Walking to Church

unnamedMost of the world walks to be with their church family. Loren and I have never walked to be with church community on a Sunday morning, until this morning. Corvallis Church cancelled services for today, along with the rest of the city, and were encouraged to join with any neighbors and have house church (Pastor Mike sent an email with an entire e-service listed! It was awesome). The power went out again last night and our friends invited us over for breakfast and church this morning. They have a wood stove. Us Brenners aren't fond of driving in this slushy snow, so we decided to walk the short mile. In doing so, I found myself complaining way too much:

I was splashed by cars driving by on multiple occasions, I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was tired, I was hot, my calves hurt...seriously, as I list all that I whined about it is embarrassing. Loren, fearlessly leading the way through the sidewalk snow mounds, stopped in his tracks and turned around. He bent to kiss me (because I am a foot shorter than him) and he said, "Most people do this every Sunday. Most of the world walks to be with their church unnamedfamily. And not just in the snow, but in conditions which are just as harsh if not worse. Not with the right shoes or clothing, but either barefoot or with sandals. Can't we make this a memory? Can't this be a funny story we someday tell our kids?" I know what you're thinking: he is amazing. He leads me closer to the heart of Jesus every day. He reminded me that I should do everything without arguing or complaining, like who is this guy? He is my husband and I am so honored to have such a leader that loves me.

As we finished the trek to our friends house, we laughed and we slipped in the slush and we held hands. We talked about what a groovy day it already was, and were excited to hang out with this couple and their three crazy kids. When we arrived, we were greeted with faces plastered against the window and hands waving frantically. The mama was making eggs while the dad was throwing his kids around and making them giggle. The crazy baby sat there slobbering and smiling with his two teeth. The entire time I could not help but be completely joyed observing this family interact: they wrestled, they tickled, they laughed, and they were real.

Our worship music was that of children's laughter. We read through 1 Corinthians chapter 4 (chosen by their 7 year old). We closed with prayer and communion, which was a piece of Chex cereal and some sort of juice in a shot glass, remembering Jesus and the sacrifice He gave for us. It was truly one of the most real "church gatherings" I have ever been a part of. I definitely missed the other 120 people, though - the entire body. There is something to be said about a mass of people gathering to use their gifts and talents to build one another up, all to bring Jesus glory. I decided I would walk to be with church community again, even if it meant through the snow. I decided it was well worth it.

It hit me later that we have a few people who walk to be a part of our church service on any given Sunday morning. These few walk a lot further than I did today, and they usually have each slept in a much less comfortable place than I do.

I am honored to be part of this church community.

 

 

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Snow Day! A Reminder of Who's In Control

This snow day has reminded me that I am not in control. 20140206-142445.jpg Our back patio, this morning!

Graice and I watched Dumbo early this morning, fading in and out of sleep.

Because our "small" city rests in the Willamette Valley, more than 3 inches of snow throws everyone off! School was cancelled which means I cancelled my meetings and work agenda for the day - I was blessed to hang with Graice! (Her parents are out of town). The whole city sort of rolls up its sidewalks.

20140206-152344.jpg I am a planner. This can defeat me on days like today: I have a plan set in my mind and when I am forced to change it, my mind jumbles and I get frazzled. I blame this on my desire for control! Something I so desperately don't want to be true. I don't want to cling to control, because that shows the lack of distrust I have looming in the corners of my heart. As well as the mind set that I think I know what's best for my day; my life.

Which is why days like today are just what I need. I need to be reminded that I am not in control and that if the weather calls for me to sit at home, catch up on bills, and watch a movie rather than live by my own agenda and cross items off of my to do list...I should seriously accept this gift with open hands! I should be deeply grateful for this grace gift.

And that is what I have become: deeply grateful. As soon as I accepted that I am not the most important person in the world, nor was I the only person whose plans probably got messed with {because of the "wild" snow}, I was at peace and ready to accept the gift of today. Jesus has shown me through today how much He loves me and how His agenda is so much better. The beautiful Graice and I decided to go across the street to Market of Choice to order a warm drink made by the one & only Jesse Lister. We then proceeded to sit by the fire and each read precious words straight from the Bible!

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I was filled with peace by a Psalm. It reminded me that The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love! That He showers, drenches, us with compassion. Even when my day starts off scewed. The pages read that He keeps His promises and is gracious in all that He does - His promise that I am His and He is mine, His promise that He is with me, His promise that my value and worth is not measured by the results I produce and the tasks I accomplish! Those promises are kept true, even today when the snow tells me I cannot go to the office or meet with certain people. His promises are kept even when my heart {sadly} believes my agenda is better - the promises remain through my struggle of being reminded how much bigger Jesus is.

He lavished so many love gifts upon me today. Graice has one of the most beautiful smiles and a precious heart. Conversations with her were mostly about Jesus and His undying love for us, along with the goodness He showers us with. We sipped delicious coffee, too good to our taste buds. Once I decided to fully accept reality {which was a blessing}, I became fully present in each moment, and in that was over joyed even deeper. I was receiving gifts today. Gifts I would not have had access to, had the snow not fallen & shut our city down.

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Jesus is close to all who call on Him. All I have to do is call upon Him! The access to the Calm amazes me. I am overflowing with joy now - I am grateful to clean up our messy home, to watch movies with a sweet girl, to sit fireside and soak in promises from my King...what a much more beautiful day than I had planned!

We are back home and I am about to write some very necessary Thank You cards to some extremely amazing people. What a gift today has been.

Be blessed!

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What has your day looked like? Have you been reminded of any Truths that you relearn often?