Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sacrifice (or The Price of a Calling)

I'm not going to lie, this past weekend was a rough one for me. It was a working weekend (every other one is). And like most working weekends I was feeling sorry for myself and bitter towards all those who were not in my situation. Then came the message at church on Sunday. Written just for me, I'm sure of it.

Point #1 "Always remember why you work"

Friday night I missed out on this.

Jadyn "graduated" from her Pre-K class, something that will only happen once in her little life. There were performances by each class and presentations of certificates by the teachers. Thanks to our handy Flip video camera I was able to watch most of it when I got home from work. But still, I wasn't there. I tried for weeks to get the night off but it just didn't happen. (I could have called in sick but that goes against sermon point #2 "Keep your integrity")

I wanted to be there to tell her how proud I was of her, to grab her up and give her a huge hug and kiss her on the cheek. To dance along with her and clap for her. Instead I pre-recorded a message for her and hugged and kissed her the next morning and asked her to teach me the fun dances. Not ideal, but we survived and made the best of it.

The next day it was a friends double birthday party. Here's what I missed then.

Seriously?  Look at that face! I laughed so hard I almost cried when Tim e-mailed me this picture. Not to mention the time with friends I missed out on (and delicious food!)

And then Sunday came, and not a day too soon.

Point #1 "Remember why you work"

OK, so why do I work? Why do I not stay full time at home? Why do I sacrifice time with my husband working opposite shifts than him, weekends and holidays? Why do I sacrifice time with friends and seemingly the rest of the world who works on a 9-5 schedule? Why do I sacrifice sleep (one of my most favorite things)? And the list goes on and on.

The answer that I was reminded of Sunday morning (whispered ever so quietly in my soul) was, "because I've called you to". No other reason. I work for Him. At home, I work for Him. At my job, I work for Him. He has called me to both.

Maybe the night that Jadyn was graduating something I said to one of my patients will be the thing down the road they will hold on to the next time they want to harm themselves, or the next time they want to get high, or the next time they feel the world closing in on them. If I don't love them, who will? Mental Illnesses are generally not part of the heralded diseases. You don't see many 5K for Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder. But for some reason God has shown me His heart for these people and has asked me to work with them. And so I do.

I admit that lately it has been begrudgingly. Which is why I probably needed the reminder "Remember why you work"

Really I have the best of both worlds, I get to work in an area God has gifted me in (psychiatry) and then I get to "work at" an area I am not so gifted in (motherhood), and I'm going to try to be thankful for it all. I'd like to think that the kids are getting the best of both worlds too, me in the morning and Tim at night.

And who am I kidding, for as much as I feel sorry for myself about the things I miss, there is so much more that I get to enjoy. (case in point: the very weekend before we had a family getaway in Chattanooga)

Rolling in the Grass

Rowing Partners

Whispering sweet nothings

Coming in for a hug landing! And I'm the landing strip

And let me tell you, that time is all the more appreciated. So I repent and remind myself "Why do I work?" The same reason I do anything, because of Love, so others may experience His glory. As my wise pastor Mike always says "It's not about you!" I'm not saying the bitterness and resentment won't happen again (like maybe on Father's Day or 4th of July, both of which I will be working) but I'll try to remember this simple truth and suck it up.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lent Conclusion: The Journey is Just Beginning

Easter. The glorious conclusion to the Lenten season. As people throughout the ages have professed "He is risen, He is risen indeed!" We spent Holy week doing special things with the kids each day including buying gifts for our neighbors, washing each others feet, planting things. It was a very precious time (some pics below).

I wanted, and had intentioned to, write a post about all that I learned. I tried and failed (I just deleted lines and lines of writing). It was too much, too deep to put in writing adequately. (if you want to know more you can ask me, I'd be happy to tell you all about it). What I can say is that I started out our Lent fast as I do every year, doing it because that is what we do, we fast. I was not prepared to be changed forever. But I am. The person I started out as, less than two months ago, I no longer am. My thoughts have changed, my focus and purposes have changed, my way of seeing things/people has changed. It seems like an eternity when I look back. And I hope that my life reflects all that has occurred. I hope I speak differently, I hope I act differently, I hope I treat people differently.

I'm not saying that parts of the old me aren't there, for example we just spent $15 at Caribou coffee yesterday just for the pleasure of it (but I did feel an adequate sense of guilt and thought about all the other ways that money could have been used, so it was the old mixed with the new). But for now, the new me is a happier, more contented me over-all. (aren't we always when we are living the life we were made to live) There have been a few hiccups/distractions/derailments already, but the detours seem shorter and it seems to be taking less time to get back on track than it used to.

What I can profess is that through many different avenues (my readings, church sermons, people I was talking to) the words of Jesus spoke truth again to me in the simple and pure way they did when I first heard them, before it all was twisted and tainted and marred by life and experience, etc. And so I claim again the title of Red Letter Christian (in reference to the words of Jesus being in red in some Bibles) and try to live accordingly.

In tangibles ways this has manifested in our home being transformed into something that is more "us" and less like a catalog or showroom. Our time, resources, finances have been overhauled and are now being used so much more purposefully and intentionally. We have broadened our sense of "family". I look at people I am interacting with and remind myself they are God's creation made in his image and I should treat them that way. I hope it shows, that I am not the same. I hope that less of me shows through and more of Him. And that's it in a nutshell (wherever that phrase came from).

please enjoy some of my favorite Easter photos and our newest home projects
Our Holy Week "worship space"

Washing of the feet

Naturally died eggs (beet, onion, red cabbage, tumeric)

Easter finery

Aquarium mural, everyone contributed

Beginnings of our green wall

Saved most of these from Lowes clearance section

Repurposed Ikea wood