During this past week, I've been trying to convince three of my former students to find paid internships in Portland. Obviously, I'm willing to be their reference, help them with cover letters, and find them housing if they secure a job. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to advocate for these brilliant, hard working young people. I don't always have the same confidence in advocating for myself, however.
This morning I had a conversation with a handful of my own biggest advocates, and I was confessing my struggle with not feeling particularly productive here in New Zealand. This was after a week in which no less than five teenagers reached out to me across an ocean for spiritual advice and had deep conversations with me about where they are at in their faith. My wise friend Bekah suggested that instead of being so defensive about how I spend most of my days reading, doing small exercises, and texting university students on another continent, I should try writing out how I'm planning to spend my days like a cover letter.
My expectation is to be resting during my sabbatical time. I've been assigned to take a year to rest, recover, read, and write. I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to, and there's no shame in that. I'm also on a slow upward trajectory in my physical improvements, so I don't have to feel any shame if my body just couldn't push through all my workouts this week. What is important is that I prioritize rest during these months and learn to stretch my body at appropriate intervals. I still had another record workout with my new physio, but I couldn't keep up everyday with the increased plan with planks added to my squats and such. My holistic care includes opportunity to celebrate the improved healthy eating habits - I'm staying super hydrated here thanks to the delicious water that doesn't taste like heavy minerals like the tap in Kandern.
I had a whole lot of insecurities to work through this past week, but by the grace of God, there are so many wonderful people in my life who are encouraging me when self-doubt washes over me. Praise God there have been a lot of solid moments of growth for me as a person this week - most of them just happen to fall on the spiritual side rather than the physical this week.
If you pray for me this week, praise God that I'm growing as a person. Lots. Praise God that there are improvements in my body, and thanks to my spiritual growth, I'm back in public asking for everything. If you're so inclined, I'd love for you to join with me in that crazy radical request for full restoration of function I don't have.