We had a great district council this year. We were miraculously provided for. I was miraculously healed of an ear infection and sore throat. You can read about our provision on my hubby’s blog. He did a great job of writing about it, so there is no reason for me to rewrite it. So, check out Adventures in Asceticism. He’s written some other great posts about District Council as well. I will just add that generally, our church pays for all or most of our expenses. That has been a wonderful gift in the past, but this year was especially tight, so we took donations, but not even an official love offering. I was amazed at the amount we got that way, but it still wasn’t enough. Our personal finances have been really tight the past month as well, so we weren’t in a great place when we left.

Now, as for my healing, I get to tell that story! Sunday, Princess was complaining of a sore throat. I thought, “oh, great, we’ll all be sick by the end of the week!” I wasn’t wrong. 😦 I tend to stress out when we are going somewhere. I don’t want to forget anything and I have to pack nearly everything. I make Chris pack his own clothes is all. So, I usually do get sick at the start of a trip. I think I run down my immune system or something. Anyways, I got it Sunday night. My throat hurt just a little. I thought maybe I wouldn’t get the full-blown thing. But, I did. Monday morning, I was croaking out my sentences. Monday afternoon, my in-laws met us at the campground and we handed off the kids. We went to dinner and shopping with them, but the kids were stuck to grandma and grandpa. Monday night they slept on their bus while we slept in our hotel room.

Tuesday morning we headed off to DC (District Council). My head hurt and my throat was killing me, but it was still manageable. So we went to the ordination luncheon and the banquet that night. At the banquet, my ears started hurting. I didn’t even tell Chris because I was hoping it wouldn’t be anything. We went to the house that was lent to us. It was great by the way! What fun! At 2 a.m. I awoke with terrible ear pain. (more…)

A new digi-scrapping site, Scrap Orchard, opened this week. Everyday they are giving away a mini-kit and having a challenge to go along with it. Today’s is “You’re A Peach”. The mini-kit was created by Kami of Ziggle Scraps. We were supposed to scrap about someone we admire. You can still get in on the action. Just click the link and go to their blog where they have the info and download. Here is my page, in honor of my hubby:

urapeach-layout-medium.jpg

Click the image to see it enlarged and read the journaling.

I am really nervous tonight. Tomorrow night, Chris and I are tag-team preaching for the first time. That is enough to make me nervous, but we are also acting. I am Mary Magdalene and he is Peter. We are doing this for our community services leading up to Easter. Each week a different pastor is a different person from the Gospel of John. The problem is that I don’t act. I never have and I think it may be the first thing in a long time that I have truly felt fear about doing. I can’t even seem to practice with Chris. My mouth is just like sewn shut. I think that I will be able to do it, but not until I’m in front of everyone and don’t have any choice. Of course that worries me because what if I’m wrong and I still can’t do it??? I think I can, I think I can…

In response to my last post, I had a friend ask me some questions about where I am and want to be. She asked some great questions and some of the last ones, I can’t answer yet. I really appreciated her thought-provoking question and the time she spent in typing them all out. Here is the e-mail conversation that we had:

(Friend’s questions in dark orange): I read your blog and also your sermon from Jan. 4th. It was good….a lot of good points and thoughts! I enjoyed reading it. (My answers in green) Thank you!

I read your blog from yesterday….you raised several questions for me. You said you and Chris are very competitive …So, I have several questions for you. Why did you get your ministerial license?I did it because while I didn’t plan to, I felt God leading me that way at the time. I guess I always felt called to be a pastor’s wife, but it seems that God is transforming me slowly into more than that. I could never have done it if I didn’t feel it was right. I am too lazy to go to all that work if I’m not sure I have to. I really don’t enjoy preaching at ALL! But, I know that is where I ‘m supposed to be right now. I hope I will grow to love it. I do love being in ministry and doing more than the average wife. I enjoy voting and having a say in what happens in the AG, too. Also, I have filled in for my mom’s church which is something that I consider my own ministry. I mean I wouldn’t have done it if I was riding on the heels of my husband.

Do you have your own call from God to preach or did you do it because Chris did?I guess I skipped ahead and answered that already, huh? :)Would you be in ministry even if you weren’t married to a preacher? 3 years ago, I would have said… “I don’t know”. Now, if Chris died, I would continue at this church as their pastor if they let me (and I believe they would). So, yes, I would. Absolutely.

How would going back to school effect your ministry and those who you are currently serving? Good question, I guess I think the biggest help would be long term in that even though it’s a small church, we would have a better chance of staying here if I had alternative income as well as what we both make preaching. As far as the effect of the extra time, I am truly unsure. But, if it’s what God wants, that will work out.

As far as a greater Theological Degree, do you really need that for God to use you in the capacity that he has chosen to use you in? You can always read and study yourself to improve in your Theological studies. Now if you felt lead to teach in a college setting etc., then yes you would need the further studies and degrees. Very true, I am just trying to reconcile my two halves I guess.

Other questions to ask yourself as far as returning to school for your Graphics Degree are…How would you use your degree and what jobs are available in your area to use your degree? I believe that I would be able to find something. When I first moved here was when I applied for the job that I wrote about. I could always work at a paper and they are everywhere. I would use my degree to pay off our huge loans that we already have from Bible college that we haven’t been able to even touch with our current salary. But I really feel called to do graphic design for church plants or other small churches that can’t afford to pay a graphic designer. Churches that could greatly benefit from a face-lift to the community so to speak. I want to be able to this for them at cost or on a sliding scale fee system. Very cheaply at least.

If your interests are really in photography, why waste money on a design graphics degree. Wouldn’t it be better to put that money towards something you really love, photography classes and equipment? That is what I am considering at the moment, but I think your questions have made me realize the answer. The photography would be loads of fun, but it wouldn’t get me the rest of the training I need in order to do what I really want – cheap design for small churches.

Can you afford to return to school without it putting to much financial strain on your marriage? Um…I can’t afford it without more loans, but we have so many already that getting the training to actually get a real job would actually be putting us ahead. If I start in the fall, it would defer my undergrad loans till I’m done and could get a job and hopefully finally make some progress on all our loans. I know it’s not the best plan, but I don’t see any other way of getting out of where we are. We just don’t get paid enough. I pray our church will grow, but I must be patient. All things in God’s time. Maybe this waiting time is the right time to take the action needed for me to be comfortable and confident with my skills.

Also write out the pros and cons of how going back to school would effect your family time and time spent with your children, church time, personal time. When would you do your classes, projects and work outside the home? Would the greater stress be more harmful to you emotionally right now with the depression? or would it be your escape? Yes, very good things to do. I think that it would be helpful to be going somewhere. It would be added stress as well, though. I have to figure out which would be better. These last questions are great ones to pray over.

Just some things to really think about and talk out with your hubby. I know I have raised more questions than I have given any answers for, but they are things that you need to figure out before you make any decisions that effect your whole family.

I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough response more than you can know. Thank you.

It was so funny to read your post today as I just finished praying for you gals struggling with depression and low self esteem. Praying that God would make Himself very real to you, that you can see yourself as Christ sees you and that you would be encouraged in some way today by Him. My heart feels for you all as you struggle with these issues on a daily basis. You all have giftings and callings that God has placed within each of you and I know Satan is out to destroy what God has placed within you. Don’t let him! If you have never taken a Spiritual Inventory Test I encourage you to take one. If you don’t know where to go email me and I can point you to a good one. It is a place to start to see where your strengths are at and also what areas you can work on strengthening. If you are doing things outside of your giftings it will be a constant struggle for you. If you have the gift of helps but find you are constantly stuck in a teaching position within the church body it will be a struggle for you or visa-versa. Find your niche, where your strengths are and let God use you there first. Then let him help you grow in these other areas. Great advice! I have taken several of those tests, but I bet now would be a great time to retake one and go over the results again.

I pray that some how this posting encourages you. God does want you to walk in victory….that doesn’t mean you won’t have days that you struggle, but He will help you overcome!

Thanks again to my friend and her encouraging and thoughtful words, challenging questions and above all the prayers!

Well, the hubby came home on time and in time. I was coming down with a cold and I hung on till he got home, but then I kinda crashed. I’ve been sick all week. I feel draggy and groggy. That is why I haven’t been blogging. I didn’t feel like doing anything social at all. I’m on the mending end of things now, but still am rather out of it.

Chris and I have been playing a lot of games lately. On Facebook, we each play a game to see who gets the higher score. The MindJolt Facebook app keeps track for us. I’ve been trying to beat Chris’ score in a game called Numbers Reaction, but I’m really not so great at it. Tonight as I was playing, though, I realized that the game reminded me of being a Christian. It makes me feel like the missionary that each of us should be. We are trying to infect those around us with the gospel. So, now, I am more determined to do well on the game! I hear myself saying in my head, “You will be saved, bubbles!”

Each level of the game you have to try to pop more of the bubbles by choosing one bubble to start the process. I was hoping to be able to put the game in this post, but I didn’t find a site that offered that as an option, so you will have to be satisfied with a link. This is a link to the game on a free game site. I also added a Facebook link. I have no idea if it will actually work for you or not. Enjoy!

Numbers Reaction

Numbers Reaction on Facebook

I AM still alive. I miss blogging, but I have been so busy and so internet-less. We are set to get our internet fixed on January 3rd! Not much longer!

I’ve had a great Christmas. My family came on Christmas Eve and Chris made ham! Yay! We went to some friends’ house for Christmas brunch. Chris’ family came the day after Christmas. They will be here until tomorrow after lunch. On New Year’s Eve, we are going to visit my cousin and her family.

On January 4th, Chris leaves to go for 8 days to L.A. for his class. That will be the longest I’ve ever had the kids all alone! I’m a little worried. He’s much better than I am at being home alone with the kids. I’ve had them for one weekend alone, but 8 days is a lot longer. I hate to cook and I always need time to myself to stay sane. God will have to help me! I know he will! 😀 I sure will miss Chris!

Chris got me a great Christmas present, but I’ll save that for another post. I hope you are all enjoying your holidays!

Chris wrote a great post! It’s all about me! 😀

The last few weeks I have been falling in love with my wife all over again. It is like a spiritual awakening. I am seeing her with fresh eyes. I see the wrinkles forming around her eyes and mouth. She is taking on a look of maturity, and it matches her growth spiritually. There is something very sexy about those lines.

Check out the rest!