After almost a month of Sundays

Today was my first Sunday back to church in about a month.

Why a month, might you ask? 

Well, it is simple.  

A snow storm, an ice storm and what Patrick classified as one of the better excuses for missing church ever. I sent the reason to him in a text that went a little like this:

Stumbled upon someone trying to die.  Had to help make them stop.  Sorry I can’t be there.

Translation… I was on call.  

I was hoping to make my way in after doing a quick round and then meeting up with staff/doing consults later in the day.  But, my second to last patient of the day happened to be crashing before my very eyes.  I may be on a consult service, but there is a human (and ethical and legal) obligation to help in that circumstance.

So, it has been about a month.  Work and storms have stopped me.  I did get to Christmas Eve church, but this was my first Sunday church.

It was nice to be back.  

To learn and worship as a part of a community.  To catch up with a couple people after the holidays.

Also, it is nice that I am really starting to think of it as community. 

And in case you were wondering after this post, no baby announcement this week (a rarity).

The Church, The Childless and The Challenge

Someone I know from back home posted this article from the Gospel Coalition on Facebook.

How the Church Makes the Trial of Infertility Better (or Worse).

I suggest if you are in the church, or even if you are a part of society co-existing with childbearing age women, you should read it.  It offers some good food for thought.

The church we go to is FULL of young families.  Full.  So much so that almost every week or two there is a birth announcement or yet another couple announcing yet another pregnancy.  It is actually kind of a game — the trying to predict when and who the next announcement is coming from.  And it is awesome.  I mean, so great to see people having kids and sharing in that joy and having babies and kids to hang with all the time.

But, when you really want kids, that can also be sad and frustrating.

I like that the article addressed the struggles and hurt that many people go through and normalized them.

It made me know that we aren’t alone in not having kids and existing in the church in our mid to late twenties because sometimes, where we are now, it feels like the exception rather than a piece of the norm.

This is a good reminder that not everybody can have children or wants to have children or some combination of the two and that these people, like those with families, need love and support too.


Today was our church’s Advent kick-off.

It was, much like the rest of our church, unique. It was a bring your entire family and decorate the place in entirety while listening to what one person described as typical “hipster folk Christmas tunes,” followed by cookies, hot chocolate and worship time.

Kids running everywhere, masses of creativity and lots of lights make for a good time. Especially with the reminders about the real reason for the season!

I was exhausted today for no good reason, but this was the rejuvenation I needed.

I even took some very poor quality photos of the adventure.








The post I was thinking about writing ties in well with the Daily Post daily prompt from a couple days ago, “Exhale,” which asks you to tell about a time when you felt like everything was going wrong and then suddenly you knew it was going to be alright.

In this case, I did know in my head it was going to be alright, at least in theory before this, but still, it fits.

As those of you who read this blog may have noticed, I have been struggling a lot with feeling a part of the community at church.  I’m not a naturally outgoing person and I don’t fit a lot of the typical gender roles of women my age in the church (maybe this isn’t really true, but it is how I feel sometimes).  I have been kind of bothered by the fact that we have been here for a year and things are still challenging socially for me when not at work (my fellow residents/physics folks are geekily delightful) or with the Child and her husband (again, thank goodness for them).  I knew it would take time and I felt like I was gaining ground until the summer hit and our D-group (small group) dissolved for the formation of new groups this fall.

Despite that, I have tried (prayed really hard and tried to be optimistic… er… listened to Patrick’s optimism) to trust that we would make more friends and have real friendships and community.  And tried to trust that this takes time and that really a year, especially with how much we have been away/working, isn’t that long.  And tried to trust that the thoughts in my head that I was hopeless on this end and that things could never be as good as we had with our small group on the Rock were not true.

As a human.  Especially as a human who likes to control things, but doesn’t like groups of people, this has been a challenge.  And although I was trying to leave it all to God and stop putting pressure on myself (and others), I felt very discouraged and kind of down about the whole thing.

Tonight was our first meeting with our new Discipleship group (D-group).  We are definitely the only people that nobody really knows.  And I am totally Patrick’s wife to most of them. That being said, we shared a meal with a group of people from a diverse number of backgrounds.  Single, married, some with teens and others with an infant.  Some go way back, others have known eachother for a year or two.

It was nice.  It was nice to be with people in a group that wasn’t work related.

The first meeting is mainly about setting group ground rules and getting to know one another and praying around what God is going to do for the year.  It was good.

It seems like a good group of people and I think we will have good discussions.

It seems silly, but even just meeting up for the first time and starting to plan for year ahead and chatting a bit made me feel better.  Even though I was terrified to go initially.

It will be okay.  We will get to know more people and I will fit in.

Tonight was just the reminder I needed.

Running and Dying

This weekend was finally the Run Or Dye I have been training for.

Problem being that I, of course, in true Trisha fashion, somehow injured my left ankle and right knee a week and a half pre-race.  I think the ankle came first, but the I ran again the next day and then both hurt.

To top it all off, we went to Montreal for a few days where we walked EVERYWHERE.

My ankle swelled and bruised and was all around beautiful.

So, running really did kind of feel like death.

Nonetheless, I still did manage to run a bit of the race.  Just a bit though.  And, as it turns out, the course was so horrendously muddy and hilly, most people weren’t running too much more than me.  And others from our group apparently still managed to do the thing in under 20 minutes.

The place where the race was had only one way to it from the city.  Traffic was horrendous.  So, despite leaving for what is normally a 45 minute drive, it took us over 2 hours.  And then we wound up parking in a field and taking a shuttle bus to the race site.IMG_0922

The problem was that almost the rest of our group ended up in a different lot and left without us in a different heat as a result of a big communication fail.

So, the Child and I wandered looking for the others and never found them.  There were so many people.  So. Many.  And the starting point was like a corral.  Like we were cattle being led to be milked or something.  Nobody brought phones (except us) and it isn’t like we knew anyone’s number anyway.  But, we did find another team member who was also misplaced (and stuck in traffic), so we did the course together.IMG_0927

The whole being left behind affair really did not help my insecurities and struggle to blend in with the church people outside of church.  It just made me feel more left out when I had hoped that actually finally doing something with the women would help me feel more involved.  Everyone was super apologetic that night at a bonfire and the next day at church.  It really was just one of those circumstances that sometimes happen and two of the other forgotten people had been a part of the church and this group of friends for ages.  It still felt like it was pointing out yet again that we aren’t fully “one of the gang.”  And part of that is that we are both very aware of the fact that we don’t have as many close friends here while others all know each other well.  And that when people are so “together,” even when they are being welcoming, you still feel a bit outside.  Sadly, even as grown ups, we are still getting it together.  So, sometimes, it feels like high school all over again.  Nobody is perfect, that is why we need grace.

It would have been nice to at least start the race with everyone else in our group (because heaven knows I wasn’t keeping up with the 20 minute 5k people).  But, as it turns out, people watching while corralled with a bunch of strangers is also entertaining.  My favourite was a guy in a bunny suit.  Yes… Full on rabbit.  Totally made the loudness and masses of people better in my books.IMG_0929

Despite that, I still had fun.  And made a new friend (the girl who was also left behind).  We laughed about how out of shape we still are, despite trying to train for this.  We tried not to break our necks going down muddy hills and cringed at the rare crazies who tried to run some of them.  We became super colourful while rocking our cool team t-shirts without most of the team.IMG_0937

We pulled off the 5k in somewhere between 45 and 50 minutes.  Nowhere near record breaking, but given the ski hillishness of the course, the mud and my aching ankle, I feel like that is okay.

What was cute was that our husbands came to cheer us on at our first “race.”  Despite the fact it wasn’t really a race.  The funny part was that they were scared of getting dyed and stayed really far away from the finish and missed us completely.

The boys were scared of these giant dye clouds.

The boys were scared of these giant dye clouds.

I still have some bright pink undertones under my right armpit.  When I got home, I had an orange foot, a part green foot, and a bright pink chest and back.  So charming.

I would do it again.  It was as fun as the internet world suggests.  But next time, if it at the same place, the life lesson is leave super early and plan where to meet better than “the parking lot.”IMG_0935

Struggling With Community

Today was our church’s community day.

Basically it is a day where we had a café and music and bbq and a freecycle (basically a yard sale where you can take whatever you want for free) and games for kids and cub cars.  The whole community comes out (which in the neighbourhood we live in leads to some very interesting characters).

So, it is a very social day.

I am tired of people.

The beauty of our church and days like this is that we are a very “together” church as one of our past small group members described.  It is smaller and they take the whole community thing very seriously with whole church parties, bonfires and the like.  I love that about the church.  I think community it important.

When we first started going there, people noticed we were new and introduced themselves.  It was great (well, terrifying, but in a “yay, these people actually want to know us” kind of way).  But, once you are there for a while, you become part of the crowd.  The thing is for me is that most of the crowd are either single students or married parents and some days I feel like there isn’t a whole lot of in between.  That and much of the crowd has known eachother forever, so as much as we are welcome, I very rarely feel like I truly fit in except at our small group.

Last week, the women were having another baby shower for another person I don’t know.  I hate baby showers.  And I get so stressed out about social events when I don’t know people.  I went home from church and freaked out to Patrick about how I will never make friends at this rate because I don’t like typical “woman” activities and don’t have time for half the stuff.

He told me “to make a friend, you have to be a friend.”

Very wise, Patrick.   Very wise.

The Child had a similar freak-out with her husband.

As much as I feel alone, she has met even fewer people because they have yet to get plugged into a small group and such.  At least I can say a knowing “hi” to people.

So, we are both together in our loneliness.

Patrick says we are connected on some weird wavelength.

So, we have vowed to be more social.  Including making each other go to things where we can meet other people from the church.

And thus, we volunteered to help with the café for community day.  Coffee, baked goods and saying polite “hellos.”  Right up our alley.    Plus, I love helping people.

And we did it.  And I feel like we did talk to more people than I normally would have.  In fact, I realized that I at least can chat briefly with more people that I know (sort of) that I had thought.  I also, in some bizarre twist of introductions,  examined the intern pastor’s shoulder (awkward).

That kind of talking is fine.  I like conversations that have purpose.  Like reminiscing about skip-its (How awesome were they?  I mean, until you cracked yourself in the ankle or something) or talking about the beauty of the coffee.   I think that is the same skill that gets me through in my job.  I can polite small talk.  I am interested in people and their stories.

I, however, am not good at walking up to someone random and just chatting.

I had to do it for a bit when I was on the InterVarsity exec in university.  I do it when potential new residents come.  I hate it.

I am a shy person.

You wouldn’t necessarily think it if you saw me talking the face off of someone I know, but I am.

So, when my time at the café was done, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I am not artistic, so the painting did not appeal to me.  I don’t have kids and hate kids in mass, so the kids stuff looked like a nightmare (this is where most of the people I know were, including Patrick).  So, I rummaged through the freecycle and eventually went home early.

My problem is me.

I know that.

I am scared of being rejected.  I am scared of not fitting in.   I know a big piece of it is self-centred.  Nobody really cares.  But, I get weirded out sometimes when randoms join my conversation, so I project those feelings on others.

Plus, I was tired of people.

Hello, introvert!

I feel like I am slowly (very slowly) getting to know people.  And very slowly making friends.  Patrick has met a ton of people.  They like him.  They apparently ask about me.

It felt easier at our last church.  I still struggled because that is how I roll and I came from a church where everyone knew everyone.   It was bigger, but our small group was our community because we were almost all from away and had no other connections, so we ventured together.  That made a big difference, I think.  It was still tough to get to know others, but we had a core group who felt similarly as our safety net while we pursued our own interests.

Here, our small group is changing next month and they were almost all there for years and know everyone else. Not quite as built in a mini-community because here everyone does everything together.  And yes, almost everyone is under 40, but many are either students or parents of many and we are somewhere in between (I know there are others… I know it).

And yet, I love it.

I love that it is a together church, I love that it is so young and that there are kids and such.  I love that just by being there and being a Christian, I belong. I love that I am continually challenged by this community and a piece of this is the hugely social aspect.  I just wish I could some how more easily feel like I fit in, instead of feeling so anxious about it all the time.

The good piece is that days like today do still feel like a small bit of progress.  And we will have a new small group soon, which means people to develop closer relationships and accountability.  And the run is coming up and some other stuff that will make us put ourselves out there a bit more.

It will come.  It took over a year at our last church before I really started feeling entirely at home.  I take time to settle and really feel engaged.

I guess that is something God and I have to work on.  Because I am not good at this sort of thing on my own.

Community is both natural and intentional.  I feel like right now I know I am in a community, but I just don’t always feel a part of it.  I did feel angry because I was feeling left out of the community, but I have come to realize that people are inclusive, I just have to show up and try.  A lot of that feeling a part of the community I am in needs to come from me making an effort.  Something I didn’t have the time or energy to do until recently.

The 3 Rs… Recreation, Research and Randomness.

I feel like it is time for some updates of randomness.

Patrick decided he is going to do Run or Dye with some men from the church.  He is going to the gym with me today for the first time.  Jeter may become orphaned later this September.

On a Run or Dye note, training is, well, going.  I did previously think that I would die, but I am almost to our team’s goal of doing the 5k in under 40minutes.  Now, to do it outside.  I hate the elements.  Just saying.

I am actually starting to enjoy running.  * Mind blown! *

Patrick and I went out on a date night last week.  His birthday is later this month, but we had a family party while we were home recently and everyone got him Chapter’s gift cards, so we went on a Chapter’s/Starbucks date during which he spent all of the gift cards.  It was exciting.  We even got a couple books I will read

While on this date night, we bought the fabulous card game, “Squarrels.”  I had bought this for a Yankee Swap a few years ago with our small group and it provided us with endless hours of semi-violent entertainment.  The Child and D were over last night and we played our new game and it had a similar result (poor Jeter nearly had a stroke with all the table slapping and yelling).

Yesterday, we went to our favourite beach for one last swim.  Interestingly, the water was probably as warm as or warmer than the air.   The waves, as usual, were epic and the beach was pleasantly empty (because not many people decide it is a good idea to go swimming in September).

This is our new favourite beach (as seen in July... Not September).

This is our new favourite beach (as seen in July… Not September).

On Labour Day weekend, we went to L&C’s trailer again.  There, we had Mountain Dew as a beverage option.  Now, I have never been one to drink Mountain Dew (at least not as an adult).  We discovered that the stuff can make you crazy.  I was a giggling fool for most of the night.  We then decided that this will be our beverage of choice when we finally attempt to play “American Drinking Game” like on the show New Girl as our beer substitute because we just don’t actually drink that much.

Photo props to the Child.

Photo props to the Child.

I found out that the research assistant who helped with the first part of my project failed to send out a chunk of surveys making that chunk data kind of, well, missing.  I am unimpressed by this fact.  It means that I may not be able to look at the long-term effects because it likely has screwed up how the study was powered.  On the bright side, I still have lots of useable stuff, just not in the same way we planned.

I went to a research meeting where I discovered the above.  The supervisor from my department couldn’t make it, so it was me and the other researcher.  She called me Diane the whole meeting.  Not sure why.  But, I didn’t correct her the first couple times because I thought I misheard her, or that it was a one-off thing.  Then, when she kept doing it, it was past the point of it being okay for me to point it out.  So, I spent the hour as “Diane.”  She emailed me immediately following the meeting and called me Trish.  Guess she figured it out.  Whoops.

I have a new obsession with playing Spider Solitaire.  I blame my Research Methods course and my Mother.  The first has been really boring.  The second has a similar addiction that introduced me to the game with our first Windows XP desktop back in high school.

The coffee place at the market at the hospital on Friday did not have lids for their coffee.  So, I had a giant coffee filled to the brim that I then had to maneuver back into the building and up two flights of stairs and down a hall.  I was covered in coffee by the time I hit my desk.  The Child pointed out I should have a thermal mug for these occasions (I did… It got lost in the hospital, so now I am back down to one).  I realize in retrospect that half the problem would have been resolved had I taken the elevator.

Image from

Fall is coming.  I love Fall.  I hate the cold.  Last night was the first night I had to crack out an extra blanket.

Cool stuff from Song of Solomon

Earlier this week, I noticed the Daily Post asked the question in one of their prompts, “tell us about a thing you will never write about.”  A few things instantly popped into my head, but when I get down to it, even those I might consider writing on if the time is right.

One of those topics that popped into my mind is sex.

Reasoning… Well, my parents read this blog.  My inner teenager says, “EWWWWW.”

Realistically, I have broached the topic a few times, mainly around concepts of intimacy and such.  And here I go again…

Our church has, for the past two-ish months, been doing a series on Song of Solomon.  People tend to be of two minds on this chunk of scripture.  Although I know most people won’t deny it is part of the Bible and relevant, many people (me included… the person who asks strangers about erectile function) feel uncomfortable with the poetry and the romance in this book.  Some people are even more uncomfortable with the fact that it is the “sex” book.  Other people are intrigued because it is different and it is about, well, sex and relationships.

It shouldn’t matter what any of us think because it is scripture and as rare and bizarre as it is to have it be a part of the discussion at church and small group, it is important.  It is Biblical wisdom.  Apparently it was shared at wedding celebrations back in the day (*gasps from the staunch). 

The series isn’t quite done yet, but I thought I would share what I have gleaned from the experience… And this is nowhere near the depth of which we covered it, or the depth to which God probably intends it.

One thing that I found interesting before we even get into things is the concept that Solomon wrote this.  Solomon with the million wives (okay, not a million, but a bunch).  That kind of weirded me out.  What does buddy with masses of wives know about real love?  The notion that the pastor put forth, as have several commentaries I have read is that these are supposed to representations of “every man” and “every woman” and that Solomon may be writing in generalities from his experience as influenced by God.  AKA… Don’t bash the book because of who the human attached to it is.

So, big themes that stuck out for me as a wife and as a woman.


Beauty is a huge concept throughout this book.  There are lines and lines of nauseating poetry complimenting one another.  Head to toe descriptions. And looks at how we measure beauty.

Even back then, culture and society influenced beauty (see S of S 1:5-7).  She was influenced by her past and her present.  But, the girl in this passage recognizes her own inherent beauty despite that stuff.  A good lesson for all of us.

Bigger than her recognizing her inner beauty, despite what she points out culture would consider flaws, is the guy and how he sees her beauty.  And talks about it over and over again.  He measures her beauty from a heart of love and she is transformed.

I wouldn’t have noticed it unless it was pointed out to me, but she really is.  As the cheesy dialogue progresses, she acknowledges her beauty more and loves him more.


God made us.  Refer back to Genesis 1&2 for that stuff.

Full body beauty is appreciation of the fullness of God’s grace, God’s plan and God’s creation.  Married people are God’s gifts to one another.

The couple in S of S is big on the full body appreciation.  There are multiple chunks where they literally do head to toe descriptions of one another.  This points back to God’s appreciation and beauty in His creation, but also to the overarching concept of beauty.  That our denying our own beauty and uniqueness is basically, in a way, taking away from that of God and of our spouse.

Whoa.  Hang on a second… That is tough stuff to swallow.  Especially maybe moreso for women.  Many of us from a young age feel shame about our bodies, our imperfections.  But, our spouses don’t notice that stuff.  That is just part of our awesomeness.  And we should accept that.  Because that is God’s grace.

I am still working on wrapping my head around that stuff.

There is the whole pursuit thing that goes along with the beauty and leads up to intimacy.  God pursues us kind of like the young man.  He thinks we are beautify.  He thinks we are perfect.  He protects us and shields us from others.  We have a longing for wholeness and beauty and God is how we find these things.  Fascinating parallels.

Then, there is the whole intimacy thing.  Probably the other bigger concept.

Well, duh, you say… The whole book is basically about marriage and sex.

But, this is pure intimacy.  As in the way God intended.

And no, it isn’t perfect.

Check out chapter 5 if you want not perfect.  It is real marriage stuff (and some hilarious (at least to me) double entendre).  Wife gets ticked at husband for being out too late and locks him out.  He peels.  Then she feels bad and goes out after him.  And life gets really rough without him.  In the end, it is okay.  But bad stuff does happen, but it is important to remember that the security of relationship is huge.  And that the intimacy of marriage is stronger than a silly fight.  Marriage is a covenant.  You can’t just walk out of a covenant.  God makes it tough to do that.  He is big on covenants (think Noah and the ark).

But right, back to intimacy.

One of the reasons God sticks someone in your life is holiness. He will remake you (refer up to the beauty thing).  If God comes first, you worship your way out of the negative cycle of self harm and self indulgence.    Christ died for the church.  Man would die for his wife.  But, realistically, do we care enough about our relationship, our witness to address hard topics with grace?  To die to ourselves?

Intimacy does not equal nakedness.

Society teaches the opposite.  Most of us spend life thinking sex=intimacy.

That isn’t true.  Sex is a reflection of intimacy, but not intimacy itself.   Just like lust is really the opposite of love, but we sometimes mistake them for the same thing.

Intimacy requires honesty, dedication and selflessness.  Intimacy requires making room for Christ in a relationship and acknowledging a need for grace because we are flawed.  Intimacy is a togetherness while acknowledging one another’s beauty and space.

Intimacy exists in the concept of redemption.  Our identity needs to be rooted in Christ and not in our shame and guilt.  We lose out on so much when we exist in fear and guilt and when we let our desires drive us to sin.  We are all flawed, so grace comes up again and again.   We are perfect for each other, but we need forgiveness and remaking to enjoy that intimacy.

Marriage was God’s plan.  He made it to place protection for our humanness.  A container for passion, if you may.

Nowhere does this passage say sex is bad, that one gender is “better” or that beauty consists of certain criteria.  This passage simply addresses the importance of intimacy in a relationship in the realities of life and the importance of sharing in that kind of love in a covenant relationship.

Sex does not come until chapter 4.  At least that is what is assumed to be the wedding night and why they keep saying “do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”  Because things actually drag along for awhile building intimacy and relationship before the sex comes along.   Sex came from all of the intimacy.  Not the reverse.  And yes, there is plenty more after chapter 4 (well, minus that bit where she misplaces her husband…).  Again, this does not go along with what society teaches us.  But, it makes sense if you follow the poetry along.  And it makes sense when you say that sex is a reflection of intimacy, not just intimacy alone.

Pretty cool stuff for a bunch of poetry.

One Year City-versary

On Sunday after church at our new (okay, not so new anymore) church and brunch with some newly transplanted (again, not quite so newly) old friends, we went on a field trip to explore a legitimately new-to-us beach.  A wonderful way to spend a post-call Sunday.IMG_0659

On the way there, I pointed out to Patrick that one year ago that day, we were packing up to leave the Rock and all the stress and angst that went with it.

That leads us to today… Our official one year anniversary of moving in to our apartment (if you consider our first night when we lived in it, in the dark (silly apartments lacking most light fixtures) and slept on the floor all the while marveling at how big and nice our new place is compared to where we lived before..

It is pretty crazy to look back and realize that I will soon be finishing up my first year of residency and that we have lived in what I still call our new home for a year.

We were laying in bed talking way past my bedtime last night about some changes and feelings around that kind of stuff and I pointed out how melancholy I was about the whole thing.  For those of you who know psychiatry I am talking near full blown adjustment disorder.  I was happy to be close to home and entering the program I wanted to be in, but terrified all at the same time to be away from our old new friends, the hospital I knew and now in a mysterious, expensive, big city. I was pretty down and distressed about the whole thing.  It passed quickly once I got into the swing of things, but it was one of my lower points thus far.

And now look at us.  We are happy and healthy and have friends and a cat and family nearby and a church and jobs and furniture and we can pay our bills.  That is a lot of “ands”.  I consider them necessary for emphasis.

We had a good laugh last night remembering how we didn’t have cable and how we went outside to do laundry.  We remembered the point in our life when our living room had one chair and an end table and the point in our life where we slept on an air mattress.  We remembered a time where we would try to aim our car to hit bumps in hopes it might knock whatever was loose in our AC so that we could get some good cold air again on our drives down the highway.  We remembered getting lost… Again and again.  How we built our BBQ (that I like to joke nearly ended our marriage… But it didn’t really). How terrified I was to be a “real” doctor (wait… that is still happening).

Things are good.  God has blessed us in many ways over this past year.  And thus, it blows my mind that it has been a year.  What blows my mind even more is what might be to come over the next year.

For now, though, I will enjoy my time hanging out with Jeter on the deck (yes, I have him on a harness, so he doesn’t decide to up and plummet 11 floors to his death).IMG_0673 IMG_0670