Saturday, April 26, 2008


Laura was in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. She is now in Tennessee.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


(CMO acronym reminder - Current Musical Obsession)

The entirety of the Cake album Fashion Nugget.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Giving Up/Holding On

Last night was my last Church in the Box as a staff member. It also kind of marked my last responsibility with Redeemer. Though I have a couple of work things to do, this was my last 'big' thing to do. So in essence I'm just waiting for grad.

The second last song we sang last night was Give Us Clean Hands, which contained the line from which we mounted our annual theme - a generation seeking Your face. I've always loved singing that song at CITB because most of us are of the same generation. So I feel like it is literally a generation singing/crying out to God and asking Him to be a generation of children seeking after Him. I spoke with a couple of other people last night about this and they said they felt the same way. One friend said she found herself taking a moment to look around at the hundreds of other people in her age group with hands raised, voices pouring out from hearts, and asking for the same thing.

The prayer team sits spread throughout the auditorium for blanket prayer coverage, and this month I found myself near the middle of the top of the balcony. So while we were singing these lines "Oh God let us be a generation that seeks, that seeks your face oh God of Jacob" I had my hands fully outstretched - right out to the finger tips and below me was almost the entire congregation and I felt as a departing part of this generation God was pouring His energy and His blessings out through my hands to all the people below.

The last song of the night was a traditional song of benediction at Redeemer - My Friends May You Grow in Grace. The lyrics for that (as I can't find them online) are as follows:
My friends may you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. My friends may you grow in grace and in the love of Jesus Christ.

To God be the glory, now and forever. Now and forever, amen. To God be the glory, now and forever. Now and forever, amen.
During this song the entire congregation took the hands of their neighbours and linked all of the rows of seating together. The way this usually happens (and last night was no different) was that we stand there holding hands during My friends may you grow in grace... and then for the To God be the glory... part everyone lifts their hands up. So during the last song of my last CITB (as a team member), my last time to worship as a registered member of this community, I got to sing my prayer for this community. I so desperately want them to grow in these things. I understandably got a little misty at this point. And then as we were singing To God be the glory... it was like the perfect concluding statement. Yes, to God be the glory for this ministry year with CITB. To God be the glory for a 6 year undergrad in 7 years. To God be the glory for healing after migraines, depression, allergies, abuse, pneumonia, broken relationships... To God be the glory for almost 27 years of life. And to God be the glory for however many years are left. To God be the glory.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

La Tendresse

Tonight is my last night to work some very talented women.

The 2008 Church in the Box: Creative & Expressive Worship Team
(back row, left to right) Sarah R, Nicole D, Joy J, Amy P, Silvie J
(front row, left to right) Chelsea S, Laura S, Rachel T, Jenni H

Come tonight and see some of these girls (and a contract boy) speak some truth and dance some prayers. 7pm, Redeemer auditorium - Syd Hielema is speaking.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dinner Time Thoughts With Lstew

  • garlic toast grilled cheese with a side of green beans, garnished with radishes is a classic meal and will never go out of style (if i owned a camera there would be a picture here)
  • radishes are probably one of God's greatest creations
  • "Bet You Think I'm Lonely" by the Wild Strawberries is probably one of the most underrated break up songs
  • the Wild Strawberries themselves are very underrated
  • I can get down to the ice cream truck in time from my apartment
  • tonight will be my final and 14th midnight breakfast at RUC
  • why don't i own a mac - garage band needs to be a close friend of mine
  • my last name doesn't have a u in it
  • cloves?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Laura the Merciful Continues Her Reign of Mercy

You might remember this guy - my ex - Irwin. Well, I thought I was done with that mangy guy. I mean parts of the winter were hard. I could see him and his lady friend Bernice trying to brave the fierce winter storms out there on the balcony. They mostly roosted right above the door to the balcony. And sometimes my compassion would flood my once hardened heart and I would desire to invite them in to let them warm up and get out of the wind. Clearer thinking prevailed and Irwin and Bernice stayed outside for the winter. And well, as Buxtehude put it so eloquently - die vinter, die kinder...

As the weather warmed up I began to make some ventures out on to the balcony. Each time I did, there was a pigeon who would fly away as soon as I got out there. I assumed it was Irwin. This was until I went further out onto the balcony and saw one of my flower pots (complete with soil) sitting there...

Picture 1 - taken from my living room window so as not to scare off Bernice

Picture 2 - the die kinder of die vinter

I have managed not to toss the children into yonder parking lot in a fit of jealous rage. (Man I hope that phrase gets googled out of context)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Plaque Build Up (But Without The Gingivitis)

I'm not sure if I actually owned any plaques before, save for the one that you put your little 4-H bar thingers on. But by the end of this week I had two presented to me.

On Wednesday at closing convocation myself and this guy (Mark DeVos)...

...won the Student Life Award(s)

You may not be from the RUC community. And therefore you would have no idea what I'm talking about. The following is from the Redeemer daily newsletter - The Student Life Award is given annually to one female and one male student who exemplify the following: A Christian commitment expressed in all areas of university life; academic diligence (not necessarily resulting in high grades); involvement in extra-curricular activities such as choir, theatre, yearbook, the Minstrel, Student Senate and athletics; a concerned individual who cares about and influences campus culture; and a person who is respected by peers, faculty, and staff. Individual students, staff and faculty can make nominations for this award.

It was pretty dang cool to be the recipient of this award and to share the stage with Mark, 'cause he is one very awesome young man. We got a standing ovation. It was such a neat sensation to stand there on the stage and look around at the faces that you knew you had a connection with, be it staff, faculty or student. Needless to say, that was a big boost to my week and to my healing process.

You'll recall the last post talking about my last concert as a concert choir member happening on Friday. It went really well, and I know many prayers were sustaining me through that night. I especially know that because I could breath the best I have in weeks, on Friday night. I went to sing in church this morning and I felt like I was singing and jogging - it was that hard to get enough air. But the concert went really well, the solo-y thing went really well, and yeah, great music was sung in German, Latin and English.

After the concert, back in the choir room, I was presented with this -

It reads: Presented to Laura Stewart In recognition of her record number of years of involvement in, and dedication to the Redeemer University Concert Choir - 2008. I had no idea it was coming and I have to thank Kevin and John for making that happen and making me smile. Oh 6 years in concert choir. Obviously both plaques will be hung with my diploma (the one I'll be getting in 6 weeks).

Here's a shot at the Egg & I (had breakfast with Ma and Pa there on Saturday morn) with the booty -

I kinda just look at both plaques and think - wow, look at the work God has done. Look at the young punk who entered Redeemer and the concert choir 7 years ago and is leaving a young(ish) woman. Look at the journey He has lead me through. These plaques are an indicator that God is good, He is good indeed.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I began to make my return to life this week. It was/is exhausting. I had to pick and choose what I had the energy for. And when I wasn't expending energy I was lying down somewhere. For the most part I'm getting much better. I can breath out of my nose 90% of the time. Most coughing is for maintenance (unless I get riled up - which you know, never happens to me as I am very calm and am rarely excitable).

I went back to singing this week. Which may admittedly might have been a bit early. But tonight is my final choir concert as an undergrad and I am in a quartet for a motet and well, as I have said a few times this week - that I will be cold, dead and in the ground before I don't sing in the concert. You don't become the longest standing concert choir member ever by letting a little pneumonia get to you. Heck no. The singing hasn't been too bad. My voice sounds bad afterwards - which I'm guessing is just pure fatigue, but I can sing, and sing pretty well. It is still hard to breath - so I've had to break things up a little more than usual. Ha ha, I went to my voice lesson yesterday and tried an aria that I have to sing at the recital on Monday - holding the sustained notes and trying to get enough air in for them made me dizzy! It was crazy.

Rest assured that I know I am crazy to do what I'm going to do over the next 24hrs. I know I'll regret parts of it as I spend the rest of the weekend in bed. But I know I would regret so much more not singing in this concert (the line up is SO good and so are the singers!). My parents are currently on their way here. So I will have lunch with them and hang for a bit. Then they will do a couple things they need to take care of - I will lay down for a bit and then make myself pretty for the concert. We have a call time of 5:30, but since I am crazy and responsible, I will be there at 5. We have a rehearsal for an hour and then half an hour break (where I will find a couch to crash on) and then we get robed and do final preps. The concert will be a couple of hours with intermission. And then I'm gonna rely on the Holy Spirit to keep giving me energy so that I can celebrate afterwards with both family and friends. Finally Saturday morning my parents and I will keep our tradition of going to the Egg & I and doing a bit of shopping. Apres ca, I will crash.

So you can see that I've healed enough to be able to push. I take that as a victory. Last week I couldn't push. And really, I don't have anything scheduled after my parents leave on Saturday until Monday's voice recital. I'm golden. Right?

Monday, April 07, 2008


One of the great things about having pneumonia (and there are many), is the advice and tips. I actually mean this. Pneumonia hits a little more universally than say, migraines. Migraines are pretty personal, everyone has to deal in their own way. But I think when you have crap in your lungs you have crap in your lungs.

I'd like to share some of the tips, advice, info, etc that I have received over the past few days:
  • rest
  • drink (water - I assume)
  • have hot showers (without men)
  • sleep lots (also without men) (sorry boys)
  • rest
  • don't talk
  • eat yogurt in conjunction with the antibiotics
  • rest
  • be prepared to feel like a sack of crap long after the antibiotics are done
  • don't push too early
  • get the rib/muscle thing checked out
  • rest
  • eat soup
  • combine honey and lemon
  • stop taking the antibiotics and use soluble silver instead
  • keep resting after the drugs are done
  • use inhalers
  • sweat my bag off
  • keep saying no
  • don't go outside
  • get some sun
  • give/receive hugs
  • stay the heck away
  • be quiet
  • take it easy as long as you need to
  • come back quick
  • pneumonia means that I'm pretty dang sick
  • pneumonia is a b!tch
  • pneumonia knocks the stuffing out of you
  • pneumonia is gross
  • pneumonia is real, please be careful
  • levaquin is like taking rat poison
  • levaquin will tear you up inside
  • rest
  • don't push yourself

Rubber Meeting The Road

I've been watching a lot of movies (or rather a few movies a lot of times) over the past little while. This morning I watched Fried Green Tomatoes for the first time in like years and years (like I probably haven't seen it since I moved out of my parents' house). After watching it, I realized that that movie is in essence a statement of how I view friendship or my philosophy of friendship. If you 're a friend of mine you should watch it sometime.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Seeing The White Light, Starting To Walk Towards It, Then Having A Rope Thrown Around My Waist And Being Brought Back

This is me. I'm recovering from pneumonia. And I'm being told that one of the best ways for me to recover quicker is to rest and stay quiet. Thusly, my bed, its many blankets and pillows are where I am based.

(click for larger versions of pics)

I have a pretty good set up here in my room. One of the keys to me just shutting up and not moving around is to have pretty much anything I could need within arms reach. In these next two pics you'll see my bedside table; complete with an arsenal of things to help me through this and my desk chair - aka the current house for my laptop. The laptop being my non-talking conduit to the outside world and my entertainment centre.

There are a few other things that help recovery. One of those is motivation. I decided that being sick is lame, and that I'm getting tired of canceling things, and ending up in tears because I'm missing everything that is fun or cool. In conjunction with the decision that being sick is lame, I decided that when my Levquin (the stomach eating, germ killing antibiotic I'm on) is done that I will be better.

Just so I can keep track of this better getting, I made a motivational count down board. You'll see the hand coloured (which I am pretty dang proud of) mini-banner that says Days Until I'm Better. You'll also probably recognize that Holy guy in the middle of the banner, His name is Jesus, we're friends. Underneath the banner are the packets of Levaquin, all labeled with the day I have to take them. As I finish the pack I break it down and change it's position on the wall. Ta da.

Another recovery thinger is the whole coughing/not coughing ratio. Coughing in many ways is good for me, so that I can get the "shit" out of my lung. But coughing hurts the throat (which I need to sing in this Friday's choir concert, where I have a special line to sing). And coughing really hurts after I woke up the other night in one my usual coughing fits, but managed to tear/pull/rip something in/on my left side. Three of my best friends in the coughing/not coughing battle are here - vapo rub, lozenges and cough syrup (with expectorant!).

And here is some of the collateral damage of the cold that turned to bronchitis that turned to pneumonia - 2 of the 4 empty boxes of kleenex, the empty bottle of all in one cough syrup and an empty bag of lozenges.

a few more pics, and hilarious sets up can be found here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Things That Are Key To Healing

  • bendy straws
  • popsicles
  • the world wide interweb
  • frozen raspberries
  • the film industry
  • music
  • the prayers of those who love me
  • crayons
  • shoppers drugmart
  • so many blankets
  • so many pillows
  • a very well organized bedside table
  • well timed mail
  • well timed visits
  • soup made specifically for me but not by me
  • a dr who actually knows what he's doing
  • people to delegate to
  • sunshine
  • Jesus
  • God
  • Bible
  • structure/direction
  • instant messaging - the way to talk without talking & my window to the outside world
  • white cranberry - peach juice
  • hot tamales
  • time

Friday, April 04, 2008

Welcome To Pneumonia Town

Population LStew.

No One Will Be Watching Us...

This morning I read a small snippet about Paul McCartney and his messy divorce with Heather Mills. It made me want to give Sir Paul a hug.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Velocity Of Bricks

Once upon a time about 13 days ago I got a cold. It seemed like an other cold. I snotted, I sneezed, I hacked a bit. I figured I'd infect some family members over Easter, come back to the hammer, snot a bit more and get on with my life.

Um no. I thought the cold was getting better. Then it decided to get worse. Then it decided to drive me to the point where I'm beginning to wonder at the velocity bricks would pick up as a hurled them off of my balcony onto the cars below.

I decided to seek medical attention on Monday (day 10) because it seemed I had started to develop pink eye and as previously mentioned here, green stuff was emerging. I couldn't get into see my doc (until Friday), so I went to a clinic. The doc there said I had a bad cold and that my asthma was making it worse. Ok says I - that doesn't explain the ear pain or the green stuff, but sure.

Last night at 2am -not having slept since Monday at 4am, I broke down and hit Shoppers up for come cough syrup, vapo rub, eye drops and kleenex. I came home, and at 3:30 finally got to sleep and stayed that way until 7am. And I'm still up. I didn't sleep today, even though I didn't really leave my bed. I'm exhausted, but I can't sleep, cough cough, why cough, can't i cough, sleep cough, snot, cough? Every time I get close to sleeping or even when I finally do begin to sleep I wake up coughing. Stupid cough syrup, you are not doing your job. You are supposed to be an all in one. But you are turning out to be a none in none.

So now its almost 3am - my throat is raw and burny, there is no skin left near my nose, my nerves are shot, my body is weak, my eyes are getting sticky, my ears won't pop and yeah. But I have popsicles thanks to a visit from Jacki and Amanda and sometimes the cough sounds looser and when I'm not coughing so hard my eyes look pretty good.

The argh.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This Is What I Find Myself Saying To First Years

Happy Birthday Ma!

Today is my mother (aka the notorious b.e.v)'s birthday - and i ain't foolin'!

I want to say happy birthday, i love you, i hope you get all 2 things that were on your list, but also that dad is struck with creativity and able to think of other gifts to shower you with. You deserve them, and more.

Some of mom's love languages include - girl hugs, food (just ask anyone who's spent time at our farm), and emails.

I love you ma.