Mark and Lori were living in San Marcos California until 2016. Lori worked as a RN supervisor and Mark was the pastor of a CRC church. As they tell the story, Mark started to crave a change -- to continue to serve as a pastor, but amongst a new demographic. They prayed and visited international churches in Taiwan and Europe over many years and eventually received a call to The Hague and moved their lives in the summer of 2016.
|Mark set up the wonderful carillon concert and pointed out all the hot spots of The Hague from the top of the tower|
|In front of Mark and Lori's home, before we left for Haarlem & Amsterdam|
On the plane ride over, I finished a great book, Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist, and it really got my brain churning on thoughts of doing what you love. The parts of the book that struck me most revolved around this:
"Many of us have believed the myth that achievement and success bring us contentment, only to find it’s actually things like connection and meaning...that provide true peace and genuine happiness."
Although I will say that my struggles with believing this myth happen more outside of work than they do at work. For example, I don't feel that I have an unhealthy drive to achieve higher status or pay at work. I struggle more at home, seeking to find meaning by checking things off my to-do list. Shauna describes my struggle perfectly (especially the part about the living room and well organized closets) on page 37 of her book:
“…the voice that tells me to hustle can find a to-do list in my living room as easily as it can in my office. It’s not about paid employment. It’s about trusting that the hustle will never make you feel the way you want to feel. In that way, it’s a drug, and I fall for the initial rush every time: if I push enough, I will feel whole, proud, happy. What I feel, though, is exhausted and resentful, with well-organized closets."
I've come to realize that I'm dealing with two different beasts. One is discontent with my part-time nutrition career and the other is chasing fulfillment through a clean and organized home. How to tame either one, I'm not sure. Well, I think the home one is more straightforward than the work one at this point. I'll continue to pray about both. This week away has been the perfect opportunity to step back and remove myself from both challenges, viewing each from a distant shore. Amen!
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