Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Three Minutes

I like to get my nails done. Solar nails, the natural look, are my favorites. The last step in the process is a clear coat of special polish then it dries under a special UV light for three minutes.

Three minutes.

Three minutes of sitting with no phone to your ear, no book in your hand...

Three minutes to let your mind wander.

I will make the time to go to the salon and get my nails done and spend three minutes at the end being absolutely still. Why can't I make that a daily priority?

Run, run, run...one thing to the next without taking a breath.

I'm tired of running!

I need some time for me everyday. My intentional journey for 2011 is not going the way I had hoped. It's time to re-evaluate. It's time to take my three minutes with God everyday. Time to refocus.

Are you with me? Let's take three minutes each day to be still, to meditate, to pray...to be grateful.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Pop Tarts
2. the sunrise out of an airplane window
3. new shoes
4. great barbeque
5. getting work done early

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Seeing the Joy

When my five year old, "Christian", was born and diagnosed with Severe Hemophilia A, I was devastated.

My husband and I broke the news of his diagnosis to his then nine year old brother, "Lance," who also has Severe Hemophilia A, and Lance literally started jumping up and down! My husband and I were very confused. Why was he excited?

Lance said, "When I am in leadership (counselor) at hemophilia camp, he will be a first time camper! We will be there together!

He didn't see the pain, the numerous attempts at accessing veins, the bleeds...he automatically saw the joy.

Fast forward five years…this past Sunday evening.

Christian's port is acting up again. Something is not right. My husband had already mixed his factor and needed to get it into Christian's body, so the only option was to use a butterfly needle and access a vein. Something my husband had not done before on our little Christian but it is how Lance infuses his factor regularly.

You know how they both handled it? My Lance sat there and talked Christian through it. He was there to reassure him and help him not be scared.

My husband was able to focus on the infusion and not worry about Christian. On the second try...success.

It's something only the sibling affected with the same disorder can understand.

My Lance has a compassionate heart. He loves his brother (even though they can fight like cats and dogs). They protect each other.

I pray that my children continue to see the best in every situation and in other people. And that after my husband and I are long gone, that they have a close, loving relationship and that Christ shines through their souls.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Tea lights
2. The $15 extra dollars I spent to get my laundry finished!
3. Having meaningful input on a conference call
4. De-cluttering
5. Negative x-rays!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Use Words If Necessary

During one of my online discussions in my New Testament class last week, one of my classmates made reference to a quote I had never heard before. It sums up how I want to live my life. It's what "oozing" is all about.

“Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.” St. Francis of Assisi

The word "preach" can be misleading. You might imagine a pastor in a pulpit delivering a sermon (maybe a fire and damnation one). Maybe you even equate "preaching" to hearing your parents or teachers go on and on about something you did not do well.

Preaching can be powerful. Words can change your life. But what about your actions?

When I lived in Houston, I spent a lot of time on the toll roads. I remember stopping at a toll booth one afternoon and the toll booth operator told me to put my money away. The person in front of me paid my toll! It was only $1.50, but the act of kindness that a complete stranger extended to me warmed my heart.

When someone holds a door open for me, it not only tells me they are kind and thoughtful, but that they are acknowledging my presence. My worth. Such a small act can impact a life in unimaginable ways.

You don't have to "preach" to someone about Jesus. We are called to be the "hands and feet" of Christ. To live our lives with every action we take intended to glorify Christ, is what we should strive to do everyday.

If we have to use words to talk to someone about our faith and we struggle and stumble through our story, then we have been obedient and delivered the Good News to someone who may have never heard the message of Christ.

Step out in faith! Do something for someone else with an intentional heart. Don't be afraid to pray out loud! Live your life with Christ pouring out of your being. Be a blessing :)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. padded envelopes
2. re-runs of The Golden Girls
3. The sound of my dog lapping up her water
4. Nilla wafers
5. chapped lips

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Joy of Being the Wife of a Pastor

The accompanist at our church was sick yesterday, Ash Wednesday, so my husband was depending on me to play my instruments (oboe & English horn) during the service. He also needed my oldest son to sing at the beginning of the service. But there was one problem...there was no nursery worker.

I don't know why I thought my five year old would cooperate (I think the papers I have due for school this week have scrambled my common sense).

My "Christian" lasted for about 10 minutes, then I had to wrangle him away from his friend and their family (I know they were relieved) and took him to the "cry room" which is not exactly sound proof. The he commences to fight with his older brother. Off to the back I go. Things settle down, then I hear the screaming (and so does the congregation) so off I go again.

Let's just say, it was a long hour. I had to jump back and forth from trying to be a part of the service to keeping a smile on my face while fighting back the urge to impart bodily harm on my children!

I wasn't exactly "oozing the light of Christ" as my husband was talking to the congregation about this holy season and how we should reflect on our spiritual life.

The two year old in the congregation did better than my 14 and 5 year old.

Contrary to popular belief, just because you are a "pastor's wife" does not mean you have it all together.

We have dirty bathrooms, dog poop in the yard, messy kitchen cabinets and sometimes the unholiest of words will come out of mouths.

We are real people trying our best to love a very real God.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. plums
2. voicemail
3. Playgrounds
4. pants full of dirt (from a hard day's play)
5. book fair's

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011


What a day yesterday was! The day after you have been out sick from work is always crazy. Weeding through email, answering requests, re-prioritizing...it all makes for a very busy day.

After a shower and a Wal-Mart pizza, homework loomed. I have two final papers due this week and the absolute last thing I felt like doing was pondering United Methodist Doctrine.

My husband pushed me to stop procrastinating and off I went to the dining room table.

I started trying to work and began tearing up because I had absolutely no desire to even think. I was just exausted. The moment I started getting upset, my husband shouted for my boys and they, in the midst of their craziness, did a cheer. Yes, just like the girls in junior high school, jumps and all!

My family is absolutely crazy! That is exactly what I needed to get my hiney in gear and stop my little "pity party" (I like to throw those parties for myself…hats and everything).

Are you fortunate enough to have a "fan"? I live with three men who are my biggest fans. Even when I am not a fan of myself, they never let me down.

I don't know what I would do without them.

"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God." Philippians 1:3 (The Message)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. crazy wind
2. old Halloween candy
3. A peanut buttery bagel
4. texting grocery lists (and not being the one at the grocery store)
5. Ziploc bags

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Monday, March 07, 2011

The Season is Upon Us

I love the season of Lent. I can't believe it begins this Wednesday.

I grew a "good Catholic girl" so the seasons of the church were an important part of my church life. When I was little it was about "giving something up." Maybe soft drinks or chocolate. I knew you weren't supposed to eat meat on Friday's but that wasn't something our home held fast to.

When I was newly married, my husband and I belonged to a fantastic church, St. Pius V in Pasadena, Texas. We were involved in the music ministry, were married there, I was confirmed there and my husband became Catholic there. The minute you walk into that sanctuary, something happens to you. I came to understand that it was truly the Holy Spirit alive in that place.

One year, we truly "did Lent" the whole way. We went to morning prayers, did devotionals, went to every special mass, and let me tell you something, the season was filled with meaning about what Jesus truly did for each and every one of us. For the first time I felt like I finally "got it."

That was really the only year I felt like I did all the right things during the season. I know, it sounds crazy, (maybe it's that old Catholic mentality I have of "doing") but I never seem to have gone through the season again with intention.

That is my hope for this year. I want to experience the Lenten season with intention. It is not going to be about giving anything up, but adding something. My husband and oldest son have already decided that we are going to spend a few minutes each evening reading scripture together.

I am tired of going through the motions and blaming it all on being busy. It is time to slow down and experience each day, because it will fly by without me even noticing.

My husband is focusing on the book of Matthew this Lenten season and I found a reading plan with Matthew as the focus. Take a look...it even has questions to ponder.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Surviving my first exam in my New Testament class
2. Deadlines
3. Cooking on the grill
4. Index cards
5. reminiscing

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Friday, March 04, 2011


I was in pain like I have never experienced this week. My shoulder started acting up Sunday afternoon, and by Tuesday afternoon, I was in a 10+ level of pain. That evening, my husband almost took me to the emergency room.

The next day I had a massage, and went to the doctor with no measure of relief. I slept most of the day.

Thursday, I went to the chiropractor and a new general doctor and they both helped me tremendously.

Today I am almost pain free and can finally function. Sounds like nothing as I write this, but it was such an overwhelming amount of pain that I cannot put words to it.

I am one of the lucky ones who experience pain that eventually goes away. What about those who endure "chronic" pain.

My dearest friend in the world, "Leigh", and I met in junior high school. We lived around the corner from each other, were in band together, went to the lake on the weekends, and even though we went on very different paths after high school, have remained close (even when we don't talk for a few years at a time). She is very special to me.

Several years ago she was in a horrific car accident (which took the life of a young woman) and left Leigh to never physically be the same. She has, and continues to suffer from that accident daily. She is in chronic pain.

When you look at her, you would never know she was in pain. But if you know her well and look into her eyes, you know that the "spunk" she always had is not there anymore.

I have experienced some extremely difficult things in my life but this is the one situation that I continue to ask God, "Why?" "Why did that truck hit her car? Why was the life of her young friend taken? Why did she experience and fight cancer for this to be in her future?"

I don't know why bad things happen to good people. But I do know that everything happens with purpose attached to it. My prayer for Leigh is that through her physical pain she is able to find purpose with her life. That God touches her in an amazing way to reassure her that she is loved just the way she is. And that she eventually finds the purpose meant for her in this life.

And that one day her "spunk" will return.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Chiropractic treatment
2. Walk-in appointments
3. Burgers on the grill
4. Fans
5. New pillows

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Recommended Reading

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  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

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