nobody is truly immune

There was a shooting in my area. ¬†It was rather far from home and I was at my grandparents’ at the time.

There is no such thing as immunity to this.  There is no immunity to hate, to fighting, to violence.  Nobody is truly immune to this.

And that’s scary. ¬†Scary that it hits so close to home, even if you have no idea who the people involved are. ¬†There were multiple victims. ¬†Yes, it was suspected that they’re involved in gang activity, and that’s unfortunate. ¬†Small choices lead to huge tragedies.

But even if they were involved in gang activity, they’re still human. ¬†They’re brothers, sons, fathers, uncles, sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts. ¬†Friends.

Now in critical condition because of one small choice leading to another leading to another.

People still with a chance, a hope for redemption.

Distant from home still feels too close.


home — is this a quiet place where you should be alone? ¬†is this where the tortured and the troubled find their own? ¬†i don’t know. ¬†but i can tell this isn’t you, your cover’s blown.

space, something corporate

12 of 12 – august ’11!

On the 12th of each month, a bunch of bloggers from around the world take 12 pictures throughout the day.  Here are my pictures for August 12th, 2011!


8:33 am – bathroom. This is my new digital peak flow/FEV1 meter, it’s pretty sweet. ¬†This thing basically shows how my silly asthmatic lungs are working at a given time. ¬†It’s fancy.

See also — ziploc bags of junk I still haven’t unpacked from working at camp last week.


10:46 am – kitchen. Peanut butter and nutella sandwich. ¬†Yes, for serious. ¬†So yummy. ¬†It’s like a Reese’s peanut butter cup in sandwich form.


11:53 am Рthe bay. This makeup counter was playing really weird techno/poppy music about makeup.  I was highly confused.  I kind of wish I took a video.


11:56 am – weird light things. Because yes, that is a location. ¬†And yes these are lights. ¬†They are known as the “weird light things” by the person in the next picture and I! :]


12:05 pm – downtown. OH MY GOODNESS! ¬†IT IS BETHANY!! ¬†Bethany writes a blog called Me With D, and we discovered awhile back that not only do we have the same ophthalmologist [and the same pedi ophthalmologist back in the day] we’re fairly often in rather close proximity to one another. ¬†Anyway, it took several months but we finally met up on a 12 of 12 day! ¬†Bethany is awesome — our wander was so much fun. ¬†Except we kind of got distracted from taking pictures because of talkingūüėČ.


12:13 pm Рmemorial park. Wandering.  Taking pictures.  Feeling like tourists.  [We got slightly sprayed/misted by one of these fountains on our way back, it was awesome.]


12:27 pm Рdowntown. Oldschool prison. Creepy, but awesome.


12:50 pm Рlawn at school. Ran into my cousin, Dean, as I texted him when Bethany and I split and he was at the hotdog cart nearby.  He is a nice cousin and bought me iced tea.


6:07 pm Рkitchen. Dinner.  So good.


7:55 pm Рshooters. Mini-golf!  My shoes are so match-y.


8:10 pm – shooters. HOLE IN ONE!


9:01 pm Рperkins. Oh my goodness.  I have wanted this sundae for so long, but I always ended up at Perkins for actual meals and was too full after for dessert.  So awesome.

12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell.  Check out his blog to see a list of all August 12 of 12s.  Thanks for allowing us to infiltrate your blog space for another year, Chad, and for dreaming up this great project!

why are you here?

That was one of the questions we were asked in sociology this term.

Why are you here?

You can answer it on the small scale. ¬†Like “Why are you here reading this blog right now?”

Or “Why are you here living in THIS place you live in?”

Or the biggest one . . . “Why are you here alive?”


Last night, my friend Tara and I were talking about organ donation. ¬†Since I was in the eleventh grade, I have been a definite organ donation advocate. ¬†To me, it’s clear and it’s simple: if I die in a way that my organs can be donated to save someone’s life, then TAKE THEM. ¬†This discussion lead to Tara telling me that her boyfriend doesn’t share our views on the subject of organ donation. ¬†And I know I can’t change anybody’s mind, and I know that not everybody is going to share my stance on it. ¬†And in most situations, I can understand people’s apprehension behind some of the things I believe and agree with. ¬†And in regard to organ donation, I just can’t. ¬†Some people, I understand, it’s against their religion, and that’s fine, I respect that. ¬†But to just not want someone taking your organs to make them continue to be useful when you can’t use them anymore? ¬†I just think that’s stupid.

A few years ago, a documentary was made in Vancouver called 65_RedRoses [in Canada, click here to watch].  It followed the story of Eva Markvoort, a young woman with Cystic Fibrosis as she awaited a double-lung transplant.

Eva received her transplant.  In following her transplant recovery and complications, the following quote always sticks out to me.

I wasn’t here for six days, and I came back. ¬†Because people needed me. ¬†They wouldn’t be okay if I wasn’t here.

She went on to continue be a huge advocate for transplant and the CF community in Canada which you can read about on her blog.

Unfortunately, Eva’s lungs rejected and she died while waiting for a second transplant.


Eva knew why she was here.

She used every moment she had to love people.


Some of us have stared death in the face. ¬†But the truth is, we’re all dying. ¬†What are you going to do to make this moment count?

Why are you here?

Feel free to tell me in the comments.

camp cerebrations two: sticking with you

and if i have to jump, then i’ll jump and i won’t look down. ¬†you can cry, you can fight, we can scream and shout. ¬†i’ll push and pull until your walls come down, and you understand, i’m gonna be around . . . i’m sticking with you.

sticking with you, addison road


So sweet.

This is the girlie and one of her friends from her hometown, B. ¬†She’s a sweetie and has Down Syndrome, so like putting any two kids together, especially for such an extended amount of time, sometimes the girlie and B were absolute best friends like in the picture above, and others they can whine and squabble with each other constantly–more than is normal for a thirteen- and sixteen-year-old [B’s birthday was on Thursday while she was at camp, and she was graced by having a boys cabin sing to her].

And what can I say, they fought about girl stuff.  There was a banquet on the last day of camp, which essentially meant we ate slightly fancier food for camp food, and that everybody got to sit wherever they wanted instead of just with their cabin groups, and that, oh yes, girls and boys could sit beside one another. Meaning, that the girlie and B and some other girls got very date-hungry and wanted boys to take them to the banquet [which, might I add, was an entire forty minutes long].

So early in the week the girls both had a crush on the same guy. ¬†And fought over him all week until the girlie’s sister wrote an asking-out note to the guy and he said yes to going to the banquet with the girlie. ¬†And then B was crushed and a ridiculous amount of fighting ensued. ¬†It was exhausting. ¬†I spent one night chasing the girlie and the guy around during a night game [did I mention the girlie is fast?]

And seriously, it was driving me nuts. ¬†I’m not good with boy drama, especially of the sort that involves a thirteen-year-old and Bible camp. ¬†But really, try reasoning with hormonal kids that “You’re young, you have enough time for this later in life. ¬†We’re at camp to learn more about God, and yeah, make new friends, but having a boyfriend isn’t all that important with where you’re at in life right now.”

Because, yeah, they don’t take that.

Anyway, later in the week, the guy got fed-up and exclaimed “Fine, I’m not going with anybody anymore”. ¬†And that was kind of the end of the fighting between B and the girlie for the most part. ¬†Thank goodness, sort of.

So, yeah, B and the girlie were total teenage girls all this week, frustrating for me, but unavoidable. ¬†Somewhat like the girlie, B needs more support but not necessarily a one-on-one support worker. ¬†Meaning, I spent some time trying to help her and deal with her problems too. ¬†Fortunately, the girlie is very caring and was for the most part very okay with sharing me. ¬†While she can be difficult because of her ADHD and developmental delays, there are times where Jesus’ love shines through her in HUGE ways.

Which will become evident in an upcoming post.

camp cerebrations one: thursday

it’s no accident we’re here tonight, we are once in a lifetime

needle and haystack life, switchfoot

Thursday was a rougher day.  I felt like I had to coax, argue, plead with the girlie to participate all day.  I spent a lot of my downtime/solitary supervision time at camp praying anyway, but I was really asking God for strength, persistence and most importantly patience.

I never thought it would end [or Friday would begin] so beautifully though, through all the chaos.

I had to plead with the girlie to get out of bed to go to the bathroom and brush her teeth. ¬†She wasn’t biting at all. ¬†Wouldn’t move. ¬†This had gone on all day and my patience at 11:30 was just done. ¬†I broke down, tearfully pleading her to just get ready for bed. ¬†Finally I just couldn’t stand it anymore and asked E, another camper who was absolutely amazing to have around, to ask Nadine [the girls’ counsellor and an amazing person] to deal with the girlie while I went to the bathroom and got ready for bed.

I was better by the time I got back to the cabin.  I was just tired, exasperated and frustrated.  As I was coming back, E was taking the girlie to the bathroom to get ready for bed.  I was so, so grateful for that girl.

When they got back, the girlie sat with me for a bit and we talked. ¬†Her ankle hurt, she wasn’t feeling good . . . mostly, though, I think she was just tired. ¬†So was I. ¬†We hugged it out, were okay, and she climbed up to her bunk and fell asleep relatively quickly.

E and R were still up talking after everybody had fallen asleep, and I joined them haphazardly a bit, but then decided to roll over and try to sleep. ¬†I’d been noticing change in E in chapel–resistance changing to longing for exploration of God. ¬†I saw so, so much of myself six years ago in her and I really, really wanted to hear her story so far, where she was at.

“Okay, I can’t sleep, your conversation is getting too good. ¬†So, [E], where are you at with God?”

She told me that at the beginning of the week she’d not been a believer. ¬†She hated chapel, hated worship. ¬†Hated devotions. ¬†Like I did my first year of camp before I believed in God.

Then, she said, she’d done a one-eighty. ¬†That everything around her felt so genuine, so real, that she believed in God.

I am so, so excited for her journey.  To see where God takes her.

“Is it okay if I sit on your bunk?”

“For sure.”

We talked until nearly two am. ¬†I prayed for her, her journey with God, her Opa who’s been sick. ¬†We prayed for healing.

I had, once again, the opportunity to tell my story. ¬†Both E and R looked at me wide-eyed and couldn’t believe the stories of who I used to be. ¬†And it is ALL God responsible for that change. ¬†Our amazing, awesome God.

As we were talking, the Switchfoot lyric from above came into my head, and I quoted the first half. ¬†“You know, another thing is that I don’t believe that the fact we’re here having this conversation right now is an accident. ¬†I think there’s a reason for everything. ¬†Talking with you girls has been so, so good. ¬†All that’s lead to this . . . this moment . . . happened for a reason. ¬†And that is so, so cool.”

R and E told me some of their stories, their journeys with God. ¬†I love hearing where people are at, where they’ve come from. ¬†R, it sounds, has always had deep faith. ¬†E went to church when she was younger, then it faded out, and I’m praying now that she’s recommitted to Jesus and that He’s helping her to take on everything she’s faced and is facing in life with Him at her side for support.

You’re not here by accident . . . and life it lives.

life, flyleaf

Thank You, Jesus for beautiful transformation, beautiful change and beautiful stories.


(to be continued)