Monday, May 31

Seattle At Its Finest

A college friend of mine and her family came down to visit me yesterday and to see Seattle, as my friend Jeanne had never been.

My itinerary for the day was that we'd go to the Seattle Center, where the Space Needle is, ride the monorail over to another part of Seattle and then from there, walk down to Pike Place Market and see the original Starbucks. Beyond that, I wasn't really sure where to take them or how to entertain. I was hoping for inspiration. In that regard, Seattle did not disappoint.

I knew something was going on in Seattle when the traffic slowed down on the highway near our exit. We then proceeded to creep the ten miles towards the Space Needle, taking up 30-45 minutes of our afternoon. Swarms of people and cars were constantly around us all the way to the parking garage, next to the Seattle Center. Only when we were nearly to the parking garage were we finally enlightened as to what was going on: the Northwest Folklife Festival.

Jeanne asked me was "folklife" guess was earthy, "green," tree-huggers, bohemian type of people. was that but a bit more. Toss in some pot-loving, grunge-dressing, free-thinkers and you have almost a complete picture. There was literally a section that we had to walk through that was fragranced with the smell of pot. Not to mention that there were individuals trying to coax people to sign a petition to legalize marijuana. The highlight was when one such individual declared that "alcohol kills more individuals than marijuana." I kept laughing through our entire walk-through of the Seattle Center thinking that this little festival was showing my friends Seattle at its finest.

The rest of the Seattle excursion was good: we saw Pike Place as vendors were shutting down and joined the flock of Asians taking photos of the tiny original Starbucks, with the original scandalous logo.

Despite our interesting time in Seattle, I had a wonderful time seeing my dear friend again, getting to know her good husband even more, and being introduced to her babe. Conversation was good, laughter was present, and God is good!

Wednesday, May 26

Initial Class Thoughts

There are three, count them THREE, students in my class. Me and two guys...and the teacher.


My average class is anywhere from 10-20 people. This class has three. That's it!
This is going to be both a good and a bad's why:

The best thing about my past classes was, hands down, the interaction that I have had with the teachers and the students. There will definitely be high levels of interaction seeing as only four people total are involved. Yay! And my professor has asked to see a copy of my thesis paper when I'm finished...eek!...but also exciting.

I can't even pretend to hide. Hello?!? I'm the only female voice. I'm 33% of the class. My input will be read by everyone. Moreover, part of my grade is dependent on my interaction with the other students...this means that even if my classmates aren't clever in their writing, I have to still find a way to respond to them intelligently because I don't have option of skipping them to review another student's work instead. It's them or nothing at all.

Despite this silly quandary, I'm excited about this class. It's missions, missions, missions! My heart and mind are excited.

Refocus and Refresh

This upcoming weekend will be full but good. First of all, whenever we have a three day weekend, there is much celebration and rejoicing.

For the last 4-5 years approximately, at this time of the year, the ladies in my church have a prayer retreat. It is a small gathering of ladies and will take place from Friday-Saturday. This chunk of time will include worship, praying corporately and individually, fasting, prayer-related stations, communion, silence and fellowship.

I first went to this two years ago and thought is was good. However, I opted not to go last year for some reason and wasn't really planning on going this year until my sister, who is planning the retreat, asked me to oversee the communion time. And I agreed.

I had planned out the entire communion time about a month ago since my sister wanted to give my thoughts to another lady who oversaw the communion time for a separate day prayer retreat they also had about two weeks ago. Now that the weekend is impending, I find that I am in need of reviewing my thoughts and refocusing my mind on the Passover Lamb. Right now my mind is so full of many other things including the three books I'm trying to stay engaged with. I have to get some homework done tonight and then afterwards I plan to take some time to be silent and still before God.

Then in addition to the prayer retreat, I have some friends coming to town...well, kind of. These friends live in Calgary, AB (about 12 hours away) and will be visiting some friends in Vancouver, BC (about 2 hours away). So either on Sunday or Monday, I will be gallivanting up to Canada to see my dear friend, her nice husband and their new babe. (I think the last time I went to Canada was in fact for their wedding about 4 years ago.)

So while this weekend will be busy, it should be also very refreshing.
Time with God and time with friends.
A balm to my soul.

Saturday, May 22

A Memory From Germany

At some point during my first few months in Germany, I came across this video, which was shown to the kids. I must have sung along because somehow this became a regular "tucking-into-bed" song for a couple of my girls, throughout my two years. Why this song? Who knows! You'd have to ask them.

Good times!

Thursday, May 20

Praying for Wisdom

One of my favorite Bible verses, when I was in high school, was James 1:5.

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (NASB)

I remember reading this at some point in high school and it popped out to me in a fresh way. This verse was a promise! If you lack wisdom, ask God and He will give it to you! A + B = C

And I believed it! Throughout my four years in high-school, I prayed this verse numerous times. Over and over and after day. I prayed for the wisdom that God promised to give and knew He'd provide.

Somewhere down the road, I stopped praying this prayer. I never came to the place where I said "I'm finally wise" but I began to see how God was answering this prayer and giving me His wisdom. I think seeing the fruits of wisdom "justified" me stopping. Years have floated by and occasionally when I've heard this verse or re-read it, I have thought, "I remember when..." or "I should really pray that again..." but never do.

It's not that the belief has gone away but rather the hunger for wisdom has subsided. You see, back then I so desperately wanted God to use me but knew I lacked in so many ways. If I'm honest, I think now I still want to be used by God but feel confident enough in myself and in my strengths that I figure that wisdom will be there when needed. But at the same time, there are areas in my life where I know that but for the wisdom of God, I will flounder aimlessly...I still need His help.

May this prayer, along with the hunger and desperation for God's involvement, once again permeate my heart.

Wednesday, May 19

A Good Idea?!?

About two weeks ago, my friend Erin asked how we should celebrate my birthday. The idea that we came up with is to walk around Green Lake and to go to a Cuban-inspired coffee shop, both in Seattle.

Green Lake is a this quaint little area of Seattle surrounded with trendy shops and a path all around the lake. Whenever the weather is nice, people swarm Green Lake either to run, walk, skate, or bike. The path around Green Lake is just shy of 3 miles.

As for the Cuban-inspired coffee shop, aka El Diablo Coffee Company, it proved to be a little gem-hole-in-the-wall type of shop! And I loved it. My Cafe con Leche reminded me of a good European cappuccino. Yum! Rich coffee taste with foam and cinnamon...cannot get any better. Seriously, writing about makes me want to go back for another cup of goodness. **Sigh**

The crux for this evening was the weather. We'd only do this if the weather cooperated and that too, could not have been better! Warm, clear skies, sunny...a perfect spring day for Washington...a day when postcards are made!

The only "downside" to this day was in my planning. This past weekend, I moved apartments. I ended up not working on Friday just to move things. By the time 4:00pm rolled around, my arms and legs were rubber. I had climbed about 600 steps (this is just a guess...about 25 steps between both apartments). Up and down the stairs until my legs were constantly aching. Box after box until my arms were limp as dishrags. At this point, I crashed on my couch for the hour that I had available until my next activity.

After the next activity was over, I went with my friends Erin and Krissy for our planned Green Lake/El Diablo adventure. I repeatedly wondered what I was thinking to have scheduled a three mile walk after a day of moving but I figured what won't kill me will only make me stronger. Sure...I was practically limping by the time it was over. Sure...I wanted to weep with joy when I realised I had 0.5 mile left to go. Sure...I swallowed more gnats than I'd care to know...but all-in-all I had a great evening with my friends and got to console my pain with my coffee afterwards.

So what seemed like a good idea at the beginning ended up still being a good idea. But next time I think I'll skip the whole moving thing...I've had enough of that for awhile.

Tuesday, May 18

Books, Books, and more Books

I am buried under a pile of books that I want to read, should read, and must read.

My next class is starting on Monday: World Church Growth Principles & Strategies. Reading is 50% of my grade. My class is 7 weeks long. I have 5 books to read and 3 major projects to do, in order to complete this class (this does not include the weekly online discussions and book reports that also must be done). I am now going to crawl into a hole and read my life away. Let me share what's on the agenda:
  • Reap the Harvest: How a Small Group System Can Grow Your Church by Joel Comiskey
  • The New Global Mission: the Gospel From Everywhere to Everyone by Samuel Escobar
  • Truth to Tell: the Gospel as Public Truth by Leslie Newbigin
  • From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya by Ruth Tucker
  • Missions on the Way by Charles Van Engen
I'm excited about this class even though I'm now doing my pre-class "I think I can, I think I can..." mental exercises and anything else to calm the overwhelmed-by-syllabus feeling.

In addition to this, I have just agreed to once again oversee the church's summer book club. Those who join read the book in June and participate in the book club meetings in July. This year, we have decided to change things up a bit. Instead of offering one book, we are going to offer three! The theme of all three have to do with living boldly or counter-culturally, as the Lord calls us to in the Scriptures. Two books will be non-fiction and one is fiction; the options are:
  • The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus OR Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt (Both sound good...has anyone read either of these books and can give my your input???)
  • In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
  • In His Steps by Charles Sheldon
Simply put, there is no way I will be able to read all three prior to the meeting in light of my upcoming class requirements. I have read the last one and will endeavor to read another. My role will be to organize the program, a final event activity, and the meetings, to a degree. As for coming with questions for the meetings, that is where I'll need creativity (and help).

On top of all this, is the ever-lingering thesis paper where I have at least 8 books awaiting my attention. This will have to hold for a bit longer, methinks!

This list make me a bit tired before I even start. It's a very good thing that I like to read. All that is needed are comfy pajamas and coffee and off to reading I go! Wish me luck!

Monday, May 17

I don't deserve my dad!

The last few days have been full of packing, moving, cleaning, sleeping, unpacking and generally aching all over. I only moved two buildings over in the same apartment complex. But everything had to go down one set of stairs, across the parking lot and up a set of stairs.

Overall, I think I will enjoy my new apartment. Living with my younger sister will have some adjustments but it will be good. And I love my new feels so much more a haven than my last room. But this post isn't about me.

I have concluded numerous times over this weekend that I do not deserve my dad! He has so willingly helped move my sister and I and all our heavy pieces of furniture. I know it was taxing on him towards the end...he's not a young guy anymore but he stuck it out. And then yesterday, he called me up to see if I would like help in cleaning up my old apartment.

Heck, yeah! I will never refuse help with cleaning but I was so touched by this. So we worked for about three hours and got a fair share of the apartment beautified but still have about half to go. Then my dad volunteered to swing by my apartment today to do some more cleaning while I'm at work. Bless my lucky did I deserve this?

I want to find a way to thank my dad for his generosity. My parents will be moving soon...I suppose one idea is that I could simply return the favor when the time comes. (My poor parents lament over the lack of sons-in-law in our household. When my grandparents moved back in the day, all their daughters and their sons-in-law came together to help such luck, as of yet, in our family.)

I know my father hasn't volunteered his time just to receive recognition or rewards but his service makes me want to show my love and appreciation for him. A father's love, freely given, for the undeserving child...I see a good spiritual lesson in this.

Tuesday, May 11

Remembering a Year

This past year has flown by.

Today is my birthday and honestly I feel like I just did whole birthday thing not too long ago. So in order to prove that a full 12 months went by, I'm going to reminisce (or at least try to).
  • Oooh...I went to Germany and Holland right after my birthday, I think! Or maybe it was before...but anyways, it was a year ago. I wanted to visit my kiddos before my first batch of boys graduated and left the Black Forest Academy. I had a wonderful time visiting the kids, my friends and the place that I called home.
  • A class started while I was in Holland, which leads me to another key element to this past year. I took three classes this past year...which was good but busy. I remember my brain and body feeling a bit numb, not to mention exhaustion, a couple of times.
  • I organized and lead a book club for my church last summer: Same Kind of Different As Me. That was an interesting experience. Very good book!
  • I joined my church's youth leadership team at the end of summer/beginning of fall. Hmm...what to say? Working with youth is always a unique experience. I love my middle-schoolers though and found out that I love studying and teaching the Old Testament!
  • I saw The Nutcracker ballet for the first time after Thanksgiving...and thought it wasn't very Christmasy...even though the dancing, costumes, and music was all very beautiful!
  • In January, my church had the mission's conference. It was a very good week and encouraging time. The highlight was getting to talk to one of my BFA kiddo's parents who was visiting my church. He wanted to talk about my time at BFA and it was sooooo good to be heard and understood.
  • Ooh...I went to California in February to visit my grandparents. I love prove that, I went without coffee and internet for a week!
  • I participated in a Jewish Seder...that was interesting.
  • I was going to attend a concert in April but forgot...and now May is here.
Movies that I saw (that I can recall):
  • Night at the Museum: Smithsonian (Funny...I liked it!)
  • The Proposal (very good)
  • All About Steve (dumb...don't waste your time)
  • The Blind Side (very good)
  • Sherlock Holmes (enjoyable)
  • Star Trek (surprisingly enjoyable)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (yay, Harry!)
  • Up (didn't love it...didn't hate it)
  • Blind Date (don't see this...awful, me!)
  • Did you hear about the Morgans? (thought it was funny)
  • Leap Year (it was okay...not bad)
  • Twilight: New Moon (better than the first movie)
  • Crazy Heart (good)
  • I Hate Valentine's Day (dumb...don't waste your time)
Okay, so I guess a full year did go by. I'll accept my new age.

May this next year be a time of God speaking into my life and being my vision. May He grant me wisdom, patience, and a heart for others. May He use me where He wants me, to bless others as He has blessed me. May I be more in love with Him this time next year. Amen and amen!

Monday, May 10

Yes, I have issues...

**I very much want to go on a work rant. This day not has gone well at all. Maybe I'll discuss it when less emotion is involved. So for now, I'll move on.

I have issues with accents. It's true. I really genuinely do!

Washingtonians don't have a strong speaking accent. I realise that having grown up here, I'm immune to any strangeness to our accent because it sounds normal to me. But I think in the scheme of accents out there, the Washingtonian accent is pretty flat.

There are a few words of exception, as others have pointed out to me:
--We sometimes put an "r" sound in the word "wa(r)sh" or "wa(r)shington"...weird, I know.
--We say rough instead of roof.
--We say pin instead of pen.
--We say beg instead of bag.

Whenever these funny pronunciations have been pointed out to me, I have modified my speech accordingly to be a "more proper" speaker. But where I consistently fumble is hearing other people's accents.

Whenever I hear another accent, be it from the south, the east, Canadian, British, Australian, etc, my mind goes into auto-pilot and I find myself mimicking their speech. It is so embarrassing! One moment I'm talking normal with my flat Washingtonian speech and the next moment I'm speaking with a twang or some other kind of accent. Flustered and blushing four shade of red, I try to stop speaking how my mind wants to speak but then my next few sentences come out half me and half accented!

There have been a couple times when people have looked at me quizzically as if they are trying to figure out if I am mocking them or if I genuinely talk like that.

Such an incident happened today. I called Kraft Foods, which is located in Tennessee. My main contact over there is a guy who comes from Minnesota or he does not have the Tennessean accent (Thank the good Lord! I'd be a mess otherwise!). But today, I called up another guy and got his voicemail. Hearing his voicemail was all it took and my message came out all twangy, sing-songy. I hung up, sighed, and rolled my eyes. I knew this guy had an accent and all prior mental calisthenics (I will not mimic Russell. I will speak like myself. I shall control my mind and speech.) went straight out the door the moment I heard his voicemail.

So if I ever have the pleasure of chatting with you and you have an accent, don't be surprised if I mimic you. It will be unintentional and it will likely be amusing but it will happen...because after all, I have issues...


I long to talk with you.
I am not a huge talker to be honest, but long to hear your voice and to chat about random daily things, things both insignificant and important.

I long to hear your heart.
I long to hear your dreams, prayers, wishes, thoughts about God and goals in life.

I long to hear your laugh.
I long to hear the life and joy of your laughter. It will be a delight in making you laugh and to laugh because of you.

I long to hear your voice.
It will bring joy, comfort, excitement and peace to my soul. Your voice will admonish, correct, guide, and teach me. Sure, there will be times when your voice will aggravate or frustrate me (and I you) but I'm willing to have those moments too.

But more than all this, I long for your presence.
To know that even if we are not talking or laughing, you are there for me and I am there for you.

Friday, May 7

The Panel

I'm a youth leader this year with my church. I volunteered (yes, willingly) to be a middle-school youth leader...I love that age!

This past Tuesday, which is our youth night, the youth pastor decided to do something different. He wanted to have a panel of youth leaders, allowing the students to ask us whatever they will. We did this in three sections: Social, Moral, or Spiritual questions. Each section was given about 20 minutes of time with games in between to make sure they were awake.

Although there are about 8 leaders, he had four of us on the panel at a time. I was on the Social and Spiritual panels and wow...was it interesting!

Every time we were asked a question, we would sit there a bit in awe, momentarily trying to figure out how to possibly answer this question and who would answer first.

Some of the questions that were asked:
--What do you think of the death penalty?
--What do you do if you don't want to be friends with someone?
--What makes Catholics/Mormons/etc Christian or not-Christian?
--What makes an "R-rated" movie appropriate for middle-school versus high-school?
--When is it okay to show your emotions?
--How do you deal with someone who is invading your boundaries?

My favorite question was the last one in which one of our youth asked each of us what are favorite Scripture passages were, so that he could write them down. I love sharing and discussing the Bible with others.

Overall, this got me thinking. Throughout the year, I have been overwhelmed at times at the heaviness that some of these youth issues, identity issues, friend breaks my heart. Some of them have lives that I couldn't even imagine when I was their age and still can't fully identify with. I have wondered from time to time if we are even reaching these youth...if our lessons are relevant to their lives...if, despite everything, they are being drawn closer to God or feeling pulled away.

But honestly, the questions they asked this past Tuesday, told me that they are not too different from me. I had similar questions when I was in youth group. It was a time of Black/White, Right/Wrong and where do I fit into this crazy life.

I told the youth pastor afterwards that this panel thing is definitely something worth being done again. And another good option would be to have girls/guys panel for gender-related questions.

God is doing a work in me and in the lives of our youth. I love that He chooses to use me and I love that God gave us this opportunity to hear the youth and to speak into their lives.

**If you'd like to know how I answered any of those questions, just ask.

Birthday Tradition

Back in 2001 (I think), as my birthday was encrouching upon me, a newer friend of mine asked if I had any birthday traditions.

I think her question stumped me but I'm sure I stammered out some kind of answer:
Ummm.....well.....I'll have dinner with my family....that's about it, really....

Then she elaborated that she was thinking of starting an annual birthday tradition for herself but was still trying to decide what to do: get a haircut, a massage, shopping, or some other rare treat.

I thought that seemed like an idea worth considering. Treating myself for having survived graced another year! I allowed the idea to loll in my head over the next several years.

Upon returning home from Germany, I had the grand idea that my annual birthday tradition would be to treat myself to a pedicure. There is something lovely (in my mind) about buying a cup of coffee, wearing comfy clothes, and treking off to the local nail salon with a book in hand for a little me-time.

The benefits of this me-time is a pair of lovely feet when I'm done. (Of course, usually it's still cold or wet in Washington for the next month so nobody notices my lovely feet except me...but that's okay!)Tomorrow morning is when I've scheduled in my annual birthday tradition. And I'm so ready for it.

Then I get to trek home for a good afternoon of packing up my apartment and working on my thesis paper! Oh...and at some point, I really must find a Mother's Day gift. Why does it seem that the older I get, the harder it is for me to think of good gifts for my family members? Any good ideas???

Wednesday, May 5

Chateau Ste. Michelle

If you are a wine drinker, you may be familiar with the Chateau Ste. Michelle name. It's a local winery that has done pretty well in establishing a reputation for itself.

Every summer, Chateau Ste. Michelle has a series of concerts offered at an amphitheater that they created, surrounded by their vineyards. Their line of musicians vary in genre; everything from jazz to country to classic. And another thing about Chateau Ste. Michelle is that it is open seating, which means you take your picnic blankets and snack/lunch type foods and you settle in however close you can get. Then, if you like a little wine with your music and snacks, they have a wine stand where you buy by the glass or the bottle.

It has a very enchanting type of feel to the place but maybe that memory is biased because I was crooned by the lovely Diana Krall on my last visit, which was two or three years ago.

The place is beckoning me back there again. Come...come!

Natalie Merchant, one my long-time favorites, has just come out of her hiatus, producing a new CD "Leave Your Sleep." She will be singing at the Chateau Ste. Michelle on August 6. Come...come! In August, we should be guaranteed a non-rainy night, right? I think I must go, rain or shine.

But in the process of scooping out the website, I saw that Jamie Cullum, a young jazz singer, will also be performing July 24th. What's a girl to do? Come...come! I would love to go but I hesitate.

Despite my previous post of being brave enough to try out a concert by myself, I'm not brave at all. I can do one concert but two??? I can handle Natalie Merchant's music by myself but Jamie Cullum's music?? I know this sounds contradictory to some degree but it makes sense to me. Maybe I'll skip Jamie this round (unless I happen to find someone to go with me) and take solo-concert-going in baby steps.

**Update: God solved the problem by sending a wedding invitation for the same day as Jamie Cullum's concert. As much as I'd love to see Jamie, I would much rather attend this couple's wedding!

Monday, May 3

And all God's people say...

Ever since I was 9 years old, I have attended a Christian & Missionary Alliance church. Prior that this, I was born and (partially) raised in a Baptist church.

As far as churches/denominations go, the C&MA is pretty even keel, from what I've seen. It's a denomination that believes in the gifts/manifestations of the Holy Spirit but is not typically seen in the Sunday services. The most charismatic that my church gets is raising of hands and the very occasional "Amen," "Thank you Jesus," or "Yes, Jesus."

As God would have it, I also attended a C&MA college, Canadian Bible College aka Alliance University College aka Ambrose University College (the two name changes have occurred post-graduation, so henceforth, it shall always be to me as CBC). Attending CBC was wonderful and any affection I had towards the C&MA prior to attending, deepened into proud appreciation and love for who the C&MA was and is. But this is really besides the point.

Throughout my two years at CBC, I had to take three theology classes; one for each person of the Trinity. All of these classes were taught by the same teacher who is brilliant and highly amusing. I loved my theology classes even though I could never seem to get good grades.

One day, my teacher made an important theological point and then said, "and all God's people say..." to which our class responded with a surprised and mumbled "amen!" Upon hearing this, my teacher proceeded to enlighten us as to what good C&MA people say, in case we didn't already know. We were not the "Amen," "Hallelujah," or "Praise the Lord" type of denomination (although we readily accept such people without hesitation). When a C&MA person hears something that they agree with, as my teacher informed us, they enthusiastically voice their agreement with a resounding "mmmmm" (as if in deep reflection).

At this, our classroom erupted with laughter; partly because we realized that he was spot on, having described many of us. Not wanting to let his previous important theological point pass, my teacher once again asked "and all God's people say..." to which this time (and every time hence) we obediently responded with "mmmmm."

Ever since then, there are times I am sitting in a church (C&MA or otherwise) and will find myself nodding my head and "mmmm"-ing in agreement with the sermon. Upon the realization I usually need to hold back laughter as I remember those quirky and enriching days of college.

Saturday, May 1

The Gift of Singleness?!?

I subscribe to Relevant magazine. Having received all of two issues so far, I'm finding it interesting although I'm not convinced yet that this will be renewed when the time comes. But I want to share with you a small part from the May-June magazine, from the article Stuff Christians Like: Sometimes Faith is Funny, by Jonathan Acuff. Thankfully the below scenario has never happened to me outside of the one guy asking if I'm going to be a nun! But this sure had me laughing...enjoy!

Telling Other People That Maybe God Gave Them the Gift of Singleness

     He didn't give it to me. I'm married, thank God, which I can totally say in this context because I am literally thanking God for something He gave me, which is a wife. It's weird that He didn't give you one, though. Maybe He does want you to be lonely, I mean single. Like Paul. Marriage isn't for everyone. Not everyone gets that gift. Some people, yourself for instance, get cats instead.
     Or dogs. God seems like He's more of a dog kind of guy. And that's not so bad. Dogs are nice, you'll have a lot of time by yourself for puzzles and your tea will last twice as long. Think about that. Whenever my wife and I have tea, we waste two teabags. Think of the savings in tea you'll be enjoying, and you'll never have to pick a side of the bed to sleep on. You have both sides to choose from and no one ever elbows you.
     I bet you didn't even consider that. Good thing I'm so insightful, which is another gift God gave me. He gave me more of a "spiritual gift basket" than just an individual gift. I got marriage and happiness and kids and joy and love, but you got the gift of singleness. Like Paul. That's great. Seriously, I'll pray you'll be willing to embrace it and not shriek every morning when you awake that gift is still sitting on your doorstep. That's what I would do. I have nightmares about being alone sometimes. But that's your gift.