Sunday, September 20, 2020

Reflections in the Dark

 Sitting in a rocker, in the dark, a sound machine blasting "beach waves," I forget about the chaos of the day for a moment. 

The frustrating moments.

The tantrums.

The nap refusals.

The sass.

And I just hold on to this moment, rocking my big 4 year old as he falls asleep in my lap.

His face isn’t that of a baby anymore. He’s a little boy now.
Growing and changing every single day.
When he asks to cuddle, everything else stops, because one day will be the last day he requests to snuggle his mama.

I know there are trials ahead.
I know the frustration, worry, overall consuming “mom life” is not going to end or get easier- it will just change as he gets older.
And I’ll find ways to adapt and change with him.
I’ll still be relying on many minute prayers throughout my day.
Still relying on Jesus to get me through it.
And still relying on my favorite coffee shop to supply me with quality caffeine & peaceful escape.

But for now, I’m going to sit in the moment.
Sit with this little boy cuddled on my lap.
Sleeping soundly.

Praying the Lord will bless him and draw him near to Himself.

Praying and surrendering him to Jesus, trusting He knows him and loves him more than I ever could.

For now, I love on him and keep him safe.
I teach him.
Guide him.
And snuggle him every. Single. Time.
For now, I stop thinking about the frustrations of our day and rest in knowing he feels loved and secure.
Rest in knowing he is God’s gift to me and it is an honor and privilege to raise him and watch him grow.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Passions Remain in the Waiting


This is a season of waiting. 

A season full of waiting for normalcy to return. 

A season waiting to be able to go and do all the things my family loves to do. 

A season of waiting for all of the anxiety to work itself out. 

A season full of unknowns, waiting and hoping for answers. 


In this season of waiting, I have one hope; one truth I can cling to even on my darkest day- Jesus


Let me be frank, my anxiety is not a lack of faith. It’s a chemical reaction in the brain. I’ve been here before...

The difference now is I know how to recognize the signs, approach the symptoms, and remember to pray for strength and clarity. 


There is a list of things I love doing and miss greatly during this season. It’s all compacted with the weight of COVID-19 too. I'm sure many of you are experiencing something similar.


Already, as a mom of two toddlers, I’ve been sitting in a season of waiting. A season where I have put my dreams/passions on hold (for lack of better word) in order to raise and care for my family.


“Motherhood is a calling.” I’ve heard that said many times before and it rings true; it’s also one of 3 callings/passions in my life. Now, as I wait with and enjoy my family, I also struggle sometimes with not living out other aspects of my calling.


I had plans for my life after college. What my life looks like now is nothing like what I had envisioned, which is the beautiful thing about God’s will and grace. My family, caring for them, growing with them, leading them to worship, teaching my kids how to care for others; those are all part of my role as a wife and mother. And it is only by the grace of God that I am able to do those things. God called me to it and He will equip me when I seek him. 


Now, let’s backtrack some...


As a high schooler, I knew and felt the call towards special education and individuals with special needs. I went to college, got my degree, taught for 2.5 years, then put that on hold to be a mom. 


But my heart longs and aches because I am not serving such a special community- a community of families I know I’m called by God to love on and advocate for. I sit in this waiting season asking God: “What does this look like in the future? How will you use me next in this area of ministry? When will I do this again?” If you’re wondering, I’m still waiting on that answer- I may be waiting a while, but I won't stop asking and seeking. 


In college, my love for singing became a passion for leading worship. It has been nurtured, full of lessons, and I have adapted to different communities/congregations through the work of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, I feel “stuck in a box.” It’s frustrating, but that doesn’t stop me from participating or serving in worship ministry. Why? Because it’s not about me. It’s not about my preferences. Leading worship is all about leading people to the throne of God, inviting them to enter into a place of freedom before their maker, and often preparing their hearts to hear from God’s word.  


Again I find myself asking the Lord to continue changing and working in my heart. That HIS Spirit would use me as a vessel for His glory while leading worship; whatever that may look like and wherever that may be. As my kids grow older, I am able to be more flexible, serve in different ways, and say "yes" more often; which I love!


But, in these seasons of waiting, I do a few things. 


For starters, I cry... a lot more than you’d think. I also keep bringing it to God while thanking him for the blessings he’s given me in the form of a loving, hard working, God-fearing husband, and two healthy, beautiful children. 


I also grieve. That may sound odd, but I know serving the special needs community IS going to look different when I’m released back into that area of service. Knowing I will not be able to put all of my heart and soul into a job saddens me some, but I’m also excited to see how God uses my family in the next season. 


I also rejoice while waiting with great expectation. My vision of what being a teacher and worship leader looked like is in the past and I am expectant and excited for what God will do in the future. 


I don’t believe God put these things in my heart or has kept the fire burning for no reason at all. I’m excited to see what he does next and what the future holds. But for now, I’ll continue to seek Him while focusing on what he’s put right in front of me for THIS season. 


He knows my heart. He knows my future. He knows my worries and anxieties. And he is the comforter, protector, and provider who never fails. 


This is what I’ll cling to.



Food for thought:

There are a couple of things I ask myself during seasons of waiting:
1. What steps should I be taking right now while I wait?
2. Am I OK with things looking different than I had planned?
3. If not, HOW can I be content with HIS plan for these things he has placed in my heart?

***As I read through Nehemiah (chapters 1-2), I see how he struggled, prayed, and then rose to the calling God had placed on his life. He was a cup-bearer to the King before rising up as a leader among the Jews. Yes, cup-bearer was a risky job I'm sure, but he was "comfortable" in a palace until God called him to something else out of his comfort zone. And he, almost immediately, faces some hurdles. But he doesn't walk away from what God has called him to just because it is hard. He prays. And prays some more. Sometimes seeks counsel from his "leadership team," but his first step is ALWAYS to pray. May I be like him and seek God first, especially in the face of opposition and uncertainty. May I always remember to stop and pray with a thankful heart. 






Friday, June 26, 2020

Prayer is Not a Bookend

Life is a whirlwind.

Things come at me from all different directions, from potty training accidents, to dinner decisions, to hard conversations and situations. Only one question needs to be asked in those moments.

Have I stopped and prayed?

It’s easy to pray at the START or near the END of something. Sometimes prayers turn from cries of desperation into shouts of praise.

But what about all the time in the middle?

I could probably list a few times in my life where I began praying at the start of something, got comfortable or didn’t see any change, quit praying about it, then one of two things would happen:
  1. By the end I was praising God because of how I saw him work (despite my lack of prayer) or
  2. I was spouting off a snarky, cynical response such as, “why bother to pray when this was always going to be the end result.”
Both responses show where my faith was lacking. I wanted prayer to be a quick fix; a magical spell, if you will.

But, that’s not how it works.

I don’t get to claim I trust God fully then walk away and do nothing. Growth, especially in intimate relationships, takes work and is often painful.

Prayer is a vital part of any personal spiritual formation- something that is ongoing until the day Jesus brings us to heaven.

The Bible says to pray. And to not stop. To not lose hope. Did you know there’s even a parable about this??? Check out Luke 18:1-8.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reads: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
‭‭
As I walk through this life, I’m discovering and grasping the importance of making time to read my Bible and clinging to prayer, because those two things are life giving.

Don’t get me wrong, coffee, a good workout and a nice nap are also life giving for me! But those things will never SUSTAIN me. They’re tools that help ease my stress and provide rest for my body.

When I think about how I've approached prayer over the last 10 years, it encourages me for the future. As I grow older, I become more dependent on God and his wisdom more than anything else. I am learning the power of prayer. The power of speaking and praying the blessings and promises of God, not just my problems and concerns. 

God knows my heart. He knows my situations. He knows every moment during the day I feel like I'm going to explode. He sees every single panic attack that comes over me. And he is always there. 

I have the amazing privilege of being able to come before the God who knows every detail of my mind, body, and soul. I get to come to him in prayer without any judgement or concern over saying the wrong thing or sounding like I'm complaining. 

Prayer is the time I get to be most vulnerable.  

Many will say the want "real, authentic" relationships, but a couple of things tend to happen (from my own experience, of course) along this journey towards "authenticity." First, it freaks people out. They don't know what to do with someone who honestly answers the question, "How are you?" Second, they feel like they have to have all the answers or share their own experiences to relate to you rather than just listening. Third, they almost always have an opinion- often based on few facts because the relationship barely scratches the surface- because such relationships take time and energy to build (which *shocker* people don't have "time" for). 

You may think I am being cynical, and that's fine because this is my experience. Maybe yours looks different (and I hope it does). But, I can count on one hand how many "safe" people are in my life with whom I have a truly authentic relationship with... and all of those relationships include prayer as a main component. 

When I'm praying, I don't have to worry about if God has somewhere else to be or if I'm boring him. I don't have to worry about hearing any sort of judgment for pouring out my overwhelmed heart to him. 

He will walk with me, listen to me, and respond according to his will when I come to him in prayer. He will guide me in his Word. The Holy Spirit will speak to my soul without condemnation. He may bring conviction to my heart, but in a loving and graceful way while also leading me through the process of repentance. 

Prayer isn't something I get to do in the morning and then forget about the rest of the day. Prayer isn't a magical spell that relieves all of my worries, anxieties, or problems in an instant.

Prayer is my "shelf." 

Prayer is what holds me up and keeps me going. Prayer is my fuel for everyday and every season. Prayer is, quite literally, how I survive some days. 

Prayer and the voice of Holy Spirit are the things that keep my head above water. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple "Abba, I am yours" to provide my anxious soul with much needed reassurance that I AM HIS alone. Everything I come against, every challenge, every season, every joy, it has all passed through his mighty hand. He invites me to commune with him. To seek him and listen. 

What better way to do that than through prayer and devotion? Everything I own, including my Bible, could be taken from me, except my relationship with God through prayer. 

Prayer is a constant, strong foundation. 

Prayer is not a bookend. 
 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Barefoot

I remember feeling anxious one morning before going on the platform to lead my college peers in worship. I remember feeling a rush of the Holy Spirit come over me, "You're standing on holy ground."

I was shaken. Confused. Liberated.

I asked the campus pastor if I could take my shoes off. His answer: "Go for it!"

There I was, walking onto the stage to lead worship, barefoot. I definitely remember feeling silly, especially when I had friends ask me where my shoes were. From that day on, for a season, every time I led worship with my incredible team, I was barefoot.

I know, it sounds crazy.

In Exodus 3, Moses has an encounter with God via a burning bush. He sees the bush on fire, but not quite engulfed, and thinks he'll take a look around to maybe see what the heck is going on. How is this bush on fire, but not completely on fire? But, he doesn't get the chance to investigate.

Take a look at what it reads in verses 4-6:
When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”  Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

I don't know about you, but if a voice came from a BURNING bush and started talking to me, I'd be gone. 

But, Moses answered. God called him out by name. Moses didn't run scared, he stopped and said "Here I am." God makes clear his sovereignty with the instructions to not come any closer and to take his shoes off because the ground was HOLY. Then God goes on to list who HE is. Then, HE reveals a plan and promises to free the people of Israel from the hand of the Egyptians, using Moses as the vessel to do so. He tells Moses how he will equip him for all of this. And out of a reverent fear, "Moses hid his face." (v.6)

In that moment, when I was anxious, questioning my ability to lead a team and a college campus in worship, God reminded me the stage I was about to stand on was not just a stage. It was holy ground. 

I was in my early 20s. You can imagine there were somethings going on inside of me. I was still discovering who I was as an individual. As a leader of a team. As a peer. As an aspiring teacher. As someone who longed to know God, but had obstacles in my way I still had to navigate and work through. There were so many things holding me back- things I let hold me back. 

I was in my own way. I had walls built high and wide; determined to not let anyone in.

But God broke through all of that. 

He called out to me in the midst of fear, revealing that this thing I was doing, leading worship, wasn't about me, my talent, or even my leadership. It was about HIM. It was about HIM working through me. He had a plan and I was a vessel. 

The thing I needed to know in that moment, in that season, was that each time I stepped up on that stage to lead worship with my amazing team, I was on holy ground. Not a performance stage. 

I'm still human, so the anxieties were still there, but they were quieted. And I as began to walk through the process of healing to freedom, I became more confident in how God was equipping me to lead. How he was preparing me to walk in the calling he had placed on my life.

He gave me absolutely everything I needed. He surrounded me with mentors and teammates who encouraged me to listen to the voice of God. Friends who knew when something was going on inside of me and could ask "How are you?" and I'd give them a real answer; or at least a sarcastic one we could talk about later.  

 There are times since graduating and transitioning to leading with teams at my local church that I have wanted so badly to kick off my shoes, dance, and let the Spirit move. But I also realize there are other things to consider: environment, congregation dynamic, time. Just because I consider my environment, the dynamic of the congregation (leaving my shoes on and dancing feet at home) doesn't mean the Spirit of God is squelched either. 

My goal as a worship leader is to lead the people around me to the throne of God. If taking my shoes off while being on stage is a distraction for the majority, I'm not going to do it. And honestly, I follow the lead of the Spirit on this and then ask whichever church leader is around if it would be okay- just like I did that day in chapel. 

Removing my shoes that morning wasn't for anyone else but me. It was something I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to do -  but I didn't do it without first receiving confirmation. Something inside of me shifted in that moment too. It was a symbol, a simple practice that helped to remind me, shoes or no shoes, the ground was holy. The time was ordained by God. And with HIM, I could walk into what he was calling me to without fear. 

Moses didn't just run into Egypt and demand freedom for his people. He followed the instructions of God. 

In a similar way, I don't waltz into a church environment and lead how I want. I go in prayerfully prepared, following the lead of the pastors in leadership, and I keep my heart and mind in line with the Spirit of God. 

There are other ways for people to see and feel the power of God. It doesn't have to be some grand gesture, burning bush, or amazing experience. God can make himself known in even the mundane, wrong notes, and projection screen mishaps. 

The point is, listen to His instructions. It may seem odd sometimes. It may be something that needs to be confirmed by another spiritual head. But God doesn't lead us into situations without equipping us. 

***Disclaimer: I fully believe we should be able to worship however we feel led with no judgment or worrying about what will be said. But, I also realize that isn't always possible. This is why I prepare my heart and spirit each week I am part of a team. I trust the Holy Spirit will do his work no matter what. Not everyone will always be pleased, but holding back something I feel the Spirit doing is not beneficial to the Church either. This is why I encourage leading in the Spirit, while also being in line with the vision of the church and receiving confirmation from the pastor(s) who have been ordained and equipped to lead the church you are in. And always be in line with the Word. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

April Showers

WOW. What. A. Week.

That's all I've got for the last 6 weeks. I am blessed to have friends I am able to continue studying the Word with via email. It really is helping me to remember who is in control and who I need to be focusing on during this time. There are so many things to be thankful for right now among this pandemic- something we've never experienced before. There are also things that bring about many negative emotions- anger, sadness, frustration, fear, exhaustion.

But I keep reminding myself in the quiet of the night, when the kids are asleep, that God is the source of peace. HE is the only one who can steady my anxious heart and equip me to parent well during this time. And he is also the one pouring out mercy and grace when I screw it all up, lose my temper, and throw tantrums alongside my toddlers.

I am reading a book by Lisa Whittle titled, Jesus Over Everything, and it is perfect for this season. I have to keep Jesus over every single moment of the day. I have to be okay allowing myself to release emotion and ugly cry. I can't keep it all together- today proved that.

I am at the same time doing a study on Psalm 119 with a friend. It has been so sweet to stop at the end of a long day and let the words of the Spirit literally wash over me. There is nothing like those moments when I can sit alone worshiping and remembering all God has done and all he can do.

I was painting my daughters room today with Kari Jobe's album, "The Garden," as my soundtrack. The whole album is one of my favorites, but the title song is so beautiful.
"I realized/ you never left/ and for this moment you planned ahead/ that I would see your faithfulness in all of the green...Love is lifting me from sorrow/ catching every tear/ dispelling every lie and torment/ crushing all my fears"
This song is exactly what I needed in that particular moment today. As a mom, I am always fighting the voice of the enemy- fighting to believe that God will equip and empower me to be the best mom and wife I can be. But sometimes it is exhausting and all of those discouraging thoughts get the best of me instead. I am so thankful the Holy Spirit speaks to my broken heart every day.

None of this is any surprise to God. The pandemic. The public panic and distress. The pain and sorrow many families are facing. All of my really hard days as a mom and wife. Absolutely none of it comes as a surprise to HIM. I am continuing to learn how to respond to all of these things, though, that DO come as a surprise to me. Some days, like today, my head and my heart say two different things, "Jesus, help me!" and "I can't do this anymore! I give up!" Even that isn't surprising to God.

Then I have to make a choice: go to bed frustrated and worn down from a doozie of a day OR fight my flesh, read my Bible and spend some time in God's Word allowing my soul to be refreshed.
Tonight I chose the latter. I don't always, and I suffer the consequences. But when I sit with God, taking intentional time to release and refill, everyone reaps the benefits. It doesn't mean tomorrow will be an awesome day, but it does mean I will wake up filled, remembering how sweet the time I spent with the Lord was; how I fought my flesh to binge watch a show and rather sat with God, allowing him to fill up all the empty and worn spaces of my heart.

I won't wake up tomorrow with the unrealistic expectation I won't lose my temper or my toddlers will be perfect angels. I'll wake up knowing I prioritized my time with the Lord, knowing he is the healer and comforter of my soul, over my feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

A garden can't grow without water, so sometimes, it has to rain... sometimes there are storms, but it prevents the land from drying up. I had a dream once, I fully believe it was from the Lord, of a farm. The land was being tilled and fertilized with manure. It smelled bad, its wasn't pretty, but in the end, that land was ready to produce growth, a new harvest. Walking in faith and relationship with Christ doesn't mean sunshine and rainbows everyday. It's knowing and believing the storms and gray days, the painful, crappy seasons, are all going to produce new growth and renew the things that were dying. Sometimes, you just have to have a breakdown and let Jesus do his work. Sometimes, we just have to put ourselves to the side, get silent, and listen to discern how the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst, because he is always moving.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Let's Talk About Feelings

There’s no doubt the world is in chaos. There are panic stricken people. People everywhere who are suffering in all different ways, to different extents, and they’re coping in a multitude of ways.

We’ve been asked to do something that is far out of our comfort zone and inconvenient (for some) and may even trigger past traumatic events. We’ve been asked to stay home and avoid public places- watching our small businesses struggle because of something we can’t control.

There’s a lot I have to say about what’s happening around the world- but I’m not going to... because it’s all opinion and walks the fine line of between being annoying, political, and religious- and I’m not here to debate.

I’m not a licensed counselor or psychologist, but I’m about to write things that I wholeheartedly believe in and have been told by a counselor in the past (which, y’all, I highly recommend counseling- because mental health is important.)

Every single human being is- bear with me- like a pressure cooker. If I don’t release the pressure, vent out my feelings, I’m going to explode and it’s going to get messy. Releasing those feelings, frustrations, anxieties and voicing struggles is healthy. It’s not complaining - I mean sure, by definition it is but - unless that’s all you’re doing, that’s a healthy, tangible way to deal with stress. Talking it out- especially to people you know will hear you, let you get it out, and leave it at that.

One thing I can’t stand is people rationalizing and minimizing their own frustrations. Listen, I can vent and express the REAL frustrations and struggles of my routine being completely turned upside down, while still acknowledging and knowing how blessed I am. I can let it out knowing I am not the only one and I am in a really blessed position. I can even list some of my blessing and things I’m thankful for during this chaos:
  1. My husband is able to work from home.
  2. I don’t have to juggle teaching/working online while I have my toddlers around.
  3. I have plenty of supplies.
  4. I have a great backyard and great FL weather.
  5. We’re safe and don’t have to go anywhere.
  6. I’ve got all my workouts online I can do in my living room.
  7. I’ve got plenty of coffee.

And the list goes on. And on. And on. I understand there are others who are suffering greatly during this time. There are parents who are still going to work and may not have anyone to watch their kids while school is closed. Teachers who are struggling to figure out how they’re going to teach and care for their high-risk students and families. Families who have barely enough food for the day and/or depend on school meals. Health care professionals literally sacrificing their health for their job and our well-being. Veterans who are battling their memories while their PTSD is being triggered by realities and recommendations of “quarantine” and “pandemic,” and that stinkin’ meme floating around about our grandparents going to war and us being asked to sit on our couches (talk about minimizing the situation). This list could also go on forever, but I’ll stop here because I can feel my level of frustration increasing.. but I think you can catch my drift. 

Here’s the point: your feelings and frustrations are all valid right now (and everyday by the way...). Vent them out, acknowledge your blessings, and move on with your day.
No, you’re not alone. Yes, there are others less fortunate than some us. Yes, people are seriously suffering in ways some of us can’t imagine. And yes, this will hopefully be over sooner rather than later. But that doesn’t make your suffering any less valid- so don’t lock it up and wait to explode. And for the sake of your sanity- stop rationalizing and minimizing your suffering. Acknowledge it, acknowledge your blessings, and if you choose- pray & seek and the face of God. Also, probably just stay off the internet and keep the news turned off. If you’re like me- you can depend on a family member or spouse to give you all the important info- my anxiety can’t handle the news, so I’m not watching it.

Be smart and safe. Take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. If you have friends who are veterans or currently serving- check on them. Nurses and teachers? Check on them and encourage them. Do what you can within your healthy boundaries, but don’t ignore yourself for the sake of others. You're important too. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

What if the only requirement was loving Jesus?

As some of us have discovered via google searches, the internet is flooded with articles & blogs with lists & ways to set expectations for serving in different areas of church ministry. They list skills and character traits that are important to possess & are (sometimes) critical to that area of ministry. One article I saw actually listed “spiritual maturity” as one of the requirements- stating new &/or immature Christians couldn’t serve. *smacks hand to forehead* 

But, what if the only requirement was loving Jesus? Seeking Him? Being willing to have quick (or deep) discussions about how your heart is & being authentic about it all? Isn’t that how we grow spiritually? By walking alongside others who have had different experiences, who are currently walking in relationship with Christ & loving Him with their whole self? If spiritual maturity is a requirement to serve, then none of us should be serving because we won’t reach that till we get to Heaven. Just sayin... 

Punctuality is often another expectation. I don’t know about you, but once I had children, being right-on-time went out the window. One time I was actually 20 minutes late because I had to turn around half-way to the church once I realized I had one of the car seats my husband would need. Things happen. 

But who cares? The real question is whether or not my heart was in a posture to be led by the Spirit during worship once I did arrive. Whether it’s the worship, children’s, welcome, or coffee ministry, our heart’s posture & our relationship with the Lord has to be the number one, most important, expectation of all. 

Here’s the thing: volunteers are not just work horses. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul addresses the topic of spiritual gifts & the church being one body. He writes about different individuals being given different spiritual gifts. No one is the same (we literally are like snowflakes y’all  😂). He goes on about how the church is ONE body with MANY members, all unified through Christ. 

So, what happens when we ask the routine faith based questions, go through the background checks, auditions, spiritual gifts tests (etc...etc...), then get our new volunteer signed up & on the schedule? Do we even think about their relationship with Christ anymore? How their heart and soul are doing? Are they grieving a loss? Walking through trauma? Embarking on a new, exciting season within their family? 

These are questions that don’t get asked often enough of our volunteers. Yes, life is crazy. No, none of us has “time.” Blah blah blah... those are just excuses we use to avoid real heart conversations with others in our communities. We are instructed in the Bible to build one another up, bear each other’s burdens, pray & love one another, but we do a pretty terrible job of that after we get someone “committed.” 

This isn’t  just the responsibility for the ministry leaders either. Why aren’t volunteers coming alongside one another to invest in each other’s lives outside of the ministry? 

Yes, there are small groups & other friends & communities. And you have to be willing to put forth some effort. I know... don’t get all upset. Just listen a minute. 

If loving Jesus is the only requirement, our ministries may actually be overflowing with volunteers, not begging for them. If loving Jesus was the only expectation, we may actually have churches overflowing with new believers as they figure out there past doesn’t define them & we are here to walk with them; broken and sinful, learning more about God everyday ourselves! 

The expectations/requirements, the background checks, they all have their place to some extent, but they can quickly steal the joy out of serving. When volunteering becomes a job with rules and regulations, no breaks because there aren’t enough people to develop a rotation, we get legalistic, particular, and forget about why we chose to serve in the first place. 

Jesus. 

Once again, it’s always about Jesus. 

So, what’s your heart look like? Are you serving because God called you to it? Or are you serving out of guilt & desperation? God doesn’t care how musically talented you are, how gifted you are at teaching children or making people smile at the door. He cares about your heart and relationship with Him. Nothing else matters. 

The only requirement (really) is loving & seeking the One, True, Holy God.