Monday, September 26, 2011


I have two younger brothers. (No this is not a suck up blog, as far as I know I haven't done anything..???!!!) Anyway, my brothers are both incredible people. I'm not sure why I haven't written about them before. They have both influenced my life in different ways. They have taught me how to relate better than any other two people ever have. They are different from each other, yet they are both men of character and strength.

Long, long ago.....Jay, Me and Trav
Jason has always been the strong silent type. He's a thinker. If and when he speaks you know that he has mulled over whatever it is he is saying. Most of Jason's childhood was spent whispering his secrets to our dog and riding the lawn mower around in circles on the lawn. He's always had a dream. He is a details person. Nothing escapes him. He is instinctive and gifted. He makes some things look so easy. He's witty and smart. He is loyal an he is wise and has this strongness about him, kind of like a rock. Life has not always been easy for Jason, but throughout life's pains, his character has continually been honed and polished. In no way is he perfect, but I think that the proof of who he is has been tested and he's been found more than capable. People are drawn to him. They seek out his counsel. He plays rec. hockey and is known as the "Rev", not because he's preachy, it's because he's real. You can't argue with that! People want to be with him. I want to be with him. He makes you feel important and listened to. That's rare these days.I appreciate his example in my life.

Then, there's Travis. Where Jason is the strong, silent type; Travis is the strong, unsilent type! (It really is a type!) Travis is a talker. He comes by it honestly. Travis and my Dad are definitely cut from the same cloth. Travis is adventurous and extroverted. As a kid, Travis was the center of any crowd. He was so goofy and so cute. He captured people's hearts. He still does that. He is easy-going and takes things as they come. He deals with problems head on, there are no white elephants lurking around when Travis is in the room. He dreams about different ways of doing things. Things that some people would say are foolish because they go against the grain he does because he feels those things are honoring to others and to God. That takes guts. His courage to live out what he believes in the face of how the world pushes in his face is like art to me. It creates a different way. One that is challenging, but life-giving. Underneath all his lion-like courage, is the heart of a lamb. He is soft. There are no hard edges on his heart. He is open and honest. He loves people and they feel it. I feel it.

I love these guys. I wish that we lived closer together. I have so much more to learn from them. I feel honored to be the sister of these two men, my friends.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I am a big CBC Radio 2 fan. I listen whenever I can. The morning program is one of my favorites. I listen when I wake up and it often really gives me a boost for the day. Great music will do that to ya! The host, until recently, was a guy named Bob Makowitz. His banter and stories also made the program worth listening to. One story from a few months ago really stuck with me. It also made me smile.

Bob told about this health food store in a small town in Prince Edward Island. This store had farm fresh eggs for sale in their establishment that had never been government inspected. Who doesn't love farm fresh eggs? There is something about them that makes every other kind of egg seem very institutional. Anyway, this store had been selling their customers these lovely eggs for years. The farmer was happy, the customers were happy, the store owners were happy. Everyone was going about their merry way, until some government official caught wind of what was going down at the health food store.

Farm eggs need to be inspected before they are able to be sold in a store. This little kink was putting a major kibosh on a very happy little community. This is where the brilliance comes in. The store owners sat on this problem for a bit, thinking about how they could continue to provide eggs for their customers. This is what they came up with: eggs are now free at their store, but if you want something to carry them home in you have to purchase a carton for $2.75. Isn't that utterly brilliant? I cheer for the ingenuity of the human race!

I relate this story, not to promote 'beating the system', but to applaud great problem solving skills. So often problems get the better of us. They seem so insurmountable, so enormous, that we would rather just crawl back into bed than to face them head on and come up with solutions to them. Sometimes the answer is so outside of the box. Sometimes the answer takes creativity. Sometimes the answer comes in one of those 'ah-ha' moments. However they come, don't be afraid to look those challenges in the eye and come up with solutions that work. The solutions may not make sense to others, that's alright. They need to work for you and your circumstances. Be brilliant and remember this little story about eggs!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Dangerous Woman

Several years ago, my husband gave me a book entitled, Nice Girls Don't Change the World by Lynne Hybels. That title grabbed me. (What also grabbed me was the fact that my husband gave me a book with that title.) I wanted to find out what the author really meant. What was her definition of 'nice'? I have a definition of nice that was embedded in my mind by my high school English teacher. She said nice didn't really mean anything. It was not an adjective that she wanted to see in our writing because it didn't really describe anything, it was overused and lacked oomph. There are certainly words that could be used in it's place. Nice is a word that gets you out of saying what you really think. Nice is lame. As I read the book. I realized that the author's definition of nice was in sync with my English teacher's. Nice girls really can't change the world because there is no substance. Nice girls have lost sight of what it means to truly live. Nice girls are existing in a world of other people's expectations with no expectations of their own. Nice girls can hardly be defined because nice doesn't really describe anything.

The author details her own descent into 'niceness'. She knew she had dreams and gifts and passions, but felt that what other people wanted from her trumped all of those things. So she set them aside, nodded her head and acquiesed to niceness at the cost of herself. She was lost and defeated. All the joy of life was stifled in niceness. She began to realize that the opposite to a nice girl was a good woman; a dangerous woman. She had encounters with some these woman and was inspired anew at the amazing things woman were doing. They were living and thriving. They were changing things. They were inspiring others. They were conquering injustices and spreading hope all around. These dangerous women infused her. They peeled back the layers of nice and unleashed a woman who speaks and acts in confidence and grace.

Dangerous woman, Rosa Parks (mugshot)
This woman's story inspired me. Often a dangerous woman is seen as a bra burner or gets the label of 'bitch'. I am here to shed some light on that misconception. A dangerous woman is not out to seek credit for herself or topple mountains that no 'man' has ever succeeded in. That's not the point. A dangerous woman knows who she is and what she's about. She uses her beauty, not to seduce but to show the world that beauty does in fact exist. A dangerous woman's beauty captivates with her heart. She is strong but not offensive, that brings me to the other word I mentioned....bitch. I don't wish to offend any readers by using that word, but to clarify and speak truth. I don't believe that a dangerous woman is a 'bitch.' Any other definition of dangerous woman may include that element which makes you fearful of dangerous woman. I'm pretty sure there are some country songs out there about this kind of dangerous woman. This kind of dangerous woman makes you want to stay out of her way, but not the one that I am proposing today. A dangerous woman speaks truth but does not crush or belittle. A dangerous woman speaks with passion, courage and is not afraid to share it with emotion attached. A dangerous woman empowers others. A truly dangerous woman is someone to reckon with, but you don't have the urge to tell them off. Do you see the difference?

I know many dangerous women. I long to meet more. I long to see women truly alive and pursuing life, no longer drowning in 'nice' because nice girls don't change the world. The world needs more dangerous women.