Category Archives: Christianity

Be Finding Forward

Forward.

Moving not backwards.

Forwards.

Moving in a direction.

Which one will we choose?

Moving from the west to the east.

Finding the dance that takes you forward.

Into your dreams.

Into your spirit.

Into your spidey sense.

Presence.

How does one stay present?

Moving forward?

This is what I have learned and this is what propels me forward.

Taking peeks into the tiny, narrow, rear view mirror to pour gratitude into where I came from.

Gratitude.

Love.

Letting go.

be-finding-forward

Looking straight-forward into my large, expansive windshield watching the exciting places I am going.

Joy.

Peace.

Light.

Eyes, wide open, looking for the gold thread of hope woven throughout my day.

Holding my empty hands of faith.

God’s goodness poured out over all our lives.

Into my hands.

Will we choose to look for it?

Will we choose to have open hands to receive it?

Moving forwards.

Dancing the dance of my life.

Trusting.

Fun.

Faith.

Forward.

Smooch, Joanna

Be Hope 

Hopelessness is a paralyzingly dis-ease.  I have felt it in the core of my being, the deep down dusty place that seems hard to reach.  Hopeless that circumstances will change.  Hopeless knowing death brings physical disconnection.  Hopeless knowing that I may no longer be the same.  

But, I stand and lie down today knowing that this did-ease called hopelessness can be overcome.  Our circumstance we absolutely cannot control, even though I thought I could, BUT we can control our conclusions about these circumstances.  

One wintery day, only two months after my mom died, I make a conclusion that only great goodness would come from the gift of grief I received from her death. I decided that I would live in a negativity fast and a positivity feast, as Steve and Wendy Backlund describe it.    Guess what happened?  The last three years have been a walk in greatness.  I have found my passion that melds my teaching brain, coaching mindset and mother’s heart.  I have found my meaning and my passion for how I can be a permission for hope no matter your circumstances.   Through great nutrition, an ever growing mindset and being able to learn new truths about myself every day through the circumstances around me, I have found hope and freedom!  

Hope replacing dis-ease.  

Hope in any circumstances.  

Hope overflowing.  

Hope pouring. 

Over me. 

Through me.  

Hope.  

Be Trying a Tri 

In the post-Christmas darkness of grief, I took time to sit with myself, alone to ponder and grieve.  As I let go through this grieving process, I had one huge realization that has affected ever day for the last four months.

I realized for certain I could die at any moment.

Strange huh?

I knew this fact about life, but watching my mom die helped me ‘know’.

Now, I am unafraid.

Death is a certainty.

I am free!

Through this new lense of “knowing” the inevitable,  I am experiencing rich days.

Days where God’s coincidences are profound and His love is pouring out.

Moments where I can easily let go of relationships that are unhealthy or where people don’t accept me as being an imperfect person.

Choices where I choose health in what I consume and what I do.

Times where I make decisions and then work hard to see them come to fruition.

Today is one of these days!

Four months ago, I decided to do a triathlon.  A 750 metre swim, followed by a 30 kilometre bike ride then rounded out by a 5 kilometre run.  The funny thing is that I am not very good at any of them, but I figure throw them all together and this sounded like fun.

IMG_9691[1]

With my cheering section at the side of the race course, and the incredible racers surrounding me.  I did it!

photo 3

I tried a tri!

One stroke.

One push.

One step at a time.

Ann Voskamp once wrote, “Daily discipline brings freedom.”

Yes, it does.

Discipline to be who you are with the gifts God has given you.

Knowing the truth about life’s fragility.

Savouring every day.

What will you try?

Be Knowing God is with YOU 

Two friends are sitting by their mama right now as she recovers from surgery to remove cancer from her breast.  

Living in the unknown. 

Another friend is at home trying to grasp the sudden death of a thirty something neighbour.  She was one of the first on the scene.  

Living with the unknown.  

Yet another friend contemplates leaving a job that has almost destroyed her yet she felt called to do.  

Just not knowing which way to go.  

And today I went to the store to buy a dish dryer.   I didn’t find one.  

A few hours later, I was riding my bike down the road and look what was lying on the side of the road:  

  

A very small daily reminder that God knows my needs and He is with Me. 

Living in the unknown?

Living with the unknown? 

Not knowing which way to go?

Just take one step.  

And another.  

Listen.  

Look around you.  

You will be amazed at what you see. 

And what if you don’t see? 

Ask God to help you?  

He loves you.  

Be Wondering About Air

As I watched my littlest one fly through the air on the chairlift, I thought of air, the importance of breathe and God’s Holy Spirit.

This is how my mind works these days, simple moments become incredible moments.

I can be sitting watching my boys play with Lego and I feel love and warmth pour over me like a dousing of water over my head.

I may be listening to a woman speak about her health struggles and I want to bawl my eyes out with sadness.

Often, I see women with their moms and I want to lie flat on the ground, humbled by what I have lost and amazed at how present my mom was in our lives.

Today, I come back to air.

To my breathe.

To God’s Holy Spirit.

I will seek with my whole heart the significance of breathe.

2015/01/img_8099.pngAnd I will breathe.

Deeply.

Full of gratitude.

I love this journey.

Life.

Alive.

Air.

Breathe.

Breath.

Life-giving Holy Spirit.

2015/01/img_8100.png

Be Running Two Programs

My computer has been getting awfully slow.

Painfully.

Mindnumbing.

Slow.

I sit and wait and then I realized that there was another program running behind the program that I was trying to use.

So very frustrating.

But I sit.

I slow down.

I ponder.

HEY!!!!! 

This is exactly how I feel right now.

I am running two programs.

The first program I will call, “Daily Life”.

Making lunches.

Taking the boys here and there.

Saying hello to people in the drop-off at school.

Attending Christmas concerts.

IMG_7384[1]

Answering emails from friends.

Baking cookies.

Doing my work as a teacher.

Living “Daily Life”.

As Christmas approaches and the one year anniversary of the death of my beautiful Mama, I have a second program that is starting to take up more and more space in my body, soul and mind as I try to run the program “Daily Life”.

This program called “Grief” is similar to when mom first died.

It is painful.

Mindnumbing.

It is slowing me down.

I am remembering things from last year that I hadn’t before.

Conversations.

People visiting the hospital and hospice house.

I am feeling things deeply.

I am letting this “Grief” program do its thing.

As this background program runs it makes the “Daily Life” program slower, yet more meaningful.

I sit more.

I watch.

I ponder.

I have more patience.

I am kinder.

More loving.

I savour sunsets.

IMG_7385[1]

I am in awe more and teary more often.

Everything tastes better.

I feel things in “Daily Life” more deeply.

My life is rich with these two programs running.

Yes, I am tired.

But, I am living deeply.

Leaning into my Lord.

My Dada God.

My Personal Saviour.

He is my rock.

The ultimate Programmer who will bring purpose to my pain.

Meaning to my mess.

Wholeness to my broken heart.

He will redeem this hole that was created when my Mama went to heaven.

I love her deeply.

I miss her dearly.

I am blessed.

I am whole with my hole and my two programs running.

Thank you “Daily Life” and “Grief”.

What programs are you running today?

Be Lent

Ash Wednesday was the beginning of the lent season. Lent is the forty days leading up until Easter. I love this season of lent, pondering and preparing for the meaning of Easter.

In the past we have chosen to give up coffee, sugar, or goodies, but this year I decided to add something instead of deprivation.

In the quiet of each morning, I am reading Brad and Eden Jersak’s book to listen to and learn more from our wondrous Abba Father, God.

20140307-094811.jpg
This is a precious book where the husband Brad Jersak asks a question of God then his wife Eden shares her conversation with how God answers the question.

I have chosen this spot looking at the orange wall to be still each morning.

20140307-095039.jpg
Each morning I read a short explanation about a question I could ask God, then I spend time with God hearing what He wants to tell me.

Quiet.

Still.

Being.

With.

God.

Be Going Underground

20140123-150223.jpg

I declare, I am not dead.

I am not gone from your life forever.

I have merely gone underground.

Spiritually, God has me close.

I am in a Holy Space.

Emotionally, I am fragile, weak and have the gift to cry easily.

I am tender-hearted.

Physically, I take care of my body with intention, allowing myself to heal and feel.

I am hurting all over.

Give me your grace for my indecision, my confusion.

My mind is numb.

A fog hovers around me.

I can’t ‘work it out’.

I must just be.

Underground.

20140123-145510.jpg
“Despite all appearances…nature is not dead in winter-it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for spring. Winter is a time when we are admonished, and even inclined, to do the same for ourselves.”

– Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Be Asking Why You Blog

Why do I blog?

20140120-131358.jpg
I don’t blog to earn money or to succeed at a job.

I don’t blog to get on Oprah’s network or to become ‘known’.

I don’t blog because I want people to like me or have people get to know me.

I don’t blog so that I can achieve any type of recognition or medal.

Ah ha, this is why I blog.

I blog to be completely present with my family, to be with my boys, physically and mentally, as they are growing.

I blog to watch in awe as my Sexy Neck father’s our boys.

I blog because I have a teacher’s heart. I love teaching by showing others what I am learning.

I blog because I love to write. I love playing with words, thinking about synonyms and metaphors and oh I love editing. Getting rid of words, making new ideas, rewriting whole paragraphs.

I blog because sometimes the topics I think of can’t be said. And I think about a vast array of subjects. Blogging gives me the privilege of sharing what’s in my head.

I blog because I am head over heels in love with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. His presence in my life in unexpected ways is something that I want to share. I want to see His light shine in this often dark world.

Recently, I blogged to support my mom’s cancer journey and reach out to those around the world who love us. (How much love did we receive? My views went from twenty– which I was very happy with– to over 800 views per day!)

Now, I blog to stay afloat in grief.
To stay real.
To do my painful work.
To see God at work and to stay connected to my people

I blog to just be where I am and to Be Enough to my family and friends.

Why do you blog or why would you like to blog? I am curious.

Be Wearing Purple

Sexy Neck agonized about his new purple shirt and tie. It was agonizing for me, anyways, watching him lay it out, try it on, switch ties…. You get the picture.

20140114-225138.jpg
He does pull out his pink shirt for anti-bullying day, but purple on a regular work day? He wasn’t sure.

How blessed is he?

Sexy Neck walked into work and both, YUP BOTH, of the other administrators were wearing purple.

Not planned.

Pure coincidence.

Yup, that’s how we roll around here these days.

Encouragement around every corner, even when we take a risk and wear purple.

I think the secretaries are now organizing a “Mauve Monday” clothing day.

The verdict is out on how Sexy Neck will roll with that.