Friday, December 12, 2008


You know, I often wonder what it is about the season of Advent, a season of anticipation, that we feel needs to be so full. I feel so busy this time of year, and while I love going to Christmas parties and hanging out with my friends, a part of me wonders if we neglect Jesus in the midst of our celebrations...because they aren't really about him; he's just the excuse for them. Maybe that's too strong a statement, or maybe it's just me. But I will say that I am looking forward to going back to Ontario for 10 days this month. I don't have a lot of plans there. Spend some time with my family. Catch up with a few friends. Maybe go skating/tobogganing a couple of times. Rest my body, my mind, and my soul.

In the meantime, I am having dinner with some friends tonight (the first time we get to experience Brian's cooking. If it's anything like his baking, it will be exceptional). I always enjoy these times with these friends; we laugh a lot and play games and it's a very relaxing time (maybe except for when I'm the one playing Wii). Then on Saturday I have 3 things I'm supposed to go to...but I'm going to narrow it down to one, or possibly two parties if I'm feeling really ambitious. On Monday a few of us are going to celebrate with Dustin that his exam is finally done! He is probably one of the most dedicated, hardworking people I know. So he deserves to enjoy himself for a bit once the stress of his exam is gone.

The only night I have "free" between now and when I leave is Wednesday, but it's not really free because I'm probably going to be spending it cleaning the house and packing. But then I'll have a few days at Meil's to relax. Maybe even go cross-country skiing. I think this time back in Ontario will be so good for me...I need time and space to be refreshed, and having so few friends still there can help me to accomplish....doing nothing!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

.Handel's Messiah.

Last night I got to experience a little slice of heaven.

I love Handel's Messiah.
Not only is it a beautiful piece of music, but it also expresses our longing for, waiting for, expectation of, and fulfillment of Christ. It shows the whole story of the anticipation of his coming, his arrival and life, his death and resurrection, and the anticipation of his return. It is a glorious work, and I believe it was divinely inspired. (It was written in 3.5 weeks; I'm not sure there could be another explanation)

My soul was in need of refreshment. I've been attacked lately, and I am weary. (When I say attacked, I do mean literally.)

Today it has snowed (and continues to snow) and as much as I don't like snow due to the cold and slipperiness, I appreciate the way the world looks when it is covered in a blanket of white. It is strikingly beautiful, and always reminds me of God's grace. I love that he will wash us white, whiter than snow. Days like these remind me to be thankful because the picture of grace is so clear.
I always end up taking that metaphor too far, and as we trample on the snow and it turns to slush and becomes brown and dirty, I think of how often we take God's grace for granted or forget to continually ask for his forgiveness in our lives. One blanket of snow won't cover everything...Good thing God's grace doesn't end.

Monday, December 01, 2008


I've been sick for the past week or so, which is really not fun at all.  I'm still feeling really tired because of it, even though I've been trying to get extra sleep.  I just feel drained.
But, in the midst of feeling less than my best, I've still been able to do some cool things.
I got to go see James Blunt in concert which was...amazing.  We had really good seats, just 5 rows up, and at one point he ran to our end and started playing on a piano that was right in front of us.  I may or may not have screamed like a 12 year old girl.  Probably didn't help the sore throat at all.
Then I went on the Awaken retreat.  I still haven't decided whether or not it was a good decision...but I'm going to say I'm glad I went because it's always nice to get away for a few days and enjoy creation...even if it's from a window curled up by a fire with a kleenex box.
I also went to a lecture by Tony Campolo which was good.  I appreciate his perspective because I am also a fan of social justice (I am a fan of Jesus, so it should go without saying that I'm a fan of social justice) but I am struck by the fact that somehow there seems to be a lot of opposition to a lot of things Tony had to say among the Christian community, possibly more in the States than in Canada or Europe.  I'm not saying that everything he has to say is perfect or I agree with it all, but I think he's on a good track and has a good direction at least, and it saddens me when people don't understand that vision.  But I am also personally challenged to love others practically in more explicit ways, and live my life more simply because I also still have a lot to learn and do and become.

Tanya just moved up to Edmonton, so a few of us went out with her on Saturday night to have a farewell dinner with her.  It's sad that she's gone, but I'm glad we got to hang out one last time!  

I've been really busy with a lot of teaching lately...which is probably how I got sick in the first place.  I'm still not 100% but I am feeling a lot better which is good because the next few weeks are full of classes.  I also had to work this past Saturday, so I didn't really get a weekend...but at least now I have more banked hours to take time off later!