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Showing posts from April, 2008

strangers and not strangers

This morning two ladies rang my doorbell. I answered the door still in my bathrobe (YES, I was awake, but I tend to check my email and do some reading before I get dressed). They were Jehovah's Witnesses and they started right out of the gate by reading some scripture passage to me in French and asking my opinion about it, which was really a pretty thinly veiled attempt to direct the conversation to their particular version of the last days. There were really nice, polite ladies, but I had no desire to talk to them in a prolonged sort of way. My just-got-out-of-bed hair and disheveled bathrobe must have given them a clue that it was not an optimum time to have a conversation with me, so they departing leaving me with two French copies of the Watchtower which I set on my filing cabinet next to the Book of Mormon.

I sat down to finish my reading and wondered if I should have continued the dialogue, but I really had not sensed that it was something I needed to pursue at that moment. I…

long-ing

Things are starting to turn green. There is still a lot of brown going on, but the green is definitely on the increase. There is transition in the air, in the plants, in the soil, in the crazy spring-feverish cats, in our lives and in the lives of a lot of my friends.

Sometimes I feel a deep longing in my soul, a craving for more of something, but what that something is, I cannot tell. I felt it again last week. I have mistaken this sensation for loneliness, for hunger, for fatigue, for failure, and many times for emotional instability. But it is none of those, at least not primarily. At the core of my personality is this insatiable desire to experience life in a deep and profound manner, in spirit and soul and body. When I see all of nature straining towards rebirth as it does every spring, it awakens my own longings.

There must be more to this life than what I am doing at the present time. My relationships must go deeper or become broader or both. I must give myself more full…

inbetween places

We spent a few hours looking for a home again today. Nothing seems quite right - either they are in a bad location or too small or too much money or there is no parking or they already have an offer on them or they need a lot of work. Sigh. I love change and I get all excited about moving, but that slippery in-between time when I don't know where we will land and I just hope no one will break a leg when we do...well, let's just say I sometimes lose sight of the long term and become less than the incredibly fun and positive and faith-filled person that Matte can be.

Here are 2 exercises that have shored up my hope and helped keep the meltdowns to a minimum this past week or two.

1. I fast from the house search. Yesterday I did not research any properties nor think about houses at all. It is an exercise that plainly says to my soul, "Your effort is not the biggest factor in this equation. God is your provider. Period." Oh, and one is not allowed to fret or worry about th…

Jake and Nicholas

I had a visit from two young guys on Friday afternoon. Jake and Nicholas. They wore crisp white shirts, black pants, ties, and name tags. It was easy to see they were Mormons before they announced their affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They asked if I would consider myself a spiritual person and through my doorway, I said yes. After a brief exchange, I joined them outside on the porch. Then I asked them a bit about themselves. They were both from Utah, on a 2 year mission to do good works and talk about their faith. I then asked Jake what his experience was with Jesus. He paused for a minute, so I offered them a drink and they gratefully accepted. We all went inside, sat down in the living room, and drank water. Jake said no one had ever asked him that question before. I listened as he told me a bit about what he believed was important in his life and faith. I don't know that he really answered my question, but that's okay, I was listening to …

behind

I sold my house yesterday. It is amazing what can happen when you knock on a door. Last week I wrote a letter to my builder and asked if he was interested in buying the house back from me so that he could do whatever he wanted with the property instead of having to satisfy the demands of a homeowner. He was at my door the next day and what started as a simply inquiry turned into serious negotiations and yesterday afternoon, I presented him with some options that made it possible for both of us to walk away satisfied.

My readings in Jeremiah (which is where I am at in reading through the Bible right now) have been amazingly apropos during these past two weeks. On Thursday I read chapter 32 which is all about Jeremiah making a real estate deal that did not make sense under the circumstances, but it was what God was doing. Yesterday morning when I was asking God to make a way clear for a good solution for all, I read this:

Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and…

rescue or be rescued

I climbed a fence yesterday, trespassing onto an old lady's yard (she wasn't home, we checked) in order to retrieve the bottle of Perrier I had knocked off a friend's balcony. All went well until I caught the sleeve of my favourite black t-shirt on a pole climbing back into the alley. Riiiiipppppp! Oh well. Perhaps it would have been easier to just go out and buy another bottle? Oh, to have the wisdom to know when to spend my energy on rescue efforts and when to move on to something new.

We are in the midst of negotiating a private sale on our house in which we will not make any money, but be able to walk away immediately. Part of me is saying, "Hey, I thought God wanted us to stay here and restore this house." The other part is saying, "The important thing right now is to move downtown in order to build community and invest in others."

I don't know exactly what God is doing here, but I am willing to let go of my perfect scenario in which we sell the …

comic relief

I called Dean at work this morning and asked him how things were going. He said he was shell-shocked (translation = things are overwhelming and out of control and there is more work than any one person can possibly manage). I really have no power to change his work situation, other than bring it before God every day and ask Him to rescue Dean, which I do. But perhaps I could do something right then. I said, "Hey, I need to provide you with a happy moment, some comic relief to make the day seem brighter," and then when I tried to come up with something, I blanked. Arghhhh, I couldn't think of one silly thing to say to make him laugh. Oh well. Nice thought, I guess.

This afternoon I was out running errands, the first one being at the bank. I pulled into the parking lot, briefly sat in the car and glanced over the mail I had picked up on my way there, checking to see if anyone had sent me a cheque for $1,111,000 but alas, not today, so I jumped out and locked the door (yes, …

why

We are doing a series on healing in our small group. Tonight we tackle the topic of "why?" Why are there destructive patterns in our lives, why do we sabotage the very processes that are meant to mature us? Why are we sick and poor and needy in the first place? An interesting theory is that if we never get to the "why?" we will never change, for we spend all our energy on managing the problem instead of eradicating the cause. We may be able to turn lemons into lemonade, but without uprooting the lemon tree from our garden, the fruit will always be with us. Yes, I know, we kind of like lemonade, but try to work with me on what the analogy is saying, people.

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine about the legalisation of prostitution in Amsterdam. A law was introduced in 2000 recognising prostitution as a legal profession in an effort to reduce crime and protect prostitutes.
The authorities try to regulate prostitution, aiming at protecting minors, eliminating …

splash

Pop. Hiss. For some reason, I woke up at 4:00 am on Sunday just in time to hear these muted sounds. The hissing continued, sounding kind of like the heater fan that goes on in our kitchen, but slightly different. I lay in bed for several minutes, wondering what it was and if I should be concerned. Finally, I got up and followed the sound down the stairs. I stepped into several inches of water in our basement and soon discovered that a pipe connection in our downstairs bathroom had come apart and was spraying water straight up at the ceiling. Dean and I were soon up mopping and drying and spreading every available towel on the floor in an effort to keep the damage to a minimum. Later on that morning at a more civilised hour, we borrowed a water vacuum from friends and gathered the heaters and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying. It is slow going, but things are getting dryer.

It deflates me to see all the effort I put into fixing up that basement last summer be chipped away …

crash

I was in an accident yesterday. No, let me rephrase that. I caused an accident yesterday. I rear-ended a guy (well, his car, actually) at a red light. There was no excuse. I hesitate to even write the details here because then everyone will know how careless I can be, but hiding the truth would be refusing the opportunity to be humble, so here we go. The light was red. I was stopped. And for some inexplicable reason, my brain registered that the light had turned green and I started to go. Right into the back end of a green car. Everything in my car went flying forward onto the floor. A man in his sixties hopped out of the victimised car with an unhappy expression on his face. I apologised profusely in French, gave him my name and phone number, and we both went on our way. Thankfully, no one was hurt, the cars seemed to come out of it without even a scratch, and all that was damaged was my self-esteem and the desire to drive anywhere for the next year.

I continued on to the grocery sto…

push

I bought the cats a new litter box this week. You don't want to know the state of the old one, trust me. Browsing around Wal-mart, I found a large, nifty new model with a swinging door to trap odour and general yuckiness in while giving the cats free access. Sold! I brought it home and before I put any litter in it, set it on the dining room floor and waited to see how the cats would react to the new appliance. They sniffed and circled and that was about it. Hmmm. I put Tea inside it to see if she would figure out how to exit through the see-through swinging door, but she just sat inside, looking at me with her big eyes, as if waiting for something to happen. Aha! There must be some incentive given! So I got out some treats and when both cats were poised for a handout, I tossed the food bit into the clean litter, through the swinging door. This puzzled them. They circled the box, wondering where the food had disappeared to. Come on, silly furs! I pushed open the do…