for those who havnt known me long ill give you a little snippet of my past. at around age 19 in the summer before i was heading off to college i started having panic attacks. they gradually progressed until september of my sophomore year at which time i was so agoraphobic i could barely attend class and had lost a considerable amount of weight from the stress, not to mention inability to leave my apartment to get food. i left feeling deflated, hopeless even. the following summer david and i got married and my anxiety didn't get any better. in fact i spent the better part of our first year of marriage confined to our 500 sq/foot apartment, unable to venture even in to the hallway at times to retrieve the mail. i mention this because late last summer i went forward for healing prayer at church and havnt had a single panic attack since and also to illustrate that tough times seem endless but really, they arent.
this month i have been shown kindness by so.many.random.people! daily i get emails that reap happy encouragement onto my heart. i am speechless most times, and it usually takes me a few days but i try to respond. (sorry if you are one of those encouragers, i sincerely appreciate it! don't take my silence as ungratitude!)
the eclipse made me feel appropriately small within this world. i needed that. lauren pointed out, with great clarity, that this perfectly paired with the following song -
tomorrow im making two dozen cupcakes for a bake sale at church to help send the buckley's to tanzania. i havnt expounded on this subject for some reason but i would like to interject here how passionately i love our new church. so let me pull up a sleeve of ritz and a tub of peanut butter and explain why.
1. jeff cannell our pastor.
equal parts passionate & intelligent disciple for the Kingdom of God, geek aficionado, and lover of the lost. i've never been pastored by someone so, and i say this not to bring him down or elevate myself in any way, on my level. as much as i know in my heart that we are all part of the same body i have thus far in my life been under the tutelage of men and women who were in my opinion rather a little too knowing of their authority. does that make sense? jeff has an air of approachability (is that even a word?) and authority.
2. engaging suffering
you will not make it out of the doors of this church without hearing these words or an equivalent. i do not wish to imply that they are just words either. no really, this is a church that engages the least, the last, and the lost. i dont think ive been to a single service where sex slaves or child molestation or rape werent mentioned from the pulpit, in context of how much our heart breaks over it. and moreso, what we are going to do about it - not just sit back and fold our hands and pray for something to make it all better. we are the Hands of God afterall. if you are currently attending a church that doesn't engage the suffering of this world, i think you strongly need to consider a new one.
3. the church itself
we meet in an elementary school gym because the logic was that we dont need a building when there are so many out there not being utilized. instead the members sent what money would have been used to build a church, and build an orphanage near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
4. the people themselves
i mention this last because it is of the least importances comparatively but i feel we have found a real community of believers that not just believe what we believe about Jesus, but also about life and how to live it. simplicity, doing life together as a community, being family driven, hopeful of the future, participating in the Kingdom, etc. these all seem to be common threads among the church. of least importance of all but i have yet to be at a single service where i havnt seen babies in slings. heck one sunday a mama was nursing during the service! there seems to be a large attachment parenting following there which shocks me because outside of a handful of close friends i dont know anyone who adhers to such beliefs! i dropped olive off at the nursery one sunday and started to explain about the diapers and the kind woman just cut me off and said "oh don't worry, we use bumGenius so i know how to use cloth." i just stared at her blankly like "uhh ive never had this conversation with a real person before..." this sense of commonality makes church feel like more than just a place where we all worship the same God, it makes it feel like a family/home.
i've been talking about God a lot lately. it seems like all of my entries mention Him, no complaints on this end of course, just an observation.
today was the home inspection on the house. it passed with flying colors!