Saturday, October 18, 2014

::Water Problem::

We have a water problem out here in the country. We knew it when we bought the land. We knew it when we dug our well. And we know it every time we haul back-breakingly heavy jugs of drinkable water from the store, and wrestle more manageable portions of it into a pitcher we leave on our kitchen island.

It’s our system, but it isn’t a perfect system. Pitchers break. We’ve shattered more glass than a cathedral’s worth of windows. So, we gave up on glass and moved on to metal. But even pitchers that don’t break only hold a finite amount of water. We fill it. And fill it. And fill it. And, I do not remember what fresh, cold water tastes like. Our poor little pitcher does not come with an in-built cooling system, nor a filter. It’s only job is to hold it’s contents.

Has that become my job description? Jo: Wife. Mother of six. Reservoir of old material, levels dropping, inspiration growing stale? Maybe it is. I am guilty of tapping into my own experience to diagnose, bandage and sustain myself through my present circumstances. I do it a lot. Instead of lifting a fresh, glittering drop of scripture to my lips, or letting the morning mist of daily prayer soothe my skin, I lower the ladle of my hands deep into the old, murky water of recycled thoughts and self-muddied lessons learned. I am a pitcher, filled with once-crystalline revelations, now gone warm and still.

Anyone could tell you that running water’s the sweet stuff. I don’t know anyone who would stand beside a leaping, chattering stream, and turn away to lap up the water from the puddle beside it. But we do that. All the time, we do that, when we don’t go the God for refreshment.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God. 
Psalm 42 

Are you thirsty? I’m thirsty. Let’s not gather around the water cooler. Let’s go down to the river and drink.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

::Hay bale full of cousins::

Photography has become currency. We exchange our photos like we exchange breath and words. But, I'm OK with that. Photos speak. And when words are becoming fewer-- people less connected by proximity and touch-- freeze-framed offerings are what we have to give and receive.

Our family is growing.
I can't expend enough words on the wonder of this. But I can just show you.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

::I Am the Door::

It's always a risk to gift someone with art, especially if it's yours. What if you go to visit, and it's behind the door to the basement? Or, what if it's nowhere at all? I risked it for Martin and Marissa and framed these.
Either they actually liked them, or they are extremely kind, because they hung them in the main hallway. Phew.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

::Red-Earthed Beauty::

A trip to the red-earthed Maritimes is how we bid our summer farewell. We nested just outside of Charlottetown in a sage green cottage, one wildflower field away from the ocean.
 Our trip tasted like:
The sun didn't make much of an appearance, but beauty is beauty, top-lit or shrouded. We found it everywhere.
It's amazing how quickly a place becomes "home".

Sunday, August 10, 2014

::Lantern Party 2014::

The heart of this safe, eternal group of friends was born and rooted ten years ago. And I know that decades will pass, awash with bright sparks of joy and smudges of grief, but the heart of us will keep beating. I love you, dear ones.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


To anyone who has ever told me; “I just don’t think I could do it. I’d get too attached,” please don’t say that. And to anyone who has ever said to me; “I just couldn’t. It would break my heart,” stop and think for a minute. What I think you mean is that foster parenting is too hard for you. And what I think you mean is that it would hurt too much for you to give it a try. But when I am about say goodbye to a child I’ve loved for months and months, and you say that, what I hear is this: “You feel less than I do. You can do this because you have a stone-heart superpower that makes it easy for you.” That’s not true. I get attached. Very attached. And my heart is so very broken. I am not braver than you, or stronger than you, and there is nothing easy about what I do.  Just so you know.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

::It had to be done::

It's hard. And it hurts. But it just had to be done.
My brothers and I at the ::Spartan Sprint::