Tuesday, July 8, 2008


VBS went really, really well last night. In my 3&4 year old class we had 8 boys and 1 little girl...and they were so much fun! Thanks so much for your empathy and encouragement yesterday :)

Last night (after VBS) I had the opportunity to discover something about myself...stuff I've known (I think) but just never really thought about all that much. It has to deal with how I react/cope with life when busyness sets in.

I hate busyness. I do. I am constantly trying to keep life quieted. I like peace. I like routine. I like to have my family just hanging out together at home.

Our daily life is fairly full. I don't mention it much, but my husband also has a full-time job besides being full-time Pastor of our small church. (This is a whole other post in and of itself.) He is a "tent-making pastor" as they call it, and I can't explain it, because when I look at our life from the outside, I think "How on earth does that work? Impossible!" But, it does work...it works really, really well. It works, because it is what God has ordained for now and He supplies in all the areas we are lacking (and they are many, my friends.) Will it change? Hopefully...but if it doesn't, we're content with that too. God has created peacefulness in our home, even with the full schedule.

Anything extra on top of this full life of ours makes it start to feel busy to me. As I mentioned yesterday, with VBS this week, I find myself re-adjusting to the extra demands, and discovered two things about myself in the process.

1 - When life starts to feel like I can't keep up, I go quiet. Weird, I know. I am generally a friendly, outgoing person. I will talk your ear off...with hand gestures to boot. But when it starts to feel busy, I feel the need to quiet myself. To withdraw some...to hide-out for a little bit...just me and my Jesus. He "fills my cup" back up, just like the old hymn says, and then I can face life again.

2 - When the busyness seems like too much...I begin cleaning. I mean deep cleaning...organizing...and when my family doesn't cooperate with my cleaning agenda...not good, not good at all. It's a weird phenomena. Something very sad, tragic, life changing can happen, and you will most likely find me cleaning out closets and rearranging furniture. I've done this for as long back as I can remember...I've just never thought about WHY I do this...until last night.

Here's what God showed me: When life feels like it's out of my control (which it always is whether I feel it or not) I clean because I can fix it. I can work and see tangible results from my efforts. Control. I am a control freak, my friends. Last night, it's as if God was giving me a "heads up" on this issue. For my own good, He requires a change of heart on my part...the cleaning in and of itself, fine. The cleaning as a knee-jerk reaction for control...not fine. He wants my first reaction to be my knees in prayer, running to Him. Sounds easy...but for a control freak, it's not. Thankfully, I have Him to help me :)

Just some realizations. What about you? How do you deal with the busyness? Are you a freak too!?!? :)


  1. Oh Sarah I could have written this post myself. It is exactly where I am at right now. My husband also works a full time job in addition to being a full time pastor and a full time parent and life is busy right now. I tend to withdraw when I get overwhelmed. I headed to bed last night at 9:15 telling my husband that I am feeling really overwhelmed and going to bed seemed to be the only way to bury my head in the sand. I woke up early and spent time with my Jesus...exactly what I need more of.

  2. I am right there with you. With the new baby coming and our VBS next week. I desperately feel the need to dig into other things or to go shopping :) , but what I really need to do is to grasp on to the Lord.

  3. Good stuff, Sarah. I didn't realize your hubby had another job in addition to being a full-time pastor.
    I tend to shut down internally when things get too crazy. I'm an introvert at heart, so I need that quiet time within myself and with my Lord to get things back to where they need to be. I am not normally a neat freak (at all) but I do have strange moments where I feel the need to fix and control and clean...so yeah. I know exactly what you mean.

  4. Oh my gosh! I am sitting here reading your post...and have tears in my eyes...wait...blinking to hold them back. WOW!

    It amazes me how you can put those thoughts and feelings on paper...er...computer. I.AM.SO.WITH.YOU. What is creepy is, I really think you must be sneaking inside my house at night, and really you are talking about ME and not yourself!!

    How is this possible?


  5. Sarah, I too tend to "freak" when things get to hectic. I also tend to get a bit cranky! Ok maybe a lot cranky - depends on the day!

    I like to have my house clean and orderly. I usually don't mind the house looking like a toy store unless I am falling or sliding on toys.

    This is my first summer at home with ALL of the kids EVERYDAY! My hubs and I own a business of which in the past I worked four days a week - all day long. Well, I decided last fall that I wanted to work from home. So that is just what we did - called the computer guy and he hooked me up at home to the office and now I work from home. It was working great - then summer came and the kids got out of school. There are days I absolutely want to pull my hair out! Then I feel stressed! The boys are continually fussing with one another or taking things from one another and want me to officiate! I get them out and about to expell their energy - doesn't help. The house is tidy one minute and the next it doesn't look like I have done anything. The laundry has taken over the house and just when I think it is done - I find another load or two. I feel as if I am in the center of a Tornado that never ceases.
    Today I am feeling overwhelmed! It is funny - I usually want to clean, but not today - today I want to escape!

  6. Last night I started cleaning the basement, tonight I will start painting the floor! I would say I'm nesting, except this is pretty much me on a normal basement. I think I need projects in my life to feel like I'm living it. I can't seem to just do the living part project free! : )

  7. That should say normal basis, not basement, haha! Remember when we used to windex the kitchen floor in our dorm room!

  8. I love busy, but I relate to the control issue. I, too, find myself trying to control things close to me when the rest of my world is reeling.

    (Punch line: I have a very clean house! HA!)

    I've prayed about this very thing. I don't want anything to serve as a fill-in God in my heart. Only You, Lord. Only You.

  9. I absolutely love the third paragraph....I completely am that way.

    Funny you mention that, since Andy has been gone, all I feel like doing is cleaning all the time - I dont know that I would have put control with that....

    Thank You!

  10. Wow, we have way too many things in common, but this one is by far the most real. Thank you for reminding me to get on my knees.

  11. Great insight. My husband and I also work full-time besides pastoring full-time. Takes some doing. But we've been at it for almost 27 years, this dual life. It's good for us. Keep us in touch with where the saints really live -- what it's like in the world "out there".

    I'm with you..when I'm really upset, I get quiet, very quiet, dangerously quiet! Unless I need to "social" my way through something. I can, but more quietly than normal.

    I like being busy. Usually a frantic schedule is pretty normal...if things are really out of control, I "vegetate" -- do absolutely nothing. :) If it's too much to cope with I shut down and just don't cope at all.

    Interesting...I wasn't aware there were that many "tent-making" pastors still out there. Nice to meet one!!!

    P.S. I realy like your blog makeover!!

  12. oh dear girl. you don't even know. i am the same. down to the closets. i am beginning to get stressed about the trip, so i feel like i am nesting! it's something i can do, something i can wrap my hands around. never really thought that i was a control freak either, but freak i am indeed.

  13. My husband ALSO works in addition to pastoring. We are an inner city church so the church isn't able to pay for our salary. We raise support and a few months ago he took on a part time job to help make ends meet.
    I am a control freak with activities at church. We started having everything at my house so I could make sure that the kids had activities, there was always toilet paper, a clean kitchen, etc. It drove me crazy going to a BBQ at someone else's place and not having food ready when then the kids were hungry. There are some good things about it, but I also know my motives are horrible. It isn't about making a nice event for my church family to enjoy, but about me not being inconvienced by others not meeting my standards. Totally not the love God wants from me. All this to say I understand the comfort that comes from being in control.

  14. I can't relate to the control thru cleaning. But I consistenly battle with discouragement when I try to, again, stay close and dependent on Christ. (like now) I know that is where I need to be, but there seem to be so many more roadblocks when I am doing the "right" thing.

  15. Thank you for this post. I learned some things about myself through your words/thoughts.

    Isn't it amazing how God reveals things to us through our daily adventures?!

    Blessings to you as you continue to seek His best in ALL circumstances and times!

  16. Uh-Oh, baby just woke up screaming..new teeth.will say I love the new look

  17. I think we may have been separated at birth (by several years). That is exactly how I handle the extra busyness that comes.

    In the Spring I long for Summer but Summer brings a crazy schedule for a youth pastors family. Camps, mission trips, and activities Oh my! So about this time of the Summer I retreat and paint, or clean a closet, or tear out wallpaper or try to keep up on the endless laundry, whatever. Something that I can control.

  18. Do not like busy! Busy makes me crabby! Do not like being crabby mommy!! This is why I enjoy staying home- life is busy enough just taking care of things around here. Throw a couple of days of appointments, play dates, and errands in there and I suddenly have no clean clothes, clutter everywhere, and it looks like my house threw up!

  19. Mmmm... We are so the same person. You should be afraid, very afraid! ;-) I do the exact same thing for the same reason, and God and I have had the exact same conversation on the subject. And like you, when things get too overwhelming, I end up clamming up--a very unusual state for me also. This explains my absence from my blog. I can't even explain all that is going on in my life right now--it is just too much. I will return, but if you think of me between now and then and are inclined to pray, I would sure take it.

    Thanks for keeping it real. I hope to catch up on your world soon.


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