Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Worst Blogger Ever

Just want to take a moment to admit that I've been a blog "slacker". =) The holidays are still upon us, and so, I'm not making any promises. Just want you all to know I haven't forgotten you, and will be blogging again soon... I think. =)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Picture Time

This is the Smith family Christmas photo for this year. We're a little behind schedule, but hopefully family and friends will receive them before Christmas rather than after!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Being a leader others want to follow - Part 1

Boy is this something I'm definitely learning and working on. Before being at People's Church, I had always taken worship seriously, but now, I realize that there's so much more to it than just worshiping. I want the Lord to make me an extravagant worshiper, without a doubt. But even more than that, I desire for Him to make me a great worship "leader". Someone who others can look at and follow my example, not only in worship, but also in my everyday lifestyle. I want others to look at me and say, "Lord, show me how to worship You with the same passion and love that she worships you with. Help me to love my family and others that way. Help me to truly love and care about the interests of others like Jamie does." As of right now - I can confidently say, I have NOT arrived to this point. In fact, I can already see many areas where I need to grow, especially when it comes to investing in others and leading by example, but there's no reason why I can't get there someday, and it's one of my goals. I want to be able to look at my life and know I'm doing everything I can to lead others well. The reality of it is, for me and for anyone who is on stage worshiping for that matter, you're position has already been chosen for you. You're a leader whether you like it or not. People will be looking to you to set an example. The kind of example you set, well that choice is up to you and me.

I know this can sound like a broad area - being a leader. So I would like to share with you, over the next few blogs, just a few things that were shared with me that I'm working on right now. Here's the first area:

1. People knowing that you truly care. - If I'm not careful, I could definitely be misunderstood in this area. I definitely DO care about people. Ask anyone, and they would tell you I'm a people person, but I'm also a perfectionist. So when it comes to practices and services, I'm always thinking about the technical things: Who's late? Who may not show? How are the transitions between songs? What songs should we sing next week? Where should the podium be?..... all of these ?'s are decent ?'s I think. There's no doubt that they're all effect the worship service too, but other than just the technical side of worship, I need to be thinking about the personal side of worship. Maybe by thinking of things like these: (all the following names are made up) "Tim wasn't here for practice, I wonder how he's doing? Mary mentioned her mom was sick, I should call and ask how she's handling it? Bill has been playing for 6 weeks straight, I should tell him how much I appreciate him. Ed mentioned money is tight, is there some way the team can help?" These ?'s are the ones that so many times I think of, but fail to actually act out. It's funny too because personally, I really need that. I need to know people care and that I'm appreciated, yet it's not something I've been great at showing others. I really hope that I grow a lot in this area, and more than that, I hope that anyone I lead, will always have the confidence that I'm more than a team leader, but that I'm a friend who truly cares about them. Whether it be by an encouraging word, a quick phone call, or even just a pat on the back to say "good job", I hope that I can communicate to our team and to anyone else that I may lead, that I care.

In my next blog, I'll share part two of "being a leader others want to follow: People knowing they can trust You."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Worship Leading: Taking your audience on a journey WITH you.

Just recently I've been given the privilege of helping lead worship on Sunday mornings - so far, this has been an amazing experience, and it's only just begun.
I would like to share with you what I'm learning on this journey of becoming a well-rounded worship leader:

1. Taking your audience on a journey "with" you:
One area I've really had to grow in (and still have room to grow in) is opening my eyes and connecting with the audience. Before People's Church, I'd never even thought about this, and it's definitely not something that came natural at first. Not at all. In fact, I've always been the type to get really nervous just before singing. So for me, there's nothing more comforting than to just close my eyes, close everyone else out, and just pretend like it's just me and God. That usually always helps - unfortunately, the second I close my eyes, and decide to make it my worship time, I'm closing everyone else off and sending the message, "Here. Watch me worship and watch me on my journey with the Lord". Rather, the message I need to be sending is, "Here. Come with me and let's take this journey together." Brian Rush, the Programming Director at our church, is the one who gave me this nugget of wisdom, and it's something that has not only challenged me in the ways that I lead, but also in the way that I perceive my audience. They're not just spectators, and they're definitely not there to listen to me sing. They're my brothers, my sisters, my friends, and they're there because they're seeking. Seeking more of God and more of His presence. I pray that as I grow, I can learn to "lead" others into His presence in such a way that they know we're all in this journey together.

In my next blog, I'll share how I'm learning to be "a leader others would want to follow".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Drop that cookie!

I made a discovery this morning.... my jeans are a little snugger than they were before Thanksgiving. That could mean only one thing - I've eaten way too much over the holiday =). I can't say that I'm surprised, because I'm not. I almost expected to gain some weight simply because I love eating, and I love Turkey and all the fixings!!!! That's okay. I'm 3 pounds up from where I was, but now that Thanksgiving is over, I'm going to get back down to business. I have to. I'd much rather do it now than wait and have 5 or even 10 pounds to lose. Right now I'm at 132. 129 here I come. And once I get there, I may even tag on an extra 4 pounds and try to get to 125. That would be amazing! Hard, but amazing! Wish me luck! =)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

There's no place like home =)

well vacation is definitely over, but it's so good to be home. the phrase, "there's no place like home" is so true. i don't know why, but there's just something about being in your own living room or your own bed, that beats being anywhere else.
with vacation being over, i'm back to work, and jace is getting back into his routine. this is definitely a good thing. for me it's good because i missed being at work. i have to say, i'm one of few people that can probably say i love where i work and all of the people i work with. being at people's church has completely revoluntionized my way of thinking in so many ways, and all in good ways. it's a place where i have great relationships, great leadership, and great rewards. i'm so glad to be back in OK, and back in the swing of things!
for jace it's a good thing because being on vacation really took a toll on his schedule. he's a pretty routined kid, and while on vacation, the word "routine" really didn't exist for us. each day was something like this: hop in the car. hug some necks. pass jace around. eat. say goodbyes. hop back in the car. hug more necks. pass jace around.... i think you get the picture. toward the end of the week, jace was definitely losing his patience with us, and it's no wonder. once we arrived in OK, i took jace to the pediatrician for a check up and not only was he exhausted from the busy travel, but he had a double ear infection! =( atleast now that we're home, and he's got some antibiotics, the both of us can get back to life like normal. ahh! home sweet home!