May 13, 2020

adjust accordingly

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have thoroughly enjoyed Jess Connolly and Katie Walters' Made Up Morning Show. Thankfully, they've figured out how to save them on IGTV so you can go back and watch the shows from last week. Basically, the goal of each show is to give the viewers a strength tip and a joy tip, and to offer some encouragement during this strange time we're all living in.

Jess' strength tip from yesterday was "adjust accordingly", and those two words are exactly what I needed to hear.

One thing that I've been thinking about a lot is our next/new normal. I know this is something we're all thinking about and navigating through, and it's just been so heavy on my heart. There are still soooo many unknowns related to programs and ministry, my trip to the States this summer, what the fall is going to look like, etc.

But I think the biggest fear I have right now, as the world opens back up, is that we're all going to go back to "normal". I'm afraid that the world is going to return to the busy, chaotic pace that none of us can keep up with. I'm afraid that we're going to try to make up for the weeks and months that we've "lost"...even though I feel so strongly that we have not lost this time, nor can we make up for everything we wanted/needed to do during this time.

And more than that, I think deep down I'm afraid that I am going to return to the busy, chaotic pace.

I'm afraid that I'm going to get up and go at the last minute in the mornings, instead of enjoying the peace that comes with a slow morning of coffee drinking, Bible/book reading and music listening.

I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to effectively communicate to others my desire to keep a slower pace. Of course, I'm not here, in Romania or on earth, to sit in my house, but I'm also not here to go go go until I burnout and crash.

I'm also afraid that I'm going to be so excited to spend time with my people that I do one of two things...potentially put myself at risk by exposing myself to too many people too soon...and/or...fill my days and nights with time with friends (in person and online) and neglect the me time that I so desperately need to survive and thrive as an introvert living cross-culturally.

I'm afraid that I won't be able to find balance in our new normal. 

And this is where I circle back around to adjust accordingly. I am going to have to give myself grace, give others grace, and adjust accordingly. It's as simple as that...and yet I know it won't be simple at all.

Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on Unsplash
During yesterday's episode of the show, Jess used the imagery of waves. She talked about seeing these waves of defeat and disappointment (and I would even add fear) that are coming at us, and how we're standing in the tension of the tide. She talked about the importance of not trying to hold the waves back, but rather to pay attention to where each wave is coming from.

She went through a number of questions that we can ask the wave and/or ourselves as the waves come in. Where did the wave come from? Where does the wave need to go? Where will the wave be the most effective? Do I need to send the wave away? Is this wave a lie from the enemy? Is this a wave of grief that I need to make space for? Where can the wave empower my life the most right now?

I realize that this might seem pretty abstract, but hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say...through what Jess was trying to say. And actually, Katie stressed the importance of paying attention to what we're thinking and how we're feeling. We need to give ourselves time and allow ourselves to get quiet in order to let these thoughts/feelings come in. She suggested journaling ways that we've grown in the last 8 weeks (or however many) well as to note what we've overcome. But also, as we're thinking and/or journaling about this, to do so without shame, judgment, discouragement, etc.

While I consider myself to be a fairly emotional person, I'm not great at recognizing my feelings and feeling them. I tend to push them down and avoid them...especially the hard feelings like fear, sadness, grief, etc. But, I think to be able to adjust accordingly in a healthy way, I need to know what I'm thinking and how I'm feeling.

So...hopefully you've found some encouragement in all of these words. I recognize that they aren't super organized or clear, but the main idea is to give yourself and others grace as you adjust accordingly.

A recent sunset from my balcony

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