Thursday, August 20, 2009

Significantly Simple

A very simple thought on serving people:

What an interesting time it has been to sit back and ponder the past season of our lives. Sometimes I cannot help but play the scene over and over again from Black Sheep with Chris Farley where he is at the top of the mountain trying to find cell reception and slips his foot off the rock and begins a very long, painful, dreadful, discombobulating summer salt down toward the valley...and then after gaining his senses, throwing himself upward into posture he exclaims, "What in the hell was that all about!" (If you haven't seen this's a's on my to do list of life's an annual event that I have with me, myself, and I.)

But sometimes that's how I look at many situations in life and wonder what the purpose of it all was. I cannot count how many times I have tried to sit here at this stupid HP Pavilion laptop computer of mine and try to focus on writing the thoughts in my head which have been brewing for quite some time about different things, people I've talked to, things that have happened...and for some reason just not having the clarity to phrase myself. I just sit in a daze wondering what the purpose of it all was. Where is this going? What is being done? How does this effect me?

To be honest I'm not really sure what it's all about sometimes. (the cancer, how certain things have worked out in our lives, jobs, meeting people, serving, and life.)

Lately Christa and I have had the opportunity to meet and hear some very influential people. This past week we had the honor to sit in and hear Charlotter Gambil speak on the importance of building the local church - and how for some odd reason we have this mentally that the church is all about this religious building where we gather on Sunday mornings because of family tradition or religious beliefs and practices. Depending on your thoughts and viewpoint of the word religion you may disagree with the next statement - but she was saying that the role of the church is to reach out to people and meet their needs. We aren't to run around jamming the bible down peoples throats or telling them what to do and what not to do. It is important for us to invest time and ourselves in joining up with others to help meet the needs and reach out to other people, through whatever means possible, including ourselves, our experiences, and with all the junk that we haul behind.

The problem, however is that so many people want to be the top dog. Everyone wants to be on the stage, have a mic in their hand, run the company, be the president, run for mayor, be team captain, give the's their way or the highway. And this is why sometimes groups and organizations, including the church fail...because people don't want to greet people, or clean washrooms, or help with parking, or go into the hospitals and spend time with the sick, or offer a ride to someone, or care to listen to someones shotty (yes I said's the new thing so get with it) life...because what we have to do is more important, and if I (not me...I as in plural...even though it can't be plural...I know.) am not running the show, if I am not noticed, if I am not rewarded, if I, I, I, I, I...then it just won't be worth it. And this is wrong thinking!

At first I took this as a slap in the face because I thought to myself...are you telling me that my tour across Canada was waste of my time and that I just want to make it to the top and be noticed? Are you telling me all the TV shows I've done and interviews was selfish ideas? Are you saying my goal to write a book is complete junk? Are you saying the homeless outreach that Christa and I lead for the street people of Calgary isn't impacting and reaching out to the needs of others? Are you telling me that loving that person who is just unlovable, or investing my time and energy doing something for someone else wasn't significant?

At first this was how I actually thought about this...and the whole way home Christa had to knock some sense into my wee little brain to remind that that's not what she was saying at all. What I soon learned was that all those things are great...but when we invest our time and money and energy into the lives of other people...that's what it's all about. If your on the top, great. But if your on the bottom are just as...if not more powerful and useful then the guy on the top. Because the guy on the top may not have the opportunities and gifts to reach out to people like the guy on the bottom.

Even though there are days that I sit here and stare at a white, blank word document page which sometimes reflects my view on life thinking to myself, "what the... ", I have learnt that there is a huge joy in teaming up with a group of people and meeting the needs of others. Rather it be through a church, a community organization, a company, or even in a social group of people. We don't all have to be the guy on the top, because if we are all the guy on the's boring!

I have discovered that if I can shovel someones walk, or feed the homeless, or help lead a youth group, or say hi to the guy in the food court who looks like he needs a picker upper, or whatever it might be. I have learnt that through my experiences, with all my junk and garbage I can serve people and meet the needs of others...just as I am. Too many times I think of people who work themselves up and go on a self pity trip and create all the drama in the world because what nice thing they did for someone, or nice thing they said to someone, or their hard work went unnoticed. Too many times people think that if they aren't noticed then it doesn't count or it's not significant. But we must's not about us. We all have the opportunity to reach out to people in any given situation -therefore, big or small, it is significant, it matters, and it just might bring hope and meet a need of someone you never thought it would have.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Two weeks ago, the fire alarm rang out in our church service, once before church and once right before Pastor Leon was to preach. Of course, even though we all thought it was nothing, we evacuated, and eventually after some debate decided to have the service outside. How perfect that the title of Leon's message was "Change." While sitting out on the grass in the perfect summer air surrounded by a few hundred amazing people who devoted time every day to pray for Tim and was suddenly put into perspective for me. Embracing Change. How many of us do that?

I've been through twenty years of change. Little changes, like crawling to walking, diapers to the potty, a crib to the big girl bed...grade 1 to grade 12, brown hair, red hair, fake nails, red nails, insecurity, pain, happiness, death, life, rejection, acceptance. I've had my life all planned out and seen it change in a matter of hours. I remember the emotions and excitment of our approaching wedding day being knocked aside by the terror of a disease. If anyone has experienced drastic change, overwhelming unwanted change, it has been Tim and I.


Why wallow? Why sit there and wish for the "old" days, when a new journey is infront. I could have ignored the change and ran away from it, but I would still be in the same place, the same unchanged place. Instead, no matter how painful, unwanted and stupid the change was...I embraced it, and accepted it for what it was. It turns out when things change in a big way, even though we don't want them to, they turn out to be the greatest stories, the most amazing memories. What if you never took those first steps after all? Where would you be? Unchanged and annoying! Who wants a 20 year old baby in their lives?

I don't. Nor do I want to be.

Now. As Tim and I look back on our time in the hospital, the treatment, the unit, even the day of diagnosis, we celebrate each moment and find the joy in it! Why? Because change is a GOOD thing. It brings forth the true qualities in a person and shows the world where their focus is. I want people to see my focus is on Christ. I am a strong woman, I will perservere and accept any change that comes my way, no matter what it is.

Each day now is amazing. Each day is full of change. Tim is back at part time work, and loving it! He finds new challenges in his day, adopts them and succeeds. He is such an asset to his team, and according to them has been very missed! I am back at work as well, with two of the most incredible kids. Each day they greet me with excitment and joy, they don't care where I have been or where I am going, even at 2 and 3 years old, they have accepted the fact that Tim was sick, now he is better, he has no hair, and heck, they love him like crazy! Why at two and three can they accept drastic change, embrace it and move on and we "adults" start cursing, throwing up our hands, and for some reason cannot even sit still when traffic is re routed? Trust me, if that sounds like you, here is a little warning; get your priorities straight, because if life ever throws you a curve ball...well, I don't even want to know what will happen to you.

Leon taught us how to accept and embrace change that Sunday night, Tim's battle taught us how to find joy in every situation, and Weston and Sawyer teach me every day to appreciate the little things, to laugh, to giggle, play hide and seek and enjoy CHANGE.