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Showing posts from June, 2009

the social

I just finished reading the book, The Search to Belong, by Joseph R. Myers. It explores the 4 primary spaces that relationships happen in our lives.
1. Public: we connect to strangers through an outside influence such as a sporting event; there is little interaction beyond this event or location, but it is significant to our lives.
2. Social: we relate to others we have a connection with, we present "snapshots" of ourselves as we encounter others in a casual setting and relate briefly.
3. Personal: we develop friendships and share private experiences, feelings, and thoughts.
4. Intimate: we are "naked" and intimate with a few people in our lives, sharing our inmost thoughts and feelings without shame.

I do very well in the public setting because I love the energy of a large group where there is no need to engage with everyone. But, I naturally gravitate to the personally intimate spaces, and sometimes find the social setting frustrating because I believe that I need to …

is this what you expected?

This is from a talk I gave at a church meeting last night.

I was reading Luke 7 this week and the question that John the baptist asks jumped out of the page at me. He was in prison and sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the One we've been expecting, or are we still waiting?" Despite John's extensive preparation work for the long-awaited messiah, he still wasn't sure that what Jesus was bringing was what he had been expecting. Sometimes this life of following Jesus is not what I expected, either. I'm with you, John.

It got me to thinking about my love/hate affair with expectations and I came up with these delineations:
Expectation is:
- a prospect of success or gain
- belief that someone should behave in a particular way
- focus on a particular outcome
- Dean comes home with flowers for me.
Expectancy is:
- anticipation
- excitement, feeling hopeful
- focus on a catalytic factor, not an event
- Dean comes home and that brings many possibilities with it.

I sh…

fixing a fridge

My friend had a fridge meltdown last week - literally. He called me to tell me that everything in his freezer had melted, there was water dripping over the food in his fridge, and the motor kept turning off and on erratically. Since he was on his way out for the evening, I told him I would come over the next day to see what was going on. I mentioned that if he kept the fridge door closed, his food should be alright until then.

I like fixing small things around the house and enjoy the challenge of making something right that was not working before, so sometimes my friends call me up when they have a problem. When I got off the phone, I researched fridge issues on the internet and found that this particular problem might be the result of dirty coils which were affecting the performance of the compressor. There was an easy solution. However, if this didn't work, he would have to ask his landlord for a new refrigerator, which might turn out to be a bit of an ordeal since the corporati…

the incident of the sunbather and the prodigal cat

It is a rainy day. Jazz the cat is sleeping on the couch not six feet away from me as I write. I just paid my hydro bill online, answered a few emails, and my cup of chai green tea is empty. Pause. Okay, the cup is full again.

My summer schedule has been going well. The boss is firm but flexible, and has let me change up the hours on occasion as long as I get my work done. So on days when the 12-3 writing schedule just doesn't work due to a dentist appointment such as I had on Monday or an online lecture that I participated in yesterday, I work a little later or split a shift.

Just before my writing shift began yesterday, I had a little incident involving Jazz. If you are averse to stories with embarrassing personal details, you might want to stop reading right now. It was a beautiful sunny day and I thought I would lie outside for a bit and get some colour on my skin before I sat down at the computer for the rest of the afternoon. I have been sitting inside way too much this sprin…

the "J" word

Every once in awhile, I struggle with jealousy. It is not attractive. For some decrepit reason, I start to look at other people's lives and think that perhaps some of what they have would be better served if I were to possess it. I compare my situation and theirs. I nitpik over minute details and keep score of who has what. I am not proud of any of this, and so I am confessing it.

This week the jealousy flared up a bit again. It never makes me feel better about myself; it only leaves me with an empty and poor spirit. It never puts a smile on my face and a bounce in my step; it only saps my energy and my sense of gratitude. It never helps me to love and serve with compassion; it only makes me irritable and either pouty or possessive. So why do I still entertain the thoughts when they come my way? I really don't know. I have asked God to help me jettison the root of jealousy out of my life lots of times, and for the most part, it is gone. But every once in awhile, it slams me whe…

what does hockey have to do with anything?

We are having a hockey party tonight. Well, I do live in Canada after all, and we love our hockey. And tonight, though neither of the final two teams are from my native land, we will gather in our living room to watch the last game of the NHL playoffs and cheer and yell and boo and eat burgers and sausage and drink beer. Of course, we are cheering for Nova Scotian born Sidney Crosby (and his team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, by default). It will be a great way to end a good week.

On Monday, I embarked on my new summer schedule. No, it is not 3 hours by the pool, 4 hours in the park. I don't even have a pool, unless you count the half inch of water that accumulates on my balcony after a sweet, summer rain. When the school year ended at the end of April, I said I wanted to do a bunch of stuff this summer that I didn't have time for during the year due to a hectic study and work and church stuff and life schedule. And after the month of May raced by with its parade of non-stop visit…

prayer from the ground

This was my prayer yesterday:
God, may the ditches of every lack and inadequacy in my life be filled in so that I stop falling into them.
Please scrape off the prickly bumps of jealousy and frustration and meanness that I wear and smooth them over with grace. I don't want those pointy things sticking out of my life anymore and hurting others.
Can you straighten out the detours that I have taken, and help me to start choosing wisely, no longer avoiding the direct paths of submission and love and obedience.
Father, I have ruts in my life, big ones, caverns caused by rejection that I cannot let go. Please pave over them and make my life a road where everyone can see the parade of God's salvation.
It seems that the only way I can prepare for your presence in my life is by your present and active assistance. Welcome.
(adapted from Luke 3:4-6 in The Message)

I receive

On Wednesday, I took my car in to the garage to get the air conditioning fixed. They ran a diagnostic on it, emptied out the freon, refilled it, and sent me on my way after almost 3 hours of waiting, telling me it should be better. On the way home, the air conditioning failed again. I called and complained, not too happy about just spending $180 for nothing! Enrico, my service guy, ever so patiently squeezed the schedule to give me another appointment later in the week. After I hung up, I felt badly about my attitude. I had been whiny and impatient and a touch demanding on the phone. Whiny is never attractive, and demanding is not the most effective way to deal with people. But I also don't like feeling like I have been ripped off. So I asked God what was going on and I felt like he answered, "I'm giving you another chance to see Enrico." Somehow, the $180 or the non-functioning air conditioning didn't seem to be on the top of his list of things to be concerned a…