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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this face

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Did you know she turned 12 today? My sweetest, littlest, spunkiest sister is officially old. No, really.

This face is the face of a miracle. Jayme got hit by a car on Monday, did you hear? She was walking across the cross walk after getting the mail and a lady didn’t see her, hit her, and sent her tumbling across the ground. Her road rash is extensive, her thigh is throbbing, her heart is scared, but she is alive. I asked her how she was doing, after the painkillers/Tylenol seemed to have kicked in, and she said “when I think about what could’ve happened, it scares me but then I think about how none of my friends can say they got hit by a car today, can they?” :). In other words, this is the face of a miracle but also a tough little lady who gave us quite the scare. We’re blessed, she’s blessed, and thankful doesn’t even start to cover the deep truth of what this accident could have been.

This is the face of the kindest, gentlest, funniest, most modern, fashionable, entertaining, independent, friendly, honest, loved girl I know who constantly reminds me that the best way to see the world is through her kind of eyes — ones hoping for the very best and expecting even better. I admire her and adore her soul… I didn’t know kids that size came with hearts that big.

Happy Birthday Peanut, you are the perfect sister for me — keep being you and the rest of us will try and keep up!

xo

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resignation

I’ve decided I am resigning to the things in the world that I have absolutely NO control over:

-the weather. why complain about it if it doesn’t change it?

-the size of my head. might as well adjust the hat since i can’t adjust the head.

-what other people say. i am constantly shocked by what other people say. why? i shouldn’t actually be surprised when i am not making them say it (or not making).

-my character. i can refine it or tweak it or discover it, but i can’t really change it so i might as well forget it.

-my job. i keep forgetting that i have to do as i am told. period.

-hoards of tourists. they are what and who they are. i can control my reactions to them, particularly this weekend — the elvis festival. oh, it’s that bad.

-living at home for four months. i can’t decide what’s important to my mom so i might as well go with it.

-change. it happens.

-the taste of cilantro. i try desperately to love it but really, i can’t force my tongue to enjoy it.

-routine. it creeps up on you and it’s only noticeable when something has gone awry.

-family dynamics. i swear it’s not my fault.

-priorities of others. i need patience to remember that though I am my first priority, doesn’t mean I am theirs.

how books take me elsewhere. it’s not in my power to put a book down 3 hours later and be cognizant of what went on around me in the meantime.

-the way somethings make me feel. like seeing Paul yesterday for the first time since this time last year and the year before that, i can’t help that he’s my dearest friend that i love and hate the most in my world. i try but he makes me happy and angry. i can’t control it.

-i’ve read 5 jodi picoult novels in the last 10 days. i swore i would never read her, but now that i have i’ve lost all recollection of why i said that in the first place.

-coffee loving. did you know that it’s impossible to lose your first love?

-my heart. it didn’t come with an instruction manual.


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a cure for grumps

Anybody got it? What are your best remedies for grumps (being crusty, grumpy, and feeling like you’re spending the entire day stifling a festering conniption slash rage blackout volcano)? I need insights, especially since I don’t know the roots of my dilemma…

Talk to me.


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awkward

Today this guy carrying a guitar was running at break neck speed towards me from quite a far distance. He was waving ridiculously but I couldn’t make out who he was from how far back I was.

So I did what any rationally minded, smart, spunky female would do in my situation: looked and saw no one else around me, assumed I knew him, sped up my pace, flashed my best grin and waved back.

The bus stop was apparently right behind me.


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the one where she’s lost

Coupled with Prison Break’s winter finale, staying in pajama’s until 3:00 pm for two days, learning a new side of Jes’ in-laws (specifically, her father in law), beautiful walks in the brisk Albertan air, and some quality time with two people I love… I cannot believe it’s already over.

I don’t know why I feel so detached when I leave the vacation and return to my life. I thought it was supposed to be the opposite… the detached-ness effective immediately upon ditching your real life and going to another… but for me, it seems to be the opposite and I don’t understand. I am not saying people would covet my life, but I don’t think I have much to complain about, either. Yet every time I leave and disrupt my ‘normal’, I unravel at the point of return, not the point of departure.

For whatever reason, I am most content when I get to abandon what I know and live and daily wake up for and sleep by. Don’t get me wrong, I am not meaning this as a complaint, I am genuinely confused at this. Without fail, every time I return… whether it was back to Calgary after summer holidays or a weekend away…or back to Victoria under the same pretenses, I am completely disjointed. I am currently in the detached-mode right now, as I just flew in this morning, and I wanted to poise my heart while the feelings are still raw. I want to understand why it does not matter where I am, my return to my ‘real’ life never feels like home. It’s as though everywhere else is home but the places that house me, like Calgary, Victoria, Penticton once in awhile… and I am completely out of sorts. Is that weird?

What’s really weird is that I don’t even have an answer for myself, so this post is truly not leading up to any Kate-breakthroughs. I’ve told you about Camrose before, how it makes me gain perspective and refocus and often, calms me right down…this time was no different, albeit was more relaxing than most of my trips there… but I am not sure why. Jes is a phone call away at all times, so if it’s her influence on me, it could be the same as being there if we were to talk on the phone 24/7 (don’t worry, I don’t plan to exercise that hypothesis). Same with Penticton. Mom is such a powerful voice of reverence yet that exists whether I am there or not. So why the feeling? Why when I am in my own reality and routine am I the most removed?

I am content, sure, but a part of me seems to long for something that isn’t mine. How are we supposed to forget that longing…to not have to measure up to a GPA standard, to not be in school, to be loved and cherished, to be forced out of comfort zones, to get our hands dirty helping someone else, to not have to fly or drive for hours to have tea with those closest to us, to be closer to God… why do all of these longings have to be wrapped up in a package that is not mine or what’s worse, a package I am not convinced I really deserve. What’s wrong with now? What’s the point if the greatest insecurity I am living is the current life I lead?

The tragedy is that I really can’t answer this. I am getting ready to have a bath in my own-ish tub, make tea with my kettle, followed by a sleep in my very own bed… and yet it feels more foreign to me than walking down the street in a town in Alberta that I’ve never actually lived in or on the deck of my Dad’s part time cottage that I’ve visited only a sprinkle of times. I want to get it right, and I want to feel God all the time… and I want to be proud and content to call Victoria my home for the time I am here… but I don’t know how to do that when feeling so completely…detached (it’s the only word that can sort of explain).

I saw this on my calendar:

Take time. Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before God, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence, His power working in you. – Andrew Murray

It was a wonderful trip, for sure.


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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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…and some things make no sense at all.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his GRACE, expressed by his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through FAITH – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:6-10

This was my morning devo today and it seemed fitting, now, for what the day held for me. My coworker succombed to his stomach cancer this past weekend. 5 weeks ago. He was diagnosed merely 5 weeks ago. And just like that, he’s gone. It is interesting watching my fellow comrades grieve. I don’t mean interesting like movie watching intrigue, but peculiar. He lived a full and rich and positively influential life; he was a Christian, and knowing that, makes the loss and true celebration for his life. This is apparent in the fellow believers’ eyes at my work. I ache for the angry and denying and bitter ones, those who seem to see the loss as a painful goodbye to a dear man… and not as a bright, shining greeting by our Maker. I mean, everyone grieves differently… I rank high in the denial category, and I like to be alone in doing so… but the loss is different for me.

So I ask you to pray, not only for his wife and children and all the others he called family. But pray for the hurt, the angry, the confused, the avoiding… so that in light of the very tragic of circumstance, God finds a way to make himself shine.

Then, the only tragedy would be in forgetting that this is all a part of God’s purpose for his life. For our lives. Today though, it just really hurts.

God speed. You’re all in my heart today (and always).

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…” Philippians 1:3