I have been dreading the first week out of the house for a...pretty much ALL summer. And you know what. It was a pretty good week.
Every time I walk into the room and see these kids' faces, and the teachers who have returned, my heart just swells. I genuinely love these people with whom I am so fortunate to work.
That said, it WAS a crazy, chaotic, intense week. I think that's really what I dreaded. Because, honestly, I have a workload enough to keep me around here. And I realize I take on WAY too much, but upon reflection, there just isn't anything I am currently willing to give up. It's all a trade off, anyway. When I am out of the house, I just don't get the housework and "projects" done. If you can't stand the occasional table full of laundry or cat hair dust bunnies rolling around like southwest tumbleweeds...just don't visit me here. We can meet somewhere more sanitary, where I can offer my love and encouragement to you, undistracted by my messy chaos.
So, it's probably a good thing that my work forces me out of my comfort place. Yeah...it forces me out...a great deal. I am in so many different places, doing so many of different things, I sometimes lose myself. It is officially the season in which, halfway out of my subdivision, I suddenly panic. Wait!! Where am I going?!! That level of variety is good for my soul, but very hard on this directionally-challenged way-maker. And the level of interaction...I just can't! I have discovered over the years...don't question it!!...that I am an introvert. I know. It doesn't quite make sense. But working or meeting in a group context is actually EXTREMELY draining to me. There was one day this week, that I came back home and just kind of collapsed. I think it has something to do with how I am trying to interpret everyone's external cues and responses to every stimuli present, all while trying to process my own thoughts, judgments and responses. I think my brain goes into overload, and I just have to hit "shut down" for a bit to recover.
It's probably why I've always preferred more intimate, one on one gatherings. Those don't drain, they fuel. To me, having one truly BEST friend has always been my ideal, and probably the reason I feel so blessed, even in the midst of trial or sorrow.
So, while this "season" is stretching me directionally and socially, it also stretches my tendency to turn up my nose at the "schedule."
I have ALWAYS disliked schedules. Every time I have tried a "routine," I have fallen into deep depression. It just seems so disheartening to lack the freedom to choose when and where I will be doing what I do. (Shhhh...probably/definitely the reason I LOVED homeschooling.). I blame my mom for all that "Kristen doesn't have to do anything Kristen doesn't want to do" talk in my early beginnings. I am merely following the rules set out for me in the context of my initial existence. Who can blame me for that?!!
So. I have taught myself, over the years, how to cope. When I can not IMAGINE how I will get through the OBNOXIOUS chore of of dishes, I let myself do one little tiny task at a time.
For example, if I can NOT POSSIBLY empty the entire dishwasher and refill it with all those disgustingly drat, dirty dishes, I will talk myself, carefully, through the process. I can NOT do the whole thing right now. But I CAN put away the top shelf of clean dishes. Then, I go do something else I CAN currently do, before talking myself into the bottom shelf. And on and on, until the task is completed.
So...maybe multi-tasking is not deemed "efficient" by your "professionals," but it happens to be the only way some very precious people get anything done. So, speak for your professional self. Amen.
You may be asking yourself how this current tangent applies.
Well...I know. Because I am multi-tasking in my brain.
It's exactly like the year I gave over to a full-time job and an intense and hectic internship (sure praying THAT wasn't in vain!), along with my mama-duties. I can NOT, currently, look at the calendar as a whole. I do not have the confidence in my ability to maintain that level of consistency.
Instead, I look, uninterestedly, at the whole week "at a glance." I swipe up when I start to panic, Oh dear God!!
And at that point, I begin to just look at it one day at a time.
It's what got me through the last 6 years, and it is what will get me through this one, too. I have a general idea of the future, but my real focus is One Day At a Time, Sweet Jesus.
You know what else gets me through?!
I miss church.
I have opportunities, but I have obstacles, as well. And I was praying today about it. I seriously need to experience a community of people who can lift me up in this taxing time in my life. But I am so very taxed, the challenge is often, even, in getting there.
And actually, of recent past, I have been DRAMATICALLY wounded by an institution who claimed to be "For The Church."
So. Yeah. I TRUST God, but I don't necessarily trust YOU.
A good many years ago, we stumbled upon a pastor we liked. David Platt wrote the book, Radical. We fell all in. We watched him online before that was a common "viral" thing. But he left us for something else, and it wasn't until last (horribly painful) week, that I looked him up again. He has come to his senses and returned to preaching!! It was so good to hear his sensible, encouraging voice.
I decided to attend, once again, McClean Bible Church, D.C. location.
They reminded me of this song that has ALWAYS moved me:
The worship fueled my soul, and my gratitude abounded. And then, the pastor came on. Guess what. It was NOT David Platt. So, my flesh would long to fuel my disappointment. Disconnect.
I did not.
And I learned something valuable, because God is good. And HE rarely does what I expect. And the point is in getting used to being disappointed, because, as it turns out...what I expect is not what I NEED, and He has something SO MUCH GREATER in mind. The mind above ALL minds.
So, this pastor starts talking about friendship, and I realized...I am a friend to many, but few are mine.
You guys. I need some real friends. Are you with me?!! I am investing in a whole heck of a lot of people, but how many are mutually investing in me. 3? Maybe 5? One, I know, for sure.
And how does an introvert develop friendships? Especially an introvert who tends to withhold trust.
I have no idea. All I know is that I am going to continue to do my best to pour and hope to GOD he teaches me to receive, because this life is hard. And I need a few good women to boost my battle cry.
Here's to accepting help! It is a transition skill that, I feel, I currently lack.
I have so much, I refuse to complain. But, if I can improve, I will be the first to raise my hand. I still, so, love learning!
I bestow on you, with all my heart, a blessed week. Stay focused, with the eternal goal in mind.
Love to all,
Your Friend. Your Homie.