Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Further Down the Road

Do you have someone that you learn from?  Someone who is a little further down the road than you?  Someone who has walked the life of faith a bit longer?

This faith walk isn't a competition or a race, but it is just plain fact that there are those who have been there before, walked longer, learned lessons . . . and we can receive much sharpening if we are willing to be taught. 

One such person in my life is my friend, Shauna Pilgreen.  If you are Southern Baptist, that name might sound familiar.  You may even have a postcard with her picture on your fridge like me!  

Ben and Shauna are church planters in San Fransisco through the North American Mission Board and were featured in Annie Armstrong videos and publicity in the last few months.

While they may be new faces to you, I've had the pleasure of knowing Ben and Shauna for 11 years {and I can't believe it has actually been that long!}.  Ben became the associate director for the BCM at Tech at the end of my junior year.  I only had one year to get to know and learn from the Pilgreens, but they made a big impact!  

We had lost touch for years, but ahhh the beauty of facebook and blogs!  Shauna has a blog that I've been reading over the last year . . . keeping up with the adoption of their daughter from India, seeing snapshots of their life and ministry in SF, and getting a window into Shauna's faith walk.  

Shauna has been faithful to write about a lot of different aspects of her life and faith . . . parenting, marriage, spiritual disciplines, ministry, fun, adoption.  She clicks "publish" and probably has no idea how her testimony impacts me {and others} in such profound ways.

The thing I've learned and appreciated most from Shauna is her intentionality.  This is an area of my life that is often sorely lacking {tell me I'm not alone!} so God has really used her wisdom and practical insight to challenge and encourage me to be intentional in each area of my life.  

I'm reminded of Paul encouraging Timothy {1 Timothy 4:7} to "train yourself for godliness."  Godliness doesn't just happen.  It takes work.  We can't just put off the old.  We must put on the new.  And that takes intentionally being transformed, intentionally pursuing Christ, intentionally walking by faith, intentionally discipling. 

So what has Shauna written that has been so profound?  I'm glad you asked!  I'm going to share four of Shauna's posts that have most impacted how I have been or will be intentional in my faith walk.

In this post, Shauna shared a simple way that her family is daily intentional in prayer for their children.  I don't know about you, but as for me in this area . . . fail.  I do pray for my kiddos, but not often for specific aspects of their future.  

I loved this idea and had something similar hanging by our kitchen table just a few weeks later.  

 I also added the names of missionaries that we support or have sent out from Edgewater.  We eat pretty much three meals a day at the table together so it has been so good to maximize that time in interceding for our kids and for those making disciples in another context.  Ava quickly became the one to remember and ask each day who we get to pray for . . . intentionality in prayer . . . sowing seeds that we hope reap a fruitful harvest in the lives of our kids. 

Ben and Shauna live in SF and two of their boys are in public school there.  Her wisdom has offered peace to my heart as we prepare for Ava to start kindergarten in the Fall at a public school in our community. {Some NOLA public schools have the reputation of being crazy and a bad education for those of you wondering what the big deal is!}  

I loved being challenged in how I can intentionally and prayerfully fight the spiritual battle that rages for the heart and mind of my little girl even {or especially} at school.  I'm thankful for ideas in how to support and show Christ to her teachers . . . not just in word, but also very practically.  I love being reminded of the power of prayer and the power of a praying family.

We actually prayerwalked the property when Ava's school was first being built and Chad told Ava that this is where we hoped she would go one day.  Since then, she has held firm that this is her school.  Life doesn't slow down, so we are going to have to remain very intentional in covering her school and teachers in prayer!

3.  Names

I love this idea, but probably never would have thought of it.  Ben and Shauna write the name of each child in their son's class on paper and hang them on the wall in their bedroom.  Each night those classmates get prayed for.  So simple, but so brilliant!  Can you imagine the transformation of the heart of your child as they pray for the needs of their friends {or those who don't like them} each night?  Imagine the compassion that develops as you talk about those other kids and get to the heart of their needs and what should be prayed for.  I also just love that this intentionally carves out a time each day where you are talking about what is going on at school and in friendships.  The more we can keep communication open, clear and Christ-centered, the better!

This is the most recent life changer {and I do mean that}!  Shauna has been sharing in the last few months about spiritual disciplines . . . what she does, how she struggles, what she is learning.  I had just been confronted by the Lord over my lack of, you guessed it, intentionality in memorizing Scripture.  I knew I needed some sort of goal or system, but didn't know what.  Days later, I read Shauna's blog where she detailed her memorization system in a video . . . I knew that wasn't a coincidence!

Shauna was also doing a giveaway . . . leave a comment of a favorite verse you've memorized and one person would win all the supplies for the memorization system.  I commented of course, but I never win anything.  A week later {I just knew I wouldn't win and was so anxious to get started} I had all the supplies in my basket at Walmart, but ended up putting them all back on the shelf {you know how it is . . . it was the end of the month and there is only so much moolah in the envelope!}. 

That day, Shauna emailed me to say that I had won!  I loved God's work in all the details to get me doing a memorization system that works perfectly for me and keeps me daily intentional in hiding His Word in my heart!

So this is what my table looks like each morning as I start my time with my Savior. 

I won't explain the whole system here . . . just head over to Shauna's blog and watch the video where she explains it all!  I've only been doing it for a couple of weeks, but I can already see the fruit in my life from being intentional in knowing the Word!

So there it is.  Four glimpses into Shauna's faith and life that have blessed me and I hope will bless you.  I don't share this to put Shauna on a pedestal . . . neither of us would want that.  I share because she has passed on what she has learned and I want to do the same.  In His wisdom, God created the Church to build each other up and that those who are further down the road would freely proclaim lessons learned to those a few steps behind.  Thank You Jesus!

And what post would be complete without some pictures of my little loves?!

Grayson has been very dramatic intense OCD excited about pockets lately. :)

He even got Ava to pose for a pic with pocket excitement!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for putting me on y'alls prayer list!! *tear*