Blog, Get To Know Me

100 Things About Me

The following is a list of 100 things about me. Let’s call it the story of  “Alison-in-a-nutshell”. It may get updated from time to time but in general these are timeless facts from my life.

Big brother Brian protecting his lil sis, Alison


1. My name is Alison. Alison means “truthful one” or “teller of truth” or “of sacred fame”

2. This name suits me. I love the truth. I’m not very good at lying!

3. My middle name is after my Gramma (my mum’s mother). I had a very strong, capable grandmother. She passed away in 2008.

With my grandmother at our cottage in the summers

4. I love people’s names, and finding out their meanings, and how it often determines the calling on people’s lives. You should go find out what your name means and ask your parents why they gave you your name. It’s a good thing to know!

5. I used to be ashamed of my last name as a kid because people would make animal “baa baa” noises.

6. I now like my last name because it is short and sweet. Easy to write. And “baa baa” noises make me laugh now. It’s actually one of my nicknames “Ali Baa Baa”.

7. I’m half Chinese (Dad’s side) and half Scottish/English ETC (Mum’s side – and emphasize the “ETC” part). I love my mixed background, being a “half breed” of sorts. I feel connected to “the nations” (east and west).

8. Growing up, we were made fun of for being different, called “Chink” or “Lambchop”… All I wanted was to be like everyone else… Now that I’m older, I embrace and *LOVE* being different. Funny how our perspectives can so drastically change through the years (praise God for this).

Family Cottage Time

9. As a kid, I had a theory about age. I declared “26” the Age of Adulthood. 25 and below, you were still a “guy” or a “gal”, but INSTANTLY, at 26, you became a “man” or a “woman”. It’s now being proven scientifically and culturally to be true!

10. I snort when I laugh deeply. Yup, I think it’s because God blesses some people with an extra body part called “the snort gland” and my family has it!

11. I have quite an interesting quirky family (understatement)

12. My parents have split up multiple times throughout my life. Mostly separations, two divorces (from each other), and two marriages (to each other), followed by further separations. Currently, they are separated.

13. This has become a normal part of my life, but by the grace of God, I somehow have found a place of stability amidst the turmoil. You learn not to put your security and stability in your family being functional or not. God can work with all types of families. And I have a special love for my unique family now.

14. At present, my mother and my father and my older brother are all Catholics. They converted from protestants to the Catholic church. It’s been an interesting journey to observe and experience. I did not become a Catholic but I have much respect for Catholicism. My older brother is a poet, writer and somewhat like a “monk of the heart”. My younger brother is  married to a beautiful Korean woman and they have a delightful little daughter!

My brothers and I in Korea back in 2007

15. I have 2 brothers. One is 2 yrs older and one is 2 yrs younger. My brothers are so different but so special. I have the best brothers in the world. I like being the only sister, tucked in the middle :)

16. I became an Auntie in October 2009!!! She is a lil darling! She is growing up too fast!

My beautiful niece!

17. I did/do have a sister. She was miscarried before either 3 of us were born, so I’ll meet her in heaven.

18. The funny thing is that I’ve always pictured her to be 100% Caucasian (weird how our brain can do illogical things).

19. I often ponder what Eternity will be like with my Saviour! Streets of gold, mansions, a huge throne for my King of Kings, and I get to explore the universe with Him forever!

20. The ultimate thing I’d love to do with God in Eternity is whisk Him away on a private adventure of the universe and go on an “outer space flying jetski/seadoo/motorcycle” and race around the universe exploring all the cool sights and have Him describe each place to me. And hog God for some time, so everyone will be waiting for His return to the throne, and I get to say that I got to have Him to myself for a private adventure. Yes, Lord, yes! Come and venture with me!

21. I was obsessed with horses in my younger years. I still love them, but the ‘obsession’ part isn’t there. I love to identify with Christ in the Book of Revelation (especially Chapter 19), riding in on a white horse on the clouds with an army of warriors following on white horses. He is the rider called Faithful and True. What a glorious thought!

22. As a young girl, all I wanted to be was a professional horse trainer or rider in the Olympics, and own a horse stable. But then I thought I’d be an equine vet (for horses). Then I thought I’d be an Architect. Or an Interior Designer/Decorator. Then just an Artist/Painter. I am not doing any of those professionally. I still like to do some as hobbies. I’ve got some of my Art + Design stuff here.

23. I also figure skated as a child, and though I don’t figure skate now except recreationally, I adore watching figure skating on TV, especially Ice Dance. It is a beautiful, moving form of art to watch.

24. I have tonnes of tapes of skating shows and competitions from TV. Boxes of ’em in storage. Hopefully, one day I can share them with my daughter or son (if I have children).

Segwun – this steamboat is in many of my childhood cottage memories

25. I also played a lot of baseball as a kid.

26. I was so good, in fact, (in my dad’s opinion) that I got the nickname “Ali-MAR” (aka Roberto “Alomar”, back in the Blue Jay’s World Series days in the early ’90’s…)

27. This always embarrassed me at the baseball games as he yelled out “Ali-MAR! Ali-MAR!” (Really loud and really pronounced. Yup. That’s my Dad)

28. But secretly I was flattered by the comparison.

29. I also had a bad knee as a kid.

30. But many times I was actually faking the severity of the knee injury because I just didn’t want to compete in certain horse shows or track and field events at school. The things we do in our youth… Sigh.

31. I also sprained my ankle when I was in Grade 5 and I was so proud to have crutches. I felt cool.

32. The novelty soon wore off as my ARMPITS did not take to crutches so well. OwWwWw! No one told me that crutches are actually NOT COOL AT ALL!

33. As a child, I didn’t know that tuna was a fish. I thought they were flakes that floated in the ocean, and nets scooped the flakes up and canned ’em. True story.

34. I think I must have thought the same thing for canned salmon, and got confused when they said there were bones in the salmon cans. Huh?!

I love my family. We seem to tan easily!

35. My first official kiss was at the age of 19 in my first week of my first year of college.

36. It was also the first time I’d ever gotten really drunk (this was in my pre-Christ days).

37. I found out from the guy many years after graduating college that he didn’t even remember this event. What a rip off. What a forgettable moment!

38. Everyone, for the record, I don’t recommend this approach. What a waste of a first kiss. But God redeems our mess-ups and sets us up for something so much more beautiful if we wait for His divine set up!

39. I grew up in a conservative Baptist Church as a child until the age of 15.

40. I remember thinking as a kid that if you didn’t go to church on Sunday morning AND Sunday evening that you were a bad Christian.

41. I don’t hold this view anymore about “2x on Sunday = good Christian”… but I love to dwell in the house of the Lord. His presence is ADDICTING.

Mommy and daughter, the best of friends

42. I sang in the kid’s choir as a child and I was so proud to wear the choir gowns. I thought I was SO cool with it on. Oh funny memory :)

43. People told me “You have perfect pitch, Alison” (I was proud of this. My brother never lets me live this down to this day. He teases me. I ignore him.)

44. I would say I have a good voice. I can hold a tune.

45. I love to harmonize. Singing on a worship team is one of my favourite things to do. It’s exhilarating. I love simple, spontaneous acoustic worship jam sessions around a fire, or in a home, or out under the stars, with random percussion acoustic guitars and people who actually will sing out and not stay silent. Beautiful.

46. I started playing guitar when I was 20 (in Africa!) but I’m certainly not a pro, but I can do the basics and get by. I think it is a beautiful looking instrument as well. I own a French-Canadian made “Seagull” guitar which has a lovely non-twangy rich deep sound.

47. I think that a guy who can sing, play guitar, and write music is a very nice guy indeed. But if you fit into this category I’ve just mentioned, don’t get too confident :) You gotta earn my respect :)

48. I’m a hopeless romantic. I can’t seem to watch a movie or read a book unless there is some romantic story line built into the plot. I think God formed me with a romantic heart (maybe because HE is the ultimate Romancer and Lover? I think so!)

49. I’d love to be married. I would love to have children. Biological as well as adopted, Lord-willing.  A redemptive tribe brought together to bring glory to God – it would be an amazing gift.

50. I am single and lead what I believe is a simple, wholesome lifestyle marked by integrity and wholeness of heart (by the grace of God). I embrace my singleness because I’ve been available to the Lord and have had the most amazing adventures with God. But I wouldn’t mind my status changing, that’s for sure!

51. Sometimes I enjoy my singleness and solitude too much. I often wonder what it would be like to have to blend 2 lives into 1… Could be both glorious and challenging, I reckon.

52. I used to sit for hours and make up kids’ names when I was growing up. I love the meanings of names too. I think they are significant. I’ve kept those lists to this day, stored away somewhere in Canada.

53. As a kid, I declared I’d be married at 19. I was way off. WAY OFF! I’m into my mid 30’s now! Wowza! I write about my love life over the years here.

54. I’ve just had 1 boyfriend in my life back in 2006. That was a learning experience and a half. Everyone, I recommend you not take the reins and try and make something happen. God’s gotta be in it, and leading and guiding it, or it ends in quite devastating heart ache. God is the divine orchestrator, and I have learned that full well.

55. I would love to learn another language. I know quite a bit of French from learning it in school in Canada, but I wouldn’t say I’m fluent. I have gathered up bits and pieces of multiple languages in my world travels the past few years, but what a cool thing it would to truly be able to communicate with others in their mother tongue! This is definitely on my bucket list of things to accomplish in my lifetime. Maybe even TWO more languages. Eek, did I just say that?

56. I’ve always liked people with accents. Ever since I was a little girl. I always wished I had an accent myself (non-North American accent). But either way, I just think languages and accents are cool.

57. My hair is jet black and I have tonnes of it. It’s both wavy and straight and my eyes are brown. Now that I’m in my mid 30’s I’ve got a few little white hairs popping up here and there. I would say it’s just ‘wisdom’ sneaking in there ;)

58. I think my eyes and smile are my best features. But when you get me laughing, I also snort. And I’ve heard rumours resounding throughout the globe that my snort is definitely very nice indeed ;)

59. I am a total dork. I’m quirky and unique and silly and I’m not ashamed of it. More people need to catch the contagious joy. Life is too short not to enjoy it in all its silly splendor!

60. I’ve never wanted to be anyone else.

61. But I didn’t always like myself like I do now.

I am pirate. Hear me Rrrrr!

62. I’ve struggled with self-image issues and I used to hide in baggy clothes in my teen years.

63. I would say I started to feel transformed in my thinking and fashion/style around the age of 17 or so… but especially when I was 19 and headed off to college… and I found a depth of confidence through my 20’s and 30’s. It’s a journey for a woman…

64. I used to have a phobia of photos (of myself).

65. It’s been a long journey, but photos of myself do not scare me anymore. I’ve learned not to reject myself, by God’s grace.

66. I don’t mind hearing my voice on answering machines or recordings anymore, either. Is it just me, or do you first balk when you hear your voice on recordings, thinking, “I sound like THAT?! Weird! THAT’S what other people hear all the time when I talk???!!”

67. I love to encourage, inspire, motivate, disciple, counsel and challenge people, especially young adults!  But it’s spanning to all different ages, younger and older. I just love people :)

68. I’ve collected thousands of inspirational quotes throughout my life. It’s a passion of mine. Probably why I like twitter so much. I use it to share some of my own as well as to get inspirational one-liners from people to inspire me throughout the day.

69. I also like to make greeting cards or creative notes to encourage people. We need daily encouragement.

70. I also like to watch YouTube vlogs. I don’t know why I enjoy it so much. Casey Neistat, Mr. Ben Brown and Fun for Louis are my 3 favourites.

71. I made up a secret language with one of my friends when we were youth… I also made up a secret language with my cousins back in Africa. Hehehe…

72. “High 5 Mr Richmond” is a classic song from Grade 7 (about 12 yrs old) that I made up with a friend. (Ask me to sing it sometime. It’ll rock your world haha). We were cheeseballs.

Childhood friends like sisters. Hardcore Rankin Fans

73. There’s never been more hardcore Rankin Family music fans than us. We were FIERCE.

74. We also made up a version of Romeo and Juliet (we’ve got it on audio tape somewhere in storage in Canada). It KILLS the original “real” version, hands down.

75. On another note, I went off to college in 1999 for Graphic Design in Oshawa, Ontario.

76. I wanted to quit in 2nd year, but persevered and graduated in 2001 with my diploma.

77. After just 3 months in the field of Graphic Design/Advertising, I left it because I had no desire to ‘advertise the world’… and haven’t done any ‘real’ graphic design work since (except my own personal creative media projects.)

78. I even registered a business called “Live Creative” in 2004 and took a business course then and it was going to be for my own inspirational greeting cards and other creative elements for the home. I closed the business before ever really pursuing it, as I am pursuing mission and ministry stuff and I will see if the Lord opens up business doors in the future flowing out of mission/ministry first. It’s still always in the back of my mind.

79. Way back when I was 15, when my parents split up, I left the church and worshiped horses instead…

80. I came back to the Lord in a radical divine experience in Uganda in 1999 (age 20) after my first year of college (the wild year). Read the full story of this divine encounter which I call My Salvation Testimony

81. Before this, I was into self-help, new age stuff, one-with-nature philosophies… I never wanted to step foot in a church building again… Now the church (the house of God) is one of my favourite places on earth.

82. I went away to Uganda in 1999 to visit my Aunt, Uncle and cousins, who were missionaries there. The reason I went was to get away from life in Canada and to go on an adventure. NOT to find God. I thought, “I can play the religious game”…

83. God had other plans.

84. I’ve never been the same since. God intervened divinely and pursued me all the way over in Africa… If you haven’t read the full story, here’s another chance!

85.I got baptized when I was 20, and baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, in a prayer walk one day about 6 months after I’d returned to Canada.

86. To be honest, I’ve thought a couple Christian guys were “the one”.

87. They weren’t. (If you want to read about my love life, I wrote the story here: ‘Your Love Life: When reality looks nothing like your expectations’)

88. I started writing poetry mainly because of venting about issues going on in my heart… You can read some of it here.

89. I also love blogging and journaling. I’ve kept a personal journal since I was 12 years old (that’s almost 2 decades of journals in my treasure chest) and I’ve blogged since about 2004.  The original blog is here and the current blog is here.

90. I love to read. I usually have a pile of a million books at my bedside table that I’m trying to conquer (often at the same time, haha). I love to highlight books (only the ones I own, of course). I love collecting mini quotes and tidbits of wisdom from books I read. Sometimes I type out (or write out on scrap paper) practically the whole book because I find it so inspirational! I love to tweet a lot of these quotes from my reading.

91. I love interior decoration. I just love making houses into homes and making plain things into beautiful things. In high school, I thought that I’d pursue it as a career, but decided that it would just be an enjoyable hobby. Can’t wait to own a home one day (God-willing) and restore it, and decorate it!

92. I love fuscia and pink a LOT. I just like vibrant colours that bring life and joy. I am not a dull person. I don’t live a dull life. I don’t tend to spend a lot of time with dull and lifeless people.

93. I love chandelier dangly earrings at this season of my life. I also love putting a flower in my hair (as I learned in Hawaii!). I have a list of My Favourite Things if you want to know more! Check it out if you’re curious!

94. I have an amazing divine story of how God transformed me through my 20’s and led me into missions and ministry. You can read My Mission Story here.

95. I’d love to write a book one day, using my love of inspirational quotes, and using excerpts from my personal journals, and things God has taught me over the years.

96. I’d also love to sing in a folk/rock indie band and write more songs and get guitar lessons.

97. I’d love to eventually adopt a child one day, especially from Asia. So many abandoned girls that need a family to love and adore them and introduce them to their Heavenly Father who loves them.

98. I believe I had an out-of-body spiritual experience in Asia back in 2006. It’s a crazy cool story. I’ve written about My Out-of-Body Experience here.

99. I had a cat named “Kiwi” but I gave her to my Dad since I left Canada to do missions work. I think it is providential how she got that name and how I ended up living so many years in New Zealand. I named her in 2005 before I went to Hawaii. I wanted to call her a Hawaiian name, but she didn’t look like any Hawaiian names so I chose “Kiwi” because her eyes looked like green kiwi fruit. This was before New Zealand was EVER on the radar. Who would ever have known that God would call me to live in New Zealand for many years, which is the land of the Kiwi (bird, fruit, nickname for New Zealanders, etc). God is cool :) He’s such a detailed, wondrous God!

100. The word for “bye” in Alison Lingo (created when I was child, just to put this into perspective) is “Bubaloo” (pronounced “BUH-buh-LOO”)


P.S. Here’s one last detail…

101. The extended real Childhood Alison Version for Goodbye is… “Bubaloo Chikachoo Chicka Choo Choo Choo” (Hope you try and say it out loud, and then I also hope that there’ll be a person nearby who will have overheard you and will think you’re crazy. GOOD. Crazy’s good.

Oh! One more!

102. And YES, I’m well aware of my complexities and oddities, and my tendency towards intensity. I’m definitely not shallow, nor am I boring.


103. I have to say that until I crashed in my 30’s, undergoing a deep spiritual heart transformation and transition, I didn’t realize that my entire life is about the Fatherheart of God and of walking in sonship with Him. It has completely transformed my life and I know that it is a life message. A core foundational message of which my life is defined by now. Fatherheart Ministries was the path that led me to this deep deep reconciliation with God in this way.