I spent nearly all last week offline, cheating occasionally by checking email through my phone. I didn’t do this for any deep psychological reason, I simply ran out of time. I spent every possible minute spending time with people and building relationships, while volunteering with youth groups attending the Mennonite Convention.
I feel great.
I worked hard last week, leading high schoolers and their group leaders to work with The Pittsburgh Project (more about that on Monday) and the Western PA Conservancy. Outside of these projects, I attended a few convention seminars, met as many people as possible, and built stronger relationships.
I feel great.
Much of my free time was spent with friends from an intentional community in Pittsburgh. Intentional community. People who are intentionally living life together. Not always easy, but eternally rewarding.
My sister threw a wedding on Saturday. How do you say someone got married without using the word “got”? She looked beautiful and took the time to enjoy details of her weekend. I hugged friends and family that I hadn’t seen in many years. A friend accompanied me to the wedding, and gifted my family with service throughout the weekend. He also assured his presence in our memories by accidentally setting off the hotel fire alarms with the send-off sparklers. We cheered for my sister as she drove off into the sunset (literally) as a married woman.
I feel great.
Spending time with people, celebrating, learning, working hard, and following Jesus (I’m a Christian, so I like to throw the Jesus bit in), these are the components for a full and fruitful life. I know that I am a lucky and blessed (insert my favorite Rachael Lampa song here) woman to have these things in my life.
I also know that I am the one who has to choose this life, choose to pursue it, and choose to accept it.
I could choose to be jealous of my younger, married sister, or I can choose to be happy for her, and content in my singleness.
I could choose to complain about carving out a trail in the woods through poison ivy with a bunch of teenagers, or I can choose to see that our work directly impacts Pittsburgh and the lives of its citizens.
I could choose to isolate myself, tell people nothing about myself, never meet the person sitting next to me, or I could choose to offer my personality/skills/perspectives and build relationships that last a lifetime.
I could choose to be satisfied with my current knowledge and education, or I could choose to be constantly learning and growing so that I will always have more of myself to give to the people in my life.
We don’t always have choices. I can’t choose my birth country, my access to clean water, my first language, or the names of my family members. I do own the pleasure of active participation in my life.
The first half of the above situations….I did those things. I do those things. I hope, however, that I’ll live like an arrow which points to the second half, the better choice, always moving forward.