Good, Better, Best Part 3
Good Monday afternoon friends. It's been a hot minute since I've had opportunity to encourage my faithful few here.
To say getting school off the ground for us has been "challenging," would be the understatement of the year.
It's been delayed launch after delayed launch.
When we finally did get off the ground with much delight it was a bit like that afternoon my youngest and I watched as her half-hatched plan to tie a tract to a balloon headed into the sky.
It was a clear blue sky, making it THAT much easier to watch as the long tail wafted in the air over tree and bush.
It wafted farther than we had anticipated and decided instead of witnessing to some broken hearted individual as we had hoped, to wrap itself around the largest power lines in our county.
THIS is why you address your tracts. So the power company will know JUST where to find you.
What began as a hope-filled wish of good news ended with us running in separate directions as fast as our legs could carry us.
Yeah, that about sums our launch into an unknown curriculum.
A curriculum that has necessitated the use of my beloved rose-colored computer.
Thus my absence for a bit.
It's taken us a bit to juggle the "new" but it will be fine and I am tickled to be hitting keys today.
And I might only have that opinion because I am sitting at Panera with a dollop of caramel in the bottom of my coffee.
The guy across from me with his friends catches my eye every so often with a look that says, "Tell me where you have hid my dog," but it's all good.
With enough caffeine I may attempt karate.
Truth is, I have a blessed life.
Truth is, you do too.
And my last very late installment of "Good, Better Best," comes on the heels of our church hosting a dozen or so Pastor's wives to love on and encourage back to life again.
This is appropriate because this last post in this series (look at me sounding all important and all...) is for the Ministry Mamas.
The Wives that became Pastor's wives when they weren't so great at just being wives period.
My Sweetheart had visions of becoming a Missionary pilot when we were dating in college, and I was there for it. All of it.
I had already begun to train myself to NOT break down into hysterical laughter at loin cloths and neck rings, which if you know me, takes TRAINING friends.
I was ready for the jungle pilot wife life.
(true confession, I DID just try to say, "jungle pilot wife life," ten times fast.)
I had no idea the difference between a "ham" radio or a "beef" radio, but I for sursies would figure it out.
Bring on the head hunters and mud, because apparently they go together?
And in the process of events as the Lord would allow, my husband became an Assistant Pastor instead.
I like to cite "False advertising," some days when suburban ministry is long, but that only gets me ice cream at the local shop.
Which I gladly accept as a good alternative to jungle life.
How the tables have turned.
Here's the funny thing. Ministry CAN feel like the jungle.
Head hunters and all.
(I mean come on, I couldn't resist!)
Ministry in any way shape or form can feel like the deepest darkest spot on God's creation.
And until I found the secret to ministry I spent many nights camped in dark lonely places.
Being a Pastor's wife is a humbling, honorable, huge title and position.
At first mention, you conjure-up a picture of someone- whomever solidified what a Pastor's wife should look like in your mind.
And this is the first jungle pit ministry wives have to navigate.
What someone else thinks they should be.
This pit is filled with sweet wives who dress, act, even speak the way they believe someone expects them to.
And I reach a hand down to pull you out with my caffeine-laden strength and remind you that dangly earrings, crazy tights, highlights or not, you are exactly who God has made you to be for your place of service.
You aren't your husband's "plus one" that HAS to come along, like the pet you can't leave alone at home.
You are the wife of a man who is called by God, who couldn't do what God has called him to do without you.
Go back and read that again while I sip some more caramel.
I firmly believe this with all of my heart.
Gone are the days of feeling less-than friend. You are complete in Christ, you are in the work of God to be used and filled by Him to minister in a way that your husband cannot.
And it's a really cool thing.
Seriously. So cool.
My fingers type, my heart swells to live to pull ladies out of pits.
(Joel, I'd like this on my tombstone pretty please.)
Ministry takes on many different forms. From cleaner to decorator, to leader to administrator to cleaner again.
And I am here to tell you that It IS "A Jungle out there," but it's more adventure than eye can see, more fun than any post can express and more fulfilling than I can seep into ordinary words.
Ministry just gets better.
I pinky-promise it does.
It gets better because you finally stop trying to morph into that other Pastor's wife you emulate and enjoy the fact that you cannot sit still for ten solid minutes.
Because you finally realize that your loud laugh in service is actually an asset and not a liability.
Because you love your spouse unconditionally even though they get stressed, you get stressed and have one too many "un-dates."
Because a new day is a new day and Mondays can be de-stress zones.
Ministry gets better when you find the secret to all ministry no matter where you are called to serve.
A sweet older lady shared the secret with me and I have passed it on and on and will slip it in here for you to keep as your own.
She was like a cute little secret service agent. (See what I did there?)
She told me after a frazzled ministry season when I couldn't seem to spread myself like peanut butter to get to everyone's needs, just what my heart needed.
She told me that in an orchestra every member watches one person.
Though they make up a large crowd, they each, individually focus all of their attention and concentration on one individual.
Someone three chairs over may be out of tune, but it's not for them to figure out. Their one job is to please the conductor.
This was the biggest mic drop in ministry for me.
Simple truths are usually the most profound.
Keep your eyes on him who picked you to serve in that ministry friends.
A beautiful masterpiece has stops, places where it crescendos and moments of whisper-like movements.
You may be bellowing melody, you may be quiet harmony, but you will only know if you study the eye of the conductor.
This jungle of ideas and opinions, and we always, and we have never,
this tall wilderness of can you tell your husband, and did your kids do that,
the deep and dark of misunderstanding, hopes unfulfilled and I shouldn't have said that,
can only be navigated and yes, enjoyed by realizing who's approval you are seeking.
No one expects a jungle to be a walk in the park, but what an adventure there is to be had in the hand of your husband following the Lord!
This is seriously the BEST life friends.
What an honor to use the gifts that God has given us for this exact ministry we are planted in!
Gifts! Know yours! Enjoy it! Ask God to fill you to use it!
My face flushes with excitement just thinking about looking into the eyes of Pastor's wives this week.
I am in the jungle with them, hand in hand.
If one stumbles or finds a dark spot, it's my joy to meet them right where they are and tell them that it just keeps getting better.
Better because these are the best days.
Days that are as bright as the promises of God who never fails never sleeps and knows every inch of the jungle.
He's been there himself.
I am thankful for a place to serve faithfully until the Lord returns.
No toilet too small, no class to much for me to serve as the conductor leads.
And I am right beside you friend, telling you that it just keeps getting better.