The Loves of My Life

The Loves of My Life

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have You Ever Wondered What Being in Ministry is Like?

It's like this........
and just when you think you have a grip on what's going on


it does this

and this.......

Sure, it can be exhilarating.......but right now in my experience, I don't know which way is up and which way is down.
....and it's exhausting.

:-) And I'm not even the one being payed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Part of the Chorus

A month or two ago my friend Kristi shared with me that her and the worship team at their church were planning a "Night of Worship". They were looking to do some new things and old things and it sounded really cool.

I love attending worship nights especially at different churches. It gives me a glimpse into the heart of other churches, but it also helps me to just be and not worry who is around me.

So I put it on my calendar and told my husband that we were going.

A week before the service, I got word that my one of my best friend's, Melinda, dad passed away and his service would be the very same weekend of the "Worship Night". You would think, "No Problem" I can do both. But the memorial service was in Arizona. That means....I had to make a choice.

It really was a simple choice, but it still made me sad. I had been looking forward to what Kristi and her team had been planning.....and I must admit, i was looking forward to seeing her lead worship. She has the beautiful gift of music and this amazing you put those together with Worship Leader and you know you are in for a treat.

But a special thing happened.

I drove to Arizona and was invited to a special evening of worship with Melinda's family.
All of her family (and there were a lot) and out of town friends arrived at their home on Friday night to be together, eat dinner and have some time of praise.

Around 7pm... about the same time that the "Night of Worship" was taking place in California, we begun our night of worship in Arizona. He sat together as Melinda led in worship and we sang loudly, joyfully, quietly and thankfully to our God for the life of her dad. It was simply beautiful.
We sang new songs and some favorite hymns....and while we were singing I couldn't help but think....that we were joining in with the voices of those in California praising and thanking our God for who He is.

And it was Powerful.

I was no longer in a room with 30+ people, but I was part of a choir......raising our voices to a God who has been, who is and who will always be faithful.

It didn't matter that we were singing different was even more beautiful knowing that we were.

and I couldn't help but feel the tiniest of inkling that God was pleased...and He felt praised.

So although I didn't get to be in California at "the Night of Worship", I was still part of the chorus.....and it was amazing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant

Today i attended the memorial service for Roy Reiswig and it was a beautiful celebration & tribute to the life he lived.

Roy is one of my best friend's father. He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's at 52.....and at 61 on Nov. 4th he left his body wilting away here on earth and flew away to be with his heavenly father.

He was a man that lived out his life faithfully in such an exemplary way. He lived the kind of life that many wish they could and He was intentional about loving his God, His wife and his family.

There were many wonderful things that were said at his memorial. But the most striking one to me came from his son Mark. Mark shared that although is dad was a minister for most of his life, he didn't let that define who he was. His dad showed him that it wasn't what he did that defined him....but who he was and who he belonged to.

Maybe it's because my husband is a pastor that I could resonate with what he was saying. But I also think it was because sometimes we get caught up in what we do as an occupation that we let THAT define us.

and that's not really who we are..... husband is so much more than just a pastor......and I am so much more than a stay at home mom......

I am a child of God, and my husband is a child of God...... And in having that knowledge I can only hope that when my life ends i will be remembered for being intentional about loving my God, my husband and my family.

A Crafty Shout Out- Our Craft Lounge

I'm not a very crafty person. I can make something by borrowing ideas from other people who are craft geniuses.
My Friend Patti is a craft is her little sister, Kimberly. I have seen some of the cutest things come from their minds.

Last week, Kimberly opened her own stamping business. What an exciting moment!

If you are into stamps, scrap booking, making cards etc, etc. I encourage you to check out her site,

There are some really cute things there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feeling the Birthday Love

Today is my birthday.

I have already had:

Birthday Breakfast in bed.
3 handmade cards
Lots of birthday hugs and kisses and birthday pats
3 birthday emails
4 birthday phone calls
2 birthday texts
5 birthday serenades
19 birthday wishes on Facebook
7 birthday cards

and it's only 9:30 in the morning.

I feel loved.

Very Very loved.

Thank you. ;-)

Here's a family birthday picture taken before school....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

All Growed up....

Lately, I have been taking extreme pleasure in reconnecting with old friends from my younger years . Networks such as Facebook and Blogger have given me a time warp back to the days when I was a punky kid to a teenager and college student trying to figure things out.

There have been times when I have looked back and have regretted not keeping in better contact with those people that had walked through my life and burned memories in my heart.

So, the past few months have been exhilarating chatting up with elementary school buddies that I haven't heard from in probably 20 years.

But probably the most profound people I have cherished "seeing again" are a few young people that over the past 15-20 years I have thought of often and at times I have called out to God in prayer for.

In high school, my faith sprouted up quickly and instantly went into service mode. I was blessed to be at a vibrant church that had so many opportunities for young people to serve in different ways. So when I graduated high school, I took a huge leap of faith and joined the Jr. High Staff at our church, which then led to a year on High School staff. Through those years, I had the privilege of "hanging out" with some of the most incredible Jr. High & High School girls ever. As staff, I led small groups, had sleep overs, did a lot of toilet papering and took on being a counselor several times for a week at Hume Lake.

I loved it....and I loved those girls. Watching them grow up and learn and question and fail and get back up was the best lesson in faith for me. There were times when I would be sitting with some of them and I would glance at them.....and not see the hormone infested body of a teenage girl....but the beautiful woman that God was molding them to be....and I would often be left in awe.
I remember having "my group of girls"......but my awe always extended farther to other kids that weren't in my small group.

I look back now and think I probably wasn't the best "role model" for the girls. I sometimes think I did more harm then good.....but then there are times when I hope that at least they felt least they felt accepted in a time in their lives where acceptance and love don't seem to be given out unconditionally.

I say all this, because in reconnecting with some of these brings about emotions of .....


I don't know...pride? don't's hard to explain.
The best description I can give is it's like a mother watching her children growing up and seeing the possibility and the potential in your child come into bloom as their child becomes an adult, gets married and has their own children.

But they aren't my children.....they are someone else's and they ultimately belong to God.

Today I read a blog of a girl that used to be in my small group.....and I sat there and cried ...just filled with joy in seeing beauty come into full bloom.

That's what I do.....I see their pictures on facebook and get to peek into their grown up lives and I get all teary.

So although I may not see them, hang out with them, or even talk to them.....I value them and love them......and am so pleased that in their grown- up lives they have still held onto the Hope that was created in them long ago.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Sign Said, "I Want My Own Elf."

Last Saturday night I went on a date with my 7 yr old, Jeremiah. His sister was at a sleepover and his daddy was in Texas so it was just me and him. He had been feeling a little left out earlier in the day when Riley and her friend were talking about their big night. So I talked up our date and told him we were gonna have a a great night.

Dinner was his choice......and he chose good ole' In-N-Out.

Then I took him to Gamestop. Jeremiah loves computer games and his Wii. He is a very simple boy. We have had the Wii for 6 months with only one game and one controller....but he is perfectly happy with it, and has never asked for a new game. I remembered him saying last week that he wanted to put one (yes...only one) game on his Christmas list. It was the widely loved game....MarioKart.
The thing with MarioKart is there is a wheel you can buy as well. It makes for a more "real experience" when playing the game since you driving with an actual wheel. But as Jeremiah told me a few days prior, it's not can play with just the regular controller.

Well we walked into Gamestop....which is fun in itself since we never go there. There are lots of games to look at and you can even try out the new games on their PSP's or Wii's.
I told Jeremiah that our date was to see if we could find a used game he might like and then we could go home and play together.

Smiles and excitement followed.

After a while of looking at games, Miah asked the guy if he had any used MarioKart games.
The salesman....obviously very good at his job, found one for him and also pointed out that they had brand new ones that came with the actual wheel...but was more money. (duh!)

So we had a decision....the new one with the wheel or the used one with no wheel? Inside I was sad because the budget called for the used one and I didn't know how to break that to him.

After a few moments I said, 'Well buddy, let's talk about what we should do."
So Jeremiah thought...and here was his response....
"Mommy, it would be nice to have the new one with the wheel, but I don't want you to spend that much money on me."

um....I am sure the people in the store saw me melting right there on the spot.

I grabbed Jeremiah in my arms and with a big squeeze I told Jeremiah I loved him and I would love to get him the brand new one.

Here is a boy who rarely wants anything. He's not a boy who needs or wants much. He's happy and content with all that he has. Sure, he's a kid and there are times he really wants something.....but it doesn't happen often. He is also such a good boy. He's kind and gentle.....and such a good listener and he never complains or whines when I bring something home for Riley.

So why not reward him with something he wants but knows he doesn't need and is okay with not having it?

So we bought the new one and we went home and had a blast staying up late and playing MarioKart.

The next day I walked into Old Navy and all of their marketing is a hook for Christmas shopping. It all starts with, " I want...."
There was even one slogan that said, "I want my own elf".

and I thought to myself...the world could use more Jeremiahs.......

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reading and Tea in "The Taliban's backyard"

I love to read. I'm not voracious as some....but it's something I really value and enjoy.

I've never been part of a book club....but I think some day I would. Books are so powerful and they open up your mind to things that you have never experienced or been aware of. Books take you places that you have never traveled and they take you away when you need to escape.

Recently, I just finished a fantastic story. It was recommended by a good friend from high school, Casey, who also introduced me to one of my great loves ,U2. So when he mentioned it, I was sure it would be a quality book.

I am by nature a pretty fast reader. Although, there are times when I get impatient with descriptions of things with drawn out paragraphs and I will skim instead of soaking up the words.
So, I usually finish a book pretty quickly. Pre-kid age, I would finish a book in a day or two. Once I am engulfed in a book, I can't put it down. Now that I have kids and I actually have to stop and make dinner or help them do something...finishing a book that fast rarely happens when I am on vacation alone- get my point? :-)
So, it will usually takes me a week or so to get through a book.

"Three Cups of Tea" took me almost a month to get through and another month to blog about... but not because it was hard to find time to read, but because it was so rich, I didn't want to miss a single morsel and I wanted to process slowly all the rich themes in the book.

"Three Cups..." written by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is a story of one regular guy who stumbled upon a Pakistani village while lost after a failed attempt to climb K2 and in the end built an amazing educational infrastructure to some of the poorest people in the country. It's the story of a man....who saw a need and actually did something about it and changed the future of women in rural Pakistan. And he did all this in"Taliban's back yard". Greg Mortenson is that man.....and after i read only the introduction to the book...I knew somehow I would be changed.

And I was.

My eyes were opened to see a culture and a people group that I knew little about. Beautiful people that live without much and want for nothing....except for education.

Education changes everything. Education ushers in hope...peace...and a chance to understand not only yourself but others as well.

Education is a powerful thing and after reading this book....I wonder why we don't help other countries gain access to education more. I know we do...but can't we do more? That's just one tiny question I was left with after finishing this well as many others.

I want to encourage you to read this book. I believe there is a great discussion to be had regarding the central themes within this story. If anything, it educates you about the people living in rural well as the majestic beauty of Pakistan. And boy, does it sound beautiful!

So go out and get it now...borrow, buy or steal....and you won't be sorry.
If you want more information on the book ( I know i didn't give too much) click here and you can also find out how to buy it through Amazon and 7% of the proceeds will go to the Central Asia Institute (the foundation founded by Mortenson).

Once you read me and let's discuss :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Getting Back To Things That Really Matter


lol. Just kidding.

But many of you out there are watching good tv? I enjoy entertainment and in this day there are so many quality shows out there. I know I have to be picky about the shows I watch due to the amount of time I have.

When I pick a show it has to be better than good. Yes, I can be somewhat of a TV snob (even though I have one or two guilty pleasures).

I also read about critically acclaimed shows ( like Mad Men and The Closer) so I am knowledgeable in discussions about them. There are even many shows I wished I could watch...but my time and previous loyalties don't allow it. I am hoping to catch them on DVD sometime....(3rd Rock here I come).

So here is my list of shows that I love....and want you to love too:

1. Friday Night Lights- I am a HUGE fan of this show. The quality of writing, editing and filming is some of the best I think is on TV. I also think that the relationship between Coach and his Wife is the best depiction of a real and healthy marriage I have ever seen on television. The acting is high caliber not only with the stars but with supporting characters as well. It's not perfect by any means...but I think America is missing out on this show. It's good stuff- funny, heartbreaking, messy, and real (except for the murder storyline-but even in that it was well acted).

2. The Office- I must confess I heart Jim & Pam, but they aren't why I watch this show. It's just brilliantly funny. The Office is awkward humor at it's best.

3. Gossip Girl- this may not be critically acclaimed and high caliber tv....but I did say I have one guilty pleasure....and this is it. I love how they can layer bitchiness with heart. There are things I don't like about this show....but there are some things they do pretty their cunning plots to take someone down. I didn't know people could be so bad.

4. The Big Bang Theory- I know I blogged about this show here earlier, but really....this show is genius. It is the funniest sitcom on tv right now. No one makes me laugh as hard as Sheldon does.

Here are a few shows I like....but mostly watch out of loyalty:

1. Grey's Anatomy- The first two seasons just sucked me in. They were so rich and so great. The last two seasons have left me wanting....but I like a good comeback, so I am hoping Shonda will turn this show around.

2. Ugly Betty- Honestly...sometimes this show annoys me...but Marc & Amanda are hilarious as well as Marc & Willemenia have some of the greatest lines on tv today.

3. Heroes- I am getting impatient with this show. I think it started out brilliantly....but it has tried to do too much. I loved how the first season was all about ordinary people with powers and stories of how they dealt with them in their everyday lives. Now it's just heroes turning bad, then back to good then into a villain then into good again. I am so confused....aren't you?

And here is the show I desperately want to love...I will even settle for like:

1. The Fringe- Joshua Jackson.....need I say more? I wanted to love this show. It is created by one of my favorites.....JJ Abrams....and it stars one of my favorite young actors....Joshua Jackson. But over time I have found myself more annoyed with it than loving it. Here's why. The lead tries too hard to be Sydney Bristow/Jennifer Garner in Alias. But the problem is she never smiles. She's not a happy person...and she is not relate-able at all. I don't think the writing is all that great either . Sure- there are some great one liners....but for the most part, it all seems recycled. Paul and I can practically guess spot on what they will say or what will happen next. It's too predictable. I am also very frustrated that at times they use Lost's signature music. It doesn't make the show more just makes me wish January was here so we could watch an episode of Lost. Also, they need to make me care about the characters more...right now I am apathetic. And finally...They need to use Joshua Jackson more (he's hot!)....and I don't mean as a romantic lead with the Olivia.

So looking back at the shows I watch I am realizing that some of the stuff I watch may have to go to make room for shows I have been wanting to take on...... like House, Mad Men, Chuck and 3rd Rock.

What about you? What do you love? what do you like and what do you wish you could watch?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Election Rally Cry....Exhaustion

So tonight we learn who our next leader will. It's been a long election year, there have been many debates- on the campaign trail and on the domestic trail. There has been been many emails forwarded- both ridiculous and funny. And there has been thousands of people counting on their candidate winning.

But at the end of election day...after I have casted my vote, I almost don't care who wins anymore.
Sure...there's a candidate that I think might do a little bit better of a job than the other....and saying I don't care doesn't mean I am completely apathetic. It just seems I have realigned my perspective with what really matters.

We live in a marvelous country. It's a great country. Even when I am frustrated with our politics and the way we as Americans choose to live...I still realize how blessed I am to be born here. We have so many freedoms...and we live in luxury compared to the rest of the world. So in thinking about who will win almost doesn't matter. No matter who wins....our country will not turn to shambles. Our constitution will remain in place, and we will learn to get through whatever hardships may come our way. It may not be the way some think it should go....but we will still persevere through it.

As a Christian I know where my faith truly lies. I know that God will always care for me and provide for me...whatever that looks like. My husband could lose his job, something tragic could happen to a close friend or family member, or we could lose our house.....but I know God loves me and will stay with me through it. I may not like it. It may be tough and I could through a crisis of faith , but He is there.

Our next president is just a man. But God is God and I find putting all my eggs in His basket way more comforting than who wins this election.

Awhile ago I was completely for one candidate, but as the campaign continued to wear on.....I wasn't so gung ho for my candidate. I became frustrated with the campaign and with my candidate of choice. But I wasn't happy with the alternative either.....but I still voted.

I voted because it's my right and privilege to vote (I even waited 3 hours along with hundreds of others last week to vote). I voted even though I knew California is a sea of blue and it didn't really matter who I voted for. I voted because it makes me a part of this great country.

So even though I am exhausted by it feels good to vote. It feels good to have that privilege and I Know whoever wins.....we'll be ok.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Prop 8: Hate or relate?

Proposition 8 is a particularly very heated issue on the California ticket this election. I have steered away from conversing about it because I think I am on the "unpopular" way of thinking among my friends that are Christians. It's not something I want to argue.

My friend Kristi wrote a beautiful post on why she is voting yes on Prop 8. Kristi is someone who I respect a great deal and I know who has put a lot of thought and prayer into her decision. My other friend Diane also wrote on her position of Prop 8 and why she is voting no. Diane, like Kristi is someone who I respect and whose thoughts I value. They are both people who love Jesus and love people with such compassion. They are also people who love & respect each other.

Their courage to blog aloud about this issue has given me mine. My words will not be as eloquent but I wanted to give voice to my thoughts in a simple a way.

I have thought a lot about this issue. For you non Californians, voting yes on prop 8 would basically not make it possible for the homosexual community to marry. It defines marriage between a man and a woman.

Quite honestly, this issue has been a really hard one for me. I am still searching and grasping for what God would do in this situation. I am still on the side of (yet wrestling with at the same time) God creating marriage for a man and woman. After reading Kristi's blog. I agree with everything she said and side with her basic beliefs about scripture(click on link above to read- I am too lazy to basically re-type something that she has already put into words).

Today at church we had a guest speaker about the persecuted church all over the world. It was a wonderful reminder of the freedom I have to worship God in America without the fear of death, imprisonment or threats. Our country declares the freedom of religion......and as an American I feel the responsibility to declare that freedom for others who may not believe what I believe. As I have grown in my faith I continue to believe more and more in the separation of church and state. It's this freedom that gives me, as a follower of Christ the ability to worship and take communion weekly.

I also am aware that I am a Christian first. That I am a follower of Christ and what I hold true I need to stand up for.

I do believe that marriage defined by my God is created for a man and a woman. But I am still voting (actually I already voted) No on Prop 8 and this is why:

Simply because of the fact that if the State of California changes the definition of marriage to include homosexuals it doesn't change my definition....and it doesn't change the church's.

At this time in my life, I don't feel it's right to not allow someone else the same basic right that I have to marry.

But that's just my opinion. I honestly respect and understand many others who think long as they have really thought & prayed over their decision instead of just screaming "God made Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve".
Seriously....that statement makes me so mad.....but I won't go there...... this time......