I have two songs in my head right now - “We are Family” and that old song we sing on Sunday nights at church that says “I’m so glad to be a part of the family of God.” Nice mix. I’m a minister’s wife, which means a lot of my life has to do with church. Hopefully, my whole life is devoted to a relationship with Jesus, but a large part of it is lived out through being a part of a local church. Curt and I have no blood relatives in this city. But we do have family here. A big, sometimes dysfunctional like any other, wonderful church family. Here’s a slice of church life, family life, from the last week.
Friday – We had an event called Friday Night Thrift for our college students. They were to wear something from a thrift store and bring warm clothes to donate. We had a weird feeling at the last minute that no one was coming, so we moved it to our house. I told Curt, “We can fit 15 people in this house.” Curt and I cleaned faster than we ever knew possible. Los Lupes delivered the fajitas for 25 that we had already paid for. We had 14 people there and we feasted on fajitas and leftover candy from Fallapalooza. We played Trivial Pursuit and Silent Football (my husband’s specialty). Here’s the family element…my sweet friend Jennifer - our children’s minister - and her future hubby came over to help make the event not seem like a complete failure. Two other couples were waiting in the wings if we needed them. Your family does what they can to protect each other’s dignity. They grieve with you over your failures and rejoice with you over your victories.
Saturday – We had our Saturday night service that Curt preaches at. Amber – a good friend of ours from when Curt and I were both college interns at HFBC – and her family joined our church this year. Amber has an amazing singing voice. Think Jami Smith. My first memory of her is hearing someone behind me singing and thinking wow. It’s been years since I’ve heard her sing, but this week she joined the praise band on stage. She did a great job and it gave me tremendous joy to see her up there. Amber and Vernon are there every week helping set up and take down everything for the service, welcoming people, making sure Curt meets new guests, and speaking an encouraging word. Their support has been priceless. Family rejoices when they see each other using their spiritual gifts and talents to glorify the Lord.
Sunday – I had my last night of Bible study. While studying the Word, the girls and I had dinner together every week. Soup to be exact, because I love to both cook and eat soup and my husband likes neither. So I needed an outlet. I confess, I didn’t cook every week. We all took turns. Family breaks bread together. Family spurs one another on into deeper relationships with Christ.
Tuesday – We had the privilege of taking dinner to a couple from church who just had a baby. This was us less than 9 short months ago. Young couples signed up to bring us food every other day it went on for a month. We were so spoiled. So it was our turn to bring dinner and that was so fun. Family provides for each other’s needs. They celebrate life’s most sacred moments together.
Wednesday – After fellowship dinner and our youth Bible study, Curt and I went to visit a friend and partner in ministry in the hospital. (She’s going home today.) Like us, this couple has no family in town. We’re family to each other. Jackson will grow up calling them Aunt and Uncle. They’ve loved our kid from the first minute they knew of his existence. They came to the hospital (even though we were asleep, it still counted!) to see him when he was born. We joke about the back room in our house being theirs. We go through the ups and downs of youth ministry together and try to keep each other from pulling our hair out over the crazy things that go along with it. Most importantly, family loves.
All this is to say that I’m thankful that God can raise up family for you out of a group of strangers with only one thing in common – Him. I love my family. Dad is good.