The Need to be Undone

 I haven’t really felt like myself lately. I’ve been on edge, a little worried, and fairly high-strung. I’ve been a working machine with not a lot of social interaction.
It’s been wearing on me. (Yes, I’m an introvert, but quality time is my top love language… I’m a bundle of paradoxes…)
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but I won’t get to bask in that light until the end of the month, It’s discouraging.
And don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for the blessings of this season. But every season has its blend of good and hard.
This weekend, I was told the story of a dear friend’s hard struggle. Some of my family members have suffered some strange and unexpected losses. A new friend had to say goodbye to an important voice in his life. Two of my best friend’s lives have taken unexpected turns in a way neither of them anticipated.
There is a heaviness in joy.
And I’ve been hearing about all of this from a distance in the midst my foggy cycle of work and sleep.
Today, feeling these tensions and worries weighing on my heart, I took some time to decompress at my favorite book shop. I picked up a couple titles with one deep craving at the front of my mind.
I wanted to be undone.
I’ve wanted to read a book that leaves me breathless. I want that novel that when it’s finished, I have to just sit for a long while and ponder what mastery I just took in.
I’ve had this experience before.
The longing for this kind of story has become more intense as my workload has begun to take over my life and I’ve had to put other things aside to accomplish my tasks.
God has been so faithful in the midst of this new stage. He is holding my hand in the middle of lots of changes and new experiences. I am thankful. Please Please do not discount my great gratitude for where I am. I am also tired.
I have lost a spark. A little bit of myself. My soul had been a little drier and my heart a little less passionate and at the end of the day, I think on this and am wearied,
Because here is the thing:
I haven’t written over a month. I haven’t read any fiction in even longer,
And as such, I have not been myself for a few weeks now.
I’ve been neglecting a part of my heart in which was wired to thrive.
I’ve been wanting to be undone. I’ve been looking for a story to suck me in, hold up a mirror to my heart and the world. I’ve been looking to be convicted; I’ve been looking to be ruined. Ruined by characters and words; metaphors that cut me to the quick with their beauty and honesty.
What’s the deeper reality of that longing?
I’ve been looking for God to do the same.
My heart has been longing for time with my Father. Time I’ve neglected in the business of the newness of my life, I’ve felt that longing for a while now and it wasn’t until I began to seek out the longing that I began to realize how much I’ve been missing that extended time in the quiet. Almost more than my time with good story. I’ve been missing being part of a bigger story.
Maybe you don’t get this, but I hope you do.
So often when we’re busy, we neglect interests, relationships, the cleanliness of our homes, the pursuit of our loved ones. Mostly the first thing I tend to cut out when I’m busy is quality time with God,
As a result, I am more worried, less trusting, less open, less loving. I am not myself. I am an empty shell with a misappropriated sense of longing. 
So I’m wrestling with God in this.
And I’m now armed with some books as well.
I hoping God and I can continue to move toward a balance as I move forward in this work-heavy season.
I’m trying to make the time for him to undo me on a daily basis. To fill my longings and prepare my heart for what’s ahead. For it’s in the undoing of my striving and worrying and selfishness that things start to be made whole.

It’s in the undoing of myself, that I begin to put my relationship with God and my relationships with others in their right place.

I pray that you find time for your own undoing, my friend. And in that, may you find what it is to be whole.

Fighting Brain-Toast: The Importance of a Sabbath

So last week I made a lot of brain-toast.

What is brain-toast, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
It happens when you throw a whole lot of new information, and people, and places at an introverted mind and then that introverted mind tries to continue to focus on the freelance work that needs to be done after processing all the information, people, and places all day long. You keep this up for about five days, and then you pretty much have brain-toast.
On Saturday I slept in fairly late for my usual weekend morning. I then pulled myself together to begin to do some work, and ended up falling asleep for another three hours.
My extrovert points were spent. My mind was exhausted. My ability to relate intentionally with others was stretched to the max.
My brain was toast. Ergo, brain-toast.
A lot of this can be chalked up to the learning curve of the new job, but I am noticing that this is probably going to be the pattern for a few weeks until I find a new rhythm. Early mornings, good, challenging work all day, a break for dinner, a few more hours of work, and hopefully and early-ish bedtime. Hopefully mix in some social interaction, just to maintain some balance and hope for the best.
This seems a little daunting and exhausting right now. I am loving what I am getting to do. I look forward to learning more about my job in the days ahead. I also love the work I get to do with my freelance clients.
But I’m learning that there is a need for balance. There is a need for boundaries. And there is a need for rest.

Since college, I have always tried to take a sabbath.  All work can be done Monday through Saturday. Sunday is time to spend in corporate worship and resting with friends or family. Not working. Just being and being so with others.
It is something we’re commanded to do. It is the first thing God did after creating the world. It’s so important for us to take our need for rest seriously.
I’m not saying your should spend the majority of your Saturday sleeping. I did have to (eventually) wake up and get things done.
I am saying that it is vitally important to our relationship with God and our own well-being that we have a day of rest. A day to reflect. A day to relate.
A day to not strive for brain-toast, but instead just enjoy the blessings of our week and of the week ahead. 
There are always things that need to be done. We can always work harder, clean more, and do do do. But it is vital to take time out of that.
Setting aside Sunday to focus solely on worship and community had done me a world of good every week and I pray it will do the same for you.
When was the last time you took the time to intentionally rest?