Friday, March 31, 2006

Family Matters

I want to take our conversation in a different direction with this post, and talk about something that’s been overlooked in many of our conversations – our families. I recently had the joy of spending a week on vacation with my family. We were fortunate that my oldest son’s spring break from college matched up with the spring break for the other kids, so we decided to take advantage of it. What a great week! It was fun just being together. I didn’t completely forget about my church or my consulting work, but I came pretty close.

And in that, I was reminded how much my family matters to me. I’m thankful for each of my kids – God has made each of them very unique, and He has taught me much through them. And I’m deeply thankful for my wife who is an incredible helpmate and companion in every aspect of my life.

The vacation reminded me of a couple of other things as well. It pointed out (again) how easy it is for me to use (and abuse) the “tomorrow” excuse with my family. There are always so many pressing priorities that I often think that quality time with my wife or kids can wait until tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow turns into next week which turns into next month … It reminded me that it’s important for me to refresh my own soul with times of relaxation.

Of course, I’ve been back almost two weeks now, and the refreshment is draining away quickly. But I’m trying to remember my lessons and find a more time for family matters. So after you read this post, turn off your computer, give your spouse a kiss and your kids a hug, and do something fun.


DivaD said...

Am turning off my computer... going home to kiss my husband and take my daughters to a movie. This weekend will be having a baby shower for my daughter-in-law as well!

And, I still say - with GREAT fervor - I am TOO young (38) to be a grandmother!!!!

Enjoy your weekends everyone!

Clayton - Don't look at it too hard though - it was designed 2 1/2 years ago by someone who never finished the project. We completed it, put it up to replace our ancient one, and are redesigning a more colorful, interactive, creative one that demonstrates the creativity of our teams!!

Still praying for you all!

Clayton Bell said...

Hey Gang,

Well, after the Atlanta conference hopefully there are a few more lurkers around this blog (and maybe a new commenter as well!), since Roger and Mike did a great job of pimping it to everyone there. Hopefully, my breif comments about it didn't scare anyone off!

DivaD, great job turing off the computer. I spent the whole afternoon and evening with my wife after returning from Atlanta, and I am only writing this after she's fallen alseep on the couch. I love my wife so much, and i can't wait to take my kids out all the time. I don't know how I'm going to hold a job once I'm a parent, since I'll never be at work and always with them! I can't wait.

Mike, great insight, something that not only do we need to hear once, but something that should be consistantly brought to our attention so we never forget it. I know I'll be judged not by my ministry but by my family, and I've always got to be diligent in this crazy world to violently force myself to do that.

Mike, Roger: great job in the ATL. Can't wait to have you all in Tallahassee!

DivaD said...

I'm now officially a grandmother! :O)

Ravenne Estelle Weddle was born this morning a little after 11:30am.

Speaking of family matters........

Rick said...

Hello Everyone. I am new to the seond chair community, but enjoyed the conference in Springfield last month, sounds like Atlanta was also great.

Congratulations divad!

Interesting topic Mike. I have noticed that time off in general and vacations in particular have changed since I moved into a second chair role. Before I moved into a second chair role I was quite emphatic about compeletly disconnecting when off from work. I.e. no calls, no voicemails, or checking of email. Now that I am in a second chair role I seem to feel a greater responsibility when I am out of the office and sometimes even have difficulty resting if I don't check on things at church. Has anyone else experienced this?

Marie said...

Congratulations Divad! And yes - you are far too young! But what a wonderful blessing.

I think this is a very good topic. I know my family feels abandoned sometimes. I have become much more resolved over the past few months to be sure that when I am with my family - I am really WITH them - and not focused on whatever I haven't gotton done at church. I also have a hard time going away and laying responsibilites down and I am only an unpaid servant! (we try not to use the word volunteer)

I have always worked full-time while raising my children and now I have a ministry that takes many hours. My girls are 22, 17 and 12...and while they are absolutely wonderful young women...I feel I have missed many opportunities and how I wish I could go back and make some changes. I need to remind myself frequently that I am wife and mother first....all my other roles pale in comparison - yet somehow other things tend to seem more urgent and crowd out all my intentions to do better.

Clayton Bell said...

I bet everyone doesn't have time to comment because they're spending time with their family...

Roger Patterson said...

So here is my radical action in this area . . . I got rid of my blackberry!!!! It was the most liberating thing that I could have ever done (well, a little exaggeration here). I think that in the second chair we like to think that we are needed (and our job descriptions prove it), but Julee and Brady and Cooper need me more. So, bye bye blackberry!

DivaD said...


I think we've all experienced what you talk about... that feeling of 'responsibility' if we don't check in. At times you can feel almost frantic - that something's not going to go right - if you don't touch base. It can feel good (like what we contribute is important) and bad (like this weight of 'will I get reamed for this if something goes wrong' [at least that's what I sometimes feel]) at the same time. Frustrating...

The last few weeks I've had several situations that have forced me to take some 'chill' time - both for myself and with my family. I ended up being stranded in SC with 3 members of my team (my boss included) after a Creative Church conference. For one entire day we were stranded without transportation. You know what we all 4 did? We sat in the living room and talked. When we didn't want to talk, we read or some dozed. We went for walks - each one alone. We sat and thought, comfortable to do just that. I can honestly say - knowing the 4 of us VERY well - that's the first time in a LOOONG time that any of us have just rested... because there was nothing else we could do. :o) It was definitely a God-thing for me.

Then, our phone has had some problems at home the last couple of weeks (darn it). We don't typically answer it when it does ring - but now it doesn't ring at all. And - that means that there is no internet access (yes - we still have dial-up) at the house either. So there is no way for me to work at home or check work email at home. Add to that a new focal point - a granddaughter in ICU for a few days - and there you have it... family time that has been missing. And, I can honestly say, I am more at peace, more calm, less irritable and defensive, because of these crazy things. The world will go on without me for a few hours every day while I shut-in with my family and enjoy the fact that I'm still young enough to roller skate, wrestle around with my son (the new dad), laugh like a banshee while doing imitations with my daughters, talk and tickle with my crazy husband, and swing in the wind all by myself if I want to.

Roger - Blackberry's are from the bad place (grin). Way to go!!!

Prayin' for each of us... and our families.

Clayton Bell said...


Still not sure if your move was biblical or not...developing...

Marie said...

Hi all - had a little struggle with obediance this week...just thought I would share it just because this is a place where I can! First off...let me say this was over a "nothing" thing. It was really an unimportant, small thing - but it caused such a struggle within me and when I look back, maybe there are some lessons to be learned. It started (like many things) with poor communication. My first chair assumed that I would know to do something without ever really asking me - or telling me to do it. That is rare for us but it does happen. Then, when it did come up, I could feel his irritation which seemed a bit unfair...but something I usually handle well...EXCEPT this also tapped into some resentment I was holding onto from a previous incident which had never been discussed. I thought I had let go of it until suddenly all these angry thoughts seemed to come from no-where. It also turns out that we had each made some unfortunate assumptions about what the other was really thinking. We deal with some very real, chronic tension, caused by factors beyond our control right now and luckily my first chair (in his wisdom) had previously given me permission to "vent" when I need to -and I did. I shared what I was thinking and feeling thru an email. He listened with patience and grace and then with a more open exchange we realized where the mistakes had occurred. Now...I should have "toed the line" from the moment I understood what he wanted - I know that. And please understand all of this really took place over the course of one day - I would never have delayed longer than that even if I had not been able to get things worked out. I generally don't question or hesitate at all so this was an unusual situation for both of us. Hopefully this will lead to improved communication and better understanding of each other. Anyway....sometimes its the little things that trip you up.

Jay said...

Hey there Bloggers!! Welcome Rick!! I just had a really great week spending sometime with my family. I took a couple of days off, got away from home, the church, and spent time with my wife, daughter, and friends. Which by the way, my daughter started walking this week! AMAZING!! Congrats on becoming a grandma Divad!!

Its hard to make myself get away and trust that things will get done while, I'm away. I'm always wondering what's going on, what am I missing, what's waiting for me when I get back! I need to do it, but its hard. My little girl is growing up SO FAST! She's such an amazing kid...and I am so blessed to have her and my wife. So, I'm going to turn off my PC and spend time with the Fam!

Way to go Roger on letting go of the blackberry!

DivaD said...

You know what's really cool?... (yes - I use that dated phrase still)

I love reading what's going on with everyone here. And can always identify with what's happening. Marie, what I was thinking while reading your latest was the honesty, and the truth that you and your first chair spoke with each other. Working through those things is what makes the second/first chair relationship stronger and more effective. Glad you two can talk about things in that way. There are times when we all - first chairs included - are somewhat delayed in our 'obedience'... as long as both understand that we're flesh and going to make mistakes - and as long as we're willing to learn from those (and allowed to learn from those because they are addressed properly) - the first/second chair relationship can be one of great growth. The fact that you recognized the offenses you were holding on to, and talked them out, is a sign of that growing relationship in working together... and in your continued growth as a 2nd chair.

I know that God has been speaking some very clear things to me regarding my 2nd chair position... hope I'll get a chance to share some soon. Right now, I'm on the way to my dad's birthday, and then on to see my granddaughter again. :O) She may be able to come home sooner than expected. The ivs and monitors were removed this morning and she is doing much better!!!

As always - praying for each one of us!

Marie said...

divad....hope Revenne is continuing to do well!

I am facing some family/ministry challenges this week and I just want to say my thoughts have returned to the comments in this blog over and over again as I sort out my feelings. I have been able to lay down a lot of the feeling of stress that I might otherwise be struggling with more just because this conversation has taken place. My family does need to come first....I am not letting anyone down if I need to let "church work" go a little bit this week - even if it is Easter. Now, I'm not talking about dropping the ball on any of my responsibilities...they will all be covered (and I will continue to worry a bit about not being around as much as usual). But thanks everyone for the comments on this timely issue...and just the fact that there is a place to have this discussion at all is wonderful.