Monday, June 18, 2012


When I was in boot camp, my flight was scheduled for a Mini-White inspection the next day. As Dorm Chief, it was my job to see to it that everything was done and done correctly. I took this so seriously and had everyone working…working…working so we could pass the inspection. Another girl, one who wasn’t happy that I’d been selected as Dorm Chief, was also my roommate. At the last minute, I was assigned to dorm guard duty for our newer sister flight. That meant I wouldn’t be in our dorm to sneak around after lights out and get everything done for the inspection. It all rested with the troops, without me there.
My roommate assured me I shouldn’t worry, she’d see to it my laundry got done, shoes polished, and our room squared away. I returned to find that instead of individual items being taken care of, they lumped all laundry together (it all looks alike), all shoes (you gotta know they all look like) and all the chores. Huge piles of laundry filled the common area as people waded through trying to find their own clothes, shoes, etc.
And when I went to my room, all of my laundry still hung sadly in my laundry bag, my shoes in the closet, my chores undone. No one else knew to check my things other than my roommate. And I never dreamed anyone could be so petty.
In the morning, after I’d wrestled for sleep all night knowing it would never come, I stood at attention, my last day as Dorm Chief. Thankfully, the little rat who’d sabotaged me didn’t get the position either. When the Technical Instructor talked to me later, after the huge blow up in front of all my troops, she said she understood and they should never have assigned me away from the dorm that night. But too late. She’d made her decision for a new Fearless Leader and it stood.
Her last words to me after the inspection were something to this effect. “Now, go show ‘em all what you’ve got. And do it for yourself this time.”
I thought she was merely trying to make me feel better, but now, in retrospect, I understand that there come times when we need to think of our responsibility to ourselves. We get so caught up in doing for others; we short change ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first one to volunteer, but I also know that now, I have to make time for myself. I have to give some of the things I want a priority.
Do you save time for yourself?


Timothy Fish said...

People let us down. I think that is why it is so hard for some of us to delegate responsibility. "Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2). It is easy for us to take the attitude that if we want something done right be should do it ourselves. But we limit ourselves when we do that.

I'm reminded of Jesus when he spoke to the woman at the well. He was hungry, just like his disciples were. He could have gone into town to find something to eat. But he was more concerned with meeting that woman. Because other people were off taking care of his needs, he was free to do something great for someone else.

Cora Allen said...

You're so right, Linda. This is a struggle I know well. For me, with a husband and two kids to care for time to write doesn't just happen. No one cares if I have the time I need more than me, so I have to make it a priority or it doesn't happen. It's not selfish. It's realizing that my needs and dreams are important too.

Rick Barry said...

Finding the right balance can sometimes be a challenge. However, if God endowed us with various talents, then we must sometimes withdraw from others' expectations in order use our time and talents in the way we believe we can most glorify Him.

Thanks again for your prayers, Linda, after my painful incident overseas. I appreciate the prayerful support!

sally apokedak said...

Great reminder!

I have been a caregiver for the past 25 years. Mothers and caregivers know that they can't put themselves first. But that doesn't mean they don't ever take time for themselves. It just means they hold it loosely and they know it may be interrupted.

We should plan for time away with God. Time away to refresh ourselves. Jesus, after hearing of John's beheading, and seeing that he and his disciples were hard-pressed and had no time to eat in peace, retreated to a lonely place. But when he and the disciples arrived there was a crowd there ahead of him. And he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he taught them and healed them and fed them. After seeing to their needs he had time alone with his father and found refreshment.

It is good to draw away and have time alone, and it's good to allow God to mess up our plans and put injured people in our paths.

Sadie and Sophie said...

Nice post, Linda. We can't always be responsible for what others do or don't do and must remember at all times that God knows, who else matters? As our dad was fond of saying, "We haven't seen the end yet." He had much wisdom. Thanks for sharing!