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

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!