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Travel and Tell No One…

 

 

Every Tuesday, I go to see Jose my only Spanish client, and fortunately for me, his Spanish-speaking Personal Support Worker (PSW) is also there. Jose has a habit of slipping into Spanish and he expects me to understand him, which I don’t. So while I am there cleaning or/and doing his laundry, Marta his Spanish PSW speaks to me in English.

In June, Marta found out that I was going on holiday because I asked her to translate to our client that I wouldn’t be coming to give him services that particular week. She asked me if I was going anywhere for my week off. I told her no that I wasn’t traveling any [exotic places] where for seven days. This seems to bother her because in her thickly accented English she asked, “Why aren’t you going anywhere?”

Truth be known I didn’t want to go anywhere, I don’t have any worthwhile savings, and I was only taking a week off. I might consider it if I was taking two weeks, but I regress because I don’t have any worthwhile savings. Oh, I also have a loan from school to pay off. Marta shook her head still not seeming to understand why I wasn’t going anywhere.

It was after this that she began to tell me she was going to Spain in January 2018. Marta is from Cuba and has never been to Spain. I realized as she spoke about this trip – and it surprised me – I have no desire to travel on a plane, which is another reason: no desire. I kept this piece of information to myself because I had a hunch she wouldn’t understand that either. Don’t get me wrong Marta is a very nice woman, but it’s one of those situations that I can’t literally run from. I don’t know if there is a typical Spanish woman, but if I were to typecast, I think Marta would fit that mold. I on the other hand not so much, though I have tried.

Not going anywhere for my holidays didn’t bother me as much as it did Marta or some of the other people who equated holidays to physical movement to another place with different weather. In my defence to you the reader, I have done some traveling aboard if you were wondering. I’m not opposed it, but right now God has limited my traveling abilities. My idea of a holiday [as of late] is to not go to work, stay at home, read, write, cook, bake, hang out with a friend, or go check out the  La Machine in front of my city’s City Hall last Friday.

I checked d out what the exact definition of travel was, and while physically traveling came up first there were other possibilities that were available. What I didn’t want to share was it’s nothing for me to travel to faraway lands via my imagination. It’s my belief too sometimes all this it’s all about appearances because my journey so far has enabled me to travel to areas of myself that I believed were impossible to find. For now, the only journey I am concerned with is the one that I am doing on the inside. The person I was yesterday is not the person I am today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love My Dad

Who you were, who you are and who you will be are three different people –  Author Unknown

 

Your identity is the most valuable part of you, but most of us, some of us have no idea what it is. Knowing who you are minus all the titles we play day in and day out can blur out the truth of your identity. Confusion is a big deterrent and a likely suspect in losing ourselves to the constant swirl of life.

~

As a little girl, I loved the feel of the cool green grass under my bare feet. I believe at the time that I had the biggest backyard than anyone I knew. I could hide in our tree house that existed out of weirdly shaped trees that bordered our property. In the summer, I would walk over the cracks in the cement in our backyard because I never knew for sure if stepping on them would break my Mothers back. Clothes hung on the clothesline overhead. I could go visit my (Hebrew for grandmother) Bubi anytime I wanted. I remember the sand stuck between my toes and ants crawling over the big peony buds right before they would bloom.

Fear that no one wanted me

Ever since I started this blog, I have used each post as a place for my healing. It has become a place where I have been able to share who I am without fear of rebuff of any kind. Finding my identity and claiming it has been a long process. From an early age, I have been shy, preferring to stay close to my Mom.  When I met Jesus, I became more aware of myself, and at times it was extremely painful. Slowly, I would surprise myself at how well I would speak to others. Over time, the shyness that I assumed was a part of me disappeared, as I would go to reach for it. It was my protection over what I felt I couldn’t control. From the world that I had a hard time processing through.

Shyness is a reaction to feeling rejection. This was at first confusing because as that little girl with the ash blonde hair I thought knew who I was. I believed that the shyness was a part of the package of my personality.

If we lived in a perfect world, I would be living my dream. I wanted to be loved. I didn’t know if I deserved it but it was this silent, persistent need that over time gave my credence of what I didn’t see as acceptance. You see I wanted my Dad to see me as a lovable little girl, but what I didn’t know at the time was he didn’t have the skills on how to fill my emotional needs.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I learned that daughters’ need their fathers love as much as we need oxygen to breathe. The extreme anxiety and depression that I struggled throughout my childhood through to my early 30’s. spoke volumes of how I tried to teach myself on how to handle my emotions.  I can’t breathe unless I know my father loves me unconditionally. It was the root. I really believed I was a terrible person.  Desperate, I was for my Dad to notice me. To take an active interest in who I was.

Before I go on, this is not a post to bash fathers because they are hurting too. Too many men are being pushed down, or believe it’s not good to be masculine and to be as they have been created.

As I have learned about all my parts, or at least the ones He has chosen to show me, I have had many aha moments. He has brought clarity into my being, and a peace that is everlasting. And get this! People really do like me.

Knowing who I am, the peace can flow into every part of my being

As a little girl, I desired for my Dad to notice me, to see me and pursue me. I wanted him to be interested in who I was, but as time went by, he did none of what of what was in my heart. So I did the only thing I knew and I began shutting down emotionally, mentally and physically. Instead, I sought out my Dad, I asked him about the rules of Canadian football, what and why he washed his car. Nothing I did got the attention I was desperate to have from him.

It took me a long time to realize I couldn’t change him, no matter how many times I initiated something with him. I had finally got it, that it had never been my job in first place. It was his job as my father to delight in me – as his daughter. To show me his love, protection, values, and everything that was important to him. I wanted to know who he was and is, but that part of his heart to me has never been opened to me.

My Dad is without the skills I need. I believe his own father didn’t give him what he needed as a boy growing up. His own feelings about his Dad (my grandfather) aren’t the memories that you hold close to your heart. Rather they are the kind that you push away, and you let everyone else teach you how to be a man. Yes, we need our parents, a mother and a father to show us how to be a man or woman –  learned from their parents. A family is about love, trust and passing it down because it is good to know that there is a place where all of us can truly belong and be accepted. There is no cost to join, we simply need to be the product of our parents love that is between them. I believe how we are brought up determines a lot of who we become. It guides our perception of the world, it certainly leads mine.

I speak with my Dad once a month, we chat for about 15 minutes on the usual things. I would love to go to visit him but that just doesn’t seem to be his thing.  Does my Dad love me? Yes. I have no doubt that he does, he kind of gives it away in the way his eyes shine and sparkle when he first sees me. This could be a whole other post because I know my heavenly father has and is filling me with what I lack.

I’m not the shy, scared, self-hating little girl with ash blond hair anymore. Nor am I am the girl who hid from her peers. I am not the awkward adult who didn’t feel that she was a full-grown adult and just a child in disguise. Don’t get me wrong there are still times, the child in me comes out and gives a sly smile at those around her, and allows some of them into her heart so that they can see for themselves that God still saves.

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Artificial vs. Authenic

 

Since February 27th, I have not eaten any refined sugar.

I’ve gone off sugar before, but this time I’m doing because I think this is what He asks of me. Do I do everything He wants of me? Answer: It took me over a year to get to this point. So with two weeks under my belt, I am scouring all the whole eating cookbooks from my library. I don’t want to feel that I don’t have a good supply of recipes that are mainly plant-based (with some meat eating) food.

All my life my Mom has taught my sister and me on what to eat and what not. She bought unbleached flour in bulk from Health Food Stores where only the earth-loving people bought from. She was always looking for ways to eat healthier for herself and my sister and me.  My sister and I were fortunate because there are a lot of people who don’t know how to eat what’s good for your body.

If there is a theme to be had in my life, it is to be authentic

Not everyone is on the whole food bandwagon, but I wish they were because we swallow way too many pills. Most people don’t eat this way because they’re not convinced, or it’s too much work. Anything that is of quality, or has the ability is going to require work. Even though I can’t see the inside of my body, I am hoping in years to come, I will be able to experience the beauty that comes from eating a diet that aims at nourishing the inside of me.

When we think of taking care of ourselves, most of us think of facials, manicures, pedicures, massages, etc. But what about the inside?

I’ll admit myself here first; it’s laziness. There are all kinds of words that I could use on the majority of us. Few of us have experienced the kind of food our grandparents grew up on, which I believe was a lot healthier. We’re busy, and I am too, but what about choosing your busyness? Yep, we choose where and when we are busy. It’s easy to skimp on the healthier choice because it’s cheaper. It usually tastes good, and it’s simple to prepare, which (not always!) means it’s probably full of refined sugar.

It’s important that if you’re going to live authentically in any shape that you need to look at what kind of food you are putting into your temple. All the points I have spoken about in the past, echo with what kind of food you’re putting into your body. Why poison your body when it’s the one place where we come to union with Him. Why consume artificial ingredients when you can have the real thing.

When we put down our masks and take off our costumes, and the next level of wholeness can open up to us. Lately the Lord has been encouraging me to stand up for my needs, and in particular voicing them aloud. It’s something I was scared to do in the beginning, but I know who I am and who I am not. It becomes a burden that isn’t mine to shoulder when I know there is a practical answer. I watch people all around me and I wonder if they know who they are, and do they want to know. I feel as if I’ve been given a gift by going below the surface to understand who I am. There is so much to us if we would just take the time to seek Him. What is put in our body affects the spiritual part even though some would not admit that it does. We are called to be a good steward of our land and our resources, but are we being good stewards of our body?

 

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Seeking Life

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What are you seeking in this life?

Is it beauty?

Is it authenticity?

Is it a relationship?

Is it more money?

Some of us have given up, at least that’s what we tell ourselves, but do we know why? I don’t know about you but I am still trying to seek the life I imagined when I was a little girl. Nothing is turning out the way I had planned it. And somehow it doesn’t seem fair because some people appear to have it all. What do they have what you don’t?

I have this card which I bought years ago, it is a picture of a golf course with an orange-yellow sunset in the background. I had it laminated because of the statement that is below.

 

“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those.”

 

Still, this speaks to me because this is what it’s all about, it’s about finding out what holds your heart and drives you to a place you never thought or even hoped could be possible.

Isolation is my default. I’m happy with a few friends, and I don’t want to be the centre of attention, but ‘people’ still worry about my lack of friends. I love spending time alone in my apartment after a long day of work. I’ve done all the socializing that I can handle for the day. Yet it doesn’t seem to be enough for others. Why do others seem to think if I only have a few friends that it just isn’t enough for them? And it is about them.

Yes, isolation has been a problem and became a safe place for me when I was being bullied in school. It is was also a place where I volunteered to belittle myself because I just couldn’t seem to meet my peer’s expectations of me. Their beliefs became mine, and I struggled to conform myself to their ideals, but I convinced myself somehow that they were right to have the assumptions they had of me.

It’s Easy to Get Sidetracked

Getting back out has shown me that often the people who may be well-meaning don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart because if they did they wouldn’t question what they think you lack. It’s not a want the way they may see it.

I’ve always wanted to live a life of passion, and not in the literal sense of being the typical writer living in poverty. I want to live out my desire as in, actively seeking to follow my heart’s song. What do I most enjoy doing despite everything else that is considered necessary? What do I do when I am supposed to be doing something I don’t particularly like? I want to stay in the sunset that is part of the golf course that’s calling to me. The color of the sunset is the eye of the passion, of your desire, and if you cultivate it – it will grow.

So then, no boasting about human leaders, all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollo or Cephas or the world or life on death or present or the future all are yours and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

                                                                                                                                                      1Corinthians 3:21-23

This life of seeking is full of fear, excitement, doubt and hope. There doesn’t have to be a deadline of what you can accomplish, it doesn’t have to stop because you’ve turned a certain age. When it comes to what kind of potential do you have, it can be limitless because all of our desires are in Christ, who is of God. People die, flowers will wilt away, but life, a life lived in Christ never dies.

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Uncharted Land

 

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More people would walk into the unknown parts of their hearts if fear didn’t hold them back. But most of us don’t even know what holds us back.

What part of your heart have you not yet acknowledged?

The heart could be likened to an uncharted area or a territory of land waiting to be discovered. It’s a barren stretch of fear that limits any access to a part of ourselves that holds pieces that could change the very core of how we approach life. Some of us are waiting for the right moment, or they believe that it has passed them by already. But I think most don’t really know what their heart yearns for. I don’t have anything to prove my theory except that we don’t take the time to explore what really drives us. What is your passion and how do you want to experience it in this life?

Sure there are thousands of quotes and sayings that encourage its readers to take risks: to follow their heart, to live simply. This is a great start, but there’s a problem here. A lot of us don’t know what it is that drives them. They don’t know what is in their heart, AND they don’t know their heart, so they certainly won’t know how to follow [your heart] it. We react distinctly from years of doing just that, reacting to a stimulation that rubs us the wrong way. We complain to anyone who will listen, but did it occur to anyone that their trigger is something more than just being rubbed the wrong way?

Falling Deeper

I remember my doctor telling me that many of his patients when given the opportunity to find out what issue(s) they’re dealing with, don’t want to know. I didn’t really understand it because I am just naturally curious as a person, and I wanted to know what my issues were. Maybe I like suffering, but I don’t think that was the reason why. Learning about myself has been a wonderful journey, and even with the stretches that I would rather forget. Each step I took forward was a step closer to the woman that I longed to be, but I didn’t know what she was like. I had buried myself underneath all that anger, fear, bitterness, etc.

Today, I met with a friend who has been wandering in the desert without a guide for almost seven years. She doesn’t see the point of being positive by saying positive words, she doesn’t really like to journal, and she doesn’t have a list of wants and desires anymore. She just wants a job as a receptionist. I know she wasn’t created for just a receptionist job. The depression shows up more in winter, the lack of sunlight pushes out the negative. Something has died in her, and she admits to this as well.

We can extol all the virtues of being positive, but for some of us, it’s a hard thing to bite. I have in the last few years found myself thinking more on the positive side, and that’s a huge help to my normally melancholy nature. It’s easier to think of all the great things, but all the hurdles are all I can entertain in my mind. I have learned some tricks to take care of my gloomy thoughts, and this is something that helps greatly in the long Canadian cold and damp winter of doom.

Pioneers in a New Land

Camping in the wilderness for a couple weeks is great until you start running out of food. The whole idea of camping is to get away from the city. Proving to ourselves that we can rough it, even though we take for granted all our little gadgets that await us when we arrive home.

We’re walking in the untilled land, and the lack of tools makes our journeys hard. It’s easy to lose sight of your passion when you can’t see how this could possibly lead to anything. Just a light covering of dust sitting on you. Doing something that keeps you from doing what you really want. Wherever you live there is a history underneath you, just as there is one in your heart. It’s time to start digging.

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Deep Beauty – Part 1

Ever since I was a little girl, I long to know I was beautiful. I desired to know that I was lovely. I even asked my Dad if he thought I was. I didn’t see my beauty or worth, and I ached to have someone like him to help me make sense of where I fit in. Everyone else was more important than I was, and on the road to somewhere. I wanted to jump on the fast track too; it’s just that Jesus had other plans for me. Living in poverty doesn’t just have to be material, most of us live in poverty because we haven’t experienced His love, which heals our invisible wounds.

The last two years, I have been wandering in the desert. Jesus is the driver, and I am the passenger letting the wind whip my hair all over the place. I am a passenger on this journey, longing to be a part of the beauty that exists here in austerity.

It’s the surface that many people live in, most of us are too busy with work, relationships,

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and stuff considered more important. Letting the world dictate what you should do, eventually will push the desires of your heart further away until it will not be a part of you. This desire will float around you like an oasis that you can no longer reach onto what is good.

 

I completed a Lectio Divina. I don’t remember the verse, but what stayed with me was how I would respond to what I had received. Jesus wanted to teach me how to dive into the deep with Him, to trust in him, and in the process taking my ability to love Him deeper. Taking my fragile trust, and plunging it into deep waters. I guess you could call it freestyle diving. Essentially, I felt the Lord was calling me to do the same, except He would be my oxygen.

What I wanted the most was to love Him with all my heart, mind, and soul. Still, I am out of breath and the strength to love Him as I know He desires, but I am learning where and when to rest, and listening to him when he says, ‘Let me do it’.

I know that I can trust the Lord with all my heart, but then comes ‘lean not on your own understanding.'(v.5)* Interiorly, I am learning that my physical beauty pales in comparison to the beauty that lies on the inside of me. Much like the burning that the men from Emmaus** experienced, who spoke with Jesus, and yet did not realize their hearts burned within themselves until Jesus revealed himself, only to then disappear from their sight.

 

*Proverbs 3:5

**Luke 24:31

Published previously in 2014

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Hearer of the Heart

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He knows  this place better than I do. I am fearful of truly knowing what’s in my heart…why? I’ve convinced myself that what my heart says and holds isn’t really what I want. Kind of crazy. If He’s in my heart there is no reason to fear. But I’ve had years to stock up the lies that are louder than the whispers coming from my heart. You have heard the cries, and  you know my heart so much better than I do.

Blessed is she, who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises. Luke ~1:45

Instead of letting the worry or anxiety fill up inside of your head, and crowd out the goodness that does exist. I have forgotten that He is my heart that each time it beats, it is a reminder. Does your heart burn with yearning when you are doing the exact opposite of where you want the direction of your life to go?

Keeper of my Heart

If I was left to my own devices, I would have a heart that would be smashed to pieces. I am not kind or gentle with this place where He abides. For if I was to push away all that I determined wasn’t good, I would never know His mercy. He makes sure that I am aware of what he wants for me, and He is teaching me to savour the moments when He makes himself known with his love swelling inside of me. The image that appears in my mind, is one of a volcano, and the lava spilling out is his love. Something as simple as cleaning a toilet, but staying in that moment, we are we able to visit and treasure one another. Remembering to stay close to him as we journey through the morning to mid-day, then the afternoon, which rolls into the evening. We can always be attentive and accepting of his desire teeming inside of us, or we can ignore this grace that He offers us.

When we are blessed with the knowledge of where he resides , we are blessed in fact by His constant vigil. Never does he leaves us, his nearby presence is not there to bother us but to assure us of His everlasting love for his children.

Not many of us are passionate about what we love or what we do. Were all too busy trying to get things done, to be bothered with being passionate about our lives, and in turn serving others through this passion.

For me, life is Christ.  Philippians~1:21

Giving up could be an option, but there are already too many things that have been left aside in favour of something much sweeter.

This mystery of Christ which lives in us has us wandering not knowing exactly where we are headed, except that we know He tugs at our heart, and it is He who is leading us down this path called life.