Well, I am hooked back on Pepsi full time (like 2-3 a day), and I drank one with dinner. (Supper if you are my husband. My mom called the 3rd meal of the day dinner, his called lunch dinner. He corrects me every time, but he is asleep, yet I still hear the reprimand in my head. I guess that is what 20+ years together will do for you. He doesn’t even have to be here for the conversation to happen.) Pepsi is a great way to gain weight (I’m up almost 10 pounds from my lowest weight), but I have a serious addiction problem with it. Usually, I don’t partake after lunch, yet tonight I did, so tonight is a good night to write. Tonight is a good night to write. I’ve had a lot bouncing around in my head this week.
School is letting out in the next couple of weeks. Summer is starting as school is stopping. This year, school letting out is a bigger deal at my house. Ty is graduating from high school. I AM NOT THIS OLD! There are a lot of stops that will be happening. He will stop living in my house full time in a few months. I will stop knowing where he is most of the time. I will stop having friends who see him daily and can let me know if there are problems (not that this has actually ever happened, but the idea of it brings some peace of mind). With all the stops, some starts have to come. I have to (and have had to) start letting go of my need to know everything. I have to start trusting him to foresee mistakes coming down the line without me there to comment. (I have to develop more grace for mistakes because I forget what it was like to be 17, and how much I didn’t know!) He starts a new job for the summer. He starts college in a few months. He starts his adult life, one where I am a smaller piece, and that’s ok.
Emma is stopping middle school and starting high school. I expect this will be a very different experience than it has been for Ty because they are very different people. She has stopped soccer, at least for this season to let her knee heal a bit more. She is going to start babysitting for the summer. I expect boys will start showing up more – GUYS, SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO DATE UNTIL 16. So, don’t get any ideas. I am not afraid to shoot if I don’t like the looks of you. And trust me, I won’t like the looks of you unless you love Jesus and want her to be all that He has created her to be more that you want your own happiness. Ladies… I have the same expectations of you if you want to date my sons.
April had a lot of stops and starts for me. I stopped being thirty something and started being forty something. Again… I AM NOT THIS OLD!! After a great visit to Houston, I stopped being someone on disability and started working again. I stopped being someone who has cancer and started being someone who had cancer. (Actually, this isn’t true. I was very convicted early on that I always refer to myself as having HAD cancer, not HAVING cancer. I wanted to declare my healing!) So I will say it this way. I stopped being sick and started being well. It’s a harder mindset change than I expected. I didn’t realize I embraced sick, but I guess I did. I guess I had to for a bit, lacking appetite, lacking energy. But, as I’ve been back at work, I notice when people as how I am, I answer that I am doing really well, but I always add that I get tired easily, and have to take naps. This has been true, but I am curious why I add it to the conversation. Is it an excuse because I don’t want people to expect too much of me, or am I reminding them that I’m still sick? I’m not sure, but I think it is time to STOP THAT. Hey! I did also start to grow hair on my bald streak, which gives me kind of an edgy look (which makes me look YOUNGER!!) and my favorite worship leader, Jessie Early released an EP. You have to soak in Restless Heart.
I’m thrilled to be back at work. I love the people I get to interact with daily. They bring me great joy. I knew I liked my job before, but I appreciate what tremendous people we have working in our school systems in Kentucky. Just quality people! Being back at work means I’m out of my insulated bubble. Cary and I went to Grace Center right after I was diagnosed. We received a word from a trio of students who didn’t know anything about what was going on in our lives. Part of that word was that a woman saw us in a bubble, insulated, protected, and then we would be thrust into something new. That description has really been the picture that has described the last six months. I have felt very protected and like we were just to rest and receive for a time because something was coming after all this. I’m not feeling thrust into anything new, but I do want to be open to God’s leading in every area of my life. I don’t want to fail to dream his big dreams because I am too logical or practical or scared, but honestly this is a struggle for me. I dream big dreams, but I let them disappear because I am scared of the sacrifice they will take, or that I will fail. I want to stop this way of thinking. I want to learn to take risk.
More stops and starts are coming. I am going to quit pastoring the church the end of June. This is a hard decision, one that leaves a lot of questions in my head. I have felt called into ministry since I was 18. I have battled what is okay for women in ministry for most of the years since. I finally have accepted that I am called, gifted and designed by God, as a pastor and teacher, and it is time to leave. Can I be honest though? I did A LOT more ministry and made A LOT more impact for the Kingdom in my sales job than I have pastoring a church. I was in touch with hurting people daily who didn’t need religion or programs, but who needed a touch from Jesus desperately. I don’t know that true ministry happens in a pulpit, or even in a church building most of the time. True ministry happens one on one, when we share people’s lives in our everyday world, and we bring Jesus into the room. Maybe we bring him in when we listen to people, or when we offer to pray over them with they share difficulties, or maybe we just bring peace and acceptance where there is none. What will I start after I stop at Shaver’s Chapel? I don’t know. I have some ideas. I feel like we need to work with married couples in some capacity. We have learned a lot in the last 20 years. We do marriage well most of the time, and I think we need to share that with our community. I also have to stop only doing the convenient things. That probably means starting home meetings back up. My kids are desperate for them. It also means we start looking for the church God wants us in next. That should be interesting… blessings
Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens