I have been to four different events in the past four months that have filled my head and heart. But now it’s so hard to take everything I’ve learned and translated it into useful stuff for the here and now. I feel like I’m on overload (cue the song “Overload” by Zappacosta on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, just the beginning).

In January I attended the LCMS youth ministry symposium. February was the Texas district DCE retreat. March was the ReFuel Summit from Kids Kount publishing. And finally April was PLI. I don’t think I’m scheduled to go anywhere in May, and for that I am grateful. I haven’t got any space left in my brain or in my heart. I’m filled up to overflowing. And that’s not a bad thing, except that it’s a little like bringing an entire household of stuff into a house that’s already fully furnished. I have to find some time to sort through everything and decide what to keep and what to get rid of, both the old and the new. And in the meantime I have to live in chaos until I get a chance to unpack.

The good news is that this process is not as physically demanding as moving furniture. The bad news is that it’s more mentally taxing. I need to take a day to do it.

So I’m going to. I’m making the commitment, in as public a way as I can, to take a day to just process and unpack and rearrange my internal house. Next Monday, May 7th, is just about the best day moving forward that I can pick. It doesn’t fall on anyone’s birthday (that’s difficult this time of year in our family), I don’t have any meetings scheduled that day or evening, and it’s soon. If you need me, just know that I won’t be responding to any emails, calls, facebook posts, or blogs that day. My plan is to get up in the morning, get ready, and take my books and notes from all of these things over the past four months and go someplace where I can be away from everyone and everything. I’ll take along my Bible and devotional stuff and music. And I hope to come out of it refreshed and with a renewed sense of direction. The only challenge will be limiting the amount of stuff I have to physically carry, so I don’t feel like I’m actually hauling furniture around. I have a lot of books that might be beneficial.

And perhaps after that I can tackle the actual physical clutter in my office. Knowing what’s important to me personally should help me decide what to keep, what to pitch, and what to redirect to another person.

If anyone has a suggestion of a place I can go to locally for this day-long retreat, I’d appreciate it. I’d prefer a place where I can access food and beverages but is quiet and empty enough to work in without too many distractions. Thanks!