About a month ago, I was following a Jesus-loving momma gone blogger and caught wind of a conference called “Influence Conference” specifically for bloggers/business owners who shared a common theme. They loved Jesus.Then I totally stalked everyone who was going and “followed” them, via twitter of course. Now that I have followed so many of them, I really couldn’t tell you who it was I originally found. Funny.
They also seemed to have a lot of creative juices floating around. So, basically, in my head it was like a pool of Jesus-loving, creative-juicing, grace-sharing, hope-giving, trendy-dressing women.
So, I asked the hubs…through a text mind you, while he was out ‘doin’ what he do’…preparing a sermon while the kids (finally) slept. The answer was already clear but I wanted to give a little tease to my very healthy desire to go.
The answer was, “We just can’t, babe.” I responded, “I know.”
The money wasn’t there and it wasn’t a good idea to leave Zekey all while he was still having seizures and meds were (are still) being leveled out.
I don’t blame myself or beat myself over the head for the desire to just be able to up and leave with 4 healthy kids behind and a smiling hubby wishing me a good time.
I just really wanted to be with other woman who got “it.” Whatever “it” is. Basically, I love Jesus, but I love trends and I love to create and I love to write and, truly really love people so let’s all chat about that. Was that ‘it’?
Of course talk of babies and our hot hubs would enter in there because, if one is a momma, her heart doesn’t beat too many times without the thought or talk of a little one who isn’t with her. It’s how we are wired, I think. And probably talk of our hubs taking care of the kids would make us laugh a bit…a little maybe?
Anyway, through the tweeting while these women I stalked were attending the conference, it was very clear that they were being changed for the better, inspired both creativly and spiritually. Transformed. It blessed me even from afar.
I was able to hear the joy through simple tweets. I can read up on blogs to hear how the Holy Spirit was clearly working through these women whether speaking or just attending and were willing to be vulnerable and learn and gain wisdom from others. Always a healthy thing.
I was sad not to attend but encouraged by all that went on. Twitter obviously gives a fraction of what really happened which is yet another reason to say, Jesus was clearly present there.
Tonight, I caught wind of an interesting convo that started with Jessi Connoly of @naptimediaries who bluntly and boldly (and awesomely) tweeted, “Thinking on why there aren’t many women online who are MAINLY abt the gospel. Is it bc they don’t want to be or bc we don’t want to hear?”
Oh, I loved it! I wanted to clarify who she was talking about and it was directed toward Christian women/bloggers/business owners. The conversation blew up and it was amazing! Even through that convo (that is currently still going on), Jesus is tearing down walls of fear and allowing His light to shine through our businesses/blogs. There is encourage-tweeting to invite Jesus more into the blog posts and caring less about what people might think or if we got the right context of a verse, etc. Again, bashing through fears and being given grace so that we can be gracious to others.
This then reminded me of a convo I had with my pastor at the church I grew up in. This past weekend, I totally overcame fears and traveled to Toledo not knowing if Zeke would have a seizure. (He totes did, but he’s okay.)
The day I left I thought, “With everything going on…”, that being our church (which is undeniably God-filled but not so much people filled…can I just say that the people who do come are amazing, like I am talking servant’s hearts that are hungry to be challenged and stretched deeply in their faith!!!), Zeke and his epilepsy and developmental delays, lacking in sleep…oh! And we plan to move soon. “…I really should try and chat with Pastor Greg. I’d like to hear what his thoughts are.”
So, I got his number and he was happy to meet with me. I was so, so glad.
I don’t have a pastor to go to being that Andy is the pastor of my church. Sorry. He’s my hubs and although I respect him and love him and I am very blessed by him, I needed to talk with someone who I respected and trusted but was withdrawn from my trails.
Pastor Greg had much encouragment and poured out wisdom as he’d gone through many of the same things but this was the most encouraging.
“I’d be more worried if your church grew really quick.”
Now, we didn’t only talk about Ember and how the growth was slow-going and number dropping but it’s definitely a trial we face in our life right now. We pour out (and so do many others who attend!) so much love and spiritual and emotional efforts into it, it’s sometimes hard to know if it’s really what God wants when people come, love it and then leave.
What my pastor was getting at was that, lack of numbers doesn’t make our church unsuccessful. If Andy is truly preaching the gospel (ha! He doesn’t sugar-coat things, let me tell ya!) and challenging people…and there may not be cappuccinos served with the best, most talented worship band (to easily be argued! haha!) out there, then you probably will not have people flocking in, waiting in line to grab a seat.
*No, of course churches who have these things do not = bad. This was about Ember, not pointing fingers at other churches. Promise. Okay, moving on…
I was really encouraged by that. He reminded me of the Israelites who followed God through the pillar of smoke by day and fire by night. Sometimes, God didn’t move for years. And right now, God’s silent and so we keep seeking Him and waiting on Him to move. Until then, Ember is really blessing those who attend and as a community, we are growing spiritually, together. It’s really cool.
For me, this all ties in with the convo on Twitter that I shared with you. How can we bring Jesus more into our businesses? I mean, our businesses or blogs or just through our lives and those we encounter are gifts from God. Why not let him in? Why not share the hope in the gospel through an obvious outlet where we know there are readers, maybe a few lost souls, even? If numbers drop, you’re still answering to the one who gave you whatever gift(s) it is you have. Bless Him back.
Just an FYI to any new readers…my numbers are low but I only write when A, I have the time and B. bc of lack of time these days, it’s got to be a huge push by the Holy Spirit. I need to know God can use this…for even one person.
And he does. I may not get hundreds of hits, but when I get an email or (a) comment telling me they were blessed, I know God is using even me, even my little blog, for His glory…and that’s more than good enough.
Following Jesus isn’t easy and this life is hard. We can graciously and openly talk about our faith in Jesus and be a light to this lost world through our own struggles, mishaps and of course, joys.
Tell others of your need for Him. It may be just the thing they need to see their need, too.