Saturday, January 31, 2009

its 1:01am......

i got home from the bridge an hour ago and checked my blogs. i would just like to say how PROUD i am to call this woman, my great friend.

read it and weep folks!! literally!

(click the this woman)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Do you think its awful that i want to pay pal thing on the side of my blog so people can donate to my "meet as many blog friends as possible who live close to Erin fund"??? Tacky or ingenious? I'm not sure yet....

Yesterday night epic. We had a full scale WW3 in our house between the 4 of us girls that live there surrounding the one simple issue we just can't seem to get a handle on........

CLEANING! I grew up in a neat freak house with a mom who made sure i picked up after me and instilled in me desire and need for a sparkling clean kitchen all the time. Now i can definitely understand that there are people out there who didn't live in a house that was ready for the queen at a moments notice but seriously.... I can't wrap my head around not picking up after myself and simple things like emptying the garbage if its full. To me- its just plain old common sense. So everything came to a head last when it was discovered that one of us had hid half the dishes and utensils on the others. Voices were raised and feet were stomped and doors were slammed...the whole shebang! Our poor friend Preston came over to challenge me to a game of Wii tennis and had to witness the whole ordeal. Needless to say nothing really got settled and we all went to bed angry with eachother.....well not me and Tori because we sat on my bed eating candy till 3am but pretty much we were all angry.

Then i was thinking today...or rather, God was telling me and i was thinking but trying really really really hard to change the subject and that little voice kept creeping into my head telling me to work at everything as if working for HIM and not for me, or my roommates or anyone else.

I end up cleaning the kitchen a lot and most of the time its in a silent rage and i need a good 8 hour sleep to simmer. But then i heard God telling me to work for HIM and not for me. So TECHNICALLY.......when i'm raging in the kitchen over having to do someone else's dishes, i should be singing P and W and not waiting to put on my angry music and mulling over in my head all the times i've done this and all the reasons why i shouldn't have to.

So this is what my new internal voice is going to tell myself when i get ridicuslouly mad over cleaning up someone else's mess.

"amy- come on. lets just get ahold of ourself here. other than the fact that you're probably burning a trillion calories per hour the way you're tearing through the house like a mad woman, lets just chill. there have GOT to be other times when our roomates have felt the exact same way about us and is it really a big deal for us to clean up after other people? Isn't that what we're spending hours a week and thousands a year trying to get really really got at? how about the fact that our God cleans up our crap alll the time! Does he complain? lets just put this all into perpective.........

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Protecting my heart

Before UG, during UG and for a long time after UG, i was obsessed with watching every movie, reading every book/magazine, hearing every story about aids/uganda/east africa. I welcomed the sadness and basked in the despair, letting Satan grab hold of my heart strings and drag me under to loneliness, anger, frustration, despair, devastation. The place where all bad feelings compound and weigh like a sack of bricks from your neck, pulling your spirit down and your head with it.

The peterborough film festival was in town this weekend and this morning there was a film playing about rape being used as weapon of war in the congo. I wanted to go 1)because my wonderful friend Raoul is from DR Congo and i love him 2)because it was about Africa and so its a given i'd want to go and 3)because i love learning about new things and new ways to help.

I chose not to go though. It would be so easy for me to slip into that despair again. That loneliness that comes from being a foreigner, having no one around who understands why you're anal about turning off lights, love flushing toilets and suddenly see Africa shaped clouds, oil stains, window hand prints etc.

My roommate Bea went to the film and said everyone sat in the dark after weeping for this women who's (this is going to get graphic....) internal organs have been actually ripped to shreds from sticks of wood. It's graphic and unfathomable and pure pure evil. And for someone who was ignorant of the situation, it's a perfect kick in the teeth regarding the situation. But its bad for my heart...and i need to be ok with not seeing it.

I need to sit in the love that my Savior heaps on me everyday and know that when i feel like a stranger....(Bea told a story of a baby drinking from a gourd of dirty water and I flashed back to the kids at Mafubira and seeing them drinking from the water they'd just used to wash the muddy floor) .....HE was there when that child was drinking dirty water. He was there with me when i would run out of my sisters house and slam the door and drive home, stopping on the side of the highway because i was crying so so hard and couldn't handle it anymore. And He's filling the deep fissure that broke open when i stepped off that plane the first time.

I've been changing and i doubt i would have changed so drastically or significantly without those bricks around my neck.

Now it's time for my to live fully in Canada. Not only fully- but happily! its nice to know that i CAN be happy here. i CAN be content......

but i still can't wait to get back....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mint Chocolate Chip Icecream, Nibs, Mike and Ikes, Diet pepsi.....

not a good combo right before bed.

after a rousing evening of speed scrabble, i headed off to bed after eating a moderate amount of the aforementioned items.

At 9:03am I woke up to the sound of my cell phone vibrating and was stunned at the real-ness of my night.

I was at a John Mayer concert with my roommate Bea, 2 other people I can't remember and this guy i used to date in high school. Bea went to the bathroom and we were all sitting in the exact same seats me and mollie sat it last summer when we went to JM's concert in Edmonton. I see D and wave like a mad woman trying to get his attention and he comes and sits beside me after i politely ask the people a few seats down to scooch down one to make room for Bea. This whole time bea is standing back thinking i've ditched her for some guy and gets really upset with me. D leaves to morph into John Mayer after the chinese worship singer is done being the opening act.

I ask JM "is that the same carpet you played on for the Any Given Thursday Live DVD?" he says "nope- it was different." i follow him up to the stage and wonder where David Ryan Harris is, his guitar player and really really excellent singer (for real...check him out). All of a sudden I'm freaked out on stage and looking out over thousands of people so i bolt off the stage and run through this roadie door to the outside, barreling past security. they think i've done for something wrong or stolen something so this security man takes me to the security camper van and makes me explain myself.

i tell him the whole story and he says that for my punishment I'm not allowed to take the Greyhound bus from Markham Ontario to California anymore.

and then i woke up.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Meet Carter. He's my sisters (and her husbands:)) ridiculously adorable and sweet as can be, 19 month old. This post is to ask all my lovely internet prayer warriors to start praying for our Chuggs! He's got an MRI booked for the 10th of Feb because of a bunch of funny symptoms and so i'm asking all you to pray for a simple and treatable diagnosis:)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Confession

.....i cancelled my 7am-1pm shift today at work. i did it from my friends preston and brock's house where me bea and tori spent the afternoon sledding in the wicked cold and then ended up staying for dinner, desert, speed scrabble and lounging upstairs listening to good music and talking till midnight.

Yesterday was my very first clinical!!!! I was SOOO nervous and almost barfed on the drive over (i talked Tori into driving me because i had to be there at 6:50am and taking the bus would have got me there 30 minutes early). I had no need to be nervous though but I'm naturally (actually probably not naturally, more like self programmed) a worrier and so i slept about 2 hours fitfully the night before and got up just barely hanging on.

side note----my new sweet friend Preston came over at 11:30 thursday night with a bag of something he's brought back from his 5 months in Australia and said "you gotta try this" and made me a tim tam slam! Best THING EVER. i will go to australia just for to get another one of those and so i ended up going to bed at 1am.

Ok so i get to my facility and I head up to the nursing station and get my assignment for the day.....and it's tub rom. The tub room is where all the 42 residents on our floor get bathed every week. They have morning tubs (or showers) and evening tubs so from 7am to 9:30 am i was supposed to be observing a PSW do them all morning. trainer and I hit it off and she was a great time! She said "ok amy! you're gonna get right in there because i believe thats the best way for you to learn! YOu watch me bath this lady here, I'll walk you through what i'm doing, and then you'll do the rest for the morning."

It was awesome. I knew i wouldn't be grossed out by naked people or embarrassed like some new students are considering i'd seen my fair share of naked already (think a good amount of time in other hospital settings) and so i got right in there! My trainer was very pleased and said i was doing awesome. So i learned how to work the lift, work the giant tub, wash em' up all nice and good, take them out, dry them off, lotion all over, dress them, and then take them (if they were ladies) to the spa area where we blow dry their hair and curl it if they want. So cute! All the residents loved me!

I think i impressed my clinical instructor by remembering and being able to accurately answer her questions on the kind of charting they do there (focus charting) and by not just hanging out in the hall looking lost like some of the other students did (i probably would have too if i'd never been in that environment before since its intimidating) But instead of doing that, i chatted with some lovely old folks, got complimented on my teeth, was given my very first gift (a lovely card), hung out with my assigned resident while she made crafts, and then went around and asked all the staff if they needed help with anything (that won me brownie points!)

It was a great first clinical and I"m glad i made a good impression. The nurses asked if i'd done this kind of thing before and I said "not in long term care but in other settings" and they asked what kind and so i got to tell them about working in the OR at the U of A hospital, working at my cities little hospital and of course.....UGANDA- which they thought was fabulous! "my you're a motivated girl, having done so much at your age!"

The staff are all really great and i'm going to learn so much! I'm really excited.

I got a letter in the mail yesterday from this orthodontist I saw over Christmas and in it was his report of all my xrays and his treatment plan for me. I've got a really annoying hate/hate relationship with my chin and its the thing i'm most self conscious about. I'm very very aware of it and (was) willing to do anything to change it. welll...anything that wouldn't cost 15,000 dollars.
My diagnosis- class 2 malocclusion with mandibular advancement surgery the best option for me. This means they'd take my jaw, break it, insert metal plates to bring my lower jaw forward, and then i'd have braces for 2 years to correct my bite.

Lately every time i think about having done after i'm a nurse and could potentially have an extra 15 grand i think of the verse i wrote fairly large on my desk so i can remember it. "beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."- 1 peter 3:4

I read that and chin, improved jaw line and side profile (i'm pretty sure thats redundant) 15,000 or......happy with how God made me, learn to love my profile or at least learn to be neutral to it, and spend 15,000 on a flight to UG and then spending it where it really needs to be spent.

What do YOU think??? (keep in mind the good 20 pound difference between the first photo and the africa blues had me the poster child for emotional eating....I'm going to try Brandi's wonderful idea though!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
- Colossians 2:7-8

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Know what i love?

Hearing Phin shout WAWOOWOW! whenever he'd see his best friend Raoul.

Spending 8 hour days at church and cooercing our beautiful friends into taking senior photos, and jumping shots behind the school our church met in.

Visiting Mama Rukia, meeting her family and seeing her house and eating so much food i probably could have survived the amount for a good month. no joke.

This amazing girl and her beautiful heart, ministry and children!

These girls and guy who taught me to dance and to be proud of my mzungu moves (or more appropriately- lack of moves)! I also love the people in this photo for showing me about faith, prayer and trusting God to move even when you have 36 hours till an event for 600 kids is taking place and you're short 300,000 shillings.

Know what i love? Talking to THIS family!

Know what else i love? When the good Lord lays something on your heart and so you facebook your friend for no particular reason other than to say 'thinking about you! you're great!" and then getting a sweet phone call on the bus ride home from a tiring day at school. so sweet is the phone call that you nearly miss your stop. and then you talk for 2 hours. and at the end of it, see a super cute movie (bride wars) with your awesome roommate.

thats what i love.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Praying for Abby


My life so far...

one beautiful day in may, mothers day to be exact, a precious and stunningly beautiful baby girl was born. that was me!
May 12, 1985 i entered the world and haven't stopped since the day i was born.

my first year is filled with sleeping mostly (i slept A LOT!) and eating, a similar experience to many of my friends i hear. my mom stays us many nights with me begging God to stop my vomiting after voracious bottle session but to her dismay, i vomit up everything as soon as she burps me and she's left, literally, crying out to God in sheer sleep depravity, while my dad comes running in, takes me, and tells her to go change her baby vomit pj's.

i begin to love dolls, dresses and anything girlie. i sport an extreme mushroom cut (i'm still a little mad about that one) and the boyishness of my haircut is offset by my giant frilly dresses....a lovely dichotomy.

i play hard and sleep harder....and on hard surfaces. i fall asleep often on the cement front stairs to our house after many hours chasing my best friend in the whole wide world, sonja, back and forth between our houses which were conveniently located a mere 5 houses away from eachother.

sonja and i spent out days selling rocks, and playing house in the giant refrigerator box that my dad turned into a play house for me.

about this time my mom puts locks on the outside of my bedroom door because i am changing outfits 5 or 6 times a day. i begin to be tucked into carrot beds at night with myself in the middle and 15 dolls on either side tucked up to their chins like i am. i sing a lot.

at 4ish we move from the big city of edmonton to gibbons alberta. a dinky little town of 2000 people. to my sister and i's surprise, we have BOY who is smack dab in the middle of our ages next door named Tristan (one of 7 Tristan's in the world he tells us). we immediately go about knocking a board out from behind the tiger lillies so we don't have to walk around the front of the houses to get to eachother...this was much more convenient.

i get in trouble a lot for being impulsive (thanks ADHD!) and doing dumb things like stuffing my neighbors cat under their cement stairs in winter and packing it with snow, slitting my neighbors couch cushions with scissors, throwing rocks at cars off bridges, throwing rocks at my dad's car parts and breaking the windows, taking the christmas lights off people's trees, mooning the mail man (biiiig trouble for that one!) and putting dead gophers on the train tracks and watching them explode.

i start school and i'm super popular. i have 2 friends, both named danielle and we hang out all the time.

grade 2 and i'm the star of our class play, snow white. i desperately want conrad to be cast as the prince but kirk is and i am actually disgusted. i remember something specific about a bathtub and a tub stopper and some kind of mean thing he said to me about it but the memory is failing me right now.

Grade 4 i start at the local Christian school. my mom forgets to pack me a lunch my very first day and to add insult to injury, she crimps my out of control hair and i wear it in a side pony tail.

i become super tight with the only 4 other girls in my class, justine, jenn, sam and teresa. we all sit together and talk about boys a lot. i love a boy named nathan and will continue for many years.

i get my first boyfriend in grade 8, mark. he's in grade 7 and its scandalous because he dumped his girlfriend for me. my sister and marks sister- who are best friends, plan our wedding.

we break up and i have my first real kiss with a boy in the language arts room at school during art class. i'm horrified and grossed out and we never talk again. i am chatty in class and get placed beside the 2 exchange students from Korea who know no english. we become fast friends, hyun, myung and me, and i learn tons of korean!

grade 9. my mom homeschools me. enough said.

high school! i thrive and my friend angela and i like to call ourselves first and second popular. i am a part of the 'plastics' (for all you who've seen mean girls) but i'm nice...i promise.

i date a boy named daniel who's captain of everything sports wise for a long time. he writes me the cutest letters all the time and are really cute together but oddly matched now that i think about it.....we have a bad break up in grade 12 and so begins a string of boys coming and going....(I can't help that i'm so attractive and wonderful!;) all through highschool i had a crush on a guy named M and i would sit behind him in chem and distract him by talking the entire class. my permanent seat in bio is at the very back of the class, facing the back wall and everyone else is facing the front (once again, thank you adhd) and i also spend a lot of time sitting the hallway.

i go on 2 missions trips to mexico and love it but know that africa is for me.

i graduate high school with only good memories and good times and proceed to bible college. i meet gord the first week there and we being dating the 2nd week of school. i get really involved at school, and run for student council and win...of course!

i hate being on student council and butt heads with the president a lot. i apply to be a resident assistant (RA) and get to the final interview where i'm told that i'm too intimidating, seem like i have it all together, and girls can't relate to me. i get angry and upset and am really really hurt. a few months later i get a call saying another RA is sick, isn't coming back to school and we'd love to have you! i'm weary after what they've told me but my best friend is on student council that year so we will get to do lots of fun things together.

i hate being an RA. its a lot of work, i am soooo different than some of my girls, and i have animals in the dorm all. the. time. bethany tells me cassia is going to africa and so me and cassia get together and decide to go to africa together. i graduate and leave prov with many many many tears and awesome memories and friends i'll have for a long long time to come.

i work at an ice cream shop in the summer to save money and a month before we leave for africa God tells me not to go to kenya, but to go to uganda. i say ok and head on over to Jinja.

uganda for 3 months. awesome. beautiful. wonderful. hard. fun. love. heartbreak. new friends. i meet rachel and arielle and michelle who become some of my best friends in the whole world. we have a blast at with the kids at the orphanage and blast with our friends from town doing random things like going to body building competitions! we fall in love with musa, our shamba, and take him under our wing....(my dad loves musa like his own son and does wonderful things for him)

i go home break up with Gord and am home for a month before i can't stand it anymore. i slip into depression and isolate myself and cry and cry and cry for the things i'm not a part of and for the babies i've left. rach air and i decide to head on back over to UG and 6 months later i'm there with my bestie, bethany.

have the time of my life, once again, and meet the most beautiful ugandans... david, jp, ronnie, RAOUL, melody, nina, ruth, mama, papa, florence and beth have a tough time at the orphanage and decide that we'd be better used with our church and get super involved with JInja Deliverance Church and The Youth Together ministries. we join the TYT choir and travel around uganda with our friends singing at weddings and concerts and its hilarious and wonderful! i learn to fast and to pray and to listen for God's leading. i learn to lean on him and to pray pray pray.

jan 30, 08, i head home. i work and am miserable. i have a great friend C who listens to me all the time and sits there and its my sounding board. i yell at him with my anger for the world, and he helps me deal with all my psycho emotions and panic attacks and is faithfully praying for me. i begin to learn how to control my tongue and i work on keeping some things for myself instead of yelling at people (which i think is a good thing...agree?)

september 08 i move to peterborough and start classes at trent university. i live with the most wonderful roommates, meet the most wonderful friends, attend the most wonderful churches, volunteer at the most wonderful youth center, and have the most wonderful time....all the time...and i'm sooo looking forward to the next years of my life, knowing that Christ's hand is all over it, i dont have to worry about a thing (not even africa, or my babies, which is a new concept to this worrier) and that in all i do, i'm going to work at it as if working for God and not for man.

thats my life in a nutshell.

that being said....i have some pathophysiology to read!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


A wise wise woman (mel inglis) prayed last night during debrief at the bridge that our success isn't measured in results but in obedience. isn't that such a relief?

imagine we served a God who looked at our results sheets before we entered those pearly gates and thats how he measured our success?

last night at the bridge i had a really great chat with Sarah (not her real name). She told me about how she's recently ran away from her foster home even though she knew they really loved her and had given her the best christmas of her life. She is now living at the youth emergency shelter until april when she turns 16 and is officially out of children's aids hands. she said she lives her life day by day, never trusting anyone, never hoping for anything, never believing anything until it turns out to be true, always protecting herself from disappointment and hurt. sad.

i had a chat with another girl who just had a baby and doesn't have custody. she sees the baby twice a week and from what i gathered that seems like a good amount of time. sad.

i had another talk with (i know its bad) one of my favorite's and she's young and gets all her self worth from relationships with guys and has no idea what love is and has no idea what a healthy, loving, stable relationship looks like. she loves drama, both creating it and perpetuating it. sad.

Bea and I were talking at the canteen and i just told her how heart sick i was that night. Its draining to hear the stories of these kids and see the kinds of lives their living. but i am so thankful that week after week Christ works through me and speaks through me words of love, affirmation, and respect to these kids who so desperately need it. Sarah told me that through it all (running away, living in the shelter, being on her own at 16) she chooses to be joyful because if she wasn't it would be too hard. Tom(not his real name) told me that he's so happy he has this girlfriend because now he has something to live for.

This is what i pray for for these kids and the bridge and you can join me too!

-protection from the ENEMY who is working overtime on these kids, dragging them into depression, drugs and alcohol abuse, and telling them all sorts of lies about sex, love and relationships, belief in witchcraft and all things not from Christ.

-protection from themselves. (self harming etc)

-their hearts would be opened to the love and change that Christ brings. that their hearts would be made new and all anger and bitterness and rage would be replaced with love, kindness, and confidence

-that the girls would become self confident and learn how to stand up for themselves and that all the female staff members would be good examples of that and be living it out for them to see

-the building itself would be protected from all attacks from Satan. It's his favorite spot on brock street and we can definitely feel when he's got a hold. pray for the Holy Spirit to be covering the whole property and washing us with his spirit as we enter, stripping off all that we might bring in.

-for the spirits and lives of the paid staff (Mel, Tim, Carlo, Shelly, Sherry, Melissa, Brenda...) it's tough work and not always rewarding (or rewarding in physical tangible ways) but that they would be renewed daily and encouraged in the relationships they've built with these kids and with the environment they've provided them to come and hang out in a safe place.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Non-years resolutions

1. go to every class even the ones i hate and even the ones at the most ridiculous times (seriously....5pm on a friday evening??!!)

2. try to eat things that aren't processed or that comes covered in plastic. (i loooove cheese slices)

3. read my bible through in a year

4. watch every single new episode of grey's anatomy and the bachelor no matter what the cost, be it academic or social. :)

I got a new textbook yesterday and although it felt like high way robbery (173 dollars) i was very excited to bring it home and open it up with my roommate tori and look at the gross photos of people with diseases in it. I LOVE that kind of stuff....

Here's a really funny website. It's called Fail Blog and really all it is is photos or videos of things that aren't quite right. it great.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Love, Where is Your Fire?

Yesterday night a friend came over and gave me 2 pictures Soph has made for me and a few videos of her and Steffi and Mama Lois, Mama Eyotia and Florence. He went to Uganda with Watoto in November and had taken a few hours out of their busy schedule to hop a coaster over to Jinja and take a giant suitcase packed full of stuff for Mama Lois for me.

We got to talking about Uganda and missions and I saw a lot of myself in him. He's fresh from Uganda, with that high that comes from Africa, that feeling like you've glimpsed something incredible and need to tell the world about it. I love that feeling. But i think what i feel now is much more sustainable. I love Uganda. I love it like it was own country. I love it because it bore my hopes and dreams for my future and it was the place where our Lord took my faith, crushed it , and rebuilt it from the ground up and from the ashes the older, wiser, more faithful Amy arose. I was set in the kiln in Uganda but it is here in Canada that i'm being refined in that fire.

As we sat talking and i could see his passion for UG glowing, i was so cautious with what i said. I agreed with a lot of what he said but there were some things i just couldn't anymore. I was in his position once where only Africa matters anymore and i thought God placed this very specific call on my life. But I believe missions/service/calls, whatever you want to label it, must go beyond borders. The Lord has not called me to Africa. He's called me to SERVE. And if i'm not doing that right here at 'home', then i'm not living my call, and i'm missing out on great service experience here and i'm cutting my own self short.

As Christians we are so content with writing a check and watching the video montage of those adorable babies, or the time lapse video of the school/church/home being built. But when it comes to putting on the gloves, picking up the hammer/bottle we pause. There's work. There's my retirement fund. There's that BMV we really need. There's someone else to do it.

We're lazy people. We like others to do the work but give a little someone to feel like we've contributed. And i'm definitely not saying that the people who write checks and work hard to be able to write those checks are bad or wrong. They are needed and fulfilling a need with what God's blessed them with. Which is good.

But we need to find our Africa, India, Mexico, Haiti, Brazil etc and bring it here. We need to use that fire and that passion and that feeling and use it serve out own North America that is dead spiritually and bring it back to life. We need to heal the sick, bring hope to the broken hearted, provide for the poor and the widow and the orphan HERE. I believe Jesus would be disappointed in me if i lived for the day i could return to 'missions' and ignored the 35 million who needed Him right in my back yard.

My friend said that African's have faith, and that their faith comes somewhat easily because its all they have. I say not true. Some may have little, but some have plenty and their faith is the same as the destitute. I say faith is something that requires 'work'. You can't just leave JC out of your life, only let him in when its convenient or easy or you need help. The mentality is whats different between us and them. We don't rely on Jesus for our meal. We don't rely on the Holy Spirit to heal our disease. We have things and systems in place to do that for us. Does that mean our faith should come easier or harder?

Not necessarily. it should just be. A relationship with Christ needs faith. The amount of money you have shouldn't effect us that much. If it does, then we're giving those with millions and no faith a scape goat of sorts.

The hands and feet of Jesus don't recognize arbitrary lines we've drawn for ourselves over land masses.

some tell me to be temperate but luke warm will never do.