November 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I spent a very snowy afternoon today finishing this painting I had started a few weeks ago.
I had visited Barcelona spring of 2009 and my favourite place by far was the Boqueria Market!
I had never before been to such an immense marketplace with so many sights, sounds, and smells.
It is just as lively and colourful as the rest of the city.
November 4, 2013 § Leave a Comment
So I went out this last weekend, bought my watercolour supplies, and got right to work! I chose to sketch the merry-go-round in Florence, Italy located in the Piazza Repubblica. This merry-go-round had caught my eye from afar when I was taking a solo stroll down the street and I just had venture down to the Piazza to take a closer look.
The wording was a little difficult to make out, and I have since fixed it in the painting, but at the top of the carousel it reads “L’Antica Giostra della Familglia Picci” (The old merry-go-round of the Picci Family).
It took me a couple of hours to sketch it from my photograph. In retrospect, I think it was probably a little too ambitious of a choice as there is a TON of detail! Nevertheless, I finished and couldn’t wait to paint it the following day!
It doesn’t resemble my photo very much colour-wise (I still need to get used to using my new paints), it has some pretty bad mistakes if you look at it up close, and it definitely doesn’t do the real thing justice, but looking at it makes me happy.
November 1, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I miss painting.
I think I’m going to pick up some brushes and paints this weekend and just go at it.
I am getting so excited just thinking about it.
I also plan to catch up on some much neglected reading this weekend.
I find I resort to watching TV shows and movies every time I want to unwind.
But there is something fulfilling and enriching about painting and reading that a computer screen cannot give me.
I can’t wait to start. Quiet activities and alone with my thoughts.
October 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
- chinook arches
- fall colours
- preparing dinner with friends
- the doggie
- mum’s cooking
- organic pumpkin pie (with maple walnut ice cream)
- movies at home
- lying on a sister’s bed and talking or doing nothing
- lying on my parents’ bed and talking or doing nothing
- seeing the city skyline as I’m driving home
- small group conversations
- sleeping in (and in my own bed)
- not having to drive
- joint worship services in three different languages
- 10 course Chinese dinners
- bathroom mirror artwork
- family not judging my weirdness
September 17, 2013 § 1 Comment
I lost a dear friend on Friday.
Her name was Gladys. She was a 91 year old lady that I had lived with last year and she was someone I admired for her beautiful heart and spirit. For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about her last night and I cried myself to sleep finally coming to terms with the fact I’ll never see her again. At least in this lifetime.
I wish I could go back in time and spend more time at home with her than all the hours I had spent lesson planning at school. I am filled with regret for not talking to her more than I had. How I wish I could have spent more time talking to her – learning from her. Until last night, I had believed that my main focus and purpose for being placed up north was solely for school.
But I was wrong.
It wasn’t about school at all. It wasn’t about adjusting to my first year as a teacher nor making friends nor joining a curling team.
It was about her. All along, that entire year, it was supposed to be about her.
And it breaks my heart that I was so short-sighted and missed that. All the days that I had spent in front of my computer or buried in a book – I wish I could take it all back and loved her more instead. It makes sense to me now why I believe God placed me in that isolated town, because when I reminisce about that year, what truly mattered to me was my friendship with this lovely woman. That is the only thing that stands out. It is the only thing that I cherish about last year. She taught me so much by how she lived and treated others. And I hadn’t realized how much I had learned from her until now.
I still cannot understand why God placed me there – in that small town, and I just happened to find a place to live in her home (you can read about that story here), in the last year of her life. The last year of her beautiful life. Everything was pre-arranged by God. None of it was planned by me. He wanted me to meet her for a reason. She has changed my life so quietly and so gently. So lovingly. I want to become a better Christian because of her. I want to love people in the ardent and sincere way she did.
I am crying again as I write this. I had taken her for granted. I didn’t know what I was blessed with until she was taken away. I feel foolish for not seeing this blessing. I feel foolish for being distracted by lesser things for an entire year when I could have gained so much more by simply spending more time with her.
How beautiful she was. That’s the only word I feel that best describes her.
I wish you could have met her for yourself. You would have loved her.
September 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I just got through the first week of school and boy was it madness. I met all my students and they are wonderful – but the planning part has hit me hard. Every night this past week, I’ve stayed at school until 9 pm (sometimes 10 pm) – and it still seems like I still don’t have enough time. This year will be my second year of teaching and I have a whole new range of subjects that I have never taught before. I’m teaching junior high English Language Arts, Social Studies, a Bible Class, and Grade 1 and 2 Math. So far this week, there have been glitches in the schedules which means I have to constantly think on my feet. For example, the high school math class sometimes has a class in the room where I am supposed to teach grade 2 math, which means I need go to another room where I don’t have my supplies and papers ready. *Sigh*.
But confusion aside, I am surprised how “at home” I’ve felt since the first day. My colleagues have made it so easy for me to adjust and get to know everyone and my students have been so forgiving (classroom switches and all) and very responsive to my lessons. I am very thankful for the words of encouragement from parents and other teachers this week. I realize that I am still very hard on myself and I often focus on all the hiccups that I ignore all my successes – so I am grateful that others have reminded me of all the good that has happened.
Today is Saturday – I woke up at 11:30 am, took a nap at 1 pm, and woke up at 4:30 pm. I think I am caught up on all the lost hours of sleep this week! And it hasn’t even been a full 5-day week at school…
I’m constantly relying on God’s strength. I cling to Him and I keep telling myself: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.