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Showing posts from February, 2010

Reverse Lent

I have been thinking about Lent recently. Since it started, really. I'm not sure why I didn't start thinking about it sooner, but better late than never, right?

Last year, I gave up dessert.
In 2008, I gave up music.

This year, as I've been ruminating on it, nothing jumped out. Not that my life is perfect or ideally balanced. But there hasn't been anything that I've settled on and thought, This is what I should give up.

And then I had another thought. What if I didn't give anything up? What if I added something to my life instead?

The point of Lent (from what I understand) is to give something up that helps us refocus and reflect on Jesus. Well what if I can get the same result by putting something new in place?

The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Especially because (this may come as a shocker) I don't actually read my Bible every day. I would think that someone in "full-time ministry" for nearly four years would be a bett…

Florence Again

This is the song in my head today. I haven't listened to her album in at least a month. But I'm rectifying it right now.


Happiness, it hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
and washed it away down the kitchen sinkThe dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming so you better runRun fast for your mother run fast for your father
Run for your children and your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your loving behind you
Can’t carry it with you if you want to surviveThe dog days are over
the dog days are done
Can’t you hear the horses
Cuz here they comeAnd I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had
and what was left after that too. oh.Happiness it hit her like a bullet in the mind
Stuck them up drainpipes
by someone who should know better than thatThe dog days are over
The dog day…

Lady Problems

Warning: Decidedly girl-ish content. If my post about childbearing was bothersome, you should probably skip this one. If you're a boy, you're not allowed to judge me for the content of this post. (Called it)

I don't usually talk about Aunt Irma. My time of the month. High tide. You know. Not in general and definitely not on my blog.

But I just need to say this: I don't think I can handle it.

I don't know how we do it, ladies. If we go with a generous estimate and say that a girl starts getting her period at 12 and the average age of menopause is 51, that is 39 years.

THIRTY-NINE YEARS of pain, emotional chaos and mess on a monthly basis - excepting the times when we're pregnant, but childbirth pretty much makes up for nine months of missing out...

There have been countless occasions where I (or my roommates) wonder to ourselves, What is wrong with me? Am I going crazy?? Two days later, we say to each other, Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. You'd think I'd get it by now...but …

"Sigh No More" - Sigh.

I've already blogged a bunch about Mumford & Sons. Enough that some of you have picked them up as a great new band, and at least one of you got to see them perform. I am not at all jealous.

Which is a lie. But now I'm moving on.

I can't choose a favourite song. Every time I think I've decided, I listen to another song and think, Nope. That one. I just can't get over the brilliant lyrics and movement of the music.

Yesterday on the plane, I had a refrain circling in my head, and I couldn't place which song it was from until I got out the CD (not yet available in N. America, purchased in the UK!) and read through the lyrics booklet. Turns out it is from "Sigh No More."

Love will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you
It will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be

I grabbed my journal, wrote it in and then jotted down,

It's spinning through my mind and I want it - I want to love people in a way that makes them more of themselves. And I want to…

Scotland. Summed.

I feel obligated to write a wrap-up post on my trip to Scotland. My thoughts can be summarized with these sentences:

It was a successful trip. I hate throwing up. I love my coworkers.

these photos:(above) The Necropolis in Glasgow. Possibly my favourite cemetery. I took photos of several epitaphs that I liked.
(above) This is my favourite stained glass at the Museum of Religious Life & Art. On the left is young Samuel. On the right is Samuel as an old man. In the middle...I forget. (above) Loch Lomond. With Ben Lomond in the background. We stood on the shore and hummed "The Bonny Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond." Cliche? Yes.

and these quotes:

We are ordering dinner.
"Oh and fries. (the waiter leaves)... Did I just order something?"
"Um, yes..."
"Did I? What did I say? I don't remember..."

Another evening at dinner. One colleague says something that really impresses her husband.Husband: "I could just reach across this table and kiss you right no…

Sick in Scotland. Again.

Two years ago, my trip to Scotland took a surprise turn when I got influenza. The actual influenza. I didn't leave my room for 4 days.

Last night, I once again got hit. It started out with a couple of rosy cheeks. I thought, Wow, I'm pretty tired.

Then it was dinner time. I wasn't really hungry, but I thought, No, I should definitely eat something. Nachos were a bad idea.

For the record, I would rather be ill with strep throat or bronchitis or something equally terrible for a WEEK than spend ONE night vomiting. It's just the most terrible feeling on earth.

By bedtime, my stomach was aching and my head was throbbing. I'm not sure if this is one illness or two at once. Three and a half sleepless hours later, I spent a little time in the bathroom. Three and a half hours after that, I should have been getting up for the day.

Instead, I rolled over and slept for a few hours more. And then a few hours after that.

In between naps, I have poached internet to catch up on emails f…

Cemeteries, Cathedrals, Conflict

The weather changed every 20 minutes today.


No joke.

But content-wise, it was a lovely day and I wish I had the right cord for my camera so I could upload a photo or two. It may be creepy or geeky or both, but I love cemeteries and I love cathedrals.

I had tears in my eyes twice today. Once in a moment of heartfelt prayer. And once in the midst of resolving conflict.*

Conflict stresses me out. This isn't a new revelation, but it surprises me every time. Truly and deeply, it affects me. And I'm not always sure if it's really over even when both people agree it is. But I guess that is what the rest of this week will show.

That is all for today. I just need to stay awake long enough to ensure I'll sleep through the night tonight.

* Another factor is the reality that I've yet to sleep through the night here. Nights #1&2 we had noisy neighbours. Last night was silent, but against my own will, I woke up around 3 and lay in bed …

Some Scotland Songs.

The amount of love that I have for the UK has not been talked about much lately. But let me tell you, it is great.

So I am writing this in advance, setting it up and letting the internet hit publish while I am somewhere mid-Atlantic, en-route for a ten-day work trip to Glasgow.

I've known for the last six months or so that this song is going to be key to this trip:

It's the lyric "Give me something to believe in, Give me something to believe" that gets me. I'm convinced that this is the way many university students are thinking.

Paolo Nutini is from Glasgow and a fantastic artist. Although, the fact that he never stands up straight or opens his eyes while performing gives him the look of a perpetual stoner. Which is possible.

Over the last week, I've been reminded of how much I love this song:

I really can't do this on my own. And I don't particularly want to. So this is my prayer.

I can't write about Scotland without including this next song. I think it…

Olympic Ceremony Secrets & Stand-Ins

Last night was the second dress rehearsal for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. I was there.

I am sworn to secrecy about what I saw (or, as my friend Steph joked, VANOC may own the rights to my first-born child...). But I can tell you the following irrelevant things.

Small talk while I wait with my three hilarious friends for things to get started:
"I had a dream the other night that I was in Barack Obama's harem, and he called for me, and I came into his room, and when I saw him I thought, I knew it! He is the antichrist!

During the pre-show, there were a round of thank-you speeches to us, the volunteers. Four men stood on stage, waiting to talk to us. This potentially boring segment was made much funnier by my American friend.

Man #1: "...the mayor of Vancouver, His Worship, Gregor Robertson!"
His Worship!?
Uh, yup. That's what they call mayors...
Huh...Wow, he's young.
And not bad-looking.
Yup. I saw him on the skytrain last month. Just riding it home after work…

Some Things Are Bigger Than The Olympics

I walked into the coffee shop bathroom and hearing someone talking, thought that both stalls were full. So I paused and waited, trying not to eavesdrop.

"The thing is, he actually loves you for who you are. And you need to just accept that."

Pause. No answer from the other stall.

"Yeah, you say that all the time. But you never do anything about it..."

Ah, phone. (While on the toilet...? this is something I will never understand)

"...yeah, tell me that when you actually get into recovery."

I am trying not to listen. But I feel sad for the person on the other end.

"You know, just because you're on the street doesn't mean that you can call anytime you want and just expect me to be there for you..."

Is that harsh? I'm not sure.

"I have things going on in my life too, you know. It would be nice if you were around when I needed a mother."


The conversation continued.
But my heart was broken.

Sundays, Skype, Superbowl?

Sunday afternoons are meant for two things: napping & catching up with far-away-friends. After a little lay-down I opted for a couple of Skype dates instead of the Superbowl.

Date #1:

Me: Hello? Can you hear me? Can you see me?
Friend: Why do you have butterflies on your sweater?
Me: Uh, because it is a butterfly sweater?
Friend: Where did you get it?
Me: Um, a bag of clothing?
Friend: Like the dumpster?
Me: (laughter) No... my housemate's girlfriend & her roommate were getting rid of clothes. It was in there, and I thought maybe I could pull it off...
Friend: Yeah, maybe...
Me:(faking surprise) What? You don't like it? How about this butterfly?? (I lean towards the webcam so she gets a good view of the butterfly on my shoulder...)
Friend: Mmmmm. (sarcastic)

Moral of the story: apparently I can't rock this sweater.

Sometimes I get distracted in conversations by unintentional and irrelevant pop-culture reference. Talking about roommate relationships (we lived together in univer…

Sunday Starters #6

I lack perseverance, and last week's starter didn't get much action. But I will continue and hope that maybe the rest of the world was as busy as I was this past week.

For this week:

When I roll over and look at the clock...

From last week's post:

It wouldn't have made any difference if...
...she'd picked the top bunk or the bottom bunk. Either way, this was going to be a miserable week at camp.

(bonus points goes to anyone who knows the song that starter came from)

Armour Bearing.

One of my friends makes a point of counting her blessings/things she's grateful for as she blogs. If you just start reading her blog, it would be very confusing, because in the middle of an entry she does something like this (32). And then you think, What's that 32 for? And it's the 32nd blessing she's counted.

I like this because it develops an attitude of gratitude. (how is that for a TERRIBLE rhyme?)

A couple weeks back, the message from my church a focused on 1 Samuel 14 - these verses in particular stood out:
Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few." "Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul." Jonathan's man had his back. He was there heart and soul in a risky endeavour. And that is a good friend. Intere…

Tuesday's Tunes

Every day is music day where I live.

I've been going crazy with free music over the past few months (some links will be coming soon, as soon as I deliver on my recent mix CDs - I don't want to jeopardize the "newness" of the music I'm sending). Yesterday I made two playlists - one of everything I added to my library in Jan & Feb, and one from Nov & Dec. Altogether, more than 700 items. And we're only on DAY TWO of February.

I have so many beautiful tunes that I've barely even noticed!*

Doveman - Angel's Share

Fyfe Dangerfield - When You Walk In the Room
(on the mix CDs!)

*it may be that my music frenzy leads into new-music-fatigue. The problem with the accessibility of the internet is that it's overwhelming. Too much music. Too much art. Too many written things. I just can't take it all in. But I seem to try anyway.

(begin hyperventilating)

Not a Mother

I am not a mother.

Although I like babies & children a lot (in certain contexts and quantities), there is a lot about childrearing and, more specifically, childbearing, that I do not know.

The joy (and sometimes doom) of having friends who are married and/or mothers means that sometimes I get to learn things I just didn't need to know.

And then I blog about them.

So if you don't need to know things about childbearing, I suggest you stop reading here.

Continue at your own risk. Content may be disturbing to some readers.

In the summer of 2008, my friend Vanessa was prego with her first baby. At the time, we were spending six weeks on a missions project in Calgary, and had lots of time to hang out and talk. I was there the first time she felt the baby kick. Sometimes we talked about the impending birth and the things she was learning about motherhood. One of the books she was reading was called something like The Mother of All Pregnancy Books or Things Your Mother Didn't Tell Y…

Sunday Starters #5 (on Monday)

Yesterday was too busy to blog, and I didn't plan ahead with an auto-post, so here is this week's starter:

It wouldn't have made any difference if...

And from last week:

I hope I'm half as lovely as Meryl Streep*, as wise as my mom*, and twice as gracious as the checkout lady*.... when I'm sixty-four.

*To my knowledge, none of these people are actually sixty-four at the moment. Just in case you were about to make fun of my momma for being old, or my lack of Meryl Streep knowledge.