Saturday, 24 April 2010

Gearing Up and Downwinding

Have you ever made a decision so quickly that you feel as though it must be rash or misguided, but when you sit back after you have decided you find that every muscle in your body is finally at peace and you just can't help but smile? At that moment you know that, despite temporary emotional shock to the contrary, the decision you have made is the right one. Nothing could be so perfect. Nothing could make more sense.

I have had two recent decisions affect me in this way. The first (though second made) was introduced on Wednesday evening. Three days of consideration has led to a fairly decided heart: I am going to change my academic path from teaching to counselling.

Until this year I did not really understand the value of counselling. I had not understood how much weight can be released by simply opening your heart to a patient, relatively quiet, wise and gentle person. I still believe that I have the smarts and the creativity and even the dedication to wake up every morning and teach a class of tots how to multiply two digit numbers, if I wanted to... but my heart isn't in that anymore. I want to love people through more than a classroom. I want to love the people who so desperately need love - to love people who so desperately need Jesus.

So I'm mulling over the idea of counselling. I like the idea of maybe working in a high school (or even elementary), and being a guidance counsellor who gives counsel on more than class arrangements. The woman I went to in school was nowhere near a confidant to me, and so much of the time it is simply openness and gentleness that kids need to have access to and don't. Sometimes the closest thing that a child will get to a loving parent is a caring teacher... but teachers can not take a half an hour out of every day to build relationships with each kid in their class, and they can not sit down and help them through tough decisions and secrets. That is where the guidance counsellors come in, if they are doing their job right; they become whatever that particular child needs them to be. Sometimes that is moving around classes - but sometimes it is so much simpler and more relational than that... a listening ear, a sympathetic voice, some wise advice, a safe place to just sit. I want to be that space, that person, that office for kids who need it. So, I am finishing my B.A. in English and then I am going (somewhere) to get a counselling diploma. As I figure out the details I will let you know.

The second decision was made, at least in part, about a month and a half ago. The same decision will not be formally made until June when he comes home to meet my family, at which point a whole lot more of this story will come out. But for now, this is a tip to all you would-be matchmakers in my life; God has done a better job with pairing my heart than I can even begin to understand (and He didn't need our help!). On that note, to all of you who are still feeling lonely at the top of your tower: don't give in to the temptation to let your hair down. Guys who have to pull on your hair to get into your life will just give you a head and heart ache. The right guy, a guy who's worth the wait and who knows you're worth the effort, will learn how to scale the wall even without your assistance. Some are so determined that they will camp at your locked window and knock on the glass until you finally break down and open it. Ladies, such a pursuit is well worth the waiting, and I can finally speak that with absolute confidence.

So, as my academic year is (finally) coming to a close the rest of my life seems to be bursting forward in revelation and reality. Two more weeks of placement and several weeks of summer prep (that I am SO excited for!) are on their way, then summer in full swing... but more on that another time.

For now, enjoy the sunshine and the leafing trees, the company of others and the hope that comes with tomorrow.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

One Day Without Shoes

Click on this LINK, watch the video and begin to understand the genius behind this quickly approaching day. Here's the gist, in the infamous super-fast-I'm-in-the-middle-of-a-study-break-and-have-several-other-things-that-I-should-be-doing-with-my-time-other-than-blogging style.

You own shoes.
You are probably wearing some of them.
But you could take them off if you wanted to.
And then you could put them back on.
Some people do not have that option.
And by some I mean MILLIONS.
Barefoot by choice can be an incredibly freeing, wonderful experience.
Barefoot by poverty 
is a very different story.

A company called Toms Shoes is doing something AMAZING.
Brilliantly simple.
Liberatingly active.
Exposing, intriguing, daring, brave.

This Thursday there is an international awareness campaign.
The world will be fore to look DOWN at their feet
And recognize their IMMENSE wealth and blessing for what it is.


If you are fashion savvy, this is your thing.
If you have the standard two feet and ten toes, this is for you.
If you have more of less, you are still welcome.
If you know nothing about the manufacturing process that brings you the clothes you wear, if you are studying to be a biophysicist and have not interest outside of the mathematical realm, if you like people, if you appreciate oxygen - seriously.
EVERYONE should get involved in this somehow.

Every pair of Toms buys a pair of Toms for a kid
Who can't even afford the laces.
Your naked toes can save a sole.

Click and be inspired by the movement.