Kenya Journal – Lessons Learned #1

August 11, 2011·

I’ve been home 5 days.

It’s been hard readjusting to normal routines – a lot harder than I thought it would be. I’m tired all the time, I don’t feel well (like a bad cold or something), and pretty much all I can think about is Kenya.

Saturday evening was nice – it felt so comforting to be back with my betrothed (as I like to call him) – he took me to Chipotle and to get ice cream and just let me talk. I went through all my pictures and videos and told story after story after story. I kept apologizing for the word vomit I was doing, but he kept saying he wanted to hear more. Whether or not he was telling the truth, it really helped to just be able to talk nonstop about what I experienced, how I felt, what I was thinking, what I learned, and what my goals are. John is such a good listener – plus he’s been through similar experiences so he offered insight where needed, but mostly just offered an ear. He’s the most important person in my life now, so it meant so much to me to be able to share all of it with him.

Church on Sunday was good, but equally difficult. I don’t know why, but I just cried through the whole first half of worship. Every song made me cry more. Now, I did this in secret because frankly, I was embarrassed – I know I shouldn’t be, but I was. I kept picturing the kids and the people of Kiria singing and waving their arms and clapping in praise – and that just made me want to sing louder and praise harder. Their love of worship and their love of the Lord is so pure – and that just served as fuel.

Then, of course, Pastor Benji brought the word.

The message, titled “Soul Custody: Soul Sabbath”, focused on the fact that we are go go go all the time and we never take a moment to rest. Keeping the sabbath, a day of rest, holy is the longest of the commandments. Yet, so often, we forget and we don’t take time for ourselves.

This was something that became very apparent to me while in Kenya. It was hard for me to shut off “work” – and I don’t mean my job in America – but I mean that when we were working, it was difficult for me to leave work mode to play or relax. I was so focused. I think is really just an example, or a microcosm of a larger issue in my life where I just don’t know how to turn it off. I’m always go, go, go. Always have been. I’m always busy. And I don’t know how to say no and shut it off.

I’m not saying don’t work hard and slack off – what I’m saying is I don’t want to look back at my life in 5, 10, or 40 years and say – what did I do in my 20’s? Oh I worked. A lot. All the time. And that I was tired. A lot.

I want to say I spent time with those that matter – I had fun and enjoyed planning my wedding – and contributing and giving back.

Pastor Benji hit the nail on the head with this message – and it was so timely because this is exactly what John and I had talked about the day before – making sure we take time to shut work off and just be together. It’s so important.

The Kenyans know the meaning of work hard, play hard, rest hard. It’s no wonder they’re so joyful.

Pastor Benji shared this quote: “Sabbath is the need to rest and be available to God by being unavailable to the world.”

(I’m not sure who the quote is by (could even be pastor Benji)).

I’ve got a lot on my mind, and frankly, that’s okay. I’m okay with that. But Lord knows, as I prepare to go into the really busy season of my job, I’m gonna take time to rest and spend time with my future husband, my nephew, my family, and those that matter to me in my life.

All for now and much love.