Our lives are moving a million miles a minute, yet we aim to not look disheveled, discombobulated or disoriented.
We present. We perform. We practice. We please. We promise. We pamper.
Yet we’re often operating on empty.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live a life at rest at the feet of Jesus? Not needing to do or be all the things, but instead simply exist in where we are right now.
Even just saying those words aloud sound freeing and relaxing. Resting at His feet. I can see Him now sitting in my living room, me on my knees below him, learning, listening, gleaning.
But life is going. Time is ticking. Our kids are growing. Our relationships are evolving. People need us. We are not a stagnant society. We don’t know what rest means.
So were at battle with our fleshly desires and our innate need. How then do we remain in Him when everywhere we turn tells us to do the opposite? How do we say Yes to Him when we live in a world of No’s?
Today’s lovely guest is Mary living in a Martha world.
She would never deem herself as such, but as you listen to her story and hear her consistency, you too will understand why I am mesmerized by her ability to sit longer, to stay at His feet, and to say Yes to Him, even before she knows the question. May we all learn to be a little more like Mary…or in this situation like Meg.
Connect with her here:
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Connect with me, Tamra Andress – The Fit in Faith Podcast Host!
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Until next time…Prayers towards your joy, health, wealth and wholeness
Welcome, welcome. Welcome to episode 15 of the fit and faith podcast. I have a gem of a friend here today and I’m so excited to just have this quality time with you, but also share kind of how we are sitting across from a table now. I didn’t even count years, probably, gosh, 20 years, I think later. That’s so crazy. 20 years. That makes me sound old and we’re not old. That’s the crazy thing.
But we have known each other since high school and May has, I explained as I was praying to God about the time, I just always have seen her as the Mary to my Martha. So if you don’t know the biblical reference of Luke chapter 10, you have to dive into it. And if you know either of us, you’ll fully represent one or the other. But I am in quite the season of desiring the Mary space and Meg has always, always been that.
She was a youth leader to me before I even really comprehended who God was, what God was, what Christianity was. I was new to my faith as a freshman and she was a junior at the time and she has just always been this like peaceful, almost like Mother, like experience that I’ve had with you, even though we’re peers. And so watching you turn into a mom many years later was just such an amazing thing to witness and that I know has been a journey in and of itself.
So I’m just grateful to have you even still leading spaces that I’m going to through hot and Holy and churches and things that you are such guidance in my life spiritually and there’s no better thing that I could call you than a sister. So I take it, I receive it.
We are definitely sisters. It is so sweet of the Lord to think about 20 years ago how we ended up studying. Did we study Esther in my car for such a time as this?
It’s so cool that yeah, God brought us together then, never would have imagined we’d be sitting across…….. No.
No cause we really, we didn’t super keep in touch in college. You went off to Penn State for Soccer.
Excuse me. Well, that’s a big difference for soccer and then it seems like such a huge gap of change when somebody goes away from college and you’re in high school and you’re like, my friends all left me and I had so many juniors who were juniors when I was a freshman that graduated and I felt like who am I? Where am I? And honestly just to be transparent, I felt like I really lost my footing in the Lord when you all left because it was you, your now husband who is just a high school buddy at the time or a longterm high school buddy cause tell, how long have you known Scott?
Since eighth grade, we met in eighth grade. We did not date that whole time. We dated briefly our senior year of high school. Then went our separate ways for college and reconnected two years after college.
That’s so cool. I’ve always just loved that love story. It’s such fun because you know, people say high school sweethearts and that’s not quite what you were, but the fact that your friendship was so in tangled and so sweet for so long makes your the foundation so much stronger. Sometimes some of the high school sweethearts that I know are married, it’s like they didn’t know any other experience of even that concept of falling in love. And so it’s just, it kinda has that, what if question behind it, and I don’t feel like you and Scott and I don’t know intimately but would have that because you truly knew like I’m going after him, I’m going after him and he’s going after me, you know.
And the friendship was so genuine and he made it through the gatekeepers, which were my brothers because he was a friend for so long. Scott says he snuck under the radar because they weren’t expecting it cause he was just a part of our family. He was literally in one of our family photos for our Christmas issue. Much to my chagrin because we were not dating at that point and I was very much opposed, but my mom was always set on us getting married.
That’s too funny. So she’s like, I knew it from the beginning. That’s hilarious. I have not the same situation because I, but I’m like kind of connected to Gary’s family my husband because I was friends with his younger brother for seven years before I even knew Gary existed. So I’m like, wait for a second, you have a brother wait, he’s good looking and I’m like, wait, is Joey good looking? Did I miss something? I was so confused and so it was cool. Like when you had that first meet and greet experience with the family.
I had no like fear in that at all because I’m like, I’ve been friends with Joey for years. Like if I’m good, this is okay. Now, the mother-in-law thing, you know how that’s always a little beer-based with two boys. Does Scott have a sister?
He has a sister.
Okay. So it’s been an interesting navigation of mother-in-law and, with someone who has two boys and you have two boys.
Yes. So all three.
Yeah, three at heart though but it’ll be interesting like later down the road how that is different. But I’d love for you to share a little bit about your experience in and just overall where God has brought you from the beginning cause you were raised in a Christian home. Right. So share how your Mary, your very likeness has evolved.
Well, I’m, I humbly, I’m very humbled by that description because I think it’s something that I yearned to embrace and pursue. But in this, obviously in this culture that’s hard to do. And so I’m honored and humbled by him in that description. But yeah, I grew up in a Christian home. We went to church every, well, every Sunday that I wasn’t playing soccer. And In middle school, my mom started working at a local Episcopal church, Galilee and so we switched there. She was the director of children’s ministry for 12 years. And so not only did we attend church, we were helping and, but it was really fun.
It was, there was a vibrant youth ministry and the great community at church and in our high school just an incredible group of friends. It was a fun group to learn and pursue Jesus together and then going to college, which I felt a little bit more isolated. I went there for soccer and had a great group of friends but not as many believers in my close circle cause I lived with and ate, slept everything. Did life with the soccer team. So that felt a little more draining in the sense that I wasn’t surrounded by believers all the time.
I’ve had a great church in Philly and then my spring semester studied abroad in Argentina. I was studying Spanish and so they accepted credits from this one program in Argentina. I knew nothing about the country, but I figured I would go and ended up finding an incredible, a very charismatic church and (inaudible 10:11). And that became my family and community there, got plugged into a small group didn’t speak Spanish.
They’re very loving and welcoming. I was kind of intrigued like who is this blonde (inaudible 10:23) that can’t speak, but he’s coming. And, I loved it. Also, I was playing soccer there. And when I graduated from Penn, just wanted to move back to Argentina, however possible. And so I found a job teaching fifth grade at a small Christian bilingual school just outside the city, just so that I could be back in the city and be back now at that church. I loved the church. And that was where I got a taste of being alive in the Holy Spirit and gifts in the spirit.
And yeah, it was very charismatic, which was different from, I loved the church I grew up in, but it was very different. And so I taught fifth grade for a year and was playing soccer and then transitioned to teaching English and did some translation work at that church, but consistently was pursuing the Lord. It was very much God’s grace in my life, protecting me from, you know, bad decisions that could have drawn me out of the church or out of that community.
And thankfully just had at the right time when I needed it incredible friends who were excited about Jesus and made that intriguing to me. And once I got a taste of it, nothing else really satisfied. And so I thought for a while that I was going to live in Argentina forever. I would apply to grad school there was thinking this is where I’m going to live. And then reconnected with Scott when we were, just over email. We started, we had stayed friends and I could tell from his emails that he’d grown up a little bit and our conversation just had more substance than he was interested in how my faith was growing. And so we reconnected and I came back for the summer and it was, it was immediately different with him.
And I had prayed, I knew where he was. He had been very open with that he was still interested if I were. And so I prayed to the Lord. I said I want to guard his heart and my heart. I don’t want to lead him on if this is not your will for us. And so really prayed about it and it was, it was so clear when we came back face to face for that summer that there was something there.
And the Lord lead us slowly down that path. And I was still living in Argentina, had a job there. But God slowly started closing doors in Argentina and drawing my heart back to the States, which there was a period where I never thought that would have happened. So within about a two week period decided, okay, this is worth pursuing. I’ll move back to the States. And, had applied to law school, we got engaged three months later, got married and moved to Miami.
And then I came and visited in Miami, which was so cool and so random, such a random treat. But I just remember the cobblestone roads and a really good outdoor dining experience. And that’s pretty much all the way. Of course, it’s the Argentinian roots, but it’s funny cause Gary’s half Mexican, which a lot of people don’t know because if you look at him and blonde hair, blue eyes, his grandma was blonde hair, blue-eyed, so Spaniard, but grew up in Guadalajara and his parents just retired to Mexico. So if you knew that, so they just moved down there and are just living the….
Living Lavita Loca…….But just traveling and enjoying being around family cause we have a ton of family there. But yeah, it’s really interesting cause I remember when I told him about you in Argentinian or Argentina, he was like, Oh my gosh, does she speak Spanish? He always wants to just know and like make that connection. So when you said “gringa”, he always talks to all of our Mexican helpers and they’re all incredible and he’s, he just always wants to speak Spanish all the time. So if you ever looking for a Spanish date, call my husband, you’re welcome.
That’s very fun, we’ll do a double date and Scott just say si, he says si to everything, even when the answer very much should not be yes. He says si.
That’s awesome. It was very much fun though he can’t go to Mexican restaurants at all because he’s used to authentic Mexican food. And so they’re like, he does, they don’t even have white sauce in Guadalajara. They don’t even have this type of salsa. They need Mola, not beans. And so, so many different things. And then he just went and visited with my son and they went and all they want is American food. So grandpa wanted pizza and burgers and Gary’s like your killing me grandpa. And he was like, what? I never had this. So really funny, a total tangent. But I love culture and I love that you love culture.
And so it’ll be interesting as you and Scott like raise the babies to see how you bring that, that love and so much of it. And I think for me that charismatic experience was when I went to Parkway, which is just in one city over. And it took that experience for me to take my yearning for the Lord to a space that I never even knew possible.
And so people often shy away from that concept of charismatic or a Pentecostal was the roots of the other church. And no, they’re nondenominational. They’re under the I PHC and they’re confused I think more so that, but fearful as well, like speaking in tongues and visions and prophet prophetic word. Like what does that mean and how does that affect me? And are they psychic or you know, there’s so many like fine hairs and it’s not because the Bible has put people astray. It’s because denominations and man by way of denominations have done that. Which is unfortunate and sad. But I think once you experience the presence of the Holy Spirit, no matter what church you’re in, no matter what denomination they’re in, you want more.
And I just love that hot and Holy, which is now a place that I feel like is another experience that I’ve had now in Virginia Beach as well as with the session that I’m like, okay, it’s not just in this church. It’s not just in this house. It’s not just in Argentina in this space with these people, like God existed everywhere. If we just will allow him to show up.
For the longest time, I had kind of resigned to the idea that that experience in Argentina was my individual kind of, you know, my foreign life, so to speak, that Scott or you know, other friends wouldn’t be able to understand what that was like in that community. And then when the group of us started praying, which became hot and Holy prayer and in an intimate and vulnerable setting where we were hungry and seeking the Lord, there was that freedom to explore God, we want more of you, whatever that looks like. And so we started to grow in that together and to then get a taste of that with, with our friends.
And then with Scott as well. In our marriage, it’s just opened up something that in my narrow in my narrow-mindedness didn’t think was possible, but we’d be able to grow in this together and explore a new, you know, church community where that was practiced and encourage the scriptural and theologically sound way of encouraging the active gifts of the spirit. And then also within our friends with hot and Holy prayer where we are learning, we are trying to study scripture around this study moves of the spirit, not just it’s not just a feeling, it’s not just an experience with the Lord. This is based on scripture.
And so learning to discern what is, what is scripturally sound and to explore that together. Yes, God is speaking. He is speaking all the time and wants to speak to all of us and we can tap into that and hear him as we through disciplines, learn to silence a lot of the voices around us in the world, a lot of the distractions and for, you know, for different people, they’re different things. Some people don’t have an issue with social media or your phone, but we’ve all in this small group of friends it’s neat to be able to process together of, you know, I am feeling convicted about you know, Instagram and I just need to stay off of it for a little while to be able to encourage each other and that, and that’s not the same struggle that we all have some, I mean, with ice cream.
It’s, you know, that’s where it’s like the mind, body, and soul. It’s like the constant checking of yourself and that, that component of the discipline. And when I referenced Martha and Mary, I’m not sure I did a great enough explanation of the fact that in the story Jesus comes to their home and Martha and Mary are sisters which I also reference not realizing the connection until just now. But Mary was just sitting at the feet of Jesus and she was just anxious for his word and anxious for his teaching and anxious for his affection and attention.
And Martha being the hostess. And it’s not a bad thing. She was readying the home and making sure everything was clean and preparing the meal and getting everything comfortable so that he would be comfortable. And I imagined myself like that cause I’m often on the run.
And she says to Jesus like you know, Jesus, why isn’t Mary helping me? Like, don’t you think she should get up off the floor and like help because you’re here and we need, we need to put on a show for you. And he says, no, like I, and this is all in layman’s terms obviously, but no, I would much rather you come, just be with me then than present to me or than put on for me. I just want you, I don’t need your fine dishware or linens or any of the above. Just come and rest.
And I remember sitting in the small group circles with you in high school, whether we’re at young life camp, whether it was in somebody’s living room at 5:00 AM we would wake up these people, this is crazy high schoolers. We would wake up at 5:00 AM to go study the word and scripture before we would go to school and you would, people would think, what in the world are these crazy kids doing?
And my parents were confused because I wasn’t raised, not in a Christian home, but just not in a church-going home. And we said prayers at night and that was pretty much the gist of just be a good person was kind of how I, I presumed my childhood. And so I, I just remember those times of rest. And I remember then walking into my season of really crazy chaos and in college and feeling I was just a number I was trying to perform. I was trying to achieve again because I didn’t, I was just lost. I didn’t have that footing. I tried to go to like campus crusades and try to get involved with young life, but I had kinda been burned in a young life, at the end of my high school experience. And it’s not their fault.
It was just a man’s reaction to a broken child. But it was on my terms as well. And so I just never felt like I fit in. And I think that was the part of, of Martha kind of running around and feeling like she needed to do things for people to feel loved in response where God calls us to just be who you are, be who I’ve called you to be and rest in that and you can come to meet me no matter where you are.
And to know that it doesn’t, it’s not about everybody else. It’s about where you are and your placement in that discipline that God sees and God hears and God speaks to and God comforts and God provides. So I’m just, I’m just really grateful I even just sitting here, so I’m like, I’m just, this is so cool just to have this, this dedicated time.
And you know, we’ve had, you know, coffee and lunch and stuff together, but I just really wanted people to, sense you, I don’t know that’s a weird way to say that, but I was just like ready for somebody to understand the authenticity of being able to walk in God’s calling from an early age. I am an aunt to many babies and I’m a mom as well, but I carry that on and God mama roll to a lot of kids and I am always so fearful of what society has, I feel locked in so many different facets. Sexual sin is one of the big ones and social media being a cause of a lot of that. And I hear her stories that I see portions of my testimony interwoven into and I’m grateful at the sense that I’m like, Holy cow, I’m so glad that people didn’t have access to me that way.
And I didn’t have access in that way. But even in the limited dial-up internet, it still got ahold of me and I am so fearful and have to release at the feet of Jesus. What I feel like entangles so many and my nieces I don’t have interaction with right now for a multitude of different reasons. And it scares the heck out of me because I feel this weight of needing to be that light to them, needing to be that example and not to say that their home isn’t light already. But I just feel like when you are comfortable and confident in who God says you are that exudes to all of the outlying and you’ve had that forever. And I just want to like infiltrate it and like feed it in, in the abundance of ice cream, to all of those babies.
So to teach me, teach me as being a young kid, a young child, a high school or a college student. And even now, how do you remain obedient and, and just at his feet when there’s so much bro brokenness.
Well, the good news and the bad news is I feel like it wasn’t anything at the beginning. It wasn’t as much what I did. I, people was praying for me and I have praying parents and praying on sent uncles. And we were in a community where others were praying for us as well. And my parents did what they could do. I have two brothers and we all took different paths in terms of exploring the Lord and spirituality. But prayer is the first, the foremost, the most powerful tool and weapon we have in our own lives. And for those that we have the privilege to cover in prayer and to pray for and to not approach in fear because that fear being scared of possible outcomes is never from the Lord, but to approach with the power and the freedom that we have in the Holy Spirit.
And you, I think, in a role as a mother or godmother, as an aunt, it’s so hard not to be paralyzed by that fear of how do I stop bad things from happening? But to rather approach that we have the most powerful God on our side who is victorious and we are covering these people that we love and prayer and know that God loves them and sees them too instead of not approach from fear, but, but from a place of victory because our enemy is the one that wants to steal, kill and destroy, steal and rob us of the joy. And rather than the approach from a place of victory and even of technology. So instead of being afraid of, Oh gosh, what’s going to happen from social media but praying, I pray that through their life that others get to experience the Lord through the social media.
Any tool that the enemy wants to use to destroy God will use to for good and, and to be glorified. And so I know I’ve been covered in prayer. And it’s neat, even I moved away from Virginia Beach for 10 years and coming back, getting to worship and pray with my mom and I had hot and Holly prayer. Even her and her friends, that generation being able to come in and experience in a multigenerational multi-church gathering where they can come and just be fed has been so life-giving for them from what they’ve said.
But it’s also just neat to see the community that’s poured into us and the community that is here. So I feel like that’s been a unique covering in my life. And then as I’ve, I just, it is God’s grace. I’ve had plenty of opportunities in high school in college to make terrible decisions and I can look back and see where even with a begrudging heart made decisions that I knew I should make to obey the Lord were choosing between the two things.
I wanna do this, but I know enough about the Bible that I should honor my dad and do that. So I know enough about, so having some scriptural foundation and I think all of it is, it’s also about personality. I mean, it goes both ways. I also do want to please people and worried about how people perceive me, which in a good way has kept me, from making decisions where I didn’t want to be, you know, ashamed or embarrassed. So it cuts both ways and I feel like that part of my personality has also protected me, but that’s been something I’ve had to pray through and break free from as well to not make decisions based on what other people want or think I should do to resist that. Martha, there are a lot of good things I could be doing, but I have to focus on the Lord and sit before his feet.
And so even to draw that comparison with Mary and Martha is so neat with hot and Holy prayer developing because that has been our vision and our goal. If there’s one story snippet scripture that summarizes the heart behind it is that it is a Mary gathering. Multiple people have said that my aunt visited from West Virginia and visited and she said that that’s what it was. It’s a Mary gathering and so many ministry events in particular women’s ministry events are very much Martha in the spirit of, these are good things, are going to serve people and do a lot and get things done. But ultimately, if you are not filled at the feet of Jesus, you’ll burn out. You’ll burn out. And so it is so hard to just pause before the Lord.
In one scripture, God has spoken to me about, um, women making that sacrifice to come. Is it from second Samuel when King David at the end of his reign wanted to give an offering to the Lord and someone offered him for free to use this alter and he said, no, I’m going to pay for it to make this offering costs something to give to the Lord. And I was praying through that of florid, how do we, how do we earn this? How do we pay, you know, how do we pour out to earn this, you know, bring a sacrifice that costs us something. So all you do is come and your time is that, that what you have paid and what I will work through and bring a harvest from.
I mean already and it’s only been what, 18 maybe like 20 months now.
Yea…..October will be two years. Yeah.
That’s crazy. It seems like yesterday that I was just sitting in that room with 30 people. And probably for you that you were sitting there with the seven of you guys, but I was curious for that and I do want to touch a little bit more on hot and Holy, but during the time of you coming back from Argentina, getting married to Scott before, you had a family, you started a family basically before hot and Holy gathering with just the seven of you girls. What did you experience during that time? Like footing, getting footing and being married and four months of like six months of like dating, married, like that’s the short period of going from living your life just for yourself to now live in your life in tandem. And for someone else.
So I recently had a neat chance to reflect on the timing of all of this. Uh, cause this year I shared in March hot and Holy. Our first son, we had a son in 2014, Jack, you know, who passed away and it was right around that time that a lot of the gap, the three of us then to seven started to pray. So we didn’t start to pray until after I had moved back. I had been working full time. We had been married for about five years and we found that we were pregnant and were so excited, found that it was a boy. And then shortly after the 20-week ultrasound, we found out that our son had a rare chromosomal disorder and that is a disorder termed incompatible with life. And it was recommended multiple times that we consider aborting the pregnancy, which we did not do.
And I carry Jack full term and he was born and live for two days. And so we got two full days with him in the hospital, which was a gift from the Lord. And in that grieving process was when I started to, well, I was completely helpless before the Lord. And that immense grief could not even come before the Lord and prayer could not do even the most basic life, like taking a shower any of that stuff. And at that time, our community circled around us and carried us. And a few months after Jack passed away was when a group of us hung out to watch, this women’s conference called “The if gathering” a live stream of it. And afterward, three of us decided to stay and pray. And there were two of my best friends. And so they had been walking through this season of grief with me and we had been talking about even gifts of the spirit and praying in tongues.
And so we just sat and decided to pray. We huddled up on a couch and hugged and prayed. And it was the most powerful time of prayer they entered in with me and had entered in with me in that season of grief. But the way the Lord revealed himself in that prayer time has forever changed us. And that was what led into us deciding, Oh, we want more of this and we want to experience, you know, the Lord and prayer together. But in that one prayer time, the heavens opened up and one of my friends had a vision of heaven, a vision of Jesus. And Jack was sitting on Jesus’s lap and she was overcome. Obviously. I was, I felt just overwhelmed that she would, the God would give her that vision of not only is your son with me in heaven, but he is also with me in Heaven on my lap.
And then the other friend was just overwhelmed just basically this download of how much the Lord loved me, just brought her to tears. And that was the first of many times I call her my personal like prayer connection to the Lord. Because when she prays for me, it’s this, neat friendship where she is overwhelmed with realizing how much the Lord loves me. So she was able to try and communicate that to me. And so we were just sitting on a couch praying and God showed up and showed up so personally so intimately, because we were vulnerable together and because they had entered into that season with me and that was what started at all, we were just blown away. We were speechless. We did not know even what, how to describe what happened, but we said, let’s do this again. Let’s show up.
And so we invited some friends and it became seven of us who prayed together every other week for two and a half years. And it wasn’t, it wasn’t always easy. I mean there’s, there’s life, life gets in the way of sickness and moving and all this other stuff. We had to fight for that time and we had to make it a priority and even hold each other accountable. And there were weeks where it was hard for every one of us to get there, but we were consistent with it because we were seeing a new dimension of the Lord and experiencing the Holy spirit together. And it was, there was freedom because there was that vulnerability of you’re not crazy. We’re doing this together. We could, you know, go out on a limb of, I think I’m seeing this, I think I’m hearing this, I feel this, is this normal or Oh is this totally way off?
And we were able almost to practice with each other. Am I hearing from the Lord? Is this how he’s really speaking to me? And we got to see, we got to confirm with one another. Yes. Not only yes, but you’re also hearing from the Lord. But yes, he is that good and his heart is for you completely. And he loves you that much. And we were blown away and we, we had a text chain together and at one point it was, we named it Hot and Holy. I’m not describing us, the room would get physically hot, we would be sweating. We just felt the heat, the presence of the Lord in heat. And from the beginning, God’s holiness has always been impressed upon us and the pursuit of consecration and consecrate yourselves today for tomorrow we’ll do incredible things.
And so that’s been kind of a refrain of ours from Joshua and to be excited about consecration, which is so counter-cultural. And that’s something you would ever plan or think of. And then eventually started to sense that this is cool but it’s not just for us and there are women all over the place that are hungry for more of the war and God wants to be this real with everyone. And so it was a little uncomfortable to think about and pray through because it had been such an intimate, vulnerable space.
But eventually, God confirmed it with all of us and we decided to invite a few people. We didn’t know the first time if it would just be the seven of us plus Paige who was leading worship.
Yes, she’s amazing.
But from word of mouth that just grew, there were 30 women and then we’ve had, you know, over 180 coming. We outgrew Christina’s house in a minute and The holiday Inn. And it’s always been something, it’s not about any individual leading it. It’s something we hold with open hands that to the point of month by month where we are okay if God puts us, points us in a different direction of, you know, changing the way we gather, the way we meet or the, so it’s, it’s hard for someone who is a planner to actively resist the Martha tendency in that way of I want to serve in the way I know I can control, I can control that. I can’t always control what God’s going to call us into.
And so to say the yes before we know what he’s asked us to do is a, it’s a new place and it’s challenging but it’s invigorating. It is never boring. Every single month we gather it has looked different than the month before. But he has shown up every single time.
It’s really, it’s such a powerful place and I get so excited just to invite new people. Last, gathering there was I think five new girls that, had come, not necessarily with me, but I knew that were all brand new. And just to see the……… I was going to say the fever, it’s like not, it’s that hot component of hot and Holy just to see that fire like within them after and that yearned for, Oh my gosh, like when is the next one, how do I, how do I get here? How am I invited? Where’s the email list like that they want a piece and it’s not a piece of Hot and Holy its a piece of Jesus, like a literal piece of Jesus.
And so we were talking before about how we just feel like there’s this revival like surge in our area and that Virginia Beach, and we always say, you guys always say that, um, the fertile soil, like our ground is fertile and we are allowing God to do what he would when he would to plant and harvest at this very time. And so I am just so expected for everything that you guys have poured into, prayed over, continued to be obedient in knowing that, you know, Christina opening her home and that experience is one of a kind. And, and there’s something about that, that space will always have that much peace, like forever. So we started a church plant out of our own home, about around the same time actually, it was October.
And so, it was crazy that it was very synonymous and, and I, when you invited me to come that night, I was like, this is really interesting. I’m going to go. And was just at that point, literally anything again saying yes before he asked. I was just yes, yes, yes. You asked me the night before, I think maybe, well, not even 24 hours. And I was like, yes, yes, let’s go. And so to experience that same opportunity within my home, and you, I remember the first time people came into my home and I’d love to talk to Christina about this is just, I was, am sobbing, weeping mess because my home wasn’t always a place of solitude and serene and, safe and, wasn’t always God. And so to have what now had I had seen God stirring for so long now to invite other people into experience and witness Jesus in the place that you sleep and chose to walk other paths at some point in your life.
I was just an utter mess. I mean I couldn’t even fumble together words and I love words. So to, you know, continue that out, now we’ve moved out of that home, which was a really emotional thing for me to do. But our pastors now live in that home and so we still have the same church there on Sunday nights and it’s incredible when I walk in there, it looks different. The walls are different colors, the furniture’s in a different space. But she just told me today she was painting doors, a new color. She’s like, I hope we don’t have to leave here for a very long time. I have not felt this much peace in a home in years. And so I know based on the prayer and I know all of the prayers that have happened on the land and in the home of that house and just our region, just to think that those prayers, it’s not necessarily that specific pin geographical landmark.
It is this entire region is being prayed over our nation’s Capitol and all of our leaders are being prayed over consistently. And you guys have made way though that happens consistently on in Sunday church. There’s something to be said about it looking like heaven because, and we’re going to make it look like heaven on Monday, which I’m excited about and I’ll let you share. But yeah, just to have all those different genders, come together. But the ethnicities, the age, the cultures, all of that in one place, I just feel the breeze, the heart of God. So it’s just, it’s been incredible and I’m so excited to see where it goes and how it continues to evolve knowing that it’s a God-led thing no matter what you guys do.
It’s god led, Cause it isn’t something that any of us would have planned. When we started meeting, we all had, I mean careers outside of the home and young kids and we never would have taken this on at that stage in life. And God has shifted some of us, the timing is crazy and it’s too much even to go into now of like how each of us was kind of walking back into a season of not working as much outside the home, drawn back into our home. But we all still have young kids as well, Life is busy.
Yes, a lot of you guys are pregnant having babies in this time, its so amazing.
We talked about the generation is these babies are birthed, raised in the spirit. They will never know a home that is not bathed in the spirit
Is that not the most amazing thing.
And the words, yeah, there’ve been words spoken that this move is not just for the women obviously because now there’s already a coed gathering, but it is for the children in our homes are being renewed and transformed and that is how revival starts in the home. And so as these families are transformed, that’s what the family unit is, what the community is composed of, what the city is composed of. And so we’ve always been excited about the men being involved and the children.
And so we start and one cool thing that we have done is in the past four years we’ve, several of us have moved and we always take time to pray in the home before we moved in and we’ll go in and bless the home. And it’s, yeah, it’s not about a specific set of walls, but it is blessing and dedicating those walls to the Lord. But the revival that those words have been spoken and as many different churches come together for this gathering on Monday, it is the same language. God has put the same visions and words in different people’s mouths, completely disconnected in the sense of like not the same church, not the same spheres.
People are having these same words of visions from the Lord about revival in this area. And it’s not just Virginia Beach, but a greater region. And so it is so exciting to be a part of that.
This is not something we planned, not something we could have forced in any way, just the way it’s grown Word of mouth and women are encountering God and we get to be a part of that.
It’s crazy and it’s really, so three years ago, before my doing, ordination, like for the program that I just finished, I felt a yes while David Fritch was speaking at our church and he does burn 24/7, have I you mentioned a little bit about it. So it was a year-long program and it was all around worship and mainly worship leaders or people who were a part of worship teams. And I do not sing. I think I might have let something out in a podcast recently. I apologize in hindsight after hearing that back. But I just have a passion for music. I love music. I love to write so whether that’s a song eventually, who knows, but I just, I love it. It’s in our home nonstop.
Our children are always, we always call Cooper our little worship because he’s just blaring music already speaking in tongues. We say that too because he’ll just come up with his own thing. I’m like, “yes for it, go for it”. But I remember studying all about the different revivals and it was a whole segment a whole month that we got to read different books around revival and it, I didn’t comprehend it. And one of the books was about the Azusa street revival. And I remember him specifically praying over the words, God bend me, God mold me. But bend was the word he was using and it, I just kept thinking of like a Willow tree, which I love Willow trees. And it then just brought me as you’re talking about how Christina’s home has all the trees next to the water and it when somebody asks you to be bent, you never expect it to break.
There’s the strength in that, you know, if I say bend this, you’re trusting that it’s not going to break cause you’re gonna have to give it back to me.
And so I just continued since that day. I’ve just continued to pray that because I loved the visual of it, but I loved that I believe God is asking all of us to do that, to be bent, to kneel before him, and to know that it’s not to be broken, it’s to be whole and to be healed and to be okay with being on your knees and that, you know, kind of just circles back full picture to that concept and desire of both of our hearts consistently. If we can all learn as a society to just be okay with being bent and know that it’s not to be broken, it’s to be mended, but we’re so clenched fist and like if we just open our hands and allow our lives to be used by God, he will direct you. It’s promised in the Bible.
He also isn’t gonna let it, it’s not a straight and narrow path. And so to be bent, you have to be willing to maneuver this way and that way and know and trust that he’s got you and he’s not gonna. That’s not his will. That’s not his heart, that’s not his plan to be broken. So I know that there are people on the receiving end who would probably feel broken right now. And there’s a multitude of reasons that could be. I feel like there are areas of my own heart that are currently broken. But I know that that’s not God’s heart for our hearts. And so I would love for you to just kind of lead us in prayer. Lead us with where you see God’s spirit right now. Where do you see the vision of our city and the heart for hot and Holy and just as you transition in your own life, what does that look like? So I know we’re in the soil is fertile.
Yes. And so what came to mind is Psalm 1:26, I got to teach at a women’s retreat on sowing in tears. And well, first with the bending that what comes to mind, it’s all will bow at the feet of the Lord and how much more pleasant to willingly bow than to be broken and bent, forcefully bent before him. And we are not promised an easy burdenless life, but that the burden with Jesus is light. And when we invest those tears before him, he promises, and Psalm 1:26, it talks about those who so in tears reap with songs of joy, a harvest full of joy.
And that it’s not that we won’t have tears, but what it’s what we do in those seasons regardless of what brokenness we feel or we are facing and very real brokenness. But what do we do with it? We turn to the Lord. And even today I was listening to another podcast and he gave statistics of there currently 750,000 podcasts and some 30 million episodes.
And so if whoever is listening now to know that there is purpose in that, that God sees you now that of 30 million podcast episodes whoever is tuning into this, the numbers show that there’s a reason, there is a purpose in that, that God is intentional. And so I want to pray. I’ll pray.
Lord, thank you so much for this time. Thank you that you see us and you hear us, that you are real, you are moving and you are speaking and all we have to do is call on your name. So together we call on the name of Jesus. We say, Jesus, we are ready. We are willing. We sit before you. We sit at your feet and at times we don’t even know what else to do. But we sit at your feet to see you and to hear from you, to pour out our tears at your feet.
But you promise those who sow in tears, those who continue to seek you even in and through seasons of tears to sow the tears themselves as an ointment on your feet, to wash your feet, that we will reap in songs of joy, that we will come home and see your face. You promise joy and joy abundant, overflowing. And that is a fruit of the spirit as well. So we asked for a filling to be filled with your spirit and to experience your joy like never before because we trust that you are good through grief, through brokenness you are good and your promises are yes and amen and you will be true to your promises because you do not lie and your promises will come true and you will be glorified. You can’t help but be glorified because that’s who you are. God, so we praise your name. Amen.
Amen. Thank you so much for being here. I know people are going to be so blessed by it and selfishly I know I was.
It’s okay. Regardless, you listen, so thank you.
I love you guys so much and I’m just, I’m so excited to see where our friendship continues to grow 20 years down the road, our sisterhood.
Yeah, there you go. Our sister and I love it.
All right guys, thanks so much for tuning in.