Saturday, August 24, 2013

27, Flirty, and Thriving (dang I wish that rhymed)

Tomorrow I turn 27 years old. And today I accomplished a goal that I set two years ago, while I was pregnant with Lily. And this year was one of the best years of my life. Looking into what I thought this year would hold, I anticipated many hard days, but I never guessed the sum total would equal the best year. The best year. The most surprising year. The most demanding year. The growing pains year. The most humbling year. The sweetest year.

Ever since I was little I had this idea in my mind that being 27 years old would be “like so awesome.” It’s a sentiment very close to the idea that a young Jenna has about being 30, in the movie 13 Going on 30.  I always thought I would be so put together, I’d wear the cutest clothes (and for a time, I thought that meant tight mid drifts ((which I was not allowed to wear as a kid)) with over-all shorts and long hair that I would constantly be swishing back and forth like the best valley girl ever), I’d be dating or engaged to the most successful business man who wore a suit like a Ken doll, and I would drive a cherry red sporty car, I would have the coolest friends and we would do awesome things like roller skate and stay out all night.  But in all seriousness, 27 always seemed so illusive and so perfect. Now as I sit across from a little girl spilling and picking up popcorn over and over, a baby boy needing a nap, and my biggest little buddy runs around with a fresh haircut while my husband leads worship up at the church for one of three services this weekend….I know I was not only wrong about what the past year would be like, I have been wrong about everything I thought I wanted.

I thought that difficulty would always be bad. But ya know, this year I intentionally just let it sit. Just let it be, and gave myself the freedom to enjoy the big picture while I struggled through some zoomed in moments.  Below are a few highlights, a montage of the year if you will. You should start the youtube first and know that this would be my theme song for my montage, don't read into it--the song just gets me pumped up and the video makes me want to happy cry.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crafting, Quilting, And Other Myths of Women's Ministry.

So usually my lack of writing is from lack of time. Lately though, it’s been a lack of decision making skills. Right now I feel passionate about so many things. Because I am chronically indecisive when it comes to trivial things (if you have ever EVER gone out to eat with me, or even through a drive thru with me…you know this), I’m forcing myself to just pick one and start writing. So, since I am awaiting the kick off of another ministry year as well as preparing to go to a great women’s event this evening and another in a week or so…I pick ministry! More specifically I pick ministry in the lives of women. Aka…women’s ministry.

Over the past few months I’ve had the chance to talk to women from all backgrounds, living in all different parts of the country, in all different stages of life. Some of them are heavily involved in the church (my beautiful pastors wife sisters….haha I almost wrote sister wives, definitely not the same thing!), some  of them are deeply committed to the Church via para-church organizations, some of them aren’t so crazy about the Church.  But all these women love Jesus. Most of them love the Church. Only a handful love women’s ministry.

Some of you just cringed when you read the words “women’s ministry.” How do I know that? Because there was a time many moons ago, when I too held an unfair prejudice against women’s ministry. I carried around this idea that it was just a bunch of crafty, quilting, cliché, women. And of those women I was certain that I had nothing in common with any of them. But here’s the thing: I was so utterly wrong. I was wrong in four ways really, A)#1: I had the most important thing in common with them, I had Jesus in common with them. At the very very least, I would know more of Him from studying the Word with fellow believers. And…furthermore: there is nothing wrong with moms who craft, or grandmothers who quilt or even people who seem cliché. Those women love Jesus and they are comfortable and secure with who they are. Those two qualities are basically what we are all striving for, am I right? Thirdly, there are some amazing, super cool, women (both beside and ahead of you in life) in women’s ministry. So perhaps….I don’t know…just maybe…instead of hoping that some super amazing older woman will randomly walk into your life to shepherd and encourage you and teach you….maybe you should just take advantage of all the women who are already at your disposal. Fourth and finally, (and this one is going to be harsh, but truthful. And I should also say that I am saying this to both my past and present self just as much, if not more than I say it to you) Get over yourself. Bible study, fellowship, accountability, prayer, worship, friendship: which of these things is so below you?

You have no idea what you are missing out on. Sign up for study at your church and give it a fair chance. And if you go to my church…I will unashamedly tell you that our women’s ministry is the healthiest one I’ve ever been a part of. I can’t emphasize it enough. Don't miss out!

Friday, August 2, 2013

July Reflection

Three years ago at this time I was shell shocked and nervous and scared.

Two years ago at this time I was full of fear living on the edge of panic.

One year ago at this time I was crushed and afraid and secretive.

Three years ago at this time, I was scared because He had given me a child.

Two years ago at this time, I was scared because He had taken one away already.

One year ago at this time, I was scared because He had given me back two fold, what I once feared would never be again.

Three years ago at this time, Lyric had just been born and had an unexpected surgery and we moved across the country.

Two years ago at this time, I found out I was pregnant with Lily and scared out of my mind that I would have another miscarriage and that I would never carry another of our children to term again.

Three years ago at this time, I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant with Fletcher, everything about my plans made sense and nothing about this surprise seemed to work in my mind, I was terrified about what the future would be like.

This summer I realized that all my fears had been proven wrong. The teeny tiniest seeds of belief from those times have been blessed beyond what I ever imagined.

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45, ESV)