We got home from our vacation out west to Missouri late, late last night. I stayed up even later unpacking and washing some dirty clothes. Today I couldn’t wait to wake up and blog. There has been so much on my heart to write about through out the week and I am finally at my computer. I realized something really important while away. Keeping a healthy perspective is very difficult to do without taking a step back. Although I won’t be able to rush off and have a vacation every time I need a new perspective, I can meditate and write. That is what taking a step back looks like for me. I happen to be a Christian. That means I am walking through life with the Lord. And so my meditation is spending time with Christ.
For years now my time spent with Him was either praising Him or asking questions and seeking His mind on the answers. It usually happened whilst in the shower or any time I was laid up in bed or the couch during bouts of depression. While relaxed on vacation and away from the stress of leaving the Church I’ve called home for almost 2 years, I found myself in an almost constant state of meditation. I was in touch with Christ so much more consciously than I had been before.
For a while I have stayed away from reading the daily emails from my favorite authors and bloggers regarding living the organic Christian life. I knew myself. I knew that I would latch on to them in place of letting the Lord guide my meditating moments. Well, the last week or so I found myself reading every blog post and daily email sent by the men I trust and respect tremendously- Frank Viola and T.A. Sparks. Sometimes Chris and I would read them together in the morning before we began our activities for the day. I can say that for the most part they didn’t take up space in my thoughts during meditation, but rather confirmed the beautiful life of Christ that has been living vibrantly within.
Something happened when Chris and I decided that it was time to go. (I could easily write that the Lord was “leading us on”, but when you’re a Christian I think it should be implied that the Lord’s life shines through in everything we do… so I don’t need to say that the Lord is moving us. We’ve decided that it was time.) Anyway, we became a little nervous of the unknown… I haven’t started packing and don’t know where we are going. I can’t look up homeschool groups, church life, or anything yet. Also, we feel the sting of leaving. We feel love for the Saints we are leaving and it hurts bad. It’s getting easier and easier as we haven’t really seen anyone since making the official announcement. I know that in the past when a fellow Saint would announce their leaving, I cut all communication. I couldn’t even say good-bye to most of them. It was painful and I hated good-byes. Now I see how much it must have hurt them how I stayed away at the end. But it does make it easier to understand “why”.
Back to what I was trying to express… Chris and I realized something when we decided it was time to go. The Lord is huge. He is with us and has been with us all along the way. He was with us just as much before when we had no Body to share life with as He was when we were swimming in body life. Now, I know we are not meant to be alone and that we are a part of a giant family of believers. So I am excited to find a local family in whatever neighborhood we live. I hope they come to love and accept me and my flaws the way the family in Gainesville has, and I hope I will be able to love and accept them as well. But my love and communication with the Lord does not hinge on external factors. Christ provides Himself to anyone who wants to eat and drink of Him. By eat and drink I mean sometimes literally having the Lord’s supper and other times I mean feasting on His words He speaks to my heart. They come from the bible and they come from others who are walking with Him. I just spent a week with a lovely family(that just happens to be my Brother and Sister: in law, and in Christ). They love the Lord and I felt His grace, His hospitality, and His acceptance when with them. And they go to an institutional church. His love and His “flow” is everywhere.
I am looking forward to my children having church life too as they have had very little. One of my favorite authors has quoted in one of his books as saying, “Do not sacrifice your children on the alter of church and do not sacrifice Christ on the alter of your children.” I believe he backs it up with scriptures in Titus, but I don’t feel like looking it up now. (If you would like a reference on anything I write that is quoted, email me and I’ll get it for you) Chris and I have been guilty of putting our needs above our children’s needs when it came to church life. A few times I have mentioned to Chris that we should organize a regular gathering of meetings for the kids in our church, but I was not diligent in carrying those ideas out. I know my limitations and what I have time for. Right now with homeschooling them, teaching them about the Lord and how to spend time with Him, as well as running a family… I don’t have time to organize a children’s group based on Christ’s life so I am going to look to and delegate that responsibility to another. I am going to have my children in an institutional church whether Chris and I go to one or not. There was a family in our organic church who had their daughters in an institutional church for a time being. So I know it can work.
The overall message that I hope comes across in my post today is that Christ is everywhere. All of my judgement calls I ever made were wrong. The Lord does His thing in each of us and when we can get together, that’s great! But it doesn’t have to look like anything in particular. Each family has different needs and paths. I would love to live in a healthy organic church for the rest of my life, but I know that if that doesn’t happen, the Lord wants all churches and all people. He is a lover of people. I can’t say that it makes Him happier when I worship with one group over another because none of us know. If you are reading this and you are walking with the Lord, then you are my Brother or Sister. And if you are not walking with the Lord, then I love ya’ just the same, truly. Some of the nicest people in my life have not met the Lord and they may never meet Him. And I love them and accept them just the same as they have loved and accepted me.
I love you all. I hope you enjoyed my back-from-vacation-blissful-attitude blog post. I loved writing it.