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.


1 comment:

TXArtcGal said...

((((Debbie)))) What a wonderful post about your husband...and, all of the things you have encountered through the years. This shows how your husband is truly a wonderful husband, father, mentor, teacher, preacher and more!!...and, I can tell how proud you are of him!