I write this today for a friend. I thought I would respond to her personally with this note, but then I realized- perhaps many more friends find themselves facing impossible, exhausting odds and needed to hear the same encouragement.

Yesterday I had one of those days when there are just too many bad news (or possibly bad news) stories coming my way. Many affect me very personally.

I just about to drive home when I got the hardest piece to digest, and my heart just unraveled.

Whatever resolve I had crumbled and my “need” to go into “panic overdrive” started revving me up. I thought ‘I am too tired. I have nothing in me to rise to these occasions. How will I put a brave face on and be a source of strength and encouragement when I have no answers and am so very unable?’

Maybe you’ve had a day like that recently. Maybe you are facing seasons upon seasons like that.

I wanted to call a friend and vent. But that would have left me feeling even more powerless.

I wanted to binge on netflix, to forget. But that would’ve left me feeling guilty.

I wanted to go home, hug my kids and bury myself in my family. But that was a temporary fix. When you live with a kid that has a brain tumour, you always know that life is just a puff  of air, and people relationships can’t sustain you for your whole life. People come and go.

I decided to do what I have learned the hard way, through Hudson’s journey with this brain tumour he carries. (For new readers, my 6 year old was diagnosed with a tumour when he was 3 and that rocked my world.)

Friends. There is only ONE path to take that leaves you feeling better, stronger and encouraged. No matter how tempting chocolate, netflix, more work and texting friends can be, make your FIRST pit stop talking with with the Lord.

There is a strength that rises up inside of us, as we realize that we are but dust, completely dependant on God, as our life SOURCE outside of us.

I cried out in the car, and made my first action in that day an action of worship.

I told the Lord that I was weak, that I wanted to worship (believe in and look to them wholeheartedly for help) the doctors reports, the hospitals cures, the worry that rose up, the facts that I knew.

I asked Him to be the One that gave me His report, His knowledge, His perception and His way through.

I asked for the strength to serve, to pray, to listen and encourage.

A picture came.

Friends, there is a pillar, a white, strong, beautiful pillar rising in the middle of your swirling chaos. It is like iron, it can not be beaten by the wind, the waves or the earth shaking beneath it.

It is like having a core strength that holds up all the rest of you. The six pack that never fails.

Christ within you. The HOPE of Glory.

His instructions today are this:

Isaiah 30:15 (I say this, because I have now run into this verse in about 30 different contexts over the past 2 months, so it’s definitely for me and maybe for you!)
” For this is what God says…

In repentance (turn to Me, drop the stuff you rely on. Are you worshiping something or someone else? Is something bigger than God to you? Do you spend all your time thinking, all your money, and all your hope on something other than God?),

and rest you will be saved. (The word saved here is translated as VICTORY, freedom, deliverance.)

In quietness and trust is your strength.

(Quietness: tranquility, repose, not being harassed.) (Trust: confidence,hope, a sense of resignation that there is nothing more you or anyone else can do. God must be the One.)

But you were not willing.”

(Willing: obedient or desiring to do something.)

Rest. Repose. Quiet Trust. Unshakeable knowledge that IF you desire to put God first, worship Him regardless of the hurricane banging at your hearts door, then HE WILL DELIVER.

He will (more importantly to me for the moment) BE my Strength.

He will make a pillar rise within me, that is a result of my trust and belief in the One who delivers, brings victory, saves and sets us free.

And that pillar will be a testimony of His faithfulness.

If your resolve to carry on crumbles, no worries. Put your Trust in God, and leave it there.

Return to your calling, your vocation, your reason for living, your job as a worshipper of God. Leave the results to Him.

He will carry you through.

Isaiah 46:3-4

“Listen to me…

You have been borne by me from your birth, and carried from the womb;

Even in your old age I shall be the same,

and even to your graying years I SHALL bear you!









Rest in Him my friends. Strength rises from the One who carries us. He has done it before, will carry us through, bear us upwards and will deliver us from the Evil One.

If I can pray for you today, knowing that God delivers, cleanses, frees, heals and give victory, leave me a note and I will do that.

It is my joy to lift you in Faith to the Father who has been SO good to us.

Big hugs to you all! It’s hard, but we are the only people in the world who don’t have to strive. Just rest as God fights for us. The hard work is in the purposeful trusting.




I really love inspirational movies. One of my new favorites is “Churchill”. There’s not much action but there are moving speeches, lots of grit and determination despite failure.

This one man Churchill was able to take the fear, uncertainty and poverty of a terrible war and inspire a nation (and it’s allies) to press through every hardship and win.

Today, I sat with my coffee and read this verse (and I could almost hear Churchill’s voice reading it to me…picture a gruff, gravelly, deep throated roar…)

“Take care my friends, in case there should be found in you a heart that Which looks for evil and mischief, that which is unbelieving, full of uncertainty, lacking confidence in Christ’s power, not trusting God, so that you do not find yourself withdrawing and walking away from the living (who causes you to live) God.

ENCOURAGE (give courage to, give aid to, walk alongside) one another day after day, as long as it is still called today, so that none of you are made stubborn and disobedient by the lies and deceit of sin.

 For we have become Kingdom-building-business partners of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our firm constancy and obedience to Him until the goal is reached.”

 Hebrews 3:12-14 (with my own addition of Greek dictionary explanations).

When you are living through a war (let’s be honest- we might not be living in an actual physical war zone, but there’s plenty of war-like damage being done to our bodies, souls and minds) you can easily find yourself sliding into despair.

The daily facing of “crisis” can be come wearisome, and can wear you out.

And when you are worn out, tired of looking at “gray” and wondering when this will end, when help will come and what the future even holds, it is then that door of your mind and heart are open to whatever voice happens to be speaking.

I know this. I’ve been there many times. Old wounds that I felt I had championed resurrect, and I wonder why I am allowing my frustrations and insecurity to own me.

In those moments, I can wrestle with a heart that “is full of uncertainty, lacking confidence in Christ’s power.” And I find myself believing that the evil around me is stronger and greater than the living God (the one from where all life, love and power comes) who is within me.

No wonder this dichotomy of heart causes us to be tempted to “withdraw” from God.

He does not withdraw from us. He does not withhold good, or cease daily filling us with life and love.

It is not God who is at fault for our lack of confidence.

Churchill was famously called the “last lion” of Britain.

His speeches “roared” at the people- they were loud, audacious and solicited great emotion and action.

(For this, they call him a lion- can you imagine standing in front of a real lion, having him roaring in your face and not doing something about it?)

We have our own lion, roaring at us through the words of the scriptures.

Jesus, the lion of Judah.

Yes, his counterpart, Satan is also roaring. His lies are loud. His lies might be what motivate you to action. His roar is fearful, so you run.

But you stand in the middle of two lions, one who is Victorious, and calling you to His side, and one who is defeated, willing you to die.

For me, I picture myself right next to the Lion named Jesus, roaring at the people in the middle, calling them to His side. Reminding them they are loved. Telling them to come side where light is, for light triumphs over darkness. Fiercely wanting them to come and join with us in the truth.

Encourage; give courage, to each other day after day. Do not give up. Do not lose heart. Do not throw away complete and utter trust in God.

Find words in the scripture that ROAR BACK at the defeated lion.

For Jesus was faithful to us already, He already defeated death, evil and sin in the world and is only delaying His coming now so that more might come to see His faithfulness to them.

We have a plaque in our home that says: “Be a voice. Not an echo.”

It could read: “Be a roar. Do not be silent.”

My friends, today be that roar. Roar with the words of Jesus at your heart if it wavers. Roar at your kids, if they are weak and worried. Roar at your crisis. Roar at your spouse. Roar and do not be afraid.

It is not an easy road.

All struggle with uncertainty, because we have not seen fully.

But ALL are called to strengthen each other TODAY, because we ALL face another lion roaring at us.

Let us be and let us raise a generation that is not afraid of evil.
Let us not be overtaken by sorrow.

Let us not be the ones who give up.

Let us be filled with FIERCE determination to stand together as we HOLD FAST to knowing the truth- the Jesus has come, He has given us the way to victory, and He has broken every chain of sin that holds us bound.

One final thought, from our roaring example, Churchill:

 You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

you stick to it!

Last night marked just over a year.

That’s right. One + years of Hudson having the most amazing health ever– no trips to ER for one year. No asthma attacks for one year. No prednisolone for one year. No antibiotics for one year. No hospital stays for one year.

Last year, I asked God for one year for Hudson.

In January, He answered with this word: “Breakthrough.”
I laughed at Him and told Him that only charismatic, super weird people lived their lives based on a word for the year.

He challenged me by giving me that word CONSISTENTLY for days. It finally soaked in.

So we lived like it. We lived as if we were in “Breakthrough” mode.

We cancelled 5 of his specialists and doctors except his GP, Neurosurgeon and Respirologist.

I took the kids and we marched “Jericho-style” around our home for 7 days and blew our toilet paper roll trumpets to mark the destruction of the walls around our hearts and minds- to begin the conquering of the challenges we had each submitted to God… spelling, reading, health, and fear.

We have all see INCREDIBLE triumphs in each of these areas.

But today I want YOU to celebrate with US in our area of VICTORY! WE got our YEAR! Hudson went to the ER last night with a nasty fever, but he’s perfectly well this morning. (Thank you Jesus!)

We also were told by his Grade one teacher that we no longer need his IEP because he has CRUSHED his anxiety issues and is able to participate FULL TIME with no issues in learning. (In fact, he’s almost the top of his class! with NO language issues at all! He’s gobbling up the french language!) HA! Miracles ARE happening here!!!!!

ALL THIS FOR GOD’S GLORY! How can He personally give you a promise and then not keep it??? HE IS GOOD!

And, we continue to move in Jesus to slay the giants that are before us still.
So cheer with us as we ask still for full healing of this tumour Hudson has. Pray with us as we keep listening to God’s voice and His guidance for this next year of life.

And if you have an ear, and hear God’s voice speaking to you- JUST STICK WITH IT, and LIVE LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

Abel vs Cain.


How did I miss it????

Today’s blog might be brief, might be nothing, might be everything.

Abel was the brother of Cain. They were birthed by Adam and Eve.

Abel offered up a pure lamb, a sacrifice which God accepted and was pleased by.

Cain offered up the first of his vegetables, the best he had, but God was not pleased. God said it wasn’t enough.

So Cain looked at Abel, and instead of asking Abel to help him, to share a lamb with him, and to learn from him how to please God, Cain decided to kill Abel out of anger, jealousy and spite. He was determined that his offering should be just as good as Abel’s, but it was not.

If Cain couldn’t have God’s favour, then no one could.

Guess what?

Jesus was born of Adam’s line. So were we all. He was called a lamb. He offered up Himself, as the Son (representing Abel), as the child of God to be a pleasing sacrifice, and He was accepted. He and He alone was a pleasing sacrifice. And we, like Cain, killed Him.

Nothing we (as represented by Cain) could offer would ever be good enough. Even if we were like the Pharisees- perfect in every single one of the laws that God has given. All of it would be tainted by our hearts motives, our imperfections, our violence and greed, and God saw through it all.

We didn’t offer ourselves to Him so that we could be made pure.

We offered so we could get more. (Let’s get rich because He’ll like us more if we sacrifice and will bless us.)

We offered so we could be more. (Let’s have more power, because He’ll give us more influence if we establish that we are the perfect ones who know the ways of God best.)

We offered to feel good. (Let’s have God reward us and make us feel good about us being so good, so obedient, addicted to positive feedback, not goodness itself.)

We failed to see that He could see through us like a parent sees through a child who is trying to manipulate them.

We have determined that we are good enough. If we do the laws of religion, we are good enough. If we help others and live with good karma, we are good enough. If we spend life looking at love and kindness and empty out ourselves and become nothing, we will be erased, and good enough. If we just live decent and don’t kill everyone around us, we are probably good enough, right?

WE ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. We have vegetables.

We need a lamb. How can we get one?

Jesus did not manipulate God. His offering was simple. Pure. Serving others, not Himself.
Cain (Us) needed to imitate Able, but couldn’t, because his heart had no other way to follow. All he knew was burning envy, lust for power, intense guilt and frustration, and thwarted curiosity.

How GREAT is the love of God to offer on our behalf?! To accept Jesus’s offering as pleasing, and to welcome us (because of Him) into that pleasure and goodwill?

When we believe in Jesus, it’s like saying: “I don’t have anything but vegetables, but Jesus said I could share his lamb- I am offering with Him, because of Him, and by Him. He provided for me. It was better than my vegetables.”

He is the lamb we needed. We are in, God is pleased, because Jesus offered.


Give Thanks!

Just a simple reminder for everyone today:

We CAN give thanks TO God, no MATTER the circumstance.We don’t have to thank God FOR the circumstance, but we can find Him as a source of thankfulness.

I am practicing this everyday, and it is slowly changing my heart, my outlook, my life.

So, give thanks IN EVERYTHING, for this is the will of God through Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

God transforms us and those around us through our thankful attitudes.

Can’t give thanks? Ask, and you will receive. (John 16:24)

How do you know that you will receive a thankful heart if you ask?

Because, it is God’s WILL for YOU! Of course He’ll help you. Of course He’ll journey with you to this place. Of course He’ll give you eyes to see.

Our family is learning to practice thanks! No matter the season. No matter what.

Right now, Hudson is well, and we are thankful!

His MRI came back stable in February! Thanks be to God who sustains and holds us!

His ENT said no surgery! Thanks be to God, who didn’t have us walk that road!

His Respirologist agreed with no surgery because anaesthetic can come with some neurological risks that they are just publishing with reasonable certainty now. Thanks be to God who has kept Hudson from being under for all of his MRI’s! What a blessing!

His school is working on a plan to help him overcome his anxiety and manage the massive leap he needs to make to be a full time student. Thanks be to God for an SK teacher who will tutor him on his own twice a week to see him excel!

Thanks be to God for a church to celebrate with!

Thanks be to God for a country to declare His name in!
Thanks be to God for friends!
Thanks be to God for rubber, which keeps our feet dry on wet days!

Thanks be to God!

There is an infinite list….

I wonder what’s on yours???

Walk on Water.

A family friend just called and I thought this was a timely word for all of us who are struggling.

You know who you are. Limping along, wondering along, inching along.

Jesus saw Peter as he was.
Peter saw Jesus as He was.

Peter hopped out of the boat and walked on water- eyes on Jesus.

Jesus ensured the impossible happened for Peter, so long as Peter looked at Him.

You might be called to impossible- like we are.

Impossible to keep faith when everyone around you says it can’t and won’t happen.

Impossible to hurdle obstacles, because the people involved won’t change.

Impossible to endure, because your health or stamina don’t allow you.

Impossible to hope, because you’ve been beaten down too many times.

Impossible to pray, because you have nothing in you that even believes God is real.

But I wonder this: if you are called to be in a boat in the storm, and you see Hope walking towards you, could you leap out of your doubts, fears and trials and let it all go into Jesus’s hands?

It’s not you that has to walk on the water.

It’s Him who has to hold you up and do the impossible.

Maybe today is reminder to just get on your knees and surrender those people, those circumstances, those doubts to Jesus, who will keep you walking through the storm, filled with faith, doing the impossible- a journey with God when others are watching on the sidelines.

Psalm 119:1-2

You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.

A New Year.

Yesterday the snow fell softly. It was the stillest, most silent day.

All the trees were bearing the weight of the feathery soft flakes that made the whole forest look Narnian.

And I got to walk in it. I got to lift my eyes and feel snow on my eyelashes.

It was magical. White. Cold. Still.

And very, very sleepy. Everything was tucked in under a blanket of brilliant white.

It made me think of gratitude-audacious thankfulness despite the cold.

There was a warm home waiting with a roaring woodstove. There were family inside, bursting with life in them. There was food to be shared.

Winter is a time of rest. A time for the soul to be still. A time to reflect.

And I love the juxtaposition of the summer and winter.

Hudson health journey has thrown us as parents into the seasons of the soul.

Lately, it’s been a growth season for Hudson.

We purposed this year to explore all avenues of health and see if we could uncover what was keeping him chronically ill.

He saw an ENT who found enlarged tonsils and adnoids, and suspected sleep apnea. This brings us sleep tests and tonsil-adnoid surgery in the spring sometime.

He saw a psychiatrist at the hospital to help him with managing his emotions and fears around his health. This has brought him a wonderful art therapist and child life specialist who meet and entertain him everytime we are in London.

He saw an oncological naturopath who preventatively has been assisting in building his immune system and nutritionally fortifying him. This has lead to 8 straight weeks of health for Hudson-even when his sister brought home the flu.

He was given an IEP for his SK year at school. This has given him the time he needs to build his stamina, adjust to being away from mom, and reduce his exposure to illnesses.

He was given a mom and dad who care about his health and spiritual welfare, and have tried to help him understand Jesus. This has led him to asking Jesus to forgive him, live with him, and be his friend forever on Dec 6.

Finally, he met with his neurosurgeon in November and it was decided that his tumour looks stable and he doesn’t need another MRI until April.

And Hudson is loving this time of year. He is conquering his fears, he is learning to live life even when life is complicated with doctors.

He even went to the nursing home with to visit great grandma and let the little old ladies kiss and touch him! Unheard of!

We welcome this time of growth and rest-rest for our parent souls, and growth for our son.

And we urge you, that no matter where you find yourself-under the weight of accumulated sorrows, out in the cold, staring at a frosty life, or in the home, surrounded by goodness-find Jesus. He is with you. He goes before you. He is behind you. Or He is like Aslan-waiting for you to find for Him in a world that is new and uncertain to you.


Parenting a Special Kid.


I have been sitting and meditating on Luke 1-2 for the last few weeks.


I think that almost every mom or dad looks at their own newborn baby and believes, hopes, and wonders if their child is special.


I think we chose things that reflect how much we believe and hope that they are special.

We buy them special outfits, look carefully at the ingredients in their food, worry about their car-seat safety, think through breast or formula and write letters full of hopes, dreams and prayers for them.

We believe our kids are one-of-a-kind, unique beings that we will have the joy of raising. (Except when they won’t sleep at night…but we won’t get into that here…)

And they are.

But think about John the Baptist.

His mom and dad were picked from all the people ever to be born to birth and parent  the greatest prophet that would ever live.

They were old people. Way past having a baby old. They had their affairs in order, lives settled, routines set. Hopes for children had LONG past left them. I’m wonder that when an angel showed up and told Zacharias he was going to have a baby he may have internally freaked out and thought “no thanks!” (Imagine! They would need a crib, a nursery, a birth plan, a new will, a bigger house, time off work, money out of the retirement fund and into the RESP’s…)

However, God chose them. He timed it perfectly. He arranged to have John born to a senior citizen couple, whose dreams were likely set on dying peacefully and meeting God with clear conscience’s.  (Much harder to do when you are disciplining a me!)

And when John is born, everyone who comes to meet him says (vs 66) “What will THIS child turn out to be??”

Obviously, he was special.

Obviously, he was intriguing. Even as a baby.

And he was kinda a rock star baby. It says that everyone living around them were talking about them. (I imagine raising John was like raising a Jolie-Pitt child- paparazzi everywhere…) Talk about living in a glass box! How many times do you think Elizabeth got told “Put a hat on that child!!”

So–how then does it make sense that in verse 80 it says: “and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.”

Why would an older couple whose dreams have finally been fulfilled let their kid go play and live in the desert?
Have you ever watched Wild Kratts? There’s scorpions out there! And coyotes, Robbers, Zealots, Romans, hungry wild beasts and rocks and sand.

Sounds like the perfect playground right?

What were they thinking?????????

I have 3 options:

First: they were old. So they laid on the couch and didn’t fuss too much when John ran out the door in the morning to play, because it was just way too tiring to chase that kid around.
(I doubt it, but maybe?)

Second: they had died.

Third: they had been firmly grounded since the day of his miraculous conception in the knowledge that his destiny was not theirs to own, but God’s to direct, and that their parenting choices weren’t going to move the plan God had for John.

Both Elizabeth and Zacharias had been given words from God about their son and the part he would play in ushering in the Messiah (whom EVERY devout Jewish person longed for.) so I think they likely hung on to those words as the days drifted onwards.

I think they didn’t worry or care about what people thought about their raising of John. I think they just decided to hold him loosely, knowing he was a gift that had been entrusted to them to raise for the benefit of an entire nation.

Maybe that knowledge made it easier when they had to sacrifice the dreams that come with having a baby.

Think about it.

Knowing that you are old and you likely won’t have and will never see your son fully grown up. Knowing you might die when’s he’s little and worrying about the trauma you might cause him. Knowing you’ll never know if there was a continuation of your family tree, because God has not given him your family name to carry on. Knowing that you’ll likely never have grandkids. Knowing that he’s not likely going to be like the other kids that are all around you.  (and I wonder this: did they know that he might prematurely die because of destiny God had for him?).

All these sacrifices are what parents who have kids that have special needs or chronic/terminal illnesses have to process through. They know that their children won’t ever be like the “rest of the kids”and that can be painful.

But every parent has to deal with some worries, some apprehensions, some knowledge that we will never be enough. Or some disappointment with how our kid is turning out.

But maybe facing these things and giving them to God is ever so freeing.

God spared Elizabeth and Zacharias and was so very faithful.

(He even gave them great names: Zacharias means: God remembers. And Elizabeth means: God promised and God is plentiful.)

Think about this: they were barren (so had some shame locked up in their heart-closets) that God freed them of when He gave them John.

They were old, but were re-gifted new hope, new wonder, new mysteries to dream on instead of dull waiting-for-the-end-kind-of-living.

They were seasoned and wise and had had the chance to watch everyone around them raise kids and had probably banked tons of “if we ever had a child this is what we will do” tidbits within them.

They were elderly, and were therefore likely spared (because they would have already died of old age) the terrible pain of watching your son be put in jail and beheaded by your king.

They were old enough to have lots of perspective and likely didn’t stress out about the little things (like desert scorpions, sheesh!) and instead kept their eyes and hearts focused on the fact that they KNEW God had said: “And YOU child, will be called the prophet of the Most High: For you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways.”

They were able to let John’s spirit go and get strong (vs 80) as he met with God in the desert because Zacharias had everything that John needed. (He was a priest and could train John in the scriptures and ways of God without even leaving home.)

They were given the life of awesomeness. (Side thought:but God did promise good things to those who were righteous and faithful- and they were both. (Luke 1:6))

So where does this leave me?

Personally- I want to raise my kids with the assurance of God’s PERFECT timing (it was super perfect for Elizabeth and Zacharias)  so that I’m not fretting over the “what was or what will be’s?”

I want to raise my kids knowing that God has a plan for them. That it’s His plan, not my plan, so I can relax a little.

I want to raise my kids knowing that whatever they need to face whatever God’s got planned, He has likely provided it to me already. (Think Zacharias having priestly training for John’s career as a preacher…)

I want to raise my kids not worrying about legacy-leaving the way that the world does. I want to launch them with God’s dreams in their hearts, not my own grand-baby kind of dreams.

I want to be reminded that each child is special. Every last one has been perfectly timed, perfectly choreographed for the part and role they are playing in God’s amazing story.

And I want to not stress out about the small details as much. Haircuts and skinny jeans aren’t predictors of success. (I know, I know.)

I want to give them the freedom to meet God and be strengthened in their spirits- and that part might look unconventional.  But it is important.

Most importantly- I want to ask God each day to remind me that these babies I am raising are actually His children, and to hold them tightly and loosely as they grow in being a blessing to the people around them.

(P.S. I soooooooo want to meet Elizabeth and Zacharias when I get to heaven. Seriously. They are my new hero parents!)



Clarified. (Again.)

Kids. What wouldn’t we do for our kids? How many dreams would we fill for them if we could?

Hudson got a letter in the mail about 2 months ago letting us know that he is eligible for the “Make a Wish” program, which is available to any child battling a life-threatening illness.

A couple nights ago, he and the big kids sat down with me to google “Make a Wish” and we watched Youtube video after video of all the fun wishes that kids had received. Some went to Disney, some got new rooms, some had a favourite person come and meet with them, and they were all very sweet.

The thing is: when you get a “Make a Wish” letter in the mail, you have this terrible realization as a parent that if the hardness of the journey isn’t real yet, it suddenly becomes terrifyingly real.

You have a heart-sinking-like-a-rock realization that you are now the parent of a child who is battling for their life. This is not how you typically imagine your parenting journey will be when you are planning your coming babies nursery. Not how you would imagine your parenting journey when you are thinking about RESP’s and planning which schools they should attend. Not what you think about when you prepare to return to work after your mat leave.

It’s a weird, weird place to be. To be confronted with your child’s mortality every day. Those of us who are younger suppose that it is a normal place for some people to be- after all, the aged in their retirement homes are supposed to be grateful for each day they have and try to “live life to the fullest” because they don’t know how much longer they will have.

But it’s not typically how you start your parenting journey.

And so a slow slide has happened for me in my soul. I’m just realizing it now.

After we got the letter, a friend of mine reminded me of what a beautiful AWESOME gift it is that we’ve been provided with- imagine! Any wish Hudson’s wants will come true when he’s ready! He can even take the whole immediate family to Disney World if he wants. Crazy!

But the only wish I’ve really wanted isn’t on the list. I’ve wanted Hudson’s health so badly. I’ve wanted for this exhausting circle of doctors, specialists, needles, coughing, medicines and supplements to be over. I’ve wanted to see Hudson strong, growing, running, going to school like a “normal” kid. I’ve believed my goals were noble, right, good and I’ve spent most of my time petitioning God for Hudson’s healing. It’s what I think about day and night, and it’s what I want more than anything.

Luke 14:25-35

” A large crowd was following Jesus. 

He turned around and said to them,  “If you want to be my disciple (my follower), you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 

 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?  Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ (

“Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

“Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again?  Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”

With chronic illness, our hearts can wander into dangerous territory:

Coveting- because we wish we had the health of others.

Greed-because even if we are well for a time, it’s never enough.

Selfishness/Self-pity- because we are the ones who need more than others. It’s not fair.

Pride- because we don’t want to ask for help, we are tired of always being the one to ask for help.

Deception-if God really loved us, He would take this “cross” of illness off our shoulders and let us skip and run in the meadows…. therefore, does He love us?

Fear- looking into the future and feeling like there won’t be enough. Enough time, enough resources, enough patience or enough hope.

My heart has stayed into all these places at times, because the desire I have for Hudson’s healing burns within me so intensely everyday. But it has become a distraction. It has become a goal that has had me following Hudson, instead of Jesus.

I have made living life the goal. Staying alive and being well while being alive have become the goal.

And you know what? It feels hollow. Empty. Like something is missing.  That’s because it’s missing something more important- Jesus.

Jesus wanted us to make our relationship with Him the priority- and THEN He would provide life, even life that was overflowing.

Why? Because how hard would it be to keep a marriage alive with all the best bits of love (the mystery, romance, surprises, conversations) if you only married for the things that the other person offered you? What would you do if they could no longer offer you those things? Couldn’t it eventually destroy your relationship?

So following Jesus around these days, looking for a “healing-hand-out” so that I can get on with my normal life, and be a normal family again is exactly why I had to read this scripture this morning.

Following Jesus is about being with Him. Nothing held back. No secret manipulative, negotiating motives. Just being with Him because.

Because He made us. Because He will be the ultimate prize when we die. Not the stuff, the health, the experiences, the travel, the family, not even the very awesome heavenly home or rewards He promised us…. Just Him.

And the real catch? When I peel back the layers of what I really want, more than anything, I want peace and happiness in my home. I have allowed Hudson’s illness to rob me of peace and happiness in my heart, because I set my eyes on his health above all. (Hard not to, when you see your kids struggling to breathe- so don’t think I’m over here self-condemning– I get that this is strange and so tough.)

But I’m brought back– peace and happiness always are a place that is hidden inside our hearts, and are not given to us by our external circumstances. Because even when everything is perfect, we can be freaking out inside that the perfection will end someday and we don’t want it to.

So the inner bit of us matters more than the outer bits do. And the only One who has ever lastingly affected my inner-bits has been Jesus.  When I am with Him in my heart, I do have peace. I do have joy. I do have a face like steel that can face an uncertain circumstances and know that they do not dictate my present state of being.

Hear Jesus’s words: If I make Him first, I will finish the tower (accomplish the goals I set out), win the war (we will have peace and victory), be the salty salt (be a desirable and good mom, friend and pastor.)

If He is first, I will get to walk with Him as He walks with me carrying our crosses together. For I do not serve a God who is unwilling to experience pain, heart ache, and sorrow with me.

In fact, He suffered more than I will ever suffer. And He trusted His Father to the very end.

Oh, how He loves us!

Why shouldn’t I trust Him? And why shouldn’t I pray with, model and train my children that a relationship with Jesus is the lasting prize- (oh! how their faces light up when they get to hang out with Nana or Grandma or Papa- they prefer the people over gifts every time…)

So, walking with Him allows me to sink fully into the place of thankfulness, excitement and gratitude I want to be in when I consider “Make a Wish.” How cool, how insanely awesome it is to be in a world where people care about kids like Hudson! We are blessed, blessed, blessed! But it’s nice to know deep down that the “Wish” isn’t the goal, being with Jesus each day is. No one can take that, and that wish never ends….

I want to finish my life well– and as I run this marathon, it’s nice to have the goal re-clarified– it’s not what I can get from God, it is  being with God Himself.




jesus-with-a-child.jpgOn Friday, Hudson had another MRI. This makes four scans for him- and he has rocked every single one of them.

As parents, we couldn’t be more proud, more relieved and more thankful to have a four-year old who seems to have the grace to knuckle down and do whatever the doctors are asking him to do with a minimal amount of tears and drama.

It makes the difficult bits for all of us just a little easier.

This time, Andrew took Hudson to the London Children’s hospital to have his scan at the bright and sunny hour of 7:30 am. (Which meant a wake-up and go of 5:30am…)

I got up with my two boys, and spent the time they were driving in prayer before my big kids needed to get to school.

I started by praying the same old things… “God, keep them safe… God give them peace…. God help Hudson to be brave…. God help him to stay still and to be patient…”

And two minutes later, I was in full blown tears-and-kleenex-laying-on-the-floor- kind of praying.

I realized that even though it’s Hudson’s body that is in pain and suffering, it is Andrew and I who are being broken and remoulded in this time too.

There are so many kinds of brokenness, and countless blogs, devotionals and self-help books on the topic. Many have been incredibly helpful to us as we face the future.

But for me, on that day, I saw the layers we were walking through and finally a way forward began to surface.

Hudson’s asthma is our immediate, life-threatening concern. He struggles nearly every week to keep his lungs filled with the air he needs to live. It means countless trips to the family doctor and ER, and consistent daily monitoring with lots of puffers and medications. It can be exhausting, draining and is just one foot-after-the-other healing.

Some of us have brokenness that is like asthma- the kind that threatens our very breath. It robs us of life. It becomes a top priority to find help to manage- because with out help, there will be no further life.

Hudson’s tumour isn’t as urgent- it’s stable, (annoying) and unwelcome. But it’s not an immediate-life-threatening issue right now. (It has potential to be, but it isn’t.)

Some of our brokenness is like that tumour– annoying, but manageable. It can be damaging if we “pretend” that it isn’t there, that our hearts aren’t wounded or that our lives don’t need some attention from time to time. But it’s not the kind of broken that needs to consume us. We can live, we can fight, we can keep reaching for our goals (like making it to Kindergarten class each day for Hudson.)

Hudson’s stamina and overall health isn’t even on most doctor’s radars- but it is on my mom radar. I’m the one that keeps pushing the health care providers, and they keep surfacing new mystery’s each time I press– such as, why have his iron-levels dropped dramatically again? And why does he keep getting ear infections? And why can’t he make it through a whole day at week at school without getting really sick?

This level of broken is the kind that only God knows we have- the sort of deep level soul-sickness that we can’t see and need a Father to help us unravel. The kind that only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us, and send us the help we need to solve the mystery. This is when that awesome daily connection we have with Him makes our lives infinity more hopeful- He keeps pressing us to wholeness, health and stamina….but we can’t even see what needs fixing even though He is monitoring us moment by moment.

When I sat up with my kleenex and reflected on the depth of my thoughts, an old song wriggled into my conscience. “Put in me, a clean heart, put in me O God…” (Enter the Worship Circle by Waterdeep.)

He moved me past broken thoughts, and made my mind flood with images of the past.

There was a time when my mom was in a desperate, urgent need of healing- and it seemed like that time would never end, that she would never be made whole. We prayed and prayed, but nothing was swift or immediate.

That was over 20 years ago– and when her face was in my mind, I only saw the joy and beauty of a life slowly transforming and still healing- she is not who she was. She is INFINITELY better, INFINITELY more beautiful and compassionate.

There was the time when I was in distress of what I should become when I grew up. I sought in anguish (and was so worried I would disappoint God)  and wondered every day if I had made the right choices. And  then my heart was filled with gratitude, because today I am living and loving the woman He is growing me up to become.

Looking behind and seeing the marks of God on my life and the lives I’ve journeyed with was like getting to a resting ledge on a rock-climbing trip. I sat, rested, looked down at the climb and breathed deeply.

And then I looked up and I saw only Faith, Hope and Love calling me forward.

Faith- because He was with me, He never left any of us, and He had woven all those things below me together for good.

Hope, because why WOULDN’T He keep that pattern? He must have a purpose, because He definitely invested in us.

Love- why would He do this for me? For my family? How great must His love be if He picked us out of the 7 billion people (and counting) on the planet?

Yesterday we heard from the family doctor that Hudson’s tumour scans are as we expected- stable, no growth or change and still there. (Phew.)

So, we have to buckle up and get comfortable in the waiting period again (which can be about as easy as trying to relax while you are going up the giant hill of a roller coaster ride you didn’t want to go on in the first place).

But I think this next season of waiting will be easier- because I will look behind, and sing the praises of what has happened as I wait for the what will be.