Hit the Ground... Waltzing
I’m so glad to be here, in this space, reconnecting with all the things and people I love in this ministry. I took three years off to complete my Masters in Theology, and I set aside MANY things I loved so I had time to devote to my studies. But I’m finished now, and I’m back!!!!
And while I am excited and thrilled about returning to this role and the privilege of sharing the things God has placed on my heart… oh Sisters, I am so very tired!
If you didn’t know this about me already, I am a doer. I am in-motion, achieving, accomplishing, administrating all of the things, all of the time. For these past three years, I was a full-time seminary student, while working full-time as a high school math teacher, while navigating the needs of my two teenage children, and serving at my church, and trying to find time to keep my marriage strong. I loved every single thing that I was committed to, but it was utterly exhausting.
And then, in the middle of this non-stop schedule, a worldwide pandemic hit. While we all reeled from grief and loss and anxiety and much of the world slowed down, I discovered (as many of us did) my personal schedule only got more demanding. Like every teacher everywhere, my already challenging academic load was suddenly joined with the need to learn new technology, to reach at-risk students in difficult or dangerous home environments, and to care for the emotional health of my own family. Add to that the tumult of the political and economic world, and all of existence was just too much.
Also, and this may not seem like a good idea to you, we also got two new kittens to care for. Because, well, kittens make everything better. I highly recommend holding a snuggly new kitten who falls asleep while purring during a pandemic. (You hear me, sisters? If you made it through 2020 without getting a new pet (or an airfryer,) you are awe-inspiring and you need to send me your sanity tips, immediately.)
2020 left me tired, weary, worried. And 2021 didn’t bring the changes and peace I had hoped for.
I held out some optimism that September would make things better. As teachers, we’d always looked to September for all things to start fresh and new. New school supplies, new clothes, new classes, new schedule. We had always faced each school year with excitement and joy, and we had always loved the feeling that each school year offers. We’d always allowed the promise of renewal to encourage us to come in to the new year strong, excited, ready to go. We always hit the ground running.
Not this year.
We are far too tired.
And yet, in the middle of this exhaustion, we had the amazing privilege of getting installed as Pastors of Church of the Nations, the incredible church we have made our home for the past 23 years. The installation service was powerful and humbling, and it filled our heart with dreams and visions of what the future might hold for us and for this little church. The doer in me started making lists of all the wonderful things we could do as a church, all of the awesome ways that we could connect and serve and grow. My mind filled with ideas, as well, for this website and this women’s ministry. New blog posts, a podcast, more speaking engagements, that book I’ve always wanted to write, an online-Bible study connecting Sisters-for-Real from all over the world virtually. I wanted to face this new season with vim and vigor and energy and zest!
But I didn’t have it in me.
I was disappointed in my inability to get psyched-up for all of this, and began to wonder if these dreams were really right for me to dream. And in my discouragement, in my self-doubt, I heard the still, small, voice of my Savior whisper to me. “Instead of hitting the ground running, this year, hit the ground waltzing.”
The waltz is a beautiful and graceful dance, set to a different timing. While other dances rely on a 4/4 beat and a constant, steady drum line, the waltz is usually slower, and moves to a ¾ time.
God’s words in that moment made me realize that the way I previously approached life, with my never ending energy and my over-the-top enthusiasm, does not have to be the way I approach everything in the future. Big and loud and energized is not the only way to live. There is another rhythm, another dance. A dance where grace is valued over achievement. Where moving to a different beat leads to discovering a beauty and motion that brings ease and allows you to take a deep breath of peace.
If you’re anything like me, you are also weary. And while you may have dreams and visions for your future, and you are eager to welcome in a new season, I encourage you to join me in the waltz. Throw off the demands of today’s culture to run and achieve and perform. Turn to a new song, let your feet glide along the floor, and hit the ground… waltzing. Let’s mosey our way into what comes next, and refuse to bow to the pressure to do everything at the same speed that we did it before.
That means that I won’t get every new blog written exactly when I want to. It means I won’t get my podcast started until 2022. It means that I’ll only add one speaking engagement per month for a while, and I probably won’t start my online Bible study for another year or so. That book might never get written at all. And that’s OK. Because God tells us to rest, and He gives us a chance to dance with Him through life. I hope you can give yourself permission to do that, too, Sister.