Sally from RevGalBlogPals has had a crazy week. Just like all of us, I suppose. :-) She asks what, in the past week, has:
1. Inspired you
2. Challenged you
3. Made you smile
4. Made you cross/ made you want to weep
5.Kept you going?
1. Inspiration has been close to home this week. My beautiful wife has been working oh-so-very-hard on diet and exercise to lose the last stubborn pounds she's gained since before we had kids. Not under pressure from me, but just because she wants to. After fitful stops and starts over the past few years, it's finally clicking for her, and watching how proud she is to report on another pound lost or another pair of jeans she can wear again inspires me to do the same. Exercise and diet have been tough to manage this year - when you're averaging 6 hours of sleep or less per night, the last thing you want to do is eat your broccoli and then schlep your sorry butt outside to go for a run. But with Beloved working hard, it's easier to do the same for myself. I've entered my first race in quite a while in February, and boy am I gonna have fun running it, even if I'm still overweight and slow.
2. Honestly, right now the church is challenging me - and not in a good way. I took our online Health Assessment today, and I'm listed as unhealthy in everything except Alcohol Use and three health indices I can't identify: triglycerides, blood sugar and cholesterol. Thing is, most of the indices in which I'm listed as "unhealthy" can be attributed to life circumstances I can't control at the moment. Sometimes anxiety isn't a result of poor management - sometimes life is stressful, and there's little one can do to change it. Thankfully, some things are looking up lately - I'll be able to stop my paper route in two weeks, which means I'll actually get enough sleep for the first time since last July or so. That should improve other aspects considerably. But most of us, if not all of us, are caught in anxious times right now, and very few of us have the control over those times we wish we could have. Not sure why that should come out as something wrong with us, though.
3. This morning, I came home from my paper route to find Ainsley already awake and eating breakfast. Then we went downstairs and snuggled under one of my grandmother's quilts and I napped while she watched a movie. It was one of many holy moments I've had with my girls over the past few years. As much as I'd love to be in a full-time call, particularly in campus ministry, the extra time I've been given with our girls is a treasure, and I wouldn't give it up for anything.
4. There's a private group on Facebook for ELCA clergy (no fair peeking - you have to be invited in). Without disclosing anything too personal, let's just say that this is not an overly good time for clergy right now. We're tired, frustrated and afraid - all states that lead to poor leadership and even poorer spiritual guidance, both for ourselves and for those we're called to serve. If you are a church-going person, this would be a great time to tell your pastor that he/she is important to you. You'd be surprised how a little compliment can go a long way. Which leads us to...
5. One of my students looked at me and said, "Thanks for being our pastor" today. I don't think it was for anything in particular; at least, anything for which I can take credit. But, as Beloved told me when I got home, "She filled your bucket, honey!" I've always said that we get a lot more mileage out of the compliments we receive than the abuse we have to take. This was a particularly good example. I'm grateful to know I'm making a difference; even if it's for just one person, it's enough.