My blogs have been few and sporadic because my life has been the same – sporadic. Yet settled at the same time.
I transitioned back and that transition was very, very hard. There was much to learn about the way of life since I had left and was settled here permanently. And much to settle in my heart as well. I had been changed much, and transitioning back to life here had me in a different place. God was gracious and gave me a steady job where I could go to work each day, create and interact with young people. I gave myself a sabbatical from ministry and allowed others to pour into my heart, challenge me and grow. It was a very fruitful and refreshing time. Ministry never completely stops as God brought people into my life that challenged me and that I could love upon, but for the most part… I knew I was called to this time of rest.
Just the pace alone of the states calls for a rest and I was coming out of a time period where change was the norm. We are pressed every day to be involved with things. Gone are the days where the neighborhood kids decided what they were doing for entertainment when they got home from school. Now, we have five options every day of activities organized by adults to place our kids in. As adults we have the same thing. We have the needs of our families, our community, and our work pulling us in so many directions that so many times our eyes focus on that next time in our lives that we will have a break. The next time where we will be able to be home in the evening for four solid hours without any demands upon us. This rarity has become what we set our hearts on now, when it used to be the norm.
As I was hit with this shock when I returned, I was slow to engage and now I see the purpose that God had for me in that. It was a Sabbath rest for me – a sabbatical from ministry. A break from the demands of pouring out. In that time, I also was able to reconstruct my thoughts. How I wanted to approach this lifestyle. How I poured out. And how I was poured into. To establish a balance so that this world did not strip me of growth God had brought me to in my time in Guatemala.
One of the books that greatly impacted the way that I think about structuring my life is Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. There are daily rhythms that I have, weekly rhythms, monthly and yearly rhythms. I need to pull away from the stream of demands and do a soul check to make sure that I am heading in the direction that I sense I am being led and not heading somewhere just from the demands of this world.
I have been challenged lately as God has pulled me back into more and more ministry. I am being stretched to answer this call, but more than that, I am being stretched to put up boundaries and safe-guards against falling prey to the demands of this lifestyle. In order to minister well, I have to be at a place where I know that I can sense God moving in my own life and hear his whispers. And when I am living the hurried life, this is virtually impossible.
How do we settle on what we are to do? I think that this is the cry of so many hearts. Wanting to find the balance, yet wanting to make sure their kids have all of the opportunities. Join me in this challenge to take a step back and evaluate. To settle your soul and know where God is leading you next. This will be my first time in five years that I am here for the frenzied Thanksgiving/Christmas season. Although I am looking forward to the path that God is leading me and what He has for me in this next season of life, I also have a hesitancy to keep my focus and enjoy each day at a time!
Be blessed in your life each day!