Welcome to my new blog! If you've followed my other blog for a while, you know I am prone to pontifications mixed in with my family news and pictures. I've decided to archive all my "thinking out loud" pieces from the past here, and put all my future ones here as well. Looking for family news & photos? Check out Moments at the Manse.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pastor Darrell

I've called him that, Gracie and Darrell Lee have even called him that - in a last ditch effort to get his attention, or just because they've heard other people call him that all the time. And a whole lot of people in our part of town call him that too.

We share our "honey" and "daddy" with a whole lot of people. It's part of the territory that is pastoring. Thankfully, Darrell places a very high priority on our spiritual, physical and emotional welfare and he is generous with his time for us.

We love to spend our Mondays together, and any evening when something else isn't going on - its "family time." He doesn't do anything "for him" to speak of. He works for the church tirelessly (I joke that he refuels in flight, unlike his wife), but when it comes to his children, is never to worn out to have a little game of Sword Fight, Wrestle or Find the Tiger.

He also diligently instructs our children when he is home, giving me a break from the discipline, teaching them scripture and encouraging them toward God. Each night he can be found on the couch with two or three wiggling children talking about God and each morning he can be found walking and talking to God about us, as well as many other people. He's a selfless leader of our home. I'm pretty sure I'm the most blessed lady in the world to be married to him.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The contrasts of the parsonage

I may write a bit more about the role of Pastor's Wife another time . . . here's a taste of my world.

This week, I have:
  • had a meal and meeting with girls whose husbands . . . well, lets just say they live very comfortable (financially secure) lives
  • had a couple join us for supper who is homeless
  • sent groceries home with a sick family from our church
  • received an unexpected check in the mail
  • sent supper for tonight and frozen stuff for next week to another family in a challenging situation
  • had my lunch (and my kids' lunch) bought for me by a friend.
  • enjoyed the company of a couple of mamas of young children - my dear friends with whom I have a million things in common
  • chatted for an hour with an alcohol dependent woman, with whom I have very little in common - but one thing, the great need for Grace
  • listened, graciously, hopefully, to a bit of criticism for the pastor
  • listened to the happy call of a neighbor boy to his grandmother, "Can I stay and sword fight Pastor Darrell??" Then I got to watch as he fought off the attack of four preteeen/teen boys at the same time! :>)
Its this contrast in my world that keeps my feet on the ground, and my face looking up to Him, hands reaching out to him - I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Grace of Flexibility

Yes, this is a grace - when someone “gives you a break” - allows you to be thoroughly human. I have been the grateful recipient of my husband’s “wiggle room” (as he calls it) many, many times.

In fact, I have experienced so much of this sort of grace that I decided to pay tribute . . .

  • To my parents, on too many occasions to count, but to name just one: when I came home with my hair dyed very blond just a few days before high school graduation. They thought “it could be worse!” I wasn’t so sure.
  • To my piano teachers through the years, who knew I could have done better if I had just practiced! And probably were dying to hear another song, but suffered through my stumbling version of _________ one more time.
  • To my siblings, who have dealt with my quirky ability to be completely idealistic about most everything - they’ve been so gracious.
  • To my husband, who has been patient as I’ve slowly learned about living with another human being, and has been so kind as I’ve slowly learned (and continue to learn) how to keep our home.
  • To my in-law family, who has always treated me as one of their own.
  • To a college teacher, who generously offered Darrell and I the opportunity to grade papers in order to recover our grade after way-too-many-absences in a particular 7 o’clock class after we were married. :>)
  • To my children, who are always just moments away from a big hug and kiss for me, no matter the occasion and no matter how I fail them as a mother.
  • To so many friends, who have not held against me my ability to stay out of touch for long periods of time - they act like they still love me! It’s a miracle!
  • To our church family who has been so kind to me, with all my inexperience and bumbling efforts to learn this role - pastor's wife. God has knit our hearts together through this process.
  • And most of all, to God, who has given me grace upon grace when I could never have deserved it.

As I continue to "grow up" I am blessed with many opportunities to learn more about how to offer this grace to others - and I do appreciate that! God has helped me to learn a little bit about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

A few scriptures to consider . . .

. . . and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 1 Cor. 9:20

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath." But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent.” Matt 12:1-7

Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Common places to learn about grace:

  • When you are asked to work closely with someone who you know doesn’t understand you or share your values.
  • When things don’t happen like you planned.
  • When someone disappoints you.
  • When someone shares a personal failure with you.
  • When you’re in the position of “student” or “teacher.”
  • When you’re in any relationship, with anyone! Does that cover it all or what?!

God, please help me to be a reflection of the gracious God that you are. I pray that you will show me how to take the circumstances of life and see them as an opportunity for Your grace to abound through my attitude toward others. Thank you for your unparalleled kindness to me. So that God may be glorified, make this grace very real in my life. Amen.

By the way, there is also something that might be called . . . The Everyday Grace of Flexibility

This is the casual version . . . like being flexible with waiters and waitresses, or with the “idiot” who’s driving while texting, or with your children when they inconvenience you, or with your spouse when they make you late, etc. It takes God’s grace actively renewing our minds to be able to respond like He would. God help me!

Monday, February 9, 2009


This morning I happened to pick up the book "What Every Mom Needs" (by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall). It is written by the founder of MOPS. (Mothers Of PreschoolerS) Honestly, I've felt the need for some perspective - so here in the chapter about Perspective I found these four Myths and the Reality that corresponds.

Myth #1: If you control everything, life works.
Reality: You can't control everything.
You have to go with the flow.

Myth #2: I should do it all and all right now.

Reality: I can't do it all, but I can do what's important.

Myth #3: The best way to make it through mothering is to grin and bear it till it gets better.

Reality: Enjoy today. Make the most of life's irretrievable moments . . . now.

Myth #4: Mothering is serious business and the lives of your children are at stake at every moment.

Reality: Lighten up. Children are resilient. Handle them with honesty and humor.

I put the Myths in bold because they are what we hear naturally from the infamous, sometimes screaming, voices in our heads, but we have to, on purpose, look for the Reality.

A group of girls and I have started a MOPS group here in our area - I'd encourage you moms to consider starting a group or finding a group in your area. There is no real virtue in being the Lone Ranger Mommy (although I tried that route) - I have been very encouraged by the other moms in our group. If you have questions about starting a group, I'd be happy to help any way I can.

Happy Mothering!