Margin for what matters


In November, I resigned from my dream job at Immanuel Church as the Director of Environmental Design. My last day is Jan 3.  It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I have worked at Immanuel since 2007 and I loved it. Like, loved it, loved it.  It made me feel smart and creative, important and part of something bigger than myself in a way laundry and dishes can’t.  My job titles and responsibilities changed almost as frequently as my living room decor, and that is what I loved almost as much as I love the staff.  The last few months have been especially rewarding, being a part of all the new and exciting things happening, making it extra hard to watch the ship sail without me. Immanuel family, thank you for trusting me for all these years. It has been an honor to serve God on staff for as long as I have. There are so MANY great things happening and on their way. The best, really is, yet to come.  To be clear, we are not leaving the church. You can’t get rid of the Boyce crew that easy.

So back in October, I couldn’t understand why I felt it was time to go.  I was comfortable. Safe. Doing exactly what I wanted.  And comfortable and safe isn’t usually what following Jesus looks like. I guess I got my answer. God always likes to invite, or shove, us into places we don’t really want to go, doesn’t He? I don’t like that about Him.

Rewind to September; Jayden got a g-tube. It emotionally wrecked me. It was scheduled a week after our 5K, so bad or good, I had no time to think about what was happening to my guy until he was under general anesthesia. It wasn’t the IV pole in my dining room that bugged me. Or learning how to hydrate my son through a tube entering his stomach. It was the reminder that I am not in control. It was what the g-tube signifies to us Sanfilippo parents. The end is near.

I realized we are in the third quarter with Jayden and there is nothing we can do to slow it down or stop it from coming and that sucks.

And then Waverly died. November 18, I found myself scrolling through my news feed. Sitting right below the Miller’s post about their beautiful baby boy entering the world, sat the post Waverly took her last breath. I wept. The house was deathly silent, except for my wails. It felt like my heart was on the giant drop. I couldn’t breathe, but wanted to puke. I was so sad. So desperately sad.
The McNeil’s have been a family we have watched from a distance for the last six years. They have two children with Sanfilippo, Waverly and Oliver. Waverly turned 12 a few days before she passed. Oliver is 9. Shannon and Matt have been guides for us. They have graciously and humbly opened their journey to the world through their blog and we’ve had the honor of being students.  I can’t say I have always wanted to look. In many ways, it is like a crystal ball for us, and it’s not always good to know the future.
So when Wavey passed, I grieved in a way I never had before. Kelly and I even went out to DC for the funeral and held hands the entire time like only two mom’s who share the same crystal ball, can. I still, am heavy hearted for Matt and Shannon. I have no idea what they are feeling. I don’t understand. Shannon wrote, “anticipating grief doesn’t even compare to actual grief.”  Wow.
So it hurts even more than it does right now? It makes my pain and anticipating seem so small.
There’s no way around it. As I cried and wailed for the McNeils loss, I wept for our pending losses. I am so scared and it is coming so fast. Waverly was 12 years old. Jayden is 9.5. That would give us 2.5 years left with him.
And that is the exact reason I resigned.
I want to give the best of me to my people. I want to have no regrets. Church environments matter, but not more than my family.  I need to give my children my best, not my leftovers. I don’t want to be too tired to tuck them in. Too busy to love well.
I am choosing to do less to be more. And being type A and a work-aholic, I have to do this daily.
I want to be obedient to where God wants me and I sense He wants me fully engaged. Awake to all the pain and blessings ahead.  And part of being engaged for me is writing it down. Processing through everything I am noticing and learning.  I am saying no to good things, great things, to chase what I feel is best for me, right now.  I am creating margin to write each morning and slow down.
Bob Goff says, “He used to be afraid of failing at something that mattered to him, but now he’s afraid at being successful at things that don’t matter.” I am too, Bob.
Justin built me an office in the basement, out of pallets, of course. I have a little desk with index cards of thoughts hanging on the walls. I have pictures of my people and quotes that tell me I can do hard things. And you guys, I am scared.  But, I jumped anyway.
I was talking with my mother-in-law about how difficult it was to let go of my job and she matter of factly said, “it isn’t hard to leave something you love for something you love more.”


And you know what?
She’s right.

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