Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Lesson in Sabbath

I don't write much right now because every week is so busy.  I mean, SO busy.  Every week, I think, "next week I'll have time to do this..." and then something comes up.  This week, I got to Wednesday evening, counted the hours I'd worked since Monday, and came up with 30.  Knowing that I still had a funeral on Saturday (this afternoon) and a worship service on Sunday, and an accompanying sermon/homily for each, I took Thursday and Friday "off."  That was a good decision.  

I don't think many people understand all the work that goes into being a pastor.  I recently heard a colleague in ministry joke that when people ask her what she does, she says, "I'm a preacher on Sundays and the CEO of a non-profit during the week."  I think that's true.  I'm not complaining, just trying to explain.  The way my congregation volunteers is extraordinary, truly.  I couldn't ask for more.   But it's such a behind-the-scenes job.  So much of it is about presence and trust-building-- being there when people need you, being a role-model, keeping up with what's going on in the community and in the lives of members.  I can never really stop working.  But that's okay, I love it.  And one of the things I'm learning is that if I'm a role-model, then I must display appropriate care of myself and my own family.  I want others to take care of themselves and their families, so it's also my job to say, "I've already worked 30 hours this week and have about 15 hours of work that I must do before the week is over, so I will take tomorrow and Friday off," because if I don't, I'm telling everyone else that it's okay to overwork and under-nurture their relationships, and I don't believe that's healthy.  

Anyway, yesterday was a really good day off.  We went as a family to Appleton, to the Children's Museum.  It was a free day so it was really crowded, but we had a blast.  The children were supposed to wear costumes, so Evelyn wore her cowgirl outfit (a costume we didn't think she'd get to wear anywhere, she's already worn twice, and I think we'll do a tiny bit of trick or treating, so that makes three!).  She was thrilled that there were some children dressed as animals.  Right now she is obsessed-- I mean, obsessed-- with animals, especially cats, dogs, ducks, and lizards.  So when she saw a little boy dressed as a dog, she just stood next to him and barked and panted at him for several minutes.  She's also been pretending that she is a cat lately, crawling around meowing.  We don't have a cat right now and I'm beginning to feel guilty about that.  But, to be honest, I'm still on team Bearded Dragon, and I think Evelyn is too, but Maic says no.  There was actually a Bearded Dragon at the Children's museum and Evelyn was thrilled about it, but Maic said, "She just likes anything with eyes that moves."  I think I know what he's getting for Christmas...

The traveling exhibit was a bunch of scenes and activities from Children's books--
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Abuela by Arthur Dorros

Stackable snowmen from the Snowy Day

Little cowgirl stacking blocks

Climbing up a salad.  Where do they come up with these things?
So, here's my lesson in Sabbath for the day.  When you work too much, stop working.  When there's a free day at the children's museum, go.  And when you can put the baby to bed and watch Dancing With the Stars while knitting stuffed animals, do it. 

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