Monday, January 28, 2019

Jan 2019 - End of Week 4

Twas Book Club on Monday night; we talked about The Uncommon Reader, which was a delightful (for 7/8 of us) quick (about 150 pages) read. It starts with the Queen (Elizabeth, of England) chasing her escaping corgies into the side driveway of her palace, next to the kitchen, where a mobile library van is parked. One of her staff, a kitchen guy, is in there, borrowing a book, and she feels obligated to do the same. And thus begins the love affair between the Queen and books. And the impact it has on her life/her reputation/her relationships... 

It was written by Alan Bennett, the same author who wrote the screenplay of The Woman in the Van, which was autobiographical. It was HIS driveway the woman lived on FOR FIFTEEN YEARS. 

Anyway, talking about books is just the best way to start a week. 

On Tuesday evening I went back to Northview for the second week of The Thinking Series. The question we talked about this week was Does God Exist? (Last week was What is the Meaning of Life). 

I chose a different table to sit at this week, because last week's discussion session was just too difficult. And also, I noticed that none of my previous tablemates were even sitting at that first table. 

I ventured deeper into the room, and sat at a table with a young couple (which I first thought were a brother and sister. She looked to be about 10 or 11 years old. Turns out she's graduated from university and has been working for a few years. And was happily married to the young man beside her. Who I thought was a high school student, but he too turned out to be in his late 20's.) IS THIS A SIGN THAT I AM OLD? Everyone looks incredibly young. Also at the table were 3 seniors. Probably in their early 80's, based on skin wrinkles, hair colour, posture and weak voices. (But what do I know. Could've been 95 years old. Or 60. I suck at age-guessing.) And the last woman to join us was an attractive, thick-rich-auburn-haired (40 year old?) single-mom of two kids. 

Our discussion-facilitator joined us after he'd finished his welcome and introduction duties from the stage. He was a pastoral intern with all the enthusiasm and energy of a 7 week old puppy. 

I'd been making small talk with the lil ol lady beside me, and not getting a good feel for who she was, or what she was up to in life. She said she liked coming to Northview church because Jeff told good stories. And she liked how friendly the interns were. The 40-yr old on the other side of me was equally difficult to read. Small talk answers were very vague. I was relieved when our host sat down to carry the responsibility of getting us to answer the question "How positive are you that there is a God?"

The older married couple were both 100% sure. 
The younger married couple, both raised as Catholics, but searching for more answers in life, were both 100% sure. 
The single mom was 100% sure, but has left her last religion and was searching for a new faith. She was attending the series because she was confused.
And the older gal beside me was 0% sure. "Well that's why I'm here, right? To find out if there is something to all this God stuff."
The pastor intern was about 85% sure. 

And me? I am 100% sure on 99% of the days. And then I'll wonder. What if this is it ? What if there is nothing else. There is no God, no eternal life, no Jesus, no heaven, no hell. What if I've lived my life believing this is the rehearsal for the forever-after and there is no forever-after. What if my prayers are just me talking to the roof of my truck and the ceiling in my bedroom? WHAT THEN?

And I tend to conclude that even if this all ends when I die, I have no regrets for the choices I've made or the way I've lived. I wouldn't all of a sudden do non-christian things. I wouldn't think, "what a waste. I could've been sleeping around, or spend my weekends getting drunk or doing cocaine all these years, or cheating on my taxes, or coveting married men, or incurring debts I have no intention of repaying, or abandoning my family, or being unforgiving or unkind, or selfish, dishonest or not giving 10% to charities... or whatever things are considered unchristian-like. 

So even on my 1% days when I feel a little lost, I still end up having a faith in something greater than myself. 

But I was surprised by the older woman beside me. She whispered to me through most of the evening, confused and disappointed that she wasn't able to understand the speaker. She is earnestly seeking answers to life's big questions... she wants to know if there is a God. And what difference it makes if there is one. I assumed, when I sat beside her, that she was a teensy sweet Menno grandma. That she'd been a church lady all her life. Somehow, in my mind, I just figure folks have it figured out by the time they're in their 8th decade of living. And yet, here she was, asking for help/clarity in her old age. She wasn't sure if she'd be back. I told her I would be there again next week, and I'd sit beside her. 

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I signed up (wait, yes I do. I was expecting some solid teaching while I took careful, detailed notes) but this is not that. We spend more time talking at our tables than we do listening to teaching. And the teaching this week was difficult to follow/understand. So I didn't bother with the notes. But maybe this isn't about ME getting head knowledge. 

I guess if I want to sit and take notes I should register for night school at CBC or TWU. 


When I got home, I registered for The Coldest Night of the Year Walk. It's a 10K walk, in Vancouver, at night, during the dead of winter (Feb 23) to raise funds for City Reach who support, encourage, love and help the hungry, homeless and hurting in the city. 

For me, walking in the city at night is not as difficult as asking people to support me by donating. But here I am, doing a difficult thing. If you have a heart for those who're struggling and want to empower those who are trying to make a difference, please consider donating ...

This is who City Reach is, and what they do:

City Reach Care Society from Broadway Church on Vimeo.

And these are their programs:

If you want to donate, please click here. Or email me at 

A million times, thank you. thankyouthankyouthankyou


On Wednesday, I thought I'd clean my office/desk/accumulating files. 
And then I had two production meetings and the 'lull' I thought I'd experience this week disappeared. 

I stayed late a few nights to deal with the biggest piles (not pictured) and managed to throw about 20 pounds of printed samples into the recycling bin. SO yay me. Oy. It really is a minor miracle that I'm good at my job. WHY CAN'T I LOVE FILING? 

My challenge to myself is to photograph this desk next Friday and be proud of my work space. Fingers crossed. 


This is my corner of the gym (community centre) where I hang out for 4 - 5 hours a week. On Thursday, a very hesitant, over-thinking friend joined me after asking a million questions; is there a locker, do I need indoor shoes, where would I put my bag, what do I do with my coat, does everyone wear a coat, what about a water bottle, what do I do with my phone, what should I wear, what does everyone else wear, what time, how much, blah, blah, blah.... 

In case anyone else is worried about going to their local community centre to use the cardio machines, here are my observations:

  • There are very few people working out one hour before the gym closes. So if you don't want to be around other sweaty people, go then. (In my case, it's 9 pm)
  • Bring a water bottle, and your cell phone. Most new machines have holders for both.
  • Watch someone else work out so you get an idea of rules. (Re: wiping down the equipment afterwards. My gym provides a squirt bottle and paper towels. Women wipe. Men don't. Not sure if that's the rule, or just the way things are.)
  • Start on the machine that doesn't intimidate you. For me it was the reclining bike. Do it for half an hour. Celebrate that victory. You did it! Watch how others work out. Try something else when you're ready for a new experience. Or pray that God sends you an angel in the form of a little girl who wants to try all the machines with you.
  • And lastly, no one cares what you wear. 


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Memories
2. Fresh air
3. Neighbourhood Book Share Libraries

(I've decided to visit as many as I can this year, and leave books at each one. If there's one in your area, let me know, ok?)

4. Signs of spring:

5. Brick buildings

6. Winter sunsets


  • Proudest moment this week: Signing up for The Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk. 
  • Most embarrassing moment of the week:
  • Funniest moment of the week:
  • Biggest achievement of the week: Raising $1200 dollars for the walk. WOAH. My orginal goal was to raise $150. I am humbled by the response.
  • Best moment of the week: Walking through a park in Vancouver that I'd never been to before with Kim on Sunday afternoon, just as the sun peaked out from behind the clouds we've had all week.

View from Crab Park:

  • Best holiday memory of the week: Again. Another week with no holiday.
  • Best advice I heard this week:
  • Most grateful for this week: Friends/family who're praying for me. 
  • Favorite Only family memory of the week: On Monday night after Book Club, at about 10:30 pm, I made myself a bowl of Ichiban Noodle Soup, (very late supper) which must be eaten with a glass of milk. But mine had soured. So I texted Max, asking him if he had a cup of 2% I could borrow. He came down from his suite, into the kitchen, poured me a glass then went back upstairs. THIS was my only conversation/siting of family this week. It consisted of one sentence and 30 seconds of face time. I should've had a dozen kids. 
  • Biggest regret of this week:
  • Best thing I learned this week:
  • Biggest change I made this week: Oy. Should I be making changes every week? I'm still feeling good about my change last week when I decided to NOT keep my phone in my bedroom at night. Maybe I'll think of another change next week. 
  • Best gift I received this week:

Kathy, a friend at work, left some homemade Chicken Taco soup, a few slices of sourdough bread and some TimTams in the fridge at work for me to have on my lunch break this week. I felt loved and spoiled. 
  • New friend this week: 
  • Most inspiring person this week: Mark Batterson. I hosted the first Focus US Chapel service luncheon at work this week and listened to Mark talk about prayer. Inspiring and encouraging. (And awesome that I had over a dozen co-workers watch with me.)
  • Word to describe this week: Typical
  • Unexpected obstacles I faced this week:
  • Unexpected surprise this week: Seeing Millie (I think that's her name) the cat, straddle the banister railing while we talked about books. 

Crazy but sweet eh?

  • Best place I visited this week: On Saturday night after church, I took a detour on my way home and drove to Fort Langley. I had a longing to linger in a bookshop so I stopped in at Wendells to browse. It was exactly the perfect way to waste an hour. 
  • New skill I learned this week: 
  • Biggest obsession this week: Trying not to worry about next Wednesday. 
  • Best food I ate this week: Chicken Taco Soup. With sour dough bread. (See above)
  • Best TV I watched this week: For the first time in 6 months, I had no Friday night plans. So I was looking forward to vegging in front of the TV all evening. It's 48 hours later and I have no memory of what I watched. Twould have been on Netflix. And I probably didn't love it. This is why I rarely watch TV.
  • Best viral video I watched this week:
  • Best meme I saw this week:
  • Best movie I watched this week: Didn't see a movie this week. Is there even anything good out there right now? 
  • Best song heard this week: Singing How Great Thou Art at church. #best
  • Most excited about this for NEXT YEAR:
  • New skill I want to learn NEXT YEAR:
  • Place I want to visit NEXT YEAR:
  • Something to try NEXT YEAR:
  • One thing to work harder on NEXT YEAR:

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