Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ministry, Motherhood and Marriage

There are three M’s in my life right now and they all need to be a priority and they all need my attention.  But there are only so many hours in a day and only so much attention one can give.  So how do you balance the three?  For that matter how do you balance three things? 

What do you do when:
  • ·      What is best for your son is not what is best for the ministry you are a part of?
  • ·      What is best for your ministry is not best for your marriage? 
  • ·      What is best for your marriage is not best for your son?
  • ·      What do you do when competing things are not just competing for your attention but also conflicting?

I don’t know?  I don’t have it figured out.  But what is currently working for our family is assessing each situation for what it is.  I can’t say across the board that I will always do what is best for my son, or for my marriage or for ministry.  Sometimes we will attend the special event as a family even though it has been a long week and what we really need is to be at home as a family.  Sometimes we will say no to the meeting or request because our son needs his parents and needs to be in bed at a decent time.  Sometimes we will go on a date and spend time together just the two of us even though the to-do list is long and the inbox is full.  But we have to constantly be making sure that we are not always choosing one thing.   We cannot always put ministry before our marriage and before our son. We cannot always put our son before our marriage and ministry.  We cannot always put our marriage over our son and ministry.   We don’t always get it right.  Sometime at night as we are reflecting on the events of the day we say today we should have ______ instead of…, today we messed up…, tomorrow we have to make _______ a priority.   

We have always felt that our call into ministry was something that we were called into together.  We are a team.   We have responsibilities that we share as well as individual responsibilities.  Our marriage, our son and our ministry are things that we are trying to do our best at together.   One of the ways that this works is by lots of communication. We talk about what we are working on, the things that are happening or need to happen this week.  We try not to commit to things without talking to each other first.  We don’t volunteer each other for things until we have talked first. 

Right now our son doesn’t have much voice in the matter but when he is old enough to have a voice, we will give him one.  Side note: that doesn’t mean he will always get his way, but we will listen to him and hear him (right now his voice is a little harder to translate) J. 

A question that we have started asking each other is: What can I do for you/how can I help/serve you today/this week?   Another question that we have started asking is: What is one thing you would like to do by yourself or with me or as a family this week?   Again when our son is little older we will also ask him the same question.  Sometimes the answer is going for a hike together as a family, sometimes having time to work on a puzzle or read a book, sometimes it is going out just the two of us, sometimes it is spending time with friends, sometimes it is taking a day to be away from everything. 

The specifics of the answer to those questions, we are finding are not as important as making sure the three things that are a priority in our life are all given attention.  Not necessarily equal attention but the attention that is needed that is best for all three or best for the one that needs to be priority at that moment.     

That is not even mentioning a fourth M…Me.  Sometimes what is best for my ministry, marriage and my role as a mother is taking care of ME.  I am finding that as we are doing better at balancing the other three M’s I am able to do a better job of taking care of me. 

Also as I read through this post I realized that I never mentioned making our relationship with God a priority.  We spend time in prayer together as a family each night.  We are continually lifting each other up in prayer as well as our ministry  Again when we do this we are finding it is easier to find the right balance for the other things. 
and the other needs that we see and hear about.

We don’t have it all figured out, but we are trying.  I will try to post another blog later on about what we have been up to, but this is something that has been rumbling around in my head awhile so I thought I’d share.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  What works for you and the things you are balancing?

Here is a recent picture of the two men in my life.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Life After Home Assignment

Life After Home Assignment:

We have been back in South Africa for a little over a month now.   ~~~Between starting and finishing this blog and it has now been two month since we returned from Home Assignment.   J J

The first week we were back we focused on recovering from jet lag, unpacking, laundry and getting things sorted after being gone for 3 ½ months.   Peter took most of the week to get adjusted to night and day.  But he enjoyed playing with toys and being able to crawl around and play as much as he wanted.  We were so blessed to be able to stay in lots of wonderful homes while we were on Home Assignment.  However there is nothing like coming home to your own home after being gone for so long.  It is nice to be back home and knowing where the utensils are and where the candy is hidden and where the extra toilet paper is.   Even though we have and will do some travel in the coming weeks and months we will be returning to our home which is a huge blessing. 

The next week we travelled to Swaziland for a few days to do a site visit for an upcoming W&W Team, see some friends and missionary colleagues who had moved there, as well as a few other meetings.   It was a wonderful time spending with our friends and letting our kids play together and being able to catch up with them.  It was also wonderful to be able see what God is doing and how He is preparing the way for the upcoming W&W team. 

The following week we hosted a District Superintendents Retreat for the leaders on our field.  We were together for 3 days and 2 nights and had a wonderful time together learning, growing, listening, praying, eating, and fellowshipping.  One of the afternoons we had a team building time and had lots of fun and lots of great laughs. Please be in prayer for the leaders of the Africa South Field and their families.  There are lots of struggles and obstacles that they are facing.  Be in prayer that they would have the courage and strength to do what God is calling them to do. 

The following week Peter started at a nearby daycare two days a week.  And he loves the ball pit they have there, playing outside and playing with his new friends.  The teacher is wonderful and sends me photos several times a day of what he is doing.   Having Peter in daycare two days a week will allow Joe and I to be together in the office those days.  It will also allow us to be able to focus on work when we are working and focus on Peter when we are with him.  The days that Peter is not in daycare we will take turns being at home with him and being in the office.  When we are traveling we will adjust our schedule as needed. 

August  5-7 we helped Zanele our field literature coordinator sells books at the Women’s Extravaganza Event.  Close to 2,000 ladies from the South Field and Mozambique and Zimbabwe joined together for a weekend of worship, preaching, teaching and fellowship.  It was a great time to see some of friends and colleagues from across the field.  Everyone was amazed at how much Peter had grown. 

The rest of August passed with catching up on projects that had been neglected while we were on Home Assignment and preparing for the next few months events.  The last weekend in August we travelled to the Free State District and taught a class on the Nazarene Essentials. 

September has been a month of sickness in our house.  Peter caught a stomach flu which then turned into a double ear infection.  Since he has struggle quite a bit in his short little life with ear infections he will be getting tubes put in on Wednesday.  Joe and I caught some sort of head cold congestion bug. Thankfully with the help of some medicine and resting and snuggles we all seem to be on the mend. 

Well there are many other things we could share but this blog is already longer than usual because I was trying to sum up two months of life.

If your still reading thank you and we love you.  Thanks for you love and support and prayers.  We felt them! 

Until next time:  Remember that just cause it looks good on Pintrest, All recipes, etc  DOES NOT always mean that when you make it will taste good or look anything like the pictures.