vendredi, novembre 30, 2007
jeudi, novembre 29, 2007
I was standing in my bathroom, undressed, with my arm under the shower, waiting for the water to heat up, when i looked up at the skylight and saw a man standing, staring at me, whilst i was butt naked.
i am going to choose to believe that he was a roofer. Because if he was not a roofer, and just a sketchy man, I would probably desire to move immediately.
Publié par lowonthego à 11:44 p.m.
lundi, novembre 26, 2007
Transparency. People have been telling me I'm a transparent person. I guess I am. I generally don't shy away from saying what I'm thinking or feeling. But if you've been following my blog, you've probably noticed I've been a bit more guarded this month. Probably still more transparent than most people, but guarded nevertheless.
People always ask me how I'm doing. And in my head, I've had this misconception that life as a missionary is going to be full of adventure and glory. They'll ask, and I'll respond, "I'm doing good," "Just adjusting, but overall good."
"Are you having fun?"
"Yeah I am."
I do not elaborate. To my ears, my words are flat and dull and lacking truth.
Truth is, this month has been hard. I dread certain days more than others, and I've spent this whole month pondering the idea of not returning to staff and full-time missions/ministry next year. I spend some days feeling bored and unchallenged. Other days, I'm bored because the challenge is so crippling, I feel I can't rise to it and take hold of it by the horns. Approaching the 5th week of being here, I'd really been questioning my calling, spending time dwelling on how much I miss Toronto and how much I'd like to do other things like design or photography or both. On Sundays, I'd head to church, tired after a full week of meeting all new people, and feel lonely and tired upon my return home, having met a host of new people, but not really clicking with anyone. The inundation with French, a language that I know but yet do not know, the loneliness of being apart from family and my church family, the frustration of not knowing my way around and wanting to reach certain goals but feeling crippled by my situation, makes me realize that missions isn't full of glory. It isn't an adventure. It's hard. A lot of the time, it requires plodding away, diligently at mundane tasks. And the more I stay here, the more I realize things I've sacrificed to be here. For the past few weeks, the thought that has kept me going hasn't been a compelling vision of reaching Montreal, but the thought that I could move back to Toronto at the end of the year, quit staff and do something easier. Something more enjoyable.
Yesterday, I was in Toronto for a visit. People at church were asking me how my time in Montreal has been. My first inclination was to reply with the flat and lacklustre, "It's going well," but it became too flat for my ears, so instead, when my pastor's wife asked me, I replied, "It's hard." No elaboration. Just that. She turned and pointed to the powerpoint slide, which contained the title of the message that the guest speaker would preach on.
"Following God is not always easy, but it is always good."
I told her that I was not ready to hear a convicting message.
But hear, did i ever! A missionary on furlough from Kazakhstan shared three points.
1. we need to yield control of our future and our work to God.
As soon as I heard this, I knew God was speaking to me. Though I know God has called me to Montreal, I've been living with the idea of controlling that final decision come June. I've been stubborn and unwilling to consider staying here another year, and desiring to find different work, despite knowing that God has called me here.
2. we need to yield our priorities.
The speaker then went on to describe how God has certain priorities that need to take place above ALL other things in our lives. Namely, His glory and His glory alone. He talked about how the gospel NEEDS to be preached. He said these words, "We talk of the second coming. half the world has never even heard of the first. The question isn't 'Is God going to be building his kingdom?' but rather, 'Are we going to join Him and allow Him to use us in this endeavour?'"
As I thought about this, I realized that for the past 5 weeks, life has been very ME centered and not very GOSPEL centered. I've lacked joy because MY "needs" haven't been fulfilled, when all along, Jesus has been saying, "YOUR greatest need was fulfilled on the cross. But those around you in Montreal, don't even REALIZE they have a need."
3. We need to yield our pride.
"The axe cannot boast of the trees that it has cut down. It could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, and he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O that I may never lose sight of this."
In the service, a voice spoke to my heart saying, "Montreal is where I want you to be. Will you yield to me? Will you yield your control, your priorities, your pride and your desires to me?"
After the service, I was asked to share a bit about Montreal. I broke down. I cried in front of my whole english congregation. How mortifying. In sharing about Montreal, my heart of frustration and loneliness spilled out. In sharing, I realized, for perhaps the first time, the condition of my heart. I cried and begged for prayer, seeing the depravity that exists in my heart. Truth is, at this point in time, I KNOW Montreal is where God desires me to be. But I myself do not feel much as though I want to be here. Don't get me wrong, I love the staff team and the students are just so kind and gracious. But it is SO much easier to think about how I could be doing other things, in a city where my church family, whom I love so dearly is, and where some of my best friends are. It's so much easier to think about waking up in a place where language isn't a frustration, and where I don't need to constantly be reading maps or meeting new people.
Following God isn't easy. I'm not wired to follow Him. It's a choice that is made each day to continue pressing onwards. I'm realizing that missions isn't always a happy thing, full of fun and blue skies and sunny days. It's hard. It's depressing. I'll be honest. But Jesus never said things would be easy. In fact, He tells those who desire to follow Him, to pick up their cross. A cross is an excruciating, painful, heavy beast of a thing. What DOES ensue, however, from yielding control to Him is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I want those things.
May I yield over my control to Him and say, "Yes Lord, I will follow You in this endeavour, as you build up your Kingdom, person by person, here in Montreal."
Publié par lowonthego à 11:54 a.m.
lundi, novembre 19, 2007
it's ridiculous that i'm up at 3am because i'm scared someone else is in the house. someone unwanted. i'm not usually this jumpy, but tonight i'm so paranoid, i'm seriously typing slowly so that the clicking of my keyboard is unheard.
When i was on the phone at 11pm with my friend Jesskah, I kept telling her I thought someone was in my house. Eventually she told me to shut up or go check. The thought of me being unarmed and facing an intruder......i shut up. Concurrently, my friend Francis had to convince me to go pee because i was scared to leave my room.
i've gotten altogether about 1 hr of sleep. Restless sleep. I just woke up because i heard a huge BOOM come from outside my room. But, i don't want to go check to see what has happened...I'm sure something has fallen or something else..but i don't want to check because....see above paragraph.
as i said..i'm not usually this jumpy when i'm alone. I've never felt this anxious. I don't know why tonight my sympathetic NS is going up the wazoo. Maybe it's the week of bad dreams I've had that there's an intruder in the house.
woo. i know my roommate doesn't want to move. and i really like living with this roommate. But next year, i think i need to move somewhere where there's security.
i'm gonna crash tomorrow during all the meetings.
Publié par lowonthego à 3:09 a.m.
dimanche, novembre 18, 2007
for how long?
there are so many thoughts, going round and round.
this isn't easy. but it's not hard. at least, not in the way i imagined it would be.
it's not what i thought it would be like.
i feel unchallenged, but at the same time unmotivated. ineffective. no one's fault but my own.
i wonder a lot, but feel trapped. stupid. when i voice my thoughts.
i'm bored. i feel like i should be really excited. like i should power through the day, grateful to BE.
but now that i am in such a place, i wonder...is this all there is?
there are great things. people. place. time. but the restlessness continues, and i don't even know what i am yearning for.
a picture of a man falling 60 feet, dying, and not knowing Jesus continues to haunt me. a man i did not know. i cry for him sometimes.
Publié par lowonthego à 6:33 p.m.
samedi, novembre 17, 2007
Today, was a brilliant shopping day. I LOVE matt and nat, and it's made my blog a couple of times. Well, it's making it again, simply because, today I became very metropolitan, and along with some friends attended a Matt and Nat sample sale!!!!! I am now the proud owner of the largest bag ever.... a $135 dollar bag reduced more than 50%!
I also purchased a fall/early winter jacket, because the girls here in Montreal are way too hip... and I desire to be hip too.
This post is highly superficial, and I'm feeling the superficiality. Ah well. Jess Wynja, you are probably the only reader who will appreciate this post.
Publié par lowonthego à 11:28 p.m.
mercredi, novembre 14, 2007
I've been doing a lot of wrestling in the past couple of weeks. I haven't come to any conclusions. I don't know if what I'm hearing is of me, or of God. It's been confusing, and adjusting while confused is tiring.
But today, while I was sitting and talking to a girl about what she thought of Christianity, I distinctly thought to myself, "This is what I love doing."
And the girl said, "What must I do?"
I don't know if she'll "choose" to believe or not. But I do know that when God calls, He is irresistible.
May He be irresistible to me too.
Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. ~Acts 16:30-34.
Publié par lowonthego à 4:47 p.m.
jeudi, novembre 08, 2007
- One of the things that drew me to my church in Toronto was that I could have a stalled car in the parking lot, not belong to the church at all, and someone would still come out and help me. They're just that friendly. Coming to Montreal, I prayed that I would find a church where people would be caring enough to help a stranger. Last night, two people I had met just hours before, came to my house to help me assemble my bookshelf even though it was already 10pm and dark out.
- Yesterday, I started unpacking. I set up my bookshelf, set up my bed (finally!), and took some of my clothing out of their boxes. For the past week and a half, I've been really tired, in part because of huge changes, but also because of the huge disorganization in my house. A disorganized house, for me, is unsettling. This morning is the first morning I've woken up not feeling as though a truck had run over me. My room is far from unpacked, but even just getting the major things up and tidied is such a huge relief! I feel energized! A neat and tidy home is a happy home!
- Yesterday I had da been lo (Chinese Hot Pot). Miam miam!
- Last Tuesday, when I was on campus at UdeM I was petrified of approaching people with my horrible anglo french. But this week, I was reminded that I'm in a war, and that in a war, you get muddy and you gotta stop caring about how your hair looks. I'm a hugely prideful person, and I hate being humbled. Speaking French is humbling. It is a reminder of how inadequate I am. But, I took a faith step, and approached some people (with a Francophone right by my side, mind you) and loved it! I have a feeling that I'm going to come out of every Tuesday being fried...but I'm excited. Wars are devastating...but kinda exciting too. Especially when you know that in the end, the War has already been won.
- Today is my dear friend Aban's birthday. She is the cutest girl ever, and I miss her muchly.
- I organized the books on my bookshelf by colour. It is very rainbowesque.
Publié par lowonthego à 1:22 p.m.
dimanche, novembre 04, 2007
You know, when I was in Edmonton, I always felt really tired. I'd wake up at 9 or 10am, and 2 hours later, I'd be tired. The only time I felt alive was when I met up with friends-- something that only happened once, maybe twice, a week.
Now, I'm here in Montreal, and this week has been exhausting. Most mornings I've woken up feeling like I've been hit by a truck. No joke. Meeting new people every day has been draining--I hate small talk-- and coming home and spending my free time painting walls instead of reading or sleeping or crafting or playing music hasn't alleviated any tiredness.
I realize that I'm not a full out introvert, but neither am i a full out extrovert . I love people, but I need the right kinds of people to recharge and I also need to be okay with being alone sometimes. A lot of the time, I say yes to doing things with people because I feel that if I don't, I'll miss out on some cool adventure. Truth is, I need to establish boundaries so that I can stay a happy person. Sometimes it'll mean I need to find people to hang out with. Other times it'll mean that I have to say a firm NO, so that I can be alone.
Moving is hard. It's a lot of small talk. Don't get me wrong, the Montreal staff team is absolutely amazing, and all the students I've met have been so great. I'm so excited to get to work with them. I know I'll love hanging out with them and that eventually I'll find the right people to recharge with. But this whole week, I've said yes to every invitation to hang out with people. In part, this has been because I am fearful of feeling lonely, like I did in Edmonton, or that if I say no, people won't ask me to hang out again. Also, I really want to get to know people, and I know that I need to hang out to do so.
Despite the great times that have been had (and there have been MANY), this past friday night was probably the most relaxing time of the week. I sat in my kitchen, read blogs, talked to some friends I hadn't talked to in a long while on msn, and basically did nothing, all alone. It was so nice to just be ALONE. This is something I never thought I'd say, whilst I was in Edmonton.
Anyways, it's late, and I'm going to go to bed. I'm tired. This blog feels very piece-y and kinda jumbled.
Publié par lowonthego à 1:12 a.m.
vendredi, novembre 02, 2007
I haven't spent much time with my camera lately. I rarely edit pictures, partially out of laziness, partially because I don't want to rely on edits to get the shot I want...but of the pictures I have taken lately, so many of them were taken with the improper ISO or white balance that I feel slightly irresponsible putting them up without edits. However, I have neither the time nor the energy to put in some editing work....so... enjoy what little there is! I know most people have been asking for pictures of my house or what not...but you don't want to see my house right now. It's a dump.
Most of these are from a visit to the chinese lantern festival on Monday. You can view them here: Shutter Release starting on the October 29th date. Dates do not correspond to when the pictures were shot.
Publié par lowonthego à 11:33 p.m.
jeudi, novembre 01, 2007
i know i've been mia recently. You KNOW you're an msn addict when people start emailing you, asking if you're alive...solely with the reason that you haven't been on msn in awhile.
Life is busy, and I feel like there are so many things to do in my personal life...and in every aspect of life. I haven't unpacked any of my boxes yet, my room is not yet fully painted, and my furniture (which I finally bought last night) is not set up yet.
There aren't enough hours in a day, and though I used to scoff at all my friends who would be in bed by 11, yesterday I stayed up till midnight to finish some ministry stuff and at that point, I was seriously dying of tiredness. I am an old woman.
Alongside this busyness that comes with a new life, a new transplant, comes learning new boundaries. I went from seeing maybe one or two people a week to meeting new people everyday, and seeing people every day. Though I am not an introvert, I am no extrovert. Too many people and too few of the right kinds of people is really draining.
I'm not complaining. Though I thought I would be really lonely here, I'm not. The staff are all too kind, and I have a great roommate. I am missing people though. I feel a sudden disconnect from everything I knew. Aside from one or two people, I have not talked to any of my friends from my church in Toronto, nor any of my other Toronto friends. I have the best intentions to email, but I don't yet have my own room, my own internet connection, and even time for myself. I don't like this disconnect, but I feel as though it will be around for the next while, while I build myself a home.
Other than that, pictures will soon come. I know people have been asking.
My baking/snacks for my small group bible study are now done. I need to take them out of the oven and get ready to leave the house. My need to go and spend a bit of time with Jesus is great. I have not done so for awhile and if I'm going to lead women, I need to follow Someone.
Have yourselves a great afternoon.
Publié par lowonthego à 12:03 p.m.