After an almost eighteen month sabbatical, I’m finally coming back to writing! The past year and a half has been a whirlwind of change and activity as God knocked down obstacles, challenged us to shed old crutches and habits, and stretched us in new areas of ministry. It has been a season of preparation and our prayer through it all has been that God would make us “fit for service” so we could live a “life lived loud” instead of just a life in survival mode. We wanted to thrive and grow and be used by God in whatever means He saw fit. We are beginning to see the fruits of those prayers. Here’s a quick update to catch you up to all the changes and goings on:
1. One of the first major changes in my personal life was reading Made to Crave. This book defeated my idolatry to food and helped me see that God was my strength and strong tower, not doughnuts or brownies. He is all I truly need. I first went through the book with a friend. Then, in January, I assisted another friend of mine in teaching it at Morning Grace. Now God has opened the door to allow me to teach it at my own church to my dear sisters in the faith beginning next month. Teaching and being an active part of women’s ministry has always been an unfulfilled passion of mine so I am excited to see what God has in store for me as He gives me the desire of my heart. I’ve set up a Facebook group for those who would like to follow along online as we study the book in class. You can request to join the class here.
2. Our house has undergone a major transformation! As we prayed for God to make us fit for service, asking Him to remove anything that might hinder us from being effective in ministry, He quickly helped me see that Satan was effectively keeping me occupied within my own four walls, constantly battling clutter instead of reaching out to others. The devil is so cunning and crafty and he definitely had a stronghold in this area. I went through our belongings with a new level of determination, got to know my local Goodwill drop off crew members really well and finally took back control of our home. Last month I finished the final room in the house and we all feel like we can breathe again. Clutter sucks the life out of you and you really don’t even realize how much it takes away from living your life until you actually get rid of it all. This big step led to #3.
3. In the spring, we made a major move from our long-standing Community Group at church to a new group – one closer to our house, full of couples about ten years younger than we are. God is growing us as mentors, using us as examples (talk about accountability!), and stretching us into deeper roles of participation within the church. This week, we will also begin hosting our new Community Group at our house – something that would have been impossible to do eighteen months ago. What a testimony it is just to be able to tell the story of how God brought us to this place in our journey!
4. Gracie (our little future missionary) has been busy with a big project for Operation Christmas Child. Inspired by my friend’s son, who set a goal to pack 100 shoeboxes for OCC last year and then surpassed it with over 160 shoeboxes filled, Gracie decided that she wanted to pack 100 shoeboxes too. What started out as a little Facebook page to tell friends and family about this and her endless parade of other mission projects she gets involved in, has turned into a major display of God’s faithfulness and care for the heart of a ten year old girl. Gracie has over 120 fans on her Facebook page, Cup of Cold Water. She’s watched in amazement as God multiplied her efforts and provided $700 to pay the shipping costs for her 100 shoeboxes. She was overwhelmed by the number of people and the amount of items donated when she hosted an OCC packing party last month. Every day, when she walks in the front door, she’s greeted by 80+ shoeboxes stacked almost to the ceiling, waiting to be shipped to children around the world, all because she asked God to help her do something big with her very little. It is so exciting to see her faith come to life.
Over and over again, these past eighteen months have given us glimpses of the God of immeasurably more. Time and time again, we’ve given Him our hopes and dreams and plans, then watched as He blessed us with over and above our wildest imaginings. I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I know Who holds the future and He is willing able to do immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine. I’m excited to begin to write about all the things that God is doing!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21