Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Prayer In the Aftermath of Harvey

The images on the television screen would look like something out of a high-budget, Hollywood movie, except the people aren't pretty enough. Despite lists of accolades and awards, no celebrity actor or actress is that talented either.

The images coming out of Texas, Louisiana and even Florida are raw and gritty.

We can't visualize or even really imagine the pictures we are seeing. We can't appreciate what these people are going through, unless we've literally, physically been there ourselves.

There are images of utter devastation and news of lives lost drastically compared to reports of strangers rescuing strangers -common, everyday people stepping up and stepping in. There are also reports of price gouging and looting interposed with businesses opening just to serve as evacuation shelters.

I chatted with a lady on my way into Kroger yesterday morning. As we made small talk, she began to complain about the necessity of having to buy groceries. In my head, I thought, "Really? We have a fully stocked market, money in our accounts, and dry intact homes to return to. How many of our fellow Americans were wishing to wake up to this mundane chore today?" Despite this lady's perspective, my Facebook feed is filled with compassionate calls to donate, serve, volunteer and help.

There has also been a lot of media coverage and opinions shared on the action or lack of action of one of Houston's most famous churches. A public relations nightmare for all of us that bear the name "Christian" no matter what actually happened when....

There is no doubt in my mind that our God is already working His good in ways we will never know or be able to appreciate in the aftermath of this natural disaster. He is indeed God and He is indeed very good.

The natural world we reside in is fallen and this natural disaster is a reminder of its fallen state. We also see evidence of man's sin nature in the way so many have manipulated and will continue to seize opportunities to manipulate and take advantage of his neighbor.

Some will say that through natural disasters like this, we see the "best in humanity" as people go to great lengths to preserve and restore life. Celebrities pledge money, hold "______ -a-thons" to raise more funds and people will give. People will go.

Many of those going and serving and saving are Christians. Others are morally "good" people. Even those helping that would claim atheism or to be agnostic have had to have these "good" motives come from somewhere. The book of Romans tells us that even these tendencies that shape what we believe is the "right" thing to do, come to us from our good God whether we chose to acknowledge it or not.

Countless lives are being forever and eternally altered and changed. As we have seen in the past, people will remember their lives "Before Harvey" and "After Harvey."

Our challenge is that this would be an opportunity for us as Christians to live and to respond and to serve in such ways that Christ would be glorified above all.  Whether it is the person we are serving or the person we are serving with, we would boldly extend the hope of the gospel, the answer to the greatest need we all have.

The whole country has once again stopped and taken notice. Now is the time to speak boldly with our actions of love, not with political or theological divisions. Let the United States and the world see a unified church that is the hands and feet of Jesus. There will be a time for all of that (probably happening sooner than it should) but in the mean time, let's show our living Savior as the solution He is to our deepest problems - sin and all the consequences of living in this sinful, fallen creation.

Hurricane Harvey is still leaving it's mark. Here in Tennessee, we are expecting what's left of this monster storm. "Slight" or "marginal" risks for severe weather color the maps out of Nashville for today and tomorrow. All depending on what direction the storm takes next.

As the rain is already falling out my window this morning, I am praying.

What am I praying? For one, I am asking where and how can I help as I seek to put action to my words. I want to be discerning to know exactly where I and my church can plug in to help.

But my prayers are for God to do more than simply meet the physical, temporary and long term needs of all those suffering immeasurable loss this morning. I am fighting a spiritual battle. I am praying that God would work mightily in the hearts of the victims and volunteers to push back the gates of hell to restore far more than possessions...

Would you join me in praying this way?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Recent Forced Reality Check

I had known for about a week that the end was inevitable.

All the signs were there and I had confided in a few close friends and family members that it wouldn't be long.

I doubt the end was painful, but it was hard to watch all the same.

It was last Thursday night.

My cell phone flickered its last and died.

Two other times it had been ill and had received a second and then a third chance at life with the purchase and installation of a new battery from the local cell phone repair shoppe.

This time, I weighed the cost of yet another battery, considered that it's life span of well over four years had long since surpassed its life expectancy, and finally came to accept a hard truth: I needed to purchase a new cell phone.

However, I could not drop the weekend's activities and run to our local AT&T storefront. It would have to wait until Saturday evening....

Not feeling too excited about committing to an increase of our monthly cell bill, nor wanting to truly tax my brain to shop for the best deal or compare the 6 to the 7 with whatever letters may follow - I donned my big girl pants and went for it.

Cody was a nice enough salesman. He showed me my options and gave me space to think them through. He even apologized on behalf of the company for not being able to offer me any special deals that did not include changing our cable provider, despite over ten years of company loyalty and good standing (I'm not that bitter; I promise!).

Sure enough, the new phone I chose was the one item that wasn't in stock. It had to be ordered. The good news was that they would ship it to me for free. The bad news was that it probably wouldn't arrive at my doorstep until Wednesday....


So, for a solid week I have been without my fifth appendage, my smart phone.

At first, I had that feeling you get when you forget to put on the watch or that ring you ALWAYS wear.

The feeling turned in to a very vulnerable, exposed feeling - like I was missing a more "important" article of clothing.

Then I began to feel left out as a watched friends receive and text at various levels of importance, messages and pictures. Some were looking up trivial information while still others were getting updates on the natural disaster beginning to unfold in Texas. I was missing much more than the device..... Or was I?

After a day or two of forced cell phone hiatus, those initial feelings subsided and I began to feel as though a weight had been lifted, the noose I hadn't realized was there, loosened. I guess it took a detox of sorts.

No, I couldn't pick up the phone and call anyone. But not just anyone could get a hold of me either. Yes, I could still get text messages through the infamous "cloud" if my laptop is connected - but I found I did not miss the ringing, buzzing, and pinging of various alerts and notifications.

I had always said that I owned my phone, that it didn't own me, but these last few days have shown me how very deceived I was.

There has been nothing that has been THAT important that I have missed. I am sure I have lost out on seeing some great pics on Instagram, but I never realized the cost to view them was so very high.

I have been more present with my family and my friends. My thoughts have not been interrupted with a Fox News Alert. I have felt empowered by not allowing the information of this age to bombard me on its own terms.

Yes, I have texted. I have scrolled through Facebook. I have had to be intentional to think ahead a little - BUT I have done all of that on my terms, not enslaved to the pocket-sized rectangle that I carry everywhere.

As I set up my new phone, I am changing some settings. There are some things out there that I definitely don't need to be among the first to know. There are some rules of use I am going to employ as well.

God has definitely shown me that I have stunted some relationships by letting my phone rule over me. Instead, I prayerfully am submitting myself to be a good steward of this "tool" to be used and not allow it to use me . . .

He has also gently exposed my dependance upon this distraction. Instead of pondering that passage I read this morning in scripture or praying for my friend as I said I would - I have disengaged from the real world to escape into a world of lesser things, including meaningless and mindless games. I have sacrificed a deeper understanding of hard truths for literally feeling alone in a room full of other people.

Is there anyone else out there who has been forced to disconnect even a little?  How did it make you feel? Did you make any changes when you could reengage? Were you able to hear a little more of what God was impressing upon your heart? What guidelines or accountability did you implement?

Overall, I have had a great reality check. I am not that important. Some things really can wait. I refuse to give Satan an intentional foothold on my heart through a morally neutral piece of far eastern manufactured technology....

Monday, August 28, 2017

Stop, Look, & Take Notice

By now you may be sick and tired of hearing about "The Great American Eclipse."

I know I was -even before the big event occurred last Monday. It was all over the media and social networks. Glasses. Timing. Partial. Total. Path of Totality. Traffic jams. Hotel rooms. Farmers renting out spots in their fields. Schools closing.

Honestly, I could not comprehend what the big deal was. Yeah, I got that an eclipse is a natural occurrence that only happens every so many years. But jeez, enough was enough.

Then it happened.

The sky changed colors. The temperature dropped. The world stood still -kinda. Everyone stopped, came outside and looked up. Regardless of profession or pay grade, people took notice.

And it was amazing.

Most of us who saw it, had never seen anything like it, nor are likely to see anything like it again. Even a week later I am still at a loss of words to try and describe what I saw. It was mesmerizing and unforgettable.

The idea that kept coming to my mind during the minute plus of "totality" was God's glory. What a mighty display of His glory!

Then I thought about how His glory is described in the Bible. I had just finished teaching in the student ministry about how God's glory descended onto the tabernacle in Exodus. Not even Moses could approach it. It was so bright and overwhelming. When Moses had asked to see God's glory, God placed him in the cleft of a rock and only let him glimpse Himself from behind...

My thoughts then quickly shifted to Jesus' return when we will ALL once again, stop in the middle of our routines, look to the sky and take notice finding ourselves awe struck. I will never again imagine the second coming without recalling my vantage point of the eclipse that day...

I felt small, but at the same time, so very close to our God. I wanted to worship.

There was no "cosmic coincidence" that day. It was a natural occurrence brought about by a super-natural God. Like the rest of creation, it revealed a little more about Him- His greatness, His creativity, His personality....

Now, I want to hear more about the eclipse. I have read more about it in different settings and have engaged in conversation after conversation just to hear different people's reactions. My husband and I are already talking about traveling to see the next one in seven years. The hype and hoopla were all justified.

Because I could see God's glory in the eclipse, it created a longing in me to see more, to experience more of it, more of Him. I believe that is exactly what God created it to accomplish . . . To get a glimpse of Him that generates a desire to gain more of Him . . .

I can think of other experiences in my life that have generated that kind of response . . . gazing into the Grand Canyon, catching my breath through the icy wonderland of a newly fallen snow, feeling small standing in the white sand while the sun sets streaks remarkable, vibrant colors across the sky of the shoreline with the wave's white caps joining in the calliope of sensations.

Because of the rarity of the eclipse, no one could take it for granted, look past it or even ignore it. Yes, plenty of people still wrote it off, but the Bible tells us that people will always do that until the day that they can't anymore, when every knee will bow . .

What are the happenings, the places in God's nature where you are simply compelled to stop, look to the sky and take notice? Where you can't help but search for words as you stand in awe, unable to utter anything but "Oh God" and not be taking His name in vain?

God, open our eyes to see more of your glory! Forgive me for needing a once-in-a-lifetime event to bring me to this place of longing for even more of you .  .  .

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I Have No Idea Who I Am

I have no idea who I really am.  Seriously.  Who am I?

I ask this question many times and wonder if anyone else does too.  It seems as if I go and do and be all of the things this life has me go and do and be and every so often I stop and wonder….who am I and what has become of Dana?

What happened to her?  Is she really this person that goes and does and be-s or has she been covered up by her responsibilities and relationships and vain imaginations?

Where would I be going and what would I be doing if I wasn’t being a pastor’s wife?

Right now I feel as if I am being covered up—disappearing.  Fading.  Clouded over with uncertainty and ambiguity and distress and people who are wacky!!  It’s as if I can see the clouds moving over me like they travel in the sky….quickly.  Deliberately.  Consciously.  Intentionally covering up blue skies and sunshine...and me.

As I stood outside Monday watching the moon move (in much the same way as the clouds I just described) over the sun I was anticipating darkness.  Expecting the light from the sun to be smothered by the moon. 

Where we live the moon covered all but a minuscule portion of the huge, massive, colossal sun.  I was surprised to see how quickly the moon moved over it….it was so cool to look up every so often and see less and less of the sun and more and more of the moon.  However, even though there was little sun left….there was still light!!  (Truthfully, I was bummed!)  I had expected to see darkness cover….after all there was hardly any sun left….so it makes sense to think there would be darkness.  But no, there was still daylight.
Just a sliver of sun dispels all darkness.

The realization overwhelmed me.  It does not take much light to overtake the dark.  Even though my life is clouded with uncertainty and there is much unclarity (apparently, according to spell check, it is not a word) and ambiguity surrounding and covering me right now….the light gives me much hope.

The complete darkness never came where I live.  But, perhaps where you live, there was complete darkness.  Perhaps the crickets began to chirp and the street lights came on and darkness settled on the day.  But it was for only a moment.  In a flash the light returned....dispelling the way to light again.
So, who am I?  I am loved, chosen, blessed, gifted, forgiven, saved, cleansed, used, created, adored, and strengthened by the God who frees me up to be all He created me to be. 

I am grateful for the light of His word that reveals this to me over and over when the darkness causes me to wonder…..who in the world am I?

“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”  1 John 1:5

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Do I Allow Ministry and Stuff to Eclipse Truth?

Where are you on the married-to-a-minister-o-meter?


“I love this life!!  The people are AH-MAZING!!  This is so much fun!!  I don’t know why people talk about how hard it is being married to a minister.  Our church is PRE-SHUSS!”


“I am so over this!!”  “I cannot wait for my husband to retire....and if he ever does retire I get to choose where we go to church.”  “What is wrong with these people!  I do not want to do this anymore!”  “Can’t you get a REAL job?”

And one tries to ‘eclipse’ the other!!

Yes, I did it!  I donned the special glasses (that many were convinced would cause blindness) and gathered the kids and looked up to the sky to see the amazing phenomenon that occurred yesterday. 

Since I am not a science geek and since most (ok all) of my education was spent (ok wasted) on socializing, I never learned much about the sun and the moon and what in the world was the big deal about the eclipse.  That is until my 8, 9 and 11 year old grands explained it all to me.  (Side benefit to having kids….they teach you stuff.  Apparently when my own kids were that age I was too busy being a mom to learn.  Great added benefit to being a grandparent.)  I had many questions and they answered them all.  So yes, I am officially becoming a science nerd.

Here’s what I learned.

The sun is bigger than the moon….yet the moon covered the sun.  It’s all about distance and perspective.  Right now my thumb is covering all of my bookcase.  Impossible?  Sure….but if the thumb is far away from the bookcase, and if the thumb is close to my eye and if I have one eye closed….it covers the bookcase.  Try it.  Stop right now and cover something large with something small…like a book case with a thumb.


Sometimes I allow ministry and life and stuff to eclipse Truth.  The small, seemingly insignificant stuff can become huge and powerful and overwhelming.

Our God is bigger than the enemy….BUT way too often the enemy seems bigger than my God because I am far away from God and the lies of the enemy are closer to my mind and heart and eyes and it seems as if the enemy is bigger than my God. That the enemy is winning. 

Over the past 42 plus years I have found myself on both spectrums of the married-to-a-minister-o-meter and in a various and a sundry stages in between.  Regardless of how long you have been married to a minister, you too have experienced the good the bad and the obnoxious nonsenses that come with the territory….sometimes you experience them all in one day!!  And sometimes it seems like those obnoxious people and circumstances are bigger than our faith and our God.

Today….open both eyes, remove the vain imaginations and lies that are close to your mind and heart and look to God.  Refuse to believe we deserve more.  Refuse to believe another life would be better than the one we have now.  Look to Him.  May He not be eclipsed!

Deuteronomy 4:19  "And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Child's Perspective

Recently, my husband and I took our two young grandsons for a day outing.  As we were returning home, Ricky mentioned that he planned to drop us off at the house and go up to his office at the church for a while.  Our four-year old grandson, Gideon, overheard the conversation and I thought he was going to beg to go to Preacher Man’s office too.  Instead following conversation occurred:

Gideon:  “Preacher Man, what are you going to do at your office?”

Preacher Man:  “Well, I need to do a little work like study my sermon for Sunday.”

Gideon:  “That’s not what you do in your office, silly Preacher Man?”

Me:  “Gid, what do you think Preacher Man does in his office?”

Gideon (exasperated):  “Vivi, you know Preacher Man just plays in his office!”

Me (after Ricky and I quite choking on laughter):  “What does he play with?”

Gideon: “Well, he takes the teddy bears (small souvenirs from England) off his shelf and plays with them.  Then, he takes the golf ball (yes, a golf ball painted with the world on it) and rolls it on the floor.  Then, he takes a nap on his couch.” 

By the time Gideon finished the description of my husband’s office playtime, Ricky and I were laughing so hard tears were rolling down our faces.

Isn’t interesting that a four-year old has this impression?  Hmm, this simple thinking of a child makes me truly wonder what adults believe ministers do on a daily basis.  Here is what I have discovered:

*Many people believe the staff only works at best on Sunday and Wednesday.  They rest of the week the sit around, drinking coffee and relaxing.  Isn’t that sad?

*People fail to see that ministers spend hours praying for direction.  They seek God for wisdom in the message they are to proclaim.

*They fail to realize that ministers spend hours on during the week “putting out fires” that are brewing.  You know these “fires.”  Someone send a nasty note that the music was too loud or the sanctuary was too cold.  Bro. So and So didn’t speak to me on Sunday and should be fired.  These little petty issues can disrupt unity and the work of the Lord if not quieted.

*People do not realize that ministers take time away from preparing for Sunday to visit the hospital, check-in on homebound and visit nursing homes.  They do it not out of obligation but out of compassion for the sick and lonely.

*Let’s not forget the hundreds of hours they spend listening/counseling those who are depressed, suicidal, brokenhearted, in martial conflict, experiencing financial ruin, etc.  they receive phone calls in the middle of the night, during family dinner time, and while on vacation. 

*People (even family members) are always surprised when we share that we never take all our vacation time because there are not enough days to schedule it.  Also, they are surprised that there have been times we have been called back from vacation and lost our money on our vacation for a funeral or some other crisis.  They have told us that they just would not do it.  No, you might not because you are not called out to be a minister and to “shepherd” a flock.

I believe as minister families we should help our congregations that sometimes ministry is not fun and games.  A minister and his wife (and children) work hard to fulfill the roll to which God has called them.  Following the Lord’s example, they sacrifice much in order to win people to salvation.  But even the Lord rested and I believe “played.”

So, feel free to give my husband and I a call anytime and let’s have a play date.  We have the golf balls and teddy bears in the office ready to go.  Afterwards, we can turn off the lights and curl up on the couch or in the comfy chairs for a nap. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Have You Ever . . .?

A couple of ministers’ wives friends and I were talking the other day and began reflecting on the things we have had to do for the sake of ministry.  The conversation soon became a series of “have you ever” questions that left us laughing. I just thought I would share a few of my “Have you ever” moments and hopefully you will relate or even share you moments with us.

*Have you ever . . . taken your preschoolers on a home visit with you because you could not afford a babysitter?  Yes!  My poor boys were introduced to church visitation at an early age.  Our first church was too small to provide a nursery and most of our members were senior adults.  These home visits were always around bedtime for my sons so the emotional wheels would fall off after about the second visit.  However, the sweet people we visited were so kind to overlook the tearful, tired meltdowns of our boys and offer them a cookie. 

*Have you ever . . . shown up at church with your child in just a diaper and dressed them at church?  Yes!  Our first church was across the field from the parsonage.  I cannot tell you how many Sunday mornings I would rise early to get myself and the boys ready for church.  However, my youngest (who at the time was 18 months old) HATED clothes and shoes.  After I gathered my Bible from the bedroom, I would return to the living room to find my child COMPLETELY undressed and smiling.  It just became easier for me to carry him to the church in a diaper and dress him in the nursery.  However, our church members did not mind because they saw us trying to teach the importance of church to our little ones.

*Have you ever . . . taken your young children on a youth trip?  Yes!  At our first church, my husband was the only staff.  That meant we cleaned the church, did the lawn care, and I was the youth minister.  If our parents were unavailable to come babysit, our sons went with us.  My young babies attended youth conferences, went ice skating/roller skating, and attended church camp.  I would be the youth leader walking with a group of teens pushing a stroller and carrying an infant.  However, our teens did not mind because many of those youth would help juggle our boys.  In turn, my sons LOVED all the attention showered on them. 

These are just a few of my “Have you ever” memories regarding my children.  I have other “Have you ever” thoughts about other church related situations.  However, I am going to leave it here.  I want you to take a moment and share some of your memories.  We all need a laugh.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Just Be You

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14

My sisters, every now and then we, as pastors’ and ministers’ wives, need a reminder or maybe a little bit of encouragement to assure us that we are who we are and there is NO possible way we can please everybody in our churches. Ladies, we are in awesome company, because even our Lord and Savior, who was and is perfect in every way, didn’t please the masses. In fact, the religious leaders in His day were constantly finding fault with just about all that He said or did, and He is King of kings and Lord of lords! So, don’t let us think that we will escape the fault-finders and the criticism that come as a part of what it means to be a wife in ministry.

In my blog this month, I just want to give a few edifying encouragements, because at times people can be really insensitive or down right mean. This is nothing new, just a dose of comfort if you are feeling discouraged.


When people don’t like you, remember you can love them. Sometimes you’ve done all you know to do to be kind and compassionate, and to show the love of Christ to all, yet hearts are cold. Pray and love on them anyway; it’s the Lord’s job to change hearts. Only He can do the impossible. “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

When people try to pressure you into doing something you are not called to do, remember the gifts that the Lord has given you to serve Him. Sometimes we have to say, “No”; that’s not always easy in the church, but it is necessary when we want to truly be in God’s will. A “good cause” may not be your “cause”. Church members sometimes expect the pastor's wife to do everything in the church—play the piano, sing in the choir, serve in the nursery, teach Sunday School, and so on. Whoa! That’s not possible! It’s unfair to put those expectations on anyone! “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.” “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12: 4,11

When people say critical things about you, your husband, and your kids, remember that no family on the face of the planet is perfect, and the same people who lash out with hurtful comments have issues and dysfunctions in their own families. We all have trials and sufferings that we go through in life---pastors’ families are not exempt! Our Father is still doing a sanctifying work in all of us, and one day we all will be conformed into the image of His Son. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

When you feel lonely and don’t think anyone understands your unique role in the church, remember God called you to be your husband’s support, to love him and pray for him. A pastor’s wife sees and hears things and experiences situations that no other person does. Use your calling in His kingdom to influence others for good. “Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches.” 1 Corinthians 7:17

One day we will be perfect, we will have our new glorious bodies, not subject to growing old, sickness, or decay (aren’t we all looking forward to that!). Yet until then, let us allow God to work on us with our imperfections, flaws, and blemishes. Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made! One day we will be like Christ; for now let us be patient with ourselves, and with our critics until that day arrives

So, my precious sisters, just be you!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Life is Unpredictable!

Life is Unpredictable!

Everyday..... you hear of wrecks, storms, violence and sickness taking the lives of the elderly all the way down to the young. hear of another female with breast cancer, or another person with some type of cancer. hear of another home that has been broken up.

Life is Unpredictable!

Roger was told at his secular job a year and half ago that they were going to out-source the IT Department to a company in India.  Since....they keep getting mixed info.  They've been told that it will not affect any of his group............they've been told that it will affect the entire group and they've been told that it will affect some of the group..............but it will happen over the next few years.

Roger will be 62 in he felt comfortable.  At 62 he could take an early retirement....from his secular job and be able to spend more time working at church. 

He's made it this far...........and the company never does anything major except the first of the year or the first of the summer.............those are the "change times"....normally.

Monday, in a meeting, he was told that they are doing away with his is being out-sourced to India and his last day will be November 10......4 1/2 months too early to retire early.  Whewww.......

They had warned them.........................but when they actually told caught him off guard and even hurt his feelings.....................he's put in 20+ years with the company and worked many, many hours on salary with no over-time.

It is what it is.

Then....yesterday was our anniversary.  Since today was my first day back to school with students all day.............we decided to celebrate our anniversary on Friday we could enjoy it and not be stressed. 

Roger had already taken the day off work so when I came home today.................I walked into this..............

If you look carefully you will see where my stove and sink was this morning when I left for work.
(We are right in the middle of completely remodeling our cabinets......walls knocked down...etc.)
Life is Unpredictable!
I guess I say all of this to rarely runs smooth without any bumps in the road.
We must keep our eyes on God and know that He is Still in Control....................regardless of what "hand of cards" have been dealt to you.
.........sickness.....loss of jobs......death.......messy houses......------just matter what you face............the world is watching you to see how YOU handle it little or small.
Let's let others see Jesus through you!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

"Mystery Trip"

Roger and I had plans to go to Pigeon Forge one weekend this summer......we had some "gifts" we needed to purchase.  Before that weekend, our daughter asked if we would be available to babysit her two children.

We asked if we could take the grandkids with us to Pigeon Forge.  They agreed, but we did not tell the kids where they were going.  They thought it was sooo neat because we were going on a "mystery trip".  Actually they had not been to Pigeon Forge since they were one and two years old, so they did not remember it.  And....this was our first trip away with just the grandkids.

We only stayed two nights, but in those three days and two nights, we got to re-experience Pigeon Forge from a child's eyes. 

Our grandkids are three and four years old.  It was the little things.......

Our hotel room had a hot tub.  They wanted to wear their swimsuits and play in the BIG BATH TUB and watch TV at the same time.  They were in heaven.  They thought that was soooo cool.

From our balcony, we could see the giant cross.  Our grandson got so excited............he wanted to know if that was the cross that Jesus died on.

They with granddaddy road the Big Farris Wheel.  Mimi does not like heights and has vertigo bad, so she stayed on the ground.

We did many things...........fed the bears, went to the Comedy Barn, ate at the Apple Barn and of course made a stop at the Disney Store....cause that is what grandparents do.

They wore us out.

But it was worth every bit of it.

Sometimes in our busy, hectic is fun to just slow down and enjoy a "Mystery Trip" moment........................especially through a child's eyes.


38 plus years......


Exactly 38 years ago tonight, Roger and I got married.....after dating for 7 years, 1 day and 1 month.  (August 3, 1979)  On July 2, 1972......we had our first date.  We were babies.  Smile.

I feel blessed to have married my sweetheart and best friend and to still be married.......but it did not happen without lots of effort from both of us.  Marriage is an every day job.....especially if you are a Christian and "Preaching Couple" because Satan is trying to find every little crack he can to destroy your relationship.  If he can cause your marriage to fail...............look at the vast number it will impact.

There is no doubt in my mind that God chose Roger for me.  Sometimes I do think that God has a sense of humor because he could not have put two more opposite people together.

But....guess what......................after 45 years of being a couple and 38 years of being "one".......we are not so much different.  We have both mellowed out and become more alike.

I use to trust EVERYONE.....and believed everything that was said to me.  Roger trusted no one and was very guarded.  Over the years.....I have realized that I need to be careful because everyone is not as truthful or honest and I had once thought.  And, Roger has learned to trust people more which has caused him to be much more compassionate that he was in his early ministry. your husband and guard your relationship.  What you have is a very precious gift from God.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Continued Prayers in Singapore

This is my niece Danae and her husband, Nick Ireland....and their two sons, Bennett and Jackson.  (You can't tell by the picture, but their baby sister, Emma Kate is due in November.)

They just completed their first year of mission work in Singapore.  They work with Young Life.

In June and July, they got to come back to the states and we were able to visit with them some.

Please keep them in your prayers.  They leave today to travel back to Singapore.

(In following God's lead, they sold their beautiful home in Franklin, Tn and most of their move to Singapore to work with the youth.  Not only are they away from family..........they are away from friends.)

Just write their names down and keep them in your prayers....Nick & Danae Ireland.

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

EVERYDAY.....we have a choice

Yesterday was my first day of In-Service at school.  In one of our meetings, our principal was talking about the split road we face each new day.  Everyday....we have a choice.  You go down the road and you can choose to: 
  •  to be positive and happy.
  • Or, to be in a bad mood and be negative.
It is our decision of how we will face each day. 

I use to always be a happy, uplifted person, but over the years, Satan and negative influences have caused me to be whiney and negative more often than I care to admit.  I catch myself sometimes.  AND....when I do......I do not like it.

You know as well as I do.....not only are we watched more because we are Christians.....we are watched even MORE because we are PW's..........Preacher's Wives.

My goal for this school, at church and in my everyday to be more POSITIVE and to be more encouraging to the people around me.  I want to be a person people want to be around and not a person that people dodge.