Fall Reflections

I seem to always forget how great the fall season is. It fades from my memory once the cold of winter sets in, and then it’s waiting for summer to take a vacation or two. When it’s here, I just want it to last twice as long as it does. I find fall to be a great time to reflect, observe, and doing a little relaxing outdoors with a cozy fire and fleece jacket.

I haven’t blogged since I was in Tampa for General Conference. I don’t have much to talk about that experience this many months later. It was challenging, emotional, life taking, and down right awful. Other times it was uplifting, inspiring, life giving, and beautiful. Since then I seem to have been on a more reflective journey than even before in my life.

This fall marks the time when I complete my paperwork requirements and prepare for January’s ordination interviews. I’m excited, nervous, and down right terrified at times. I’ve long struggled with the best place to serve in ministry, and at times wasn’t sure the local church was that place. I’m happy to say at this time as I prepare for ordination I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Working with people on a personal basis, being allowed into their lives, allows for amazing experiences with them and God.

Big changes are happen in my life. Some I will share here today, others as time goes on. First is a bit of shock that it has been so successful. At the end of August I decided it was time to change the way I lived my life. My health has always been on the edge, I was tired a lot, and could see the path I was going down. This may be a surprise to some of you, but the life of a pastor is no the least stressful job in the world. As I look at 40+ years until retirement, I knew this wasn’t sustainable and would likely fall to burnout rather quickly. Doing something tomorrow finally became today. The first week of September I began a weight loss management program through a local hospital and haven’t looked back. It has been more than just weight loss, though that is a ton of it, I have got my diabetes in check and no longer take medication and feel like a healthier program. The first phase is a 13 week program, and I’m about halfway through it. As of today I’m just shy of 40 pounds lost and feel like a new person. I sleep well, have energy, enjoy eating healthy food, and have a much more positive look on life.

I am grateful the church has been supportive in this process since it does take some time and flexibility in my schedule. As I sit by the fire typing this, I feel like this progress has been good for my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. A burden has been slowly leaving me as I improve the physical, and it has allowed me to focus on other things. I think that this change has been calling me for some time and I wasn’t listening and was just unwilling. Over the next year, I hope the “hear” more of what is calling me and worry less about where I’m being “called.”

I’ve taken a lot of stabs at blogging regularly, but really want to get back in the habit as I have found it to be a great outlet for my mind. It will inevitably vary from the serious to the ridiculous and everything in between. I have a list of churchy topics in my office I want to write about and will keep adding to it. Until then, Go with God!

Grace and Peace,

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