Friday, April 22, 2011

And the Beginning of a New One...

Within 18 hours of officially leaving my MOPS Sale position, I was handed the reins to coordinate the new MOPS group that was in the works for McLean Bible Church's Loudoun campus!  Man, when God moves, He moves!  Part of the topsy-turvy, bumpy ride I experienced this Spring was finding out that this new group was in the works and I was planning to be involved as a leader.  However, due to a variety of circumstances, this week the two co-coordinators made the prayerful decision that they would be unable to continue with plans to launch this Fall.  I knew the moment I heard that news on Thursday morning that God was calling me to pick up where they left off and move forward.  And so onward we go!  God will absolutely need to move in some amazing ways in order to put a team of leaders together quickly so that we can really start to put the pieces together for the Fall, but one of the things that God has blessed me with over the past few years is an incredible network of people that I know.  It's kind of become a joke among my friends: "I met someone...and of course they know you".  Only by the grace of God.  However, as a result, it's not even 24 hours since I knew I was taking this on and there are already 4-5 ladies seriously praying about joining me on the leadership team.  That is the hand of God, my friends. 

MOPS is a tremendous ministry, and one that has truly changed my life.  It is for ALL mothers with children from pregnancy until the last one is five.  Because we are going to be a night group, we'll be ministering to a different demographic than I've been used to, but it one where there is a huge need.  This will be the first night MOPS group in Loudoun County, so that is super exciting!

I am so excited to be standing here on the edge of a new ministry.  I feel overwhelmed, and a bit unsure, but because it is SO clear that God placed me here, I know that He will guide me and provide everything I need.  My two years with the Sale were great training for taking something like this on, and I know that too was God's provision for me. 

So, please pray for me as I work to start this ministry.  And for those of you who are local, please send ladies who are looking for a place to connect or serve in the evenings my way! :)

The End of an Era

Wednesday night it became official that I will no longer be coordinating the MOPS Consignment Sale.  This "job" which has occupied so much of my mind, life and time for the past two plus years is moving on to someone else.  I knew I was approaching the end of my time with it, but I had thought God was leading me to coordinate one more sale.  Through a topsy-turvy, bumpy series of events it became clear that my time there in an official capacity was over.  Of course I will still be involved though.  The Sale gets in your blood and there is no going back. :)  I truly loved (mostly!) coordinating the sale and know that it was absolutely the work God had for me during the last two years.  I know the next gal taking over will do a great job and I look forward to supporting her as she serves.

Me and my assistant, Kelly, at the last sale.

Words I Never Thought I Would Say

"I'm going to counseling"  Or maybe I did, but not at this season of my life.  Either way, it kind of came out of nowhere and everywhere at the same time.  Anyone that has spoken to me at length recently knows that I believe that the physical issues I have been experiencing have everything to do with God getting my attention to deal with my spiritual and relational issues.  Things came to a head in mid-February and just at that time God brought an amazing counselor directly in my path.  It was 100% the hand of God.  She and I have been working together for about two months now and I can truly say God is at work.

Right at the same time, God motivated a friend of mine to recommend to me that I take the Compassion Workshop that McLean Bible offers at their Tysons campus, which had just recently begun it's Spring session.  As I listened to her describe the class, I realized that several relationships in my life have suffered as a result of a lack of compassion from me.  This class, which finishes next week, has been life-changing.  I would recommend that anyone in this area who struggles with ANY level of anger, resentment or lack of compassion take the class.  It is a lot of work, but it is AMAZING.  So many of my beliefs about anger and relational dynamics have changed as a result, as has my belief that I actually can change.  Philip has listened to most of the class on CD and we both agree with the power of the message.  It's changing the way we interact with each other and with our children.  It's slow going, but so worth it.

Words I Never Thought I Would Hear

"I don't think it's your gallbladder."  Imagine how floored I was after several years of my gallbladder being blamed as the root of all my problems.  The woman who told me this, Pat, is a physical therapist who practices visceral manipulation.  I went to see her at the recommendation of another therapist I had been seeing to have an evaluation.  At the time of this appointment in mid-February, I had been in nearly constant pain for close to three months.  When I walked out of her office that day, I was a new person.  I still experience problems (much more than I would like to, especially recently), but there has been a night and day difference from being treated by her.  Which I why I keep driving to Bethesda. 

So what is wrong?  First of all, it is often my gallbladder that is causing me pain, but the reason is different than everyone has said.  She believes that the issue is being caused largely because of scar issue I have on my abdomen (which is there from an emergency surgery at 31 weeks pregnant with Caleb...and it was two weeks following his birth that I had my first trouble).  The scar tissue seems to be exerting a pull on several of organs on the right side of my body, particularly my liver, gallbladder and right kidney, as well as the bladder. It may also be linked to an imbalance of my Sphenoid, which is deep in the brain.  An imbalance of the Sphenoid can also cause issues in other parts of the body, which I have also been experiencing for years, so it all makes sense when you look at the total picture.

So, I am mostly avoiding gluten, eggs, dairy and high fat foods to help manage what I can to ease the digestion issues, in addition to continuing to see Pat for ongoing treatment.  I have some good days, some bad days and some really bad days, but overall I am doing much better than I was.  That gives me hope that one day this may truly be behind me, by the grace of God.