Sunday, October 30, 2011

This is what I love :)

So, I think like the last five posts have been about decorating our home and being crafty (or rather, not being crafty in my case). However, the most satisfying and worthwhile aspect of my life has nothing to do with working on our home at all; although I'm finding I enjoy that much more than I thought I would! So, I thought I would share the MOST rewarding and, at times, the most frustrating area of my life (aside from Rowan and John) -- college ministry.

John and I started volunteering with Cru here in New Orleans about two years ago and we love it. Cru is an interdenominational Christian org. that focuses on reaching college students - or at least the branch WE work with focuses on reaching college students. God used this organization in such a huge way in our lives when we were in college, and there's no way we wanted to miss the opportunity to be used in the same way in the lives of others. It's hard work, and it feels like we're bumbling our way through a lot of it, but God is faithful, and He is good (that means He's been working in spite of us). :)

Here's a snippet from our latest prayer letter:

Our fall retreat this year was probably my favorite to date. Here’s why. It wasn’t because of the inspiring words of our speaker -- Stuart Dodds, the regional director for Athletes in Action; it wasn’t because of the original worship music played by our very own staff members and volunteers; it wasn’t even because of the peaceful get away that naturally accompanies a fall retreat. This was my favorite retreat by far because of the way that I saw God move.

With John unable to attend because of work, I was on my own with Rowan for the weekend. Now, I love my son, but an entire weekend of having him to myself, in a strange place, keeping strange hours, and desiring in the midst of that to be spending time building into students - well it was a challenge to say the least. However, what I did find was that in the midst of a sleepless night, or while having to escort a noisy 7-month-old out of a night-time meeting, the Lord burdened my heart to pray. And pray I did - for the retreat, for our students, for Stuart, for relationships to be made, and so on.  And not surprisingly, the Lord met me in such a real way during those times. He settled my frustrated heart and gave me joy in what I WAS able to do. The BEST part, though, is that he still provided some of the most uplifting and encouraging conversations that I’ve ever had with our staff and students. 
I had the opportunity to pick Stuart’s wife’s brain about how to balance being a full-time mother and wanting to do full-time ministry. I took a long walk with a sophomore from Tulane who openly shared her life with me and is now coming to our house for discipleship on a weekly basis (John is discipling her boyfriend too!). The Lord even used Rowan to start conversations with students who I normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity to talk to (who doesn’t love a baby?). 
All of this to say that while I felt frustrated with what I seemed unable to do, the Lord reminded me that He is able to accomplish infinitely more than I could ever hope. As my role on the team seems to be in constant baby-induced flux, the Lord has been gracious in providing awesome opportunities to feel purposeful and encouraged in how He is using us. Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I’m so blessed to be able to share this season of our lives with you!

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