Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm a Shoe-In...

Remember when I told you about planting flowers? Yeah, I didn't think so, better go here to refresh your memory.

Here is a picture of where I planted those bulbs...


See them?!? Nope, me either...that's a weed. Dang it.


On that particular post, The Preacher's Wife commented that I should enter her Garden Tour. Are you laughing hysterically!?! You should be. Is there a prize for the WORST Gardener? Because then I'll totally enter...I'm a shoe-in.


Happy Saturday lovely bloggy friends!

Balance

I'm learning that, on my own, I have a bit of trouble balancing my life. When I jump into something, I JUMP in. Sometimes that's good, and sometimes...not so much. I could list many areas in my life where this has/is true. It's not a surprise, I've kinda known it...but this tragedy in tiny-town has made me so much more aware of it.


I need God to show me what to do, where to go, when and how much. Does that make sense? On my own, I'm excessive in some areas, and completely lacking in others. Exhausting.


As I re-read my last post, I realized that one of the reasons I want "normal" back, is because I am having trouble balancing the tragedy that has occurred with every day life. Focusing on all the devastation leaves me feeling empty and depleted, yet enjoying life makes me feel guilty. My family lost nothing in the tornado. So many friends, lost everything. In order to make up for that, I've taken some huge burden upon myself to grieve over all of them...to want to help all of them...in the meantime, I've found myself utterly frustrated with myself and others for not doing enough.


Yesterday afternoon I found myself complaining to God. Wish I could call it prayer, but it wasn't...it was more like a combination of whining & begging. But God, ever so quietly, has been speaking to my heart. Here's what He's shown me...
  • He took me to the book of Psalms *sigh* what better place!?!
  • I am feeling overwhelmed because I am taking on burdens that are not mine to bear. I repeat: NOT MINE TO BEAR. Some of them are...but I have excessively heaped loads of stuff onto myself that I CANNOT possibly handle. I do it out of guilt, I think. This does no one any good. I need to rely on Him for the who, what, when, where and how much questions.
  • He is willing to teach me how to live joyfully amidst chaos, if I will just LET him.

I know that these issues were there, for me, long before tragedy hit. I know many others struggle with the same problem of balancing...it is not new or unique to me. But I no longer want to deal with it like I always have...I want to learn to allow Him to show me HEALTHY ways to deal with life amidst chaos.

One little verse that really grabbed me was Psalms 90:12

"Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should."


Here's to that!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bring Normal Back!

I miss normal. Normal, boring, everything in its place life. All talk in tiny town(s) revolves around the devastation left by the tornado...which is okay, because we're all in it together. It binds us together. It's almost therapeutic. It will continue to consume much of my life here in tiny town...but in bloggy land, I need my normal back. I need to write and share other stuff.


So, from now on...I need to blog about other stuff. I'll update you now and then, and feel free to email me and ask how it's going...SO just because I'm back to blogging about....hmmm, whatever it was I blogged about before...just remember that in real life...the tornado talk lives on :)


OK, so for some completely useless information, you should know that I have not put make-up on or done my hair since Sunday morning. I have turned into a grungy slob. BECAUSE, red-patent shoes are not tornado-clean-up friendly...and if I can't wear cute shoes...who cares about the rest of the outfit. Seriously. I really could use some cute gloves or something! A HA! NOW I remember what I blogged about!!! So glad to have normal back :)

Today...

This song sums up life in tiny town today...




I'm sure I looked like a crazy woman as I belted this at the top of my lungs in my mini-van. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Official...

I'm officially a red-neck...




I know, I know, it takes a special kind of stupid to work outside all day with no sunblock. Oh, I brought it...but actually put it on...not so much. My pasty white skin is paying the price, bloggy friends...paying the price. *smiles*


The clean-up and recovery from tornado stuff is going to take, what seems like, FOREVER :) I'll keep ya updated now and then though. Thank you for your prayers for everyone involved...keep 'em coming.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Update On Tiny-Town

We have electricity again! We spent the day at Shanon's house, salvaging what we could...which was not much. It's physically and emotionally exhausting for everyone, but especially those who have lost so much. People here are amazing. EVERYONE coming alongside their neighbors and working together. It truly is inspiring.

Also, for as much devastation as there is, the stories of God's mercy in so, so many lives brings me to my knees.
Thank you for your words of encouragement and especially for your prayers! Here are a few pictures...

This is all that is left of the front of Shanon's (very large) house...the entire roof is nowhere to be found.


This is part of the back...but what the whole thing looks like.





There were lots of pine trees lining the cemetery as you enter tiny-town...this is what is left.



The clean up has just begun. It's the first time I've ever experienced something like this...praying it is the last.

Tiny Town Will Never be the Same...

We had a tornado hit our tiny-town, last night around 5PM. The boys and I were in another town for a graduation, but Ben was home, and in the basement. I was able to get back into town around 8 last night, and just sobbed driving through town to get to our house...trees are down everywhere. Our home and everything is fine.


A few minutes after I got home, my friend Shanon, pulled into our drive, still in her Dr. Scrubs...she wanted to make sure we were alright....her big, beautiful house that sits on the edge of tiny-town is completely gone. We are so thankful that she was at work, and her husband and 3 little ones were in WI visiting family...no one was home. I will never forget that moment when she said, "It's gone."


Another small town, 8 miles west of tiny-town was completely devastated. We have 2 families from our church who live there...they are all physically fine, but one is missing their roof, windows, and their dog was killed. 2 people are confirmed dead from our tiny town and 5 people from the other small town. It is devastating.


We were evacuated last night because there is no power, and stayed the night at my parents. We're hoping to be able to get back into town to help clean up. Please pray, bloggy friends.



Here a picture of my good friend, Shanon. She's the one in the front, with the red sweater. Please keep her and her family lifted up in prayer as they face the coming days. Praise God they are all safe!




I will try to update once everything is up and running again...I have no idea how long that will be...I knew I had to post, because I have such amazing prayer warriors out there, who've come to love tiny-town without even knowing it's real name :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Not My Friend...

By now, you're probably getting sick of me talking about my computer idiotness...but it is never ending. It's part of what kept me from starting a blog for several months...I was sure I wouldn't be able to figure it out. Luckily, blogger is fairly user-friendly, and I had the help of several friends who kept (keep) sending detailed instructions that a 5 year old could follow. I love them.

There is still one thing though...one teeny-tiny SUPER annoying thing that I CANNOT figure out. Feedburner. Just typing it makes me want to shove the computer monitor off the desk...ok, not really. If you happen to have no idea what feedburner is, count your blessings. For some reason, it says I only have 29 subscribers. It also says, everyday, that I have had no visitors, and no page views to my blog. Apparently, Sitemeter, and my little counter thingy and all of those comments ya'll leave are figments of my imagination. Feedburner is giving me a complex...someone fix it...pretty please.

On a completely different subject, I bought this CD yesterday. I CANNOT stop listening to this song. So, I've mentioned before I have OCD issues with music...this is no surprise...but I love this song. I'm sure the rest of the CD is great...I wouldn't know yet, I can't get past #4.


Happy Friday, imaginary friends who do not really exist according to Feedburner!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You're Gonna Wanna Come...

God sometimes gives me great revelations or breakthoughs...in the bathtub. It may have something to do with the fact that it's one of the only rooms that I can LOCK everyone else OUT. Here's what happened last night...


I've mentioned before that I happen to love my tiny town...and the tiny-towns folks. I was thinking about all the different faces I'd seen today...wondering what was really going on in their lives...wondering how many of them need hope, or a friend to talk to. Praying for God to bring them across my path, and for the courage and discernment to know what to say and how to say it.

Ben and I spend lot's of time wondering how to get people through the doors of our tiny church. We know, ultimately, it's God who brings them...what I mean, is figuring out what it is God wants us to do in His plan for bringing them. Much of our first two years here has been spent just getting to know people...and trying to show them we're not as weird as they may think we are (ok, we are weird...but ya know what I mean.) The more I get to know people...the more I love this tiny town...and the more I want them to come to our church...not for the mere fact of attending church...but because I know they'll encounter Jesus...and I know how He changed my life...and how He can change theirs. That's all.


All of this, led me to the "Top 10 Reasons" people in my tiny town should come to our church...be prepared, these are highly spiritual reasons.


10 - We have orange pews. Who else has orange pews?!? They're quite comfy, and I'm pretty sure, eventually, that particular shade of orange is going to be a rockin color again.

9 - We have "First" in the name of our church...which means we were first, and obviously, First implies best. *wink, wink*


8 - If you live in tiny-town....we are totally within walking distance from every.single. house.


7 - We are the only church in town with a parking lot.


6 - You are free to drink coffee or pop or whatever (non-alcoholic) drink you would like to during Sunday School.


5 - If you even have a smidgen of musical talent, you will be the super-star of our worship team...ok, so we don't really have a "worship team" yet because we need some more people who can sing...but still...


4 - You can sit in the same pew & same spot every Sunday. Consistency people, consistency.


3 - The Pastor is very attractive. Ok, scratch that one...that one's just for me ;)


2 - There are so many kids, that your children being naughty in church will not even be noticed!


1 - Those of us already there, consider ourselves to be "the chief of sinners," saved by His grace...I promise you'll fit.


Seriously, I should have made it a top 20 list, because there's so much more! HA! Love this little church...love the people in it, and love this tiny-town!






It seems that my mind is totally preoccupied with the terrible loss that Steven Curtis Chapman and his family are experiencing. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around. It does remind me that life is so full of great joy and terrible pain...and time is no guarantee...I need to love those around me today, because I don't know what tomorrow holds.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It Is That Bad...

I'm having one of those weeks, where I have a bunch of stuff that needs to get done...and I haven't fully completed any of it. I start one project, and instead of completing it, I get distracted by something else...which is what this post is going to be...distracting.




I give you...the dining room wall:See those lovely spots? I did that. Our walls our textured (because they're really old and texture hides cracks) so when the boys, throw stuff at them or fall into them, the paint rubs off leaving white scuff marks all over the place. I decided to fix them...with the WRONG color of paint. Apparently I have a little obsession with the mocha/gingerbread color...5 different gallons of it in the basement, none matching this wall. Where is the paint?!? I've driven myself nuts trying to find it...now I will have to re-paint the entire ROOM. Nice going, Sarah. I could kick myself.


Next: The desk in our home-office:

What you can't see, is the four other canvas baskets filled with more papers that are begging to be filed/shredded. The problem is...the computer...evil little Dell is sitting right there on THAT desk. I start sorting, and then I hear the blogs calling me...or those dang Webkinz games (but I don't want to discuss that.)



And, in case I've deceived you all with the magical abilities that the flash of a camera has on softening flaws...I give you me, in all my scuzziness. No make-up, hair hasn't been washed in 2 days...TWO days...don't worry...I'm FOR SURE getting in the shower after I get this posted. Seriously, ya'll should be feeling pretty darn good about yourselves right now, am I right!?!


When I logged on this morning I found some sweet, sweet comments from a new blog friend, Jodie. She was commenting on this post. She wrote that she "bet's my scuzzy isn't that bad." So sweet of her. So wish she was right :)


Let's all praise God today for shampoo, and make-up...and flash photography! (Although I am SO PROUD of myself for FINALLY figuring out how to turn off the flash on my camera!! WOO HOO! Go me.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who From Our Do

I feel there's something you should know. I am a DVR freak. For those of you who may not have experienced this amazing machine, let me explain to you (in very technical terms) what it does.



It records (very simply) TV programs. It pauses live TV. It enables me to watch TV without commercials. WITHOUT COMMERCIALS. I adore it. If you don't have one...you need one. Think of all that precious time you'll save, not watching commercials! Seriously, go get one...now. (Unless you don't watch TV...then you probably don't need one)



One of the programs I record and watch, fairly regularly is Joyce Meyer. She speaks my language...direct and to the point. Joyce and I have some minor disagreements on a few (doctrinal) things, but it has not gotten in the way of our TV friendship. Last night, as I watched, much of the stuff she said really resonated, and I can't get it out of my head. Guess what that means?!? Bullet points.


  • We have to separate our "Who" from our "Do." Who we are is not based on what we do. Our "do" is sometimes going to be good, and sometimes it's not...it doesn't change our "who." Sure, we want to do what's right, to show our love for Him, but in our humanness we will fail...a lot...do not be deceived that God's love for you changes because of your "do." His love for you is because of your "who." (OK, her explanation was better, but you get the point)

  • God asks us to do certain stuff, that seems hard, like FORGIVE, for OUR benefit. Everything He requires of us, is because He loves us...it is for our GOOD.

  • When someone hurts us, and we harbor unforgiveness, we often expect that person (and everyone else) to repay us for that debt. But truthfully, they can never repay us. No matter how much we try to collect from them, they can't give us back what was taken. *deep breath* Only God can bring restoration where something was taken away.

There's more...but this is what I'm thinking on today...


Happy Tuesday, Friends!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Just Do It For Me...



What better to talk about on a Monday than poop?!? I hate potty training. Despise it. I am bad at it. My kids are bad at it. Jake is almost 3...in our house, that means it's that time...the battle is oh-so-on.


We have one bathroom in our house...upstairs. We have one lazy toddler who has decided that it's easier to poop in his diaper DOWNSTAIRS than to have to go UPSTAIRS to sit on the potty. I feel his pain...after all, I'm the one who almost moved her coffee pot to the office...I'm not in denial, I know where he gets his laziness from ;) BUT, I am the mommy. Mommy is tired, and not to mention grossed out by changing the diapers of an almost 3 year old.

Here's my bright idea. We keep his diapers, upstairs in his room. I'm now making him (rather than me) go upstairs to retrieve his own diaper when he needs to be changed, in hopes that he will start to decide that it really would be easier to just go on the potty. Great idea...if my child were not so stinking STUBBORN!


Here's the scenario all day long...

Jake: "I poopy"

Me: "Go upstairs and get a diaper"

Jake: "No, you do it"

Me: "If you want to be changed, you go get the diaper"

Jake: (talking to the dog) "Odie, you do it" (no response from Odie)

Jake: to Eli "Eli, you do it" when this doesn't work, he goes back to me....

It takes around a billion times of this conversation before he eventually heads upstairs and comes down with a diaper. Every. Single. Time. *silent scream*

I have read, watched, you name it, a ton of different stuff on potty training...what I really want, is for you to just take him away and bring him back when he is potty trained. Is that too much to ask?



(I should note...that if there happen to be any weirdos out there (with no sense of humor) reading this...I do Not actually want you to take my child away...ya never know :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

We Met at TJ MAX

Yesterday, my mom watched the kids for awhile so my sister and I could go shopping...with NO KIDS!!


We went to TJ MAX because I had a lovely gift card burning a whole in my pocket. That's where I met this lovely- shiny- perfect- shade of green- had my name all over it- purse!


I have to share it with you...so that you to may bask in its cuteness. I'm all about sharing the love. Here it is, my friends....Here. It. IS...



Hmmm...glad I could share something so spiritual with you on this Lord's Day. Maybe I should've saved this for tomorrow... *smiles!*

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Is There Another Word For Random?

So far this Saturday morning I have managed to consume (inhale) two pieces of cake and 1/2 a pot of coffee for breakfast. All while trying to figure out the wonderful world of Webkinz. Oh you heard me right. We got Noah one for his birthday...he's been wanting one...and I had no idea how in-depth caring for a stuffed animal could be! Two hours of my life is now gone...thanks to our new friend, "Bucky", the "B&W Cheeky Dog." (really, I'm not making this stuff up, that's really the description this dog came with!)



This was the first of the three birthday parties Noah will have. Our families are both large, so we have to split up the parties...mine, Ben's, and my dad. Last night we had my dad and siblings over for supper. It went really well. I am praying that the Holy Spirit would help me know how to lavish love on my dad in a way that he can feel it or receive it, because it may look much different that what I think. I was reading in Philippians this morning, and came across this verse that really spoke to me...



Philippians 1:19 "I am going to keep on being glad, for I know that as you pray for me, and as the Holy Spirit helps me, this is all going to turn out for my good."


I keep reading and re-reading your comments from this. They bless me over and over. Now, if I could just figure out how to over-come my computer idiotness and learn how to print them off...baby steps....baby steps.


Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Before and After...Again

I have to say a HUGE thanks to my friend, Shell, who made the amazing header! Doesn't it look fabulous!?! Getting it loaded was a big pain in the butt (for her...I gave up after 2 seconds.) She's super talented...and preggo right now and so stinking cute! I love her. You should probably go tell her thank you for saving you from looking at my generic header for ONE MORE DAY!

Ya'll know I LOVE a good before & after theme. It probably explains why I feel the need to watch any sort of make-over show, or buy any magazine that has before & after shots...there's just something about it...the transformation inspires me.


So, I've been talking about my first born here and here, oh yeah, and here. Today he turns 7. I will (of course) spend the day reminiscing about the day of his birth. I've already looked through the photo album, twice. I will spare you the details, except to say (again) that he was 9lbs 13 oz, I was induced, pushed for a hour and a half and had a 4th degree tear (for those of you who've had this, I can feel your empathy...for those who haven't, don't worry, I won't describe it for you.) He was perfect. He was my first. He made me a mom...and my love for him cannot be put into words.




So, my friends, you deserve before & after shots.

Before:


After:



Time really does go so, so fast. I want to remember every little detail of him...like his cute little smile with teeth missing all over the place. In seven more years he will be 14...excuse me while I go bawl....ok, really I'm fine :) I know, in my head, that Noah was not given to me so that I could keep him...he was given to me by the Lord for me to love, and train. To help him become a man of God, so that he could grow....UP...but my heart wants to keep him small....just for awhile longer...Happy Birthday precious boy.

This is totally off the subject, BUT, this morning, I actually contemplated moving the coffee-maker to the desk in the office. I mean, really, who says the coffee-maker HAS to go in the kitchen?!? There's room on the desk...and it would save me about 17 steps each way...we're talking 34 steps each time I need a refill! (and yes, I actually had to write 17+17 on paper to add it.) I think this is genius. Pure genius.

Happy Friday, friends!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Random "Boringness"

Can I get an Amen?!? You all blessed the red-patent (p)leather shoes right off of me yesterday!! Your SUPER thoughtful comments were such a huge encouragement to me...God spoke to me through you. I'm actually now looking forward to this particular journey...


OK, on to today...

  • I wish I could record an hour of my morning sitting at the computer...because it actually involves very little sitting. If you watched it in fast forward...it would show me (in my green fleece robe & bed head) sitting at the computer, trying to come up with a post, while my 5 & 2 year olds come in and out CONSTANTLY needing something...get up, sit down, get up, sit down....and accomplished: NOTHING!!! The little rascals, need nothing until I sit down at the computer. Why? WHY!?!?

  • My super-wonderful-lovely friend made me a new non-generic header for my blog...it is fantastic...but I (in my computer "idiotness") can't figure out how to load it...I'm waiting for her step-by-step instructions, and then I will share it with you in all its "fabulousness!"

  • My first-born turns 7 tomorrow. I am normally a very non-sentimental type person, but something about my children's birthdays makes me weepy. Yesterday, when I watched him walk into school, he turned around and waved and I started bawling. Nice. This from the mom who didn't cry AT ALL when he went to kindergarten...now cries at the end of the school year. Go figure.

  • He picked donuts for his treat to take to school. Perfection. I went in to the local gas station, ordered 2 dozen donuts and...DONE! I love "making" treats to take to school. HA! As I just re-read this sentence I laughed...in tiny town the gas station is also the local bakery and grocery store too :)

  • I have got a lot of junk to do today...junk I've put off all week...sorting paper work, actually putting the laundry away...you get the idea. Plus, I should get dressed...who wants to visit the parsonage and find the pastor's wife all scuzzy in her green bathrobe?

Oh My. This may be the most boring post EVER! Sorry...come back again, it will be better...hopefully :)

UPDATE: while I was linking to everything, a man from church DID stop by, he needed me to unlock the church!! Lovely. *smiles*

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Tough Stuff...

The past couple of weeks I have been in the Repentance chapter of Seeking Him. *Sigh* Good, good stuff...too overwhelming (for my writing capabilities) to put into words. Through it though, God has been nudging my heart to do something it DOES NOT want to do...and I've decided to share it with you. I know I've got some praying ladies out there...and I'm SO gonna need them.


I mentioned here that my parents divorced when I was 21. It was traumatic for everyone involved. The most painful aspect of it all was that it was revealed that there had been years of adultery, lies, and deception involved, on my father's part. When given the choice to reconcile and choose his family, or this other woman and his "freedom" ....he chose her...he chose himself. It absolutely rocked me to to the core. I could not understand it...and it hurt me in ways that I cannot describe.


How did I respond? At first, pleading and begging were involved. I was SURE that if I could just make him see what he was doing that he would change. It did not work. That's when I decided to fight fire with fire. It was ultimatum time. I was sure this would work. I sat him down, and very logically said to him, "You choose her and I will have no part of it. I won't hang around and be a part of that life." Again, he chose her. I was sure he was calling my bluff. So I set out to prove that I meant it, and I did. For close to 5 years I had no contact with him. I had my first 2 babies...celebrated many mile stones, all without him. If we saw each other in town, we acted as though we were strangers...which we were.



My dad and I have had contact now for the past few years. His life has not changed. None of the circumstances have changed. Along the way, though, I have felt God's nudging...it's always met with resistance from me. At first, the nudging was to reach out to him...and I did. I did the minimum of what God required (which is basically not really obeying, by the way.)


Here's what God has revealed to me the past couple of weeks: At the time, I really thought that by withholding a relationship with him, that I was showing him love. That he would see that I was dead serious about how wrong his choices were. God has now shown me that in part that was true, but the other part was just me withholding my love from him in order to punish him. Oh...it get's worse....He has also shown me that the love I am showing to my dad is not enough. He is asking me to lavish my love upon my dad. WHAT!?! My flesh HATES this. My flesh tells me my dad doesn't deserve it. But God's still small voice is so powerfully saying..."Sarah, you do not deserve it either....but I lavish it upon you ALL the time, show him love..."


So....I'm going to do it. It will be a supernatural work...it will involve all of Jesus, and none of me. It will be a battle, for me....and now you're in on it. Please pray for me...for all of the above stuff...and pray for my dad...that he would stop running from Jesus, and experience true joy and freedom.



Below is a pic from Christmas...me, my little bro, dad, and sister Lindsey.
(I like visuals...so you get one :)




I'll keep ya updated...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Oh Yeah...Again.

It happened....I didn't think it would...but it did...I got ANOTHER one! WOO HOO! Now, before ya'll stop reading because I sound (all) conceited...you should know...that I just blab on and on about it because...I'm not an "awards getter" type person (all the English/grammar people just stopped reading after that new word I made up...which I do a lot, by the way) the shock of it just compels me to keep talking about it...incessently...you should feel bad for my husband.

My lovely new friend, mama belle, gave it to me. We met in blog-land and are now "BFF's separated at birth" (there, I made up another one) I love keeping up on her life...go check her out and see for yourself.


Gotta pass the blog-love on. To one "real life"friend, Heth @ From Under the Laundry Pile. Her blog is my favorite. Before I started blogging, I sat down one night and read her entire archives...back to 2005...it's THAT good. Check it out (if you haven't already) at your own risk...I'm just sayin...it'll suck you right in and then hours of your life will be gone....GONE.


And to the newest blog that I ADORE! Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous...this girl is amazing...and so, SO FUNNY! Literally, I laugh out loud every time...sometimes I *snort* because it's so funny! Plus, she's doing a fabulous ministry to girls...go on...you'll enjoy yourself, I promise!

On another note...(see the randomness) I had someone (again) ask me what in the world I "blog" about. Do people ask you this? Every time someone asks that I have to force myself from laughing out loud. It's hard to give an answer to that...I'd rather they read and find out themselves *cough*. Truthfully, it's a hodge-podge of stuff. Because that is what my life is! That's who I am! I'm never ONE way, all the time. Sometimes God is teaching and showing me deep stuff...other days, it's just about enjoying life...and trying (desperately) to put into practice what I've learned.

I wish I could write inspiring stuff ALL the time...but seriously...I want this to be "real" and the real Life in the Parsonage is a whole huge mish-mash of stuff. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have... go on...keep singing the song...you know you want to ;)

There...that's what I blog about...awards and blogging....oh my.

Race Day

Saturday, was finally THIS! Oh Yeah. I thought I should give you the report in pictures...because really, it makes it so much more interesting, right?!? (I have no idea why some of the pics are so small, except that sometimes blogger hates me...)


Pre-Race
This is my friend Jenni, me, and Billie (who I run with in tiny town...also my stunt double...people in tiny town get us confused)


Here's Heth using her classy photography skills to get a pic of all of us pre-race...she's good.

I'm sure you're dying to know what I learned from my first race...

  • Knowing what size race T to order is of utmost importance...because it's really all about the free t-shirt and not the running...well, maybe a little about the running. (I ordered the wrong size...it goes to my knees...YAY for new jammies though *wink*)
  • My friend Jenni said she was a slacker runner...she is a liar. She is super speedy...but I still love her.
  • Having a group of friends to hang out with before and after makes it SO MUCH fun.
  • I accomplished my goal. I finished without dying. Go me. Also, I finished the 4 mile race in 38 minutes and some seconds (I didn't pay attention to the seconds because I was so amazed at the 38 part) while being able to carry on a conversation while running...that there is true talent. They should make it an Olympic event...running and conversing at the same time. Maybe next year I'll put my MP3 on and NOT talk...ok...probably not...

    Me & Billie near the finish

And this ladies....this is what its truly all about...

Panera Bagels and coffee!

Oh...and this too...
Thanks for all the fun, girls!! We're on for next year!

PS - Heth and Jenni, thanks for the pics!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Love Them




Moms: Love being one...love having one. Happy Mother's Day!




I have managed to make Mother's DAY into a weekend event...I think it should be changed to Mother's Weekend...or better yet, week. Last night, I overheard Eli, my middle one, telling his older brother that he wished there was a
"Kid's Day" then they could get candy. HA! I think I may have muttered under my breath something about Every. Day. Being. Kid's. Day... *smiles*

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rocks 4 Sale

Gotta love it. Little boys selling rocks out of the back of their Gator.


Their slogan, which Eli shouted over and over, at the top of his lungs..."Get your shiny rocks here"...they're quite the salesmen, they offered free flowers (weeds) with purchase. Price of the beautiful shiny rocks:$.50. You bet I bought some...I know a good deal when I see it.


Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's Early...

Dear Mom,

How does one, especially me, put into words how thankful I am for you!?! I'm trying (very) hard to resist doing it in list form :) Here goes...


This is your 30th mother's day :) I'm pretty sure you probably have all the cards you've ever received (from anyone) somewhere in your hope chest :) And yes, I know you'll print this off to show to the ladies at work ;)


As I look back over the years of my life, not one has existed without you. From the beginning...from the moment you found out that you were going to be having a baby, at the tender age of 18, God has been working all things together for good. The choice to get married, although teenagers and probably not ready, you did it...and it was a good choice. It was the right choice. You created a home for me, that was filled with love. Not perfect, of course, but stable and loving. In some ways...we grew up and matured together.


We met Jesus, in such a real way, together. I, just a young teenager, and you 30 something with a husband and 3 children. Growing in our faith looked much different in each of our lives. As a 15 year old, there's definitely a lot less re-learning to do! God knew...what was in store. He knew, down the road, hard times were coming. I will continually praise Him for His timing. Together, we experienced the pain of deception and lies. You as a wife...and me as a daughter. The pain of the divorce, after 20 years of marriage, is never forgotten, by a wife or a grown daughter. But it is healed! Had God not drawn us to Him those years before...I know, we would not stand where we stand today.


Looking back I can now also see how God has used each of us to help the other grow. I'm sure that raising me (and my mouth) caused maturing and patience in you...and long-suffering :) Your life, the good and the bad, God has used to teach and train me. It is not over yet. The good and the bad will still come...it's part of living. It's the assurance that He's seen us through before, and He'll surely do it again, that brings peace.


I am thankful for you...and for Dennis. For the home and family that over the past 7 years you have created...blended. I know, that as you look at your children, God's grace and mercy is so evident in each of our lives. You had a big part in that.


Now, as a mother myself, I understand the prayers and the sacrifices. Thank you for always doing the best you knew at the time. And for growing and changing when God revealed to you it was necessary...I'm pretty sure that's the sign of a great mom...that and your grand-children adore you. (feel free to come get them anytime, by the way, :)

Happy Mother's Day...early (because no one will read this on Sunday...trust me:)


Much Love,


Sarah

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Big One

It's tradition...or something like that. It's my 100th post...which means that since the end of February...I have blogged, ummm A LOT! Wonder how much time I've spent reading blogs? *cough* Let's not go there. Anyways, (or neways as I discovered the youngins are texting these days) its been a big week for me in blog-land. This week I had the MOST comments I've ever had on one post...24, I think :) AND I finally had over 100 visits in one day!! I'd been so close, 95, 97, but yesterday FINALLY! WOO HOO! I know, I know, it's not huge, but those of you with piddly little blogs, like myself...you get it.

So here's stuff you already know, or maybe wish you didn't know...and maybe a few new ones. Maybe.

  1. In the words of DC Talk...I'm a Jesus Freak : avid enthusiast. Love of my life.

  2. Wife to an amazingly loving, patient, handsome, gentle and forgiving man

  3. Mom of boys

  4. friend, daughter, sister

  5. I love...Red shoes

  6. patent leather shoes

  7. heels

  8. ballet flats

  9. the smell of cut grass

  10. Coke Zero

  11. chocolate (anything)

  12. Starbucks

  13. Target

  14. Gap

  15. J Crew

  16. Not cooking

  17. Tulips & Daisies

  18. blogging
  19. Having a tan!

  20. my cell phone

  21. caffeine
  22. The Living Bible

  23. Leeland, Toby Mac, Casting Crowns

  24. The smell of my boys after a bath

  25. baby clothes

  26. photos

  27. being with other believers

  28. I was 20 when I got married

  29. 23 when I had my first baby

  30. 24 when I had my second baby

  31. and 27 when I had my 3rd baby

  32. I always wanted 4 kids...but now I think 3 is good :)

  33. love women's ministry

  34. I get annoyed with people who take themselves too seriously

  35. I could eat McDonald's french fries every single day

  36. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom

  37. still have a crush on my husband

  38. love days when I don't have to go anywhere

  39. but not too many of them in a row, because then I get stir-crazy!

  40. Our dog's barking makes me want to pull my hair out

  41. I'm a bit obsessive compulsive...blogging, for example

  42. I have no self control if sweets are around. Can't eat just one. Ever.

  43. I love to listen to music LOUD...if its soft, it annoys me.

  44. I do not have an appreciation for art, classical music, etc. I am not "cultured"

  45. I am very bad at returning library books on time...so I avoid the library

  46. I have never eaten in a restaurant by myself...just the thought of it horrifies me :)

  47. Did I mention I don't enjoy cooking ;)

  48. I like the house neat and organized...but it's too big of a job

  49. I have learned to appreciate hymns, but I prefer more contemporary

  50. I became a follower of Jesus when I was almost 15.

  51. My first car was an '82 Cutlass Supreme...the size of a boat.

  52. I adore my 2003 Dodge Caravan...its silver and for no reasonable explanation, I love it...

  53. I am very impatient about waiting in lines.

  54. I can't sing...or carry a tune!

  55. My parents divorced when I was 21 years old. So far in my life, it is the most difficult thing I have lived through...but God's grace has proved He works all things together for good...no matter how bad they may seem.

  56. I was baptized, as a believer, in a river.

  57. I eat honey nut cheerios for a snack at night...or during the day

  58. I love living close to family.

  59. I scrapbook, although right now I'm burnt out and don't want to do it

  60. God has blessed me with amazing friends

  61. I went on a missions trip to Tijuana Mexico the summer I graduated from high school...it was life changing.

  62. I've always wanted a Basset Hound named Gus.

  63. I have ginormous tonsils :)

  64. Never broken a bone or had surgery.

  65. I have had a car accident and totalled our car...no injuries.

  66. I am paranoid about letting my boys use "men's" public restrooms...I may make them go in the ladies till their teenagers :)

  67. I very rarely make my bed

  68. I don't care if my kids make their bed

  69. I hate stepping on Legos

  70. I like thunderstorms.

  71. I am a total grouch when I'm tired.

  72. I have to force myself to eat breakfast...unless its a donut

  73. love love love coffee

  74. Do not like sponge bob

  75. Love Tetris

  76. I adore my in-laws

  77. I adore fashion

  78. I heart IKEA

  79. I really like politics

  80. I'm a die-hard conservative

  81. I can sing every word to 99% of DC Talk :)

  82. I was meant to have boys

  83. I can get along with most anyone

  84. I'm pretty easy going.

  85. I love to laugh

  86. I love watching movies with my husband

  87. I spend the summer at the swimming pool with the kids.

  88. I heart Facebook

  89. I get allergies in the spring time, but not the fall

  90. I love boneless buffalo wings

  91. and fresh salsa with chips

  92. I am hungry....a lot

  93. my boys make me laugh all the time

  94. I love rearranging furniture

  95. I can't take a hint, unless its SUPER obvious!

  96. I can't imagine not being in the ministry

  97. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't become a Christian.

  98. I wish my relationship with my dad were different. I wish he'd stop running from Jesus.

  99. I love something or hate it. Hot or cold :)

  100. I'm surprised how easily I can ramble off junk about me!

I admit, I have never read all 100 items on other people's lists...I'll blame it on the self-diagnosed ADD. I barely read all of mine!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Day in the Life of...

I am amazed at all of the really WONDERFUL Pastor's wives that I have met while blogging. I wish I could explain what a blessing it has been in my life...to describe how it has ministered to me, and "filled my cup" so to speak...but, I would need to come up with some eloquent words (and for those of you who read this blog, ever, you'll know that's not likely to happen) so I'll just leave it at that. Big Blessing.

If you are a Pastor's wife...you're so gonna get this post, and if you're not...welcome to a day in the life of...


When it rains it pours. It's the phrase I can best use to describe it. I don't know why it is, but it seems that when people need you....they ALL need you. I can be going along for days, even weeks with not so much as a peep from people. Then, it happens. The days where my phone(s) do not stop ringing.

The first time it happened, I wasn't prepared. I felt like they'd all caught me off guard! How dare they not give me warning that a crisis was approaching?!? I wanted a do-over. I didn't have the right things to say. I didn't feel like I'd really helped anyone. God taught me some huge lessons through that day.
  1. There is always a calm before the storm. The storm will hit without warning. I can't let the calm lull me into being unprepared when the storm hits. It is in the calm times that I most need to be preparing for the hurricane.
  2. I need to constantly be filling myself with Him. If I don't, when others need me, I will have nothing to give. Instead of desiring to help them, I will resent them. I need to be filled with Him...constantly.
  3. Sometimes, all I will do is listen. I may have words, I may have wisdom and practical advice, but they will not always want to hear it. I cannot judge success based on outcome. It's not my job. My job is #1 &#2.
  4. It is a precious gift to be able to lend an ear, encouragement, prayer, support, whatever it might be. A gift...a high calling.
  5. Remind myself of this ALL the time, because I will forget too easily if I don't.

I sometimes wish I could fast-forward 20 years, grab the wisdom I will (hopefully) have then, and then come back to the present. I can't. My church, friends, family, everyone I come into contact with is stuck with the current, inexperienced, Sarah. Today, I am praising God for the direction and discernment of His Spirit, for His written word, prayer, endless books & studies, godly counsel, and life lessons learned...He uses them to equip me...not to make me an expert, but to equip me for the work He has planned. Wow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

For the Love of the List

I'm a list person. I always have 10 different lists going...usually in several different notebooks (which I can't keep track of.) I am always formulating them in my head. Grocery list, Wal-mart list, bills list, to-do list, boys list, on and on. There are other weird lists in there too...The other pastor's wives list, the vehicles we've owned list (why!?! I don't know), stuff I want to ask Jesus when I get to heaven, and What I'd buy/do if I came into a ton of money. Oh, there's more...but I'll stop.

Today is the "What I'd buy/do if I came into a ginormous sum of $" (in no particular order....because the list is coming off the top of my head...where it lives...the list changes daily, AND let's assume I'd do all the stuff that good people do, FIRST...give to missions, feed the hungry, find the cure to cancer etc.)

  • Build on to our little church...big gym, class rooms, office for hubs at the church (you get the idea)...oh, and Ben could be just a full-time pastor :)


  • Pay off debt, and help out loved ones.


  • Hire a cook and gardner


  • Build a public swimming pool in our tiny town


  • Get a spray tan (HA! I just thought of that one...)


  • Buy Ben a big beast of a truck


  • Build a big guest house for all my friends to come stay in when they visit!


  • Buy a bark collar for Odie...or send him to obedience school (a good one, that can re-train an 8 year old dog)


  • Adopt a baby girl....from anywhere....


  • which would cause me to need to add on to the parsonage...a baby girls room and a padded room/sound proof room for my boys to play in.


  • A personal trainer....Jillian from Biggest Loser! She could whip my butt into shape :)


  • A pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, for me, and Heth (like the ones we admire on Facebook's Shoe Of The Day.)


  • Pay for all my kids, nieces/nephews, (grand kids someday) college.


  • Then, I would set aside the money needed to live at our current standard of living, and give the rest away. Because, frankly, if I had a ton of money, I'm afraid my reliance on Christ would fade...I know myself that much...the money would have to go.


  • But first...I would buy one of these for all the pastor's wives I've met in blogland...my favorite T-shirt...
Because, seriously, EVERY PASTOR'S WIFE, should have a Barbie and the Rockers T-shirt....don't ya think?!? (it's my favorite...I thought it was lost, but now, it's found...reminds me of a song I know...)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hmmmm

For some reason, I can't seem to come up with anything other than randomness on Mondays! Why is that?!? It brings back the words to a song that I recall loving in Jr. High..."Things That Make Ya Go Hmmmm." HA! Please tell me I'm not the only dork out there who remembers this song :) ...after this post I will have to venture off to You Tube and find it...it's a tad-bit frightening...all you can find on there!

Sorry for the random bullet list...
  • This weekend was fairly uneventful, but fun and relaxing...which I always enjoy!
  • Yesterday I planted flowers and did some yard work. I have NO IDEA what I'm doing. We'll see if anything grows/stays alive. I planted some elephant's ears bulbs...by myself...I mean no supervision. Afterwards, my husband asked how deep and in what direction I had planted them...I explained how I dug a hole...yay deep, and then tossed in the bulbs, covered em up and watered. Done. He went into an explanation of how they should have been placed in the hole...while in my head I thought to myself how I would add "hire a Gardner" to my list of "Things I would hire done if I came into a ginormous sum of money"....which now makes me think that I should do a post on THAT! ...maybe tomorrow.
  • God keeps taking me to Psalms 119...I LOVE it in the Living translation. Today I'm thinking on V7-8 "After you have corrected me, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey! Oh don't forsake me and let me slip back into sin again."
  • My house is a disaster....kind of like it barfed up its innards all over. Gross. But sadly...true. I'm off to start cleaning now...until lunch, and then, since it's finally nice out...I'm going to sit outside and try to give my pasty-white skin some color...but not in my swimsuit. So NOT in my swimsuit...just for the record :)

Happy Monday, friends!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Six Thingys


I've been tagged by Beefy. Which works out great, because it's Sunday...and I'm at a loss for a post idea!
I am supposed to come up with 6 words or phrases that best describe me.


Rules are as follows:
  1. Write your own six-word memoir
  2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you'd like
  3. Link to the person tho tagged you
  4. Tag 5 more blogs with a link
  5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play

So, these probably aren't the "Best" words to describe me...because I'm a little too lazy today to come up with the best...how about "good enough" ?!? :)

These are signs I have on display around my house. Coincidentally, they sorta wrap up who I am (ignore the really terrible shots, I'm no photographer!)


1.
Without His saving grace, who would I be?!?

2.


My hand is covering up my last name (you know, so the Internet axe murderers don't find me) but this sign represents our marriage commitment and the establishment of our little family...huge part of me.

3.

No explanation needed.

4.

Something I'm always reminding myself to do.

5.

I have no idea how to shut the flash off on my camera *sheepish grin* so it's hard to read, but it says "Notice! Cursing & Swearing will be cause for removal" I wish it also said "Potty Talk": which includes anything to do with a natural bodily function, which my boys find hysterical.

6.

This is a big long sign that hangs over the doorway from my dining area to the kitchen, it lists all the fruits of the spirit...which I'm continually asking God to produce in my life.

I won't tag anyone because I can't remember who has done it already, but if you haven't....you're it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Cute and Disgusting


Cute & Disgusting...all at the same time.
I have no idea what that junk is around his mouth, but it's obviously not bothering him.
The hat: I bought it last year, to protect his little head from the sun. He would have none of that...took it off every. single. time. But now, this year...he wears it everywhere. It's too small (now) and it drives me nuts...of course he would want to wear it NOW. And if I go ahead and buy one that actually fits, do you think he'll wear it?!?! No. Big fat no. So goes my life in parenting thus far.
So, if you happen to see an almost 3 year old, with a dirty face, wearing a hat that's too small...he'd be mine. Love you Jake, aka stinky face.
Happy Saturday!