May 31, 2007

Tainted

I wonder if my excitement for friends' romances will ever be free from a slight bit of sadness and jealousy that it is not yet my turn. I refuse to let myself be bitter over someone else's good fortune, but I can't deny that there's a twinge of sadness, and the thought That's not fair... has to be banished from my heart. {Big fat boo on Eve eating the fruit, and the corresponding curse that woman's desire would be for her husband.}

I bought some great music at the end of last week - a mix of folk, indy, and a Cake album. All so good. Listening to it....now.

Carried (Nighttime Theology)

Awhile ago, I blogged about a song by Leeland. I played it tonight in my Bible study, and I fully admit that I cried a bit. It gets me every time, especially recently as I've been realizing more and more the depths of God's love for me, his absolute delight in me, and my absolute inability to do or achieve anything apart from His grace. I had a bit of an epiphany tonight on the difference between living under "the law" - trying to appease God and earn reward by my own efforts and abilities, and living according to the law because it honours God. I had my Bible study girls reading through Romans 7:7-8:4, and when we read 8:1-4, I suddenly realized:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Here's the thing: now that God's Spirit lives in me, I am free from the law of sin and death. The requirements of the law, which I'm unable to ever fulfill, are fully met in me as I live according to the Spirit. It's no longer me, striving to live up to the standard of the law. Rather, as I submit my life to the Holy Spirit, the natural result is that He will fulfill the law, because God can't go against his own nature. So I'm not striving or stressing. I'm just living out of a personal and intimate relationship with God. And the result: law-fulfillment.

So simple. So profound. Even cooler is that one of the other staff had the same epiphany with the same passage (that wasn't even a part of our study material) during the same study. Is God cool like that or what?

In celebration, the lyrics for Leeland's song Carried to the Table, just in case you were too lazy to click on that link:

Wounded and forsaken
I was shattered by the fall
Broken and forgotten
Feeling lost and all alone
Summoned by the King
Into the Master’s courts
Lifted by the Savior
And cradled in His arms

I was carried to the table
Seated where I don’t belong
Carried to the table
Swept away by His love
And I don’t see my brokenness anymore
When I’m seated at the table of the Lord
I’m carried to the table
The table of the Lord

Fighting thoughts of fear
And wondering why He called my name
Am I good enough to share this cup
This world has left me lame
Even in my weakness
The Savior called my name
In His Holy presence
I’m healed and unashamed

You carried me, my God
You carried me

May 28, 2007

Start of Rant

Once again, I've put off the serious posts because of fun activities and find myself at the end of another night. I had a great day, but now I'm tired and all the things I neglected to work and think and pray through today (as I had originally planned) rear their little heads and I start to stress out. I need to be more wise with my time and not cave to the pressure of fun and sociality when there are meaningful yet independent things I need to do.

End of rant.

{Speaking of rants, I thought of writing a post about Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which I saw last night, especially on the subject of the female roles. It too will have to wait.}

May 24, 2007

No Joke




Yes, this is what I woke up to. Yes, I took these pictures out my window. Yes, it is May 24th. (Happy Birthday, Victoria...)

May 21, 2007

To Do

1. Write down my passwords somewhere so that I remember them all. Either that or stop choosing such cryptic clues for myself (sorry, Dad. I know passwords are supposed to be like underwear...but I just don't have the memory for it).

2. Eliminate the overusage of the word "crap" in my life. It has become a substitute word pretty much anytime I can't think of the word I want. And my venting word for any minor frustration. Major frustrations too. Basically, its overuse may lead to its loss of meaning.

Random other thought - I watched the season finale for The Office. I was wrong on almost every count. Jan is not pregnant. Tobey did not quit. And Karen did not get the job in New York. Nevertheless, I fully enjoyed its vagueness enough that I'm officially drawn in for another season. I only hope the Pam-Jim potential is fulfilled. Their first date! Can't wait for September.

Completely Satisfied...As Predicted

So, I decided to finally call Dell and find out what's up with my CD/DVD drive, which has been "stuttering" in the past couple months. I was pretty sure the call would be out-sourced to India, but wonder of wonders, it wasn't.

I had the phone on speakerphone as I sat in the living room with Tara, Amanda and Justin. When I was off hold, I didn't know how to end the speakerphone, and didn't really want to. So I didn't, and I think it turned into the amusing highlight of the day.

I'm not sure how we got into any sort of small talk (the rep and I - I think his name was Rob), but by the first time he put me on hold to check something, it had been established that he was a child of the 80's and that he didn't share my taste for jazz (the audio CD I randomly grabbed to illustrate the problem). While on hold, I decided to start chatting in Gmail with Tara - what could be more fun than a little g-talk while sitting across the room from each other? The following is our conversation:

me: hey tara!
i like you.
Tara: lol
i like you too
me: :D
11:26 PM Tara: i dare you to tell the boy on the phone that you like him
me: HA HA HA
Tara: do it
do it
Tara: phew
that was close
i thought you lost him there
made my heart skip a beat for u
ahhhh
[when I couldn't hear the elevator music and thought the call had been lost for a second]
me: and you say amanda is the hopeless romantic...
Tara: i sound like amanda
lol
11:28 PM we're so funny
11:30 PM ooh
your heart skipped a beat there
when you thought you lost him
hello??
that was close
[when he didn't respond to a question I asked. He thought I was typing, and must have been waiting...it was actually Amanda, sitting next to me, who was typing. I didn't correct him.]
me: you girls are too much.
too much fun.
Tara: props to you for keeping your composure
i'd be laughing
11:31 PM do it, flirt it up
11:32 PM me: i can't.
i'll burst out in laughing.
in laughter.
laughing.
Tara: no, you can do it
he needs a little more of your time
he's hitting on you now
[before putting me on hold again, I commented that I didn't think he could really make fun of my music choices, considering the music I just listened to for the last five minutes...his response was, "Yes, I can. I can do whatever I want." I had no snappy comeback.]
me: ha ha ha
Tara: ask him for his phone number
11:37 PM hellllllllo beth!
[when he came back from my second time on hold - it was definitely an overtly friendly greeting. an extended hello that got the girls giggling, Justin shaking his head, and me deciding that I'd reached my limit of friendly banter.]
that was his sexy voice
11:38 PM ooh, documenting tonights conversation eh
[after giving me the reference number for our conversation - "or at least the technical parts of it"]
11:39 PM ahhhhhhh
sad
he loves you
[after I kindly declined his offer to teach me how to install my new drive, which should arrive on Wednesday. I told him I had friends who were skilled and willing to do that for me. He said, "Wouldn't you like to impress them with your knowledge of how to do it yourself? When I said, "No thanks, I have friends with skills they shouldn't have when it comes to computers - I won't be able to impress them," his response was, "I'm one of those people too..." or something along those lines]
he's one of them for you
will you be my boyfriend?
COMPLETELY satifsied
[after asking if I was "completely satisfied" with his customer service, as predicted earlier]

Within half an hour of dialing, I was getting a new drive, covered under warranty, shipped to my current address - how could I not be completely satisfied? Soon, I will be able to upload some of my new albums and watch Remington Steele (a show both Rob and I know through our parents, but that I enjoy and he does not) on my laptop again - huzzah! I feel only slightly sad (guilty?) that Rob (if that is indeed his name) doesn't know the enjoyment that he brought to our night. Or that there was a "we" involved in the entertainment.

May 20, 2007

Filters

I was commenting last night to a friend that after midnight, my filters (on acceptable and appropriate behaviour/language/topics) are significantly delayed, if not shot altogether. Thankfully I am blogging before midnight, because today's thoughts of significance shouldn't make it out into blogland.

I played ultimate in the rain this afternoon and it was fun, except for the fact that I hate losing and if I'm not careful and purposeful, it frustrates me to play with people who don't know how to play. Not that I am a pro-star. But I have vague ideas of how the game is played, and unless everyone's afraid to tell me, I am at least decent.

Also, my attempt at a Scottish/Irish (I'm not sure which one I sound more like) accent is apparently amusing enough that I've been forced to do it several times this weekend. It is fun and reminds me that I really need to get on my trip-planning for August.

May 19, 2007

En Route to Market Mall


pink blossom
Originally uploaded by bethaf.
Took this lovely photo yesterday on the walk to Staples. I like it when randoms turn out so well.

One More Good Day

I laughed a lot today, and for me, that makes a day good. We played Hoopla as a staff team this morning, which had some great acting/drawing/sound effects/guessing. It wouldn't be nearly as funny to relive it here, but it was rather hilarious.

Tonight was girls' night. We ate a delicious dinner, had a fondue fountain, and I again laughed much. We played a game called "True Colours" - it's complicated to explain, but I received the most votes for "most likely to go a week without showering." Other surprise votes were in the categories "most likely to eat a worm" (for the record, I would never do that) and "first to be married" (I don't know how these girls think that'll happen). I was pleased that I made it in "most likely to be on a reality TV show" and "most likely to survive a Brazilian mudslide."

I feel like I'm forgetting a lot of thoughts that I wanted to get down here. But they're gone and it is late at night. Some of them may have included thoughts on chivalry and etiquette and interacting with boys (yes, boys). And also thoughts on gas and driving and freedom. Also, evangelism and being tired.

Speaking of being tired - no more rambling. I'm off to bed.

May 17, 2007

Not Watching The Office

I don't know that I have ever before cared about the season finale of a TV show, but I'll be honest - I'm more than a little sad that I have nowhere to watch The Office. It is on in 20 minutes, and I'm not going to see it. Tomorrow, I will look online and watch it on a poor quality upload instead of waiting for the high quality download from Jamie and Vanessa. But then I will watch it again with them.

These are my predictions:
- Jan is pregnant.
- Toby has quit.
- Jim will be offered the job in corporate but will turn it down.
- Karen will take the job in corporate.
- Dwight will do something outrageous and awfully awkward.
- Michael will say something completely inappropriate, but realize he needs to grow up since he's about to become a dad.
- Jim and Pam will have some sort of DTR moment (Please oh please, let there be a resolution of some sort. I am a hopeless romantic, and even though Karen is nice, she is not Pam. I could get into a complicated philosophical debate on relationships and being attracted to people you're not committed to, and committing to people when you're attracted to others, but I won't.)


Today was lots of fun. I have decided that the current trend in fashion/music/culture is "campy" - I define this as the opposite of "emo." It really is an overexaggerated style of theatre/music/drama. But I like to tag on an excessive optimism, innocence, brightness.

May 16, 2007

Shameless Plug

I just found out from my sister's blog that you can easily support a variety of charities (including the organization she works for) by using this site to do a basic Yahoo search. So if you're a fan of Yahoo searches, you should use this engine and give money away.

Deal? Deal.

If you're a fan of my sister or of charities that work with kids in foreign lands (like Peru!) you should check out her blog for random tidbits and days in her life.

May 15, 2007

Overdue Update

So, I’ve been here in Calgary for 17 days. Amanda knows the count, and she said so today. It’s our day off as staff, and we spent a couple hours at the park, reading and of course getting distracted and chatting about life. Now we’re at Starbucks doing some more of the same. Everyone’s been asking if I’m enjoying being here, and I give a resounding, “Yes.”

I like working with a larger staff team. I like having more peers, people to hang out with, people to feed off, learn from, enjoy. I’m surprised that I’m one of the more experienced staff when it comes to national projects, especially since this is my first summer on staff.

The students are great. They’re a mix of backgrounds, a mix of personalities. I can foresee some of the clashes that are going to come, and some of the work God is going to do in hearts. The first week was a sort of vague getting-to-know-you-and-settle-in time. Now, I think things are getting in gear. I’m meeting with the girls I’m discipling (and loving each one of them! Totally different, totally great girls), running weekly meetings (more respect to you Wendy and Ben), and generally just doing things. Yesterday I finally felt like I was doing enough without being overloaded.

There have been a lot of conversations about guy/girl relationships, with staff and with students. It’s been fun and insightful and encouraging for me.

Highlights of my time so far include:

- encouraging mentoring yesterday with a couple of my girls

- a good chat with a couple of students on Saturday

- positive evangelism experiences on our first two weekends out

- hanging out with Amanda, Tara and Justin. It’s hard to believe we’ve only known each other for two and a half weeks. Ok, I knew them before (Tara and I shared a bed at MET), but none of us really knew each other before now.

- babies. Bryce and Meaghan and Caleb are cute. Vanessa’s belly is too. She’s definitely “popping.”


Things I’m anticipating:

- Bible study. This study on Galatians is much needed in my own life as well as the students on project.

- Tuesday night ultimate. I hope my team is good. And I hope I make some friends.

- Blue Bronna retreat. I’m looking forward to a nice weekend of wilderness camping (some may say that is an oxymoron. I disagree).



For a project I had no desire to go on (and was actually disappointed that I was placed on), it’s been exceptionally positive. I’m glad I’m here, and it’s obvious that God has got a plan.

May 13, 2007

Neglect

Oh, poor blog...neglected for the sake of actual activity and face-to-face interaction with humans. I sometimes think longingly on what I would write here in my spare time. But when it comes (if it does), I am so tired, and you are so silently patient...You are too easy to neglect.

Upcoming promised topics:
1. a brief summary of my 2 weeks in Calgary
2. a plot prediction for the season finale of The Office. This clip is the funniest one of the entire season. I am still quoting it verbatim. It will not get old.
3. reflections on something deep and meaningful. Quite possibly the concept of grace. Or how I preach things that I struggle to live myself. Wait a second...that is about grace.

May 9, 2007

Day Off #1

Today couldn't have gone any better.

Sunshine. 25 degrees. Friends. Cheap books. Reading in the park. Wandering downtown. Devonian Gardens - my camera died and I have to go back. Gelato. More wandering. More sunshine. Delicious stirfry supper. Babysitting an adorable baby. He screams (this is the worst part of the day, but you can't really get mad at a 6 month old who has a little gas and wants his mom). He falls asleep. Ultimate in the back park. We win. Woot-woot.

So good.

May 5, 2007

Ultimately Usurped

Twice usurped in two days by the same guy... sigh.

On Friday, I was going to learn a little hand-drumming and play for our Monday night meeting...until a student came in who has sweet skills. Which is fine - I'm all for excellence. But then today I played a little pick-up ultimate and the same student showed me up severely. Turns out he played for his uni these past three years...

I'm not bitter though (honestly) and it was so good to play ultimate. I think I've got a team to play with for the next six weeks, which is pretty thrilling. Booyah.

I also enjoyed today's sunshine. And the forecast of +18 tomorrow. Can't get better than this.

Change

I like changes in location and job responsibilities. It feels like a vacation. At least for the first few days. But then I settle in and am reminded. Life goes on. Just because Calgary feels like a bubble, it isn't. A conversation and an email last night reminded me of that. Yup. I cannot run from being a grown-up. I don't even know why I want to.

May 3, 2007

I feel like I've been neglecting this weblog...things are busy, and as always, I am learning things. I am sad that it is rainy and cold in Calgary - I was really hoping to escape the rain when I left BC. I'm reminded, in moving from one city to another, that I'm not especially good at staying in touch with those outside of my current reality. "Out of sight, out of mind" is very much evident in my life. Sometimes too much. Maybe another mark of my inherently lazy and apathetic nature?

Since I haven't had enough alone time to process all my thoughts over the past week, I shall leave you with some great song lyrics. Thanks to Joy for introducing me to Butterfly Boucher.

"Life Is Short"

When it doesn't rain it snows
Yeah the cookie crumbles but in who's hand?
All things said and all things done
Life is short

Oh I am young but I have aged
Waited long to seize the day
All things said and plenty done...life's too short

Ooooh could this be....
Ooooh could this be the day I've waited for?

Another door to peek in through
The floor is filthy
But the couch is clean
At the end of the day
That's another day gone
Life is short....Ooo life is short

Ooooh
Could this be....
Ooooh
Could this be the day I've waited for?

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba...

Oh I am young but I have aged
Waited long to seize the day
All things said and plenty done
Oh I am young but I have a past
Travelled far to find the start
Yes I am scared and I've been burnt
But life is short

Ooooh
Could this be...
Ooooh
Could this be the day I've waited for?


[update: I just got an email that is making me rethink a decision. I hate rethinking decisions. I don't have time to rethink decisions. Especially decisions that can easily be put off and not decided at all, which is a decision in itself - a decision to miss out on an opportunity of some sort. But I don't want to miss an opportunity because I didn't actually consider it. I only want to miss it if I'm sure that's what God wants. But knowing what God wants takes time and energy. And it's so easy to not even bother trying...]