Yeah, I know the question you want to ask ... Define "normal?"
Normal for a Sunday is leaving the house around 7 AM, and head to the Sonic in Grapevine for breakfast, arriving at the downtown campus in time for our worship run-through meeting at 8 AM. Then do my part, as I am scheduled, in the morning services.
It all went good this morning, but I have to admit that I was tired when I got home after lunch. Greeting everyone who wanted to talk, visit, offer prayer or other types of support before and after services both charged me up, but tired me out.
You see, I am supposed to be the care giver ... the one asking "how are you doing?" That's my job here at FUMC-Grapevine, and it's the thing as a pastor that I do far better than most and not as good as some. As I was being cared for, I saw others I wanted to care for. The tension between the two can wear you out.
One thing I do know, and am very proud of, us that we have one of, if not the best pastoral staffs anywhere around when it comes to the quality of care received. For pastors and other care-guvers, receiving care from others can be difficult. Talking to everyone tired me out, but all the hugs and promises to pray, and the offer of rides (I am not supposed to drive for 1-2 weeks) were uplifting ... And I am encouraged again that Liz and I are loved and appreciated by many here, a validation that makes us feel good. That validation, in and of itself, is a great blessing since all I've ever asked is to at least be tolerated.
After a short rest at home, I was back at the downtown campus at 5 PM to unpack bags I took to Philmont with files, resources and music. Then our Administrative Board meeting at 6 PM, which I enjoyed because attending offered my the opportunity to catch up quickly after 3 weeks away.
Staff meetings and worship planning tomorrow and Tuesday, with meetings Monday and Tuesday night, including one meeting with a couple who hope my radiologist lets me delay the radioactive iodine treatment a few days so I can officiate their wedding, which has been on my schedule for months. I know it's going to work out. Also, more lunch invitations, always a good thing, than I can accept this week.
For the record, I am eating a lot less food than I used to.
I did decide to cancel my regular nursing home gigs (3 a month) for October, as I don't want to have to cancel at the last minute due to the fatigue I am told I will experience during the time between having your thyroid removed and beginning hormone therapy, which cannot begin until after the radioactive iodine treatments are finished. I plan to hit the gym again after I am released by my surgeon, hoping to combat some of that with doing some cardio and some core training.
One more thing, I've been told to get ready for a possible weight loss!
Uh, hello? I've already lost over 60+ pounds already .... if I lose more weight, people are going to really start worrying. But the idea of getting down to my high school pant size (36"x36") does intrigue me. Last night, Liz bought me a pair of 38"x36" casual style pants from the tall men's store. And they fit!
My personal prayer, is that all is back to normal, skinnier or not, fatigued or not, before Thanksgiving. It may be a while yet before I can provide pastoral care to the level if my own personal and professional expectations, but that will come soon enough with time.
What I do know going into surgery #2, is that I am cared about and cared for. i know that am in good hands!
God's grace still amazes me ... ><>