Monday, August 27, 2012

Finding Joy


That's my sigh of relief. The summer season at camp is over and we're back to only having guest groups in on the weekends. This means no more working weeknights, getting woken up by singing or screaming campers at midnight, etc. Back to the simplicity I love so much about living in the mountains :)

It has been a hugely blessed summer here, and I've had a blast working in the office. I've had the pleasure of meeting some truly touching people who have come to stay here. I've also been challenged and stretched in ways I never have before. Things I can't write about in the open, which is why I've been absent here. It's hard to keep blogging pretending everything is hunky-dory when it's really not. This season of life has been one of the hardest, and there were days when I literally wanted to give up & quit. But I didn't, I kept going, I kept praying and you know what? I made it. And I feel refreshed. And I feel stronger because I leaned into the Lord for strength when I knew I didn't have any of my own left.

I'm not saying I did this with the most grace, because I certainly am a whiner. That is something I am working on :) Through all the struggles I've faced this summer, one huge blessing has been the summer staff office help: Joyann. She is the most gracious, gentle, and kind spirit I think I've ever met. It's been HUGE for me to be able to sit next to her every day and see her example of holding her tongue, always keeping a positive attitude, and giving such Godly encouraging advice.  God truly blessed me by having the privilege of working with her day in and day out. That or He really wanted me to learn to be more like Him. Joyann is one of the most Christ-like people I've known and seriously, I can't put to words what her example has meant to me. I've learned a lot this summer from her, and just from being herself.

Throughout the challenges I've faced this summer, I've also been emotionally different. Pregnancy is hard. I haven't felt 100% in five months, I finally got over being sick and now I can't sleep through the night, I'm sensitive, and to top that all off I tend to be passive aggressive. At work I feel the need to hold that all in and keep a smile on my face. When coworkers offend or irritate me I just look away and take a deep breath; when guests are pushy or rude, I smile and offer ways to come to a solution.

It's exhausting. I don't want to ignore coworkers who bother me, I want to yell at them. I don't want to offer helpful solutions to guests who are rude to me, I want to tell them to figure it out themselves if they're so unappreciative. But instead, I hold it all in for eight hours and then when my sweet husband picks me up he gets the whole day of frustration poured out on him. I hate that I do that. It's not Christlike. It's not respectful. It's not encouraging.

It hurts my heart when I am impatient with Zach. Sweet Zach who loves me no matter what and hugs me when I'm yelling at him for no reason. So I've been trying to find ways to relieve that tension at the end of the days. I'm incredibly blessed to live in the woods where there are so many places to go, and also to live at a camp that has a herd of horses.

This week after work, I headed up to the barn and helped our wrangler feed the horses. AKA I stood in the back of a flat bed truck and threw hay into the pastures. And you know what, I haven't been that happy in a long time. Something about being outside, feeling the fresh air on my skin, hearing the horse noises when they see the truck coming & they are so excited.

When I came home on Monday evening after feeding, I was smiling, laughing, had energy. Zach even said "wow, I haven't seen you in this good of a mood in a long time." So on Thursday, my day off, I came up to help lead arena rides for a special needs group we had in last week. I spent two hours walking in circles, leading these adults around the arena on horseback. It was

Sometimes I'm overly tired, sometimes I'm emotional, sometimes I feel depressed, sometimes I get unnecessarily cranky. Always, God is enough. Always, He provides a solution. Always, He leads me to where I can find joy.


Katie said...

There is definitely something to just stepping away from your daily grind that can make you feel SO much better. Add to that, I 100% believe that animals have a hugely calming effect in our lives. Horses are really good at that. I could literally (and have) sit for hours watching them. They are so peaceful, beautiful and graceful, and they ask very little of us. It's so beneficial to just take that time to do nothing but watch them and be at peace.

Meg {henninglove} said...

i think it is entirely ok to blame Eve for all the problems that pregnancy beings, the mood swings, the emotions, the raging hormones, she totally ruined it for all of us ;-) glad to hear you had a great time with the horses. and i now what you mean about blogging and even when things aren't stellar, i post for sure a lot less about me. hang in there girlie!!

Anonymous said...

Katie, it is so nice that you share both your happy moments and your struggles with your pregnancy. We are going to try and get pregnant later this year and I love reading about your journey! xoxo Melissa (Jann) Williams :)

Taylor said...

I know exactly how you are feeling with just being down and what not, You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and are pushing yourself to get through it. every day is a new day. Start off fresh tell yourself good things and only good things will happen