Once in a while you just need a little fun. Our lives can get a bit intense and I can get in this “way too serious too much of the time” place a bit too often. I’ve been told I’m “intense” and I’m not sure they meant the good intense like a great roller coaster, but maybe like the scent of one of my soy candle Covid experiments that needs to be dialed back a little.

So for the next few minutes, I’m going to show you one of Craig’s and my recent Empty Nester Adventures. It was crazy! It won’t be all that serious. Unless I’m unable to resist…but I’ll save the serious part for the end.

Have you ever wanted to jump out of an airplane..on purpose? When Craig came home and said that his Creative Team decided that this would make the perfect introduction to an upcoming sermon on fear- I was all in. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. In fact, it’s on my bucket list. So Honey, if you are doing it, sign me up too.

If you have a minute and want to laugh, you can watch our video HERE

But what did I learn from skydiving?

  • Being tightly strapped to a 20-something college guy is…awkward. So yeah, I haven’t been this close to a guy besides my husband in well, twenty-eight years. But it’s crucial because he’s acting as my guide so that I don’t mess this up and have a big accident. But what if I pee my pants? There isn’t just one kind of accident I’m afraid of!

For ministry wives…the risk of public embarrassment is real, but I’m convinced that the Kingdom gain is worth my looking silly. But I have to fight not to take myself too seriously. It’s ok, no it’s GOOD for people to see my imperfections.

  • The bigger you smile, the less your cheeks will flap. Well, at least that’s what the videographer tried to tell me. But really, I think no matter what you do, there’s going to be cheek-flapping.

For ministry wives…sometimes when stuff is coming at you, the best thing you can do is smile. But don’t smile to cover up. That’s no use. It may prevent people from digging deeper and asking a hard question. But sooner or later, that pain or hurt will bubble up and come out in all the wrong places. Instead, I’ll choose to smile even when it’s hard because it’s a reminder to me that in the midst of hurt, I’m going to choose kindness. Instead of focusing on my own need, I’m surrendering it to Jesus and opening my eyes to the needs of those coming through our doors, that just need a warm smile, a hug or a prayer over them that they can hear.

  • Doing what I want most sometimes requires an outside push. While I was white-knuckling the doorframe of the plane’s hatch, I was confronted with the decision of whether or not to jump. My guide was strapped to me, and actually he was the one holding onto the door. I had made the decision back on the ground. Now, it was just a matter of carrying it out. But if left to myself, I would’ve turned around and sat down on the floor of the plane… and missed an amazing moment. I would’ve waited for fear to win. I would’ve lost my nerve.

For ministry wives…have a few people you trust to help you do what you want most. They strap themselves to you and give you the push you need when you have a failure of nerve. When your courage wains, they remind you of the decision you made to be “all in” when it comes to serving Jesus and this call to giving of yourself – wholeheartedly. They push you out the door when, given to yourself, you might’ve curled up on the floor.

So that’s it – my lessons from skydiving. Maybe this is something you’ll do too. Or after watching me, you’d just as soon pass. Regardless, there’s some nuggets of truth that are lodged deeply in me because of that experience. Let’s let go of our need to present a perfect picture. Let’s choose a smile, a gracious response in the face of hurt. And let’s strap ourselves together, because sometimes I need you to help me have the courage to do what God has called me to…and what I want most.