Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

18 hours out

on June 30, 2014

Now that there is a little distance between #TGCW14 and me, all of 18 hours, I can get a bit of perspective on the big picture of what took place in me.  Yes, the pool was wonderful and the lazy river a whole lot of fun.  Yes it was heartening to see and hear 4000 women (over 50% of whom were under the age of 40!) coming together to hear meaty teaching and worshiping wholeheartedly. Yes, it was great to spend that time with my daughter and see her strengthened and inspired. But those are small bits compared to what happened in my heart and mind this weekend.

I realized as Sarah and I were processing the conference together in the car yesterday that this conference certainly inspires me personally in my walk of faith.  And I needed that, for I realized I was feeling a bit weary in that walk.  But it was more than that. It inspires me in my walk of ministry, as a wife, as a mother, as a Children’s director and now as a leader of a women’s discipleship team.  No other conference comes close to equipping me and motivating me to be better in ministry than this one. I have the assurance too that this is no short term mountaintop experience either, as the food from #TGCW12 lasted for 2 years, spurring me on to think and to act on what I learned.  I am incredibly excited to put into action what I soaked up this weekend. Here’s what that might look like, though I realize that by putting it in writing some of you local friends might actually hold me accountable to doing it…..

First of all the men and women who taught in the plenary sessions on the book of Nehemiah move me to get better at Bible study and teaching.  I co-taught a study on Nehemiah a year ago and though I was encouraged as I listened to these talks this weekend to hear many of the same points we made, I was also humbled by the way they put the teaching into the context of the whole of Scripture and redemptive history.  Wow.  Talk about making sense of the text!  By doing this, they were able to bring the text alive in a way I can only dream of right now, but that I want to work on developing in my own teaching. I know this is going to take some hard work, and I pray that God will provide the strength to do it.  Don Carson’s workshop on Biblical theology was a good start, but only scratched the surface of what I need to learn.  Why is it that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you actually know?

Second, we need to be working to raise up younger women to teach.  I’m not sure how this fits into our discipleship goals, but we must be developing the teaching skills of the younger women so that when those of us doing the teaching in our church now wear out (and I don’t plan on that happening any time soon!), there is a new generation to take on the mantel.  Now that I have seen such excellent exposition by and for women, I am challenged to do this intentionally and thoroughly.  No wimpy women’s studies at ECC. This doesn’t mean that everyone will have to do hours of homework. I just don’t want us to settle for the easy answer as teachers.  Even if the study is one that requires minimal preparation by the students, the teacher needs to be prepared to teach in a robust and serious manner. I don’t want us all to go away with some sound bite of encouragement from a study, though I do want us to be encouraged. I want us to grow in our love for God and for the Gospel so that it oozes out of every pore of our bodies, all over our families, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

The amazing thing about this weekend is that diabetes has indeed been in the background as all this has been happening. Part of that is because I have been eating pretty well, and that helps.  But there have been excursions into both high and low ranges, but I have been so focused on other things that diabetes has been secondary.  I know there will still be challenges in dealing with diabetes as I move ahead, and that the lows and highs that will inevitably come will slow me down. But this too is from God’s hand, and  I must handle it with His grace and strength, rather than with my own reaction of frustration and anger. This is another lesson I heard loud and clear this weekend. God may not change our circumstances, but He will provide His grace and His relief in them.  Nehemiah is a great example of that!

My mind is blank now. I need to go eat some breakfast and get on the road so that Sarah and I can have a bit more adventure before landing back at home.  I’m on my way down from the mountaintop of  #TGCW14 but it is an experience that I pray will shape the way I do ministry from now on. I feel like I have been taught and inspired by some of the best and that now I have the responsibility to be a good steward of that experience.  May God enable me to do that, and may HE get all the glory for whatever I am able to do.

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