Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

change

The thing about change is that most people don’t like it.  I used to think that older people had the most difficulty with change.  I don’t think that anymore.  Age really doesn’t play a huge role in whether or not a person ‘fights’ change or ’embraces’  change. 

I’ll be the first to admit that change does not always come easy for me.  For example, when God draws my attention to something that He is wanting me to start doing that I don’t want to do, I have been known to struggle with that.   The problem is though, that the amount of time I take to be obedient  is in direct proportion to the amount of pain/frustration that I find myself in. Pain is a great teacher.  I am getting much better at it.  God in turn blesses it in such fantastic ways.  Great benefits in quick obedience!!

However, now the problem is learning to stop doing those things that I have just always done.    You know those things that may be really good things and yet the time has come for change. 

It can be hard to look beyond oneself and see that change may be needed.   I’ve been in ministry long enough to know that there are people who will literally work you ‘to death’  (don’t really like that phrase but it’s the only one that comes to me).  I know of  pastors and their families who have left ministry because they couldn’t/wouldn’t stop the work horse cycle.   How sad.

I remember a few years back calling the help line that our district sets up for us and having the guy on the other end say that our crazy busy lifestyle was normal.  In fact, that he himself was even busier than that.  What??  When did it become all right to wear our over booked schedules as a badge?  

Years later I felt the need to call  again.  I know, crazy huh?  When I couldn’t shake  the feeling I just called.  God has a sense of humor indeed.    I had called to ask advice on how to ‘do it all’ with a better attitude.  This time I ended up ministering to the counselor on the other end.  I won’t go into details but I hung up the phone knowing that God had directed me to call, not for me but for him.  Also that God does not call us to ‘do it all’.  That is not His idea.   

I believe that God does not ever call us to burn out or to be on the brink of exhaustion.   Balance is the key.    Knowing this truth doesn’t do any good though, if I don’t walk in balance.   This is indeed at times very difficult.   

I only need to look at Jesus life and see that He was not over committed nor did He rush around to get more things done.  I wonder what does He think about ministers who are constantly on the run?  What does He think about my schedule?  What would He do different? 

Curt and I each work a job outside of the church.  This is not an ideal situation.  It is certainly not my choice.  However, it is what it is.  I have certainly done a lot of praying about it.  God has reasons for it that go beyond my understanding.   That being said, time is a factor.    Balance is needed.  Balance is not easy.  Yet balance in my life is my responsibility.  God can reveal to me what needs to change but I must then make the changes.

til next time

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February 17, 2009 - Posted by | Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. May God guide us in the decisions that we make in our life and ministry.

    Comment by Pastor Curt | February 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. that is my prayer also.

    Comment by Gloria | February 18, 2009 | Reply

  3. Sooooo, how do you know when you’ve achieved your balance?

    Everybody seems to want balance but it seems to me like nobody can decide where that balance is, kinda like the story with the old man who was traveling with the young boy and the mule. No matter how they traveled they were criticized because they’re foolish to walk while they have the mule, then it’s “cruel” that such a young boy should have to walk with such short little legs trying to keep up with the mule while the “lazy” old man gets to ride, then it’s “disgraceful” that such a healthy lad should ride making the poor old man walk when the respectful thing would be to let the elder ride, then they’re “cruel” to make that poor little mule bear both their weights and finally you can imagine the “foolishness” of this man and boy trying to carry this mule. “Balance” seems to be an allusive concept, kinda like the old man and boy’s struggle to do what was “right” while traveling with their mule. No matter what they did it wasn’t considered right yet they and their mule had to get to where they were going somehow.

    I’m sure everybody’s been there at some point where you really don’t feel like you’ve mastered the balance part yet, but somehow it seems like nobody’s happy because everybody around you seems to think you’re already at the one extreme or the other in things simultaneously and no matter which way you go to try to correct it somehow you just keep overshooting the mark and ending up so busy you feel like you can’t breathe or while you’re not exactly doing nothing it still doesn’t ever seem to be enough and as soon as you think it’s safe to breathe somebody or something is yanking the rug out from under you again so that before you know it you’re scrambling and feeling like you can’t hardly breathe again. It gets to where “stopping” keeps getting considered to be bad or “lazy” yet if you don’t take time to stop occassionally eventually God will just drop you from exhaustion and then it takes that much longer to get going again.

    Comment by LisaB | February 19, 2009 | Reply

  4. Lisa, that is a very good question. I have never been one to struggle with not doing enough so I can’t speak on that extreme. However, the doing too much I am by now pretty much an expert on that one. I often joke that the last time I was bored was back in high school, but truthfully it was more like middle school.
    I also know what it is like to walk in balance. I will elaborate more on that in my next blog. Although I see that I have blogged 4 times in Feb compared to 16 -23 times in other months. Hmmm, could have something to do with too much going on. 🙂

    Comment by Gloria | February 19, 2009 | Reply

  5. Just a note to clarify: When I talked about the “not exactly doing nothing” part I wasn’t exactly meaning the slowing down to potential boredom thing. (I don’t know many people who do that who don’t admit to being lazy and not many of the selfproclaimed lazy folk seem to get that luxury either as far as I can tell.) I was referring more to the times when you’ve been putting in so much time and effort toward one area and you stop putting the time and effort toward that and turning it toward something else and you start getting flack because you are no longer putting it toward that first particular thing.

    For example: when you’ve been putting in a lot of overtime at work helping to push through a major workload and oh, say an event planning committee for an organization that provides vital support toward a needy and worthwhile cause and your family is feeling very neglected because it’s all kept you from tending to what you normally would tend to in the home and it’s meant you haven’t been around for some major things that have been going on in their lives and it is becoming clear to you that if you don’t find some way to start connecting with them better or tending to your role in the home more you’re going to have a real problem on your hands so you tell the boss you’re not doing overtime for a couple weeks and inform the committee that somebody else is going to have to take over a portion of what you’ve been handling for the committee and turn the time toward the family and home, but while your family is happier and your home is resembling more order your coworkers and boss start treating you like you’re no longer a dedicated member of the company even though you may still be putting 110 percent toward your regular hours that you are working there and your fellow committee members start squawking about having to take over what you dropped. (You know the kind of squawking, the kind that tends to include comments like “Well, we have jobs and families too but you don’t see US shirking our roles in the project!” even though you might still have maintained the bulk of the responsibilities you had taken on for the project.)

    You’re “not exactly doing nothing” but supposedly it’s “still not enough” as you’re trying to find your balance. Everybody’s depending on you but you only have so many hours in a day, so much energy, and so much that you can do with it. You’re not anywhere close to “bored” but by all accounts you’re supposedly “not doing enough.”

    Btw, I was very tempted to tease about the reduced number of blogs, but it’s not as if you haven’t had good reason and you probably blog more regularly than some do and than some of us folks get opportunity to check in here and read them. So I’d say you’re doing just fine on blog entries. If you take into account that February is a short month and figure it by percentages… you’re probably entitled to a few more non-blog days this month.

    Comment by LisaB | February 20, 2009 | Reply

  6. still not enough” that is the big problem. I have found that people will work you to death ‘if’ you let them. The more you do the more they expect you to do and so forth. I have also found that when I have my life in balance not everyone is happy. I don’t expect people to give or do more than I do but even that can be a problem if I am not in balance.

    As for the “everyone is depending on you” aspect, I encourage people to check in with God. Our enemy seeks to keep us so busy that we lose our effectiveness. (wiggle room – see my latest blog) If God wants me to do it, I had better do it. He will give me what I need to do it. That is not to say it won’t be a challenge or that my flesh will be comfortable with it. It may be inconvenient even. What matters most is what does God think.

    I think that people pleasing enters in here. That is a very hard thing. We want people to like us. We want people to approve of what we spend our time on. We want people to be supportive. The truth is that there will always be people who have something negative to say. With some people you could give and give and give and it would never be enough. Yet comments hurt. It is good to re-evaluate the situation and make sure that we are on the right track and then lay those comments at the cross. It is hard, but having balance is worth the effort.

    I’ve titled this year as my year to be more aware of the abundant life and to purpose to walk in it – to not waste it. It is not surprising to me then that all of a sudden my life is crazy busy. One of the first things I think of with abundant life is balance and enjoying the journey. This, of course, is not something our enemy wants.

    Comment by Gloria | February 21, 2009 | Reply

  7. […] change […]

    Pingback by Living Life in a Fish Bowl! | March 8, 2009 | Reply

  8. […] time to reconnect with old friends?  I am thinking more and more that ministry leaders wear their busy schedules as a badge of ‘honor’.   Like if my schedule is complicated and extremely full then surely I must be doing things […]

    Pingback by simple pleasures « Living Life in a Fish Bowl! | March 8, 2009 | Reply


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