Not the Same Judaen, Respectfully

It’s been 2 months since I’ve been back home, and I’ve lost all hope in fast food. Sleep the big sleep, fast food restaurants except Chick-fil-A, you have not done me wrong…yet. Not to say that fast food is my main source of sustenance, but you know when you’re out, and you think to yourself, “It’s lunch time – I should eat something,” then you see a McDonald’s or a Wendy’s, and it seems like a Godsend, but truth be told, it’s really not!! My stomach will agree.

This is French onion soup. Ya’ll had one job! Where is the cheese and croutons, sir?! Where??!

I’m not saying the lack of precooked food sums up my experience being back home, but the way I developed my skills in the kitchen and ate, prayed and loved my way through Spain’s streets, my palate just had a little bit more faith in the precooked food readily available here at home at Popeye’s and the like. However, I won’t go on and on about the disappointment that is fast food because I wholeheartedly believe that God is telling me to get back in the kitchen – it’s been confirmed by a few folks and my tummy. Stop eating out, girl!

One of the first meals I’ve made since I’ve been home! Shrimp tacos with a slaw; one of them has a mango marmalade and the other has a sweet chili sauce. Yes, Lord!!

Being home I’ve realized that I’m not the same young woman that left. I thought I was gonna hop off the plane and get my life started right back up. I’d find a job, volunteer somewhere, serve in church, and just live life, but I was wrong. The assumption that I made that things would return to “normal” was off. I mean we’re in a pandemic, what was I thinking?! And that’s due in part to all the faith I had in myself instead of God.

Moving in to my new place during the first few weeks had me pooped! I was laid out on the clothes going out to be donated lol. But of course, God bless you!

One of the things I learned while I was away was establishing a routine without overwhelming myself. I went to work. I cooked and exercised regularly. I attended guitar and Spanish lessons. I watched church virtually. I studied the bible. And outside of my routine, I enjoyed myself whether by writing, playing guitar and singing, reading, eating out, taking trips to different towns and cities, doing new activities and more. I realized I was slowing down and learning to enjoy the space that God had me in whatever came my way. There was an immense blessing in being still!

However, being home was nothing like this. At first, I was exercising, but then I stopped. I tried to maintain running, but I couldn’t. Trying to find my routine was eating at me! All my life, I always knew what was next whether it was a job, a school or a place. However, because I did not have anything solidified in that way, I felt lost. Everyone and everything was moving so fast and still is, and I felt behind. I know, I know, I just got back, so I should’ve given myself the grace to acclimate to a new pace, but I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to jump back in immediately. 

I wanted to be moving and grooving like everyone else was with their routines and schedules in place. However, I’m seeing now that my pace is different from everyone elses’ and that, my friends, is a good thing. I can’t compare my journey to others no matter how slow or fast it may be going – I gotta stay in my own lane. Otherwise, I will miss what God is doing in this new season of my life. And he is doing a new thing. And because he is doing a new thing, he’s also going to go about doing this “new thing” in a new way that I’ve never seen before.

Now that I’m home, I’m regaining confidence in myself. I’m creating a routine that works for me, and saying “no” to the things that I cannot manage, and that’s okay. I’m not superwoman, I need God. I am not meant to set myself on fire to keep others warm. That’s foolishness, and honestly, the enemy at work trying to burn me out. I am meant to be the light of the world, which means to shine in the dark, so others can see God’s work at hand. In me, others will see his truth illuminated. There’s a difference, good people.

I’m grateful for the time I have to set a routine that works best for me. I’m no longer at a place where I am rushing to do this or that. I can’t force the hand of God – I can only go with his flow. I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to take my time. God created a space for me to establish a new pace, and it helped me, so I am moving in that way. And I’m especially appreciative of my family and friends who understand this space I’m in.

I think this is the season of “Adjustment.” I’m adjusting back into this culture. I’m adjusting to a new routine. I’m adjusting to everything, and that’s okay. I have time, and the goal is to use it wisely. God is up to something, and I am more than glad to be a part of his plan. It’s more grand than I will ever understand! His ways and thoughts are higher than mine. What he is doing is to prosper me, not to harm me, but to give me hope and a future, and I am grateful for that.

 I am not the same Judaen that left, respectfully. God showed me what it means to love your profession so much so that it doesn’t even feel like working. He showed me how to slow down and enjoy the moment. He showed me how to be flexible. He showed me how to create a routine. He showed me how to be a good steward. He showed me how to remove things if need be. He showed me how to love myself. He showed me how to be vulnerable. He showed me how to advocate for myself. He showed me so many things, and I’m blessed.

Being back home is like learning how to ride a bike all over again. I gotta learn how to hold the handle bars, how to balance, and how to ride and, when I’ve got all that figured out, then I gotta take off the training wheels. However, once I get it, then I’m off to the races. Of course, I’m gonna experience some uneven terrain, some rainy days, and I’ll even fall off a couple times, but it’s about getting back up after the fall! Fall down seven times and get back up eight, honey! Rise again!!

Ciao for now,

Judaen

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