Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tentative Transformation

I had no idea that last night would prove to be a quietly monumental moment for me.  Somewhere between running the kids to TaeKwonDo, sitting in a pew for choir practice, and fretting over there being no milk in the fridge for breakfast, God stepped in the middle of it all, and unexpectedly I was changed forever.

Last night, for the first time, I saw that I had indeed become a minister.

I don't know how this transformation happened, I truly don't.  In the light of a new day, I returned to feeling very much un-pastor-like. But somehow, last night I found myself sitting on the bed of someone who had recently entered a nursing home...hopefully temporarily...and became God's unlikely representative.  A sacred conversation was held, where fear of death was acknowledged, and fear of a very uncertain future was expressed.  I was privileged to be the one these thoughts were shared with, and upon leaving realized that something I had said...or perhaps not said...had brought comfort, but more importantly brought God into a place where people often feel abandoned and question the Creator's very existence.

I am at a place where I am questioning so much about my own journey, both in ministry and in parenting.  It is inevitable, I suppose, that any thinking person looks across the ocean of their life and sees several boats going off in different directions, and wonders which one is off course, which one is smack dab where they should be, and which one is the partying Love Boat which never made any sense at all but sure was good for a solid laugh.

There is no clear direction for where I should focus on where it concerns ministry, and yet last night confirmed for me that, indeed, God has something sitting up at least ONE sleeve somewhere that is not being revealed, sort of like a card shark in Vegas whose slight of hand tricks leave people guessing.

Then there is the Mommy-Teacher part, which today had me feeling more exhausted than usual.  I found myself doubting my every move, feeling as if there is just so much ground to cover we will never be able to make up and I am ruining my kids because we didn't get enough math covered this week, or we haven't read the "right" books, name it, I am fretting over it.  There are days when all of this feels so perfectly suited and others where I can totally understand everyone's incredulous and skeptical looks when I reveal we are homeschooling 5 kids, and yea, 2 of them spoke no English 7 months ago.

As usual though, the Spirit descends when we are at our weakest, and sometimes it comes in the form of a 7 year old little boy.  Tonight we were watching a movie about Africa when Josh looked over at me with a big grin on his face and said ""Mommy, I am so happy we are homeschooling.  We get to learn much more interesting things in really fun ways, and I am learning a lot!".  I know it was God speaking through Joshie, reassuring me that all is OK, panic can settle down, and I can trust I am on the right path even when doubts arise.

We head into a busy weekend, wishing we had a bit more down time but looking forward to going on our overnight adventure to the mountain town of Silverton.  We also have the annual "Pumpkin Chunkin'" to look forward too as well on Saturday, where out in a corn field people will use machines created especially for the event to see how far they can launch a pumpkin. Sounds silly?  It is downright serious and many travel almost a mile!!

I am behind on emails, way behind on laundry (even Dominick is seeing the need for a much larger capacity washer and dryer!  That'll have to wait...), and behind in studies.  But at least we have milk in the fridge for tomorrow, and clean underwear...what else could anyone ask for??


Dee said...

If you have enough food and clean undies those are HUGE blessings my friend! LOL / Seriously, I am glad to see you accepting the fact that you ARE a minister, to so many people, in so many ways. Visiting the sick and infirm is so important, not only to them, but to you. You know for sure you're touching someone's life and helping them feel less lonely. Josh was right, too - homeschooling is terrific, and you're doing a great job. Kudos to you, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Clean underwear--what a gift from God. What do you suppose those miners felt when someone delivered clean clothes and shaving supplies. Even if they couldn't take a shower, they could clean up in whatever water supply they had. When finally they reached the light of day, the arms of friends they came relatively clean. And you didn't even realize that you were doing ministry every time you put a load of wash in the machine or took out a load from the dryer.

Oh, and yeah, sitting by a bedside is ministering too. So is homeschooling, singing in the choir, going over mountain passes to preach in small churches to tiny congregations, and flying blind is flying in faith. All those boats are sailing to God's lands and people. Take your pick. That's where God wants you.