Having a Great Deal to Do

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I am a perfectionist who has recently relapsed. Constantly striving for others’ approval. Continuously spending exhausting amounts of time and energy trying to reach the next rung on the ladder of success.  And persistently racing towards the next goal, only to reach it and find a lack of satisfaction.

And you know what? It’s not worth it!

I’m the first to admit that I am a “yes” person… But it’s my own, undue pressure that has forced me into my current state of frustration and exhaustion. I read the other day that the definition of busy is: having a great deal to do.

Doesn’t that sound about right?

Sherri says, “sometimes life just gets in the way.” And that frustrates me.

Can’t it all seem a bit meaningless at times?

The answer is yes. But if you’re anything like me, who believes that God is a faithful, loving, detail-oriented God… then we are safe to believe He wouldn’t let us go without meaning. (Psalms 86:15, Deuteronomy 7:9, & 2 Timothy 1:9-10) So then I am forced to ask the question… what IS the meaning? And am I missing it?

In a conversation with a dear friend tonight, I realized that it was all inward. The past year and a half has been focused completely on me. How is SARAH doing? How is SARAH growing? achieving? measuring up?

I bet that’s why it all seems meaningless.

What if we each chose to focus outward instead? How are my sisters growing? How can I help my employees achieve? How can I support my friends in their careers/passions/hobbies? How can I encourage John in his work/relationships/goals? What if I chose to make it all about them?

Not so meaningless anymore.

Isn’t that what God called us to do? To love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matt 22:49)?

And if loving myself for the past year and a half has looked like giving every ounce of time and energy to reach my goals and dreams… then shouldn’t I spend my days giving my time and energy to helping those around me reach their goals and dreams? Wouldn’t that be better?

So that’s my challenge to you (and to me) this week. Go have a great deal to do like the overachiever, perfectionist, you are. But this week… make it about them. Stop in the middle of your great deal to do, and pay attention to the people around you. Talk with them and ask them how you can serve them. After all, even Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Matt 20:28).

Chase after their great deal to do with them. I’ll be here next week to hear how it went.

-Sarah

Where This Summer Takes Me.

Where can this summer take me?

To find that I love crafts.

To remind me of my love for writing.

To keep me committed to my pen pals.

To push me closer to the Almighty.

To bring me closer to family.

To expand my musical taste.

To force me to lack Young Life, just for a little while.

To try new recipes.

To let me travel past beautiful places like this.

To meet super legit people like this.

And of course, to take me back to Washington D.C.

Here I am. Nannying again. Doing one thing I love and enjoying the blessings this summer has brought me. Where has your summer taken you?

– Sarah (:

Here’s My May-athon.

Wow. It’s May 31. Dang I am getting old. I can’t believe it’s been an entire month sense I last blogged. I can’t believe this month of my life has not been exposed, not written about, not thought through. I need clarity people! Anyways, I guess I will start with the basics.

I moved out. scary thought that I am no longer a freshman in college. sad thought that I don’t live with my awesome roomies, and I live back in good ole Marietta.

Next was Matt and Lauren’s wedding. My cousin was married earlier this May and it was a joy to see him marry the love of his life who has been around for quite a while. We all adore Lauren, and honestly SHE is his better half! (:

After that I came back with a few days to recover before the guests started arriving for my baptism! I GOT BAPTIZED Y’ALL!

FINALLY!!

If you want to watch my testimony video and me getting baptized check it out here!

God’s love washed over me and took my sin away. It didn’t save me. Jesus Christ saved me. But it symbolizes what He did for me!

Then there were a couple days that gave me a chance to put my life in order. Unpack my dorm stuff, clean my room, and try to get into a summer routine. But soon came this monday, MEMORIAL DAY. We have several veterans in this family and it was awesome to get to celebrate this holiday with them. We took my grandpa, a WWII vet all the way from Knoxville down to the Atlanta Braves stadium where he had an awesome time at the game! This picture is us giving kicks and fist pumps so that I could send it into Today’s Letters (one of my favorite blogs. Check them out!)

And this week I have been taking things slow. Sleeping until noon. Doing lots of crafts including making ‘Merica shorts, flower pens, picture frame art, t-shirt blankets, writing letters to old friends, and working on some books (writing and Reading of course.)

 Hope your May-athon was as good as mine! See you in June!

– Sarah (:

Overloaded.

This is my kitchen. Overloaded. Ironically, it is a perfect metaphor of my life right now. All of these glasses were useful at one time. All of them were doing really well. But then life and time got away from them and they still haven’t been cleaned, or “Re-charged” if you will. And so they are now useless and sympathetically helpless. I cannot afford the time to wash them and clean them up in order to focus and be able to effectively use the mugs to succeed with all the different aspects of my life. But the big bowl at the bottom willingly holds them. Just waiting patiently for me to re-focus. The big bowl, similar to how my father holds me, will take the mess and keep it compacted while i’m off running around trying to “Regain control.” Funny enough, if I took the time to clean the dishes… (if i took the time to pray and sleep more) I would gain such an advantage as the bowl. But right now it’s doing everything it can to keep me from going insane.

But luckily for me, there is a greater joy. My father will do the dishes, which this bowl cannot accomplish. Daddy not only holds the mess but He is willing to take it all away for me if I let him. Giving Him the stress and the problems and the anger and the tears. He is able to remove all the pain and just hold me instead. To hold the one He values and loves.

My dear friend Haleigh encouraged me with this, and now I give it to you, “…I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” – Isaiah 46:4

Have a marvelous Thursday. Chin up.

Feel free to comment below or contact me letting me know if you are as overwhelmed as I am. I hope this post gives you hope in some way. If you are a freshman and you feel like this…. this post is to let you know that you aren’t alone.

– Sarah (:

College Confessions

So here is the thing…. yesterday I blogged about college being hard. I blamed everyone and everything else. Time for a College Kid Confession….. I am at fault.

While the work load is piling up and the teachers really are more strict. It’s true that John is leaving for Spain in 11 days. And I wasn’t lying when I said my bank account was empty, $4 to be exact, but I somehow I have to make a tuition payment of a little over $1,500 on September 30th.

But what I didn’t tell you was that I haven’t been moving. I myself have been standing still asking God, more like telling Him, to do all the work. Someone once told me the analogy that a girl said she was screaming to God for Him to call, but because she was screaming so loudly she couldn’t hear the phone ring…. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my life.

I have been rushing through my devotionals and giving judging glances to the people who haven’t picked up a bible in weeks, years even. How dare me! How can I call myself Christ-like when I too have neglected the word of God ever sense I moved into my dorm? I kept telling myself that I would do it that evening, but I knew I would have to do homework instead. I would set an alarm with the intent of getting up to have my quiet time, but yet I would hit snooze until it was time to run to class…. I have talked so many times about God’s desire to talk to us, and His desire to have a relationship with us. [older post] and now I am taking my own advice. So here I am….. At 1:00a.m. on a Thursday morning with a giant to-do list, but yet I am sitting on my bench down by the CBT. [older post about devo spot] Simply in awe of God.

It’s funny that while I picked this bench I never took the time to notice and appreciate the giant fountain directly in-front of it. The refreshing song it sings as the water splashed against the pond at the bottom. Or taking a moment to smell the water as it rushed. (being a swimmer in high school allows me to appreciate this smell more than most. I love H2O. NO lie.) Sitting on the rim of the pond so that my feet dangled in and the mist brushed my face…. How come I am just now noticing these blessings?

So as I sit by this fountain the song that refuses to leave my head is “Beautiful, Scandalous Night”… which tonight kind of is one. Close your eyes and listen to this song. So beautiful, so true, so necessary at this moment.

In Christ – Sarah (:

When the Shoe Doesn’t Fit.

Earlier this evening it was brought to my attention that I was not accepted to the Univ. of Georgia. When I heard the news I simply sat in silence, called my Mom and 4 best friends and then wept. I wept more simply because I was so sure God wanted me at UGA and it felt so right when I walked around the campus back in February of last year.

But after several minutes of crying to myself in the shower it dawned on me that if I didn’t trust in God and in His placement for my college career and the next four years of my life than I was the biggest hypocrite on Earth. Also if I didn’t glorify Him now then I needn’t ever glorify Him again because I can’t just sit and praise my God in the great and good times but the bad and sad and disappointing times too. I immediately broke into praise, loud enough that my sister came and asked if I could be a little quieter so she could sleep, poor Nanny. haha. But Here I am God. I am yours. And UGA you don’t know what you’re missing. University of Tennessee here I come!

– Sarah (:

Me, My Faith, and I

Me, My Faith, and I is a poem I wrote almost3 years ago and is still very real to me. While I have grown as a daughter of Christ, recently I have had to discover the reality of life getting harder. As I do my best to adapt to my life style and the new world around me (recently moved to ATL), I have learned that sometimes choosing my Faith is easier said than done. My heart and emotions sway as I still attempt to hold strong to the truths of Christ’s love for me! But i know He is a patient and loving God that will Bless my determination.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” – Matthew 5:6

Me, My Faith, and I

To call faith a roller coaster ride,
Is to undermine its impact.
The strength of a teenager’s faith,
Is like a very doubt-able fact.

Those with faith try to understand,
We want the shack on the rock.
But our actions turn out looking,
Like a boat tied to a dock.

I know I am not alone in this,
This feeling of deep confusion.
I just know I am over it,
I want my heart to make a decision.

I want to represent my Father,
Make the Lord proud.
I want to stand and proclaim Him,
In front of an enormous crowd.

I am simply sixteen,
And ignorant I am sure.
But I feel forgotten and lost,
I’m on the wrong side of the door.

At church I praise and sing,
To the best of my ability.
And still my heart does question,
My tempered soul’s morality.

So today I proclaim, my friends,
I know my imperfections.
I recognize my faults,
And my mislead direction.

Today I ask you to acknowledge,
That I really do try!
But we are taking it day by day,
Me, my faith, and I.

This is me.

So Here I am… blogging. Why? I have no idea. I guess the biggest reason is because “Everyone” seems to be doing it. Maybe, because I just like the idea of having my thoughts put online. Or maybe it’s because I love watching movies where you hear the characters talk out loud to themselves… but really you get to hear them. I imagine that is kind of what blogging is like, just instead of hearing me speak you get to read my words.

To be honest I’m not even sure who I am talking to right now. It’s dumb to say I’m talk to the computer, and if I actually admit to talking to myself I am scared of the consequences. Therefore, I guess I will just continue talking to you… Whoever you may be.

Well in case you wanted to know, which I hope you do, my name is Sarah. I am 17 and originally from Virginia, but when I was 8 my parents took us (us being my sisters and I) to Knoxville, TN and as of 1 month ago I currently live in Atlanta, GA. It’s big here, cold, and kind of lonely. But not in a sad lonely, but more in a the new girl in town kind of way… hopefully all of that will change soon.

I am a strong believer in Christ and I would love to say that he and I have this amazing relationship that all of you should be jealous of, but in reality we don’t. We have a normal one. An every day, redeeming love, unconditional passion, overwhelming sympathy and desire, that Christ has with everyone. But man is it amazing. His love for me is overwhelming to the point that I don’t know what to do. Dying for Him, was an understatement, but in return I received an eternal life with my love. He holds my heart and cares for it, and I could never thank Him enough. I just hope that one day, when I have to leave this place to join Him, He will look at me and smile and say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” But until then I am here, with you, to celebrate life together.

I am experiencing an entire new world in Atlanta and I’m ready to begin my journey here with Him. Wish me luck! I’ll post again soon!

– Sarah (: