Musings on old seeds, new seasons and the sound of singing.

Tis the season for a good Spring Clean, and a couple of weeks ago, as we cleared out our shed, we found a massive bag of expired seeds. 

The date on the packets told me these seeds were over, time to dispose of and buy new. Instead, I bought a monster bag of potting soil and planted every expired seed. A satisfying afternoon of dirt under my gel nails as I wondered whether these tiny dots held life. 

As I planted, a word came to mind, dormant. The dictionary definition is, ‘slowed down for a period of time; in or as if in a deep sleep.’ I imagined the life inside the seed, the burial needed, then the trigger needed for the renewal process. The seed lies dormant until environmental conditions are favourable for it to germinate. I decided to be a part of the renewal process!

The reality is, there is no period of inactivity where nothing is happening. Dormancy might appear to be a hard shell, impermeable even, but I see it as protection until the right time. That time when the exterior weakens to allow breakthrough through soaking and scarification. Heat, light and fire being effective methods to breakthrough – sound familiar? Of course, there is natural scarification as the ground freezes and thaws.

Scripture encourages us to watch the seasons, the signs, nature encouraging us that there are times to prepare. 

I recently read this, which sums up my thoughts well, ‘Just as winter prepares plants and trees for warmer weather, a spiritually dormant season is a time of preparation—when our inner character is developed and strengthened. Strong character is essential for withstanding storms that will come during seasons of growth and harvest.’ 

The very nature of God encourages us: that we are never static, that the seasons are His gift to our soul, that He allows favourable conditions for our growth.

Be encouraged that there is no expiry but simply dormancy; my little green shoots have shown me this.

In this harsh, fragile, Covid world we find ourselves in, I pray that we’ll allow the light, heat and fire of God to break through our protected self, bringing life to the new things that are happening inside.

He is faithful; He is doing a new, different thing, new life is emerging. 

Or, as Solomon wrote, 

My beloved spoke and said to me,

    “Arise, my darling,

    my beautiful one, come with me.

See! The winter is past;

    the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;

    the season of singing has come,

the cooing of doves

    is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit;

    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.

Arise, come, my darling;

    my beautiful one, come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:10-14

Expired? I’m confident I’ll show a whole garden of flower pics soon,

Remember, you are loved! 

Michelle xo

Goodbyes Come in Waves.

For everything that happens in life, there’s a season… Ecc 3:1

A few surprise Hellos this week.

The O’Boyles after 17 years! Missionaries for YFC who have lived in Cyprus, Dubai, Thailand and Denver – we got to hang out with this fabulous family and have Neil preach at Willow Park before they head back to the homeland. Neil is taking on the role of National Director of British Youth for Christ. Loved this moment of being their last stop before heading home.

Kande our friend from our hometown in UK who lives in Japan was visiting family in Kelowna this week. Kande looks as beautiful as ever! We enjoyed a lovely lunch and catch up.

Jolyon on business in Vancouver popped over to Kelowna. We love you Brother Jo.

And it’s…

Goodbye or an-nyeong-hi ga-se-yo to Chloe our 13-year-old student from Korea who has been with us for the school year. She has coped well with the Collins clan and leaves us with a good grasp of the English language, a love for Canada and a slight English accent.


Goodbye to Emily as she heads off on the yellow bus to Watson Lake in the Yukon for a couple of weeks. Emily and a team from our church will be running a youth camp on a reserve, just 3 days North. Love your heart Emily.


DSC09107Goodbye to Jessica as she heads to Green Bay camp on their discipleship training program for 3 weeks (a 20 minute drive over the bridge) Proud of you girl and remember Hawaiian Tropic Oil is not sunscreen.

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And now…

Goodbye to my friend Esther. The one who has been by my side here in Kelowna. She’s prayed for me, cried with me and laughed a lot with me. She has understood me (except for my texts) She’s watched my kids overnight when we have needed a getaway. What a gift you have been Mrs. P – Tuesday mornings will never be the same. Seriously – who will laugh so loud at my stories that Starbucks is bought to silence. As for Christmas Eve, I promise that the Collins family will take part in a pajama hunt in honour of the past few years.Your gift of leading us in worship has been beautiful, you and Chad have both been huge cheerleaders of Phil and I in Willow Park, we are so grateful to God!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Praying for you ALL as you head to Texas. You guys will be a gift to your community. Love y’all.



Let us see the richness of ever changing seasons as God weaves these wonderful moments, we embrace them and are thankful. Even the goodbyes or should I say au revoir – until we see each other again.

May you know God’s love and presence this week,

Love, Michelle xo

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” Frederick Buechner.

Abiding not Striving.

It’s time for a catch up!

Summer in Kelowna saw bible camps, road trips, hikes, praying mantis finds and speedboat thrills.



Summer in Kelowna was a houseful of the loveliest ones in our lives, alongside ‘one thing after the other’ … ending with an ‘all clear’ following my mammograms, ultrasound and biopsy. Thank you Jesus.

Nanny Pop (Phil’s Grandma) passed away which led the Collins clan back to Stourbridge where Phil led her funeral service, as the family were able to remember together. Sad days, walked out on Clent hills, with the best of friends in hidden caves and great pub grub.

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We enjoyed a God given moment as we left Pop’s house. His tears flowing in his grief – 73 years is a long time. Phil, myself and the children prayed for Pop, the comfort of God was present in the room – and in Pops heart.

And here we are at the end of September! We have just seen the end to our teachers strike so look forward to the twins starting their new school on Monday. We also have a Korean student, Chloe (12) with us for the school year. We recently enjoyed Korean Thanksgiving where samgyupsal, jjimdak, kimchi and dukboekki ’ were devoured by all!

The church enters a new season – our kickoff happened last weekend where all of our congregations joined our downtown service. A beautiful evening of worship, baptisms and community.



We have Philip Yancey and Searchlight theatre with us this weekend at Willow Park Church for a time of understanding ‘What’s so Amazing about Grace’.


As the children head back to school on Monday, I head to Mwanza, Tanzania on Tuesday.


Phil and I have been involved with Living Waters for many years and I look forward to visiting there again with a group of women from our church. We will be involved in many activities – schools work, assemblies, helping in the children’s home, involved in the feeding program, leading a women’s seminar… and singing in a village church 😉


Now those are our plans – we are excited for those, also for the surprises God has in store for us. We want to be love poured out to the lovely community in Mwanza, blessing the ministry that is established there.

More on that over the next couple of weeks, I will attempt to write and post pics as and when possible. Please pray for us – safety, health, for our families at home, for anxiety to calm, and for God to use us mightily!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

A couple of months ago I started to ask God for a message to carry. It was no surprise when the Lord began to weave scripture together, confirming it each and every way I turned – everything I read, listened to and watched.

The message began as I browsed through my first bible. Remember those big NKJ bibles, enclosed in a burgundy leather case, complete with gold edge indexing? This bible is dated, underlined and highlighted in many places – the joy of my salvation jumping out in yellow marker. It’s a verse I underlined during my first year of giving my life to Jesus – the days where the presence was tangible and His whisper wild. It’s good to be reminded of those promises. To smile at those fulfilled and to question why some struggles remain the same.

It was this verse…

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, 
 whose trust is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water
 that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; 
its leaves are always green.
 It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7

I was promised drought will come…but that fruit will be produced.

The underlining is not just a cheesy exercise – it’s a lifeline – a promise.

A river in the drought.

God knew to highlight that verse to me in those early days. He knew that life would hurt me, that death would affect me, that I would despair for loved ones, that Christians….

He knew I would always go back to the promise, that even in that season there is fruit. I have a choice to make. It is easy in difficult times to put it down to a ‘season’ – dark, winter times when God feels absent.

This verse tells me another story. It tells me I am a tree planted by Gods river and that I can bear fruit 12 months of the year. The promise of nourishment. The person who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted by a stream. The roots make their way to the fresh and nutritious flow. The tree will never lack for food. The promise of protection. The heat comes, but the tree by the stream is appropriately shielded. So the believer will experience heat through various circumstances and challenges. We need some heat to make us grow. But God will always be there to protect us. The promise of fruit. Dry times come. But the tree planted by the stream has everything it needs to bear fruit.

The beginning of the verse says ‘blessed is the person who trusts’ TRUST, a word that comes from a root word meaning ‘to lean on, feel safe or secure, to be confident, to find refuge and security’ It involves an act of the heart and will and weaves wonderfully with John 15 and abiding.

I have just written the seminar for the women’s day we are leading in Tanzania on Intimacy and Fruitfulness. So excited for this!  1 John 3:1 says ‘How great is love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God’ Lavish is an incredibly rich word. It means over the top – more than you can I imagine. Giving us the beautiful title of Son or Daughter!

Heidi Baker says  ‘We cannot create fruit, but we can live in intimacy!  A tree produces fruit by simply abiding, not striving’

Intimacy. But how? What does that look like? What is this fruit? I have gathered my thoughts from friends who live this out and will write a post on this in the next week.

Meanwhile I need to pack!!

I will leave you with a couple of questions:

What is the message you are currently carrying?

God has spoken promises over you – which one do you need to be reminded of today?

Love, Michelle xo

PS. Good to be back.









Run well. Dig well.

After 11 glorious weeks the children back to school, Jess has started a new school and I ran a half marathon.


And we all know running a marathon is fuel for a blog post…

The build up to a half marathon was quite something, I trained well (as you know) The big social media ‘show off’ under the guise of accountability hovered as I began to back down – back out even. Pre race nerves absorbing themselves into an already present virus. I’ve come to realize it’s never a good time is it?

I was picked up on Saturday morning 5.45am, after creeping around my sleeping house and finding my carefully laid out my running gear, Goji berry shot, ginseng energy ball, gummies and waterproof mascara.

We headed to the Vibrant Vine winery to meet our fellow runners. The inky morning sky brightened by the glow of Lulu lemon. An energetic emcee encouraging us with statistics and facts. Did you know? It’s 72% women are running this race. Nooooo. Did you know every province is represented? Nooooo.

Then the big debate. Ah…yes. Do I need the bathroom? The blue portaloos in situ and a line up suggesting every runner needs to go.  It’s a common problem in runners. Us ‘pooplexed’ ones wondering… will I be that 1 in 100?

I’m a lone runner. Yes, I enter these events with friends and I’d like to think if one of them were unable to continue mid run for some really terrible reason, I’d stop and help.

IMG_2607Ready to run…!

But when it comes to the run. I’m on my own. Focused. Breathing (attempting to) and trying to find the zone that ‘real’ runners talk about.

This is my second half marathon. The first I ran for my 30th birthday a couple of years ago, oh wait, I mean my 40th.

I did run that one alongside my husband and friend, Jason, who turned out to be my imaginary coaches on Saturday. At mile 11, when I had the very same feelings of ‘Ok, I’m quitting this nonsense’ Phil and Jay each side of me said exactly what they said last time –  ‘No’.

We need those straight talking coaches…imaginary or otherwise.

I wrote a blog at the end of my first half. I focused on the stories of those around me, all running for someone, a cause, their story, I also focused on the cheers of the thousands of spectators lining the Birmingham streets.

Spectators were few and far between on this run, but those that were there cheered us as though they had given birth to us. One lovely couple in particular, someones grandparents – they were having great fun. They’d cheer us on, then a few minutes later they’d pop up again…’go, go, go – you’re doing awesome’… I  looked up as I ran under the bridge on Mission Creek and there they were again! They were my cheering grandparents for the morning and I was grateful.

My running highlights:

*Trying to drink water, while running, from a paper cup.

*The fun of the most diverse playlist on shuffle.

*Refreshing rain.

*A surprise cheer from my friend Lianna at Rotary beach.

*Disco inferno playing as I crossed the finish.

*Beating my Birmingham half marathon time by 10 whole seconds.

*Realizing that while I run alone at times, I’m happy with those around me, chatting away. I do like to engage more often than I realize. I LOVE to shout out a well done to fellow runners, and I do appreciate those cheers from adopted grandparents and anyone else for that matter.

…amazing what you realize on a run.

I love that I ran this marathon at the beginning of a new season.

IMG_2596Post marathon apple – nicest apple ever.

This weekend Phil spoke on the story from Mark 2:1-12 of the paralyzed man being brought Jesus. This whole scene takes place because a few creative folks “dug” a big hole in somebody’s roof. Because of this, a paralyzed man was made whole, and the Scribes had their theological feathers ruffled. Sometimes it takes a little digging to make space for something new.

We were challenged:

Are we willing to make our lives and homes available to people.

We need that effort and determinations to rip off the roof and get people to meet the authentic Christ.

Forgiveness is amazing and a powerful gift we have to the world in the gospel.

We must all avoid becoming the grumbling scribes.

We must avoid placing barriers in the way, stopping people from getting to Jesus.

How are you this September? Focused and ready for the task in hand? Ready to dig through? On the outside believing there’s no way in?

Jesus offered the man forgiveness first and healing came.

He walked out. We tell this familiar story so easily. But hear the words…the paralyzed man walked out!

The power of forgiveness – really does give us freedom in our walk.

…in our run.

Let’s start digging,

Love, Michelle xo

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-2 The Message.