Last week, Bruce turned forty. I took a day off work and planned a party for him for the evening. It was all that parties should be and he was very successfully celebrated. The only thing I remembered to take a picture of was the cheese board I set up on the island and that didn't show the actual thing as nice as it really was. But anyhow, he turned forty and now we can be forty together for a couple months.
We didn't see each other very much this week. Bruce is cramming for exams for this coming Monday. I was cramming to finish up the school week and school sale projects. On Friday we had the day off school to prepare for school sale. PLUS we got sick. I resisted the virus all week but it did indeed catch up with me especially this morning during the sale. Thankfully, I was able to do my assigned job and help with the making of the apple butter for the first time before heading home and curling up on the couch.
But I did talk to a few friends this morning at school sale, something I miss so much. One friend sat down beside me and listened to my woes extremely well...the poor dear. She is one friend that I feel welcome to say what's on my heart without making it pretty or flowery and I know she will hear it the right way. I don't have to walk away feeling like maybe I shouldn't have been quite that honest.
My speech to her was a little about how one feels about their responsibilities and how we sometimes get a little weary in well doing. Only it wasn't quite that nice. I've thought about it all afternoon. If everyone is honest about it, they get tired in their serving. I have heard people say pious things like, "If you complain about your work you will lose the blessing" and "Serving energizes me"blah blah.
Let's be real. There is truth in service bringing joy, but I don't believe anybody is able to hide the struggle that goes on in the heart when there is too much on a pile. There is a time to rest. Even Jesus went. Often. Alone. Into the mountains. To pray.
Maybe serving could be a little more joyous if we all remembered to give grace to our human frailties. Everyone needs room to make a mistake or two and we all need a little time off to recover our senses now and then. Life happens to all of us. Sometimes it takes some time to relearn what we already know. Why are we so driven to push and shove our way through life instead of learning to take a breather and to pace ourselves accordingly?
If you know someone who is serving in a public capacity, be careful to remember they are still people not angels...(even tho they are doing a lot know one will ever notice.) They get lonely and tired the same as anyone else. They crave coffee breaks and friendships even if they are too busy to do them well. They like to be asked to do the mundane. They do not wished to be overlooked because they are already serving in an obvious way. They want to feel normal and ordinary. They don't want special treatment just because they are in a position of serving.
What we could all use though, is prayer. If we pray for each other we can tear down the walls of judgement and the expectations that are not met. We can see the needs around us and give a breather of encouragement maybe by something as simple as opening a door. And smile often. Be the first one to do it. No matter if the person you smiled at doesn't catch on...Smiles and prayers are free...The more you give the more you get. I figured that out after forty years...Aren't you glad?