So I have made it through January, February, March and April without using any of my money to buy anything for myself. The goal is one full year. So I have 8 more months to go. Sigh. It started out pretty easy it was all exciting and fun. But anything really worth doing is hard sometimes and it is getting harder.
Here is what is interesting...the places I am really tempted to shop are thrift stores. So far, that is the hardest part. The other hardest part is stuff that costs like $1 or $2. LIke really? I can't even buy that...that is so annoying.
The generosity part is fun. We are giving away a higher percentage of our income and that is exciting. Watching God make good on His promises to provide all of our needs...that is cool too. Very cool. Here is God's tremendous provision so far:
A hole in our wall - fixed for free - generous friends
Haircuts for free - generous stranger :)
Health and Beauty products given to me - extreme couponing friend
Reasonably priced smaller- better gas mileage car - found for us by our friend in the car business
Gift cards - a lot of them given to me by people who either love me, feel sorry for me, or are inspired by the journey....
These men are my flesh and blood examples of God's love. My dad, Addison, tells me he loves me everytime he sees me. My oldest son Jake, gives me the best presents, my youngest son Mitch makes me laugh everyday and my amazing husband Troy has made me feel like the center of his world since the day I met him.
Exponential Rocked this year. I have attended this conference for the last four years and every year there never fails to be some marker moments for me. This year Troy and I presented a session that included 7 things we did to build a healthy staff team at our new church plant here at Restore. I previously posted things 1 and 2, so here are things 3-7.
Thing 3: Encourage Family Members to Find a Role: Find something you are gifted to do and do it. God has a role for every family member to play in church planting
Thing 4: Keep Talking: When there is something between two staff team members, find a way to keep talking about it...to each other, not to others.
Thing 5: Take the Long View: Church planting can be so myopic. Everything is on the line. It is all about this church, at this time. Instead, challenge yourself to think about team members as being developed for the Kingdom and give them the freedom to expolore their ongoing call.
Thing 6: Celebrate with Each other - take time out to intentionally celebrate what God is doing in your staff and in your church. Bowling, surpise staff outings, Fun stuff...just for fun.
Thing 7: Pray for each other:
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.
I recently got connected with this great resource. If you are a small group leader, you will definitely find something there that will help you take your game up a notch. check it out smallgroupexchange.com
Things I learned: Mitchell looks good in jeans, Tommy owns a tie, we had 300 more people at restore this year then last year, I am totally and uashamedly addicted to chocolate, nobody goes to Abeulos on Easter, the truth of Jesus makes everything else less important.