producing patience

 "my brethren, count in all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. but let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect & complete, lacking nothing."
 {james 1:2-4, nkjv}

i don't really like the word patience. i can't really say it's an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit that i have really sought to be discipled in. it kinda always seemed to be a wimpy word. patience, as in, quietly enduring something until it passes. like being really good at holding your breath or biting your tongue. something passive & meek & long suffering. filled with the not so heroic notions of forbearance & tolerance & restraint. not very run-to-the-battle-lines. wimpy.

i've kinda been doing a little word audit of my own definitions of words verses the biblical understanding & use of words. sometimes words don't just get translated into a language but into a culture & sometimes the potency of those words gets affected in the process. patience is one of those words. kinda like hope or waiting {post to come}.

dieter f. uchtdorf uses this definition,
"patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. patience means active waiting & enduring. it means staying with something & doing all that we can: working, hoping, & exercising faith; bearing hardships, with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!" 

another definition noted patience as "staying power or resoluteness or determination". but my favourite definition of patience is from the expositional study of new testiment words: 

"the independent, unyielding, defiant perserverence in the face of aggressive misfortune & thus to a kind of courageousness"

who knew patience had such tenacity? i gotta get me some of that right there! not the quiet little meek word i thought it was.

and so when james says that "the testing of your faith produces patience" this is what he means. he means "the independent, unyielding, defiant perserverence in the face of aggressive misfortune & thus to a kind of courageousness". it's the kind of patience that can only be produced through the testing of your faith, the aggressive misfortune of life. it's an opportunity. a refiner's fire & james says to "count it all joy". how audacious of him.  but he's right. that's the way kingdom math works. count. add up all the negatives you want, the sum will always be a positive for those who love Him {romans 8:28}. watch Him fashion & forge misfortune into an invaluable gem. 

patience usually has some kind of time dimension to it. when our expectation of how or when something should be completed is compromised, patience is required. patience is required because attitudes expand & implode when things aren't done respective of my timeline. i can't say i've been the most patient in my waiting or even the most active in my waiting. but i want to be patient. hopefully patient for things i know God has promised me that i don't currently hold in my possession yet. i want that staying power that makes thirsty roots clench hard & bore deep into solid ground, un-uprootable.  that courageous, defiant perseverance against the aggressive misfortune that would seek to steal, kill & destroy. i want to endure well, stand my ground courageously with fortitude until it's my time to have & to hold my promise for health & wholeness in all it's fullness & glory. it's like that old proverb says "patience is bitter but it's fruit sweet". may the fruit of patience be evident in my life. 

and so it is as james says,"let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect & complete, lacking nothing." the journey is a patient journey. and i am hopefully expectant for patience's perfect work to have it's way in my life.

"there are no shortcuts to any place worth going" 


cape breton capers & cottage catch-up

hello friends!
we're back!
back from our fabulous cape breton capers.
back from our cottage cruisin'.
back to ordinary life. lovely, predictable, ordinary life. we LOVED our time away but there is nothing like sleeping in 5 different beds in 6 nights to convince you that ordinary life does have it's perks. our kids were thoroughly loved on by family & friends while we were away {although you would swear by their home-coming behaviour we had sold them to a travelling circus or released them into a savage jungle for the week... i'm sure this is just their unique way of saying we missed you mummy & daddy!} & we are so thankful for the small army it took to pull this trip off {with a special mention to our brannan HERO's who swooped in to save the day... we just love this family :) }

our trip out to the church in cape breton was phenomenial. surrounded by the gorgeous scenery of ingonish camping & the cabot trail, good eats & great fellowship were the highlights. and you know how i feel about these great folks. other than a brief trip to the strangest & yet most endearing emerg i have ever seen for a little something they like to call systemic poison ivy, it was a blast!

on our way back i snapped a few pics {as promised} of the infamous canoe rack & a few other projects going on around the cottage. i'm trying to get better about taking before pics & celebrating completed projects.  it's so nice, especially as a stay-at-home mom, to get to show off what you've spent your hard earned 'nap time' freedom on. to feel like i've progressed in some small way. i feel like 'nap time projects' deserve an extra mention only because when people ask me what i've done at the end of the day i usually only have a big pile of dirty diapers & laundry to show for it. but occasionally, when i accidentally stumble upon a reserve energy i didn't know i had, i have a chair or a shelf or a pillow to show for it. and on those rare occasions, i am extra grateful. :)

window seat with cushions & pot drawer
{this is mostly my mama's doing}

pretty happening model if i do say so myself ;)

curb side garbage turned into cottage love.

hope the stain lasts, i didn't prime them!
darn canoe rack
 and then there is the 'nap time' project to do list:
#1: railing are important, especially two stories up!

#2: after chipping the moss & lichen off, adding a little stain
& digging out the bottom, i'm sure this will be a fav spot

#3: this little number is planned to become a
princess turret/pirate ship... stay tuned! 

#4: removing those edging rocks & putting
up a cedar rail fence to stop cars from parking on lawn

#5: taking chairs, sanding & milk washing them all black

#6: building a long bookcase against that slanty wall to
support my longtime addiction to books

#7: add another railing & maybe enjoy a little nap of
my own in that nicely stained chair ;)
this growing list may well take 300 nap times to complete but what i most look forward to is the feeling of accomplishment, like i did something & it stayed did. :)


poison ivy panic

i can be pretty driven. when i get something in my head that i want to accomplish, i can be pretty stubborn, charging recklessly through any obstacle in my way. i got this from my mother. and it is mostly a positive, largely productive thing. but occasionally, we can get ourselves into a little trouble... charging through obstacles with no thought to the consequence, i mean. like building a canoe rack in the middle of a bed of poison ivy & oak. i didn't want to wait to spray it with round up & then wait until the plants die, that would be unnecessarily long & tedious. so my mum, who was equally enthusiastic about building this canoe rack, thought she had read somewhere that the roots weren't poisonous. so our plan was to dig up each plant, to which there were about a hundred, until the roots were exposed & then yank them out by the root with our bare hands & dispose of them in the lake. and our plan went off marvellously. we were covered in dirt & bug bites by the end but we were careful to wash our hands & feet with soap... just in case. and in the end, we had a beautifully creative mother-daughter creation in the end (will post the pics soon!).
i especially loved the canoe rack because canoeing is one of the very special memories my mum & i have together. she trucked through all kind of portaging bush with me as i completed the four long years of duke of edinburgh. she's the one who taught me to really see God in nature & how to be still. and she also taught irreplaceable feeling of building something that's your own with your own two hands. this is a tradition that is really important for me to pass onto my own kids, hence the canoe rack. so this canoe rack was significant to me none-the-less... just to give some context to why it was so irrationally important to me.
anyways, the next day neither of us had any sign of any kind of poison ivy or oak vengeance which i made sure to smugly highlight to my husband steve who had found us in the middle of the poison ivy infestation & begged us to see reason the day before.
little did we know the rash can take a few days to fully reveal it's fury. little did we know that every part of that evil plant is evil. little did we know that we also ripped out poison oak without any precaution.
lookin' fine!
and so i am sitting here in a apple cider vinegar-baking soda-hydrocortizone-calimine lotion paste covering most of my body. the kids call me the snowman. luckily, it is not actually contagious {unless you still have the oil on your clothes or skin}. i think i may have even ingested the poison by biting my nails a day or two after exposure so my throat & inner ear are also itchy, swollen.
needless to say, we have learned our lesson & will do the necessary research next time we decide to make up facts to accommodate our brilliant plans for grand creations. having said all that... i wouldn't change anything about being just like my mum. :)


happy belated summer!

i don't know about you, but it felt like it took a little longer for summer to arrive this year. or rather that it couldn't decide whether it was coming or going. but it is finally here, in all it's humid glory! and we are loving it {hence the mini-sabtacle}! here are some fun snapshots of what summer adventures we've been up to thus far...

in the rainy, cold...
homemade rocketblasters
museum of aviation

museum of aviation meets eva extraordinare

our motorcade... or gang, we can't decide. :)
and in the sunny, sun, sun...
boat ride

rainbow sticks
wine bladder fun for sore tummies

super daddy... all four kids & the dog tied to the side :)

canada day!

strawberry picking ... and eating!

strawberry pie, strawberry smoothie,
strawberry muffins oh my!

the old made new again... who knew garbage day
could turn out so well!

mean stairs meet brave boy
car wash

 hope you're all summer lovin'!


You are I AM {Hallelujah, He lives in me}

weeping repentance. kneeling before the King of kings. uncontrollable sobs while beholding the Great I Am.

You're the One who conquerors giants.
You're the One who calls out kings.
You shut the mouths of lions.
You tell the dead to breathe.
You're the One who walks through fire.
You take the orphan's hand.
You are the one Messiah.
You are I Am.
You are I Am.

Hallelujah, He lives in me.