Thursday, May 19, 2011


This is an awkward place to sit, hanging in the balance of not there and not quite here.  That's how it feels being back in Portland getting ready for school.  I've had a few needles in my arms the last few weeks, have been on the computer completing all the prerequisite training modules…HIPPA (oh so interesting), emergency codes and training etc.  In between all this fun activity, I feel a bit lost in the waiting.  I keep thinking about writing and wanting to share stories about POP, but being here and writing about there feels strange.  Honestly, I don't know what to share.  I'm aware of having left out many details and gaps in the stories I did share.  I intended to write about the POP staff, a more detailed version of the activities at the clinic, what it looks like when a team shows up for a week, more about the girls and some fun activities, a visit on Easter Sunday from US Senator Mary Landrieu, but I'm lacking.  Maybe this blog has been nagging and calling more because of my own, practical desire to archive those events and not necessarily for you who read.  So, I'm extending myself grace to call this finished though in many ways it is still incomplete.  (Ah, that sounds like a life lesson!)  As I thought about what I'd fill in in these last few posts (which have been condensed into this ONE), I got sad and started to reconsider my initial conviction of putting the ol' blog on the shelf.  And then I quickly resigned that feeling sad is by no means a reason to keep this open.  Looking out the window, my first thought, "Today is a new day."  I'm picturing stacks of notecards and books in my future, looking forward to and thankful for the opportunity to study at OHSU!!!!!!!, and eager to take full advantage of throwing myself into this learning process.

So, it seems fitting to sign off in a place that is out of the ordinary. Ok, I'm sentimental and I want to remember this!  I'm sitting in a huge bay window on the second story of a beautiful home of a friend.  A bit of a retreat, yes.  Why?  Because the opportunity presented itself and a few days at the sea resonated within.  I'm in Depoe Bay, staring at the waves crashing against the rock cliff just below my window.  An appropriate place to wrap things up!  Acutely aware of His closeness.  "He is more intimate with us than we are with ourselves." -Augustine  I'm especially thankful for this insight, in it I find peace and grace.  Journey Forth- I'm thankful for this place to have shared about life, it's been cathartic and encouraging. 

Lastly, I'm still currently head over heals for a new favorite author, Brennan Manning, and just about to finish another of his books, Lion and the Lamb.  Here is where my mind was trapped today…Manning writes:

The story goes that Thomas Aquinas, perhaps the world's greatest theologian, toward the end of his life suddenly stopped writing.  When his secretary complained that his work was unfinished, Thomas replied: "Brother Reginald, when I was at prayer a few months ago, I experienced something of the reality of Jesus Christ. That day, I lost all appetite for writing.  In fact, all I have ever written about Christ seems now to me to be like straw."

Father, grace us with the reality of Your presence, that all else might pale in comparison.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Voodoo donuts-I  vacillated between the choc.ricecrispies.pb
and the maple glazed with bacon…all at 1 in the morning!
I'm here.  Upon arrival, they surprised me at the airport and I was completely dumbfounded.  Gretchen, home from Cambodia for 2 months, ran up behind me and gave me a big hug.  I looked at her like I'd never seen her before.  I was so consumed in my thoughts.  Add to that the fact that I was not expecting a welcome committee, was sleep deprived and I haven't seen G in over a year.  I gave her the stink eye until I realized what was going on and Annie ran up on the other side of me!  Well, forget about sleep after that.  We made our way to Voodoo donuts and finally got home at 1:15AM.  I decided to start unpacking and ended up staying up all night!  My cat-nap was then interrupted by my lovely mom holding flowers.

Mom, so thoughtful.  Thank you, it was great to spend the day with you! 

It's a place you expect to wait and the wait is worth it.  Coffee makes it possible. 

Yesterday, G, A and I went to Helser's on Alberta and I think my welcome back is now complete post breakfast outing.  We had an eventful morning speaking English, Spanish, and Khmer.  Gretchen spent some intense time learning Khmer and is so very impressive when she speaks.  

Folks, thanks for following along.  I have a few more posts I want to share (actually several, but we'll see how that goes) and then I'm going to be closing down Journey Forth.  It's something I've been thinking/praying/processing through.  I love coming here to dump my thoughts.  It's made me a more transparent and vulnerable person, especially in regards to really speaking what the Lord stirs in my soul.  I feel like I can say what I really feel here, the depths of those often unshared thoughts AND the shallowness of everyday life!;)  Blogging here has been great, if you want to know what I'm thinking, here you go, but I've not vied for your attention and I'm not flustered by watching you look over my shoulder waiting for a good opportunity to make your escape from the conversation. ;) Here, you're invited and welcomed to stay if your curiosity is piqued.  Your just as free to pass on through…and for that I feel I can share freely and without (too much) reservation.

Anyway, a few more posts and then this site will go into the archives.  This was started as a way to keep you up-to-date while I spent time in Costa Rica, over 5 years ago, and was continued because I moved across the country.  There has been much movement to life these years, but as is often the case, it feels appropriate to close this chapter.  It has served it's purpose and I don't want to delay or hold on when it is actually time to move on.  This place helped me through the angst of these years, wondering where life is leading.  Starting nursing school feels like an end to the "meandering" that this blog represents.  It feels good and necessary to tuck Journey Forth away on the shelf and maybe time for a fresh start.  I think I will write, just not here.  I'll share that link if it happens, maybe all the wonders of nursing school.

So, expect a few more posts…I just HAVE to share a couple more things about those lady POPsters.

Love 'em, missin' 'em.

Monday, May 02, 2011

May I add...

The goodness of play, sweet smiles, candy wrappers strewn about, florescent lighting, knocks on the door after dinner seeking help with homework or an ear to listen, screams of joy from the kids at the pool on the other side of the fence, eating at a table for 22, hearing my name scrambled into a Spanish equivalent and trumpeted from the balconies of the houses above, hugs, constant cascades of love, sitting on the swing, counting as they jump rope, the amusement of watching imaginative minds create ways to spend time, driving in constant exhaust, reading/listening/musing/talking with God on the back porch, panoramic views of this giant city, riding in a school bus again, blowing and catching kisses-melt my heart, good coffee AND instant coffee, learning faces of those who turn up at the clinic, walking this hill morning after morning, greeting the staff bright and early, playing around the world, partying with piñatas-frequently, headaches from too many chicas screaming at one time, constant questions about movie nights, trying-trying to operate in another language to have a simple conversation, taking pictures of EVERYTHING…just a bit of what life has looked like and what I'm going to miss-minus the exhaust from the buses.

Wednesday is my flight.  Yes, nearly two weeks early.  Life continues to progress, unfold, transform.  I have a lot to say, I think I'll say it another day.  I love them and I am loved by them-that's good and that hurts.