Sunday, May 30, 2010

"I want the faith
the envies not
The passing of the days;
That sees all times and ways
More endless than the stars;
That looks at life,
Not as a little day
Of heat and strife,
But one eternal revel of delight
With God, the Friend, Adventurer, and Light.

What matter if one chapter nears the end?
What matter if the silver deck the brow?
Chanting I go
Past crimson flaming
From the autumn hills,
Past winter's snow,
To find that glad new chapter
Where God's spring
Shall lift its everlasting voice to sing.
This is the faith I seek;
It shall be mine,
A faith that looks beyond the peaks of time!"
- Ralph Spalding Cushman

There are a lot of complex situations out there. I'm not even sure where to begin. It has caused me to stop and think, about how fast, how easy, and how far any of us can fall, yet how those falls can completely change the route to go towards something greater than we could ever have imagined. I'm stunned at the courage God calls us all to have, and the paths the people I'm meeting are finding themselves on. He's so great, and so unfathomable, and it's amazing that things really do work out for something greater. I love how life orients itself like that.

I will reflect upon this week, and post soon a bit more information about what exactly I'm actually doing this summer. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Plunge time

It's been a busy past few days. I took the month of May off to not think about anything. It was a blissful and much-needed month, full of spontaneous adventures with good friends, cooking various things over campfires, and many, many episodes of The Office. Then I went to Hanover, went to Pitch, and now I'm in Toronto for the summer.

Pitch was awesome, as it always is. I knew I would love seeing old friends again, and people that I deeply care about that I hadn't seen in a very long time. It was good to see Caroline again. When I saw her luggage unpacked in my room, I got extremely excited. The speakers were great, and the music was wonderful, but those speakers, and a lot of things and conversations I had over the weekend had a tendency to really cut into my heart, and caused me to reflect about a lot of experiences this past year. It was uncomfortable, but very good in the long run. I also got some flipping sweet pictures of people and things. I'll post those soon. :)

So I got this job, with this place called Center for Student Mission, where I'll lead groups around the city and connect them to different places to do work with homeless people in the city. It's going to be busy, challenging, and stretching, but I can't begin to express how excited I am. I'm excited to have a job where I'll be doing something GOOD and serving people in a capacity that I've never explored before. I'm excited that I won't have to ask the question, "will I have enough money?" like I did last summer. I'm extremely excited to start fresh: on a clean slate, with new people, new city, and nothing really following me into the experience. I'm excited for the team I'll be working with. They're all super nice, and awesome people I've enjoyed getting to know. I'm half expecting them to burst out with something really weird about them, like they get extremely motion sick to the point of wearing a patch and sitting in the front seat, yet at the same time are skilled at trampoline acrobatics and have certification in rock climbing. Or maybe one of them will start sporting a handlebar mustache and has tear-jerk amazing singing abilities. Maybe they know the most efficient way possible to wipe after pooping. Maybe one of the people who hired me will bust out that they're actually a vinegar consultant that travels to India frequently and has a doctorate in leadership. I legitimately hope and wonder if any of the people I'm working with this summer are going to... be weird and awesome like my YB team members and leaders are (for lack of a better way to describe it) so that I don't feel like the only weirdly awesome person in the group: me with an awkward tendency to explore and get extraordinarily lost, a memory for some of the most irrelevant things, and... hairy legs.

It still feels a bit unreal that this is starting, and this is my reality for the next few months: waking up early, going all over the city, and doing this kind of work. I am a bit nervous to fully plunge into the experience: to plunge means to fully engage with all my heart into the lives and situations of the people I'll be interacting with, and put faces and names to terrible situations I can't comprehend. I know I'll be heartbroken, and I know I'll feel powerless to do anything to help, and that will make me upset and unsatisfied in a very holy way. To plunge means to take on the right responsibility to serve, love, and fight for justice. It's extremely difficult, yet extremely right and good. As nervous as I am to plunge into this summer, I'm more nervous about what would happen if I didn't allow all of this to affect me deeply and rightly. If I were to choose complacency, selfishness, and ignorant bliss over whatever it is in store for me. I don't want to miss out, and I want to be changed.

It's plunge time!!! (That honestly sounds like it has something to do with cleaning toilets, but I hope people get my point)

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Mom

A couple of weeks ago, I found out that my mom had actually gone to school at Conestoga College part-time for pre-health sciences. This really surprised me, because I never knew that she had spent any amount of time at all in Kitchener till she mentioned in passing that she used to volunteer at St. Mary's hospital while in school. She and my dad had been married for a few years at this point, and she would drive up every week from Hanover and go to school, staying at friend's houses. She had been accepted into the nursing program, but couldn't go on for it because she got pregnant with me. Apparently while being pregnant with me she got violently sick and couldn't keep any form of food down, so now since then she has a really easily brought-on gag reflex, so she wouldn't ever go into nursing now anyway.

What a strange thought! I have completely altered her life path by not really doing anything. Just... appearing out of nowhere. Crazyness. It kind of scared me to think of how often people can do that to each other. My head hurts thinking about it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It's been a while. Not because I haven't been writing! For the first time in years, I have a MONTH off. A month of free time before I start a new adventure in Toronto. It's been nice to have so much free time, and just... relax and enjoy life. I love being on the go, if I stop moving, I get kind of "cabin-feverish" and start going stir-crazy and wanting to do stuff. But this is nice. Truth be told, this has been quite a hard year! I need a break. :)

So, I got approved to go on an exchange to India next year, in the winter. It was a very spur of the moment decision. I got into an argument with one of my friends back in March (honestly, I forget what we were arguing about, but we weren't talking or anything. It was quite weird, but I think we're all good now) and I thought to myself, "Dang! This sucks! I want to get OUT OF HERE!!! That's it... I'LL GO ON AN EXCHANGE. Ha. Take that cruel world!" so I e-mailed the exchange guy and made an appointment for the next day, filled out the application for the next day, and got approved to go to India last week.

Or so I thought.

A couple of days later the guy e-mailed me to say that the deadline for the India exchange had actually long past already, so I couldn't go there. Dang. I was hoping I'd run into Denis Bell: this really awesome and successful guy who opens vinegar factories and has a doctorate in leadership, and goes to India... all the time. I want to be like Denis when I grow up.

However, I'm still approved to go on an exchange, and I met with the guy today, and quite literally, I can go anywhere I want. So the question, "If you can go anywhere in the world, where would you go?" is an extremely relevant question to me now. And quite frankly, I don't really HAVE an answer. It's too overwhelming and awesome. I could go to Japan, or Hong Kong, or China. I could go to the UK, or France, or Spain, or Sweden, or Hungary. I could go to Iceland, or Mexico, or Australia.

So... where should I go?