Why We Sing

I love contemporary worship songs. I love the words, the emotions they evoke, and the overall experience. But what are we missing when we forget about hymns? I was reminded today in Sunder Krishnan’s book “Loving God With All You’ve Got” that

God doesn’t ask us to sing to show us off before an audience. He doesn’t ask us to sing so that He can get some glory to fulfill some deficiency in Him. He asks us to sing so that our hearts can be stirred by a noble theme, so that we can begin to love Him with all our hearts, so that we can become that much richer in our souls. The costs of not singing is colossal. It is we, not God, who stand to lose if we refuse to sing.

Time to get a hymnal.

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Goals for 2013

In my last post, I mentioned that I may or may not sit down to write some goals. Today, seeing as how I have not yet been called in to any schools to supply, I figured that would be a good thing to do. I have had goals float around in my head, but it’s nice also to have them on paper. Here they are!

Financial
– Pay off wedding entirely
– Replenish TFSA to $2000
– Open a joint account

Professional
– Organize an EdCamp in Kingston
– Begin an LTO
– Do professional reading at least every other day

Spiritual
– 
Become a member at Bay Park
– Serve in the worship ministry
– Pray powerfully
– Initiate a mentoring relationship (this is a continuation of my goal from last year)

Personal
– 
Write to my grandparents at least twice a month
– Be a good wife (vague, I know…)
– Swim at least twice a month
– Eat no chips or chocolate (exception made at weddings)

While we’re at it, let me update you on how I did with last year’s goals:

Financial (moderate)

  • Bring my TFSA to $5000 – COMPLETE! I literally just made it, with $1.26 over my goal as of December 31
  • Pay off all the financing I have – STANDSTILL… I did pay off all my outstanding financing from 2011, but we are now financing the roof
  • Take on the full mortgage by the end of the year – COMPLETE! And I am very happy with the low interest rate we have
  • Have $5000 in savings by year end – FAIL… I still have a little ways to go to reach this goal

Professional (good)

  • Keep an updated resume and portfolio – COMPLETE! This wasn’t too tricky. There wasn’t much to add to either
  • Attend 3 workshops or conferences – STANDSTILL… I maybe went to two?
  • Take an AQ course – COMPLETE! I now have Spec Ed Part 1 :)
  • Grow my Twitter PLN to 100 people – COMPLETE! And I hope to keep growing next year

Spiritual (poor)

  • Complete my bible reading plan every day – DISCONTINUED… I decided it was too intensive for me to do the plan again after completing it last year. Still, my devos were less than regular
  • Read at least 5 Christian books – FAIL… I probably read three, and started a fourth
  • Update my worship binder – STANDSTILL… I did update it some, but there are still many songs I am missing
  • Actively search for a mentor – STANDSTILL… This is a tricky one. I have hopes that this year I will be able to establish something more solid

Personal (good)

  • Buy a bike or a scooter – COMPLETE! And I cannot wait for spring when I can bring her out again
  • Bring my BMI down to 21.7 – COMPLETE! Thanks to my new bike, Joshi’s Holistic Diet, and my bout of tonsilitis -__-
  • Practice guitar regularly (at least 3x/week) – COMPLETE! I love playing guitar, though maybe I should try to play in keys other than E and G
  • Communicate with my family at least 2x/week – COMPLETE! For a while, I was calling my parents every day. I need to keep this communication up though

It is unfortunate that my spiritual goals did not fare well. Alas, I must remember the bigger picture, and keep pressing on. I have faith that this will be a better year.

In 2013

This past year literally flew by. In the span of 12 months, lots has changed. I am now engaged to be married, happily working my three jobs, and part of a healthy and vibrant church community. Life is good.

Originally, my plan was to sit down and make some resolutions for this upcoming year (and perhaps in the next few days I will), but I’ve realized that my hope for this year really comes down to this verse from Philippians:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I want to be a better teacher, a better daughter, a better partner, a better friend. But most of all, I want to learn to trust more deeply in my Father in heaven.

Dining in Style

This past week, Kelvin and I made some pretty significant changes to our dining room. Despite my hesitation, we decided to paint our dining room “ultra pure white” (yes, that is the name of the paint colour, and yes, Kelvin did feel like we were getting ripped off a little because it’s the factory colour).

It didn’t start off very well. The first coat we applied looked terrible, and I was seriously doubting our decision. Alas, we have gone to far to go back, so we journeyed on.

Now, our dining room wasn’t terrible to begin with, except for the ugly blinds and horrible trim. However, we are proud that it is now coolly minimal and much more in line with our personal design aesthetic. Oh, and it brightens up our whole main floor. Next step – fill that large wall with something typographic or abstract :)

dining room

What do you think?

You can read about the experience from Kelvin’s side of things on our joint blog.