Oh, the Places We Go!

I’m headed to Iraq today. With friends visiting, work, and the chaos of life it has been difficult to focus and get ready. The trip came about so quickly and is a surprise gift. But it also has me trembling – there has been too little time to prepare. So I go, knowing I have little to give, much to learn, and at heart – I am a big baby. But I’m also a willing baby. So my prayer is that I cling fast to the God I love and stay focused and willing.

In the midst of all this, I found the perfect picture to hang on my wall at work. I hang it to help me dream and then focus. It’s a balance isn’t it? That need to be fully present, and yet not forget to dream. Dr. Seuss captured the dream well in his beloved book Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  As I head off to Iraq, I think of the book and I smile.   

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. but mostly they’re darked.
But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”

To give you a sense of what is happening, our small team of four will be in the city of Erbil. I will be helping at a clinic as well as assisting with an art therapy program for teenage girls, all of them displaced from their homes and communities. It will be hot – weather forecasts are 115 degrees and full sunshine during the day, going down to around 82 at night. It’s a dry heat like Phoenix, and I’m reminding myself how much I love Phoenix. My husband has been to Erbil so has given me a briefing on what to expect, but we go knowing two things: flexibility is a must and we are visitors and learners.

On Saturday evening we received a beautiful travel blessing from our priests, Fr. Patrick and Fr. Michael. The church overwhelmed us with baby and hygiene kits, put together for us to take to refugees and internally displaced people. We feel deeply loved and supported in our journey through Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church. Though we are the ones to physically go, they are the ones who walk beside us in prayer and love. More and more, I am overwhelmed by the mystery of the Church and the community of believers within.

And so the blog will be quiet while I’m gone. I have a lovely guest post from a reader, and I hope to write a quick post at some point, but for the most part, it will be a still space and I will debrief when I return.

Thanks so much for reading and caring. 

14 thoughts on “Oh, the Places We Go!

  1. Have a wonderful time doing what you do best i.e. loving people. I have a good friend who teaches in the university. She has been there for many years and the locals have now become her family. Many blessings.

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  2. May you, your team, and those you encounter be blessed with safety, health, and everything necessary to fulfill your mission. All this we ask in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

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  3. Godspeed, Marilyn! May you, your husband and the rest of your team go with God’s protection and blessing. I pray you all be God’s loving, caring hands and feet to all those you meet. And–what a wonderful travel gift your church has given you! I pray for each kit. May each one go where it is deeply needed. All the best, Marilyn.

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  4. “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers6:24-26

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  5. Go with God, Dear Marilyn. . . And I know that you will. I will pray that Grace envelops you and that you and your team will be a transcendent vessel for Healing. One of my favorite prayers: I am here to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him Who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say, or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
    Love you TTMAB!

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