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.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Barnyard Ballad (A Reprise)

A few posts ago I rambled around concerning this blog and what to do with it.  I talked of my two seemingly separate lives-the country girl that lives within and the Pastor's wife that lives without and how the two sometimes don't seem to mesh.  I tossed around several ideas.  You see, this is not my only blog and I wanted to either cut out a few or somehow combine them all into one.  I'm working full time now, at least through November, so my time is limited.  I'm also freelance writing for a blog service which takes even more of the less time that I have!  While I find writing for the blog service challenging there are times I just need to sit down and write whatever comes to my head which are the things you have enjoyed reading here.

I found a wonderful blogging site called Weebly.com.  It's easy to use, has great stuff, and it's free!  I'm almost done getting it ready for reading.

It's still called Atypical Pastor's wife.  It's still cow themed, so in that respect, it hasn't changed much.  In thinking of revamping, I just could not let go of my cows.  I love them to much!  So instead I went cow wild on my blog!

What I like about Weebly is that I can have more than one blog on my site.  I can even have separate pages within each blog.  It will be easier on your eyes too.  If you just want to read about my boring life, you can, without reading about my kids, my hubby, or the stuff I post geared more for Pastor's wives.  If you want to read my thoughts on scripture, you can without also reading my thoughts on politics and without having to scroll down through a bunch of blogs. There's even a page with sermons for you to listen to.   I think you will like the new format but if you don't, well....you don't.  That's the wonderful thing about the internet.  You can choose what you look at, thanks to pop up blockers!  LOL!

Quite honestly, I just love going there and looking at the pictures.  I'm all done, for now, at least with the set up and design.  All I have to do now is decide if I want to transfer any blogs from here to there and push the publish button.  I'll leave this one up for awhile though.  So hopefully within the next week or two, I will have a site address for you to use to check it out!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Dream

I've never been one to have what someone might classify "spiritual dreams".  In fact, most of the time my dreams are so weird that they would more often be classified as "bizarre". For instance I have two reoccurring dreams that I've had since childhood. One is about a family game of softball in our back yard where Indians emerge from the woods and attack us.  The other is about returning to high school and not being able to find my way around the building, not remembering my locker combination, not being able to find my schedule and always missing the bus.  Once every 10 years or so I have them again.  Some dreams are just so bizarre that I wake up laughing out loud.  (Yes, my husband finds it very interesting/annoying to sleep with me).  Half the time I don't remember my dreams but last night I had a dream that will be hard to forget.

My dream involves my employment in a warehouse filled with clothing waiting to be shipped to stores, weapons (of course) LOL, the demonic, and the supernatural power of God, and a line I heard on NCIS-LA that just stuck with me.  Now my husband is having a hoot over this because we don't want to spiritualize anything coming out of Hollywood and think it pretty lame when Christians find more spiritual meaning in a movie or show than they do in the Bible.  It's all in fun on on his part but secretly I have to wonder if he thinks I'm lame!  LOL!

I dreamed I was in a large warehouse where there were rows and rows of clothing racks stocked with wholesale clothing.  As I stood observing it, I noticed people walking through the rows touching each garment as if they were praying for the person that would buy the garment.  When they got a little closer to where I was standing, I realized that they were praying but not to God.  They were praying to Satan, claiming each soul that would wear a piece of the clothing.  This greatly alarmed me so I started walking behind them touching each article that they had touched, praying and claiming that soul for Christ.  When I looked up, I saw the biggest and strongest one of them running right for me in a menacing way.  As he sprang to assault me, I put up both my hands and when they touched my attacker, he shot backward landing flat on his back.  There was a look of utter shock on his face.  Again he came at me.  Again I put up my hands and repelled his attack.  Then he and all his associates began running away.  I enlisted other Christians to help find and capture all of them and we caught them all except the one that had attacked me.  He managed to get away. ( At some point I remember sneaking through the clothes trying to find my attacker while carrying a knife and then a long rifle, but that part is very fuzzy).

I am not saying that this dream was "from God", but I thought it was a very cool dream indeed.  I have no interpretation or deep spiritual revelation concerning it either.  It has caused me to think about the reality of the spiritual world in which I live.

Perhaps the warehouse was the world or the church and each of those garments represented a soul.  Within that warehouse two kinds of people were working, good and evil.  When good tried to interfere with evil, evil attacked good and attempted to kill but was overcome through resistance and a supernatural power  resident with good that was stronger than evil.

This brought to mind the scripture "submit yourself, therefore, to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you."  James 4:7

I started to wonder what would have happened had I not resisted?  Part of the victory over my attacker was due to resistance, on my part.  Some would call this works.  I for one do not believe that our "seal" of the Holy Ghost gives us license to walk around oblivious to what is going on around us as if we live within a force-field bubble that will automatically repel every evil thing that tries to invade.  If it did, why would God give us knowledge of "the devil's schemes"?

It's interesting to me in what context the "devil's schemes" are mentioned in scripture.  The first in relation to forgiveness.  The second in relation to prayer.  What Christian activity is most feared by Satan?  Prayer!  What is the one sure fire way to hinder your prayers?  Unforgiveness!

Mark 11:24-26
"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them and they will be granted you.  Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."

Once the evil was captured, I was then free to go about my work.  I was reminded that I am saved for a purpose.  It's not totally about me.  There is a life after the cross that requires my participation, my dedication, my consecration and yes, my efforts.  And this life and the power that accompanies it was forged from the resurrection.  As a saved person, I am a bond slave of Christ.  What do slaves do?  They work!  I am bought with a price.  I am not my own!  And as a bond slave I work diligently and gladly.   I was "created in Christ for good works that God prepared beforehand so that I may walk in them."

What a privilege we have as believers to work for the Lord!  It's not as if He needs us to do anything but we get to?  What could be better? 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bird Lessons

Two years ago, my family bought me a bird feeder for my birthday.  I hung it on a tree that overhangs the deck off of my kitchen.  I used to be one that made fun of birdwatchers so I was surprised at how fun they are to observe.

Last year I noticed that a certain bird kept returning to the feeder.  I knew it was the same bird because he had a "wanger feather", a bent  feather that stuck out from his body.  He looked much like my son when he gets out of bed in the morning!  He was a common sparrow, plain and uninteresting looking but because he was a regular at the feeder we named him "Max" mostly because his plump body reminded us of a relative.  (I don't think he reads my blog!) :-)

Normally I don't pay much attention to the plainer, more common birds.  My attention gets captured when a flash of red or vibrant blue flies by the door.  Those are not rare colors but usually are an indication that something a little out of the ordinary has come to dine.  It may be a pair of cardinals, a noisy blue jay, or a woodpecker.  One day I was totally delighted by a red breasted grosbeak.  Then there are the juncos with their subtle but classy grey and white or a variety of finches whose markings are pleasantly distinctive.

And now, there was plain, plump, neutral colored Max!    He had captured my heart.

One day my daughter asked me "Why did God make those birds so ugly?"  The Lord spoke the response to me.  "They aren't ugly to me."

Are not two sparrows sold for a cent?  And yet, not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father...So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29,31

Perhaps the reason that God chose the lowly sparrow in this passage instead of the majestic eagle or the faithful dove is to remind us of a few things:

~We are like the sparrow.  Common, plentiful, plain.  All stained with sin.  Yet, God knows us, even down to the number of hairs on our heads at any given time.  No matter how much we think we blend in, no matter how insignificant we feel we are, God knows our name.  He made us.  ALL God's creation is fearfully and wonderfully made and loved equally by Him.

~Sometimes we look past the plain and ordinary people of our world to the more obvious beauty around us, forgetting that in reality we are all on level ground.  It is true that there are some more flamboyant, more vocal, and seemingly more talented than others that divert our attention and affections, but God's love remains the same.  Just as my feeder feeds all the birds, the common and the uncommon, the finely groomed and the ruffled feather, God cares for and provides the needs of all that come His table.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two cents?  Yet, not one of them is forgotten before God."  Luke 12:6



Friday, March 8, 2013

My Barnyard Ballad

   "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."  Rudyard Kipling in his Barrack-room ballads, 1892

     I'm thinking of re-vamping the blog.  I've been reading about writing.  (Oh Thank you!  I can hear the applause and  sighs of relief from here!)  My blog's title and theme don't match.  It's kind of schizophrenic.  The theme (all things diary) is my former life.  The title is my new life.  The  old me and the new me are totally dis-joined except when I allow myself to glance back and reminisce.  "Remember Lot's wife!"   I guess the saying "you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl" is true.  Funny thing is that I was never truly a country girl until I met my husband but embracing country life was like jumping into a clear, cool pond on a hot summer's day.  Refreshing, freeing, and satisfying.  Embracing the ministry life has been like picking raspberries without wearing a long sleeve shirt.  Prickly, bloody, and a lot of work for little fruit.

     That's not to say that I'm miserable now. I've learned, like the Apostle Paul, to adapt and be content.   Ministry life was never my choice.  It wasn't even a blip on my radar ANYWHERE!  But it is what it is. (Besides, I wouldn't trade my hubby for all the cows, farmhouses, streams, fields and country comfort in the world and he is DEFINITELY called to ministry!)   My farmer husband became a minister so by default I became the dreaded minister's wife!  While I fit easily into country life, I feel rather displaced in ministry at times, like a cow that has been transferred from the herd to a flock of sheep and expected to fit in.   Perhaps that's why I've tried to mesh the two together on my blog because the country theme supports part of me that has been hard to leave behind. It's the part of me that really is me!

     Now this might sound like psycho-babble to you, but to  a minister's wife this makes perfect sense.  There are some vocations that define who you are in the minds of others and if you are the spouse of someone in those vocations, by default, it defines your occupation.   If you are married to a criminal, you must be a criminal as well.  If you are married to a drunk, then you are from the lower strata of society.  If you married into money then you are shallow, a gold-digger and a snob. If you're married to a minister then you are pigeonholed into a persona of having a "particular function, without regard to your talents, skills or personality".  I can't count the number of people who have said to me in a surprising tone "I can't believe you're a Pastor's Wife."  And so many times I've been tempted to respond "I can't believe it either!"

     Don't worry.  I'm not having an identity crisis, a midlife crisis, or any kind of crisis at all.  I'm merely making the observation that the theme and the title of my blog do not match and I'm deciding what to do about it.


Monday, March 4, 2013


Footprints. I'm thinking about footprints today.  There are animal footprints, carbon footprints, footprints in the sand, and on this particular morning, at least for me, ice footprints.  They were the product of people walking on the snow and ice before  it was plowed.  They left perfect footprints that were 1/8-1/4 inch thick protruding up from the sidewalk.  I literally walked to work on someone else's footprints.  Once or twice my shoe caught on the edge of one and caused me to stumble.  Others caused me to slip if I stepped on them just right.  But by the time I left work in the early evening, the footprints had disappeared, melted away by the afternoon sun  and some salt. 

It reminded me that our walk through life is a brief one.  Scripture tells me that I am like grass "and all my glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall."  

These ice footprints were very much like those flowers and life is very  much like those footprints.  They were noticeable in the morning and totally gone by afternoon.  We don't have a lot of time to make an impact in life.  We must treasure and be a good steward of every moment.  Quite honestly I cringe when I think of the amount of time that I just let slip by when I was younger but now that I am past the mid-way point of life, I take things more seriously.  I'm trying to focus on things that matter and to have a positive impact on those I have the privilege of knowing.  I'm trying to leave footprints that are desirable to follow and easy to walk in. 

Is what I'm leaving behind on this path of life easy to walk in?  Is it desirable?  I take care to make sure that my footprints are not causing others to stumble or fall along the way.  I pray that my life is not so protrusive that it is catching on others trying to walk the same path and causing them to slip or fall.  Frankly, had I fallen on that sidewalk, it could have had life changing implications depending on what part of me hit the concrete first.  I pray that nothing I leave behind in this life will cause devastation for another.

Our Master, Jesus, left big footprints to follow.  John tells us that if we abide in him, we ought to walk in the same manner as He walked.  Paul instructs us to "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God..."  Fortunately that is not too tall a bill to fill.  God has provided us a "helper" in the indwelling Holy Spirit.  We are without excuse. 

So today I will look to God as my one and only resource.  I will walk in His footsteps and as I do, my prints will disappear inside of His and He will be glorified.   In doing this  I can "walk worthy of the God who calls me into His own kingdom and glory."  As  I deposit on this earth what Christ has deposited in me, my legacy is secured and the inheritance that I leave will help others and bring glory to God.