I worked my first three 12-hour shifts this week, and now I have five days off! I'm definitely adjusting to a new schedule. Amongst our early mornings and early bedtimes, meals around here are a bit skewed. I'm still working on a list of meals to make ahead of time for busy weeks and I welcome any suggestions! Also, any general suggestions about working nights?
I really enjoyed having a few days off throughout the week between works day, although I have a tendency to fill up my days off. I vacuumed the apartment, cleaned the bathroom, made homemade granola, made our favorite soup (which yields the best leftovers), spent time with my devotionals, knit, made a trip to the library and grocery store, and baked our favorite gluten-free brownies. Maybe I squeezed too many things into just one day?
As with any other transition, there will be ups and downs, and times where I'll need to have grace on myself. I'll need to rely on and trust Jesus through it all. Although I'm certainly not considering my job an affliction, but I think I would be kidding myself if at some point in the next few months we didn't feel like we were in a trial of faith. However, I think these words are very encouraging, regardless of what season of life you're in:
See then, although it is true that faith brings peace, yet it does not always bring it instantaneously . There may be certain reasons calling for the trial of faith, rather than the reward of faith. Genuine faith may be in the soul like a hidden seed, but as yet it may not have budded and blossomed into joy and peace. C.H. Spurgeon
This comes up over and over again in conversations I have with close friends. We can point back to specific things in our pasts (or in the present) that are painful, but because of them, those areas of ours hearts can bud and blossom through genuine faith into more joy and peace.
I love this related Spurgeon quote, too:
Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights.
But I want more from myself these next few months. I want this season of life to be intentional and purposeful. I don't want to put everything around me on hold while I adjust to a new schedule. But rather, I intend to acknowledge that parts of it will be difficult, and parts of it will be good, and I will not be alone for even one second. I heard this verse at our women's gathering at church the other night, and the simplicity of it struck me. And the weight of His command to us from Psalm 37:3
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness .
Trust in the Lord—always working on this. Do good—an invitation, but more importantly, a command. Dwell in [Austin, Texas]—be settled here. And? Befriend faithfulness. I want to be so familiar with and welcoming to faithfulness.
And that is what I can do, whether I'm working a night shift, or I have a day off, whether I'm vacuuming, or meeting a new friend for coffee, or enjoying a day to myself.
P.S—On an entirely unrelated note, the birthday cake I made for myself froze beautifully! We just finished it off this week. If you're an almond fan, and/or want a yummy gluten-free treat, you should try this not-too-sweet cake.
Starting sometime in the fall, I made a point to be a bit more creative and find new to us trails to hike on and explore. Since then, we have found several new favorites for when we are in the mood for a hike, regardless of the season.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
2021: A year in review
Every January, I assemble a blog post of sorts that catalogs our year. Largely organized in list-form, I touch on the big and little things, events and thoughts and experiences that shaped our life over the last year. I do find this incredibly helpful as a sort of reflection, a glance back on the Lord's faithfulness, to show me, time and time again, that He is a good God. And with that mindset, I feel less encumbered as we continue on into the new year, more ready to face a full year of new, fresh days, with the heart attitude that regardless of what the days will hold, mundane or exciting, difficult or good, I can walk into the future with hope and trust in Him. Plus, I do enjoy looking back on a lot of the little details of our life, the ones that make me smile or think, Oh, yes! We loved that! What a little joy in our life.