Saturday, August 26, 2006

a comment on a blog that turned into a post a blog post this morning that I couldn't resist responding to and after writing what I'll paste in below, thought it really could serve as a posting here too...

You can read the post here: this post as much as I love the kind of days it describes. And books.

I admit I did read the Brothers Karamazov and it did captivate from time to time, but in between I persevered because it is a classic and I felt a sense of duty.

In the years between then and now, I've grown a bit more of a "reader's perogative" ... I sometimes choose not to finish books I start. That took some time. :)

My favourite "floosie novels" are a trilogy by Catherine Fox. I had to order them from as they aren't in print on this side of the Atlantic. They're novels about a seminary in a Cambridge/Oxford - type town in England. But the characters are anything but 'typically' Christian. In fact, when I've recommended them to others, it usually includes a bit of a content warning...although I usually only recommend them to people I know won't be offended by a little bit of what I like to call 'reality'.

I think you'd like them. :)

I, too, love the Susan Howatch novels. And sometimes I'm known to read a Rosamunde Pilcher novel. They're usually about a cast of characters who are somewhat unattached at the beginning and all intertwined by the end.

My husband like Science Fiction/Fantasy and Historical Fiction, so I'm stretching my wings in that direction a bit. A couple of favourites so far have been Cordelia's Honour by Lois McMaster Bujold (one of many in a series, but my DH thought it most accessible and likely to please the likes of me) and Household Gods by Judith Tarr & Harry Turtledove (a historical fiction/fantasy where a modern single-parenting, career-minded woman wakes up in the body of a woman of similar situation in Roman times. It's funny and charming and really sucks you into her story...) In a similar vein, I just finished Lindsey Davis' A Place of Honour which explores a woman's journey from slave girl to freedwoman and really the love story between her and an 'unknown' man who winds up as Emporer of Rome....a bit of a historical kick.

Meanwhile, I'm re-reading Persuasion which is my favourite of the Austen stories.

I could go on, but I'll leave it at that for now as we're leaving in 20 minutes and I still have a towel on my head. :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

a beautiful spot!!!

It was SO worth the work.

The trip up was beautiful and much shorter than we had anticipated. Pender Harbour is LOVELY - so quiet and beautiful and relaxed. The Sunshine Coast Resort was wonderful...clean and set up well for a holiday like this. (microwave, fridge, bbq and cooktop) There is a new and old lodge. The new lodge looks very nice, but we were quite happy in the old one, which is also $60 less a night.

We rented a boat the first afternoon and travelled out of the harbour and up the Agamemnon Channel (doesn't that sound adventurous?).

We slept in.

We sat in muskoka chairs on our porch and read books and drank coffee in the morning sun. (ok, I drank the coffee)

We drove to Egmont and walked out to the Skookumchuck Rapids. (Skookum=BIG chuck=WATER)

We relaxed.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

working so that we can holiday...

There's this wierd thing that happens when you're getting ready to go on a holiday...especially when the destination includes a kitchen...there's all this work to do!!!

Shopping lists and those little "What else might we need?" moments...But I'm off to go for a walk with my sister-in-law who has done this dozens of times, so I'll seek a little advice!

At least I'm not working in these days leading up to the I have time to get things ready.

I love working and can imagine that I would be a little stir-crazy without it, but I really like having time to do stuff around the house too. I guess I'm exercising my nesting muscles these days. :)

I'm getting excited to go away - and happy for Gordon to have a break from working as I feel like I've had this long break while he's continued on in the saltmines.

We're off to Pender Harbour...neither of us have explored the Sunshine Coast before so it should be fun...More to come!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

getting older...

Yesterday afternoon I went to visit Gordon's Oma and her sister Martha. They live in an assisted living complex in Abbotsford, both having recently moved down to the Fraser Valley from Vernon to be nearer their children.

My sister in law's Dad lives in the same complex so I dropped in and had a quick visit with "Grandpa Janz" too. (When your brother gets married when you're 2 1/2, you end up with a "third" side of the family...or at least I did)

Most common question of the day? "What is your name again?" (hee hee) And the answer of course had to include WHY I was there..."I'm Andrea, Gordon's wife..."

We visited and checked their fridges and cupboards to see if there was anything they needed from the supermarket...Oma decided she didn't need anything so Martha and I headed to Save-On...on this little outing the question became "What am I getting here again?"

It must be terrible to know that you know, but not be able to find the right bit of information. I told them that it's okay, the younger folks can remember today and yesterday, but their job is to remember all the stuff that happened before we were without them, we'd never know about it!

As I started to say my goodbyes, they began to talk of their finally asked, "Why am I so lonely?"

Before I could think about it, I found myself telling them that they are created in the image of God and thus long to be connected with others in relationship. When they are lonely, it is that image being reflected...

I didn't mention that perhaps we are ALL lonely to a certain extent. We are all around people quite a lot of the time, but not very many of us have the relational connections we long for, though from time to time we get a taste. So really, they aren't much different than the rest of us. They live among all these people, eat with them daily, congregate in little sitting areas to set puzzles and play scrabble or just to chat about days gone by. But at the end of the day, whether they've had ten visitors or none, they're lonely. They long for more.

I go about my day, experiencing Gordon's companionship in profound and quotidian ways. I have friends and family with whom I interact throughout the weeks and months. I work and play and rest. And still there is a longing.

The difference is partly that I am young and mobile and mostly independent. Oma and Martha are now dependent on others to get them beyond the complex in which they spend all their time. They are looking back on most of their lives, while I can look backwards and forwards...

At one point, they asked me what I do for work...(they were to ask this question several more times before the afternoon ended) and when I described designing and facilitating worship services, Martha exclaimed, "You're a pastor!" I replied, "Well, yes, but I don't ever preach." Her response was priceless. "But the part you do is even more important than the preaching."

No kidding. Loved that moment. :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

BC Day and the Beach


It's August 7th, what we like to call BC Day here in beautiful British Columbia. And do you know what that means?

I'm all finished. One entire trip around the calendar as Music & Worship Coordinator at Regent.

A Fall term complete with the All College Retreat. A break complete with a wedding. MY wedding. A Winter term including the first months of marriage. My first Pastors Conference and Spring School, Tradition Conference and Summer School.


It was good. Not always easy or fun, but sometimes amazingly fulfilling and incredibly enjoyable. Saw someone yesterday who I hadn't talked to in quite awhile and they seemed surprised that I was going to go for another year...whereas I can't really imagine NOT trying at least one more year... I guess when I spoke to him last I must have been quite aware of some of the 'cons' whereas Pastors Conference and Summer School especially are heavy hitters on the 'pros' side. And they are quite recent.

Funny how perspectives shift.

Anyway, I'm in for another ride around the calendar...but not for 3 more weeks!!!

We're off to Ambleside in a bit, picking up carless downtown-living friends en route and packing a mean picnic. Hummous and pita, fresh and homemade lemonade, fruit, cookies, mmmm...

Happy BC Day!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Boys can be pastors, too!!

Was reading The Scroll - Christians for Biblical Equality's blog - this morning and came across this quote...

"My friend Wendy Joyner, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Americus, Ga., tells the story of a little girl in her church who, after hearing a male guest preacher, turned to her mother and said, “Mom! Boys can be preachers, too!” I think that story illustrates that perspective matters. A little girl who had only known a woman pastor thought nothing unusual about her situation. She experienced God through a woman pastor just as many children experience God by means of a male pastor."

Makes me smile.

And it makes me remember a conversation I had probably 15 years ago with my niece Laura. She was 4 or 5 and was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up..."A pastor," she said.

I can't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure I told her she couldn't be a pastor. I also remember wondering why.

Anyway, in 15 years I have come to realize that there are more ways of interpreting scripture and history than that which I saw modelled and heard preached in my childhood. Thankfully.

I think now about some of the female mentors I had growing up and am so thankful for their examples, but also sad that they spent a lot of their lives bumping their heads on glass ceilings that were theologically justified. I realize that when I bump my head now, it is on a ceiling that is cracked and broken in certain spots...and that encourages me.