Monday, July 25, 2011

It's a love story, baby just say yes.'s been a long time since I've posted on here...I've been pretty busy lately with life which is surprising because it is summer time. Most students are usually ecstatic for summer time to come because a) no more school, b) no more routines, c) no more deadlines... d) no more pressure... During summer you can do what you want. Well, pretty much. So what have I been doing? I've been working. I've been spending as much time at the cottage as I possibly can. I've been catching up with old friends. I've been saving money. I've been savouring the last few weeks of summer in any way I can before September comes around and I  move across the country to start a new adventure. You know, moving away for school didn't seem like that big of a deal to me at first...I thought 'well...I'll be back for Christmas and it's no biggie...' It's nothing like moving away and never coming back. However, there still is a lot to do before I can head out...and although I still have a few weeks left, I feel like my time is running out. There's not enough time to hang out with all my friends one last time. There's not enough time to do the crazy things that me and my closest friends had always said we'd do this summer. There's not enough time to make new friendships while still maintaining my old ones. There's not enough time to get everything ready that I need for college. There's not enough time to mentally prepare to leave my family and friends for eight months with just one visit. There's just not enough time. 

I'm frantically searching for time... meanwhile, I've forgotten about the one who created time -- the one who gives me time. I think about it now I feel stupid. Why didn't I make more time for God? Why didn't I draw closer to Him this summer? I'm going to just speak my mind here and express that sometimes I wonder why God leaves us with the choice to make time for Him. Why didn't he just create us to naturally be close with Him. Everything would be so much easier. Why does it always take so much effort to set aside everything in our crazy lives to sit down with him? Why didn't he create us to resist temptation without struggle. Why do we constantly have to chose Him over the other things in our life? Why didn't he just create a perfect world where humans were just automatically in love with Him. It could have been the greatest love story ever. But then, I realize...that's all wrong. 

Take a trip back to gym class -- remember how everyone always dreaded being the last one picked for the dodgeball team...the last person picked knew they weren't actually picked...the team captain had no choice...they had to take that person...and more often than not, I'm sure the captain never wanted that player on his/her team in the first place, otherwise they would have selected them at the beginning.

Now, imagine yourself in a relationship. Imagine that your boyfriend/girlfriend didn't decide they wanted to be in a relationship with you. They just had to...they had no choice. Arranged marriage? Perhaps. Whatever they case, he/she did not choose you. Where is the romance in that? Where is the love in that? I don't see any. I see a forced relationship that might stick together with a lot of work, a lot of effort from both parties, and a lot of not being happy with the arrangement... but is that really the relationship you want?

God loves his people. He loves us. He loves me -- and he loves you. He chose us. Right from the very beginning he chose us. And if you get a chance to read the Bible, you'll get to read the greatest love story ever...about how God sent his own son to die for us...because he loves us that much. Isn't that true love? Giving up your most valued treasure for the one you love. I think it is.  But the sad part is, so many people in the world don't chose God. He chose them, but they don't choose Him back. They are stuck in this relationship of 'I don't really love you, but I'm stuck with you so let's try make this work.' But it's not love. Imagine how God feels. He made the ultimate sacrifice of giving up his son for us in attempts to woe his bride, and we don't even fall in love. Some never fall in love. Some don't even know they are being pursued. And then there are others who fall in madly in love, but get caught up in all the choices they are offered in life...and slowly they start choosing other things... very gradually they start spending  more time with friends, and less time reading the Word. More time at working trying to make money, and less time talking to the one that provides the money. Slowly, the relationship has become more of a formality, and less of a love story. And don't worry -- I'm not talking about you, I'm talking about me here.

But here is the kicker -- summer is not quite over yet. I still have time to choose God again. I still have time to choose Him above other things in my life. I will love Him because he first loved me...I know I've been distant the last few weeks, but He chose me first..and let me tell you... it feels good to be chosen...and I know as I grow closer to Him again it will no longer be a hard choice to carve time out of my schedule for prayer, but it will once again be something I love to do... because you do crazy things for the people you love. :)  "It's a love story, baby just say yes!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

real talk.

Can I be honest for a minute?

This evening, the music school that I work for had its "Year End Recital." All week I was actually really looking forward to it... yes, it may sound nerdy or lame...but I was excited for a music recital! I love my job. I love teaching other people at the end of the year I LOVE sitting at the back of the sanctuary with a big smile on my face, proud of how far my students have come along. I don't type this to say "look at me, I'm a good teacher" - no - this is me pointing at the students, saying "look at how amazing they are because of all their hard work!" Tonight was all about them displaying their talent and giftings... and it was incredible.

However, as in most stories, there was a point of conflict. Not only am I a teacher for the music school, but I actually run the whole thing. I was the one who organized the recital... and I was the one who was supposed to mc the night as well. Emphasis on the supposed to.

As students and family members and friends piled into the sanctuary minutes before the recital was to start, it suddenly hit me. The show needed to start. I looked around searching for someone to get the show on the road...and then realized...everyone was waiting for ME to start it.  ...suddenly realizing that the spot light was on me made me nervous... I turned desperately to one of my friends and asked him to mc the night. Thankfully he was more than willing to... and the night was a great success.

End of the story? Naahh...your probably thinking...what's the point. What's Allison's little moral of the story this time... well...just a few moments ago I was surfing the interwebs and ran across this quote:

"The PROBLEM is that you are trying to fit IN, when you were born to STAND OUT."

How relevant is that quote with today's society? I think very...  Tonight was not about me backing out of mc-ing the night because I wanted to fit in... no, but tonight I was given the chance to stand out... to do something that would have challenged me and made me stronger...I could have once again faced my fear of public speaking... but instead, I did what so many others do...and I sat down and passed the torch on to someone else. Don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place to pass the torch...but when you find yourself in a situation where you know there is something that you need to do, something that will challenge you to the core and allow you to step out in faith... don't pass the torch in fear... step up. You were born to stand out. You are called to make a difference. 

Yes, I know... the recital wouldn't have been much different had I mc-ed it...the world would not have been changed in one night...BUT i would have been that much closer to conquering my fear of public speaking...which constantly hinders me from making a difference in peoples lives. 

It's nothing fancy. Just an observation and a little life lesson I learned tonight. Real talk yo.
So when you are given the opportunity...are you going to stand out?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good things come in little packages.

This past weekend was a riot. Literally. Imagine a group of 10 screaming, hyped up, smelly junior-highs all up in your face...then multiply it by...say...100? Yep. That's junior high convention for you. But don't get me wrong, it was a blast. I love working with junior-highs and seeing the world from their perspective again... It makes me laugh a lot.. it really is fun. But man, it is I was more than ready to hit my bed at 9:00pm on Saturday night when I arrive home...

Then Sunday came around...the alarm went off around 7..ish..something...then...7:30..I think...then 8:00...then..oh yeah, I had to get up because I remembered I was co-leading worship at my church and had to be there and ready to soundcheck at 8:30... all went smoothly till about 3/4 of the way through the actual set when the sheet music infront of me started changing colours and I almost passed out... but the strange light-headed dizzy feeling soon went away with a few sips of water which I stole from the pastor's stash in the front row... oops.

... your probably wondering where I am going with this right now... don't worry I'm getting there soon..

Then Sunday afternoon hit, right after I made myself a delicious lunch that nagging feeling came back in my head, and I felt like the whole world was spinning around me in double-time. ..So I did what I do best, at around 12:30 I laid down for a nap...5 hours later... I woke up even worse forward even more and I was even worse. Monday, basically the only thing my face saw was my pillow and the toilet bowl. ... By  the time Tuesday morning came around, I was feeling a little bit better, however still not my best. But, I crankily got ready and set out to make my morning trek to school. All day, I was sick-tired-don't-talk-to-me-cause-I-don't-wanna-talk-to-you-cranky-Allison.  ...that is, until I came home.

A few minutes after I got through the door my mom arrived home with Grace. This little girl was born 12 days ago. She's so tiny and she is as light as a feather. She's absolutely beautiful. You wouldn't guess by looking at her, that she's unwanted by her parents, or that she's fighting for her life due to the drug abuse her mother put her through during her pregnancy. Actually, she doesn't even have a name... the doctors told my mom that they just started calling her Grace because they didn't know what to call her.  ... Grace.

If you look it up in a baby name book it means "favour" or "blessing." If you understand God's grace it means so much more than just a favour or a blessing...  and that's what she is. She's so much more than a favour or a blessing. I've only spent a few hours with her, and she's already been a blessing to my life. She helped me realize how caught-up I was in how I was feeling about my poor little sickness, when here she is fighting for her life - and no one is there to help fight with her. No one was there to call her their own. No one spent time just loving her, except for maybe a few nurses who had a few moments to spare during their shift.

...So my point? I have learned yet another lesson. Suck it up, there are more important things to worry about. Go be a blessing in someone's life. Do them a favour. Even if you don't feel like it...  and maybe you'll be suprised by grace... often, we receive it, when we don't deserve it.

Friday, March 18, 2011 can't stop me now!

I know, I just talked about my trip to Malawi in my last post but an amazing friend of mine just sent this poem to me and it just HAD to be shared.. enjoy my friends!

We travelled to Malawi on a trip not long ago
And became a group of friends that will miss each other so!
I wanted to remember this long journey with a rhyme,
So her it goes, just give me a short moment of your time!

Now Paula, she's the crazy one, and always laughs out loud.
She not like any other and she stands out in the crowd.
But Paula has a problem, every time she tries to squat;
Urine soaks her panties, more than just a little dot!
Safaris are another minor problem Paula has;
When elephants come near her, our poor Paula has a spaz!

Danielle's a little different, and she doesn't always talk;
But when it's time for a team meeting, to the shower she will walk! But she sure is a beauty, even Mali boys would say,
That chances are Danielle will be Miss Canada someday!

Kristen is the the tallest one and her jokes are kind of lame,
But if she wasn't on this trip, it wouldn't be the same.
Her laugh and smile light up a room and make each person smile
And forget about our problems for at least a little while.

Ashley can be often found with a camera on her neck,
Or a Journal and a pen sitting on the pool deck.
She's friendly and outgoing and will talk to anyone
And she lives her nutella spread out on an open bun.

Katrina bought almost every souvenir she saw
And when we need some kwacha, she just pulls it from her bra. It's normal to be scared of heights or giant spiders maybe,
But Katrina's terrified of a small gecko and a baby!

Brittany doesn't travel well and always gets air sick,
But the song she wrote 'bout nsima is Malawi newest hit!
She always sits right at the front with Issa in the van
And despite her occupation doesn't have a farmers tan!

Jacqui likes to sing out loud, wherever she might be
But its impossible to wake her when she's catching cherished "z's"
She's by far the slowest eater and likes to take her time
But Jacqui would be there for you at the drop of a dime.

Elle is strong and caring but she doesn't like to touch
But happy you will see her when she gets the blitz in Dutch.
She's pretty level headed and deals well with strife
But made it clear that Africa is somehow not real life

Sarah's always smiling and playing the guitar,
Her passion and her talent with surely take her far!
Her giggles and her chatter may have kept you up at night
But Sarah helps to make the day of everyone more bright

Samara likes adventure and doing things outdoors,
But had to see the doctor about her open sores
She's passionate to touch the lives of people everywhere
But we all hope she'll stop and take the time to wash her hair.

Alanna claims she doesn't like to hug one little bit
But secretly we know she does, her snuggles never quit!
She also felt the need to somehow break the only rule
And wanted to get off in Rome when we touched down for fuel

Allison is awesome and her voice is oh so pretty
Her passion and her talents will surely change her city.
The prize for awkward puking is a prize that she would win
As she puked right at security in the plastic airport bin

Kim starts every meeting with "so girls, how was your day"
And thinks we're over budget every time we have to pay.
But she is proud of every single member of this team
And couldn't be more thrilled that you have been part of her dream.

There's lots of other memories that I could still bring up
Like dishes for Adziwa so each kid had a cup
Or the large amounts of nsima that made us all feel sick
Or "Paula likes this" posted on Appy's profile pic

Or how about the time that number five went somehow missing
Or when gift ate issa's poop after your face he had been kissing!
Or what about the countless nights that you spent with "a-net"
Our two weeks in Malawi is a time we won't forget!

Thanks to every one of you for such an awesome time!
And that concludes our journey girls! This trip has been sublime!

Written with more love than I ever thought I could have for 12 girls,
Kim Moran

Monday, March 14, 2011

Maybe it's a slow wagon...

Alright, alright..I said I was all into this blogging thing...but I have found that ever since I returned home from a recent trip to Malawi this past summer, I don't enjoy sitting in front of computer screens that much anymore.

I can look back and see the countless number of hours I have spent on my laptop, in front of a tv, or busy texting someone on my cellphone... and it bothers me. It bothers me that that is how I chose to spend my time. I believe that time is a gift. We humans are not promised tomorrow on each moment that we get to spend on earth should be cherished, and counted as a blessing, and I think most importantly...used for good.

Is it possible to do good on all our fancy technological devices? Of course it is. Chances are, if I am thinking about someone and want to send them a quick encouragement, my immediate response would be to grab my purse and dig out my phone amongst all the junk in there and send the person a text. It's just another way we communicate now. But if I am going to be honest here, I could ask myself...'Allison, were you really doing good by staying up late watching the third season Grey's Anatomy online last night?' I can only answer 'no' to that question.

Spending two weeks in Malawi with very little communication to my friends and family back home allowed me to see life from a different perspective. It allowed me to see just the basics. The basics of pouring out love into people, and in return having love back into me. Lots and lots of love. A love that was not sent with a quick text, a love that was not passed on with a 'poke' over facebook, a love that was not communicated quickly during commercial breaks of my favourite tv show... no. It was a love from taking the time to teach a little boy how to make a paper airplane and decorate it with stickers. It was a love from spending time worshipping in God's presence with house mom's from an orphanage. It was a love from playing tag with a little girl who had been abandoned by her family just weeks ago. It was a love from children who very rarely are blessed with the opportunity to receive love.

That's what broke my heart during in Malawi. Not the sad stories of the orphaned children. Not the lack of food in their families. Not the lack of education. Not the social injustice. It was the love. The endless amounts of love that they poured into my life. I went there to share love, but somehow, I think I came home with more love than I could have possibly ever given to them.

All this to say, I see things differently now. I try to somehow, someway, share that incredible love with someone else. I try to spend  waste less time doing things that please me like browsing through the latest styles that dynamite has on sale, and cherish more time going out of my way, and out of my usual routine to make a difference in someones life.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jumping on the Bandwagon.

Hello blogging world...

Yes it is true. I have jumped on the proverbial 'blogging' bandwagon. Here I will share little tid-bits about my life, my journey, and things I believe God has placed on my heart, which all lead up to my ultimate goal to 'live out love.'

If your thinking to yourself 'what is she talking about???' ...I'll try and explain:

At a youth convention I once heard an amazing and inspiring musician talk about 'love' during a worship set. She pointed us to the scripture that said that "God is love" and went on to discuss how "we ought to love others because He first loved us." I had read those two verses before...but I had read them on the mere words on a page, not fully understanding the depth and complexity of them. When she spoke on those verses, they came alive to me. Something stirred within me and I suddenly realized how important it was for me to share 'love'. Through simple actions, giving someone a smile, deep heart-to-heart talks, leading worship, doing chores at home...whatever it was...I was to share love, because God is love. It is as simple as that. Sharing with others the love that I have experienced allows me the opportunity to share God.

...And that is now my goal, everyday I try my best to share God by living out love. It's not easy, but it's worth it.