"I'll be sure to add three writers by the end of the week."
"I'll get the team's articles edited by Saturday."
"Can I take responsibility for the social media accounts for this ministry?"
"I'm starting a girl's community group!"
"Sure, I'll help you with your research paper."
"I'll bring the twins home tonight."
"Can I film a documentary here?"
"I'll choreograph the dance for next week."
12:30 a.m.- I've got plenty of time to edit these stories for my creative writing class.
1:30 a.m.- I can't keep my eyes open any more. Why do I keep staying up this late? Why is there still more work to do? I don't think that I can move, but I haven't brushed my teeth.
2:15 a.m.- Stupid thoughts, stop bothering me. I know that it's late, but I'll go to bed earlier tomorrow.
"Thanks for letting me sit by you," I told a girl I just met that day at lunch. For never having talked before, we talked about a lot of things, from school to movies to church to family.
"You know," she said, "for this entire semester, I've never had anyone I didn't know just come and eat with me."
"Really? I do it all the time."
Yes, I thought. It is pretty cool. I thought back to the handful of times that the little lunchtime conversations I pursued turned into something that gave God glory. It enboldened me every time I was tempted to simply sit with my phone over lunch. Sure, it was easier to catch up on Instagram or schoolwork, but kingdom work is so much cooler.
"We never see you anymore, Hannah," someone said. Well, more than one person said that this semester.
"I have a weird schedule." One that invloves staying up until 2:00 and sleeping in until 9:00. One that has a lot of school and work and ballet and not a lot of friendships.
"I've got to go, sorry I can't stay."
"You don't seem as happy this semester," Mom said one night as I talked about the stress of getting everything done before Monday.
"I don't?" The thought surprised me. I didn't feel unhappy. Just busy. And busy isn't bad. This is the prime of my life, and I've been waiting so long for opportunities like the ones I'm accepting now. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that some of these opportunities blocked the sun from the flowers that I carefully planted in my life: flowers like friendship, blogging, and rest.
I couldn't stop the tears.
"This semester beat me up a bit," I said to a couple of friends this week as we gathered around a table at a Christmas party. The semester just ended, and lights glittered in the room hardly compared to the lights in our hearts as we contemplated six weeks with no school.
"Same, girl," one of the girls replied, leaning back into her chair.
"Same," one of my roommates added.
"I think it's because I isolated myself," I said, "Because I thought that I could get more done that way. I don't want to repeat that again."
This is a picture of my nails at the moment. They are badly chipped, wearing away and pretty hideous. I should've taken the polish off two days after I painted them, but little things like that have slipped into the pile of less-important things to do, especially before and during finals.
So the weeks went by and life continued to chip nail polish off of my nails. I kept living.
There is something about chipped nails that give me a strange comfort. I know, this is very unlike me. I like to have everything together. My eyebrows must be on fleck. My homework must get a A. My spiritual life must be meaningful. But there is something refreshing about chipped nails. There is a freedom in remembering that I don't have to have everything together. There is a breath in remembering that I don't have to do it all, but what I am doing is more important than keeping up with my nails.
Because even if life is tiring, even if it chips at our nails, that doens't mean that life is bad. Busy doesn't equal bad, this I am learning. This semester I've been busier than ever before, but I've learned to embrace the busyness as well as the rest. We need both.
Life chipped at my nails, reminding me of the briefness of my time on earth and the smallness with which I can live on my own. I leanred how to do things and how not to do things. It took a toll, but it also left a little sparkle everwhere I went. Chip, chip.
There is also a hope that my nails don't have to stay chipped forever. I don't have to busy myself all of the time. I don't have to isolate myself for long. Yes, these things may chip at my nails, this living may wear me down, but there is hope. There is hope that Jesus will take away the old and make us new.
"Because of the LORD's great love we are now consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion, therefore I will wait for him. The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young." (Lamantations 3:22-27)
"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I think I'm going to paint my nails this weekend. I think I'm going to try life on a little differently going forward, and hopefully this includes more blogging than I was able to do this semester. I've learned. I've laughed. I've cried. Thank you for being with me during the hectic seasons and peaceful season. And thanks most of all to Jesus, who is with me in all seasons.
Comment below if my ramblings made any sense! Also, catch me up on the blogging world. I've been rather absent as of late, so tell me all the news, even if it's only that you painted your nails last week.
God's grace be with you all,