I can’t believe December 2017 is already here. This year went by faster than I could have realized. Much has happened in my world.
It was my first year in my role as a full-time writer. Tremendous career successes and opportunities took place.
Beautiful moments arrived in my personal life. Experiencing new love and a new relationship and the adventure that comes in opening your life up to someone.
Seeing a lot of America via work and personal travel. Atlanta. Detroit. Phoenix. Raleigh. Charleston. Richmond. Washington D.C. Crescent City. St. Augustine. Dallas/Ft. Worth. St. Petersburg. Denver. Ft. Collins. Dallas/Ft. Worth. Atlanta. Cleveland. Kent. Digging into writing assignments. Family visits. Weddings. Celebrating a close friend’s birthday. Seeing sister friends. Writing conferences with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Conferences for my job.
Dealing with health challenges that I hoped were resolved but now are being revisited, entering a new journey to find sustainable healing.
Looking for more of myself in my spiritual life, seeing where I’ve loved the Lord but have missed special times with Him this year in His Word and in His presence through prayer, almost was on the verge of losing Him as my first love.
Surviving what could have a been a catastrophic natural disaster if Hurricane Irma would have kept her category 5 status as she hurled towards the Florida panhandle. That affected me, the stress of it all stuck to me. My heart and thoughts continue to be with those who experienced her full wrath and that of Hurricane Maria and continue to recover from the damage.
Figuring out my future and places I want to plant my feet by way of community and my spiritual growth. Wrestling with the tension of time sown in places and knowing when it’s time to move to new spaces that resonate more deeply with my heart and who God’s calling me to be.
Learning how deeply important time to myself as a socially extroverted introvert who gets her energy alone really is. Much of this year I’ve been in moments where I’ve had to give more of myself and be present more than I had adequate time to recharge. And it affected me. And I didn’t always show up as my best self because my energy reserves were depleted.
Much has happened in my world this year.
And God continues to be faithful.
He calls me to Himself, seeing my deep need for rest. 11 out of the last 12 months, I’ve either traveled someplace in the country or been engaged in a conference for my job here in Orlando.
God continues to tell me, “Mel, I want to give you rest.“
Have you ever considered what it means to enter the rest of God? To truly, deeply, fully let the One who made you give you what you need, when you need it, exactly the way you need it, to restore your soul and bring peace to your body?
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. – Matthew 11:28-30, The Message
Rest is what God and I are focusing on now and will continue to focus on as the new year approaches.
I’m tired. So tired I haven’t written solely for myself since September. I haven’t written in this space here on my blog that I love and enjoy showing up in. I’ve been in places this year where I’ve been exhausted mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. And that exhaustion happened while I was doing good things, good work, digging in and being fruitful and seeking to thrive.
But I’m learning that like money and time, I, as a human being, am not an unlimited resource.
I’m learning I must choose how I engage in the world and how I show up in the places I’m called to. And what it will mean when I say “yes” and what will be required of me, by way of energy, intention, and presence. Whether that’s coffee with a friend, scheduling a medical appointment, getting ready for my next writing project or choosing to take a moment for self-care. And to use wisdom, time and perspective to help me as I make those decisions.
And the Lord continues to tell me, “Mel, I want to give you rest.” I’m letting Him do that. And choosing to enter into His rest.
I don’t know what your year has felt like or what the upcoming year of 2018 will bring you. But I want to encourage you to rest. To find your center not in the doing and in the busy, but in being and moving externally into the world around you from a foundation of rest. In the moments where life is calm and in the moments where it is chaotic, that foundation of rest in God will ground you.
Maybe it’s too hard for us as humans to admit we have limitations. But we do. They exist, they always have and we can’t shake them off.
I want to live with my limitations in mind so that I can live this life with an intention that is authentic, wise and deliberate.
And my best living comes from resting.
So, that’s what I’m gon’ do.