A few minutes ago, I just finished sharing with an accountability friend our daily gratitude, and today’s topic was the provision that we are most grateful for…I’ve shared this before on this platform, but it’s absolutely the ability that we have to (mostly) work out our own schedules. It is an interesting dynamic with the 24/7 nature of ministry and the fine balance of time with God, work, family, personal time, balancing the expectation’s of others (this is an unfortunate reality when you deal with people as a leader that I’m not expounding on here), and the routines that come along with having multiple staffs in multiple cities that do punch clocks and having to be present for them physically or virtually at varying levels.
Since weekends don’t really exist on our world other than usually just a Saturday filled with the to-do’s, I have promised my husband for years that I would start to take a weekday off. 2018 is going to be that year, and Mondays are going to be my day for consistency sake. And I already can’t fulfill that promise yet, at least for this week. I can’t control how life happens. I won’t work all day, but there’s some meetings and items I have to attend to because of unexpected that cannot be pushed to the next day. So, we adapt. I came home a couple hours early yesterday and we had a long overdue date and saw a great movie and had a wonderful dinner together. (We just won’t mention the call that came in that time that necessitates me having to go into the office later this morning to take some action because it cannot wait until Monday…life happens, we roll…)
Regardless of how the chips fall in the hours and minutes of the day, I’m still grateful for that flexibility. I have a lot of freedom in determining how and when things get done (within reason–there’s still deadlines, accountability, and responsibility), but I don’t have the rigidity of a 9-5 time clock. I can interweave errands into my day. I can take a break and go have coffee or lunch and visit with a church member, friend, community member, or someone that just wants to talk. I can hop on my bike in my office and wreck my legs for a little while to get some frustration out (and now that all the doohickeys have arrived, I think actually properly set up the training sessions!). I can come in later if I need to–or the crack of dawn. I can leave early–or stay late into the evening. It’s all in finding the balance.
We talked in our women’s ministries group this week about different ways of being a witness in our daily lives, and part of my presentation was showing the different ways of showing how to be a light on the internet. It’s not about filling your Facebook feed with Jesus, Jesus, Jesus 24/7…but living a reflection of Christ. Being available (and that doesn’t mean dropping everything and come running, always being at home/in your office/physically present every solitary second that someone operates on a whim–there’s a difference). We spoke of and saw all the different avenues available in person, in print, on the phone, online, and social media to take part in being a witness, but spoke of the importance of what we are reflecting. Being real and honest will attract far more to the image of God than a feed filled with “like and share if you love Jesus” memes. And far more of our witness online is what happens beyond the public screen.
When we’re real and honest (no matter how ugly it looks some days), people take notice. They want to know what is different and they want to know how they can get it in their own lives. That’s when the door opens. That’s where the conversations start. And it’s not in the public comment box–it’s in private/direct messages or emails and then ultimately phone calls or direct meetings. It’s building upon the seeds that we plant wherever we go.
Balance. I spend a lot of time online simply because of our work–online databases for social services, reporting, financial programs, etc…it’s unavoidable. So, the few minutes here and there to break it up is to take a scroll, to make a silly post, to post a picture, to comment… To be real with what’s going on in my life because maybe it’s going to make a difference in someone else’s.
Do I live under the delusion that I’ve got it figured out, that I’m some kind of example? Pffft. NO! I’m an imperfect person saved by the grace of God. I’ve got a lot to learn. I make mistakes. Daily. I own up to them. I correct them. I learn. I live. I love. And I have fun while doing it. I endeavor to better myself for the Glory of God in all that I do. I strive to repair the damage I have done to my body that is not honoring to God’s creation, but only according to His will.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’m going to have my cup of coffee to lick my wounds for missing AM long run to go discipline…maybe if the weather, my sore throat, and the stars align later today, I’ll get to my priorities!