My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Finding my Balance

It's been a challenge to find a balance in my life here. I have struggled to figure out how to find rest amidst the work.

My people-pleasing tendencies kick in and I want to make sure my work is done well.

My desire to keep up with my relationships back home keep me attached to my phone and not present.

Being an introvert makes me feel the need to retreat instead of engage.

The 50+ kids need my love and attention, and yet, there are times I feel so empty when it comes to giving out.

But, moving into my new place, I am finally seeing a better balance. 

At the beginning of this year, God gave me three words...




I am discovering that, for me, balance is centered around these things.

Rest...it's so hard when you live in your ministry. Because of that, my favorite place of rest is usually "zoning out" in front of a movie or TV show. It is a coping mechanism for me. It shuts off the rat race that runs full-speed in my head so often. But, I am discovering that this rest is not my best rest.

Last week, we had five days off for our midterm holiday. The first two days, I literally crashed on my bed and watched movies all day. And I was still so tired. But, this restlessness began to eat at me, and I knew that I needed to dig into some real rest. 

And that real rest is the balance my life is seeking.

I think, for the first time since moving to Ghana, and perhaps even before that, I am discovering that rest.

My ministry is the fullest part of my life. It invades so much of my mind and heart...and most of my days. And because of that, I have had to find places to be me, a healthy and happy me.

So, I have started working out each morning at 5:15am. Ajata, Jackie, and Lydia join me most mornings which keeps me accountable. The early wake up time gives me at least an hour each morning to be in the Word, in worship, and in prayer. I leave for school filled instead of tired. And my weekly check-ins with Stacy, Miriah, and Brittany encourage me to fight for my health. For the first time in a long time, I am feeling good about how I look (and I honestly have hardly lost any weight!).

My guest room has doubled as my creative space ranging from a place to paint, to recording my music, to writing new songs, to scrapbooking...this space breathes life into my Spirit. My evenings are spent there, pressing in, listening to the Lord, and feeding my soul with the colors and the sounds and the beauty that is all art.

I am learning to trust others with my heart here, sharing easily the things that I previously saved for only my family and my friends back home. My weekly Bible study has been a place where I know I can come and be loved, these ladies hold me up, speak truth, and walk in grace.  I have made friends with staff here at CORM, people who see my heart and encourage and love and challenge me and make me laugh.

I see a balance developing that I love. I see the rest happening in the midst of the creative places and intimate times. And I feel like I can breathe. In and out. A wholeness.

This has been an incredibly challenging season. There has been so much opposition. So much discouragement. So many tears. But even in that place, there is so much hope. I am finding myself becoming more and more home here than any other place is this great, big world. More and more me here. 

And it is in all this, I can stand grateful in this delicate balance of life. God is so good!

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