Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Cleaning, Please!

...The change of seasons always makes me restless....

We've been visited by a handful of warm days here in Virginia, and let me tell you, the restlessness is in full swing!

~I'm ready to trade in ~

       Sweaters for sunscreen

    seat warmers for a motorcycle ride

                boots for bare feet
           school work for mission's work

                       hot chocolate for iced tea--sweet, of course!

    trips to the gym for treks through the woods

            a cozy night in for a night out around a campfire...

I can't wait for free time, and baseball games, and vacations, and open windows on a muddy back road with the country music turned up, and staying up late without worrying about having to get up in the morning.

...An old, worn-out chapter for a new, fresh one!

I've found, over the past several years, that I become discontent and discouraged far too easily this time of the year because I'm just dying to move on to the next thing!  Unfortunately, I've also found that it's during these times that I end up wasting hours reminiscing or dreaming rather than acting...which makes me fall behind in my work, which makes me stressed out, which makes me very unpleasant to be around, which discourages me even further, which...oh dear, it's a vicious cycle! One that's not unmanageable...just... difficult to break at times.  I guess this whole time management thing is something the Lord and I still have to work on.  And, yes, I do believe the Lord is very interested in how I spend my time.  After all, it's not really mine.  He's simply letting me borrow a bit of His :) Who am I to waste it scrolling through status updates I don't really want to read or sitting around, worrying about something that's out of my control?  I think He would be much more pleased by me buckling down and getting work done so that I can enjoy the final few weeks of this semester.

Which brings me to another point. Where on earth has this semester gone?!?!  I'm freaking out a bit over here.  My life is almost over!! Ok, that's a bit dramatic (as far as I know), but seriously.  This semester is more than half over. And when this semester is over, I'm half done with college.  And then...well, then real life begins, and I'm quite aware of the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing after this!!  Student teaching is only three full semesters away, and I could go anywhere for that.  So where?!  (Personally, I'm leaning towards somewhere along the coast so I can complete a day at school, tutor a few kiddos--whom I will absolutely adore (most days) and cannot wait to meet--in a after school program, make myself a nice little dinner in a cute little apartment, then go grade a few papers on the beach. Why not dream big, right?!)

Then that leads me back to that whole who-will-my-man-be-and-when-will we-be-us question, which I have to daily hand back to the Lord, it seems.  Some days I really wish he would show up and speak up, already.  That would be so convenient!  You see, I've always been one of those girls who just knew I'd follow my man where ever the Lord leads him.  Naturally, I was also sure that we would be quite established by the time my student teaching rolled around, so I would find a school where ever he was at.  Now that none of that is quite so certain, my options are much less limited!  Which isn't all bad, but it is also overwhelming and a bit frightening...because how do I plan my student teaching when I have no clue what will or will not change over the next year and a half??  And how, in the meantime, do I manage friendships with guys so that my heart is ready for that one when he does come along?  What, exactly, does honoring God look like right now when it comes to Boys?  Who should I pour the most time and energy into?  When will the questions receive answers so that I can quit feeling like a middle schooler who just needs to sit back and realize that this one moment in life is not the end-all?  

And sometimes all of this makes me wish I could pick up the phone and have a chat with Mom.  Not that I don't enjoy/appreciate/gain from conversations with others,'s still not the same.

You see my dilemma here?  These are the things my mind gravitates towards, instead of focusing on the math class that I absolutely cannot wait to be done with.

And yet...I do know one thing that will absolutely never change.  My Rock will not be moved.  Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like the shifting shadows.  I draw so much strength and patience from this promise in James 1:17.  No matter which friendships, job opportunities, classes, and plans come or go, I have the assurance that the One who is waiting to help me discover it all is 100% faithful and true.  His character remains the same forever and always.

So tonight, I must pray a prayer of repentance.  I have developed habits of worry, idols of my own fleeting plans and abilities, and priorities of worldly goals and perfection.  I have been more concerned with my Christian checklist than with spending time getting to know my Father.

And I get to pray a prayer of thanksgiving. To a God Who just is Who He is.  He is my refuge and strength, my joy and my salvation, my protector.  He is the giver of all and the guide of  the hours that lay ahead of me.  He is enough for this fragile heart and easily-distracted mind.  He is God.  I am His.  And He is mine.

...Which means, I don't even have to have answers to have peace.  Peace and rest, I've learned, lay within God Himself, not the things of God.  It's time I trust and rest in His character and love as I allow Him to rid my life of the junk that's built up over this past winter.  It's time to let God do a little spring cleaning in the depths of my heart, tossing out the old, and refreshing who I am with all that He is.

This process could be a doosey! So I'd love some company.  After all, it wouldn't be true spring cleaning if all the siblings weren't involved, too :)