Friday, July 29, 2005

Due South

My time in Yellowknife has come to an end- it's officially time to head for good ol' Saskatchewan, ah my home sweet home...and stay there! Soon! Good times here in the land of the midnight sun, though I can't think of any reasons why...oh...wait a minute...there could be at least one little tiny reason...

Ah yes, little Elijah would definitely be the best reason for a well spent July in Yellowknife. The three days I've been able to soak in with Elijah will be treasured. But there have certainly been other highlights to my time in Yellowknife, which really has become a very secondary home to me- all the streets and establishments, and people, and oh yes, that LONG stretch of road, have all become quite familiar to me over the years. There are some fantastic people here- among the many, it has been encouraging to spend time with Yellowknife gems like Gene and Barb, the Paul and Roseanne Goertzen family and the Ashby clan. Such good friends, brothers and sisters. They are special people. So, if you're bored sometime and you really like driving, you should come to Yellowknife! It really is well worth the drive...especially if you've got something as sweet as Elijah waiting for you at the end of the road. :)

It is an ongoing treat to be with Autumn and Andrew, Mom and Dad, Heather, Tim and Tara- definitely not taken for granted at all after being away for so long.

Next stop...Calgary for the Kori and Lisa Jones Canmore with my good friend Jeremy ...and then home to start my rookie year of high school educating!!! Wooohooo!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Yippppeeee!!! I'm a happy Aunty! Yesterday was a most excellent day for the family, particularly for the most northern dwellers! I'm happy to join my brother Tim and sister Tara in welcoming Elijah Ray McMillan to the world! He arrived yesterday at 11:34am, after some seriously hard work by Tara. He's a sweet little boy, well hey, see for yourself! Ahhh, he's awesome!!! 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and 21.5 inches long. What else in the world compares to a new baby?!! This whole new creation thing has got my mind spinning way out of control- what an amazing It's so cool to see my brother as a dad- it was pretty neat giving him a first hug after Elijah was born. Awww, he's a great Dad already. And if you want the real updates, you should check in at Wyatt's World...that would be Brother Tim's link on the sidebar. Wyatt knows something is up, but I'm pretty sure he has no clue about how this new kiddo is gonna rock the trailer!
Yeah, good times in YK. Thanks for coming this week, Elijah, I would have been sad to miss your arrival! Thankfulness for beautiful gifts abounds! Happy, happy, happy....
Elijay Ray McMillan

Good lookin' family of three, I mean four (sorry Wyatt..I'll photoshop you in later :)

Hey! You stole my hat!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Encountering exceptional people

I've met some exceptional people in my lifetime. Last night I added another pair of exceptional people to my list. They are from a group of people on earth that are among the most under appreciated exceptional people in the world, in my opinion...foster families. Foster families amaze me so much.
We went to an older couple's home- they were likely in their late sixties I'm guessing. They have had over 70 different children into their home in the past twenty five years. 70 kids! People like this blow me away. They open their homes to children not their own, children coming from broken, transient, abusive homes, children suffering from life diseases like FAS, children who so desperately need hope and stability and love. It's a complete life offering; a living sacrifice 24/7! My parents have walked a similar path, and though our family hasn't had 70 kids, we can identify with some of the heartthrobs that foster families experience as parents come in and out of lives and innocent kids get stuck in the middle. I have nothing but admiration for the people that I met last night, and for others who make the same commitment to being an anchor of love for children. People who love like that move me to give more of myself to others and to be less consumed by my selfishness. They are servants of the kingdom.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

My grandmother is a baller

Last night I had a weird but very cool dream. My 85 year old grandmother was the star of my dream. Yes, there was Grandma McCutcheon, suited up in the baby blue and yellow UCLA basketball jersey with her kicks, playing alongside the best ballers in America. It was pretty awesome. She still looked the same- she was the same size, same tight greyish brown curls, and same glasses...I can't really remember if she got to play or not. Ah, she probably did and she probably schooled them all with a triple-double. Somehow I got to play at the end of the game, too. And then as another strange bonus to the dream, I was recruited by Team Canada to play volleyball with the giants (this was my real-life dream in Gr. 7). All I remember is the coach saying that I was good at jumping back and forth in the plyometric exercises. Ha.
I'm going to have to ask my Grandma if she has been hiding something from me and her past as a hoops all-star living on the beaches of sunny California...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sharing the rain and the rainbow; this is the art of friendship at its finest :)

Tonight my friend Brianne and I went out to the rock by the river for our annual Ice Cap Conference. Last year we were attacked by bugs and a dog. This year we brought bug spray and there were no dogs, but while she was poetically telling me her love story, the sky gave way and we got soaked in some solid raindrops. It was surreal. :) So she talked faster and we just sat there in the rain. It was beautiful. After we fell down the rocks due to slippery slopes, wet and muddy but still laughing, Brianne, the newly appointed standard race car driver, ripped out of the parking lot, which was also a highlight to the evening (well, a highlight at every stop sign). Perhaps the most touching moment of the evening though, was the rainbow we caught at the end of the gravel skies and rainbows, and sunbeams from heaven, are what I can see... wow, He is loved and praised tonight for the way he showers both wonderful people and wonder-ful pictures of his power into our lives! Check out the rainbows!

Monday, July 18, 2005

beijing greatness

Here are a few shots from our week in the capital...
It's Hao Mo Li! The Kung Fu Master!

Are you kidding me? There's a Starbucks in the Forbidden City!

Happy to be in Tiananamen Square. Yeah Mao.

Okay, more happy to be at the Great Wall of China. Fantastic!

It's my good friend Cari and I at the Great Wall. Good times.

My greatest need

From the depths of despair, O LORD, I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.
LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.
O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love and an overflowing supply of salvation.
He himself will free Israel from every kind of sin.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Okay, can anyone take a guess at what's going on here?!! Darling Heather....giver of good laughs...she just wanted to be able to walk on her knees...couldn't....quite.....reach!

four little speckled frogs

Seeing and Savoring

This summer I'm joining some of my best friends in both China and Canada as we read through a book by John Piper together. It's called "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ". It's set up nicely in a way that takes you through the book in 40 days, and also gives you relevant scriptures focused on the chapter for each day. So far, so good, and my favorite part has been working through the prayers that Piper includes at the end of each chapter. Here's a taste.

A prayer offered in response to our knowledge of Jesus being the full glory of God:

Our hearts leap up with gratitude that you have opened our eyes to see and know that Jesus Christ is your eternal, divine Son, begotten, not made, and that Jesus Is the Glory of God you, O Father, and he, your Son, are one God. We tremble even to take such glorious truths on our lips for fear of dishonoring you with withering and inadequate words. But we must speak, because we must praise you. Silence would shame us, and the rocks themselves would cry out. You must be praised for who ayou are in the world you have made. And we must thank you because you have made us taste and see the glory of Jesus Christ, your Son. Oh, to know Him!

Father, we long to know him. Banish from our minds low thoughts of Christ. Saturate our souls with the Spirit of Christ and all his greatness. Enlarge our capacities to be satisfied in all that you are for us in him. Where flesh and blood are impotent, reveal to us the Christ, and rivet our attention and our affections on the truth and beauty of your all-glorious Son. And grant that whether rich or poor, sick or sound, we might be transformed by him and become an echo of his excellence in the world.

In Jesus name I pray- I long for you King Jesus- Amen.

A Book of Life..I believe it!

This year God has awakened me to my absolute need for his Word, and the most amazing blessing, of loving and learning from his Word. It gets better everytime I open it. It makes me giddy sometimes- as silly as that sounds, I am just so excited to read. I've missed out for so long, way too long, because I made assumptions or just felt too busy to really dive into it. I need it so much, and I need to rely on it more everyday as my lifeline. I need the wisdom, the joy, the peace, the real life still relevant to my life today words that need to take root more and more deeply within me. I'm hungry!!! I'm so thankful for the way the Word fills our souls.

Here are a couple passages that are staying close to my heart in recent days...

"Pay attention, O Israel, for you are my servant. I, the Lord, made you, and I will not forget to help you. I have swept away your sins like the morning mists. I have scattered your offenses like the clouds. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free". Isaiah 44:21-22

"I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They are not part of this world any more than I am. Make them pure and holy be teaching them your words of truth. As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world". John 17: 15-18

"Whatever we do , it is because Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them". 2 Cor. 5: 14-15

Friday, July 15, 2005

the start of a new blog

I've been back in Canada for almost two weeks now. In some ways it feels like I've been here for much longer, in other ways China still feels really close. After enjoying four busy days in Regina, I repacked my suitcase (yuck, I'm sick of packing), loaded up the Neon and started the long journey to the 60th parallel with my Mom, Autumn, and Andrew.
I love the prairie sky and breathed it in all the way to Calgary. I really enjoy that drive- it seems to pass quickly, and it helped that I chatted the 8 hours away with my Mom. No shortage of things to talk about when both of us have spent the past 10 months in Asia. Seeing my brother's families in Calgary was a good thing, though only just barely enough of a taste of being together again. Both Billy and Steve have moved into new homes since I have been gone, so it was cool to see their new, and very nice setups. It was great fun to deliver Laurel and Karlie's China orders (they gave me specific instructions about what they'd like me to bring back!) and watch them pose in thirty seven different poses as Mulan chicks. I'll have to post some pics of Charlie?s Chinese Angels. Sydney is too much for words- I'm seriously considering leaving a recorder in their house and getting them to send them to me so I can listen to her talk. She's got one vibrant personality! A very fun little girl. And Aiden is still his very cool self, though he's definitely grown up in the last year. I'm excited to be in the same country as them for the next year!
Calgary is quickly becoming the hotspot for our McMillan family; at present I have two brothers as well as cousin Malcolm and family who have made the move to Cowtown. Ya Malcolm! I have a feeling more could be headed in the same direction soon! (Not me, I'm in Regina for life! Ha ha!)
The 20 hour drive to Yellowknife from Calgary was pretty good- long is a boring adjective but it really is the best fit. By the time you get passed the ferry, the last three and a half hours feel fairly tiresome and we were so ready to see 15 Larocque Cres. by the time we rolled into the happy home of brother Tim and sister Tara.
After taking great delight in Tara's expanded tummy (I still can't get over it, I love how things change in a year ;), I enjoyed reunions with Tim, Dad and sister Heather, too! Family is a good good blessing, and I'm reminded of that this week.
So now the game plan in YK is to hang out and wait for Baby Hezekiah to make his debut. Well, we actually don't know that it's a boy, but everybody here talks like it is, so I'm just playing along. In the meantime...days have passed at the beach, playing some guitar, a good game of tennis, and tonight is pizza night at Doug and Cindy's.
I?ll be here until the end of July, and one of my things to do is to start preparing for my teaching job in the fall. Let's just say I've got a lot to do. :) But it's fun, I like doing prep work and planning, and it should be a bit more of an adventure preparing to teach at the high school level. Yes, that's right, my first Canadian teaching job will find me at Western Christian College teaching Phys. Ed and a mix of other subjects. It wasn't what I had anticipated, but then neither was China. I'm looking forward to this new challenge..I'll write more on that later!
Okay, this is way too long but I just wanted to start off my blog...yeah I was thinking a paragraph would suffice? Oh well!