Plaid Pajamas

There comes a time when I feel the need to stay in my pajamas all day. It’s an absolute must in order to make myself stay home.

Then I fill up another kettle to heat water for one more pot of coffee. I can’t leave if I know I have fresh coffee that needs to be taken care of…

Today was this kind of day.

I knew that if I got dressed I would be out buying eggs or paying bills or making plans to meet up with someone.

There’s a time for that, too. But not today. Today is my sabbath.

So here I sit.

Slippers. Plaid pajamas.

Rest.

Guilt-free. Burden-free.

Read. Write. Think.

Pray. Dance. Sing.

Taking care of me. Pausing to ask myself, what do I need right now, right here, in this moment?

To abide in my Father and listen to His words. To feel His support and His encouragement. To let His truth seep into my thoughts.

“Kimmy. My daughter. I am SO pleased with you. I am SO proud of you. You’re doing a GREAT job! I see you and I CELEBRATE you. How you love with my love and love to be loved by Me… Keep going Kimmy, I’ve got you!”

Yes. Staying home in my pajamas was a good decision indeed.

 

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Beating Burnout

“One thing’s for sure: if you decide to be courageous and sane, if you decide not to overspend or overcommit or overschedule, the unhealthy people in your life will freak out, because you’re making a healthy choice they’re not currently free to make. Don’t for one second let that stop you.”

I love having a full life. Does that make me unhealthy?
  
I love having a purpose for every day, packing it minute by minute to the limit…

Early morning runs in bright sunshine followed by coffee and soaking in the Word. Journaling and praying the words that washed through my thirsty spirit.

Planning curriculums and dreaming how my efforts will be received– the joy that will stem forth and the lives that will be influenced.

Riding buses to the outskirts of the city I still have yet to discover all of, following addresses to homes of people displaced from their real homes. Listening to hurts and needs, doubling the time when conversing via translators.

Strategizing next steps and available resources. Attempting to aid and redeem peoples’ broken lives.

Being used. 

Running errands on the way home. Picking through the vegetable stands. The colors. The people.  

The life. 

Getting dinner started. Creative in the kitchen. Playing music, rewinding from the day’s impact. Melodies warming my heart.

Catching up with roommates, washing the dishes. Responding to emails, glancing through blogs, scripting out my own. Meeting up with my pastor’s wife for coffee.

Pouring out and being poured into. 

Picking up a book before jumping into bed. Sending last minute texts to the world that’s starting their day as I’m ending mine. Striving to stay connected. Browsing Pinterest, scrolling Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds. Posting something for my ‘followers’.

Alarm on. Lights off.

There’s nothing wrong with my day. I really like it.

I have balance.

Work and Play. Hobbies and Exercise. Relationships and God.

But I confess, I am tired. 

How can this be? Why isn’t the balance balancing?

Because it never stops. Because it can’t be put on pause. If put on pause, the next day the list will be ten times longer. Plus, I’m dealing with people whose fragile lives keep on keeping on.

Or maybe it’s because the balance I’ve created for rest and stability has become something else. 

Control.
Perfection.
Expectation.

“In our lowest, most fragmented moments, we feel out of control- controlled, in fact, by expectations and to-do lists and commitments.”

Instead of letting my plans serve me, I’ve been serving my plans. 

But how do I juggle my time? My commitments? How do I give my very best to what the Lord has entrusted to me? I want to invest. I want to be seen as responsible. I want to reap!

Having an otter personality, I know I can’t only work, so I fill time with other things I value and need for my sanity… that’s good, right?  Then why isn’t it working? How come I’m exhausted in the midst of doing what I love and what brings me joy?

Fear and Shame.

“When things are too crazy, the only voices I hear are the voices of fear and shame. I stop being able to hear the voice of God, the voice of rest, the voice of hope and healing and restoration, the voice that gives new life to dry old bones. And instead I hear that good old song I’ve heard all my life: You’re not good enough. You’re not good enough.

But that voice is a lie. And it’s a terrible guide. When I listen to it, I burn the candle at both ends and try to light the middle while I’m at it. The voice of God invites us to full, whole living– to rest, to abundance, to enough. To say no.” 

No to the coffee date. No to the visit I know I cannot emotionally handle another of this week. No to the morning run. No to the skype date I know would be wonderful but not living to its intended purpose.

This season, I’m not going to try for perfect.

I’m not going to meet every expectation I have for myself.

I’m not going to force a schedule to appear noteworthy and well accomplished.

Instead, this season I will be courageous to honor the story– “the silent night, the angels, the miracle child, the simple birth” with every choice I make.

Shauna Niequist (the author whose writing is in quotations throughout this blog entry) reminded me that I am so much more than what I do.

Who I am and how I live is found when I take myself out of my detailed days, looking to the big, yet simple story of everything from God and everything for God.

Freedom through Christ. Freed to live for His glory.

Bringing heaven to earth. Gaining glimpses into His kingdom purpose.

“Either I can be here, fully here, my imperfect, messy, tired but wholly present self, or I can miss it.”

Well, I definitely don’t want to miss it!

Lord lead my life. Lead my days according to your plans, for your glory, in whatever way you desire to use me. Help me to surrender the details, the programs, and the souls. To live in the freedom instead of the burdens. Serving with joy and the mercy and grace I’m victim to because of the cross.

Traditional Saturday Mornings

I would say I’m an experienced student. Spent the majority of my life full-time in a classroom, at a desk, books open, glasses on, pencil scribbling. Studying was my job. And it still is.

So, whenever Friday rolls around, I am pooped. Utterly exhausted from days packed full of language learning. Yet this particular exhaustion is good — like the kind that you feel after an intense workout. You’re exhausted because it was hard, but because it was hard you know it was good. I welcome this particular exhaustion. I know it’s not for no reason.

My brain has seriously put in its hours. Daily working its wheels in order to comprehend the secrets of learning a language foreign to any language pattern I’ve ever studied. I’m still amazed at the focus I’m able to muster up on Fridays… Amazed at the strength God never ceases to fill me with.

At the same time, my brain demands a break.
It needs rest. Sabbath. A mental respite.
A day to heal the tears made from stretching it to its capacity.
It needs Saturday.

Every Saturday I sleep-in. And then I make pancakes.

Coffee is poured.

And then my roommates join me in the kitchen. We cram around our little table by the furnace, hold hands, say grace, and spread goodness on our pancakes. Goodness that comes in an ooeygooey form called Nutella.

 

And then we put on the tunes, grab sponges and brooms, and perform some deep cleaning on our apartment. Making our beautiful wooden turkish floors glow.

And then we rendezvous in our living room. Feet happily resting on the purple ottoman. Scents of lemon and lavender lingering. A whole day ahead of us freely devoted to fun and much needed rest.

Maybe I’ll walk along the Bosphorous.
Maybe I’ll go back to the kitchen and bake.
Maybe I’ll open my craft box or my new book.

Whatever happens today, I’m thankful for traditions, for slow Saturday mornings, and for the balance it helps restore to my mind, body, and soul.