Somewhat disheveled thoughts from six months of ministry (wink)

The beginning of January marked six months in our new home. Life and ministry in our small, unincorporated town has been everything we prayed and hoped it would be. And the last thing I'd want is for this wonderful (and huge!) part of our lives to get lost in the shuffle of blog posts filled with photographs and creative pursuits. 


I'm married to a baptist preacher. It's fun and funny to write that. (You should say that first sentence with a deep, southern accent.) (wink) And today, I wanted to share two decisions, commitments really, that Steve and I made when we first moved here. I realize that I hardly am qualified to give ministry advice, but on the other hand, I've learned over the last couple of years that a good word spoken at any time is just that-- good. And I believe, with my whole heart, that what I am about to write is valuable, not because I am writing it but because God impressed it on our hearts.

First, we committed to ask the Spirit's help in not speaking ill of any person in our body of believers. This is a lesson that we've learned the hard way in previous years and I'm sure we've fallen already in our first six months. But, somehow, having that commitment between ourselves in front of God has felt like a safeguard in so many ways. Second, we decided when faced with overwhelming advice, whether good or bad, to wait until the next day to discuss the conversation again. Somehow, and thankfully!, suggested changes don't seem as overwhelming when a good night's sleep has been thrown in. 

Last, (and let me just set up my microphone and get my soap box adjusted just right) (smiling wildly) I'd like to banish the idea that ministry, or marriage, or life, has a honeymoon stage. If we are honest, we know, we absolutely know that life will have its difficulties. And if we believe in the sovereignty of God, we also know that those deserts, those difficult times, are for our good and the glory of God as much as the mountain-top experiences. And so, if I could say one last thing, it would be this-- don't tell people, who are headed into ministry and thrilled to be doing so, to expect a honeymoon stage followed by belly-of-the-whale moments. Instead, tell them of the grace and goodness of God that is there for the taking "in the land that is plentiful where Your streams of abundance flow" and there "when I'm found in the desert place though I walk through the wilderness." Blessed be your name.

*There is hardly a time that I can sing through Matt Redman's beautiful song Blessed Be Your Name without tears streaming down my face. It was the song that God gave to us when we lost so much, when we felt so many things being pulled away from our lives, only to reveal the greatest Joy for our lives. 

19 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Mom, thank you. We are so looking forward to seeing you TOMORROW!

      Delete
  2. What a honest and inspiring post, Sarah. Thank you so very much for sharing.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christina, for letting me know!

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, friend. And also-- your gift of the book? So, so timely. THANK YOU!

      Delete
  4. love that song...my husband leads worship and that is one of my favorite ones he signs. So exciting to see where God is leading you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christina! I know it-- such a great song!

      Delete
  5. i love what you said about sleeping before you and your husband discuss any serious or overload of advice. how wise or you both.

    God is doing such exciting things, and I am so glad that together, as His children we get to experience that.

    also, i am really loving what you said about honey-moon phases and I couldn't agree more! i always get a bit frazzled and frustrated when people refer to their "spiritual high" as something that has to end. now I am not saying that we don't experience lows, that is a part of life and growth, but i too get on my soap box about not giving enough credit to those mountain top times.

    thank you for sharing what you have learned with me. your blog is such a treat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes! I wanted to write more about the whole mountain-top/lows/highs but it just wasn't coming to me. But you are right-- the whole of life, all of it, is all a gift! And yes to banishing those honeymoon life thoughts! : )

      Delete
  6. I love this! Great advice.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such a sweet and transparent post. Thanks for sharing it here for the benefit of the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for letting me know, Bethany. These things were hard to write, sort of, but therapeutic too.

      Delete
  8. absolutely fabulous.
    i love your advice - and heed it. as a former youth minister (hopefully to return one day) i couldn't agree more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amy! Hope your week is going well!

      Delete
  9. I loved this -- every bit of it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this! Thank you for sharing! I think you are exactly right :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so glad to have found this site, and to hear your story. Only just read this post, but looking forward to reading more or what God is doing and how He's moving your family.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for reading here and sharing life with me!