February 2007

This afternoon, I finshed listening to yet another stimulating interview with–you guessed it–Lauren Winner. The interview with her was recently broadcast on Inner Compass, a television interview show funded by Calvin College that “explores how people make their decisions about ethical, religious, and social justice issues.”

The episode is called “Dating,” but Winner addresses with satisfactory depth related topics such as courtship, marriage, singlehood, and community. I found enlightening her keen observations of how societal changes have affected the phenomenon of dating over the years. As well, I particularly appreciated her attempt to debunk certain unhealthy perceptions and expectations of marriage and singleness.

If you are interested in this kind of stuff, or have relationships with youth and young adults who are very likely thinking about these things and might talk to you about them, may I recommend listening to the interview. The discussion here offers a lot of good food for thought.


Three of my girlfriends and I are knitting a 24 x 36 inch baby patch blanket for Caitlyn, who’s now just over 3 weeks old. Since “many hands make light work,” each of us are knitting 6 squares of 6 x 6 inches using Mission Falls 1824 cotton in Coral, Jade, Phlox and Maize on size 7 needles. Each ball of cotton yields exactly 2 squares, so we had to buy 3 balls in each colour. The pattern used is called “Chinese Waves,” although I don’t really see what’s Chinese about it. It’s a very simple pattern, using a combination of knit and slip stitches.

Anyways, I am happy to say that I completed the last of my Maize patches last night, while watching Babel. We are aiming to patch them together late Sunday afternoon, with the Oscars running in the background. Hopefully, we’ll have it ready in time for Caitlyn’s one-month.


The Producers on Broadway is set to close April 22nd, just two weeks before I arrive in NYC! So close, and yet so far. How disappointing!! I REALLY REALLY wanted to see this live at the St. James Theatre in Manhattan. Looks like I might have to catch it on tour after all. It’s coming to Vancouver in about 4 days.

So what am I going to do for Lent this year?

Over the past few months, I have found myself embarrassingly addicted to checking the stats on this blog. The obsession stems from a need for an audience and a need for validation. For some reason, I derive a sense of value and worth as person by having at least what appears to be attention as far as the online medium goes. Also, I like the idea of possibly being entertaining, resourceful, informative, interesting, etc. to my readers.

When I first started this blog, my intention was simply to offer a means by which friends and family that I don’t see regularly can stay informed about my life if they so choose (because I can’t stand writing email). But with my crave for increased traffic, that objective has changed somewhat, whereby I feel compelled to write something just so I can garner more hits. How sad and contrived is that!

I confess that the good news of my inherent worth as God’s creation, of my being made in His image is not enough. I confess that God’s attention to and delight in me as His child is not enough.

Nick, my pastor, recommends that I give up blogging for an audience altogether for the entirety of Lent. This would mean radio silence until April 8! I don’t know that I want to do this, given my practical original objective. Nick suggests that my limited experience of God may be indicative of my own inability to be enough for myself. I suspect this might be true. I can be incredibly ungracious to myself.

So, an alternative activity would be to spend more time writing for me and me alone. I will trying this over the next few weeks (in some other private medium), and probably be posting less here. I will refrain from blogging here altogether only for the Holy Week, the last week of Lent. However, I AM committing to NOT checking for stats for the Lenten season (all 6 weeks or so), so that I can better stick to writing with my original intention.

Actually, it’s only too easy to stop checking for stats by simply stopping to write here cold turkey. That’s very clean cut to do, requiring very little work or resistance from me. What’s harder to do is to write anyway and deliberately not seek out or contrive some external measure of worth.

I don’t know what the next few weeks will bring, but remember me in your prayers. I expect to learn something about God and/or myself.

Lent is to Easter, as Advent is to Christmas. Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season. A couple weeks ago, members of my faith community talked over what Lent is about and how we might want to participate in this very important part of the church calendar. To more fully grasp the salvific meaning of Easter, Christians may consider engaging in various Lenten practices/disciplines. For those of us that don’t come from liturgical backgrounds, here are some helpful resources:

As a time of penance and repentence, Lent offers an opportunity for people to seek to be drawn nearer to God. They often choose to give up or “simplify” something from their lives that they discern distracts them from their relationship with God. Or, they may choose to give something up as a way to participate in some semblance of suffering that reminds them of Jesus’s suffering for the world. Actually, these reasons aren’t mutually exclusive; very possibly, one aim leads to the awareness of the other. Come to think of it, they are two sides of the same coin that feed off each other. Jesus suffered not only by being crucified, but also by the choices he made (i.e. what he gave up) while he was alive to stay true in his relationship with his Father, and therefore, his Father’s calling. Christian discipleship DOES involve this kind of suffering, which it makes it a hard path to walk on.

Anyways, one helpful insight that came out of our conversation a few weeks ago is that giving up something should not be done for the sake of giving something up . Rather, it would be formative to our spiritual (and maybe even mental and physical) health to engage in another activity that we would otherwise have no time or energy for–something restorative, something healing, something God can use to transform us more into the character of his Son.

I will posting very soon about what I’m going to do for Lent 2007.

Here’s an insightful article about hospitality by Lauren Winner. I particularly like her observation on the Christian value/discipline behind the practice of hospitality–that is, inviting people to where we are vulnerable, not only to take care of someone, but also to cultivate intimacy is in fact a Christ-like endeavor. She reflects:

I don’t find inviting people into my life that much easier than inviting them into my apartment. At its core, cultivating an intimacy in which people can know and be known requires being honest—practicing that other Christian discipline of telling the truth about where we live and how we got there. Often, I’d rather welcome guests into a cozy apartment worthy of Southern Living. I’d rather show them a Lauren who’s put together and serene. Often, telling the truth feels absurd … “

Aaaaargh! I just discovered that I missed an internal email sent at the beginning of February regarding an order for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So now I’m #408 on the holds list. Compared to when The Half Blood Prince came out where I was #7 on the holds list (because I caught the memo then), this you-snooze-you-lose situation is a bit hard to swallow!

To date, the order is for 197 copies. Assuming that most people will return their copies on time, I should get my hands on one within 4 weeks. The waiting will be difficult, but the thing is, I’m not enough of an HP fan to buy my own copy for $30-$40 dollars. So I guess I will have to wait. Or borrow from a friend.

For those interested in buying a copy, the book will be available on July 21, 2007, one minute past midnight local time.

But while I missed out on the last HP, a couple of the most recent guidebooks on New York did come across my desk this morning, which I promptly placed a hold on.


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