I have a confession to make … I am craving comfort … and the more I give in to that craving, the stronger it gets.
I am finding though, that in this deep need for comfort, I am truly experiencing God as my Comforter. I am in awe of how good He has been to us and yet I continue to desperately need Him, more and more every day.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lakewood has graciously allowed us to park on an empty lot they purchased ten years ago, which sits next to their church. Actually, this lot isn’t completely empty. On it sits a run-down duplex that is filled with items the church is storing.
Boy, does it need help.
We are in the process of talking to the right people to see if we can clear it out so that we can use the space. We’d love to have a little more living space and also a place to do ministry out of as we wait on God’s timing to build a permanent ministry center.
Yesterday, my head was spinning going over all the things that need to take place for this to happen. Anxiety crept into my heart and thoughts. How on earth are we going to do this? This will take an enormous amount of work & where will we move all this stuff?
Then selfishness reared its ugly head, “I wanted to have a summer to myself … to do fun “Colorado” things. I’m not even done with grading school from last year, how will I accomplish all this, when my life is already crazy?”
Then, this morning as I sat with the Lord, He led me to Matthew 6:25-34 and the gist of this passage is …
DO NOT WORRY!
It says this three times and trust me – I needed it - otherwise it wouldn’t sink into my thick skull. God knows this about me.
Ok Lord. This isn’t a nice suggestion; it’s a command. “Do not worry about your life”.
Immediately after reading it, God brought to mind a conversation I had with Jay yesterday. During that conversation, I said “No” to an opportunity to work with an organization in Denver that has a plan to end homelessness. We were invited to be a small part that would require a once a month commitment for six months. No? Why would I refuse?
In one short word - worry.
I didn’t realize it at the time. Not until God brought it front and center did I see what was lurking deep in my heart.
As Jay brought the opportunity to me, all I could think about was the future, the work needed on the duplex, commitments we have already made, desires I had to get involved in other ministries (other than homelessness), and homeschooling – doesn’t that give me a pass? Most of my life is spoken for and if I keep adding, there will be nothing left for me, for free time, hobbies, outdoor activities, friends, etc.
Isaiah 58 is powerful and it came blazing into my mind. Verse 10 says, “If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.”
Thank you, Lord, for freshly convicting me and reminding me of this.
So, what does it mean to spend? It means to use up, empty, exhaust, deplete … nothing of which speaks comfort or ease.
So, if I do not worry about my life and spend myself on behalf of the hungry, oppressed, downtrodden … He will bring me comfort, he will guide me, and strengthen me. He will provide what is needed to accomplish what is necessary each day.
He will be my Comforter.
We arrived in Colorado almost two weeks ago.
It’s surreal. We are here to stay. I can’t get my head around that … stay in one place … make our home here?
Comforting, but strange.
Four years of being mobile and now we are settling down. I actually wouldn’t call it “settling down” in the traditional sense. We have a desire to build a ministry center in or near Denver. It’s a big dream, one that can only be accomplished by God Himself – certainly not by us. Yes, we are partnering with God, but we are completely at His mercy as we are throwing ourselves into the unknown.
This feels much bigger than leaving the comfort of Atlanta and moving into an RV four years ago. It feels bigger than writing a book and small group study. A good friend said to me the other day as I was unloading some of my apprehensions on her, “Remember … remember all that God has brought you through in the past … He will do it again.” I needed that reminder.
We are temporarily staying in an RV park, but we are trusting God to open doors for a place we can park in the interim, while we are making plans for the P2A Passion Center. To give you a little window into my thoughts and prayers … here is an excerpt from my journal:
“Oh, Lord, we are scared and overwhelmed. Will you provide? Will you show up? We believe You will. We are trusting, but sometimes my faith is wobbly, unsteadied by the mountain before us. But, YOU are GOD … I remind myself. We have prayed fervently and believe You have led us here. Even if we made a mistake or didn’t hear correctly, will You honor faith? We are stepping off a huge cliff, doing the opposite of what is safe and comfortable. We want to see You show up and glorify Yourself through this. This is not about us – never has been. More than anything, we have wanted to reflect You, a crazy, relentless God who loves all people and wants us to trust Him with our whole lives. Lord, if you don’t come through, we have nothing! No back-up plan! We desperately want to be used by you. We want to bring glory and honor to your name. How can that happen if we set out to accomplish something that only we can do? It can’t. Only when we intentionally place ourselves at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the unknown, and jump – can we truly see Your power. We are free falling right now Lord – this minute. We feel the effects as our stomachs are in our throats, our breath is taken away and yet there’s an undeniable peace, knowing YOU are GOD!”
We need your prayers more than ever, friends.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparable great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come.”
I feel incredibly grateful for my kids. They are truly an inspiration to me.
Surprisingly, they have adapted well to our RV lifestyle and have let the minor inconveniences we experience on a daily basis shape their character – rather than make them bitter or resentful. They are more patient with one another, thankful for the little things, adaptable, helpful, understanding, and all around fun kids.
You would think after three years in an RV that someone would say, “Enough! I want a house!” but they haven’t.
That amazes me.
Unfortunately, I can’t take the credit for the qualities I see in them. Lord knows the mistakes I’ve made. Let’s face it – on my own, I’m inadequate! But, it’s those inadequacies that have made me desperate before God, which is a good thing. I need Him to daily show me how to nurture and raise each of my kids, with their unique personalities, interests, dreams, and passions – in an RV – with a very unique and transient lifestyle.
Parenting isn’t easy. It’s incredibly rewarding, but definitely not easy. Homeschooling is wonderful, but easy – absolutely not! Traveling full-time also has its challenges, but the benefits and blessings are plentiful.
Life on the road has been good to all of us and none of us regret making the decision to leave the “American Dream”. This life has taught us valuable life lessons that we wouldn’t trade – not even for a minute. Of course, there are things about our “old life” that we miss – who wouldn’t? But, if you ask any one of us if given the chance, we would like to go back, the answer is a resounding, “No!”
God has given each of us a love for service, a love for people, a love for traveling, and a desire to teach the message of using what you are gifted and passionate about to serve others ... and for that I am grateful.
Those of you who support our ministry will have read this in our monthly newsletter. I thought for this month that I would post the update on my blog to let you all in on our time in Colorado.
We took our first plunge into winter during the month of February and boy was it cold! We drove from sunny California to Colorado the last weekend of January and arrived just in time to experience high temps that were below zero. Of course, the kids didn’t mind, because along with it came buckets of snow, which also meant hours of sledding!!
The purpose of this long road trip in our Honda Pilot was primarily for Bekah, Abigail and Noah to get their spacers off and for the girls to get their braces on. This was all possible because of the generosity of Dr. Beaber in Highlands Ranch, CO. A huge thank you to Dr. Beaber and his wonderful staff.
This trip, however, would not have been feasible without our friends, the Stensgards, who graciously allowed us to stay in their home the entire month. We tried to be as helpful as possible, as we arrived a few days before they left on their 12-day mission’s trip to Kenya, Africa. We definitely enjoyed the opportunity to spread out in their home, eat meals at the same table and have high pressure showers!
While we were there, we continued to work diligently on the P2A Small Group Study and we also completed two of the seven videos we are doing to compliment the study.
We also had the opportunity to share our story at the Church Next Door, a home church in Reunion, CO. The Pastor, Jay Williams, found us on-line and invited us to come and speak to their gathering of roughly 20 people. We really enjoyed our time with Jay's family and his church.
The last weekend we were in Colorado we attended a youth retreat at Crooked Creek Ranch a Young Life Camp in Fraser, CO just outside of Winter Park. Our friends the Lyrek's (pictured above) drove from Minnesota to join us for the weekend. We all enjoyed skiing together at Winter Park.
We are currently back in California parked at Newport Dunes RV Resort. The manager of the park, Rick, has graciously allowed us to park here for free until March 19th. We then head to Temecula, CA to work with a small group who will be working through our new study.
You might think that life on the road allows you to hop and skip from one pleasurable event to the next. In reality, on most days, our life doesn’t look much different than yours. In our day-to-day life, we keep busy working, homeschooling, and doing all the regular chores that come with having a family.
There are definitely those moments, though, that an opportunity comes along and we savor and squeeze all that we can get from it. One moment for me was having my closest friend, Crista Walton, and her daughter, Brittany, visit us from Atlanta, GA (pictured above). Crista and I have had a longing to reconnect for months and we prayed, sometimes tearfully, that God would make a way for us to be together. Her husband, being the amazing man that he is, graciously put her on a plane headed for Colorado!
The big surprise was that she was bringing her daughter, Bekah’s very best friend, too. Bekah was about to get the best birthday gift she had ever received and we kept our lips sealed. Their reunion was beautiful! Check out a video we shot of it by clicking here. They day after they arrived, Crista and I drove 2 hours up to Toth Ministries (trying desperately not to leave skid marks) to spend some much-needed time with the Lord, recharging and reconnecting with one another.
Needless to say, our week was absolutely refreshing, reenergizing, powerful and deep. The kids also had a blast with Brittany. And Jay, I’ll just say that he survived! Being a single-parent to five kids is not really his thing, but he made it! A huge thank you to our friend and board member, Randy Walton, for understanding our deep need and meeting it.
This was sent to me from a friend. I liked it and thought it was fitting, so I thought I would pass it on to you.
When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games ... To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means. - Brennan Manning
We spent the month of August in Colorado getting some much-needed family time. The month went by quickly as we managed to fit in time with friends, a few ministry meetings, and some good family fun. We hiked, biked and jumped in the icy cold Golden River, which was a highlight! Our family is always up for an adventure and Colorado sure provided that.
After leaving Colorado, we stopped in Moab, UT en route to California. The landscape was spectacular! We spent two days hiking and enjoying God’s creation in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.
There are many things I love about our life, and this is one of them. Getting to see our magnificent country as we travel from state to state is educational and exhilarating! It’s a definite perk!
We arrived in Rancho Cucamonga on September 4th and have already been here for six weeks.
Where has the time gone?
We have seen God’s hand move in the hearts of people at The Vine church. He is definitely at work here and it’s exciting to be a part of what He is doing. We have seen marriages in the process of restoration, hearts getting ignited for God, people finding their passion and gifting, others getting excited about serving and many understanding how to serve with dignity.
The pastor, Jeff Evans, is hysterically funny and we have enjoyed his style of teaching. He seems to have an uncanny ability of mixing convicting truth with gut-busting humor. It’s powerful! It has also been encouraging to feel Jeff’s support and to have he and his family in our Dignity Serves class on Tuesday nights.
We have met many wonderful, friendly, kind, hospitable people who have welcomed our family with open arms. Their kindness has felt like a warm hug to us all as we have shared meals and fellowship with them. The kids have also enjoyed time with friends, sleepovers, and attending youth group and our whole family was even treated to a day at Disneyland!
In all honesty, meeting new people is the most significant perk for our family. Our lives have been changed and challenged and we are grateful beyond belief that we get to hear stories and share life with many people from all over the country - people our lives would have never intersected with.
After our time with The Vine is done, we will continue to stay in Rancho Cucamonga for November and December. We are thankful to have been offered a place to park the RV, as we knew it would be difficult to get booked over the holidays. We hope to spend that time adding the finishing touches to our book and possibly writing our own curriculum.
We are thankful for all of you and for the constant support we receive!
Approximately one year ago, my 13-year-old daughter, Bekah requested that we check into braces. Her teeth had bothered her for some time, but she finally admitted the depth of her desire to me. Poor girl inherited my teeth and I understood her feelings completely.
We had checked into getting braces before and were told it was impossible with our lifestyle and the fact that we are constantly on the move and not able to come in to the same office for routine adjustments.
Bekah was discouraged, but decided to pray daily and ask God for braces. I told her I would pray along with her and we would wait and see how God answers.
Bekah’s faith never waivered and she prayed diligently.
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago when one afternoon after a visit with our friends, the Stensgards, I asked 14-year-old Brooke who her orthodontist was. Her mom, April, also has braces so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask and see if their doctor would look at Bekah and give us advice.
When April went in for her next appt., she told Dr. Beaber our predicament and asked if he would be open to seeing us. I was thankful that April paved the way because I didn’t want to travel down this road again only to be sorely disappointed and told that it was impossible.
Amazingly enough, Dr. Beaber has traveled quite extensively and knows other orthodontists around the country who could help us if we needed adjustments or if we had an emergency. We also found out that he uses the Damon System, which would also work to our advantage. We were excited and made the consultation appointment.
Dr. Beaber met with us and evaluated Bekah, Abi & Noah and explained the crowding and other issues with their teeth and he explained the system he uses.
We immediately felt comfortable with him and felt so thankful for the hours he spent with our family and how thorough he was. We were impressed by his wealth of knowledge, but in the back of our minds wondered what the bill would be and how we would be able to afford it.
At the end of the consultation, he looked up at us and explained that he is part of a foundation that helps families get braces, who normally couldn’t afford it. I thought, “That’s us!” He went on to say that he wanted to offer Bekah, Abi and Noah spacers and then for the girls to get braces in 6 months at absolutely no cost to us!
Both Jay & I were overcome by emotion and our eyes filled with tears!! I looked over at Bekah and her chin was on the floor! We were all in amazement! Then I looked at Dr. Beaber and saw tears in his eyes and realized that he was moved as well. It was truly a God-moment!
We are unbelievably grateful for the generosity of Dr. Beaber and to our Amazing Heavenly Father who hears our every prayer and cares about even the smallest details of our lives.
I am also thankful for Bekah and for her unwavering faith!
Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Lord, help me to have unwavering faith! Thank you for this magnificent display of your greatness!
Please check out Dr. Beaber and his amazing staff!
… that is the question!
The dynamics of our time in MN were much different than usual. We not only had Wayzata Free Church, but also family and old friends to divide our time among. It was an incredible time and it has been good to sit back and reflect on what God did … and also what He wants to teach us and grow us in.
June & July seemed to go by at lightening speed! Somehow, we managed to keep our heads above water, but just barely.
Let’s just say that leaving margin in our lives is not something we are good at. We tend to overbook and overcommit on a regular basis and I am more and more realizing that this is something we need to address.
We spent our two months in MN sharing at the Adult Sunday School class at church (actually Jay shared and I listened), leading Dignity Serves class each Wednesday evening, participating in the Thursday night outreach to Maple Hill Estates mobile home park (where we were parked), and doing 3 service projects with the church. Then, we moved the RV to Plymouth Covenant Church early one Sunday morning to share at their 3 services and also with their high school group, youth group & we also met with their serving team. In the midst of all of that, we proceeded to book up every extra moment with family & friends … and believe it or not … we didn’t fit everything in!
Our busy schedule is a choice we make and I am fully aware that we can make the choice to say “no”, but for some reason that word rarely comes out of our mouths.
The reason this concerns me is because when we run too hard, we get exhausted and can’t give our best to the most important things … our amazing Heavenly Father and each other. Our time with the Lord suffers, we skip date nights, put off family time and disciple night and everything else takes priority.
If I were to take a stab at why we fall into this time and time again … I think it’s mostly because we are in an area only 2 months and we want to soak up each and every opportunity that we have to do community with the people we are with.
Another reason I think we tend to overbook is that we are very social and we don’t like to miss out on anything! Heaven forbid people get together and we’re not there! We want to do it all!!!
The struggle to say no is so intense because the time we spend is rich and rewarding. We all make friends, enjoy deep conversation and lots of laughs and we often get to enjoy fun outings as well. It all seems so “good”, yet is it “best” that we continue to book ourselves so tightly, leaving very little margin?
Isn’t this something we all struggle with? It seems most people I talk to are running on all cylinders. Sadly, it seems that busyness is the American way.
I think that no matter what line of “work” you are in there is a struggle to slow down, to keep your priorities in order and to not overcommit. I think we all have to make this choice and it’s something we face daily. The demands of our lives can be so great and it’s easy to let busyness steal our lives.
We left MN on July 31st and are now parked in Golden, CO and will be here through August to take a “breather” before we head to Rancho Cucamonga, CA for 2 months.
We spent the first 5 days with our dear friends who were visiting from MN, the Lyreks, and their friends from Highlands Ranch, CO, Randy & April Stensgard. The first night we pulled in, we unknowingly crashed their youth group where about 40+ kids were attending. We met the Stensgards (youth pastor & his family) and then they allowed us to park in front of their house for the night. That’s one sure way to become fast friends!
We ended up parking at their house for 2 days because the RV park was booked and we couldn’t get in until the following day. So, Tuesday, we decided to drive the RV up 14,000 feet to Estes Park with a total of 16 people (which includes our family)! That was quite an experience! We all had a blast and it was worth the effort!
We dropped everyone off and got to the RV park in Golden by 1am. Whew! We were exhausted! We still had to get everything hooked up, slides out and beds made. It was a long night and one of those times I wished I could just crawl into my bed without dealing with all the RV hassle!
I won’t bore you with the many things we have found to fill our schedule these last 11 days. The point is that rest and being still eludes us.
I have been wondering if it is possible to “be” when your RV is wrapped and it draws people to your door multiple times a day, when you have 4 kids, homeschooling & life to do, when “ministry” has no set hours and the work is never done.
I think (or should I say … hope) so!
I am reminding myself of what truly matters in life, to inhale deeply and enjoy our breathtaking surroundings, to take one day at a time and listen to my Father tell me when to stop and when to pull away and be still.
Right now I am sitting on a park bench with the breeze blowing and the sound of the rushing river in the distance. It’s truly amazing here and being surrounded by mountains gives me a deep calmness and peace. I am in awe of our Creator and so thankful for life and breath. I don’t want to rush through this life and miss the best that He has for me.
I am on this journey of learning how to “be” in the midst of our life and to pull back when needed. I am learning to listen to His still small voice beckoning me to set aside my Martha personality and to be like Mary and sit at His feet.
This life is a journey for all of us and there won’t be any do overs! A great reminder for me today, what about you?
It’s been WAY too long since I last blogged! The more time that has passed, the harder it’s been to even think about catching you up on what’s been happening in my life. I have no idea where to even begin and I’m not even sure that I could encapsulate a month & ½ into one blog.
First of all, I realized something about myself. Although I love writing, it is challenging for me to find the time to crank out multiple blogs each week. That was my initial goal, anyway, and what I thought was needed to be a “good blogger”, but it looks like I’m failing miserably so I think I need to change that objective a bit!
Ok, now that the pressures off, I will feel free to update you when time allows and not feel guilty when I can’t … and not compare myself to my enthusiastic blogging friends!!!
So, while my intentions have been great, I have struggled to “schedule” this and many other things in my life because … let’s face it … our life is fairly unconventional!! We are constantly adjusting and tweeking our life to flow with the location and the people we are with and doing that takes a lot of flexibility, spontaneity and a willingness to let go of my plans or ideas of how I think things should happen!
I do, however, tend to live with one foot in each world. In the one, I crave routine and predictability – in the other, I am thrilled with change and spur-of-the-moment plans. I have found that as long as the “big rocks” (schooling the kids, dates with Jay, family time, etc.) are in place in my life, I am able to welcome the unpredictable part of our life.
One thing I do know is that God has been teaching me flexibility for years through my husband and kids … and you’d think I would have it down by now! I’m sure you would all agree that family life can be pretty unpredictable at times! Just when I think I am going to have a spare moment, something happens that changes my course. But those moments are often the joys of life!
I’ll never forget how my sister used to literally drop the vacuum (or whatever she was doing) and plop herself down on the floor immediately after one of her toe-headed, bright-eyed children would sweetly request that mommy read them a book. As a young girl, that made a huge impression on me! Her kids knew they were a priority. Do my kids KNOW they are a priority? Am I willing to drop the "vacuum" and allow those unscheduled moments to happen? That’s a question I always have to ask myself and sometimes I don’t like the answer.
As one friend recently said to me as I confessed that I am always striving for balance in my life, “Perfect balance in life probably won’t be achieved while your kids are under your roof. (She giggled while she said this to me, but I wasn’t seeing the humor! This was earth- shattering news!) She continued, “You can’t “schedule” when your child needs time to talk to you. You can’t “plan” when a crisis will hit or when your time will be needed for something urgent.” (Ah hah moment!) “Balance may happen wonderfully one week and then the next week, everything seems to interrupt it!” That’s so true! Yes, I have lived this and I know this to be true … but for some reason I keep thinking that I could one day come up with the perfect schedule and everything in my life would run like clock work. Not!
So, as my life ebbs and flows and as I focus on my priorities, and allow myself to stay open, flexible and available for God to direct me or “interrupt” my day – I will trust that God knows what’s best for me and I will see these diversions or interruptions as His direction for me.
I love this quote!
“Interruptions can be viewed as sources of irritations or opportunities for service, as moments lost or experience gained, as time wasted or horizons widened. They can annoy us or enrich us, get under our skin or give us a shot in the arm. Monopolize our minutes or spice our schedules, depending on our attitude toward them.” William Arthur Ward
What "vacuum" needs to be dropped in your life? Drop that vacuum (as my sister did) and allow yourself to be open to those interruptions that God brings into your life!
Sometimes I wonder why God gave me such a sensitive heart. At times I feel like it’s a blessing and then there are times that I want to turn it off & not feel anything for a while!
I easily attach to people and find myself blending my life with theirs effortlessly. Unfortunately, though, I always have to say good-bye (didn’t I mention this already … it seems like a biggie for me).
Wouldn’t it be easier if I just had the ability to detach? What if I just left a wall up and didn’t let people in … then I wouldn’t have to feel the pain in my heart when I have to hug them for the last time, not knowing if we will see each other again.
But, that’s not how God made me! I feel EVERYTHING and making life-long friendships fills my cup.
Our five weeks in Lafayette, IN did just that … it filled my cup to overflowing! The relationships we made were rich and transparent and filled with intimate conversations and lots of gut-busting laughter! How, you may wonder, does that happen in such a short time? We call it “friendships on steroids”! I think because we know we only have a short time, we dive in and hold nothing back. Really though, it’s only rich if those we meet do the same … and they did just that!
We met new friends, shared at Growth Groups, led a 6 wk. study, spoke at church, experienced a full-day service project w/ Covenant, enjoyed several dinner invites and youth activities, went to the Indy 500 Carburetion Day, had a tour of Purdue … oh … and had the wrap finally completed and installed on the RV. All of this was combined with finishing up our last weeks of school! It was a whirlwind to say the least, but we enjoyed every single minute!
What I will always have in my heart are the friendships, the memories of our times together, and the words that people spoke to me. Our goal is to inspire others, but inevitably I end up inspired by those God graciously allows our paths to cross.
It seems that when I keep an open heart and mind, my Heavenly Father always has something for me … something to teach me, someone who speaks life giving words and inspiration, something that refines my life in one way or another. God continues to mold and shape my life through the people we meet.
This month I tasted such a sweet outpouring of love & compassion. I walked away feeling as though I gained more than I had given.
For me, one of the highlights of our time was the way the people of Covenant went into action on our service day at Schuyler Ave. Apts. Because it was a holiday weekend, I estimated about one-third of the turnout we had. It was nothing short of amazing to watch roughly 130 people digging, planting flowers, painting, scraping, making friends and doing many other jobs. Because of the relationship and service that the Landrums began as a post-prison outreach, the church came together in an amazing fashion to serve alongside the residents and to show them the love of God tangibly and without words.
The most important thing about that day was that we were careful to keep the resident’s dignity. What can so often, yet unintentionally, happen during service projects is that those we serve can end up feeling like they are “less than”, which often brings shame and embarrassment. Again, it’s unintentional (I know from experience), but it does more harm than good. We have learned (the hard way) to find out what their skills, abilities, and dreams are and then join together with them to accomplish a goal. This is much more dignified and balanced than one-directional service projects, which often create an unhealthy dependency. We are certainly not experts and we have made our share of mistakes, but God continues to teach us how to love people the way He does.
We had an overwhelming response from the residents, who said things like, “I gave up on church because all the church does is talk, talk, talk. I could get into this because you guys are living it.” (“You guys” meaning Covenant Church).
Another resident said they expected maybe five people to show up and that he was overwhelmed with gratitude.
Although our family can’t stay and continue the relationship that has begun, Covenant Church is making lasting friendships and an on-going commitment with the people of Schuyler Ave.
My friend, Natalie Snapp, who is an incredibly writer (and I secretly envy that about her) captures the day so well with her words. Her blog is www.mommyonfire.com. The title is “Faith Without Works IS Dead”.
As I close this, there are many thoughts and emotions still swirling around inside me. As tempting as it is, clinging to the past and wanting to stay in a safe place with effortless friendships is not an option. I must instead keep an open heart to the future, knowing that He can and will do incredible things over and over again.