Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Walking in the neighbourhood

Today I was walking down a street in my neighbourhood and heard two really loud bangs. tehn I saw guys running away from the gun shots and police running towards them. More gun violence in Regent Park. The thing I found most strange about it was that everything else seemed so normal - parents and young children kept walking down the street, people kept driving by, the wind kept blowing. Just another shooting...
And then tonight I was walking some kids home from squads and one of the girls said, "oh, I prefer this other route. That way we don't have to pass by the crack dealers and they won't bother us." Right. The same girl was telling us last week that she believes that God listens to her prayers because Sunday night she prayed for her mom's safety, and Monday her mom was right by a shooting and didn't get hurt.
I am continually amazed at what kids in my neighbourhood grow up with and become accustomed to. Just another walk in the neighbourhood.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Black & Blue

A very odd things happened to me this morning. I went in for my shower, and noticed that my legs were completely dark blue. At first I thought I was still asleep, and then I wondered what kind of dreams I'd been having. They looked completely bruised. Thankfully most of the blue came off with soap. I guess my new jeans had dyed my legs (which explains the incredible sale price!).
Of course, this also made me think of women who really do have bruises all over their legs and faces, etc. The other day I was walking into my church building and a guy drove by the entrance on his bike screaming, "I'm going to kill you, you b****! I swear it - I'm going to kill you!" The woman he was screaming at was behind the glass windows, and already had a huge bruise on her face.
Violence against women sickens me and scares me. Yes, I know there's also violence against men, but, if you look at the statistics, the type of violence and the severity of it is much worse when it's men against women. I interviewed a woman recently who had the amazing courage to leave her abusive husband. Her name's Ilona. You can check out her story if you want -

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Monday night I was inspired by hearing Vicky Keith. She is a marathon swimmer who now does a lot of coaching and advocacy for kids who have disabilities. Her whole thing is that nothing is impossible. She once swam for over 135 hours continuously. Yeah, 135 hours. That is crazy! In addition to the whole swimming for over 5 days thing in a pool... She swam across Lake Ontario and back. She swam across each of the Great Lakes in 2 months. She thinks it's about having a bit of skill and a whole lot of determination. She's trying to raise $1million to help athletes who are children and who have physicial disabilities. Check it out - She has amazing stories about kids overcoming their challenges too (like a girl who had to have her arms and legs amputated and yet swam across Lake Ontario!)
I think this type of determination is amazing. Truly amazing! I was truly inspired an challenged. I also think this type of determination is the reason I am not an athlete. I hit the pain mark and think, "why on earth would I continue to do this activity?" whereas others hit the pain mark, love it, and keep going.
Although... the other day I took an aquafit class in my building (aerobics in the water). I don't want to brag too much, but I feel confident in saying that I was the most athletic in the whole class. OK, well, I was also the only person in the class who wasn't a senior citizen, but still....

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to my dear mom.
She is awesome, and we love her so much! My mom is very kind, generous, fun, supportive and loving.
Love you, Mom!

Used birthday candle

Yesterday I was teaching a class on birth order. There's not much scientific backing for it, but it can be interesting. It's all about how your position in the family (related to your siblings) affects your personality. Did you know that most people would prefer to be the oldest child (heh heh)?
Anyway, I was asking the class about advantages of being the oldest and youngest and middle and only child. When I got to the youngest, this one gentleman said, "there's nothing good about being the youngest - it's just all s***!" He went on to explain that he had the same birthday as his older brother, who was exactly one year older than him. Each year, his parents would wrap up the presents his brother had got the year previous and give them to him. And they'd have a cake for his brother and sing "Happy Birthday" and then take the used candle and put it in his own cake and sing to him. This man was very bitter, and is now estranged from his whole family. It broke my heart.
On a more cheeful note, we got *two* e-mails from Zimbabwe this week saying that they have not forgotten about us and are still checking on the progress of our visas. So, that's good...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Balancing act

Sometimes I feel like a bird. Other times a statue.

Took this pic while hanging out in Ottawa with Heather and Jason. Beautiful shot. I tried to get a similar photo with a living politician, but it wasn’t the month of the year they work.

These days I’m exploring the joy of balancing. In fact, while writing this post (yes, Rochelle, I’m finally posting something) I’m touching my nose with my left index finger while balancing on my right foot. I can’t believe how easy it is to keep typing with my free hand without fallgkiijng… woops. I’m okay. Just a bit bruised where my head hit the monitor.

Now that I’m sitting down, I’ll share some other balancing acts in my life.

Feelings of entitlement & Believing God has a plan for my life

Self-absorption & Being open and vulnerable with God and others

Fostering a romantic spirit & Exposing my tender brain to The Notebook

Trusting that God will get us to Africa & Preparing my heart for possible rejection

Transitioning to life in Africa & Remaining mission-focused while still here

Blogging is a great idea & Blogging is a big waste of time

Chocolate is an occasional food & M&Ms are good in cereal

This is all so wack, but at least I’m making my girl happy by posting. I’m thinking I might make this a monthly event. Maybe even on the same day I do the dishes at home.

So, lurkers, what are the balancing acts in your life? Come on, don’t be shy!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Just a little competitive

I don't consider myself to be a very competitive person, but there are some exceptions, such as board games with John and walking.
I walk fast. Yesterday I was on my usual morning walk, and something unusual happened - a pedestrian passed me. Again, I walk fast, so, when walking down the street, I always pass people, they don't usually pass me. So, I sped up a bit, but his legs were much longer than mine, and he kept getting ahead (PLUS I had already been walking for about 45 minutes - totally unfair advantage!) Basically we raced for about 12 minutes. Now, John thinks that this other person (a businessman) did not know that we were racing, but oh - he did! Yes, he tried to appear casual (as did I), but no - he was into it. By the time I got to the office my face was so red! Yep, sometimes I'm ridiculous.
The last time this happened, when we got to a street corner, the other guy actually turned to me and said, "you think you're pretty fast, eh?" I was mortified. But walking's the only sport I really like...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Yesterday I went to the Humane Society to take a break from staring at this computer screen (and I was missing our bunnies). It made me feel so sad to see all of the cats just staring at me and mewing and looking so... trapped! And then on my way back I saw one of the sex trade workers in our neighbourhood. She was looking in a mirror and singing, "I hate everything about you..." And she looked so caged in and trapped. I actually wanted to punch the guy who was letting her out of his van - and I'm not the confrontational type.
This morning I walked to work (it takes just over an hour) and I was loving just being able to walk and breathe. I was listening to my gospel music and singing along and dancing a little bit. And I felt so very free. On the way here I met a lady from our church who has been an alocholic for most of her life. She told me she's been sober for 3 months. She smiled when she told me - and looked so very free. I also learned that she makes homemade chocolates. Yum.