Hey there, how are all y’all! Hope everyone is doing well. College is interesting on a LOT of levels, lol. This old dog is going to learn quite a few new tricks, I think. The weather here has been all over the place this week. It was raining awhile ago (10 pm) and I think it was turning to snow. Getting the car to class may be a challenge in the morning. So for now, grab a cuppa something and find a comfy spot, and I’ll expand on the title.
In my Lit class, we were to pick a word for the semester. I wanted something all spiritual, like grace, or mercy or something. But the word that really fits for me is: Permission. That sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it? I mean, I’m an adult with some years of experience. It’s not like I’m an 18-year-old fresh from momma’s apron strings. So, whose permission do I need to do these things? Mine. I needed to give myself some permissions.
I gave myself permission to chase this dream as hard as I can chase it – so I’m attempting 18 hours. I also have given myself permission to not make straight A’s. That’s new. On top of that, I have given myself permission to withdraw from any class that’s going badly at midterms. I gave myself permission to need, ask for and receive any sort of help I need. That led me to the Student Academic Assistance office today for a chat with Katie about how to manage my time. This place is way harder than anyplace I’ve studied before. I’m gonna have to really buckle down, get off Facebook and read and outline and study. Every day, not just the night before a test. I also had to give myself permission to not use online textbooks, but buy hard copies. I hate reading online. I like reading paper books. Trying to learn biology online was a disaster from the get-go. I got the hang of the technology, but hate reading a computer. So, I bought another book.
There are literally hundreds of opportunities to get involved in effective ministry activities at this college, not to mention retreats and other activities. Several things every day and night. I gave myself permission not to get involved this semester, to not let anyone guilt me into becoming over-committed and letting my studies suffer.
I gave myself permission not to personally check on the house every single day. Once a week will be okay. If Donny needs something he can text me. Just because I’m in town doesn’t mean I have to hover over the house. I need that time to read!
With this big of a load, I had to give myself permission to not attend Mass every single day. I did let myself sign up for an hour of Adoration each week. Wednesdays will be long days, but I can run home for dinner. On those days, I have class at 10,12 and 2; then Mass is at 4:45, Class from 6-8:30, then Adoration from 9-10.
What about you? Are you over-committed, time-crunched, and feeling guilty because you can’t do it all? It’s okay, you can stop beating yourself up. I promise. Go take a look at I Corinthians 13. Are you treating yourself that way? Are you patient and kind to yourself? Are you jealous that someone else seems to do more than you do? Is your drive to do it all a form of pride and arrogance? Does your heavy schedule make you short-tempered and rude to others, or with yourself? Are you finding yourself becoming resentful of the time and demands of a commitment? Or maybe you’re resentful that your family needs you (which is really your primary commitment!) when you’d rather be doing ‘real church work’. So, in terms of how you treat yourself, do you bear all things – even your own mortality, humanity and all its apparent weakness? Do you believe all things – all the good things God says about you before you do a single good work? Do you hope in all things? What hope is that? The hope that you are where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re called to do, no matter how un-glamorous it seems. Can you endure – stay faithful – in all these things?
If you need some help with all this, find a pastor or a priest. They will be glad to help you find the balance God intends you to have, and the peace that goes with it. Give yourself permission to be human, and to put true priorities in their place. I promise the world won’t collapse without you!