Note: You may have noticed a new blog header. It’s still me, Marie Ellen 🙂 During the past 8 months, I’ve clarified my life goal, which is to shine the light on abundant living. I will do that through writing, coaching, and speaking, and I have decided to connect it all here. I have a book scheduled to be released in 2022 and I will have an official author website created at some point before then. (Insert squeal of terror and joy ha!) Until then I will continue blogging here. I hope you will follow along for the journey and perhaps discover truths and tools that my help you in your own quest for abundant living. That is my prayer for each one who finds their way here.
Searching For (more than) a Lost Mitten
“Siri, set the time for thirteen minutes,” I instructed my phone while zipping my fleece hoodie. I shoved the phone into my pocket and headed out the door at a brisk pace. I had twenty-six minutes to retrace the steps of a much longer walk I had taken earlier that day. The first time I had set out was before the sun was up, and the 28-degree predawn temperature compelled me to pull on a heavy winter coat over my hoodie, and shove my hands into mittens.
Not just any mittens.
New mittens. I had finally splurged on a pair of Polartec hand coverings. I had no shortage of cold weather hand gear – pink fleece gloves, cobalt blue gloves, and a pair of standard black leather gloves lay in my coat closet. But as the years have gone by even fashionable gloves have become powerless to keep my fingers warm on cold morning walks.
The Polartec delivered on their promise of warmth and insulation. My hands were toasty warm as the icy wind against my face took me back to snow covered hills and plastic sleds; childhood days when arctic like temperatures didn’t cause an internal argument on whether I really wanted to go out or not.
I love the cold; I find it magical and invigorating –as long as my hands and feet are kept from frostbite. That morning, I had practically pranced along the walking trail exhaling deeply so I could see my breath appear briefly before it dissipated. But all too soon, the Colorado sun was overhead chasing away the cold. I stripped off my fleece hoodie and mittens, tied the jacket around my waist and shoved the mittens into my coat pockets.
It wasn’t until I
tossed my coat back in the closet hung my coat up, that I noticed.
Only one pocket held a mitten.
“NOOOOOOO!” I wailed. But there was no time to lament the loss of my expensive mitten – I had 15 minutes to change out of my yoga pants and thermal tee and begin my work day. I vowed to go in search of the mitten as soon as my thirty minute lunch break began. I brailled some math work and created a tactile book for a student who was visually impaired, and the hours disappeared as quickly as my morning breath had. By 11: 15 the sun was high in the sky. I donned a pair of sunglasses, a light jacket and walking shoes, and I hit the trail. I jalked – a fast paced walk that was a jog wannabe – in order to cover as much ground as I could. I glanced at the timer on my watch and realized I would need to turn around in just a moment. I sighed and was about to acknowledge defeat when I squinted – a little ways down the trail I made out a dark shape on the white snow. I picked up my pace to an actual jog and squealed when I recognized the quilted material. I snatched up the now soaked mitten and headed home. I tossed the soggy mitten on the counter, grabbed my laptop and bag, and headed to the school where I would spend the afternoon brailling and creating tactile graphs.
I missed my lunch that day. My stomach snarled its disapproval most of the afternoon. I didn’t mind (so much) when I thought of my mitten, lost then found.
Searching for lost things is nothing new to me. I’m forever looking for the cup of coffee that I JUST had. Or my phone. The coupon I was sure I had put in my purse. A recipe I printed out. The book I was reading. The word that was on the tip of my tongue.
I’ve learned that some things are worth spending time and effort to find, and other things I can just wait until they show up.
Last year was a tough one in many ways. The pandemic and political hostility tried to invade every aspect of life. Anger and ugliness spewed from folks I had always deemed kind and sensible. Loved ones divorced. The vesicant nature of many people around the country and world, and the sorrowing of loved ones burned holes in my heart.
Vitality seeped out, a barely perceptible hemorrhaging of passion and purpose for life. I just wanted to hibernate until a season of rationality returned. I might have thought it was “Pandemic Fever” or even just the doldrums but God kept whispering “Seek me. Seek me. Seek. me.”
Because without the passion and purpose I was dying.
So I set out to find it again. Just like the way that I returned to the place where I knew I’d dropped my mitten, I spent my time searching the one place where I knew I would find vitality and Life. In Christ.
I let go of facebook and and much of the news, and instead spent extra hours – sacrificial time – in the Word and in reading works of encouragement from other believers. I spent time in listening prayer. Sometimes I missed breakfast. Sometimes I missed my daily walk. But it has been worth it.
Going back to find my lost passion and purpose has literally been life changing.
I quit my job and enrolled in a Christian Life Coach certification course and along the way have clarified – perhaps actually discovered – my values and beliefs. It has become easier and easier to walk out what I hear the Spirit whispering to my soul, because in my search for those lost things, I rediscovered who I was created to be and what I was called to do. Having my life and daily actions in alignment with my core values has brought so much peace. I completed the course. I signed a book contract. Every day is an adventure – sometimes challenging and sometimes pure, simple joy.
I’ve never been so grateful to be alive, despite the messed up world we are living in.
How about you? Have you lost passion and purpose? Is your life feeling out of alignment with your values? Are you living out your dreams?
I don’t know what abundance looks like for you – we are all created differently – but I know the One who does know, the only One who can give you fullness of joy and peace.
Jesus said “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NAS
We are created for abundant living. What is holding you back?
Grateful for this abundant life,
Marie with a 🙂