Ya’ll. All four kids now have lives outside the walls of this house from 8-3. And I’m feeling so much liberation I can’t stand it. I’m enjoying things like: silence, lunch with my husband, a candle burning, uninterrupted thoughts, uninterrupted potty breaks, and glory hallelujah I can now get my work done without screaming and crying and gnashing of teeth.
But even with all this new found freedom, the day is somehow packed from beginning to end. And since we don’t have time for chit chat, let’s just jump into it.
(I still don’t know why you people read this stuff.)
You might remember I went to Haiti in June. While I was there I had the incredible privilege (took me 3 tries to spell privilege right) of spending time with a few pastor’s wives. Dear ones, these women are living IN THE MINISTRY TRENCHES. They lead lives most of us couldn’t wrap our heads around.
They are pounded constantly with needs of the villagers because help and resources are slim to none. People have no food, they go to the pastor’s house. People have a sick child, they go to the pastor’s house. People have an emergency, they go to the pastor’s house. And guess who’s usually the one home? The pastor’s wife. Dealing with her own children and her own set of troubles because ain’t nothing easy in Haiti!
I wanted to gather them up and hug them close and give them freedom to vent and keep their kids so they could have a date with their husband and hug them and write encouraging Bible verses on notecards and send them on sabbatical for a week.
And buy them something. I really wanted to buy them something. (Because I am so stinking American and think giving stuff is going to help anything.)
But mainly I wanted to hug their shoulders and say, “I am with you. In whatever small way I can offer, I will come along side to encourage and equip and strengthen you for the impossible life you are living. How can I help you?”
But that’s tough to communicate when you only know about 5 words in Creole.
So I decided to talk to Bill. (Boss Man. Founder and President of Disciples’ Village.) The conversation went like this:
“Bill. I know we have training and conferences and all sorts of things for the Haitian Pastors. What are we doing for their wives?”
“Nothing. But they could really use something.”
“Well don’t you think we should plan something??!!”
“Yes. So go for it.”
And that’s the story of how the Disciples’ Village Pastor’s Wives conference of 2016 was born.
I was all kinds of elated and fired up and full of ideas during the last part of the trip and even into my first week back in the states.And then I did that thing known as THE GREAT AMERICAN FREAK OUT.
What on earth? A conference for Haitian Pastor’s Wives? Geez, Beth. Why didn’t you just offer to take them all beans and rice? This is maybe a wee little stretch outside of your area of expertise. And ability. You have less than 4 months to plan this thing. AND YOU NEED TO CONVINCE OTHER WOMEN TO GO WITH YOU.
Oh my lanta, me and the Lord were up and down for days. But I wasn’t about to back out because I just don’t do that ever. Even when I should. But long about the beginning of July, I simmered down a bit and was finally able to hear from God. And he said something along the lines of, “This is my deal. Trust me.”
Well, alrighty then.
And so I’ve been trying really hard to do that with all of this thing. Sometimes it has been easy. Like when I began to earnestly pray God would call women to go with me. And He did. From four different states. Within a matter of days.
But there have been other times, like today, that the freak out begins to sneak up on me. I’m not saying that my anxiety has anything to do with the fact that the other two people in charge of details for this women’s conference are men. BUT MAYBE I AM.
And then there’s the fact that I’m here and the conference is in Haiti and there are 1 zillion questions I would like answered while preparing for this thing yet I have virtually no access to the ones with the answers. Just men. Who are maybe guessing at the answers. (Dear Steve and Bill. I trust you completely. Please don’t fire me Go read someone else’s blog.)
I’ve also been forced to confront some yuck-ola pride issues. Ya’ll. I like things I plan to go well. I enjoy success. When the stuff I set out to accomplish blows up in my face it makes me feel bad about me. I like to avoid that scenario whenever possible.
But as usual, the Caller Into Deep Waters has something to say about the anxiety and pride that have crept into the calm, peaceful place I enjoyed not long ago. I think He’s saying something like this:
“This is my deal. Stop seeking your own glory and seek mine. In fact, let’s start with Just Seeking Me.”
Martha, Martha. You are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion. And it will not be taken away from her.