Jake and I just returned......literally, just got out of the car and are in his office at church until it's time for me to go to class......from a wonderful weekend of training and learning in St. Louis. We went to the Youth Specialties National Youth Workers' Convention for the last five days and soaked in so much new information. It was a time of learning lots of practical tips for ministry but also a time where God really worked in our hearts and refreshed our love for Him.
One helpful session in particular was a Q & A with Doug and Cathy Fields. If you don't know who that is, he's one of the most nationally known youth pastors these days. But for our session, we didn't talk so much about youth ministry, but instead about marriage and all of the stresses that are put on it when in full-time ministry. It was so nice to hear from "veterans" who figured out a good balance. It was also nice just to be getting advice from two people who understand what it means to be in full-time ministry. I have learned in just this last year of being in it ourselves that people really don't get it....they think they do.....but they don't. I've learned to just smile, nod and allow those folks to make their comparisons, but to walk away and not take too much of it to heart. I don't mean this to sound harsh.....I know that there are many people who have 9-5 jobs that work very hard, work overtime and have many stresses put on them and their families because of their job. I just don't know how to explain it, but ministry is so different.....those of you in ministry can understand and possibly shed more light on this if you have a way of describing it! Cathy said in another session I was in (titled, Help! I Married a Youth Worker!) that the room of women she was standing before knew her life better than her best friends did in the sense that we're living it.....we are now living what she's been living the last 25 years and will continue to live for many more. That made me feel good too, being in that room with all of those wives.
Anyway, I'm just very thankful for such a refreshing weekend. Cole was with my parents so I never worried about him....and let me tell you.....it was nice to not have any responsibility for 5 days! I miss him dearly, but you mothers know how nice a break feels! And now I am off to class......vacation is over.......back to the grind we call life!