Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Passion, Prayer, and Patience

Since this past November, I've been the interim worship director in our church.  Actually, let me back up a minute...

October 1, 2014, I began a 40-day prayer challenge.  At the time, I really thought that God was leading me to a place of advancement in my Mary Kay business.  I am not a name-it-and-claim-it believer.  But I do believe that God desires for us to pray to Him about our plans and ambitions.  Now, let me back up on more time...

After attending Women of Faith in October of 2013, I really felt that God was going to somehow call me to lead worship - somewhere, somehow.  But I kept that to myself for about nine months.

As it turns out, the answer to the prayers that I had begun praying this past November were guiding me to an amazing experience to lead our church in worship for a season.  This came with a little heartbreak because it meant that our worship director and his family would be leaving our church.  But, as he told me, that meant that God has something bigger and even better in store for me.  I couldn't imagine that.  After all, one of my greatest joys had been serving on a worship team with him for 12+ years.  But, he was right and I was wrong not as right.

As of today, I've been in this position for about four months.  I had NO idea how much I would love it.  None!  Even in the midst of the challenges of working in ministry (who ever thought I would be able to say I work in ministry???), God has blessed me with more joy than I could even begin to communicate.

I mentioned previously that this is an interim position.  I've been allowed to do this job and maintain part-time hours with the help of a part-time technical staff person.  It is our church's goal to hire a full-time worship director/pastor who will fulfill both of these roles.  Please know, I do see value in that and find no fault in it whatsoever.  However, it has left me wondering, "What's next?".  Is this really all God wanted from me, 4-6 months as a worship leader?  I think the answer to that question is no.  But I couldn't imagine leading worship in some place other than this church, which has been our church home for the past 12 years.

Then last night, a group of people from our church combined with a group of people from another church in the Twin Cities lead a chapel service at the Union Gospel Mission.  It was AMAZING!!!  This was my second experience leading worship in this setting.  There is something spectacular about worshipping with a group of people who have come to the end of themselves and realize that their dependence must be on God.  What I realized in that time was that it doesn't matter where God calls me.  He will be there!  Yes, there is something special about leading a body of believers who have become my church family over the past decade.  But the truth is, the most important factor is leading worship in a place where God's Holy Spirit is present.

This morning, I read 1 Samuel 1-7 and a corresponding devotion.  Samuel was listening for God and responded, "Speak, for your servant is listening."  Am I listening for God?  I don't expect to hear an audible voice.  But I should expect that He will make my calling as clear to me as he made Samuel's to him.

Later in the morning, during my Bible study class today, God made a couple of things crystal clear to me through my teacher, notes, and further study in the book of Numbers:

  • Some of my plans and ambitions seem to not be coming together as I had hoped.  I have grumbled a bit about that.  But God will use challenging situations to develop my character and fulfill His purpose for me.
  • God has chosen me to be a leader of His people.  I share this with utmost humility.  He will bless my work, not because of who I am or anything in me, but because He has chosen me.

Do these answers reveal to me what's next?  Nope!  Not at all.  However, they do shine a bright light on my impatience and my idol of control.  I am a planner.  If you follow me on Instagram or are friends with me on Facebook, you've seen more than once how much I love my highlighted datebook.  All of the highlighters in the world will be of no use to me at this point.  I am in a season of prayer and patience.  I had a friend once who said, "I never pray that God will give me patience because I know that means He will give me a situation in which I need to be patient."  I haven't been praying for patience but certainly have been placed in that situation.  This full-steam-ahead girl is learning to slow down a little.

Stay tuned to see how God will work next...

Grace and peace to you!

Misty

Friday, February 13, 2015

Be the Change

Over the past few years, I've felt that the support for moms of children older than pre-school is minimal.  For whatever reason, this stage of parenting has felt a little lonely.  For a couple of years, until my youngest had completed kindergarten, I was involved in a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group and loved it.  When she graduated from kindergarten, I graduated from MOPS.  So, then what?

Well, instead of whining about it, I've decided to be the change.  We don't stop being moms simply because our children are in school or have graduated and left the house or even have children of their own.  Regardless of where life takes my children, I will always be a mom, their mom.  I've learned a lot, about myself and about parenting, in the nearly 18 years that I've been a mother.  I've made more mistakes than I care to admit and repeated several of them.  Don't worry firstborn, I didn't get it perfect with child #3 either.

The change started with the addition of MOMSnext at our church, which I mentioned in my last post.  We've been meeting since September and our meetings have a little different spin compared to what I experienced in MOPS.  Our group is considerably smaller which was a concern of mine in the beginning.  But it has turned out to be a blessing.  It allows us to share a little bit more about what is going on in our families and then take time to pray together.  I've enjoyed my time with these women and have learned from them as well.

The next change is this blog.  I have gone back and forth on whether or not to even keep this site.  Is blogging a good use of my time?  Is it distracting me from something else that I should be accomplishing?  The truth of the matter is that writing is therapeutic for me.  So, keeping it is the choice that I am making, committing to myself to write more frequently, and hoping that some of what I've learned will somehow be beneficial to someone else.

Here are a few topics I intend to explore:

  • Technology with Tweens and Teens
  • Finding Myself at 40
  • In the Blink of An Eye...My "Baby" Is Graduating
I would also love to find someone to write a guest post.  Here is what I'm looking for, a grandmother who is willing to share about finding balance between grandma and mom.  I've seen this in my own relationships and in that of a few friends.  You want the best for your children and grandchildren.  But how do you know when to let go and when to give advice?  I think it's a delicate balance.  If you are interested in tackling this topic, message me on my Facebook page.

-Misty