Monday, November 27, 2017


Compassion is a prayer that my heart is drawn to pray.
There is simplicity in compassion; kindness is not complex.

“Come” - “Passion”

Compassion is a choice, it is a desire, and She is a being that can fill our souls.
When we call upon her, we are inviting her to come and stir our hearts,
to become passionate about the requests that sit in heavens files.

We are inviting peace and love to be the meal that we partake of.
We are invited to share in the burden of sorrow and bear the weight of pain.

When we have compassion on the least,
on the weary and fragile pilgrims;
we are feeding them life bread and serving them the finest aged wine.

Let generosity and kindness always be served at our table,
let us cry out for passion to come to our feast!
Let us resolve that our very lives will be a bounty that many can partake in;
our Father so freely gives, may we follow his footsteps and give passion a seat.

Lead us to the hem of Compassions garment, that we may touch her fringe 
and begin to taste the generosity she has to offer.

Monday, November 20, 2017

I Will Not Cast My Presence From You

Sometimes to become a Resting Traveller on the journey of life, we must allow afford the embrace of difficult things. Questions that have no answers, theologies that don't align with the heart; we have to dare to look upon them—we have to be brave enough to consider value might be within them. Today I challenge the heart in order to walk further in rest. I want to travel with eyes to see all angles and be open to learn that which may be difficult.

I begin with a little story for today...

Once upon a time, for that is how all stories begin, there was a young woman. Only age of 16, she delivered a baby boy. No one knows for sure how that young woman became pregnant; the boy next door perhaps took advantage of her, her own father abusing his role in her life... or was she just lonely and found comfort in the physical nature of a man. Yet, we know that a child was born from her young womb. One could imagine she was scared and full of fear, so young and about to bring life into the world; life she was barely understanding at such a young age.

One could wonder if she didn't want that child, he remained nameless for weeks; why was no founding statement of his identity given quickly? Was he not worthy of a title to bear? Well, it is a wonder, not fact here in this story... let us continue.

The young woman married shortly after the birth of this child to a man who worked as a labourer. It is hard to tell how that relationship was, but knowing how hard it is to raise a child and be a wife and mother; one could say times were stressful, especially for such a young soul.

The boy-child was not safe within a home at all times, not raised in the boundaries of consistent love and contentment, no... this boy was passed to foster homes, given away, and sent to group homes over and over. His mother found guilty from a string of unlawful behaviour, he was put into situations repeatedly that no child should be found in. And in each place he lay his head to sleep, I have to wonder if he himself was taken advantage of, if he was abused or found without the nourishment of food, water, and love? Children who are transferred in foster homes find themselves with severe mental illness a great majority of the time, the trauma of abandonment and rejection bears deep wounds to their souls... I bet this child would be no different.

This sad little boy, being sent away over and over, decided one day to break away from the group home and run back to his mother; run away in order to find the heart who birthed him, for she was out of jail and could receive him! ... He was rejected by that heart, his mother refused to allow him access to her heart or her life. She tried to release him to the courts and into their possession; he was devastated as any young soul would be.

No home, no sense of belonging; this little lonely boy began to take care of himself in the only means he had; theft and the secrets of the night. But what about his heart? How did he take care of the deepening wounds of the heart, soul, and mind? Was there anyone for him? Was anyone there to show him he mattered in a world that told him he didn't?

Darkness covered his eyes and heart, he began to live a life in the shadows in order to survive. Stealing the wealth of others to buy food for his belly, robbing from the innocent to provide shelter for his body. Darkness grew and hatred interrupted his innocence daily as he had to care for himself; alone. Soon, he was not just taking what was not his; he was killing lives that were not his. His anger and sadness grew so large it overtook his innocence and became a thief to his own life.

The little lost boy just needed to be loved. He needed to be valued enough to be given a name in jubilation of his birth; not necessity of the courts. He was just a little boy who wanted to ride his bike down the street and learn to spell his name in school. A small child who liked to play toy cars and desired to run into his mothers arms and be found in her warm embrace... a child; a baby.

This child; this was Charles Manson. In the story he was so humanized; that was his story, his life. He may have grown to be a monster, but he was born a prince. Everyone comes from somewhere. We all are born in the innocence of life, yet life is not always innocent to us.

We have no right to condemn him to hell, for he already lived it here, and in a world where faith trumps darkness, where we proclaim God to be big enough to save; we must also agree that even the darkest of hearts has a child within, and perhaps it is because of those around that child, that he became dark as he did. We too are responsible for the shadI wiows of this world, we contribute to the madness when we do not love the least of these, as Jesus said. And I believe that God is big enough to handle the mess of Charles' life, that God is loving enough to hold his darkness and peel away the layers to hold the once small child and say, "I am here. You are not alone. I will not cast my presence from you."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wildly Frazzled

Have you ever felt as though some force beyond your vision and control is pushing against you away from peace? That you are fighting a battle and losing?  Today... that is my today.

Just when I thought my book was smoothly on its way at the publisher, just when I was making all the decisions for my book and seeing the hope of my words becoming a physical entity—all was removed, all has crumbled.

Circumstances beyond my control have changed the course of my publishing journey; I am left to begin again. And I am wildly frustrated, I am wildly angered and frazzled.

Yet, in the middle of the chaos that circles me like a tiger in the amazon, though I feel as prey who sits in a puddle of cold fear just trying to guard my every emotion and move forward... I make choices in this moment—I choose to rest.

Rest isn't easy. Peace isn't simple. You cannot just purchase or acquire these things as one does when picking up milk from the grocery store. Rest is a process, a culmination of choices that leads to confidence, understanding; a release of the things that bog us down through the process of surrendering to moments like this, instead of fighting them.

I don't want to feel frustrated, instead, I want to push away my anger, worry, and stress. And the only way to accomplish those goals is to agree to walk forward within them. To experience them in proper measure and then set them down on the ground for their purpose is completed, they no longer need to be held by me. 

I think that too often we run from the feelings and the moments, which leaves them attached to us longer. Its almost as if they are unable to be freed from us until we acknowledge them. The question then arises, "What if we embrace the pain and give it boundaries... could we perhaps learn from those sufferings, learn from the frustration and fear?" If I agree to use those times to learn about myself, I am willing to bet that the next time I am faced with the same kind of moments—they won't be so hard.

So today, as I sit here wondering how in the world my book is going to come alive with all this opposition, I choose to remain for a while in this yucky feeling, that I may grow and be changed, that I would learn about me and uncover new layers of myself in the process. And I choose to trust in the process, allowing this time to benefit me; to become a stepping stone that takes me higher.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Heart Leads

There is a calling and a challenge, a hope that all travellers will hear upon their trail.
This call will sound off and ring true in the deep places that lay dormant within,
awakening ones true self from slumber.

The way to find all that you seek is to wander where your heart will lead.
Your pain cannot lead... your sorrow cannot navigate.
Only your heart, which in its wisdom will use pain and sorrow not for its direction, but for its fuel.

You must listen to the heart as it ushers you through suffering.
You must agree with your feet as they tread through the pain of memory's past.
For if you do, there will be rest from the weariness, solace in the searching, truth in the reflection.

Relax, Enter, Surrender, and Trust the journey... REST in the places the heart leads you to.
Follow the call, awaken from sleep, rest in what you journey in.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Harbour

"Let down your sail, and anchor within the safety of the harbour."

There may be a storm inside, it may feel as though everything is raging and your ship may soon be found at the bottom of the sea. Destruction surrounds, the great swells of life are ready to swallow you, their powers feel greater than you.

It is a signal to look for the lighthouse and find your way to shore,
it is a signal to find the safety of the harbour.

We can't always run from the chaos, sailing away forever is not possible on the seas of life. There is a time we must learn to let down the sail, throw the anchor overboard, and wait for the calm waters; we must be alone in the boat with our own breath, our own thoughts, our own suffering.

When the heart is overwhelmed with anger and sorrow, confusion and illusion, the sea around us will rage, our trouble fierce in magnitude. If we cannot let go of control and face our darkness, if we cannot embrace our pain and allow the sufferings of life to heal and nourish us; they will instead destroy us. The storm will still rage, our boat will break, our sails will tear.

If we do not find our way to rest, towards the light that leads to the harbour where our sails will safely lower and our anchor firmly fall, then we may find ourselves lost at sea, or perhaps, our ship badly damaged and sunk to the bottom of the deep.

Let us embrace our suffering, facing it with courage.
Let us settle in the harbour and spend time with the Lighthouse; that the light of LOVE would not only lead us to the shore, but shine truth upon our darkness and lead us to peace within, lead us to calm waters.

Let us remain anchored in the weight of this one deep truth, that we ARE NOT ALONE.
We are held safe in the hands of Papa no matter the suffering storm that rages around us.

Let down your sail, and anchor within the safety of the harbour.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Urban Peasant

Food... I'm not the kind of person who is all over food, I basically eat because I have to... but I love to make fabulous food for my family and others to enjoy, because I love them, and they love food! I don't use recipes, I find them restricting and stifling, so instead I use a little INSPIRATION.

Though my mother cooked supper each night and I grew up with family all around who make everything from scratch, though I had a Grandmother who was a chef and catered many events and I was given many skills through each of these beautiful people... I didn't learn the majority of my abilities from any of them; I learned my cooking skills and passion for the kitchen from a man named James Barber - The Urban Peasant.

Everyday I would watch his TV show that aired on CBC, and that same day I would use his techniques, his confidence and his inspiration as my own, experimenting on my family and friends. I can even remember pretending I had my own cooking show, talking to an invisible camera, feeding an invisible TV audience. James had me sitting in complete attention each day ready to absorb all that he gave.

This man was simple and humble, living as himself with no mask or fake TV personality. He was the real deal, I felt so comfortable with him in our home every day through the television, I felt that if I ever were to meet him, he would give me a giant hug and say, "Lets go make something great".
He lived from 1923-2007, a truly great Canadian influence with his passion to show the world how easy it was to dine like a king with only pennies in the pocket; hence the name, Urban Peasant.

James Barber taught me the easiest way to crush garlic, chop an onion and fix a mistake by being quick to remove the barriers of what you are supposed to do and instead do what your gut tells you to do. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. He gave me the tools to blend flavours using common sense and enlightened me to the beauty in everyday ingredients all with his carefree charm and big bold smile.

He would take something like chicken and say, "Now, what are we going to do with this chicken?" He would then look around his cupboards and fridge and pull out a whole barrage of items and begin the magic of being inspired. And for me, it was as though he was handing me a key for a lifetime of dreaming through the simplicity of food. I am able to make something from nothing not only in my kitchen, but in my life, and that is in great part because of his true self that he showed on camera and shared with the world.

Something he didn't know, and could never have known, is that I not only learned how to cook because of him, but I learned how to live because of him. He taught me one of the best ingredients that can be found today; an ingredient that is readily available but not always used... INSPIRATION. There's that word again. I walked away from his show everyday with confidence to be inspired by all that surrounded, to create no matter how little I had to work with, to be inspired by the ordinary. With a sprinkle of lessons in humble living that he exuded with each waddle he took to the fridge, each smile he gave to the camera, and the idea that anything can be made extraordinary with inspiration... he changed me.

Something that I recently found out had me giggling and smiling in a sense of wonder. James Barber, The Urban Peasant, was born on March 23... the same day I was. It was another little connection of the soul with the intricate threads woven in my life's tapestry. I am willing to bet that Papa has shared a picture of me with James, to show James the depth his life had on the world; my world. To know we had the same birthday makes me feel I am part of a greater thing, the strands of my life really do add up to become a whole picture.

Besides being gifted with inspiration, and besides being able to see beauty in the little things and make kingdoms out of coal, I can say that the way I see humanity has also been changed in great part because of James, because of my Urban Peasant.

The same way James would see simple oranges, or common garlic, the way he would vivaciously exclaim that they were not ordinary but instead full of robust flavour just waiting to be paired with the right companion, this is the way I see us, the beautiful humans who roam this earth today. Though there are unfortunate hierarchy systems and status levels of poor and rich, skinny and overweight, ugly and pretty, gay or straight... (the list of division just rages rampant)... I am choosing to live with eyes that do not see anyone as greater or different, but instead as equal and unique.  I don't want to see some people as common and others as more valuable, I want to see all of us as unique ingredients that when inspiration meets us, we can create exquisite flavours that bring joy to the world around us, creating an environment that more people will want to experience; perhaps they will want to sit at our table and dine with us.

I desire a world where we can each see the true self within and outwardly, and becomes inspired to live that out fully. That we would live simply and humbly together, all hearts united to create a better place for those who will follow us for generations to come. Those who are homeless, those who are ill, the ones who are struggling with mental illness... they are part of this beautiful world, they are family and they are no different than those of us who do not carry those burdens... those of us who have our own burdens to bear, burdens of different natures but with the same heavy weight. There is no us and them, we are the same, only different in our sufferings.

Each of us is a unique ingredient within the great kitchen of life and we need unite on the kitchen counter, out of the cupboard and blend together in harmony with the understanding that inspiration will absolutely without a doubt... create a beautiful thing upon the metaphorical table.

Thank you James. Thank you for sharing your true self with us, with me. Our world is a better place because of you.
James Barber 1923-2007