Collecting Manna: A Family of Faith

You might like to know what I think of having a family such as ours.  I think it is ridiculous.  Absolutely crazy.  Something no-one in their right mind would undertake.  And I only have 5 kids and a couple in-laws.  I told my mother-in-law when she moved in, "The number of kids we have depends on a lot of things, but a big one is how much extra help I have.  I can't do this without extra support."  And so her presence has been helpful as the last 2 of our kids were born while she has been here with us.  She was able, during those years, to hold infants, cut up grapes for toddlers, help them wash hands and go potty - an extra pair of hands and eyes (even legally blind eyes) - went a long way to supporting us in this crazy endeavour of raising a gaggle of kids.  Now it is the kids' turn to look in on her - to see if she is ok - to read aloud to her and to refill her sugar bowl.  This is how things go in our household.

It is a big leap to decide to get married - to th…

Collecting Manna - An Overflow of Gratitude - Lunch Boxes

Back in November I wrote a post about collecting Manna - I explained what Manna was in the Bible and how I am making a habit of observing the Manna God sends me each day. 

Sometimes my eyes grow dim and it is hard to see the hand of God at work in my life.  Sometimes I jot down my days events and it is foggy looking back over the day and I feel like I am a spoiled child even wondering what God is up to. 

Yesterday was not one of those days.  Nor the day before.

Because God dropped Manna in my lap, and I think you'll like these accounts.

The week after I wrote that, I received a generous gift - a cheque in the mail - with a note saying, 'Here's some manna to supplement your grocery budget.'  I kid you not.  It may be a helpful reference point to put this out there: My weekly budget for gas and grocery (everything except medical) is $255 U.S. (dollars, that is).  Is it crazy to think of feeding a household of 9 (including 17 year old son who can consume enormous amounts…

Why I think Animals go to Heaven (don't quote me on it, okay?)

Someone recently posed the question about if animals go to heaven.  I'm not a huge animal lover - but I used to be, so there are remnants of that in me.  Here's my answer:

I think animals have souls, but not souls like we do. The Hebrew word for soul is Nephesh, found in Psalm 23 'He restores my soul.' This word is also used to refer to animals in other parts of Scripture. However, in 1 Thess 5:23 there are 3 greek words used in defining us: soul (psyche), spirit (pneuma) and body (soma) - In John 4:24 it says we worship in Spirit. Therefore, the part of us that is connecting to God, where worship occurs, where we meet with Him, is in our very spirits. Our souls are redeemed (see 2 Peter? or is it 1st - 'for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.') I don't believe animals sin or need redemption - they have an immaterial part of them that is soul-ish, but they are not part of humankind that experience rebellion or grace. Yet t…

Lunar Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse

We're having family bonding watching the moon, freezing our fingers and toes, going outside repeatedly to see the progress.  So here are Caleb's pics of the moon tonight:

A Nameless Child

There was a child once born; her mother, a 19 year-old girl from the bush of Zambia.  She labored long, on a hot day in December, on a thinly padded, metal-framed, basic hospital bed - routinely checked and encouraged.  She was stoic, quiet, patient in her travails.  I watched and encouraged - I listened to her silent efforts and saw her face as she waited.  I held the Pinard Horn to detect the foetal heartbeat - the old instrument, still useful in the absence of reliable electricity, to determine if the baby is under distress.  I could hear the gentle thud of the heartbeat - faster than the mother's - and anticipated the moments to come - welcome this child to the world; even a sparse and unpredictable world, where a young single mother would face hardship in finding her way with a small infant.

I had my own baby, Caleb, who was 6 months old at the time.  He was being looked after a few paces away while I assisted at this delivery.  My memories of my own un-medicated home birth …

Where the tears sit

In a crumpled page scrawled with fury they sit, unread, unheard
Staring at a blank screen, they sit within Unable to emerge through language
In stories kept and held Buried, untold They sit and wait
In the human flask,  soul, heart, They sit, gaining momentum
In hands upheld to the sky Heaven's tears flow and wash through
Inviting the stream within  To join the current To unleash
To arise from the depths of the earth, To sit no more.
And my soul joins the grief The raging storms The wail that cries, 'All is not as it should be!'
And settles in hushed sobs To allow the tears to sit Where a Greater Hand can hold, Collect, welcome And embrace The tears that have spoken.

A Taste of Love Divine

Bidden by love to enter Surrender: Knowing, certainty, piety; Release all claim to my frame: Abandon secure assertions, I open my soul to love Divine – Welcome the warmth that can only be God. (For He is a consuming fire)
‘That He loves me,’ is something I know – I can hold it, define it, manage it, contain it, As if it were some tame, sentimental ornament to adorn my life.
He speaks to my soul and tells me, “My love is beyond knowing… It is only to be felt in the depths, It cannot be known or it would cease to be holy other. I invite you to a new kind of knowing, As the beloved disciple spoke of it: ‘We have come to know and rely on the love of God.’ You see, there is no real knowing of my love Without total reliance on it.”
And my heart is turned: I had it all wrong. No, I cannot hold, define, manage, or contain the love of God, Any more than the blazing sun can be gift-wrapped and held in my pocket. For He is a consuming fire.
It is known in single moments – seconds even – for mercy’s sake: A full-fledg…