Oh how I love this time of year! Self evaluation time… not from work or anything. This year it is a personal task. At Puyallup Foursquare, we would yearly go over this personal evaluation/goal setting/spiritual evaluation sheet. We would fill it out and then share with everyone. For many of us it got very personal. Crying and praying and sometimes hugging. I know not my favorite things (except prayer) but it is healthy. Evaluation and goal setting is imperative to grow and to keep us works in progress rather than dead on the vine. So for three years I did this under the direction of the leaders at Puyallup. This year I am doing this on my own, which felt a little nerdy, but I like being nerdy. It feels good.
The timing is right. Yesterday I caught much of the The Nines conference and heard some AMAZING church leaders give 6 minutes of encouragement, teaching, advice, personal stories and so much more. The Nines is an online conference and FREE! Grace purchased a package so we could have the program and access to the videos for future reference. Next year you should do it too (The Nines). It was so encouraging. So I am pretty fired up. There is so much to be done. Camas and Clark County desperately needs Grace to be the local church in ACTION. Loving, moving, encouraging, helping, building, dreaming, bringing hope, and so much more. Hear that.. fire. Fire got tempered with wisdom and teaching too..
With that my word for 2011 is “Develop discipline and balance to leave margin for faith and dreams.” I also analyzed my spiritual tensions (where will I grow/what will die/where have I coasted?) and made physical, spiritual and financial goals for 2011. I have some tall orders ahead of me but I am up for the challenge.
Today’s devotions confirmed that for me. I serve an amazing God. He is faithful. He loves us so much and because of this we are not consumed by by worry, despair, our situations or fear. He never fails us and his love for us is new every morning. When we think we are alone, God is there. When others are cruel, He is there. When we feel lost – He guides us. (Lamentations 3:22-24) With God I am prepared for the challenge.
So in the last month.. I’ve been a bit busy.. For example: first there was Easter and in the church world whether you are involved a lot or a little there is much to be done. Then I, with an amazing team, pulled off a 12-25 ladies dinner/dessert event (Graceful) that was awesome. Dinner was fantastic, Kim Fader sang beautiful, Christina Gard knocked it out of the park with a message to our young ladies about beauty, and it felt like a win. I think somewhere in there was a trip to Seattle for a bridal shower and a wind symphony concert in Centralia. I also learned how to develop and publish a website (really the folks at Clover take care of the hard stuff and then the rest is writing and picture selection). I also followed directions meticulously and did not destroy our staff’s email and web presence while changing name servers. AND I still don’t have a firm grasp on what a name server is but I am okay with the fact I didn’t destroy a major part of our communication! I also almost figured out html and sending an html email. I know it sounds like I am tooting my own horn (yes tooting)… but I’m not.. I’m pretty God had a hand in every detail.. because between team building and IT skills I’m not that talented. It is good to know that God had his hand all over it and to make sure to dedicate it to him. Why?
Here’s why: For every praise I got over the last month.. someone else having a bad day or life or mood thought I did crummy.. or at least made sure to point out things they didn’t like. And if they didn’t say it.. they are around every corner thinking it. Scary right? No. My worth.. not in what those people think.
Now there is definitly a difference between constructive criticism and what I was describing above. Are people saying things out of love? Have I asked for it (literally)? Are they someone I trust, watching my blind spot for me?
Now I reflect on that today as the website launched this weekend. I’m proud. It is a fun challenge and I intend to continue my pursuit of growth. Was there notsoloving criticism.. yes.. but that’s okay. I don’t live for Negative Nelly. I live for God. I work for God. I do it to see people come to know Jesus, grow in their faith, get connected and learn to be leaders. My worth is in Christ alone. That is a safe place.