It's November the Third.
I have made it through the first 72 hours of this month.
I do know that I need to have a plan.
I have to be intentional if I'm going to make it to December without puffy, red eyes or an aching heart.
(Pfft. Listen to me carrying on like some drama queen..)
Yesterday (Saturday) was a tricky day to navigate through.
My plan had been to do some shopping in the afternoon, go to church in the evening and head up to the lake for the night. I was going to spend some time in a bubble bath, and then watch Vampire Diaries on the TV in my bedroom while sorting through the photo files on my laptop.
It was a plan. A good one. And it all went sideways when I got to the Guildford parking lot at 2:30. GRIDLOCK.
It was pouring rain, and everyone in Surrey had spontaneously decided to join me at the Mall. I did not move for minutes. And more minutes.
I still hadn't parked after half an hour.
And the rain kept pouring.
By 3:15 I decided I didn't need boots.
So I tried to leave. And that took another 20 minutes.
While I sat there, waiting for people/cars to move, I checked my phone. There was a text message I'd missed, "Mom, I'm at the lake. Just so you know!"
I texted back saying, "I was planning on coming up tonight after church..."
His immediate response was, "Please don't."
And then he called to make sure I definitely wouldn't go. He was very clear about how I would ruin things.
"Do not cry. Not now. Don't you dare."
By now I'm on 152nd St, and I decide to try out a new-to-me eyebrow threading place. I make my way over there and, just like I was told on Facebook, there it is, next to She's Fit. I drive around the parking lot a few times looking for a spot and can't find one.
"Do not cry. Do not cry. Don't you dare cry."
I give up on that idea and decide to drive back to my old neighbourhood in Murrayville and visit my Egyptian friend. He'll do my brows. And there's always lots of parking.
I get there at 4:00 and I'm too late. He's closed.
"Do not cry. Do not cry."
I decide that what I need is a shot of sunshine. So I drive down to my (old) tanning place, where I know I probably have one or two sessions left from the last time I bought a package. I still have my goggles and lotion in my glove compartment and I am imaging how good it's going to feel under those lights.
I pull up to the front door (lots of parking) at 4:15 and it's closed.
"Do not cry. Do not cry."
And the rain keeps falling. Plus it's starting to get dark.
Seeing I'm in the area anyway, I drive past my old house.
It's totally different. They took out the trees and replaced the garage and front doors.
(Probably did a whole lot more than that, but that's all I could see from my spot across the street.)
They removed Every Single Tree and shrub from the front yard and replaced them with small plants. I spent $1,000 on trees and they just ripped em out.
I'd had dinner recently with someone who is feeling the onset of depression so I said I'd go to Well Beings, in my old neighbourhood, and talk to someone there about some sort of herb/vitamin/mix that they might recommend. I drove over, parked right in front, and walked in.
"Can I help you?"
"Yeah, I have a friend who thinks she might have depression. And probably a touch of S.A.D. Anything you can recommend? She's been to her doctor who was not comfortable giving her anti-depressants. He recommended counselling. I thought you might have something to help her over the hump."
"Definitely this. 5,000 IU's of Vitamin D. She can take 3 per day. Everyone should take 3 per day. I know I do, and it's amazing what Vitamin D does. It's so underrated. And this. Two a day. (5 - HTP.) It's loaded with serotonin. And serotonin is the secret to happiness... :)"
"Thanks. I'll take them."
And then she stopped and looked deep into my soul. "How are YOU doing, dear? Are you OK?"
("Do not cry. Do not cry.")
"Uh, yeah. I've been great. Until. Like today. This rain ..."
"Here. I think you should take some too. Three a day. It'll make all the difference," and she handed me her last Vitamin D container.
("Do not cry.")
It's now 4:30 and I left the house at 2. I have been driving around in the rain for HOURS and all I've got to show for it is a stiff upper lip and a few bottles of vitamins.
It is going to be a fricken long winter.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. THE SUN WAS BACK TODAY. She was right. Taking Vitamin D made all the difference. :)
2. Despite my total lack of interest in going, (it was dark, and rainy and I was in a sucky mood) I am so glad I went to church. Will post my notes below. In case, like, you know, you're interested.
3. Fresh mango slices from Costco.
4. The sun is supposed to appear tomorrow as well. (Seriously, two days of rain and I'm a basket case? What is my problem? Get over it Jane. You've lived on the west coast YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. Why is the weather becoming an issue now?
5. Dinner with a friend this evening. Inspiring conversation.
6. A successful 4 minute shopping trip - skirt ($4.99) and tank top ($3.99) for next summer. Also a heavy grey sweater (not on sale) and a couple of black tops (also not on sale). Yay me. In and out in less than 5 minutes. Still no appropriate footwear though.
7. I am thankful that Clint is in Hawaii with his dad this week. The two of them are going to do some scuba diving. Maybe get some sort of certificate?
8. Winter is only 3 months long.
9. If I wait much longer, there won't be much selection left in boots. Will def make shopping easier.
10. I am thankful for this bed. Tonight it is an oasis. I've got a myself, my laptop, my new clothes, my purse, my phone, a new book, and 7 pillows on it. Plus every single light in this room? IS ON. This is a bright and happy place to be.
You're still here? You want to read my sermon notes?
Alrighty then. I like your enthusiasm:
Have you heard of IJM?
International Justice Mission.
They are are a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression.
The President of IJM, Gary Haugen, (read about him here. He's a smart guy) was our speaker on Saturday night. He was a Washington DC lawyer, who in 1994 was the Officer in Charge of UN's investigation into the genocide in Rwanda. He has mad credz is what I'm saying.
He started off his 'sermon' by asking us why we were at church.
He suggested that it should be because we wanted to hear from God. Did God, in fact, have something to say to us? Because there's no point in going to church if you don't want to be changed in some way...
And then he wondered:
"Are Jesus and I interested in the same things?
What is God passionate about?
Will people know what that passion is through me?
God loves the whole world and everybody in it.
I? I love me.
And on a good day, I love my family. And will put their needs ahead of mine.
I also love everybody in the entire universe who I like. And who likes me. And who is LIKE ME.
Do you know what the hardest thing for people to believe?
That God is good.
How does God let people know that He is good?
We are His plan.
We are how He's chosen to let everyone know that He is good.
He doesn't have a plan B. Or a back-up. We're it.
God shows up through us."
And then he shared one story after another of rescue missions that IJM has done, removing children, young girls, and women from prostitution rings, slavery, and sex trafficking. And how those thousands of young people now know that God is good, because He showed up and saved them from hell.
What am I doing? (Besides whining about the rain?)
And then he ended with this:
"Do you remember the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with only the little boy's bagged lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish? Why d'ya reckon He chose to feed all those folks that way? He was Jesus. He coulda just done the miracle some other way. Like, just 'think' the food into being. He didn't need those fish and loaves. Know what I think? I think He wanted to give that little boy AN AWESOME DAY.
Can you imagine? That little guy telling his mom later what happened? "MOM! He took my lunch, and FED 5,000 PEOPLE!"
God's not asking us to do anything miraculous. That's His job. He's just asking us to give Him what we've got AND WATCH HIM USE IT."
And his last comments,
"You ever see those guys in the gym who bulge from every muscle? The huge, MASSIVE guys that work out hours and hours each day? They glisten, and pop, preen and pose. ALL THAT STRENGTH AND POWER! And what's it good for? At most, they'll be lucky to be asked to open the stuck lid on a jar of jam...
God has waaaaay more strength and power. We have access to it. What're we doing with it? Opening jam jars? Or asking Him for miracles?"
There you go.
Something to think about.