Stop and Breathe

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After a long day I sat on my bed, and I asked myself what I was going to do.  Was I going to complete everything on my to-do list, go to sleep, complain, or better yet just give up?  The latter felt freeing and easy.  I wanted to give up…multiple times actually.  Up to this point, I had friends that told me it is okay to cry and that I can let it out.  However, as much as I wanted to express my stress, tiredness, and weakness in tears I could not…at least not until that night on my bed.  I got on the phone with a friend and my tears came.  My heart released all that it could.  My own cry made me sad.  It only grew louder and louder.  My head was pounding and my nose was clogged.  How did you keep it in this long, Lisa?  You are not okay.

I do not know about you but my schedule is most of the time filled with things I need to do because of what I am involved in.  I have back to back classes and meetings to go to.  It’s been like this since the beginning of the school year.  A part of me absolutely enjoys it though.  I enjoy what I do because I am passionate about it.  I enjoy spending one-on-one time with people I care about because I am passionate about cultivating and maintaining my relationships.  I enjoy sitting down with a team and planning the next club event because I am passionate about planning and the importance of our purpose on campus.  I enjoy being in a place that I can share my ideas and being challenged by other’s perspectives because I am passionate about building connections and understanding others.  I enjoy sitting on my bed planning hall events for my residents because I am passionate about creating community.  I (sometimes) enjoy reading about what I am learning in my classes because I am passionate about learning.

As much as I enjoy doing those things I listed above I constantly need to remind myself of the following:

  • You are only one person and human–you cannot do everything.
  • You can say no, you know?
  • You have a limit, Lisa.
  • You need to take care of yourself, too.

I know it is important and needed as a student and leader to not neglect themselves of self-care but I lost sight of taking care of my own personal needs.   As I was constantly giving to others what was being poured into me?  I did not allow time or space to let God pour into me or to do the things I love to do to that energizes me.

“I’ve got to spend time getting quiet so I can be prepared to hear new things from the Lord.  Isn’t it a lovely thought that God might be waiting for there to be silence in your life in order to be able to share some of His best secrets with you?”

— Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited

Now that I can recognize that I need to take care of myself, I want to make it a goal to insert time into my day to be quiet so that I can listen to the Lord.  I want to be able to enjoy a meal without having to be on my laptop responding to emails or doing homework because I want to eat slowly and mindfully.  I want to be able to give myself time to journal thoughtfully or read something satisfying.  I want to be able to enjoy a Korean drama after a long day or be in a hot, bubbly bath!

I cannot be a good student or leader if I am running empty in my cup.  Finally being able to experience this has taught me a lot.  From my reflections, I know that even though I lost sight of self-care I have complete trust that my God has been and is taking care of me.

So as I write this, I am lounging in my dorm with a blanket wrapped around me.  I am basking in the beauty of the silence in the room.  I also inserted time into my schedule this upcoming week to do things that I will help fill my cup in the midst of my busy schedule.  I am thankful for a free weekend to breathe and lay back as the sun shines into my room.  Lisa, one step at a time.  You are doing great!

lisa (3)

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