Previously, this blog has been used for me to put thoughts to paper when I have been home alone for more than one day, which any extrovert can tell you is not a good thing. As I a not currently home alone, one might ask why I am returning to my blog. The answer is simple. I have been thinking, praying and processing through some things which has secluded me mentally and emotionally. There was a breakthrough this week and I thought it worth sharing. And since the post has the potential to be a long one, this blog seemed like a great place to start.
Some of you know that I recently applied for the new pastor position at our church. I was turned down and had a healthy meeting with the elders about what would have to change in order for me to be considered for a pastoral role at Creekside. It came down to two different but related things: humility and teachability. If you compared me now to me 15-20 years ago, you would see (I hope) that I have been working on these things and have made progress in leaps and bounds. But I would be the first to admit that I still have work to do in this area. After the elders talked to me about this (which I am grateful for and hold no ill feelings toward them whatsoever, because how can a problem get fixed if one doesn’t know there is a problem?), I began to pray and think about it, allowing God to chisel on me where I need it and mold me where a gentler hand is needed. Here is the thought/discovery I want to share with you.
Some time ago (think years) I was talking with my friend Matthew (his name has not been changed. He’s a great guy. You should meet him. He manages Flag and Wire) about an upcoming barista competition. He and I were both well practiced baristas at the time, having spent at least 40 hours per week behind an espresso machine for over a year. The top prize was a week at Barista Camp where they teach you the basics of being a barista. Second prize was some sort of coffee gadget or something that was highly valuable (I honestly don’t remember what it was). I said something along the lines of preferring second place as I already had formal training and quite a bit of experience as a barista. He said that he would gladly take the barista basics class because you never know what you might learn or how someone might teach something differently and it might click better in your brain. I answered with a “Hm,” unconvinced (see the above “I am working on my teachability problem”).
This conversation didn’t come back to my memory until after my conversation with the elders. Then it slammed into my thoughts. Matthew is one of the best baristas I’ve ever seen. And he isn’t ashamed to take a barista basics class with a bunch of new baristas. In fact he wanted it, asked for it. You only get better by perfecting the basics. That’s what hit me about my journey toward full-time ministry. I need to work on the basics. On becoming Gospel fluent. On falling in love with the Bible and Jesus and how they can change my life and the lives of the people around me. To do that, I need to take instruction. Listen to the people around me and allow them to speak into my life (tell me not only what I’m doing well but also where my opportunities for improvement are). To make the changes that they suggest as it coincides with who the Bible says I should be.
Hopefully you see the changes that God will be making in my life. If you ever want to talk, please don’t hesitate to get a hold of me. I welcome anyone who sees a character flaw in me. Believe me, if you see it, someone else does too and I want to fix it. If you want to talk about anything I’ve written, I welcome that too. Until then…
I work at a place where I interact with quite a few people. Often times I have things to do in the evenings. It’s the inbetween time that I feel lost. Right now I can’t run home for an hour or something like that. It’s not bad, it’s different. So I find ways to fill my inbetweens. Today it was a hair cut and an oil change. Who knows what it will be tomorrow? (I considered ending that sentence with a period as it’s kind of a statement. But then I figure, grammatically speaking, it is a question. I’m sure someone out there knows what’s right. Good on them.)
I pondered not writing this as another of my friends has been logging his journey. But then I decided I write for me and my well being and I share it with you because of my extrovertedness. So without further ado…
Things are different now (see the title, “Changes,” big clue). We left our house behind today. We lived there for 6 years and it is the only home both girls have known. I was fine with the transistion until the almost 6 year old broke down in tears because it isn’t our house anymore. She snuggled in my arms for a while sobbing and I heald it together to comfort her. Then cried when she walked away. It was a good house and I’ll miss it. But God has something else planned for us. We eagerly search that out with eyes and hearts wide open.
But why back to extrovertsecluded? Well, my wife brought my kids up to Washington with her to visit her best friend. So I am laying here on the first night in our new home and I am alone (with the purring cat and snoring dog). They will be gone three days so I reckon you’ll hear from me a few times.
My thoughts and feelings are mixed right now. Kind of bittersweet. But I hold my head up high and know we are doing the right thing. We are debt free and at a point where we can start saving money. The family has declared this leg of our journey an adventure. And it will be. We will come out the other side stronger and closer.
I’m glad I get to share part of my life with you.
I finally stopped moving today! Well except my thumbs which are typing…
Fridays are my day off usually. Well, today I had a lot to do. Several business meetings, which I feel went well, and other various functions all kept me busy today. Almost too busy. But I’m glad I did the things I did. I smiled most of the day and overall it was enjoyable (the only thing missing was my family. Although my animals are getting even more snuggly because they are home alone all day. So much so that I get claustrophobic to a point. But they seem to like me (or the fact that I’m the one that feeds them, even though I wanted to kill the cat [you should ask me about it some time]).
And now that I am falling asleep, I bid you good day and go to bed.
Why does my dog only wander off at bed time? The rest of the day, he goes out, does his business and comes back. But when I’m ready to go to bed, I have to hunt him down. Animals are crazy. But I love them. They are keeping me sane. Both the dog and cat are getting lonely too. It was an emotional low for me today when I came home. But the cat, dog and I empathized with each other and had a snuggle/petting party while I finished The Flash.
Also I had too much coffee today (also I have ADD). I pretty happy and jittery today. I sing and snap and talk real fast when I have coffee. I’m learning to recognize and control the fast talking. The singing is just a reflection of a happy heart so I probably won’t be reigning that in.
Overall, it was a great day and very productive. I have a homework assignment that I have to get done by Tuesday. Thankfully I think i will find some free-time to work on it.
The cat is biting me because I’m not petting her so I’m going back to my menagerie in the hopes that she will stop before she breaks the skin…
Today went by so quickly that I barely remember any of it. I was busy the WHOLE day! Which, in terms of why I’m writing this blog, is a good thing. But in terms of energy left to do things, such as clean the house, it’s not so good (Shh. Don’t tell Melissa.). Well, that’s not true, I did do a load of laundry tonight (and not because I needed clean clothes, I actually did a for real load of laundry [not that this is a big deal in itself; I mean, I have been doing my own laundry since I was able to turn the knobs] including folding and putting away.). Now I just need the dish fairy to come over because that’s a big chore (and sometimes makes me gag). And in case you are with PETA, the animals are both still alive and happy. Oliver is sleeping on the bed at my feet and Mocha is sleeping on my chest at my face (I use the term sleep loosely. Occasionally laying down but mostly trying to type. Also, hooray for allergy pills! ). We are a bunch of cuddlers in this house.
I don’t have much to say tonight. Today was an emotional roller coaster. Overall a great day. I got the opportunity to bake at the shop this weekend. Thankfully cooking is one thing I know how to do. Things turned out great!
My family and I hang out every Sunday, so that’s pretty cool. They even let me win a couple games (Settlers and Phase 10). Not much else to talk about and no funny anecdotes. I was busy enough today to wear me out!
Also, I laughed a little too hard at this: