Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A new church

Switching churches is not an easy thing. We started going to church with my parents about eight months ago. The teaching that we heard from our Pastor was like nothing we had ever been taught. I learned more about the Bible in eight months than any other time in my life. While attending there I experienced change. God brought correction, encouragement and teaching in a a whole new way. I feel that our church should change us. We should get better in our sinful ways. We should learn how to love Jesus more and if none of that's happening, what's the point? At this church, we experienced all of the above. But we have realized how much we crave community in our lives. Many people drive quite a distance to get to church. While our distance is not huge, it still is several cities away. We want to attend Bible Studies that aren't so hard to make. I want to sing and attend rehearsals that don't have me stuck in traffic during the week. Those things may sound selfish to some but with two little ones and another one on the way, our time as a family is precious and the closer our church is, the more it will help.

As a stay at home mom, I long to have outings with others Moms. Bible Studies with other women or coffee at Starbuck's after the kids are in bed with other Moms, helps me be a better Wife and Mother. Or what about a close-by friend calling me from the grocery store to see if I need milk or bread? A trip to Grapevine Mills mall is always more fun when I have another Mom with me. Decorating, shopping and all the things I love is best when someone else comes along to help or indulge with you! Hobby Lobby is always more fun with another woman that has left her kids at home with Dad just like me! And I need new recipes and I have several of my own to share! I have a sewing machine but no clue how to use it. Oh how would love to learn to sew and make baby blankets! Maybe there is a new friend out there waiting to show me how! I love to cook and maybe there is someone out there that needs to learn how! Maybe the Lord can use me to bless someone else by teaching them kitchen skills! There has to be a mom of three that can show me the ropes and surely there is a new Mom of two that I can encourage along the way. This is what I crave, community! I have had this before and since I know how great it is to have a network of Godly women, I realize it is a rudimentary need that must be met in my life. (I miss you Rebecca and Courtney!)

My husband is a fisherman. He loves fishing more than anything. He's blessed to be married to a woman that loves it too. Our best dates end up being the ones we spend on our boat fishing for five hours at a time. But when I fish for five hours, it's because we are catching fish for five hours! As much fun as he has with me and even though he can take me with him to do many "Guy" type things, he needs guys to hang out with. While I love to fish, I don't love to be out there and not catch anything. But Jeremy can spend an entire day on the lake and not catch a thing and be quite content. While I may love to watch Football as much as he does, I'm sure sports would be more fun with a fellow guy! Right now there is an empty slot in his life, he needs guy time. He needs someone to encourage him and he needs someone to encourage. He needs an early morning, crack of dawn coffee buddy to meet at Denny's before work. He needs a Bible Study with guys that love to fish like him and that love to get up at 4am to go the lake! He needs accountability in his journey as a Godly man. He's never really had this before but I feel deep in my heart that this is a rudimentary need in His life that hasn't been met but must be.

Our babies need to learn about Jesus. They need to sing songs and learn as many Bible Stories as they possibly can. While we read to them from the Bible at home almost every single night and we teach them to pray, they need other people to pour into their lives and teach them how to love and serve the Lord. They need Christian friends and a group of playmates that will teach them how to be Godly, young men and women. They need to color Bible Story pictures and participate in kid's musicals at Christmas time. Just like Mommy and Daddy, they need something to belong to.

As a family, we need church. We need others to teach us how to be better parents. We need to learn how to make smart decisions financially. But most of all, we need to learn how to serve God in our every day life. We need a place to fall, a place to surround us during times of heartache or struggle. We need a family of Godly people and that's what we are going to try to find.

So why not church? Isn't this the best place to find what we are looking for? Oh I hope so! Finally this weekend, we will try a new church. The best thing about it, we know a few that already go there, the kids area is amazing and it's maybe FIVE minutes away! I'm nervous about a lot but I'm excited to see what God has for us. If this church isn't a fit, we will probably be able to tell pretty quick. Since we live in an area FULL of churches, there has to be one out there close by that the Lord has already chosen for us. I can't wait to see where it will be and the new people the Lord will bless us with. I pray that we will be a blessing too.

Lord, there is so much on our plate right now. You know the struggles we are facing and you already know the people you will strategically bring our way to encourage us in this journey. As I prepare to be a Mother of three, send women my way that can teach me. I pray that you will bring brand new people in our lives that WE can encourage. Lord, teach us, protect us and help us make the BEST decision. I pray that we will not make a choice based on emotion or other people. I pray that you will show Jeremy the exact place we need to be and help me to follow 100%. Thank you for the place we have come from and the teaching we have received. They have set the bar high! Lord, I want to know you more and I want Jeremy to know you more. As a family, I want us to serve you with everything we have. Help us to surround ourselves with people that will love and teach us. May you challenge us and change us. We have made quick decisions in the past when it comes to our church home based on the wrong things. I pray that we will truly hear from you and that you will protect us from planting our feet in the wrong place. Plant our feet on fertile soil. That's the only place we want to be!

15 comments:

keri said...

amanda....we are so alike in so many ways! except i don't like cooking! and i could teach you to sew! too bad we live so far away. i think we all long for community....the kind of community that God intends. i'm glad you have had it in the past and know what to look for. i just met 3 girls from my comm. group at mcD's and let the kids play b/c we wanted to get out of the house. these same girls i'm in bible study with. they are like my second family. we need each other. we know lots about each other and feel safe sharing life together. i do pray you find that soon as you look for a new church. i think proximity is the key. its so hard to live in community like that if you live too far away. it's exciting to think what God has in store for you...where he wants you to serve...and be served in a new body of believers. its hard in the mean time. wish i could go to hobby lobby with you! and i've never met you! hey thanks for the tip on framing ella's pic...great idea!

Kelly Ann said...

I'm praying for you! I really missed you this weekend! There were times when I wanted to call and escape TO SOMEWHERE with you...hopefully soon!! I love you!

Kelly Ann

Amanda said...

my eleven, thank you for the words of encouragement! I can really relate to you a lot. Yes, it would be so fun if we could do Hobby Lobby together! And when you do something fun with Ella's pciture, I want to see it!

Kelly Ann, I DO HAVE YOU and I am so glad that I have you so close! I can't wait until craft fair season and all the Christmas goodies we will find! The Hobby Lobby Christmas sales! Oh I can't wait! I am so ready for Fall! I'm tired of the Texas heat already! I love you.

Melissa said...

Amanda,

I wish you the best in finding what God wants for your family. I can relate...my church family IS my family (our biological family is largely unsaved). I can't imagine life without them...they are invaluable to me.

Blessings,

keri said...

hey again, i forgot to tell you that my husband loves fishing also. just last nite at dinner he was saying how bad he wanted to go because it had been too long! so i thought it was funny that you mentioned how much your hubby loves fishing. :)
keri

Amanda said...

Keri, this is too funny! Even our husbands would get along! You never know, maybe someday I will be in Georgia and get to meet you. Are you anywhere near Savannah? Paula Deen's restaurant is there and my husband said someday he is taking me there! Or maybe someday you will come to Texas for a visit. Wouldn't that be neat? Again, I pray that I meet a Keri close by. That's what I need!

Wendy said...

Amanda, You brought tears to my eyes once again. We are experiencing very similar things as far as church and what we are looking for. We have been going to our church for 6 years now and we are missing many of the elements you described. It is hard to leave. You grow to love people, but then you know that you have to do what is best for you and your family. If we lived closer, I would love to meet you at Hobby Lobby or Starbucks and my husband loves fishing and is in need of a good friend too.

V. said...

Glad to see you home safe and sound!

You blessed my heart the most with this statement:

"I pray that you will show Jeremy the exact place we need to be and help me to follow 100%"

May we all as wives understand the order that God has placed in our families. May we understand what it means to submit to our husbands as head of the house and trust God to lead him in the right direction.

This is such a revelation for me who has always been the "career-driven;self-controlled; in-control-kind-of-freak". I still see a picture of home-schooling moms of 10 with long hair and frocks(nothing wrong with that!!) when I think of a wife submitting to her husband. I'm a MODERN woman, darnit...

...there is a happy medium that God intends somewhere in there and I trust Him to show me how it all works.

Just this past week I have had to confess my own weakness in this area and ask God for help.

Good luck on Sunday - may God lead your family and may you follow His will.

Blessings on y'all,

V.

Christy said...

I will be praying for you! We have been going to my dads church for a while now and its in support of him. Jeremy is gone so much its easier honestly with it being so close and all but... truth be known.. this post.... makes me really think and search my heart. Now not only do we have us to think about but our baby and well.. is it because thats where God had us or where I want to be b/c of convienence.... thank you for sharing your heart. Pray for me! I have some praying and searching to do!

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Amanda, finding the right church is hard, isn't it? And sometimes, it just takes a while for a new church to feel right. It took me a good 6 months at FC before I felt like it was a keeper (Which is good, since P. was already on staff!)

And how are you feeling?

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

I'll be praying for you Amanda. We actually just found a new church. We are enjoying it so much. We know it's the right church, and my worship experience, walk everything has been more encouraged by not only the teaching, the preaching, the worship but the people we encounter. Praise God for his church!

Amanda said...

Wendy, I just saw your comment. Thank you so much. Yes, it would be great to meet at Hobby Lobby! :) And your hubby, my hubby and Keri's hubby could go fishing all day. Well that means we would have to take kids to Hobby Lobby? NO WAY!

V, thanks for saying what you did. It's hard to let my husband make decisions and me not interfere! So hard! I'm so proud of you saying y'all! I know you don't say it in Canada!

Sarah, I am feeling a little better. I sick of being sick! You understand, I know you do! I'm just praying it goes away soon!

LeighAnn said...

Sometimes change is good.

I would love to learn how to fish!

Things always happen for a reason, just let your life go the way it should.

Karen said...

The winds of change can blow hard and then sometimes it is just a gentle breeze. God will give you and Jeremy perfect peace. God will also give your children perfect peace. Ava Beth will love her new Sunday School class and cry when you pick her up rather than crying when you leave her.

Listen to God and never make a quick decision when it comes to the future of your children.

I love you.
mom

Life full of blessings said...

HI Amanda,
I enjoyed your post and have the same heart as you. We attend a church where my hubbie is youth pastor. We LOVE the people and KNOW this is where God has our family for now. It can be hard at times to feel like we have the close friends and fellowship you describe, for this very longing is mine too! I am a mommy to three, our fourth is due in Nov. 2006. Life is busy, but having close friends is a desire of ours too. I will be praying for God to lead your family and to make it clear where HE desires for you to grow and serve. Just know that a mommy from Missouri, understands your heart and is right there with you. I have had to ask God to give me peace with where we are at right now and contentment in being at a church where the connection is lacking....to GOD be the glory! I praise Him for His Word, that is a steady and constant well of refreshment.
Blessings to you!
Liz