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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Al La Peanut Butter Sandwiches…

I remember as a kid, my mom and dad reading me a book about Mumford the Magnificent, one of my favorite sesame street characters.  In the book, he tries to remember the magic words to make his trick works. Ever feel like you’re doing that when you pray? Trying to find the right words to convey your message to God, as if he didn’t already know your heart?

My dad and I were watching a program one night, and the preacher was talking about “Stupid Prayers”.  He said they start with “Lord, Aunt Mary is in the Hospital”… Duh!! God knows that she’s in the hospital!! I know that it isn’t actually a “Stupid Prayer”, but at the time, it sure gave us a chuckle.  Now, whenever I pray, I find myself thinking about that. And about 1,001 other things. Have you ever To-Do list prayed? Sadly, this happens to me more then I’d like to admit. If you don’t know what a “To-Do List” prayer is, let me give you an example.

In the beginning of September, The Hubs and I set out to give our thrift store a make over.  This thrift store actually funds our winter emergency shelter, and the funds weren’t exactly where we needed them to be.  The night before we started, I was very specific in my prayers, praying for each of the volunteers and staff, knowing that change is hard for some people, and praying for specific changes we needed to make.  This reminded me of something I needed to pick up for the makeover.  THAT reminded me that I had a movie that needed to be returned in the same mall.  Then I wondered when I’d find time to do that, and wondered what the Hubs’ schedule was like, and if he could pick it up. But maybe he has a Dr’s appointment. I have to pick up some meds, I wonder if when Walmart opens here, their prescription prices will be cheaper. I hope it opens before Christmas because I need to do some Christmas shopping. Oh wait!! I was praying!!!

Or how about the “Barter” prayer? My soul, my flaws, my mistakes, my hurts my hang ups can all be Yours, Lord, for the low low price of getting me out of this jam.  I’m guilty of this one too.  Especially over the last 2 years while The Hubs has been in and out of the hospital, surgery, stress tests, scary words like heart attack floating around.  I’ve bartered. I’ve begged!

Do you know this one? Or the “Genie” prayer? Lord, I want _______. I’ve been good, I’ve followed Your path for my life, I want _____ and infinity other wishes.

One of my biggest fears is being asked to pray in public.  Its a pretty commonly known fact.  When I was working in Toronto, my boss and I had a code.  I would tap her shoe with my foot and she would pray.  The hubs and I have a deal that I probably shouldn’t admit on here lest it blow my cover.  Because our names are so similar, the deal is if someone asks me to pray, he’ll do it, and then later on we’ll play it off as if we just misheard.  Don’t hear what I’m not saying (not bad, right my southern peeps?) If a person came to me and said “I need you to pray with me”, I’m there.  All over it.  But in front of everyone?  No dice.

The hubs asked me a few weeks back what it was that made me anxious of it.  The truth?  I’m worried I wont say the right thing.  That I will have missed an important part of what was said and pray for the wrong thing, or that my prayer wont measure up to someone else’s prayer. That I’ll flip into To-Do prayer mode, right there in front of everyone!  What if I forget something that I was supposed to pray for?

Growing up as a pastors kid, spending roughly 1,664 Days at Church, not including special occasions, meetings, kids groups etc. etc. etc.  I’ve heard people pray.  I’ve heard some incredible prayers.  But when it comes down to me, sharing my heart like that… the words just don’t come.

I carry a notebook in my bag, put it on my nightstand at bedtime, keep it next to me while sitting on the couch watching TV.  In it I write down peoples prayer requests as they share them. During Prayer time on Sunday mornings, while scrolling through Facebook, talking to friends… as they mention it, I jot it down and then when I find quite space, quite time, I take out my notebook and pray.

I start each day, each prayer, each task asking God to help me focus, to give me the attention to detail needed for what I’m facing.

I’m learning to be comfortable with not having the words. God knows my heart. My fears, my joys, my thankful moments, He knows them.  When I pray , when I don’t know what to say, He knows what’s in my heart when I can’t find the words.

Its a work in progress.

prayer

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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Prayer, Relationship

 

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And so starts 34…

I took a walk down memory lane again today. Last year this time (go ahead… click… you know you want to…) the Hubs was just home after a 4 day stint in the hospital after some pretty scary moments in our family.  I felt like everything was falling apart, and was grasping desperately at  the rainbows everyone kept telling me were out there.

33 was crazy! Actually… 32 & 33 were crazy. I thought my husband was dying (which, thankfully wasn’t the case), I thought we were getting ready to adopt a baby, a process we were told would take 1-2 years (at least).  The middle of 33 got a little hairy when we got a frantic call while on vacation about an hour outside of San Antonio from our social worker that meant we had MAYBE 4 weeks to prepare for a sweet baby boy to enter our home.  33 involved a lot of lows… a lot of sacrifice, or so it felt at the time.

I have no idea what awaits around the next turn.  The Hubs would tell probably tell you that not knowing is eating away at me.  And… he may not be far off.  I’m trying to trust. TRYING.

A lot of the circumstances are the same as I start 34.  The baby aches still hit, the Hubs is still sick. I still wake at least 10-15 times during the night to make sure he’s breathing.  2 of our boys still live around the world… too far to comprehend sometimes.

34 will be different.

I have no control over the Hubs health. I can do my best to make sure I don’t take one moment I have with him for granted.

I can’t snap my fingers and make our family grow.  I can make sure that the time I spend with our boys is memorable.

I can’t change the fact that, at times, I feel so inadequate that its hard to function.  I can turn those moments over to God and trust that He will give me rest, as promised.

I can’t change the fact that money isn’t the same for us, and that we’ve had to stretch further then we’ve ever had to stretch before.  I can use these as teachable moments for our whole family (myself included) on how to appreciate the little things, not just the high ticket things we buy to fill a void.

I can’t change the fact that I’m not the me I want to be right now.  I can start here… today… and refocus, renew and recharge.

Before you think I’m focusing on the negative for yet another birthday, I’m really not.   I’ve spent a very long time hiding from who I am, from what makes me…me. I’ve apologized for being who I was, thinking my faults and past defined me.  I’m pretty tired of that.  Just today, I was griping to the Hubs that people who are two-faced are probably my biggest pet peeve, but when I stop to think about it, not being myself, the good bad and ugly… that’s a kind of two-faced… So maybe its time I take off my own mask.

I take today, this year as a challenge.  Step out, say yes more, get uncomfortable, push boundaries, rediscover what I love, what makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.  I don’t know how it will work out… the path of self discovery is often littered with baggage , costumes and relationships shed along the way.  But… I’ll keep you posted… I expect it will be filled with a lot of moments like this…

life

 

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Inspired by Obedience (a day early even!)

I’ve always been a bit of a different character.  I think that’s the polite way to say it.  As far back as I can remember, I’ve balked at authority, pushed the limits with rules, and generally made my own “Normal”.  Rules make me roll my eyes, and I’ve been known to say “Well, that’s just too bad, it needs to be done my way!” WAY more than is healthy for someone who’s spent their life in ministry. Don’t get me wrong, The Hubs can be just as head strong as me, but he manages it better. M-U-C-H better (Most of the time)!

So, what do you get when you mix 2 very head strong people with some serious baggage and “Church Hurts”?  What we got was 6-8 months where the thought of entering a church door caused anguish.  It was NOT a good time for us, for our relationship, for our souls.  Thankfully a friend invited us to her church (pastors kids…. we’re always looking out for each other), and not really knowing why, we said yes.  We went… we had a plan… in, be seen, out.  EASY.  Or so we thought.

We walked into that church and it literally changed our lives.  In all honesty, it probably saved our relationship with our families and with each other.  A church full of hurting people awaited us in those pews, and told us it was ok to be hurt, it was ok to be mad, but it wasn’t ok to turn our backs on the only source of True Peace.  The Hubs, having spent 9 years previous as a pastor, was “home”.  Where he needed to be at that time.  Me, I was better… not great, but better. Life went on.  We had bumps, hiccups, even a couple road blocks, but life… as far as I knew… didn’t get much better than this.

Then we hit that fateful night.  The conversation that brought us here.  You’ve read how it went for me, (If not, click here to check it out… I’ll wait… go ahead… 🙂 how the Hubs telling me he wanted to go back to ministry as a pastor ripped my world apart.

Up until now I never looked at it from HIS side.  Imagine struggling with “putting off” God’s calling. (Not hard to imagine for those of us who are doing it right now).  Hubs knew, by telling me, that he was opening a door he couldn’t close.

The courage it must have taken, knowing how long and how hard we had tried to grow our family.  The struggles of fertility issues, of miscarriages. The nights he spent trying to console me as my heart cried out for a baby that seemed like it was never coming. And even though he knew it would mean that our adoption plans went on hold, he knew what he HAD to do.

He knew that a 75% pay cut would be hard to swallow.  He knew that I had sworn long ago that my kids wouldn’t grow up as I had, moving from city to city, never having a “childhood friend” for more then a couple years before it was time to go on to the next place.  He knew that asking me to go and be a pastors wife would stretch me beyond my wildest dreams.  He knew that with my history of “running” that he could tell me and I’d say “Nope, this isn’t what I signed up for” and leave.

He knew all those things, but more than that…. he knew he had no choice.  He knew that his obedience to Gods calling outweighed all those things, and he knew he had to take the chance.  I can’t imagine the stress, the anxiety he would have felt in those days leading up to his breaking point.

His willingness, his NEED to put himself out there, and say “This is what I have to do” inspires, challenges and confronts me every day.  I may not always remember to tell him, or to act like it, but not a moment goes by without me knowing how Blessed I am to have him as my husband and best friend.

As I work through the struggle of my own life in ministry, however that may look, it is because of The Hubs support that I have the courage to look at MY options in all of this.

us

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Adoption, Babies, Bible Study, McHubby, Mess, Move, Prayer

 

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