Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No-guilt pleasures! (Big update!)


I'm getting ready to make up for the fact that I haven't done one of my mega posts in a long time and also tell you what's going on in my life...

Often we hear people talk about "guilty pleasures." I don't have any of those. Not one. Far from being selfish in this matter, I simply realize that to keep the insane pace that I sometimes live at, requires me to do nice things for myself as often as I possibly can. Some things I am able to do for a short time each day, others once a week or month, and others only once or twice a year. One of the major mistakes most women make is not putting themselves on their own "to do" list. We do so much for others, and if we don't nurture ourselves we won't be able to sustain the pace many of us live at.

People ask me, "how do you do all that you do?" Quite honestly, most of those people know different parts of what I have on my plate but none of them really know it all. If they did I assume they'd give me a lecture so I don't tell them. :-) My answer much of the time is, "I don't know other than to tell you that God helps me and sometimes honestly...I fail." Yep, occasionally things do slip through the cracks at times. I hate when that happens, but it's just reality. I try to let the less important things (like scrubbing my baseboards or weeding) slip through rather than the most important thing, which is people. Before I share my no guilt pleasures, I'll list what I have on my agenda on a weekly basis:

In addition to trying to keep my marriage as hot as possible, mothering my children, and keeping my home, (which is a full time job in itself) I work full time for Northside Assembly of God as co-pastor. Some of my responsibilities are accomplished during the office hours of 9:00 - 4:30 however quite honestly there's a ton of it that I don't do during that time. Much of it gets done at 2:00 am or later. And as any pastor or pastor's wife knows, ministry is really 24/7 and there is no such thing as "part time." You're ALWAYS "on".
What many don't realize is, outside the pastorate I am not only bi-vocational but at this point I would classify myself as quad-vocational. :-) Aside from the busy demands of the pastorate, I also freelance write, and am on deadline with usually at least one writing job a month. Don't get too excited. It pays about enough for me to keep getting my nails done, but hey, that's one of my most important no-guilt pleasures! And I'm very grateful. I also travel and speak. On average last year I was gone at least once a month traveling somewhere. I love meeting different people and seeing their lives changed and for me it's never been about the number of people and certainly not about money. (I come with no financial requirements and many times don't take an honorarium.) I'm just as happy speaking to 10 people out in the middle of the boondocks as I am to a few thousand people in Africa. And, as anyone who travels with me to assist me can testify, I've done the boondocks plenty of times. I'm the women's ministries representative for the Tampa Bay area for the AG on top of this and serve our Tampa Metro section, and on the district reps board.
Aside from my family, housekeeping, freelance writing, traveling, and women's ministries I also teach a few piano and voice students. This is a great way for me to meet unchurched people in the community and not only teach them about music but hopefully influence their lives. All of my students are currently unchurched but that is changing, in fact one of them came with their family to Easter service! Without exception I am seeing each one of them move closer to crossing the line of faith every single day.

Finally... in the last few months I began working another secular job. I'm a career coach for an outplacement organization based in Oregon. The road to this is a long story that only a few of you reading this know. And the details are not important. But suffice it to say, if there was ever a "secular" job created to utilize my gifts, this is it. I hesitate to call it secular because honestly anything we do is to the glory of God. Whether a son or daughter of God is scrubbing a floor, preaching, or in a meeting for their "secular" job, it is anointed and making a difference in the world. Aside from my work with there, I decided that I will also take one personal client each month purely as a blessing to someone, to sow a seed into their life. My first people that I helped in that regard were another pastor and wife. Each month I'm being led of the Lord in who to help. Going forward I also plan to be a blessing in providing help to our church people in this regard, as much as I am able to. I believe as I continue to invest my life in others, God will bless me. One unique thing about most everything I do is that I can set my schedule aside from emergencies that come up. Urgent things are unexpected, but beyond that I pretty much control what is on my daytimer and manage to fit it all in.
The past few months have been a time of getting my footing as I've been balancing all the things I normally do, and my new work on top of it. God has helped me to juggle so far in what has been an amazing way that I'm hoping gets a little easier going forward as I get my footing. For years I have looked at Pastor Tara and Pastor Lisa as icons in balancing marriage, family, pastoring and secular career. Now, I respect them even more. They've both been extremely encouraging to me in this process of learning to juggle and even combine the two.

So...let's talk about no-guilt pleasures! They are essential if somebody with a ridiculous amount to do is going to not only survive but thrive. I couldn't make it without them. Here are some of mine that keep me going and I offer them as suggestions to you and invite you to share yours with me. Keep in mind it should go without saying that time spent with the Lord is the greatest rejuvenator! I've also indicated the amount of time or frequency I usually do each of these next to them to give you some idea.

1) Baths in my big tub ~ (usually at least 5 out of 7 days a week I take a bath instead of shower) It sounds so basic, I know. But I can't leave this out! In fact, I am starting with it because it's my first thing of the day. It takes longer to take a bubble bath than to shower. But I learned the value of this no guilt pleasure from a friend of mine who is a broker and works insane hours. Her day starts at the crack of dawn and her phone rings with clients up until midnight at times. But she always starts every single morning with a soothing bath in her big tub. She inspired me when she said that despite the craziness of her day she always knows it's going to start off with something good that relaxes her and this one spot in the midst of her daily routine is what gives her the rejuvenation to keep the pace. I'm partial to Bath and Body Works Moonlight Path for aromatherapy, and a peach apricot iced or hot tea while I take a bath. I usually also listen to soothing music on my Zune while I'm in there. (Caution: hooked up to speakers outside the tub - not my headphones!)

2) Riding my bike - (minimum seven miles daily - 6 out of 7 days a week) I will be honest I let this slide for a while because I got so overwhelmed with my new schedule. I thought I just couldn't keep it up. Then I realized my new schedule was all the more reason I needed it. I can't make it without this outlet, both emotionally and physically. I find this usually gives me a second wind for a few more hours of work. It also helps me to sort through problems as I come up with some great solutions to things as I'm on my bike pedaling real fast. Don't ask me why, it just happens. (Note: yesterday when I was so frazzled from dealing with a situation first thing in the morning, I biked 7 miles AND took a bubble bath, all before 8 am! Then I did another 7 miles when I got home from the church office. That as well as a few praying friends were key to my survival yesterday.)

3) Movies - (once a week) I love them -- they are a great escape for a few hours and we see so many of them since Dustin works at Cobb Theatres we go for free on Sunday through Thursday nights.


4) Blogging - (every day) posting, reading and commenting. This is one of my greatest pleasures. I won't give it up no matter how much I have to do. It's a wonderful world all it's own and such an outlet for me and I'm sure for many others. At times during the day or even middle of the night when my brain is fried, I take a 15 minute blogging break and it re-boots my system emotionally and intellectually. After this diversion I find my mind is clearer to delve back into whatever project is at hand.

5) Reading books - (at least a few minutes before bedtime, or when Larry is driving) Takes me into another world, great relaxer at night or momentary diversion even for 15/20 minutes at a time.

6) Lunch with a friend - (I try to do this at least once a month) Nothing like having a few minutes to just sit face to face with a friend and let down.

7) Thrift Store Shopping -(no real frequency/time for this, just whenever I have a few moments here and there.) Even if I was a millionaire I'd probably still love second hand stores. I have gotten an amazing amount of my clothes, shoes and purses there. I go to Bealls Outlet for most everything else. Amazing bargains!! When I do have real money to spend such as Christmas gifts or a gift certificate, I love JC Penney's, Bealls or Aeropostale.

8) Coffee and Tea - (all day) soothes me throughout the day and is not only a short diversion to BREATHE, stretch and go get a cup throughout the day but I also sip on it the whole time I work. Such a simple thing but it makes me happy.

9) Naps - I take them once a week, usually on Sunday afternoon or Friday. Not too often, but when I can it's the best. Larry and I laid down and snuggled late yesterday afternoon during the storm for a nap and woke up two hours later! It was glorious.

10) Sex - I debated putting this on here. You know how people just get their panties all in a bunch when you mention sex. :-) ha ha! But honestly I'm very true to who I am on this blog and so here it is, and not for some gratuitous reason either. God has blessed married couples with one of the greatest no guilt pleasures ever. The first benefit is oneness - intimacy in marriage. However, there are many other God-given reasons. A great stress-reliever, and comfort -- sex also has the power to give you a great escape at the end of the day (or really anytime!) Let's be real, it's just pure fun too. Some of you are wondering...is she really going to put on this blog how many times a week she does it? No. I'll just say...as often as possible! I believe this is God's mandate for every married couple as I've already said here.

11) Sitting on our patio, on swing - in front of the fire - or in the jacuzzi. (Frequency depends on the weather/season but in good weather I like to sit out there a few minutes each night, sometimes combined with other things I enjoy.)

12) Going away with my husband overnight - (at least twice a year for one or two nights) Essential. I would die without this. I need it as much as the air I breathe.

13) Dating - (at least once a week, usually on our day off) Another thing just as essential to me as breathing. When we miss it for whatever reason I just can't wait to make up for it.

14) Girls night out - (once or twice a year) just doing something fun with a few friends like a movie or dinner or even a sleepover at someone's house. Gotta love girl time!

15) Facebook - (10 minutes or so a day) keeps me connected with friends across the miles that I don't see everyday and also some that I do.

16) Getting my nails done - (once or twice monthly or whenever needed) I not only like my hands and feet to be looking nice, but this something I keep up on just to care for my body and be good to it.
17) The beach - (A few times a year - no rhyme or reason to when we go - but not nearly enough!) I love to go and float on my pink noodle and stay out there for hours until sunset.

18) Favorite shows - (once or twice a week) I don't watch that much TV and what I do is usually Tivo'd unless it's the news. Although I love it, I have little time for television but try to make time for at least one show with my family a week. Some favs when I have time are American Idol, 24, LOST, Forensic Files, Today's Detectives, and Fox News.

I've enjoyed sharing with you what's been happening in my life, as well as my no-guilt pleasures with you and encourage all of you reading this today to take at little time each day to do something nice for yourself. Each of us have unique demands on our time and stresses that are a very real part of our lives but they don't have to swallow us up. In addition to refreshing that only comes from the Lord He has also provided other enjoyable things to help us refresh, renew and restore our bodies, spirits and minds for another day.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Pastor Deanna,

What a great post to wake up to this morning! I jumped over to the post linked and read "Mamma's Nightgown." My hubby will get a good laugh over that! BTW that did happen to me! (blush, blush)
I agree with you on all... and especially #10. Could never figure out what all the fuss was about and why so many women avoid this discussion.

I do need to work on not feeling guilty when I do something "just for me." I have a wonderful hubby who encourages this, but the guilt is from me, totally self imposed.. I'm getting better, though :)

Hope your day is as blessed as you have made mine!
Your sistah in Him,
Ruth, PA

DaNella Auten said...

I have to agree with # 10... I love my Hubby. He is my everything right next to God, and I know I am his best friend too.
Yeah when you told me about that new job, I thought, "Ha, that's perfect for Deanna." lol
Keep up the good work.

Melissa said...

I am so excited about your announcement...hehehehe...You know I love you for more than that reason! I have to say knowing you personally for those that have not had the blessing of meeting you in person or being able to call you friend, you are what you preach!
I absolutely love #10!! You have to get very creative with time when you have youngsters, your husband not only pastors but also works outside of the minstry during the graveyard shift...but I would say if more couples made sex a priority there would be a lot more happier people out there! :-)
You are one busy lady and I am thankful for everything you have done for us! Love ya have a very blessed day!