Check out my other blog: Arugula Addict! I'll be writing about my journey to becoming a healthier person.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Eeny Meeny Miney Mo

I'm watching a very interesting documentary right now about evangelicals and their specific focus on converting children, taking them to camps, speaking in tongues, etc. It's pretty scary because the "speakese" is very similar to what other conservative groups are like. They all have similar phrases, they are all burdened with converting souls, they all recognize the end of time, and they are all convicted that they should be more spiritual. While I can sense that something is not right, it's hard to pinpoint what it is because everything sounds right. How do we know what is truth and what is not? An interesting thought to ponder.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Long Ago. . .

Today I had a very special surprise. One of my former Religion teachers stopped by for a quick visit, to see if anyone from previous years were still around. When he opened the door and stepped into the office, I sat there for a moment in shock, sure that my eyes were deceiving me. Seconds later I was exclaiming, "Dr. Anderson!" as I shot out of my seat and gave him a huge hug. He was probably a little surprised by my exuberant greeting, but then again, probably not. He knew me from a different era and he knew a different person.

As we visited for a brief time, standing in the light drizzle and sharing all the news with his wife and daughter who were sitting in the SUV, I tried my hardest to capture the moment in my memory bank. Dear friends, from days long gone, just about unknown on the campus that now housed many new faces who would not even give them a second glance.

It wasn't long and they were leaving. They were just passing through and I was grateful I'd had a chance to say hello. But it was more than just a hello for me. . .it was a reminder of a time when I felt loved, when I felt secure, when I felt that I was heard. Dr. Anderson was always a very fair teacher, he saw things in black and white most of the time, but while he had strict guidelines in class, he also had mercy. As his student, I worked hard to earn the A grades and his respect. As a coworker, I appreciated that he would stand up for what was right and we shared a similar sense of justice.

Unfortunately, time never stays in one moment long enough. They left, others came, some returned, and then they left too. I was the only common denominator, still here. Still remembering. And now, very much alone.

There are very few who can read and understand exactly what I'm attempting to communicate with feeble words. I think this experience goes beyond my college years, however. I think it reminds me of all the times I said goodbye to those who were dear to me, as they came and went and I was left behind. Until the day I left them behind.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

He Always Understands

Today was not a good day. I will spare you the sad details, but suffice to say, when it came time to clock out, I was relieved to be going home. I stepped in the door of my tiny apartment, closed the blinds, and sat down. It took me a good hour before I finally decided to eat supper, as I tried to block out my day by catching up on emails.

With a sigh, I looked at the clock. It was a quarter to 7 and I knew that if I wanted to get a seat for the evening's concert, I would have to leave now. A visiting school was going to do a joint concert with our choir and I wanted to go and support my brother and listen to the music. I slipped in, picked the perfect seat (end of the row, very back, makes for a hasty exit), and read "What Good is God?" while I waited for the bell choir to share the first piece of the evening.

The music was excellent and as I listened to the words, my soul began to slow its frantic pace and I was calmed. A surprise, Michael was up front introducing me to everyone, and he said a lot of nice things that the crowd of faces affirmed and my weary heart was warmed. I managed to stumble out some appropriate words about myself before finding my safe seat again.

After the program ended and people began to huddle in little groups to chat or trickle out the door to hurry home through the crisp evening air, a couple of my girlfriends came over to where I was sitting and we spent some time catching up. The guys sat several rows ahead and had their own conversation, stopping every now and then to listen to us when we got particularly excited about something humorous that someone else had said. We sat and we talked, we laughed, we reminisced, and my lonely soul was comforted.

You see, today was not a good day. As I sat in my room during my 10-minute afternoon break and cried out to God how life was so unfair, sharing with Him the frustrations that were piling up faster than the first winter's snow, there was one thing that I felt the deepest. I was lonely. I missed my sister, my mom, my friends, and my former coworkers. I missed having people around who understood me and to whom I could share what was happening in my life and they would "get me." I did have people in my life who were close to me but life wasn't the same as it used to be.

This evening, as I sat with family and friends and we shared our hearts amidst the memories and the joy, as my eyes drooped slowly shut and I fought to keep them open, savouring every moment, I knew that God had heard my cry just hours earlier. He knew exactly what I needed to fill that loneliness and He provided the companionship, the listening ear, and the understanding I had been longing for. I felt accepted and loved.

As I hurried home, like the many who had left the chapel over an hour before me, with a cheered heart, I paused for a moment in my thoughts to thank my Father for the blessing He had given me. I was amazed He actually cared enough to create the special memory and I knew. . .He understood.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Take It Outside

It's 9:54 am and I've already been up for almost 3 hours on a Saturday morning! I'm sitting at my laptop, covered in a quilt and perched on the edge of my bed (which doubles as a couch), typing away, as the smells of scrambled eggs, tatertots, and fried beef permeate the air. I smell like breakfast! (but not the breakfast I ate!) At 7:30 am I was at church, eyes barely open, ready to prepare a hearty meal for over 50 homeless people.

This morning we had a bit of an excitement. A couple of guys got into a fight part-way through breakfast but it all happened so fast, I didn't realize what was going on until it was practically over. Someone must have insulted someone else, there was some pushing and shoving and shouting and men rushing over to break it up. Meanwhile, I calmly stood at the coffee and cereal table, filling up the hot cocoa mix bowl, completely unperturbed by the testosterone filling the tense air. Someone shouted for them to take it outside and soon it had all quieted down.

As I returned to the kitchen to resume my post at the serving line, I began to process what had just happened. I realized that it could have quickly become a dangerous place to be in, if the situation had gotten out of control. I also realized that while I am afraid of unseen dangers, like the dark, I was completely fearless when faced with a volatile situation. Maybe it was my adrenaline kicking in, or maybe it's just the quirkiness of who I am. I am the type of person who gets annoyed and irritated and angry at the smallest things but big dramas don't phase me (at first!).

After breakfast, I headed over to the sanctuary to grab a bulletin before going home to change. I was on my way out to the car, when I decided to run back in and listen to the praise group practice before Sabbath School started. Still in my blue jeans, I slipped in and sat in the back pew. I noticed some of the people from breakfast were also sitting there and enjoying the music. I also noticed how comfortable I felt in God's house, sitting there in my blue jeans.

It bothers me, that when I finish serving breakfast to people who may know God but experience life in a completely different way than I do, that I go to the restroom, change into my "church clothes" and then walk into church and blend into the background. My horizon changes from individual hurting people to a sea of plastic smiles starched into perfect wrinkle-free suits and there seems to be a disconnect somewhere.

I saw a glimpse of God's love today. When I looked up to see those guys fighting, I glimpsed a young man standing between the two burly street-hardened troublemakers. He was a slim man, tow-haired, of average height, with an innocence that you did not see on the faces of most everyone in the room. Yet he stood there, firm and determined, disregarding his own safety to ensure the safety of everyone else.

Lately, I've been learning about God's love. It hasn't been by a specific book or a particular evangelist or someone laying their convictions on me. I haven't had a dream or heard voices. I don't even think there is a magical formula, but I do know that this is something I have been searching for, for many months, and it is something I feel I am finally beginning to experience.

God's love is compassion. It is genuine, truth, right, tender and kind. God's love is justice blended with deep caring and mercy. God's love is Who He is and I cannot even begin to understand the depth or explain its completeness. All I can do is experience it and be amazed.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Would You Like Meat With That?

Oh dear, I really need to be more faithful in blogging!

Today was a pretty good day. It was super quiet at work, which is always nice, and so I was able to work on a project I'd been putting off for some time because it was a rather tedious one. A friend stopped by to talk, I went out to lunch, Indian buffet, with a couple of girlfriends, and I finally got to Walmart to stock up on toiletpaper! I was down to 1/2 a roll which was rather disturbing! Then I finished my rather full day by cleaning my bathroom, tidying my apartment (and throwing my clothes into my closet in a huge heap and shutting the door!), and going to church choir practice. I've been going for 3 weeks now, and each time it's a different set of people who show up, which is kind of hysterical but also frustrating because that means we have to learn the song. . .all over again. . .every single week! Hopefully all the various scattered parties will all show up at the final performance! Then tomorrow I'm heading back to church to help with a breakfast for the homeless that they have every Sabbath morning.

I've been wanting to help with some type of ministry for some time, and I finally got myself and my courage together, called up the coordinator, and showed up at 7:30 am (I know, that's super early, and I used to sleep in till 10 am before!). I really enjoyed myself, because I love working with food, serving others, and being around people. I used to help out with a similar set-up when I was in college, so I already knew I would have a good experience.

Last week, as we were taking up our different stations, someone to cut up the fruit for the fruit salad, someone to fry the eggs, someone to make the pancakes, someone discovered that there was a large plastic bag of tri-tip sitting on the counter. None of us knew how to cook this huge lump of beef, but one man finally volunteered if we could just call and find out how to prepare it! It turned out to be quite simple; cut it into small strips and pan-fry it.

While I mentioned I'd helped with a similar ministry before, we didn't serve meat then, so this has been an interesting experience for me. The first time I found myself stationed right in front of it in the serving line, and hastily switched places with one of the guys. But by the end of the breakfast hour, when people were coming back for seconds and I was the only person serving, I found myself scooping up the chunks of beef and placing them over the eggs and hash browns in a breakfast tortilla, then handing the paper plate over with a smile.

I don't think I'll ever have the desire to learn how to cook beef or to eat it, but I am learning that we need to meet (pun intended) people where they are at. For the ones who stream in the doors on a Sabbath morning, they are not looking for strange foods like scrambled tofu in an organic wholewheat tortilla. One of the volunteers said that the food we hand them is probably one of the best meals they will have all week. It isn't easy, when I know they could be eating healthier. But I have struggles too and I battle daily (okay, hourly) with becoming a healthier person. They don't need me trying to convict them to become vegan; they need God's love. I just pray that I can show them that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God Stands in the Doorway

She stood in the doorway, watching as I headed to my car parked in the driveway. It was only about 20 steps away from the house, but being terrified of the dark, even a full moon and a bright flashlight did little to calm my fears. As I turned and saw her watching, I felt safe and secure. I unlocked the door, slipped in and turned on my headlights, and looked again at the doorway. She had disappeared inside and closed the door.

Funny, isn't it, that even though I am 30 years old, I still feel safe when my mother is there? I guess we never really grow up in our parents' eyes, and at times we rely on that feeling of security we used to have when we were small, the world was a frightening place and we knew our parents would protect us. We knew back then that our parents could conquer it all. Now we're grown up and we realize they were probably as terrified as we were, only they couldn't show it. They had to pull through because the people they cared about were relying on them. And they couldn't let them down.

The world is still a frightening place. Growing up doesn't make it easier; it just makes you more aware of what you have to face. But like my mother standing in the doorway, waiting till I reached my destination safely, God stands in the doorway and watches over us. . .waiting. . .till we reach our destination safely.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Um, which way is home?

The movie night had just finished and I was sitting in my car with the little overhead light turned on, squinting at a small piece of paper with directions. I had made it easily enough to a church member's home, following her directions carefully, and had enjoyed homemade cinnamon rolls, popcorn and apple cider with at least 75 to 100 people as we laughed and cried through "The Ultimate Gift." Now it was time to go home but it was dark and I was having a hard time reading my directions in reverse. I decided to follow one of the cars out to the freeway.

Well, the best laid plans don't always work out that great. I found myself at a stop light, the car I'd been following had sped off into the night much too fast for my little car to follow and the car behind me was turning right at the four-way stop. From what I could read of my directions, I had turned right when coming here, so it stood to reason that I should turn left. Hence I did so. About 3 minutes later, as I turned the corner and came upon a sign that said "Narrow Bridge Ahead," I immediately knew I was going the wrong direction. There had been no bridge on the way down.

I turned back around, came to the four-way stop, and carried on straight ahead. I found my next turn and made that smoothly. Now all that remained was taking this road until it hit the freeway. Except it didn't hit the freeway. Already nervous because it was dark and I was on a country road with lots of farmland and empty stretches of road, I began to worry. I wasn't sure I could even find my way back to the house I'd left, let alone make it to the freeway now. I began to pray rather fervently that God would help me make it home safely.

The road stretched on for miles, it seemed, but in reality it wasn't very long before I saw town lights in the distance. I knew I was getting close and decided to stay on the road I was on as it was headed in that general direction. Soon I hit a larger road going in to town, and turned on to that road behind a rather large tow truck. Remembering all the stories I had read as a child growing up about how God used various people, cars, trucks, and animals to show the way to those who were lost, I decided that God had sent this tow truck and I was going to follow it till I found the freeway.

We both entered town in a completely different area than I'd ever been before. The handful of times I'd been here before, I'd driven down the freeway to the heart of town where the church was located. I was still completely lost and nothing looked familiar. But I wasn't as worried this time because I was following the tow truck.

The truck made a left turn and I obediently turned on my blinker and made the same left turn. It made a right turn, a little ways after that, and I followed suit. After passing through several stop signs, I saw freeway lights ahead. The tow truck turned off to the right but I carried on until I hit the freeway. After making a U-turn, I headed home as fast as my little car would take me. A trip that would normally take about 40 to 45 minutes took me 30 minutes this time and I arrived home safe but slightly traumatized by the evening's experience. I resolved to either buy a GPS or print off return directions the next time I went anywhere unfamiliar.

When I think about how God led me back to exactly where I needed to be so I could make it home safely, I marvel. I know that part of it was because I used my brain and headed towards the town lights so I could get pointed in the right direction. I also know that part of it was because instinctively I knew that a tow truck would probably be heading towards a freeway or at least the more travelled areas of town. Yet God still guided me to get onto that first large road right behind that particular tow truck and He gave me the impression to follow that truck until I was on familiar ground again. Now that was pretty neat. Once again, He was looking out for me.

Ahem, I think I forgot something

When I first started blogging, I was quite excited and faithfully posted some deep thought every day. Now I'm lucky if I can post once a week! The past week has been filled with adventures, so I shall simply write about my most recent one and save the rest for another time when I have hours of time to spare.

Yesterday I had my long-awaited for biometrics appointment. The official looking sheet of paper I had received from USCIS told me very clearly and in bold font to be sure to show up for my appointment on time, otherwise grave consequences would await me (they would reject my entire application). Being a first-born and someone who tries to everywhere at least 5 minutes early, I decided to play it extra safe and arrive an hour early.

Friday morning arrived, my work replacement flaked out on me so I had to rush about finding someone else to cover phones, and then someone who was supposed to call in for a meeting wasn't picking up their phone when I rang to put them on speakerphone and by the time everything was sorted out, I was about 7 minutes late getting out the door. I dashed over to my apartment, changed, checked to see that my hair looked just right, grabbed my purse and vital papers and the appointment letter, and ran down to my car. Seconds later, I was heading down the freeway towards my destination, about 15 minutes behind schedule but still with plenty of time to spare.

About 15 minutes later, I realized I needed to get gas, so I stopped at one of my favourite gas stations just off the freeway. After parking, I reached for my wallet. . .and realized it wasn't in my purse. I had taken everything else I needed, and some stuff I didn't need but just in case, and had left behind my wallet. With my money and driver's license in it.

In horror, I looked at the clock and then went into adrenaline mode. I had exactly 1 hour and 35 minutes before I had to be at my biometrics appointment. I was about 40 minutes away. I was faced with a dilemna. Should I go back home and get my wallet? I would still need to fill up on gas, so I was looking at about 1 hour and 20 minutes of time. That didn't give me much leeway in case there was traffic on the freeway or I made a wrong turn. I could carry on from where I was, but what if they asked for my license as ID? And anyhow, it wasn't right to knowingly drive without a driver's license on you, plus I would end up stranded alongside the freeway with no gas to make it back.

I decided to head back home. Ordinarily, the drive would take about 12 to 15 minutes. I kept my foot on the gas pedal and flew back, making it in 9 minutes. After grabbing my wallet, I decided to get gas at a more expensive station just 2 exits up the road, since it was closer and I figured there wouldn't be as many cars in line. My gamble paid off, I put $5 of gas in (just enough to get me to my appointment and to a cheaper gas station afterwards) and hit the freeway again.

I think I probably held my breath all the way there, but I made it. On time. Actually, I was 30 minutes early. I guess I didn't need to worry after all! I was in and out of my appointment in 12 minutes and headed back home.

I am so thankful that God impressed me to leave extra early that morning and not to leave an hour before my appointment. I am also thankful that He impressed me to stop and get gas only 15 minutes into my journey instead of 30 minutes, which I was considering. I am thankful there were no accidents on the freeway and that my little car got me safely there and back. And most of all, I'm thankful for the experience as it showed me very clearly that God was looking out for me. That is the neatest thing of all.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's a Messy, Messy Journey. . .

. . .but that's what life is. Life and one's spiritual journey. Here are a few random thoughts about it all.

I struggle with finding a church where I fit in and feel at home. So when Sabbath rolls around, I usually spend 30 minutes looking at all the area church bulletins to see which sermon looks the most interesting and then end up skipping Sabbath School and just going in for the sermon. I leave right after church is over because I'm tired of the trite talk from people who are "doing their duty" to make you feel welcome. When I thought about where I could go this week, I decided to go to the one church my peer group would not choose to attend. The reason I'm going there, though, is because despite the controversial environment, the pastor shares what I need to hear: practical Christianity.

If you're still learning Who Jesus is and how you fit into His plan and what your role is in this world, how can others expect you to rush out and evangelize everyone else?

I struggle with feeling like I don't measure up to everyone else's expectations of how a "true" Christian should be. I live in a place where revival and reformation are the buzz words of the day, everyone is required to have a ministry of some sorts and share their personal testimony, and prayer bands are meeting every day of the week and heavily publicized. Now I'm not saying these things are wrong, what I'm saying is that the way in which things are presented can make all the difference.

The problem is that everyone is trying to be the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One Who convicts, not man.

Life is a messy journey. There's highs and lows, stresses and joys, fears and laughter, anger and peace. Most of us struggle to make sense of our lives while we try to understand how we can serve God in the best way we know how. Horrible things happen and we feel lost, or shout at God and blame Him. Amazing miracles happen and we are in awe that God would remember us. And yet, in the midst of all this whirlwind of a journey, we recognize that there is a purpose and there is a reason. We may not know exactly what yet, but we'll keep on battling to find it until one day, we'll wake up and know that this is exactly where we should be.

Each of us has a unique role to play in God's family. Not all are called to be revivalists, not all are called to be overseas missionaries, and not all are called to be doctors. Some of us are called to be kind, to be empathetic, to be understanding and to care about others as we do our every day tasks.

I struggle with understanding Who God is as a Father. The moments when I don't struggle, though, are the moments when someone shows me Who He is. Those moments are when someone takes the time to care, to genuinely care, with no hidden agenda, no sneering look, no ulterior motives, no impatient glances at their cell phone or laptop. In those moments, when feeble humanity is covered with loving Divinity, I glimpse a flash of what heaven must be like and catch my breath. I long to be used like that to bless others.

The woman who touched Jesus' garment wasn't trying to make it appear that she was more spiritual than everyone else was, as she shrank into the crowd. All she wanted was healing. Jesus gives the same blessing He gave her to everyone today who reaches out in faith to touch Him and find healing for their soul. "your faith has made you well; go in peace. . ."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quote of the Day

"There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there."
--Indira Gandhi

Monday, September 20, 2010

KaBoom!

Yesterday I had quite the experience. I'd gone in to town with Shiloh, to do some quick shopping and stop for a smoothie at Jamba Juice since they were having their Buy One Get One special. (Only two more days left!) After coming out of Jamba Juice, full of Peanut Butter Moo'd, we got into my car, I reversed out of my parking space, shifted gears, and started to move forward. I didn't get very far before I heard a mighty "Crunch." Startled, I stopped, unsure as to what had just happened. I thought I had just driven over something in the road but Shiloh quickly realized that we had just made contact with the bumper of another vehicle. I turned back into my parking spot, we got out and exchanged information, and after the other party had left, I looked a little closer at my bumper.

Now I have a tiny little car, and the vehicle that hit me had a pretty strong steel bumper, so the damage left on my bumper was rather substantial. I felt sad that my car had to go through this, and tried to figure out how I could have prevented it from happening, but soon realized that there was no use trying to undo what had been done.

Amazingly enough, there are still small miracles in events such as this. Somehow, my brake lightbulb survived, even though everything around it got smashed. Thankfully the vehicle backed into my bumper instead of into my door, so I was kept safe. My car is old, and this isn't the first time I've had somebody smash a part of it, so it wasn't as difficult to handle as the first time somebody smashed a passenger door at night and didn't leave a note. So while I'm not happy it had to happen, at least nobody was hurt. And that is the most important thing of all.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chivalry is Not Dead

It's the little things, that make the difference. When you are constantly faced with the feeling that you are inferior because you are a woman, the smallest acts of kindness will not go unnoticed. Doors being held open; someone asking "How are you doing?" and you know they really care. Today it was an empty seat.

I came to vespers a few minutes late, and while normally that would mean there wouldn't be a seat left in the house because everyone else felt the need to arrive 15 minutes early and start singing, tonight a third of the usual crowd was gone for the weekend so I felt pretty confident I would be able to find a seat. I was wrong. I scanned the audience and quickly realized that unless I chose to stride to the front of the chapel or to perch on a stack of three-high chairs in the very back, I would be standing all evening. Every seat was taken or reserved.

It had been a long week and this evening I had actually been looking forward to the presentation. To realize that I could either stand for two hours on 3 1/2 inch heels or return home was rather disappointing. I decided to wait until the choir had shared their special music and then leave after that. I leaned against the wall, taking the weight off one foot, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. The preliminaries were stretching out to be rather lengthy and not only was I anxious for the music to begin, I was also tired of standing. As I stood there, several other latecomers came in and managed to find a spot to sit down.

One of my good friends was the evening's MC and part-way through, he called for people to make room for the growing number of us who were standing in the back. It was then that a well-dressed young man stood up in the back row, walked directly up to me, and motioned rather vigorously for me to take his seat. People were rushing forward to nab seats up front and I was distracted by all the movement and slightly confused as the stranger gestured towards the empty seat once more in an urgent manner. I finally realized he was offering it to me and with a grateful "thank you" I headed to the row and sat down.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~Aesop

Friday's Link

An amazing, though sad, story. http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/plugged-in/gamers-lend-support-to-widow-of-heroic-developer/1410899

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"I'm Already There"

Went to the Airshow today and saw some really neat routines. The one that really brought tears to my eyes was the Missing Man Memorial, though, with the three P-38's. They flew low and slow over the crowd, the thousands of people standing silent, remembering, as the formation, with a large gap between the first two planes and the last, memorialized those who gave their lives on September 11, 2001.

It's been 9 years and yet, each year, when the day comes around, I take a few moments to reflect, to feel sad for those who died and those families who lost someone very dear to them. This is not my country and yet human suffering bonds us in ways that overlook borders and boundaries.

I'm not sure why it is so important for me to remember. I do know that I was angry that no one remembered at church, that I had to go to a secular gathering for others to mourn with me and recognize the loss of precious life. Maybe I refuse to let the memory be forgotten because it is one of the few memories I still grieve.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Melancholy Dreamin'

Another Friday flew by, with again, not enough time to do everything that I wanted to. Will my whole life be like that, flying by so fast that one day I'll wake up and I'll be 70 and I won't have accomplished the things I wished I could?

What would I like to do? I'd like to make a difference, but not the kind I'm inundated with in the environment I live and work in. I want to make a difference that is more still and quiet, but when realized, small children's eyes will light up, women's eyes will be filled with hope again, and hands will reach out to say a soft thank you. But where to start, and how?

My heart aches for the many women and children around the world who are suffering, but I am overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. Maybe I can give some money and help out people here and there, but there is no tangible touch associated with cash gifts. I read stories of young women who make an amazing impact by doing great things, like starting orphanages and working with abused women, and each time I am inspired to follow in their footsteps. Then I face reality.

I live in a country that is not my own. I have had to learn how to adapt to the culture, but I still don't understand the average person on the street. The past twelve years have been spent struggling to survive, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, as I continue to live in limbo, waiting for the magic papers so I can have some sense of stability. I am not a person who networks or speaks glibly, able to direct with strong leadership. I grew up a sheltered homeschooled kid who wore knee-high socks and didn't own a laptop or cellphone till my late twenties.

My head is filled with ideas but I'm not sure I'm ready yet to commit to them. And yet, I wonder whether those ideas will ever become more than just dreams.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I did the dishes tonight. Some days, that is enough.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thinking about insensitivity and how angry it makes me. People who appear to listen, they are nodding their heads, and yet all the time they really don't care.

Vapours of nothingness and yet still, it tightens. Will there ever be release?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Just Too Busy

Ever had one of those days? When you take your car in to get new tires and it takes almost 3 hours because they're so busy. When vespers is at 7 and you've just put Sabbath's lunch on to cook at 6:40 pm. When you are rushing about, trying to iron something, wash your hair, do dishes and tidy, all in about 15 minutes. Knowing it is unrealistic, you have to content yourself by covering the week's pile of discarded clothes and miscellaneous items with a throw or two, stacking the dishes neatly and turning the light off in the kitchen so you don't see them, and hurriedly ironing a pair of dress slacks for church. You think to yourself, "next week, I promise I will do better," knowing full well that next week you will find yourself, once again, trying to do too much in too little time.

I remember being a young child on Friday afternoons. We would clean on Thursdays so we wouldn't be as rushed on Friday, and when the sun set, we would sit, clean and ready for worship as our mother would read Uncle Arthur's The Bible Story. Friday evening was a special sacred time as we looked forward to Sabbath and going to church, participating in the service, and seeing all our friends. Sabbath was one of my favourite days of the week (Thursday night socials was my other favourite day!) and I looked forward to its arrival each week.

Those were good days. But things have changed now. The anticipation of Sabbath has been replaced with a sigh of relief that I have an entire afternoon to catch up on much-needed sleep. Spending time with friends and those lazy hours of sitting about and just talking or singing along with a guitar is a thing of the past. Why is it different? Is it because we grew up? Somehow I don't think so, because I know that anticipation is still inside me, somewhere. Maybe I'm not involved enough? I don't think that's the answer either, because there was a time I was quite active, but it never felt the same.

I think somehow I will always be searching, waiting. Maybe one day I will find a church that truly is home, or maybe not. . .

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nothing to Say

The words lie dormant, the emotions strong. And yet silence prevails. It must always prevail.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Like Gravel

So the week winds to a close and I look about at my mess-strewn apartment, knowing that on Sunday I will be able to resume some sense of normalcy in my life again. Each night this week I came home and just dropped things on a spare bit of carpet before sitting down to catch my breath. I physically felt like a two-ton truck had just rolled over me with those cement roller wheels you see, the ones that are made of stone and roll the cement or gravel into a nice smooth surface, crushing everything beneath it. Smooth I was not, but crushed, yes, that would be an apt description.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Woman Without A Country

It's 10:30 pm and I'm searching my cupboards for something to eat. The only problem is that I don't have anything fattening (ie. cheddar cheese or vegenaise, preferably both on a slice of white bread) and I don't want to eat anything sweet because if I can wait till next Monday to eat sweets, then I can buy my favourite DVD as a reward for going 1 month without sweets except on Sabbaths. And boy was that month long! It felt like about 12 months! So I have to content myself with munching on outdated snacks and boring garlic pretzels instead.

Yesterday I worked 12 hours to get ready for registration. Today the morning flew by in a blur as we registered about 25 new students in preparation for a new year to start. I'm super exhausted and am so grateful that this weekend we don't have to do anything extracurricular and that I have no major plans.

Today was a good day. Haven't had many of those lately. Most of them have been "Dear God, please help me get through the next hour" days. Being the strangely melancholy choleric that I am, I find it difficult to walk in a land of shadows, uncertainties, for such a long period of time. I feel like I've been living in limbo for over five years (make that twelve).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Missing a Pinecone or Two

I just finished making 48 cupcakes for a friend's baby shower tomorrow and I'm super tired! Went camping for about 24 hours and decided that I really am not a country girl. I like my comfort, including my a/c, mattress, and filtered water. Oh yes, and pit toilets (I don't like them). This particular one was quite clean, to my pleasant surprise, but it did host the requisite number of flies that flew about in angry circles, their furious buzzing a minor irritation to say the least. And I did see a mother bear and her cub cross the road (thankfully I was in my car at the time, and at least 50 feet away!) so that was pretty exciting.

My tentmate and I were functioning on very little sleep and when we turned in for the night last night, it was already nearly one in the morning. Amidst many giggles, she finally wiggled into her mummy bag and proceeded to stretch out, only to discover a rather disconcerting matter. Her feet were higher than her head. Neither of us feeling faint at the moment and not needing extra flow of blood to the brain, we decided to sleep with our heads by the entrance of the tent. After shuffling our mats and various asundry items about, we decided to give it another shot. It was much better. Except for the fact that we were, again, on a slope. A rather slippery one as the floor tent was made of plastic. I started the night out with about a foot of space between our sleeping pads and found myself about 15 minutes later with about a millimeter inbetween instead! I replaced my mat, but woke up in the middle of the night right back in the same position, so I gave up. Sleep was more interesting to me at that moment than rearranging my mat every two minutes!

I learned a lot in the past 24 hours. I could probably write a book about it all, but here are a few pithy thoughts:
  • It is not nice to make fun of others, even in jest or as a means of explaining something
  • Everyone has a right to be heard
  • Everyone has the right to have their own opinion
  • I need to learn how to accept other people's opinions
  • Not every well-meaning action is right
  • Injustice exists and Christians are not called to roll over so they can be stepped on; we have a duty to address sin
  • Behaviours which used to be seen as aberrations but are now much more common are still not addressed as such
  • It's okay to be me

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Only Want My Money Back, Seriously!

So I went to Fry's the other day, right? Well I got home and found out, much to my dismay, that the cleaning tape which the sales representative had assured me was the correct one, would not even fit in my camcorder because it was too big. Rather frustrated, I realized I had to return it before 30 days, or I would be seeing a repeat performance of the time I tried to return a cable on day 31. Needless to say, there was no mercy.

I popped in this morning and a young lady rang up my return. She shoved two full-size pieces of paper towards me and asked me to "sign here, please." I did. Then, instead of receiving my refund, I was directed to go to the line of cashiers to claim my refund. I did so. A second young lady again rang up my return, shoved the papers towards me and asked me to "sign here, please." I did. Then we had to wait another 10 minutes while the computer decided to process the information. After waiting another minute for her to get the printed receipt, I was finally able to leave the store. With my $10.81 in change.

Well, I have vowed that I will not be returning to Fry's again as the customer service there is seriously lacking. Not only that, it appears that if a person pays with cash, they are treated with great suspicion! I think I will be going to Walmart and Best Buy. Oh, Target has the best customer service for returns, by the way!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Random Thoughts

Yesterday my priority date came current for my green card. I was excited and then I proceeded to make and cancel 3 appointments for my medical exam. I think I'll stick with the one I have now.

Today I spent 3 hours working on a project that became a rush one and yet could have been prioritized months ago. I was frustrated.

Tomorrow begins 9 days of madness. Personal and work responsibilities will rush by and not allow me time to rejuvenate. I'm waiting for it to all be over.

Someone's status says "best week ever." My status, if I had one, would read "worst month ever."
 
I do not understand injustice yet my silence is not loud enough to pierce the walls built thick and impenetrable.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Question

Is it better to be in the world and be lost or to be in heaven and be lost?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fingers Crossed

It's been one of those days. You start it with high hopes, just knowing that today, the scales will tell you that you've dropped another 2 pounds, today you'll get the news you've been waiting for a month (and actually five and a half years) to hear, today everything will come together like magic at work, and today will be your day.

Then reality hits.

The scales go up instead of down, even though you were extra careful over the weekend to not overindulge. The news you've been waiting to hear is delayed yet another day as government red tape continues to snarl. And of course today would be the day that you have to sit in meetings all day so you can't get any of your pressing tasks done. On top of that, the beetroot salad you make for lunch turns out like mush, the cucumber you bought on Friday has gone rotten already, everyone at work is mad at you because you're not superwoman and refuse to work 18-hour days so that the class schedule (which keeps changing) will get done, and your car got covered in thick red dust (again!) because they decided to move the gravel from the parking lot without letting anyone know.

So it's been one of those days. I guess tomorrow can only get better, right?

Indescribable

I was one of the lucky 50 to receive a copy of the Women of Faith "Worship" CD and it has quickly become one of my favourite CDs to listen to. The CD has got an eclectic mix of upbeat songs mixed in with more peaceful worship songs. The words of the different selections feature hope and faith in a very real God Who cares about us.

The CD has 10 songs, each of them focusing on God and His relationship with us. "Just Wanna Say" and "Glorious" are fun songs, making you want to sing and dance along. For those who like a quieter style, "Lead Me To The Cross" and "Indescribable" reflect on salvation and creation.

My absolute favourite song is one that brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it. "You Are God Alone" reminds us that God is in control, that He is above all the junk we encounter on a daily basis in this rotten world, and that He is God alone. It's my favourite song to turn up loud (when the neighbours are out!) and sing along, knowing that God hears my voice and understands my heart.

If you're looking for a CD to cheer your heart, lift your spirits, or soothe your soul, Women of Faith Worship is an excellent choice.

Note: the above review was written with the contemporary listener in mind. If you prefer more traditional music, this CD may not be what you are looking for.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Feelin' Good!

I feel good. I just spent the last 8 hours doing housework, cooking, cleaning and tidying, and now I have a studio apartment that I am proud of! I still have some deep cleaning to do, as my goal is to get rid of every single thing that I don't use or need, but finally my place is presentable! My mom and sister surprised me with a clean and neat apartment when I came back from Europe in June, but it's been two months since I've purposefully set aside time to get everything in order. Okay, I have been working on it, throwing out or giving away what was just taking up space, but today you can actually see the difference! I'm excited and feel like I am finally getting ahold of my life. Funny, isn't it, what a little housecleaning can do?

Every year on my birthday and on New Year's Day, I like to make some goals and dream some dreams for the coming year. Here's a sneak peek at what I wrote on June 17, 2010:
  • Lose weight (30+ pounds)
  • Have an exercise routine
  • Be active socially
  • Volunteer @ a women's shelter
  • Write a book
I'm excited to say that I am steadily working towards those goals! I have a daily exercise routine where I walk 2 miles in the morning before breakfast. It's the first thing I do before I've even properly woken up yet and I am feeling healthier, fitter, and less stressed out. My best friend and I have joined a local church's young adult group that meets twice a month to eat dinner and study the Bible together. As for the other goals, I plan to dedicate some serious time to them when I go to half-time at work and have more time in my day. I am looking forward to incorporating some low-impact aerobics into my exercise routine and experimenting with low-fat tasty spreads and soups so I can continue to work on my first goal of losing weight. I also plan to look into volunteering some time each week at a women's shelter or some similar place so I can be a blessing to others and learn more about how to help those who really need it. And finally, I will start serious work on my book (still wavering between a cookbook, my personal story, a weight-loss book, a compilation of some of my posts, or some other ideas I have up my sleeve).

It's only Sunday, but I'm feeling like I've had an excellent start to my week. The best part is that I haven't spent all afternoon stressing out about going in to work tomorrow, because I've been so busy working hard! So here's to the hope of an awesome week and continued success in achieving one's goals.

No More Spam!!!

I'm happy. I've finally found a way to stop the Asian spammers from leaving comments that include links to who knows what! I changed the setting on my blog to allow only members of my blog to comment. While it reduces the possibility that the random reader will be able to leave a cool comment, it doesn't bother me anyhow because I'm blogging to keep up my writing skills. And if someone really wants to comment, they can always follow my blog!

Friday, August 6, 2010

That will be $20, please

I had a couple of hysterical and exciting experiences today, while in town.

We popped in to Frys so I could look for a tape to clean my camcorder. Successful, I headed to the checkout where a friendly young lady rang up my purchase. It was 9.99 plus tax, and she said, "Would you like to put this on your Frys card?" I replied, "No thank you, I'd like to pay cash." So I handed her a $20 bill for the $10.81 charge. She said, "I'll be right back, I just have to validate the bill," and off she went. I stood there thinking how ironic it was, when, I had just handed her good money, declining to pay with a card that would have no money on it and she had to verify the bill!!! Maybe there is a reason why the economy is in crisis!

At Winco we had another exciting experience. We'd just gotten our carts and started into the store, when suddenly the lights flickered and then went out immediately! Someone shouted, "all the food is free!" and everyone stood there, frozen, sort of in shock, and then someone got out their cell phone to give some light and I suddenly thought, "what a good idea" and the lights came back on. Except not all of them, the electricity to the freezers and coolers and vegetables and the phone lines to run the credit-card machines all stayed dead. So we heard several muffled announcements over the intercom saying that people would have to pay with cash or check. Thankfully I'd brought plenty of cash with me, so I continued on my way, undisturbed, as I pinched and prodded the green peppers to find a firm one, bent an English cucumber almost in half to make sure it wasn't squishy and going bad, and scooped up a bagful of fresh green beans. After locating the least wilted bunch of beets, sorting out the freshest mushrooms, and tearing open several ears of corn to make sure they looked good, I headed to pick up a couple of cartons of rice milk and headed to the cash register to check out. The young lady took my cash and did not have to verify any bills with a fancy little machine. I happily reloaded my bagged groceries and we headed home.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Truly, I am Rich

As I filled up my Brita water filter and set it aside to filter water to bring to work tomorrow, I suddenly realized it. I am rich. I never imagined myself so, but I am really rich.

I can afford to filter my water so it tastes better. Millions of people have to walk miles to get water and may not have access to clean drinking water.

I have air conditioning on at night because it helps me sleep better and I don't like the heat. There are people who are lucky to have shelter from the scorching sun or freezing winter snow.

I can choose whether I want to eat tortillas with vegenaise and artichoke or a bowl of cereal with rice milk and fruit for supper. Thousands of children around the world go to bed without supper, and maybe they didn't even have anything to eat that day.

I have a cupboard filled with clothes for work, exercise, church and relaxation. There are people who have one shirt and one skirt or pair of trousers and a pair of flip flops and that is all they have to wear.

I have a car that is paid for and runs and doesn't need repairs and I have money to buy gas to put in it. There are people who take the bus or walk to their destinations, no matter the distance.

I have a job that will be going to half-time but I will still be able to pay my bills if I am careful. There are people who live on maxed-out credit cards or who have to stand with "Anything Will Help" signs on the side of the street.

I have family and friends who love me and who make me a part of their lives. There are people who are all alone in the world or who have lost those dearest to them to famine, flood, earthquake or war.

I know that God cares for me and loves me and that He is in control of the circumstances in my life. Thousands worry about how to survive in this world and don't have hope for the one to come.

I don't live in a fancy house, drive an expensive car, have the latest gadgets, or have a lot of money in the bank. I don't wear designer clothes, take vacations in Tahiti and Hawaii, own the iPhone4 or pay for cable TV. Yet I am richer than over 1,345 million people who exist on $1.25 a day or less. (http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm)

It's been a while since I've stopped to think about how blessed I am.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What is Spirituality?

I talked to a friend on the phone yesterday and as she chatted about her life and what she was doing, I did some multi-tasking as I was at work and had some urgent projects that needed done. With my mind focusing on my task at hand and my ear half-listening to my friend talk away, it took me a few moments to realize that what she was talking about was exactly what I needed to hear.

"So you see, it's different, witnessing to friends down here, in this Adventist suburb. I have some friends who don't want to go to church, they see people being hypocrites and they have a hard time with that. So I told them, they need to decide for themselves if they believe in God; it can't be their parents' religion anymore. They need to realize that God loves them and would never do anything to hurt them."

As I listened to her simple words that I had heard over and over in my life, for the first time it started to sink in and really make sense. My friend was more than ten years my junior and yet God was using her to speak to my heart and remind me that He was a loving and caring God. Tears came to my eyes.

The world looks at people and judges them immediately based on appearance, silver tongue of speech, their connections or lack thereof, their monetary value, and their presentation of spirituality. Those who measure up to an unwritten code are held up as the standard for others to follow. I have found, however, that often the people who minister to me on a heart level are the ones who others may not consider stellar witnesses. The people most genuine in their spirituality are often not the ones you would expect.

I had a very good friend once. Her name was Melissa and she had a very generous heart. Devoted to her friends, she loved to spend time with her closest girlfriends, watching a fun movie, eating junk food, and staying up till odd hours of the night. When I think of Melissa, I think of someone who tried and kept on trying to live a genuine life. She didn't hide anything, even her struggles, and she was always ready to share her joys with others. If she passed a homeless person on the street, she would hand them a $20 bill without a second thought. She was ready to go out for a meal or hang out at the mall and readily offered to drive everyone there. I remember birthday parties, giggles and laughter, the guilty chocolate brownie, arguing over music to play in the car (she wanted Avril LaVigne, I wanted Celine Dion), talks about guys, and living life.

When I heard that Melissa passed away at only 28 years of age, I couldn't believe it was true. I still have her cell number in my address book, and I can't bring myself to delete it. I feel like one day she will show up and pop into my office, make herself comfortable on a chair, draw her feet up under her knees, and say, "So. . .what'cha been up to lately?" in her confident way. We would catch up on old friends, gossip about guys, and reminisce about college, laughing at our memories. But that won't happen now.

Melissa loved God. So does my friend who called me this morning. While they may not have known how to convey in polished tones and manner the precise method of how to walk the narrow way, both of them gave me the gift of their genuine friendship and love. Each of them, and others I have had the blessing of knowing, was able to share God in their own unique way. They did not present a perfect sermon neither did they attempt to pound me over the head with counsel. They did not sit in judgement or attempt to convey what they perceived God's will should be for my life. They just shared their love.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Far Far Away From Here

Had a bit of a headache today (probably because of the lack of sleep) and of course today would be the day that everyone decides to run on the treadmill upstairs. The first one was running for almost an hour and the second one has been on it for 10 minutes already. I'm hoping the sign that says the treadmill should be used until 9 pm at night will actually be read!!! Sounds like they've sped up. It's on nights like these that I see the wisdom in sleeping in a tent underneath the stars, on a lone piece of property out in the middle of a forest, where the only noises you will hear are nature's soft lullaby as the wind blows, the trees rustle, and the animals settle in for the night.

I need a huge chocolate brownie right about now!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Light Reading

Having a hard time getting to sleep and inspired by other's "Monday Favourites" here are a couple of links from my late-night reading.

I wish I could be as generous as this little girl who has fed thousands of homeless people from her vegetable gardens.

For a list of hysterical baby products, click here! Some are outrageous, others hysterical, but all seem rather unnecessary.

And isn't this just too cute? A picture of Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen of England).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Study in Futility

I think one of the reasons why conservative circles like the SOP so much is because it's clear cut, black and white. You can take a sentence "No line of manual training is of more value than agriculture." and thereby decree that everyone must participate in agriculture. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we shouldn't learn how to grow a garden. What I'm saying is, why are we so quick to pull the commanding sentences from the SOP and so slow to engage in a deep study of the Bible first? My theory? It's easier to enforce something that has already been stated than to study out principles which can then lead to conclusions based on those Biblical principles.

It's like learning to eat healthily. Recently, I've begun trying to eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains (I'm still working on the whole grains part!). I love reading news articles on the latest discoveries about food and enjoy learning about how food can heal the body or help prevent disease. There's just one problem, though. There is so much information out there about the different things you need to have in your diet to ensure optimum health, that to eat everything every single day would require you to be munching 24/7. Now that wouldn't be very healthy, would it?

The same can be applied to statements found in the SOP. While there are excellent chapters written on many different topics, when you are trying to condense them down to what is the most important for the task at hand, it can become overwhelming. To try to incorporate every single admonition given would require us to walk around with huge tomes in our hands to refer to, as we make sure we aren't making any mistakes. I know, I'm being facetious, but there is some truth to my point.

I haven't got it all figured out yet, but one thing I do know. I wish we could hold the Bible up high as our standard and actually study from it first, before we march to the SOP to prove our points.

Friday, July 23, 2010

No Needles, Please!

I had a dental appointment today. I hate dental appointments. Of course I'm probably part of the general population who would rather spend an afternoon pulling stubborn weeds from parched earth in scorching 120-degree weather than sit in a chair with their mouth open wide as some stranger pokes and prods about inside. But unfortunately I was not presented with a choice, except the choice to have a filling or wait several months and pay 10x more for a crown once my tooth had rotted to the core. Needless to say, with my job going to half-time in 2 months, I opted for the cheaper filling.

I had already rescheduled once and knew I couldn't put it off any longer. When I reached the office, right on time, I was shown to the plastic blue automated lounge chair, a fuschia purple paper bib was clipped around my neck, and I sat and waited. And waited. And waited some more. They were a little backed-up that day. (Remind me not to make my next appointment on a Friday afternoon!)

I have a strange way of coping with dental appointments. I try to sleep as little as I can the night before so I will be really tired when I come. Then I can lie in that chair in a semi-comatose state and not be alert and aware of every single thing that's happening (and now she is scraping away at the root. . .). I had managed to get very little sleep all week long, so the 30 minutes I waited were a welcome time to almost doze as I listened to a dental assistant explain a rather complicated method of taking care of one's teeth to the patient next door.

Finally my dentist turned up. She is a very sweet Indian doctor who is always reassuring me. Being as petrified of anything to do with drills and crowns and fillings as I am, I rely on my added bonus of looking about 10 years younger than I really am, and try to look as scared as I can, so that everyone will have pity on me. At this office, everyone is very sympathetic, so while the procedures aren't pleasant, at least the people are.

The worst part about fillings and crowns is the numbing needle. I'm not exactly sure why it is necessary to do at least 2 injections (and often 3 or 4), but I suppose the dentist needs to numb all the necessary places. The second worst part is when they drill near a nerve. This was going to be a routine filling, though, so I didn't anticipate any painful drilling. Just that needle, though, was enough to make me nervous. I could handle the scraping, the drilling, the filling, and keeping my mouth open for 2 hours straight. What I couldn't handle was that needle.

First, my dentist poked around inside my mouth, probably to determine which tooth needed attention and to evaluate how she should proceed. Not only did she have a face mask over her mouth, she also had a plastic face guard (like the kind welders wear, only this one was see-through plastic), so when she mumbled something to me, I looked up hopefully and nodded in agreement. I had absolutely no idea what she had just said.

As she walked away, the thought suddenly hit me, "I think she said we won't need to do any numbing!" I was hesitantly excited but unsure whether I had interpreted her mumblings correctly. I didn't need to wait much longer to find out, for a minute or two later, she reappeared, I opened my mouth wide, the dental assistant sat on the other side of my head and held the suction tube in my mouth, and she began to drill away. No needles. No numbing. No pain.

In about 7 minutes the procedure was over. It was the most painless filling I had ever had.

Did your mother ever tell you, "Don't worry about it now, worry about it when it's over! It might not be half as bad as you think it will be."? Mine told me that, repeatedly, as I grew up. It was a lesson I needed to re-learn again today as the anticipation of the needle kept me from enjoying my day and being grateful that I have a dentist who works to save my teeth instead of wasting my money. Worry about unnecessary things kept me from being grateful that I have found a place to go where I feel comfortable and that I have the money to pay so that my teeth can be preserved as long as possible.

Isn't it neat to see how God works things out in our lives? I'm a firm believer that He works in even the little things and today was just one example of how He takes care of us and gives us little surprises, even when we forget to step back and recognize them. Unselfish love.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

3 Minutes Can Save You Two Dollars!

On our way to the airport this morning, we came upon the bridge toll. My sister and I were scanning the signs to see how much the toll was, when we noticed that it changed, depending on the time. From 4 am to 10 am it was $6 and after 10 am it changed to $4 per car. We looked up at the huge digital clock displayed across the toll booths. 9:58 am.

Glancing to the right, I suddenly noticed a line of cars parked on the shoulder. "Pull over!" I yelled. Our car swerved onto the shoulder, then we slowly backed up to reach the front of the line. Other commuters, also with a couple of minutes to spare, had decided to save a couple of dollars and hang out here until the clock turned 10. We turned on our emergency lights and waited.

Two minutes later, the shoulder began to clear rapidly as cars joined the constant rush to the city. We merged as well, smiled at the toll booth cashier, and handed him $4. Pretty neat!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fava Beans & Other Blessings

I am super exhausted. But I'm happy. Today has been long but rewarding. Asides from a slightly irritating fruit fly buzzing around in front of my monitor, I am content with life at this moment (don't ask me on Monday morning how I'm feeling!). I'm also grateful that this week flew by and I have two more full days left in my weekend! Here's a few of my fun blessings from today:

1. I have air conditioning. In sky-rocketing weather, I am grateful to have a/c at home and a/c in my car. I can't imagine having to rely on a fan to keep me cool!
2. My apartment is clean and tidy (more or less). I'm excited because I spent two evenings laboriously sorting through all my clothes and storing all the winter clothes and ones that don't fit. Now my closet is much neater and it is easier to keep the rest of my tiny apartment tidy.
3. We went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant with good friends. I loved the crispy eggplant and deep fried sesame tofu. I think I could live on Chinese food and be perfectly content. Not exactly sure that egg-flower soup was vegetarian, even though they assured us it was, but it was still delicious. And I had two wontons with sweet-and-sour sauce!
4. I found a red top for $5 at Walmart that perfectly matches a brown skirt with red flowers that my mom found for me in the free-room.
5. I had a lovely evening chatting with my mom and sister while I ate my supper at 10 pm. Leftover ful medames (Egyptian fava beans) with lemon juice and olive oil, scooped up with whole wheat pita bread. Yummmmm! I just hope my stomach doesn't rebel and that I can sleep well tonight!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

An Award

It works!
1. Sum up your blogging philosophy in 5 words. Emotion, laughter, genuine, creative, wordy!

2. Pass this award on to 5 others. Unfortunately I have very few followers, so I shall just thank LaVonne for her award.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On The Days When You Don't Feel Like It, Thank God

I love reading articles on Yahoo!, so here's a fun link about why diets fail. http://health.yahoo.net/experts/joybauernutrition/4-reasons-diets-fail

Sprinkles of Blessings:
  • The airconditioning works in my office again
  • I bought a really cool flashlight at Walmart that is so bright, it's almost like a spotlight!
  • Someone bought the fridge that I bought and changed my mind about, yesterday
  • I cooked ful medames (Egyptian beans) for the first time today and it worked!
  • I have blueberries, grape tomatoes, and sweet baby grapes to enjoy
  • My best friend inspired me to make strawberry fruit sauce and it tastes absolutely delicious over granola for breakfast!
  • I had time to do laundry :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

STOP SPAM

Do not post any unsolicited spam comments on this article or on this blog. Don't waste my time or yours.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Soraya M.

I just finished watching "The Stoning of Soraya M" on Netflix. This film is rated R for a reason, it gets quite graphic at one point when the actual stoning takes place, so I would recommend you fast-forward it if you need to. The film is one that I will add to my shortlist of films that bring social awareness of real-life issues and atrocities that are facing minorities today.

"The Stoning of Soraya M" is based on a true story. While I will not go into much detail here, I will say that the main plot involves a woman who is accused falsely of adultery because her husband wants to marry a young girl. The woman is pronounced guilty and then stoned. The film takes place in Iran in the 1980s.

Watching something like this made me both very sad and very angry. I see, over and over again, how certain cultures oppress women and treat them as worthless. I see how Satan uses people to ruin the lives of innocent women and children, then stands back and laughs. I see how terrified the woman caught in adultery must have been, and how relieved she must have been when Jesus said He did not condemn her and no stones were thrown.

As ever, I feel helpless. How can we, who live in such an affluent and influential country, make a tangible difference? I don't know.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What are YOU Thankful for?

A friend sent out an e-update with pictures of her and her cute little family today and as I enjoyed the pictures of her two boys and read her positive email filled with God's blessings, a quiet thought came to mind. "What have you been blessed with?"

It isn't always the big things that stick out as blessings. Sometimes the little things are the ones that make you the happiest. Here are a few of my blessings from today:

  • My allergies weren't bothering me tonight
  • My mom bought me fresh asparagus and strawberries from Walmart
  • I walked 4 rounds (2 loops)
  • I have air conditioning in my apartment
  • The project I'm working on at work is coming together very nicely
  • Tomorrow is Thursday!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fly On

Sometimes, it's the little things in life that make you happy. Like a cold chocolate Silk waiting for you in the fridge. Or the mystery ingredients for tomorrow's lunch coming together with lasagna noodles to make a delicious meal. Or that spreadsheet for work finally making perfect sense after weeks of effort.

Tonight, it was a fly, a flashlight, and an open door.

I've been working out of home for the past couple of days because of the renovations going on in my office, including a very strong smell of paint. My work extension actually rings in my place, but I still have to run out onto the sidewalk so I can get a clear signal! Most times I close my door, but this time I forgot and a huge nasty black fly managed to sneak in. For the rest of the afternoon that fly continued to buzz about in irritating circles.

After preparing dinner for tomorrow and doing some laundry at my mom's place, I came back to my house, sat down to finish my disc of Project Runway Season 4, and then the nasty fly started to circle again. When it decided to land on my shoulder, I got upset. Flies are disgusting and dirty creatures and I did not want one hanging out with me! Then I had the most brilliant idea.

I turned off all my lights and held my mini flashlight, turned to its brightest, against the white wall of my front door. After about 30 seconds, just when I was about to give up (I have a very short attention span!), the fly flew right into my circle of light. Keeping the light focused on the door, I opened the door slowly to reveal my porch light shining brightly. On the second circle-around, the fly flew right out the door into the night light. I shut the door to a fly-free home.

Yaaaaay!

Friday, June 18, 2010

29 and 365 days

Yesterday I turned 30. That's right, the big three-oh. And for some strange reason I am not doing too well with this particular birthday. Growing up, birthdays were always exciting for me. I looked forward to the gifts, the cake, the party, spending time with family and friends and feeling special. Even as I grew older and the pizzaz of the day wasn't quite as sparkling, I still looked with eager anticipation to the morning when I would wake up and be a whole year older. It was almost as if I was waiting for something to happen and I just knew it was going to happen that year.

Well, this year it happened all-right. I woke up and realized I had left my twenties. The carefree days were forever gone. I was now entering an entirely different decade with serious responsibilities and depressing life mile markers. Somehow I don't think turning 40 is as difficult as turning 30, but I could be wrong. I haven't reached 40 yet! Check back in 10 years from now and see how I'm doing!

When I thought about it, age 30 was a significant age in Bible times. Upon doing a search, I discovered some interesting things about people who turned 30 and took on some serious responsibilities.


God is able to do amazing things with those who are willing to be used by Him. Yet each of these went through difficult times first. Joseph's brothers hated him and he worked as a slave in a foreign country. Saul was looking for his father's lost donkeys and when it came time to annoint him king, he was hiding in the baggage, afraid to face everyone. David was busy fighting lions and bears as a humble shepherd or dodging Saul's spear as he played the harp to calm Saul's soul. Jesus lived quietly tucked away in a little village, getting separated from his parents at the Passover Feast, and working as a carpenter while He waited for His time to come.

In this new year as I face yet more unknowns, one thing is sure. God has a plan, not just for me, but for everyone who follows Him. And that plan is one we cannot even begin to imagine, but I believe He places a desire for that plan in our hearts so that when He brings us face to face with our dreams, we will know we are in His will and we will move forward.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Constant Change

I'm back home again, after three weeks of well-earned vacation during which I was able to get a good brain-rest. Now I'm trying to catch up on sleep and blogging (not simultaneously!) while listening to a Women of Faith Worship CD that I won. When I've listened to it about 50 times, I'll write a proper blog about it. For tonight, I'm just scribbling, getting back into the groove of writing regularly again, and hoping I won't have any spam comments. Somehow my blog seems to have found its way onto some list of Asian spammers and I'm not too happy about it. Thankfully, I can regulate comments to some extent, but it is frustrating to keep on rejecting comments!

The older I become, the more I realize that nothing is certain except for change. Learning to live with an understanding that can embrace this knowledge is perhaps the biggest challenge of my life. I understand there has to be change, it is part of the process of what we call life, but does it have to be as constant as it has been lately? I'm not exactly sure.

My grandparents are retired and live in a little apartment where they've lived for the past 16 years. They are growing older and some of the things they used to be able to do, they can't do anymore. My Opa used to bike to an apple farm to buy organic apples. Once I rode with him and could barely make it to the farm where I was relieved for a few moments rest before I had to climb back on that bike with a weary seat and jelly legs and attempt the return ride home. My Opa is 58 years older than me and this happened several years ago when I was in my mid-twenties! Now, if he is going for a long walk, he has to take his sturdy walker along to guide his unsteady footsteps over uneven cobbled ground. His body isn't as strong as it used to be. My Oma still has a quick step, but she too now uses a walker to go shopping and help carry the vegetables she buys at the farmer's market on Thursdays.

Life has changed for my grandparents over time, shrinking their world and increasing the time it takes for them to do simple things like prepare a meal or do household tasks. They are more careful now and are grateful for each day they have together. Yet in the midst of the change, which came gradually and did not throw itself like a hurricane across their path like change has shouted in my face, they have continued to enjoy the constancy of life. They still live in the same apartment, use the same placemats at the table, shop in the same health food store, greet the same neighbours, go to the same church, eat the same homemade whole-wheat bread, and check their mailbox once a day. Their son and his family visit every few weeks and their daughter calls every Sunday to chat.

It is this constancy that comforts my soul whenever I come to visit. Unfortunately fate did not smile kindly on me and I grew up without grandparents around to enrich my life. It was one of the sacrifices required of missionaries who got furlough every two years—a summer spent with cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents—a summer spent getting to know strangers all over again. I always envied those who had extended family living nearby, maybe grandparents just down the street or an aunt and uncle and cousins in the next town over. We had to make do with family who were not related to us genetically but God always blessed us with very special substitute family.

I've seen my grandparents 4 times in the past 12 years. It makes me sad when I think about it and I wish, now, that I had been able to spend more time with them. As they age and become more frail, I wish I lived nearby so I could help them more. I wish I had learned to speak their language so we wouldn't be separated by yet another barrier. I wish I had grown up close by so we would have shared history that encompassed more than pictures on a CD every two years and pictures sent through the mail so they could share the highlights of our lives. They weren't able to attend high school and college graduations, they missed my brother's baptism, and we were rarely able to share birthdays together. We never spent a Christmas together.

In the midst of the deep sadness of time escaping as it always does, I continue to ponder the thought of consistency. The lack of or need to change. My Oma and Opa haven't changed for as long as I can remember. It is only when I look at pictures that I realize they  have gotten older, for in my mind they still look the same. When I visit, I know we will eat from the china plates with the flowers around the border, with the gray plates saved for when the dishwasher is starting to get full and all the china is dirty. I know we will wash the dishes in a green plastic bucket and that there is a sponge and soap stored inside that bucket under the sink. I know there is a special wooden spoon and cutting board for the onions because they have such a strong scent. I know which path we will walk on Sabbath afternoon as we pass through the park and see the water fountains with the frog design. I know that Opa will press the floor button and then immediately afterwards he'll press the "door close" button in the elevator as soon as everyone is in. I know that we will watch Little House on the Prairie and that the news comes on at 8. I know that when visitors or family come to visit, we will drink grape juice and eat nuts and cookies and other treats. I know Oma will have bought vla (custard) and Tartex from the health food store even before I come because she knows those are my favourite foods.

And me? There are very few knowns in my life right now. Change continues to press urgently and I have no say in the matter. I am invited to accept the change but never welcome to seek consistency. As someone who has spent the past 12 years in a holding pattern, waiting for life to settle down, it is difficult to wait longer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Savouring the Moments

Oh dear, here I was thinking I was going to have all kinds of time while on holiday to write and blog and I find myself facing my last day of laziness and realizing my last blog was over a week ago! I guess my mind has been on vacation as well!!!

It is important to take a break every now and then, you know. Even if you're not busily rushing about "doing stuff" during that time, it is still important to relax, sleep in a little, spend a whole day doing absolutely nothing; to write or do something that expresses the creative side of you. As women, we tend to focus on the things we need to get done, always feeling guilty every time we snatch a few minutes to sit down, turn on the telly, and watch Judge Judy give some con artist a raking-over as we cheer on justice and all that. If we find ourselves with a couple of hours with nothing on our to-do-list, no appointments to rush off to, nothing that needs to be cleaned or tidied or mended or put away, then we feel guilty because we feel like we should be finding something we have to do. It's an endless rush of busyness!

I think it is vitally important to our wellbeing that, as women, we are as eager to take some time in our week to care for ourselves as we are to care for others. Everyone has a different way of doing it, maybe taking a long walk, writing or scrapbooking or baking a cake, or lighting candles and reading a good book while curled up with a mug of herbal tea. Even if it is 5 minutes in the morning to sit quietly and commune with God, that time we indulge in just for ourselves is worth every moment. It will infuse our souls with a renewed energy to go out and meet the needs of the world when we have taken a moment to quiet our souls.

I think I'm talking to myself today. Even on this vacation, I realized that I was busy doing things. Traveling, shopping, appointments, meeting friends, and still more traveling and shopping. I enjoyed every single minute of it and am sorry to have to return to the busyness of the working woman's world again. Yet, the moments I took to stand on the balcony after the sun and city had gone to sleep, in the darkened night illuminated only by city streetlamps and scattered lights in people's gardens, as I stopped all my rushing to speak softly with God and knew He was bending close to listen, those are the moments I savour.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Few of My Favourite Things

One of my favourite parts about traveling is getting to eat the food. (except for the one time we spent a week in the aboriginal villages in Taiwan, that was a whole 'nother culinary experience I don't care to repeat, but the people were very generous!) Here is no exception and every time I return, I look forward to buying my favourite foods and enjoying them again.

I flew in to Albert Heijn as soon as I arrived (the equivalent of a Safeway or a Winco in the US) and picked up some food to tide me over the first five days. Of course I always buy way too much, but here's a quick peek at my shopping list.

  • Karnemelk (buttermilk)
  • Ananas sap (pineapple juice)
  • Tartex (a vegetable pate spread)
  • Stroopwafels (syrup waffles, a type of cookie)
  • Kokosbrood (slices of "coconut bread" that you place on top of bread, like a sweet deli slice)
  • Rozijnenbrood (raisin bread)
  • Vla (a custard-like dessert, I prefer the soy kind)
  • Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles, put on bread with margarine)
  • Muisjes (anise sprinkles, also put on bread with margarine)
  • Kaas (cheese, Gouda of course!)
Yuuuum, I'm getting hungry. Time to eat breakfast!

A Bit of This and That

Returning to the Netherlands has been quite the cultural experience. As I stepped into the airport and familiar sounds and sights greeted me, I felt at home and yet not at home. It is a difficult experience to express, unless you too are a TCK (or third-culture kid). My sister is often more vocal about her wish to feel like she fits in, searching for a country and culture that she can claim as her own, while I try my best to blend into my host culture and revel in friends' jaws dropping as I hear for the hundredth time, "What do you mean you're not American? You mean you're a foreigner?" Unfortunately my skin tone and hair colour allow me to blend in nicely into a variety of cultures, which, while a blessing in some ways, also means that I'm not "exotic" enough to be considered a proper foreigner. Plus I don't have an accent. Not a real one, anyhow, except for the one time I spent a weekend around some of my sister's American friends and suddenly found myself lapsing into a very awkward British accent. They seemed to find it amusing to make fun of me and try to copy my strange ways of pronouncing common words.

I'm an observer of peoples and cultures and have found my time here very rewarding so far. First there are the bicycles. While in the US, pedestrians have right of way and then cars, here it is the opposite. There is an established pecking order, busses first, then bicycles, and finally pedestrians. There are very few overweight or obese people here. It's probably because they all ride bicycles. Everywhere! There are lanes specifically designated for bicycles and even little traffic lights with little red and green bicycles! The cutest thing is to see a mother flying by with a child securely strapped into a bicycle seat either in front or behind her or in a little wagon in front of the bicycle. Businessmen all dressed up for a day at the office also fly by on bicycles and students take collapsible bicycles on the train.

Speaking of trains, and busses, they are all on a very tight schedule around here. While ironically, the average everyday person will stand in their garden and chat with a passerby about the lovely weather, the person who is going somewhere must be in a desperate rush or they won't reach their destination. Trains pull into the station a minute ahead of schedule and you have about 30 seconds to get on before they pull out again. Bus drivers impatiently wait for you to hand over your 1.5 euro so they can stamp your dagretour (round-trip day ticket). Everyone is in a rush, rush, rush and if you don't keep up with the rush you'll get left behind.

Little towns, like the one I'm currently staying in, are very neat and clean. Large cities, like Amsterdam, look just like downtown San Francisco with garbage and graffiti obscuring the beauty. Everyone takes pride in their front window display, however. If you pass by someone's house and stop and look at their front window, you will invariably see an arrangement of flowers, or candles, or some other fancy decoration that is carefully placed in the window. Sometimes I stop to take a closer look as I walk past, but then worry they will think I'm peering into their house. But why have such a beautiful window display, then?

I think I enjoy the order of service at church. The Dutch are no-nonsense people and this comes through in their service that eliminates all the frills and fluff that other cultures find necessary. Church starts with a hymn, there are several Scripture readings and hymns, a children's story, an offering, the sermon, and two more hymns. All the necessary announcements are printed in the bulletin so people can read them at their leisure and are not announced up front, in triplicate, as people are instructed to "follow along in your bulletin" as if they can't read! The sermon is about 30 minutes long. Long enough to make a point and short enough that you can remember it.

And finally, I'll end with a humorous observation on the toilet-paper. Yes, you knew I had to address it. While Americans are proud of their recycled toilet-paper, you haven't seen toilet-paper until you've seen this! It's gray and could probably stand up on its own if necessary. Oddly enough, it isn't as rough as it looks. Of course it isn't the only kind of toilet-paper available and it may not even be recycled, but it sure makes for a good laugh!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Your Visa Is. . .

I'm looking forward to the day when there will be no more borders, visas, miles of paperwork, and immigration. When everyone will be able to come and go across a common land that we will all share. For me, that day cannot come soon enough!

Today, however, I experienced the joy of visiting the US consulate in Amsterdam, for the fourth time in the last 11 years, to request yet another visa. I was pondering whether I could request frequent flyer miles for my regular attendance, but decided the security guard at the gate would likely not find that amusing! Thankfully, everything went smoothly and I should be receiving my visa within a week or so. Once I have it in hand, I will have one last interview, for my green-card (date as yet to be determined) and then. Then I shall be finished with it all. Unless, of course, I decide to go and live in another country and have to begin the process all over again!!!

The actual visa interview is actually anti-climatic after so much preparation. I began the whole process months ago with my very helpful lawyer and was kept busy sending reams of photocopies over on a regular basis. The completed visa application came by Fed-Ex along with numerous sticky notes that directed me to "insert photocopy here" and "insert photocopy there" and "sign here." After compiling everything I needed, I was ready for the actual journey.

The journey from California to Amsterdam was no easy one. I encountered additional challenges along the way as I forgot to bring my medicine, the hotel I'd reserved was overbooked, our international flight was delayed 2 hours, a student demonstration was planned for the very day I had my appointment, and when I arrived at the consulate I found myself packed into a very small room with 50 other weary travelers.

My interview, on the other hand, was the fastest one yet. Though it took me two hours to get from initial entry to actual interview, the consul asked me several questions and two minutes later said the welcome words: "Your visa is approved."

To those who follow my blog and know me well, you will understand why those four words were bittersweet to hear. Life has been particularly challenging for some time now and I, the sanguine, hesitate to shout with joy. I am grateful, however.

I am grateful that I have a home, a car, and a job to return to. I am grateful that I have family and friends, both near and far. I am grateful for email to keep in touch with those who are far away. I am grateful I live in a country where women have freedoms and where I can understand the language! There are more things I'm grateful for, but I'm getting so sleepy I cannot think of them all.

I'm still thinking about those four words and a time still to come. Has my heavenly visa been approved? Somehow I'd like to think so. And there isn't a pile of paperwork required, either. Just a simple belief in Jesus and a single death on the Cross.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vacations Are More Stressful Than Staying Home!

Sprinkles of Blessings:
  1. We watched The Barefood Executive tonight. It's an awesome Disney movie, made in Technicolor, that we used to love watching over 11 years ago!
  2. Found those mini-key-chain pens at Staples that my brother loves. Bought them for him as a celebration of the end-of-the-school-year.
  3. Grocery Outlet had So Delicious Chocolate Fudge Bars, yum for supper!
I have very little time left to get ready for my summer vacation and life is just getting too busy. Why is vacation so stressful? That night I have to stay in MSP, I'm getting more and more excited about that down-time. I've booked a lovely hotel and plan to check in, watch TV, sleep on the queen-sized bed, enjoy the free continental breakfast, and then watch more TV until my flight departs to Amsterdam. I need that time to just de-stress and try to forget all the junk that's invading my life right now.

Watching George Lopez right now, it's one of my favourite shows!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sprinkles of Blessings

I've decided to try to include a section in each blog that lists the blessings I've had that day. I've titled it Sprinkles of Blessings, because of the period of life I'm going through right now, and I'm hoping it will help to give me a more positive outlook on the challenges! So here goes!

Sprinkles of Blessings
  1. I'm thankful that in the midst of this struggling economy, I still have a job, even if it is going to half-time in August. I'm also thankful I'll still be able to pay my bills, even if I won't have any extra cash at the end of the month.
  2. I scheduled a tire rotation for Friday at the perfect time and it's free
  3. My car is being fixed (a gasket blew? I really have no idea what is under my car's bonnet!)
  4. I was able to resolve something at work that was left unresolved for 10 years
  5. I did my last load of laundry and have clean clothes again!
  6. I was able to check a lot of things off my to-do-list at work
  7. Top Model is a 2-hour finale :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Words Cannot Flow, But Blessings Still Do

Just returned from my best friend's graduation weekend, I sit and struggle to write my next entry. It's not that I don't have words to write, because I do, but I cannot write. The emotions, the thoughts, the experiences cannot be put to paper because they are too real.

I am grateful for the weekend I had, though. For a few days I was able to forget everything, empty my mind of the racing thoughts that inhabit it every waking moment, and experience the healing of the heart that friendship grants.

A blessing today is that the visa bulletin has moved forward 8.5 months in the last two months. Usually, when I check the visa bulletin once a month when they update it, it moves a month, or at the most 2.5 months, but never 4 to 4.5 months at a time! I know it is very unpredictable, and I can't count on it continuing to advance at this rate, but if it were, my date would come current in December of this year! Fingers crossed, prayers going up sounding like, "please, please, please, dear God, let it work out," as I wait to see how He will lead.

"I will wait for the LORD, Who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in Him." ~ Isaiah 8:17, NIV

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Taking to the Skies

Well I'm super excited because I just booked my ticket to London! I'll be there for a full week, between time spent in the Netherlands both before and after, so I'm gonna be running around quite busily during my vacation! I was looking for tickets online last week, trying to find the perfect itinerary and feeling rather frustrated because everything was either too expensive or left at the wrong time. This afternoon, I was trying to think about what I should accomplish today and realized I needed to book that ticket before it got too late.

So back online I went, and somehow the right combination of dates and websites lent me a perfect itinerary for the grand total of $39 for the ticket. And an additional $129 for taxes and fees. And an additional $38 for travel insurance. But at $206 for a round-trip from Amsterdam to London, with a brief stopover in Hamburg (now I wish I was going longer so I could actually do some sightseeing in Germany and Austria and France. . .and I wish I were a millionaire as well!), well you can't beat that price so I'm happy.

Now it's off to Wal-mart to buy some fun and practical presents for the family!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Solitude for the Weary

A good friend told me they wake up every morning with at least a half day's work of interesting things to do swirling about in their mind. As they have a more than full-time job, they have to resort to writing those ideas down on little scraps of paper. Needless to say, their pile of scraps is growing rapidly. I can identify. I wake up, or usually go to bed, with a thousand thoughts of what to blog about. Too lazy to write the ideas down, however, I must resort to waiting for the inspiration to come around again before I can sit down to write.

In thirty minutes I head to the cafeteria to prepare lunch for about 30 people, give or take a few. It will be a busy day today and I'll be on my feet for most of it, but I enjoy doing cafeteria chores so I don't mind. There's something very primitive and yet satisfying about participating in the basic act of preparing food, working in a familiar environment, and being able to work for several hours and not have to think.

That is my problem. I've been thinking too much these past few days, though when I stop to really think about it, I've probably been thinking too hard for some time now. Though I am a sanguine, ironically when it comes to dealing with the gray days I tend to go introspective like the melancholy who hides deep within. I do talk it out, but I am finding that the older I become, the more I need to also process in silence. Often, even silence must be given sufficient time to fully shroud the grief, the pain, the confusion, the frustration, the anger, the loneliness, and all the other emotions that come with trying times.

There have been a lot of changes happening and while I recognize that change is a very real part of life, I cannot come to terms with change that comes about through injustice. Frustrated that I am powerless to do anything, to make a statement of any type that will even be looked at, let alone heard, I feel like I am beating against a fifty-foot thick cement wall with my bare hands. So once again, I must retreat to silence where at least I will not be judged, condemned or treated condescendingly.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring's Final Farewell

It's been a really long time since I've written. Life got busy, managed to come down with a nasty head cold that came with a relapse, so now I'm slowly coughing my way back to optimal health again. I've been thinking about what to write about, though, with a million thoughts in my head, a million words begging to be written and crafted into timeless masterpieces that will echo in people's memories.

Today, however, I cannot write.

There are times the heart is too full to express in words the emotions it senses.

"Dear God, if it's true that when it rains, You are crying, then cry hard tonight. . .cry the tears that I cannot. . ."