Irreplaceable

Imagine someone comes to you in tears on a bi-weekly basis complaining of their job and that they don’t know how to manage time properly and thanks for bearing with them through all the learning and growth they are experiencing from taking too much on at a time.  Then, imagine that person comes to you months later, still the same wild wreck they have been, asking you to take on their job for 8 weeks while they take some time off.  You’re friends with this person and have helped them through a lot (as they have helped you through a lot…) and you know their job very well, and often boast that you could do their job better than them becuase of your freedom and organizational skills.  But, you learn that you’d be taking on their stressful job for these 8 weeks for NO PAY. It would be strictly volunteer work out of the kindness of your heart.  Would you take the position?

OF COURSE NOT!  Who would!?!?  Yes – well, I’m learning that the amount of work I’m putting into my “part time” job with the church is the work of four different people put into one already-busy body.  As I consider our new family member arriving near the end of September, I am faced with the impossible task of finding myself a replacement so that I will take a healthy maternity leave.  Not only am I responsible for finding my own replacement during my absence, but I feel as though I’m getting very little support from the rest of the staff on it – it’s kind of a “fend for yourself” deal.

Luckily, I’ve grown tremendously in the last few weeks (I’ve held faithful and true to the promises to myself that I’ve mentioned in my last post)… and I have been more respectful to myself and my family than I have ever been.  So, this task of finding a replacement is not stressing me out as much as it probably should – because I am excited about the terrifiying prospects of taking my well-deserved, well-earned, much-needed maternity leave and possibly building a case for myself against those who see my complaints of being overworked and under-appreciated as frivilous or obscene.

Am I really working for the Lord, here? Or, am I working for a bunch of people who would have me think that I’m working for the Lord while I’m really working to meet their demands?  Clearly, I’m the one who gets to make that decision.  And so, I’m comfortable and confident knowing that a solution will present itself and that I will still be guaranteed a job after the 8-12 weeks of my absence following baby sister’s arrival.

But, oh – let me not be too misleading …  the old me is knocking very loudly on my brain going, “you can’t let this happen!! What if you don’t find and train someone immediately!! What will happen to the ministry!!!  Who will take care of all those kids!?!?!  They need you!!! You must’nt take a leave longer than 2-3 weeks!!!  Don’t be selfish!!!!”

Some of the people I surround myself with daily are seeing the changes in me.  A few of them are not liking it one bit.  One of them actually got into a 20 minute long verbal challenge with me…   For the first time since I can remember, I stood my ground firm. I stood up for myself and my actions.  I explained to her that I can no longer be a doormat… that I’m finding myself responsible for more self-related things – that it’s not all about YOU anymore, but now it’s going to be about ME too.   And, it’s about the new me – the healthier, happier me – not the old me that continues to want to give in, do more, seek approval, and fight for others ALL the time.

Know how I shut the “old me” up?  I see my daughter – growing from a toddler into a young lady. And I see my husband – I mean, I’ve actually SEEN him lately… I haven’t been buried in my computer, in my papers, in my studies of how I can constantly improve… I’ve seen him!  Oh, and I recognize myself in the mirror again – and it’s not embarrassing… because I’m taking care of myself!  This new plan of putting me back on the to-do list seems to be working out.

Unfortunately, one of the ways that I can assure myself a peaceful maternity leave is to take care of the ministry during THAT time frame right NOW.  So, I’m on the search. And I’ll find four (4) f.o.u.r. people who can work as a team to replace ME.  And the cool part… when I’m back at work with my two kids, it will be more fun – because I’ll have a team of four committed volunteers working alongside me, so it shouldn’t be as bad as it has recently become. Amen.

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