My Sweet Escape

Two Sundays ago I sat sweltering in our living room unable to escape the 44 degree Celsius weather outside.  The husband and I considered driving to a lake nearby before we remembered that our car broke down the day before two hours prior to attending a wedding. And considering we live in a boring suburb with minimal bus service we weren’t about to rely on public transportation to get us anywhere.

So I sulked.

“I want to get out of this city soooo bad!!!”

That evening I prayed one of my whimsical prayers that someone would just invite us to a cottage freeing us from the city heat.

The next day I got a text from my friend Sarah in Toronto.

“I know you’re probably both working, but my parents rented a cottage halfway between both of us and I’m up here for the week. If you have the time, feel free to come.”

“YEEEESSS!” I responded. “We will BE there!”

I work two jobs; one Mon-Wed and the other Thurs-Fri. I knew I couldn’t get out of job #1 because I had rearranged my schedule the week prior when husband’s parents came to visit. However I decided not to worry about getting time off work and considered this instead an answer to prayer. Of course it would work out! On Tuesday morning’s conference call for job #2 I began the conversation by saying I wouldn’t be in that week. As a casual employee, there’s a little more leniency when it comes to time off. Not a problem, they said. YEAH!

And so Wednesday evening Simon picked me up from work and we drove to a beautiful cottage on Oak Lake.

I told Simon on the drive down, “I just can’t wait to be buoyant!”

He put his hand on my knee and asked me lovingly, “When’s that going to happen?”

I responded with a laugh, “As soon as I get in the water!”

He looked at my quizzically.

“Buoyant.” I repeated. “Like, I just can’t wait to float.”

“Ohhhh,” he said.

“Did you think buoyant meant joyful?” I asked.

“Yeeeeah,” he replied sheepishly.

Not surprising, considering how down in the dumps I’ve been lately, and how on the same Sunday I prayed for a cottage I told Simon how much I missed my hometown friends.

We arrived at nearly 10pm and I was dying for the time in the lake. I love the lake. And I missed an entire summer last year of lake swimming. Not once did I jump of a dock or lounge around in a floaty. Thankfully Sarah and I are almost always on the same wavelength.

“Want to go swimming?!” she asked.

“Yes!!” I said. And the return to buoyancy commenced.

The next day we slept in, spent hours in the lake, went for a boat ride, ate delicious food, sat in stillness, read books, and played Settlers of Catan – twice. It was glorious.

On our drive home on Friday we talked about how necessary it is to unplug – no phone, no computer, no internet, no distractions, and ultimately, nothing to do. It’s an amazing feeling, and one I’ve gone way too long without. I don’t know if I’m just getting old and grey, but sometimes city life is just too much for me. I need a quiet, restful place. I need the lake. I need my friends – the ones who have known me for years. I look forward to settling down in a community, and gasp – we never thought we’d say this! – one outside of the city.

And that, my friends, was my sweet escape. I didn’t even take a picture – I was too busy enjoying the moments.

Get Ready, Miller Fans!

For those of you who don’t know, the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was conceived when Don Miller was approached by a director to turn his best selling novel, Blue Like Jazz into a movie.

Everything that Don learned about the concept of a story while editing his life into a movie made its way into A Million Miles.

But did you know? Blue Like Jazz almost didn’t become a movie!

From the website savebluelikejazz.com:

On September 16th, Don posted on his blog that despite a strong screenplay, a stellar cast, and rave reviews, the film would be put on hold indefinitely – because there was not enough funding. We thought, that since the book itself is so unique, why should the funding come traditionally? We submit that the funds for this movie should come from the people who the book actually impacted. It should come from the more than a million people who bought the book. It should come from the fans. We are raising $125,000 in time for the film to enter into production on October 25th.

And guess what happened? Fans of the book raised $345,992!

Ergo, we have our movie!

Pass It On!

I’m happy to report that my copy of A Million Miles is making its way around the world! Sometimes when you love a book so much you can’t just tell people to go out and read it – you have to pass it on!

I lent my copy to my friend Katherine, but then I told her to keep it. She loved it so much that she wanted to pass it on to our friend Abby. So we decided that the purpose of this book would be be travel far and wide (perhaps a millions miles?), gracing as many people as possible, becoming dog-eared, underlined and highlighted in the process! (This is one of the reasons I love books so much and why I could never own a Kindle).

On the inside cover of our book we’ve written our names, the year we read it, and the city we were in when we read it. It begins in Ottawa in 2010, and where it will end up…who knows!? Maybe your hands!

Also Can’t Wait For…

I’m also looking forward to Don’s new book, The Way of a Creator. Here’s what he has to say about it:

It’s about becoming a person who speaks something into nothing, makes things happen, changes reality for themselves and for others. It’s also a little provocative, because I talk about how evangelical church culture breeds a community of fear, which makes people consumers rather than creators. Start firing up the torches, haters!

Words are powerful. I’m reminded of that more and more lately. God spoke and there was light. The word became flesh. God calls into existence that which does not exist.

Don, you are certainly a man after my own heart. Too bad you just got engaged!

Conversations at The Gallery

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Thursdays nights. Akko Art Gallery is a safe place for me to share life with wonderful people.

Petula is the woman who opens her home up to the ladies from church week after week. A couple things I love about her: 1) She’s a “give it to you straight” kinda gal, and 2) she’s hilarious! I come from a funny family so I value a good sense of humour. If you make me laugh you are in my Book of Awesome People!

Here are a couple of  conversations from last Thursday that had me laughing:

Discussing the “next steps”

Me: You think that’s a bad excuse to not go home?

Petula: I didn’t say that. I said it wasn’t a good excuse.

Me: [Throw my hands in the air dramatically.] I don’t know where I belong!

Petula: Welcome to Bangkok! [Turns to I-Hsuan.] I-Hsuan, who are you?

I-Hsuan: [Looks up from her plate. Shrugs. Shakes head.] I don’t know.

Petula: [Turns to Michelle.] Michelle! What are you? Thai? American?

Michelle: I don’t know.

Me: So in other words, I’m right where I belong.

Petula: I don’t know about that. There are a lot of weirdos in Bangkok.

[Sidenote: I have a pretty good understanding of who I am as well as my gifts and skills, it’s more a question of where I live that out.]

****

Sharing our praises (things we’re thankful for) from the past week

I-Hsuan: Remember my birds?

Me: Yes.

I-Hsuan: They died.

Me: Oh.

Silence.

Petula: We don’t judge each other’s praises.

****

Looking forward to more laughing and sharing in the weeks to come!

Kamala Bay Vlog

Hi friends!

Here’s a vlog I made from Kamala Bay in Phuket, Thailand. One day maybe I’ll have Final Cut Pro (I’d even be happy with iMovie) but until then I must use Windows Movie Maker. Not the greatest in terms of quality and functions but hopefully it still captures the message. I hope you enjoy!

 

Music: “Something Beautiful” by Needtobreathe

 

 

Phuket Teaser

Hello from Singapore!

The air is thick, the streets are clean, and despite the Asian faces all around me, I can’t help but feel as though I’m in the Western world! (Then again I went to UWaterloo, so I’m used to that – Hello Asia!)

At the moment my friend Kathleen is in one of her last Engineering lectures of the term at the National University of Singapore and I’m sitting under the fan in her room sipping bubble tea and trying to wake up.

In the meantime, I thought I would share some photos from my awesome trip to Phuket.

 

Look what I caught!

Tree Pose

Sunset

More to come next week, including some videos!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Lesson learned: if you want to get a lot of hits on your blog, just write about dating.

Thanks for reading! And thanks to my friend Kylagh who posted a link on her Facebook page. Great feedback! I like being interactive. Let’s do this more often.

In a little over an hour I’m heading to the airport. I can’t believe this day has come! I’ve nearly reached my 3 month mark in Thailand, which means it’s time to leave the country. (I’m on a 3 month single entry visa). I’ll fly to Phuket for a beach holiday with some friends from Hong Kong that I met during my exchange year in Germany. After that I’m going to Singapore to visit Kathleen and renew my visa. Hope everything goes smoothly because I only gave myself a couple of days for the process!

I’m excited for a vacation but I’ll miss the community with my friends here in Bangkok. I’m so thankful for my community! Wow. I’m blessed.

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Thursday nights is one of my favourite night’s of the week. I gather with some ladies from church at a really hip art gallery/apartment for food and fellowship.

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Below is my friend Dawn. Dawn is leaving in the next few days to do a Discipleship Training School with YWAM (Youth with a Mission). She’s headed to Montana for 3 months and then on outreach somewhere in Asia for another 3 months. I’ll be back in Canada by the time she comes home to Thailand. Had to say goodbye last night. That was my first goodbye (the thing about Bangkok is that there are a LOT of goodbyes!) I’m going to miss her!

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Well, it’s time to go. Looking forward to some quiet moments of reflection during my holiday. So far this experience has been even more wilder and amazing than I could have imagined. So glad I got on that plane…

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Dating in Bangkok

I’m learning that the dating scene in Bangkok is quite interesting. While I was quick to admit that there are a lot of “Best Buys” in the city, I’m slowly discovering that as a farang girl (Westerner) my choices are rather limited because the men come here A) for Thai girls, or B) for Thai guys.

My friend/coworker Erin and I found a cute Vietnamese restaurant on the main soi in Ari, quickly adopting it as our “own” and declaring that it would be the perfect place to go on a date (our new boss misinterpreted this and thought that we go there on dates together).

To get the ball rolling we decided to start a match-making service, which morphed into Lil’ Nat & E-$auce Dating Disasters. The first set-up failed. But we will not relent!

Meet our coworker, W. W is lovely. She is in her mid-30s and from Singapore. I met a guy at a place that I frequent on Sundays who has some things in common with W. I decided to be discreet about this set-up because, let’s face it, sometimes these things are awkward! A group of us had dinner together and I seated W and this guy across from one another. But like I said…it didn’t work out.

I was talking to W yesterday about how I thought she shouldn’t give up, and that E-$auce and Lil’ Nat certainly weren’t going to give up. She however, encouraged me to let it go.

W: I’ve accepted the fact that I’m probably going to be single the rest of my life.

Me: No!

W: You’ll understand exactly what I mean when you’re my age.

Me: Uhh, thanks. How old are you?

W: 35.

Me: I’ve got almost a decade till then!

W: If you make it to 35.

Me: You think I’m gonna die first?!

End Conversation.

I relayed these thoughts to Erin who became quite disheartened and increasingly determined to turn Dating Disasters into Marital Madness. But she still couldn’t shake W’s words from her head, inciting an unhealthy dose of fear into her young, tender heart.

This was our conversation on the way to work:

Erin: Have you ever seen the movie 27 Dresses?

Me: Yes.

Erin: I’m so scared that’s going to be me!

Me: You’re 21! Have you even been a bridesmaid?

Erin: No.

Me: I’ve been a bridesmaid 3 times.

Erin. Oh…that’s totally going be you!

So the general consensus is that I’ll be 35 and single, all while having added another 24 bridesmaid dresses to my wardrobe.

Maybe I need to quit being a matchmaker and take up the role of awkward girl on awkward set-up instead. Thoughts? Either way, I’m not going to stop hopingand neither should you!