I am still folding those jeans...
I am so grateful for the love and appreciation I've received from the last post. It's brought about insight and a community of people who feel or have felt the same. In an age where fast past everything is the norm, I've taken delight in staying rooted, and concentrating on one task at a time. The word backs this up in many verses, but this one is one I've used most
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
This chapter specifically touches on anxiety, but I believe staying content and the actions towards not worrying go hand in hand, and would go as far to say that they're mutually exclusive.
Theres a practicality in remaining content
Actively and consciously staying present.
Our minds are both beautiful and complex, getting distracted at an oddly fast rate. Sometimes, you need to take a step back and mentally tell yourself to stay present, verbally express to yourself "stay where your feet are" (Hannah Brencher is my friend, but she doesn't know it yet, I'll forever quote her). Fold those jeans, answer those calls, study for that exam and really do so, give your undivided attention to your task at hand, and you'll do it correctly. I know. Mothers, teachers, employees and students are reading these words whilst doing five hundred other tasks and mocking me. But. Multi-tasking is not a real thing (unpopular opinion, I'm not sorry), it's something we want to say we do, because twenty-four hours is not enough. In the time you are allotted, try to knock things out to the best of your ability, one thing at a time. It saves time, and you'll find a deeper realization and appreciation for what you are doing.
Talk about it.
As I mentioned in "Contentamiento", the feeling of isolation is a tool for the enemy to separate you and attack you, it's a defense mechanism against feeling vulnerable or weak (we may think). But expressing our sorrows, confusion, hurt, and pain is a reminder of glory and mercy. It's our Sprinkle of Jesus moment when we are reminded we NEED Christ. Yes, we want Him, and love Him, but in these moments we are revealed how much we need Him. This is your time to cling to community and most importantly to your Savior. To pray like you've never prayed, even when you do not feel like He's listening,
Jeremiah 29:12-13; "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Intentionally build community, and ask for help. You'll realize your humanity is a trait actually shared by us all (who knew), and basque at God's mercy when you realize He's given you the strength to endure it.
Know your limits
This section is spoken out of a place of privilege, but to those who can, I highly suggest to focus and dedicate time to 3 main areas at a time/season. Christ is the center of all of these folks.
Ministry, Education, Work.
In ministry I include my family and duties at home, my home church responsibilities, along with other duties.
I am officially in my last year of undergrad (FINALLY), meaning this last year is important for my transition following graduation. This meant declaring this season one which focuses on this area primarily. I've heard it all.
Working full time while doing full time ministry and school- That's not me. I recognize and understand my limits now, with my body, my schedule, my family, amongst other things. This meant cutting my hours at work, and not participating in a couple of ministries I love.
This is not for everyone but, It's helped me be intentional in ministry and in the tasks I have before me. Prior to this season, I was a YES person, I still am in some areas, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it took a large toll on my body, and the efficiency and results of the tasks I took on.
My yes's barely counted because I half-arsed everything (yes arsed). I was running on low fumes and had nothing of my self to give, because I did't make the time to receive or rest.
Now, I want to be careful with this section/step because it can be misinterpreted and hurt people instead of help them. This is SEASONAL. Your church life (in the physical sense) and spiritual life are connected not mended, meaning your relationship with Christ should be your top priority, your accountability partners need be on your recent contact list, your relationship with your pastors should be above average. This is a season when you need community most. Not an excuse to go to church less.
I want to share with you all what I decided to do so that you can have an example of how this can look like:
first: PRAY. hello. Ask for God's plan in this season to come into fruition. He will lead you in important decisions as well as unveil purpose.
second: speak to your leaders about this time in your life, let them know about your attendance and make your intentions clear, they most likely will have encouraging words and insight. Take some advice, and filter opinions. Dedicate yourself to a ministry or a couple. I was asked to manage social media and internet content for the youth, and live media on regular services. This is my happy place, and something I genuinely enjoy doing. I will be seasonally stepping back from two other ministries.
third: MAKE A SCHEDULE and BUDGET: Your time is a gift and should be used and invested wisely. I have a planner, I got different colored pens and wrote in it, included school, work, creating, and free time.
fourth; LET YOUR PEOPLE KNOW. Sometimes people need a head's up, let your loved ones know this time is important, if you regularly hang out with someone cut back time, and intentionally schedule dates. I know this section seems a bit odd, we're all grown, but this shows love and willingness to be in people's lives. In these seasons community is so important and when your schedule becomes packed you'll need a friend.
Enjoy this time
This is a very proactive step. It's something you need to want to do. There's small mundane things you can do.. like indulge in new hobbies and or make goals outside of your three main areas. I've gotten back to film photography, it's allowed me to stay present in conversations when all I want to do is take picture of a coffee mug. It's one shot (unless y'all are ballin, and have film money) and the results are something to look forward to. I'm hoping to jump back into video editing and digital photography as well. It's also a tangible way to see your progress both artistically and in your life journey. This hobby also helps with my ministry in media. Ive also purchased a She Reads Truth physical study guide. These guides are a game changer. It manages your bible study sessions (at least for one subject or book), that you want to tackle monthly. I've been studying Judges, with the SRT community and it is AMAZING. If your budget is not up for that, they have the study session online as well for free. I've also been going to the gym with my sister/friend, this serves as quality time and managing my health. Because this is seasonal, there's a need to see progress. Make goals that are time sensitive. Something that will mark this season.
I've made this almost formulaic, and to a certain degree it is. This season is a time to ORGANIZE yourself, to the best of your ability with God's will at your center, meaning if things don't go exactly as planned that is OK. Having a foundation is important because it's something to bounce back to.
I hope this helps you and allows you to live your life intentionally and to truly enjoy this season.