Tuesday, January 31, 2006

15 minutes continuously

So, we have a mini gym in our apartment building, and I've been using the facilities. What can I say? A new year's resolution to do some form of exercise. I like the cross-trainer (the machine where you run and move your arms like cross-country skiing), but have been avoiding the treadmill like the plague. I HATE running. But then I got to thinking that there will likely not be cross-trainers in Zimbabwe, but there will be land where I can run. So, I tried the treadmill the other day, and ran for 4 minutes. It almost killed me.

Today I ran for 15 minutes continuously. Now, trust me, I realize this is not a marathon (John's the marathon man), but for me this is a huge athletic victory. Yay!

This reminds me of when I was helping out in a grade 3 classroom and they were playing soccer baseball. I was put on one of the teams and actually kicked a grand slam (where all the bases are loaded and you get a home run). It was incredible. Most of the kids had never even seen a grand slam before. Never mind that I was 20 years older than them - it was huge.

So, I'm thinking maybe the Olympics...

Great sentence

OK - I read a great sentence in the Miroslav Volf book last night - here goes:

"There are good reasons for the vacuity of divine femininity. For if we were to give it concrete content, we could not avoid freezing a particular cultural construction of gender and then infusing it with divine powers and claims."
Good, eh? (Yes, I'm a geek - I love university!)

In every day English - we should be cautious of creating or promoting a Female God because we will - undoubtedly - impose our own gendered/cultured views onto that God.
And yet we do that all the time with God now, right? Sure, we would never say that God is male, but sometimes we sure describe "Him" as male, infusing our particular constructions of gender with divine powers. People always complain of "political correctness crap" when someone is unsure about using male, gendered language for God, but the language DOES affect our thinking.

And speaking of feminism - Amnesty International has an interesting campaign advocating on behalf of Stolen Sisters. Read the stats about the risks that Aboriginal women face in this country  - they are scary.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A few things

Excellent thing: After many years of driving tests/lessons/trauma/drama, I got my full G license on Friday. Woohoo!
Frustrating thing: We heard last week that we should expect to wait another 6 months for our visas to Zimbabwe. ARGH!
Sad thing: A lot of people are in really unhappy marriages. I spoke with a friend the other day who has not spoken to her husband in 6 months (although they still live together). For a year before that she cried every day and he never once asked her if she was ok or if he could do anything to help.
Happy thing: I'm in a really happy marriage. 99% of the time I don't take it for granted. It's a treat and a privilege. I so scored John McAlister!
Happy thing #2: It's sunny out. I just walked around outside for an hour. I'm Canadian, so I know I'm supposed to be all patriotic about the winter, but I just really love the sun!
Interesting thing: Jesus preached mostly to an oppressed population and yet still called for not only forgiveness but repentance. This was likely because he did not want the oppressed to gain their freedom and liberty by using their pain to play the same power games and become the oppressors. That's deep!
Book thing: "Exclusion and Embrace" - Miroslav Volf (Excellent read - that's where I got the "interesting thing" from!)
Civic thing: It's federal election day - go on out and vote. And don't forget (not to influence too strongly)... Jack's our man! Vote for - not against!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Night at the Balmoral

Whew - we're not too good at this whole keep-up-to-date-on-the-blog thing. We just got back from a nice trip to B.C. Lots of good times with Nana, Barbie and the gang. And another tearful airport good-bye. I'm tired of good-byes. Oh well.

We got down to Seattle for the day and went to the aquarium. And I got to see my oldest friend Julie's baby - so cute!

I also spent a day visiting my sister in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. My sister is currently  - by choice - living in Vancouver's worst slum hotel (the Balmoral) and I had an interesting sleepover with her. She let me have her bed and enjoyed some time with the mice on the floor (thank you, Kirsten - I have a strong aversion to mice!) It actually wasn't THAT bad (well, ok, the shower was bad!) Being in the downtown eastside with my sister for the day made me proud of her - how she's living in this oppressed place and just meeting people and learning how to love them and building community. While we were walking down one alley way she showed me a building where trees are mysteriously growing out of the side of the building. It was beautiful. In such a "hopeless" place, you never know where beauty will grow or when it will surprise you.

Anyway, there's lots to share, but you could always just check out HER blog (on the side panel). Kirsten Ivany - got to love her! (I do!)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Some highlights from my 2005:
- seeing the Soweto Gospel Choir (and crying at least 6 times)
- lying down on Sherri's dock and looking up at the stars
- dancing with Kirsten at territorial
- 24/7 prayer week - praying in the wee hours of the morning
- cottage weekend trip with Andrea & Galen
- Josh & Jenn getting engaged
- scary allergy attack when Mom tried to get me to eat ice cream to make me feel better
- walking to the Beaches & double dating with Mom & Dad
- Indian food and jokes at James' birthday & Elora gorge
- meeting up with so many old friends in the summer
- trips to B.C., Kingston, Montreal, and Atlanta
- going to Ottawa with Johnny
- new closeness with John (we were always close, but you know what I mean)
- sitting under a tree at Harbourfront
- getting hugs from Joel and just feeling relief because he gets me
- Nedim fixing the flood in the basement in about 3 minutes
- Stephanie
- Gospelfest 2005
- graduating (again) from U of T
- all of the planning for Africa - medically, spiritually, emotionally
I am a blessed person.
2006... the best is yet to come!