It's August now, and that can mean one thing in our family's life... it feels like the clock has suddenly struck midnight and all the glorious enjoyment of SUMMER!! is now unraveling and transforming before our eyes.
It's this time of year that reminds me why my husband has summers "off." We're entering the "sprint" of the Fall-- THE most crazy time of year in the life of campus ministry. With freshmen arriving next week, there is promotional "swag" to order, welcome back parties to plan, incoming freshmen to contact and meet, websites to update, a ministry team retreat to plan and organize, small groups to coordinate, sermons to write, an intern to welcome to town and pour into, recruiting to figure out, and much, much more.
Marc is working NON-stop these days (along with every RUF campus minister across the nation) and it exhausts me to watch how hard he pushes himself this time of year. After 15 years of serving in RUF, it's like clock-work.
This is GO-time.
In the next 6-8 weeks, the window is open as students (particularly freshmen) are creating patterns in their schedule and are open to developing friendships and finding groups in which they feel they belong. The next 6-8 weeks are crucial in college life. We want RUF (whether through our large group, various small groups, or even one-on-ones with our students or staff) to intersect the lives of as many students as possible, and while our relational ministry will be ongoing throughout the year, the recruiting part is felt most intensely in the next weeks.
I should also add that amidst the craziness is also alot of fun on campus, too! There's just a level of excitement in the air that's not present any other time of year. Relationships are new and interesting. (before they become messy and difficult later in the year, haha! That's when deeper ministry really takes off...) There's lots of activity and lots of flurry. You just can't beat it.
But to switch gears from summer to SCHOOL is always a rough one for me emotionally. (after 15 years of doing this, I should know.) Suddenly our family often has only 3 nights a week(!) completely together. My role becomes alot more complex and difficult as I now juggle it with children and part-time jobs as a worship director and local musician, and yet I long to do more. (though how would be an appropriate question...) Loneliness, even in the midst of the busyness, is more pronounced for me as I'm often pouring into others without the feeling of being poured into.
I'm trying to find contentment in the mundane day-to-day while my heart yearns to do something more flashy and extraordinary.
I'm trying to find more joy in opening my messy, dysfunctional home to students this year, and give them a more honest picture of real life than the life I dream of having.
I'm trying to leave summer and embrace GO-time.