Monday, July 05, 2010

taking my own advice

i'm not always good at listening to my own advice. after two years of good learning about "self care" and "rest," it's time to live it a little.

after years of ministry, mom is putting herself on sabbatical. listening to her talk about her plans of intentional rest, anticipated care for necessary responsibilities, and dreams for the new space in life (for things like reading, writing, praying, and living other activities that have been put on hold) brought something in me to the surface. it was that funny little question mark deep in me about school next year--launching myself onto the road to Wheaton for grad. school. i've got this summer course in General Psychology right now. easy, i know, and truly basic. but it has been really hard to motivate myself to work on it. when mom finished talking i said, "gosh, mom, my soul needs something like that." of course, mom has always voiced her concern(s) about my "burnout." so she said i should consider the possibility of taking the fall semester off.

the thought scares me. a lot. it scares me to put my "plan" (or should i say "dream"?) on hold. but you know what? my "plan" hasn't been very inviting to me recently. i can't articulate my vision very well. my heart feels weak and my passion and ambition feel spent. in other words, this isn't to say i don't like my plan or want to keep my plan :) this is to say that i need a break. last year took a lot out of me--in many ways. i need to slow down. i need to make space for a few new things...
[i can tell you another time what i think about God and us and the living of our i think that the dreams/passions we have aren't an accident and that life is probably a lot about the redemption of those dreams and learning how to live life with God and others as this happens]

**so, here are some things i want to bring into my life this year (and in no particular order):
that pottery class i've been putting off
wednesday night knitting and wine at Sister Arts studio in late fall and winter
personal study (biblical/theological concepts that my life longs to develop and live)
english tutoring (or, rather, keeping up the friendship with Rasha and family)
involvement at church/time to volunteer
writing (poetry, stories, letters, journaling)
prayer (creative outlets for developing prayer in my life. call me crazy but this will most likely include paper, glue, scissors, and a host of other "crafty" elements...)
growing friendships near and far (working on communication and living life together)

i don't just want to spend this year at work, in classes, and doing homework. i want to live it with time and space to renew some of the richness that i feel i have either forgotten, overlooked, or gotten too busy for. i need to practice some self-care. i need to swallow the advice i have given others :)

want to help? please be praying. those of you close to me (and/or who know me well) know that this is a difficult and frightening decision. Jake reminded me that it is a position and posture of trust. i like that because he's right, it's true of me in this place now but it's also true of life in general (and for all of us). for now, this time right out of college is a time to develop habits and set realistic goals for myself as i learn to live each day in faith (not weeks, months, years, but just days). i can't do that unless i create the space for it and i haven't found the space for it because i've been going, going, going. i need to just be with the Lord for awhile.

So...i'm going to call COD tomorrow and discuss the status of my deposit and class registration. i'll see if i can just hold off until next semester or what...i don't really know. like i said, it's scary. but i think it's a really good thing. there's a quiet freedom in this decision and a settled sort of "yes" that keeps calling out from inside of me. i like that. it sort of sounds like that quiet confirmation that the Holy Spirit whispers when you're on the right path. so i guess i should be all gratefulness. i am, i think, but i am also really unsure. there's a lot to be unsure about come mid August :)
life, you are so uncertain. you are so exciting. you are all we have to live and we want to live you well.

"Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you...teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing." -Psalm 143:8-10 NLT

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