Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Yes, Dear? No way!

There are a number of couples working at the camp from a ministry called "RVICS", which stands for "Roving Volunteers in Christ's Service." The ministry allows retired couples to go to different places and bless them through providing labour, often in the form of extensive renovation to the site. It has been very interesting connecting with these people, particularly in observing the difference in attitude toward gender roles between my generation and theirs in seeing the interactions of these couples who have been married for many years. Therein I have found myself really thinking about what I would like my marriage to be like when I am retired, and it is forcing me to think about what I would like my marriage to be like when it begins, and what steps I have to take now to ensure that it will start out that way, whenever that happens to be. Of course, my thoughts are also prompted by the fact that I would have been getting married this month, had life progressed the way I had imagined it would two years ago. But I really have valued this time because it has allowed me to continue to evaluate what I really want in a marriage, and it has caused me to think twice about many different things.I have realized that I do not want a "Yes, Dear" marriage. I do not want a marriage in which I simply acquiesce to my wife's every wish and demand; but neither do I believe that it is healthy for the man's word to be law. I suppose that I will have to think about these issues more clearly when they have a greater possibility of becoming reality, but I do know that I want a godly marriage, and I do not think that means simply saying "Yes, Dear."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Just visiting

This past weekend was my first weekend back in Saskatoon since moving away only three weeks ago, but there was definitely a different sense about my presence in the city. I find it interesting that I now consider camp "home", and that I am eager to get back "home" to "my bed," which wasn't mine until three weeks ago.I am not living in Saskatoon for the rest of this calendar year, so anytime I come back from now until January I will be "just visiting." It can be really fun to visit, but it can also be really taxing: attempting to fit everyone in, judging who you need to see, not getting enough time with the people you do see, spending lots of money, and being away from your own bed. It has been a good full visit with friends and family, but I am excited about being back "home" tonight - but not about the drive to get there.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Humboldt, SK

Humboldt is a primarily German Catholic town of 5,500 people that is located approximately one hour east of Saskatoon. It will also be my home from September to December, as it is the location of my placement for my internship in the College of Education. I know some families from the town, so it might make it easier to find a place to live, but what may prove very interesting is that I will be teaching some kids who I had as campers back in my days as a cabin leader at Stoney Lake because there is only one high school in Humboldt and many of those campers will now be in the grades I will be teaching. On second thought, do I want kids who knew me between three and five years ago as a cabin leader as students in my classroom? Time will tell. Now only three months remain until I truly become "Mr. Turner...dunh dunh dunh...

Monday, May 15, 2006

A fortnight's worth of blogging

I am now two weeks into my summer at Glad Tidings, and I have adapted fairly easily to the camp setting. I certainly have needed to make some significant adjustments, particularly regarding the rural setting of the camp and being constantly surrounded by wildlife of many forms (gophers, mice, salamanders, robins, ducks, geese, chipmunks, muskrats, and many insects, for example). It has also been difficult living without contact with the outside world, though the transition to a no-internet zone has been far more smooth than I had imagined it could have been. One of the most interesting observations I have had in the past two weeks is how much my thinking patterns have been changed by blogging. It has been two weeks since I last posted, so there are currently about eight different post ideas running through my head, and I have found that I am constantly observing the world around me in blog-sized chunks. I have repeatedly noticed that I take note of things happening around me by flagging them in my mind for discussion in a future post, or even engaging in composition of the text of what should become a post while I am working. And what I find even more interesting now is that although I intended to discuss many of those things in posts this weekend that I now find that I am not able to do so. I am not sure whether it is because the forum of blogging is necessarily immediately instigated, or possibly because the depth of experience of the past two weeks would take far too much time to express in even several posts. Suffice it to say that camp is going great, and that it seems like it will be a great summer. I will tell you more when I can.

Monday, May 01, 2006

See you on the other side

As I have prepared to leave for camp over the past week, I have been very excited about the opportunity that I have to go and serve God for the summer as the Head Male Cabin Leader and LIT Director at Glad Tidings Bible Camp. At the same time, I have had some trepidation about leaving and all of the anxieties that have originated therein. I have realized that this is the most difficult experience I have had in leaving for camp, but that it has the potential to be my best camp experience yet. I will have a great summer, but it is difficult to leave many things behind. Here are some of the things I will miss the most this summer:

Ultimate Frisbee - I really miss playing Ultimate as a competitive sport in a league. I know that I will be able to throw a disc around with people at camp, but it is not the same as the thrill of a game. Ulti is not the only sport I will be missing, though...

NHL Playoffs - Despite the absence of my beloved Maple Leafs, I have really been enjoying the NHL playoffs so far. There have already been some great series, and some of the matchups for the second round look even better. I am sure I will catch some games, but it is not the same as watching hockey every night. Or other programs...

Colbert Report/Daily Show - My daily ritual will be absent for the summer. How will I know what is happening in American politics, and who's not honouring Stephen now? I do have America: The Book to fill this void, but it will not be the same as watching Colbert and Stewart riff on current issues. I suppose I could get clips from the internet, but...

Internet - My access to the internet will be limited at best, which is difficult considering that I maintain many relationships primarily through online contact. There are a number of little things about the internet that I will miss, like checking up on sports sites and especially...

Blogging - I did leave my blog for two months last year, but I was still able to post about once each weekend. I do not know whether I will have such an opportunity this summer, and it is difficult to leave the online Life of Turner even temporarily. I will do my best to continue blogging at least once a week, but be prepared for an extended absence of Turner. I will especially miss keeping up on the lives of others, as well as...

People - I will miss so many people. I have had to say a lot of "see you on the other side"s over the past month, and it is always tough to leave meaningful relationships in a form of stasis. I know that I will see many people at weddings, but my visits will often be strained for time. I will miss MSN conversations and blogs and three-hour phone conversations and hanging out and building into relationships here.

But for everything I am leaving behind, there are things that I am really looking forward to for this summer.

Reading - I am excited to catch up on a lot of reading in the absence of other media, and to really invest in my spiritual life through reading the Bible and other books about faith. I am also expecting to catch up on a fair amount of recreational reading, such as C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy.

Camp atmosphere - The combination of relative isolation from the outside world, living in the midst of nature, and reducing the distractions from God is one of the features that I love about camp. It is simply a great place to be, and I am very excited that I get another shot to be in that atmosphere this summer. I also love being a part of the camp community in a rural area, and all the hospitality that comes along with that.

New relationships - I will have the opportunity to build new friendships and invest in new people that will push me and challenge me and cause me to grow. I am especially excited about discipling younger guys and helping them to grow into men who follow God.

Snail mail - I am eagerly anticipating reviving the lost art of letter-writing, as well at the prospect of receiving return mail, as well as receiving some care packages. Send mail to: [edited out]

Visiting the cities - I will be returning to Saskatoon and Regina several times each this summer, as primarily inspired by weddings in either city. I am very excited to come back and see friends over the course of the summer, especially those that are getting married. There is something about coming into the city from camp that is so invigorating, especially because it is much easier to justify spending a lot of money in one day since there is no chance to do so at camp.

Time for reflection - The last two years have been very hectic, and this summer will provide a much-needed break for me to sort through my thoughts and figure some things out. I still have some grief to work through, as well as a lot of thinking about my future and my life goals. I have a really unique window to take some time to think and ponder and dream, and to meet God in that process.

I am making some sacrifices to go to camp, but I know that in both the short term and the long term that the gains that I will have from going to camp this summer will far outweigh the losses. It is difficult to leave, but it is a necessary difficulty, and I believe that I will be the better for it. And with that, I sign off to go to camp, and I assure you that I will see you on the other side.

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