by Vicki Miller
Are you the mom who cries on her kids’ first day back in school, or are you one of those moms who can’t wait for the little sweeties to be out from underfoot, so you can move on to other things that may seem more productive? If the latter, I bet you are ready to trade pool parties for coffee dates with friends, and unstructured living for routine mornings and early-to-bed schedules. Even if you don’t have children in school, you still feel the effects of an increased pace now that church ministries are back in full-swing.
With the demanding schedules my husband and I have, it’s necessary to be purposeful in how we manage our day-to-day lives. I am not saying that we have it all figured out. However, we understand that if we “fail to plan," then we "plan to fail.” Perhaps these six practices will benefit you, too:
So whether you have a busy-mom schedule, work a secular job, or are in full-time ministry, be proactive in living a life you love. Join me and other women ministers as we take just six weeks to focus on Healthy Ministry Life. See you at our first-ever Lunch & Learn at noon on September 8th. Let’s be healthy together!
Vicki and her husband, Don, have been in ministry for more than 35 years. They have four daughters, four sons-in-law, four grandsons, and three sweet granddaughters who keep their lives full of joy and laughter. After pastoring the same congregation for more than 25 years, they now serve in ministry to SOMO District ministers and their spouses. Traveling is a shared interest between Don and Vicki, especially as they connect with churches and church leaders across our state and around the world. Encouraging ministry wives in their unique role and their walk with Jesus is one of Vicki's passions. For fun, she loves to read, sleuth décor ideas on Pinterest, drink iced tea (no coffee for her) especially with a friend, and take car rides in the country.
by Pamela J. Morton
I had one of those mornings. I'm sure you have, too. The mornings where you are in a deep, sound sleep dreaming blissfully of well-behaved children and the slimming swimsuit that actually keeps its promises. Then the alarm sounds. Bleary-eyed, I try to locate the annoying little beep-beep-beep of my iPhone. I used to "whack" the snooze, but no longer. Now with much genteel effort, I must brush the touch screen to purchase seven more minutes of sleep.
I begin to prioritize the things that I need to do to get out the door. Let's see... Will my hair still look decent if I don't wash it today? What if I eat cereal instead of eggs? Slowly I begin to gain one minute here, an extra two minutes there...Zzzzzzzzzz...........
My father got up every day at 5 AM even after he retired. He would sit at the kitchen table sipping his coffee, doodling on a napkin, and reading his Bible. When visiting my mother-in-law, I know she will prepare breakfast, fold a load of laundry, work on a sewing project, and start lunch before I even shuffle into the bathroom to splash water on my face.
I push the covers back and begin my morning regimen. Some I know are like motorcycles. One turn of the key and rev of the engine and they're off. Others, like myself, could be compared to a push lawnmower which requires a few yanks of the crank and some serious coercion to get the motor going. Still, I wish I could be different...
I stare at my closet, chiding myself for not planning the night before. But I never know how I will feel. Is it an aqua day? Maybe khaki pants and a sharp blazer? Or a swishy skirt to look easy, breezy walking down the street. As a woman, my mood can switch very quickly and the outfit that seemed perfect at 11 PM could be utterly unacceptable at 6 AM. Still, I could have risked it. I grab something that doesn't require ironing and move on mentally to breakfast and lunch.
If my husband and I eat cereal, that will save me five minutes of egg preparation time. That's the ticket...except there's no milk. Seriously, I'm beginning to think the whole "get out of bed thing" was a terribly bad idea. Okay. Next plan. Maybe I can whip up a quick egg and put it on toast. (More mobile that way.) I look in the little egg caddy and see one cracked egg. How metaphorical. So, no eggs.
Ooooo, here's one that Whole Foods people would be proud of. I cut up a fresh apple and place some roasted almonds into a little container. How very delicious. How very healthy. How very natural. (Now I'm thinking that I should change into the swishy skirt ensemble since that fits the "granola" outlook I'm currently adopting.)
My husband announces that he's almost ready to go and begins to gather his things. Well, no breakfast at the table today. I grab my purse and my sliced apple. I start to pick up the small bowl of almonds and place them in front of me. Somehow, in my hurry, I miscalculate where the table is located and miss it by a full three inches. Almonds scatter all over the floor. I stare at the mess. No morning Bible reading AND no protein will prove to be a deadly combination for anyone who happens across my path today. Those poor, poor people!
I can feel tears welling up in my eyes but decide I don't even have time for a good meltdown. I sweep up the almonds, throw them away, and run out to our vehicle with the now-paltry apple slices. Not a lot of food for sharing between two people. I tell my husband what happened, and he gives his most sympathetic smile. (Good, wise move.) He prays a prayer for me, and we begin our drive to work.
How will the rest of this day unfold? Beep-Beep-Beep. My soul alarm goes off. Will I hit the snooze and go about my business in full grace-less fashion? Or do I take a deep breath, pause, and allow the Lord to flood me with His peace and mercy?
Seven Steps to Starting Off the Morning Right
Pam and her husband, John, and two teenaged daughters packed up their fulfilling, understood Midwestern lives and moved to Cairo, Egypt in 2009. Her dream of serving overseas became a shocking reality of daily cultural encounters that often left her wondering if she’d actually landed on Mars instead! From Cairo to Khartoum to Upper Egypt to deserts unknown, Pam continues to learn, live and thrive in a sandy, sweaty, hospitable land. An author, global worker, teacher trainer and self-proclaimed “professional luncher,” Pam wants to share laughter, life and hope with her dear Middle Eastern neighbors while providing insight into their customs and everyday life with her friends in the West.
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