The Loves of My Life

The Loves of My Life

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Full of Friends

I love our house. God has blessed us with a great home in a good neighborhood. We have a big backyard (that still needs a lot of work) and some great extra space in our garage.
Sometimes I am not sure why I love our house so much. TO be honest, it's nothing grand to look at. It's a yucky brown color on the outside that we keep saying someday we will re-paint. It's only 3 bedrooms with 1 bathroom (that will be fun when the kids get older) and it's wood floors need a really good "re-do". The roof is old, and some of the fixtures are outdated and sometimes it's "smallness" makes feel claustrophobic. Plus, the fact that we are on a "busier" street drives me bonkers when it's 95 degrees outside, the windows are wide open and the cars with BIG motors stop and turn down the street all the while I am trying to listen to my important tv show.

But I still love it. And here is why.....
Last night, as i was once again laying fetal on my bed, our good friends that our extremely generous, delivered a beautiful new couch to our home. Now, when I say new, I mean "new to us" but it looks almost brand new to me. It's a kind of couch we have been desiring since we moved into our house, but since our trust fund isn't plush, it' s not high on the priorities list. My dear friend had just gotten a new couch and asked us if we wanted theirs. My heart leaped. I LOVED their couch but never in a million years (or at least until our kids were college age) thought we could purchase such a beautiful couch. Of course I said yes. and last night they brought it over. I was so happy when they came over. Happy for the new couch, but also happy because of the squeal of delight from my children when they saw their kids. The squeal screamed "REAL PLAYMATES cuz mommy's boring right now!" and they ran off to play Coconut Coconut in the backyard. But after they helped us configure the couch and left to go home, Paul and I sat on our new couches in a revered silence. I was looking around and noticing why I love our house so much.
Paul put it into words a few moments later.

Almost everything in our house has been given to us. We went from room to room and named each piece and the wonderful friends or family it came from. I even thought of our remodeled bathroom and garage and how that was given to us in time and sweat. I think there might be 3 pieces of furniture that we have purchased and the rest have been a gift. Our house is full of "love and generosity" and it's such a warm wonderful feeling. As I walk through my home on a daily basis, I am reminded of those I love as I use the precious gift that has been given. I thank God for them and say a prayer for them as I sit, sleep, watch TV, jump, take a shower, organize, or put laundry away. All these things remind me of how much i love them, and how much they love me. It reminds me of God's goodness and provision in my life. It reminds to give freely and expect nothing in return.

That's why I love my home. It may not be decorated with the newest and most updated electronics or furniture, but it's filled with something far better.........

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Word is Out

So I started this blog with  the intention of writing almost daily. 
I have actually about 4 blogs in my head swirling around anticipating the moment that i type life into them...but I have a huge problem.

Pregnancy sickness (I don't call it morning sickness, cuz it's really an all day thing for me).

Yep, that's right folks...yours truly is freakin pregnant!!

I know I am still in shock too.

ok...stop laughing now..... :)

Yes....we were done and yes we planned on paul getting the snip snip this year....but things happen. Well IT happened. and let's face it....if you're married, IT should always be happening. (I love referring to sex as IT, it seems so sneaky). Yes, we were using birth control, but it is our form of birth control...and it worked for about 7 years.  But still one got by.......

Yea- I know you are all STILL laughing. I am too to be quite honest. At first I wasn't. I was terribly depressed. In fact, the first 3 days nothing came out of my mouth but cuss words- kinda like Keri Russell's character in "The Waitress" except she used nice words like " damn baby" and I used a few choicer words. My sister actually coined a term for me thru those first few days. All I had to do was text her "DSF!!!! and she knew what I was thinking. (you can figure out those cuss words can't you?) I  even cried.

I cried for the loss of my freedom
I cried for the loss of the simple life that we have now with two kids in school
I cried for all the crappy diapers I would have to change
I cried for that extra bag I will have to carry around filled with baby stuff
I cried for my friends who can't have babies, and here I am having a "Woopsie"
I cried for ALL the baby stuff we gave away
I cried for the fact  I can't birth a 2 year old.
and I cried for the financial freedom that could have come with me working while the kiddos were in school.

But I did rejoice in bigger boobs!...and so did Paul

So here I am, feeling okay enough to sit and type for now...but the nausousness comes in waves and by 6pm, I am in fetal position on the bed. lol it's funny and sad at the same time.

So....the word is out..... and Paul and I have to agree that our favorite line from most people (besides laughter)  is...."Oh, Our surprise was the biggest blessing."

Let's just hope so people....let's just hope so........ 

Friday, July 25, 2008

So Happy!

There is something so spiritual about a new washing machine. Today my brand new energy star came home and I have spent all day happily doing laundry. Every time I put a new load in it's like I am wiping away all bad memories of laundry before. I don't know why, but my clothes look cleaner, they smell fresher and it seems so much easier than before.

Simple things make me happy.
Isn't she beautiful???

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Pulled The Trigger......

So I started off this post with a ramble of my frustrations with the church institution and  then I stopped....I completely blanked. This usually means God is telling me to shut up. So I did, and deleted it. So instead of a rant on the church you are gonna get an exciting  story of my new washing machine. Yay for you!

 I finally pulled the trigger and bought a new washer. Its taken me a few weeks, lots of research, 2 trip to Lowes, and 3 trips to Home Depot. You see buying anything over $100 is such a HUGE commitment for me. It might as well be like trying to buy a car. Let's face it...I am (for the most part) a stay at home mom with a pastor for a husband.  We are still paying off my college loans (almost done!!!) and still trying to play catch up from an unfortunate incident with our taxes 5 years ago (note- when you are in ministry, make sure you or the church is paying into social security). So the the trust fund isn't plush if ya know what I am saying. I actually hate admitting's a pride thing.  And it's probably  a little too much info because finances are a taboo subject...but hey...I always over why not this subject.

So as I was saying, HUGE commitment to buy a washer. I mean what brand do you get? what model?  Should it be front loader? or a more affordable top loader? should it be an energy star or energy efficient? How many settings do you want? stainless steel basket or plastic?  I mean who knew that there were SO MANY options?

Well I had finally figured it out. I knew the model I wanted and where to get the best bargain. (because it's all about the bargain). SO I went to the Home Depot in Lakewood. I walked right up to the appliance lady and said,  "I want to buy a washer today and I know what I want." For any sales person this should be like the gates of heaven opening up and smiling down on you. But not this lady.  I continued to tell her that what i wanted was a model not currently on the floor but it was an energy star top loader. She looked at me and for the next 5 minutes explained how they can't order anything online and  there are no such things as energy star top loaders anymore. To make a long story short, after I patiently tried to  explain how I just saw it on their site and show her on her computer, she just kept giving me the sighs (yea, those annoying sighs). AND then her computer illiteracy put me over the edge. The girl didn't even know how to navigate the site. When I simply told her to look on the next page, she began to scroll down and click on some other link. AUGH! Yes, I walked out with so much frustration my kids were telling me to slow down and wait for them. Obviously this girl has a hard time selling stuff.

So i went to a different Home Depot and talked to a nice little man named Monty who let me show him what I wanted  and confirmed that they could get it for me.....all in a matter of minutes. But my children were squirly and I was beginning to doubt the kind of washer I decided on. So I left....with no purchase

Hold on there is an end,  I know this is getting a little long. But here's the great thing.......after an hour on my friends computer doing more research and having an anxiety moment at  the local sandwich shop......I marched myself back into home depot and not only purchased my washing machine in a matter of minutes but got all the discounts & rebates I asked for (even when they  weren't participating in one) AND I even got an extra $30 off! 

Then I realized all that anxiety is so silly when there are people in the world who don't even have clothes to wash.......
Thank you God for my clothes, and for my husband's job that pays for above washer.

 if you need some good service...go see Jillian and Monty at the Home Depot in Signal Hill.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A simple Prayer

My husband just emailed me this prayer and i loved it. I don't know who wrote it or where it came from but it was powerful for me.  Even as I was reading it, I could feel my heart beginning to rest and my anxiety for the day starting to lighten. Thank you dear husband.......what a beautiful prayer.

"May today be all you need it to be. May the peace of God and the freshness
of the Holy Spirit rest in your thoughts, rule in your dreams, and conquer
all your fears. May God manifest himself today in the ways that you need,
not the ways that you want. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be
closer, and your prayers be answered. May you abound in faith, peace,
wholeness, health, happiness, prosperity, and joy. And may the Spirit grant
you a true and undying love for your Creator."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bottom Biters

I don't know about you, but as an adult I am constantly looking back at who I was as a kid, a teenager, or even young adult and sometimes I smile thinking of good memories, but I also shudder at the judgmental human being I was. I say 'was' because i like to think that I am older,  I have grown, and I have learned from my mistakes. I am more aware of who I am as a disciple and follower of Christ and in that awareness I don't fall into the trappings of passing judgement. But realistically I do, the only difference is that I AM more aware and I find myself walking with my tail between my legs seeking forgiveness a lot more. 

But as I look back,  I am truly horrified sometimes. I think about all the people I have turned away from Christ with my judgement or self righteousness. But mostly I think about those people I cared about that I have hurt.

Then  there are the times that things come around and bite me in the butt and yell "Ha, you shouldn't judge"
Like for instance......
My sister has two kids. Both boys and both are great kids.  When the youngest was younger, around, 6 or 7, he loved Spongebob Squarepants. I mean he loved that show. He has Spongebob slippers, boxers, pj' name it he had it. Now, this wasn't very long ago......probably about 6-7 years ago, right around the time my son Jeremiah was born. And as his aunt, I was horrified my sister would let her impressionable child watch t.v.,  let alone such a "horrible "show. ( I think Dobson a few years back even before this had brainwashed American Christians that Spongebob was the devil...and I sadly believed anything he said then). At the time I told myself that I would NEVER let my children watch such degrading programs on TV. Why? when there are such great things like Baby Einstein and Dora right?

So fast forward to  almost two years ago. Jeremiah was in kindergarten, and we were blessed to have the most amazing teacher for him. She has a son who also has Aspergers and she was such a wonderful loving teacher for Jeremiah, just what he needed. But she was also a great resource for Paul and I.  Jeremiah is very high functioning so we don't qualify for services...and since he  was an out of district student, he didn't qualify to receive services at school either. So his teacher was awesome. She suggested books to read and things to do at home. She also told us about how her son's occupational therapist  watched Spongebob with her son. My first reaction was "WHAT?!?!". But as she explained  how the cartoon illustrated appropriate and inappropriate behavior in a fun way, I began to understand the tool it was to discuss and help some kids, like mine, how to act in certain situations. The light bulb went on and I came home and started tivo-ing the show. 

NOW fast forward to present day. It's a Saturday morning and my son is in his Spongebob pj's watching Spongebob with his little sister....and to hear the laughter coming from the living room makes me smile. Sure...we don't always discuss things after the show......but we have had many good conversations of " you know....when Patrick or Spongebob did this...."
...and when that happens, I feel the bite in my butt.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unlikely Friends

The past few days I have realized that I have a lot of friends that are either pastors or pastors wives. Now this isn't because I get the gold member country club card for pastors. But I went to a small bible college, Pacific Christian College (which now is still now, what i think to be, distastefully called Hope International University) and many of my friends from there are in ministry.
As I think about who they are, I look at them and think......they are a very unlikely pastor/pastor's wife as well. Now, not all of them are that way, there are some who were BORN to be in ministry. They are people with the personality that came out of the womb telling everyone of Jesus' love. And I am so glad that I know them and they are telling people about Jesus, because they are great people. But some of my friends who are pastors or as Lina would say "sleeping with the pastor" are just as unlikely as me. And for that I am grateful.

I don't know where the stereotype comes from, as one of my dear friends asked, but it's there lingering in the churches telling "the chosen ones" what kind of leader they should be, how they should look, act, talk and sometimes what kind of hobbies they should take up.

You see, I don't do "devotionals" every day....hmmmm I don't think I do them period.
I don't listen to Christian radio all day (most of the time it makes me mad).
I will NEVER put a christian symbol/sticker on my car.
And to be honest, I am not the quiet spirited woman that many christian women conferences and books tell us that we should be.
And my unlikely friends? They are pastors & wives who smoke pipes, love a good whiskey, like to go to Vegas, and like to talk about sex as much as they do it.

So there are more of us out there...and I think that the "church" is better for it.

****Disclaimer- if you have a christian symbol or listen to the christian radio, that's great. I don't want to give the impression it's bad...cuz it's not. it's just not for me :)
*****For those of you worried about my spiritual health cuz I am not having a daily devotion.....i am okay. I spend time with God consistently throughout the day. It' s just not in the normal 10 minute devotions format.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What to Wear

Everyone has done it at some point or another. Even guys have done it , they just won't admit to it. But every single church goer has stood in front of their closet looking at the endless sea of clothes and wondered, "I don't have anything to wear.....what am I going to wear to church." I sadly admit that this has been me too many times to count. It's a sad commentary on who I am when I have a more than a dozen outfits to choose from and there are people all over the world who have little, if any, to clothe their own body daily. And I am worried about what to wear to Church? The one place where we should be able to go as we matter what we look like, or what we have done should be the church. But every Sunday at almost every church (at least in Southern California) people come in their Sunday's Best. Everyone is dressed up wearing their nice clothes. Everywhere you look you'll see women with pretty dresses and blouses enhanced with pretty sparkly jewelry paired with matching bejeweled sandals. The men of course will be in their slacks, shirts and tie. Those who claim to dress down will still be dressed up. Some churches that you go to people say, "oh, it's so casual here...everyone wears flip flops." But those are the same people wearing their designer surfer shirt and Roxy sundress.

So what gives? Who started this lame idea that we had to wear our Sunday best? I argue with my husband about this sometimes because ever since we came to our church, he seems to care a lot more about what he wears on Sundays than in the past. (he still is a simple guy with a few pieces of 'acceptable' but not brand name church clothes- but rather than wear what he wants....he dons the tie). I have heard so many times int he church, that we should come to God with our best.....but is that really what God said? Is there somewhere in the bible that Jesus proclaimed, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest, but make sure you put your bonnet on before you come to my house."
Absolutely not! God wants us as we are...where ever we are. He knows how we feel. We feel like coming in a ripped tshirt and jeans, we should come in a ripped t-shirt and jeans rather than faking it and dressing ourselves up. I know sometimes we dress up because we want to feel good about ourselves. We know that if we wear that new outfit or that one shirt that matches our eyes we will get a compliment from someone and an ego boost. But do our egos really need more boosting as we walk into worship God?

At my church we have an emerging Worship service, and I love it. I go every Sunday and barely attend the regular worship in the sanctuary. Most of the time i wear what I want. You will rarely ever find me in a dress with matching jewelry and heels. IN fact, you will never see me in heels, I don't believe in them (accept on my wedding day when I wore 3 in. heels so I would be closer to my 6'8" hubby) Instead I put on my favorite and most comfy jeans with a shirt and flip flops. I even come to church with my hair wet and sometimes with no make-up on. Yes, there are times when I wear a skirt, but it's for coziness....not fashion. It's all about comfort for me. But the other Sunday, worship had started and one of the high schoolers walked in and stood in front of me. She was wearing her pajamas. Yep, her cute pajama boxers and pj shirt. Sadly my first conditioned reaction was "what the? I can't believe she is wearing her pj's to church!!!!!!" Then as my mind began to settle I heard myself saying, "Good for her, she's being true to herself and to God." Who cares she wore pj's? She was there before God singing and being a part of the church family.

So the next time you stand before your sea of clothes, think twice and maybe if you feel like it, wear Pajamas. God doesn't care what we wear, but who we are to Him.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Now don't start laughing....

I Know, I can't believe it either. I have officially entered into the Blogging world. I am not a good writer, but I have these thoughts that just go on and on, so i figured instead of killing my hubby every night to unload these brilliant nuggets that come to mind, I would put them in writing. Lately, I have been inspired to journal thru the reading of some of my friend's blogs. I read their thoughts and not only get to sneak a peak on the happenings of their lives, but I shout, "YES! Me too!" to the crazy things they are experiencing.
Hopefully, with this new adventure of blogging I can keep friends and family in the know. But mostly I just want it to look good. So if anyone wants to offer a tutorial......please help.

So why the title you ask? I think many of you that know me can nod your head and say, "yep, she is not your typical pastor's wife".  For instance, I don't play the piano, I have a horrible  singing voice and every now and then you might hear a cuss word come from my mouth, even (GASP) the f-word. Although that is a rarity, it has been known to happen. Even last night as I slept, I dreamed myself with a truckdriver's love for profanity as I talked to "my friends" with words I didn't even know I knew. So there's a just a few things that set me apart from most pastor's wives...and as you'll see me uncover so many more unlikely characteristics that you might be appalled I possess.

but you know.....Jesus still loves me.