Friday, March 21, 2008

baby mania.

Tonight marks baby shower #2 of the week, in addition to a coffee date which was partially spent planning yet another baby shower.

I feel like I blinked, and everyone got pregnant.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The night I read The Shack.

The other night, I read this new book called "The Shack" - I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to think outside the box.

Sure, it's the next big book on the Christian market...but ignore that fact, and just read the book for what it's worth...okay?

And then we'll chat.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The new Hans Christian Anderson.

Today is Monday, March 10th - the day that I've been looking forward to all last week. I can't say that last week was a good week...planning for the trip into Vancouver that I just did with 50 students was not going smoothly. My car broke down in the middle of it not only was I coordinating this trip, I was coordinating how to get to and from work each day, and doing "emergency" planning in case the mechanic's verdict was not good.

However, God is gracious.

Thursday afternoon at 3:15, I was coordinating all the students who were meeting to leave for Vancouver - which included two unexpected additions (go figure) - when my cell phone rang. It was my friendly mechanic, Scott, letting me know that my car was ready...and with inexpensive repairs. I let out a huge breath of relief...and headed into Vancouver with my students.

This weekend was another great eye-opener, not just for the students, but for me as well. This weekend, due to some difficulties in finding leaders, I ended up leading my own team, as well as running the 5 teams that were there. It was slightly chaotic, but my team was great, and understood when I had to run off, or answer my phone mid-sentence...

Let me share with you a highlight of the weekend (which I think was also a highlight for my team)...

Saturday night, we were scheduled to go to Union Gospel Mission's Maurice McElrea Place - a subsidized social housing initiative on Hastings, which has been running for a few years, and which is always a treat to go and hang out at. We made lasagna and ate dinner and watched a movie with few of the residents...which is always fun. However, this Saturday, we were blessed to meet Ross. Ross has lived in the building for a while, and has a great sense of humour and overall just a warm heart. He had been chatting with a couple of the guys on my team, and after we had cleaned up and kinda finished the "event" for the evening, he invited all 10 of us up to his little apartment for some story-telling.

Now, one never knows what this all will entail. Sure, a guy says he writes children's stories...but what will that look like? Will they be any good? Will it be an awkward few minutes in his apartment as he shares? Will we have to feign interest and approval of his stories? (I was slightly nervous as to how this would all work out.)

I was blown away.

Ross is a gifted story-teller. We sat in his apartment for over an hour, as he shared tale after tale. My tiredness lifted, and I sat with a smile on my face as Ross's eyes lit up, and his stories came alive as he told them.

Ross carried us into his imagination and his passion. He put on his story-telling voice. We were swept into the life of a bumble bee who convinced an elderly lady to play her trumpet again and share her love of jazz with others....we got caught up in the investigation of a lobster detective as he tried to locate a missing "Pink Pearl", the daughter of a loud-mouthed oyster...Ross led us even further into the depths of his imagination, as we witnessed the theft of leprechaun-protected gold by pirates, and the story of the dream fairy and her broken dream-making machine.

I loved every minute of it.

It was hard to leave, for the team to pull away and return to our hostel for the night. And it was hard for Ross to let us go. We had connected through his stories. He thanked us...he had not felt so at ease in his apartment before, especially with 10 people there...and I felt blessed. I love human connection. I love learning what makes the human heart passionate, and being able to relate to that passion for even an hour of an evening.

And with that, I have lived through organizing and leading four "Urban Mission Adventures" into Vancouver this school year. I am happy.

Props to my co-leader Jason for being truly awesome, and to my team for making this weekend a fun time...