"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Cat Adventures

We had a bit of a crisis this past week. For those of you who are unaware, I am an unashamed cat lover. In fact, had I not met Gil, it's quite possible that I could have ended up an old lady with 15 cats... My mom and brother also love cats, including sharing photos of cats, giving cat calendars as gifts, etc.

Cat-related gifts, Exhibit A:  These are for serving cheese

This past week, my cat Sadie ran away. We don't know when she got out, but it was likely Monday or Tuesday. Early in the week, I began to notice that she had not been eating, but we thought that could be due to the hot weather. She had also stopped jumping on our bed at night, but we first thought that was heat-related as well. By Wednesday, however, it seemed really strange that neither Gil nor I had seen her in a day or two.

On Thursday, I decided it was time to act (okay, first I cried like a baby). I called the animal shelters and freaked out when I heard they had reported a brown tabby that was hit by a car, even though it was way out in Scarborough. I printed posters of Sadie and put them up all around the neighbourhood. That evening, my Mom and her boyfriend came over and helped look for her on our street, but no luck.

Gil thought it would be best to leave back door wide open, just in case Sadie decided to return home overnight. I was afraid we would end up with a family of raccoons having a party in the kitchen, but I agreed to try it if it could help Sadie come home. Around 12:30, we were awakened when something leapt onto our bed. After ascertaining that this furry creature was ours, we rejoiced. God is so good to take care of the least of us, including my wayward Sadie.

Things I learned from this experience:

1) We are woefully unprepared for a power outtage. When my mom came over, we tried to find flashlights to help us find Sadie. A lengthy search revealed two that did not work, so I pulled out a candle in a glass jar instead.... except that I couldn't find any matches. Gil finally discovered a miniature flashlight, still in original packaging, inside a box in our garage. Obviously my earlier concerns about mass disaster did not lead us to do any actual preparation

2) It's cliché, but you really don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. (Thanks, Joni Mitchell!) Lately, Sadie had been getting on my nerves a bit, but now I'm so glad to have this little furry buddy at home with me.

3) My mom is amazing. After a long day, she dropped everything to come up and help us look for Sadie. She almost cried when I told her Sadie was home. I'm so blessed to have her.

4) I was really surprised by my husband. At various times, he has hinted that my family are a bit crazy in their fascination with cats. He has said that in the future, he would rather not have pets due to the extra work involved. Though he seemed to like Sadie, I was not sure whether he would think I was overreacting by getting so upset about her disappearance. On the contrary, he was so supportive, giving advice on how we might find her and getting up in the early hours of Thursday morning to look for her when he thought he heard a cat outside the window. Gil genuinely rejoiced to have Sadie home. Though he may not want a dozen cats in the future, he does love this one in his own way.

5) God comforts His children. In the past, I have tended to really panic in difficult times, even getting quasi-hysterical. Even though I was upset about Sadie, He gave me a clear mind to do what had to be done, and the self-composure to confront the idea that she may be gone for good. Even though I obviously didn't want that to happen, I was able to rest in the fact that I could not change what had happened, and I had to trust God in the journey.

Now I'll leave you with a photo of my dear furry friend:

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Three Years (and Counting)!

On July 17, 2009, I met the love of my life for the first time. We had been emailing and then phoning back and forth for almost two months, and finally agreed to meet for dinner after work on the seventeenth.

While I love my husband now, I'd be lying if I said it was love at first sight. In fact, it was more like annoyance at first sight because we got our wires crossed and were waiting at two different locations, so by the time we actually met, I was trying not to get mad at him already! For the first few weeks of dating, I was not sure whether we were a good match or not. I think I had seen too many chick flicks and was disappointed at the lack of “butterflies”. In fact, I was so nervous that a few times I went on unnecessary rants about controversial issues, and was astonished that Gil kept putting up with me!

After those first few weeks, though, I noticed one crucial thing: Every time I met Gil, I liked him a little bit more. That gave me the confidence to keep opening up to him, and the rest is history, as they say.

Soooo, here's to the heart doctor who won my heart! I'm so glad God brought us together, and look forward to many more years ahead.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

I'm a Working Woman (Again)!

Hi friends!  It's been a busy week in which I really meant to do some posting on here... but I got distracted from it because I GOT A JOB!!!

I will be working part-time at the front desk at my church.  This is primarily an administrative position, as I'll be answering phones, dealing with emails, etc.  It is also a ministry, as people some times call in with prayer requests, so I will need to be sensitive and sometimes to pray over the phone with people.

I'm really excited about this opportunity.  All this time while I was not working, I had it in the back of my mind that at the right time, things would start to happen, and in the meantime I would enjoy the time off.  Once we returned from vacation, I started to get restless and bored some days, so I knew it might be time to get back into the workforce.  Two weeks ago, I was talking to someone after prayer group who asked whether I was still looking for a job.  A church employee overheard us and suggested that I apply for this position.  It has been a bit of a whirlwind since then:  I interviewed on Monday, provided references on Wednesday, was offered the position on Thursday, and started on Friday.

This will be my first time working in a Christian environment.  I know this can have its drawbacks, such as keeping people in a "bubble", but there are so many benefits too.  I mean, it's pretty cool when your boss offers to pray with you before starting a new job!   I had lunch with another staff member and discussed the church's women's ministry.  I think this is going to be a great fit and help me get involved in this city.

Monday, 2 July 2012

What Are We Up to These Days?

Hey friends!  Thanks for checking in.  I thought I'd do a bit of a mishmash post about how things are going and what we have been up to since getting back from vacation. 

Gil has been working a lot.  No surprises there.  He actually went back to work the day after we flew home.  The man is a machine.  We have had a few days on weekends to hang out and stay connected... and by that I mean watch Euro Cup games.  ;-)

Speaking of the Euro, my beloved German team lost to Italy in the semi-finals.  It was a sad afternoon for me, especially considering it may be the last time I will get to watch my favourite footballer, Miroslav Klose, play for the German side.  He is nearing retirement age.  Ah well.  On a more serious note, I was a bit surprised to note how seriously I was taking the tournament, and was reminded to watch where I am focusing too much of my heart and energy.

I'm kind of on a mini-health kick these days.  (Um, except for the fact that I just ate a slice of pie....)  I had a few days of feeling lethargic and reacting emotionally to any setback, no matter how minor.  I had a bit of an "aha" moment when I realized that since we got back from vacation, I really have not been taking great care of myself, so now I am making more effort to exercise, and cutting back on sweets, more specifically snacking on sweet things (e.g., chocolate chips) at random intervals throughout the day.  Hopefully this will allow me to enjoy chocolate even more when I do have it (if that is even possible).  Now I keep track of what chocolate I eat instead of losing track of it.  If you see or talk to me, please feel free to ask about this effort, as I could probably use some accountability.  :-)

I've also been reading a lot lately.  Before we left for Poland, I dug out some relevant history books that I had purchased and never read.  Lately, I have read three books that had been gathering dust on my bookshelves, and have started on a fourth.  Why, oh why, oh why, am I such a book hoarder??

Yesterday was Canada Day.  Hope all you Canadians were able to enjoy it!  Other than wearing a Canada t-shirt, I did nothing celebratory or Canadian.  We went to church, ate Chinese food, then watched Italy vs. Spain in the Euro 2012 final, and then I started a book on German-Polish history.  In a way, that's kind of reflective of what I love about Canada:  The mix of peoples from all over, and diversity of culture.  We did end up watching the Parliament Hill Canada Day festivities on TV, but I got all teary because seeing the Hill made me miss Ottawa.  Then we switched to Saving Hope for a few minutes, until Gil started yelling, "That's the wrong place to make the incision!" at the television.  I went to sleep reflecting on Canada Day three years ago, when I went to the Hill to watch Sarah McLachlan perform and on the way casually mentioned to my friend that I had met this guy Gil, and wasn't sure whether he was eventually going to ask me out or not.  Here we are now, newlyweds, yelling and crying at the television in our marital nest. 

That's life chez nous!