Be my Everything....

Yet another Monday has smacked me clean in the face and I am slowly getting into a groove today. This weekend I had a meltdown, and it was brought on by several things that had piled up over the course of the week. I stumble daly, in particular with my OCD need to somehow be in control of my life, when in all actuality none of it is. My Father in heaven orchestrates every moment of my life without my knowing and understanding it the majority of the time.

We are still in somewhat of a holding pattern this season, several open doors for Ryan with new job possibilities. The new reality we are finding is that a full time worship ministry role is hard to come by anymore. A lot of churches, the majority of churches have had to improvise in this tough economy and go bivocational unless you live in an area that is thriving with several mega churches that can sustain a larger, more diverse staff. Ryan is still trying to find his niche, and rather than take a position where he feels he must be boxed in and conform to what a church thinks he should do as a worship pastor, he is waiting to find a position where he is able to truly spread his wings creatively, while being supported in his ability to do the job with excellence as well as not being burdened by a board's unrealistic and inexperienced list of to-do's for the day. I am thankful for the chance Ryan has had to share in ministry with both of his brothers, and experience worship leadership in some other venues where he's had a taste of what a healthier ministry and staff environment can provide for him. I admit there was a time and there still is a lingering thought that I'd rather Ryan not ever take a worship pastor job again. I watched and experienced the pressures and demands that come with being both a pastor's kid and a pastor's wife. I saw my Mom do it so well, but I am finding I am not cut out for it. Being under that microscope is a difficult task, and I am constantly amazed to watch how churches handle the admitted flaws of their pastors and reel in shock when something happens. Wake up churches! You are all human, your pastors included, and here's a given you better come to expect--at some point your pastor is going to make a mistake and hopefully that same pastor will do the right thing from the get go and tell you he is accountable to God first, and to the church body second. The same goes for our governing boards, elders, deacons, etc. With accountability in place, we can ride out the storm better than if there were no accountability in place at all. I am praying this for Ryan, as we continue to maneuver through this season of life, that he finds a position with a church that has a healthy and well-rounded expectation of the Worship Pastor and truly is unified as a staff team to not only do ministry well but do it in ever changing, transforming, and creative ways. This Summer and Fall have turned out to be seasons of real change for Ryan and I. Opportunities are coming and going, and progress is being made in this time more so that the length of time we waited while we were in Indiana. It is more evidence that our move to Missouri was God's plan all along, and He continues to reveal to us new and interesting possibilities.

This is only part of what set me on a course to a meltdown last weekend. We have been managing two aging vehicles for years now and out of necessity and the lack of funds to secure a newer vehicle, we chose to make having older vehicles and no car payments work for us as long as we could manage it. Several hundred dollars worth of repairs in the Spring and a lot of prayer and research led us to look into purchasing a replacement used vehicle. God provided, the stars aligned, however you want to look at it and a local and reputable used dealership had a used minivan that turned out to be just what we needed and could afford. Going from two vehicles to one was not easy but we could make it work because of the close promixity of our jobs, and the kids not having a hectic extracurricular schedule. What we didn't anticipate was the repairs that would come less than 2 months after and as I type this blog entry Ryan is taking that lovely minivan into the dealership today after having a lengthy conversation with their service department supervisor over the weekend of what we've had to do.
It keeps getting better-as the school year has begun, our son AJ has been having some issues with his attention span, getting his work complete, following basic directions, etc. Several phone and email conversations with his teacher and not even 3 weeks fully into the new year we are disappointed and uncertain as to what we need to do. At first glance it appears he is simply unmotivated and doesn't feel like doing the work, enjoys twirling his pencil and pretending it's a rocket ship rather than following the teacher's directions. One particular day, they had to get out their dictionary and workbook, and when he was asked to find the words on the list and write down the definitions, he said he didn't do it simply because he decided he could come up with more creative words. Anyone care to dig into this 8 year old third grader's mind and see what makes him tick because I can't seem to figure out other than he is simply bored and hasn't found the outlet for the creativity that he possesses! Awesome! Further into the talks with his teacher we noted he'd had some issues with seeing the board and being a bit slow in writing down what was given to him to copy on his paper. We made an appointment for the eye doctor, discovered he does in fact have issues seeing far away, and he came home proudly wearing a new pair of reading glasses. This morning I got a brief email from his teacher stating he is already showing signs of improvement, taking greater interest in his work and very proud of his new eyewear. We are hopeful the good reports will continue as the week progresses so he can earn back his priveleges at home in terms of play time on the XBox, tv time, etc.
To wrap up the week, I had a particularly challenging couple of days and it boiled down to a project that I have struggled to tackle. I am slowly getting it down, but it is just another one of those things that I have had to learn, and it is not coming as quickly as I'd hoped. Again, the OCD kicks in and I struggle with wanting to get it done right/perfect the first time, and if I don't get it right away, it can make me physically and emotionally ill. Add that struggle to a storm that began to brew late afternoon Friday and is still going but for the moment seems to be handled. I like my job, but I do not love it. I know, I know, most of you would say yep, know what you are saying and that is just how it is. Well, there's a depth to that small statement for me that has lingered for years and when I heard the messsage at church Saturday night it re-ignited some "stuff" that I've been wrestling for years.
I know what my calling is, I know what I am good at, I know what my gifts are, but how do I find a way to make that translate into my work life? Bottom line-I never wanted to work full time and never intended to. My dream was to be a wife and mother, be home with my children, possibly do some part time work/projects here and there but I never, ever intended to be in the position that I am now. My struggle is not with that so much as it is the necessity for me to have a full time career, then I want it to be something that I truly find worthwhile, enjoyable, and an investment in me and my best that I have to offer. I know what I am capable of, I know what I can do and what I am able to accomplish, but why does this question keep lingering in my mind: Is this it? Is this all there is? Do I really have to settle for this for the next 20 years or more of my life?
My heart says no, but my mind says yes--do what you have to do because you don't have a choice.
As I gulped tearfully through a difficult conversation with Ryan on Friday night, limped through the weekend emotionally and physically, back and forth between waves of certainty and uncertainty, all I could think was I must stop thinking about what God could have for me and focus on what He has provided for me today. I somehow have to force my thinking to relax and center in on how good God is. Somehow that has to be enough, I just need to let it all go. Why is this such a hard lesson to learn and why is it a neverending life lesson? All I know is I was confirmed in this very certainty as I came upon this scripture, and a song I heard for the first time years ago but was fresh in my heart this morning:

Psalm 63:5-7(The Voice) My soul overflows with satisfaction, as when I feast on foods rich in marrow and fat;
with excitement in my heart and joy on my lips, I offer You praise.
Often at night I lie in bed and remember You,
meditating on Your greatness till morning smiles through my window.
You have been my constant helper;
therefore, I sing for joy under the protection of Your wings.

"Everything" by Tim Hughes

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping

God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything

God in my hoping
There in my dreaming

God in my watching
God in my waiting

God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
You are everything

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
Be my everything

Christian lyrics - EVERYTHING LYRICS - TIM HUGHES 2007 Sparrow

I can't be my best me, I can't be fully in Christ if I am weighted down by all of this, so somehow, some way in my daily struggle to be the me God intends for me to be, I have to lay it all down and let Christ flow through me. I am so thankful for his mercy, for his grace because I am such a mess and I get it wrong so much of the time.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me! Be my Everything!

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