Saturday, December 31, 2011

A year marked by love

Saturday, December 31, 2011 ~ The last day of 2011
Reading: Choosing to See by MaryBeth Chapman
What's on my mind: laughing in the face of tradgedies (Don't ask), the new year's eve party tonight, what happened in this year
Songs that were listened to today: Fences by Paramore (Quickly becoming my new favorite, described by me as deliciously morbid, again, don't ask)
Wearing: Dessert PJ pants and a pink tee shirt, but definatly changing later as I am not wearing this to the party tonight.

I hope the year 2012 brings:

  • more happiness, and love, and hope

  • growth in my relationship with God, and in my relationships with others

  • My 16th Birthday

What else can I really ask for? If I have happiness and love, and am continuing to grow, and have life, what else can I really ask for?

The year 2011 brought:

  • the entrance to my sophmore year of high school, and to the age 15

  • The best summer ever, full of life and love and learning, and so many memories

  • A book, a novel produced by my imagination

  • The loss of a good friend, Spencer

  • walking through a time of undiagnosed

  • growth in my relationship with God, and in my life

  • the realization that I am still becoming, and that that's ok

  • Friends ~ amazing, beautiful, loving friends

  • Hope, and trust, and Love

  • Life

"People are really romantic about the beginnings of things. Fresh start, clean slate, a world of possibility. But no matter what new adventure you're embarking on, you're still you. You bring you into every new beginning in your life. So how different can it possibly be?"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's always darkest before the dawn...

quote love: "yes, this diagnosis is unspeakably cruel, and living with it will be a daily struggle, but as long as the good days outnumber the bad you have to live those days"

I came across this pair of videos today, and felt like I needed to share. Watch them first, then I'll explain:
I opened this link expecting to find another secret's video. I was assuming it would be good, but I wasn't expecting I would cry. I was just into part 1 when the emotion began and I could feel tears building up behind my eyes. It wasn't because this story was so heartbreaking, but because it was so relatable.

I was young, if I had to guess I would probably say I was around 9. It was another round of the flu for me, and another hospital trip. I don't remember any details about that day, but I remember one thing. I remember I was in the trauma room, and there was a team of doctors and nurses above me trying frantically to get an IV in. And then there was my dad. The nurses kept asking me questions, about my name and where I was and about my family and my dog. They asked me what breed my dog was, and I said she was a golden retriever. As soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew they were wrong, but it was like I couldn't stop them, and couldn't make find a way to speak those right words. I watched helplessly as the nurses asked my dad if I was right, and he shook his head. I was in bad shape at that point, my blood sugar crashing quickly. I remember the feeling that followed, of sinking. It was almost as if I was drifting down below the water, my senses becoming clouded. It was almost like the fog came over me, and I felt peace. I remember thinking "This is it, I'm going to die." But it was like I was wrapped in a warm blanket, I was safe and warm and at peace. And I closed my eyes, and everything faded away, and I just was, being held by these invisible arms and at peace.

Do you believe in angels, in God? Do you believe that God is real, and He is close to the brokenhearted and the sick and the lost? Do you believe that you can be held in the arms of God, and that it is the best feeling in the world, and that even admist all that fear and worry and panic, peace and comfort can be found? I do.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My life in 10 Quotes

Your faith can’t be based on what God does, but who God is

Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts

You know those moments when you totally don't wanna cry, but... you're not quite sure what else to do?

My life was a sea of conflicting emotions, but the one thing kept me going was our bond... our connection. It made me feel like I wasn't alone, like i was part of something special

Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, dont worry...I'm here. The flood waters will recede...The famine will end...The sun will shine tomorrow...and I will always be here to take care of you

What the heart once owned, it shall never lose

It's always darkest before the dawn

I am hoping with a fragile hope

Life is messy and full of heartbreaking tradgedies that I never see coming until they envelop me, but somehow love keeps me moving through all of that

I love you

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Here's a Christmas post for you introverts!

Most of you who are reading this blog probably know that I love sharing posts that made a difference in my life, or connected with me in some way. Here's the post I want to share with you today, on this snow-less Christmas morn. It was written by my best friend's mom, about my best friend and it brought a smile to my face. I hope it will do the same with yours. So Merry Christmas, to my introverted friends who will read this today, and to my extroverted friends who are soaking up the activity and will read this later on, after Christmas has passed. (Can you guess which one I am???)
I am so thankful for each and every one of you. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and sending my love from this place barren of snow (Aka New Bothwell Manitoba)

Friday, December 23, 2011


We made it to Manitoba for Christmas today. The ground here is covered in even less snow then we have back at home, if that's even possible! The ride up here was laced with memories. Every resturant we stopped at on the missions trip, the hotel we stayed at, certain signs we laughed at while playing the alphabet game, even something as simple as a suitcase brings back a flood of memories. On the trip up even the smallest things would make me smile because I would remember, and those memories made me so happy. I knew there would be a certain degree of remembering, but I never expected as many memories as I got. It's also bittersweet, knowing that even though I am surrounded by these wonderful memories, I won't get to walk that same hallway or sleep in the same room at Grace Point or work with those beautiful kids again or hang out with my amazing team. I miss them like crazy (Wierd, eh, cause I just saw them less then a week ago!) They're my team, my 'family' and seeing them feels like coming home.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Tree of Sophie

I started editing my novel. I find myself wishing I was the kind of person like my main character is. That sounds sort of funny to write, because I created this character, but I wish that inside me lay the same strength, the same passion, and the same beauty that I so clearly see in my main character, Sophie. Maybe some of you have figured out by now that Sophie's story is mine, or the seed planted for this story stemmed from my own experiences. I wrote this story as I was in a place of brokenness, and of hurt, and of wondering and grieving and questioning. Now, as I edit, I am also in a place of wondering, a place of questioning. It makes me wish I was as strong as my Sophie girl. It also makes me think I should take my own advice. I wish I could share with all of you every word, every sentance, every paragraph, of this novel that has inspired me, spoken to me and connected with me, but if I did that I would be posting the majority of my novel. But here's a little bit of what I'm talking about:

I wonder if I am so urgently holding on to any thread of control that comes my way that I am forgetting to give it all to the One who gives, and takes away.
I think I’m scared to offer it all up, the life of this precious one whom I love so abundantly, my very own life, to the One who controls it all, because what if He says no? What if the results I have been so desperately waiting for come out as the results I fear the most? What if God chooses to not give me what I want, but instead give me what fits into His plan for me? I know His plan for me is good, but I wonder if I can take anymore of this excruciating pain. I wonder what would happen if God decided to say no, to take my own life.
I tell myself over and over again that I would trust Him, that no matter what He said, my answer would always be yes. But would it be? If it came down to it, would I blindly follow, even after experiencing the rejection of my plans and desires?
The question running through my mind is am I able, and willing, to lay down all these battles at the feet of the One who ultimately holds it all, at the feet of the One who has the power to give, and to take away.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Swing set Secrets

"I wish all problems could still be solvedd with a swingset."
We were small, with blonde hair flying out behind us. We furiously pumped our little legs, the burgandy red seats under us. Summer tangled itself in my hair, the wind caressing my skin. Up, down, up down. The pattern continued as we soared higher and higher. It was there, being held by the wind, that I was safe. No problems could get me, no monsters could catch me. When I was planted on the swing, the sun on my face, with my best friend by my side, there I was safe. Nothing mattered anymore, not when I swung under a canopy of blue skies. I wish all problems were that easy to solve. I wish that by taking a running leap and lifting myself up off the ground, I could leave my problems to fall to the ground with the dust my heels kicked up, just like when I was younger.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Softly Singing on a Monday

  • Today started out crazy. That probably wasn't a good sign of what was to come. My mom woke me up at 8:30 (P.S days when someone wakes me up aren't usually good days. I am not a morning person.) telling me she was taking my brother (Jaxon) to the hospital. He had a super high fever and was hallucinating. So she took Jaxon to the hospital, and I got up and decided to make my sister, the birthday girl's, favorite breakfast. My dad came home in the afternoon after spending the morning between the hospital and work and took me to a different hospital for bloodwork. As much as I love those lab ladies, I could go without their vampire-ish blood taking ways. 2 pokes and one bandaid later we were on our way back home. My dad took my sister to her friend's house so she could have a semi-fun birthday. In trying to be positive, here's some things that were good about this crazy Monday.

  • I got 100% on my math assignment. That excited me so much! I am very proud of myself, and very very happy.

  • I was eating a bagle for a snack, and the way the light hit the bagle it looked like I was eating a little glitter circle. Not a big thing, but it made me smile. I like the thought of eating glitter circles.

  • quotes, and music, and friends. These 3 things make up a good day. And today, I had plenty of all 3. But I can never have too much ;)

  • Hope. Because there is always, always hope

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway

Friday, December 16, 2011


The other day, someone was talking about a little girl she knows who has a chronic illness. This person went on, and then turned to me and said "But it's worse then yours, you're fairly normal." My heart ached. Having to worry constantly about hypoglycemia or whatever, is that normal? Or my extreme diet restrictions? Or, or, I know, what about the tube hooked up to me, the one that forces food into the hole in my stomach? Or my scars, are those normal? You're right, though, I do 'look' fairly normal to the average Joe. But I am sick, I am scarred, and I am scared, and I am handling far too much for a girl of only 15. I may look fine, but I'm not, I'm sick, and looking normal doesn't change the scars that have formed on the inside. I'm still chronically ill, still sick and still scared and still scarred. When I got home that night, and finally got around to picking up paperdoll (The wonderful pink present by an equally wonderful Natalie Lloyd) the day's chapter was on scars. I loved it, identified with it. And then I came to the last page, the last sentance. It was underlined, with a black swirly heart beside it. Tears filled my eyes. The sentance? "Suddenly, they were beautiful." My scars... beautiful. My long, winding scars on the inside, and the small ones on the outside...beautiful. Why, and how did my scars suddenly become beautiful? Jesus kept His scars for me. In His new, perfect body after He was raised back to life, He still bore his scars. It's not my scars that define me, but His. So I'll let the comments made by people who don't, and can't, understand slide off. I wear these scars, and they are a symbol of bravery, of courage and of all these fights I've fought, and won. I'll wear my scars, because it's not my scars that define me, but His.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pink Paper'd Presents

I got a package today. It's one of the best kinds, the big ones in cardboard boxes with pink wrapping paper. Like I said, the best kind. I was in the middle of writing a Christmas letter to slide in with the Christmas present I had just finished wrapping. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and my mom came in, the package in one hand, a birthday card in the other. I put aside my letter and tore into this best-kind-of-package, carefully peeling away the tape and pulling the gift, wrapped in pink paper, out. It was a book, Paperdoll by Natalie Lloyd, sporting a hot pink cover. Very girly and fun! I turned it over in my hands, running my fingers over the smooth cover. Out fell a small, white envelope. I opened it, and inside was the tiniest cutest pink button. I smiled to myself and flipped through the pages, finding a bookmark hidden within them. Inside the book, in swirly penmanship, I found it autographed.
Here's what it says: " For Alisha - because you are courageous. and because you keep looking for the good and finding ways to encourage other people. You are an inspiration and a wonder. Thank you for being so wonderfully and uniquely you! I know the plans God has for you will be amazing. Shine... Natalie."
I think this wonderful gift came at just the right time. It was a burst of encouragement, of hope, as we walk through these days of living life without our friend Spencer.
So I challenge you, whatever storms you're walking through in your life, whether it be the journey of grief, depression, or simple day to day challenges, to look for the hope, that little bit of encouragement. And that hope may or may not come wrapped in pink paper!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Breathe Easy Part 2 ~ An Angel earns His wings

He was truely a hero, in the bravest sense of the word. It's not because of the way he looks, but because of what he's done. He fought a long hard fight against cystic fybrosis. He handled each daily trial with courage and strength. Even admist his own sufferings he still found time to encourage others. Everytime I 'saw' him he was always happy, always making others laugh. He was a great guy, and an amazing friend. I was blessed with knowing this special special guy.

My good friend Spencer, an amazing husband, son, brother and friend, earned his angel wings today at around 3:30pm. He passed away peacefully. He fought a hard battle with CF and even though Cystic Fybrosis took his life he didn't lose the battle. He fought, and showed CF that even though it took away his health it could never take away the love he had, the hope that was always within him or the faith that he carried.

Breathe Easy, Spence. Know that you are loved and missed and forever in our hearts.

Please keep his wife, Nikki, and the rest of his family in your prayers as they arrange the funeral for Spencer, and for his family and friends as we all walk through this time of losing this guy who was very special and loved by all of us.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Daze

Christmas shopping is complete thanks to a trip into town with my mentor. I get the tiniest little smile on my face when I look into my secret place brimming with gifts waiting to be wrapped and set under the tree. Despite the rushed buisiness a trip into town brought to my day it was exactly what I needed.
My doctors appointment for Tuesday has been rescheduled till the new year, which brings both relief and dread. Relief because I don't have to go yet, and dread because now my mind will be dancing with possibilities because I won't know and I'll have to wait. Every time I walk into a hospital I get nervous, even if I know I'm not there for me. Every time I sleep in a hotel in Edmonton I get that wierd nervous tingly feeling, even if I know I'm not there to go see the doctor. Maybe it's just a natural reaction, but walking through those hospital doors brings on another round of fear, another whispered chorus of what it's.

I found this jewel of an article today, written by my friend's mama, and I think it conveys, sort of, how I feel about my mentor Paula. Wanna read it? Check it out:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stories Ending...

Like I said... so much going on.
My Auntie Wendy (2nd cousin? No idea what the technical term is.) died this morning from cancer. Is it bad that the one thing I can remember about her the most is that she made really good pies? In my defense, she did make super good pies, but is it bad that that is the one thing that stands out to me? I didn't know her that well. I didn't see her often, didn't see her really at all other then once a year family gatherings. I remember her laugh always sounded really light and airy to me. Other then that, I don't have a lot of memories.
My friend Spencer isn't doing well either. I got the news today via his wife that they are saying he won't make it until Christmas. This Christmas would have been his and his wife's first christmas as a couple. Maybe it's selfish of me but I'm not ready to lose Spencer. I'm not ready to lose this guy who kind of adopted this role as my big brother. I'm not ready to lose the guy who believed in me, who truely wanted me to live. It's hard to believe I won't get to talk to him again, won't get to see his goofy smile again, won't get to watch the way he lights up when he talks about his beautiful bride. It's hard to believe that there won't be 'just one more time' that I'll get to talk to him. It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that he's losing his battle with CF. He was such a great person, always giving and making everyone else laugh.
Spence, I love you, and I was honored to have known you. You are such an amazing person, and if I can be half the person that you are I would be happy. You always handled your illness with such strength and fought every battle handed to you with dignity and strength. Thank you, for everything. You did good, buddy. Love you!

"In our time together, you claimed a special place in my heart, one I'll carry with me forever and that no one can ever replace"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Breathe Easy

So much has been going on in my life over these past few days... past few weeks... past month.

My mind has been full and words, when they do come, are incoherent.

I went for bloodwork today, and in exactly 1 week I will be walking into the Stollery Childrens Hospital again. Have I mentioned before how much I am tired of that place? The staff and people there are amazing, but I would prefer it if I didn't have to see them. :) It feels like my doctors appointments have been piggy-backing each other, and I'm so tired. I would just like to stay at home, to breathe, to feel better.

One of the things that has been heavy on my heart lately is my friend Spencer (The guy in the picture.) Spencer has cystic fybrosis and is awaiting a lung transplant. Nobody knows if that transplant is ever going to come. He isn't doing well. Please pray for Spencer, and for his beautiful wife Nikki. They are both such strong amazing people, and I know they would appreciate your prayers as they walk through this journey.

There's more going on in my mind right now, but I'm going to end with that.

Hang in there, Spencer. We love you and are praying for you. Breathe Easy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Miracles...

Last week's ministry team was one of those great ones. Not just because I was lovingly convincted on something I needed to be convicted on, but because of something my youth pastor said.
We were talking about the obedience in Jesus's life. We're memorizing the passage Phillipians 2:1-18. We just finished up verse 8, and were discussing this portion. This is the section where it talks about your attitude being the same as Jesus, who was human and became obedient. This is where my youth pastor asked a question. He asked us what is the bigger miracle, in our own opinion, Jesus's birth, or His death? The question struck me then, but now, as Christmas posts are starting to appear on the In Real Life (Nancy Rue's) blog I've been pondering that question a little bit more.
What is the bigger miracle here? Is it that Jesus, who was holy and perfect and the very Son of God came down to earth, a place so filled with sin, as a baby? Or is it that Jesus, this very same perfect Son of God, died a sinner's death on a cross?
I don't know if I can pick which one was more miraculous, more incredible. The fact that Jesus would leave His throne in heaven and come down as a baby, at the most dependent stage of human life, to a world where everything was so sinful when he was so perfect, that is incredible. And the fact that He came to this world, and then died a sinner's death on a cross when he was perfect because He loved ME, that is equally incredible.
I think both are miraculous, incredible things. I can't pick the bigger miracle here, when both are so wonderful.
I can't comprehend why the Son of God would want to come down to this world where everything is so sinful, and then still die the worst kind of death FOR ME! I don't understand, but I am so grateful that He did.
Christmas is a time where we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Remember the miracle it was that He came, the incredible thing it was that he came to this sinful world as the most dependent kind of creature, and then died a sinners death. Remember those miracles, because I think that, too, is what Christmas is all about, the miracles.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In which I incoherently discuss...

Listening to: The Living Proof by Mary J Blige
Quote obsession: Love doesn't break when I drop it.
Love keeps reaching,and threading,and bending,and anchoring,and connecting me to the people I love.

My mind is full, and racing. I've tried for days to get all my thoughts down in some coherent way. So excuse me if this post is a little all over the place kind of random.

*I watched this documentary online today. I've never really been that into documentaries (Ok, confession this is the first one I've ever sat through because I find them so boring.) I found this one on the GSDLife website. It's almost an hour long, but if you have time maybe check it out, it's really interesting.

* On Thursday(ish) I was out trimming hooves with my cousin. Due to our crazy Alberta weather it was crazy windy, like shake the house and rock your bed when you're trying to sleep windy. So my cousin and I were up there, and I was holding the mammoth horse while she was trimming his mammoth sized feet. The wind was causing the tarp covering the bales to flap wildly in the wind, which was scaring mammoth horse (also named Buddy.) He kept dancing around, trying to get away from the awful scariness which was the flapping tarp. He was big, and with every move he made we had to try and find a way to move with him without getting stepped on. Also, his constant moving made it really hard to trim his hooves. Finally on the third foot we got him to stand still. His eyes still darted around nervously but he was standing still. I came up next to him and kept whispering to him. "It's ok, there's nothing to be scared of, I'm right here, you're not alone." It was after we got back inside that I realized that the way I was with Buddy is probably the way God is with me. I'm here, and it's scary. I keep moving and dancing around, trying to avoid being in this position of being dependent, of having no control. And there's God, holding me, His being right up next to mine, whispering in my ear, "It's ok, I'm right here, there's nothing to be scared of, you're not alone."

*There is little, I realized, that can't be solved with a home spa. There is little that can't be tackled with purple toe nail polish and some girl talk. There is little that can't be reasoned with as I sit there with my mentor. She's mine, my mentor, and I feel the smallest bit of pride when I say that. She's mine, and for that I am grateful. She's honest and real and she believes in me.

* This is my new song love:
I heard it on Private Practice: The Intervention a couple of weeks ago, downloaded it not that long after and have been listening to it almost daily since then. I just love this song. :)

* Here are a couple of blog posts I'm loving too. Maybe you want to check them out, if you are like me and spend hours on the internet on a Saturday. (Just kidding! But if you have some extra time to waste on the internet, like I'm sure lots of people do (at least I hope I'm not the only one) you should check out some of these posts.)

* I could also tell you that I haven't really edited my NaNo novel yet, but I do have a little idea spinning around in my head for a sequel. I suppose I should finish up this novel first, though. My (amazing) friend has agreed to make a cover for my novel! I feel the teeniest bit lost without a novel to pour myself in to.

I suppose I've bored everyone enough for now. I apologize if this made no sense and I just wasted 5 minutes of your day with my incoherent rambling.