Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I have no clue what is up with me today.

This morning I tried to make coffee and ended up getting about 4 cups of it all over the counter.

I hadn't put the filter holder thingy in correct and had no clue.  The little timer went off telling me that I had coffee but then when I went to pour it in my cup it there was none.  I looked at the machine very strangely for a long time before calling Roger at the office. I got the answering machine right about the time I figured out that I had put the filter holder thingy in wrong. When I reached in to move it, it being full of HOT coffee water, still on the phone with the answering machine, I burnt my hand.  Then, because I had moved it to the correct position, the water started filtering through. The only problem was that the coffee pot was NOT in the machine. Coffee started going EVERYWHERE and I coudn't figure out how to stop it.
This whole time I STILL have the phone in my hand and Roger's answering machine is STILL recording me.  

This afternoon, while vacuuming, I noticed that powdery stuff was coming out of the side of the vacuum.  I thought it a bit odd, but just kept right along. When I got finished I decided to change the bag since I hadn't changed it in a LONG time. I thought it strange that the little light indicating a need for a change hadn't come on.  I pulled the front of the vacuum off and out came a MASSIVE amount of dust and dirt . . . all over the carpet.  "ROGER!  HELP! OH DEAR LORD!  FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE I CAN'T WIN TODAY."

Tonight, after tucking the kids into bed, I took off quickly into my bedroom to grab something. And if i didn't trip over a big suitcase.  I have no clue how that suitcase got there.  

I finally broke down and bought new jammies!  All of the others have BIG holes in the butt.  
I figured since the holidays are approaching, and that I will be spending the night with lots of family, I should finally give up the holy pjs.   I'm sure my Mother will appreciate that! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quick Family Update

I think we are all finally starting to get used to our new schedule because this week was less cRaZy than the last 2 months have been.  
But that could be because  I skipped 2 volunteer things this week that I normally do. 

I know, I felt a little bad about it.

I just NEEDED some time to myself, to care for myself so that I wouldn't be the wicked witch to my hyper children. 
Last week I had 2 exams that I had to prepare for.
My test anxiety was SUPER HIGH. 
I hadn't studied for an exam in over 5 years. 
 And I had NEVER studied for an exam while trying to parent 2 elementary school children all by myself. (roger was REALLY busy last week so he was gone a lot)

Class is going great for me! 

I do have a LOT to think about at ALL TIMES but that's ok. 
I've really looked forward to this time in my life and I am really enjoying all the knowlegde that is being passed on to me.  

I love being able to use my mind again!  

However, with the kids and the house, I seem to have something that needs my attention at all times.  That part is a bit exhausting, but I am slowly learning to balance it all.
 I've taken up swimming laps at the local fitness center on Thursday evenings as a way to destress.
 It's lovely!!
And of course I still do my daily walks with Jimmy the dog, no matter the weather. 

 Little moments away, to breathe and reflect on life, help me to enjoy the hectic craziness of our lives at the moment.

Speaking of breathing, my new pacemaker setting and new meds are doing WONDERFUL.
 Now that I know what it feels like to not feel as if I am about to fall over dead, I am amazed that I was able to get through the summer with the kids.  
I can't believe I drove ALL THE WAY to the beach with the kids, with out Roger, and kept up with them the WHOLE TIME.  During that trip my blood pressure was dangerously low and my pulse was at 40, but I had no idea. All I knew is that I felt so horrible.  

No wonder I was like a walking zombie.  
I nearly was.

Ok, this is as much time as I have to devote to a quick update. Just know that all is well, I am feeling AMAZIN (thank you God, doctors, pacemaker, and meds), the kids are getting the hang of being back in school, I am getting the hang of being back in school, and Roger is starting to get used to not being IN school.

Life is pretty sweet!

It would be even sweeter if we could sell that darn house.  It has been on the market for OVER 2 YEARS. 

We are thinking about renting it out if it doesn't sell in the next few weeks.
I can't stand to see an empty house go through another cold winter.

Now I best get dressed, and the kids dressed, for church.  This pastor's wife is ALWAYS LATE.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Pastor Anna

This afternoon while Roger and I were at church cleaning up and setting up for a function, Anna asked if she could try her hand at preaching.  It took a bit for her to warm up, but once she did there was no stopping her.

Bless her heart, at 4 years of age, she has more spunk than most grown up pastors. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Stay Near The Door: Reflections on Seminary

When I recently stopped by Mom and Dad's house I was handed a laundry basket full of my old stuff.

Mom had decided to finally move us kids out.

Being a neat freak myself, the last thing I wanted to do was to take a laundry basket full of childhood stuff home.  My initial response was to ask Mom to just toss it ALL. 

But then I caught a glimpse of an old book in the basket.  

A book that my husband, Roger, had given me when I was about 16.  
An old book written by Seward Hiltner, on Pastoral Counseling. 

I took the basket home.

I can't believe I had forgotten how long I have been wrestling with the idea of going to seminary.

Before Roger and I officially became boyfriend or girlfriend, back when we were "just friends," we used to talk about how we both felt called to the ministry in some way.   One of the first gifts Roger gave to me was the above mentioned book on Pastoral Counseling.  

Years later, here I sit, in Seminary, studying for a degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling.

I want to share this poem with you that was shared with me this past week.
It's written by a paster about his call to the ministry and I find it to be a beautiful way to describe this vocation that Roger and I find ourselves in.  

I stay near the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world,
It is the the door through which men walk when they find God.
There's no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for the door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it . . .
So I stay near the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door -  the door to God.
The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch - the latch that only locks
And opens to the man's own touch.
Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter -
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it - live because they found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him . . .
So I stay near the door.

Go in, great saints, go all the way in -
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics - 
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest hidden casements,
Of the withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Som must inhabit those inner rooms,
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture in a little farther,
But my place seems closer to the opening . . .
So I stay near the door.

There is another reason why I stay there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great, and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia,
And want to get out. "Let me out!" they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled
For the old life, they have seen too much:
Once taste God, and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.

The people too far in do not see how near these are 
To leaving - preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door,
But would like to run away. So for them, too,
I stay near the door.
I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply,  and stay in too long,
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there, too.

Where? Outside the door - 
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But, more important for me,
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stay by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
I had rather be a door keeper . . .
So I stay near the door.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What The Church Is To Me

Within the church sit flawed people with shared stories of redemption. 

Not all of our stories are exactly alike.  
The experience may differ. 
The story we share.

Unfortunately, a growing number in our society only see the institution and not the people.  

Unaffiliated, Designer Faiih, seems to be the fasts growing "religion" in America.  

Our society is full of isolated, independently minded people who suffer the great sickness of loneliness. 

They look for community in secular places and are boggled when that community is not found

Yes, Jesus can be found in the backyard, at the fitness center, in the knitting circle and at the bar, but how often do the ppl you meet in those places come to your home for dinner, or attempt to reach out to you during a time of need, or are willing to lovingly confront you so that you are able to grow as a person.

The church, for me, is the center of the community.  
For those within the church they see it as the place where the broken gather to heal, where the happy go to rejoice, and the lonely go to build a community. 

Those who have never experienced a loving church community see the church as an unnecessary institution.

They don't see the people. 

The people, the community, the shared story, is what keeps me going through the good and bad. 

The church gives me hope.  

To follow Christ we allow His life to move over our lives.

As a result, we change.

We grow.

We share.