Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rest: The Intern Diaries

First of all, being salaried is a new, weird experience. Also new and weird (and wonderful) is the fact that my director is very conscious of making sure that I'm not overworked.

As a result of my awesome director's caution about me not working overtime without getting compensated (and our fairly small budget), I got yesterday and this morning off. And it was beautiful.

I touched on it a little bit here, but rest is a really difficult concept for me to embrace. If there's work to be done, I would like to be doing it so that I don't have to do it later, or so that someone else can take a break. If I can be productive, I would like to be. If I can be accomplishing something, checking it off a to-do list, moving forward with a project, I would like to do that. So resting is difficult for me.

Most of my work is hard to do from home though, so I was forced to turn to other things to pass the time on my Monday/Tuesday morning mini-vacation, which was a blessing. In that time, I found a chance to rest, to linger where I wanted to, to work out, to just be.

I got a chance to read an entire book (The Maze Runner rocked me). Hammock. Eat s'mores. Hike with friends. Sit with the Lord. Call a friend in Iowa. Do some thinking about life. Brainstorm more for my summer bucket list. Clean my room (it's been a while since I did that). Sleep in. Sleep in a hammock. See my physical therapist. Go for several long bike rides. Hang up my own laundry. Pet the cats. Dance. Make dinner with my family. Enjoy breakfasts and lunches on my porch. Swing on the swing in front of my house. Sit in the creek. Journal.

I had space to exist, to rest, to feed my soul. Let me tell you, that was a blessing of a time. I realized just how essential rest is to our rhythm as humans. I go back to the fact that the Lord even rested after creating the world.

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. Genesis 2:2
I can't tell you why He did that exactly, but one of the wise people in my life has said He rested in part because He was setting an example for a fragile creation (people) who are not infinite and need rest. That's pretty neat that He would set an example like that to protect us as people.

How proud I have been, thinking I know best, thinking that I don't need to rest. How proud of me to think that I know better than the One who created everything. (Thank goodness for grace and forgiveness. Thank you, Jesus.)

It's a learning curve. I am definitely a slow learner when it comes to things like this. But I'm learning nonetheless. If I can encourage you to do anything this week, it would be to take some time to really rest. Not kill time mindlessly or a do an easier task than your usual grind, even an enjoyable task, but really rest. Step out of the routine and embrace time with Daddy. Whatever that looks like for you. I'll try to do it too. It's just good for us.

Ecclesiastes 3 talks about how there's a time for everything. There's a time to work and a time to rest. Resting doesn't qualify you as lazy or unproductive. It qualifies you as smart, as obedient, as treating yourself right.

As my fantastic director would say, "work hard, play hard (rest well)."

Friday, June 19, 2015

Gratitude: The Intern Diaries

I'm pretty sure I have the coolest job ever (technically a paid internship, if you want to be technical). I get to sing, dance, play games, and make crafts. And hang out with Jesus. And little kids. Basically the coolest job ever. Officially, I'm a summer intern at my church in the children's ministry. Effectively, I do everything from organizing cabinets to running games at our week-long music camp, from making photocopies to leading Sunday school and teaching stories, from laughing with kids to teaching them about how much God loves them.

Coolest. Job. Ever.

People ask me all the time how it's going, and I really have nothing but good things to say. I am so grateful that Jesus let me be here for the summer, and that He let me have this ten-week position. I'm also so grateful to so many people for teaching me the skills that make my life easier as the intern-- to the past interns who modeled everything from leading to restoring the classrooms, to my family for teaching me to work hard always, to my friends who have taught me to laugh, sing, and dance.

Moreover, I'm grateful to the church at-large. Today is the last day of our music camp, which is the best example I've seen of the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child." The camp itself runs for a week of 3-hour mornings. Just 15 hours with these kids over five days. This year, we had 200 kids and something like 130 volunteers. Needless to say, that many people use a lot of space. The church so graciously opens almost every room in the building each year to accommodate the screaming, singing, crafting, playing, eating, learning, questioning, and laughing that these 350+ people bring. I am so grateful for that.

I'm so grateful for my fellow church staff for being so welcoming-- many will say the week is a blessing and a joy, and I love that we have that view here. I'm so thankful for the way that so many of the staff have actively helped us with the preparation and the week, from stuffing mailers to directing families to register to helping move, lift, and carry heavy things. To all who have given us hands along this journey: thank you.

It baffles me that I'm almost a third of the way through my time on staff here. Time is absolutely flying, in part because it's such a fast-paced joy to work here. So thank you one and all who have made it such.

On a time-related note, my partner in crime aka fellow intern starts in 11 days! I'm really excited about that too. (Note: the number of times in a day that I say "so fun" or "so excited" has increased at least sevenfold since I started here. I'm not totally sure, but it's certainly an indication of how much joy I get from this. I just adore getting to share Daddy's love with some of my favorite children on the planet. But feel free to call me out on saying those phrases if they get old.)

And with that, it's almost time for me to go sing and dance with my campers one last time. So fun.

Onwards & upwards! xoxoxo