Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fishbowl Hide and Seek

Many an office have a fish tank. Off the top of my head, my chiropractor has one, my pediatrician has one, a Community Resource center has one, etc. Why are they there? Because it's soothing? Because it demonstrates life? Both of those are possible, but regardless of why they're there, the fish find themselves under constant watch throughout the day. Imagine being a fish, where you home has glass walls. Everyone is watching you all day. In fact, it's not just like your home in your neighborhood where someone might glance in a window as they walk by, but rather the walls are glass for the sole purpose of giving you the ability to see in. As you vacuum, someone is watching. As you sleep, someone is watching. As you wash the dishes, someone is watching. 
It's often said that a pastor's family lives in a fishbowl. We live in a small town so I know when we go to Walmart, that people I know are viewing me as a pastor's wife. I know as we walk our neighborhood, we have purposed to connect in the community so people know we are a pastor's family. We've actually been told that people know we're a pastor's family and are being judged by whether or not the toys in our yard are picked up every day, as well as how we discipline our children, pay our bills on time, have a dirty car... you get the idea. And I'm not being paranoid... we have been told these things by people that feel we need the reminder. 

We currently have a family of 7 staying with us, making 14 people in the house and I realized the other day that my fishbowl is now under constant surveillance. We now have people that see when we leave dirty clothes on the floor of the bathroom, wake up with morning breath, yell at my kids too quickly, don't bathe my kids enough, let the clothes sit in the washer overnight, or don't do the dishes before bed, don't spend 'enough' time in The Word daily, etc. Again, I'm not being paranoid... these are actual conversations that have been had. 

I stressed for the first several days they were here and now on day 11, I have begun to relax. I'm working through a book by Dorothy Patterson called, "A Handbook for Minister's Wives" and I believe I might just re-read it every time I finish it, or perhaps at least read it monthly. I so needed the reminders she gives. 

It is so simple that our priorities are not to please "man" but to please God. But please allow me to be transparent with you and share... that simple truth is so difficult to remember when a person is standing in front of you and you can just *feel* them looking at the stains in your carpet. I know I know, I need to repent.

Sometimes, like in a fish tank, I'd like to duck behind the volcano (in my house it's laundry!) and be hidden for a few minutes of rest. That currently is not the case and God is teaching me so much through this season. I'm so thankful for the examples of gracious hospitality extended to my family as well as demonstrated by my parents over the years and it is my prayer that *HE* would receive glory through this situation, even as I muck it up with my messy corners and selfish desires. I am human, I am not a neat freak, I have a backed up laundry pile, I don't scrub my toilet every day, and I need friendship just like you. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Just like you

While the title of this blog page is "Are You the Pastor's Wife", I really don't get that question very much. Our church is small and while I am introduced sometimes as "Our Pastor's wife", it is still something that seems odd to me.

I attended 2 events this weekend specifically because I am a pastor's wife.

Hubby and I attended a retreat hosted by our state convention exclusively for Senior Pastors and their wives. The time away was a wonderful gift and the speakers were excellent. It was refreshing to be surrounded by normal people just like me, who also happened to know intimately the struggles and hurts that can accompany this role and journey.

Last night, we were blessed to attend our local Right to Life banquet where my husband had been asked to say the closing prayer for the event. We were sat at the head table, next to the keynote speaker, and a congressional's representative on the other side. I was absolutely humbled to be sitting next to the woman everyone came to hear speak, and other noted people.

I found myself thinking, "Who am I to be at the table with these people? And really, I'm only at this table because my husband is on the program." I am just an everyday person, a lowly stay at home mom (I say this tongue in cheek), who married a man with God's call on his life. I am blessed to serve along side him as a church member and as his helpmate.

You know what I found as I sat next to these very important people? They are also ordinary people. The congressional representative? A mom of 3 kids. We discussed potty training among other things in our conversation. The radio personality who was the MC of the event? He was showing everyone pictures of his dog :)

I think we tend to put people on pedestals and pastors and their wives sometimes are put up there too and I need you to know, that your pastor and his wife are normal people. We have struggles, arguments, we let our kids watch TV too much, my kitchen is TRASHED right now and if you showed up for an impromptu drop in, you'd find me in sweat pants and a t-shirt without my teeth brushed.

Anytime I hear a reference to the role of a pastor's wife as one with prestige, I try to stomp on it as quickly as I can. My calling is to be the Proverbs 31 woman just as any other woman. To love and serve my husband, to love and correct my children. To be a student of the Bible and to serve Jesus with all I am.

All For His Glory

Friday, January 25, 2013

If I Could Go Back 10 years...

Have you ever considered what you would tell yourself if you could go back 10 years, 20 years, etc., to a certain time in your life to change a major event or decision course? Makes you wonder if Adam wished he could rewind time and not even the fruit from the tree. Did Cain wish he hadn't killed Abel? The list goes on and I'm sure each of us has our own.

My husband and I have come to a crossroads and while we have a list of things that we wish we could have done differently if we could relive our almost 10 years of marriage, there is a crucial ideology that we wish we had heard 10 or 11 years ago as that would have changed some major dynamics of our marriage.

Now for the stunning shocking reality.

We can't rewind time.

Betcha didn't see that coming. (just kidding of course)

So since we can't rewind time and go back and tell ourselves this piece of golden wisdom that would've saved us so many life lessons and averted many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, what do we do?

First of all, we pray and repent for the sins we're realizing.

Second, we learn from our mistakes.

Third, we move on. We embrace that it was God's purpose for those chapters and decisions to be part of our story for His glory. We tell others about our mistakes both for God's glory and for possibly helping others to avoid making those same mistakes.

I'm working to not mourn those decisions, but to be thankful I can see God moving throughout those decisions and then now figure out how to we can change the course of our story.

"For we preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord and ourselves, your servants, for Jesus sake." 2 Cor 4:5b

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lost and Confused?

Trying to formulate my thoughts the other day, I had the words "Lost and So Confused" flash through my mind. Appropriate descriptions for this moment and I decided I needed to write a song using those words. Then I realized there was a song that had that line, but I couldn't figure out what it was. I tried to sing that line and eventually the entire song, "Imagine Me Without You" by Jaci Velasquez came to my senses. That was the song I was thinking of. I pulled it up on You Tube and let the music and words resonate in my soul. Then I realized...

I'm not without God. In her song, "Imagine me without you, I'd be lost and so confused..." describes how she would be without Christ. So... why am I using those exact descriptors when I am NOT without Christ?!

I had a smack in the face as I realized in that moment that I was living as if I did not have Christ in my life. Her song ends, "Because of You, it's all brand new, my life is now worthwhile... I can't imagine me without you."

I prayed and confessed this to my Lord. I allowed myself to be distracted by the enemy, and forgot that I am with Christ, and He is with me.

Are you living without Christ? Are you with Christ and yet living as if you're not? In either case, repent, for the Kingdom of God is awaiting you! WAKE UP! He is there to see us through, and our lives are now worthwhile. PRAISE GOD He has given us the opportunity to serve Him!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Are You Listening

On occasion I express myself through writing a song - it's a soothing means of expressing what is on my heart and going on in my life. I don't have any dreams of Grammy's or Oscars or Dove Awards, I don't think they're that good and I don't really do it for other people, but really just for me. Just a means to communicate really. My superman husband has been asked to guest preach along with me singing for a service at our sending church in the near future and he'll be preaching on Deut 6. I couldn't find a song that I really felt was the right song to sing, so I decided I would just write one. Thought I would share it here...

Love the Lord your God
Love the Lord your God
Love the Lord your God
With all your heart

Listen o Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. Teach this to your children. Repeat it every day. While you’re sitting while you’re walking and when you’re on the road. When you lie down, and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and wear it as a symbol on your forehead. Write them in your home too.

Love the Lord your God
Love the Lord your God
Love the Lord your God
With all your heart
Are you listening Israel 
Are you listening to this church
Are you listening to this dads
Are you listening to this moms
Are you listening to this kids
Are you listening to this brothers
Are you listening to this sisters
Are you listening are you listening are you listening
Love the Lord your God
Love the Lord your God
Love the Lord your God
With all your heart
Do you teach your children every day to love the Lord our God? Do you teach them when you rise do you teach them when you sleep, do you teach them when you drive, do you teach them when you shop, is it written in your house is it written in your heart? Do you love the Lord your God….with all your heart?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Abigail's arrival

Abigail Kay arrived the Saturday before Thanksgiving and just 2 days before her due date! She has been an incredible joy and I am blessed to have a newborn in my home again. Her siblings all adore her (especially Joanna who FINALLY has a younger sister) and she's now 6 weeks old marking the end of my recovery crutch :)

God protected both she and I in an amazing way that day... in a way we didn't even know we needed protection from.

Abigail's placenta was abnormal - she had something called a velamentous cord insertion. In this condition, the veins in the placenta were exposed instead of protected which means they are more apt to rupture under the stress of the contractions or could be potentially nicked when the midwife broke my water right at the end - they can even rupture if she had stripped my membranes. Should that have happened, Abigail, or both of us, could have very quickly bled to death. An emergency c-section would not have occured quickly enough. As I researched after the fact, it turns out that the when it's detected in utero, those are planned c-sections so prevent the possibility of rupture from the stress of contractions and the moms are put on bedrest up to that point. Not on bedrest, I continued my normal life pace including moving, unpacking, probably lifting I shouldn't have, etc. God spared us both and we are so thankful.