My Heavenly Instructor maximizes all of His instructional time. We humans frequently think that we are entitled to breaks after a rigorous workout in body, mind, or spirit. Sometimes He obliges, but in my case, not in summer school! It was immersion in my notes for me this week, starting on Sunday.
This past week a close friend suffered a grievous relational loss; I house-sat for my parents; and I went back to work. In addition, my Love is still away and the closer he comes to returning home, the more I miss him. Go figure! By the time I got to the end of my week I was drained emotionally from consoling my grieving friend; I was worn out physically from caring for a large house, yard, and multiple pets; and I was mentally exhausted from the strains of teaching and learning new names. Ironically, at the end of my week, my Love inquired as to why I sounded so peaceful in my e-mails. I had to stop and think about it for a moment. I realized that this week hadn’t really been an intense study of any new concepts. Instead, it had been an opportunity for me to study my notes and put them into practice.
I was able to share with my hurting friend about the many wonderful aspects of a relationship with Jesus and I urged her to cling to Him in her time of grief and loss. I spoke from the heart because I had experienced Christ’s faithfulness in a deep way this summer. As I cared for my parents’ home, I reflected on them and all that they have done for me. It was a reflective review on counting my blessings and valuing the dynamics of the relationships in my family. In teaching, I experienced a fresh confidence that comes from knowing I am loved beyond measure by God and by my Best Guy – another valuable lesson I have duly noted in my summer school. And anytime I began to slip into melancholy from missing my Love, I began to consider creative ways that I could remind him that I am absolutely crazy about him, something that I have learned to do this summer.
I concluded my week with the most beautiful shower any bride could wish for. I couldn’t believe it was my own shower! I was surrounded by lovely ladies and girls spanning all dimensions of my life – some had known me from birth, some just while I was growing up, others were coworkers or brand new friends, and a few I had known since they were born! They showered me with their love, respect, and thoughtful advice, and the gifts they gave me filled me with excitement about my new home and the beginning of my own household. They mentioned ways that I had encouraged them and how they have seen me grow and mature in my faith. It was a refreshing way to conclude this week of study for it confirmed to me that choosing joy is always the right choice to make, even though sometimes it is the hardest one.
I may not have a fresh lesson to share with you in this week’s blog. I try to generalize my experiences enough so that you can hopefully find something beneficial in them to apply to your own life journey, but I know this week’s post has more personal examples than usual. However, let me conclude with this: when you don’t feel like you’re learning anything new, take note of the themes in your life. Are your conversations focused on a particular topic? Are you encouraging more or being encouraged more? What are you reading or watching or listening to? What is happening at work? What thoughts have been dominating your prayers? God doesn’t waste a single moment in His refining process so even the seemingly mundane aspects of our daily lives are an opportunity to either learn something new or apply what we have already learned. In my case, it was application that required a return to my notes.
Keep a journal! It’s worth the effort!