Imagine – FMF

Joining up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Fridays. Join us as we write for five minutes on a topic that inspires each of us differently. Link up and then check out some of the other entries. Always fascinating to see how the same word inspires people so differently.

WORD: Imagine


The first that comes to mind when I think of Imagine is the song by the Beatles…i think. and while I only know bits and pieces, the part that is so clearly cemented in my mind is ‘and the world will live as one’. I’m not sure how they got to that point in the song, but I do know that the only place anyone will ‘live as one’ is when we are in heaven, and the worship and adoration of our Lord is our every moment’s breathe. Peace is a good thing to hope and strive for, but sometimes it just won’t be a reality on this earth.

Its hard to imagine what world peace might look like, because i’m sure that when people think about it there are many different images that come to their minds. But i think that it would look like alot less shooting, less bombs, less famine, less abduction, less slavery, it would be a place where evil was not present because only then true peace can be found. But an evil and sinless world…will not exist again, until the Lord returns and the new heaven and earth are set in place. The fall in the garden was the event that was foreknown to take place and yet while it marred the perfection of what He had created…he knew there would be found salvation in the provision of His Son to set the possibility of true peace back on the table.


 Five Minute Friday

writing starts with living


Writing starts with living. – L.L. Barkat

People’s stories have always intrigued me. There is nothing I like more then to settle into conversation with someone and hear about where they have found themselves on this journey of life. Sometimes its someone that I’m just coming to know, other times its someone whose journey I’ve been blessed to already be a part of. I also love to converse about things that wander around in my mind, quotes I’ve heard, problems I’ve been trying to figure out, scriptures I’ve been trying to understand in my heart and my head.

And I’ve always loved to write. When I was young I would write down all kinds of things. I was intent on writing a book, and while I’m sure I never got more than a few pages in, it was always filled with the delightful meanderings of my imagination. As I grew up, my writing turned to filling pages of diaries with the angst of teenage years and trying to figure out what I was and where I fit in. Poems filled my head as the only way I could begin to express what was going on inside of me. I’m thankful for poetry…for my ability to be okay with free verse, for my hand that wrote so quickly across the page, and for my parents who provided me journal after journal, page after page…because they knew it was therapeutic for me.

And for me, I’ve only just realized that its true…that living and writing are very much in parallel to one another. I work through alot of my living by writing it down, or thinking about it none stop (and would be much more productive if I actually wrote it down). And truly living, seeking to truly live…you have all kinds of things to write about. dreams you have, moment that shaped you, quandaries that keep you up at night, amazing quotes from people who inspire you, its all so very wonderful. I think that my writing helps me live my life, work through my life, see my life as it is and how it could be. I think that living helps me to write, to change my writing, to experiment, to share, to wallow, to show gratitude, to share heart moments.

they bleed to know they are alive

I have never touched razor to skin
the marks leaving moments of truth
emblazoned on skin
its my belief
that these tattoos
often emblazoned across wrists
on the thighs
under close which cover secrets
are not to kill but to wound
to see the blood drip
to feel the slice
to know that there IS feeling
that they are alive
when everything within them
feels dead
and i’ve seen these tracks
I’ve taken in scarring from wrist to elbow
and my heart writhed in pain
my mouth silent, it wasn’t my place
but those little white lines
those marks, each a story telling
bruise me a little each time I consider
like a sucker punch to the gut
what hellish torment existed
what screams of internal agony
releasing through swift movement
flash of light on silver surface
marred by blood crimson surface bright
intelligence is not lacking
their brains are full on fire
but these cells they don’t shut off
and the voices don’t stop shrieking
and the numbness just goes deeper
and so they seek release
they seek an answer
they seek the cutting off of demon heads
and power that only blades can offer
and in the midst of it all
they bleed to know they are alive
they bleed to know they have a voice
they bleed to know that they feel
and the blood
and the scars
and the voices

live forever.

by Janel Andrews written May 28/2013

The Afternoon – #concrete words

cat yoga
Creative commons picture from here

The glowing sun was making its rounds of my front porch. It had started with its dewy hand early in the morning on the front corner of the rough hewn wood. As it waned westward across the worn timber, it left warm patches of glorious sunspots across the surface.

I found myself rocking in rhythm to the sound of the buzz of afternoon insects, as they chanted their routine of flitting in and out, up an down, white noise which filled my ears. With the ebb and flow of the movement of my chair, my feet would dance in and out of the sun washed pools of light that lingered on the porch. The decadence of having my toes warmed, soon moved up my spine and into the rest of me, like a big hug wrapped cocoon like around my frame.

The cat from next door slowly made her way daintly through the overgrown grass of the side lawn, casting curious glances as my porch and my slow rocking back and forth. She would stop with tail poised and whiskers twitching  to test the moment, and see if she should step further in or slink from whence she had come. After a couple flicks of her tail in time with her ears, she begins to carefully saunter the last few steps to reach the bottom ledge.

Cats are curious creatures. They often want to be near people because of what they offer them, but they don’t want to be indebited. it seems a forever tug and pull within them to figure out what might work best for them. I could see her eyeing me with her emerald green eyes, mesmerizing in her deep ebony face. Her purring entered the cadence of the bugs humming that I had previously been rocking in time with. The quizzical look on her face told me she was contemplating the sun spots at my feet, but wary of the personal sacrifice she would have to surrender in order to come that near to me.

We were not strangers to one another. She had made her way to our porch several times before, knowing that our veranda was full of beautiful places to lounge about quite comfortably in the sun she so craved. At her house, there were many little hands which sought to pick her up and place one more bow in her hair…and the quiet calm of just my husband and I seemed to sit well with her. In her younger days she had spent hours sitting on the porch swing intent on the birds who hovered so near feeding at our feeder. She had never leapt in the air to snatch one, to my knowledge, but she was kept quite busy making sure that nothing escaped her gaze.

I continued to move my chair in rhythm to the sound of nature’s symphony, one of the reasons I loved spending time on my porch. After I had a quick bite to eat for lunch, I would often slip out for a few moments of solitude before getting back at the task at hand. I brought a cup of tea with me, sipping at it as I let my feet propel me on a journey all their own.  Spring had returned to us, and with it the blessing of the return of these moments to let my toes feel the fresh air and be warmed by the smiling face of the golden orb.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. The neighborhood feline had made up her mind, and was making her way up the stairs very gingerly. I knew that any sudden movement would cause her to scamper away, thinking better of the risk it took for her to get close to me. The rhythm of the rocking chair was old news to her, something she associated with her time spent on the porch. She has been to see us so often that the porch swing not creaking in its aging way or the soft thump of the rocking chair would be something unfamiliar to her.  I knew that soon I would be sharing my spot of sun that was so filling my soul with warm.

With a saucy glance my way and a stretch in a way only felines can, she settled herself in front of me and then laid down. She stretched her full length, gave a sign of contentment and then began to purr in earnest. Her purring became so loud that it almost drowned out the bugs around, the creaking of the swing or the thump of my chair. She was content and she wasn’t afraid to let the world know. While I had made my way to the porch for some solitude, I didn’t mind that this friend had decided to share some time with me enjoying the warming after such a cold winter.

I closed my eyes and continued to rock, the cocoon of the sun’s warmth still so snug around me, and with a sigh…I too settled back into a few more minutes of contentment.

View -FMF

Joining with Lisa-Jo for Five-Minute Friday. An opportunity to write for five minutes unedited on a randomly chosen topic. There is freedom in this writing…and many other writers participate as well. Its wonderful to see how the same word triggers all kinds of glorious shared moments in the lives of others. Take a moment to write your thoughts for five minutes and then link up at the above link. Make sure you check out and comment on some of the other writers as well!


Jennifer and I climbing ‘La Chiminee’ , France 2003

Topic: VIEW


When I think of ‘view’, i think of the phrase ‘the view from here’. And upon recollection of some of the views i’ve been able to see, one of the most spectacular was when I climbed a mountain in France.

In 2003 I was spending the summer working at Camp des Cimes (Camp of the Peaks) outside of bourg d’Oisans in the Loire valley. Needless to say we were nestled in the midst of some of the small alps and so while the mountains rose up around us we didn’t really understand their magnitude.

There was a trail up the side of one mountain that we could see from across the valley where our camp was located. It was called ‘La Chiminee’ (The Chimney). It rose up the side of a bare face with switchbacks that carried you up to the top after a grueling hike. I’m not sure whether this was part of the name or not, but as we climbed we soon found that the bare face of the rock absorbed and then reflected the heat of the sun back at us, so that gave us a bit of an inclination as to why it might be termed ‘the chimney’.

Upon arriving at the ‘top’ of the mountain, we turned around to survey where we had come from and much to our surprise off in the distance we could see our camp, and then realized that we were a tiny little grouping of houses and there were villages ABOVE that camp that we didn’t even know existed. It was fascinating to see that once you have a bigger sense of where you are located you can see how vast something is.

When we went on a day off to the local ski resort ‘Let Deux Alpes’ (The Two Alps) we decided to take the gondola ride to the top of the mountain area where people began their ski expeditions down the mountain. It was over 100 degrees farenhiet at the resort and we took three gondola’s to the top of the alpes. Each crest we peaked we thought we’d see the mountains stretching out before us but instead we kept going higher and back farther than we thought possible into this tremedous yawning area of vast mountains. when we got out at the top in our tank tops, shorts and flipflops we realized we were a bit under dressed and quickly ran to the lodge where we had a lovely supper. It became clear to us why we had seen people walking around in snowsuits at the resort when we could barely breathe in our summer attire. They had been preparing for this.

As we sat in the lodge and had hearty meal with some french white wine, we looked out and couldn’t believe the view we had. Mountains for as far as the eye could see. Breathtaking.

Five Minute Friday

The Cup – #concretewords

As a final and specially prepared Passover supper was ending, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his Apostles, saying, “Take, eat” (Matt. 26:26). “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). In a similar manner he took the cup of wine, traditionally diluted with water, said a blessing of thanks for it, and passed it to those gathered about him, saying: “This cup is the new testament in my blood,” “which is shed … for the remission of sins.” “This do in remembrance of me.” “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (Luke 22:20; Matt. 26:28; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:26). [this summation found here]

image by isafmedia on Flickr. Click on picture for source

In the midst of silence of heart and song filled lips I find myself seeking to have some kind of intimate knowledge of what these two elements reflect. All I can fill my imagination with is images that I’ve seen produced of the excruciating event of your body being broken for me, your blood filling the cup of grace and covering my life with your mercy. So often the rhythm of  life has crowded out this image, has made it more palatable and seemingly more forgettable. It took a focus on the season of Lent and coming to understand the devastation of ‘Good’ Friday and the waiting of the disciples to come to an understanding of the horror of it all and the hope that would come, to really bring it to a different place for me.

As I sought an image to best express what I wanted to express about cup and my connection of it with communion, I came across the picture above. And everything about the picture beckoned to me. According to the photographer, it was taken during advent at a base in Afghanistan when the soldiers were having a service.

And I thought of the heat and the dirt crusting their faces. I thought of their mission to protect the people. I thought of the friends that they have lost along the way. I thought of the belief system that has to go so deep to keep them carrying on in the midst of such heart devastating situations.

And I saw them breaking the bread. I saw them drinking from the cup. “This is my body given for you…this is my blood poured out to you”

And I saw the brotherhood…I saw the cries, I saw the shots, I saw the bombs, I saw the fear, I saw the families torn apart…and I saw that his body was broken for all of this.  I see the minds torn apart by horror, I saw the incalculable risks, i saw the determination for freedom…and I saw that his blood was poured out for this.

If anyone would understand some part of this sacrifice it would be these soldiers. That while their sacrifice does not spread freedom to souls, they are spreading freedom in the nitty gritty of life…in the every day moments, in the continued devotion to what they feel is their calling.

And as I reflect on the cup…on the bread…and those who experience what might be a reflection of the horror of that evening every day…I am thankful for the hope, for the peace, for the mercy and grace that flowed from that moment in history. A moment that overflowed a cup of humanity’s sin and washed it whiter than the whitest thing we can imagine…with the blood and body of the only one able to offer this beautiful sacrifice.

remembering the reason

It was so refreshing to write yesterday, to remember that this blog is supposed to be about writing down what is on my heart and not necessarily writing for an audience. I am glad to have access to some wonderful outlets and challenges to get me out of my shell, but I need to remember that my writing is for my working out of things, and not about what people are going to say about what I’m writing.

After meeting so many amazing people at Jumping Tandem, I felt a bit overwhelmed reading all the amazing blogs and felt that I had to live up to something that wasn’t me at all. After being blessed with the inspiration for two very wonderful posts, I became overwhelmed with the fact that I had to live up to those comments I had received and this had a numbing effect on my writing.

So I have been missing for a bit. And i’m inspired…but I’m still trying to find my footing again. So it might be quiet for a bit…or you might see me throwing out a thing or two.

Song = FMF


joining with the other lovely writers at Lisa-Jo’s for FMF. we write for five minutes on a topic and then link up and read some of each others posts and see how one words speaks into hearts and souls differently. Check it out!

Today’s Prompt: Song


I have always loved musical instruments. Watching the deft fingers of performers bringing the beautiful strains of music from them makes my heart sing.

When I was younger we had the opportunity to go on stage before a concert and meet the musicians and interact with their instruments. I know that the stage was full of instruments, but the only thing I remember is the beautiful HUGE harp and getting to try to strum it. Its one of the most beautiful sounds, harp music and when played by an artisan seems effortless, but when you get up to it and try to interact with it without knowing its secrets, its a hard taskmaster.

It was a concert specifically designed for children, so we settled down into our seats and enjoyed hearing the sounds made by professionals after our clumsy fingers had known the joy of trying them out.

In my teen years were were blessed to live about an hour from Toronto and we attended several amazing musical and theatrical productions. We were able to sit on the floor seats (as opposed to the balcony) and were allowed to wander up to the front and peer over into the orchestra pit. it amazed me that so many instruments could fit in this space under the stage and that they would be part of the theatrics. After returning to my seat and the play beginning it was fascinating for me to realize (after the fact) that the musicians had seamlessly entered into the tale and my heart had been filled with rapture even when I wasn’t consciously discerning mere lines from an actors mouth and the music that accompanied their tale.

in the later years of high school we attended several beautiful productions at the Symphony London building and it always filled me with great joy. i remember paying particular attention to the gentleman on first violin because I knew that it was such an honoured position. The movements of the conductor always fascinated me, that his facial gestures and a hand with a mere wand could create such move and flex in the music we heard. I also watched the musicians with awe as they interacted with their instruments in a manner that seemed as if they had become one and embodied the music.

While I was certainly intent on seeing how the music was formed, I also found myself getting lost in it. And for the moments that it filled my ears and my heart…I was swept away.

Five Minute Friday


“Wrestling is worship too” – Nasreen

Last Thursday I had a most wonderful day. I got to speak on the phone to Nasreen (a beautiful woman who I met at Jumping Tandem). We had been chatting on Facebook and God laid it on her heart to call me and chat with me. We only had about half an hour but what goodness came from that conversation.

and the statement above is one of the first things is what she took from what I was telling her *after praying over our conversation, which was such a blessing*. This made my heart a bit lighter.

Its hard being someone who lives alot of your life in your head. I’m an introvert with extroverted tendencies, which means that i love people, but usually in small groups and then I have to retreat for a bit to refresh. it has taken me some time to get to know this about myself and I have now grown very protective of time needed to refresh.

But this morning it came to me that I’m tired of wrestling. That doesn’t mean that I won’t do it. Its just that i find it exhausting. And I wonder, does anyone else wander and fight through all the things that I’ve been trying to discern on a daily basis. Maybe I’ve been trying to figure out life on my own. Maybe the small things have been clogging my focus. I’m not sure…but I think its time to speak out the words, rather than having the wrestling going on inside of me…and exhausting me.

its been almost two years since I’ve been back from school. Almost two years since what I thought the dream of my life was seemed to explode in my face. When I left school it was recommended that I see a counselor to work through my emotions and perhaps see what took place. God in his grace gave me the most wonderful counselor I have every had the chance to work with. And alot of healing and journeying took place.

And then…one day, he told me before our session that he was going to break off and do some independant work. he didn’t know when he’d be up and running and didn’t want to leave me without someone. He told me that there were a couple other really great counsellors and he’d be happy to recommend one to me. A little something broke inside me that day. I expressed distress that we would no longer be meeting, realized how attached I had become to him, and despaired of ever finding a counselor who would challenge and uplift me in the way that he had.

I said I’d find someone in London. I looked into it and never followed through. And now, I find that it seems that I need someone to journey alongside me on these thought journeys. I need someone to hear my struggle, to affirm that they see the sides I see, and not give me the answers but perhaps clarify in the midst of the confusion for me.

Tasks have sometimes been a problem for me. When I’m done something I look back and see that 1) there was probably a better way to do it and 2) others would do it much differently then I. I have always struggled in assignments to make sense of each of the steps required to fulfill what is required, and have had to write myself lists sometimes to figure it out. So when it comes to dealing with all the ideas and thoughts and convictions that are fighting it out in my mind, i think I need a referee.

and Not just any referee. One who can point me to Christ. Who can affirm me time and time again that the answers are found IN Him and in relationship WITH Him. 

Some of these explains why you haven’t seen much writing here. Some of this revolves around my perfectionist tendencies. I’m so thankful for this place. I need to write through more things..not just keep letting them revolve around incessantly within me.

comfort – fmf

Joining with Lisa-Jo for her Five Minute Friday (although lately I’ve not managed to DO it on Friday) Writing for five minutes on one topic with lots of other writers. Join in the fun every Friday.

Word of the day: COMFORT


Interestingly enough when I first saw this word, the thing that came to mind was ‘Comfort ye my people’. I knew it was a verse I’d heard somewhere, but wasn’t sure where.  When i looked it up, I found it was one of the main parts in the middle of the Messiah by Handel. Interesting.

but what really resonated with me was that this week has been one of giving comfort to others, and its not been comfort that I have the ability to give, because I don’t necessarily know about what they are going through, but He does and he can pour out his comfort through me.

I have a friend whose family is going through a very difficult family situation. On Friday I took myself over to her house (with a bit of coffee for her and hot chocolate for her youngest) and sat and listened to hear pour her heart out. Her and her husband and their family have become such dear friends to me in this past year, and so I found it to be such a blessing that she would want to share her heart with me. As I heard her speak of the ways that her heart has been broken in the past week, my heart filled with sorrow for her. i don’t remember what I said, I hope I affirmed her and blessed her in her role as a mother and as a wonderful woman of God. I hope i spoke his hope into her life.

and while I was fully present when I was visiting her, as I left on my way home i began to think about all the other people who were going through their own sorrow and difficulty. Those who are in my church and those who are not…people who I perhaps see every day. and it made me wonder, who else needs this comfort. Who else longs to have someone sit with them through the quiet. through the tears. through the ups and down and questions and screaming and weeping and rest. I pray they do. I pray that the Lord will open my eyes to ask people how they are and take the time to HEAR their answer, see their hearts and if I am blessed to know pieces of their story…that I might somehow be used of the Lord to speak comfort…comfort among this hurting world, which the Lord our God loves so much and desires an intimate relationship with, letting them know that he will never leave nor forsake them.


join the other writers HERE this week as we ponder comfort