Our Front Porch of Missional Opportunities

City life consists of busy streets, row homes and front porches! I knew I would enjoy moving to the city, mainly because I like so many things about the fast pace life of city living and all that comes with it; but I didn’t see myself enjoying having a front porch as much as I have. 

I mean, it’s fantastic. I know, I know: it’s just a porch. But it really isn’t just a porch.

IMG_4659Our front porch is this amazing window of opportunity every time we leave our house. When we see a neighbor sitting outside on their porch or walking by with their dog it can be (and has been) the chance to hear more of their story – more of who they are, who they want to be, where they came from and everything in between!

I was inspired to write this post because in less than 24 hours the Lord has provided opportunities for myself (and my roomies) to interact with at least 4-5 of the neighbors on our street. That’s at least 8 people who we didn’t know 7 weeks ago, but who we’ve been given the opportunity to get to know since moving in.

We are beyond blessed to have such a missional gateway. It’s so clear that we have been called to intentionally live life on this street, getting to know these specific souls. It’s really humbling and phenomenal and fun – and all at the same time.

We haven’t even been here for two months and I’ve learned about their jobs, their schooling, their likes and dislikes, their generosity, their curiosity about us moving here and our churches, their habits and more. BUT there is so much more to learn and much more investment to be made – literally it’s limitless.

When I left California the reality of my relational mission field changing so drastically was something I didn’t want to think too much about. Although I was confident making this move was the right decision, my heart was torn about the significant changes that could occur in the deep friendships I have built with co-workers and the relationships Emilie and I had been building with some of our neighbors. It’s still something that I have to come to terms with and balance properly, because physical distance is the reality. However, the Lord has not only been gracious to allow many of those relationships to continue and remain strong across the miles; but He’s also given me a mission field literally and immediately a step outside my front door.

IMG_3365It’s a porch that’s quickly being surrounded by the telling of stories. It’s a stoop that’s becoming common ground to share life experiences with people who were strangers less than two months ago. It’s a set of stairs that’s the setting for a witnessing opportunity. It’s our missional stepping stone and the door to our relational welcome mat (and our literal one).

I can’t wait for us to get a bench out there! 

 

 

 

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An Impression, a Podcast and Clear Confirmations

Don’t judge me, but I sometimes skip ahead and read the end of books or chapters to see what’s coming up, or to see how something ends – it’s so I’ll know if I want to keep reading. I know it’s ridiculous and I’ve missed the point, but if you ask anyone in my life you’ll hear that I tend to ruin surprises. So keeping true to the reputation I’ve made for myself I’ll “skip ahead” and tell you how this story ends:

I’m moving to Washington D.C. at the end of July

For those of you who like the short points of a story, here you go:

  • I had an impression for almost a year to MOVE; with literally no other direction.
  • I resolved to figure out what it meant and went on a “wild goose chase” for 6 months.
  • I finally let it go and kept living life as I had prior to the 6 month search.
  • About a year after the initial impression I heard this podcast.
  • I figured it couldn’t hurt to read the journey to DC site. So I did and I was hooked.
  • I emailed Steven &Tiffany and started the “what if conversations.”
  • After lots of prayer, lots of undeniable confirmations and an abundance of guidance and support from people I love, it’s become clear that the Lord is moving me to D.C. to be a part of the Redeemer City Church plant and to be closer to my family.
  • Here’s a twist for you: I get to keep my roommate. Yes, that’s right. To add to the craziness of this story, God decided to bless me by connecting my personal journey with my friend  & roommate’s journey.  But, I’ll let her share that with you (Read Emilie’s story).

Finally, for those of you who enjoy actually reading the details of the story, here’s chapter 1 for you: If someone would have told me a year and a half ago that things in my life would be as they are right now and would be changing as much as they have, well I wouldn’t have believed them. I wouldn’t have doubted the possibility; of course we all know that change is a necessary and inevitable part of life. But I would most certainly have been resistant to accept just how many changes would need to happen to bring me to the point of acceptance, surrender, release and joy about what was going to happen next. You see, I am a very critical thinker (too skeptical at times in actuality) and I’ve been told I rarely make rash decisions. So what I’ve shared above may seem out of character for me in that regard, but in fact I think it fits right into God’s MO in my life. He’s done this before. In September 2012 all I had was an unsettling impression of the word “move” from the Lord. I had absolutely no idea what it meant and so began my many conversations with God about what He was asking of me and why I had to wait to know. My soul wrestled over the need to interpret this impression. I wondered if I should move churches, move jobs, move apartments, move my furniture around, or literally move my body from where I was sitting. My failed attempts to interpret what it meant left me no choice but to surrender the need to be in control and to know what “move” meant right then and there. So I reluctantly let it go. It’s funny how when you let go of something you’ve been anxious about the Lord does exactly what He says he would: provides peace. When I least expected it the Lord used a podcast from The Village Church in Dallas, Texas to rock my world and to remind me that He wasn’t finished with that impression from a year ago. Wow, I’ve got to be honest and share that I didn’t see that one coming. IMG_9085 IMG_2841 (Some of our team over Thanksgiving) Now here I am preparing to move across the country (for the second time in my life) and I couldn’t have written this story as it’s developing if I tried. God works in mysterious and incredible ways.  If you don’t believe me, just wait until you read my next post.