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All Saint’s Day

Happy All Saint’s Day.

Today we remember the lives of those that have gone before us.  We raise a toast to those who have seen their faith become sight. We remember the lives of those who worked to embody the life of Christ, who have known Him and who have made Him known.

We remember and are thankful that life does not end in death, that in fact death breathes new life and that when this world has melted away we will be found whole, complete and entirely enveloped by Christ.

Today I am thankful for a God that speaks, that is alive and that is present. I am thankful for examples of faith, for mentors, for parents and for friends who have helped light the way. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by such a cloud of witness and to receive such a wonderful inheritance.

 

Big ships and daily commutes. 

  
When I was younger my dad took my mom, my siblings, my cousins and I to visit a crew of sailors who were, with their ship, abandoned by their employer in the Port of Vancouver. We brought them round orange Indian sweets and they gave us the tour of a lifetime. We visited in the bridge, and climbed down into the vast cargo holds. We walked the ship from bow to aft and explored the engine room. I remember very clearly hearing the whisper of adventure from the bow of that ship and from the stories of the sailors as we made small talk and they talked about blazing hot days and beautiful starry nights during their days at sea. My new commute includes riding through Vancouver Harbour and seeing these huge ships as they pass through, full of goods and wares. They remind me to enjoy this new adventure and to be thankful for all that it brings. These huge ships remind me that you and I are part of a bigger story. One full of possibility, goodness and unexpected joy. 

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Goal Review #2

Okay, so June is right around the corner and I figured that since I have been M.I.A for a while I would just hop back on board to where I was supposed to be as though I had been faithfully blogging for the last eight weeks or so. And where I should be is reviewing my goal progress, and I think that you should be too.

Here we go.

Goal #1 Continue on my weight loss journey. This has actually taken shape, in many wonderful and unexpected ways. I was thrown for a loop earlier this year when I came to the realization that I did not trust my body. I was further astounded to realize that I didn’t trust my body because I didn’t know how to listen to it. So, I have been working hard to restore the relationship between my mind, my faith, and my physical being (you will probably read a lot about this as I wrestle through it.) This has been enlightening and arduous and I feel as though it may be struggle for the rest of my life. So my focus has shifted from the vain to the healthy and holistic. If I am to ever have right relationships outside my body then I need a good relationship with my body. So, without playing the numbers game (because I’m totally over that) I have been slowly losing weight and finding trust and joy in my skin. (Yay!)

 

Goal #2 Pay off my debt. I am 70% debt free!! Yahoo. This feels like a triumph. I did some number crunching and realized that I needed to be contributing a little bit to my debt if I’m going to be debt free by December, but I’ve got this. There will still be tough months ahead, but I’m prepared to work hard for it and finish well.

 

Goal #3 (My favorite one!) Cross three things off my bucket list. I’ve crossed off two (go me!) and I have a few that are in the works (look out drivers, I’m learning how to drive standard!) I also, just booked a hotel in Paris (I know, right, motherf*cking Paris!!! Ask me about this later, because I am bouncing off the walls.) Which is technically Europe, so I haven’t decided if I will cross that off my list or wait and do it later.

 

Anyways, not bad for lil’ ol’ me.

How is your progress going?

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What I have learned about grief

Here is what I have learned about grief during the last year: It goes on. I thought that when my dad died I was as prepared as I could be. I thought that when we were able to plan a funeral and when I stood in front of a packed Church to deliver my dad’s eulogy and received hugs, consolation, and polite smiles in the Church basement, that all of that was truly the worst of it. I thought that if I could survive father’s day and my dad’s birthday and Christmas that everything would be fine. It turns out that it is not. It turns out that maybe a year after my dad’s death, things are worse.

I think it is like when you break a bone, your body surges with adrenaline to keep you from feeling the hurt and giving you time to seek help. When someone dies, a sort of fog sets in and you lose yourself in it for a bit. Sometimes getting lost is fun, you begin to imagine how wonderful the world is when the fog has lifted and sometimes you just feel pained and lost and insignificant. I think the fog is beginning to lift, but truly and honestly, the world isn’t any better. The problem now is that I’ve run out of adrenaline and I am learning that I am still in a great deal of pain. There are times when I miss my dad more than anything, and there are times of anger, times of relief, and times of thankfulness and joy. I thought that once a year had passed I would be whole again. I believed that so ardently that I began to push myself around the one-year mark to settle my grief and move on. I put my head down and raced against the one-year anniversary to close my affairs and await release and freedom.

The anniversary came and went, and to my joy, the fog lifted. But, what remained was still a lot of heart ache and confusion, those roots are deep and I fear they will require a few more hours of work before they are liberated from the soil. This is a shock and a heartache, to know that my journey through grief is not over. But I think that I have finally figured out that the only way out of this valley is through it, one step at a time. So forgive me, if I take longer than I need. This road forward is full of twists and turns. I am trying a new thing, a thing where I give myself space and grace enough to grieve and feel whatever I need to feel it get me through this.

Almost 10 years ago, a teacher, mentor, and guide of mine lost his battle with cancer. The words that he left behind inspire me to soldier on and to embrace the path that I am walking. His words are these:

 

Grief, like the ocean, comes in waves, only to recede and come yet again. But with it comes healing. Memories wash ashore and are bathed in the golden sun. Grab hold of these memories and let them fill the emptiness. May they bring you peace. -C.Vint