First Post Since My Move to Ottawa

Hi everyone, wow. It’s been a long time! There’s so much to update you all on, so this post is just to catch up. I moved to Ottawa on December 29th, 2017, and it’s been almost two months but so much has happened!

The first night at my new place I got locked out of my room… no joke. I had to wait outside until 1:30 a.m. for the locksmith to show up and tell me the battery in the automatic lock was dead. Thank you for your $115 service, sir. Anyway, after that whole ordeal things were a lot smoother.

My parents and gramma stuck around my first weekend here and helped me clean my place and set everything up. When they went back to the GTA I did feel a sad but I had quite a few visits back home since then to help push down the homesick feeling I had at the bottom of my stomach.

Visiting home is something I really treasure. The other day I sat and wrote down some things I miss about living at home with my family:

  • Saturday morning breakfasts and dance offs in the kitchen
  • Drives home from my old job with my mom–napping while she drives
  • Mom’s cooking
  • Random walks with mom and dad around the block in the spring and fall
  • The smell of dad’s coffee in the morning and his habit of watching CNN
  • Sunday siestas after lunch
  • Adventures to local parks together
  • Being around those four crazy, loud, amazing people
  • Mom’s candles and music
  • Dad’s greetings when I walk in the front door
  • Jasper (our cat)

Even with missing home, moving out on my own has been a lot easier than I thought. Aside from some minor challenges, I’ve been successful with staying under budget, cooking healthy food, getting enough sleep, being productive with work, and motivated by spiritual goals. Especially for the spiritual/emotional/personal goals part, having my boyfriend in the neighbourhood has really helped me. Aside from the church members here, he’s pretty much my only friend in the city, and he’s been so vital to my happiness, being so far away from everything I know. Thinking about this now, I’m really excited for winter to end and spring to arrive–there are so many beautiful places to see in Ottawa. I’ll be spending so much time outside… I can’t wait!

There are so many exciting things coming up! Concerts, trying out new restaurants, going for long adventures in local parks, and checking out city events… I’m so grateful for everything this move has already brought me, and excited for all the things ahead.

Without God’s provision and direction, I wouldn’t have transitioned to Ottawa this easily. He’s blessed me with so many supportive friends, and my family, to help me adjust to the change. He’s blessed me with a great job that is so flexible to allow me to work remotely. He’s blessed me with good health so I could make this move (although since I’ve been in Ottawa I’ve already had the flu three times, yikes!). He’s blessed me with an encouraging, supportive, loving, generous, considerate friend who’s become so much more than that, and makes it so I never feel alone here. Moving to a new city has been a great experience so far, and I’m still challenging myself to be more confident in who I am. The purpose of this move is a work in progress but with Christ all things are possible, and hope can always be found.

Well, that’s my update! I hope your 2018 is off to a good start too 🙂 What have you been up to?

Love, Sarah xoxo

Active Love and a Renewed State of Mind

The one day this week that the train was on time, I got to the station late because of the snow. But this is why I just let God have His way: I made a new friend! Honestly, why hide yourself in a quiet zone when you can be open and share who you are with strangers? Why not show a genuine interest in the people you see on a daily basis and make new friends everywhere you go? Why ignore our nature to love and be loved, to comfort and inspire, to share and to listen?

I recently had a tragic and sudden loss in the family. On Friday January 31st at 7:10am my mom phoned me as I sat on the train. Crying, she told me granny Sylvia had passed away. Immediately I burst into tears over shock, confusion and desperation. A thousand thoughts ran through my brain…. How did this happen? Why now? We just saw her… I won’t see her again? It all came rushing down and out. It took a few days before I could really find understanding, acceptance and eventually peace. There’s a confidence in my heart of who she was and a reassurance of her return Home that makes this easier to deal with. Despite the immeasurable sadness of her not being in front of my eyes, or no longer hearing her voice or never again getting to holding her hand, there is a joy in my heart that where she is now in the Place where there is no more fear, pain, worry, depression or discomfort. How could I ever express the joy I feel when I imagine her with her biggest Love, her Lord: In His arms and reunited with loved ones, seeing more, feeling more and experiencing more? There is such comfort in that thought. It’s where she lived her whole life in pursuit of — where she always wanted to be.

Considering that and applying it to my life changes my perspective and inspires me to behave differently. Life is short so there is no logic or sense in keeping to yourself, being prideful and selfish, taking your blessings for granted, being unaware of how much you have, mistreating your family and friends, abusing the ones who love you, using people, hating people, complaining, being negative, “ranting,” fighting and arguing, going after what you want without any consideration for how it would affect others, the list will forever go on.

When I walked into work with tears in my eyes that Friday, I could see the sorrow and compassion my team had when they saw me, knowing what had just happened a few hours ago. Without caring about politically correctness or possible embarrassment or anything, one of my team members stood up, walked over, gave me a big hug, and told me “Go home to your family. You don’t need to be here right now.” I will never forget that compassionate gesture. The next few days my Facebook was flooded with kind words, sympathies, words of encouragement, prayers, and support from family who were sharing the same loss and friends who never met her. My family received cards, flowers, and phone calls offering comfort, and my whole church shared our sadness. I am forever grateful for this affection and that’s why I think it’s so important to be loving like that all the time.

There is only time to love, respect, share, learn, listen, honour, cherish, believe, CHANGE for the better, observe and be aware, be gentle, patient, kind, consider others as more valuable than yourself, look ahead but learn from your past so you don’t repeat the same mistakes… and so on.

From the moment I open my eyes in the morning I make the decision to thank God for letting me see another day, I kiss my parents “Good morning,” I fill my mind with positive thoughts and I head out to the day knowing that anything could happen that could shake me but I will never lose hope and I will always do my best to love actively. Not because I expect love in return and not because I want to be more popular. Only because I understand that every individual is valuable and because I know I am strong enough to be the person who doesn’t let the hardships of life turn me into a monster.