So, this week I began praying and seeking others’ prayers, and counsel on what I needed to do this summer. I just took a job that the Lord graciously provided me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not ungrateful for the job, I just have days that border on strong dislike for the job. So, as I prayed the Lord gave me an answer in the form of ‘sickness’ again. Frustrating to be sick for what seems like the hundredth time? Yes. However, I think it is an answer too. Sure, it might just be stress-induced allergy type stuff, but still it is enough to make me realize I can’t keep going at this pace with nothing recharging me.

Even apart from this dislike of the job though, I’m realizing that I am not allowing myself any time to be refreshed spiritually, physically, or relationally. I’m not getting in the extra study time in the Word, rest to catch up, or serving, that I am limited with being able to do during school. Perhaps that sounds petty and self-centered, but ultimately when I am at my worst in these situations I tend to bring the least glory to God and be of the least use to others.

I also strongly dislike, to the point of hatred, using my case of mono and health issues, as what looks like an ‘excuse’, but for whatever reason they have chosen to stay valid and present. Perhaps it is because I started student teaching before I was fully back to normal, but whatever the case I cannot manage to stay healthy if I’m doing too much that stresses me out.

I don’t want this to be a summer in which I am lazy, that is not my intent at all. I was looking forward to holding full-time hours after a fairly easy summer last year, but I need to be able to use my summer wisely. I need to be able to have more time in the Word, more time getting good rest and not rushing from one thing to another, and I need to have time to encourage and be encouraged and challenged by others.

It was with all of these thoughts (and more) going through my head that I turned my attention to this blog post this afternoon and was challenged and encouraged. I had felt that perhaps I had the completely wrong outlook on this. It seemed like whenever I shared with people some of my thoughts and concerns that they were either brushed over or that I had the wrong idea. However, this blog let me see that I don’t desire to be lazy and I won’t be if I manage to still work 3-4 days a week. I just have so much I need and want to get done this summer that I can’t do on the weekends thanks to weddings and other desirable activities. I am a human and with that come certain limitations. I need to re-learn them and do a much better job at living within them.

I particularly liked this quote from the girltalk blog that seems to sum up a lot of what I am thinking and feeling right now.

“approach [the summer] the same way we go after bargains. We need to discern the best opportunities [summer] has to offer. Then we must seize these opportunities and make them our highest priorities. Every [summer] day presents us with countless options for how to spend our time. However, only some are truly great deals. Only a few things are really important.”

So, what is the best opportunity for me this summer? What are the things that I need to pursue wholeheartedly, even more than making more money by working a stressful job at 40 hours a week? They might not necessarily be explainable or understandable to some, but this is my list. It’s been a week’s plus of wrestling, but this is what I got so far…

1. Time to catch up (i.e both in my walk with Christ and physically)

2. Time with the Murray’s, church body, and time to serve..

3. Time to relish and influence my C. kiddos.

4. Time to spend with friends and loved ones.

5. Time to study for, take, and pass the Praxis II.

Ultimately, all of these come down to one simple thing. I need time to invest relationally and in service because that is what makes me tick, what matters most to me this side of eternity, whether that be with my Lord, fellow believers, or friends who have yet to see their need for a Savior. Money will still come by working fewer days a week. Sure, I might not have as much as I originally thought I needed, but I will have gained much, much more. : D