Thursday, April 28, 2011

it's funny how we can walk the same route each day and miss the beauty of the path we're on.

my nine year old nephew ethan asked me to accompany his grade three class to the nature museum last week. between playing "paula-saurus" hide and seek in the dinosaur section and creating a highly entertaining bird radio show in, well, the bird section, i had a considerable amount of time to walk around and take it all in.

nature fascinates me. i'm blown away by the intricate detail that went into every living creature, every rock, each and every person, and creation, period. in fact, i find it exceptionally hard to walk away from a place like this without feeling like i'm dragging my chin off of the floor, and i certainly can't leave such a place without feeling a deep sense of connection to the One responsible for creating it all.

i don't know about you, but i never want my life to lose what i call the 'wow' factor; i never want to come to the place where things become so familiar and ordinary that i, like the grade three class i accompanied to the museum that day, never lose my childlike sense of wonder.

too many of us treat life like 'the amazing race'; we rush through it so fast just to 'get there' that we end us missing the beauty of the journey itself.

so what are you waiting for? stop where you are, take a deep breath, open your eyes, look around, and soak it all in.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

i've been sitting here for days [not literally of course] trying to pound out a blog about the day long interview i just had, and the journey i'm about to embark on as a result, but my words have come up empty. while i'm still attempting to put my heart down on paper, i have something else to share with you today.

this may come as a surprise to some of you, but i am the biggest toronto blue jays' fan. i went to five games in one week last summer among other games, paid a scalper $75 for regular $11 tickets to ensure that i got the full home opener experience, and i took the five hour greyhound trek from ottawa to toronto last week to catch their second game. on top of all of this, as long as i can help it, i catch every single game on TV, followed by each game's highlights afterwards, just in case i missed something the first time.

and last night was no different.

let me set the stage for you. toronto was coming off of a two day losing streak; seattle, seven. toronto is known for their ability to hit; seattle, not so much. it looked like a no brainer, really. the odds were in their favour; the jays should have crushed them.

i fell asleep in the top of the seventh inning, and, as predicted, the jays were up 7-0. seven to nothing, people. that's quite the gap. it was fair to say that i could fall asleep with another victory under their, er, our, belt.

to my surprise, however, i woke up to the whole seattle mariners' team jumping for joy around home plate. surely they weren't that excited to lose eight games in a row, were they?

i wish that were the case, but to my dismay, they were celebrating a ... win.

what the heck happened, i wondered? we were up seven runs with two innings left. and then two innings later, we were up 7-6 with only out left to go. we should have had it!

despite their record of 2 and 7 [the 7 losses being the result of their last seven games played], and the fact that the jays' dominated over half of the game, the mariners ... hear this ...


they took advantage of every walk issued. they batted and scored. caught and threw out. played hard, and came back.

could you imagine if they had chalked it up as an other loss by giving up in the seventh inning when all odds were against them? not only would they have headed to the locker room even more discouraged than when they came out, but they would have missed out on possibly one of their greatest and sweetest victories yet.

this got me thinking. can't the same be said about life sometimes? aren't we too apt to quit when the odds are stacked against us? when we're down 7-0 in the seventh? when things don't look good? or feel right?

no matter what you're facing today, i'm here to encourage you not to give up - your victory could be just around the corner!

so take heart. persevere, and get back on the field. the game is far from over.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

it's been said that the amount of blows it takes you to blow out your birthday candles equals the amount of boyfriends you have. i should know; i was reminded of this a few weeks ago when i celebrated one. 31 candles are a lot to blow out, i'll have you know, but juggling four boyfriends is much harder.

okay, okay. i don't really have four boyfriends. in fact, i don't even have ... one.

that's right. do the math. 31, and single. alone. by myself. table for one. riding solo. i'm riding solo, i'm riding solo. [this musical interlude has been brought to you by jason derulo].

each year it seems as though more and more people jump on the "we need to find paula a husband" bandwagon. it's not uncommon for me to get an email stating that the sender is 'praying that God sends me a man soon', nor is it uncommon for someone to come up to me and boldly say such things to my face. now, let it be known that i LOOOOOOOVE men [a lot actually - especially when they look like derek morgan from criminal minds or the mcdreamy/steamy combo from greys], but i can't help but wonder something - is that what people see when they look at me? someone who is ... missing something?

because that's not what i see. i see a young woman who has traveled the world. i see a 31 year old who lives a life of purpose. i see someone who is about to see yet another dream come true. i see beauty. confidence. humour. compassion. life. and the list goes on.

who do you see when you look in the mirror? do you simply see a role you play? a wife to ____? mom to _____? nurse? teacher etc? is your identity attached to who you know or what you are? or does it go much deeper than that?

you see, as a woman, the world would tell us that by the time we reach a certain age that we should have a husband, a kid or two [or more if we're crazy - just kidding nic], an ability to cook, bake, sew, whatever; and a green thumb to boot. i, on the other hand, am husband-less and kid-less. i can't hem a pair of pants for the life of me, and you will never - i repeat never - see me spending time in a garden. and you know something? i'm okay with that.

now don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine to be a wife, or a mom, or to fill any [or every] single one of the roles mentioned in this blog for that matter, but take it from me, ladies - IT'S EQUALLY OKAY if you don't!

here's the thing - and i want you to catch this: our identity shouldn't be found in who we know or what we do.

because truth be told, when everything is stripped away, it's not going to matter whose wife you are, how many kids you have, what you do for a living, or how well you can sing, cook a meal, or whatever else you take pride in. all that's going to matter is who you belong to and who are you are a result: a loved and cherished daughter of the king!