donald miller talks about how we should live a story worth telling.
elizabeth gilbert says that we don’t have to be this thing walking around just paying bills.
shauna niequest writes that we are more than dust and bones- we are the spirit & power & image of God.
I pray and think regularly about how I should be using my time. I often feel conflicted, broken, and discontent in this area.
I deeply care about work, teaching my students well, and being prepared each day. This requires an extraordinary amount of my time.
I feel it absolutely necessary to take Ian and I’s health and finances seriously by eating as many meals as possible at home. This requires many hours devoted to grocery shopping, meal prepping, and cooking.
I am comforted and settled when our house is clean, tidy, and organized. This requires time and effort each day to make this possible.
I find life unbearable when I go too long without spending quality time with friends and family. This requires planning, sacrifice, and traveling time.
The relationship I have with my husband is the livelihood of my entire life. It must be nurtured constantly to remain strong and fulfilled.
I feel most alive and energized when I am writing or creating. This requires my diligence, time, and patience.
The ways in which I devote to learning about and being with God take various forms. All of them require my attention and time and heart.
In addition to all of these things, I must rest. In Mark 6:30-31, the disciples were teaching and doing- they didn’t even have a chance to eat. Jesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
In 2015 I write, “Lord, all I have known for the past 8 years is typing away at lesson plans and planning in order to be the best version of myself for students every single day. When I take a step back, I wonder what it’s doing to the rest of me?”
It is difficult to put my all into so many things that I value so highly. It is virtually impossible to give 100% to everything, so this results in me feeling overwhelmed and disappointed. When looking at the above list, I can speculate that work and food most often get taken care of before anything else. The other things that make my existence whole sit on a carousel waiting for their turn to participate in my life.
I start to feel like the person Elizabeth Gilbert says we don’t have to be– this thing just walking around paying bills. I am paying bills, chopping vegetables, doing laundry, unloading the dishwasher, writing lesson plans, grading papers, mopping the floor, making a grocery list, wiping the countertops, refilling our Brita filter. I am NOT writing a story or in my journal, practicing my calligraphy, reading a novel, painting with watercolors, riding my bike, laughing with my husband, traveling to a festival, sweating in a yoga class, hiking with a friend, shopping with my mom, talking to my dad, exploring a new city, doodling on the corner of a napkin.
it is hard for me to do all of it.
shauna niquiest writes that the sacred mixes with the daily. it is like a firefly and a great song. she thanks God every time she eats crusty bread and garlicky olives, when she smells clean laundry or hears fingers on a guitar.
I do this too. I feel the warmth and freshness of clothes just out of the dryer. I smile at the sound of the dishwasher running and the smell of chili in the crockpot. I put on socks and light candles and wrap my hands around a hot mug of coffee that my husband made for me. I feel accomplished and satisfied when I click “post lesson plans” or “save” in the gradebook. I hang up the phone with my brother feeling refreshed and alive. I savor the process of finding a new recipe and taking the time to create it. I dip the brush in the watercolors and savor the strokes of color upon white paper. I feel the tingling of being completely sweaty or completely clean.
life has sweet, sacred, beautiful spots and a more complex purpose than I understand sometimes. my only choice is to cling to Him tightly through it all.