I’m so grateful for multiple perspectives, multiple voices of encouragement.
I recently caught up with a good friend the other day and she encouraged me to have fun during this season. Travel! Do something creative with all of the pictures I have! Something!
She even termed it as a “mini retirement.” She said that not a lot of people get the privilege of having this time, so I should live it up!
I’ve received similar advice from other friends as well.
I do have plans to travel to New Orleans next month, so that’s something exciting to keep before me.
However, I don’t feel like I’ve gotten into that full “mini-retirement” mode yet.
But then again, maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself for this season to look a particular way.
In one of my recent posts, I talked about how I’m choosing to spend it writing.
And healing. Lots of time in the Word, in prayer and in God’s Presence.
But I do have a desire to do both: heal at home AND explore the world. To do more. To get out of my comfort zone.
What makes it a little difficult is that I don’t know how long this journey will be. It could be another 2 months. It could be another 4-5 months.
And isn’t that a metaphor for life in general, though?
We don’t know how much time we have.
So we can’t overly plan for the future and miss out on the present.
Jesus talks about this. He says,
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)
In another verse, the author of the book of James puts it this way:
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16)
Basically, what I discern from these scriptures is to really take things one step at a time. That’s something that I’m learning how to do. That’s been my typical response when someone asks me how this season is going. It’s as honest as I can be. “It has its ups and downs,” I say, “but I’m taking it one step at a time.”
Mind you, taking it “one step at a time” is counter-cultural. It goes against the 5-,10- and 15-year-plan that most corporations (and families, honestly) expect you to have.
This isn’t just a “millennial mindset” to be open to new ideas, industries and opportunities. To not have solid plans. It’s actually a charge from God!
He says that HE knows the plans He has for us. We have to trust Him to reveal them in due season. He takes care of our basic needs like food and clothing. How much more will He take care of everything else?!
Even Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has a famous quote that says,
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
God has been so faithful to provide for me everything I need. Maybe in a later post, I’ll talk about how– ever since graduating from college– I’ve lived in fully- furnished apartments that I did not have to pay for. (The furniture, not the rent, lol).
So, I’m extremely confident of His ability to give me another job (a longer-term career is the real prayer) and another house/apartment. That’s easy stuff.
While some people in my life may be worried about that, I really can’t waste time thinking about those things because they are unbeneficial to my thought life.
This season is about allowing Him to heal and refresh me. To stir my passions back up. To allow me to spend more time with family and catch up with friends I haven’t talked to in a while.
We’ve been working on my boundaries for the past year or so. I’m pretty good with boundaries, too. I know when to say, “Yes,” and when to say, “No.”
By the way, an INCREDIBLE book to read if you need help with boundaries is literally the book “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life.” Check it out. It changed my life. Revealed so much about how putting others first and people pleasing is really unhealthy.
It’s written from a balanced Christian perspective, though. Because I’ve found that sometimes church culture talks about serving, serving, serving without teaching us how to take care of ourselves first.
#TimesUp on that!
So, all of that to say, I’m trying to learn how to enjoy this “mini-retirement” without being too worried about the next step.
And I fully believe, that as my heart, mind and spirit open up, I’ll get into a healthier, happier rhythm. So much so that it will be crystal clear what and where my next step needs to be in terms of my career.
If you want to know how to help me specifically, just send me some words on how I’ve blessed your life in my walk. Whether I know you through church, work, school, family or a mutual friend, it all is valid.
It will bless me more than you know!
I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing with finding the balance in healing and enjoying life.
Because I really believe the two don’t have to be separate!
Until Next Time,
P.S. The only picture I have that really captures the heart of this post is the trip to Disney World that I treated myself to back in June. Clearly, I need to get out more! lol