February 29, 2012

Canvas.

Papa is a Preacher 
Proudly presents
Canvas

"Canvas. This word seems to be weighing heavily on my consciousness quite a bit these days. Since I can’t seem to clear it from my mind, I figured it probably merited exploration. Won’t you please join me in this journey of reflection?

First, there’s the metaphor of my life as a blank canvas at the moment. I’m in the process of making some major life decisions, which is both a terrifying and an invigorating experience. I did this once before, nearly a decade ago, and have no regrets. However things are a little bit different this time around. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a stay-at-home mother to four adorable and challenging young children, aged 4 and under. I’m also currently a full-time PhD candidate, a teacher, and a small business owner. The last time I pulled this type of stunt and did a180˚, I had many fewer responsibilities to consider. I’m a firm believer that, while we may choose the colours and the textures of the canvas of our life, ultimate control of the final shape the design will take is predetermined. I’m trading in my vibrant, eclectic, abstract, primary chaos for more subtle hues that I’m told blend well, and am keeping my fingers crossed that the new style suits both the canvas and the artist. Canvas.

Another blank canvas, this one not quite as daunting as the previous, yet equally intimidating. The blank word document, entitled ‘Larissa’s guest post’, that I’ve had open for more than a week but somehow never got around to writing until the last minute. I was both surprised and thrilled when Larissa asked me to write a guest post for her. I had asked a fellow blogger to guest post for my blog, without even considering that I might also be invited to post somewhere. When Larissa was kind enough to write me, at first I felt very excited. Not just at the invitation to guest blog, which admittedly made me feel like a ‘cool kid’, but also because I really admire Larissa’s writing. The girl has style. Is it me, or do the words just seem to flow from her fingertips in a simple, honest, and above all, charming manner? I tend to write about quite a bit about poop, silly things my kids do and say, etc. And in a fairly crass, irreverent manner, at that. A slightly different pace from the typically whimsical and elegant writing here at Papa is a Preacher. But here I am, regardless. Thanks for taking a chance on me, Larissa. :)

 Canvass. To end this post on a typical cdnkaro-note, we will discuss a different form of the word. My husband Ian is…a special kind of partner. One of his main pleasures in life is annoying me. It’s generally all in jest, and he’s so darn good at it that in spite of the obnoxiousness of this pursuit, I can’t help but admire his determination and genuine talent. Credit where credit is due, after all. Last month, while I was putting the children to bed one night, someone from the Heart and Stroke Foundation called our house, looking for volunteers to canvass our town for donations during the month of February. Ian thought it would be amusing to see me stuck outside in the middle of Winter, so he volunteered me. The joke was on him though, as far as I’m concerned- I would be going out right after supper, leaving him to bathe and get four young kids to bed on his own. While I got to a) socialize with adults and b) have quiet time to think without being interrupted constantly. Gee, darn. He sure got me this time!

So anyway, yesterday I happened to notice that it was February 27th,, and I hadn’t yet gone out canvassing. Oops. I spent a very long evening outside on, as it turns out, one of the only (!@#$) real wintery days so far this year. This experience canvassing for charity led me to meet some very interesting people. It also afforded me a glimpse into what canvassers have to put up with. I concluded, at the end of my evening, that there are four different ways that people will react when they see a canvasser coming up their driveway, and it’s those very scientific findings I’d like to share with you here. See? I even made a fancy pie chart. That makes them official.




Let’s address these one at a time, shall we?

First: People who pretend they don’t see you. Really, people? I’m walking up your driveway, standing at your door, and knocking, all with you looking in my direction. When I knock, no less than three of you turn your head toward the door, make eye contact, and then turn back to each other and begin talking. Do you have any idea how awkward that is for the person knocking? Ok, so I’m a canvasser. But how can you be sure? What if I was coming to tell you that there was a problem with your car or something? This reaction shocked me. I also had people shut OFF their light when they (I presume) saw me walking up their walkway. And I had one man come look out his window to see who had rung his bell, then ignore me and go sit down to watch TV. As much as I dislike solicitations for donations, I could never in a million years behave like that.

Second: People who are friendly and donate, even if it’s just a twonie. For all you non-Canadians, that’s our two dollar coin. Thank goodness these people are the majority.

Third: People who are friendly but refuse to donate. Fair enough. I’m often in this category myself. As long as you’re nice about it, everyone walks away from the experience with a positive feeling.

Fourth: People who are just plain rude. I only had a few really sour people on my route, thankfully. That I met, anyway- there are, of course, those who simply pretended I didn’t exist. Still not over that. Mostly this consisted of “No.”, followed by closing the door in my face. Only once it consisted of someone opening the door, seeing me smile and hearing me begin to say “Hi, my name is Caroline and I’m canvassing on behalf of…” and then slamming the door in my face. I’m going to chalk it up to them having a bad day, because I don’t want to believe that people are just simply that miserable.

Finally: People who are just incredibly awkward. Ok, to be honest, this one kind of amused me. At one house I went to, a middle-aged man answered his door and as soon as he saw me there with my red folder, he became all flustered and fidgety. Once I had finished my spiel, he turned me down, but in the most awkward way imaginable. This man was so awkward that he came up with an excuse, but then just kept offering more. It was sort of a train wreck of a monologue that went like this: “I’d love to, but I don’t have any money on me. We donate to the Cancer Society. We’re on a fixed income. I’m on the phone, I have to go…”, followed by the door slowly closing. Awkward, yet funny.

Thank you for having me!"

Thank You Caroline for guest posting! I, in turn will be guest posting .. .right over here ... 
 

February 25, 2012

Groans.

periods of rest ended abruptly.
can't breathe.

head swollen.
filled with bricks. too heavy.

mouth parched.
throat stinging. 

feeling dizzy.
stomach queasy. 

can't think. 
no time to be sick.

eyes won't open.
sentences won't form.

craving giving everything up
in exchange for my bed.
tired.
ears ringing.
thirst unquenching.

echinacea tea.
lime and garlic in my salad.
ginger and cinnamon tea. 
propolis. 
warm shower. 
sleep. 


 

February 24, 2012

Humor Me Friday.

So, yesterday wasn't exactly my day..

But it'd be totally lame-o to get into how I dropped my strawberry jelly sandwich on my bed getting jelly all over my sheets, clothes, Rex (my 16 year old stuffed puppy) resulting in another laundry load, or how history wasn't too nice to my GPA, etc. etc. but I will  get into how much all of your sincere comments on And The Wind Blew Her Hair lifted my spirits up. Thank you.

As everyone knows, five more days 'till Leap Blog Day!

Which means.. on the 29th you'll be in for a special treat brought to you by none less than Papa is a Preacher's first guest blogger ..

.. you'll see.

I can't wait to read all the goodness on all of your blogs and get rid of all the suspense y'all have been mounding up.
Friday's weekly video is brought to you by RandomWinVideos:

Close Calls, Wins, and Cuteness in 2011


Happy Friday y'all ... 
 

February 22, 2012

And The Wind Blew Her Hair.


"If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything." 
Win Borden )


“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” 
– Martin Buber


 “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”
 – Aldous Huxley


"Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.” 
– George Carlin


“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
 – Susan Sontag


  “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” 
– Susan Heller


Whenever we safely land in a plane, we promise God a little something.  
- Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


“The longest journey a man must take is the eighteen inches from his head to his heart”


 "What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. "
-Ralph Marston


 Wherever you are – be all there. 
-Jim Elliot



"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra."
-Jimmy Johnson 


“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


The end of The Project.
And that, was it, and that was all ...



P.S. I was supposed to put inspiring travel quotes, serious quotes, thought evoking quotes, but my humor loving took over, hope some put a smile on your face. If not, here's one --> :) 

P.P.S. Triple thanks to my photographers who cooperated wonderfully.


February 21, 2012

Heavy Dew.

I looked to a Thesaurus for a synonym of rain, it said "heavy dew." I liked it.

Anyways, yesterday after my Reading Buddy program session (which was canceled..on my way there *sigh* not getting into that) I stayed at the library anyway, studying for a bit. When I left I thought,

Photo Shoot Time!

And AbbotsfordSkies got all, "Pfft, girl you must be crazy if you think I'm gonna let that happen honey boo boo child!" on me..



So, fine, I would have the photo shoot today...
































She's still smirking at me.



 

February 20, 2012

Narration.

It's happening again. Every time I read a good book (this time it was The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen, I might even reread that book. It was one of those easy-know-what's-going-to-happen-from-the-first-page type stories that makes me grasp the pages, transport myself into another world, and read far into the night) I end up narrating my life in my head. It's annoying. Really annoying. It goes away after a couple of days.

 Today I'm planning on a photo shoot with The Project's finished .. product.
I finished it yesterday, and today I'll photograph it and edit photos etc. Hopefully it'll be up by tomorrow. Meanwhile...tidbits of my life narrated by the voice of Morgan Freeman. (Oh come on! Who else would it be?)

"Are you finished eating?" her mother asked her. She sighed, there are certain things whose finales cannot be announced, timed, or decided upon. If you are finished eating, is one of those certain things. "Yeah," she said instead.

"Is this our row?" she asked herself as she made her way silently down the side aisle. The clipped pieces of paper on the bordo floor confirmed she was right.

Her mind was whirling. Facebook had forced upon her a new timeline, Twitter had updated to its "new" look, YouTube had changed for the third time, and Blogger's privacy settings had updated drastically. "I can't take it! I can't take it!" she muttered. "Too much fickle inconsistency too fast."

Her eyes widened as the new thought sunk in! These double worded verification words! They could be a trap! They could be a machine's evil plan to have her write random words that would then come together and be used against her, and... (<-- That's when the evil machine made her stop disclosing its evil plan.)

Ants. By the thousands. By the millions! The tiny, horrid black things had crawled under her bed because of one, solitary little popcorn. She vacuumed them.

"I christened a kitchen utensil today." she announced. "It's a thing. That you use to fry stuff because it's a flat spoon type thingy but with holes in it... Apparently it's called a skimmer, but we didn't know what it was, so I christened it the UFO. Unidentified Frying Object. It has stuck for now. So if you ever come over, and I say we have UFOs in the kitchen..you'll know."

Making the Jackie Chan Wha..? face, she silently wondered, "I wonder why people decide to add me as a 'friend' on Facebook, and then refrain from ever acknowledging my existence in the virtual world or real world." Then she shrugged and deleted them.

The tabs on her Internet window scrambled back and forth from one site to another. It was again one of those times when she absentmindedly switched through her open tabs because her thoughts were clashing together and crashed one on top of the other like the elephants from The Jungle Book; she was giving them time to settle in the right formation.

She finished her post, gathered her things, and headed towards the library for her afternoon Reading Buddy session.


edited to add.

She also forgot a sweater and froze to death because librarians have super powers and never get cold. That or their cute twin set tops are very very warm.

February 18, 2012

Allow.

Mark 4:9

Every night, since December, our family has been working our way through the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) chapter by chapter. We began in Matthew and are now finishing up Mark.

We divide the verses among the four of us and read. Some nights we are tired, some nights the words become blurs on the pages, but every night each chapter is a blessing. It's one of the last thing we do together before bed, it's the calm ending to our day, a blessing.

As we wrapped up Matthew a couple of weeks ago, we read chapter twenty-seven. It begins with Jesus being taken before Pontius Pilate, being accused by the jealous and envious chief priests, and ends with His death.

How many times have I read that chapter? Many times. How many times have I heard the story of Christ's suffering? Numerous times.

I grew up going to Sabbath school, hearing Daddy speak in church, visiting the crestfallen, the sick, the lost, the hopeless, and countless times have I heard the story of my Lord's death, and have seen it uplift people from all walks of life.

I have seen the power this story has to give hope, to cheer, to drown the love starved in an endless abundance of supernatural love.

How many times have people come to me and told me that they'd like to feel what others talk about. To feel that endless abundance of supernatural love that frees people from evil's grasp. They'd like to feel touched by the story the four gospels tell?

Not many.

But I know that many of us struggle with this. We struggle with the guilt of not feeling what so many talk about. The impact that some profess after reading the redemption story. We feel guilty. So we don't admit it. Instead we pretend.

We say our Amens, our Hallelujahs, we nod. We pretend. We'd like to say we've felt more than a temporary understanding of God's sacrifice. A temporary feeling brought about by our guilt.

Why?

You know what I've realized? That often what happens is, we unconsciously block the effect Jesus' death for us should have on us. Maybe we put up a wall because we are afraid of a love so big. We are hesitant to believe that a God so great, would love us so much...with no strings attached. We are afraid to realize we have nothing to give in return. We are afraid to grasp the immensity of His sacrifice- of His undying love.

So we read. We skim over the old English words, the ever familiar story and we say our Amen's, our Hallelujah's, and nod. We don't allow God to touch us through His story. We block His still small voice out.

Why? Are we really that afraid? If so, let's realize we have a great gift to give to God. The only gift He asks of us. Us. Our hearts, our lives, our everything. He'd like us to accept the gift He gave us on the cross. Eternal life. He offers eternity to us. What do you say to accepting His gift?

What do you say to handing over our hearts to Him for Him to guide us in everything we do, in everything we are?

Next time we read the story of Jesus Christ's suffering and death let us do so with an open heart. Ready to accept His wonderful salvation, ready to read and be touched by His word. Let us be open to the floods of love He wants to pour into our hearts. Let us allow Him to speak to us through the story of Redemption.

P.S. I'd like also to mention that our brethren in the Middle East and Africa are going through some tough times and troubles, I'd like to ask all to keep them in mind and prayer as we try to help them as much as we can.
 

February 17, 2012

Suitcase MakeOver.

Today's Humor Me Friday post will be interrupted by what was supposed to be yesterday's post- Continuation of the Suitcase MakeOver Project.

The first thing I did after deciding to get this project done, was to buy the suitcase. Then I cleaned it, and yesterday, I gathered everything else needed.

When you decide to get a project done, don't under any circumstances choose a project that you have the material at home for. Nope.

Instead you should,


Realize you need fabric. Thrift stores usually have scrap pieces of fabric for low prices. Thrift stores also manage to have the ugliest pieces of fabric ever. So head on over to the fabric store conveniently located on the other side of town. 

By the way, don't forget to take the suitcase with you so you can check how the material will clash with the suitcase color.

Once inside the fabric store, you wander around until you stumble into the cotton section. Your eye will behold the perfect print! Ignore that one. Walk around and bring fifty other fabric rolls you think will be perfect with the suitcase. After you've finally decided on one out of those fifty you will turn around and reach for that first roll that had caught your eye as soon as you had come in. 

Next, you will try to communicate to the lady cutting the fabric, what you intend to do with the fabric. She will simply eye you warily, and continue trying to cut the fabric despite her huge plastic nails getting in the way. You will realize the fabric you chose was on sale, and will have to fight the urge to go "Win!" in front of the cashier. They will think you are weird enough for carrying a suitcase all around the store in the first place. They need no further incentive to shake their heads at you.

You've got fabric!



Then, the important step. Spend a ridiculous amount of time annoying people by saying, 


"We have to buy Mod-Podge."

"I need Mod-Podge."

"Where do you think Mod-Podge is sold the cheapest, because, did you know that Mod-Podge is actually just water and glue?"

*singy voice*"Mod-Podge. Mod-Podge. Mod-Podge."

"Modgy-Podgy!"

*British Accent* "Mod-Podge"

Then you actually buy the Mod-Podge, take it home, and unearth all the bags, toolboxes, containers that were neatly stacked in the closet, in search of a paintbrush to spread the Mod-Podge with.





But first, on your way home, realize that the Christmas Carol tape! you keep in the car every December is still in the tape player, so you turn it on, look outside and realize that the lights on the trees that were put there for Christmas are still up, and for a brief five seconds you feel it is still December.

Good. Now you have Modgy-Podgy and fabric! Awesome! Now besides pens, scissors, and the paintbrush, you need a rotary cutter.

That's when you need to unearth every single box from your last move, and search high and low for the rotary cutter you are not sure you have. Then, please realize you do not, in fact, have rotary cutter, you have a x-acto knife.

Realize then, that the x-acto knife was inside a bag, on the shelf, right out in the open, the whole time you were making a huge mess with the boxes.

So now, you've got it all!



Everything I learned from this experience:

  • Craft stores do not sell fabric. Just yarn. 
  • Craft stores sell Mod Podge. The same exact Mod Podge sold at Wal-Mart for much much less.
  • I don't care what people say about Wal-Mart. If they have lower prices on craft material, I'm there.
  • I will now have to stop making fun of actors/actresses in black and white movies that I thought "pretended" that the suitcases were full therefore heavy. They might have been pretending the suitcases were full, but after hauling one around a couple of stores, I know those things are heavy in their own right!
  • Hauling around a suitcase inside stores brings about much less fuss than I thought it would, so next time I need to haul around something that obvious, I won't be so self-conscious. Nobody cares what you're up to. Live life.
And that's all folks!

Oh, except for this video of what happens when you eat overripe fruit. Oh boy...


Happy Friday Y'all!

 

February 16, 2012

Phew?

Well folks. Today Blogger decided to scare the lights out of me. It blocked Papa is a Preacher. I signed in this morning, caught up with a few blogs on my newsfeed and closed the window. Hours later I signed in again, and voila, all me blogs, had disappeared.

Do you know what it's like to sign in, arrive on your dashboard, and have it say "You have no blogs. Click to create one now." It should send a chill straight to your core. Make you tremble and want to decapitate whoever is responsible for the misdeed.

I wasn't. I was too tired to care. I was overcome with a numbing nonchalantness that seemed the whole world was distant and nothing could affect me. I don't know why, but that's how I've been feeling of late. So. very. tired. What do I have to account to all this tiredness? Nothing. Unless you count studying, but I haven't been studying that hard. Last Saturday I took a nap. I never ever evereverever take naps. I did Saturday. A very long nap.

But my sleeping habits won't take up any more post space. Lucky for Blogger, I was too groggy to write a proper !!!!!!!!!! post on their help forum (which by the way was full of 404 errors). I simply told them what was going on, and they answered about half an hour later. Which was quite remarkable and efficient I must say. Least they could do after deleting/whatever it was they did I didn't like it/blocking my blog right?

Anyways, they told me it would take up to seven days to get my blog back. I just slumped into my chair, and waited. A few hours later, WE'RE BACK!

So, today's Project II post will be posted tomorrow, and tonight I'd just like to say, "Phew, thank Providence." And ask if I'm the only so disloyal person who is considering changing from Blogger to any other blog hosting platform? I'd like to stay on blogger, I've just become accustomed to its template codes and everything, and have yet so much to learn. But I feel that because it's so early in the game, if I were to change, it should be now. Are you liking Blogger's changes?

I will go sleep now. So I may write coherently tomorrow. I'm just glad everything I've poured time and energy into hasn't vanished. I cherish this little corner very much, even more so I cherish the connection I have with each of you. If I lost it... Well I haven't. And I won't!

February 15, 2012

SuitCase MakeOver.

Lately I've heard people talking about Pinterest. They talk about how many people pin projects and never get them done.

Well, it bugged me.

Why? Because they're right.

But not for long!

I've had this project pinned to my browser for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, I did the first step.

What is it? Click Here.  Aren't they simply DARLING?! I'm sorry. But those suitcases have got me giddy with excitement. They're so pretty! (Do realize this project is quite random and simply a creative outlet to expel stress or headaches, therefore the fact that I have no room or need for an old vintage suitcase is not taken into consideration.) I also am getting really irritated with that pin on my browser. There are too many links up there, so I'm going to go ahead and do this so I can take that link off.

Yesterday mother, Victor and I, went scavenger hunting. I came home with this,


My goal is to get this...



To become a pretty suitcase that will hold out of season clothes, linens, and..stuff, that is currently being stored in cardboard boxes. 

I will report my progress to you, that way I will be accountable and actually get this done.

On a completely unrelated topic,
Yesterday, mother made these for us:


Isn't she just the sweetest?

Wish me luck? And if you want, try it out with me! Today's step is cleaning the suitcase.

Seriously go check out this tutorial. Even if you're not interested in buying a suitcase that you don't need just to make it pretty, it's eye candy. Link.

 

February 13, 2012

Magnum Opus.


Life.

Weird. It's just a word and yet a billion thoughts can pop into your head when someone says it. Or sometimes, nothing pops up at all. Everything just goes blank.

Someone once said "It's a funny thing...life." And that someone is right. Life is odd. It's something God started, and will someday end, but the in between is up to us. Sure, God has His plan for the in between, but if we choose to follow that plan is all up to us.

Life is also a story that must be written, by you, or by whomever you allow to write it. It's a story that's up to you to make sure the narration is worth it.

It's also a masterpiece. But the thing is, it's a pretty big masterpiece. Huge actually. And right now, today, is a brushstroke. Let me explain.

When someone sits down to paint, he takes out the canvas, a brush and paint, then he touches the canvas in five seconds, snaps his finger, and voila! There is his masterpiece, there is his Mona Lisa, there is his pride and joy! Right?! ... You're right, I'm wrong*. Let me try again.

When someone sits down to paint, he takes out the canvas, various tools in the form of brushes, paints, easels, then labors over it for hours, days, months, tries again several times, agonizes over it, brushstroke by brushstroke. Am I closer to reality this time?

Here's what I'm trying to get at. Let's say we did choose to follow God's plan for our lives. Lots of times we are left wondering "What is God's plan for my life? Why? Why am I here anyways?" It's a valid question. We pray and ask God to do with our lives His will, and to show us what His will is. Then, we open our eyes, get up from our knees, and ask ourselves "Mm-kay, now what?"

Understandably, we may expect a whiteboard with our future and past described, explained, and foretold, to drop out of the heavens. But that doesn't always happen, does it. In fact I've never heard of that happening.

So let's look at this in a different way shall we?

Think of every day of our lives, as God's immediate plan. Today is His plan for you. The things you have to do today, is His plan for you. Yes, taking out the trash is His plan. Washing the dishes is His plan. Everything He sets before us to do each day, that is His plan! To us it may seem trivial and unimportant, but remember, each brushstroke is vital. If we leave a stroke undone, our masterpiece will not be finished.

In the end, all it really comes down to is trust.

Trust that today, is part of the magnum opus. Trust that everything set out for you today has a place in tomorrow's grand result. Trust.

This is often as easily done as said. I think sometimes, we humans, after a certain age, tend to make things more complicated than they really are. Trust shouldn't take energy, stress, nor should it make us worry about trusting.

When children trust, they rest, they smile, they have peace, they are contented, they do not go around nagging themselves, "I've got to trust, I've got to trust, I've got to believe." They simply, do. Then they don't even think about it anymore. 

We say it comes naturally to them, maybe it comes naturally to us as well. Maybe we simply obsess about trusting fully or trusting perfectly, that we put to much emphasis in how to trust, instead of putting the emphasis in simply letting go.

Take it a day at a time. That's all we're granted right? A day at a time. Let's not get ahead of ourselves in our worries about what this all amounts to. Let us just trust, and take today, chew it carefully, savor it. Tomorrow will be eaten up in it's own time. Let's just live today shall we?

We are put on earth for a reason, for a purpose. To become masterpieces. The thing is, we can't see that masterpiece.Today what God's plan for you is, is to live today. Today see, is a brushstroke in the masterpiece your life is to become.


*To me paintings are MonetHassamRockwellSargent, as opposed to "The Red Dot."

February 11, 2012

Makes Me Think.

Yesterday I came across the Makes Me Think website. If you aren't acquainted with what that is, it's a site where people submit tidbits of their life, small scenarios that made them think. Many of these also made me think, so I thought I'd share a few today. Let's ponder shall we?

These are all great but the ones with the *s are my favorites.

Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn't eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, "We can share it." MMT *

















These are addictive, sad, and so inspiring at the same time. These were a few that made me tear up and/or smile really big. I hope you enjoyed these, and if you want more.. click here

Web Analytics