"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Monday, October 28, 2013


Fall is here now, in full force.  But unlike last year's blustery winds, this year Fall has rolled in like the fog that has been covering us often.  One day I looked up as I turned the car toward home and realized that the Maple leaves along St. Catherine's Street, the ones I savored last year, had lit the trees aflame again again the grey backdrop of the mountains to the North.  Only a day or two later, those leaves had fallen to carpet the road, leaving the branches naked for winter.  Now a constant blanket of huge orange oak leaves falls to the ground in front of our house, and they crunch under our feet.

Like last year, I am savoring the winter squash and pumpkins that ripen in this season, roasting them for pie and soup.  I am struck by the appropriateness of pumpkin at Thanksgiving and spider webs at Halloween, things that had only been consumer concepts to me before.  Here, they are natural to this time of year.

When we celebrated Thanksgiving a few weeks ago with our Vancouver "family," it felt right, like a real holiday.  We have always taken a weekly Sabbath day to rest from our work since we arrived in Vancouver, but often when there was a holiday, there was no extra space for extra days off.  There was homework, there was reading, there was always something more over our heads.  But this Thanksgiving, Clint and I took an extra day off from our work.  That meant TWO days off in one week!  Unthinkably delightful!

This past year has been a tough one, but I am so thankful for it.  There were moments when I thought I was crazy (literally, thankfully a kind psychiatrist told me that I just wasn't dealing well with stress).  There were moments where I felt so sick and tired that I wasn't sure how to keep up.  There were moments when I genuinely hated my work (mostly my housework) and moments when it delighted me.  There were moments of darkness and despair about the future, and moments of light dawning.  There were moments of great lethargy and moments of great productivity.

There have been many beautiful moments when I realized in new ways, with an increasing fervor, that God still walks with me.  That even though it sometimes feels insane to believe in God or that he actively answers our prayers (and it's not just wishful thinking) or that he can work the hard things in our lives for good, I do believe.  For a while I had lost that confidence.  I felt small and stupid, like I had nothing to offer beyond a rote memory of scripture or faith.  It was enough me through, but not to take me forward any distance.

Now I look forward to new blessings in the new year:  an increased sense of God's presence, a little girl continually growing and learning in amazing ways, a loving husband, a future that is unknown but full of adventure and promise, and....


Yes, that explains, at least partially, my silence in the past months.  I have been so so sick, because I'm pregnant again.  The exhaustion and nausea hit hard this time around, much harder than with Lucy.  Thankfully, at 15 weeks now, I'm feeling human again.  We expect our new arrival around Easter.  We don't plan to find out the gender.  We'd like it to be a surprise this time around, to learn to love this little person for just who she or he is regardless of categories.  We are delighted and terrified and all the things it is good to be when looking forward to meeting someone new.

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