Sunday, March 27, 2011

Train Tracks

Last week my church started the series, Trees, focusing on the fruit that we as Christians produce in our lives. Going with the plant analogy (we took an "impromptu" communion today of unleavened bread and actual grapes, which I thought was was pretty cool), I really started thinking about my real life garden, which is in its third season. Each season since then, I've learned a bit more about gardening things: fertilization, which crops require what levels of work, which I'll actually use/be able to give away, which crops I'm good at tending (corn takes WAY too much work in case you were have to hand pollinate small gardens and have to get pollen on each silk and there's like, only a 2hr window once a day and...anyway...)...all kinds of stuff. Looking back over my last decade of life, I've learned even more lessons and gotten even more feedback on my spiritual plantiness.

My half pollinated corn on a bed of Chinese cabbage

There are little parasites that pop up and slow down my growth and other things that, like a an emerging bud, have shown me that there is a reason for where I am:

I have one big go-to no means my only one, but it's definitely the most consistant. Essentially it's my trying to think my way to God. As much as I'm consious of it, it crops its way up in new and different ways all the time. Kind of a tangible efforts to meet intangible goals kinda deal.

On a more positive side, I can honestly say that in all the struggles I've had with faith and purpose and career and job, God has blessed me to give me hints as to reasons for situations I see as less than ideal. From coworkers letting me know that they were glad I could support them through difficulties in their lives to people at the gym telling me that they see me as a calm, peace-making person. While it was great to hear those things, I've learned a lot more from these people who were honest and open enough to tell me these things...a trait that I could definitely work on in my own life.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What kind of tired are you?

I once received a list of things you realize as an adult. One of the. was "I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least a little tired."

So true.

I've been...tired lately. After 4 years of working full time while in grad school and dancing salsa multiple nights a week, it was hard for me to understand why I'm tired now. All I do is work and go to the gym! Had I gotten lazy? Weak? I realized tonight at Bible study that lately, I've been drained not physically and not short on sleep. I've been drained emotionally.

Sure, the different kinds of "tired" can be difficult to discern, but it's essential, because you don't know what kind of rest you need if you don't know what kind of tired you are. After traveling last week and playing catch up this week, I'm burnt. I almost skipped Bible study because I needed to rest and my first instinct was to spend time relaxing at home...honestly though, that wasn't what I needed. I've worked jobs where, no matter how much time I took off, there was never any feeling of healing or rest. It's incredibly frustrating and disheartening.

I went to study anyway and after discussing servant leadership (I Peter 5), I was reinvigorated and refocused toward my purpose in life. I've found that that's what's been most draining since graduation. It can be hard to see real purpose in your work sometimes, and the reminder that God has me where I am not only for others, but also for my personal development washes away a lot of the exhaustion and has helped me stop fighting against things I fear and focus on my purpose in my life at this moment.

Ohoh...I also came out of the jiu jitsu closet tonight to some church members. It seems silly, but you never know how people will react to a finding out. Being Black, I always assume people will see me as hyper aggressive. Being female, I assume it will be seen as improper. Being Christian, I'm sure a few people will see it as sinful. I was really happy to see how excited my pastor was about it. His wife and a couple other people were really hyped to find out too. Yays.