Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 in Review

It's that time of the year.

The time of the year when I pull out a truly selfish blog to think, ponder and process.

Before I started this "reflection" blog, I looked at last year's to see what my expectations were for this year.

It's interesting, because my expectations were purely status quo: continue to do well in school, run a good summer of day camp and go on a couple of road trips. And, being true to the last two decades, I would not fall in love.

How did I do?

School - I did well. Not really much else to say. I'm proud of my accomplishments and glad that I worked hard enough, so that was good. I've also learned a lot and have really been enjoying my studies.

Day Camp - Again, went well. God seemed to even teach me the same lessons over and over again... He takes care of things. I just need to trust Him. He always provides.

Road Trips - There were some good ones this year. In February, my sister and a couple friends of ours went down the Phoenix, AZ and had some great adventures as well as some relaxing days spent beside the pool. Then at the end of April, I flew down to Vancouver to see a friend of mine as well as my favourite band (Switchfoot) in concert. July and Canada Day brought a trip to Victoria. Then over the August long weekend, my sisters and I went on a whirlwind trip to visit family in Winnipeg. We were gone for a total of four days and during that time made it within about 20 minutes of the Ontario border!

Love - surprise, surprise... didn't happen.

Other highlights of 2006 included working at a variety of part-time jobs, including marking accounting assignments and working as a sales associate at a clothing store. Many existing friendships developed further and I got to know some new people.

So what does 2007 hold? Wouldn't I like to know... I've got four months of school before I hit the big question mark. What are my expectations for 2007?

Well... there are two that I know of for sure. First, I want to have a strong finish to my last semester of school. My goal is to have a degree that says "Dean's List." (I think they write that on your diploma, don't they?)

Second, I want to go on some more adventures. Talks are in place for another Reading Week roadtrip, and there are a few more foreign destinations in the back of my mind.

Beyond that, considering that I am going to be more fervently developing my career beginning in May, I want to learn more about myself and my strengths and my passions when it comes to working. So, it may seem like a cop-out, since we should always be learning, growing and discovering who we are, but I want to make that an intentional part of my life this year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Great Quote

"For those who are hungry, give them bread.
For those who have bread, give them hunger for justice."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

Ever since I heard a sermon last Sunday on the Christmas story, I'd been wondering if the two-thousand-year-old story would ever catch me as new and fresh again. It sounds horrible to say, but I feel like after 25 Christmases, I've been through the story from the point of view of every character (even the lamb, thank you Max Lucado) and analyzed it from every angle. And that's not to say that I've lost the wonder, but the freshness seemed gone.

And then tonight, I went and saw Handel's Messiah. And, if you want to talk about new and fresh, that would not be it for me as I've been to see it every year for the last couple and analyzed it once for a music history class.

But this year, they did the entire thing - all 53 pieces. And it was in a tiny little recitative buried between the infamously grand Air "the trumpet shall sound" and the not quite so famous duet "O death, where is thy sting?" that I saw the Christmas story from the point of view of a character I had not recently pondered: me.

Just two lines in the program, the recitative read: "Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallow'd up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:54) And I don't know why it was that one line that caught my attention more than "the trumpet shall sound," but that's when it hit me.

Christmas is not it's own story. Christmas actually comes in the middle of the story. The story started many, many years ago in a garden, when humans first chose to disobey God, bringing death as an inevitable part of humanity. That death has permeated everything; sin runs rampant in our world. For us to imagine a life without death or sin is, dare I say, impossible. But God knows what it was like, He remembers His original vision for humanity: close friends and companions. So, rather than giving up on us and starting out with a new world, He decided to enter our world and literally take the problem of sin into His own hands.

And that's Christmas: God loving us enough to penetrate humanity. And what a welcome we gave Him. Michael W Smith's "Welcome to Our World" puts it so clearly: "hope that you don't mind our manger; how I wish we would have known."

God, who created the universe with a word, becomes a tiny little baby. He takes on our flesh; we can never say to Him, "you don't understand what it means to be human."

"And, being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death; even death on a cross." (Philippians 2)

But then He conquered death. He made it possible for us to also escape Death and experience Him as He originally intended.

We're still in the middle of the story. There will come a day when Death will truly lose it's sting and we will experience life in all it's sinless abundance. I can't imagine what it will be like to have Death swallow'd up in victory, but one day it's going to happen.

And that is the wonder of the Christmas story. It isn't just a tale of some supernatural experiences that happened in a far-away land 2000 years ago. It is the reality of what God has done for us and the anticipation of what Life will be like when we can fully experience the repercussions of His selfless act.

Oi. Seems like a bunch of ramblings and I'm too tired to edit. But I hope you can find a nugget of truth in there that you can relate to.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Today, as I was walking back to the parking lot after class, it was snowing. On its own, this is far from a remarkable event, but it got me to thinking about what I call the "wonder of spontaneous beauty."

Bill Hybels suggests that there are several pathways to God, and before you cry heresy on me, I will explain that what he means by this is that we each have a different way of connecting with God. Some feel closest to God in service, others in worship, others in meditation and solitude, others in activism... My "pathway" is nature.

There are moments in my life when God just surprises me with beauty in nature. On a road trip several years ago, as we were driving down the Oregon Coast, we turned the corner, and there was the ocean, set against an incredibly gorgeous sunset. It was a serene beautiful moment... and I was filled with the wonder of spontaneous beauty.

Snow does that for me, too. On mild winter nights, when the big, fat snowflakes are falling, I feel the same joy inside. In summer, it's fields of tiger lilies.

These moments are ones that can't be orchestrated or re-created. We can put ourselves in positions to experience them, but only God brings out the Northern Lights or the perfect flowers or the cloud-enhanced sunset or the big fat snowflakes that add that extra layer of wonder.

And then it hit me that when that happens, it's God saying "I love you." It's His way of romancing me and reminding me that I am extra special to Him. It's the human equivalent of a dozen roses or love letters... but infinitely more precious and divine.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Mark of Our Generation

For the sake of simplicity, let's just include everyone alive today as "our" generation.

Tonight I heard a compelling interview with Bono (for the second time, actually, but I still loved it), in which he stated that our generation could be known as the generation that eradicates stupid poverty.

It's not such a great feat, you know. Women were given the right to vote. Racism ended in the States. Apartheid ended in South Africa. While all these things ultimately amounted to a political decision, it took an entire nation of paradigm shifting to make them possible.

The AIDS crisis and ensuing poverty are not a simple matter of political decision. There are complex factors involved, and convincing a government to change it's policy is a tiny fraction of the problem.

But perhaps if our generation truly bonded together to do something, we could effect change.

Bono said something to the effect of... "the world is malleable, it can be wrestled from fools". Let's be a part of the movement to end extreme, "stupid" poverty. <- a campaign that dedicates half of the profits from special (RED) Products to the Global Fund, which fights AIDS$FILE/AidsTest.html <- a quiz on AIDS... I learned a lot from taking it

Monday, November 06, 2006

Divine Romance

Check out the song Divine Romance by Phil Wickham: then click on "Divine Romance"
At the risk of violating copyright laws, I won't print the lyrics, instead I'll let you enjoy the whole song.

I discovered it on the mySpace of a friend who just got married, and all the attendants walked in to that song, so I was reminded of how much I love it.

But it's also so pertinent to where I'm at right now. The officiating pastor at the wedding talked about how marriage on earth is simply a picture of the reality of Christ loving us. He shared the image of how in the Old Testament times, the betrothal would last a year, then the groom would march through the city with the best man blowing a ram's horn going to claim his bride.

As a girl, I've often struggled with the desire for romance and feeling loved, cherished and beautiful. But as God and I have talked about it, He's shown me that He created me with those desires because HE intends to fulfill them. Marriage here on earth is all good, I'm sure, but ultimately if I'm not fulfilled knowing that God loves and cherishes me, then I'm not going to be fulfilled by anything.

So, Mom and Dad, next time you give me trouble about being at the age where I should get married, I'd like to remind you that I am already betrothed.

Friday, October 27, 2006


As I was getting out of the car tonight, I happened to look up, and the sky was perfectly clear. I could see Orion and the Pleiades and the Big Dipper.

Even though I know that everyone can see them, I always feel like God put the stars there as a special present for me. He could have done space a million different ways, but He chose to create a masterpiece of lights on a dark background. I love that He does that.

"But when I look at the stars, I see Someone else...
When I look at the stars, I feel like myself...
And suddenly the infinite and penitent begin to look like home."
- Switchfoot

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
- Psalm 19:1

Seeing the stars reminds me that there is a God who cared enough to create a masterpiece of the night sky. It puts everything into perspective. God is great and creative, but He's also big and infinite. When we look at the sky, we see Him, and when we see Him, we also see ourselves more clearly. The huge night sky, especially now that we know just how insignificant the earth is in comparison, is a reminder that we are such a small, small part of creation, and God is so much bigger than us.

This is just a friendly reminder to look up sometime...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Grace and Pride

"God... gives grace to the humble." Proverbs 3:34

Pride is the ultimate sin. It is often an accomplice sin, but the reason I believe it is so bad is because when we indulge in pride, we are prevented from asking for forgiveness and receiving God's grace. God's forgiveness is absolutely free, but in order to receive it, we have to ask. And pride prevents us from doing this.

In the story of David and Bathsheba, I see many different ways in which David shows pride. First of all, by not going to war, he put himself into a situation where he could be tempted. Then, after he saw Bathsheba on the roof, rather than telling an advisor he was struggling, he kept it a secret. Then he invited her over, they had sex, and she got pregnant. Pride enters again. Rather than confessing to Uriah that he had slept with his wife, David chose to maintain his tatters of pride and have Uriah killed.

There are three distinct ways in which God shows his grace in this story. First of all, I believe that by allowing David to experience the natural consequences of his sin, God showed grace - because it forced David to own up to it. When our sin goes by without consequence, we grow numb to it.

Secondly, God showed grace in exposing David. If Nathan the prophet had never confronted David, he would have lived with the shame and guilt of his actions. They would have eaten away at him for who knows how long. They would have prevented him from feeling God's grace.

Which leads to the third and most obvious way that God shows his grace - He forgave him and restored him. Psalm 51 gives us a taste of both David's agony, and ultimately his experience of God's grace and forgiveness. "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." Then, David asks, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

When we sin, which we all do, the biggest mistake we can make is pridefully hiding it. God will only forgive us when we ask. Bono once said that he liked grace better than karma because he was so utterly dependent on it.

Let's live in dependence on grace.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Love vs. Romance

Tonight I happened to turn on the TV and watch The Bachelor: Rome. Now, I don't recommend watching this show, but in this case, curiosity got the better of me, and I tuned in. The show is set up to be every girl's dream: a real Italian prince, dates in Rome, yada yada...

And that combined with a sermon on love a few weeks ago has gotten me to thinking:

Since when did romance replace love?

Think about popular culture... there aren't a whole lot of chick flicks that deal with solid marriages. The few notable exceptions which may touch on the long-term, commitment aspect really only mention it while focussing on the romantic "falling in love" part. For example, the Notebook. Possibly one of the most beautiful love stories ever, with (SPOILER: if you haven't seen the movie before, I'm about to spoil the ending) the married couple dying together, after we see that he faithfully stood by her even as she lost her memory. Which is a beautiful story of love and commitment, but that part of the movie was so minimal. The focus of the movie was the part where they "fell in love" and where their romance "blossomed," if you will.

I'm definitely not an expert on love and romance. In fact, I am the opposite. Not even an amateur or a rookie... more of a nothing at all... But, I have a feeling that the romance and "falling in love" part is such a minimal part - so why is culture so focussed on that?

Anyway, these thoughts are far from being fully developed. Just a rant after hearing all these girls talk about how chasing this Italian prince was like a dream...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

No Good, Very Bad Day

There are some days when you just shouldn't write about what's on your mind, and today is one of those days. So, I will try to shift from the non-events that are making me grouchy to a psychological analysis on why they are all happening today.

It really is true what "they" say about outlook - it really affects everything. When you're tired, minor glitches seem to compile to make you frustrated. Joking around with friends suddenly becomes old and you just want to lash out. Twenty minutes into your 80 minute Accounting class, you suddenly realize that accounting really IS boring, and you've been duped over the past year into thinking that it's interesting and practical. Today, I realized that all we are doing is memorizing rules for making income statements. Yes, that's what I love to do - memorize rules.

So, maybe not the profession for me. I don't really like following rules, much less memorizing them.

But, the thing is, if I had chosen to just be happy this morning, maybe none of this would have happened. Maybe when Hotmail experienced technical difficulties and wouldn't let me download the report I needed to print, I could have simply shrugged, logged out, and logged back in again. That would have been more productive than yelling at the monitor. (Yes, Mom, I know that when I yell "stupid computer," if it could hear and process, it would yell back, "stupid operator.")

Maybe when I found out that the van isn't going to be fixed until tomorrow, I wouldn't have gone for a rant on how they should give me a courtesy car and how I'm never buying a Dodge. (Kind of a useless rant, since I decided that a long, LONG time ago.)

Sleep may have a huge factor on my "cheery thermometer," but perhaps I can CHOOSE to be pleasant.

After all, I've gotten more work done today than any other day this semester.

And maybe tonight I'll fall asleep when my head hits the pillow, and I can look forward to waking up early and having a productive day tomorrow.

So... time for happy thoughts. :-)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An Analogy, maybe...

The great poker players don't need good hands to win. All this came up in an argument - er, discussion - I had with my friend Jeremy the other day. Apparently I was playing too conservatively.

"I'm just not going to play 10-6 offsuit," I said, "and I haven't been getting anything better." (10-6 offsuit means a 10 and a 6 that are different suits. It's an okay-ish hand.)

Then, when I finally got "Big Slick" (an Ace and a King), I lost to the lunatic who decided to play 4-5 and hit the straight. (A straight is 5 cards in a row, so if an Ace, 2 and 3 came up, having a 4 and 5 would give him a straight.)

"What in the world is he doing playing 4-5 anyway?" I asked.

Poker players tend to gravitate to one of two poles - intuition or analytical. The intuitive players will play 2-7 offsuit (which is considered the worst hand in poker, because you won't get a straight that includes both 2 and 7, you likely won't hit a flush, which is all cards of the same suit, and the 7 then is the lowest possible card you can get without the possibility of a straight) simply because they "feel" it. They rely on past glory stories as proof that it is a good strategy.

The analytical players only play cards that are really good. Pairs or face cards. And if the table is big enough, there will have to be two face cards in a hand before the analytical players will play it. When there is a raise, the analytical player will calculate the odds that their hand is good (or could become good if they hit the right cards), and will only call the raise if the percentage they have to pay at least matches the percentage that their hand is good.

So, there are intuitive players and analytical players... and then there's me. Being a more mathematically oriented person, I always start playing analytically. I play only the good hands, stay in only if I have a reasonable hope of winning the hand, and very rarely bluff.

But, then... the pot will reach a certain size, and I'll have a good hand, and while I know that there are better hands out there, I just can't fold a good hand. So I stick around and lose everything. (Just for the record, I don't play for real money, so losing everything is not the end of the world.)

This loss could easily be credited to a lapse in strategy. But, I've always seen it as something else - a lapse in discipline. I really believe that the analytical method is the more practical, guaranteed strategy. But, sometimes I get bored or impatient of waiting for the monster hand. And as a result, I lose discipline.

So, what can we learn from all this? I think life is about discipline. There are too many misalignments in my life between what I know and believe, and what I do. A valuable exercise would be to make a list of core values in your life (things that you believe in your head/heart), then write out the ways they manifest themselves. I think it would be very eye-opening.

Well, that's all my thoughts for today.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Feeling Uninspired

Nothing to say, but was tired of the Ode at the top of my page. It was centered, and nothing else was, so it looked weird.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ode to Eeyore

Oh, Eeyore.

You never really did anything.

But you were pretty.

Sometimes you ate when I put the food at the top of your tank.

You always swam away when I tried to get you into the cup to clean your bowl. But I eventually tracked you down.

Even holding a mirror up to your tank didn't bring out the fight in you.

You never were very active. Even when I first got you. That's why I named you Eeyore. Like the Winnie-the-Pooh character who was always so melancholy.

But you were pretty.

And now you are gone.


Since my sister's blog contains a memoir of Eeyore, I figured it was only appropriate to honour his memory on my own blog.

2004 - 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006


There is a pivotal moment in the Phantom of the Opera in which Christine must make a decision. Does she face her fears and go see the Phantom, now that she has seen him for what he really is, or does she run from the performance, the opera and the Phantom?

In their discussions about the situation, Raoul makes a very valid point... if Christine does not face her fears, she will live with them for the rest of her life, always wondering when and if the Phantom will show up.

That lead me to think... Fear is very paradoxical in a way. If we never face our fears, we live with them forever. But there is also great fear in facing them.

So how do we balance the fears in our lives? Which do we face, and which do we live with? I guess that is a question for each of us to answer individually.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fall and New Beginnings


My favourite time of the year. How can I count the reasons why I love fall so? The leaves change colours. The weather starts to cool off... but comfortably. Fall clothes are awesome. You can go outside in a hoodie. Last year, we had a CD in the van with the song "Beautiful Day" by U2 on it. Somehow, every morning, we managed to be listening to that song as we pulled onto the university campus. And it was SO fitting... there were days when leaves just swirled around as they fell to the ground on the tree-lined streets.

Fall isn't supposed to be nice. In my conversations with others, all I've heard is that fall is just a prelude to the cold and winter and all that brings. Fall is a time of ending, and death really, if you think about it.

But... here's my argument. God redeemed fall by making it incredibly beautiful. So, maybe there is something in endings and death that we need to learn.

Endings are beautiful. The ending of one thing is, without exception, the beginning of another. And beginnings are always great... starting a new job, career, relationship, habit... Beginnings don't worry so much about the past. They are fresh and full of hope.

But in order to experience beginnings, we need endings. Imagine if we could skip fall and winter. What would happen come springtime, when the old leaves covered the trees? It just wouldn't be the same. A tree needs to lose it's leaves in order to make way for fresh, new ones.

And now, ironically, with the yellow leaves comes another set of ending and beginning for me. The end of my summer job, and my time of employment with the church. The beginning of the last year of my undergraduate degree. A new year with a fresh canvas...

Maybe this will be the year I learn to study properly...

Monday, August 14, 2006


"Religion to me is almost like when God leaves - and people devise a set of rules to fill the space."
- Bono (as quoted in "Walk On" p. 18)

Oh Christian sub-culture. I recently read a book entitled "The Christian Culture Survival Guide." It was quite humorous. However, it was also quite shameful. The sad part of the whole book was that 1) I got all the jokes and 2) they didn't always paint Christians in a positive light.

As someone who can easily be grouped in with the Christian sub-culture, I have long stated, along with many others, that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship. I would argue vehemently with others that I am not religious.

Unfortunately, I must now say that I am guilty as charged. There is a definite relationship there, and the whole thing that God and I have going on goes way beyond a set of norms and rules. But... on top of that raw grace relationship, I have piled norms and rules. I have judged others based on how they fit the cookie-cutter mold that I always thought was Christianity. There are things that I have done or not done based on what Christianity, and not necessarily the Bible, says is appropriate.

I am not a Christian. I am a human, first and foremost, just like every other human. I have hope because of this profound thing called grace, which is available to every other human. The implications of accepting this grace has had vast consequences in my life (which I can blog about at another time). But, as the very essence of my being, I am simply a human, like everyone else.

One pet peeve that I have long had with "Christian" music is that it just doesn't seem real. Music should capture the struggle between reality and faith, and I often find that Christian music focusses way too much on the faith. There is nothing wrong with this... just for the record. But, if you read any of the Psalms, David balanced his real struggles with faith that God would take him out of them.

Many people have accused bands like Switchfoot and U2 of "selling out." I think it's the opposite... Switchfoot and U2 capture real life in their art. It is a balance of being human and experiencing grace. We can relate better to it because it's real.

These thoughts may seem random, but I'll sum them up here... Speaking to those who identify with the Christian sub-culture: Let's be relevant. We are not special or different; we are human. The only difference between us and those who don't identify with our sub-culture is a grace which is available to all. Speaking to those who don't identify with the sub-culture: Don't let something that smells an awful lot like religion prevent you from investigating a grace that could radically alter your life.

And just a final disclaimer... it may seem like I'm down on the church, but I'm not. I'm just in the process of investigating where the value and the damage lie in organized Christianity.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Bono is one of my new heroes

Yesterday, at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, I had the privilege of hearing Bono (lead singer of U2) speak. First of all, I loved hearing him speak because it seems that many songwriters have such a poetic eloquence that carries over into everything they write and say. (Jon Foreman of Switchfoot has that same talent.)

More importantly, Bono captured a lot of things that were on my heart and put words to them. I am so thankful that someone with such influence and eloquence cares so passionately for social justice.

So, I'm going to put a few quotes from what he says and elaborate on them. If you know of anyone who attending the Leadership Summit, I would highly recommend borrowing a copy of the DVD of Bono's interview from them. (Yes, interview... It's quite remarkable what happens when Bill Hybels and Bono get together.)

"'Love thy neighbour' is not advice; it's a command."

The question becomes "who is my neighbour?" Remember in Luke 10 when an expert of the law asked Jesus that very question? I think we can easily surmise that our neighbour becomes anyone, whether they live next door or across the world.

Walking around the Legislature grounds the other day, I read a sobering quote regarding the Holocaust. "Neutrality always helps the oppressor, never the tormented." (I apologize because I can't remember who said it!)

Today we live in a world with a Holocaust of Hunger. If we don't care, if we don't do anything, we are contributing to the problem. There are only two sides: fight "stupid poverty" (that which "sees a child die of hunger in an age of plenty," that which is completely preventable) or encourage it. By doing nothing, we are part of the problem. If I do nothing to fight poverty, I am guilty for the deaths of AIDS-afflicted orphans and hungry widows.

So what can we do? Well, my apologies to all the skeptics, but I'm going to reference Bill Hybels. First of all, we need to be educated about the problems out there. Then we need to do SOMETHING to alleviate human suffering.

Here are some links to help you with the first step: - A campaign started by Bono to eliminate third-world debt and other poverty issues - A campaign targetting child soldiers and poverty in northern Uganda - An e-zine with a section about social justice - A campaign targeting debt, AIDS and trade for Africa

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Thousand Words

Sunsets and Other Such Delights

Lately, I've had several opportunities to enjoy the sun setting. What is it about sunsets that is so exquisite? I feel like it has to be more than the brilliant display of colour.

Last week, we were driving through Saskatchewan and after watching the sun set in my rear view mirror, I pulled over to the side of the road so I could just take it in (and capture it on virtual film). The sun was actually hidden behind a large cloud and beams of light shot out from behind the cloud while the whole sky (and you can see the whole sky in Saskatchewan!) filled with rich crimson and violet hues.

Last night I had another opportunity to take in the sunset. It was raining, but the sun still appeared in the West, complete with exquisite colour.

So why are they so amazing? There's something more than the colour, because flowers are pretty colours, too, but I don't pull up a chair and sit to watch them for a long time.

Perhaps it is that I appreciate so much that God chose to make something that is so routine breathtaking. Every single day the sun sets... Yet many evenings it becomes this incredible show.

Another thing about sunsets is that they are a prairie treat. The mountains and their splendour are 4 hours away. The ocean is at least 12. Many other places have great scenery, but nothing hosts a sunset like the flat horizon of the Prairies.

Symbolically, sunsets are a reminder that today and it's troubles are done. A new day is coming. For good days, sunsets serve as a brilliant finale. Either way, they hold hope for the new day that is coming.

Well... this has probably been an over-analysis, but what can I say? I'm a girl... we specialize in that. :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Moment to Breathe


Do you remember when you were a kid and you used to get bored? It seems now that boredom would almost be a luxury. In the time between getting home and leaving to go back and do some more work this afternoon, I almost find myself bored. But then I think of all the other things that I miss doing and I realize that there is no such thing as boredom anymore. There are so many other small luxuries to fill my time.

For a few minutes I sat and played the piano. I can't even remember the last time I got to sit down and really just play. There's something therapeutic about sitting at the piano bench and letting the music flow from your fingers. It's like thinking without words. Processing thoughts and feelings without really encountering them. I love instrumental worship. One of my favorite things to do is sit at the piano in an empty sanctuary at church and just improvise. Playing around with different melodies and chord progressions and letting all the feelings pour from me without saying them. Using my fingers to say "God, I love you, and this is how I'm expressing it right now."

You know... it's ironic that hear I am using words to express the indulgence of thinking and feeling without words. I don't have to be anywhere for half an hour, and I think there's a piano upstairs calling my name.

Monday, July 17, 2006


It's been a while since I've blogged, but it's because life has just been crazy. That and the thoughts in my mind somehow don't seem blog-worthy.

In less than a week, the first day camp starts, and I'm excited to see it all come together. Of course, I'm also really nervous to see how it's going to turn out. I am afraid that sometimes what I tell myself is a goal of excellence is actually perfection. Right now, we're not hurting super badly for staff... Which should really be a huge relief. BUT, the reason we aren't hurting is because registrations are down. Somehow I feel like it would be better to be stressed about finding staff, but here I am, instead stressed about getting registrations in.

My co-worker assures me that I don't really need to stress about this, since there is nothing we can do about it anyway. And yet, I wonder what I could possibly have done wrong that registrations are down so low.

Blame is an interesting thing. It seems we often blame others for our own mistakes, but we blame ourselves for things we have no control over. I know I struggle with that. It probably comes from a desire to please others. I can't explain it exactly, but it makes sense in my mind.

Anyway... this week is way less stressful than this week at this time last year was.

:) I apologize that this blog is not more interesting.

Of course, that assumes that every once in a while, there is an interesting blog.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


That's how I'm feeling today. Not thoughtless as in failing to think about the needs of others, but thoughtless in the sense of having no thoughts.

Plus my arms and hands are tired from a foray into helping build the deck behind our house. I am just not mechanically inclined.

Well, maybe I will have something to write later.

Monday, June 19, 2006


"Only the losers win, they've got nothing to prove.
They'll be the ones with nothing to lose."
- Switchfoot

The purpose of this blog is quite selfish, I will warn you. But I need to figure out exactly why I hate losing so much.

Tonight was a double whammy. The Oilers lost the Stanley Cup in Game 7, then I lost at poker. And it was a stupid loss. I had played in such a calculated manner all game, folding hands that I had an urge to keep and not doing stupid things. Then, with practically nothing in my hand, I went all in.

The worst part about losing in poker is that it means you're done playing.

But I think on a deeper level, the way that I lost frustrated me. I am a very logical person in my head. But more than often, I act on my heart, or a gut feeling. Like tonight... the odds were NOT with me, at all. Even if I had a decent hand, there were much better hands out there... 3 other people were still in. And in my head, I knew he had the straight. But my gut won out, and then I lost.

It scares me that I let my "heart" beat my "head" sometimes... or maybe a lot of the time. In my head, I know all the answers, but my heart just doesn't follow sometimes.

That is where discipline comes in, I suppose. My new definition of discipline is allowing the head to beat the heart.

So, I don't know how I got to discipline from losing, but I think I lost because I wasn't disciplined.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Insights on Love from an Outside Observer

As I walked past the TV on my way to bed, an exchange between George Clooney and Julia Roberts caught my attention.

Clooney, as Danny Ocean: Does he make you laugh?
Roberts, as Tess: He doesn't make me cry.


Some years ago, (and you're going to have to forgive me for not getting all the facts straight, but since I doubt anyone reading my blog is an avid financial history buff, you can just take what I say in it's essence), Merton, Black and Scholes came up with a mathematical formula to completely eliminate risk. In 1993, Merton, Scholes and another guy (Meriweather, Black had died) set up a hedge fund to do this very thing, and the very minimum buy-in (apparently I've been playing too much poker lately because I can't think of the word to buy part of a fund) was something like $100,000.

So, they had this very lucrative fund, and for quite some time, the fund had huge positive returns. Merton, Meriweather and Scholes had eliminated risk in the market.

To make a long (and probably boring) story short, around 2000, this trillion dollar fund was on the verge of collapse. The Federal Reserve had to bail the fund out so it wouldn't cause complete financial collapse the world over.

Why did it fail? In short, it is impossible to completely eliminate risk.


So, what's more important? That we laugh or that we don't cry?

It is impossible to have a risk-free relationship. We can never structure it so that we always laugh and never cry. There is no formula to eliminate heartache. But perhaps that is the risk we take in order to experience love.


Anyway, not sure where that came from, but I found the quote from Ocean's Eleven vastly intriguing.

And, wow, tonight's a double header.

The Church

Tonight I went to church.

That isn't what I'm blogging about. The pastor said many things, and some of them intrigued me.

*Disclaimer: This is in no way a slam against the church I attend or any other particular church, instead it is to refer to the "churched" body of believers in North America.

I'm done with a church that cares more about politics than people. Church and Christianity are NOT synonymous with Conversatives and anti-gay-marriage. While I have nothing against the Conservatives (I actually support them for their fiscal views), I'm tired of feeling like I have to support them in order to be a good Christian. The Church should be non-partisan, and while there is nothing wrong with working to preserve morality in the government, we need to focus on living out a faith that is not contingent on what the law or even popular thinking dictates.

I'm tired of a church that cares more about fancy sound systems than hunger. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with nice sound systems and good music. BUT, where is our focus? Do we invest more of our resources in equipment designed to make our services more "seeker-friendly" than we do in doing what Jesus did - feeding the hungry, healing the sick, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless and providing hope for the broken-hearted? Yes, Jesus was relevant to his culture - but not at the expense of those who really needed him.

I'm tired of a church that cares more about denominations and doctrine than Christ. Yes, truth and doctrine ARE important. But have we lost Jesus in the process of hammering out the pre-destination fiasco and pre-trib vs. post-tribe vs. amillenial vs. post-sydromatic-forganian discourse? (Yes, the last term was actually not a real, but the point is that all of the other words are just terms) It is important to study the Bible and to have a sense of where you stand, BUT, have we lost sight of the character of Christ and His message? The message we were clearly given?

For a while, I figured that at some point in time when I'm talking with God in heaven, I'm going to ask him if he created the world in seven days, or if he used evolution. And, being brought up with a good theological standing, I can say with confidence that I know how God is going to respond. "I created the world, that's all that matters," will be His response. If we could take a quick trip to heaven to chat with God and ask Him about end times theology and whether Christians are going to have to live through the "tribulation," he's going to say, "I'm coming back."

I don't want to minimize all of the study and theology that has gone into these issues, but have we lost sight of what Jesus was really saying? After all, he did tell us that if we wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven, we would have to become like little children. And I've done a lot of work with children, and I can honestly say that I have never once heard them arguing about whether God chooses us or we choose him. They simply pray, "Jesus, please forgive my sins and be my friend."

Anyway, these are just some thoughts. I need to start by living them out.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Nothing to Say these Days...

The inspiration just isn't coming to me these days.

Sunday night I sat down to blog about poker. I was going to pull some profound analogies, but they just weren't happening. In the last week, I have played three games of poker (and before you report me to the pastor, I don't play for money) and lost every time. Usually, I can hold my own at games, but I haven't quite caught on to poker yet. Sunday I had the win in my grasp, but the combination of my oh-so-great poker face and lack of aggression cost me the win. It was a tragic loss, too. I thought I had more chips than the other guy. He pulled me all in. With pocket jacks, I had to do it. He had a 10-9 suited. Then the flop contained a 10 and a 9. He had two pair. Then as I was counting my chips to give him what I owed, it turned out we were exactly even. And it was over. Next time, I suppose. Maybe I'll try to pull out the "I've got pocket Aces" face when I've got a 2-7 off-suit or something.

Tuesday night I sat down to blog about refugees. That evening I had gone to see "Lost Boys of Sudan" at the social justice film festival ( and it would make for some good blog material. But the truth is that I didn't really take what I was supposed to from the movie. All I could think was that we need to work on the problems that are causing these people to be displaced. Why should they have to leave Africa to come live here? More and more I think they've got it more together than we do. Obviously there are problems - food and water and health are important. But they have values that seem to surpass our own. People are so much more important there.

Then tonight I just sat down to write, and this is take two. I think I'll keep it.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Life and Love and Why

Is the title of one of my favourite Switchfoot songs. And since I had nothing on my mind when I started this blog entry, I borrowed it as a title.

Since I talk about Switchfoot a lot, I figured that maybe it would be good to talk about why I like them.

First of all, I like their sound. It's rocky, but melodic, with great guitar riffs. And Jon Foreman's voice just has a great raw quality to it.

But, beyond that, I like their message. Many have accused them of "selling out," but I just don't understand how anyone could read that from their lyrics. Since leaving the exclusively "Christian" industry, they've gained a greater voice and become even more vocal about social justice and the problems of materialism in society. The last time I saw them in concert, they encouraged us to do what we can and use our voices to affect change. They challenge the status quo and call their listeners to "live for so much more."

Anyway, time is up and I must be going. But take a look at their site: or their mySpace: Jon Foreman is one of the most poetic writers I know.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's Time for a New Blog

Unfortunately, I've got nothing to write about.

Then I got distracted and now it's time for bed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

invisible children

Well... After what I saw tonight, I commited to blog at the very least.

To be honest, I don't know where to start. I suppose that somehow in our world of overabundance, we are lulled into this sense that there isn't suffering out there. OR, if there is, that someone's "on it" already, taking care of the problem. I mean, isn't that what the UN Peacekeepers are for?

But it isn't true. There are problems in this world that AREN'T being addressed. And, to be fair, it's because the situations are complex. What can I do about child soldiers in Uganda? I mean really, it's overwhelming. Even more, what could I encourage someone else to do? There is no magical solution. The problems are complex, so the solutions will be as well.

So, I could easily be lulled into apathy. Most of the time I can just suppress the knowledge that there are people suffering. And I think most of us do that, appeasing our consciences with trifle donations to organizations that are doing something.

Is that okay? To quote my favourite band: "We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?"

More, I think, is required of us. Invisible Children ( is raising awareness of the poverty in northern Uganda that results from fear of being abducted and brainwashed into fighting for rebel forces. Children aged 5 - 12 are being forced to kill.

The most significant thing to me tonight was seeing that these are real children. We often dismiss those living in poverty as being somehow adjusted to their situations. But in a raw documentary, I heard them talk about how they listen to Tupac and dream of being doctors and lawyers but can't afford the school fees. Their situations may be different, but they are still people.

So, what to do. I blog because we need to raise awareness. If we keep thinking about it, learning more about it, and talking to others, we may come up with a solution.

What I suggest from here is to become aware. I highly recommend seeing the film "Invisible Children." It does lead to more questions, but it's worth seeing.

This is about more than just child soldiers in Uganda, though. How can we practically care for our fellow human beings who are suffering?

Right now, I have no answers. But let's at least keep thinking about it.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Trust Theory

Tonight I have no deep thoughts. It's just that I was involved in a very long conversation today about blogging and realized that it's been almost two weeks since I posted.

So, I'd better come up with something profound.

I'd like to open up a forum in the comments section on the subject of trusting God. And I don't want to to be a cliche discussion where we throw out verses, such as "well, in Prov. 3:5,6 it says to trust God, and He will direct your paths." Real-life examples only.

The question is: can we really trust God? And I know that my even asking it almost sounds blasphemous, because the "right" answer is "of course." But what about the real life answer... As I write this, I can think of dozens of stories of times when God lead me down paths where I didn't really know what was going on, but He pulled amazing things out of it.

But, the reason for the question, is that I can also think of times when I thought I was following God's direction, and I trusted Him, and I got burned for it. Was I wrong to trust Him? Or are we not at the end of the story yet?

Yes, I know what the "right" answers are, but I need the heart answers. Share your stories here about times when it took a really long time for God to show you what He was doing. Is there a time in your life that something really terrible happened, and you hurt for a long time, but then God redeemed the situation and did something really amazing? Something that never would have happened if the sucky thing hadn't happened?

In my head, I know that it's worth it to trust God, but as I'm heading toward another crossroad in my life, I'm hesitant to wait for His leading, because I feel like I can handle things on my own.

But, would that lead to, what someone called today, a "default existence?"

Can we experience true joy without completely trusting God?

Well, feel free to comment. Or maybe I'm the only one who struggles to trust Him.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bias disguised as objectivity

One thing I can't handle is when people say they are being objective (and maybe actually think they are!) but are actually biassed.

Let's face it... we're ALL biassed, and there is no such thing as an objective view. There is a business decision making theory that handles this quite nicely, and it's called "bounded rationality." The premise is that a person can't know everything, so they go with what they know and make the best decision.

Really, that's how we have to live. Because if we were continually hung up on getting every detail, we'd never move forward. But if we blindly think they we are the wisest of the wise and know everything there is to know... well, that just leads to problems. There are things we CAN'T know.

Even more, there are things we can't know that we don't know. (I can't say it any better, if it doesn't make sense, just read it over again ;) )

All this was prompted by two events. 1) The other day, I actually heard someone say, "I know more than most people." I couldn't believe it. To quote Napoleon Dynamite - "Like anyone could even know that." Anyway, this world is a dangerous place if there are people who think themselves wiser than they are. 2) Reading the Da Vinci Code. It's a good book, great story, and the history part of it was quite interesting. BUT, it took historical facts and mixed them with bias disguised as fact, which lead to lies. Now, this may not sound like a bad thing, since it IS a fictional work and doesn't pretend to be otherwise. But, if I describe something, like a paining, and get every detail about the painting right, then say that the artist who painted it was someone different than it actually was... most people who think the artist was who I said. And I think that's a problem.

Anyway, this has gone on longer than I meant to. I'm feeling cynical these days because I'm tired... As nice as it is not to be in school and doing assignments and stuff, it's tough to adjust to this new schedule.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Poison we readily consume...

We are poisoned.

Evidence of this poison surrounds me. My room is currently in a very messy state. What is it that causes this mess? It is remnants of things I once thought important enough to accumulate which now serve as nothing more than obstacles between my bed, my desk, my closet and my door. Part of it is just part of my laziness in tidying up, but it paints quite the picture. Newspapers, still-unpacked suitcases, books, shopping bags... they all fill the floor. It's just STUFF. Stuff that was once important enough to make it into my room, but now lies discarded.

My gym clothes lie in a heap as well. Yet more evidence of our poisoned lifestyles. Someone once pointed it out that we eat so much that we then have to run in place to work off the fat. It's true. I spend half an hour each day running in place on the cross-trainer, accomplishing nothing more than burning calories and maybe building up some muscle. And I would think it weird if there weren't dozens of other ladies at the gym doing the same thing. Often I have to stand in line to do nothing more than run in place. What is it about our lifestyle that we find it so vital to consume more calories than we will naturally burn, then spend valuable time running in place? And yes, I am definitely more conscious of my caloric intake these days, but the whole running in place really represents years and years of too many calories. And I'm not the only one who struggles. Child seats are no longer big enough for many children. Obesity has reached EPIC proportions. "They" say it is an epidemic.

We gear our lives towards success and financial independence. We chase after our dreams - whether it be owning that first home, driving a nice car, earning the next promotion at work or getting on the dean's list. Our culture has taught us that happiness comes with success. And we hunger for success. I definitely include myself in this we... My skin has broken out more than usual as it is final exam time, and final time is stressful... why? Because I feel such a strong need to achieve, to somehow prove my worth as an academic.

And I'm not saying that these things in and of themselves are bad... But what are we losing in the pursuit? How many a businessman or even a pastor, has left a wife and children to run off with another woman? How many families period have broken up in this pursuit of success? How many diseases have resulted as a consequence to our over-achieving lifestyle? How many kids have suffered self-esteem or other damage in an attempt to live up to these expectations?

It makes me sad that there is not a single famous Hollywood marriage that has stayed together. And movie stars, they've got everything... talent, money, fame... But they can't maintain what is really important.

We "first-world" Westerners are NOT living the good life.

And we spread this poison. This materialism, this drive for sucess at all costs... It reaches to the third world and pours salt into the wound of their genuine poverty.

And I wish I could ignore it. Because I think that success - the way we have come to define it - is within my grasp. But what horror it would be to achieve it, then realize it's empty.

So, I don't know what to suggest. But, here's a start... a link to the blog my friend Ruth set up to promote her social justice film festival.

No more exams, please... (I wish)

So, I've finally finished 3 exams and only have one to go... which means I will be done in no more than 25 hours.

Unfortunately, I also have to study for my accounting exam because rumour has it that there are a lot of theory type questions... So, while I can crunch numbers without taking an accounting course, this final requires me to actually KNOW something.

But, I'm tired of studying and tired of exams and really wish I could just fast-forward my life to a time when I'm not literally in the middle of exams.

Today's exam was ESPECIALLY frustrating because it was multiple choice, but the answers were so ambiguous! I spent my weekend memorizing theories and names of important people, but the exam tested minutiae. Which is dumb, because what kind of manager would you rather have - one who knew that Buzz Hargrove was the president of the Auto Worker's Union during the filming of the video "Final Offer" or one who knew Vroom's Expectancy Theory, and consequently that the important part of motivation was to offer rewards that were valued?

ANYWAY... It's over now and I have to wait and see if I picked enough of the most right answers.

Accounting, you're next.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Problem with Capitalism...

The biggest problem with capitalism is that there are people who get left behind and there is no good way to deal with them.

The government certainly does not have the answers - they may think they do, but millions of dollars of red tape later...

And of course, there is the not-for-profit sector, but often the problems they face are out of their control, and it can be difficult to improve things within the "system" of capitalism.
So, I would like to propose an idea for all of the big corporations out there (yes, all of you who read my blog ;) ). I really think that corporations need to take on more social responsibility. Let's take, for example, Nike. Now, I just want to say that I do not want to start a child labour debate... the issue here is that Nike goes into communities and provides jobs... which should impove the quality of life... But, why can't they go one step further and actually undertake community development work? The cost to them would be so marginal, and it would improve their reputation.

One story that we heard in my ORG A 201 class is about how 3M was working on a drug that was supposed to do something for cows, but they discovered in the process that it could help with a major epidemic amongst humans in Africa. After they found that there was no way to profit from the drug (the people who needed it couldn't afford it and there was no government that would subsidize the cost), they just donated it. And, when they found there was need to distribute the drug, they covered those costs, too.

Why can't more companies do that? The 3M story tells me that is is possible...

So, that's my rant, of sorts. Corporations need to pick up the slack on social responsibility.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Not a Rant...

So, the rant is still coming, but I am currently house-sitting a place with no Internet connection and actually am spending some time studying for exams... (Although, trust me, if I had easier access to the Internet, this would be the sixth post of the week, undoubtedly)

If you get a rant before May 8, be happy.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Corporate North America

Here it is, the long awaited rant...

The truth is that I am hesitant to share my views because they are popular with neither the left- nor the right-wingers, and while I have no problem ticking off the left-wingers, I consider myself to be rather conservative. But here goes...

Capitalism and democracy work because they are the only systems that take into account human nature. Other systems, such as dictatorship and communism, depend very heavily on goodwill and good intentions of both the leaders, and the general public.

I am not naturally an altruistic person. My natural inclination is NOT to put the needs of others ahead of myself. Capitalism says, "that's fine, but here's an incentive to do so." For example, if a baker makes bread to sell, his motivation is to make some more money than it cost him to make the bread. If his bread sucks, people will stop buying it, and then he can't make money. Likewise, if he puts sawdust in the bread, people will find out, and they will stop buying it. So, rather than having a special bread-checker come around each morning, the baker is kept in check by his own greed. And that's how capitalism works... each seller of a good or service produces a quality good because that's the best way to make money.

Any other system won't work because it assumes that people NATURALLY look out for the good of others. And if we, as generally good people, know that is not the natural way for US, how can we trust everyone else to naturally look out for our interests?

Since my blogs sometimes get too long, I will continue this at a later time... But that is my defense of capitalism. [And, on a side note, the reason democracy works, to quote Jon Foreman of Switchfoot... "You see, I believe in democracy because I mistrust all humanity equally, (including myself). Power corrupts us all and we become political, (in the worst connotation of the word). We become simply pawns of our own insatiable hunger for control. Maybe control is a myth, like Santa Claus or the easter bunny: a nice fable that makes the children want to be good all year round. Well, seems to me there's a monster in all of us. I pledge allegiance to a nation without borders, without pride, without politicians like ourselves" - from]

Stay tuned for the problems of capitalism.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Beauty of Disappointment

*Disclaimer: the important stuff starts in the third paragraph after this one. The first two are just background.

There are a million things on my mind that I could blog about, but for some reason, this one made the cut. And I'm not sure why, because I haven't experienced any devastating disappointment lately... but I digress.

Perhaps it is because it is a gloriously dreary day today. Rainy days are supposed to be a negative thing, think "rainy day fund" or "rain cheque"... but I really enjoy them. So, I think that's what has put me in the mood for this topic.

I think that what makes failure so satisfying is that you've hit rock bottom, but you're still okay. Realizing your worst fears, but then discovering that the only thing left is to learn from them and move on. That nothing has really changed.

Just a totally random thought.

Stay tuned for a rant on the evils of Corporate North America and what I intend to do about it...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gilmore Quotes

"If we don’t answer everything accurately, the Harvard police will come and hit you with an Atlas and say something mean in Latin."
- Lorelai to Rory on the day the Harvard application came (when Rory didn't want to use "Droopy Drawers" as a nickname)

"Do they let kids drink coffee before school?" - Luke
"Why, do you think it might lead to harder stuff... lattes, cappucinos?" - Rory's response

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Oh the church...


Somehow I feel moderately wound up, and I want to unwind, but I don't really know what exactly it is that is bothering me.

We really enjoy judging each other. Whether it's out and out judging ("how could you have a baby out of wedlock?" hehehe, side note: "wedlock... now that's a word you don't hear very often these days" - Lorelai Gilmore in response to a distant relative) or the subtle judgment of others' motives and intentions, we just enjoy judging. And let's be honest... we ALL do it.

And no one person has the answers. If someone did, we wouldn't have the problems.

This is all quite cryptic, I'm sure. But I get so frustrated with myself sometimes. I'll get into discussions and I must win. I must get my point across. And it would be easier to concede if every other person didn't also have the same agenda. And if I didn't feel they were judging me for their misinterpretation of my opinion.

So, the point is... let's just stop judging other people. And let's stop judging those whom we think judge. And let's stop judging the opinions of others. And... let's stop judging those who we think don't understand our opinions.

You first...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More on Poverty

Once again yesterday I was reminded that the "solutions" to poverty are much more complex than the uninformed person (i.e. me) can comprehend.

In ECON 101 (Intro to Microeconomics), we learn the pitfalls of minimum wage. Basically, if the minimum wage is set at a "binding" level (i.e. above the "market" level), then unemployment results because more people are willing to work at that wage than employers are willing to employ.

And, while I will still argue that minimum wage is irrelevant in Alberta (but don't pick a bone on that one with me, because it would be a mute point) since you can earn significantly over minimum wage even working at McDonalds (and let's be serious, would Mickey D's ever not hire someone?), there are still people working at levels that they can't afford to live on.

For example, I heard that if "affordable housing" is defined as that which costs about 30% of one's income, then one would have to work at $12/hour, 40 hours/week in order to be able to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Edmonton.

So what do you do? I would strongly advocate AGAINST at $12/hour minimum wage, because there are many people working part-time (i.e. high school students, spouses) or who are not the sole wage-earners in their families. But, what do you do about the people who don't work in jobs that pay $12 an hour? That's where affordable housing initiatives come in... but are those a good long-term solution?

Furthermore, I was a strong supporter of the $400 prosperity rebate issued to me by the government. It paid for my Reading Week vacation. But, for about half of what it cost to issue those cheques, the government could have set up a fund that supported the school lunch programs across the province in perpetuity. (Perpetuity, for all those of you who don't have to suffer through Finance 301, means that the interest each year would support the program, forever.) Well, I would be selfish to take that $400 when it could mean hungry kids would get lunch... forever.

BUT... I'm sure there are many, many charities around the province who could think of something to do with a fund in perpetuity. Not to mention university students who would whole-heartedly support a scholarship fund and health care supporters who would also support a fund.

So, the answers to that aren't easy either.

And, finally... the last thing that has me turned upside-down. I always thought a booming economy was a good thing. And, it probably is for an educated, brilliant soon-to-be university graduate like me. And I always just assumed that since we like booming economies, they are good for everyone.

But, I've been learning that the gap between rich and poor is increasingly widening. Units that were originally being set aside to be turned into affordable housing are being sold off as condos. And... well, to be honest, I don't know why the gap widens. I thought booming economy meant lots of jobs, meaning less unemployment and people having more money. But there are those who fall between the cracks.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts. I used to have all the solutions to the world's problems figured out, but not so much anymore. To quote Switchfoot, "the more we learn, the less we know." It's so true.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Tonight sleep eludes me. And rather than being stressed about it, I made myself a cup of mint tea and sat down to blog.

You'd think that an inability to sleep would be accompanied by some brilliant insights and poetic prose, but the truth is that I've got nothing. I spent some time reading the blog of my friend Sarah ( who's in Thailand right now and it made me feel... peacefully and ponderfully melancholy. (Can you be ponderful?) For some time now, I've felt a burden for those who suffer around the world, and Sarah has been able to see them, talk to them and tell their stories.

The solutions are not simple. Poverty is an illness with deep, deep roots. The causes are complex and diverse. But, more importantly, it is a big part perspective. To thrust North American culture on any people group would be a grave evil, I feel. We look at those who suffer from malnutrition, illiteracy and poverty and say, "you should be like us, we'll help." But they look at us, suffering from materialism, greed and obesity... We don't have it all together either.

But at least we have options. And I think the goal to alleviate poverty should be that... to give people options.

Of course, I talk as someone who has never experienced it firsthand. The closest I come to "the poor" is whiny university students complaining about another tuition increase which is going to be covered by the government anyway.

It's easy to come up with solutions to problems that don't affect you and that you don't understand. But while I feel mostly powerless over here in my comfy chair at my fancy computer, I still feel convicted.

What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Joshua Harris, I blame you!

Since we live in a culture of blame, I've decided to blame my single status on none other than Joshua Harris, who started the entire anti-dating revolution.

Here's my logic:

- When I was younger, I decided not to date. I decided that it would be truly wonderful if the first guy I kissed was the guy I married.

- Although I knew deep down that I couldn't expect that the first guy I dated would be the one I married, it still put a lot of pressure on me in my choices.

- This part is going to be confusing, so bear with me. I only wanted to date someone I could marry. I don't know anyone well enough right now (or at any time in the past) to decide that I could marry them. Therefore, I could date no one.

- However, rather than being conscious of this thinking, I simply sent out "stay away!" vibes.

And now it's too late.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's not even spring yet...

Since it seems I've been having many conversations about love and romance lately, I figure I should just tackle it in my blog rather than shy away from the topic.

I don't know why the topic has been so prevalent. I was at a friend's birthday party on Saturday night and when I returned from the washroom, the topic had turned to "prying into people's personal lives" and I was put on the spot. "Do you have any prospects?" After I answered them (and just for the record - not really), they guy beside me told everyone he was "looking."

The next day, I was out for lunch when the topic came up again.

As I'm getting older (yes, I know I'm not old, but let's face it - we're ALL getting older), it seems that all my friends that AREN'T getting married this summer are turning to more and more desperate measures. I can't even count how many Internet dating sites I've been recommended to over the past few months. I have friends who have tried speed dating. And on Saturday, I was invited to a "singles night."

Now, to be honest, I know approximately three single guys. And none of these guys seem to be showing any particular interest in me. But the idea of going out looking for a guy is still somewhat bothersome to me.

Is romance dead? I've always thought that girls deserve to be pursued. I want someone to meet me, fall in love with me and then pursue me. But as I continually fail to meet guys who could do this very thing, it makes me wonder. Is it still possible?

If I refuse to go out and find a guy myself, am I destined to eternal singleness? And is being single forever too big of a price to pay for my ideals? Are my ideals too much? Is it unrealistic to expect that anyone's ever going to chase me? Am I doing something to deter them? Sometimes I feel like I live in a parallel world where I hear that love exists, but I may never personally experience it.

At this point, I'm not too concerned. Singleness is still an appealing life choice. But it may be less so in ten years, and by then it may be too late. So I think about it now in case I need to change something.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Kids are great!

One of the joys I have in overseeing pre-school Sunday School is that I get to witness some of the cutest moments ever.

Today, as I was walking by the 4-year-old classroom to make sure everything was going okay, they were singing a typical 4-year-old song - Head and Shoulders. Their teachers had just finished leading them in a version of "giant" Head and Shoulders. Then one kid suggested doing it backwards, and they all decided on how it would work and showed their teachers how they wanted to sing it! (For all those who are wondering how it works - when you sing head, you touch your toes, shoulders is knees, knees is shoulders, and toes is your head. I think you can probably take it from there...)

So cute.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

That Finance Assignment Can Wait...

This is ripped from my cousin Wendy's blog (

A- Age of your first kiss: I'll tell you later.
B- Band you are listening to right now: The Turtles - Happy Together, now Switchfoot - Golden
C- Crush: Are they still called crushes at 24? Oh, for the good old days of Jr. High when there were lots of single guys to have crushes on. Of course, they were also Jr. High boys.
D- Drink you drank last: Diet Coke with Lime
E- Easiest person to talk to: Rebecca
F- Favorite ice cream: Cookies 'n Cream
G- Gummy worms or gummy bears: worms
H- Height: 5'7"
I- Instruments: piano, saxophone, varying skill in guitar, bass and drums
J- Jelly Flavor: raspberry
K- Kids: What about them? I have none, may never have any. But I do like them. Especially when you can send them back to their parents when they cry or misbehave.
L- Longest car/bus ride: Hmmm... Either Mexico or Phoenix. Phoenix was a 30.5 hour drive straight down. Mexico was spread over three days. Actually, come to think of it, Montreal would probably have been farther than either of those.
I love road trips.
M- Major issue: What kind of question is that? I guess the biggest thing on my mind is who to vote for in tomorrow's SU election.
N- Nicknames: Julie, Jules, Joolz
O- One wish: I wish I could be on vacation again.
P- Phobia: My current biggest fear is that I will "settle" in a relationship
Q- Quote: "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Eliot
R- reason to smile: God loves me!
S- Shoe size: 9 or 10
T- Time you woke up today: 8:30ish
U- Unknown fact about me: A lot of people don't know that I lived in Texas for a year.
V- Vegetables: What am I supposed to say for this one? I like carrots. Brocolli is only good if it's been steamed. Mushrooms (which, if you didn't realize, are FUNGUS!) are gross.
W- Worst Habit: Putting tasks ahead of people
X- Xmas gift you really want: I really wanted an iPod this last Christmas. When I jokingly told my parents, they had already bought one for me! So, I got it.
Y- Your dream date: Hmmm... I've heard it's bad to describe him, so I guess I will assume this question is asking for an activity or location. I would say mini-golfing in Phoenix followed by fish and chips in Seattle. Yes, I know, virtually impossible, but that's why it's a dream!
Z- Zodiac sign: Leo. Of course, I also put exactly zero stock in my horoscope.

Well, there you have it - the A to Z's of me.

Maybe something insightful will come sometime. For now, I'm just sleepy.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ponderings from Travel

Someone once remarked, "Wherever you are, be all there."

After spending a week traversing two countries and five states, I couldn't agree more. It seems that when I travel, I tend to focus on how I can preserve as much of it as possible, rather than on how I can savour as much as possible.

John Mayer said in a song...

"Didn't have a camera by my side this time,
Hoping I could see the world with both my eyes."

Las Vegas was a prime example... You simply can't capture all that is Las Vegas in a picture, or even 50. It's an experience that you just have to be a part of in the moment.

Even Phoenix... How can you properly remember the smell outside in the morning? There isn't really a way... All you can do it savour it while you are there - not worrying about how long you will be able to enjoy it FOR, but simply being in the present and enjoying it in the moment.

I find that much of life is lived waiting for the magical moments or being in them, but knowing they are short and thus attempting to enjoy them as much as possible.

Why do we not simply live?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Reading Week has officially arrived...

For those of us with no Friday classes, Reading Week has officially arrived. Yesterday, when I passed my finance exam to the aisle, got up and left the room, it was a huge feeling of RELIEF because for a week and a half I can officially avoid studying, working only on the servant leadership presentation due the Tuesday after Reading Week. And stuff for work...

In just three hours I will be on my way to sunny Phoenix, Arizona to bask in the sun and turn my skin lobster-esque colours. During the long drive down, I will probably have a chance to be BORED, which I haven't experienced in a long, long time.

You know what's interesting... We spend our whole lives wanting more responsibility... at least I do. Greater leadership challenges, more control over tasks... But then we get more responsibility and it takes us to a place where suddenly we feel as though many things depend on us. And I'm still trying to figure out if it's real or imagined. Last week I thought I was getting sick, and I told myself "I don't have the option to be sick." But that seems kind of silly... I mean, I do have a few responsibilities, but I don't know that if I were to be sick for a few days that entire world would go off it's orbit or anything. OR, more realistically, that the things I was responsible for would absolutely collapse.

It's more an issue, I think, of wanting to excel in things. And where's the balance between wanting to be involved and get experience and getting ourselves to a place where we suddenly find ourselves in over our heads? And I don't mean to the point where every waking moment is spent doing work... I mean more to the point where we can't give the right amount of passion to something. Where the thoughts of everything we have to do are more overwhelming than the actual tasks of doing them.

This week, for example, I had two midterms, an assignment and a good friend coming in from out of town. On top of that, I had a bunch of stuff to do for work before I left for the week. And, of course, I also had to get a bunch of things ready for the trip. And now that I write it all out, it doesn't seem that bad, but I was stressed coming into this week.

Anyway... I don't really know what to say. The only thing I really know is that now I am done everything and just need to pack for a week in the sun. Stay up to date on our travels at

Monday, February 06, 2006

You know you're busy when...

You have so much schoolwork to do that you take your reading, highlighter and all, to the gym with you and do it while you walk on the treadmill, even though the gym used to be a restful haven for your mind.


I promise there will be some insighful posts in two weeks when I am "busy" relaxing on the patio beside the pool in Phoenix.

Speaking of which, anyone want to come? We still have room!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Poem by Mary and Julie

M: school is cool
M: and the teacher really rule
J: I'm too cool for school
J: I'd rather play in the pool
M: but then you would drool
J: maybe I'll just ride a mule
M: and then you might step in its stool
J: but don't be a fool
M: but i like tools
J: we just missed the season of Yule
J: but, let's not be cruel
J: 'cause I could take you in a duel
M: you don't play by the one important rule
J: well, you'd get scared by a ghoul
J: and I am a jewel
J: tied with thread from a spool

Sunday, January 29, 2006

More on the Day of Rest (I should be working...)

After some more thought, I've come up with a tentative conclusion.

Like all other biblical commands, the day of rest is a principle more than a hard and fast rule. (I do say that carefully, of course.)

Obviously, I do not consider it "sin" to be working today, but it would be a troublesome lifestyle if I were to simply give up striving for times of rest and simply cram more into my lifestyle. I generally plan to have Sunday (afternoons at least) off. As a result, I do the things that need to be done on Saturday, making them a priority for the day's activities.

If I still have stuff to do, I can take a Sunday afternoon to finish them up. I think it allows for me to go into the week with more focus and less worry. And less worry is what the "Sabbath" is all about anyway.

I will continue to strive for Sundays off, because I really do think it is important to have a day OFF - where I take time to ignore the things that usually concern me.

And when I am unable to take a Sabbath during my week, I really do feel the effects - tiredness and irritability.

But what can you do? It is a price, but a small price to pay, for more peace during the rest of the week.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Study Break...


It used to be that it was possible to take off one day a week. Sundays were for relaxing, hanging out with friends... being BORED even.

Not anymore. With three assignments due Tuesday, two significant volunteer positions with responsibilities next week, the Apprentice competition, a marketing case competition and work, I have no choice but to work tomorrow.

Really, I shouldn't be taking the time to write this, but I just needed a break before I beat up Excel for not being able to tell me the answer for my finance problem. It shouldn't be a hard question, but the wording is so convoluted that I just can't tell what the question is asking.

When Moses received the command to obey the Sabbath, he wasn't trying to juggle school, work, volunteering, networking and meaningful social relationships. All he had on the go was leading the Israelites.

Okay, yes, I know that isn't true. But I used to be so good at balancing my time so that I had a day off in the week! What has happened? Perhaps this is just preparation for real life. But, there must be a way...

Well, all I can really say is that I'm going to Phoenix in less than 3 weeks. And I'm sure I'll have some time off then.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sense of Urgency

Tonight I spent some time reading about poverty. Videos, stats, websites...

The current plan is to get some experience and then start an organization that does something... the dream is to see different movements to alleviate poverty around the globe united to work with greater efficiency. I want the overhead for the organization to be covered by several private corporations so any money donated would be given directly to projects. And the plan was always to do this once I figured out what I was doing.

But I'm not sure it can wait. There are people dying NOW.

Perhaps it is time to start putting the business plan together...

Friday, January 20, 2006

All Smiles Today

This morning I went to the class registration website, tried to swap into a different accounting class, and lo and behold... Success!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Great Disconnect

Prior to starting this blog, I wrote an entire entry whining about how crappy I was feeling today. However, in the process, I sorted it all out and rather than making you listen to me whine, you get to rather glean pearls of wisdom from my conclusions.

In my life, there is a great deal of frustration that results from knowing more than I have been able to apply. I don't know if anyone else feels this way. There are books we read, and speakers we hear, and classes we attend that tell us how to live, and we get this picture of how we could be if we really applied all of this to our lives.

But then we look at our lives, and there are so many areas where we fall short of this standard that we have set for ourselves. And I call this "The Great Disconnect."

And in moments where I evaluate my actions and attitudes, I get so FRUSTRATED because I KNOW I was acting stupid, or doing something I knew was wrong. And I can't understand why I do things that I know are dumb.

Hehehe... I guess that's what Paul was talking about in Romans 7... "What I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do."

And as I write this, the Ginny Owens' song "Own Me" comes on my iPod.

"Got a stack of books so I could learn how to live,
Many are left half read covered by the cobwebs on my shelf.
And I've got a list of laws growing longer every day,
If I keep plugging away, maybe one day I'll perfect myself.
Oh, but all of my labour seems to be in vain,
And all of my laws just cause me more pain.
So I fall before You in all of my shame,
Ready and willing to be changed.

Own me, take all that I am.
Heal me with the blood of the lamb.
Mold me by your gracious hand.
Break me til I'm only yours.
Own me."

What a God I follow... that He can even control the random function on my iPod. (So why can't he get me into the right Accounting class?)

Lasting change does not happen all at once. When I get frustrated, I need to submit myself to God's leadership and control and let Him chisel away at the perfect me He is creating. And sometimes it will be painful, other times it will seem too slow, and yet other times it will seem too fast. But I just need to trust Him, because I can be "confident of this, that He who began a good work in [me] will be faithful to carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6... Paul again)

And when I can't figure out where He's leading me, or what my future is supposed to look like, I guess I just need to trust Him with that as well.

Wow... I really am feeling better now. Blogging is my new favourite venting outlet. (Which is too bad, because walking burns more calories.)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Restless Exhaustion

So often we find ourselves completely tired yet drawn to stay up for whatever reason. Tonight it is my thoughts and the deep desire to do SOMETHING that has prompted me to postpone sleep just a few more minutes and write. So although I'm not sure that writing my thoughts counts as something any more than reading, but it's all I can do at this moment.

Right now, as I sit surrounded in exorbitant luxury by at least 80% of the world's standards, someone who has never known life without hunger has just been orphaned.

And I don't know what to do about it.

That's all I've got for now. But if you are interested in actually reading about the whole topic of poverty, check out any of the following:

Friday, January 13, 2006

Been tagged!

My sister, Rachel, ( tagged me, so now I'm supposed to answer these questions. Wendy, here are the instructions: Copy and paste the following, delete my answers, and put in your own.

2 names you go by:
1. Julie
2. Jules

2 parts of your heritage:
1. Mennonite
2. Icelandic

2 things that scare you:
1. the thought of not living up to my potential
2. crowds!

2 of your everyday essentials:
1. my workout (um, yeah, new semester's resolution...)
2. a shower!

2 things you are wearing right now:
1. my "i like switchfoot" t-shirt (still in my gym clothes)
2. my blue fuzzy slippers

2 things you want in a relationship (other than real love):
1. to be challenged
2. good conversation

2 truths:
1. Jesus loves me, this I know.
2. Attitude is everything.

2 physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex):
At the risk of not knowing who reads this (thanks for the tip, Rach!), I'm going to have to say...
1. guys who dress well totally impress me... tapered jeans turn me off like nothing else (hey, it's a shallow question)
2. eyes (if they have them, that's good... j/k... I like when a guy's eyes portray depth, and when they maintain steady contact with mine during a conversation)

2 of your favorite hobbies:
1. writing
2. playing games

2 things you want really badly:
1. to not lose the momentum I've got going right now
2. to always be content (like I am right now)

2 places you want to go on vacation:
*note: vacation, not travel... they are different
1. Phoenix (a month and 5 days, baby)
2. Hawaii

2 things you want to do before you die:
1. sky dive
2. change the world and leave a legacy

2 ways that you are stereotypically a chick:
1. chick flicks... they totally rock
2. I like pink

2 things you are thinking about now:
(okay... why is it that we can't ever think about what's on our mind when we are asked?)
1. the fact that we are leaving to go for supper in 5 minutes and I'm still in my sweaty gym clothes and wish I hadn't started on this now
2. life is just good today, even though I'm completely exhausted

2 stores you shop at:
1. Old Navy
2. Indigo

Sleepless in Edmonton

And now here I am... wide awake. It is 12:48 a.m. and in precisely 6 hours and 12 minutes my alarm will go off, beckoning me to join the day.

Somehow I always connected being tired during the day with being able to sleep at night, thus breaking the cycle of tiredness. Reality in the past month, however, has proven otherwise. And here I am. Wide awake and completely exhausted at the same time, but helpless to do anything about either.

The accounting battle is half won. I am now in a class with the prof I want, but in the wrong time slot. It wouldn't be a big deal, really, because it will be the same exams, so I can attend the other lecture. There is, however, the bane-of-my-existence group project to worry about. We need to select our own groups of two or three. Right now, the friends in my other class have a group of two, and if someone would just drop out so there was a spot, I would be the third. Life would be perfect. (um, yeah... I mean the group project scenario would be perfect.) At this point in time, I'm going to see if I can just go with them because we have the same prof. If I can't, it will be like an assigned group, only worse... if things go badly, I will have brought them on myself.

On Friends and Small Talk and that First Awkward Hello

This is all quite bizarre. Four months ago, I didn't know a soul in the Business faculty. I made small talk with the person who had the great fortune of sitting beside me in each class and from there, many great friendships were born. Then the assigned groups started and I got to know many, many people. And they were all great, and it was such a great opportunity.

But then this semester started. And suddenly I feel shy and awkward around those I don't know and it's strange to me because I was in the same boat, only worse, four months ago.

How can we get exclusive and closed-off when we are in a place that is safe? Today my friend Debra and I were sitting in ORG A 201, and the prof handed out playing cards to split the class into groups. Rather than venturing out on our own, Debra and I both grabbed the same number so we could stick together.

And how is it that although in the past, fewer encounters with others have been awkward than have ended in friendship (and acquaintance-ship), I still cling to the familiar? Take Debra for example. Four months ago, I plunked myself down beside her in our first BUS 201 class, introduced myself and began asking all the standard questions that I ask when attempting to make small talk. I expressed sheer delight when I discovered she was in the same cohort as I, and from there, we sat together all the time and soon started hanging out. In less than two months, we are going on a road trip to Phoenix together for Reading Week. (Plug: if you are interested in coming, we may still have spots...

In our first conversation, I can't say I felt an immediate connection, but we just worked at being friends, and now here we are. Friends.

And there are dozens more in the range from acquaintance to friend that I have met from simply taking the time to say hi.

But now, at the beginning of this semester, it feels all awkward and new again. I always forget that this is the first stage of what eventually becomes a meaningful friendship or a future business contact.

Which leads me to realize yet another area where what I believe fails to intersect with how I act. What a crazy mixed-up life I live.

On Blogging

Blogging is quite strange and bizarre to me. Here's the thing: I sit down and write out these brilliant (we'll pretend), insightful and incredibly introspective blog postings. In my mind, there is a great anonymous public simply waiting for my pearls of wisdom, keen wit and intelligent wordplay (to use three cliches in one sentence).

But the truth is, I think only one person reads my blogs - my sister Rachel. (Hi Rachel! Here's a plug for her blog:

Of course, the fact that I just posted a link to her blog would suggest that I actually really think there is an anonymous public reading this blog. And the occasional comment from some random person miles away would suggest that there are people who stumble by my cyberspace abode from time to time. (Oh, and random people, I like you, so keep leaving me comments and links to your blogs. I do check them out when I can't sleep, am bored or in the midst of procrastinating.)

In addition, my blog address is posted both as my MSN "personal message" and in my email signature, so virtually everyone I know could potentially access it. But, I write as though they don't. Even though my friend Robyn emailed me a comment about the happiness post. (Hi Robyn!)

Blogging is strange and bizarre. It is completely selfish and I post this stuff to cyberspace thinking that someone out there might actually be interested in reading it. And not only do I post intensely "personal" stuff, I don't even keep it short! So, even if someone did want to read about my great life and learn great nuggets of truth from my fingertips, I can't imagine that they would make it the entire way through.

So I think I write to no one. It is a controlled exercise in processing the things on my mind in a controlled fashion. Kind of like a journal, but public. Which makes it completely unlike a journal. Because if I were to write about the deeper things on my mind right now... well, I wouldn't. That would just make me way more vulnerable than I care to be. Especially not knowing who really does read this.

The conclusion, so far, is thus: blogging is like journal writing, but not as effective because I can't be as thorough as necessary.

Yet it is entirely therapeutic and satisfying for me. I think we all like to imagine that we do have an adoring anonymous public hanging on to our every word. And since this imaginary mass in anonymous, we will never be proven otherwise.

The other therapeutic thing about it is that this blogging allows us to take the things we are thinking about and apply them to a much broader scale. If I were to simply write about being frustrated about not getting into the class I want in my journal, I would focus on that - brainstorming ways I could convince the faculty to let me in the class, etc. But because I'm writing with an audience other than me in mind, I have the ability to take my situation and apply it to something much more broad and ultimately get to the root of the issue.

So that's that. That's my take on blogging. I really enjoy it.

Now, if you do find yourself reading at this point, do post a comment.

Or not. I still like the illusion of an adoring, anonymous public.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

*another sigh*

It is 10:30 p.m. and I don't know where my day went. How did life get so busy so quickly? I could retrace my steps and lay out every detail of the day, so I know that I didn't simply lose time, but I'm starting to think that living a "balanced" life takes more time than an unbalanced one.

And it was a good day, filled with good things.

But I picked up a copy of the National Post yesterday to read the "Working" section and have still only gotten through one article.

Now here I am, 10:40 at night, completely exhausted from the day and the lack of sleep which seems to be my curse this week. Frustrated because I can't get into the accounting class I want. Feeling uncertain simply because I feel so certain.

Okay, the last point needs some clarification. As you can read if you scroll down just a few posts, for the first time in my life, I feel like I know which direction I'm going. I'm in Business (check!), and will be studying that in September. (September has been the big unknown in my life for many years and now it is known, certain.) I've resigned myself to the fact that life can be blissfully wonderful as a successful single woman and for the first time in ages, forever really, I'm not expecting that this is the year in which my "tragic" love life is going to make a dramatic shift. My Valentine's journal entry will NOT read "maybe next year 'he' will be around." I also have a summer job! And while last year I had received several offers at this time, I was still tormented about which to choose. This year, I've made the decision, and I'm quite happy about it.

On top of that, the first four days of this semester have so far shown a dramatic improvement in discipline on my part, and I don't want to lose that.

And so I'm scared because everything is going so well, it's sinister. My biggest fear is that I'm going to change my mind once again and drop out of school and it will take even longer to finish my degree.

Which all leads me to a point of complete bafflement. I really do not feel at this time that I am walking in a path that is the wrong direction, so it's not like I feel convicted about anything. But right now I am more scared to trust God than I ever was when I didn't have things figured out and lined up. I like where I am. I know the direction I am going. I know the steps I need to take in the next few years. I'm content and I'm in control, yet it is at this time that I am petrified that God is going to change things, even though I KNOW that He only wants the best for me.

Even to the point of almost telling someone to take it back when they pray for God's direction in my life.

Maybe all of this has something to do with why I can't fall asleep at night...

It is now 11 p.m. and I need to wake up again in 8 hours. Start the busyness once again... How is it like this only four days into the semester?