every morning as i drive to work, i pass a church on the left hand side of the road right past an elementary school. i've read the faded sign a few times and from what i can recall it says "homeland mission". the reason this sticks out in my mind so vividly is not because the sign is faded or because the church is beautiful, in fact, the only side i see as i'm driving in is the backside, but what causes this to stick out to me is the line of people that are outside the doors every morning. i, obviously, haven't gotten a good look at any of their faces to know if they frequent there often, but i've noticed the numbers vary as well as the ages of the people. and as i drive past these people every morning, i think to myself, "what are these people's stories? why are they where they are?" and as i keep driving past, i often will utter a simple sentence or two prayer, "Lord, would you meet these people where they are at? be their comfort in whatever their situation may be." in all reality, i probably will never hear these people's stories...i will probably never hear why they are where they are, but i am thankful for the opportunity i've been given to pray for them as i drive past every morning, and i will continue to be thankful for it in all the days to come.
regardless, life continues flying by. i can hardly believe that thanksgiving is next week, and that means that christmas is right around the corner. it's also hard for me to believe that i've been working for almost two months now; i suppose that's a good thing, though, knowing that it's gone by so quickly and i still enjoy coming to work every day, even though i always wish i could sleep just a little bit more.
and as life continues flying by, change seems to continue to be the common theme. maybe not change so much, maybe adapting would be a better word to describe where i'm at in life?
i remember when i was in college and living by my day planner...it seemed that every hour of every day was scheduled, between classes, meetings, dinner, lunch, and coffee dates with friends, and everything else that fell in between. and, if i'm being completely honest, even though i was queen of making everything fit into a day, i had to learn what it meant to slow down and not make myself so busy. and that wasn't something i learned on my own, by any means, but something that many people would come to me and say, "you are doing too much, you can't do this, slow down, take care of yourself." sometimes i would laugh, other times i would get mad because i knew they were right, but no matter, i learned by the time i graduated what it looked like to be able to have things scheduled but still be able to be spontaneous.
and now that i am working full time, i kind of feel like i'm a freshman or sophomore in college again having to relearn what it looks like to balance time. And not only do i feel like i am having to relearn how to balance time but i feel like i'm having to relearn what it means to be spontaneous. i've said multiple times to my closest friends, "i feel stretched too thin..."
and it's not anyone's fault that i feel stretched too thin, it's a matter of the fact that i don't feel like there is enough time in one day to do all the things i want to do nor is there enough time in one day to do all the things i want to do. while my schedule with work is fairly flexible, the reality that i'm still working on average 8-9 hours a day remains. so, 8-9 hours at work, 1 hour commute (30 minutes each way), 1 hour to get ready in the morning, that alone right there takes up 10-11 hours. and then the next biggest part of my day would be sleeping which usually amounts to 7 hours. so 17-18 hours of my day is accounted for basically no matter what. and that leaves 6-7 hours a day...which may kind of seem like a lot, but i've come to learn very quickly that it isn't. 6-7 hours does not give me enough time for me to see all the friends i want to see, have the quality time i want to have with my parents, stay caught up with friends who don't live around here, spend time with the Lord, or really put the kind of effort i'm used to exerting on anything else. and i hate it.
you know the analogy about the jar and putting the rocks in first, and then the ping pong balls, and then the pebbles, and then the sand everything will fit in? well, i'm not entirely sure i believe that analogy as much anymore. at this point, i feel like the most important things have been put in my jar, and then the next most important things have come in after, and so on, but i feel like the sand still won't fit and it's over flowing. and i hate that feeling.
i hate the feeling that i have that i can't put more effort into my friendships and that people aren't getting the time they need or deserve, and i hate that i haven't been able to figure out how to fix it. i'm sure in time i'll figure it out or in time it will work itself out and it won't be as big of a deal as it is now, but it's just such an adjustment in the present moment.
and as i'm trying to figure all of THAT out, i feel like i'm also trying to figure out what it looks like to make sure God doesn't just get my leftovers, because that's so easy to do. it's so easy to crawl into bed at night and read my Bible because i feel obligated and to read it so i can check off my daily reading. but, that's not what reading my Bible is supposed to be about. reading my Bible is supposed to be about letting the Lord communicate with me through it and learning what it means to become more like my Savior. and how in the world is that supposed to happen when my goal is to just "get it done" so i can set my Bible back on my nightstand, turn off my light, send a few last minute text messages, and fall asleep? well it doesn't happen, i will be the first to attest to that...
needless to say, my eyes have been opened a lot in this past week of changes that need to be made, and it's not necessarily the easiest thing to do. worth it in the end? i believe so, absolutely. but for the time being, there are some bumps in the road that are making it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
life continues to amaze me, and i am so thankful for the journey i'm on and have been on. there's never a dull moment, but even if there was, i don't think i would be content with it. so for now, i'll continue to choose to find joy in the times that don't seem to be the most joyful, and i'll continue to try to discover what all the Lord is teaching me in the midst of the craziness occuring around me.
what a privilege it is to be His chosen and His beloved, even though He knows all of my imperfections, insecurities, and inadequacies...