Monday, March 23, 2009

Still Here

Between rocking a fussy baby, entertaining a 2 yr old, cooking for 6 to 8 people and cleaning up for said people in between, I've neglected posting lately and felt I should let you know I'm alive. Just for the record, we didn't adopt a bunch of kids all of the sudden :). I've spent the last couple of weeks in Nebraska helping my sister. So, here's the mother of all stories about ministry challenges...

Three weeks ago yesterday my newest niece was born. She's perfectly formed-everything where it should be and a head FULL of blond hair to boot (blond newborns don't happen in my family). Blondie is baby #4 to move into the Gospel Wesleyan Chapel's parsonage (which is a modest size house to start with), so I knew my sister would need some extra help adjusting to life with four kids as a solo pastor's wife in a small town. The kicker came when baby was one day old. My sister hadn't even been released from the hospital yet when my brother-in-law broke his ankle--the RIGHT ankle! The new daddy can't drive, new baby can't seem to sleep at night and new mommy is trying to survive. Fortunately, my parents are parked next door (they have a house sized RV) and I flew out when baby was a week old. Between my brother-in-law and sister pastoring two churches 45 miles apart, giving music lessons and accompanying a high school musical next weekend-all with a broken ankle and newborn-it's been a zoo around here.

Today the weather is mimicking life. It's downright violent out there. As I sit here listening to the rumbling thunder and pounding rain, I'm reminded of the story in Mark 4. Jesus and His disciples were crossing the lake in a horrid storm. Jesus was sound asleep in the boat when His disciples woke him asking, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" Jesus seemed amazed at their fear and complete lack of faith.

Lately, I've fought a storm in my own heart. As in most of the rest of the country these days, life is uncertain in our neck of the woods. I feel the sense that God may soon ask more of our family than I'm comfortable with. I believe He's on the move...HE'S on the move and I'm in a holding pattern waiting for His timing to move with Him. I'm not sure what that will look like, which can be unnerving at best. I think I needed to see the physical storm today and read Mark 4 to better understand the spiritual storm. I don't want to hear the words the disciples had to hear. "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Let me rest along side the God of the storm.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Choices, choices

I'll admit it...while I love and value people, when it comes to the choice between checking stuff off my "to-do" list or spending time with people, I naturally gravitate towards getting the job done. I think it has something to do with my parent's great job of raising me to "eat the veggies in life before diving into the cake." If someone has something significant happen such as a trip to the hospital, a death in the family or a car accident, I'll drop the "to-do" list every contest. However, when the choice becomes clean house/pick up groceries or have a spontaneous play date at the park, I'm naturally drawn to finish the dreary responsibilities first. While it takes maturity to choose house cleaning or taking care of laundry over surfing the web or watching crime shows, I'm becoming increasingly aware that choosing "responsibilities" over the stuff of eternity falls far short of maturity.

Today, I had a couple of errands to run...a quick trip to the store and working through homework and writing birthday thank yous with the boys. As the boys and I were walking back to the van after school, we bumped into a new friend picking up her son from 4th R. As we chatted, she started dropping subtle questions/hints about the possibility of a impromptu park play date with our four boys. Habit suggested I should beg off and make my vitally important trip to Raley's. Let see, spending time with someone I love and God is actively pursuing or price checking vanilla wafers? Honestly, how could I EVER think vanilla wafers are more important? We didn't discuss the fate of the universe or even how deep/wide/great is the Father's love this afternoon. Still, I think maybe tonight my friend knows I'm willing to interrupt my life for her. Today it was a simple little play date and discussions about picky eaters and sibling rivalry. Some day it might include how Jesus has made me different.

"God, help me interrupt my life for the 'unimportant' stuff. Help me keep a view towards people more than piles of laundry, shopping lists or projects."