I’m not sure if I can complete this project, but to keep myself blogging, I’m going to try.
1. Thanks to genetics, I am 50% Greek and 50% Anglo-Mutt – but 100% Canadian. I love the fact that my dad was so fiercely proud of his Heritage, and that he passed it down to us. I’ve had the privilege of travelling to Greece several times (but unfortunately not since I’ve been married). My first trip was “in utero” and my last trip was in 1997. My favorite trip was in 1990, I was 16 and went for a whole month with my dad and sister. A deep and passionate love for my “homeland’ was birthed that year. I love the food, the culture, the music, the history, the food, the countryside, the food, my family and especially…. the people (you thought I was going to say food didn’t you?)
2. I am the first born of 5 daughters. There is 3 years between myself and Jennette (we lost her to the yanks in 2004); there are 8 years between myself and Stephanie (she is uber talented, passionate and gorgeous), there are 11 years between myself and Andrea (she is also passionate, but quiet where Steph is loud – and also beautiful, a peacemaker, a lover and a makes her home a haven), finally, there are 13 years between myself and Rebecca (she is fun, cute, friendly to a fault and my squishy- I Y her). I think being the oldest made me neurotic, passionate for people, responsible, creative and bold. I to this day feel responsible to make sure they are taken care of (even though they are all married and 2 of them are moms themselves). Being one of 5 girls provided me with one of the best childhoods a girl could ask for…and honestly, one of the best lives as an adult sister too, because they are just my loveliest lovelies and Thank you mom (and dad) and Jesus for my sisters.
3. When I was a kid I had a lot of surgeries. I had benign polyps removed from my sinus cavities twice (the doctors weren’t sure what they were at the time and freaked my parents out big time). I had tubes put in my ears at least twice, I also had my tonsils out… I’m not sure if I had any others, the anesthesia may or may not have effected my memory long term. As an adult I had my gall bladder out between baby 1 and 2. This was before (acutally the catalyst to) my partial obsession with natural healing methods – grrr…I am now short 2 organs and working with what’s left.
4. Allergies. I have an (as the allergist said to me) “off the chart” allergy to DUST. Yes dust. I must be constantly on guard against the single most common allergen known to mankind. I do not have seasonal allergies, I have perpetual allergies. As a child (mostly related to the aforementioned polyps) I had several odd food allergies in addition to the dust one (as well as moulds, grass, pollen, etc) – one of which was rather violent (though not life threatening) allergy to CORN. The kicker was that I loved corn growing up, i would deal with the pain, just to eat a fresh cob smothered in butter and salt. I think that after working as a corn detassler in high school, I so overexposed myself to corn, that I grew out of the allergy, and can eat it today, but I no longer love it like I did. I also was not supposed to have milk and a bunch of other stuff… Today I have created a self-educated regimen for keeping the allergies at bay including watching my diet, a dossier of supplements and natural remedies, daily sinus flushes, cleaning methods (avoid the vacuum) and regular chiropractic visits… Part of the neurotic tendencies I guess. A few other interesting tidbits: when the polyps were removed the second time, all of my allergies disappeared, except the dust one – which suspiciously got worse over time. Last year, I went to a specialist and an allergist to get tested again and to have them check to make sure no polyps had returned. No polyps – whew! But… still “off the charts” allergic to dust – but now, it gets worse… I have minor food allergies to…get this… peanuts (I enjoy peanuts)…coffee…I love coffee (nay need it)…chocolate (gasp, it cannot be) and the worst…CHEESE. When I asked after a moment of shocked silence…“which cheese dear doctor?” she replied…”all of them”…and I have not stopped grieving…
5. I am married to a wonderful man who loves me just the way I am. From the beginning he has been faithful, patient and fun. He is my best friend and has been since 1995. We met in the fall of 1994, became friends in the spring of 1995 and after a mildly bumpy courtship (I was neurotic and “deep” then – now I’m just neurotic J) we were married in spring of 1998 and there’s been no looking back. He is the one I get to share my life with, my hopes and dreams, my pain and fears. We’ve had some pretty great adventures so far, and some pretty big challenging ones and super sad ones, but mostly fun ones (thanks to him – he’s really a lot of fun). He loves God, isn’t afraid to show it, prioritizes Jesus in our home and is just he best Daddy ever, I love watching him with our boys and I’m just growing in love every day.
6. 5 girls 3 boys – I think that God has a sense of humour in giving me 3 sons having been one of 5 girls. We weren’t even aloud to say the word “penis” growing up, and now I hear it no less than 50 times a day, everyday.
7. 6 women, 1 man, 1 toilet – my father is a saint. In reality because he is in the throne room with Jesus now, but also in his life on earth. In all of our growing years (literally until I left home, actually until Rebecca left home, we had 3 bedrooms and yes ONE bathroom. 1 Shower, 1 toilet, 1 sink. To this day I’m not sure how my dad did not lose his mind. Imagine the adolescent years…I shudder at the memory. And yet, I don’t ever remember dad getting angry over waiting for the toilet, or the shower…well maybe the shower – I can’t remember who, but one of my sisters was notorious for LONG showers.
8. Cancer – this disease is on my hate list. I tell my boys – Heaslip’s don’t hate. But I hate Cancer. It has robbed my family of much. It is horrific, it is against all that is life… My uncle on my mom’s side had leukemia and passed in his early 20’s. He was the last born, and after their first born passed away at 17 from a brain aneurism, well, the family was never the same. My grandpa on my mom’s side passed from leukemia when I was 12 – so most of us kids never had a grandfather at all. My mom, her surviving brothers and my grandma tell stories about him so we know that he was a great man, and we were robbed. My grandma, another uncle and countless family friends have battled the hated disease, and finally, most horribly, it was the disease which robbed my sisters and I of our daddy, our kids of their Papoo, my mom of her husband and the world of a truly wonderful man. I hate cancer, but I know that Jesus hates it more, and that every name must bow to the Name of Jesus, including Cancer.
9. Onto a happier subject. Christmas. It just passed at the writing of this post, so I am fresh off of what was a wonderful celebration for us. We could honour Christ in the center of it all, without hindrance and well, I just love it all. The decorating, the food, the family and friends, the atmosphere at home and out and about. I love the gifts and the shopping, the music and the parties, the blogs (my first year really enjoying all the posts – whew) I even love the planning and the clean up and the post holiday bargain shopping. I just love it all… I am a Christmas Nut and proud of it.
10. Ministry, I will stop with this today…
I think I have a very interesting view of ministry. I see ministry as the function of the whole BODY which is the church. Not just the few, not just those who speak from the pulpit or function as a leader. I have witnessed the “glory and the majesty” of serving the body of Christ and of serving in it. We have also witnessed what my husband calls “the cesspool of Christianity”. We have danced on the mountaintops and crawled through valley of the shadow of death, we have seen cities and nations changed, we have seen historic movements, but we’ve also seen division, fractures, offense, bitterness and death. Since my teens, I’ve been on the front line of several church splits, bowel movements (every healthy body needs one?) and hemorrhages… they can be ugly and painful, but much can be learned. I’ve also witnessed first hand the beauty of rebirth in a broken and battered soul that has been lost and then became found. I have been used as an instrument of peace, of healing, of encouragement and faith. I have been honored to be discipled by truly beautiful, powerful and Christ-ful people. I have been superabundantly blessed with the wisdom of so many who have lived with Christ so much longer, or so much closer than I have. I’ve also had the privilege of being a “discipler”, one of the greatest things we can do. I have witnessed all that is false, which brought me further to a place of refusing anything that was not truly authentic, but aside from all the “works” that were not life giving, the GIVER OF LIFE reveals himself in grace, in truth, in hope, in word, in deed, in faith and in love, through this same body. Our acts of worship are not merely our Sunday offerings of service, expression and attendance, but rather it is the daily fabric of our lives… has been infused with SOMETHING, yes, SOMEONE MORE. We welcome Him into the still small moments, into the celebrations, into the whispers, into the sighs, the cries, the vented hurts and frustrations and also the whoops of joy that make up a day – that even make up a life… and we realize that we have LIFE.