Friday, December 31, 2010


It was time for a change. I've been thinking a lot about my blog, and what it says (or doesn't say) about me. Truth be told, I've been thinking a lot about my life of late, and feeling the need to make some changes. The real me has gotten lost in the chaos that has been my life of late. Lost in the titles of wife and mother. And somewhere along the way the dreams I once had, and the passions that once drove me got lost too.

So it's time for a change. Time to refocus, renew and revive. Time to be still and listen. Time to dream. Time to discover who I am now, as a 37 going on 38-year-old wife and mother, and what it is He is calling me to do. Time to plant seeds, invest time, and make a mark. 

With a new year dawning... it seemed like the right time then to relaunch my blog. I took some time coming up with a new name and landed today on "House Blend 365." My house is afterall my calling-card, and we are a "blended" (meaning interracial or multiethnic/multicultural) family. And this blog is my journal 365 days of the year. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A True Blessing

It's Christmas Day and we feel blessed. Not because the house is a mess with wrapping paper and mountains of gifts. But rather because of the lack of mess. Yes, we opened some gifts, but it was by all accounts a very modest amount. We planned it that way. We planned to intentionally take the focus off of the gifts.

The truth is, over the past two years, we've become sickened by the materialism of the holiday season and, as I've mentiond in previous posts, challenged to consider making a Christmas change. Christmas isn't about presents, blowing budgets and going home with an arm full of things you really don't need. It's about love, hope, peace, family, and... the simplicity of that humble night in Bethlehem. 

Recently a friend showed me a picture that greatly offended me. They didn't mean to, but they did. The picture was of their Christmas tree, or rather of the large (and I mean HUGE) amount of gifts beneath it. The caption attached to the picture simply read: "We are blessed." 

Riddled with a variety of emotions over this simple photo and comment, I've spent the last few days mulling this over. Apart from my annoyance with how blantant their "bragging" was over the overwhelming amount of gifts, I was more offended by their choice to refer to the gluttony of gifts as a "blessing." Was it really? 

Is it really a blessing to receive things you don't need? Is it really a blessing to spend money on toys, trinkets and other "wants?" Isn't there truth in the adage that it's better to give than to receive? And what about the simple fact that Christmas simply isn't about the gifts?

The truth of the matter is, I feel more blessed this Christmas than I ever have before. Having deliberately chosen to spend less and give more, my heart is full with the joy that comes in sharing what we have with those that don't have anything. My camera is full of photos that have capture quality time as a family, doing things that will forever be savoured in our memories. My hands are tired from baking and cooking to bless those around us. And my faith is strengthened for having spent more time meditating on the humble birth of my Saviour. 

Happy Birthday Jesus. YOU and the love that flows through us becuase of you are why we are blessed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where's the line to see Jesus?

A friend shared this on Facebook today, and it moved me. Given that we've made the intentional choice make a Christmas Change, I was touched by the profound message of this song. May it move you to make your own Christmas change.

"Where's the Line to See Jesus?" Becky Kelley

Christmas time was approaching, the snow is starting to fall,
Shoppers choosing their presents, people filling the mall,
Children waiting for Santa with excitement and glee.
A little boy tugged my sweater, looked up and asked me,

Where's the line to see Jesus? Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday, why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus? He was born for me.
Santa Claus brought me presents, but Christ gave His life for me.

As I stood in amazement at this message profound,
I looked down to thank him, he was no where around.
The little boy at the mall might as well have had wings
As the tears filled my eyes, I thought I heard him say,

Where's the line to see Jesus? Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday, why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus? He was born for me.
Santa Claus brought me presents, but Christ gave His life for me.

In the blink of an eye, at the sound of His trump,
We'll all stand in line at His throne.
Every knee shall bow down, every tongue will confess,
That Jesus Christ is Lord.

Where's the line to see Jesus? Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday, why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus? He was born for me.
Santa Claus brought me presents, but Christ gave His life for me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Breath of Heaven

I remember it like it was yesterday. Head spinning. Palms sweaty. Heart racing. Fear gripping. Pregnant. Our own miracle, after 10 years of giving up all hope. I felt so unprepared. So unsure. So overwhelmed. 

As I sit under the glow of our Christmas tree, mind wandering back to that day, my eyes fall upon a humble little nativity scene. 

A toy really. A simple way to teach our miracle about The Miracle. As I gaze at this simple scene, my eyes meet Mary's for a moment... and I am in awe. 

Knowing how I took the news of our child on the way, I try and imagine all that Mary must have been feeling the day the angel gave her the news. To be told you are to carry the One, the Messiah. I can't even fathom it. 

And then to give life to this child, in the way that she did, with the humble surrounding she was in... again, I can't even fathom it. 

Oh to aspire to the faith that Mary had. A faith that, despite the fear she must have felt, moved her to say yes, "I am the Lord's servant..." (Luke 1:38) and accept the Lord's plan. A faith that endured the long and most likely painful journey to Bethlehem. A faith that pushed past the pain and clung to the only person who was there, her new husband, to bring forth a child that was to be King! A faith that clung to the very breath of Heaven...


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's Brownie Day!

It's Brownie Day and I can think of nothing I'd love more, or "need" more than an ooey gooey brownie. Nuff said.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Ecuadorian Gifts

With the gentle hum of the dryer in the distance, I sit and type. Eyes heavy from a filled day of ministry, both at work and at home, I am tired but my heart is full. Gratitude lives here.

There is joy found in the discipline of giving thanks. And so with steady hands and a smile on my lips I type; with each stroke of they key I count gifts. Gifts from treasured memories that warm my heart and rekindle a love for a past I am so grateful for. It is fitting that today, the sixth of December, is a Monday. For I have a multitude of gifts to be thankful for on this seis de Diciembre.

- 476 years of a city (mi cuidad) that will forever live in my heart 

- "El Chulla Quiteno" and lost conciertos de Quito with the very first friend I made when we moved to Ecuador (Te amo Marti!)

- knowing that 20 years later I still have contact with beloved friends

- Humitas, Manichos and "agua con gas"

- Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Antisana -- the Rocky Mountains of BC will never live up to you

- The class of 91

- Casa Blanca

- strolling Amazonas, having coffee at the Colon Hotel and singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs outside the presidential palace

- "regalitos de navidad" and burning "el ano veijo"

- El Bosque, my second home

- Choir trips and marriage proposals

- teachers I called friends, missionaries that were my aunts and uncles, and classmates who were more like siblings...

Que viva Quito!