As I begin to dig through the files in my office, I find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed. I worry that I will not have the same level of energy as the person who held this position before me. She did a lot with the youth – trips, fundraisers, lock-ins, etc. And I’m only getting started. Why does this worry me so much? I play stupid comparison games all the time. Weird thing is, I’ve rarely fallen into the physical appearance trap of comparison. Not that I feel like I’m drop-dead gorgeous or that I’m fully happy with my weight (nice thing about being pregnant is I don’t worry about that one right now!) But I don’t usually worry about those things in comparison to someone else. Mostly it’s just wishing that I didn’t have the zit on my lip or that I was healthier.
But when it comes to being outgoing, I constantly compare myself to others. I worry that I don’t talk enough in social situations, or that I’m not engaging enough to really draw out the youth. I forget that not everyone is supposed to be that way. But it’s hard for me. My natural habitat is to bury my nose in a book or write about my thoughts. But that doesn’t mean I belong there all the time! I’ve been doing pretty well moving out of my comfort zone in the last few years. Teaching this summer was a big one for me, because I spent five days a week in a classroom with elementary children. And while it reconfirmed for me the decision I made in college to NOT be a schoolteacher, it also helped me to realize that I CAN work with kids and that it’s not as scary as I thought.
I’m going to be reminding myself a lot in the coming weeks that while I might feel inferior based on the files in my office, I was brought in to do a different job. My job isn’t just youth, it also involves Sunday school. And I’m part-time, so I can’t do it all. I am not going to fall into the trap of measuring myself against the past. I will challenge myself to keep stepping out in faith and doing the work that God has prepared for me to do each day.
Remember a couple of things from our Concordia days. You are NOT your predecessor, you are Stephanie. Your source of strength is NOT yourself, but the Holy Spirit working within you through your gifts, allowing you to use your skills and abilities as complements to His work.
And, in words better than any I could write myself, Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:
7 These things that I once considered valuable, I now consider worthless for Christ.
8 It’s far more than that! I consider everything else worthless because I’m much better off knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. It’s because of him that I think of everything as worthless. I threw it all away in order to gain Christ
9 ¶ and to have a relationship with him. This means that I didn’t receive God’s approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God’s approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith
10 that knows Christ. Faith knows the power that his coming back to life gives and what it means to share his suffering. In this way I’m becoming like him in his death,
11 with the confidence that I’ll come back to life from the dead.
12 It’s not that I’ve already reached the goal or have already completed the course. But I run to win that which Jesus Christ has already won for me.
13 Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and
14 I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.
15 ¶ Whoever has a mature faith should think this way. And if you think differently, God will show you how to think.
16 However, we should be guided by what we have learned so far.
17 ¶ Brothers and sisters, imitate me, and pay attention to those who live by the example we have given you.
In His love,
Another area of comments.
Morning sickness will end. It may be when the baby is born, unfortunately, but it WILL end. Peg’s ended at about 6 months.
Mark is still in my prayers. My oldest daughter was dealing with pain and vision problems related to cerebrospinal fluid pressures and had 3 taps and 2 blood patches, so I understand some of his problems. They thought Joan had pseudotumor cerebri for a while and in the end figured that it could be part of her fibromyalgia. In other words, “they” couldn’t figure it out. However, God has taken care of her and she is doing better, so I conclude that God will take care of Mark, too.