that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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i. am. blessed.

Do you have a mug of your favourite hot beverage to settle in for this one? I’ve been told updating hasn’t been my strongest point lately, so an update you will get. Especially because I have so much to say (when do I not, really?).

A week ago, I finished my third (and most likely final) summer at the RDOS. They lavished me with words of praise and encouragement and well wishes, but it was really hard. In fact, I didn’t sleep the night before. It’s hard to remember my calling and passion for what I am doing in school when I am welcomed with wide, wide open arms to that office every summer… a trend I could get all too comfortable with. Either way, it ended on a high note and I am ready to move on.

Keying into this idea that I may be sad, I flew to Camrose early the next morning for a VACATION… first time in Camrose with no homework, work, or wedding-pending. It was fabulous. Meg, Leanne, AND Dori all came out to visit me which was such a blessing. I think that sometimes as we miss people, we often cling to that emotion and not the emotion of how wonderful being WITH them, not THINKING about them, makes us feel. So I was reminded, three times over, how fantastic the company of those friends are. I could go on and on, but yea. Thank you.

The coolest part about going to Camrose, as I’ve mentioned before, is always how rejuvenating it is. I don’t know why, but there is such a calm that comes along with the security of being with Mark and Jes for a little while, especially right before the craziness of school begins again. They just moved into their brand new home so while initially it was exciting to see how they decorated and what this long-anticipated home looks like, the true excitement is how quickly they have made it home. I hope one day I can exercise the gift of hospitality the way Jes…and my mom…do, because there is nothing like snuggling into their couch with a mug of tea (it was surprisingly freezing there in comparison to Pen) and a good conversation. With family.

The week passed by in a breath, including days spent working alongside Jes at CLBI, a 25 km walk from their home in Armena into town (my feet – and bum – still have not forgiven me, I do not recommend it!), horse back riding with Amy, Jes’ sister in law, visiting, relaxing, and just taking the time to really contemplate the next few months to come. And to get a glimpse into their lives. And to be solidified in how much and why I miss Mark and Jessica when I don’t see them. Dori, Leanne, and Megan too. 🙂

I’ve decided I will be fully content if God leads me to a life in a small town on the prairies… in a word, majestic. I don’t think I will ever tire of it.

Now I am working through, though not very quickly, my ‘to-do list’ before leaving for Vancouver Island on Monday. My plan was to finish everything TONIGHT so that tomorrow I can just spend time with Mom and the kids before taking off, another good-bye I am not looking forward to. But instead of packing, I much prefer talking to you. Although, I am going to get desperate in motivation pretty quick here because I HAVE to get to Duncan for Monday evening to watch the Prison Break premiere with my Dad!

Remember when I said that I was trying to live a life of joy? It’s amazing how God recognizes that because countless times in the last few months, the blessings in my life have become so much more apparent, obvious, and consistent. Whether they are people and relationships or experiences or glimpses of the potential for my heart and life as a follower of Jesus, I don’t know – there is always something to be thankful for. Joyful in. Blessed by. And even though blessings are not always packaged in a perfect box with a bow, I am finding the greatest adventure is searching behind the obvious for even the faintest idea, the notion that God has given me even the tiniest…or the largest…thing. And either way, I am blessed beyond belief.

On my ‘to-do’ list, one of the items is “set goals”. Mark sang this while playing it to the tune of Dave Matthews ‘Crash’ and it’s been in my head ever since:

“Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire
is to be
holy;
set apart for You, Lord.
I choose to be
holy;
set apart for You, my Master,
ready to do Your will.”

I think that’s the one and only goal on that list right now and I think going to stay that way.

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roses are pink

At the beginning of May, I baked for the Public Works department at work because they had done some accommodating for me the very first week I was back in the office. I decided then I would do “random acts of kindness” throughout the office for the rest of the summer. Unfortunately, it went very unappreciated by most during the first couple weeks that I decided just to bake for PW. (By underappreciated, other departments complained about what I brought, the sugar content of it, etc. so I didn’t see the point). So every other Tuesday, when the Water Hommies (our Water System operators), the Sewer/Landfill crew, and Environmental guy, I baked for their staff meetings. I tell ya, if I learned anything this summer is that the way to a man (men)’s heart is DEFINITELY through their stomachs. Today was the very last PW staff meeting for my very last week at the RDOS… and I brought them cinnamon buns. They were foaming at the mouth, as usual, and it was kinda bittersweet because I will miss them.

But guess what they did for me? Brought me a card and a dozen (count ’em: 12!) PINK roses! It was so out of left field, shocked me outta my chair… so nice! I find it’s easy to do kind things for people who appreciate and respect kindness as such. And these guys definitely, definitely were worth it. Now when people ask me what guy I got my first dozen roses from…I can respond “Guy? You mean 8 guys (and two ladies)?” It was so sweet, them in their dirty work clothes and cream cheese icing on their faces. And blushing the shade of the roses. Way to make a girl feel loved.


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washington state

I spent last weekend in Washington state with my coworker, Darcy, and her 15 and 12 year old daughters. We went with the intention of shopping and exploring. We drove down through Osoyoos to the Grand Coulee Dam where we spent the first night and watched the laser light show (which was amazing and then we spent the second night in Wenatchee because another coworker said they would have good shopping there. They didn’t (we should’ve gone to Spokane or Bellingham) because our dollar isn’t doing as well as it was and there were no sales, but the experience was well worth it. The coolest thing was visiting Leavenworth which is basically a little Bavarian/German town that felt like I was stepping into a full town SWISS PICNIC (like in Smithers). They had live music (accordians!) on the streets and it was just a quaint little town. I hadn’t been on a “road trip” that wasn’t to Smithers, Calgary, Camrose, Victoria, Osoyoos, Kelowna, Pen…etc…in years so it was really cool! Although even the taste of what I saw in Washington state made me realize how truly different our countries are… from friendliness of people to patriotism to food portions (they are HUGE down there). God Bless America. Enjoy the pics.

Trista and I in the car, we just got through the border wahoo!

Darce – unsure about this!

This is the little barge that took us over the Columbia River to get to Grand Coulee.

Darcy, Trista, and Coral – too much fun!

The wheat fields are massive and for a small amount of time, the drive felt like being on the prairies all over again!

Breathtaking!

The Grand Coulee Dam – so neat!

The dam at night – romantic potential!

Trista, Coral, and I clowning before the laser light show!

Leavenworth!!!

This is for MOM (Sound of Music anyone?)

All the buildings looked like this.

A production playing in Leavenworth…so perfect!

The BOAR at the Petting Zoo that I fell in LOVE with.

This was at the road side fruitstand/petting zoo… another reason how parts of Washington resemble home… the sun, fruit, greenery is just like Penticton.

Unreal! Never seen such flat peaches.

…one of many reasons I am sad summer (and work) is almost over…good friends.


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car owner?

It’s a ’92 Honda Civic SI. Dad went and looked at it last night (it’s in Victoria)… my stipulations were A: no expensive immediate work to be done and B: Good on gas. (If you saw what I was driving before, you’ll see I don’t really care if it is esthetically pleasing — or if it lowers Scott’s property value sitting outside their house or if there was a bee hive growing in the back door… :)). ANYWAYS. It is a 5 speed with new front and back brakes, a sunroof, new axel, cd player, a/c, and check out those rims? It will need new tires pretty quick but that’s okay. As long as it gets me from point A to B, then I am fine. Not bad hey? Thanks, usedvictoria.com.