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

Monday, December 19, 2011

The long haul..

I'll admit it, I am not being the mother of the year at the moment.  It is Mommy Monday, the baby is asleep and I put on Toy Story 3 for my oldest son.  He has recently fallen in love with this movie and it is the only time I have ever seen him sit still for more than 3 minutes. So...I'm taking advantage of it. We had what I would call a bit of a "rough night." It's a long story, not worth sharing, normal husband wife kids stuff. At least I hope it's normal.

I was watching Barbara Walters 10 most influential people of 2011 the other night.  There were people like the Kardashians, Donald Trump, Katy Perry (who by the way was born and raised in a Christian home...wooh!), Simon Cowell and a few others.  They also did a segment on Derek Jeter. I am not a baseball fan but I learned that he is quite the guy when it comes to baseball.  His entire career he has been with the Yankees. 17 years! Even if you don't know anything about sports (like I don't) you probably know it is pretty much unheard of for a player to stay with one team for that long. I have since that story dubbed my husband as the "Derek Jeter" of our church. See, we have been at our current (and only) church for 13 years if you count the years we spent volunteering.  13 years! We have literally seen a class of babies born that are now in the youth group. How is that possible? It seems like not a month  week goes by that I don't hear about a youth pastor who has left one church and gone to another or left the ministry all together.  It seems to be the way the ministry works.  I don't think it is a bad thing. Sometimes it is just time to move on. God has called you to another place. God has plans to use you mightily somewhere else. Maybe there isn't enough money to pay you. Maybe there was a falling out somewhere in the church. Whatever the reason, pastors move churches in their ministry, and that's OK.

So, why are WE still here?  Why have we not been "traded?" There are days when things are hard, when I feel like my husband is getting hit from every side. There are days people say things that simply aren't true about him and his ministry.  There are days he works really hard for little credit.  There are days he comes home exhausted. There are days he sends me texts that indicate he is tired of running on the "Jazbar wheel" of ministry.  Oh, there are days.  Those are the days I ask myself "why are we still here?" Wouldn't it be a lot easier to start somewhere new where no one knows us? Where there aren't pre-conceived ideas about who we are? Where people don't know us...or think they know us.  Oh, there are days.  I have asked my husband before why he is so devoted to this church. It's not that I am not devoted to this place I just wonder sometimes why HE is.

His answer is pretty simple.  He always says...this is where God has me for now.  He made a commitment 7 and a half years ago when he became the youth pastor that he would pour his heart and soul into this place for as long as the Lord has us here. He doesn't dream about "what's next" or the places we will go in ministry.  He is simply, honestly and truly devoted to THIS place...and this place only.  I'll be honest, he has gotten calls from bigger churches that pay more money, but he has never once interviewed at one of those places. He is here. We are here. For what appears to be the long haul. I am thankful for a husband who is so unswervingly devoted to what he is called to.  There are days I cannot say the same, if I am being honest.

Last week things were a little rough for us. Ministry was hard. It seemed, Jazbar's wheel was spinning at a rapid rate. We were tired. There was lots going on. We had something every night of the week. And I was ready for a change. So, I went and got my hair highlighted. Blonde highlights do wonders for a pastor's wife in need of change. I bet hair stylists make a killing on pastor's wives like me who sometimes just need a change of scenery.  Now, every time I look in the mirror I see enough change for me to be motivated to keep keepin on.

I'm still not quite sure how Derek Jeter does it though, he is basically bald.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Well, hello there!! It has been a while. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat down to grace you all with my writing presence and have ended up getting pulled away by something else.  I am sure no one else can relate. yeah right. There are lots of things swirling in my head tonight, possibly because I can hear both my itunes (heck ya 98 degrees!!) and my husbands t.v. show (heck ya Sing off!!). Are you seeing a theme here? If you didn't know it yet, my celebrity crush is Nick Lachey!! I know, I know the tribal band tattoo is totally 90's and the guy is a worse dancer than a Nazarene pastors kid; but, once you get past that, what's not to love? I mean really people.
Ok...back to my thoughts...

I have been thinking a lot about the concept of Community lately. A couple years ago there was a show on TV called Community. It was hilarious. It was about a group of adults who were trying to get their college degrees at a community college.  That was literally all they had in common. literally. The group consisted of an old white man, a middle aged hotty (I also heart Joel McHale), a young Arab who has autism, a middle aged african american woman, two young white girls, an african american young man, and the occasional asian comic relief.  The characters had absolutely nothing in common. Nothing! Well, there was one thing, they were all trying to get their degree and ended up in the same study group.  The show was hilarious because everyone was so different! All it took was one tiny aspect of their lives to bring them together. They didn't often hang out outside school, they weren't best friends. They didn't spend the weekends together. They just wanted to accomplish the same thing in life regardless of their differences.

Oh, how I long to be in a community like that!!!

It's so funny  just like the Lord to bring experiences into my life that confirm what He is already showing me. Recently, I experienced one of the most beautiful examples of community I have ever seen! One of our very close friends from college's sister had a baby last week that the doctors were not expecting to live.  This family has been through so much and yet has such an amazing faith.  I had been praying for my friends family fervently last week and all the sudden I began to notice on Facebook, not one, not two but DOZENS and DOZENS of people posting a link to their blog and asking for prayer and support for this precious baby.  Within a matter of hours, thousands of people had formed a community! Many of us don't even know each other.  We don't need to though, we all  have one thing in common, that is all it takes to form a community.  All of us are carrying this family with our prayers, we are a community whose unity is bound by our love for Jesus and for our friends!
Things are not looking great for little Anna Joy tonight.  I don't know what the future holds for this family. But, I know that there is a worldwide community that has formed out of our love for  Anna Joy! And...I know that God is still God. No.matter.what!

I have lost  invested countless hours in prayer for this family. Tonight will be more of the same I am sure. That's what being a community is all about after all.  Loosing sleep so that the members of our community who need it most can be held up by our prayers.  Will you join me in praying for this beautiful family?  Consider joining the community that I have only recently become a part of! Please invest some time in prayer for this family who is desperate for God's healing touch on their precious gift, Anna Joy!


Good Night!...or should I say...I'll meet you on our knees!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I love technology...but not as much as you you see...

So, when my husband first asked me (via text of course cuz he's a chicken and didn't want to ask me in person) if he could play on/organize a city indoor soccer team this winter I was secretly annoyed. I was like...really?! cuz you don't have enough on your plate sucka??! But tonight, I am thankful I said yes.  The house is quiet. The baby is asleep. My first born is running around a gym somewhere. My husband is pretending he is 16 again, I am fairly confident Uncle Rico is on the team they play tonight.

A lot has been happening in my mind and heart the last couple weeks but I just haven't had time or really been willing to blog about it all. Honestly, I have enjoyed so much the time I have had the last couple weeks with friends and family. The holiday weekend afforded us a couple days of purely family time. My husband even suggested we have a "no texting or facebook day" bahahaha! He changed his mind at precisely 7:34AM. We are what I would consider pretty connected people. We both have phones that alert us the moment someone has sent us an e-mail. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to make it NOT alert me when it is a viagra ad. We both know within 60 seconds if someone  has tagged us on Facebook or tweeted something about us or posted a picture of us on their blog.  We both enjoy being "in the know". I have a CNN app as well as a local news app. I just like to know what's going on around me, is that so wrong?! Probably not in and of itself; however, when it becomes more important than what's really important, it becomes a problem.  A big problem in fact.

My 4 year old slapped me square in the face yesterday (not literally...don't worry I am not that abused) on Mommy Monday.  He asked if I would color with him. I sat down at the table with him and began coloring. Not a minute had passed and "DING"my phone was notifying me of...a text, or a call or an email or a tweet or a tag or a poke or a....  My son looked at me square in the face and said "mommy, put your phone away we are coloring together!"  Whew......

See, to him if I were to answer that "ding", regardless of what it was;  I was saying to him that whatever it was was.more.important.than him! Yikes!! Oh how i need to be reminded. Even if it is from a 4 year old.  What really matters? What is worthy of my time on Mommy Monday? Can the emails wait? yep! Can I text that person back in a few moments? You betcha! Is my Facebook status really more important than coloring with my son? Heck no!  I pray that someday when my kids look back at their childhood, their parents high tech phones are not even in their memory. I pray the things they remember most are the times I spent coloring with them while my phone rang and rang and rang...

So, if you happen to call, text, tweet or Facebook me and I don't answer right away, be patient...I've got to finish this picture before I call you back.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thank you??!

Whew…..I don’t even know how long it has been since I have been here.  My apologizes, I know you have all been eagerly awaiting my next insightful and clever post. Or...not.  You know the kind of week where the only transactions on your debit card are McDonalds, KFC, Taco Bell and Quick care? Ya…that has been my life the last two weeks.  Last week my husband was literally gone every evening of the week and then all weekend. We have also all been sick.  4 trips to quick care and one call to a doctor in one week…not bad?? The good news reality is that 3 out of 4 of us are on antibiotics now, so….just as surely as there will be snow in the valley tonight, we should all be on the mend. And, in case you were wondering we are packing up our little ones and my amazingly brave sister to head to the mountains for a weekend retreat with our teens! …and next week is Thanksgiving. And then The Living Christmas Tree…if I am still functioning by then. 
This all brings up a good point.  How do you balance all the “stuff” of life and still stay sane? That’s not a rhetorical question…I really need to know.  What usually happens to me is that we go, go, go…until we get sick, (please note this is the stage we are in right now) and then I usually completely lose my marbles and have a mental breakdown requiring lots of retail therapy and a night away with my husband so that I can be reminded yet again that I am the most important thing in his life.  Is there a way to manage it better BEFORE we get to that point? I guess the first step is awareness…and believe me sistas..I.am.aware! 
I figured out something that was pretty big for me last week.  I realized it isn’t so much that I hate it when my husband is gone, it’s more that I just want some recognition for the part I play in him being ABLE to be gone.  Ok, seriously, reading that makes me sound really selfish. I guess if we are being honest it is a really selfish thing, but…it’s how I feel.  It is raw. It is the truth. And it sucks.  Last Sunday I was dropping of the youngest of our boys in the nursery and the sweet nursery attendant said “oh..I have never even met him, he is so sweet!” She continued (to my son) “you look like such a happy baby, that’s so great because I know your daddy is busy and your mommy probably does most of the work.”  THANK YOU!  While obviously that isn’t true...I don’t do most of the work…all the time, it still was nice to hear that from someone else.  Maybe she was just spouting off words, but they were words that I needed to hear. Someone realized I have been working hard to make a way for my husband to be at all these “things”.  On Monday I finally broke down and told my husband “all I want is a simple thank you”.  I’m not asking for a new car (although I would take a Tribeca if anyone out there is feeling the spirit lead in that direction) I am not asking for a trip to Maui (although…ya know) I am not even asking for a bouquet of flowers. Just a simple “thank you” will do.
Do you ever feel that way? Sometimes it seems like it is all about our husbands jobs and there is little recognition for the people who logistically make it possible for him.  So, to you my Sister in Christ…THANK YOU! You are loved, even when you don’t feel like it!
Woops...there goes my alarm for my next dose of meds...cough cough cough.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Save the Drama for Obama

Don’t get your hopes up; this isn’t a post about politics. Although I do consider myself somewhat of a news junkie I don’t particularly enjoy the intricacies of politics. I don’t really have time in my life to argue with someone about something that we both feel strongly about.  My mom always told us…”It’s better to be kind than right”. I think that is my motto with politics. I am not going to be able to convince anyone that what I think is how they should think, so I will just be kind about it and not talk about it. So…instead of a political post, this is a post about drama.  For some reason I have a feeling I just lost all my male readers. Whatever.
As you probably know, I love Reality TV. I haven’t quite figured out WHY I love it so much. I should probably go on Dr. Phil and figure out what my deal is.  Knowing that I love Reality TV it might surprise you that I HATE real drama. I mean like drama in MY life. You know those people who it seems like there is just always some kind of drama in their life?! I am not one of those people! Ok…I guess I should put a disclaimer on that..I try really really hard NOT to be one of those people. I was at a junior high gym this week picking my nephew up from practice and got the awesome privilege of overhearing some major girl drama. This girl was in hysterics and crying because another girl kept “taking the ball away” from her in basketball practice.  Hmmm…Ok, I am no Kobe Bryant, but isn’t that the stinking POINT of basketball??! Her friends were all consoling her and telling her that she is a good player and that the girl probably didn’t do it on purpose..bla bla bla. I’m thinking….Girl, Just wait, till you have REAL drama. Ya know..like the boy you like asks another girl to the dance, or your best friend likes your brother or your friends friends cousins sister tells her mom that she thinks you are fat. Now THAT’s drama. I have been involved with students enough to know that’s just the way it is with hormonal young people.  But, oddly enough I still have such a hard time having sympathy for it.  I think it might be because I have gained a wee bit of perspective in the last 5 or so years.  I think I am finally starting to understand what really matters.  When we are young we have so little perspective that the little things seem so huge to us.  Sometimes the honest jerk in me just wants to say “just wait…wait till you have REAL drama”. Ya know..like your baby is in the hospital, ya know..like you watch one of your best friends sons go through chemo, ya know…like you don’t have money to pay the bills, ya know like…you watch kids on the streets willing to sell themselves for pennies to get food to feed their siblings, ya know like…you are 8 years old and you are the sole provider for 3 younger siblings because your parents died of hunger.  Ya know…REAL drama! 

I guess I have just been thinking lately about how life is all a matter of perspective.  Lately I have kind of lost that perspective.  It didn't take a huge revelation for me to get it back, it was actually a good friend of mine who helped me gain perspective.  He was telling me the story of a friend of his who had gone to the slums of Africa and some of the things he had seen there. Totally.Heartbreaking.  About 3 minutes later I was complaining about how about a month ago EVERYTHING. and I mean EVERYTHING on our DVR got deleted. Gone. bye-bye. never to be seen again. hasta la vista.  He looked at me and said   "talk about a 1st world complaint".  We all laughed about it, but truth be told...I quickly gained my perspective back. Man, I need this reminder so often. If you haven't notice I don't really catch on to "life lessons" quickly. I tend to have to be reminded again and again.

On that note, I am going to go watch the rest of the movie I recorded last night...if it's still on my DVR. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

3 Generation Mommy Monday

Well, it finally happened.  Our family caught the cold bug that has been plaguing our church, daycare and town. All four of us spent our last free weekend until the middle of December feeling like crud.  We mastered a lovely chorus of coughing, sniffling, sneezing and groaning with body aches.  It was actually quite pathetic.   Sunday night was the worst.  Our oldest son was coughing literally all night..which meant mommy didn’t sleep all night. Ok, that’s an exaggeration…I don’t remember seeing the 2 o’clock hour on the clock so I might have gotten a couple hours of sleep.  I do however, remember 1 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 5’oclock, and the 6 o’clock hour is when I made the decision…I needed MY mommy on mommy Monday!

So, I did what any self respecting 31 year old mother of two would do...I called for backup! I texted my mom and asked her to please come help me with the boys that day.  She was there within an hour, and she lives a half hour away! WHAT.A.BLESSING!! It's not that I couldn't have survived the day, I am sure with enough chocolate, diet pepsi and kleenexes I would have made it until my husband got home; the truth is..I didn't want to make it through the day.  I felt like I had been running a marathon and had about 7 more miles to go, or in my case 7 more hours to go.  Ok, ok..so I have never actually run a marathon, but I am guessing it feels exhausting at that point. Well, at any point past 100 meters actually :) I didn't feel like I could do it on my own.  The moment I saw my mom walk through that door I began to weep. Not just a little bit. I was crying crocodile tears. I read a quote this week that said "People cry not because they are weak, it's because they have been strong for too long" Monday was my too long. I couldn't be strong for one more day.  A sense of amazing relief came over me as my mom said "Go to bed honey."  I laid in my bed for probably 20 minutes just crying, thinking and being so grateful for a mom who didn't judge me in my weakness but rather came to help me unconditionally and with no questions asked! 

I want more than anything to be that kind of mom! I want to be the kind of mom where my boys know they can call me anytime. I want to be available to them when they need me most. I want them to never doubt that I love them more each day than I did the day before...no matter what. And I hope someday if my boys have kids when they reach their "I've been strong for too long" points, that I will be the first one they call. It's not always easy to ask for help. However, for me...it is necessary.  I can't do it all on my own. I have days when I just plain need help! 

So to my mom...Thank you! Thank you for being the kind of mom I hope to be someday. I tell my boys every night that I am so glad God chose me to be their mommy. And to my mom...I am so glad God chose YOU to be my mommy!  Thank you for a wonderful 3 generation Mommy Monday!! I love you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The summer of darkness

First, let me preface this by saying one of my blog rules for myself is to keep it short.  I broke that rule on this one. I am sorry. Feel free to read it in parts if it's to long, but please read it. It is real. It is the truth. And it is not easy to share.  Here we go friends...

The first two years after our first son was born were difficult for me. Really difficult. Like, I felt like I couldn't breath difficult. Like, the earth was caving in around me difficult. Like, I was living in a fog difficult. You get the point.

Being a youth pastor's wife and having small children during the summer is no easy task. I used to spend my summers with my husband and the youth group traveling. We went to Taiwan, Mexico, and all over the U.S. on various trips. I loved it! And then our son was born...and life changed. Dramatically!

The summer of 2009 was the culmination of two years of wandering aimlessly for me. I couldn't seem to figure out what being a mom and being a pastor's wife looked like. All the sudden I couldn't be a part of the youth group like I had been. I didn't belong to a Sunday school class per se. I didn't have a small group. My friends were all carrying on with life as usual and I was drowning.  I was lonely, lost and miserable.

It all came to a head at the end of June 2009. My son and I actually share a birthday (lucky me). I will never forget on his 2nd birthday, my 29th birthday, my husband was out of town with the teens. I was so angry that he was gone, despite his very intentional effort to make it special for us.  I remember thinking how unfair it was that I had to spend my birthday alone (although my mom is awesome and watched the baby so I could go play-Thx mom!). I also remember thinking how unfair it was that our son could possibly have several birthdays where his dad wasn't home. That summer was one of the darkest times in my life. My son got really sick while my husband was away on that trip. He was basically screaming for 3 days straight. I felt completely alone. I felt bitter and depressed. I felt like I was suffocating within my own little world. I remember one night I was talking to my husband on the phone and I was so upset I was crying uncontrollably, the baby was crying in the other room and I had zero energy left. I remember him saying to me "Do you want me to find another job?" and I said "Yes! Yes I do!" That was one of the darkest nights of my life.  I had enough of this ministry thing. If my husband being gone on our birthday and me being alone with a sick baby was what ministry was about, I was totally out. I was done. I was ready to call it a season of our life and move on.  I was sure that my husband being in ministry was what was causing me to be miserable. A couple weeks later I went up to Alaska with my family while my husband and son stayed home. I spent 10 days just thinking and praying and trying to get a handle on what my life was about. I spent countless hours talking to my mom. I remember realizing I had to come to a decision. I was either going to be miserable about being in ministry or I was going to embrace it. Honestly, at that moment it was much easier to just be miserable. Embracing it sounded like so much work. I was too tired for that.

Obviously, my husband didn't get a new job. He was (thankfully) too wise for that. He saw that it was  just a season for me. Unfortunately, it's a season that often tries to rear its ugly head again and again in my life. It's Satan's way of attacking our marriage, our home and my relationship with God.

I wish I could say 2 years later things are always easy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Is it easy every day? Nope. Are there days I wish my husband did something else? Yep. Are there times I have no clue what I am doing? Of course. But, there is something about my husband living his dream in ministry that gives me strength when I feel like I have nothing else to give. I can say with confidence that my husband is being faithful to what God has called him to. I know that God knows the struggles I deal with, yet He STILL called my husband to this ministry life. His plan must be bigger than what I can see. The biggest thing I learned is that I wasn't miserable BECAUSE my husband was in ministry, I was miserable because I wasn't allowing God to shape my heart by the frustrations I had. Instead, I was allowing satan to twist my frustrations. I began to believe the lie that my frustrations were because my husband was in ministry. Some how my human mind really believed if he was doing something else I would be happy. Huh. Where do I come up with these things?! Once I finally got over myself and realized the feelings I had that summer were not from God, He slowly but surely began molding my heart. Today, I finally feel like I am able to breath almost as well as I did before that summer. God has been so faithful to be patient with me.

By the way....my husband has made a promise that he will never be gone on our birthday again. Sometimes that simple promise is all I need to get through the day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Changing Seasons...

Naturally there are at least 5 things I can think of off the top of my head that I should be doing right now instead of blogging. But guess what?! I.don't.care.  My husband and oldest boy are at church, the baby is asleep (at least I think he is) and all I can hear is my itunes, the washing machine and Jazbar's wheel. Perfect background to process what I have been thinking the last couple days.

We are lucky enough to live in a place that has 4 very distinct seasons. Although the temperature hasn't gotten the memo yet (it's been in the 70's lately) it is fall.  The leaves are changing colors and falling and pumpkins are only .18/lb.  The Halloween costumes for the boys are settled on and I still have no clue what I am going to be.  I was thinking about being a sister wife but I wasn't sure how that would look.  That's for another blog.

As I was driving home from Wendy's tonight, of course...it's Wed. I got the famous text "I have to be at church early can we just meet at Wendy's for dinner?"...Sure honey...3 times in one week at Wendy's isn't bad.  Ugh!!! I digress.  I was driving home with the baby and noticed the beautiful fall colors. It got me thinking about seasons.  Man have I had a lot of different seasons in my life. I sure wish life was guaranteed only 4 seasons, wouldn't that be nice? Not the case my friends.  I began mentally going through the different seasons in my life and here is what I came up with in the short drive from Wendy's to my house:

*There was a time when I said I would never date anyone who was in ministry.  There was a time I said I never wanted to be in ministry. There was a time I LOVED what we were doing and felt God moving in such a powerful way. There was a time I was literally going to give up on ministry all together (blog to come).  And today...I am feeling content where we are in ministry.

*There was a time I could not wait to have kids.  There was a time I was so angry at God because I was pregnant.  There was a time I was devastated at the loss of that child.  There was a time I did not want kids at all. There  was a time I was beyond excited to be pregnant. There was a time I was totally nervous about being a mom.  And today...I am overjoyed with the boys I have, although some days I am so tired it's hard to see the joy.

*There was at time I never wanted to work outside the home.  There was a time I couldn't wait to finally find a job. There was a time I was miserable and wanted to quit my job.  There was a time I was not sure God had the perfect job for me.  And today...I am completely overwhelmed with God's grace in providing the job I have. Although, there are days....

*There was a time when I wanted as many friends and I could get.  There was a time I didn't care who my friends were as long as they claimed me at the lunch table.  There was a time I had friends who didn't care about me either.  There was a time when friends mattered more than life.  There was a time I was alone and would have been happy with one friend. There was a time when I realized...true friends are hard to come by.  And today...I feel like I have finally gotten to the point in my life that I can truly say I would rather have one faithful and true friend than 100 fake friends.

One of my blogging rules is to keep it short, so I'll stop.

The problem with seasons is they are always changing.  Whether I am in a good season or a bad season, it is inevitable that it will not last long.  I guess I better enjoy whatever season I am in tonight.  And tonight it happens to be a quiet season at my house (at least for another hour or so), I am headed to get some skittles and watch some Sister Wives.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Perfect World vs The Real World

In college we used to get the week before finals off of class to study. We called it "dead week." This was my "dead week" of blogging. Unfortunately, it was anything but quiet for me.  The week started with a raging headache.  Awesome. Said headache decided to make its home right under my left eye for about two days. Miserable.  I had posted on Facebook that I had a bad headache and a couple people kindly offered advice such as "come sit in my hot tub""take a hot bath in the dark quiet"...this got me thinking about the Perfect World and the Real World. See, in the perfect world if I had a headache I would be able to rest and relax.  In the Real World...I had teens coming over for dinner in an hour, a cake to bake, my husband wasn't home, the baby was screaming, I needed a shower and my I could feel my heart beating in my head.

In a Perfect world I would have had one night home this week as a family to take a bike ride or watch a movie together. In the real world we had something we were responsible for Mon-Thurs nights this week.

In a perfect world I would have gotten off at 3:00 on Friday so I could have come home and taken a nap to catch up on rest from the crazy week.  In the real world I got off work at 3:00 on Friday and found 3 boys full of energy asking me..."what do you wanna do tonight...huh?huh?huh?"

In a perfect world I would have gotten all of my Bible studies done before my Bible study on Wed. night. (we get two weeks to do 5 lessons mind you).  In the real world I stayed up late on Tuesday night to get 3 of the 5 lessons done before Wed. night.

In a perfect world we would have had dinner and been at the church by 6:30 on Wed. night. In the real world we went straight from work to Wendys and scarfed down too many calories and barely made it to church by 6:30. Not even time for a frosty, much to my sons dismay!

In a perfect world I would have been able to show my 4 year old what amazing directional skills I have and how I can master my way out of any maze that comes my way.  In the real world I was completely lost in a corn maze with my 4  year old screaming and shaking from being so scared while I was attempting to carry his 50 pound body through the mud and corn.  P.S. those corn mazes are freaky! I literally had my compass on my phone out trying to figure out how to get outta that thing. Luckily a Corn Cop came and directed us out. I'm going to be honest, if I was lost in one of those things with a baby I absolutely would have called 911 too!!

In a perfect world my 4 year old would be asleep right now.  In the real world my 4 year old is being threatened within an inch of his life because he has gotten out of bed 6 times already. (Please don't call CPS we aren't really going to kill him-it's a figure of speech)

I guess the more I think about it...I don't live in a perfect world. But, it is MY world and it is the world God has entrusted me with. I guess I better stop wishing for the perfect world and start living with a grateful heart in the real world.  Or at least in the perfect world I would do that.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Sometimes I just have to laugh. Not always out loud.  At work we have come up with a new acronym. Instead of using LOL we have started using LIMH (laughing in my head). The other day I just had to LIMH.  There was nothing else I could do.
I was walking into the church trying to get my kids to their classes and someone stopped me and said “Do you know where the something  something class is?”  I said “I have no idea”- The person looked at me and said “you really don’t know?” as if to imply I was just teasing him.  I said, “Seriously, I have no clue” He looked at me and said “OF ALL THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD KNOW”…then he walked off LOL-ing.  I found myself standing there going….what.just.happened?!  Talk about a stereotype of a pastor’s wife! After my initial annoyance I just had to LIMH.  In hind sight I wish I would have said. “Do you know the square root of 456?” When he said “no” I would have said, “what? You of all people…your wife is a math teacher!”  (for the record his wife isn’t really a math teacher J)
As you know, I don’t know a lot about this ministry life, but, I have been around long enough to know what things are worth fighting for and what things I just have to LIMH about.  My husband and I have a motto that we try very hard to live by, it is “Pick your Battles”.  Someday I will blog about which battles we have chosen to pick and which we have chosen to let be.  The question of where things are in the church is a battle I have chosen not to pick, I don’t have time to pick that battle, it happens way too often! 
So next time you get asked a “you of all people should know…” type of a question, just LIYH, that’s really all you can do. Then, comment on this post and tell all of us about it so we can LOL!''

Btw, if your one of the people who asks me those questions,  it's really OK. I am happy to help if I can.  But, you have been warned I might LIMH about it later....or, share it on my blog!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I think a lot of analogies that pastors use are really lame. Like, when a pastor says something like "Our lives are like peanut butter...bumpy in some places and smooth in others, but as long as we are close to God He will STICK to us" Really??! Really??! Ok...I might be the only one but my life is not like peanut butter. I realize that Christ himself used parables and analogies but I don't recall any about peanut butter in the Bible.  At the risk of sounding corny my life is more like Jazbar's wheel!  Who is Jazbar you ask? He is our hamster.  Our 4 year old really wanted a pet but there was no way we were adding one more "thing" to our lives. So, we went with a small, furry rodent that cannot leave her 12X12 cage. Turns out Jazbar bites too which makes it even easier to leave her in her cage. Yes, she is a she. I wish I could tell you why her name is Jazbar but I have no idea, our 4 year old named her that.  I am fairly confident he hasn't actually been to a JAZZ BAR, so I have no clue where that came from.

Anyway, this small furry rodent of ours has this small yellow wheel. You know..an exercise wheel. The stupid thing never ceases to amaze me. She will run for literally hours on that thing. You know how I know she is stupid? She isn't.going.anywhere.   She will run and run and run and run on that thing like she thinks she is in a marathon. The poor thing ACTUALLY thinks she is getting somewhere. I kind of feel bad for her.  At the risk of sounding to analogy-ish...at the moment I am feeling a little like Jazbar.  I mean, we have spent 11 years of  our life investing in students lives and 11 years later what do we have to show for it? If I am completely honest with myself I can only name probably 20 or so of the hundreds of students who have gone through our youth ministry who I am still in touch with.  So, what about the other 500? Where are they now? Did we even make an impact? Do they remember our names? Our faces? our passion for Christ? Or are we just running on the "Jazbar wheel"....going nowhere and getting completely worn out in the process.  This ministry life is exhausting sometimes.  The good news is...Jazbar is still alive because he keeps running...and so I guess I will keep running too, in hopes to stay alive in this ministry world.

Dang it...That was a corny analogy huh?! I am sorry, it's just that every time I blog that stupid hamster comes out to run and I figured I owed it to her to give a little shout out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Garbage man

First, I must warn you...if you read my husband's blog this post is going to sound familiar.

A couple Saturday mornings ago my husband took our oldest son on a service project with our church.  They walked along the river in our town and picked up trash.  When they got home not much was said about it by our son.  He mostly talked about the bee hive his cousin got into and how there were "humongous bees everywhere!"  I thought to myself, "Welp, another Saturday morning in the books."  I think I might have even been slightly annoyed that we were not able to go as a family, as I didn't feel super confident that my 5 month old would enjoy the experience.

Man, I hate am so thankful when God gives us a loving little "told you so" moment.  And here it came...On Saturday night my sister babysat the boys for us while we went out to dinner with some dear friends. (Thank you sis!)  When we got home we asked our son what they had done that night.  He proceeded to bring us a bag of trash and weeds.  Hmmm....I was thinking to myself, "Excellent, my son dug through the trash while we were gone. sick.sick sick!"  My sister said "tell them where we got the trash.."  Our son proceeded to tell us that he and my sister were on their way to our neighborhood park when he noticed lots of weeds and trash along the way.  He asked my sister if they could go home  and get a bag and pick it up.  He.is.4.years.old.  Unreal!  They spent over an hour walking through our neighborhood weeding and picking up trash. Talk about a proud mommy moment!  Apparently, the Saturday morning service project had more of an impact on him than this mommy gave it credit for, and I stand humbled. Obviously our kids are watching us. Whether we like it or not. Whether we are being good examples or bad. Whether we do the right thing or we don't. Whether we spend our Saturday morning picking up trash or we stay at home at watch cartoons. THEY.ARE.WATCHING!

Man, I gota lot of work to do if I am going to be the kind of example I want my kids to follow. And quite frankly..I better get picking up some trash of my own!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Confessions of a Pastors Wife

*I do not always listen to Christian music
*I never wear skirts
*I dont know everything about teenagers, you are better off asking my husband
*I don't know where your kid's sunday school class is
*I'd rather not publicly pray at every event I am a part of
*I don't like the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month
*I don't always want to be at church either
*I don't always have all the right answers
*I've never seen "Facing the Giants" or "Fireproof"
*I sneak candy into the movie theatre
*I don't always recycle
*I'd rather watch the movie than read the book
*I watch reality TV
*I subscribe to People magazine
*I check my Facebook during church sometimes
*When your kids are on a trip with my husband, my kids are home alone with me
*If you don't know the reference to a Bible verse, I probably don't either
*If it's a Friday night in the fall I'm probably at your kid's football game
*If there is a stain on the carpet at church, my kid probably did it
*If there is a typo in the bulletin it's not my fault
*I don't know why we sang that song instead of this song in the service today
*I don't know where the Senior Pastor is vacationing this week or who the guy preaching is
*I don't know the schedule for the Living Christmas Tree
*I don't play the piano or the organ
*If I fall asleep in church it's because your kids were at my house until midnight
*I don't mind if you call us in he middle of the night if there is a crisis!!!!

To be continued....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Apparently Merriam Webster (whoever that is) thinks the word "Calling" means; A strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence or the vocation in which one customarily engages in." Man, Marriam Webster sure does sound like a professional individual. I personally would define calling as "Picking up the phone and dialing numbers," but that's just me.

I have never claimed to be "called" to youth ministry. By that, I mean...if my husband was not doing ministry, I would not be doing ministry (for a living at least). Had I not married him I would probably not be working at a church full time and being in "ministry" as a vocation. Because, it isn't my vocational calling. I know some married folks who are called to ministry together. They work together, they live together, they raise a family together, they do church events together because that is their calling. I say to them... Go get 'em. Good for you! But that is not how our family is wired.

When I think about what my "calling" is, I have to admit the fist thing that comes to mind isn't that I am called to ministry, but rather that I am called to be my husbands helpmate, confidant, prayer support, and friend. For me that would be my calling no matter what his vocation was. If he was a plumber (which by the way would have come in handy last week) I would be "called" to support him in that. Whatever that means.

I remember when we were interviewing at a church before we got hired at our current church to be the youth pastor there. The church board wanted to ask ME a series of questions. My husband politely declined their request and said you would be hiring HIM not my wife. I was SO thankful. That question was one of the main reason we called that pastor that next morning and told him we didn't think that church was the right fit for us.

While I am not "called" to ministry, I am passionate about seeing the ministry that my husband does succeed, so...I fully support and try to engage as much as possible to see him succeed. I guess that is my real calling. Is that ok? I am a pastors wife who isn't called to ministry. Well, it appears God is using us, so it must be!

By the way, Merriam Webster's third definition of calling is; "the cry of a female cat in heat" for whatever that's worth.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday=the day before Sunday

I have mixed emotions about Saturdays. Actually it really depends on what is going on that particular Saturday. I thoroughly enjoy Saturdays like today where I got to sleep in (thank you husband!). We also got to go watch a nephew's soccer game. Then, we went out to lunch- Let me clarify...we drove through sonic and got lunch. Then, we met our good friend at Costco and got stocked up for the week.
What a fun day to just hang out as a family. Some Saturdays are a little less low key. For example, last Saturday my husband and oldest son went to do a service project with the church. They picked up trash along the river. It was a great little project for our son and they both enjoyed themselves. It's always fun to be able to be involved in community projects like that.

Then, the inevitable. "Honey, I really need to go the church sometime today to set up for tomorrow." Of course you do. I try really hard to put my initial feelings aside at these moments. There is usually at least an eye roll of some point if I am being honest. It goes back to the filter thing :) It's not that I am bitter or upset that he has to go to the church, it is just that sometimes it feels like a momentum killer in our day. It isn't my husband's fault and nothing he does makes it feel that way, it is just my own personal deal. I try so hard to make sure my kids don't sense the slight inconvenience in my voice. They don't need to know. So, we simply say daddy has to run to the church really quick while we have rest time. And that is what I need...rest time. Time to realize that it really isn't all that bad. And today, I got lucky...both boys slept and I got a few moments to myself to watch the food network. I know, I know I could have been doing a million other things during that time. But guess what? I didn't. All I wanted to do is watch a little Triple D. And now, both boys are up and my husbands home. I am sure the rooms look beautiful for tomorrow honey. And we all got a few moments of quiet time so that we can continue our Saturday as a family.

P.S. You should be proud, we got out of Costco only spending $50...boo-ya!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Wednesday Oasis

I hope you don’t think less of me for this. Actually, it’s ok if you do.  Ready?  I don’t go to church on Wednesday nights. Yep! That’s right I sure don’t. And yes, I am STILL a pastors wife!  I mean, it isn’t like I am against going to church on Wed. nights, it’s not like I make a concerted effort NOT to go, I just never really have.  I actually haven’t gone regularly for several years.   When we first got married I used to go and help out with the youth group. Then, I joined a group of students and was a Bible study leader. Then, I quit.   I started working full time and went back to school and life was just busy. Just this last spring I started going off and on to a women's Bible study, but then I had our baby and the busyness was taken to a whole other level.
It seems to me that Wed. nights have many purposes, one of which is to allow people to be together with Christian friends and re-focus for the rest of the week. To sort of take a step back, a break if you will from the business of the week. To spend some time focusing on God so that we are prepared for the rest of the week, whatever that may bring.  It’s seems to me it is intended to be an oasis of sorts.  For me, my Wednesday oasis happens in a little bit of a different way.  I have chosen to take Wednesday nights as a quiet night at home. My husband goes to church (SHOCKING!) and most often takes my oldest son with him.  Sometimes I clean, sometimes I do laundry, sometimes I grocery shop, sometimes I blog and sometimes…I sit and hold my baby and catch up on my recorded t.v.  That’s it. Just sit and relax.  Wednesday nights have become an oasis for me..at home! It’s quiet (for the most part), it’s still, it’s peaceful, it's a time to recharge, it’s Joye time, and it is needed for me!

Starting next week I am going back to church every other Wednesday night to be a part of a group about “Mothers of Boys."   Let me tell you, I am so stinkin' excited about this class! If there is one thing I want to educate myself about it is how to be a mom of a boy!  While it is true that I am going to miss my “Oasis Wednesday nights” at home, I am so excited to join a group of women who are moms of boys.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.  Hopefully these ladies have taught their sons the number to call in case of emergency...cuz we all know I haven't!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just ANOTHER manic monday...

Oh...Doctors. Oh how I loathe thee. Except for my OB who is FABULOUS! But other than that I am not a fan of any doctor or dentist or really anyone whose primary purpose in life is to poke and prod at any part of my body and then take all the money that was in my savings account. Thank you very much.

Today, both my boys had "well baby" visits. In reality they should probably be called "your kid hasn't been sick for a while so bring them into our germy office and have them touch everything that the kid with phnemonia has been touching so your kid can be sick in a couple days too" visit. P.S. I always give my kids bath after being at the doctor...cuz, you know...that will surely wash the germs away.

Anyway...So, both boys...at the doctor. Can I just say I love our pediatrician! She is a quirky awesome lady who looks so much like lady gaga it's scary. She is such an amazing doctor though and we have had our fair share of time to get to know her. Maybe someday I will blog about our first 2 years with our oldest son, but not today. Ok, so we are still at the doctor. She goes through the whole thing..your kids are tall, they have huge heads, they are very smart, one of them looks more hispanic than the other...bla bla bla. And then...she quizzes our four year old. "What do you wear when you ride a bike?" He says "helmet" whew...one down. "what should you wear when you are in the car?" "seatbelt" whew...two down. "What is the number you should call when there is an emergency?" "Mcqueen, lightyear pee-pee" Um....yeah. not exactly son. So apparently 4 years old is a good time to teach your child about 911. We will be working on that next monday apparently. Then, she drops the bomb. She tells our son "I'm sorry but I am going to have to give you a couple shots so that you can stay healthy" His face goes white as a ghost. "Is it going to hurt?" She doesn't even lie, she says "yeah, it will hurt but only for a second." My husband proceeds to bear hug him and hold him down while the nurse gives him not 1 shot, not 2 shots, not 3 shots but 4 stinkin shots!!! Good night people...can you figure out how to combine these things into one mama shot? Poor kid. We promised him ice cream afterwards so we proceeded to uswirl where you can hear people getting fatter by the spoonful.

Then, it was my turn...dun dun dun. Eye doctor for me. Which, btw I hate that I have to go every year to get my contact prescription renewed. Seems like every two years would suffice. And that...is why I am not a doctor. So I go to the eye doctor, everythings fine, Then, she drops the bomb. "I am going to have to dialate your eyes." Ugh. Let me just tell you driving home with dialated eyes is neither fun nor safe. To top it all off I literally could not read the 4 texts I got while in the doctors office. I also could not read the card machine to type in my pin to pay for the appointment. Ya... I Probably shouldn't have been driving.

All in a "stay home mommy day." Stay tuned for next Monday's manic-ness. (is that a word?)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Filter-less Friends

I know absolutely nothing about cars. At one point some guy friends of mine actually got me to believe my blinker fluid was low. True story. The last thing I know anything about is oil filters, but...I think that I think they are used to filter out the bad oil and only let the good oil into the engine. Yes?! Am I close? So, I guess the point of a personal filter would be to keep yourself from saying the "bad" things and only allow yourself to say the "good" things. Yes? I'll be honest, most people who know me well probably wouldn't say I have much of a personal filter. I often say things I probably shouldn't and more often speak before I think. Probably not the best characteristic of mine. I tend to be just slightly sarcastic. Ok, fine I am over the top sarcastic. It is kind of my way of having a filter, but also saying what I think.

While I see a lot of value in being honest and real with people, I have come to realize there is a time and a place for everything. I have learned there is importance to knowing my audience.

Sometimes, I get tired of telling people what they want to hear. Sometimes, I just want to tell them what I really think. I am wise enough now to know that is not always the best idea. Filters are NECESSARY! Especially in ministry. There are way to many things I want to say about church that I NEED to filter. What I have come to realize about myself is that many times how I really feel is simply how I feel in that MOMENT, not how I REALLY feel. That is why my filter is so valuable to me. Too many times I look back and say, "I can't believe I said that." That isn't how I really feel, it's just how I felt in that moment, and now I have left that person with a wrong impression of me.

This evening I got a sweet text from a very dear friend and she told me one thing she loves about our friendship is that she can just be herself and doesn't have to use her filter. Wow! Isn't that the truth. Don't we all need friends like that? Friends where we can say how we are really feeling and not be judged? Friends that won't look down on us because we feel a certain way? Friends that will give us the benefit of the doubt when we tell them something that we probably shouldn't? Friends that believe in who we are even when we tell them the truth about what we think of ourselves? Friends that we don't have to call later and say "what I really meant was...?" If I am really honest, I really only have a few friends like that. I worry about what many of the people in my life are going to think. Are they going to judge what I say because I am a pastors wife? Maybe or maybe not.

So, here's to my filter-less friends. You know who you are!! Thank you for loving me no matter what. Thank you for the breaks in life you give me to just be me and not feel the pressure to say the right thing. You are the people who have gotten me through this ministry life over the last 11 years...and you are all getting oil filters for Christmas from me- hope you know how to use 'em, cuz I don't!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our dirty laundry

About a month ago we were at my husband's parent's house having lunch with several of his family members. Some how the topic of laundry came up.  The moms were talking about how they feel they have a constant load of laundry running, the dads were saying nothing.  I spoke up and declared that I do not do my husband's laundry. Silence. Complete and utter silence. My husband's gramma spoke up in complete and utter shock and said "WHAT??!! You don't do his laundry??  Well, what DO you DO then?  I have never heard of a wife that doesn't do her husband's laundry!"  Guess what Gramma, you have now!  I have never done his laundry. Never. Not when we were dating, not when we first got married, not when I worked only part time, not when I was on maternity leave eating bon bons for 3 months. Never.

See, I do my laundry every week on Mondays. "Stay at home mommy day."  I use that time to do my laundry that has piled up since the last Monday. I also do the boys laundry on that day. My husband on the other hand, he does not use his day off to do his laundry.  He is usually doing something a bit more exciting, like working from home...on his day off.  Let's be honest, he does have an advantage in that he has literally hundreds of camp, retreat, mission trip and special event t-shirts he is able to cycle through. He also has a job where he can wear t-shirts to work on most days.  I, on the other hand, am only allowed to wear t-shirts to work once a year when BSU is playing U of I.

So there you have it, you want me to air our dirty laundry?  There it is...I don't do my husbands laundry. And quite frankly...I am ok with it.  Some pastors wife huh?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just another Manic Monday

Growing up, and even after I got married I was sure I wanted to be a stay at home mom.  My mom was a stay at home mom and I remember several days after school there was fresh home baked bread or cookies ready for us. Man, what a life! Stay at home, bake all day, sleep in, watch Regis and Kelly every morning, eat whenever and whatever I wanted. Seriously, who wouldn't want to do that?! I don't remember any of my good intentions about wanting to say home having anything to do with the well being of our future children. Just the well being of my lazy habits. When we first got married I think we both kind of knew there was no way financially I would be able to stay home. We had (and still do) more student loans than we could count.  Maybe someday before Jesus comes we will have them paid off, but not today.  Part of me felt a little bitter about the fact that I knew I would not be able to be a stay at home mom. Now I know...I should probably get all the facts before I start harboring random bitterness.

See, Mondays is what we refer to as "Stay home Mommy Day" at our house. Mondays are my day home with the boys. both boys. by myself.  I know, I know, there are a million people out there who do this everyday and have 5, 6, 7 or even 19 kids (and counting...). To those of you out there...I commend you, I really really do.  I wish I had the strength and mental toughness and patience to do what you do day in and day out. I believe some people were created for staying home. And others...well, we were not.  For those of you who are stay at home moms, I sincerely want to be more like you.  But, I have to admit, I am a better mom because I work. For me, work is a place where I can just be Joye. I am not my husbands wife, I am not my kids mom, I am not the staff person in the sunday school class, I am Joye. Not only am I just Joye there, I am known for the things I am able to accomplish at my job.  It might be selfish, but I need that. I need a place where my identity isn't wrapped up in who my family is.  Sure, people at work know that I am pastors wife, and I am happy to talk about it there. But, it is not my primary role. And that, for me, is a needed break.

Once again I am so glad God knew what He was doing when I was dreaming about being a stay at home mom.  As for Mondays, there are good ones and bad ones. Ones that fly by and ones that feel like an entire month of Mondays in one day. Ones that I think to myself I could do this everyday and ones that I would pay to be at work that day.  But, regardless of how the Monday goes, I am thankful that my children will always remember Mondays as "Stay home mommy day." It is an important day for me be connect, love on and truly BE with my boys.  So today, even though  it was a little rough, I am happy I was able to be here with the boys. Tomorrow I will get a break...and go to work.  

And for the record, Regis only has 49 shows left before he retires anyway.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why I am not a social worker

When I started college my freshman year I was a social work major. I didn't know much about social work but I knew I loved people, was compassionate, enjoyed helping people and found hope in seeing other succeed.  Sounds like a perfect recipe for a social worker eh? Luckily God knew better.  I ended up taking a year off of school my junior year because we were getting married. Yah, Yah, we were young. I know. Go ahead and tell me but you will be about the millionth person to do so. Maybe someday I will blog about the joys and pains of getting married so young. But, not today. So, I took a year off school and ended up going back as a business major. It's a good thing. Last night I discovered one of the (possibly many) reasons the Lord did not have social work in His plan for me.

My husband and our two boys were headed to the church for a movie night in the park. As we approached a major intersection in our little town I noticed a young pregnant woman carrying a toddler and waiting to cross the street. She did not look good. She looked sad, distraught, tired, scared and angry. She was wearing dark sunglasses but was obviously crying.  I told my husband we had to stop and help her.  He of course asked "what are we going to do for her?" I said "I don't know but we have to stop." We pulled over and asked if she needed any help. She said through broken tears "No, I'm fine."  Ok, why do girls (myself included) always do that? It is like we have too much pride or are too fearful to accept help for someone. Granted, we were strangers and I am sure she was a little concerned about that. I would be too.  So, we went on our way.  The rest of the way I kept telling my husband "we have to help her, we have to help her" and he kept saying "we tried, we tried." By this point I was bawling my eyes out and my 4 year old was quite confused.  We went back to the church and my sister had just pulled up with her family. I ran to her car and said "You have to come help me, there is a woman who needs our help." We got into my car and went back to find the girl.  I pulled over and got out of the car basically cornering her and told her through tears that we really wanted to help her. She was hesitant (as I would be) but eventually agreed to let us give her a ride to a grocery store 1/2 mile away.  On our way there we learned that she was 7 months pregnant and her son was a year old. She had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend. She continued telling us how she really felt like she needed to leave him but that she didn't think she could because he was the father of her two children.  My sister and I waited with "Betsy" for about 20 minutes in the parking lot while her mom to came pick her up. I gave her some water and her boy a juice box. As I sat there and listened to her story my heart broke. What a beautiful woman and a beautiful baby boy and soon to be girl.  Betsy was lost and totally hopeless. I felt completely helpless! As she got out of my car and into her moms, my sister told her we would be praying for her. I actually (against all kinds of rules I am sure) gave her my cell number and told her to call me if she ever needed anything.

As my sister and I pulled away I could barely function. I wanted so badly to for her to be ok. To be able to find peace. To be able to get out of the bad situation she is in. To have the courage to walk away from a man who doesn't realize what she is worth and how precious his babies are.  But, all I could do was cry, and cry and cry and cry.   And then I came home and cried and cried some more.  Ok, fine....I am a baby. I am pretty sure crying isn't in the job description of a social worker.  However, for me...last night, it was in the job description of a Jesus worker.  Please join me in praying for Betsy.  My guess is I will never know how things turn out with her and her two beautiful babies this side of eternity. My only hope is that something either my sister or I said will put a spark in her heart and maybe, just maybe she will someday know the best social worker there is.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My worst fear...

Have I told you my worst fear yet? Probably not huh? Well, here it is. My absolute worst fear is going into water in a car. seriously. Like, driving next to a river and losing control and going into the river...oh man, I have serious nightmares about that! I watched a mythbusters once about that very thing and they said your best chance is to wait until the car is completely submerged so the pressure equalizes and then open the door. Ha! Are you kidding me? I would not be calm enough to wait until the car completely submerges. And really, what would I be doing while I am waiting? Updating my facebook status? "Just went into a river, don't worry, waiting for pressure to equalize. Meet you all at Jimmy Johns." Yeah. Probably not.  Every time I hear a story about a car going into water I say a big prayer for those involved knowing how scary that would be.

My second worst fear is the dentist! Seriously, talk about panic attacks!

My third worst fear is a little more personal. I am terrified of raising kids while in the ministry. I mean terrified. My husband and I did not have kids for 7 years after we got married. Largely because I could not wrap my mind around raising a pastor's kid.  I have known way to many pastor's kids who have gone off the deep end. They ended up saying things like, "Why would I want to be a part of something that takes my dad away from our family so much?" Or worse, they see hard things their parents go through being in ministry and want nothing to do with it. Or, they think they have to be perfect. Don't get me wrong, I have known PLENTY of good pastor's kids who are doing well and serving in the church. My husband is one example. He is a pastor's kid. But how in the world do you raise your kids to LOVE the church? How do you make the distinction in your kids minds between church and daddy's work? How do you guard your children from the messiness that is ministry when your husband gets called away for an emergency at dinner time? And how do I portray joy during those times when inside I want to scream?

I also fear my kids being judged because they are "pastors kids." Just because my kid's dad is a pastor does not mean they are perfect. In fact...are you ready for this? Our family is not perfect either.  We have tough days. We yell at each other sometimes. Sometimes we don't speak to each other for an evening. Sometimes don't treat each other with respect. We aren't the perfect family, and my husband is the family ministry pastor! I want my kids to have room to be kids and not feel the pressure to be perfect. Of course I want them to be the best that they can be, but I want them to feel the freedom to be who they are. I never want them to feel like they have to act a certain way or be a certain person because they are a pastors kid, but rather because they are a child of God.

I have always planned on being real with my children about most everything. I think they need to know that I am not perfect, I mess up, I say things I shouldn't, I have a bad attitude sometimes and sometimes I wish my husband worked at Walmart. I want them to know it is ok to be frustrated and to ask questions. Otherwise, I fear they will think they have to be perfect because they think I am perfect. Ha! There's basically no chance that will happen. But, where is the line between being real with my kids yet creating in them the same passion for the church that I have?  So many questions....I should probably just stop and watch some football, now that is a mindless activity! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Same car?!

I can count on one hand the amount of times this has happened, and it was amazing! My husband and I actually drove to church in the Same.car! My poor 4 year old was so confused. He kept asking things in the morning like "Daddy, when are you leaving for church?" "Can I go with daddy?" "Is mommy's car broken?"  When we came out of church that morning our son yelled "i want to go with daddy this time" and we both looked at each other and said how bout you go with mommy AND daddy! How exciting!

My status on Facebook that morning said something to the effect of what a wonderful morning it was because we all got to go in the same car to church! Out of the 11 people who either commented or "liked" my status, 8 of them were pastors wives! Apparently we all understand the concept of 2 cars to church on sunday morning. I am just waiting for the day when the boys can drive and we will have 3 cars at church!!

Everyone Welcome!

So...I started thinking last night (not usually a good thing for me). I realized there are probably HUSBANDS of pastors out there too! I just wanted to let all of the husbands of pastors out there know that they are MORE THAN WELCOME to participate in this blog. Actually, EVERYONE is more than welcome. Whether you have been in the ministry for 50 years or you are brand new to this ministry thing, or maybe...your aren't even in vocational ministry. Please, feel welcome to read and comment. I love hearing everyone's perspective! We are an equal opportunity blog.
Ok, thats all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Looking for community..

Well, here it is...a dream of mine fulfilled. I have been wanting to start a blog for pastors wives for a long time. I finally got up the courage...probably because I finally feel like my husband's job is secure enough that I can't get him fired.

My hope is that this will become a place of community, hope, laughter, tears and a whole lot of love for those of us who call ourselves pastor's wives. Or, in my case who OTHERS call a pastors wife.  I never thought in a millions years I would be on this side of ministry. Never.Ever. But, here I am...and I am longing for a community of people who share similar joys and struggles with me. Being the wife of a pastor is a special calling, and one that has experiences that many times only those who are in the trenches of ministry understand.

Please feel free to comment or e-mail me if there is a "topic" you would like to discuss or would like us to try to blog about. Trust me...I don't know everything, in fact there is a whole lot of stuff I DON'T know! But, I do know that having a community to be real with is a Jesus idea. So...let's do it ladies!!