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Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Well, the chiropractic therapy is going well. My chiropractor is very encouraging and says I'm one of the best patients he has. Hooray! He's very happy with my progress. Next week is my last week of three sessions, then I move on to only two sessions per week! I really enjoy going, though. So it's a good thing and a challenge. :)

I went to an interview this morning before visiting the good ol' chiropractor. I think it went well. I'll find out soon enough how it went. While I was waiting for my turn, I got to chatting with some other people who were there waiting--one man who is from Columbia and is immigrating with his wife and daughter. We had a good chat--in Spanish! I told him I was just okay at Spanish because it's been so long since I've spoken it and I don't have any Spanish-speaking friends here to practice with. He said I did great (I think he was being nice). We talked about the difficulties of immigrating and the differences between Canada and the countries we came from. It was a good time. He & his wife have been here a few more months than me, but they're still deep in the midst of the immigration process because they're coming as refugees. I really did have it easy coming on a family visa. Thank God! And then I talked to another woman who was there, originally from China. We talked about people getting persecuted there and how crazy the govenment is (the reason she left). She gave me some pamphlets about persecution in China and a web address so I can write to our MP about it. I thought that was cool. I had to wait half an hour for my interview this morning, but it was the best time I've ever had waiting. It was all just an opportunity that I couldn't have predicted, but definately enjoyed.

I've also started working out at the gym every day (starting yesterday). I won a free month-long membership from the 50s Diner, and I'm really into it. Today I did about 35 minutes on the treadmill, and some very very brief work with free weights (because I was tired and it was hard! and the cord for my earphones didn't want to reach me standing up). Then it was into the jacuzzi (that was nice), and the sauna for about five minutes when I felt like I was going to pass out. It was tres hot in there. My goodness! And I needed to eat, which was a contributing factor to the feelings of fainthood. I was doing some stretches in the locker room after my nice long run/walk, a few yoga poses and some general stretches. When I was done stretching, a woman who had been watching me asked me if I was meditating and how I could concentrate in a room full of talking women and music and other general sorts of distraction. I told her I wasn't meditating exactly, but listening to Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life and just concentrating on that. She said she'd like to hear it, so she's getting it form the library. She's into meditation. It was just one of those small moments where my life intersected with someone else's. That was cool.

To utilize all this time I spend in the car now driving from Kitchener to Cambridge five--yes, five!--times a week, I've borrowed a French CD series from the library. It's very elementry, but I gotsta start somewhere, eh? I don't know how to conjugate verbs yet, but I can count to twenty (sometimes) and I know question words. It's good to be studying a language. I enjoy that so much. I also picked up a book on Spanish grammar from the library today. I need to refresh the ol' memory box and remember all the things which once dwelt at the front of my mind. My conversation today con la familia columbiana really illustrated that for me.

There yas have it. Oh, my good friends Steve & Caroline finally got married on Saturday (after six years--SIX YEARS!!! of dating). Congrats to them! Caroline was of course absolutely exquisite in her gown. Well, she's exquisite anyway because of the joy that's just been radiating from her since we met. I'm a tad bit jealous because they're honeymooning in Quebec, and I'm very eager to return there.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Back in style

So, after weeks of excruciating back pain and headaches, I took the advice of my good friend Laura and went to see her chiropractor. Naturally, the first thing he wanted to do was take a series of X-rays, and not actually do anything about the torment I was living with (after a very painful analyzation of my back trying to move vertebrae that refuse to move). This was on Thursday of last week. After much convincing, I let him take the X-rays. I have a thing about artifical chemicals as well as radiation, but I think he made a good point.

Friday something wonderful happened. I went to the Naturally Supernatural conference that was being hosted in Cambridge. It was really freaking awesome. I met this wonderful woman from Ingersoll with whom I connected in about a million ways. She has kids, the last one was born at home, she's worked in Africa, she knows all about deserts and ground water (slightly random, I'll admit), her husband's a YWAMer, she lives in the next town over from my in-laws! So that was really awesome to meet her. I'm looking forward to spending more time with her, meeting her kids and her midwife.

Saturday we went to see the Raptors play. That was pretty cool. I love the mascot; he rocks. Then we went out to Mum & Dad's for some old-fashioned turkey goodness and hanging out with our little brothers. Did I mention I was still in horrible pain? It was almost impossible to sit through the conference on Friday (only a few hours each session), and Saturday it was worse; I could even feel the pain all through my hips and collarbone. Ouch? Yes.

Sunday we went to church where a lot of suprising things happened. It's difficult to articulate it all, but here's the really cool part. After the service I stood up to receive some prayer for my insanely angry back. It was worse than it ever has been on Sunday morning; I could hardly bend over to put on my shoes. That's pretty extreme, eh? I do African dance and carry buckets of water on my head and climb mountains in flip flops, and I could barely bend in half for fifteen seconds. Meanwhile, at church, people are praying for me. And it was good, but it wasn't making a difference. It was nice, emotionally, to see the people cared about me and wanted me to be getting on to that abundant part of this life we always talk about. But I couldn't stand up straight. I was leaning on Jason, clenching my teeth and hoping for relief. And the most amazing thing happened (well, not the MOST amazing ever, but it was really freaking amazing for me). One of the people as they began to pray for me felt my pain in his own back. I could tell because he kept saying "Ouch! That hurts! That really hurts! Ow!"

I don't know if that's ever happened to you, but I know it happens to some people when they pray for someone else. Me, I usually feel people's emotional pain and suffering and brokenheartedness. More honestly, I feel that when I'm just speaking to them, or sometimes just looking at them. It's a gift. It's part of intercession, to really know what you're praying for that person.

Anyway, God gave this guy that particular gift of intercession as he prayed for me. That's when I began to weep, because at last someone knew what I was feeling. It's difficult to articulate the general back pain and almost fear of movement I'd been living with for the past few months. But there it was. It was God saying He cared so much about me He'd let other people in on the secret of my pain. Maybe not secret, more like intensity. But it's the same thing when you can't paint a word picture for people, isn't it? And then as these awesome friends prayed for me, it started. The pain began leaving. Little by little, area by area of my back until I was free. I was feeling so good when we left, I nearly bounced off the walls of our apartment. And I felt good all that night.

And Monday.

And Tuesday, when I finally saw my chiropractor again and he showed me my X-rays. My back isn't better, but I'm free from pain. Most of my spine is okay, except a few vertebrae out of joint, but my lower back looks perfect. And my neck is a train wreck--did you know your spine is supposed to curve from your shoulders to your skull? It is. Mine isn't curved. It's straight. Hence the several weeks of excruciating headaches and all. But the doctor says he's certain he can fix me, and I think I may as well get things straightened out (or in my case, curved) now so I can live the next seventy years with a sound back, eh? It's a bit crazy to think about how long we're living now with all the extra wear-and-tear our modern lifestyles take on our bodies.

So there you have it. My news, just like that. Also, my job thingys have been going well. I have another interview in two weeks, which means this process is coming to an end. Thank the Lord! Mas en la semana proxima......

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Life's little things

I recently saw a movie that celebrated the little things in life--the small pleasures we get from things that make us smile that maybe other people don't notice. So I thought I'd make my own list of little things that I like (big things like foreign food and travel and marriage have intentionally been left off the list):

I like the way jar lids pop when I've canned something and then it seals. The sweet little metallic 'ding' that is so quiet it can be missed if I'm doing anything louder than reading a book.

I like the way the word "Ostereich" feels on my tongue when I say it. (That's the proper name of Austria, by the way, sans oomlout because I don't know how to type one.)

I like when people randomly use a non-English word in an otherwise all-English sentance or conversation.

I like waiting and watching obsessively for the first teeny-tiny sprout of whatever I've planted as the cups of dirt sit in my windowsills.

I like how when I'm mixing some spices to put into a dish I'm cooking, and I suddenly get a whiff that takes me back to India or (like the other day when we were making dinner for Darren & Tanya) a hostel in New Zealand or a torta stand in Mexico.

Feel free to add your own little pleasures of life. :)