If They Ask You To Preach…

If they ask you to preach… do it.

Earlier this month I was asked by my Senior Pastor, Patrick Patterson, to lead the Wednesday night worship service in his absence.  “Um…” I said, “Sure.”  I was reluctant, but knowing I wouldn’t have to lead communion (because, you know… that would be just TOO much) I thought I’d go for it.  I’m no stranger to church, obviously.  But even though I’ve been through it week in and week out, I was seriously hesitant to lead a service.  Mostly, preaching the sermon…

I had ZERO experience preaching and knowing that I’m a seriously strange person who often rambles and makes up words as I go, I was pretty sure that people would laugh at me.  Well, not laugh.  People would have been polite and said, “Good job,” as they rolled their eyes and walked out of the church.  But that actually didn’t happen.

Since that day I’ve heard several comments, MANY good ones about the service.  I woke up the next morning with very sincere, wonderful facebook messages, emails and texts and I was so appreciative that people took time out of their day to let me know how they felt about the message.  I also heard a few comments about how I didn’t have the right (education, authority, whatever) to preach the sermon.  Of course those people have every right to hold that opinion and I am by no means offended.  However, it was those comments that spurred me to write this post.

If they ask you preach… do it.  Whether you are educated, eloquent, or a new Christian.  We all have a story to tell.  And it is so important to share it.  Our Christianity is MEANT to be shared with everyone and everywhere!  Jesus gives us these stories for reason, and by golly, I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to share it with so many.

So.. what is YOUR story?

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If you’d like to view my awkwardness, you can check it out here- will bring you right to the beginning of the sermon.

P.S. Yes, my accent is horrible. kthanks.

xoxo

Welcome to Holland!

There it is in black and white: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Though it had been what I have been expecting for the past 15 months, it felt like a punch.  I’m so… so… full of emotion.   I’ve been sad, angry, guilty. I’ve felt relieved and elated.  I feel completely supported by countless friends and family members (and even strangers) during the journey, but altogether more alone than I’ve ever felt.  The sting will fade.  We’ll continue to create new dreams with her.  We’ll continue to educate ourselves and others.  But most importantly, we’ll love her entirely.

I love her so deeply and so differently than I’ve ever loved anyone before.  I can’t describe how precious and beautiful and hilarious and goofy and amazing she is.

We will love her entirely.

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

xoxo

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