I don’t know how He does it, but He always does. It shouldn’t surprise me anymore but it does and in some ways I hope I’m always in awe of how He loves us and cares for us. God is pretty amazing. This is a longer post, but I’m grateful and blessed and want to remember this.
This has been a very, very busy week for me with several looong days and one night with little sleep because my mind was preoccupied with a few things. In the middle of it all I had a birthday (last year of my 20s!). To back up a little bit, I’ve mentioned before that between changes that happened with my teaching position last year and several other things, I tried to make myself as valuable as possible. I may have been a little too good at that and I do sometimes have an issue saying the word “no”. I’ve got a lot of little extra things on my plate this year to try to keep up with outside of the actual teaching aspect at school. I believe in each of them and what they are out to accomplish…it’s just a lot to stay on top of, remember dates and paperwork, meetings here and there, etc. Then I added another big commitment yesterday – something that I’ve done previously and FULLY believe in. In this current situation I’ll kind of be heading it up. I don’t mind it at all, it’s just going to require recalibrating, sorting things out time wise with the other amazing teachers I’ll be working with and going from there.
Suffice to say, I’ve had a lot on my mind and calendar, particularly in October and now we’re full speed ahead into holiday season. Believe me when I say it – I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR. It’s my favorite. It brings a few breaks and the Lord knows I need it. All the things that have been swirling in my mind this past month were almost getting to the point of overwhelming me. By the time last night was here (Friday), I was exhausted but not about to miss out on celebrating a great accomplishment by my wonderful friend Candice in losing 127 pounds. She’s fantastic and even though I knew I may not be the most fun, I wanted to be there to support her and encourage her. It was a blessing to see her so radiant and moving forward. I went home that night and slept like a baby.
Earlier in the week one of the incredible eTeam leaders I serve with in Quest at Providence, Julie, sent me an email invite to a gathering of Elevation/Charlotte ladies called “True Beauties”. It’s essentially ladies of all ages meeting to pray over each other, remind each other of who we are in Christ, and to hear from a speaker once a month on a Saturday. I said I’d go. When was the start time? 7am. My alarm went off at about 6:15. I trudged into the bathroom, looked in the mirror and almost started crying I was so tired and just wanted to sleep… Ever been that tired? Little things make you almost cry – how dare my hairbrush fall on the floor! I said I’d be there though and I eventually got there. Thank God I did. I needed it. It was just humbling and a blessing to be with about 40 other ladies and in groups of 3 with people we didn’t know sharing a request we had and getting to pray a specific prayer over each other. I was able to unload the sense of weariness I was having and need for rest and refocus. I was able to pray the same and more over 2 other ladies. To top it all off, we heard from Charie King (wife of Clayton King who has preached at Elevation before) speak on Jesus and what he says about friendships. He didn’t expect people to be something they weren’t-He expected them as they were. We can’t place that expectation on others for what we want out of a relationship/friendship nor can we always expect that out of ourselves. It was powerful and I needed it.
Clearly today was a day the Lord knew I needed a break. I was supposed to tutor a 5th grader and when I got to the library I was meeting her at, things ended up falling through. It was the last day of early voting so I just got in line to vote. It was a lot of waiting. About two and a half hours of waiting before I was finally able to vote. Thinking back on being in that line, I’ve got a new perspective on it. It’s like God was just giving me the perfect opportunity to be STILL (quite literally for minutes at a time in the line), quiet, and having nothing else to focus on but how absolutely beautiful it was outside and what it’s like to slow it down a bit.
While I was on my way to the library (when I thought I was about to tutor), I got a text from one of my friends, the amazing Jessi Welch, who is the eKidz director at Blakeney saying that they were low on some volunteers and asking if I’d be able to come by. My mind had already kind of been made up that I was going to go straight home from tutoring to a quiet night of rest and that was it. I sent back an honest text though – I was tired, had a long week and wouldn’t be much use with the older ones running around a lot but give me a baby to hold and I’d be happy. I’d also said yes for another more selfish reason but God had different intentions.
I barely made it on time due to how long it took to finally get to vote but I did. I went into the baby room and we waited. Three babies made it in… We had 5 volunteers. One went in to the worship experience. I thought I might go into one of the overflow/quiet rooms to watch the worship experience if no other kids showed up. Again, God had different plans. Turns out there was a little girl that needed some extra love and attention because she liked to get up and run around the room in Quest. But I was trying to stay away from the noise, God! I need some peace… I almost said I’d prefer to stay in with the babies in case any others came in… I got up though and walked in to Quest to see how I could help. I couldn’t have made a better choice. I wasn’t leading a group. I got to sit with this sweet little girl, love on her, calm her with my hand on her back, smile, take her hugs and be a her personal jungle gym when she needed to move a little. I walked out of there tonight with my heart calm, no thoughts about things I needed to do, lists running in my head, and my heart was centered back on the things that are important. God knew I needed that one on one with a pre-k child though I was trying to fight it initially. It’s amazing the healing power in just spending time with kids with the purpose of being Christ to them and showing them His love. Getting to focus that love on one particular child was a blessing.
Adding to the slow down of the day and things that bring joy to my heart was the fact that I had my FAVORITE cd from my “25 Unforgettable Songs” collection in. I’ve said before I may have been born in the wrong era and how much I love the Bing Crosby/Sinatra years. That stuff just makes me smile and calms me too.
I was reminded of the verse that is quoted above as I drove home from Blakeney and it’s just so powerful and meaningful to me in this moment (I also have lovely memories of singing it around the campfire at Nomacca that bring a smile to my face too). I was WORN OUT after a busy week and needed rest. I didn’t quite get the physical rest I thought was what I needed but I got to rest in Him today. That’s something to constantly work on remembering.
Thanks for today, Lord.
Photo credits: Amazon and indulgy.com