A blog of thoughts by Kristi Finch

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Light as a Feather

You know that feeling after you complete a sizable task?  Getting to check something off the ol' to-do list.  A burden lifted.  One less thing to worry about.  That's how I feel after I submit final grades for the course(s) I teach.  Papers have been graded.  Scores have been calculated (not by me, thanks to Grade Center in Blackboard).  Done.  Check. Moving on.

The exciting part is thinking about all the things to which I can look forward now that I don't have (as much) grading to do:

Upcoming trip to California - I haven't really spent time on the west coast, especially not in my adult life so far.  Other than a trip to Oregon as a kid and a few layovers in LA and San Fransisco, I'm a first-timer and very much excited about it!

More time to read - I'm about a million books behind Miranda on our reading list (ok, not a million, 4, I think).  Not that it's a competition, but tracking together helps us both stay on pace to finish the list.  I'm about 170 pages into 1000+ page Gone with the Wind, so I better get moving!

Catching up on life - Am I the only one who feels like I'm always one or two steps behind?  I think it's my chronic problem with over-committing myself to everything and not leaving enough downtime or buffer in my life that is to blame.  Either way, I'm learning to say "no" more (not my strongest suit) and not feel guilty when I have nothing to do.  

I get so caught up in doing things that I often forget about being.  I don't want to have a million things to do and no time to do them.  I would rather have one or two things to do and plenty to time to do them to the best of my ability.  But unfortunately, the list of things to do keeps growing:  organize/print pictures for albums, clean the office, plant flowers out front, sort through closets to weed out things I don't wear, buy luggage, start thinking about packing for upcoming trips, etc., etc.  

As silly as it may sound, I really am looking forward to getting these things done.  It is an opportunity to worship through my activities and my time management. I have largely failed in this area thus far, so I'm praying that I can take steps toward being a good steward of my time.  I want to glorify the Lord in all things including (especially) the way I spend my time.  His desire is for me to be filled, not for me to be burnt out.  Yes, I need to do the things on my list, but I don't need to become overwhelmed and stressed about them.  

This is a constant battle I fight, so reading Oswald Chambers' words a few nights ago really struck a cord with me.  He says this relating to Matthew 6: 25 and 33:
Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that.
I like that.  "Cautiously carefree."  These are words that I would like to be used about me someday.  I want to live with a certain wisdom and caution, but I also want to be able to have a light, carefree air about me.  Do things on a whim knowing that I haven't neglected any of responsibilities.  Prayerfully, that's where I'm headed.

So, here's to being cautiously carefree and light as a feather!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Things that make me happy:*

  • Ordering something online and anxiously awaiting its arrival
  • Hearing from an old friend
  • Staying in touch with a far-away friend
  • Houseplants
  • Those times when I can actually enjoy being alone
  • Laughing during a movie
  • The quietness of the morning before the busyness of the day
  • Pictures
  • Most things purple
  • Hearing I song I like
  • Traveling to a place I've never been
  • Crawling into bed at night
  • Finishing a book
  • Looking forward to something
  • Caramel Lattes (or Chai - depending on my mood)
  • Real mail

*This is not an exhaustive list but a mere subset of all the things that put a smile on my face.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Certainly Uncertain

There has been a significant amount of uncertainty in the last couple weeks of my life.  I have been faced with a sizable decision and was largely unsure of how to respond or what choice to make.  I enjoy change and surprises, but this one really caught me off guard.  I ended up making the decision (an at-least-for-now decision, anyway) on Friday.  I'm a little apprehensive about it, but I'm glad to have the decision behind me and the living-it-out ahead of me.  

All that to say, I have been a bit (read: really) uncertain about all this.  Did I make the right choice?  Did I wait too long to  make it?  Did I make it selfishly?  Did I weigh all the options appropriately?  

On Friday night, after I'd made my decision, I was reading that day's devotional in Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest as I do every night (ok - almost every night).  I'm pretty sure that entry was strategically placed on April 29 for me to read that night.  Though all of it was spot on with what I needed to hear, here are the portions of it that especially jumped out at me:
Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life - gracious uncertainty is the mark of a spiritual life.  To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. [...] We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God.  As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task he has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. [...] We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next.  [...] Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in - but you can be certain that He will come.  Remain faithful to Him.
I'm so thankful that despite all the uncertainties of life and any of the decisions I could have made, I can always be certain that following the Lord is the way to go.  Period.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.   I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I'm looking forward to the surprises of abandoning my ideas of where I should be for faithfully following.  Though following can be scary (I can't see where I'm going; I just have to trust that He can and does), I know it's the best choice every time.  And I really do like surprises.