It’s funny that after I was in a restrospective mood yesterday,
this would be the topic of the RevGal Friday 5… I guess I need to take just a little more time to consider these questions, too…
1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith
Last night I met with my co-elder for worship and Pastor Jefe (PJ) to talk about the frustrations we’ve felt in the leadership of the church. We seem to be the only elders pushing for real strategic thinking about where we want to go and how to get there. And in session meetings, PJ has this almost psychotic need to appear impartial. So… After yet another meeting in which my wing-elder and I were left dangling in an effort to schedule some team-building and visioning time… we ranted via email to PJ and a meeting ensued. After spending some time learning the history of dysfunctionality that pre-dates us and then assuring that our desire was to help our adminstratively-challenged-control-freak-of-a-pastor turn his vision into a strategic plan, he agreed to pray about forming a “dream team” who would do the kind of work needed to move forward. It was the payoff for countless hours of prayer, several books on leadership, development and the psychology of change, and tons of discussion on low-risk decisions to gain trust between us and PJ. As one who sees change coming 2-3 years down the road, this has been a much longer road for me than the other two. So to see real progress being made in an area that God has laid on my heart for years, it was a HUGE encouragement.
2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?
Right now, I’m walking into a dream – I’m just a couple of weeks from starting my seminary program. I’m launching a new Children’s Worship ministry at our church. It’s fun to see those come to fruition. My dream for my son is for him to find his footing at school this year- as a 7th grader. My dream for my hubby is a public acknowledgment of the faith and belief that God has been building in him- that we would be able to truly do ministry together.
3.Money is no object and so you will…..
Stop working, but stay in my part-time MDiv program, so that I can take the 36-40 hours I spend at the office and invest them in my family and in my ministry. And maybe sleep late a couple of days a week. And take a vacation every summer to really blow off steam and see some places.
4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?
I have been blessed with a gift of faith… of truly believing (beyond optimism) that God’s got my back (and my future), so I just give it back to God. I know that sounds flip, and sometimes I have to give it back every day for a while, but I believe that Dory (Finding Nemo) has the theology of faith down pat: Just keep swimming!
5. How important are your roots?
Steady roots allow me to take the storms of life without being uprooted. After a series of hurricanes ran through our area 3 years ago, we saw hundreds of huge oak trees laying on their sides, having turned large sections of turf vertical. Their root systems had gone out into rings 20-30 yards in diameter, but only a few feet deep. The trees with tap roots or deeper root systems were able to stay upright in the soggy mess of soil that all the rain left behind, even with the winds pushing them around. I also learned that being flexible is what saves all those palm trees that take the brunt of 130 mph winds. You can learn a lot from trees!
6. Bonus= what would you like to add ?
Back in HS I had my handwriting analyzed – I got sucked into one of those Sunday newsmagazine offers at the end of an article on how police used handwriting analysis in solving cases. I know it’s not altogether scientific, but I still remember being shocked at how spot-on some of the analysis was. Since our writing does reflect our mental state within the range of what our personal style of writing is, it changes over time. So, once in a while, I pick up a page off my legal pad to see what’s going on… One thing that I find fascinating is that the margins you set for yourself on the page (especially on pages without the vertical lines) reflect how comfortable you are looking back (to the left) and looking forward (to the right). When your block of text tends to creep to the right – wide left margin and narrow right- you’re more comfortable looking ahead than back. And vice versa.
I’ve always tended toward the future, but I’ve noticed that as I allow God to heal me and accept his Grace for the things that made it so very painful to look back… my page has gotten wider as the left margin shrinks.