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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detrimental realities

Mom and I were discussing something peculiar the other day as I struggled with this new reality I’ve discovered. Figuring myself out — It’s kind of similar to reading a book over and over again only to discover something new every single time.

I remember years ago an Odyssey tape was talking about the difference between ‘joy’ and ‘happiness’… that you can be joyful without necessarily being happy. In Philippians, Paul calls us to “REJOICE in the Lord always” so while I may not be happy all the time, I have been actively trying to live my life in joy.

You know those conversations with people where the person seems to be actively trying to get under your skin, actively trying to start an argument where she/he will make fun of you, pick apart parts about you they don’t like, bring up multiple things he/she knows you disagree on, almost as if the conversation isn’t initiated because they want to talk to you but rather, they are looking for an argument or trying to upset you [for whatever reason]? I had one recently and it rocked me to the core… I didn’t get angry or upset during the conversation, but later I kept thinking “What was that?” …was there any point? Where’s the joy?

However, it has become more apparent as I try to walk with a joyful step, how many people live in a state of un-joy. There are about five people at work that I particularly enjoy and/or like a little more than the rest, simply because there have been relationships forged over the last three summers. The other day, four of those five were in bad moods. I don’t know why, three of them were in moods so poisonous that I didn’t dare even ask. As the day wore on, I realized that even though I actively try not to wallow in my own unhappinesses, or bring a bad mood in front of those who didn’t cause (or deserve) it, I am largely affected by the moods of those I care about. I find it more difficult to be joyful around someone who is down than if I have semi-negative feelings towards my own day. More honestly, it is even harder to smile when I know that person is not acting as he normally would. This reality is odd, because it is interesting how easy I find it to leave my own dilemmas at home yet can become consumed by others as they’ve brought them, both directly or indirectly, to me at work (or in life in general).

So for the segment between coffee and lunch, I tried to be in a bad mood as the rest of them. I actively tried to get down on myself and my day, just to see what the point was and why. The fifth person, who was not in a bad mood noticed… and actually asked me “Kate, what are you doing?” so I told her that I was trying to be in a bad mood because everyone else was. She laughed out loud and said “Good luck with that.” Needless to say, by the time lunch was over and afternoon coffee rolled around, I had given up.

To live a joyful life doesn’t mean wearing a perma-grin or insincerely being happy all the time, but to me, means trying to remember that even though it’s not always easy or dreams haven’t come true yet, that this life is designed for me by God, and that if I get everything else wrong, I know I actively worked at living a life of joy.

There was a point in my life a number of years ago where everything had gone awry and in a last minute decision (some might say brash decision), I decided instead of staying in Calgary for the summer, I would come home to Penticton. I didn’t have a job, or a plan, or even a ride home… so when I stuffed my car with all my belongings, having to leave MANY behind in my room as a result, I spent the whole 8 hour ride home thinking “what am I going to do?”… all I knew was that I had to get away from the city to think and to pray and I Just wasn’t sure. Mom warned me “You better be prepared to get a job right away.” And I was terrified.

Then I applied at the regional district, where I’ve now since learned just happened to have their previous summer student find a job elsewhere, someone who would’ve returned if she hadn’t. And lo and behold, I was hired and have been told I am allowed to return as long as I am in school and need summer work. I got the job about 5 days upon returning to Penticton…and I never looked back.

The point is that every time I walk into work, I am overcome with joy to the fact that that place is an absolute answer to prayer in a vulnerable moment, and highly unjoyful period in my life… so it is easy to lead a life of joy when I am walking around in it because the whole building has been an example of God’s lifesaving tactics.

I know this is completely muddled, and perhaps I even lost my point along the way… but that’s okay. After my experiment of trying to be in a bad mood, I have decided that to lead a life that is not peppered with joy is way too much of a sacrifice and a loss, especially considering how much God has given me.

The problem with this reality is that I  still hurt for those who can’t see this, so as this week wore on I realized that the frown or sadness on my face were not because I had a problem but because others did. Doesn’t seem normal, does it? I am not exerting my perfection, by any means, what I am trying to say is that leading a life of pure joy is probably made more difficult because others’ lack of joy more than by my own lack of faith. For me, anyhow.

On another note: Any book recommendations?

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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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diamonds in the rough

My mom talks a lot about seeing the “extraordinary in the ordinary” and I want to look at things in life like that. Kind of like diamonds in the rough, sometimes we have to search for these rare gems and find the beauty in things that may not appear to be. Or more importantly: Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary that someone else may over look. So I spent my drive home yesterday thinking of the things I find beautiful, that go past a sunset on the oceans surface or the snow on a Christmas morning:

~a hot bath after a long day
~skating so fast at night on the lake when all I can see is my breath from the cold and the starry sky
~Dave Matthews, Tom Petty, John Mayer, Bryan Adams, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers
~Staying up super late, playing basketball in the parking lot, and wishing time would stand still
~driving with the ‘top down’ on the bug in the middle of the summer
~A good book
~Going into someone’s room and looking at everything on the walls… a self portrait without even meaning to be
~thunderstorms any natural phenomenon.
~the power of prayer
~Driving alone at night, for a long ways blasting Mark Perry (any Smithers residents soundtrack for life 😉
~Silver jewelry
~Chats with my sisters and mom
~Strawberry marshmallow candies and cream soda
~Spending time with my Dad.
~Dreams (and not sleepy dreams, but life-dreams…especially hearing other peoples)
~Long hair
~Living in residence, only 5 doors down from one of your new best friends
~Memories
~One Tree Hill, Ocean’s 11, Blood Diamond, and Prison Break
~Movie nights where I fall asleep and wake up to find everyone else doing the same
~Adrenaline rushes, risks, and forgetting who you are for a moment
~An unexpected phonecall from a dear friend
~Iced tea with peppermint
~The feeling that the song “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” by Keith Urban, reminds me of, and makes me want to feel.
~John 15:13
~The serious side.
~Writing
~Jumping on the trampoline with soap and water
~Playing first base
~Calgary’s skyline; Camrose’s simplicity; Prairie sunsets
~Independence; Innocence
~Barefoot
~Swimming at night
~When he looks at her “that way” and she keeps his secrets: observing from afar
~Smithers moments
~Smiling at someone who needs it
~Ken’s aunt’s cabin out in Kananaskis, and the moments along with it
~The smell outside after the rain
~Steak, medium rare
~The way anyone can always make me laugh
~Reliability and freedom
~Feeling to never forget such as: walking down the aisle at grad or when I saw Jayme for the first time
~Knowing who I can cry to; who to trust.
~Wishing on the stars
~My fleece blanket
~Family gatherings
~Talking to you—listening to you
~Wearing socks to bed then taking them off in the middle of the night.
~Crawling out my window in my old room in Smithers to lay on the grass when I couldn’t sleep
~How I never know your voice on the phone
~Wet hair
~Pictures, photo albums, yearbooks and old letters
~The gingerbread my mom makes
~Laying on a dock, counting shooting stars, at Tyhee Lake
~Seeing someone for the first time, after a long time
~Swiss Pride
~Arguing with someone even if you know you’re wrong
~My quicksilver toque
~Being deliriously happy
~Curb sitting
~Knowing that there will forever be something to come home for.

and most importantly,

~A feeling that nothing will ever be the same. For if it was the same, I wouldn’t grow. And because it changes, I have hope.

I know it’s long, and I am sorry for that, but it’s on my heart… so tell me, what do you find extraordinary? What are some of your diamonds in the rough?

xo your Kate


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plans

Hey guys, just a head’s up: I am going to Camrose for the weekend to see Jes and Mark!! I would appreciate your prayers as the last time I was there I spent $200+ on car repairs and I can’t afford that (nor do I want to) again. So pray that I get through the 3 hour drive there and the 3 hours back (Sunday night) in tip top shape.

PS Ok, Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) is not my boyfriend, but I appreciate the trickery I pulled on people like Auntie Sylvia. Gives me the confidence that one day, he WILL be mine. Or someone just as fabulous. 🙂