Calmness

When planning for Spain and the Camino de Santiago, I decided I wanted to devote time every day to read a devotion, reflect, and write. The benefits of just a couple moments of silence to think, create, and be still each day are numerous. However, it is the one thing that seems to slide down, or off, of my to-do list.

After some thought, I decided to take a much loved devotional from my days at the publishing house with me. I had never read it personally, but I knew how much it meant to so many people. I was also given a copy when I left to I to law school. Unfortunately, it has taken me over three years to pick it up.

This morning, we were still two hours away from Madrid, and I couldn’t sleep. So I decided to look at the devotion for the day. I have excerpted part of it below:

“STAY CALMLY CONSCIOUS OF ME today, no matter what. Remember that I go before you as well as with you into the day. Nothing takes Me by surprise. I will not allow circumstances to overwhelm you, so long as you look to Me. I will help you cope with whatever the moment presents.”

This is perfect for so many reasons. A new country and a trek like this can at times be overwhelming. So the meaning of these words are not lost on me there. However, it was something much deeper that made my heart twinge over the Atlantic Ocean this morning.

I have a post-it on my computer at work that reads: calmness is trust in action. It is something a good friend and co-worker once read to me. That quote and the devotion for today strike at the core of what I hope to learn and carry with me from this amazing trip.

Too often I get anxious and overwhelmed looking at the next thing instead of enjoying every moment, no matter what it brings, and trusting. I too quickly lose my focus. I miss the beauty right in front of me when I am concerned about the future.

As we shuffled off of the plane and we’re greeted by beautiful morning in Madrid, I decided that this trip, I am going to be calmly conscious. I’m going to soak it all in. No matter what each day brings I am going to trust and enjoy. And hopefully these habits will go with me back to the states.

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Let’s Go on an Adventure

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Lao-Tzu

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Hello my name is Jacklyn and I’m an Arranger. Well, as of tomorrow, a recovering Arranger.

So I have taken the StrengthsFinder test multiple times.  Once while in college, once at the publishing house, and most recently, here at the law firm.  Apparently, “Arranger” must have been just hanging out there at number 6 just waiting to show its face.  It obviously picked the perfect time…after law school.

I cannot avoid it.  I’m a perpetual planner and a habitual arranger.  There should be a group for people like me.

And as much as I love my job, I cannot avoid the fact that it revolves around deadlines, constantly tracking the progress of cases or legislation, and recording my time in six minute increments.

Each of us has that element to what we do.  We have checklists, deadlines, and to-do lists.  It keeps us organized, keeps us upright, and on track.  However, I am convinced that we also yearn for adventure, pine for the unexpected, and crave the beauty that a new experience brings.

My recent checklist has been one of my favorites.  It has consisted of: get hiking boots, figure out what a spork is, learn to pack for two weeks in a foreign country in a single bag, and try to learn as much Spanish as you can.

Tomorrow I am going to give in to the yearning and give up the arranger and planner in me. I am ecstatic…and nervous as hell.

Tomorrow I board a plane, with my husband’s mom, bound for Madrid and then on Friday we hop on a train to Ponferada. In Ponferada we start our trip along the Camino de Santiago. We’ll meet our guys who have been on the trail for almost three weeks now and head to Santiago de Compestela.
 

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I have no itinerary and no plans except to soak up every second of every minute. From what the guys have told us already, it has been an incredible and life changing experience. Of which the best part is who you meet along the way.

I simply cannot wait.

The guy have been posting pictures and updates from their travels and I’m sure we will do the same at Buen Camino.