It’s so comical how God works sometimes. I signed up for this theme months ago, thinking I’d have things to share about rhythms and schedules and time management. I guess I thought I’d have everything together by now! On the contrary, these last few weeks have sent me into a tailspin of not knowing what day it is, what I’m supposed to be doing that day, and my sleeping is all out of whack.
This school year, for the first time in eleven years, we have no kids at home for a good chunk of the day. I had expectations of slow mornings sipping tea while doing a long devotional (which I’ve done in the evenings for several years due to kids’ 6th sense of smelling me if I woke up early and went out to the living room to read), consistent exercise, and then plenty of time to accomplish things I needed to do before they got home.
Oh, how wrong I was!
With the knowledge of extra free time quickly came more responsibilities and requests for help from those around me. At first, I said “yes” to everything because I felt so free to use my new, more open schedule to do more outside the home! After things started piling up, though, I quickly realized I needed to step back and set some boundaries.
Recently, I was in a class discussion about how our foreignness can attract various types of people. In the culture we serve, it’s often the type that doesn’t fit the social norms of their own culture. They’re viewed as an outsider for one reason or another. Because of that mentality, they have less shame or resistance to randomly come up to one of us and start pelting us with questions or dive into their life-long story. It’s kind of bizarre, but we often attract these types of people.
On the other hand, people with a certain cultural status or understanding of social norms often take more time to approach us. They don’t know what to do with us literal “outsiders” (the translation for foreigners in their language), so they want to observe us first to see where and how we fit in their society before they engage.
When looking at Jesus’ ministry, we see Him loving and serving all people groups, but the Bible truly highlights those marginalized in their own culture. It’s a good reminder to us as we look at our time, to be sure we’re aiming to serve all people groups. Some of us can get caught up serving the higher levels, while others can be absorbed in serving those less fortunate. Both are important and we have to see where the Spirit is leading.
Another part of our class discussion was about how Jesus set boundaries. Because He was literally followed around by people (I can relate sometimes!), He had to hide out for a while to get alone time. He knew He couldn’t give, give, give all hours of every day. Because He was also fully man, He knew He needed to refuel with His Father often.
When we were serving on a local college campus a few years ago, we lived on the first floor. Our kitchen was actually a former enclosed balcony, so it had tons of windows. It was common for students or staff to walk by and see me cooking and wave, or at least comment, “Oh! Look! A foreigner!” I mostly didn’t mind the windows because I love natural light and the silly ways I could engage from inside. However, we had a few people who were on the needy side. A friend labels these type EGR—Extra Grace Required. You know the type…they call often, want to come over often, and when they do, they stay for hours. Sometimes it works out and salty conversations are had. Other times, I just don’t have the energy for it.
Because the kitchen window couldn’t hide me (there were no curtains), a few times I had to duck and cover if a saw an EGR person coming to my door. Later, I laughed hard at how fast I hit the floor to hide from them. But after this latest discussion about how Jesus, too, had to run and hide, I don’t feel so bad.
We all have our limits. The Lord doesn’t expect us to do it all. On the contrary, He wants us to be able to lean into Him to follow where He’s leading and leave the rest up to whomever else He decides to use. As this new season of scheduling has changed for me, I’m thankful for these reminders. He has called us to this foreign land and desires to use us mightily. May I remember to often ask Him how to use my time for His glory.
How have you drawn boundaries around time spent serving others? Have you ever had to duck and cover or hide away from some extra-needy people?
I’ve always loved a good roasted potato. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. I’ve tried many a recipes cooking them on the stove top, and the most success I’ve had is in my trusty cast iron skillet. However, it takes TONS of oil to accomplish the crunchy goodness. Recently, I looked into roasting potatoes. Surely roasting would get a nice crunch! Good ol’ Alton Brown (foodie who loves to explain the science behind cooking) came through with the best, most perfectly crunchy and soft roasted potatoes. They’re a little fussy, and take some time, but I promise you won’t be disappointed!
The BEST Roasted Potatoes
Ready In: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3-4 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 Tbsp rosemary
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Black pepper
- Parsley (if desired)
- Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F(230°C). Heat 2 quarts water in a large pot over high heat until boiling. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt, baking soda, and potatoes and stir. Return to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until a knife meets little resistance when inserted into a potato chunk, about 10 minutes after returning to a boil.
- Meanwhile, combine olive oil with rosemary, garlic, and a few grinds of black pepper in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring and shaking pan constantly, until garlic just begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Immediately strain oil through a fine-mesh strainer set in a large bowl. Set garlic/rosemary mixture aside and reserve separately.
- When potatoes are cooked, drain carefully and let them rest for about 30 seconds to allow excess moisture to evaporate. Transfer to bowl with infused oil, season to taste with a little more salt and pepper, and toss to coat, shaking bowl roughly, until a thick layer of mashed potato–like paste has built up on the potato chunks. (This is KEY to roasted crunch!)
- Transfer potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and separate them, spreading them out evenly. Transfer to oven and roast, without moving, for 20 minutes. Using a spoon or spatula, release any stuck potatoes, shake pan and turn potatoes. Continue roasting until potatoes are deep brown and crisp all over, turning and shaking them a few times during cooking, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add garlic/rosemary mixture and parsley if desired. Toss to coat and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.