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Showing posts from August, 2008

2 wives

While ironing the small gaggle of wrinkled clothes that had accumulated over the past few days, I watched an episode of Wife Swap earlier this evening. In case you are not a fan of reality tv (though I don't understand how anyone can fail to be mesmerised by the tragedies and joys of others' lives, albeit a carefully orchestrated and edited version of reality), this is not a kinky show with sexual overtones. They simply take two families that are very different, have the wives switch places and assume each other's daily tasks, and then see what drama ensues. The first week is spent living by the rulebook that the resident wife has written to the visiting wife. The second week, the visiting woman gets to introduce a new set of rules, reflecting what she believes is lacking in the current family situation. Can you see the potential for volatile situations yet?

Tonight's episode was about one woman who spent most of her time cultivating her art and personal creativity to t…

books and quotes

We returned from our vacation two days ago to a big pile of fur and a slightly bigger pile of to-do items, the largest of these being organising a church retreat for this coming weekend. I am also trying to register for a French course which begins next week and have managed to find a centre that offers the times I need and is within a reasonable commute, though the classes start at the unreasonable hour of 8h15!!!!!! It never ceases to amaze me how all the information for those wanting to learn French is only available in French. Not so bad for the intermediates like myself, but how the heck do beginners manage to sign up at all? Thank goodness phone numbers are in a universal language for the most part.

Today I want to share a few good quotes with you from my journey to Manitoba.
I read the story of Jonah while on vacation and loved what Eugene Peterson said in the introduction to the book:
One reason that the Jonah story is so enduringly important for nurturing the life of faith in us…

the "H" word

So here's what happened. I got on the plane a week ago to come to this place where I am from, this small town rural community in Manitoba, and frankly, not my favourite vacation spot in the world. And as is often my practice when going somewhere, I asked God, "So, what about this trip? What are you doing?" The answer was swift: "You need to practice some humility."

Don't you hate it when God asks you to humble yourself? I have come far since I left my hometown: I have had strange and wonderful experiences which include supernatural and mystical phenomenon, I have drunk alcohol and realised it is not the end of my salvation, I have made friends from all over the world, I have learned another language, I have overcome a lot of fears and prejudices and lost reams of religious trappings, I have participated in planting several churches, I have spoken in public and taught and written articles to some public acclaim. So most times when we visit, I feel a certain s…

saying goodbye

I am in Manitoba visiting family for 10 days. I am a bit at a loss as how to describe this vacation thus far. On the one hand, the familiar prairie landscape is amazing and beautiful and makes me stop and look long and often at the vast skies and sunsets that go on forever. My new niece is a treasure, and seeing Dean animatedly educate her about all the musical artists we are listening to and offer sound business advice on career choices is priceless (she is 4 months old). I loved hanging out with my big and strong nephews and beating them at mini golf (they will tell you otherwise, but don't listen to them - I think the scoring system was slightly biased and did not offer the proper handicap for people from Montreal). This rural life almost takes on a Disney movie quality in its wholesomeness and simplicity.

But there are also some bittersweet moments. The one that probably touched me the most was going to the hospital with my mother. Her younger brother is dying of cancer and sh…

leaving

I am leaving for Manitoba tomorrow morning...way too early, really, but Air Canada likes to change your flights after you book them, just to keep things interesting. I had a list of items that I needed to accomplish today. Things looked good up until 1 pm or so and then the list and the schedule just began to ignore me and dance to their own song, something from the 90's, I think. What can one do? I went with it. Well, at least we were still moving, and dancing is always fun if you give yourself to it. So I did. I don't regret the leisurely lunch with a friend, nor the pedicure that Dean insisted that I get before I leave, nor the spontaneous YES to a simple request that meant so much more than just the errand. I am learning that time spent with people, serving people, doing things with people, even on a day like today when the list is long, is never a waste of time.

It is 11:39 pm and there are still 2 big items on the list: ironing and packing. But I'll get to …

complaint

Some of my friends were complaining about church this week. Normally, I try to listen and smile and nod and give the appearance of taking it all in stride (I don't think I am too successful), but on the inside I take this type of criticism quite personally and am secretly offended by their horrific ungodliness and lack of commitment. Yes, I take it all too personally because, well, my husband and I are two of the so-called leaders in our humble church group and how can I not? Even though we are one of the most embracing, interactive, flexible, contemporary church groups around, people still find something they don't like. But this time, after the first few dents and dings to my ego, I decided that being offended was not that useful of a reaction. In fact, I could identify with some of the things they were saying, in a general kind of way. I am not satisfied with the way we do things either. Though I never think it a waste of time to show up for a church meeting, I often leave …

solid

I spoke at church on Sunday night, so for 99.99% of the planet who was not there, here are the notes.
How can one build a life that is solid? Where the stresses and strains of life don't crush you? Where temptation does not ruin you? Where catastrophes and rough times do not cause you to collapse or lose hope? Where the pressures of life and the world we live in won't carry you away with them? Where you stand solid no matter what comes at you and bad times bring out the best in you instead of the worst? Here are 4 things I have found helpful in my quest for the solid life. 1. all in (James 1:2-8) Faith is your friend. Doubt is your enemy. Doubt is keeping your options open instead of putting all your hope in God. Who or what are you betting on? Are you waiting for a better hand in life or will you go all in with what you have right now? Trust means there can be no back-up plan if God does not come through. The greatest thing I can do every day is to submit myself to God, to go …

the patient

I like being patient. It is so much more fun than being impatient. Yesterday I spent the day with a friend who was shopping for a desk. She had requested my company because I have a car and hey, I am just so much fun. It turned into an all day event that included lunch, the mandatory crying in the restaurant over stories of redemption, plenty of bathroom stops, numerous bouts of indecision over colour and size, a brief ride on the shopping cart, thorough research of all the store's other fine articles offered for sale, an excursion into the "as is" section, talking to a polite Spanish guy in front of me who had the best hair and seemed to be buying enough stuff to furnish a small house but was stuck waiting in line while his friend collected more articles for purchase, delivering the desk to my friend's house only to discover that it was damaged inside the box, returning to the customer service area at the store and waiting for another half hour to get a new desk, a…