I’m at Starbucks working on Third Way Womanhood part four and my feet are cold.
They were cold when I left the house; they were cold on the drive here to caffeine heaven; and they’re cold as I sit here sipping my latte fifty feet from the constantly opened door of this busy coffee shop. 
I’m cold and irritated and close to miserable because dang it, this latte should be working it’s way down to my toes and warming me up.
It just ‘aint doing it.  And so, I’m cold.  My nose is running. My nose is stuffy.  (wha-huh) I’m shaking my propped up legs on a chair to get my (supposedly thickened) blood flowing and to top it all off, I’m regretting the five dollars I spent wasted on a hot coffee. 
So I’m mentally taking it out on people.
I’m scowling at every person who comes in for their morning jolt because they keep letting the warm air out and the cold air in. Hello people, I’m cooooold! I’m resenting every other person who dressed appropriately, darn you with your gloves, thick coat, and comfy looking rain boots.  I’m hoping that the man next to me will finish his newspaper and coffee soon, so I can move to his warmer, further from the door table.
I’m a Misanthrope with a Mocha.
And it’s entirely fault. 
I should have put on a pair of warm socks with my fleece-lined Privo ballet flats and grabbed a thicker sweater, but I’m stubborn .  I’m convinced I can handle it because my blood has “thickened” in the past seven years of living in New England and I’m clinging to my own devices— lattes and fleece lined ballet flats. I relied on them to keep me warm and comfortable while I work, but they’ve only delivered in giving me a false sense of security. 
This reliance on ability to face the cold without proper covering of warm socks and a thicker sweater is not unlike my reliance on my abilities and devices to plant this church without the covering of prayer.
It makes sense that I tend to neglect prayer and rely on my own strength.  I love being that impressively resourceful chick who makes you shake your head and wonder “how does she do it?”,  so my first inclination when faced with a challenge is to look that bad boy in the face and say, “you will not best me”.  Then I call upon my “devices” to get the job done. 
I start Google docs and Facebook groups.  I schmooze, send emails, cajole, and pitch until I get what I want. I read books and blogs, make plans and strategies, and organize events.  Oh events! How I love to throw a big party where everyone can see the fruits of my challenge-besting labor. It’s exhilarating. It’s satisfying. It’s joyfully egotistical.  It’s sinful.
That’s how this church plant feels at times; another challenge of my abilities, another way to utilize devices in order to get the gratifying head shakes of astonishment, another bad boy to look into it’s face and say, “you will not best me.”
But like my fleece-lined ballet flats and my (now tepid) latte these “get it done” devices have given me a false sense of security. 
Oh it’s great in the moment when I’m planning, emailing, schmoosing, or pitching, but when I’m alone I succumb to the bitter chill of insecurity leaving me miserable and anxious. 

This is the true testimony of my devices: they are merely props unless they are infused with the power of God invited through prayer. 
And church planting requires more than mere props.  

We’re called by God to create something out of nothing, reflecting the creative and the visionary aspects of his character. A high calling that requires divine communion and encouragement through prayer, not devices of human resourcefulness. 
I’m now determined in this Starbucks.  First to go home and get some socks on, geeze!But then, to continually pray for New City Covenant Church, invite others to join me to pray regularly and to be more transparent about our needs so that our prayers will weave a tapestry of faith and hope over us.
This tapestry is what wi
ll keep us warm and help us withstand the “elements” of this challenge: the cold isolation of creating a new community, the breeze of insecurity when someone doesn’t quite get our vision, the draft of discouragement when things don’t fall into place as they should. 
I’m also determined to not trust in my own devices; fleece-lined ballet slippers, lattes, adaptability, strategies, events, Google and the like.  I’d rather have the security of warm socks, cozy sweaters, acknowledgement of my limitations, God breathed direction, and the warmth found in His presence.
Maybe this discomfort in Starbucks is God ordained because it’s reminded me to rely on Him my solid rock, my refuge from the storm, my ever present help (even if I think I can do it on my own) to help us plant this church.  

Oh Lord, let my folly end here with bare feet and thin sweaters.  Let me pray without ceasing, lean not unto my own understanding, and plan my course, stepping only where you tell me to.

Let me rely on your direction and not my devices. Amen and amen.

Off to put some darn socks on,

Scripture references:
Psalm 46:1
Isaiah 25:4
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Proverbs 3:5-6
Proverbs  16:9