October 3rd will henceforth be known as my own D-Day. Highlights from the day include falling asleep in at Kenyan Immigration Headquarters, crying over a parking situation, purchasing five pastries out of frustration, snapping at Evans for pretty much anything that came out of his mouth, taking a passport photo that could easily be confused with a mugshot … I need not go on any further.
A holiday was in order. Wednesday night I checked into a Nairobi guest house and slept for a good 9 hours. I’ve spent the last four days at the gym, reading in the sun, listening for God, getting my hair cut and laughing endlessly with good friends. I’ve got two more days of this bliss … I have threatened to not go back to work. All holiday all the time.
Clearly, this is not possible. Even if it was possible I’m almost positive within a month or so I’d be ready to get some stuff done. So the rub becomes, especially for a black/white kind of girl like me: how do you live in between holiday and 12+ hour days for weeks on end? The same question can be asked many ways. How do you find a balance between calorie counting and pizza/ice-cream/chocolate parties? How do you manage to watch your wallet without needing to record every receipt? Basically, what does moderation look like in real life?
Over the past few months I’ve been very slowly making my way through the Psalms. I have become especially drawn to a concept in the collection of prayers which I believe echo my quest for moderation.
16.6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places
66.12 We went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place
I love the idea of God putting us in a wide open field so we can run wild yet drawing boundaries that keep us in ‘pleasant places.’ It reminds me of how I used to guide Rebecca through life, just enough freedom to make choices but not enough freedom to hurt herself severely. As a child our care-takers create these spaces for us but as we grow it is our God granted responsibility to draw these boundaries. This is a task that (for me) requires a constant willingness to open my heart and return to square one. I’ve yet to mastered – see Wednesday – and likely never will. I’m fine with that.
Though it can be unbelievably painful it is this quest for the figurative place where freedom meets discipline that I come to know who God is calling me to be and how He intends to get me there.
16.11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy’ in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
So we thank you for this quest. We thank you for the lows, the highs and everything in between. Thanks be to God, who working in us can do more than we could ever imagine.