A journey towards greater faith and creativity

Latest

Smoke in the Air

For nearly a week now, we’ve had heavy smoke in the air. There are fires to the east, south, and west of where I live. The province has declared a state of emergency as multiple towns are evacuated and thousands of people displaced. While smoky air makes for spectacularly colourful sunsets, it isn’t good for anything else. Certainly not for air quality and anyone who has breathing trouble.

I can’t imagine having to leave my home and know it might not be there when I get back. People are losing their homes… I’ve seen news footage of what appears to be an entire community burnt to the ground. They’re out of work, staying in temporary shelters of all kinds, dependent on the charity of others as they wait to hear when they can go back and see what’s left of their lives.

On the flip side, all kinds of people and organizations are stepping up to help. To work in the fire zones, trying to contain and extinguish the fires. To offer assistance to those in need of it. To open their homes to strangers in need of a place to stay. To gather resources to help rebuild what has been burnt to the ground. I love how situations like this bring out a kinder side of humanity.

I have extended family who live in the affected area. Some of them I’ve seen Facebook posts from and know the people, at least, are okay. Some I haven’t seen anything from and can’t help being concerned for. Undoubtedly there’s someone in the family who has heard, but I’m often out of the loop on family news (on that side especially) unless it crosses my Facebook feed.

Although the last couple days have been overcast, with just a touch of rain, the whole province desperately needs a few days of steady rain. Lightning is one of the major causes of wildfires and not something we need right now.  A steady downpour would be much more helpful. (And to think only a couple months ago some of these communities were struggling with flooding and too much water.)

And I have one very selfish reason for wanting these fires out and the highways reopened. I want to make it to the party for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary, which is going to mean either travel through what are currently fire zones or a long detour around on roads I’m not nearly as familiar with.

Advertisements

This Side of Fear

I dread putting anything out where other people can see/read/react to it. I really do.

I know there are a million thoughts and opinions on the subject out there. People’s experiences. Ways to get over it. Ways to work around it.

None of that makes it any easier for me. And, if I let myself stop and think about it, it’s exhausting.

And yet I keep trying to work on my business. I keep coming back to this blog. I keep putting things out there. I probably always will.

Last Day of School

It’s my daughter’s last day of grade one.

I have two whole months where I don’t have to deal with her school.

After we attend an anniversary party for my grandparents’ 60th, I have two weeks-ish where my daughter is at my parents’. I’m looking forward to those weeks and I know they’re going to pass way, way too fast.

In the meantime, our local library has a summer reading program for kids. The church often runs some kind of summer program, since Sunday school is only during the school year. There are other kids living close by she can go out and play with.

Easing Into Things

Yes, I do know there is a gap of about a year and a half between posts on this blog.

Yes, I have been more or less in hiding.

Yes, I am slowly attempting to ease back into a number of things. It’s a very slow process as the stuff in my life shifts and then shifts again.

I’m having to relearn, yet again, how to live some way other than constantly lost in my own head. It’s hard habit to break. It’s such an old habit, so deeply ingrained.

I grew up lost in my own head. I think I was trying to survive. Except somewhere in trying to survive, I never really learned how to live. And only now, in my thirties, am I trying to figure out how to really live instead of merely survive. Too many days I wonder if it’s even possible now.

And yet I know women far older than I am are walking the same path, unlearning the same lessons so they can learn new ones.

How to live in the light instead of someone’s shadow. How to find a voice so long ago silenced. How to stand alone. How to really truly Love. How to be a whole human being. How to live out all these things so our daughters learn them early.

A Handful of Clover

This morning, before I took her to school, my daughter brought me a handful of clover blossoms from our backyard, where she had been playing for the few minutes before we had to leave. As you can see from the picture above, I found a pretty little vase and put them in water. Hopefully they will last a few days. They smell so wonderfully sweet.

Feels Like Summer

I know it’s still early June, but when the weather hits 30 degrees Celsius or more and the sky is clear and blue and sunny, it feels very much like summer. Too hot. Especially for a place deemed to be far enough north to render AC ‘unnecessary’ by building code authorities and utilities companies.

I don’t like (and I know I’m not alone in this) temperature extremes. I don’t deal with too hot any better than too cold. I wish it could be either spring or autumn, when the temperatures are nicer and the trees pretty colours.

Being summer and rapidly approaching the Summer Solstice also means much longer days than nights. I think right now sunset is about the time my husband goes to work, around nine thirty or quarter to ten. Dawn is somewhere between five and six in the morning, if not earlier. I remember reading someone’s blog post or email about how they were planning to start going to bed at sunset and get up at sunrise. And I remember thinking about what utter insanity it would be to attempt that here. In the summer, it would mean far less than eight hours of sleep at nights. In the winter, it would mean only being up and active maybe eight hours of the day.

For the moment, it means my daughter, who is still in elementary school until nearly the end of the month, doesn’t want to come inside in time to get ready for bed. It’s still ‘daytime’, even though if she doesn’t come in and get to bed, she won’t wake up in time to get to school in the morning. Or, worse, will be too tired to get through her school day without the school having to call me to pick her up early. (It happens. Oh, the joys of having a child deemed ‘special needs’.)

I’m grateful for the pole fan given to us by neighbours moving out just down the row. It keeps the living room liveable. There’s a second fan in my bedroom which makes it sort of possible to sleep in there if I’ve had a bath or shower immediately before going to bed. I think my husband is lucky in a way… he gets to go to bed after the bedroom has cooled down as much as it’s likely to.

Now to figure out how to feed us all without cooking not just the food, but myself and the house as well.

October Sunrise

20151015_084914_HDRAfter I dropped my daughter off at school this morning, I went for a walk at a local park. During my walk I took several pictures, including this one of the sun just rising over the cutbanks and the morning fog. The river you see at the bottom of the picture is the Fraser just south of its conjunction with the Nechako.

It froze last night and this morning was chilly. Also very quiet since few people are out so early. The quiet, especially when I’m surrounding by trees and grass (even frost covered), helps me think and ground and get my head straight.

God’s Creation is Beautiful.

New Toy (Sort Of)

I got my very own cell phone today. For me, this is big news. It’s the first time I’ve had one which is specifically mine. I’m slowly figuring out things on it. Probably helps to have played around with my husband’s phone.

Speaking of whom, we’re working on piecing our marriage back together… seeing if we can resolve or move past the issues which caused our separation earlier this year. I think we’re making progress, but some days it’s hard to tell.

Feels like God doesn’t believe in straight paths. Well, I guess He promises to make our paths straight, but it sure doesn’t feel like it when actually living this stuff out. Or maybe there’s still more I can’t see yet. Wouldn’t surprise me.

And my one remaining grandmother turns 80 years young this weekend, so I’m making a flying trip down for her birthday celebration. One day of party and family and family friends sandwiched between two eight to nine hour drives.

I think I’m going to need a vacation to recover from the last six or eight weeks. I’m just not sure when I’ll get even a short break. There’s still a lot which needs to happen or be worked out before I feel like I’m settled into a real home again.

God will provide. Of this I’m certain.

Short Hair and Other Issues

I’ve been growing my hair out since grade seven and it hasn’t really been cut, just the ends trimmed, in more than a decade… until today.

It’s been a very long summer and a number of things seem to have escaped me. (Posting on this blog being one of them.) Among them was my hair. Well, today a whole lot of crap had to be cut out of it and my hair is now varying lengths, none of it longer than maybe to my chin. It feels strange, to say the least, and I can’t seem to keep my hands out of it right now. (Also, because it keeps falling in my face.)

Seems like my hair is only a reflection of far too many things in my life right now. Too many messes… too many things which now need cleaning up.

I don’t even know why I let things fall this far apart. Not sure how. Or what I was thinking. Maybe I just wasn’t thinking at all.

Supposedly hindsight is 20/20, but maybe it takes some space apart from it all to really get a perspective on what has or is happening. I’m not sure I’ve had that space. Not entirely sure I do now, but I guess I have to start somewhere.

One day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time.

How In The World Did I End Up Here?

I’ve asked myself this any number of times, but the truth is, I know exactly how I ended up where I am now. What I can’t seem to figure out is how to get out of this mess and move on.

Let me start by defining Here.

I have until the end of the month to be out of the townhouse I’ve been living in for the last four and a half years. What’s left here has either been packed or sorted into the I don’t want to keep it piles. (Either garbage or donation depending on item and condition.) So somewhere between ninety and ninety-five percent of what I own is packed and I’m getting by on what little has been left out. In the meantime, my ex-husband has moved out, although he has a few more things to come get. Our daughter is currently living with her grandparents and not happy about it. She enjoyed her vacation trips with them, but I know she wants to be living with me and it can’t happen while I’m living with a bare minimum of stuff and there’s nothing for her to do here and I have no way to take her out anywhere on any consistent basis. The cat is, well, the cat. She’s still living with me and at least in all the packing and cleaning up we found her favourite mouse.

So how do I move on from here?

Well, I know where I would love to move to. And I know what I want in a new home.

I also know what God keeps telling me. (The two don’t appear to be mutually exclusive.)

Imagine walking along a path made of large stones and suddenly coming to a place where two or three stones are just missing, leaving a gaping chasm in their place. The gap feels too wide to jump and there doesn’t appear to be a way around.

This is my life right now.

I guess I could take all the advice from the ‘there is only one way to do anything’ people in my life. There sure are a lot of them. But this is the advice which got me stranded here in the first place. And I don’t see how following the advice which got me here is going to get me back out. (And I’m incredibly sick and tired of feeling stuck in a world where I never have fit in anyway.)

In a telephone conversation with my ‘Christian’ mother, I asked her at least four times whether I should take all the advice people keep shoving my way and try to fight my way out of this on my own (rather limited) strength or whether I should trust in what I know God is telling me. She hesitated and waffled every single time I asked, no matter how I simplified the question. My ‘Christian’ mother couldn’t tell me I should trust God over my own strength and abilities. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?

I know what the Bible says about trusting God and God’s promises. I also know what the Bible says about trying to rely on myself and my own strength. And what it says about God’s ability to provide what I need, exactly when and how I need it. (Whether it’s what I was hoping for or not.)

So, I think, if my options are to take all this conventional, stuck in the box, there’s only one way out of this advice or to trust in God and God’s promises to me and God’s timing… well, I know the first doesn’t work, so I’m left with the second.

(And by trusting in God, I don’t mean simply praying and nothing else and hoping it will all work out in the end. I do mean taking the steps and actions I feel God telling me to take, as they come up. I know all too well just how meaningless words without Divinely inspired action really are.)