Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Giving of Thanks


For any of you who truely know me, you know how much I love traditions. Living away from home for the last 51/2 years has required that I start some of myown traditions. My favorite one is that I have had Josh, my cousin, here for EVERY Thanksgiving since I've been in Edmonton...5 Thanksgivings to be exact :) I think it is safe to say that now, for me, Thanksgiving wont feel the same with out him :)

This year is the first year that he has come from Sask.with the same girl twice: year 1- Kim DeVine, year 2- Jenn Spen and Sheilagh, year 3- Suzanna, year 4- Krista (his girlfriend at the time), and year 5- Krista (his now fiance :D) and Keltie (and her friend Holly). I must also say, that Krista feels much like a cousin and I am very excited about their wedding in just...a month and a half!! Yay!

The weekend was full and fun...we went to the market, visited Krista's Gramma's house (and climbed this huge tree from Krista's childhood), went to Christian Publications (the best Christian book store-wish we had one in NS) spent forever at Ikea, went out for Ethiopian food, and stayed up late to talk and hang out.

Total people were Josh and Krista, Keltie and Holly, Jordan, and then on Saturday night Owen Marshand-who I han't seen in like 2-3 years came up from Calgary with 2 of his friends, Neil and Todd. Nine people total slept in this little appartment on Saturday night-a fun adventure! It was really great to have so many people from home here...did wonders for my soul! I have never cooked a big meal for 10 people and I was really worried that we'd run out of food...not quite sure what I was thinking though...either the 24 pound turkey was bigger than I thought or we had a little "5 fish and 5 loaves" miracle happening in my kitchen...cause the food kept going, and going, and going!! Jordan made a very impressive Pumpkin pie and a sweet potato dish, and Paul brought his Pumpkin soup...yumm!

Thereis just a lot to be said for having family around...and for having people that feel like family around :) We talked to Luke on the phone, we sat around and listened to music (picked out wedding music!), we sat and talked for a long time about the roles of churches, and church membership, and just ministry...I miss times like that.

It's wierd to think that this might have been our last Thankgiving tradition here in Edmonton...but hey, we thought that last year too :) Thanks every one for coming-it was a true Blessing to have you here in my little "Happy Place." Love you guys.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Edmonton Life

So September is now over (can hardly believe it) which means that many things are now underway...the biggest of which is the Navigator/University year :)

We were bussy with our Nav table at Clubs Fair week-telling people what small groups and activities we have to get involved with during the year and giving them an opportunity to ask questions and more inportantly to get to know what we are about. It's always a fun time of year...meeting so many new people, many of them 1st year's looking rather shell shocked and overwhelmed after their first University class...very cute :) This picture is of myself, my friend Grace from Malaysia, and Moriah from BC/Montana-apparently it was "pink day" as, seriouly, most of the girls that came by the table were wearing pink!

We had our "Year Kick Off" at the end of that week, along with our anual girls breakfast (which I had to miss 'cause I was in Whistler) and guys backpacking trip. We have some new faces out this year and we are really excited to see what the Lord will have in store for us all...He has been moving in big ways in the lives of many of our leadership team and staff and really...life with Him is SO exciting.

Last weekend was our Fall Retreat (oops...sorry, it has been re-titled to "Fall Advance") with the University of Calgary gang. It was a wonderful weekend for me personally as I took a lot of time to be with the Lord, pray, read, and just BE. I fell asleep by the lake on Saturday for like 2 hours in the sun...just listening to the water...did wonders for my soul :) I also got to spend some good quality time with my Roommate Pam...it is amazing to me how blessed I am because we still laugh until we can't breath and enjoy each other so much after 1 1/2 years...and despite so many things eh Pumpkin? ;)

Following the retreat I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Calgary with a couple from England (well, they are from Canada now...they moved 2 years ago to work with the Staff primairily by way of development and equipping). Anyway, Kath is also discipling me along with Paul, so it was great to have a few days with her-spending time in the Word and in prayer together...and to just talk and catch up. While in Calgary I was also able to spend time with Maike a friend from Germany that I met at our Somewhere Else Conference last May. She and I were instant good friends since that week and she has been a huge blessing to me.

September has really been a wonderful month as I have been doing more traveling and Nav-ing than working :) I certainly am not complaining about that since I felt in need of a break, and truely my heart, in Edmonton, is so much more on campus and in the Nav ministry than in the hospital-not to say that I don't like it, but it's just not what makes me tick in terms of Nursing :) However...I have WONDERFUL NEWS...!!

I am now a fully lisenced and qualified REGISTERED NURSE in the Province of Alberta :) I was very relieved to learn that I had passed my grueling exam from June and that I was clear from having anymore to do with University :) I can hardly believe that I really am a Nurse...4 years feels like they have flown and as if I was just magically handed these initials to place at the end of my name...maybe one day it will hit me that I am a professional with a career... ha! In the mean time, I will enjoy the pay raise and relief from no classes to attend! :P

So overall things are going very well here in Edmonton. I feel that the Lord is truely working in, and by His Grace, through my life. My development/training with Navs is going good-although I am torn with having to work full-time at the same timl...the 2 really don't go hand in hand very well and unfortunatly Navs usually gets the short hand. I am still praying and seeking the Lord as to what He would have for me next semester. I know where my heart is at, and what it desires most in this very moment, but all that means nothing if it isn't what HE has for me. I would greatly appreciate your prayers that I would be listening to the Holy Spirit and sensitive to His leading...but also that I would not focus so much on the future that I am hindered to do His work here in the present. He is very much Alive and Active and On the move among us...Praise His Name :)

Julia and the Bean Stalk

For those of you who have already read Julia's blog entry about our wonderful beans...here are the pictures!!

If you haven't yet been introduced...allow me to tell you the story.

Ally, Julia's fabulous little sister, mailed her out some "friends" from home-deeply concerned that Jules would have no one out here to talk to but me...poor thing-in the form of 4 little bean seeds. Julia forgot about them for a week or two and when she dug them out from their paper towel we were both surprised to find that they had already sprouted!

We quickly found some of my African Violet soil and planted them in this very chique yogurt container, said a prayer over them, and waited...

"Our" little plants were growing well in size, but Jules had to leave for home before the babies came... TA DA!!! We have Bean Babies! At first one of the stalks flowered then a few days later I picked it up for inspection only to completly FREAK OUT and scare my roomate at the JOY of discovering that we had grown a BEAN!! The Joy continues as just 5 days ago I came home from a few days away only to find 2 MORE BEANS! WOW...what good gardners we are!!