Be Your Own Adventure

Creating Everyday Adventures


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Words on Wednesday – Rocket Ship Adventure

Jude loves to write and illustrate books. I love seeing his imagination take off and wondering what he will come up with next. I encourage him to do it and help him with the logistics when he wants to write. So, when he challenged me to write a story, I could hardly refuse. I wrote and illustrated the following book in about ten minutes with a ball point pen and some copy paper. I wasn’t too sure about it at first, but once I started, it was heaps of fun.

I hope you enjoyed my little foray into children’s literature.

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Mawwiage…That Dream Within a Dream

“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove.” The Impressive Clergyman, Princess Bride

My husband & I just celebrated 13 years of marriage a few weeks ago.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long and at the same time, it seems like we’ve always been together. It’s been a wonderful thing sharing life with my Colin. However, being married ain’t all gum drops and slow dancing! Especially being married to me. There are times when marriage is hard work, there are times when it is boring, there are times when it’s not much fun at all. Nothing has challenged me to grow like being married & I was kicking and screaming a bunch of that time.

My husband and I were friends before we started going out. We had both had previous relationship experiences that made us want to enter into our own relationship with honesty and openness. We have a lot in common, but plenty of differences to keep things interesting. I believe we had a great start to our marriage, but that doesn’t mean it has been easy. We have had some incredible disagreements, arguments, and fights. There have been slammed doors, unkind words, painful silences and I can tell, you the sun has definitely gone down on our anger!

I just said "Yes"! Near Tower Bridge, London

There is also this amazing shared story. The private jokes, the pain that no one knows but us, the secrets we keep for each other, the respect that we have for each other, the love that no one else can match for our sons. There is no doubt that we have seen each other at our worst and we have shared one another’s joys and triumphs.

Lake Victoria, Uganda

In recent years, I have actually felt our relationship deepening and maturing. The greatest contributing factor in that has been learning to communicate. There will always be things that come up that need to be worked through, but I believe that if you learn how to communicate, the battle is mostly won. Styles of communication are unique to every couple, but when you know your own hang ups and your spouse’s quirks, it makes things so much easier.

A few days before our wedding, London

We disagree regularly, but we resolve things so much quicker than we used to. We are able to laugh at ourselves mid-argument (randomly laughing or making fun of each other doesn’t always work, but it will occasionally do the trick!)

My parents have always said that if you are committed to staying married (and we are, for better or for worse, the D word isn’t a part of our vocabulary) then you might as well enjoy it. Be nice, be kind, be polite. Nurture your relationship. The boys see us disagree, but they see us resolve those disagreements. They see us laugh (a lot), they see us play, they see us love each other.

We said "I Do"!

I count it a joy and honour to be married to Colin. I’m thankful that we found one another, each thousands of miles from our own countries. Someday soon, I’ll write down our love story – I think it’s a good one.

The Blacketts

I’m looking forward to more adventures, more of everyday life, more growth and more laughter together. I believe that a healthy marriage is the greatest gift we can give to our sons and to ourselves!


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Words on Wednesday – It’s a Mom’s Life

There are things that you expect when you become a Mom, things people tell you about. The love, the worry, the tiredness (though nothing really prepares you for the sheer exhaustion that is your constant companion for the first few months, or years!)

People talk about mothering as being a great calling. So vital and important and world-changing. When I step back from my life, I can sort of see that, but in the day-to-day, in the nitty-gritty, it’s easy to lose sight of. Being a mom is hard.

As a stay at home mom, I struggle almost daily with feeling like I’m not doing anything of great import. I clean up messes, make meals, do laundry, answer lots of questions, do a lot of child negotiation, clean up messes, get frustrated with my boys, play games, feel guilty about the amount of television that they watch, clean up messes.

Worth It

As with many things and as a self-centered human being, I tend to think that I am the only one who feels this way. I was talking to a friend the other day, a woman I respect and who I see as being very involved – in the lives of her children, in the church, in a mom’s group. You know what, she feels the same way! She had recently spent time with some people who seemed to have these exciting, full lives. People who had so much to talk about. As moms, when people ask us what is happening in our lives, we feel like we don’t have a lot to say. Take the kids to swim class, have a play date, tidy the house, read a book. We often get glimpses into the lives of others and think that they must have it more together than we do – they have more going on, they have more focus, more energy, more exciting activities.

We moms are all different. Some work, some minister, some have more energy, some are older, some are younger, some stay at home, some seem to have twenty things going on and are doing them all well, some do less.

I know in a philosophical way that “the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”, but as I look around my messy house, unable to pick all the messes up one more time today, I don’t feel like I’m ruling anything.

I am so grateful that I get to be at home with my boys, so grateful. I know that these years will fly by and I wouldn’t trade them, but it’s hard sometimes.

Worth It

I miss being involved in leadership, in the church, in grown up endeavors. I wonder if and when I will be involved in missions again. Want to hear a true confession? I know you do. I avoid meetings, talks, and groups where I know they will talk about missions and passion and getting involved. It is heartbreaking to listen to people talk about things that you are passionate about and feel impotent to get involved, to wonder if you’ll ever go to Africa again, to wonder if your potential has passed you by and now your dreams reside in your children (which is a really bad idea, both for them and for you.) Besides, I really dislike crying in public.

I do try to make sure that I am doing grown up things – this blog (though there is a lot of kid-talk), personal creativity (making things, writing). Still it’s hard, at times, not to feel like I lack purpose, focus and respect. And to be quite honest, the day-to-day stuff feels just plain boring sometimes.

Then it hits me, this too shall pass. It will pass too quickly, my children won’t always be dependent on me and then what? Then there will be something else. I will have more energy, more strength, more time and I will invest those things somewhere else. I pray that I will be ready. In the meantime, I must encourage myself daily that this life, this time I have with my boys is a worthy calling, it’s a tough gig, it’s a mission.

Worth It

I don’t want to rule the world, but I do pray that I am making a difference.


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Words on Wednesday – Challenged

So, I have come to rely on one evening a week to do some writing on my own at a coffee shop. It didn’t happen this week. I am a bit annoyed. I find it quite difficult to do much writing at home while the boys are around. So I have thoughts swirling around in my head, but haven’t had a chance to get them on paper. I definitely need to work on either being able to write at home or having a backup plan when my regular writing time falls through.

I like the idea of writing for five minutes a day. My friend, Adriel, has a blog where she does that. Perhaps I need to give that a go. Certainly I must be able to find five minutes to myself? We shall see.

I also need the more extended periods of writing time though, so at the moment, I am challenged. That’s ok, I’ll just have to get creative.

In other news, I am trying to decide what to do with this.

I have had a vegetable garden for four years. Each year it has gotten a bit more difficult and less joyful for me. A lot of that is owing to our Central Oregon weather. We have an extremely short growing season with late and early frosts. I am considering whether I may just let my raised beds lie fallow for this year and hope to find renewed passion for it next year. Kind of makes me feel like a lazy bum, like I should just get on with it. It might need to be what I do though. We’ll see. Still pondering.

On this second day of Spring, we woke to snow on the ground and more falling. I really do love that.

How do you find time for your own pursuits? I need help figuring it out.


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Words on Wednesday – Questions, Questions, Questions

My status update on Facebook recently went like this:

Jude: Why isn’t God a million, or a google, or a googolplex (in age)? Are the clouds above the sky or under the sky? When everyone dies, will there still be a heaven and an earth? What makes the bubbles in pop? This boy keeps me on my toes & running to Google, God, Daddy & Grandpa for answers! (Not necessarily in that order.)

These were questions that came up during a short car ride.  Jude is four years old. He is working hard at figuring out the universe.  My husband and I are, for the moment, the ones that he asks these questions to the most. He wants answers. So do I. I still have so many questions, there are so many things that I don’t understand. I try to answer him as honestly as I can, to say “I don’t know” when I don’t know, to say let’s Google it, to say let’s ask Daddy or Grandpa or Grandma. But I know that some of the questions he asks simply don’t have clear answers. Questions about the nature of God and of Man.

I think about my own journey of faith. I look back on how I viewed things as a teenager, as a young adult – I could be so rigid, everything was black and white and it was safe and it was comfortable. I don’t see things that way anymore, life is much more grey than I once thought. This grey landscape can be scary and uncomfortable, there are many more unanswered and unanswerable questions than I ever thought there could be. It’s also a place of great love and freedom. I’ve found a God of grace and forgiveness. I’ve found fellow pilgrims disguised as vagabonds. I’ve found truth in rated R movies.  I’ve found love where I thought there was only judgement.

I want my sons to discover that love for themselves. I will be part of their journey, I hope that I can impart wisdom, and that they can avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I also know that they have to find their own way. They will make mistakes, they will judge, they will be blinded to things. Their questions will probably scare me and I will fear for the roads they might take, but I pray that they keep asking the questions because there are often, but not always, answers. Sometimes the answers aren’t what we expected, but there is always love.

Then there are those questions I love, the ones that have easy answers that I can Google! What sound does a rhinoceros make? (It sounds like a donkey.) How many people are there in the whole world? (Seven billion.) How many kinds of animals are there in the world? (There are an estimated three million different kinds of animals.)

My favourite thing is when Jude or Zane reminds me of the truth that we know, but sometimes forget. That we can pray and God hears. That God heals us. That Jesus loves everyone. Jude’s memory verse for Awana this week was, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. He accidentally said “scissors” instead of “sinners” the first time he said it, so that has been his joke all week. I have a picture in my head now of Jesus gathering up all the scissors in the world and rescuing them from certain doom. Anyway, on our way to Awana tonight, Jude was saying the scripture, but he was saying, “Jesus came into the world to save all sinners.” I was about to correct him, when he told me that he knows it just says “sinners”, but he knows that Jesus wants to save “all sinners.” I wasn’t about to argue with that because it’s the truth.

Keeping asking, keep seeking, find truth, find love. That’s the best thing I can wish for my boys.


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Words on Wednesday – Vulnerability

“Do you want to be a prophet?” Thomas asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Everywhere I go, I meet people, old and young, from all over the world, and they tell me about their lives, their relationships, broken families, their addictions, shame, guilt, failures. You’ll never be able to speak into their souls unless you speak the truth about your own wounds. You need to tell them what our Lord has come to mean to you in the midst of your disappointments and losses. All ministry begins at the ragged edges of our own pain,” he said.

“Do you know the story of Rabbi Zusya?” he asked. “He was Chasidic master who lived in the 1700s. One day he said, “When I get to the heavenly court, God will not ask me ‘Why weren’t you Moses?’ Rather he will ask me, ‘Why were you not Zusya?’” Thomas let that thought hang in the air for a moment, then continued. “Churches should be places where people come to hear the story of God and to tell their own. That’s how we find out how the two relate. Tell your story with all of its shadows and fog, so people can understand their own. They want a leader who’s authentic, someone trying to figure out how to follow the Lord Jesus in the joy and wreckage of life. They need you, not Moses,” he said.

This is a quote from the book Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron. Thomas goes on to talk about Christianity as “living dangerously open”, “living an unprotected life”.

Can I say how much I want to be safe? I want my family to be safe. I’ve lived in numerous countries, travelled a lot, partaken in adventure/extreme sports, wandered the streets of cities, chased muggers down the road, and yet I have this deep desire to be safe.  I want to be emotionally safe. I’ve been vulnerable to people who have abused that gift that I gave to them and so I shy from admitting weaknesses and pain.  My weaknesses are many, my pain is present and yet I try so hard to hide these things from other people – probably coming across as both confident and arrogant. That is not my desire, but I got to tell you that this whole vulnerability thing scares the poop out of me.

I’m not talking about airing all my dirty laundry on Facebook or my blog. I’m talking about speaking with an authentic voice about the things that I am going through and have gone through. I’m talking about moving on from small talk to soul talk. I’m not talking about a polite dabbing of the eyes, but about weeping.  I’m talking about intimacy and not fluff.

I also know that along with weeping, there is laughter. Along with the sobs there needs to be frivolity and jokes and the mundane. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and.

My oldest son will be starting school this year. I’m not worried about him academically, but my heart aches for the pain that I know he’ll experience as his social world opens up. The pain that we humans inflict on each other both intentionally & unknowingly. I don’t want to see him suffer. I do know that if I try to protect him from the pain he might receive at the hand of others, I will deny him the joy and grace and life that he can receive from others as well.

It comes down to this, I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want my friends and family to get hurt. I don’t want people to laugh at me or think less of me. That’s no way to live life. Because the pain is worth the gift of relationship.

I want to go forward living life wide open – to people, to experiences, to joy, to pain, to community, to wonder.


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Words on Wednesday – 12 in 12

So New Year’s Resolutions – everyone has an opinion. Some people love them, some people really don’t like them.

I’ve always been a fan – whether I followed through on all of my resolutions or not, I love the idea of new beginnings, of setting goals, of challenging myself. I do deal with resolution incompletion guilt though so I decided to take a gentler approach this year. It does make them sound a bit wishy-washy, but I’ve fleshed them out a bit off-blog.

I’ve seen some other bloggers doing a 12 in 12 type of thing & I really liked the idea so that’s what I went with. At the moment, in addition to my 12 I need to figure out my sleep. If I can start feeling more rested, it will help tremendously with everything on my list.

So, without further ado,  and in no particular order, here’s my 12 in 12…

1. Simplify – budget, get rid of stuff, buy less
2. Pursue God – Bible every day, journal, pray more
3. Move More
4. Create More – including creating stock to sell (scary!), develop my shop/brand
5. Reading List – alternate fiction & non-fiction
6. Less TV, More Learning

Build More of These!

7. Get Intuitive about Eating
8. Serve – find places to volunteer personally & as a family
9. Get some Mad Skills – Photoshop & Photography

I love taking photos!

10. Spend more time Outside
11. Build Relationships – be proactive, tough for this introvert!
12. Be a Better Blogger – have a plan

Here’s to a thoughtful, joyful, restful, creative kind of year!