Friday, January 20, 2012

Of faith and exhaustion

Today I am a tad bit overwhelmed.

Life is busy and full of many wonderful things. Usually I love that. These past few weeks I’ve been torn in a tension of loving ministry, loving time with people, loving to stretch myself when someone needs a late night phone call, emergency date, last minute prayer time…and needing time to cook, clean and meet other obligations. What does it look like to invite the world into my life, to step out in to other people’s lives and to be a good steward of the time, resources, energy and people God has put in my life?

Through all of this I chose to remember that God is with me. I see him give me grace in moments, patience in other moments…I see him pull things together that save me time, and I see myself choosing to rest in his peace when needed. That being said, all the things that I’d like/need to do still weigh heavily on my mind.

Monday I had a doctor’s appointment, a tutoring appointment (to help someone with pages for Mac), dinner out, a deep life charting conversation, and a 3 hour hang out at a friend’s house. Tuesday I had Discipleship group from 6-7:30, Life group from 7:30 to 9 and a planning/vision meeting with the pastor from 9 to 10:30. Wednesday we got to relax, but there was of course dinner to make, lunches to make and a house to tidy. Last night was dinner, a phone date with a faraway friend, and a hang out at my sisters for 3 hours.

Each of these nights where filled with wonderful things. Things I love. I love meeting with women. I love talking to them, praying with them, laughing with them. I got to have deep, meaningful, joy filled times with 5 different ladies. I got to have wonderful, deep conversations with my husband, and my uncle/pastor and his wife. We got to wrestle through the ideas for our future and ministry and careers. We got to pray together and enjoy friendship with my aunt and uncle – what a gift! I got to spend time with my husband, drink beer, catch up on PVR’d TV…and eat food I love! AND go to sleep cuddled up with my sweetest love.
And as much as writing that paragraph is bringing a huge smile to my face, and almost tears to my eyes at the joy of life,

Tonight we have a Chinese New Year’s party to go to. The international ministry at our church is hosting it – it perfectly matches a few of the things we care about (people and campus aged people) and lines up with the priorities of our church (multi cultural & multi generational), so we want to make an effort to support what they are doing – plus, dumplings! The party is half an hour away from 7 to 10. We will be bringing our Chinese homestay student, Karen, who is so excited.

Tomorrow we have a surprise birthday brunch for Paul’s Nana and a surprise open house for her also at 2pm. I have to bring some sweets – so I think tonight after work I will be jetting home to bake two types of treats before the Chinese New Year’s Party (I’m making Apple Toffee Blondies & Cranberry Bliss Bars).

Sunday I have a dear out of town friend coming over for brunch at 10am, then a campus ministry leaders prayer/vision at our place at 2pm, church at 3:30 (where I am hosting again) and then a Campus Vision Night/Dinner after church.

Every one of these days is filled with good, life giving things…but oh, so many of them!

Then I talk with Paul, and in the past he’s often said that I don’t have to be as busy as I am…that I could say no to people. And while that is true, how do I say no to my sister, whom I love and whose relationship with me is so life giving and that I need? How do I say no to my other best friends, whom I love, whom I also need to be in relationship with, and who I get to pray/talk/grow with? How do I say no to a friend who calls crying wanting to talk or to visit? How do I say no to praying with a friend? How do I say no to attending a vision meeting for something I care so much about? Or how would I ever say no to church involvement, when it is so vital to my faith? And why would I ever want to say no to these things?

Is there no way to say yes, in faith? Faith that God gives me the room to breathe? That in the crazy busy he gives me space? That he guides my steps and cares intimately about everyone that I care about, because he put his heart for them in me?

I believe there has to be. I just have no idea what that looks like. Sometimes I think I’m walking in it – and then an anxious/overwhelmed day hits and I wonder if I really was.

Thank God it is not up to me. Seriously, thank you God. It is up to you. You give me the strength to walk out the things you've put in front of me. You fill my days and actions with power and love. Your joy is my strength, and your unending love drives me to extend the same to others, that they might taste the joy of the Lord. It is up to God, and not me, and I can get through the rest of this tired, sleepy, Monday-feeling Friday because of that truth.

Also how do I say no to cleaning? Because seriously, I’d love to say no to that.

1 comment:

LeAnna et David said...

You are very organised, so why don't you organise some time for yourself? Treat it like any other meeting or appointment, and make sure you don't reschedule. You don't have to say 'no' to people, but you can say 'later'. Remember dear, that even God rested on the seventh day :)

What it really comes down to is balance. If you're feeling so tired that you can't work to a standard your employers deserve, or if you have tension at home, or if you can't serve and honour your commitments as well as you should because of it, then you may want to rethink how many things you're doing. Whereas if you just are having an off day, then it's not a big deal :)


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