To The End Of 2008

This morning’s devotional was spot-on for the final day of 2008.  Who knows what next year will bring?  

I can’t even imagine.
But here’s where I hope to focus, from Thomas Merton’s Thoughts In Solitude (and what a concept that is, for a girl like me…..):

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. – Thomas Merton

“Trust you always.”  I hope this for you; I hope this for me.  For my family, for my individual children.  My friends.  My PCC community.  And I choose to cling to this notion that “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” will really show us that it is God who works in us “to will and act according to his good purpose” (Philipians 2.12-13)
If I didn’t believe I had that kind of almighty, power-filled help, I don’t know that I could make it.
Whatever your fears, whatever your circumstances, I hope you catch a glimpse of the great leading mercy of God – today, as we end one year, and tomorrow, as we begin another.
And every day beyond.
Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.  Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Philipians 2.12-13, The Message

No More Church Talk

I haven’t had any down time in a while.  I’m not complaining; it’s a schedule I choose, for work that I love.  But I have gone nonstop for about 2 1/2 weeks now, without a full day off in the lot. I make time for the kids here, a half day shopping with my mom there, etc., but I have not gone 24 hours without working at some level in quite some time.  Again, this is on me – no fault assigned to anybody else.  I choose to stay connected and involved in work every day, without setting aside time for non-church related stuff.
But I’ve reached a point where it’s necessary. Yesterday, while presenting some ideas at staff, I got so frustrated that at one point I clutched my head in my hands (headache. very bad.) and said a bad word.  Admittedly, it was one of the milder bad words; but it was a bad word.  
Now, in many cases, this is not a major issue, unless you weigh in that we are a church staff, and ideally should be a little less colorful with our language.
But I digress…
So much has been happening. I am basically doing two full-time jobs at the moment, in the middle of the Christmas season. I’m energized and excited – wrapping my arms and my brain around a communication strategy that we are designing and implementing, and I love it. I’m executing some decisions at a leadership level that feels very new for me – but one that feels right. I’m talking to a lot more people, working towards inviting them to step up in various areas of responsibility and leadership on our production team.  I’m working harder, differently, more focused.  And I’m still playing the piano and doing music.
It feels good.  In some ways, it’s terrifying – but it seems like a good place to be.
However, there is loss.  The loss is the immense chaos at home. Christmas is two weeks away, and we’re not even close to being able to do any decorating, because the state of the house is such that I can’t imagine piling up more stuff on top of the stuff that’s already littering every room. I’ve not focused much energy on marshalling the troops at home to tidy their rooms, put away their clothes, clean up the bathrooms, etc. We’re getting by, but it seems to be just barely.  They’re good kids, but they are kids, and they need leadership and encouragement and reminding.  Lately, I’ve been giving away all my leadership energy at work.  There’s just not enough left when I get home.
This is not how I want to live.  This is not the right way to live.  This is not fair to my children.
Chaos at home only bothers me when there’s too much other stuff going on. I have to have order somewhere. Often, it’s in my head, through my job. Rarely at home. But when I feel completely overwhelmed, I need order. And yet I feel completely paralyzed to work to achieve this needed structure.
It’s a catch-22.
So, after a day yesterday that stretched from a three hour staff meeting in the morning, cussing at my much-loved coworkers, emailing an apology for said cussing, lunch inhaled while straining over the computer, managing music charts for rehearsals, supervising a graphic design for a January mailer, assimilating information for a big Sunday discipleship promotion, conferencing about a major change in leadership for our video team, leading the music team through prayer and some vision casting, running a two-hour rehearsal for Sunday’s music, followed by another two-hour rehearsal for Christmas Eve music, arriving home at 11:30 PM….and I’m so exhausted I can’t remember where this sentence even began, much less imagine how to end it…
Anyway, I cancelled meetings scheduled for today and declared that I was taking A Day Off. No church stuff.
Tony came by and picked me up for breakfast; as we sat in the booth and I told him all about my day yesterday and everything I’m doing, I stopped abruptly and said, “I’m done. No more church talk. Let’s talk about you.”
So we did. Now I’m back home, with a great opportunity to make a dent in the chaos. Except there’s so much to do that I don’t know where to start.
A nap is much more appealing.
Pray for me, willya? I’ve gotta get some stuff done around here….