Obviously this space of mine on the internet has been neglected lately. Life is so full. I am finding myself tired, in a good way. My moments of rest are sweet, my time is being spent well, and I don’t regret being too busy to sit down and record it.
Something I have struggled with over the years, but especially the last 2 years, is a balance between social time and solitude. I lean much further towards the introverted side of the scale, and it’s been hard for me to figure out how to be in community without being burnt out. Y’all, this year I have discovered it’s simple. Invite people to do things you’re already planning on doing. We have found that we’re able to deeply engage in community by hitting the gym with friends, having girls over to watch The Bachelor, and just having friends over for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Community is simply doing life together… that means having people over even if the floors aren’t swept or the dishes are dirty. It’s been hard to let people see a messy house, but much harder to let them see a messy heart. How are you doing with letting people see the real life version of you? I have found two things: 1) It gets easier with practice, and 2) honesty and transparency encourage honesty and transparency. I am not saying live like a slob on purpose. I am saying that community can be messy… so worry less about the mess and be real.
At church, we’re doing a study called “Life Together.” We’re studying Biblical Community, and it’s been so convicting. Do you realize that our example of sacrificial love is JESUS? The one who gave His LIFE for us!? It certainly wasn’t convenient for Jesus to take the form of human, and die as a sacrifice for all of our sins. Yet, He is our example… and how many times do I back out of something because it isn’t “convenient?” That was so convicting to me. I tend to think that if I have time, I’ll love and serve my community. It isn’t always convenient, and it isn’t always what I want to do… but we’re called to love sacrificially.
A few months ago we were studying in Acts, and I was struck by the verse “there was not a needy person among them.” I want our community to be a place where we meet each other’s needs, and part of that has been meeting people’s social needs. We have a friend in our Growth Group that works from home, and lives alone. Guess what? He needs friends! He has social needs! I have a tendency to be selfish with my time at home, and was extremely convicted about closing my home when I know people are in need. He is a pretty permanent presence in our house on Sundays, and surprise- I don’t hate it. Additional surprise- I don’t have to entertain him. He just wants to be around us, and it’s turned out to be a huge blessing for all of us.
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Since January? Well, we paid our taxes. Our return has gone into “intentional savings” which is basically money we’re setting aside for a car or to put towards student loans. Anyway, we got taxes out of the way as soon as we were able. It was SO freeing!
We’ve traveled a lot… and I am enjoying being one of 3 drivers with a license which means I get to hang out in the backseat and watch movies on said roadtrips.
We’re in a season of routines. Every night of the week is packed full of exercise, cooking, chores, and social time. Every day my checklist resets (vitamins, morning devotions, walk, weights, drink over 64 oz of water, remember to brush your teeth, put away your clothes), I go to the same job and do the same things. I come home and try not to beat myself up for not getting everything done. I remind myself this is a season… a strange season that will not last forever. My brother in law will not always be here, Josh will not always have papers to write, and I will not always be the primary breadwinner. I pray every day that the Lord would show me His grace in the midst of the routine. That I would be shown a new truth in my devotional time, that I would not dread my commute, that I would be content in Him instead of discontent in my circumstances.
I made a lot of cooking goals this year, and we’re off to a splendid start! I have wanted to add more variety in our diet… we eat a lot of chicken. Honestly, I love chicken… but we need diversity. We’ve been eating more fish, I made a pot roast, and I made pulled pork! Next on the list is lasagna, salmon, and a deep dish pizza. I’ve also been baking a lot of bread! I love my bread machine, but don’t LOVE the block of bread shape. I started letting the bread machine do the hard work and then baking it in the oven. I love it.
Josh only has about two more months of school, so we’re almost at the point of him looking for a job. We’re also dreaming about taking a vacation this fall to celebrate the end of seminary and to have some fun. To say it’s been a hard year is an understatement… and it’s fun to dream.
I’m so thankful that we’re able to engage in ministry together. Thanks for leading our growth group and taking “life together” so seriously. Thanks for challenging me to love sacrificially, but also take care of myself.
I’m excited about all the new meals we’re trying! I really appreciate the fact that you do the grocery shopping for me every week. It is so nice to make a list of what I need, and for it to “magically” appear in my kitchen when I get home. You’re the best. I know that this season of Seminary has been really stretching for you, but you have not failed to find ways to love and serve me. So thanks for bringing me coffee every morning while I do my devotions, for packing my lunch, and for doing the grocery shopping. I don’t thank you every day, but I’m thankful for you every day.