Christmas in the New World

Uncategorized Dec 22, 2021

One early morning a few weeks ago, I swung my feet to the floor and heard, “Squuuushhh.” This is not a sound you want to hear at 3:30 in the morning when the whole valley you live in has experienced widespread flooding.

You know when you are sleeping, and you can’t think straight? I honestly thought to myself, “maybe I won’t wake Shawn up. He is tired and needs to sleep. How much worse could it get?” Then I made it to the washroom and noticed a 2-inch wake behind me when I walked, and the mat in the bathroom was floating.

Also, here is a little window into my world:  Shawn is terrifying to wake up.

No matter how hard I try, Shawn always wakes up like the house is on fire. I poke him and try to gently say, “no need to panic,” but immediately, his eyes are wide open while he throws the blankets back and jumps onto his feet like we need to pack all our earthly belongings and be out of the house in two seconds.

So, with soaking...

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Kayaking with kids

camping coaching Apr 26, 2021

Quick survey question: Are you a canoe person or a kayak person? Not sure what I mean, I'll explain.  

During that same camping trip I mentioned in my last blog (read here), two of the children went home early with Keri. The weather wasn't up to their liking, and they were ready for civilization. A day later, the weather turned beautiful again, and the two remaining children asked to go kayaking. Being the awesome dad that I am, I said yes.  


There are a couple of things to know about kayaking that are different than canoeing.  

Solo - The kayaks we could rent were single person, so I had to rent three. I wasn't going to let my kids do it without me close at hand. The canoe from a few days before could seat 6 keeping us crammed together.  

Stability on the water - With fewer people comes less moving around and fewer variables, causing more control. But also, there is a higher chance of tipping yourself and having no one to blame. Side...

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The Worst Ride at Disneyland: What Canoeing Taught Me About Coaching

camping coaching Apr 21, 2021
Do you know what the worst ride is at Disneyland? Nope, you're wrong. The worst ride at Disneyland is the Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes.  
 
Who thought this was a good idea? The park welcomes you to the Happiest Place on Earth, to sit back, relax and be entertained. Then, in a turn of events, demands hard labour to circumnavigate the Rivers of America.  
 
I can't believe I got Keri to do it with me. And I am also grateful she hasn't held the experience over my head. "Well, at least my idea isn't as bad as the Davy Crockett Canoe ride!" I wouldn't blame her if she did. It was terrible.  
 
If you have never seen the ride, here is the premise: Paddle down the Rivers of America on a grand oar-venture all the way around Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. https://disneyland.disney.go.com/en-ca/attractions/disneyland/davy-crocketts-explorer-canoes/  
 
It goes on to say the guides are very capable of doing all the...
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Perplex-E-Glass

limiting beliefs Mar 11, 2021
I am perplexed by glass.
 
I can't explain it, I mean, how glass works that you can see through it.
 
I know you can see through it. I know if you shape it properly, glass corrects our sight. I even understand electricity doesn't conduct and heat has a hard time transferring through glass.
 
I can't explain WHY glass works.
 
Why can we see through glass? It is solid, made up of atoms, put between my eyes and the sky, and yet it acts as though it isn't there!
 
Wood, bricks, concrete make sense. When it is in front of you, you see them. But not glass. Water is a little questionable too... 
 
Most of the time, I need to accept that I don't understand, put on my glasses and live my day with corrected sight. The glasses disappear as I look through them, and then the question becomes out of sight, out of mind.
 
But today, it happened again. I looked at the glasses, and I couldn't grasp why some matter is transparent while others are not.
 
...
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Pump Tracks & Big Slides

character courage Mar 07, 2021
 

was scared. And I wasn't the one going over the edge.  

Our town is now the proud owner of North America's largest public pump track. A pump track is a bike/scooter/skateboard track allowing the rider to move through the track by shifting their weight up and down to create momentum. It looks like you are pumping while biking.  

It is a lot of fun, and every day there are a hundred kids, teenagers and dads doing laps.  

There are two tracks, beginner and advanced.  

That first day three of our kids were on bikes, and one had a scooter.  

Alina, on the scooter, started the day so uncertain of how to do anything. But with practice, she figured it out. Pushing more than pumping, Alina made it around the track many times.  

 

And then came the moment. "I want to try the other track."  

My first instinct was to say, "keep working on that technique, and then in a week, we can try to advanced track." I didn't want her to fail.  

But...

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We're Open!

Uncategorized Mar 04, 2021
The day has arrived! I am weeks away from becoming a professional certified life coach.  I would love to tell you a little bit about how I got here.
 
At the beginning of 2020, Keri and I were already in a season of transition. We knew it was time for a change. Keri headed to Briercrest Seminary for her Master of Counselling. The next question was: what do I do? A trusted voice in Keri's life said: "I don't know Shawn very well, but it sure sounds like he would be an amazing life coach." Within days, we knew that was the right track.
 
I registered at ICA (International Coach Academy) and joined a global community headed towards becoming a Professional Certified Coach. Zoom forward (cue push up and running montage) to March 2021. I have put in the hours, I have wrestled with self-doubt, and come out the other side ready to help others move from "stuck" to "unstuck."
 
Life transitions, risk-taking, finding purpose, working through relationship frustrations, and...
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2020 - The Year to Muddle through Somehow

Uncategorized Dec 16, 2020

From my tiny perch in the north, I am declaring 2020 "the year of muddling through somehow." 

Muddle: to cope in a more or less satisfactory way despite lack of expertise, planning, or equipment.

Uh, yes!! 2020, you were....well... we were just not prepared for you to be so...mudd-ly. 

Does anyone else feel like they are trying to pick up the semblance of Christmas this year and hang it on a tree? We have done some of the typical things; the tree, the lights, the cookies. I play all the standard Christmas songs and try to remember what it was like when we could host a meal or have our family come over. 

The song, "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" has been especially powerful for me this year. 

"Here we are as in olden days

Happy golden days of yore

Faithful friends who are dear to us

Gather near to us once more"

Ah yes, golden days of yore, otherwise known as 2019. My Facebook feed is full of happy family dinners and gatherings where we all sat close, sang...

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The Space Between

Uncategorized Nov 07, 2020

I was scrolling Instagram this week and ran across this quote about Liminal Space: 

"It is when we are betwixt and between, have left one room but not yet entered the next room, any hiatus between stages of life, stages of faith, jobs, loves, or relationships...it is the ultimate teaching space." - Richard Rohr.

These words stopped me in my tracks; I am in a liminal space. All my insides are rising to say, "Amen!" and "Ouch!" at the exact same time.

I have been in a liminal space for about 6 months now, and yes, I am learning, but some of the learning is painful. 

This liminal space has been a mirror. Things I thought I had overcome came raging up from the deepest places in me. Fear, rejection, insecurity...they are all still in there.

It has also revealed deep courage, tenacity and faith despite all the self-doubt.  So, yeah...it's a mixed bag. 

Liminal is derived from a Latin word meaning "threshold." It is literally the space between rooms and spaces. It...

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Life update and a few lessons we have learned this year

Uncategorized Oct 05, 2020

Well, here we are, living through our first pandemic. 

I won't bore you with a review of all the changes and shifts that have happened nationally or globally; we are all living through a news saturated, life-altering time, so I am sure you are current with all of that. My sincere prayer is that you are holding up alright, and you are finding pockets of peace in the middle of all of it. 

Our family was in the middle of significant changes before the pandemic arrived, so it has been a storm inside a storm for us. If you have been around us lately, you will know most of the highlights; if not, I will cover them briefly. Then, I will tell you a few things that have been lifelines for us during this crazy time

About two years ago, we started to feel a shift. We had been leading a program for young adults in our church for many years. We loved our job. It was so satisfying to walk with people as they emerged into adulthood. I loved so much about it that I honestly couldn't...

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Being a parent is the best...and the worst.

Uncategorized Feb 24, 2020
I wish I could grab you a cup of coffee or tea, pour it into your favourite mug and tell you to put your feet up so we could visit a bit. If you have babies or toddlers right now, this one is for you.
 
I am imagining that as you read this you are huddled under your blanket at the end of a long day, or you are going to start reading this and you will be interrupted 20 times before you are done. Deep breath mama, these are crazy days. 
 
The season you are in feels very fresh to me, but somehow, mysteriously, I am out of it. Our kids are 10, 9, 7, 7 now. Around the time the boys (our twin youngest) turned 4 a very strange thing happened....I read a book during the day. I finished a book in two days because I could read - during. the. day. It still seems like a mystical fog.
 
Maybe I should give you a little bit of context. 
Our kids came in a bundle. 4 kids in 2.5 years. Emma is our oldest. Her arrival in 2009 marked a brand new season...
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