vendredi, juin 30, 2006

i think i've become some sort of extrovert in the last couple of years, without even realizing it.

this week, i've met up with more people, than i ever do when i'm in Toronto...and i've LOVED it! i looove people.

on Sunday, when i got back, i met up with J; Monday evening i hung out with Joshua Robinson; on Tuesday, i hung out with amac and ryan lawrence.

Yesterday, i hung out with no one (well, with the exception of God, of course) and life seemed to stand still. And today, i hung out with Johnny Wong for a bit.

Two points of realization:

1. i have NO ONE to hang out with tomorrow! What will i do! TRAGEDY!
2. i need to make more girlfriends--good thing i'm seeing Pri soon!

oh and...

3. summer school starts on Tuesday. which means less partying and more studying.

i guess thats what i'll do tomorrow, seeing as i lack friends to party with tomorrow. i will study.

jeudi, juin 29, 2006

Everyone...celebrate with me!

Today, in ballet class, i did a triple!! Not only did i do one...but i did them throughout the whole class!

Now, i know that no one who reads this dances...but still... celebrate with me! i haven't done a triple since i was dancing 4 days a week in grade 12! And here, in my first class back after 8 weeks.... TRIPLES galore!!


lundi, juin 26, 2006

Montreal Project Debriefing Thought #1

i am home.

i suppose now is a good time as any to debrief. i haven't done this since project ended. a good excuse is that i haven't had any time to debrief myself--its been go, go go for the past week and a bit. but i suppose, i haven't wanted to debrief with myself because as soon as i do, it will mean that the first half (and perhaps the more formative half) of my summer is officially over.

As i sit here, i realize that i do not know where to begin. i purposely booked my train on a Sunday so that i would have an excuse for missing church. heathen. i know. but i knew if i went, i'd get questions about how it went and such..and i'm just not ready for them quite yet. Next week, i will savour the questions and revel at the opportunity to share about all that God has done in me and through me. But i just need this week to think about things. Instead, i went to Janette's church yesterday evening and then went out for drinks and nachos with her (by drinks..i mean half a smirnoff twisted--that's all i could handle before my face started to prickle. i take comfort in the fact that loni, an amazingly chill staff member in montreal, also cannot handle a smirnoff twist).

It was good seeing J. She always asks thinking questions. i'm glad that i know her. last night was different though. After a summer as an intern, i now saw her in a different light (i hope its okay that i'm talking about her. she reads this anyways--hi janette!). i suppose before interning, i thought that staff and students couldn't possibly be friends, simply because of the fact that students are their JOB. of course, i knew that Jesus was friends with His disciples--He liked them. Loved them. But i had no clue how this could practically work itself out. i mean, i caught glimpses of it--J has been a real treat. She's invited me to her parent's place, invited me to her house, taken me out for dinner etc. and i liked J, but there would be days when i'd think to myself--one day i'll graduate, and that'll be it. this, by no means, was anything that J said or did--she's always communicated love. it was just my own stubborn paradigms and misconceptions.
After going on project, i realize now that you can be a staff and still be friends with students. i loved hanging out with the three girls i was discipling. Yes, its true. interning WAS my job, but even if it wasn't, i'd still love them, and still want to hang out with them and be friends with them. i like them. and so, perhaps, this was realization #1 for me on project. love is messy. love isn't defined my invisible borders and jobs. ministry isn't a 9-5 job wherein which we spend time with one group of people, pretending to love them and then quit caring when 5 pm strikes. ministry and life bleed together. they're inextricably linked. yes, its true, i'm no longer on project and my discipleship times with the three girls are over, but they're still in my mind. vivid and sharp. sure, i won't be seeing them as much. but it doesn't mean i care any less. And thus, if i'm reserving love for certain people only at certain points in the day, i should question myself and ask if its really love driven by God, or some sort of pseudo-love driven by tangible things of the world.

i'm glad i learned this. love is a bit of a freeing thing isn't it? pseudo-love, conditional love entraps us, and says that eventually it'll run out. it carries around a weight of distrust, pride and trepidation. but unconditional love, available only through the workings of the Holy Spirit, frees us up from the bondage of pride and allows us to love and to be loved.

hmm. i don't think i communicated all that very well. but it made sense in my head.

samedi, juin 24, 2006

i've put up my pictures on facebook--if you want to see them...i think you'll need an account.

sorry, it was the easiest method to getting them online ^_^

vendredi, juin 23, 2006

Mmmm. its good to just sit and veg. Got back from New York this morning...ahh what an incredibly packed 4 days!! i'm pretty much loving sitting here at Andy and Loni's and doing nothing but web sudokus. Quite lovely.

So i thought since i have nothing better to do this afternoon (everyone else--Loni and Steiners-- is napping) i would put some pictures up. Just brief highlights. You'll have to meet up with me to see the really exciting stuff. ^_^

Jessica Wynja (one of the gals i discipled--she was seriously SOOO sweet!), Matty Smits and Me!

James, Stephanie, Emily (one of the gals i discipled--she was so sweet), me and some random dude on our photo scavenger hunt during orientation.

No Speedos on Project.

Shalu (one of the gals i met) and i (the girl who wrote the note below)

Jenny (another gal i discipled--we were on the same OEX team together in 2004!1), Rainbow (i went to her granny's house with amac, b-rad and parker after winter conference 2 years ago!), Jessica Li, Rachelle

and now...

i provide this for your viewing pleasure. watch at your own discretion. its about a minute and a half long. and its only at the end that it will all make sense. In return for doing this, some of the students on project bought me ben and jerry's ice cream. it was definitely worth it.

mercredi, juin 21, 2006

well...i'm in new york.

i've seen...

- the statue of liberty (its rather fat upclose...)
- ellis island
- washington memorial park
- greenwich village
- central park
- ground zero

But i haven't seen...

- a gospel presentation.

Seeing as i'm staying in a hostel with a friend, and we share a room with 6 other people, i think its a perfect opportunity to get into some spiritual conversations with the girls in our room. Pray that i would take the initiative and the opportunity!!

okay, off i go! today....the UN!!!--the best part of the trip!!

samedi, juin 17, 2006

i wish there was some way that i could sum up my time here. some way to declare that i will leave knowing i've made a profound difference on montreal. but the truth is...montreal project has had a profound impact on me. its been a humbling process--once which i'm still mulling over.

its a weird feeling knowing that in a week i'll be back to Toronto..a place which has become home. In 6 weeks we can become enamoured with a city, especially when there is a huge and pointed purpose in going to that city in the first place. But after 3 years in a city, its easy to become jaded and even bitter towards broken hearts and broken people--all components of a place we call home, and a thing we call life.

In a week i'll be back in Toronto. My home. And if i'm perfectly honest...i'm scared. i feel as though i haven't had adequate time to debrief myself before jetting off to New York and then back to home. But this in itself is a minor thing. Perhaps i'm more scared because my eyes have been opened to heartbreak in the lives of those i live with and those i share life with in Toronto. How do i deal with this? I suppose its the same way i would deal with heartbreak to those i'm ministering to here in Montreal.
Going back also means i have to deal with some unresolved issues with me and others, and this scares me as well. On my own, i am incapable of showing love. But it is my hope that i would go home to Toronto and be a good ambassador there too. I want to live life largely during what is possibly my last year in Toronto.
I want to bring God's cheer and love to those i live with.

its my prayer that this note that was left on my door here in Montreal wouldn't just be reflective of my time here...but reflective of a life lived fully for Christ.

vendredi, juin 16, 2006 half an hour i will go from being a staff intern back to being a student; June 17th is my release date. We had the last project outing with students today, and thats that.

i can't articulate how i feel, so i think i'm just going to go to bed.

mardi, juin 06, 2006

i had this acute experience of what its like to watch a child grow up, and finally having to pull back and allow the grown-up child to live sans dependency on the parent.

jobs and responsibilities were handed over to the students today--i am SO excited. Two of the girls in my Discipleship Group are going to be the new discipleship group leaders, and another girl in my study is going to be the prayer coordinator. ^_^ Its been a humbling couple of weeks--serving others is a humbling task. Makes you realize just how inadequate you are. Now, as we train the students and encourage them in their roles, its time to pull back even more. This is hard--spending less time with people who have been good friends so they can develop relationships with each other is a bit weird, sad and nostalgic all at the same time. But i am just SO excited to see what God does with this group of students by the end of the summer.

Pray for me as well--i would LOVE to see someone come to Christ before i leave--i've been actively sharing my faith and having spiritual conversations and so i know the rest is in God's hands.

vendredi, juin 02, 2006

Well, 2 weeks and one day left until project is over. So i thought that before we head out for our retreat weekend, i should blog a bit about my thoughts/experiences as an intern (i'll save all the juicy evangelistic stories for another day). Of course, in the summer hardly anyone reads this....but i just want to jot some memories/thoughts down while i'm still here, and before the rose-coloured glasses of memory lane are put on.

i've really actually enjoyed my time as an intern--it started off as a bit of a lonely summer. All my best friends are far away, and there were few people to rant to when i needed to the most. But there have been other delights like spending time with some really wise and fun staff (even if andy doesn't play games). i realized that it was my own feelings of inadequacy that were keeping me from savouring time spent with such wise people, and learning from them. So once i stopped listening to whispers telling me i wasn't good enough, and letting my pride fuel my self-pity, i started to enjoy myself a lot more. The staff have been really great at making Julie and i FEEL like staff, and not as though we are less in any way--even though we are interns.

Its also been an amazing time discipling 3 girls, heading up the prayer ministry and co-coordinating the Thursday night coffeehouses. Its amazing being able to disciple girls who are SO keen!! In going sharing with them (some of them for their first times) its bizarre to think back to some of the first times i went sharing with a staff. I STILL use the analogies staff use, STILL say the same things and often find myself talking like my discipler Janette. So its a bit weird to think i can have the same impact on students here this summer--definitely very humbling!!
I'm also quite the socialite this year--always up for a party!!! This proves to be immensely fun!!

But perhaps the best thing about all of this is the solid amount of time i have for personal development (i.e. spending time with God and reading great books). When discipling, prepping for things, going out sharing are finished with for the day, i STILL have time to spend doing things i never get to do in the summer, like read and feast on great books by spiritual giants like Tozer and Spurgeon etc. What other summer job would permit this?

Its hard to believe that in 2 weeks, this will all be over. I'll go back to the life of a student, studying crazily every day (although i'm looking forward to having some rooftop barbecues)... but these past 4 weeks have really given me insight into what i'd like to do next year, and perhaps the next couple of years. Its also given me insight on where i'd like to go and people i'd like to work with.

i'm excited for the next two weeks and what God will do in my life, in the life of the girls i'm discipling and in the people of Montreal.