Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

These seem to be words that I say more and more frequently. The travel bug has burrowed deep in my heart and will not let me rest until I have flown off to see some distant land. And this week it's off to San Francisco for a few days to explore and visit dear friends that relocated there a few months ago.

I think it was Hawaii that first exposed me to the travel bug a little over a year and a half ago. Other than a few trips across the Mexican border, Hawaii was the most foreign place I had ever been to. It may be one of the United States of America but as THE most remote place in the world (about 2500 miles from the nearest continent) it felt like another planet. I loved the thrill of being someplace so new and exotic. And since that first trip to Hawaii I have been averaging about a trip (by plane) every three months. And yes folks, that is all travel for pleasure!! Of course, all of my destinations are with in the US and to visit friends that scattered out all over the country. I don't want you all to think I am sitting on a goldmine or anything. I have just made travel, exploration and adventure a big priority in my life these days.

Next summer I do plan to take a sabbatical between quitting work and returning to school for the soul purpose of travel. I am invigorated and inspired by travel and new cultures. I am planning to wander about the Mediterranean and see what I see, mainly in Italy and Greece. I have been storing up airline miles like a squirrel hording nuts for the winter. Now it's time to cash them in and have the biggest adventure of my life.

Bono sang, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for." And maybe that is why I travel, in part. But the more I travel, the more I find that there is so much more worth looking for than I ever imagined. I will leave it to others wiser and more well travelled than my self to give a few more reasons to take to the roads, the seas, the skies and see what other wonders we might discover.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” - St. Augustine

“The journey not the arrival matters.” - T. S. Eliot

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” - Maya Angelou

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” - Martin Buber

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Life has been a whirlwind of activity lately. The last 6 months or so have been filled to the brim with travels all over the US. Celebrations for birthdays, engagements, and more. Outings to take advantage of all the lovely weather we had this summer in Seattle. Beginning new journeys toward the fulfillment of new dreams.

It has all be wonderful!! Even the challenges and the stretching have been welcome change.

Now, all of the sudden, I look at the calendar and I see that is has some how become September 1st. Where has the time gone?

I am a little weary, but in the best way possible, at the moment. I think today I will simply say hello and let you know that I am still here. Still journeying through life and seeking out new things to do and see and be. Soon I will give a few more specifics on my journey of late. Till then I hope you are well and enjoying your journey!!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Where I've been and Where I Am Going

The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity and in these first few days of July I have been enjoying the chance to breath again. So much so that I may or may not have spent the entire day in my pajamas yesterday! :)

I have been charging full speed ahead on my journey toward a Master's in Social Work. With applications not due till January-March I have been focusing my energy on getting experience in the field of social work. Before school ended for the summer I was working with an after school program through the YMCA. It was great be working with youth again and I will be happy to return to that work in the fall. I have also been jumping in to a few different roles with Habitat for Humanity's Seattle affiliate. Along with getting dirty on the build sites, I have been working on the Family Support Team and will be working as a liaison between the habitat families and the home owner's association that they will be a part of. Since most of the families are immigrant and refugee families there are language and cultural barriers that make it hard for them to understand some of the rules. I'll be walking with them to help them understand and encourage them to get involved. I know that it will be a tremendous opportunity to grow and learn. Whether at the Y or Habitat I have been pushed outside my comfort zone and into uncharted waters, but I am finding it to be exhilarating and a complete confirmation that I am heading in the right direction.

And of course, May and especially June are crazy months for work. I spent many extra hours at the office trying to keep up with the high volume of work. There is still much work to be done for the close of the school year but all the time sensitive stuff is out of the way. It is nice to feel the pressure lifting.

Now July is here and there is lots of fun and travel on the schedule for the rest of the summer. Trips to Huntington Beach, Denver, and San Francisco before the summer ends. Sunshine and good friends to enjoy. I will try to spend a little time prepping for the GRE, which I plan to take this fall. And of course more time to breathe and dream.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back to Grey

After a few days of glorious sun the sky has turned back to grey again and the clouds are watering the earth. This change in the weather seems fitting as so many in my life are struggling right now. Illness seems to be touching so many right now that I am afraid to pick up the phone or read my latest emails.

Today a good friend's mother is in surgery to have a brain tumor removed. My grandmother was given the diagnoses of breast cancer one week ago. Another friend has a nephew, less than a year old, that has been in and out of the hospital over the last several month with a mysterious illness the doctors can't seem to fix or understand. Another friend's mom is in an assisted living home after MS and other complications have made home care impossible. A coworker traveled home to Michigan to be a support to her friend whose mother was killed over the weekend after being hit by a truck. My boss called this morning from the hospital after her father was taken in this morning (not sure why).

Last night a group of friends gathered to spend sometime praying over many of these things. In the face of so much illness and suffering it is hard to know of anything else to do but pray. We read some scripture before we prayed and one passage in particular weighed heavy on my heart, it was James 5:13-18.

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

Is anyone suffering? Yes. Is anyone cheerful? Probably. Is anyone sick? Too many. So all we can do is pray. And perhaps in the rain that falls there may be some answers, some healing, some peace and some comfort.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Today the sun is shining and the air is warm. These are my kind of days. And in this sun induced bliss I think of the John Denver song "Sunshine On My Shoulders..."

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
Id give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
Id sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you
Id tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
Id make a wish for sunshine all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
Sunshine almost all the time makes me high
Sunshine almost always

I hope you too are enjoying the warmth of spring today!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Life In Terms of Water

I just filled up my water bottle and I am enjoying the refreshment of this cool drink.

Moments earlier I was washing off my dish from lunch with water from the kitchen sick at work and loaded others in the dishwasher to be cleaned with more water.

My home and work both sit about about 100 yards each from a body of freshwater and I cross a bridge over it 2 times a day to get from one to the other.

In my home I have two sinks, a shower, and a toilet all with a never ending supply of water. Plus access to another community sink and washing machine in the basement, plus a number of water spigots outside the building.

Even my very being, my physical body is made of around 55% water.

In the last 24 hours or so I have been thinking a lot about water. Mostly in response to the new Spilling Hope project launched this Easter Sunday at Bethany Community Church. There are people all over this earth dying all because they do not have access to safe drinking water and here I am with more clean, safe water at my figure tips than I could ever possibly need or want.

So for the next 50 days I will step up the the challenge of the Spilling Hope project. Live Simply. Give generously. Change lives. I will cut out some of the excess in my life and set aside that money to help build wells in Uganda that will bring clean, safe water to thousands. Also I will say a prayer for those that are walking the earth at that moment carrying the heavy burden of a 40 lb. water jug everytime a fill a glass of water, wash my hands, do the laundry, or any other task that uses even a drop of water.

I hope you'll take the time to learn more about the global Water Crisis and consider how you can take action by Spilling Hope.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Signs and Other Good Things

Yesterday at work I received a box of paperwork from an instructor that needed to be placed in candidate files. The arrival of the box was nothing special but the box itself possessed a feature that delighted my heart. The box was hand delivered and unsealed, but the packing tape from it's previous purpose wasn't your standard clear stuff so it caught my eye. It had hibiscus flowers printed on it and the words "Hilo Hattie's," the name of a Hawaiian gift shop. I then looked at the old shipping label. The box was originally sent from Honolulu to someone other that the person who sent it on to me. A little piece of Hawaii found it's way to me through at least 3 degrees of separation. I took it as a sign.

A sign of what? That's not exactly clear. But things like this seem too perfect to be mere coincidence. Ever since my last trip in November all the signs seem to confirm that the next turn my life will take leads to Hawaii. It's such a huge life change and that can be a scary thing. But God seems to be placing signs all along the way that are leading me to Hawaii and telling me that life there will be good.

A cardboard box is hardly a sign significant enough to uproot an entire life. There have been other, larger signs too. A friendship formed with a wonderful girl on my last trip. Someone who has offered encouragement, advise, and a place to stay two weeks from now as I make a practice run at life on the Island. Reconnecting with two dear friends from California days that now live on Oahu, also offering me a place to stay for part of my next visit. I will go to church with them and meet their community, hopefully creating more connections that can carry over to the time when I call Oahu home. Another old friend I haven't seen in 12 years finding me on Facebook who months ago relocated to Oahu. A college friend whose life seems to be steering her back to Hawaii and in need of someone to live with and share expenses. I think I know someone who might fit the bill.

There is already a community of people in Hawaii that have reached out to me with so much hospitality and friendship. People who offer such wonderful support and needed resources to me as I make my decision about moving. I am thankful that God has brought each of these people into my life at such a pivotal moment. It makes the decision so much easier, so much clearer.

I am excited to see how my trip plays out in a few weeks. I think a lot of great and important conversations will happen. I am excited to see what other wonderful surprises God has up his sleeve.