We live in a world of sin and imperfection. I am a child of God striving each day to live out my calling. Welcome to my blog where you get the inside scoop of this Youth Pastor's world!
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." - 1 Timothy 4:12

Friday, August 21, 2015

So Not a Housewife

I want to preface this blog by saying if you are a Housewife, don't take any offense to this post. This is just a post about how I most definitely am not, and sometimes envy those of you who are.

I hate cleaning, I really do. I love Norwex and it has made cleaning something I actually do and don't hate quite so much but for some reason it is still one of my least favorite things to do. If I am spending a day at home or even an evening, cleaning is not at the top of my list....unless someone is coming over.

That being said, I swept the floor last night! The dog hair was ridiculous, and my Norwex floor system was amazing. Note: I said swept not mopped :S

I hate grocery shopping. Hate it, hate it, hate it. And recently have become incredibly bad at it. I mean I really should have made a list before I went but I'm pretty sure I still would have forgotten to put something on the list. Last week I went grocery shopping with a week's worth of meals in mind but not really having any of those picked out. I decided I wanted to make beef and noodles, I bought everything but the noodles! I bought cream corn...I won't eat cream corn! I forgot the macaroni, which might as well be a sin in our house, seriously a whole week without macaroni, AND CORN! I decided to make baked ravioli and the kind of ravioli I bought was disgusting so the meal was a bust. And apparently my husband doesn't like country fried steak, so when I got all excited to try a new meal for him, he said it was ok.

So I guess a long with grocery shopping I can't meal plan to save my life. I decided the other day we were going to have Hamburger Helper because we desperately wanted macaroni and that was the only kind I had, but forgot to thaw the Hamburger out and it was one of those huge rolls of it, so we just had macaroni and Hawaiian sliders. But those were supposed to be two different meals! We've been substituting mashed potatoes for macaroni so I didn't even think to check if we still had potatoes before starting dinner last night, and you can't really have country fried steak without mashed potatoes. So I had to send my husband for more, because we had run out. I was feeling all accomplished for actually cooking for an entire week but each meal was its own kind of failure.

The other thing about being a Housewife would be staying home with the children. Well that just doesn't sound appealing at all. I mean the idea of staying home for 6 weeks for maternity leave sounds daunting other than the fact that I won't be sleeping a whole lot and will need it for my own sanity. Ugh. Babysitting is fine for a couple of hours and I absolutely love the children I work with and can't wait to be a mom, but to stay home all day and play house....I just don't know! They say it is different with your own child and I'm sure it is incredibly hard to leave them with someone else but I am not wired to stay at home.

I happen to have quite a few Stay at Home Mom friends, and I often envy their craftiness and how clean their houses are, but I have to remind myself we are all called differently. I'm pretty sure if I stayed home all day my house would still be a mess, meals would still be iffy, and groceries would still wait until the last minute to be bought. Then I would spend all my time feeling guilty for not accomplishing anything while my husband was at work all day. When I was probably writing Bible Studies and things like that.

So I'm going to do everyone a favor, and not be a housewife. So that means I'm still not going to wash your clothes until you put them in the hamper. I'm not going to spend my time picking up after you, because I have a job and I'm busy all day, that means the house is shared not my job alone. I will clean when I can't stand it anymore. I will cook with whatever pieces of meals I buy at the store and when all else fails Wendy's? I will pay the bills and make sure the necessities still happen. But don't be surprised if you come over to my house and there are not any new crafty things for me to show you, and all I want to do is read or watch TV.

And I will continue to go over to my friend's immaculate houses and come home  and strangely want to clean and create and cook. But I'll get over it in about five minutes, especially if there is a good movie on.

This is one thing I have always known, but didn't really sink in until I got married. I am so not a housewife!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

When You Need 6 Tires!

Sometimes it can be hard growing up and moving away. Especially when it comes to finding your own replacements for the things you have grown accustomed to. Finding a new doctor, dentist, chiropractor, those kinds of things are hard to do, especially when you love the ones you have grown up with. Well I have officially accomplished all of the doctor related ones and I replaced church when I moved here because it came with the job.

The hardest one of these for me was replacing my car place. My family goes to Rakie's Oil Company in Arkansas City, KS. This is a full service gas station and tire store. It wasn't until I was in college that I even put gas in my car because I would pull up to Rakie's and they would just take care of it for me. I was (still am) a little spoiled. So when I moved it was really hard what was I supposed to do when something was wrong with my car?

Well there haven't been too many things I've had to take care of here, so most of the time I pushed it off until I could drive home and let Rakie's take care of it. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it but that is what I did. Even being married I preferred for Rakie's to take care of my car issues. I know that when I go there I will be taken care of, and not taken advantage of. That is not something I can guarantee anywhere else I go.

Well Sunday I went out to go to church and one of my back tires was flat. So I drove Adam's truck. I called around Monday morning to find somewhere that would do a patch cheaply and could fit me in that day, so that I didn't have to keep airing it up to get around. I found a place in Newton and they checked it all out and found a piece of wire wrapped around the tire....dang it no cheap patch. Well they didn't have any tires that would fit my car so they would have to order one. They also said I needed my other back tire replaced as well. They also don't do any financing options. Well this week money was particularly tight and there was no way we could buy a tire let alone two, and Adam's truck really needed a new set.

So I got back on the phone that afternoon to find someplace that could finance tires for me. I called Kansas Auto Repair in Newton. A nice lady answered the phone and she said to come in the next day and they would take care of us. So I did. I was incredibly nervous to into a car place hoping they wouldn't see a pregnant lady and try to take advantage. The lady at the front desk was incredibly nice and personable. She knew every single customer by name and genuinely cared about taking care of their car needs. It became obvious after a few minutes that this was a family owned business with her father and husband there as well. I was immediately put at ease.

She was incredibly busy but still took the time to start to get to know me, and our vehicle situation. We took care of the financing paperwork and ordered tires. I went back today and had my car taken care of, with an appointment for Adam's on Tuesday. I was there most of the morning and still had the same impression of this place, they knew everyone by name and they really cared about each person. I saw two different college age guys come in just to say hi before they went off to college, they wanted to stop in while they were in the area.

It's safe to say I have found my Rakie's away from Rakie's, minus the full service gas station. Rakie's will always be home for me, but I have a lot of comfort knowing my vehicles are being well taken care of because I don't have any intention of moving back to Ark City any time soon. We have made this our home and I know I have found the place that in 16 or 17 years I can send this little one in the womb with the car they are driving and they will be taken care of, because they will have been going there their entire life.

Here is the website for Kansas Auto Repair, in case you are in need of a "Rakie's" in this area. http://www.kansasautorepair.com/

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Senior Year

This morning I dropped Autumn off for the first day of her senior year of high school. And of course being who I am that got me thinking back to 2006 when I was starting my senior year. They often tell you that high school is the best time of your life. Well I would disagree immensely. I remember by senior year I was quite ready to be done with all the drama and stress. This is probably because my junior year was full of just that so going back senior year was not exactly what I wanted. There was a large shift in the group of friends that I hung out with at the end of junior year so I entered senior year with a lot anxiety. The rest of senior year is quite a blur, and Facebook isn't a lot of help, since I didn't get Facebook until sometime my senior.... WHAT, NO FACEBOOK?

Things I do remember!
Best Friend: Becca Wise
Boyfriend: Tim Miller
Theatre: Little Shop of Horrors, The Crucible, MASH
Wanted to Be: A Child Psychologist and a youth group leader

I put on a lot of weight my senior year. (if only I could go back and tell myself to be careful about how much pop I was drinking)

I drove my brother and I to school every day.

I took one class at the college first thing in the mornings, and loved it. I felt like I had so much freedom and felt so cool to be in college but still in high school.

I gave blood for the first time and it was a horrible experience.

I spent a lot of time with Mr. Hosch that year, he was our theatre director and very much our friend.

I remember being crushed not getting casted for The Crucible, and feeling so honored to be asked to be the Student Director for MASH. I hated Little Shop of Horrors.

After Prom was way more fun than the actual Prom.

Youth Group was a priority and my parents were the leaders.

I met Autumn and that is where our journey began. It seems crazy just how much high school is a distant memory.

I still love theatre. I keep in touch with my high school buddies on Facebook, but I don't really spend time with any of them.Youth group is not just my priority but my life. And the only person that is really still in my life other than my family is Autumn.

Oh that Letter Jacket I loved so much! This was Senior Night at a Football game

Our annual New Year's Eve Party. We are all showing off our cell phones. For some of us they were quite new, and super cool because they flipped open! This picture made me laugh today. These were my closest friends.
Colby, Tim, Joseph, Myself, Anna, & Becca

Daric and I after The Crucible. We were so much bigger then!!! :S

The family Christmas photo. I started straightening my bangs around this time.

High School Football Games, we always packed the stands!


These two are with Becca. We spent a lot of time together that year!

Even our prom dresses were similar in color

Mr. Hosch! Now Reverend Hosch!

Amanda and I doing the acolyte thing on Graduation Sunday.

Hosch with all of his Student Directors from the year!

After Prom...motorized toilets.....need I say more?

Another picture with Becca from MASH


And then there is Autumn! Look how little she is!



      
I can't do a first day of Kindergarten or anything like that but I can do when I met her to now.

 I love you Autumn Louise! I pray your senior year is full of great memories. I pray you find things that you love this year that you will still be talking about 9 years from now. I won't lie and tell you these will be the best years of your life, but I pray this is your best year of High School. I pray you find the goofy silly group of friends that you will want to do everything with! I pray you find more of yourself this year. 

Senior year! We have made it! From mine to yours and our journey continues on! From the Class of 2007 to 2016. From Bulldogs to Swathers, purple & gold to black and red. It's here and it's going to be grand!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Music Speaks

I have always loved how music speaks to me. I'm not musically talented but lyrics sure are close to my heart.

A little over a month ago, I picked my 17 year old little sister up and brought her home to live with me, knowing at that time that Adam and I were the best option for her to start adult life on a positive note. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but you're never fully prepared to be a parent no matter the age of the child.

As we drove home, and all my fears were flooding my mind, she was playing on her phone, and I already had a glimpse of what we were getting into. I remember thinking, "Are you sure God? Am I really doing what you want us to do?"

This song came on the radio.

Do Something by Matthew West

I've always loved this song but I've never had it yell at my like it did that day. Now when I hear it on the radio it is the reassurance I need in those moments that we really are on the right track.

Well as we have ventured into normal day to day life...whatever that means. I can honestly say this is rough. Good foster parents must saints. To take a kid in at 17 and try to give them some glimpse of a normal life or at least a functioning one....whew!

Well there have been many moments in the past few weeks where it has been a battle of emotions between a 17 year old female who can't see why and a pregnant adult who cares. My poor husband just rides the ride and tries to humor us back to some sense of normalcy.

Well we had one of these moments the other day, that was particularly hard on this pregnant momma. I was at one of those moments asking myself if maybe I should just care a little less. Knowing full well that is not even a possibility for me. And we were in the car driving home and this song came on.


All of Me - Matt Hammitt

I fell in love with this song awhile back but I was listening to it with my husband in mind. This time I heard it with that stubborn, beautiful, blonde young lady in my mind. Granted she was sitting right behind me in the car. And I lost it yet again, but this time in more of a sense of surrender. Surrender to this God ordained event that is happening in my life. We will continue to work through this, cherish the good moments and push through the bad. Because I know in my heart that this is what God has called Adam and I to. This moment, this place, this opportunity. We are on an uphill journey. I will have to remind myself, she isn't me, she hasn't spent the last 17 years with strict, Christian parents guiding her decisions. She isn't the 8 year old girl that I picked up 9 years ago to go out for ice cream, she isn't the 11 year old girl I took to make Build-a-Bears for our 3rd anniversary, she isn't even the 17 year old girl I woke up in that smelly room on that couch, that I brought home with me the first day. She is changing continually and often against her own will. God is working in her in mighty ways and for this to work she has to have all of me. My job is to keep the sadness from stealing her away. So we push through the daily drudge with the dream of a High School Diploma and open doors to a future that is bright and beautiful!

I am forever grateful for the music that speaks to me in ways no one else can!



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dear Baby (Letter #2)

Dear Baby,
  Today we get see you. It has been quite awhile. Last week I got to hear you and I am starting to be able to feel you, but today we get to see you. Daddy and I are so excited, we can barely even talk about it. Oh sweet child of mine, I hate to admit but I'm nervous today. Daddy didn't really understand why, but I'm sure since you can feel whatever I'm feeling you know. I don't care if you are Aram or Adah, I just want you to be healthy. Last time we saw you, you were just a little blob, and you moved for us which created so much excitement and joy in our hearts. Last time we got to see you, we weren't sure you were still there. I know you're there, I can feel you, but I'm still nervous. Your momma is a bit of a worrier and she may watch too many medical shows. So today in the midst of the excitement of getting to see you, I'm definitely praying that you have 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 arms, 2 legs, and all the rest of the beautiful parts you need to be you. Nothing extra, nothing abnormal, just our beautiful little Gameboy sized bundle of joy. I find peace today knowing that God knows you. God already knows you as well as He knows me. No matter what, you are a beautiful child of  God, created for a purpose. Even if you have 3 arms and 12 toes you were created for a purpose. You have already taught me so much about faith, patience, love, endurance, and joy. You're not even here yet but your divine purpose is already shining through you. Even the names we have chosen for you have special meaning we fully believe that you are beautiful (Adah) and will shine like an ornament for God, you are also high and exalted (Aram) because you will be called to great things in your lifetime. You are loved by so many people, there are so many people already praying for you and who you will become. Writing to you has calmed my nerves, today we get to see you, and soon, oh so very soon, you will be in our arms. You are beautiful and exalted, the rest is just physical, God knows what He is doing!

I can't wait to see you!

Love,
Mommy