Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Strange and Changing Seasons

First of all, I want to reassure you all that yesterday's excruciating number of postings is not going to become a daily habit. (And everyone breathed a collective sigh of collected relief.) I just happened to have a little extra time on my hands, plus I was still caught up in the thrill of having a new blog and well, what can I say? I just couldn't stop myself!

However, most of the time, I'll just be updating once every day or two. (Or three.) Rarely will I update more than once a day. So please don't worry that keeping up with this blog is going to turn into your new full time job!

I also wanted to share that the poll I took revealed that about 400 of the Smithellaneous readers/poll takers are from CaringBridge and just two of the readers/poll-takers are not. I guess that pretty much answers that question!

For the one or two new readers out there--I'm very glad you're here! I hope you feel at home and realize that if you drop by more than once, you are automatically an adopted member of the Smith Family. (A very scary thought, I realize.)

Well, I guess it might be helpful if I explained the title of this particular post. Or then again, maybe I should just ignore the explanation and let you fill in the blanks yourself! I mean for crying out loud, do you expect me to do all the work around here? The writing? The thinking? The picture taking? The malted milk ball eating?

Did I hear you say, "Yes?" Well, alrighty then! I'd better get to work.

Here's the deal.

Tomorrow marks five months since Steve resigned from First Assembly; five months since we've both been unemployed. Five months! With nothing on the horizon! No churches! No jobs! No home buyers! No money!

Are we having fun yet?

It's really strange to go from living life at 100 m.p.h. to living life like this. Pastors and their families (just like many families) tend to be in a perpetual state of motion and usually find themselves coming and going at all hours of the day. Now all of a sudden, we have lots of time with each other. We have only each other! We are each other's entertainment and social network and community of friends. We've heard each other's jokes and listened to each other's stories and now we're sort of looking around saying, "Uh. Hello, out there? God? Do you have anything else for us?"

Not that we don't enjoy hanging out as a family. We do. And not that we don't stay busy. We do.

For instance, I am taking an online magazine writing course, writing and submitting articles to magazines, taking an Excel class, and trying to apply myself to learning a whole bunch of technical/computer stuff. So that's all been fine. Not to mention dandy.

We're just ready to get on with the next chapter of life, we're ready to be pastors again and find a church and people to love and to serve and to minister to. Five months ago at this time, Steve was perilously near burnout and I wasn't too far behind him. This time of rest and reflection has been good for us but we're about ready for the next phase! We're ready for this strange season to be over. We're ready for the next season to kick in.

However, we made the discovery long ago that we are not in charge of the seasons. We are not in charge of what the seasons contain. We are not even in charge of our next breath! (And as someone who has COPD, that sentence packs a real wallop.)

All we're really in charge of is learning how to trust the One who is in charge. And frankly, I'm glad He's calling the shots and not me. The world would have fallen off its axis a long time ago if I were Boss of the Universe.

I have no doubt that God has the exact place in mind where we'll be going, He knows exactly who is going to buy this house, and He knows what house we will be buying. He knows what school Sarah will be attending and which doctors and medical centers we will find for her ongoing care and treatment.

Sometimes all the details of these strange and changing seasons get to be a bit much and I feel tempted to cower underneath towering clouds of uncertainty and anxiety.

But let me say it once again. I'm not in charge And I'm so very happy about that! The Bible says that God has a future and a hope for us. For me. For you. For everyone who trusts that He is in charge of our strange and changing seasons.



10 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Lesley said...

Becky, I say the more posts the better. I love reading everything you have to say. It is such a treat.
I, too, am kind of in a 'holding pattern' and just trust that things are going the way they are supposed to go-I am along for the ride :)
Thanks for sharing!

Pam D said...

You're in no way posting too much, Becky. I'd sure hate to see this beautiful blog go to waste by sitting there, waiting on one of your fabulous updates. And.. may I confess a tiny, guilty little thing that I might just do? I may just have to put in a request to God to maybe, possibly find you a place here in the ATL. Lots of churches.. PLENTY of need to pastor people... excellent children's hospital... and other medical resources, as well. And, well, then you'd be close to me.. and you could come over and visit.. and (oh, hush, Sue G... I can TOO ask God for this... yes, I can!). One thing I do know is that wherever He sends you, you will go... and you'll bring Him glory in all that you do. Praying that He will make up His mind soon (He probably has so MANY places that He needs to send you that it's just hard to make the final call..... !).

Sue G said...

Okay, so I admit that I was the one who wrote and questioned the kazillion posts in one day. It's not that I didn't like them, it's just that--well--she writes in a closet!

I just thought it was time to come out.

Now, Ms. Pam D or whatever you say your name is (the face looks familiar but I can't quite place the...), I have absolutely NO aversion to Becky et al settling in Atlanta. Then I can meet you and Pam E and Becky in person when I visit. Oh, sure, maybe I can't BE CLOSE AND COME OVER AND VISIT ALL THE TIME, THANKYOUVERYMUCH!!!! But, I stop by once in awhile, can't I?

When does the humidity go away in Atlanta?

Now, as for you, Becky, time to get down to business. What a wonderful post. Yes, there is a season for everything, and yes, God knows the perfect time for that season. He is thinking of things much bigger than you and Steve can imagine.

I totally agree with Pam (selfish little friend monger that she is) that wither He calls you, you will go...cheerfully, openly, and with a willing and thankful heart. And I absolutely know that wherever and whenever he sends you, you will be blessed to be a blessing.

(And remember: You've never had a matzo ball, so you may want to put in a transfer request to Arizona!)

gfrena said...

Becky i wrote you an e-mail about hearing aids did you get my e-mail about it?


Georganna

Random said...

It's too bad blogging isn't a paying career - I'd love to read several posts a day...
(Thank you for signing my blog! You made me feel like a celebrity.)

kids4me_too said...

Hi, I finally made it here from Sarah's blog! Actually a couple of days ago! It is a LONG trip from Nebraska, just kidding. Oh, the nostalgia. Sad to say, so far, I remember everything mentioned(in the Comments, too). Anyway, I am so glad I get to enjoy another Smith family blog.

Vicky

Hey Mama where's my... said...

I love to read your blog, caringbridge, grocery list, lol just kiddin'-well, about the list anyway! Hope you have a good day and the Lord will show you what He wants you to do in His time~

Anonymous said...

Becky, you're amazing. God has a definite place for the Smiths and I am selfish--would like it to be Eastern NC so you'll stay close but I know that is not always God's will. Wherever you go we'll still have the blog to keep in touch. Still haven't been able to get a picture in but I will keep trying.
Ann in RR

Melissa said...

Sure hope you get your answers soon! Five months is a lot of time in limbo! I'm sure all will be well, it's just maddening waiting on the 'unknown' sometimes. I was just curious; did your former church fill Steve's vacancy with a new pastor yet?

Catherine said...

Oh, Becky, it was just a very tough time to leave a job, sell a house. Here so many have lost their jobs, lost their houses. We are praying that the economy improves, and that thing stabilize. You are in our prayers too.