Last week I quickly arrived at a challenging intersection of time // talent // finance // ability // sanity after my summer graduate classes began. A long night of class and 400+ pages of assigned reading had me nearly in tears by Thursday. I called J over lunch and muttered words that I'm not sure he'd ever heard me say before.
" I don't know if I can do this, babe".
The culmination of the past whirlwind of a year and my desperate yearning to have some time to breathe before year two of my program starts combined with the peak season for my job and an exceptionally difficult replacement course had me panicked and overwhelmed. The financial implications of dropping one course for another were weighing heavily, especially in light of a costly (but amazing) wedding weekend. More than anything though, was the guilt I felt from wanting just a little bit of time for other things besides work and school.
The guilt was pretty intense-- enough to have me thinking it would be ok to pretty much run my mind // body // soul into the ground and "earn" time for these "other things" later on. Seriously, at one point I was doing the math on how much I was hypothetically getting "paid" to stick with this impossible class versus selecting one I would have to pay for.
Though my selfish and self-serving heart ran to everything last week except God, as always He was sovereign and delivered me from the anxiety and stress. The class? dropped. The money? gone but managed. The time? the greatest gift I've been given in a long time. His care? Communicated sweetly through so many worldly ways.
One of my most cherished moments during the craziness that was last week was an impromptu conversation that happened with my boss in her doorway after work one day. Without knowing it, she provided incredible encouragement that no one has ever given before. Unknowingly timed at the exact moment I needed to hear it she swept away huge waves of my guilt with a simple statement:
"Your business matters and you are better here because of your work with it. Also, I love your business name and know it brings people joy whenever I tell them about it".
Whaaaaaaaat? I wish I could package these words up and re-open them everyday because they touched my heart so deeply. You see I firmly believe that we all are better in our work // relationships // homes // lives when we have an outlet, a hobby even, where we are placing some of our time and talent. The trouble is that the world does not alwaysencourage this but instead, can make us feel guilty when we aren't perfect at everything. Our perceptions of what others think/do keep us from even trying and time, well there's just never going to be enough of that.
I'll tell you that I am so so so so glad that I've removed hours and hours and hours from my plate by dropping this class and am more committed than ever to a summer focused on the integration of hobbies, passions and talents that take place outside of work and home. I am encouraged by the many supporters I have around me and need to learn to lean into them during my daily moments of insecurity, unknown, and creative confusion.
For now, though, I'm starting small. Honing in on things that a pleasing to the Lord in terms of my time/talent and bring joy to me and others. For the rest of May I'm focusing on:
1. Letter Writing 2. Nightly walks with J + Hound 3. Sharing a weekly meal with friends
Will you join me, friends? Select one thing you love // want to love // think you could love that is also pleasing to the Lord and go for it during these last two weeks of the month? Then we can start a real adventure together in June. Your thing can be simple and new or intricate and an expansion of your current talents. Some of you have also probably mastered this already in which case-- help me!
Regardless of where you're at and how you're feeling, will you share your goals and let me know how I can be praying for you? I always need encouragement and would love to share back, too.
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10
in His love, Laura