Saturday, February 21, 2009

Just Keep Swimming!

So, I went swimming with N and the girls today, and I decided to take my camera for its first ever water adventure. I definitely got some interesting looks at the pool by having a camera slung over my shoulder in its plastic pouch. It was so neat to be able to be IN the water with the camera floating beside me (camera stayed dry!). I was able to have both hands free to move myself through the water, and then just stop and grab the camera whenever I wanted a picture. Just as if I were on land!

P thought the contraption was hilarious. She was in a giddy mood today as it was, and every time I lifted the camera up to take a couple more shots, she about doubled over in giggles. Fortunately, her ease of laughter made for some successful photos; not bad for my first try!

Friday, February 20, 2009


I am going on a two-week mission in May to Haiti (!), and of course, I want to be able to take my DSLR down with me. I will take the compact, too, but I can't go down to Haiti and not take my DSLR. That being said, I live in Alberta. Which is a prairie province. A dry prairie province. Haiti is not so dry. In fact, it will probably be the most humid country I've travelled to thus far. So humid that after the first year people from our church went down, they nixed the crafts with the kids because the glue didn't work, the tape didn't work, and in some cases, even cutting didn't work all that well. It's that humid. I knew this wouldn't be good for my camera.

High humidity can damage electronics (in the case of film cameras, did you know that mold can grow on film?). So what's a shutterbug to do? ...Order a waterproof case, that's what she does!

I went to a scuba website ( and ordered the DiCaPac SLR Waterproof Case. I picked it up from UPS today! The manual said to test its quality by placing paper towel or a similar item into the case, seal it up, and get the thing wet. Obviously, if there's a leak somewhere, it's good to know right off the bat. I put three kleenexes into the case, sprayed it down in the kitchen sink, and the kleenex is still dry. ...There's a possibility I'm going swimming with my respite family tomorrow... I might get adventurous...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What Kind of Kid Were You?

You Were an Achieving Kid

When you were a kid, people often remarked on how mature you seemed. You acted quite adult. You excelled at school, and you actually enjoyed it to a large extent. No one had to ask you to do your homework. As a kid, you were probably a bit picky. You liked structure, schedules, and organization. You had trouble being friends with regular kids. You probably were only friends with other serious children.

Not surprisingly, I have the same profile as my mother. Pretty darned accurate, too.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Unmet Longings

The following was e-mailed to me last week by a friend, and only just now did I get a chance to sit down and actually read it. And it was awesome. So I wanted to share it! I found myself confronting God with the issue of "unmet longings" and "awakening desire" through a good chunk of last year, and came to some of the realizations John Eldredge comments upon here. Reading through this has given me still more to think about now that I have jumped into 2009 with both feet!

It's a new year--what does your heart desire?

...What do we then do with longings and desires that go unmet? I mean, they keep presenting themselves in one way or another. 
I think what I do is simply bury them (and I see others do it too). On one hand, of course we do. It feels like we have to. You cannot live your life with a constant awareness of heightened desires that are unmet, just as you can't go through your day continually pining for a life you do not have. You have to live the life you do have. But I find that from time to time God comes and actually stirs our longings and desires, awakens them. You see someone and think, What would life be like with her (or him)? Over dinner one night someone tells you how much he loves his job, and you think, Maybe it's time for a change. I always did want to ________ (fill in the blank). Be a writer. An architect. 
Why does God do this? Wouldn't it be better to let sleeping dogs lie? 
No. To bury the deep longings of our hearts is not a good thing. Doing so begins to shut our hearts down, and then we fall into that "get on with life" mentality. For me, that means bearing down and working. Getting things done. But my passion slowly fades away, and life recedes from me. I cannot bring to my work the zest I once did, so even my work suffers. Because my heart is suffering. It's like a form of slow starvation... 
The heart is like that. Thank God, we cannot force it down forever. Hurting, it begins to insist on some attention. Now, we can either listen to those rumblings and let our hearts surface so that we bring them to God, or we can give in to some addiction. The starving heart won't be ignored forever. Some promise of life comes along and BOOM--we find ourselves in the kitchen closet taking down a quart of ice cream or cruising the Internet for some intimacy. 
God knows the danger of ignoring our hearts, and so he reawakens desire. You see a photo in a magazine, and pause, and sigh. You see someone with a life that reminds you of the life you once thought you would live. You're channel surfing and see someone doing the very thing you always dreamed you would do - the runner breaking the tape, the woman enjoying herself immensely as she teaches her cooking class. Sometimes all it takes is seeing someone enjoying themselves doing anything, and your heart says, I want that too....More often than not, this awakening of desire is an invitation from God to seek what we've given up as lost, an invitation to try again. ... It's so easy to reach those plateaus where we decide, This is good enough. It could be better, but it could be worse too. To get to the better will take work, and risk, and I'm fine with things the way they are. God comes along and says, Don't give up. 
I'm stunned by this whole reawakening process. The willingness and what feels like such a risk for God to reawaken desire in me. I mean, geez--to feel again a desire I've long buried. Yikes. I might make a wrong move, come to the wrong conclusion, just as our friend might have decided that what she really needed was a different spouse. 
Something I read years ago by C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory has proven helpful to me time and time again, and may rescue us in the very moment of awakened desire I am describing. Lewis is trying to show us that what God uses to awaken desire is not necessarily what we long for. The things "in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust them; it was not IN them, it only came THROUGH them, and what came through them was longing. These things...are good images of what we desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of the worshippers. For they are not the thing itself." They are not what we are longing for. 
It is not that specific man or woman we desire, but what they point to, what is coming through them.... When a desire is awakened, by whatever source, the thing to pray is God, what do you have for me? 
I think many of us who do long for a holy life have chosen the way of "kill desire," because at the time it seems there is no other way. And sometimes in the moment, this may well be our only choice. Certainly it is better to push away some longing if we know that yielding to it means giving way to temptation. But this is not the best way to holiness in the long run, for the starving heart will eventually seek some relief. 
But there are many desires that we know cannot be met now. It may be too late to become a professional baseball player or musician, or too late to have a child. This is the real danger zone because it seems like there is no other choice but to put away this part of your heart. But to send your heart into exile because your longings have no hope of being met is also to exile your heart from the love of God. And he would have your whole heart. It's hard to tell whether God is arousing some desire so that you may seek a new life or simply so that this part of your heart may be made whole in him. But whatever else may be the case, you have to begin by giving this part of your heart back to God. Above all else, your heart must find a safe home in him. 
-- John Eldredge, from Walking With God.