by | Mar 10, 2022 | Calling, Change, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor, Transition, Uncategorized

After a two month hiatus, Jaime Hlavin rejoins the blog today with a wonderful post on the subject of transitions. This is part three of her series on this most important and relevant subject. Enjoy ~ John

Each year, our Ministry Network runs a conference for our state’s women in ministry. It’s the responsibility of the Superintendent’s wife to assemble a team, secure a location, find a guest speaker and pull the event off without a hitch. My predecessor left some pretty big shoes to fill in that department.

I am currently recovering from running said conference. I’m kidding—I feel fairly confident that it went well. My team was unbelievable and functioned like a well-oiled machine while the church that hosted made us all look really good.

Our theme for the weekend was Stories. We gathered to discuss the reality of what many of us have been facing in our years in leadership and ministry—the good, the bad, the ugly. It was a time of healing, victory and excitement about the future.

We also learned that often as leaders, we are reluctant to share our stories with those around us because it makes us feel vulnerable. On the heels of all of the good things that came out of last weekend’s conference, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my story. I know I’ve shared a bit here and again here about the transition of our family in 2021.

As we are now nearly a year out from the initial whirlwind of it all, I’ve had some additional time to evaluate several areas. As I share a bit of my story, please note that some of these take-aways aren’t necessarily specific to our particular life transition and can be universally applied.

Creativity in creating and maintaining routines and schedules

This is something we at Converge Coaching cannot stress enough. Prior to May of 2021, my husband and I had a really good system in place for our daily routines and schedules. We had been part of our previous organization for decades and had all of the people and systems in place to keep and maintain a good work/life rhythm. Periodically things would arise that weren’t on the calendar and we adjusted. However, we were very good at these rhythms due to the length of time we’d practiced them.

In our new role, I’ve often found myself saying, “Wait. What? You have to go where? We have to do what?” So, we must be much more diligent in our communication about the calendar. This combined with a longer commute to the office, has required us to get creative about how we work, create routines, and maintain schedules. For example, he handles a lot of his phone calls while driving (via Bluetooth, using Siri to dial the number, with both hands safely on the wheel of course.)

Sometimes it’s been difficult. Last weekend, while I was at my conference, my husband took our oldest daughter out of state for a college visit and scholarship interview. And to be honest, my emotions were all over the map on that one. I was so excited to be able to host the women’s event and connect with old and new friends . . . BUT . . . I also wanted to be with my husband and daughter for that visit. I am so thankful for the creative use of technology to keep us connected. I joined them via Facetime as they drove onto the campus for the first time, saw videos of the chapel service, and lots of photos (many of which were sneaky and weird—like shots of her through a window sitting in her interview. She wasn’t super thrilled about those. But hey, a parent’s job is to make things a little weird sometimes, right?)

Determining priorities and urgency levels

This year has been chock full of times when we’ve had to stop and ask ourselves, “Is this something that absolutely has to be dealt with right now?” In the past, due to, again, the familiarity with our roles, we knew when and what constituted an urgent priority. We are learning this. If the phone rings during my 8th grader’s basketball game, a quick text message back, “Can I call you at halftime? I’m watching my daughter play ball. If not, I can step out and make the call for a few minutes.” We are still navigating a lot of “on the job” training.

Also, being that we do still have children at home, there are some things that we’ve chosen for me to opt out of until we are fully empty nesters.

Navigating personal crises can be taxing

At first, I thought “crises” was too strong of a word until I looked it up: Crisis: a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.

Based on this definition, if you’re a human being, you will most likely experience a crisis or two in the course of your lifetime. During our transition, we’ve encountered a few family situations that were times of intense difficulty. For example, my mother-in-law battled cancer during this past year and my daughter is suffering significant chronic back pain that will require surgery soon.

We’ve learned that it is so important to step back and process these types of things with those who can offer sound counsel, spiritual guidance, as well as professional advice. Thankfully, we are moving through these events and are almost on the other side of them.

Thanks for taking the time to peek into my story for a bit. I hope some of the things we are learning in our transition can be helpful to you.

We are rooting and praying for you!