Friday, March 30, 2007

Vote for Melanie!

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ch-ch-ch-changes

I'm trying so hard not to think. When I think, I feel. And when I feel, I cry. It's like something has dropped out of me. Like my chest is hollow, but still full of something. Something big and heavy. And it hurts me.

What is giong on? Last night, he was in tears wondering if being a pastor iswhat he really wants to do. He hadn't been to classesin nearly a week. Skipping because he felt overwhelmed. Like he was too far behind and wouldn't ever be able to get caught up again. He didn't wantto tell me. He'd flat out lied to me about it the other day. I knew something was wrong, and I kept asking him and asking hem, but he said it was nothing. Turns out it was something.

It's the depression again, I'm almost sure ofit. He feelsdisconnected from the churhc. Disconnected from us, his family. Disconnected from God. We haven't been worshipping together in a few months because of his internship assignment. He's had to go somewhere else every week for church. It's been hard. On all of us. Even Cheeseman wants to know why Daddy isn't going to church with us.

The breakdown came last night. He told me right before we left for Holy Grounds. Said he hasn't been going to classes all week. He wonders if this is really what he is supposed to be doing. Wonders if maybe he should not do the MDiv for ordination. That's fine. As long as he finishes the semester. We've put so much into this. He was going to talk to his professors about getting caught up. He was going to talk to Pastor Kevin about his calling.

Instead, our DS (the local head pastor guy) calls this morning offerring a student pastorship of a church about an hour from our house. It comes with a parsonage. Hubs has an hour to decide. He calls me, and my first instinct is to say no. It's too far, I can't commute that far every morning at 6:30 to be at work on time. Hubs tells him it is just not feasible right now. I can't commute, can't quit my job, it's not gonna happen.

So the DS calls back later in the day and offers him a student pastorship of a church which (I think) is even farther away. In some town I've never even heard of, and I've lived in this area for 16 years now. He'll have to do services on Sundays, and be available Saturdays and for funerals and stuff. I told him to do whatever he wanted.

What a mistake.

He said yes.

Now, I have to leave my home church. My friends. My singing. The kids Sunday school classes and friends. And it makes me want to die inside.

I know that as a pastor's wife, this is my life. Every few years, some DS is going to call us up and say it's time to move on. But you're never really ready for it. And I thought I had a couple more years until it was time. That I could mentally prepare. Extract myself from stuff so it wouldn't be so bad.

Who was I kidding? I don't want to ever leave our church. That is our family! And I know, consciously that God is everywhere, and we will meet perfectly nice people somewhere else, maybe in that new church, but it doesn't make the hurt stop.

It would be different if we were picking up and leaving. Really moving. Then we wouldn't have to still see people. Still drive past the church. Still feel the emptiness. We could make a clean break. I didn't do so well with this the last time, when we went to that church in Camden. I still wanted to be with my old friends. And being with them made the not being there hurt that much worse.

What am I going to do?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I'm a Winner!

After much deliberation and background research, I made my choices. It was a well-thought-out game plan. I checked and double-checked my choices. Then, finally, I submitted my entry for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Baxter Championship group.

Yeah, right.

My brother sent out an email to the family inviting us all to join a bracket pool. This was Tuesday during school. Tuesday after school, I spent about 5 minutes seeing who had the most wins. Or which school had a better mascot. Or which school I'd even heard of! And I submitted my brackets!

And I'm winning!

Will wonders never cease?

I must point out that I don't pay any attention to basketball season, except for my Duke Blue Devils for whom I have an unholy love. My brother, husband, brother-in-law, and father love the game and watch it a lot. It's ironic that I'm now beating them all. Hee hee hee!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Wonderings

I am sitting here at the computer, finished uploading Cheeseman's latest soccer pictures (2 goals!), and I grabbed a book that Hubs has sitting next to the bed. I had picked it up before and read just the first chapter, but I wasn't really paying attention. It was just surface reading, ya know. But I'm bored and not quite tired enough to go to sleep. So I'm reading this book, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, and it's "nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality." Which intrigues me, now that I'm paying attention to it. I want to know what that means, so now I'm paying attention.

I get to the third chapter, where he's talking about magic. And the elements of a story. It seems kind of unrelated like that, but it all ties together nicely when you read it.

So there's this quote: "I liked the idea of Jesus becoming man, so that we would be able to trust Him..."

Because we don't generally trust people that we don't know. Why would we want to believe in a god whom we could never see. One who just said - hey, come follow me! Worship me! Believe in me, because I will make you whole.

Seriously? Not gonna happen.

But instead, our God became man. He walked among us, doing good and healing others. Loving everyone regardless of who they were or what they had done. He came to us so that we could see Him, hear Him, touch Him, see what He is all about. He gave us a blueprint, a map of sorts, to follow so that we could be like Him.

What better way to help people believe than to come and live among us?

And what do we do? Are we loving others? Are we doing good? I know you can't earn your way to heaven, but we are supposed to strive to be more like Christ. By believing in Him, and trying to follow His example, it's supposed to make us want to do better. To want to BE better.

What have I done to be more like Christ?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reading List

Cherrye over at My Bella Vita got this book meme from somewhere else. It just so happened that I had seen it elsewhere and was frantically trying to find it again, since I liked it but did not have time to do anything with it the first time. You know, not having any time to myself. So away we go!

Instructions: In the list of books below,
Bold the ones you’ve read
Italicize the ones you want to read
Mark in RED the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole
Put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf
Mark an asterisk (*) beside the ones you’ve never heard of
1. +The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)

2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. +Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. +Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. +Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. +Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. +The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. +Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. +Bible (darn near all of it anyway)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. +Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. *The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. *The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. +The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. +The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. *A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Now, I did work in a bookstore for a few months, so I've heard of most of these books. I can even describe the titles of most of them. I'm pretty proud that I've read almost a third of these books. I don't know that they are all great literature, but most of the ones I read took me somewhere else. And isn't that what reading is all about?

And yes, I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I cannot wait until the final installment comes out: July 21 at 12:01 am.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Living Between the Trees

I went to Holy Grounds last week. It's our mid-week "worship" service at our church. There's coffee, tea, cookies, some music and a message. Often the message is a discussion. About how Christ fits into life today, and how we grow in our faith and show it day to day. It's really fun and inspiring. Definitely gives you a lift.

Last week, we had a small discussion then watched a short video. It was by a guy named Rob Bell. Check him out. He's got such a gift for teaching and living God's Word.

Anyway, he was talking about our role on earth. It started in Genesis, when God created man and woman. There was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It ends in Revelation, where there is a Tree of Life. And we are here, living now, between the Trees.

He talked about not just being here, waiting for the end of our life so that we can get to the next. It's not about just being here, taking up space, waiting for the end. It's about working to make this world that we live in a better place. It's about making our world as much like the Kingdom as we can in the time we have. It's about helping others, planting trees, making disciples, making ourselves better.

It's not like we have to earn what we're getting, God has graciously given it to us. This whole big world, with all its niceties and craziness. What a gift!

What do you think? I know I haven't explained it very well. I wish I could find the DVD and see it again. Maybe I should ask Fred.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More sick...

If you are visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party, my party post is here. Otherwise, keep reading. Well, keep reading anyway.

Last week, Bennett was sick. He was sick Monday night, stayed home with Hubs on Tuesday. Was fine all day. And Wednesday. Got sick again Wed. night. Stayed home with Hubs on Thursday. Was fine all day. Ate lots and is all better.

Cheeseman got sick this morning. Thank God I was already at work. He had to stay home with Hubs today. Hubs missed classes. Oops. But I'm being the good little wifey and staying home tomorrow.

It is such a pain in the tush to get a sub for school! I had to make idiot-proof lesson plans, find my roll sheets, make copies, lock up all my personal stuff. Ugh! Just so that I can stay home with a sick baby.

Who is feeling fine and asking for ice cream, by the way. I say NO WAY!

My mom came and got Bennett for the evening. She took him out to her house to walk Chico (her new Chihuahua?) (how the hell do you spell that anyway?) Then to San Jose for dinner. Because if he gets the stomach bug again, I want to see Mexican food come back up. Geez!

Hubs is at the restaurant, waiting tables. Did I mention they've "trained" him to work the bar? It's all about the perfect head on a beer. And the correct amount of wine in a glass. That's all they sell as far as bar items. It took him THREE HOURS to train on Saturday. I could do that in 10 minutes! Oh, well. He was getting paid.

Anyway, my throat hurts, nose is stuffy, I'm coughing. I'm going to eat some Oreo ice cream to make it all better. I should probably do my Bible study while I'm at it. It's a Beth Moore study. If you haven't tried her, she is AWESOME!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

3 Goals!!!

Cheeseman scored three goals! THREE GOALS!!! He was the star of the team!!! And the grin on his face.... OH MAN! I am one proud momma! He's such an awesome kid!!! I am talking and thinking in exclamations!! Yay Cheeseman!!

I'll post pics once I get them off the camera which is in the diaper bag which is with the in-laws who came to the game then took the kids for the afternoon.

As a side note, Hubs will soon be a bartender at local eatery where he's been waiting tables. Yes, a future pastor serving alcohol. Does anyone else find this funny? He wants to "contribute more" to the household. Such a guy!

First week of homebound went well. I made $80 in only 4 hours. And I tucked my babies into bed 6 nights in a row! Yippee!!!

edited: Check out my boy playing soccer!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Ultimate Blog Party

Welcome!

I'm not much of a partier anymore, but this seems like my kind of thing.

I can visit anyone's place, at any time.

I don't have to stay up till all hours of the night, but if I want to I can.

I don't have to clean up and worry about what other people will think of my place.

I don't have to get all dressed up.

I can meet new people!

These people will not judge me!

Yay!

This is perfect for shy folks like me. Thanks to Janice and Susan for being such gracious hosts of the Ultimate Blog Party.

I'm got wine, sliced cheese, and saltines. Sorry, I'll go to the store tomorrow and get better party fare. (This was kind of last minute!) Please sign the comments before you go!

And remember, friends don't let friends drive drunk!

Added 3/3: About me: I am wife to my Hubs who is a seminary student. Mom to Cheeseman (4) and Bennett (2). I teach Latin in middle school. I sing with our Praise Band at church. I love to read, write, and sing, not necessarily in that order. Right now, I'm on a my-son-scored-three-goals-in-his-soccer-game HIGH! I am so proud! Thanks for stopping by!