Soul Food

Ever have one of those weeks when you question everything? When it seems like you work hard and accomplish absolutely nothing? Like nothing you do matters? Last week, I felt that way.

I’ve been working at my job for just over six months now. Most days I like it; I get paid to shoot and edit videos at a university. Pretty cool! But when there’s a slow period and I don’t have a lot of work to do, I just feel like I’m taking up space. It feels like I’m letting everyone down and not meeting expectations.

But then Monday came, and projects got rolling again. We had our weekly staff meeting, and I was so encouraged by it. Turns out the only expectations I’m not meeting … are my own. I expect too much of myself and when I don’t meet my (unrealistic) expectations I beat myself up and feel like a failure. Turns out I work with a team of people who feel otherwise – which really improved my outlook and productivity this week.

Last week was also the final week to prepare for the VBS dramas I was asked to lead for church. Since this was our first year being involved in VBS, I had no point of reference to compare to. I didn’t know of our rehearsals were right on track, or if we were way behind. The scripts were entirely too complicated and confusing for children, so that was making it hard for people to memorize their lines. But Sunday’s dress rehearsal was hard for me. I felt like everything should have easily clicked into place, but last minute an actor dropped out – which totally altered everything we’d been working toward.

Even though Sunday’s rehearsal felt like a failure, the team brought their best each night. And midway through the week, I was encouraged by a cast member who told me I had done an excellent job leading this year. I’m relieved to have this experience behind me … and I know that if I’m involved next year, there are some things we can learn from this year.

To top it all off, I got an encouraging e-mail from a former supervisor thanking me for excellent work I had done for them last year. It was very out of the blue, but reminded me that I have and CAN be successful … even on weeks when I feel like a failure.

Thanks to all who encouraged me last week … whether you knew it or not. And hey … if you haven’t encouraged someone lately, why don’t you? It could never hurt … and you just might make someone’s week a little better.


A Call to What?

There is a good chance I’ll mention my thoughts on ministry and being a minister’s wife more than once. So I just thought I’d share some of my early thoughts on the matter.

Before Jonathan and I started dating, we talked about a lot of important things. We’d both had relationships not work out in the past and wanted to make sure we knew each other before we decided to try dating each other. Since we were in college, one of the first topics was obvious — what do you want to do as a career? We met because of our mutual degree in Media Communication, but I knew he wasn’t interested in the same type of career field I was. But I was never expecting the answer he gave:

“I want to go into music ministry.”

Of course I liked this boy … so my first response was, “Oh .. that’s cool!”

But my head did not think that! For years I had declared I could never marry a minister. Particularly a senior minister. Not because I didn’t think minister’s were awesome people (I absolutely do), but I was definitely not nice enough or spiritual enough to fit the role of ministry wife.

Almost 3 years into our relationship and I’m the wife of a music minister. Ironic how God’s idea of what we’re capable of and equipped for is so different than our own. I still don’t feel like I’m good enough to be a ministry wife, but my journey has brought me here nonetheless. So my only option is to put my best foot forward and hope that God can find a way to use my inadequacies to further His Kingdom. I’m so glad He can use broken people for great things.

Music and Heaven

photoJonathan and I were blessed with tickets to a concert for one of our favorite musical artists — Gungor. The group uses a myriad of instruments, vocal abilities, and just pure talent to create a sound unlike anything else I’ve heard. It’s orchestral, bluesy, quirky, fun, upbeat, somber, and harmonic. The sound live is even more amazing because you can see all the musicians creating the music, which I’ll admit is even more enjoyable than just listening.

In addition to the beautiful musical quality, the lyrics are deep and thought-provoking, spurring discussions hours after the music stops. On our drive home, Jonathan and I talked about one song specifically called “Heaven.” The lyrics say:

… heaven, heaven is comin’ down
Heaven, heaven is all around …

Jonathan said, “What if they aren’t talking about heaven coming down way in the future? What if they mean we see glimpses of heaven all around us now? Like a sunset or sunrise.” We talked about that for a while and marveled that God would be gracious enough to show  us a little bit of what’s to come; to give us motivation to keep going because there is something greater coming for us. To encourage us when we wake up and when a day is over. Jonathan and I have been more conscious of heavenly beauty since then, always looking for a little more than what most people see.

It’s amazing to me that music can be such a catalyst for thought, conversation, and beauty. I’m sure that music is a glimpse of heaven too.