I typically have more caffeine than oxygen pulsing through my veins between 4am and 10pm. Daily life thumps along to the beat of multiplication rap, soccer practice, swim lessons, homework, and all the to-do’s and to-feel's of handing over responsibilities and relationships of several years of ministry. As life thumps on, we fill our house with great people, playful puppies, creative spaces, and lots of intentional thankfulness. We assemble on the Avengers bed at 7’o clock every night. Lifa yawns and stretches out his legs, and we all stretch out our faith. We pile up to pray, and we rebuke restlessness, ask for more of God’s presence, and celebrate one more day together.
I want to tell you about how supernaturally energized I am. How God miraculously increased my capacity, the way He has done many times before when He’s asked me to lay down one thing to make space for the next. I would like to describe in awe-inspiring alliterated detail how the thankful game and mine and Lifa's post-dinner multiplication rap performance has given me wings like an eagle. I want you to read about how we’ve already been fully equipped for this humbling calling on our lives, and how we are soaring above our circumstances in supernatural peace and strength.
I’m too tired.
My heart truly is full. My gratitude is overflows more than the coffee cup I’m too tired to gauge my pour on. (Depth perception is so tricky.)
Heart full. Bones dry.
Eyes… you don’t even want to see these crazies.
The reality is restlessness has blanketed our family. Sleep comes lightly and sparingly. But it’s the tossing and turning in our spirits that has wearied our bones and exhausted our strength.
I’ve rehearsed, memorised and leaned on Scripture. God is my strength, and His grace is sufficient in my weakness. I’ve plunged into Biblical teachings on God’s rest and not growing weary. I pour our my prayers and hear Him in His Word daily. I surrender my sinful flesh and scavenge for the specks and planks that might be the straining my vision and stealing my peace. I’m not in a spiritual stalemate. I’m just spent. So very spent.
This is where I usually rally, where the blogs get good and inspiring. I brace myself, pace myself, and post up with joy for the race marked before me. That is happening in all the practicalities of daily life. My body is in better shape than ever because I am nurturing the temple God entrusted me with. My mind is being sharpened daily with memorising Scripture. I’m parenting with great prayer and purpose. And I’m walking obediently in every discipline and gifting God has asked me to. Yet I sit here chugging coffee #3, and I’m dry-boned and crazy-eyed.
Maybe there’s something to this.
Maybe there’s holiness and hopefulness to be found in these eye-pits and thirsty bones.
Last night was a doozy in the Ladd house.
We had lots of cups of tea and hours of heart-sharing, life-giving conversation with young adults who attend our ministry nights. After our late goodbyes, Chris and I laid wide awake to the sounds of bass reverberating through the neighbourhood.
On a Wednesday night. At midnight.
There was also cat-calling and sex-pot whistling and really, really bad music blaring.
ON A WEDNESDAY.
After weeks of fruitlessly seeking rest, it felt like last night’s noise ricocheted off our souls. You know those moments, when the bow can’t be stretched further without breaking and you can’t get closer to the fire without burning. You’re standing right on the border of crazy-town, and somehow you’re about to be elected mayor. It’s where the arrow has to be released, the rains have to come, and crazy-town must take a nap. FOR THE LOVE.
Pillow to pillow, head to head, we confessed the depths of our weariness. We talked about how wholeheartedly we’ve each been pursuing God, serving each other and our family, and focusing on thanksgiving. I told him I’ve been trying to hide the entrapment I feel from my soul, the strangling and tangling restlessness.
The bass blared on while we started to see the bigger picture of our family’s spinning wheels.
This isn’t working. That happens in us, in people and in families. Sometimes all the good things just stop working. So you do something about it. You find what works, and you do that. My husband committed on a whole new level to do whatever it takes for our family to thrive during our window- and soul- rattling night last night.
We don’t know the details of what our new life will be like or exactly what it looks like to thrive in it. What we do know is that we are made to be a church family, and, day-by-day and step-by-step, we will plant a church. We know God clearly said to take a 3-month Sabbatical, an intentional season of soul-restoration first because the church He will plant through us will be built with bright eyes and strong bones.
We didn’t need a supernatural noise cancelling miracle - we’ve had those before. (They’re lovely.) We needed the Prince of Peace to show up. And, as it turns out, last night He was all about that bass.
If you think about it, it makes sense.
He’s the kind of sovereign that leaves perfection to be swaddled in dirty laundry in a back-stable. He chooses to show up right in the middle of intrusive noise and unsettling circumstances because He goes where things are working and makes them work. He keeps His eyes on you and invites you to do something about it. He says, “Come out here on top of the waves, and thrive.”
Today we had soccer practice, swim lessons and tutoring.
I’m cry-tired. (That’s a real word in our house.)
Circumstances didn’t miraculously change over night. They got a little more uncomfortable, actually.
But I have a Savior and a husband willing to do whatever it takes for our family to thrive. They are wiling to enter the chaos of the darkest and longest night for the good of the family. To go where it doesn’t work so something can be done about it.
That’s the kind of family we are going to be.
That’s the kind of church we are going to be.
The kind that goes where we need to go and does what we need to do to for the people to thrive.
Pillow to pillow last night, my husband and I made space to the beat of the bass music. We made space to walk obediently toward the Sabbatical and the soul-restoration we are called to. To do whatever it takes to align ourselves with who God says we are and prepare a healthy foundation for a thriving church.
He spoke. We prayed.
And discussed. And emailed. And called.
And there are going to be some changes.
Please stay tuned, and please stay prayerful.
We we will thrive, and we will be brave.
We will do whatever it takes to be obedient and to be whole.
We’re going to Cape Town soon with big purpose and prayers. We are expecting big changes to be born out of that trip, and we can’t wait to share them with you.
But first, will you pray?
Will you pray for Lifa in all this transition? Pray for his ability to thrive, his sense of security and belonging, and for God to make clear and protected paths for him.
Will you pray for finances, both for this trip and for the larger budget that will be required in this upcoming season of life? If you would like to join our giving team and be a part of this movement with us, please click here to email me.
Will you pray for the soul-resting of our family and our obedience in taking a true Sabbatical? God has given us a clear directive for this to give us fresh vision and deep bone-quenching restoration for the thriving, bight-eyed church He will birth.
Thanks for entering this long, dark nights and sticking around for the daybreak. It’s coming. And it’s going to be beautiful.