Archive for September, 2011

thoughts from the little guy

On monday of this week I began a rather intensive schedule (even more so than usual).  I woke early to begin my day and saw my kids off to school.  After getting work done at the church I returned home to see my 2 youngest boys before leaving for a class at the hospital and then I would stay for my on call shift until 8am.  What this means is that I would not return the following day until they had already left for school.  Moreover, I would be leaving the next day for a week-long class at seminary.  Essentially this means I would see my little guys for about 15 minutes and then leave and not return until the end of the week (Friday). 

As I took my things to my vehicle my 6-year-old came out to give me another hug bye and he said something I will not soon forget.  “You are always leaving.”  Am immediate rush of emotion  came over me and I wish I could say it didn’t bother me, but it certainly did.  I said yes, I know it seems that way and it wouldn’t be long until daddy’s schedule will be a little easier and I won’t have to leave as much.  then he asked a question that dug deep.  “Don’t you want to spend time with your family?”

At that question I could hardly keep the tears from flowing.  I assured him that I certainly did want to spend time with my family and that I loved them more than anything.  Of course the words resonated in my mind over and over and he just simply said “ok, see ya later”.  How simple it was for him to just leave it at that.  While I was so worried that he may not understand what was really happening and be upset at me, I realized that his faith and understanding was far more than I gave him credit for.  He has a deeper understanding of life than I ever thought.  I “gets it” even when I don’t.  All he knows now is that daddy is very busy, but he won’t always be busy like this and will spend time with us.

I wouldn’t say it made things easier thinking of it in that way, it is nice to know that God has given my little guy a faith and understanding of the important things in life.  unfortunately, life itself will quickly try to take that away from him.  I pray every day that my children never lose their “child” faith.

The student pastor

Quite often I have a sense of “I’m never going to get everything done!”  This morning started as one of those days and it proved to be true.  I know, we all have busy schedules and believe me, I get that.  It isn’t that I think somehow my schedule is stacked higher than anyone else.  As I move along in the beginning of my last semester of seminary, I had thought that this would be the semester that sent oh so smoothly gliding by with little effort.  I think God wanted to have some more comedy and I became the subject. 

As I juggle being a full-time associate pastor, full-time student, working through the ordination process, working at the hospital doing my clinical pastor education and oh ya….my wife and 4 children; it can easily seem overwhelming.  this morning as I came down stairs to spend some time on school work before taking my kids to school I began thinking of all the things that I had to do for the day.  since I had planned on doing some of my clinical hours at the hospital I knew I wouldn’t get everything accomplished.  Finally the morning progressed and I was out the door heading for the hospital.  When I arrived I noticed I did not have my I.D. badge.  After a long round about trying to solve the issue, it became clear that the only solution was to purchase a new I.D. or drive home and look for it.  Being that it is a rather lengthy drive, I chose to forgo the hours today and somehow try to work them in over friday and saturday. 

I made a stop at Wal-Mart and on my way out I heard something on the radio that seemed quite fitting for me in these days and especially at that moment.  The song is called “strong enough” by Matthew West.  Essentially the words say I’m not strong enough to be everything that I’m supposed to be and I need God’s mighty strength to be who I need to be.  Yes, I already knew this, but somehow the words of the song echoed in my mind all day as I worked to carry out as many tasks as I possibly could. 

 Bottom line…I have an awesome wife and 4 incredible kids and a God who loves me and will give me the strength and endurance I need to press on.