Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chaos

I need a sabbatical. Something I have definitely learned about myself in the recent years is my great need for rest. I live and have always lived a highly stressful life, I thrive on stress and pressure. I catch myself so many times though just wanting to pull the car over, turn the radio off and just enjoy the amazing sunset being painted in front of me, or sit on the deck and just listen, or take a hike for the sole purpose of enjoying the beautiful scenery around me. Yet, it is rare that I follow those little pushes inside me to do those things. Most of the time I just take a deep breath and keep on pushing through.
In these past few years I have noticed that I have become more of a people pleaser than I ever thought I would. Back in high school (and most of my H.S. friends would probably vouch for me on this) I was outspoken, stood firm, and didn't let people push me around. I grew up being a very strong-willed kid. Now circumstances and some chiseling from God has broken me down quite a bit, however, I find myself struggling to find a balance between people pleasing and trying to get through my to-do list so as not to let anyone down, and simply standing up for my own time, taking hold of the reins and placing value on myself and my time God gives me.
Anyone else struggle with this or am I alone?
My day to day schedule consists of taking care of kids, trying my best to help raise them the same way their parents are and keep life consistent for them, trying to get photography sessions in so I can pay my rent and then trying to stay caught up (usually costing me my sleep at night) so that people get their pictures on time (which I can never seem to succeed at despite the sleepless nights). Then I spend my other waking moments (usually laying in bed) thinking about what a horrible friend I am because I have not kept up with everyone and I don't have time to call friends who don't live here and everyone must just hate me......
You ever start going down that spiral?
Now I'm not writing this because I have finally found the key or I've finally figured out how to add hours to our days (wouldn't that be nice though?)
I'm just simply writing it...to put it out there...I've turned into a people pleaser...and on the teetering edge of unhealthy people pleaser.
I have so much I want to do with my life, so many dreams and passions. I mean I just got back from Haiti and have so many passions that were once again un-covered and yet I haven't even taken the time to just sit and pray about it...listen to God...hear where He wants to take me. It's like the trip never happened....just get off a plane and jump back into the chaos of real life.
I work and work and work and still barely make bills every month...yet I don't want my life to revolve around that. I want to re-focus. I want to pour into the passions God is allowing me to use...I want to pour into the amazing youth group I am so honored to work with, I want to pour my heart into missions and bring much needed awareness to our society....there is so much I want to do with my life....why am I letting people pleasing and chaotic schedules stop me?? I'm reading a book called Sabbath.....so good and I'm only two chapters in...and it has been a great reminder of one: how much I NEED sabbath time, time just to breathe and re-center my life around Christ and two: how much I know I long for it and thrive on that.
I have several ways I like to take "sabbath" time:
through photography...seeing the beauty of creation through a lens and capturing just a glimpse of it
through journaling....it's incredible to me to go back and read prayers and entries and see how those were answered
through reading...there is so much to be learned
Through conversation with fellow Christians...people who challenge me, speak wisdom and share their stories of how God has worked in their lives
through conversation with God...it's incredible what you can hear when you just stop and listen

So I'd love to hear....how do you make life work? How do you spend your "sabbath" time? How do you balance the chaos of life and not lose track of what's important?