Drudgery Part Three: Respites

Drudgery Part Three: Respites

Life is seasonal. Sadness is followed by joy. Harvest comes after planting. Times of drudgery or difficulty may feel like they’ll never end, but the truth is that “this, too, shall pass.”

Back in the 60s, The Byrds reiterated Solomon’s timeless wisdom: “There is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” (I can’t read Ecclesiastes 3 without humming their tune. Sorry if I’ve implanted it in your head now.)

Respite from drudgery arrives like a longed-for breeze on a sultry day. This week my respite comes! The timing for my vacation couldn’t be better. It provides a break from the summer doldrums at work and from our always-high humidity and unseasonably-high temperatures (100+ degrees). Immediately upon deplaning in San Francisco, the weather will drop 40 degrees. As good as that is, it can’t compare with the quality time we anticipate with old friends and family – especially our granddaughters, Lucy and Emmy.

[Oh . . . don’t worry about our house being robbed by someone reading this while we’re gone. Our good friends Bubba, Moose, and Tank are guarding it, and like good ol’ Southern men, they’re armed with shotguns.]

I need frequent breaks. Not only am I a non-routine-artist-type, but I got used to a flexible schedule during my years with Cru. Yes, we worked hard, putting in way more than 40 hours a week, including most evenings and lots of weekends, but it wasn’t spent tied to a desk. Variety was the rule. I’d meet students at cafés, in their dorm rooms or my apartment, at campus meetings, or walking between. My location changed frequently with conferences throughout the year and different summer assignments.

In this season of my life, I feel claustrophobic. I’ll retire before my two weeks’ annual vacation increases to three. Every day, I sit at the same desk within the same four walls, my back to the window, from 8 to 5, grousing about the misleading song title “9 to 5.” (Did I put another song in your head?) Like the child whose favorite subject is recess, I live for lunch breaks – where I can breathe. When school is in session, lunches are for meeting with Cru students or walking for exercise. In the summer, there are no students and the humidity prohibits walking. I just eat.

Our psyches need refreshment for our emotional and spiritual well-being. The designer of our souls beckons us to still waters where He restores them. Sabbath rests usher new life and health. One day to stop working in every seven.

Maybe you’re locked in as a caregiver or stay-at-home mom. If you can’t manage a whole week off, what about a couple hours? We usually make time for the things that are a priority to us. Ask a friend to relieve you; maybe you can return the favor. Be creative in looking for opportunities to take small breaks and seize them whenever they arise.

I’m amazed how my perspective improves by a simple change of scenery and routine. I’m prepared to be amazed this week.

This is the final post in a three-part series.

1 thought on “Drudgery Part Three: Respites

  1. Laura

    Taryn…Such beautiful writing! Sometimes I equate the drudgery with the "valley" experience…you have to go through it to get to the mountain top. Sadly, I often forget those times are the most precious with the Lord, quietly showing me areas that need to be transformed and sweetly reminding how far we’ve come together from the nervous, shy kid who hid in the car when we went grocery shopping to the woman who wants to move halfway around the world to teach…He is amazing, even in the drudgery!


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