Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Dear Friend And Her Dream Come True

I wanted to post a little blog about my friend Sarah who came to see me recently.

We have been friends since working together at Boston Pizza in Westlock, almost since day one (well at least we were still in training at that point!)

She is amazing, lovely, so much fun, and a dear and close friend.

When Sarah phoned me a while ago she said she wasn't feeling very well. I was instantly worried, dreading the worst, but when she said the words, "morning sickness" I was elated!

My friend was expecting a baby! I am so excited to see her as a Mom, she is going to be great! Her and I have had some adventures in our years of being friends.

We have taken random road trips to Barrhead, to dress as fairies and act like little girls running around and having a ball!

Her ability to have fun in any situation, her ability to laugh and find joy in every moment is what is going to bring her into being such a great Mommy!

I am so proud of her.

It brings to light something in my own heart that has, especially recently, been brought to light for myself.

This is connected and I don't want my joy at Sarah and Shawns exciting announcement to be dampened, but I feel this is also a place that I can bring my personal thoughts out as well about my own feelings.

I wonder when it is I am going to find my love, when my wish to see my family come into being is going to happen.

I know that somewhere out there is my husband, the man I am to marry and be a family with. 

Today while shopping with friends in Edmonton, we stopped off at a maternity store to wait for one friend who is also expecting, and being in that store, looking at all the women who were busily and happily shopping to dress their new bodies made me sad.

I would never want to settle and end up with someone whom I would be unhappy with. I have hopes and dreams, and well to be honest, I would much rather be alone and doing my God's work than end up with someone who is less than what God has for me.

For all of this, I have been listening to a song by the Bahamas, Whole Wide World, and in it he sings about there being a whole wide world to find the one girl for him, is there someone out there thinking about me? Is there someone who is waiting for me to come along?

I sure hope so, I can't wait to meet this man, the one who will grow a mustache because its funny, and be excited to go grocery shopping with me as his wife (I hate grocery shopping the most!). He's out there somewhere, and I am taking steps to prepare for it!

So those are my thoughts, I am feeling rather naked by revealing my personal thoughts about where I am, and I am quite timid to let my feelings be out there in cyber space.

In 1 Peter 5:7, we read: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you." So I know to not worry, and for now I will keep praying that God keeps pushing me to get ready for what is next and for what is right now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Classical Music, Studying and My Heart

So I have been listening to abundant amounts of classical music during studying, I find it helps alot. I found this awesome channel on YouTube that is awesome! While listening to it, I got very distracted with one song that I heard and it stuck out. I, of course needed to find more out about it and now I wanted to share the link and the translated lyrics, who knows maybe someone else will fall as in love with it as I have!




With all my love,

Crystal



"Ständchen" translation: "text: Ludwig Rellstab, music: Franz Schubert (1797-1828). translation: a.l" Here it is ...



Title : Franz Schubert :Standchen (Schwanengesang, D 957: no 4)



The Link is here for the music.

I hope you enjoy it!

"Ständchen" ("Serenade")



My songs quietly implore you

through the night;

down to the silent wood

my love, come to me!



The tree tops whisper

in the light of the moon;

Don't be afraid, my love,

no-one will observe us.



Can you hear the nightingales?

Oh! They implore you,

their sweet lament

pleads with you on my behalf.



They understand the yearning I feel,

they know love's torture,

with their silvery notes

they touch every soft heart



Let them touch yours, too,

sweet love: hear my plea!

Trembling I await you,

come, bring me bliss!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Culture and one of my greatest follies

So as you know, I took a YWAM DTS through YWAM Urban Ministries Winnipeg.

During that time I got to learn so very much about culture, how to be in another culture, how to love other cultures, pretty much it was a great learning time for me regarding many things, but definitely one of them being culture.

This past week in one of my classes, we were able to spend a considerable time talking about culture in nursing.

All I can say is WOW! I had a huge wake up call! Like, did you know that when someone from Chinese culture, when they are ill, don't like to drink cold drinks?

Before I left for Winnipeg, I had a patient who was chinese. He consistently refused cold drinks and he refused to eat any food, relying instead on tube feeds to get his sustinance .

At the time, I worried so much about him, where was he going to go after his rehab was over? Was he going to starve to death? GUH! And I pretty much loved him so much! He was a joy most of the time!

I now know he hated "Canadian" food, he never wanted cold water, and I was being completely insensitive towards his culture.  I am glad that my life continues and I can keep growing and learning each day.

Anyways, what I have been growing to realize more and more, is how sensitive I need to be to other people. Even people who are of the same ancestry as myself, there is always difference.

I just wanted to share with you a little of how I am growing and changing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let's Forgive

My very good friend Jamie posted this link on his twitter account. I usually follow the links he sends my way, or posts up, and this time I am so very glad I did.  I am still feeling so emotional after viewing this, it stirred so much in my heart, past wounds, past hurts, and the forgiveness I have been able to see come to fruition because of Jesus in my life.

A short little back history with me is my Father has made some choices in his life that didn't coincide with having a family, choices that were completely selfish.  He chose to pursue an addiction and the life that comes with those choices.

For such a long time I had a hard time dealing with this, I wasn't sure what to do, I was torn between being a good daughter, being loyal, finding out where I fit in, and how I felt about everything.

Even still I still struggle with my feelings and where I will be going from this moment (its all about this moment and choosing to glide into the next).  I love my Father, and I do forgive him. I still cry though at this video because I know that pain, that complete love, and I know the sweetest embrace of my Saviour without whom I would be lost.

He helps me love, forgive, walk through painful things and know I am not alone.  I am so in love!

Today I give thanks for not only what I mention, but for my friend who posted the link, the person who made the video, for it all! I love you all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tickling The Funny Bone

So as some of you know, I am taking Psychiatric Nursing through Grant MacEwan University! Hooray! It is such an awesome blessing to be there and partaking in the program. This is an update to let you know how that is going as well as to share something I came across while researching for a project for one of my classes.

I was able to keep my position on my unit (yeah, pretty much the BEST unit EVER!), and finding a balance between the two has been challenging, but so worth it. My marks are great and work is so good too! AMAZING!

Yep, thats about all for that update! Any other specifics you are curious about I am so willing to either get together and chat (everyone needs study breaks!) or just send me an email!

So recently I have been researching quite a bit for a variety of things, I wrote a paper on HIV and sex workers, I fancy I did rather well!  And researching for other various projects and assignments.

For one of my classes, we got to sign our names into groups, picking which presentation we wished to take part in.  I kind of hummed and hawed for a couple of minutes and decided I wanted to be in the "Humour in Nursing" group! I thought it was a great fit, and truly the people I am partnered with are excellent and hilarious as well!

While researching, I came across this short documentary, which not only moved me but is pushing me on and on to go further in and further up (anyone know that quote?) I am so inspired to continue this path that God has placed me on, and I am overwhelmed with joy at the prospect. 

I feel that this short doc (8mins) is well worth the time, and it is about one of the best funny men ever, Dr. Patch Adams, and his team of clowns travelling around the world healing and loving. Such amazing people.

This is really not funny, but seeing how the children and the parents react to the clowny clowns is awesome.

Please take the time to check the clip out, as well as please check out the Gesundheit Institute which does some really amazing work, providing a free hospital for all in need in Virginia, USA.

And they continue to grow and improve working globally, working to create hospitals and care centres.

Yeah . . . . . . . . . . . AWESOME!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Linked In - Human Trafficking




My friend Phil Cunningham, who was a teacher on my DTS, spoke about justice during his week there. 

He is a man who continues to stay focused on justice issues, and he is truly amazing! I closely follow his links because they are almost always things that are close to my heart and what affects me as a human being, and as a follower of Christ.

He recently posted on facebook a link to someone's blog.  I have heard of Mark Scandrette, but I haven't followed him before.  I will be now!

He tells first about the woman at the well (and trust me we have ALL been the woman at the well in one point in our lives). He tells about his recent experiences with sex trade workers and human trafficking and how they are not only related but completely interconnected.

Jesus came to the woman at the well and He comes to each and every one of us.

It is easy to forget that the women who are working the streets, or the massage parlors, or brothels are beloved to Christ, it is easy to place those women in a separate category and push them away into the margins, forgetting about them and walking away. 

So please go and read his post, it doesn't take long to read, but it is so emotional and so real and so true to my own heart.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tales From School

So I just wanted to post a quick little funny bit that happened in school today.

We were all sitting in anatomy class, and our professor Dr. Paul is up at the front of the room speaking about the placenta and asking if it is a part of the woman or from the baby. 

So he says, "please give to me," he is east indian so pretend it with the accent, "give to me raised hands who is a mother here".  So the Moms start raising their hands and he starts counting. 

Down at the front of class there was Danielle, she is a young gorgeous single girl, and she absent mindedly raises her hand. For a moment we were all in shock! WHAT!? You have a baby?

Dr. Paul looks at her and says, "WHAT!? You have a child!?" The exact utterances of the whole class. She looks around and says, "WHAT! Oh! No! I don't, whay are we raising our hands!?"

Funny yes, but then I got into my bright little brain that I wanted to make her something funny because of her blunder.

I decided to craft a lovely card made of lined loose leaf ripped haphazardly from my binder. 

On the cover was her name all pretty and colourful.  Inside it said, Congratulations on your child!  I signed it and asked my seat mate if she would like to sign it. She did and passed it along, soon the whole class was chuckling because they were signing it and passing it.

Before I knew it, someone else had gotten credit for it, but it was hilarious when I gave it to her and her face was shocked! It was so worth it! PRICELESS!

She thanked me, and said yeah sorry I didn't mean to LIE about having a child, I just wasn't sure how everyone would take it! Being made up and all!

The End

Friday, September 18, 2009

School! The Taker of Time, The Builder of The Mind!

So as my faithful followers know I started the Psychiatric nursing program in Ponoka! Hooray!
I remember when I applied I asked God to let me go to school so I could advance myself, and because I felt that where I was sitting was not taking me anywhere else.

I know I need to find a good balance between studying and taking free time, whilst trying to not feel guilty about not studying (true story).

My first week was a little overwhelming for me, and for some other students in my class, there were endless lists of readings, and dates for tests, and projects and papers, I started to wonder if this was the right choice for me.

And then, I ran into someone who has taken this program, and she asked me how I was going to do it all, working studying going to school, and I said I don't know, I really started to feel doubtful about my ability to finish the week let alone being able to finish the whole 3 years (technically 2.5 but they call it 3).

I was awestruck, I didn't know how to rspond, this woman is a Christian (the same one in fact who warned me about going to YWAM Urban Ministries in Winnipeg) I don't know why I would be fooled into listening to her a second time. I know it was not her intent to make me doubt myself, she was just stating her concern, but I felt it, oh boy, did I ever.

By the time I got home however I started to get mad, mad at her, mad at school and mad at myself! I was indignant that I would let someone else speak that fear into me, and mad at school because I do believe that hitting the students hard is a tactic for "weeding out" potentially weak students, and mad at me for actually listening and believing that I was too small, too weak, not smart enough and all that jazz.

Fear not though my dear friends, this made me want more than anything to succeed, I wanted to be able to prove people wrong, including myself, and prove others right, including myself!

So, I have been diligently working at spending time working on studies, and spending time relaxing.

As I am going to be learning about drugs, and the risks involved, and the potential for potential harm, I felt the picture below was a great illustration.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shocking Truths

My very good friend Jamie posted on his blog today, a series of videos. It was an experiment to see how far people will react to authority....

It made me think about how often in my lifeI have just given in because I thought someone knew better than me on a subject and ignored my heart and my thoughts.....

As Jamie says " I know I am too often guilty of taking the easy out."

But he also conitnues to say,  "Being like Christ is the path of most resistance. It is the lifestyle requires more of us than any other."

I am taking heed of these videos, and what they mean to me personally. I would really recommend everyone to take the time to view them.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sleepy Sundays, its Time to Open Those Eyes!

I woke up late this morning, probably intentionally sabotaging myself by staying up too late, so I wouldn't have to go to church.

I've been stressed out lately. Worried about school, worried about whether or not it is the right thing, and worried about having to work as much as I will have to to stay on top of my bills and it affecting my marks.

This is not a worry post however, I will get over it all in due time.

When I woke up late, looked at the clock and saw what time it was, I lay there for a minute, rubbed my eyes and felt the cool breeze blowing into the window. Heard the neighbors talking about this and that, thought about how good coffee would be, and got out of bed.

I am feeling so overwhelmed by how blessed I am! I am so blessed to wake up today! I feel so happy that as I walked into the kitchen to wash up my breakfast dishes it started raining, hard, and the fresh smell of it hit me and made me think about the rest of the afternoon.

I spend far too much time on the computer, this is true, and in this under used time, my friend Brennie had posted on his twitter page a link to a comic. A very good one in fact, and it led me into looking at more and more of The Adventures of ASBO Jesus.  And then I found this comic. I wondered how I could let the things that are so beautiful to me slip away without being noticed.

So I wanted to issue a challenge, open your eyes and look around. Where is God revealing himself to you at this exact moment?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Humbleization - Not Letting Other's Vinegary States Affect Me

As my loyal readers know, I work in a hospital, on a brain injury rehabilitation unit, helping people who are overcoming traumatic brain injuries.

This summer, I've been working less than I would like because there is an over abundance of staff on our unit, and open beds that need to be filled still. Which means, our skills have been widely used across the entire hospital this summer (getting pulled to other units, sometimes for the first time, sometimes to units we used to work on) .

Some people have not been happy with said arrangements, I have been trying to maintain a positive attitiude, I keep telling myself that I am so blessed to have a job, a job that pays so well, and a job that teaches me new things everyday.  Sadly, I have been letting others' bad attitudes and grumpy dispositions rub off on me, and I haven't been enjoying going to work much as of late.

This past stretch of my shifts have been pretty well the same, out of 4 shifts, I was pulled twice. I finally got to work on my unit on Sunday evening, and I am going to be honest, I went with a bad attitude. I wasn't looing forward to being back on my unit, having people grabbing at me, constantly asking me to do things, and just complaining about everything...

I was helping one lady into her room to start getting ready for bed, and she was patting on her bed with her hand looking puzzled. I asked her what she was up to, and she said, "Oh, I want to turn the tv on". She had stated a minute before that she was going to brush her teeth. I asked her if I could turn the tv on while she went and did that. She got very upset with me, yelling that I was being bossy and that I needed to stop it.

Now I feel that I wasn't being bossy towards her, maybe I was, I am not sure now, I do know that I was struck just how much of a goodwill deficit I had been putting across. I walked away from her and collected my thoughts. My first reaction was a flash of anger... how dare she!? then when I sat down, I really thought about what she was saying, how I would feel if my nurse was dour towards me.

I gave her a few minutes to finish what she was doing and went to talk to her. She was still very upset with me, and I let her tell me all of her frustrations, and then I apologized to her. We talked for a little while and I told her I wasn't meaning to be bossy, and I told her I would try harder to be more responsive to her. She seemed satisfied with out talk and let me help her into bed.

I'm not sure if she has thought more about it since then, but I have.  I can't stop really. I need to remember to stay humble, to remember that I am blessed to be there at all, and that I am there for them.

I also need to remember that others are bound to come to work with the wrong disposition, others are having bad days too, and that other people have been wounded and show it outwardly. But, I, I need to be the example, I need to continue to be loving towards others and to let people be, well people.

Its amazing how God can speak you me through other people.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

One Fresh Cookie - Thawing to God's Voice




So this morning I went to church. Sounds pretty usual, but I was feeling rather cranky and not at all wanting to go.

Lynda guilted me into going, and I am still rather tired, and still a little irritable, I did get something out of the message, just as she had predicted.

Almost the first thing I did this morning was check my computer, to see if anything had happened in the last 6 hours since I had fallen asleep, and I discovered my friend Chris had written an awesome blog post about being the cat. Its an awesome read (short simple and to the point) and it helps to set the scene for my next observation.

So there I was sitting in church listening, focusing on what was being said and how it was impacting my heart, and the part the struck me the most was how the kid's object lesson was about cookies. One cookie was fresh and just out of the oven, one cookie was frozen, and one was burnt.

The fresh one, is when we are ready willing and able to listen to God's word like in

Matthew 4:18-22, As Jesus was walking beside the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon and Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "for I will make fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on from there, He saw two brothers. James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,
and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

How often is is we are the fresh baked cookie, fresh and new and ready?

And how often are we the frozen cookie, that just needs a little time
to be ready? I know I am often the frozen cookie, waiting to see how things are going to pan out and working out the details before I feel like I can step into something.

And goodness gracious, how often do I act as the burnt cookie, not really good for much, and dull to hearing God, His voice and His plan for me.

I am so happy though to announce that even if someone has been drawn into the burnt cookie category, there is always more time, more chances, and more opportunity to shake off that burnt exterior and become the freshly baked cookie again.

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

I walked away from church feeling
excited that I get to try my hand everyday at being obedient, ready to act, and being fresh everyday of every moment, and sad that I have spent so much time as a frozen cookie, and dreading that I have been the burnt cookie at all in my life. Or the timid wild cat.

I'm getting so excited about school coming up, but I am also nervous about it. I feel this need to sort out the next 5 years of my life, when all I really need to do is focus on next week, next month maybe, and about working hard. I so very badly want to be the fresh baked cookie for school!

I will keep you all posted as to how school is going, I start Sept. 8th! Please don't hesitate to ask, or to pray for me, or better yet with me!


Love,

Crystal - one fresh cookie!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dolls

I wanted to post some pics of a couple of dolls I made, for 2 very good friends of mine who are having to patiently wait for their child to come from Ethiopia, as an encouragement. I hand stitched and painted these, I got the general pattern from Inside a Black Apple .
And I had seen my sister in law, Coralee, make a doll for my niece's friend Emma .

Today I found out that the dolls were delivered safely, and that Jamie and Kim love them! Yay!

Oh yes, and be sure to check out the links to everyone's blogs!





Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Speaking in Church

I had the chance of speaking in church recently, and I thought I would share my speech with you. I have been nervous to put it up here, it makes me feel somewhat vulnerable to have more people than my small church family know my thoughts and feelings... But here goes!

Thank you everyone for giving me the opportunity to speak with you today. For those of you who don’t know, I have been a member of the Trinity Lutheran church congregation for a couple of years now. And last october, I was blessed to be able to go to Winnipeg and then Uganda while taking a Discipleship Training School through Youth With A Mission. They describe it as 12 weeks of intensive training in a classroom setting, and a 2 month outreach. Truly, it was those things, but then also very much more for me, and my fellow team members, which was made up of 3 other young women, and two young men.

During each week of lecture phase, we had the privilege of learning from different speakers who taught us a wide variety of topics. Every week my life changed, sometimes, it felt like every minute my life was vastly different . We heard lectures on Community, Global missions, prayer and worship, evangelism, conversations about Jesus, and Justice to list a few.

The focus of the school WAS Justice, and at it's heart was Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God.” The school was a time to look into how God loves Justice, and how we as christians need to take an active role in our world because it has been commanded of us.

- My eyes and heart were opened more than I thought could be possible, and it made me yearn for God to show me more into what is needed and to show me my role within it. Did you know that human trafficking (or slavery) is the 3rd largest criminal enterprise today? And, that On average 2 children per minute are bought and sold for sexual exploitation? That equals to about 27 million people enslaved globally today. And did you also know that 30, 000 children die each day due to global poverty? It made me wonder what I was doing as a Christian, and what my role is. In matthew 22:37-39 it says “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment, And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” All of this seemed so overhwelming to me at first, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with all of the things I was learning, with all of the things I was seeing, and most importantly where I fit in. 2 recurring themes kept coming up for me and continues to keep coming up, the first of which is to DO SOMETHING. Anything. A cup of coffee, or the change in my pocket, to share the gospel with someone, or to sit in a chair and listen to one of the inner city kids we worked with, tell a story of how she witnessed her Mom get raped in front of her. He other theme comes from Mother Theresa, We are not called to do great things but little things with great love”. I got to sit with that little girl and make crafts with her, giving her a break from thinking about life, and giving her Mom a much needed break from a child who has seen too much in her 9 years, and acts out in school causing her to be expelled from most elementaries in inner city Winnipeg.

- Being in the inner city of Winnipeg showed me the need for community, the need to act, and to look at people with much more love and compassion than I thought I could. During one week in Winnipeg, I got to spend some time being “homeless”, I panhandled, i went and spent the day on the streets, giving my lunch and my time away to people who needed it, I worked in soup kitchens and handed roses out to prostitutes late one night to show them how beautiful God thinks they are, and how beautiful we thought they were as well. One corner is called desperation corner, and it's where the women and men go to sell themselves for the cheapest price. We set out to give one girl a rose and she was frightened, and screamed at us, calling us terrible names (not a usual reaction let me tell you) she was scared, scared because there were 3 of us, scared because we had Jesus walking with us, scared because we were a deterrant to her Johns.... And through it all, I don’t remember the prostitute I spoke to briefly but i remember her, and all I could think after seeing her out there was how much God loves her, and how much God loves the John that picked her up a minute after we walked away...

- It showed me how much we are to be connected to those around us, and how socially connected Jesus was to those around him

- Thanks to everyone here for all of their prayers and support I was able to go on outreach to Uganda Africa .

- Uganda was a challenging time for me, and for my team.

- In Uganda we were priviliged to work in a variety of ministries, (Women at risk - prostitutes who wanted to get off the streets)(Mother and Child health – midwifery, pregnancy and baby immunization clinic)(Amacet childrens home for children who are either infected or affected by HIV/AiDS)..(We lived in a small village and worked in people’s fields , we pumped water at a well for the local women)(we worked in a medical clinic)(and spring of hope a YWAM team devoted to helping children whith disabilities gain some normalcy) We also go to do a hospital tour in Soroti. While working in Amacet children’s home god gave me the opportunity to learn and discover more and more about my own heart, He was slowly etching away old parts of me, and although raw he was slowly revealing the true person He created. All of the babies there have had their lives touched by HIV/AIDS.

- While working my shifts at amacet, I got to meet a tiny baby. His name was Basil. Baby Basilwas around 2 months old, and he had been born at least 2 months premature. His Mommy had died during childbirth and it was unknown whether or not she had HiV/AIDS. So it was not known if baby basil suffered from the virus, and because the babies are so small and anti retroviral drugs are hard on a body, the babies usually don’t get tested until a little older. Baby Basil was very tiny when he was born, like so many other children that come to call amacet home, he weighed only 2 and a half pounds. He was so tiny that he wasn’t able to feed from a bottle, he was tube fed up until shortly before we arrived in uganda. `He was getting really strong, eating from a bottle and interacting with us. I loved to hold his tiny body in my arms, and everyday that I held him humbled me, and showed me just how much love i was capable of and it helped me to see a small amount of how much god loves me, and each and every one of us. Basil was an awesome little testimament to God’s grace and his love. Baby Basil had grown to a more healthy weight of 5 pounds when his health took a turn for the worse, he passed away quickly for reasons we’ll never know, but his little life made a huge impact on me, he humbled me, and i hope he will always remain with me my whole life.

- The love God feels for us is equal with all of us, he loves the little inner city girl, the prostitute and John, and tiny baby basil , all the same. It is our calling as His, to continue to do justice love mercy and walk humbly .

- Thank you again for your time.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

recent cinematic experiences.

I just wanted to write a short blog about the movies that I've seen recently that have impacted me in some way, good or bad.

First, before I even left Winnipeg, I got to see One Week starring Joshua Jackson as a man who discovers he is terminally ill and decides to run away and take an adventure driving across Canada on a motorbike. This movie was one of the most human and real movies I have seen in such a long time. The acting was great, and the storyline was actually plausible. I can tell you that I am the first person who wants to run away to foreign lands when things get sticky. His story and human interactions were how a person would react, and even his narrative is very honest. I would definitely recommend this one.

Next, I went home to visit my family this last week, and I took my Dad on a date! We had a really good time, he spole alot about what was going on with the farm, and I got to be his girl for the evening. We went to see District 9. This movie, wow, I was fired up when I got home to the fram, just thinking about it. Not only was it a social statement on what could happen in the world if aliens came to earth, but it is exactly the story of countless thousands right now in the world who are displaced, opressed, and treated with disdain. Not only is this occuring in the Congo, with countless women being brutalized sexually everyday, to refugees who have had to live in camps for 20 years because their homes have been taken or destroyed, but it is here, when we see someone native and assume that they are going to steal our wallets! Grrr! I hope that many people see past the special effects of the movie into the heart and cry like I did at the injustices in the story. One last thing, I also really loved that the characters were not ALL good, or ALL bad. They were flawed and broken just like all of us, redeeming and atrocious at different points.

And, last night I went to see Funny People starring Adam Sandler. This movie was good, I liked it for sure, I liked the idea of a person who glimpses something and it changes their world around them. I loved the comedy that was in the movie, some was a little harder to swallow than others, mostly because it could border on crude. I liked the way that it wasn't a typical A.S. movie, and that there were some real human emotions in the movie. I liked the atypical plot twists (well at least according to North American standards) and the way that you felt like life is actually like that for some.

Anyways I suppose that I am a person who likes real stories, with real feelings and real emotions. I like to see some movies to escape, yes, but my heart resides first within humanity.

Friday, August 21, 2009

often blog


I have a very good friend that I trust more than most people on this here earth, and he has been the most helpful person with my blogging experience thus far.
Jamie!
You have been so helpful, and the advice you give is priceless, plus it means we get to chat often and I dig chatting with you my brother!
Anyways, one thing Jamie told me is to blog often, and so this is my often blog!
Poor Lazy Jane, thats how I feel too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bathroom Renovations!


As some of you know I have the honour of living with a wonderful warm giving woman named Lynda.

Lynda has been such a great support to me the last few years, even before I moved in, before I became a Christian, she was there for me. She was one of the first people I met when I first moved to Ponoka, and has turned out to be one of my best allies!

Recently Lynda took a much needed holiday to Halifax, for some time off, and to meet some family that she had never gotten the chance to meet before this trip.

I had a flash of inspiration as she was packing up to leave, this would be my chance at taking the cruddy old wallpaper off of the bathroom walls and freshening it up with a coat of paint! I thought PERFECT! A nice surprise, and it will look better!

I started innocently enough by ripping some of the wallpaper trim that was haphazardly stuck around the tub (probably in the 1970's judging by the colour and style!) then I realized that it was going to take more than just pulling to get the rest of the paper off. I researched the best way to take wallpaper off of the walls, and found not only "easy" but inexpensive too! A little perforating tool that you basically roll around on the walls, and then you use a spray wallpaper remover! Hooray! Easy! I was so excited!

video
It took me 3 days to take it all down because I had to work as well. I thought Bam, I'll get this all finished, and then I can prime it and paint it! Boy, mistaken yet again, who would have know one person could be so wrong in so little time when I had scarcely been wrong before!

I made a ghastly discovery of a large patch of mold nestled unobserved between the side of the tub and the toilet. At first glance, the discovery wasn't too bad, I thought oh whoa I can handle it! Its only a small part of the drywall, easy peasy to cut out and patch.

As I cut out the offending bit of drywall, I noticed the tub surround was pulling away from the wall... In fact the tub surround was pulling the DRYWALL away! EEPS! At that moment I knew I was in deeper than I had first thought. I thought long and hard about it (probably a whole 30 seconds) and decided come heck or high water I had to fix whatever was going on behind that surround. So I started the daunting task of pulling the tub surround off and seeing what exactly was lurking out of my sight!


All this time, I kept thinking oh boy, I can do this and I can do that, I can put wainscotting put a pedestal sink in, a new vanity, oh boy I had some grand ideas floating around. With the ever progressing list of work that needed to be done, I decided to tone down my vision and make the list of a more manageable length, somewhere around the 5 page mark.

I ripped the entire tub surround off the wall, finding a moderate amount of black mold hidden nicely at the tub line and it was creeping its way further and further up the drywall.

It took me a couple of days to cut all of the bad drywall out, and to clean up the mold, and re-plastic the one wall that is an exterior wall. All this time, I was trying to multitask and get other projects within the bathroom done as well. I bought a new sink and tap, I wanted to paint the vanity, and I bought a new over the john cabinet that I wanted to paint the same colour as the vanity.

I worked diligently for the 2 weeks while Lynda was away, and worked my job, and had some social time in the mix with my friend Amber, and it came down to the last weekend. My birthday weekend, July 19th, and Lynda was supposed to come home on the Monday or the Tuesday. I was working day shifts, and Amber was over helping me the entire time, trying to get it all done before she came home. On the Sunday, my b day, my friend Stewart came to put the drywall up for me in a mad rush, and Amber and I put the new sink in, finished painting the cabinet and after a solid 14 hours of work that day for me, we went to the pub to grab a bite to eat and a couple of beers. mmmm
We had a great time, sitting there in our paint covered clothes, quietly chuckling at the antics of the regulars at the pub. We took a 2 hour break, and decided to walk home to get back at our work.
As we rounded the corner for the back alley, I saw it, her car, she was HOME! What was this!? I wasn't finished! I ran to the house and there was Lynda on the couch, sitting a little like she'd never left, watching tv and dozing off. I walked in the house a little in a panic, and hoped that she wasn't mad at me for tearing the bathroom apart, and a little upset that I didn't get to finish and have the big reveal at the end! She casually said "well hello" as I stood there with my arms hanging at my sides in a stance of defeat. I opened my mouth to speak and she starting telling me how much she missed me, and calmly asked me what was going on with the bathroom. I hurriedly explained my goals of finishing before she got home.
Her reaction was fantastic, she was overjoyed that I was redoing the bathroom for her, and she said she couldn't wait to see what it would end up looking like.
It took a little longer yet to finish, again with working, and of course less pressure of a timeline. But I got it all completed! Lynda says she is so happy that the bathroom looks so great, and I really like it too.
I could not have finished all that work, first and foremost if God hadn't been there pushing and helping me, and giving me the money to be able to do it.
Next is Amber, who encouraged me, and was cramped up in the bathroom with me, sanding, painting, or whatever needed to be done, sweating, and sharing laughs and many beers! lol


Stewart who came and helped with the drywall, even if I had to convince him it was a good idea!


Mr. Jorgenson, who came over to tell me exactly how much drywall to cut out, and how to go about fixing it all. (He is the premier home builder in Ponoka, and he is fantastic, if I could afford a new house, it would be him putting it up - he is also a great man of God and a great example to how men should live their lives.)
Judy S for bringing a pipe wrench and laying on the floor to help tighten the sink drain up for me.
Anyone else who gave me words of encouragement, and of course Lynda, who after coming home from her vacation to a messy house, and unable to use her bathroom, but instead of complaining, she was encouraging me telling me she loved it all very much.
Thanks all for "listening" about the bathroom renos!





Monday, August 3, 2009

Old Friends and New Beginnings

This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time with an old friend, actually 2 old friends, one was planned and the other was a very fortunate happenstance.

I had been planning to spend the day with Jolene, my beloved friend of 17 years. A little about our story. Jolene and I have been friends since the first day of grade 7, truly it was the first day we met. Our friendship has ebbed and flowed, I think like most friendships have a tendency of doing, and we have just finished a dry spell of our friendship and it has awoken into a whole new type of friendship.

When I was younger, I can be honest, I had some self esteem issues. I was constantly worried what people thought of me, wondering if I was pretty enough, smart enough, dumb enough, sexy enough, in fashion enough, whatever the thing was at the time that I was concerned about.

Poor Jolene never even knew that most of what she did I used as a gauge as to how my life could be, or should be. I was constantly seeking her approval and comparing myself to what she was doing with herself. During junior high my family moved away from Edmonton and into small town Alberta, and I was completely uprooted from my friends. I can only say in passing now that it was very hard for me, harder than I realized at the time to be separated from everyone I had grown accustomed to and whom I had obviously let myself become governed by. My time away from Jolene eventually branched to a couple of years where she and I didn't speak, and my life was on a totally different plane than than hers, we drifted.

A few years later we were reunited and our differences really showed, she was an honours student, and on the fast track to university, and I was a high school drop out on the way towards a sad and twisted marriage that ended badly (another blog post for another time).

Our worlds were far from each other, and again I compared myself to her, little realizing that she was having the same struggles as me and having just as hard of a time figuring out how to deal with all the lemons that were handed to us.

After Jolene was done university, and my short lived marriage was over, Jolene snagged a job in Mexico, I was sad she was leaving, but again I had no idea that my life was to take some time healing and growing. She lived there for 5 years, learned an incredible amount about herself, and blossomed into a beautiful woman, The same thing was going on here in Canada for me. I was making all new friends, discovering who I was, making a place for myself, and especially, I was learning about God and making room for Him in my life.

While I sometimes still get caught up in the latest things and the newest fashions, I am slowly learning to wait on God and see what He wants. This has definitely been a challenge for me, but its coming along slowly.

Time moves on, people change and grow and our relationship is a completely different one than it was before. I am very intent on who I talk to, who I associate with and I like holding my own opinions about things, which I feel is a normal human trait. Its great to spend time with her now, I feel like myself and I feel like i can be myself, I don't need to be constantly pleasing to her, or to be seeking her approval, I feel now that if she differs in opinion with me about something, well she can either listen or move on. I love it! I can see how much God has changed me over all these years, before i started listening to Him even. AMAZING GRACE!

Jolene and I had a great day together on Saturday we hung out, spoke about things, didn't talk, ate tons of great food (Jolene is an awesome cook!) and eventually we ended up going out for dinner at probably my new favorite restaurant Pad Thai (http://www.padthai-restaurant.com/). And then we went walking down Whyte ave, which is an adventure all on its own! I remembered as I was walking past bar after pub after night club, that I had found a friend with whom I had gotten back in touch with on facebook quite some time ago, and who works at a bar down there. I was so happy that when I told Jolene I wanted to look around to see if he was working, she was totally up for it! We went to the bar he works at, they said he would be hanging out at a little bar down the street and if I asked the door men they would be able to tell me if he was there. We walked down the street, chatting and
looking around, and TA DA! There was Darren right in front of us! He was so happy to see me, and to meet Jolene! I got the chance to sit and talk with Darren, to catch up and see where our lives had taken us in the last few years (Darren and I were real pals back in high school and you know how life goes life changes, people move on) It was amazing to talk and relax and hang out with 2 old friends who didn’t know each other. It was like old meeting new, meeting old.

I was again reminded of Gods ability to take old things, and make them new again, He has taken bits of me and made them sparkling new and fresh, and I have seen Him at work within the people around me as well.

So I lift up my glass (filled with water right now) and raise it in salute of works that are done, works that are ongoing, and works that have yet to start!