July 31, 2007

Holidays! Celebrate!

After a whirlwind weekend of family fun, I'm off on my holidays. I may post while I'm gone, but it's likely that this will be a vast and lonely expanse until sometime after August 12th.

Things I'm excited about:
  • time with Meredith
  • traveling light
  • reading
  • photography
  • hiking
  • making new friends
  • staying with strangers
  • hearing from God
  • unknown adventures that await!

July 29, 2007

Parental Confusion

{I love my parents. And sometimes they say funny things.}

I bought Anberlin's Never Take Friendship Personal today (along with K-os' Joyful Rebellion for $10 each). I was opening it up when my mom said,

"Anberlin? Isn't that the group one of your friends said is disgusting?"
"No...."
"Yes, they did. I'm pretty sure. When you blogged about it."
"Nope, I'm pretty sure they didn't say anything like that. They're a great band."
"Didn't you see them in concert or something?"
"Yes...[checks blog comments from this post]"
"See? They said they're sick!"
"Sick...that's actually good, Mom. Sick is good."
"I guess I'm a few generations behind then."

Another parental laugh: my parents were talking about Streets and Trips (or is it Trips and Streets?) the other day, and my dad may or may not have called it "Strips and Treats" by accident. Whoops.

July 28, 2007

Landed

Back in Ontario for the whirlwind tour! Had a great plane ride with Jenn and Rebecks. Especially laughing at the ridiculous Last Mimzy with Rebecca. Also fun was waiting for our luggage... Dorrie and Rebecca were holding hands affectionately. When I commented under my breath that we were in Toronto, they just kept swinging their arms together, Dorrie laughed and asked what I'd just said. I repeated it and commented that I'd already noticed 3 people glancing at them. When Jenn identified Rebecca as the less feminine of the two, Rebecca pulled her sweater off her shoulder, turned around and said loudly (at least it seemed loud to me) "Who's looking? Who's looking? I want them to see my shoulders!"

What?

Exactly what I thought.

Good ride home with Erika and the 'rents. I'm excited to see all my family; especially baby Jake, run some errands, and of COURSE, go to Margot's wedding!!! Hard to believe it's happening. I hope they smash a glass. (She's Jewish.)

July 26, 2007

Namedropping - Mark Driscoll

I’m not a fan of name droppers. I generally roll my eyes, recognizing that we (I include myself in this) usually name drop because we want to be cool by association. Given that caveat…tonight was a great time.

After session, here in the picturesque and slightly fake town of Whistler, I happened to spot some of my good friends hanging out with our main speaker, the one and only Mark Driscoll. I debated crashing it - I am rarely the fawning type - but I decided to go for it, to sit and listen and learn. Well, did I ever learn! There were a few comments that were prefaced by

Don't blog this, but...

There were words of wisdom too. Eventually, I jumped in and asked a question. Then another. And maybe another. I forget what I said at one point, but his response was:

I really like you. - Not in a romantic way! I mean, you're a really cool chick. You have a really cool spirit.

How much better can you get!? Wow. He didn't even know my name yet. So I told him. And we kept talking. At one point, he said something that he was pretty sure I'd disagree with, but when I didn't, I got props. I was feeling affirmed.

sidenote: God is teaching me that I need to be careful not to base my value and worth on the affirmation that I get from those around me or the friendships I have, or who considers me in their top 5. And I will not get swell-headed because Mark Driscoll said I have a cool spirit. But lets be honest, it is incredibly affirming to hear words of affirmation from a spiritual (yet culturally connected) leader like that.

And it gets better! In a conversation on women in leadership, my single state came up. And he volunteered that I should come pick a guy from his church. I think his exact words were, "You need a big strapping Calvinist preacher to marry!" (I say, Amen.) When I told him I just might take him up on the offer, he said,

You come serve communion with me and point out the one you want!

The big question is now, do I want to go?

On a serious note: I asked a couple of questions about ministry on my campus, and got some great responses to mull over. They'd require a lot of change, and while I am fully behind it, I don't know if I can persuade my leaders to get on board. I need to pray for unity of vision. As we were wrapping things up, he prayed for me and the campus (right after praying for the newlyweds). And when I shook his hand to say goodbye, he said something to the effect of:

I see that you have humility and wisdom, and I think that God will reward you for it.

Talk about a great encouragement. I think maybe words of affirmation are one of my love languages.

Now to seek God on these things...not just Mark Driscoll, but God.

July 23, 2007

Questions To Ask Myself

  • Why am I so easily swayed by persuasive words and people that I respect?
  • How am I going to get out of my bubble and into the world this fall?
  • How can I push through faith barriers in evangelism this coming year?
  • Is the breadth of my efforts spreading too far for the depth of my relationship with God?
  • How many relationships can I meaningfully sustain before I can't give to anyone?
  • Am I really committed to this thing, or am I going to spend my life in half-assed pursuit of uncertain goals and dreams?
  • Am I praying for the things that I want to see happen?
  • Am I praying at all?
  • Am I willing to fast and beseech God to move?

July 22, 2007

Overkill

Although I am usually up for a good relationships chat, I have reached the end of my limit. I am tired of being hyper-aware of my single state, the singleness of my friends, and the fact that any interaction with guys, innocent or intentional, is probably being observed by at least 20 other people.

Girls don't often talk about these things, which may come as a surprise. But one of my respected friends made a statement regarding the situation. I heartily agree with her:

I look around the room, and I refuse to compete with these girls. They are some of the people I care most about in the world, and I will not compete with them. [paraphrased]

I won't. I don't want to, I will not. I also choose to trust God and not the odds. There are many quality guys outside these four walls. I know several personally.

I had quality time with a dearly loved friend tonight, and it was marvelous. We laughed, I nearly cried, I was encouraged in many ways, and we enjoyed a snack. I am going to sleep content.

July 16, 2007

Roadtrip...

Done:
- drank wine in the steam of hot springs
- driven many, many hours
- laughed very, very hard
- eaten at 4 different restaurants
- seen Old Faithful
- car partied with Kelley and Wendy
- read Augustine with Justin

To do:
- get across the border
- unpack
- repack
- hang out with Laura and maybe Ali & Amy
- leave

July 14, 2007

BC-Bound!

I was hoping to post some wrap-up thoughts on my time here in Colorado, and especially last night, when I finally started doing business with God (roughly 3.5 weeks later than I should have started)...but it is 1:40, and I'm theoretically leaving at 8am...

Last night I had a great time with God, but because of a frappuchino, a conversation, and maybe some other factors, I was wide awake late into the night. I did not fall asleep AT ALL until sometime after 4am - highly unusual for me. I was up before 8:30, and have been going strong all day. I don't understand how, except for God's grace. Which also accounts for the ridiculous cheerfulness I've had.

Here's hoping it lasts through a 10 hour drive to Yellowstone with three of the most lively people I know...

July 13, 2007

And...

I've found the world's most perfect template!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A bajillion shout-outs to Vanessa and to whoever runs this site.

ten minutes later:
{I'm back because I just had to add a little note. I am seriously in love with this template. If I didn't have work to do for tomorrow, I would just sit and stare all day. I am so happy. Is it terrible that such a little thing might be the highlight of my day?}

Still staring at my new look. It's like I got a haircut and free makeup and a new outfit, all in 5 minutes. *sigh*

July 12, 2007

Another Dream

This time, I was in Peru. I was visiting my sister, and we were taking the kids from the home somewhere. I had some of the junior high girls, and 30 minutes to spare, so we went to a fancy restaurant for appetizers - it was a North American chain that they definitely don't have in South America. Inside the restaurant, I was pushing the girls to make a decision about what they wanted, since we didn't have a lot of time. I was the epitome of mothery, even though I barely knew the girls.

My sister didn't come in with us - actually, I'm not sure if I even talked to her in the dream (sorry, Sarah), but the one other person who'd come with me was a girl I knew from university. We were not close. We would chat when we ran into each other. I have no idea where she is now. Last summer, she was working at the Winners in Guelph. That's all I know. Then she was in Peru with me. And she was friends with the waitress.

What's up with that?

also, I need a new look here...

July 11, 2007

Out of Commission

So, I was going to post about how great the Warped Tour was on Sunday, but then I got sick. Now it is 11:30 at night, and I'm not really tired because I slept at least 6 hours during the day today...

Here are some pictures from Denver. JC secretly enjoys k-os.

We squish under a merch tent while it downpours for half an hour.
Playing cards under a tractor-trailer - I'd like to note that I kicked some serious butt at Hearts. I believe my final score was 8.

Other highlights included:
  • an amazingly hilarious band called Family Force 5 - not only are they great but I have an album from 1996 that 3 of them put together when they were roughly 13...it's sooooooooooooo cheesy, sooooooooooooooo great!
  • brad almost eating a burrito off the ground
  • general fun times with janette - like using the world's grossest port-o's.
  • introducing jc to a whole new world of music...some good, some less so.
  • purchasing a band t-shirt. i could have bought a whole new wardrobe of band shirts!
  • anberlin. i (heart) anberlin
  • delicious dinner on the way home, where i washed off a layer of sludge from my hands and arms.
Would I do it again? I'm not sure. I can only handle so much crowding, and I don't really get into the group think of massive concerts. Plus, I see a bunch of famous people and wish they could be my friends, but don't even have the guts to tell them that I respect what they do and how they impact the people around them (like Haste the Day and Anberlin). But it was a blast. The only downfall was that Wendy couldn't come because of her brutal cold. Thankfully I didn't get it until Sunday evening, when we were on our way home...

July 5, 2007

Indy Day

Yesterday was the fourth of July (duh). Since there weren't any fireworks on Sunday, a bunch of us Canadians went to the park to celebrate and enjoy the American holiday.

It rained. My back got wet. It stopped shortly after I prayed it would. I (like Nadine) believe in praying over little things. There was no carnival that I could find. Just some vendors of gigantic turkey legs, kettle corn, and bratwurst [sidenote: after countless viewings of 10 Things I Hate About You, I can no longer take that word seriously]. This disappointed me a little, as even in Guelph we would have some sort of expensive but accessible entertainment. So we sat on our blankets and waited...and then the symphony came, and it was wonderful. Great patriotic tunes - some I knew, some I didn't. A guest conductor - one of the evening's sponsors. We decided that the opportunity to wave your arms and winggle your behind in front of thousands of people is not our idea of a great reward.

Then the fireworks...the symphony was playing, and someone famous (from The Young and the Restless) read dramatically. I believe there was the Declaration of Independence, JFK's address: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!" and some other inspiring work. To be honest, the recipe of bandstand music, beautiful light explosions and a powerfully booming voice could have inspired me to do almost anything. I was almost proud to be an American, even though I'm not. I tried taking pictures with my digital camera. I don't know why I bothered - what am I going to do with 50 photos of fireworks?

I was surprised that the orchestra stopped playing before the fireworks ended. It was unfortunate - I was sort of hoping for a well-timed finale of music and light. And there was no playing of the anthem! Stars and Stripes, yes. Shenandoah, yes. Sousa March, yes. Star-spangled Banner, no.

Back at the boys', after maneuovering through a sea of celebrants, we played some rousing games of Hinklefinnyduster. My cards got ripped, my toe ring bent, and I nearly lost a hand. It's a great and wonderful game.

July 4, 2007

A Leader's Secret

I may masquerade as a leader, but deep down, I long to get behind someone and follow a passionate and noble leader. I love jumping on board with someone who is fervent, visionary, and fun. I thought of this today, and wonder if it's related to my tendency to be easily swayed in my thoughts/ideas/plans. I can be talked into a lot of things by people I respect and enjoy...maybe a dangerous secret to let out. But I still have backbone. I still draw the line when I need to :)

July 3, 2007

Round 2

My second set of classes started today, and I'm really excited. I feel that in these past two weeks, I gained some useful head knowledge, but in all honesty, I wasn't really going for integration into my life. God really challenged me on that this weekend, and I'm hopeful that these next weeks will foster a high level of personal growth and challenge. It's so easy to just listen and take it in and then move on without really reflecting. I don't want to do that. I want to be changed, to have a deeper love for God and a clearer confidence in His glorious grace.

As well, both my profs are quotable. By that, I mean that my note-taking was interspersed with comments that were either convicting or humourous. Here are a few of my favourites:

Prof #1 - almost 70, hard of hearing, king of tangents.
"Hugh Hefner is present in the Old Testament...before he was reincarnated in Beverly Hills."
"We are in deep yogourt." [referring to some sort of catastrophe]

Prof #2 - tall, brutally honest, passionate and witty.
"This class time is going to be jazz. Grudem [our textbook] - that's Bach. It's classical."
"We're latent gnostics, most of us. We don't think real stuff has anything to do with eternal reality."
"We are masters at talking about nothing." [talking about our culture]
"If you check out here, when aren't you going to check out?" [on how he expects students to pay attention in class and will call out people who don't]
"We've got lots of rhetoric without reason, and we're living on that rhetoric."

Hurrah for class tomorrow! The readings are killer, but hopefully (most probably) worth it.