Roller Coaster Religion

Sawyer and Elijah’s Sunday School classes went to Six Flags while Luke and I were out of town.  Believe it or not, I was disappointed to not be able to go along even though I’m horrified of roller coasters. *insert foreshadowing here* My boys are a blast to hang out with and have made being the mom of teenagers ridiculously fun.

So I’m in Florida and I get a phone call from one of my bff’s, Kim, and she says, “I just want you to know your son is okay..” (Dead silence.) Sensing I didn’t know to what she was referring, she said, “Oh, I thought you would have heard by now.”

Not a great way to begin a conversation from 450 miles away. I took a deep breath.  I did not freak out.  I simply responded…

“Ummm, Kim.  WHICH SON AND WHAT IS WRONG?!!!!!”

It turns out Elijah and several more of our kids were on the Dare Devil (appropriately named) and the car got stuck. At the top.

….AT THE TOP.  For a good half an hour they were lying on their backs. IN A COASTER CAR HUNDREDS OF FEET IN THE AIR,  without their mommies… *deep breath*

…..while the Six Flags staff harnessed each kid one by one and transferred them onto a lift. Which lowered them to the ground. FROM HUNDREDS OF FEET IN THE AIR…

God obviously knew what He was doing when He made sure I wasn’t there.  And I can promise you my boys are glad I wasn’t there because a scene would have been had on the ground that would have somewhat overshadowed what was going on in the air.  I could still stroke out just looking at the pictures.

One thing I loved.  Jacob is my bff Kim’s son and I adore him like he’s my own.  I’ve told him for years God has assured me he will one day be a preacher.  God hasn’t told Jacob this yet but that is irrelevant.  Jacob got on the phone to tell me while they were stuck he turned to the other kids and asked, “Does anyone want to ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior?”  Yes and Amen.  We have biker churches.  We have skateboard churches.  We have cowboy churches.  I see nothing wrong with Jacob being the pastor of the first roller coaster church.  I predict a high conversion rate.  Very high.

The folks at Six Flags gave the kids meal vouchers and free fast passes for the rest of the day.  You know, I guess that’s fine but I’m thinking FREE EVERYTHING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE wouldn’t be enough to cover the therapy bills.

Alas, Six Flags wasn’t feeling that generous but the kids did get to see someone who does get the celebrity treatment – Evander Holyfield!  (Yes, it was definitely him.  They checked the ear.)

No Mr. Holyfield, our kids weren’t stalking you here.

Just a coincidental meeting.

Who’s guarding whom? Evander is much more intimidating than Amusement Park Cop.

The Gang.  I’m so happy everyone is on the ground.  And I love y’all, Man.

 

The End.

Help Wanted

UPDATE:  Thank you all so much for the wonderful response!  I’ve received many private emails as well as the comments here and I’m just overwhelmed at the number of you who are willing to contribute. 

So what now?  I will be in contact over the next few days with those of you who were interested in working with the blogroll.  I never dreamed I would have to choose just one because I didn’t know if I’d get any interest.  Most likely I will be asking a couple of you to work together so that the job doesn’t become too overwhelming.  As for the article submissions, I’m working on creating submission guidelines.  Those will be posted very soon so you can begin sending in your pieces. 

Again, I’m floored.  Thank you girls so much. 

***********

You wouldn’t know it from the superfluous content but this little website is important to me.  It’s the delight of connecting with this wonderfully organic, eclectic, flat-out interesting community of women (lay people and ministry wives alike) I’ve met here as well as the outlet for thoughts that no one in my house cares about that keeps me from turning out the lights and declaring the party over.

With that said, I have big dreams about expanding the types of resources this site could provide.  In case you haven’t figured it out, I love God’s Church.  Large or small, city or country, traditional or transitioning – the Bride is beautiful to me.  If I had to pinpoint my particular calling it would be in strengthening her female leaders and membership.  I also feel God has confirmed in many ways that I am an unglamorous, trench PW.  I connect best with ministry wives who are still running their husbands bulletins on Sunday morning and re-arranging the tables and chairs in the fellowship hall for whatever class might be meeting there next because they’ve not yet raised enough money to build a Life Center.  (Can you tell we just did that today?) 

There are two areas for which I am particularly burdened at this point:  Community and Encouragement.  I’m going to pitch a couple of ideas out here and if I hear nothing but crickets chirping, then I’ll know that I’ve asked too much of you. 

1.  The Married to the Ministry Blogroll:   This thing has gotten huge.  There are broken links.  There are lots of new requests that I’ve not been able to add for lack of time.  There are blogs that no longer exist that need purging.  But most importantly there are many women who email me regularly to tell me how much they love this resource and how they’ve connected with other PW’s at just the right time to meet their need for cameraderie.  You girls know how important that is.   

What do I need?:  Someone who would consider this a ministry to become the administrator of that blog roll, keep it updated, welcome new members and  come up with creative ways to feature blogs so we can pull you girls off that list and get your site seen. 

2.  Encouragement:   Once upon a time there was a girl who wrote ministry/church-related articles.  That girl was me.  That girl is operating at stroke level but consistently worries that she should be doing more to encourage the many women who visit here looking for assurance that God wasn’t ticked off at them when He called their hubbies to serve the Body or those who are jaded with Christianity because church people disappointed them by being human. 

What do I need?  Article submissions that address relevant issues to life in ministry or church in general.  I would particularly love to hear from you girls on the other side of the pulpit.  I’m a strong advocate of building relationships between ministers and lay people so I would love to see writings relevant to both audiences.

The other day I made my boys help me clean out the flower beds.  Sam said, “Let me guess, my reward will be the satisfaction of knowing I helped make our house look nice.”  Smart kid.  I told you that because I can offer no other reward than the satisfaction of knowing you are making The House look nice.  Not my house though – His.  So, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  I’d love even more to hear if you are interested.  You can email me privately at thepreacherswife1 AT gmail DOT com to learn more.   

Thanks for listening!

From Hobos to Rocket Scientists

It seems that I am tempted to begin each post with an apology for not posting more often.  So I’ll feel better, sorry I’m not writing here regularly.   I know you are terribly upset but the Christian thing to do is forgive, sisters, forgive.  It seems when we aren’t fighting wildfires or cleaning up after tornadoes that I am studying, writing lessons, working on the new house, or struggling to stay on top of a current house that doesn’t clean itself and a family that likes to eat something prepared on the stove just every once in a while.  And ridiculously enough, they like to do this in clean clothes.

Such needy, needy people. 

But in a rare trifecta of preparedness, supper is in the crock pot, the laundry is going, and my kitchen is clean (can’t speak for the rest of the place) so let’s see if we can catch up with each other for a bit.   Friends, I give you a list:

1.  Harvest Festival: 

The boys are officially beyond dressing up but Sydney (yes, I told you her name.  I’m kind of over being all secretive) decided that after years of being everything from a lady bug to a bride that she wanted to be a hobo this year. 

Thankfully that wasn’t a hard outfit to come up with seeing as how the child vacillates between dressing like JLo and, well, a hobo. 

She showed me the clothes she wanted to wear and told me she needed a cardboard sign to hang around her neck that said, “Will Work For Food”.  I was very concerned about her outfit primarily because I didn’t want anyone to think we were making fun of the homeless.  I knew she was thinking of the rail-riding hobo who carried a stick with a bandanna tied to the end but the signage just wasn’t working for me.  So, I started googling to find out what an authentic hobo sign would have said.  Ridiculous, I know.  It’s a sickness.

This is where I should warn you that if you are easily fascinated by sub-cultures do not google ‘hobo signs’.  I was online for an hour learning how a hobo left special markings at rail stops and outside people’s home to let fellow travelers know the best places to get a meal and what they would need to do to get it i.e., work for food, engage in Christian talk, etc.  All of that work and would you like to know the sign I finally made?  ‘Will Work For Food.”  It was authentic, y’all.   

With all that said, I’m sitting at the kitchen table making the sign.  Sam (Boy Three) had no clue what Syd was dressing as.  He walked up to me, looked down at the sign, and with the most devastated look on his face asked, “Mom, are we poor?!?” 

I said, “Yes, Sam.  Yes, we are.”  I let him off the hook with a quick explanation and he was so relieved to find out his mother wouldn’t be standing at the 4-way intersection begging for dinner. As if I weren’t embarrassing enough.

But then do you want to know what happened?  We went to our church’s Trunk or Treat and The Meanest Deacon Alive said, “Wow, way to go Preacher’s Wife.  Making fun of the homeless.” 

Had I not done extensive research, I would have been mortified. As it was, I chuckled knowingly and forgave him his idiocy. He had no idea he was in the presence of historically accurate costuming.

{Syd minus her stick and bandanna bundle which she used to carry around her favorite stuffed animal:}

{And I couldn’t resist including this picture of Brooke as a Sumo Wrestler. Yes, people. She teaches your children. }

 

2.  The House

In the words of Tom Petty, ‘the waiting is the hardest part.”  We are so close, and yet so far from being finished.  Those last details are maddening and yet, you know where they say God is.  And do you know that is so true?  God is in the details because trust me when I say the tiniest things have been the ones that have tested every bit of my religion.  At then end of the day, we are blessed and we don’t deserve such a wonderful refuge so if you catch me being fussy and/or impatient, just smack me.   Or not.  I prefer not.  Just wink at me and I’ll know I’m busted.

{Here’s a sneak peak:}

3.  And My Favorite….. Friendly Community Baptist in North Carolina!

This past weekend I flew to Wilmington to teach for the darlin’ women at Friendly Community Baptist.  Isn’t that the greatest name for a church? 

I met Kelly (Friendly’s PW) at the airport and we then met Rose-Marie (women’s ministry director) at a swank restaurant downtown called Aubriana’s.  Oh.my.heavens.  Crab cakes?  Yes, please.  They were delicious.  Would you like some Creme Broulee’?  But of course.  I ate more food that night than I’ve eaten in a month and I’m not sorry about it one little bit.   

The conference was the next day.  My new friend Pam picked me up at the hotel and even bought me a Sun Drop.  I’ve determined I need one of those before I teach from this point forward.  Extreme caffeination seems to work for me.  I can not say enough how friendly Friendly is and how much I loved being a part of this special day where they unveiled their newly expanded women’s ministry:  G.L.O.W. – God’s Ladies of Worship.  Love it!  Thank you, girls, for a trip to remember!

{Kelly, Rose-Marie and me.}

Pam took me back to the airport and we did a little shopping on the way home.  I am obsessed with White House/Black Market.  If anyone feels so compelled, I’ll take this in Medium.  Thank you.

4. Oh, and one more cool thing:  I got to sit next to a real live NASA rocket scientist on my flight back to Huntsville. (Unfortunately, I didn’t take his picture.)  He had been to Florida for the launch that didn’t happen.  Wonderfully pleasant guy who didn’t even chuckle knowingly when I asked him dumb space questions like, “So is there really a secret space ship being built so we can colonize Mars”?  (He dodged my question.  That’s what I thought.) For the record, I rarely speak to people on planes because I don’t want to be “that woman that wouldn’t shut up when all I wanted to do was sleep.”  But this guy started the convo so too bad for him.  I now have some rocket scientist sub-culture research to add to my hobo knowledge. 

So that’s just a little of what I’ve been up to. What about you? What’s one activity that has dominated your week?  Talk to me girls..I’ve missed you!

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