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Showing posts from September, 2008

not the worst party ever

I had a birthday party on Friday night. Dean invited a few people over and we made food and talked and played games and even walked around the carnival set up at the local mall parking lot just before it closed. Pretty fun! Well, in theory, yes. As it happens, I just had one of the busiest weeks of the year with classes, assignments, meetings, and just a lot of stuff going on which meant I was over-tired from running from one happening to the next and trying to keep my list of things to do from falling behind and in the midst of it all, not getting a whole lot of sleep. I don't know about you, but I am not at my best when I am overtired.

As the evening progressed, I felt less and less like I was part of the festivities and more and more like the party was going on without me. I had the urge to leave the room and lie down somewhere so that I didn't have to be happy and sanguine and sociable and the perfect hostess and seen to be having the best time of my life which was really …

present

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a good day - busy, but good. I spent 7 hours in class, 2 hours commuting, 1 hour in a meeting, 1.5 hours on administrative work for the church, just under 1 hour on errands to the bank and post office and such, and then had a lovely Mexican meal at the end of the day with the attentive Dean.

During my walk from the metro to my morning French class, I usually talk to God. And yesterday I was telling him what a great day it was to be alive and well and surrounded by good friends and family and the opportunities to learn. And then I wondered if it was okay to ask him for something for my birthday. Oh yes, I immediately knew that the good and giving God that I serve and love wanted me to ask for something special on a special day. But what? I have a hard time asking for things, especially from God, because it seems so self-centred and points all attention to me, but I really did want something amazing to mark the day that I took my first breath on …

mine [not]

I was on the subway last week and observed a man in a business suit get on one of the trains, look around briefly at the seats which happened to be all full, and give a disgusted little huff like someone had insulted him. I thought his reaction was astonishingly self-centred, like no one on the train deserved a comfortable place to sit as much as he did.

Two days later I found myself on that same metro line, riding down to my French class early one morning. I was tired and not quite awake and just wanted to sit alone and read a book and not be jostled or have to stand pressed against other commuters. I happened to catch the train before it filled up and got a seat at the end of the car, away from the rest of the people; my most favourite seat. I love this seat, my special seat, I thought to myself. And then I realised how silly that sounded.

That was not my seat. Hundreds of people sat in that seat every day. I planted my bum on it for 15 minutes that day, but that hardly made it mine. …

stop and smell

My sincere apologies for the lack of posts here lately. My schedule is slightly overfull these days due to being a full-time student, a part-time administrator, and a willing volunteer with several leadership roles that I continue to fill in our church group. Most weekdays it is a challenge just to make sure I get some real food in my stomach and a reasonable amount of sleep. This week I have not done too well on either of those counts, but hey, this is a no whining zone, so let's get on with the important stuff. I have a giant can of Arizona green tea with ginseng and honey and a yummy apple and cheese salad in front of me, plus I had a little nap today when I got home at 5:30, so we're all good.

I have often said to myself (and whoever will listen to me) that if this faith, this truth, this belief that God is good and loving and wants to be with us and infuse our lives with meaning and purpose - if this truth is no good under stress, then what good is it? If I get grumpy and …

up

I won't bore you with the details of how crazy this past week has been, but with most days being 10 to 12 hours long (time I have to be away from home, before I do any other work), I am pleasantly surprised at how well I am holding up without any artificial stimulants or bad habits. I have decided that the best way to handle the stress and the vigorous demands on my life right now is to go as natural as possible. Not that I have joined the ranks of the raving organic freaks (though I love my friends who lean that way and have learned much from them), but that I don't rely on artificial means to achieve a short-term goal because I believe -no, make that I KNOW that I always end up paying more for that type of quick fix in the end.

So here's the deal.

1. I don't do caffeine (just the occasional chai latte). The brief burst of energy is not worth the crash a few hours later, unless of course you top it up with another jolt. It is okay to feel tired, I don't mind it. It…

double down

I wrote an email in August. Just a simple inquiry stating my possible interest in pursuing studies at a master's level in the discipline of Theology. I do have a rather ancient Bachelor of Theology from a bible college which is not accredited, so I wanted to know how that would translate into further studies at a major university. I love learning in general, but have often found it difficult to pin the tail on that illusive donkey of higher education because my interests are spread across so many fields, especially the arts. How can I pick just one? Since my first degree pointed me in a "most likely to get somewhere" direction, I decided to start there. Ask a few questions. Find out the options. No harm in that. And since we now live within an easy 25 minute commute on public transportion to downtown, it seemed like the perfect time to explore the possibility.

I had done some research into Theology programs in universities in Montreal, and the scope and tone of the one at…

retreat with Jonah

I just came back from our first church retreat. Splendid stuff! Squish 25 people into a 4 bedroom cottage, get them to make meals and wash dishes together, take them boating, drag them on a 3 kilometre hike up a hill, force them to participate in a talent show, circle them around a bonfire and stuff them with marshmallows, and talk to them about Jonah while overlooking a body of water. We are better people for it, I know we are.

The lessons from Jonah were profounder than even the deepest part of the lake. The first morning, someone gave us a candid snapshot of their life, bad decisions and all, and we heard first-hand about the mercy and the cost of second chances. Let me paraphrase one incredible statement that this person made. Their initial experience of walking with God was like waking up every morning with a certain euphoria; they were full of love and joy at this amazing presence and power in their life. After a detour of several years that delved into darkness, they turned bac…