Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Like hot chocolate on a cold day..

My first introduction to God was when my sister started taking me to Sunday school. I'm not even sure how old I was but I was young. My mother had nothing to do with structured religion but thankfully she didn't begrudge me the opportunity to explore it for myself.

Now.. to be honest, I don't remember a lot from Sunday school. Perhaps the odd bible story, but I remember the building and some of the people. Everyone was so nice to me. Unfortunately Sunday school was short lived.. but as they say.. a seed was planted. Over the years I would attend the rare church service. I found most of them to be boring and the people to be phony but for some reason, something still drew me to it. To this day I still can't pinpoint it but my interest was peaked.

I don't remember going to church in junior high but when I was 16 years old I volunteered at Camp Shawnigan and met a girl named Sherri. She was one of the camp counsellors. She was nice enough but a little hyper for my taste. I ended up connecting with her roommate, J. J and Sherri rented a place together in Victoria and since they were roommates I had no choice but get to know Sherri. Well, it's funny how things work out...

Sherri-Ann, as she later was called, wasn't just the party girl I had met at camp. She was a Christian. I should have known, so hyper! Sherri-Ann and I became fast friends (once I let my guard down) and started attending church together.. And bible class... And retreats... and choir. You could say I jumped head first into this Christianity thing.

A couple years later Sherri-Ann decided she needed to leave Victoria and leave for Briarcrest Bible College. I was heart broken but people leaving me wasn't anything new. I started teaching Sunday school and became a camp leader at Vacation Bible school (did I mention I jumped head first). While singing in the church choir I branched out and did a few solos (and before you wonder, I wasn't that good but what are a bunch of Christians going to say to a young girl in a wheelchair? Lol). To say I loved church would be an understatement. Then I met my first Christian boyfriend. We dated for 8 months. I didn't think life could get any better. Then he dumped me like a hot potato. And it burned! And I was mad.. at him.. at me and at God.

I continued going to church but cut back on some of the activities. Then I just stopped going all together. It was too hard to see him all the time and I wasn't focused on God. So, Sherry-Ann was gone and now the boyfriend. I focused on more secular activities like getting drunk, doing drugs and meeting guys...

That season lasted for about 10 years. I had moved to Vancouver, with my non-Christian fiance, for school, partied a lot more and had a lot of fun. Sherri-Ann and I stayed in touch for part of the time.. until my partying became too strong. I became involved in some pretty unGodly things. Things I don't even want to blog about. I finally decided I had to grow up so, after ruining yet another relationship, I finished my degree at UVic and moved back to the mainland for work, but something was missing...

Sherri-Ann and I really started to reconnect. She was living in Kelowna with her family and since I was in Vancouver it was only a 4 hour drive... 3 if I really pushed it. That was the start of a new season for me. The start of my relationship with God.

One summer I drove to Kelowna every weekend and then some weekends, I would drive up early Sunday morning.. in time for church.. stay until after evening church.. and drive home.. then go to work the next day. I've never experienced such amazing churches as they have in Kelowna.. the worship was phenomenal!

Now.. I'm not one to learn when someone tells me I must believe something they are telling me.. I really need to figure things out on my own. My trust isn't exactly forthcoming with most people. There were a couple of people who felt that they should "teach" me how to have faith and what to believe and couldn't understand when I questioned their "teachings".. they all dumped me as their student.. oh darn! I was so disappointed... NOT!

So.. I had no other choice but to rely on my own mustard seed of faith.. something I was not familiar with.. something really scary! I felt like if I interpreted things wrong then somehow I would be punished or God would be mad at me... but in fact, what I have learned.. and continue to learn.. is faith is ever growing.. as is learning.. as is my walk with Christ.

I don't go to church often, although I'd like to go more than I do. I don't read the bible every day and I don't go around preaching what others should or should not believe. I'm not perfect and some people would never believe that I believe in anything. As I've said in previous posts.. I'm normally very private with my faith.. mostly because once someone knows or thinks you "have religion" they start judging your every action. But sometimes you just need to say screw it.. and risk the judgement.

I would love to tell you that I can easily hear God speaking to me and know exactly what He wants me to do with my life. I wish I could tell you that I look to God whenever I am struggling with something.. I wish I could tell you that when I pray.. I get what I prayed for.. truth is.. I don't always hear God.. I don't always know what He wants from me and I don't always get the answer I want when I pray. But I do know something..

He loves me.. He loves you too and we don't have to do a single thing to earn His love!! Isn't that kinda cool? We don't have to do a thing! We don't have to clean our room or get straight A's.. we don't have to get a degree or win a Pulitzer prize.. we don't have to be famous or rich.. His love isn't conditional.. it's there whether we ask for it or not.. it's even there if we want it or not! Do you know anyone else who has EVER loved you like that?? I know I don't!

God's love gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.. yup.. to me, God is like hot chocolate on a cold day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Betcha didn't know....

When I was a little girl I use to line up all my stuffies and play teacher. Any of my picture books would turn into lesson plans and I had a chalk board I could draw diagrams on or "teach" the alphabet on. If any of the stuffies were naughty, they would have to sit in the corner and no one could talk to them until they rejoined the group. I had one friend when I was around 9 years old and we would play superstar in our apartments rec room. We would climb up on the pool table and dance around and sing as loud as we could. Then we would make "rock people" and sell them to people in the building saying we were raising money for Easter Seals. Yes, I know, I was horrible.. But at least I was earning the money!

My family is huge on make believe and fantasy. I think it stems from my bio dad and his love of play. He use to tell my sisters that if they saw something move out of the corner of their eye, but then when they turned their head, they didn't see anything, it was one of Santa's elves. Santa was busy all year so would send his elves to make sure every little kid was behaving themselves. When I was 8 years old I started to question Santa's existence.... big mistake in my family.. My sisters went to great lengths to "prove" he was real. They knew a guy who had a pilots license and so off Carollyn and I went in a 4 passenger plane to visit Santa's house.... and ya know what? We saw it!! There were two homes, one was Santa's and one was for the elves. It was amazing and I never questioned Jolly Ol' St. Nick again! Seriously, to this day I KNOW he's real!

Spiders freak me out.. Doesn't matter the size.. I do NOT like them. They are one of Gods freaky creations.

I love old movies and musicals. Not the cheesy musicals they make today.. Like High School musical (sorry if you're a fan, i forgive you). Breakfast at Tiffany's, Gentlemen Prefer Blonde's, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady.... I love Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Gene Kelly and James Stewart. Katherine Hepburn and Rosemary Clooney. I would dream of Jane Russell being my mom and brushing my hair 100 times. I love all the old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movies.. So innocent and entertaining. and who doesn't love any James Stewart movie? Okay, so maybe anyone under 50.. But I grew up with adults.. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!

Most embarrassing thing would have to be that I loved Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Don't judge, I'm sure there's someone equally bad that you loved.

My neck is the the most sensitive place on my body and I will squeal like a hyena if you tickle me there.. Seriously ear popping squeal... Ask anyone.

I hate broccoli.

I love to sing. When I was little I would make up songs when I was in the tub and belt them out as loud as I could.. ironically they were usually about God. I sang with the Victoria Orchestra with my elementary school choir.. we sang the songs from The Sound of Music. Then when I started going to church, I sang solo's... now I sing solo alright.. I make sure no one is around either!!

My favorite peaceful place to be is near the water... Cowichan Lake, Goldstream Park or the Ocean.

I became a Christian when I was 18 years old and I have struggled with my faith ever since. I don't have blind faith in most things.. I wish I did. I need to research things until I find the answer that fits best for me.. It probably took me 10 years to fully understand how the Trinity worked. I pray. I pray really hard and I talk to Jesus a lot.. Sometimes out loud and other times in my heart. My relationship with Him is private and I will only openly share with people I feel secure with.

I swear.. Yup.. I'm a Christian and I swear.. I'm not perfect. Never claimed to be.. Ever! I am flawed all over the place and if you don't like it, that's your issue, I won't try to change your mind.

I try not to hold grudges and stay mad for long. Takes up too much energy and that energy doesn't burn calories! So really, what's the point?

I love playing pranks on people. I also laugh twice as hard if someone can manage to prank me. I'm not easily pranked.. Only one has managed to plan and execute a prank that I had no idea about, but that's another blog entry... Along with the revenge I am planning....

So there ya have it.. A little more insight into me that I betcha didn't know...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hodgpodge of things..

Do you ever feel bored from being bored? Oh there are a million things I could do but nothing strikes my fancy today. The weather is cloudy and muggy and I think that's a little how I'm feeling.. not too focused on anything in particular, but I feel like blogging so here I am.

I made some cookies.. they didn't turn out how I had hoped...

Okay, so they didn't turn out at all as I had hoped!! I only had them in the oven for 7 minutes! How can something get so dark so fast? They didn't taste too bad but I'm not crazy about burnt tasting cookies.. however, I really wanted the chocolate so they'll have to do!

It's been somewhat of a movie marathon this weekend.. I went and saw Horrible Bosses.. funny movie!! But what made it even funnier is that there was some single guy sitting behind me and his laugh was infectious!! I think I was laughing at his laugh more than the movie at times! But seriously.. it was a funny movie. Let's see what else did I watch.. oh.. there was Marley and Me.. I love that movie because it's all about the adventures of an adorable golden lab named.. well.. Marley.. it's about Marley's life and how his life impacted the lives of his owners. If you are avoiding seeing it because you've heard the ending is sad.. well.. you're missing out.. yes, you will need a couple boxes of Kleenex, but it's well worth it! And besides.. everyone needs to have a good cry now and then!

I also watched the Step Father.. oooo scary! I've seen it before which is why I could watch it.. those suspense thrillers are just terrible! In a good way!! Then I watched Julie and Julia.. one of my favorite movies.. about my favorite topic... FOOD!!! LOL I love Meryl Streep and I love Julia Child so what more could you ask for!! I also love some of the songs.. one in particular.. "A Bushel and a Peck".. it's one my mom use to sing to me when I was little.. it brings back good memories of my mom embarrassing me while singing it in the kitchen...

I spent a couple of hours in Chapters this weekend also.. isn't it great how you can just get lost in a store full of books!! No one is there to bother you, I'm sure they are there for the same reason I was.. to find a way to escape the hecticness of life. To find a book they can get absorbed into, or learn from, or connect to. I didn't even get into the romance section.. not that I've been into those lately, but I spent two hours just looking at cook books, magazines and new release books. It's not even like I need any more books.. I have so many that I still haven't read but I'm addicted to books. Lately though, I've been downloading them onto my iPad for less than buying them in hard copy!! But I also got some great advice from a chapters employee.. she told me that I can actually "borrow" an ebook from the library and you can do it online!! I first either need to find my library card or go and get one but I think its so cool!! Not sure the variety yet but something I will look into.. oh and you can also "borrow" audio books!!

I haven't been taking any pictures with my DSLR lately but have with my iPod.. they aren't great but it's still fun to do.. I've been looking for a good digital point and shoot.. it must have at least 10x optical zoom so trying to find one I can afford hasn't been easy. Then again.. I'd rather have a new lens that I can use in low light with no flash.. then I wouldn't need the point and shoot.. unfortunately the lens I want is over $600.. the biggest disadvantage of having a Pentax! The lack of lens availability!!

Hmmm.. well time is ticking and it's getting time for dinner.. tonight is pot roast, yorkies, carrots, corn and mashed potatoes!! Sadly I'm all out of Asparagus and don't feel like leaving the house so will have to make due with what the fridge is providing!! Bon Appetite!!

Here are a couple of random pictures...