Complete and Utter Chaos Ensues

This blog post wasn’t going to happen until June. But I was looking over my schedule and my to do lists (I have made a to do list for each month up until September) and I decided that perhaps it should happen now.

Basically, things are starting to get a bit crazy around here. Crazy like my head spins all the time and I don’t really do anything well because I’m busy thinking about all the other things that I have to do yet. And in an effort to perhaps lessen the craziness, I have decided that I’m not going to worry about blogging regularly. Or even at all, really. I still have a big, happy, end of April post that I’m hoping to do in the next few days sometime, cause there was so many wonderful things about April that I would love to share. But after that… I probably won’t be posting regularly. If I feel like doing a post, then I will definitely do it. It just might not happen that often. But it might! I don’t know. Maybe once I decide not to post regularly, I will be filled with a burning desire to blog.

It just feels kind of like I have lots to focus on right now, and blogging just doesn’t quite make that list. Plus, I want to use my words in other ways for awhile. Also, I need to figure out exactly what my thoughts on blogging are. So I’m going to do that. It’s not on a to do list, but I should maybe consider adding it so that it doesn’t get lost in the jumble of stuff that’s going on.

Regular posts will possibly start happening again in September? October?

It sounds like a long time away… but I have a feeling that time will fly by!

What if I am a completely different person by then?

It feels like I could be.

When I look at the next few months, all I see is new things. New things to learn and do and think about.

When there’s that much learning to be done… mistakes are bound to be made. And I kind of hate mistakes. It could be a bumpy ride.

I’m sure I’ll show up every now and then to share those mistakes with you. =)

Communion

I am sitting outside right now. (Well, not right now anymore. Clearly not. As though my laptop battery would last long enough for me to do a blog post. Ha ha. Very funny. Basically what happened was this: earlier this afternoon, I grabbed my notebook and my pen and my blanket and my camera, and headed outside to write this post. Now I’m just typing it up.)

I’m going to start over now. It will be better that way, without all those words in between the first real sentence and the second real sentence.

I am sitting outside. (Aren’t you glad I said it again?)

On my blue dolphin blanket that has pieces of dry grass clinging to it. From last summer’s adventures, you know.

The sky is so blue.

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The bird sounds are so… many.

My flip-flops are so worn. Also from last summer’s adventures.

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Blitz is so far away, doing that thing where she lays down and looks all sad and lonely, even though she could have followed me to this exact spot.

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There is an annoying fly.

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The sun is so warm.

Sometimes the wind doesn’t blow and the sun’s warmth penetrates me for a brief moment. But mostly the wind blows.

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I can hear kids having recess at the school. I can’t see them. But I hear them. Audible fun.

But you probably didn’t come here to hear all the minute details of this wonderful afternoon, did you?

Today is the Monday to write about one of my favorite things. There was much thought put into what this month’s favorite thing should be. I asked Renee if she wanted to write a post for me. But I guess that won’t be happening this month. Maybe some other month if we all beg and are very nice to her. ūüėČ

I considered writing a blog post all about tea, complete with pictures, because I have some very pretty tea. Don’t laugh. It’s true. It’s coming to the end of the “hot tea-drinking” time of year for me, so I thought it might be fitting to choose that as my thing of the month.

And then I thought that I could do a post on Kenton, because he is in Guatemala right now and I am missing him exactly as much as I thought I would. An “ode to Kenton” type of deal.

But I will save those for another time, I guess. Based on this month’s experiences so far, I have chosen a different topic.

Groups of ladies.

Groups of girls.

Groups of females.

Well, this is off to an odd beginning. Let me explain. This month, there has been two things that brought about this blog post. One was the girls’ weekend that Joy, Trish, and I planned, and the other was the ladies’ seminar that happened at Moorefield this past weekend.

I don’t have a whole lot to say on this. Just this:

There is something about learning with other ladies.

There is something about hearing their struggles and desires and commitments and thinking “Oh! So I’m not the only one who…”

There is something about young ladies learning from older ones, and older ones learning from the younger ones.

There is something about ladies who are brave enough to share the deepest pain that they have ever experienced with an entire church full of women, most of whom they most likely do not know on a personal level.

There is something about sitting in the audience with a best friend on one side, and someone you barely know on the other. Listening to the brave words that can’t come out easily. Hearing the person you barely know sniff, and realize that although you are different ages and have completely separate and different lives, you are both moved in the same way by those words.

There is something about the whispering and laughing and openness.

There is something about realizing that these ladies have a common goal: to follow God to the best of their ability. One way that “communion” can be defined is “a feeling of emotional or spiritual closeness”. And that seems like a valuable thing to have. I feel blessed.

 

 

The End and Beginning

Boots are pretty important around here in the winter. They are good for keeping your feet warm and dry.

Except that my boots didn’t really do either of those things this winter. They weren’t even particularly comfortable. Thanks a lot, Wal-Mart. But I loved them anyways.

Because they were more than just footwear to me this winter. (And because they have a shiny buckle on the side.) If my boots were to be judged based on quality and performance, they would fall woefully short. But there is lots of things that my boots did well for me this winter.

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They went Christmas caroling in the rain.

They walked to work early in the morning.

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They walked through a park lit up with Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, and days later, they walked through the same park again, on a colder, sadder, happier, darker night.

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They took me to Starbucks on Tuesday nights, to listen and talk.

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They went out to eat with friends and to hockey arenas.

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They heard Handel’s Messiah. (And thoroughly enjoyed it. My boots are very classy like that.)

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This winter was great, and my boots were there for a lot of it. They are softer now, and look pretty worn. They fit my feet perfectly. I don’t even have to unzip them to get into them anymore. I can just slide my foot right in. I liked feeling the tops of them brush against my legs.

I think I learned a lot this winter. I might be a bit more worn. Maybe a little softer. I like to think that I am more knowledgeable.

I still have so much to learn though.

Sometimes all the learning that could be done is overwhelming.

We’ll see what happens when I put these back on:

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All photo credits go to Meg, except for the last picture, which was taken by Joy. 

On Rain and Words

Today I walked home from work in the rain. 

There was thunder. There was even some lightning. 

I tried not to step on any of the sidewalk cracks. It was fun. 

I smiled squintily through the raindrops to myself the whole way home. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve written something¬†good.¬†As in, something meaningful. Something that I wrote for a purpose. Something that will help me achieve a goal.¬†

Something like a chapter. 

Don’t think that this doesn’t worry and frustrate me. To sit down and look at the words¬†chapter nine and feel completely empty inside? It’s a bad feeling.¬†

Oh. 

Excuse me. Did I say that I felt completely empty inside when I think about trying to write chapter nine? 

I lied. 

I don’t feel completely empty.¬†

There is definitely a feeling there, and it is commonly referred to as “fear”. Fear of not having enough words. Fear of using the wrong words. Fear of finding words, and having them inside me, but not being able to set them loose, whether it is because they are too personal, too complex, too simple. Fear of always choosing sleep over writing. (This four mornings in a row of getting up at four in the morning…. I’m not sure it’s for me. I’m not sure it’s for anyone, actually.)¬†

But today, after walking home in the rain, I felt like I could write. Like I could open up my word document and the words would come from some place inside me, and I could type and type and the words would just drain right out of me. 

I don’t have time to work on chapter nine though. There are other things to be written and thought about. Things deemed more urgent and necessary and important. Things like World-Changing Womanhood and Counterfeit Beauty. Undeniably important topics that I have been thinking about a lot lately, in preparation for the weekend.¬†(Should I be blogging when I have such important things to think about? ;))

But today I would rather be in a different world. A world where characters were unfairly left hanging in their pain and confusion and right on the brink of discovery, and I get to be several people at once, and I invent conversation and circumstance. 

I think it’s the rain.¬†

It rinses everything else away until there is only words left. And the words that are there are old and patient. Words that have been waiting for a long time to be used. They have become dry. 

Shriveled. 

But the rain…. the rain revives them.¬†

They become shiny and green and alive. They jump and dance and laugh and cry and grow. But they don’t just grow. They multiply. There are so many that they trip over each other.¬†

And I am scared to move because I never want to lose this feeling of being full of words and full of God. 

“…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” -from Ephesians 3¬†

Full of God. 

Full of words. 

I won’t be working on chapter nine tonight. Or tomorrow night. It might not happen for a bit.¬†

But the thing is, I¬†want¬†to. And that feels good. To not think, “Well, I really¬†should work on that, if I ever want to accomplish anything.”¬†

It’s nice to feel like I would be able to write it if I tried to.¬†

Where I come from… rain is a good thing. (Not referring to any songs right now. Not even one.)

The problem with loving something is that in a sense, it becomes a part of you. And over time it blends in with the rest of you so seamlessly that it’s easy to forget that it is, in itself, a separate entity. It is easy to overlook the thing you love, and merely perform it as an act, something that you do just because it’s what you have been doing. And somewhere along the line, you kind of forget about that thing that you love. It becomes… ordinary.¬†

I don’t want writing to ever become ordinary.¬†

Maybe the key is in holding it at arm’s length.¬†

Still firmly in my grasp. Still connected to me. 

But something that I approach cautiously and seriously. Not to be taken lightly or casually. Something that never fails to challenge me or excite me. 

And yet I like the thought of it being a part of me. I want it to be so much a part of me that I would not be me without it. I want to need to do it. I like the thought of feeling completely comfortable when I’m writing. I want what I write to be personal. I want it to be meaningful to me, and motivating, inspiring, entertaining, provoking, and educational to those who read what I write.¬†

I’m still figuring out what exactly I want writing to be, I guess.¬†

What I do know is that today, when I was walking home in the rain, taking really big or really small steps to avoid the sidewalk cracks, I couldn’t wait to get home.¬†

Not because I was cold or wet. 

But because I wanted to write. 

 

Monday!

It’s Monday! A random Monday!

Mine has been good so far. There was some running and a smoothie and thinking about the girls’ weekend that is coming up. I love the spring weather… and I found a trail to run on that is not quite so treacherous as the other one. This one had more people on it, but they were nice, and had dogs named Linko, and wanted to talk about the weather and how nice the birds sound. Not like that other trail, with that other guy with that dog that resembled Gru’s, um, “dog”. And as I passed one old man, he said, “Nice day for a run, eh?” and that made me feel special because clearly, he thought that running is something that I do. And so I gasped, “Yes. It’s lovely!” And there were two geese hanging out right in the middle of the trail, and they just weren’t moving and I was getting closer and closer, and they were starting to waddle back and forth and I thought they were going to attack me, but then they flew away instead. And then the person that was walking towards me said, “Wow… I thought maybe they were going to attack you!” And I was like, “I know! I thought so too! I thought I was going to have one of those crazy stories about being randomly attacked by an animal. We think alike! Let’s be best friends!” Well, I didn’t say those last two things. And then I got a brief lecture on how it is usually the males that attack people, and so these clearly must have been females.

Honestly.

Trail people are just so friendly.

Anyways. That is the story of my morning.

Now on to more random things! Like random pictures!

I am just about ready for things like summer and the cottage. Just about. There's a few things that I need to do first.
I am just about ready for things like summer and the cottage. Just about. There’s a few things that I need to do first.
Me and Wendy sittin' on a rock.
Me and Wendy sittin’ on a rock.
This is just... Kenton.
This is just… Kenton.
Me and Meg's shadows on the beautiful sunny trail behind Canadian Tire.
Me and Meg’s shadows on the beautiful sunny trail behind Canadian Tire.
A long time ago, in a land far away....
A long time ago, in a land far away….
We are lovely, are we not?
We are lovely, are we not?
I'm also excited about things like youth camping!
I’m also excited about things like youth camping!
Hey!! It's me and Joy!
Hey!! It’s me and Joy!
The time that the Shantz boys hopped the Bruce Trail. Quite the thing to witness. Four boys furiously hopping over great distances... you're truly lucky if you get to see that in your lifetime.
The time that the Shantz boys hopped the Bruce Trail. Quite the thing to witness. Four boys furiously hopping over great distances… you’re truly lucky if you get to see that in your lifetime.
After the hopping. It was a cold day. I think it might have been almost a year ago.
After the hopping.
It was a cold day. I think it might have been almost a year ago.
Canada Day fireworks on a beach in Toronto several years ago. I like Canada Day fireworks!
Canada Day fireworks on a beach in Toronto several years ago. I like Canada Day fireworks! The key is in watching them with the right people. 
Have I mentioned that I'm ready for summer?
Have I mentioned that I’m ready for summer?

Well, that was the random pictures.

Now for the random Youtube links! =)

Links to Youtube videos that have fascinated/entertained/amused me, along with a brief explanation: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koNSa_6Fd1U This is the link to a trailer for Despicable Me 2. The reasons that it fascinates/entertains/amuses me seem fairly obviously. There is Gru. There is Agnes. There are minions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTUwqxHpXMY¬†This is a dancing Android. It is a good link to send to someone if you accidentally shoot an elastic at their face and make them cry. Even if they didn’t actually feel like you needed to apologize, and felt incredibly stupid for crying (cause it really didn’t hurt¬†that¬†much. Not that I know. Not that I was the crier in this situation.), you should still send it to them, because everyone should see a dancing Android.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-gQLqv9f4o¬†‘Cause all of us need a pep talk at some point or other. “Not cool, Robert Frost!” Everyone should watch this video. Cause “we were made to be awesome”. And sometimes it’s good to be reminded of that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WhWDCw3Mng Is there anything cooler than a virtual choir singing a beautiful beautiful song? Hardly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKc_Fx8rmiA¬†When did this kind of awesome dancing go away?? And why? And how are they able to dance and have witty conversations at the very same time? I don’t get it. Everyone must have been super-coordinated back then. ¬†Warning: this video will probably be very boring for anyone who does not appreciate a good Jane Austen novel. Even for those who do… if you watch it out of context, it will not be exciting at all. I just like the dancing. That was really all I wanted you to get out of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sSfbQk7DxE&NR=1&feature=endscreen¬†Sarah Kay. She has an amazing voice. She doesn’t sing though. She just talks. She has one of those voices that it is just nice to listen to. And she says good things too. She takes poetry to a whole new level. And she seems so completely comfortable up there in front of people. I hope she has won some kind of award for how amazing she is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co1-GiL-pJA¬†This is the theme song from Pride and Prejudice. I just like to listen to it sometimes. Cause it’s perfect.

Okay… I think that may be all the randomness that I can muster up today. It’s hard to be random when you know that your mind is supposed to be very focused on several things.

Have a good Monday!

Today Was A Beautiful Day

It was sunny.

I was home from work soon after one.

I slept for awhile.

I went running for the first time this year.

While running, I mentally compiled a list of reasons not to run in April.

Reasons Not To Run In April:

  • That awkward thing might happen… you know…. that thing where you get to the trail at the exact same time as someone else, and then you’re kind of like, together, but there’s a bit of distance between you, and you think he’s talking to himself, and he sounds really upset, and is saying things about being treated “like a second rate citizen”, and you wonder whether you really want to be on the same trail as this person? Yeah. That thing. Don’t you hate when that happens? But that thing could happen anytime. It’s not limited to April. So it’s kind of a non-reason.
  • A third of the trail is covered in this very slippery, icy stuff.¬†photo (46)
  • A third of the trail is covered in actual snow. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†photo (47)
  • A third of the trail is covered in mud. (I realize now that this picture would be much more effective had I taken it while actually standing on a muddy part of the trail. You are just going to have to trust me on this– there was mud. By the time I got done, it was all over my shoes and inside my shoes and on my clothes.) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†photo (48)

 

But once I got over the poor conditions and admitted that I may have made a poor choice of location, it was a lot of fun, and so I made a list of reasons to run in April.

Reasons to Run In April: 

  • It will be pretty. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†photo (45)photo (44)
  • You don’t have to wear a coat, and it feels awesome.
  • You can listen to all the songs that you listened to last summer while you ran, and it brings back lots and lots of good feelings and memories from summer, cause music can do that.
  • You will feel like you are seriously training for something intense as you pound through the mud and the snow and the ice. You can imagine that you are competing in some kind of… competition, and that you will win the competition, and be known as the best runner in the world. And then, after a minute or so of being the best runner in the world, you will have to slow down to catch your breath. But still. It was fun to imagine.

And last but not least….

  • You will feel happy.¬†

And that right there is a good enough reason in itself.

I think I will do it again sometime soon.