Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

ImageHave you ever heard the expression “robbing Peter to pay Paul”?  Some days I feel this is how I spend every minute.  The reality is that trying to be present both for my new family and the congregation can be an impossible task.  No kidding, right?  How could anyone be simultaneously present?  In my logical mind, I understand this reality and believe there’s enough grace to help balance this continual juggle.

Except that apparently there’s still another part of me.  A part of me that seems to forget that I am, in fact, a human.  Somehow I sipped a little too much of the Wonder Woman Water growing up.  Somehow I still seem to think that I should be miraculously able to navigate pastoring and parenting seamlessly.  Yes.  I can be that delusional.

In addition to the obvious problems and implications of believing I somehow have a super-hero-like capacity, there’s a subtler issue.  If I miraculously and perfectly navigated these worlds so that all needs were always met, neither the children nor the church would do the hard work of learning to name and meet some of their own needs.   And the risk of reaching out to widen the circle of support.  To discern what it is they really need.  What they need to ask for and what they will take care of themselves.  The flip-side of this is that I am responsible for the same.

Yesterday was a day where I robbed Peter to pay Paul.  A day where I said yes when I meant no.  And some of my yeses didn’t align with what I say are my priorities.  Such is the way of Sundays and step-daughters.

Taste of Grace

I break Bread of Life

Offering a small morsel of grace–

To empty hands

Hands calloused

From work and weather,

Hands soft and small

From new life,

Hands firm and fixed,

Hands quivering and quaking.

All of them empty

All of them seeking


Something beyond.

A bite of blessing

A blessing that doesn’t

Promise freedom from doubt or despair;

Or a platitude of

you’re never given more than you can handle


This small cube

This taste of grace

Whets the appetite

While honoring

The really real

Of today.