Dtown blog

I will be writing on another blog, in addition to this one. I recently accepted a very part-time position with a local Mennonite church, birthing a missional expression of ministry outside the walls of the church building. I serve on a team of three, and we will be sharing our thoughts here, if you care to read:

missionindtown.wordpress.com

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still winter on the inside

It felt to me that winter was going to last forever this year. I couldn’t wait to watch our 10-acre wood come alive, and I kept talking to the bushes and trees, “Come on, please. Grow. I need new life. I need some color!” Then it would snow… again. But here I am, sitting in my sunroom with the windows open, listening to new bird songs, and I can almost see the apple tree blossoms opening before my eyes. The grass is green. The daffodils and tulips are actually almost past their best blooming days. What surprises me most… and disappoints me… is that the change of season has not changed my weariness of spirit. I am glad for warmth and more sunshine, but I am still tired inside and out. Where is the lightness in my step that I thought would come? Where is the joy this time of year is supposed to bring?

My daughter said recently, “God speaks to me at night, mom. And sometimes He mumbles, but only sometimes.” And I thought, it used to be that simple for me. I used to talk like her. I used to have that kind of faith. But somewhere in my week-in-week-out, year-in-year-out ministry life… it has gotten… what is the word? tired? old? complicated? disappointed once too often? God seems to be mumbling right now… more often than not, actually. Or maybe I can’t hear Him because I’m talking too much. Maybe I’m disappointed because I’m looking for a different outcome than God has in mind. Church is the same. People seem to be the same. God, what are you up to?

In January, I drew a word out of a basket. This is a ritual at our church… our pastor prayerfully chooses words from scripture, puts them on small pieces of paper, folds them and places them in a basket. Each of us blindly chooses a word from the basket to be our “grace” for the coming year. In December, we will tell the stories of how God has brought that grace home to us over the past twelve months. My word for this year… you’re not going to believe it. It’s GOODNESS. When I picked my word out of the basket and unfolded the paper and saw that, I thought: how I need this right now! I need to see the goodness of God! It would be food to my soul. My heart is filled with so many wishes for my church, my family, my friends… presently unfulfilled wishes.

So I’m taking my winterized heart and soul to God… and trusting that despite what looks like failure or disappointment, that is not the end. It takes practice. I sit in my hammock and listen to my kids play in the creek a lot. And I tell God that winter is still in me. In this year, there will be goodness– Good things in ministry, good things for my family, good things for all those who God loves. I will see it. Spring will come!