Thursday, August 31, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I'm so busy these days - let me give you a brief overview of what I'm up to -
There's TEC - I'm the secretary/registrar of the steering committee, and a small group leader for the TEC weekend in October. So I take minutes at meetings and send out email reminders about stuff, register and confirm and get information to the youth going on the weekends, and their sponsors and families, and being a small group leader for a weekend involves 6 meetings between September 1 and the weekend, which starts on the Friday night and goes to the Monday night. And twice a month there's a Saturday evening worship service, which Trevor plays at sometimes. He's also on the worship team for the upcoming TEC, so there's extra practices for that.
I'm a youth leader at Foothills, my church, and we're having a leader's meeting tonight, plus a youth event tomorrow night. During the school year, there's usually at least a couple of events per month. Last weekend I slept over at the church and helped a bit with a confirmation retreat - if confirmation had been like that when I was a kid, I probably would have gotten a lot more out of it!
Then there's the Survivor planning stuff - we're heading in to our seventh year of running this fabulous youth retreat, and it's my sixth year being involved. The first year there was about 50 kids and leaders, and last year there was about 120. This year we should have room for about 150 - it's so cool to see how much God has blessed this ministry. I LOVE Survivor - if I had to give up any of my activities, it would not be Survivor! I handle registration, take care of encouragement, organize meetings, I'm on the session planning committee, and this year I'm also going to share some of my testimony, which is going to be interesting. I really feel God nudging me to do it, but I'm struggling with what to say. I could probably talk for hours about everything that's gone on in my life, and how God's brought me through it. Hopefully I can hear Him telling me what to say. The nice thing is we'll be taping it before the actual weekend, and I can get it done and then not worry about it. And if I ramble or say something stupid, it can get edited out! :)
My next big project is the National youth gathering in Ottawa next summer. I'm part of the session planning team for that, and I'M SO EXCITED!!! I love gatherings - I've only been to two, but I've been amazed by how impactful they are, and it's such an honour to be part of planning one. There'll probably be about 500 kids there - it's so cool to have this opportunity to influence their lives for God.
I'm heading into my last semester of my Legal Assistant program - I'm studying residential real estate law. Should be useful at some point, anyway, if we can ever afford to buy a house, that is. It's insane out there...
I'm so busy, but I'm so happy with the things I'm doing - they give me much joy. Well, except for school, but that's survivable - only three months to go, and then I'll have a nice certificate to hang on my cubicle wall!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I tried to make blackberry pies last night - the church I used to go to in Victoria has a blackberry festival every fall, and the pies they make are beyond words. When I was out there a few weeks ago, the blackberries were just coming ripe, and eating them made me crave blackberry pie like you wouldn't believe. So I picked up some blackberries at the farmer's market, and last night tried to turn them in to pie. I realized I didn't have enough to make more then one, so I ran out to Co-op for more. All they had were little container of like, 2 dozen berries for THREE NINETY-NINE! I don't think so... They didn't have any frozen one either, so I went to Safeway, and they didn't have any blackberries at all. So I ended up getting blueberries and making blueberry pies for the other things I need to take food to, and making one blackberry pie for Trevor and me, but it wasn't the same as St. Mary's blackberry pies. 'Twas very sad...
Yesterday I had a really bad day at work. I was really struggling with why I'm at that job when it just really feels like a waste of time, and there're so many other things I could be doing. I've been pretty bored, so I've made a few just really stupid mistakes. Nothing that's brought all kinds of trouble down on us or anything, just stuff I should do better. I felt/feel like my job is just sucking up all my energy and I don't really have anything to show for it. It's darn stressful! I find I'm missing the church more and more as time goes by, and questioning whether I made the right decision. I mean, I know I did, but I still doubt sometimes. (I just have to remember the politics that drove me crazy, and I feel a little better, anyway!)
Then this was in my email this morning...
When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
-- Psalm 94:18-19
We are amazed at the vastness of God's reach, the awesome breadth of his power, and the glorious sweep of his majesty. An additional truth, incredible as it may seem, is God's personal nearness to us. He chooses to know us and be actively involved in the trials and triumphs we face each day. How will today, or tomorrow, be different because you are aware of his presence and companionship? What difference does it make to know he supports you when your foot slips or that his consolation is nearby when anxiety rises?
Loving God, who is everywhere yet always near, please hear my heart. I am overwhelmed at your presence near me and within me. The comfort you bring when I am under siege, the strength you offer when I am weak, the courage you give when I am under attack, and the hope you instill when all seems hopeless -- these gifts of your where to go or why I am here. Thlook forward knowing me. I lookforward to knowing you one day as you know me today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I don't know when I've every prayed a more heartfelt pre-written prayer, and then only a few hours later, I had the most affirming experience. It was terrible, but affirming. A client came in to sign some papers, and I talked to her a bit. I don't know much of her story, but she's separated from her husband, and she said that when she went home last night, he was there. And then she started to cry. That's all she said, but the tone of voice, the look on her face and her body language were so familiar to me that I started to cry too. And I remembered the bone-deep, soul-crushing terror of slipping in to the house as quietly as possible, wondering if the silence means that he's gone off in a snit for a while, or if he's lying in wait at the top of the stairs, waiting to pounce on some imagined offence. The sense of measured relief as everything really is calm for the moment, but at the same time a sense of impending doom as you wait for the bottom to drop out again.
That's why I wanted to be a Legal Assistant - to help women who find themselves in situations like that. I was quite happy today to go to the court house to file her Statement of Claim for Divorce. And I had many very unprofessional thoughts about men like that, which aren't fit to type on my blog when I give my friends a hard time about their language! :) It was encouraging to remember why I wanted to do this, and while I feel like most of the time all I do is shuffle paper, being able to help in this situation makes it worth it. For such a time as this, hey? Eventually, I'd love to have a shelter kind of place for women who find themselves in that situation. That's something I really have a passion for - I went through so much crap, and came out miraculusly intact, and I want to use those terrible experiences for good, you know? God promises to work all thing to the good of them that love him and are called according to his purpose - that's very encouraging to me!
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Then two guys stepped back to let me in the c-train a head of them, which was also very nice. It's good to know I don't LOOK like an old married woman, anyway! :)
I ended up getting to go out last night - the place they were going to go was too crowded, so they went to Brewsters instead, and I could go there. It was fun, and I got some interesting career suggestions, but I'm having an issue with something.
See, in church on Sunday, the reading reminded me of this verse from Philippians that I've been trying very hard to adhere to, but I just keep forgetting!
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
I've been trying really hard to be more encouraging and I'm having such a hard time with it!
Romans 7:18b-23a (NIV)
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin.
Driving me crazy, this is. I mean, I'm sure my friends know I love them, but I can talk pretty mean when I get going, and I don't much like myself afterwards. A little friendly heckling is ok, but I keep forgetting where to draw the line. I don't think I've hurt anyone's feelings, but I worry that I might say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time. Sigh...
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I mean really, if you want to abuse your body, totally go for it. Just don't do it somewhere where I can smell it! Why should I have to breath your smog and suffer through the resulting allergy symptoms? I hear smokers complain that they're being persecuted, and that they have the right to do what they want. One of my youth leaders used to say you have the right to swing your arms around, but when they infringe on someone else's personal space, your right ends. This is totally what he was talking about!
Ok, I think I'm done now! Only 4 and a half months to go - I can make it!
Friday, August 11, 2006
The camping trip to the lake was...special. We hung out with friends of Heather's family, who are an interesting bunch. There was about, oh, I don't know, 50-ish people, I suppose, from tiny babies to grandparents and everything in between. It was an unforgettable experience!
I went tubing - in case you've never been, it's were you hang on to a huge tube and get hauled along behind a motor boat at upwards of 30 miles an hour. Lucky for me the driver was nice about it being my first tubing experience, and didn't try to make me fall off, which he did to everyone else. It was a lot of fun! Did you know that if the human body is traveling faster then 30 miles an hour, it will skim along the surface of the water like skipping a stone? Very entertaining to watch, but I'm glad it wasn't me!!!
The Sunday night there were fireworks down in Honeymoon Bay, so most of us loaded in to six boats and went down the lake. They roped all the boats together, and we listened to country music, which I found really amusing. I was getting a lot of heckling about being from Alberta, but I heard more country music that weekend then I've heard all year! The fireworks were really good, and the lake was in a valley, so the explosions reverberated all around. It was really neat.
Coming home was a little tiring - an hour layover in Vancouver, which has to be the most boring international airport in Canada. My pocket knife was confiscated at security it Victoria - I'd totally forgotten that I had it. It's a good thing I came home when I did though - it would have really sucked to get caught up in all these new security measures that have come down in the last couple of days.
Anyway, glad to be home - sort of. I missed my friends and my church and my youth (and Trevor!), but now I miss Heather and the ocean and the people I know in Victoria and the blackberry picking... It would be SO nice to have everything all in one place!
Speaking of friends, both Crew teams are coming through Calgary tomorrow night, and will actually be here for a bit of the same time, so that should be a lot of fun. Hooray for Crewbies!
Friday, August 04, 2006
I'm having a very relaxing time - a day trip up island to Rathtrevor beach, my FAVOURITE beach in the entire world. Lots of nice white sand, seashells, and fir trees. And when the tide is on its way back in, you can walk for forever in shin-deep water that's nice and warm from the sun. LOVE it! We also went to Coombs, which is most famous for the shop that has a grass roof with goats on it - very cute. Also went to see Pirates of the Caribbean again - what a good movie. I'm so excited for the sequel next summer
Today we slept late and went to Taylor beach, with is my third favourite beach. There's a lot of memories for me there! (My second favourite is a tie between Rainbow Haven in NS and the turtle beach in Hawaii...) Also today I did something appearance-altering, and a little bit different - maybe even somewhat out of character for the "normal" me. Look for it next time you see me! :)
Stay tuned for more adventures...off to Lake Cowichan camping tomorrow! I bought a bottle of rum
("There's no rum. Why is there always no rum?" or if you prefer: "Is this a dream? If it were a dream, there'd be rum...")
and a six pack of coke, and Heather made chocolate chip muffins, so it should be a good weekend! :)
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
This is me and Heather when she was here in February - we walked to Krispy Kreme in a blizzard. Am I dedicated to my doughnuts or what? I'm stopping at Krispy Kreme on my way to the airport tomorrow for sure!
I found a new CD that I love - "Arriving" by Chris Tomlin. Totally amazing! I was listening to it last night while I was trying to pack, and I kept getting distracted by it. It made me want to sit down and really listen to it - it was almost as good as being at the Saddledome, even though my laptop doesn't compare to the sound system there! It's an awesome worship CD (my favourite kind!) - I highly recommend it.
My favourite Third Day CD, "Offering II" is missing. I'm so cheezed off - I have no idea where it is, or when I had it last. Actually, the last time I remember having it for sure was in NS at Christmas, and I know I brought it home, but I haven't seen it since. :(
Anyway, off to bed - talk to you all when I get back!