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Recently I (Patty) spent a delightful day hiking and conversing with a group of Student Pastor Interns. We talked about leading, balancing, passions, and struggles in ministry. At one point the conversation turned to “adulting”, and how it was that we were expected to be doing it!  Have you heard of it?  This is what Valerie Williams, one of those wonderful Intern Student Pastors, had to say:

Adulting.
This relatively new verb has been storming young adult vocabulary as of late. UrbanDictionary.com defines “adulting” as doing grown up things and holding responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups. I mostly hear it used in contexts where someone is proud of themselves for accomplishing things they don’t want to do or, and more frequently, when they are dreading or overwhelmed by the things they have to do.

For example:
“Who let me adult?! I don’t know how to adult!”
“Look at me adulting all over the place!”
And my personal favorite…
“I am no longer adulting today. If you need me I’ll be in my blanket fort—coloring.”

They make really cool adult coloring books now with intricate designs and such… kind of wish I had gotten one for Christmas… but that’s not quite the point. The ACTUAL point is this year I will turn 30, and I have no idea when I became an adult. I know I am one and yet it still boggles my mind how I got from point A to point Q so quickly. Now people look to me to have answers and I’m still just trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

My husband, Patrick, and I currently lead a college-aged life group and it is such a fun and rewarding experience. They are constantly challenging both of us to look at things from new and different angles… sometimes unintentionally. Many of our conversations with this group center on the future and their uneasiness with what life looks like on the other side of college/teenagedom or how they manage relationships and what little responsibility they currently have. Each of them has a different story to tell but the theme is constant: “How do we adult?”  Suddenly we are the adults these guys are looking to for guidance and we are still trying to figure it out ourselves.

Here is the best response I can give to anyone seriously asking that question and what I have to tell myself daily:
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  Phillippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

In other words, give it up to God.  This does NOT mean not taking responsibility for your life. What it does mean is God is capable of taking care of you. He is MORE than capable. When I get overwhelmed by the amount of adulting I am being required to do, I pray a prayer similar to this:
Lord, life is too much for me today. It is one thing after another, responsibility after responsibility, and I’m not sure how I am going to make through today let alone this month. You are my strength and I know that you can see my future. Give me a peace in this moment that will calm my spirit so I can hear your voice more clearly. Guide me and show me the way. Help me to realign my life so that you are at the center.

I hope adulting hasn’t got you down, but if it has, just know that there is nothing wrong with building a blanket fort and coloring for a little while. Just remember not to live there. Ask God in and then listen.  He is very good at adulting!

Thanks for your insight, Valerie!  Even if you are hiding in your “blanket fort”, don’t forget to listen to GirlfriendIt as Cynthia Ruchti joins us to share her own “adulting” tips on dealing with letdowns and frustrations.

Wishing you a joyful day of adulting,

I (Patty) couldn’t resist sharing this beautiful response from my friend’s 19 yr. old son, Andy Whiten, when he was asked this question: