Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Power of Story Telling

This past weekend I went in search of a children's book called Papa Panov's Special Day. After a day spent searching and looking, I learned this book is now out of print!! I was talking to my mom about it on the phone and she told me about another good book she knew of. She then proceeded to go find the book and read it to me over the phone as I sat curled up with a blanket a thousand kilometers away.
I've always been a sucker for a good story. For as far back as I can remember I've loved sitting and listening to somebody read to me. My dad read so many books to me growing up: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Journey Through the Night Series... just to names a few. I love to read too. I am a book worm to the core.

One of my favourite courses in university was called The Gospel of Mark. I am a true believer that a teacher can make or break a class. They either make the material come alive or they kill it. Professor Camery-Hoggatt not only made the Gospel of Mark come alive for me, he made the Bible come alive for me. His area of expertise: Narrative Theology (a professional story teller in simple terms if you will). He had an incredible amount of stories memorized and would often start class by not just "telling a story" but by engaging every student in a world other than their own.
He taught me that story telling is a powerful tool. Why else do you think Jesus often talked in stories (aka parables)? People can relate on their own terms. They can apply a circumstance, a character, a scene, a plot to their own life. Every person hears a story different. Sure the same words are being read, but I may take something from it that you didn't even notice. Story telling is a form of art. It has a way of seizing the soul and taking reader's places both near and far. Oh the places you can go:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Enchanted Christmas

A couple different nights this past week I've gone out at night and looked at Christmas lights. I don't know what it is about them that captivates me. I think part of this seasonal tradition brings out my inner child. When I was little my family used to go on walks around the neighbourhood to see who had the best light display. I think another part to this "inner child" mystery is the simple fact that lights make a house look enchanted. The lights bring the house to life.
When I was in New Zealand I was shocked to learn Christmas lights were a rare thing to be found! It makes sense being it's summer, their days are getting longing not shorter, and electricity costs are way more expensive. Since being back on this side of the Pacific I've had a much greater appreciation for Christmas lights.
There are even rumors it might snow this weekend... Christmas lights look WAY cooler (no pun intended) when there's snow involved! It makes it seem even more magical.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I want to say thank YOU
For the way you inspire me
For loving me
For making yourself vulnerable
For being adventurous with me
YOU make me feel special
YOU are the stranger that smiles when I'm having a bad day
YOU are the author of the encouraging note
YOU are the hug that holds me tight when I think things are falling apart
You are a stranger and a friend.
You are a moment, a season, and a lifetime
I AM thankful for YOU

Monday, December 1, 2008


I watched the movie Four Seasons recently and it reminded me of how thankful I am for my family. I've spent a lot of time interacting with family this past week; ranging all the way from new born babies to aging grandparents and everything in between. My family isn't perfect by an means. We get upset, argue, think our own personal problems are bigger than everybody else's problems. Yep, family is messy. Yet the older I get the more I've come to the realization that this big ball of "mess" is worth fighting for.
When I was living in NZ I've never felt so far from family in my life (probably because that was the furthest I'd ever been.. insightful I know:). All in all, the imperfections are part of me. They are part of my heritage--they are there for me to learn from. There is never going to be a "perfect or right time" for me to claim my relation... the most I can do is dive in and and see it for the beautiful mess it is. It is a continual work in progress. One that probably won't make sense till I can look down on it from heaven and see the beautiful picture God created amidst the chaos. I love my family. I don't tell them enough. I don't want to have regrets. I want to know I loved them before it's too late and they're no longer here to love. I love the quirks, the accomplishments, the messiness, and all the stories that come with it. It's part of who I am and why I am the way I am. This is me and my beautiful mess.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dream Big

I recently read this book. It scared me, challenged me,and inspired me. Three common questions are brought forth by the author 1)Where am I going? 2) What should I be doing? 3) Who am I becoming? The heart of these questions ultimately lead to these questions: Who has God created me to be? And what had God created me to do?
When I started reading Wide Awake I wanted to put it down and never open it again. After the first chapter I realized if I kept reading, life as I currently knew it would have to change. Deep in my spirit I sensed I was meant for something great. I don't know what great looks like but I do know that great freaks me out a little. On the other hand, great keep me striving for more. Great tells me not to settle for the safe and comfortable. Great is a God sized dream being shaped and molded within me. I know what God has in store for me is beyond what I am capable of imagining myself.
McManus uses Adam as a great example. Here's a small excerpt from the book:
"Remember Adam? He didn't say to God, 'God, thanks for the elephants. They're really fun to ride. I'm not so sure about the rhinos; don't ever mount them from the front. God thanks for everything, but I've got an idea. I need a woman! Koalas are cute, but they're a terrible date." Adam didn't have a clue. He couldn't even conceptualize a woman ... God knew something Adam needed. Something Adam didn't even know he needed. God knew what Adam would want, what Adam would need, something Adam couldn't even imagine.
While Adam was in a deep sleep, God took a rib out of his body and created woman. Then he woke Adam up. When Adam was awakened, he saw Eve and he came alive. He must have given God a standing ovation. God was not only the Creator but creative. He must have thanked God for not limiting himself to Adam's ability to imagine: 'Woman was a great idea! Thanks God. It never even occurred to me. I didn't know we could be a complimentary set. I'll give up a a rib for another Eve anytime. Thank you, God."

I am learning to become more self-aware. The more self-aware I can become the more effective I can become. I think this is part of the reason community is vital. Sometimes we can be completely blind to ourselves. We can't see who God has made us to become. Deep down we're afraid people might see us for who we really are and conclude we have no value at all. McManus writes, "You were created in the image of and likeness of God. As broken, damaged, and messed up as you may be, God sees extraordinary capacity in you." Make the effort to encourage and be encouraged by those around you. You'll be amazed what you see in them that they don't see in themselves. Be a part of making their dreams come alive.

Friday, November 14, 2008

One Republic

MTV voted OR as one of the best live bands of 2008.

April and I went from row 17 to front row seats due to some nice security guards:)

The concert was amazing--true musicians.
One word to describe the evening:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rays Of Sunshine

I absolutely love sunsets. I could watch one every night and it would never get old. The brilliance, the colors, the calm, the symphony of the sky captivates me every time. Last night I was thinking about the opposite—I was thinking about sunrises. Seeing the dawn break through the dark of the night: you’re expectant, you know the sun will keep rising, you know the day will get warmer, and you know the sun will set with a bang.
How characteristic of our Heavenly Father! So often we sit and “just wait” for God to act. If I would wake up every morning, stare out my window “just watching and waiting” for the sun to be at its full blaze… dude, that would seem like it would take forever! Not quite as painful as watching grass grow, but it’s a runner up. BUT if I continue to go about my business through the day, each time I look out the window I’m going to notice that the suns shining a little brighter. I’m going to feel the warmth of its effects; before I know it the sun will be shining on me, in me, and through me.
I know the sun will rise everyday and I know God promises His children whatever we ask according to His will. If I don’t get the answer I want, it means God has something better in mind—so I remind myself not to be discouraged. I hold fast to the promises of heaven and keep waiting, keep expecting, keep hoping. I will continue doing what God has called me to do, be where he has called me to be and before I know it, I’ll wonder where the day has gone and how the sun got to be so bright in my life.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


One of my favorite spots in Washington, DC.

A little taste of me.
A lot more to come.