Friday, August 28, 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015



There is good and bad.

I have enjoyed Facebook for several years now.  It is sooo nice to connect with old school mates and to keep up with everyone's children and grandchildren.  I even enjoy keeping up with some of you of FB.

Our church is made up of about 80% of people under the age of forty so Roger FINALLY had to bite the dusk and join the world of Facebook so that he could communicate with them.  Smile.

He still HATE Facebook, but he tolerates it.  He told our church that his rule is......if you post ANYTHING "Ungodly or bad" he will delete you.  I am sad to say that the first week he deleted about ten of our church members.  

I am not as strong as him.  I always worry about hurting feelings, so instead of defriending them .....if  they begin to post questionable things, I just unfollow them so that I do not see what they post. 

  • Our couples Sunday School Class is private and uses FB for private Prayer Requests.  That is an easy way to get prayer chains started.  
  • We have a SOUND group that is private that posts info, etc. and also the songs for Sunday.  
  • Our church's FB is public and they post pictures, upcoming events, and praises.

These are all GREAT uses of Facebook.

However, right now we know a couple whose marriage is in major trouble because one of the spouses has been having a cyber long distance affair online.  This person is ready for a divorce because he/she feels he/she is in love with the online friend.  WHEWWW.......

It is sooooooooo easy to be SOMEONE else online and to fake it and lie.  People say things online they would NEVER say in person, on a phone call or most of the time even in an email.  It is easy to be whoever the other person wants.............

This is a dangerous tool that Satan is using to destroy homes.

Facebook is not a sin.  Miss-use of Facebook IS A SIN.

I know you've seen it too.............
  • people air their dirty laundry on fb.  
  • People will argue and fight on fb.  
  • AND....some people blow up fb by sharing what they have with the pictures of it for every meal for every day of the week.

TECHNOLOGY is a Wonderful thing.......................................................but guard yourself and don't allow Satan to use it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Please remember this sweet little girl in your prayers today.  Because of re-occurring ear infections, she is having tubes put in today.  

The tubes will be a blessing.......anything if it helps her pain.  BUT....she is NOT a people person to strangers.  In fact, we will be surprised if she does not SCREAM when the nurse takes her from her Mommy to take her back.

Pray for little Kinley and for Mom & Dad.

Also, remember Big Brother, Cameron as he spends some time with Mimi & Grandaddy and is enjoying being alone.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pick and Choose Our Sins

Pick and Choose Our Sins!

That sounds silly, doesn't it?  But, isn't that what people do.  The unforgivable sins are ANY sin that I do not commit.  We pick and choose our sins.

We had a sixth grade student last week draw on a piece of paper, detailed pictures of human "privates" and labels them.  He did a great job.

The teacher mentioned it the next day and said that she did not want to know who did it, but she did want to let them know that just because they were a good artist and could actually label it, it did NOT make it okay to be drawing it at school or anywhere else.

A little boy in the back of the class raised his hand and said, "I did it.  I drew it." 

When she asked him why he confessed, his reply was, "Because I am a Christian."

We got a good chuckle out of it........ until I got to thinking about it. 

 I was GLAD he had a conscious enough to want to confess, but sad that his conscious did not bother him enough  that he actually drew the pictures and labeled them.

Made me think.  Don't adults do that every day?  They pick and choose their sins.  

They confess the ones the choose that are wrong and accept the other ones as okay.

We are a VERY accepting generation.  

And, as Roger said Sunday, we are very good at reasoning.  My sin is not so bad.........because your sin is sooo much worse.  We tend to forget that sin is sin is big sin or little sin.  Sin is Sin!!!

We do NOT get to pick and choose our sins.  Sin is Sin....regardless of what the world says.

New Beginning

To a school teacher and to us at church, this is a time of new beginnings.  Almost a second New Years. 

School has started.  It is a new year.  A new group of children.  A new beginning.

Church's new year is beginning.  New teacher and kids and new beginnings.

I get excited around this time every year...even though it is hectic.  I get excited for meet and learn my new students at school and to face the new hurdlers thrown at the teachers for the new year.

Also, at church I get beginnings always make me feel good.

Wipe the slate clean and start over.

God is working miracles in our church.  We continue to have visitors coming and I really feel that our Sunday night studies are a blessing.  (I hear the Wednesday night studies are also, but I am in a class teaching the preschoolers, so I miss that.  Smile.)  Not only are we growing in numbers, the ones that are interested are growing in spirit also.

We just had our business meeting last Wednesday night.  I am in class, so I missed it, but Roger was sharing with me some of the activities and projects coming up.

It warms my heart!

However....when things are going so good...........I always get scared....because I know that Satan is waiting for a weak link to jump in and try to destroy the good work.

Satan will work overtime when God is being Honored.

My prayers are that our church and individuals will guard our hearts and stay so close to God that it does not leave room for Satan to work his destruction.

That is my prayer for your church also.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In....

Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In......

We got word this morning that my husband's uncle, who he was very close to, passed away at three this morning.  He fought a good fight.  He had been sick for some time.  

He adored his family, especially his grandchildren.  He treated Roger as a son....especially after Roger's dad passed away.

I just thank God that we were able to see him in July.  His speech was very slurred and he was very weak, but he was at home, sitting on the back deck talking about his fish pond and different varieties of tomatoes.  We enjoyed a very nice visit with him, his wife and grandchildren.  It was always a blessing to visit with him and he always seemed to cherish those visits.

We talked of going to visit him yesterday, but hospice had already been called in and he was not able to communicate.............AND....Sunday's are soooo full.

I keep thinking.....Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In.......I KNOW he has a new body and I KNOW he is in heaven with his brothers, dad and mom and also my dad.

Life is but a vapor.............we have a lot of work to do and time passes by so quickly.

Please remember the family as they lay to rest this precious saint.

Pretend "Christians"

I look around me and my heart breaks.  Somehow, we have lost our directions.

Sooo may people claim to be Christians and claim to love God, but their actions do not prove it.  EVERYTHING.....and every excuse is used to miss church.

Many children are brought to church, but their parent's actions prove that church and God is not the controlling source of their beings.  Kids see through the "pretend".  No matter what you say.....if you put everybody and everything before church and God, you are teaching your children that they God and the church are not important and everything else is.

Would these same people use the same excuses for ballgames?  Or for Nascar or whatever else that is is their "driving force?"  Of course they would not.,,because THAT is important to them.

That may not seem horrible at the moment.........but when their children grow up and completely leave God out of their lives......they wonder what happened?!?!?!  They wonder where they went wrong!?!?!?!

They went wrong.....way back.....when their children were young and they TAUGHT them that you go to habit; not out of true LOVE OF GOD.

It breaks my heart to look around me and witness this.  

If I said anything to any of them, they would immediately "think"...."but you HAVE to go, you are the preacher's wife"  I do not go to church because I am the preacher's wife......I go to church because I love God and I want to experience more of him.  

Being a bi-vocational pastor's wife, there have been many, many times in our thirty-six year of marriage when we were "just members" and did not hold a position in the church. HOWEVER.....there was NEVER a time in our married life where we did not attend church; every time the doors were open....because we LOVE GOD and could not get enough.  Our children grew up knowing nothing else.  There were times that our children had to miss a "ballgame", etc. because it was played during church.........but they did learn what was important to their parents.

God has blessed us beyond what we deserve.  We have four Godly children (2 by birth and 2 by marriage) who not only call themselves Christians..........God is in complete control of their lives.

It breaks my heart to see so many people "pretending" and doing as little as they can to ease their conscious. 

Everyone keeps talking about the direction our country is going and being worried.  IT ALL STARTS AT HOME. 

Thank you for allowing me to vent......

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Accept Help

Today the cavalry arrived.

If you've read my blog posts this week, I have mentioned that I've got a few things going on. I've also mentioned that this Saturday is moving day.

Honestly, until this evening, I knew God would bring everything together. I knew He would make it work. I was doing my best to trust Him, but my To-Do List kept getting longer. I was falling in bed late at night with its contents running through my mind, sleep only coming when absolute exhaustion set in. I've been awaking at least 30 minutes before my alarm only to start chasing the thoughts I had been running from the night before.

How was I going to get it done?

The Lord God knew my needs.

Pride wanted me to tell my mom and my aunt, "I've got this. I can do it." Yet, they so badly wanted to make the 6 hour drive from Ohio to come help. I honestly -not sarcastically- could not tell them not to come.

They arrived in Middle Tennessee about 10:30 this morning. I told them how to get in the house, because I couldn't leave work to let them in. By the time I walked through the garage door about 4:00 this evening, I couldn't believe the amount of work they had accomplished. At 6:00 when I returned from my oldest daughter's Open House at school, I want to stand in the kitchen and cry. The younger two daughters had been fed and bathed. More importantly, I could see the answer to my prayers.

These ladies had literally taken my To-Do List and they "Did." Between the two of them, they have quite a few moves under their belts and, by the looks of my house, it really shows. God showed me that He was using them to meet my needs, to provide the way out from under all this weight.

I now know how it is all going to get done. The cavalry has pulled into town in a Chevy.

I didn't want to accept their help. Somehow, I thought I needed to do it on my own, like I needed to prove something to myself. Yet, God didn't design us to be able to do things on our own. He planned on us to need each other, to help one another but to accept assistance can mean having to deal with a sin issue.

My mom and my aunt have only just arrived and they've already been a huge blessing to me and my family. But before they could pack the first box or wash the first load or even make the drive down, I had to accept their help. I had to swallow my pride.

Dear Friend, I don't know what plates you have spinning or how God is making you more like Himself, but I do know that if you are letting your pride keep you from accepting help, you may be passing up the very thing that God is trying to bless your life with right now. Please don't let your sin keep you struggling through longer and harder than you have to. God may be trying to provide you with the very way out that you've been looking for.

Thank you Momma. Thank you Aunt Sherry.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Home Improvements

I love home improvement shows.

I USED to want to be on a home improvement show.

I no longer want to be on a home improvement show.

From the first time we walked through our new house, my groom and I had great plans for making it "ours." Part of the plan from the time we put an offer on the house was to "improve" it. Once the offer was accepted, the expectation part of my brain shifted into overdrive.

There WAS so much I wanted to have accomplished BEFORE we moved in. Somehow, I expected it to be magazine-photo-shoot-ready. You know, the-last-few-minutes-of-the-home-renovation-show ready.

Then, when closing dates were set, reality set in.

There were not enough hours in the day or days in the week or weeks in the month, for all of my expectations to be fulfilled. The cabinets alone would take at least as long as we had to come in, much less be installed. I found myself feeling defeated and my excitement lacking. This huge blessing was quickly beginning to feel like a burden.

On one of my early morning walks, God once again spoke to me through music. As I listened to the lyrics of Shaun Grove's old song, "Welcome Home," I realized that there was a lesson for me to learn in the midst of this home renovation project we had begun.

The song likens our spiritual life to a house that has been neglected and boarded up to keep God from coming in and making it His home. It is a song of confession that ends up as an invitation to the Great Designer in to make the singer's heart and life His home.

Instantly, I began to pray that God would use our house to be that kind of picture, a place where His presence and influence are abundantly evident. We would be able to minister to our new neighbors and host whomever God would lead to our doorstep.

Yet, as I listened closer to the words of the song, I realized that my heart needed to be like the house we were updating.

Just as we had a wall torn down, I know that there are parts of my life I have kept God from being Lord over and I need to remove those walls.

Just as we had to patiently, painstakingly strip wall paper from the bedrooms and hall, I need to work just as diligently to allow God to strip the sin and shame from my life.

And, most importantly, just as I have come to terms that homeowners always have a project or something to do on their house, that until He calls me home or comes back, I will be a work in progress as well.

Home improvement shows are great. I'll continue to tune in, but the idea that everything will come together and be all shiny perfect in 30 minutes or an hour is unrealistic. I have accepted that my house will not be "done" when we move in on Saturday morning. It will probably not be "done" when God calls us to the next place to call home. But I am okay with that because it is a reminder to me that God's not "done" with me yet either.

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

Monday, August 17, 2015

Jesus Is Truly Enough

I've been juggling spinning plates since my last turn to blog.

There is my annual "work" plate, spinning with teachers' needs, parents' questions and preschoolers' curiosities. I direct the weekday preschool at our church and back-to-school is definitely my busiest season.

There is the "family" plate, twirling with the usual obligations of laundry, groceries, and household chores. However, I have two school-age kiddos that needed to be registered for new schools and have their supply lists met. We have also had bedtime conversations about their apprehensions and anticipations of starting those new schools.

There are TWO "house" plates, one with the demands of organizing, packing and cleaning the house we are moving from- the other, is the house we are renovating and moving to; with decisions to be made on floors, paint colors, cabinet fronts as well as a never-ending list of walls to be stripped of wallpaper border, paint to be added, gardens to be weeded etc...

There was the "virus" plate that I am thankful to no longer be juggling! And "The-Sunday-School-Director" plate that I was happy to hand off to the new Next Gen Minister. Both of which remind me that things could definitely be crazier than they already are.

 While juggling all these pressures and responsibilities I have continued to take my morning walks. The music I play in my ear buds is far from what most would chose to exercise to, but the worship music has transformed my mornings, my outlooks, my relationships and my days.

The songs that speak to me the most are the "deep" ones. It is like God is saying look at me. Look at my Son. Look at what He did for you. The cross. The blood. The grace. The forgiveness. The resurrection.

As I strive "to look full in His wonderful face" I realize I am no longer juggling any plates. I don't know how He did it, or even exactly when, but He took them from me. "The things of Earth grow strangely dim" and I realize the temporary nature of all my stresses. My "Blessed Assurance" reminds me that He's truly got these trivial things and He's got me too.

I've tried praying scripture and claiming promises in the past, but this time is different. I am not looking in His word or trying to soothe myself by memorizing a verse that describes what He does for me. I am stopping and learning how to truly focus on my Savior.

Jesus is truly enough.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Do You Want To Marry Our Daughter?

I was in labor for two days with our daughter!  Two long, hard, never-want-to-do-this-again days!!  I endured shift changes….a nurse would leave….tell me goodbye and that when she would see me again I would have a precious baby.  Nope!  One by one they would come back and sure enough, I was still there….he-he-he-ing and ha-ha-ha-ing….no drugs for me!! Nope!  I was going to do this thing ‘natural’!  By the way….there didn’t seem to be anything ‘natural’ about what I was going through!!

Finally, after two painful days….she arrived!!  Beautiful!  Worth it?  Eventually, for sure….at the time….not for sure!  I was super exhausted and tired and HUNGRY (they don’t let you eat or sleep during labor!) so I laid my eyes down and took a nap!! 
When I woke up….there she was.  Standing at the back of the church with her father on her arm about walk down the aisle!!  All dressed in white….about to be married!!  Where or where did the time go???  How did she grow up so fast?

When our now son-in-law came to us and asked if he could marry our daughter…my husband had a list of questions for him.  Jotted down on a random slip of paper—maybe even a deposit slip or some such thing.  Filled up two sides.  All kinds of questions.
We sat for hours as my husband asked the questions and Josh answered.  He was sweating.  He was wondering how long was this was going to last!  What in the world was he getting in to?  Beautiful.  Precious.  Worth it.

As for me….I had two questions.  Two.  And I didn’t want him to answer us right away.  In fact, I wanted him to really think about the questions and give them to me--in writing.  Yep!  In writing!!  Who does that??  Me!
I think both of the guys were a bit taken back.  ‘Ok, let me get this straight.  You want me to put these answers in writing?  Like a test?’  Ha!  Oh how crazy that must have seemed.  Oh, and I gave him a deadline….I wanted it sometime before the wedding!

Here are the two questions:
  1. Why do you want to marry Ashleigh?
  2. Why should we give you our blessing?
For some reason it was important to me for him to put it in writing…but even I wasn’t clear as to why at the time.  What was I going to do with it?  I wasn’t sure.

Well…he did just as I asked.  He put in writing why he wanted to marry Ashleigh and why we should give him our blessing….and he gave it to me before the wedding.  RIGHT before the wedding.  I mean Right Before!!  I was in the dressing room getting dressed and he brings it to me!!!  Smart-alecky soon-to-be son-in-law had the thing written long before then but just to be ornery gave it to me just before I was to walk down the aisle!  Oh how I love that man!!
Needless to say, I could not read it then…..I knew I was in for some tears….so I waited until I was home late that night….after the wedding.  After the reception.  My husband did not get to come home--he was at church praying for Sunday (a word of wisdom….not necessarily the best idea to preach the Sunday after your daughter’s wedding!).  It was after jammies were on and I was plopped on the bed that I read it...I later wished I had waited for my husband so we could have read it together.

And the tears flowed.  And they would not stop.  Grateful for the way God brought this Godly man in to our daughter’s life.  The one we prayed for for years.  The one I recognized as the one I had been praying for the first time I met him.  Blessed.  Thankful.
Back to the answered questions.  What was I to do with them?  File them?  Treasure them?  Yes.  But God showed me more.  Fast forward to their first anniversary.  I got out that letter.  Made a copy of it…and gave it to them.  And I did that for several years.  Each anniversary another copy of the same letter. 

Why?  Because I wanted them to remember why they wanted to marry each other.   If they ever get to the place where they wonder ‘why in the world did we get married?’….they can read why!!  They can remember.  The enemy will do all that he can to help us forget.  To get us distracted.  To get us discontented.  These words will bring Truth.
I stopped giving it to them for a few years because I didn’t want it to become ho-hum, ‘oh, it’s the letter again’, but I want it to be special.  Fresh.  Fun.  Every so often, on their anniversary, I will give it to them....and they LOVE seeing it!

Perhaps it’s too late for you and me to write down beforehand why we wanted to marry our husbands….but it’s not too late to remember why we did and write it down and give it to him as a gift to remember what God did 40 years ago, or 5 or 15 or 1…whatever it is for you.
By the way….we did the same thing when our son got married.  He got the questions though…not her!! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Few Things Maybe I Did Right in Our Marriage

When I married my husband 40 years ago (Wait.  Did I just say 40 years ago??  That just has not sunk in!!) I did not know how to be a Godly wife…I honestly didn’t even know what one looked like!

Since I did not grow up in a home where the Bible was central.  Essential.  Lived.  Loved.  and since I didn’t really even know a Godly wife, I didn’t know that there was more to it than simply marrying a Godly guy.  Much more.  Much much more.
As a result I spent way too many years learning the hard way…so desperately wanting to do it right.  Get it right.  Live a Godly marriage before our children.  Give them a ‘visual’ to hang on to…to emulate.  Desire.  I failed.  A.lot.  Thank You Jesus that our children are doing a much better job at this Godly marriage thing than we did!!

Here’s the amazing, awesome thing though….as little as I knew about how to be a Godly wife….God taught me much over the years and fortunately there were maybe even a few things I have gotten right!  Here are just a few:
  • Let him play.  It is my ministry to him.  It is one way I show love to him.
He loves to play racquetball (or tennis or water ski or golf), to sweat, play, exercise.  Me?  If I get the desire to work out, I’ll lay down on the couch until I get over it.  Not him!!  I want to give him the freedom to do those things.  Did it leave me home alone with the kids more?  Yes.  Does it take up some of his very limited, precious free time?  Yes.  But it also gives him the ‘out’ that he desperately needs physically and emotionally and mentally to de-stress and keeps him healthy. 

What is it that your husband would love to do?  Do you make him feel guilty when he does?  Do you resent it when he does?  Is God asking you to free him up to do it?
  • Watch what I say about him.
I never speak negatively about him to anyone.  Not to the children, friends, my mom, his mom, no one.  I protect him in public.  Early on I learned the Bible tells me to respect him….and I cannot think of anything more disrespectful than speaking unkindly about him.  Now…I definitely have spoken unkindly about him to God….then God convicts me and points out many areas in my life/heart where I am doing THE.VERY.THING/S he is doing!!  Oops! 

Listen to the words you speak about your husband.  Are you building him up ‘in the gates’?  Are you speaking kindly about him?  Do you mock him or joke about him or ridicule or criticize him to anyone?  Your mom?  Your friends?  Your co-workers?
  • We are different…and it is OK!
I must understand the differences we have and not hold them against him.  For example:  he is not a home body.  He loves to come home.  He loves our home.  He is happy to be here….To sleep.  And sometimes eat.  I know!! Right???  He does not love to just hang out at home.  He is a goer.  A doer.  A player (not that  kind of player!).  oh, for sure, he enjoys coming home after a long day (and night) and watching TV or catching me up on the day….but he is not one who loves to lay around the house or do odd jobs or any such thing as that.

At first….this was hard for me….but as I realized it was because he grew up that way….it was how he was wired….it was not a reflection on me or our home I no longer took it personally.  We are different.  I am a homebody....he is not.
  • Pray for him.  Without ceasing!
There have been times when I would pray all night on Saturday nights for my husband….his routine is to go to the church every Saturday evening after kids were in bed and I would pray.  I would go to sleep praying for him….and I’d wake up all night praying.  Sadly I felt so much pressure to pray….I felt it would be my fault if things didn’t go well Sunday!  Crazy!  Insane!  It took me way too long to realize that much of the time my prayers were rooted in pride.  I wanted him to ‘sound good’, I wanted people to ‘like’ what he said, blah, blah, blah!!  Selfish, prideful, sinful! 

Many times I would think that I was the only one praying for him….if I didn’t pray….who would?  Oh that God would raise up people who would tell us that they are praying fervently, diligently, faithfully, specifically for our husbands!!!  Especially on Saturday nights!!!
When our kids were at home and sitting with me in church (because I am that pastor’s wife who does not sing in the choir or praise team) the offering was taken before the sermon…and I would lean over and pray with them for their dad.  I’d pray during the service and after.  Pray, pray, pray.

Now that they are no longer sitting with me and the offering is not taken until after the sermon and I realize that God is not asking me to pray all night for him or else it will be my fault if he doesn’t ‘sound’ good but that God’s word does not return void and that He is the one speaking and that my prayers are releasing Power and Praise and Truth to be poured out to bring Him glory and honor and praise and attention….not my husband!
The thing about marriage is it doesn’t matter how terrible or horrible or hurtful our circumstances are….if our marriage is ‘right’…..bad circumstances are not so bad!!  The flip side though is no matter how great our circumstances are…if our marriage is not ‘right’ our great circumstances will not bring us joy or peace.  Bottom line…your marriage is worth the work.  It is worth sacrificing for.  It is, after all, the picture of Christ and the Church!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me 40 Years Ago When I Married My Husband

Forty years.  We have been married for 40 years!!  Amazing!!!  Happy Anniversary to us!!  S0…since we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this week…and since it was my turn to blog…I thought it would be appropriate to share something about our marriage.  Forty years I have done this thing.  Forty years to a pastor.  Forty years of ministry.  Crazy I say, crazy!!

As I reflected over these last 40 years and pondered about what to write, I realized that there were some things that I wish someone had told me 40 years ago when I married my husband.  So, here goes....this list is not in any particular order...nor is it comprehensive or complete....I'm sure I will think of other things as soon as this is done....but here goes!!
What I wish someone had told me 40 years ago when I married my husband...

1. That we would not sit together at church or be together at church or drive together to church…but that we’d be at church, A.LOT, and we’d see each other across a room or pass each other walking down the hall and give each other that special smile that is our and ours alone.

2. That sadly, there would be times that I would wish I had married someone else….and be grateful I would never say it out loud because those thoughts were lies from the enemy.

3. That he would make me so very sad…and I would pout and clam up and then after a few days not even remember why I was sad…and that when I am sad no one nor no thing can ease the sadness like his hug.

4. That the very things that I loved about him when we dated would be the very things that drove me crazy after we married….so when I get frustrated with him….to remember how endearing those traits were to me in the beginning.

5. That sometimes he will think I am trying to “fix” him when really I am wanting him to be all God wants him to be…which can come across as me trying to fix him.  God can do a much better job at that than I can.

6. That I will want to run away from home….and I will….and I will never stay away more than a couple of hours….because with him is where I belong.

7. That his job is not to make me happy….or meet my all of my needs.

8. That sex can be painful….both physically and emotionally…but it is the one thing he shares with no one else but me.

9. That there would be times when I would not like him—at.all—but love him profusely…because love is not a feeling but it is a decision.

10. That our children would be the best and the worst parts of us…and we’d begin a new generation of Godliness.

11. That I would not be any good at being a wife….but that His Word would guide me and His grace sustain both of us.

12. That I might have birthdays and anniversaries where I don’t get a gift….but that there are other gifts.  Forgiveness is a gift.  Forgetting is a gift. 

13. That his words or his silence can be hurtful…..but his wink is like the balm of Gilead to a hurting heart.

14. That we would age and grey over the years but that he would still be the most handsome man in the room and will still have the most beautiful, brightest, blue eyes that ever existed.

15. That snuggling at home on the couch with him would be the best place I would ever want to be….unless of course that couch was in some amazing beach town or mountain village.

I wish someone would have told me how very hard marriage was going to be….and how close to God it would take me....and how quickly 40 years would go by….

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Season of Summer Ministry Moves

Oh the joys of summer ministry moves and attempting to navigate everything from a new church to a new school system for your children!  If you are in throws of a summer season of ministry move, I pray that it is going smoothly; however, sometimes it is a bit overwhelming. 

I just finished chatting with our new worship leader’s wife who is totally frustrated at the large, local school system in our city.  She was told that class schedules would not be distributed to the over 2000 students until the first day of school.  What!  Also, because of restructuring, relocating and other issues, no one in the school office or the school administrators knows what is going on. In other words, there is a lot of uncertainty in the school district right now. My sweet sister is in tears and simply wants to get her children registered for school.  Oh and by the way, school starts in a week! 

In the past I was employed by a large school district and worked in the counselor’s office.  It got crazy but we managed to have schedules ready for pick up early in August and offered tours to new students.  Waiting until the first day of school to provide schedules, lockers, and welcome new students is nuts!  For a new ministry family or any family for that matter moving children to a new school district and not knowing what to expect is scary.

As I listened to my sweet sister pour out her heart and shed her tears, my heart broke.  How many times have we all been there having these same issues.  We not only have to deal with a new church setting but we must look for new a doctor, a home, a school.  Like my ministry sister’s son must do now, at one point my sons had to try out for the football team and earn a spot even though they had been starters at their previous school.

As we finished our conversation, my advice to my ministry sister was to contact the one parent in our church whose son will be at the same middle school as her son.  Possibly this mom can help her reach the right people.  My prayer is that both moms will set up a car pool so that both boys can be together on the first day of school.

My point today is that we ministry sisters need each other.  We need the strength we can gain from knowing other ladies like us are praying.  I am thankful I have ministry sisters who I can call or text at any time for advice, to vent, or to just say hello. Almost every day I receive a text from two of my former TN staff wives (Susan Green and Angie Millard).  We may be separated by miles but modern technology keeps us close.  We allow ourselves to be honest with one another in our frustrations of ministry but at the same time offer encouragement and laughter. 

I want each of you to know that my cell and Facebook private message is always available.  I may not have the advice you need but I can certainly listen and pray.  I hope that you would do the same for me as well.  Because in the grand scheme of ministry, it is HARD but there is also joy.  One of the joys is that we are girlfriends who stand by each other on good days and on the difficult days.

Now, I must run.  My ministry sister hear is in deep distress and I know exactly what she needs-a big hug and a Hershey chocolate bar!


Monday, August 3, 2015

I Am is Never I Was

I Am is Never I Was
There are some days when I really wish I could crawl in my corner with a full jar of M & M’s and forget about everything.  Seriously, it seems the laundry pile gets higher even though the washer and dryer run constantly.  I will not even mention my ironing basket!  Then, the housework never ends.  I always have good intentions of completing each of the task on my “to do” list, but by the time my husband comes homes in the evening, I find myself saying, “I was going to do such and such.”

Well sisters, there is one thing I am sure of.  Jesus will never be known as I Was.  He never grows weary of hearing all the prayers flooding the throne room of heaven.  He is with us in the midst of whatever is going on in our lives.  He is holding our right hand during difficult circumstances.  He is calling the wayward back to him.  He is faithful.  He loves.  He is completely in control of everything at all times.

As we strive to fulfill all the roles and duties of ministry and family, we (or at least I do ) need to be reminded that we have a Heavenly Father who cares for us every millisecond of the day and will care for us until He brings us to our heavenly home.  Why?  Because He is the great I Am!