Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I've had this post floating around in my head for awhile now, and the ironic part is that I have literally just been too busy to sit down and write it all down.  And it all revolves around that word... "busy." 

Think back to the last phone conversation you've had with someone you haven't talked to in awhile.  It probably started out with a, "hey, how have you been?" and if the answer wasn't "fine" then it was probably the other four-letter standard answer of "busy."  Or when we don't get around to doing something that we were supposed to do or said we would, our answer is, "sorry, things have been so busy."  All that to say that it just makes me wonder, when did life get so "busy" for absolutely everyone?

As I reflect back on my life and compare it to the season that we're living in now, I almost feel silly that I ever really used that word to describe my current situation.  High school?  Well, yeah, I went from school to dance team practice to soccer practice and twice a week had additional dance lessons.  Plus I of course wanted to hang out with my friends on the weekends.  So I guess you could say it was busy.  Then college?  Well, there was class, which I was actually good about going to, with the exception of freshman biology, but really, who could blame me for that?  For a few years I worked as a resident assistant, which really just meant a weekly meeting and being friends with all of the girls on my floor (tough job, right?) and in the latter years I was a lifeguard at the YMCA, which honestly, was just hours spent in a chair watching a few very capable people swim laps.  I juggled that with weekly sorority meetings, which eventually led me to being a part of the board (which meant another weekly meeting) and then there were various social activities and probably too many parties.  And at that point, yes, I thought I was busy.  After college I moved to Florida and worked at a country club for awhile, which meant giving up a lot of weekends when I'd rather be doing something else.  When that job came to an end, I worked for the FedEx Orange Bowl, which meant working ALL. THE. TIME. (not even kidding there), and while I would say I was "busy," my time at work was really just filling a chair half the time.  The company culture lent itself to having us work all hours around the clock, when our jobs were really done for the day at regular business ending hours.  But becuase I worked so much I was, yep, you guessed it... "busy."  Then from there I started my career with Marriott, and while my hours got more regular, my social calendar filled back up with weekends at Disney with the girls, which I generally planned, bridal showers, weddings, and all the fun stuff that goes along with being in your twenties.  And then of course there was the planning of my own wedding, which filled up many weekends and was probably the most fun I've ever had being "busy" in my life.  As soon as we were married we packed up (immediately) and moved to Illinois to plant a church campus and while Josh worked some crazy hours, I worked from home and basically sulked that my husband wasn't always there to keep me company.  And instead of jumping on board and really lightening his load, I thought that I was "too busy" with my own full-time job and housekeeping to really be of any significance.  Plus, I was pregnant, so I liked to point out that I was constantly busy "building a human."  Yeah, try to top that!

So what's my point you might wonder?  Well, it's just that the word is... well... overused I think.  It's like the word "love."  I can love my husband and my children, but I can also love my new purse?  That makes no sense at all, but it's the only word we have for it.  And right here right now, in this season of my life, I am beginning to understand the absurdity of "busy" as well.  When Josh and I moved here this summer to plant a church, I knew things would be a bit crazy at times.  I was six months pregnant with our second child and we were starting at square one, with just a calling that we were supposed to be in this are, but no real direction beyond that.  The first couple of months of figuring it all out weren't truly all that busy, but Josh was on the go a lot as he built contacts and tried to flesh out this dream he had in his heart.  And then Lilly came along and I had three months of maternity leave, and while there was down time here and there, learning to adjust to two children can have a person "busy" around the clock.  Things started to ramp up for our church during these months as we partnered with the Kinchen family and their existing church, and suddenly the calendar started filling up.  Josh was meeting with anyone and everyone who would listen to him, casting vision and letting them know that they could help change the world.  I took over the childrens' ministry and began spending any free time I had searching for curriculum, pestering the childrens' pastor from our previous church, and putting together policies and procedures.  Our facility went under major renovations and we were often there painting, dry-walling, or whatever else we could find to do, all the while trying to keep an eye on a toddler who has more energy than anyone we know.  And then... I went back to work two months before our church was scheduled to launch.  Basically the two busiest months that a church plant will have.  At the beginning of January I remember literally thinking to myself, "I am going to hate January."  I knew at the start of it that Josh would be gone a lot and I would be juggling my job, the house, the bills, and two kids, both of which are at needy ages, and I just wasn't sure that I could do it.  And then I blinked and it was February.

We are now T-minus five days to the launch of TurningPoint Church.  To say that I am proud of my husband and what he has put in place would be the understatement of the year.  Over the past few months he has worked non-stop to pour into people, build them up, encourage them, and truly help them know and believe that they were created by God on purpose and for a purpose.  He helped individuals become leaders that they didn't realize they could be, and he helped those leaders build teams that will serve this community every Sunday starting next week.  He got up early to read not just the Bible, but manuals about speaker systems, accounting programs, and membership tracking applications.  And the whole time, I know that he beat himself up about not being home.  And then I look at my past few months and, well, I'm a bit proud of myself, too.  While I would not say that I want this pace to be the norm for our family, I have managed to keep our home pretty clean (if not always tidy), kept our kids happy, well-fed, well-groomed, and entertained, built the framework for what I hope will be a successful kids' ministry, and have even made it back to the gym about three times every week, which was more than I was going before all of this was going on.  Sure, my kids are with me 24 hours a day and come with me everywhere I go, which can be a major hassle at times (and a deterrent from leaving the house to be quite honest) but even when I didn't want to, I sucked it up and made it happen.  And I realized that for the first time in quite possibly my entire life, the difference has been discipline.  Because I so deeply believe to the very core of who I am in what we are doing, and  because I so very much believe that this church we are planting is something that we were created to do, I made the time work, even when there never seemed to be enough.  Sometimes with my kids I get frustrated that "my time is not my own," meaning I can't necessarily do things or get things done on my schedule, but then I remind myself that with or without kids, the time never was mine to begin with.  God gives us all 24 hours in a day, and I think it's important to Him how we use it.  We learn about tithing and giving our first 10% of our earnings to God, because it belongs to Him anyway, and I don't think we ever stop and think that it's the same with our time.  He has promised us eternal life in Heaven with Him if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, but I think with that acceptance comes a responsibility to take care of this gift of time he's given us.  And the more responsible we are with it, the more responsibility He will give us... just like the tithe.  In these past few months I have learned so much about what it means to work hard.  I have learned how to utilize my time so that no single part of my day goes to waste.  When I walk up the stairs I have a basket of laundry in my hand and when I come back down I'm carrying cups that have accumulated.  I tirelessly pick up toys, load and unload the dishwasher, and change more diapers than I can count.  I write business proposals and contracts, return phone calls and send emails.  I try to pour into my kids' ministry team, send schedules and outlines of how Sunday should look.  I now know what the word "busy" really looks like.  It is my life in this time right now.

This post is in no way to try and say that we are truly busier than anyone else right now.  I think in many ways, those times in my past when I thought I was busy, I actually was for the capacity of what I could handle right then.  I think God saw how I handled my time, probably tried to hand me more responsibility at times, and I wasn't at a place where I was willing to take it on right then.  And now, well, we've been more than willing and He sure has handed us quite a bit.  And even though it's been tough and exhausting, and believe me, I have a mini-nervous breakdown about once a week (which my husband can confirm), and as much as I would love an entire day just to myself, I really can't complain.  This journey has stretched me in more ways than I have ever been stretched.  I have been challenged beyond any measure that I have ever had in the past.  And at the end of each day, I go to bed so satisfied with what we're doing with the time we've been given.  And I am proud.  And I hope God is proud of us.

So in finally putting all of this out there my challenge to you is this:

If you feel like there is something that you really want to go after, or you're hearing a small voice in your head pushing you in a certain direction, maybe it's time that you go for it!  Has your excuse been that you're already too busy or just don't have time?  We're all given the same amount of it... maybe it's "time" to start rearranging some things and make more time out of your 24 hours.  It won't be easy, and at times you'll be so tired that you think you might fall asleep standing up, but if you accomplish what you set out to do, it will be worth it.

I know that this Sunday is the first of many for TurningPoint Church and I know that our pace will still be a little crazy for awhile, even after we're up and running.  But this weekend, on February 12th, when they play that last song and our first service ends I know it will be worth it.  And whether fifty people or five hundred show up, I think that God will be smiling down on us, proud that we stopped being "too busy" to find the time to make this happen.  And deep within me, I will be filled with peace because I know that this "busy" season won't last forever and the pace will slow down eventually, and sometime in the near future my "busy" will look a lot less busy than it is right now. 

"Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath" 
(Psalm 39:4-5)

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