Monday, January 30, 2012

being a youth leader

I was reading a blog today and it totally derailed me from what I had thought I would blog about today. I had thought I would blog my reflections about the service from two weeks ago at church. I am still reflecting and mulling over that one. It was a good one but I guess the post will have to come later.

So I know this guy and I read his blog. He is pretty passionate about youth ministry but he also is a father of teenagers. He gets to see both sides of the process. He posted the following words here on his blog:

"Don’t be overwhelmed, my friend. We parents (well, at least most of us) don’t want to take all your time. We don’t want to change you. We are immensely grateful for how you bless us and our kid with your time and focus.

Just remember that we’re here, please. Remember that we care passionately about our children, and would sacrifice our own lives for them if necessary. Remember that we mean well, even though we’re not perfect. Remember that we’re afraid we’re not doing this well, and that our precious children are going to go off the deep end because of our inadequacies.

We don’t need you to reinvent your entire ministry to come hold our hands. But we need you to communicate with us. We need you to listen. We need you to be curious about our motives and assume good. We’d love you to tell us what you’re seeing about teenagers and youth culture and—especially—our own son or daughter.

If you do those things, we will be so blessed, so grateful, that we will forever be your biggest fan. We will speak highly of you, and praise you to all peoples!

Ok, I’m getting a little cheesy there. But you get the idea. From me—a dad—thanks. Really."

I wanted to cry after reading this. I struggle every week. I would do anything to convey to this kids how much Jesus loves them. How important communicating with Jesus is. How much I love and care for them. How important it is to be committed and devoted to Jesus is. How it, He, can totally change your life. How important and beautiful or handsome they are. I try so hard to let them know how much they are loved. That their ideas and feelings matter. I want so badly for them to grow into a deep relationship with Jesus.
But sometimes I wonder if what i do even makes a difference.
Every once in a while you get the glimpses that what you do makes a difference. But I can't say I've had a glimpse of that in a while.

There are several things I have learned in being a youth leader that I plan on putting into practice when my kids are in youth.
1. Say Thank you and say it often. A simple Thank you can go a long way. Saying thank you shows that you care that they are there investing in your child's life.
2. offer to watch the youth leaders kids while they are there investing in my child's life. I have learned that having your kids there in another room is very stressful and it's really hard to pay someone every week to watch your kids during youth. I feel like that's the least I could do when the youth leader is taking time from his family to convey to my child how much Jesus loves him or her and while teaching him what it is to be a follower of Jesus.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I saw this idea on a blog I read this morning and I thought I would play along.

current book/blog(s):
(i'm not currently reading anything, so i'm gonna share my favorite current blogs)
Kisses From Katie
Picky Palate
from the natos
Impress You Kids

current playlist:
All Sons and Daughters
current fav:
All The Poor and Powerless

current color:
Chocolate- I blog I read was referring to pedicures. I've never had one, I just simply paint my nails myself.

current food:
Stromboli- the rolled up pizza not the sandwhich

current favorite show/movie:
movie: Pride and Prejudice (still)
show: Parenthood

current need:
to organize my thoughts
clean up our messy house
start getting some exercise

current outfit:
Jeans and my favorite t-shirt (it's a TOMS t-shirt)

current triumph
honestly, that I am starting to feel human again after being sick for so long.
I have started using onions in my cooking, instead of skipping them.
I opened a bottle of wine all by myself (I've never done this and never been given the tutorial)
I know a couple silly things but a triumph is a triumph and I don't have to have E here to open a bottle

current bane of my existence:
the bathroom
Laundry-it's folded just not put away.
OH YEAH, and the mouse in my house.

current favorite quote:
‎"Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us." Marianne Williamson

current indulgence:
Cinnamon Jelly Hearts-I only get these one month out of twelve.

current #1 blessing:
my pastor

current excitement:
Feb. 4th-a shopping trip with the hubby and getting to see a friend from Cali.

current mood:
tired- not just physically. Emotionally, mentally, my heart is tired

current favorite product:
Febreeze- New Zealand Springs air freshener.
C.O. Bigelow Cinnamint lip gloss

Monday, January 23, 2012


Somedays I find myself wanting to beat my head against the wall. I often wonder why we make it so hard to do something so simple. Love people as Jesus would.
It seems like we put so many rules and regulations on who we can invite in, talk to, hang with, love on. We, I, need to look at all the people that Jesus hung with and loved on.
I know that some people are difficult to hang out with or talk to. But just because someone gets to us or rubs us the wrong way doesn't mean they are not worthy of love. Is it easy for Jesus to love everyone? Is it easy for Jesus to love me, a sinner? Sometimes people just need us to reach out and show or do something for them that says you are cared for and loved.
i know there are days when I find it difficult to talk to someone or be around them but I would do anything I could to convey to them that they are cared for and loved.
We don't have to be friends with everyone, we don't have to spend time with them, we don't have to do anything but maybe smile, say hi, send a card, make a meal, whatever small thing we can do to convey our God's great love for them.

Anyways I will stop this little rant now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Look back and remember.

This is an excerpt from a blog I read that I had to share.

'“I just want to remember,” she says matter-of-factly, and she pulls the covers right back up over her head.

It is well after our 8 o’clock bed time. I have been sunk deep in the couch and in the Word knowing that 13 pairs of feet were tucked snugly in 13 beds. But as I make my way from the couch to my room, something catches my eye and I peek my head in the girls’ bedroom.

There flat on the cold, hard tile floor is my 11 year old with her blanket pulled tightly around herself. It doesn’t look as if she has rolled out of bed; it looks intentional. I nudge her awake. “Honey, what are you doing on the floor?” Why would anyone ever choose to sleep on this, the hardest of surfaces, with a comfortable bed just inches away?

“Remember,” she mumbles sleepily, “I just want to remember. Some people don’t have a bed,mom. I didn’t have a bed, mom. God gave me a bed. And I wanted to remember what it was like to not have one.”

We have to remember. Because how can we ever move forward if we don’t look back? This God, He makes promises and in remembering we see the truth: this God, He keeps promises.'

I served as Assistant Lay Director this weekend on a Chrysalis flight. During the weekend the local Christian book store has a book table they set out. On this table laid a book called "Kisses from Katie", the cover of the book drew me in.

As I read the back of the book I was so moved! I was talking to another lady about this book and on a break we pulled up Katie's blog. As we both set there and read we cried. Not a bad cry, it was a my soul is deeply moved cry.
I cannot wait to get this book and read it. I would love to find someone to read it with. So that I have someone to discuss it with and someone who would keep me level headed as I read it. But whether anyone wants to or not my goal is to read this soon. I have even looked into trips to this area.

Something someone said this weekend really struck me. I have wondered if it was just me but maybe not. My friend Peg said "I wish I was where you girls are spiritually when I was your age." I have met and worked with so many young ladies and young men that have such an amazing grasp on their spiritual life. I really wish I would have had that grasp and that understanding like they do. I wish that I would have thought that I could go and serve. I wish I had been far enough along in my faith to understand my gifts and be in the with who I am and that God created me this way. But here we are and I am just now discovering my gifts and really grasping why I am the way I am and it's because God wanted me to be this way.

I used to hate my compassionate heart and that I would cry all the time. Sometimes I never knew why. Tears just seem to flow from my eyes all the time and it's rarely because something is wrong with me. I cry when I am hurt, happy, proud, excited, angry and blessed. I cry when others are hurting. I honestly deeply feel for others.

Why am I typing all this? I really don't know.

Oh wait yes I know. It's okay to cry! That's my heart! I feel deeply and it comes out in tears. Tears are my release. Wether it be a happy release or a blessed release or a hurt release.

I truly want to do all I can for others. As I read the blog that I linked to above and watched the video on her blog so many thing resonated with me.

Not that I don't love my life now. Because I do. I love my hubby! I love my kiddos! I have always wanted to be married and be a mommy. I know that God geared me up to do so. But I also believe that God geared me up to be in tune to what others need. To feel what others feel. I believe He is setting me up for something. It may not be soon, it may be after my kids are grown but I feel something coming. I feel that it could be a number of things so I guess we will see what happens.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recap of the Holidays

It's been a while and I just have honestly been pushing off this post.

Our Christmas celebrating started in November when Advent started. I tried really hard everyday to help the kids focus on Jesus being the reason for Christmas. Not Santa and presents. I don't know if it worked but their young so if I keep it up every year then maybe it'll all work out in the end.

We started the gift giving the Sunday before Christmas. This year we made gift bags for all the people who had helped us out throughout the year. A way to say thank you for caring for us and helping us out. Then that week we headed to my parents for Christmas celebrating. It was different this year. I have to say I do miss the Apricot Salad, Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Aunt Sandy's fruit salad, cookies and cheesecake. But we had some yummy Pizza and then Roast and Rice and Broccoli the net day so that was good. The kids were very excited about their gifts. I received some clothing and these things you put in the micro wave and you can make chips. They are yummy! Eli received a drimmel and he is eager to drimmel something. We had a very nice visit. The first night we were there Lilly was up ALL night coughing. Something about that Mid Ohio Valley air. I always get stuffed up when we visit. But she was all better the second night and slept well.

We left my parents on the 23rd so we could spend Christmas Eve at home doing Christmas Eve stuff and so Eli could get ready for the service. We baked cookies, picked up the house a bit, and watched movies together. We also went to church together, it was a very nice service. That night the kids didn't say anything about setting cookies out or anything. I put them to bed and then thought about it, oh well. Santa still came, amazing.

In our home Santa brings one gift and fills the stockings. Santa doesn't wrap either. So there is the clear distinction between what Santa brings and what we get them. They usually get 5 gifts, one from Santa and then one from each of us. The kids are getting to the age where they want to get things for each other so I think next year I am going to let them go shopping for each other, instead of me picking it all out.

So anyways we woke up Christmas morning. Okay well Daddy woke up and then Silas shortly after and he was up for a good hour before the rest of us. We had some very excited kids. They were happy and fun all morning. We are pretty sure that Lilly ate a Squinkie-the green goblin. She had it in her hand and then it disappeared, who knows.
We always have cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. Ellie used to protest but this year she ate them and liked them. I like this tradition. Maybe I will move to making them homemade but for now they are Pillsbury, you know the yummy ones in the can. We had a great morning together.

We all got ready and headed for Kayla and Dan's. We had a nice day of visiting, eating, game playing and present exchanging. The kids again were so excited. Eli and I received a Wine Cooler for Eli's dad. It's awesome! I also received some kitchen items and a blank cookbook. I quickly converted it to the Our Favorites Cookbook. With all the experimenting with recipes we have been doing we are finding a lot of new recipes we like and I figured this was the best way to keep them. I also got more Microwave chip maker things. We had a good day with the family. There were some tears but it was all good. In going through somethings and Eli's parents home we found some gifts that Savilla had gotten all the sisters. We also found some items she had gotten for the grand kids. She got Silas a pair of Spiderman rain boots and Ellie a froggy jewelry box.

Our last Christmas celebration was at Eli's grandparents. It was held on New Years Day. So we went up early and spent the whole weekend. It was a nice visit with the family. While there I had the opportunity to take Melva's nieces Senior Pictures. It was something I had never done and i was nervous. Luckily Melva went with me and helped me out with posing. I think the pics turned out pretty good. They aren't as good as a professional could do but I did the best I could. I am still wanting to do some more editing on them and try some things on them but I think they aren't bad.

After getting home we took down the tree and prepared the house for Silas' birthday celebration. We let him have pop and gum on his actually birthday and took him out to eat and got him a milkshake. But we waited till people could come and help us celebrate to have a party.

As I reflect back on all of this I think this Christmas season was the most relaxing and enjoyable we have had in a while. I felt like I was doing really well until I got sick and then I kind of lost my steam. It took 2 rounds of antibiotics to kick strep and whatever else it was. There are things that I want to change for next year but I really like doing the advent calendar and the advent wreath. I think it was a good season.