Wednesday, October 24, 2012


She's little and feisty, joy.
She's laden with sopping masses of a Hard Year - and yet she writhes and struggles for freedom.
i cry for her more often than for the other these days, as this most interesting fall season has unfolded around us. Big kids running in the right direction, passions unhindered, relationships unfolding, growth beginning to blossom and bloom, prayer coverings by faithful friends sent by God, tiny boys learning obedience as mama learns to be more consistent, lessons in church, lessons in quiet time, lessons everywhere i turn.
And He's there.
Slipping that feisty little joy into my hands and watching me fumble and grasp until i felt like maybe i had a firm hold on her.
And He's there.
Whispering directions into my ears and gently leading me.
And He's there.
Hearing my desperate prayers to break generational curses - and allowing me to see His Hand as my daughter confides in me that the profound happiness she is experiencing, must be a direct result of the deep and unrelenting knowledge that she is Loved by God.
Oh, Father... You are Good.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

family portrait

We were driving down the highway.
Just me and softie.
"Boanie, you be the dj. Put on Family Portrait first..."
"It's so sad..."
"i know... i just want to hear it..."
And i do - but it makes me cry 'cause why, when i think i've got this whole thing figured out do i find that there's a whole 'nother layer to grief that i didn't know about till now? And i almost ask her to turn it off, this song about a broken family, but instead i remember myself in platinum braids with my gap toothed smile. Puffed sleeves and a bow tied at my neck. Little girl full of confidence who disappeared...
Where did i go?
Just when the mournful song ends, i see sloanie faithfully putting on the next. It's a song of homecoming - of being found - of discovering truth and putting wrongs to right; the broken restored. There will be no sloughing of dj duties in our little car...
Her sharp eyes shine at her mama...
"i like this one."
"i do too."

Friday, October 19, 2012

the microwave door is open

We were sitting and having a very disorganized lunch when suddenly Sloanie piped up, "The microwave door is open and as a result, i must share a childhood memory."
She had the floor.
"When i was little, i left the microwave door open.
Peyton pointed it out, 'Sloanie!!  You left the microwave door open!'
'So?' i responded, 'who cares?' 
Suddenly mom POUNDED her fist on the table and theatrically paused before bellowing in a loud voice, 'I CAAARE!!!'
i was adequately shamed, so the next time Peyton left the microwave door open, i casually pointed it out, 'Hey. Peyton left the microwave door open.'
'So?' Peyton questioned, 'Who cares?'
i looked at mom, expecting a repeat performance, but this time she barely glanced up. 'Mom?' i prompted, 'Peyton left the microwave door open.'
'Meh, i don't really care.'"
At this point in her story we're all rolling around on the floor laughing because even though i have no recollection of these incidents, i'm CERTAIN that they transpired exactly as she is reenacting them.
So, from now until the end of time, every time someone says, "who cares" in our house - there *will* be a dramatic pounding of the fist followed by a bellowed, "I CAAAAAARE!!" Because we're awesome like that and i love my reputation as the world's most inconsistent mama.
Any other inconsistent mama's out there?
i blame hormones.
The End

Monday, October 15, 2012

play it again, sam.

It's strange growing a big family when neither Neil or i ever came from one.  There are just over three years between my oldest sister and me and only 18 months between Neil and his brother.
One of the things that i found with my littles - is that opportunities might come for one child - that never present themselves for another. When Cai and Sloan were little, we lived in a small town and there seemed to be more (inexpensive) opportunities to try things. As a result, they got to try art lessons, swim lessons, gymnastics, baseball, soccer and dance lessons. As we added little people to our crew - and eventually moved to a more expensive location - we found fewer opportunities that we were willing to take advantage of... and there are quite a few things that my littler ones have never had the chance to try.
It bugged Mollen that she never got to try gymnastics.
She got Neil's cousin's wife to teach her to do a cartwheel - but it never satisfied her itch to go in a class. So, she did the smart thing for a fifth born child to do... gently, she would remind me again and again that boy, would she ever love to take gymnastics. As i would take older children to their activities she would softly say how if she could ever choose - she would choose gymnastics in a heart beat.
Finally one day, i think i heard her.
"Mollen, would you like mama to sign you up for gymnastics this fall?"
"Yes. Very badly, i really, really want to take gymnastics."
"Ok then, we'll do it."
And so i did.
That day she began to count down the days until her first class... and finally the day came and she counted down the hours - changing her mind which outfit she should wear at least a half a dozen times.
We got there a few minutes early - and watched the children through the big viewing window.
She held my hand in hers and shyly bit the corner of her lip.
And i cried watching her sail through that door when the hour finally struck - (just like i do every time one of my littles does something that puts them in the spotlight).
It has been a few weeks since that first class... She's still just as thrilled to pick out her gymnastics outfit. She's as star struck as ever by her coaches. She's still tickled that we get alone time driving to and fro...
And i'm glad that i get to do this see the world through 8 year old eyes... for the 5th time. To try something new - because this sweet dolly - is another new person. i'm glad we get a sampling of life - and that by God's grace we get to raise each one of these little ones for their unique purposes which were planned out for them before even one of their days came to be.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dear mama - the end - part 6

So i have finally made it to the end of this particular little series. This post is more of a "post script". It is my heart that my story will serve only to bring truth to light, and glory to God. :) i know... pretty high aspirations for one girl's story, but i know my Papa - and He can make feasts out of loaves and fishes, and so i brought Him mine. If you want to read the other pieces, you can find them here:

PART 1 - courage

PART 2 - rescue

PART 3 - life

PART 4 - bereft

PART 5 - truth


Dear parents,
There are a few things my parents did right that are worth expressing here for others to take from what they will. My parents raised me knowing and understanding the intrinsic value of human life. i have no doubt that's why when a friend tried to suggest that i abort my precious baby, i literally felt the vomit rise in my throat and i stopped them before the words could be uttered. i knew that despite my desperate circumstances, my baby had as much a right to her wild and crazy life - as i had to mine.
Parents, raise your sons and daughters to value life.

To my boys (and my girls),
i want you to read my pain. Your daddy used to play that Blue Rodeo song, "i never meant to make you cry..." and i know that he regretted the way that the decisions we made together caused us (especially me - as the one carrying the little one) so much sorrow. If you love her, prove it by waiting.

Dear pastor,
My pastor - in his wisdom - asked me to refrain from being in ministry in the church for a while after our wedding. We needed his gentle discipline and rebuke. i am grateful that he talked to us about our sin - rather than ignoring it (which i'm sure would have been easier). He allowed us to bring truth to the surface and begin healing by first cleaning our wounds and putting on fresh dressing, y'know?
Pastors, tend your flocks.

Dear church,
So many women reached out to me as i stumbled from being a girl to a married mother. i thought that every time one did, she needed to see my shame - to see that i wasn't proud of myself - to understand that i knew i was dead wrong. Church, this is a heavy burden for a girl full of repentance to bear. If she misses you in her long line of apologies, have grace for her. If she can't stand to bring it up again... and again, and again, and again... understand that her Father is dealing with her - and your kindnesses won't spoil her. She doesn't need to be beat down. Trust me. She needs your mercy. Be the hands and feet - this is one of those times to just *do*. My sister jess calls it, "the gospel in boots"... Can you be the one wearing them?

Friends and family,
i remember a phone call that i got from my uncle. He chose not to give me a sermon that night (though, believe you me; i got a few really good sermons in that time of my life that were invaluable to me). Instead he spoke in a slow low tone - as though to a wild animal - pretending not to hear that there were only horrible choking sobs on the other end of the line, he kept up the conversation all by himself. He told me how my grandma goose sure loved babies - and it didn't matter how they came into being or under what circumstances - but that she was always excited for a new one. He was sure she would have been excited for mine too, if she had been there. He told me that his wife would have given an arm... or a leg too... if she could have had a child - and that i was sure blessed to be having one. He gently prodded me about neil - telling me we were lucky to have that kind of love....
And i didn't record that conversation in my journal.
But i remember it.
Those types of kindnesses were rare. Honestly? Most people ignored us, unsure how to proceed (this was true both for me and for Neil)- i don't blame them. The awkwardness was of our own making. But to have someone gently reach out - and not even allow the guilty apologies to begin to be spoken, but instead to speak love - was a  balm to my hurting lonely heart at a very difficult time in my life.
Friends? If you can, be kind.

Dear pregnant, scared, single mama -
i know.
i'm crying again even now writing this.
Maybe we can cry together.
i want you to understand that the baby? The baby is not the sin. The baby - your son or daughter - is a gift from God. Yes. A gift. From God. The little one you're carrying - was conceived by the will of God - and was created in His very image. How amazing is that?
The sin? That can be taken care of - washed clean and healed... But you need to begin now - to take away the ugly rotten lies that want to cling to your wounds and make them fester and rot. You need to acknowledge your sin to your Papa. He loves you, precious daughter of the King. There can be sorrow with this repentance... but it won't last forever - just watch what He will do. He has plans for you, and one of those plans is for you to carry this little one. i can't pretend to know where He will take you beyond that - but know that if you allow Him to cleanse your wounds - you can have an intimacy in your relationship with Him that will only grow until you think you could burst. Maybe you've been told that if you carry or keep this baby, your life is over. i want you to know that this bend in the road isn't the end of your life... but it is the very sweet beginning of your child's. Your choices right now affect you both - be wise and compassionate. You won't regret it.
You are a mama.
i don't know if you will choose, like me, to be the best (broken, imperfect) mama to your little one as you can be, or if you will choose adoption for your darling child - but i do know that God has a plan for your little one, and that your loving protection right now is life-saving, life-changing, life-sustaining.
You are a humbled hero.
You have the character to do this hard thing.
You do.
If you need help, or don't know where to turn - contact your local crisis pregnancy care center... even... contact me on this blog - and i will do what i can to help you find the help you need.
You are not alone.
i love you.
And so does your Creator.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Truth - part 5

ok. i'm almost finished. Too many tears and probably too little coherence. i'm worried in a million ways about telling this story wrong, but it will be what it will be. Today is part 5, and the final piece, part 6, is almost ready to go. You can read the other parts here:

PART 1 - courage

PART 2 - rescue

PART 3 - life

PART 4 - bereft


When i was 8 weeks along, i told the program director at the college i was going to that i was pregnant. i was starting to get tired of hiding. Truth began to peek. i don't know why i didn't just pack up and move to Kelowna. There were a million reasons, for one; it felt like i was in the twilight zone - and as much as my loneliness cried out to be with Neil... i needed a moment to catch my breath, to make sure he really wanted me, that we weren't compounding mistakes. i wanted to finish my program - thinking that in some ways it would be the last accomplishment i would ever have. (Little did i know that the accomplishment i was undertaking next would be bigger than any others to date). And then, Neil and i both wanted to prepare ourselves for the other... (i just typed out about a dozen sentences trying to explain what i mean by that and i realize that i'm going to have to leave it out for now because there aren't the right words.) ;)
doesn't everyone keep their diploma in their piano bench?
i wanted the diploma i had been working so hard on - even though all my plans had been changed in an instant. i wasn't going to go to UofA like i thought i might... i wasn't going to gig over the summer... i would go back to Kelowna, marry my 18 year old boyfriend (who i loved) and have a baby in September. 

"Y'know, if i had to try to think of something that'd be harder to go through than this, i don't think i could. It's very lonely because i don't want to talk to people about it. i cry alone. It's strange, but i don't even trust this journal enough. i feel so completely inside of myself." -february 1996

February 16th, i went home for reading week - and despite my protestation that i didn't want or need a ring, Neil felt better putting one on my finger and we found ourselves officially engaged. Everything felt different when i went back. i wanted to be done. i was divided as i prepared for finals and year end. i tried to focus on school, on getting enough fruit and veggies for the tiny one who was changing my body daily, studying and singing - but my heart was gone. It stayed behind in Kelowna with Neil. i remained divided for the rest of the school year. i cringed seeing my maiden name on my medical records - i hated knowing that i had put my tiny daughter in such a precarious position by being careless with my own body. As gross as the comparison is - when i look at my attitude towards that part of my life, i was like an animal scratching dirt over its own mess. i wanted to cover it, leave it behind and disassociate myself from the foolish girl with the tear stained journal.
Neil sent me love notes full of promises and declarations - and i read and re-read them, folding them into that journal that has survived these 16 years...
My mom gently prodded my sorrow - sending me Oscar Wilde and sewing me two summer maternity dresses covered in butterflies.

i worried about my 4th tri jury, exams, my wedding, my husband not liking my quickly changing body, gaining weight, not having any energy, my own lack of maturity.

"i'm not showing at all yet, but i can feel my uterus if i push my belly." March 1996

(It's so strange to see my awed, inexperienced perspective as a first time mama)...
And then more of the same... the aching loneliness - the longing to be loved and the cry to be known - but despairing that anyone other than my neil and God would ever want to bother... and thinking and hoping that these two would be enough.

"i'm sad. i already tried to sleep and that didn't work. Maybe i could just lay here for a while and hope that i'll drop off. G'night vent. Hey, vent is wind in french... now i see why..." March 1996

The next few pages contain little other than the sentiment, "i'm tired." expressed ad nauseum in the same used up sentences scrawled in untidy ink across pages that deserved better. "Wheuf i'm pooped," "Sooooooo tired." "Can barely keep my eyes open." But every so often, i would summon the strength to try harder to express where i found myself:

"My jury is done, but i still have to finish my professionalism paper, an arranging assignment, my jingle, my scale jury and then little things like the annex concert, preparing for the banff trip and a few things in the recording studio... and then prep for the wedding. Ack. i need to be done and over with this section of my life. Know what? i'm tired. Not necessarily physically, but just in every way." March 1996

"i wish sometimes i would die." March 1996

"my life... i've made it suck. i would give anything to change the last few years of my life. There's so much i would take away. i'd sure keep neil. Oh, God, i wish that i could wake up. i wish that i would die or run away or disappear. i wish, i wish, i wish. There's always so much that i wish and want and need." april 1996

"i lied to someone about being pregnant. Someone i don't even know told someone else who told someone at school that i'm pregnant. She asked me and i said no... i panicked... but really i am. i'm sorry. i lied. i feel dumb. i'm going to tell her the truth." April 1996

And i did.

Slowly over the next weeks, months and years - Truth became my banner. People have often asked me why i am so open about my first pregnancy... Don't i know i'm forgiven? Don't i understand that i'm free? And i feel a little bit like Paul when he boasts about his weaknesses - because when he does so, it shows the glory of God.

God has been so very, very good to me.

Graduation melted into home-going melted into wedding melted into life... and time passed and separated me from the time of my my rescue, but i remained rescued. i would forever be the girl who had been rescued by a Father who loved her so very, very much. Time wouldn't change or soften that truth - it would only make it more precious.
i still remember those months after my wedding - when i found i couldn't sing. i would sit down at the old piano my young husband had bought me - and my voice would break and crack and i would moan my songs of gratitude to God with tears streaming down my face. i soon learned to not even bother standing when we would sing in church. i would just sit- hands circling tender belly - and listen and cry. i remember thinking at one point that i would never be able to sing again. Every song reminded me of my Redeemer - every melodic turn reminded me how i needed Him. Every word pointed to His careful tending of my unworthy heart.
i have never, ever, ever gotten over it. To this day, when i lead worship in my home church - i find i can hold nothing back. My praise is raw - my worship, "unveiled"... It's not pretty - but i know that when i sing, it's something different than it ever was before He rescued me. It's different than it was before He broke down every stronghold so that i could declare Truth victorious in my life.
And i'm still grateful.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012


i blog because i like to write. i'm a stay at home mama with my nest full of chickies and i know this season is so short and so many of my memories are fleeting. My Father's lessons are coming thick and fast - and i want to try to capture some of the journey that He has brought me on... and will bring me through.
But during 40 Days for Life, i do let my little blog slip and slide as i blog over HERE.
During 40 Days for Life - i blog because i want to be obedient - and i feel burdened for my country and this culture that finds abortion acceptable. During 40 Days for Life, i blog for Caleb and Hope and Tiny - because my mama heart refuses to deny their value as tiny human persons who never got to live outside my womb. During 40 Days for Life - i facilitate others sharing their prolife stories on a public blog because i think that our community of prolife believers needs to grow - both in numbers and in courage.
If you have a prolife story to share (or you just want to be encouraged in your prolife journey), i invite you to come check out our Calgary 40 Days for Life blog.
i won't forget about my tiny bit of home turf here... i'll be 'round... :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

bereft - part 4

You can read the first three parts here: PART 1, PART 2 and PART 3. Still not really sure what i'm doing - but here's part 4...


"Baby's code name is Cairo. i love Cairo. i love this little one growing inside me." - January 26, 1996

"In three months and seven days i will be Mrs. Neil Beselt. i can't believe it.  Then five months after that we will have a baby and my life will be so very different from what it is right now."  - January 28, 1996

"no other thoughts even crossed my mind other than that i would love and raise this baby to the very best of my abilities. i miss Neil so much." January 30th, 1996

After a humiliating prenatal physical: "i'm sitting here waiting for my voice teacher to get here and just hoping she won't show 'cause i really, really, REALLY don't feel like singing today." - January 31, 1996

Adding up tiny bits of gig money: "They gave me $30 for three songs, i have $40 in my wallet and i have $50 coming for that benefit gig and another $75 if we do the singing at convocation. i think that's just about enough for Neil's ring..." - February 3rd, 1996

"The smell of the old food in our kitchen was making me nauseous. Neil said it hurts him that i have to go through the first four months of prengnacy by myself so i won't tell him i was sick this morning. He said he already signed us up for prenatal classes." - Feb 4th, 1996

And then suddenly... stealing the words of another to express what i couldn't bear to write in my journal myself:


Where had i heard this wind before
Change like this to a deeper roar?
What would it take my standing there for,
holding open a restive door,
looking downhill to a frothy shore?
Summer was passed and day was passed.
Somber clouds in the west were massed.
out on the porches' sagging floor,
Leaves got up in a coil and hissed,
blindly struck at my knee and missed.
Something sinister in his tone
Told my secret must be known:
Word i was in the house alone
Somehow must have gotten abroad,
Word i was in my life alone,
Word i had no one left but God.
- Robert Frost.

My shame kept me from publicly shouting anything other than love and excitement over upcoming marriage and family... but underneath it all... i felt so horribly lonely in those weeks and months before our wedding as i finished my classes - single and pregnant. The nausea was constant and i felt dizzy and exhausted, but humiliated and guilty if i complained...
i turn pages, remembering... and i read again and again in that little journal every combination of words that convey a message that wasn't... that isn't... true, "they don't love me anymore..." 
My heart broke as i believed that lie. i saw myself as unworthy of love - every flaw magnified, every weakness broadcast to the world at large... Unwanted. Bereft.

"Baby, we want to bring you up right. We want you to be happy and healthy and i want to tell you something else. i want to make a promise to you, no matter what happens in my life or in your life, Neil and i will love you with all our hearts (the word 'daddy' didn't slip easily from my pen yet...) - no matter who you become or what choices you make. i know how it feels to turn around all of a sudden and your team ditched. i know it's hard for my family to deal with the choices i've made and it has nothing to do with you... but i need them now more than i've ever needed them in my life. So through this, i've learned one more kernel of wisdom which i will pass on to you sweet heart. We will love you UNCONDITIONALLY. We want you to become a happy, loving, wise person and if in life you make some bad choices or choices that would be different from ours, don't be scared to talk to us about it, we will love you and encourage you and maybe we'll even be able to help you. Anyways, it's getting late and i'm getting ahead of myself. Do you know what? Right now, you are about as big as a grain of rice. You are teeny, but i love you anyways. So does Neil." ...and so did her Creator. - February 7, 1996


*Disclaimer* These journal entries represent how i felt that winter. My family *far* from ditched. My mom sewed dresses and planned my wedding and my dad paid for it all... Despite their support - *this* is the way that a 19 year old single, selfish pregnant girl might *feel* in her moment of desperate vulnerability. Please don't judge my parents based on these feelings which are really, quite far from the truth. Instead - realize that a girl in the situation i was in might feel like a wild animal trapped in the corner of a room without a friendly face in sight. She might be unimaginably needy. She might be unbelievably selfish. She might be inconsolably sad and lonely. Love her anyway.





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