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A Simple Beginning


Forward: They want me to do what? This is not what I signed up for! Often, in Christian circles especially, we are tossed into the deep end of service without any swimming lessons and absolutely no floatation devices and told, no expected, to just figure it out. I don’t want to be that kind of Christian. I want to be one that is known to lend a helping hand, one that throws that life-preserver out without hesitation in hopes of encouraging a fellow brother or sister in Christ to hold on for just a little longer. Help is on the way. You are not alone. Isaiah 43:1-2, “But now thus says the Lord, he created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”


Dedication

To my God. My Hiding Place. Psalm 91:1-2, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

To my husband. There is no one else in this whole-wide world I would rather journey through life with. You are the calm to my crazy. You are the quiet to my chaos. You, my love, are my knight in shining armor.

To my littles. O how you have taught me how to love! Mac, you have taught me of strength in kindness, the power of forgiveness and of going the extra mile without complaining. Gwennan, you have taught me that it’s ok to be exactly who God created you to be, the beauty of grace in action, and that a little spark can light up a whole room. The babies in my heart, the ones I’ve yet to hold, you have taught me to trust God’s perfect timing.

To my mom. Thank you for teaching me about the One True God. The God who is full of mercy, grace, love, and yes, righteousness. Your actions speak louder than any words could of the love of my Savior.

To my sister. You are my warrior. There has never been one battle that I have faced in my life without knowing that you would charge right in. You are fearless.

To all my fellow sisters in ministry. You are making a difference. Your life is impacting the kingdom of God for good. Do not let what the naysayers have to say distract you from who you know you are in Christ. Perfect, whole, loved, and worthy. Psalm 3:3, “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”


Where to Begin?


O, so you are a pastor’s wife? You must have a lot of time on your hands! O, you stay at home too? Wow! That’s great, we need you to be a room mom at your child’s school, volunteer for the nursery ministry, fill-in for the four and five’s class, counsel with Fran every Friday at 2, answer the phones, send emails, make dinner, keep the house clean for those unexpected visitors who are just “curious” about where you live, exercise, answer the phone in the middle of the night, and don’t forget, look perfect while doing it. Wait, what? Can we back up? It’s only Monday and I’ve only been a pastor’s wife for all of five minutes…O, you noticed that I didn’t say that I cut my children’s sandwiches into stars for lunch every day? That’s because I don’t. I buy, gasp, lunchables, but let’s stay focused here, ok?!

Sometimes serving in the ministry, scratch that, Serving in the ministry is just plain hard work. It is time consuming, energy sucking, at times incredibly painful, and I promise you, at some point, you will wonder if it is worth it. Is Jesus worth it? For fear of resorting to those dreaded Christian platitudes, I will encourage you…. To draw your own conclusion. Ha! Gotcha! That’s right, think for yourself! You can do it!


However, I will share with you what I have learned and experienced. I stand (well actually I’m sitting at the moment but you get what I’m saying) here today knowing that Jesus is worth it. Getting to serve Him is worth it all. Even if I sometimes declare it with a wobbly voice, mascara-streaked face, puffy eyes, and shaking knees, I promise, He. Is. Worth. It. I also promise you that you CAN do what He has called you to do. You will survive the immeasurable heat of the refining fire and you will finish your race. I can’t promise that you won’t have frizzy hair and sweat-stained pits when you finish. I can’t promise that you won’t fall. I can’t promise that you won’t tell God that you will settle for silver. But rest assured, you look good in gold. It’s timeless. Job 23:10, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”


A Simple Beginning


So, where do we begin? There is too much to do! I am overwhelmed!

Begin with Jesus.

I know you are totally surprised by this. It is insanely deep, you cannot comprehend this, you have never even thought about this. Yeah, I get it. I know what you are thinking. But hear me out ok? Sometimes the answer is the obvious choice. So stop rolling your eyes and begin with Jesus.

Martin Luther once said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Begin your day talking with Jesus. Wake up thinking of Him. Tell Him you are thinking of Him. Thank Him for the day and all that you have to do in your very busy day. Approach your to-do list like you approach brushing your daughter’s knotted hair: strategically, thoughtfully, vigorously, carefully, and tenderly.


Spend Time with Jesus Today: Today’s Devotion

Read: Proverbs 3:5-6

Consider: What powerful words to kick start your day! Proverbs 3:5a, says, “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart….” It is easy to trust God when everything is going your way, it is a bit more difficult when you are in the midst of a trial or facing the unknown. But God doesn’t change, even when we are in a storm. He is still God. The Bible doesn’t say trust God if you feel like it or if you understand what is going on. In fact, verse 5 goes on to say, “and do not lean on your own understanding.” Surrendering our will and control can be a scary thing, but it’s even more scary when we hold on to our own wants and desires and miss out on experiencing being in the perfect will of God. There is no detail of our lives, no part of our to-do lists, that is too small or insignificant for God to care about, verse 6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge him…” From the big decisions and chores, to the small, God wants to be a part of each part of your day. We need to trust Him and obey Him in all things, and when we look to the Lord, “he will make straight your paths.” Which means He won’t lead us in the wrong direction, He won’t have us start at the wrong part of our never -ending to-do’s, instead, He will guide us to be exactly where we are supposed to be at the exact time we are supposed to be there. I want to be right where God wants me. I have to trust Him to lead me and guide me and help me to get there. So must you.


To-Do: Write out/Comment your own thoughts on beginning with Jesus.




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