Sunday, February 21, 2016

Hocking Hills

Hocking Hills, Ohio

This weekend I had the chance to hang out with some old (and new) friends in southern Ohio as we hiked through beautiful caves and trails.  I filled my lungs with fresh air and my stomach with delicious, home-cooked food.  I also spent a few hours in the Hocking Hill Community Hospital/Urgent Care center getting a head CT after slipping on some ice and hitting my head on a rock towards the end of our hike.  Nothing like adding a little excitement to an otherwise relaxing weekend.  

My last post indicated that I wanted and needed space to move and breathe and process.  I did all of those things, and so much more.  I had good conversation with friends about different things going on in our lives, and I had time to be thankful for God's beauty in creation.  I had time to rest in His promises that He would provide all that I needed in a season that feels out of control, and I relished in opportunities to hold my husband's hand and enjoy being outdoors with him, witnessing so much beauty.  

We're back home now, tucked into bed with hot tea and stacks of homework, and I'm thankful for the time we were able to spend away from home this weekend.  Time in fellowship with other believers who encourage and push us to be better.  Time resting and being thankful for all of creation.  Time not staring at the white walls and the mounds of projects we have yet to begin.  Sometimes it's nice breaking out of your usual space to experience something different.  

I'm going into this week feeling a little tired, battling a residual headache from my fall, but I'm also feeling optimistic and refreshed.  Though I have midterms and homework galore and a lot going on at work this week, there's hope ahead for Book Club, Spring Break, and down time with Scott again in just a few weeks.  And in the meantime, there's early morning coffee and reading from Scripture, and there's late night tea and fuzzy PJs. 


Friday, February 19, 2016

All That is Within Me

Portofino, Italy

Do you often feel something stirring within you-- something spurring you to do something different than what you've been doing?  I feel that lately.  I feel an unrest deep within me that needs movement-- a vacation, a trip to somewhere new, a break from routines, a place to run with abandon.  All that is within me feels trapped by long days at work, tedious homework assignments on days off, and the feeling of needing to break out from the white walls I sit encapsulated by day in and day out.  

The sun came out today, and I walked outside to put the trash out (I think I get a few adulting points for remembering this-- or remembering to do it after being reminded by Scott), and I felt the unrest that I've been feeling moving around a little bit, shaking as if it wanted to break.  Spring is coming, or at least, I hope that it is.  I know it's only February, and in the Midwest, I think winter technically extends into April.  But, oh, how much I long for warmer weather and sunny skies.  For late night bike rides on the Monon and ice cream dates at Brics.  For cookouts and twinkling lights in the backyard and tall glasses of sangria shared over laughter with friends.  For trips back home, with salty air and lightly tanned skin, with sea-misted hair and the smell of Ocean Potion seeping from my pores.  

The sunshine and the warmer temperatures give me hope for that.  I feel creation groaning and craving and desiring.  All that is within me needs to move right now.  The other day, it was a "warm" 37 degrees, and I ran 5 miles on the Monon just to break out of the white walls in our house.  I had finally gotten ahead on homework assignments, had a day off from work, didn't have massive amounts of cooking to do, and I just ran and ran until I felt like I had moved everything within me that needed to move.  For that hour that I ran, I shook off the antsy feelings that I've been carrying with me all winter, through school assignments and difficult patients and bundled winter coats.  

We're going out of town this weekend to a cabin in Ohio with some friends, and I'm looking forward to being somewhere other than here.  Here isn't so bad, really.  Our house is warm and is starting to look like people live in it.  There's still moving boxes scattered about and furniture in weird places, but it's mostly starting to feel like home.  But here also reminds me of all that needs to be done-- the walls that need to be painted, the wallpaper that needs to be torn down, the floors and windows that we need to replace, the scattered, never-ending projects all over this house.  So it's nice to be going somewhere different-- somewhere where hiking trails and caves are promised.  Where there's open spaces and places to just think, breathe, move.  

Spring Break is coming in a few weeks and I'm so close to just booking an extravagant trip to anywhere to get away for the week.  Scott and I had decided on staying home to "relax" and work on house projects, but every day I have off from work I look at flight deals to anywhere that sounds warm, inviting, and far from here.  The spontaneous part of me that relishes being a 25 year old with a heart to travel says do it!, while the frugal, penny-pinching part of me says to save the money to put towards home renovations or a trip we're planning for later this summer.  

All that is within me needs movement, in any way it can come by it.  All that is within me needs to be stretched and pushed outside of white walls and stacks of homework and long to-do lists at work.  

I think I have somehow forgotten that my resolve to "nurture" this year includes nurturing myself.  Not just those around me, but what is within me, as well.  And all that is within me is reaching for something far outside of what I am doing and who I am being right now.  Lord, use this unrest for Your kingdom and Your glory.  Give me an unrest that leads me to you.  

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name."
Psalm 103:1