Thoughts, Questions, and Explosions

I have had a lot of questions running through my head.  I have been questioning a lot about where I stand.  Am I being apathetic? Dismal and weary?  I just have those days where I just want to curl up in my bed, and not do anything for the day.  Maybe it is not properly dealt with grief.  These past two years have had an unnatural abundance of death in it.  Or maybe it is just pure laziness.   

When I was in Russia, I remember looking into the eyes of random strangers on the bus.  Some of them were weary and listless, and missing something.  I could never really put my finger on it, but I think it was hope.  Hope for the future, that everything will turn out alright.

One thing I love about my poetry class is that I now know that all the questions that I write, I do not need an answer for any of them.  You cannot begin to imagine how freeing that was to me.  I use to believe, that when I wrote questions in my poetry, that I needed to put an answer down, most of the time ones that pertained to God. 

I looked at my eyes this afternoon.  I saw the weariness etched deep into the lines, and a little bit of apathy.  I may feel all of this at times, I may question, I may want to curl up in a ball, I may even just want to lay outside and gaze up into the sky and not have to worry about what I need to do next. 

However, there was one thing that I still saw, and that was hope.  The hope which overrides all.  And I know, through all these questions and thoughts, I know I will be okay. 

  Barbara Kingsolver once said, ‘The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.’

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Unwanted

I have a feeling if I were home and in the Bruner’s household I would hear, ‘Update your blog Erin!!’   In some respects, I have been dreading this post, because there seems to be an air of change that has been happening in my life.  How to condense it down to one blog post seems impossible and even ridiculous. 

I left for Anderson, August 18th.  I cried, a lot.  Even mum thought it was weird that I was crying so much, but what she did not know was that whenever I leave, I normally can hold it until I am by myself and then I continue on with life after a good cry and anxiety attack.  Everyone has their moments, even me.  I know that I come across as willing to leave and travel, but as much as I look forward to it, it is always hard for me to leave until I finally am on the road and there is no turning back.  The first week back was basically all training for my Peer Mentor position.  I, unfortunately contracted a wicked cold, that has yet to leave me to this very day in October.  I have been stretched, been taken out of my comfort zone, and have one of the best groups to work with ever!  I love the job, and sometimes feel like I am inadequate for it, but I continue to trust that God has me doing this for a reason, and I am doing my best to be there for my freshman group whether it is supplying information, helping with homework, or getting together with them and chatting about life. 

I realized during Freshman orientation that I forgot to renew my license, so first week of September I drove back home to get it renewed.  I went to see grandmum and brought her clothing to her;  she was happy to see me, but you could tell she was a bit depressed and not feeling that great.  I didn’t want to leave her, but mum and I had to get going.  So she let me, with a hug and a kiss goodbye.

Classes have been a bit challenging this semester, I wouldn’t say challenging in crazy hard, but challenging in the sense that for me to do the best work possible it takes up a lot of time.  With being sick constantly, and working two jobs, I have had one of the hardest months so far that I have experienced in my school career. 

My second job is at After School Fun.  I am a team leader, and absolutely love it!  I work with some of my best friends at school, and we all go crazy together trying to keep the kids in line, get their homework done, and also have a fun experience.  I along with another team leader am in charge of the Kindergarten through 2nd grade (5-8 year olds for all my English friends).  This year there is an over abundance of kids attending in the age group I am with.   It’s been challenging to help give that one on one attention when so many are pulling at your shirt sleeve saying, ‘Miss Erin I need help.’   As much as this year seems to be tougher from last year, I keep reminding myself that we may be the only good thing some of the kids experience that day, and every once in a while a smile gets put in my heart with something one of them will say to me.  Those little instances continues to remind me of why I wanted to work there.  Even if I had not gotten the staff position, I would have come back to volunteer anyways. 

It is so easy for one to just want to quit when times get tough, or when work gets out of control.  I constantly remind myself that God allowed me to have this position, I easily could not have gotten it if it was not His plan; everytime I walk into work, I pray that somehow God will speak through my actions and words to have an impact on these kids lives.

Change came two weeks ago when mum updated me on grandmum.  She told me that there was a change, and that grandmum was not doing too well.  And then the phone call came when mum said grandmum was declining rapidly.  One of my biggest regrets in life was the day I asked dad if he was going to be alright and he said yeah, and I left for work.  I know that both mum and I thought it was going to be a regular routine hospital stay on the weekend, no one predicted he would die that day.  However, my biggest regret is not staying with him and not getting to the hospital in time to say goodbye.  God did bless me with six months with daddy, if I had stayed in England that year I don’t think I would have ever forgiven myself.  So I did not want that to happen with grandmum, and God blessed me with 5 days staying by grandmum’s side in the nursing home.  I was sick as a dog, but I did not want to leave.  Come Sunday when I traveled back to Anderson, I knew that would be the last time I would see her.  Monday night came, and I received the phone call I had been expecting all day to tell me the news.

It was a bittersweet experience.  I was able to see cousins that I had not seen in 10 years, and being with my family again was lovely.  At the memorial service I spoke about the time that grandmum and I were sitting at the piano for the hymn sing at the nursing home…grandmum was playing one hymn and everyone else was singing another.  They did not understand why we were laughing so hard in our little corner.  Grandmum taught me how to laugh over my mistakes, not to take it too seriously.  I blame her for when I start giggling on stage during performances and worship.  Most of all we shared about how much she loved the Lord, and what a legacy she has left for us.  So much laughter, so much food, and many tears as we laid grandmum next to grandpop and daddy in the cementary. 

Thomas Merton once said,

Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.

Rainer Maria Rilke once said,

Who has not sat before his own heart’s curtain? It lifts: and the scenery is falling apart.

These two quotes seem to be the definition of my life at the moment, but God continues to show His love and faithfulness to me daily.