Real Talk: That awkward moment

awkward2This week has been the week of awkward conversations. It seems like every day this week I have had to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone important in my life. Sometimes about things that I needed their opinion on, other times on things that I had done that I needed to make right. On every occasion I spent the hours of the day prior in mental agony about the conversation that had not yet happened. In some cases I would lie awake the night before thinking about what might happen. Continue reading

Growing Periods

gardenEvery spring I have listened to a few inclined girlfriends talk about their gardening. I withstand the stories about mulching, watering and bugs and have even eaten from the harvest of their vegetable plots. I have never been interested. This year however I decided to try sprouting some beans, in preparation for a similar activity I wanted to do with the kids at work, and somehow caught the garden bug. Now I’m watching lentils, kidney beans, basil and chives (don’t laugh. I’m new at this!) sprout in pots near my backyard, as I wait for Toronto weather to make it permissible to replant them outdoors.

I don’t know why this year has been different. Maybe because I am older now and I suppose these are the things that interest women when they get older. Maybe because making things grow has turned out to be therapeutic for me as I face (or  avoid) the heartache of other things dying in my life. Whatever the reason, it is becoming more and more of a joy to see the stems on my plants stretching longer each day, to see new leaves opening and growing, and to watch the miracle of life. It just reminds me of how amazing God is, and how he can create something new and beautiful from something small and simple. It is teaching me to hope that He will do the same in me.

Higher Thoughts: Just Stop

worryingI woke up this morning feeling restless. And if I am honest it didn’t just start this morning. In fact, the past couple weeks I have been simmering in a low level of anxiety as I bob from one life drama to another. At the start of the year it was school/work issues. Those kinda got handled and then it was friendship-relationship issues. Then those sorta got dealt with and then came author issues. And these definitely have not been dealt with. In fact, as I sit her typing this I am trying to ignore the unease that comes from knowing that I am less than 6 months from the deadline for my fourth novel and I haven’t even written a chapter yet. I certainly hope my editor doesn’t read this. Continue reading

Higher Thoughts: It all counts

There’s a man at the Kennedy Subway Station in Toronto who stands at the escalators telling people, “Jesus loves you”. I see him in the morning sometimes – around 7am when I am passing through Kennedy Station – and I sometimes also see him in the evenings on my way home. I can’t help but wonder about him. Does he have a job? Does he have a family? Responsibilities? How does he find time to do this so often? Doesn’t he even care that almost no one looks at him, and those that do look at him as if he’s strange? Is he even making a difference?

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Higher Thoughts: The Question is…

“What does God want me to do” has to be one of the most asked questions, not only by Christians, but also non-Christians. It is often a preface to other more specific questions like, “What does God want me to do in school?”, “What does God want me to do for a career” or “What does God want me to do about this relationship?”

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Higher thoughts: Right word, wrong way…

I am a strong proponent of minding your own business. There is no quicker way to stir up some drama than by offering up your opinion where it wasn’t asked for. The problem comes however when someone directly asks for your opinion. I found myself in this precarious position some time ago while sitting with a friend in KFC. Continue reading

Higher Thoughts: A shelter in the time of snow

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (NIV)

I love winter. The clean crisp air. The shimmery white snow. My cute winter boots. I however hate winter driving. I hate everything about it, from the snow shovelling, to the cold car seats, to being stuck in snow banks. And this week I had the joy of experiencing all this and more when I drove my friend to school in London from Toronto. Continue reading

Wanting Less

At the floating market in Amphawa on my last days in Thailand

So I’m finally back in the West. I have actually been back in Canada for about a month now but the adjustment has taken time for a girl. The first week it was dealing with the time change. How did that go? Let’s just say I had a very early bedtime every evening. But after a week I was fine. It was the psychological part of the adjustment that has taken a bit longer.

The truth is, you don’t know how somewhere has changed you until you go back to where you were before. I was told I would have reverse culture shock. But no one told me it would come at me at the most random moments and in the strangest forms. Like my disgust at the amount of time I have to spend getting from one place to another; or my disdain at the excessive amount of ‘things’ in my home. It’s funny, when I was in Thailand, I met so many people who wanted to come to Canada. But now that I am back in Canada, there are moments when all I want to do is go back to the simplicity of my life in Thailand. It has been like seeing my Western life through new eyes and wondering what the big deal was anyway.

I guess it is similar to the experience of coming to know God. A lot of things get tossed off as you walk closer to Him, and sometimes you stop on the road and look back at the things that were so hard to let go of and wonder what the big deal was anyway. Personally, I am learning to appreciate this feeling of wanting less. I hope it never goes away.

It feels good

So on Wednesday my friend Dave talked about the things we let into our minds through the media. And let me tell you that message rubbed me the wrong way, given that I had just started watching a movie that was admittedly lacking in substance. But you can’t fight the truth. The things we put into our mind that don’t lift us up to God pull us down away from Him. It sucks, but there’s really no middle ground.

So then, why is it so hard to let go of the things that hurt us or that even just fill us up with empty calories?

Because it tastes good.

It feels good. It sounds good. It looks good. That’s the thing with sin.  It’s designed to draw us away or at least distract us from the One who really loves us. It really is sad. I could say more, but The Arrows say it so much better.

Something to think about.