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This week has been pretty quiet around my house.  Three of the four kids have gone to their grandparent’s house in Georgia for a week of eating all manner of delicious food and generally getting spoiled rotten.  Poor Boy Three had to skip the fun because of baseball practice but I’ve just loved having the one on one time with him.  Not many people know this about him, but inside that fierce exterior is a boy who loves his momma.  Knowing that warms the cockles of my heart.

Wherever those are. 

You would think I would spend all this free time getting my house cleaned.  That hasn’t worked out for me but I have gotten some writing done poolside which is the best place for contemplative thinking outside of McDonald’s.  I took a break from that and went to the church today for the first installment of Terrific Tuesday – a summer program our children’s ministry intern, Julie, is running.  I’ve not mentioned Julie yet I don’t think?  She’s a fabulous 19 year old girl who feels God calling her as a Children’s minister and she is serving our congregation for the summer.  Our kids have all fallen head over heels for her.  She has some serious game playing skillz and I’ve never met anyone who could keep a completely diverse group captivated for such a long period of time.  We are seriously hoping to snag this girl for year-round but college may prevent that reality.  Either way, it’s going to be hard to imagine a time when she’s gone.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.  Or not.

Anyway, I used the time at church today to get our phone tree set up.  That’s one of those calling devices for sending out reminders to the church population for upcoming events.  After I got all the computer/hardware set up, it was time for Luke to make his recording.  If our church members could have witnessed the Barnum and Bailey way we approached it, a U-Haul would  most certainly be in the driveway tomorrow.  

You just have to know Luke.  We are total opposites in personality so his phone voice comes across as very, well let’s say, unexciting reserved.  I’m thinking when you are promoting a Family Fun Day, you should sound enthused about it. So, after hearing Take One of the recording, I suggested he do it again but told him about a tip I’d heard once that he should smile as he was talking into the recorder.  

He might have said something like, “Would you take your ‘tips’ and get out of my office so I can do this?” while I howled uncontrollably.  

I said ‘might’ have. 

He may also have been interrupted a few more times by my peaking through the window and making faces at him while he was working on Takes Two through Fifty-Seven.  But only a completely Immature Preacher’s Wife would do something so lame.  It would be kind of funny if that’s how it really happened though.

At least Cheryl thinks so.

After we got the machine going, Luke, Cheryl (our secretary), Julie, Boy Three and I went to lunch and loaded Julie up with dating advice.  I’m so sure she appreciates having three more parents in her life.  With a full belly and a free afternoon on my hands, I came home and decided to take a short nap.  That was about 4 p.m.

Now, I have no idea why my husband didn’t wake me up but when it was time to go to ball practice but he says I was sleeping so well he hated to disturb me.  So, he and Boy went to practice and left me at home.  I slept. 

And slept.

And I woke up.  It was pitch black and in my brain fog, I was certain it was about 4 am.  I’d forgotten all about practice, etc. and was sure my family was safely in bed.  I focused in on the clock. 

8:47 p.m. 

I had been asleep almost 5 hours.  Luke and Boy came in shortly thereafter ready to hit the bed and I’m ready to hit the town.

Which is why I’m typing this post at 12:53 a.m.  Wide A Stinkin’ Wake.

I think I’ll jump off here now and see if sleep is a possibility.  It isn’t looking likely.

Who knew you could be jet lagged without ever leaving home?

 

 

   

It’s no secret that the face of the post-modern church is changing. One of the trends I’ve read more and more about is the restructuring of Sunday morning bible study or the removing of it altogether in favor of small groups that meet at alternate times. Now, on this I have no word from the Lord, but I’ve got to give a shout out today to traditional church. To perfectly calculated roll books and offering envelopes. To SBC Literature and a basket of pencils in the center of the table. Call me irrelevant, but I love me some Old School Sunday School. Were it not for our age-graded classes, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do life with a group of people whose paths would typically not cross mine.

A couple of years ago, Luke and I encouraged some friends, Clay and Tammy, to consider teaching the College/Career class with the offer of my joining them as moral support until they were comfortable. They got comfortable quickly and apparently so did I since I never left. There’s just something that speaks to me about experiencing life with 18-year olds to 20-somethings who are always on the brink of some huge Number Next. They are choosing careers, getting married, praying their way through term papers and state boards, and serving the military just to name a few. I’m pretty convinced there may even be some future ministers among us. Each one is making plans, but whether they realize it or not, God is taking the steps. (Prov. 16:1)

Perhaps what I love the most is being in a class where I’m the old one and have been in most of the places these are just now going. Of being able to laugh hysterically over spats of young marriage and relating 150%. Of being able to promise that if Luke McKay and I can make it twenty years, then anyone can. Of admiring fresh tattoos and gently (or sometimes not so gently, right B?:) reminding the one who continues to get them how distorted they’ll appear when he is a senior citizen. Of celebrating when the mile is swam in the combat boots, the test is passed, the semester is over, the degree is finally in hand, and the job is landed. Of witnessing when the Lord has already or is in the process of answering the prayer. Of watching two people I love so much grow in ministry by seizing an opportunity that scared them to death and bonding with a hard-to-reach, transient age group.

I don’t know why I waxed all sentimental today, but I just want you guys to know how much I love starting every Lord’s Day with you – even if I do drag in a few minutes late and make you endure the fizzy, crunchy sacrifice of my drink (Diet Dr. P) and grain offering (Granola Bar). I won’t try to make a list because I’ll inevitably leave someone out, but you know who you are….

See you next Sunday. Or I’d better anyway. :)

Hey Girls!

I’m terribly excited that beginning this Sunday, I’ll be working alongside a wonderful team of women teaching a True Love Waits class to our teen girls at church. I’ve read plenty of Scripture and several great books on the topic of purity but now I’m in need of some practical advice since I’ve not done this type of small group before.

Luke and I have talked to several other pastor/ministry friends who’ve started us in a great direction, but I would negligent if I didn’t ask all you girls because I KNOW there’s a gang of you out there who have done this thing many times over. I’m all about pursuing things with excellence so, NO, I’m not ashamed to be asking for help!

I guess what I’m looking for here is how to best approach the one-on-one aspect of reaching the girls. Did you do small breakout groups? (We have about 20 enrolled – mostly 7th – 10th grade) Did you find that the girls overshare? Did you find that LEADERS are tempted to overshare? Are there certain activities they enjoy more so than others? Discussion starters they are more likely to respond to? Give me the nitty gritty! I want to know what to be alert to so I can best prepare and also help the team of women who will be working together on this.

Okay, I’ve got to run out the door. A new baby cousin has arrived and I’ve got to go kiss his sweet face! I hope to have a ton of email from you when I get back! :)))

…I’d better tell y’all a bit about The Winter Xtreme Conference!

So I mentioned Luke and I were accompanying our youth directors to Gatlinburg to ‘chaperon’ the trip. Luke slept in a room with three teenage boys. I slept in a room with Tammy and Michealle (two other grown women) along with mine and Tammy’s daughters, ages 6 and 9. We totally got the best end of that deal. It seems there is no happy medium in teenage boys and hygiene. They either have furry teeth and refuse to shower or reek of Axe body spray. Luke has been on an IV drip of Allegra since we’ve been home.

I can not even tell you how hard I prayed for these kids before we went up. I so much want to see the Spirit reign down and for them to start an outright revolution in our church and school. Our prayers were answered because SIX of them were born again at the conference. Let me be clear that I don’t mean they had an emotional ‘experience’. I believe with all my heart they fell under the unrelenting conviction of the Holy Spirit and that their lives will never be the same.

What’s more, since we’ve been home another of our girls prayed for salvation Sunday night and then after the service another came to request baptism. My mascara has been a wreck for days. Here’s to many more of looking like an emotionally overwrought raccoon! I’m so proud of each of them and the stand they’ve taken. Please join me in praying that God will protect their resolve and put an unquenchable thirst for relationship within them!

Now obviously that was the highlight of the trip but there were many more. In list format:

1. I finally got to meet darlin’ Tammy Nolan!

We’ve been online friends for some time and I was so excited when I learned we would be in the same place at the same time. Her hubby, Tony, was the evangelist who led our kids to the Lord and I have to tell y’all, the man can bring the Word. I’ve been to many youth events and sadly enough, many of the speakers never even cracked a Bible. Tony preached the roof in on our heads and I SO appreciated that he was not afraid to proclaim the truth with great boldness.

He was also gracious enough to step out and encourage our kids after their decisions that night. The kids were a little shell-shocked and then later couldn’t stop talking about how cool it was they got to meet him. Thanks again, Tony and Tammy, for being so humble and willing to reach out to us! (I have pics that I’ll add as soon as dear Maury sends them to me. No hurry, really.:) YAY, Maury! I have pics now!)

2. Third Day played the New Year’s concert.

Do I have to say another word? My only disappointment was that they didn’t play Born Again. I tried to yell out my request but Mac must not have heard me. That’s the only explanation I can think of as to why he wouldn’t perform the set list of a thirty-something dork in a youth conference.

3. New Song sang Arise My Love.

Y’all. By far the most powerfully, beautifully, exquisitely executed performance of a Jesus song I’ve ever heard. Next is Travis Cottrell’s ‘In Christ Alone’ but since he wasn’t there, I gotta spread the NewSong love. That performance should be the sound track to Jesus’ return. {Oh I know the angels will sound better but short of that, NewSong wins.}

4. Rebecca Barlow’s (of Barlow Girl’s) Hair. (She’s in the middle)

Another breath-stopping moment. That girl’s hair was perfection. (They were all awesome but I’m partial to styles that might actually work on my head.) Karri (not pictured here)was sweet enough to ask her for styling tips on my behalf from the autograph line. I’m told a 1″ barrel curling iron does the trick. I’m so buying one.

And shopping for a rock star vest that makes me appear to have a waist.

And taking guitar lessons.

I miss being cool.

Wait. I never was that cool. *sigh*

5. Speaking of not being cool..

I saw Johnny Hunt {Pres. of SBC, Pastor of First Baptist Woodstock} practically alone at his table and since I esteem him highly, I thought I’d go over to say ‘hi’. (I was secretly hoping his wife was around so I could meet the First Lady of my denomination.) Being in the presence of such greatness, an unbelievable nervousness came over me and I babbled something like ‘it’s such an honor blah blah is your wife around blah so glad you’re our president..blah blah.’ All while secretly seething, “LisayouaresuchastupidheadjustshutupNOWjustgobacktoyourseatthisinstantandquittryingtotalktopeople whohavenoclueinthisworldwhoyouareyoustupidstupidhead.” What a bafoon. Truly. I should have stayed in my paygrade and asked him what kind of gel he used.

Now that I’ve reminded myself of my humiliation, I think I’ll go slink to my room and read some affirming scripture. Totally different post, but do we ever get over these juvenile feelings of acceptance/rejection? Let’s think about that another day..:)

TTYL!

{Don’t forget to sign up for the Spectacular Sin Book Club if you plan on playing along.}

Just when it seemed we had a few moments at home, it’s time to pack up and head out! We are joining our youth leaders and 20+ teenagers for the Winter Xtreme Conference in Gatlinburg. Would you think I’m crazy if I tell you I’m so excited about going? Aside from all the great sessions, I am hoping to get to meet up with Tammy whose hubby Tony is one of the speakers. We’ve been blogging pals for quite some time and I keep missing her when they are traveling in our area. Not this time!! I’m stalking you girlfriend and I am going to hug your darlin’ neck if it kills me!

Most importantly, I’m praying our kids get themselves an enormous dose of Jesus over the next few days and that they come back supernaturally empowered to walk that increasingly elusive narrow path. I am especially burdened for young girls in general and all they face in our culture. Please pray for the women who are going as chaperones on this trip that we will have a timely word for our girls as we seek to help them internalize the Word brought by the Bible teachers. (Oh yes, pray that for our men and boys, too!) I am sensing a bustin’ loose in my prayer times for this event. So be it!

So I’m off to do more laundry than is humanly possible with one washer and dryer. However, I just got me a word that I should go at it like Zerubabbel. “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’

Contemporary Translation: “What are you, O mound of dirty clothes? Before me and my bottle of Tide, you shall be flattened! And I will close the empty baskets with shouts of ‘Wahooo!'”

{Stupid, I know…I’m still allowed, aren’t I?}

See you after the New Year!

Do you ever have times when you look at the next couple of days on your calendar and have a panic attack over all the stuff that somehow has to be accomplished at your hand?

* We begin Bible Release Time tomorrow. This is the program our church hosts which allows children from Grades 2-6 to attend Bible Classes one day per week. I teach those classes and tomorrow is the kick off. I’m typing this post as I wait for the copier to print worksheets for the kids.

* We have AWANA kick-off tonight. I just finished printing registration sheets in anticipation for a bigger than ever club year. Praying we have plenty of food. Not looking forward to cooking 160 weenies. Blech.

* The Girl is having a sleep over Friday night for her birthday. You may find it amusing that I’ve planned to do an at home version of a Libby Lou party for her friends. We pulled out all of Girl’s makeup today to see what kind of supplies we had and somehow I’ve ended up with glitter all over my face. Didn’t know it until I got to church so I’m wondering what our darlin’ church people will think their PW has been up to on the side.

I thought typing it all out would help with the hyperventilating that is going on over here.

It didn’t work.

I’m taking Donna’s advice and resorting to some prayer. Amazing how that can be the last thing we think of when it should have been first, huh?

*Breathing deeply*

WFMW

Today is Two, Two, Two Tips in one since I just figured out today is “Kitchen Day”.  My kitchen tip is to preserve dishwashing liquid by putting it in decorative bottle with a whiskey pouring top on it.  You can find these in the Kitchen Gadget section of Wal-mart.  They have rubber inserts which makes them fit tightly to most bottles.  You pour it as usual, but much less comes out at a time and is just as effective!  Not to mention, you can now leave  your DW liquid on your sink and it looks pretty! 

Bonus Tip: :) My son shocked me the other day by saying, “Mom, you know that picture with the verse on it that hangs in the bathroom above the toilet?  Well I memorized the verse on it all by peeing everyday.”  Needless to say, since I have three boys in the house who stare at this picture at least 10 times a day, a light bulb went off about how I could help them with their AWANA homework.  I am going to put notes on the picture with their Scripture memory!  Don’t know how effective it is going to be, but it is worth a shot! :))    

Just a little side-note for you good Baptist girls out there…I noticed on my statistics page this morning that someone found my ramblings by searching the word “submissive”.  Hubby will be so proud I’m not shaming his name on this thang. Just sign me up as the poster girl for the SBC!

March 22, 23, 24th will be our church women’s ministry retreat to Pigeon Forge.  If you are going, wahoo!!  If you haven’t signed up, there are still 2 spots left.  Several of you have been asking about the cabins.  Click here and it will take you to the website.  The cabins are numbers 813 and 815.

The theme for the retreat is “I AM….So you don’t have to be”.  We will look at snapshots in the life of Moses to teach us to rest in the all-sufficiency of God.  I could tell you more but then you wouldn’t have to come, would you?  Please pray for me to be led by the Holy Spirit as I continue to work on the study sessions and for Deb who is going to lead our discussion time. 

As your preacher’s wife can I just remind you all that I adore you?  At the risk of sounding supercheesy, I can not wait to get to church each week just to see you, worship with you, laugh and cry with you.  And I surely can’t wait to shop and eat with you.  We are going to have a blast!!  Just a few more weeks!!

   

Satan must miss us cause he just came on and stayed with us all day long today!  He was in the busted water main this morning which occurred just as we were beginning showers to go to hubby’s aunt’s funeral out of town.  When we realized there was no water, what was the first thing THE PREACHER said but, “you didn’t forget to pay the bill – did you- argghhh?” (I don’t know why he thought that, it’s never happened before…cough, hmm, cough) No, the bill was paid, it was just Beelzebub in the water pipe, wreaking havoc for the 1 1/2 hours all week we need to be showering for a funeral.  So THE PREACHER goes and showers at a deacons house.    I decided to bathe at the in-law’s when we got to town.   

S0 – I dressed all the children and sprayed them with Lysol and Bath and Body spray.  We all brushed our teeth in bottled water.  I threw on clothes, pulled my hair back, and put on my blackest sunglasses. And of course I put on lipgloss. You could almost not tell I was on a nasty.  As we were pulling out of the driveway the water guy says, “we are turning your water back on right now.”  Yeah – thanks for that…Too bad it is TOO LATE!! 

 So, we leave the house – Satan followed. As we barrelled down the highway discussing how things just couldn’t get much worse, a precious little bird flew right in to our car.  THONK.  That’s all it took for that bird to kiss this life goodbye.  I hope it was born again.  Don’t worry, it’s not over.

Satan came on to the funeral.  I dropped off 2 of the kids and a PREACHER at the funeral home, sped to the inlaw’s, took a bath, and was back with 3 minutes left to spare.  TELL ME I’M NOT AWESOME! We sat through the service which THE PREACHER did an excellent job at by the way, and then went to the graveside.  As I was getting out of the vehicle, my door handle broke off in my hand.  I’m a good ole Southern girl and all, but I wasn’t exactly in the mood to play Dukes of Hazzard.  I did figure out if I rolled my window down, instead of jumping out through it like the General Lee, I could open the door with the outside handle.  It was CLASSY

To make this long story eternal, we leave with Lucifer on the luggage rack…We go to the after the funeral dinner hosted by the fabulous-church-ladies I talked about in another post, where our unfortunate luck is being discussed by some of our family members.  Hubby’s cousin in his likening me to Daisy Duke but is kind enough to remind me that I don’t look quite as good as Jessica Simpson who played her in the movie.  Thanks for that.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have never suffered under any delusion that I look like Jessica Simpson.  And no woman with four kids should ever wear those shorts. If you have 4 kids and do, this is an intervention…just say no.  BUT – Note to men everywhere: No woman wants to be told that she is not drop dead gorgeous!  We get it already – okay??   

I have no scripture for this one though it desperately needs some- except that God grants sleep to those He loves – and I’m laying claim to that promise cause I am just exhausted.   

 Love ya girls!