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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annoyances


So I just had the worst week of my life. And by worst, it’s really not, it just shocked me I could have a bad week when there’s no drama in my life. But it was terrible. I got a couple bad grades… I am fearing for my life here because I am not just trying to complete an English undergrad degree…but I am trying to get into Education when I am done so every mark counts. So my heart naturally stops and I have moments of severe anxiety, particularly on Thursday when I got not one but two papers back with bad grades. And then I had not one, but two midterms on Thursday as well. It was lame. My hair looked cute and everything that day but no, terrible.

Another problem of this past week, my kidneys have been feeling weird again. Feels like the onset of last years trauma, but more like a dull incomfort and that scares me because my memories of last fall are clouded by PAIN so I don’t actually remember how it felt leading up to it. Pray, cross your fingers, and hope for me that it is not what I think it might be again. Speaking of health, I just did a throat inspection (best I could) in the mirror and it looks like I might have strep. Check me out, I am Doctor Kate. Not really. But Yea, I feel like the worst thing about having a bad SCHOOL week can bring on bouts of sickness. Lame. (Actually I just want people to feel sorry for me so I am milking this blog).

I am also feeling lonely… man-lonely. My roommate’s boyfriend SURPRISED her and flew in from Edmonton on Friday morning… I knew, but she had NO idea. Is it wrong that out of spite I just wanted to ruin the surprise and tell her? Why in the world should SHE get the special treatment from her honey? What about me? Aren’t I good enough? Yea. Coupled with the fact that my two best friends in Victoria are in very serious relationships, well, I am 22 and single and lonely. Where’s Leanne when I need her? Yea.

Although, this week was alright in other ways. Friday night I went to my cousin and his wife’s house for a rager (like a crazy insane party that was out of control). Just kidding it wasn’t a rager, we actually carved pumpkins and mine was a ghost. I introduced Chrissy and another girl (lady?) to the world of Killer Bunnies… and it was a pretty neat evening. Although, the things they talk about go over my head so I found I did a lot of smiling and nodding… all in all, I had a fantastic time.

Now for the kicker, Angela is here (apparently). So yesterday I thought we’d be having a fabulous evening of banana muffin making (I am a loser) and sightseeing but she never made it into town last night as planned. So now… I am at home, which is clean, my roommate and her boyfriend-surprise have left for the day, and I am waiting for Ang. I missed a costume party and a weekend in Duncan on account of her. Would a normal person spend this time waiting? I don’t get it.

All of these experiences this week have lead me to one simple question: Am I a loser? I mean, seriously. My grades are sucking, I don’t have a significant other and I hate others who do, my kidneys feel like they are going to rupture, I don’t know anything about the World of Warcraft (or WOW is what people IRL say), and I’ve spent (minus three hours of accumulated time at the gym) 48 hours waiting for my pseudo-bff that I thought was in town.

Forget the pretense. I am a loser.

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challenges

I was talking to a coworker about a month ago about how smoothly things seem to slide into place for my move to Victoria. I shared with her about my acceptance to Victoria (and lack of acceptance to Lethbridge), which explicitly removed any decision making; finding a place so quickly; having most of my courses transfer easily; and genuinely just feeling God’s peace surround this transition in my life.

Then when I got here what was intended for catching up with dear friends and family has evolved into an unnecessary string of difficulties that are leaving me wavering on tip-toe, trying to hold my balance. From computer troubles to a lacking-home; from tears, trials, and arguments with family to not checking if my class room changed, resulting in missing my writing class. All of these things may sound miniscule to some… but reality is for me that I am not very often shaken. I think about stress and pain and confusion…emotions and dealings most people have often times in their lives..but when I look at mine, I’ve had a pretty ‘easy’ go of it. So naturally, when God decides to rock my world… he does in full force. And it’s really new for me…this concept of trusting him. Or trying to understand.

I went to Powell River this past weekend with Marli and Dad… genuinely desiring to leave and just think about things (and how I was going to solve them). Mars and I wee in a litle gift shop when I came across this card that said:

“Each new wave re-arranges the patterns in the sand so we may pretend our footsteps are the first.”

I liked that. Although the relation to my predicament is slightly obscure, I really found comfort in that. Simply put, I like to be in control. I like to know and believe that what I am doing is so uniquely my own that I forget people have come before me and done what I’ve done and mess up like I mess up. We have the same struggles and fears… and yet with God, he allows us to experience them individually… for each suffering or meager sadness and problems we deal with become our own, simply because he finds is necessary for it to happen. Necessary for me to grow from it. Rather than independent of need, he makes us dependent of Him. And that’s how I know there is reason for this. Because as I found it too easy, too calm to get here… so God sees fit to rattle me out of my comfort. You know what I mean? I am sorry if it’s out of control.

And typical, in my morning devotions yesterday and today, I was given two awesome words. So here, maybe they will help you too:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to the end.” – Eccl. 3:11

And what I needed the most,

“The LORD will fight for you…you need only to be still.” – Ex. 14:14

Praise God for His mercies. And reminding me that this wave, and my footprints, too shall pass.

Sorry for the babbling!


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expenses

Hey guys, I will write as soon as life settles down immensely. A detailed little letter anyways… but I just wanted to ask for your prayers. Our house isn’t done and in a new development, I need to buy a new computer. So not only is this a huge inconvenience, but it’s an expense I didn’t count on. The unfortunate thing is being an english major (and universitys becoming increasingly more digital) a computer is necessary. So I am scared about how much it will cost and how much the expense will set me back. As I said, I covet your prayers in this unexpected issue but also in my search for a new job.

Thank you… and I will get back to you soon!

Cheers!!!


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perspective

A week ago, a man I met through Ken almost two years ago, died in a motorcycle accident. He was 24 years old. His wife (whom he married July 14; the accident was July 20, six days later) was sitting on the motorcycle behind him. She is fine. Physically.

Do you ever wonder what marks our timing? It’s fascinating to look at the world through the eyes of a child, one who sees the world as it should be seen: enhanting and scary and full of endless possibility. Whose laugh glitters our lives like the sun reflecting on the surface of the water. We see a future in the dancing eyes of a child, who makes us believe in the chance that there is hope for our own lives.

Look at the world through the eyes of our grandparents; or our parents grandparents. Their eyes are weathered and wise, filled with experiences and reflect everything that is possible, simply because they’ve lived.

But to look at the world through the eyes of someone who just lost the person who consumed their world, it’s a harder scenario. How does her future look when just a week ago, there was no part of it that didn’t include him. Not one world of an individual, but two worlds that collided, for seven years they had been colliding, before binding eachother together. Each dream, each plan has him embedded into it… how easy is it to stand on her own? God’s will for our lives is so indescribable, but sometimes, that’s the only thing we can find comfort in, knowing that God made it happen. It’s scary and confusing but somehow it is ok.

I challenge you today to look at your life from a perspective that does not hold grudges or speak ill of another; one that allows vulnerability and unanswered questions. Let go of your pride, understand that you may be the one wrong, not everyone else. Stop judging others or trying to stuff your true feelings. Forget that your child didn’t clean her room or that your boyfriend hasn’t called you for three days. Stop the dance between yourself and you. Look at your world from the eyes of a child, with the hands of an elderly, and learn to dance to the tune of life… one that offers you no room to be angry, proud, sure, comfortable, and higher than someone else… we’re all individuals, who need to understand that life offers you NO guarantees… yes, not even you. Or me.

I sure hate this.


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i’m just not that into it

I’ve had a rough go of it lately. But my rough go is not really rough, considering. Necause technically I am not the one having a rough time.

I hate cancer more than anything in my entire life and I don’t think I will ever hate anything more than cancer. My grandpa died of cancer when I was 10. One of my best friends, his mom had cancer for years and years. A friend of mine’s sister had her leg amputated due to cancer when she was really young. A friend of a friend lost his mom to cancer. My boss’ mother in law and my boss’ dog died from cancer last month. My mom’s friend had breast cancer. The list could go on and on and on. And, sorry for the harsh-ness, even when people and God overcome cancer, they live in fear for its return! I absolutely, positively hate cancer.

Recently, I returned to my summer job I had last year. One of the men that worked there last summer had retired in January. 5 months ago. I started work about 6 weeks ago. This retired man, with a heart of gold and the very first to make me feel at home, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. 2 weeks ago. He ran a marathon. 10 days before his diagnosis. The doctors say there is a massive tumor growing in his stomach. They say the reason they noticed is because it hurts for him to eat. They say it hurts for him to eat because the tumor has covered up almost all of his esophagus so nothing can pass through. They also say it is aggressive, and within 4 days, it had spread into his lymph nodes. They say it’s a matter of months for him. I just don’t understand.

We had a fundraiser/benefit lunch for him on the weekend. The outpouring of communities was insurmountable. We raised 10+ thousand dollars. We shared a lot of laughs. We shed a lot of tears. I think what I hate the most about cancer is the term itself is so absolutely terminal. People walk around saying “He was such a kind man.” No, he wasn’t, he IS a kind man. I just want to understand. I didn’t get it when it was my grandpa… 12 years later I don’t get it with my retired coworker. I just don’t get it. And I hate it. Have you ever had an opinion that is based on no fact? That is my opinion on cancer. I have facts relating to pain and fear and regrets and life when it comes to cancer, but I have never hated anything in my life as much as a disease I know no scientific facts about.

I will gladly plead ignorance. I don’t want to know. I am just scared. Why is it seemingly so easy for some to trust God with the big things and yet this is where I struggle (obviously). What I need help with is the clarification of why? Why him? Why grandpa; or Scott’s mom? Why is it when people plan their whole lives for retirement, hoping for time with their children and freedom, that a few months later they are facing the end?

A friend of mine told me she believes they have a cure for cancer, they just probably cannot release it because of environmental and ethical concerns with it. I sometimes believe this too…but then it makes me angry all over again. Really really mad.

Maybe I will go read a book about it. Maybe it will help me understand, if even a little bit. But nothing will ever make me hate cancer any less… unless there is a reason for it I just don’t know about, which I am open to enlightenment.

So yea, I am just not that into it.


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thoughts

I GOT ACCEPTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA!!! I have still yet to hear from Lethbridge but I got my package for UVic a few days ago. Now is the hard part, making a decision. But YAY ME… I am still fired up about the acceptance, I am very excited… yet sad at the same time so I will get into the whole pros-cons when it comes down to the actuality decision. For now, I am thrilled.

Have you read anything by Rob Bell? If you haven’t, do. If you have, do it again. I was Google-ing today and I stumbled across some musings on Bell’s book “Velvet Elvis” and I want to share part of what I read. I believe this is an excerpt from the book, but I am sorry if Rob Bell ever reads my blog and states that my facts are, indeed, fallacies. I think it’s interesting. It made me restless enough not to suntan all day!

“Paul affirms the truth wherever he finds it.

But he takes it further in the book of Acts. He is speaking at a place called Mars Hill (which would be a great name for a church) and trying to explain to a group of people who believe in hundreds of thousands of gods that there is really only one God who made everything and everybody. At one point he’s talking about how God made us all, and he says to them, “As some of your own poets have said, `We are his offspring.'” He quotes their own poets. And their poets don’t even believe in the God he’s talking about. They were talking about some other god and how we are all the offspring of that god, and Paul takes their statement and makes it about his God. Amazing.

Paul doesn’t just affirm the truth here; he claims it for himself. He doesn’t care who said it or who they were even saying it about. What they said was true, and so he claims it as his own.

This affirming and claiming of truth wherever you find it is all through the writings of Paul. In 1 Corinthians, he tells his readers, “All things are yours,… and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” He essentially says to them, “It all belongs to God, and Christ is of God, and you are of Christ, so…it’s all yours.”

Claim it.

If it is true, if it is beautiful, if it is honorable, if it is right, then claim it. Because it is from God. And you belong to God.

The philosopher Arthur Holmes is known for saying, “All truth is God’s truth.” It is such a great statement, because what other kind of truth could there be?

So as a Christian, I am free to claim the good, the true, the holy, wherever and whenever I find it. I live with the understanding that truth is bigger than any religion and the world is God’s and everything in it…

I don’t follow Jesus because I think Christianity is the best religion. I follow Jesus because he leads me into ultimate reality. He teaches me to live in tune with how reality is. When Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me,” he was saying that his way, his words, his life is our connection to how things truly are at the deepest levels of existence. For Jesus then, the point of religion is to help us connect with ultimate reality, God. I love the way Paul puts it in the book of Colossians: These religious acts and rituals are shadows of the reality. “The reality…is found in Christ.” “

I’d like to meet Him. And no, I don’t just mean Rob Bell.

xo


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retry

Okay, I am going to try this question again… Nicole Kidman asked Russell Crowe in an interview before the Oscars, a very pointed question… and since I am really interested to know your responses, please let me know:

What would you rather: To LOVE or to BE LOVED?

Or more specifically:

What are you better at: LOVING or BEING LOVED?