These are the days when our house transforms into our church every Sunday night. If you have kids, you know that cleaning with your house with kids around is basically like turning on a box fan with a stack of tall papers sitting in front of it, and then trying to keep those papers in a neat pile. That’s me every Sunday afternoon. Once I finally get it clean, I usually see someone walking around with a graham cracker getting crumbs everywhere. By that point I don’t even clean the crumbs up because I don’t want to completely loose my mind before people come over. Then my sweet kids “help” me make coffee and get everything set up for the night.
These are the days when our garage is our Essential kids space. Every week our family pastor comes over and transforms our garage into a kids space. We leave the garage doors open and put up special gates so the kids can’t get out. We have tables and chairs, music, toys, crafts and story time. The kids love it!
These are the days when I am so proud of our girls. This has to be weird for them. Every Sunday they know lots of adults will come over for church in the living room. Then they go outside with several kids in the garage for their church. Then someone- maybe someone they don’t know, maybe their Mimi, maybe me- will be their teacher. They are doing so great with everything being in their personal space. And as long as they have apple juice to drink in the garage, they seem to be happy with any teacher they have.
These are the days I value friendship more than ever. I’m so grateful for the girls I already have here who want to be friends with me. And I mean the real me. The me that has a really messy car with a crazy smell that we can’t find a solution for. The me that will always sign up to bring fruit or something equally as easy when asked to bring food to an event. The me that always forgets to buy birthday cards, so no one ever really knows who our gift was from. This list could go on and on. I’m so thankful there are at least a few girls out there who are kind enough to be my friend. My friends encourage me and keep me going, even when they don’t realize it.
These are the days we still can’t believe people are coming. And inviting their friends. When we decided to start Essential, we had no idea if anyone would come. Every Sunday I feel overwhelmed with emotions as our living room and kitchen slowly fill with people. So many different people. Tim’s family, our staff and their families, men and women who are here to explore their faith, and men and women who are here to serve. It took a lot for the people from each of these categories to make the decision to come be a part of what we are doing. To come sit in our living room each week until we begin meeting in a permanent location. To be willing to be a part of a church that hasn’t even really started yet. When I think about that, I get overwhelmed with gratitude.
These are the days that will end soon. This season reminds me of the season of a newborn baby. It has been full of joy and panic. A new type of exhaustion, with rest sprinkled in. Moving to Huntsville and being in the launch phase of Essential Church has been one of our favorite times of our life so far. Like the newborn baby season, I know this time is almost over. Time is going by so fast. Soon we will have an actual location and real services. I am trying to cherish all the remaining days of this launch season we are in. Even the hard days. I’m also anxiously waiting for us to start the next phase.
These are the days we will look back on and say, ‘Those were the days.’