Monday, April 14, 2014

A very cool opportunity for you: cheeeeeck it out!

How is it possible that I missed National Siblings Day last week?

Actually, I retract that question. Everyone close to me knows how it is possible that I could miss such an important and delightful holiday:

I almost certainly have early onset dementia.

This is a self-diagnosis, of course, that I may have mentioned to you once or twice. I can't remember.

The [much too rapid] deterioration of my memory has affected my life in a number of ways over the years, including but not limited to:

1. The time I got in my car, wondered why it smelled of cigarette smoke, noticed a beach bag in the front seat that I did not recognize, and then tried to drive away. Except the key didn't work. Why in tarnation didn't the key work?! I must have pulled out the wrong key — you know, the spare car key for the spare car I do not have. Or maybe the key was broken? Or upside down?

Or —

Oh. I see. This isn't my car.

2. The myriad times I've gotten in the shower still clothed.

3. The myriad times I've left the house wearing clothes that are inside out.

4. The myriad times I've showed up to appointments days early, or late.

5. The time I lost my grade book, tore the house apart looking for it, and later found it in the mailbox where I'd apparently put it, because, you know, who doesn't like a good scavenger hunt?

6. The time I was juggling 8 bags of groceries and couldn't get into my apartment. The darn key wouldn't work, after five years of working just fine! Surely it was broken [another broken key!]. Or the lock was broken. Or the door knob was broken. I couldn't figure out what, but SOMETHING WAS BROKEN.

After standing at the door pounding and yelling for a roommate to please please come open the door, I walked down the steps, looked around, and realized I was at the wrong apartment building.

Turns out my brain was broken.

But hey, there's no rule that says you can't celebrate National Siblings Day several days late. And so, I give you: a shout out to my amazing siblings, in the form of some of the worst poetry you have ever read. I blame the poetry on the dementia, too.

Dearest sister and brothers,
I’d like to thank our mother
For all of you.

My life has been rife
With all sorts of delight
Because of you.

 Words cannot express
How you are the best.

No really. There aren’t enough words in the world to capture this stuff:

You’re smart, hilarious and kind
And I really wouldn’t mind
If we all still lived in the same house.

Actually, I’d love it.
And surely we’d all fit
In mom and dad’s basement.

Let’s try it. 

The end.

But wait! There’s more! Not more poetry [insert sigh of relief], but another sibling! My little brother Aaron done got hitched a few years back, and now he and his wife, Natasha, are living in Canada where she is training for the 2016 Olympics as a track and field heptathlete.

My sister-in-law, Natasha 

The heptathlon is a two-day event comprised of seven different events: the long jump, high jump, javelin, shot put, 200-meter sprint, 100-meter hurdles, and 800-meter run. If super heroes existed, I feel quite certain they would be heptathletes by day (world-savers by night).

Heptathletes earn points for their seven respective events, and the athlete with the highest cumulative point total by the end of the two-day event wins. Because the heptathlon is the most intensely rigorous and varied sporting event for women in the world, the woman who wins the heptathlon at the Olympics is arguably the best female athlete in the world.

By this point you've probably concluded that my sister-in-law is fiercely determined and wildly talented. You'd be right about that. She's a mighty hard worker: she currently trains 6-8 hours every day at Calgary's Olympic training center AND she works a part-time job.

But that's not the thing I admire most about my sister-in-law. Natasha is working fervently to bring the Gospel of Jesus to the largely unreached world of sports. She is determined to use her platform and its accompanying power to proclaim the goodness of a God whose love for us is absolutely, wildly unimaginable. She's a heptathlete AND a world-changer: a true God-empowered superhero.

If you are looking for ways to support a missionary in the next year, then I have an opportunity for you.

But first, there's bad news: Canada has pulled back their funding for professional track athletes, leaving many of their elite athletes to scrounge up their own competition costs. These costs can accumulate quickly since most of the elite competitions require international travel, room and board. It's imperative that Natasha compete in these competitions if she's going to realize her Olympic dream.

Because Natasha is determined to do what she can to make it to the Olympics, she's created a campaign to raise funding to cover her competition costs. The campaign has lasted the duration of the month, and is now in its final days.

(Check out her campaign video below):

If you'd like to help support Natasha's ministry and Olympic dream by donating, then you can go to her campaign website :

There are two days left in her campaign, so hurry on over! Every little bit helps: five dollars for a tank of gas while traveling to and from competitions; $10 for a meal on the road; $20 for a rental car.

If you're unable to give financial support at this time, then there are a couple of other ways you can support Natasha:

1. Share the link to her campaign website via social media.

2. Pray for her, particularly for a fruitful ministry, good health, ample financial provision, and a sense of God's involvement with her training and competing.

Thank you to the moon and back, everyone!

Aaaaand happy Siblings Day [a week late]!!!


© by scj


  1. What a fantastic way to celebrate! I'm so glad you posted this. :)

    1. It's so fun to have this to celebrate, Jonalyn!