Is it me against the world?

Anybody ever feel like you are the only person on the planet trying to do the right thing? Even though you know that’s not true you still wonder why you work so hard, so sacrificially even, while others continue to crap on you? Why even bother working that hard at doing the right thing…? A while ago I did a post on choices over at 47 Grove. When I was younger I had no problem with the concept of “thankless” good deeds. As an adult I’ve had more time and experience to see real messed up stuff happen. Maybe that’s why it is now sometimes harder to understand why you can do everything right and still get crapped on. Perseverance used to come a lot easier. I went so far as to look up the definition of the word “persevere”…. continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. One synonym given was literarily to “struggle on”. I guess “the struggle is real” is an actual thing. Even if you have been around long enough to know doing the right thing means you’ll likely still get crapped on… it’s not until you’re actually IN the crap that things really get tough. You know it’s coming, and yet still when it hits you wonder why life is spinning.

I could be a beach bum. For the rest of my life! I love the sound of that career. I could sell art on the boardwalk. I could wear a bathing suit every day. I could even do a little ministry and pray for people along the beach, right? Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better right now? Costa Rica has nice beaches I’ve heard. Beach missions.

Hmmm… God doesn’t seem to have called me to a life of beach missions. Bummah. Instead I’m in the trenches of what many have called the “thankless ministry”. They call it youth ministry. In all actuality it’s more like babysitting, mentoring, coaching, life guarding, cleaning, driving, car pooling, feeding, reading, pick ups, nursing, juggling, praying, praying, and really praying that everyone turns out alright. Myself included. The beach sounds a lot easier though! Maybe someday. Possibly around retirement age. That’s okay.

I’m not the only one to have experienced an unwanted or seemingly undeserved ending to a really good / moral / or even evangelistic deed. I think of the many times in the Bible people who were in the middle of doing the right thing got crapped on. Paul and Silas were thrown in prison. Jesus’ disciples were arrested, tortured, murdered. Mary saw her miracle baby brutally killed in front of her own eyes. Let’s not even go Old Testament here. Daniel was thrown in a pit with vicious lions. Noah was mocked by his entire society. Let’s not even go there with Job or Jeremiah.

I guess I feel pretty stupid now. Many have experienced far harsher trials than my own. One thing I’m always telling my kids is that God always keeps His promises, and to remember that He promises this life will be hard and… the struggle is real. Dang, I knew saying that all the time would come back to bite me someday. Taking my own advice.

We aren’t supposed to feel good after every right decision. We are supposed to feel right about every good decision. Sometimes you’ll be thrown for a loop. The ending won’t be what you wanted, could have guessed or even deserved. So let’s examine again why we do the right thing. First reason, because I’m called by the God who I love. After sacrificing for me I know that I can sacrifice for Him. I can do what He’s asked because I love Him and He is God. Second reason, because others will benefit from my right decision even if I don’t. Third reason, because someday I will be rewarded. Oh, and it will be a great great reward in heaven. God will bless me on earth as well according to how He sees fit. Fourth and final reason, because I trust Him. God knows what He’s doing. and I don’t need to question why. I just need to serve. I just need to make right choices. I just need to be faithful. I trust God for the rest. He knows what I need better than I do.

Guess what… it still sucks to get crapped on. Ha! Yeah, I know. So there are things you can do during those times. As you can see, I tend to blog a bit! It releases tension for me and provides a safe place to get all my thoughts out in the open. I often figure out a lesson God’s been trying to teach me after I read my own thoughts that I’ve poured out while writing. I also make sure I am resting, taking a sabbath each week, and caring for my health properly. I escape to the beach when I need to. I get some fresh air and clear my head. I do something I really enjoy for an afternoon if it’s well deserved. I call someone who I know understands or cares and just have a conversation with them. Even if it’s not extraordinarily deep it means something to have someone you care about talk to you on the phone for a bit. I take a deep breathe. I take a sip of my coffee. Eventually I find my way back to my prayer closet. I read my Bible. I ask God for wisdom. I try and move forward. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. There’s isn’t a better way. There isn’t a short cut. Believe me, I’ve learned the hard way.

It’s troubling sometimes the amount of hardship we can expect to come. Even still I reminded that God has given me all the means to make it through. If I’m filled with the Holy Spirit and my God is for me… who can be against me?

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Let’s start over!

Life update: I am blogging. Yes. Okay, doing one thing right! Anyone else get the feeling that adulthood is absolutely NOT something that is possible to “master”… like… ever?! What does “successful” even MEAN? As a kid you imagine yourself a successful adult looking a very specific way. Well, I’m here now! What’s the deal?

Let’s be clear. I love my life, love my husband, and I consider myself very blessed. I’m also sick, overwhelmed, and sometimes in some ways I feel as though I have less direction than I ever did. Very contrasting! There’s so much about my life that I enjoy. A moment where my husband and I lock eyes and communicate through a smile. A moment when I sit down in a comfy chair at a coffee shop with a good friend and sip a delicious latte over conversation. A moment when one of my students makes a good and Godly decision for their life. A moment when I hear the perfect harmony to a beautiful song. There is so much to love, appreciate, and look forward to.

There’s also so much that I could not have imagined. I never thought I’d live my entire adulthood with a life altering illness. I never thought I’d be a bi-vocational minister. I always assumed I’d just do ministry forever and solely, it’s that simple. Come to find out, it’s definitely NOT that simple. Very few things are simple now. In retrospect high school and certainly college were simpler times. I think in college my main thoughts might have revolved around going to the beach, sleeping, and hanging out with my boyfriend. Now, there’s real like, life altering decisions to be made! When should we have a kid? When should buy a house? Can my body actually handle the stresses of having two jobs? Should I finally listen to my doctor and slow down?

I know I’ve only been an official adult for 8 years, but wow. This is it huh? Those of you who are further along and have already had your biological kids are probably laughing. Ha. Yeah, I know. I’m ridiculous. I’ve always thought that because of my profession, my adolescence, and my training [or something?!] that I was warped forward into a rather “mature” [for my age] adulthood and that’s why I’m able to function as such. Now I’m feeling a bit juvenile. My husband recently brought this to my attention in a very loving and concerned fashion. He is my biggest fan and is always looking out for me. So yesterday he took me to Panera and said “will you let me tell you something as your spiritual leader?”… and that’s very exciting when my husband talks like that. Any other Christian women out there feelin me? That’s hot. Anyways… he let me know that it’s time to focus! It’s time to realign our goals. It’s time to stop talking about how overwhelmed I am. It’s time to trust in the Lord. It’s time to listen to Him. I am excited for this new chapter of NOT self-reliance, but of God reliance! My favorite book in the entire world is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Absolutely life changing. It just so happens [and this happens often] that yesterday’s devo was SPOT on what we were talking about. I highly recommend this book/devo… whoever is reading this blog post you MUST buy this!

After talking to Clark and reading my devo, spending some quality time with the Lord… I’m realizing more and more how my life is not what I thought. I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am SO GLAD my life is NOT what I imagined! It’s farrrrrrrrr greater! My husband is…. WOW…. hott!… out of the this world amazing. We do something truly amazing with our lives. We are youth pastors. It’s a call I never imagined I would answer and serve alongside my husband. I have kids! Lots of them. They are SO annoying most of the time. Haha! But they are also so special. I love them beyond words can say. I think sometimes I might need them more than they need me. Maybe you other youth pastors or youth pastors wives can relate? When people ask me “Do you have kids?” I always respond without hesitation, “yes! I have about 200 of them”. They are my joy. Our ministry and our calling is my joy. I’m ready to focus on the Giver of Joy. The Creator of Life. The Father of Light. The One to whom I owe my life and more. What’s more, I can trust Him. When I trust Him, everything falls together in line. Life is hard and unexpected, but that is part of the beauty. Just wait for it. Trust Him and He will guide you and show you. I promise. I’m waiting too.

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 

A few rambling thoughts and one meaningful one…

It’s unbelievable how long it’s been since my last post! Can you believe how irresponsible I’m being as a blogger? Let me tell you, friends… it’s been a really crazy 2013. Clark and I have been kept irregularly busy at work and life is speeding by a little too quickly. Our students are keeping us more occupied than they ever have before… mostly in a good way.

To quickly sum up… Since January during the winter months we’ve had SEVERAL huge snow storms and for some reason the crazy weather effects life here in New England. Shouldn’t we  really be used to it by now?! My parents took a trip to India. Can you believe they didn’t bring me with them to India? How. Rude. We did house-sit for them though, which proved a little more involved than we thought. Being home owners is time consuming! My family has also been preparing for my little sister’s wedding. My family as in – me and my mom mostly. In March Clark and I are spent his birthday in NYC for a couple days then I jetted off to California for 9 days to attend a great Missions Conference at Biola University, see my sister, see my baby on American Idol, and have a good ‘ol time.

Since then I’ve been spending all of my time trying to learn from the Biola Missions experience and turn our own church’s missions experience into something really great! We are going to the next level! Then I have the youth department… we are going on five straight weeks of trips this summer…. five SEPARATE trips! I am exhausted just preparing for them. Two weeks of camps. Then a missions trip to Oakland, California. Then we are going to Orlando, Florida for National Fine Arts competition with our wicked talented teenagers. Then there’s days of outreaches to get prepared for on top of normal youth group duties, Crews, Sunday Schools, Drama and Worship Team. Did I mention my intern just got a job and had to turn in her two weeks notice? Wow… all of a sudden I’m feeling overwhelmed. Can’t imagine why! If this seems like a lot – it’s the tip of the ice burg! Tonight, I’ll just blog a quick thought.

How I Met Your Mother... one of my top 10 shows of all time!

How I Met Your Mother… one of my top 10 shows of all time!

“Kids, sometimes you think you think you’re living out one story, ut the truth turns out to be something else entirely.” – Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

Lately, I’ve become extremely aware of the differences between myself and the upcoming generation. It’s like all of a sudden everything is different and my eyes have been opened. I’m as old as I’ve ever been right now!!!! Don’t get me wrong… in no way do I ever want to return to my teenage years! My life has never been better than it is right now, I feel very blessed. However, I never thought I’d be considered an “adult” by teenagers. They don’t consider me apart of their generation, which… is true I’m not. Weird. I’m considered “old” or at least “older” than them and not in a good way like “oh em gee, you can drive us around past midnight”… I mean old as in “well, you’re older so that doesn’t count”. As if I’m allowed be cool anymore?? As if I can’t even understand what they’re going through?!?! These kids literarily see me as an old married woman. Disclaimer: I really do understand that I’m NOT an old woman, but in this context I totally am. Some of my students go to concerts of bands that I cannot imagine a sane person ever listening to on purpose. I am not even kidding, their band names sound a string of words pushed together from the middle of a schizophrenic uncle’s holiday outburst. There are bands – a seemingly endless amonts of bands – whom I have never heard of and have no intention of learning about. Why don’t teenagers ever want to go to sleep… they have to get up SO early for school?!?! How did I ever do school???

If I had to turn 25... I felt awfully lucky to have this handsome man start the party of right at midnight with this delicious display!

If I had to turn 25… I felt awfully lucky to have this handsome man start the party off right! He showed up on my side of the bed at midnight with this delicious display!

Welp, here I am at the quarter century mark and I’m feeling verrrrrry different than I even did three years ago. I can’t imagine how different I’ll feel in another three years. Right now one of my “life problems” is figuring out when I’m going to have a baby. No, seriously. People won’t leave me alone about it. Remember when you’re life problem was figuring out how to purposefully “accidentally” run into your crush in the hallway? Or what a so called friend said about you in third period? I even remember in college thinking how life was hard at times… THAT WAS NOTHING!!! Being an adult is such a strange new chapter. But I wouldn’t trade it in a million years.

Recently the husb and I came to the realization that I need to get a part time job on the side. It’s a struggle and challenge to think I could do this. In the beginning of this blog post I just went over how insanely busy my life is. I can’t make time for another minute of work. Somehow I have to sacrifice SOMETHING – I guess even if it’s things at church or with youth – to get a another job so we can stay afloat. Getting another job is also scary because of my health. Right now my schedule is flexible and I am in charge of my own hours and projects. If I’m not feeling 100% I can work from home or maneuver things to work out the way I need them to. Most of the time I can get rest when I need it. Getting another job does not give me this benefit.

All this to say… I must trust in the Lord. I wish I knew what exactly He was doing. It’s strange because I feel a little conflicted… I feel like my life is so put together for the first time in history yet at the same time I don’t what the crap is going on! God has always provided and showed up just when I needed Him too. I am under the impression I’m operating under His will for my life. I am just following His instruction! So… why doesn’t everything work out? Why do I have to get another job? What do I give up in order to attain said job? I’m confused but I just have to trust that He has everything under control.

I guess what I’m trying to say out of all of this is… “problems” aren’t exclusive with a certain age group or life chapter. There isn’t a place you reach in life where you can sit back and say “no worries now!”. It is interesting how problems manifest during each chapter though… issues look different now and come in different packages as an adult. However, as an adult I’m able to maneuver problems at least slightly better. This is because my foundation in Christ is set… I’ve been working on our relationship for twenty years! My foundation in my marriage is also set… I can rely on my husband. I have God to lean on and because I’m older I’ve already been through many situations where God has proven Himself. So, I’ve “lived and learned” as they say and I’m a little wiser (supposedly) when it comes to handling new problems. Maybe what I should say instead is that… I can trust God a little easier. I know He will take care of me. I know He will meet all my needs.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” Romans  8:28

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” Romans 5:3-5 

Check out my Guest Post on “Question Your Doubts”!

Hello friends! Hope you’re doing well this Christmas season – it’s really here! I have a few posts in the works for Learning to Breathe… but in the mean time please check out my guest blog post on www.questionyourdoubts.com! I was so honored that Dr. Christina Powell of QYD asked me to be a guest contributor.

Dr Powell is a brilliant scientist, writer, minister, and well known teacher. If you haven’t checked out her blog before I’m glad you’ll get the opportunity to do so now (you might even see some familiar faces in her site photos). Dr Powell, her husband, and two adorable girls have been a part of our church for many years. Her and her husband were – believe it or not! – my Sunday School teachers when I was probably 10 or 11 years old! I absolutely adored her class as a kid because it was so fun and educational at the same time! Out of all the Sunday School classes I was in through my childhood it was hers that I retained the most knowledge about the Bible to this day!

I honestly felt a little unworthy considering the company I hold with the other contributors to QYD. I am so thankful to Dr Powell for thinking of me and very grateful for this opportunity!

Tell me what you think of my post entitled “Fork in the Road” on Question Your Doubts.

Quite the Scandalous Thought

Here’s a scandalous thought for you… Do something for YOU! Do something for yourself. I will now describe what I do for myself and why. Be prepared!

Lately I’ve become extremely aware of how I have been living my life for the past two or three years. I’ve come into two important realizations. One – as an unpaid “volunteer” status worker [which a lot of people don’t realize] I am spending upwards of 55 hours a week working and over 70 hours a week during the summer. Two – every year around the fall, specifically November, I begin to feel extremely run down, exhausted, and a little burnt out. These are two things that have happened for a couple years – consistently – and I’m just now figuring out this pattern! I’m not quite sure what made me really understand and figure these things out… it’s only my own life! How did I not figure this out sooner?

Well, I see the importance of balance and maintaining a sense of control in your day to activities as to avoid going crazy! I’ve always [at least for the last five years or so] been very faithful to take a Biblically commanded sabbath day. I do not work, talk about work, or discuss ministry/work related topics on my day off. This is something that I must do in oder to keep my sabbath and honor the Lord with that time. I honor the Lord by keeping His command and by taking care of myself, my husband, and my family. This keeps me sane! Especially considering the history I come from with an “overly busy” ministry family [remember my definition of ‘overly busy’?], it’s therefore very important for me to make my day off a day of rest and true separation from work! It’s so funny to think that most non-vocational ministry adults usually get the weekend off – two and half days off! The vast majority of my friends get out of work friday evening and don’t have to go back to work until monday morning. Wow, imagine?! Pastors and ministry workers get one day, and sometimes when emergency happens not even one day a week is sacred. [Disclaimer here: Emergencies are granted, it’s a part of the job. I still love what I do, don’t worry! And don’t judge!]

I realized that even after Clark and I have been faithful in our day off’s for the last two years of marriage and two years of dating life… I still end up feeling burnt out and overwhelmed by the time the fall season hits. September and October are so busy and by November I’m totally pooped. I’m feeling absolutely no motivation to get back into the office. That’s where the “doing something for me” plan comes in.

Ever felt like you’re running late to something but you can’t figure out what? This is how busy I feel sometimes, can you relate?

Next year I definitely plan on taking some serious time off in fall, however, I don’t want to be feeling even more overwhelmed than this year if I can help it. Even if I take the stress down 10% that should be helpful, right?! In the past I had some sort of “head knowledge” of the importance of doing something for yourself, but historically in my line of work anything other than selfless dedication at any cost really doesn’t appear acceptable to anyone. Busyness is seen as accomplishment. Rest is seen as laziness. Many of you may see the correlation to modern society’s thoughts of busyness – Pastor’s have been doing it for years! I guess we’re ahead of the times. Yet sadly, this is why the rate of Pastor’s burning out and leaving the ministry every year is so high. The average youth pastorate is about nine months. I’m committed to not becoming a statistic. So let’s see… statistics [and experience] say that Pastor’s typically are overworked, underpaid, live high stress lives, and still have families and marriages to take care of. Statistics say that five years after Bible College graduation only 20% of those students are still in ministry. Twenty years after Bible College graduation only 5% of those students are still in ministry. Wow!

Basically, I use “blogging” as my outlet! This is what I do for myself. I enjoy blogging – it’s fun! I even believe I can help other people through the topics I discuss when blogging. Blogging is a great way to keep far away family members updated on your life. Blogging can become a bit time consuming [by some standards], but I don’t feel guilty about that because this is my “thing for myself”. Everyone needs something that they enjoy and do for their own appreciation and sanity! Enjoying this “fun” part of my life enables me to be better in my other areas of life. Blogging also requires me to think and write about my life including the things and people that matter to me… which never denies me a very self-aware existence. Self awareness [if you have nay soul at all] challenges you to become a better person, which for me means a better Christ follower, better wife, better friend, better mentor. So, all in all, doing this “thing for you” can even be seen as a thing you do for your loved ones, your children, your husband, your coworkers, etc. Think of this: wouldn’t they all want you to be the best you can be? The healthiest? The happiest? The bravest? Then, take care of yourself. I promise your life will become at worst slightly more manageable.

So, I blog. I take my day off extremely serious. I put the utmost importance on my weekly Thursday night date with my husband. I recognize family time on Monday night’s. I try to plan times for my friends to be together. I celebrate important life events like birthdays and anniversaries and I try to make holiday’s special [like my grandmother did for my mother]. Shouldn’t these be the basics? I put my trust in the Lord that He will give me rest and take care of the rest of my life. Did you know – it’s the Lord that takes care of your family? Not YOU?

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message

20 Questions with Mimzy

was inspired to do this “20 Questions” post by Bethany Joy Lenz and her wonderful blog. I admire Joy and love her posts. Unlike Joy I don’t have a plethora of famous friends to question, however, I do know some pretty important and worthy people! My first example of such a person is my mom! We often fondly refer to her as ‘Mimzy’. I love my mom and think of her as an incredible example of a Godly woman have great fortitude, resourcefulness, love, whit, humor, and grace. Here is a small insight into my mom!

1.Do you remember your thoughts on your wedding day? If so, what were a few of them? 

Her exact response was “Uhh yeahhhh! I hope no one gets lost!”. For some reason she remembers being worried about people finding the location or the ceremony running late. She remembers being disappointed that it was raining because her hair would get wet! She said “I wanted to get married – get it over with and move on with my life!”. I remember thinking the exact same thing.

My parent’s wedding day – June 19th, 1982!

Now the rest of the questions will be answered in first person by my mom…

2. What’s one piece of advice you would give a newlywed?:

Listen more than you talk.

3. What’s one piece of advice you would give a single college aged person about finding love and a relationship? 

Don’t settle!

4. What’s your most prized possession? 

Hmm. I don’t think I have a prized possession. If the house was on fire I would grab my grandmother’s Bible… or my cat! Okay, my cat.

5. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

Christmas! Christmas’ were always pretty cool. Our family was always together and my mother made it very special. She could take nothing and make it into something glorious. [I also liked Christmas] because everyone was in a relatively good mood!

My mom (bottom right hand corner) with her three siblings and my grandparents posing for an Olan Mills family photo!

6. What’s your favorite memory with your own children?

Either our Nags Head, NC vacations when the girls were little or when we went to Disney World!

Our trip to Disney World in 1999 – my immediate family plus my paternal grandparents!

7. What’s your favorite quality about yourself that you imparted to your children? 

Sense of humor.

My mom and her two girls. Now… shouldn’t this be a funnier picture of the three of us then? Sarcasm and whit can look distinguished of course…

8. What’s your favorite quality about your husband?

He loves people. It’s my favorite because other than loving the Lord, what else really matters?

My parents this past July on my mother’s birthday the 17th! They’re still attractive!

9. What’s your least favorite job that you have to do?

These birthday cards I’m prepping! Maybe [I feel that way right now] just because I’m doing it. I know they’re important, but it’s pretty annoying.

10. What’s your favorite Christmas [or seasonal] food or drink? 

I like sweet rolls!

Here’s Mimzy making (molasses cookies and) sweet rolls on Thanksgiving with Jack! This is a famous recipe from my grandmother and a family favorite.

11. What’s the worst and best thing about seeing your parents grow old?

The worst thing is to see them sick… weak and struggling. The best thing is that they kind of get past ‘putting on airs’ and they can just be themselves. They don’t have to give a rip about what other people think and don’t have to put up any fronts.

My mom’s parents (my grandparents) in their old age. This is how I will always remember each of them!

Here are my grandparents with all of their grandchildren together! This is the hotel near their house in Hope, Maine that we all stay in when we visited (when we weren’t staying with them) and I have many wonderful memories there.

12. Is it weird seeing your children become adults and get married? 

No! They’re just going great. Why would that bother me?!

My wedding day September 18th, 2010! A happy day for all!

13. What’s something you never thought you’d enjoy in growing older? 

Probably having the kids out of the house! That’s okay by me. I miss my girls but it’s nice not having to worry about where they are or what they’re doing. Also, being a grandmother figure. I’m just more comfortable in my own skin.

14. Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?

Dunks! Tastes better! Starbucks is bitter and it’s too expensive! Dunks is the people’s coffee! No stupid fancy pants coffee! Lattes… small-ades… tall-ades… stupid… whatever!

BONUS My Mom’s Starbucks rant: You tell yourself you like it… you don’t! You just think you’re cool. Why would you spend so much money on coffee that tastes bad? Get over yourself, please! People my age are drinking Starbucks because they think they’re young. You’re drinking Starbucks – what’s wrong with you? Coffee doesn’t even smell good without the smell of donuts in the air [like Dunks]. Starbucks coffee is so bitter you have to put a ton of cream and sugar in it. But seriously, no one takes their first sip of Starbucks coffee and enjoys it… they think “hmmm maybe it’ll grow on me” or “Hmm maybe I’m not cool enough to enjoy it” or “I’ll never be able to memorize this menu!”. If you want a small, then call it a small – not a whatever!

15. What is something you look forward to? 

Having grandkids! Being with Jack – I look forward to that!

My mom and her “grandson” Jack in 2008 at Creation Festival (Union, PA). We went there every year for our family vacation for many years. A lot of good memories here as well for all of us.

16. What is something you regret?

Not being a better wife. I just think I could have done better.

17. What’s one of your silly fears? 

Silly fears… that Kimberly is going to post this and it will come back to haunt me!

18. What’s something people would be surprised that you enjoy? 

The giraffe! I love that giraffe! I think it’s hilarious! Don’t you dare put that on the blog though… no one will understand what the “giraffe” means! I love twizzlers… just put twizzlers down! I do love them.

19. What’s your favorite outfit you own? 

I don’t think I have one. I do like my long black sweater! It usually means that it’s cold out [which I like] and it keeps me warm! It’s weird that I don’t have one.

20. What is one of the best places you’ve traveled to? 

The Caribbean! [That trip] was all vacation. It was warm and beautiful! And… yeah! I like snorkeling! I love the water. It was purely a trip for relaxation.

21. RANDOM BONUS QUESTION – Who’s your favorite actor? 

Tom Hanks! He plays all different kinds of roles, and he’s funny. He’s made some great movies. Back in the day – Jimmy Steward! Modern day – Tom Hanks!

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I love my mommy!

So, now you have a glimpse into what 25 minutes is like with my mom. She’s funny and sarcastic and speaks her mind. Sound familiar? Now if only I inherited her grace! It’s funny because her generation and especially her parent’s generation come from a private more closed type of existence; whereas today young people put all their business out there for the world to read on the internet. So, I’m glad my mom answered all my questions [and only made me delete some of her answers once she found out I’m blogging this, haha]. I’m very proud and very glad to share a piece of who my mom is on my blog. Another characteristic she got from her own mom is that she doesn’t ever toot her own horn. Even when talking about her marriage she says she wishes she would have been a better wife. Amazing to me because she was an INCREDIBLE example of amazing wife and partner [and I know my dad agrees]… but she still strives to be even better and continues this pattern in modesty. I wish you all could truly know my mother – some of you reading have the blessing of knowing her – because she is an extraordinary person. I am truly grateful for her! Thank you Lord for giving me the Mom that I have. I know Kendra and Clark and now Sterling agree… nevermind the dozen others who consider our Mom their Mimzy as well.

Mimzy and my brother Fab on his wedding day!

Mimzy and Granger (From Autumn Skye Photography)… she grew up one of my sister’s closest friends and later on became one of mine. She lived with us for a summer and is like another child to my parents.

My sister’s future husband Sterling & Mimzy!

Mimzy and her first son-in-love! My husband Clark & Mimzy!

Mom with her girls! My sister and I with our two best friends!

Mom and her Olivia!

ps- Notice how I didn’t really ask about being a Pastor’s wife or in ministry?? That “women in ministry” post is coming in the future! Stay tuned 😉

Thankful For…

Well, sometimes when I can’t sleep I just put on some One Tree Hill, drink another cup of tea, and check out Instagram or Pinterest (or both)! Tonight I’m choosing to participate in a far greater activity; I’m listing what I’m thankful for (…while watching One Tree Hill and drinking tea)!

My good friend Alina inspired me to do this! She writes every night in her journal what she is thankful for and always makes her handwritten entry good so charming with little drawings for each thing she’s thankful for. I am inspired because she is so artistic and [of course more importantly] she’s proven to show gratitude towards God and praise Him for what He’s done… even in providing the little things! So, in keeping with that spirit (plus Thanksgiving is not too far away), I will list all I’m thankful for or appreciate. I’ll try to just list what it is and not a story of “why” I’m thankful. Besides, God already knows!

1. Getting to know my husband more and each day learning something knew (even after four years of being together and 6 years of friendship). 💜💋💍

2. God’s reminders that He loves me, and the timeliness of these reminders. He knows! ❤💭🙏

3. Netflix and the fact Netflix has every season of One Tree Hill! Also has other shows I enjoy to watch such as: Felicity, Dawson’s Creek, Friday Night Lights, Lie to Me, and more recently Prison Break! 📺🎧🌚📲

4. Cheese. All cheese [except orange kinds that are supposed to be white]. ☺😛😋

5. Water. And the fact when I’m thirsty (or a bit dehydrated like today) I can pick up a bottle of water anywhere and it’s safe clean water. Not every country in the world has that and people die every day because they don’t. Some of us Americans even spend a lot of time complaining about tap water. Today in thankful for it. 🍶🌊🌏🇺🇸

6. My monkey slippers. Oh yeah. 🙈🙉🙊

7. Our car that we recently bought after I totaled our previous car. She’s red and we might call her Anabelle… Thoughts? 🚗😱😅

8. Crafts and colorful sharpies and cards! 🌷🌼✒

9. Friends. Good friends with whom you can be yourself and not have to worry. Going away with friends just tops it off! 👜💕💞🚌

10. My noisemaker app on [my] iPhone, iPad, and even MacBook. Praise Him! 🎧🎼🎵🎶

Welp, there are 10 things or reasons why I’m thankful to God (and glory goes to Him). I do thank Him for being my provider and my everything that I need. This has been great. The end. Goodnight!