Monday, October 27, 2008

A Fresh Reminder from an Old Note

I had a bit of a crappy weekend. I just had a "sad" Saturday. Sparing the details, it was just a bad day. Believing lies as to the abundance and/or presence of God's love for me... what He sees in me... Failing to grasp the deepness of His grace which runs even deeper than my sin... feelings of inadequacy, without the balance of the feeling of God's strength and presence. Plus, TJ was "high-maintenance", throughout the entire weekend, wavering from tired and needy to slap-happy and silly to melting-down with tantrums. I was just bragging on him last week, and it's amazing how a couple of bad days can completely change my perspective on "how I'm doing as a father". Or "how he's doing without his Mommy". He woke me up this morning before my alarm went off-- remember I'm usually out of the house before he's up-- and he had a late night last night, with our small group meeting and what-not. He was bouncing off the walls by the time Dana arrived with her boys at 6:20. I had to give him a time-out before I even left at 6:30. Ugh...

Additionally, I'm a bit stressed with work, starting to "press" and find ways to be more successful. Not for personal gain, I mean... Just trying to figure out ways I can get my region and our company to its goals... things I can do better, differently, to help the process along. We're making progress, but it's not happening fast enough, in my mind...

And there are things I want to do... people I want to spend time with... places I want to go... "ministries" with which I want to serve... and so-on. And I'm just having a hard time figuring out how to fit it all into this new life. TJ is priority #1, and every minute he's awake and I'm not at work, I feel I'm justified in wanting to make sure I'm there to spend it with him... which means basically saying "no" to everything/ everyone else.

Anyway, I've just been struggling with anxiety and feelings of incapability to "do this".

"... abide, Tyson..."

I picked up my coffee on the way to work this morning, turned off the music, and just prayed my way through the commute. Again, I gave it all over to Him. My time, my passions, my son, my job, my hurting friends. And I worshiped. Acapella style. "All the Way My Savior Leads Me", and an old song I used to sing when I led worship at "The Point" back in Indy, by the "secular" group Lifehouse, (although they're Christians), called "Everything":

"How could I stand here with You and not be moved by You? Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this? 'Cause You're all I want, all I need, You're everything... Everything..."

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit better now. What brought me to write this little entry was the fact I was just brought to tears by an old "relic" of sorts... I was scrolling through my email archives, looking for an old contact from over a year ago, trying to knock another little bullet point off of my "to-do" list today... And I came across this note-- truly a gift from God, this morning. A blessing. So good to hear her voice like this, and have it be so relevant this morning. The "garage door" issue she writes about was basically the proverbial straw that had broken this camel's back the night before... There was a different "garage door" this weekend, but these words were a welcomed and soothing interruption to my day, appearing in my work email in-box, all over again this morning...

-------------------------------------------------

From: Leslie Bucher [mailto:ljbucher@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 10:49 PM
To: Tyson Aschliman
Subject:

I am so sorry you are having a crappy couple of weeks.
I hate that I am not very good at encouraging you and
building you back up.

I feel the need to remind you that you are not
laboring in vain. You are working for the Lord. He
is in control when things are as they are now as much
as when things are really good. He can make the
garage door go up and down....or not. He can make TJ
well, and He can make my polyp go away, with or
without surgery.

Are you spending time with Him? Really spending time
with Him? He wants your full attention.

I love you. I can't wait to spend the weekend with
you.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

16 comments:

Carrie S said...

God is truly amazing and shows us over and over again. How wonderful is our maker to give you this reminder that only your wife could have said so well to you then and now.
Life is certainly overwhelming and Satan likes to pile it on thick when we are at our weakest. Praying your week is full of joy and contentment.
Carrie

Jessie said...

Tyson, YOU are amazing and YOU are doing a great job. I can't imagine how I would juggle everything and raise Luke on my own. YOU are amazing and so was Leslie. TJ is blessed by both of you!
Always thinking of you both.
Jess

Ronna said...

Tyson, I needed to hear what you had to say today. Abide. My mother has a brain tumor. We see the neurosurgeon tomorrow. I've been trying to fix and plan. That's what I do. I CAN'T do that now so I feel anxious and scared. Then I saw God's words in your words.....abide, Ronna. It's wierd, because Saturday nite I looked for scripture containing the word abide. And that word has been circling thru my thoughts and in my prayers since. Thank you for sharing your journey. I check in often. I'm just a reader from the blogosphere, have never met you. But God is teaching me thru you.

Tyson Aschliman said...

Ronna- 2 verses for you... paraphrasing "abiding"...

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

and...

"Be still and know that I AM God." Or as another version puts it... "CEASE STRIVING, for I AM the Lord your God."

Also, my mentioning this word, "abide", is from a post I did a couple weeks back, entitled "The Gospel According to Job". It was a reflection on a devotional I'm doing right now, and I think it might really speak to you with what your mom is going through.

I truly hope you have peace tonight, and that the trip to the neurosurgeon is encouraging...

Anonymous said...

Tyson,
What a precious note to come across! Memories are so wonderful, and the memories you have of Leslie are priceless. We continue to uphold before the throne. May you feel His wonderful grace in this day.
God bless

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog since a few weeks prior to Leslie's death. I always find at least a nugget (usually much more) of teaching; and find myself pondering for days some of the insight God gives you. Recently, I've noticed an underlying message that makes me wonder if God is calling you into a full time ministry? I'm a little hestitant to even mention it because I don't know you personally, but I hear things in your writings that remind me of thoughts and experiences that other's had as God prepared them to "come follow me" into fulltime ministry. I've been praying for you and TJ, that God would continue to reveal Himself to you....as He has been faithful to do so far. Grace and Peace.

Tyson Aschliman said...

Grace and peace indeed, my anonymous friend! And you're too kind. I'm humbled to know you've allowed yourself to ponder what I'm reflecting in this venue. And indeed, I AM in full-time ministry. I just don't get paid for it. :)

In fact, I get to PAY GOD for it! (tithes and offerings) How cool is THAT!

Luke was still a doctor, Joseph (called Barnabas) still did his business (assuming he did business... how else would a Levite acquire land?), and their wealth and experience were indeed a blessing to the church-- their ministry was no less blessed merely because they got paid to do something else. In fact, the church needs more "lay leaders" in my opinion. Not that I'm not open to it-- in fact, I went to good ol' Taylor U fully expecting to go into "the ministry". And was indeed called OUT of it. I am indeed open... I just am confident in the fact that God is calling me into this current ministry, which is not a paid staff position with any para-church organization.

As I told my pastor a couple years ago, when he'd asked me to stay open to the possibilities of being a "worship pastor" someday... "I can play guitar now. I can worship with all my heart. I'm scared what would happen with my focus if I started to do this 'professionally'. I do this now because I NEED it. I don't ever want to do it because I need the paycheck. Besides... the church really can't afford me."

:)

Anonymous said...

"And I'm just having a hard time figuring out how to fit it all into this new life. TJ is priority #1, and every minute he's awake and I'm not at work, I feel I'm justified in wanting to make sure I'm there to spend it with him... which means basically saying "no" to everything/ everyone else."
As a mom I often felt this same way. I wanted to do so much for me, for God, for others, but my kids needed me. My children are teens now and i do have time. What would get me through that was reminding myself this is a season. This season is about being there for my kids. They won't need me so much some day then it will be "my turn". Your doing the right thing spending this precious time with your son. Your turn will come. Enjoy this season with him, it goes too quickly.

ann said...

I pray for your ease - and encourage you to let go of the urge to attribute any and all of TJ's behavior issues to grief. He sounds so very, very normal. As with every other person, there's good days and bad; as with all children, there are growing pains. You are a good father, doing a 'good job' I pray that you feel the prayers of the people as they support you both.

Anonymous said...

I think I will have to keep my tissues close at hand whenever I read your entries and this time -- the comments. :) What an awesome gift and how cool for God to continue to use Leslie to draw you closer to Him.

The high-maintenance days are tough ones and I have cried out many times to God telling him I just can't do them. But I wouldn't trade them for anything because it is in those moments I have had to cling to Him (the "Be still" part echoes loudly right then) and allow His will to be done and not my own. As I look back on some of those days, I know my heart and life have been changed because of them. It is still my instinct to just melt down with my kids as they having their melt downs. Some moments are better than others. Stay strong --TJ is looking very closely. Scary, huh? It won't be easy and you might make mistakes along the way --okay so you probably will from time to time -- but our children learn from those as well.

Having a servants heart myself and being a single parent, I have had to say no to the things I want to do or to helping others without second thought. It is sad to say but it's taken what seems like a long time to gain that understanding. However, there have been and will be times when it works out to say yes -- those are the opportunties when my kids get to serve with me. It is such a blessing. Maybe you and TJ can serve together? ...

As you lay out your heart and life before thousands, even in those trying moments, God is using you. God well may be preparing you for another chapter (actually I'm sure of it) but in this chapter, I am thankful for your willingness to be a lay leader.

Ronna, you & your family are being lifted up in prayer at this very moment. I've been clinging to Isaiah 43:1-7 for several years now. May it bring you comfort during this time.

Jan Gnagey said...

Tyson, your post from Oct 21 brought tears to me tonight. My father died when I was 3. I have no memories of him even though he was very involved in our lives before he died. So, talk about Leslie everyday with TJ, watch family videos, look at pictures of her at events, talk about things the three of you did together-all so he can remember his wonderful mother when he's 10, 20, 30...

kim p said...

Tyson, God's strength is being made perfect in you, and you're doing an awesome job as a single father to TJ. Enjoy these years with him, because they'll pass so quickly, and know that you are fulfilling God's purpose for you right now. You're encouraging and teaching countless people through this blog... And God is obviously refining you, teaching you, molding you, and preparing you for the plans he has for your life. I can't express how encouraging it is to see the way God is working in you as you come to know Him more and more. As you hunger and thirst for Him, He is faithfully filling you and blessing those who know you with what is spilling over! We serve a faithful God, and He will remain faithful through the good days and the not-so-good days.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6

michelle said...

Tyson,
All I have to say is thank you thank you for your blog. It has brought an awesome peace to me over the last two weeks, when I checked out your blog for the first time.
I am a recent widow. My husband passed away from melanoma on December 14 2007 at the young age of 31. I have four children. They are 8, 7, 3 and 1 years old. This has been the hardest thing I have gone through in life. I am so grateful for my relationship with God. I could not do this without Him. He gives us grace to go through each day. Thank goodness for His grace. He also brings people to us that are going thru similar things so we can be an encouragement to one another. So that is why I'm grateful that my sister- in-law shared this blog with me. It's so nice to read that someone I've never met is going thru so much that is similar in my everyday emotions. I love that word abide... Wow that got me thinking. My grief seems to come and go. I mean I'm always grieving ... But some days are harder than others. Especially lately it seems that it's so strong again. I'm not sure if it's the weather change or the fact that the one year anniversary of Justins death is coming up. But again thankyou for the realness of your blog. I appreciate it and I will pray for you and TJ

Tyson Aschliman said...

Michelle-

My heart breaks all over again for you and your four kids. FOUR?! I am amazed. It's all I can do to keep up with just one TJ. God bless you. You are in my prayers as well. Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I'm truly humbled.

-Tyson

Auntie Gayle said...

What an inspiration this blog is to all of us! I'm so proud of the way Leslie lovingly "encouraged" you with the truth. How cool that Someone made sure you read that email again. He is watching over you. As a grammie of two three year olds---I'd say TJ's behavior is right on track. It was wonderful to see him a couple of weeks ago. Ty, you have to get that boy a belt 'til his butt grows! Lots of love from all of us here in Carmel, Auntie Gayle

everydayMOM said...

Tyson,

I hope this weekend was better than last. You haven't posted for a while, so just wondering how it's going.
I don't want to put you on a pedestal, but it's always encouraging when you lead worship. We all know that you are truly living so many of the words that we are singing.
Anyway, I know I can't even BEGIN to imagine the challenges you face. But when my husband is gone for long stretches, I can relate to the need to put the needs of your child first and still do some of the things you want, and are called, to do. You will find a balance. And it's good for TJ to see you as an example doing things (ministry, etc.), as well.
The weekends can get long, so I hope this one brought some joy and refreshment.
=] emily