I started the day feeling empty and overwhelmed by motherhood.  My son got up at midnight sick and vomiting so I “slept” on the couch to be near him.  This morning my six and seven year olds “made” their own breakfast when I accidentally overslept on the couch.  As a result they spilled milk and green paint (wha…huh?) on my new tablecloth. After cleaned up the kitchen table and attempted to send the kids to school, my middle son refused to wear his coat because it stank to high heaven (long story). Thankfully the high was 57, darn near sweltering for a New England winter, so I pulled a light jacket from the donation bag and sent them on their way.  To top it all off, I was sure any moment Tempestt Bledsoe would burst into my house camera men at the ready to feature my kitchen on “Clean House”.  

As I get ready for bed my day has turned around.  My sick son is recovered.  Our family movie time was awesome (rent Hotel Transylvania.. the autotune wonder that is the closing number is worth price of admission alone).  The kids are in bed and were asleep by 8.  I had a glorious shower where I actually got to shave!  (Yay!)  My kitchen’s not as messy (Tempestt wouldn’t waste her time here now) and, to top it all off,  it smells wonderful thanks to the Yankee Candle coupon I found in the bottom my purse.  

These little blessings built trust in my heart today that God sees, He knows, and He moves.  

As a mother, I’m reminded  that he does indeed gather the lambs in His arms, holds them close to His heart and gently leads the one with young (lead on, Lord. Lead on.). 

But, these little blessings unexpectedly built trust in this church planting wife’s heart.  

Church planting is hard and right now our start is a bit rocky. It feels much like this morning. 

Empty and overwhelming.

I have so much to be worried about:

My husband and I are adjusting to our roles within the church.  Although we love each other dearly, we’re learning that we think, work, and prioritize very differently.  It hasn’t been a problem in the past since we had very distinct roles in our home, but now as we work together to get New City up and running, we’re having to flex our grace and forgiveness muscles.  

Our launch team is forming slowly but surely. It’s always nerve wrecking to ask someone to join your church plant.  You want to preserve the relationship while encouraging them to take a step of faith with you. It can be tricky, especially when you see their gifts and the way they can bless the Body through serving in your church.  I’m worried I’m alienating all my friends :). 

I’m learning to file taxes as clergy and church.  Not fun.  Taxes! Oh Lord, help me give to Ceasar what is his and to you what is Yours!   

I’m pining for the city.  Pi-ning. So bad, that Craigslist is in my bookmark bar and I keep getting form emails from Orlando, the real estate agent asking, “how’s your search in Roxbury going”?  I want to be near our potential church members. I want to invite neighborhood kids into my home to bake cookies and do crafts.  I want bump into young mamas at the grocery store and wander the aisles together bonding in that special way only “doing life” together can accomplish.  I want to be incarnational like Jesus.  But, we’re still in Cambridge waiting for God to open the right door for us.  

I’m worried about schooling options for our kids, if and when we move.  Homeschooling? Charter Schools? Navigating Boston Public’s confusing admission and lottery system?  They are all on my mind.  I’m processing them like crazy before God. 

I’m worried and my worry is giving way to fear.

But, somewhere I remember Jesus had something to say about worry.  

Jesus taught about birds who started their day with nothing but were fed by a loving God.  They didn’t try to micromanage the menu, they trusted that they’ll receive exactly what they need.  Lord, can I trust you like that?

Then there are those annoyingly contented lilies that remain rooted where God placed them to reflect His beauty.  Lovely witnesses to the creativity, wisdom, and care of our God; they are not worried that should beautify another field. Maybe one day He’ll move them, but for now, they trust in His initiative.  Lord, can I trust you like that?

And so He says to my skeptical heart:

But you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Matthew 6:33 The Message

Church planting is a faith exercise unlike any I’ve experienced.  Unlike evacuating from New Orleans when Katrina bore down on the city I loved.  Unlike moving to Boston, having never been further north than Flint, MI. Unlike finding out that we’d have another baby while I held a two month old sleeping in my arms.  

Church planting seems harder, realer, more urgent. 

 But, I know both God and how He works.  I know He is unchanging in His goodness and I know that He is mindful of even the smallest of creation.  How can he not be mindful of me and the call He’s placed on our lives?

Christine Hoover says in her fantastic book to church planter’s wives, “The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart,  “..when I think about the unchanging character of God…all the worries darting through my mind, all the weight of my sin, all the burden of motherhood and ministry fall right off in light of these truths. “

Amen, Sister Amen!

So, fellow worry-wart, knowing God and how He works, let’s overcome worry by getting our steep on: 

Let’s steep ourselves in God-reality: remembering the ways He’s come through for us when it seemed hopeless.

Let’s steep ourselves in God-initiative for us: trusting Him to be a better giver than we are getters

Let’s steep ourselves in God-provision: thanking Him for the small blessings that reveal His big heart and care for us. 

Which “steep” is hardest for you to do?  What are some ways you’ve seen God-reality, God-initiative, or God-provision in your life?  

For me it’s shaven legs and yummy candles.  Laughter with my children and a semi-cleaned kitchen.  A quiet house save for the click-clacking of my computer and Jewish hip-hop reggae on my husband, ministry partner and best friends’ laptop.

I’m linking up with Christine over at Grace Covers Me today as she releases her book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart, and collects heart stories from church planting and ministry wives. Join us?