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Showing posts from May, 2009

wanna dance?

We went swing dancing last night. Lots of fun. We had a group of 11 friends together so everyone got a chance to dance with each other (and a few strangers as well) in a very friendly, fun, and encouraging environment. Plus, there was a live band playing so that brought a great vibe into the room. There were some really good dancers there, and there were some people who were trying the swing dance scene for the first time. It is always a bit awkward when you are learning a social skill like dancing. You watch people kick and twirl and jive with grace all around you, and yet, it is all you can do to set your feet down on the right beat. It can be discouraging.

I have had about 6 dance lessons in my life, so I am getting pretty comfortable with moving around and following someone, even if I don't know all the steps. The important things for me are to be relaxed, bring some fun to every dance, pay attention to the cues given by my partner, and don't be afraid to try something and …

downloading vs. streaming

I am a thinker. I like to sit in the quiet and contemplate. This is where I come up with ideas for just about everything I do in life including the writing and the talks that I give. This is how I find the energy and insight to walk with people in a creative and hopefully helpful way. Most of all, this is where I am able to make some sense of my life and find some direction for daily decisions. When I don't find the space to be quiet and dialogue with God and ponder the deep questions, I can feel quite empty and aimless, unable to offer much to anyone.

This past month was one of those times when I did not find a lot of space for pondering. It happens. And yet, I had talks to give and people to pray for and counsel and writing to do. The wisdom pail was often scraping at the bottom of the well, or so it felt to me. One of the times that I was expected to get up and say something to a group of people, I realised that I had nothing running through my head: no prepared thoughts and not…

something for leaders

Whew! We are back from our weekend in Sussex, New Brunswick and though tired, I feel immensely blessed and content. The countryside there is beautiful, the people we spent time with are some of the most dedicated and real folks I know, and there was a goodness and hopefulness that permeated every waking and sleeping and eating moment.

I was given a chance to talk to the pastors on Friday morning, so here is a brief summary of what I said (and did).

I asked God, what would you say to these pastors and leaders? And it seemed to me that he responded with, "What would you say to Dean?" Well, that's easy! I would say to Dean, "Thank you for loving me! Thank you for taking care of me, for providing for me, for telling me I am beautiful, for making sure I have food and clothes, for defending me, for cheering me on, for believing in me and seeing my potential, for sticking by me on my bad days, and for never walking away." And I think that this is what God wanted …

pre road trip jitters

We are leaving shortly for a road trip to Sussex, New Brunswick. It is a Vineyard Canada thing, so we'll get to see old friends and make new ones and sit in some sessions with leaders and attend a conference where we hopefully learn together. Being in a car with Dean for 20 hours is a great treat as well!

Dean and/or I have been asked to give a little talk on Friday morning to the pastors and also to pray for a ladies' bible study group on Sunday morning. I got very excited by these opportunities because I love being able to bring something to others that makes things clearer in their lives, that adds fun and grace and beauty. And then I start to think...well, what would that be, this wonderful thing I am bringing? So I have been pondering on that for a few days and been so tired and busy that nothing has come out of all these scattered thoughts. So I feel bad that I might come there empty handed, but then I remember that the gift is not ultimately from me, is it? I hav…

the era of the house guests

I am alone at home. This is kind of a big deal, because I have had house guests for 30 days out of the last 33. I love house guests, and all of them have been fun and interesting, and we got to do lots of cool stuff together. I loved having coffee and croissants at the French patisserie, walking down by the canal and having ice cream and deep conversations, going to see Cirque duSoleil, and playing parlour games with a group of friends and family at Dean's birthday party. There is a time for house guests and socialising, and there is a time to get back in the rhythms of contemplation and work and rest and household chores and thoughtful learning.

This past month I have been more aware than ever that my life is meant to be lived as one, as a whole person, not split into different roles and functions which must be done in isolation from each other. It is totally possible to be contemplative in a noisy room full of people. Prayer and thoughtful wisdom can be included in a light…

I used to be an actor

Last night we went out with friends after church to the local rib joint, and one of the people whom I had recently met started asking me about what kind of work I liked to do. It led to a whole discussion of my resume in the arts and theatre, and at one point he asked me if I ever missed acting. I said, "No." And then I wondered..."Why don't I miss it?" Sometimes when I am writing or talking to someone, I find that things become clearer, the lines fall into place, and I understand something that I did not comprehend before. And so it was last night.

Having grown up in a fairly conservative environment that did not provide a lot of outlets for passion and creativity (and to be honest, somewhat discouraged it), I chose to channel most of my emotional energy and abundance of imagination into acting and other artistic outlets. This created a certain division in my life between the quiet, shy Matte and the charismatic, intense, and passionate Matte. As I have chosen …

what type of plant are you?

Last night I gave a talk at church on "What Type of Plant are You?" It went something like this...

1. Annual - This is a plant that lasts for one season. It is beautiful and impressive and grows quickly, but it cannot withstand a harsh climate. It is around as long as things are sunny and warm and comfortable, but once the hard times come, it is gone. It is bright and flashy and a pleasure to have around, but it is not around for long.

2. Perennial - This type of plant is seasonal. You plant it once, and it comes and goes according to the seasons. It does not like the harsh climate either, so it will be dormant when things are unpleasant, but it makes its appearance once things warm up. There will be long periods of inactivity and some slow growth over the years as it comes and goes according to the climate.

3. Artificial - These flowers and plants look great, never fade, and bloom all the time, but they are not alive. They are static, without growth or movement, wi…

pothole

It has been quite a week. My school year officially ended last Friday with a bang: a 21-hour day which included a 3 hour exam and a 15-hour creative project. The next night we went jive dancing with some friends and on the way home, blew two tires out on a nasty pothole. Dean's car went into the shop on Monday for new tires and some minor body work. He commandeered my car, so I was without wheels for 4 days. Meanwhile, Dean had a business trip scheduled, so he drove to Vermont, parked my car at the airport, then flew to Memphis to oversee shipping and inventory at the new warehouse location for his company. When he got there, he encountered a bigger mess than he had bargained for. He called me yesterday to tell me he was extending his trip by 3 days. That leaves me in charge of leading the Sunday night church gathering and speaking.

On top of that, I have had a house guest for the past 2 weeks who is writing three exams and dealing with some curve balls that life is tossing at her …