All of my team members have bitmojis – those cute little cartoon caricatures that communicate all sorts of attitudes and emotions. We use them regularly in informal communication. Flavoring our correspondence with bitmojis often lowers the temp on otherwise challenging topics.
One bitmoji is my cartoon self declaring I am “2 blessed to be stressed.” I don’t love this one. It actually kind of annoys me.
Take the past few days for example. I’m preparing to facilitate a day-long seminar for Christian women in leadership of the topic of “Rest.” The experience is designed to help women consider the ways God calls us to rest in His promises, His goodness, His faithfulness. We don’t have to keep striving. He says so.
Best Rest Practices?
While I’m preparing, of course, I’m making every effort to practice what I preach. I’ve carefully planned my schedule to be sure I’m integrating the best rest practices I have uncovered in my research. I did not, however, plan for the kitchen faucet to spring a leak, flooding the kitchen and requiring the plumber to be here ALL day. Nor did I plan for the top drawer of the dishwasher to break, preventing it from running – right before my extended family rolls in for Easter supper. That same night, I began setting up our motorhome to move back into it. My husband and I live in our motorhome when the house is full of student-leaders-in-residence, which it will be next month. I hooked up the electricity and the sewage and water hoses. I began airing it out… when I saw water spewing out of the cupboard under the kitchen sink, flooding the the entire floor, carpet and all. A repeat of the kitchen flooding in the house!
In the middle of this, my two sweet intern girls had made their first solotrip to the mechanic with the Ford Expedition we affectionately call Eddie. He’s an Eddie Bauer edition. We bought him used with a lot of miles, but he’s been good to us. Eddie’s perfect for trips like the one we’re planning. He can hold all our supplies for the back-to-back events we’re traveling to, and he makes us feel safe. The mechanic reported Eddie is broken and can’t be repaired for this trip. Now I’m scrambling for a back up plan.
As I write this, emails are coming in. Colleagues needing replies so they can do their jobs. My text messages are ringing in. The same colleagues letting me know their emails are important. More texts. My friend’s husband letting me know they’ve called in hospice for his wife. Her kids texting their anxious thoughts about watching their mom slip out of this world.
More texts. My husband needs help managing his medications and upcoming medical appointments. Voicemail reminders to call his surgeon and his cardiologist. His medical issues are complex. My son checking on our plans for tomorrow – I promised my kids I’d spend the morning with my daughter-in-law and my new grandson. (Which I’m looking forward to, of course!) And my watch vibrates with a notice that if I just get up and move right now, I can still meet my exercise goals. It’s 10:30 pm. I don’t want to move. I want to curl up and cry.
Life. We make plans and life happens. My plan is to incorporate restful activities into my daily routine. To live in gratitude. To remember I am blessed. Then real life happens.
I pause to look at my notes: “Cast all your cares on Him. He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) He cares. Maybe that’s enough. The God of all creation cares about my little mess. He cares about the women I’m preparing….hoping… to encourage. He’s God. And He cares. He cares about more than my productivity and my performance. He cares about me.
He wants me to quit fighting and sit still with him. Because he cares. He invites me to come to Him when I’m weary. To call to Him in the middle of the storm – two flooding kitchens in 2 days sort of feels like a storm. He cares that I have more to do than hours in the day and I feel overwhelmed. He loves me. Not for what I accomplish. He loves me extravagantly – for me. And He cares about my cares. Maybe I am “2 blessed to be stressed after all.”
Dr. Teresa Moon, founding President and CEO of the Institute for Cultural Communicators, is an internationally-recognized seminar speaker, education consultant, author, and leadership coach. Each year, she travels globally equipping students, teachers, and parents to become “cultural communicators,” transforming ordinary students into extraordinary communicators and authentic leaders.