Have you ever had a day, or week, or month when you have had so many things on your agenda that you can't seem to focus on any one of them? I am in one of those places right now. I have had so many things that I have wanted to post, and yet I either haven't had the time, or I have sat down to write and the words wouldn't come. I have come close to ceasing the blog, but it is still my thoughtful place, and I couldn't bring myself to do it.
Yesterday, I was blessed to attend Catalyst One Day in Chicago with several members of the PCC staff. It was an awesome experience. I fell in love with Catalyst last year when we were able to attend the full-blown conference in Atlanta. Yesterday we were treated to an all day event featuring Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel, with a guest presentation with Bill Hybels of Willow Creek. The focus was on creating a healthy culture, and while I think we did gain a lot as a staff, I gained a lot personally as well.
I was excited about the event because Andy and Craig were my two favorite speakers at Catalyst last year. They have such a down to earth style of teaching and an honesty that is disarming. They shared a lot of great information that I am sure we will process in terms of if and how it applies to Pathway, but I was also challenged to rethink my priorities.
I struggle to disconnect. I don't know if it is the whole women's spaghetti brain thing or my insecurity, but I have trouble leaving work at work. I have been doing much better about leaving the actual work there, but it is hard to reign in my brain and push out all the work stuff to really refresh and be present at home.
That has to stop. There are so many other things that are important to me that are being pushed aside. Moving into the holidays, I want to be able to decorate, bake, shop and not feel like I have to cram it in here and there. With a 25 hour a week schedule, one wouldn't think that would be a problem, but it has been becoming so.
I have also been reminded of the importance of relationships. It's not that I had forgotten, but in the busyness of the everyday, relationships often get taken for granted. And then a friend (or two) is diagnosed with cancer. A family member is hospitalized with a life-threatening condition. A friend moves away. I run into a close friend and realize that I haven't talked with her in months, or I realize I haven't taken the time to visit another close friend who lives far away in years.
I love my job. I love the people with whom I get to serve. I love our church. But...I need to to be making time in my life for my job and lately I have been taking time from my job to live my life. This is not the culture I want to create for my family, or for myself. And the sad part is, I am fully responsible for it. It isn't expected of me. I have just allowed more and more of my thoughts to be taken captive by work than by home.
Yesterday's conference was more than a catalyst in name only. It was the catalyst I needed to realize what I was allowing to happen to make it stop. Are Andy and Craig still my favorites? Absolutely. I think I may owe them my life.