Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fresh Start

Thank you all so much for the sweet comments about the new look! I am still just on cloud nine about how everything came together and look forward to this new chapter.

When a family plants a church, the church basically becomes another child. After launch, it needs love, affection, and a lot of time. It also requires that the "parents" and other relatives (basically the others on the launch team) fill in the gaps, making sure that all odd jobs to take care of it were covered. When we moved here a little over a year ago, we were blessed to find people who were willing to roll up their sleeves and see this thing come to life. Launch day is still one the greatest days of my life so far and so far we've managed to nurture our little sprout and it is growing in the right direction. But in the beginning, just like everyone else, I filled in wherever I needed, which was leading our kids' ministry. Because I had a very clear picture of the vision for our church and our children, I was the best fit for the role even if I felt underqualified. I started building a team, branding everything, creating registration forms, policies and procedures, training people to serve, and the list goes on and on. Once we launched I had to focus on some weekly issues such as making new nametags and registering the new kids that came through the door, which thankfully we've seen happen every week, continue to train our leaders as that team grew, schedule for future months, and make sure the balance of volunteers to kids was at a safe place week to week, even if that meant stepping in and filling in somewhere myself. We are six months into the life of our baby and all in all I have been to one Sunday morning service... at our own church plant!  Crazy, right? But oh so worth it.

I think I've alluded to the busy-ness of our lives in past posts, and even though launch season is crazy, the day after launch day proves to be no more relaxing. As our numbers grow, so do the people that we get to love on and pour into on a weekly basis. I knew that praying for rest was something that might not happen, but I trusted God that He would know how much of a load I could carry and for how long, all the while balancing my marriage and kids and a full-time job... and somewhere deep inside my spirit the word "soon" continued to ring out.

Wanna know something wonderfully amazing about our God? He keeps His promises... but I bet you already knew that. The "soon" that I kept hearing is here, which just blows my mind. Not only did a family move down from our old church (who were originally going to plant with us in the first place but the timing was not right) to take over the kids' ministry, but we also had a miraculous NINETY-THREE people at our Discovery course the other night. This class is on a Sunday night and is a place where we teach on your spiritual gifts and personality, trying to find the place for everyone to get plugged in and serving. We want everyone to find their "sweet spot," serving in an area becuase they get fulfillment out of it and not just because we "need" someone to fill in that spot. For many smaller churches and church plants, the doing things becasue we "need" someone to do it season lasts a long time, so praise God that we're already coming out of that season and into a new one. Josh and I literally sit on the couch at night and there are no words to express our awe of what has been happening through this church, so we are just faithfully and diligently trying to listen and obey... and not trying to screw things up in the process (which is our most common joke!).

That was a lot of back-story for where I am going with this, so thank you for bearing with me. With all this being said, I am so very excited for this period of time that He is giving me to get all of my ducks in a row again... to focus on me for a little while. When I was younger, focusing on me would have meant being selfish and doing things that gratify me temporarily- such as shopping, watching movies, and basically wasting time. I feel so different this time around though. I feel like He has extended me some relief, but I need to be responsible with how I use it. Now it's not to say that I won't spend an hour here or there watching HGTV, but more than anything I feel the need to fill myself back up. One of my favorite Reflections posts was about the song "Desert Song" (which is oh so amazing by the way if you don't know it) and I mentioned that I was running on empty after a harvest. To be honest, in all of the running around, I never got to a place where I could fill myself up again and have been living in that place for montshs. So now that I am transitioning out of leading the kids' ministry (although I will still be serving our sweet little ones since I love it) and Jake is in preschool a few days a week giving me a small break, I am going to use this wisely. It's not a coincidence that our church started a series called Fresh Start this week and I find it so very fitting. In the grand scheme of things our time here is short, and I want this week to be a fresh start in how I utlize this gift he's given me. I am not a morning person but know that people can train their bodies to get up early, so yesterday I got up at six just to spend an hour of quiet time in the word. And becuase our God also loves to give confirmation, He opened a door up last night for me to teach one of our favorite high school girls exactly what I had studied that morning. Love when that happens. I already look forward to doing that every Monday and Wednesday from now on. The other side of that is getting back to taking care of myself physically. As much as you know I love to run, I can't tell you the last time I pounded pavement aside from a random 5K I did this month. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays I am going to pursue that passion and get my physical self back in shape, too. I want to take this time and work on being a better wife, a better mom, a better playmate for my kids, a better sister, a better daughter, a better friend, and a better servant to those in need. I want to read more, build a more solid foundation in the Bible, pray more, and make my time matter. I am thankful for this season because I know it won't last long... something tells me that God is giving me rest to prepare for whatever is coming next.  And whatever it is, I want to be ready.

So tell me... with a new school year starting, do you see this time as a Fresh Start? What goals do you have for this upcoming year?


  1. I am at an exciting point where I am seeing pieces come together. Spiritual insight I gained two years ago is gaining more meaning as it snowballs with more recent insights and callings. Exciting steps may require yet another leap of faith in the near future... I've never felt anything quite like this!

  2. That's so awesome! I'm kind of feeling that momentum, too, and learning that you really do get more out when you pour more in! Can't wait to hear about whatever is in store for you next!