Walking in Thanksgiving

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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Here we are on the second day of my ‘Africa musings’. Read the first day here.

Gen 12:1 says Go to the place I will show you.

So I heard and I did. Gathered. Fundraised. Put on my best flip flops and travelled (flip flops not recommended 😉

During our fundraising activities a well-meaning lady told us that short term missions trips were a waste of time indicating that they did more harm than good.

What I love about visiting Living Waters is that we were not arriving there to take over and wave our magic wand of the West but rather to join in with the ministry and bless all that is already taking place – supporting teachers, and staff and simply being with the children.

Ensuring them all of a group of people in a faraway place, actually, a 14, 130km away place – who regularly pray for them, love them and think of them often.

‘Go where your best prayers take you’ says Buechner.

‘Put willing feet on your red letter verses and go’ says Me.

10711076_10152449982490954_7364837984647119140_nMarnie’s feet!

Isaiah 52:7 ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that God reigns!’

This became a relevant verse as we climbed to many mountaintops to share good news stories. Personal mountains, fear filled mountains and blatant ‘I cannot do this’ mountains.

What did that look like? Where did those beautiful feet take our team?

They danced with African congregations (the first time I had danced the conga around church) these feet skipped over ropes and walked African streets sharing good news.

They dodged scorpions, dragged themselves through airport corridors, and kicked own self at times.

They stood in front of hundreds of people – as the team shared painful stories, of loss and redemption, testimonies of God’s goodness and grace.

They stood strong – supported by team members cheers.

They they chased bubbles and dogs and wore Converse with Sunday best…10624821_10152449901015954_5131216671648908056_n

They climbed from under a mosquito net during the night and paced a room in prayer as fever peaked and darkness raged.

These feet worked hard…

Each step we took was one of intention, digging our cracked heels into dusty soil.

As grateful passion was ignited to a burning flame because of our feet on the ground.

And now we are home, the all important question ‘How was it’?

A poignant question to ask this Thanksgiving weekend and I am reminded again to convert gratitude from Thanksgiving to Thanks-living.

I love Anne Voskamp’s thoughts on this ‘What if the question around holiday tables wasn’t –What are you so grateful for? But rather how are you changing the world because you are so grateful? What if gratitude always meant a question mark — asking how will you let your gratitude to Christ mark the world for Christ?… Thanksgiving is a verb – a way to walk, to respond, to give, to do, to change the world.

Buechner also says ‘Generally speaking, if you want to know who you really are, as distinct from who you like to think you are, keep an eye on where your feet take you.’

Let us find a way to walk this out.

More tomorrow!

Love, Michelle


Saturday Soup 3: Thanksgiving.

Found: This little treasure trove. Thanksgiving treats for us Brits in Canada. Shhhh.


Writing: The relief as I posted my assessments for uni this week! Although $70 postage wasn’t such a relief… as long as I pass (and don’t have to repost…) I’ll be a happy writer.

I move onto poetry. I have always written poetry, the deep, the dark… the fun ode. I look forward to understanding orthometry.  Be prepared for poetic offerings!

Thanksgiving: This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and Fall is busy repainting the treetops in vibrant colour – the Collins fam are out in nature – breathing and bear hunting, listening and memory making.

I’m giving thanks, living thanks. 

Mark Buchanan wrote in his blog today ‘God lavishes his grace upon us, not that we would bottle it, but that we would channel it. He’s not looking for holding tanks. He’s looking for sluices. Grace abounds so that it might overflow.’

I will spend my weekend around family, friends and turkey. Reminded to be thankful daily – constant and generous.

Reading: ‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’ Ephesians 2:10.

The Voice translates this as “heaven’s poetry etched in our lives,” the NLT reads “God’s masterpiece” and the Jerusalem Bible says, “God’s work of art.”

The Greek word for “workmanship” used here is “POIEMA,” and it means “that which is made” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). The word signifies that which is manufactured, a product, a design produced by an artisan. It is the word from which we get our English word “poem.”

We are God’s poem – His work of art. 

Here are a handful of the many poems in my life – those in my thoughts and prayers this week, don’t they make a beautiful piece?

PicMonkey Collage

Let’s try and grasp this verse and understand our worth, beauty and creativity as God’s masterpiece.

Respond with a few words of thanksgiving in comments! Go…

IMG_2903 Taken on Bella’s paper route… finding Him in the ordinary. 



Thank you

Following a word prompt. Because right now, that’s how I roll.

 Thank you.

We embarked on a 40 day Daniel fast last week. We fasted this time last year too. Read about it here. The Nativity Fast happens this time of year, otherwise known as St. Philip’s fast, so we join others in our pursuit of less of me.

On the Daniel Fast we eat anything that grows from the ground and drink only water.

Vegan gone large. Simple really…

Phil and I enjoyed lunch, a bowl of spinach, nuts and fruit.

We left the Chopped Leaf feeling all healthy and vegetarian and walked along the path, Phil stopped and began to salivate, his carb and sugar starved body drawn to brightly colored bakes.

‘Mmmmm. Christmas cookies.’ he said.

I encourage Phil to be strong and step away from the window, offering him more raisins.

Then we look up….

And laugh and then laugh some more.

As we realise we are looking in through the pet food store window.

Isn’t laughter great?

And while this Friday word prompt is over ‘Thanksgiving week’.

It could be any Friday, whatever the colour.

Or any day.

Or even better – everyday.

Thank you. It’s an everyday word.

Life is dark, an occasional spark. Shout thanks.

Heart is dull, words null. Mouth thanks.

Commotion crashes, peace merely flashes. Cry thanks.

In this and every other place, this sacred space. Live thanks.

by MC

Thanksgiving is an attitude. ‘The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.’

It is not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them. Living thankfully, showing, not telling, is a true measure of our thanksgiving.

Drop by next week, I’m going to share stories from the Hope Centre. One of my fave places on.the.planet. Seriously.

As ever thankful for you, your love, and your stories.

Stay in touch.

Love, Michelle xoxo

On your feet now—applaud God!

    Bring a gift of laughter,

    sing yourselves into his presence.

Know this: God is God, and God, God.

    He made us; we didn’t make him.

    We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”

    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.

    Thank him. Worship him.

For God is sheer beauty,

    all-generous in love,

    loyal always and ever.

Psalm 100 MSG

Five Minute Friday

Eucharisteo (on repeat)

Goodness it seems like I have forgotten the reason for starting my blog in the first place and that was to invite you to journey with me on an adventure in Canada.

The man has been out gathering wood.

‘So, Michelle how is the Canadian adventure going’? I here you ask. ‘It’s a good week to ask thank you’.

The sun shines bright, the high sky perfect blue. Where am I Alberta?!

Autumn is looking very proud of itself – the Father of Lights offering a kiss of red gold. A carpet of leaves roll out to welcome cooler weather.

That is until the Collins twins hit the scene. The teens head to youth to play rake and run. I’ve heard of knock door run, a popular game in my childhood – Claycroft was just great for that – hiding around those flats.

But rake and run…. Teen turns up to youth with a rake and the group visit a nearby street. They proceed to rake the leaves on chosen front yard and bag them up, when the house owner appears and teen runs.       Good turn with a leafy twist!

We visited a new to us spot near Vernon on Friday, what beauty on our doorstep.

Bella began ballet and loved it, she is now known as Bellarina.

Phil and Emily are starting to organise their trip to Tanzania – more to come on that.

The big event of this week is of course:


On Thursday, January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October”

‘Love your pumpkin as yourself’ is the now word as families scour the pumpkin patch in search of their perfect one.

Remember my favourite word? Eucharisteo. meaning thanksgiving, it envelopes the Greek word for grace, Charis, but also holds it’s derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning joy. A life of gratitude brings transformation. Jesus gave thanks and broke bread. The one healed leper returned to give thanks and in return received wholeness, it’s more than physical healing. As we study scripture we find the thread of thanksgiving and find that it proceeds miracles but precedes too.

I’m still trying to make this holiday a habit.

This time last year, Thanksgiving weekend, I sat with my precious UK posse, 18 adults and 27 children and we celebrated life and love around great food. I think of my friends and how much life has changed for them in a year. Some have emigrated, started new uni courses, opened a new medical practice, made life changing decisions. Some find themselves in the eye of storm, some are hiding, some questioning – there have been precious hellos and some sad goodbyes.

I know that through it all they continue lift up their eyes to the giver of gifts, to the One we love the most  – finding Him right there in their midst.

Miss you friends.. thankful for each and every one of you!

This year we gather with new friends, our fellow pilgrims, enjoying  turkey, pumpkin pie and enjoy the life stories that flow.


Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world’  Sarah Ban Breathnach

Here’s to everyday epiphanies.

Happy Thanksgiving – thankful for YOU!

Love, Michelle xoxo

‘Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think’. Ephesians 3:20