Saturday, December 28, 2013

i felt an exhale...

fow what was done to survive.
for what was done in the fumbling of finding the way.

Friday, November 22, 2013

fly { 5 minute friday}

i see the word
as today's 5 minute friday prompt
and i know in an instant that i am writing about her.
my curly haired girl
took center stage for many months here on my blog,
and in my heart
and while i don't write about her often anymore,
she continues to be my teacher, 
my muse, 
the one who brings me to my knees 
with prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude
tumbling forth and spilling over

i thought this would be an easy 5 minutes.
it is not.
the words are stuck and jumbled in my mind.
just know
those of you who journeyed with us
that she is flying.
and oh so brave.
and for those that are journeying with lost children,
love wins.

more about the curly haired girl can be read here and here

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

the other side of yesterday

it's often when i find myself 
writing a gratitude post
that i know a crash is coming.
i think it might be a strategy that keeps me moving forward
just a few more moments or hours,
to get me to the end of the day.
to propel me forward
when it would be easier to retreat

i believe in it you know,
with all my heart.
gratitude. noticing. mindfulness. 
being grateful almost all the time.
i don't say lightly that gratitude saves me,
that my journaling saves me,
that being with children saves me.
that staying in this moment saves me.

those all do.
they are practices that
 keep my perspective broader, bigger, more hopeful
than my tiny brain would allow.
that isn't an insult on myself,
calling it a tiny brain
because really it is.
my brain would like to keep me locked up,
 small, focused on the crisis of the moment
or the want in this world,
but my heart, my soul, 
my thinking outside the box,
daring to love big and  to give thanks always,
those are what propel me forward.

i am tired
and this isn't anything new or different or profound.
i am sure you are weary as well.
it just is wearisome, yes?
rest doesn't take it away, 
sleep doesn't lessen the grip.
gratitude sharing doesn't make the fatigue and pain lessen
but it allows the energy to shift.
to shift from being about me,
to being not at all about me.

remembering what makes my heart sing,
even when those very thing can leave me feeling bent and broken
-those moments actually save me from myself, my weary, broken self- 
and that is worth remembering.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

i want to remember...

i want to remember 
how absolutely brilliant our autumn was this year.
now that the rain is here, it would be easy to forget and grumble
but my goodness we were blessed.

 i want to remember on these days when my body is
bone tired and there is nothing left of me at the end of the day
that it isn't always like that..

 i want to remember that this is where i find joy
with the small ones.
no matter what else calls to me,
the small ones call to me the loudest and clearest and purest of all.

i want to remember to stay connected with others
to trust and share and spend time with kindreds.

i want to remember that it takes as long as it takes.
every day is forward progress.
the journey is rich.

Friday, November 8, 2013


 joining here on Friday.
 one word chosen for us.
 5 minutes. 
no editing, no looking back.

i am just learning how to tell the truth.
and sometimes i find that the words get stuck in my throat
and the old fear comes back.
what if i tell my truth and you don't like what i have to say?
i wonder this a lot.
and it freezes me inside and i imagine that if you don't like what i have to say
then you won't like me.
then i will be alone.

see that little girl up there?
she is who i am returning to.
the one who was small and bounced through life,
and giggled and told stories and felt invincible.
the one who trusted herself.

she didn't know yet that she would struggle with telling the truth
but the day came when a lie was easier.
a lie meant that there wouldn't be conflict.
and so it became the way to navigate safely.
don't tell the truth.
tell them what they want to hear.
tell them what makes life easier for them.
keep the story going
at all costs.

i am just learning how to tell the truth.
and it starts with telling the truth to myself.

the truth is that i am lovable.
 i am keepable 
and i am allowed to think
differently than you. 
you will still love me.
i will be just fine.

the truth 
will perhaps set me free
after all.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

he{art} sharing.


some days have no words to speak aloud
no sense to be made with words shared over tea
those are the days the pages become my refuge
-my safe place-

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


"there is something at work in my soul which i do not understand.."

i feel pursued. 
this makes me very uncomfortable.
Can i trust He isn't pursuing me to consume me, to harm me 
but to delight in me?"
-journal scribbles. Sunday morning early-

{right underneath i glue in these words...}

"He brought me out into an open place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me"

this church "thing" is becoming a God thing.
and that makes me sweat just a little.
i know what the God I believed in once with a whole heart is capable of.

"I will travel any road to find you"
-God, in The Shack-

and honestly. really honestly.
i am having a hard time, an impossible time separating God from the church;
 that feels too big to scale right now. and the being pursued feeling increases.
He, this God I am cautiously spending time anew with,
is turning up everywhere, pressing himself against me and reminding me that
He never left.
and this chasing and following close upon me
shakes me up.

i decided to search the word 
"pursue" and see where it turned up in the bible.
i was hoping i think for some comforting verse about  love and goodness and grace,
you know,
the comforting verses we like to read if we read the bible at all.
yet every verse the search gave me related to combat.
no wonder i feel nervous!
i know what the God I believe in is capable of
i know what being pursued means.

i am well versed in the ways of relentless love.
i am a faithful student of pressing in.
i know what He is doing.
I do it myself.

i have said to owen more than once these past few week,
with an anguished voice and heavy heart..

"I find God so confusing now. He made sense before, but now He doesn't."
"everything, everything, feels different now.

Owen tells me I am in for a rough ride.
Letting go of the God of the church
and the hurt experienced there
and being in relationship with the God of the universe 
those are two very challenging endeavors.

at least with a guarded, skeptical heart they are.

and i have both.

Friday, October 25, 2013


joining here on Fridays. 
one word. five minutes. unedited writing. share.

i work with the under 5 group 
and our days are filled with
"stay with the group." "keep together"
"don't wander off alone"
"work together please"

and of course all of those are important and good phrases.
children are safe. adults are safe. everyone is safe.
and together.

there is often one, or two that just don't want to 
"stay together" or "work together"
they beat to their own rhythm 
and hear the whispers that we,
 the together with other people most all the time,
often don't hear.

i gravitate to those little ones.
i celebrate and honour and make space for their 
or perhaps we could rephrase it and call it 
their togetherness
with themselves. with the earth. with their art. with their storybooks.
with their emotions and thoughts and ways of seeing their world.

 i try to imagine what it must be like
to want to be alone, yet always having to be together.
our systems are set up for connection, for togetherness, for mutual support and 
this is not a mistake.
we are created for relationship
but oh how i wish we could honour our relationship with ourself first.
to be comfortable with our personal togetherness 
to detach enough from others to meet ourselves.
this inner togetherness could  lead to our community togetherness
 being stronger, more authentic,


Monday, October 21, 2013

visit the dark forest.

when i told her i was going for a walk 
i didn't think much of it but as soon as i drove off alone
the inner conversation began.

you can't go for a walk alone. You are afraid!
you don't do things by.your.self

and i found myself driving past the turn off towards the trail
deciding to {play it safe} by going to Starbucks instead.

you are to weak, to don't walk alone.

and then i decided to change that story
so i took the second turnoff to the trail and felt myself

just a little bit.

i argued with myself,
 reminding my limiting inner mean girl
that i had once been a girl that climbed trees, sought out forest nooks,
visited meadows, wandered far and wide with just my camera for company.

  when i headed down the trail there wasn't another person in sight
yet the forest was a noisy place full of whispers, imaginary tales,
unnecessary chatter.

not the usual forest chatter i seek out and adore.

i drew my mind in, counted my steps, increased  my pace.
and walked.

simple yes, walking?
 yet not.
i bounced from calm to fear, clear to foggy, brave to scared
i rounded a corner and found an oasis.

people. so many people. 
all together in one spot.

this is not my usual definition of oasis.
my body relaxed.

darkness is balance by light
and for that moment,
the quiet forest was my dark place and the people my light.

are you sure you want to continue?
 you can turn around now. you did enough.

but i continued on,
 determined to be bigger than my irrational fears.
{this is a very safe trail i was traveling}
yet my pace quickened. my heart joined.
the forest dimmed. and became empty again.

hurry, hurry. rush, rush.

i round a corner and there coming up the trail 
is an older woman with her aged dog.
she is ambling.
whenever the dog stopped.
she is slow,

and i laugh at myself in the kindest way possible
because i really do love it when the light turns on for me
in the sweetest of ways.

slow your pace tania. nothing, no one is coming to get you.

    and i slowed my pace to an amble. 
unfurled a little bit more.

the forest thinned as it always does,
sunlight kissed my shoulders and they relaxed from around my neck.
of course now
 i could hear the birds sing,
 notice the leaves crunch,
observe the changing forest
 from the last time i had been there with owen.

the ferns were finished their own unfurling
for the season
 reaching tall and green towards the sky.

you missed it. you are too late. the unfurling has already occurred.
it is too late for you to blossom as you so wish.

this time i know the voice. and i know what to do.
i am all warmed up.
i don't ignore her
-the mean girl inside of me-
but i answer her back.

i am right on time for my unfurling.
this is perfect timing sweet lady, 
it is not a race. 

and i amble all the way back to the car.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

little love notes

"little love notes that sometimes 
I can't be sure were from God
 or me doing something nice for myself.
But does it matter?...God is love so wherever love flocks to,
He must be a part of it too."
(Thrashing About With God p.83)

Friday, October 18, 2013

i want to tell her.

i want to tell her to remember.
to remember that even when life feels so very hard
there is joy to be found.
i want to gently coax her back into the living
 by reminding her that tears before rising
 are not the way the story has to end.

 i want her to retrain her eyes to see beauty
i want to comfort her and wrap my arms around her
and whisper sweet nothings to her.
i want to blanket her with so much love.

i want to tell her that this is only a part of her story.
and it is a worthy part. an important part,
that deserves time and attention
but only a part.
there is so much more to her
than her broken parts.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


i have been thinking about church.
even typing the words can cause me to break into a cold sweat.
there is a story here.
and they are coming. 
i can feel them.

today i finished reading Mandy's new book
"Thrashing About With God- Finding Faith on the Other Side of Everything"
that arrived in my mailbox yesterday
(one of the gift of an unexpected day off  is time to read)

"But I don't want to go back. Not ever. It's broken there.
"It feels broken here sometimes too" God said to me, touching my chest.
 "But you don't let that stop you."
My ego doesn't want to go back. My ego thinks going back means I've let them win."
-Belong pg.175-

and my heart thumped with recognition.
i hear myself in her story over and over again.
  i am in the baby steps of accepting that after 13 long years that
 it is time to talk this out.
join me?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

because it works for me.

the gathering, the sorting, the gluing, the secret messages,
the "working it out on the page"
the documenting, the processing, the sorting of emotions.
i can speak through a page. to myself. to others.
to the future, to the past. 
there is healing here for me;
 a place where i make friends with myself.
with my lovely and not so lovely parts.
a spot to try on different beliefs and thoughts,
dreams and ideas
and not hear the voices of disapproval
 that still sometimes ring loud in my ears.
i become my own cheerleader and advocate
reminding myself of so much
that sometimes i just can't see.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

victory dances and gratitude lists

(not my image..oh how i wish it were)

victory dances are important 
when one is navigating life.
and  today i am victory dancing for a variety of reasons.
in these next few weeks i am going to record my victories
as well as my gratitude's because,
well, i want to.

victory dancing for three days of no solid food.
victory dancing that i was able to go to work today and spend time with little's who light up my life
victory dancing that i am managing to sleep a few hours every night instead of none at all.
victory dancing that i have moments that are incredibly difficult but i am able to remember they are just little bumps really and i just get through them.
because what other choice do we all have.

that's the thing right?
our stories are all relevant and equal and amazing and inspiring and hard.
at least parts of them are. 
some seasons of our lives are just hard.
be it the drowning in motherhood years or the drowning in empty house years
or the wading through financial tough times years or the drought years 
of loneliness, sickness, death and despair,  broken dreams, deep disappointments
divorce, disability...
whatever it might be.

this is why we must victory dance for ourselves.
because we are doing hard work,
this living is hard work but it is also oh so glorious
and that is where the gratitude comes in.
there is so much to be grateful for,
even on those really crappy days you know?

gratitude practice i can do.
 and it changed my life when i started. 
and it changes my life when i stop.
but victory dancing about myself. 
that is new.
and i think i like it.
it feels dangerous almost.
to notice all the little and big choices and actions i partake in to create a life i love.

i am grateful today for a friend who made me soup so i had a day that i didn't have to make it,
 i am grateful for my children who are cooking meals and keeping the house clean so that when i am home all i really need to do is rest,
 i am grateful for a bouquet of flowers delivered to me from my sweet Isla
 (thanks Katie)
i am grateful that each time i open my journal i am encouraged and reminded and inspired to continue to look forward and not back. i am grateful my kids are finally getting better about bringing their dishes down from their rooms, i am grateful that we are all taking vitamin C to stave off cold season.
i am grateful that there is golden light in my back yard at this moment and i am grateful that i can drink endless cups of herbal tea because my tea cupboard is full. i am grateful that my curly haired girl is keeping me company while owen works long days on Pender this week and i am grateful for this space.

victories and gratitude.
these make  me oh so happy.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Perhaps I had the definition wrong?

when i wrote about being
and struggling across the bridge to wellness
it slipped my mind that remission does not mean

gone forever

 then when i was making myself a project 
to stay in remission
i was still quite convinced that remission was forever
and that was motivating the commitment to change.

[change always needs a motivator]

l i looked up the definition today.

{because i am no longer in remission
and this is difficult to accept and process
but i must because i will cross the bridge.} 

a.  a temporary or permanent decrease or subsidence of 
manifestations of a disease.
b. a period during which such a decrease or subsidence 

{so i was only reading the part i wanted to hear. 
my remission was temporary
and in hindsight, such a sweet and timely gift .
  i assumed it would be permanent. 
it was not
.this too is okay or soon will be .
life goes on. moves forward.}

so then because i was on a roll
 i thought i should refresh myself 
as to the definition of 

constant, continuing a long time or recurring frequently,
having long had a disease, habit, weakness, or the like,
(of a disease) having long duration (opposite to acute)

{and so i made the connections,
 bought the chicken to make broth, 
cleared this weeks schedule of all that doesn't make my heart sing,
 and with the push of publish on this post,
 am gathering my tribe to help me}

you know what frightened me yesterday?
that it only took 5 days to deteriorate.
it was just last Tuesday night that i realized something was seriously wrong again.
that seems so short, you know?

but i am not afraid today.
{well, maybe a little bit. 
there are stronger emotions
 taking place that crowd out fear for the moment.}
today i feel like an experienced old farm hand
who knows just what to do,
and i am doing it.
 gold star that,
   you ridiculous disease!

Monday, September 30, 2013

remembering my manifesto.

i spent a long time deciding what words would find their way 
into my manifesto.
i wanted to remind myself,
simply and clearly
of what i stood for.
what i believed with my whole heart.

those phrases are here

and because my manifesto
was only  written on my blog
and i don't go back and read over my posts regularly
(but i do occasionally)
i hadn't seen the words for what turned out to be too long.
i had forgotten some.

last week was tough.
and i needed some reminders.
i went searching to remember and return to the roots of me.
and i laughed when i remembered that i need to always carry benadryl.
now that i am eating again, that is a daily necessity.
and i had forgotten that i promised to light candles.
and so i have begun again.

the little things.
the ones we don't think matter, but do.
snail mail.
started that again a few weeks ago
and my goodness i felt grounded.

the big ones.
loving big and listening to my heart whispers.
so glad i put those on there.
so grateful i want to remind myself daily to be who i am meant to be.

the manifesto got copied out
all hurried and messily into my current journal
and i am finding myself returning to it again and again.
checking in on myself,
 remembering what makes my heart sing, 
using the words as boundaries and "atta girl!"
for guiding my days.

i appreciate this space,
even as i return to it less and less
because it allows me to look back,
to recall, to remind, to notice patterns, growth and stories of my days.

do you have a manifesto?
a guiding word?
{mine is stretch this year}
i recommend the practice.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"make yourself into a project"

he has said it before and i don't think i listened.
"make yourself into a project. you love projects"
and yet,
despite the love i have for such endeavors,
i have found myself  still resisting
wanting to meet myself 
and my self care
at an angle, 
sideways, not head on.
not honestly.


i wish i could tell you,
tell myself 
why i am so resistant to putting physical wellness in the center of my life.
i search through my stories,
looking for clues and of course i find them-
the pieces are all there
and i understand and i "do the work"
because i am a friend of the emotional and mental work of wellness
 i make baby steps
and there are moments of wisdom and breakthru
but i don't really do anything in the physical realm

(other than take my medicine)
(which is actually a huge break thru for me)

until the cycle repeats
 and i find myself
once again buried beneath the rest of my life.

does this happen to you as well?

i am in love with my life.
that's an important truth that i want to shout from the rooftop.
i have returned to a schedule that i have carefully chosen
and fully participated in the making of.
i work because i choose to, want to, love to
i am doing my schooling because it is important to me.
i participate fully with my family
 and consider each of those moments,
( regardless of how intense and weary, 
how late the nights, how long the walk)
 we share to be a gift.
i forget about myself.
the physical part of myself.
 i avoid the reality that i am brand new into a remission
that may or may not stay with me.
i need a plan.
i need to be a project. 
i want to figure this out.

seeing the truth of the situation is freeing.
saying that i struggle with wellness allows for acceptance and grace.
now i move onward.
project strong tania
i shall call it.

i see a new journal in my future
and maybe some running shoes
(for walking)