A day in the life…
One thing I love about my job is that each day is a little different than any other. Sure, there are some things that are routine, but overall it’s constantly changing. This time of year, it’s even more exciting as we are in our busy summer season.
Busy might be an understatement. Scratch that. Busy IS an understatement.
Sunday we had nearly 50 folks arrive from North Carolina, South Carolina and Indiana, all eager to be here to serve God as they walk alongside and serve our neighbors. Along with having these three groups here, six different work teams in all, we also are preparing for next week, when nearly 130 people will join us.
My favorite phrases to describe summer include, but certainly are not limited to, organized chaos and craziness. But I mean these in a good way… really, I do (at least most days).
I’ve been blessed to work in this type of ministry setting for nearly 14 years now, and there’s definitely a flow of summer, regardless if there’s 10 people or 110. The organized chaos might be even more chaotic, but there’s still many of the same pieces.
Take Monday for example. Oh, was it a Monday! It started as I was walking across the parking lot very early in the morning (this was pre-first cup of coffee). Then, in the midst of handling Monday’s events, I was starting to figure out lodging for next week. Did I mention we have almost 130 people staying here next week? Much to my surprise I finally got it arranged… and then I realized one of the groups hadn’t sent in a roster sheet and I had inadvertently left them out of any rooms.
So back to the drawing board, or in this case, even more scribbles all over my lodging diagrams. We have more than enough beds for 130 people, but the tricky part is fitting all the numbers in the right places. It isn’t so easy when you’re considering males and females, youth and adults… that’s where the fun sets in!
In the midst of that, um, fun… our summer staff came up for a daily check-in. As I was (at this point) frantically working to make the numbers fit in the rooms we have available, which I will admit, included some “grrrs” and maybe even some talking to myself… one of the staff popped into my office and later I noticed she had written an encouraging little note on my whiteboard. “Breathe! Jesus loves you and so do I!” – complete with a smiley face.
I have a few thoughts about this. First, I’ll say it again– I love my job! I am so thankful to have caring staff… both year round and summer staff. Not only caring, but competent! It’s so nice to be able to turn things over to them and know that they’ll be done – and done right.
Second, that I work in an environment that promotes Christian hospitality and we talk a lot about living like Jesus and we really do try to walk the talk… and it shows through simple acts of kindness, like notes on a whiteboard.
Finally, the word breathe. I have to spend a moment here. Back in the day, I had a good friend from college who would remind me of that… and she continues to once in a while remind me of that word. It’s significant in many ways, but it’s such an “easy” way to pause from the craziness and center myself in God.
This morning during staff devos, I shared from Ezekiel 37 – the valley of dry bones. I love this scripture! One of the things I love the most is about the breath – how God’s Spirit breathes life into “dry bones” – and I believe the Holy Spirit still does this today. I think of the times I’ve been dried out and I rely on God to see me through.
I think yesterday was one of those days. I got to the point where I just had to set aside the lodging and move on with my day. I had to work a bit on Thursday’s worship service and then I went down to have dinner with the groups (yum!). Then it was time for our Appalachian Culture Night. So much fun!
Yes, some days it’s more chaotic than others. Some days it’s stressful. Some days are a little lengthy, but what a joy it is to be able to help this community, to help individuals grow closer to Jesus, and to be able to come to work and have fun while doing so!
Good news for me – I did get the lodging figured out today (and, yes, this time everyone really DOES have a room)… and it’s been another interesting day, which included having lunch with some folks from one of the groups, sitting on the lodge porch, overlooking the lake. Talk about joy!
Not too bad if I say so myself. A day in the life is unlike any other.