Thanks for stopping by! If I haven’t met you, I’m Janis.

Mostly what you need to know about me is that I just love a great story! I love to hear them. I love to tell them. I love to live them.

I thought I knew how my stories were going to work out before they were written. How wrong I was most of the time! How glad I am that I was wrong!

Here’s how I thought my relationship story was going to go: I thought some regular sort of guy might eventually want to be with me enough to marry me and he’d be nice and all and be good with computers and spreadsheets and have a boring sort of job, and eventually I’d grow to love him.

What actually happened: When I was 23, I met this long haired, tattooed, divorced 28-year old guy who had just lost all his money and moved back home with his parents after a crazy career of gold mining in the Yukon for a decade, making way too much money and wasting it all on drugs and alcohol. He literally had to flee the Yukon to save his life. Just two months before we met, he decided to become a sculptor and was working out of his parent’s carport. Some people thought I was rebelling. Some couldn’t figure out why he chose me. BUT GOD was in it. I still love telling that story. If you want to hear that story…it’s in the VLOG!

With kids, I had a really great story planned. It just turned out to be someone else’s story and not mine. I am a Mom to a handful of kids. When I say handful, I mean 5! My 5th baby was born before the first one turned 7. That was crazy. Who am I kidding? It’s still crazy. I think it is also a great story, but I can’t quite remember how it all happened. Just a blur, really! Basically, don’t ask me for tips on birth control! I have learned that sometimes the hardest things-like an very much unplanned pregnancy-turn out to be the best things. I learned that hard things are not necessarily bad. They’re just hard. I found out that it’s worth going through the hard to get to the great. Now my kids are almost all teenagers, and we’re having a blast! Most of the time we even like each other! It’s a roller coaster of emotion around our place and I am usually happiest when my house is full of kids and their friends. But don’t get the wrong picture of a TV show family. I am a normal, grumpy witch sometimes who freaks out at my kids as well. I don’t want you to think we’re this perfect family. Just ask any one of them. They’ll have a story to tell too!

One thing that was never going to be part of my story was that I was for sure never going to be a home school Mom. Everyone knows that home schoolers are weird. Plus I didn’t want to have goats in my backyard and wear denim jumper dresses. So when I heard about my cousin’s plans to home school her kids, naturally, I made fun of her. Never do that. Her kids went to school after a year or two. Mine just sat around the house making giant messes and waiting for someone to teach them for years on end. Since I can’t make school lunches on a consistent basis to save my life, and it took two hours to find everyone’s shoes, and someone always needed to be changed or take a nap, and I really wanted to read the good books I’d read or missed as a kid, we became home schoolers. Then I thought that was our story and it was going to go on and on forever-but now it’s all different. The chapter ended. A new one started. New things we were ‘never going to do.’

I love hearing other people’s stories. I’d love to include some of my friends’ stories here too. Stories like the one of our friends who didn’t know his parents had arranged his marriage, but he had already fallen in love with someone else and how that worked out. A friend who’s life was falling apart and she met a lady with five kids (not me!) while sitting next to her on an airplane and they ended up stranded together in Alaska in the new friends’ brother’s apartment with seven kids-and what she learned changed her life as she met Jesus for the first time. A friend from Germany who tells such a funny story of meeting her husband. The best stories are when God shows up and works out the circumstances in such unexpected ways. I have found out that these stories are not so rare as I once thought!

I also love old stories written by people who lived through crazy hard times. I sometimes say ‘my best friends are dead,’ because a lot of my favourite authors died a good century before I was born. Those were some pretty hard times they lived through-and out of the hard ground of their lives and their impossible situations, strong character struggled its way though and became something beautiful and admirable. I have grown to love these people and their stories. I want to share some of those with you also.

In general, in our society, we long for ‘easy’ and ‘entertainment.’ I’m no exception. But what I’ve found out is that even though we think we want an easy life full of entertainment, we despise the meaningless of it. There is a greater part of us that yearns for something more. Meaning. Purpose. To really do something and leave our mark on this world. To truly connect with who we were meant to be in the first place. Often, I have to beat down my desire for easy and entertainment in order to go deeper. In my experience, that deeper life of meaning and purpose is always worth it. I hate climbing difficult hills. But I have never once regretted the climb once it is over and I’m admiring the view. In fact, I don’t even have an ounce of sympathy for my lazy complaining self that was just moments ago struggling with the climb! “You wimp!” I say to myself, “Look what you would have made me miss if you got your way!”

I have found that the best place for stories of crazy adventurous lives lived and how they turned out, is the most ancient of them all. I love to refer to them as ‘The Ancient Words.’ By that I mean the Bible. I have not always loved reading the Bible. I have often found it boring and difficult to understand-mostly when I haven’t opened it up for a long time. Eventually, I have come to learn how to read it and I have found out that in those ancient words, there is a sort of magic. Because God can use those words written centuries ago to speak right to me today and have it be just as relevant to me as the day it was written. There is so much I love about these adventures. I hope I can pass on to you the secret of how to open it up and bring it alive to you-because if you become a reader of the Bible, you will never be the same. One of my favourite parts is how there are these clues planted all throughout it: super-detailed prophecies about the craziest things, and how, because we’re reading them sometimes literally thousands of years after they were written, hundreds and hundreds of them have come to pass! The best part: some of them are still coming true today, like a giant jigsaw puzzle that we get to see the picture of on the front of the box, and we get to watch as in our very own lifetime, the very last puzzle pieces are fitting into place even now. How I have come to love those Ancient Words!

So pull up a chair, get yourself a cup of tea, and let me tell you some of my stories…