Flowers and prayer

Turns out flowers remind me to pray.

This year since the peonies bloomed in June I’ve kept a vase of flowers in the middle of my kitchen island. They are anchored in the middle of my kitchen because they are beautiful yes but also to remind me to continue praying as I go about my day. A little talisman reminding me that even when it feels like I can do nothing and the whole world is going to shit – I am wrong. I can do something. I can pray.


These days there is basically nothing I understand about prayer except that it helps me see God and my soul tells me it isn’t ever futile. I don’t know how it works. I don’t know why miracles sometimes happen or why sometimes in spite of prayer tragedies happen.

But if I can be a little honest here where I feel a little safe, I must admit I’m growing to love it that way. My made from stardust self is growing to embrace the mystery and the uncertainty and to keep on praying anyway. I’m starting to see prayer as both an incredibly obedient and an incredibly gutsy act of faith. Thinking about the idea that we pray because we are so loved by God that we are invited to join into a incomprehensible holy act can take my breath away. Thinking about people and God outpouring love together makes me weep.

So I replaced those flowers every week and I prayed. I prayed for Syria, I prayed for our earth, I prayed for all the hurting and hungry. I prayed for my friends, their parent, their children. I prayed for my parents, my children, my husband. I prayed for myself. I lamented and I rejoiced and I said prayers of thanksgiving that we are all abundantly loved by a God of new life. I prayed that I keep being both brave and trusting enough to participate in the mystery.

Part one on flowers here

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When we moved out to our acreage five summers ago I didn’t really care about growing flowers. I spent the first three years trying to establish a veggie garden and planting more fruit trees and bushes. There was an extremely neglected flower bed outside our front door – the one we hardly ever use but I ignored it in my pursuits to grow things that could feed us.

Last summer I finally had kids that were old enough to have energy left over to care that I felt embarrassed about that neglected spot in our yard so I planted a few rose bushes I found on sale.  Those few bushes I threw in to cover my shame ended up bringing me so much goodness I’ve inadvertently become a flower gardener.

Turns out it’s quite therapeutic for me to head out every morning in my bare feet to see what is blooming, pull a few dead heads here and there while I sip coffee in pjs. Sometimes I get warmed through and through by the sun. Other days I put my old housecoat my grandmother gave me when I was a teenager and the rain drips down into my eyes. Of late I have to watch that I don’t slip on the ice that has formed on our deck during the night as it melts beneath my still bare feet. Turns out all of it feels like heaven.

Turns out I love the colours and the growth, looking for new plants and trading with friends. Turns out growing flowers helps me feel present and alive. Turns out I hear God out there.



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Back Home

We came home from vacation yesterday. Aaron and I spent yesterday doing all the just got home after a few weeks away camping type things. Seven loads of laundry, mowing the lawn, unloading the leftover odds and ends of groceries. Cleaning all the beach sand and keep kids occupied while driving obscene amounts of both distance and time items out of the van. Those types of things. Life type of things.

Today we were right back at it. All the kids had VBS this morning (I’m volunteering) and Liam went back to soccer skills training. Aaron was at the office for 13 hours trying to get a little caught up there.

I picked our raspberries and our beans – the tomatoes are starting to ripen and the peas were a bust this year. We sorted and distributed 500 or so pounds of fruit from my parents no spray orchard to my food coop friends out of our kitchen. We hit up the library to return read books and pick up some new items on hold. We needed milk and a few other basics so we went to the grocery store too.

Moving from camping holidays where the pace is so slow and steady (even monotonous at times) to the first few filled overflowing days at home leaves me off kilter. I’m happy to be home: to sleep on sheets with no sand in them and to have a longer shower where I’m not wearing flip flops because the campsite shower floors are always dirty.  But I’m also dizzy at all there is to do.

Those first few days I’m always wondering what to do next until the catch up is done and things are back to our normal home rhythms. Where we are moving from the wonder and beauty of being all together outdoors by the sea to the wonder that is our everyday life.

Home rhythms

This weeks chalkboard wisdom. Art by Haven.

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Mondays and cupcakes

We had to wake up early on a Monday after a full, full weekend to get to an appointment for one of the kids. No one within our walls is a morning person by nature and we were all wishing for an hour more sleep. My house smelt like five people’s stale, sweaty soccer gear waiting to be washed and garbage that should have been taken out the day before.

No one was getting ready, or eating breakfast or brushing their teeth. I kept finding them all with books or toys, quietly settled instead of staying on task. There was one giant melt down before we left the house – I told them it was okay, they were sad, they were frustrated and rubbed their back. I ignored my impulse to tell them there was no time for this, they were too big for this, this was not a big deal.

Sometimes it feels like there is no time for compassion.

We made it eventually, we all got in the car, two out of three with brushed teeth and made it to our appointment just on time. Then, we start the drive home. There was a lot of bickering from the back seat. I put in one headphone and turned on my music (highly sensitive mama’s driving with kids survival tip).

Still it got too loud and at one point I yelled ‘would everyone be QUIET!’. It worked for two minutes before the bugging and bickering started up again.

So I took them all for cupcakes.

Here is one tiny thing I know about life. Sometimes we all act like assholes. We pick a fight when we should pick peace, we yell when we should listen. We melt down when it is inconvenient.

There is no such thing as perfect.

Yet there is such as thing as beloved – it has nothing to do with how we act – it has to do with who made us. It’s an unfathomable idea. How we are so loved all the time, no matter what we do. How that love is expanding continually like the universe itself. Nothing can ever convey it fully.

I still feel this urging inside to try though. To give my children and myself glimpses that it is okay to melt down, yell, disagree, bug, bother, be selfish and act ungrateful. All that doesn’t change how you are loved. How you are needed. How you are cherished. How you are safe here in this place of beloved love when you are not at your best.

And just for one day, that looked like cupcakes.

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