My paycheck this week was abysmal. I spent 12.2 hours on my feet on Saturday and I earned more than $110 less than one of my co-workers made on just the dinner shift, on ONE table. Not that I'm upset with her or trying to take anything away from the job she did or claim that she doesn't deserve it (because she is awesome and totally deserves it), but I'm just saying it was kind of a bitter pill to swallow.
As it turns out, God isn't playing games with this whole LESS thing. A polar vortex (seriously? How foreboding does that sound?) causing historic cold temperatures that keep people at home in front of their fireplace rather than out at a restaurant for pecan-crusted grouper or a plate of pork fries. Snow falling every other day, keeping the roads slick and the people away. Holiday credit card bills arriving and causing people to panic and suddenly get a tight, tight grip on their budgets. It's felt like I've been working really hard for not a whole lot of return so far this year.
January is a notoriously slow month for those of us in the food service industry, but that's not the only area of my life where I am seeing God work on me in this regard. There have been opportunities presented to me lately that I have felt very comfortable saying "yes" to and now there are others that I am feeling strongly led to decline, mostly in the name of trying not to keep taking on more and more so that my performance or health suffers.
Because I have been feeling more and more depleted lately. Not just in terms of energy or stamina, quite the opposite in fact. I've started working out regularly again so my physical health is actually on the upswing. No, it's the rest of me that has felt stretched, sore, and weary. My patience, joy, and passions.
We sang a song of worship in church on Sunday that I have sung many, many times before without it really resonating much, but it struck a deep and painful chord with me this time.
This is my prayer in the desert, when all that's within me feels dry.
There is a faith proved of more worth than God, so refine me Lord through the flame.
All of my life, in every season, you are still God. I have a reason to sing; I have a reason to worship.
I know I'm filled to be emptied again; the seed I've received I will sow.
And most importantly, I WILL BRING PRAISE.
I'm not entirely sure yet what He's up to, but I can tell you with certainty that I am feeling the discipline of a loving Father right now. I've been clawing for more more more for so long that he's now forcing me into a season of life where I feel like I am being emptied. My natural inclination is to retreat, to hide, to quit and to despair.
But He is calling me to fight that instinct. He wants so much more for me. Instead, He wants to teach me in this trial, to refine me and draw me nearer to Him.
I will bring praise.
I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me will remain.
I'm going to fight this. I'm going to get off my chair and take a break from writing a blog post to play Peek-a-Boo with my two year old and his stinky Blankee (because that's totally what just happened). My hair may be a hot mess now, but there is a smile on my face because the delight that little game brings Thomas makes me melt.
I accept that I am entering into a season of Less. In fact, I'm excited about it because it proves that my Father is sincerely interested in me, loves me, and delights in me. Just please remind me that I wrote this the next time I am about to go on a rant about the table that just left me a $7 tip on their $60 check.
Thanks. I knew I could count on you.