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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of friends

Good friends. I hope that’s one of the most memorable parts of my life — good friends. My favourite friend Jocelyn and her favourite man, Jordie, came over for dinner with me and my other favourite friend, Luke and it was awe-some. I actually can’t say enough about it. I’m always looking for that first moment where Christmas truly begins and coming after the birth of my nephew, last night was the second of those catalysts for me.

There is such a blessing of watching someone bring out the best in another and watching Joce and Jordie be that for each other is so special. Or forever learning more about the person Luke is. And conversation fueled by not seeing each other often, good wine and lots and lots of laughter, makes it hard not to liken the mixture to the sweet taste of eggnog and the coziness of fireplaces and snow buried toes. Christmas is in the air, did you know?

I guess what I mean is that I want to make sure my life is accompanied by good friends, along with everything else that I dream of, live for, desire, or believe in. And I think metaphors that contain anything relating to Christmas rings success in life on a whole other level. Have I ever told you how blessed I am?

(We had lasagna and lava cakes if you were wondering. You can even come next time)

Cheers!

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unraveling

In my English methods class today (the class in which I am learning how to teach English) my professor was going over different, recurring themes of stories that are tried and tested (and true) for engaging young people. One of the themes was ‘innocence and experience’ and the other was ‘a hero’s journey’.

There are Eight Stages of a Hero’s Journey:

1. Call –> some kind of thing that is a catalyst that begins the journey or the sense/need for change.

2. Separation –> the call demands a movement away from your previous life or existence and forces you over a threshold.

3. Challenges –> with a call and separation comes challenges and difficulties that all cumulate, pile up, and we struggle through them awkwardly.

4. Abyss –> the worst part, feels like doom (like a monster or a demon or a natural disaster or inner turmoil) that we have to face head on; what ever is in the abyss has to be met.

5. Transformed –> post abyss, you are transformed by the fact that you met a challenge that you never, ever thought you would meet. This results in your new self — arguably, results in you becoming who you actually are.

6. Revelation –> you finally begin to understand your world and your self as connect realities, especially since, in a sense, you’ve overcome the world.

7. Atonement –> a prayer and reconciliation with what you went through and reconciliation with yourself.

8. Return –> all true hero’s journeys end with a return to the beginning, in some way, with a gift. The idea behind this is that you can come full circle…returning to the world or your life in the past knowing what you’ve learned from your trip and your real sense of yourself.

(The very best illustration of the Hero’s Journey concept is Lord of the Rings. Think about it)

Anyways, this lesson moved me to tears. I never cry, but I found myself (literally) blubbering like an idiot in the bathroom stall post-class. Why? I am stuck in my own, personal abyss and I can’t seem to move forward and be transformed. We’ve been talking a lot both in some of my classes and some of my relationships about how life, as a student, seems forever on hold. I find myself making excuses or justifying certain things or being lazy about my dreams simply on the grounds that I am a student and everything else will come later. I will be better, later. I will volunteer, later. I will be the victor in my journey, later. Self improvement, changes, confidence, bravery…later. It has to come later.

What on earth am I waiting for? As I study the cyclical understanding of knowledge, I came across something pretty cool:

Jewish thought teaches that humans learn through Question and Answer. Did you know that the word “question” in Hebrew is the same Hebrew word used for “borrow”? Similarly, “answer” shares the same Hebrew term used or “return”. Unless we’re at a highly, deeply transcendent place, all of our knowledge is given and received, borrowed with the expectation of return one day. What we do with what we learn while we have it, while we’re borrowing it, is up to us. That’s pretty neat. It’s also pretty convicting.

I have been struggling for three days over something and while I try and study for my one and only test, this struggle is robbing me of any ability to concentrate or focus on what I need to do. It’s like a dragon I need to fight out of my little abyss (don’t you love that word?) before I can move on.

I think that a hero’s journey is forever changing and forever happening, with connected mini-journeys along the way. Right now I feel like as I keep putting certain things off for later, I am slowly stepping backwards instead of forwards, moving at a pace I never thought I would. There are so many things sitting at my fingertips that I’ve let become routine or ordinary or a part of the world of myself that I never thought I would allow.

It is a battle and on days like today, the fight seems to be burned out and I am confused on how to be the hero in my story when I barely know which way to take my next step as I am unraveling at seams that have been stitched ever so tight.

Maybe it’s about time to quit putting it off, all of it off, no?


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being aunt kater

I became an auntie this past week… for real! It was awesome. It IS awesome. What a lesson in patience though as we all waited by our respective cell phones to hear the news. I think I was utterly useless for three days as I prayed and wondered and hoped that my dear sister’s (the warrior woman she is) babe would arrive and thus, the wait — her wait — would be over. He’s such a sweetheart, baby Weston, but could being so far away stink any more? Probably not.

I think this lesson of patience and trust is only going to deepen and continue as the weeks or months pass before I get to meet him. Why did I ever leave Cal-gary, I have no idea… đŸ™‚

Anyways, cute and perfect doesn’t describe him. From the few photos I’ve seen, I think that little man is a much more handsome heart-stealer than the rest of the guys in the world combined. There is a picture frame I’ve seen that says something like “all of God’s grace in one little face” and the perfect beauty of that baby is the greatest gift of love that I can think of to date that shows that God knows exactly what He’s doing.

I wrote the babe a letter a few months ago (found here) and the only thing I would add to it is: don’t grow up too quickly — since I clearly can’t get there fast enough!

Any ideas on how to get through this time of separation? Please, help me.

 

xox sweet one.


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baby on the way

Just a little update considering my blog and Jes’ have registered probably more hits than anything else today given her overdue date status… she is in labour and in the hospital and Mom, Jayme, and Adrian are all out there already which is a huge blessing for them. Keep Jes in your prayers — it’s been a long road so far (since Monday evening) and everyone is very, very anxious to meet this little person that has taken over our hearts already.

xox


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christmas music

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Is it that time already? JUST ABOUT. I love Christmas music but I am pretty selective about my tastes. I own probably 20 odd Christmas albums but I find myself repeating the same few over and over and over again. And now that I’ve recently learned (yes, I am behind the times) about torrent downloading, I’ve been able to track down some pretty classic Christmas music. That’s neither here nor there, as I try best I can to pay for music and support artists, my current fleet of Christmas music genius (including but not limited to) are the following albums and songs, # 1 on the list being my all time favourite. Please, get with me in the season and post a comment with your own favourite Christmas music/songs… I could always use some more:

1. Sarah McLachlan’s “Wintersong” album. My. Favourite.

2. Paul Brandt’s “A Gift” album.

3. “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews Band (This song has so many glorious Christmas memories from Calgary for me, it gives me chills every time I listen to it.)

4. “Maybe this Christmas” by Ron Sexsmith (First heard on The O.C.)

5. Boney M’s “Christmas Album” album.

6. “Baby it’s Cold Outside” by Bing Crosby (I think that’s the best version? Leanne?)

7. Garth Brooks’ “The Magic of Christmas” album.

8. Casting Crowns’ “Peace on Earth” album.

9. “12 Days of Christmas” carol as sang by my DAD.

10. City on a Hill’s “It’s Christmastime” album…most noteable: “Manger Throne” by Third Day. (This cd stirs my heart and my desire for snow, hot chocolate, and a fireplace).

11. Sheree Plett and Eisenhauer’s “Lights Used to Shine” album.

12. Jewel’s “Joy: A Holiday Collection” disc.

Also, apparently Chris Tomlin has a new Christmas cd out so that might be a dream come true… who knows. Anyways, give me some stuff to add to my library… yes!

snowflake