Playing and Praying



Phil’s (our) sabbatical drew to a close with long days in Maui, where we valued a time of stopping our work to contemplate His.

We returned to the thoughts of Eugene Peterson who writes well on the Sabbath.

“…it’s the evening when God begins, without our help, his creative day and the morning is when God calls us to enjoy and share and develop the work he initiated – to participate. So we sleep to get out of the way for a while and join in the rhythm of salvation. We wake into a world we didn’t make, into a salvation we didn’t earn” He also adds, “the Deuteronomy reason for Sabbath-keeping is that our ancestors in Egypt went four hundred years without a vacation (Deut 5:15). Never a day off. The consequence: they were no longer considered persons but slaves”

…a familiar story?

As I think of the next 7 years of ministry, the goal is to both pray and play well – to enjoy the art of living and lighten up, even scripture is advising me ‘not to take myself seriously, but take God seriously (Micah 6:8 MSG)





Eugene wraps his thoughts with Psalm 92, of gratitude, prayer and the metaphors of music, animals and nature to learn from. Praying and playing share this quality: they develop and mature with age, they don’t go into decline…they are life-enhancing.

We were looking through our gazillions of pics this morning – of Zebras in the Serengeti, Grizzly bears along the highway to Banff, a Rattlesnake poised on my daily walk around the orchards. And from last week as the dawn chorus took on a tropical twist and the ocean was still, the clan took their snorkels down to the salty water and while playing the reef…


Playing and Praying

From Psalm 92. //What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks,  to sing an anthem to you, the High God! To announce your love each daybreak, sing your faithful presence all through the night, Accompanied by dulcimer and harp, the full-bodied music of strings. You made me so happy, God. I saw your work and I shouted for joy. How magnificent your work, God! How profound your thoughts!….My ears are filled with the sounds of promise: Good people will prosper like palm trees, Grow tall like Lebanon cedars; transplanted to God’s courtyard, They’ll grow tall in the presence of God, lithe and green, virile still in old age. Such witnesses to upright God!//


I will announce your faithfulness and love.

Evening and Morning.  

Sanctifying my days. Applying His ways.

The sacred rhythms of praying and playing.

Emptying from the clamor of me. Making Him room.

Being. Doing. Repeat.

And in the sabbath sounds I hear a whisper,

‘don’t forget I AM Good News. I AM joy. I AM life.’

The good news is a person: Jesus, who walked on this earth to offer an alternative to a humanity devoid of real hope, who died on a cross in order to redeem humanity, who came “to bring good news to the poor … to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free. Let’s not forget that truth.

With a sabbath softened heart. We continue…

Love, Michelle xo


**There have been a number of reading inspirations in the last few weeks. I have been nervous to finish Pete Greig’s book – Dirty Glory – thoughts on that in 6 months or so…**



Day 4.

Monday morning in Kelowna.
Monday morning in Kelowna.

Today is a word prompt from my friend Sam.


“Important in any community of faith is an ever-renewed expectation in what God is doing with our brothers and sisters in the faith. We refuse to label the others as one thing or another. We refuse to predict our brother’s behavior, our sister’s growth. Each person in the community is unique; each is specially loved and particularly led by the Spirit of God. How can I presume to make conclusions about anyone? How can I pretend to know your worth or your place? …A community of faith flourishes when we view each other with this expectancy, wondering what God will do today in this one, in that one.” {Eugene Peterson A Long Obedience in the Same Direction}

The role of Pastors wife brings expectations, I captured thoughts on this in my post ‘Thick skin, Soft heart’ here.

One expectation is sitting on the front row of church, reserved in an unspoken way for the Senior Leader and his family. It has been a while since the Collins 6 have all sat on the front row, the teens like to sit in the balcony, or attend Pursuit on Sunday evenings.

Bella helps in children’s church.

So, it’s my boys and me.

Until Josiah goes to children’s church.

Then it’s Phil and me.

Then Phil gets up to preach.

Leaving me.

On my own.

On a very wide, open pew.

Now, I know that the congregation aren’t looking at me, or what I’m wearing or how I’m worshipping or wondering why I’m on my phone. *cough* YouVersion. (…except for yesterday I was texting my teens.)

The truth is I feel uncomfortable.

At this point I must say that Phil doesn’t mind where I sit in church. Front, back balcony, foyer but I do want to be there cheering him on.

But yes. I’m uncomfortable.

Yesterday I went to church with the above words from Eugene Peterson ringing through my mind.

My plan was to view my community with expectancy.

I met a guy in the foyer while the service was on and knew he was in turmoil. Accusations, pain, lies spinning through his tired mind.

After a while I invited him into church with me.

‘Come on, find some peace’.

We entered to the sounds of  ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’. There were no spaces for us at the back.

‘Looks like we are the front row, it’s a sacred place you know’ I laughed.

My front row discomfort dissolved as I saw him find some peace in his fraught state.

I wanted to be there. He did find a sacred place.

My clan and a few extras joined us for lunch after church at Latin Fiesta and my front row friend joined us.

Two things stick in my busy mind from the lunch. The noise and chaos of my family and their friends. (The face juggler app really is hilarious, you have to download it.)

I apologized for our chaos – how could I excuse noise of family to a man who has no one? He was totally at home.

I then apologized for dragging him to the front row.

‘Oh I loved it’ he said ‘Years ago, before I lost everything, I was an elder in the church, I played worship, I was on ministry teams. I always sat on the front row. It was lovely to sit there today. Thank-you for inviting me’

Ministry is uncomfortable, it always will be – and apparently it’s not about me.

I’m comfortable with that.

See you tomorrow!

Love, Michelle xoxo

*Today I figured how to add Gifs to my blog. Be very prepared.

*I set up a Facebook Page!

Thanks for liking


NaBloPoMo November 2013