Friday, April 23, 2010

Mommy Expectations

Since I've become a mom, my expectation level for myself has drastically changed. I used to look at this as my own failure. It left me feeling weak. I used to beat myself up for not being able to do what I knew I could do before kids. During my pregnancy with Isaiah I ran myself ragged trying to do everything I used to be able to do and eventually had a breakdown. I had to accept my circumstances in life as a mother of two boys and one on the way. I had to see it as a blessing from God, not a weakness or failure on my part.
Now my expectations are at mommy level. My old expectation for cleaning used to be to clean the whole house in one day. Now I'm happy when I complete one chore such as dishes or laundry or making a bed. I've even broken up laundry in steps. I never have time to separate, wash all 3-5 loads, fold, and put away. I'm happy if I do one of those things in one day. Usually after they are washed and dried, I put them on the couch to be folded. My goal for that is one week!
My Bible reading expectation used to be daily. Now my goal is that I never stop reading throughout my life. I know I'm not going to be able to read everyday, but I want my heart to be engaged in God daily in some way, whether it is in a conversation with God, a song I hear and sing to him, a passage I read and think about, a message I hear on the radio or a podcast, or telling someone what He's done in my life.
My expectation for grocery shopping used to be in and out as fast as I could, not letting anything or anyone get in my way. Now I'm happy if I get out of a store with anything in my cart and no crying kids or screaming mom (me).
My fashion expectation used to be that I constantly have something new, whether it was clothing, shoes, or an accessory. Now I'm happy to get something seasonal in the actual season we're currently in.
I have found that acceptance of who and where I am in life has helped me enjoy who and where I am. It has also helped me walk in the love and grace of God provided for me in each season I encounter.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kids in the Ministry

I have always been intrigued by PK's (Pastor's Kids). When I was a teenager, I would watch them to see how they acted, not out of judgement, just out of curiosity. I would wonder what it was like to live in the Pastor's home, what the kid's personalities were like, how their parents influenced their views and values, how their parents handled challenges in child rearing. I have asked many questions to Pastor's Wives and I always walk away with lots of little nuggets of great ideas for my future. I've known since I was a teenager that I would marry a Pastor and have my own little PK's one day, so I try to learn as much as I can on this subject.
Now that I'm a mom, I think about it a lot. My greatest fear for them is that they won't care about the God we love and serve or want to be a part of ministry in some way. Of course I don't expect them to be called into full time ministry like us, but I want them to grow up seeing themselves as ministers wherever they go and to be faithful and committed to serve in their local church in some capacity. Not because it makes us as parents look like a success, but because I want them to find their own purpose as a child of God. I look forward in sharing in their own ministry opportunities.
I recently read a blog by Holly Furtick called Spiderman's Elevation Welcome from April 15th. It was about kids being involved in their parent's ministries. The comments from other Pastor's Wives were so insightful. I will tuck these things away for my future.
The three things I learned from them were:
1. Involve them. Tell your kids what's going on in your church. After all, the decisions you make affect them. They shouldn't find out about a major change from an announcement on a Sunday morning. Make sure it's age appropriate, but don't hide anything (the good and the bad). And NEVER talk critically about your members, even if they hurt you. That goes for all Christians, not just those in the ministry.
2. Encourage, don't force, your kids to own it. Let them pick some part of your ministry to be personally involved in. Help them find THEIR niche. Even a 7-year-old can be a helper in Children's Church. An older child can help run the sound. There are lots of different options in each church and each child is different.
3. Make it a priority to spend lots of personal one-on-one time with each child. One PW says that her and her husband go on a special date night once a month with each one of their children separately. It builds security in them and reminds them that you are their parents, not their pastor. This is very important in PK's since they have to share their parents with the whole church.
I'm so thankful for all the resources out there to help us along the way but I know that no matter what, the Holy Spirit guides us in all wisdom.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Making New Memories

Thursday turned out to be a great day. My sister and I were able to have lunch together and actually talk. That may sound strange to most but it's actually rare that we engage in meaningful conversation. Every time we are together we have our kids, ages 5 and under, so the only talking we do is to the kids. After lunch we went to the gravesite to plant seeds that should blossom in a couple of months. Later that night we went to our step-mom's house for a fun girls night. We laughed and told stories of my dad and talked about many other subjects. Although I don't like the reason for the getting together, I'm thankful to be able to make new memories with the important people that are in my life. Even this weekend will be full of more memories. Today we have a birthday party, a graduation, and an engagement party. I'm getting a new sister-in-law! Tomorrow we are going to a bridal show!! I love wedding planning!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finding Purpose through Death

Today is the One Year Anniversary of my dad's death. It's funny how things can hit you again after time goes by. A couple of months ago I realized that today was on it's way. For some reason it finalized things in my mind. I realized that it was real, that he really did die and that he's not ever coming back. I cried harder than I have through this whole process.
In loosing everything, Job found a new purpose to live for - God. When all else fails and things are stripped away from you, God is still there and always will be. Life is frail, short, and full of trouble. Live life in view of all the things you do have, not in things you don't or wish you did.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bible Reading Plans

Unfortunately I have to confess that I've never read the entire Bible all the way through. Even more unfortunate is the fact that most Christians could say the same thing. I know it's a huge book, but how can we be complete as followers of Christ and children of God if we don't even know what it says. It would be like only reading bits and pieces of a regular book and trying to live your life by it and then trying to tell others what they should do too! That would be ridiculous!! So it's my goal to read the entire Bible. I've tried it before but it's never stuck. I usually bite off more that I can chew, so my goal this time is not to read it all in a year, but just to read it today.
I've never been a fan of the One Year Bible. I don't like skipping around from book to book. I've tried the Bible in Chronological Order, but couldn't get in to that because it was too much for me to read in one sitting. I would get sleepy and/or not complete the reading for that day and get way behind. I've also tried it on my iPhone, but it didn't feel right. I like reading it from a book because I love to underline things when they hit me and reading the Bible on a phone prohibits this. So finally, I discovered I can pick which kind of Bible reading plan I like best. I turn on my computer and exactly what I'm supposed to read pops up. Then as soon as I'm finished reading, I click a button that says "finished reading" and it gets checked for me. Since I still can't underline, I write my notes in a journal. I actually like this even better because I can write questions I have and go back later to dig deeper and I write out verses that I want to memorize or truths that speak to me about what I'm going through. I began this month and have thoroughly enjoyed it. For the first time, Genesis has come alive to me. I anticipate reading each time. I hope I stick with it. It will be well worth it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My New Journey

Well, I'm officially on a new journey. My life will never again be as I've known it and I have no idea where it's going. I only say it's official because I've finally accepted it. Nothing has changed, but I can feel it. It's a season of the unknown with lots of unanswered questions. Along with this come many choices. The first choice we make, sometimes unknowingly, is our attitude. Are we going to resent where we are in life with a bad attitude or embrace it and hang on for the ride? After this choice has been made, it affects our relationship with God. Are we going to be angry with God that things are not going our way, or trust him, believing that He is good and does everything because he loves us? Then that choice affects our relationships with man. If we are angry with God, we will become an angry person and treat people with frustration (i.e. our kids, husbands, family members, co-workers, cashiers, etc.)
At first I realized I was angry with God for things out of my control (Aaron having to get a job, us not being able to be in ministry together as before, our miscarriage, my dad's death, not liking what I think our future holds). Along with that comes three loud, energetic boys close in age and a house I cannot keep clean on my own. Also having to make a huge decision close to my heart - should I homeschool Gabe or send him to school?
I don't know the answer to any of those questions, but I have changed my mind about God. I am going to trust Him and embrace the ride.
Isaiah 33:6 "He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure."