I’ve not done a great job of balancing things this quarter. As I look back on October and November, that’s how I feel–until I start to think about all that was packed into those months. I think that what really happened is that I was living with far less margin than I’ve been blessed to have for the past year+ and felt the stress of that. And friends, that is a good thing. It has reminded me that a sustainable pace is my goal, not winning.
I began to breath easier sometime yesterday afternoon. The final draft of my paper which is due on Friday is complete. All of the planning and prep for the few events which remain in December is done. I have one more trip this week, but everything is ready for it as much as I know. And in 11 days, after morning meetings, I’m beginning a staycation through the holidays. Whew. I’ve started my project list and am so excited to have the time to get to putter around the house doing the things I’ve seen needed my attention for a while.
December 10-11: Museum of the Bible (Oklahoma City)
I’ll travel Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon. The Museum of the Bible is being designed for a space in Washington D.C. and the family behind it want Bible translation for minority language communities to be included. Three of us from the Wycliffe communion will be in planning meetings to be available as resources for this project. Will you pray with me that we will be attentive, creative, and discerning in our thinking and wise in the ways we share our insights and ideas?
December 12: Final Paper Due
I’ve been exploring and writing on the impact of student loan debt on the millennials (currently 18-35 years old) as it relates to their ability to move into full-time ministry roles, specifically with Wycliffe. The intent of this final paper is to review the high points of my research (secondary) and propose viable solutions for Wycliffe to pursue. Part of my frustration is that I’ve grown to truly believe this is the kind of issue which requires a diverse and collaborative group of people to solve, and so found myself feeling less than inspired by all of the things I am proposing. Anyhow. final proofing and editing and tweaking this week and I’ll turn it is between Oklahoma and a couple of Christmas parties on Friday night. Will you pray that I will be clear-thinking as I complete this project—neither rushing to call it DONE when it is not nor tweaking it to death out of some need to perfect some sentence?
December 12: Bob and Dallas Christmas Open House
Bob and Dallas often (usually) host an open house and invite all staff and their families to a time of fellowship and really yummy treats. It’s always a lovely and simple event. Will you pray that I will be light and peace as I interact with others who gather at Cresons? Small talk and crowds without “purpose” are not my forte.
December 12: ELT Christmas Party
Our Executive Leadership Team has not previously had our own gig at Christmas. With are so many other parties, including a brunch for the whole team up in the President’s Office area, we’ve not felt the need. This year we decided that we wanted to have our own. I think that the idea of a White Elephant exchange with this group sealed the deal. Will you pray with me that this will be a time of comfort and joy amidst the shenanigans and snackage?
December 14: Northland Church Home Christmas Gathering
Northland has been using home gatherings at various holidays to help folk connect within their geographic communities. We live quite a distance from the church property and there has not been a gathering in what I’d even remotely call our neighborhood until this one. My friend Aileen and I are going (together is so much easier than alone for this kind of thing, isn’t it?). Pray that we will make good connections with Northland neighbors as well as other neighbors who have been invited to join the fun.
December 15: Offices of the President Staff Christmas Brunch
This is the last of the parties. Whew. Again, will you pray with me that I will be an encouragement to my colleagues as we gather to celebrate Christ’s birth?
December 18-January 4: StayCation
A combination of the MAGL program (minor contributor), more/different Wycliffe travel, and probably some other factors all contributed to my not taking much of any vacation in 2014. I’ve already made plans for vacation in 2015 so I can spread out the points of restoration over the whole year and not lump them all in a pile at the end. (That’s especially important since next year is an URBANA year and I’ll almost certainly be in St. Louis Christmas through New Years.)
I have a list of things that I want to accomplish (5 projects, mostly involving cleaning and fixing — but at least two also involve making) and a stack of fiction I’d like to read (well, stack on the Kindle…but still). Pray that I will not give in to the temptation to just veg, which is only minimally restorative. Pray, instead, that I will do things every day that bring life.
MAGL Coursework: the regular rhythm of assignments
My Fall class begins at the end of September. “This course looks at contemporary culture from a missiological perspective, and covers issues of modernity, post-modernity, pluralism, secularism, globalization and the challenges and opportunities that each bring to Church worldwide, necessitating thoughtful, contextually relevant engagement and biblically sound responses. This course proposes the paradigm that missional engagement should be the basic stance of the Church toward its cultural context, wherever the Church is located.” (from fuller.edu)
Pray that I will be open to learn and grow, that I will be disciplined in my reading and other assignments, and that I will find ways to apply what I am learning immediately and not wait until I have it all figured out.