simply still

For the first time in my life, my mind, heart, & self is still. In a good way. You see, I'm a planner- obsessively so. I remember sitting on the bus as a 2nd grader to and from school and watching the other moms meet their kids. I'd think, "She's dressed about to go to work- like a business woman. I wonder if I'll look like her some day. Maybe I'll work as a business woman..." and on and on... Seriously- what 2nd grader contemplates and 'plans' like this each and every day? You may not call it planning, maybe a better term is 'thinking about the future.' When I set my mind on going to college to become a nurse (way back as a freshman/sophomore in high school), it guided everything I did. It meant taking the right classes, choosing the right volunteer activities, applying for as many scholarships as possible.  

Part of me thinks knows that I worked too hard or focused too much on the future. But the other part of me knows that this was necessary to be where I am (& where we are) today. Let's get something straight- it wasn't my doing. I can look back & see each and every way that God guided me to each decision that was made. I know he gave me the energy needed to get through each busy day. His provision is clear- his blessings bountiful.  Once in college and in nursing school, I became focused on the type of nursing job I wanted and felt most fit my personality and interests... Mom/Baby/OB. I worked part time as a tech on a mom/babe floor outside of nursing school and then had school + clinicals + per diem job on top of that. Simply put- it was far too much! But looking back, I'm glad I did it- because it worked! I'm working my dream job. There, I said it... my dream job. Though it may not feel like a dream day in and day out- it is what I've been dreaming about for years.
All of this to say, what now? I 'planned' and worked toward my dream occupation, I married the man of my dreams, and we are living the life we quite literally have been dreaming about since we met as 16 year olds. I remember driving through Portland with Andrew as we traveled to and from college during vacation breaks and each time we passed a certain part of town, he'd say, "I want to go to school there, and I want to live in that little area right there... How perfect would that be? ...Maybe someday....". I was doubtful. The job market for nurses is horrendous in Portland and med school will eat away every dollar we've saved. But in the back of our minds, we still dreamed... 

Opportunities came, chances were taken, prayers were cried. All fell into place, just as we'd dreamed. God is so good. We even just happened to choose a wedding date that fell perfectly into place between me taking my nursing boards & starting work- 1 week later (like we had wanted) would have meant no honeymoon.

We are living our dream, I am quite content, and I'm dreaming of very little else. I know starting a family is in our future and as most women, I yearn for that, but for now, I'm simply still. 

Even so, I feel undeserving, even selfish. I often tell my husband that we need to give more, do more, help more. Because we can. Because we've been so blessed. But what does that look like? A year ago, it looked like the typical volunteering and serving in community settings. That's what it had always looked like before. Now, I'm learning that it can look much different. You see, every day at work I'm pouring myself out to care for others. It's draining. I love it, but it isn't easy- and yes it is my job. But maybe caring for others starts with those closest to home. My husband, my parents, my siblings, my family, friends, acquaintances. Or maybe it looks like something completely different. I always thought that with all that I filled my time with during school, I'd have mounds and mounds of time once school was over. Once I was only working a full time job, I'd have SO MUCH TIME to not only do what I enjoyed, but to also serve others. Yeah right... where does all of the time go? It vanishes! I want to be serving more, volunteering more, but time is minimal. This is the conclusion I've come to- though I still struggle with it: It is okay to enjoy life and be simply still. It is okay to be happy and content with life just as it is. Christ says,"I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest" (John 10:10). 

I'm living life in its fullest. And I'm thankful to Him who gives this life. I am not planning or thinking of the future- but am simply still. 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10   

I will continue loving and serving those closest to me and stop fretting about feeling like I don't do enough. I'm not perfect and never will be. I will continue listening go God's guidance and surrendering all to Him. I will simply be still and know that my heart is full of joy and delight.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Prov. 37:4

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Photos from our Oregon Coast summer trip
 Maybe you are hurting today, maybe you're feeling down about yourself or the life you're living. He hears your prayers, your concerns, your desires.  May you delight and draw near to Him today.