Friday, October 3, 2014

A Peak Into What's to Come

Friends....

Oh Sweet Friends....

There's been something in the works for quite some time that I was SO GOSH DARN afraid to share.  I was afraid if I put it out there and it didn't work out, well, then that's just another thing I claimed I would do but didn't follow through on.

I've had this dream for a little while now, one that I've been fine tuning, pruning, and then handing back over to God so He could redo all the mess I tangled it up in.  But anyhoooo... it's almost ready, but I really felt the urgency to get it out there; to make it known, and to fight the doubt and have faith in myself and in my God for what's in store.

Welcome my newest adventure...


So what is Sweet Tea & Company?

Well, you're going to have to wait and find out a little more, but basically Sweet Tea & Company stems from the times I was discipled over tea time with my friend & mentor Linda.

Sweet Tea & Company is kind of made up of many things, many of which will be announced so wonderfully soon (giveaways included), but for starters, Sweet Tea & Company is a piece of my heart that cries out for discipleship with other women over my absolute favorite thing... TEA.

So stay tuned.  I promise I'll spill all the details.  I'm so excited to share this wild new adventure my family is going on and where Sweet Tea & Company will take us, until then, enjoy a cup of tea on me, or if you're in Sunny So Cal, an ice cold glass of Sweet Tea!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

People


My room is messy, there are 51 bajillion other things I am supposed to be doing right now, and yet all I can do right now is write out what's been on my heart these past weeks.

Today I sat in a Bible Study with a group of women.  It's been a while since I allowed myself to do that.

I've been mad for a while at the idea of community.  I craved it so much that I forced it into the image I thought it should be, leaving me hurt, angry, and used for others gain and glory.  I became judgmental and wishing I could run away and start all over.

In the Bible Study, I had to answer the question....

"What is the driving force of your life?"  I prayed about that for a while.  I sat with my head in my hands and sang the words, "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe..." and the answer popped into my head to the question....

People.

People are the driving force in my life.  Both in a good way, and both in a negative way.

People have driven the way I looked at life and choices I've made.  I do most of my life for people.  I know I was meant to serve.  I feel most alive when I'm put to work for the betterment of people.  I also feel most dead when I've allowed people to affect me so much that when they fail me, I give up.

And so, today I realized something.  Although God has so gifted me with the strengths to serve people, to thrive on the uncomfortability of helping others, He has not called me to be driven by them.  He has called me to be driven by Him; to love him with an abandonment that then flows my ability to serve people.

Community is messy.  Community is made up of a group of people who will mess up, drop the ball, or down right hurt, but Community is founded on the sacrifice grounded in love.  A love that is patient.  A love that is kind.  A love that does not envy.  A love that does not boast, and is not proud.  A love that is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  A love that does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  A love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  (I Corinthians 13:4-7)

I'm on this adventure.  One that has me getting a good dose of conviction and reality.  One that has me so wildly chasing after Christ that I can sometimes get running so fast I leave people behind.  In this race of life set before me, I know that community, and running alongside people is what we're made to do, and that means laying myself down, letting my gifts be used for people but driven by the desire to make known the Greatness of a God who so graciously runs with me, even when I act like the very pharisee's I judge.

So here I am.  Vulnerably working towards setting aside my judgments and my safety nets.  I'm letting go of the protocols and systems meant to put up walls that keep me from doing the very thing I love to do and pursuing people again, because when I pursue them, I pursue Christ.


For more on community and that joys, challenge, and God's heart on women living well with each other, check out The Tapestry Blog for 31 Days of Exploring Community.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

simply an adventure


August 13th, 2008 everything changed for us.

I was sitting in a chair next to a desk in the triage room waiting for the results.  She was young, but she was gentle and kind.  A breath of fresh air from other doctors I had been seen by.  She grabbed my hand and apologetically told me I lost my baby.

I nodded my head and struggled to fight back the tears.  I didn't want her to know just how broken I felt inside.  She looked up at my husband who was standing on the other side of me, then walked away giving us some time to grieve before she would process all the details of exactly what was going on inside my body.

I lost it.

I sunk in the chair and weeped uncontrollably.  This baby I had prayed for and wanted so badly was gone and eventually I would be an empty womb in the coming weeks.

But Jesus was alive and active that night and He was about to do something in our hearts that would forever change the way we lived.

Our community group was with us that night.  We were a group of couples, some deeply struggling with their faith and marriage.  They stayed with me late into the evening, sitting together in the ER waiting room.  They cried with me, held my husband when he broke down, and never wavered.

Jon and I would spend the next weeks on our knees praying for Jesus to reveal His glory through it all.  I wanted something big to come from the pain.  And today, a little over 6 years later He's still revealing His glory.

We've been on an adventure ever since.  All we were chasing became but a vapor to what Jesus was doing in us and among us, and we'd lived a life distracted from His glory and His call to anyone who wanted to follow him: "deny himself and take up his cross and follow me".  Luke 9:23

A few weeks after we miscarried our first baby, our friend in our community group who we had been praying for, was baptized in our pool with his wife and kids, and our entire church family there to support him.  He shared how Jesus had revealed just how amazing and deep His love is as he walked alongside us during our miscarriage.

A life for a life.

Jesus wasn't finished with us.  He wasn't finished with the little life He created that was gone before I ever got to feel a flutter or kick.  No.  Jesus was starting a revival in our hearts that would lead us on a crazy adventure.

Because it is never about things, bigger houses, comfortable living, and entitlement with Jesus.

With Jesus it's about His Glory, it's about the salvation of people, it's about the dying, the lost, and the broken.

With Jesus, it's about sacrifice.  It's about dying to your own selfish ways.  And when you come to a place where Jesus has been calling you, you find yourself in a place you've always wanted all along.

This is a place where your desires are His desires.  Your ways are His ways.  You love what He loves.  It's a place where suffering is counted as joyful and death is gain.  It's a place where you find yourself apart from all that the world tells you, maybe even broke, broken, and down, but your soul looks up to the heavens and smiles, because He's there smiling with you.

This is where we are and I have a feeling He's about to take us even deeper.

5 years ago He called us away from the American dream and into a life yoked with Him, and it simply is an adventure!