Today I turn 48. I don’t feel 48 and my kids says I don’t look 48 (I love my kids). I still feel like I’m in my 30’s, not 2 years away from 50! We did finish the 10K last month and I will confess I didn’t feel like I was in my 30’s that afternoon but I digress…
Change is hard. I don’t like it. Even when it’s for good reasons. Even when the things that God is leading me away from are good.
I have spent the last 10+ years in church lay leadership in various ministries. It has been an amazing ride and I have learned so much from others and through those ministries. It has been fulfilling and thrilling at times. There are so many opportunities that I have been given. But there are times when it hasn’t been thrilling or fulfilling. And let’s just be completely honest, church leadership is hard and sometimes relationships are strained because of it.
But I started to hear God asking me if it was fulfilling because I was looking for the approval of others? Was I doing it so I could tell others how busy I was or how much I was doing for Him and the church? Do I enjoy hearing people say “You are going to have so many jewels in your crown in Heaven.” Is that what it’s all about? Will I be able to stand up with all those jewels weighing me down? Am I concentrating on godly works but failing to spend time with the One who deserves all the glory?
During the tough times what were my motivations for continuing? Am I just giving up by quitting? Am I blaming others for my dissatisfaction?
And the big question – was I really doing it to further His Kingdom? I wish I could say I was doing everything for His Kingdom all the time, but the reality is that my type A personality likes to be busy and I like to accomplish things. There is a sense of satisfaction in bringing a program or activity to fruition. Especially if everyone likes it. But the reality is that my personal walk had suffered. The urgent had taken over the important. My quiet time suffered, my relationship with my husband and children suffered and being totally honest again, those ministries probably suffered.
I am in the process of stepping down from my “corporate” church leadership roles. In some ways it has been easy (and a relief) and in some ways it has been harder. There are areas that I have invested so much time and energy and I feel “ownership” of them. But those areas belong to God and only He owns them. Not me. In some cases I am passing on the torch to very capable hands but in others I have stepped down with no one to lead. I am trusting God that He will provide leadership for those areas or He will show clearly what needs to happen.
So what is God calling me to next? I’ll save that for another post. But for now, I am clinging to Psalm 28:7 these days trusting and praising God for what He is teaching me right now and for what He has planned for the future.
I am reading two books this month – Unstoppable by Christine Caine and Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. I’ll talk more about Unstoppable in another post.
In 2014 I chose one word for the One Word Challenge and it was love. I picked it and didn’t think too much about it the rest of the year. So for 2015 I have chosen the word “intentional.” I want to be more intentional about my life as it relates to spiritual, physical, mental, emotional and financial. My plan is to write about one of these areas each week as the year progresses with intentionality (if that’s a word).
Finally, the first week of Fall 2014 is here. My most favorite time of year. It’s still warm enough to wear capris and short sleeve shirts and cool enough at night to wear a sweatshirt. The leaves are starting to turn, the wind is picking up and the days are getting shorter. You can smell Fall in the air and it makes my heart go pitter patter. It’s time to make bread (a first for me this year) and homemade taco soup. Olivia has been asking for it for a month but I told her we had to wait until Fall was officially here. So guess what she’s getting it very soon.
He has been teaching and pruning me the last month with the Book of Acts. At different times and events these pages of Scripture have come up more often than they ever have. I’ve read it many times before but it has taken on new meaning for me as He is showing me the power of the Holy Spirit as I’ve never felt it before. It is exhilerating and scary all at the same time. I know He has a plan and I am content to let Him show me that plan as He sees fit.
There’s something about flipping the calendar to a new month or seeing that “1” on my iPad that signifies a new beginning. This beginning has a whole different feeling.
The past few weeks have been the end of a lot of things…those things that come to their end in May and June. The end of dance classes with the culmination of the “Recital,” keyboard recitals, Spring Play, Prom, the end of our Word of Life clubs at church celebrating accomplishments with gold medals and a pool party, last week of my precious ladies Bible study, and of course the last day of school for my babies. I’m not sure who is more excited, me or those babies. Just as the beginning of the year is exciting, the end of the year brings it’s own excitement and stress. But once its finished we move on to the things of summer – Word of Life camp (my all-time favorite), lazy days with nothing to do and no where to be, 4th of July. More time to read for fun, BBQs and ice cream! Of course Vacation Bible School, Sports Camp and getting a team ready to head to West Africa are squeezed in there too.
I am looking forward to what the Summer has to bring, what God has to show me and how His mercies are new every morning.
Here’s a few funny pictures from a graduation party we attended last weekend.