Big big sky

I am so small compared to golden fields and vast blue skies...
The drives out into the country remind me of God's power, goodness and sovereignty.
I am thankful.


Edward Sharpe & the magnetic zeros

i posted this video/song on facebook (because it made me happy and that's what you do these days when you are happy, by golly you share things on facebook and hope maybe one or two people actually read/watch it)... my friends, i felt the NEED  to get it "out there" just a little more. Its a kinda catchy, kinda different sounding song (which is why i like it-and because they use the word damn). Yes, for me, its a "summer song"... proclaiming the worthy anthem that one needs to forget all else to get down and dance!
I must confess my children are forced to listen to Eddie Sharpe. I crank it on our drives out to "the country" while we cruise down the highway.. breathing in the sweet smell of canola and wheat fields, and waving at combines and grazing cattle. It just seems to be fitting.
A Johnny Cash-esque interpretation of folk music perhaps?
The video showcases many varieties, variations, what-have-you..of dance. People who have soul, vision and a ton of rhythm.
Man on Fire (official video) 
... with my one guitar and two dancin' feet.
come dance with me
over heartache and rage
come set us free
p.s. I can't make the video any larger, I highly recommend 
making it "full screen"-gotta see all the great moves and faces. 


Dear Liam,
You are awesome. You have incredible courage and determination.
You love meeting new people and potential friends! It was such a pleasure to watch you this past week interact and make friends with the two boys in your class.  I am SO very proud of you.
The Lord knew that I needed a little boy in my life who wasn't afraid of making noise and a big splash now and then.
Keep it up!
Love Mom


I'm sorry

I'm sorry.
I feel helpless when you are in turmoil and deep pain, when your eyes resemble those of a frightened animal and your body is forced into constant motion. You are afraid of the future. I can see that. You are afraid to think too much of his absence. You are afraid of life now...without. Without....protection, companionship, and love.
I notice all of this, but I cannot reach out to you. I hear the grief and pain in your voice but I turn my head away in avoidance. At night I am aware of your sleeplessness but i cover my head with a blanket to muffle out your insomnia. 
I'm sorry.
It is just too much for me to take in, it is too much for me to bear. This is foreign territory for me. I am fighting the realization that you are not the same strong woman that I've always relied on. I am resisting the sobering truth that I must in some way be strong for you, the woman who raised me and modelled life in a gracious and giving way. You have always had the answers, the right words to console my anxious heart or reassure my self doubt. I recognize that you cannot be the same from this point forward. I understand that your world is upside down. Yet somehow my heart is deceived into believing you'll get through this with the same determination and strength as you always have before.
I'm sorry.



We said goodbye to Kent and his team this afternoon as they left to do 2 weeks of mission work at the Agua Viva Ranch in Ensenada Mexico. I feel so excited for the team consisting of 10 (correction) 6 youth and 4 leaders. They are about to experience something really incredible!!
This afternoon at the church before they left, I ran around hugging as many of the youth as I could...felt a tug in my heart wishing that we were going along- yet i know that it wasn't meant to be, especially after my dad's death.(I need to be home this summer).
It will be an incredible experience for everyone-I just know it!!

If you want to follow Kent and the youth group from our church, you can read the emerge ministry blog, 
Below are some pictures from the last time we went to Agua Viva in July, 2010. Maybe our family will go together next time around...
 the welcome sign for us in the dining hall at the ranch.

 The Agua Viva ranch is surrounded by beautiful hills. On top of one of these cactus laden hilltops is a large white cross.
 The dining hall being renovated. The group this year will be in the new facility!
 Mexican staff serving us our meals every day. Such beautiful people.
Our friends Jeff and Ineke. Americans who at the time were full time staff at Agua. This was right after a breakfast of eggs, tortilla's and of course...beans. Please join me in praying for the safety, unity and work of our team from Winnipeg.


she rocks

i love her voice. i love her spirit. i love this song.

 thought i'd share the love.


simple observation

Cuddling together this evening after the bedtime story and a discussion about Grandma's loneliness, Brontë responded wistfully "I wish that heaven had a phone number...then we could call... and God, or the angels, or Jesus would answer. That would be nice wouldn't it? Then we could ask to speak to Papa and hear his voice!"
sweet thought.
from a sweet, heart.


Random Tuesday

*I am currently buried knee-deep in clutter. Papers, craft supplies, photo albums, games, mason jars, markers, files...things that require proper ORGANIZATION and storage are scattered at my feet. Yesterday I decided to purge, pack (and inevitably...panic) as an attempt to bring order to this space. But I'm not sure how or why I always forget that these projects get worse (much worse) before they get better. I tend to get distracted half-way through...go make coffee, break up fights, get the phone, make a meal...you know how the story goes. That's probably why I am spending quality time writing instead of getting the job done. Makes sense.
*Lately I have been concerned that we are eating out too much again. I like to eat real food. Most restaurant food is not "real" food. you know?
*I am so thankful that the school year is over.
*The kids are at their annual summer DVBS program this week put on by the Sterling Mennonite church on Dakota Street. It is a wonderful program, very well run... and quite frankly almost too good to be true. After dropping the kids off in the morning I gun it and peal out of the parking lot as fast as I can, grinning like a crazy person... (imagine ikea commercial with woman running out of store..."start the car!!....start the car!!)... I'm thinking to myself, you people seriously want to volunteer and take my children for 7 hours . entertain them with singing, crafts, dramas, bible lessons, snack and then an afternoon of field trips around the city..... for only $45!!? HA!! are you nuts?!?
 Evidently this church sees this as a ministry opportunity, and I for one appreciate it.
(Our church actually has a really neat day camp too called Grandma's Camp. But it runs at the same time as this DVBS so we've never gone. I''d like the kids to go sometime though).
*We are renting a Yurt this summer in Spruce Woods. I am incredibly excited to cook over an open fire. I have been scanning flyers for an inexpensive camping stove, or a portable BBQ!!! hooray! I am going to wear my bonnet and "Caroline Ingalls" dress like a real pioneer and call kent,  "Charles" while we're there. Maybe he'll hunt deer and set out bear traps.
*I must confess do not know how to spell. I DO NOT. I will admit to knowing that my blog is FULL of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Sometimes I go back and correct things, sometimes I do not.
*I have now started shopping at the Carman Manitoba M.C.C store. I stop there on my way to the Winkler MCC store visit my mom in Winkler. Picked up this sweet little set of drawers/side table for ONLY $20 last week. Almost had to fight for it (one lady started measuring it while I was in line!!-how dare she). It looks handmade and is very solid. Might stain it a pretty blue colour or leave it as is.
*Brontë joined the running club at school this spring and did the Super Run at the Manitoba Marathon.
I'm thrilled that she inherited my athletic prowess, and love of exercise. Kent took this picture because at the time I was busy completing the full marathon.  26 miles. yup, i was. (nope i wasn't).
Brontë running with a few friends from school. Yay!!!
*We found out that our new house will not be move-in-ready until the middle of September. For some reason I feel relieved by this fact and am now inspired to shop for potted plants and garden vegetables for the back yard. (i know that doesn't make sense to you, but it makes sense to me).
*I have not showered in 3 days because of a nasty cold and chest infection.
*It has been quite fascinating watching the new Bomber football stadium taking shape. It looks amazing!
Not quite sure however if the Bombers will actually be playing in the stadium this fall as predicted?? I'm no architect or construction worker... but I have a feeling this building will not be ready for the next football season...unless the plan is to provide hardhats and steel-toed boots with every ticket sold. one never knows.
Please feel free to pop by at anytime to see my messy office, unwashed hair, new side table, and empty soon-to-be-filled flower pots, in person.


shifting heart

There is an obvious shift in my heart since my Dad passed away.
An overwhelming sense that my humanness is profoundly weak, and my
ability to control the world is senseless and needless.
I guess I always knew that...Christine you are NOT in control!
However now I seem to more fully grasp and understand.

My heart doesn't feel as restless or frantic.
I'm fueled by a softer and quieter spirit,
and a sober awareness of strength poured from above.
I feel changed.

Granted...I am still me, with beautiful genetic tendencies towards anxiety and depression.
I am still me, with uncanny abilities to lose sight of the needs of others and become
I am still me, with unfortunate (wifely) high-expectations and conditional grace.
Without a doubt I am still me.
(some of you may be disappointed....) ha!

Yet now my heart holds Jesus more dearly, my husband more lovingly, and my mom more tenderly.
Yes. There is an obvious shift in my heart since my Dad passed away.

Fill all my vision, Savior, I pray, Let me see only Jesus today.
Though through the valley Thou leadest me, 
Thy faceless glory encompasseth me.
Fill all my vision, every desire Keep for Thy glory; my soul inspire
With Thy perfection, thy holy love 
Flooding my pathway with light from above.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine, Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see Thy Holy Image reflected in me

Fill all my vision, Savior, I pray.
Avis B Christiansen (lyrics)
Homer Hammontree (music)
Worship Hymnal, p.442

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