Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Lessons from Auntie Diva

(Julia hangs with Ragedy Ann & Andy)
Diva Lesson #2
Never trust a "fake" red head
(If their hair matches the colour of a candy apple ,
it ain't real honey, trust me! Can we say B-O-T-T-L-E!)
There is always dangerous potential for upstaging by those often insane, looney, somewhat quirky, attention craving crimson headed nut bars. (practice extreme caution especially if their names begin with the letters A-N) Sure they look all sweet with those charming smiles, blushing cheeks and innocent eyelashes, and they'll extend their hands to play any day, but you never know when they'll turn around and try to steal the spotlight away from you. Always have your guard up when interacting with wannabe reds. Don't be too quick to accept their extended hand of friendship (see above photo) Of course if you're a real diva and naturally adorable (see above photo) you really don't have all that much to worry about now do you?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Overwhelming Worship

Can tears be worship?

Almost 6 years ago I sat at a church service listening to a man speak, an ordinary man whose extraordinary testimony of faith changed how I saw God. He was also the one who dared to ask the biggest and most important question of my life, "If you were to die today would you go to heaven or hell?" God used my response to that question to ultimately bring me to my knees and acknowledge that I needed Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
Last night, as that same man stood before the congregation and spoke, I found myself overcome with emotion. This was the first time I had seen that man since coming to Christ. And as I sat there and listened to Him speak with the same passion he had 6 years ago, I found myself reflecting on all that God is for me now. I am so grateful for the way in which He used the boldness and passion of that ordinary man to change my life. Back in 2000 never did I imagine that I would be sitting in the same place almost 6 years later so overcome with gratitude that I'd be fighting back tears.
As we stood to sing at the end of the service. I couldn't even get the words of the song out because by that time the tears were just pouring down and I was unbelievably choked up. The more I reflected on the words of the song the more emotional I became. "Better is One day in your house, better is one day in your courts, better is one day in your house than thousands elsewhere" Only 6 years ago I was elsewhere and now I'm in His house and dwelling in His courts and I can declare those words knowing that they are true - Better is one day in His House indeed!!!
Being a passionate person, I tend to cry quite a bit but never have I analyzed what those tears really represent. How is it that tears which usually represent sadness and despair can also represent joy, adoration, praise and gratitude and ultimately be an act of worship? It's strange.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Lucia di fishbowlnomoor

example of a gold fish with big bulgy eyes
(also known as telescope or dragon gold fish)
I had a fish just like this, named Lucia (named thoughtfully after Donizetti's tragic heroine Lucia di Lammermoor.) She was ever so adorable! Unfortunately she took after her name sake. She went mad one night and committed suicide by jumping out of the tank. It was a tragic scene the next morning when I found her lying all shriveled up on the floor with those big sad bulgy eyes starring up at me. (Who knew that you're not supposed to fill the fish tank to the extreme top.) To this day I wonder if she sang a big dramatic over the top cadenza before taking her big dramatic death leap, cause we all know that that's what a girl does when she goes mad.
Can fish sing? :)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Things that make me smile

- A bright warm sunny day
- worshipping God
- Julia
- remembering Tutty's smile
- anything that sparkles
- scrunchy eyes
- sarcasm
- Marina's cards
- Daddy's "I know you wanna laugh" game
- Baby bunnies
- Achilles' cheesy jokes
- I Love Lucy
- remembering the way Jen and I used to play
- Hanging out with Angeline
- pretty dresses
- Spongebob Squarepants
- Overdramatic Divas
- Tammy's Newfy lingo i.e "when I lid down last night to go to bed"
- Napoleon Dynamite
- ducks
- Willis' impression of Carmen
- pretty pens with fuzz
- Operetta
- art by Erte
- Tina's Minnesota accent
- Dan's Blog
- Remembering Tammy's first trip to a Toronto Walmart
- whenever Nishant wiggles his ears
- Mike's unique greetings
- Vinyl Cafe stories
- Dixie's Letters
- Will Ferrell in Elf
- colourful bouquets of flowers
- nerds candy
- Tiara's
- gold fish with big bulgy eyes
- Virginia's made up words like "shi shi foo foo"
- Elisabeth's accompanying skills
- Cadence
- Anne of Green Gables
- the word "blog"
- La Diva de L'empire
- watching orangutans at the zoo
- The satisfaction that comes from knowing Christ
- watching other people worship God with all their hearts

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Manila Envelope

Sunday - All night long it was as though my mind was opening up computer files, the little yellow folder type ones. Each time my mind opened a file something that I have been putting my hope into would pop up in front of me. Files filled with names of schools, summer opera programs, missed opportunities, names of singing teachers, audition dates, photos of people in my life, new jobs, new places to live. Each time a file opened there was a disappointing comment attached. Things like "that's not going to fulfill you", "Not really interested in being your friend." "Couldn't care less about you." "Cause of loneliness." "Will tear you away from your walk with God." "He's just not that into you." I woke up yesterday morning with a strange new perspective on all of my hopes and dreams. Truly letting go of them seemed to be the only thing that made sense . Why would I want all of that? It made me sad though cause now what? What hope do I have for my future plans and dreams? I have opened all the files and most of them have disappointment or hurt attached.

Monday - Again a restless sleep. Tossing & turning. I had a dream. Strangely It felt more like reality. I thought I was awake. It all took place by my bedside in the early hours of the morning, I was lying in bed looking towards the wall and suddenly I saw before me a sealed Manila envelope, that looked to be completely full of stuff. It was just there sort of floating by my bedside. I didn't question where it came from because I knew that God was the one holding it. I didn't see Him, but I knew it came from Him and I don't remember all of His words but He definitely spoke. I looked at the envelope curiously. He handed it to me to touch. It was just a plain sealed Manila envelope I was a little baffled, but as I held it I could tell that there was something wonderful inside. He told me that I could have it, but that I could never open it on my own. I would have to wait for Him to open it for me. I looked at it and touched it again almost hesitant to take it. And then He said, "You can choose this one sealed envelope which I've packed specially for you or you can choose those endless computer files from last night. Files that you have already opened. You can manipulate and edit those files as you please but you will find no satisfaction in them." So there it was before me again, The big question of my life - do I want immediate gratification and ultimately disappointment or do I want to wait patiently as He molds me and shapes me into the woman that He wants me to be so that I can truly be ready to receive all that He has to offer?

Today I found myself clutching that plain Manila envelope to my heart. It's sealed but I have no desire to open it. I don't think I could even begin to imagine all that is inside. I trust that He will open it for me in due time, when I am ready to see and experience all that is inside.

Psalm 25:4 -14
Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD;
point out the right road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O LORD, your unfailing love and compassion,
which you have shown from long ages past.
Forgive the rebellious sins of my youth;
look instead through the eyes of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD.
The LORD is good and does what is right;
He shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in what is right, teaching them his way.
The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees.
For the honor of your name, O LORD, forgive my many, many sins.
Who are those who fear the LORD?
He will show them the path they should choose
They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the Promised Land.
Friendship with the LORD is reserved for those who fear him.
With them he shares the secrets of his covenant.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Broken Juice Bottles

Yesterday morning started off with my juice bottle falling off the kitchen table onto the floor. The plastic bottle cracked and the juice splattered up my legs. I stood there for a minute in shock staring at the completely broken bottle and watching the juice pour out onto the kitchen floor.

Later that evening as I stepped out of the car with my other juice bottle in hand, I got caught and fell hard on my knees onto the cold grainy pavement. I looked up from the ground after falling and off in the distance was another completely broken bottle of juice gushing out onto the pavement. My knees were all cut up and scrapped. They throbbed and stung with pain, but I found myself more bothered by my broken juice bottle. Two in one day! After all the time I had spent juicing the fresh juice the night before, there it was in a puddle on the dirty pavement. I've been fasting this week and the juice has been the main source of fuel for my body. I needed that juice for sustenance.

As I sat at Solemn Assembly last night I found my mind completely wandering during the last prayer unit, wandering to the many distractions in my life. One thing in particular, something that has been bothering and plaguing me for months was consuming my thoughts, an issue involving my future. Suddenly in mid thought the Holy Spirit prompted me to see how completely inconsiderate I was being, how utterly disrespectful I was being to my God who was standing before me ready to listen. How small of me, I couldn't even pay attention during a short allotted time of prayer. My heart was suddenly grieved and for the first time I saw the extremity of the sin that this particular issue was causing. At that moment the Holy Spirit showed me how I have been trying to find satisfaction in future possibilities rather than in all that Jesus Christ is for me. I have been trying to place my trust in the future rather then in my God. I have been fueling myself with an insignificant source of hope. There I was thinking that seeing a specific aspect of my future settled would provide for me all that I need.

I've been trying to surrender this to God for months, but something has been keeping me from fully and completely giving it entirely up to Him. Last night I realized that it was the false sustenance of sin that was the cause of struggle and keeping me from truly giving it up to God.

As I came to Him in repentance last night, the image of those two broken juice bottles kept coming to mind. I was like one of those bottles filled with juice. Juice that was specially prepared for my needs. I was a vessel filled with false sustenance. Miraculously, He forced me to become like those two broken bottles last night. God forced me to my knees and broke me. As I repented and then poured out all my desires to Him, He listened, He forgave and He received. God showed me how truly He is my only sustaining power. Only Christ can satisfy all of my needs.

So this morning I find myself rejoicing in all that God is for me in Jesus Christ. I feel truly free for the first time in a long time and filled with joy. And I see the image of the broken juice bottles as beautiful. My knees are all scrapped and one is throbbing from falling so hard, but I find myself rejoicing in that too. Both images are reminders of how it took me suddenly falling hard on my knees so that I could break and empty myself of any of the false sustenance that comes from sin.

As I continue fasting today I find I don't need juice at all, the only sustenance I need comes from the love and power that my Lord, Jesus Christ has to offer me.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Relationships can't be formed based on constant monologues.
Sometimes I think I fool myself into believing that they can.