Monday, February 27, 2006

Giving Up and Lent

Ash Wednesday is approaching. March 1st will mark the start of another season of lent. Lent is a section of the Christian calendar I have traditionally ignored. Growing-up I did not really hear about it. It was just an unknown "holiday" marked on calendars.

My introduction came from my atheist and agnostic friends our senior year of high school. A few of them had grow-up in the Catholic Church or attended a Catholic school as some point. Giving something up for lent was an annual event like stockings at Christmas and New Years resolutions. It was a game "how long can I go without….?" They asked me what I was planning to sacrifice since I was the only person who attended church and actually believed in Jesus. They were surprised when I had no idea what lent was. They gave a crash course on the subject. Not sure how accurate it was but it went something like this:

"Lent is the days leading up to Easter and Jesus’ sacrifice for us. To prepare our minds and as an act of worship we give up something we love and enjoy." I’ve since learned that in ages past lent was also a time to add a spiritual discipline into daily life. The explanation sounded good to me so I gave up pop (soda depending on where you live).

That was the first and only time to date that I’ve recognised lent. This year I’ve decided to change that. Looking at my life and the things that are important to me and those that consume my time I’ve decided to give up MSN for the next 40 days. Also I am adding two things to my life. Prayer to start my day and running which has in the past been a time that focuses my thoughts on God and given me refreshing spiritual insights.

For those that I talk with on MSN see you in 40 days. For those that might be wondering I will still be blogging and responding to emails. Hopefully my response time will be faster since I won’t be distracted by conversations.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Red, and Yellow, and Pink, and Green.

Still don’t have a theme song. But I have a "theme colour". More accurately I go through phases of colour, like an artist’s "blue period" or something. During a colour phase I seem to acquire large quantities of clothes of that particular colour till the majority of my wardrobe is a rainbow of one particular shade. Also various products and household objects reflect the favoured colour. Some times I feel I even think in that colour.

In jr. high the colour was green. Grade nine and ten it was blue. Eleven and twelve it was orange and yellow, very bright orange and yellow. College years it was black (influenced by Robin White).

Current colour: Pink. Its girlie but its true.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lost and Found or Three Unconnected Thoughts

One: I woke this morning found, what a relief. Turns out I was here the whole time I just didn’t know it. This had a large part in my the relocating of myself:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into his grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:1-5
Hope put in the right place changes everything. And the nice thing is I now have a passage for my message this coming Sunday. Yeah for killing two birds with one stone –though I am not sure why we all can’t just let both birds live.

Two: My mom’s in Ontario with her family. She sounds like she is doing well. My grandfather is still in the hospital. The doctors say that it will be two months before they can determine the extent of the damage and how much he’ll recover. A small victory he was able to make a complete sentence this week.

Also on the home front, Lee-Ann’s blood counts are down, very low and her temperate was very high. So she will be staying at the Valley Regional the next few days.

Three: Watched one of my all time favourite shows last night, Ally McBeal (first season). It was not the same as watching with the girls over popcorn in JP but enjoyable none the less. Ally went to John’s shrink; who insisted that Ally must find a theme song. Made me smile…then think what is my theme song? I am still pondering the possibilities.

This could have been three seperate posts...and i didn't edit it. mleh.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I feel lost.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

The marketing and cosmetics companies are continually telling us to hide the signs of ageing. For women it is the endless battle against wrinkles. For men the issue is hair loss. There have been many interesting tactics used to hide baldness from implants to the infamous comb-over. For those that live in fear of a receding hairline I came across this "encouragement" during a staff meeting. Thus says the Lord:

"When a man has lost his hair and is bald, he is clean"
Leviticus 13:40

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Would You Rather?

I was reminded of a game we played on in the van on summer team (evidence 2002). It was either Deana or Rader who introduced me to "Would You Rather?" One personal would think up two horrible situations and ask would you rather do A or B and the rest of the van would respond. It was things like:

Would you rather walk across burning coals or broken glass?

Would you rather eat a litre of snot or a litre of vomit?

It was and interesting game. This week I came to a conclusion: if I had to choose between never feeling any emotion for the rest of my life or only feeling grief and sorrow -I would rather feel pain then feel nothing.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Darker Days

The past four days have been full of sorrow, grief, and the unknown. Thursday I learned that my grandfather had a stroke. The next day my (great) Aunt Audrey pasted away. Aunt Audrey was special to me and how my grandfather is doing is still unclear (both relatives are on my mother’s side of the family). It’s been a season of grief for me. These are my reflections:

-There are different levels of grief. Not all are visible and not all can/will hit you at first. Grief comes in waves

-Outward crying all the time isn’t always possible how to deal with sorrow. But I prefer the tears streaming down my face. At least that way my face matches the pain aching in my heart.

-I am surprised how well I can function on an emotional curse control. Both times with in an hour of learning what was happening in my family I had to go teach the preschool class for four.

- Grief is an ever-present companion. It is not always in the forefront of your thoughts. Most of the time its simmering on the backburner waiting. You might not be thinking about the lost and then just a word or a memory hits reminds you and it all comes flooding back.

-I have guilt. I was going to visit Ontario and see both my Grandpa and Aunt Audrey. Yet
I got busy, plans fell through, it just didn’t happen. Now I wish I had tried harder. The unknown of what could happen over the next six months before I return scares me.

-New lost reminds of past lost. And the ache is deeper.

-Ache sits in your throat like a lump.

-I am grieve for what will never be. I won’t get to introduce her to the man I marry. She won’t see my wedding or my children. This goes with the ache reminds of past lost. My grandmother (my mother’s mom) died just over a year ago. And I just can’t stop crying.

Its not happy, I ache and cry. Just writing this has cut my heart and brought a new wave of grief, yet it also helps. Though there is light in darkness. Hope in despair.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Frustration

I don’t have many pet peeves. Most of the time the few I do have don’t even bother me but there are other days they get right under my skin. Then next thing I know something small and petty is driving me up the wall. Today what is bugging me is people who stay on MSN all the time with their status set away.

I’ve done it, but it’s annoying. The level of annoyingness increases because of the 13 hour time difference and my desire to connect to the other side of the world which sleeps when I am awake. FRUSTRATION!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Walk to Remember (not the movie)

It was my turn to preach this past Sunday, so as part of my preparation I took a walk. This is normal for me, helps me to clear my head and listen to God. During that walk God confronted me, challenged me, and encouraged me all from the same thought:

"Liz, you talk a lot about me and very little talking to me"
Ouch, but it was thought that’s been starting change in me.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!