Monday, December 31, 2012


2012 has been a big year for my family. My sister and her husband had a baby, I bought a house, my brother got married. Significant events and milestones.

Yet what I find myself remembering most is God's faithfulness. Yes, in those big moments where he was obviously at work. But also in small victories, in daily assurances, in answering prayers beyond my expectations.

Perhaps our lives don't look exactly as we'd hoped they'd be, but God is good and wants good things for his children. I am so grateful for my life, for the place in which God has put me, for the influence he bestows upon me, for the ways in which he chooses to use me, despite my weaknesses, for my many friends, for my family. God has blessed me so much.

And I'm excited about where God will take me next, how he will use me, who he'll be shaping me to be.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I hate when the system fails. Someone is hurting, you go through every channel possible to help them, and every door closes. It's wrong. It makes me angry. And I feel useless.

I'm so thankful that God is still at work. And I can do something: pray.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

.a thought.

I love how God knows what you need, and then uses creativity in giving it to you.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


 September flew by, as it is apt to do.

School began, we had gr. 9 orientation, and gr. 10 and 11 retreats.

In the midst of retreat planning chaos, I hosted a concert at my house, which was lovely.

It was a good month, full of great connections and conversations.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Well, this summer has FLOWN by and now it's back to work. I'm feeling rested and ready for it, which is a great place to be.
I'm now living alone again, so I thought I'd share a few thoughts on solitude from Henri Nouwen.

"When we enter into solitude to be with God alone, we quickly discover how dependent we are. Without the many distractions of our daily lives, we feel anxious and tense. When nobody speaks to us, calls on us, or needs our help, we start feeling like nobodies. Then we begin wondering whether we are useful, valuable, and significant. Our tendency is to leave this fearful solitude quickly and get busy again to reassure ourselves that we are 'somebodies.' But that is a temptation, because what makes us somebodies is not other people's responses to us but God's eternal love for us.
To claim the truth of ourselves we have to cling to our God in solitude as to the One who makes us who we are."

That quote also reminds me of some David Benner I've been reading lately, from his book "Surrender to Love" (which needs to be followed by re-reading "The Gift of Being Yourself"). Taking time to meditate in silence can be difficult...there are always so many distractions (many of which are worthwhile) but it's a good discipline. I deeply desire to know God more experientially, l rather than just theologically or intellectually.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Tomorrow, my little brother is getting married. I'm really thrilled for him and Laura --it's about time! They are such a good fit for each other. I'm looking forward to celebrating their wedding and officially welcoming Laura into a family that has been hers for years already.

I'm not looking forward to the endless "when is it going to be your turn?" questions. I already fielded off two different people yesterday.

This is a pet peeve of mine. Why is the only area of my life that people are interested in the one that doesn't exist? And even if it did exist, does that discount all the other aspects of my life? I am living a full life! I have many blessings of which I can speak. (And if people really want to know, some challenges too.) And really, if I was about to get married and I wanted you to know, I would tell you. You would have no need to ask.
Well, gotta get my gracious face on.

(incidentally, tomorrow I turn 28.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012


It is such a blessing to have my own place. With the exception of the weekend I moved in, I've been able to host at least one person every weekend I've had this house. I love that! I'm not sure that I'm always the best hostess (the last 2 weekends people have had to let themselves in and fend for themselves for a bit until I got home), but I hope that people feel at home here and make themselves comfortable.
I love having an "open door policy" where people can stop by. One morning last weekend I came downstairs to see Jess in my kitchen, leaving me a note because she didn't think I was in.

So, I am thankful for this place. I continue to pray, as I did before I even found it, that it will be used of God to build community and be a place where people feel loved and accepted.

This weekend my whole family was over to celebrate my dad's birthday and father's day, and I realized I need more chairs. Good thing I have a piano bench! How cool to have them all filled!

I'm also thankful that Rach is living with me, even if it's only temporary. I've missed having a roommate, and although we don't see each other super often, it is nice to share this space with someone. I also appreciate our conversations together, and cooking together, and worshipping together

Today after church and after lunch I decided to do a bit of gardening and that it could not wait. My housewarming/open house is next weekend, and it would be good if the backyard looked less haggard. So, before I allowed myself a Sunday afternoon nap, and before the threatening rain came through on its promises, I did a bit of work on the garden with the sweet musical stylings of the Vespers tickling my ears. Rach started laughing at me, and I had to chuckle too, at what a strange sight I must have been.

There are so many things for which I am thankful.
A little while ago in a staff meeting, John mentioned something about not using the words "thank you" in prayer. It has enriched my prayer life to instead use words like, "God, you are so awesome in the ways that you..."
It reminds me that although I am thankful, it is because of who God is. It is good to be reminded of his character, and take those moments of thankfulness as opportunities to know God more. It's pretty incredible how God can take an off-hand remark and use it to help me know and appreciate him in new ways. I am so incredibly blessed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Well, it's almost the end of May and I haven't had a spare second to catch up my blog. What a crazy month this has been!
God is so good. I have been in awe of his work in the lives of my students, and so honoured to be a part of it.
I'm moved into my new place and getting settled and Rachel just moved in this week. I'm excited to have a roommate again, even if it's only short-term. Who knows? Maybe she'll buy the place next door...

Sunday, April 22, 2012


It's a little ironic, but today I finally feel at home in St. Catharines. And the reason why, is because I finally know a homeless person's name.
I met Brian this afternoon because he was asking for some food, so we walked across the street to The Fine Grind where I bought him a grilled cheese sandwich. I'm not sure what else to do for him...I'm not very familiar with the shelters in the area. He said the Salvation Army is full and he's not allowed back to Southridge for another week. But it's supposed to be cold for the next few days --maybe even some snow. I hope that he's ok.

Monday, April 09, 2012

.letters from the ledge.

At the beginning of this year, I read a book called "Letters from the Ledge" by Lynda Meyers. For me, it was a long time coming, because I'd read a rough draft of the first few chapters back in 2006 or 2007 and I was immediately hooked. But it was definitely worth the wait.

In short order, I came to know the characters as my friends, to experience their lives alongside them. The story is compelling because it doesn't gloss over pain, pretending that everything is ok when it's not, nor does it dive into darkness that is overwhelmingly depressing. The pain is present, but so is the hope and healing.

Here's a brief glimpse at the story:
High above Manhattan, Brendan walks the ledge.
Night after night he stands with his arms outstretched, ready to fly away. 

Sarah can see him from her window.
Paige can see them both from her fire escape.
None of them know they’re being watched each night by the others.
But everyone has a story to tell.

Still reeling from the suicide of his best friend Tess, seventeen-year old Brendan struggles to overcome addiction and identity issues. Walking the ledge outside his Manhattan apartment has become its own sort of drug, as he stands night after night with his arms outstretched, ready to fly away. Sarah can see him from her window, and begins journaling about a boy on a ledge. Paige and Nate, a young couple in another building, can see both teens from their fire escape. None of them know the others are watching, but a strong desire for freedom resides in each of them, and as their lives begin to intertwine, that desire will be tested. Anyone can jump, but not everyone can fly...

Sharp, humorous, and deeply layered, this chronicle of a suicidal teen’s survival explores the reality of addiction and other tough issues, but does so easily, through the use of multiple perspectives, intelligent dialogue and authentic characters. Equal parts romance, contemporary drama, and coming of age, this highly engaging and intensely beautiful novel challenges our cultural perceptions in the battle for balance.

Here's a small taste of the prologue:
"When I was a kid I used to dream about being a pilot. I had a bunch of model airplanes and I would fly them off our balcony, then ride the elevator down and try to find them. Of course they were never there, so I figured once they left the balcony they must have become real airplanes–Pinocchio style. I know better now, but there’s a part of me that still wants to believe in miracles. When you make the leap, can you really become what everyone else says you can’t?" - Brendan

This book brought up, for me, the theme of hope. Sometimes it's easier to hope than others. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming and it's hard to see the possibility of hope. But one of the things I appreciated the most about "Letters from the Ledge" is that no character is beyond hope (even Brendan's dad, who is still a villain at the end of the book).

Every character in the story has painful experiences that have shaped them, and that they still have to deal with. None of them are "there;" none of them are fully healed and restored. But their journeys are so beautiful. It is such a privilege to get to be part of their stories for even a short time. It is remarkable how much they are able to help each other and bring healing to each other's wounds, simply by allowing their lives to intertwine, and to take the risk of caring for another. By shifting their focus from themselves and their own pain, they begin to help another, and experience unexpected healing in return.

I think Lynda has shown so beautifully how God works in us. He uses others to meet us in our pain so we realize we're not alone. Even though all our stories are different, and all our wounds are shaped differently, we all have the capacity to show empathy and care, and by exercising this gift, we are blessed in return.

Every once in a while, I am tempted to give up hope for someone. A circumstance seems so big and ugly and overwhelming, and it's hard to find that glimmer of hope. But I am reminded often that God is in the healing business, and we have every reason to hope.

Because Easter was this weekend, it's a bit fresher in my mind. Christ suffered. He died, so that we could live. So that we could have hope and healing. And by his death and resurrection, there is no more despair. And because he suffered, we can be comforted in knowing that God does understand pain, has experienced more excruciating pain than we could imagine, and we can rest in the hope and power of God who sustains us.

So, every time a situation seems so black and dark and hopeless that no resolution would ever be possible, as it seemed for Brendan and Paige at times, it is good to be reminded that this is not the end. God can make beauty out of ashes, and broken and despised things into the most glorious, beautiful hope of all.

.exciting news.

Soon I will be able to shop at Home Hardware without feeling like a fraud...

Saturday, March 31, 2012


I've been woefully neglectful of this blog...for years, really. Averaging a blog a month is pretty pathetic.

But, I've been doing some other writing recently! John and I wrote a story together for 4 weeks of chapels, and it was so fun. I'm feeling inspired to write more, but I'm not sure how much I'll feature on my blog. I guess we'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

.leap day.

Wow, February FLEW by! And there's even an extra day...
Overall: good month.

I became an aunt.

And Roz had a fabulous birthday party!

Plus, we finished 2nd season of Downton Abbey. Love.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


Since I am blessed to have 2 weeks off at Christmas, I decided to head to New York for a few days.
It was a really quick trip, but I did get to do everything I wanted to, for this trip anyway.

I took the train there, which was both affordable and pleasant! I love train travel and wish we had a better train system in North America.

Anyways, I arrived and took the subway to my hostel. After settling in, I went to the Rockefeller Centre. I got some great shots of the city at Top of the Rock, and the sun just began to lower, so the dusky light was gorgeous. It was freezing cold and windy, but totally worth it.

Then I met up with Beth at Times Square, and we walked around, grabbed Starbucks, caught up, and then met Collin for sushi. It was so fun catching up with them both and hearing what God is doing, even in the midst of our questions and doubts.

I spent most of the next day at MoMA. Love.
Then I walked around Central Park, grabbed some tea at a little shop, and went to a Broadway show.

Harry Connick Jr. can sing. He can't really dance. The show (On a Clear Day You Can See Forever)  was still fantastic, though. Jessie Mueller was amazing. Amazing.

And that was it...a quick trip, but a lot of fun.