Saturday, 11 February 2017

Pajamas, Chips and Influence




Tonight I’ve had the pleasure of having a girls night in. I’m calling it this, but really it is just me sitting in my basement alone while my baby girl sleeps upstairs. The party was great until bedtime came around and then girls night became girl night. Just me.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

It Was Really Bad




Today we went to visit a church in Toronto that is doing fantastic things for the city. It is thriving, has an incredible culture and points people toward Jesus. It was a pleasure to be there. 

As we waited to go for lunch after the service with some new friends, I snuck off to a quiet hallway and sat on a few steps attempting to keep a busy eight month old entertained. Everyone who walked by gave a smile to Kenzie, but one girl in particular stopped. 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Not What but Who

After months of asking Brandon (my husband) to write a guest post for The Days to Come, he finally delivered. And after months of having his post sit in my documents, it is finally going up! I hope you enjoy this quick read as you move into 2017. 



A guy named James coined a proverb once - ‘Life is but a vapour, here today and gone tomorrow.’ This concept haunts me. I want my life to matter, I want it to last beyond my last breathe here on planet earth. 

Now that I am a few months into being a ‘quarter of a century old’ I am learning that a century isn’t that long.

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon featured 'GE Fallonventions' where a seventeen year old kid invented a standing wheelchair. Although incredible, he is not an anomaly. Twelve year olds curing diseases, twenty year olds closing out Major League Baseball games - these accomplishments are not completely uncommon. 

This leads me to ask the question, “What am I doing with my life?"

Certainly I can list off a few things that I’ve accomplished in these twenty-five years. From being an OFSAA cross country runner to being an All Ontario Hockey Champion. From marrying an incredible women to completing my bachelor’s degree. I am the pastor of a thriving church called The Embassy and the father to a beautiful daughter. I even know how to drive a stick shift.

One of the most meaningful things anyone has ever said to me occurred when I was 16. My Dad and I had just finished a run, most of our best conversations happened when it was just the two of us on open roads. Huffing and puffing my dad looked at me and said, “I’m proud of you, I know you’re not eighteen yet but I already consider you a man.”

My sixteen year old self was shocked, ecstatic, and beaming with pride. Did my Dad just call me a man?

Since that day, I’ve learned that it was silly for my Dad to have called me a man. What had I really accomplished at the tender age of sixteen? My drivers license. That’s it.

How can you call me a man when there are twelve year olds curing diseases!?

I have lived most of my life comparing myself to others. I have an undergrad degree but my wife has a master’s degree. I was one of the top athletes in central ontario but one of my competitors just became a national champion. Yes, I did this BUT they did that.

Essentially I have spent most of my life comparing accomplishment to accomplishment. 

My Dad understood something different. In his corporate/manufacturing world, accomplishments are a dime a dozen. It is character that is the distinguishing factor. 

It is that shift, the shift of focusing more on character than accomplishments that has rocked my world. My newly born daughter does not need a dad who pastors a church of thousands of people, she needs a dad who is willing to listen. My wife doesn’t need a real estate tycoon as a husband, she needs a man of integrity. My parents don’t need a son who travels the world speaking on leadership, they need a boy who is willing to call home and have a conversation.

Can you imagine a culture that encouraged people around their character instead of their accomplishments?

I’m not talking about a society that hands out participation ribbons - competition has its place in building character - I’m imagining a world that values WHO an individual is MORE than WHAT an individual does. 

Maybe that’s the world where we have two candidates for presidency that are not Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Maybe that’s the world where we don’t have people celebrating the deaths of 50 killed in a nightclub. Maybe that’s the world our kids can create.

Yes, I’m proud of my list of accomplishments that accompany my time here on earth so far but I am even more satisfied with who I am. Maybe this vapour will actually leave some residue on this planet after all but my hope is that it is less about WHAT I do and more about WHO I am. 

I am grateful for my parents who continue to blaze that trail for me - a dad who called out my true character at 16 - and now it is my turn to do it for my kids. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

If Only I Were You




Do you ever find yourself thinking that if you were someone else, you might be able to accomplish more with your life? That you might be able to make better friends, have greater patience with your kids or actually pass the course you are taking? 

I actually had the thought tonight that if I were a little bit taller, I might have greater influence. 

Yeah, seriously. How ridiculous is that? 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The Grief of a Playpen


























We were in the car navigating our way through the rainy night. The closing credits of the movie had appeared on the screen in my parents’ basement just moments earlier. The baby had slept longer than we thought she would, leaving us with a decision to make. We either fed her there and navigated putting a very awake baby down for the night or we carefully put her in her carseat, crossed our fingers and hoped she would stay asleep until we got home. We opted for the latter. Incredibly, she only woke briefly during the transition from her daddy’s warm embrace to her carseat and was back asleep before we backed out of the driveway. 

As a precaution, I had parked myself in the backseat, believing that if she woke up crying, a shush and rock from her mama might do the trick (it’s a 50/50 chance, usually). With her eyelids shut tight, I was actually able to lean forward to whisper with my husband. 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Tonight I Got Mad at My Daughter



Tonight I got frustrated with my daughter. Yes, it is possible to get angry with a three month old baby. I had just gotten her to sleep, set her carefully in her swing and then sat down to actually watch a movie that I had been wanting to see for months. 

As usual, it was short lived. 

About half an hour into the movie, I looked over and saw big blue OPEN eyes staring back at me. I began to shush. I began to pray that she might just lull herself back to sleep. I even thought if I just avoided eye contact she might get bored and think that sleeping might be the best way to spend her time (I mean, if you were bored this is what you would do, right?). 

No. Just no. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Great Expectations



I spent most of the early part of 2016 very pregnant and very excited for the summer. I would spend time journaling about the long summer days that lay ahead. My little babe would be here, full of life and extremely cooperative to anything I wanted to accomplish, my body would be back in peak condition, and I would have no responsibility outside of taking care of our daughter. I pictured myself working out each day and dropping below pregnancy weight quickly - maybe even sporting a bikini before I hit vacation in August. I pictured long walks in the humid free air. I thought about the delicious meals I would make, getting healthy in all areas of life. I saw myself sitting in Starbucks, with sleeping baby in tow, enjoying coffee and investing in relationships that I just didn’t have enough time for before. 

HA! HA! HA!