They Blinded Us With Science

Well, this past week I’ve been working on a post filled with much seriousness and intrigue entitled, “The Not So Mysterious Will of God”.  I am convinced we make this process much harder than God ever intended.  The epicness of the content is debatable but the length is not. Because this topic had come up in a teaching I did recently and also in three separate conversations with people I love I felt somewhat compelled to just write the thing out for whomever may find some biblical principals and thoughts on discerning God’s plan for our lives needful.

The writing was about 3/4’s complete when Luke (not at all aware of the teaching or the conversations or the typing)  announced to me in the bathroom a couple of mornings ago that he had been leaning toward teaching on the subject one Sunday morning sooner than later. So, dang.  Because we share the same brain, 24 years of marriage, and 98% of our theology I’ve decided to put that post on the backburner so I won’t steal his sermon thunder when it arrives at a theater near you.  I’m anxious to hear what he has to say and then perhaps present a McKay Mashup for all who will be perched on seat’s edge and biting your nails to the quick in anticipation.

So  instead of discerning the will of God I will tell you about Sydney’s science project a.k.a. which kid’s parent can bring the best Pinterest experiment to life and somehow convince the teacher the kid actually had something to do with said creation.

This is where I give props to great friends. By virtue of having so many children we don’t know what to do, Luke and I are often at the mercy of other loving adults to somehow help us get them raised.  Such is the case with Syd’s friend Abby whose parents, Todd and Amy, are life-long friends of ours from Georgia who ended up moving to our same tiny town.  They either a) missed us so much they followed along or b) found a great deal on a farm.  Either way, I am so grateful they remain in our dailiness and don’t seem to mind being surrogates for Syd.

With that said, Abby and Syd decided they wanted to be submit a joint project for the Science Fair.  I signed the permission form with the condition that this would be HER responsibility and not another Mom Competition like the solar system or Colonial houses of the past.  She agreed and told me she and Abby already knew exactly what they were going to do.  I was optimistic until she explained their idea had something to do with giving Abby’s horse various feed to see which made it healthier.

Maybe I’m skeptical, but the science on that one seemed a little subjective if they were counting on the shininess of the horse’s coat to be the main indicator.  And if we wanted to get objective, well, horse poop would be involved to which I say, nay. There are some things in this life that I just will not be manipulated to do. The Facebook Coldwater Challenge would be one of those.  Digging is horse dung for some evidence of vigor and vitality would be the other.

So the girls regrouped and decided on nice, predictable self-inflating balloons.  Todd and Amy took Syd home with them so they could get the experiment done and documented. Unfortunately, it was a beautiful day and I’m pretty confident the girls weren’t exactly as focused on the task at hand as they were the Call of the Wild.  Amy texted me about her love of science projects and of the diligence our children were showing in getting the job done.  I texted her back that I was perfectly fine with her applying her love to my child’s backside if she needed a little motivator to finish.  All was rainbows and unicorns again when the girls were turned loose to ride horses and roam pastures.

Then came my turn for the next work party to put the presentation together.  The girls would have been perfectly happy to slap the white paper on the board and call it a day.  For the love.  Where did I get a girl with no appreciation for coordinated scrapbook papers?  Where did I get a girl who is content to cut paper with a straight line when we have all manner of decorative-edged scissors to give it extra pizazz?  I presented all the fabulous options to the girls and do you want to know what they said?  “Flowers, stripes, and polka dots have no place in Science.”  Clearly, they have been blinded by it.

Since there was no compromise in sight I pointed my scalloped scissors at them both and ordered them to cut and tape each piece exactly as directed.  Being a dictator is exhausting but it completed the work.  I opened the door, set the captives free, and texted Amy a picture of the masterpiece:

science project 2014

She replied with this:

amytext copy

So the project is safely submitted and the Fair is Monday night.  That is when I get to stroll the aisles and compare my parenting skills to the other moms who took time to cover their white presentation boards with colored paper or –  the ultimate – used glitter which may have no place in science but certainly has one deep in my heart.  The pressure is just too much.

To reiterate the wisdom of Amy, I really will think twice before agreeing to a project next year.

It doesn’t take rocket science to discern that is God’s Will for me.

Ministry Wife Series:  BFF’s Part Two

This article is in response to the topic, “BFF’s in the Church Pews.”  I’d like to elaborate just a bit.  (Please visit the original article link for context.)

I think the majority of you understood the three categories of friends I proposed. One reader shared that her Bible study teacher referred to these as Paul, Timothy, and Barnabas relationships.  Another pointed out the fact that Jesus had twelve disciples but three of those comprised His inner circle.  Both of these comparisons capture the spirit of how people in our lives fill a certain need where friendships are concerned.

My approach to this subject is from the viewpoint of a ministry wife’s ability to have healthy friendships within her church.  While many of our girlfriends can be categorized in the areas I’ve described (with some filling more than one of these roles), there are yet many more women within the pews with whom we’ve not made this type of connection.  One email I received said, “I don’t really fit into any of these areas so I guess I’ll just pray for my minister’s wife from afar.”  NO, NO, NO!  Afar will never do!

When ‘No’ Is Not a Good Thing

Perhaps one of the most disturbing trends I’ve witnessed where ministry wives are concerned is the withdrawing from women’s groups in the interest of protecting family time. I read an article recently by a high-profile pastor’s wife who stated, “I never attend women’s ministry events because they are just too time-consuming.”

Sister, I think I would have kept  that to myself.

Bravo for learning to say ‘no’, but I’m not certain isolating one’s self from the masses will achieve the desired end.  However, if you are trying to convince the women of your church they are not a priority to you, then blowing off all their gatherings should do the trick. I’m not saying you have to attend every event, but a prayer group here and a dinner there will do much more good than harm. You might even find some BFF’s in the process.

Making the Connection

As a ministry wife I feel it is part of my role to support any effort made from within the body to provide an outlet for belonging.  It is extremely hard to bond without spending time with one another outside of the Sunday morning hour. It hurts me to think there are women in our pews who feel friendship within the Body has eluded them. Sometimes, church can be as lonely for parishioners as it is for the pastor’s wife.

Enter women’s ministry.

Many groups meet once a month and/or travel from home to home.  In season, our women’s group has done this very thing.  In different times of frequency, we eat together, pray together, laugh and cry together.  And in the midst of it, we’ve become friends. There is a diversity of age and issues, but underneath is our commonality in Christ – and that’s all we need.  Here there is no category, but a group of women standing shoulder-to-shoulder resolving that no one will ever feel alone.  Every single one of these women are dear to me. I can’t imagine now how I’ve survived so long without meeting regularly with them.

That, girls, is what friendship is all about. Ministry wives, be open to having many friends within your congregation. Lay people, reach out to your pastor’s wife until she figures out it’s safe to reach back. You will make a connection – one that will transcend the confines of the pew.

Feelin’ 42

 

Today is my 42nd birthday. I wrote a little song about it that could potentially be mistaken as one belonging to Taylor Swift because we are both musical geniuses that way…wanna hear it?  Hear it goes!

 

 FEELIN’ 42

It feels like a perfect night to put on yoga pants

and watch some Netflix  ah ah ah ah

It feels like the perfect night for dishes left in the sink

to just do nothing, ah ah ah ah

Yeah!

We’re middle-aged, content, and restless all at the same time

It’s hormonal and blissful, oh yeah

Tonight’s the night we forget about waistlines

It’s time

Uh Oh!

Don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 42

Everything will be alright, if I run to Target with you,

You know plenty about me, but there’s much more to see

Everything will be alright

If we keep groovin’ like we are 42…42

It seems like one of those nights it’s time to act up a bit

My teens aren’t the only cool kids ah ah ah ah

It seems like one of those nights we show the 80’s

were really the good ‘ole days

And robot in front of their friends… ah ah ah ah

Yeah!

Don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 42

Everything will be alright, if I run to Target with you,

You know plenty about me, but there’s much more to see

Everything will be alright

If we keep movin’ like we are 42…42

We’re middle-aged, content, and restless in the best way

It’s hormonal and blissful Oh Yeah

Tonight’s the night we forget about pride…it’s time

It feels like one of those nights

we act up a bit

It feels like one of those nights

We are the cool kids

It feels like one of those nights

that are age-inappropriate

But once a year will do..

When you’re 42….42

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