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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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Don’t Ignore the Signs…

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Whole

I asked that I be made whole, and 16 years later I think I may be at that point. Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near perfection.

Six years ago

I had just graduated from a Professional Writing program, and I was looking for a job to cover my rent and bills so I could continue to look for a job using the skills I had gained through the program. The first job I started was at Subway.  It should’ve been a no-brainer because I had prior experience working with food. But this was the real world, and I hadn’t spent much time on it after spending a whole year off (on medical leave) from work. The world and depression don’t mix, kind of like water and oil. One always sits on the top and refuses to move. In school, it was nicely warm and way too comfortable, I didn’t have to worry about a job, and I just did assignment after assignment.

The problem wasn’t Subway per say, but the owner who watched me like a hawk, and when I am watched I always mess up. Did you know that you have to memorize each sub and what is on it? And that’s not the only thing you need to remember. I could feel my anxiety kicking in and I wanted out. I felt like I had just come out of being in the warm waters for way too long. I was cold and wrinkled.

In May 2010, I applied to an organization that provided services for and to seniors. I personally knew some of the Homemakers, so I asked one the girls if I could have the name of her manager. Honestly, I didn’t know what position I was applying for. I had this desire to work att his organization, and I had no idea why. Nothing I could put into words. I gave my resume in, only to find out that they didn’t need anyone at the moment…

Fast forward to September 2010

I was working part-time in a call centre and not liking it at all. I needed something that would pay my rent and bills, I didn’t think I was asking for too much. I didn’t want to work in retail as I looked for a writing job. Preferably, this job would be Monday to Friday with the weekends off. Then out of the blue, I got called in at the organization that I had originally applied back in the spring.

In the first couple years, I would question the Lord as each year passed, but He remained quiet, so I continue on working as a homemaker. Taking the time when I got a case of, ‘I don’t want to be here!’ I would remind myself of all that I had, and all of it was good. This job has given me much as it has pushed me to be a better person, to practise my active listening skills and so much more. However, the last couple months has brought some things into the light, and it initiated me to wonder: is the Lord asking me to leave?

Chaos Ensuing

For six years, I have worked under the same supervisor, and we worked well together. Sure, there were some things I wasn’t a fan of, but in general, things ran well. About the end of September, something happened and be honest I don’t know what it was except my safe and reliable supervisor wasn’t around when I needed the support.

About a year ago, I read about a Virtual Assistant, someone who could work anywhere in the world, and have their clients situated anywhere…Kind of like a personal assistant, but your clients are all over the world. At first, it didn’t interest me as something I could do, but the last time I spoke with my Spiritual Director she brought up my desire to work from home. At this point, I had no idea what to do from home, but I knew it was a desire. I know I could potentially do well working from home. I know that I can structure my days to work, and it’s something that interests me.

I keep reminding myself that God takes His time when it comes to answering specific prayer requests for me. They are the ones that are close to my heart, therefore even nearer to His. Under his care, every little detail will be taken into consideration. It’s custom built.

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Are We There Yet?

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I’m only going to admit here: I’m bit of a romantic when it comes to waiting, but I’m under no illusions that waiting is a glamourous thing. Maybe if a documentary was done on the journey of my waiting then could I term my ‘waiting’ with a bit of romanticism? There would be sweeping and haunting music in the background, only the best shots of my waiting, and then of course the glorious end! But when is my waiting done?

We live in a culture that abhors to wait, the mere mention of the word, and we start becoming someone we aren’t. Nasty, belligerent and impatient. No, one gets away with this one because well, only the Lord is patient in waiting, which is why waiting is something to be learned and valued. But waiting is only the conduit from which we learn what we need for this life. It breeds character, virtue, fine manners for dinner etc. There are so many reasons for waiting, and most of us are still waiting for the Lord to explain it.

Pulling and Pushing

The Lord can and will use this time to turn our direction from outward to inward. To bring us to a place where we see what he sees in us. As I mentioned, I’m a bit of a romantic when it comes to waiting, but I seem to push out of my mind, all the pain that accompanies waiting.

We can push away the pain of unfulfilled dreams, and pretend that we are in control, pretend that the peace that only comes from the Lord doesn’t satisfy our empty wants and needs. We want to live our lives in harmony with Him or we take off on horses that imitate and mock his beauty. We don’t breathe in His spirit and we can squander what he has given us because we don’t consider why He is waiting.

A Fine Suffering

No, I’m not done. In fact, as long as we are alive, we wait for His return, his glorious return to claim what is His. But in the meantime what are we to do? What are we to say when it is asked of you why you wait, why you struggle with what you can’t seem to get from life. Well, life isn’t here to serve you, you are here to serve those around you. As the chisel in the Master’s hand continues to allow the absence of your desire. How does this absentia create havoc in the crevices of your soul? For long periods of time nothing will speak of what your heart longs for, or what you are seeking with your eyes. Sometimes you wonder if the hunger that lives inside of you will ever be tamed. The gnawing is like a flickering light that refuses to be blown out.

For a long time I’ve wanted to write about waiting because too many of us – just don’t get it. Learning to wait isn’t a punishment, it’s more of a time to be waited upon. We want to be where everyone else is, and that isn’t always the best place for us. Until our time is done, life is one big waiting period because we are simply being prepared to go home.

Most of my life, I have jerked myself around trying to be someone, something that I am simply not. It is in the periods of waiting that I have been taught who I am. We’ve been taught by everything that is around us, that it isn’t good to wait because you could have ‘it’ now! During this long season (and still continuing!) of waiting, that what I need and want are mistakenly not materialistic but of a eternal reward.

PASSION

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

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Au Revior

 

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In my last post, I incorporated some words that had been on my prayer radar (in my journal) for some time. In my daily ongoing stuff, there are words that stay with me as I wearily walk through life. I might be wary in my path, but I keep thanking Him for the things which bump against me. Sometimes it’s the hard surfaces that ribbed us in the wrong way.

Over two weeks ago, I received email which will remain unanswered. Numerous times I have tried to explain without the anger, disappointment and hurt that I was feeling. I’m not trying to push my emotions to the situation aside, but I thought and wanted to defend what I had perceived to be wrong.

So I set off to pray about this email and ask Him how he wanted me to respond.  All I wanted to do was back off, have some time to be quiet and just be with him. Did I mention quiet? Did I mention way too many emotions to list here? No, but please be assured they all showed up.

I may have in my last post mention something about thanksgiving. As I struggled to hear the Lord, I thanked him for all that seems to be going wrong. I keep thanking him for all the things I do not like, and the funny thing is, he shows me how it is a part of his plan. I can’t see this plan, but nor do these situations seem to languish in pity anymore. My anger, disappointment and hurt remain, but of it become clearer to me, but he hasn’t provided me with any answers. Thanksgiving isn’t me being brilliant, it’s the Lord who reminded me. He’s clever enough to suggest something that yes, will benefit me but more likely in the long run glorify him. Soon in the near future, I will think back fondly to the time when my answered prayers were simply struggles. that I couldn’t  see the answer was just waiting to stand up and introduce itself.

Delighting in everything He allows to cross your path. I am seeing in my struggles that His love for me remains. It is easy to think through that we must walk through these hard times with the world’s burdens heavy on your shoulders, and yes, I will admit to having many of those days. But taking the time to stop and thanking Him for these ‘unbearable’ has increased my ability to continue on with the knowledge I am not alone. He is in charge, and my troubles don’t change that. It is why I can trust in Him, or at least start.

Of course, I am thank-full for what is good in my life and grateful for what he continues to be faithful in my life. Saying words out loud instead of letting the words bounce around in your closed mind, opens the heart to His side of things, if of course you are open to receive these blessings.

It used to be that when I wrote, it was best done when I was depressed. I don’t know why, but as an adult it has completely reversed that I am better to write when I am not down. Hindsight is great. It allows for a greater space in all the places where the hurt and sadness, the joy and peace, to converge together and I have the clarity that didn’t exist before.

 

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Not Yet

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In the beginning, when I began working in my current job, most clients would ask me if I was married, did I have children…but as time passed, it happened less. Just this past week, I gained a new client and she asked the question of the hour:  Was I married?

I told her no.

“Good for you!”  This answer shocked me because I wasn’t expecting from it her. She is Muslim, so it really mystified me. I have never had a client be happy that I was still single. It threw me off for a minute.

Before I continued the conversation, I choose my words carefully, “Did you choose your husband?” I asked this question gingerly because she is Muslim, and I didn’t know what might be the custom. She is originally from Iraq

“No, I was in love with my husband for four years before we married.” She paused and then continued. “When l married I died.”

She didn’t offer anything else, and I didn’t ask since this was my first time meeting her, and I thought  curbing my curiosity would serve me well.

I must admit I don’t know much about the Muslim religion except what I hear from media, online resources and acquaintances

Usually my clients want to know if I’m married, or when I am getting married. If I knew God’s whole plan for me, I would be planning ahead, but I don’t so…I wait and persist.

I am not really that good at being persistent or persisting in an activity, or situation, but I have also learned that God is not in a hurry, at least not in my life. Maybe in yours He speeds through all the red lights, but in mine, He stops when he sees the green light turn to the yellow caution. If I was in charge, God would only get green lights, and there would be no reason or thought to stop. So I am trying to take pleasure in all things, even the not so good because this time won’t ever return to me.

From outside appearances, everyone looks polished and great in their spiffy new outfit, but I am still wearing the same tops that I had last year. Truly, I shop at second-hand shop which is by necessity and choice. I love scoring a deal. Last Saturday, I bought three tops, one skort and one pair of slacks for $18.75! Yes, living below the poverty line does have its advantages. It allows one to live simply without out all the deemed ‘extras.’ And right beside me is a list of all the things I need when the Lord deems to give me my very own money tree.

As I wait for the Lord, he reminds me to thank him for everything, even the things I  do not like or want. I am thankful for what he has done in my life. For all the things I didn’t think of, like him healing my heart that needed a lot more attention than I was willing to give it. For over ten years, God hasn’t been idle in my life, not that I can say the same thing about myself, in my trust in Him and to see how He can truly make the broken pieces in my life to appear better than they were.

I am starting to see why I need to trust, why I need to wait because whateverHhe has planned, it will take my trust and His strength to bring everything together in His timing.

 

 

 

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Elements

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The last few months have been puzzling as I face certain aspects in my life.

Normally, I would say I can find a balance between work, writing, and everything else, but it’s not happening right now.

I’m caught in this swirl of emotions and I want to use words to paint what is going on inside of me. I don’t think I can find God and I know he’s somewhere… just beyond my reach.

No regrets

A thousand years ago, I had a plan all mapped out, I was going to travel overseas with one of my best-friends, we’d go all over the place.  But he back out after being offered to drive an Ice Cream truck all summer, and that trumped backpacking all over Europe. Back then I had no idea that I struggled with depression and anxiety, and  it would’ve be the worst thing to do. And that so-called best-friend, turned out to be someone who was hiding, and well, some things are best left in the dust of the past.

The last few months have reminded me of my twenties when I was running away from who I was, and trying to be someone who I thought everyone would want. I feel as if I’ve lost my sense of direction, the internal compass inside of me is broken. I haven’t been following my plan for a long time, but it’s like the plan that I thought He had given me has disappeared. I want the Lord to fix this broken map, but he hasn’t supplied what I thought I needed.

God isn’t beyond my reach

I say that because I want and know Him to be aware of me. In my desiring, I want him to acknowledge me and swooped me up into His arms.

At times like this my anger usually flares up because it’s a natural reaction. I want Him to take notice that my prayers aren’t being answered. I hope that by being angry he’ll do something. Instead, He remains quiet through my tears and false accusations, and waits until I might be willing to listen to him.

In the last couple years, I have been taking (insert sarcasm here) a crash course called: This is Your Anger. In the beginning, I experienced my anger almost as a voyager because I was very aware of how my body felt as this secret rage roared to life inside of me. It was out of control, it was loud, inappropriate, selfish and full of pride. I would spend weeks, soaked in this emotion until I realized I didn’t want to feel this out of control. Instead of staying quiet, patient and trusting, and persisting in prayer even when the road in front looks bleak and bleeding.

Everything happening seems so contrary to what I thought would actually play out. In all of this I know that even though it all seems out-of-place, it isn’t at all. But that’s the thing, we are inhabitants of a world where stupid crazy things occur, and people wonder why; how did this happen? His plan is still playing out in a world gone completely mad, where common sense has simply dried up.

Gratitude

In the midst of all it His mercy still springs forth, and it was and is for me, in the form of giving thanks. Beginning last week, I began hearing (not audibly) about thanking him.

1 Thessalonians~5:16

So I began thanking Him for what I don’t like, for the situations which I tire of, and I found that as I listed my complaints that I wouldn’t think twice of thanking Him that a peace quietly arose inside of me.  It moves my focus off what I don’t have, want, or covet, and I am finding myself closer to what has been missing.

 

 

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Colour Blind

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Squeaky wheels always get the most attention.

I‘m the one who is quiet and sits in the back so I won’t be called on. Curiosity crawls inside of me, but often the questions remained inside my head. Inside, the high tides of anxiety overwhelm me and any thoughts or ideas were washed off in the waves of fear.

Value thy self

As I was reflecting back to growing up, I resembled a mixed up Rubik’s cube. All that was needed was someone to turn all the cubes back to what it looked like in the store. In many ways, I am to blame to how and what I believe about myself now. Instead of acting out, drinking, taking drugs, I isolated myself from everyone and thing. It wasn’t the greatest self-care.

I wanted to be valued but I had zero value to for myself, but to be honest, I didn’t know how to value who I am and was as a little girl.

Lately, the Lord has bringing been up how I don’t value myself, and he’s been showing me through my love languages. Even when you don’t love yourself, He continues to love and show me that I am deserving and worthy of all of his gifts that he has given me. I am priceless to Him.

People come from all over the world to see famous paintings such as Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris, or the Prodigal Son at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. But most of us don’t put much work into ourselves because we’ve been taught not to value who we are. Trying to find your value in what you are or to others, will never satisfy the thirst to be all that you were made to be, and what is that? When we start to see ourselves through God’s eyes, the labels we attach to ourselves aren’t what we once thought they once were.

I don’t want to be confined to what I am, defined by what clothes I wear, or who I associate with.

Some of my clients call me their cleaning lady, and if I was a kettle you would see me boiling over with anger. I don’t consider myself just a cleaning lady, but it is a huge aspect of what I do every day. A lot of the seniors I work with want and need to make a connection – we all do – and sometimes I am the only person they will see all day. I have been doing this job for over five years, and every day I am working to do a better job. By putting value into my work maybe they will know they are valuable. Maybe they won’t feel the sting of being forgotten by their family or long for things to be the way they used to be.

Where we are now is to know how much God values us. He doesn’t give us what we can’t handle, or so were told. I am learning that this might hold true when we surrender what isn’t ours to hold onto, and put value into what He is giving us right now.

The value of our life does not depend on the place we occupy, it depends on the way we occupy that place.

St. Therese