that’s church

Monday, April 16, 2012

These two weeks are full of busy days, stressful meetings, and exhaustion. There are 1000 baby trees to be planted (nearly half-done!), there are potentially life-changing meetings, there are five children needing me nearly 24/7, and I’m already tired.

And then yesterday, surrounded by the fellowship of believers that I share my life with, we sang this song:

“who You love, I’ll love;
how You serve, I’ll serve;
if this life I lose, I will follow…”

We told stories of following Jesus wherever He leads, of loving the people He calls us to love, whether across the ocean or across the road. We talked before, during, and after the service, corporately and individually, about what it means to lose our lives to follow our Savior. I was challenged, encouraged, and I left with my heart full, ready to pour myself out this week. I already know some of the places He’s taking me this week, and they’ll be hard. I’ve been scared, and frankly, a little reluctant. But yesterday, God granted stories of encouragement, family to tell me that God placed me where I am precisely for such a time as this, people who will say “You can do it!”, a sweet friend faithful in prayer and willing to share my burdens, neighbors and friends who just happen to drop by at the very moment - literally the exact minute - that we need help, and the promise that even if the way is hard, the burden is light, and step by step, He leads me…

That is church.

912. well-regulated children, on the stable part of the cycle right now
913. a thermos to keep my coffee piping hot even during an appointment
914. snuggling a sad little baby, comforting tears
915. sharing stories and advice and pain with a fellow mama travelling the same road
916. confidence to approach the throne of grace
917. hot drinks after a very cold baseball practice
918. lilac buds, persevering through a freeze
919. the juxtaposition of winter-cold wind and springtime-bright flowers in full bloom
920. new life peeking up through the open dirt of the flowerbed
921. 14 years of marriage, each better than the year before
922. reaping the benefits of the hard work we put in early on
923. holding his hand in the living room after the kids go to bed
924. zipping up work boots
925. opening the dirt, ready to put in new life
926. 225 baby trees planted
927. boxes of food shared from a neighbor
928. a prayer of blessing from a cousin, the breath of encouragement, right when I needed it most
929. 200 more baby trees planted
930. sleeping in on a rainy day
931. forgoing responsibilities, just to spend a lazy day together
932. prayers answered, slowly and not completely, but every little bit is a drop of grace
933. the fellowship of the believers, sunday after sunday, filling my heart full for the week to come
934. the beauty of a friend, faithful in prayer, to share my burdens
935. neighbors and friends, dropping by at the very moment we need help

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