A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Total Chaos!!!

This photo by Dave Bleasdale pretty much describes what my life has seemed like these past few weeks.  There is just so much swirling around in my head and my heart-all too jumbled at this point to put into words.  Thoughts, questions, disturbing situations, things that hurt my heart, things that thrill my heart, circumstances causing me to wonder, to pray, to search the scriptures for comfort, for wisdom, for revelation, for hope.  I don't have writer's block, I just can't get anything to sit still long enough in my mind to write about it.

I am sure that when I get these things all squared away in my mind and in my heart, there will much to write about but until then I suggest reading these blogs instead.  Enjoy!




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What in the World??

I just realized that this new blogger dashboard has stats!  One of the features is that you can look at what people typed into the search that brought them to your blog.  I'm still trying to figure out how someone found my blog by typing:

"old woman standing on corner with ham"

As I said before I really have to wonder about the person who found me by typing this in the search:

"pastors wives nude"

And these made me wonder as well:

"amish bondage"  and "my pastors wife is evil"

What am I typing on these blogs?????  LOL!

It was just an observation and it made me giggle.  I needed a giggle.  Hope you giggled too!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hallmark Moments with God

When my Mom passed away, my Dad gave me a envelope filled with poems and songs that my Mom had written.  She was always singing a little "ditty" of some kind and knew just about every song ever written. I still laugh as I remember how the silly songs would make us laugh as she danced around the kitchen twirling with a pancake turner in her hand singing songs like "Yes, We Have No Bananas", "Oh Johnny", "Boom, Boom, Diddle, Daddle, Waddam, Shoot", and one about a train stopping goat.  She even instilled in me the love of a certain name, which I gave to our first born daughter.   Later in life, she turned her hand to poetry and found that she was quite handy at that too.  When I find myself missing her, I get that envelope out and read through them.  It gives me little glimpses into her heart and I remember all the good things. 

Blogging has been a journey for me.  I first started out blogging to record things for my children so they could have a remembrance of their childhood, a digital scrapbook, of sorts.  (And maybe someday when they're missing me, it will bring comforting memories to them too.)  I soon found that it was a wonderful writing outlet as well and the more I did it, the more I realized that I love to write!  I don't think that I often have much of value to say, but I find enjoyment from learning to say it in creative and effective ways.  I guess I must be more like my Mom than I ever admitted.

In scripture, God often instructed people to write things down for remembrance purposes, to chronicle His workings in their lives, as a memorial, and for public record.  I think that this is just as important today!  It's those things that become part of the heritage that we hand down to our children for what more important thing do we pass on to our children than a spiritual heritage?  Some of my husband's most treasured possessions are old dog eared Bibles with hand written notes in them that he inherited from his great grandparents and grandparents.  They tell of a time and a faith that stood strong through time.  When we have an understanding of those that came before us, it helps us to understand our own selves much better, but more importantly, we come to know and understand our roots.  (My husband has a rich spiritual heritage that dates all the way back to the Asuza St. revival.  There are spiritual principles already at work in his life based on the promises made to his ancestors.  That is a comforting thing, especially in times of hardship or trouble and it sets a standard for living that encourages us to believe big.) 

Spiritually speaking, this is very important.  Through the experiences, failures and victories of saints that have gone before us, we can glean and learn things without re-inventing the wheel of life.  If we will heed the lessons that we learn from them, we will end up going higher, deeper, and longer in the things of God which will make us more useful for His Kingdom.

Thus, I want to get back to my original intent for blogging and that is to chronicle my walk with the Lord.  My children have already heard many of these things, but having a written record in my own words will provide them a first hand account of what made their crazy mother tick!

So every now and then I plan to post a moment that to me is a Hallmark moment with God.  I pray that it will bless my children some day and that it will bolster their faith and encourage them to walk even further, to go even deeper, and to live even higher than I was able to.  If we will effectively pass on what we have learned to those younger than ourselves, their potential in God when they reach our age will far exceed even what we obtained in a whole lifetime.  I called that "2 twoin' it".  (2 Timothy 2:2)

Someday, when my kids look back on all these "writings" that I have posted here, I pray that they will understand their Mom, their spiritual heritage, their history and possibly their destiny just a little bit better.  I pray that they will find hope, encouragement, warm memories, and a few giggles along the way. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sacred Spots-Residue of the Holy

Just recently I acquired a new piano student.  She attends a charter school in our town and I go there after school to give her a lesson once a week.  Her mother sent me very detailed instructions on how to get there but I didn't need them.  It was the address of the first church I attended as a Christian and that eventually we pastored in.  I hadn't been in that building for nearly 18 years so when I entered I expected that I wouldn't recognize much of anything.  I was mistaken.

When I entered the lobby, it looked pretty much the same structurally.  The carpet had been replaced by tile.  That's understandable since the building houses a middle school.  The offices were left intact.  The sanctuary had been divided in half with the back becoming 3 separate classrooms, but as I walked into the rooms bordering the outside walls, I noticed that the wood beams that created the A-frame design of the old sanctuary were still in place.  I proceeded through the rooms and into a large room with steps on one side that went up to a platform--the front of the old sanctuary.  There were 10 or so kids flying around the room engaging in an intense game of dodge ball.   It seemed odd for dodge ball to be going on there because the carpet had not been changed and the front of the sanctuary remained nearly untouched.  It was almost like I was in a dream.

By the end of our lesson, pretty much everyone had gone from the building so I strolled back into the dodge ball court.   The auditorium became again for me a sanctuary.  I walked to the front right side and stood in the exact location where I had stood as I asked the Lord to forgive me of my sin.  I almost felt again the feeling of what seemed to be a 500 lb. weight being lifted from shoulders as the Lord erased my sin debt and declared my account justified!  Then I walked to the left side of the sanctuary and stood where I had stood as the Lord gloriously baptized me in the Holy Spirit and gave me a new and wonderful language to speak to Him in prayer.  I walked up on the platform and remembered the morning I dedicated my daughter-a miracle baby- to the Lord and I stood over the baptistery (now boarded over) as I recalled the day my husband and I were baptized into the faith together.  What  a blessing.  Then I stood where I had been sitting on that first "monumental" day when the Lord spoke so clearly to me from His Word that He had heard and answered my prayers for my dying grandmother.

Even though church services had not been held in that building for a very long time it almost seemed to me that the place was still, somehow holy.  It seemed that a residue of the holy still lingered there.  In that place, I had been taught the Word of God, I had observed and experienced many miracles and supernatural events, life-long friendships had been forged there and I had been raised in the Lord by a loving Pastor and congregation.  I wonder if there is a residue of the holy that lingers, like the power that lingered on the buried bones of the Prophet Elisha.  I hope so.  I pray that there is.  There is a generation there that is in danger of being lost.

Regardless, that spot will always be sacred to me, if only in my heart.  It was there that God completely and forever changed me and set my life in a totally different direction.  I plan to spend more time in that place over the coming weeks. It gives me cause to remember and be grateful.  It reminds me that small beginnings are not to be despised, but treasured because they are craftsmanship of God.  It seems a lifetime has passed since my first days in that building.  I guess in a lot of ways, it has.  But as I traveled back in my mind to those times, my heart filled with gratitude and thanksgiving to the God who drew me there in the first place. 

 Perhaps the Lord will give me the opportunity to share with some of the people there why I am so drawn to the dodge ball court! I pray so.  I pray that I won't be the only one with sacred spots in that room. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Monuments of the Christian Life

In scripture, we often see people building an altar to God to commemorate a monumental occasion in their walk with Him.  And after the sacrifice is offered, the altar is left standing so that every person passing by will know that something very important happened there. The altar that Joshua built to the Lord became a national monument.  Every time Israelite families passed by with their children, they would recount the story of the great deed that God performed there much like we visit monuments today that commemorate the founding of our country or our fight for freedom.
As a Christian, I have monuments that I visit from time to time.  My monuments are scripture verses that God used to minister to me in remarkable ways.  These verses and their work in my life have made me who I am.  Written in my Bible beside each verse is the date and situation I was in when the Lord used that verse to minister to me.  Each time I flip through my Bible or I happen to be on those pages, I recount to myself the story of the mighty things God did in my life through that passage of scripture and I'm encouraged and my faith is bolstered.

John 15:16 was the first monument verse I ever marked in my Bible.  It was in 1983, just a few short months after I became a Christian.  My grandmother had fallen in a rest stop in GA and broken her hip.  Shortly after surgery, a blood clot traveled to her brain causing a stroke and she wasn't expected to come out of it.  She had attended a main line church all her life.  They had never told her that she needed to be born again.  Still, her heart was tender towards the Lord.   I had talked with her on several occasions since being converted, but still was not sure about where she was with God.  With her in GA in a coma and me stuck in PA, there was no way to communicate with her.  I spent days fasting and praying, even though I didn't yet know that there was such  a thing as fasting and prayer.  I just couldn't eat.  Concern for her eternal destination consumed me. 

She passed away on a Tuesday evening.  Wednesday morning we got the call.  On Wednesday evening the Lord prompted me to go to church even though I was packing and preparing to leave to go home for her funeral.  I didn't want to go, but thought that maybe the worship would soothe my soul. Upon arriving at church, I discovered that our musically talented Pastor and his wife were gone.  In their place was a deacon who could not sing and  a retired missionary who tortured the ivories much more than she tickled them.  "God, you must have made a mistake", I thought to myself.  What was worse was, the man responsible for leading the service had only just found out that he was in charge and hadn't prepared anything.  I just sat there in my misery wondering if God was playing a cruel trick on me. (Remember, I was just newly saved and ignorant of how He works, even through seemingly terrible situations, but  was about to learn a valuable lesson.)

After we blundered through a hymn, he stood and read a passage of scripture from John 15.  He stopped at verse 15, but I continued reading into verse 16.  As I read the verse, time seemed to stand still.  The noise from the service seemed to grow strangely dim.  Verse 16 seemed to magnify right before my eyes as if it was leaping off the page and covering my eyes until it was all I could see.

"You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He may give it to you."

Immediately, peace flooded my heart like a dam bursting from the deluge of water that had been pushing itself against it's walls with relentless force and I was assured that God had heard and answered my prayers and my grandmother was in heaven with him. It was my first "I know that I know that I know" moment since my salvation experience.

At her funeral, I could hardly sit still.  Her body lay there dressed in her favorite pink dress, still and silent, but in my minds eye, I could see her dancing on the streets of gold, twirling in a white robe and singing as her bright blue eyes twinkled with delight.  The reality of eternity in heaven had never been more real.  I honestly wanted to jump up from my seat and twirl around her casket, joining her in her dance.  My sorrow was swallowed up in knowing that her life was now complete and victory had been won!

I will see her again someday.  She will tell me of those last few hours when she was sleeping and I was praying and God was working.  I can't wait!  The marked verses in my Bible will be here on earth, but they will be more alive to me than they were here, even while they were jumping off the page at me.

This verse and the notation beside it always reminds me that God does hear and answer prayer, even when all we can do is pray.  He does take the efforts that we make to share our faith and plants them as seeds in other's hearts, even if all we know of scripture is what we've experienced through being newly born again.   Of course, after 28 years with Christ, this verse means so much more to me now, but it will always remind me of the first time that God really "spoke" His Word to my heart as a direct and clear answer to my prayer.  The sheer simplicity of the reality of His everyday presence in our daily affairs encourages me now, even as I write this.  Thank you Lord!