Over the last few weeks I have been on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I’ve been trying to find the positives in life. Sadly, I’ve almost come up empty.
Last week my booty was kicked in more ways than one. And amidst my post-election depression and double duty pastoring, I’ve been trying to look out for the blessings that surround me. So…
Given that I’m on vacation, finally have a few positives to write down and reflect on, and finally have the time to write without pulling my hair out, I present to you The Positives of the last week or so.
Number 1: Presence is Everything – If there’s one thing I took away from my seminary education (aside from all that theology stuff) is that pastoral presence is everything. I learn this every time I visit the hospital or talk with someone going through something.
Two Fridays ago I got called to the hospital for a long old church member who was put on hospice that day. He and his family lean more to the Catholic side of things as of late but he grew up in my church. With the senior pastor away at the time, I was called in. I prayed with his family that he be guided by God’s love as he transitions to eternal life, that the family felt God’s love envelope them in this darkest of human moments. Then I sat with the family, this group of strangers I’d never met before.
Then last Monday (because you know, all of this happens when the senior pastor is away) I got called to the hospital by a church member’s daughter who was on life support and who was being taken off. Cancer sucks. I mean, no one should watch their loved one waste away, let along sit for hours on end as breathing slows and the mind heads elsewhere. I stayed with the mother and was simply there, allowing her to grieve and be angry and sad and concerned.
Needless to say, the man who’s bedside I was 2 weeks ago passed on a few days after I saw him and his service is today. The other, as far as I know, is slowly transitioning to eternal life. Presence is everything.
Number 2: Being An Aunt – Last Sunday I woke up early, preached, taught Confirmation then went home. Only to change clothes, grab clothes for the evening and drive up to my parent’s house an hour away. I totally dislike having my picture taken, but I did those family photos for Grandma and my mother. Plus, I got to play with my nieces and nephews, 2 of whom I see maybe once or twice a year. I helped my nieces put on their princess dresses when all was done. I held my nephew/Godson as he laughed and laughed. And I helped my other nephew add some more frosting and sprinkles to his plate and then proceeded to watch him eat it. I love being an aunt.
Then this past Saturday I spent all day with the niece and nephew I rarely see. I played Legos and watched my nephew carry around the car I made him. I heard him yelling, “Party time!” all evening after his sister declared that it was in fact party time. My niece and I played with Pez and all of us played with Grandpa’s Christmas train. Good times.
Number 3: Vacation – After a week of hospital visits, a difficult church meeting and week, I’m on vacation. Need I say more?
Number 4: Presents – Christmas shopping is almost complete! Wahoo! I have like 2 more gifts to get. Plus, I’ve started wrapping. So awesome to be ahead of the game as December is one of the busiest times for a pastor.
Number 5: The Youth – Time with the Confirmands. Normally the Confirmands and I actually do lessons after church. The last 2 Sundays our group has done an abbreviated lesson. Then we sat around and chatted for the rest of the hour. It’s so fun getting to know the youth.
Then this past Saturday I spent the morning with the youth as we helped with the Prairie Path and planting trees and such. The wind was howling, it was bitter cold and yet, somehow I had fun, despite not being able to feel my legs or feet. And then we went to breakfast, to which one of the children of the church came up to me the next day and said he saw me at the restaurant. Too funny. And good times.
There you have it…They don’t seem like a lot but these little things have made my day over the last week and half or so.
Thank you God for tiny blessings that make us smile and reflect.