>Make a Wish!

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It wasn’t her birthday today, or Christmas or Easter or anything like that. But it was a special day. Because she got to create a new friend.

We took her to the store where new friends are made and her eyes began to twinkle. This kind man with a jolly tummy and a look of joy about him handed her a little fabric heart and told her to make a wish. She looked perplexed at first, as if this over-sized child was kookoo. But she took a leap of faith anyways. Her tiny fingers curled slowly into a tight fist, her eyes with their ability to stare into one’s soul shut tight and she brought her tiny hand to her own heart.

And the little girl made a wish.

No one will ever know exactly what she wished for. But she wished long. And she wished hard. And it didn’t take a scientist to see that today the wish she wished for was wished with all her heart.

Without being taught or trained or told, she has faith. Faith. Simple and pure and beautiful faith. In a silly little fabric heart that came out of a pile of a million other silly little fabric hearts, having no significance what-so-ever to the adults standing around watching this little girl make her precious wish.

Remember how I said I missed being little? This is why, my friends. I forget what it’s like to just believe in something that easily. These days it’s hard for me to have faith in love, in goodness, in even Christmas, all of which are pretty universal truths. But to have faith in a wish made on a heart at the store is amazing. She is amazing.

She taught me a lot today. My eyes were filling with tears. I felt silly and awkward and overly-emotional, but I also felt warm.

I can’t go back to being 3. I can’t erase the things that have happened to me in my life which have tainted me, desensitized me, scared me, taunted me, changed me. But I can focus a little more heartily on those things which have shaped me into who I am today, the biggest of which being love and faith.

Love.

And faith.

Like a child.
~C~
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Hey guys,

I feel small.

I feel unable to help. Unable to reach out.

But I can. And so can you.

I don’t mean to preach or solicit or use this blog to induce guilt or sadness, but this is a great cause and if you feel led to help, it will make a big difference.

Happy 27th day until Christmas friends!

http://liferearranged.com/2010/11/make-christmas-count-for-cliff/

http://reecesrainbow.org/

~C~

>Fall On Your Knees

>This year I am in a Christmas production. I can’t remember what it’s called and have no clue what it is about. I’m in the choir so we are all focused on working on the songs and haven’t interacted yet with the actors. I’ll keep you posted. ; )

One of the songs we are working on is called “Christmas Makes Me Cry”. I don’t actually like it very much but I sure can relate to it. Every year the tears start to creep up on me earlier and earlier, and this year in particular they have already started to flow. I’m now entering a semi-permanent emotional state which will likely last into early January. It’s hard to say why I cry a lot at Christmas, but I don’t seem to be the only one. Lots of girls that I know struggle to hold in the tears. Tears of joy and maybe even tears of sadness.

For me, I think each year a little part of me grieves my childhood Christmases. I miss so badly the overwhelming anticipation; the advent calendars and the exciting visits to Santa and the hot chocolate and the homemade gifts for mommy and daddy. I miss not being able to sleep a wink on Christmas Eve because I couldn’t WAIT for Christmas morning. I miss the thought and time and effort that went into making Christmas magical and unforgettable and so, so special.

I miss being little.

Now I find myself grasping desperately to hope. I want so badly for Christmas to be magical despite my age and the fact that I don’t have children to create something special for. But I long for it. And I want Christmas to not be about the cost; how possibly to afford nice things for my loved ones. I don’t like thinking of memories of long winter vacations from school to play with new toys and get together with the neighbourhood gang for tobogganing and snow ball fights. Now that I’m older Christmas means working my butt off to pay for it all.

Wow, it sure sounds like I’m doing a lot of complaining, and I’m sorry. I don’t mean to gripe…it’s just hard to grow up, isn’t it?

But I suppose now that I am actually processing all this, it’s true that I am sad about growing up and that’s probably part of why I cry.

On the other hand, a lot of my tears are purely tears of joy. I LOVE seeing the joy on people’s faces and in their hearts at Christmas. It’s fantastic. I love working with little ones this time of year. They just exude joy and it helps me remember what it was like when I was 4. Their giggles and excitement and acceptance of wonderful things fills me up. I love thinking of ways to bless people, love shopping for the perfect gifts. I love seeing people reconcile their differences with others in the spirit of Christmas. I love going to church and feeling so close to God and Jesus and those around me. I love singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs and dancing like a crazy person to Boney M’s “Mary’s Boy Child”.

I did a lot of crying this weekend. Those tears just snuck up on me and I felt my eyes welling up at some pretty random moments. I have made a decision to not stop them from flowing this year. Sometimes we cry because we are healing and we are not even aware of what we are healing from. It’s actually a really beautiful thing. And sometimes we cry because we are just so blessed and so happy that our feelings come out in liquid form because it has to come out somehow.

I am so thankful, my friends, to have someone so very special to spend Christmas with this year. You can’t imagine how much it means to me to be creating memories with him. To not be alone.

Christmas 2008 I was in South Africa, far from this -13 degree weather, far from my family and far from all things comfortable and familiar to me. That was a hard Christmas in a lot of ways, but in so many others it was the best Christmas of my life. I remember being in my living room looking out the window at the bright sun, seeing my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree glowing in my peripheral vision. I was listening to O Holy Night (Josh Groban’s version, naturally), and before I knew it, I was down on my knees bawling like a baby. I was stripped of everything that I knew and wanted and for the first time in my life I had to just sit at the feet of Jesus and rest there, with no distractions, no agenda, no choice, really. I have never felt so whole in my life.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees!
Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! O night, O Holy Night ,
O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

That’s all for now. I know it isn’t even December; that most people don’t bother with Christmas at such an early time. But I would really like to stretch the joy of the season out a little bit longer. Because it only comes once a year and because it doesn’t hurt anybody. Because it makes me happy.

Happy almost Holidays, my friends.

~C~

>Planes, Trains and Automobiles

>So, this is what happens when you ask your boyfriend, for lack of motivation to blog, what your next post should be about. He tells you without skipping a beat that it should be about planes, trains and automobiles.


Okaaaaayyy

This might be a post chalk-full of BS, but hopefully it will at least be entertaining. Everyone likes a good read when they get to their jobs and need a good excuse to put off actual work, right?

I have a few thoughts.

First of all, travelling via air is an addiction of mine. I crave it. I wait for it. It excites me and it thrills me. It means adventure. And I LOVE adventure. Last time I was on a plane was in April when Hannah, Jackson and I went to Cali to hang with Mickey and experience an earthquake. It might sound like April wasn’t very long ago, but for me it is. Spoiled I may be, but I used to fly all the time; like, at least 3 times a year. So this feels like a drought. Anyways, I have never understood why people are afraid to fly, but I feel for them. My advice to you is: do it. Fly away. Take off your shoes and march proudly through that security frame thingy. Arrive far too early for your flight and sit in impatient anticipation as you wait for your flight (don’t forget to drink over-priced lattes). Walk the tarmac with your heart pounding and your arms aching, wishing you had packed your carry-on lighter, even though you HAD to have everything in it, especially your 6 pound discman (remember those?), and all your CD’s AND a pillow. Bon voyage!

Trains: Y’all know my Gramma and I are tight, yes? Well, we are even closer because of a trip we took in 2006. She took me back to our homeland: Deutschland. Beautiful Germany. We went for several weeks and it was a like a step back in time. I saw the place she was born. Where she bravely kissed my Oma and Opa goodbye when she was taken to safety while they served in World War II. Where she kicked it in the school yard with her homies. Her favourite restaurant. You get the picture. The truth is, I don’t think I fully appreciated it at the time, and I maybe never will. But I can appreciate that it was an amazing trip and I love her all the more for sharing her life with me and allowing me to see into her past. One of the greatest thrills about those months spent in Deutschland were the hours upon hours we spent riding in trains. Trains to the North Country. Trains to shopping districts. Trains to Lindau, and even trains into Austria and Switzerland. And thanks to my trusty 6 pound Discman and endless CD collection, I built a nice little soundtrack to go along with the beauty that was whizzing past me all too fast.
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Your name rings on the plains…like a not so distant train.
And love, and history are near the flowers that you make.
The flowers that you make…
Because I’ll never hold a picture of the horizon in my view.
Because I’ll never rip the night in two it makes me wonder
Who am I? Who am I? Who am I and great are you…
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My little kiddies ask every once in awhile for a special song to end our day together. It’s called The Goodbye Train. Let me tell you, I did not appreciate the Goodbye Train that escorted me to Frankfurt for my flight home all those years ago.
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And as for those automobiles that lovely Brian requested in typical difficult-male-fashion, I have two thoughts:
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One: Who here gets annoyed by slow drivers? A show of hands isn’t necessary. It’s a rhetorical question and obvious that we all do. I was thinking about this the other day and couldn’t help but notice that it is mostly the elderly that are usually the perpetrators of this daily annoyance. And then I couldn’t help thinking: do they do it just to piss off other drivers? Um, perhaps, come to think of it. But actually, don’t you think there might be a better reason? I’m going to take a stab at it…maybe, just maybe, they have seen far too many sad things in their lives. For every sad car accident we in our 20’s have witnessed or driven past, how many dozens more have they seen? They received their licenses before the ‘L’, before the ‘N’, hell, maybe even before seat belts! Is it possible that some of these Oma’s and Opa’s in their Chrysler Dynasties have themselves lain in hospital beds after crashing 20 or 30 years ago? They probably have grandkids they would like to see walk down the aisle one day, or great grandchildren they would love to hold in their arms. So maybe, just maybe, those are the things running through their cute little heads when they pause a second longer than ‘necessary’ at the 4 way stop. They are trying to avoid danger, while I think sometimes we are nearly even looking for it. So next time I see one of those Veteran licence plates that I swear BC issued only so we could see a clear line between generations of drivers, I am going to hang back and try to not give them a heart attack.
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And my second thought, going along with drivers that piss others off, is this: My friend in my sociology class had her mother come in to do a presentation a few weeks ago on Corrections in Canada. We learned a lot about the judicial system, how it works for and against us, and what a ‘typical’ day looks like for convicted criminals. Fascinating. Really, really fascinating. She talked to us about how Average Joe becomes Convicted Joe. And a lot of Average Joes live in prison because of road rage. We’ve all seen it, felt it, maybe even acted on it, right? My friends mom made a really good point. She said that we have 2 choices to think about when someone on the road upsets us. We can take the whole “me and my car are the centre of the universe” approach, sure. You know, where when someone on the highway cuts you off and you feel personally attacked by him or her; like they definitely for sure woke up that morning and planned their entire day around getting on the highway at that exact moment and cutting you off. Victory. I don’t really think so. But it’s a good way to get all fired up, hey? My friends mom also planted another thought in our heads…she told us to consider that other driver. Not that it’s easy when you’ve just been cut off. She said to think about what kind of day they are having. Maybe they just got fired. Maybe they are rushing to get their kids from school. Maybe they have a sick friend in the hospital that they are trying to say goodbye to in time. We don’t know, do we? But once we let go of the “they’re out to get us” idea, we can kind of actually let it go and move on. And maybe not become wards of Corrections Canada. Sound like plan?
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So, now that I have talked endlessly about Planes, Train and Automobiles (are you happy, Brian? You’ve managed to inspire a semi-substantial post!), I will leave you to your day. And without further adieu
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Well the Goodbye Train is coming, bye to you! (and so on and so forth—I don’t need to bore you).
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~C~