Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thoughts on Being Peopled-Out, Persevering and Pajamas

Yesterday was my son's 9th birthday party. I survived four hours of noise, sword fights and cupcake explosions. But just as the last guest left some neighbourhood kids came over and stayed until 9:00 p.m. I even found the neighbour's blind dog in our house (I'm guessing he got lost?).

Today I had an all-day choir rehearsal, and no sooner had I come home, exhausted, when the sheep bell rang (like a cow bell, only for sheep. It functions as our doorbell since we don't have one). More neighbourhood kids came over to play.

I'm laughing as I type this because I'm wearing a shirt that says "Love Your Neighbour" when what I really want to do is "Love My Pajamas". Reaching out to people isn't always convenient. There are days when I'm really tired and peopled-out. And while I do feel the freedom to say no, I also know when I need to pray for more energy and grace to set my personal wants aside and be hospitable.

Today is one of those days, but sooner or later I'll see my pajamas. And I'm looking forward to it.


Rachel said...

Hi there! We're missionaries in Thailand, and I often enjoy reading your blog. (Chris Moore Cover is my sil)
As a new missionary, I often don't know when it is ok to say no to the neighbor children, and when I need to s t r e t c h. Any thoughts?

Annie said...

Hi Rachel,

That's a tough one. In many ways, I'm still trying to figure it out!

For me, I usually know if I need to set my selfishness aside and reach out to neighbours, or when I truly need some down time to protect my emotional well-being. That sounds... funny... but I don't know how else to word it. I find that when I'm truly being sensitive to the Holy Spirit, I know which is which. It's when I'm grumpy and operating on my own power that I make mistakes.

Having said that, I do think missionaries tend to overdo it sometimes, given their unique roles. It is not selfish to have a little down time and take care of your own needs. Even Jesus did that!

I will pray that you find a balance and feel the freedom to say no when you need some rest. :)

How's Thailand? I've always wanted to go. The closest I ever got was Malaysia. :)

Heather, Rick, and Tendai! said...

As missionaries in Mozambique we arent bombarded with children trying to play at our house, but we do have other "time" issues. Its important to remember you cannot do it all. not on your own. Like Annie says, if you are sensitive to the holy spirit, thats when you know. But in NO way is it selfish to say "not today, we are having family time" "no, but thank you for the invite, please ask us again, this is just the day we have set aside for our own renewal and rest" or whatever. Missionaries need rest too- especially when out of their own culture- the stresses seem to be amplified and the frustrations more intense. Blessings on you!