battling selfishness

another excerpt from jean flemming's "a mother's heart", a follow up to "mother's rights?"...

"to be selfish means being "concerned chiefly or only with oneself, without regard for the well-being of others."  selfishness attacks all of us.  we may face shortages of natural resources, jobs, and food; but we never lack selfishness.  and now needs to learn selfishness because it comes naturally...
... sometimes a child's need interrupt my bath, reading a good book, a sewing project, or an interesting phone call.   the interruption may be in the form of tears, a bloody nose, an argument, a piercing scream or an explosion into the back bedroom.  whatever form it takes, i resent it.
how often i've resented these violations of my "rights", when i should have thanked God that I could be there when my children had a need.  recently i found a diary page i wrote during a time of discouragement some years ago.  my complaint was entitles, "what bothers me about being a mother"

  1. the demands on my time
  2. serving them over & over
  3. never finishing my work
  4. i'm frustrated by not knowing how to handle problems {should i discipline or comfort, make them play alone or do something with them?}
  5. no time for my interests
throughout the years, when my children were still at home, these five complaints continued to pinpoint most of the struggles i faced.  perhaps you can identify with me.  but have you noticed that four out of five of these complaints are "me-centred"?  only number four is truly concerned with doing what is right for them.
but learning how to love others as Christ has loved us means putting the needs of others above our own."

mother's rights?

for whatever reason i have found that motherhood has aggravated a disproportionate amount of anger in me.  i wasn't sure until now exactly what it was.  it's this weird paradox of loving motherhood & my babies but i am so suddenly angry sometimes.  you know those moments where the only way you are getting to go to the bathroom today is with a clingy toddler on your lap, or the second you finally nod off to sleep after an exhausting day and a baby stirs & demands more attention, or as you go to take the first & only bite of your own lunch & your toddler screams "more! more! me hungry!".  in moments like these, there is a not so silent voice inside me that screams, "what about ME! i am a person too!"

i found this little nugget of wisdom in jean flemings "a mother's heart", a book which i am constantly returning to & culling out more wisdom.  it has really helped me work through some of those 'moments'. that's not to say that we shouldn't get time to ourselves, or prioritize our own health as we all know this is a necessary part of a healthy, happy home.  but it is after all of the proactive, planned mummy time, when those unavoidable moments arise & someone dare demands something else of you, that we die to self.  die to our own rights.

"our society does not easily identify with Jesus' example of giving up His rights.  instead we assert our rights: women's rights, gay rights, children's rights, minority rights... new categories are constantly being added to the list.
mothers, too, grasp for their rights, but sometimes they find their capacity to love is dissipated by their firm resolve to protect those rights.  a mother in one cartoon is seen tacking up a sign: "mother goes off duty at 8pm".  that seems fair enough, doesn't it?  after all, who has longer hours than a mother?  should we perhaps organize or unionize to ensure our right to some time off?

the world urges us, "assert yourself," "fulfill yourself," "liberate yourself," "please yourself," "satisfy yourself."  but Jesus says, "die to yourself."  it seems like a step backward.  our lives are to be sacrificed for others, not in some sort of melodramatic martyr complex, but in following the daily challenge of Christ's example.  listen to Jesus' words:

"i tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. but if it dies, it produces many seeds.  the man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." {john 12:24-25}

Christ commands us to love even as He loves. "my command is this: love each other as i have loved you.  greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends {john 15:12-13}.  love is laying down our lives for others... to love is to die. when most of us think of dying for someone, a dramatic picture usually comes to mind. perhaps you envision yourself leaping in front of a friend to take a bullet intended for him... certainly these are examples of love, but Jesus calls us to a way of dying that is less romantic.  each day we  have numerous opportunities to live for others and not ourselves... perhaps the ability to truly enjoy one another comes in proportion to the unselfishness of our love."

clever muffins {pizza muffins}

after finishing my post on scrambled egg muffins, i found this neat little recipe.  also excellent for long car rides or a busy day out. it's cute little muffin shape just lures those toddlers into finally being 'sufficiently sophonsified'{a phrase i have only ever heard mama jamiah use}.  although, i don't think i have ever had any trouble getting those toddlers to eat just normally shaped pizza.  i think next time i make these i will experiment a little ... like maybe some pureed spinach or sliced turkey bacon.  i love experimenting.

pizza muffins
adapted from smart muffins by happy, healthy mama
1 egg
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus a little for sprinkling on top
1 tsp crushed dry oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour * i used multi-grain flour
3 tsp wheat germ
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
grape tomatoes, sliced
sesame seeds

preheat oven to 400 degrees. butter or oil 12 regular sized muffin cups {if you use paper liner, oil them! i did not & the muffins stuck to the paper a bit.  just a bit annoying, that's all!}. in a medium bowl whisk together the egg, tomato sauce & yogurt.  add the cheese & spices & stir.  in a separate bowl, mix together the flour wheat germ, baking powder & baking soda.  combine wet & dry ingredients, mix until there are no dry patches.  fold in the peppers. spoon the batter into the muffin cups and top each one with a few slices of tomato then sprinkle with sesame seeds & cheese.
bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.  beware, they smell fantastic!  enjoy!


how emptiness sings... {a song diary}

for when grief swells & soul throbs & twists & aches...
we lay our wounds on His...
and oh, how emptiness sings...

i love this girl! check her out here.


scrambled egg muffins

another jessica seinfeld recipe from her doubly delicious cookbook! this one is perfect for early morning car rides or a quick bite of lunch while we're out & about, with lots of protein & little mess. i make these the night before a busy day.  i like knowing that i don't have to sacrifice our healthy lifestyle for our busy one.  it's all in the organization! {which doesn't always happen but there is always grace!} i also like that these are called 'muffins'.  for some reason they'll eat anything shaped like a muffin.  these go down super easy with the kidlets.

scrambled egg muffins

  • nonstick cooking spray * i used olive oil in spray bottle
  • 4 slices nitrate-free turkey bacon
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped, low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed & drained* i used pc brand
  • 1/4 cup nonfat skim milk * i used almond milk
  • 4 teaspoons grated parmesan

  1. preheat oven 400 degrees. spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or tinfoil; place bacon on prepared baking sheet & transfer to oven.  bake until crisp, 10-15 minutes.
  2. meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together egg whites, egg, chickpeas & milk.  coat 4 cups in a 6-cup standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. divide egg mixture evenly among prepared cups.  remove bacon from oven & cut with kitchen shears or thinly slice into 1/2 inch pieces.  sprinkle bacon over eggs & top each with 1 teaspoon parmesan.
  3. transfer to oven & bake until eggs puff and are cooked through, 12-15 minutes.  remove egg muffins from muffin pan & let cool slightly before serving.

morning confessions {letters to davith}

it's so early not even the sun is up yet.  i herd you & brother & sister with baby in hand down the stairs,  flip on the overhead kitchen lights.  too bright! i settle for just the light over the oven for now.  easier on tired eyes.  brother & sister find their places at the counter & you pull yourself up on a kitchen chair & perch yourself to play with baby sister's feet as she bounces in her seat in the middle of the table.
i scurry around the kitchen spilling cereal & milk all over the counter... quickly before there's a riot, breakfast quickly.... coffee quickly.
you peer past little sisters seat at a leftover dinner plate as she squeals with delight.
"mummy?  is Jesus coming to breakfast?" you ask.
goodness i hope not, the house is a mess! i'm a mess! i think to myself.  people are a lot more honest in the wee hours of the morning, or so i have found.
"ummm, what's that now?" i stall to pull together an answer.
"is Jesus coming over today?"
i squint still half  asleep...sigh.  why do you always ask the most complicated theological questions before dawn & while reverend daddy is no where to be found.
"well, yes He is... i mean, He's always here.  He's all around us & He comes with us everywhere we go.  He lives in our hearts." whew!
"does He like our cheerios?" crap! i scour my brain, trying to remember what all of the parenting books i've read said.  dozens of books, none i recall addressing this question.
"mmmmm, i don't know, why don't you ask Him?" cringe.
"Jesus, do you like cheerios?" you ask to the seat next to you. "He not answer me Mummy." crap, crap!
 "weeeell, sometimes we need to learn to listen differently.  He doesn't always talk to us like other people do." i am drowning fast, i rub the sleep from my eyes & take a deep breath.  trying to come up with a way to salvage my pitiful answers.
"can Santa come to breakfast?" cringe.  deep breath.  the answer i know i have to give runs rough against my grain.
"well, Santa isn't real peanut.  he's just like bob & larry or bambi.  we just pretend play Santa..." so did not want to tell you that at the age of three. thought we could at least keep the rouse going until age 6.
"oh." long pause. "can we put Jesus away?"
"well, some people try to put Jesus away but we lose when we don't have Jesus.  Jesus is a person.  we can't put Him away.  we only like to think we can.  that's like me saying 'let's put davith away!'"
you giggle at the thought of being put away in a toy box or a closet.
"that's silly mummy... silly mummy!"  i smile.  yes, silly mummy.  to think that Jesus would mind the crumb littered floor or the spilt milk or my pre caffeine hair or my apparent lack of parenting skills.  no.  He'd be right at home here.  He is right at home here.  here with me & you & brother, sister & baby.  i think of all the times i've tried to 'put Jesus away'.  how many days, how many mornings i've 'lost' trying to hide under my humanity.  avoiding His goodness, His love.  i don't even know why.  embarrassment maybe?  but Jesus took us, chose us before we ever had the ability to please Him.  no need to hide the imperfection from Him.  He chose you & He chose me, with messy hair, sleep lines & morning breath.  He chose us.  And He hears your questions, although you haven't yet learned yet how to distinguish His voice.  And He has all the answers.  He has so much to tell you, so much to pour into you & out of you.  He is there dear son.  all around you whispering His love for you through the cheerios, through pjs & spilt milk.  and He is there even in the wee hours of the morning. 


the burnout remedy

"and now, dear brothers & sisters, one final thing.  fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  think about things that are excellent & worthy of praise."
{phil 4:8}

i give thanks & fresh wind blows on smoldering soot.  i give thanks & the embers begin to crackle. i give thanks & flames leap to faith.  i give thanks & i am bright & burning & bold again.  hot with passion, brimming with light.  the darkness devoured.  i am fully satisfied here.  here in the place of thanks, a feast for the famished.  fat with favour.

709. walter meets willemena
710. beholding & beloving the broken
711. porch side chats in spring air
712. glistening, sparkling hope
713. a light that never dims
714. boys & the sounds they find funny
715. holding littleness, helpless babe
716. forgiving sand
717. slip socks
718. watching a field being deeply culled  
719. a homemade egg & cheddar sandwich
720. remembering


car casual {small style}

loving this warm weather!  summer is on the way and in celebration of such a fact, we have been chilling  outdoors... all week long! we have begun unpacking our packed-to-the-roof shed and brought out the bikes & toys & of course, the little red car.  the little red car is definitely a favourite in this household.  once while driving down the driveway, davith ran back into the house & came back out with one of his daddy's chunky watches, carefully positioned himself in little red so that his arm was hung out the window all casual like with his big watch on display... just like daddy!

anyways, here is little miss evie taking a turn in little red.

 onesie & pants: {gymboree}* those gymbucks always come in handy for cute buys like these!
little red car: little tikes {walmart}


the best theorists

"for the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like child will never enter it."
{mark 10:15, NLT}

everyone enters the kingdom as a child. we are born royal infants into this regal reign.  born again.  anew. fresh. empty. unwritten. pure as a tiny pink newborn. this kingdom, this reign is like nothing we have ever had the capacity to experience, hear or see before.  completely contrary to our aged imaginations.  and then there is our aged imaginations.  our newborn spirits starkly contrast our old, unregenerate soul in this strange new kingdom life.  minds full of the world we knew.  full of ideas & boundries & limits.  full of memories & information & "fact".  full of all we thought trustworthy.  all we previously learned & relied on to keep us safe, alive & well.  but the kingdom changes things.  changes everything.  changes our perspective, our framework, our paradigm.  it radicalizes everything it touches.  but it's that old soul, our mind, will & emotion, that trips us up like a bad case of deja vu.  must be saddled, taken captive, submitted to a daily, moment-by-moment scrubbing, regenerating, recreating.

"do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
{romans 12:2, NIV}

and so it is with old soul & newborn spirit.  a constant tension & turning over.  but then there is when new soul meets new spirit in a child.  and it is children who make the best kingdom dwellers.  the best theorists.

"children make the best theorists since they have not yet been educated into accepting our routine social practices as 'natural', and so insist in posing to those practices the most embarrassingly general and fundamental questions, regarding them with such wondering engagement, which we adults have long forgotten.  since they do not yet grasp our social practices as inevitable, they do not see why we might not do things differently."
{terry eagleton, "theory as liberatory practice"}

the kingdom belongs to children.  no one can enter the kingdom unless a child.  a child, with all wondering engagement, with their unravelling questions, their lack of education & learnedness, their overactive, innocent imaginations, their unawareness of cultural frameworks & their overwhelming simplicity.  a child. and be you 21, 65, 88 or 92, it is never to late to be a child.  never to late for your childhood to begin...  


walter I

the wilkins have added a wee addition to our family... and his name is walter the first.  he is our new pet hermit crab and we are in love! having shellfish tendencies myself, i bonded quite quickly with this little guy, who spends most of his time in his shell.
not needing to add any extras to my day, he has been the perfect pet.  he's quiet, he doesn't eat me out of house & home, he's super clean {we only have to clean his cage every 6 months!}, he travels well, he's great with the youngins, super hardy & a fantastic incentive for good behaviour.  he's been stepped on, sat on, dropped, strapped to the front of a four wheeler & he's still here.  in a word... he's perfect!
here's some pics below of our adventures so far with walter...

p.s. we've been doing some reading and apparently, hermit crabs, despite what their name would indicate, are quite social... so we may need to get walter some friends!


seeding the clouds {goals}

"you should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for."
{ted turner}
i am an avid goal setter.  i set goals for just about everything in every season.  it is a practice that both steve & i have been vigilant in pursuing in our marriage, our parenting, our own ministry & worship to the Lord, our finances, our habits & lifestyle...  we set goals & revisit & adjust regularly according to our revelation of what we believe the Lord has called us to.  the point of a goal is to not just reach for something in the future but to hold ground. to progress.
"progress is the only thing that will make you happy"
{ted turner}
progress does taste pretty good.  but what happens when a goal hits a snags & leaks empty of hope?  what happens when we fall short, when we loose our grasp & fail to pull that illusive dream into our everyday reality?  what then? that is when the promises of God whisper truth to our disappointment.  no situation is void of hope.  and there is no such thing as impossible, Truth whispers.  and seeds of hope begin to take root, vision refocuses & we rise again, knowing who we truly are & what He has called us to.  there is nothing out of reach for those who look through His eyes, for those who believe.

my finish line is their start line
and that is just where i have fallen short. in my highly acclaimed goals, in where i placed their finish line.  so shortsighted, so limited to self, time & the natural mind.  as i learn to live from my position in Christ, unlimited & set free from my own perspective of my small life, i have the potential to bring forth the greatest exploit of all time.  we were never meant to live our lives with just ourselves in mind.  in setting goals, i have often asked myself where i would want to be in five or ten years from now.  but what about my decedents?  what about 300 years from now?  now that is thinking long term.  how i set the direction for my family today has the potential to affect my descendants hundreds of years from now.  there are countless stories in the Word of family lines spanning across centuries under the blessing that started with their distant forefathers.  that is who i want to be. a baton pass-er on-er, someone who 'seeded the clouds' & declared blessing over all her descendants, made it possible for them to reunite Christ with His perfect, spotless bride. that is my goal & it is with that in mind that i seed the clouds of the future.
"there is no failure in faith"
{bill johnson} 


a broken melody restored {a song diary}

music is like a balm that heals like nothing else.  no wonder God loves it so much.

Lord, where ever there is hurt or open wound, where ever there is anxiety, torment or disease, where ever there is fear or hopelessness, in dead places & messy places... would you open heaven's glory light here, shine on in & give these dead bones life... let it shine on and on... come alive.  

here is another version of this song... for where ever you might be tonight...


wounds, wood & wild Hope

what is ripped apart, will one day rise, and what is dead, will one day resurrect - we'll lay our wounds down on His wood.

the air we breathe in a post-Easter universe isn't the foul air of death decay but the fragrant air of resuscitating resurrection.

i breathe deep.

and the empty lungs fill - and rise - with the wild Hope.

Lord, that in the hurt we would meet people where the beams cross, the crux of Grace... and await Resurrection.

...God says yes grieve for i grieve, but never forget Who knows about hammer & spike & wood & the rising again.

to somehow let the heart stammer it out i'm trying to believe in the father-love, in the rebuilding. that God raises beauty from impossible rubble and what's been broken apart will find new life. i believe.

{ann voskamp, what God means to do when we lay our wounds down on His wood & when a family is broken}


the knowings {a song diary}

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." 
Deuteronomy 31:8

this verse has been my song this week.  it has washed over me like waves.  there are so many things that i don't know, i don't have the answer to.  but it doesn't matter.   for the Lord knows all things & He is never shaken, never fearful.  He sees today, He see tomorrow, He sees next year & forty years from now.  just like He saw last year & the year before that.  there is none in all the earth that He did not see coming.  and yet with all this knowing, He is never shaken, never worried, never stops loving.  and so i put my trust, my hope, my faith in Him alone.  my ever faithful strength & comforter, the lifter of my head, my hand to hold.     
we all need His knowing, His redemption of knowing.  to know how God knows me, strickens me with fear & yet i am wound tight in His perfect love. He doesn't miss a thing.  nothing is hidden from His sight. He knows every detail of my life.  but, oh how He loves us... how He lavishly pours out His grace & mercy.  how freely He gave & we took.  oh, how we wounded Him, yet He found us.
oh, how He loves us...

you know me by bethel live

when waters rose & hope had flown {a song diary}

sorry i haven't posted much recently.  time got away from me once again. just being continually reminded of the Father's love in His unrelenting pursuit.  oh, what security is found in Him who binds up the brokenhearted, who lifts the head of the weary & hopeless.  Him, who never lets go, never gives up.