Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dancing With God

I'm currently reading my 3rd Donald Miller book and am yet again loving it. This one is the story of him and his friend, Paul, who took a 1971 VW Van on a road trip from Houston to Oregon. At this point they are at the Grand Canyon and they're about to hike down. As they wait for their turn to start their hike, he's imagining the Easter tradition of watching the sunrise over the canyon, and this is what he writes:

Imagining the service reminds me again that life is more than clothes and cars and a new flavor of toothpaste, that it is community and creation and beauty and humanity ... I am getting used to not having any music or television and not pulling over and buying something as a way of feeling some kind of change. There is a serenity in life, after all, and once a withdrawal is felt at having left the lies behind, a soul begins to feel at home in its own skin ... I was raised to believe that the quality of a man's life would greatly increase, not with the gain of status or success, not by his heart's knowing romance or by prosperity in industry or academia, but by his nearness to God. It confuses me that Christian living is not simpler. The gospel, the very good news, is simple, but this is the gate, the trailhead. Ironing out faithless creases is toilsome labor. God bestows three blessings on man: to feed him like birds, dress him like flowers, and befriend him as a confidant. Too many take the first two and neglect the last. Sooner or later you figure out life is constructed specifically and brilliantly to squeeze a man into association with the Owner of heaven. It is a struggle, with labor pains and thorny landscape, bloody hands and a sweaty brow, head in hands, moments of severe loneliness and questioning, moments of ache and desire. All this leads to God, I think. Perhaps this is what is on the other side of the commercials, on the other side of the curtain behind which the Wizard of Oz pulls his levers. Matter and thought are a canvas on which God paints, a painting with tragedy and delivery, with sin and redemption. Life is a dance toward God. And the dance is not so graceful as we might want. While we glide and swing our practiced sway, God crowds our feet, bumps our toes, and scuffs our shoes. So we learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is a difficult dance to learn, because its steps are foreign.

I think that's what I was hoping to find on my trip around the world. A "soul feeling at home in its own skin." For those who know me, I like to watch TV. Ok, I really like to watch TV. I know I could live without it, but when it's right there in front of me, why should I? It makes daily life more fun. But I was looking forward to not really having the choice of watching TV on my travels, but rather forcing me to depend on God and get closer to Him. But why do I have to wait until I'm forced to do it? Why do I find it so hard to do now? Is it wrong to watch TV? These questions swirl around in my head, but I'm sorry, I don't have an answer to them. Others may, and that's great, but right now, that's part of my dance with God. Why do I try to lead sometimes? Is it because I have a lack of faith? Like Donald Miller says, "Ironing out faithless creases is toilsome labor." Sometimes it feels like we're doing a crazy Hip Hop routine beside each other and laughing our heads off, and other times He takes me by the hand and slows me down with a waltz, but either way, I love to dance and I'm having a blast. Yes, my toes get stepped on and sometimes I'd rather "sit this one out," but He's always there waiting for me .. and for that, I'm incredibly grateful for His patience.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Discovering BC's Wine Country

So, this weekend Bren, Karen and I decided to go to Osoyoos for the weekend and get away. Bren's friend and his family own a condo up there and it was great. When we weren't relaxing in the house watching a movie, we sat by the pool, walked down to the lake and sat in the hot tub in the dark and looked at all the amazing stars.

Not too shabby, hey?
On Saturday we ventured out to a few vineyards and I tried my first taste of wine ... EVER! Yes, I'm 34 and had never tasted wine before. I must say, it was mighty good. Bren and Karen said that for my first taste I got a really good one ... Ice Wine. The first place we went was called The Blasted Church and they have really neat art on their wine bottles. The next one we went to was called Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards.

So, although it was short but sweet, it was great to get away. Thanks for some good times and fun memories girls!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cousins are Great

My cousin Taraleigh came down from Kamloops for the weekend to take a course in Vancouver, but she called me up to see if we could hook up sometime over the weekend. To be honest, Taraleigh and I didn't know each other too well growing up. She's 7 years younger than me, and when you're under 20 years old, 7 years can be a lot. Plus, we have probably over 50 cousins (including the spouses), so it's hard to get to know them all. But last summer we had a family reunion and Taraleigh and I connected on the "adult" level and it's been great to get to know her a little better. We headed downtown and went to Milestone's at English Bay because of the amazing view. After supper we headed over to the beach to get some shots of the sunset.

Do you see why I was reminded that we live in a beautiful city?

After the sunset we headed to the Imax to see Wild Safari in 3D. The film was amazing and I already wanted to go to Africa, so yet again, saddness that I'm not leaving in December, but that's ok.

The glasses were lovely as well.

We tried to take a picture of ourselves with the sails in the background, but I just couldn't seem to get it aimed right. Oh well, we howled trying to figure it out and I'm sure the people walking by thought we were drunk, but we hadn't had a drop! Honest! Thanks for the fun night, Taraleigh. It was great to hang out with you.

Oh, and today's my Dad's birthday! Happy Birthday Dad! Love you VERY much.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What a Boring Life I Lead ... NOT!!!

So, I'm coming down from my high of the So You Think You Can Dance episode (see previous blogs) and I'm going through excitement withdrawal. Without that "high" feeling I start thinking that my life's really boring, but then I remembered that last week I won tickets to see Barenaked Ladies in concert in Feb , so that's kind of fun. Then, last night my cousin came into town (which I'll blog about later when my pics are downloaded) and we went downtown Vancouver and had a great time. I'm so lucky to live so close to such a beautiful city. And today Bren and Natasha went with me to buy my new backpack for any new adventures/trips I'll go on. I can't wait to use it! Seeing that backpack on my back made me have a moment where I was sad that I'm not leaving in December like originally planned, but I know I'll be using that backpack sometime soon, even if it's just a short trip. So after all these thoughts, I'm over my "boring" episode and I realize again how great my life is. I'm actually glad that we have highs and lows because what would really be boring would be to be in the same mood all the time. Even if the lows are hard, they make the highs that much sweeter.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance - Installment 1

Warning: I'm going to be acting like a teenager throughout this entire blog … so deal with it! :)

So, when Rachel and I didn't get tickets to go see So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD, from now on) in Seattle, I was quite disappointed. But we decided to drive down anyway and see if we could somehow get tickets and if we didn't, then, oh darn, we'd have to go shopping. :) Well, long story short, we got tickets (legally). As the guy behind the counter said, "I've got some sweet seats for you." And he wasn't lying. We were Row 11 right on the aisle. Amazing. The people behind us told us that they bought their tickets online from a scalper and they paid $500 for their two tickets. Crazy! At first Rachel and I were a little embarrassed to say we were going to see SYTYCD, but when we got there, there were people of ALL ages there. I think I saw someone as young as 6 all the way up to in the 90s. Very cool. I took a bizillion pictures, but I'll only download a few here.

We were so shocked to get tickets that I had to take a picture of them.

This is us inside the Paramount Theatre waiting for the show to begin. They all did solo dances and emcee'd the night, so that was cool.

This is Travis doing his solo (he's my favorite as you'll be able to tell if you continue looking through my pics).

This is everyone doing a Hip Hop routine.

Keep looking down for more pics (I couldn't fit them all in on one blog).

So You Think You Can Dance - Installment 2

More pictures


The Bench dance!!! So beautiful!

Ivan and Alison doing the softer side of Hip Hop ...

and their "sexy" Contemporary dance

Final call ... say it isn't so!!!

So You Think You Can Dance - Installment 3

More pictures of the wonderful evening.

Yes, we were super fans and waited around outside for them to come out ... and it paid off.

Hey Benji (he was the winner in case you live under a rock)!!!

My favorite man Travis

And Travis again with Ivan in the background

Here's Heidi

What can I say about this? Yes, my night was complete.

This was the second best entertainment night of my life (1st one being when Bren and I got to be in the U2 video). Thanks Rachel for going with me and being "silly" with me. I think Rachel's comment on the way home sums it up. She said, "My cheeks hurt from smiling so much."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Romeo and Juliet

"If you will lift a glass of wine with me, I would like to remember Him: Here is to Christ for making us, to Christ for rescuing us, and to Christ, who gives hope for tomorrow."

This was the last line of the book I just finished reading, "Searching for God Knows What" by Donald Miller. In the last chapter he compares the story of Romeo and Juliet with our relationship with God. Wow. What a beautiful love story! We are SO lucky!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Wow, what a week! My trip was getting to the point that it wasn't fun to plan anymore and I was starting to panic because if I didn't book my ticket soon, then I wouldn't be leaving in December. Then a wise co-worker said to me that what she does when she's anxious about a decision and realizes that it's taking over her thoughts, is that she decides that this decision is taking up too much time and that she's going to sit back and see how the decision figures itself out. She said something about everything working itself out eventually because there's a plan for your life. Then I said, "But I have to decide within the next week or else I probably won't get a ticket in December." To which she said, "Then you don't go in December." And it's like a light bulb went off over my head. Right! If I'm meant to leave in December, then God will work it that I can buy my ticket as late as He wants and I'll still go then, but if I’m not supposed to go until later, or not go at all, then the "window" of opportunity to buy my ticket in time will pass and THAT'S OK!!! I mean, after all, I was the one who decided upon the December date, so I can also change that. I wanted to feel at peace so bad about this trip that I almost felt the stress leave my body as the "lights" kept going on in my head. And this past Saturday morning I woke up and my first thought was, "Why don't I postpone my trip for a year?" As soon as I thought that, it felt like a HUGE weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

So there you have it. Not exactly how I envisioned this to turn out, but I'm still happy about it. Did I "hear" the call wrong last year or when God told me last December to be patient and wait, have I just not waited long enough? Only He knows and that's fine with me. I'm still going to go buy the backpack that my girlfriends gave me money for at my birthday dinner, because although I'm sticking around for awhile, that travel bug will have me flying away eventually, so … did you hear that knock at your door? That might just be me! :)