When we act bigger than we really are

Oh bless’er. She was born wanting to be a toddler and now that she’s in second grade she wants to be a preteen.

IMG_1189 IMG_1219

Oh she still plays with her dolls, dresses up her big bear and plays “pretend” but sometimes she steps into responsibility that doesn’t belong to her. Like at the Super Bowl party we just had at our house. She and several other little girls were all playing upstairs and apparently the toddler among them had a “stinky” diaper. So while the adults were downstairs cheering the SeaHawks on Sophie took it upon herself to change her first poopy diaper ever. When my friend went upstairs to check on her toddler she came down laughing and gave us the lowdown…

Sophie was in the bathroom dry heaving in the sink while the older sister of the toddler was puking in the toilet. My friend asked Sophie what was the matter and she said, “Nothing.” When she asked her a second time she confessed proudly she had just changed the toddler’s diaper but then started gagging after it was all done.

Insert deep belly laughter from all the Moms. We decided it would be a story the girls would one day laugh about hysterically. Sophie one-upping her friend saying, “I kept mine in but yours came out! Na-na-na-boo-boo.”

My friend had to “finish the job” if you know what I mean. But she stepped in and finished the job and all was well.

I laugh, but I do it too.

I try to do things that don’t belong in my realm of responsibility. Sometimes I try to help God out by taking the bold initiative to do things He didn’t ask of me. I move forward in utter independence when I need to wait on Him to do the things I can’t really do. My forgetfulness and sometimes it’s my unwillingness to ask for His help leaves me gagging over the mess I get myself in. So yeah, second grade or 40 something years old – it’s still a battle to fight.

But the amazing thing about my God is this: He’s always there to rescue me and love me just the same. This thought makes me more apt to pause before delving into self-initiated territory. It makes me want to seek Him and His plans for me – not my own.

And for the record…..I love the fact that my girl is independent and will try to figure things out for herself. This quality is a good one and even better when framed with the truth that she can do all things through Christ who gives her strength.

Linking with Holley, Jennifer and Kristin today.

 

 

OMGoodness we just got another funny card!

IMG_1095

At first glance it may not seem like a big deal. But when you know the family…..Husband is Police Chief and Wife self-describes herself as my “starched, fancy pants friend.” Ha! And that is really their house but um no, that car is not theirs. They are not in the race car culture and so to have sent a Christmas card that says, “Racing through the Holidays….” is just too funny. I showed it to Randy and said, “What the world? This is SO not them. And what’s up with no pictures of the kids. Just the house and the…..race car?” Randy commented on the fact that the car looked photoshopped in but it had to be from them because it was all printed up and had their return address and everything. I put it up still puzzled by the whole thing and then I got this text from my friend today.

IMG_1096

Is that not the most hilarious thing ever? His friends made up that card and sent it to his pastor, his family members and all the people at the police department. HA!!!!! Classic! Love it. Randy said this beat the time our friends put his ’67 Chevy truck for sale in the paper as a joke one year.

Look out people, you never know if you’re safe in this world of crazy people – even the police department is in on the craziness!

 

The best Christmas card ever came in our mailbox this week

IMG_1033

It says: “Joy to the World. Peace in Every heart. All is calm. All is bright. Finally a peaceful night.”  As you’ll notice the kid is tied up in Christmas lights and has tape over his mouth. Oh.My.Word! We cracked up so hard at this. I don’t know this boy but I know his Mama. She and I went to school together in the 11th grade. We were on the year book staff together which was the biggest joke ever. We’d go out in town during school hours and try to sell ads for the yearbook. I’m pretty sure we didn’t sell one single ad. But we sure had fun. She taught me that you could go to Long John Silvers and ask for “crumbs” for free. They’d put them in a little container and we’d get water. And we’d have us a little snack and on the way out be like, “Oh, you want to advertise in our school yearbook?”

This is also my friend who played hide and go seek with me during Bible class. We’d ask to go to the bathroom at separate times and then go to the opposite end of the school ( a church ) where the nursery was and play hide and go seek. This deal ended quickly when I crawled in a crib and BROKE it. I was scared to death as I confessed to my Bible teacher what I had done. He forgave me thankfully. So yeah, this kids Mama was a crazy mess like me and that’s why we were such good friends I suppose. So when I got this card in the mail from her it just made sense.

Merry Christmas friends! May you laugh your way through the hiccups and wedgies of life otherwise you’ll turn into a grumpy old man or woman.

Two nightmares in one day

The first nightmare involved spending close to two hours wearing a paper towel in the OBGYN’s office and I was not a happy camper. Grumpy and stomach growling I decided to drive through Chick-Filet on this perfectly sunny day. They are the only fast food restaurant that can successfully facilitate a triple wrapped line of cars at lunch time in just 10 minutes. I noticed there were people standing at all corners of the Chick-Filet with buckets collecting money. Sheriff’s Office raising money for Special Olympics. Then I heard someone on a loud speaker so I rolled down my window to see what all the commotion was. Next to the Chick-Filet cow was a man saying, “Get out of your car and dance for ten seconds with the cow and get free coupons.” But nobody was budging at the packed lunch hour.

Apparently I was smiling because the guy with the loud speaker points to me and says to me through the loud speaker, “You want to do it. I can tell you do.” I laughed and said, “Yeah I kinda do, but no way am I getting out of my car and dancing for 10 seconds with a cow.”

But the thought of a free chick-filet sandwich or a coke sounded pretty good. I also love to dance even though I have no rhythm. Annnnnd I’d never see these people again – hopefully. Oh please no.

So I got out of my car in my long tie dyed skirt and started busting the moves with a cow I was hoping I’d never see again. Meanwhile the loudspeaker guy is counting down from 10. When he gets to 1 I grab my cup of goodies and bolted to my car. I only had a few seconds before ordering so I had to see what my coupon was for.

I start looking at the coupons and NONE of them are for Chick-Filet! Not one blasted coupon is for Chick-Filet. Pet store coupons, Men’s clothing coupons, blah, blah, blah. What the world?

I did find some satisfaction in the fact that two other cars followed suit and started dancing with the cow too.

But still…..I danced for chick-filet coupons!

It gets worse……This is where the second nightmare unfolds.

Shortly after grabbing lunch on the run I ran into a store real quick and as I passed by a mirror what I saw scared me to death. I had on a long, thin brown and cream tie dyed skirt with no slip and you could see straight through my skirt. I mean straight through it. I tried so hard to forget that just an hour before I had been dancing in the noonday sunshine while practically mooning every car in the drive thru and inside customers on the other side of the glass windows. You can’t unsee that, people!

Horrifying experience.

See this is the real reason Baptists don’t dance. The few times they tried it totally bit them in the see through britches.

 

Horrifying Handbag Shopping Experience

It was supposed to be a fabulous day of picking out my long awaited and saved up for handbag. And I mean a nice handbag. I’m the kind of handbag girl that changes out her purse twice a year. Spring/Summer bag and a Fall/Winter bag and that’s it. And usually it’s a cute but cheap bag by 9 West or something like that however I’ve had the bug lately to get a nice purse. That’s why I say “handbag” because if it’s more than $80 it becomes a handbag in my opinion. And I was ready with my Christmas and Birthday money saved up to make the plunge it get a nice handbag.

I had already picked out my Michael Kors handbag online but wanted to save the $12 in S/H so I drove to the mall to purchase it. And it goes with everything so I loved it.

But when I went to purchase it the lady says to me, “That’s not an every day bag you know.” I was like what do you mean? She explained that it doesn’t hold up well and really should only be used for special occasions. So that stopped me in my tracks. I had to pick out a new bag.

Two hours later this poor lady was still unlocking purse after purse for me to try on. I was stuck between a cross body UGG bag that I loved with all my heart but it was more money than I had in pocket. Finally to just get rid of me she offers me 10% off the bag that never goes on sale. She unlocked it a third time for me and I threw it over my shoulder and decided it looked too much like the Liz Claiborne bag my Mom used to carry in the 80’s. I wasn’t going to pay several hundred bucks to go old school all of a sudden. So we started venturing into the Coach bags which I’ve always sworn I would never carry because so many people do. But I found myself looking and liking their bags.

I should mention that at this point I’m having a huge hot flash. I wore this thick turtleneck sweater because it was 6 degrees outside. I know better than to wear a sweater at all but I figured the 6 degree thing would be an exception. Nope, I was starting to sweat bullets. I had to take it off. So I did. And what I had under it was an apricot colored tshirt that doubles as a sleep shirt for me. I just wore it because the sweater was scratchy. So now I’m browsing Coach bags in a pajama top and brown sweatpants. Lovely.

I find a fabulous Coach bag and throw it over my shoulder admiring it when the lady grins and says, “Honey, you’ve got it backwards. You want the ‘coach’ to show.” I’m pretty sure it was in that moment she realized I wasn’t really a Coach or Michael Kors bag wearing chick. But that was okay because I was about to show the world I was going to be. I found the largest red handbag you’ve ever seen in your life. I told the lady I’d have to find stuff to fit in it and she said, “Well, then that eliminates that bag.” I said, “Oh no, I can put my study Bible in it and a bible study handbook along with my computer on days I take it places and I can throw in some of the kids toys. I’m buying it.” She runs to the stock room really fast in case I were to find something else while waiting like I did the other two times. Ya’ll I almost bought a cobalt blue bag for an every day bag. Who does that! She comes back and I tell her, “Hurry up and swipe my card. I’m just ready to get out of here and I know you’re ready to say buh-bye to me.” She hands me the largest Dillard’s bag they have and inside is my new snazzy red Coach bag that I will be packing every single day of my life for the next 30 years. At least that’s what I told myself to justify the purchase that cost close to our monthly grocery bill.

I grabbed the massive bag and ran upstairs to check out the kids sales. While I was there I found some great deals on stuff for Sophie but I noticed I had this unsettled feeling in my stomach. I kept looking at the bag that carried my handbag. It was HUGE. My hand was tired from carrying it and there wasn’t even anything in it yet. This was just wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I could not pay that much for a handbag nor could I find enough earthly treasure to put in it nor could I see using solid red as my every day color.

So still wearing my pajama top with scratchy sweater and huge bag in hand I peer down to the first floor to see if the lady that spent her entire morning helping me was still there. Yes, I see her. I would have to wait and casually stalk her from the second floor until she left for lunch and then make a run for it. She finally leaves and I run down the escalator and throw my bag on the counter and say, “I’d like to return this handbag. It’s just not quite large enough.”

The lady looks at me and isn’t sure if she should laugh or not. I held a straight face and was hoping with all my might the lady who helped me would not show up on the scene. Thankfully she never did. It felt good to see the money go back on my credit card. And I practically ran out of that store. I knew I was saying my goodbyes to Dillard’s. I would never show my face in that store again. Ever. If I did I’d at least have to have matching pajama bottoms.

Potty Mouth Pinocchio

My Mother- in- Law is so sweet and she stayed at our house and kept Mitchell and Sophie while we house hunted for two days. She took Mitchell to school, Sophie to ballet, helped with homework, etc. What a relief to know our kids were well taken care of while we were gone. We were so excited to come home and see everyone. After “Grandma” left and we were catching up with Mitchell he said, “I had a yellow day at school” (meaning he got in trouble). I asked him why and he said, “Mom, I said Jack-azz and that’s a cuss word, but I didn’t know it was a cuss word.” I said, “ Well, how did you use the word?” You know, just in case he was talking about a stubborn donkey pulling a plow. I had to give him the benefit of the doubt for a half second. Okay, so maybe it was more like denial. He said, “I drew a picture of a turkey and then held it up and said ‘does that look like a jack azz?’” After he was ratted out by another student (and I’m glad he was) he asked his teacher what a jack azz was.  As he was telling me all this I was thinking to myself: Do I really correct him on how to say it right? Do I just let him think that’s how you say it or what?

Something about correcting my son on how to say jack ass right felt very wrong. But rest assure I did explain that it was inappropriate to say and why.  I was sure this encounter with Mitchell’s first cuss word was the product of “public school” but when I asked him where he had heard that word before he said, “It’s on Pinocchio.” We just bought the movie for Sophie recently thinking it was a good old classic. I remember watching the movie and cringing at that part but was hoping neither of them would pick up on it but obviously I was wrong! And of course this would happen on the one day, out of the entire first semester, that his Grandmother picks him up from school. I guess it could be worse, though. It could have waited to come out on his first day of ChristianSchool in a few weeks!

Missing “A First”

 

I was cooking dinner in between a great game of backyard baseball with the kids and shortly after I came in to stir the noodles Sophie came running in the door crying, saying, “Mom, I went to the bathroom in my dress.” I thought this was odd because she’s never had an accident since being potty trained over a year ago. She was so upset with herself and kept saying, “I just wish I didn’t do that. I should’ve never done that.”

I reassured her that we have all had accidents and recalled my second grade near death of embarrassment experience on the blacktop. I totally wet my denim gauchos. Ha! Gauchos. I know, I was a nerd. My sister had to come pick me up and I was mortified. This story didn’t seem to make Sophie feel any better and I couldn’t blame her.

I ran her bath water and got her set up with a bath while I finished dinner. A few minutes later Mitchell comes inside and says, “Where’s Sophie?” I told him she was taking a bath and he said, “Oh yeah, I told her she shouldn’t try that.”

I said, “Try what?!”

He said, “Pee on a tree.”

Then I got the full story. Mitchell apparently dropped his drawers and peed on one side of the huge pecan tree and she was on the other side of the tree and wanted to do the same thing. When I later questioned Sophie on this she said, “Yeah, and it wouldn’t go forwards, Mom. It just kept going backwards and down my leg! I should’ve never tried that.”

Oh my word! My girl just tried to pee on tree. And I missed it! I would have given anything to see that whole thing go down.

Embarrassing Moments

Oh, just a few embarrassing moments to report this week……like when I found out Mitchell prayed out loud in Sunday School that his dog wouldn’t eat her poop. And what about Sophie going around the church Sunday night begging people to be her nursery worker so she wouldn’t have to stay in the service. Or how about yesterday when we’re at the Toy Store and I’m on one side of the store with Mitchell and come back to check in on Sophie only to find her stripped down to her skivies trying on dress up clothes. And we just aren’t even going to talk about how Mitchell brought up the fact that he had a chigger bite on his hmm hmm to the nurse and how when I did the how-dare-you-whisper-through-clenched-teeth talk to him after she left the doctor then came in for further questioning and examination!!!!! These are just a few of my most embarrassing things for this week.

And what about you? Did you have any embarrassing moments that could make me feel the slightest bit better?

Tobacco & Collard Greens – Welcome to the new Pastorate!

Tobacco & Collard Greens

After being at our new church for a few months I was invited by several of the older women in the church to go out to dinner with them. They were so cute when they drove up to my driveway. Their heads barely reached over the headrests and all, but the driver, were in the backseat. They left the front passenger seat open for me which I thought was so sweet.

On our way to the “eatin’ place” we sat in bumper to bumper traffic and I was desperately trying to carry on a conversation with a group of very quiet ladies.

I happened to glance out my window and saw a huge tobacco field. So, of all things, I start asking questions about tobacco. I never knew the process involved in making tobacco so these sweet pillars of the church explained to me how you make it. They were rather perturbed with the “new” way of making tobacco. “It isn’t as careful of a process these days,” they noted. That brought me to my next question, “Well, does tobacco taste any different today than it did back then?” I mean, seriously, what a dumb question for the pastor’s wife to ask. These are very refined, Southern church women. Would they really fess up even if they did do a little chewin’?

Dead.silence. for what seemed to be hours.

Finally one little shaky voice piped up in the back and confessed, “I tried it once with a friend but I got so sick I could hardly stand it. I’ve never had any since.” A few of the ladies swore they had never tasted it even in all the years of working the tobacco fields and others remained silent with a half grin, but never saying a word. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were reminiscing in their own minds of the good ole days.

I thought this would be a good time to tell them about how my great grandmother would ride to church in a horse and buggy and dip snuff on the way there. The problem was that when she would “spit,” the wind would catch it and swipe it into the backseat where my grandmother and her siblings were riding. They had to clean up every Sunday morning before they got out of the carriage. The best part was that the snuff wasn’t in a skoal can. Instead, it was in a beautiful Limoges china box.

We all laughed at the thought of this as we pulled into our new eating place since they had moved the other one. A squabble about broke out over the eatin’ place. Half the ladies thought we hadn’t gone far enough while the others thought they had taken the old Shoney’s place down. We ended up at Golden Coral for dinner. And no more than five minutes after we got there and prayed for our food did major drama go down.

One of our groupies got choked on some cabbage. Choking and gasping for breath. The lady next to her patted her on the back but this wasn’t helping at all. I sat there and thought, “Surely, she will be okay in a second.” But the seconds turned into minutes. I got up and tried to do the Heimlich while she was sitting down. (Don’t ever do that because that’s NOT the way you’re supposed to do it.) I hadn’t thought about the Heimlich since the word was on a spelling test in high school. I knew how to spell it but was struggling with how to do it. I was afraid I’d break some ribs if I did it too hard. I asked my 97 year old friend if she could breathe. She had sheer panic on her face as she shook her head NO and pointed to her throat. She was about to choke to death and it was going to be my fault. The pastor’s wife was killing one of the founding members of the church because she couldn’t do the Heimlich maneuver right. Not good. I loved this sweet, independent widow who still lived at home by herself. I had to figure something out.

A few minutes later I looked at all the people in the restaurant that were staring at us like a freak show and yelled, “Is there a doctor or medic in the house? We need some help here!” Two people came over and told me to stand her up. I did this and it helped some but she still was struggling to breathe. I swear every time she would try to cough hard her bottom set of dentures would go out about a ¼”. I kept waiting for them to fly out on the tray in front of her but thankfully they never did. Finally after about four minutes of trying to clear the airway she got relief and all was well. By that time the rest of the ladies were in shock. They swore they were praying the whole time I was beating her on the back and yelling at everyone around us to do something.

What do you really say at that point? She sure as heck didn’t want anymore cabbage. Neither did the rest of us. So we all just sat there in silence. Me and my 90 year old friends. Sitting quietly and staring at our cabbage and collard greens. Somebody had called the ambulance so a fire truck showed up and two paramedics came in to check her out. My friend was fine but still had to fill out a bunch of paperwork. We finally boxed up our food and made our way out to the car. We got lost a few times on the way home but eventually made it back home. Whew! I was never so glad to see home. Who’da ever thought that my first night out the girls would be so dramatic!

I look back on that night and as traumatic as it was it served as one of the sweetest memories I’ve had at our church. These ladies spent time and effort into trying to make the night so special for me. I often take things for granted in my busy, frantic days. It’s not always easy to plan something as simple as a dinner out for our older sister’s in Christ. My meal was paid for. The front seat of the car was reserved for me. I was offered to go first in the line. I felt so honored by my new friends.

I miss my one older friend who has since gone on to be with Jesus. I regret that I never made it to her house for that ice cold glass of tea we talked about. Two of the others are now home bound and a trip to the eatin’ place isn’t an option anymore. I’m reminded to make the most of my moments. To follow through on promised visits. And to grow in my love for these sweet older women who know more about life and tobacco than they might care to admit.

“Man of the Cloth”

After sharing my testimony at a church one night a lady came up to me afterwards and asked, “So what’s it like?” A little confused I said, “What’s what like?” She leaned in and almost in a whisper said, “You know, what’s it like being married to a ‘MAN OF THE CLOTH’?”

The first thought that came to my mind when I thought of “my man” and “cloth” was his underwear on the floor and I certainly did not want to discuss that with her. I didn’t even know her!

I tried so hard to come up with something spiritual because I had just learned that I was married to a “MAN OF THE CLOTH”.

It sounded so royal-ish-ish and important. How was the wife of a “MAN OF THE CLOTH” to speak? I wondered if I should start speaking in an English accent. I have a really good one. I once convinced an entire cruise ship that I was from England with my fake accent. (My Mom made me tell everyone the truth on the last day)

But the only response I could come up with was, “Uhhhh, I think it’s just like being married to my husband but I’ll get back with you on that.”

And it’s true. For me, being a pastor’s wife is  being Randy’s wife. God called me to Randy to be his wife and help mate. God also called Randy to shepherd a group of believers and I get to be a part of that calling. What a privilege and joy it is. I take it seriously. I don’t want to minimize it in any way. But I also want to  remember that I’m just a normal (well, that term is relative) chic following Christ, leading others and stumbling along the way.