A Wordy Reminder.

Day 27.

The Collins home has various degrees of the bleurghs. Colds and sickness and general meh.

But! I was pleased to hear this morning that I had passed the latest module on my degree. I held off on signing up to the next as I wasn’t sure whether the play that I had written about the life of John Harper, preacher on board the Titanic, would be accepted. Apparently it was just fine!  Which means I have now signed up my next module – poetry.

This got me thinking about the time before we moved to Kelowna. The time of  words, songs, poems and the whispers of God through people to reassure us as we moved on.

Those words combined formed this image of words which has held us on the days when we wonder.

Wander? No way. These are the days when the words speak louder than ever.


Now, enjoy this poem. Written by a friend of ours, Andy, our town centre poet, a wandering bard, a family friend who would sit at my parents table and talk about life and its complexities.

 Au Revoir, You Collins’s (With Apologies To Bob Dylan)

 It’s not a simple twist of fate,

Or an idiot wind that carries you to Canada.

I’d say its receptivity, desire,

Faith and humble stamina.

You’re blowing in the wind,

You don’t know where it comes from, where it’s going.

If it becomes a hurricane, the Spirit’s in the blowing.

Blood of the Lamb on the tracks

Of a partially trodden path,

Like the rolling away of a stone.

Far from us, you’ll bear His fruit,

Far from being complete unknowns.

Remembering us, you may get briefly tangled up in blue:

Subterranean, homesick –

If so, the Son will see you through.

You’ll have a shelter from the storm,

Knock- knock- knocking on heaven’s door,

Held by enduring friendship,

Within God’s abundant store.

Blond on blond on blond on blond on blond on blond,

On highways that you visit and revisit;

Don’t think twice, babes, it’s alright,

Yours are prayers and pleasures, stuff of life,

The joy of the Holy Spirit.

God is making planet waves.

Don’t feel lonesome when you go.

Under the maple leaf, Jesus saves,

The train is coming – why should it be slow?

Constant, He is rearranging:

For the times they are a-changing.

© Andy Mullis 10/06/2010

Why not remind yourself today of the words around your life.

How many Bob Dylan songs can you spot in the poem? Answer in comments…that is if you can find a way through WordPress hoops. Goodness.

See you tomorrow,

Michelle xo

Journeying Home


My Nanny Rose passed away last week. I know. How can this be? Nanny Rose. Perpetual 40 year old. She was a wonderful Nan, tall, beautiful. Strong.

On the day she passed I admired my favorite artist at work with the orange sky.

In another direction the early evening offered the sunlit moon.

I grabbed my camera, because I love to capture and went off sunset hunting.

Some chase storms, I chase sunsets.



In this I thought of Rosie, and all of the sunsets she had seen in her life. Faithful. Constant.

I looked up to the hills where I saw the remnants of  fire.


And that image was the one that struck me most.

Yes the world still turns, fiery sunsets faithfully happen and the same bright moon rises.

 But the flame of Rosie lives on and burns in each of our hearts.

We live on with a wonderful legacy of how to do family well, of knowing how to celebrate, and an unconditional love which supported and accepted us all.

There is nowhere in the world I would have wanted to be last week other than Stourbridge.

So I flew home to be with my family.

Tears flowed as quickly as laughter came as this cycle found its way round many times.

I walked into Nan’s house and enjoyed catching up with her lifetime scattered throughout. I touched Nan’s stuff, those things, trinkets and ornaments and pictures that make Nan’s house what it is.

This time differently though,  through the eyes of grief. I savored that moment.

And as we gathered to say goodbye, we did it as only our family could do. Close.

With my lovely brothers shouting shotgun as they got in the funeral car.

With my Mom admiring the flowers and not knowing that Nan was part of a cards club. Then realizing she was looking at another’s flowers.

With all the people, who you don’t see for years, but who played a beautiful part in our Rosie’s story.

As she did ours.

So here I am at 4am. Jetlag laughing at my confused state.

I soon flew home again. To be with my family.

Home – there’s no place like it right?

And now. The home of all homes.

The eternal destination or as Lewis puts it ‘the secret signature of the soul’.

I am sure of our heavenly home is within reach, the one we all journey towards –  we glimpse – yet can’t quite grasp it. But our homesick hearts know it is there.

Until one day… when we will not only see it, but taste, feel, hear and experience it.

So, until then, I ask. ‘Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’.


Dedicated to Charlotte Rose Homer. My Nan.

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.

Thank you for reading, you are loved,

Michelle xoxo

Mothers Day: 1000 Moms Project

Allow me to introduce you to my Mom. She is 5ft 8in. Slim with blonde bobbed hair, blue eyes and a wide smile.

A beauty.

You’ll find her dressed in kaftans or jeggings, biker boots or dresses.


Her tasteful tattoos and piercings would suggest a free spirit…

The 1000 Moms Project is an amazing project working with Moms in Haiti.  I am writing this today, joining with hundreds of others who are publicly thanking their Mothers on Mothers Day – and in doing so blessing another.


Dear Mom,

Where do I start with you?

Do I start with your humour – your ability to dance in the rain – how you find scripture for every situation.

Do I start with pain and suffering and loss.

I should of course start with faith… afterall faith is your starting point.

Or I could combine all of the above, as you do and thank you for showing me that:

Through it all – you find Him. He is in control. Through it all – He has us in His hand.

I’ve heard people ask you ‘Why do you bother with God with all of your problems’?

I‘ve heard you say time and time again. ‘It’s because of God I can face life!’

I’ve seen you love your son through the painful diagnosis of Schizophrenia,

I’ve seen you bounce up Lye High Street on a Space Hopper.

I’ve seen you love through drug addiction,

I’ve seen you shopping wearing odd shoes.

I’ve heard you scream out my Dad’s name as you let him go into eternity,

I’ve seen you rock ‘n’ roll with my Dad and bring the room to standstill.

 Mid 70’s me watching the rock n rollers.

I’ve known you love me through years of sickness,

I’ve seen you go into a phonebox in Stourbridge just to laugh hysterically.

I’ve seen you lying in a hospital bed after a brain haemorrhage,

I’ve seen God in His wisdom grace you with more time.

I’ve seen Hope exude. Despair rage. Faith hide,

I’ve seen you distracted with sequins and glitter.

I see you hurt now, as your own Mom drifts away,

I see you offer her times of happiness in her space.

3 Generations

I’ve seen lives transformed through you opening up our house to anybody that wants to enter in,

I’ve seen meals multiply. The table becoming the sacred place. The kitchen becoming the church.

You teach us that God loves to rip open the box that we have put Him in.

A prayer warrior. A party goer.

In seeing all of this I have learned that the joy of the Lord is a gift, to choose, to absorb –  to become our strength.

The thing is Mom – I could write on…

But I think you get the message.

You give me, us, the gift of life – not just natural birth but the gift of life birthed through faith and a life lived fully in Christ.

Thank you Momski.

Keep dancin’

Love you.

Shell x

Coat of Alms

A fawn silver Dutch bantam hen.
(Photo credit: Wiki)

My Mom and her household, in recent times have taken to raising chickens, on a smaller than smallholding in Stourbridge, in fact in our old backyard. They have many a story to tell of their escaping egg providers.

Todays events.

The Hensleys woke to beautiful Stourbridge sunshine and introduced two new Bantams to their flock. After a day of welly wearing activity they realised that their new white Bantam (I will call Willow) had escaped. After a time of waiting and Dion scurrying in the undergrowth of Glasshouse Hill. Willow popped out to play, Mom, who was wearing usual Summer attire (it is April after all) quickly covered up throwing on Dion’s wax jacket and his green crocs and began a sprint down the hill with Willow sprinting faster. At this point, a fellow passerby, a little worse for wear, randomly shouted ‘yowm one of the Collins aye ya’? then proceeded to join the chase, take off his coat and throw it down in attempt to catch Willow.

Sadly, this assignment failed and the coat landed with new friend tripping over it and him rolling down the hill. The comedic scene continued as more neighbours got involved in the chase, thankfully the escapee was found in the hollow of a tree. You couldn’t write it could you?

Unless my Mom is involved.

I took a slavery footprint survey today.  The result? Of the 27 million slaves in this world, I have 70 slaves working for me.

Check out your slavery footprint here and let us work together to end this. Download the Free World app too, Free World points counteract your Slavery Footprint, earn points through actions that encourage companies to check their supply chains for slavery.

Really? 70 slaves.

How? Phone, computers, clothes, coffee, children’s toys (the words plastic and fantastic just don’t go together)

Let’s not forget coats.

Coats. Dare I admit I have just counted 50 coats in my home. Someone has not been listening to Luke 3:11.

Should I weakly defend this by stating there are 6 of us in the Collins home. Some coats are donated, some are from thrift stores, some are years old, some are new.

Coats for all occasions.

Each one involves a form of slavery.

Palm leaves
(Photo credit: Wiki)

The streets are bustling, the triumphant One riding the donkey on a road never traveled. Messiah!

People, busy, moving, shouting. Palms are waved, they shout louder and louder. Hosanna!

They know the King is in town.

Coats are laid down. That item of need, the one of value, thrown down into the dust, the mud.

A symbolic act. They knew He was.

What more does the King ask for, than that of value and pride from our lives today.

We welcome Him into our hearts, our lives, our worship.

But not just today….tomorrow and the roller coaster of Holy week.

Join with me in shouting Hosanna or more appropriately Save me – and as we are reminded of what we need to lay down let us find amazing grace drowning our fickle ways, protecting us from saying Crucify Him.

 We journey on… traveling lighter.