Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The End of an Era

My bulletin board.

My kids' bulletin boards. This is where all of their beautiful artwork went!
This was part of my office. It was huge, but there were a lot of kids and volunteers making use of this space on a regular basis.
Another view, showcasing the kids' toys and play area.
I had to do my best to keep it clean since there was a giant window looking into the office from the lobby. The window served as our Children's Ministry Help Desk where kids could register and parents could get information.
The best view in my office on that particular day. I loved being able to take my kids to work with me when needed. Of course anytime they were with me it took 1 hour to do what I could do without them there in 15 minutes!
This artwork wasn't mine, though it was left on the wall for my enjoyment. How can you not smile when you see this beautiful piece of art painted by Brenna?

I'm making an attempt to get caught up on this blog, which chronicles our family's adventures. I've been horrible about keeping up on our public family journal because I've been so caught up in my writing my love story over on my own personal blog, Real Life Pastor's Wife.

But this week I have some extra time on my hands, so I decided to go through my photos and blog about some of our family's long forgotten adventures.

These pictures are pictures of my office, just before I packed up my personal belongings and said good-bye to one of the many hats I'd been wearing over the last several years.

I began juggling a part-time job as the Children's Ministry Director at our church since Titus was about six-months old.

At the time taking on that job was a good fit for our family. Rob was just transitioning from his position at the church as a Youth Pastor to his new role as an Associate Pastor, and despite the fact that it was a good job, it didn't quite pay enough to support the needs of our family at the time.

With a new baby and a toddler joining our family in just over a year we had made the decision for me to go back to work for two reasons. First, and most obvious, we suddenly had two more mouths to feed.

Second, I looked forward to putting my degree to use (especially with plenty of student loans yet to pay off along with the new mouths to feed) in a ministry that I was passionate about. After all how many jobs could I get with a Bachelor's of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Bible and Education with a minor in Theology that would be relevant to my degree? The answer? Two. I could teach Bible at a Christian school or be a Children's Ministry Director. Or a Pastor's Wife... but that's not a job that pays real money... just lots of treasures in heaven!

Third, I desired to have the ability to do something meaningful beyond wiping snotty noses and picking Cheerios up off of the floor. Not that those things don't have very important meaning, but at the time I honestly felt like I needed some time to just be 'me' and if I was going to be spending time away from my kids and/or taking them to work with me, why not do something I loved and help pay the bills at the same time?

When I first started working at the church I was gung-ho and passionate about all of the possibilities for reaching kids for Christ through the ministry of the church. I spent tons of time reading, keeping up with the latest tips and trends affecting kids, and gaining insight into how to best lead volunteers in a Children's Ministry setting.

I wish I could say I kept that passion up throughout my time as the Children's Ministry Director, but there came a point in time where it began to be more and more difficult to juggle the demands of being mom to a toddler and a preschooler, the wife of a Pastor, and an employee of the church all at the same time.

I felt like I was always dropping the ball somewhere. This became especially evident when we became foster parents to my two half siblings, giving us essentially two sets of twins over night. Logan is three weeks younger than Leeann and Hope is 9 months older than Titus. When they came to live with us we had a 3 year old, a 4 year old and two 5 year olds. I was overwhelmed. During those six months the only thing I was able to do as a wife, a mom, a foster mom/sister, and an employee was simply to hold it together.

In January of 2009 Rob was beginning to transition into the role of Lead Pastor at our church. In February Rob's mom passed away. In March Hope and Logan moved in. They left that September and Rob was officially offered the role of Lead Pastor in December, assuming his new role at the beginning of 2010.

2009 was more or less a blur for me.

After Hope and Logan left it took a while to regain a sense of balance and normalcy in our home. And in that time an amazing thing began to happen. God starting turning my heart toward home.

I recognized that Rob was going to need my support more and more as he delved into his new role and I saw how quickly my children were growing up. As much as I'd been trying to fight through the constant neediness of my children when they were young, I suddenly found myself wanting to hang onto as many of these precious moments as I could--since it was becoming obvious to me that those days of being constantly needed were fading fast.

All of that, coupled with the fact that we had recently paid off all of our debts (most notably those pesky student loans which took half of my income each month to pay off) and we were hoping to add a baby to our family (which obviously hasn't come to fruition) made me quitting my job make sense for our family.

And so I did... when the time was right for the church as well. A good friend and ministry partner, Melissa, stepped into part of my role while Pastor Joel stepped into another part of it, which I think is a better fit for the overall ministry.

It's been a little bit strange, but really nice to watch the ministry go on so well in my absense. I now have a bit more time on my hands, though I am nannying one day a week, doing some ocassional wedding coordinating and being a foster parent (which can be like a full-time job depending on the child) from time to time.

It's really nice to finally have the freedom to "stay home" with my kids. It's also a bit ironic that they'll both be off to school in just over a month. I have a sneaky suspicion that Rob's going to assume that'll mean I have more time for housework.

I also have a sneaky suspicion that he's going to be very disappointed when he realizes that our less than perfect house is more about lack of motivation and desire than it is lack of time. Sorry, Rob!

1 comment:

Diana said...

I'm so glad the change is flowing well!