Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Now You See Me...


What was I thinking?!?!?


Seriously. This is so not good for the self esteem.



The first video below, I did in August as a trial run...and I'm sharing it with you for the sheer "shock" value of my traumatized self. That sentence makes no sense...



Also, I have a couple disclaimers.

  1. In real life, I do not, in fact, have raccoon eyes. For my next video, which will be....never...I hope to have some of those high-wattage Hollywood lights that make every wrinkle, flaw, and raccoon eye disappear. Next time.
  2. This is likely THE MOST BORING post along the linky journey of I See What You're Saying...I think there should be a prize for that...I'm just sayin'.



video





My actual "See Me" post is below. Good luck. Thank you blogger for pausing on the absolute worst expression possible.

video


To see more videos (that are more interesting) go up and click on the owl box ;)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Nothing.

I got nothing today.

I've been gone all day helping clean at someone else's house...which by the way is SO MUCH BETTER THAN CLEANING YOUR OWN! Why is that?!? Let me know if you happen to know the answer to that one...

I can't come up with anything because I am FREAKING out a little bit about this tomorrow:



I can't come up with ANYTHING to talk about so you can "see" me...it's like a deer in headlights.

Not good.

It well certainly not help me in pretending to sound smart when I talk on the camera ;)

Have any ideas for a topic?

Help....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We Have A Winner...

Remember this little give-away?!? :)

I tried, really I did, to figure out that fancy little random number generator that I've seen on countless give-aways...but obviously, in my computer idiotness I totally couldn't figure it out.

So I resorted to a much more scientific approach.
  1. printed off the comments
  2. cut them in strips
  3. folded and placed in a bowl
  4. mixed them up




Then, the boys, picked one.


And the winner is........


Tracie @ Coffee with the Crains!!!!!! Congratulations!

I had to smile, because after all the printing, cutting and folding and mixing of those comments...Eli draws the first comment on that post :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Six Years Ago...

Six years ago today I looked like this...

And then, at 11:39 PM just 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital, I had this:You caught me off guard that night my little Eli...who knew you'd plan on making such a fast entrance into this world?!? No induction, no epidural, no monitors, no IV...just a nurse, holding your head in while the Dr. hurried in from another floor.

When it was all over, your daddy and I sat there in the quietness of our hospital room, staring at you...trying to wrap our brains around all that had transpired in just a few short hours.

From the very moment I found out I was carrying you, God used you to strengthen my faith and dependence on Him. My prayer for you my sweet boy, is that you grow up loving Him with all your heart. That your faith would be strong and your dependence on Him...even stronger.

I love you my big six year old boy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Tiny Town Give-Away!

So...if you've read my blog at all this summer you know it's been quite eventful in tiny town over the past several months.

All that God is doing here in the midst of it...just continues to take my breath away. Sometimes to appreciate today, one must go back and remember where they were.

Here's a little journey down memory lane...

May 25th 2008: An EF5 tornado came through the and devastated the West side (just outside of town) and the North end of town where the cemetery and new housing development stood.

Looked a little like this:


This was my friend Shanon's home. It has been bull-dozed and the new framing of the house should start going up this month! YAY! Many of the other homes that were hit are also in the process of rebuilding.



This was the cemetery. All of the big pine trees that lined it were totally gone and head stones turned over. The headstones have been put back in place, and this fall new evergreens will be planted.

Then, during the midst of the tornado clean-up, on June 8th 2008, tiny-town experienced one of the worst floods in its history. This is a town that is used to flooding...it's just part of life...but this flood covered most of the town in water and it was devastating...to say the least.

As I went back to find pictures of it, I realized that at the time, every time I went to get my camera, I was just too sad to even take a picture of the devastation. I have some of our basement, which was so very minor compared to the rest of town, which if probably why I have a pic of it.

Here was our basement:

We've since gotten a new water heater, and a new furnace will be installed soon. BUT, it's dry...and still smells a little like bleach :)Rubber boots were the staple for quite some time...I have to say, I miss them a little.


OK, now starts our journey through tiny town. I was trying to be discreet and take pictures (from my van and yes those are stickers stuck to it, imagine that) while driving around...yeah, that doesn't work so well :) AND in tiny-town you can't do anything without someone you know seeing you...my friend Connie ran into me when I was down by the CO-OP and said "what are you doing?!?" ...because generally, I don't hang out at the CO-OP...although I might start...


I digress...the above picture is what several homes in town now look like. Many had to be burned down.


While others:




Just got jacked waaaay up in the air...whatever works.



Many are trying to sell what's left and move on, and others (below) have decorated their house before it's scheduled destruction...



And we also have some good 'ol FEMA trailers...which by the way, I have NO IDEA how a family fits in there.




This was our Kwik Star that...hmmm...how shall I say it....totally abandoned us in our time of need. I do not heart kwik star anymore.



We did lose the gas station, but the car wash re-opened! And, for the record, it has a pop machine...which I've visited on more than one occasion ;)


And last, but certainly not least...the beloved post office! IT'S OPEN!!! In it's honor...I give you a pic of our PO Boxes...exciting, I know.



So, for my very first give-away in honor of the post office, I'm giving away 3 of my favorite things...





  1. A $10 gift card to STARBUCKS

  2. Some Aveda Conditioner

  3. And a "green" bag from Target that folds with velcro tabs into the size of a wallet...SO CUTE!

Leave me a comment, tell me anything, and you'll be registered in my little drawing! It'll be open through Saturday and I'll post the winner on Sunday! If you're not a blogger or are a blogger without an email address listed, please leave me your email in your comment so I can get ahold of you!


HAPPY FRIDAY! It's Homecoming Game for tiny-town tonight...GO BIG BLUE!!!!!

PS - if you're interested in reading more about tiny town you can go to the left side of my sidebar and click on tiny town under "things I blog about".

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Post Office: I love You...

First off: Your comments yesterday were so incredibly encouraging to me, thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm feeling better about walking through that fear, realizing that it's going to feel scary, but maybe that's how walking in faith is supposed to feel...

Second: This bloggy friend had such a clever post yesterday...I'm totally wishing I'd thought of it...oh, and it mentions my name in it...and it's funny...and you should just listen to me and go watch it :)

Third: Guess what openes in tiny-town TODAY?!?
Did you guess?
THE POST OFFICE. Yiiiippppeeeee!
No more driving into the bigger city just to get my bills mail. But, it really was an excellent excuse to drive thru Starbucks...so for that reason, I might miss it a little.

Or not. I can still hit the Starbucks on the way to Target ;)


So, tomorrow, in honor of the post office re-opening and tiny-town (and me) recovering from this and this and this and this...I'm gonna have some pictorial updates and my very first GIVEAWAY (which I can send out from my new fixed up post office!)


I'm not entirely sure what the give-away will be yet...but it will certainly involve some of this super smelling stuff ;)


So...come back tomorrow and visit and enter yourself and then I can have a good 'ol time drawing names! :)


I have now resorted to bribing you....wow....it's kinda like you're my children now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where'd the Fear Come From?!?

Updates:

  • Eli is back to school
  • I am feeling better!
  • A lovely friend called and volunteered to take Jake today, God bless her.
  • I always want a quiet house...and then when it's quiet, guess what I do...miss them. Good grief. I am going to be a terrible empty-nester I think.

Here's me thinking out loud today...

So, I may have mentioned before that I am a bit of a control freak.

I wish I wasn't...but I am.

I also mentioned before that there is one particular life-changing decision that I'm trying to give up control of. It is not particularly enjoyable, the process of letting go.

Part of the problem is...that I'm not quite sure which decision is actually the one that relinquishes control.

The other part of the problem is that I can't shut-up the inner dialogue in my head that keeps making pro and con lists...aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Really, as I type this, I'm thinking what would I tell someone in my particular predicament... (because I like telling other people how to obey ;)

So, if I were going to Dr. Phil myself, I would say...

  • play out the "what-if" game to completion.
  • How's that working for you?

And then I wonder...where is this fear coming from? The fear of something happening that I think I'm not ready for...after all, I can name a million things that have happened in my little life that I was pretty sure I couldn't handle...and it turns out, they're some of the biggest blessings.

You all know why...His strength, His leading, His plan. How can I look back at all of that and have any doubts of who is in control? What am I so scared of? When did this fear creep in?

It needs to go.

I wish I could share details with you. I wish I could put a little poll box at the top of my blog and ya'll could just cast a vote and then I would just do what you said...do you ever get to that point? Where you wear yourself out thinking about something and end up just wanting someone to tell you what you should do?!?

It's been my prayer for awhile now...God, just tell me what to do...and then I sit back and pout because it isn't "clear" enough. Truth is...He's been crystal clear...I just seem to keep clouding it up with my pro/con list. Dang lists.

Ya know what...through all this rambling, I've found some clarity.

I know what He wants...and I know that it may not be my first choice, but I trust Him.

I'm gonna trust Him, and walk through the fear.

And if I start to waiver (which I totally will), and revert back to my pro/con list in some upcoming post, it's your duty bloggy friends to remind me to walk in faith and not fear ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sickly...

Life in the parsonage today...


Sunday night Eli and I started feeling sick...both with different stuff.


Turns out his is Strep. He's on his 2nd day of staying home from school so that he doesn't infect his friends. First Day: Just felt lousy, laid around. Second Day: Feels great but still contagious...which means another day of Star Wars movies and building.


Jakob has been giddy the past two days with his new found freedom. Mom sick and brother sick means complete and utter access to all he wishes. This morning he fed himself (and Odie) shredded cheddar cheese...right from the bag. He's moved furniture around to accommodate his needs and dumped powdered laundry soap all over the mud-room...but not to worry, he assured me "It smells good, mom."


There is no rest for the weary...with Jake in the house. And I don't want to send him to a friend, because chances are...he's gonna get strep too...cause we share like that.


He is entertaining though...I give him that ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Heart Her...

There is a certain woman in my life who God ordained from the beginning.

There is no doubt.

I was the daughter, of her teenage daughter.

My mom tells the story of how right before I was born, she shared with my Grandma the name she had picked out for me. And my Grandma, who must have already read my un-born mind, said something to the effect of "why don't you name her something normal, like...Sarah."

Amen, Grandma. Amen.

She is the same woman who introduced me to:

  • The gift of black coffee...in Kindergarten. (perhaps I'll just blame her for my slight addiction now ;)
  • The bedtime snack of butter on saltine crackers.
  • The best home-made noodles...ever.
  • "Cold Bread" which is what my boys call her home-made bread because we store it in the fridge...
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Crocheting...that I learned to do left handed (like her)...even though I am not left handed...and let's face it, I could never really get past that one single strand (that she let me make 12 feet long and wrap around the Christmas tree:)

My childhood memories that involve her are infinite.

I love her smile. I love how she LOVES babies. Her quiet strength. Her example of self-sacrificing love. The way she loves with food. The toys she still has from when I was little. Her ability to can just about anything...tomatoes, beans, jams, chili...The way she loves my boys, and the way they love her.

I love the smell of her house...because it's her.

And for some time now...she hasn't been feeling so great.

A little thing called Congestive Heart Failure...at least we all like to think pretend it's little...but some doctor's appointments recently suggest otherwise.

Dang Doctor's and their reality checks...

This post is for her...Grandma, it's just a little bit of all the reasons I love you. I wish my writing abilities allowed me to more eloquently put it into words (we'll blame that on my dad's side *wink*) I have always known how proud of me you are...not because of anything I had done...but because of who I was, the person I was...the woman I am. I hope that you too, know that I feel the same way about you. I love being your grand-daughter. I love you.

I am praying for God's wisdom to be poured out on your doctors, and for the Ultimate Healer's hands to be upon you and most importantly, that you know and feel just how big His love for you is.


Now...I told my mom I was going to blog about Grandma, so my mom passed along the information to her...to which Grandma said "She's gonna what?" *smile*

Time to introduce Grandma to the blog world...which means I will print this off for her to read...so, if all my lovely friends (which by the way, is all of you) would leave me a comment and let my Grandma know you'll be lifting her before His throne, I would be ever so thankful AND I'll be able to show her that I do have some friends...even if you are all imaginary *wink*

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm Usually In the Way...

The Lord is pushing me out of my comfort zone on something.

Way WAY out of my comfort zone...so far so that when I turn around and look back I can't even find my beloved comfort zone.

But...I'm gonna trust Him...and try not to get in the way.

And there's the problem...me...my way.

I want it to be His way...whatever that may be.

So I'm letting go.

And that is a little scary :)

That's all I can share for now...but if God's shoving you out of your comfort zone, I'd be happy to know I'm in good company ;)

Friday, September 19, 2008

There's No Denying It...

I remember being pregnant with my first child (Noah) and dreaming of who he would look like. Then with my 2nd baby (Eli) I wondered if he'd look like Noah...the answer to that was no. Then with Jake I wondered if the baby would look like one of his brothers, or totally different. Turns out, he looks a little like both of them.

Here's a pic of all three (as if you haven't seen them before ;)

The general reaction though, when people see Eli (middle), is "You look like your daddy!"
Yeah, yeah, yeah, he looks like his daddy is generally the reaction in my head :) I think it's adorable that my boys look like their daddy...after all, I happen to think he's quite handsome BUT I did carry each of them for 9 months...puked my guts out the first couple with each baby...gained and lost an enormous amount of weight each time...and managed to push each one out (with the help of an epidural of course.) JUST ONCE it might be nice to hear..."Man, that one really looks like you!"

That doesn't happen.
On Tuesday, Ben's mom sent home these two pictures of Ben when he was a little boy.
And here's Eli (holding his cousin):

And when I saw the pictures, I said "Eli, you look just like daddy!" Go figure ;)

I Am Everyday People

Again today...nothing.

Oh I do have one thing...that's actually quite interesting and meaningful, but you'll have to wait for Monday for that one. I know, I know, you're wondering how on earth you'll make it through the weekend with all the pent up anticipation *insert tongue in cheek*

Points of interest or just points...
  • Jake and I ran to Target this morning because I needed some cold medicine and some Kleenex with vicks (at the recommendation of this real life friend:) Oh sure, there's places closer than Target...but not with a Starbucks inside ;) I'm sick afterall... ;)

  • Those Kleenex with Vicks...best invention ever (next to Starbucks and cooked bacon of course) They are fabulous. You can bet that by the end of this day EVERYONE I come into contact with with be made aware of how wonderful I think they are...cuz I'm annoying like that.

  • This may sound weird (and all you runners out there can go ahead and back me up on this one) but when I have a head cold, running is about the only time it feels better! Weird, I know, but it seriously clears my head.

  • Heee Haw tastes like Mt. Dew...well it's supposed to anyways.

  • Jake and I grooved to this song over and over and over on the way to Target.(I found it on an old WOW CD in my van...I had no idea it was on there...who knew?!?) Go listen, (but not to the first 11 seconds of the video, cuz that's NOT the song...the real song starts at 12 seconds ;) it's a good happy Friday song.

  • Hope ya'll have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Could...

I can't come up with anything interesting today.

I tried.

I could tell you:
  • that the upstairs of my home (where the bedrooms are) is a total disaster, and that even if I do laundry from this moment until midnight tonight it still would not be done.
  • that I plan on staying in my jammies all day...after all, I'm cleaning, and running tonight...why get ready. Seriously.
  • That I am so bursting at the seams with joy at what God is doing in our tiny church that I can't even blog about it...because the words I come up with don't convey it right. But I can say that we're starting to burst at the seams of our little church building, and have more than run out of classroom space, and I see people loving each other, ministering to one another and desiring to let God change them...it brings me to tears whenever I think about it...and humbles me that God has allowed us to be a part of it.
  • I have a cold and a headache that makes me want to crawl back in bed for the day.
  • I'm a wimp and a whiner when I have a cold ;)
  • I may be more popular through this tiny little blog than I'm am in real life...My hubby (who's also "The FedEx Man") runs into people all the time that inform him they read his wife's blog...which totally makes me smile, and then immediately think about all the hodge-podge of stuff they now know about me ;)
  • I wish I knew these people in real life...and I wish I knew how each person found out about the blog...because that there is GOOD stuff that Sitemeter can't quite help me with.
  • tell you that I'm drinking this right now...



Yep...I live in Iowa and I drink generic pop called Hee Haw. HEE HAW. This completely and utterly amuses me...could I BE more of a hick?!? Don't answer that. This is one of those cases where I can make fun of it...because I'm from here, born, raised, and came back to live here...because it really truly is who I am :) It's like when you're a kid, and you can be as mean to your siblings as you want to...but no one else better think they can be mean to them ;)



  • that I'm also eating this right now:Fully cooked bacon: best invention ever. No amount of running can possibly keep up with the effects of the amount of bacon I consume. I love you bacon.
  • There you have it: The true diet of an Iowan. Hee Haw and bacon for breakfast.
  • Oh I kid...I won't inflict my weirdness on the entire state...
  • wrap this post up...

Happy Thursday...which means tomorrow is Friday...WOO HOO! I heart Fridays. (Also, I caught myself saying "I heart something" the other day, and let me just tell you...it sounds weird when you say it...WEIRD.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Than Enough...

For some strange reason the topic of getting old has been coming up in a lot of my conversations...

I have a few theories/preferences/weirdness issues when it comes to getting old and dieing.

Granted, I have a certain guarantee that death will eventually happen...oldness, not so much. I very well could die before ever reaching old age...but this does not stop my "planning my life out in my head" game.

You do that too, right? Tell God the order of things. I generally arrange "my order" of things in a way that I think will cause ME the least amount of pain and inconvenience. That's how unselfish I am.

Impressed, aren't you ;)

My random list:
  • I'd like to live to be old...but not too old. I'd still like all my mental and physical capacities in order.
  • I'd prefer not to die of something long, painful, and drawn out...but also not anything too quick, that way I can say good-bye.
  • I'm totally ok with the idea of assisted living. Heck, I'll probably be 65 and trying to get them to let me in! (But I want Ben and I to go to one with friends, of course ;) But nursing homes...not so much. No thanks.
  • If Ben dies before me (which he can't because in my plans, I die first, thus not having to live without him) BUT if he does die first...I'm not remarrying. I'm moving to the pasture by his parents and building a house in it...the cows can eat the grass/yard and I won't have to mow.
  • I told him to tell me he's never going to remarry ;) Oh sure...he can if he wants to, but while I'm alive, we'll just say he's not going to.
  • Preferably, we both die at the same time...like in the movie "the notebook"...except I could live without the whole Alzheimer's thing.
  • I want a closed casket at my funeral. If there's people that feel the need to look, by all means, take a peek...but otherwise...no thanks.
  • No singing of How Great Thou Art. I know, it is a really beautiful song...but it's been sung at all sorts of funerals I've gone too, and it creeps me out a little.
  • The list goes on and on...for real.

Oh I joke.

I make light of serious stuff.

It's a coping mechanism...and it doesn't for one second change or influence what God has planned.

Someday, I will lose ones that, as of right now, I don't believe I could live on this earth without.

My whole life I've watched it happen to people close to me. Losing grandparents, moms to cancer, a father hit by a falling tree, suicides, a husband in a tragic car accident, teenagers in car accidents, miscarriages, a beautiful sleeping baby...the list goes on.

None of those people had that in "their plans." Each have suffered, and walked down a path they did not choose on their own.

Every time I can't help but stand by and watch in awe as they carry on with life...living through the pain.

And I often wonder...when is my turn? Life is life...one can only go for so long before personally affected by loss.

When I think about it...I mean really think about it, I realize that the fear of it could become all-consuming...

But it isn't. I know pain and loss and suffering will come...someday. But I have the comfort and peace of knowing no matter what may come, He is with me. On my own, it's certainly stuff I could not handle, but with Him...I will.

I will also have those who have walked down the road before me, living through it, sharing and knowing the journey. And that too, conquers fear.

For those of you who are living through it right now, my heart is with you. It hurts for you...and hopes for you. And most of all, it's thankful that you are not alone...and that Jesus is big enough to fill even the deepest and widest caverns of pain.

More than enough.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Please Don't Make Me Regret This :)

Have I ever mentioned I don't particularly care for confrontation?

I don't.

It's part of the reason that this particular post has been started and deleted and started and deleted again.

I don't want to make anyone mad. And I especially don't want any mean comments :)

Or a blog riot involving lovely Christian ladies :)

So...I'm going to keep it kind of vague while trying to share my heart...

I've been reading a book...a really really HIGHLY recommended book. One that some had posted on, sharing how it had made them view God in a new or fresh way. This, of course appealed to me!

When it finally came in the mail from Amazon, I couldn't wait to get home, snuggle in and begin.

But my experience with the book has not produced the same reaction as my bloggy friends...which has caused my mind to keep churning and churning.

I am speaking purely for myself here...but I think the reason that the story bothers me, is because it gives God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit a narrative voice. The "voice" comes from the author...not from God Himself. Much of the authors ideas are good, BUT...and this is a BIG BUT, it's still just a human authors words...we may wish Jesus had put it that way or really relate to it, but ultimately it's a human writer putting words in the mouth of...Jesus.

*Sigh* That, makes me uneasy.

If I want to see what God has to say, for Himself...I go to the Bible...He wrote it...He revealed Himself in there the way He desired...does His heart break that I feel the need to search Him out in a new way in some human authors book, rather than His own?

I love books that help me understand God...that explain His Word to me...but putting words in Jesus' mouth, it just doesn't settle well with me.

It's not that I want to keep God in a box...by all means, I want Him to show me where I am limiting Him, where my understanding is small...it's just that I want that knowledge to come from His written words...not the ideas of any human man.

I may be the only person on this planet who doesn't love this book.

*I totally understand that the other millions of people who've read this book totally and utterly disagree with me...I'm cool with that, and if God is changing you through this book, I say amen! You don't have to convince me of it...I already believe you...just sharing "my version"...since it's my blog and all...so be ye kind in the comment love ;)*

Monday, September 15, 2008

Traumatizing


The day is fast approaching. The day of the visual post...where you get to see and hear what I sound like in real life.
Three words.
Traum-a-tizing
OK...it's one word...I exaggerate slightly.
I did a practice one, viewed it, and then taped a second one with my reaction...ya know, for dramatic effect.
Every time I view it I have the same thoughts...
  • Thank you Lord that I do not have to see myself when I talk
  • and that I sound different in my own head
  • and that people in real life actually like me.

It's sure to entertain you...and further traumatize me.

Feel like joining in on the fun? Click on the little thingy and join in on the 30th!

And please, PLEASE try to make yourself sound annoying...because it will make me feel better about myself.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Can't Help Myself...


It's been six months since I wrote this post. (when all but 5 of you were not reading)


Guess what I did on Saturday? C'mon guess.


Yep...I cut bangs...again. *sheepish grin*


But, GOOD NEWS! I like them this time. For now anyways.


I decided I needed to have a heavier fringe (that's bang term I learned in the countless magazines I flipped through)...


I also colored it...the exact same color it already is, but with dimension. And dimension is code for: no one else will even be able to tell a difference...not even me, even though I will try to convince myself I can.


Apparently there's something in the air here, because I also feel the need to re-paint and re-arrange everything in my house.


Weird.


How 'bout you...what's changing out their bloggy friends?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One Answer...

I've been avoiding the news for quite some time now. I'm annoyed with all the "analyzing" of candidates.


I heart politics. I do. But I do not like debating about it.


My minds made up. Morally, ethically, socially, economically, I fall on a certain side...BUT, do I think my party is "the answer"...absolutely not.


I think both parties fail...miserably. I pick one, I pick a side because it's America, it's how it works.


I think there is one answer. And he is Jesus.


Makes me think of a song :)


My favorite part (I've highlighted in the fab color of orange) is a spoken part of the song..and it is RIGHT ON.


You can listen here. Enjoy.


Lyrics:

What this world needs

Is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind,

Another two bit politician peddlin` lies,

Another three ring circus society.



What this world needs Is not another sign wavin` super saint that's better than you,

Another ear pleasin` candy man afraid of the truth,

Another prophet in an Armani suit.



What this world needs

Is a Savior who will rescue,

A Spirit who will lead,

A Father who will love them in their time of need.



A Savior who will rescue,

A Spirit who will lead,

A Father who will love,

That's what this world needs.



What this world needs

Is for us to care more about the inside than the outside.

Have we become so blind that we can't see?

God's gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt.



What this world needs

Is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance.

Blendin` in so well that people can't see the difference

And it's the difference that sets the world free.



What this world needs

Is a Savior who will rescue,

A Spirit who will lead,

A Father who will love them in their time of need.

That's what this world needs.



(Spoken)

People aren't confused by the gospel,

They're confused by us.

Jesus is the only way to God,

But we are not the only way to Jesus.

This world doesn't need

My tie, my hoodie,

My denomination, or my translation of the Bible,

They just need Jesus.

We can be passionate about what we believe,

But we can't strap ourselves to the gospel.

Because we're slowing it down

Jesus is going to save the world,

But maybe the best thing we can do

Is just get out of the way.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Life...

Do you ever have one of those moments where you feel like you're looking at your life as an outsider...like you're looking in, watching it?

I do. All the time.

And I always think..."Oh. My. Word."

One of those moments occurred just yesterday.

The inside of my mini-van was disgustingly dirty...and I am not exaggerating. I will spare you the details. So I drove to the car wash, went through the automatic section washed the van, scraped vacuumed it out, and then proceeded to wipe the interior down with...baby wipes. BABY WIPES. And ya know what...it worked quite well, I highly recommend it.

And midway through, I thought to myself..."If they could see me now..."


Oh, but it gets better.


After that ordeal I decided to pull the van into the wash bays where people, who are not as lazy as myself, actually wash their own vehicles...by hand.


I decided that the only thing that would get the rubber mats that line the floor of my van, clean, would be the power-washer that sprays out soapy water at roughly 150 mph.


So I hung the mats along the hooks on the wall, inserted my quarters and then pulled the trigger of the power-washer wand. Turns out, you should make sure you are an adequate distance from the floor mat BEFORE pulling the trigger, otherwise it will ricochet off and spray you, until you are totally soaked and your hair (which you took the time to straighten today) will turn curly in a matter of 1.5 seconds.


Not that I know this from experience. But if such a moment ever happened to me...I would think (again) "If they could see me now..."


Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Don't Get It...

Just thinking...

There's a weird phenomena that occurs in my life.

One day, I feel like I'm staying on top of everything...or at least keeping my head above water...as a wife, mom, pastor's wife, friend etc

And then the very next day or moment I feel like a complete and total failure at everything.

Logically this does not make sense. After all, if one day I'm a loving wife, patient & organized mother, ministry minded, available for all my friends kind of gal...how can I, the very next day, be a selfish wife, at-my-wits-end mom, spiritually drained, friend who never calls you back.

Hmmm...kinda makes me think I'm actually all those things, all the time. I'm not either/or...I'm both. I'm human.

More of Him, less of me.
SO. Much. Less. of. me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Carry On...


While Noah was busy scoring his first touchdown in flag football, his brothers were busy doing this...
And this...


No...I did not feel the need to ask Jake if he'd eaten some dirt...I think it's fairly obvious.
I'm the mom who was actually relieved that there was something for them to do so I could watch the game. ;)
Carry on boys...carry on.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Imaginary Shopping

OK, so there's a little Internet past-time that I love.


I like to call it...imaginary shopping.


Here's what you do.

Go to your favorite website. It can be clothing or home furnishings or whatever would be fun to purchase but you totally can't afford.

Key word: WOULD be fun to purchase.

My personal favorites are here and here and here.

After getting to your favorite site, the fun begins. You simply shop. Put outfits together, plan a room, dream away. No need to look at prices either...fabulous, no?

Each time you just click "Add to shopping bag/cart"

When finished, you get to look at all your "purchases" and admire what a great shopper you are. Then...

you leave. Do not proceed to the "checkout" button. THAT button must be avoided at all costs. Do not checkout. It's not part of the game.

I will not be held personally responsible if you, lets say, CHEAT and purchase something.

See! No money spent...and placing those finds in your imaginary shopping bag feels, if just for a moment, like they were yours.

I know what you're thinking..."it's just not the same"...I know, I know. BUT, it is really helpful in figuring out what you really truly like...what your style is. So maybe, just maybe, when you find a cheap inexpesive knockoff somewhere, you'll totally know what to do with it ;)

Now...go enjoy... *smiles*

Seriously...how weird am I that I really think this is fun!?! :) Weird-O

Monday, September 8, 2008

Do Not Blog List

The other day I noticed my Labels/Stuff I Write About list along my sidebar...and thought geeesh, that's a lot of stuff.

But in reality, all the stuff I don't write about would make a much longer list.

When I started blogging, I knew there were certain things that I would not be able to share with the blog world.

In relationships and especially in ministry confidentiality is key. After all, who's gonna wanna come pour their heart out to me if there's a chance I'm gonna post about it?

I call it my "Do Not Blog" list.

You see, where I live it's a small world...a very itsy bitsy teeny tiny little world.

Tiny Town
+Tiny Church
+20 minutes away from small town where both my husband and I grew up
= Microscopic world.

You add in those three elements, and it is amazing how quickly people can connect the dots. There's no use in trying to disguise names in order to share...my world is just too small. And, I like it that way.

Here's my list: (some of it anyways)
  • Ben, my husband: Oh sure, I'll do it occasionally, because he really is a great husband, and daddy, and pastor...but I'm selfish, and I like to keep him to myself ;)
  • Frustrations involving: immediate family, extended family, Church family, friends, acquaintances, tiny-town residents, our school system, etc.
  • Private conversations
  • Annoyances (unless it's just with myself :)
  • Difficult circumstances that involve anyone in my real life
  • Church "business"
  • Anything that could totally humiliate my boys or anyone I know.

Guess what...that's a lot of stuff...a lot of my life that can't be blogged about.

Which pretty much leaves the list of things on my sidebar, which boils down to a total and complete hodge podge (I love that word.)

I love reading your blogs...getting a glimpse into your lives. I realize though, that it truly is just a glimpse.

So, I'm curious. What's on your "DO NOT BLOG" list?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It Was 1997...

Certain things get better with age.

My hair is one of them.

I give you: Our Engagement Picture (i.e. my hair with a perm) 1997


10 years later...


No more perms for me...no more hair for Ben...and boy, do I like it better that way *wink*


You're welcome for that my bloggy friends....you. are. welcome :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I May Need to Talk to the Teacher...

I pulled this out of Noah's backpack yesterday.



Crack me up.

I asked him if his teacher knew what a blog was, he said "yeah, kinda...I explained it to her."

So I asked him to explain it to me...and he smiled and told me he "couldn't remember what he said."

Oh how I'd love to hear his explanation that he's now too shy to tell me:)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Where Has My Coolness Gone?

How can it be happening already.

Noah, my first grader, is acting like an adolescent.

*gasp*

We were at a restaurant eating, and Eli stood up and did something silly (typical) and Noah said to him, "Eli, people know you're my brother and when you do that, it embarrasses me, STOP."

Ben and I gave each other the "are you kidding me?!?" look.

I did what any loving and totally sympathetic mother would do, I told him "get used to it." and then proceeded to tell him that "someday even mom and dad will embarrass you...on occasion."


And do you know what my child, my 9 lbs 13 oz first born said to me?!?

"you already do sometimes." and then he giggled.


Sucker punched...right in my jiggly mommy belly...by my seven year old.

I proceeded to explain to him exactly how cool his mom and dad were...and he stared at me and then returned the favor of the "are you kidding me?!?" look.

Surely I should be able to keep my cool factor till at least Junior High...but first grade...that hurts :)

Friday night we went to our first home football game and I wanted a picture of them all decked out in there school spirit attire...check out Noah's expression...


It says it all :)

If anyone figures out where my coolness has gone, please let me know...I'd like it back *wink*

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Little is Much...

Where do I start...

  • Last night was the kickoff of our Bible Club for kids (for this school year) It was beyond fantastic! 42 kids...and in tiny-town in tiny church...WOW...all because of Him. We also had over twice as many adults helping as we've had in previous years and I can't even begin to describe what a huge blessing/encouragement that is to me! There's a theme God has placed on my heart this year...Little is Much When God is in It :)

  • My official ministry roles are wrapped up for the week, and today, I get to just focus in on my family and I love that in a whole different way.

  • I always refer to Noah and Eli as "the boys." Ya know...


Boys...come down and eat



Boys...brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get dressed...on and on



Boys...stop hitting/kicking/punching/provoking each other



Yesterday at Target, Jake said to me, "I need to get treats for my boys...my boys like these."


It was cute.




  • And now...some visuals of what I'll be tackling today...for your viewing pleasure (seriously, it will make you feel better about the condition of your own home)


I give you example 1: "The boys" room...




And another view:

And another:

And then there's Jake...who can't seem to resist the urge to dig into anything gooey, greasy, or sprayable.

His dresser...who knows what that is smeared on there:

And this concoction is wads of toilet paper that he got soaking wet in the bathroom and then "cleaned" his garage thingy with...

Lovely, isn't it?

My boys are especially gifted in the "making disasters out of anything" department...it makes a mother proud. *wink*

Off to clean...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Details...

There are certain things that you just don't want to hear from your pastor's wife. Things like ...
  1. personal or private details about the pastor ;) and

  2. that she too finds it difficult to spend time in God's Word.
Oh...there are other things you'd rather not know too, but I'll stop myself.

I've had the privilege of being in four different churches (not counting mine now) since becoming a Christian. Each pastor's wife was uniquely gifted for their role, and each showed wisdom...wisdom that only comes from His Word.

I always assumed they spent hours, HOURS daily with God...studying the scriptures, gleaning all they could. Because after all, they're the Pastor's Wife...if they can't do it, what did that mean for me?!?
Funny how life flops you to the other side of the fence sometimes. Let me tell you...the view from the pastor's wife side looks a tad bit different to me now.

I learned that she faces the same excuses that I did...

I'll read it later...gotta get just one more thing done...I'll be ok without it...I've read and studied it before...I know what's in there...

All lies...and all...believable.

Yesterday my running partner and I ran for the first time in a week. I wanted to die. It hurt. I make it so much harder on my body when I don't run consistently. It's something that I need to do regularly...I can't call myself a runner, if I ran in the past, but no longer do...a runner is someone who RUNS.

So it goes spiritually. Getting by on what I read in the past, experienced in the past is not gonna cut it. I make it so much harder on my ENTIRE life when I don't spend time with Him...daily...hourly...minute by minute.

You'd bless me beyond words if you'd life your pastor's wife before Him today :)

On a totally unrelated note...

I've received, what may be the cutest blog award. Ever. Wanna see?

Enthusiastically ElleBee passed along the "I heart your blog" award, and I heart it and I heart her blog too. You should go plop in and say hello!

I'd like to pass it along to some of my newest blog reads/friends that I really love reading.

Rachel at Musings of a Future Pastor's Wife. Her hubby is in seminary (which bring back some memories for me :) and she just survived Gustav...blogged right through it, which totally impresses me, by the way. She's a wise one, and I heart her.

Colored with Memories is another one that I love. You've gotta go read her Tuesday post about mommy competitiveness...cracked me up!

And Cassandra at Tripping Around the Sun. I relate to her and frankly...I adore her and her blog.

I'm also adding these ladies to my blogroll, so you can find them there too.

Happy Wednesday!