dimanche, octobre 28, 2007

In Monts.

Well, here i am. It's been a crazy time. I arrived on Friday night, went to Home Depot on Saturday and essentially washed my walls and primed the walls all day. Last night, the staff had a "Lydia is done MPD celebration", so we had a great dinner etc. Good times.

With all the busyness, I haven't really had time to be lonely, or even think about where I'm at with life. People have asked me what I'm most excited about ,being in Montreal. To be honest, I haven't thought much about ministry etc. It seems almost easier (or, more importantly, less scary) to think about painting my walls, or unpacking, or buying furniture.

I went to church this morning. I'm kind of on a church-shopping spree. For me, the most comfortable thing to do, would probably be to go to Montreal Chinese Alliance. I'm a Chinese Alliance baby and it's such a comfort zone for me. But I realize, that choosing a church, simply because it's familiar, probably isn't the most wise thing. I need to consider that I'm going to be doing full-time ministry and therefore need to go somewhere that I can be fed. But I also want to consider the needs that there are at various churches in Montreal, and respond to that need accordingly. I also know that I need to consider which churches will be supportive of my ministry; I'll be needing a good support base here, apart from my staff team.

It's just a really big shift. I'm so used to being in the thick of things, always knowing what's going on, knowing where I'll be and where I'll go. This is different. In almost all aspects of my tangible life, I feel like I'm on the fringe of things, wondering how I fit into the puzzle. I'm glad Jesus stays the same. Even so, I wonder how much I know Him.

I'm also wondering which paint roller to use, now that both have been used up.


addendum: The more I explore, the more I think I will love Montreal. Sure, the people walk extremely slowly...but there's so much to see. So much to photograph. I can't wait to make friends and go exploring even more. It IS a huge change, and life is different...but I can see myself here.

vendredi, octobre 26, 2007


I just switched my facebook network from Toronto, ON to Montreal, QC. Funny enough, my hand hesitated for more than a few minutes before clicking "join network". I know it's such a silly little thing, but there have been many times in the past couple of months that I've come to the realization that Toronto is no longer my home.

I'm not very good with change. Actually, most of the time, I detest big change. Small change, I can deal with... like what I'll eat for lunch, or what time I'll wake up in the morning. But I'm not very good with big change. It's kind of ironic then, that the organization I work for recently changed it's name to Power to Change.

I hated the change at first.

Today, the president of our organization, Leonard Buhler came to Edmonton to visit. I joined the Edmonton staff team and a couple of others to chat with him. He said that we need our organization to embrace change. "Bill Bright was a man who was willing to experiment, to change the messaging (but not the foundations), and to try out new things in order to remain culturally relevant," he said. "We want our staff to be leaders who are always trying new things, writing out new drafts, and embracing change. As an organization, it would be dangerous for us to get stuck in a rut."


I know this move to Montreal is good for me. I know it's what I've wanted for so long. I know it is what God has called me to do. But I've kinda gotten used to being in a rut here in Edmonton. I've gotten used to the pattern of boredom and facebook. I've gotten used to relying on my parents. Moving to Montreal means big change. It marks a time of financial independence. It marks closure to my time in Toronto. To my time in Edmonton. It's a shift from me being a child to a semi-adult.

I don't like this change.

My hairdresser asked me if I had just graduated from high school.

I'm not ready for this change! Or at least, I do not FEEL ready for this change.
It marks a shift from me being a student to being a missionary.
A missionary? ME?
I'm not good with the unfamiliar. It scares me. What if's scare me.
I'm not good with change, because change means unpredictability. It means that I can't control what goes on.

You know, in Edmonton, I've been lonely. But while I've been here, I've been able to say, "Well, it's okay. I'll be booking a plane ticket outta here and the loneliness will end."
But what if this shift, this move to Montreal, marks a new period of loneliness? I won't have control, and won't be able to book a plane ticket out of Montreal.

This change is big. Somehow, ruts seem very appealing at times. They seem safe. Comforting.

jeudi, octobre 25, 2007

wanted: sawhorses.

Does anyone know where I can find cheap, wooden sawhorses? I've looked at Canadian Tire and Home Depot, but most of them are metal or plastic. Rona has a cute sawhorse, but it's $39.96, which is kinda pricey, and I'd need a pair.

Hmm.... maybe I can make them myself.

Hmm.... who'm I kidding? Until last week, I didn't even know what a stud was! I didn't know that I should screw floating shelves into a stud.


mercredi, octobre 24, 2007


Can anyone PLEASE tell me WHY, whenever the opportunity presents itself, I overbook myself, and cause myself undue stress?

For example:

Why would I choose to do my monthly newsletter by HAND instead of doing all of it on the computer?

I'm an idiot.

Well...at least, during the times that I find myself the most bored in Edmonton (between 9am-4pm), for the next 2 days, I will not be able to complain.

Mostly, because... I will not even have time to breathe.

Hi, my name is Martha.

lundi, octobre 22, 2007

Did i ever tell you...

How much I hate shopping for boots? Well, now you know. I hate boot shopping.

Firstly, I just don't get the ABUNDANCE of boots with massively high heels. I understand that some people might like dress boots for work and such....but when 95% of boots have heels, it just puzzles me.

See, I'm under the impression that people wear boots in the WINTER when it SNOWS. And while I realize that some girls are trapeze artists and can balance in heels on ICE (that's TALENT, for sure!), I sure as heck cannot.

Then, there are the nineties looking cowboy biker boots. Now, I know that I live in Alberta, but GOSH, there is NO excuse for these:

Nor is there an excuse for these:

Gosh, even Ferris Bueller's girlfriend wore "nicer" boots, and that was in 1986!

Last year, I bought a pair of cute boots.

They are easy to walk in, lined with some sort of faux fur (so they're extremely warm)...and generally just a happy pair of boots! That is..until I'd step in snow. Then, life would change and for the rest of the day, my feet would be miserable and cold. Nonetheless, I still love them, and they still make a great fall boot.

Today, I knew I had to buy a pair of boots that I could use to trek in slush and snow. Last winter, my feet were perpetually wet and perpetually cold. I've heard that Montreal is colder than Toronto in the winter, and since I won't have a car, and won't be living 5 minutes from campus, I knew that I had to invest in something practical. Problem being, anything practical is just so ugly!

For example:
Who actually wears these? I can't decide. Is it an elf? Or a cowgirl? Or maybe a native cowgirl who also desires to be elfish? I don't know.

Or how about these:

I'm sure I wore some deviation of this when I was 5 years old and bubble jackets were still in...but I'm 21, not 5, and silver bubble jackets went out of style in 1995.

So, as you can see, going boot shopping was a pain today. Maybe I'm just picky, and hey, if you have any of the boots listed above, I'm sure you make them work somehow. You'd think, in the world's largest shopping mall, one wouldn't need to look too hard to find a pair of boots. But we looked in almost every shoe store....

This is how I know God answers prayer. At the last shoe store, I was desperate, and prayed, "Lord, help me find the right boots, because this is INSANE."



They're waterproof, they match my brown winter jacket, the foot shape is almost exactly the same as my other pair (I'm all about the rounded toes) but they're about half the height, AND they have birds on them! BIRDS! I'm ALL about birds this season. Anyways, they're probably something I would've worn when I was 5, and they're definitely not haute couture...but hey, at least I'll be able to walk on ice AND retain SOME semblance of dignity, without looking like I'm an elf, a biker, Mia Sara in 1986 or a 5 year old in the winter at recess with chunky boots.

P.S. If you saw any of the above boots, and for some reason or other, desire to purchase them (I can only hope, to dress up for halloween), all of them, other than the two pairs i own, are available at any Aldo store in Canada. And yes, I DID see all of the above today, while I was at the mall. So I DO know that they are in stock.

well...it's official...

i'm moving to Monts on....Friday.

samedi, octobre 20, 2007

I (THINK) I AM....

......at 100%


jeudi, octobre 18, 2007

"enjoying" the last days of fall.

mardi, octobre 16, 2007


Random. I know.

lundi, octobre 15, 2007


Okay, I don't even know what to say about this...except....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It's screening in Toronto in 2 days...and I SOOO wish I was there. DONC!!!!!!!!!!

Breathe in. Breathe out.

dimanche, octobre 14, 2007

The most beautiful support appointment, thus far.

"Lydia! Come on in. Come over on this side. It's better for her if you sit on this side."

"Dear, I need you to put my specs on please."
"And I need some ventolin."
"And can you raise my bed please?"
"Sip of water."

This was how today's support appointment began. I hadn't seen my former violin teacher and his wife for a good seven years. They had a new dog. I didn't pull out my binder. His wife would have had to sit up, and she was having trouble breathing today. It is her birthday. We sat. Even if I had wanted to pull out the binder, they didn't give me a chance. Question after question. She kept telling me how excited she was that I was doing this.

My violin teacher went to the kitchen to write out the cheques. While he did that, she laid in her bed, covered with blankets. We chatted. We talked about the latest paintings that she had done. By mouth. We talked about the huge need there is in Montreal. We talked about her conversion to Christianity, some 27 years ago. We talked about how she desperately wants to share the gospel with her home care nurse. She asked me how to do this. We talked about how good God is. And she praised Him for miraculous things in her life. We talked how she is so grateful that He spared her life. That He has preserved her.

I couldn't help think about how beautiful her words were. How the way she lives her life is so telling of the effects of the gospel, that without even saying a word, she is more eloquent in its delivery than I will ever be.

My violin teacher's wife is a quadriplegic. Over 20 years ago, a bus skidded on black ice and she was thrown from the bus window. It took them three-quarters of an hour to chip her out of her ice. She has lived much of her life only able to move her head.

Her husband, my former violin teacher, has spent all these years, faithfully taking care of her. He puts on her glasses, dyes her hair, turns her over so that she does not get bedsores. The way he lives his life is so telling of the effects of the gospel, that without even saying a word, he is more eloquent in its delivery than I will ever be.

As he returns from the kitchen, she and I are agreeing that God is good. And I can't help but feel that she knows, so much more that I, how good He really is. Despite everything that has gone on in her life, she STILL believes.

"Dear, can you give me a dose of Salbutamol? I'm having trouble breathing today."

It is the end of our meeting. He adjusts the mask. "Straps over my ears please, dear."

I say goodbye.

I walk to the door with my violin teacher. He gives me a hug.

As I leave, I can't help but feel that they both love the Lord in a way that I never have. It takes something beautiful and great to faithfully, day in and day out, take care of a wife who cannot move anything but her head. And it takes something beautiful and great to faithfully declare that the Lord is good and to be content when life doesn't give us what we expect.

As I got into my car, I realized that I want to know God the way that they do. I want the hope that the Gospel brings to be radiated from my whole being, so that without even saying a word, the eloquence of the Gospel will ALREADY be permeating from my pores.

I haven't wanted to be in Edmonton. I haven't been content with the situation He has placed me in. But something like today reminds me that when the day is over, He is all that matters. And when we understand this, despite being quadriplegic, or something more trivial, like being stuck in a place where I didn't want to be in the first place, we are able to say, "It is well with my soul."

mercredi, octobre 10, 2007

Hot 10, because it's the 10th day of the 10th month...and because it's my blog and i can blog if i want to!

Ten hot things in no particular order:

Hot Type: Stilla by François Boltana, published by Elsner and Flake, 1973.
This font is SOO hot, I seriously drool. It's definitely gonna make it into my next newsletter.
I've linked the linotype Stilla, rather than the EF Stilla...but close enough for you to understand how HOT this typeface is.

(Let's be honest though...the hottest font out there is STILL Helvetica)

Hot Purses: Matt and Nat. Yes. Hotness! Vegan purses/Wallets which ought to make anyone swoon. I own the one on the far left (Mooj in Plum)...just a small wallet...But someday, I'm gonna find me a boy who'll buy me se7en (1st one, bottom row). *hehe* Or..maybe I'll just save up for it.

Hot Song: East to West. From the latest Casting Crowns Album.

Hot Project: These coasters, done by Claire Milne are beyond cute! I cannot wait to make these for my new home!

Hot Blog: Go fug yourself. We all have to learn from someone's mistakes. In this case, fashion mistakes.

Hot Mini-Trend: Kelly Green. Okay, so for awhile, back in '05 everyone was asking me why I was embraced in a passionate love affair with Kelly Green. Somehow, I managed to get my paws on two pairs of kelly green shoes.... turns out, Kelly Green is now a mini-trend in the design world, and you better believe it...i am patting myself on the back for being 2 years ahead of the trend.

Hot(test) Vehicle Ever: Okay, so I've totally blogged this before.... but... dude, how can one NOT drool? Yes. I am saving up to buy this baby.

Hot TV Clip: Ahh, I'm in love with The Office...and I love this clip. Her expression is priceless.

Hot Book: Knowing God by JI Packer. It's just filled with such great nuggets of truth.

Hot Children's books: Okay, so all summer, I've been re-reading books from my youth. Throughout my childhood, I absolutely loved ANYTHING by Enid Blyton. Every summer since university, I've come home and re-read portions of my Enid Blyton collection. They're STILL as good and as exciting as when I was 8 years old. My dear friend, Aban, will wholeheartedly agree with me! So, if you're looking for a great children's author..or a light (very) and fluffy read for yourself...check Ms. Blyton out. She's a 20th century marvel!

{-1} Hot Site: Why is it that I always find amazing sites when they're on hiatus? I'm sticking this one up despite it's current "on hiatus" status, because..well, 10+1 really is 11, and if I'm already breaking this rule..well why not take it one step further.

mardi, octobre 09, 2007


Well, it's not THAT big of a feat, seeing as some websites get thousands of hits a day. But, somehow 50, 000 hits STILL seems like a big feat.

Happy 50k, blog.

It's been good times, filled with craploads of drivel.

P.S. If you're on a mac, in Calgary, and accessed my blog via J. Alm's blog... you were my 50,000th visitor! Props. You win....


nothing from me. But give yourself a pat on the back for having nothing better to do than to read the (almost) daily drivel, found right here. I think YOU owe ME something for relieving, what I can only guesstimate, is extreme boredom.

dimanche, octobre 07, 2007

picture in my mind//let's talk jeans.

i have a picture in my mind.

a self-portrait.

i want to get'er done, but i lack some essential things.

i need a pair of grey sweatpants.
a completely white or off-white wall (textureless).
hardwood flooring.

if you can help me out..... let me know.

i think my former ballet studio has something like that. but.... i can't very well just march up there and take a pic.

maybe a house?


So being 5'2 and larger than a stick means that it is very hard to find a pair of jeans that fit. Jeans are generally not made for short people. So, you might say, 'Why not hem?' Well, if you hem, then the wash gets totally thrown off, unless you get a one-colour wash. I like dark wash jeans with slight fading and abrasion.Not too much abrasion. There's a reason the 90s went out of fashion. Also, hemming, unless done by a good tailor, sometimes looks tacky, unless you get the original hem re-attached. I'm picky.

Gap used to have AMAZING sizing. I could walk in, pick up a pair of 8 ankle (synonymous with 8 short) and walk out and KNOW that they'd fit. Then, they changed things, and their 8 ankle is too big and even their ankle sizes are too long.

This was VERY sad. I still wear a pair of Gap jeans I bought on montreal project 2005. That was before the sizing change.

BUT...today, my parents took me shopping. I was in need of a pair of jeans. I didn't think I'd be in Edmonton till October, so I didn't bring much clothing for the now-cold weather. I walked into a store, feeling rather dubious. Everything fits small in this store and it generally does not cater to short and rather stout people (a.k.a. me). BUT, they had SHORT sizes!!! I fit the FIRST pair I tried on! This has NEVER happened! MIRACLE! They're SUPER soft too.

Oh, and they don't ride low, but still hang at the hips and not the waist! MAGIC!

That is the end of my jeans story. Sorry for boring the public, but if you are 5'2, then you understand why this story is epic and worthy of an epic saga-like blog.

samedi, octobre 06, 2007

Marvelous, Beautiful, Abounding Grace.

Well guys...I've just been experiencing such GOOD truth in the past two days. On Wednesday, I just went through this HUGE time of processing. I was wondering why I was doing what I am doing; I had been asking myself whether this is REALLY what I want to do with my life..missions, that is. I was jealous of my friends who are able to buy nice, expensive things, and tired of the slow pace being in Edmonton brings. I was jealous of a friend in an AMAZING program, that I'd love to be in. I was SO tired of the loneliness and solitude that I've had to face, being here without much in the way of Christian fellowship. I kept asking, "What if?" "What am I missing out on by doing full-time min?"

But, on Thursday, my dear and AMAZING friend Aban sent me a chapter out of J.I. Packer's book, Knowing God....WHAT a slap in the face!!

Here are some words that spoke truth into my life:

"Constantly we find ourselves slipping into bitterness and apathy and gloom as we reflect on them, which we frequently do. The attitude we show to the world is a sort of dried-up stoicism, miles removed from the 'joy unspeakable and full of glory' which Peter took for granted that his readers were displaying (1Pet.1:8, KJV). 'Poor souls,' our friends say of us, 'how they've suffered'--and that is just what we feel about ourselves!

But these private mock heroics have no place at all in the minds of those who really know God. Tbey never brood on might-have-beens; they never think of the things they have missed, only of what they have gained. 'But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ,' wrote Paul. 'What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish (dung, KJV), that I may gain Christ and be found in him...I want to know Christ.' (Phil. 3:7-10)....what normal person spends his time nostalgically dreaming of manure? Yet this, in effect, is what many of us do. It shows how little we have in the way of true knowledge of God.

Anyways, what a slap in the face! Yesterday, I reveled in the goodness of the gospel, and realized that I have been squandering my time here in Edmonton. Sure, I've been doing support raising. Sure,I've been discipling this one girl. But realistically, I have not doing much else in way of being fruitful and investing the talents He has given me. So today, I spent a good 2 hours just praying and reading the Bible. I prayed that He would make me fruitful, and what an answer! I'd like to work up from 2 hours spent praying to 3, then 4 and then 5. If I'm not doing much during the day, I may as well spend it chatting with God and praying for His glory to be revealed to my supporters and to..well..everyone!

Here's something cool as well! The girl I'm discipling and I shared the gospel with a youth from my parents' church tonight...and he came to Christ!

What a great reminder for me, alongside that from Packer and from the Word, that there is NOTHING as good and as glorious as God, and investing in His eternal kingdom.


When something like this happens and you see it 'click' in someone's eyes, you realize that everything else really IS rubbish, compared to knowing Jesus.

jeudi, octobre 04, 2007

campaigns for real beauty...or a money grab?

Dove has gotten the whole world talking and raving about their amazing commercials, their choice to use real women and teach girls about TRUE beauty..etc. Makes me want to buy their products more. How great is a company that stands up against the objectification of women?


Probably not that great when it objectifies women and sex to sell products to men.

Check out the difference between these two commercials. One catering to a largely female market, and one catering to a largely male market. What is the uniting factor? They're both products distributed by one company. Unilever.

mercredi, octobre 03, 2007

sacrifice (2).

As I've said before...sometimes my thoughts come all at once. My brain has been rather lazy this summer/fall; it's only once I get it moving and the blood circulating around it that thoughts begin to percolate.

I was reading my friend Jess' blog a couple of weeks ago, and I read this post. Jess is in her last year of university, and desires to join staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, the same organization that I work for. Anyways, reading her thoughts really reminds me...of..well.. me, and funny enough, a similarly entitled blog that I wrote at the end of August.

In February, after already being accepted on staff, I went through a couple of weeks where I wondered WHAT the heck I was doing with my life by joining staff.

All in all, I'd say though, it wasn't much of a sacrifice to give up dreams of master's degrees and law school. I've left university, feeling rather jaded or disenamoured with what I had been studying. The competition (unhealthy competition) between classmates, and programs with a lack of a viable solution (Jesus) left me disenchanted with university. Relinquishing the dreams of master's programs was hard, not because these were things I was passionately in love with, but because they were dreams (albeit, dreams lacking substance) that I had held onto for so long.

In the past couple of months, I've had a lot of time to think about what I love doing. There have been some (replace "some" with "many) weeks where support raising has been slow, leaving me with far too much time on my hands. I've had to conjure up hobbies and activities to keep me sane, since I have almost no friends in Edmonton. When I look at my blogroll, my bookmarks, my internet history, and how I have spent my spare time, there have been multiple things that I have inclined my attention towards: interior design, graphic design, reading (almost one book a day/ various magazines/blogzines/webzines), editing (people's newsletters, papers, virtually anything I can get a hold of), typography, photography, music and discipleship&evangelism (though, in rather small quantities).

I was recently talking to a friend of mine. She is the sweetest and artsiest person you'll meet, and I asked her what she was studying in her post-grad program. All I knew was that it was something to do with publishing. She told me that she gets to do all sorts of amazing things like photography and design! I went to check out her program online...and just reading about the courses make me drool in a way that I never did over any of my psychology or peace and conflict studies courses. Photography...design...editing... mmm.. Who KNEW that a program with so many of my passions actually EXISTED??

Once again, joining staff feels like a sacrifice. Do not get me wrong. I am excited about what I've signed up to do. There really isn't anything better than doing pure discipleship and evangelism. And I KNOW this is what God has called me to do for the next while. I will do it with cheer, zeal and passion, because I love what He has called me to do. But the little voice at the back of my head asks, "What next?" "What will you do after the next couple of years?" "Can you see yourself doing this forever?" "By the time you finish, you'll be at least 23... you're wasting the prime of your life. If you want to go into any high profile industry, you have to do it while you're young." "You're wasting all your skills and not even getting to do all the things you love and take them seriously." "You love wearing expensive clothing and buying things. Look at your other friends. They can do this with their REAL jobs. You won't be able to. Even if you save up and use your salary, you'll have supporters wondering why you're using money they've given to buy a pair of $300 jeans."

And then I know, after hearing myself talk...that my heart is deceitful above all things, and that I am listening to the wrong voice. I am so quick to lust after the things of this world. Who else should I give the prime of my life to, if not God and His work? What has He given me these skills for? To simply satisfy myself or to usher more children into His fold? JEANS?? Since WHEN have I desired a pair of $300 jeans? After 2 years, they'd be destroyed anyways. Here today. Gone tomorrow.

Some days.... most days... I lack eternal perspective. I do desire for a way to incorporate more of my passions into my ministry, but I know that will happen on it's own, because the Creator does not leave His creation defenseless and without inspiration.

When I think about it more... how privileged am I to be able to do His Work full time? He doesn't need me. Not at all. But for some reason, He has chosen to use this stubborn, slow learning (I gave a talk on eternal perspective at church on sunday night...oh, pharisee that I am!), rebellious vessel.

I won't be able to buy $300 jeans. But the Prize is worthy enough to satiate ALL my bizarre fancies and desires. It is no sacrifice.

random thoughts.

1. why are there no jeans created for people 5'2 and under who aren't actually sticks?

2. i am addicted to stila cosmetics. No creases!

3. awhile back, i cut reading chick-lit, because non-Christian chick-lit was just too racy, and Christian chick-lit just too cheesy. BUT, while i was at the Toronto airport, I picked up a book to pass the 4 hour flight... and realized it was Christian chick-lit that is actually so catchy it sells on the secular market...WITHOUT racy-ness. I've read all three books that the authors have. good times.

4. i love that birds are totally IN in the design world.

5. i love that bikes are totally IN in the design world as well.

6. i need a good hobby to do on my own, but at home. Something that is cheap but that incorporates art/design/photography and love.

7. i would like to redesign this blog, but i don't have a program...and straight up coding does not enthuse me like it once did.

8. growing up kinda makes me sad.

9. it was my friend Ashley's birthday yesterday. We've known each other for 17 years. That's a long time. longer than most marriages. i like our friendship. we can not see each other for months on end, and still have a great time. Most friendships are not like this.

10. i have little to blog about, and my readership has been cut by about 2/3rds since last year at this time. ah well.

10+1. top 3 websites of the week:

(z) dooce.com ~ caveat: she is a bit vulgar/jaded at times. BUT, SO incredibly sarcastic and funny. right up my alley.

(y) designspongeonline.com : i've been following design sponge for a LONG time, but she recently migrated over to her own domain...and it's even BETTER now!

(x) poppytalkhandmade.com : opened Oct 1. It's a GREAT collective. Even if just to "window" shop.