Seeing redemption in my world

In my small group (or D-group as they are affectionately known here), we take turns telling a “Redemption Story”.

Sounds cheesy?

I thought so.

But, this is my third year here and I actually really like that part. Because it isn’t just a hokey “I was bad and then I got to know Jesus and now I am good” sort of thing that you hear on TV. It is more like saying because I am in Christ, I am being convicted of my sin. Things are happening and changing and they are really subtle or really big and I want to share about it, so the others in the group know and can pray for me and be encouraged by what is happening.

The thing is, nobody is perfect. And no human on this Earth is without sin. It breaks my heart to see how high and mighty we all get with ourselves from time to time. It is easy to get caught up in comparing yourself up higher than others or down lower than others.  It also kills me to see the hurt that comes from it.  That isn’t real love or grace.

Sometimes, it is nice to step back and identify areas that you are struggling in or that you have struggled in and see what is happening. It is okay to be a work in progress. It is okay to feel like you aren’t making progress, because at least you know there is a problem and can seek help. Because it isn’t about the past. It is about the present. What is happening right now.

I think that makes it more relevant. I think it, for me, makes redemption more real, more tangible.  It frames it in a way my concrete mind likes to see it.

There has been this Classic Crime song stuck in my head called “Glass Houses.” For me, it illustrates that struggle to identify those areas that we ignore or don’t even realize are there and how judgemental and hurtful we can be of others. It also points out how things fall apart when we start “playing God” with ourselves and others. How hypocritical we can be.

I’ll admit that I am broken. That I have all kinds of faults and flaws and that sin is in all kinds of little places in my life. I’m thankful that God is working that out in me day by day. And that he stuck me in a community that pushes that along without throwing stones.

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Reuniting With Some Favourites

I had the best weekend.

We spent time with the core group from our small group from when we lived on that lovely island for med school.  The 7 of us were together for basically 3 years and other people came and went.  It is the first time we were ALL together in 2 years.  I have been looking forward to this time, since I found out it would happen in May.

There are people that life is simple with.  There are people that, for introverts like me, barely count as people.  Who you can just exist with and not feel completely drained.  The kind of people you can just pick up where you left off and hardly miss a beat.

These are those people. 

We went to Magic Mountain, a pretty awesome water park.  We played mini golf.  We made up our very own road trip game to drive to one couple’s home complete with mid-trip car switches.  We stayed up until 2 in the morning playing Sing Star and were up and off to the races again at 10.  We explored a market and watched Highland games.  We grocery shopped and went to games stores.  We BBQed and lounged around just talking for hours.  We played a million new board games until almost 2 in the morning again.  We went to church, we went to lunch and had a great discussion.  

I barely took any pictures except at the Highland games.  

I love that we can be real with each other.  Really, truly honest and open about where we are.  That we can talk about tough stuff.  And in the next breath crack jokes about being “tied and pleasured” (long story).

It was a full weekend.

I was sad it was over.  

We are blessed to have many good friends.  Despite that, we have been feeling discouraged because we don’t have as many close friends where we live currently (but we still have a few we are attached at the hip to), but part of that is because it is so rare to have the kind of friendships we have with this crew we spent the weekend with.  God provided us with great people when we needed them in a certain way and I know He is doing the same here, just in different ways.  It has been a slow go feeling like we are a part of things here.  And part of that is because it was so easy when we were there.  And maybe that is because we needed it to be at that time.

Community stretches you and grows you.  Spending time with what was our main community was amazing.  And comforting.  And a true testament to how awesome God is.  Our church here encourages community, and I can sense the community, but it is bigger and broader than what I once knew in some ways and the relationships, like people are different.  But, then again, so are we.  It is a good thing.  

I am thankful for full weekends.  And friends who change and yet stay the same.  And for the comfort that comes from really loving and knowing people.

We get to go away with some other very special friends this weekend.    People we have known and loved much of our lives. I am super excited.  So, really, we are very fortunate.  Two awesome weekends in a row!

I have a musical interlude for this post.  A song that was stuck in my head the whole weekend and, well, is still stuck in my head.  It isn’t quite about amazing friends or community and yet, in some ways, it fits because of the concept of coming together.  

What is one thing?

What is one thing you can’t live without? That thing that would send you into a downward spiral if you lost it? That thing you need for your life to feel fulfilled?

Think about it for a minute.

That was a question we’ve been discussing in church and D-group the last couple of weeks. It makes my head hurt and yet has opened my eyes to how I perceive my reality.

My first instinct was Patrick. I can’t live without my husband.

But, I can live without my husband.

My second instinct was children. I want children. Living children.

But, I can live without children.

The list goes on… My family, my friends, my career, my home, my health.

Losing any of those things could send me on a downward spiral.

What does that say about me? What does that say about my faith?

Life goes on despite monumentous loss. We survive these things that we often can’t even fathom. I see people dealing with these things every day. How do we do it? How do I do it?

I know some people say strength and fortitude and a positive attitude.

I am talking about deeper purpose and something bigger than just getting through.

I know some people will disagree, but that something is Jesus. And maybe I am hum drum, but I don’t feel like I can find meaning in all of life and things without Him.

The passage we were looking at is John 6. It is a long sucker, but the cool part is that John is really intentional in his writing. He doesn’t include irrelevant details and generally stuff goes together to kind of show some bigger point about Jesus. He wrote the book, so that people would believe, so that makes sense.

This is the loaves and fishes chapter. It is also the walking on water and calming the seas passage.

I have seriously heard those stories a thousand times, so what is the big deal?

Well, check this out…

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone wholooks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” –John 6:25-40 ESV

It is kind of a ridiculous conversation. Jesus kind of talks in riddles (Is that blasphemous of me to say? I mean he really does kind of say stuff that comes off as bizarre and people don’t get him…) and the people He is teaching struggle with getting the point. Heck, even the disciples get kind of weirded out.

But this is what it is getting at (I am not that clever, this is what others say it is getting at and it makes sense to me)…

Jesus is enough.

Love the giver and not the gifts. You aren’t sustained (really) by things and relationships and all that stuff. In the end, even the thing you most want to cling to and think will make you complete won’t.

In essence, you can’t take it with you when you go. But when you go, you’re going to want Him on your side.

I like concrete things, so this is tough to process. How do I make Jesus enough. How do I stop being satisfied in stuff and people and start being satisfied in Him? How do I stop trying to fix and control things, but know that it is all completed through Him for His glory?

That isn’t something I just do.

In our conversations over the last little bit, our group has discussed that it is a tough thing to put into practice. It starts with having the desire (just like kicking or starting any habit, you need to want to start).

I’ve got that.

Action starts with awareness.

I have come to realize what I prioritize. What I think will fill me up and keep me content.

I am trying to remember that that satisfaction, although very real, is short lived and not complete. And that there is much more out there than having a happy marriage (although it is super important for a bunch of reasons).

Having real purpose and deep seated peace and joy is bigger than stuff. It is bigger than comfort. Sometimes we have to suffer well and know we aren’t alone in this.

Being sustained by Christ alone isn’t simple. It isn’t intuitive. And it is definitely by standards of our culture weird. But that’s okay (and I need to remember that).

Exhale

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.

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 too.photo

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 crazedpw.blogspot.com.

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

Excuses, excuses…

It was pointed out to me by several people (which blows my mind a little) that I am behind on posting.  By a whole two days.

I know… Mind blowing.

I do skip posts sometimes.  But this week was particularly crazy…

It was just me an a new senior resident this week.  That meant that we were busier overall.  I got to scrub in to a ton of surgeries, which has its pros and its cons.  I must admit, I am feeling much more comfortable with the whole thing (I have mastered the art of cutting and stapling… Kind of like kindergarten), although by Wednesday evening, I thought I might need a foot transplant (I refuse to buy proper OR shoes because I will RARELY use them in real life).

Tuesday night, chemo was running late, so I had to stay until that was over.  It was 7 by the time things wrapped up.  I had been there since before 7 that morning.  I still posted, but I was pretty pooped that night because we were out the night before too.

We had our D-group… aka small group on Wednesday night.  We ate pizza, talked about the resurrection and had a worship session complete with tambourines and other noise makers.  It ran late.  We got in at 9 and I still had to skim my research presentation for the next day and do reading for the ORs the next morning.  So, no post.

Yesterday was my department’s resident research day.  I was convinced to present by the lovely Dr. Bond.  I was terrified of looking like an idiot in front of people.  Somehow the coolness of my research combined with my love for public speaking managed to score me the award for the best rad onc resident presentation and the best overall resident presentation… It included a cash reward that will now enable Patrick and I to do something like go away on a romantic evening or something wild like that… Whoo.  After all of the research festivities, we went out for a drug company sponsored fancy supper.  They lit my desert on fire.  ON FIRE!  I got home at 9 and still had to inform my husband and parents of my exciting news. By the time that stuff was done it was past my bed time.

That leads me to tonight.  I am on call… Yet again.  It seems that happens a lot.  But, at least I have the time to post.  And catch up on some TV (possibly).  There were new shows of almost everything I watch this week… And I am weeks behind on some of them.  We are making butter chicken lasagna (I know… So weird, but it was on sale at Superstore) and chilling out for the evening (unless I get called in, which is likely given my present track record).

Instead of writing a post about something interesting, I decided to do the stereotypical make excuses about why I did not post thing.  I know, it is cliché.  But, I thought it actually does sum up the interesting stuff in my week.  Plus sometimes you need a self-satisfying “wah wah, this is how big my week was.”

I can’t make any guarantees, but things will hopefully be more interesting tomorrow.

How was your week?

Feels Like Home To Me

Patrick and I had our first small group session with our new small group from our new church in our new city tonight.

I was a bit nervous going in because we were so attached to our old small group and I still miss them terribly, so it was strange thinking about going to a new group.  Plus, new people scare me a little.

It was actually a good time.  We ate butter chicken.  Any small group that feeds me with food-food before feeding me spiritually is always a win in my books.  They are good people.  I think we will fit in well.  I am glad.  I like having a community.

It is another step in calling this place home and really feeling like it actually is.

That and my parents finally visited us.  And it was a surprise last-minute visit.  And I drove here with them from home-home.  And the house was in a STATE.  That was embarrassing.  It is good they love me.  And apparently, love Jeter too (they even bought him a new feather on a stick and treats in my on-call absence).  The Child and I took them out for a lunch/coffee excursion when I was post-call before they left.  It was so nice to have them here.

Another step in calling this place home was the weekend before last.  We had visitors from home-home, a visitor from a few towns over (and a buddy from university) and our newly local friends all at our home at the same time.  I love hosting people and this was a perfect way to finally feel settled and enjoy a ton of good company.

We started the day off with a giant brunch.  I took a picture just like Patrick’s grandmother would before we all ate.  Jeter took my spot while I played photographer.IMG_0554

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We explored downtown over the afternoon, went out to supper and then had an evening of Wii.  Particularly, Mario Kart.IMG_0556 IMG_0557

The next day, we taught my lovely friend, L to skate… Or at least we tried.IMG_0565 IMG_0566

All of these visitors and new friends and such… They make it homey.  I am glad.  Although, I still enjoy a good visit home-home.  And I still want to go visit the Rock and those people again.

Advent Anticipation

I have a friend who keeps putting excerpts from her Advent readings from John Piper’s book Good News of Great Joy on Facebook.   I learned from her that this is available free on desiringgod.org, in case you are interested.

I have never been one to do Advent readings.  At least not specific to Advent.  I generally just read whatever I was reading before.

Over the past two years, that has been somewhere in the New Testament after the Gospels because I have been doing some read the Bible in a year sorts of studies.  The whole notion of reading the Christmas story or prophecies during this time seems intriguing, though I have argued in the past that the entire story God has written in the world points to Him and thus points to Jesus, so it is all relevant.

Last year, our church was pretty big on Advent preparation as a family and our small group spent some time looking at certain scriptures and having some Christmas preparation time together (see posts here and here).  The notion was to prepare for Jesus as a family.  I liked it.  But it was really only a one or two night commitment.

Advent is a time of preparation.  A time to look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Not just a time with some awesome chocolate-y calendars and Christmas shopping madness. 

The readings this friend keeps posting make me think.  Even if I don’t take time to read the entire thing. 

One of the first days she posted said this…

Build God-centered anticipation and expectancy and excitement into your home – especially for the children.  If you get excited about Christ, they will be too. –John Piper.

That is an interesting notion.  Obviously kids are influenced by their parents.  But not just kids, really anyone can be influenced by anyone.

I am kind of a “bah humbug” sort of person.  I get cranky when I hear excessive festive things too early in December and boycott almost everything Christmas prior to December.  I get festive a couple days before Christmas.

Advent really isn’t a thing for me aside from the usual church stuff.

This was a good reminder to me.

As a lover of Jesus, I should be excited for Christmas, just like I would be excited to celebrate my husband’s birthday or the birth of a friend’s child.  And I think I really do like Christmas, just not the hoopla that goes along with it these days.  But, I don’t really differentiate them.

Maybe if I were more excited for Jesus, I would be more excited for Christmas.  Or at least, I could explain why I am excited in part.

I probably should be more intentional with these things.

And I intend to be.

God was super intentional about this stuff.

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. –Proverbs 21:1

God does big things and He does them for us.  Even though in the grand scheme of things we are so small.

It is pretty mind blowing to think about how everything in the Christmas story worked together.  And that everything before that led up to it.  And everything afterward still points to it.

We celebrate a huge holiday every year because of it.

So, maybe I just need to suck it up and get over the commercialism that I hate.  Perhaps I need to step back and really look at the true meaning of the season.  Not just to get away from the icky parts I dislike, but to get back into the important parts of the story.  The fact that God does something very big amidst the day to day.

The question is not what God could do, but what he willed to do. God’s will was that though Christ was rich, yet for your sake he became poor. The “No Vacancy” signs over all the motels in Bethlehem were for your sake. “For your sake he became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9). –John Piper.

When you really look at all that happened, how can you not look forward with anticipation and gratitude?

Furthermore, how can I worry about today when He has held everything together in such circumstances?

Look at Mary and Elizabeth!  They went through big things.  And the whole census thing to plunk Mary and Joseph in the right place at the right time?  Crazy!

Therefore, I think me being intentional about looking forward with anticipation and excitement.  If God can use normal people and cause giant civic events, then maybe He can use me.  Or at least use my anticipation to shape me… Make me a bit less Grinchy.

Who knows.  The whole God being born a baby to a virgin thing is pretty crazy.  Anything is possible.

And now I am excited about it.  I just need to maintain that excitement.   And I am sure God will help me do that through His writing and those in the book I am going to start reading.

Adventures in church hopping

Image from gatewayaddisonny.com

It is Sunday yet again and we are at our new home… Which meant it was church shopping round three.

*Huge groans from the M household.*

I remember when I first moved away, I was excited to find a new church and the change that it might bring.  I tried three churches.  I settled at the third one I went to and went to evening services from time to time at the second (and a fourth…Thanks to Patrick).  Somehow, it took just a small fluke, a single old friend and a church bus for God to lead me to that church.

This time around, we were not quite as excited to find a new church.  Probably because we loved our old one and miss our church family from both places terribly.  Also, in a city this big, there are many options to sift through.

Needless to say, our last church visited was awesome.  There were no big red flags.  No overwhelming calling from God, but something keeps making me want to go back that makes me think God has something in store for us there… Maybe.

But, this week, because we had said we would check out a few more churches and because I am super stubborn, we visited another church.  This was a Weslyan church about 20 minutes from our apartment.

First of all, the whole 20 minutes from the apartment is big to me.  It isn’t an unreasonable distance, but much of that trip is highway driving.  I like drives, but I don’t know if it is something I want to do regularly.  Especially come winter.

We get there (late thanks to poor signage on the roads leaving the city) and it is a beautiful, modern looking building.  Everything is pretty and new.  Including the classy lights and such in the sanctuary.  The church is full.  In fact, they have two morning services there are so many people.

This combination leaves my head wanting to explode.  I think it is fantastic that a church is thriving, but I struggle with the separate service thing.  I mean, I want to go to church and have a community.  Yes, small groups do that.  But, it is pretty crazy when you don’t necessarily even see the people who go to the other service.   And the newness of the building and such…  It is lovely.  But, I always think that money could go elsewhere.  Maybe because my church at home-home often can’t even pay bills from month to month, let alone modernize, but there is still all kinds of stuff going on.  It frustrates me that so much money would be used for new buildings and pretty buildings when you could have something decent for part of the cost and put the funds towards other things.  Things that are more kingdom minded.  And yes, new and shiny brings people in… And sometimes new and shiny is needed when old gets too old.   But new and shiny can also detract from things.

But, I tried (really hard) to push down my irrational issues with drives and fancy buildings to pay attention to what was happening. I liked the worship.  The worship team was huge.  The preaching was practical… Lots of scripture references.  Although, I didn’t like how much the pastor kept going back to famous people quotes too… For every scripture there was a famous person.  Interesting, but it felt overdone.  Again, different styles.  Only one service.

The church seemed missions minded.  They had a few projects on the go for things overseas.  Big childrens’ programs.  Lots of young families.

We left after talking to one greeter who noticed my university jacket from med school.  Other than that, we slipped under the radar.  I was okay with that.

On the drive home, Patrick asked what I thought of the whole thing.  I couldn’t phrase it.  There was nothing wrong with the church.  There were no “big red flags.”  On the other hand, there was nothing that made me want to go back.  He agreed.  He found it reminded him a bit of his church growing up, which he loved (and I like) and yet it didn’t really beckon.

It just isn’t the church God wants us at.

I guess.

Or maybe it isn’t the church we want to be at.

I have to keep questioning our logic to make sure it is actually the right decision.

Last night, we were talking with our friends who were visiting town for a couple nights about the church hunt.  They are still trying to find a place to call home-home after being in the same city for 9 years.  It has been a struggle.  They have a church home, but no really tight ties.  Not the draw from God to stay they home to one day find.

We discussed how the church we had before was good.  That God really blessed us in our church family and ministry.  That we really didn’t expect that initially.  We also discussed how we feel like it is time for a change (not that we had a choice in the matter).  And how God gives us what we need in His own time.  Maybe sometimes having community in other ways is what God wants.  Or the freedom to investigate other church groups.

Honestly, it is difficult to have the answers.

I feel frustrated because a piece of me just wants to settle down.  I think God hasn’t said “no” to the place we went before and that it would be a change and also offer community we have been seeking.  But another piece of me is scared to settle down or to miss out on what God is offering.  I know God gives second chances and what we need and such, if we pay attention and ask.

We have another friend who thinks she needs to check out at least 5-10 churches before you can really know where to go.  We have been praying about and discussing the places to try beforehand.  It seems more efficient.  But, to each their own, I suppose.  I can’t hop around for another 2 months. At least not without a big shove from God.  I like to think He gives us some direction in where to try to minimize the angst.  Plus, I feel like there is a consumerism side to church hopping that can sometimes crop up that makes me uncomfortable.  That is why God really needs to have the reigns for us to get anywhere at this point.

It would be nice if everyone could be in the same place.  If everyone had a good church home.  I know that isn’t always the case.  But, I think God does direct us for our good and His purposes.  Hopefully we get to stop and stay somewhere soon, though.

Going back to our youth… Sort of.

This evening, we got to spend some time with a childhood love of ours… Goosebumps as brought to us by our lovely “nephew” C1.  He is hooked on them and got about 20 for $5 the other day.  Patrick and I were picking through them and discussing the stories and finding the ones we read.  It was a good time.  Especially when I told C1 the books were made into a TV show and he asked if it still existed… Sadly, no (at least not that I know of with respect to new episodes).

I have had a few throwbacks to the past lately.  Last month, we had a channel that was showing marathons of some of my childhood favorite TV shows.

We watched the classic Family Channel show Are You Afraid of the Dark with C&C, our friends from our small group back on the Rock when we visited them a few weeks ago.  Less scary than we all remembered.  And yet, the same.  On another note, where the heck were those kids’ parents and why were the allowed in the woods late at night?

Finding Nemo is coming out in 3D and I am super pumped for it.  Even if 3D movies give me migraines.

I acquired the rest of the Little House series of books from L (who knew she just had them all stashed in her room this whole time!?) and am embarking to read the rest of them.

Earlier this week, the Child and I borrowed my parents’ car to go to a shower for L while Patrick was back in our new home getting ready for a job interview.  On the way home, the Child decided to root around and see what CDs my parents had floating around.  We then discovered a stockpile of mixed CDs I made when I was in high school and early university.

We had a laugh.  I was a pretty emo and yet mainstream sort of youth with a touch of obscure music in the mix.  Some of the stuff was depressing.  A lot of it made us laugh.  And a few still make me think, “what was I thinking?”.

One of the most ridiculous finds was “Just Lose It” by Eminem, a past favorite of my Dad’s mainly for the humor in the lyrics.  We got him to listen to it as he returned us to our homes.

Other classic tunes from my younger years included a vast amount of Spice Girls, Creed, Blink 182 and Simple Plan.   And yes, the Arrogant Worms.

For those of you who haven’t had the good fortune to experience them, the Arrogant Worms is a Canadian Comedy band who write lovely and clever songs on everything from birthdays to politics to, well, cows.   I was introduced to them at band camp… Because I am cool like that.  And these songs are found on the CDs we discovered (not on the exact ones we listened to, but in the same stash).  They are also still found on my iPod, along with most everything else on those CDs.  They may not be played as often, but they are still there (okay, “Wannabe” may be on my top 25 most played list… Don’t judge).

For those of you who haven’t experienced the goodness that are the Arrogant Worms… My favorite song by the group.  We sang it at band camp, in harmony on the bus on the way to parades…. Repeatedly.  Because we are cool.  And the songs by this band are awesome.  But, see for yourself.