Monday, March 31, 2008

I Finally Get It!

I mentioned the other day, a word I don't particularly care for. W-a-i-t. I do not enjoy waiting...it's probably the reason why God places me in the check-out with the absolute slowest cashier imaginable. Every. Single. Time. I'm there in line thinking to myself,



"Where do they find these people? Can't they see/hear my wild children who have passed the breaking point?!? COME ON!" Yeah, I know...not pretty. But true.



There is hope for me though :) This is what I'm learning. I'm not a Theologian, but Biblically, I'm pretty sure that waiting and eagerly anticipating go hand in hand. In my head though...whole other story! In my head I associate "waiting" as a passive word. For years I have said things like, "I'm praying about such and such, and just waiting on the Lord's direction." Sounds fine, right? What I meant when I said that was not fine at all. What I meant was...I've done what I need to do, I'm just waiting for the Lord to catch up. *UGH* (I want to clarify that not everyone who says that phrase means it like that, but I did) Unimaginable that I would say that to God...up until recently I wouldn't have even realized that's what I was meaning...but through this process of personal revival, God is revealing to me ALL KINDS of things that are hard...and not pretty, but WOW! The freedom that comes from actually becoming aware of that sin, and dealing with it is...incredible.


I am now in the process of eagerly anticipating instead of waiting. What God is showing me, is that He views waiting differently than I do. God is never playing "catch-up" to me...He leads. And the waiting, that seemed so desperately boring, is the very thing that's the most important. I always viewed the end result, whatever I anticipated it to be, as the Big Deal...but the Big deal is actually all the steps of growing and maturing along the way... the waiting :)

I am not eloquent enough to think of words to describe how thankful I am for a Savior who never gives up on me, or tires of me, or loses patience with me. Where would I be without Him?!?

What On Earth?!?

Generally, I know what I'm going to blog about, before I even sit down. Granted, sometimes it ends up going in an entirely different direction...but still. Today though....nothing. Guess what nothing means! Randomness...in bullet form.

  • I learned how to scan pictures!!! Quite amazing, I know. I scanned the first pre-digital picture I could find...which happened to be from my senior prom. Crack. Me. UP! I was not much into the whole prom thing. This pic is our 4th prom together...I actually wore the same dress my Junior year, and then glued fake rhinestones on the back for my senior year....it was 1996, what can I say. If I could do prom now....I would have much more fun...I'd glam it up this time around :)
  • Now that I can run my scanner, there will definitely be future posts of some very unflattering pics of me while I was pregnant. I feel it's my duty to let my preggo friends know what "huge" really looks like :)
  • I figured out why my site meter timing was wrong. Apparently, it was my fault...imagine that. I've never been very good at military time, thus the problem.
  • I started the book Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I walked into the book store intending to get a different book, and walked out with this one. It's amazing. I may be the only person alive that has not read a single Beth Moore book. So now I am reading Breaking Free and doing the Seeking Him study...are you detecting a theme? God's planning something big, I can just feel it.
  • Back to bullet point #2 - wouldn't it be fun to start one of those MEME thingys and have everyone post pics of when they were super hugely preggo!?! If only I knew what a MEME really was, and how to do it....HA!
  • Seriously, this has to be my most random post yet...it's Monday, what can I say?!?


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hal-le-lu-jah

I experienced a miracle today...a BIG one. You see, I'm in the process of transitioning my 2 year old from the nursery to sitting in church. Yeah...lots of fun. It's a little extra tricky since I'm a single parent during church, since my hubs is the pastor. Three boys, in church, by myself is a challenge. BUT, today, Jake made it through the whole service and fell asleep on my lap! Can I get an AMEN!!!!! WOO HOO!! I was able to actually listen to Ben's sermon...on the four letter word W-A-I-T. (He, by the way, does not call it a 4 letter word. HA!) But I often view waiting that way....I'm not good at it. Today, God knew I needed to hear the message...and now instead of waiting...I am eagerly anticipating...doesn't that sound SO MUCH BETTER! More on that later...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Evan Almighty Moment



Last night, my family and I watched Evan Almighty (again.) I like the gist of this movie. Every time I watch it, I end up tearing up! I know, I know, it's a comedy...but there are several things that I love about it. One, is that it shows that God can do whatever He chooses. We can either go along with it, or fight it, but He will accomplish it regardless. The other thing I love, is that right up until the very end...Evan (and his family) are looking for the flood to be caused by rain. How often do I assume I know and understand what God's plan is only to be surprised at what His plan really was!

Last night...something else about the movie hit me, for the first time. It was the bathroom shaving scene. (If you haven't seen the movie, it's in the clip above.) You know the one...he keeps shaving and as soon as he's finished it's grown right back in. Well, I heard a still, small voice say..."Sarah, my beloved...this is your beard...don't fight against the Lego's anymore...they will just grow back. Be at peace...someday you will be sad they're no longer everywhere"


I get it...I heard the message. I am going to live in peace with the millions of Legos that live in every room of my house. Fighting it is futile. Oh the lessons I learn from movies...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Painful But SO Worth It...

They're cute...I know. I wore them for Easter, I don't mean just church. I wore them all day long. I did take them off for just a bit, while we went out and hunted for eggs. Rumor has it, that my husbands grandma, who's in her 80's gave them a try! She couldn't resist...I know the feeling. They are my latest love in the shoe world. So...guess what these lovely shoes and....

this wonderful Bible study have in common? PAIN!!!! They have both caused me much pain and suffering this week.

Seeking Him Small Group StudyThe shoes...kill. After church, I had to wrap my big toes, very meticulously, so that the pain from the rubbing would stop, and yet I could not have it showing through the cute peep toe (that was the cause of the pain in the first place!) A little pain has not stopped me before...I have three children to prove that :) These shoes are certainly worth it...and so far, so are my kids. HA!

The Seeking Him study; *OUCH!* Nancy, (we're on a first name basis, she however, does not know this) has been stepping on my toes and pushing me out of my comfort zone all week long! I was going along, totally agreeing with her, and then I got to pages 12-15 "Making It Personal." Yeah...fun times. Hard "Do I?" questions. I found that I had to answer no or I wish for many of the questions. Revival hurts....but is so necessary and worth it...kinda like the shoes :) Okay, okay, more than the shoes!

On a side note...I'm very honored to be mentioned over at www.allthatnaz.blogspot.com go check her out, and I've been reading her other blog (which you'll find after you go to her site) and it's so wonderfully thought provoking and well written. Makes me think I need to take some online grammar/writing classes! Thank you new bloggy friends!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Icing On the Cake...


The fact that people actually read what I'm writing and comment is amazing...and awards...icing on the cake.


Given By: Enthusiastically ElleBee and Music Mom of 2








Given By: Becoming Me










Given By: Our Moments, Our Memories












Given By: Simply My Thoughts and Cup of Jesus












Given By: MeMe Lorie & Muddlin' Thru Motherhood & Cup of Jesus











Given By: Morning By Morning





Given By: My Cup Runneth Over

Another Installment...

Well, it's Thursday, so it's another installment of my "Do you think the other Pastors' wives that lived in this parsonage..." bit. If you're new to this, you should click here and maybe here. If you are returning customer, I must say God Bless You for humoring me...and my husband thanks you, because since I've started sharing my list with you...he doesn't have to hear it as frequently :)

This week, I've been thinking about the former pastor's wives as mothers. I've realized that I seem to be in a constant state of flip-flopping. One moment, I'm wishing my boys were bigger..able to do more on their own, and then in the very next moment I wish I could freeze time and keep them 6,5, & 2 forever. As I look through baby pictures, I long to have that time back. I don't particularly want to have another baby...but I do want to experience my boys as babies again. So realistic, I know! I want so much, to be able to enjoy this time...moment by moment, but I need God's help to do that....boy, do I need His help! Ok, here goes the list...

Do you think the other pastors' wives that lived in this parsonage...

  • struggled to find the balance between hanging on and letting go.
  • had a 2 year old that always prayed for his favorite cartoons first, and then his family.
  • was happy on the Sundays that her children fell asleep during the sermon, because then she could actually listen.
  • wanted desperately for her children to grow up with a love for ministry, rather than resentment.
  • despised the term "PK's" for pastors kids. Why the label? Wondered if those same people call other peoples kids "TK- teachers kid" and "AK - accountant's kid" etc. (thankfully, no one in my church does this:)
  • had expectations for her children based on God's standards alone...not other peoples standards.
  • wished her children wouldn't ring the church bell on days there is no church :) rascals.
  • needed constant reminding from her Savior that these boys were His...He would take care of them...and He loves them even more than she does.
  • had a 5 year old who wanted to "deliver God's messages." Not a pastor...but a prophet, like Jonah :)
  • had a child who wore clean clothes to bed, as pajamas, so that he didn't have to waste time getting dressed in the morning.
  • had a moment, as she tucked them into bed, where she was overwhelmed with her children's ability to love and forgive...unconditionally.
  • had to apologize for yelling and losing her cool.
  • loved them more than life.
I know the women before me have lived through circumstances that I can only imagine. I am thankful that I can look back at their lives and see how God has been with them, regardless of the circumstances. What amazing gifts I have been given!









Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Conspiracy Theory


I have a little conspiracy theory. Its been brewing for quite some time. It has to do with the local car washes in my area. Usually, I just dive through the automatic...because, lets face it, I love a drive thru! But, on occasion, when the rubber floor mats in my van have gum and various forms of taffy mashed into them, only a high-pressure powered hose will do the trick.
OK, so here's my theory. You see, I think the car washes purposefully put the buttons out of order. It never fails that I end up spending precious seconds trying to find the button I need next...all the while the countdown (in big red flashing numbers) is always there...pressuring me! My theory is, that I end up having to put in several extra quarters because of all the time I spend trying to figure out which button I should press next! So local car washes....I'm on to you...I know your little trick...and now all 15 people that read my blog will know too! HA!
And yes, if you're wondering, I did drive back into town the next day, with my camera to take that lovely picture. It's all about the blogging opportunity :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not A Cat


Dear Odie,
You are not a cat. If you would kindly refrain from sitting on the furniture like that, I would be so grateful. Also, your incessant need to bark at everything that goes by the windows, is causing me to want to find you another home. I would greatly appreciate your immediate attention to these matters...before I lose my mind.
Thank You Kindly.

Invasion From Heaven

Seeking Him Small Group Study There are so many times in my life, that I look back on the order of events that have occurred, and just stand in amazement.

Our ladies Bible study has just started this book, Seeking Him- Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by Nancy Leigh DeMoss & Tim Grissom. This workbook has been hanging around our house way before we ever started this study. You see, it takes us ladies a quite a while to get through a study :) Lot's of talking and sharing....it's one of the best parts of being together! Each time we near the end of a study I begin the dreaded search process. This usually involves lots of pleading with God for direction, while I'm scouring the Christian Book Store and various other means in hopes of finding the perfect study. In the past, during this process, this Seeking Him book always crossed my path...and I always dismissed it. Oh, I had lots of good reasons...the main one being that I thought it was just "too deep" for where our group was at. Isn't that funny. What God has revealed to me now...is that it was "too deep" for me. I had wanted to believe that it was our group of Ladies that was not ready for it....but God said to my heart, "Sarah, you were not ready to lead it." *ouch* And, He was right.

When Seeking Him crossed my path this time, I was ready! God had begun to work a real revival in my own heart...and now I'm ready. As I look back, it makes me smile to see how God was gently pursuing me...never giving up...knowing that the revival was coming, all the while I was totally oblivious. I am so excited to continue this journey, to see what God has in store. Let me leave you with this quote from the study...love it!

"Revival is not some emotion or worked-up excitement; it is rather an invasion from heaven which brings to man a conscious awareness of God." - Stephen Olford

...invasion from heaven...I'm ready for that!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Breaking Up is Hard To Do...



It's official...Coke Zero and I are no longer an item. I had to break it off. Our relationship trouble has been brewing awhile...we've been spending way too much time together. Then last week, as I opened my 2nd 24 oz bottle of the day, I saw the words Contains Phenylalanine in bold print, like it was some kind of warning or something. So, I of course Googled it...and couldn't get any info about what it really was!! WEIRD. I'm figuring it's probably not the best thing for me to be ingesting in such large quantities on a daily basis. What's that!?! Cut back, you say!?!? Nope...can't. I think it's all part of my "undiagnosed professionally/self diagnosed" slight problem with OCD. Coke Zero and I can't "just be friends"...we can't occasionally hang out...not for awhile anyways...the temptation is Just. Too. Much! A few years ago I had to break up with Pepsi...too many calories. It was a hard break-up...I think he may have been the one when it comes to pop. But, I'm a survivor :) I'm pretty sure my coffee intake is going to increase substantially, at least for the near future. And, if I seem a little sad or irritable...its just the break-up, I promise...I'll get over it :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oh the Fun...



Someone at church today said, "Happy Resurrection Day" and I liked it...I think I like it better than "Easter"....I might just change the name of the holiday (in our home:) Can I do that? I think I can! What a fun day, both with church family and regular family. We were at Ben's parents this year and it was a blast. The kids got to hunt for Easter eggs in grandpa's new building (for working on his farm machinery) its heated and all clean still...which worked well since we woke up to snow on the ground!
PS - I'm SO glad we went to the dentist last week and not this week....I'm sure their teeth are all rotten now :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

So NOT About the Bunny....

Can you tell I just learned how to post videos? I know, I know, second one in a row :) I've been racking my brain over my Easter post. How do I write about Easter...about something that isn't just a holiday for me...it's about my Savior, my best friend...how do I put that into words? Truth is...I can't. The Bible does it for me...and most know the Easter story. May this Easter be less about knowing the story and so much more about really, truly, knowing who Jesus is, and standing in awe of a God that loved me so much, he endured the cross, so that I would not have to. His sin did not put Him there....mine did. Why me?!? Why us?!? Why does He love us SO much? I have no idea! But I do know, that whenever I start to feel as though my life is insignificant, I'm reminded of all that He chose to do for me...because He loves me...and I am His.

The song above is one of my all time favorites. It sums it all up. And...if you cry like a baby through it, please know you're in good company :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Dunno...




When my alarm went off at 5:45 this morning, I was not a happy camper. You should probably feel sorry for my running partner...God bless her for putting up with me that early in the morning! It's been a long week. No major catastrophes...but lots of those tiny little irritations that just keep building and building until I feel like I just can't take anymore. The dogs incessant need to bark at everything this week, the phrase "mom, can I have something to eat?" uttered a bazillion times a day, two trips to the dentist, constant fighting and bickering amongst brothers, battling the will of a 2 year old, who topped it all off last night when we found he had eaten most of a corn dog...frozen! WHY!?! Anybody know what I'm talking about?


So, as I sat down at the computer, trying to think about what to say...I knew I needed to open up my Bible first. So...I flipped it open and guess where God sent me? Psalms 119:25-38. The ones that really jumped out at me were, v25 "I am completely discouraged - I lie in the dust. Revive me by your Word." v37 "Turn me away from wanting any other plan than yours. Revive my heart toward you" *big sigh* As I read those words, I knew that in my heart that was how I was feeling...I just couldn't put my finger on it until I read them. I need Him to revive me...again...I'm in constant need of it.


Then, I popped in my earphones and cranked up my lovable Sansa....and the song (above) by Newsboys came on...and it was perfect. I dunno...I dunno why my 2 year old thinks eating a frozen corn dog is delicious, I dunno. But, I do know, that His love really is better than life! :)


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Starting Something New...

This morning I got to do something that I only get to do once every 5 weeks... it's one of my favorite things...yep, I got my hair cut! It was not a major change...just a trim...but man, do I. Feel. Better! My stylist does an amazing job and I pretty much adore her. I also got to go to the grocery store alone...I know, I know, it's been a big day for me thus far :)
I've decided to try something new...and make Thursdays my "Do you think the other pastor's wives that lived in this parsonage..." game. If you've never heard of this wonderfully amusing game I play click here for more details. Again...I should warn you, that this is generally much more amusing to me than those around me...and if it bores you, please go visit Beth and let her know :) It was her sweet comment that has opened the flood gates. She wondered if I had more...oh Beth....So. Much. More. Here's the list for today.
So, do you think the other pastor's wives that lived here...
  • ever noticed, as they drove into town, that their minivan always smells like stale McDonald's...no matter how many air fresheners they use.
  • Secretly believed that Heaven must smell like the Aveda Salon where she gets her hair cut.
  • drove 45 mph the whole way home...just to extend her alone time.
  • asked her husband, after grilling lunch, to quickly shut the garage door because it was embarrassingly full of junk.
  • let her children eat a whole box of fruit snacks while she unloaded groceries.
  • decided that if she ever came into a large sum of money...she would of course give lots to others...but keep enough to have someone else buy her groceries and cook her food.
  • wore her favorite cardigan sweater (that has yellow in it) for the third day in a row.
  • took pictures *herself* of her new hair cut. HA!
  • was always in the middle of reading 3 different books, all at the same time, and knew God was speaking to her through each of them.
  • thought about other wives that have lived in the parsonage, as much as I do...probably not :)

    View from the back :)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

They May Kill Me...

They might just kill me for posting this picture...most of them didn't even want to pose for it in the first place! If I'd had a blog at the time it was taken, they probably wouldn't have let me do it at all! But, I'm going to take the risk, and pray God grants me favor with each of them :) I have to post the picture...you have to see them. These are the ladies (the core group)that I meet with every other Tues. night for Bible study. They are truly amazing...each one. They have blessed me in so, so many ways.
I never really wanted to be a pastor's wife...seemed like a pain in the butt to me :) I also thought it must be a pretty lonely profession...after all, who can really be themselves around the pastor and his wife!?! Seriously! And, I was positive that as the wife, if I were myself...I'd probably scare them all away! And then...God proved me wrong (which He always does.) He totally went above and beyond what I ever could have imagined. Instead of the loneliness I had anticipated, God has surrounded me with friends. Not just women who are nice to me, but genuine friends. There are no pretenses in this group...no pretending. We are who we are. Each of us are at a unique place in our walk with God...and He uses that to help us learn from one another. I am one of them. Not the pastor's wife. Just Sarah. I don't want to take for granted, this amazing blessing in my life. So...guess what I've learned...being a pastor's wife really isn't a pain in the butt...and, you really can be just yourself around your pastor and his wife! WHO KNEW!?!?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We're Just That Fun...



What do you do for Spring Break, if you live in a tiny town where there's still snow on the ground? Well, if you live in our house, you wear your pajamas all day with a pair of rockin green flip flops! I really must make him get dressed today...we may actually leave the house, and go 1 block to the tiny post office and then to the local hardware store...for light bulbs! Good times.
I've started a new mantra for myself....no Bible, no blogging :) I stole the idea from my husband. His men's Bible study decided they would do no Bible, no breakfast...this works for them, they like their breakfast. I had originally thought no Bible, no coffee...but it just didn't sound as cute, so I picked another love...blogging. No Bible, no blogging...catchy isn't it:) Boy has it worked!!! I came across a verse yesterday, that was so good, I had to think on it a bit before sharing. So...here's the verse. 2 Peter 1:2 (The Living Bible) "Do you want more and more of God's kindness and peace? Then learn to know him better and better." LOVE THAT! So simple, and so deep...so what I need.

Mystified

This picture actually has nothing to do with my post...but I always feel a need to include a picture...so, I thought you should look at my purchase from last week :) Exciting...I know. The cookies are looong gone...I ate 90% of them...uncooked. I know, I know, I have a problem!
  • On to the point....I've been in the blogging world for about a month now, and there are still several things that mystify me! (Those of you who read, but don't blog, trust me when I tell you...you are not going to care about anything else in this post :) I like a good mystery. And most of the time, I really like not understanding some stuff....just being in awe of the magic of it. Like telephones! and TV! and Electricity! No matter how many times its explained to me...I just go back to the good ol standby...magic. There are some blogging mysteries, however, that are driving me nuts! Here goes...
  • Site Meter: the timing and days is all off...A.M. is P.M. and by midday it's a day ahead...so confusing. I have no idea how to change it.
  • Site Meter: Sometimes, it shows a persons visit length as 0.00. How does that happen? Do they click on my site, and then are so repulsed immediately that they have to leave before even staying a millisecond?!?
  • I have a scanner, but I have no idea how to upload photos to my blog unless they are digital...I am in constant awe of those of you who post anything predating digital cameras!
  • Which web pictures are really free?!? How do I know they're not copyrighted? I don't' want to steal! I'm a pastor's wife, the last thing I need it to be stealing pics for my blog :) HA!
  • I also have no idea how people change the size and formats of their blog. I mean the fancy kind! Here's me...with my generic blog layout...all because I have no idea how to change it (other than what blogger offers:)
  • How so few people leave comments...compared with the number of readers. I mean, I get it, but still a little mystified.

So, my more experienced blogger friends, help me if you can :) I also should warn you that I need very detailed instructions, or I'll never get it :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

She's Still There...

Have you ever had a moment...when you realized that there will always be a 15 year old girl living inside of you? I did...today. I think I've known it for awhile...but today, it all came flashing back to me...so, here's the reasons I know that girl still resides in me.

  • Before any event, I always call a friend to see what she's wearing!
  • I still love borrowing/lending clothes! It makes me giddy as a school girl! Better than shopping!
  • When shopping with my friend, Jenni, on Saturday, I actually said "I think I smell" and of course, being a good friend, she leaned in, sniffed me, and reassured me that I in fact did not smell.
  • When I get a big zit...I actually think of ways to avoid leaving the house or try to avoid face to face contact with anyone I remotely know.
  • Secretly hope that I will not run into ANYONE I know while running errands on a day that I thought it was too much work to shower :)
  • When going out, I still try on 10 different outfits before finally settling on something.
  • In the past week I have said "I will if you will" and "I dare you"
  • Still sometimes feel like I'm on the outside looking in...or like a 3rd wheel.
  • Sometimes wish my best friend could work as the middle-man again, and "break-up" with people for me! HA!

See, I told ya...she's still living in there! Who knew?!?

Funny...But Not Really.


Most of the time, when my 2 1/2 year old pitches a fit, I am not amused. Mostly because it happens often and it's usually because he has a different plan on what he wants than I do. The battle of the wills is on, with this child.
Yesterday, however, was different. Jakob had gone outside to play while my hubs did some grilling for lunch. When it was time to come in...melt down. Oh the drama! Who needs girls!?!? I've got plenty of drama with boys. He threw himself over the dog, laying on the couch...then the floor. It must have been the cute red boots that made this tantrum seem amusing...either that, or the fact that it wasn't in public helped too. I had to get the camera out. This just made him more mad...which made it even funnier to me! What is wrong with me?!? By now, I have learned, that in my life, I either laugh and find the humor in it...or spend a lot of time wanting to cry :)
The rest of us finally sat down for lunch, and Jake, of course snapped out of it as though nothing had ever happened. Sometimes, as I watch him throwing a tantrum, I'm actually a tad bit jealous. Wouldn't it be nice, to just roll around on the floor crying...just get it all out, and then pop back up like every things fine! Truth is...I throw fits too, they're just the grown-up, dignified kind. It dawned on me, that when I do this, (which is hardly ever *cough*) I look as ridiculous as my two year old. So, this week, as my kids are on spring break...I will try to be the grown up who does not throw dignified tantrums. Here's hoping that this week goes by fast!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Love at First Sight


Sometime this winter...probably January, I fell hard for the color yellow. Generally, I've never been a huge fan of yellow...until this winter. Now, I can't get enough of this sunny, happy color! It seriously brightens my mood...so now, you can find yellow flowers, dishcloths, shirts, a jacket and even a pair of yellow ballet flats at my house. I'm also waiting till my husband has a week of vacation so I can paint the home office a lovely shade of creamy, buttery, yellow (from which I found in the Pottery Barn catalog!) I do have a tendency to overkill stuff a bit...we'll just call that a cute little "quirk" about me, rather than the really annoying quality that it is :)
This weekend I was in a little shop, and happened to find the CUTEST plastic plates for the kids to eat off of! They were a lovely shade of yellow, with stripes and polka dots. So. Stinking. Cute. Images of summertime and lemonade and burgers on the grill all flashed though my mind (yep, all inspired by the yellow plates) It was pretty much love at first sight....until, for some weird reason...I turned the plate over...and read, "not safe for dishwashers or microwaves." WHAT?!?! I think I may have shed a little tear. Who does that?!? Who makes plates that cannot go in EITHER the dishwasher or microwave!!! Isn't that the sole purpose of a plate? For a second, I tried to justify them...I can wash them by hand....I don't really use the microwave that much. Yeah. Right. I had to put the cute little plates back. At our house, 98% of plates at every meal involve both the dishwasher and microwave. Sometimes, you just have to let go of the ones you love...goodbye little plates...hopefully I can find a new love soon, ones that enjoy the microwave and the dishwasher!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Who Am I, Really?

This is from 2006. It was the last time we tried to pose together, as a family, for a picture. Sure, we've gotten candid snapshots of the 5 of us since then...but that's it. Why? Because it is a huge pain, and frankly, it does not bring out the best in me. We did end up with a shot we could send out in the Christmas cards (thanks to my friend, Jenni's persistence.) Now, as I look back at all the shots, I smile...because this is what we look like. This picture does capture who we are and the stage we were in...but at the time, I just wanted it to look like the family portraits on display at the mall....perfect smiling faces, in the perfect position...that will not happen, because that is not us.
  • Looking back through these pictures made me take a look at my family in a new way...take it for what it is...the good, the bad...and the crazy silliness! Its also reminded me that I need to look at myself in the same way...not through a filtered lens of who I think I am, or say I am...but by what my actions reveal I am. Sometimes we think our everyday actions match our beliefs...but they don't. I know that apart from Jesus, I can do nothing. I know that I want to live my life, day in and day out, with Him in first place. Because my husband, children, family, friends, church, and strangers don't care what I say I believe...what I truly believe is revealed in my priorities. Ouch. If I want my boys to grow up and love the Lord with all that they are, I need to be showing them how real Jesus is...not just telling them. It's so much more about what they witness me doing , and so much less about what they hear from me. Here's what I'm asking God to help me to do...
  • show by example, a love for people that are hard to love.
  • make my priorities match my beliefs.
  • remember the reasons why we go to church. We need the encouragement and support of other believers, we need their prayers and accountability, to worship Him together, to outwardly show He is a priority...and they need the same thing from us. We don't go...for show, to be entertained, to judge, out of habit or to win favor with God or people. We go, because Jesus established the church before He left...He knew it was important, that we needed it...and that is reason enough.
  • help me to be in His Word, and in prayer, so that I can hear His still, small voice above all the other junk and voices. It's through that, that I gain the wisdom and discernment I need.
  • to help me not to rely on myself or past victories to sustain me. They're not meant for that. I can look back on them and praise Him for what He did, but those victories do not give me the strength and mercy I need for today...only time with him today, does that.
    Lamentations 3:23 Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

If These Walls Could Talk...



Our little church celebrated its 150th birthday last summer. The parsonage (or, our home, as I like to call it :) is around 100 years old. (That's a guesstimate...I'm too lazy to walk 27 steps to the church to actually look up the exact age...bear with me, I did go running this morning!) Generally, all of those husbands and families that have ministered here, have lived in this house. Of course, there have been many updates through the years...but still! I'm not quite sure why this fascinates me so much...but it does. I love this house...not only because I think its adorable, but I feel a sense of peace knowing that others, who've gone before us in ministry, have lived their lives within these walls. I also love to find the humor in it as well :) It's a little "bit" I like to call, "Do you think other pastor's wives who've lived here...fill in the blank." Usually, no one else finds this as amusing as me...but if you've invested this much time reading so far, you may as well finish ;) Here's my list for today...
Do you think the other pastor's wives that have lived here....
  • fed her kids turkey sandwiches for breakfast?
  • drank a pot of coffee every morning?
  • blogged? HA!
  • put their treadmill in their husbands home office?
  • had their children splash so much water out of the bathtub that it ran down through the bathroom floor (upstairs) and through the ceiling and out the light fixture in the kitchen?
  • loaded her kids in the mini-van and drove around, just so they would be strapped in and stay in one place?!?
  • busted a move to Tobymac's Boomin', while hoping that no one could actually see in the windows (good thing my wonderful neighbor already knows how weird I am:)
  • bought 2 gallons of ice cream and a box of monster cookie, cookie dough from the Schwans guy...and then ate 8 cookies?!?
  • did not enjoy cooking...wished she could have take-out for every meal?
  • shoved so much junk in the attic (because it was too cold to actually go in) that now I can't even get in there?
  • fed her family a rotation of frozen pizza, mac&cheese, and cheese quesadillas?
  • wore red patent leather shoes?
  • stood in awe of the fact that God had graciously placed them in a wonderful little town, with amazing people, in order that she may love on 'em and show with her life the amazing difference that Jesus made. ...I can only hope so :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Somebody Stop Me...

In January I had a mild lapse in judgement...for which I am still suffering the consequences. This happens every so often. You see, I jumped on the "bangs" bandwagon. I kept seeing pictures in magazines, and they all looked so darn cute with their new bangs...and it was JANUARY...so I did it...myself. Yeah, not the smartest. Had I gone to my wonderful stylist, I'm sure she would have talked me out of it...but no, I took it into my own hands, no one to blame but myself...I hate when that happens. It's not that the bangs are so bad, it's that they are so annoying! When I straighten my hair, there's one sections that just wants to stick straight out...and when I let it go wavy, my little bangs shrink up all curly and short, making me look like a little kid who chopped their own hair (which I did.) *sigh* I have resorted to pinning them to the side with a bobby pin, which is also not all that cute on me. At the time, I thought, no big deal, my hair grows fast...God is smiling at me, I know it. Not a mocking, I told you so kinda smile, but the kind of smile that says, I love you my child, but when will you learn to stop making rash decisions...even in the little things, it matters.

I think I've got just another inch or so to grow before they're back to my normal length...but the growing is painfully slow. So...the next time I get the bright idea to cut bangs again (and I will!) it is now your responsibility to stop me!!! I'm holding you accountable to hold me accountable...if that makes sense :)

*also, Jakob's rash is looking much better today...phew!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bright Red

This was the beautiful little bright red face I found this morning. I had to post a picture of it...because frankly, who doesn't like looking at a good rash!?! HA! It freaked me out a little, so I called a friend of mine, who's a PA, (God bless her for all her medical advice:) gave her the description of his bright red rash, and she assured me it's probably nothing to worry about and to start the Benadryl. Needless to say he's now zonked out on the couch...the Benadryl is working :) She told me to watch it for the next couple of days, and if it doesn't go away to take him in, and I am going to follow her advice. I am going to resist the temptation to Google rashes...I've learned that lesson the hard way. Googling health issues is not a good idea for me...I'm a "give me the worst case scenario" type person. I think that if I know the worst possible outcome, that then the real situation won't seem so bad...that would be faulty thinking. Plus, on Google, I suddenly think I'm a doctor who is able to make a diagnosis! What is it about Google that all of a sudden makes me think I am a medical expert...without any training!?!? Not rational...but true. And, in all my ignorance, it ends up filling me with a sense of fear that just maybe my child will have the symptoms that indicate something serious. Blows is waaayyy out of proportion :) So, for me, No Googling rashes today!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Randomness



Here is my randomness for Tuesday...in bullet-list form.
  • A friend of mine sent me an email with this website www.FamilyWatchDog.us it shows registered sex offenders with detailed info, check it out...my poor children will probably never be allowed to go to anybodies house unless I first do a background check!
  • Conferences are tonight...why do I still feel nervous, like I did when the conferences were for me!?!
  • This morning I came across this verse, "I don't want your sacrifices - I want your love; I don't want your offerings - I want you to know me." Hosea 6:6. *sigh* It made me cry immediately...need to ponder that one today.
  • Bought Jake a Dora seat that sits on the toilet...he sat on it this morning! I do not enjoy potty training...mostly because I am bad at training myself...not very good at the whole consistency thing.
  • I ate peanuts and a pot of coffee for breakfast :)
  • Should be able to think of something more interesting...maybe I need another pot of coffee...
  • I wish all my blog world friends could come over and hang out...enjoy some coffee and donuts...lots and lots of donuts...while I'm wishing, I wish donuts were fat free, carb free and calorie free!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I've Been Thinking...

Sometimes I can't get something out of my head. Many times, it's annoying, useless type stuff, but other times, I really think it's God trying to teach me something (most of the time it's the same stuff over and over...apparently I'm a slow learner.) Last week, in our adult Sunday School, there was a question in our book, that asked us to name three words that describe our personality. Silence. It's hard! Try it! It doesn't seem like it should be difficult...but as words came to mind, I realized they were representative of me, but not necessarily my personality. As I looked around the room, I could think of all kinds of wonderful descriptive words for the others, but not myself. This has been bugging me. Why am I not able to narrow it down to three words that wrap up my personality?!?

So...this has got me thinking about other people's personality's (because that's what I do when I don't want to deal with myself, of course:) As I look at my kids, it's so evident that they are each born with unique personalities. We each have a unique "bent" we were born with, but what seems even more evident is the choices that we've made and how they've shaped us. I know people whose personalities seemed to change because of choices. Unforgiveness=bitterness, fear=insecurity etc.

I also realized that there are definite personalities that I am drawn to...something about them that makes me want to emulate them. I also know that personalities rub off on me...I've hung around with people whose sort of toxic personalities changed mine...and it took awhile for me to figure out who I really was again. It's how I learned that if I truly want to posses the kind of qualities that I admire, then I have to be drawing closest to the one I admire most...Jesus. I can truthfully say, that my personality aside from Him, not lovely. On my own, I am critical, unloving, and a whole list of other junk that is less than appealing. At times, when I've walked away from Him, and gone it on my own...my personality immediately reverts back to those qualities. Unfortunately, during those times, I'm a poor representative of the miraculous transformation He has done in me. How amazing that no matter what I've done, He still welcomes me back, brushes me off, and gently reminds me of who I really am.

When I am drawing close to Him...my personality becomes like Him. I realized that those qualities that I am drawn to in others, are actually really just Jesus in them! When people meet me, or know me, I want them to see Jesus in me...yeah, they may not know who they're seeing...but I do, and more importantly, so does my savior. So, I still don't have a list of three that describe me...maybe I'm afraid to know :) But here's the three that I WANT to describe my personality...

1) Loving..the real kind...the sacrificial kind
2) Authentic/Real/Genuine (counting that as 1 word:)
3) Charming...my friend Beth used this word, and I love it!

One of my favorite verses that I am forever going back to was said by John the Baptist (whom I happen to adore because he was a bit of an odd duck himself :)

John 3:30 "He must increase and I must decrease." So, so, true.

You know it's bad...


Last night, Jake, my two year old, came up to me and announced, "Odie need baph...him 'tinks!" You know the dog must stink. After all, Jake can have poopy pants that can be smelled from across town...yet when I ask him if he needs a new diaper he always says, "no, I cwean!"
If only they made Febreze for dogs. Our dog has needed a bath for quite some time...I usually put it off about 2 weeks past when he really needed it. It's not that giving him a bath is so bad...it's that the only thing that smells worse than a stinky dog, is a clean, wet, dog!! I even blow dry him as best I can, but until he's fully dry...bleh! So, both Odie and Jake got baths last night...not at the same time...although the boys couldn't see why that would be a problem...a little flea shampoo probably wouldn't hurt :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sugar Please


This week, I decided that I since I have not been running as regularly as normal, due to a freakishly snowy/freezing February, I should probably stop eating everything in sight. You see, I have this little problem when it comes to food...I believe its called self-control. I can't eat one cookie and call it good....oh no, maybe half a dozen cookies later I will finally stop. One spoonful of cookie dough (this is my favorite)...nope. Half a batch of cookie dough...yep. You get the picture. So, this week it wasn't easy, but I did pretty well. Even this weekend!! But, I did learn a valuable lesson, that I'd like to pass on. While shopping with my sister on Saturday, we of course made a Starbucks stop. It's as if my mini van pulls itself into Starbucks...with its sweet little drive-through (I wish everything had a drive-through...especially for groceries) anyways, I decided to be good and order a sugar-free Carmel latte. And guess what I learned makes those lattes so irresistibly delicious?!? Yep, SUGAR! Now, usually if I'm trying to go light, I get a mocha light frappuccino, which is delicious...but the light lattes...not so much. Next time, since I'm paying $3 bucks for a coffee, I'm going all out :) Man, now I wish I had a latte....

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It Was Time...

This week I decided it was time that Mr. Eye Cream and I become friends...best friends...the kind of friends that get together every morning and evening...religiously.
In December I turned 30...really, not a big deal, I'm good with 30. My long standing theory is, I just want to look my age. Not a year younger (well, OK, younger is fine) but not older...not even a day...this is where my new best friend comes in.
I was watching TV the other night, and a commercial came on, with the actress Andie McDowell. She was promoting the cream (left) and, well, she looked fantastic! Andie informed me that the wrinkles I have are crow's lines....NICE....could they think of a worse name to call them!?! Honestly! For my own sanity, I will not call them that...they are laugh lines :) I've earned these lines. They reveal that much of the time, I am laughing (and squinting in the sun.) After the commercial, I informed my hubs that I needed that cream. He questioned if I really needed a "double eye lift" cream, thought it might be a bit excessive. Excessive?!? No. Way. I'm thinking, hit 'em hard, and hit 'em now! He also went into the spiel about how creams don't really get rid of wrinkles...of course I know this (I watched that Dateline with him!) Here's what he will never understand about me....if it makes me think they are improving and looking oh-so much better, then I am good. to. go! So, I've been using it for about 3 days now and guess what!?! I like what I see :) I think Mr. Eye Cream and I will be friends a long, long time...I'm sure there will eventually even be some new friends added to the cream collection. If you happen to have a long standing best friend cream that's proved their loyalty, I'd be happy to meet them! I know, I know, I am a sucker...and a marketers dream...I can deal with that! Happy weekend everybody!


Friday, March 7, 2008

Time Well Spent

Tomorrow, it will be eleven years ago that Ben & I got engaged. I was a freshman in college and he was a junior. Babies! That's what I think now...at the time, I knew I was just really mature for my age, HA :) We had started dating when I was a freshman in high school...I saw him on the football field during State Football Playoffs, and the rest is history. I've been trying to remember the details of how he proposed...and it turns out, I really should have written stuff down back then, everything is sorta all blurred together. So, here's my fuzzy recollection. I remember that I had wanted him to drive me home from college for the weekend, but he kept giving me all these reasons that he couldn't. He said he'd meet me at home on Saturday instead. I was very annoyed. My roommate, Shell, and I were from the same town, and she graciously let me ride home with her. She drove, her boyfriend rode in the front seat, and I sat in the back, pouting and listening over and over to, I'm so annoyed with my boyfriend kinda music, I can't even remember what the song was!

Ben and I ended up going on a date that Saturday night...he picked me up and handed me invitation cards to where we would be going that night (at this point, I'm still pouting a little...so mature.) Our first stop was a state park that we had gone to a lot to grill out and walk on trails. I thought it was a little weird, because it was March, and not exactly the ideal time to go for a stroll. A ways down the path, he stopped and got on his knee and opened a little white leather box. Shock. I think I shouted something like "are you kidding me!?!" The timing was completely unexpected...and I saw the past few days flash before my eyes, and then I felt like an IDIOT! He couldn't take me home for the weekend, because he was ring shopping! Needless to say, on Sunday, before heading back to school, I remember feeling pretty sheepish when I showed Shell my engagement ring :)

In June, we will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. Each year I am more amazed by the man that he is. He is my best friend. His selflessness and love embody who he is. I have yet to meet someone he couldn't get along with! Which probably explains his ability to love me :) Ben, I hope you know how much I adore you...and I (and our future daughter-in-laws) will be so blessed if each of our boys grow up to be just like you. Thank you for always striving to be more like Christ, I know He's the reason you are who you are.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

One Down, Life Still to Go!

So...I feel the need to let you in on my little victory. Yesterday, although it started out not so great, turned out to be really good...but I battled my stupid "feelings" all day long. The list of examples could go on and on and on, but I'll save you (this time) and just share the one major victory. So major, that I'm actually posting a not so flattering pic of me (post run) making out with my cute little pink Sansa. I adore that shiny little pink thingy. The victory? The treadmill. I did it! I got on the treadmill, even though I did not want to. Granted, I fought it till 2:52 in the afternoon, but I finally gave in. I usually go with the theory that I'll get on the treadmill when I feel like it...guess what?!? I NEVER feel like it! So, yesterday, the verse I read gave me a novel idea...get on there even though I don't feel like it! Imagine that!?! It's no secret that the treadmill and I have a love/hate relationship. I love that I have it, but I hate that it is so introverted. I'm a social runner, and my treadmill is dull and oh-so boring. But my hot pink little Sansa...FUN! While I'm being real with you...I'm also going to admit that I ran for 3.5 miles while listening over and over to the same 2 songs. Weird, I know. What's even weirder, is that it was the songs Year 3000 and S.O.S. by the teen band Jonas brothers!! Yep, I'm like an eleven year old girl when it comes to good running music, I'll admit it. Those peppy little songs, on my pink Sansa, kept me going. And for that, it deserved a big fat kiss!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Attitude check

This is how I felt this morning...Eli just looks a lot cuter pouting than I do. I woke up today in a mood...an irritated by everything kinda mood. Pathetic. You know it's bad when I was wishing I didn't have to be around myself! As I drove the kids to school, I was thinking about what I could blog today...they were not pretty thoughts :) So, before I started my post, I first went to one of my favorite blogs by another Pastor's Wife. God has been using her blog to tell me what I need to hear, and boy do I need that today! Sure enough, it was on prayer. Had I prayed today? Not really...mostly selfish whiny requests and complaints. Nothing that would allow Him to change my heart. So I sat down with my Bible, and opened to this, "Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about." Philippians 4:8. Yep, pretty sure God was speaking straight to me. Why do I so easily forget that? Why do my thoughts immediately focus on the negative? No wonder I'm in a bad mood...dwelling on how tight my jeans are feeling today since I haven't been running because of the snow day after day after day...SEE! There they are! Un-lovely thoughts! I am thankful that I can "fix" my thoughts on the good things. It doesn't happen automatically, but it is POSSIBLE. I am making a conscious decision, today, to not rely on how I'm feeling, but on God's truth. I can pretty much guarantee that I'll have to re "fix" them on an hourly basis today :) Truth: the snow will eventually melt...I will eventually be able to run again outside, which will cause my jeans to not dig into my stomach as I sit here at the computer, AMEN!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Switcheroo

The laundry is DONE! ALL OF IT! And put away...all while my children were home with a snow day. Miracle. I even kept most of my sanity until about 3:30, after that it was a little hairy. It was one of those days, that as I crawled into bed, I felt like I had accomplished something, I had evidence.. Many of the rest of the things done during my daily routine cannot be checked off my to-do list...they're less tangible.
I will admit, that as I go about my day, there are times, that I stop and look at our dog, nestled up on the couch, and wish I could switch places with him for just a few hours. I really could use a nap. Yesterday I wished I could switch places with my husband, as he went off to work (he has a full time job along with being a pastor...another post:) because I didn't want to be home for another snow day! I spoke with people I love, who are in really tough situations. For some of them, I have walked through similar circumstances, and know the pain, for some I can only imagine. I wished I could switch places with them, just for awhile, to give them a break. It's not how it works. But there is relief. They do not walk the journey alone, and neither do I. I am certain, that in my own life, there have been times that Jesus actually stepped in and carried me though, because I needed that break. His Word says that he will never leave us, I know that to be true. Walking through life with Him, is far better than "switching." I am thankful for HIS strength, and mercy and grace. Without it, where would I be? So, although I really do need a nap, I am glad I am not a wiener dog named Odie :)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Good Times

Yep...its a fun filled day here at my house. If any of you need me, this is where you'll find me! (Although, you really shouldn't find me today...it's not pretty, I'm not even showering, too much to do :) I call it the "mud room." It's our back entry room, its generally full of boots, shoes, coats, hats... well, you get the picture. It's also where the washer & dryer are...and so it is where I will be today too. Something happens at our house over the weekends....the laundry multiplies...how does this happen!?! (Heth, I CANNOT even imagine your laundry pile!) It's a mystery to me. I couldn't even come up with something interesting to blog about, because I'm so distracted by all the dirty clothes...gotta get to it. Happy Monday everyone...I hope yours involves actually showering and leaving your house!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Good Grief!

Seriously. Is this really necessary? Good Grief! If you ask Eli, my 5 year old, he will look at you, smile, and reply "yep." He does not see the problem...and really, it's not...but it is a tad. bit. annoying. He gets himself ready for preschool, which by the way, is great! Granted, he picks out the same three shirts, and usually doesn't match, but frankly, doesn't bother me. Apparently, though, in order to get dressed, it is necessary to open all three drawers at the same time, pull out most of the stuff in the drawers, and leave several articles of clothing throughout the room. So this is my routine every. single. day. After two of the kids are at school, eventually laundry gets done, and eventually it gets put away. I fold the clean laundry, go into his room, shove all the clothes back into the drawers, place the newly clean folded clothes on top of the wadded up ones, and shut the drawers. Guess what happens the next morning? Does this seem like insanity to you? Why do I even bother folding the clothes? Why!?!? I have no answer for you....but there is something inside of me that is compelled to keep folding the clothes, and repeating this CRAZY cycle. Tell me I'm not the only one :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bloggity Blog

Today marks my 13th day of being a blogger. I am having so much fun. Posting and reading other's, reading comments and leaving them too. A big thanks to all you seasoned bloggers for all the blog love :)

I'll admit it, before blogging myself, I didn't really get it. Why put yourself out there for everyone to see? Now I get it. To truly experience the blessings of community, you have to be willing to put yourself out there! In 13 days I have "met" extraordinary ladies, whose faith, honesty, and sense of humor have so encouraged me! Lindsay, (a new blogger friend,) in her post a bit of a change, made a statement that perfectly put into words what I was thinking, but couldn't put into words! She said, about the blog world, "It's a technological tool that makes journal writing interactive & "alive." That's exactly what it is for me! I get to write about my life and add pictures, and interact with all of you! Thanks for the fun!