Sunday, 21 December 2014

a place is just a place?

stumbled upon a couple songs on this album a few weeks ago.  this weekend, it occurred me to listen to the rest of it.
and, purchased.
listening on a loop.
multi-layered.  epic sounds. 80s reminiscent.
if you feel so inclined, you might take a listen.

why do I love london so deeply?

yes, it for the red postboxes, the centrality of public transport, the accents which abound...
these lovelies (and a million more) most definitely endear, but at the heart of this affection, you will find that all these tangibles actually serve to provide the context and setting for a formative time in my life that can hardly be explained.
in the confines of the years I spent with a UK address, I lived life fully.
in a john 10.10 type of way, I experienced full on, utterly awake, transparent engagement in daily awareness.
not every day, of course.
after all, 'wherever you go, you take yourself with you'.
as someone who connects, relates, and lives deeply within her context, place is pretty important to me.  especially as I live life on my own, in a state of singleness.
and as I possess a fair amount of introversion.

so, a struggle will always exist, I suppose to find my niche.  (I think we all search, to some degree.)
I learned years ago that my home (where I lay my head at night) is of key importance in my quest for health.  if said home base is uneasy or unclear in regard to safety and cozy, my spirit struggles to rest.  home in flux can only exist for a short period of time.
in all my travels, I have also learned to create "home" wherever I am.
so, if these previous sentences lead you to feelings of sadness on my behalf, there is no need.
I comment on 'place' as a processing of words, the title of this post, I have spoken to others and over the past year have said to myself many, many times to help soothe the loss I feel from my most recent change of zip code.
(boston sits companionably near to london on my list of homes.)

I'm not sure.
not AT all. (spoken in jude law accent.)
is a place just a place?
at my core, I believe people are of the most importance.
yes, yes, I do.
as someone who has lived many places and made connections (real, life, heart friend sort of connections) in each of those places, deciding where to create home can be pretty daunting.
having numerous options of location can send me into a sort of paralysis.

acts 17.26-28...
"from one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set of them and the exact places where they should live.  
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.  
'for in him we live and move and have our being'..."

so looking for open and closed doors has become my mode of operation.
praying I can live in the present and breathe.
how do you define home when you are able to find it so many places?

I'm not sure.
and, I suppose in some ways, that is the point.
trust (belief in the reliability, truth, strength of)
and faith ("sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." hebrews 11.1).
and both require...

and, the ultimate, overarching beauty that I am always led back to believing...

john 15.4, 15; 16.33...
"remain in me, and I will remain in you."

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.  instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

"I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. in this world you will have trouble.  
but take heart!
I have overcome the world." 

recently, through a new friend, I have been reminded of how
soulful truth encourages my spirit.
how funny and sweet is the Lord in how he brings into my sphere people who,
simply by being themselves,
point me toward and remind me of
who I am,
what I want to be about, and
what I love.
press play...

happy weekend,

Friday, 5 December 2014

le cinquième de décembre...

je parle un peu français. (I speak a little french.)

so, back in august, I decided to take a french class.
this choice is,
by far,
one of the better decisions I have made in quite some time.
so, each tuesday evening I am sat with a couple others at an international school learning accent, conjugation, and intonation of this lovely, challenging foreign tongue. (some weeks this class finds me being the only student in attendance.)
as you know, part of me will now and forever be international, so my spirit is fed here.
additionally, being a student of people, culture, and words, each bit of information absorbed reminds me of how intricate and interesting is our world and each person within it.

school has always been a favourite place of mine.
would I call myself a nerd? sure.
I have a genuine love for learning, studying, and memorizing.  it is just true.
hence my love for travel, culture, exploring, being trusted to hear people's stories... all feed the inner student within me.
sure, most of this aforementioned list does not have to do with pencil, paper, or notecards, but each without doubt teaches me, shapes my perspective, and enhances my life in ways similar (though much more personally) to my time spent in a classroom over the years.

life affords me loads of human interaction/learning, but it has been some time since I opened a textbook and took active notes while sitting at a desk, looking at a whiteboard.
and, you know what?  I have missed it.
many of you know that I have been thinking of going to grad school for many years.  in fact, my move to boston contained that goal in its sights.  for one reason or another, my re-entering the classroom has not come to fruition in the way I might have hoped.  I, honestly, am not certain when the pieces will fall into place to obtain that advanced degree that I have long seeked.
that being said...
l'apetit vient en mangeant.
(the more you have, the more you want.) 
each class, my french teacher begins by teaching us a french proverb.  as I write about becoming further educated, I find this phrase popping into my head.
I hope this whetting of my appetite for learning, both in books and amongst people, only grows stronger.

time spent living life alongside people ranks highest on my list of things preferred. (full stop)
it just turns out that spending time with my nose in a book enhances and enriches my life immensely, as well.  just another noteworthy reminder of the deep importance for me to
"know my name".

in october, I took a birthday holiday to brooklyn and boston.  colour of autumn leaves and footsteps on cobblestone street paths abounded.
how do I sum it up?  almost impossible.
I will simply say that I breathed deep that week.
I walked and walked and walked.  goodness, I miss walking and not having to drive. 
I reconnected with lovely friends.
the time there was absolutely cathartic to my spirit.

upon my return from new england, I find myself feeling a bit more present in dallas these days.
thankful for peace.

I have spoken many times about the "tension" in my life...a lesson learned while living in a colorado mountain town.
the full on realization that struggle and joy co-exist. 
that feeling of...
being entirely sure I am where I am meant to be
feeling that I do not love the location/situation fully where I am found.
the brow-furrowing moments of...
"why exactly did I need to move?"
mixed in with the thoughts of
"this moment finds me feeling completely joyful and healthier than I have been in awhile." 
when I am convinced that...
"my gifting/who I am is celebrated in this space and amongst these people."
alongside the thought of
"oftentimes, I feel like an alien here." 

more moments exist  on the positive/hopeful side of that tension as of late.
life never ceases to surprise...
He never ceases to surprise me...
in loving sorts of ways.
in "I know you because I made you" ways.
in fun, laughter-filled ways.
in sweet, gentle ways.

this morning, I found myself in a conversation about how comfortable it is to be a believer in and a follower of Jesus.
"EVERYTHING about having faith is uncomfortable!,"
said my friend with a voice teeming with passion.
I am not, in my nature, one who debates.
but, hearing a statement made with such feeling of absolute, prompts me to provide my personal perspective.
I replied in an intentionally even tone that as a believer, not EVERYTHING about my life is uncomfortable.
at times? absolutely.
everything?  absolutely not.
the conversation continued on amiably, our friendship remaining very much intact.  :)

perhaps, he did not mean this remark as literally as I heard it.  
it is possible, I am a bit sensitive to tone, inflection, and volume.  
yes, it is possible.
equally plausible is the fact that "combatting" this definitive statement and speaking the truth I have experienced spoke to my spirit in a way that moved me to a place of perspective.  

I will simply say here that I am thankful today for

"...I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. 
I know what I’m doing. 
I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, 
not abandon you, 
plans to give you the future you hope for.'"
(Jeremiah 29:11)

happy december.
bonne week-end.