Friday, November 24, 2006

To Do Lists

I like them. I like feeling like I've got things organized and under control. I leave a little box to allow myself the pleasure of an oh-so satisfying checkmark. Beautiful!
Tonight I was feeling the need for a high quality to-do list. Let's ease the stress by staying organized. Keep those checks coming.

Things to do this weekend:
Mop the floor.
Make banana bread.
Plan for the presentation.

Mark the math tests.
Go to the gym.

Dust. (What? Dust? I must be getting old)
Plan for the next two weeks.

Make a practice plan.
Call Grandma.
Go grocery shopping.
Write on the blog...

After musing on my classic list, I decided to back up and start again. All of these will get done at some point (okay, maybe not the dusting), but sometimes my little mundane checklists swallow up the best stuff. So let's try again.

Things to do this weekend:
Find ways to love practically.
Take time to care for people.

Be passionate about what you're doing.

Stay in touch.

Jesus loves me deeply, know this deeply today.


Be reminded of humbly.

Smile freely.

Pay extra attention to the old and the young.

See beauty and truth around you.
And call your Grandma.

Chances are, I won't end up with a bunch of oh-so satisfying checkmarks on the revised list. I don't need them. But I do need the constant reminder to live intentionally, with passion, and with a heart for the Kingdom.

What's on your to-do list this weekend?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Tuesday Times

Sigh. Where did the first three weeks of November go?! The days have felt very much "on the go". Here are a few pieces of the life and times of Hong Kong Harm this week...
-I can't get enough of Simon Webbe (thanks, Steve!).
-Tonight I tried to disprove my feeling about Cantonese food, and failed again. I went to a shop down the road, hopeful that maybe I could find a great dish, maybe something that resembled the AMAZING food I found in Hubei (mainland China). The first thing on the menu was "Imitated Dog Meat". That should have been my first clue. After trying to order "mixed vegetables" and having two different dishes that looked too close to the aforementioned meat, I walked home and ate a bagel with cheese....
-Despite my displeasure with the Chinese food, my neighbourhood has awesome Thai and Vietnamese food. SO GOOD.
-One of my favorite fellows in Hong Kong is named Tom. He is one of the security guards in my building. His English is "in progress" and he's about 50 years old. The other day when I walked in, he gave me a great big smile and said, "OH!!! I haven't seen you in AGES!!!" It was pretty cute.
-I splurged and bought a $125 IKEA sofa bed this past weekend. Now I have more space to host my visitors (that could be you!!!)....
-Speaking of visitors, it's only 9 days until the Canadian fellows arrive in Hong Kong!!! I can't wait. It's quite surreal and I'm sure it will feel that way when I pick them up at the airport. Good times ahead- you know the first place we'll eat? Definitely the Imitated Dog Meat Shop. :)
-Last week I spent three days at Gr. 5/6 camp. It was a beautiful spot. Bamboo groves, banana trees and geckos!! Slightly different than good ol' Kenosee (Kenosee's got it beat by far). The meals were as gross as I have ever experienced. Let's just say Ellen and Laura were not in the kitchen. Other than not eating, it was a fun time. My first time counseling 20 Gr. 5 girls. :) I was acting out of my dimension by being the rescuer from all the unwelcomed creepy well as a plugged shower drain that flooded half the cabin. Good times....
-We have parent-teacher interviews on Thursday and Friday. I know it will be good, but I'm a bit anxious.
-Tonight in the gym I met a Hong Kong-born man who went to school at Campbell Collegiate in Regina. Weird.
-Hoofta. I'm tired. I'll sign off here. So long from Hong Kong....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Happy One Hour?!

Following a very satisfying Indian buffet meal last night, a friend and I did what all logically thinking people should do- go for a foot massage. There are little upstairs shops calling your name everywhere here. Literally- Harrrrmoooony!!! Come on up for a piece of heaven! How could I refuse?
This time a little lady gave us a "Happy One Hour" ad and coerced us upstairs. I did have a happy one hour practicing Mandarin and laughing a lot with my massage lady, but the massage was evil! I was writhing in pain most of the time. And the funny (?) part was that she was getting a great kick out of it. As she dug into my feet and I squealed, she looked at me with a big smile and said, "NO PAIN, NO GAIN!" I couldn't help but laugh and say, ooooookay then! No pain, no gain!!! They are all about the reflexology here, so apparently as she was digging a hole in the bottom of my foot she was fixing something in my liver. I don't really get it but hey, my liver appreciates it!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

SO Good.

The boys in the tight pants, hippy shirts and funky/greasy? hair do's were in town tonight! I joined the masses in packing out an auditorium for a United Live show. It was awesome. I went on my own, and joined in with the Chinese, who belted out every song with all their might- offkey, broken English, it didn't matter. They were right fired up and I couldn't help but join the madness. The band was great, and it was so refreshing to be a part of such a spirit-filled time of praise. They pumped out the best of the best (but aren't they all the best?! I rarely find a song I don't enjoy). I was especially excited because they brought the lone gal along. I believe her name is Mia Fieldes. She's my favorite. It's too bad she only had one solo (Til I See You)- her voice is so beautiful! Salvation is Here and Take it All were rockin'. I'm glad I went. It was sweet encouragement for the spirit! I hope they make another stop in HK!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A picture of perseverance and community

This past weekend in Hong Kong, 4000 enduring and determined souls entered The Oxfam Trailwalker. It is an event hosted by Oxfam, a worldwide charitable organization fighting poverty around the globe. The race is held in major cities across the world.
The race is on a 100 km trail that runs through the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. That is something that is pretty great about Hong Kong. Despite the cosmopolitan/concrete glare of the city, only minutes away you can find yourself on a gorgeous hiking trail. 4 people to a team complete the race, and each team has a support team to help them along the way. Each team raises money in support of Oxfam.
One of my friends from school asked me to be a part of his support team for one of the checkpoints. It was a really neat experience. I met a bunch of random people, stuck together for a few hours for the sake of cheering on the team and supplying whatever they needed for their journey! We drove ahead of them and prepared Gatorade, Mountain Dew, bananas, salt tablets, pasta, changes of clothes, vaseline for blisters, etc. They stopped in for about 10 minutes, and off they went. They finished the race in 26 hours, starting at 9am the first morning and crossing the finish line at 11am the next day! Incredible!!! The fastest team in the race finished with a time of 12 hours. They have a support team that actually runs the race alongside of them, and they run almost the entire time. I can't even imagine their level of fitness, and the intensity of their determination! One of the girls I met on the support team finished The Trailwalker last year, and it took them 41 hours. They walked through 2 nights. What an accomplishment!
I am thankful for the refreshed picture of perseverance that Drew and his team gave me this weekend! And, the great image brought to life of togetherness- coming alongside brothers and sisters to cheer them on, give them a boost, a shot of energy and encouragement to just keep on keepin' on.
Some of you are dear members of my support team! I need you. Thanks for lifting me up and pushing me along on the race.
Press on!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Nemesis

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. There are a few reasons for this, but the most significant being report card time. Here are my thoughts in regard to this:
Oh Report Cards
How I despise you so
You are
And I don't like you.
I'm glad you are
Ha! My brain is so fizzled that a misfit of words such as that was upchucked. Sorry about that.
Okay, I confess it's really not the fault of Report Cards. If you know me, you know my preference would be to....wait for it....and then wait a little longer...shoot a few hoops...drink some coffee....send an chocolate..take a got it- the word is procrastinate. It is my finest art form, really. Truthfully, I didn't procrastinate as much as usual. I'm making progress, as I'm pushed by being responsible for more than just myself. Shooooot!
Anyway, I'm finished, and that feels good. I'm short on sleep and looking forward to regaining clarity in the coming days! The dishes have been washed and laundry is on the go. Things are looking up! A refill of patience and energy will be needed as next week I will take on the role of camp counselor. Three days with 20 Grade 5 girls! Woooo! It's time for Grade 5/6 camp. I think it will be fun, but I know it's going to be tiring, too.
I've had super weekends lately. The last being a two day women's retreat hosted by my church. The speaker was so good. I was refreshed and challenged by her thoughts on the love of Jesus. And wow, was she ever funny. A treat to listen to for a weekend, that's for sure!
The weekend before that I was in Singapore. I have more to say about that, but in short, I laughed A LOT, soaked up time with a treasured friend from home and enjoyed a quick trip to a new place.
Anyway, there you have it. That's the life and times of Hong Kong Harm. I'd love to hear from you; I am missing you. Yes, YOU!
PS: Go Riders.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Incredibles in Grade 5

Forget "body systems". Bring on THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN BODY!!!!
Want to go back to Grade 5? Ohhhh yeah. Goooood times!
"I praise you because I am fearfully and INCREDIBLY made. Your works are wonderful; I know this full well."
-Psalm 139:14