Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thankful Thursdays

I thank God for...

-the little things
-life’s valleys I wouldn’t appreciate the mountain tops without them
-new buttons
-good visits
-exciting books
-hugs

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thus Far

It's been thirty days since New Years resolutions were made. Crazy how fast good intentions go by the way side. I looked through my 52 challenges tonight to see how I am doing. There are a few goals right on track, some that need a bit of work, while the majority are no where near being a reality. Here are just a few from each category:

Going Good
Read 24 non fiction books
Participate in Sunday Scribbles
52 weeks of Thankful Thursdays

Going Fair
Read through the Bible in a year
Read through My Utmost for His Highest
Finish all my current knitting projects
Keep a dream journal

Not Even Started (But I Plan To Work On In February):
Make a budget and keep it
Keep a menu plan
Run a 10 km race
Make 24 dishes I’ve never cooked before
Mail a letter every week

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cat Tales

Inu and Kima finally gave me a Christmas present this morning. I didn’t notice the gift till I was about to open the front door; on the carpet a foot away from the door lay a dead mouse -a mouse! I was hoping never to see a mouse in the apartment again; I am just glad that the first one seen since the spring wasn’t living. The cats have earned their keep. Both cats stared up at me with great pride. Kima even nuzzled up to me wanting cuddles and a gold star for a job well done. Inu rewarded himself by escaping when I opened the door. I do not enjoy chasing cats around the house in a foot of snow wearing clogs.

Next week they go to the vets for their last booster shot and to see if they are big enough to go from being he and she to two its.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Scribbles: “Miscellaneous”

Scissors, elastic bands, push pins, thank you cards, a sudoku book, calculator, highlighters, a white-out pen, batteries, lose change, and a few paperclips are just a few of the sundry things you might discover in my office junk drawer. This chaos is visited a few times a day, as I try to find the glue stick at the back or the piece of ribbon I saved for a month "cause it might be useful someday". Each item is necessary but has no other home -no other place that fits.

As I was brainstorming ideas for this prompt I realised my brain has a giant junk drawer. home of all the thoughts that have no other place to fit. I tried to focus on a few themes that seemed write-able but kept thinking about three story ideas I hadn’t considered since college, tomorrows to do list, themes for children’s parties, and the remnants of last night’s dream. It is like my brain holds onto all these miscellaneous fragments until I want to think creatively then the drawer is pulled out and tipped over and all the ideas come rushing (some times crawling or drizzling) to the forefront of my thoughts. Is there a way to spring clean the minds junk drawer?
For more "miscellaneous" stories visit Sunday Scribbles.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday's Five

Through Sunday Scribbles I found a blogger who also did Friday Fiver, a livejournal community that gives five questions loosely based on a theme and members post their answers. It sounded interesting so I think I’ll try it for awhile. We'll see how long it lasts.

Today’s theme -“I’ll show you what I’m made of”:
1. What are you missing?
My camera
2. How do you feel?
Pretty fantastic
3. What have you let go?
I just moved a sword fish nose out of my office; the smell was giving me a headache.
4. Who have you hurt?
I think at one time or another I have hurt everyone dear to me in one way or another.
5. What do you deserve?
Not much, that’s were grace comes in.

What are your answers?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This has been an amazing week. Nothing extraordinary has happened to make it amazing. The day to day routine has been the same as any other week but there seems to be a simple joy and peace behind it.

This week I am thankful for that hope and for joy. I am thankful for secrets, storylines, and self-control. I am thankful for friends, hugs, and TV night. I am thankful for bible studies and discovery. I am thankful for chocolate chip cookie dough blizzards, pie, and homemade cookies.

This week I am thankful for my life!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Secrets

I am ready to burst; there is a secret inside me that wants to come out. It’s not a big thing that I am staying quiet about, just an idea. Two weeks ago I was recording a dream in my journal when a concept for a heroine and November’s NaNoWriMo novel came to me. I learned from the first writing experience that capturing a thought that had been shared was boring. The writing lacked inspiration and joy, like the passion had gone into the telling and there was none left for the page. This the hardest part of the challenge for me because I had shared most of the plot twists with friends. I made a commitment to myself in December that no one would know a thing about my story this year till it was already on page.

Since the initial “Ah-ha” moment the story has continued to grow. Last night away to fix a huge plot flaw came to me. I love the idea and just want to tell someone. Keeping my own outline a secret is going to be a grueling lesson in self-control –I just want to burst…but my lips are sealed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday Scribbles: “Fellow Travellers”

I rejoiced when I saw this week’s Sunday scribbles prompt, it seemed so easy, so prefect. I’ve loved the travels and journeys I’ve taken. These adventures have been better because of people I’ve taken them with and the people I’ve met. Yet two days have slipped by and I am still struggling. The problem isn’t a lack of something to say but too much.
There is summer team and the hours upon hours spent in a van with in 02 and 03 or going for a meal with Matthew and a group nationals in rural China without an interpreter. The beautiful days driving with my family from Ontario to Nova Scotia or climbing Mt. Fuji with a group of Aussies I had just met. These journeys have been greater because of those who have been with me. Yet, there is one companion who stands out from among the rest, my Missions Buddy, Selinda.
The airport is a buzz of foreign languages, a hub of diversity. It’s June 2nd, 2004, we are on day two of our travels and too exhausted to appreciate that we are "almost" (I use that term loosely) at our destination. The night before we had been on a 12 hour flight across the Atlantic and now we sat in the Frankfurt airport waiting for our flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, that would be followed by a five hour drive to a small Bible college campus just outside of Manzini, Swaziland, our home for the next five months.

We knew nothing of the adventure ahead of us. It was as if we were on a roller coaster that was slowly clicking to the top, just moments from cresting and plunging on one wild ride. And what a ride it was. There were ups and downs. We learned a new language (Selinda more than me) and discovered a different culture. We saw lions, giraffes, zebras and elephants. Shared our apartment with geckos, and had a cobra in our bathtub (which didn't live long after that). We hugged AIDS orphans and dipped our feet in the Indian Ocean. The most precious memories are that Selinda was there to share them. Memories of a hug when bad news came from home, of just walking down dusty red dirt paths, cooking meals together, and just living life. It wasn’t perfect but it was real. I love my missions buddy!

For more "Fellow Travellers" stories visit Sunday Scribbles

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Our Culture?

I live online. How many hours are just spent sitting in front of this screen from reading blogs to watching videos? The majority of my interaction these days with friends and family is through blogs, MSN, or Facebook. Just over a year ago I didn’t even know about Facebook, now I can’t imagine going a few days without checking my profile. Technology has change our culture and how we interact.

The plethora* content available YouTube on amazes me some days. I found this video done by a Cultural Anthropology class at Kansas State University. I find their research/presentation fascinating:



*I love the word plethora but rarely have the opportunity to use it naturally in a sentence. I am sorry if it sounds forced but in the wee hours when I wrote this it sounded brilliant.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Movie Night: Amazing Grace

Dan and Danielle strongly recommended that I see this movie when it first came out. I finally took their advice and rented it this week.

I loved it. It was an amazing, beautiful story. There was something very rewarding and redeeming about watching it. Watching the life of William Wilberforce was inspiring and gave me such hope. There were even enjoyable humour bits in the midst of a serious subject.

I also strongly recommend it.

Thankful Thursdays

This week I am thankful for:

-the unexpected
-having meetings over "coffee" (is it still "coffee" if I drank tea?)
-snow days
-invitations
-the Bible study group I joined yesterday, hope to make it a weekly thing

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dasiy Scarf

Last week I pulled out my knitting bag to see how many projects I actually had left to finish. There are five projects in various stages of completion. I decided begin by tackling a scarf I started three years ago. The original pattern wasn’t working for me so I ripped it back and started over. The same time I found a link to a Dasiy Stitch pattern on Thread Banger. It took a few attempts and some adjustments to make the pattern work for a flat scarf and not working around three needles. The pink and burgundy stripped scarf is about 38 cm (15 inches) long; I’d love to show my progress except my camera is still missing. For the most part I like how it’s turning out.

Grandma if you read this, why might my scarf be slanted?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ministry Monday: Leadership

Over the past few months I have been realising that for the ministries I am leading to grow I need to focus on the leaders and volunteers. That somewhat vague concept is my ministry resolution for 2008.

Tomorrow night we’re having our first youth leaders-strategies-planning-meeting-Bible study-coffee-time-thing at one of the leader’s homes. Depending on how it goes we are hoping to make it a monthly thing. We’re each reading Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields and will discuss the first chapter tonight. I am also hoping to brainstorm ideas for the year and set some goals. It should be interesting.

I still am trying to figure out how to accomplish this idea in the children’s ministry. I am not sure a monthly meeting wouldn’t work as well. Does anyone have suggestions or advice or books that have good ideas for developing/supporting ministry leaders? I think I need to crack open a few books that I haven’t looked at since college.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Scribbles: "The Date"

Girls’ night yesterday ended up just being Gina and me watching the made for TV movie See Jane Date. It was a clich√© chick lit heroine’s quest for a boyfriend and journey of self-discovery. It was the perfect fluff for our moods. We laughed and talked, yet between our running commentary on the show I found myself becoming jealous of Jane. Her dates were all horrible disasters, but at least she had a social life and the opportunity to meet people. My location makes it difficult to meet single guys, I haven’t met one in the past year.

Am I doomed? Jane has this great moment of clarity near the end of the movie when she declares in tears that she is no less of a woman or success just because she lacks a man. She is content to just be her –a single girl. I am too...except when I forget. Even though I have my New Year Challenge to "go on a date," I fear these might be the only dates I get this year:

For more "Dates" visit Sunday Scribbles.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wisdom from Chambers

“Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing
ourselves. We cannot.”
January 11

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thankful Thursdays

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalm 30:11-12
I am thankful for my Mom and the friendship we have.
I am thankful for each day and breath I have been given.
I am thankful for my friends. I had two great nights hanging out with Gina and I am driving up to Halifax tomorrow to see Heidi.

More Sewing Fun and Birthday Wishes!

I stumbled across Thread Banger just before Christmas while looking for pattern ideas; it’s an online DIY show that encourages recreating thrift store finds and creative projects in general. One of their cool tutorials was "how to make a scoodie" -the ultimate hoodie-scarf combo. They found the idea on Craftzine which had a link to the orignial creator. I tried my hand at it. It made the prefect birthday gift for my mom, January 10th is her special day.

Happy Birthday Mom!

You can make a scoodie too:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

In A Nutshell

I am still enjoying See Jane Write. I just finished reading about the importance of secondary characters. The chapter gave advice about the details that make good characters. They are the elements found in beloved stories, those things you notice if they are missing but can not put to when the are –you just know it is good. I think the novel rewrite is going to be harder than the actual nanowrimo challenge.

The author shared a creative writing exercise she learned in high school that I thought was very "creative". You describe who you are by sharing a single event or action from your life. This moment sums up who you are as a person. I really liked the idea of using nutshell moments to define a person. It would give great background to characters. I struggled for a bit to think up mine. I kept coming back to this time in South Dakota, I was sitting alone on this massive rock on the edge of a cliff with my Bible and journal just seeking God.

Who are you in a nutshell?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Snapshots

I’m on the planning committee for Rally in the Valley, an interdenominational worship service for youth that meets the third Sunday of every month. We met together tonight to review what happened last year, discuss possible speakers, confirm venues, and outline the plans from now to May.

Somewhere in the mix we talked about the importance of having students share about their relationship with God and not just a traditional testimony. Normally when it is announced that "Joe" is going to give his testimony the predominate expectation is a "how I came to know Jesus" story. If the speaker doesn’t talk about his conversation he has failed. Danielle suggested we encourage students to give a snapshot of something specific God has done in their life and the brainstorming began.

I loved the ideas and even shared a few of my own that earned me a "creative assignment". For March’s rally I need to find students willing to share about a God moment somehow relating to James 3. I am not sure how I will find teens that don’t attend my youth group but I am sure it will all come together. I also hope to use/have/make powerpoint background of Polaroid pictures and a title something like: "My God Moment: a snapshot of my journey with Jesus" to go with the speaking. So that is a new spiritual/creative challenge I’ve been given. If you have any suggestion I’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment, thanks!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday Scribbles: “New” or “New Year”

I am currently 65 pages into my newest reading adventure. I stopped by the library this afternoon to return a few books and to pick up another that had come in. Then on a whim, I wandered over threw the travel guide section and stopped in writer’s section were I found: "See Jane Write: a girl’s guide to writing chick lit" by Sarah Mlynowsi and Farrin Jacobs. It looked interesting so I signed it out.

So far it has been a wonderfully entertaining yet also an inspiring and educational read. Part one has been looking at the "big picture" of why we write. Discussing the different motives that drive an author and how writing is both like therapy and dating. I’m just starting the second section that focuses on the details of writing, like characters, style, and that annoying thing called plot.
I really like this book. I actually want to start editing my nanowrimo story (which I have been dreading pulling out). Not only that, new ideas keep popping into my head yelling, "write me, write me". I feel encouraged that I might actually complete challenges 13 and 16 from my New Year’s resolution list.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

It Must Be Elves

What other answer could there be to things suddenly going missing, things that I just had a moment ago? At nine I was sitting at my table; the movie that needed to go back was sitting next to me. I had to do a few other errands. I believe I picked up the movie, my cell phone, grabbed my purse, put on my coat. Drove the video store, lifted up the purse to grab the movie…it wasn’t there. I looked around the car but could find it. I shook my head in great frustration, shrugged, and decided I must have left it on the table in the rush to get out the door.

Now I am home again and the movie IS NOT on the table where I last saw it. I’ve retraced my steps –no movie. I’ve looked in the car again –no movie. In the places the cats like to hide my things –no movie. I have no idea where it could be it must be tiny elves moving things when I am not looking. Do you think the rental place will accept that as an excuse?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Rating Movie Nights

I’ve been thinking that I should have a movie rating system. I like posting the movies I watch but I don’t really have a way to compare what I’ve seen or a way for people to decide if they would even appreciate a movie I liked.

I was thinking of using something that is unique to me. There is the traditional thumbs up/thumbs down system, the five stars system, or newer methods like Matthew's point system or rotten tomatoes’ spats. I would like something different. The trouble is I’ve only got one idea: using animals, and so far I only have one "rating".
The Sheep = it’s baaaad (hee hee hee)

Any suggestions on how I could develop my own movie critiquing method or what you’d like to see in a movie review post?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 7:17

I went through all of last years Thankful Thursday lists. The following are the Top Ten Things I was Repeatedly Thankful for in 2007:

10) Walks, the wind, starry nights, and the beauty of nature.

9) Solitude and stillness

8) Invitations for coffee or meals. I love being with people

7) Long drives and if it is with or to see friends all the better.

6) Books that inspire me and my local library.

5) Food was very common item on my lists of thanksgiving like chai lattes, pie, fresh salads, cookies, cheesecake, chocolate milk, and tea.

4) My Church. I love my church! The people are wonderful. They are a family to me. I am also thankful for Pastor Scott, his wife Shari, and everyone who helps in the youth and children’s ministries.

3) My friends and every chance we get to hang out from TV nights to going shopping. I am thankful for msn, blogs, and facebook that make staying in contact and reconnecting so much easier. And I am thankful for Gina, Kelly, Amy, Danielle, and Steph for all the opportunities we’ve had to be together. Selinda, Missy, Jo and Maki for being awesome long distance friends and Jessica for finishing NaNoWriMo with me. I love you all and think you are wonderful!

2) My family and very chance I have to be with them or talk with them on the phone. Mom and Dad I am so thankful for our long phone calls and that we are able to talk even though we live provinces apart. I love you! I love you! I love you!

1) God’s grace, protection and provision. My times spent in God’s presence and for answered prayers, Scripture speaking to me, being refreshed, and conviction.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Adventure In Creativity

Back in December I bought some fabric to rediscover my love for creating. To the right you see the "before picture" of the materials I used.

I didn’t have a pattern or any concept of how to make a lining or add a zipper. There was a lot of figuring it out as I went but somehow it all came together and made the perfect gift for Gina.

Here are the after shots:






Oooh...zipper and a lining!





There you have it my first sewing project in over ten years.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

52

During my 25th year of life I had given myself 25 challenges to complete in the year. It was tons of fun and gave me focus and motivation to actually do the things I always say I’ll do “someday”. In the spirit of my original 25 project I’ve written 52 things I’d like to accomplish this year. 52 for the 52 weeks of the year, not that all must or can be done in a week. Some of these are resolutions, some are fun goals, and others are impossible dreams.

Here are my 52 personal challenges for 2008:

1) Read through the Bible in a year
2) Memorise a chapter of the Bible
3) Make prayer journal and use it
4) Read through My Utmost for His Highest
5) Come to a place that for every moment spent watching movies or TV is also spent equal time with God
6) Start a midweek kids program at church
7) Compile all the Sunday school lessons I’ve written
8) Do a Branscombe type inductive
9) Learn to play guitar
10) Learn to speak French
11) Learn to crochet
12) Learn to locate more stars, planets, and constellations (I can currently find the Big Dipper, Orion, and Cassiopeia)
13) Read 24 non-fiction books
14) Read through my old journals
15) Edit my 2007 NaNoWriMo story
16) Participate in NaNoWriMo 2008
17) Put on paper the story that has been in my head since 2002
18) Keep a dream journal
19) Participate in Sunday Scribbles
20) Submit something written to be published
21) Draw 24 pictures
22) Create a hat pattern and use it
23) Make a vintage type purse
24) Make everyone’s Christmas gifts this year
25) Silk screen something
26) Create a board game
27) Finish all my current knitting projects
28) Make a quilt/blanket
29) Visit Australia or New Zealand
30) Participate/lead mission team
31) Visit a city I’ve never been to before
32) Make the plans for a dream trip
33) “Be younger” I took the Real Age test on December 31, 2007 is 29.3, the goal is to be a real 3 years younger.
34) Lose 10 pounds
35) No milk or cheese for 40 days
36) Be thankful (52 weeks of Thankful Thursdays)
37) Take photo booth pictures
38) Make a budget and keep it
39) Keep a menu plan
40) Jump out of a plane
41) Run a 10 km race
42) Make 24 dishes I’ve never cooked before
43) Host a murder mystery
44) Send/give all Christmas gifts before the 6th of December
45) Unpack all the boxes in my office/storage room
46) Go on an overnight hiking trip
47) Send more cards especially thank you, birthday, and just because cards
48) Have a picnic in a park
49) Mail a letter every week
50) Take a whole day to just play with my sister
51) Watch a play
52) Go on a date

I would love to complete all of the above goals but I believe that is a little impossible so my realistic expectation in 75% (or 39 of the 52) completed during 2008.

The Blogging Year In Review

I liked Matthew’s ‘Best of The Matthew Never Knew 2007’ post so I am borrowing the idea.

The Best of Bowl of Stew(art) 2007:

1) Happy Birthday Mummy
2) Give Kids the World
3) It's All So Magical
4) Five Thousand Words
5) The Outcome of My 25 Challenges
6) Fisrt Date with Dad
7) Frozen Kitty
8) A Writer's World
9) Hope Farm Murals
10) The End of NaNoWriMo
11) Angels Aware
12) Chug-ah Chug-ah Chew Chew

Thank you to my two guest writers Amy and Steph for their contributions to the bowl of art stew:
Letter From the Editor -by Amy
Half Birthday -by Steph