Mom’s Night Out: Review from a Pastor’s Wife

So, the other night, my hubby and I FINALLY watched Mom’s Night Out.  I’ve been wanting to see the movie since its release, but never had the opportunity to go.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the laughter found in a rare, truly family friendly comedy.

The chemistry between the cast was phenomenal.

Seriously I LAUGHED so hard…much needed after the past few weeks around here.

But, I also cried.  There were several moments of silent tears as I found myself identifying greatly with the story.

I’ve been the frazzled mom…many many times.  I’ve found myself putting the focus in entirely wrong places.  I’ve felt the aggravation over never seeming to have a moment alone.  Children who refused to just go to church and take part in children’s activities while mom had a rare moment of adult worship.  I’ve been there.

I’ve tried not to crush dreams my children have by freaking out when they make messes (and when I say messes I mean the true tornado just destroyed this area kind of messes).  I don’t always succeed here, but I try.

I’ve been in the place of crazy…when I desired the company of girl friends so much that I might do something totally insane if you ruined my plans.  ;)

But there was one point that has only just recently become real to me.  One place that I am learning more about how to deal with, and failing miserably.  I really felt myself identifying with Sondra (Patricia Heaton), and in that crying over things I’d taken for granted in the past.

The Pastor’s Wife.  This is where I live right now.  A position that I never fully understood for years.  A position that, like I said, I took for granted for a long time.  They portrayed her well.

-Sunday morning greeter.  Wearing a smile, even though life at home (with children) wasn’t perfect.

-The Encourager.  Ready and willing to encourage the other women, even when deep down she needed a little herself.

-Human.  I was thrilled when they touched on the fact that she was a person who had made mistakes.  Yes…we make mistakes too.

I laughed at the scene in the bowling alley when she felt compelled to remove empty alcohol bottles to protect their reputations…only to be put on the big screen carrying away empty bottles…totally my luck. ;)

I laughed at the looks on her face when forced to enter a “shady” place.  Seriously, we always feel people are looking over our shoulders judging our every move…even if we are doing what’s right, people will turn it around.

But the part that hit me most was back in the bowling alley.  Sondra thanked Allyson for inviting her out for a girl’s night and adding that it was the first time in 5 years that she had been invited to do anything with anyone that wasn’t church related.  *tears*

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Ladies, as a pastor’s wife (woman in ministry) & former regular “Jane” church member, your pastor’s wife is simply a person like you.  She feels like you.  She lives life like you.  She wants to hide from her children sometimes like you.  She needs friends to be friends, just…like…you.

The things you enjoy: shopping, playing games, being goofy together, almost obsessing over Downton Abbey (or any other tv show), hanging out, exercising…really anything… I assure you, she shares some of the same interests.  Pay attention…you’ll see.

I kick myself now for not purposing to get to know so many of the pastor’s wives I’ve known.  Many of these wonderful ladies have impacted my life more than they will ever know.  I honestly never dreamed God would lead my husband and me down this path of ministry.  I’m so glad I had many of these women to be a role-model for me.

*Father in heaven, I pray for each ministry wife that has been part of my life, and all those I’ve never met.  I pray that you will send them joy.  I pray that you will send them rest.  I pray that you will make them strong pillars of faith and strength for their husbands.  I pray that you will fill them with your love.  But mostly Father, I pray that you will send friends to those who need them.  True, trustworthy friends.  Wrap your loving arms around these precious women.  Wrap your arms around their families.  Refill & refresh each one so that she may minister to your people as you need her to. Amen.*

-De

Too Far Removed

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So, I’ve found myself avoiding TV and media in general today.  Mostly because I don’t want to have a cry fest and the images of 9/11 always move me to tears.

But I starting thinking, maybe avoiding the harsh reality that was 9/11 just because I don’t feel like crying today is probably not the best idea.

Why?  What’s wrong with that?  I strongly feel that the farther removed from the tragedy of 9/11 we are, the more forgetful we become.  The more secure we feel, the more we like to pretend it never happened.  Things are great.  What’s there to worry about?  Or the worst… we’re invincible.

I don’t want to be that naive…ever.  I pray that our society as a whole wouldn’t either, but that’s not what we see on the news everyday.

Pondering these thoughts while driving back from town, led me to thoughts of the Cross.  Are our problems in society simply that we are too far removed from the truth of the Cross?

Are Christians becoming too comfortable?  Do we suffer from a false sense of security while sitting on our comfy pews?  Have we lost the urgency to reach a lost and dying world?

The words of Paul are ringing in my ears.  His sense of urgency….

“I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom:  Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.  They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.  But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:1-5

The words whether convenient or not punch me in the pit of my stomach.  Convenience…isn’t that what our culture is all about?

Father, bring us a sense of urgency to tell people of You!

So today, while we as a nation, remember the fallen & the heroes, take a bit of time and turn back to the Cross.  Remember what Christ accomplished there.  Amidst the ugly tragedy, He purchased eternal life for us.  We will never be able to do anything to deserve that sacrifice, but we definitely live like it.  Allow yourself to get uncomfortable and think about it.  Think about all the ugly of that day on Calvary.  The hatred filled words from the crowd.  The mangled sight of the cross.  Let yourself ugly cry even if needed.  But please, don’t be too far removed from the Cross.

-De

 

Maybe More Tears than Therapy

My family may begin to think I’m crazy as I sit at my computer typing today…it’s sure to result in tears…maybe even the ugly cry.  But I need a little written therapy.

A little background:

I’ve moved a LOT in my life thus far.  I never spent more than 3 years at a single school while growing up.  I’ve made lots of friends in my 36 years.  I won’t say I’ve lost them all, but a good many I haven’t spoken to since the day we moved.  That’s how it usually goes, right?  You have those rare experiences when you’ll do your very best to keep in touch, but it just fades as life goes on.  I can honestly say that I’ve not been able to keep that super-close friend relationship beyond a move.  You know, the one where a single week doesn’t go by without one of the two purposing to get in touch…even if just to say the word “hi”. (Or in this day and age, a simple smiley text…or crazy-stupid selfie that only friends appreciate…and promise never to share.)  It’s not for lack of trying on either person’s part, life just goes on.

Here lies my fear.

Over the last few days, I’ve had tears building up…some sneaking out…over this fear.

When we started seminary 5 years ago, I remember hearing alumni tell of the friends they made while in seminary & how the friendships have lasted over years of ministry.  My excitement was off the charts.  I could NOT wait to meet this lady or ladies.  And I did make many friends during our time there, but still none of these were the “no matter what” type.  You know…those kind of friendships where you are truly family.  Invites aren’t needed, they are assumed.  Doors are always open.  The ones who can read right through your vague “things are great” facebook posts and know that things are really not great and immediately pick up the phone.

My hubby and I had many friendships built around our kids, and we honestly treasure each one of those.  Prayer warriors indeed.  But no matter how much we prayed and searched, that friendship eluded us.  We joked about our friendship curse.  It seemed that every time we would build a relationship with a couple & invited them over for fellowship…they would move.  (And most of the time that happened…seriously.) :)  Not that we took it personally, that was just the life at seminary.  Ministry calls. :)

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It was during our last year there that we finally met that family.  Our kids had played together for a while, but we’d only casually talked.  It was a slow growing friendship, but it has become a great one.  It has become the one that I was told about during my first days at seminary.

When we were called to ministry a year and a half ago, I thought that move was tough.  In my experience, 2 hours away has been just far enough for friendships to fizzle away.  But this time was different.

Good friendships (and ANY relationship) are a two way street.  If both parties are willing to work at it, they endure.  What a concept!?  ;)

It has been a great year and a half, continuing to grow this friendship!  I thank God every day for it!

(Little note…my family have all left the room…and this is probably divine intervention at this point.)  **read as “tears are flowing”**

In just a few weeks, our friends are moving,  short 14 hour drive away.

And here returns my fears from years and years of good-byes.  My heart & head knows this friendship is different from every other, but it still doesn’t make it easier.

I anticipate many days of tears between now and then…and after, if I’m honest with myself.  I find myself pouring over my calendar to see just how many days we possibly get together before then.  There aren’t many.

I’m am so excited for them.  Really!  I can’t wait to hear what God is doing through this wonderful little family!

My heart is just selfish. ;)

So with that, I’ll say:  Thanks guys!  You are truly God-sent friends.  We can make 14 hours work, I know it.   I can’t promise I’ll be able to hold back the tears when we come to help you pack. Love ya!

-De

Why I’m Not a Reader

It’s mommy confession time my friends.  I’m married to an author, yet I’m not an avid reader.  People don’t get this about me.

Well let me tell you why I don’t read very often…

I LOVE READING!!!

There.  Is that a good enough reason for you?  Are you laughing at my insanity?  (It’s okay.  I’m laughing a bit myself.)

Let me ‘splain. No there is too much, let me sum up.

When I read, as I’m sure many of you do, I enter into a little bubble world where I am engulfed in the setting of the book.  The characters are real people. Friends. Enemies. I am an onlooker, with a personal window into these beautiful worlds.  I get lost there.  I allow the windows of my imagination to open and distant worlds flood my brain.

And then…just as soon as all is well and established in this world…and usually in a moment of intensity…

“Mommy!” interrupted

*World dissolves.  Friends disappear.*

It never fails.

According to my hubby, this moment is almost as bad as waking me from a deep sleep.  You never know what may happen.  You never know what may be said. :)

talktomeSo, this is why.  As much as I love reading, I just can’t escape into that world very often…at this point in life.  I want to appreciate all of the beautiful artwork (also known as scribbles on used paper) that my children are proud of and I must see at any particular moment.  I want them to tell me all the brilliant ideas they’ve come up with.  Without accidentally snapping at them for interrupting my world.  Most of all, I want them to read…and I feel that me getting grumpy while reading will hinder that.

I’m working on it.  I recently started re-reading my hubby’s book in the evenings, rather than watching meaningless tv to fill the time between dinner and bedtime.  Modelling reading as important & not being snippy when disturbed.  (It helps that I’ve read the book before.)

Be blessed!

-De

Revelations on a Sick Day

So, I’ve found myself bundled on the couch today, drinking plenty fluids, getting rest to fight off this cold, and watching a good bit of TV. This is not normal behavior for me, but even reading a book seems an exhausting concept for how I’ve felt.
Today I’ve had a revelation. We’ll, maybe not a true revelation because I’ve seen this for a while, but today I was overwhelmed with it. Anyway, back to this revelation. I can sum up many of the problems in our society with one word: MORE.

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When did consumerism take over? When did it really become necessary to have the newest & best?
I hate when I catch myself getting caught up in it. We all do it. Example…I’m currently drooling over the thought of purchasing a Silhouette. I’ve tried justifying it in many ways…but truth be told, it is far from a need.

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We honestly think that joy & happiness come in these things. But they don’t.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty & hunger, abundance & need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

Paul learned this. We can too.
Not that it’s easy. Not that we will always succeed. But let’s try, together. Let’s break the chains of this commercialism driven consumer culture!

-De

A Super Busy Week

We started VBS this past Sunday night!  I always LOVE VBS week.  After all, VBS was one of the major influences on me in the beginning of my walk with Christ.  I mean, who doesn’t love to have fun & learn about Jesus at the same time!!

I’ll admit, the past several years, I’ve been less than thrilled with the standard Lifeway VBS content, but this year is AMAZING!  Mixing basic apologetics with VBS.  Teaching kids to have courage because they have the knowledge needed to share their faith with others!!!  Lifeway, can we do this EVERY year?  ;)

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Yes, I do tend to go overboard with costuming. But, come on, wouldn’t you want to be a Special Agent, too?? (And yes, I did fashion my costume with a little Chuck/Nerd Herd twist.)

This morning, I find myself quite sore (I may actually be getting too old to jump around on stage), feeling a little exhausted, and lacking motivation to do anything.  But then I think about those little faces.  Excited little faces.  Having fun while learning about Jesus.  Then I think of myself at that age and how awesome it was to see those same grown-ups who were at church every week…maybe not always looking so excited…having fun with me.  Sharing a little bit of child-like excitement with me.  That is what helps me get through the super busy week that is VBS week.

I want to share last night’s song with you.  It is a pretty awesome one. :)

Be blessed & show some kids in your life your excitement for Christ today!

-De

“But honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15

A little nerdy-ness

Anyone who knows our family, knows that we are a quirky, nerdy little bunch.  And we love this about ourselves.

We embrace our fandoms (maybe not as enthusiastically as some) and consider you a close friend if you understand them.

Now to the point…

The hubby and I have a tradition of collecting coffee mugs.  Every 5 years for our anniversary, we commemorate with a mug.  (Of course, we also mark vacations with the purchase of mugs also…if we find one that suits the occasion.)  With the purchase of our anniversary mugs, we try to sum up the past 5 years of marriage.

Year 5 we spent at Disney, so we, of course, purchased our favorite Disney Character Mugs.  Marking 5 years of fun together.

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Year 10 we went more traditional with some mugs from our local Christian bookstore.  These marked growth & maturity in our marriage over the past 5 years.

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This year we celebrated 15 years.  As we looked back over the past 5 years, it was easy to see what we needed to look for in our mugs.  The past 5 years included a total surrender to God & a move of faith to attend seminary.  It included making new friends. As introverts, we both struggle in this area…but God is great & provided there as well.  It also is when we discovered the fun found in fandoms.  And there are many we love, so finding the perfect mug has been difficult to say the least.  Yes they exist, but the perfect marker has eluded us.  Well, that is until I stumbled upon an image I LOVED during a google search.  It was FANTASTIC! (Please read that in your best Nine voice…and if you don’t know what that means…I’m so, so sorry.)   Only, it wasn’t for sale.  So I started reading the blog a little & discovered that Amy at Milk and Cookies would probably be fast friends if we actually knew each other.  So I took a shot in the dark and emailed her asking if she’d be interested in making a mug for me to purchase.  Long story short, we had great conversation and I ended up with vinyl cut outs that she sent so I could create this.

Photo Jun 14, 3 52 13 PMSo perfect!  A little Harry Potter. A little Doctor Who. A LOT of AWESOME!

(Thanks again, Amy!  I truly adore it!)

Now, we’re still looking for one for the hubby, but he’s got an idea.

Be blessed!

-De