Posts tagged ‘encouragement’
Spent some time tonight working on music for the worship gathering this coming Sunday. Had a friend there working with me which ALWAYS makes any music related event more fun! We have recently made a couple of tiny changes to the way things are done on Sunday mornings. I like it. Oh, let’s be real. I LOVE it. Tiny steps but definitely in the right direction. And I have this dear friend coming along for the ride and she brought her guitar with her!
The sad part is not every one likes the changes and some are getting downright cranky. Maybe even mean. There are small changes going on in a couple of other places in the overall ministry as well. These same people aren’t real thrilled about those changes either.
This dear friend – the musical friend I mentioned earlier – looked at me tonight and said, “It’s not great that it’s happening but it’s great that I’m getting a taste of what it can be like. My hubby wants to be a pastor and this kind of stuff is just part of the package.”
She’s right – it’s not great. In fact, it’s downright sad. It doesn’t have to be like this. Each Pastor’s wife brings a unique blend of gifts and passions into the church where her husband serves. If those gifts and passions were embraced and she was free to put them to work where she felt led, imagine what might happen – new energy, new excitement, new ideas, hearts being touched . . . the possibilities are endless! Instead, some people have specific ideas of what the Pastor’s wife/kids should or should not do and to step outside those parameters is venturing into dangerous territory. Pastor’s families burn out in churches just as easily – maybe even more quickly! – than members of the clergy themselves. Maybe if they felt welcomed, included, and free to use their gifts, they could be a better support system for the man in the pulpit and help him through the rough times in ministry so that he doesn’t burn out as quickly or maybe even not at all.
Is there a chance she might want to try something new? Yep. Is it possible that she might want to change the way something is done? Yep. And none of that is inherently bad. Yes, a certain measure of tact and LOTS of conversation is needed before trying new things or making changes. But simply shooting her ideas down out of hand or getting angry if others support her ideas is not what the church is supposed to be about. Our focus is to be on sharing God’s love with others, not creating a country club atmosphere that caters to it’s most powerful or vocal members.
It’s just frustrating because it really DOESN’T have to be like this. But the good news is I have my friend and her encouragement. She is excited to be a part of the “new stuff” and her excitement is contagious even in the face of the crankiness. So we will take another step in the right direction and deal with fallout – if there is any – when it comes. It’s time to focus on the feedback from those who LIKE what is happening and just “keep serving.”
*Deep breath* I think I can do this.
I know I’ve shared this one before. But it’s worth hearing again!
Circumstances right now are challenging. Most of life is clipping along quite nicely. Just a job situation I wish . . . well. . . I wish it wasn’t. Feeling a little down this morning when I got up, knowing I had to deal with the unpleasantness. Checked Facebook before I went to work and there it was.Psst. You’re phenomenal.
Just three words. From a friend I’ve known since I was in Junior High! (She’s younger than me so I’m not giving away her age!) But in the face of some challenges I would rather not be facing, it was just what I needed. This friend and I met when I went to a music camp where her dad was working. That music camp eventually ended and some of the staff went to work at a summer music camp on a college campus. I got information about that camp and, while I didn’t go to the camp, I DID end up attending the college where the camp was held. My friend did to. We actually got to hang out as college students together for a bit!
She had no way of knowing. I have talked about the stress I’m dealing with on Facebook but kept much of the “meatier” details to myself. And I hadn’t said much about the current “slump”, preferring instead to spend my online “social networking” time talking about the good things! She couldn’t have known that I needed – DESPERATELY needed – to know today that someone believed in me; that there was someone out there who knew things about me that some of my crankier co-workers will never know and that this particular someone thought that all the parts of me together made for a pretty okay person.
The lesson? When you have the impulse/urge/random idea to speak something positive into someone’s life – even if it’s only three quick words – DO IT!! Your words may be just what they need at that moment.
Words matter. They matter more than we sometimes realize. In my case, they are HUGE. Ever read “The Five Love Languages”? My primary love language is Quality Time. Words of Affirmation and Gifts tied for second. Words of Affirmation. In other words, sincere praise, compliments, words of thanks . . . I THRIVE on them!!
Don’t try and flatter me. I mean it. Don’t offer me empty flattery. Insincerity drives me nuts. But if I have done something right/good/helpful . . . you get the idea . . . and you offer me sincere thank/praise/encouragement then you have made my day. Maybe my week. Heck, maybe even my month.
It’s no secret I am a theater geek. Hardcore and not ashamed! I currently have the privilege of serving as rehearsal accompanist and pit pianist for the local community college’s production of “All Shook Up!” Yes, I get paid to do the job. But the truth is I would volunteer my services. Not only do I love what I’m doing, the show’s director and the pit director have offered genuine, authentic praise and thanks for my work. I would go to the moon for those two if they asked.
Ironically, I was chatting with my hubby about that very fact just before walking into another one of my jobs where I never receive any affirmation or praise. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of my conversations there are based on what I’m doing wrong or should do differently. No paycheck in the world is enough to replace sincere appreciation for the effort I am in putting. I’m not getting much (if any) appreciation and I’m fairly certain – after months of being in the job – that the situation will not improve any time soon.
Before you get the urge to scold me – I’m not trying to garner sympathy and I’m not looking for “coping” suggestions. I’m sharing a lesson learned – words matter. They matter more than you realize. Paychecks are a necessary part of life. But money isn’t always enough to motivate people, to build loyalty and for me at least, it never feeds my soul.
So I will seek chances to offer authentic praise and encouragement whenever possible. I’ve seen how much it touches me. I need to do what I can to pass that on to others!
Why are we so quick to throw the word “love” around about inanimate objects or people that we will never meet – “I love that movie!” or “I just love the lead singer of (insert name of favorite band here) – but we are so hesitant to say it to those that would be most touched and built up by it?
Why do we allow one critical statement to have more influence on our self-image than a positive statement?
What would happen if we each went out of our way to do one kind deed for another or say one kind word to another each day? Imagine if everyone in your circle of friends, family and workplace made this a goal!
See, someone took the time to write me a personal note in which this person expressed their gratitude to me. We’ve shared some performing arts experiences together and, according to the note, I have been lucky enough to help inspire this person. There was nothing profound about the experiences. And I was extremely surprised by the depth of his gratitude.
Just reminds me AGAIN that we never know the power of a “You can do it” or “I believe in you.”