10.19.2005

Oh God have mercy on me a poor sinner.

Running the children's program at College Park Quarterly Meeting this last weekend was a humbling experience. Not in the sense of "it was so amazing that I am just humbled at the way the Spirit was known amongst us" but in the sense of "oh God, please help me to get through this, it's GOT to be over soon." I faced my own limitations in a really public way. Took my frustrations out on my own child - good example of why parents shouldn't run the programs for their own children, just like Little League coaches. There was a difficult discussion and I handled it badly. I am trying to remember that it was really just one bad hour, not a whole bad weekend. I am also interested to find out that this doesn't deplete my sense that it is my calling to do this work. Just a reminder that I am not perfect and that I still have much to learn. Maybe more here later, or maybe I just need to spend this week processing and restoring relationships on the ground.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Evy said...

My heart's with you, Robin.

It probably wasn't as bad as it felt. It gives the kids more evidence you ain't perfect (What a relief!) And it allows me to have compassion for those Little League coaches, oft abused in song and story.

"Took my frustrations out on my own child": If we could all solve this one . . .

Process away . . .

10/20/2005 10:42 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Welcome EVY!!!!

One of my friends in real life finally comments!

However, the bad hour was really that bad. But I apologized, to my son and the group. I sat down in the circle, admitted my own frustration and asked the group for their solutions. Once they got started on something else, I went in the other room and prepared the snack, where I could collect myself a little bit.

And you never know. The song that one kid complains bitterly about, another kid sings to herself while falling asleep. (Teach Me to Stop and Listen, #137 in the Friends Hymnal.)

10/21/2005 12:45 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

So sorry to hear about your rough day. Yuck. No matter how much character gets built, rough days just really stink.

On a different note...I'm wondering if you live in my area. My husband and I might like to attend your meetings if they're anywhere nearby. We're in Menlo Park. If you don't mind saying, you could drop me a line by email: knfast@yahoo.com

10/25/2005 3:45 PM  
Blogger Joe G. said...

Robin,

I hope you don't mind my writing this, but it's comforting to read of another Friend struggling and bumbling through things. Confession is not only good for the confessor but for the rest of us as well. :)

My guess is what Evy wrote - not quite as bad as you thought. OTH, "making things right" is a good thing.

My guess: after you've processed this and the "dust has settled" you'll have greater clarity about your strengths and focus for your ministry.

Thanks for your openness and honesty!

10/26/2005 9:20 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Hey Kristin - I will send you an email, but let me say more publicly that I am a member of San Francisco Monthly Meeting and there is a link on the sidebar of this blog to our Meeting which has more information about us, and our meetings for worship, primarily at 11:00 am on First Days (Sundays). ALL are welcome to worship with us.

Dear Beppe,

One of the things I learned is that I can not run the program, clerk the committee and be a parent all at the same time. Or rather, I can't do them all well. One of those is a permanent obligation, so I will have to change one of the others. Fortunately, Quarterly Meeting only comes every three months, so there's some time to work on it.

As far as confession goes, it actually feels good to be open, and to be able to look at what really happened from a little more detached perspective. As Evy knows, I am not perfect, dangit, and so it's good practice to admit it. Arrrrgh.

10/27/2005 11:41 AM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Robin,

I would say that modeling how to be vulnerable and how to take responsibility for making things right again is a very important spiritual practice... Perhaps you will never know the seeds of healing you have planted in others by being [made] low.

Still, I sense your tenderness and pray you have been gentle with yourself as the days have passed since you posted this.

Blessings,
Liz, The Good Raised Up

11/01/2005 8:09 PM  

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