The last few weeks have been crazy. When we were planning out the field service calendar, I knew these weeks would push me to my limits.
Two weeks of courses and all that go into that. Training colleagues on how to do, well, everything. A conference to present at, meetings with visiting staff only on ship once a year. Prepping the Checklist team, going with them on the first of 20+ hospitals they will visit this year. Teaching another day course and hosting peace corps volunteers aboard. Visiting my Beninese family at their home with my friends, welcoming them into my home with a tour and dinner on the ship. Papers to write, big and small, keeping on with good grades in my Masters program (the end is in sight…) A road trip to the village where I served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. Leading a community group. Maintaining friendships. It’s no wonder few blogs have been written! (though more blogs to come on many of those things…)
In the chaos, I lost my balance. I moved from healthy becoming mode to a crisis managing survival mode. I knew it was going to happen, and we all go through seasons of chaos… but that’s the thing. It should be seasons. Last field service was an exceptionally long season of chaos and I was determined at the start of this one that that would not be the story I am writing this year.
I won’t get to the finish line this year with knees bleeding and gasping for breath.
So I’m relieved to feel myself regaining balance. Fighting for it, even. The to-do list is ever present, but the story is not what am I surviving, or what am I achieving, but who am I becoming.
I desperately want to be a woman of peace, of grace, of kindness and hope and love and truth. Survival mode brings out very few of those things, so I’m intentionally moving from survival mode to becoming mode. Who do I want to become? And then, what will it take to get there? What is the story I am writing?
I went away yesterday and let the sun soak into my bones as I listened to podcasts, to my friends, to my heart, to Jesus. I took a nap, I laughed with friends, I left the work and the email and the school and the to-do list at home. The story I am writing includes taking time to breathe, to feel, to rest, to renew and refresh this heart of mine that needs care once in awhile.
I went for a run this morning. It was awful, and I’m terribly out of shape, but the fact that I got out of bed and went counts as a win. I know I am a nicer person to be around when exercise is a regular part of my existence, but haven’t had the capacity the last several weeks. The story I am writing includes discipline, intentionality, and persistence.
I’m keeping time aside to reconnect with friends and feed the part of me that loves deep heart connection with others. I’m regaining the love I have for my job, for this thing I’m called to do and these people I’m called to serve. This story I’m writing, it is filled with good things, and I’m desperate to see them and appreciate them and be grateful for them; for what they are and what they represent, and not miss them in the chaos that has been.
I’ve got so much to write about, but this is where it starts. Begin with the end in mind. Who am I becoming? Thank you, dear friends, for joining me in the journey.