I took the month of July off from public ministry. The first two weeks were terrible, an unravelling of myself to a hard-knock discovery of how I was really doing. The last two weeks were wonderful, a restoration of who I am outside of roles and responsibilities.
I feel like I am getting my life back.
I want to spend my life for Jesus.
I cannot give what I do not have.
If my life is in the grip of another’s agenda, how am I to give it to Jesus?
How is it that we think we can give our lives wholly to Jesus when we have already given them away to jobs, churches, ministries and other people? What would it look like to really give our lives to Jesus?
Perhaps no contradiction.
Perhaps all the contradiction in the world.
Everyday this past month I pursued exercise, time with God, and finding a way to serve my husband. These three pillars were protected despite a whirlwind of an internal process that was noisy, nasty and frankly embarrassing. Honest, nonetheless.
It is easy to lose sight of our identity when we allow our roles, jobs, responsibilities or lack of significant roles to define who we are. If all of that disappeared today, would you still know yourself?
Tomorrow is August 1. I feel alive, ready for the upswing of this next season. I can see it coming. Fast. Friend, consider setting aside time to re-discover your priorities. The honest condition of your soul matters to God. I recommend a focused number of days to:
Take care of yourself. You matter.
"They intoxicate themselves with work so they won't see how they really are." Aldous Huxley
Nine weeks since I left my full-time job. I have little to show for it except for the symptoms of a detox; a detox I hope not to repeat. I am left feeling bewildered; how in this racing world do we resist the intoxication of work? Our identity is strapped to production as if our life depended on it. Who strapped it? Who knows how to unstrap it?
Putting the breaks on in life is hard work, a discipline. As long as our foot is no where near the breaks we don't have time to acquaint with the destruction of our competitive speeding lives.
Until ... we do.
Until we are forced to ...
And then ... we either run harder, run away, or crash.
There must be a better way.
I think the better way has something to do with self-control. When that is present, strong, alive in our lives, these things do not so easily happen. Self-control. Prove it is present through taking a break. Prove it.
People seem familiar with gifts that keep on giving. My crockpot is nine years old. It's formed porcelain is still performing; pulled pork production and all. All I do is plug it in. It's a gift that keeps on giving.
People are not so familiar, it seems, with losses that keep on robbing. My little girl would be nine years old today; we celebrated two treasured birthdays with her. Every year I wish I could be with Ruby on this day. If only I could plug a shared birthday back in. It's a loss that keeps on robbing.
Celebrating a child's birthday is a gift. I grieve the loss of this experience at five, six, seven, eight and now nine. I am not excited about this day being on every annual calendar everywhere for the rest of my life. Ruby, come home.
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.