I have made it through my first 2 weeks at CH. My first week was probably one of the hardest weeks ever, it wasn’t bad but it was difficult. I was one on one with a high needs behavioural guest and it was pretty intense at moments. In the middle of the week I really questioned whether this is the right thing for me but somehow amidst the frustration, worry and tiredness I had a peace. I was told that most weeks won’t be as hard as that first one, I am hoping this is true.
This past week I had three male guests…..I worked with one of the male staff to provide care. They were three very sweet men, two of them were deaf and one was deaf in one ear and so I was trying to learn some sign language this week. The three of them loved to sit in the lounge and rock in the chairs, so I would bring my book along and read while they rocked….it was pretty funny. One of my highlights of this past week was the water games activity where I pretty much got thrown into a pool of water and doused with cold water…..however I may have asked for it…lol!
I wrote in my previous blog about the lonliness I was feeling……that is gone now. I am making lots of new friends and everyone is getting to know one another and we are becoming more of a team. There are some wonderful people here, so unique and all here to serve others. In a week or two the highschool students will arrive to work, so I wonder how that will change things?
One thing that I really enjoy about this place is the beauty of it. Paisley is pretty much in the middle of nowhere! It’s about an hour from Owen Sound or 20 minutes from Port Elgin, if you know where that is. It set back in the country amongst rolling hills and trees. If you walk down the camp driveway out to the road you walk down this laneway with trees lining both sides and as soon as you hit the end of the driveway it is like a clearing of open space. The sky opens up and you fill like you have a glimpse of heaven on earth. I sometimes wish I could paint because I would capture that clearing. There is another spot at the camp, which has come to be known by all as ‘Devo Hill’. It is this hill you can walk up and see everything for miles. Apparently it is a good make out spot but I think it’s a good spot to think and reflect on the beauty of God and how I get to be a part of His plan.
This weekend I am staying around this area. I spent last night at the camp and then this afternoon I am going to try to find my way to the Centre For Student Leadership in Clarksburg where a party is being held for a friend of mine who has just gotten his doctorate. Last night a few girls and I watched this movie called ‘Into The Wild’. It’s a very interesting movie. It’s about this guy who basically gets tired of materialism and leaves his family to go into the wild by himself……his only plan is to get to Alaska. He makes it to Alaska and lives in an abandoned bus that he finds. In the end he comes to the conclusion, which I think is the central theme of the film, that happiness is best shared. After living and surviving on his own for almost 2 years he realizes that life is better shared.
God designed us to be in relationship with one another. We need each other. I was talking to a guy this week who describes his Holy Discontent as being North America…..I asked him if he could be more specific and he went on to describe the way a lot of people live their lives in North America. This film made me think about the conversation I had with him. He talked about how people live meaningless lives with the purpose of earning more money. They wake up, go to work, come home, watch tv, go to bed and start all over again the next morning. This reminded me of the thought about people burying their gifts that I have been pondering for the last month or so. I heard once that people are spiritual gifts. We are gifts to one another; we need each other. I believe that there are people who are not burying their gifts because I am witnessing it right now. I also believe that there are some people who are like what the guy described and I believe that God wants more for them. I also wonder what it might look like for those people to live differently? I am not sure. Sometimes I think I fall into the same category of being materialistic.
What does it mean to live simply?
I am not trying to pick on people but I am learning that life holds so much more purpose and fullness when we are open to the more that God has for us. I am learning that God swims in the deep end with us when the water seems over our heads. I wish that more people could really know God because I think our world would look so different.
As I write this I am also reminded that it has to start with me. I have to live this way. I have to be open to the more that God has for me. I have to become less and God more.
I don’t know if I could ever be one of those people who lives with just a backpack in a hut because I live in this culture and I feel blessed. I enjoy having a roof over my head, driving a car, having nice clothes and buying things I like…..but I really think that it’s not one way or the other. I believe you can live in this culture, in North America and still live differently, still live in the more that God has. I am just figuring out what that means…..thankfully along with others too.
I think the key is people. Happiness is best shared. People first. Others first. Loving people where they’re at. Engaging in life with them……wherever they are and whoever they are.
Maybe it’s that simple. Love God and Love people. Maybe if we do that then everything else won’t seem like such a big issue.
I don’t know, these are just my ramblings.
Last thought for this morning…….I am pretty thankful in this moment that God is still working on me because after two weeks of serving I have come to the conclusion that I am utterly selfish. I think my motto must be Love God…….oh and Love people when it’s convenient for me. This must change.
You can pray for me in this. I feel so stretched at times but I just want to keep learning and loving.
I hope you have a wonderful Saturday,