Learning to Stop, and Love

The other morning as I was driving to work, I was talking to my sweet husband. He had decided to give his day off-after a long hard week- to paint furniture for our new apartment.

I’m so incredibly blessed by him, it was supposed to hit the 90’s, and furniture painting isn’t the most fun of activities… I had helped him back on Memorial Day and 6 chairs and 3 coats later I was more than done with it!

So all of this to say, my husband is awesome, and yet I am so so far from it.

On the phone he asked me a question and I thought it was a silly one- I pointed it out and got on the weirdest little soapbox, as if I was performing for the debate team.

My case was solid from every direction, backed up with facts and snarky comments… until Tap broke in and tore my case apart with one line.

“Honey.. it was just a question, you don’t have to treat me like a moron.”

And Smack.

For a moment I was rolling around in my own glory and the feeling of being right, to find I was just rolling in the mud of pride and self-righteousness.

For a moment I was rolling around in my own glory and the feeling of being right, to find I was just rolling in the mud of pride and self-righteousness.

Such an ugly pride.

It hurt, because I had hurt him and he was right.

I need to learn how to stop.

People rarely need a reminder of their faults and shortcomings. We are all so aware already- burying ourselves in grief. We do not need to add a single thing to this pile of self-loathing in ANY way.

But rather we should lift this burden off others, especially our men. And begin to build them up.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:11-15

Stop rolling around in the feeling of “being right” to only come up filthy. Let us stop our silly debate teams, soap boxes, and self-righteous monologues, and start being cheerleaders, builders, teammates, and dreamers.

 

Thank you honey, for painting the rest of the furniture. For being my team mate in making a house a home. You are strong, talented, and becoming quite the handy man!

Love,

Emilie

Hollowed Instruments

I graduated in December of 2011, Tappy in May of 2012.  Since then, my husband has applied to over 80 churches, has interviewed with eight to ten of them, and we have visited four.  In the meanwhile, I have been working two part-time jobs, and the moment I clock out, my husband is clocking in at one of his three part-time jobs.

We have had small moments of excitement, followed by huge disappointments.  Seemingly, most Churches are seeking someone who has three to five years of experience in a Church of two-hundred or more (which is hard to get, fresh out of college).  It has been frustrating at times, but, ultimately, it has been a growing experience.  We have learned to step back from these interviews and not get so attached – It is not about what this Church can do for us, but what can we do for this Church.  Will we be stunting their growth, or will we be the proper instrument God needs to do His work?

In Acts, we find the story of Paul’s conversion.  Paul, aka Saul, was working against Christianity, and was slaughtering God’s faithful servants.  When God was ready to call Paul back onto His side, He asked His man Ananais to deliver the news.

Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.

Acts 9: 10ff

When we go to a concert and hear Kenny G. playing his saxophone, we are not mesmerized by the ability of the saxophone.  The saxophone is simply a hollow tube, awaiting a master to breathe music into it.  Similarly, we need to empty ourselves of our own ambitions, our selfishness and pride, and our sinfulness.  That way we are ready to be used.  Then, when God breathes the Holy Spirit into us and let’s His work come out of our God-given talents – People shouldn’t see us, but see the artist behind the instrument.

During this season in life, we have also struggled to accept that God’s timing is perfect, and in most cases it is not the same as the timezone we live in.  God gets to see the end of the book simultaneously as he views what we call our present. He’s all-knowing, and He’s way smarter than us.  Whenever a Church turned us down, or our plans didn’t go the way WE thought it would, I like to remember Jamie Sullivan’s (Mandy Moore) line in A Walk to Remember, “Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I had for myself.” … and that He did!

Almost a year of searching has finally brought us to a full-time Worship Ministry & Creative Arts position at Troy Church of the Nazarene, in Troy, Ohio!  Praise the Lord for His provision and always better plan!