God’s Timing

First I have to say thank you all for reading my blogs. The real me is weaved among these blogs. I hold a lot of things in, and I wear a smile most of the time. But I also realize that God gave me the ability to write and He also gave me my testimony to share. These are just not words, my stories, they are His.
This blog will backtrack a little and continue where the other one left off. I got so emotional writing it, and wanted to tell the story of Katelyn, that I left off the most amazing example of Gods timing. Fortunately my story doesn’t end with just having a child.
So let me backtrack. After Patrick and I got married, he surrendered to the ministry. It’s an understatement to say that we are some of the most planned, scheduled people around. But when it comes to major life stuff it tends to be boom, and it happens. Every vehicle we have gotten has been spur of the moment, decide to go look and come home with one. It’s so against who we are, but again, I think it’s God showing He is in control. Patrick and I had one joking conversation about someone saying he could be a preacher. That was all. Then one night after a youth service, he went up, and after it was over, came back and told me he surrendered to the ministry. What? How does one just do that? While I was in total shock, I also felt a peace. God was telling me this was right.
We were currently members of the church I had grown up in. After surrendering to the ministry, Patrick became interim at a very small, family church for a couple of months. He got ordained while there, and it was a good experience for us. After we came back, he eventually became youth pastor and associate pastor of the church we were members at.
But while we were there, his hearts desire was to be a pastor. He felt that was what God had called him to do. So while we were praying for a baby, we were also praying that God would open doors for us and lead us where we needed to go. This was a scary time for me. I don’t like change. I don’t like to be out of my comfort zone. It meant going to places where I knew no one. But I also knew this is what God had called us to do.
So while we were still working and serving in our church, our prayer was God would lead us to a church for Patrick to pastor. I remember a little before we got pregnant, I asked Patrick what the number one thing he was praying for, and he said a church. My heart sank. My number one thing was a baby. And it wasn’t that he didn’t want a baby or that I didn’t want him to pastor a church. But our hearts were torn and our focus was on two different things. I just couldn’t help but think that no wonder neither had happened. We were supposed to be as one but our hearts were in two different places. So I made an effort after that to pray first that God would lead us to a church.
The title of this is God’s timing. So this is where God showed us He was in control, His timing was perfect and He knew what He was doing. Patrick filled in for a good preacher friend of ours. A little while later, Patrick got a call from a guy that got his name from someone that knew someone from that church. The pulpit committee wanted to come hear Patrick preach. Patrick set up a time that they could come. Sometime during this, that same guy called Patrick and really asked him some hard questions. But I was so proud of Patrick. He never faltered or wavered. He answered them truthfully, with conviction and exactly how he believed.
The week that we scheduled for the pulpit committee to come, was the same week we found out I was pregnant. So we found out we were having a baby, and a committee was coming to hear Patrick preach, all within a week. God is good.
I remember as Patrick shared with our congregation that we were pregnant, and then preached his heart out, I was never more proud. That man had my heart for more than 6 years at that point, and that day I fell more in love.
We met with the pulpit committee afterwards. They asked questions, we asked questions. We returned to my parents for Sunday lunch and my mom had actually told my sister, ” they are gone. We lost them.” That’s how well they thought the sermon went.
It wasn’t long before the pulpit committee called and wanted Patrick to do a trial sermon at their church. We went at the first of August. I remember walking into this church, where we knew no one, and a lady said, ” oh you must be our new preacher.” What a welcome.
As soon as we walked into that church, it felt like home. I felt like I had been there forever and that I knew these people. It was calming. God was there with us.
Patrick preached his sermon, and again I was proud. They called us to tell us he was voted in. We knew that was where we were supposed to be. I had no doubts and no reservations. And for me that was huge. We officially started there the first of Sept, 2006 and its still where we currently are. We moved into a house that better suited our growing family and I was able to become a stay at home mom after Katelyn was born.
After the long wait for a baby and a church, and then the sort of world wind of it all, after settling in and taking a deep breath, for the first time, I understood Gods timing. This is what He was preparing us for. This was all worth the wait. Looking back I can’t imagine raising my kids in the tiny house we were in and having to continue with the job I was doing. God knew. Even when at times my heart felt broken and I felt alone, God knew.
Looking back, God taught me so much. He brought me closer to him, us closer as a couple, and showed me the reality of His perfect timing.
We had Katelyn, March 28, 2007. Our church family truly are family. Again, God knew.
For those of you that know me or have read my other blogs, you know we have another daughter. But Hannah is another story all her own.

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Six or Sixteen?

Thursday, my oldest, Katelyn, will turn 6. Even though its hard to remember my life before kids, sometimes it seems like yesterday that Katelyn was born. For those of you who do not our back story, here it goes. It was a long wait before we had Katelyn. We tried for over three and a half years before we got pregnant. This was one of the hardest, most difficult times in my life.
I was very nieve to think that once we decided to have a baby, it would happen quickly. For some it does, but for others it doesn’t.
I always knew that I wanted to be a wife and mom. That was always my dream. When I was younger, I did think about being a teacher for awhile, but ultimately I just wanted to be a wife and mom. That was enough for me and what my heart desired.
Patrick and I had been married for about three to three and a half years when we decided we were ready to start a family. While we did pray about it, I can honestly say I’m not sure we really waited for an answer. Now that I look back on it. And maybe we felt we did have an answer. And Gods answer may have been yes, just not quite what we thought.
So the journey began. And it was a journey. An up and down roller coaster of sorts. At the time, my best friend was going through the same thing. We had been friends in high school but had lost touch. But through a series of events, we found each other again and instantly became friends again. I can say without a doubt, God brought her back into my life for a reason. Without her, this whole journey would have been so much harder. We understood each others ups and downs. We spent Mothers Days together, being sad about what we didn’t have. We went on weight loss journeys together, negative pregnancy test, and literally held each other up when we felt we couldn’t take it anymore.
For three and a half years, it was a lot of tears, a lot of negative pregnancy tests, a lot of feeling like it wasn’t going to happen, etc. But it was a time I was closer to God than I ever had been. I spent a lot of time on my knees, praying, at the alter and just pouring my heart out to God. I felt I had something in common with Hannah in the Bible. She goes into the temple and is praying because she wants a child so bad, and she is visibly upset. She is so upset that the priest thinks she’s drunk. I can relate. I felt out of my mind at times.
Through it all, my husband was right beside me. He was my strength, the person that held me up. I let myself get to a dark place at times. I would go shopping for a baby shower gift and come home in tears. I would walk through the baby section at Wal-Mart and for me I felt it was a reminder of what I didn’t have.
Also at the time, we had a pastor and his wife that had been through a similar situation. They were then parents to 3 kids, but I had heard their story of their struggle when they first started trying. So they were also there for us through the whole thing. I remember a many of Sundays, going to the alter and just crying, heartbroken, and after the services they would give us the biggest hugs and just say “I know.” They walked through that time with us, an no matter what has happened since and that we are in different places now, they will always be a part of that journey and hold a special place to me. They helped me through it and gave me hope. Again, just another example of God placing people in our lives when we need them.
And I have to tell you, through this whole three and a half years, I never went to the doctor to get help. I was and am overweight. And I felt like if I went, they would look at me, say lose weight and that was it. And I was scared. I was scared to hear I couldn’t have kids or something was wrong. Those that know me well, know I tend to live in a denial like dreamworld. When things get hard, I tend to deny there’s a problem, ignore it. It’s how I cope.
Through those 3 years, the baby that wasn’t always had a name. She was Katelyn from the day we started trying. I knew I was going to have a girl. At the beginning she was Katelyn Grace. That was the baby girl I saw in my dreams, I longed to hold. Somewhere through it all, I was sitting in a Sunday morning church service, and all I could hear was FAITH. Yes I knew I needed to have faith but it was more. I distinctly remember it hitting me. I wrote it on a bulletin, if you have faith, her name should reflect that. After church, I told Patrick and he never questioned it. So she became Katelyn Faith.
After about 3 years, I finally got to a point where I said, “God this in your hands. I’m through giving it to you and taking it back. I want to follow your plan for my life, whatever that is.” For the first time, I was giving up control. I was saying that whatever His plan was, it was sufficient. It was not easy but I finally had some peace.
One of the hardest days for me was Fathers Day, 2006. Patrick had always been the strong one. He had always encouraged me and told me it would happen. So many times he had held me when I cried after yet another negative. He would lead me around the world in a store so we wouldn’t go by the baby section. But that day, sitting in church, when it was all about fathers, I seen something in his face I hadn’t seen before. That day he was broken. He struggled to hold it together. And I realized then, it was more than just about me. I had been selfish. This was our life together.
During this, I had finally made a doctors appointment. Being a new patient, it was a couple of months before I could see him. But I had taken the step.
Before we got to that appointment, I found out I was pregnant. I took at least 3 tests at home, then made an appointment with my family doctor to confirm.
I need to backtrack just a little. About two months before this, my best friend invited us over one night and I knew. I knew she was going to tell me she was pregnant. I just knew it. This person who had cried with me so many times, was finally getting her hearts desire. They had been trying longer than we had. I remember as she told me, me trying not to cry, and her worried about how I was feeling. I was truly happy for her. Truly. They deserved this and had waited so long. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous. And I told her that. But my overall emotion was love and happiness for my best friend.
Anyways, so a couple of months later I was pregnant. I had a scare at the beginning but through it all I had peace. And on March 28, 2007, God gave us this perfect little girl. As a baby, she was actually laid back, calm. She started sleeping all night at two months. She went everywhere with me. Now that she’s turning 6 this week, I can’t help but think about the times we just didn’t know. So the verse, “for this child, I have prayed” is our truth. I can’t imagine our lives without her. She is smart, funny, beautiful, and sassy. She is dramatic but sensitive and loving. She truly cares about others. She is tender hearted and cries about things we don’t even understand. She has attitude and sometimes the things that come out of her mouth, makes me think she’s really 16 and not almost 6.
To Katelyn, I have to say I love you forever and always. And you were wanted, prayed for, and loved long before you were ever born. You had my heart long before you ever knew.

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The Preacher’s Daughters

I have to admit I am a reality show junkie. My husband doesn’t get my obsession. This is the only way I can explain it. It’s mindless television. I do not have to give it my full attention to know what’s happening, it’s entertainment, and I can multi-task while watching it and not miss anything. It’s very hard for me to just sit and watch something. I have to be doing something else at the same time. So reality shows are perfect for that.
But there is one show that I have seen countless commercials for that makes my tummy roll. Full on irritates me, makes me mad but sick at the same time. It’s called “Preachers’ Daughters”. I have not nor will I watch this show. Just the commercials get me riled up.
I am a preachers wife and we have two little girls. So yes, they are the preachers daughters. What do I want them growing up to know about being preachers daughters? I want them to love and respect their daddy for The Call that was placed upon Him. I want them to be proud of who their daddy is, the stand he takes every day, and for how we raise them. Is that really any different than any parent?
First of all, just because preachers have kids, do not mean the kids should be treated any different. As Christian parents, shouldn’t all of our goals be to raise our kids in fear and admonition of The Lord? Shouldn’t we all be trying to raise respectful, honest, God fearing kids? That doesn’t just apply to preachers kids. I hate to burst people’s bubbles, but the preacher and his family is no different than any of you. We are not “more holy”, or righteous, or perfect. As parents we make mistakes, our kids make mistakes, and behind closed doors, we fight the same battles as all of you.
Some of the things the girls are saying and doing on the commercials are not ok for any kids. Preachers kids or not, none of us should tolerate or want our kids to act like that.
And once again, it’s a show that basically says the worse you act, the more you will profit from it. Think about it. From just a few of the shows that are out there, we say that if you are a teen mom, that you can be on t.v. It’s glorified. If you have a drug or alcohol problem, it’s funny on these reality shows. That’s what they show. Basically they are putting the message out there, to do wrong and get famous.
So now we have “preachers’ daughters”. I guess as Katelyn and Hannah’s mom, it saddens me to know that some people will hold them to a different standard then they would even hold their kids. That somehow because their daddy is a preacher, their actions will be under a microscope and they could be shunned or singled out. And then we have this show that glorifies it all.
One clip shows the daddy praying for his daughter and their family. Probably it was meant as a last resort cry, or “look at the preacher, praying for his daughter because she’s bad” kinda thing. But I am glad they showed that. Because as parents, we all better be praying for and over our kids. Whether you are a preacher, a deacon, a Sunday school teacher or a Christian trying to find your way, it’s up to you to raise your kids as good, Christian kids. The preachers kids are not raised any different than yours. We don’t pray more, or read our Bibles more, or sit around quoting scripture more. Or at least we shouldn’t. As a Christian, we should all be praying with our families, reading our Bibles, etc.
I guess this show just hit a little too close to home for me. I want my girls growing up to be kids, to respect others, to love The Lord, but not be in a bubble or under a microscope because of what their daddy is called to do. So next time you hear kids misbehaving or acting out, it certainly could be the preachers kids. Just love them and pray for them. After all, we all know how those “preachers kids” are.

Pretend can mirror real life

For Christmas, “Santa” brought our family an ipad.  All four of us share it.  Truth be known, the girls probably play it more than we get to, but we all enjoy it.  Last weekend they were wanting new apps on “their page”.  One app they love to play on their daddy’s new phone is a hair and makeup one.  So I go in search of girlie, free apps.  I found a dress up one that seemed cute so I downloaded it.

After about an hour of them playing, I started to notice that some of the girls only had what looked like bikini tops, but the caption would be “mall shopping” or such.  So I started quizzing my almost 6 year old.  “Why does that girl not have a shirt on?”  She replied, “She does.”  “No,” I said, “that is not a shirt.”  She began to explain that since it was the free app, sometimes the shirts were “locked” if you wanted to do a skirt.  They also had some dresses to do.  But then I got to noticing the ones that did have shirts, a lot of them were “belly” shirts.

So again I start talking to my oldest daughter.  We don’t wear clothes like that I tell her.  She informs me that she knows that, its not nice to show your belly, but this was just on the ipad.  So I try and explain to her, yes, but she was the one choosing the clothes and those were not appropriate clothes.  Again, she said, “Mom, this is just pretend.  I am just playing with the app. I wouldn’t wear stuff like that.”  My response, “Pick a different shirt.” 

Later, I tried to address it again, in a non threatening way.  I asked her if she knew why we didn’t wear clothes like that, and her response was, “It’s not nice.”  Yes that is one reason.  I also explain to her how God made us, and He made us beautiful but we wanted people to think we were beautiful because of our love for Him and for whats on the inside, for our heart. And when people looked at us, we wanted them to look at our face, not at what our clothes didn’t seem to cover up. 

She seemed to understand ok, but she still kept saying how that was a pretend app and it wasn’t real. 

So why was it so important to me and her father to make her choose “appropriate” clothes for an ipad app?  For me, I didn’t want it to become fun for her to put on clothes that we would not see as appropriate in real life.  I also wanted her to see how cute and pretty the pretend girls were, in clothes that didn’t show their bellies and such.

But all day, she would bring me the ipad and ask, “Is this good?”, “Do you like this one?” and etc.  She started to make it a game, of picking the clothes she thought we would like the best.  And we praised her when her “girl” was appropriately dressed.  And I have warned her that the app would be deleted if she dressed them inappropriate.  I have peeked over her shoulder when she didn’t know I was around, looked back at the pics she had saved, and she seems to be getting the message.

It may have been just pretend to her, but how many times does our pretend stuff, the stuff we think no one knows or sees, really glorify God?  I guess the lesson for me was “In all things,”  whether its my talk and walk away from church, my actions toward others, or things that only I will see, or something as simple as an ipad app “to honor and Glorify Him.” 

Sandpaper t-shirts

http://alphamom.com/family-fun/crafts/sandpaper-printed-t-shirt/

I was looking for a few fun, crafty projects for my 4 and 5 year old to do during spring break. Like most things, I turned to Pinterest. This is one of the ideas I decided upon. We already had a couple of fairly new white T-shirts and of course we have crayons, so all I had to purchase was sandpaper. I paid about $3.00 for a pack of 5, and I used half a sheet for each shirt. So I have enough left for other projects.
My kids loved doing this. We made two mistakes. They did not make them dark enough, and my oldest decided to write some words. The problem is, you have to color the sandpaper really dark in order for it to transfer really dark. And of course, once you put the sandpaper on the shirt, it made the writing backwards. That was my mistake.
But it worked really well and my girls had fun doing it.

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Do I say that?

Do you ever wonder what you sound like? Or how often you say a certain word or phrase? Is there things you don’t even know you say? The answers to all of these are simple: listen to your kids. Even when my overly dramatic five year old is giving her Oscar worthy performance of the day, if I tone down the dramatics and scale it back to normal talk, I can hear pieces of me and my husband. Yes hubby too. It can’t be all my fault, right?
We were finishing up supper one night last week and I asked my four year old to get me something from the counter. Her reply? “Sure, because I wasn’t doing anything.” Ouch!! Now, her inflection was more laughing and not sure what it really meant, but ouch all the same.
So where did that phrase come from? Well, I am the guilty culprit. I say it at least once a day. You all know the scenario. As a busy wife and mom, I will be stirring something on the stove, answering the phone, checking backpacks and someone comes up and says “Mama, can you fix the clothes on this baby doll” , or “Can you get me a drink?” or the infamous “mom, I need help in the bathroom!” And usually it’s all while hubby is at home, but they walk right by him to ask me. So of course my mom of the year response is, “Sure because I wasn’t doing anything.”
When my four year old said it, hubby and I had a good laugh about it but I was once again reminded how my words can be used against me. And a lot of the time, they don’t even know what statements mean but because they are used to hearing them, they repeat. Some are cute at the time, but then you think, “if they were listening to that, what else have they heard?” And if your kids are hearing this, what do others hear?
Kids are listening even when we think they are not. If you have spent time around kids, you know this. On Sundays, during the sermon, my girls will be coloring, eating snacks, reading books, etc. My hubby, who is the pastor, will say something and all the sudden I see he got their attention and I didn’t think they were listening. I also teach kids and youth, and after doing a lesson, when I ask a question, it’s usually the one who I didn’t think was listening, who answers. There are always little ears and eyes around.
So I said all of that to come to this point. If you listen to my girls at any given time, you will hear parts of me and their daddy. Good and bad. You will also hear friends, teachers, grandparents etc. all those who influence them. So how does that equate to adult life?
If God is our Father, them our speech, among other things, should emulate Him. So does it? When we are going about our day to day life and others hear us, do they say, “I hear God in them.” “or do they hear the world?” What do they hear the most? Does God hear us and is proud, or does He hear us and has to say, “that is not of me”. If we are really about the Fathers business and emulating Him, then we wouldn’t have to worry about what our kids heard and repeated. So next time those sassy comments come out of my girls mouth, it must be their dads fault, right?

Kim
Phil. 4:13

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