Life is always changing. Each day can bring new challenges, expected issues and sometimes the unexpected. At times, I cringe at the mere thought of changes. I, like most people, enjoy and yes, crave stability. I appreciate the capability of knowing that, in most ways, today will be similar to yesterday.
2013 was full of changes for our family.
As I’ve mentioned before (many, many moons ago), my music-pastor husband donned a new hat last year: youth pastor. (Wow. Has it already been nearly two years?!) The past two years has been one awesome blur. Awesome, but a blur. Here’s a quick recap for those wondering where in the world I’ve been. 🙂
Hubs and I have learned to cook for teen crowds, attempted to not break our necks while mastering the art of skiing, organized a mammoth yard sale, sold baked goods, scooped countless bowls of ice cream and filled plates to the brim with steaming spaghetti at youth fundraisers, threw a bunch of gutter balls while bowling and screamed with the best of them at a local baseball games. We’ve cheered for their victories and prayed for their needs.
Last year, I huffed and puffed my pregnant self up and down the numerous steps at The Wilds (a Christian camp) while Hubs chuckled as he easily climbed to the top. every. single. time. This year, however, I “suffered” quietly at the top of the steps as I watched my husband climb the stairs a gazillion times a day. Someone had to stay with our sleeping infant daughter during her naps, you know. I just may have had the last laugh. 🙂
We were also blessed to have the opportunity to lead a two small groups of our teens on missions trips. Last summer, we went to Jamaica. Traveling to this island during the hottest part of their summer at seven months pregnant may not have been my brightest moment, but it was certainly worth every perspiring minute. This year’s missions trip was to New Mexico. It was not only beautiful land to see, but also heart-warming to help with a young church plant. Such sweet memories.
Summer activities drew to an close both years with one last trip called Destination Unknown…the teens had no clue where they were going, just what to pack in their suitcases. Too fun. My crazy husband added a random item for the teens to pack on this year’s trip-just for fun and also, just to see if anyone was reading it. Who has kazoos laying around in their room anyways?! Evidently some of our teens do. A kazoo can be very entertaining on a car trip…just so you know.
In the fall, Hubs took the teens to a teen rally in Virginia and I stayed home holding my breath so as to not go into labor while he was out of town. I guess it worked. This is the next big event on the docket for our youth ministry this year and I must admit, I really am excited about attending the rally with the teens this year. Nothing like a good, outdoor fun on a farm.
There you have it…20 months of ministry highlights in a nutshell. At least, the ones that I can remember at the moment. 😉
If there is one thing that over a year of teen ministry has taught us, it’s this: Cheese pizza is a teen staple. It never gets old somehow.
Seriously, these past twenty months, we have learned much about youth ministry and as we are on the approaching the cusp of our third year, we look forward with even greater passion to planning special events, building greater relationships, and teaching young people about God.
My #1 youth pastor’s wife tip: Teens are always hungry. Keep the fridge full.
Shortly after the new “youth pastor” position began, we found out that we were expecting our fifth child. We were thrilled and completely blessed to be anticipating a new little one into our family. My pregnancy was thankfully uneventful and my labor…umm, quite simple (more on that later!). While Baby #5 was an expected and planned change, it was still nevertheless a change. My sweet baby girl has been here for nearly a year now and I truly cannot imagine life without her.
I spend several hours nursing/feeding and changing this sweet little one in addition to keeping an eagle-eye my three year old and assisting my school-age children: my “big” girls. So my “mommy hat” certainly consumes the majority of my waking hours, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel so very blessed to be surrounded by my little family that God has given to us. This season of refilling sippy cups, wiping snotty faces, and wearing pajamas into the middle of the afternoon doesn’t last long. Not really. The years truly do seemingly slip through my fingers in spite my flailing attempts to still the hands of time. Soon the busyness and sometimes the frustrations of today will become distant, precious memories that I will long to be able to enjoy again- even if only for a day. At least that’s what I tell myself. Ask me again tonight at the dinner hour when Bunny is struggling with her multi-digit multiplication, Fuzz can’t remember a C chord on the piano, Zip is pulling at my clothes for a cup of chocolate milk, Pop is driving every single matchbox car he owns beneath my feet, Baby #5 is wailing for her dinner and a clean diaper, and dinner is still partially frozen on the stove. I know exactly how I will respond.
Why yes. I would joyfully live this moment of time over again….after a quick power nap. 🙂
During late spring last year, we received word that both of our older girls had been selected to attend a new charter school nearby our church. We were and still are ecstatic about this wonderful opportunity. It has been exciting to be one of the founding families of this new educational launch in our community and to watch as they built their new facility this past year. It has also been a learning curve for our family. Waking two little girls at 6:30 am has been easier than we had originally thought. I’m not sure why this took us by surprise since our children seem to rise with the sun anyways. Getting out the front door neatly dressed, lunches packed, backpacks/homework in hand, fed, AND a smile on their faces? Not so easy, I’m afraid. Homework before supper? Yes, another adjustment to our schedule. However, I am thoroughly enjoying seeing both Bunny and Fuzz (and this year, little Zip) as they make new friends, study for tests, work on team projects and presentations, learn new instruments and grow in their academics.
I think that the biggest lesson that I learned these past months was to allow us the grace that we needed to adapt to some of these larger changes in our lives. A new position, a new addition and a new education have altered our way of living in countless ways. They have each been an adjustment and a huge blessing rolled into one.
And while I may still not be a fan of change, I am constantly reminded of this one truth. It doesn’t always have to be dreaded. Sometimes change can be good. It may mean relinquishing the usual comfort of today for the unexpected blessings of tomorrow. And who doesn’t want that?!
Thanks for reading.