Wednesday, July 31, 2013

When God is Your Tour Guide

Lately the word overwhelmed has been thrown out a lot, from this blog, from conversations with friends, just about anywhere you go your hear someone expressing how overwhelmed they are, or you see it on their faces.  Sometimes we go through seasons where being overwhelmed is the norm, and other times we are in a season of contentment and ease.  I am sure you find yourself in one of those seasons right now. 

Earlier this week I read a post from a friend who is also on a church planting journey, her and her husband are planting in Washington DC.  We met them at assessment in June and have stayed in touch ever since.  She talked about how she could be overwhelmed with all that's going on, how when you see it on paper you would think it's never going to work out, but in the end it all has.  Her motto was "If God guides, he provides."  They left their current church with a burning desire to plant, they didn't know where or when, but they followed the call, much like Eric and I.  Staying in Wisconsin would have been the easy and safe bet.  We love The Ridge, we have a study income, we loved our neighborhood and school.  I am sure God would have continued to bless us if we chose to stay.  But instead we are giving up the "easy life" and following the call God has burned into our hearts.  On paper our life is a mess, at 2am when I think about fundraising and my kids, my life is a mess.  But that's the great thing about God and his callings, they don't always make sense, they don't always work out on paper. 

If they did we would have no testimony to tell, and truthfully, our need for God would be non-existent.  God's timing is perfect and sometimes the greatest stories come out of the waiting period.  I can't wait to share with you all what we have learned or what we saw God orchestrate on behalf our church plant. 

So right now I do feel overwhelmed, but I also feel equally blessed.  We have amazing friends letting us live with them for free, we have a church that is supportive of us, we have family waiting to welcome us back to Ohio, we have awesome friends that sit and listen to us flush out ideas and thoughts, and on top of all of that we have a God who has called us to step out in faith, to step out and do something scary, yet we know we are falling right into his safety net, because "Where God guides, he provides."

Where is he guiding you today? 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I am not brave

Church planting is a funny animal.  Sometimes it's cute, furry, and just plain sweet.  Other times it looks like Kujo, foaming at the mouth, scary, and leaves you full of anxiety.  Right now church planting looks like a rabid dog.  I say that with absolute honesty.  You all know I share my heart and soul here, and church planting is no exception.  I pray you see the ups and downs and the God ordained ways things work out over the next couple months, and year while we plant our church.  I plan on being as authentic as possible without being too transparent.  I love transparency but sometimes see through does not equal good or healthy, and it can be hurtful.  So bear with me if you feel like you are missing some details, because you probably are.

When talking about church planting with people we often hear this response "wow, you are so brave, I could never do that."  And then I want to punch them in the throat.  No really, I do.  I am not brave, I am about the farthest thing from brave.  But I am obedient.  I feel called to help my husband start a new church, I feel called to reach people who are far from God, and truthfully if you felt the call like we do, you wouldn't be brave either.

You would be terrified, and full of questions.  You would sit and think about every decision you are making because ultimately those decisions are going to affect your family or church down the road, so chose wisely.  I know this because this is where we are right now.  I told a friend recently that church planting is like mental torture.  When people say "church planting isn't sexy" I normally role my eyes because I think that's about a ridiculous analogy.  But truthfully, it's not for the faint of heart.

Church planting is for the obedient, for the called, for the ones who pretend during the day they are brave, but really at night are cowering in fear.

This journey so far has strengthened my love for Jesus and his bride.  I am so excited to bring restoration to a city that is broken and needs something new.  I am so excited to see what services will look like at our church, and I am excited that our kids get to be a part of this with us, every single step of the way.  But truthfully, I am so excited that God has called us on this journey, because at the end I can't wait to see and taste all that is good. 

So friends, I am not brave, no, not at all, I am called. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our Life {a tiny update}

Oy, our life...on one hand I feel incredibly blessed, on the other hand and two feet I feel overwhelmed.  We are officially moved out of our house, bittersweet.  We moved everything to a storage unit last week in Ohio.  As of Monday, we are now living with our very gracious friends in their home.  We have taken over their basement, and their pool.  I am praying we find ourselves in a season of rest, and easiness.  Our poor kids don't know which way is up, and I sometimes don't know either.

At the end of July I will be finished working.  I have great, wonderful, flexible, understanding bosses.  They have made a lot of our transition easier for me.  I am training my replacement right now, and she is going to work out wonderfully, so that brings me a lot of peace.  But I am so looking forward to August, and being a stay-at-home mom again, indefinitely.  I want to just pick and go places without having to worry about babysitters, and schedules, and all that hoopla.  Good thing I only work 15 hours a week now, I would be a wreck at full time.  Props to all you full-time couples! 

We closed on our house on Wednesday.  I am excited for the new family to move in, yet sad to leave.  I have had many pity parties, and full on ugly cry's about this house.  I am not upset to leave the physical house, it's more the memories made in the house.  Which I know over time will come with me, but right now I feel like they are staying behind.  Can you tell I was born and raised in the same house all of my life?!  My dad still lives in that house!  But I am trying to be as peppy and realistic with my kids as possible.  So we have been talking a lot about what we will miss, what we loved, and what we are looking forward to in our next house. 

So other than moving on, moving in, and moving out of state in the next 2 months, you know life is great.  Actually life goes on, and I feel God is telling me to "lean in."  When I get overwhelmed with anxiety, what-if's, and oh my words, I hear the Spirit whisper, "lean in."  So I am trying my best at leaning in, truthfully I am doing more of a trust fall, but you know lean, fall, it's all the same.       

The only other thing is we are gathering a group of people to basically join forces and be a prayer team for us as we move into church planting.  You don't have to pray together, just commit to praying for us and our specific needs.  We are still working out what that all looks like, private blog, email, etcs.  So I am putting my feelers out for anyone that wants to legit join our prayer team.  We appreciate all and every prayer that is said on our behalf, but we also know we are asking for a big commitment from some of you, like everyday pray for us.  Truthfully, if you are like I would love to, but right now I have a lot on my plate, we get it.  No worries.  But for those that can make the commitment would you email me or Eric, or private message me on Facebook.

Here is what else we have been up to...

-Molly went to stay with mom and step-dad for 2 weeks in New York! 
Saying goodbye to Daddy!

I had a whole week with this one! 

Then Lucy and I flew out to New York!  Lucy got to stay for a week with Molly!

This was before I left for the airport...I feel like this picture is totally worth a 1000 words!

Eric and I made in back in time to watch the fireworks in our tiny village! 

As nice as it was having a break, it was even nicer to see my kids again! 
I am incredibly thankful for my parents taking their vacation to hang out with my kids! 
This was our last Sunday in our house
Poor Lucy was having a hard time napping somewhere different,
she went and went until she could go no more!

Thank you all for your endless support, kind words, and prayers.  Most of you know July is a terrible month for my family to begin with, so having a lot of change and transitions happening during a month associated with pain is hard.  So to you I say I a very humble thank you.