Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catching up in pictures

Back in August, I went up to Whistler with some friends of mine from the States. I met Missy in 1992 on a missions trip we went on to the Ukraine. I've seen her a few times since then and even stopped at her place in Minneapolis when I drove across country a few years back, but we've always kept in touch via email or Christmas letters. They had just finished a cruise down from Alaska and asked if we could go see the Olympic sites. Since I hadn't been up there since all the construction started, I thought that was a great idea. It was fun to spend the day with her, Wendy and Tyler and to catch up again.

In September I got tattoo #5. You should be able to see it a little better if you click on the picture. It says "Freedom in Christ" in Hebrew. When I told my new supervisor that I was going to make an appointment, she told me that she'd always wanted one as well. I told her to come along and see what it's all about. I'm proud to say I've made another convert. We're bonded for life now, Meena. :)

Back in July I had been talking with some co-workers about going paragliding. Well, in September we made that dream come alive and here are a few pics. I went last so these pics are all of my friends.

Here are the pics of my journey. It was very peaceful and calm. Running off the edge of a mountain wasn't scary at all. You won't believe me until you try it. And you should. It's great fun, but honestly, I think next time I'll go parachuting because this wasn't enough of a rush for me. Loved it and am glad I can say I've done it, but didn't get my heart pumping like I thought it would.

After the paragliding day, I had zoom envy of my friend Jas' camera. She got SO close up in some of her shots that I had to go out and buy myself a new camera. Since I've loved most of the shots my camera has taken, I decided to stay with So.ny, but just a newer model with a better zoom. I debated about going hi-tech, but I always have my camera on me so I wasn't ready to be lugging something big around with me all the time. I went with So.ny DSC H20 and here are some of my first shots.

My friends dog, Aggie, had puppies on my birthday this year. I felt like we were kindred spirits. They went camping a couple of times this summer so I was privileged enough to get to look after these sweet little creatures ... and of course had to take a million pics.

Also went to the MCC Sale this year and enjoyed some good, ol' Mennonite favorites like Farmer sausage and Vereniki and Rollkuken. YUMMMMMY!

I started this post with a reunion with an old friend and I'm going to end it the same way. Tiffany was also on the same trip in '92 where I met Missy. Tiff only lives an hour and a half away so I've seen her quite a few more times and still love her friendship. She is one of the sweetest, caring people I know and I'm happy to call her my friend. Thanks for putting up with me for an extra night, Tiff! Can't wait to see you again.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I was reading a friends blog and she said that a blog post without pictures isn't much fun and I realized that I've been a bit of a downer lately. All serious and stuff. I was having a hard time wanting to write about fun stuff even though I was still going out and doing fun stuff. Then again, I kept thinking that most of my readers are on and would see the pics I'd posted there, so why would they want to see them again? Anyway, I'm over that, and here are some new posts ... with pics. ;)

I don't know if you've ever been to Tofino, but if you haven't, you should go! It's BEAUTIFUL there. I was in awe practically at every turn. It is a bit of a jaunt to get there and not so cheap, but worth it in the end. A couple of my friends wanted to go surfing and there's a school there called Surf Sister's, so my friends signed up and another friend and I agreed to be their photographers.

On the way we stopped at the Enchanted Forest. Ok, I don't really know what it's called ... some Provincial Park, I'm sure ... but it was SO cool and the trees were MASSIVE!

After an 8 (or was it 9) hour journey, we went for supper, settled in for the night and prepared for an early start. The first day was quite foggy and looked QUITE chilly, but they still looked like they had fun. The 2nd day was much better. Way to go, ladies!

It actually looked very cool and if we ever go again, I may have to join them ... only in the 3 foot deep water, though ... none of this super deep stuff for me.
On the first day when it got really foggy and Lori and I decided we'd taken enough pictures (plus we were starting to freeze so we needed to move around to stay warm), we wandered off and took a few pics of our own ... of scenery ... of ourselves ... of sea life ...
of ... oops, how'd that picture get in there? ;) Hey, like I said, we took pics of the scenery. Nothin' wrong with that, right? :)

We did have a bit of down time after their first day of surfing so we went to explore the beach. Of course as soon as they got in from surfing, the clouds lifted and it was sunny and warm.

There are some spectacular sunsets in Tofino.

Like I said, I would highly recommend it. 2 nights wasn't enough. I'd say to stay at least for 3 nights ... and don't forget your camera. Photo ops everywhere. Like this amazing spot we found on the way there but decided to stop on the way home.

Here's the poem I left in the guest book at our condo.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Until God Becomes Our All

Life has been interesting these last few months. I haven't known exactly how to write about what's been going on because although as a result of what's going on parts of it do affect me, the core story isn't about me, so I have to be sensitive.

Life sometimes doesn't make sense. Life sometimes isn't fun. Hard things happen in life and I believe that it's all about how we deal with these things that makes us who we are and pleases (or not pleases) God and hopefully in the end brings us closer to Him.

The sermon at my church on Sept. 27 was titled: If God Exists, Why Is There So Much Suffering and Evil? The next weekend I went down to Snohomish, WA to visit my friend Tiffany and her pastor spoke on The Life of Joseph and used one of the same passages that my pastor had used for his sermon. Gen. 37: 12-36 talks about how Joseph's brothers wanted to do him harm so they threw him down a well shaft and then later sold him. Joseph was first a slave and then ended up in prison. He could've cursed God and asked him why this was happening to him. In the end, it all came together and God used it for good.

The last thing my pastor said that brought me to tears was:

Once we get to Heaven, everything sad is going to come untrue.

That, my friends, gives me hope. There will be an end to our suffering. Rom. 8:18

The last thing Tiff's pastor said was:

Even when it doesn't seem like it, God is in control.

I'm counting on that because I know I'm not in control. This situation is so far beyond what I could've imagined and yes, it makes me angry, but not at God. It makes me angry that Christians who know better would allow Satan to get ahold of them and tear them away from what they know to be right and true. Tiff's pastor also said that God doesn't call us to understand what's going on, He calls us to remain faithful.

Today I was reading Walking with God by John Eldredge again and this is what I read (pgs 85 - 87):

God wants us to be happy, but He knows that we cannot be truly happy until we are completely His and until He is our all. The sorrows of our lives are in great part His weaning process. We give our hearts over to so many things other than God. We look to so many other things for life. Especially the very gifts that He Himself gives to us - they become more important to us than He is. That's not the way it is supposed to be. As long as our happiness is tied to things we can lose, we are vulnerable. We are created to enjoy life. But we end up worshiping the gift instead of the Giver. We seek for life and look to God as our assistant in the endeavor. We are far more upset when things go wrong than we ever are when we aren't close to God. And so God must, from time to time, disrupt our lives so that we release our grasping of life here and now. Usually through pain. God is asking us to let go of the things we love and have
given our hearts to, so that we can give our hearts even more fully to Him. Our first reaction is usually to get angry with Him, which only serves to make the point. Don't you hear people say, "Why did God let this happen?" far more than you hear them say, "Why aren't I more fully given over to God?"

Now, I am not suggesting that God causes all the pain in our lives. But pain does come, and what will we do with it? What does it reveal? What might God be up to? How might He redeem our pain? Those are questions worth asking.

Don't waste your pain.

Lord, help me to love you above all else.