Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Morning.....

It's a beautiful day outside. Mark is holding church in the living room. But, I am sitting here in the breakfast room at the computer. I think that I over did it this week. I am extremely tired and last night I noticed that the glands in my neck are swelling - again! Of course, Mark is now worried about me. He has told me that I cannot lift or do anything today. I cannot get mono, again. It looks like we will be moving around June 5 instead of the end of the month like we had planned.

I think that I am going to drop all of my classes. I am going to try to study for the first geology test and see if I can take it on Monday or Tuesday. I really don't see anyway that I can get the Pyschology class done and pack before we move.

Anyway, my sweet husband, didn't want me coming into church this morning. He doesn't want me to rush around or do anything today. I get so mad at my body when it decides to act sick! Honestly, I do not understand why I get mono over and over again.

I am seriously thinking about trying to go TOTALLY vegetarian after we move for 3 or 4 months and see if my health improves. I have got to get healthy and STAY that way. I may even go ahead and buy a wheat grinder, too.

Mark thinks that I do too much - but he never says anything until after the fact. I knew this week was going to be hard on me.

I washed probably 10 huge loads of clothing to sell at the garage sale and hardly NONE of it sold. I didn't get everything sized - but I did have general sizes together and boys or girls stuff seperated and everything smelled good and looked nice. I think that I needed to display it differently. I had all the children's clothing in NINE of those clear plastic containers. Oh, well. Mark is going to haul it down to a ministry. We made about $318.00.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Oh, one more thought....

I decided that I needed a scripture today. So, I just grabbed up my Bible and started looking through. I turned to Galatians and just read:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passion and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."

Those are probably good verses for me to meditate on this week. I can get overwhelmed with responsibilities and life at times. I tend to lose my peace and gentleness. I can get short and abrupt. Also, I can lose my self-control in the area of food. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I tend to eat.

Granted, I have much to do this week but I want to do my work joyfully and not grudgingly. I want to exhibit gratefulness! I am blessed to have the work to do. I am blessed that God thinks me worthy and able.

Here's the thing that I struggle with: "be in the world but not of the world". Keeping one with the Spirit. When the physical world is keeping us so bound and busy, how do we truly spend time with our God? That is where I fail.

Mark and I read scripture and pray in the morning but I find that I am NOT in the word - just me and God. I find that I do not take the time to hear His quiet voice. I need that time alone with God. I can get so busy that I forget the best.

So, I am going going to think on Galatians 5:22-25 today. I am going to wear those scriptures on my forehead.


A Busy Week Ahead...

I just realized that this is going to be ONE really busy week. I teach piano lessons Monday through Wednesday this week. I put all my Thursday students on Monday because Thursday is my studio's recital. I am basically ready for the recital on Thursday. I have the programs printed up, the certificates completed, and the metals and trophies ordered and arrived. Thursday, I will run out and get balloons to use as decorations and to give to the students.

My husband also wants to have a yard sale Thursday through Saturday this week. I have tons of boxes that he has pulled out of the attic to now go through. I am going to have the guys bring tables to the covered porch and start putting stuff out tonight and cover everything with sheets to keep them clean. I am going through bags of clothes - washing and sorting and sizing for the sale. I really dislike holding garage sales. But, we need to get rid of some of this stuff before we move the end of June.

I also have enrolled in two college courses - geology and psychology. I need to be studying this week and writing some papers. I guess, I will be busy.

Next week, we are going to attempt to go to Georgia for my best friend's son high school graduation. We got up there for her oldest son's two years ago and I really do not want to miss Aaron's. I love her children like my own.

I guess I need to get myself in gear. I have done some grading this morning of Paul's school work and went over some things with him. This is the last week of public school and so he wanted to go early today (he's in band) to see his friends in the eighth grade band. So, I sent him with school work to do on own his today.

I am now going to put more laundry in, start some bread, and do a little general straightening and then start on those boxes. JOY! Maybe tonight, I can get some studying done. We shall see.


Friday, May 12, 2006

My Husband

This is a photo of my sweet husband with some of his band students last night. This was his last concert at the middle school where he teaches because he has taken a position in GA that pays nearly $17,000 more a year and where the housing is actually affordable. This decision has been difficult to make since he loves this Middle School Band position. Last night, his eighth grade band made a presentation to him. It left me in tears as well as the students. It also choked my husband up, too.

I use the word love so loosely. I love chocolate. I love Sci-fi. I love Disney. But, those loves are not really loves.

When I say, "I love my husband," something, wells up in me that is not only an emotion but a choice. I love this man. I adore him. But, more than that emotion is a respect. I respect him, deeply. No, he is the absolute worse in picking out gifts or planning trips. He drives me crazy with his packratty nature. Sometimes, I have questioned some of his financial decisions (not because he was making a selfish decision but just some of his choices for our family). I can't stand it when he eats vanilla ice cream with (gross) peanut butter. And, he has no taste in clothes. But, this is one of the most honorable men that I have ever met or known. I respect his character, his faith in God and Christ, his deep devotion for his family, and his commitment to his jobs. He is always honorable.

I lament that fact that my parents stole so much from our family. They nearly destroyed us but my husband's faith in the truth of the scriptures held us together. I was waiving, falling, walking without sight. But, he kept his mind upon the nature of God's character and not the circumstances of having kidnapped children. This man is amazing.

As our family began to grow new hearts, God's call upon our lives seemed evident and we returned to seminary minus two beloved children but with an adopted child in our hearts and family. Again, I saw a strength in my husband as he worked two jobs and went to seminary full time. He graduated with honors. He was lucky to get three hours of sleep a night but he still graduated with honors. I was so proud of him. I was so blessed to call him my husband.

Then, we left our part-time church and took a full-time ministry position at a church in KY. Once, again, my husband gave his all. He worked and planned but most importantly, he loved the church, the people. However, we were serving with a Senior pastor who wasn't all together moral. We caught him with another woman out of town. And, from that moment on, this man set out to destroy my husband.

We left that church and took a position in FL. My husband and this pastor became friends. Mark had much respect for the pastor but the church fired the pastor on a pack of lies and slander. My husband didn't support the decision but began working like a mad man trying to keep the church from falling apart. Problems arose with a youth minister. This man was preaching from the pulpit on Sunday mornings about things like peeing in a pot and the size of Dolly Parton's breast (except he used a different word). My husband went to the youth pastor and told him that language like that shouldn't be used from a pulpit. The youth guy went to the deacons and told them that my husband had threatened him! Good grief. So, the deacons called Mark in for a meeting where they kept saying, "C said you said this and this." Mark told them that wasn't true but refused to recount a private conversation. Being a small town that loves gossip, these people just couldn't believe it. Mark told them, "I could say anything just as C. can say anything. All you have is my word against his. None of you were there and all I am telling you is that I didn't threaten him (this is laughable, especially if you knew my gentle husband). However, he did address some of his choices for things to include in sermons. To this, my husband was told that they liked the youth guy's words because it just showed them that they weren't so bad and that they liked having a pastor who was just one of the boys!

Again, we left. There is so much more that went on behind the scenes. People were slandering me saying things that I had supposedly said or did, and I didn't even know who they were. We were so hurt. This continued for years - even after we LEFT the church. These people were so evil.

Moving forward, when you have no money, you can't move. So, Mark began taking work. He dug graves. He took jobs painting houses. He was substitute teaching. And, he was trying to plant a new church out in the boonies. After about one and a half years of nearly no income, and our finances and bills screaming at us, he took a position at an elementary school teaching 5th grade.

The students, parents, other faculty, and administration loved him. Then, the middle school band positions opened up after two years of teaching 5th grade, and Mr. Bremer hired my husband. Mark had so enjoyed this position. But, Charley and the other hurricanes has caused the cost of property in this little country town to skyrocket. All the propperty owners have gotten extremely greedy. Our rent (and the price of the house we were wanting to buy) shoot up as well. Finances have been difficult - and that's putting in mildly.

So, Mark decided to put out resumes in GA for Music teaching positions. He has taken a new position.

Back to WHY I am writing this book, last night was his last concert at the middle school. This morning his principal sent this letter out to all of the faculty.

To all:

As I just finished listening to the band performance, I felt the need to come back to my desk to write this email before my thoughts escaped.

First of all I thought how fortunate DMS is to have such a fine chorus and band program. Not many middle schools can make such a claim. Both performances made me, and I’m sure every parent proud.

But I could have waited and emailed such a message out tomorrow. It was as the 7th and 8th grade band was preparing to give their final performance for Mr. Baskin; three girls came up to give a small speech. There was no microphone, so you couldn’t hear all the words, but you didn’t need to. You could see the love and affection in the faces of all the students as the girls were speaking. It was the quick wiping of the eyes as the students sat up straight and gave the best final performance they could give that told the story.

As they played their final song I thought back on Mr. Baskin for these past three years. I couldn’t recall a time he complained about a student. I couldn’t recall a time he complained about his job. Always professional, always willing to help. A band teacher teaching AR reading or running the SME lab half the time should have at least gotten a few mumbles but I didn’t even get a “You owe me one”.

I wanted to run up and say to the crowd, but knew I couldn’t:

“Mr. Baskin, not only a great band leader, but a great leader and mentor of youth”.

That’s probably what the girls said also.

How fitting this is Teacher Appreciation Week. We are fortunate to have many “Mr. Baskin” at our school. I appreciate what all of our staff does for our school and unfortunately I do not say it enough. Enjoy the luncheon and “Thank You” to everyone.

Dave Bremer

When I read these words, I wept. I wept because my husband's faith in God is showing to be true and worthy. God is restoring his reputation. While, I get so frustrated at what is happening in our Southern Baptist churches, and begin to think that God doesn't see us - He restored to my husband that which the enemy had taken - his dignity, self-worth, and reputation.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Quiet mornings......

I have been sitting here this morning, quietly sipping coffee and considering getting a bowl of granola cereal. I know that I should get Paul up and going but I am enjoying not having to rush out of the house this morning for college classes. Mark and I read the Bible and prayed and he left for work. I have been lost in thoughts. Thoughts of all the things that I should be doing right now. My list never seems to get smaller. I don't think that I have the ability to enjoy accomplishments. I am always looking ahead.

At least, I recognize this about myself. When my children were little, I would sneak into their rooms and watch them sleep. How do you cement into your mind those precious, innocent faces? I used to lament the fact that I was so busy taking care of three stairsteps, that I was missing moments of their lives. And, back then I worried more about everything. A middle child and born people pleaser can be a curse at times. It took me about 40 years to finally realize that I can't please everyone and it's not my job to make everyone happy.

This morning, the house is quiet. A soft, gentle, and much need rain is falling upon my roof. A sense of comfort is filling up my house. Rain. Amazing what the sound of drops of rain can do for one's spirit.

I am taking two college classes for the next six weeks. It's one of those short terms. I started working on them last night. June 17 is the deadline date to have all of the papers and tests completed. I tried to get Mark to tell me when we were moving this summer. He kept saying, "The end of June or first of July." Last night, I noticed that he's getting moving van quotes for June 15!

The phone just rang and broke my solitude. I guess I am done writing.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

This is a picture of my precious 13 year old son. He is on the left side and has the long black hair. Somedays, precious and 13 year old are words that do not belong together.

He is not happy that we are moving to Georgia. He has lived here for 7 years and Florida is his home, now. He is an extremely bright, funny, and outgoing kid and I know that he will make friends after we move. However, convincing him of that fact is another issue entirely.

Back to the photo. I made that last night at the Cross-over ceremony for the Webelos coming into Scouts. Paul WAS elected to be Scout Partrol Leader (think that's the name) for next year. But, we are moving. However, (and this is cool), since Mark and Paul will meet the troop at camp in the Georgia mountains in July, the Scout Master, wanted Paul to attend all of the meetings and still act as the Partrol Leader for our troop this summer at camp.