Sunday, November 30, 2008

Waiting, Weading, Weekend

Greetings! Internet is back on but I am still lazy, so no pictures.

I had something genius i was going to blog about that I thought of earlier today, but for now it has completely slipped my mind and you will have to content yourself with my ramblings.

I was on worship team this weekend at church which was great as per usual. It was baptism weekend and it was so great to see so many people taking the step of baptism and declaring their faith. Very exciting! I'm not a teary-eyed person, but for some reason, baptism always gets me! But they're tears of joy and excitement. Isn't it interesting that when we experience a certain emotion to the extreme, it seems to bank over into the opposite?

The sermon this weekend was on waiting. And how a lot of the time we are in a period of waiting for God. And in the waiting, God builds us up and prepares us. While I definitely understand the concept of waiting, I'm tired of waiting! I could list about four huge areas of life where this is big right now and so it's just frustrating, because I want to be out of the waiting... but I guess I just need to wait more and pray that God would continue to build perseverance and character through it.

I have to read a textbook for one of my classes as part of our mark.. I have not read the textbook all semester and have just begun. I am really tempted to just say I read the whole thing, but then I am reminded of my goal of having more integrity-so trucking through my 500 page history of psychology textbook I will go! Should be a fun afternoon!!

Here's an updated countdown:
1 more day until the month of fun! (it has been so declared)
4 more days until no more classes!!!
12 more days until my exams are over!!!!!!!!!!!
14 more days until Hawaii!!!!!!!!!!!!!
25 more days until my birthday!!
26 more days until Christmas!!

Coming up next: my thoughts on my prison visit the other day and more details on the month of fun. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lyrics, Loathing, Late

This morning was another early one. Or late one. I stayed up until five am and then woke up at 8am. Have to stop doing that! I had such a drive to write a paper that's not even due for another week that I stayed up and pounded most of it out. It feels so so so so so good to be done it and today when I handed it in, I realized it was the last assignment for this class. No exam. Yay for one class being done and four more to go. The countdown is on!!

Recently I have realized that I do not listen to lyrics at all. I love music and singing but if you listen closely to me singing you'll soon realize I have no idea what I'm singing but am still singing along. Even if I have heard the song a dozen times, I won't know the lyrics. I have friends who are lyric nuts and it's funny because I am not.

Lastly I hate telus. Or loathe is a kinder word perhaps. I have not had internet at my house for the last three days which is super frustrating end of semester when I need to do research and all that jazz! So i'm using my mom's before I head off, but I just want it at home! amazing how much we take it for granted...

Anyway, no pictures because no internet at home but hopefully soon!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Apples, Abstinence, Alcohol

First off, thanks so much for your responses on the last post. I appreciate reading your thoughts and comments on the topic. I definitely agree that everyone needs to figure out their own standards on things and figure out what's right for them. I think it's a continual process too though as we change, but always important to keep thinking about these things. Interesting point about the whole fact that we talk about these things because they are "taboo" subjects. Yet, when we look at anything in life, if used with perhaps the wrong attitude or with the wrong amount, it's really the same thing. But ya, like I mentioned, I totally respect opposing sides and am not even fully stating that I agree with one side or the other, but more just throwing the thoughts out there.

Chrystal and I went to see Hairspray today and it was fantastic!! So fun! We had caramel apples (i'm really only mentioning this so that it will tie into my alliteration title because i didn't have another awkward story to share thankfully).

Part II of my two part series. ha. series.

Abstinence. Interesting one. In a Christian setting, sex is always such a taboo topic. I grew up never really hearing about sex. Didn't know what a lot of stuff even meant until my early twenties when I figured it out in a not so safe environment. I think it would have been way better to have been introduced to sex at a young age from my parents and to be taught that it was a good thing rather than this taboo topic that nobody talks about. Seems easier to get distorted views of it from others. This semester I'm taking a class on human sexuality and we were talking about teaching your kids about sex.. and it was suggested to start as young as three. Seemed young, but then when you think about it, they'll hear it somewhere else otherwise. And it seems easier to teach what is right rather than correct wrong teaching. Not totally sure what my view on that is yet.. and I don't have kids, so haven't thought about it too much. But I think in some ways, my experience would have been better had I heard about it within the family.

Sexuality is such an interesting thing. Aside from the genital act of actually having sex, one's sexuality is far greater and encompassing than the physical aspect. We are all sexual beings and we all relate to one another in that, experiencing deeper connectedness.

So then there's the question of what one should do in relationship before marriage physically. Always an interesting one. Some think there should be black and white boundaries drawn as to what you should and should not do (which I don't agree with) and then there's some who figure as long as you're not having sex, then anything goes. Hmm.. Okay, so where's the middle ground? How do you foster intimacy in a relationship with someone and not give too much of yourself away sexually and spiritually (through the physical) that you will regret it if that relationship ever ends? Or is it impossible not to have any regrets?

I have hoardes more thoughts on this but it's late and I just feel like posting this for now. Sorry if it's slightly disjointed but that's what you get past midnight!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Awkward, Abstinence, Alcohol

So I just realized that my title might make some of you wonder. Haha. This is the beginning of my twopart series. And I figured I would post today for the only three people who seem to read my blog. ha. or the only two people that comment- so this is dedicated to them. :)

First I will start with an awkward moment of the week:

Walking into the library I run into my friend's exboyfriend. Here's the dialogue that follows:
Him: So, I hear you want to kick me in the balls.
Me: No, I'd rather punch. Then I could use more force.

Yay for awkwardness!

Okay, so I have been thinking a lot lately. I used to be really conservative black and white and then shifted to the other side where anything was okay and I drifted away a lot from my previously held convictions. However, I'm stuck at a hard place right now, because I'm coming back from the other extreme, but I'm not sure where the balance in the middle is. How do you stay true to what you personally think is right for you without having others thing you are judging them?

Oh and disclaimer: nothing in this post is mean as judging or anything as such.. just my thoughts and i'd appreciate yours back..

First topic would be alcohol. I like to have a drink or two here and there and enjoy it. When I was in high school I viewed alcohol really negatively, but as the years have passed I have become a lot more leniant. Personally I don't agree with drunkenness, but I don't think there is anything wrong with a drink or two. But where is the line to be drawn?

I find it interesting to watch people who have drinks to loosen up or to relax or to make themselves do something they would otherwise not do (ex. dance in front of people). For some it becomes a confidence booster, lowering their inhibitions, allowing them to do something fun that they wouldn't do with as much ease before because perhaps they'd be concerned about how others would view them. A bit of alcohol might take that concern away. Some drink to drown their sorrows because it eases the pain. Now there are a host of other reasons as well.

I do certain things to relax and dont' think there's anything inherently wrong with it. So is alcohol appropriate for this category? Is alcohol in moderation a good coping tool? Is it good to lower one's inhibitions so one doesn't worry about what others think? I'm not saying yes or no to any of these things but am rather just throwing these thoughts out there. Where's the line? Are there other ways of achieving these same things? So why alcohol?

Once again, not saying alcohol or drinking alcohol is wrong, because I do. This is just something I have been thinking about for myself.. the why behind it I guess. Why do I choose to drink when I do? Is it for the right reasons?

I'm in a bit of a tough place because I go to a university that says we cannot drink alcohol. We signed a covenant saying we would not drink while attending Trinity. I have broken this and so have most other people. most would laugh at it and say it's a stupid rule. While I agree that it should be changed and modified, I wonder if the "silliness" of the rule is proper grounds for me to not adhere to it? My personal integrity is something that is called into question through it. Lately I have realized my integrity is lacking in some areas and it is something I want to pursue. I want to be a woman of integrity. Tough place to be in... For now, I think I am going to abstain from alcohol during the semester. Not saying everyone should, but that's just me where I'm at right now.

Anyway, those are my ramblings for now. Hope nobody is offended because that is not the intent at all. More just to get people thinking I guess. Sometimes this can be a touchy subject because there are such diverse viewpoints on it. And I want to say that whatever someone's behavior or attitude is towards it, I respect that and welcome your feedback.

Thanks for reading! Back to my paper on sexuality and spirituality for the single person... (perhaps i'll post my thoughts on that sometime too!) Hope this post was thought-provoking in some sense...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Creepy, Crazy, Creature

So here's my next promised post. No pictures of the Christmas decorations yet though because i'm too lazy to turn on all the lights, take pictures, upload the pictures and then post them. ha. but soon. but i'm posting since you commented and i included a beautiful picture of myself down below for your viewing pleasure. I'm just that attractive.

I have kind of gotten back into the groove of going for daily walks. When I first moved in, I was walking every day for the first two or three weeks. Then I got sick and life got crazy and I would walk about once a week. The last four days I've gone for walks and it's been wonderful (except for the huge blister on the bottom of my little toe). Saw a large dead rat covered in flies yesterday. That was lovely.

Lately I wonder what in the world God has for me and my life. Right now I could list off ten possibilities of things I could and they would all seem to be good but I'm in the dark. I hate being in that place, but at the same time I feel brimming with excitement and hope over the good things I know will come. I'm learning to dream big. There's a psalm that says "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it". I have decided that I want to dream big. Because however large I open my mouth, that's how much God will fill it-so I determine it. Thankfully I have an extremely oversized and large mouth. haha.. But that's exciting because great things are in store for me and I'm excited for how God will use me. Right now my dream is to be a travelling speaker/writer. And that's all I have for now!

Thanks for listening to my thoughts. I will try to post more often!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vancouver, Very, Vanessa

Hello! Sorry for the delay in posting. I have had the pics uploaded for a while but haven't taken the time to add words. Plus I wanted at least one comment before posting again. :) Just to have proof of readers! So for reading break, I pulled off the best surprise ever and took Chrystal to Vancouver for her birthday weekend. I told her I was going to North Dakota for the weekend and when she came to pick me up to drive me to the airport, I told her my flight was later that evening and I was taking her for dinner beforehand for her bday. We pulled into the hotel valet parking and she still didn't realize what was up. I then proclaimed "I am a genius mastermind" and "I found your birthday present". That didn't do it, so then I said "We're staying in Vancouver for the weekend for your birthday!" haha.. Then she was quite shocked. Kaeli had packed stuff in Chrystal's trunk so she'd have clothes for the weekend.
Friday night we went to Granville Island. We went to the Keg for dinner and then to Theatre Sports. We had to try on some hats at the hat shop first! Theatre Sports was great! It's improv and there's three shows you can go to. During the second show an audience member had arranged beforehand and proposed to his girlfriend during their audience participation "improv" part.. haha.. She was totally shocked and it was pretty fun to watch.
Saturday we went to the Aquarium. One of the belugas is only four months old and pretty cute (for a beluga). We watched the poo in the water which was pretty pleasant.

Tradition when we hang out and go on trips is to get copious amounts of wings. haha.. Yum!
And so ends our weekend!! Seems like it was just this past weekend. For the rest of the weekend, I put up my Christmas decorations!! Now my house is Christmassy!! So fun!! I will post pictures of that soon. I was pretty excited to have my own first Christmas tree. My mom has also been putting her decorations up so I will take pics soon and post those too.

The rest of the week was pretty good, ending with a Friday night on Granville going to the Keg and Theatre Sports.. hmm.. sounds familiar. haha.. just turned out that way. An old friend from high school and I get together about two or three times a year for dinner and a show and it's pretty great to catch up and hang out together.

I keep thinking that things are pretty easy breezy with school right now, because i have three big papers due next month in December. Then I realize that those papers are actually due on the 1st of December and that's um... like 12 days away. dang. haha.. I'm feeling WAY less stressed this month and it's been nice to get my head screwed back on straight and go for walks and do other fun stuff.

Have been learning a ton lately and growing. And being filled with hope. It's refreshing and exciting. Will write more to come. I just made the best Christmas present EVER and now it's done, so I'm off to bed. More to come soon!

3 days until I see Hairspray
8 more days of classes!
24 days until Hawaii!!
35 days until my birthday!!
36 days until Christmas!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mail, Mraz, Method, Meaning, Mystery

Happy Friday!! My morning class was cancelled today which I was pretty excited for. Actually I missed class on Wednesday (first time in my university time ever missing class for my own reasons) and it was announced and everyone was told to not tell the people who came late or the people who weren't there, so that we'd show up this morning. Kind of funny and tricky, but I'm glad I found out ahead of time, otherwise I think I would have been fairly angry. As of now I'm slightly disappointed about not finding out for many reasons, but I'm just glad I'm in bed and not at school right now!!

I love getting snail mail and the other day got a letter from a friend of mine in Quebec. I met her when I went to a church out there and she visited me a couple times when I lived in Quebec and now we keep in touch through the mail. It's always so great getting her letters. They're in French of course and I write her in French too. Sometimes I feel limited with what I can tell her, because my vocabulary is not that expansive, but I love the fact that I can communicate in another language with someone! And I love that I can get mail because that always excites me!

I have become obsessed with Jason Mraz and his song "I'm Yours". Love it. Have actually never heard any of his other songs, but i love this one so much that I just keep listening to it over and over again! haha...

I am excited for this long weekend. I am off on a journey which I will write about more later so you'll have to stay tuned. I'm hoping to get a bit more of my method completed though (for my thesis). RIght now I wish I wasn't doing a thesis, but I guess I just need to slug it out until April. I have two big research papers due beginning of December and took about 10 books out for those papers yesterday. This is me tryign to work ahead of time. most likely the books will sit there for quite some time and I won't start until right before, but hopefully this time I can actually finish early! We'll see! :)

Lately I have realized that where my focus is greatly affects my daily mood and actions. On Wednesday the two classes I had were slightly depressing and it made me stop and wonder what in the world we're all doing here and if there was any hope for change, etc. It was quite dismal, and I felt myself going down that route of feeling quite dismal myself, but then I realized that I so easily forget Christ as my hope. And despite everything around me, I can look to Him. And even if I don't have anything specific to hope for, I can be filled with hope and expectancy. That's something to get excited about. So I have been trying to focus on that and have been feeling inspired in the sense of being excited about what God's going to do. What He's going to do in and through my life, in other people's lives and so forth. I have never been at a place with so much unknowingness, but it is indeed exciting!!

Stay tuned for my mystery reading break trip!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Whistler, Wine, Winter

Lindie came out to visit on Sunday and we started the visit off with a trip to Red Robin's which we do every time as Lindie loves it. Then we headed to Vancouver where we bought caramel apples and then went to the Canucks game. They ended up losing, but it was still fun!
On Monday, we decided that after classes, we would head up to Whistler for a few days which was last minute but really great. It was so great to put "reality" on the back burner for a while and was a well needed break. We stayed at the Sun Dial Boutique Hotel and enjoyed having a full suite with full kitchen and everything.

Sandy joined us for the first night and took the bus back. We laughed a lot and it was great!

Sandy rolling on the floor laughing as a matter of fact...

Trying on hats.. haha

Lindie pretty sad that she lost to me..

Lindie and I went for a walk/hike in the interpretive forest and we were especially anamored with the suspension bridge. :)

Hahaha.. I love this picture because Lindie does not look happy to be here but i am uber excited! haha

Cartwheels on the suspension Bridge. Of course. Doesn't everyone do that?

LIndie and I enjoying Indian Food for dinner

View from the rooftop hot tub where we spent a lot of our time!! Beautiful views!! We saw the first snowfall in the village. it was beautiful although it didn't stick

And now back to reality!! Sigh! Well, actually only two more classes and then reading break!! YAY for four days off! :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Funny, Fragrant, Fun

Greetings from Whistler!! Lindie came to visit from Calgary and we decided to do a quick last minute get away to Whistler! So fun! We called Sandy and she joined us for the first night. We're staying at the Sun Dial Hotel here and it's fantastic. We have our own full kitchen where we've been making some good food and enjoying some tasty desert wine and having tons and tons of laughs. Sandy was rolling on the floor last night laughing. One of the best features has been the rooftop hot tub!! So amazing!

I will post pictures when I get home and have my camera cord, but just wanted to leave you with my favorite quote of the day. Okay, a little embarrassing for me, but I almost peed my pants laughing in the middle of the woods...

We had just had nachos for lunch. I made guacamole and had put two things of garlic chopped up in it.. So Lindie and I went for a nice long walk up to a lake in the interpretive forest..

Lindie (walking behind Vanessa): Mmm.. Smells like sausages (thinking, that's weird in the middle of the woods...)

Vanessa: Um.. I just burped.

Lindie: Gross.


hope you find that funny and don't find me too gross.. hahaha..

more to come later!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Productive, Prison, Possibilities

So, in a quest to post more on my blog I will post right now.

I just finished reading 80 pages of a really difficult book on the history of the prison system and then wrote a paper on it. I just have one more 12 page paper to write before tomorrow. I'm leaving to pick Lindie up in 30 minutes, so I'm not entirely sure when I will write that, but hopefully I can fit it in somewhere.. It's just filling the 12 pages up that will be the problem. haha..

So yay for productivity on my Sunday morning!! I am always happy when I get to cross stuff off my to-do list!

I have been thinking lately of possibilities of what I should do after graduation. I could get a job. Or go to school for my masters. Or take the year off and work intermittently and travel. Hmm.. Any suggestions? Anyone have an ideal job they think of when they think of me?

Here's some fun trip possibilities for the future:
-Somewhere in the Caribbean with Lindie during my spring reading break
-Mystery graduation trip with Chrystal somewhere fun to celebrate (Disneyland, cruise, carribean?)
-Scotland, Wales and England with my mom next summer
-Ontario next summer for my cousin's wedding
-Quebec next summer for a pyschology conference (and visit people after)
-Road Trip next summer because they're fun... somewhere in the States- North Dakota perhaps?
-Australia to visit Dave and Karin perhaps.. not sure when but I would love to go visit!
-South America explorer with my mom in January 2010 with a few extra days to go to Antarctica (my dream come true)
-Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia
-South Korea to visit my friend Hannah

Okay, enough dreaming. Any you guys think I should absolutely go on? :) hehe.. it's fun to think of all the different possibilities! I just have to co-ordinate them with the hundreds of weddings happening next year!!!

Anyway, thanks for listening to my ramblings, I'm off to the airport!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Absent, Actober, Agassiz

Hi all!

Sorry for the absence in writing on here. Things have been a bit nutso this week and every time I have thought about blogging I have not had much to think of to put on! It's November already which is absolutely insane! Seems like the fall is flying by so incredibly fast. But I'm super excited that Christmas is coming along with the end of the semester that seems to have been the most insane so far! I am hoping that November will be a bit nicer... :)

This last week has been good. Thursday I had the opportunity to lead two workshops on student leadership at a Christian high school leadership conference. I talked about what I would have done differently as a leader in high school if I knew what I know now. Very interesting to think about. I surveyed a bunch of people and got a one to two line quote from them which was great to include on there-was a good mix of thoughts from people.

Last night Kaeli and Chrystal came over to carve pumpkins which was fun. For the first time EVER I had trick-or-treaters!!! So fun!! All my life I have lived in the boons where no kids come and so it was really fun to actually live somewhere this time around where we got kids who came to the door! Very fun to see all the different costumes! :)

Tonight I went to church and then to Chrystal's for a movie afterwards. It was one of those services where you walk away convicted. Least I did. Hit me right at home-talking about the things we say about others.. ah. guilty. something to keep in mind and keep working on though!

Tomorrow Lindie is coming to visit!!! YAY! I have two papers to write before she comes (got 12 hours) so that I won't have to paper write while she's here, but I think it should work out well!!

Yesterday I also went for a tour of a maximum security prison out in Agassiz, called Kent. It was super interesting to see inside the prison and actually see what things are like and so forth. It has been really interesting in my classes lately to see perhaps where my heart leans towards working in corrections. And working with criminals. A lot of people's responses to people who have broken the law is repulsion, which is understandable based on the things people have done, and although I see the crimes committed as horrible, my heart breaks for the individual person and I am just filled with compassion for them.. Hmm.. Something I would have never ever ever thought about for myself, but the more I talk about it and think about it, I am actually interested in it. Haven't been passionately excited about something like this for a long time. Then again, this is in theory. We will see how it pans out in real life. I am starting to volunteer with a prison ministry program called M2W2 and so right now I will be going to Surrey Pre-Trial to visit with prisoners every other week. Just to start testing the waters.

Evidently I did have stuff to say. so hopefully I will get another blog post in soon! With pictures!! Have a great week! I'm off to enjoy my extra hour!