Posted in Associate/Youth Pastor's Wife, Life Lessons, Marriage, Parenting

A Crown of Selfishness

            I’m so glad that God’s love covers our sins.  I shudder to think of what a deep hole I’d have dug myself by now if I didn’t have his patient, sin-covering, love guiding and directing me.  It’s shameful enough, how long it’s taken me to even follow that guidance. And shameful, still, how often I still fight it.  I think if we all had crowns that depicted our character traits to the world I’d probably be wearing the crown of selfishness.
            There are a few moments, or events rather, in my life that have given me glimpses of just how selfish I can be.  I don’t really like to dwell on these things, but they have had a bearing on my role as a 2nd man’s wife.  I even secretly wonder if they’ve played a role in holding back my 2nd man from having a better ministry or being who he could be had I submitted better to the Lord in my life.  Some may even be humanly justifiable, however, I don’t want to be a person who has to rationalize why I didn’t respond in a godly manner to something or someone.
            A couple of these events are those that I believe most people experience.  Those were marriage and childbirth.  No two events greater reveal the selfishness of a person.  In getting married, the expectations are the real kicker.  When the wedding is over, and the details of daily life become reality, it’s hard to get over those expectations.  I remember being so frustrated at the 2nd man for not being able to read my mind.  I would think to myself, “how could he not know that I’d want him to take out the trash?”  or, “How could he not know what I wanted for my birthday?”  Thankfully, I have been able to grow in this area, and though I still battle selfishness in marriage, hopefully, I’ve grown just through maturity.
            Childbirth was the other big reveal.  I’ve never met another mom who doesn’t relate to this.  Even from the day I first went into labor, the battle of the will had begun.  When the pain set in and the reality struck I looked at 2nd man and said, “I don’t want to do this, I want to go home.”  We laugh now, but at that moment it seemed perfectly logical in my head.  Then the nurse came in and told me the baby would have to be fed every 2 hours! Whaaaat!!! I thought I’d scoured every inch of that baby book, but somehow I missed that 2 hour number.  Oh, that really threw me for a loop.  Ever since then and every child since then has revealed how selfish I am and chipped away at that luxurious selfishness.  All in all, I’ve gladly given it up.
            However, there is one area of my life that has been a struggle for me and I’m glad to say that it gets better with age.  That is the area of being a 2nd man’s wife in relation to acknowledgement.  Just this past week I had a birthday and it was one of the best ever.  One may wonder why, it wasn’t a big one (37), there was no large party, it was a quiet day that ended with a fun date with my husband.  That’s just it, though, I wasn’t hung up on needing any acknowledgement.
            When we were young in the ministry (and young in age) I had kind of expected people to acknowledge my big days like they did our pastor’s wife.  I was so impressed, when we first came here, to see how many of the women were concerned over what would be done for the pastor’s wife for her birthday.  Every year I’d have some of them approach me about helping them with a plan.  When my birthday came around I was excited to see what might be done.  Oh, I didn’t expect all the women of the church, but I was sure that the moms of teens or even the teens might do something or at least acknowledge.  The day would come and go, year after year without any grandeur.  Really, the same happened for 2nd man.  But we won’t go there, (he’s always handled things better than me.)
            I got really excited one year when a family in our church had let the staff know that the Lord had laid on their hearts to do something really special for the staff members.  Not, for any birthdays or holidays, but just as a way to express thanks, I guess.  Anyway, they took the pastor and his wife, and the outreach minister and his wife to Colorado to a nice cabin retreat.  They provided all the meals and even made them very special for everyone.  They took them on hikes and let them have an all around time of pampering and rest.  We weren’t invited, because I had just had our third child a few months earlier and of course nobody wants a newborn on a relaxing trip.  This, I understood.  To make up for not being able to take us they did something different.  For 2nd man it was front row seating to a Dallas Cowboys football game!  2nd man is a die-hard fan of the Dallas cowboys so this was like winning the lottery for him.  They sent him with our song leader.  They told me that I was to be treated to a queen for a day spa treatment in Tulsa with the man’s wife. I was really excited.  It sounded like a great gift for a new mom especially.  Time came and went and nothing more happened or was said.  Finally, at Christmas the man handed me a card for a half hour massage at the local small town spa next door to the church offices. 
            Normally, I’d be ecstatic for a half hour massage.  I mean, it’s not exactly a luxury I spend on myself, and I can appreciate the relaxation.  I guess it was all the build up that got me.  I had to really hide my disappointment at that one.  But, really, that was a selfish response.  I mean, they really did spoil 2nd man and he’s the actual one that’s on staff.  However, that mean ugly selfish bug started to take root in my heart.  When my birthday came around just a couple of months later, I found myself  wondering if any of my gifts were even thought out, or just thrown at me out of obligation from the few friends who did acknowledge it.  I shamefully admit it took me months to let go.  Yet, I think it was a good thing for me.  It was a release of thinking more highly of myself than I ought to.  It forced me to come face to face with my selfishness and see that these birthdays and such aren’t really even a big deal.
            This year, I was able to read all my little Facebook birthday wishes and truly appreciate them.  The wonderful quiet time with my husband was fantastic since we don’t get away alone very often.  Even my kids wowed me with homemade cards, (that I didn’t ask for) and a homemade chocolate cake, (that I did ask for).  It was special and heartening.  I pray that the Lord would not give up on me, and my selfish desires.  It makes me want to sing that song, “He’s still working on me…” I only wish I had let him perform some of this work years ago, so I wouldn’t be so far behind the curve.
Posted in Daily Musings, Life Lessons, Parenting

Woman of the Year

     Well, it’s confession time…I did it…the unthinkable…well…that thing we, as women, mothers and wives don’t ever want to admit…are you ready for it?   I took a nap last Friday.  Oh glorious 30 minutes that were worth every frantic huff my kids could muster.  As one wondered what on earth she should do because her video teacher told her to take a quiz that I didn’t have torn out for her yet.  I’ll admit, I heard her wondering…but I didn’t budge.  Mean you say?  Well, no, I don’t think so. She survived and took the quiz later.  I considered it a lesson in flexibility, a characteristic she will need to acquire to survive.  My little guy, kept wanting to stroke my face, thinking I was sick or something.  I just pretended to unknowingly roll over.  It’s not that I was tricking the kids.  I simply had no energy to muster up to respond to them at 3:00 that afternoon.  The good news is, everyone survived, and I was a much better mommy for it. 
     Why do we have to hide things like this?  I wish we were one of those cultures that shut down at 3:00 everyday and starts back up around 5:00.  Wouldn’t we all be better off for it?  Just think how rested and congenial all moms would be if that happened?  Not to mention kids and husbands and…well…everyone. 
     Instead, ours is a culture where we women must vie for the woman of the year award by putting on airs that we sleep 4 hours a night, sew our children’s clothing, run the PTA, work for our local elections, show up to every town hall meeting and volunteer for every committee the church has.  While in reality we sleep in too late most days making us have to rush around.  We spend too much clothing our children and usually say things we may regret at PTA meetings (yes, I home school, but when I taught school I noticed a lot of this “saying things they should regret” stuff).  We do show up to vote, but don’t even understand what they’re talking about at the town hall meetings ( I mean who cares about the traffic light at main and 3rd?  the real question is “What on earth am I going to make/buy for dinner?)   Well I say patooy to that! 
     I have a sneaking suspician that if one would ask my family what woman of the year meant they’d say something like, “Oh, that means a mom who is happy and rested and enjoys her family…all of them.” Also, “a momma that can cook well and feed us stuff that tastes good and is good for us.” You know the basic stuff like one who doesn’t yell, doesn’t get tired a lot and makes home a haven blah blah blah. 
    Well, they’re the only ones I need to impress, and in order to do that I need a nap.  So, go ahead, ladies vie for the titles, bowl the world over with your impressiveness.  I’ve got a nap to take so I can keep this home happy and sane.  I haven’t won the any awards yet, even by my family’s standards so I guess I’d better get busy.  See ya’ll in an hour yawwwwwwn!
Posted in Homeschooling, Life Lessons, Parenting

Appreciatin’ My Kids

    I really love the ages of my kiddos right now.  Currently they are 10, 8 and 4.  I just need to pause and reflect on this a little bit.  I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t do infancy very well.  Oh, I bonded and adored each child.  However, I never fully embraced the lack of sleep and, yes, I must confess, baby formula was my friend, (I know I know the horror!  My children will all be doomed to poor health or something like that). 
 
     Truly, it’s a wonder I’ve come this far.  I never really enjoyed babysitting while I was growing up.  The money was great, but I’d rather wait tables.  I just never got into it.  I marvel at the girls in our youth department who enjoy babysitting and being around kids.  I do wish I had been more like this.  God did a work in me after we got married.  It’s not that I never wanted kids.  I just wasn’t sure when I would actually want them. 
     Now, here I am thirteen and half years later and adoring my kids, even though I sound like the worst mom ever.  Oh, I’m no “Nineteen Kids and Counting” kind of mom, if you’ve ever seen that show.  I wish I could smile that much and be that calm. That woman never seems gets her feathers ruffled.  However, the Lord does continue working in me to appreciate the blessings he’s given.  
      This is currently on my mind because I’m stuck in the chair sick this week.  Went to the doctor yesterday with a double ear infection and throat infection.  2nd man came home for lunch after my appointment and told the kids to take care of me and call him if I got out of the chair to do any work.  (He knows the mess of the kitchen can sometimes overpower the sickness in me).  Anyway, they did a great job.  I was hoping to start school yesterday, but have chosen to call in Home Ec. Day.  The two older girls played with their brother and took care of his needs most of the afternoon.  Then, about 4:30 they cleaned up the kitchen and made dinner…a good one to.  Goulash, garlic bread and salad were on the menu.  Little brother set the table.   I was so thankful for that.  2nd man was willing to come home and do all of this, but he didn’t have to…what a blessing! 
     It’s nice to have them this age for more than just the chores and cooking too.  We are now at a place where we all enjoy the same humor (for the most part).  I enjoy hearing their thoughts on friends, spiritual matters, and everyday happenings. I’m also relieved that we’ve turned a corner with our little guy.  Last year I was worried sick that he’d never go to church without getting in trouble in class or something.  Yet, the past five or six months have been so much more pleasant.  He seems to have gotten the rules down finally.   Of course they aren’t perfect and I worry incessantly about weaknesses I see.  However, I enjoy watching them grow into people of their own.  I don’t look forward to them totally growing up and leaving.  Just wish we could freeze things here…well, maybe with a few more recipes in their repertoire.
    
Posted in Life Lessons, My Interests, Parenting

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone!  I have been so over blessed this year.  Haven’t had much time to post any new blogs this week because my folks came to town, from Ohio, for the week.  I was so excited about this since Thanksgiving was such a quiet and uneventful time for us.  We’ve truly enjoyed having them visit.  The kids have just loved every minute.
      We decided to make Christmas Eve very special this year.  We had our big dinner this evening with our “homeless” friend joining us.  We then had gift time at Nana’s.  However, we really celebrated the evening after that by watching “The Nativity”.  I fully realize that this movie isn’t necessarily spot on in the details.  Let’s face it we can’t get our facts from Hollywood.  However, it does provide a visual illustration that gives us an idea of what it could have been like for Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus.  The solemnity of that still night portrayed brought us all to tears.  How precious to sit and dwell on the humble birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  My heart was swollen with gratitude for what he did and the provisions he made even for his coming.  From awing and inspiring the wise men, to reaching out with special attention to the shepherds.  Even the sweet time for Mary to have the camaraderie of Elizabeth. 
       We’ll spend tomorrow having more family time and opening gifts, and of course reading the actual Biblical account of Christ’s birth.  But I pray that we’ll take the opportunity to be a blessing to God on His special day.  Better yet, may we be that blessing everyday. 
     This may seem like a rambling blog, it’s late and I”m tired, but I couldn’t resist publicly taking the opportunity to thank God for his sacrifice for me.

Posted in Associate/Youth Pastor's Wife, Life Lessons, Parenting

Trying to Get Deep

            I wonder sometimes if anyone else ever struggles with their devotions?  Boy, I can go in spurts that can be awful.  Here I’ll already feel guilty with the Lord about my lack of depth or insight and then I’m inclined to share with a teen girl or lady from the church they really need to get into the Word.  I think I just complicate it in my mind.  I’ll read a book by someone else and think “Wow! They got some real insight from the Lord!”  and then I’ll sit down to read and I get a geneology or something similar.  I’ll try to read as deep into as I can… but the…I get nothing.
            Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s not always like that, I was just wondering if anyone else ever struggles.  It’s like a feeling of inferiority.  I think the teacher in me wants to find some new insight or wow moment to share with everyone.  I’ve struggled with it recently because I’m supposed to teach the pastor’s wife’s ladies class this Sunday. I think I tend to overcomplicate things. So, I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before.  I’m stealing 2nd mans stuff.  Not really, I asked him for it first.  He actually taught his Sunday School lesson to the teens last week on this kind of thing.  How we should be meditating on the Word of God and how to make it more meaningful and gather all we can out of it.  He didn’t even know my struggle when he prepared the lesson, but it was pointed right at me.
            (I might add here one of my beefs about older teens who say they don’t get anything out of the youth classes anymore.  BALONEY!  I’ve been in the youth class for the 13 years we’ve been married and then some.  I get stuff out of it regularly.  That’s an excuse for feeling too big in their britches or just wanting out. Parents beware of this excuse.)  Ok, I’m off the soapbox.
            Anyway, my pastor’s wife says that she likes to give me, and the outreach minister’s wife these opportunities to share what God has done in our lives lately.  Well, this is what he’s been working on…getting deeper.  Deeper with Him and deeper into His Word.  I’ve used other people’s books before as outline guides for a class so why not my own husband’s stuff. (with girlier application and illustration of course). 
           
Sweet Mom Moment:  Driving to church Sunday night, my kids noticed the big, lighted angel in the local park was turned on that night.  They were all oohing and aahing at it.  My daughters decided to quiz our little guy about it.  “Whose birthday is it that we decorate for?”  to which he replied, “Jesus, it’s Jesus’ birthday.”  They were praising him for getting it right when he went on, “I hope it makes him happy.”   My thought to that is “me too”  I hope it makes Him happy too.
           
Posted in Parenting

Unplugged

            Well, it’s hard to believe another Thanksgiving has come and gone already.  Ours was pretty quiet around here.  Oh, not for lack of trying.  I all but begged my folks to come out here from Ohio, but circumstances just didn’t work out.  2nd man’s mom lives in a cottage behind our home, but was only able to eat and run since she works at a nursing home.  The rest of the staff left town to be with family.  The real kicker was when our homeless friend (who isn’t homeless anymore) didn’t even want to come.  I invited him over coffee on the front porch, but he said he preferred to eat at a local church that was putting on a dinner for the public.  Well isn’t that a real how-de-do!  I can’t even do a good deed. 
            It all turned out nice anyway.  We enjoyed the non-stress day and even got in a good long afternoon of monopoly with our girls.  (This was to make up for messing with their dinner.)  I decided to give our little “eat clean” experiment a try with some new recipes.  Some were ok.  The kids didn’t even notice that the pumpkin pie was different.  However, the sweet potato casserole…well….it left something to be desired.  There are some things that just seem kind of untouchable when it comes to a feast like Thanksgiving. 
               
            2nd man and I were able to have one of our spontaneous talks while the kids were out visiting Nana in the cottage Thanksgiving morning.  Sometimes, on a non-hurried day we end up in these conversations that I just love…and sometimes hate.  This one was a mixture namely, because we were discussing the kids.  We like to kind of update each other on where we think our kids are spiritually, socially, mentally etc.  We both are concerned about how much technology they are getting lately.  Our little guy (only 4 yrs old) seems obsessed with playing some sort of video game either on daddy’s phone or the girls’ Nintendo DS.  The girls seem just as enthused.  I, for one, am not a big video game enthusiast, so I know my viewpoint is a bit prejudiced.  However, I really want my kids to be able to have conversations about something other than make-believe.  They aren’t totally gone on all of this, but we hashed out some of our concerns and have decided to tighten the reins a little bit.  I knew this was a good idea when, in the car today, my oldest daughter asked if she could unplug herself while daddy was in the store.  What she meant to say was unbuckle…sigh…great moments in motherhood.  Little did she know how prophetic she was actually being.  On the way home we noticed two sets of stop- lights that were out.   When we arrived to our house the whole neighborhood was out of power.  We had to all get unplugged anyway.  
Posted in Associate/Youth Pastor's Wife, Parenting, Teens

Some things the Youth Pastor’s Wife Wishes she Could Tell Parents to Teach Their Daughters Intro:

Some things the youth pastors wife wishes she could tell parents to teach their  daughters:
1.      How to act ladylike.  A good burp or bodily function can be funny at certain times, but really….it’s not that enjoyable to the rest of us.  The boys may laugh, but they aren’t sincerely impressed.  Who wants a wife that can out noise them?
2.      You aren’t the center of the universe.  I know this is the lifelong plight of all parents to teach their children.  However, of recent it would seem that some parents promote this thinking.  Perhaps training them to look outside of themselves and see a bigger world would help them and the world.
3.      You don’t need a boyfriend.  Here’s the biggie.  Yes, I want my daughters to like boys, but I don’t want them to need boys.  I witness so many girls sacrifice personality and character all for the sake of flirting.
4.      You do need God.  My mom used to tell me that there was nothing more attractive than a godly man…she was right.  I would surmise that the opposite is true coming from the boys’ side.  I’m sure that a godly girl must seem quite attractive and even challenging.  I would love to ingrain this in all teen girls I meet.  It would so improve and fulfill their entire lives if they could have their full confidence in God.  Any man that he brings into their lives from there would be icing on the cake
5.      Be thankful.  So many young women aren’t thankful…for anything.  This leads into adult women who aren’t thankful.  Thankfulness is a godly character that should never be underestimated (read Psalms).  And remember: Silent gratitude is of no use to anyone.
6.      Teach them to be keepers of their homes and not women’s libbers.  My mother’s generation was so focused on teaching my generation to think only of myself and get a career and make money and be like a man.  Now my generation is stuck trying to teach ourselves how to take care of our homes.  Careers and money are great, but the family still needs fed and the toilets still get dirty.
7.      Dress modestly.  Oh yes, the cry of youth pastors wives nationwide.  The girls seem to think this is only for church or to please their youth leaders.  Why?  Because it seems we’re having trouble getting moms on board with this.  This will always be a challenge in a woman’s life in this modern world, however, it is possible to be fashionable and modest.  Why would you want to show yours or your daughter’s goods to the world?  I’m especially astonished at what people allow their daughters to wear even to church.  The ability to blush has become a lost character trait.  Please moms, don’t sacrifice your daughters to the world this way. Oh, and btw this is one of those battles we should choose to fight.
8.      Communication.  I am always so surprised and impressed when I come across teens who can talk with adults.  Oh, not about boring stuff to them like decorating or grocery bills.  But conversations about matters like God, and the world and challenges in life.  We must, as parents, teach our kids to communicate, so that as they grow they will continue to communicate.  They are facing so many tough challenges in the teen years that if they don’t know how to keep talking to parents and teachers and God,  they are left to navigate these years alone.  Many seem to shut down and adults take this as a natural stage.  There is nothing natural about shut down.
9.      Be respectful.  Life is not fair.  The teachers can be subjective, the pastors and youth pastors can make mistakes, not to mention parents can mess up too.  However, this does not give teens the right to be disrespectful.  I don’t always agree with who is in the office of the president, but if I ever met the president you can bet I’d give him respect for the sake of the position.  It is vital to teach kids to be respectful of authority even if they disagree with that authority.  You can bet we, in the ministry, know who is having disrespectful conversations about the ministers at home.  It shows in their kids behavior and attitudes. 
10.  Finally, please use the youth pastor’s wife.  It is not an official position that’s for sure.  But, I never feel more fulfilled than when God allows me to be of use for him and my husband by talking or praying with a young lady.  Even godly parents could use the reinforcement of another person giving their daughter godly advice.  It’s not that I want to know all their junk.  It’s that they are allowing me to be a part in their circle of influence.  This is wise on their behalf. 
Hmmm, this is quite the list.  I’m thinking I might have to expand on some of these points in days to come…
Posted in Associate/Youth Pastor's Wife, Daily Musings, Parenting

All by Myself

     I had the most wonderful day today.  One of those that people like me dream about, but rarely get to see.
            2nd man took the teenagers paint balling.  No, this is not where I went.  I learned long ago that this was not the activity for me.  I went two times in our first couple of years here in Oklahoma.  The first time was exhilarating as I won one of the games by capturing the flag.  However, the second time I went, I was shot to pieces.  I was sure it was 2nd man doing the shooting.  The referee was squatting down behind where I was trapped.  As the paintballs kept hitting me they wouldn’t break.  The referee was getting a kick out of this as he kept chuckling and informing me “you’re still alive ha ha.”  2nd man could hear me writhing and kept yelling over through the trees, “check yourself!  See if they’re breaking!”  to which I replied, “Stop shooting and I will.”  By now I was in tears, not for the pain, but for the anger welling up in me.  I just couldn’t understand why he kept shooting me without pause. He was so asking to sleep on the sofa.  Finally, one of the paintballs broke and I was declared officially “dead” for that game.  It was later that I found out it wasn’t 2nd man shooting me at all.  It was one of the deacons of the church.  One of the sweetest, meekest, and mildest men in our church tried to kill me from the rush of the game…arghhhh….men.
            Anyway, instead of putting myself through torture, I farmed out the kids to a friend and went to Tulsa for the day.  Yes, all by myself, with money to spend and an agenda to be had.  I planned the whole day beforehand.  Had coupons in hand and a car to myself.  I left early in the morning, and the most exciting part, I had no reason to rush there and back as usually happens.  This was good since I did end up taking a wrong turn and wandering around for about 30 minutes before getting my bearings again.  I kind of enjoyed the wandering jaunt through unknown parts of Tulsa without the pressure of getting to where I was going.  I had a classical station on the radio and found some most beautiful mansions in neighborhoods I’d never known.
            I had discovered, online, that Tulsa had a Whole Foods Store.  Boy, was that fun!  I could have spent half the day there discovering all the fun health foods and feeling so trendy and healthy.  However, the money ran out before the time.   I think I’ll have to return on a less busy day when I can wander around some more.
            I’ve now returned to real life and must now go get ready for Sunday morning.  Thankfully, 2nd man returned unscathed from his battles and even bathed the children for me.  Boy, what a day!
Posted in Daily Musings, Parenting

Little Boys and Kitty Cat Toys

            2nd man is at a deacon’s meeting tonight so I’ve got a little time to write.  The girls are playing in their room and one little fella got sent to bed early.  We decided a few weeks ago to put an end to nap time.  Seems he was staying up until 10:30 –11:00pm! Oh, he’d stay in bed, but if you even passed by the hall his little torso shot straight up, just to let you know he was awake.  Now, we’re working on weaning him off of technology.  He’s learned how to play the girls’ Nintendo DS. I find this amazing seeming as how I can hardly turn the thing on.  Anyway, it consumes his every thought right now (which drives me crazy).  Suddenly the room full of toys, books, and coloring books just doesn’t make the cut anymore.  We’ve already trained him not to ask to play the DS anymore than one time.  So, now he’s moved on to other tactics like a check in every 5 –10 minutes, “Mom, what can I do now?”  Oh, I’ve taken advantage of this, believe you me (whatever that means).  He’s picked up all the stray socks, shoes, and toys all over the house a dozen times.  But, tonight, he just wouldn’t stop…so, I sent him to bed early.  The thing is, he didn’t seem to mind a bit.  Went right to sleep.  “Is this good?” I ask myself.  I mean, I’m glad he obeyed, but it was supposed to be more of a punishment-learn –a-lesson- kind of thing.  Instead I think he just missed his naptime…sigh.
            On another weird note, Curly kitty earned his keep today!  I heard a strange dog food dropping sound coming from the kitchen this afternoon.   However, the dogs were outside. Curly heard it too. He immediately shot for the kitchen and in seconds had a mouse in his mouth.  I ushered the two of them out the door with cheers for the good kitty.  However, later in the day I realized he was using the poor little thing as a play toy.  He was batting it all over the front yard.  It just wouldn’t die.  I know I sound insensitive here, but we live in the city…no place for mice.  By the time 2nd man got home the mouse was confirmed dead in the front drive…RIP. 
            This is now the second time Curly has earned his keep in the last 5 or six years that he’s had us.  Yes, I said that correctly.  He adopted us.  Just showed up on our doorstep one morning looking all cute and everything.  I figured he belonged to a neighbor lady.  However, after asking around it seemed he had no owner.  He was so cute and interesting since his tail curls up like a squirrel.  After determining that he wasn’t leaving I took him to the vet, I was sure the he was pregnant (obviously convinced the cat was a girl).  That’s when we actually found out he was a he and already fixed to boot! The Dr. said that the tail had been broken at some point and never got fixed. 
            I never liked cats until Curly.  He worked his way into our house and our hearts, and now is my devotion time buddy.  I wake in the morning and go to the kitchen to get my coffee.  That’s when Curly climbs up to the kitchen window and knocks to get in.  I let him in and we have devotions together.  It’s a pretty good set up.  The only drawback is that we can’t allow him to spend the night in the house, because, inevitably, he wakes at 5 am!  Doesn’t matter the time of year. 
He’s totally attached to us; loves to be wherever the kids are.  Actually, when we go on walks he follows us moaning for us not to go too far out of his territory.  We once walked to a nearby church for a high school chorale concert.  He followed us to the main busy street and waited there until we walked home.  Can’t beat that kind of loyalty huh?  I don’t know if I’ll ever want another cat, but Curly is always welcome.
Posted in Associate/Youth Pastor's Wife, Daily Musings, Parenting

Costumes and Bumpers

     Another big weekend has come and gone.  We spent Friday setting up and Saturday hosting a Fall Festival in our family life center.  I know some people have differing opinions over this.  However, we believe that, just as we celebrate Christmas, which has pagan backgrounds, we might as well redeem other days for the Lord as well.  So, the youth in our church host this event, allowing kids from the entire town to dress in fun (no scary) costumes and come have fun.   We give each person who comes in the door a tract and an invitation to come to our church.  Boy that sounded like a big disclaimer huh ?
     Anyway, it was a busy, but fun time.  Our own kids really enjoyed it.  Well, they mostly enjoyed getting there early so they could have the inflatable games to themselves.  I had a Minnie Mouse, a Spiderman and a very modest Wonder Woman.  Had to make a special skirt to lengthen Wonder Woman’s costume.  The real wonder is that anyone recognized who she was supposed to be by the end of it. 
     Minnie Mouse had a wardrobe malfunction in the moon bounce.  Stepped on her dress and ripped it right down the middle.  Thankfully, we have a plastic tub of extra clothing we take to camps and we were able to fix her right up…disaster averted. 
      I took pictures of them all before we even left the house, because, sure enough, the mask was thrown off of spider man, the gloves came off of Minnie, and Wonder Woman had to get comfortable in order to play at all. 
      All in all, the teens did a fantastic job of setting up, running the show and even cleaning up afterwards.  We received tons of compliments on them; A shining moment on their behalf. 
Car Update:
     On the way to the Fall Festival Saturday evening a couple more moments in car history occurred.  You see, since writing about my car a few weeks ago, something new has happened every week.  Our friend Bubba has taken care of a couple of them graciously.  However, Saturday was something else.  I pulled up in the drive thru of a fast food joint to order dinner for the kids, only to find that all of the power windows, except mine, worked.  So, I had to do the redneck thing and open my door to order.  Then I had to open the door to pay and get the food too.  I contemplated pulling up so that my daughter in the back seat could pay and get the food, but this could send her into panic and spilled drinks. 
     After that I had to make a quick stop at the store.  When I came out and put my items in the trunk, the bumper fell off onto my feet… again.  This time it broke into pieces.  This sent me into one of my imaginations.  The thought that came up was of an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” in which a wife kept locking her husband out of doors and cars until he would do some funny little dance.  “Come on!” he kept saying and then, finally, he’d do the dance.   I kind of feel like God is doing this to me.  Like He’s saying, “do your grateful dance Jenny” as he flicks the bumper off of my car.  “Come on!” I shout and then have to try to remind myself to be grateful.  Of course we Baptists don’t dance, but I have a little tribute for the Lord right now fully innocent with only arms that I think He understands.  One day I will be all grown up in this area of gratitude.  Can’t promise it will be this side of Heaven though.