Monday, August 31, 2009

Around & About

So I've been silent for a bit. That's because I've been on the move. First I spent a couple incredible days in Barrie for work, then I had my week of vacation time which was first spent visiting with my sister down south, traveling in and around the area. Then I came back up north for some good old cottage time.

It was a great week and a half and it seemed like everyday was filled with something very different. Some highlights of my time:

The LIFE 10th Anniversary Party
I was so grateful for the opportunity to be able to head down to Barrie for the 10th Anniversary of LIFE 100.3, the place that I have been blessed to work for since January 2007 (albeit from quite the distance).

I really enjoyed my time in Barrie and especially the evening of the concert. Three local artists opened the show and each one did a great job, then the headliner was Lincoln Brewster. I've always been a fan of his music and it was great to have the opportunity to see him again. It was quite the atmosphere of worship and I was floored with thankfulness for all God has done and continues to do.

Family Time
After leaving Barrie, I spent a couple of great days with my sister at her home in the Cambridge area. Because she's been on the move quite a bit ever since getting married over a year and a half ago, we haven't had a whole lot of quality time together since she left home, but that changed during my time there. We had a lot of fun together, road tripping around the area, even going up to Sauble Beach for a day. Plus while I was there one of my great-uncles had a barbecue at his place near Lake Ontario and most of my family on my grandfathers side, who I never get to see, were there. It was so nice to catch up with some and meet others for the first time.

Hiking & Biking
While at my sisters place, I borrowed a bike and explored part of the Trans-Canada Trail, which started just over a kilometer from her house. It was a beautiful section of trail and it was fun to explore an unfamiliar area.

One night my sister took me to see the beautiful Webster Falls and the Spencer Gorge. We spent an evening hiking to see the various waterfalls in the area and looking out on the gorge. I got some great photos.

Usually one of the worst parts about being away is coming home, knowing that the holiday is over. But this time around I had a very different perspective. First off, because I knew I was coming home only to turn around and go out to my aunts cottage for the rest of my week off.
Secondly, and more importantly, I realized how wonderful a feeling it can be knowing you have people to come home to. People who actually missed having you around and couldn't wait to hear the stories of your travels. Being surprised at the airport with a welcoming committee and then spending an evening with some of the most important people in my life was quite the nice homecoming.

Cottage Time
After spending one evening at home, my friend and I headed out to my aunts cottage where I spent the rest of my week off. We had a great day and night together, then she had to head back home for work and I spent a beautiful day in solitude before my Mom joined me for the weekend.

We spent time biking, walking, playing bocce, and I also got quite a bit of time in for reading and writing. So much so that I added another couple thousand words to my manuscript for my next book. I am so excited to finish it and can't wait to see what God is going to do with it.

All in all it was an excellent week and a half!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Those Moments You Won't Forget

I read a great quote today on the Abercrombie & Kent website:

“How many things have you done in your life that you know, with absolute certainty, you will remember for the rest of your life?” (Geoffrey Kent, Chairman & CEO)

I know in my life I've been blessed to have quite a few experiences that I know I'll never forget:

Standing in the middle of Walt Disney World as an 8 year old, being overwhelmed by the magic of it all.

Playing scrabble until late in the night with my mom, brother, sister, and grandparents and laughing until my sides hurt.

Taking in the Atlantic ocean in Fundy National Park in New Brunswick. Feeling so small next to the vastness of the ocean.

Conquering my fear of heights with a trip up to the observation floor on the John Hancock Center, being in awe of the sprawling and beautiful city of Chicago below.

Walking along a bush road with a friend this summer, the wind blowing around us as the sunset reflected off the lake. Talking about heaven and knowing it would feel something like that.

And while I could add many more memories to that list, I know at the same time that there is room for a whole lot more. I want to live my life in a way that is purposeful, not just allowing time to idly slide by. I want to remember every moment, every experience and live every day to the absolute fullest. Whether I'm standing next to the ocean or walking down the street downtown.

Life is a gift. It is precious. And I'm thankful for each moment I get.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Blame Game

This summer I've been spending a good chunk of my spare time writing for my next book. I'm probably at least halfway through the book as far as writing goes and I've been loving every second of it.

One chapter I've been spending a lot of time on lately is one that addresses the issue of taking responsibility when things go wrong in our lives. This is a very touchy subject for some people and apparently, according to some research that I've done, it's becoming a cultural trend:

"Responsibility is waning. The strong sense of holding people responsible is getting more and more difficult. We still hold people responsible all the time in a legal sense. But in a moral sense, it's as thought no one is responsible anymore." (Joan McGregor, Arizona State University)

It's a terrible thing, but instead of taking responsibility so many of us are caught up in something that's even worse- the blame game.

The blame game is one with no rules other than to cast blame on someone else and it's something we do all the time, "It's not me. It's MTV or my parents or my circumstances or my boss or my financial situation." The list of excuses goes on and on and on.

So who do you blame when things go wrong? And how can we break out of this cycle?

Monday, August 10, 2009

That's My King

I heard this for the first time not long after I became a Christian nearly 10 years ago and I can't tell you how many times it's blessed me since. Enjoy.

"The heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explain Him...
You can't outlive Him and you can't live without Him!"

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wisdom from Twain

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)