This past weekend as our family celebrated the Easter weekend, I saw something that disturbed me. It was a picture of me. And it caused me to take a step back.
We were out in the yard dying eggs with the kids on Saturday. Whenever we do something like this there is bound to be some craziness. And sure enough there was. There was laughter, a wiffleball bat, eggs being thrown, air soft guns, and a kid on the roof. Don't ask.
In the midst of all the fun, Amy was frantically taking pictures of the kids and the spectacle as it unfolded. It was in this flurry of spontaneous chaos that Amy snapped a photo of us standing at the table. Later when I looked through the pictures she had taken, I was horrified.
There I was, looking very old and VERY overweight. I wish I could say that it was just a pic taken at a bad angle, or that I was standing funny and so it only looked like I was heavy, but I can't. It was me, and I didn't like the me that I saw.
At the beginning of the year, I set the goal of losing a few pounds in 2016. The last couple of years (2012-2015) were stressful years. I didn't not take good care of myself. I spent a lot of time stressed out, eating too much, and not exercising at all. I gained a lot of weight. So with the new year starting, I hoped to drop some weight and get a little healthier.
But over the last three months my exercise routine has been spotty at best. Some weeks were great; I was on the treadmill, watching what I ate, and really trying. But then there were weeks where I didn't make the time to work out. I lost a couple of weeks preparing for student retreat which kept me up late and up early. Then there were a couple weeks where I was sick. Excuses? Sure. But also a part of my reality.
ONE: I'm Taking control of me.
- It's long, long overdue, but it's time to take control of my health. It's time to say, Yes, to exercise and better eating habits. It's time to get serious about my life because it matters to people around me; like my wife, my kids, and my students. After seeing the picture, I know that I need to lose some weight. I want to lose the weight. And so, I'm taking it back. It time to get healthy.
TWO: I'm taking control of my call.
- When I stepped back into student ministry, I made a promise. I was going to be the best youth pastor I can be. No more taking the short cut by doing what I know. No, I want to walk on the edge. I want to engage students like I've never done before. I want to build a ministry that is fresh, relevant, and life-changing. I don't believe God wants me to settle for the sure and easy, so it's time to get real.
While I have no intentions of leaving student ministry any time soon, I do hope to take the last 25 years and put them to good use. It's always been my dream to walk along side the next generation of youth worker.
THREE: I'm taking control of my dreams.
- I have been a youth pastor for 25 years. That's a long time to work with students. But while I have no intentions of leaving student ministry any time soon, I do hope to take the last 25 years and put them to good use. It's always been my dream to be able to turning around and walk along side the next generation of youth worker. Through blogging, conferences and conventions, speaking, training, and book writing, I want to pass along all that was passed along to me over the years.
FOUR: I'm taking control of my family.
- Don't panic, this isn't some crazy dictatorship that I am looking to launch. The control I'm talking about comes with me being a better husband and father. It's time to once again put my family first, to think of their needs and fighting for what's right for us as a family. And it's time to get back to doing the things that we love doing; like sharing our story via the blog and vlog.
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 28 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently serving as the director of family ministry at a church, located in West Virginia. Jay has been married to Amy for over 23 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.