Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Strength in Weakness

We have a home again!! Everything went well today. I got a chance to get into the house after closing today. I got some things put away in the kitchen and cleaned the carpets downstairs. Josh is going to continue to move some more things out of storage this week. We will have some help moving the big furniture in on Saturday. My mind is swimming with all the things I want to do to the house... Painting, organizing, tearing down that awful wallpaper that is straight from the early
eighties.

So, on another note...I have been contemplating blogging on this next subject for awhile. After you read you might understand why I have struggled so much with the "to blog, or not to blog" decision. Recently, I set out to understand more about an issue that I have with occasional anger outbursts. Not very often, but occasionally when I am feeling very overwhelmed, I have an adult sized hissy-fit. I usually feel better if I slam a door or kick a toy across the room. (not very typical behavior for the wife of a youth pastor, right?). Josh has fallen victim to these tantrums many times. He is a very patient man.

In my research, I came across descriptions of "Social Anxiety Disorder" which pretty much fits me to a T. I'm always afraid to talk around new people and in new situations for fear that I might say something humiliating or embarassing. For example, a couple of months ago, we had a discussion in our Sunday school class about whether or not a woman would be a good Senior Pastor for our church (we are in the process of finding a new Pastor). I stated my opinion, but ever since I have been haunted by it. "That one guy didn't agree with me....What if I offended her?...I'm sure he thought I was an idiot?...What an awful impression i've made of myself"... Okay people, that was TWO MONTHS AGO and I'm getting a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it....this is not normal.

I also used to sing in a christian band. I don't know how I did it then. I guess that I felt comfortable with the people I sang with. Lately if I tried to sing I would run people out of the sanctuary since my voice shakes terribly with the nervousness. In fact, the last time I sang at church, I had to tell my duet partner, Laura, to finish the song because I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack and could not catch my breath.

I know my fears are irrational but I have them anyway. That's another aspect of the disorder. Anger outbursts tend to go hand in hand with this....I guess the anxiety just builds over time until you blow.

I've been reading this blog by the lead singer of "Addison Road", a christian rock band. She also has had issues with Social Anxiety (not cool when your job consists of singing in front of huge crowds of people). I have been really comforted by it. I have even changed some of my opinions about people with "issues". I used to think that people who took medication for mental illness were just looking for an excuse to get "doped up." But, I have realized that most mental illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances, much like diabetes which we treat without even thinking about it. For some reason, when the problem is in our head we turn it into a faith issue. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to have faith in healing. Just saying that the healing doesn't have to come in some kind of spontaneous, unexplainable, miraculous box. God put doctors and scientists on this earth to work His miracles every day. Even if it's not as dramatic, it is still a way in which God works. I am also not saying I'm gonna run out to the pharmacy and get me some Zoloft. But, I think the important thing here is to not judge people.

God has been teaching me that just because I am a "Pastor's wife" (you guys don't know how badly I want to throw up when I say that) that I do not have to wear a mask. I am who I am. I am by no means perfect. I don't have it all figured out. God's still working on me. I have issues. And I beleive that God can do amazing things through people's weaknesses. Being vulnerable is hard for anyone...opening yourself up for criticism like that. But, I think that God appreciates our willingness to "expose" ourselves so that others might see our need for Him....maybe, through that, they will discover their own need for Him as well.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Homelessness ends tomarrow!

I am up late tonight, very excited, can't sleep because tomarrow we will be signing on our new house. I cannot beleive that we are finally to this point. It has been a hard road since June of last year when we first felt God leading us to Greeneville. The time that our family has been separated, along with the stress of buying and selling a house has weighed heavy on us, but God is good. Not only have we grown so much since this journey began but we have had blessing after blessing poured out upon us. From the amazing, friendly, welcoming church that we have become a part of, to our precious family who has supported us and done so much to help us in the transition, to the way God has met our every financial need and then some. I am truly amazed, once again, at the way God works.

Emma has three days left of Kindergarten. I can't beleive it. I am not ready for her to NOT be a kindergartener any more. Her teacher wrote the sweetest letter yesterday to all the parents of the kids in her class. She recounted how far they had come and it just brought me to tears. She will be going out with a bang though! On the last day of school we are having a big birthday party/ going away party at a bounce house here in town before we head to Greeneville for good. We will have a week to try to get settled into our new house before we head to Destin with my family for a week of rest and good times. I am sure I will be ready for that!

I have been listening to "Glory" by Selah today. Awesome song. Awesome God.
Goodnight.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

What a wonderful mother's day it was this year. I was greeted by Jackson after Sunday school with a marigold that he had planted in a cup (actually the teacher probably planted it because he did not have a spec of dirt on him :) Emma really enjoyed giving and making mommy smile this year. She continued to make cards and projects all day for mother's day. The sweetest thing that she gave me was a flower (also a marigold) that she planted at school. She had glued sea shells to the pot and then covered them with a sandy plaster mix. She then took a toothbrush and uncovered the sea shells. It looks like the beach! Very Pretty! Attatched to the outside of the package was a card that she made at school. It had the cutest drawing of Emma, her dad and me. Inside was a poem. Ms. Corden, her teacher, started each sentence of the poem and Emma finished them. This is what it said...

My mother is the most wonderful mother in the whole world! She is as pretty as a diamond. She is about thirty years old, and she weighs seventy five pounds.

Her favorite food is green beans, and her favorite thing to do is cook cookies. When she was a little girl she used to play with her friend that had to have stitches because she stut her hand up in the door.

I think my mom looks funny when she wears masks that I make. I know she is angry when she spanks my bottom and sends me to my room.

I wish my mom would make me tons of pink cupcakes.

I love my mom, and I wouldn't trade her even for a 101 cents!

Happy Mothers Day! Emma


Happy Mother's Day to all you mother's out there. I hope yours was as great as mine!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

In-between

Sorry it's been awhile since I have posted anything. Things have been very crazy over the last week or so. We moved out of our house last Saturday (thanks to all who gave of their time to help us with this). All of our things are in storage now until we move into our new place at the end of May. For now, we are staying with my in-laws who have graciously agreed to let us invade them with our circus for 3-4 weeks.



Emma in the U-Haul

We also enjoyed a trip to the zoo last Friday with Emma's kindergarten class. Our whole family tagged along. It was a great getaway during a stressful week. Emma held a huge beetle...gross!....but she loved it. We also experienced some of the girl drama that we had hoped would hold off at least until middle school.....the whole popular vs. unpopular thing....it's starts so young, but looks like everybody's good friends in the end. :)





I also wanted to mention that I have been reading an awesome blog that someone suggested to me. I have been reading it from the beginning, as was recommended. I feel a sense of responsibility to pass it along because I beleive there is an amazing ministry being done through it. I am reminded of how God uses all things, even the deepest suffering, to work toward good. I will warn you, you will need a some tissues, but it is well worth it. I promise, you will be inspired as you laugh and cry along with this beautiful mommy. Here's the link Bring the Rain