Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lean On Me

So much has been going on since my last post, and if you were one of the three comments made on my Pay It Forward post, your gift will be coming soon. Rest assured, you have not been forgotten! We have been traveling so much...well, at least I have. Jeff and I both had the opportunity to visit LifeSong Las Vegas recently and spend some time with our dear, dear friends Bobby and Britt Tyler. We have known them since we served in Dillon, SC almost five years ago. They are some of the people that God brings into your life that, once you first meet them, your hearts are bonded for life. They are like flesh and blood to us, so planting LifeSong Lyman and LifeSong Las Vegas has certainly been an extra special experience for our families. We are so excited to become adopted Uncle and Aunt to their new baby girl set to arrive in July. She will be one more loved on baby!
We so enjoyed our time spent encouraging them, loving on them and spending time with them in their work in Las Vegas. We're ready to hop the next plane back to see them soon!

We are so grateful for Jeff's parents and our sister-in-law, Renee, keeping Quinn for us, and for our sweet friends Beva and Barbie staying here in Lyman to keep the other girls. How blessed we feel to have them invest in our life in order for us to go!

A couple of days after we returned from LV, I packed up again and headed out to Nashville, TN with two of our Pastor's wives here at LifeSong Lyman for the Living Proof Live Minister's Wives Conference
done by Beth Moore. It was such a time of refreshing and encouragement to be in the same place as other pastor's wives, worshiping together as Travis Cottrell led, and just leaning on each other for love and fellowship. When Jeff and I were in seminary, the word always was, "Bless your heart. You'll be so lonely." In seminary, I never realized just how precious my days were there with other people in my same boat, with my same focus and just getting to live life with them in a safe place. Who knew that life "out there" would be so threatening, confusing, ups and downs, highs and lows?! Jeff and I wouldn't go back to seminary at all because neither of us felt it gave any practical word for what's really out there, but we would go back in a heartbeat for all of the relationships that God gave us that have continued to be our biggest source of encouragement. Because as life would go, I became that person that said, "yes, it is lonely." Now, if you are reading this and you have been in any church where we have served, please don't take this the wrong way. Never for one second would I change living my life with you, loving you and serving you. You are my life's calling! But, the truth is...ministry IS lonely. You move from place to place and you must make new friends. You make some. You lose some. You are the person that sometimes has to stand for the unpopular thing and you lose relationships because of it, or people just think you are way too serious. Well, I am! I am dead serious about seeing God change your life, but I sure have had a ball living it out! There is no amount of compromise that would make me think my life hasn't been a blast. The lonely times come when people say for you to be real and share and then when you do, you're told you shouldn't feel that way, or you'll get over it. Well, sometimes I don't want to get over it! Galatians 5:13,14 says, "For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love." That sooooo sums up how I feel. I love this life God has called my family and me to, and there are times when I want to kick and scream and NOT go, NOT do, NOT say what's right, but it's the times of "serving one another through love" that makes all else make sense to me. What an honor and privilege to serve those God has put in our life. It may mean risking "fitting in," being popular, or doing what I want to do from time to time, but the reward in the end of seeing lives changed is SO worth it. I love it. I love who God has put in our lives to serve alongside in this season in ministry. He alone has created a team that comes from every walk of life and in that walk they have seen God change them and use them, and they wanted MORE! Jeff and I feel so blessed to walk with them in this new journey in our lives. They uphold us, serve us, love us, teach us...OH, I could go on! What a blessing they are. Going on this trip to Nashville with Barbie and Lynn is something I will always cherish. Thank you, LifeSong, for allowing us to go. When you give us wings like that, we go away and come back fuller and better than we were when we left. We are so gratefull to serve you and be a part of your life. I am so grateful that God has given me three pastor's wives to lean on and call friend. They are truly special. God sure has used the last two weeks to fill our hearts. It was a chance to look around and, in some pretty hard times in our country, see that God IS on His throne and He IS changing lives and using people all over. What a challenge it is to go forward and be the best we can be!


Tricia said...


Alli said...

Oh, I so wish I could have gone to that conference! We had already booked leading worship at a marriage retreat when my seminary girlfriend reminded me that the conference was coming up and that she wanted our group from seminary to meet there! Don't get me wrong, the marriage retreat was wonderful, but part of my heart longed to be at this conference with my girls. I'm glad you got to go and that you were blessed. Thanks for sharing your heart.