Finding Hope.

This morning’s run had me in tears.

Unless my alarm is set for 5 mins after the coffee pot turns on, I rarely go a run, no matter how honest my intentions were. Something always comes up, or, before you know it, it’s time to get ready for bed.

So this night owl sacrifices an hour of sleep to go for morning runs. It’s not a huge deal, it’s just what works for me. Now that I am no longer running off my feet serving, I just need those extra steps in my day. Once I am out that door, the music is pounding in my ears, and I’m just about to the beach- that hour of sleep is the furthest thing from my mind.

Morning runs are a saving grace in the summer heat, and they put everything into a far better perspective.

But this isn’t a post about running. Me and my steady 10 min/mile have nothing to give the sport of running. I am a taker: I’m in it for the mental health and rush of it (yes, even us slow and steady folk feel the rush… for me, it comes about 35 mins in).

As I passed through the gates to the beach trail, I was greeted by the low, orange sun which was far warmer than it has been in recent days. The Earth was showing gratitude for that warmth… steam rose from the ground and the water in the bay was eerily still. Ahead, just past the dyke, the silhouettes of hundreds of Canadian geese could be seen drifting silently along the shore.

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And then I felt it: first in my knees, and then all around me.

a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire…

a still small voice.

God. Everywhere. Tears spilled onto my cheeks.

 

After stopping to take pictures of the way the ocean disappeared into the fiery mist, I looked over my shoulder to see a giant silver moon dipping low to the trees. He was there. I could feel him.

I made it just for you

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It was just me out there (which is rare, because the beach is best at sunrise and the locals know that). Eagles circled overhead. Brown rabbits zig-zagged across the path and a huge owl watched me from a fence post.

I’ve taken care of you. I always will take care of you.

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Today was huge: Scotty was interviewing for a teaching position at 1pm. I have been a bit of a nervous wreck about it. I don’t like to complain, but these past five years have been hard. Very hard. Having one spouse navigate a career change is tough, but when BOTH spouses are in school and working weird hours?

With looming credit lines coming due, I have been a bit of a nervous wreck. I’ve busted out in cold sores and stomach aches in the past 48 hours, but taking in lungfuls of the steam rising from the earth; being flooded with breath-taking beauty; and being enveloped by Greatness that kept whispering over and over again,

I always will take care of you

filled me with nothing but gratitude. I was in the palm of my Creator this morning and he made certain that I knew it.

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Bearing a Bit of My Soul

When I wake up in the morning, I stumble around in a daze. I need a solid 30 mins to suck back a couple “cuppas” (New Zealand slang… remember I lived there once?) before I can get serious about my day. Scotty always shakes his head at me when I begin to calculate how early I have to get up for something. I always factor in the minimum 30 minutes I need to let the caffeine soak in before I can begin to get ready. Generally, I get up a solid 1 1/2 hours before I have to leave. I take 40 mins to shower and be ready, but I can NOT just stumble out of bed and into the shower. I have to process this.

Our thanksgiving was low-key. Weekends are a bit of a luxury in this stage of our life. The need to catch up on homework and make enough money to pay the bills usually dominates our Saturday and Sunday. I can’t complain. We had our fun down south. Now it’s time to work. But that meant I suffered intense pangs of homesick thinking about my own family on the island gathered around my mom’s dining table. We ended up getting a “sympathy dinner” on Monday night consisting mainly of the previous night’s left-overs, but it thrilled us- especially me, who got her very own Tofurkey completely with Vegan gravy (which I demolished two days later).

But despite the fact that this weekend was filled more with responsibility than festivity, I came out of it feeling pretty bloody blessed.

Friday I was bed-ridden with the worst migraine, complete with room spins and total nausea. By Saturday, I had regained my will to live and poured my coffee into a “to-go” mug and went for a walk with my man to the beach.

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Seriously nature? Can you be any more awe-inspiring? I’ve said it in numerous posts (on this and many of my other blogs), nothing can beat the beauty of nature- it’s insanely spiritual. There are no words. Your eyes take it in and it communes with your inner being.

Cheeseball and truth.

Since then, I have adjusted my morning routine. My half hour of coffee ingestion is done on foot. Creation is the first thing to greet me in the morning, and the inspiration it lends is incomparable. While in Spain a few years ago, I had one of the most soul-shaking experiences of my life: experiencing Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. It is far more than just a building, it echoes creation, all of Gaudi’s work does. I have never been so inspired in my life than I was in that moment when I entered the Sagrada. To see how a man-built environment can be such a soulful experience lit a little flame in me. Design doesn’t have to revolve around the superficial. It doesn’t have to be about $500 throw pillows, or one-upping your neighbours. It can feed us, it can inspire us, it can move us in ways that we can’t put into words but can definitely feel.

Close friends and family know the journey I have been on in coming to this path in life: being a bit of a social-justice-environmentalist-bleeding-heart-i-wanna-change-the-world person who is passionate about creativity and design, and not just in myself, I love to hear about it in other people’s lives. For the most part, people tend to be self-deprecating when they show a painting, drawing or talk about an idea they have that might be considered artistic. But rarely have I ever come across anyones creative/artistic expressions and was anything less than inspired. I truly believe everyone has something to offer and they should really own it.

So how does a teenager who dreamt of being a doctor in Africa, who became psychology major and worked with marginalized young women in the foster system (that so many didn’t want to make time for, but can I just say that I have never witnessed such strength in any other person than these young women- I feel truly blessed to have met every one of them) proceed to the next step of pursuing interior design as a profession?

I have no clue.

But doors keep opening, and when I feel doubtful, I get a nudge- a “keep going, I’ve got plans for you”- I always thought that I would save the world by providing medical care to the third world, or by helping mend broken spirits and hearts to the marginalized. How design fits in, I do not know, but my values are still the same: I feel a responsibility to humanity, justice, and to the environment. The picture is so foggy right now but somehow design will fit that.

School, despite its moutain of work, is going so well. That colour assignment came back to me with a great mark and a note from my professor begging for my permission to make a copy of it to use in future classes. That insane drawing class I took this summer (the professor is famous around school for being the hardest on his students) came with an open invitation to apply at his architectural firm as an student-apprentice, and next week I have an interview with a designer downtown to see if I can do some kind of internship.

Doors. They’re opening. Yes, I am working my butt off, but I feel led. I feel encouraged.

I feel thankful.

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