It’s a New Season

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Last month, the birth of our firstborn marked one of the largest life changes I’ve ever navigated…and am still navigating! This month, I followed it up by cleaning out my office at church, exiting the workforce to stay home with Phin. Being a parent is something I dreamed of for a long time and the ability to stay home to raise our son in the early years of his life is wonderful. All this change comes with so much joy…and with the joy comes a lot of reflection.

Mount Hope‘s been my church – my home – since childhood. When I joined the staff seven years ago, my mind was blown by the opportunity to work full time using creativity to honor God and minister to His people. I finally felt like my time was being invested instead of just spent. It is truly the very best place I’ve ever worked. This is not to say there weren’t unpleasant moments; there were very difficult situations, challenging projects, fascinating people, and times when I seriously considered thinking up an escape plan. But the highs, the excitement, the warmth vastly outweighed the rest! I am by far a better person for my years spent on staff and am so grateful for the pastors and co-workers and volunteers who poured so much into me.

525,600 moments make up each year. Seven years is a lot of moments! There are snapshots from my season on staff that are forever engrained in my mind, but I know my memory lost more than it retained. While it saddens me a bit that I couldn’t hold all those experiences in my heart, their impact on my life is not diminished. It is the same with this new season. As I cuddle and rock and chat with Phin between feedings and naps, I consider our moments. I want to capture it all in my memory; his expressions, the sounds he makes, how he smells, the way I feel when he looks at me and shows me his gummy smile…I want to keep it all. But I know that, just like so many of my church staff memories, with time a lot will fade. And again, I feel sad.

God did not create us with perfect photographic memories, but He did give us the ability to be present in each moment, experience it fully, and be impacted. This transition is a reminder to me to be fully present in each moment, so even if I can’t hold every single one in my heart, I can soak in the overall experience and allow it to make its imprint on my life.

Phin’s already causing change in me, taking over where my time on staff left off, fine tuning me to be closer to the Amanda that God intended. I pray in this season that with the Father’s help I can do the same for him.

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22 thoughts on “It’s a New Season

  1. Beautifully said Amanda..Thank you for your years at Mount Hope you have guided, inspired lifted and lead us as a congregation into a beautiful place of worship over the years . Thank you for sharing and using your God given gifts for that. As God says ” the best is yet to come”! And yes, cherish each moment being a mommy, children are Gods greatest blessing.

  2. Ahhh! Tears! Thank you for the gentle reminder to be present. I often, OFTEN live for the next moment, rarely taking time to appreciate what is happening NOW.

    I am so happy you get to make this new transition and are aware to be present. Each time I read your words I come away encouraged, filled up and/or energized. Thanks lady. 🙂

  3. You are missed, but I am so very happy for you, too! There is nothing better than being there for all your child’s “firsts”. Nothing compares to being the one he sees when he wakes up, and the one he sees as he drifts off to sleep. Enjoy every single second!!
    I encourage you to journal…write down all the precious things, because if you don’t, they will gradually slip from your memory. I regret not writing things down as my children grew up. 😦

  4. Amanda, I remember when you worked with me in the Office of Special Education, and then when you left to work full-time in ministry. At the start of 2013 God spoke to me indicating that this is the year of New Beginnings for me in my life. However, what I am finding out is that many of God’s children are in a season of New Beginnings! Look at God go!! Congratulations on the birth of your son, as well as the opportunity to be there with him in his early years. I look forward to your posts regarding your journey…..God bless!

  5. Very happy for you. Mt Hope was a part of our journey as well. We grew there, had amazing friends, ministry and work. Our children also were raised there and have walked away with an legacy they won’t forget. I’m thankful for what was but ever so grateful for the plans of God to give us more. Never settle for comfortable or easy, it’s not the example that Jesus set for us. I pray that the next leg of your journey be even more wonderful than your last. Love you girl!

    • Sandy…thank you for your encouragement and prayers. Although the idea of transitioning out of full time ministry was certainly strange to consider, I love that in every season God has a purpose. This current season is very new, but I’m loving it and am excited to see God move within it!

  6. You served an excellent 7 years! Thank you for the short time you shared your heart with me, a fellow worship leader. I really appreciate your input and friendship.

  7. Amanda, thank you for your service to the music and media department, I have gained so much from your wealth of music music training, hey who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks 🙂 Congratulations to you and Chad, enjoy every precious moment with Phin, the bonding you two will share is so proceless. Know that I love you and are so happy that I will still get to hear you minister in song! Maybe Phin will inspire you to write baby worship music hmmmm now that ‘s a thought.

  8. Amanda,
    My little, big sis! I say that because I have learned so much from you going all the way back to BTI and your ridiculously written notes that you’d let me look at. 🙂 You make me proud to be your sister and your friend. You will be missed on the staff, I’m sure, and please know that there will never be another to ever fill those shiny shoes. 🙂
    Congrats on your NEW SEASON, NEW “MOMMY” POSITION and NEW OUTLOOK on what God is doing in you, for you and through you. Benny and I are entering a new season right now as well and I get more excited about our transitions as I now have no job (as of 10/31/13) and we have just purchased our first home, as I read about your courage and confidence and joy. Thank you for sharing this blessing with us. It helps some of the rest of us to continue to be excited and thrilled about what our Father is doing for us. And Team Poole is so overjoyed for Team DeKatch and all the Father is doing!
    🙂

    • Thank you, Angel! God is so faithful in every season…even when we think his timing’s off. 🙂 You and I both know that after waiting so long to meet our husbands. Reading your comment brought this scripture to mind:

      The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. (Psalms 37:23-25 NLT)

      No matter what sort of bread it is – jobs, wisdom, whatever – he’s got us covered! It’s good to walk in his promises. 🙂

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