Positives in the Tunnel

I wish I could say there is a light at the end of my tunnel of insanity.

But alas, there isn’t one.

Sometimes being a resident and a wife and having a life is discouraging.  Sometimes because it is so hard to do it all.

But, on a bright side to my frustrations, I do have a supportive program.  I may have a million expectations and things to do.  But, it is also a place where the staff person I worked with on call this weekend offered (insisted, really) to take my pager overnight for a few hours so baby and I can get some sleep.  And where I get encouraged to go to appointments and eat.

And I have a supportive husband.  Who picks me up late and is okay with a haphazard supper (again).  Who puts up with my hours of studying and pauses the TV when the pager beeps and who lets me take the car when I have a chance to go to a church ladies’ movie night.

Plus, I have outside friends who try to get it.

And a kind of cuddly and entertaining cat (with a bald spot that is finally growing in (that is a story for another time)).

And of course, I have a great Saviour who is the reason I can do and be all of these things and get through the day.

There are lots of things to be thankful for amidst the crazy.

The Joy of Renting

Gratitude.

We had some horrendous wind and rain, which led to some sleep deprivation in the M household last night.

Why gratitude, you ask?  I’ll tell you…

When your barbecue cover somehow flies off into oblivion (despite it being bungee corded to both the deck and the BBQ), but your husband notices and rescues the barbecue of the balcony before it projectiles off as well.

When a chunk of your living room ceiling (that has never leaked before) caves in sometime in the wee hours of the morning, but does not hit your TV, other electronics or wedding photos. Also, that your husband is awake to clean up said chunk and the water that fell with it, put down buckets and call the rental office (who are coming today to survey the damage and do some repairs because apparently we aren’t the only ones who had that happen last night).

Image from strifeinc.com

When the window you swore was leaking last year during one storm, but then the maintenance person came and looked at it and said it was fine and it never seemed to cause a problem again (until now) starts dripping like a sieve, but you have enough towels to sop it up and the landlord is conveniently already coming in the morning to tend to our other leak.

When you realize that all of this went down in one night and probably won’t again until the next storm where the wind and rain blow just right.  At least you hope so.  Preferably, you hope it never happens again.

When you realize a 330 in the morning all of these things happened and you slept through them because your husband is a superhero night-hawk.

Image from sprudge.com.

When, at 330 in the morning, you and your husband can laugh about the fact, that we have never had problems with our apartment except for a broken drawer until RIGHT NOW.

When, at 330 in the morning, you and your husband realize that although we need to clean up the mess and protect the place from further damage, we are not responsible to fix it because that, my friends, is the beauty of renting.  And with that, we high-fived our prolonged schooling and general lack of funds to own a house with its added responsibility.

Image from giphy.com.

When you see that it is kind of funny that I need to go drop off my signed lease sometime this week.

When you realize you have a home with heat that is mostly dry and things to protect and all of the things that many people don’t have.

Thank You For Research Month

 Yesterday’s prompt with the daily post was to be thankful for something or someone.  Because the internet is full of rants.

I like it.

So, here goes some day late (or month early) thankfulness.

I am thankful for research month.  It means a time of actually getting sufficient sleep, having a chance to see my husband and cat and friends without as many time limits and opportunities to do things like go to appointments.  It is an opportunity to set my own schedule (kind of).  I get to focus on my research (kind of).  It is almost like being a student again.  Or a normal person again.

It is a lovely concept.  I am sad it is now half done.  But thankful that it means I still have half to go.

Mothers’ Day

It is Mothers’ Day.  Happy Mothers’ Day to all of the Moms and Mom-like people out there.

Thus, all over Facebook and WordPress, I see cheesy odes to mothers, changed profile pictures and all of that good stuff.

I was pretty excited when the pastor at church wished everyone a happy Mothers’ Day and then moved on say he was going to continue on with our current series because the focus should be on Jesus and that can strengthen Moms (and everyone else).

Just so you know, I love my mother.   I am grateful for her.  I don’t need a holiday to say it.  But there you go.  My Mom is awesome.

I think it is great we honor mothers.  They are the unsung heroes of many families.  Superheroes of sorts (refer to song below).

I do think that we are taken advantage of by the commercialism we live in.  Clearly, I am also a conspiracy theorist.  But realistically, why do we expect so much on a made up day?  We need to be grateful more often than not.  That being said, it is great to have a designated time to say thanks… As a reminder.

Plus there is another side to this story.

Mothers’ day is not always a happy day like people make it out to be.  It is actually a day when a lot of people are hurting.  People who want to have children and for whatever reason have been unable to.  Those who are being put through lengthy adoption processes.  People who have had miscarriages or children who died.  People who have been estranged from their mothers or children.  Those who have a mom who died.  Sometimes it can be a day that brings back all sorts of hurt or loss.

I don’t think we need to stop our hoopla for fear of upsetting someone (because then nobody would be able to do anything ever), but I do think we need to be mindful of the unique circumstances of others.  That sometimes this is not an overly happy day or that it is a mixed feelings day.  And that some aspects of life just go on as normal.

I am grateful to have a Mother who loves me and who I get to see on a regular basis.  I am glad that my grandmothers (as “interesting” as they are) are still around.  I am fortunate enough to have a number of mom figures in my life.  I have no children, but I want them, but I have been lucky enough to not experience the loss of a child.  I am thankful that Mothers’ Day is a positive happy day for me and for much of my family.

Check out these articles about Mothers’ day for people who may not find it quite so happy: “Treasuring God After My Miscarriage” (domestickingdom.com), “When Mothers’ Day Is Hard” (thegospelcoalition.org), “Mothers Day and Mixed Emotions” (crosswalk.com).

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Wish I Were… Satisfied.

This week’s writing challenge from the Daily Post is entitled “I Wish I Were.”

I saw this and promptly thought of millions of things I wish I were.  Okay, not millions, but more than I can list here.  And then I thought of it.  My ultimate “I wish I were.”   It was much simpler than I thought it would be.  I simply wish I were satisfied.

Promptly, I can see you furrowing your brow and thinking “Oh Trisha, how emo of you.  Can’t you just enjoy the challenge?”

Yes, I am enjoying the challenge.  It was fun to think of things and places I wish I were.  The sheer number startled me, though.  For instance, I wish I were at home, I wish I were back on the Rock, I wish I were a mother, I wish I were done residency, I wish I were able to play guitar (actually play, not what I pretend to), I wish I were able to sing more, I wish I were able to write more and more effectively, I wish I were a better wife, I wish I were around more for my friends, I wish I were able to fly a magic jet pack to wherever I needed to be, I wish I were a superhero who could do all of these things and more.  You get the point.  I wish I were a lot of things.

The thing is, although I can work towards these goals (okay, maybe not the superhero thing, but the jet pack is totally feasible, no?), you can’t always be everything you wish you were.  And with good reason.  Then everyone would have crazy superpowers and be flying around all willy nilly with jet packs.

Lately, I have been dissatisfied.  I have felt as if I haven’t been keeping up the house the way I would like.  I haven’t been doing things I enjoy as much  because there is no time within my schedule.  We live in a new city we still have yet to figure out and miss people because they seem to be everywhere but here.

In reality though, despite listing off everything I wish I were, I realized there are many things I can be glad I am or am not.  I am glad I am a resident in my program of choice, I am glad we have a nice apartment in a city that is driving distance from our home-home, I am glad to be married to a man who loves me for me and I am glad we have food to eat.  Furthermore, I am happy to not have a life threatening illness, to not have pest problems and to not have the responsibilities that come with being a superhero.

I have plenty, I do plenty.  Yet, I instinctively want more.  When I get one of those wants, I seem to find something else to want.  Take our current home.  We lived much further away a few short months ago and all we wanted was to be closer.  We got that wish.  We moved closer to home.  Now, we miss our old home and our childhood home.  We got what we wanted, but now we want more.

I have been told time and time again that I should have satisfaction in Christ.  That God is enough for me.

But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  -John 4:14

I believe this.   Christ offers total satisfaction.  Not in the material way, but in the spiritual.  I don’t always act it or live it.  It takes faith and belief.  I need to live my life as if this is indeed the truth.  And I don’t.  At least not always.  I whine and complain and worry about bills and time.  Really, I should be satisfied in the grace that God has given me.

As a result, I wish I were satisfied.  I wish that I truly remembered day by day everything I have, everything I am by the grace of God.  I need to accept that grace every day.

But, even if you don’t believe this, there is something to be said for being satisfied.  There is always something we seem to long for.  We are culturally programmed to compare ourselves, to say “I wish I were.”  It is fun to dream, but it can be draining to take these dreams to the extreme.

To be satisfied is to not want for anything.  To be content in life.  To be content in myself.  I am content in God.  I need to transpose that to myself.

Today, I am taking a step back.  Remembering all of the things I actually am, all of the things I actually have.  The many blessings in my life.  I can have goals and dreams, but they can sometimes take over.  I don’t want that.  I want to be satisfied with what I have at this point in my life.  Not to lose ambition, but to regain perspective.  I think one can be satisfied and still press onward.

I wish I were satisfied.

Perhaps, I just took a step to making that a reality.

What do you wish you were or are you satisfied? 

For salty ocean breeze… Thank you.

It blows my mind how beautiful a world we live in.  Even despite all of the pollution and awfulness and ways we have damaged ourselves and the world around us.  It fascinates me that God created a world with so much beauty, with so much intricacy that despite all of that, we can still enjoy its beauty.  It reminds me that the world is so big and we are so small.  That everything works together to make things this beautiful… The rains and the tides, the wind and the sun, the snow and the clouds…. All of it.

Patrick and I have a tradition of going on a day trip somewhere on long weekends, particularly on those where we can’t go away for more than a day at a time.  On of our go-to spots is a small coastal town called St. Martin’s.  This is a lovely area with plenty of seafood and scenery.  The highlight of the area is a series of caves formed by the tides.  The caves are different every time you go (within reason) and the ocean also almost always appears different depending on the timing of the tides. 

We went there during the Canada Day long weekend and explored the caves and the tide pools.  I took off my sandals and waded through the small rivers formed by the water draining back to the ocean while Patrick hopped over them.  We weren’t the only ones.  Many people were out exploring and enjoying the sunlight and fresh ocean air.

Despite our fallen world and the hurt we experience living in it, I don’t think we can deny the joy that people feel when they are out on a sunny, beautiful day near the ocean.  It perks people up.  Makes them feel more alive.  And that is a beautiful thing.

The whole concept that despite the terribleness around us, there is so much good and so much beauty makes me remember God is there.  That His grace is enough for all of us.  That He can love us to perfection in His eyes.   Just like He maintains beauty in nature despite the harm we have done to it.

JJ Heller wrote a fabulous song about a combination of the beauty in the world and God’s grace.  Have a listen!