Saturday, 30 June 2012

The blessing of experience

Right now, at this exact moment, I feel like I'm sitting in a spa, listening to a "soothing sounds of the tropics" disc. Incidentally, this experience is a repeat of my wake-up call this morning. I pushed aside the mosquito netting draped over our bed, opened the french doors facing our bedroom and walked out onto our private deck that hovers over a lagoon. Except for the birds and sea, it was perfectly calm and perfectly still. I was an inch shy of feeling that everything was perfect in the world and contently settled for everything being as perfect in our world as they can be.

Reclining lounge chairs with thick comfy padding, a wrap-around padded bench and an adorable table and chair decorate our deck. Muskoka chairs and a kayak with paddles sit neatly on the lower deck for our fancy. The beach bar is a 90second walk away, plays exclusively Nova Radio (an French station with an eclectic blend of reggae, jazz, motown and worldly beats) at the perfect volume. The pool is warm enough to enter with grace but still cools you down. It overlooks the small private beach, palms and Caribbean sea. This place, is real. It's what we - regular folk - dream of, imagine, laugh off and hope to experience once in our lifetime.

James and I are having a holiday at a luxurious boutique resort on a quiet northern coast in the Caribbean. We are keenly aware of how blessed we are to be able to have this experience before our lives are thrown into upheaval. We needed time to connect, space to breath and the freedom to put away any reminders of schedules, deadlines and expectations. With time to reflect, pray, talk, read and sleep, I am overwhelmed by this holiday. The surroundings, the timing, the company (and he does make such good company) and the anticipation of being able to look back on this experience with a joyful and thankful heart.

And after a short reflection, I realise that through our struggles and lessons, our successes and lovely little blessings, we are acquiring a vital factor for living well, wholly and thankfully. Experience. (Wisdom is in hindsight?) And its this little reflection that fuels me, the exact reason we booked a holiday, a time to draw wisdom from the circumstances in our lives.

Monday, 25 June 2012


Its strange to grieve an unconventional death. The death of a relationship. Its stranger yet to be sitting here analysing it. But since I process my thoughts and feelings by speaking them out loud or writing them down, I'm hoping this blog will assist me in making this big messy emotional thing simpler, defined and therefore manageable.

My husband and I are moving forward in our lives. We are on the cusp of finding our own home and he continues his career as a police officer, albeit in a new country, at the end of the summer. The process of waiting has taught us much. We have had a very stretching 10 months but have learned that we are in fact, excellently matched and wonderfully supportive of each other. We get it. We have learned the value of friendship and generosity and time and money.

(I speak plainly, but to clarify - we haven't left a lifestyle of frivolous spending and poor financial decisions, but have learned in this time without money, what we value most and what our money will be spend on in the future.)

We have learned the importance of seeking out time to communicate with those in our lives and as a result, have learned that not all relationships were made to stand life's changes. Accepting this lesson is something we're still working on.

And I have learned that regardless of my fears and anxieties and impatience, God loves us continually and will always provide for us. He gave me strength to support my husband emotionally when our plans were dashed not once, but twice. He gave me peace that our future was in His hands and that it was good. He gave me faith in His love and His kindness to push fear out of my heart. And He's still blessing me with wisdom - tiny little snippets of it as I learn many of life's lessons the hard way - the kicking and stomping and having a tantrum way. I have yet to learn grace, it can hold for the moment.

As we glean wisdom from our relationships and our priorities are amidst change, I have realised that I am mature enough to start making some difficult decisions. A decision to grieve the loss of a relationship rather than continue to fight for it. The relationship still exists, but it does not resemble what it used to be. It does not present what I need it to and I can no longer try and force it to develop. I have given up. The decision leaves me heartbroken. Not because I feel it is wrong, but because it is not the outcome I had so hoped for. We are at a stalemate and I have decided to give up, rather than stubbornly stand my ground, waiting for the other to give in. It is more complicated than I present it to be, but the details aren't necessary. I feel that its the only recourse to safeguard what is left of the relationship, my sanity (and my husband's) and my emotional well being.

Grieving the loss of this relationship is a necessity. It is the only way to let go of what was and what should be. I am heartbroken, and will be for some time. But the heartache will heal and a comfortable, albeit removed, relationship will emerge.

It will be better than none and it will be healthier than it is now.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Caught up

I noticed that I had not written a blog in weeks and felt guilty at first, then a bit pleased actually. I've been so caught up in living, that I've not had much time to reflect on it. My future blogs might be a bit more factual and a bit less introspective or philosophical. Its not a negative change, just a temporary one.

In the interim, the living has involved birthdays and camping days, work days, summer days, family drama days and resting days - which in all fairness cannot actually be described as "days" since resting is a rare and short occasion.

Our living is now full of current celebrations, career transitions, upcoming changes and serious lifestyle choices. Its a stressful and exciting time but most of all, we're happy to just be carrying on with living. We felt stale while working to settle into life in Canada. A busy life with advancement fills us with satisfaction, though there are many lessons we've learned in waiting and stillness - the most important being that our timing is not God's timing. And that this is not a bad thing.

When I reread this blog entry, I realise it sounds a little cryptic, but as our joys and plans unfold I will have the freedom to share.
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