Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Let the Busyness Begin...

I can feel that Fall is coming. We've reached the point when all the "new stuff" of the year seems to be starting or starting back up. I'm thrilled about it all though. We have several new ministry things on the plate. For one, Joel and I will be starting a new community group at our church this September, which is certainly what God has for us right now. It will be for young couples, and God hasn't yet shared with us who those couples will be - apart from our good friends Mike and Ame Hansen. So I'm SO excited to see what all God has in store for the group. I'll keep you posted on here, because I have a suspicion God has great things in mind. The women's fall Bible studies are starting in a couple of weeks. Mom and I have been busy organizing those, and yesterday we had a party for all of the ladies who will be teaching this fall. If I haven't said it before, this place has an amazing women's ministry, and we gathered together for about an hour and a half yesterday afternoon to fellowship, pray, and really celebrate the stories God has given us about what a blessing women's Bible studies have been in our lives. Which leads me to this....

I am not at all pleased with how my public speaking skills went yesterday. Before I dropped off Jonah at my sweet friend's house and headed to the meeting, I ran into Chick-fil-A to get us some lunch. We waited in a long line, and when we got up to the place of being the next one to be helped, Jonah has to go to the bathroom. So we get out of line, take him to the potty, and come back to find an even longer line than before, and we waited through that. Ah, the joys of having a big-boy who's not quite big enough to hold it for TWO MORE MINUTES. Anyway, that's really beside the point. Here's the real story: When I dropped off Jonah at my friend's house so I could attend the meeting, I discovered that my car wouldn't start, and I ended up being late to my own event. Fun times. I was the last one there. And I was the first to speak at the podium. I was actually out of breath. I must have come across as extremely nervous, and I can see why, but I truly wasn't nervous at all. I LOVE sharing my story....God has made me so passionate about this, so it's easy to talk about. However....something happened yesterday. I didn't speak well, I left out entire chunks of my talk so I know I didn't "wrap it all up" well, and I was trying to catch my breath for the first ten minutes. I realize this may not sound like abnormal behavior to any of who you despise public speaking, but I was a communication major in college!!! If my professors could have seen me yesterday, they'd have been REAL SAD, I just know it. Well, once I moved past my introduction/welcome into the time I was sharing about my own personal experience of what Bible study has meant to me (which perhaps I'll blog about soon), things were going much better. Until I started CRYING. I made mention of one name - Betty Whistler - and the tears came. I was not prepared for them at all. And all I could think was, This is SO cliche. Crying at a women's meeting at church? It's to be expected. But I was NOT going to do it. I was going to be peppy, upbeat, cheery, all "YAY God! YAY Bible Study!" Somehow, I don't think my overwhelming tears (and I do mean the kind of tears that you can't talk through) conveyed that message. It was an experience, to say the least. A humbling one. One that I have to trust God with. I felt prepared, confident, and then WHAM came the car trouble, the tardiness, and things I really couldn't control. So I am making the choice - even though I am rather disappointed in my delivery yesterday - to trust that maybe God had someone there who needed to see that, who needed to see someone leading who didn't look like they had it all together. Maybe it was a teacher who was doubting their skills and wondering if they were doing the right thing by leading a study when they didn't feel they communicated well or had the gift of teaching. Then, they better have been convinced!!! Because that was not fun to be put through. =)

I feel like the Lord has brought that truth to light in my life before....that sometimes someone I minister to in my home needs to see a home that is not Pottery Barn. Not perfectly decorated, put together, or ridiculously clean. Sometimes that meets them right where they are and is a better environment for communicating God's love to them. I know I am encouraged and downright blessed when I see people use their homes to express God's love and hospitality even when their house isn't this perfectly decorated Parade of Homes-type house. Interesting how He works that way sometimes.

Anyway, back to yesterday's event...apart from my speaking-craziness, I really consider the day a success. God received so much praise for what He has done in people's lives, and it really was the pep rally we needed to get excited about what God is going to do when our Bible study classes begin in a couple of weeks. I've been getting really excited about mine. I've spent the last several days typing and organizing notes in preparation, and I keep running into people who tell me how huge of a topic (anxiousness, fear, worry, panic, etc.) it is, how they have been delivered from MAJOR fear in their lives. It's something God absolutely loves to free us from, so those who have gone there with Him really have some amazing stories. And I've been blessed by hearing a few of those lately. I am praying for the ladies who will be joining me on this study. I know a few of them personally, and I already know they are going to have incredible insight into the real freedom that God gives from these struggles. I've seen them live it. I can't wait to be in class with these women. Only two more weeks!

This weekend, my brother and his wife and kiddos will be coming for a visit. I. can't. wait. It's been way too long since I've seen them. Well, it's been just over a month since we saw Nathan, but I haven't seen the others since the first weekend of May, and I do believe that four months is the longest I've EVER gone without seeing them. Blake and Amy, I'm hurting for you guys to get here!!! I know some of you think that's crazy for me to be sad about not seeing them in four months, and I would just tell you that you don't know this family, and you didn't have The Best Brother in the Whole World as your brother. (He was actually voted that by a few of my friends in high school, I remember. It's official. So, there.)

I just felt like starting the morning by going over all of the exciting new things happening in the next several weeks. Hope you're not too bored. Forgot to mention that next week is the Children's Clothing Consignment Sale!!! I'm volunteering to work at it this time, so that I can go to the earliest preview sale with my friends. Hoping I find some good stuff! Oh, who am I kidding. Of course, I'll find good stuff I want. I suppose I'm really hoping I can afford all the good stuff I find. If you're wondering what this sale is, here you go. Oh yeah, and here is their actual website.

Happy Ending-of-Summer!


Becky said...

Sounds like you have a lot of exciting things going on! It was nice to hear from you when I saw your post to my blog. Hope you guys are doing well!!