Clearing my plate
In late Spring of 2011, I felt very strongly that I was supposed to begin to clear my plate.
You know how when you go to a buffet or a church dinner and there is such a vast array of amazing food to choose from but your plate is only so big? So you keep heaping the food on and there is absolutely no more room on that plate? And if you did put one more thing on it, the plate would break or something would fall to the ground! That is exactly what my life had become. If you would have asked me to do one more thing, I would have crawled into the fetal position, stuck my thumb in my mouth and rocked! I was basically working three jobs. I was serving my eighth year on City Council, working part-time at a pizza place, and working at the church. I needed the income from the pizza place but I have followed Jesus long enough to know His voice. I obeyed.
So I began to clear my plate. I put in my notice at the pizza place and finished up in June of 2011. I did not seek re-election for City Council. I knew it was time to focus on the church. My term ended December 31, 2011. God honored my obedience. In January of this year the church brought me on full-time (meaning they could afford to pay me more). And this year is coming to an end. My first full year of being single-minded in a very long time.
Today I went for my walk. It was a beautiful day. It was 60 degrees on December 3rd in northeast Ohio. I always end up at the water whenever I walk. When I got to Main Street Beach I decided to walk out on the pier. As I walked over the driftwood, trees, leaves and all the other stuff churned up from the bottom of Lake Erie due to the Super storm Sandy, something began to churn in me.
I made it to the end of the fishing pier and sat where the Vermilion River empties into Lake Erie.
And I sat. And I thought about how 18 months ago I had begun the journey of clearing my plate. And this feeling or gratitude and joy and peace came over me. I felt MY SOUL COULD FINALLY BREATHE.
I have always been someone who has to stay busy. “Go, go, go”. “Busy people get things done.”” If you want something done, ask a busy person”. I lived that. I lived so hard that it stopped up my soul. Made me irritable. I had no reservoirs, no margins built into my life. Everything had been affected. My creativity. My joy. My peace. My rest. My walk with God.
Today I felt, experienced the reward of my obedience of clearing my plate. It took 11 months of de-toxing to get to this place! I can think clearly again…I can write again….I love spending time with God, again. I actually feel rested! It wasn’t an easy feat to get to this place. I have given up some things to get here. Money is a lot tighter…I cut my salary by 7 grand a year. I live a lot simpler. But as I sit here typing, I realize that is all I have given up. Money. That’s it. And what I have gained money cannot buy. I read a quote that says “They say time is money, but that’s not true. Time is life.” I still work 6 days a week. I am still busy but it’s different. There are things I can say “no” to. My plate will always be full. But it will not be overloaded.
Clearing my plate led to my soul being able to breathe. Who knew?