Sunday, June 10, 2007

One's Social Calendar:

Opportunity for ministry or detriment to spiritual growth?

This week has been absolutely chock full of blessed social appointments. I have been living "high on the hog" as it were, trying new restaurants with my friend Misty who stayed with us this week, meeting girlfriends for coffee, visiting with people from
church (either in their home or out for pizza), getting doughnuts, pie kitchen, etc.

Whoa. . .

It is almost overwhelming. Jesus has blessed me with precious relationships, fantastic conversations, probing questions and endless moments of laughter -- so I want to take these dinner dates and cups of coffee as gifts from my blessed Savior's hand, and not take them for granted! This was a huge aspect of the seminary life that I was so eagerly looking forward to -- the social life!

I do, however, know my own nature enough to see where I could become almost addicted to filling my life with social events, and thereby rather complacent in my home life or negligent in my spiritual walk with Christ. It is true that it may be a bit harder to love Christ supremely, devote myself utterly to cultivating a relationship with Him and long for th
e glories of Heaven when I am so filled up with the benefits of these relationships on earth. When I have had meal after meal after meal in a new fantastic place, sharing in a dynamic conversation . . . well, it's a bit hard to miss my Jesus! I may feel like I need Him less, somehow, because my cup runs over.

We do need one another's sharpening in our lives, though, don't we? I need to be asked good questions, and to focus my attention on really listening to my friend's needs. Christ would have His body to be unified -- loving one another, showing hospitality, building each other up and speaking the truth in love. It is important to be able to cultivate that in day to day life, otherwise we might so easily turn inward, thinking our small world is the only one of importance, and our small hurts are the only ones that exist.

The key here? Balance. Quite obviously, my response to an overwhelmingly blessed week in the company of my Christian brothers and sisters ought to be to pour out my thanksgiving to Christ -- the Best Friend of all friends -- and seek to devote myself to some quality "us time": just me and Christ. I need to read His word, speak to Him frequently, and probably ensure that quite such a heavy schedule does not continue for weeks and weeks (I am thinking that after a shower I'm going to tomorrow night, that's gonna be it for awhile!). I need to pay attention to the prompting of the Holy Spirit telling me that my home, my relationship with my
husband and my sweet walk with Jesus may start to suffer if I make one more coffee date.

It's been a great week, Jesus! Next week I want to spend more of it with you!

These pictures are a super small sampling of this week: Misty and I in the car sometime, eating dinner at our friend Brady's house, and with Elizabeth Coffman-Mackey at Lynn's Paradise Cafe.


Rachel Amunrud said...


Anonymous said...

mega dittos!! But when I come...we'll have to go out for coffee at least once...

Gretchen said...

Rach -- yea! I have you linked now!

Geen -- at least once? Oh, dear girl, when you are here, I shall devote many a cuppa Joe to talking with my friend G-Knee! I'll rest up until then, perhaps. :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! I wrote something similar in my journal last night. After dinners out and parties on Friday and Saturday, I experience a letdown on Sundays, which should be a highpoint of my week. That realization made me rethink what is important in my life and what ought to excite and fulfill me.

James and Christen said...

I have caught up on your blog and it was some much fun, as usual! I appreciate that you always share lessons you are learning. It challenges me and causes me to rethink those areas in my life.

I agree with your conclusion - BALANCE! The key to all of life!

Wish you guys could have been here with Dave & Sharon. We had so much fun.

Gretchen said...

MR -- you are totally right about Sunday. I am learning to cultivate Sunday as a special day given to the Lord. It has become my favorite day of the week. I think as Americans we don't really know how to REST without totally sleeping or "resting" in hobbies and activities. Our rest should come from the Lord, and enjoy time spent with Him.

Christen -- WAH! I wish we could have been there too. I want to call you sometime this week before you go far far away! :) I've been praying for you. Went running yesterday on the track in the gym and it reminded me of our runs last year. Miss you, friend!

Greg & Staci said...

Hi Gretchen!

(the following is from Collin) I miss you. The summer program started last night. Its called "The Quest For Truth"-I said my first verse and (this is really exciting) I got a pencil that has Quest for Truth John 14:6. I love you, I hope I will see you soon.

(the rest is from Staci:) I have also just caught up on your blog (and mine). I have to say that I am thrilled that the Lord has given you an opportunity to minister to children in your church, but I am jealous that you are not here serving our children:(.

I could second your sentiments about life getting sooo busy that my relationship with Christ is suffering. (You can read more about this on my blog). We miss you and hope to be able to spend some time with you soon.

GloryandGrace said...

Our coffee date was a sweet and refreshing time. Thank you for that :)

Is it just me or is the blogosphere a little quiet this week? You may have others who have posted more, but everyone on my list (including myself) seems to be off doing other things (camps, WORK, etc.)

Hope you're having a wonderful week!