1. I’ve agreed to see a spiritual director once a month.
I actually didn’t have a clue how much I needed this. In fact, the idea was not mine and was initially setup to fulfill a different purpose. But what I realized is that there is a lot going on inside of me that I need to process with someone much further down the road than I am. And while it has been pretty painful and brutally uncomfortable, it has been and will continue to be enormously helpful in becoming a healthy person who can connect emotionally with people.
2. I joined a Micah Group.
Let me make a confession: I hate pastor’s luncheons. HATE. H-A-T-E. Why? Because they are infrequent, never the same people, and always involves surface level conversations and a “sizing up” of one another that I can simply live without. But when I was approached to join a smaller, diverse group of pastors that committed to meeting together for the purpose of spiritual formation over the course of 2 years, I was intrigued. We read the book of Common Prayer together, have times of discussion, watch videos, eat, and pray. This is one fantastic group of people. If you’re a pastor and have the opportunity to be a part of one of these where you live, I highly encourage it.
3. I have decided to take a break this summer from the ThM program.
I am a very driven person. When I start a program, I want to work hard, go above and beyond, even do the recommended reading, and finish strong. I get tired over the course of the semester and always want to quit, but two days after the semester I’m refreshed and feel ready to go again. I think I recover very quickly from intellectual fatigue. After the semester was over, even though I had already decided to take the summer off and have a much needed rest after a few semesters of taxing research, full time pastoring and teaching, recovering from shoulder surgery, and having a second child, i found myself thinking, “I bet I could squeeze in some hours over the summer.”
I’ve had to continually remind myself the value of taking a summer off to rest, think, pray, and be with my family. Needless to say, I don’t “Sabbath” well and need to learn what it means. Even though I have yet to experience the summer, I KNOW it will be beneficial for me. This all begins next week with a week away in Richmond, VA. After writing two sermons this week alone, it’s time to take a deep breath.