Did you read the title? That is a huge amount of blog posts. Does that make me a chatty Kathy? Even if it does, that's okay. I pray over this blog all the time, that I never write anything to glorify myself, but that I make much of God. I picked this year as another year to memorize Scripture with a bunch of women online, and the first two I picked are two that I pray over my whole life~whether if I'm home with my family, or on this blog or social media. I'll write them below.
2 Corinthians 10:17 and 18: But, "Let the one who boasts, boast about the Lord." For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
There are a few of you who have been faithfully reading this thing for as long as I've been writing. I think that's been a little over seven years now, which blows my mind. I started this blog as a way to keep track of our life, and one of my very first posts was at a time in my life when I was completely overwhelmed and was reaching out to someone else in desperation.
How far the Lord has brought me.
The bunch of online women memorizing Scripture that I mentioned? There are several of us who have been reading Beth Moore's personal blog for a very long time. I believe that started at about the same time that I started this blog. There are several of us who are real life friends now! Well. If you consider a Facebook friend a real life friend. We are sisters in Christ, who have prayed over each other for years now. It's really neat seeing how that happens, and it's one thing about social media that I love. (There are also tons of things about it that I hate, but I prefer to focus on the good.) And I do consider them real life friends, by the way. If I ever make my way to their corner of Texas, I will meet them.
They were some of my first encouragers on this blog.
Don't you think there is something so powerful about your girlfriends? (If you're a guy reading this, then just ignore the next little bit.)
I want everyone to have the kind of friends that I have! I know that family is important, too, but your family HAS to love you. Your friends choose to love you, and mine do not judge me at all! I can be real with them, and they've all seen me at my best, at my ugliest and at my worse. They've seen me laugh, they've held me up as I've cried, and they have listened to hours' worth of conversations. Where do I find these friends, you wonder?
I know church is a touchy subject for some of you. You've been burned by "church" people. You think we're hypocritical. (We are not all that way, I promise!) You think we're judgmental. You can't find "your place". (Been there, done that.)
But don't give up on finding a church family. I do believe that church is not just a building you go to once a week to get filled up, then leave for the next six days. Church is us~a body of believers. We should be the church whether we're in a building or outside of a building. But having a place to corporately worship together multiple times each week? There is no replacement for this, in my book. I do consider us being able to attend a church a privilege and a freedom that we should enjoy. I don't believe we'll always have that freedom, because I do believe we're in the last days. (Come quickly, Lord Jesus!) I love my church family so much. They have continually been the hands and feet of Jesus. Our pastor provides us with Godly wisdom each week that is applicable to our daily lives. He equips us with what we need to be able to disciple our own family. Whether you're a part of a large church, a small church or a home church, it is important to find a body of believers to belong to. (A home church might sound strange to some of you, but I have several friends who belong to one of these. I think it's cool! It's usually just a few families who meet weekly to worship, pray and someone shares a message. The people who meet in homes are the church body to each other, and they do life together each and every day~much like those of us who belong to other churches do!)
I have found my best friends in church throughout my life. I'm not saying to make that THE reason you go, but it is definitely one of the top privileges of being someone who regularly attends. I love being around like-minded believers. Everyone probably does. Do you ever feel they're the only ones who "get you"? Surely I'm not alone in this.
In order to do all this that I have mentioned, you must be active in serving. I love being fed by my pastor each week, but I also take joy in being able to feed into others. How? For me, it looks like being a leader with the youth. I help lead eleventh grade girls Bible fellowship class each week. I help lead community group for them each week. I am around for activities and lately, I've been involved in the Wednesday night worship. I am someone who is around all the time, and, hopefully, someone who is readily available. I may not consider myself a "teacher" (that is NOT AT ALL my spiritual gift), but I do "teach" them by the way I live my life.
The reason for going to church is important~as believers, we need to be fed each and every week. After that, our job is to go out and BE the church to others. We do this by sharing about Him to people who are unbelievers, to serve others, to share His love and by discipling those in our lives. For me, that means that I am to disciple my kids. And any others the Lord puts into my life.
If there is even one person reading this that this speaks to, then I pray that it encourages you. I also pray that it challenges you to be on the lookout for a church family, if you don't already have one. I have been in four churches my whole life~the one I was born into, one that I was active in during my teenage years, one that we went to after we married and had kids and the one I belong to now. I certainly don't consider myself a church hopper, but due to life and the way it ebbs and flows, we have had to move around a little and find a home according to the needs in our family. The church we are at now is one we've been at for five years now, and they are my people. I finally know more people than I don't (well, maybe not) and we have settled in. As always, if you would like to hear more about where we go, feel free to comment with your email address and I will talk to you more about this.
Thank you for reading my blog. :) Know that I pray over you. Love to all.