Monday, 22 December 2014

An Introduction To Me

Long post below - sorry! I just got carried away as I wrote this. I hope you'll bear with me and read the entire thing. Not every post will be this long. :)

Aaw! Everyone, say hello to Dublin L. P. Knowles, full of gingery goodness. Some of you may already be acquainted with him and have come to know him through my plethora posts about him on Facebook and through his Facebook page, as well as through conversations and the like. Some of you may have not, but you will get to know him if you will follow this blog. As I type this, he is curled up on my lap - his favourite spot - snoozing. Being a cat, he does sleep a lot, of course, but that is not all he does.

This blog will not be just about Dublin, though. There is a lot more to me than my cat, although he is a huge part of it since he and I are together a lot more than I am with anyone else. I am not ashamed of that, and I am not ashamed to be a woman who is crazy about cats.

It wasn't always so, though. Up until the November evening Dublin entered my life back in 2008,
I liked cats but never saw myself opening up to one. Then Dublin entered the room in which I sat with my parents, brother, and his then-wife. Being a cat, he commanded the attention of the five of us, of course. He surveyed the room for a few moments before choosing to approach me. He stood up on his back paws, placed his front paws on the couch beside me, and laid his tiny chin on my lap. He immediately started purring and I stroked his soft head. He had a look of pure contentment on his face, and immediately I fell in love. Al and Danielle already had two cats and a dog, and Dublin did not get along with the dog and one of those cats. Al and Danielle would've loved to've keep Dublin, but they knew that it was not the best home for him. There was no way that they would send him to a shelter, and so they were committed to keeping him until a good home could be found for him.

After talking to them a bit about Dublin and the possibility of me bringing him home with me, I asked my landlady if I could have a cat. She talked to her hubby, who said that it was fine. So I made arrangements to bring this ginger love puss home with me.

8 December 2008 was a day that changed my life. I became a doting cat mama, and my life has not been the same since then.

In some ways it may seem to be the same, but it has changed. I have gained a lot of online friends - who are just as precious to me as any who I've met in person. I have met some of them in person, and they've proven to be just like they are online.

So what else is my life aside from Dublin, you're probably wondering if you don't know me. Well, many things. The main ones are my yarn crafts - especially crochet - photography, writing, reading, the outdoors, music, my family (parents and brother, as well as lots of good friends who're like family and a huge extended family of aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins), and, above all, my faith.

I am a Christian who can't recall never having faith. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to do what Jesus wanted me to do. I have not always done that, and I certainly can't say that I've always known what it is He's wanted me to do. I follow the Bible, though - which to me is more real as any other book and is God's Word in written form. I made a conscious decision to ask Jesus into my heart when I was five, &, while I don't remember what I prayed as I knelt with Grace Priest at her kitchen table up in Coppermine, NWT (now Kugluktuk, NU), but I do know that it was sincere. I can see us there as if it happened yesterday, and from what my parents have said, I know that it was real. Walking home from Grace Priest's that day, I was going down the road saying, "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!" and raising my hands. What a sight I must have made at five years old!

At the time, Dad wasn't a practicing Christian - that's a story for another day - and he was embarrassed by my enthusiasm. He didn't care that I had asked Jesus into my heart, but he didn't like that I was being so showy about it. So he told Mom that she needed to help me not be so outward. Now he regrets that, but back then, he didn't think it was a good thing.

I was baptised by immersion on Easter Sunday in 1982. I was 12 years old, and it was one of the most important decisions of my life. To me, baptism is something that a person should choose to do as a way of following Jesus' example of the same as well as of showing outwardly my intention to follow Him and to be His disciple. In the church I went to at the time, baptism was not something that meant church membership. They were two separate things, and I think they should remain separate. Again, this is something for another day, perhaps.

I had a time of not-quite-backsliding-or-rebellion from January 1988 to 30 March 1989. I was questioning why I was a Christian. Was it because it had been expected of me or because I had made that decision on my own? Also, it was the time in my life when I did a lot of soul searching and wondered if I was really a Christian or if it was just an act. I know now, as I did at the end of this time, that my faith has always been sincere and that it really was all my own faith, that it was my own decision to be a Christian, but at the time, I had started doubting because of different things in my life. I might go into more another time, but for now, I'll just say that I ended up throwing away a lot of stuff that I had allowed to come between God and me. They weren't harmful in and of themselves, and they weren't bad on their own. For me, though, they were keeping me from what was most important.

Some people would say that if my faith really was all important to me and the most important part of my life that I wouldn't have gone through such a period, that I wouldn't have needed to go through any soul searching or wondering; nor would I have let anything take my attention away from God. It does happen, though, even to the most faithful of followers, and I do believe that I needed to go through that in order to emerge stronger and a lot more sure about things. I would've loved not having to go through all that, but I know now that I needed to, and I am thankful for it. It also helped to start heal me from some deep hurts that I'd just started to deal with. Even now, going on 26 years later, things still come up that I know stem from those past hurts, but I've come a long way. I do think that some things may never be completely healed unless some things happen in my life, but that's all right. I'm fine with not dealing with those things unless I have to. After all, there's enough in life without having to think about things that aren't necessary. I hope this makes sense, although it might not if you don't know the background.

OK, so Dublin and my faith are two big parts of my life. I am very, very thankful for both. God brought Dublin into my life at a crucial point for both of us. He needed a good home in which he was safe from a dog who barked at him all the time and from a cat who would lie in wait to pounce on him - Dublin got a nick in each ear from that other puss - and in which he was doted on and the only cat. I was emerging from a depression and needed someone else to care about and to shower love on. There are no accidents, and the meeting between Dub and I was not an accident. We were brought together, and he's been the light of my life and an amazing blessing. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for him. I tell him that I love him often each day, and we share lots of snuggles and wonderful moments. Of course life's not perfect, but there's far too much good sharing my life with hi to focus on the bad.

I'm a voracious reader. I've always loved stories, whether they're told to me orally or on paper or in e-form, or whether I'm writing them. I also love movies & TV because these are forms of storytelling, but my favourite way to take in a story is through books. Preferably on paper. There's something wonderful to be in holding a book, feeling the paper, taking in the scent. Sometimes I'll run my fingers over a cover if the print's raised, and there's nothing like having the words reveal themselves to me letter-by-letter. How many adventures have I gone on in this way? Who but God knows? I'm not even going to try and guess. Yes, there are books that I wish I'd never read or even heard of, and there are many that I've not read, despite how popular they have been. I've not read lots of classics that people think must be read, but then I've always done what I've wanted and read what I wanted. I don't follow the dictates of others unless I absolutely have to, and I think for myself. Sometimes my opinions are based on those of others who have great influence to me, but for the most part, my mind is my own. This has come through reading and through various experiences in my life. I think it's important to be able to think for oneself. Yet again, a topic for another day, perhaps.

Photography is another form of storytelling, although in a purely pictorial form. I love capturing what I see through this art form, and more often than not, I'm pleasantly surprised by how they turn out and what's seen in them. Sometimes things aren't quite what they seem, and it's cool to discover them.

Music is another love of my life. I have a good voice, and I'm not saying this out of vanity or any kind of arrogance. I'm saying it because I've been told so my entire life and I've almost always been involved in worship teams and choirs, and I've sung solos. I always play the guitar and flute, but my favourite musical instrument is the piano. I don't have one and I don't have access to one, and I miss it so much. There's nothing like ticking the ivories and getting lost in the music.

Crochet is my favourite craft. I find it easy, for the most part, and the challenge of new stitches and patterns is exciting to me. I'm also a bit of a yarn hoarder, but I am trying to use the yarn that I have. I also can't afford lots of yarn right now, but I can dream.

Nature is a love of mine. I can't get enough of it, although I've not gone outside too much lately. Part of it's because the weather's not been the greatest and I don't have the proper gear for being out in heavy rain - surprising, perhaps, since I live in southwestern BC, a notoriously rainy area. One day, but for now, I go outside on days when it's not rainy. I'm prepared for the cold and snow - I love the cold and snow - but the rain, not so much. I feel closer to God in nature than almost anywhere else. There's something about being in His creation that helps me to stay soothed and calm and thankful. Sometimes I take Dub with me - he loves being outside and I have a harness for him - and he always enjoys that.

My family - Mom, Dad and Allen, who goes by Al with most people. They are the most important and beloved people in my life. Mom and I talk almost every day, and Dad occasionally. He and Mom are having Al, Christy, Kim, Nic and I over for Christmas this Thursday, which is Christmas Day, and that'll be good. Christy is Al's girlfriend, and she's been such a blessing. She's made a real effort to include Mom, Dad and I in her life and the life of her family to some degree, and that's meant a lot. She has four children, and Kim and Nic are the youngest. Kim graduated this past June and is in college. Nic is in grade eleven. They're really nice. We also met Megan and Christian, Christy's two older children.

No, there's no romantic interest in my life, and that's totally fine with me. I used to really want to be married and have children, and part of me still wants that. It breaks my heart sometimes that I'm not a mom, but it's the way my life's gone, and I'm trying to deal with it. Still, I have Dublin, and he's always going to need me. That is a comfort to me, I admit. Yes, I wouldn't mind having a man in my life, but, as I said, I'm fine being single. I have a lot of friends who'd love to be in my place, and long ago, it made me realise that there're benefits to being single. Of course there're benefits to being a wife of a good man and being a mother, and I'd still love to know those blessings, but I know that I am where I am for a reason. So I look for the good in my life and thank God for those things.

I am open to love - I want to be clear about that - but I'm also not actively seeking it. If I did that, I know that it'd become my focus, and I don't want that to be the focus of my life. There're too many good things in life without having to think about finding a man. I don't need a man, despite what some people think about being alone. I'm an introvert, and I find strength in being alone. Sometimes I'm alone too much, perhaps, but whatever. haha :)

One thing I've learned about love is that it comes in many forms. It's not just romantic love that I'm open to. I'm open to the love of my family and friends, and, of course, of Dublin. I'm open to God's love, and I'm slowly accepting the fact that I am valuable to Him. I am His image bearer, as is each person, and realising this, especially after a sermon of a former pastor, really opened my eyes to a lot of things. It's been a blessing to start to see people in a different light, despite what some of my friends think. No, I don't like everyone, and I certainly don't want to know every single person in the world. However, each person has value, although its harder to see in some people than in others. I am trying to treat each person well, although I do admit to failing in this far too many times.

Thankfulness is huge to me. God has blessed with, and I want to express my thankfulness any way that I can. I try to say "Thank-you" to people as often as I can, and I like the Gwichi'in attitude that saying it isn't always necessary, but, rather, showing it is important. I do believe in saying "Thanks" because not everyone recognises a show of thanks, but I also want to be able to show my thanks, whether it's to God or to people or to Dublin, so on & so forth. Along with this comes forgiveness. I don't believe in holding grudges or in holding on to anger. I believe in letting go of past wrongs that've been done to me and to others who are dear to me. I don't think that it's healthy to hold on to these things. I do understand people doing it - believe you me! - since I've had wrongs done to me. I can see how easy it is to stay angry and to not forgive, but I've learned that it's unhealthy and that it's good and freeing to let go. I know lots of people who disagree with me, and we've learned to agree to disagree.

So this is a bit about me. I hope it's not too much to take in. I'm not totally sure where this blog'll go or where I'll take it, but I feel that I need to start it. I'm planning on making changes in my life, and some have started already. I won't go into any of that right now, but one of them is to start blogging. I used to blog all the time, but then I stopped for a long time. I just sense that it's time for me to start again, and I look forward to seeing where it'll go. I hope that you'll stick with me. Please feel free to leave me comments - I'd love to read your thoughts on things, including topics you might like me to write about.

For now, thank-you for reading through this long post. Blessings to you and your loved ones. :)

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