Wednesday, January 4, 2017

the one about Wednesday night church

For as long as I can remember, I have attended Wednesday night church.  I go almost every single week of my life.  I was fortunate to have been raised in church, and skipping was never an option.  Todd was raised the same way, with skipping never being an option for him either.  We have continued on in that with our kids, missing out on anything that might take us away from church (sporting events, weekend traveling).  

This also includes Wednesday night church.  

My dad always said it like this: imagine driving around in your car all week, going every which way and getting low on gas.  In order to keep from running out of gas, you go to the gas station and fill up your tank.  He equated this with going to church.  As we go on with our busy lives, our tank starts running low.  So we go to church midweek to get filled back up.  

Now, I know that you can be filled up in other ways, mostly from praying and reading in the Bible.  But fellowship with like-minded people is so important.  Without that fellowship, I start to run low on a lot of things.  Being around my friends from church lifts my mood.

Also, I help with youth.  In doing that, I need to develop relationships with the girls I'm always around.  The youth pastor Jason is big on looks, words and touches (high fives for all, hugs from all the girls) and making connections throughout the week.  I can't tell you how many times I've had a girl come to me and ask if if we could go to Starbucks after church, because she wanted to talk.  

I want to stop here for a moment and say that I am also in choir, and forever, choir practice has been on Wednesday nights.  Now that our worship pastor Travis is here, though, he has always led Sunday afternoon choir practices.  One reason is because he would commute back and forth from here to Missouri every Tuesday until they moved here permanently.  The other reason is because he knows that a lot of us are involved in other areas in our church, like me with youth.  I really, really hope that the Sunday rehearsals continue...they make for a long day, but I would rather have it that way so that I can be in youth each week.

Here are a few reasons why it's important for me to go each week.

I love how tan they all are!  This was in June, at high school summer camp at Daytona Beach.  

In order for me to build their trust with me, I need to be there all the time, not just at the big events, like camp or D Now weekend.

We have fun, we laugh uncontrollably, they know all of my little quirks and how delirious I get when I go too long without a lot of sleep, they know I pray for them all the time.  They all know they can come to me with ANYTHING, and that I would drop everything and run to them if the need ever arose.  (I've had situations where girls have dropped by unexpectedly because of something they were going through that was devastating.)  

That was one thing Todd wanted me to think about before I started helping with the youth.  His words were that I needed to be either all there or all OUT.  So he asked if I was prepared for interruptions, nights out, spending weekends with them, sometimes spending an entire WEEK with them, and if I was ready for all the drama that comes with teenage girls (hello, former teenage self).  

After much praying, I decided that I WAS ready for all of that, but even so, my boys always know they come first.  I do turn things down occasionally so that I can have time with them, but honestly, they never mind, because they're friends with all of these girls.  Sometimes that means that they come home during our Christmas party and enjoy all the yummy desserts they brought.

Also?  These ladies are among my favorite people in all of the world.

I have such great friends who also help with youth, and these are the ladies I usually do Bible studies with, and who know me better than anyone else.  I know that if I ever needed anything at all, that any one of these precious souls would do anything they could to help me out.  Some of these friends brought me food for a week back in March when we all had the flu.  And I have fed some of them, when they or their husbands had surgery.  

We are all there for each other.  This is what I call community.  

They're a major perk of helping with the youth.

And along the way, in doing life together, I get to pour into some really amazing girls.  I share my life with them...whether that's in teaching them how I pray or have quiet time, having them come over and help me cook dinner (sometimes they drop by at the dinner hour, and they will end up helping me), texting them, or praying with them at the drop of a hat if they're nervous about a test or about a thing they have to speak at.  

I love my church family so very much....words cannot express.  I am thankful to God for placing my family at Collierville First Baptist Church.  He did just that almost seven years ago, and though the people within are nowhere near perfect, it's perfect for us, because we are seriously flawed.  

I am thankful that we live two blocks away from our church home.  There is something so special about attending a church within your community, and it helps us be at every single event.  The boys all feel the same way I do about church, it's something we all look forward to every week.  All of our friends are from church, honestly, and without them, we would have no social life.  

I pray that this post encourages you to get involved in a local body of believers, if you're not already.  If you're local to me, I'd love for you to try my church!  You can always find me on here, or on social media.  I'll do whatever I can to help you.  I wore my friends OUT when we first started going to this church.  I'm so grateful for them, though, and will do whatever I can to help anyone else.  Also, jump in to a Bible fellowship class, if you're not already involved.  There is one for everybody, I would say, at all churches, and that small group environment is a wonderful place to connect better with people within your church. 

And find a place to serve others!  There are tons of options at churches across the country.

Out of all the things I am most grateful for in my life, my church family is at the top of the list.  I love the people, I love the staff, our pastor, the friends I've made there.  All of this is a gift from God...He never meant for us to walk through life alone.  

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.  

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