Uncategorized

When life throws you boxes…

I’m aware of my lack of blogs these past 6 weeks. I have a good excuse. At least I think I do. My husband and I accepted a new call, to a new church, to a new place we’d never heard of. But God has plans for us, and we humbly (with some uncertainties) accepted the call. With that, we find ourselves surrounded with the perils of moving, and boxes, boxes, boxes…

Now, life is funny this way. The unexpected happens. It throws you monkey wrenches that you never saw coming. Yet it happens. You pick it up and make the best of it. You realize that the changes are taking place faster than you expected. You are surrounded with questions, problems, and lots of chaos.WIN_20190509_16_24_22_Pro

With the changes of moving come questions. How does this effect other family members? What about schools? How does this change schedules? What about events? Then other questions arise. What can we take? What do we get rid off? What do we need? On it goes.

There is a tendency to procrastinate the moving announcement as much as possible. No one wants to say goodbye from their church, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances. We had to play rock, paper, scissors to decide who would deliver the news. We knew we couldn’t delay the announcement because it would take time for the church to stop hyperventilating, and slow down to avoid fainting.

It seems to me that moving can be very overwhelming, sad and chaotic. For a person like me who has a tendency to see all possibilities from every side (even the edges and the invisible sides), it can be down right stressful and just short of panic. I have, however, become very astute in the strategy of moving. I kind of thank my parents for that.

So, here is my strategy: (Prayer should take place from beginning to end and in between). Note: This is my 2 month process. If I have more time I stretch it out. If I have less time I work faster, longer hours. Regardless you will need a calendar.

  1. Foresee the changes that must occur, how long it will take to accomplish the changes, and plan the moving date. Most of the time it surrounds the school year. When is the next break? Can it wait until the end of school, or semester? We must also consider our present ministry’s needs, so as not to affect important calendar events.
  2. Before anything else, I like to research about the new place to which we are moving. I like to research about the location, the city, the church. Others might research their new job’s history. I like to research the county, activities, things to do, and even places to visit. I have even gone as far as reading about every town from point A to Z when visiting the new location. This allows me to feel more at ease and understand the people in the new location.
  3. I look at the potential of the new location, the church, and if there is a parsonage. There should always be a parsonage, or else you will have another burden and hurdle to go through, adding more stress. I have gone through this before. We had to wait to find a place to live after moving. That church had a temporary place for us, that little more than a hallway with rooms. That said, it was more difficult and time consuming. Moving, home searching, starting a new job, living out of boxes all at the same time. I may be OCD, here but it really helps me know the size of the rooms so I can plan a place for everything. I even do a model to help me, seeing as I’m visual.

    Some people think that I go too far, but the reality is that laying out the space allows me to foresee what I cannot use, and gives me time to sell it or donate it. It also lets me know what I will need ahead of time, so additional plans for purchases can be made. Visualizing makes it more “real” to me. This allows for an easier, and in a crazy way, fun transition. (I am aware that not everyone will understand what I mean.)

  4. Next is separation time. Divide everything into 4 categories: Keep and pack, sell, throw away, and leave out until 2 days before moving. This is when you find your long lost sock’s mates, gifts you’d hidden too well, and even that high school shirt you forgot you couldn’t wear since who knows when. This process is easier if it is broken down by room. I like to start at one end of the house and move slowly to the other end. Make sure to start in an area where the “moving sale” can take place.

    This way, little by little, you can add things to this room as you go through the other rooms. I have learned through experience not to schedule the moving sale one weekend before moving. Give yourself 2 weeks at least, that way you still have time to get rid of stuff while you are doing the last week packing.

  5. When packing, label your boxes writing on 2 sides of the box the new location like kitchen, hall closet, and so on. Write contents on top. Now, don’t forget writing the word “FRAGILE.”

    I write it on every side because you never know who is going to dare to carry more boxes than they should. This will allow the movers, or volunteers, to know where it goes when you arrive, and for you not to be opening every box looking for your espresso machine, which you will need your first day.

  6. WIN_20190509_16_29_01_ProGive yourself time to relax. This time, thanks to my friend who dared to come and help me pack everyday, (maybe she really wants me gone…), I worked until 4 or 5 pm packing and sorting and more. This gave me time to relax and do other less physical stuff. Maybe I should have written this blog during those times. In reality, I just got worn out at times. 🙂

Now that we are already, I can enjoy the last few days before the big moving day. Not that all is packed, all but the minor everyday essential items are packed. For the most part, we are 98% done. I still have to wash my last loads of clothes and sheets, pack the snacks and breakfast stuff, and of course, gotta leave that espresso machine out until the last day. 🙂

So now that I’m surrounded by boxes, big and small. And thank goodness I still have my TV out for 2 more days. I can sit back and relax and take a last trip around town… maybe I can find that screen for the fireplace because the new house has one, and see about…  never-mind. Point is, I can sit and write and thank God for this unique opportunity that God gave me here in Abilene. Learning to love this town and the people has not only been a blessing but a gift. I plan to visit often, especially since my little sis is still here and I can’t forget my sweet little nephew. All that said, yeah, it has been a unique experience. A wonderful chapter to my life. To my friends I’m leaving, you are not being left behind. You are being given your own new unique experiences and blessings. I love you all!! Thank you for being part of my “Uniquely Raqui” life. ❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

Uncategorized, Uniquely Mi Vida

A Bi-Vocational Dilema

“Perform your work as a calling instead of for income. Success or failure is never measured by the amount of money, but whether we are performing what God has called us to do.”                                                         –“Bi-Vocational Pastors”,  from Pastoral Care Inc.- 3/1/2019 

“I getting tired of subbing” I Mentioned as I took the laptop and laid it on the chair next to me.

“Why is this frustrating you so much?” Todd asked me with concern.

“I don’t know. I love the kids, but this constantly looking for jobs and re-scheduling my life, cancelling here, adding a day there, this system is frustrating me. I thought it would be temporary. I was hoping I could tie it into ministry… but it is not working out.” I exasperatedly responded to my husband. “I just want to do ministry.” I told myself.

It has been 6 years now, and five years ago I was ready to move… on… somewhere… into a better part-time job. I was even considering, why not, a full-time job that would cover medical. I had searched and applied to several jobs in town, to no avail. I even considered getting a real estate license. God closed the door there, too. I just didn’t understand why.

Out of the blue I hear my 21-year-old daughter’s voice coming from the other room, “She wants consistency, Dad”.

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A light-bulb clicked on in my head, “YES! I think I would like more consistency. I mean, I like to be flexible and do different things, but this is beyond that.” I realized at that moment it was the non-ministerial aspect, and the pull between realms, that was dividing me. I need some kind of consistency. Or at least know that one is feeding into the other…

So, I’m encountering a dilemma, how do I give my life a little more consistency in such a way that I don’t have to stress or divide my brain into two jobs? Or my time, my priorities, or even my preferences.

It seems to me that I love to do one job, but I just tolerate the other. One is my calling, the other is income to survive. I think I have a problem with that. I should love both jobs….but I don’t.

I love working with the kids, the teachers, the parents, but if I cannot share the Gospel with them, I realize the most important thing I have to offer them is shut down. I mean, I have once in a while “dropped” hints of who God is. I get to pray, and mention to the teachers that I am praying for them. I get to love on the kids… but that is all things that ALL CHRISTIANS are called to do in every work place and aspect of life. I want to be able to do more. Or at least have the freedom to do so.

 

Bi-vocational Pastors  have a hard time. They have to split their time, efforts and lives constantly. Some have spouses in other vocations that are willing to work full-time. Which is not true in my situation, because my husband is just like me, a pastor by profession. (Though he could be an editor if he finds a job. He edits everyone’s writings.) Many others are used to splitting their jobs, they have a second profession or vocation, like Peter was a fisherman before he was a church leader, or Paul who worked in the secular world before becoming an apostle. Me? I have always been in ministry. Granted, I have done odd jobs during my college years and I did work at two faith-based organizations. All those gave me skills and developed my gifts to be better at my job as a minister. Therefore,  I looked for faith-based organizations for jobs and even in multicultural settings… nothing..nada..,zilch.

One thing I have learned, and I teach young people, is that you have to love and enjoy what you do. So what am I to do with my other half that stresses me out after 5 to 6 years of working in it? Why is this non-ministry work failing to bring fulfillment and draining me so much?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out. I continue to look for the right second job in the areas of my skill set. There just aren’t many. So, I continue to pray… take a day off to distress once in a while, listen to Christian music and yes, do my blog. I continue to share, what I can share, when the time allows, Christ with others at the schools. I will continue to see and seek opportunities to share the gospel, the love of God or just be Jesus to others. Somewhere in there I will find the feeling of consistency… regardless of how I must accept that no matter how erratic my schedule is, or in how many directions I get pulled, fulfilling my calling is priority. And working for God, in any form, should always be done with all the sincerity of my heart. (Colossians 3:22-24) My comfort comes from knowing that God has something for us still.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”                                                                            -Colossians 3:17

I guess I’m hoping that this crazy and unique aspect of my life may turn into, well another unique aspect of my life. I can’t do without it’s uniqueness. I need that. But, I’m telling you, sometimes that gets tiresome. Or maybe it is just, well, my unique personality… that gets “bored.” I can’t really blame my mild ADHD or my parents’ constant changes and moves in my life. Maybe it is just me. Maybe I just need to read a book. Maybe some new hobbies will do. Maybe I just need to wait for God to lead me in the right direction. I truly hope I find out soon.

What a unique dilemma.😁

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.”                                                                                                                      —Ephesians 2:10 NIV