We had been so focused on the task at hand for months. Closing the quilt shop turned out to be a VERY exhaustive process. Even Erik, said that he didn’t realize how much energy it was going to take to close the store and deal with everything there. By the end of June we had closed the store and had rented a sea can to store all the inventory. Erik had been extremely worried about the inventory regarding where it’s final destination was going to be. I had been sitting at church one Sunday and was asking the Lord if He had a buyer for the inventory and he said that He did. At that point I quit stressing about it. As sometimes in life, we feel like we just live from one crisis to another; it is exhausting to live that way or to have that mindset. We did have other goals that needed to be met and needed to shift our focus from the store to our home and job search.

BUT….as life goes, it’s not all about moving and finding a job. Erik was booked into the West Coast Trail for the second week of August. This hike is 77 kilometers long and takes about a week for the average hiker. The preparation that goes into doing this feat is enormous. It’s enormous if you want to be successful (clarification needed). Everything that is packed in must be packed out. Only a certain number of people are given permits each year to hike the trail. Members of our family had done the hike in 2006 and wanted to do a 10 year reunion of the trail, but Erik said that this was the year to do it. Thus the preparations began and the progress slowed on our move. There were many phone calls between Dad and the Trail kids giving pep talks and figuring out equipment. We had a cousin coming from Germany to do the trail as well. The excitement was building and it wasn’t for the task at hand.

IMG_0232 (1)This is Erik preparing a tent for hiking.

One of our children, her husband and our grandchildren made a move at the end of June and left Calgary to go to Victoria. They were moving for the west coast lifestyle, sold their home and bought another on Vancouver Island. It was sad to see them go, as we tend to be a close knit family, having family dinners each month to celebrate birthdays, and to catch up with what is going on in everyone’s lives. Another distraction….

A dear friend was getting married and I decided to attend the wedding. Erik headed to Vancouver Island for the hike and I headed to the airport for a flight to the wedding.  All of this was eating into our time that we probably should have been working on our move.  After the wedding, I had a couple of days at the lake before flying to Victoria to meet up with my husband. While on the Island, we had to opportunity to visit with both family and friends.  Up to Comox to see Erik’s mother, then on to Qualicum Beach to visit my dear friend Julie and her husband Dave. From there we went to see Erik’s sister who lives in Cowichan Bay. Her husband took us out boating to go crabbing. We caught a mother lode in the trap and had quite the feast.

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Then we headed back to Victoria to see our daughter’s family again. There is something about that West Coast lifestyle…no screens on the windows because they don’t have weird bugs trying to get into your house to eat you. Although, the first night in Victoria, I got up at 4:30 am and decided to visit the biffy. As I approach the bedroom door, I hear a soft meow and then another. I said to Erik, `Do they have a cat?” “No!”, he replied. I opened the door and there was the most gorgeous long haired, tuxedo cat standing there looking up at me. I bent down to pet the cat and it started purring right away. I’m wondering how the cat got in the house! Open doors…open windows….hmmmm.  Erik got up to take the cat outside and we settled back down again.

We didn’t seem to be in any hurry to head back to the mainland. Usually, Erik is the antsy one and ready to head home but he wasn’t making any indications that he was ready to go. More days went by and finally we decided to make the trip back to Alberta. We thought that we would catch the noon ferry, but that came and went while we were at the beach with our grandchildren. Then the one o’clock ferry came and went….finally, Erik said, “We better get moving to catch the two o’clock ferry.” We drove straight onto the ferry with no wait time. Kamloops was the place to rest our head that night. Everyone on the Island wanted us to move there and so when we got home I went online to look at real estate. We got the idea in our heads that maybe we should sell everything in Alberta and buy property on the Island. I did find a beautiful ocean front property in Cowichan Bay that brought tears to my eyes with the view to the ocean. Now we had questions…what to do?

While at the temple, I sat and pondered our situation. I asked the Lord what we should be doing. He replied, “Stay the Course! No more distractions, do what I asked you to do.” Well, that was pretty clear! We came home with a renewed fervor to make progress. Our original goal was to have our house ready to sell by June 1. That date came and went and then we thought maybe we could get it done before the West Coast Trail trip…nope! So here we are in the middle of September and still working away. The weather is starting to turn against us as far as the outdoor work; fickle Alberta weather.

I’ve discovered that I’m very good at “work distraction”. I can find very good and worthwhile activities to do instead of doing the job that most needs to be done. In this whole process, we’ve discovered that despite this huge change happening in our lives, laundry still needs to be done, meals still need to be cooked, toilets still need cleaning, and I’m thankful that the Lord knows that too. Focus, focus, focus…

I love how the Lord brings people into your life to help you with learning. While in Lacombe for church, I introduced myself to a gentleman that had worked in Dubai and had taken his family with him. He introduced me to his wife and she was so excited to tell us how wonderful it is there and how amazing the church is there with all the members. It touched my heart so deeply because it was another witness as to the Lord’s plan for us. While we deal with our distractions, it helps to know of the love that God has for us to keep us moving forward.

In mid July, I was worried that I didn’t seem to be progressing very well on the sorting and packing of our home. I felt like I was slogging through mud each day instead of being my usual cheery self. Then one day I took a trip into Calgary to do a few errands. I met some amazing people on that journey and by the last errand at Costco, I was helping the girl doing demonstrations for pressure cookers. I was talking to people and drawing them into the demonstration. As I was getting to know the demo girl, she asked me about what I was doing in my life and so I told her about how God has directed us to move to the middle east. She got so excited and told me that she too prays for guidance and that she could feel that I was surrounded by spirits who were protecting me. Amazing, who you run into! As I was driving home, I came to the realization that I missed people. After 15 years of having a retail business and talking to people, I missed talking to people and getting to know them.  That brought peace to my soul to discover why I had been feeling a little blue and that I needed to get out and visit with people.

I think that a bit of a break from renos and packing was good, but it is definitely time to focus and get crack-a-lackin’ along. We are so close to a breakthrough that I can nearly taste it. Do you have distractions in your life that are preventing you from reaching your potential? Sometimes we need to work just a little harder to go around or even through some of the obstacles that are thrown at us. Some obstacles are of our own making but we need to persevere to achieve great blessings. One of the thoughts that always comes to my mind is to think of how much you love your children and grandchildren and how you would do nearly anything to ensure their happiness. How much greater is our Father in heaven’s love for us! He who is of infinite love, wants most especially for us to experience joy and love. Sometimes the greater joy comes after great adversity but only if we learn to rely on the Lord for all. Knowing that He wants the best for us will ultimately help us to overcome if we rely on the arm of the Lord. Wallowing in self pity doesn’t get us very far and remember the Lord doesn’t want us to muck about feeling bad but the adversary certainly loves it when we feel rotten and spread that little black cloud of gloom around. Life is to have joy and to make progress to become the best that we can be. So…spread your sunshine and go forth being sunny and bright!

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