" No one ever asked me how it felt to be me, but when I told the truth about that; I felt free!" -The Help

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

....And other duties as assigned....

Ladies and Gentlemen....I am back!  By popular demand The one fan I have has requested that I start blogging again.  (Hi mom!) So here I am.

I realize I haven't blogged in a looooooong time.  I could try to catch you up on the awesomeness  boring every day-ness that is my life but I fear I might lose you.  So, if you care enough want to humor me, feel free to look through my Facebook posts and you will get a pretty good glimpse of what I am up to.  Yep! I am lazy. 

Have you ever applied for a job, or looked at your own job description and seen the phrase "Other duties as assigned?"  Right??!  What does that even mean?  It would be more accurate to write, "You will be doing things you never dreamed you would do. In fact, most of these things we can't even write on this job description because if we do no one will take this job. Also, most of these things are things that will catch you by surprise and might cause you to roll your eyes be grateful you have a job."

So without further ado...my list of pastor's wives "Other duties as assigned..."

*Reminding Telling your husband about church members' big moments. Birthdays, surgeries, babies being born, etc.  

*Being the one to stay home with sick kids on Sundays.  Unless your husband want to use a vacation Sunday to be home with a puking baby, it will be your turn to stay home with the sick child. Every.Time. 

*Helping with special events at church. After all, you will be at the church anyway, it shouldn't be a big deal to help out with the event right?!  Wrong.  I mean...yes, sign me up!

*Listening Overhearing people in the church talk negatively about your husband and or other staff members while keeping your cool and not punching them in the face praying for those people.  Also, you will be required to act natural if anyone asks if you have heard anything about said gossip.  

*DVR-ing TV shows for other staff members who don't have cable.   It's a ministry people, ok??! 

*Be super duper luper excited to see someone from the church at Walmart, Thai Express, Chapala or Costco.  Especially if you are having a bad day.  Even more especially if you are praying your card is approved at the register.  One week until payday. 

*Being a guest speaker at your local University, especially if you are scared to death of speaking in front of people.  Also, when you get there the professor will probably let you know he will be recording the session to post online.  Awesome.  Do I get paid extra anything for that??!

And yet somehow I keep doing it, loving it and being blessed by it all!!!

Must be a God thing.








Thursday, May 16, 2013

Truth be told...


* Sometimes when I see people I know at Walmart I re-direct my path so that I don't pass them in the isle. Truth be told, sometimes I just want to shop and not have to put on a smile for you.


*Sometimes I purposely use the restroom at the far end of the church. Truth be told, I don't always enjoy the hand washing conversation that goes on in women’s restrooms.


*I check my Facebook during the sermon every Sunday. Truth be told, so do you!


*When I am chasing my kids in all different directions and look like I got hit by a bus because I am exhausted, it is not the best time to laugh and say "I promise you will miss this one day." Truth be told, I will not miss certain things about my children being little. I just won't. Sure, there are many things I will miss, but trying to convince them not to lick the floor of a public restroom is NOT one them.


*If you tell me you recently read “the best book ever” about ministry and that I really should read it because it will change my life. I probably won’t read it.  Truth be told, changing my life sounds like a lot of work. I don’t think I have the energy for that right now.


*When the worship leader says “please stand” in church. I don’t always stand. Truth be told, I don’t think I have to stand to Praise God and maybe I don’t feel like standing.  I’m sure, there is a special place reserved in the music pastor’s frustrated heart for people like me. I’m sorry. I owe you a mountain dew.


*Sometimes I get cash back from a grocery shopping trip. Truth be told, there are times I want some cash that I don't have to be held accountable for. I don't want evidence of the coffee I buy every morning on my bank statement. That's what married people call "ammunition" for when the bank account overdrafts.  Forget it. Not my fault. You have no proof that I spent $15 on coffee last week. Bingo-Bango!


*If you invite me to your jewelry/Tupperware/make-up/cute personalized bag/vinyl wall d├ęcor/pampered chef/scentsy/best chocolate ever made/try on jeans in my living room party I probably won’t come. I am sure that your product is awesome and is something I will never regret buying. Truth be told, I don’t have money for stuff like that.  If I happen to have some extra money this month, I will probably spend it on laser hair removal...Let’s be honest, that’s what a busy mom really wants.


Love,
Joye




Friday, March 1, 2013

Cosmetics


Don't worry, I haven't started selling Mary Kay or Avon, so feel free to keep reading.  This is not a high pressure sales pitch. Or, a sales pitch at all.

My husband has been included in a fair amount of criticism lately.  He has always been one on our church staff to push the envelope a bit and to ask the tough questions.  As of the last couple months along with the critism he has also been given a piece of the "blame" pie as well. Oh.fun. 

The funny annoying thing is, most of the changes that have been getting push back  are purely cosmetic.  And by cosmetic, I mean actually cosmetic. As in changes in the way something in the church building looks.  It is not as if there has been a move toward changing the mission of the church or the name of the church or the fact that we worship a great and mighty God.  We are talking about visual changes in a church building.  A…..building.

I guess I must be a little to protective of him. I get nauseated and sweaty and irritated and want to slap someone (in Jesus’s name of course) when I see the weight he carries for some of these things.  My husband is just the opposite, he doesn't see it as a weight to bear; he sees it as an opportunity to love people through their differences.  Huh?! Oh man...he is totally a pastor. I am totally not. A couple of nights ago I asked him how he deals with the criticism that comes across his desk.  You know what he said?  Unbelievable.  He said to me, “I would rather take the criticism for change than to be part of a church that is not moving at all.”  Whew….the Joye translation, "I would rather be making waves with my movement than drowning in a still pond.”   So, I guess it is in my best interest to put my boxing gloves away and realize that criticism in ministry is nothing new. In Jesus’ ministry He was criticized for nearly everything he did, so much so that he was criticized to His death.  Talk about making waves.  If we truly are called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps I guess I should expect the criticism.  Maybe that means he is doing something right….maybe.

Keep your fingers crossed in the next couple of weeks...my husband bought new glasses.  They are going to change his "look."  I am concerned about the riots that might ensue regarding his cosmetic change, it could get ugly.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life with boys

Oh...blue crayon...you seem so innocent and fun when I buy you in a variety pack of other colors for .98 cents. You keep my children entertained while I sneak off to use the restroom.
Not the case when a little piece of you is in my child's pocket and gets washed and then DRIED!...ya so..my dryer has a tint of blue in the barell and all our whites have a tinge of blue.

Oh...super glue...you are so useful and awesome when something breaks or needs to be stuck together for the rest of time and eternity.
Not the case when my son is trying to glue a quarter to a lego to make the best cannon ever, and he drops the quarter. Super glue down. On the hardwood.

Oh...little boy who has been potty trained...it is so awesome to not have to buy diapers anymore nor carry a diaper bag with us everywhere we go.
Not the case when you get up in the middle of the night to go potty and pee all over the seat and then I go potty and sit on the wet seat causing me to have to take a midnight shower.  Also, when you have an accident in my bed and I have the choice of sleeping next to a wet bed or getting up in the middle of the night and changing the sheets.

Oh Flour canister...I am a huge fan of you to keep my flour dry and fresh and wieble free. You make it easy to measure flour and look nice in my pantry.
Not so much when my 1 year old can reach the canister and apparently wishes he was just a little whiter. What.a.mess.

Oh kitchen...You are a place that provides food, a place for people to gather, a place to read the newspaper and drink coffee, a place to cut coupons, a place to blog. Oh how I enjoy your smell after baking cookies.
Not the case when I turn my back for a moment and feel the familiar sting of a freaking Nerf Gun dart. Dude, I am not armed...not.fair.

Oh legos...you have a been a childhood favorite for so many years. You provide hours and hours of fun and creativity to little boys (and girls) on a daily basis.  You have morphed into so many different types and shapes and have proven to be a favorite of children everywhere.
Not the case when I step on one of you in my bare feet.  Seriously, when I asked you to pick up your legos I meant ALL of your legos, not just the red ones.

Oh Chicken nuggets...thank you for the many last minute meals you have given kids all over the world.  you come in all white meat, all parts of the chicken grey meat, shaped like a dinosaur, shaped like mickey mouse, shaped like a star, shaped like a golden nugget. You are the one and only food sick children will eat when they haven't eaten in 3 days. Oh how we love you.
Not the case when I find a half eaten one of you in between the couch cushions.  Did you realize you don't age well? You turn to a rock solid piece of nastiness that could double as a paperweight.

To be continued....






Wednesday, July 25, 2012

San Frantastico!!!

Check me out. I did it! I actually did it.  I drove 1300 miles in a mini-van caravan of 20 teenagers. Boo-ya! I know right?! Impressive.  I am sure you have all been waiting with baited breath for my San Francisco mission trip report. Lucky for you, my husband took both the boys to church tonight so I happen to have a moment or two to do just that.

It's so funny to me, (not HA HA funny but more like..man I am an idiot funny)  no matter how much I worry, fret, stew, loose sleep, cry, pray and waste time thinking about how bad something that God has called me to do is going to be, it never is.  I kind of think God has it easy with me. I mean, when I worry I don't weak sauce worry, I do it right! I worry that the worst case scenario will happen. You know, I will run out of gas in the middle of the desert with no cell service in 109 degree heat with no water and no food and the road will have closed so no one will be coming by for the next two days and I will die alone in a mini-van on my way to San Francisco with 5 teenagers.  Hmph!  Ya, Ya...I know, I have a small rather large and unrealistic worry problem.  The good news is, it gives God a lot of space to prove my worries illegitimate right? Well, that He sure did.

I am truly amazed at how close God was to me on this trip.  All my worries were non-issues.  Of course there were the issues I hadn't even thought of before I left, but whatever. Most of those ended up being fairly painless as well.  My biggest fear was leaving my boys. Ends up, they had a fabulous time while we were gone. They were loved on, hugged on, spoiled and well taken care of! I am telling you, being in ministry is simply not possibly without the support of family and friends who are willing to love your kids. Can I get an Amen?! 

We spent a lot of time NOT sleeping on this trip.  Each day we got up at 5:45 am and didn't get to bed until after 11:00pm.  We spent time serving at food banks, sorting clothes, delivering food to AIDS patients, getting to know some of the homeless in the city and playing with children whose home lives are rough.  We talked about the difference between being HOUSEless and HOMEless.  We talked about how the single biggest key to success in a child's life is where they live (or don't live).  We talked about how people are people and moms are moms wherever you go.  We talked about how everyone, regardless of their situation has a longing for love.  We talked about how there are millions of people who give their time every day to be Jesus to people who desperately need Him. Most importantly, we talked about how WE CAN be Jesus to people in our own little worlds.  

I'm sure  I hope to get around to telling you the millions of individual stories of God's amazing Grace that were so evident last week in San Francisco.  For now, I will simply and confidently say...God is alive, active and working in the city of San Francisco! What an honor it was to be a tiny part of the Ministry that He has in a city that desperately needs the love of Jesus!  San Francisco will forever have a place in my heart, and as my favorite city host Ryan says..I love San Frantastico!!! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mission Trip Swan Song

Well, here we are.  The day before we leave on the teen mission trip. Guess what?! yours truly is going as an "adult" sponsor.  I guess I am technically an adult but it sure does makes me sound old and boring.   Maybe I am old and boring, it's hard to tell these days.

I dug out my trusty "mission trip" backpack that I purchased at REI 10 years ago for all the mission trips I would be going on with our ministry.  I used that thing a lot, until 6 years ago.  The last mission trip I went on was with students to Taipei, Taiwan.  The trip of a lifetime. I will never forget it.  Apparently I did forget something though...to clean out my backpack after the trip.  So, today I found the backpack and began cleaning it out.  Nbd, just so old kleenexes, a box of playing cards, some hand sanitizer, some packs of powdered propel (that expired in 2007),  and several gum wrappers.  As I cleaned it out, several memories came back to me.  Man, I have had a lot of great times on mission trips with students.  From Mexico to Taiwan and everywhere in between.

Can I just be honest?  I am nervous.  I am nervous to be around students again 24/7 for a week. I am nervous I am going to have a mental breakdown after only the 2nd round of 99 bottles of (root)beer on the wall. I am nervous that 12 hours in the van is going to do this "adult" in.  I am nervous to leave my boys for a week.  They are going to be left with the most amazing sister-in-law who loves them like her own and I know they will be spoiled, but I will miss them terribly.  I am nervous that one of them will skin their knee or miss their mamma and I won't be there to comfort them. I am feel like a bad mom for leaving them for so long.  Hmph! Remember when I told you have I have a real anxiety issue?

So,  you might be asking yourself, why in the world is this crazy woman going if she is so nervous about it all?! I am going because I know I need to.  It's time for me to get out of my Subaru driving, col-de-sac living world and do something for someone else.  It's time for me to once again give my time and energy to something other than my own little world.  And so, here I go.  This trip is a special one for my husband and I. It is the last trip we will be going on with students where we aren't expected to go.  My husband's role has changed at our church recently and he is no longer the "youth pastor".
While I am nervous about so many aspects of this trip I am honored and humbled to be part of this team.  This trip is a "swan song" of sorts for us. It's hard to believe this time of our lives has come to an end.  While we will still be at the same church, my husband will no longer be responsible for the mission trips.  If either of us wants to be an "adult" sponsor again we will technically need to be asked. Although, I bet we could pull a few strings :)  It is a strange feeling on the day before we leave on possibly our last mission trip with students in a long time.  This is the final song of our album titled "mission trips".  I am hoping there is a hidden track somewhere that might allow us to be a part of a journey like this again.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Testimony

Believe it or not I am going on the youth mission trip this summer. Yikes! One of the requirements for participation is that we write our testimony. Apparently sleeping with the youth pastor being an adult sponsor does not exempt one from this requirement. I have written my testimony before for mission trips so I thought it would be easy. I was wrong. None the less here it is....My Testimony:

As I began reflecting on my testimony and how I would ever convey my spiritual journey in less than 30 pages I began reading the testimony I wrote 6 years ago before the Taiwan mission trip. As I read what God was showing me 6 years ago, I was in awe of how His story of love was still being written in my life.  In fact, I can see so clearly how God had been preparing my heart THEN for what He is doing in my heart NOW.
I was blessed to have been raised in a loving Christian home where my story with Christ began.  My family was very active in our church and I was surrounded by the love of Christian mentors growing up. I had heard all my life that God had a plan for me but it was never a reality to me until the summer before my sophomore year of high school. That summer I was involved in a serious car accident. I remember being in the Emergency room when the doctor told my family and I that there must have been “someone” watching over me, because I should have never survived the accident. From that time on, I felt strongly that the Lord had a plan for my life, because after all if He didn’t He could have just taken me then.
 I got through the drama of my high school years and began school at NNC. (Yes, I am that old).  My only two rules for finding a husband were that he must never have worked at McDonald’s and he can’t be a ministry major.  Life lesson #45, “Never say ‘Never’ to God.”  Lesson learned. Two months after arriving on campus I met Johnny. In our first conversation I revealed to him my two qualifications for a husband. So, he kept those two “little” things about himself a secret for several months as we dated and he attempted to be the “exception”.  It worked. In 2000, I made Johnny a happy man and said, “I do”. I slowly began to get involved with the youth group at college church and God began to create a love for students in my heart that I never could have imagined. God shaped my heart in a way I never thought was possible; it was all part of his master plan.
I continued to believe Gods plan was being fulfilled in my life, until 2005. After TWO, count them TWO resident years at College Church I was as far away from God as I had ever been. I remember reminding God over and over again that He had promised He had a plan for us. Because, you know...sometimes He needs reminders, right?  I told Johnny that I didn’t believe God has a plan for our lives.  We hadn’t felt led to a church after several interviews and I was beginning to think maybe God was going to grant my wish to never be in ministry. But as you know...that is the not the end of the story. In fact, Gods plan for our life was bigger than our wildest dreams. The events that have led us to stay at College church are not coincidental. Here we are…12 years later, still at College Church. Talk about a plan bigger than our wildest dreams. 
Today, I stand before you as a wife, a mommy, a professional, a pastor’s wife, a friend, and a daughter of the King.  Becoming a parent has been a challenge for me.  I have found myself in unknown territory and am constantly trying to figure out how to direct my children to the feet of Jesus when I myself am not always there.  The last 4 years have proven to be difficult for me. I have come to realize just how broken I am.  I have been forced to survey what is really important in life and to cling to those things with all my soul. There are days I go to bed and can see so clearly the plan God is still unfolding in our lives.  And then there are days I go to bed and wonder what in the world we were ever thinking being in ministry. We have experienced some major changes in our life and ministry in recent months, but God has been so faithful while I asked questions and prayed we were doing the right things.  I have been reminded of the faithfulness of God to place people in my life that I need at just the right time. I have been blessed with an amazing family and one-of-a-kind friends. I am so thankful for a husband who loves me no matter what. 
I am excited to be going to San Francisco this summer.  It would not be possible without the help of some amazing family members who will be watching my boys – thank you!.  It has been 5 years since I have been on a mission trip with students.   Whew! We’ll see how this goes.