Tuesday, 26 November 2013


As close up witnesses of Jordan’s short life, we can testify, along with others, that he fought the good fight.  He finished the race.  He kept the course. And a crown awaited him at his entrance to heaven - a year ago today.

So often I have wondered what his first tastes, sights and sounds of this new and eternal life were.  

This weekend I was reading the verse about laying up treasure in heaven.  Kim reminded me of the time in 2011 when Jordan emptied his bank account of $400 to give it to a micro-enterprise missions agency in Uganda.  That was a big deal because Jordan was a saver and usually spent his money with serious deliberation.  His words were, "They need it more than I do."  

This came a year after the father/son trip to India and Uganda. As our sons entered the teen years, Kim took them on a trip to a third world country to provide a perspective outside themselves in order to break their heart for the poor and mitigate the self-centred obsession we can so easily fall into in North America.  
Even at the age of 13, he was laying up treasure. We intend to do the same.

Raise a glass with us and share with us this toast: To the King and the Kingdom - which Jordan now knows better than all of us.

Jordan in Uganda

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Good Soup

Most days are filled with gratitude, joy, friendship, anticipation, and even celebration, but then there are moments when I don't want to be courageous and keep going.  Sometimes I just want to stamp my feet, throw a tantrum and hole up like a hermit.

A few weeks ago, Kim and I spoke in the chapel of the private school where Jordan attended those few days when he hope to return to a kind of normal in Sept 2012.  It was almost surreal speaking to those who had been in Jordan’s class.  That night we attended a fundraising event at the church where we had held Jordan's celebration last December.  The effect of it didn’t hit me until we were driving through the parking lot. In a local coffee shop the following morning, a sweet man, father of one of Jordan's classmates, approached me to ask how Jordan was doing.  I think it was the first time I had met someone who did know Jordan and didn’t know he wasn’t here anymore. After replying that he was great...in heaven...I was spent and took the rest of the weekend to recover from those 24 hours.

Friday, I awoke at 3 am and found myself suddenly and deeply sad.  I whispered in the darkness to ask Kim to hug me; he leaned over and held me and then asked if I'd talked to Jesus yet about what was happening.  I hadn't even thought of asking Jesus...I had just felt so alone.  So as the moonlight streamed into our bedroom window, I looked up and asked Jesus what was going on. A searing ball of pain and fear in the form of twisted metal wire and spots of blood appeared, followed by my sobbing. It was as if the picture in my mind gave expression to my heart. Ever so gently, Kim asked if I would want to ask God for a trade.  (Years ago, Kim discovered the very real practicality of the verse speaking of how God gives beauty in exchange for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning.)

As I cast my pain and fear on Jesus and asked Him what He wanted to give me in exchange, He responded with the words “purpose and zeal”.  That made me giggle.  It made me giggle because years ago, Jordan asked Joel what zeal was....he had heard the word and wanted a definition.  Joel, being cheeky, told his little brother that zeal was a kind of soup.  It has been a family joke ever since.  And in the wee hours of the morning...Jesus made me laugh.  As I related to Kim what I sensed from the Lord, my words came out something like this, “Jesus is putting zeal in me and this soup is food and my food is to do the will of the Father who sent me. Don't you see, doing Father's will brings nourishment and purpose.”  We lay there both in awe and chuckling at the kindness and individual attention our Heavenly Father gives us in our hour of need.

Father knew I needed a job that would set me out in among students and schools. Deadlines, meetings and specialty classes with unique needs require presentations that are crafted and adapted...this provides a focus outside myself.  For the first time in 25 years, I am working in the area of my university training - education.

And yet it is not primarily my job that is the most nourishing, while I am grateful for it.  When Kim and I summered on Vancouver Island, I was looking for clarity on what role was next for me.  The role of mother had so dominated my life for the last 24 years, I was feeling suddenly lost with my premature empty nest.  During those weeks, Holy Spirit brought both Kim and me back to the simplicity of the Gospel - the good news - that we are to make available to all.

Off and on, for years, when Jordan was little, he would ask why we were still here on earth.   "Why can't we just go to be with Jesus in heaven?  Now?"  And the only reply that kept popping out of my mouth was, "We could go to heaven with Jesus, but what about all the people on earth who don't know how much Jesus loves them? Who will tell them that He wants them in heaven with Him forever?  As long as we're here, we have a job to do."

And so, all those conversations with Jordan were brought back to me.   That's why I'm still here; though I wouldn't mind heading to heaven sooner rather than later.  We're here to fulfill Jesus’ last instructions: make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, teaching them to observe all things He has commanded us to.

Therein lies my purpose - where the zeal He has given me lives.

Friday, 8 November 2013


Joel recently asked me if I was going to write in the blog once again.  
But words so often fail me - how did I ever think I could put my heart on the page?  
I have received several emails and texts lately from friends reminding me of their frequent conversations with Father concerning our family.  Thank you for praying and trusting and communicating your thoughts and memories of Jordan. 
There are very few concerns I battle with - I love my job, our new house is becoming home, my relationship with my husband and sons is incredible, and we’re all on the same page in living out our lives as disciples - apprentices - of Jesus.  But the one fear that can pop up, is that as life goes on, Jordan will be forgotten. And I know he is beyond that concern...but I guess I'm not.

We're coming up on a year.  It hardly seems possible.  So much has changed and at the same time, so much remains the same.  Heaven is closer and earth has less of a hold.  It’s almost as if the gravitational pull has shifted.
As I introduce myself to students or am in conversation with educators, I still say that I have three sons.  It's if and when they ask how old, and what they're doing, I get to decide how deep this conversation can go in the moment.  
Tears are never really far away - both in joy and sorrow.  But they don't threaten to undo me.  I've already been undone and now I'm being tenderly knit back together to make the next stretch.  I don't know how long it will be until I see my brilliant young son again, but the confidence of being held by him, and spending time with Jesus together, and exploring eternity with him is more real than...well than most anything.