The weekend has been very good.
So restorative.

#1 realization: I want to readjust my care levels.

It's good to care about work.
It's good to want to do a good job.
It's bad to be consumed by work and work-related thinking.

I like my job. Very much. I'm extremely thankful for it.
But I have allowed it to become too high of a priority.
And it's time to readjust.
This is not the first time in my life I have confronted this situation.
I'd say it happens with fairly frequent regularity.

I imagine this is something we all do periodically.

I am prone to over-caring. And I'm prone to focusing too much on work and continually striving to make systems and structures the best they can be.

Like I said - it's good to care and to want to do quality work. But it's also good to chill out, celebrate the positives, and adjust expectations when they get out of hand.

I don't want to burn out. I don't want my inner light to be dimmed.
I just want to be balanced and joyful. And no one can do that for me but ME.

So the weekend was good. I relaxed and crafted on Saturday. And today I became a member of Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester. My membership had still been at Zion until today - and since I am no longer the pastor there, it was time to find a new family of faith. I love all the Rochester-area congregations. And I love all the Rochester-area pastors. I plan to keep visiting all the congregations from time to time. But Zumbro will be my home base.

It feels good - having a new home church. Weird, too, if I'm honest. It's weird not to be the pastor of the congregation where I'm a member. It feels weird to be a participant at a table during the meeting portion of New Member Sunday - instead of leading the meeting. Weird. But good weird. Good weird, like, "This is a cool perspective. I've never had this perspective. This is important." And good weird, like, "Wow. I really like these pastors as my pastor - not just as my friends. And the staff are so gifted in their roles." And good weird, like, "Interesting. All these other new members around this table will know me as a regular person - not as a pastor - and that's kind of cool."

It was a good and weird day - which is pleasant really - because most of my favorite things in life have been a combo platter of good and weird.

As for preaching - I'm going to take a little break from preaching and pulpit supply until after Synod Assembly in May. I LOVE visiting congregations, but I've been trying to squeeze about three jobs into one job. It's time now to pause, reflect, and redirect energy. I will probably return to pulpit supply and/or visiting congregations for adult education hours and strategizing sessions later this summer. We'll have to wait and see.

I'm realizing that life isn't a productivity race to see how much I can squeeze into every day and every weekend. It's turning me into a smiling-on-the-outside grouch - mostly because I'm emotionally and intellectually exhausted.

I still want to make time for speaking engagements - especially for women's groups - because that's something that feels central to my calling and sense of purpose. So I guess that's how it will go - I'll figure out my core priorities and say no sometimes. And trust that all shall be well. :)

The verses above are from Psalm 73. I really like them. I had never read them until today. The Psalmist says, "When my soul was bitter and and I was getting poked in the heart - I was stupid and ignorant."

I get stupid and ignorant sometimes, too. Especially when I overdo it....and focus too much on things other than God's love, grace, and forgiveness.

Verses 23 and 24 are so hopeful: "Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel."

Thank you, God, for holding my hand. For reminding me of the bigger picture. For guiding me back to what matters most: sharing your love.

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