Cambridge Living and the Art of Balancing it All

Please excuse my outragiously large key collection. I'm a fan of keychains.
Please excuse my outragiously large key collection. I’m a fan of keychains.

In case you missed it (we’re not THAT cool, so you probably did)…

The mister and I arrived to our home in Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 14th. I think we expected a little down time before school started, but from day one things have been pretty…um…insane.

In the past 3-and-a-half weeks we have been to IKEA 4 times (I will never go back again), unpacked what seems like 800 boxes, started school, attended 3 major HBS events and over 9 dinners, and have hosted a little shindig in our home. We’ve met people from Argentina, South Africa, China, Denmark, Russia, the Ukraine, and all sorts of other places! It’s been utterly chaotic.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love our new friends, I am thrilled to have our own place, and I actually, for one of the first times in my life, feel as though we are right where we should be (which is amazingly peaceful). The transition has just been a little more difficult than anticipated.

Things have been moving fast, and the mister and I have been trying to figure out how to balance it all.

Recently, this dilemma has led me to ask myself a couple of important questions:

Who am I? And what type of person do I want to be?

Now, before I keep going, I need to let you in on one thing: Caleb’s grad school is HIGHLY social. (I cannot emphasize this enough.) Every night there are at least two events or gatherings that people can take part in. On top of that, it is highly recommended that you participate in most (if not all) of the events because you don’t want to miss out on building relationships. Business school is all about networking, right?

Anyways, it keeps us quite busy and makes us feel pressure to run faster than we want to – or faster than we probably should.

Okay…back to it.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a big event for Caleb’s school. Since we had been going like crazy for two weeks straight, and had several other events that same weekend, Caleb and I decided that it was probably best to decline the offer and rest a little bit.

I freaked out.

“What if we don’t make friends?! What if we are left out of the next event?! What if we become loners?! What if life moves on without us?! We are SUPPOSED to go to everything.”

Caleb calmed me down, and I started thinking…

Who am I? Who do I want to become?

Here’s what I came up with:

Who am I?

  • I am a child of God, meaning I am accepted by Him. He doesn’t look at me and say, “Lindsey, you need to get your act together and do ‘this or that’ so that I approve of you.” He approves of me already. He chose me before the beginning of time to know Him and walk with Him. God, the King of the Universe, accepts me. That’s big. (Ephesians 2:11-22; Romans 8:38&39; Ephesians 1:3-10)
  • I am loved by a good God. The God I follow is worthy of my trust. He holds the world in his hands and works within it for his glory and the good of those who love him. If God is for me, who can be against me? He’s in control, he’s good, and he loves me. What should I possibly fear? (Isaiah 41:10; Romans 8:28-37; Lamentations 3:25; Proverbs 19:21)
  • I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a peer, and a student. I am a woman trying to figure out how to walk with God, love others well, and spend my time wisely.
  • I am a woman who forgets all of these things often and ends up making the things of this earth god. (And may I note that every time I do this, I end up being let down.)

What type of person do I want to be?

  • I want to be someone who loves those around me well and isn’t concerned with being friends with a million people. Friends are a gift. My family is a gift. I can love a small number of people well, but beyond that, I’m incapable. (James 1:22)
  • I want to be someone who lives with a sense of inner peace because my hope and identity are placed in Christ, and not in this world or the circumstances it brings. (Romans 5:1; Colossians 3:15; Romans 5: 2-5; Proverbs 10:28; Romans 15:13)
  • I want to be a restful person, or a person who isn’t stressed out because I have too much on my plate. I want to have enough time to breathe and seek God so that I can enjoy others without thinking about myself, or my to-do list. (Matthew 11:28-30; Luke 5:16)
  • I want to be a good wife. I want to carve out time so that my husband and I can enjoy each other, build into each other, and both seek the Lord through his word and prayer. I want to love him well, and in order to do so I must have time and energy.
  • I want to be free. Free from addictions, obsessive worries, and idols. I want to trust the Lord with everything within me. (Galatians 5:1; 1 Peter 2:16; Galatians 5:13; John 10:10; Philippians 4:6&7)

So what now?

The truth is, I can’t do it by myself.

Jeremiah 17:5&6 reads like this: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an inhabited salt land.”

The person I want to be requires prayer, thought and effort. It takes relying upon the Lord’s grace to silence the idols of this world (acceptance of others, people’s praise, worry, control, money, worldly and temporary success, and popularity), and remembering that God can be trusted and He knows what’s best for me. It’s remembering that the world can be deceiving, but in Christ there’s life that is true and thirst quenching.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7&8

My point in all of this is this: sometimes when life starts moving quickly, you have to stop and reflect on the type of person you want to be.

We only get one shot at this “life-on-earth” thing, and if we aren’t careful, we’ll keep sprinting until we’re completely lost. We’ll keep moving along with the world around us listening to its tunes, and eventually, we’ll lose track of who we really are and what’s important to us.

Life keeps moving whether or not we are prepared.

Stop. Exhale. Think.

Who are you? What type of person do you want to be?

Cambridge is great. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here and am so thankful for the path the Lord has allowed us to walk down. I love our friends and the process of making new ones. I’m grateful for my school and for Caleb’s and for the ways in which God has already provided for us here. Peace is a wonderful thing, and I am affirmed through it that we are right where we should be. This doesn’t mean, however, that it will be free of struggles and hardship. My prayer through it all is that we will be true to who we are (to who God created us to be) – and that we will be open to Him. I know He’s going to use our time here to mold us and shape us. May we depend upon Him and trust Him in the process.

Here’s to the next two years, to God’s grace, and the peace that only He can provide!

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