Sunday, October 28, 2007

What's in a name?

I was reading the paper - the real life section, one of my favorites - when I came on an article about children's author R.L.Stein. Next to the article was a photo. Now, imagine my surprise when it was a photo of man considering for a lot of years I've assumed that said author was a woman!

You know what happens when you assume...

Somehow that name for me was always associated with a woman.

It got me thinking about names, though, especially since several of my friends have recently had babies for which they were choosing names.

What is in a name?

People agonize over what to name their children. Not only do they want to find a name that sounds good but one that is fitting for their child. Once the deed is done, people will make judgment calls like "oh that name is so fitting," "i wouldn't have guessed you to be an Albert" or "she doesn't look like a Mary" as if the name itself carries some sort of, well, something. There's all sorts of books written on the historical background of names, characteristics tied with certain names, Bible verses names are tied to and the astrological meaning of names based on the number of letters they contain. Okay, I made the last one up, but you get my point.

I do think that there is something to this whole name thing I just don't know what.

Biblically, names were quite significant. Names were very carefully chosen and a change of names often followed some sort of significant life event. I guess what I'm wondering is if some of that significance is carried into our current names, even if we might not be fully aware of it.

Is there power or significance in a name?

Do I come to "fit" my name or does it "fit" me?

Other than being the handle by which I will be known by for the rest of my life, what is the significance of a name?

I'm pretty attached to mine. I guess I'm just wondering.

Another good quote

“This is the true joy of life; the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of Nature rather than a feverish selfish little cloud of ailments complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” – George Bernard Shaw

As I navigate through this time of life I've "lovingly" nicknamed "my transition" (of which I know this will not be the last), one thing that rings true is this: I want to live life intentionally, choosing to live each day out of my God-given strengths and abilities not simply for my own gain but for a higher purpose, for something that truly matters.

What I "do," then, becomes merely a reflection of who I am and who I'm becoming as an adopted, cherished daughter of the King.

I do not want to live for what society deems as success or to gain all the goods of this world even though sometimes it's incredibly tempting. I want to live to experience the abundance that is promised to those who live as Christ. To find joy, purpose and meaning in life is of critical importance to me. To be able to find the subtle treasures in life and live in awareness of the moment is, in my mind, where joy and purpose are found.

I want to make a difference in this world because I am different.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lessons from St. Arbucks

"In a world where celebrity equals talent, and where make-believe is called reality, it is most important to have real love, truth and stability in your life."

- Bernie Brillstein, Film and television producer

This was the quote on my Starbucks cup tonight. As I live this transition that I'm in, these things - love, truth and stability - have become things that I not only am clinging to but am craving in new ways. As I sat at Starbucks with fabulous friends, sipping my tea and listening to the conversation, I was reminded again how blessed I am to be a part of the community of friends I am a part of. I know I've said it before but I know that God has brought them into my life at this time for a reason. They are just as much a part of this transition as I am. God's provision in advance, providing me with some of the love, truth and stability that I'm craving as I maneuver through this confused world.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Dash...

My friend, Steve, is preaching a sermon series at his church called "My Dash." The background to the whole series is one thought: on our gravestone is our birth date and the date of our death. In between the two is a dash to summarize all of our years. What will your dash mean?

Follow his journey of scripture and quotes here.
Join his community of faith in listening to his sermons here.
“This is our predicament. Over and over again, we lose sight of what is important and what isn’t.”
– Epictetus

Current Read

The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of TemptationThe Devil and Miss Prym

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Things I will remember from the CCUFairs-West:

  • hours of laughter at the front of the bus
  • sharing in many episodes of The Office
  • Patty's love of Denny's
  • So many Sandman hotels
  • Stephen Haineault's pink camera purchase
  • finding out that Saskatoon DOES shine!
  • Dan Donkers
  • "fergilicous" lunch in Fernie, BC
  • being reminded of the beauty and diversity of our country
  • Sunrise on the Ferry
  • Fun with photo booth on my mac
  • church on the bus
  • the Easter Egg hunt in Vegreville...I found it!
  • night time (and day time!) nuttiness with Julie
  • making each presentation better than the last
  • one great game of flip-flop keep away under a full moon
  • late night walk of the harbor in Victoria with Stephen, Clint, and Patty
  • our great bus driver, Derick
  • Clint and Patty's banter
  • playing McDonald's monopoly
  • not being a recruiter
  • great conversations with old and new friends
  • presenting in the 15000 seat auditorium at PA
  • speed bumps in the hotel...why!!??
  • being free to say exactly what's on my mind, sometimes speaking before my mind caught up!
  • "You could be a butt double!"
  • dining in a water tower
  • lots of reason and opportunity to play with my camera and hone my skills
  • Bumpy's - a new coffee shop for me to visit in Calgary brought to my attention by my friend Ryan...from Saskatchewan...go figure
  • being in locations that gave me the opportunity to connect with good friends - Duncan, Leann, Kelly (and meeting Logan!), Brian

12 days, 13 cities, 14 events.

So many great moments that all you get is a bullet point list. If you're looking for more than that, a few of my friends - Dunn, Sheryl, Tim, and Stephen - kept detailed accounts of the happenings of our trip. I'll try to do better next time!

Home, Sweet Home

I'm home and, yes, it is sweet.

I know, I should be sleeping, but, alas, instead I'm reflecting on the journey I've been on for the last couple weeks.

I was blessed to be warmly welcomed today by three of my favorite people (thanks guys) - Sean, Cheryl, and Brad - and then got to spend some time catching up over tea. It's amazing how much you can miss in two weeks but such a gift to know that time is really only time...and two weeks is short in the grand scheme of didn't really feel like I'd been gone and I like that.

It's funny, though, to be back in my community, back with people that I love and am loved by, and feel a strange sensation of detachment. As much as it feels like no time has passed, I know there were two weeks that did. Those two weeks feel like an entirely different world, a time warp of sorts. If I didn't know for sure that they did, in fact, happen, I might be convinced that it was all a dream, an odd, intense dream There's no way to communicate to people here just what those two weeks were like. Only those of us that experienced them together will really know. It's a bizarre thing, really.

We lived fully and intensely while on the CCUFairs. The connections made in that context are forged fast and deep. Imagine 30 people doing life together, primarily in the confines of a coach bus, surviving both work and play play on a small amount of sleep, eating all meals together (there's something to be said about 'breaking bread together' and the power of shared food), and inviting God into the mix and you will begin to understand. For some of us, this is not the first time that we've traveled together and so, for those relationships, it's a matter of growing and maturing the relationships, taking it to a whole new level.

I have so many memories buzzing through my head that I want to hold on to - jokes we laughed at. Funny situations we found ourselves in. Conversations we shared with each other and with students/parents we met. Frustrations - but what I realized while I was out today is that I don't know that I have the words to describe it well enough for my "life" here to enter in and enjoy it with me. Inside jokes are only funny to those on the inside.

I experience this every time I come home from a trip like this. It's an exceptional challenge for me this time, though, because I'm keenly aware of the fact that this will very likely be my last fall of travel like this and, because of that, likely my last encounter with many of these people who have become friends. I'm thankful to have one more leg of the fairs left - watch out Ontario - and find myself absorbing and savoring moments in an entirely different way. Perhaps it's healthy. A new sense of living in the moment.

Perhaps it's all just this unique place of transition that I find myself in. I'm finished at the College, a reality that's sinking in more and more each day, and soon will be done my contract with CCUFairs as well. After that I don't know what I'll be adventure in obedience. I'm loving the freedom of that and the anticipation of the possibilities. I'm enjoying searching myself out too, reflecting on who I am and who God is making me.

I've realized just how much what we "do" does seem to define who we are...or at least how we see ourselves. I don't want to be defined by what I do but I'm realizing that it informs my perception of myself as I experience completely different sides of myself than I might in other areas of life.

I admit that in some ways I went into the tour with that in mind. I've been using the process to test myself - and perhaps to heal - and it's been good. I've been reminded of things I love to do and surprised by things that I'm good at. I've been blessed and encouraged by those around me who have affirmed good things in me. I feel, in many ways, that for the first time in a long time I have lived to the fullest of who I am and it's good. That is a 'me' that I am very comfortable with. That is a 'me' I hope I continue to be well after the last venue is cleaned up at the end of the fairs. Perhaps it's the me that others have seen all along. Perhaps I've known her all along but have just gotten to know her a little better.

Perhaps that sounds ridiculous. It's another one of those things, those experiences,I think, that is bigger than words. Without experiencing it, it may never make sense. For now, it's enough for me to say that I know I'm on a journey and I recognize that the fairs are playing a role in preparing me for whatever plans God has for my future.

So it's good to be home. Time to reflect. Time to reconnect. Time to be refreshed and rejuvenated. Time to prepare for one more leg of the journey.

Current Read

Night, Elie Wiesel

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Ever have a day where you're just satisfied? That's where I'm at. It's been a couple long days of travel but today, as I'm winding down and getting ready for bed, I'm just satisfied.

Here's a few reasons why:
  • Starting the day by getting up WITHOUT the alarm
  • Starbucks cinnamon dolce latte and whole wheat croissant for breakfast
  • Buying a new, more work-trip appropriate bathing suit that I love...and was super inexpensive!
  • Supper. Seriously. After days of not really stopping or sitting down for a real meal - I even had a day where two meals came from 7-11 -we enjoying a relaxed meal at Milestones. Grilled chicken breast smothered in portobello mushrooms sauteed in basil, garlic and cream, served with a reasonable portion of capellini and seasonal veggies (beans, peppers and onion grilled to perfection...still slightly crunchy). So satisfied.
  • Wandering around outside in gorgeous weather...barely a chill of fall at all!
  • Hanging out in the hotel pool/hot my new bathing suit
  • Watching Bourne Ultimatum in the hotel, crammed into our room (which now smells suspiciously of popcorn, sun chips and decaf coffee) with 12 friends
  • Sliding into a bed that's been made up by someone other than me, knowing that there's potential for nearly 8 hours of sleep and that tomorrow I'll get to hang out with my good friend, Kelly, and meet her little munchkin, Logan.
All in all, it's been a good day. Man, this makes a work day in my world seem pretty makes up for 13 hours of travel time on a bus, pro-D and motion sickness.

We did have a fair today in the beautiful city of kelowna although I'm guessing that most of us would rather just focus on the rest of life...the more satisfying things of the day. It was fairly slow, to say the least. Putting a positive spin on it, we got some pretty good opportunities to visit amongst ourselves and we will pray that those that did come were able to take advantage of some good one on one time, gaining tools and information to make some good decisions about their futures!

Off to Abbotsford tomorrow...and possibly a more detailed "fairs" post to follow.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Current Read

Through Painted Deserts, Donald Miller

*Donald Miller is reading to me on my iPod 'cause I get sick when I try to read on the bus. I like the idea of being read to...
"Life can only be understood backwards, but it has to be lived forwards."
Soren Kierkegaard

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Random Comment of the Day

Stacey (introducing self to bus drive): Hi, I'm Stacey. Julie (the fair director)'s left hand woman.
Driver: Don't you mean right hand?
Stacey: No, left hand...and I'm right handed.

What does that mean and where do these things come from?!

That said, I think it sort of sums up how I've been feeling the last couple days. It's been an outright blur in so many ways.

Wednesday, last minute details and fighting with Staples. Man, they're irritating.

Thursday bright and early, jump on a plane, fly to Winnipeg. Get really disappointing news - really isn't a strong enough word to describe that- from home. Feel helpless because I'm here not there...not that I could do anything, I know, but still. Lots of last minute details with the crew here to get ready for the fairs. Up late studying my seminar notes to make sure I know what I'm talking about. Last thing in the day, praying with Julie as we shut of the lights. I like that. I could get used to that.

Friday, teach all day. Long, long day with lots of information. Small break and evaluation with my partner in pro-D crime. Orientation meeting for the fairs. So good to see old friends again. Like a family reunion. A powerful reminder of the impact and influence you have one people. Humbling, really. It's a great group of people...going to be a great group to travel with...old friends and new alike. Good energy, good feel. Get the last of our "stuff" together to start the fairs. Need to sleep.

Saturday, meet with a friend from high school for breakfast. Crazy that it's been 10 years since we've seen each other. How does time fly so fast and yet seem so unimportant when you get back together? Get phone call that baby Knutson has arrived. Amazing. God is good! Back to the hotel. Insanity ensues with loading, unloading, and moving materials for the trip. Our hotel room is doubling as a storage room. Yes, i can still get in the bathroom and into the fridge. Off to the venue. First four presentations done. Not bad, if I do say so myself. Back to the hotel. More moving "stuff" into our hotel room. How do we have so much "stuff"? For supper with good friends. Catching up with people is one of God's good gifts to us, I'm sure. Back to hotel room to work on presentations. Nearly done for the day...and hockey's on. Time to sleep. Need to be awake early so we can get all this "stuff" out of our hotel room and onto the bus. Need to be on the road by 8am. Phew...

Welcome, wee one...

My little buddy Justin (and his mommy and daddy , Crystal and Cory), welcomed Ryan Joshua Knutson into the world bright and early this morning.

Everyone is happy and healthy by the sounds of it - thanks wonderful friends, I've been kept in the loop and supplied with pictures even though I'm a couple provinces over!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

On the Road Again...

Well, I'm flying around today trying to get the last of my prep done to be ready to leave for one last (at least that's the plan) whirl wind trip as an enrollment professional.

Sidebar: that's a handy title isn't it!? It's what us poor enrollment folk call ourselves when we have no other idea what on earth our title is.

I'm excited. Really. I love to lead, I love to teach, I love people, I love to travel, I love to talk and I love the recruiters I get to hang out with. Seems like a good deal to me! I'm just now realizing how long I'll be gone this time but I'm pretty sure that I can handle it!

Here's where I'll be for the next bit of life:

October 11-13 Winnipeg, MB
Oct 14 Regina, SK
Oct 15 Saskatoon, SK
Oct 16 Edmonton, AB
Oct 17 Calgary, AB
Oct 18 Lethbridge, AB
Oct 19 on the road...Lethbridge to Kelowna
Oct 20 Kelowna, BC
Oct 21 Abbotsford, BC
Oct 22 Surrey, BC/Burnaby, BC
Oct 23 Nanaimo, BC/Victoria, BC
Oct 24 Victoria, BC

Oct 24-31 home...sweet, home

Nov 1-6 Chicago, Il
Nov 6 Toronto, ON
Nov 7 London, ON
Nov 8 Waterloo, ON
Nov 9 Niagra, ON/St. Catharines, ON
Nov 10 Hamilton, ON
Nov 11 Barrie, ON
Nov 12 Ajax, ON
Nov 13 Belleville, ON
Nov 14 Ottawa, ON
Nov 15 Dollard-des-Ormeaux, PQ
Nov 17 Fredericton, NB/St.John, NB
Nov 18 Moncton, NB
Nov 19 Truro, NS/Charlottetown, PEI
Nov 20-27 Halifax, NS

I'll try to post while I'm away, keeping you updated on all of my adventures. In the meantime, please pray for safety and health. Pray for effectiveness in my job. Also pray that this will be a great opportunity for me as I am living in a place of transition, that it will be a time of discovery and of clarity for me. Pray for direction as to what happens once I come back home!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oh Captain, my Captain...

Oilers name Moreau as team full story here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well.

Mary Cholmondeley

Good Grief!?

I feel smarter after reading some of these...

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can ' t help but cry. I mean I ' d love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."
--Mariah Carey


"Smoking kills. If you ' re killed, you ' ve lost a very important part of your life."
-- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become
spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign


"I ' ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body"
-- Winston Bennett,
University of Kentucky basketball forward


"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .


"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I ' m just the one to do it."
--A congressional candidate in Texas


"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
--Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark


"It isn ' t pollution that ' s harming the environment. It ' s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
--Al Gore, Vice President

And .

"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur."
-- Al Gore, VP


"I love California . I practically grew up in Phoenix ."

-- Dan Quayle


"The word "genius" isn ' t applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
--Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.


"If we don ' t succeed, we run the risk of failure."
--Bill Clinton, President


"Traditionally, most of Australia ' s imports come from overseas."
--Keppel Enderbery


"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that
you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
--Department of Social Services, Greenville , South Carolina

Tee hee...