Sunday, March 29

leaving on a jet plane

If you or anyone you know has me on Facebook or Instagram, you'll know this week was inundated with pictures of the Great Pacific Northwest. (Just like the shark, it deserves a capital G).  From frosty beaches to downtown coffees, the trip was a much needed rest and rejuvenation.  I ate, I drank, I slept, and, above all, I looked.  I looked up at the rain, around at the trees, down at my feet, and all around, and every which way.  The miracle of it all, I felt rested.  Like, people before technology, working all hours, and fast-paced societies, rested.

Then, I came home.  And, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I hit depression like a surfer on Mavericks.  I was not at all ready to come back to routine.  I missed the days of sleeping 'til whenever, eating and not counting calories, and getting tattoos because you feel like it.  I missed vacation, missed the break-up of normal, and missed feeling footloose and fancy free.

I've already begun making plans for moving, getting a job in the city, riding the trams and ditching insurance and cable t.v., and spending the weekends on the coast.  But to return to normal and wait for those days just seemed impossible.

Then, I came to my first day of "normal".  I returned to work, with a few women and the overnight house.  Thankfully, a few were still awake, knitting a hat, finding her spirit animal, and finishing up an evening snack.  What might have been ten or fifteen minutes turned into two hours of good conversation, celebrating the week's "wins", tears over losses and memories, and giggles over how the mind of a woman works...thesis to follow. 

Suddenly, mid "I fit more with the bear than the hawk" sentence, I remembered, "what you're doing still has purpose".

Only a few days prior to the vacation, I took a picture of my rainbow-colored schedule and reminded myself of what a rich life I have going on right now.  Sure, it is full to the brim and I am sleep-deprived, but I am learning and gaining at a warped speed...probably a speed I will never again experience.

So, somewhere between pictures, I lost sight of what I'm doing.  I'm working towards my top goal; I'm learning each day from those more and less experienced, and I'm soaking in the depths of what I am most passionate about.  Yet, hours ago, I was willing to trade it all for a one-way ticket, an ankle bracelet, and a tent.

And, truthfully, I think that's what happens when we're in the muck of hard work.  On a day to day basis, I look for little escapes, ways to leave the hard work behind and find rest or ease.  This time, it just looked a lot more concrete, perhaps do-able, and a little bigger.  But each time I pass on engaging in a project or a person, each time I zone out of the anxiety or pressure, and each time I make a joke to avoid something bigger, I'm leaving on the red-eye.

I wondered, briefly, if this ache is what it felt like to leave Eden, too.  To look behind you and see youth, freedom, happiness, joy, and life abundant...to know that there is rest, but you are far from it.  Again, maybe it's dramatic, but I think Eden will feel a lot like vacation.  I think we'll experience rejuvenation--or the equivalent of rejuvenation when you're not previously tired, weary, and worn out.

What these women taught me, is that this hard work still has purpose.  Yes, I want to escape, I want to jump forward, I want to stay in perpetual vacation mode.  But there is work to be done, work that is good, work that will produce rewards and a good life.



God dreams big. And he invites us to dream big with him. God has planted dreams and desires in each one of our hearts, and they are unique to us. Opening up our spirits, our minds, our heart, our imaginations to what we would really like—to even the possibility of wanting—allows the Holy Spirit to awaken parts of ourselves that are in such a deep sleep no dreams are happening.

-John Eldridge, Becoming Myself

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