you with a 'hello" 
Paulo Coelho

I have captured
in time, the seasons
of the tree at the curve
of our road

I seek courage
for farewells, to greet 
other trees that wait 
just around the curve
of new roads

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
seeking the stillness with Sandy


27 June 2014

Grace on Parade

I am honored and blessed 
to have Karen Wingate
sharing a bit of the story 
of God's work in my life 
at her blog Grace on Parade today 
where she is 
spreading the fragrance of God's grace everywhere

While I'm busy here
it is still nice to be flickering about the internet.


26 June 2014

I'm still here

boxes, boxes
so many boxes
we have accumulated much
in the 12 years in this house

I am sifting and sorting
as I pack
only saving that 
which is most dear

and then there's the paperwork
the running around 
to complete records
and medical exams
and criminal checks
and more vaccines

so my words
have indeed been few
and I miss this space
but I'm here
looking for a moment 
to be still
and exhale words


24 June 2014

flickering about

while I was busy
packing another box
filling in another form
working on our mailing list
or taking advantage of the sunny afternoon
to ride in circles to cutting the grass

my words were going live at Jennifer's
where I am honored to be
the "PreApproved blogger of the week

click your way over here


21 June 2014

practice nothing

You need not do anything. 
Remain sitting at your table and listen. 
You need not even listen, just wait. 
You need not even wait, 
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary. 
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked. 
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet
Franz Kafka

trying to find spaces
to practice

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
finding the still places with Sandy


20 June 2014

taking wing

when we learned that this house 
I had quickly grown to love 
could be ours 
we changed 
from renters to owners 

we settled in deep
and I perhaps may have said
only wild horses could drag me
away from here
now the horses are running
on the prairies I call home
wild in their beauty, and though
they are not dragging me
the flights are booked
and we will soon
be taking wing

much of my heart already 
dwells across the seas
the remainder, I leave here
both broken
and whole
and wholly His


19 June 2014


I am not now, can never be
perfect, yet over 
and again I am reminded
comforted by His Words
it is not wholeness
He desires, no
it is the splintering
shards, the cracking
broken heart of me

Going through the motions doesn't please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don't for a moment escape God’s notice.

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

finding whitespace with Bonnie

18 June 2014

sun set, sun rise

the sun sets on another Manitoba day
and I soak in every taste of His glory
here, on Canadian soil

soon, and very soon
we will watch that same sun 
rise, to a new life
in eastern, sub-saharan Africa

wherever I awaken
I remain, secure
in the palm of His hand
even if I wander to the far 
edges of His fingertips

as the day ends
as the day begins
I am His, again

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
 If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.


17 June 2014

Finding Spiritual Whitespace

This post is part of the  “Finding Spiritual Whitespace Blog Tour” which I am a part of, along with a group of soulful, journeying kindreds. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!  

I know I'm not the only one who has thought that perhaps life would be easier if we kept our hearts sheltered.

The world around us certainly provides the opportunity to stay so busy that we don't have to listen to the rumblings in our spirit, reminding us that we're hungry for more.

More of what God can provide if we slow down and allow Him entry to all those places we have kept hidden.

I have heard His knock, soft yet persistent
come away, come away
I Am waiting
breathe in the life I offer
free, full, complete
you are never alone
and all that you need
is in Me
together you and I
moment by moment
will create the beauty
that you already are
in the vast quiet space
of My love

Bonnie Gray's wonderful new book Finding Spiritual Whitespace Awakening Your Soul To Rest is part memoir, part workbook and part poetry.  It holds up a mirror for those brave enough to grab the hand of Jesus and take a long, slow look.

As much as you might find yourself captivated by the flow of the words and anxious to read quickly, don't.

This book is meant to be savoured and worked with, not eaten in a few short gulps. Like allowing a chocolate to melt on your tongue, move slowly and allow a conversation to develop and deepen between yourself and the Lover of your soul.

In knowing Him more, you will also find your truest self and in these pages, Bonnie blazes a trail to lead the way.

Bonnie Gray is the writer behind Faith Barista.com who wrote a book about her inspiring, heart-breaking journey to find rest, which garnered Publisher’s Weekly starred review. I’m taking the journey to find rest through this guidebook and invite you to read it too.  You can get a copy HERE.


14 June 2014

from home to house

four walls make a room
many rooms make a house
empty or filled
a house is a house
furniture begins to personalize
staking a claim
but still a house
just furnished well

the splashes 
art, pillows, collectibles
is what we use
to begin creating home
our insides displayed
in an external manner

this house has been home
a picture of who I have become
layered with sheep
pictures of Jesus holding lambs
crosses, candles
needlework done by my mother's hand
plants that thrived at Rick's touch

these are the things
I am packing with love
storing away
like memories safely filed

we have found people
who love this collection of rooms
and pray that they will splatter them
with new life, their lives

while we plan to learn
that our true home
is where ever He takes us

wrapped in His plans
His purposes
and His unfailing love
we shall move on

Yes, because God’s your refuge,
    the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
    harm can’t get through the door


13 June 2014

choosing to hush

Be intentional about your time 
and try to set some aside to write and create 
at the same time every day.  
I suggest the morning, 
when you and the day are both new again.  
Contemplate, focus, deliberate - 
take your time and make it sacred again.
Dave Harrity - Making Manifest

even in sleep
my mind can find ways
to rush, race, circling thoughts
revisiting the past day
building visions
of what is to come

to slow myself is contrary 
to our modern natures
but each morning I can choose
to hush
into the new day
finding the holy
and mercies fresh

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is thy faithfulness.

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
seeking a still place with Sandy


12 June 2014

to a younger me

Dearest Karin:
the whole world was waiting for you
those were popular words spoken
and the idea swirled wild
that you could do and be
whoever and whatever you wanted
because, after all
life was all about you
your needs
your desires
your happiness

yet you never seemed to reach
that happy place
because no one ever really told you
where to look
the sweet you craved
turned bitter on your tongue
fullness felt hollow
echoing with dissatisfaction

yes, there is more
and He was there beside you
even when you didn't know
and the whole world is His
and you will learn
that true satisfaction comes
in not being who you want
but in surrender 
to who He needs you to be
moment by moment
day by day

an adventure awaits
beyond your wildest imagining
step in
love, as always,

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, 
and I will listen to you. 
You will seek me and find me 
when you seek me with all your heart.

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace leaving space with Bonnie


11 June 2014

continuing to prepare

We are halfway into 2014
the year for which I was given 
the OneWord

I wrote about it here
as the year began

There is work to be done, but not in our own power.  
Only in Him can we accomplish anything.  
I am still learning to relax into the work He has already done
the work He is doing and
and the work yet for us to do

the first half of the year
the preparation was heart
and spirit deep
while we were learning to wait

now the pace has quickened
near frantic it seems
until I stop to breathe in Him
remembering to release
the small and the big details
as we pack things for storage
visit the medical clinic
presenting first one
then the other
arm for injections
vaccines to prepare our bodies

I make lists
of things yet to be done
and ponder the pain pricks
of farewells soon to come

the heart deep work will begin anew
on foreign soil
as this year ends and another begins

His Kingdom come
His will be done
in Canada
in Africa
in us all

Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas 
Linking up and checking in at The Grove at Velvet Ashes


09 June 2014

face up - face down

often, in quiet moments of rest
not quite sleeping
the Lord shows me 
pictures, seemingly insignificant
but I have learned to look
and see, and ask

yesterday morning, not yet wanting
to rise for the day
not sure if eyes were open
or closed, I saw an image
in a small square
the green felt of a gaming table 
with two hands of cards 
dealt face up

I didn't notice 
the value of each card
so some moments later
I closed my eyes, 
wishing to revisit
the scene
I saw the same table
two hands of cards
this time, face down

I asked God what He was showing me

sometimes I let you see
sometimes you just have to trust me

no other sermon
could have held more truth
as He set the rhythm, unforced
for my Sunday

linking with Kelli to the rhythm He sets


07 June 2014

how then?

How, then, can they call on the one 
they have not believed in? 
And how can they believe in the one 
of whom they have not heard? 
And how can they hear 
without someone preaching to them? 
And how can anyone preach 
unless they are sent? 
As it is written: 
“How beautiful are the feet 
of those who bring good news!”

we have listened
we have heard
we have chosen to obey
willing to be the feet 
and so, we'll go

joining Lisha and the give me grace community

06 June 2014

lower still

Come, oh come! let us away--
Lower, lower every day, 
Oh, what joy it is to race
Down to find the lowest place. 
This the dearest law we know--
"It is happy to go low."
Sweetest urge and sweetest will,
"Let us go down lower still."
Hear the summons night and day
Calling us to come away.
Hannah Hurnard - The Water Song
Hinds Feet on High Places

lower still
strip pride away
till I can in stillness sit 
beside my Lord
simple, humble
no thought of self
but all of Him

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
seeking that still spot with Sandy


05 June 2014

below the waves

what if I let go
dropped the reins
took my hands off the wheel
stopped fighting to row or swim against the current
and allowed God to take me downstream?

what if?

could I catch my breath
ease into the flow, relax into His hand?
how much energy am I wasting
trying to keep my head above the water?

while Jesus whispers, again and again
come with me, deeper
even below the waves
I'm here to hold you
and keep you safe
and just when you think
there is no air
breathe in Me

I have been writing here
through a scattering of thunderstorms
blowing in and out, shifting light and dark
and then a rainbow, as if He is saying

remember My promises
all of them

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

breathing in the whitespace with Bonnie


04 June 2014

break out

I feel like
the colour pushing
against the green
anxious for the break out
curled in tight, hidden
fed by the roots
but thirsty for light

there is pain mingled 
joy in the waiting 
then reaching
the deep 
breathing stretch
toward new life

Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. 
You see farmers do this all the time, 
waiting for their valuable crops to mature, 
patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. 
Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. 
The Master could arrive at any time.

walking with Emily imperfect but beloved