This semester has been stressful. The sometimes-good-sometimes-bad kind. By good, I simply mean full days and weeks where productivity reigns. (I think sunshine helps, too.) But those only last so long, before the stress turns me into a hermit-ous mass covered in blankets, drinking too much tea, and watching one too many episodes of Parks and Rec. Or two too many. Hashtag, honesty.
I am thankful for the busyness. Last year, I had a lot more free time. That led me to feeling guilty for the time I had. My time is in higher demand this semester, and I have grown much more in confidence and skill because of that. However, I am realizing that I must choose to be intentional with my time. "Full" times of year can lead to burnout if not handled properly, or extreme workaholicness, or laziness. I get to choose. The time I'm given, it is costly. Precious. And it is so so so easy for me to spend it (especially the "free time") on myself.
Instead, I want go grow. To not feel guilty for the hours I've netflix-ed, but to learn that in moderation, it's great. But that I am much more full of joy when I spend a free evening cooking for a friend, sharing our hearts, and sitting underneath white christmas lights in the late-fall darkness. That library books can be a great refreshment (and sight for literal sore eyes). And when's the last time any of us took a walk in nature without thinking about our phones?! Just to enjoy the birds, the light, and breezes floating past us. (Too soon they will turn into winter winds, my friends!) Most imortantly, I've been recognizing my need to cultivate time with Jesus. I've found a favorite candle at Target (here) that I love to light, and I want it to be piece of my routine. That small wick, lit bright and allowing its aroma to influence the area around it…just like I'd like my life to be—lit, and shining brightly for the one who brings fullness of joy & peace.