Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking forward to 2014....

Another year has come and gone...I can't believe how fast!  First, let me say, I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father, my family and friends....these relationships have helped me to grow and have challenged me to be better over this past year.  With that said, it wasn't the easiest year for our family and I'm not too sad to see it go.  In the midst of everything though, God has been more real in my life than almost anytime before.

I won't go into all the details of our year...that would probably bore most of you.  And the reality is, not all has been bad.  Scott took a new position at the University as Vice President of a university Relations and is loving what he's doing!  It truly is a great fit for him!  He is now finished with most of the coursework for his PHD and will be spending the next year or so working on his dissertation.  Hopefully he will finish in early 2015!  He is extremely busy, but still manages to be very present in our family...he just sleeps very little it seems:).

Cody is in his sophomore year at SNU and Zach is a senior in High school.  Both are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives.  It's definitely a time of excitement and uncertainty, but I know God wants to use them in whatever they decide to do.  As a mom, it's hard to let go and let them try to work through these things, but I know they need to to grow.

This time next year, Scott and I will be 'empty nesters'.  That's so weird to say and I still don't know how I feel about it:/. Being a mom has been the greatest joy...I've been a mom now for half my life!  I know it doesn't end just because my kids are in just changes.  Some days I'm excited about it and other days I dread it!  I'm really praying about what's next and where God wants to use me...the possibilities are endless, which is exciting too!  

Thanks to those of you that have prayed for our family and loved us through the past year.  God has been faithful and I know He will continue to be in the coming year.  He is good!!  I pray that 2014 is the best yet for my family and friends!

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's next??

Well Cody is back in OKC for his second year in college and Zach started his senior year of high school.  A routine is slowly setting  back in at our home.  It's different once again though...and much quieter:)  There are times I really wish Cody had chosen to stay close to home so we could see him more, but every time I talk with him I feel confirmed that he's right where he's supposed to be.  He's having to make decisions and do things on his own without mom or dad being there to step in and rescue him...I guess that's called maturing and it's good for him.  Zach is excited for his senior year and I pray that it's the best one yet!  I've seen so much growth in him over the summer and am so proud of how he's doing!!  We spend a lot of time talking about his future and what he wants to do next year for college.  I just can't believe this is where we're at!

If I'm real transparent, my biggest struggle lately has been an overwhelming sense of uncertainty about what's next.  The realization that 1 year from now we will be empty nesters has hit me hard in the last few days.  20 of our 22 years of marriage have been spent raising our boys...I can't imagine our home without them around.  Being a mom has been the most rewarding thing I've ever done and I wouldn't trade it for anything, even with the frustrating times and tears:).

My prayer for my boys as they're making some big decisions about their futures is that God will be number one in their lives and that He will direct their steps.  I always have to be reminded that I gave them back to The Lord when they were just babies when I dedicated them in front of the church.  They were not mine to begin with...they are God's children...I've just had the privilege to be the one God entrusted them to.  What a huge responsibility we have as parents!  I've definitely not been perfect and have made many mistakes, but I hope the things my kids remember about their childhood are the things that make them better people.

So what's next??  I really don't know.  I've talked with many friends who say the "empty nest" is actually pretty nice.  I'm sure I'll understand that eventually, but right now I'm going to soak up the time I have left with Zach still at home (and the times I get to spend with Cody too:).  I know I'll figure out what is next in my life when the time comes.  I still have a year and I know how fast it will fly...I'm not going to miss it while dreading what's to come.  Here's to a great year!  Thank you God for my kids....I'm so lucky You chose me to be their mom!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

22 years and counting..."From Doctor's Daughter to Pastor's Wife"

When I decided to start blogging a couple of years ago, it took me forever to decide what to name my blog.  I didn't really know at the time what I was going to focus on with it.  I spent about a year leading up to my 40th birthday blogging about things I wanted to work on in my life, as well as things I have learned throughout my life so far.  I have to say that it was very therapeutic and I was so glad I did it.  It helped me so much to share my journey as well as hear from others who could relate to where I was in life.  Once I turned 40, I quit blogging much because I felt I didn't really know what else to write about...or maybe I had much on my mind to write about, but didn't feel like sharing this part of my life.  This past year has been difficult in many ways, but there has been much to be thankful for as well!  It has been a year of change,  as I know I've mentioned before, but we have settled in and are doing well.  I'm trying to prepare for another big change as Zach is going to be a senior this year and we're only a year away from being empty nesters:(.  

So, back to the title of my blog, "From Doctor's Pastor's Wife".  Why this title?  I remember my doctor dad sitting me down before I got married and talking to me about what it meant to marry a pastor.  He told me that pastor's didn't make much money and that I wouldn't get to live the same kind of life I had always known.  At the time, I really had no clue what he was talking about. I mean, after all, I was 19 and so in love...I wasn't thinking about money!  Once I got married and moved into a little one bedroom apartment and had to get a job, reality sunk in real quick!!  I couldn't just go shopping whenever I wanted to or ask dad for money to buy things.  We were just making ends meet with each paycheck.  Scott was working at a little church as  a youth pastor and we were....poor!!  Our first year of marriage was, quite 
honestly, AWFUL!!!  We had never fought before we got married, but we learned  fast how to have knock down drag outs!!  I tell you what....there were some UGLY days!!  

I remember many times just wanting to pack up the few earthly belongings I had and move back to Oklahoma.  Looking back, I think my pride kept me from doing that.  I didn't want all those people I just knew were counting the days till
our marriage failed to say, "I told you shouldn't have gotten married so young."  Besides that, I really did love my husband...I just didn't realize how HARD it was going to be.  I guess my young, naive self just thought that love would be enough to carry us through anything (how many of y'all are laughing at that statement?).  

We've come a very long way since then, now married 22 years tomorrow and two (almost) grown boys later.  It's crazy to look back over the years and see how things have changed.  My husband is still ordained in the church (and will always have a pastor's heart) with a Masters degree in Biblical Studies and he's now working toward finishing his PHD in Organizational Leadership.  He's a VP at a University and loves it!  I'm so proud of all he's accomplished!  I was able to stay home with our boys as they were growing up and now get to work part time and make my own schedule.  We live very comfortable lives and don't have to stress over money like we used to.  Oh, we've made many money mistakes and haven't always saved like we should.  We still have some debts to pay off and don't have our retirement fully funded, yet we've come so far!

So why did I come up with the title of my blog, "From Doctor's Daughter to Pastor's Wife"?  I mean, my husband isn't even a pastor anymore, right??  I guess it's because the things I learned while being a pastors wife have helped shape me into who I am today.  I've learned that money can't buy happiness, even though it sure helps to have some, RIGHT??  I mean, come on...I LOVE to shop and eat out and decorate my house and give, and, and, and!!  So how have I been able to go from being a doctor's daughter to a pastor's wife and survive?  I've learned how to shop for bargains, decorate on a budget, paint my house, make things, and much more!!  And the thing is, now I can't imagine doing it any different!!  I actually love to find a great bargain!!  I find it therapeutic and rewarding when I paint a room myself!  I love making things (Pinterest has changed my life!:)!!  Although I will always love the finer things of life, I now consider myself (mostly) thrifty:). 

**stop reading here if you don't like mushy:)

Scott and I celebrate 22 years of marriage tomorrow and, although we've had some difficult days, I'd marry him all over again (even knowing that i would be a pastors wife for almost 20 of our married years)😁.  I am so blessed to have him as my husband!!  As busy as he is with his job and his doctorate, he always makes time for me and our boys.  Growing up at Kanakuk camp, (Kanakomo for the girls), "I'm Third" was the motto.  The Kamp emphasized putting God first, others second and ourselves third.  This exemplifies who my  husband is!  He  puts God number one in his life and EVERY morning is up before the sun to spend time with Him, no matter how busy he is (and he is ALWAYS busy).  He definitely puts others before himself...not only me, but everyone!  I get coffee in bed every morning and he always helps around the house.  He truly wants to make me happy (and he does!). He is the best friend  to so many people.  Everyone feels like his best friend because that's how he 
makes everyone feel.  He is kind and caring to everyone he comes in contact with.  Those of you that know him can testify to this:).  Is he perfect???  No, but I think he's pretty close to it:). God has truly changed us and done an amazing work in our lives and our marriage in the last 22 years.  I'm so thankful and excited to see what the future holds!  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our new normal...

Well we just returned home from dropping Cody off at college and Zach is starting his junior year of high school today.  It's been a crazy busy summer for sure, but life is settling down now as we get back into our "new normal" routine.  I say that because we now only have 3 of us living in our home.  With Cody 15 hours away at college, we are trying to settle in and it is definitely different.  

To be honest, I did much better than I thought I would dropping Cody off at SNU.  I did have my moments of tears, but I really left him feeling confident that he's in the right place and will be well taken care of.  Of course, it does help that my family lives there and can look after him:)  I have to say that with only making one lunch this morning and sending only one child off to school, reality is setting in to our "new normal"...and it's somewhat hard for me.  

I've thought a lot lately about the past almost 19 years of being a mom.  I've invested almost half my life in raising our kids and so letting go is hard.  Scott and I have often talked about how we wanted to raise our boys to be independent and go out into the world and make a difference.  We taught them early on the basics....such as how to do their own laundry, clean their rooms, mow the grass, cook (a little:)....and that work/job=money:)  Perhaps the most important thing we've tried to do though is instill values in our boys....honesty, integrity, forgiveness, etc.  I know that we've not done everything right as parents, but I hope and pray that, in spite of our imperfections, they will take what we've taught them and use them to be all that God wants them to be.  Now, with Cody out of our home and in college, we get to watch, support and give advice, but have to allow him to choose what direction he will take.  Of course, we've reminded him that it's not totally hands off considering we're still paying insurance, school, etc:).

Some of my many prayers for Cody as he starts this new journey in life....that he loves God and puts Him first in his life always....that he love others with the love of Christ....that he forgives freely....that he is respectful and kind....that he finds friends that bring out only the best in him....that he invests his time in helping others....that he is a strong leader, yet knows how to follow the right people....that he gets involved in a church....that he only dates girls that he would be proud to bring home to meet his family (and if they like to shop, that would be a bonus:)....that he makes wise decisions....that he eats, somewhat, healthy....that he gets rest and exercise.....that he does well in his classes....and that he has the time of his life in the coming years!!!  I want him to always know that, no matter what, his mom and dad love him unconditionally and are here to give advice and support whenever he needs it. 

Well I guess I'll go wash Cody's sheets now and get his bed ready for when he comes for a visit in a few months:)  Until then, I'm thankful for cell phones and facetime!!!  Have a great week!!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's been a while...

Well here it is almost August and I have not blogged since May!!  The only real excuse I have is that my computer broke and I've just been using my Ipad for the last several months.  I've found it harder to blog from it so I just haven't done it.  I actually started to, but couldn't get pictures downloaded so I quit trying.  I can honestly say that I have missed it though and decided to get with it again.

Life the last several months has been crazy to say the least!!  With my oldest son graduating high school, my youngest turning 16 and me turning 40, all the anticipation of those milestones is now over...and it's kind of a relief:)  I have to say that turning 40 wasn't bad at fact, it was much easier than turning 30 if you ask me.  Now we're preparing to take Cody to Southern Nazarene University in a few weeks, which begins a whole new phase in our lives.  I've got real mixed emotions about him going to college and, depending on the day you ask, I am either excited for him or crying.

So I guess you could say that the countdown to 40 is officially over for me, but I only made it to 26 of the 40 things I was working toward or learning from.  I just spent some time looking over them and have to say that I've grown so much over the last year of focusing on making some changes in my life.  Oh, I'm far from being where I'd like to be, but am so much farther ahead of where I was this time last year.  For that I am so thankful!  I am going to continue blogging about this journey I'm on and hope that you will join me once again.  I loved all the emails and messages I received of encouragement and how my journey has helped others in their journey.  I didn't expect that when I started this last year, but you have been such a blessing to me and I'm so grateful!!   Thank you!!

Till next time....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Learning to be content...

My view from our enclosed patio room

My view from our enclosed patio room

I've lived in Mount Vernon, OH now for 4 years.  It's really hard to believe it's been that long already!!  It's by far the smallest town I've ever lived in so it's been a different experience for our family for sure.  When we moved here I had this romantic view of living in a small town, but the first time I wanted to run to the mall or Target and couldn't because they're 45 minutes away, I  realized that small town living may not be for me:).  I do miss the big city and all the activity and people and restaurants...and, of course, the malls:).   But as I sit on my patio on this beautiful Spring day to do some work, I have to say that there is a lot to love about living in a small country town that I don't always take the time to appreciate.  It's so peaceful and calm.  I love to open the patio doors and listen to the birds, see the squirrels and chipmunks chasing each other, and hear and see the woodpeckers in the trees.  The other morning I even saw a red fox run through my yard and we see deer in our yard almost every single day.  A few months back, we saw a huge red tailed hawk swoop down and get a squirrel and then fly off.  These are things that I've never had the opportunity to witness in my own yard living in the city, but I have the opportunity everyday to see it from my own patio living here!

I really have to work on being content with where I'm at and not focusing all my time looking ahead to the day when we can live back in a big city.  I do love my house and I even love living on three wooded's beautiful!  We've made some wonderful friends that I know will be life long.   I know that someday we will move again...but until then, life is good and I do feel blessed with all I have.  When I look back on all the places we've lived, I can find the pros and cons with each one....I know that no place is perfect.  The neat thing is that I have always been able to see God's hand in the midst of each move we've made.  

Big changes are in store for our family in the near future....the University where Scott is chaplain will be looking for a new president, as our current president will be taking a new presidency at a University in Seattle.  Not only is this a huge change for the University, but we will miss our dear friends terribly as they leave to take this new position.  I'm so sad to say goodbye to one of my best friends, my shopping buddy and my running pal.  As well, Cody will leave for college in the fall which, as I've said before, is going to change our family as we know it now.  Zach will turn 16 and be driving soon and and before we blink, he'll be graduating too.   Life is constantly changing and whether or not I'm going to be content and happy with where I'm at is my choice.  I am constantly reminded of the verse in Philippians 4:11,  "not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in".  I don't want to strive for comfort or what I want...I want to strive for contentment, no matter the situation, where I'm living or what I may think I need.  Life is good!  


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Airport people...what's their story?

As I'm sitting in the Denver airport on a 3 hour layover, I'm enjoying watching people as they rush to their next flight. Honestly, I don't like layovers or waiting at all. I'd prefer to just catch a one way flight to my final destination or if I can't do that, then I at least want a short less than an hour! So since I couldn't do that this time, I've got plenty of time to sit and watch everyone and everything around me...and it's very interesting! As I'm watching people, I wonder what their story is. Some will look at me and smile as they walk by and some will just rush past me in their own little world. Some look happy and some seem not so happy. Some look businesslike and, obviously, travel all the time (I could never pack light enough to do that I don't think). Some are families with small children that may be heading to visit grandparents, go on vacation, or some other adventure. I have to say, watching parents chase after kiddos reminds me of how nice it is to be past that stage:). Most people are either talking on cell phones, on their computers or IPads (like me:). I've seen people of all sizes and shapes, different ethnicities, clothing and hairstyles. As someone who who spends most of my time rushing from one thing to the next, oblivious to whats going on around me, I'm very intrigued with sitting back and taking it all in. I see the single dad with his little boy...Whats his story? I see the little old lady being pushed in the wheelchair...what's her story? I see the couple walking holding hands...what's their story? I see the stewardess heading to her next flight... What's her story? I order lunch from a grouchy lady behind the counter... What's her story? I see the businessman furiously working away on his laptop... What's his story? It goes on and on and on...person after person after person. I'm realizing as I'm sitting here how little time I actually take in my day to day life to just take in the world around me. I get so wrapped up in my own world many times that I don't take the time I should to invest in those I come in contact with on a daily basis. I'm not talking about just sitting down and having coffee with a friend, but offering a kind word or smile to those whom I may never see again. Everyone has a story... Some are stories of hope, but many are not. I know there's a lot of hurt and anxiety in this world and I don't know anyone who couldn't benefit from coming in contact with someone who's just nice and uplifting and willing to take the time to look them in the eyes and show them human kindness...I'm going to work on that in mynown life. I'm thankful for this time I've had to sit and take it all in...and to share a smile with some people with whom I'll never know their story...Layovers may not so bad after all:)