Today is the first of three days off. Days off do a body good, I am convinced. At home I work three days a week of and regularly have long strings of days off which I very much enjoy. Here, often only have two consecutive days off every two weeks. Our shifts are shorter than at home but they can still be quite tiring and you sometimes don't feel like you have adequate time to recover. And we are a little short staffed and my right gum line is swollen and infected due to an indecisive wisdom tooth (ouch, I'm on a steady diet of antibiotics and painkillers).
So I am really excited about a few days off.
Sadly, I had to arise at 7:00 am this morning to attend a mandatory ship safety meeting run by the captain. But I must say, it's been kind of nice to be awake and accomplish something with my day. I was able to spend a good chunk of the morning reading on the dock and the bulk of the afternoon editing my video from Nimba mountain.
Life on the ship can be intense if for no other reason than that you simply can't ever really get away. For example, at home, if I am a little burnt out from being a nurse, I could go spend the day at the park or the bookstore. There is plenty of time to simply think, meditate, and pray, whether it be during a long commute or an empty house. But when your commute is less then 30 feet and you live in a six birth cabins these opportunities are non existent.
So sometimes things feel a bit more intense then they are or they should be, simply by the sheer factor of close proximity.
But the end of yourself is not a bad place to be.
"Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therin; I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee..."
It's so good to be reminded of how small, how incapable, how weak, how unable I am. Sometimes I trick myself into believing that I possess something of worth. It's a very draining notion; if strength were mine, I'd have to groom, feed, and maintain it. If strength comes from Christ I simply must accept it and relish in my position as a Kings daughter (a God's princess as Gil Trusty would say).
Being surrounded by people always reinforces the fact that you can't please everyone. There is always some flaw, some misdoing, some miscommunication, some reaction, some breakdown that someone will find and hold in the light. But how good it is to know that I have no one to please. Christ is my righteousness and grace is my fixed position and eternal security.
While I, along with the rest of the world, daily uncover and rediscover my flaws, Christ gently whispers
"Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee."