So I haven’t posted here in a while. The skinny is that I have been keeping myself busy with distractions. Well, at least they are distractions now. You know how it is. Yesterday’s priorities can easily become today’s distractions.
A few months ago God told me He was going to be shifting my focus and that I would be entering a new season of life. In December He clarified that a bit with these words which have become my words for the year :“Shift focus to wonder.”
I guess I didn’t anticipate how hard it was going to be to shift my focus and to begin to concentrate on the new priorities God has given me. I also didn’t realize how much I have allowed other people to make decisions about what the important things in my life are. God warned me that people wouldn’t understand.
When Mom’s health took a turn, I understood that as the gateway to the changes. Everyone has been so supportive. It has been arranged that I should work more from home. Things have been put in place to make all that possible. Everything should be going so smoothly but I can’t seem to adjust to this new rhythm I am called to. The problem is me you see. I am finding it hard to say “No” to the things I used to say “Yes” to. I am having trouble giving up my freedom to use my time however I want to.
I was chatting with my boss the other day and telling him how I would love to join a certain committee in town, but that I really need to be careful of my commitments now. It made me kind of sad and yet at the same time felt like destiny was being unleashed.
I understand this is an exercise in crucifixion, a dying of a part of me that has to die. Yet I miss this free part of myself everyday and so I keep resurrecting it.
I know I must decrease so that He might increase. I must surrender my plans so that His plans might be accomplished, but honestly I really loved my plans. And here’s the other thing. People don’t understand. They have gotten used to me following a certain pathway and being a certain way and pursuing life a certain way. I have revealed to them intrinsically over years…even decades that I consider my ministry to be a certain way and they don’t yet know that the ministry plan has changed. The world around me can do nothing else but encourage me to keep going after the same old plan. They don’t fully see that God has made a change and that a new plan exists for me…for the church.
My sister asked me the other day how she could help me make this adjustment and I honestly don’t know. I have to get the new rhythm myself before I can play it for others. I think my time with my Son and Daughter-in-law in the Philippines really began to clarify for me the size of the change which was upon me. I understand now it is going to take me a little while to figure it all out. I think I am becoming better every day with understanding and implementing the changes.
Here are two things I know:
My changes are just a part of a much larger change God is bringing to our church.
Watch out world! Once I figure out this new rhythm I feel like a new level of effectiveness and achievement is going to kick in quickly, not just for me but for all the people God is moving me out of the way to release into their proper places.
It was such a busy weekend at the Vicarage, I haven’t finished all the work it created yet…and it is almost Thursday. Part of that work is this post which I started writing on Monday morning and had to keep putting off until now.
The sad thing about getting behind like this is that life events don’t just stop so you can catch up. Oh no! They just keep rolling in so the work you didn’t get done when it was supposed to be done, keeps getting pushed back behind the work that you have to do today until saying things like “It was a very busy weekend”, really don’t matter because it is almost next weekend.
But I really want to tell you about the weekend we had here at the Vicarage.
Amanda started the weekend off when one of her friends who works at an adult dayhab in our area was burned out of her home. Amanda put out the call for clothing and essentials and spent a good deal of time gathering those items for delivery this week.
In the meantime Brenda left for a weekend tour of Connecticut. She performed her show, My Hiding Place, in Bristol on Friday night, taught a teen seminar in Greenwich on Saturday, and then preached twice on Sunday in Farmington.
Monday she started jury duty and got selected for a case she has been sitting panel for since.
For myself, I have been holding down the home front. Saturday our artist’s community set up an art show at one of the local libraries.
Sunday of course was church and then housework. I think I did something like nine loads of laundry this week! Of course none of us including the people who stayed here in Massachusetts have yet recovered fully from our trip to the Philippines. Some things have changed with Mom since we left and that leaves us all a little worried about her health.
So we watch and wait and work and wonder what is coming next for the ministers of the Vicarage. In the end, we can only deal with things as they come along. All of us are learning to just live in the moment and rejoice in the busyness and the blessedness of serving God in it.
I awoke again this morning at 2 A.M. and finally rolled out of bed at 3. The dogs yawned sleepily as I rousted them from bed. Mercedes snorted at me with disdain as I put her in her crate so I could get ready for the day. Her white fur stuck out at indignant angles and she glared at me with the one eye which was not blocked by her wiry hair.
I filled the food bowl, got dressed and shuffled downstairs to finish getting the dogs’ breakfast and mine made. As I spooned the wet food into the dog dish and popped it into the microwave to warm (my dogs like a warm breakfast) I found myself wondering if I was ever going to get over jet lag.
It’s a week today and my days and nights are still reversed. I kind of thought I had it licked the other day when I stayed up until 1 A.M. to pray and then slept until 6:30 A.M. That is until noon rolled around and my body once again spontaneously shut down. It doesn’t really matter where I am when that happens. I just fall alseep!
That all said, this has been really good for me concerning this season of prayer we are having at the church. I have been able to go in at 11 at night and pray through until 1 A.M. without a problem. This morning I am in the church by 4 A.M. catching up on some writing until 5 and then I will pray until 7. No worries folks I imagine I will be taking a nap by 1 this afternoon anyway. Maybe this is my new normal.