Have Church, Will Travel

It’s hard to believe it is finally here, but move week has arrived! The next few days will be filled with boxes, goodbyes and maybe (probably) some tears. We will have a going away party on Wednesday, pack our U-Haul on Thursday and hit the road early Friday morning. We are so excited about what is to come, but we can’t believe we are leaving this place that has become home to us over the last five years.

As we’ve reminisced these past few weeks, Blake and I have been listing what we will and will not miss about Waco, Texas. Sometimes we add to the list with fly swatter in hand killing the 100th fly in our house. Sometimes we add to the list driving away from a dinner realizing we have the best friends. No matter the emotion behind the addition, the lists have only made us realize how much we love it here.

What We Will Not Miss About Waco, Texas

  • Alternating between two main dining options: Pei Wei, Chipotle
  • Sharing our home with flies
  • Requiring multiple lemons to mask the taste of the tap water
  • Washing all our dishes by hand
  • Being chased by stray dogs when out for a walk

What We Will Miss About Waco, Texas

  • Being able to drive 50+ MPH down 17th and 18th
  • Getting from one end of town to the other in 15 minutes
  • Seeing someone you know every where you go
  • Cheering on the Baylor Bears
  • Going to a passionate, life-giving church
  • Being a part of people’s families
  • Celebrating a birthday, engagement, wedding or baby every weekend
  • Living life with the most loving, gracious, fun, authentic people we’ve ever known

We live a blessed life here. And although looking at these lists could make us sad, it is actually what motivates us. We want the people of Baton Rouge to experience what we have experienced. Our lives have been changed by the way we’ve experienced God. Our lives have been changed by the people who have walked with us along the way. Our lives have been changed by sitting around dinner tables, babysitting kids, repenting to each other, laughing together, crying together. That is Church. And that is what we want to see created in Baton Rouge.

So we’ll keep answering “yes” to “Are you guys sad?” But the sadness comes with expectancy. What we have loved about this place, we know we’ll get to experience again…among a new group of people who we don’t even know yet. And for them, we pack our boxes, say our goodbyes and take Church with us.

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WIFE 101

I’m glad there is no test before you can get married. I would have failed it.

  1. How often should you wash the sheets? When they smell bad.
  2. Should you correct your husband’s grammar? Of course…can “good” EVER be used as an adverb? NO!
  3. If your husband says you were being rude to him, what do you do? Defend yourself.
  4. Can you leave meat in the trashcan? Yes.

Test or no test, if you don’t know the correct answer when these situations arise, there WILL be consequences. These consequences can range from embarrassment to conflict to maggots. And on Monday night, maggots it was!

I had bought some steaks to cook with mushroom risotto I was making (+), but I didn’t know how quickly you had to eat steaks. When I pulled the them out 5-6 days later, they were gray and smelled a bit weird (-). Of course, Blake refused to eat them so I, of course, just threw them in the trashcan (-).  We went out of town (-). Ten days later, the house was smelling weird and so Blake went to take the trash out.

That many (-) and so few (+) can only mean one thing…maggots. And gagging. And more maggots. And more gagging.

Blake kept telling me to squish them while he took the trash bag out but I had my shirt over my nose and was screaming so I couldn’t really hear or help. Despite the chaos and disease filling our kitchen, I could still pick up on the fact that Blake was not happy with me. I tried to sound as pitiful as possible as I apologized, hoping he’d feel like my rescuer instead of the man married to a woman who knows very little about food handling.

After about 30 minutes of maggot smashing, nose holding and bleach, he finally cracked a smile. We both started laughing. He knows I have no idea how to be a wife!

The day after this nice evening at home, our two teammates, Matthew and Jillian, were prayed for and sent out by the staff at our church. They are the first of our team to head out and will leave for Baton Rouge in just one week.

As they were talking about their move, Jillian shared the quote: “God does not call the qualified, but He qualifies the called.” This is based off of Romans 8:30 and was so appropriate for both the night before and the task ahead.

None of us really know what it takes to start a church that transforms a city. Even with all of our training, we’ve still never done it before. We’re all in our 20s! But God is not looking for perfect people, just like Blake isn’t looking for the perfect wife.

God calls us despite our imperfections. He actually doesn’t want us to be perfect. Instead, He wants us to depend on Him because in our weakness, His power will be made perfect and He will be glorified. He becomes our qualification.

And that is our prayer for Baton Rouge. That we would embrace weakness and imperfection and even maggots. That we wouldn’t try to qualify ourselves or depend on our own strength. But instead, that we would know it is God who has called us, God who has qualified us, and God who is worthy to be glorified.

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