Sunday, 28 December 2008

Life without a cell phone

My phone died yesterday, as in it is out of battery juice and needs to be recharged. The problem arises that the charger is on the other side of town. Yes the other side, not in a different state or super far away, only about a half hour. There is a strange thing about Madison though, that the east and west sides might as well be the other side of the world. I always thought it was really funny that people would talk like the other side is so far and now here I am with a dead cell phone because I didn't want to take the time to go over there. To be far, it only died yesterday. And I will charge it tonight or tomorrow.

So for now, I am without a phone. A bit strange. Does make me realize how dependent I am on email anyway. But sadly the weekly Sunday Dad call has to wait until tomorrow.

I tried to get the Verizon guy to charge my phone. He didn't want the liability if it got stolen. Who's going to steal the phone that they give you for free? But I can understand I suppose. He was my hope and my try to get a phone for these days. Oh well.

That means that I didn't have my phone or internet when I was staying at my friend's house this weekend. Makes things quieter when you can't be reached. Not something that I am useful. Not that I get called all that often anyway or emails but still strange to feel cut off.

Monday, 22 December 2008

The Christmas rush

What is it about life that makes us not want to wait for anything? We've been spoiled by technology, by clicking buttons and having things happen. Also when we go somewhere, we expect service right away. Wait five minutes, no way. And yet at other times, five minutes feels like nothing and flies by way too fast. Hours can pass in a blink or 30 seconds can take forever. All about the perspective and experience.

Interesting too, when you are waiting in line, what are the odds that you will actually talk to the people around you? It makes the time go by more quickly and is more entertaining, yet I don't want to bug people or bump into that personal bubble (something that may be very needed during this season)

This week at church I got to the service a little bit after it started and sat down in an empty row. The other options were sitting on the end of a row next to people. I didn't want someone who was waiting for a loved one to have a rude interruption as I take their seat. I could have just asked, but you know the days when you don't feel like it?

Then I get confronted by this guy, "why are you sitting by yourself? There shouldn't be bubbles at church." And I agree, I think that it is sad, strange and yet comfortable to leave at least a seat between you and people that you don't know. But why do we do that? We don't want to be bothered by the other people or don't want to bother them? Which way?

So I moved, sat next to someone and have a new friend. Life is funny.

Monday, 15 December 2008

A soccer player

I am indeed a soccer player, a bit of a surreal experience really. Having never played before, except for a few kick around games, I now joined an indoor team. I show up to the first game and everyone else has shin guards and then I think, hmmm, that would be a good idea, and it turns out that it is required anyway. Who goes to play soccer and doesn't think of shin guards? Duh. I have some now so life is good and then I went to the store today to get some soccer socks. And the guy helping me asks, "what kind do you need?" There's kinds??? A whole new world I tell ya.

It makes me think of when people come into a new situation and how strange and odd and scary that can seem, like a new town or new to something that seems quite normal and familiar to me. I wonder how often I take the time to meet them where they are at. How often do we even realize when something is actually new and strange for someone else?

Wish me luck in soccer, I'm learning what all the whistling by the ref means and I am going to learn how to kick the ball more to where I would like it to go. So more learning..... (and hopefully not getting hurt and it would be nice if we won sometimes too.)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Questions for people

If you could meet new people and ask one question, what would that question be? What would you find interesting or what do you think would tell you the most about someone in one shot? The common questions when getting to know people tell you a bit but maybe there is a question that tells you more. Common questions being, "what do you do?" "where are you from?" "how are you?"

But what if you could branch out from the norm and ask questions like "what do you wish or dream for?" "what has been the biggest blessing in your life?" "if you didn't have to work, what would you do with your time?" What kind of question do you think would reveal something about the real person that you are meeting.

A. W. Tozer says that the most important and revealing thing about someone is their view of God. That really does say a lot about someone. Do they believe in God and what is God like that they believe in? Is there a love, a fear, indifference or some combination there of? And their view of God will also affect their motivations and direction in life. That sure seems like it would be a good question.

The question would have to be something open ended and something that needed explanation. Do you have suggestions?

On the flip side and related to this thought, why is it hard for people to get to know each other and why is small talk such the norm and not progressed away from in some relationships. Is this protection or self preservation? Health in relationship or walls that we have built up?

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The future and now

How do you balance the here and now with hopes and dreams of the future? It is important to dream, to scheme, to look forward to what could be. It is also important to be able to be present. To enjoy life where you are at, to learn the lessons of the day. To laugh or share a story with someone, to enjoy running or playing in the snow. Also, to be able to live life without wondering about the "somedays" and the next step in life. This is hard for me. As soon as I get to a place, I think about where I will move to next or when something starts I wonder how long it will last and what will be next. This is not always bad because dreaming is good, but it can take away from being and investing here in the here and now. And maybe that is why it is hard, cause it's committing to the imperfections of now and digging in to work through them. In the dreams, things are in motion and things go well. In the here and now, things take longer than I would like.

Sharing love without losing it

At camp a few years ago, there was an illustration skit that was really good. What happened was that there were two people and they each pretended that they were holding a bit of God's love cupped in their hands. One of them shared some of that love with another person and instead of them having less afterwards, they actually had more. And then they gave more away and the love that they had between their hands grew again. And each time that they gave some away they had even more than they started with. The other person just held on to what they had at the beginning, what they were given initially and they hoarded it and it stayed the same size and no one around them was impacted, helped, loved, or blessed by them.

I think it's a great illustration. We are blessed to be a blessing. If your life is not blessing those around you (and this doesn't have to be anything huge, what about a smile and a kind word?) then there is a point that has been missed. It's like the lessons on sharing that you got when you were three. Or practicing being nice.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Street sweeping and my ticket

I remembered this morning as I saw the parking warden drive away from ticketing my car, that I was still parked on the wrong side of the street, as wednesday mornings are street sweeping times. Grrrrr. Enjoy my $30 Madison.

Heat and teamwork

The house that I live in has three floors of a flat on each floor. And one thermostat..... Which means the the bottom floor is responsible for controlling the heat in the whole house. And if they leave doors or windows open, the heat compensates to make their floor the right temperature, which means that the rest of the house is burning up. And if it is too cold up here, that means that we have to have them turn up the heat which may mean that it is too hot downstairs. All of the heat comes from radiators and most, though not all of them have knobs to control each one but turning it off does not really mean that it will be less hot. The heat on the top floor used to not work at all. And so it appears that we are in a balancing act in which eleven people need to work together to make everyone comfortable, what a crazy balance. It does teach you to care about the other people though, like if I am hot, is the top floor warm enough to have the bottom floor turn down the heat a bit? And the poor guys downstairs who can't open a window without turning the rest of the house into a sauna (unless they figured out how to compensate on the thermostat). Teamwork indeed. We were praying one day in the basement and then the heat on the top floor actually worked after that. Those poor people must have been freezing. The part that is sad too is that the guy who has come over to hook up radiators and make some of them that were not working work, doesn't have much faith in the system, saying it is really fragile and quite the balancing act, brilliant. So teamwork it is.

We also have a mouse friend (probably a lot more than one, but let's try to stay positive.) It turns out that he likes to eat chocolate, flour, and powdered sugar the best. Ew. He sets off the humane traps without getting in, and doesn't seem to like the peanut butter that we baited the other traps with or doesn't set them off. And won't eat the poison either cause they tried that downstairs. I want to get that great expanding form stuff to shoot into holes that he may be finding. So mr. mouse, could you please just find somewhere else to live? And I would feel bad killing him, so another pickle of a situation that I wish I wasn't in.

Friday, 7 November 2008


Why am I so bad at deciding things? Especially if I there are many options and I can't do all of them. But in reality in order to do anything, you have to not do something. I was thinking about it today and a friend brought up a quote from Mother Theresa that I had mentioned last week. Funny when things you say come back to haunt you. So the story is the a man asked Mother Theresa to pray for him for clarity so that he would know what to do in his life. She told him that she would not. She doesn't pray for clarity but for trust instead. Trust that God will guide you along the way, trust that you have the facts when you need them, trust that all will be well and there is a happy ending to the story, or trust that things will work out. Really if you make a decision that is not one that you like later, mind changing is usually possible. And if you sit in the middle trying to hold on to all the options, nothing is possible. So you move forward in one direction. And then you also have to move forward in that direction, not thinking about the what could bes of the other ways but knowing that you would know if you needed to turn around. Trust indeed.

The beginning of November

So we made it through October without snow and last week was even warm, how lovely. And now this week and especially today has me wondering why I live in Wisconsin. Who's idea was that, really? Oh how I dread winter. So let's focus on the positives, like drinking hot chocolate and watching movies, ice skating, playing the snow, looking at the pretty whiteness on the trees. Might as well try and think of the good things cause there is nothing that I can do about it anyway, winter is coming indeed. Like the snow of a day that I hear is happening outside now.

There is going to be a prayer room at church that is exciting. It is a part of the Advent Conspiracy thing. The basic premise is to worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all. Giving presents that are time with loved ones instead of expensive gifts, and then give some money away to building wells in Africa. So there will be a prayer room in which people can pray and be and get to experience God in a new way hopefully. It is exciting and will start at the end of November.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Lost without GPS

So yesterday I was walking down the street and was asked by a man where the train station was and what was the easiest way to get there. (I made the poor guy climb up some stairs so that I could point more effectively, sadly only more trees could be seen) I was happy to be able to help him out. However, on the flip side, it seemed strange to see a guy walking around with a GPS device, I've only seen them in cars. Well the directions that he was getting were confusing (turns out cause there are two train stations in Guildford) so he had to stop for directions.

This encounter got me wondering... are GPS things going to hurt our ability to remember directions, like calculators and adding? Are we going to learn to rely so much on this little machine talking to us to tell us where to go and not know how to get there otherwise? As one who used to be quite horrible at directions (it took me years to learn how to get to my dad's house, which involves about three turns.) I don't think that my lack of direction skill was anything more than just not paying attention when heading somewhere. And if we don't pay attention because something is talking to tell us where to go, what will happen with that? And heaven forbid that a GPS (like in the iPhone) doesn't actually talk to you. You actually have to have someone look at it. (not while driving) Whoa!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

the importance of dinner

Today I had a few people over for dinner and we laughed and chatted and had a good time just being there and enjoying. How important that is, to be able to sit and be, to enjoy the people that you are around and to get to know them better, to laugh, to eat good food, and to have no where else that you should be at that time. (to even take the time and not answer the phone)

How often in life to we get going so fast that we don't take the time or don't feel like we have the time to stop, to rest. And how much do we miss out of because of that?

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

what to write

So my friend Joe got deported (again) from England, which makes me a little bit worried. And so I am thinking of everything, every documentation that I could possibly take with me to make sure that I am not deported (again). So bank statements, and an letter from Apple saying I work there full-time (still an exciting thought), and my car lease or house lease papers. And they frown at you if you don't have cash on you. I never carry cash and don't like the idea of having to get some out of the bank, just to carry it to prove that I have money. Do people really still carry cash or cards on average? I use my cards most of the time. (except for a few of my favorite cafes here who only take cash, why I ask, why only take cash? I have been there before and paid with pre-counted change, including many pennies. $2.11 for a never ending coffee for here with soy. Yum. Lovely and then they keep your punch card there so that I don't even have to remember to take it. So the coffee even earns me a free one later, oh happy day indeed.

So back to the topic at hand, getting to go to England. Hopefully the immigration officer will not be reading this and then kick me out of some strange basis. It is strange when you are deported cause you really feel like you have done something wrong. When really, you just didn't fit pre-set criteria. I have been thinking of my journal too cause last time they read that. And so I think about what I have written in it and if that will make it sound like I am planning on staying in the UK forever. And what will I journal in this next week about going to England and will that make me sound like I want to be there for the rest of my life. I should write about how I want to be in Madison now and will be until something happens and there is a very good reason to go somewhere else. (hopefully involving other people coming with or going to other people that I know) That is true. I do like Madison. And I like that I can ride my bike to places, like this morning where I rode to the store to buy coffee to make.

I don't know that I could ever live in a place where I could not walk or ride my bike to coffee shops, stores, or somewhere useful. I don't like being places where you have to get in a car to get anywhere. Perhaps I have been spoiled. Perhaps.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Changing things

So the season is changing, I think. If I could make the warm weather last longer, oh how I would. I stuck my toes in the lake today, while sitting on a rock on the edge. The waves worked their magic and oh what an enjoyable experience. Made me want to take a swim, but alas, I did not have the time.

I wonder how many people deal well with change. I wonder how well I deal with it. I like adventures, I like meeting new people, and new experiences, and yet... I dunno. If I have expectations that are not met, or if I feel like life is out of control, I do not always deal well. But then I take a minute and breathe and pray and then things are usually okay. Or if not, then either I need more time or there need to be things in the circumstances that shift. Sometimes you just have to let go. Sometimes you have to fight for things. How do you know the difference?

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

the almost ticket

So yesterday I was driving my car, which happens to be fun and amazing and very sleek and aerodynamic, so not really my fault (except it is) that it also happened to be traveling at a velocity that was higher than it should have been. So as I was in the right of three lanes, I looked over to the left of the lanes where there was a police officer driving in his car. We made eye contact and I was starting to pass by him. At that point, my foot hit the break pedal in a way that moved my car a safer distance away from his. Whoa.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


I think that each person who possibly can, should without question come to this event. Where else can you meet people from all over the globe with a heart for prayer and time to get to chat to them? This will be the forth, whoa!, of such gatherings that I will have the privilege of attending. And as time goes on, I get to know more people and then connect up with them again at these gatherings. Fabulous!

I can't wait to go to England. And the time that I am going is coming quickly. I will leave Chicago at night on the 8th of September and will get to be in England until the 23rd. How exciting! Yet, I am trying not to get too excited because I am working on being present and here and plus it makes my heart hurt to want to be there.

I bought stuff for my apartment today. A shower curtain and rug, very exciting. Yet, having to pick things out is hard when I don't have someone with me to bounce opinions off of. Sometimes it is helpful to have someone around to help me decide what I think. And then I went to Goodwill and bought a really ugly chair because it is really comfy and cost $20. I can cover it and then have such a comfy place to sit. Yeah!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Rain in Georgia

Today is a rainy day, which means a day that me and my little sis went to the movies and saw Wall-e. It is great to get to spend time with family.

Also lately I have been thinking again about the idea of sabbath and resting. I am not a person who is always that good and simply being present. Usually there are things in my head that I am scheming or sorting or things that I should do. But what a joy and help to just stop. I am all about enjoying coffees and meals and chats. What does stopping look like for you? How do you let go of the responsibility of everyday?

Monday, 28 July 2008

Prayer week

We had a week of prayer last week. It took place in a coffee shop and was open 24-7. Exciting stuff for sure. Think about many people over the course of the week going to the same space to pray and chill and be with God. My favorite piece of a prayer room is that is it such a corporate exercise, even if you spend your time there alone. The fact that each person is coming to the same space changes the dynamic of the space. Plus there are usually walls for writing and drawing on and the room grows over the week. Ideally the prayer is continuous, where you go for your time and then prayer for the next person as you leave. What a great thing, like each hour just adds to the one before it. Very sweet.

I really don't know how full the prayer week was or if it was impactful and this info may never really be known. I suppose it is just a trust thing, having the faith that people interacted and experienced God. And hopefully I'll hear some of the stories. Either way it is good to get people together to pray. My hope is that people know more and more the peace and love of God and are able to pray in a new way too. Maybe your time in the prayer room is talking to God, maybe it is painting, maybe reading something, maybe sitting and listening or playing music, maybe writing or drawing, maybe scheming some amazing dream. May it be sweet and sacred time.

oh yes

So life is a strange one in that you have soooo many decisions to make. Why? Ha. In reality it is a good thing that we have choices in life. That things happen to present opportunities and changes, options if you will. But then on the flip side, because there are options, there are choices to make. And the sad part about that is that you get to do one thing at a time and so saying yes to one thing says no to something else. In essence this is a good thing because it lets you commit to something and enjoy and interact with it and with the people involved. But there are always things that you don't get to do. But by committing to something, you really get to engage and experience it, frustrations, excitements and all.

I am not used to being in the same spot for more than 9 or ten months, so around the sixth month mark means that I am looking for the next place to go. So guess how long I've been in Madison now, and how strange the idea is that I don't have plans to leave. That instead there is a group of people that I have committed to for two years. What would happen if I left now and what would be the point?

Most exciting news, I get to go and see Dad, Diane, and Alissa! How sweet is to to get to see family. So exciting! I have a wonderful family and love them dearly.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

summer is coming

Perhaps summer is here. The weather is nice and more people are outside.

We are going to be having 24-3. (praying 24 hours for three days) next week, then again in the middle of July and August. I'm excited about this because it is so great for people to get together and pray. Also having the space and the time set aside for it is profound. How wonderful to be able to come into the room and join in with your hour of prayer, then pass it off to the next person for their time. I get worried that people won't come or that they will sign up and not show up, but I guess that all of that is up to God and will get sorted. Also prayer is so fundamental to building any sort of community, so should be put into place at the beginning.

Today I am going to have lunch with a girl that I went to Calvin with. I search the alumni site a week ago for people in Madison and found people that I knew. Great.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


Last weekend I got to go to Kansas and join with other people around the country for 24-7 prayer's national gathering. Yeah! It was great to see people again and to meet some new people as well, always a good time. Plus I took a road trip with people from Madison for the weekend, was great bonding time with people from here. (including getting stuck in Dubuque, Iowa cause there was the threat of tornadoes on the road that we were to be driving on. We spent almost 2 hours in Dairy Queen to wait for the storms to pass. And then there was amazing sideways type lightning on the way home.)

I really enjoy people and I love how small the world becomes when this person has met this person and knows that one and you know those other people too, great fun. And crazy how many people are interconnected. Like I met a girl in Kansas who met people that I know who are swedish, but she met them in England.

I get to pick up my new car on Friday I think. Crazy that I am getting a car, what a grown-up thing to do. Exciting and scary at the same time. I am proud of my skills with talking to the people at the dealerships and I had fun driving cars. Scary though, cause a car is a big deal. And I need to make sure that I will be able to pay for it in the long term. Grown-up decisions for sure.

I don't know that I will ever feel like a grown-up really, especially cause I get mistaken for being 18 nearly daily.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

the beautiful sun

So it really is hard to get anything productive done when it is so nice outside. Like today I went for a run and then was needing to get some work done, so clearly the thing to do was to go to the park and fall asleep in the sunshine. Good for the soul for sure, not so good for productivity, but I didn't sleep that long and perhaps my brain was coming up with some amazing ideas for the projects that I am supposed to be working on.

Once the sun came out, the bikers did too. There are so many bike paths around here and it is great! Anywhere you go, you are very close to a bike path which makes a great place to go for a walk or run. Fantastic.

Monday, 7 April 2008


So I am supposed to be sitting down and making a draft of this community house vision and what that means and looks like and what it would mean for people to move in, what are they committing to? And so I got up this morning with the goal of getting it done today. And now it's 7:00 pm. Why is it hard to focus and why do I find all these other things to do? Things that needed to get done by the way. It is exciting to think about what a community house could look like, just a chilled out place where people live and can have fun and rest well, a place to get to know people. I don't wanna be too specific cause I don't even know who will move in and surely it has to fit the people who are there. Also I don't want to make up rules for the sake of it or make it a burden or heavy thing to live there. And yet there needs to be some intention to it, some commitment to each other and some practical things, like cleaning. So therein lies the balance. So yep, that will get done tonight.......

So this is what I forgot to say for my grandma's funeral. She bought me a computer, a really nice one that I love. I thought that it didn't need to be included in how she affected me, yet it does. I got a nice computer when before I didn't wanna be "too flash." It's like she believed in me and my graphic design abilities more than I did. I about cried when I found out that she was going to buy me a computer, I couldn't talk. I was in an office with some others who were wondering why I was squeaking and flapping my arms. And I couldn't tell them. I remember that she told me that she wanted to be able to give it to me then cause it would mean more to me when I couldn't afford it myself and when she would get to see me enjoy it. Thanks Gram. It is strange to think that an object, a machine can impact your life, and it is almost a little scary, yet that's the way that it is. This computer helps me in so many ways and now serves as a reminder to me about the generosity of my grandma and of how I would like to be. I can't even tell you how many people asked if my grandma wanted any more grandkids to buy computers for. Sorry, she was mine.

Monday, 10 March 2008


I'm sitting in a coffee house, seriously procrastinating doing my laundry. Really does not sound like a fun thing to do right now. Hmmmm. But the clothes are in the car ready to go. I got everything that I could find that was dirty. Since laundry is done at the laundry mat now, it usually means waiting til I am almost out of socks, then packing up everything I can think of that could perhaps be dirty and throwing them in the wonderfully huge machine. (not the whites of course) Still seems like such a pain. The part that I dislike the most is the waiting part. I brought my book, but still. Not something that I am looking forward to, but the end result and the squeaky clean clothes will be nice.

I had a surreal experience today. Went for a run and stopped when I got by the lake. Then I was standing in the sunshine (extra bright when reflected off of the snow covering the frozen lake) and it was so warm. I ended up sitting on this stone wall for a little bit enjoying the warmth of the sun and thinking how strange it was to be surrounded by snow and yet be just sitting in the warmth of the glorious sunshine. Spring is on it's way! (perhaps after several more snow storms but we're still hopeful)

I am really enjoying just sitting here at this coffee shop though. My computer, some coffee and a pumpkin scone, a comfy chair in front of a fire, who would want to do laundry?

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

losing stuff

So I just lost my phone and was looking all over for it. I couldn't find it so I figured that I had forgotten it at home. Then it started to ring, which made the searching for it even more frantic. Quick! Find the phone as it is teasing me with the ringing. So I searched my purse and my bag and my coat pockets and my purse and my bag and my coat pockets and the missed call signal sounds and I search my bag and dump everything out and do the same drill with the purse and pull my mittens out of my coat pocket but still no phone. But at last I had success! The phone was in my pocket the whole time. Why did I put it there?

The call was a lady from church. I went to a new church last weekend and decided that I want to be a greeter there, great fun. She was returning my call from yesterday. Then she asked how long I had been going to that church, um one week, is that a problem? Now I just have to wait on the other lady to call me back and I can stand and say hello to everyone who walks into the very large building on a Sunday morning. Why does having a name tag suddenly give you more permission to be friendly? And why do so many people come and shake your hand if you stand with a name tag and say hello? We should do an experiment and get name tags and greet people in some random location. Like welcome to the coffee shop or glad you decided to walk down this street. What would people do?

it's been a while

So things that have changed lately, hmmm. Not the snow, it's still here, although spring is coming, you can feel the excitement in the air. Yesterday I had myself convinced that it was warm outside, so I went out there with shoes that were not appropriate for the snow that I had to stand in to get the fresh powder off of my car. Then as I was driving down the street I noticed that my car seemed to be the only one with snow on top of it. How is that possible?

Yesterday I bought some frames so that my pictures will be hung properly now, yeah! There were three pictures that I needed frames for and I managed to get ones that are perfect. Exciting! And they were on sale, bonus! Now it is just a matter of figuring out where to hang them in the house.

I really wonder what spring will be like here, I think that it will be great. People will go outside again, bbqs will happen, and an amazing farmer's market downtown that I have heard about so many times that I have lost track.

Life is coming together. I have moved into my house, moved up a floor, got a job which I love, have an internship too and am taking a class there, am getting used to Madison and learning my way around more, meeting new people and getting to know them, finding cool coffee shops and restaurants. Pieces are coming together. It is hard though to not know how everything fits together and what the future will look like. Silly to worry about cause it is a matter of wait and see. And if I actually could know the future, would I want to?

Also what makes a place feel like home or not? What are the ingredients needed? Add a house, some stuff and time? Pictures on the wall I'm sure will be helpful so now I have to get around to that. Perhaps later today. I ran away to a coffee shop this morning to be productive and to get away from the noise of the construction in our house which includes really loud music. So here's to productivity....

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

snow day

Today was the day of snow for sure. It was snowing when I went to bed last night and continued to snow for the entire day, not a nice huge flake postcard type of snow. It snowed the kind of snow that made the roads impassible and Madison had a snow day. One of my housemates didn't have to go to classes today. I went to my internship this morning but when I got home I got an email that everyone that was there left at one to try to get home in a more safe manner and the classes that were to be held tonight were canceled. So me and my housemates had a day of hanging out, first being big dorks and all sitting on our computers in the dining room. (all apples of course, plus we were excited that we are getting an internet signal once again, hooray!) Then we watched a movie but I left partway through and took a nap, nothing better than that. Then I baked some pumpkin spice bread, which turned out quite well. We don't have mixing bowls yet though, so I mixed it in the largest pot that we have. It works.

This evening I shoveled our stairs and front walkway. And impressively threw a few snow balls at our windows. It was a hard task to throw the snow cause it is not packing snow so I had to find the parts that were already in chunks, then get close enough to the house without sinking in the that was on the side of the road. Fun stuff. And I am loving my boots and have gotten more use out of them this month then the past four years. They're those great warm ones with the laces up the front, on sale at Gander Mountain years ago.

While I was shoveling, a guy started shoveling the neighbors sidewalk. It was a little funny though cause he hadn't come out of that house. Turns out that he was on his way to a friend's house but thought that there would be a lot of people stuck in the snow so he brought his shovel along. Okay.... And he was friend's with the neighbors so decided to shovel their sidewalk on his way too. Bonus, he helped me shovel out my car. It had been on the side of the road all day so had feet of snow beside it because of the plows and at least 8 inches on top that had fallen during the day. So as we're shoveling, we're chatting and it comes up that I have been involved with prayer stuff. "Is that the purpose of your life?" Deep question shovel guy.

The purpose of my life...... interesting question isn't it? And does anyone know or is it something that can change by season, like the purpose of my life is to love Jesus but then the particulars change. I said that the prayer was definitely a part of it and then talked about wanting to love people well. Then I don't even know what I said, stuff about prayer and then being willing to be the answer to that prayer I think. I talked for a while and then asked if that made any sense or answered the questioned and he said it did. It is strange and yet kind of neat to have to put your life purpose into words.

Then I met a woman who lives across the street who made me really excited once again to be living here. She was telling me about the neighbors and how they are great and nice and into being green and peace. And how in the summer lots of people meet up in one of the backyards and catch up. (and watch the neighbors pet chickens) It was amazing and exciting to stand with this lady as she told me names and little bits of information about a lot of the people who live nearby. Excellent! What a great place to move to! Plus an added bonus that the neighbors are excited that this house is being lived in too.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

land of connections

So I keep meeting people and these people know each other or know other people that I know. It is truly a small world. Like I moved to Madison after meeting people who live here in England and Spain. Then I met people here who know people that I know that live in Kansas City and Mexico that I met in England. Then I met a guy at the interview at Apple and it turns out that he knows one of the guys that I live with and has done some work on the remodeling of my house. Yesterday I went to a meeting about Young Life at the high school that is two blocks from my house. And it just so happens that it took place at the house that my housemate's girlfriend lives in. And by chance they know the before mentioned guy and his wife too. And on Sunday I had meet this guy's wife and family and his wife had seen my housemate and his girlfriend in Target earlier that day. And as a sidenote, my other housemate happens to work at that Target.

So Young Life, hooray! They may have club (the meeting for kids, crazy games and songs, etc.) in the bottom floor of our house. How great is that! People were talking about how great it would be to have someone who had a heart for young people at the high school to use the space in the bottom of our house. (Dunno if I've explained the space before. The top three floors will each be a three bedroom flat and the bottom floor will be a space with kitchen, bathroom, and lounge type rooms. Then it can be a great spot for people in the community to come and hang out, do work or homework, host parties, and whatever else happens. We live about two blocks from the high school too.) We shall see what happens with all that, but it has very exciting potential.

So yep, things are moving forward, I am meeting people, am getting trained for my job at Apple, working at my internship, and living here in Madison.

Yesterday I stopped at Trader Joe's on my way home from Apple. Oh man was I indecisive. I was trying to get a few things that I needed in order to be able to pack lunches or dinners for training and work this week. And so I wandered the store and ended up asking this poor lady what kind of cheese I wanted cause I couldn't be bothered to make the choice. I also was talking to this guy who worked there about pretzels, crackers and tortilla chips. He said that I would know that I made it in life when I could buy all three. Oh yes, land of opportunity and tortilla chips.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

life in a snowglobe

So today it has been snowy and I've actually quite enjoyed it. This morning I went for a run, not knowing that it was snowing until I walked out the door. (running in the cold is great cause I can be outside and not be cold and I run without sweating cause it's too cold. I did have to stop once cause the snow stuck in the bottom of my shoe was picking up more snow and forming a ball of snow on the bottom of my foot, not conducive to running on.) It was really fun, like being in a snowglobe and things have a different perspective when you can't see that far ahead, makes you concentrate on what's around. Like life eh, you don't know what the future brings so you might as well be in the here and now. Focus on what you can see and the rest will take care of itself later. Like I moved to Madison and a house sorted itself out, I got a job and internship, met great people, and we will have to see what happens.

This afternoon I went out for coffee and wore my big chunky snow boots. How funny and entertaining to clomp around. And wow, how nice to have warm feet. Wow, who would have thought? And fun to be able to walk in the snow. When I got home I had to scrape my car off in order to move it to the other side of the street. You have to park on a certain side because of the snow plowing. I do live in a snow globe.

Yesterday I had my first dinner party at my new house. Hard to believe that I have been here for two weeks already, crazy! And yet I feel like I've been here for a while already. So the transit (training program) people came over. I asked a lot of nosy questions and I believe that people enjoyed themselves. It is so interesting to meet new people and so neat that each person is so different. What they like, who they are, how they present themselves, what they are learning, great. And how wonderful to meet people over food. There is something about sitting around and sharing a meal, people taking the time to stop, chat, enjoy, relax. Let your guard down a bit. Good stuff. So often people rush through life and meals, why? What's all the rush for? Sit down, talk, breath a bit. Glorious!

Monday, 14 January 2008

to the tundra

So I've moved to the tundra, who's idea was that? I just left my internship to go get some coffee to warm up and cause what fun to be playing on the computer and to have that time accompanied by a warm lovely coffee (almost ended up going down the wrong street on the way back cause my head was down to get away from the wind and snow). My internship is working in a ad shop where we are all volunteers. (design people who want and need experience) It functions like an ad shop, great fun! Funny though that they just assumed that I could do things, I guess you would think that if someone had a graphic design degree, they would be competent. I never showed any work to them, just came and had a chat friday, and started this morning. And it is downtown, right by the capitol which is fun. Also means that parking is stupid and expensive so I took the bus. (Which turned out to be a good thing, since I got my car stuck in the driveway. I couldn't find parking on the road last night, had a thought that I was going to get stuck, but did it anyway. And lo and behold, the car wouldn't back up the driveway this morning. Hmmmmm. Hopefully the situation will be remedied by the time that I get back. (Perks of having really nice people working on the remodeling of the house.) And I got shelves put in my closet this morning too, good day. Now my stuff can finally be put away.

I hung up my pictures the other day. Yeah! I got to hang pictures on the wall, how great is that? Pound nails into the wall and everything. There was a little bit of a mishap in my room, the nail bent and the hole that it formed in the wall is a little bigger than ideal, but it's covered the the ribbon that this pretty mirror hangs on. I have more frames that I have to put new pictures in. Yeah! (If you've got any really good pictures that can go on my wall, send them over.)

This weekend was great. Start with Friday. I go to the place that I now have my internship, meet with people and decide that I will start on Monday (today!). Then I was driving home and had a message from Apple to call them back and bam, I got a job! Good day. Then there was a weekend intensive with a bunch of people around my age from church so I got to meet some more amazing people, catch up with some others and have a great time. Life is good. Things are coming together.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

the cold

The cold and I do not get along very well. By that I mean that I don't like it. And you would think that by now (living so many years with cold winters) I would be used to it, but that is not the case. But I think that my attitude towards cold is improving mostly. I do enjoy warm drinks and snuggling up on the couch. But it is scary when I meet someone at the coffee shop who tells me that this is a bad time to move to Madison, that January and February are cold. Not helpful. But the upside is that when I make it to the spring, oh how glorious that will be. And if I am used to Madison in the cold and settled in, then how much better will it be when it is warm? Sounds good.

Today I took a driving tour around the city, which led me in circles. Ooops. My sense of direction is not wonderful and there are a lot of one way streets which was not helpful either. I got directions back from town for when I go there tomorrow. I might become an art director in an unpaid intership, but great experience and sounds exciting. I guess we'll see tomorrow.

I've been here a whole week already. How crazy is that?

Monday, 7 January 2008

here I am

First of all, check out this website and go and sign the declaration. It only takes a second, and they are trying to gather a million signatures to present to the UN to persuade them to look into human trafficking as a serious issue.

Secondly, I now live in Madison WI. Crazy thought. I've been thinking and praying for so long to finally get somewhere and just get to be. Now I am here, and now what does that look like? I thought so much about getting there and forget the reality to being here, so it is like a dream in a lot of ways. Yes I am actually here. And there what so much time spent thinking about getting here, not I need to see what being here looks like. But that will take time, which is just fine cause time I have now. I am here. I had an interview at the Apple store yesterday and that was great fun. Answering questions and role playing and I got so giddy it was hard to pay attention sometimes. How wonderful to be employed again! Getting a paycheck, wow. (and being able to pay my rent, landlords would like that one)

I really enjoy meeting people and have gotten to do that a lot since being here. New faces, new personalities and new passions, exciting. Can be draining too, so much effort to get to know people and yet it is not at the same time. You know how there are times when you just click with people and there is an instant friendship in a way. What a beautiful thing. I really like thinking about friendships and relationships and watching the different interactions between people. Last night at my interview, it was very interesting to watch people as they interacted with each other and answered questions, how the managers wandered around, asked questions and watched. Fascinating.

How much do you think you can tell about a person from meeting them once? How accurate are your first impressions? And what are first impressions of you like? How true and authentic are you at first meeting people? Are there parts of you that you hide for later? Will be fun to see what my thoughts of people now look like when I know them better.