Wednesday, November 9, 2011

routine & comfort

I was given great advice during this season: "Emilie, you have to just schedule things. You schedule to do laundry at this time, you schedule to apply for jobs, and you schedule to spend time having fun. You still deserve it, working or not. Otherwise, you'll drive yourself crazy." And so, I forced myself into leaving the house, grocery shopping, church, library, but didn't really structure my time, never found a rhythm to my week since moving.

I spent many days doing I have no idea what, and other days being productive. I tried new recipes, watched more television than all four years of college, constructed things, avoided my wedding thank you's (I don't want to talk about it--Mom, please don't tell dad). I spent time babysitting my neighbor's kids, blogging, applying for jobs, reading.

Finally, prayers were answered. A license number, an interview, a job. God provided. In less than two weeks, my little routine in Jersey vanished, and now I'm thrown into orientation, a new schedule, postponing consistency.

Strangely, despite the unknowns, I felt a sense of comfort today while driving home from work. It was beautiful, sun beginning to set, single lane roads lined with orange, red, yellow trees. Princeton is its best in the fall. As I turned onto a particular street, I was reminded that less than two months ago, I had no idea where I was going. But now, I do.

Unknown and comfort co-existing. I am no longer a student nurse. I am a nurse. I wish orientation was over (it just started, I know). I am ready to know what is expected of me and assurance that I can fulfill those expectations. Realistically, I'll feel this way for a while. And it hits me: I don't want to wish away my time here. There is much to be lived and celebrated and learned. There will be more Wednesdays at Immerse, Friday mornings at Small World Coffee or The Little Chef, visits to NYC, friends and family visiting, weekends of rummage sales and making crafts, and CRW events with neighbors.

I don't always handle the unknown so well. So tonight, I'm preparing. I must choose skills and habits that help me seek God, chasing that fear and worry away, helping me to slow down so I can be present in the lessons of this season.

I started with a run--I ran hard trying to catch up with my thoughts and left my worries on the trail. There's other things I'm going to do when anxiety comes from the unknown. I will pray for others. I will search God's word for peace. I will choose to share these things with friends and also ask them about their inner wrestling. I will read the words of other believers that point me back to God--to rest in His Spirit.

"You are becoming aware of how close Jesus is to you. He holds you safe in his love. At times, memories of past events and fantasies about the future pierce your heart, but these painful incidents have become less frightening, less devastating, less paralyzing. It almost seems as if they are necessary reminders of your need to stay close---very close to Jesus...
You feel vulnerable but safe at the same time. Jesus is where you are, and you can trust that he will show you the next step." (Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love)

(photo via Katherine Oliver Photography, also check out her blog Whatever is Lovely)


  1. I'm so happy for you! It sounds like you are really making New Jersey your home :)

  2. This is such a fantastic post, Emilie. xxxxx