just to clarify:

I've had more than one person tell me that my little comment about being over the honeymoon stage in relationships in my blog entry, "fighting pride," bothered them.
I just want to say to all of my fans friends that came out the wrong way! I still LOVE all those "over-the-honeymoon-stage" people just the same as I always have. It's just that when I get too close to people, I become more comfortable and less selfless... I try less to be humble with them and think more about how they can be of benefit to me. It in no way implies that I am sick or bored of them or don't feel they are important to me anymore. The opposite is true. It's the after-the-honeymoon-comfort phase that brings my feelings of affection to a new and different pique - one that's more challenging, but in a good way.
Just to clarify...


new directions

So one time in about 2008, I constructed a bucket-list. I heard that writing your goals down, as opposed to just thinking about them, make them much more likely to happen. They say that to make your life what you want it, it's important, once in a while, to write down short-term and long-term goals or aspirations. I think it's also important, as I'm currently learning, to revise and edit the ones you may have made. Three years have passed since I made this list and those three years have blessed me with people and experiences alike that have inspired me beyond this petty list of self-glorifying "treats" that I wish to attain. A few incredible people in particular have unintentionally caused me to re-evaluate my goals and aspirations.
I realized how my direction has shifted the other day when I asked a girl where she got her beautiful scarf. I was expecting your typical response but what I got was a nose-in-the-air-"it's Louis Vuitton."
Hrm. Well exxxxxcuuuuseee me, my frand. You think just because I am wearing this Shoppers Drug Mart cashier uniform, that I wouldn't be able to afford something from that store... anything for that matter? Pff.
Truth be told, it was in that moment I realized I would never want anything of the sort. I truly am not saying that because it's out of my budget. It's on my bucket list to "own something genuinely Louis Vuitton"... why? When I watch shows like Real Housewives or Keeping up with the Kardashian's or even worse, Sweet 16 (because they happen to be playing in the room next door *cough* not because I actually like them), I actually feel sick to my stomach. It somehow use to be out of jealousy that I know I will never live in such luxury as the people in these shows do. Now, I watch out of complete pity in the fact that they will never really understand where true joy comes from because their lives are incredibly cluttered with want-need-must-have and the very fixtures that light their rooms are worth more than what could sustain a poor family in a poverty-stricken country.
As much as I can't help but feel sick when I watch these people literally wiping their asses with $100 bills, I once was in a place where I genuinely thought money was cool.Thanks to this one man in particular, my focus has completely shifted and I no longer see money as cool - I see it as something that should be used to sustain our basic human needs. Every day Riley teaches me how little we need to survive. He lives more modestly than most people I've met in my life and surprisingly I think it's worked in his advantage because he tends to get a lot of free things. His lucky horse-shoe, which I have yet to find, is another story though. Thanks, Riley, for showing me what true "value" looks like. I know I have a long way to go. Especially when I take little trips into Vancouver and remember how undesirable my wardrobe looks most days or how convenient it would be to have an iPhone in my purse. I say that in hopes you realize I am not being completely self-righteous by posting this. I truly am very thankful for my ever-evolving state and the fact that spiritual wisdom can be transformed in part by the wonderful influences in my life. Hoping it may spark something in you too, no matter where you may be. So, with this shift in direction comes an edited bucket list. If you're interested, you can have a peek.

. Have a window seat in my future house .
. See a National Park in Utah (preferably Bryce) .
. Go to the Philippines to meet my sponsor child, Laarne .
. Sky-Dive and/or Bungee Jump .
. Pierce something other than my earlobe . [check]
. Learn Sign Language .
. Get a tattoo . [check]
. Take a pottery class .
. Own a pug .
. Do missions .
. Make a scrap-book about my life journey (all the big moments) .
. Make a play-list where each song stands for a pivotal moment in my life .
. Write and record one good song .
. Send an anonymous care package to someone who needs it .
. Get and STAY in shape .
. Make a vow and keep it forever .
. Meet Mikey Mouse . [check]
. See RK in concert again . i think that phase has had it's time. rk will always hold a special place in my heart but this is an unnecessary goal
. See Hillsong in Australia United . [don't have to travel to Australia to see them]
. See Paris . [i was over this before i even finished writing it down. pff paris. you can come to me if you want.]
. Own a genuinely vintage dress . [check]
. Go back to Sandy Hill camp .
. Use "Xavier" as a middle name for one of my children .
. Get an X-ring . [check. woop.]
. Learn how to solve a Rubix Cube . [for pure bragging rights really. now realizing by the time i actually do this, i'll probably have a husband and kids to brag about.]
. Get a grad degree .
. Stay in the South for an all-inclusive vacation at a resort (+add) if i'm fortunate enough to have the opportunity . [hey, if my children someday wanna take me on one, i'm not gunna complain.]
. Go on a cruise . [it's just okay if these things don't happen.]
. Share a kiss in a hot-air balloon .
. Build a tree-house .
. Get a flip-flop tan .
. Have a breakfast nook in my future house .
. Get a motorcycle license and own a motorcycle .
. Learn how to whistle through my fingers . [check. haven't perfected it but it's a process.]
. Perform a random act of kindness for a homeless person .
. Volunteer at a homeless youth shelter .
. Have confetti fall on my head
. Own a (+add) new (as opposed to used and crappy) espresso machine .
. Own a black leather coat . [pleather will do just fine.]
. Practice meditation .
. Be HOLY .
. Own a cottage . [and if that happens to be a cabin beside the water, it's a cottage.]
. Volunteer at L'arshe a home for special needs . [special needs is special needs.]
. Volunteer at a nursing home .
. Own something that is real Louis Vuitton . [point in case.]
. Learn how to Ski/Snowboard and live in the mountains . [living part, check. learning part, half-check.]
. Sleep on flower pedals . [you gotta try that one]
. Change someone's life . [someone checked this off in my room so... check? don't know who it was but its all relative. apparently i changed someone's life.]
. Learn how to BBQ . [getting there...]
. Wear bright red lipstick . [check]
. See a(n)penguin elephant up-close (touchride it!) .
. Go to a talk-show (like Tyra) .
. Go black-water rafting in New Zealand .
. When an opportunity arises for me to genuinely make a difference in someone's life through monetary giving, be genuinely uncomfortable to help them (aka. give money to someone who needs it no matter how "poor" I may feel at the time) .
. Live and work in an underdeveloped country sacrificing comforts like running water and electricity .
. Learn how to live humbly in all areas and phases of my life .
. Befriend someone that initially does not interest me; find the positive .
. Create Christmas traditions that truly revolve around giving and thanksgiving when I have children one day .
. Become a teacher .
. Read the entire bible .


fighting pride

I was at work yesterday and after having done all of my spectacular cashier duties including "facing" (such a thrilling task if you haven't tried it) and cleaning, I picked up a copy of this months Fitness , mainly because I was intrigued by one headline in particular: It definitely caught my attention especially because of this particular phase in my life (living in Whistler, where everyone skis or snowboards ~4 days a week, working 3 part-time jobs) I've been feeling a bit under-motivated. What do I fill my time with before my 4:15 start on a Tuesday? Beats me but I always seem to somehow feel rushed. It's one of those times, again, where I have to dig a little deeper and find something to wake up for in the morning. For example, this morning I asked Cori to wake me up at 9 before she left for work. She came in and said "Rena. It's 9. But I wouldn't get up if I were you... you're not missing much." Haha she later told me she woke me up right after she realized she had to clean the snow off her car (AGAIN) and was feeling a bit bitter at the time. It's like you have about 20 thing you could think of doing but none of them are life-defining in any way. I really wanted to read that book. I really want to send my mom this care-package. I really need to do some laundry. I really should go for a jog. Maybe I'll go to that free yoga on Tuesdays... youuuuuu get the idea...
So I picked up this mag thinking it couldn't hurt. In it, I found the secret of "Mantra's." It's derived from Buddhism but its idea is simple: just repeat a phrase in your head to make yourself do something, overcome something, or feel something, that might not come as naturally as sleeping-in. Really, not that special. But it got me thinking.
The examples the article used were mostly pertaining to working out or relieving stress such as "I am strong" or "I embrace life," but it made me think about areas in my life I'm finding hard to change direction - the parts that really bother me. How I treat people on a day-to-day basis is something I would like to change; I tend to get exasperated with people regularly and very easily. It's not easy to admit but once I've gotten past the honeymoon stage in a friendship with someone, I will ultimately become a bitch. It's a terrible thing to say, I know, but I struggle with putting others feelings and needs ahead of my own. I have this sense of a right of entitlement or worth and it can dramatically effect the way that I treat the people I love the most in my life. I wrote in my journal one day "I feel like the uptight mom who can't even deal with crumbs on the counter. Like, it's crumbs... get over it." This is something that has to change.
So I made a "mantra" per-say. I was thinking of mantra's about humility, and then I was thinking about one's about staying calm. But I realized the most amazing commandment that I have been given in the Bible (which is also one of the two most important) and that's "Love others as well as you love yourself" (The Message version). I remember in Shane Claiborne's book, "The Irresistible Revolution," when he said we don't take this commandment seriously enough. It doesn't just mean giving small parts when we can and when it's convenient for us or whenever we feel good about it. It actually means giving up everything, whether that be money, valuables, or even, yes, our pride, so that we are lowering ourselves in the chance we may lift up someone else. Something I have no concept of doing. So readers, if you pray and talk to God, please help me by praying that I can do that - that I can fight and overcome this deep-seeded pride in me that was planted somewhere along the way. In the mean-time, my Mantra will be "I will Love others as much as I Love myself. God made us equal and I have no superiority. I am a flawed human responsible for serving God's children."



I can't complain - I haven't had hardly any injuries. Even Riley was surprised when I admitted to never having broken a bone or having stitches in my life. So no injuries significant enough to blog about... none much different than this one. This is an unblogworthy injury but I've already read through 4 pages of C.S. Lewis quotes plus made a full batch of homemade soup plus painted my fingernails and toenails (X2) plus whined about it as much as I could. Today should be my last "useless" day now.

It's my first back "injury" and it happened during shoveling snow. I enjoy getting out there and acting like a tough girl shoveling snow and all (give me a break - it's a good start, alright?!) but I guess I didn't realize how harmful shoveling snow could be. As my roommate, Jon, put it, I am now a part of a statistic. I guess it happens to a lot of people. I just never really thought about it because I never really had to. For one, I've never had to shovel snow and second, I never had any reason to consider my back to be a vulnerable place of injury. I am not an old and frail woman nor do I subject myself to any crazy activities that could put me at risk (for example, 99% of the people I hang out with in the run of a week who spend 5 days a week skiing or snowboarding... I'm not one of them).
So where did the bruises arise from? Well, that's the point of this blog I guess. As a heed, a warning, a caution. It's the same question that Dr. Demarko asked out loud when he looked at my back: "In my 27 years of practice, never have I seen bruising occur without impact. I guess we'll have to run an x-ray although I don't know how you could have broken a bone... and I'd also like to have you tested for easy bruising." At this point I'm basically laughing only because I would break a bone doing something stupid like shoveling snow... am I that much of a sloth? Geeze.
Well I come up from the X-ray and Dr. Demarko now has a Medical Student looking at the bruise and she pokes it asking how tender it is. Then some other Doctor with ski gear on comes in dripping in snow, has a look, and says "this is strange... did you have snow down your pants?"
It suddenly all comes together. I had iced my back after I came inside and it hurt like hell. Well I guess I iced it too much because I gave myself frost-bite trying to get rid of my pain. We're all feeling a bit like idiots at this point. "So umm you pulled a muscle... go take some robaxacet and chill for a few days"
So typical.
So lesson number 1: warm up before shoveling and be careful with your posture and what muscles you use to lift snow.
Lesson number 2: it is possible to over-ice injuries.
News to me.


c.s. lewis quotes = smile; drool; sob; repeat.

"[Repentance] means unlearning all the self-conceit and self -will that we have been training ourselves into... It means killing part of yourself, under-going a kind of death."
— C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

May 31 is my birthday. I want this book and Screwtape Letters. Just sayin'.