Cupcakes, Candy, and Closets
by Lacey Hartman
We sensed God asking us to step out of our comfortable, safe, benefits-included cruise ship to an uncomfortable, yet exciting fishing boat of church planting!
We left a church we loved and had served in for 11 years and moved to the "Little Apple," Manhattan, Kansas, where we knew one person. We did it because we knew God was asking us to be a part of the answer in connecting the 65% of people unconnected in our area.
We launched Rock Hills Church in September 2015 at the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan, Inc. We are deeply fulfilled knowing we are exactly where God wants us right now!
It is likely many of us could share a win today! Maybe that one lady in your church finally apologized for gossiping. Perhaps that wayward child whom you have been praying over for years has recently committed his life to Jesus. Maybe you just celebrated baptisms, or a team just got back from a missions experience.
For some of us, our win could be we didn’t give up this week.
We all have different lanes in which Jesus has chosen for us to minister. Whatever lane we find ourselves in, no doubt, there is traffic, an occasional pothole, accidents, and road rage!
What do we do when we encounter the hard days?
Personally, I often choose ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s americone dream – you are welcome), candy (starbursts jelly beans – sweet Jesus), or another favorite, the fetal position in my closet!
In my personal church planting adventure, God has consistently been opening my eyes to my pendulum swing. I can feel like I am on a high one day and a low the next. Building more margin into my schedule for rest, exercise, and self-care are areas I am working on to ensure I am healthy. Ultimately, God is opening my eyes to my greater need – His care.
I recently read Psalm 4:4-8, and, as Jesus is helping me personalize this truth, I wanted to share it with you:
“In your anger, do not sin…”
You might become angry when a roadblock comes up in your lane, such as your current facility not renegotiating a new lease, and, in your search to find a new facility, you discover that literally every portable and non-portable option is a big fat “No!”
“when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent…”
Shh! Stop complaining! Troy and I have both felt convicted in this area. How easy it is to dress up our complaining with venting or processing. I personally need to be quiet! I am inviting the Holy Spirit to search my heart and evict any fear or other issues that may be present. I am striving to be silent.
“Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord…”
Trust – a well that seems to never run dry!
“Many are asking, 'Who can show us any good?' Let the light of your face shine upon us O Lord…”
A prayer I am praying over you. Just as the warm summer sun brings heat to your face as you serve your families and churches; may you feel the tangible light of the Lord!
“You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound…”
Let us focus on the ultimate win, JESUS. No matter the lane we are in right now, Jesus is for us and with us. There is no greater joy.
“I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
My Uncle, Donnie Joe Yancey, was a sheriff in Izard County Arkansas. No, that isn’t the funny part! On duty one day, years ago, a tornado was in their area. Necessity required him to take refuge in a ditch. He literally hung on to a root deep in that ditch and flapped in the wind as the storm passed him.
I would rather peace feel like I am laying in a hammock on vacation, but often peace is the root of Jesus keeping me centered as the winds of life, ministry, and the enemy try to sweep me aside. I dwell in safety because the root I cling to – that we cling to – not even Hell can prevail against it!
There is nothing wrong with ice cream, candy, or closets! Jesus is full of grace and well aware of our humanity! However, the next time a hard day comes, or perhaps you are in your hard day today, I encourage you to climb over those shoes that are lying in disarray in your closet and, instead of lying in the fetal position, posture your heart and your knees so He can care for you and you can dwell in His safety! Then, get back up and remember He chose YOU for this wild ride!
Lacey Hartman serves alongside her husband, Troy, at Rock Hills Church in Manhattan, KS. She has been a pastor’s wife and leader for 10 years.
Lacey is passionate about empowering others to take next steps. Troy and Lacey have two vibrant daughters, Jovi and Jade. When Lacey isn’t reminding her daughter’s to stop jumping on the couches, she enjoys reading, movies, and pedicures (who doesn’t?!)!
Connect with Lacey on social media, or email email@example.com.