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Posts Tagged ‘ministry’

For the last three days I have wrestled with a question long plaguing me: What kind of person am I?

It was a few days ago–after I booked my cruise from June 30-July 4 for a sister-get-a-way–that I learned I needed to be in Florida for a July 5th wedding. The possibilities of the trip were limitless, while the constraints were just as limiting. I could not leave until after I got back from my cruise; I have a performance at a fundraising picnic scheduled not long after the wedding; oh, and details on the wedding are just about as scant as they can be. Then add my 21-year-old age making it hard to get a rental car, my need to use my energy reserves wisely as I battle Lyme’s Disease, and my artist-life budget to the mix. I found myself in a daze as I tried to pull together a trip to a wedding I simply had to attend. There are times in our lives when even the impossible must be accomplished for the sake of a friend. And so it was… As an organizer and a planner it is deeply instilled in me that I need to know how things will work out before I do them. For a wedding like this, that’s impossible to achieve. So in all my worldliness I panicked.

It took three days of research, budgeting, calling, talking, praying, and planning; but I finally worked out the details. The trip is far from the exciting vacation in Florida as I had originally thought it would be, but it does meet all my obligations at a price that shouldn’t quite deplete my savings. What I learned: If you can’t do it cheaply, at least do it well.

All the penny-pinching in the world could not have made this trip practical. But, in the end, what kind of person am I? One who hoards her resources like miser? One who retreats because the details are unpolished? Or one who extends myself and the gifts God has granted me for ministry, friendship, and love? I think deep inside me I knew that I was not really freaking out about planning a trip to Florida. While I could not express it, I understood that I was wrestling with a question that would define who I become. And I’m so glad that the struggle is over and the answer is determined. This is how I choose to live: “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ~Galatians 5:22-23. I choose to joyfully and peacefully go to Florida to show love, faithfulness, and kindness to a good friend. And with increasing self-control, goodness, and gentleness, I will strive to put panic behind me as I find more trust in following God.

Crisis averted.

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Draft a flyer, edit it, review it, send it to Kate, Kate works on it, she sends it back, review the flyer, print a copy, save onto thumb drive, drive to Staples, discuss, then print, purchase and design labels, buy envelopes, drive back, fold flyers, stuff envelopes, put on labels, address the envelopes, take to post office, pay for stamps. The End! Woohoo! So many little steps, each costing money and taking time. It adds up quickly. Really, when starting a business, OVERESTIMATE! I did by almost a thousand dollars and used that up before the printing was done. And just plan to give up all your free time.

I could say that my $130 project of sending out flyers to the Columbia area (telling them that I am a speaker and would be happy to come to their church) was not a good use of money–I probably overpaid. And as far as advertising goes, it probably wasn’t. But for me, it is not all about money and smart business choices–although those are important. This is my ministry–especially the speaking. And when God calls, it is worth anything to follow that calling.

In all honesty, that has not been easy lately. The vigor that I started out with ran out a few weeks ago. While I was barreling through doors that would not budge, very few people from the ‘Christian community’ seemed to be supporting. It seemed and seems like an impossible task. But that’s okay! It is okay for the task to be daunting, for the going to get tougher. When it happens in your ministry it is okay to feel overwhelmed. But God is still good and He still takes care of everything. The illusion is that anything is possible without Him.

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