A week ago, we picked Elliot up from a visit to the College of Wooster.
After returning from Wooster, the first significant winter storm of the season rolled through Northeast Ohio. It dumped about three inches of snow in our area. I had to shovel less our driveway less than twenty-four hours after a big batch of raking leaves.
The driveway had to be cleared, so I could drive our H2O Kent staff team to Columbus for the annual conference of our Collegiate Church Network. While there, we worshipped, networked, learned, listened… and presented an idea for a new initiative to plant churches in Northeast Ohio (modeled after the way some trees replicate themselves).
My favorite part of the time in Columbus was the time our team from Kent got to hang out together. Hound Dog’s Pizza just north of the Ohio State University campus was an especially lovely spot to sit and eat and talk.
It was a lot of sitting and eating and talking (and listening). But my early-morning runs helped to keep me fresh and engaged.
Coffee helped, too.
Still, by the time I got back to Kent, I was ready for some rest, some time with my family, and some time to myself (a ten-mile run along the Buckeye Trail was especially refreshing and — believe-it-or-not — restful).
Yesterday (Sunday) morning, I kicked back into ministry gear… And it was an especially celebratory Sunday, including six people proclaiming faith in Christ through baptism!
At the end of the day, though, I was pretty wiped out. Emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Today, I “cleared my desk” of a few administrative tasks that had built up — which felt good. But I also took a deliberate break in the middle of the morning to spend some time back on the Buckeye Trail, soaking up the sunshine and spending time with God.
So, when the kids got home, I was ready to do something special with them (as is our Monday tradition). I decided we’d try to follow a StoryWalk set up by the city of Kent — even though none of us were in the target demographic for story-books any more.
The kids were more agreeable than I though they’d be, honestly. They genuinely went along with the StoryWalk, each person taking turns to read a page of the story at each participating location in downtown Kent.
It helped that each person got to choose his or her own snack, from whichever downtown location they chose along the route.
And we also had a lot of fun taking pictures along the way.
I seriously worried that I was going to figuratively “crash and burn” at numerous points throughout the week: from sickness… or social super-stimulation… or lack of sleep… or failing to come through on certain responsibilities…
But with God’s help, I made it through the week. And now I’m ready to start a new week, depending upon God.