Monthly Archives: June 2008

still undone and still ranting.


As I’ve been contemplating my life and my heart one thing has resurfaced time and time again…I need to simplify. I feel as though I’ve become so cluttered and noisy, complicated and tangled. I know that God is trying to speak to me. I have the same angst in my soul that I usually have before a major change.

* this has happened several times in my life. one example of this is when I was just out of high school. James and I were sitting in my room and I was crying. I had felt for some time that I was distant from God and I didn’t like that…I had an uneasiness in my heart. I cried to James that I just wanted to be closer to Him (God) and that I missed Him. exactly a year later I was on an airplane to Australia to spend time with Him…it turned out to be an amazing time of spiritual growth and I changed a lot while I was gone*
I’m not saying that God doesn’t teach me things without me having this overall anxiousness, but it’s a very specific type of revelation…it’s a paradigm shift. For those of you who don’t know the exact definition of paradigm shift, here it is: a fundamental change in approach or assumptions. It’s rather freaky-deaky when you think about it…the God of the universe is about to mess with my mind and my life. Like I said in my last post, “If only I could live my way.” But it’s not like that, and I don’t want to be complacent. We are too self-satisfied here in North America, our bellies are too full and our couches are too comfortable. We are unaware and untouched by the world around us because we are too busy with meaningless, cluttering things. I refuse to follow suit and watch my soul rot away into the millionaire club.
*that could be a confusing comment for some so I’ll explain. my father has repeatedly told me that I should wake up every morning and say to myself, “I WILL be a millionaire. I WILL be a millionaire” because words are powerful and so is positive thinking. I thoroughly disagree with this theology and pagan-esque chant. My words are not more powerful than the will of God and the ‘positive thinking’ movement that has swept across North America via the Oprah Show is a cancer within Christianity.*
I thought that this was going to be a very short blog but apparently I have a lot on my mind:) The point that I wanted to get across, mainly to myself, is that I need to make room in my life and in my heart for what I’m learning. With that said, I’ve decided to ‘Thrift for a Year’. For those of you who know me well, and now for those of you who don’t, you’ll know how much I love fashion and shopping. I don’t get to shop very often anymore because of my lack of transportation and my high-energy toddler, but I still love it. It can easily clutter my life and my bedroom and it is often used as a band-aid during stressful times. It is something that I’ve never wanted to categorize as ‘void-filling’ but, alas, it is. SO, thrift for a year and that’s that.

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God Save the Church.

This is me…undone and ranting.

I find that every few weeks I get into a funk. I find it harder to do the most simplest of tasks; cleaning the house, caring for the kids, spending time with James. It’s as though it becomes easier and easier to retreat into myself and shut everything else out. (I suppose this comes from a constant attempt to ward off depression. While I turned to anti-depressants a year ago, after all of the shit hit the fan, it was short lived because it too caused me to retreat into myself…happily? I did find it easier to be happier while on them…but for $70 a month and a slow distancing from wanting to be close with James I decided it just wasn’t the way to go.) However, the feeling of aloneness (?) is usually ended by an emotional breakdown and a huge realization that I can’t do this on my own. I am human and I need God, I need people. If only I could learn to live with that constant surrender every moment of my life. If only I could be real and transparent every day. If only I could live with love for others and not turn the spotlight onto myself, my woes, my issues.

I am very much in despair at this present moment. There are moments where I have a sliver of a thought. That thought goes something like this, “If only I didn’t know God. If only I was ignorant. If only I didn’t see. If only I didn’t know. If only I wasn’t part of the ‘church’. I could live my way, I could have my agenda, I could not care.” If any of you has ever thought the same way I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Why can’t we just live as Christ? Why can’t we live the Sermon on the Mount? Why can’t we care every minute of every day…taking the spotlight of off ourselfs and onto what is happening around us? Why can’t we truly surrender? Why do we still try to succeed with our own agendas and motives?

My brother is going to school in the fall to become a pastor. He was recently talking to my father ( a christain man) on the phone about this and my dad stated matter-of-factly, “No, what you need to do is become independently weathly first and then go on to do missions.” He said the same thing to me when I was bouncing around the idea of going to Africa. Something is massivly wrong in this world of ours and I am at a loss of what to do…

“Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. But the one who has love, courage, and wisdom moves the world.” –Ammon Hennacy

“I know there are people out there who say, “My life was such a mess. I was drinking, partying, sleeping around…and then I met Jesus and my whole life came together.” God bless those people. But me, I had it together. I used to be cool. And then I met Jesus and he wrecked my life. The more I read the gospel, the more it messed me up, turning everything I believed in, valued and moped for upside-down. I am still recovering from my conversion.” – Shane Claiborn

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since jordan and julia both blogged about the Good show…

Who would have thought an old sprinkler found in one of the flower beds could be this much fun!??! (I know, I know…they’re in the wrong order but who cares.)

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bria’s bucket list.

James and I just watched the movie ‘The Bucket List’ starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman (two actors that I LOVE). It was a cute movie about two men who are given 1 year to live and decided to make the most of it by accomplishing certain things before they die. I highly suggest seeing it if to laugh at the crusty character played by Mr. Nicholson. I had started a list on Facebook (awhile back) of things that I’d like to do before I die…I actually give this list a lot of thought fairly frequently. I want to make the most of my life and try to live each day and opportunity to it’s fullest. So, I’ve transferred and updated my version of ‘The Bucket List’.

  • Get a degree of some sort
  • Go Skydiving
  • Go White Water Rafting
  • Hold and play with a Chimpanzee
  • Travel to Europe, Africa, Asia (and as many countries as I can fit in)
  • Learn to be a Successful Gardener
  • Learn another language and speak it fluently
  • Learn how to scuba dive and visit a wreck site
  • Have dreads
  • Learn how to do stain glass work
  • Fly an airplane
  • Be on stage in an actual play
  • Publish a children’s book
  • Record a CD/song
  • Attend a Coldplay concert
  • Climb a mountain
  • See the polar bears before they’re all dead
  • Learn how to sail a boat…well.
  • Take a dance class
  • Get a few MORE tattoo’s
  • Attend a runway fashion show
  • Go to New York
  • Learn how to knit
  • Take James to see the Ocean….

There’s a lot more but I’ll save them for another post. Feel free to let me know what you would like to accomplish, even if it’s just a few things, I would love to hear about them.

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the Erskine clan.

I may offend some people with this post, I don’t mean to directly offend anyone…and I’m sorry if you are.

I’ve been wanting to get some family pictures done. Rhys is almost 3 and Amelia is almost 1 and I thought that it would be a good time to do some. I think that I have about 2 pictures of us 4 where we are all looking at the camera. It would be nice to have a few to look back at when I’m 80.

We were at St. Vital park on Sunday for an early Fathers Day BBQ for Moe. It was such a beautiful day and we were having so much fun playing catch and running around. I decided to spring the dreaded ‘Family Photo’ session on James. You see, neither James nor I like family pictures. They end up being so cheesy and fake. I don’t care how they are done, taken, posed…I just plain-ol’ don’t like them. They aren’t me and they aren’t my personality. I know a lot of people like them and I get the end product handed to me or sent in the mail. I don’t mind that…it’s not me in the picture. I’ll tell you this though, it won’t be framed and hanging on my wall. It will be one of the few things on my fridge for a short time and then it will get filed away or scrapbooked. I also don’t mind taking my children and getting some done for significant stages (however, they have to be separate and few and far between). No, family photo’s are just not my thing. James is very happy about this fact because he shares the same motivations as I do regarding the ‘fakeness’ aspect. So, I decided to spring it on him and get it over and done with as quickly as possible. I may end up getting some more done in the fall by a photographer friend (candid and in a park without matching clothes) because Amelia will be walking by then. I’ve posted my favorite of all of them…the one that most people would not choose I’m sure. Enjoy…this is the Erskine Clan.

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dandelions.

DANDELIONS! I’d always thought they were so whimsical and amazing. Children love them for their fluffs and their numbers. “Little yellow flowers everywhere!” trumpets the dandelion-crazed toddler, “So many fluffs to blow around! It doesn’t matter how many I pick in one day because there are twice as many the next…and mom doesn’t even get mad that I play with them!”
I usually fancy the persistant flower…until I started caring for my own yard. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE! I’ve Killexed so many of the little pests only to turn around and see that they have multiplied behind my back. I’ve spent hours pulling up plants…breaking my back trying to get the whole root up only to find they’ve formed impenetrable formations the very next day. I now understand why nearly every adult hates the stinkin’ weed. They are impossible to get rid of. As I glance out my front door I can see my neighbour picking one of the two she has on her lawn. *GASP* How has she accomplished such an impossible task!? I must consult with her.
And yet, in all of my frusteration for the little plant, I can’t fully hate them. I feel like a Dandelion most days. I’ve also listened to a Five Iron Frenzy song called ‘Dandelions’ one too many times. I’ve posted the song (right above) so those that are interested can know what I’m talking about.

‘Lord search my heart
Create in me something clean
Dandelions
You see flowers in these weeds.’

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a wonderful woman.

This past January I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Mexico with my Grandmother and my kids. It was such a good bonding experience; walking on the beach, suntanning together, going for fancy-schmancy meals, ordering a few too many margaritas, getting massages beside each other. I’ve always lived a few provinces over from my dad’s parents and I’ve cherished each opportunity that I’ve had to see them. My Grandpa passed away a few year ago, so now I want to collect as many memories and stories from time spent with my Grandma as I possibly can.
Last week my Grandmother was in town for a wedding and was able to have lunch with my mother, siblings, myself and our kids. It was loud and chaotic over lunch time at Tim Horton’s and I didn’t get much ‘Grandma-time’. However, it turned out she was unable to go back to my uncles house until 5:00 and needed a place to crash. Everyone else was busy so she came home with me. I must admit that at first I was a little nervous…my house was a mess and I hadn’t been expecting company. The time with my Grandmother turned out to be wonderful. As she fell asleep on my couch (snoring and all) I made some muffins, put the tea on and tidied up. After she woke up we had a snack and chatted about life and the different things that kept her occupied back in ‘the day’.
What struck me, and will stick in my head for a very long time, was her hard work. I’m sure most Grandparents (or Great Grandparents) would have similar stories…and I love hearing them…but it is different when it’s your own. She explained to me that every night she would bathe the 6 kids and put them to bed from 7-8 and then from 8-10 or 11 she would knit or sew EVERY NIGHT! She would take clothes what were too small or wearing down cut them up and make new ones for the kids to wear. She became so fast that she was able to sew 3 pairs of overalls a night. I was shocked by this fact. I only have 2 kids and I wonder where my days go (and I buy their clothes!). How different we’ve become. We have microwaves, washing machines, disposable diapers, superstores, the Internet…I have nothing on my Grandmother. I am a bump on a log compared to her. What a wonderful reminder of how lazy I actually am.
As we sat a chatted I changed Amelia’s poopy diaper for the fourth time that day. I made a grumbling comment about it and was put in my place by a firm, “Well, at least you don’t have to wash them on a washing board!” How true. I hope and pray that I become half the woman my Grandmother is.

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