Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Back to the Basics (the key is in the blog name)

Since August I have posted one time, only three times since June. The reason? I'm tired. Not physically, but spiritually and emotionally, I have been worn out. A year or so ago, I posted a series on margin, and recently, a friend showed me a quote from one of those posts. It said, "Simply giving Jesus what we have, recognizing and accepting the limitations, and trusting Him to make it 'enough' is the beginning to having space and rest in our lives."

How true, how true. But truth works best when it is applied, and over the past four months I've lived as though I had no limitations and that Jesus wasn't enough. Each week I get calls at church from men and women, moms and dads, who are facing eviction or their power being cut off or their gas being turned off. Most callers are desperate and the expectation is that the church has to help, and in my heart I began to believe that I had to help every time. When I couldn't or didn't, I felt like a failure, and it spurred me to do more, to try harder. With three children at home, there was little margin for rest or recuperation, and as I drove home to my wife and kids, I would pass people on the street who I knew needed help, and I added their needs to the weight on my shoulders. In addition it's been hard to find a rhythm working at a church when I've been used to a college schedule since 1993. And being out of rhythm for almost one year now has taken a toll.

And so most evenings, when the kids went to bed, I talked to Diane or watched TV (mostly the latter), paid bills or puttered around the house (I hesitate to say I fix anything; I leave the hard stuff to Diane) and went to bed. Blogging seemed like a chore, as did reading the hundreds of blog posts that had accumulated on my google reader. Some of my friends who blog took an official sabbatical at some point and kind of announced it on the blog or over email. I just stopped writing because I didn't have the heart to.

But I need to write and I want to write. I am a writer. I know that like any exercise, it will take some time and discipline to get back into shape. But putting truth on "paper" here helps me see more clearly, reminds me of the truth, and moves me to think more deeply about the things I see and experience.

So this is my first attempt to bang out a post, to get my creative wheels turning again. I'm also working with Diane to restore balance to our family, and trusting that God will also lead me to trust Him to make what I have 'enough.' It's good to be back.


organic io said...

Hi Marshall! My name is Scott. I discovered and subscribed to your blog shortly after you posted your last post about the "gift of appendicitis". I discovered your blog by browsing through my recommended feeds in google reader. I guess it picked you because you are local (I live in Winston). I started reading and was immediately touched by posts like "Not forgotten", "Ministry to the poor can be messy", and "Same kind of angry as me". It prompted me to create a new tag in my reader called "profound".
Even though I am agnostic, I still feel like I can relate to you, particularly because I am also a young father. I have experienced the "same kind of anger", and to see someone else write about it with such candor, especially someone in the ministry, really struck me. I guess my perception of those in the ministry is that they usually try to posture themselves as flawless, and rarely show any weakness. You are not like that at all. You speak about your frustration with the people that you are trying to help, and I really admire that honesty.
So, I am glad to hear that you are still around, still posting.. and I will continue to read your blog with interest, and gain insight and perspective from someone who is so different from me, but also similar.


Alex said...

welcome back to the blogosphere, marsh! glad to have you posting again!

Jen said...

Yay Marshall!!!!
I've missed you! So glad to see that the Lord is meeting you even in the I-don't-know-what-to-say-or-do blues. I have to echo Organic io and say that there is something very healing in hearing about people's lives and struggles and cathartic about writing your own--and without becoming a pity party or support group let-me-come-and-fix-you plans.

Macon said...

yaay! missed your posts, miss you in general! (a 5 star general, no less.)

organic io said...

Hey Marshall. I don't have facebook, so the best way to correspond would probably be email. Drop me a line sometime --
organicio at gmail dot com