Coming Full Circle

[Written by Liz Getz, Nursery Director]
For weeks I have been trying to settle on what I wanted to write about for my first blog.  As we move into the month of May I inevitably think about Mother’s Day and my own Mom.  Some of you know all or most of my story but I’m sure many of you do not.  I was raised in the Presbyterian Church and my childhood is full of memories of Sunday School and VBS in the summers, children’s choir and confirmation class, youth group on Sunday evenings and church retreats to the beach and the mountains in my teens, lock-ins, and summer camp in North Carolina each year of high school.

My Mom was a Sunday School teacher, volunteered with pretty much everything and my Dad was an usher.  When I started college at Auburn I was a typical college student, my Sunday mornings became more about sleeping in and less about getting up for church.  I went with my family on holidays or special services.  I worked in my church nursery just like the college girls do now for Cross Creek so I was often there but never actually a part of worship.  But I didn’t feel disconnected from the church – yet.

Then everything was turned upside down when my Mom passed away very unexpectedly in May 1999.  She was only 47 and still healthy and vibrant with so much left to experience in this life.  I was just 19 at the age you think you have it all figured out but in ways you cannot see yet still just a child.  I wish I felt the comfort of being a beloved child of God but I just felt like a motherless child.  When you lose someone before their time it can be very hard to see or understand that it was in God’s timing.  It took a long time before I felt real comfort in the scripture.  “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”  (Proverbs 19:21)

I started attending Cross Creek Church in early 2010 just a few months after the church had officially started services.  I was invited by the Hughes family as I have been friends with James and Casey for years (and years and years for my friendship with Casey).  They had both been telling me for weeks I should come to a service at the new church they were attending.  I was reluctant at first but eventually agreed.

Once I came to my first worship service I kept coming week after week.  Soon I was in a life group and over the years I have served in a number of areas including teaching Sunday School, hospitality and now as the Nursery Director.  I know many people are led to new churches through friends or family but for me this was coming back to the church.  I’ve not only come back to church but now I have come full circle.  I think my Mom would love the fact that I am back in the church and that I’ve come to walk in many of her footsteps as well.

Without the wonderful mothers we have in Cross Creek I wouldn’t have precious babies and toddlers to love each week.  So this Mother’s Day I thank those mothers and I thank my own Mom for all that she did to make me who I am.  She had a huge heart and loved to serve, it was one of her many gifts and I feel she passed many of those traits to me.  Our church is built upon our service to one another, that’s what I found to be at times challenging but also extremely rewarding about being a member of church that started as a church plant. It takes everyone being involved to make our church thrive and the Children’s Ministry especially cannot work without dedicated volunteers who are willing to serve.  “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10)

I want to give a special thank you to Jackie Culp who sent me this quote for encouragement:
“If you want to see a future preacher, president, leader, missionary, or hero, just sign up to work in the church nursery.  When God gives us children, He gives us the privilege of nurturing the future.”
–    David Jeremiah

Inner Dialogue

[By Holly Coble]
As Jim and I left to have a date the other night, we laughed about how Caroline parroted the often heard phrase: “I love you SO much…How much?…So much!” This is one of the phrases that we repeat over and over…. And it tickles my ears to hear her say it to us unprompted. After our parental giddiness subsided, we further discussed why these phrases are important. As we went down the rabbit trail of personal discovery, we talked about how we are not programming a machine to spit out an output unthinkingly or unfeelingly, but rather we are training her mind and heart to have an inner dialogue of truth. We want for her to be so certain of these truths that, when times get hard and she is uncertain of what is real, she knows this is true.

Likewise, God has instructed us to plant seeds of His Truth in our minds and hearts through memorizing His Word.   This truth of His love, plans, and promises is unshakable and unwavering. As much as I want Caroline to know and trust me to love her unconditionally, I will fail her. But God never fails. And this Truth with a capital “T” is bedrock. Only on it and through it can I ever hope to love her as Christ has given me the ability.

As we talked about how we want her to have an inner dialogue of these parental truths, I had to ask myself, are we sufficiently teaching her God’s truths of His love and promises to lean on? A child’s mind is fertile ground in which to plant the Word of the Lord!