Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting a new church calling and the unique challenges it presented me

So, remember how sad I was to be released from my calling doing the music with kiddos at my church?

I didn't mention at the time that they immediately gave me a new job. I was given the job of Activity Days person. Activity Days is a program for girls ages 8-11 in my church. We meet about twice a month and do different... activities. We have a goal book the girls called "Faith in God" that has goals for the girls to accomplish during those years and our activities are supposed to help the girls accomplish them. It is also a good preparation for when the girls move from our Primary program into our program for teens called Young Women. All in all, it is a really fun calling to have and most people would be doing cartwheels over it.

For me however, I was really stressed.

It wasn't the girls. I've spent the past 2 and a half years with those girls and I know them and simply adore them. I was really happy to spend time with them. I don't think there is a better group of 8-11 year olds anywhere else.

It wasn't the activities either. Being the leader, I get to pick what we do and I LOVE coming up with fun things to try. Let me tell you, we've done some fun stuff already. We did a "sneak attack service" where we went to different peoples' houses from our congregation and offered to do chores for them, we wrote letters to missionaries, we donated clothes to a thrift store and talked about ways to save money and just the other day we made friendship bracelets while we talked about the  upcoming school year. The stuff I have planned through the rest of the year is going to be a hoot too. It is really fun coming up with ideas of ways to help the girls accomplish goals while keeping it fresh and fun. I love that.

My problem was scheduling.

You see, for some reason I STILL don't understand, I felt an overwhelming prompting to plan my entire piano student schedule through May of 2013 way back in February of this year. I typically schedule out piano the month before school starts, so typically.. now. But, I scheduled it all last spring. This meant when I was given this new calling I had already booked the regular times Activity Days would meet (after school hours) with loads of piano students. The only times I had/have were after 7pm. My schedule is carved out perfectly for me to have occasional stuff during the weeks, stuff after 7pm when I need to and stuff on Sunday. Not conducive to this calling. Yikes.

I tried Friday 7pm this summer and the parents hated it. I understand. They want to go on date nights and honestly, I don't know what that is because with Sam's line of work we don't really have the luxury of a set date night. I'm guessing if I weren't already used to it I would be frustrated if something messed up my date night too. On top of that, I discovered quickly that I had zero support on Fridays because the adults who could help me were always busy on Friday night and I was on my own. I don't mind being on my own, but I need to have an extra leader with me so that was an issue. (I'm lucky and have a few good friends from church who assist me every time. I love my friends and I love that they don't do date nights regularly either.) So, I stressed how I was going to make this work without making my life explode. I had a few 30 minute pockets here and there but I put those there for bathroom breaks and feeding kid breaks when I teach. Remember, Sam isn't consistently home (and now he has a side gig to take up time too.. we'll get to it) so I have to assume I am on my own every day and that is how I plan things out. I couldn't removed breaks on days I teach. We need them to survive and they aren't long enough anyhow.

Finally, this past week I came to the only conclusion I could: I have 1 day off a week that has nothing planned on it ever. I call it my day of rest and I really love it. I've been protecting it from anything because I use it to clean, do errands, take kids to the doctor, trips to Costco... all the things I don't want to rush through.It is my day to relax, recharge and just hide out in peace and quiet. I didn't want to take that away from myself, even for an  hour. But, I realized I was being pretty selfish with my time and maybe God wanted me to let go of my day and give Him an hour of it and trust that He would make sure I don't get fried and run down because of it.

So, I gave up the day and moved my Activity Days to it.

It was funny. I've been stressed to the maximum over this calling all summer until I gave in and just moved it to the day I should have put in on in the first place. Now I feel totally at peace with it and ready to move forward and have fun.

For me, this has been a prime example of God putting an obstacle in my way... a good obstacle, but still, it was problematic for me. I couldn't get past it until I quit being selfish and gave my time freely. I won't lie, I'm still a little nervous to let go and trust God to keep me rested without those days (remember my last post? Even one thing on a day wipes me out for that entire day and while I didn't get it in the past, I do now so I hope knowledge will be power for me). I made my goal this year "Walk by Faith and not by Fear" and this has been a big step in faith for me. It was also a lesson in giving more selflessly. There is a song I love by Francesca Battistelli with a lyric that says, "God give me strength to give something for nothing. I wanna see a glimpse of the kingdom that's coming." I think of that a lot. I do need strength to give something for nothing sometimes. We probably all do. But we need to be able to do it and be happy while we do.

I love that God was easy on me and gave me 18ish girls who I love and who already love me to be taking this walk of faith with. What a blessing.  Honestly, I love every second I am with these hilarious, wacky, beautiful, incredible girls. I really love getting to hang with them.

Now, this wasn't the only BIG DEAL of the summer, but we're getting to the rest. Each one deserves its own post and I only have a finite amount of time to type plus I just remembered I left a chocolate coconut cupcake on the counter where the herd could find it before I get to it, so I'll finish those posts in a bit here. 

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