October 21, 2010

And God Pushed Pause…On My Brain

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 10:24 pm by Tamara

It’s been an emotionally draining few weeks, with some high highs and low lows.  My family coming to visit was a huge high, but followed by a forlorn low when they left again and it hit me all over again how alone I sometimes feel here.  Another low  was when the dog I’ve had since I was a little girl drowned two weeks ago, followed by our horse getting sick and having to be put down.  Immediately after losing my doggie, my family arrived with the new puppy, which has been a high but a lot of work, and a reminder of the one we lost.  And all that was interspersed with a heavy end of the block homework/final load which, while not a high or low, was none the less quite exhausting.  Poor Adam has been working A LOT and we’ve been on opposite schedules—we really only see each other when he gets home after 10pm and we both crash, which adds to my forlorn feeling, as well as my concern that he’s going to just keel over one day with all this non-stop running.  And then there’s the minor detail of being four months pregnant, which I hear adds to that emotional and physical exhaustion thing (but who knows if that’s really true, right?)  All in all, to quote poor Bilbo Baggins “I’m beginning to feel it in my heart.  I feel…thin.  Sort of stretched, like…butter scraped over too much bread.  I need a holiday.  A very long holiday” (Fellowship of the Ring).

In the midst of all this, in one of my major papers I touched on the importance of self-care and self-assessment for counselors.  It’s not just a need for counselors—we all need to know our limits, know when we’re getting drained, and know when to step back and take care of ourselves.  Suddenly as I was writing about it, it seemed God’s marshmallow-covered 2×4 was aimed at my head with a “Hello, Tamara!  Are you listening to what you’re saying?”  I’ve been feeling (but ignoring) little warning bells going off in my head for a while, reminding me of another particular time in life when I did too much and got too overwhelmed, and my spiritual life suffered drastically, to the point that I was so spiritually and emotionally unhealthy I just about walked away from the faith entirely.  Uhg.  It’s a painful time to remember, and a place I’m very scared of going again.  I wondered if I should take a break from classes for a block (eight weeks).  But in spite of my fine words about self-care, taking a break just didn’t seem…wise.  Seemed lazy.  Seemed short-sighted.  Seemed weak.  Etc., etc.  And I didn’t feel like I should NEED a break.  I’ve been far more busy in the past and handled it fine, so why was I being a wus now?

But, still, I didn’t want to be a hypocrite, so I started praying that God would clearly show me what to do, and I checked on the deadline to register; no worries, I had another two weeks to decide.  So I just kept praying and thinking, and about decided that I was being overly dramatic.  A couple days ago I got online to look at what classes I might take, and my jaw about hit the floor.  I’d missed the registration date.  I don’t know how it happened, because I was SURE it was a week later.  I’d checked!  But, none the less, there it was in black and white, and there was no way for me to register.

It appears, then, that I got my “clear answer” about whether I need to take a break.  I’m still rather annoyed with myself, because I feel like it was irresponsibility, not a decision.  But on the other hand, I’m completely baffled, because I NEVER make mistakes like that.  And I’d checked on the date!  So, I’m choosing to think that for whatever reason, God put a pause button on my brain and my plans.  My pride is a little wounded, but I can either beat myself over the head or chose to surrender these next eight weeks to God.  In the end, I think I’m more likely to not take breaks when I should than to take too many.

So, deep breath, I’m about to embark on a few months of being a lazy failure—er, I mean, Sabbath rest.  Unfortunately life won’t be paused in all the other areas, but I’ll still have more time and emotional/mental energy, so now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them.  I probably need to go re-read The Rest of God, which I highly, HIGHLY recommend if you can sympathize with anything I’ve written here.  I used to teach workshops on boundaries and rest to the student leadership girls at the Bible school, and I think I need a refresher course on my own talks!

More than anything, I don’t want to waste this time, regardless of how I got here.  I want to drink deep of whatever refreshment and renewal God has planned.



  1. Mindy Hedvall said,

    I’m so thankful that you got your “clear answer.” :) I think God does things like that to us non quitters to teach us that sometimes we need to…well, quit for a bit. haha I’M SO HAPPY YOU WILL HAVE THIS TIME!! ENJOY IT!!!

  2. Kim said,

    Tamara, if it makes you feel any better that would be something I would do:) I’m awful at remembering important dates etc…and I’m a girl! Ugh! lol. I too have had obstacles to taking more classes and have had to wait patiently for God’s perfect timing to start up again. It is only for season, Lord willing. For you too! Besides…you are in your first trimester still aren’t you? It’s perfectly natural that you would be more tired then usual! Praying you get the rest and refreshment you need!:)


  3. […] in Watermarks in Progress tagged complete randomness at 6:55 pm by Tamara Well, as of today, my break from classes has officially (tragically?) ended.  I decided to take some hard classes so I don’t have to […]

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