Reflection of 2018...

Hello Everyone!

2018 was kind of a year that happened to us. It was wonderful, but wowzers. It was hard.
In 2016 Nate and I moved here from Napa become the Worship and Creative Directors of a church called Hingepoint. The church had just come out of it’s church plant stage, it was about seven years old, and had about 400 people between two identical services weekly. After about a year of building the team, our relationships and culture a bomb dropped on us and we were going to merge with another church. The end of 2017 was spent getting to know Calvary Bible Church. CBC was a 60 year old church community of about 500 people, with a full-time worship pastor, a traditional service with full choir and orchestra, and a contemporary service. Also: did I mention the average age of Hingepoint was 28 and the average age of CBC was 58? To say that the culture of our two communities was very different is the understatement of the century, but we could see that God was in it. We saw how much we needed one another on so many levels. Let’s get an “Amen” for young Christians in their 20’s needing Christians who have been walking with the Lord longer than we’ve been alive, and another “Amen” for how you really can share the Gospel while jumping and utilizing two electric guitars. We needed each other.

So 2018 began with “The Vote”. We were no longer Hingepoint  or Calvary Bible, we were now Resurrection Church. We blasted off with the surprise resignation of their worship pastor, the departure of most their contemporary team, and the instant need to triple our worship and production team… and that’s just OUR department! We were instantly thrown into the big leagues in a major way. The rest of this year was spent learning how to be a multicultural, multigenerational church. I’m not being sarcastic when I say it was super fun and exciting, and I’m being absolutely dead serious when I say it was hard, like I want to quit my job, what on earth am I doing here, I suck at my job, I’m the worst kind of leader, I’m cold-hearted and underqualified hard. But the Lord kept me going when all of those things playing my head at once on blast.
Here’s what God taught me.

1)      I need help: By help, I mean people. By people, I mean friends, mentors, and community. Nate and I were the only creative staff when we the merger went through. While we are talented and driven people, we were also only a year into our vocational ministry career. God put people in my life who loved me enough say the things I needed to hear. If you’re curious what that looked like you can read about my insane season of isolation here. He also gave Nate and I friends who have walked a path similar to ours. The bottom line is the Lord showed me that I need REAL life flesh and blood people in my life, and by HIS grace He sent them to me without my asking. (This year, I’m gonna ask, and look and be that for someone else)

2)      I need health: Obviously I know I need to be spiritually healthy, but I learned the importance of being physically healthy, and how that fits into being spiritually and emotionally healthy. I’m 5’8”, so I’m on the tall side. Medically overweight for someone my height is 165, medically obese is 190. At my heaviest I was 185. I was miserable. I hated my body, my hated my clothes, I felt gross no matter what. I was in emotional survival mode, from August of 2017 until about August of 2018, and I was eating my feelings super hard. It was most vicious cycle, I would self medicate with food, gain wait and beat myself up, and self medicate with food and TV. It was awful. Then one Wednesday night at worship practice I noticed this cute new girl checking in her babies to the kids program, only she wasn’t new. Well, she was in a way, but I had known her for a over a year, and she looked like a different person. Her health and happiness was glowing from the inside out. I knew she had been doing the Ketogenic diet, but I didn’t really know what it was, and I just dismissed until that moment. I had no clue what Keto was all about, but I was all about keto from that second on, and I am hooked.

At the beginning keto felt like a fast. I had to break emotional ties with all the crap food that I’d been eating and relying on (My relationship with hot Cheetos is very complicated). It was a major slice of no-carb humble pie for me to admit to myself that food had become an idol to me. Even writing it now I get embarrassed. But, it was a huge eye opener to the grace of God. Besides the fact that I’m no longer close to obesity (words I never thought I would say), I really learned for the first time what letting the Lord bare your burdens really looked like. I’ve lost 35lbs, and the emotional and spiritual upswing from feeling good about myself for the first time in a while is seriously amazing. It may come from not being in my 20’s and my body just doesn’t bounce back from eating garbage like it used to, but I’m also a lot more in tune with how I feel. Before keto, I was CONSTANTLY tired, my face was super puffy and red, and my back was always hurting.  Those things aren’t really a thing for me anymore, also, I’m a lot more intentional about drinking water, and that helps with those things as well. I guess I could do a thing on Keto, but since I’m not a nutritionist, I’m a little hesitant. Either way, I NEED health, and Keto helped me find that.

Also, you may find this hilarious, but one thing that REALLY helped me emotionally was going and getting my nails done. We’re talking like I got my nails DID. They aren’t classy, or subtle, but man they’re fancy, and they’re sparkly, and they’re super fun. I freaking love getting my nails done. In fact I just told my friend who does my nails (she’s not my ‘nail tech’, she’s my friend) “I don’t know what it is Becky, but there is NOTHING in this world that makes me feel like I go and conquer the universe like fresh nails.”

3)      I need rest:  By rest I don’t mean a nap, or getting more sleep. I don’t even mean going on vacation. What I mean is,  I need to go home to a place where I can exhale. I need to leave work and go to a place that doesn’t mean more work. So… In November, while I was on my dr. ordered staycation (hernia surgery recovery), my dear friend Karen helped me fully organize my home. I’m talking Marie Kondo level organizing, like I invested my money in organizational bins and shelves and a label maker. Now our home is calm. All of our stuff has a place to live, and all our stuff is happy too. When I come home from work, I don’t need to go to a different kind of work. I just put my keys and my purse in their home, and exhale. Part of me wishes I had taken before and after photos, but at the same time I don’t know if I want to invite the internet into my literal mess.

While we were organizing Karen said something to me that really stuck out, and it’s so true. “If you’re in survival mode, your house will look like it” She is so right! 2018 was totally a year of just surviving the church merger! Here are a few pointers if you need a place to start.
·       Start one room or area at a time. I started with the bathroom because it was the smallest and least sentimental room, but I still had two big boxes of stuff to donate or throw away. Nate and I live in a 930 sq. ft. loft. It’s one giant room, so getting overwhelmed by clutter is easy. I went from least sentimental spaces to the most sentimental space. For me, that’s the bathroom/laundry room, the kitchen, the clothes closets, my clothes drawers, the music room, then the storage closets where all of our keepsakes, things we inherited from loved ones, and “heirlooms” that were pawned on us in other family moves. If you don’t start with a plan or write a checklist (and make little mini-ones along the way), you’ll get distracted, then you’ll get overwhelmed, and then you’ll have a bigger problem.
·       Make it work for you. This takes a lot more thought than I realized. For example: When I was organizing my kitchen, my Keurig  was on the opposite end of the counter than allllll my coffee stuff. Making coffee was like a cardio workout walking back and forth! My same with my cooking utensils and my stove. My counter made literally no sense.
·       Invest in bins and organizational containers. Like tons of bins. Big ones, little ones, all the bins. This makes it so you can see your “systems”.  If you’re not a very organized person (me), then there is no way you already have the containers you need. I got most of mine at Big Lots, Ross (that’s where I find the fancy ones), and the Dollar Tree. Bins give all of your stuff a place, and it gets rid of your junk drawer…both of them. They create systems in your house so when you’re tidying you remember where they go, and you remember where to find them. Ev-er-ree thing in my house lives in a bin or container of come sort.
·       Have someone help you. I was recovering from my hernia surgery, so I needed literal help lifting stuff. But having a friend who is more instinctively organized than you is very important. ALSO, you’re taking on a super vulnerable project. You’re gonna want someone you really trust to talk you through this process. The professional organizers I know who take people through this process are such warm and caring people, so if you’re thinking of hiring a professional, maybe take them out for coffee first and get to know them. Organizing with Karen was like a week and half long therapy session.
·       Remember that this process takes time. A week and half is probably on the short side, because I had the time of from work, and my living space is relatively small. If you’ve got tall ceilings and wall to wall floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves full of mementos from your grandma, that’s gonna take a while! Nate and I have always been small spacers and renters, and we STILL had so much stuff to go through.
·       Give yourself grace. The State of your home represents your season my of life, and while you may no longer be in that season, you will find reflections of it.

4)      I need Jesus- That’s all. There is one person who makes everything worth it, and everything exciting. When you see entire families baptized, marriages restored, altars being flooded for the first time in recent memory, you are reminded of WHY. God qualifies the called. If I had known what 2018 was going to hold, We might not have applied for the position in 2016 because I didn’t think I’d (Nate would be for sure) be qualified for what we we’re doing. I can do WHATEVER God puts my way as long as that’s where I’m finding my strength. With than being said… 2019, here we come!
I feel like reflecting before I make my plans (not goals) really helps, and I don’t about you, Christmas time is too crazy for me to really reflect. When do you start working on the next year? I’m gonna share some of my plans and projects for 2019 in the next post. Do you have a word or a big lofty goal? What do you want to accomplish this year?