To America, with love

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My dear American neighbors,

There is fear in the air, there is despair in many hearts, there is unrest and anxiety and tension, but I implore you – do not be afraid. No matter what happens, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and come tomorrow, He will still be ruling over all. His promises are sure. If you are feeling swept up into the frenzy of uncertainty and apprehension may I invite you to meditate on the soul-calming, life-giving words of Psalm 146? Although these words were written before your country even existed, the ink might still be wet for all their relevance to tomorrow’s events.

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
    in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the alien
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.

Truly, there is nothing new under the sun! Everyone is calling this an “historic election,” but the hearts of men are not all that different than the previous election, or the one before that, or the one before that. Our hope does not rest on the knowledge that America will remain strong, that everything will be ok. Quite the opposite – our hope rests on the knowledge that if and when America crumbles and everything is not ok, we have a kind and gracious Saviour who delights to save. His rule is the one that matters, and it is loving, absolute, and eternal. Place your trust in Him, bring your concerns before His throne, and commit yourself to an ever faithful God.

With love and prayers from your neighbour to the North,

Kate

P.S. This letter was partially inspired by this wonderful post and song by Steven Curtis Chapman, which you can find on his FB page. God is on the throne!

The Mature Student’s Back-To-School Guide for Disaster Preparedness (or, “My Back-To-School Shopping List”)

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1. A BACKPACK purchased online in a moment of uncharacteristic recklessness (Just kidding! I obviously triple-checked the return policy before submitting my order like the totally sane and not at all neurotic person that I am.), which will undoubtedly make me look like a giant pumpkin when worn with my green fall jacket, and which arrived at the bottom of an enormous box, topped with an even enormous-er swathe of what must have been at least fifty feet of “packing paper” (in one single, spectacularly long, sheet) that we can only assume was included to keep the backpack from being crushed but in reality served only to render it more pancake-like than ever

2. A fancy-ish (read: knock-off) “wood look” THERMAL WATER BOTTLE, which is guaranteed to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot thanks to its double-walled stainless steel construction, and which is recommended online by a reviewer known only as “Bilbo Baggins” (who promises I will “look fresh around the shire”), but which, upon reflection, will probably scald my lips if used for hot beverages thanks to its double-walled stainless steel construction

3. A trendy, “bento box” style LUNCH CONTAINER ,which currently holds my hopes and dreams of an entire semester of eating only ethically raised, local, organic, single origin, whole foods lovingly prepared with clean hands and a pure heart, but which in reality serves as the single (fragile) barrier between eating a balanced diet and diving face-first into a bag of Cheetos when stress-eating season finals begin

4. A large THERMAL LUNCH BAG*, which was not on my original shopping list but had to be added when the aforementioned Aspirational Bento Box of Clean Eating turned out to be twice the size I anticipated (and was thus unable to fit in any of the four normal-sized lunchboxes I already own – don’t ask), and which proved so hard to find that it caused me to all but lose hope of its existence as I trekked empty-handed from store to store, bemoaning the amazing deal I missed out on when months ago I unknowingly passed up what would have been the ideal thermal container, exactly right for the ridiculously over-sized Ultimate Snacker’s Bento Box of Superiority

5. & 6. Not one, but TWO Burt’s Bees LIP BALMS, because the overflowing dish of various partially-used and probably-expired lip balm currently adorning my dresser serves as no deterrent whatsoever to the undeniable truth that in our harsh Canadian winters it is literally impossible to have too many options for soothing dry, chapped lips, and because while I seem to be just fine with making snap decisions that have major implications on my marriage, time, energy, finances, and overall life direction (*ahem, grad school applications and becoming a full time student, ahem*), I’m apparently incapable of choosing between “grapefruit” and “coconut pear” when it comes to what kind of lip balm I should use, particularly when there’s a “BOGO 50% off” promotion and the product descriptions are so similar I can’t choose between the “refreshing” product that’s “hydrating and revitalizing” and the “hydrating” one that’s “reviving and softening”

7. ALL THE MUJI PENS, due to: a) inherent awesomeness, b) the fact that when you forget what colours and nib sizes you have at home, the obvious solution is to buy more in strict adherence to the Boy Scout’s motto of perpetual preparedness, and c) a fierce commitment to stationery excellence at all times

8. Three blindingly white HILROY BINDERS, which seemed like a good idea at the time since they were on sale for an unbelievably low, and therefore irresistible, price (Have you seen binder prices these days?! What is this life?!), but which turned out to be both incredibly flimsy and juuuuuuust tall enough to not fit properly on the shelves of my newly-organized desk

9. A spiral-bound A5 DOTTED NOTEBOOK from Muji, the buying of which entailed at least 20 minutes of solemn deliberation (whilst circling the office supplies area of the store like a bird of prey) because of the seriousness of committing my entire life and five whole dollars to a new journal, and which is clearly the only sensible option for use as an organizer and agenda (because why buy a ready-made planner when you can spend all the time you don’t have essentially making your own from scratch?!)

10. CHOCOLATE (Enough said.)

 

*In the end I was able to locate an almost identical lunch box to the aforementioned ideal one (once I remembered the name of the brand!), so it turns out all that trekking was actually in vain as I returned the first one and ordered the other one online… and then after all that cancelled the online order when I discovered it for an even lower price at Canadian Tire…  -__-

September Soliloquy

There’s just something about September.

Perhaps it’s the knowledge that after summer’s unrelenting heat and oppressive humidity, cool breezes are on the way and we’ll soon be able to enjoy the crunch of leaves underfoot as trees light up in a skyward blaze of autumnal glory. Perhaps it’s the feeling that even for non-students, the “back to school” season holds out the promise of a fresh start for us all, the opportunity to approach projects with renewed vigor, the hopeful motivation of a new beginning and endless possibility.

I am no stranger to September’s alluring invitation; who am I to refuse her charms? Like opening a new notebook and boldly beginning on the very first page, this is no time for hesitation. Here I am to respond to her irresistible offer of promise, potential, and possibility.

So let’s take the plunge, embrace the adventure, and dive right in.