The Hustle

Confession. I’m starting to resent American culture, like, a lot.

No, I’m not claiming any other part of the world gets it all right or that all of my problems would be fixed elsewhere. But I am starting to learn (the process began a year ago) that the hustling and rushing and toiling just isn’t sustainable.

Here’s how it has been lately:

I don’t have a full time job. (Haven’t in quite awhile). To compensate, I say yes to EVERYTHING. I’m volunteering all over the place, never turning down babysitting gigs even if I am completely run down, offering to help anywhere I see a need…And yet I still feel need to laugh at myself for being the one with “no life” when I’m surrounded by my friends who have successful careers. This isn’t healthy, but it is a pattern I’ve seen since the week I left my last full-time job.

One of my favorite authors Shauna Niequist has phrase that’s kind of become her motto. “More love, less hustle.” The first time I heard it, I thought, “Duh. Love is good, stress is bad…What else ya got, lady?” But more and more I see myself kneeling at the altar of business and filled time slots. It isn’t for the sake of those I’m “helping” or even for the sake of broader career goals. Its all just a feeble attempt to scrape together little bits of self-worth scattered around in various activities that never amount to much.

So clearly, America is not the problem. But I do think we glorify some unattainable, unfulfilling idea of how life should shake out. I think this idea of “having it all” leaves us with nothing of actual value. I think saying no to more and giving more of myself to few would be a win at this point. And it isn’t all about taking better care of myself, its about taking better care of the people God has actually called me to.

I hope one day I can take pride in a life that is not like the typical middle class American one tends to look. One that doesn’t feel frantic or out of control. Why I feel the need to apologize for the rare rest I get now, heaven only knows.

I’m one of those, what you’d call, works in progress.

 

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Aside

Waiting again.

For the second time, I have officially turned in my application to the school program I have been working toward getting into for  almost two years.

I was devastated when I got the rejection notice in my inbox last May. I was ready to call it quits, though I wasn’t sure what exactly was next.

God had other plans. After a months of fighting with myself and my ego and with every voice screaming to try again, I gave in and registered for Summer classes. I was humbled, frustrated, embarrassed, and confused. I couldn’t understand how God would allow failure in something He so clearly led me to.

But alas, sometimes our definition of failure is God’s demonstration of sovereignty. I entered Summer of 2013 doubtful and upset, and came out of it renewed and entirely grateful. I am ashamed at myself for doubting God’s plan for my life and all He could accomplish in me if I surrendered my time to Him. I LOVE what He has taught me through the past months. I’ve learned more about myself and what I want out of life than I ever have before. I’ve had time to process all the changes my 20’s have brought. I’ve even gotten to pursue hobbies, which were never an option when I was juggling full-time employment with home life. It has been a life-giving, fulfilling, fruitful season, and I could not be more grateful for God’s gentle guidance after a great disappointment.

So, the waiting game is now on again. Sometime in May I should hear some news that will change my future one way or another. I did all in my power to get into this program, so whether they accept me or not, it feels great to rest in the fact that there is absolutely nothing more I could have done. I trust the Lord has a future for me, no matter what the outcome is.

Thankfully, the weeks leading up to the much-anticipated letter are absolutely slammed. I just got back from Georgia, we’re spending a weekend away with our small group, Josh is leaving soon for a week-long conference in Chicago, we’re starting a new volunteer opportunity with foster children, WORK, church, and…oh yeah…we leave for Europe in a little over a month. No time to waste waiting around for answers.

 

 

I had so much fun in Georgia last weekend celebrating my best friend in the world Julianne and her growing baby Judah Timothy. It was a sweet time seeing friends and family. I hadn’t been home in 8 months, so the reunions were utterly blissful.  I can NOT wait to meet that sweet baby Baily.

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Happy Spring everyone! If you’re lucky enough to live near your family, go give em’ a big hug and be grateful! I sure do miss mine already.