“How did I end up here”, you say?

Perhaps you should ask someone who has a clue.

{That person isn’t me.}

The whole  blog redesign/deletion/move extravaganza began a few days ago with nothing more than an impulsive, “I can’t bear looking at shabby chic one more day.”  So, I started looking for Blogger templates because I mistakenly thought I knew enough html to tweak one to my liking without having to spend a fortune on a total makeover. 

Whatever.

I am really after a magazine template that has a feature area – preferably including a slider that would highlight different areas of the website –  and is decidedly more grown up looking than the whimsical stuff I typically gravitate toward.  There were several free templates with these features but, in the words of my friend Missy, OH MY SKULL.  There were SO MANY modifications that had to be made and after staring for hours and hours at lines of code and thinking I finally had it right only for the whole thing to go wonky on me, I seriously became concerned I’d give myself an aneurysm. 

So, here’s where I’ve landed.  Back home.  To my original WordPress love that I never wanted to leave years ago but my Blogger design required it.  I was able to import all my Blogger stuff and, get this, I now have a DOT COM!  I am officially….. www.APREACHERSWIFE.COM.   I can’t even talk about how upset I am that someone has thepreacherswife.com for a stupid ad site.  I’m sure I could probably hunt them down and offer to buy it, but that won’t be happening anytime soon.  And, considering I’m only A preacher’s wife and not THE preacher’s wife, I suppose the name works.  

Back to the redesign. 

WordPress has lots of free templates  but I have no clue how to use the fttp thingie.  SO, it looks like I’m going to be shopping around for a designer that hopefully won’t charge me the thousands of dollars  she’s worth to overhaul the place.  I really want to be able to have Ministry, Personal, and Bible Study features without burying  one or the other. 

With all that said, if you still have any interest in keeping up with me after all this craziness, please update your readers!  I have redirected my blogger to come here so hopefully all eleven of us will  be together again soon.   

Lisa

In my little blog hiatus I’ve been playing around with designing a new website – all by myself!

Just in case you are impressed at my skillz? This isn’t the one I’m working on. Mine is much less colorful as in currently my header consists of ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ in a non-descript script. I’m having layering issues in Paint.net. I could read the instructions but that would be way too easy.

I found this template on Gosublogger.com and thought it would be fun to look at for a few days until I can get my ducks in a row and return to full-blown writing. I’m almost ready.

Almost.

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Lisa

I’m stressed.

That’s not exactly the word I want to use to characterize myself during summer break nor do I want to be depressing but it’s just the simple truth. Long story that I won’t even pretend is short, my debit card was stolen (or rather conveniently picked up by a McDonald’s employee in the window where I accidentally left it) and a 22-year-old girl went on a shopping spree that has pushed me right off the edge of compassion into downright unrighteous indignation. My days have been filled with more visits and calls than I care to count between the police department and bank. I’m hoping to be able to soon report that my financial institution has replaced the missing funds. As of right now, they have not and I’m pretty well aggravated that the tax dollars we contributed to buy out the entire industry seemingly have not purchased any accompanying customer service. I’m assuming you only get that if you have more zeros at the end of your balance than we do and if that were the case, this whole fiasco wouldn’t be as much of one! If the issue isn’t resolved soon, I’ll be sure and let you know who it is so you can AVOID THEM LIKE THE DERN PLAGUE. I’m on the fence about whether we will keep our accounts there.

I’m sure they are devastated.

Anyway, instead of also worrying over the fact I haven’t written regularly in a while, I am going to give myself permission to relax. I’ve got some revamping to do so I’ll be gone for a little bit but hopefully back rejuvenated and ready to go at it afresh. I want to be sure and thank all of you ministry wives who filled out the Woman Beside the Man questionnaires and to apologize for not posting those as frequently as I should. You are top of my priority list when I return. Thank you for your patience!

Hope you are having a summer filled with everything you wanted to do! I’m having a long overdue yard sale the end of this week to get rid of all the things we’ve accumulated in the past four years. After that, it’s the pool baby!

Be back soon!

May is not the ideal month to be without a camera. My good one broke some time back and my backup has officially bit the dust. I’m not ready to invest a huge amount of cash into a new one because there is this little thing called vacation I’d like to be able to enjoy with my family next month.

Here’s my question: Do any of you have a $100-ish digital camera that you are particularly fond of? What brand and model is it? Obviously, I’m not expecting professional quality, but there’s got to be a standout in this price range. I just don’t have the time or energy for research so who better to ask than you girls?!

I’d love to hang around but gotta run to the school for a luau.

Here’s hoping my camera isn’t the only one broken. Me in a grass skirt is not an image that needs capturing.

Y’all have a Happy Wednesday!

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. :)

Yesterday, I had a phone conversation that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Some of our dearest friends on this planet, Bruce and Ruby Pritchard, lost their treasured 18 year old daughter Kaci in a tragic car accident. Dear God, I can barely type it. This family took us under their wings in our first pastorate in North Carolina and ministered to us much more than we ever did them. Most of you have a Kaci in your life – a vivacious young woman who loves family and Jesus and for whom the world is full of promise and opportunity. We love this child so much and to think she is gone is more than I can put my mind around. This is my favorite picture of her and the boys taken a few years back. There was never a darlin’ girl who enjoyed my kids so much. The affection was completely mutual.

My favorite devotional is called Daily Light for the Daily Path. It is simply a stringing together of like verses and my ritual is to pray through each of the scriptures each morning and then journal what resonates with me. Reading yesterday’s entry, He proved once again that His Word never falls upon us accidentally:

“God raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:6) Do not be afraid;…I am He who lives, and was dead. (Rev. 1:17-18) Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory. (John 17:24) For we are members of His body. (Eph. 5:30) He is the head of the body, the church , who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. You are complete in Him, who is head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:10) As the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release from those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15) This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this moral must put on immortality. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written; ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor. 15:53-54, 58)

These words are balm and I would ask that you would pray them into the gaping wounds of this family and those who love them.

Also beyond coincidence, just two weeks ago I discovered Natalie Grant’s song, Held, on an old WOW cd I found in the car. Can you believe I’d never heard it? I’ve cried every single time it has played. Now, it not only speaks to my heart but from it.

Bruce and Ruby, Stephanie, Bryce, and Ryan, family and friends: We love you so much and grieve deeply with you. May the God of the Universe gently, tenderly hold you in the palm of His sovereign hand.

For the past few weeks, I’ve quasi-intentionally laid off writing hoping that a mental vacation would somehow energize the firing of the proper brain cells that produce interesting blog content. Turns out it doesn’t work that way. The longer my brain has remained dormant, the stupider I’ve gotten.

In a phrase, I got nothin’.

I’m pretty certain you are sick of hearing about The Shred. I’m on Day Sixteen. It still hurts. The End.

You already know we are at the ballfields every single night watching one non-descript game after another. Don’t judge me if I say having four kids on four teams has been exhausting and I’m over it. Of course I think my offspring are fabulous whether they strike out or make an excellent play. For the nanoseconds they are batting or actually touching the ball, my excitement level does rise. I wouldn’t dare not be there to support them and the team filled with children and parents we love but the truth is, I can’t wait for the season to be over. I would rather be on my sofa than in my folding chair. I would rather eat a meal on my kitchen table than on a bleacher. The End.

Lost is over until next season. I am completely baffled with the exception of discerning the overtly-obvious, uber-religious overtones that are no longer deniable. I’m afraid I’ll be forced to recant my love of the show once ABC has their way with it. But I’ll think about that next season. The End.

Luke just sat down to with me to share his sermon notes for Sunday. If I don’t listen, he’ll silently shame me into a more intentional blog hiatus and it will really be The End.

Y’all have a great weekend!

UPDATE:

Thank all of you so very much for your exuberant responses to the book cover! I’m pretty stoked myself, but it makes it so much more real to celebrate with you. The book is not releasing until February 1, 2010. Don’t worry, you’ll hear me shrieking when the thing is actually on a shelf. Truer still, you will probably find me sobbing on the floor in a fetal position at the Chattanooga Life Way. Just step over me and buy the book, ‘kay? :))

Y’all are so precious!

*******************************************************

There are some things just too enormous for words. Indeed, in this case, a picture is worth a thousand of them. Or more like 49,000. The photo I am about to show you embodies a mixture of dream and providence. What an amazing thing when the two collide. And now, allow me to introduce you to my newest baby.

Will you think less of me, friends o’mine, if I tell you May is my least favorite month of the year?

Oh sure, there’s the whole May Flowers jazz. And Mother’s Day. And the return of warmer temperatures. All good things but who can enjoy them when the school and baseball calendar go seven kinds of crazy?

I full well realize that our school officials shouldn’t be expected to check with me when planning end of the year award ceremonies and activities. But, is it too much to ask for a little lumping? Do I need to go teach a crash course on multi-tasking as in having elementary award day immediately after Kindergarten graduation so we can get a couple things over with at one time? Anyone else feeling robbed of the last weeks of School Year Bliss a.k.a. 9 months of 7 hour days of Me Time?

And perhaps that last sentence sounds like I’m not looking forward to Summer With The Children.

Well, of course I am. What kind of monster do you take me for? What mom doesn’t look forward to kids foraging the cabinets through the night only to leave your kitchen looking like a mob of rabid raccoons ransacked it during the wee hours? Or eagerly anticipate dragging their lazy bums out of bed every day and forcing them to take a shower sometime before 3 p.m? Or the fighting that is a natural by-product of four siblings who aren’t used to spending 24/7 on the same piece of real estate?

Yeah, baby. I’m SO looking forward to that.

So let me ask……What kind of routines do you girls have in the summer months? Are you Devil May Care or do you have some guidelines for keeping the family sane? I’d love to hear your plans because I’ve got nothing.

I’d love to hang around but I have to go to Field Day. Apparently there was a May Day without something planned so we’ve decided to feed the kids sugar and then line them up to race.

It’s how we do the Derby in Alabama.

There have been all kinds of happenings this week and if I were a more dedicated blogger, each would have its own post. As it is, my brain is fried and the thoughts of putting to screen any series of coherent thoughts is just not working out for me at the moment. So, how about a random list of stuff that you can weigh in on if you feel so compelled?

1. Miss California. This could really be a full-blown rant but I’m sure there is nothing I could say that you’ve not read elsewhere. However, have you ever watched the movie Tombstone? (If you watch it, see it on cable because it bleeps the bad words.) One of my favorite Doc Holiday lines in the film is, “Wyatt, your hypocrisy knows no bounds.”

And apparently neither does the hypocrisy of Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler. According to this article on Fox News, several former Miss Teen USA’s and former Miss USA’s are filming a PSA to hail the diversity of California. Among the lines included are: “I believe when I express my opinion I have a responsibility to do it in a way that respects others who may not agree … I believe in love … I believe when two people with opposite views communicate with love and respect both points of view can be heard … I believe no one should be silenced if they are speaking from their heart with respect … I believe in the beauty of California.”

Are you stinkin’ kidding me? No one should be silenced but we will pressure you to resign your position and try our best to discredit you with photos taken in an underwear photo shoot? And if that isn’t good enough, then we’ll ‘respect you’ by photoshopping a few more to call your faith into question. But we, the Tolerant Ones, love you and agree everyone should have the right to express themselves. PUH-lease.

And let’s not forget that Katie Blair WHILE SHE WAS REIGNING MISS TEEN USA, was partying with THE REIGNING MISS USA, Tara Conner (who entered rehab for alcohol and drug abuse while being allowed to retain her crown) and the two reportedly kissed one another during MISS UNIVERSE’s birthday bash! I guess as long as they were expressing free love then we can celebrate them and put them in PSA commercials. Or of course, we could be like Shanna Moakler and strip down to nothing for Hugh Heffner. I know that’s a role model I want for my daughter.

Okay, so I said I wasn’t going to full-blown rant, but it’s too late now. It may sound fatalistic to say this is the sad condition of our United States of America and I really don’t believe the overall climate will ever improve. Personally, I believe these things – the utter collapse of any moral and financial structure – must come to pass in order to set up the return of Jesus Christ. For myself, I’ve concluded this is an exciting time to be alive because we are eye witnesses to His Coming Kingdom!

What has become urgently important to me is making sure I am teaching my children and calling on Christian women to be counter-cultural. That we preserve ourselves as a holy remnant. That no matter how much we are in the minority, that we are not afraid to speak out and be set apart from this current age. Our stage may not be that of Miss America’s, but we can not fool ourselves into thinking the days are not already here where these same defining questions will be asked of us and we will have to be ready to give account for the hope that is within us.

We are here for such a time as this.

2. See Number One.