Being married to a man who pastors 2 congregations has not been easy. When my husband was ordained, I remember telling him that we were not going to do the "two church thing" ever again. (He was in youth ministry at one and senior pastor at the other at that time.) Little did we know 3 years later we would find ourselves once again doing the "two church thing". Our daughter's trip to Rwanda did introduce us to a man who pastors 10 churches. That was a good attitude adjustment to pour first world "problems".
Our Calendars are jammed packed. as I write this we have just finished plotting out the next 10 weeks. 1 weekend does not have an event we need to host, attend or be in support of.
Having 6 amazing children who tag along to most of these, and do so willingly, adds to the dynamic.
We are often chided by people that we will burn out. This is how it has been for 10 years so far. I do not anticipate it changing. Thus far, we have been given the grace and strength to do the tasks we have been given. We do not sit still very well.
IT HAS NOT BEEN EASY. Just having dinner as a family one nite a week is a stretch. There is almost always a good reason why he is not home. Some one is in the hospital, some one died, some one prayed to receive salvation.... I could easily feel like I am competing for my husband's attention if I do not stay surrendered. In the moments when I am functioning in my own strength, well, those are bad moments.
Lisa Harper gets this. "People are more important than projects."
She shares her adventures, the life-detours, and the unexpected ways and times G-d has her cram one more thing into her full schedule.
I am so glad to know it is not just "us" who are being stretched. Some how just knowing that adds strength. This book is a wonderful reminder as to WHO is the focus and to stay in a surrendered place.
"I've been stretched way beyond my comfort zone alot lately (and have stretched a few others right along with me). Beyond what I thought the elasticity of my heart and mind- and some days my reputation- could take. Interestingly enough, it has become more comfortable."
Through this book Lisa challenges us to:
*Run headlong into the arms of Jesus every single day
* place your goal here
At the same time, I would like to offer a challenge to all those who say we are burning out. If you step up and do some of the tasks, the tasks would be more spread out amongst the church. Many hands make light work. You will find the tasks worth the effort. To see lives changed and hearts renewed is a great work to be allowed to be a part of.
Pray for your congregation's staff and leadership.
Join them in the tasks.
Buy this book for them.
More quotes from the book:
"Sometimes the truth stings like a wasp on steroids."
"There are hard days."
"I believe that is what G-d wants for each one of us as well. For us to leap off our towering cliffs of fear, uncertainty, shame, anxiety, resentment, and religious propriety into the crystal-blue sea of extravagant faith in Jesus and compassion for others, because we know our Divine Dad is in the water below, waiting for us."
In each of these vignettes illustrating Lisa’s overextended life, we learn that even in the middle of our own pure motives and hectic schedules, it is only by resting in God’s sovereign mercy that we are able to keep risking our hearts to serve his people and fulfill the callings he has placed on us.
Real life . . . abundant life . . . godly life is about loving Jesus and the people he allows us to rub shoulders with well—which means some days you’ll be stretched emotionally and physically. You’ll feel overextended. Thankfully God will expand our hearts and calendars to accommodate the calling. He is in the business of supplying us with new mercies every morning . . . new candles to burn, for more lives needing his light.