Monday, October 10, 2011


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~Colossians 3:15-17

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sunday Sanctuary

"Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." (Psalm 147:1,3-5)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Potty Training With God

I recently wrote this for work and thought I'd share it here to:

I’ll admit it, I am a control freak. From the little things to the big details of life, I need control. And while being someone who is “in control” is not necessarily a bad thing, I have come to learn that my controlling ways often mean that I leave little room for God.

This has never been more true for me than it has in the past month. You see, I’m currently in the throes of potty-training… or at least I’d like to be. Never in my life have I felt more “out of control” about anything than this. There have been tears , sleepless nights, messes, battles of will, and moments when my “mommy-patience” has been completely exhausted. I’m sad to say that I’ve been ashamed by my attitude and behaviour in my attempts to convince our daughter that she’s a big girl now, and the control freak in me feels like a complete and utter failure. I have even found myself longing to be free from this burdensome challenge.

But then this past Sunday, while sitting in church listening to our pastor talk about “getting out of the way” and “inviting God’s presence in,” it occurred to me. With all the books, expert advice and research I’d done, my desire to control this area of my daughter’s life has left little room for God to work. I’ll admit, it does seem strange to invite God in to the potty training process, but the truth of the matter is that I can’t do it without Him.

In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul writes that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” In my case, inviting the Holy Spirit in and letting God work does not mean freedom from my responsibility as a parent. But it does mean freedom from the anxiety, frustration, and feelings of utter helplessness. “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Phillippians 4:13)

So, here's to a whole new kind of potty training adventure as this control freak mom let's go and let's God. Allowing Him in doesn't mean my darling daughter will suddenly "get it" and "do it", but it does mean that I'll rest in His patience, His wisdom, and His love as I guide her through the process. In that there is freedom.

2 Corinthians 3:17 “… where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Sanctuary

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30 NKJV)

Image captured by Anika Lacerte.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Sanctuary

All new, from my favourite artist ever... Steven Curtis Chapman. 

The extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary, and a reminder to do it all -- from laundry to potty training -- for HIM!

As alwasy, "thank you Steven for inspiring me once again!"

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Mom to the Rescue

I have a new title; one that won’t mean a whole lot to you. But to my daughter, it means everything.

Allow me to introduce myself: I am Super-Mom, Scrump Remover Extraordinaire.

What is a scrump? Well, that depends on who you ask.

According to, a “scrump” is anything from the act of stealing apples, to having sex. (Yes, sex. Apparently “screw” and “hump” joined forces to become “scrump.” What a sad, sad commentary on the decay of our English language. But I digress...). The Free Online Dictionary, says that a “scrump” is something withered or shriveled or dried up.

However to my almost-three-year-old daughter, the word “scrump” has come to define anything she sees that she doesn’t like. Whether it be a fleck of lint on her shirt or pants, a microscopic thread from fabric between her toes, or a teeny, tiny piece of vegetable or even finely diced herbs in her pasta or rice, when Abbie whines that there’s a “scrump”, Super-Mom flies to the rescue.

Scrump removing is very serious business in our house, or at least it is to our daughter. While my husband and I do our best to stifle our laughter at each battle Super-Mommy has with the latest scrump, to Abbie each encounter with a scrump is monumental, cataclysmic, and dramatic. After all, she’s two-going-on-three, and while she may not understand the U.S. debt crisis, tumbling stock markets or famines in Africa, she does understand scrumps. She also knows that her mommy is always there.

This is my extraordinary calling. 

Now what did I do with my cape?

Image by The Doodle Girl

Thursday, August 04, 2011


I've been silent for the past few days, with good reason. Potty training has finally arrived to the Lau house, and I am pleased to say that it has finally taken hold. We've celebrated success after success with our little girl, and encountered few accidents. I've sat misty-eyed watching her push aside the last of what made her my baby, and enter into this first stage of true independence. One step closer to womanhood. 

As I reflected on how much she is changing, and the accomplishments she's acheived this week, I found myself starting to wonder even more than usual who she will grow up to be. What she will do with her life, whom she will love. 

And then, like in so many occassions before, the Lord led me to read today's post from Ann Voskamp. Once again, her words are timely for me. I join her in this prayer... for a daughter. 

Here is a portion of what she wrote.... You can read the rest of it HERE.

May she be bread and feed many with her life and her laughter
May she be thread and mend brokeness and knit hearts
May she be dead to all ladders & never go higher,

only lower, to the lonely, the least & the longing
Her led of the Spirit to lead many to the Cross
that leads to the tomb wildly empty.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Sanctuary

My form of worship is music. It is through music that the Spirit speaks to me. It is through music that my sould is refreshed. Music is how I pray; how I commune with the Almighty. 

On this Sunday, I find Sanctuary in music once again. From the hymns, to the new and popular praise and worship music, I dance, I sing, I reflect and I pray. 

Among the many, many artists I enjoy, young and old, I am a fan of the powerful vocals of David Phelps. I recently came across his song, "The End of the Beginning" and had to share it here. It is the power of the Gospel, the very purpose for which Jesus came, wrapped up in a power song. Enjoy.

I was takin’ a trip on a plane the other day
just wishin’ that I could get out
When the man next to me saw the book in my hand
and asked me what it was about
So I settled back in my seat
a best seller I said
a history, a mystery in one
and then I opened up the book and began to read
from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

He was born of a virgin one holy night
in the little town of Bethlehem
angels gathered round him underneath the stars
singing praises to the great I Am
He walked on the water, healed the lame, and made the blind to see again
and for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a friend
and though he never ever did a single thing wrong
the angry crowd chose him and then he walked down the road
and died on the cross and that was the end of the beginning

That’s not a new book that’s a bible he said and I’ve heard it all before
I’ve tried religion its shame and guilt and I don’t need it anymore
It’s superstition made up tales and just to help the weak to survive
Let me read it again I said listen closely, this is gonna change your life

He was born of a virgin one holy night
in the little town of Bethlehem
angels gathered round him underneath the stars
singing praises to the great I Am
He walked on the water, healed the lame, and made the blind to see again
and for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a friend
and though he never ever did a single thing wrong
the angry crowd chose him and then he walked down the road
and died on the cross and that was the end of the beginning

The end of the beginning he said with a smile
what more could there be? He’s dead.
you said they hung him put nails in his hands
and a crown of thorns on his head
I said I'll read it again but this time there’s more
and I believe that this is true
his death wasn’t the end, the beginning of life
that’s completed in you
don’t you see he did all this for you!

He was born of a virgin one holy night
in the little town of Bethlehem
all the angels singing praises to the great I Am
He walked on the water, healed the lame, and made the blind to see
and for the first time here on earth did you know that God could be a friend
and though he never did a single thing wrong
he was the one the crowd chose and then he walked, and he died,
but three days later, three days later, three days later, HE ROSE!!!!!!!!
three days later HE ROSE!!!!!!!!

You see he came, he lived, and he died
but that was the end of the beginning 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Humbly Grateful

I sit, belly full from a wonderful breakfast; warm mug of coffee sending wafts of aromatic steam up to my nostrils. Apart from the simple word of thanks uttered at the family table, gratefulness for the comfort which envelopes me is far from my mind. 

And then I read this: When Food Becomes a Hallowed Thing, and I am on my knees. 

Hands raised in thanksgiving to a Father who has blessed us with abundance. Heart full of gratitude for the happy, healthy, child I often fight with just to eat what's on her plate. My mind travels to Africa, and the many who are suffering. Tears threaten to spill as I think of the mother cradling her young one, thin and malnourished. A child who has known nothing but suffering; slipping away in silence, too weak to even cry. 

Lord, forgive me for not remembering them. Forgive me for taking what we have for granted. Teach me to be humbly grateful, and to give of what I have...

Want to help? The Canadian Government is matching dollar-for-dollar donations to the faminine relief. You can donate through organizations like World Vision, Samaritan's Purse, The Red Cross, etc.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blanketed in Thanks

To me it was a menial task. I do it several times a week, this thing called laundry. But to her, the task of washing these precious threads was an act of trust. Parting with her smelly, dirty, much-loved blankets, one affectionately known as "Pink" and the other, the more loved of the two, "Blankie," was a demonstration of her complete and utter trust in me.

She watched as I added the soap, turning the machine on to drown her beloved friends in water. “Bye Bye Blankets,” she whispered. And then she was off. Off to play in her imaginary world; confident in the knowing that her blankets would soon be returned.

And so they were.

After a quick wash and dry, I called to her and she came running. The anticipation was palpable as she eagerly rushed through the laundry room door.

With a tug on the dryer and a squeal of delight, child and cuddly friends were reunited. She in awe of how warm and soft they were; me in awe at how such a simple thing could be so desperately important to one so small.

She left with a smile on her face, eager to show Pink and Blankie all they had missed while they were taking a bath. But not before turning, and sweetly saying the words this woman, who had performed the most mundane of domestic tasks, needed to hear.

“Thank you Momma!” “You’re welcome baby.”


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday's Sanctuary

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."  
1 Peter 4:8

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Small Moment

Body weary from a busy week, I struggle to stay awake while snuggled on the couch with a book. Simply longing for a few minutes to myself to rest, I struggle with impatience at the child tugging at my toes to play with her. 

Undeterred by my request to simply play quietly by herself, she climbs up beside me. "Mommy?" she whispers quietly. 

I sigh and respond, "Yes child."

And then it happens. One small extraordinary moment amid the domestic routine of my day. 

Cupping my face in her little hands, she pulls me close and whispers...

"I love you."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Extraordinary Love

Love is patient. I needed that reminder this morning while coaxing my "I don't like breakfast or really have any desire to eat before noon" child to take a bite of her Rice Krispie cereal. I needed that reminder this morning when I lost my cool with my poor, dear hubby, who was simply trying to love me. Help me. Head pounding. Eyes heavy. Stomach churning. The last thing I felt like doing this morning was being lovingly patient

And then I read this: "My failure to love is first a failure to be grateful for who people are right now. And my impatience is a result of my unthankfulness." (When You're Finding It Hard to be Patient) A blog I read daily, this particular post was the shot in the arm I needed today. 

Today - a very ordinary, routine, regular kind of day. Love is patient. 

Because love is grateful. 

Grateful for the child who, despite her unwillingness to eat her breakfast, greeted me this morning with a smile and a cheery "Hi mama!" 

Thankful for the husband who offered to stay home since I was not feeling well.

Appreciative of the days of good health I enjoy, and even the days when I'm not well ... for it means I am alive!

Today's extraordinary moment comes in this: Love is patient... because love is grateful.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Starting Over...

This blog, much like it's author, has been slowly evolving, changing, and seeking purpose. What started out as simply an outlet for my creative juices, turned into a place to share my faith journey and inspire others. 

But then my life changed in a rather drastic way. I became a mother. (You can read the story of how that journey began here and here.) With motherhood came a roller coaster of emotions, questions, and changes that caught me completely off guard. And for a time this blog has reflected that. Disjointed. Lacking in focus. Sometimes funny. Sometimes sad. Often silent. Again, much like it's author.

However, over the past few months I've been on a journey toward rediscovery. Out of a desire to refocus and regain that which had been lost, I have been silent with good reason. Mother Teresa said it best: “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

As I've worked through things, I've done so with the express purpose to come back to this blog. To retool it, repurpose it, refocus it. To somehow pull out of my experiences in this unexpected adventure of motherhood, and share that journey with others. And as I mulled this over ... I came across this quote:

"The constant challenge to domestic life, because it is full of repetition and familiarity, is to assume it isn’t also extraordinary." ~Lance Odegard
This captures what I want to express perfectly! To blog about my day to day life as a domestic; to walk alongside others who are seeking to find purpose in the routine! And so begins the repurposing of this blog. To search daily to find the extraordinary in an otherwise very ordinary role of a wife and mother. 

Note: this picture was taken one month after my daughter was born. She is now 2 going on 3! Time goes much, much too fast. Another good reason to stop and recognize the extraordinary nature of the journey!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Colour Me Happy

I've found a new hobby. It's a rather surprising hobby given my age, but then again I am the mother of a two-year-old. 

It all started one afternoon when my daugther insisted that I colour with her. I grabbed a crayon and settled in beside her to colour in her beloved colouring book. There was something about the feel of that crayon in my hand, the smell of the waxy colouring goodness that made me smile. I found myself enjoying the moment... not because I was sharing a quiet moment of artistic expression with my daughter (although that was fun too), but rather I found myself lost in the joy of colouring! Lost in the delight of choosing a colour, the challenge of staying in between the lines, and the joy of watching my creation come to live on the page. 

Weeks later I found myself thinking about that afternoon of colouring and a silly notion entered my head. My birthday was coming up and despite a few new items of clothing I needed, the only thing I found myself longing for in the way of birthday gifts was a box of crayons and a colouring book. All my own. 

And so my new hobby began. Armed with a box of 64 glorious colours from Crayola, and a Mini Mouse colouring book (both of which I might add I have hidden from the child), you can find me tucked in my bed late at night watching TV and colouring. Each night I colour a new page, and as I colour I feel the weight of the day fall away. The simple, quiet, stillness of crayons and paper are my new hobby, and a surprising way to let go of the adult worries of the day and embrace the carefree days of my youth. It is glorious.

My name is Shari. I'm 38. And in my spare time I colour. Unashamed. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

525,600 Minutes

I've officially entered by 39th year, having turned 38 yesterday. Birthdays always make me pause and think about the year. Counting blessings, listing challenges, reflecting on things learned, and memories treasured. Makes me think of this song... 

525,600 minutes of my life has passed for the 38th time, and my 39th round of minutes has begun. I will be counting the seasons of love this year. Measuring how I gave love, received love, treasured love and was grateful for love.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

May the Word of My Mouth...

What does it say about our world, and about the culture in which we live, when the most popular post of all time on my blog has and continues to be "When God Doesn't Make Sense"?

A while back I discovered the ability to review the "stats" for my blog. This tool allows me to see where my readers are coming from (geographically), how they are finding my blog, and what posts are getting read the most. I was amazed then, and was reminded of it again today, to learn that the post I wrote way back in April of 2007, continues to be the most read post in all of my entries. Readers of this particular piece come from all over the world, and they find it by doing a Google search. Yes. Google.

It turns out, actually, that doing such a Google search brings my post up in 3rd place... just below's ad and's ad for Dr. Dobson's book by the same title.

Think about that for a moment. Someone in say, Denmark, does a search on Google for the words when-god-doesn't-make-sense, and in the results they stumble on my blog. This knowledge creates in me a number of things... I am humbled by this, that God would allow my words to (I hope) bring someone comfort. I am surprised by this, that my words and the experience that led me to write them, would be read by so many. But mostly I am saddened by this. Yes. Saddened.

It saddens me that there are so many people out there suffering, struggling with loss of faith, and asking whether or not they can trust God. It saddens me that these same people are turning to the internet in their time of need, relying on Google to give them the answers they seek. Where is the church in this? Has our message as the Bride of Christ been so silenced or tainted that Google is the better choice when faced with suffering? I hope not, but it certainly makes me stop and think.

It makes me wonder what more we could be doing to make an impact in a suffering world. It makes me question how I'm living and what I could be changing, so that, in the words of my pastor and the faith community I am a part of, God is made famous. And it makes me think more seriously, and pray all the harder, for the ministry I am called to with the non-profit I work for... knowing that I encounter such suffering daily and have a responsibility to point them to Christ. And it reminds me of the opportunity I have to use this blog to honour Him. 

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer. ~Psalm 19:14

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Forced Creativity

An interesting thing happens when you become a mother. No one ever tells you about it, and no book will prepare you for it. 

I called it "forced creativity." 

Bred solely out of pure desperation and a direct result of hair pulling, head banging and shed tears, "forced creativity" is what happens when mother meets toddler in the fight to get food (and not just any food, but healthy, brain-boosting, vitamin/protein-packed food) eaten. Driven by sheer determination to ensure my child does exist on hot dogs and cheese, I've been forced to get creative in how I sneak veggies and even protein into my little rug-rat. 

I know I talk about it a lot. I write about it in my status on Facebook on a daily basis, blog about it continually, and have even written about it for the non-profit I work for. My apologies to readers who are tired of hearing about it... at least those readers who aren't fellow sojourners on this adventure of toddlerhood! I will write about something else, someday, but for now, as a frustrated mom with only one thing on my mind, indulge me. Pray for me. Encourage me. Help me! ;-)

(I'm adding to my list of Deceptive Tips daily, as I find success in hiding veggies and protein. If you are a fellow frustrated mom, I hope you find it helpful! If you are a mom who has "been there and done that," I welcome your feedback, tips, words of encouragement and hugs! And if you are neither, well ... again I apologize! LOL!)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Score One for Momma!

Today is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day. I didn't even know that until after I made dinner, and that's what we had. 

Well, we sort of had it. Ok, well it was rotini pasta instead of fettuccine. And ok, I added pureed white beans and grated zucchinni to the alfredo sauce. But hey, it was my version of fettuccine alfredo for my picky eater of a two year old. And it was good. Very good actually. And she didn't even notice!

Score one for momma. It was a good day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making Love a Routine

I don’t know about you, but I live for routine. An established routine ensures that I get my sleep, eat properly, work efficiently, nourish my soul and play with abandon. The minute something disrupts my daily routine, everything suffers. My health, my work, my faith, and my family.

Now that I am a mother, the desire for a daily routine has become an absolute necessity. As any parenting expert will tell you, children flourish under a solid schedule. Not only does a daily routine ensure that their basic needs are met, but an established “order” gives them peace of mind and security. Children, and adults alike, thrive on routine.

The same can be said for a marriage and family. In this case the routine I’m referring to isn’t so much about a written schedule, as it is an intentional focus on what some might call traditions or rituals. Just as important as the day to day routine for overall harmony in a marriage or family, being intentional about rituals such as family game nights, date nights and prayer, provides the couple and/or family with the opportunity to grow, learn and laugh together. This is where love grows. 

God calls us to a routine of sorts in Deuteronomy 6. 

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

When a ritual of loving God with all our hearts, souls and minds is lived out before the world, impressed on the minds of our children, and written on the walls of our home, love for God and one another becomes a routine from which the family thrives and God is made famous. 

Commit to making love a routine in your home this year. Doing so will fill your heart, nourish your soul, empower your children and impact the world. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Listing Moments

If you are weary, your arms pained by the burden you carry... make a list.
If your eyes are reddened, and your face tear stained... make a list. 
If all that life hands you leaves you sour and forlorn... make a list.
For in this list, of the gifts He's given you, you will find
strength to carry the burden
joy to dry your tears
and a sweetness that gives way to joy.

... steaming mugs of coffee cupped in dishpan hands
... mountains peeking through clouds
... the snoring sounds of loved ones deep on slumber
... little arms wrapped tight around my neck
... chubby fingers that play with my hair
... vanilla and lavender
... the anticipation of something new
... gusts of wind and swaying trees
... moments, stolen moments, treasured
... silly games and animal noises
... days off


Not long ago I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of Ann Voskamp's first book: One Thousand Gifts. Check out this preview/introduction, and learn how powerful and transforming the gift of gratitude can be:

Sunday, January 16, 2011


My eyes are heavy. My mind full. Anxiety knocks, and foolishly I answer. I am at my end. No where else to turn. 

Then, like a glimmer of sun through the clouds, I hear that still, strong voice. "Rest." And I am reminded... "my souls finds rest in God alone."

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

In the Stillness

There are moments in my day that warm my heart, move me and fill my soul. One of those precious moments is in the stillness of a home at rest, when everyone is tucked safely in their beds and for a moment I savour the silence and gaze upon those I love as they sleep.

My friend, Julie, a gifted writer, fellow MK, and kindred spirit in this journey of motherhood, published this on her blog yesterday. It's beautiful and describes exactly what I feel in those quiet moments:

SweetPeanuts: The beautiful rise and fall: "I am walking through the rooms of my home in the hushed, lonely moments of night. This day has wound up and wound down, and though I am tire..."

I captured once such moment when Abbie was napping one afternoon. I treasure this image and savour it in my memory during tantrums, whining and outright defiance.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Daring to be Disturbed

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves.
When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to shore.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land
We shall find stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push us in the future
In strength, courage, hope and love.
~Sir Francis Drake, December 1577

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Resolve to Give Life

As the new year begins, people all over the globe make resolutions for 2011. My husband and I have made only one: to give life.

Not long ago, on a morning when my husband was home caring for our two-year-old, he was challenged by the reality that the decisions we make either give or take life. After ensuring that our daughter’s basic needs were met, he busied himself with some tasks he wanted to accomplish ignoring her attempts to get his attention with her toys, etc. With each attempt she made to engage him, conviction grew in his heart. 

Knowing that the things he was doing could wait, he acknowledged his own selfishness and turned his full attention to her. Doing so led to some quality time between father and daughter, rejuvenating them both and deepening their bond. It was in that moment that my husband realized that the choice he made gave them both life. 

With that realization, we have chosen to do things that give life to our family and to those around us this year. Whether it be something that extends our life (choosing an apple rather than a bag of chips), or the choice to spend more time building memories as  a family rather than doing our own thing or watching TV, we are seeking the Lord’s wisdom in giving rather than taking from the lives around us. 
What are you resolving to do this year?