[belated] canada day.

Pretty sure there are few better ways to spend Canada Day… Than this.
On the water, on the shore, in a kayak. 

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maybe i could break clean, yeah, maybe i could break clean

when i’m on your shore again, i can fear the ocean
i can feel your open arms, like pure emotion
i’m finally free again, like my own explosion
when i’m on your shore again […]
well, it’s an abstract thought, 
but i’ve been thinking nonstop
bout the fact that my body’s made most out of raindrops…
with a saltwater heart,

oh maybe i could wash clean… all my landlocked dreams
yeah, maybe i could believe. 

saltwater heart, switchfoot

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Moments of peace, calm, before what is proving to launch into a hectic week. Even if on the freshwater, not the saltwater. 
Embrace it.
Embrace this.

This beautiful country.
And the freedom that I have to allow me this chaotic, beautiful life.

A call to be still. 

music, “jesus music” and not checking out

On Tuesday I wrote this bullet point:

I focused harder on the words in the music I was listening to […]

I have since not really relented on that point. Which I really, really enjoy.

It’s hard to do consistently: on a bus, in a store, walking and trying to be semi-alert so as to not be hit by cars while crossing streets. But, more often than not, I am trying to make this a more intentional thing. Let the music that’s in my ears so much of each day actually be a thing to check in to, not check out through.

Related, because of my friend Drew tweeting about Jon Foreman’s Shadows, I bought three CDs on Amazon tonight.

albums

I’m always excited about music. But It’s been awhile since I felt like this about it. I like that. I like the feeling of wanting to respond to music—be present with it instead of it just being a thing. And, while I got pissed off at the Casting Crowns acoustic album I have (to the point that I Facebooked a friend asking if she wanted it, and then someone else said they’d take it—really), I’m even listening to what I used to refer to as Jesus music again [and even the legit type, like worship music. Like JESUS CULTURE. One Thing Remains—after Jenny and Annie sang it on the livestream the other night]. Proper Jesus music.). The closest I’d gotten to that the last little while was maybe Flyleaf. And not even always Flyleaf. Last weekend on the way to the cabin, though, I was pretty sunk into the backseat when Great Love came on in my earphones. And, no matter how I’m feeling, that’s a song I find really hard to skip, because it always makes me want to open my arms and jump and twirl and just… appreciate God. (Even if maybe He is the only one keeping up with our conversations and I am mostly ignoring Him and yes I am trying to get better at that and also no I am not really interested in church at the time being unless that is ALL MUSIC. Is that a thing?) Even caught of guard, in the backseat as dusk just began to fade in, a honest-to-goodness shiver rose up my back and I was quickly almost in tears—this song does that to me repeatedly. Even putting it here, I had to listen to it once so I could type it, and two more times so I could feel it.

great Love setting the world on fire,
i am in awe of who You are,
and it’s Your love i’m living for

can’t you feel, i’m drawing near,
the place that broke your heart,
cut up and scarred.
the dawn is breaking,
my body’s shaking.
oh, the secret memories you keep
ignoring so that you can sleep.
i’m facing what you won’t tonight
the dawn is breaking,
my body’s shaking.

great Love, setting the world on fire
i am in awe of who You are,
and it’s Your love i’m living for
great Love that woke me up inside
You are the One i’m looking for,
and i am Yours forevermore

there i was, awaiting death for You,
when all i did was love You too
I’m facing what you won’t tonight,
the dawn is breaking,
my body’s shaking. 

This year, September 7th marks 10 years since Jesus wove His way into my calloused-and-messed-up-but-still-beating heart and showed me that His Love was greater. His Love is still greater. And, I think maybe I am closer to appreciating that this year than I have been the last three years. My story is born of shadows—and yet, I remember the powerful moment I read the Switchfoot song title The Shadow Proves the Sunshine and understood it’s meaning.

There are no shadows without light. There is no darkness without the contrast of brightness to make it exist.

suppose I wanted to hide from You and said “Surely the darkness will hide me, the day will change to night and cover me”. Even the darkness is not dark to You. The night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same [to You]. 

Psalm 139:11-12 [ERV]

Similarly, the other night I was listening to Evanescence before I went to bed. (Maybe there’s hope for Casting Crowns, actually, because I used to hate Evanescence until one day where Evanescence happened in church. Which is an interesting switch because given my current level of interest in church it’s interesting how that triggered a switch—but whatever.) And, listening to Tourniquet for the zillionth time it just hit me so damn hard laying in bed.

This is what I’ll leave off with tonight. This was a hard thing for me to swallow:

[…] [our drummer, Rocky] told me that [the song] is coming from a Christian standpoint, but it’s about suicide. It’s from the perspective of someone who has just committed suicide and it’s about the controversy in Christianity that if you commit suicide, will you go to heaven or hell? If all sins are forgiven after accepting Christ, why would there be an exception? [Wikipedia]

[my stance on this, as I’ve said before, is really more aligned with the Buddhist principle of the all paths leading to truth/the middle ground—and that there is no one answer that’s right. Also I don’t actually believe in hell for many reasons]

…and this, the song (this is actually a song I love to dance to, as I interpret it personally as rather analogous to my own testimony—it made me cry for both reasons. Every time I hear “Am I too lost to be saved? Am I too lost?” my brain screams no.)

i tried to kill my pain
but only brought more (so much more)
i lay dying and i’m pouring crimson regret and betrayal
i’m dying, praying, bleeding and screaming
am i too lost to be saved? am i too lost? 

my God, my tourniquet
return to me salvation
my God, my tourniquet
return to me salvation

do You remember me?
lost for so long
will You be on the other side
or will You forget me?
i’m dying, praying, bleeding and screaming
am i too lost to be saved? am i too lost?

i long to die

my wounds cry for the grave
my soul cries for deliverance
will i be denied Christ
tourniquet
my suicide 

tourniquet, evanescence

And that’s how music has been affecting me lately.
How about you? 

the shadow proves the sunshine

My friend Mike started a thing called “Mirror Mantras”, where he posts a positive or motivating phrase on his bathroom mirror to keep him inspired throughout the week. Here’s mine for the week:

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twenty-one in twenty-twelve . . . continuing the good things

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With anatomy, work, class and a crazy week in the mix last week, I feel like [aside from yesterday] I have not blogged in forever. And this is accurate. Caroline jolted me into this realization that i have been a less than attentive blogger the last couple weeks.

I declared 2012 to be the Year of Good Things. It is delivering.

I turned 21 last Monday. Last Saturday my aunt made me this:

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I went to my fourth Switchfoot concert, which was amazing. There was a spontaneous chant for moustaches. I fell in love with The Rocket Summer because of this concert.

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Medicine-X

I am excited that I will be attending the Medicine-X conference in Palo Alto, California!  As I mentioned previously, Stanford has graciously awarded many ‘ePatients’ with “scholarships” to the conference. For me, this includes the conference, accommodation for three nights, and a good portion of my airfare. I am VERY excited to meet so many people who I have connected with online, and who I have yet to connect with in September! I’m SO excited to meet Kim and hopefully Cherise at the conference as well as hang out with Steve in San Francisco the day I get in.

But before that . . .

World Congress on Asthma

In 2010, I partnered with the Asthma Society of Canada as a member of the National Asthma Patient Alliance Executive committee. I was finally able to attend a conference call in May, and engaged with many amazing, passionate people with my laryngitis voice. A few months ago we were supposed to attend an event in Toronto which did not work out, but we will be meeting in person in Quebec City this summer at the World Congress on Asthma! I am very excited for this opportunity and to be among the handful of patients attending the conference. During my time in Quebec City, I plan to meet with two of North America’s most prominent asthma researchers, Dr. Sally Wenzel and Dr. Dilini Vethanayagam, and am very excited to meet both of them in person after multiple e-mails not only about asthma research, but improving the patient support experience.  As a part of this, I hope to be able to connect with those in my own community (such as Cathy on the NAPA executive with me) and across the country, and around the world.

I’m also hoping to walk the Diabetes Run for the Canadian Diabetes Association in September, along with the small-town Imagine Mental Health race I’ve done the last two years. I suppose I’d better get training!

theme song – #hawmc day 11

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i made my mistakes / i seen my heart cave in / i got my scars / i’ve been to hell and back again / born for the blue skies, we’ll survive the rain / born for the sunrise, we’ll survive the pain

we’re singing hey, you can’t count us out / we’ve been running up against the crowd / yeah we are the dark horses / we’re singing wait, it’s not over now / we’ve been down but we’ve never been out / we are the dark horses

we found a way out, the city takes everything it can / but outside the crowds i can feel my lungs again / born for the blue skies, we’ll survive the rain / born for the sunrise, we’ll survive the pain

we’re singing hey, you can’t count us out / we’ve been running up against the crowd / yeah we are the dark horses / we’re singing wait, it’s not over now / we’ve been down but we’ve never been out / we are the dark horses

we’re singing.

born for the blue skies, born for the blue skies, born for the sunrise, we’ll survive the pain.

we’re singing hey, you can’t count us out / we’ve been running up against the crowd / yeah we are the dark horses / we’re singing we don’t care what they say / we know we’ll find a way / we are the dark horses

[keep running with the dark horses, hope makes the blood change courses, keep running with the dark horses, stand up for the dark horses]

–dark horses, switchfoot