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In which I did not write a book of theory: I wrote a book about us


Idelette, the lioness

Kelley and Idelette

Three years ago, I couldn’t have dreamed of the way my life would change because of one South African lioness living in Surrey.

The first time I met Idelette, I felt like I had come home. You know these moments? The ones where you meet someone and feel like you recognize each other? It was that kind of moment for me. I had found a life long friend.

Idelette and I connected right in the newborn days of SheLoves Magazine through a mutual friend: the one and only Pastor Helen Burns (she who makes “generosity” and “connecting others” look like a spiritual gifting). At the time, I was working at Mercy Ministries of Canada and Idelette was part of the leadership team at her church’s women’s ministry, so we connected at their women’s conference over our shared passion for God’s global girls and writing. I was working the Mercy table, she came by to chat.

Idelette and I couldn’t be more different: first of all, she’s cool. Really, truly, effortlessly cool. She rocks purple hair and gorgeous gowns, for heaven’s sake.

Me? I am decidedly not cool.

Idelette is rockstar hair, sequins, and sky-high stilettos. I am a redhead perpetually clad in grey wool sweaters, blue jeans, and moccasins. She is a South African world traveller, an activist, a visionary, a do-er. I’m a Canadian prairie kid and an unapologetic homebody who theologically-over-thinks everything.

But even though our stories, our style, our giftings, and our sensibilities are so different, we are soul-sisters.

Read the rest of this post  at SheLoves Magazine

….and enter to win five copies of Jesus Feminist (yes, that’s right, we’re giving away 5 copies to one person) over there!


Idelette, me, Kelley goofing around (and Tina behind the lens)


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In which I’m from second-hand skates


I am from second hand skates, from Tim Hortons doughnuts and epic Barbie sagas.
I am from the split level red house and the family cottage and “I see the lake first!”
I am from the sweet peas, the purple thistles, the heather and the wheat waving in the fields.
I am from “One big happy family!” and freckles, from Nell and Lorna, Ken and Donald Ivor.
I am from talking too loud and bold opinions hollered while laughing too loud.
From “God has a plan and a purpose for you” and “Expect a miracle.”
I am from small community centres filled with happy-clappy choruses,
from dancing on Sundays and speaking in tongues.
From the farming and the truck driving, from Simpson Sears and sales.
I am from the newspaper corners at Kitchener School, from the flats in Moose Jaw,
from the ice-is-finally-off-the-lake at Last Mountain Lake in the middle of a flat-no-mountains-in-sight prairie
and the bonfire under the stars.
I am from the keepsake box under the stairs, the homemade life,
the just-caught-my-parents-kissing-again-life, the carrots washed off with the garden hose and the crab apples.
I’m from cold lake water and a warm mother, from thread bare terry cloth towels and Strawberry Shortcake wallpaper.
I’m from worn-out Bibles with notes in the margins and the laugh lines,
from truth and reconciliation, from grudges and elusive forgiveness.
I’m from restoration and new life, from cold winters with snow squeaking and blistering summers with mosquitoes buzzing.
From skinny girl arms wrapped around each other and secrets as delight,
from the wilderness nearby and the cold air in your lungs, oh, I’m from love.


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In which I’m into some stuff (August 2013 edition)

books i read

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver – The latest collection of poetry from Mary Oliver. Absolutely brilliant, of course, and I underlined and dog-eared the pages mercilessly. Check out “I Have Decided” on page 45.

Outlander: A Novel by Diane Gabaldon – I have several friends who have recommended this series to me for years now so I picked it up at our used bookstore and took it on our family holiday to Colorado. It was a great romance romp with a bit of sci-fi and a lot of history but it did become very dark in places and was occasionally very disturbing. Very satisfying but I don’t know if I’ll finish the series.

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty – Another “I’m on holiday” choice here but a great page-turner for a day or two. I like this author, particularly the quirky characters and the plot mystery is interesting – it kept me reading late one night. I also love how her heroines are rather flawed people.

The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde – This was my favourite of the month. Witty, hilarious, weird, and wonderful. Truly unique premise, it’s pure joy for lovers of literature and dystopian themes.

Abdication: A Novel by Julie Nicolson – I’m a sucker for most novels about the abdication but this one wasn’t very good, I’m afraid.

books on my nightstand right now

Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider (this is an advanced glimpse at Tsh’s new book and oh, my goodness! Love it so far.)

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams

Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series) by David E. Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander) by Diane Gabaldon

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

television worth watching

Miranda -  Series two is now on Hulu. I actually barked out loud with laughter during the first episode of the second series.

Otherwise, not much I’m afraid. I’ve just been watching our old favourites like Sherlock: Season One and Doctor Who (I know what’s on my imaginary Christmas list...).

Brian has started watching BBC’s MI-5 (aka Spooks) because he loves a tense spy/domestic affairs drama but it’s too stressful for me.

movies i’ve watched – in or out of the theatre

I made it my mission in August to rewatch all of the Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection. (What can I say? I”m a goal-oriented person.) Love these movies, love these stories. The only downside is that it makes me want to re-read all of the Harry Potter books now.

in my ears

I was skeptical (because I still love the original version) but good gracious, Sleeping At Last’s version of (I Would Walk) 500 Miles is crazy beautiful. Maybe this one is the tired-thirties/middle-life version of this song? A bit slower, a bit sweeter, a bit more deliberate. So lovely and true.


best stuff i pinned

Embroidered felt bookmarks - I’m a sucker for a rainy day craft about bookmarks

Books to read before you’re 40 – some great selections here

Make your own reading pillow

Seasonal chalkboard art templates

Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies… 


So, friends, what about you?

What’s on your nightstand? What television show has captured your imagination? What are you pinning or cooking or planning?

linked up with Leigh for What I’m Into:

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh

amazon affiliate links 

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In which we do it anyway

Why bother writing a book? Why does any one need another book? The world is full of books. There have been too many books, most of them never should have been published. Everything has been said already. And why does the world need another painting, another song, another band, another blog or a poem, another work of art, a painting, a documentary? There is enough of it all to satisfy anyone.

The world doesn’t need another artist or even another doctor or teacher, surely there are enough by now. Newspapers, pieces of furniture, it all ends up in the trash soon, the bargain bin, forgotten. Why does the world need another church service, another church plant, another prayer meeting, another intentional community of believers? Why bother praying? Why bother fasting? Why bother sitting in silence and waiting, why bother making meals or cleaning your house, why bother reading?

Why bother being kind? Why bother responding to criticism with good faith? Why bother loving your enemies, that’s the quickest way to be taken advantage of! Call them all haters, name their names, expose their weaknesses, hold them up to public ridicule and laugh at them – they deserve it.

Gracious, giving money away is useless, what difference does sending your bit of money every month really make for the big picture anyway, sure maybe one kid, but what’s one kid in a world?

Besides does anyone need another kid? the world is full, there are too many of us, and kids, man, they are expensive, they use up precious resources. We don’t exactly need more families, surely what we have is sufficient, why bother with communities and neighbourhoods? Why bother creating, why bother making, why bother working, why bother sowing seeds of peace and goodness and love? The crows will come and eat every seed, the weeds will choke out the good plants, the soil is too rocky. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity, surely this is true.

Do it anyway.

Confuse them all by creating, by making, by building, by loving, by writing, by having babies, by being kind, by responding in love, by doing the daily work of life with joy. Refuse to be another voice of critical judgement, fill your mouth with good nouns and faithful verbs, tell a better story.

Baffle them with your ferocious gentleness, with your life-giving, with your prayer, and your wonder. The world does not have enough because your part isn’t here yet, and if anything matters, everything matters, you matter, your book, your song, your art, your family, your faith, your hunger for justice, your voice, your peace making, your loving, your kindness, your battle to forgive, your hands, your feet, your mind, your life, matters.

Ireneus wrote that the glory of God is man fully alive, and we all need you to be fully alive for your life. It will matter in the world, more than you can imagine or dream perhaps, a ripple effect going on and on, touching the other shore, but it will also matter because you matter. You bear the image of God.

So stop asking whether or not anyone wants it or needs it, and simply do it because you were made to do it, because it makes you fully alive to do it, because you are working out what God has already worked in, because it matters, because you are called to the ministry of reconciliation, because the seeds might just catch and someday, perhaps, you’ll sit by the banks of river under the spreading branches of a tree of righteousness.

iphone wallpaper


(that lovely iPhone wallpaper is courtesy of my dear friend, JJ at The Blah Blah Blahger )

updated from the arches

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