Stones. They are everywhere. Stumbling stones, stepping stones, stones for throwing, stones for piling. In the bible, stones are used for remembering. This is a place for me to pile my own rough stones of remembering along the road I am traveling, one post at a time. They are more than mere words thrown out into the wake of my path. They are a concrete testament of God's faithfulness, provision and goodness along the way.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


"And (Elrond) preserved... the memory of all that had been fair; and the house of Elrond was a refuge for the weary and the oppressed, and a treasury of good council and wise lore."  The Silmarillion

"His house was perfect whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.  Evil things did not come to that valley."  The Hobbit

"A little sleep does a great cure in the house of Elrond."  Bilbo, The Hobbit

"Weariness fell from him soon in that house, and he had many a merry jest and dance, early and late, with the elves of the valley."  The Hobbit

"I will make for Rivendell..."  He spoke lightly, but his heart was moved suddenly with a desire to see the house of Elrond Halfelven, and breathe the air of that deep valley where many of the Fair Folk still dwelt in peace."  The Fellowship of the Ring

"This is the Hall of Fire... here you will hear many songs and tales- if you can keep awake.  Except on high days it usually stands empty and quiet, and people come here who wish for peace, and thought.  There is always a fire here, all the year round, but there is little other light."  Gandalf- The Fellowship of the Ring

"Time doesn't seem to pass here: it just is.  A remarkable place altogether."  Bilbo- The Fellowship of the Ring

"For awhile the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead; but such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell that soon all fear and anxiety were lifted from their minds.  The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present." The Fellowship of the Ring

Blessed season of rest and rejoicing.  Blessed home of peace and pleasure. Blessed month of Advent, we embrace you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Edge of the Wild

""'You are come to the very edge of the Wild, as some of you may know. Hidden somewhere ahead of us is the fair valley of Rivendell where Elrond lives in the Last Homely House. I sent a message by my friends, and we are expected.'" 

Ever since I wrote my last blog post I have been secretly looking forward to writing "Chapter Three: A Short Rest".  Not writing it so much as experiencing it.  Yeah.  I totally forgot about the edge of the wild leading up to Rivendell and the lovely, hospitable, magical, Last Homely House.   So right now we continue to walk through the wild but I'm planning on making it to Rivendell for Advent.

Speaking of homely houses, we've been hard at work on our own homely home; emptying it and prepping it for sale.  It feels great and is really starting to come together.  Our cyber auction has been a lifesaver, helping us to liquidate about a hundred items a week, as well as raise funds for the move.  I never imagined that it would be a fun job but it has turned out to be a definite memory I will always have stored in my heart.  The camaraderie and support of our community has been so heartwarming and sometimes I just have to shake my head and smile (with tears in my eyes).  

Shortly after I wrote my last blog post I was feeling really low.  Thinking of saying goodbye to our home, our friends, starting over.  I prayed one day about my "future friends".  I can't remember now if it was that very day, or the following day, I received a facebook message from a friend telling me that he had heard we were planning on moving to Italy to work with OM and that he had friends who were in the midst of preparing to do the same.  Friends from Saskatoon of all places.  That same day I heard about this same couple from another mutual friend and we both reached out to make a connection.  That Friday night found us sitting at Starbucks swapping stories and bonding and thanking God that we were not alone on this journey!  I've made a friend, a beautiful, precious friend before I even LEFT.  We both felt so incredibly thankful that God reached out and touched our tearful hearts in that tender way.  

We received a detailed job description from OM Italy a few weeks ago and were able to share many details of our story with the elders of our church and our entire church family last week. We were so excited to see the job description and how perfectly it aligns with our passions and gifts.  Our primary work will be running OM Italy's discipleship training school which runs 9 months every year.  Besides that there is a need for someone to coordinate and mentor the volunteers who come to serve short term at the OM Italy base.  We will also be expected to serve in a local church and to pitch in with practical help when it comes to maintenance and hospitality at OM Italy's beautiful facility. 

We have completed 7 passport applications, 2 church evangelism and missions applications, 2 OM Italy applications and FINALLY got all 6 kids in for their passport photos.  That had to be one of my all time biggest parenting fails.  After hauling the kids out of bed at 7 to be on the road at 8 to be cooped up at the Bryan King Centre for 5 hours of extended drama practice I THEN hauled them off to Costco for passport photos.  Could I get Cole to stand on the stool?  Could I get him to SIT in the cart in front of the white backdrop?  Could I get him to STOP wailing "I don't want my pickshow" in firetruck siren octave?  No, no, and no.  Needless to say, the picture did get taken after what seemed an eternity and the passport police should be satisfied because there is no hint of a smile, that is for certain. 

We have one more week of wild ahead of us and after that I look forward to winding down for a peaceful and festive Christmas season.  My last Christmas in The Shire, and possibly the last chance to really kick back before swinging into high gear for the Rest of the Journey.