Sunday, October 04, 2015

love is not selfish...

i used to think i knew a lot about love.  i thought about myself as a loving person.  that's the way i described myself to syster hedberg when i first arrived in the mission field.  but the older i get, or the more life i live, i realize that what i know of love is the proverbial ice burg tip.  who can comprehend the love of God?  i learned a little bit about it through suffering.  just a glimpse of his love is like... like something i can't describe.  but it is peace and wholeness and comfort and being known and healing and indescribable tenderness. it's safety and wonder and light and truth.  and his love is ours to discover every day in many ways.  he's here.  he's everywhere and he runs to us and embraces us when we turn to him.  his messages are everywhere.  it is only for me to have eyes to see, ears to hear.  who can understand the love of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world?  his sacrifice for me can hardly be grasped.  i know i don't deserve it.  but then i have experienced love from someone who loves me so much that they are willing to sacrifice their happiness for mine.  who is giving me a life to live.  it helps me to understand a little bit of what love really is.  i don't want them to suffer.  i want to reach out and stop it.  i know i don't deserve it.  if someone who loves me is giving me such a sacred gift that costs them so much, do i take it and honour it, and live the best i can? there is no other option that doesn't insult the offering.  it is almost unbearable to be loved like that because you don't deserve it.  it's just the greatness and majesty of the one who loves.  and it secures your love  forever. and it makes you want to be a better person more than anything else ever could.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

june family time

i'm trying to decide whether this blog is obsolete now or not.  after 13 years of blogging i still think in  narration sometimes.  but i don't act on it very often as you can see.  i don't know.  i still feel like it though.  so i guess i'll keep going for now.  it's the middle of august.  i've had some adventures and summer events undocumented.  ...yet.

august seems to be shifting by unnoticed and uneventful so far.  at work i am in a mode of squaring the shoulders, head down, barrel through.  it's that kind of month.  i have 2.5 staff.  lindsay started last august.  she's half japanese.  right now she's in japan.  i can't wait until she gets back.  pascale is half french canadian. she started last october. she has a perfect boyfriend named steve.  steve has done no wrong and not only that--every story about him is too perfect to be believed.  pascale has a tender heart--loves all animals and saves bugs etc.  she just moved to a full time position.  i just hired a cute little turkish girl named yasemin.  she sliced off the fleshy pad of her pinky in the mandolin last week.  like we found it.  and sent it with her to the hospital. yasemin blushes easily. she's in turkey now taking her boyfiend alex from belarus to meet her family.  i just lost a girl named jasmine.  but she still works the occasional day that i can use her, while i have the hours to give her.  she was great.  but she lived in maple ridge and the commute and child care etc was getting too much for her unfortunately.

one day last week i took my sleeping bag out into the field at the park and lay down under the dark sky and watched for shooting stars.  i don't like to miss the perseid meteor shower.  the sky had a lot o light pollution, but i still managed to see 8 before i got too chilled and came back inside.

lately my weekends have been so empty.  i barely leave the house.  i might grocery shop.  or go on a junk food run.  the best days have been the sundays.  guess what happened today!  well i waltzed into to my fourth row, right side of the middle pews behind the umbachs, just as the announcements were being made.  i'm always skimming in late like this. it's my mo.  (not mohammed. i  don't have a far as i know...)  half way through the prayer i have this thought--a thought that was not a prompting from the holy ghost unless he's a prankster which i haven't noticed up to this point.  the thought was "did you put your phone on silent??" i didn't think i had, so slipped my hand in the pocket of my purse and pulled it out.  it was on silent.  phew!  then.  THEN.  then... then something unthinkable happened.  sheri l. dew's strong and confident voice echoed out over the silent worshiping congregation.  PANIC. button pushing.  banging.  sheri strides on in her conversational interviewing voice.  strangled cry from me, bent over as low as i can go in the pew.  finally, and not before the "amen" was said, did i get to that pesky mormon channel app that seems to override the volume settings and come off and on as it feels in the mood to do--and turned it off.  then i put the phone down on the pew beside me and pretended none of it had ever happened.  crossing my legs demurely and looking earnestly and attentively up at the pulpit like the model church attender that i am.  derned mormon channel devil.  you may have beat me that time, but watch out.  i'm a-gunnin' fer ye!

i've been learning portuguese.  have you heard of the duolingo app?  it's handy.  

well tomorrow i have to get up early to clean some offices where there it is always too hot.  it's an employment site for our members and i am one of the people that covers when our member can't make it.  i try to get there before many of the staff get there because well, let's say that some of them are not the most friendly people i've ever met.  last week i was covering there for a sick day and someone did a horrific dump in the toilet just before i came in to clean the men's bathroom. (of course it was mens!) i could smell it from the hallway, before i even got to the door.  but what could i do?  it was the last room to clean before i was done.  so i tried not to breathe through my mouth and if that was all...well it's not pleasant, but by the time you are 41 years old, you know there are worse things in life to bear.  but he didn't fully flush. and there were fresh skids in the bowl.  and even so--even this one can grit their teeth and get through it.  but... BUT.  but, the urinal.  i cannot do it justice.  i cannot describe.  i can only say that there was something so foul and rancid in the urinal that when i went to clean it the fumes shot up into my face choking me and making me involuntarily heave.  like i don't heave like a sissy. i have a stomach of steel (under all the chubb that is)  i gagged and heaved three times before i stumbled out of there, a survivor of the men's washroom.  please bless tomorrow will be uneventful.

so before i go here are some photos from june.

june 20th we had a picnic day at cultus.  jordan and tracy's family was at home with a violent flu.  which jordan under guise as tracy on facebook, shared with us in great detail.  happy birthday eve. jordo.
 so some of the kids covered themselves in mud and painted tribal patterns on their faces. and i took note.

 sam lives in vancouver now.  i picked him up and took him with me to the picnic.  when we first encountered josh and mary and gabriel in the parking lot, josh like the polite boy that he is, introduced himself to sam.  "that's sam your cousin." i said.  then everyone kind of laughed and felt foolish.  it had been a while since they all saw each other.  but they didn't let that stop them from doing crazy jumps of the dock while i documented.

 cousins are the best.

 what i enjoy here is the wet dock and the reflection.  you are free to enjoy what you want.

somehow i managed to get these few pictures of queen e. before she eventually executed her customary rebellion.

it was all about a feather...

the next day was father's day.  and jordan's birthday.  but jordan was throwing up, so let's not talk about him. there has been enough ralphing in this post.  it was also noah's baptisim.  so after church in chilliwack we all drove to abBUTSford.  doug gave the most remarkable and powerful and beautiful talk on the savior and on baptisim.  it hit me so deep, as my friend would say.  after that we had a potluck with no luck.  it was one of those orchestrated affairs.  i made ambrosia because i was representin' gram.  doug and del's new place has a couch house in the back.  queen e. showed it to me and asked for her picture.  but just when i had my finger on the money shot--she rebelled again.  "i don't care" she smirked.  queens don't have to care.  they're queens.

 later we went to the park.  dad almost didn't come.  i was failing at my attempts.  but michealah was sent up to bat and she never fails with grampa.  which is good because i wanted to take some father's day pics of pops.  and so i did.

i think we all recognize his "here i am. take them already" stance.  but now we have it recorded.

  silly lovable oaf...

 love this one.  look at his face.  he loves her.

 d1  and d2 mano e mano.  things got a little weiwd, but whatever.

families are special, va?

mom, katie, natalie, mary, gabriel, delanie and i then walked all around the lake in the park and had a nice time.  part way through i realized that i had been there before with martha, on her birthday.  anywho, when we got back everyone was ready to go home.

later in the depths of the night i began to throw up.  but that's another story.

unfinished post from july 8th 2015

it's wednesday.  i just spent a couple of hours reading people's stories on the humans of new york.  i could read the stories forever.  some are sad, some are funny, some make you thoughtful, some are depressing, some warm your heart.  brandon is doing a good work.  i admire that.  

my week has been very eventful.  let me share with you.

1st. on sunday sarah pointed to my face and said i got lipstick on it.  but it wouldn't come off.  over the past couple of days a scaley rash patch has developed.  it makes me feel extra pretty and special.

2nd. last night i watched oblivion with tom cruise.  i mean tom was in the movie not my living room watching it with me.  kind of a confusing movie. raise your hand if you agree.

3rd. i weighed myself this morning.  i keep going up and it scares me.  i don't like the way my clothes fit me.  i don't feel comfortable.  buying more doesn't help.  i need to find a way to make some changes and fear is not it.

4th. on monday i joined the sisters at tim hortons at the mall.  they taught a sweet lady named grace.  there was something familiar about her.

5th last night i learned how to wrap a box with a lid.  like the lid separate from the box.  it was fun.  i did the top with red polka dots and the bottom with red floral.  mixed patterns.  i dig it. after young womens donna gave me and melissa some material she was getting rid of.  there's something about the possibilities that lay in a piece of fabric.  i can't turn away from it.

7th. i'm hiring again at work. i hope i'm making good decisions.  i'm trying to keep it all together at work and feel like i'm always one step behind.  

8th i have this nagging feeling that something in my life isn't quite right.  something is missing.  i'm not right about something. i don't know exactly.  i keep going, and try to do my best and hope that some day soon things will feel right.  i don't know if that's the right way to go about it.  maybe i should change everything.

now it's thursday.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

the air conditioner does not really reach us in the kitchen at work.  we bust our butts in the heat and linger in front of fans and shudder in delight when visiting the walk-in cooler.  some afternoons i take my break at reception and answer phones just for some time in a cool and comfortable environment.  "they are the hamptons" lisa would say, "we are the bat cave".  

some days, the hot days, i dread coming home.  i know the porch will be scorching hot with the sun, i know inside will not be cool.  today i plodded up the stairs with bag of cat food in hand, fed the beasties, and threw myself down on the bed in front of the fan.  i pushed my duvet far from me in disgust.  i closed my eyes and skimmed the land of dreams for 15 minutes or so, until it was time to go meet the sisters.

i met the sisters outside of the shopper's drugmart on no 5 and cambie.  sister mathialagin is from bangaluru.  she's 28 and a convert.  she wore a polka dotted blouse and held a matching umbrella over her and sister shahamati.  sister shahamati is half persian and half nova scotian.  she's the only member in her family too.  both sisters are going home soon.  is it just me, or are sisters much more lovely and put together than in my day?  anyway we were supposed to meet a lady named andrea outside of shoppers.  she didn't come.  so i was about to drive the sisters to some drop bys when they saw andrea walking on the sidewalk. we stopped, and we all ended up in the shade at a near by school, while andrea's daughter played.  andrea is from equador.  in her mom's small village they have whistles that communicate many things.  like "i'm going home and i'll meet you there"  and your name is a whistle.  her mom whistled some communications from far away.  it was cool.  it was also cool to watch the sisters teach with their shining eyes and faithful earnestness.  i was once like that.

after i dropped the sisters off in steveston i came home and ate some watermelon and chinese dumplings from mei lin.  i ate them on the porch of course.  once the sun is lower the breeze on the porch is lovely.  i douse myself with bug spray every night and spend all my time out here.  the sunset was gorgeous.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

it's canada's birthday.  i spent it sprawled over various surfaces in my house/porch lost in alternate realities. i was reading.  and i was losing all happiness and joy because i'm a sponge and feelings seep into my heart and drain my soul with little resistance.  but i kept reading, bulldozing over myself. i'm good at doing that.  and then an ending i didn't want.  a grief filled ending.  it took me several chapters to believe it.  and i felt angry and sad.  and why??? and then i felt nothing has meaning and nothing matters.  i know it's not true.  that it will pass.  the book's message is that people help each other to mend.  that may be true.  i see God's hand in the mending.  because God is love. i am so empty right now.  why do i ever read books.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

the theme was blue

muggy day. the weird thing about a muggy day is that everything is so still.  there seems to be no people out, no sounds, no movement of anything or anyone...except the annoying and perverse flies flying in their right angles--they never stop.  just when i found the airlessness unbearable, i heard a rustling in the trees and a cool delicious wind flounced in and it even rained a little bit.  i smiled up at the sky and uttered a breathy "thank you."

today and yesterday was stake conference.  and suddenly everyone needed rides.  the sister missionaries have no car anymore, sister head's home teacher was out of town and rachel, my mia maid wanted to come to stake conference.  it was a blessing for me to have a full car.

i was in our hasty choir so i was sitting up on the stand and afterwards jane came up and gave me a card in which she spelled aunty as anty and included a lot of ants.  inside is a pic of what must be her rendition of me with very brown hair, with tight curls close to my head and short....wait i'll take a pic of it.

cute hey?  however i'm wondering what the red spots are....blemishes?  places i don't need make up?  also my nose is triangle.  also i have no forehead to speak of.  well who needs a forehead anyways?!  i'm bleessed with beauty!

so surrey 2nd ward had an amazing choir.  they sang a powerful and beautiful come thou fount of every blessing on saturday night.  and they plumped up our measly hasty choir today.

i've been meaning to write this post for over two weeks and now i have so much to say that i have nothing to say.  i slept outside on the porch last night because it was so stifling inside.  it went allright.  the camping cot isn't comfortable enough to make it an every day solution.  last night i went shopping for food and tried to really limit myself to things that are cold cool and or creamy.

i'm boring.

here are some pics from a photo day i had with lindsay.

 the point of the bubbles is the reflections...
many me's......