This morning, oooooh, this morning...
I am nearly a full seven full days away from both my Husband and my youngest daughter. And I miss them SO much.
For seven days I have watched my oldest daughter discover new areas within herself. I have witnessed her love on children she doesn't know. Smiled as she allowed them to climb all over her and braid her long beautiful hair. Beamed as she shared her talents of kicking around the soccer ball and jump rope. Stood back as she talked and giggled with the amazing young gentlemen willing to look after her. My heart gets full. Full of joy and emotion for what is in store for her. Because there is SO MUCH.
This morning we visited an area many simply cannot be prepared for. A landfill (or dump site), also a home to possibly a couple hundred Haitian folks. Men. Women. And yes, children and babies, although they were most likely protecting themselves in their homes amongst the bushes. As we ascended towards the pungent space, observing people working, one word occurred to me - marginalized.
These souls have literally been pushed to the outer periphery and left to survive on the leftovers of a world already deemed impoverished. As we handed out soup, water and sandwiches, another word came to mind - desperate.
You see, they were not concerned with a status, or graduating to or maintaining the next best socioeconomic status, making their dreams come true, or what the hot button on social media is. Or even fighting for their rights. They were not phased by whether or not they were on the right path, or eating whole foods, or working out. No. Their only concern was survival. Getting a meal. A cup of water. Recovering a treasure from among the discarded rubble of a society viewing them as worthless. One cannot be the same after an excursion like that.
We all rode back in silence. I, in front of my daughter, sensed she needed my hand. She did. I reached back to stroke her leg, she grabbed my hand, and I knew she was weeping. Like I, she was broken.
Brokenness can be good. It has the potential to lead to seeking the Lord and craving a wholeness only He can provide. And even after one feels there could not possibly be more breaking to do, God proves differently. He proves there is so much within our hearts and minds still needing His transformative touch, self made barriers or limits, that MUST COME DOWN in order for our lives to reflect MORE of Him - and less of us. He proves our cup must be cleansed from the inside, rather than spit shined from the out, in order that we offer an untainted cup of Living Water to all we interact with, wherever they may be. (Matthew 23:26, John4:14)
It couldn't have been known, we too (my daughter and I) would have discovered treasures amongst the debris. She doesn't want to leave. However, knowing she must, she's already asking if she can come back. God is planting seeds in her heart and reminding me to stay the course for not only her sake, but the sake of those He's been planning to reach through her, as well as my youngest, since their beginning. He has so much in store. So much.
My very first trip to Seattle sent me home inspired to begin this blog. It motivated me to refocus on my fitness. The first trip convinced me I could overcome obstacles that had been persuading me things were never going to change. The adventure was a way for God to breath new life, hope and confidence into my life, and sent me on the journey I have been intently taking for the past eighteen months. This second trip has brought me home inspired and motivated, yet again. It has reinforced the trajectory God has this life going, and I have to tell you, I am stoked!
I stayed behind to get my urban walk in, do some prepping for the current LES45 Challenge, and then head out to my friend’s house to meet with some other gals for dinner. Wouldn’t you know, I began to have a titch of anxiety. First anxious thoughts about being alone in the city. Then about doing my 5k by myself. Then about driving to my friend’s house. I nearly had myself worked into a frenzy, but I reminded myself it was different. That, and I ate a good meal. My sugar was low from all my recent activity, and it was certainly compounding (if not creating) the anxious feeling I was beginning to have. The 5k was amazing, even though walking on a bridge over an eight lane highway is something I didn’t prepare for. Getting groceries at Whole Foods was a treat. Driving was fine. Dinner was a blessing. Hanging out at my mentor’s house with a few other gals deep into fitness, was awesome. We shared our stories, stuffed our faces with delicious, whole foods, and laughed – a lot.
form of a travel trailer. Several of these homes were sprinkled along the way. We finally arrived to our destination after about fifteen minutes. And it was a cabin. Not a luxury cabin you might be envisioning (I sort of was), but a cabin with creaky wood floors, a wood stove, a river as the back yard, and no cell phone service (although it did have WiFi, which was a bit perplexing). Now, if I were the panicky type, I would have asked my husband to get us out of there, but I’ve stayed in worse. Much worse. God reminded me of this, and I was then ready to see the blessing that would come of the situation.
try it again. That all changed when my youngest daughter took up skiing, and I decided I wanted to be able to share the experience with her. I’m not that good. I prefer to stay on the green, easier grade hills, rather than go down the life-threatening black diamond runs. I’m a weenie really. It decided to snow the entire day we were there. Remember that dramatic experience I mentioned? It ALSO involved all day snow. I grew quite comfy on one of the easier slopes, and was fine hanging out there. However, my hubby kept saying, “If you go on the other trail… If you make it to this trail… If you choose to go from this to the next…” You see what he was doing there? He wasn’t saying “get off the bunny hill already!”, but he was certainly attempting to use his power of suggestion to do so. Again, back to the dramatic experience, there was a degree of coercion by him as well…
In the spirit of challenging myself and hopefully helping my husband to have a better time, I decided to go up the next level to the blue run. The lift was longer. Much longer than I had thought. I exit the lift and slide, all the way until I stop. Flashback. You guessed it, to the dramatic experience I mentioned earlier. Nerves begin to kick in. I stand and look out. Oh. My. Word. What. Have. I. Done? My stomach an instant knot. My legs begin trembling. I want to puke. Crazy physiological response to the situation, I did not anticipate. Then I’m taken back to the hike a year and a half earlier. The Spartan Sprint. The Spartan Super. All physical feats I took on, to challenge myself and overcome barriers, both mentally and physically. This was no different. Ok it was a little. I could catapult myself off the path into a tree due to my lack of experience and inability to control my speed, but who was thinking about that?! I needed a positive vision…
Monday we headed back towards the city. It was supposed to be a cloudy dreary day. I said a prayer, “Lord, please clear the weather up, at least for our 5k”. And He did. The sun was shining, we made it to Discovery park, and had a very intense run. Woods. Beach. Light house. A break for some yoga. Stairs. Hills. Nice people. It was fantastic. Twenty minutes later we’re in downtown Seattle, checking out Pike’s Place, the Farmer’s Market, the original Starbucks and eating food at a Mexican restaurant in an alley. One of the most adventurous vacations yet. And we loved it.
months. Appreciative of the healing He has provided in my mind, body, marriage, and home. Blown away by the number of people He has caused me to cross paths with, and I now have an opportunity to support and encourage – all because on some level we have something in common. Excited to live a life I don’t feel I need a break from, but wake up excited to take on every single day. Hopeful He will continue to move through my life and reach others. Inspired to give everyone and everything my very best, knowing God will multiply and bless what little I feel I have to give.
Now I have to get back to work, plan some meals, get my 5k in, make dinner, run the kiddo to basketball, and get groceries. This is my life. A daily adventure. And I love it. Have a wonderful day!
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