A Chat with my Blogging Muse.

Delicious Autumn!



Thankfully my muse arrived for a chat…

So, Michelle, where have you been?

I could ask you the same question!

What happened to blogging everyday in October?

I had all good intentions until day six and realized the goal was unrealistic. We had a Phil’s 50th birthday to celebrate (I’m 44 – have I mentioned that?) The celebration began with an open house at our place for two days when 200 lovely church members dropped by to wish the main man a happy birthday. Great to connect with so many Willow Park people. Many cups of tea later we drove up to Sparkling Hill (on our own!) The celebrations continued with a week of fun times with friends and family. We quickly moved on to celebrate Josiah’s 9th birthday. Josiah did wonder why Phil was getting all the attention – after all 9 is a great age…


AND during all the celebrations I had a 3000-word essay to complete.

So I did write everyday – I just didn’t blog everyday.

Remind us again of why you write…

Communication and connectedness are my strengths. I love to be able to weave and paint a picture with words. I am startled by beauty and the experience of finding grace everyday. I am predisposed to see the world sacramentally and I love to share these glimpses. I carry hope and for me writing is the best avenue for this. My ultimate passion is to tell other peoples stories of hope and of finding true faith in tough places.

I am reminded again today that to write well I must fully embrace living.

Live first, create second. Art is born from life.


How is your creative writing degree?

It moves slowly, but doesn’t stop and that’s the main thing!

I have learned that writers need to be readers. That I can’t be a writer if I’m not a reader – writers teach us how to write – or how not to.

What are you reading?

I am currently reading for an essay I am writing.

‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed, ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer, ‘Walden’ by Thoreau and ‘Walking Home: The Poets Journey’ by Simon Armitage. Lots of creative non-fiction – I find myself on the pathways of the Pacific Crest Trail, the raw beauty of Alaska or crying with Chris McCandless mother on a green abandoned bus on the Stampede Trail. I have yet to join the poet on the Pennine Way.

Have you had time for anything else?!

Of course…

As you know my passion is our Hope Centre, we are currently re-imagining what this ministry looks like. Realizing what we are not as much as anything else, focusing on what we can do well and how we can best serve our wider community.

We just held another Encounter God – the God given vision to see a community transformed, made whole and living out a listening life is happening in our church.

This past week we attended the Hope International Development Agency Film Premiere and Dinner with our life long friend Lowell Sheppard who is Asia Pacific Director for HOPE. I was moved by the story of Chan whose life was changed by the provision of a water well though HOPE. She has seen the health of her family improve; her children attend education and food security in growing and selling vegetables. All through the gift of clean water. Her words ‘we now have everything we need’ on are on repeat in my mind.

Last night we met with a group of our adults who are passionate about prayer. It was a moment when God was smiling. A moment to mark as we discussed prayer rooms, a week of constant prayer in January and 21 day focused time of prayer and fasting. Watch this space!

What are you excited about?

Christmas of course! It’s the first time since we moved to Canada that we’ll be in Stourbridge (our hometown) for Christmas. I CANNOT WAIT to spend time with my loved ones.

So that’s me! Thanks for reading.

Praying that you’ll know God’s wrap around presence, protection and peace over your life.

Stay in touch,

Love, Michelle x

Through the Wardrobe.


Hi all. This week I have seen community at its best. Practically, spiritually, physically – you know one of my favourite lines is that we are

‘created for community.’

Following a word prompt: community. Com(with)Unity.

We arrived at Green bay all set for a week of ministry Phil speaking on Ephesians 6. We unloaded kids and luggage; as usual it looked like we were emigrating. A baby faced skater noticed my van overheating – wait – that’s not steam it’s smoke. Fast-forward 5 minutes. Fire trucks arrive and douse my flaming Odyssey. I informed the firefighter that I had cleared the people should the car explode – he kindly informed me ‘that only happens in the movies’. We spent the week with the Green Bay family – and love to take part in their mission ‘to lead all people into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.’

I received a desperate text from good friends trapped in the Rock Creek fires. BC has experienced some harsh fires this summer and this was one of them. We stopped, dropped and prayed desperate prayers through tears right there on the dock surrounded by candy filled children having the best time. Our friends and many others surrounded by candling trees and without emergency crews able to reach them ran for their lives. Terrifying. Fire crews eventually rescued them and they found refuge for the night. Again we saw our church community step in driving for hours to bring them home.

My heart is with a good friend who has lost her best friend this week; she is out of physical reach yet close to my heart. Social Media often gets a bad rap but I have watched a community gather around her – a digital vigil of grief, love and support, then, stepping out of the virtual and sending her to her loved ones.

Kelowna was shocked and sad as we said goodbye to an adventurous young man from our community, Kevin was a free diver who lost his life this week in our own Okanagan Lake – a man who lived life to the full, having travelled to 25 countries already this year. Phil spent time with his family and tribe from around the world throughout the week and celebrated his life on Saturday. Kevin knew Jesus and was surrounded by family and friends as they said goodbye. In the devastation of tragedy – Jesus was present. IS present.

Josiah, my 8 year old theologian heard the story of Samson this week and mentioned that the gouging of Samson’s eyes wasn’t told and ‘didn’t he kill the philistines and die himself Mom?’ I explained that was the story, but perhaps not the best ending for children’s fireside. I reminded Josiah that we don’t live a Disney Christianity with constant happy endings and life doesn’t always happen as we’d like BUT there is always a bigger story at work and we know that God is good, faithful and present in all.

I’ll leave you with the hope filled words that Phil read at the celebration of Kevin’s life – a man who always pushed through the wardrobe.

“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” – C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle. 

I pray you are able to love and be loved in your community this week,

Love, Michelle xo

I Dare You.

Five minute Friday – Word prompt DARE


Josiah John,

You are 8!

I looked at pics from this past year. WOW.

I saw you….

Hiking Revelstoke.


Skiing Big White.


Fishing in Kedelston.


Water skiing and tubing on Kalamalka Lake.

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Planting seeds


Walking with Mommy


Kicking soccer balls.


Visiting museums


Concentrating on art


Walking English paths


Dancing with Nanny



Swimming in a Glacier Lake.

Watching endless Dr Who with Dad,

Reading many books,

Asking many questions,

Cliff jumping into cold creeks,

Flying on planes,

Did I mention asking many questions?

I saw you…

Living and loving life well.


I dare you to pursue adventure and life,

Most of all I dare you to know the very best God has for you – to know who God has created you to be.

….I know how you love dares!

Here’s to being 8!

Love from your biggest fans.


Mommy, Daddy, Em, Jess, Bella xx

…and the rest of your lovely fam

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