Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tomorrow...A big day.

I start my interim call this week. Thursday to be precise. I'm very excited to meet with the senior pastor tomorrow and set up schedule and so forth.
I'm very excited. I'm glad that I will be entering ministry again. I have missed it. At the same time, I have no regrets about staying home this last year. I think it was a good decision for me and my family. I have done a lot of growing and it has made a huge difference in my life.
But tomorrow. A new chapter.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Looking back at my baby

I was looking through a photo album yesterday and found the first pictures of Ian. Just a few hours old. I can't believe that on the 10th of October our little boy will be 6 months old.

So, since I'm feeling sentimental, you get to share in it too. I think every parent goes through this, the realization that the time goes way faster than you ever thought it could. Every milestone is an adventure, something new in his life, but also the loss of something else. Yet, that is what we want, to move forward and watch our children grow.

So, here's a walk down memory lane.

Mom and Beautiful Baby Boy Ian

Dad with Ian in the exam room minutes after he was born.

One perfect little foot, much bigger now.

The three of us.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Life is changing! Employment!

I have been offered a part-time, interim call as an associate pastor in a town close to where I live. I have said, "yes." (I make it sound like a marriage proposal) I have agreed to this interim position. I am very excited about it.
I have missed ministry quite a bit in the last months. Longer actually. I knew it was time to leave my last call, it was a great call with wonderful people, but i also felt prompted by the Spirit to follow a different direction in my life. I didn't know how long I would be on leave, I didn't know I would be going back so soon or at all at the time. I just new that my last call was coming to a natural end. I knew that my family needed me. I knew that I needed some space away from ministry. I've had that.
I have been thinking about the time since I left my last call. It is amazing how sometimes you don't know where something was going or what God's plans were until after when you reflect on them. Now it seems so clear, then I was scared...what would I do!
I was in the combine the day after my last Sunday or shortly thereafter. My family needed me for harvest and in more ways than just field work. I was driving a combine or graincart until December when it finally got so snowy and cold that we just couldn't do corn anymore, we decided to let it stand until spring. I'm so glad I was there for that...Dustin was called into the ambulance a lot in those months and I was able to keep things going at home. I'm proud of that accomplishment.
We finished remodeling our attic into a bedroom. This seemed like a fulltime job in itself. It turned out beautiful. We made a remarkable transformation to our house. I know it would not have gone as well if I hadn't of been home and part of the team.
I had a chance to really enjoy my pregnancy. I was able to relax. I know that might sound strange, but I had gotten unhealthy in my ways of dealing with work stress. Nothing harmful to myself in a physical way, I just bottled so much up, I didn't have boundaries between work and home, I was a mental mess and didn't know how to change it at the time.
I have been able to stay home with a wonderful boy for 5 months. I am so glad I did it. I think this is a gift that I will always be happy I had the chance to recieve. I know I might not get this chance with our next children, but for now, I got to do it with Ian.
I was able to deal with post partum depression in a way that has truly transformed my life. I have found so many wonderful tools for not just feeling better now, but for the rest of my life. I have a great team of people behind me that have held me up, lifted me up in prayer, and have helped me find balance again in my life. I don't know if I would have been able to go through all of this with such clarity if I was in a call, I would have taken on too many other people's stuff, and I needed to deal with mine. My life is by no means perfect, but it is mine and it feels brand new and glorious.
This time away has also helped me realize how important ministry is to me and for my life. I get so much from it. It fills my cup, even though it is an occupation that also empties it. I even realize that my faith life itself is wrapped up in it more than I knew. I had found ways to do ministry that weren't part of a professional call, but I also realized that I am called to be in a professional call of ministry. It is where my gifts are best utilized, something is missing in my life without it. I don't know if I would have been able to see that in the midst of where I was at in my last call, I was feeling like I wasn't making a difference any more.
This interim call is perfect for me right now. I will work three days a week and three Sunday's a month. Two of them preaching. I asked for no responsibility in church at least one Sunday a month so I can go to church with Dustin and Ian in our church. Dustin will stay at our church. He has a pastor he like and it isn't me, so it is a very healthy place for him.
I don't know how long this position will last, what the step will be after this position, but I just know that it is where I am being led now.
I will have a great colleague, I have known the lead pastor for some time and have a great deal of respect for him and he for me. I think we will have a great working relationship because of our personalities and he has been a mentor to me as I went through candidacy, but he has never treated me like a student or less than a professional. He is glad that he is getting an experienced pastor in the interim and I am glad that I will be able to take some of the burden and craziness of being the only pastor in a two pastor church off of his shoulders for a bit. I am really excited to see what it is like in a big church and to see what it is like to be part of a staff. I will get to deal with a congregation in a unique time in its history and ministry and I think that is sacred ground that I am honored to be invited into.
There are so many things that pointed me to this call. The Holy Spirit seemed to put all these pieces into place and when they were there we all looked at each other and said, so this is where I am supposed to be right now. It is amazing how seemingly unrelated phone calls can be the groundwork for something no one saw coming until it was there.
Life is changing and I am so excited to see what is next. I also like that I am open to seeing it unfold for now instead of trying to direct it. That is something I have not been able to do in quite a long time, just let go.
This doesn't just seem like a new part time ministry thing. I really think that I am being called to learn something here and I want to be open to whatever that may be.
I should be sleeping...And now I will...peacefully....Aaaahhhhh.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pure Joy and Fun

This is Ian in his new exersaucer. He's been having so much fun discovering new things.

Ian and I went for a walk with Kari and her dog Roxy. Roxy and Ian got to ride. Those little legs got tired.

I like Peas!

Look everyone. I ate all of them.

It's been awhile since my very depressing post, but I was pretty depressed, so that can't be too surprising. I'm doing much better. I have been making great progress and feel that I am going in the right direction toward balance for the first time in about 18 months. I am getting to know myself again and being good to myself. It has helped.
Moving on from me. Yesterday, I made babyfood for the first time. From the above three picks, you can see that Ian has started food. Ian has been on solids for about a week. I guess rice cereal a bit before that. Anyway. I had some jars for the first few foods, but really have been wanting to make my own and freeze it.
Yesterday, I pureed peas for Ian. He had eaten the canned pea baby food for a couple days before that, but he really didn't like it. I thought he didn't like peas. Apparently, fresh peas, good. Canned babyfood peas. Bad.

He ate and ate. He loved them. It was so darn cute and so incredibly messy.

Here are a few adorable pictures of Ian and his peas.