The countdown is on for us moving to Knoxville. We have to be out of our current house this Saturday, and are still in the process of finding our new home in Knoxville. I am so excited to be back in the saddle again as a pastor's wife. The two year break from full-time ministry was one of the hardest, yet most fulfilling seasons I have ever been in. The lessons I have learned, and the growth that has happened for our family over this time, has made this second go round at church planting in a new city one to be reckoned with.
I have fallen off of daily blogs over this time, because the season of growth and uncertainty made it hard to write my usual blogs. I am also not very good at informational ones, such as this one. My heart is for sharing my stories. So here I am, stepping back into full-time ministry, and getting excited to have the keys at my fingertips again to join you pastors' wives in laughter and tears as we relate through our stories together as the wife of the pastor. So here goes round one................................................................
THIS IS HOW WE LOVE THE CHURCH
Last Saturday in Knoxville, as I was in line of the local Three Rivers Market checking out my snacks for the park, I noticed how clean my cashier's glass' were. Im telling you, they were so clean, I thought there were no glass in them. And, since this isn't Nashville, where people try to be "cool," I knew there had to be glass in them. So, me being the person that thinks out loud, I said, "Wow! Your glass' are so clean, I thought you didn't have any glass in them." He smiled and said "Thank you, I am obsessed with cleaning them." He went on to tell me he cleans them every five minutes with an eye glass cloth, and that he buys them often because he loses them often.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was once again in Three Rivers Market buying snacks for the park, and guess who was my cashier? As I thanked him and walked away, I asked him if he ever got the smudge off his glasses he mentioned having on Saturday. He responded, "Yes, but now I lost my cloth." Giving my sympathy, I left and headed to the park. As I left the park hours later, I sensed the Lord leading me to buy him a cloth for his glass'. I ran it back to the Market, and caught him just before his lunch break. I extended the cloth and quickly told him that I got this for him. His face was shocked. He said, "You got this for me?" Of course, you lost yours, so I wanted to get you a new one. He smiled, "It is my birthday today!"
We get hung up so often, that building and loving the church is handing out a connection card. Or maybe loving them is by just giving the people who physically come to our church on a Sunday morning a hug. But, I am here to tell you, that isn't the only way. The cashier has no idea who I am, or why I am moving to Knoxville. I didn't tell him. I will continue to shop there, and I will continue to go out of my way to love him and others above and beyond the norm. When I say love, I mean just that. No ulterior motives to get someone to attend a Sunday morning worship service. But, love them.
Pastors, pastors' wives you will never accidentally love someone. We have to be intentional, and look for opportunities to bless people. I know you have preached the sermon a thousand times, that the church is wherever you go. But, its true. We all need the reminder that church just isn't a building.
One reason I have come to love Knoxville, and find it so completely different than Nashville is that there are so many lost people. In Nashville, everyone was a christian or just said they were. However, every weekend we visit Knoxville, we can pretty much guarantee every person we come in contact with is an outspoken NON believer. They don't care, and they don't just use "I am a christian" as a lose term. They are ok with who they are, and that they are an atheist, or buddhist, or whatever. So, loving people like that has been exciting. I have met more people on my own visiting weekends, than I did in Nashville the six years we lived there. I am getting excited y'all. I can't wait to be on the ground, and live in the community.
If you could join me in praying for a few things...
we are trying to find a place to live. the hoops you have to jump through to get a house in this city are crazy.
the people of Knoxville. There is a hunger for Jesus, they just don't know Him yet.
We are fundraising. Pray people continue to partner with us loving people in this city.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor