Monday, January 30, 2012

I Hate Being Depressed

I know, wah wah, poor me. This is just such a tough time of year, and it's all uphill until May, but I need to just take it one day at a time and not worry so much about tomorrow.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

I'm Back!

I've had a few mental issues when it comes to exercise; logically, my body should be healed and be able to withstand some stress, but I've worried about pain, worried about hurting myself and ending up back in the hospital, so I've kept my exercise very low key: walking, yoga, occasional weight sessions with my trainer, but nothing had core.

But that has now come to an end!

There is a fitness studio right by Matthew's gymnastics centre, and they had a class running from 1000 to 1100, the same time as Matthew's class. The class was called "Weights and Stuff". Sounded okay, not too strenuous. I e-mailed the instructor, told her my story, and she replied that it might not be too challenging of a class, but it would help me get back on track. So, I was expecting a fluffy, lightweight class, one I could handle, to ease me back into things.

Needless to say, my expectations of the class were out to lunch!!

We did some kettlebell work, some kickboxing stuff, and lots of muscular endurance activities. It was WAY harder than I was expecting, but I DID IT, and I don't feel sore or sick, and I can't wait until the next class!!

I probably shouldn't jump back into six days a week of hardcore, but at least I know that I can do these classes once in a while and I'm on my way back to health and fitness!!


Friday, January 27, 2012

A Saviour

My heart has been heavy over the past few days; the more time I spend at the Mustard Seed, the more comfortable I feel talking to the community, and I'm starting to hear their stories, and some of them sure aren't pretty.

One of the older gentlemen has had deteriorating health for a while, has been waiting for operations, and is now walking with a cane and needs our help getting his dinner. Last I had talked to him, he was waiting for a consultation in June, but on Tuesday he said he was going for a biopsy next week. My brain ignored the word "biopsy" and only heard "next week", so I smiled and said how he must have been happy things were moving along. That's when he looked at me solemnly and drew a "C" with his finger. I felt so stupid. Now I just hope I see him again so that I can provide some comforting words.

Then of course, my favorite (we all have our favorites!), who was so cheerful at the beginning of the year, then so depressed, and now I know why. He explained to me his entire tale of woe, and it broke my heart to hear the stories from this guy who, in another Universe, would probably be a great success. But he feels as if he is stuck in a hopeless situation that he can't escape from. I half expect that he will disappear and head back east, never to be seen again.

I have always watched the community members carefully, and I can see them in another life where they weren't messed up by drugs, alcohol, or bad luck. They all have so much potential - don't we all? We are all God's children, and he wants us to be happy, but I just see so much pain that I wish I could erase.

I want to be their savior - I want to take them for coffee, be someone they could call anytime, help them through their problems, and be a light that they can remember - so that they can feel that someone cares about them.

But they already have a Savior, the One who gave His life for all of us, and I can't be some cheap replacement for the real thing. He is the only way they will have true hope.

And so I must remember my task - smile, listen, and be a friend for a couple of hours. But I can't save them; they must make that journey on their own.

Friday, January 20, 2012

An Unexpected Comment

Scott wants to go on a Mission to Israel.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

They're Gone

And just like that, the birds are all gone.

The Birds

I sat down at the computer to write a blog entry, and in the computer screen's reflection I could see that there were birds flying past our window. I thought - are they crazy - it's -45 with a wind chill!! The flights were becoming more frequent, so I stood up to see what was going on, and there were HUUNDREDS of these birds flying around, landing in the trees, perching, chirping, for some reason not realizing how cold it is outside. They are perched on our roof, perched on the neighbour's roof, and are sitting in half a dozen trees from our house down a couple of doors.

I don't know what kind of birds they are; their tail feathers are orange underneath and then the tip is bright yellow. They seem to be a pretty fat bird - maybe they are from the north, trying to escape the Arctic chills?

All I know right now is that it's a little crazy out there - I took some video footage but I don't dare open the door since I'm sure at least one would fly in - there are that many birds out there!!
Besides, I don't want them to poop on my head.

Miraculous little creatures!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Again

The weeks are passing so quickly, and here we are, it's Tuesday again. Tonight I'm going to have to greet people coming in from frigid -30 air, and send them off into the night again when we close at 1000.

Better put on my best smile - it's going to be a tough night.

If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother. Deuteronomy 15:7

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ignoring The Call

Every Sunday I mull over my Calling - what is it, is it what I think it is, is it something else that I am ignoring? However, if I let the logical brain go to sleep for a while and let my spiritual brain take over, I know that I am so close to God when I am downtown, and I always have been. I remember when I was quite young, 11 or 12, and taking the bus downtown to meet my grandparents. Before I met them I would wander around, at the time not knowing why I loved it down there so much.

Fast forward 10 years and I was freshly out of University, drawn to the skyscrapers and starting my first job on the 18th floor of Scotia Place. I was part of the hubbub and rusharound world and I loved it, and I loved being downtown. Once in a while I would see people begging for change, and I often ignored them on the outside, but my heart was always with them. Near the end of my tenure downtown, I actually started talking to some of them, and always felt a sense of euphoria afterwards. At the time, however, I was too bogged down in kids and paying the bills, and decided that was going to be my lot in life for a while.

However, every year I would read about a local church group that went down to The Mustard Seed to serve a meal, and I was always upset that I missed it again. For some reason, it was never advertised at our church, even though any of us could have joined in. Year after year, I missed my chance, until I decided that I had to make my own chances. Of course, I procrastinated a while, it was "too far", the traffic was "too busy", but then God opened up a door that I couldn't ignore: I had tried to take the easy route and volunteer right in Devon, but afte submitting my application, I never heard from them again, which didn't make sense, because I was a perfect candidate to volunteer there (and who turns down volunteers??).

That is when I contacted The Mustard Seed.

And now I never grow tired of being there, and I miss it when I'm not there, and I'm always thinking about the poeple I have met. Yes, the drive is long, and yes, I'm tired when I get home, and I don't usually sleep during that night, but when I stepped back and thought about it:

-- It's closer than Ontario
-- It's closer than North Africa
-- I have a warm bed I can sleep in any time

And maybe I'm just blessed that my calling is only forty minutes away, and not 4000 km or half way across the world.

How can I ignore my calling? Our morning sermon contained a quote from an extremely experienced Pastor: Throughout history, the state of a society is directly influenced by the state of Christianity in that society. Maybe if more Christians "walked the walk" our society wouldn't be in the mess that it's in. We shouldn't be blaming the world for corrupting us - we should be blaming ourselves for not influencing the world in a positive way. If we all acted the way Tim Tebow does, maybe he wouldn't be seen as such a "wierdo" and a media spectical - he would just be another Christian doing all that he can for the Glory of God.

It can all happen one person at a time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reality Bites

That's all I'm going to say.

Back to January's Reality

Last Tuesday I sat and wrote how I wondered what was going to happen at the Mustard Seed that night, and it was a warm, wonderful night, with people coming in wearing hoodies, no gloves, sharing the cheer of a New Year and a great hockey game.

But now, with the north wind blowing and the temperature dropping, I know what kind of night it will be:

-- People wearing hoodies, and freezing
-- People rubbing their bare hands together trying to warm them before taking a plate of food
-- Lineups for hats and gloves and blankets
-- Long lineups of hungry people who have likely already run out of money and won't see any again until near the end of the month
-- People wandering in near closing time, hoping for a few minutes of warmth before heading back into the biting wind

And so the reality of a Canadian January sets in, with -20 temperatures on the horizon, and I remember that life at the Mustard Seed is not a big hockey party. However, I can still offer a smile, serve a cup of coffee, and make someone forget for a few moments about the air that awaits them on the outside.

God, be on my shoulder tonight.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Here we go again!

Me, sitting here, thinking about Edith Keelor again.

Here in Ordinary Time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A magical night

I just walked in the door, and I know I need to get to bed since I have yoga at 545 - less than 7 hours from now, but I had to capture the feeling of tonight. It was one of those fun evenings, Canada lost to Russia but made a valiant comeback, and there was lots of cheering and yelling. I didn't even miss karaoke tonight.

My friend had a great time and met a lot of the community. We were busy, but not crazy, and I had time to talk to lots of people. Best of all, my crazy haired friend came in, after over a year of being away, and we had a good chat.

It was a great night, and I'm so thankful to be here.

I Miss My Buddies!

It's been a few weeks since I've been to the Mustard Seed - last week we were in Canmore and the week before I was studying for my PT exam (I passed with 94% - why was I worried?). However, it's been calling me....I almost went for New Year's Eve, but then thought it wouldn't be wise to drive home at 100 in the morning. I miss those guys - Stewart, Georgie, Sean, Alice, Helen, and I wonder how Paul and JJ did in court, trying to get their kids back. I think about them all the time, and fantasize about buying a Brownstone condo down on 98th avenue so that I could pop into the inner city any time I wanted. Maybe it's just not my time now, not yet, but I can do my Tuesday night work and be content with that.

I'm taking a friend tonight - she wants to see what we do there in the evenings, so it should be fun to have her there. If we have lots of volunteers, there will be lots of time to chat, to sit, to drink tea...I wonder if she'll see it in the same way I do, the shimmering of 96th street as I turn from Jasper Avenue, my heart jumping and my stomach full of butterflies, driving in anticipation of the evening. It will be interesting.....