My love for Jack Bauer and 24 runs deep...and wide. He has two key phrases that he says all the time.
- You have my word
- I'm going dark
Now, before I lose all of you who have no idea what I'm blabbing about, let me explain. When Jack says he's going dark, he means he's shutting his cell phone off, taking out the ear piece and getting the job done, without the input/help of his co-workers.
This week, I've had my own version of "going dark."
I mentioned a new book I received. I sat down this weekend and started it, and it didn't take long for me to realize that there was much that I know about being a pastors wife, mom, and friend that was not actually being played out in my life like I desire it to be. Not way off course, but just enough askew that I couldn't shake that feeling of being drained by people, no matter how much I tried to fill myself up in prayer and God's Word, at the end of the day I just felt sort of used-up.
I had to take a good hard look at my days, my relationships and focus to figure out where I was off course. In her book, Lisa quotes a motivational speaker, Jim Rohn who says, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." And I thought to myself, how stinkin' true.
Ministry is tricky. Part of ministry is bearing one anothers burdens, listening, lending support. And when it rains, it pours. I'm not sure why it is, but it is. It seems like those around me are being hit hard right now. I'm thankful to be able to listen, yet when it's coming from all different directions...it's hard to shut it off.
I'm in no way saying I don't want people to come to me...it's not about them, it's about me being able to establish boundaries with the information. Sometimes it's nice to be the one people come to...yet sometimes, they're not meant to come to me.
I took some time to evaluate who my five are. Who are the people that I spend the most time with? Am I allowing it to drain me? Is it balanced the way God desires it to be?
The book also reminded me of my priorities, of my real ministry. I'd lost sight of that, without even realizing it. I'd made my ministry into listening and being there for people. It's not wrong, it's just gotten out of whack, thanks to me.
My first priority needs to be my time with Jesus. I need to be selfish about it. If I answer that phone before my time with Him, then I've just moved Him to less important than ministry.
My husband is next. As his wife, I get to be his biggest support. I help him far more in ministry by being a support to him and our kids, than I do by bearing other's burdens that were not mine to mess with in the first place.
My boys. Man I love them. And if I've spent every last bit of energy on others, they suffer the most...because my patience is just gone. They are the ministry God has given me. The disciplining, the encouraging, the homework, the meals...all of it. It sometimes feels like busywork...but it is God-ordained busywork for me. They are lives and souls that God has entrusted to me. Soon, there will be a baby here, and that is going to require me to dial it in even more. I need to guard my family.
And Julie...a teenager. Uffda. Julie just has 4 months left here with us. There's no doubt God ordained for her to be with our family while in America. Those late night talks, the tears over teenage stuff...she needs me. I need to have enough left to give her.
Extended family, friends and ministry are next. What I need to learn is that all of them are not meant for me to minister to. Discernment is key. Big time.
I guess all the babbling boils down to this: Sometimes, it's necessary to go dark. It's the only time I can hear my Savior softly speak. Otherwise, everyone else's voices tend to drown him out. Going dark is going to be something I implement on a regular basis from now on.
Monday, I will be doing a give-away for Lisa's book, You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes and sharing with you some more stuff that I just love, love, love about this book. And now that I've read it, I think it's a must read for everyone. If you are a pastors wife, it's fantastic, no matter how long you've been in ministry. If you go to church, you need to read it because I think it will help you see your pastors wife in a new way...human. ;) Heck, even if you know a pastors wife you need to read it. Everyone wins. :)
Come back Monday.