Work and Sweet Peas

I realized this morning that I have been holding my breath and withholding information about my search for work in the hopes that I could soon make a big announcement.  I kept hoping that anyday I would get an offer letter from Synergine and I could submit my application for the work visa.  One day last week I was particularly exasperated as I had just turned in a two-page proposal for work to Housing New Zealand through Synergine, and I was volunteering with Habitat for Humanity New Zealand.  Nothing was moving forward toward a paycheck and I was feeling a bit desperate.  Then I got a call from Auckland Council for a job that I had forgotten I applied for–I had to look up the cover letter and do some research to remember.

In the past week God has used this job interview to call me back from the brink.  And to remind me why I am here.  I am intending to redesign my life not recreate it with all the same stress and job pressure.  I want to live intuitively and trust God.  In the process I am hoping to learn more about myself and more about faith.

This morning I was cleaning my flat and I was feeling very pessimistic about the job interview.  It is not a lack of confidence in my ability to handle a job interview, or about the work itself (it is a team leader position in community services providing advice to community groups about events and city services, which sounds like fun!)… instead I was wrestling with the tag-team of worry and fear.  What if God is a trickster and move to New Zealand was a bait-and-switch?

I opened the blinds and saw that the sun had reappeared and so I jammed out my apartment and headed to the village and on my favorite walk.  St Heliers Bay is a wondrous light jade green colour today.  I stopped at the best bench in St Heliers and looked across the bays toward the city with the Sky Tower poking the jumbly white and grey clouds.   I reaffirmed my commitment to walk into the future in faith.  I do not know how the details will work out.  I am not my bank account (in spite of 48+ years of conditioning that I am!).  I cannot control events, only my attitude.

I continued my walk determined to practice being in the present moment.  (Go away worry!  Scram fear!  You are not welcome companions!)  I received three treats.  First I paused at the wall to look at the bay again and saw my favorite flowers in bloom on the hillside.  Sweet peas and nasturtium may not be native species but I was glad to see their cheerful blossoms.  Then a little further on I paused as a Tui bird landed on a flower stalk and began eating nectar or drinking water.  I have an affinity for this iconic NZ bird but have not seen one since I arrived in August.  He saw me but maybe because I was still, he continued eating and drinking until all of the flowers were sampled.  I am so appreciative.  The third treat I hesitate to share.  It made me laugh but it sounds awkward when I read it in print.  I was looking out at Rangitoto form Achilles Point and I turned to leave and looked down at the strip of beach below.  There was a naked man who was just coming in from a swim.  He was far enough away that the encounter was completely impersonal.  And it struck me as so absurd.  I completed my walk with a much lighter heart.

I ask for your prayers and positive thoughts as I go into my interview tomorrow Tuesday in NZ at 1:30 p.m. (Monday at 4:30 PST).  And I will do better at keeping you posted.

6 thoughts on “Work and Sweet Peas

  1. Julie……Life is so about noticing the surprises and wonders we’re presented with each day. I LOVE that you shared them all, naked man included. What a vision of life without stress or worry or fear or even a thought that the outside world might be a distraction. Life unencumbered, aka…naked man!

    Will be sending you all the best.

  2. did you tag this one with “naked man”? once we were in the canoe at the mouth of the mad river soon after dawn, near the bluffs, 3 small girls aboard. a man was swimming with his dog. his wife came to the top of the bluff to tell him he had a phone call. we all laughed (all, not just those in the canoe, well maybe not the dog), laughed as we realized he was not going to reveal himself by climbing the ladder up the bluff to take the call! not matter how much his laughing wife insisted.

    the potential job does sound like fun. building community? yes, on a local and doable level. have fun at the interview!

    life is tricky and unexpected but God? i think you are on the right path, where ever it leads.

    love you.

  3. THANK YOU! Other than the fact that I’m in the town I was born in, and still saddled with spousal and family responsibilities, my life is similar to yours right now, in many ways, and this post was inspiring. I too am totally obsessed/worried about money right now, and also have been questioning my decision to leave a very secure but totally unsatisfying job for one that has no job security, has turned out to be quite different than the one I applied for and was hired to do, etc. We’ve been studying Psalm 23 in my small group, and I’m trying to do the same thing you just did — tell anxiety and worry to scram! I like that word — scram! — so whereas in former days when I walked around downtown muttering quietly to myself, I may just say “scram” really loudly and there! So what! I will pray for you tomorrow afternoon, my time. P.S. I LOVE playing words with you!

  4. Delighted to pray for you and to hear what God has next in store for you!
    I know what you are saying about the feeling of suspecting God as trickster occasionally – happens to me too, all to help us remember we are not in charge and that God gives us what we need when we need it and not too far in advance. Thank you for your example of faith in action! Love to you and hugs across the seas and continents. XOXO Tyla

  5. Julie,

    For the life of me, I cannot imagine a better person to hire to build community! With your great heart and your unending curiosity, you can offer new eyes to the folks with whom you’ll work. Sometimes what we think we want is not what we really need. In my own life I only see this truth in looking back at the path.

    I love your wonderful sharing! Know that you are in my prayers. May you see many sights to set you smiling today! Big Hugs, Kathy Kraft


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