I have two parts of my calling that always cause me internal conflict .. that Jesus has called me to preach in places that are not my local home church (because I LOVE home and her people) and sometimes the cost feels great as I weigh up leaving, not being present in my home church and also let's be honest .. just navigating the planning and family dynamics of going.
But I really do feel called. Like a God-calling-my-name type of calling in this season. So we work out the logistics of it locally and in my home. My husband is amazing at releasing me and my local team are just the best at what they do. Today was one of those days where I desperately missed being local for our own special day of baby dedications, but I really felt the release when my friend asked me to preach in their incredible church whilst they took a sabbatical. Both were so important to me. So you have to ask yourself questions when this happens and then make sure the answer aligns to what is right for you and right to do.
The second part that often causes me some internal conflict, is when God is calling me to serve in something outside of my local context that stretches me and then ends up being something that gives me less margins to be local and present. I would never let these opportunities take me away from what I am actually paid to do so that I honour what is my employed role, but then it means serving on top of that with many more hours of volunteer time. So then I land with the many, many incredibly faithful people who do that always in churches like ours. Right now I am feeling the weight and stretch of that 'extra' as I lead a national project to mobilise women into an internship with a phenomenal movement called Gather Women across Canada . So as a woman you do have to navigate if this is part of the 'land' God is giving me, or is it just a good idea with no grace on it.
I did ask myself, my husband and a few friends those questions lately and i think it is super healthy and helpful to do. The answer was YES to this ... because i believe again that it is right for me and right to do.
Then I ask myself does it align with my passion for women to find their place in the House of God.
As you can tell I am passionate about the local church, and not just mine. It is not because I am a pastor either. It is because I honestly believe ‘she’ is the hope of the world. So anything I can do to strengthen her, then I am all in.
I am convinced that when humanity longs for a homecoming it’s a woman’s touch that calls people ‘home’ to the House of God.
Your feminine heart and strength SCREAMS ‘welcome home’ to all those who are still to come.
I see a picture of these ‘daughters of Z’ fighting for more than land – it was for a sense of HOME FOR THE GENERATIONS TO COME.
Even the dialogue they were in amongst the leaders, priest and congregation was a momentary picture of what was to come in local churches all across the earth.. where women take their place and stand for what is right and just.
So I have a few thoughts today on making the house God has planted you in feel like home – both to you and those who are to come…(and if you are already completely planted and flourishing then I pray this would still encourage you)
1.Home is where your heart is – is your heart here?
(when I say ‘here’ I mean wherever ‘here’ is for you in your local church)
First of all is YOUR OWN HEART here? Are you becoming known – not just for what you do but who you are!!
You can be ‘here’ without being here – some of you haven’t wanted to trust again, but you are doing amazing, a fighting to become brave hearted. Some of you still have walls up and the problem is – no one else can let them down for you.
Your journey – your testimony is needed here – all that God has brought you through is needful for someone else to learn from. There are so many other people on the other side of your obedience to open your heart and connect here.
Don’t isolate – you cant do that when its your HOME & your family.
And be real – I know it takes time – but so many people move ‘houses’ because they are not prepared to deal with issues and get real!!
2. Respond to the invitation to ‘Make yourself at home’
When you first come into some on elese’s house they say to you – make yourself at home and show you around.. have you been shown around? Do you really know all the various aspects to this home? The different ministries? .. in our church I tell people – every church news ad is an INVITATION TO YOU. No one else can do it for you once you have been told ‘to make yourself at home’. Or maybe its time you helped someone else find their way around. Think about this for 2020.
3. The maternal heart brings a sensitivity to God
Without women rising up in the House of God and throughout our communities I believe that humanity is missing out on seeing the other part of Gods heart expressed on the earth. The worship, devotion, inclination and tenderness to God you bring SHIFTS ATMOSPHERES!
4. Prodigals return home
There are promises all through out the Word about restoration and reconciliation and it all happens IN THE HOME. Prodigals return to a HOME – not to a HOUSE. Let us not be like the older brother – lets open our arms and prepare for their return – we have been waiting for you! No judgment, condemnation, criticism – get ready for it! Lets extend the same grace extended to us. Women can be carriers of this grace.
5. The maternal heart gathers generations to learn from one another.
A generation – a company of people drawing breath at the same time! I love this! Our church is so generational. We have gorgeous people in their 80s that see it as their absolute God-given responsibility to embrace the younger of this generation. And we see it as our responsibility to empower them to do so – with all their wisdom and life – lessons, because what they are is YOUNG SPIRITED. There lies the difference – they are not going to say ‘back in my day’ – because today is their day.
What is the story of your life that is being passed on? What inheritance are you bringing to make the house you are planted in like HOME?
True legacy lies in nurturing within the next generation a passion for their spiritual home.
Maybe it is time to boldly lean in with all your heart to the place of your planting.
Love you girls x