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Monday Morning Musings: On holding the reins loosely

on Dec 12, 2017

My inner control freak learned a few Advent lessons this past week. It turns out that one key to managing expectations during the holiday season is “holding the reins loosely.” Do you feel like you’re hanging on as tight as you can, letting the season drag you along at warp speed? Maybe there’s something in here for you today?

Advent: taking a breath in a season that tends to leave us breathless

on Dec 4, 2017

It’s December, which means we tend to start racing the clock and the calendar to the finish line. Christmas Day. What if we simply paused each day of Advent to take a deep breath?
What would it look like to focus on preparing our hearts instead of our homes, and anticipating the Gift, instead of the gifts? Read on…

Unexpected Gifts: letting go of perfection and embracing reality

on Nov 21, 2017

How do you find the balance between embracing all the beauty the Christmas season has to offer while keeping your expectations realistic? Sometimes, God works in the most unexpected ways. Read on…

Your story, your walls, and writing your own ending

on Nov 15, 2017

I have a sign in my office that reads, “Your story begins at home.” We all have a story–each one unique. What are the things that characterize your story, and how are you writing the ending?

In search of contentment: moving towards good. and enough.

on Nov 8, 2017

Blaise Pascal wrote, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which can’t be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator.” A recent trip to Target shone a glaring spotlight on my heart, and I didn’t like what I saw. Do you struggle with discontent? Read on…

Monday Morning Musings: On the relentless pursuit of rest

on Oct 30, 2017

I spent many years chasing busy. Thinking that somehow my life would have more value or meaning if I was doing ALL THE THINGS. Turns out I was missing my best life because I was simply too busy. How about you?

Monday Morning Musings: On stubbornness and perserverance

on Oct 23, 2017

“Hello, my name is Janine and I’m stubborn.” If you can relate to this, then maybe I’ve got something that will help you turn that trait around. Read on…

I’m giving up Donald Trump for Lent

on Mar 1, 2017

I’m giving up Donald Trump for Lent Let me explain. Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season, which for churchgoers—or anyone with a little history of the church—means the 40-day period leading up to Easter. For those of you who don’t have the benefit of a lifetime of church attendance, allow me to give you just a bit of background. It’s important. Consider this your Reader’s Digest Condensed version. The history of Lent can be traced as far back at 325 AD when the Council of Nicaea made it a thing. The Council issued 20 some statements or canons for practical faith, one of which included the mention of Lent. Although there had been recognition and celebration of Holy week and Easter in the Christian church long before, it was the council which declared the 40 days beforehand to be of significance. The background features the Israelites—God’s chosen people...

Monday Morning Musings: An unconventional beauty

on Oct 24, 2016

I visited an exhibition of some works of the Dutch and Flemish Masters a few years ago, during a short visit to Amsterdam. There were works by Van Gogh, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Rubens, to name a few. These are considered priceless pieces of art, held under lock and key, deemed museum-worthy by someone’s standard. Crowds line up to see these masterpieces, and though some of these meticulously painted canvases are breathtaking in their detail and portrayal of subject, occasionally, I fail to see what all the fuss is about. I am the beholder and I don’t see beauty. My eyes see crude brushstrokes and muddy colour, lack of depth, distorted faces and shapes. I guess that’s why I’m not curating any museum collections. One of the pieces I had the pleasure of viewing was a little known work by Dutch artist Egon Schiele, called Portrait of Edith. Edith is the artist’s wife. By earthly...

Engagements and the lasting properties of tin foil

on Oct 21, 2016

Sixteen years ago this week, my husband got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I answered yes (obviously). But the bigger question here is, who remembers an engagement anniversary? (Except for my niece, whose engagement video (yes, video) went viral on Youtube and ended up on syndicated television in the US. I can see how maybe she might remember that 16 years on.) But the rest of us. Really? Or maybe it’s just me? I’m not really great with dates in general. But for some reason this one has made its way into my love’s Blackberry calendar. (He’s evidently not that great with dates either.) So, we celebrate the engagement. I won’t ever complain about dinner out. While I don’t have any recall on the date, I do remember the occasion perfectly. He hatched the plan one evening, getting my two daughters—who were eight and 10 at the time—to scheme along with him. I was taking...