Saturday, September 7, 2013

Who me?

My nephew, who I watch during the day, didn't nap. My 3 year old is cranky and taunting her brothers relentlessly. My 9 year old hates math and cries "There is no way I can do this! I'm never going to use this!" My 10 year old is flaunting the fact that he already finished his school and "It's not that difficult!" Then the phone rings...

It is my presbyter's wife Betty. She asked me how I was doing, most likely a minor formality to lead up to her point. I however, saw a warm body on the line and unleashed all my troubles! I went on about how overwhelmed I am and how I don't know if I can do it all! I told her homeschooling was becoming less and less appealing.

I thought I was busy when I was a youth pastor's wife. As I church planter's wife, I move non-stop. It is not unusual for me to work from the time I wake up until 10:00 at night! I am planning the service, meeting with the core team, promoting the church (even at my kids' football games, yes- I have become that person), phone calls, connecting with people online, and all those other millions of things, plus running a homeschooling household! I don't think there are enough hours in the day sometimes!

She then shows reluctance and utters, "I don't know if I should even ask you then."

I reply, "Oh, It's always this way. What do you need Betty, I'll try to help."

She shocks me with, "I would like for you to be the women's guest speaker for our Sectional Ministry Life Seminar."

"Who, me?" I think I managed to get out. "I've never done that before."

She reassures me, "You will be great! I believe you can do it. I have read your blog. Just be real. You can talk about anything and use whatever format you like."

Had I not been reading Jodi Detrick's book The Jesus Hearted Woman, I may not have had the courage to even consider it. The first chapter, entitled These Shoes are Too Big, spoke about the author getting a call to become a District Woman's Director. She felt that she was not ready for the change, but didn't want to deny God's move in her life. She took that step of faith and said "Yes."

With my heart pounding, and my whole body shaking, I agreed to speak. This would be my first time speaking to women, and pastor's wives and women in active ministry no less! What could I have to offer these ladies? They should be teaching me!

God began to birth a message in me that I believe every woman can relate to, probably a lot of men as well.

Inadequacies. We can't let them stand in the way of what God is calling us to.

So, with a bit of fear still in me, I managed to speak that day. Although it wasn't perfect, it went over very well. I even got an offer to speak at a women's group in November!

When God call you, he equips you!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tinkerbell Blessings

This past week I had the privilege of attending the Assemblies of God 55th General Council. Words cannot begin to tell of all the ways God blessed us while we were there in the midst of nearly 35,000 others from our fellowship. Maybe I will share some stories later!

While there, I participated in a new ministry for Pastor's Wives called Her Green Room. As I was leaving the room I was asked, along with many others, to film a short video for a new study that will be produced in the near future. They gave me several different topics they were looking for, such as worship, discipleship, and relationships. I wasn't sure I had anything for those categories, but I said I'm not afraid to do it. The woman with the film crew asked me what came to my mind. I told her a story from my daughter's adoption. I don't think I've shared it here before.

We adopted my daughter from a teen mom that had been in and out of our ministry for years. She returned to the ministry when she found out she was expecting. She was planning on parenting the baby. I was one of her support people. I was even in the delivery room, never knowing she would be my child.

Katrina's birth mother parented her for 7 months before she came to me. She asked me to take her because it was too much for her. She was in over her head. She was a single mom, raised by a single mom, raised by a single mom, and so on. After sleeping on it one night my husband and I decided to take her.

The 4 week process of social workers, adoption lawyers, fundraising, etc. was a whirlwind! There were a lot of emotional lows. We often questioned whether we were doing the right thing. Was Katrina really supposed to be part of our family?

This was the end of September of 2010. Halloween was approaching. My kids always dress up and go to an area church that hosts a fall festival. That year, Bobby wanted to dress as Peter Pan. Knowing that we would have Katrina by the festival, we really wanted her to go as Tinkerbell. Considering all the adoption expenses, there was really no money leftover to buy a costume (esp. for a baby that wouldn't know the difference). It wasn't really important, but we all kind of hoped it might work out.

I came home from a day out. While I was gone a friend had come by to drop off some clothes for my soon to be daughter. At the very top of the bag, was a Tinkerbell costume! I started to cry right there! God cared enough about me to send me a silly costume that didn't really matter! It was a confirmation that Katrina was destined to be in our family!

It amazes me that God cares about each of us, so individually, to send us the little things that don't really seem to matter. It may seem insignificant to anyone but you!

If it matters to your heart, it matters to God!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Embracing Martha

Saturday- not only church day, but watch my friends boys while her and her husband attend a wedding, Sunday- Kid's birthday party, Monday- church planning then crash, Tuesday- Men's Ministry dinner out and I have a Skype appointment, Wednesday- See Wicked with my Mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Thursday- Intern over for dinner and church meeting, Friday- new couple in the church over for dinner, Saturday- Church.......

My head is spinning with all the business lately! It's all good stuff, but boy do I need a break! Oh, that list is just the evenings! Not only all of the above, but also: home school my boys, keep up with my 3 year old, watch my 5 month old nephew, feed everyone, keep up with house chores, plan for church, etc..... and now my head is spinning again!

I don't know what the solution is, or if there even is one! God gave me a scripture to help pull me back to focus though...

     "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42

Boy, do I feel like a Martha lately! There is all this work to be done and I better get to it or the ball will be dropped! Oh, but wait a minute...can't someone help me? Isn't there anyone that can step up?

I feel like at the stage of our new church plant I have to be the Martha. There are too many new Christians that need to be Mary, and just soak up all of God that they can! I need my Mary time too, but I am coming to realize that this has to be accomplished differently that it used to. I need to carve out more one on one time with my Savior. I need to teach my children to make time for their alone time with God and for them to allow me that time.

I must embrace Martha right now. After all, Martha was the one that invited Jesus to her house in the first place. She made sure everyone had something to eat and was happy. She gets a bad rap, but what a hard working, hospitable woman she was. She saw a need and she met it. Sure, she got overwhelmed and needed her sister's help, but don't we all get to that point! I can't imagine she liked the answer Jesus gave her very much.

When we cry out to God, the last thing we want to hear is that we are not getting our way! It at moments when we realize that he sees the bigger picture and knows what is best, that we grow! We see what we should be doing, not what we want to do.

I know that in the future I will have more workers. I know that as my children grow I will miss this stage where they need me so much! I will one day leave this constant Martha stage! ...Or will I?