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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hope

90_20_2-advent-candle_web

First Sunday of Advent.

The first candle symbolizes hope.

It was last year sometime at church when our Pastor was talking about the ‘Trinity of Prayer’. His recipe for prayer is comprised of three parts:

1. Asking the Lord to have mercy.
2. Telling Him how much I adore Him.
3. Putting it into His hands.

As I have put this into practice, I am continually filled with joy and hope in the simple fact that it is not about what I, me, can or cannot do, but it’s about giving all over to God and He can handle it. With this joy comes an unexplainable hope; a hope to believe in when things are confusing or curious or hard. It always gets a little harder to maintain hope when things are going awry or it’s the end of a semester or I start worrying about things — “borrowing trouble” as my mom would say. Today I was reminded of the sweet irony of the end of the semester is during the happiest time of all… hope for the Saviour, the King, and it makes everything pale in comparison.

I don’t know where you’re at, who you’re with, what you’re struggling with, but I encourage you during this advent season. Hope is the greatest thing we can put into this life, and you can always have hope when it feels like you have nothing left. Sound cheesy? It’s totally true. And if you’re struggling to find the hope of this season, through the lights and candles and the oh-so-apparent reminders of the birth of a Jesus who loves you ever so much, let me hope a little for you. (You can e-mail me… blog comments are hardly private kate5253 at gmail dot com…I want to be there for you) I will pray for you and encourage you and wait in joy for the things that are promised to you. I am convinced that someone out there is lacking a little hope and I am further convinced that we should be spreading our own.

I am so excited about Christmas, the quiet anticipation as the days go by. Not for presents or exams to end or to go home, but the peace and wonder at the most amazing gifts that we’ve been given. Answered prayers or coffee with a friend or the simple reminders of what is possible when we ask for God’s help and mercy; love him deeply; and place our worries and sorrows into His hands.

We all need a little hope sometimes, so please, let me share mine with you if you need.

Have a blessed 1st Sunday of Advent. I promise there are exciting things to come.

grace and peace,

Kate


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twist of events

In a surprising, yet completely God-thing, change of situation, my car has been found and it is in my possession. It is torn apart on the inside, really violated…but for all things considered, it’s way better than my fear of it being burned, etc. I had my adjustment meeting this morn with ICBC and it didn’t go really, really well…a lot of it is “my word against theirs” style of scenario. I have a full service/inspection for it at the Honda dealership coming up on Tuesday. Please continue to pray for the situation, that I receive a fair and accurate amount of compensation through ICBC and that the person who stole my car (they stole my insurance papers) is either found or never returns. It’s not a very comfortable feeling, wondering if my car will ACTUALLY be there when I look out the window. Ultimately, God is good, I am extremely blessed that it is intact, and now it’s time to move onto a different conversation topic.

Cheers.

(Oh, most things were still in the car. I am missing my rollerblades, umbrella, and car equipment — jumper cables, tire guage, etc. We were joking “What’d they do? Steal the car to get up island a ways and then take the more environmentally friendly transportation of rollerblading?” Seriously lame.)


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if seen, please return to the disheartened, discouraged 23 year old

The other day I posted about my beautiful blue little Honda civic that I am growing attached to..

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It was stolen on Thursday. So now I am so utterly frustrated, the last 48 hours loaded with phrases equating to “well, it’s a Honda, they are the most targeted vehicle for thieves” or “It’s your rims… they already took your cd player now they came back for your rims” or my personal favourite “You can take our civic, but you can’t take our freedom!” (Braveheart).

My friend Ben got up in class and said “I would like to dedicate my presentation to Kate, who got her car stolen and we need to think about her as she will probably be taking the bus. Ouch.” Thanks, Ben.

Anyways, needless to say (completely needless to say) I am really upset and drowning in a case of “why me” because literally, this blog is a catalogue of events that seem to happen to me, consistently. In my car were my $1300 figure skates, my brand new running shoes, my rollerblades, and my $400 UVic parking pass.

The kind RCMP officer told me that the vehicles usually turn up in a matter of days (where exactly could they go? Off the island? Probably not) and if not, it takes 30 days to start a claim. That being said, in the next 30 days I have 5 final exams, 3 term papers, 1 reading log, and Christmas. It’s not really what I want to be dealing with?

I get confused at moments like this, I feel like as I try to lead a life of joy, I really wonder at why these challenges and tests from God come at consistent intervals. I can’t handle all of what I need to do with school on top of losing my car; my very first car.

In the midst of my tears, the David Crowder song that I posted the other day came on my iTunes, and its lyrics just seemed to penetrate my soul:

And didn’t You see me cry’n?
And didn’t You hear me call Your name?
Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You’d remember
Where you sat it down…

I didn’t notice You were standing here
I didn’t know that
That was You holding me
I didn’t notice You were cry’n too
I didn’t know that
That was You washing my feet


I would be blessed by your prayers. Not only that my car be returned sooner than 30 days but that I can focus and do what I need to do. And that I have faith. That I always have faith. That maybe you can understand this while I am broken and simply can’t. I know it’s just stuff, my aunt was encouraging me of that. But it’s my stuff… that I spent half my summer savings on, that I just bought brand new tires for, that they violated me and the people I live with.


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civic pride

I am learning to love my car.

We’ve spent a lot of time together since I got her in August. Couple with three trips from Penticton to Victoria and back and the commute to UVic, I have become quite acquainted with the little darlin’.

Why in the WORLD would someone EVER buy a BRAND NEW CAR? I mean, having a used car, there are SO MANY things to learn….she’s constantly surprising me! When I first got her, she really liked to go fast but that was until we tried climbing a couple steep hills. And her tires were quite bald and aging and unaligned so that caused the steering wheel to tug at random intervals, like she was hinting at me. It’s been a lot better since I got four brand new tires, a lot less nagging at me.

And then, it was almost as if she felt like I bought her for her entertainment system, so now that the cd player was stolen, things are a lot better because I really pay attention to her. I know all the weird noises she makes when I have to stop her suddenly or I am in the wrong gear… she really speaks to me.

It’s almost like she’s teasing me though, sometimes… all these new things I learn from a used car. Like, just for a laugh, when I was driving her back to Victoria at Thanksgiving, Mallory and I were completely shocked when it was raining so hard and my baby’s windshield wiper wiped all the way OFF the windshield. That was weird. And ever since I got her, the windshield wiper fluid hasn’t worked… as in, it didn’t spray, until yesterday I tried it one more time and it worked. She’s a kidder, that blue bombshell, just when I thought I had her figured out it started working. A little friendship goes a long way.

And it doesn’t really matter that every second car I see out there is the spitting image of her, I am really learning to love my quirky little car.

Her latest trick is flashing her battery light every time I start her up or am idling… anybody else’s little machinery friends do that? What does that even mean? Mark?


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of all days.

poppy

In the cold echoes of the wind, the trumpets blare and the men in uniform march one…by…one. Down the street, past the monuments, in view of thousands wearing the little red flowers so close to their hearts.

 

Perhaps it is because the last three months in school have been consumed with war…how it happened, how it continues to happen, who it involved, who was victorious, and who was dessimated. Or maybe it’s because I had a friend who recently returned from there, who had friends there, as the war – a different war – rages on. It doesn’t matter, but today remembrance seems to mean more than it ever has.

 

It is not just about our freedom or the price that was paid, in bodies and blood and debt and uncertainty, but about the devastating confusion that came when an expected four month war stretched into four years; how our nationality was deeply exposed when Canada, for the first time, entered a war (WWII) on our own. It’s so easy to wave a Canadian flag, a British flag, and American flag, and boast thanksgiving to those who lost their lives for our freedom… and our unity. It’s so easy to sit in front of the TV or read the headlines and believe that war was then, and freedom is now.

 

But what do we do with that freedom? We gripe about the economy and gas prices; job shortages and the weather; we struggle with the Canadian government and the situation in the United States. We complain about tuition and having our parents’ still boldly lay claim to our lives. I think with freedom comes our responsibility to the price that has been, and continues to be, paid to keep us secure, radiant, proud Canadians. We justify our spending or actions or beliefs on a simple justification: “because we can”. Yet I wonder, what if the Unknown Soldier decided he couldn’t? What if the nurse laid down her bandages and said she would no longer serve? What if Fisher had not manufactured the Dreadnought? What if conscription never took place or time stood still on industrialization or the atomic bomb was never created? What if the other side won?

 

What if the World Trade Center had never been attacked? Where would we be? Who would we be? Why does it matter?

 

It’s frighteningly cold today, as if the wind has rushed in to hold our hearts cold to imagine what it was like when the opposing sides called a truce, meeting in No Man’s Land, for one day – Christmas Day – and decided to lay down the weapons, to Live and Let Live, if only for one day.

 

I think it is time that we, Canadians, British, North Americans, whoever, are exposed to simply remember. Today is not only a time to remember who has served, but to center ourselves, again, on what is really important. My sister often talks about how God calls us to be good stewards of what we’ve been given. With that, what are we doing with this freedom we’ve been given? What are we doing with this life? Would hundreds of thousands upon thousands of fallen soldiers believe it was all worth it?

 

Let’s not forget the veterans and members of the past, but let us also continue to remember those with the Canadian flag and cause that are fighting and peacekeeping now. It is, literally, the least we can do.

 

“It’s only in the dark and cold of night that we can see the stars…and I pray that those stars will lead them, too, all the way home.”

 

November 11, 1918 – November 11, 2008 : 90 years since the armistice ending WWI was signed.

 

I choose to remember.