LOOK AT WHAT I DID!!!!! 6-26-2019

look

Look what I did? Yep, we were on vacation for all of two days and I landed myself in the ER.

look

It appears I have some tendon/ ligament damage. The ER Doc was convinced it was brooken. I need to see an orthopedic DR. when we return home….in 3 weeks, for now, it’s Elevation and Ice AND CRUTCHES. Blog posts will be short and sweet for now!

One thing I have come to realize is I don’t sit well with my feet up.

another thing I’m not good at is everyone waiting on me hand and foot.

AND I am REALLY bad at using crutches.

Look AT Me

I hate having people look at me. I have to be in court in a few days and I have to take the crutches with me. I am seriously hoping they have an elevator. As an introvert, I am not a fan of people staring at me, to begin with. Being on crutches just screams stare at me…LOL.

It’s gonna be a stretching experience all the way around..

Leave of Absence: 3 Thoughts 6/12/2019

absence

Why a Leave of Absence?

This was a question we got a lot t the beginning of our leave of absence. . Here are a couple of reasons

  • We have been serving 11 years without an extended break
  • we have just completed a very strenuous building project that took just under a year.
  • My dear hubby had pneumonia over the winter and fought through it to get the project mostly completed
  • There were some stressful things that happened that we still can’t discuss
  • We were just plain exhausted and nearing the point of burnout

Those are just a few things in a long list. Those things took their toll. So at this point, we are two weeks in and I have learned a few things about hubby and me.

3 Things Learned in absence

  1. Absence Makes the heart grow fonder (MOST of the time). We missed our people.

2. You can take the pastor out of the ministry but you cannot take the ministry out of the pastor- Hubby’s heart is t seek people’s spiritual growth and I could see that desire well back up in him. Sometimes though people’s attitude can really wear down a pastor. Pastor really needs to remember you can lead your flock to water BUT you CANNOT make them drink.

3. Even when you go away you carry your people AND their burdens with you. It is not as easy as it sounds to just let things go. You have been praying and crying with these people for so long. It’s hard to just “let it all go”.

These are just a few brief insights and things I am learning in these 5 weeks off. How about you have you even had a season of stepping away from where God has called you? What did you learn?

Not My Circus, Not My Monkey 6-7-2019

monkey

“Not my circus not my Monkey” is become my phrase over the last 5 or 6 years. If you have hung around me for any amount of time in the real-life you have probably heard me utter these words “Not my circus, not my monkey ” It’s kinda my little reminder to myself not to get wrapped into drama- especially if it’s not my own.

There is a whole lot f stress and frustration that can be avoided if we embrace and live with this phrase as our motto. I have had people hear me mutter this to myself. But I want to make something very clear- This is not about ignoring people and their problems. I still pray for people and I still try to help people and I still listen and care for them and “bear one another’s burdens” as the Bible tells us to.

The difference is if it’s not my business. And sometimes I need to realize even if I’m involved deeply in a matter that God doesn’t want me to know the why, or the How, or the what. He just wants me to trust Him.

That Moment You Realize It IS your Circus and it IS your Monkeys

This makes me giggle so much because a friend of mine posted a meme to my facebook timeline with this phrase on it with if I remember correctly a mom’s facepalm. It was HILARIOUS! but it also got me thinking…It’s really easy for me to say “not my circus, not my Monkeys”, but how do I gauge when it is. And then I need to ask myself What is my circus and WHO are my Monkeys and here’s what I came up with

  • if it involves my family(husband and kids)
  • my home
  • something I’ve done or been a part of
  • a ministry I lead
  • me (Yes I am My Monkey)

That’s a short list. When we realize that our monkeys are a short list it gives us permission to chill. When we take on other people’s circuses and monkeys we can easily get overwhelmed. and we don’t like it when people take over our circuses and monkeys. This is also called MICROMANAGING. I am currently in a situation where I am watching a ton of micromanaging going on. I am just a witness t it. There is a lot of unrest in all of it because those being micromanaged are fed up-they have their Monkeys under control and doing a good job at taking care of the monkey’s they were given. HOWEVER, for whatever reason, the Ringleader doesn’t trust the Monkey Trainers so the Ringleader decided to micromanage. It disturbs the workflow of the Monkey trainers.

Now the Ringleader could argue that they are in charge of the Monkey Trainers BUT if you give someone a job you must, in turn, trust them with it. You have made they act of Monkey Training NOT YOUR MONKEY! Yes, you still need to help if asked. or if a ball is being dropped but if there is nothing wrong remind yourself ” not my Monkey” and move on. not everything has to be done your way.

I hope you enjoyed this fun little post about circuses and monkeys, as much as I did!

Now it’s Your Turn

Do you have something you are known for saying? (Keep it clean people). and does it serve as a reminder or a specific purpose?

Book Review: Settle My Soul

Settle My Soul

Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus By Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk Is a Pressing Pause Devotional published by Zondervan. Each 2-3 page devotional hits you right where you are at. They are skillfully written and definitely encourage the reader in their everyday walk with Jesus!. The quality of the book is great and the cover is beautiful (though I will say it got kinda dirty).

Soul

I know the picture really doesn’t do it justice BUT people the title in PINK foil lettering. Also included is a lovely sage green ribbon bookmark. And the Paper. At the end of every devotional, there are a couple of questions and some lines provided in which to answer. Can I just tell you, the paper is Thick. I don’t think I had any bleed through or shadowing. It’s a great size and very portable!

There were a few of the devotions that really stood out to me:

Day57- “God Call’s us to love our neighbor, but first we must notice them and get to know them.”

Day 66 entitled ” would you follow you” starts out with this statement, “Friendships are not optional in the Christian life. they are necessary for sustaining us through all that life throws at us.

Day 79 (Driven to distraction) “He invites us to hold up our too full places up to Him, allowing him to scrape off any activities that aren’t in His will. This lets us say no to multitasking and begin to focus on the things God may have for us.”

Day 86 (Putting on Patience). There was nothing specific in this one it was the whole thing that just deeply resonated with my Soul.

This is just a tiny sampling of what this book holds.

My Soul Review

When I got my hands on this book back in April, it was exactly what my soul needed. My soul had been depleted. we were in the last few months of school and I have to be honest we as a family needed some deep soul rest. We are hoping to get that in the coming weeks but I was really struggling with near burnout and ministry exhaustion. This book met me where I was and really helped to feed my soul exhaustion.

I only really have one complaint and that’s that the book did get dirty but that’s more my fault (I haul my books everywhere) and it seems to wipe clean, unlike some other books I own.

So I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Also a big thanks to BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a free copy for review. These opinions are soley my own and I have NOT been paid for a positive review.

Interested in reading other book reviews? You can check out my other book reviews by clicking here.

It’s Been a While….

Over a month to be exact!  Life has just gotten away from us.   In some ways that is an amazing thing because we are neck deep in ministry and loving almost all of it.   I wish I could put into words the emotions I have experienced over the last few months but that is for another time.

and I wish I could tell you al that is whirling around in my head but that is also for another time.    But in the midst of all that I treasure up in my heart- there are some things I can fill you in on…..

Our family grew by one.

Say hello to Nugget

It’s our first puppy in 9 years!  All of our other dogs have been rescues or other circumstances.   She is a Corgi and Cavelier King Charles Spaniel Mix.  And she has a VERY happy ending!   It has taken us a while to venture back into the land of another dog ( we do have one already) but after losing two dogs in a year 2 years ago we decided that we were going to wait a while.  Nugget has been a part of our family for about a month now and she has such a sweet temperament  AND she and Rosie are now best friends- it took a little while!

I’m in the Middle of my largest writing project-EVER!

Yep, you read that right.   I have taken on writing our church’s Christmas play.  My goal is 5 to 6 scenes and I am about halfway there.   I’m really excited about it as is my stage manager, my music director, and hubby.  I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be in that place, but God has brought me there.   and now I am over the moon excited as the words just seem to flow out the end of my pen…LOL yes, I am handwriting it first! That is just how I roll people.  Yes, I will type it. BU, I need to first get the main ideas on paper.   Stay tuned for more details!

Creating Art

One of the things as a child that I had a real desire to do was learn to paint.  That has become a reality for me.  I have been binge watching  YouTube videos and soaking it all up like a sponge!   As of right now, watercolor is my medium of choice including watercolor pencils both regular and woodless) though in the fall I did my first acrylic painting and am gaining some confidence in that area as well.  U have also added Guoache, real brush pens (Arteza) and alcohol Markers (Ohuhu) to the mix and I am loving the learning and creative process)

I had a Birthday

and I turned (cough cough) years old…HAHAHAHA well, let’s just say it the end of a decade! BUT I got to spend my last night being  38  checking off my top bucket list concert!  Yeah, I got to see TOBY MAC!   But that’s not all- Jordan Feliz, Jeremy Camp, We Are Messengers, Ryan Stevenson and  I can’t remember his name, He started singing as we were coming in and trying to find our seats.

Witnessed God change someone’s life!

I call her one of my kids- and watching her choose Jesus was one of the highlights of my year!  And I am watching her take off!  I love being a bystander getting a front row seat to see God work.  BUT with that front row seat comes great responsibility and burden.  Not a bad burden BUt a burden to do more, see more, grow more. To make a bigger difference, to love deeper, to care more, and I’m not just talking about stuff- because stuff does not matte- People matter!  If there was one thing I could communicate to people was to set aside their preferences, their ways, and their desires and place all of their energy serving others -God moves in great and mighty ways.  When we take ourselves OUT of the picture and put people in those places of preference, security. and ideals LOOK OUT! God’s gonna do big things!  Beyond what we can ever imagine!

I’ve learned:

  • A deeper meaning for patience.   When I first got pregnant a little over 14 years ago, I experienced a whole new sense of anticipation and it was hard to wait.  But at the end of 9 months, I was fairly certain that I would have a baby.    Well over the last 6 months  I have learned new levels of patience and trust that God, no matter the outcome has a plan and a purpose.  Now I know all of this already but as we mature in our faith God takes us through deeper levels of these concepts.  He requires deeper trust than we have ever experienced before.
  • to take notice of the Joy God sends into our lives.  Joy is  my word for the year and the verse in  Romans 12:12  is my verse for the year12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
  • to count in ALL Joy- boy is this hard- especially saying goodbye to something that seems like God was moving in.
  • It’s hard not to get your hopes up when God is doing exciting things!
  • I heard a speaker explain the life of a youth leader as being one of the hardest jobs there is ( Ain’t it the truth).  He explained how it can be so discouraging and so amazing all wrapped into one and it just so happened to meet me where I was struggling AND THEN the very next session the young lady I mentioned above Chose to follow Jesus! Amazed does not even begin to describe what happened.  All I can say is yours truly was in full ugly cry mode and couldn’t get a grip for like 20 minutes! It was beautiful!

I have a new playlist- and it’s not my normal!

I’m usually a peppy music girl, the faster and louder the better but, my heart has been in a different place lately. so here is the list on my phone simply titled  “where I’m At”.

  1. Courageous (Casting Crowns)
  2. 10,000 Reasons (Matt Redman)
  3. The Hurt and The Healer (MercyMe)
  4. Live Like That (Sidewalk Prophets)
  5. My Hope is in YouAaron Shust)
  6. I lift my Hands (Chris Tomlin)
  7. Forgiveness (Matthew West)
  8. Whom Shall I Fear (Chris Tomlin)
  9. Only a Mountain (Jason Castro)
  10. Steady My Heart (Kari Jobe)
  11. We Won’t Be Shaken (Building 429)
  12. Need You Now (Plumb)
  13. Overcomer (Mandisa)
  14. You Are (Colton Dixon)
  15. Live With Abandon (Newsboys)
  16. Even If (Kutless)
  17. The Only Name  (Big Daddy Weave)
  18. Waterfall (Chris Tomlin)
  19. You Won’t Let Go (Micheal W. Smith)
  20. Speak Life (Toby Mac)
  21. My Heart is Yours (Passion)
  22. This is Amazing Grace (Phil Wickam)
  23. Fix My Eyes (For King and Country)
  24. More of You (Colton Dixon)
  25. He Knows my name (Francesca Battistelli)
  26. He Knows (Jeremy Camp)
  27. Overwhelmed (Big Daddy Weave)
  28. Save my Life (Sidewalk Prophets)
  29. Shoulders (for King and Country)
  30. Just Be Held (Casting Crowns)
  31. My Story (Big Daddy Weave)
  32. Same Power (Jeremy Camp) *my song for the year
  33. Trust in You  (Lauren Daigle)
  34. Chain Breaker (Zach Williams)
  35. Limitless (Colton Dixon)
  36. Grace Wins (Matthew West)
  37. Far is a Liar (Zach Williams)
  38. The Breakup Song (Francesca Battistelli)
  39. Joy (for King and country) Also a theme for the year
  40. Control (Tenth Avenue North)
  41. Point to You (We are Messengers)
  42. Good Good Father (Zealand Worship)
  43. Thy Will (Hilary Scott and the Scott Family)
  44. Broken Things  (Matthew West)
  45. You Love Defends Me (Matt Maher)
  46. Eye Of the Storm (Ryan Stevenson)
  47. Greatness of our God (Newsboys United)
  48. Something Greater (Mathew West)
  49. Even If (MercyMe)

Forty-nine songs that speak truth (LIFE :)) into my heart even when I can’t be in God’s word- there are constant reminders in the background of my life reminding me where my focus needs to be.

So That’s it for now!  I know it’s a big update with some crazy vagueness! (Sorry about that but stay tuned.  Later this week we have a fun book review from our two youngest sons (Yes me too) and a blog post focused on what it means to “Pay LipService & What it means for your testimony)