Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I just got up and read my daughter's new blog. Words cannot express the pride and gratitude I feel when I watch and listen to my daughters. Everyone of them. It's something I know most mothers can relate to, but it still overwhelms me and brings me to tears to see the lives that I gave birth to, and raised, being used so greatly by our wonderful God. Awww.... I'm just taking that in.

My husband and I had a "downer" day yesterday. Surely you know what those are, right? I know Christians really aren't supposed to have those, and honestly I don't usually have too many. The fact has always been when my husband is "down" I'm always up - and vice-versa! Yesterday was an exception. We were both down. Bummer.

Finally, toward the end of the day, I said, "let's just get it out" (something he never has a problem doing, but I do). So, I said "we'll take turns - you say something that's frustrating you, then I will, then back & forth, until we're emptied." Not really wise - as the Bible says that our words should be encouraging. :-/

So it began. Since we're pastors, 99.99999% of our "griping" had to do with things in our church. Oh, it was not pretty! We went on from dirty carpet and walls needing painting, to why so-n-so isn't growing spiritually, etc., etc. After a while it actually sounded stupid and pathetic. Which, indeed, it was. But, honestly, we felt better. Ha! Not just to get it off our chests, but to see wow, that's it? That's all we have to complain about?? How blessed we are!

I began to sarcastically state the many ways we were so NOT blessed (sarcasm is kind of big in our house). "Yeah", I'd say, "we don't have anything good! We are pathetic! We're worse off than anyone I know!" Now, it was sounding really pathetic! Right in the middle of this "pathetic conversation", a board member called to speak to me. Hmm..

After that phone conversation, I had to wipe my eyes, and explain to my husband how the church wants to help us with our many mounting medical bills. After that, another call from our oldest daughter, telling us how her 6 year old just led yet another child to the Lord - over school lunch! That call was followed by one from our youngest daughter, Bekah, saying how much she loved and missed us. All these conversations took place in our wonderful home, provided by our church, with our two silly dogs sitting with us, as we enjoyed dinner.

How utterly ridiculous, I thought, to waste our breath complaining about silly things that for the most part we cannot fix or change. Realizing how there are so many people in the world that have real pain, and have no hope. Just every once in a while, I guess, I need to be reminded why we're here... why we exist, and why we are in the ministry. To bring HOPE.

I heard it said recently that "Worship is us smiling at God and blessings are when God is smiling at us". Wow, I hadn't worshiped God much that day, nor smiled much, but suddenly I felt very smiled upon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Sheep, Two Sheep

I haven't been sleeping lately. I never sleep well, but lately I haven't even been able to fall asleep. I try everything - counting sheep, praying for everything and everyone I can think of, drinking milk before bed, and tylenol p.m. All of these tries have been to no avail. But I keep trying!

This morning was another attempt. My husband left for the day, and I stayed in bed, determined to go to sleep. At about 8:30, I hear a lawn mower, and trimmer running in my yard (my horrendous yard). Deciding I wasn't going to get any sleep, I took my shower, got ready for the day and peaked outside. Much to my delight, there were two men from our church doing our yard work! I took them out some lemonade and thanked them profusely. Since James had not been well, and our lives being so busy, our yard has been terribly neglected.

After getting over the initial humiliation and embarrassment, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. We have the pleasure of being "shepherds" to one of the most loving congregations I've ever known. That these men, so willingly, worked so hard and diligently, just to bless their Pastor, was such a joy to me.

The Bible says a great deal about the body of Christ. How we all have different gifts, and are used in such a variety of ways. It gives a great picture of how perfectly the body functions when we all do our part. Today, I got a glimpse of that. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends that love and take care of us. And I am so grateful to be a part of the body of Christ. It's because of "sheep" like these that make being shepherds all worth while.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Wow! I'm feeling a bit frazzled.

Ministry has always been our life - meaning anything that needs to be done in or for the church, and with and for people - I can do it! And, have done it! Unfortunately this experience and knowledge often seems to be a curse, as I readily take on any task that needs to be done. Right now, I have taken on way too much! And I am feeling tired emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

It's in these times that God always reminds me to lean on Him; that through Him I can do all things; that His yolk is easy and His burden is light; that He will carry me; that's He's my Father and will walk with me. I could go on and on with His precious list of promises, but what I think He's wanting me to do is:

Be still and know that He is God.

Ahhh........ sweet, peaceful, rest.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I'm not sure if I'm doing this "blogging" thing correctly. I've been told many times over the years to "keep a diay", or "journal", or just plain "write it down". This probably is not the right forum, but I have at least started something, so I guess this will be my venue for now.

A while back, my daughter Leah came to visit, and she had a wonderful "vision" of what we could do with my spare bedroom. Make it a sewing room. Leah's my crafty one, remember. So, she gave me this idea that she found, and used herself: get a long, old, wooden table, and cover it w/ some neat wrapping paper and modge podge it on. Then, use burlap, or other fabric, that shouldn't have to be hemmed, and staple a pleated skirt all away around the edge of the table. This would enable me to store things unseen, under the table. She then, of course suggested that I paint the room my favorite color - yellow, and then add red accents. It was decided! It would be so cute!

First problem I encountered was the lack of an old, wooden table. Sure you can buy those nice long plastic tables, but the staples wouldn't work too well on that... and it would defeat the purpose of the darling "redo". So, after long searches, and defeated ideas, my husband found an old door in our shed! Took off the hinges, and doorknob, bought folding table legs, and put them on! Voila! Then, after a failed attempt on mine and Leah's part of deco-podging the wrapping paper on top of the table... (much too wrinkly for my likes), we tore that off , and the table sat in my garage loaded down with boxes for over 2 months.

I had some great, fleeting, ideas of how to design the top of the table...paint? stencil? "quilt" with paper? old photos? Finally, I just bought some contact paper. Dark yellow, with yellow and red sunflowers. Sounds kind of country style, I know, but at this point I just wanted to get it done. I did stick with the original red and yellow motif! I cleared off the boxes, called my friend Ruth to come help me, and we successfully covered my table with the darling contact paper. I have a little more to go, but the green gingham pleated table skirt is almost all the way around now, too! I still need to paint the room yellow, but I've moved in my red shelf, and yellow rug... it's coming along nicely. I realized, it will be my little work station, as this wonderful table not only holds my sewing machine, but also the laptop!

I've changed the decor in my kitchen to highlight my liking for yellow. I shampooed the carpets, moved furniture, made a new "set" for the children's program, and started this silly blog! All these meaningless little changes apparently are the "norm" for empty nesters. I've got to remain busy with lots of projects, just to avoid the fact that I have empty rooms.

I still have one more room to change into a guest room. That'll be a project for another day. As Scarlet said in "Gone with the Wind": "I'll think about that tomorrow".

Friday, September 11, 2009


I woke up this morning to find a beautiful picture of freshly canned peaches on my phone. It was sent to me from my daughter Sarah. Sarah works part-time, and is in a very active ministry with her husband. Sarah has always been able to do anything she decides to. She's never been afraid to try anything! She told me one of their pastor's wives brought them a box of peaches, and she was planning to can them. As she told me this, I got this terrible "twinge" in my gut... "uh oh... that's another thing I never taught my daughters to do". She then proceeded to tell me that another lady in her church had offered to teach her how to can.....another twinge. "Another mother is going to teach my daughter...??" Sudden feelings of inadequacy flooded my mind... "what must this other lady think? Sarah's mom didn't teach her how to can? What kind of mother is she??"

I have four incredible daughters. I mean that... incredible! Most people would have a hard time believing that, until they meet them. They have far surpassed my talents and abilities in every way. My other daughter, Leah, started her own business - a specialty baby boutique! She sews!! Her creativity not only astounds me, but everyone that sees her wonderful creations. You name it, she could make it! All while being a perfect wife and mother. "You must have taught her!".. you'd think. No, somehow I missed that opportunity as well. Don't get me wrong, I sew. I've sewn a lot... from the kids clothes when they were little, to quilts, when they were big, to countless bridesmaids dresses! But did I ever teach Leah to sew? I don't recall that I did. But that sure didn't stop her from learning!

My daughter, Rachel, my oldest - is now a mommy of three delightful kids! She has followed closest to my footsteps, as she's very involved in her husband's pastoral ministry, and very busy with her children. Yet she far surpassed me in many ways too. She holds a teaching degree - something I only dreamed of. She's also an incredible cook, beautiful singer, wonderful bible teacher, and a very creative homemaker.

Oh, no, the list hasn't stopped there! My baby, Bekah -(yes, the one who just left me) well, she is just beginning her adult adventure. You should hear her play the piano! Yes, I play... did I teach her? I remember listening to her pick out a new song we had just sung at church (when she was 4!), by ear. Shortly after that I showed her a simple way to use both hands to "make a chord". Now, she "makes chords" that I didn't know existed! All by ear... not from her mother's lessons.

Why am I writing all this? Well, partly because I'm always thinking about all this. But mostly because I am just amazed at how good God is to me! As a mother, my #1 goal was to teach my children about Jesus, lead them to the Lord at an early age, and raise them to love and serve God all the days of their life. That was my reason behind everything I did as a mother. The way I taught them to dress, to talk, to always include each other, to be discerning of evil... it's the reason I homeschooled. Well, in that goal - I succeeded! It was only later on, I thought, "uh oh... I'm their mom, and I didn't teach them to cook, or sew, or give them music lessons, or get them in sports..." the list in my mind goes on.

I am exceedingly proud of my daughters - they really are beautiful, multi-talented, fantastic women. But more than all of that, they love and serve God. In that, I take pleasure. And I trust that they did learn some things from their mom. But, I'm so grateful that they've learned more than I ever taught them, that God worked out ways that everyone of those "holes" and gaps that I left, were somehow filled. Even though they've left my nest, God is still their father, and I'm so pleased that they just keep on learning.

Good job on the peaches!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Morning Mercies

I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. I'm tired. Tired physically, from lack of sleep for many days, but I'm also tired emotionally, and spiritually.

My husband is weak, and I'm concerned about his full recovery. I'm praying earnestly for some difficult situations my friends are going through, for the new children's ministry that's kicking off next week (under my leadership), and for the youth in this area that are so lost - but I'm not yet seeing the answers.

I'm also missing my "armor bearer", Bekah. In the ministry, too often, there's not too many people you can break down to, as you are usually the one that is helping carry them. But Bekah was who I had.

So, I layed in bed praying for God to give me strength to not only put my armor on, but to carry it for my husband, and be strong enough to continue to hold these people up. I'm thankful that there are many people in the body that pray for me, and I know my family does too. So it's with that knowledge that I was able to get up this morning, and muster a little strength and a little purpose for my day.

So, I'll see what the day holds, and joyfully watch as God comes through as always.

God is faithful, and His mercies are new every morning!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's really going on?

The church that we pastor is a great group of people, and I love them dearly. Unfortunately, there always seems to be one crisis or another at any given time with a person or entire family - urgent needs.

I know God brought us to Oakville for a purpose - that we're not just here to maintain. So in striving to fulfill this purpose, I see many souls that need to be saved, many people that are in bondage to drugs, other habits, lifestyles and addictions that are keeping them from experiencing all God has for them. It's also keeping them from doing what God wants them to. Couples ready to give up on their marriages, children being rebellious, people in financial ruin, people being offended by petty things, Bible studies being disrupted, and on and on the list goes.

So my thoughts........WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON?

I firmly believe that the spiritual world is just as real as the physical world - even more so, because it never dies! So, if we look at what is going on in the spiritual world, what would we see?

We have an enemy. He wants to stop us from being victorious. Could it be he's causing havock in our lives, and worse yet.......why are we allowing him to? We are not ignorant of his schemes, we are not powerless, yet we seem to be always defeated. Let's open our spiritual eyes and look at what's really going on.

Stand up, Christians, put on the full armor of God, stop playing church, and be strong in the Lord! This battle is fought on our knees! Pray and see the victories come!


Wow... starting a blog to keep up with my daughters, and to have a venue for my multitude of varying thoughts...where and how do I begin?

I guess I'll just start pouring out what's on my mind! Surprisingly, this little blonde head can hold more that you'd think!

Changes -

There are seasons in life, I'm fully aware of. I've taught about them, brought my four daughters through them, and been through more than my share. But with each new season comes a time of questioning: why this? why now? how long?

I'm entering a new season.

My family / home has slowly gone from six in my house down to two. My last daughter, my baby Bekah, turned 18 and has moved out of the nest to start her next chapter in life. Thankfully, oh so thankfully, she is beginning a ministry internship, following her deep desire to be a servant of God.

As fairly new pastors in the small community of Oakville, we are now looking for a new youth pastor to come alongside us and work in the ministry. Yet more change to come.

My husband, James (of almost 28 years) ended up in the hospital with life-threatening blood clots in his lungs - AGAIN. Yes, it's happened 2 times before. Yet he's home, and functioning. Not sure how well he's doing, and will have to search long and hard for a good doctor to follow him up. Although I don't see me or my husband as being old, we've never had to go through any major health issues before.

This is a new season for both of us. So there's the questions: why? and how long?

There's only one thing that I'm sure of, and only one constant through the many seasons and changes that have come my way: Jesus walks with me, and brings me through every one of those seasons. So, instead of fear, there's actually an anticipation of what this season will bring.