The sounds of the morning commute to work begin early around here. If I'm sitting comfortably on the couch, reading around 6AM, the streets are still silent, with maybe a car or two, and a lonely bird chirping its "good morning". By 6:15, however, the change becomes drastic. A city bus roars past, 10 cars line up at the stop light, 20 birds sit on the telephone wires, squawking noisily at one another, and perhaps one of my inebriated neighbours is still shouting, "Bruno!!" as he staggers around in search of his dog.
Although I live on the corner of such bustling village life, I still feel a semblance of peace up here in my third storey apartment. I can still find my serenity, even after the 6:15 jolt into reality. I have discovered that tea is marvelous. I have blogged about my morning cuppa' before, yet for some reason I must mention again how lovely it is to sip some of that 'Jade Snow' green tea while reading my Bible. I think that the heat from the drink and its soothing properties help me to be open and receptive to God's Word.
This morning was a homemade London fog (made with orange pekoe instead of Earl Grey). Mel gave me a recipe, and it's actually pretty easy. I really love the London Fogs from Williams Cafe. They are absolutely the best, in my opinion.
I am eager to visit my family today. Jake is only working a 1/2 day, so that we can go up. It's so hard when they live a couple of hours away, but I am grateful for the times we can visit them.
In saying that, I have a few things I need to finish doing before we can go. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.
Homemade London Fog
Recipe credit: Melissa [my lovely sister]
Boil some water. Bring 1/2 cup of milk to a boil on the stove, whisking until frothy. Add 2 tsp of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla flavouring. Stir. Pour the hot water into a mug, and insert a tea bag of your choice(traditionally Earl Grey). Next, add the milk mixture and steep to taste.
I was feeling rather sluggish today on my way home from the school. I have so much work to do for my TESOL certificate, but knew that if I stayed home I wouldn't get anything done (I'd probably just crawl into bed). I am now sitting at the local coffee shop with an empty smoothie container, and haven't accomplished any studying. Not yet, anyways. I'm just zoned out, lids still heavy, and trying to focus. I thought that maybe writing a blog might help.
Speaking of my TESOL course (TESOL= Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), I must complete 25o training hours and a 20 hour practicum before I can receive my diploma from ONTESOL by Coventry House International. I'm really excited for taking this course, and already I have learned so much. There are three modules: Grammar, Methodology, and Phonology. I began the grammar module on Monday. When I complete everything, I will be a bona fide ESL teacher! I'm looking forward to it.
What a beautiful day outside. I hope you are taking some time to enjoy this glorious weather which our great God and Saviour gave to us.
This blog marks the 500th post since March 2006, when I was preparing to head off to Brasil for 5.5 months. Since then, so much has changed, and I've varied in my writing style and frequency. Nonetheless, I still enjoy blogging, and typing out my random daily thoughts.
So a very special thank you goes out to my faithful blog reader, my beloved Nana, who pretty well comments on each of my blog and prints them out for my Poppa to read. She's been with me since the very beginning (literally), so, Nan, without you, I would probably feel like it was all for nothing! I know that a few other people read them occasionally, so thanks for listening!
I guess I'm a bit emotional today. I was reading a friend's blog, and she had me teared up in no time. There are so many things on my mind.
Things I am uncertain about.
Things out of my control.
Things I need to change.
I have been reading in the Johns lately (not to be confused with on the John), and today was 2 John. One of his major themes in the first book was about deception of anti-Christs, and false doctrine. That theme continued on in 2 John. I have often been concerned that I might get swept away in false doctrine. Not because I don't believe in what the Bible says, but because I don't immerse myself in truth enough. There are things that I believe, and nothing or nobody will change my mind, because the Bible says it is TRUE. But there are those obscure things, that I may have forgotten, or that don't come up often, where the Enemy can entrap me. I don't want to be caught in that snare. I want to know the truth. The only way to do that is to keep reading. To keep drenching myself in God's Word.
I read a verse in the book of Job that really stood out to me. Job had just been inflicted with boils after losing everything, and his wife wrongly says to him, "Are you still maintaining your iniquity? Curse God and die!" Personally, I think it would have been a service to the poor man if his wife had died too. She was not very encouraging nor godly in that moment. Yet Job's words amaze me: "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"**
Ok, so now we have something. When the good things happen, we praise God and thank him for it. But when trouble comes, He is often the first one we blame. And yet, we forget that it is through trouble that we learn the most, and grow the most. He uses it, like He used Job's trouble, to test our faith, and to see if we will be the ones to curse His name.
Yes, I am feeling emotional today. I feel somewhat troubled by current circumstances, especially regarding missions. I could view this time as a difficult season and curse God's name, blaming Him when all we want to do is serve Him somewhere.
However, He is refining me. Causing me to seek Him. And reminding me that His ways are always for the best, because He is God and I am not.
Thanks to Jake's new job, we were able to get free tickets to Bingeman's water park yesterday, plus a company BBQ. It was amazing, despite the weather's capricious game of hide and seek with the sun. We haven't done anything like that together, so it was really neat for us to see each other in a totally different element. We swam and slid down amazing slides, got sunburned, as you can imagine, played two epic games of mini-golf in the rain (surprisingly enough, I got 2 hole-in-ones!), and ate so much BBQ we didn't need dinner. It was truly epic.
This ride, called the "Cyclone", was exactly that. We decided to begin with this one, and I got claustrophobic and Jake threw out his neck. Happy beginnings, not. However, we went down a second time, much later, and enjoyed it a lot more. I think the element of surprise was gone, and we faired a lot better! Although, I had to laugh, because as I was waiting to go down, the bored attendant said to me, "You can swim, right? It's a 10-ft drop down there." Wow. Thanks for the vote of confidence!!
Our favourites were the raft ride and "the pipe", and we screamed like little children. Nothing like a heart-pumping adrenaline rush to unify your marriage again. I loved it!
I distinctly remember writing a blog a couple of years ago about how freezing cold my feet were at the time.
Believe it or not, they are freezing right now as well. I'm sitting here on the couch, a blanket over me, the sun's brilliant rays shining not-so-brightly through the curtain, thinking about how grateful I am for the coolness of the morning. More often than not lately, I will wake up freezing cold, dress in pants, and then face the humidity of the late afternoon with a shocking dissatisfaction. The coolness has been a comfort, a relief from the heat of the past few weeks. It's a welcome relief.
I know that I have talked about weather a lot in my past few blogs, but I suppose I'm just surprised at how much I have started to despise the heat. (It doesn't help when I forget to shave my legs and have to wear pants to neatly hide that appalling fact.)
I suppose what I'm really saying is that I wish I could be accustomed to the heat, like the nationals of India are to their heat, or the people of Brasil are to their summer calidity. I am embarrassed of sweating, especially in North America, where it is seemingly frowned upon, as if we are not human. I can't count the number of magazine and other media ads I have seen purporting sweating as being highly inconvenient, presenting various deodorants, cream, or medical procedures to help mask such an offensive bodily function. And that is for those of us that do struggle with this pernicious affection.
I know a few people who don't even need deodorant, let alone anti-perspirant. They can sit for hours in the blistering sun and the damp humidity and not sweat one drop. They don't smell like someone who has just spent a day making vegetable soup, either, which is how I usually smell when I don't use deodorant.
Ah, I just have to chalk it up to genetics (and the way God made me!!), and get used to the fact that my sweat glands work, baby. Don't I know it. Maybe God will send Jake and I somewhere we can wear swimsuits while sharing His Word with people.