Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Always and Forever My Baby You'll Be...




January 17, 2017.
I ran to babycenter.com because that's what you do when the little stick shows two pink lines side by side. I click on the "due date calculator" entered all the info to the best of my knowledge and clicked "calculate my due date" January 17, 2017, today is the day that my sweet baby # 6 should be here.

May 25, 2016.
I think I had taken at least three pregnancy tests by this point knowing that something wasn't right with me but was still getting negative reads. So in a last effort before my husband drove me to the dr. himself I took one more test. Shockingly this one was positive!! I realize after 5 kids I should just know. Well I don't and didn't at that time either. So I walk out to tell Eric that "guess what?! We are having a baby....again!"
I don't remember exactly but I'm pretty sure neither of us spoke for at least 5 minutes. I cried, and they were not happy cries. I was not excited, I might even say a little disappointed. I knew that the timing was terrible ,(as if there is ever a perfect time) I just knew I didn't want to be pregnant...AGAIN, I knew that Eric wasn't overly excited either, and as odd as it may sound I didn't want to tell people and hear the comments, you know the ones....
                             ".....AGAIN!...."
                             "Don't you know how that happens?"
                             "How can you afford all those kids?"
                           Or the ever so popular blank stare with wide
                             eyes and you can read their thoughts just by
                               looking at them.
So we kept it quiet. We continued with our scheduled events as though nothing had changed. That next day we were taking the kids to Disney just a few hours away from where we lived. At that same time we were also going to meet with the board of another church for an interview.

After the interview one of the ladies asked me "are you done having kids yet". It stopped me in my tracks for a second because I wasn't sure how to answer. It was at that moment the excitement filled me and I almost burst out "as a matter of fact no and we are pregnant now!!"I composed myself and just said "well nothing is permanent." I was excited...finally! To hear affirmation that it was ok to not be done having kids. We left to head to the hotel for the night and Eric and I were beaming with our five kids and one on the way. It was a good day!

May 26, 2016
We woke up, kids were so excited we were heading to animal kingdom that day! I hadn't felt great that morning but pushed through, had my coffee to kick start my energy and off we went. It was around lunch time that the pain in my stomach and back became more uncomfortable, I continued to push through. I remember telling Eric that I can't explain it but I just don't feel great. He asked me several times if we needed to leave but I said no lets keep going. "I can do this," I thought "we just have one more fast pass and then we can go." It got worse....
Before the kids went on the safari, our last fast pass ride, I told Eric to just leave me at the table and he can meet me back there after they were done. As I sat there it got worse...and worse...I remember texting Eric that I was going to find the bathroom. He told me to meet him at the front exit. I became disoriented, I couldn't find anything and I had been to that park at least 10 time in the last year I should know where I am. I gave up and sat down told him I was by nemo and he needed to come get me. I was at the back of the park.
As we are walking towards the front I had that feeling that I'm sure you all know well, the one where there is no time to find a toilet I'm going to vomit right now! So here I am hanging my head over the bridge in "the happiest place on earth" and my sweet brave husband oh so gently says "Angela, you need to move". Uh...I'm dying here! "There is a snake right by your head." Alrighty up I got and off we went. 
Listen, if you know my husband at all you would know what a huge sacrifice that was right there, placing himself between the snake and I. He is deathly afraid of snakes!
As I continued to get sicker and sicker in the car, I finally gave up and asked him to take me to an ER. So with five kids in toe, two hours from our home I get taken in the back to be alone and he is left with the kids and no idea what is happening to his wife and unborn child.
I remember explaining that I should be about 7 weeks pregnant according to my calendar and that I'm having severe pain in my lower back and can not stop vomiting. They gave me what they could for someone who is pregnant to control the pain and wheeled me back for an ultrasound. It was quiet...the ultrasound tech never really spoke to me. I was nervous but to be honest I had no concern for my baby. I had five healthy pregnancies this one would be no different. I was 99% sure I had a kidney stone, my concern was that it may be stuck and because of being pregnant we wouldn't be able to do anything.
My suspicion was true...I had a stone but it wasn't stuck it was on the move. It was when the dr. said "we see a fetus...but its not 7 weeks" and in the same breath says "you may be wrong on the dates or you may be having a miscarriage"
As we left the hospital after 4 hours, I burst into tears sobbing to eric that I may be losing the baby but I don't know. The pain meds had worn off at that point as well and so the sickness continued all the way home.

The next week was crazy. I called the dr. made the appointment was told not to worry that I was just wrong on my timing. In the mean time we told some close friends and we told our parents. Thankfully this was the time that my in-laws come to stay with us for a month in the summer. While they were excited for us I think there was some concern. I had not wanted to tell them so soon but with the medical issues I was having I didn't want to wait.


June 5, 2016
This is our 12 year anniversary a day that we really hadn't thought about for the last two weeks because life had gotten crazy, just as it does in this circus of mine. We had planned to go to dinner to celebrate later, after all we had grandparents here we needed to utilize the free babysitting.
It was a Sunday, a normal routine of "hurry eat breakfast", "get dressed", "find your shoes", "why don't you have shoes on", "get in the car", "where are your shoes?", did you comb your hair?", "brush your teeth"...and I could go on for a long time of all the things that are shouted across the house on a Sunday morning while trying to make it to church on time. I hadn't felt great and was even a tad pale that day. I was scheduled to be in the nursery that day, if I'm being truthful I didn't want to. I didn't feel good, but no one knew so I went.

These two cuties would brighten anyone's day! I loved it they were both in a snuggly mood and to tell you the truth I needed some snuggles. I made it through and as I stood to walk out to the parking lot I knew something was terribly wrong.
Without speaking to anyone I found Eric and said "we have to go to the hospital now" It was from that point I knew in my head that it was the end. My heart just wouldn't let go.

As I went through a 3rd round of blood draw and another ultrasound, She saw the baby, she saw a heart beat, it was just very tiny and if I remember correctly was measuring the same size it had a week ago in a different emergency room, but my blood results were saying the complete opposite. I had never paid any attention to my blood levels until this pregnancy. 
My head was pounding, my eyes were burning, we were hungry and my body was rebelling against me. I was angry, I was sad, I wanted to know why, and I wanted the drs to fix it. As I sat not speaking all of these things were going through my head.
"Don't they know what is happening?"
"Why are they not calling my dr.?"
"Shouldn't they be giving me something to stop this from happening?"

They sent me home with this conclusion:
"your blood test shows you're losing the baby, the ultrasound shows a heartbeat it really could go either way" and then we were released.
As we pulled into the drive way and I stood up out of the car that was it, it was done. Again my heart wasn't going to let go, so as I spent the next three days in and out of bed tiptoeing as lightly as I could trying to rest because I was going to save this baby. No one told me I needed to be on bed rest, no one told me I couldn't go out and about with my family, my instructions were to just take care of myself and keep my appointment on Wednesday.

June 8, 2016
Exactly two weeks since that positive test, I went to the final ultrasound to confirm that the baby was gone. As soon as I looked on the screen I knew. Empty. There was nothing there, no sign that anything had ever happened. My bleeding had pretty much stopped at that point and I felt like I had been in a terrible dream. I had to replay it in my mind a few times to make sure that I had not just made this all up. To be honest I hadn't seen the same person once during these two weeks, every dr, nurse, tech, I came into contact with I had to re-explain the history. I wondered if I had made it up but if I had, so had Eric. As I sobbed into his shoulder I kept saying "I'm sorry, I really did want this baby" I felt so guilty for even suggesting that I didn't want to have another baby. It took awhile to get over that guilt.
That night we told the kids that they had a baby brother or sister up in heaven. My little ones didn't really understand but my bigs....as their eyes filled with tears asking why, I tried to come up with something to tell them. I had nothing, no answers, no explanation as to why God allowed me to carry this baby for just a short time. We explained how neat it is that our baby is in heaven, and what an exciting day when we finally  meet.

In the days and months following I healed...but my heart is still working on it. You see as a mom of five beautiful healthy children I feel almost guilty for hurting so badly. I have a precious friend who has had many losses, I know some women who have had to go to great lengths just to have a baby. Can I tell you though, when I speak to those sweet friends, they remind me that it doesn't matter how many living children you have, it was a life, a child. I am allowed to mourn that loss.

For the most part life goes on, I am happy, I have a great family. As a matter of fact we are officially known as the #skeltonfamilycircus that makes my heart melt. There are hard days, days when I see us all together and wonder what life would be like with a 6th, wondering what this one would look like, a boy or a girl, would they be wild, outgoing like Erin, stubborn like Nathan, independent Lily, or shy and reserved a quiet gentle spirit like my Aiden or a little mix of stubborn, and gentle like Gavin. I will never know but I'm so glad that for two weeks the Lord trusted me to carry this precious child.

I will never understand but I do know that it has changed me. It has shown me that these children are not mine to have that they are God's children in my care for only a short time. In that short time I am to love them, and lead them in the way of the Lord.

As for today, the birthday of our sweet angel baby I am holding onto the verse:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
I'm going to rest in his peace today.

Happy birthday Angel baby!

               ( a drawing Erin drew for her brother or sister love boat was our favorite ice cream place)






Monday, January 25, 2016

I am not a messenger (real feelings from an imperfect pastors wife)

I'm not sure how to begin. I have lots of thoughts running through my head and I struggle to get them down on paper and have them actually make sense. There is something that has bothered me for awhile now. I want to be better at this but I have come to the realization I'm just not going to be and that's ok. So here it is the raw honest truth.

I AM NOT A MESSENGER!

I don't mean this to sound ugly or to put myself in some sort of higher, demanding respect sort of position. It's just that, I am the pastors wife, I'm not his secretary, or his keeper. I don't keep his schedule with me at all times and to be honest 90% of the time I have no idea even what's on the church calendar.

I love my church family, all of my church family past, present and future. I have had a good 13 years on this side of pastors wife territory. Ten of these precious years were in youth ministry, but the same thought applies. It has just taken me this long to discover that I will never be a good messenger for my husband and well mostly because I don't want to be.

I have had many over the years come at me with a lot of words:
"Can you put me on the prayer list I have_________" (fill in the blank)
"Tell pastor that I can/can't ______"
"What time are we supposed to be?"
"When is the ______"
"I've got so much going on ( continues to rattle off about 15 things that is consuming their life and I'm supposed to remember and pass along every detail correctly)"
"Tell pastor I will help with_____"

You see I love you church,I love that you want to confide in me, that you trust to share your prayer requests with me, that you trust that my communication with my husband is at 100% all the time and that I will pass those messages along, but you see if he is not within my eyeline at the very moment you speak, the chance of the message getting to him in a timely manner is pretty slim.
 Here is why:
I have kids, 5 under the age of 10. They pretty much occupy most of my time. It won't always be that way but I fear that the damage has already been done to my brain cells. Listen, the pregnancy brain never left me and continued to get worse every pregnancy. I have trouble texting complete sentences, no joke this is a text I sent to my poor husband yesterday:

Me: Are jack and Jill ( names are changed to protect the innocent)

Bless this man because he has had many years of crazy under his belt was able to decipher my cryptic message and answered with

"Haven't heard"

You see this is the brain you are intrusting with your precious messages! It's not safe! Truthfully, I'm not sure I would make a good secretary/messenger for anyone right now. My messages may look something like:
                                  Someone called, they needed something from you, you should probably call              them yourself because I can't remember what they said.

All joking aside, back to my kids most of the time if you approach me at church with some request I
will listen, just know that at the same time I am either counting heads to make sure everyone is here,
searching the parking lot to check if my child is about to be run over or trying to get to the nursery in time to relieve the poor soul that had nursery duty that day.

Here is what I ask instead.
Please continue to come to me and ask me to pray. I promise you if you ask me to pray for you I will. I love you I care for you, I want to pray for you. I want you to share with me your needs and requests.
Just today I had a beautiful conversation with a friend sharing concerns and requests, it was a texting conversation but still just as sweet. I didn't feel overwhelmed with requests and burdens. This is what I want to be, I want to be the pastors wife, a trustworthy prayer warrior for you. I don't want to be the messenger anymore.
If you have a need that you want heard by the pastor tell him, email him, call him. If you want to volunteer for an area, PLEASE TELL HIM, he's dying for people to come to him! If you want to know the times and schedules of events ask the person in charge of that event. I am a terrible messenger.

This is my prayer as a pastors wife, this is what I want to be for you church:
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6

Friday, August 21, 2015

The sweetest sound

I have brought five newborns home from the hospital in the last eleven years. You would think after five kids I would have the hang of it and the "little things" wouldn't freak me out so badly. I suppose you would say it's "normal" a "new mom" thing and you would be correct. There are so many emotions and hormones floating around in my body and there's no telling what will set me off. (My poor husband)

 So like a "normal" mommy I wake up numerous times through the night just to make sure baby is breathing, I worry that she's not eating enough, or that I'm not producing enough milk for her to grow. I worry that she may choke on her spit up so I make her sleep in her car seat for the first three weeks of her life. No one can touch her without washing their hands and heaven forbid if you sneeze near her. Do I have all the "equipment" she needs to survive her newborn days. I can not tell you how badly I was convinced this latest child needed a swing. So thank you grandma and grandpa she has a deluxe princess swing. I could go on and on with a list of things that I have worried about since the latest Skelton baby has arrived but nothing freaks me out more than this....

WHAT IF SHE NEVER KNOWS WHAT HER NAME IS???

I realize this may sound crazy but I honestly think about this, and have for every single one of my children. I remember early on in our marriage hearing my husband preach a sermon about the sweetest sound to our ears, it's our NAME!! So it is my responsibility as this childs' parent to make sure she knows her name.

It was shortly after we brought our firstborn home that we started calling her Erin Marie, to be sure that she knew what her name was my mom came up with this little tune:

 
Erin Marie the prettiest girl I see
she's my Erin Marie,
She's Mimi's ba-a-by
 
She was in no trouble of not knowing what her name was. (Also side note for those who know me you can now understand that it comes naturally to me to put everything into a song) By baby number three the singing of their names became old...my third born recently informed his Mimi that when she sings "it makes my head crack open". You may think this is harsh but I appreciate his explanation to her, I just get "mom stop it" We certainly don't need anyones' head to crack open in the Skelton family.
 
After my fourth was born we immediately started to call him nicknames..."tater tot", "tot", and Gavin gave him the name "baby tot" that last one stuck and we still call him "baby tot" at almost three years old. This really freaked me out for him, I was sure that if I didn't start calling him Nathan, it would be too late we would have to legally change his name to Baby Tot Skelton. I couldn't let that happen.
 
After all of my kids were born, I had moments when it was me and the newborn. Most likely it was a trip to the Dr. or a fleeting moment that I snuck away with just one kid but I would sit in the car thinking "Have I used their name enough?" I better start talking to them. So here I am in the car yelling to the back seat
 "Erin Marie....I love you"
"Aiden Nathaniel....mommy loves you"
"Gavin David....Love you sweet boy"
"Nathan Charles...I hear you and I love you"
"Lillian Grace...princess momma loves you"
And even though it makes his head crack open I still sing to each of them using their names in various ways. They LOVE it!
 
So these are the irrational thoughts that go through this new mommas head, but I truly believe that the sweetest sound we can hear is the precious name we were given. What a sweet gift that is unique to us. There is no Erin Marie like my Erin Marie, there is no Aiden Nathaniel like my Aiden Nathaniel, there is no Gavin David like my Gavin David, there is no Nathan Charles like my Nathan Charles and there is no Lillian Grace like my Lillian Grace.
 
The Lord has blessed my husband and I with five of the most precious kiddos. He knew them before they were formed and He knew their names, He knows the hairs on their heads and He trusted me with their lives.
 
I AM BLESSED!
 



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Daniel in the Lions Den


"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." Daniel 6:10

This little man of mine, has grown up so quickly, I fight tears as I stare at this picture knowing that even though it was taken a year and a half ago he looks so much different. What a special heart God has placed into this young man that little does he know he is daily stepping into his calling.

Last night I found myself in the kitchen cooking, baking, and cleaning for what felt like an eternity. My family wanted dinner, and bless my sweet husband he wanted dessert. So here I was fulfilling all the requests that had been made. This has been one of those weeks where I have felt trapped inside my own home. With sick kids this weekend, and a very tight budget these days I haven't been able to venture outside of the house for the last six days. While most of the time I tend to be a homebody, there is a delicate balance that needs to occur to keep me sane. This balance was not happening!!

I was in the kitchen by myself (we had to gate the littles out for mommas sake) enjoying the peace of not having a child grabbing my leg or calling "mom, momma, mom, mom, mom, momma" this little sweet boy bounces (literally bounces) up to the counter and begins to talk. My first instinct was to shush him and send him on his way because I wasn't sure I could focus my brain enough to listen to his soft, fast talk. There was something that stopped me this time, I knew that he needed to spend some time with me and he needed to clear his head.

He began to ask me questions about what I was doing, why did I use this ingredient and what is that for. He wanted to know if there was anything he could do to help. I gave him a few tasks trying to be patient with him as he helped. Once everything was cooking, or chilling and we had a brief pause, he sat down and began this conversation.

A: Mom, I had to read Daniel and the Lions Den last night.
Me: what do you mean? You read out of your bible.
A: Yes, I had to read my bible because I was afraid.

You see there are moments in parenting when you make a choice and sometimes it works out and sometimes it does not. The day before we had made a decision and it turns out wasn't the best. The A and E were bored while the G and N were napping so daddy pulled out movies. A thought he'd like to try watching Jurassic Park we didn't make it half way through the movie before momma could see that it wasn't going over very well. It was one of those not the best outcome moments.

Aiden went on to explain that he remembered the story of Daniel and how he faced his fears. While Aiden didn't go into great detail of how he knew this story could help. I could understand what he meant. Daniel knew that by praying to God he was disobeying a law, he knew the consequence of continuing to pray to God. Daniel was facing his fears (the Lions) and was going to rely on God to help him through. Aiden couldn't keep the bad dreams from coming so he grabbed his bible and knew that God would come to him just as he did for Daniel. He even admitted he was unable to finish reading because he had fallen asleep. So there at the counter he sat and finished reading the story of Daniel.

What a proud moment for Eric and I as parents to know that our son knows his heavenly Father. To know that He will calm fears and bring peace. I am so thankful for that moment with my boy. What a blessing he is.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just a few tips I've learned as a parent

I have four kids, (I say this a lot I know but I figured this time it's relevant to the post) they have provided me with some great learning opportunities. I thought that I would share some of my lessons learned over the last almost 8 1/2 years.
These are in no particular order:

1. Do not be surprised when things come out of your mouth that you never thought would.
    Example:
           "It is not ok to wipe poop on your shirt"
           "We do not put our fingers up each others noses"
           "If you are not getting changed, bathed, or just got out of the bath you need clothes on"
           "We do not bite the dog"
           "It is not ok to put on your brothers underwear from the bathroom floor" (said to the 3yr old.)
           This is one that is frequently used. Anytime we watch a movie in our house the kids all want to play the characters from the movie. After constant arguing over who is going to be which character this is what comes out of my mouth.
            "IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO YOU ARE!! THEY ARE ALL FAKE CHARACTERS AND IT'S A MADE UP STORY."  (yes that's me, the crusher of little children's dreams)

2. When using your youngest as a little added resistance while working out, you will no longer be able to walk the next day.
     Recently, I thought it would be fun to use my youngest son while I was working out. I did some bench presses and some leg lifts. He loved it. I then, with the help of a friend (Michelle) came up with the idea to try squats and lunges while having him draped over my neck like a dead animal. (He was not harmed and actually enjoyed it so much that while I was wollering in pain he wanted to continue the routine) I am currently still trying to recover from that little episode.

3. While taking video of your child in a moving car make sure he's actually secure in his seat.
    I have such sweet friends and family that they stayed silent about the fact that two of the four kids were not safely secured in their seats. I only realized this after I watched it a few times and now I have given my children evidence against me.

4. Be careful when speaking to a 3 year old, we must be very literal.
    This was a conversation with my oldest when she was 3.
    E: mom, can I have some more cheerios
    Me: No, I think one bowl is plenty
    E: I didn't ask for another bowl, I asked for more cheerios
   Yes you win sweet one, next time I was more careful.
   
5. Always be prepared for the meltdown of the year to occur when there is a large viewing Audience.
     I'm pretty sure that my kids watch and wait for the perfect time to throw a fit. As we were leaving a restaurant that had too long of a wait, and balloons (important to the story) one child decided he needed a balloon and was not leaving until he got one. So kicking and screaming we left the building out into a dark alley where we had parked. In that moment thoughts were "DANGER DARK ALLEY, GET TO CAR FAST". Of course, we were in the church van, name plastered right on the side announcing who we were and where we were from. As I'm dragging this child and talking with an elevated voice that he needed to hush and just get in the van, we were approached by a young woman. She proceeded to scold me for how I was treating my child, that "as a fellow Nazarene" (thank you church van) she was disturbed by my actions.  Worst moment ever!! I think my advice here is for all of you on lookers unless you've been there please be quiet. I say that in the most loving way, but seriously just be silent it's embarrassing enough.

6. Spaghetti is always messy
    Even at 8 years old they apparently can still get spaghetti sauce on their foreheads. It's a mystery to me but it's always good to have some wet wipes handy after that meal.

7. If they like a food one day it's likely the next time you have it they will not like it
    We have wasted many foods, thinking we had finally found the one thing he'll eat. Ugh...it's never ending.

8. When children are little be sure to enunciate.
    This one is a biggie or you'll have this happen:
     My second born at the age of 4 sneezed this is the conversation:
     Me: Bless you buddy
     A: Mom, it's ble-shoe (yes you read that right)
     Me: uh, what?
     A: It's ble-shoe when someone sneezes, and bless you when you're talking about God
     Me: Oh....(hand slap to forehead)

9. Prepare yourself for the amount of bodily functions you will have to deal with
    Babies are so sweet and snugly and then you change that first poopy diaper, it's all down hill from there. Your days of clean hands, shirts, pants, all gone!! I have been a mom for 8 1/2 years and I am anxiously awaiting the day when I will no longer have to wipe, change, mop, wash, and pick up all the gross things that can come out of a persons body.

10. Most of all love every stage, moment, second of your time with them.
      The best part of reality shows is that someone is constantly following a person recording every minute. I wish I had that, not for everyone to see but so that I can capture every moment with my kids. The time goes by too quickly and they grow and change too fast. I want to remember every silly word they said wrong, every confusing conversation, even every battle we've had because it's those teaching moments that are so important. I love that I get to be their mom!
      Don't blink because this is what happens:


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

These are my thoughts...

In the past month I have become increasingly aware at how much evil and destruction is happening all around me. I wouldn't say that it was one specific instance that led me to this, and before anyone says "uh...where have you been?" I get that this is not something that just occurred, and I am aware that the destruction has been in the works for years.

I don't know maybe it's because I really have been oblivious to what is going on, listen, I am not shy about admitting that I choose to live in a false reality where life is full of happiness and everyone loves God and each other, but maybe it's that God is shaking me saying "WAKE UP!!" I feel like there is something greater he is calling me to, he has softened my heart towards certain things, he has made me weep over things that would normally not affect my daily behaviors.

As I go through my day with my four little monk blessings, I use FB as an escape. There are moments when I am typing a response or a status and I pretend that there is another adult in front of me to speak actual adult things to. It's terrible I know but it is what it is and believe it or not most of the time it helps. During my FB escapes the last few weeks I have sat back and read opinions, thoughts, and soap boxes. I am careful not to comment because I am not a fan of jumping into an Internet conversation emotionally charged and if I do I am almost immediately regretful for what I write.

But, here are some of my thoughts as I read through one of them:
 I read about discrimination saying that you can't have an opinion on it unless you have been discriminated against. Hmmm..... While yes I can agree that there may be some who have suffered much more than I have I find it hard to believe that there is anyone on this earth that has not been discriminated against.

Eric and I with our four monkeys blessings walked into a restaurant on a Friday evening. We had been in the car traveling and were dying to just get out and sit down to eat. We walked in seeing that it was mostly couples, couples without children. We were barely acknowledged by the sweet young hostess but managed to get her to see if she could sit a table of 6. She was gone for what felt like several minutes, when she returned she explained that it would be at least 45 minutes before they could seat us because we had such a large group. We could clearly see several options to seat our family but it was one of those non-verbal ways of them saying "please leave with your 4 rowdy children) Now I realize that this could have been interpreted wrong and I hope for the next family that walked into that restaurant that was the case.

Eric and I are often asked "what do you do?" When my handsome young looking husband answers them with full confidence and authority "I'm a pastor" The immediate response is "aren't you a little young?"

We again went to another restaurant and sat in a nice big booth with our kiddos. One happened to be full of a little extra energy that day and I admit my patience was growing very thin bless his heart. Three lovely women were seated at the table next to us with their shopping bags. We tried to hush and calm our kids so we would not disturb their dinner and conversation. As we sat and listened to their conversation of what they had bought for their precious grand babies, I thought "Oh thank you Lord, these ladies will surely be understanding of our crazy life" As we finished up and were leaving unfortunately the only route out of the restaurant was to squeeze behind their chairs. As  Erin passed then Aiden I was helping my Gav, I happened to make eye contact with one of the ladies at the table and was given a glare that made a knot immediately form in my throat. She then explained to me that I needed to be careful of her bags that were on the floor and that my kids should not step on them.

I am a pastors wife, I am young, we are serving at a church that is filled with such loving beautiful people, but my generation is in the minority, ( it's my polite way of saying we have a large amount of older people, please forgive me all who are reading, I love you, and you have blessed me greatly) In my first few months there were a few conversations had that left me with the feeling that they may not have great confidence in my abilities because I am young.

My point in these examples is to say that we have all faced some discrimination in our life time that it is not limited to the color of our skin. I don't want to assume that I know a person by their age, race, family status, job, sexual orientation. Even as I sit back and reread my small little examples I realize that I am just as guilty. I want to be better, I want to love as Christ loved.

I realize that this is so minor in comparison to what some have faced and my purpose is not to down grade that. I do believe that there are people who have faced, are facing some pretty terrible circumstances. Even though those were not major issues, it hurt, I was angry, and  my children were witness to it. So For me, I am choosing to love, not based on anything other than you are my brother/sister in Christ.

My prayer is for those who are facing life or death based on their beliefs. I am praying that God will fill them with the strength and words to speak life into their enemies. I am praying that there will be a wall of protection over them as they seek to stand their ground and stay to do what God has called them to. I am praying for the children who just started school a week later because of such unrest in their community. I am praying that they will feel safe and loved by the adults in their lives. I'm praying for my generation that we would stand up and go willingly into what God has called us to.

Those are my thoughts...for now...


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My mouth

I have these moments in life when my mouth opens and words come out. Suddenly it's as though I'm trapped inside this body and have no control anymore because inside I'm screaming

        " STOP TALKING!!" "HUSH" "CAN'T YOU HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING!"

but it's too late the words have left my mouth forever in the air and can not be taken back. Why can't I stop myself??

Here is an example:
 I was outside talking with my neighbor and she had just informed me that their dog had been so sick she had to be put down. Me in my awesome sensitivity, trying to be consoling to this poor woman.(Can I just add for my own safety I am very much a dog LOVER!! I have lost a few in my life and it was like losing a family member so pay no attention to what I actually said to this poor woman) As I was speaking the words I knew it was wrong. I think I said something like "well it is just a dog" which is the complete opposite of what I was trying to say. I have this terrible habit of continuing to talk as if talking will either do two things 1. make them completely forget the first thing I said or 2. explain away the reason I said such an idiotic statement. I remember that voice in my head screaming to stop but I just couldn't. I have a  serious inability to just "SHUT UP!"

Why do I have this need to keep talking? Even in emails,. text messages, any kind of written communication I feel like I'm worse, I really should just stop. What makes this worse is that now there is written physical proof of my insensitivity. I try to make it short and sweet but then the obsessive need to continue to read, reread, and read again before and after I send it. If I find something that I don't think is coming across the right way suddenly before my brain can catch up to what is happening I'm typing another message to explain what I meant instead. It's a terribly vicious cycle.

 Another word moment for me is when I am approached with news. Being the wife of someone in ministry I am brought lots of news. Good news, bad news, and in between news. Sometimes the words come so smoothly out of my mouth and I can only give God the credit for that because on my own I'm a rambling fool. I know what to say when someone tells me "I got engaged", "we're having a baby", "I accepted the Lord into my life" all such exciting jump for joy moments that I think even when something like "wow" or in a very unenthusiastic voice "that's great" comes out of my mouth it's covered by the other persons excitement. It's the times when I am approached and I can already read on their faces the news is not great, suddenly I am stumbling over my words. I want to be encouraging, I want to speak life into people, but I'm left with the deer in headlights, jaw hanging open shocked look on my face with no words, or at least none that make sense.

What do you say to your best friend that tells you she has cancer? My heart breaks so quickly that I feel like I can't breathe. I can't even imagine what she may be going through but my body is going through such shock that I just can't process what may come out of my mouth and for a moment I become selfish because I start to run through all the things that will come with this. I hate that my natural instinct is to start imagining all the ways this would affect me. It was a moment when I really discovered how important she was to me I NEED her she can't be sick. Suddenly I forget that this has nothing to do with me but everything to do with someone I love and care for deeply. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??

Which brings me to  my family(which by the way is not the answer to "what is wrong with me" that was more of a rhetorical question) who I'm afraid get the worst of these crazy ramblings and words that come out of my mouth before I can stop them. Once those words leave my mouth there is no erasing them. I am ashamed of some of the things I have spoken to my husband. Words that are meant to tear down and not lift up. I am disappointed in some words that have come out of my mouth directed at my children. Spoken out of anger or frustration. I pray that I have not done permanent damage to them. They are such a blessing to me and I would never want them to feel any less.

What I am learning especially in the ministry is that words are so important. I want to be wise with my words. I want to be uplifting with my words. I know that we can apologize and ask for forgiveness but once those words have hit the air it's too late. I say this because I have had words spoken to me and over me that still hang with me. Words that I have let define me. What is so precious about words is that they have this powerful ability to make someone feel special, appreciated, LOVED but they also have the opposite affect and can make someone feel unappreciated, insignificant, and UNLOVED.

I want to speak life and love into people.
 God,
 give me the words to speak, give me the courage to speak them, and the knowledge to know when to speak them. Take away my selfishness and help me to see what is important. Help me to know when my mouth should close and silence is best. Thank you God for loving me and my mouth!
                         Amen

"and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE." 
                                                                                     1 Corinthians 13:13