Monday, December 19, 2005

Image hosted by
sing hallelujah by dmack

There is one exam left tomorrow morning and I will have another semester done. In a day and half I will be in Ontario, visiting my family, and enjoying a break from work and homework. All in all, the semester has ended well, I somehow found an adequate amount of time to hang out with friends and just slack off in general. I've been some great movies, watched some hilarious shows, but also have been reading some thought provoking books and have been chillaxing in coffee shops listening to friends bands and having great conversations. And although there are good things right at hand, there is even more good things coming.
Next semester holds some things I'm looking foward to, there are already plans of fun days ahead, such as a visit from my old roommate; and there is the added bonus of finally owning my own vehicle.
Another eventful semester has passed, I think I've more than made it through. God has been faithful, though it is through much more than the things I've mentioned above. They are things to be thankful for, and cherished, but God has been faithful regardless of those things.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Image hosted by
my ending by splucy

the soap opera that is my life

I really don't think my life is all that interesting.
But I could be wrong.
Years ago it was noted that my life, or at least the circumstances around it, resembled a soap opera. So, in jest, I wrote one called port caron.
Since then, besides the interesting situations that seem to befall me, I've noted an amazing amount of people who tell me what they think my life is about, tell me what to think of things that have or are happening to me, and try to live vicariously through me. While I completely respect listening to others, to see life through their eyes and getting an outside opinion, sometimes their version of my life sounds only vaguely familiar.
I've mostly learned to laugh about it and joke around, people are going to talk whether or not I care, and there's always going to be someone who thinks they're helping you by trying to point in the direction that looks best to them. But every once in awhile, I wonder if there's something I'm doing or have done to incur this, or that maybe I take it too lightly, or maybe I let it affect me too much. In which case I don't think I'm smart enough to figure that mystery out. And if it's because of my personality, then there's not a whole lot I can do about that.
It doesn't worry me, so much as cause me to wonder, which is something people seem to get confused, but that's a post for a different day.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Image hosted by
til the morning after by aquapell

spiritual lessons through this physical veneer

This is probably a theme that is becoming redundant for those of you who have been reading my posts over the past few months. I can imagine how some may begin to see me as too much of a mystic, always seeing something in the nonsense of life. In my defense I will say that there is much of life that doesn't make sense, that doesn't seem planned or purposeful, although good things can come of it, useful things can be learned from it. Our diverse society has brought together wide variety of thought and beliefs where many of us range from those heightened senses of the mystics to the leary logics of the cynics. In any case we should come to terms with the fact that life on this earth does hold suffering and misfortune, but be aware that things aren't always as they seem.
I don't think I'm being to cocky to say that I have been in the past a resillient person; been able to get back up when life has knocked me down. I may, as it seems to some, think things over too much, and it's true I like to give life a good mulling. God's been here to lead me on through whatever this world brings, but through these past months something struck deep down in me and I wondered many times at what's holding me back. God's always been there to direct my steps, and I couldn't understand why I felt like I was standing in limbo. Realization is a process, I'm sure we all know this, andI came to the conclusion early on that there was a few things I needed to realize. At the end of the summer I asked God a question, I made a request. I wanted to understand something and couldn't find an answer that sufficed. And He has been giving me His response. Sometimes the face value of what happens is all that exists, but have you ever faced a situation where it has become more about what lies beneath than the actual situation itself? We're physical beings, so it makes sense that one of the most peircing ways for God to get something across to us is through the medium we exist in. (although it is only one; I wonder what it would be like to experince supernatural messages like Julian of Norwich, who saw 16 visions while being deathly ill...)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Image hosted by
shores of oblivion by gilad

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
If you are transparent and vulnerable people will call you superficial and you will get hurt.
Be transparent and vulnerable anyway.

I know not everyone needs to love me, I know not everyone will like me.It's a fact of life on this cursed terrain and I came to terms with that, was forced to comes to terms with that, long ago. Friends have joked, and I have sarcastically said a few times, that no one could possibly hate me, but I have been made more than aware of people who, in their hearts or in their actions towards me, words said about me, unwillingness to understand me, have hated me.
What I do have trouble wrapping my mind around are people who, not only present themselves as my friend but also present themselves as a friend and follower of Jesus, hate me. I saw it years ago, when a girl pretended to be chummy with me when really in her heart she hated me because of something that wasn't my fault, something that I had no control over. But she was never a close friend of mine, while it felt slightly unjustified that someone would judge me as she did, it wasn't as much of a slap in the face as the friend who has been hating me behind my back now.
Someone who I have been friends with for years, someone who consistantly uplifts me in compliments of a good heart and a wise mind, someone who I had no indication that they were displeased with me in the least, has been bitterly talking about me behind my back. On more than one occasion saying that I am superficial and shallow. Now I could say, or you could say, well that's life, it happens, you can't care what anyone else thinks, you just need to accept that life is full of raw deals and you need to just move on. But I'm not going to lie that I am incredibly disappointed and slightly hurt. And I know that someone can love sinner without loving the... perceived... sin, but to harbour as much bitterness towards me as he does and make no indication of it, seems ironic.
Well anyhow, thanks for listening... I mean reading...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Image hosted by
faith variation by gilad

Where does that put Him?
picking up where we left off

He was a man of high stature. He was moral, righteous, well-respected. He had a comfortable home, and a comfortable place in society. He was the right kind of man to be seen with, the right kind of man to have dinner with. Living a successful life, an empty, successful life, for he had money, power and respect.

She was a prostitute. She was used, undeserving and disrespected. She did what she had to in order to get by. Sell what she had to offer in order to make it through another day. Living a despairing life, an empty, despairing life; for she had no love, no respect, and no hope.

He had heard of Jesus. A man who he had heard performed miracles. A man he heard had great insight. A man who he heard had come to visit and should be invited over to dinner to a respectable mans' home. A man who he knew would look good at a man of high stature's table.

She had also heard of Jesus. A man she heard had the power to heal and guide. A man she heard had come and would be eating at the well-respected man's table. A man who caused her to long for something better, caused her to follow after him, to weep mournfully at his feet, and to give all that she earned in year to buy perfume to pour onto his feet.

He scoffed. He was disgusted. He was disappointed. He thought, "If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him."

She submitted. She was broken. She was defended. Jesus spoke, "Simon, I have something to tell you."

He feigned interest. He gave a cordial smile. It hid the disdain he held for the woman who entered his home and the man who associated with her, who did not dismiss her, "Tell me, teacher."

Jesus asked him, "If two men were in debt to a banker--one owing five hundred silver pieces and the other fifty which neither of them could pay--and the banker canceled both debts, which of the two would be more grateful?"

He was confused. He wasn't sure why the prophet was asking him this; maybe to test his wisdom. He looked around to see if anyone else thought this odd, and then answered, "I suppose the one who was forgiven the most."

She sat at his feet. Jesus looked at her, "Do you see this woman? She rained tears on my feet when you would not provide water. She has not stopped kissing my feet when did not even give me a greeting. She has poured perfume on my feet when you did not provide any means of freshening myself up. She was forgiven many sins, and so is very grateful. But he who has been forgiven little has very little gratitude."

adapted from Luke 7:36-47

Is it as it seems? If we are stuck steeped in a cultural mindset of deservedness and self-sufficiency; if we are living in a wealthy society and have segregated ourselves in individualism to the point where the only thing that holds bonded to one another is our emotional connection. Or can we rightly choose to be there, the ultimate romantic ideal to choose or be chosen. What does that reflect on how we are connected to God? If we don't need each other, if we really think we can survive on our own, then really how much do we need God?

Maybe I am only preaching to the choir, to people who recognize their need for God. Who know that they need to be connected to God in more than emotions, more than choice. But for awhile now in North America even the choir has been singing their own solos. We've begun to notice it, we've begun to try to correct the things that are missing, we realize things aren't right. We talk about standing as a body, but still have our own personal lives away from the Church. I'm not claiming to have some indepth knowledge that no one has noticed before, maybe I'm just trying to comprehend it, work through it.

What has the Church done? We like others around us are seeing problems in this culture, and are making desperate attempts at fixing what we see going wrong. But I wonder if maybe we need to just put down our sheet music and think about the tune we've been singing. Maybe we need to admit that the Church like the rest of our culture got caught up in the idealism of individualism, admit that we've done enough to contribute to the problem.

Have you ever noticed that the times when we most full-heartedly turn to God, when we become most faithful in following Him, is after we've fallen the hardest on our asses? When we've come face to face with rotten circumstances, whether we've chosen them, or they've chosen us. I wonder if in our 'blessed' circumstances, in our height of technology and freedom, in our depth of wealth, if we have become more depraved than ever before. I wonder if we've got so much that we missing what we need. I wonder in who's opinion that the prostitutes sins were more than the pharisee, or maybe she could just see the depravity she was being saved from better than the man who thought he owed little to anyone, needed to be saved from little by anyone.

Where is God in the life of the Pharisee? Where is He in the life of the Prostitute? Where is He in the life of North America?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Image hosted by
dancing on a sunny day by ciril

why are you my friend?
A brief interlude in the previous flow of thought

For most of this semester I've been slightly off kilter.
I know I've noted a lot about this,
and I know I've told you that I'm put back together.
I am, I really am,
but despite the fact that my heart has been put back into place
and the uncomfortable confusion is fading away,
I still have questions and thoughts,
and God still has a great deal that he wants to work out in me;
I'm still not quite myself because he is making me something more.

But as I go through this,
I experience a lot of things that I don't understand
why or how I'm letting it be a problem.
Don't understand why I'm frusterated, upset or jaded.
When I've been fine, been strong in the past.
But it is clear that things just aren't as they seem
and (maybe) what it is that I'm trying to work through
is deeper and bigger than the situation that I'm experiencing
that they exist to help me identify what needs to be worked out in me.

And while I work through this gammut of insanity,
my friends sit by and listen to me rant.
They watch me struggle
through confusion, through frusteration, even bitterness at points.
Watch me in a broken state, listening to me in my weakness;
Patiently loving me
as I try to break through these layers God wants to pull off of me.
Still being my friend, as I strangely attempt to walk through all of this.
Why are you my friend?

You listen,
you reply
you share with me your thoughts
things you've learned
the perspectives you see
and you pray for me.
You love me,
even though I'm foolish.
Love me
though I'm mistaken
and faulted
and most certainly a strange girl.

As we strive so hard to make sense of life
and all it's surprises that greet us,
as our brains do mental gymnasitics
to see logical reasons for what goes on around us,
it occurs to me that the most beautiful things of life
simply offend reason.
Although I've always known it
I'll forever know it again and over again.
I may not understand it
but I cherish it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Image hosted by

Here we are

Some time ago I spent a long evening with a friend, we had dinner, watched some stand-up comedy, and then had a conversation that lasted about 3 hours. It had been quite a long time since I had spent that much time with one person. Quite often when I see people outside of work and school related interactions, it consists of short interludes; we watch a movie, go grocery shopping, or to town for some other reason, when we do go out for coffee it usually only lasts 45 min before we've run out of things to talk about or have things that we need to go and do. We're so busy doing, so many things on the go, and going on.

As we sat in my living room and talked of life and questions and ponderings my friend and I discussed how our lives have been guided. He, like I, had been questioning his acuracy in hearing God's voice and knowing His will, and wondering if what God had led us into in the past was really His will or our own desires. Both feeling wounded from some previous experiences, we had to wonder that there must be some better way of going about life than the patterns that our culture has set, we had to wonder if there's something we're doing wrong.

It has been well noticed about North American culture that we've become steeped in individuality, we've begun to feel the seperation and are working hard to try and fill the gap. The wealth that I spoke of earlier has not only freed us to chase whatever our heart desires, but has also freed us from each other. We no longer need one another to survive from day to day like we once did. We don't our husbands and wives to make ends meet, we don't need children to contribute to and carry on for us, we don't need our parents to teach us all that will get us through life. With that tie of dependence gone what is left to hold us together except what our wealthy society has afforded us; whatever our heart desires.

People have begun to realize that this isn't working, they've begun to realize that trying to hold together on emotions and desires is about as bonding as holding two objects together with sticky tac; it'll hold for awhile but is easily pulled apart, easily torn. We keep trying to manufacture alternatives to make up for that which has slipped into extinction since we've segregated our responsibilities and ourselves, but we can't manufacture the need, the dependence that once existed among us. So when our desires fade, or flippantly change, when our emotions bottom out on us, what's going to hold us together?

What can we possibly do to help our lonely and isolated culture? What if we've fixed enough things (such as fixing ourselves into this state) and we are only ever correcting problems only to have our solutions lead to other problems? Maybe deeper problems? And in a society that is very comfortable with the way things are what can be done? Should anything be done? Or should we just accept that something is always going to be wrong and continue on as we are?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Image hosted by
majestic thou in ruin by draven-clark

Here I am

There is a spirit of deservedness that has crept into our culture. It has found its way in through our desperate struggle to gains rights that have been denied, have been trampled on. Through those people who finally decided to stand for themselves because too few would stand for them. It snuck in as a negetive side effect of deep issues being corrected. It has come through the wealth that our culture has become accustomed to. Not just monetary wealth, the wealth that allows us to be a culture of consumers, but also a wealth of freedom; to do, to be whatever our heart calls us to. Rights have moved past being treated fairly, and freedom has moved past priviledge, they have moved into what each of us deserve.

I have in the past heard the message, to myself as well as to others, when something hasn't worked out, that there will be something better, that something better is deserved. And while that message might have been appropriate in its context, it always makes me wonder if this is a false hope, maybe a misplaced focus. What if I, you, any one of us, hears this message, continually dreams of that something better that we deserve, but is not meant to experience the things that our culture tells us we should desire.

What if, and I know I'm not the only one who has thought about this, my life is meant to be something like the prophet Hosea who God instructed to marry an adultrous wife in order to illustrate, to demonstrate a message to others. What if I am to be denied the good things this society tells me that I deserve, just so God can speak to humanity a message? I'm not saying my life has been a tragedy, although many interesting situations have crossed my path; I have enjoyed the wealth of this culture, and yet have experienced shadows of the heartaches that no one can escape wealthy or not.

Why is it that this mindset has so grasped the lives of North America? Why do we continue to believe that we deserve all the good things our culture hopes for? Maybe if we realized that we don't deserve them we'd appreciate them more and handle it better we become disappointed.

Are we willing to accept that some of us may never acheive what we are taught to consider the"good life" without bitterness or believing that we have been jilted out of something that belonged to us?

In most of those interesting situations that I have passed through I have been able to take consolation in knowing that I might not like the outcome but I followed God in what I believed to be His plan or stood for what I believed to be godly principles. There have been other cases where I just needed to recognize that I've been foolish, not following God, and accept the discipline or circumstances that befell me. But recently I came to a situation where I prayed and I believed that God was leading me into. It's turned rather messy, and it hurt. And it catapulted my heart into a place where my heart was in a state of tumultuousness. While in that state I continued to try to stand strong and follow in what I thought God was asking me to do. Something that I wasn't meant to follow through with and from there I began to question how I hear God's voice. Questioned many of the things that I believed God led me into, including the situation that led into all of this.

It is plain and simple that we will never completely comprehend why God asks us to do some of the things that He does, and often we need to own that we could be wrong in what we interpret to be His plan. But it did occur to me, and this could just be optimistic thinking, that if I hadn't followed in what I then believed God wanted me to do I would not have been in a position for certain other things to happen. It wouldn't be the first time God has asked someone to do something He didn't intend them to follow through with. If I have infact been hearing God's voice correctly the implications are, at least to me, huge. If that is the case that means God has brought me to places that are harder, scarier and more precarious than my foolish could ever manage to stumble into, and may very well continue to lead me to places that are as such. On one hand it seems obvious that this would be so, we like to keep ourselves safe. But then again we'd like to think that following God in something that is right and good would be easier to bear and would appear as a wise to everyone.

I don't know that my life will involve a large amount of hardships, I don't know that my life will be filled with what our culture believes that we each deserve; I don't know that I want that. God is a good God, and He has a good plan for humanity that He wants us all to join Him in. And it is my hope that I will be able to rejoice in that plan even if it seems to be filled with tragedies in contrast to the "good life"; rejoice that though it may not be a life full of 'blessings', but it will be a blessed life, a life that blesses others.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Image hosted by
to see in one's soul by animamira

going back and stepping foward

There is so much to say, I don't know where to start, how to say it all. There is always so many little details to every story that it becomes impossible to find words that explain to others, to express to the world, the weight and the wonder of what it is one walks through. And often it isn't just one story, it's one part of a story that intersects with this story and that story, and it expands into other aspects of life. It effects so many things that we can't pack it all into one simple explanation. In the struggle to try and share with others, particularily here, I've become good at discussing a thought, picking up a theme, without telling all the details or all that has happened to bring that thought or story about. It's the truth that I am an open person, an intimate personality, as has been observed to me over the years. An unfortunate side effect of this is that many come to think that they understand you maybe better than they do.

The past month and half has been interesting for me, I've run a gamut of emotions, had many moments of confusion, just a general feeling of running amuck. Things have begun to clear up; I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to be me, to feel like I'm put back together. But there are some crucial things that have come of this. From that state I began to question my being here, whether or not I followed God here or whether I've chosen some flight of fancy. I began to question how I hear God's voice. As I brought these concerns to God He had already been pressing this concern to look back at the point of when I came here, that He wanted to restore in my heart the innocence that I came here with. That came back to my mind as I was also reminded of what it was the drew me to Briercrest specifically, and how I went about choosing to come here, which was with a great deal of prayer and listening. I have never taken the choices that I believe to be God's leading lightly and never wish to misrespresent His name by calling my own choices His.

I have come to feel disdain, maybe just frustration, with the image of innocence. Often I feel like a child, patronized, underestimated, but reality is that I'm respected and admired far beyond what I deserve. This perception of being a child comes from my own heart and God asks me, instead of seeing it in a negative light of childishness, to treasure in it the state of vulnerability and innocence. In a place that thirsts over respect and power, that fights for its equal rights and demands freedoms, choosing to live in a state of humility, to admit weakness and vulnerability would surely be an anomaly. It begins in the realization that I am not my own island, I belong to God, and I belong to the church. We keep preaching about the body of Christ but I think in our individualistic society we miss the concept of having every detail of our lives being laid bare, being subjected, to a community. Living at a deep level of vulnerability creates a huge risk, a great probability, of becoming completely open to being wounded, judged, or misjudged; but could you imagine the intimacy?
This is only part of the story.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Image hosted by
night butterfly by dream traveler

not myself

For you long term fans of the life of jo, you may recall the analogy I sometimes use of a butterfly when I explain how God has transformed my life. It's not a totally uncommon analogy, I remember as a kid listening to those songs about bullfrogs and butterflies and how they've "both been born again" (as the song used to sing). I was crawling along until about 8 years ago when I became slightly depressed and wrapped myself self in layers of self-pity. After spending most of the school year in that state I began to realize that God was calling me to follow him, and he began to pull away those layers that I thought would protect me. I was indeed as Paul said to the Corinthians, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come!"

This time a year ago I shared with you that I felt like I had come to another one of these cocoon stages. It was not quite like the one I experienced years ago, I knew God was with me, I knew I am His, and it was not about wrapping myself in self-pity. This time I, for one, needed to rest and to heal, but I also became more reclusive; while I still liked people and wouldn't object to them being around, I wasn't exactly keen on spending time with too many people; they could come visit me, I would invite them over, but there were few that I would go out of my way to visit. That cocoon stage has come to an end, I can hear God calling me out of resting and thinking and into action, and I am now remembering how much this stage of God pulling layers off is just not any fun. There are some fears deep in my heart that I've used to wrap around myself this time around and He's been stripping those away from me.

He calls to me again, not that I ever turned away from Him, but there is a whole new adventure that He's asking me to go on with Him. He calls me to follow Him in this, despite the fact it feels like everything around and in me works against what He asks me to do. As He calls me out of my layers there is quite a bit of spiritual battling going on, and I just haven't been myself as I walk through this, despite my attempts to retain composure; He tells me that I'm not meant to be myself right now, because He wants to pull out something that is so much more.

On a wider scope, it seems that there is a common feeling in the body of Christ, that there are many of us going through this stage of God pulling away layers, of transformation. I think that is really cool how God works, that He never makes us go through anything alone. Whether we can share in a common present experience or how he surrounds us with those aren't feeling a common experience so that they can bear with us in love.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Image hosted by
There is a terrible hunger for love.
We all experience that in our lives - the pain, the loneliness.
We must have the courage to recognize it.
The poor you may have right in your own family.
Find them.
Love them.

I wonder if Mother Teresa ever felt gypped?

I was sitting in chapel during the first week of classes, thinking about some of the more challenging points in my life. And as I sat there and feeling pretty dejected and rather troubled a rather humbling thought occurred to me. Something said to me that the difference between someone like Mother Teresa and myself was that what I would consider a sacrifice and a loss she would consider an honor and a privilege.

While I can again and again recognize how God has stretched and transformed me in the things that he has asked me to do, I still remain frusterated and saddened by what I think it has cost me. The things that I've had to give up... I'm embarrassed that those words are in my heart, for I know better, I know that those things that He's asked me to "give up" weren't good enough for what He wants, not mention the fact that none of them were really mine to begin with.

I don't even know where to begin in correcting this off-centre mindset; I don't really know how I got this far thinking like this. So I guess it's a good thing that He's the one who's correcting it.

In any case, I hope these words encourages us all to press on in the lifestyle that God calls us to, they were written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Image hosted by
passing thought by gilad

mistaking regret

In a conversation the other day a friend said to me that everyone has in one situation or another that they regret. A common thought that everyone lives with regrets, to which I initially agreed, but then realized that I didn't agree with what I was agreeing with (I hate it when I do that, just start nodding your head or replying "yea..." and then you think yourself, 'wait a gosh darn second'). I stopped in my agreement and noted that maybe it should be said that we all have mistakes we're not proud of rather than situations that we regret.
What I want to ask you is
do you think we can learn from our mistakes without regretting that we made them? Or I guess it could be rather asked, can we live without regrets? I certaintly think so, I have never regretted the mistakes I've made in my life and I've made a few embarrasing ones. Maybe I've never made any serious life-threatening or life-impairing decisions, and maybe that could be held against my opinion in this matter, but I still think regret can be unnecessary. What occurred to me while I thought about this is that what we may consider a mistake God considers the only way to have gotten something across to us. And possibly wishing that we hadn't made the mistake only distracts us from what we should be learning from it...
... Another point that I've pondered over when considering regret is
is it possible to be grieved over your mistakes without regretting them? Mirriam-Webster defines those terms as though they are neigh synonomous, but I rather think of them as seperate; one, in my mind, is an emotion while the other is a desire. I could be mistaking regret, but I always saw it as wanting to change what has happened, and sorrow as being unhappy or not proud of what we've done. Maybe this is just one of those points where our language breaks down, where words can't explain another word in order to understand; the point where our words just fail us.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Image hosted by
get out of your comfort zone
by slick willy

(*disclaimer* this fishy picture has nothing to do with the last fishy picture, the two fishy pictures have no fishy connection)

Did you call me.... chicken?

I have, in the past, been told that I am courageous. There are people I know that have thought of me as extroverted, confident, maybe even strong-willed to a fault. But today I fully came to terms with the truth that I am indeed a spineless yellow bellied chicken.
I'm not out to say that what comrades have seen in me is entirely false, or that their opinion holds no water; but what they have seen might not have been all that they see it as. I will admit that there probably have been instances where I have been courageous, but I am not a courageous person. And I would suppose this to be true of most people, that we have moments of courage, that we are not always courageous.
I don't want to ponder what courage is, I think I did that in a post a long time ago (altough by all means you can comment on that), basically it is just facing what you fear when you could turn tail. The times that I can think of when this has happened is when God has made undeniably clear that it is something I need to do. And while I could back out and ignore what He is saying to me, I fear Him more. When I say He made it undeniably clear I mean he presses something on my heart, and when I hesitate, when I am leary he presses it again and again, until I give in. Like staying here this summer, I didn't really know if I would have a job at all, let alone a job that would be helping me to finance this education of mine. That was only one of my concerns, but I remember panicking right about the end of April and wondering what the crap I thought I was doing... (i think I wrote a post about that too somewhere...)
But for the most part I am a chicken. I'm not at home shivering in my booties, but I won't stick my neck out because I like to play it safe. I won't put myself on the line because I'm downright scared that I'm just going to be disappointed one more time. Scared that if I try explain all that God shows me and all that is in my little head, that no one is going to understand and that I'll just get dismissed. Scared that there's some way that I could feel more alienated than I already do.
Many have told me that they respect and admire how I am just who I am and that I don't try to be anything else; I'm weird and goofy, often pensieve and expressive, and that's just me. But I am not intentional in the least in the openness that my character holds, I just can't be anything else.
(This is fact, I tried being something else, it really didn't work so well). But I suppose we can still admire traits that others unintentionally acheive.
So I find myself being pushed outside of my comfort zone, and God is showing me that part of listening to Him is trusting what I know it is that He says to my heart; without Him having to push and pull me to where He wants me to go. I never did think of myself as confident or courageous, but neither did I consider myself a big scaredy cat. Now that I've admitted this all to you, I am a little farther away from being able to just slip back into my fear, and hopefully gritting my teeth and moving onward.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Image hosted by
jump by ssilence

feelin' fine

Today I officially took the student manager position in the cafeteria that I work at. I remember my boss had said something about it a number of weeks ago, but it didn't really sink in that this was a promotion of sorts.
Anyhow, I do get paid more, so I hear. Although I don't do anything less than I would've done anyhow, responsibility wise. But the best part of all this is the support that came from my bosses. Both the director as well as the staffing manager (i don't know what his techinal title really is) both reguarded considering me for this position not only natural but one of their first choices; makes a girl feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I know haven't had many thoughtful posts lately... it's not that haven't had much on my mind, just nothing that I've felt like posting on. I will correct this autrocity soon... if it comes down to it I've got some 'stock' deep thoughts that I wrote down back in july (ha!).
Leave me a note, let me know you're alive... and still sticking it out with me...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Image hosted by

enlightenment by gilad

learning is painful

This is nothing new. But it seems a point that came up in conversation more than a few times this past week.
Right now I seem to be left with nothing to do but sit and reflect at the patterns in my life (I just wish they were as simple as the tiles on that floor). And it seems that God is pushing me out the patterns I have set in my life, pushing me out of my comfort zone.
I have homework I should be doing, I have books I could and would like to read... video games that need to be played! But I'm having difficulty doing any of it, I'm even having incredible difficulty writing this post. I've always been very good at burying myself in something, focusing on something that should get done. If something is on my mind, if there is some turmoil going on I would just spend more time in the library, doing homework, or clean up my room. But I can't seem to do that. I can't distract myself with these things, keeping myself busy doesn't seem to work, and it's driving me nuts.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Image hosted by

RelationShips by gilad

this picture was taken after another at the same location,
The Things I've Seen
which has the most phenominal artist's explanation I've ever read.

Well tomorrow is the day when most of the students will begin to arrive, by monday night they should all be here. The high school is already here as well as the students in leadership, things are beginning to get into swing. Our internet was switched on two days ago (opposed to the 15th like we were told, w00t!) and I finished up working night shifts at the convience store last night....

After a summer of simplicity, of thinking, resting, and raising concerns I am now heading into another year. One that in many ways seems very freeing (ha, like finally having my evenings open) and yet holds interesting challenges. I am so excited. And yet, nervous.

The face of Briercrest, of Caronport, changes so quickly, changes so drastically from year to year, but friends who have been with me from the beginning are gone now. People I've gotten to know along the way are leaving. All new faces are coming in, some of the newer relationships I've started hopefully will continue on, and I just really hope that this year really takes off. Last year was good, it was important; but started with pain, held a lot of healing, frusterations and even handed me some deep disappointments. Although I don't hold any false hope of not having any difficulties, I do hope that this year will be a year of rejoicing.

For all students returning to their studies as well as to all who work hard making a living, I hope you find humility in knowing that there will always be things you don' t know or understand and that you take joy in in discovering lessons that will find you.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Image hosted by
open your eyes by gilad

Is it normal to think of yourself as a jerk?

I've been told in the past that I'm too hard on myself and I'd like to think that I've improved on that. Still there are a lot of days when I stop myself in ponderings or after leaving a sitution and think "wow, jo, you're a really big jerk."

Someone this past week related to me something that he read, that how we think of ourselves is how we will think of others. That puzzled me, I don't think of everybody as jerks (... just the ones that are) despite the fact that I call my friends jerkface. But seriously, I don't hold people around me to nearly as high a standard as I myself feel held to. I think of others in the same light as I think of myself, I tend to be a little harsher when it comes to examining and identifying my faults. But I thought that was normal.

Anyhow, does anyone else think of themselves as a jerk? Or do you tend to think of others as you think about yourself?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Image hosted by
pass by by pinardi

completely random ponderings and some cute facts

Not always, but every once in awhile...
You should watch out for the quiet people, they tend to have better observation skills than the ones that spend all their energy talking. They'll see things and don't let on that they know... very sneaky like.
And also, do not underestimate the happy-go-lucky people, who seem to be nothing but goofy. They may have a serious side that can sober your first impressions. (ie. Vash the Stampede... seriously everyone needs to watch Trigun)

People can't stand it when a person can speak with uncertainty. They would rather hear a person speak with absolute sureness in their voice, whether or not they right or truthful, than hear a person speak with the possibility of error in their answer. I honestly wish I could speak with uncertainty more often, I think that I think I know more than I really do, maybe if I spoke with uncertainty than I'd realize how very little I do know.

On that thought playing dumb seems to be a great tool for learning. Ok maybe not playing dumb, but more like not boasting what you do know. If someone thinks you don't know something or don't understand then they'll explain it for you. Quite often they'll look at it in a way you didn't think of or their knowledege will supercede yours in some way (even if a small way). So sometimes you're possibly better off letting others explain things to you that you may already know.

I found out that if we were to literally translate what amen means in Greek, it would be '"mmhmm." Like a black woman sitting in church (imagine it in your heads with me, please) on a stuffy sunday morning, a firey preacher up in the pulpit hitting those right points, she's got her hand raised in the air, nodding her head and saying "mmmhmmm, that's right..." Something like that.

In other news I have 'made my peace' with the upcoming semester. I'm still enjoying my summer, and haven't quite gotten the answers I'm hoping for, but I'm not apprehensive towards people coming back anymore.
Also I got my hair cut, I didn't know what I wanted done, I just knew that I needed to do something soon, cause it was really annoying (and really fluffy). So I went to see my friend JuneAnn, who is a hair dresser. It's a lot shorter than I anticipated, but I knew JuneAnn knew what she was doing, and told her to fix my hair. And fix it she did. I look hot. Really. I also look like a pixie. Or as my nieghbour and his fiance would say, I look like a forest nymph. I think I like that, it sounds mischevious... which is fitting...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Image hosted by
crossing in reflection by coxi

It has been nearly 3 weeks since I've posted. There are riots going on in the streets of Caronport. People have gathered from all over the world to vent their anger about my slacking in the blogging. If you lean in close to your computer screen you can even smell the smoke of the burning torches. You can tell these people aren't experienced in good old fashioned rioting, some guy just lit the persons clothes next to him on fire... Lift the torch, man, lift it up. Well they get an A for effort.


I don't think my blog is even close to being that popular, but I was reminded that it has indeed been quite a bit of time since I've posted.

I don't have any deep thoughts. The school semester begins in 3 weeks and I just wish I had more time. I have a lot on my heart and mind. Things that I'm trying to figure out and just don't know the answer, or things where the answer that I've always known just doesn't seem to suffice in putting me at ease. I think this is partially why I'm not ready for this semester, I don't want it to come while I'm still praying and figuring these things out. Trying to enter the school year with heavy things on your mind doesn't work so well. I suppose it's going to come anyhow, that's how life is, I've just got to utilize the time that I do have.

Usually when there is something weighing on my mind I'm pretty good at putting it aside, with going on with life, laughing, finding joy still around me. And for the most part I can do it here too. But I'm finding that working my evening shift at the pilgrim is making me incredibly unhappy and discouraged. It could be because the end of the day is that time when you want to sit down and reflect on the day, or at least rest, and instead I'm mopping floors and trying to balance out. I also have more difficulty thinking in straight, I become more lost in my own thoughts, more disjointed, than I normally am. It's really frustrating.

I still haven't gotten any photos from my brothers wedding that was over a month ago, but my aunt did send me this digital picture. My mom is sending me a package soon with pictures from it, then I will show you more.
My adorable (not so) little niece is the flower girl, she's going to be a basketball player when she grows up (and my brother, nathan, is the guy holding that girl in the big white dress). My other brother, nick, is the first gentlemen on the left.

Image hosted by

Monday, July 25, 2005

Image hosted by
luxury of tears by blueblack

luxury of tears

I hate it when I cry.

I used to hate crying, when I was a child, because it was a weakness. On school bus rides home I was surrounded by boys, by bullies, who would say anything to make me cry; it usually worked.

I hated that they could make me cry, I hated crying in front of people, I hated how vulernable and weak I was. So I stopped crying in front of people... or at least I tried. I did my best to hold back, but I usually would get angry or frusterated instead, at some points I was just withdrawn and dismal, and then would cry later on, when I was by myself.

I still hate crying, I still hate crying in front of others, it still makes me feel vulnerable Although this acting tough, crying later approach to life has mostly dissipated. Now I hate crying because it seems that I only ever cry for myself. I cry when I feel wounded, when my pride is cut down or when I am humbled about something. (Sometimes cry when some movie twists my emotions) It's not that I don't think people should cry when they're hurt or frusterated, it can be a good release of stress. But why is it I never cry for anyone else? Why is it I don't cry for some else who is hurt, cut down, or humbled? Why is it I don't cry for those around me who are lost, or sick, hurt, or troubled?

I hate it when I cry.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Image hosted by
brothers by garrit

So being in Ontario continued to be as busy as it had been when I first arrived and there was no time for me to post again before I left. But being home gave me quite a bit to think about (especially when one has hours in airport terminals to turn things over in their mind) and I couldn't resist posting on one of my reflections (that and I can't resist the airconditioning that the library has, so hot outside!!).

Going home was once again a surreal experience for me; I had realized this in times past, going back at Christmas time and initially when I would go back for the summer. It seems as if its not right that things should change there without me. I held my brothers little girl for the first time and watched my other brother get married, and it took a little while to sink in that the the boys who used to tease me, drive me to school and play practical jokes on me have grown up. On one hand it doesn't seem stange to see Nick as an affectionate father or Nathan finally marrying Stacie, they're both very natural and wonderful things, but then again it just doesn't seem real. But I suppose the tables could be turned on me, does it seem right to them that I moved out here and changed like I have without them.

I have many more thoughts on the distance between my family, but to avoid rabbit trailing I had better move on. Like I initially pointed out going back there can seem slightly surreal, and this got me to thinking about how people quite often comment that this place is a bubble, set aside from the real world. But what I noticed is that here seemed to me, contrary to the opinion that I've heard, to be more real than there. Why this is is no mystery, I have a job, a house (ok, a trailer... a place of my own), bills to pay, a cat to take care; a routine and responsibilities to fill. So I wondered if maybe those that couldn't see this place as reality is because, despite all other reasons or excuses, they never really had many responsibilities. In all honesty Caronport might be filled with 'nicer' people, but they have difficulties and challenges to overcome like anyone else.

It was then that I began to consider what it is that the 'real world' is most usually identified with. And it came down to that the real world is the place that is crueler, harsher; it's the place where it's harder to stand on your own, admist those who beliefs and lifestyles challenge yours. It does seem true that it is easier to grow in Christian thought here, and that there are many who only maintain an image. But out there is full of just as many fakes and flakes, and I'm wondering if maybe not being able to stand as a Christian once you leave this place isn't so much a fault of the place, but of the person. I'm not out to point fingers, and you may be tempted to be cynical saying that sure I can say that while I live here and not there. But I have lived there, and I have been tested in both places... and remember I'm not saying I'm the epitome of all understanding, I'm just thinking. It just seems strange to me that we identify the place that acknowledges God's truth less so as the place that is real.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Image hosted by

childs philosophy by gilad

nitpicking when larger things are afoot

I sometimes wish I could identify faults in myself as easily as we identify faults in others. But if we could see our own faults so readily living with oneself would become increasingly difficult, since we are around ourselves constantly. Maybe we do have the capacity to see our own faults but it is too traumatic for us to handle so our brains just block it out, like how peoples memories block out car accidents and tragic incidents.

Righto, nitpicking. Like many things that I ponder this has been mulling about in my brain for awhile. But usually things seem slightly more formulated in my head before I try to put them in a post. I am beginning to wonder if Christians are getting distracted, or sidetracked, by their pursuit of holiness (and I'm not claiming to be holy and above this downfall). We have these ideas of what holiness is, of what a godly person looks like, we define it, read books books and have discussions about it, and for all the work and understanding are we any closer to being it? You're probably wondering how this fits in with nitpicking. It is with these ideas and definitions that we 'hold each other accountable' which is all meant or started with honest intentions but can come to the point where we are focused on slotting someone into our ideals. To the point where it comes to being less about the person and more about their image. Where friends and siblings (and please don't think that I am saying my friends and/or siblings, I'm speaking from a general meaning) go from seeing and caring about how you're doing to how you don't measure up in every little way and telling you so. I'm not saying we shouldn't encourage each other in our pursuit of holiness, but maybe if we concerned ourselves with their person first than encouraging them might be more... natural... Maybe it's just a problem at Briercrest, maybe I'm nuts (that's highly probable), but I did say that this thought wasn't as formulated as most, well at the least I hope it makes sense. If it doesn't and you do want to understand I'll take you out to coffee and we can talk. seriously.

And since this is the first time I've posted in nearly a month I'm going to jam random thoughts, rants and life-type updates all into one post (I hope you can handle this). Right now I'm actually sitting in my parents house in Ontario, and have been in the province for a few days. My brother is getting married next weekend so I'm home for a few days to visit and help out. The first few days were nutty, with moving my brother into his apartment, going jewellery shopping and family get together last night, and I thought I was going to have nothing to do... ha. My mom has two weeks off (she's a nurse) and school is out for the summer so my father (who is a teacher) and my neice (who is a student) are home as well, so I think we'll find things to do. Such as going swimming (which I'm going to do right now) and making waffles for breakfast (which I'm going to do for them tomorrow... and maybe swap some manly stories). Anyhow, that is all I have time for. Maybe if you're really lucky I'll post again before I leave this internet-laden household.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Image hosted by
road to joy by larafairie

I'm usually not a huge fan of posting polls and quizzes on my blogs but this one I enjoy and think actually tells you something about the person (unlike some of those quizzes, which are really fun I do them all the time but I don't think any of them really tell you much about yourself). Anyhow, it was my birthday on Sunday. My Mom was concerned that I was spending my birthday by myself and at work but it was quite enjoyable and rather symbolic of my time here; quiet and peaceful with a few unexpected surprises. I spent the day reading and relaxing, and then while I was at work my co-workers bought me a mocha and some of my friends showed up with a birthday cake. It made me smile, they made the icing from chocolate pudding and the only candle they could find was a large scented candle in Jordans house. It was great.

1. Total number of books I've owned: many and yet not nearly enough. I can't count them (since one I'm not close to either locations of my books) Here I have an overflowing bookshelf and also there are boxes of books stored in my parents garage at home.

2. Last book I bought: Bought?!? The Joy of Photography I think, at a used bookshop in Moose Jaw 2 months ago. I usually don't (or can't) buy books, I just beg, borrow, or steal.. i mean have them given as gifts... such as the book(s) That I actually wanted: The Greensky Trilogy, which you already know was a birthday gift recently.

3. Last book I read: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

4. 5 books that mean a lot to me: (Sarah is right, the Bible is a given and these are in no particular order)
1. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
2. The Greensky Trilogy by Zilpha Keatley Synder
3. Little Miss Fusspot by my father
4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
5. (I am having serious difficulty filling this last slot in, which is surprising for a nerd like me... I can think of many monumental books and yet I find myself to put any of them in this slot knowing there is some other book that should go here... maybe this slot will be for a book I have not read, or maybe a book that I have not yet written, ha there's a pipe dream., ok this is an open slot for open possibility)

Tag 5 people and have them fill this out in their LJs:

1) Char
2) Rachel
3) Crystal
4) Dez
5) Dawn
Also! I want to share with you my new discovery. I always knew that there was something inheriently cool about Caedmon's Call, I've discovered that it's the writers that were solely responsible for the level of cool. I think (I might have his name wrong) the one is Randall Goodgame, who is hilarious, but also Derek Webb, who I want to recommend you all to check out. He broke away from Caedmon's Call awhile back being fed up with cliche Christian music and has been flying solo. Seriously this guy is great. Here's his website.