March 16, 2013


“How are you doing today?” she said breezily as I walked in primed to apologize for my paltry potluck contribution. I began my usual “Good,” then stopped myself. “Frankly,” I said. “I’m a cooked goose.” She laughed ay my honesty and I realized that I was so completely overextended that I had lost the tendency to feel I needed to have it all together, especially when in a setting in which I am still getting my bearings.
I know myself well enough to know better than to over-commit. I know I get overwhelmed more easily than others around me seem to think. I should know better than to let it get to this point. But it crept up on me. One good activity added onto another and, still on the high of knowing how much I love living here, I just felt like I could keep enjoying each new thing.
But the truth of it is that my nature does not change just because my circumstances have. And as much as I love my life here, if I try to do too much, I will impair my ability to love anything.
This has hit home with a vengeance now because of the fact that my worlds have collided, in a sense, bringing an emotional heaviness to the simpler stress of a demanding workload. And I find myself with humbled by the stark reality of the worst parts of my stressed self.
There is another factor in the equation, though, so far as life realities. Sometimes life does not offer a choice when it comes to obligations and responsibilities. And here is where grace kicks in. Here is where all you can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that when you feel you have nothing left to give, God gives it for you. When your heart is cold and your nerves are strung, His heart will step in.
Yesterday I took my class on a field trip. Thankfully, I had a wonderful coworker to organize things with; otherwise I doubt I could have managed. But we did it, and the kids had a truly worthwhile time. They dashed about the museum with a gratifying display of awe at the zoological marvels. And they labored over the scavenger hunt we had prepared to go along with the trip. I was proud of them. And in the midst of my anxious heart, I was still able to enjoy the little one who grabbed my hand and jumped up and down, unable to contain her excitement over the day. I was still able to laugh with the kids as the mini origami cap one of the made landed on my head for a photo op. And I was still able to know that the eternal significance of the day was there whether or not my emotional state had caught up with it.


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