Tag Archives: serving

Remember the Why.

Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you.  Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.  1 Peter 5:2

From the time I was a young girl, I knew God had called me to be a pastor.  Even then, I didn’t find it unconventional for a girl to assume a role usually appointed to men.  It just felt natural.  I would carefully place all of my stuffed animals in rows, lead praise and worship, and then preach to them.  Then, when I was in the third grade, my class was instructed to come dressed as what we wanted to be when we grew up for Career Day.  Me?  I wore a pinstriped dress and carried my Bible.  Because, I was going to be a pastor. 

I have since learned that there is a lot more to ministry than standing in front of people and unpacking a message that God has worked inside of me.  Which, ain’t no walk in the park, I gotta tell ya.  Mucho respect for my dad who does it every week with a delivery, anointing, and passion that I long for.  ‘Cause, dang that’s hard. 

Back to the point.

Ministry is taking care of the people that God puts into your life.  It’s stepping outside of your own need, your own want, and investing yourself in others.  It means that some nights, you go to bed, and you are mentally, emotionally, and physically spent.  It means you don’t let that exhaustion or sacrifice of personal time make you bitter.  “Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly.” 

And, the best way to keep your heart and mind in check is to remember why you are doing it.  It’s not just for them.  It’s not just for you.   But, it’s because, you are eager to serve God. 

Sometimes, I need to be reminded of the why.  Sometimes, we all need to be reminded of the why…whether we are pastors or not. 

You might be a teacher in a classroom dreading the return of August.  Dear Teacher, you are going to change some student’s life and tell her she has a gift to write.  Thank you, Mrs. Simonton. 

You might be a public service man or woman putting in a lot of hours for little pay.  Dear Public Servants, thank you for helping our tornado victims recover from terrible devastation and restoring hope to them.

You might be a nurse working crappy hours on a night shift.  Dear Wendi, thank you for taking such good care of me, and setting my mind (and pain) at ease.  You make every single one of your patients feel loved. 

You might be a mother staying home with your children every single day.  Thank you, mothers.  You are raising world changers. 

Whatever you do, it’s so important to always remember the why

I remembered my why last night.  To serve Him.  Not because I love Him.  But because, He lavishes His love on me.

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Filed under giving, God Stuff, life, making an impact, Writing

Right This Minute.

Right this minute.

I know a woman bed-ridden with a cancer that is trying to consume her body.  And, it wrecks me.

Right this minute.

I know a woman who is putting every single ounce of trust into her Savior as she comforts her two daughters who probably don’t understand why their father has walked out.  And, it wrecks me.

Right this minute.

I know a man who is caring for a wife who has been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia while struggling to keep his business afloat.  And, it wrecks me.

Right this minute.

I know a woman who doesn’t comprehend her value and is selling out to lies that she will never be good enough.  And, it wrecks me.

I know every single one of these people.

And, these things are happening.  Right this minute.

And, it wrecks me.

It wrecks me until I remember…..

The Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant, and Jesus just spoke the words, and He was healed.

And, I remember that God will be a father to the fatherless, and He will redeem everything that is lost.

I remember that all things are possible with the One who provides for us and never leaves us and goes with us all the way to the end.  And, the end is always glorious.

I remember that I am the arms and feet of Christ, and I can love with His amazing love so that person hurting sees only God lifting her up, holding her in His arms, until she knows how He loves her from the inside out.

You see, nothing….NOTHING is beyond repair.  Nothing is beyond redemption.  Nothing is beyond the MIRACLE.

And, I won’t stop praying.  I won’t stop serving.  I won’t stop fighting for people.

Because, I am a WARRIOR.

And, He is KING.  In whom ALL things are POSSIBLE

Right.  This.  Minute.

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Filed under disappointment, God Stuff, making an impact, prayer

Don’t Close Up Shop.

I can let life swallow me up.  I can.  I can allow the activities and antics of three children cause me to close up shop on sharing my gifts with others.  Serving others.  Because, it seems like too much at that moment.

But, it’s not always too much.  It’s not usually as stressful as we make it out to be.  It’s just our response to those busy moments that mess with our head.  Okay, maybe it’s just my head.  Maybe, it’s just me? 

I almost let one of those moments make me close up shop yesterday afternoon.  My sweet husband had a dinner meeting with airplane-ish type folk.  I had household obligations, two children with obligations, and an infant who, well, was only obligated to let me know when he was hungry.  And, he was.  Of course, he was.   Have you seen him?  Only the cutest chunk of love in the history of chunks of love. 

You see?  I do not lie, friends.

It would have been easier to let these things – life things – consume me.  Stay home.  Pretend there was nothing or no one else besides myself and my three little people.  It really would have.  But, one thing I’ve learned (and my parents have taught me) in my thirty-five plus years on planet earth is this:

My life will be more blessed when I live beyond myself. 

Beyond me.  Beyond my kids’ homework and schedules.  Beyond the constant needs of an infant.  Beyond making sure I’ve emptied the dishwasher.  Beyond getting my hair ministered to – which by the power of the Holy Spirit, I was able to fit that in.  Can I get an amen on coverin’ them roots? 

I was responsible for teaching the youth last night.  And, for some dadgum reason, I can’t say “youth” without thinking of My Cousin Vinny.  You know the line.  “Your honor, two utes.”  I seriously can’t.  I drive myself crazy sayin’ it.  ANY. HOW.

By choosing to overcome any stress that parenting, sans my awesome husband, brings, I used one of my gifts.  More than that, I just served.  And, instead of staying home, putting my children to bed, and contemplating how hectic my day was….

I put my children to bed, and then I went to bed fulfilled.  Content.  Happy.  Blessed.

I think that’s what Paul meant in Acts 20 when he said, “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” 

But, don’t get me wrong.  If any of y’all wanna come keep three little people and send me to the spa, I will not make you withhold those good gifts.  You know.  Since that would bless y’all and all.

Ahem.

I mean, Amen.

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Filed under giving, life, making an impact, Motherhood, parenting

The Tapestry Project

I gotta tell you.  It just feels good to do something that’s not all about me or my family.  Something that even gets me out of my comfort zone.

This was just my experience last week at The Tapestry Project.  The Tapestry’s website explains it “is an organization that is revitalizing a deteriorating neighborhood through renovation, restoration, and connecting people in need to the resources that will equip them to thrive as a community. The vision is to create model for urban development and community transformation for women, children and families in crisis all across Oklahoma City.”

It’s simply AMAZING what Amy Newberry and her husband, Joshua, have birthed in this project.  They are both incredible examples of what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.

I served Tapestry with a few of my bible study peeps.  You can see a few pictures from our day by visiting Tapestry’s blog.  I really hate that the photo Cindy Beall took of me with a broom in my hand didn’t make the post.  But, I did make sure she sent it to my husband.  You know….for the shock factor and all.

Praying over a few of the young ladies living in apartments provided by Tapestry was overwhelming but so dang fulfilling.  We prayed over specific needs they had.  I wanted to just bring one pregnant, 17 year old girl named Sarah home with me.  But, I became increasingly aware that Sarah needs my friendship and impartation of Christ more than anything.  Amy Newberry commented, “I know their needs seem overwhelming.  But they really need me to just sit on their porch steps, drink their coffee, and be a little heaven on earth to them.” 

I think, at times, we let ourselves get so overwhelmed at such large needs, that we fail to give the GREATEST gift we can give:  Christ.

I’ll never forget Amy’s words.

And, I’m very excited about serving there again. 

With my family – including my two children. 

Who will learn from a very young age that there is a world of hurting people.  And, oh what joy comes from being the hands and feet of Christ.

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Filed under giving, making an impact

What am I modeling for my children?


I FINALLY started reading Nancy Beach’s book, Gifted to Lead.  This should make Judy really happy who bought me this book a few months back.  The gurl even signed it!  No.  Not Nancy.  Judy.

There aren’t a ton of revelations that scream at me in the book.  It is still a wonderful read for women called to lead.  But, one thing – one voice – has been gently whispering in my ear while I’ve been reading Nancy’s words. 

“That’s you.  Go lead.”

Over the past several months, I’ve been as careful as I know how to be in listening to those whispers.  Now, the only way I know to answer is to ask Him, “What do You want me to do?”  “Where do You want me to go?”

For a long time, I’ve considered my role as a mother my primary ministry.  And, it is.  But, that is not my “fundamental identity.”  Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend write in their book, Boundaries with Kids, “Parents who do not have a life apart from their kids teach the kids that the universe revolves around them.”  They continue saying, “Meet the child’s needs, then require him to meet his own while you meet yours.”

Throughout my childhood, my parents modeled this same theory.  They nurtured me.  But, they also gave of themselves to so many.  Granted, they were in ministry.  However, seeing them minister in our home, seeing them minister beyond the home – in the church, amongst the broken-hearted, in third world countries – those are things that stay with me.  Those are things that clued me into the fact that the world does not revolve around me.  What a gift my parents gave me. 

This doesn’t mean that a parent must work outside the home to model these things.  Nancy writes, “I believe when a child recognizes that Mom or Dad is crazy about them, but also has some other interests passions, and responsibilities, that child is well served….Rather than assuming Mom and Dad will always be there exclusively for them, kids understand that other people and their needs matter as well.”

Dang.  That’s good stuff.  And, what’s even greater is when our children begin serving along side of us.  Giving WITH us.  For me, I’m going to start by choosing an activity – a service – that my children can do with me.  I hope that in doing so, I will give to them the gift my parents gave to me.  For realz.

Are you asking God what HE wants you to do?

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Filed under giving, making an impact, Motherhood, parenting, Spiritual Journey