Joyska's Journal: January 2005

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Count your blessings!

I have never felt so blessed! I have never felt so appreciated and loved!

Last night there was a huge party for ME! The body of WCV (Winnipeg Centre Vineyard) came around me and gave me a going away/ fundraiser party. And it was amazing! I think my favourite moment was when the kids were dancing with all their heart as Andy Wood led them in "their" style of worship and then this overwhelming experience of all the kids coming around ME AND PRAYING. There was such a spirit of love and blessing coming from the kids! And I was and am undone.

In the midst of the sweaty armpits and farting and giggling, the children were God's heart to me last night. At one point Brian (one of the pastors in our church) began to pray Psalm 75(?) which talks about the blessing of children. During that prayer, he said "Joyska, lift your head". And as I opened my eyes, I saw this sea of children surrounding me on all sides, from little Sara Labun, who is still so little I haven't gotten to know her well yet, to Becky Hill whom I have known for 8 years. It really moved me and all I could do was thank my God, for them, and for the honour it has been for me to know everyone of these kids.

Okay, before I need a mop to clean up the puddle, I need to move on. Another favourite moment was when Cheryl announced that I was selling my DVD collection. There was literally a collective gasp throughout the room and a rush to the back of the room where the DVDs and VHS were. It was awesome! Then as everyone was leaving, I watched as literally, pieces of me left with a lot of the people. It was so fun, and it blessed me financially.

So if you were there, Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. If you weren't know that this communtity truly has been my heavenly family!

There were lots of great moments, but I have said enough for now! Bless ya all!
Joyska at 8:15 AM

Thursday, January 27, 2005

last day

Well today is my official last day of work here at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard. It's a bit of an end to an era for me. I've lived in Winnipeg for 10 years. 10 years. Hard to believe. Lots of Changes. When I moved here... it was to work at Good News Christian Reformed Church. Then I worked at Tim Hortons, then at LBE, then at Hulls Family Bookstore, then WCV and This NEXT Generation, and finally WCV alone.

When I moved here... I was 23. That speaks enough changes right there. I lived on St. John's Ave, in the North end, off of Oakenwald in the South end, on Inkster, back in the North end, On Sargent in the West end, on Alfred back in the north end again (and for 5 years) and now on Hallet, in the North Point Douglas area...

When I moved here, I had never heard of the Vineyard really. When I moved here IHOP didn't even exist! SO as life changes, I change, and God remains the same!
Joyska at 2:25 PM

Monday, January 24, 2005

so many things

It has been a priviledge for me, this past week (this is what I was really up to... while I was buried in the snow bank...) to speak at three different gatherings. God has been teaching me so many things that sometimes I feel like I could burst. They aren't "new" or even profound things, but they are "real" things and I am constantly amazed at how the real things are the things that really matter. It's so easy to become complacent and satisfied or even "contently dis-satisfied" and assume that is the way it is or will always be. But it isn't.

I think we as a society are somewhat afraid to call each other on apathy. It's easier to just let it be... it's easier to become... apathetic. Sometimes it's not apathy, but rather busy-ness, or isolation, or fear. But it isn't community, and it isn't pursueing the heart of the Father. Don't get me wrong, I do not have it figured out myself either, but as I read Paul's letters, apathy isn't an option presented. He uses statements like "run the race set before you" and "work out your salvation" and many other phrases. In Revelation, it says again and again in the first few chapters "and to those who overcome..." It's about action... not legalism and the law, but action; stepping out in faith and love.

God gives us faith. God makes us holy. Our only part in this whole thing is to say yes and to obey his law, again, not out of legalism or a religious spirit, but out of thanksgiving to a God who loves us more than we love ourselves! Purity, righteousness and love stand out in our world. Maybe that is what it is all about... standing up and standing out in our pursuit of Jesus.

Too preachy? maybe, but hey, it is MY blog!!!! (Maybe I should have stayed in my snow bank hehehe)
Joyska at 8:13 PM

Sunday, January 23, 2005

buried in a snow bank

Sorry I haven't written so much as of late. I can be like everyone else I talk to and blame it on the weather! Yes actually for the last seven days I have been buried in a snow bank. It happened innocently enough... I was walking down the street when a city plow came by and buried me. It's taken ALL week to dig myself out. And just in time too, cuz the big trucks that truck the snow out of the city was barrelling down the street to take away the bank that I lovingly was calling my home!

More this week I promise!!!
Joyska at 8:31 AM

Sunday, January 16, 2005

winter plague phenomena

Winter plague... that is what people who don't live here call us. Winter plague. I think that is a little extreme, but then again... my eyelashes did freeze together as I walked to the church at 6:30 this morning! It's true! I was about the same place I was when I wiped out last week and I was looking down so as to NOT make butt contact with the ice again. When I looked up, I could not open my left eye... honest! My eyelashes had frozen together!! It was a trip-y moment and my first thought was... "why am I always by myself when these phenomena occur?" Followed of course by " Why am I walking in Minus 35 degree weather?" It has warmed up a little since my last venture in the great white north. The city found our sidewalks again too, so that is helpful! blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah... for some reason the enter button on my computer doesn't work so I have to write to the end of the line (shoot!)...................................................................... Anyway, much to do this AM... Enjoy the weather!~~
Joyska at 7:08 AM

Thursday, January 13, 2005

never go outside!

I walked to work this morning. I will never go outside again. Picture this:
First, I put on a thick sweater, followed by my new Michigan fleece jacket (thanks Cari!) Then, because I can't find my toque (hat for my american friends) I put on my large square scarf that suddenly transforms me into an old granny, and then on top of that is my long green scarf (thanks Becky J) Followed by my big winter coat that is suddenly alot tighter over all these layers. I pick up my bag, throw on my mittens and walk bravely out the door.

And feel like I am suddenly in a deepfreeze.

I forgo the side walks, because I am not sure where they are, and walk on the road. It is eerie and empty because no one else is stupid enough to walk anywhere! As I push against the wind, most of my body has instantly gone numb, except my forehead. Did I tell you that I lost my toque? My forehead began to ache... immediately. I get to the end of my block and realize that my glasses are freezing to my head. I quickly take them off and realize that my scarf has turned to ice from the moisture of my breathe, and I have 3 or 4 blocks to go yet!

I try to cover my forehead with my mitten as I continue to push pass the wind. But then I find i'm loosing my footing and before I know it I am on my butt in the middle of the street and close to tears! I help myself up and just pray that I make it there!

So I get there (resembling a frozen popsicle by this point) and have to take off my mitten to get to my keys. I think I frostbit my finger about a month ago, so the cold immediately attacks as I fumble to get the right key. I finally get inside, run to my office and slowly unlayer.

AND i give you just one piece of advice... NEVER, and I mean NEVER go outside if you can avoid it!
Joyska at 10:38 AM

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

real quick

Sorry , been super busy since I got home! Things are really coming together for IHOP and it's a go for February! I'm busy packing and closing things down as well as preparing things with the kids for whatever or whoever comes next. It's all very exciting, very hard, and very exhausting! But God is good, and I love it when a plan comes together!
Joyska at 6:38 PM

Sunday, January 09, 2005

I'm Home... sort of

I'm HOME, I'm HOME!! I can't believe it! And now here I am early Sunday morning back at the church... and glad to be here. I'm also struck with the melancholy knowledge that this is my office for only four more Sundays. Soon it will beging to look like someone else's office. That's okay though, because excitement is growing in me as I look stateside. There is much for me to do there and the more I talk with Lenny (the Children's Equipping Center Director) the more I know this is the right move for me.

This is the timeframe: I am working with WCV until the end of July. My last Sunday here will be the 30th of January. Then I will head to Kansas City the following Thursday or Friday. BEFORE THAT however, I will be setting things up as best I can for the WCV Children's Department for a smooth as possible change over, AND I need to solidify my support so that I can successfully cross the border and recieve my Visa. (So if you have a recieved a letter -- expect a phone call!!! NO pressure, just looking for responses). If you have not received a letter and are interested in supporting this adventure, please let me know!!!

Anyway, I come this early to get things done, and so off I go... have a great Sunday!
Joyska at 7:00 AM

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

It seems the snow is following me where ever I go. I got to St. Catharines before Christmas and there was no snow until about 2 days after I arrived, and man did it snow. Then I get to Michigan and again, a few days of no snow and weather warm enough where I don't even need to wear a jacket... and now... SNOW and a lot of it. So much snow that all the schools are cancelled.

Do you remember snow days? When it snowed that much and school was cancelled, I was out in the snow! Making snow men, having smowball fights, going tobogganing (sledding for my American readers) Not staying inside playing video games! I tried to entice my niece and nephew out for a little romp in the snow, but they stayed in and played video games and read a book claiming they didn't have boots... kids these days... no boots? all the more fun! oh well, I could've gone out by myself, but what fun is that? I still had fun starting a little push fight with my ever growing up nephew (who is a linesman on his grade seven football team...) I still won :)

I am driving with my sister from Grand Rapids to Port Huron tomorrow afternoon, meeting my parents in Port Huron and driving to Ajax(where my brother lives) and then Saturday AM drive to Toronto and fly home to Winnipeg... I heard the weather and apparently, the snow is joining me the whole way.

What is the weather in Winnipeg? Let me guess, dry and warm until Sunday when they are expecting snow... at least it is pretty! (Maybe I'll still get in a snowball or two before my niece and sister get in the car... *insert evil laugh here*)
Joyska at 3:00 PM

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

second hand treasures

have you ever walked into a second hand store like Value Village or the Sally Ann and been struck by the distinct odour of second hand clothes? Now, for those of you who regularly "Pillage the village" (Nancy Saura!!!!) this is not a slam on second hand stores! I just want to know... what is the origin of the smell? Is it the body odour of the thousands of other people who are searching for second hand treasures? Is it the musty couches in the back corner? Is there a leak somewhere in the roof of every V and V Boutique? I ask only because it is an odour that is unique to all second hand stores. Maybe it is moth balls... or the detergent that every piece of clothing gets washed in... or maybe there is a chemical reaction when cotton and wool and tweed come together. Yeah that must be it.

I walked into a Sally Ann (or was it Good Will... can't remember) with my friends Barb and Al today. After I got through the initial moment of odour detection, I looked around and realized that the clothing was not organized by size, but by colour! (or color... for my American friends) I found that odd. I guess if you come in looking for a pink or purple sweater, it makes it easier, but if you don't know what you want and you just want to look around, it is truly an odd system.

Did I find anything? No. I didn't have Nancy to show me the way. (or to wait for either!) I also didn't have Jessica to search the books for Garfield comics Thankfully, Barb and Al are not pillagers to the same degree and she was looking for a pink turtle neck! We were in and out of the stores pretty quickly.

I did come home with a Van Gogh poster though... 99 cents... $1.22 cdn! It'll look good in my new home! So there you go, second hand treasures... once you get past the smell... they aren't so bad!
Joyska at 4:40 PM

Sunday, January 02, 2005

in GR

No, that does not mean that I am in GRR. It means I am in Grand Rapids... no, not Grand Rapids, Manitoba... Grand Rapids Michigan! I spent fourteen years of my life in this crazy town, and it is wierd to be back. I went to my old church this morning and spent a bit of time hanging out and talking with familiar faces and lost names. I recognized the names as they were being whispered in my ear by my dear friend Patricia, but couldn't put as many names to faces as I wanted to. It's hard when you leave a place that is dear to your heart, find a new place that is just as dear, and see life move on... with you or without you. But then I remember that everybody is thinking the same thing about me... I recognize the face, but is that what's her name? Of course there are the exceptions to that, the ones you will never forget, the friends who will always be friends... the ones that you couldn't forget, even if you wanted to... not that you would want to!

Like for instance, I am staying with my friends Barb and Al. They are forever going to be the kind of people that you can not talk to or see for a long time and you pick up exactly where you left off. My friends Patricia and Lisa are like that too. (And if Joanne wasn't off in Mexico somewhere, I'm sure it would be true with her as well). Then there is familiar places. Patricia, Joanne and I used to always go to Big Boy... a restaurant NONE of us would go to now, but always used to... the familiar stain glass windows in the sanctuary where I spent hours in services, day camps, and just going in late at night or early in the morning to play piano or pray with Patricia and Joanne. Then of course there is the famous playing of Shanghai with Barb, Al, and Patricia... it's like I never left! The amazing thing is, it all was from 10 years ago, and everytime I come here it is like coming home. 14 years will do that.

Anyway as the holidays are now pretty much over, enjoy your getting back in the swing of things! Happy 2005!
Joyska at 10:34 PM