Routine, Thou Dost Elude Me

UPDATE: We have flurries! And it’s not even lunch yet! We are having Belgian Waffles in my new waffle maker I got for Christmas. I’d like to tell you we are having brunch because I’m trying to infuse some culture into my home. Truth is, we just slept that late and we are all still scrounging around with matted hair and pj’s. Hope y’all are enjoying the free day and are staying warm!


Original Post:

Just when I’d settled back into my Happy Place, some lame forecaster had to see a shadow on the Exclusive Doppler 5000 and predict Blizzard 2010. As in, we may get 2 inches.

Maybe.

But when you live in Alabama, maybe is all it takes to bring all operations to a screeching halt. Our schools have been cancelled for Thursday AND Friday and the first flake has yet to fall. In fact, the precipitation isn’t even anticipated until lunch tomorrow. But hey, we are serious about our weather preparedness south of the Mason Dixon. If you don’t believe me, just check out the bread aisles and milk coolers in town. There’s not a loaf or gallon to be had within the city limits. No worries, though. In our house, it’s much more practical to just buy a feed trough and 2 cases of Ramen noodles.

For real, I do hope we get enough snow for the kids to play in at some point. We used to have great ones in North Carolina and Kentucky but they weren’t old enough to remember. There was one particular snowstorm in NC that pushed me to the brink of sanity. Days 1 and 2 were amusing but when all was said and done, I was trapped in a seminary apartment with 3 kids ages 4 and under for 13 days straight. When we were finally able to drive out, I felt like Tom Hanks when he was finally rescued in Cast Away. I’m pretty sure I looked just that unkempt and was only communicating in grunts until Luke gently reintroduced me to civilization.

What do y’all do when you are snowed in? Please don’t tell me you sit around and play board games and exacerbate my feelings of inadequacy where engaging my children in meaningful activity is concerned. I’m perfectly content to keep the hot chocolate coming and the warm baths run for when they come in soaked. Or if this thing turns out like I suspect, when they come in with a marble sized snow/dirt wad they scrounged from in between the grass that is still showing through the dusting we’ll get.

But at least they are safe at home instead of risking the walk across the field to the school house.

It’s 4 a.m.  Do You Know Where  Your Shoe Boxes Are?

A year or so ago, our church invested in one of those fancy little calling devices so Luke could send recorded messages out to the church peeps.   It’s come in handy more than once to cancel services for bad weather or to alert people of special events or to give them an ever-loving heart attack when the ghost in the machine decides to call between the hours of 2 – 4 a.m.  to remind them to bring their shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse.

Only us.  This junk only happens to us.  Doesn’t it?

Luke and I got a call at 4 a.m. Friday and for any of you in ministry, you know that a 4 a.m. phone call is NEVER good news.  Luke ran through the house trying to find a phone.  We always make sure all four of them are nowhere near the base because it’s so fun running through the house in the dark trying to guess where the ringing is coming from without breaking our necks.  Truly fun.   He answered and finally hushed me from repeating “who is it?  what’s wrong?”  to say, “It’s me calling.”  Huh?  When he told me that it was the phone tree I freaked.  The reason I freaked is because we are the last people on the list so I knew that it had already called the entire church.  Luke ran to the offices and jerked the thing out of the wall – about 2 hours too late.   The reason for these random times is still a mystery because all the settings are programmed for 10 AM – 6 PM.  Go figure.

To say we’ve been catching a little flack is a colossal understatement.  Enough people have heard about The Call now that it has officially become a Town Incident.  At the football game last night WHICH WAS A SCHOOL HISTORY-MAKING WIN I might add, at least 20 people wanted to know what the deelio and when I tried to explain to by-standers they would say, “Oh yeah, someone told me about that.”  

(By the way, I can’t believe I just used the word deelio.  All this smash mouth football has me feeling all edgy.) 

We’ve even gotten mail about The Incident.  One of our most precious, darlin’ church members whom I love with all my heart sent this note:

“I know I wear my ‘kerby frown’ in the choir sometimes and maybe even sometimes when you are preaching, but please…I don’t mean to.  It’s just a part of me —  My husband used to ask, “S., are you mad?”   OH…I didn’t send you a card in October!  Maybe that’s it?  No?   Hmmm…  what could it be?  What would make my sweet, adorable, cute little pastor wake up a peacefully sleeping little ole white haired lady in the middle of the night with the ringing of her phone??  I KNOW… You Love Me!!  I love you too!” 

There’s more to her letter but I want to be sure to include the part she said about me being the “best of the best wife” because it makes me happy.   We adore you, S!!!

We are grateful everyone has been good-humored about the whole thing though we do know the alarm it caused.  If anyone is ticked, well, all I can say is now you know how it feels to be a pastor who gets middle-of-the-night phone calls more than he lets on.  

In the meantime, I’m thinking no one will forget their shoe boxes Sunday morning.  {You’re welcome, Franklin Graham.}  And if you don’t bring one, be warned.

You may just get another call from the pastor.

What Time Is It?

*****  Friday Night Update: WE HAMMERED THEM!!!   Us  34  Them 7   !!! *****

I’ll never forget being glued to the television set during the coverage of Hurricane Katrina.  One interview that marked me forever was of a man fresh off of one of the buses that transported those made homeless to safe shelter.  He literally walked down the steps and straight into a cameraman who asked, “Sir, how do you feel right now?”  The man answered in a single word:  “Overdue.”  He went on to explain that he hadn’t eaten, hadn’t showered, hadn’t shaved, hadn’t slept in days.  He said again, “I’m overdue for everything.”  And then he burst into tears.  

I’m in no way suggesting what I am about to tell you dare rivals the seriousness of the experiences of Katrina’s victims.  However; in concept only, our high school football team knows what it feels like to be overdue.  To want desperately to finally take hold of the wins that have eluded them season after season.  To catch one stinkin’ break.  And they aren’t the only ones who have waited.  Year after year our community has poured into the stadium for the opening game to see  how the team will perform.  Unsurprisingly, only the faithful who support the organization and its players rather than dwell on the scores have stuck around through Game 10 as our last two years’ records have settled at 3-7.     

The past few years also haven’t been easy ones for our young coach who has quietly and patiently been building a program while scoffers ranted over the numbers on the board.  I’ve often told his adorable wife that being married to a coach and married to a preacher aren’t altogether different.  When people are joining, teams are winning, tithes are rolling in, fans are attending, then everyone is your best friend.  When numbers and morale are down, it’s best to keep U-Haul on standby.  Such is the fickle nature of people and yet, when you are in any type of leadership position you learn to accept it for what it is and keep your shoulder to the sled until the Lord sees fit to place you in another field.

So, yes.  We’ve been overdue.  Overdue for victory. Overdue for respect.  Overdue for the payoff that hard work is supposed to afford.  Overdue for everything.

That’s why it has been such a sweet time to experience along with this team their win as Region Champions for the first time in 29 years!

DID YOU EVEN SEE THAT COMING?

My husband has the supreme privilege of serving as the chaplain for this fabulous team whom he has grown to love as brothers and sons.  Something Luke shared with them is a truth we can all remember: “Faith without works is dead.”  It’s not enough just to want to win – you have to work to win.  These coaches and players have done just that and are reaping the rewards of faithfulness.  Most impressive to me is that these kids are not just learning how to be excellent football players.  We are blessed to have a coaching staff more interested in making them excellent men.  And hey, if we happen to go 9-1 while they do it, we’ll take that too.

Friday night we will play our first round state play off game and to say the town is abuzz is a colossal understatement.  It’s truly a great moment to live in my tiny city and I’m praying the thrill and sentimentality of it isn’t lost anytime soon.   The boys have had a saying this year that the community has adopted as a rebel yell:  “It’s Hammer Time!”  There couldn’t be a motto any more appropriate because there comes a day for all of us when it’s high time we go from being the smashed to the smasher.

Which begs the question, my homies and invisible friends alike:

WHAT TIME IS IT!?

If you know the answer and would like to cheer the team on, feel free to YELL IT IN THE COMMENTS!

winners

 

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