My Life is God’s Prayer

A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God.

Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer. 

 

I don’t usually think of the Message being that poetic a translation. But I stumbled on Psalm 42 MSG just now and it made me pause. I wanted to share.

Limbo

Everyday I wake up with a different brain.

I recently finished my last semester of university and I have a job (90% sure) starting up the first of July. In the meantime I’m keeping busy. I’m taking that one final Astronomy course I need on Tuesday and Thursday nights (outer space, cool!) And on Wednesday nights I’m still doing scuba lessons with my dear friend (inner space, the final frontier!) and I’m keeping busy shuttling my happy kids from place to place and hanging out with people and popping in to my part time job when it needs to be done, and I do a little housework and yardwork and I take an hour here and there to sit down with a book and then there’s the C25K.

So I’ve got a good balance of keeping busy and taking some time to relax and enjoy life.

But I’ve also had some days where I wake up feeling overwhelmed with inertia. I am well aware that a large chunk of the things on my to-do list are simply busy work (organize the garage!) and I’m kind of buzzing around without direction or purpose.

Some days I’m a happy little bee, flitting around the flower garden of life. Other days, I feel absolutely lost and adrift.

And then there’s “the plan.” What now? Well, the job I mentioned is pretty much in the bag, and I am honestly so excited about it. It is my heart through and through. But it will also be somewhat easy and laid back. Will I settle in with peace into this change of pace or will I be bored and under-challenged six months down the road? It will be flexible enough that I will still be able to be here for my kids everyday (after school – we still have to figure out what to do for the summer months) which is exactly what I want at this time in their lives. They are asking so many questions and having so many new experiences. I want to be available to them at all times. Now is not the time for me to get distracted with a demanding career.

Last fall I was looking at a Masters of Library and Information Sciences program. That is still hovering around in my consciousness. I did very well in school, better than I was expecting, and my professors are nudging me in the direction of continuing my eduction in Philosophy, which was my major. I would LOVE that. And my husband has been part of the conversation and seems to be nudging me in that direction too. And he just landed a new job which would make it possible for me to plunge into that full time and not have to work. A dream opportunity!

One day I dream about the nice, “normal” job. The next day I spend a few hours writing and feel like committing to the path of authorship. The day after that I’m like, yes. I’m going do my masters and my PhD and become a Philosophy professor.

And there are other options too. The problem is not that I don’t know what I want. The problem is that I want them all. I have to choose. And I change my mind every day.

But assuming I get this job I’m hoping for, I want to be there for a minimum of one year before I even think about anything else. I’m tired, and I’m happy and I want to settle down and take a breather. Really, I could see myself in that role for a very long time. Who knows what time will bring. Who knows what God will do, say, and show me in the next year.

The Third Thing for Good Skin

Yesterday I posted my two tips for keeping my skin free of pimples.

The third thing has less to do with pimples and more to do with the way the skin on my face appears – dull and uneven vs even and healthy-looking. I’ve found that the trick for my best-looking skin is to wear as little makeup as possible.

This is tricky for me. I often give into the temptation to slather on the foundation and cover-up because it does look better. Especially for going out. We always want to look our best, and makeup can help with that.

But I noticed a few years ago that the appearance of my skin was really deteriorating, to the point that I was uncomfortable even answering the doorbell with a naked face. I noticed that men don’t have this problem, nor do children, nor do my girlfriends who don’t wear makeup. I also noticed that this was an issue on my face only. The skin on the rest of my body looked fine.

The skin is an organ, alive. It cannot be healthy to cover it in a layer of goop everyday, so that it cannot be exposed to light and air. I wanted to try going without, but was stuck in this awful cycle of feeling wretchedly ugly without it.

The trick for weaning myself off of foundation (I still like wearing eye makeup, I can’t bring myself to go completely bare-faced) was to switch to a tinted moisturizer. It seemed to do the trick and my skin tone returned to normal after only a few weeks and I eventually was able go with bare skin a lot of the time. I can just use a little of the stuff when I really want to look polished. Since I do really like to wear eye makeup, wearing a moisturizer gives the makeup something to adhere to and it lasts longer.

This is easier in the summer. I always manage to fall back into a foundation-wearing rut in the winter when I think I need some colour, and every spring I begin the weaning process once again.

This year I’m trying Marcelle’s new Beauty Balm. It is a little different of a product than a tinted moisturizer. So far, I really like it. I only wish it contained a sunscreen.

Beautiful Skin Secrets

When I was a teenager I was one of those girls with a flawless complexion. All of my friends who were undergoing the usual barrage of teenage-hormone related acne hated me for it. Of course the minute I turned 20 I started breaking out on a regular basis.

I’m 32 now and I still get the occasional breakout. I’m in the middle of one now, in fact. Every time I have a breakout I wonder what caused it and I examine all I have been doing – eating habits, products I use, etcetera. With lots of trial and error over the last decade I have discovered the two – no, the three – most important factors that contribute to healthy, glowing skin.

1. Exercise! And the more sweat, the better. It is as if it opens everything up and cleans it all out.

2. Vitamins! If I get out of the habit of taking my vitamins before bed I notice several physical changes and one of them is that my skin usually goes to crap.

It doesn’t seem to matter too much what I eat or what products I use, but if I am being consistent with the two habits above, my skin stays pretty clear. And if I breakout, it usually serves as a reminder that I’ve gotten off track and need to get back on.

So those two tips are what I’ve found works well for me to keep the zits away. The third secret has more to so with skin tone and texture, and I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

How about you? Any beauty secrets you want to share? Do you have glossy healthy hair? Pearly whites? Well maintained mani and pedis? What are your best tips?

Secret Joys

Over the course of my life I have tended towards melancholia. There have been times when I embraced that as a personality trait that has certain benefits that only other melancholics can understand, even though it is not a personality trait that the world celebrates. There have also been times that I hated it about myself and wished I could just be a “normal, happy person.” Whatever that means.

And I have always found it easy to express sadness in a way that other people understand and resonate with. If I am wrestling with a hard thing it is easy, natural even, to convey my experience to others.

I have a harder time with joy. Joy is a river in me that flows as swiftly and as deeply as the other. But it is a secret well. If I want and tell someone, all of my words disappear into the air and I am left mute. I can contemplate it. I can feel it. I can dance in it. But I can’t say it.

I see things that God is doing and everything within me leaps and expands. I am filled with wonder, peace, awe. I observe and I remember. It is a ribbon of remembered joy that connects my self of yesteryear with my self here, now, that is experiencing a new joy. It is a running narrative absent of language.

I think of St Luke, the only gospel writer who told, in detail, Mary’s story of Christ’s birth. A few decades later, after Jesus has returned to heaven, it is recounted so freshly. At the end of the story Luke writes, ‘but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.’

I know what that means.

Do you?