the in between.
It has been too long my friends. It's been exactly two months since I last wrote. To be quite honest the past four months have been a time of many different feelings, a whirlwind of experiences, emotions and mountain top highs and valley lows. Writing in this space started as a procrastination, then a struggle to produce something that was "perfect" then it became a choice to present something when I knew the time was right and my heart was fully back to wanting to write.
January - What a month. God showed me immense favour by providing a job, which I started on the 10th. I work for the city, doing what I did last summer, working roads and drainage, wearing my orange coveralls and often picking up litter from the side of the road. God has been teaching me humility through this, and showing me that life will not always been glamour (actually in fact most of the time it's not going to be glamorous).
February - I continued to work and developed poor habits in terms of exercise and sleep. Before I left for Korea, I worked 12 days in a row, and the last 7 were 5pm-5am night shifts. I have so much respect for my coworkers who worked 30, some 40, days in a row. We plowed snow from the city streets as the Lower Mainland was hit hard by a harsh and cold winter. I left for Korea on the verge of being burnt out.
March - I returned from Korea and the very first day back to work back I cried. I cried a lot. I was tired, EXTREMELY jet lagged, not eating properly, was way behind in homework and was truly not enjoying work. Again, I was picking up garbage off the side of the road. I went from one day flying on the nicest jet airliner I had EVER been on, dining in fine Korean restaurants to driving around town loading garbage bags into the back of the truck.
I will never complain about having my job, because I am grateful to the deepest depths of my heart for it, but this transition was hard. Maybe even harder than coming back from Ottawa in December and January. I am trying to pinpoint what it was that made it so difficult, and am still thinking about it.
March continued and sunlight broke through in April. A few months back my parents told my sister and I that we would be travelling to Mexico come April 8th. The five weeks in between Korea and Mexico seemed like a lifetime. I firmly believe that God knew how much I desired rest. I just wanted to sleep. I just wanted to lie down and read. I just wanted to spend time with Him.
So, April - The week leading up to our departure was absolutely nuts. I'm talking five hours of sleep each night. On the last Friday before we flew out I fell asleep at work. My working partner said, "Katie, come on. How come you're so tired all of the time?". I sat there, perplexed, trying to answer. I obviously knew the answer (no sleep, late nights, etc.) but was too prideful to admit that I just couldn't keep my priorities in check.
Through all of this, God asked me constantly, "Katie, what are your priorities?"
In trying to focus on a theme which permeated the last few months, this appeared as the most obvious. The term covers a host of different topics, all of which I want to address over the next few weeks on the blog. (I'll post those below) In the meantime, my Father kept nudging me: where were my priorities at? What were they going to be?
So, I want to ask you. What are your priorities? Write them out. I'll be honest, I'm still working on this. I've identified them, which is the first step, but now I have to create a plan of action and actually DO them. In my mind that's the hardest part. We know there is something better out there that we want to do, yet we struggle with the action of implementing it and then making a habit out of it. The sermon series from Flatirons Church (watch here!) that I've been watching has talking about this a lot. We might KNOW our priorities, and maybe we even have an idea of how to get going with them, but then the enemy comes in and steals our inspiration, our heart. I know this all too well. It's hard, but this is where consistency and commitment come in, all through strength in our Father.
More to come my friends, but just a few things of what the Father has been showing to me. It's been wild - He has revealed so much to me, especially during my time in Mexico. I returned with a new heart (because He constantly renews us!). One that is excited for what this summer holds, and ready to be committed to the things I have decided on. I have so much to share and I hope that you will follow along for the next little while!
Topics to look out for in the next few weeks are:
- Commitment (issues) & overcommitment
- Sleep (rest) - I will gladly and ALWAYS revisit this topic
- Eating habits
- Exercise - and how it can be your friend
Finally, reading in my devotional these past few days, there has been a section which I have really loved and consequently named this post after - The In Between. Melissa Helser (of Cageless Birds & Bethel Music) reflects on how often she feels stuck in these "in-between" moments of life, where the season prior felt so defined and the season that is approaching feels as though it will have more definitive points. The past four months have most certainly felt like that - nothing super high and nothing super low, but just bobbing along at a regular pace, all the while running myself thin. She writes:
"I feel like a constant camera, always asking the Holy Spirit to help me savour this life I have...I ask that He would keep my alert and alive, that my eyes could be kissed with eternity...Oh that every season would be my favourite. That I would look back on life and feel overwhelmed by the goodness of God...Life is moving, always. May we get into the flow of the beauty of it - that we would trade in our heaviness for a weightless grace to love deep" (p. 69, Cultivate vol. 1).
The line, "oh that every season would be my favourite" struck me in such a profound way. Obviously this last season has not been my favourite - how could it be? I think that's not the way it's meant to be though. The beauty of life, as Melissa puts it, is not about recognizing that one season is good and the others are "off" or "bad", but instead finding the grace to continue onwards because there is beauty in the way it rolls and ebbs and flows.
I leave you with some photos from our time in Mexico. What a beautiful place God created, with warm salty air and a beautiful tropical breeze. I was SO close to going surfing (but I didn't), got to know my sister a little bit better (which might sound weird, but it's an exciting thing!), and spent quality time laughing and bonding as a family.
thanks for reading. :)