Tag Archives: musings

Be Painting Yet Another Wall.

This wall is a paint can full of love for my boys.

First my man, Sexy Neck:

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And then my wee boys:

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My imperfect love poured out.

God’s redeeming love making it perfect.

All that I have.

All that I am.

Love I cannot describe.

Rich.

Humble.

Grateful.

A wife.

A mother.

Poured out through paint, through words, through actions.

Freely given.

Love.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Be Removed From Life

I am fully on my face, waiting for God to take my hand.

Guide me.

Like a blind woman.

Stumbling.

In imperfection.

With grace.

Most days, I don’t ‘know’ what to do. My ‘to-do list’ is empty. This autumn season taught me to reach for God’s cloak, this winter has taught me to wait for Him.

Listen.

One step.

One breath.

Wait.

My brain doesn’t work the way it used to. The uber-organized, relationship focused Joanna has disappeared.

Praying is difficult.
Reading onerous.
TV leaves me saddened.
Listening to others sad stories crushes me.
Hearing mundane complaints makes me want to turn and run.
Answer the question, “How are you?” boggles my brain.

Ambiguous comments and indirect speech where people don’t say what they want nor feel, is a language I can’t decode. It hurts my heart and pains my mind. I can’t make sense of this. Life seems to be pretty black and white to me at the moment.

“Will it help my family?”

“Will it help me take better care of myself?”

Sorry environmental concerns, fundraising for Africa, dust bunnies in the corners, life has collapsed in the Cann household and we are starting the rebuilding from the bottom.

Healing the people.

I am completely with my family, but completely removed from my life.

This is a Holy time.

Without fear.

With no judgement for myself or others.

With only sadness, love, desperation, laughter and rich family times all cuddled together like a beautiful rose wrapped present.

Removed from expectations, to do’s, fringe friendships, busyness.

Every night I lay in amazement at how God works everything out. How He holds me close and takes my hand. I am humbled by the people walking closely with me and how they know how to help without me saying a word. I lay in awe at the infiniteness of God and how finite He is with me.

The small things.

The whispers during my quiet days.

His presence.

Multitude of coincidences.

Grief, what a gift!

Be Before and After At the Wall (orange wall)

There is a sacred place in Jerusalem called the Wailing Wall or Western Wall. This wall is believed to have been part of the Temple of Solomon. Checkout 1 Kings 6 and 2 Chronicles 3 in the bible for more insight.

As I have been painting our living room wall orange, I have been pondering the Wailing Wall. This is a sacred place for Jews to go to pray and lament. My personal orange ‘wailing wall’ has been a place where I pray and lament.

I pray:
⭐️ May this home be a sanctuary.
⭐️ Help me Jesus!
⭐️ Lord, be enough for me this day.
⭐️ Help me ‘understand’ why I want to stuff my mouth with food.
⭐️ Lord, be with each of my boys. Be present to them.
⭐️Help me put one foot in front of another when all I want to do is lie under my duvet.

And I lament, oh how my heart grieves so many things:
💔 Our best friends moving to Vancouver Island last March.
💔 Moving from our ‘hood’ on 29th Crescent in May.
💔 Mom starting to show she is unwell in June.
💔 Saying goodbye to friends popping over and being ‘known’.
💔 Moving to a new city and neighbourhood in July.
💔 Mom being in the hospital and beginning her journey with cancer.
💔 Starting new activities and schools for the boys in September.
💔 Riding the cancer wave with mom and dad all autumn.
💔 Mom’s final hospital and hospice time in December.
💔 Mom’s death on Boxing Day.
💔 Broken relationships are finally exposed. (My sensitive soul is actually more relieved than grieving this one!)
💔 Living each day without my mom.
💔 Watching my dad, Steve and the boys grieve.
💔 Existing in a world without my mom a phone call away, without her popping by, without her listening ear, without her presence, without her hugs.

20140217-131155.jpgBEFORE

I pray.

I lament.

I grieve.

I choose.

To paint.

20140217-131205.jpgAFTER

Sanctuary.

Sanctified.

Peace.

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I can survive!

I am full of gratitude for my boys!

I sit in the desert.

I wait.

I rely on my blessed friends.

I look for how God will bring me out of this.

I believe.

I rest.

I WAIT AT THE WALL.

If you need me, you know where I will be!

Be On the Team (6 Points)

Apparently, I use a whole stadium full of sports lingo in my language.

High five!

Hurry hard!

With speed this time.

Go! Go! Go!

I imagine it has to do with growing up shooting around the hockey rink while my dad played. Perhaps it could be the plethora of hours I spent playing volleyball (or really any sport)in a gym. Or even the days we spent on the snow while talking about the hockey rink or what was transpiring in the gym. Could it be my infatuation for tennis and ringette in my younger years that fuelled this sporty language acquisition? Maybe I could even put the blame on my very athletic parents.

Deuce!

Ace!

She scores!

This sports lingo has been a tremendous oar as I have had to row through my grief about cancer with my family and now with the loss of my ever-present mom.

Upon reflection of the words I choose, I have come up with six points on the scoresheet that are helping me understand how to be the healthiest, fittest and strongest player for the team.

Turn on the scoreboard, here we go:

1. CHOOSE TO BE A PLAYER! WE ARE STARTING WITH SOME NEW DRAFT PICKS. THE TEAM IS CHANGING JERSEY’S, STRAP YOURSELVES IN AND PUT YOUR F1 HELMET ON.

I have always tried to be a team player. I have always wanted everyone to be on the team. I have always felt the need to encourage people on the team that surrounds me – my friends, neighbours, family members and even the mail lady. This was a lot of energy going into being on the team as well as trying to be the team manager and cheerleader.

2. STEP UP, OR STEP OFF THE PODIUM. PLAYERS ONLY GET TO PLAY.

I am not interested in having people on the team who tell me I am now in charge of organizing things for the team. Sorry, every person is going to have to pull their own weight, plan their own lives, holidays, trips. I ain’t taking over the coaching role mom vacated. I definitely don’t like the cheerleader’s outfit nor the fact that the manager doesn’t get to play the game.

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(1985/86 Ringette Team)

3. TALK. LISTEN. TALK. LISTEN. COMMUNICATION IS KEY.

I am definitely not interested in having people on the team who have told me they need to have communication boundaries. If you can’t talk as a team, there is no team. Plain and simple. Oh ya, my children are on my team til they are eighteen so you better figure out what you need to do to swing the bat for the team. Otherwise, you will most likely will find it frustrating coming onto the field to play with a team you don’t know, but may have known twenty years ago in Little League.

3. GIVE ‘SOMETHING’ OF YOURSELF TO THE TEAM. (Not just expensive gifts!)

I am not interested in players who want to be on the team, but not be open or available to anyone by sharing something of themselves. Being on a team means give ‘n ‘r for the team: physically, emotionally, mentally.

4. YOU CAN MEET YOUR OWN NEEDS ON THIS TEAM.

I am no longer interested in being the one to plan, ponder and even worry about how you are fitting in with the team. Time for each person to step up to the plate and say what kind of skates don’t hurt your feet. Practice saying what you want then if you don’t get what you want, get off the bench. and get it yourself. No more moaning and groaning.

5. A TEAM IS NEVER PERFECT.

Lastly, on this team there is a place for mistakes. Yes, I just painted two walls of my house orange. Yes, I often say the ‘wrong’ thing in your eyes. Yes, I am raising my boys imperfectly with all my love. Oh ya, you can also throw your judgements (or prayers concealed as judgment) down the luge track.

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(1990 High School Volleyball Team)

6. LIFE IS A CHOICE: GOLD MEDALS EXIST FOR BOTH TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL SPORTS.

If you want perfection, stick to the 100 metre dash, keeping your eyes on the finish line, practicing to the best of your ability knowing I wish you well.

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(1991 Volleyball Provincials)

I choose to play on a team.

I was laughing out loud as I write this post. What great memories my parents created for me through sport. What a privilege it is to be in such a ‘raw’, fragile time!

Be Fragile

Often I don’t have the words to explain the person I am morphing into or how I am doing at a given moment. As I sit and wait and watch, I am amazed by the depth of feelings I experience both good and bad.

The dreaded question for the last few months has been, “How are you?”

I never know how to answer this, but on Friday I received tremendous insight and the ideal adjective.

First, the boys received a package from our good family friend, Donna, in 100 Mile.

Coincidently, her daughter, M, who lives in KCity chose this same day to drop off a treat and a beautiful card.

In the card she wrote this:

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Did you notice the word fragile? I did.

Lastly, I opened my mail later in the afternoon and had to lie on the floor once I read this beautiful card from our old PG neighbour and good friend, Ginny.

Take a look at this:

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Yup, fragile again!

“How are you Joanna?”
“I feel fragile. ”

My heart breaks in two anytime someone I love gets in a car. JC’s teacher’s words at his parent-teacher conference crushed me. Any small comment hit me at the core of my being.

I cry easily and feel deeply.

I am fragile.

Today, I choose very carefully who I interact with and where I go. I treat myself gently and give grace freely. I understand that I may not be the only person in this fragile place.

I am so grateful to those people who continue to walk with our family and my dad through our grief. I am grateful how God uses those around us.

A simple card.

A word.

Fragile.

Be Removing A Closet

What do we really WANT and NEED?

This question keeps rolling through my mind as I wade through the copious amount of stuff in my parents basement and the torn apart house we hope to occupy in less than four weeks.

You will be happy to know that we are not going on the Hoarders TV show, but we are making steps to remove a closet so that all three of our boys can share a room.

Yes, in the world of resale, probably not the best move.  But in the realm of us having the priority that our boys will be close, share their lives and their worlds with each other, getting rid of a closet is something we need to do.

One decision down… 1,368 to go!

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The view of the closet from the hall.  Look at all that space we will have for the boys literal bed room.  We plan on keeping their clothes, books and some toys in the other bedroom down the hall.  The boys are excited about their “sleeping” room and their “book” room as they are calling them.