Learned

“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
~2 Corinthians 4:15~

Mom and Dad are all moved in. It’s been hard for me to not be more involved in their move, though I’m thankful that one of my sisters and my two brothers could be there to help. I haven’t been down to see them yet, but did send out a text to Mom yesterday to see if they’d want to come visit next week for supper sometime. The woman coming down as camp nurse next week used to be our next door neighbor in Lexington. This was during the time when my family had started attending the LCMS church there. Our neighbors were also a part of this church. She and her husband have come to camp for close to twenty years if I’m remembering correctly. It is always such a blessing to see and hang out with them.

With school being currently over for me, I’ve been working on how to best plan out my summer time. Yesterday I typed out a tentative checklist or guideline of things I either need to do or would like to make sure I do. I still am pretty limited in terms of physical stamina for more laborious tasks, and am still pretty tired after last week’s extra getting ready for camp. I’m imagining keeping things pretty low-key, but with interludes of more activity, followed by rest. On my list includes spaces for two daily outside tasks such as weeding or lighter yardwork. Then I have spots for three indoor activities, such as tidying a space or cleaning a bathroom. Also included is a place for a home management activity such as getting important mail out or sorting through papers.

Our Spiritual Nurture board is meeting this Monday. With school out I finally feel like I can give more attention to this board. Our church continues to be in a time of transition. The biggest focus with this board has been assessing what our church’s current needs are. For example, in the past, our church had a thriving youth group for many years. As we have tried to bring back some of the youth or family events, I have struggled with feeling like there is too much pressure on me to show up. It discourages me too much to be part of something that is a fading remnant of a bygone era. I end up feeling sad and merely obligated to populate the youth group which is made up of one other child besides pastor’s kids. The other assistant pastor is moving, so there’ll be even less kids after that.

None of this is to say that all churches need youth groups, or even that there is anything wrong with the way our church does things. I do, however, think something needs to change, and that we are at a good time to work toward what those changes might be. There is just an unnecessary kind of exhaustion that occurs when the purpose of doing something is simply because that’s what’s always been done, which is not an exhaustion I have energy to spend on. I have longed for so long for a place in church that excites me. It’s different for everyone, but I’ve long believed that the work we are especially put on this earth to do is the work we could do forever and not get paid. The first time I discovered that kind of work was at camp.

In addition to my various motherhood seasons, something about the blocks that have been in my life, whether in myself or in my personal relationships, have kept me from being more fully part of our church life. As those blocks are dissolving God is slowly opening space where I can be more involved. When I was growing up, church fellowship for me was one of highlights of living. During years that were a highly formative part of my life, I saw church as the storehouse of spiritual vibrancy, the place where I loved to be, and was most inspired to make Christ known to his world. It’s tempting at times to be mad at myself that it has taken so long to get over certain things, though I continue to trust in the way God moves and returns us to our spiritual rest. I have learned too much from the Lutherans to lose. It was the Lutherans who taught me to love neighbors too.

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