Category Archives: As The Parsonage Turns

The story of two ordinary people following God in ministry

Summer Lovin’

No, this post isn't about my summer love life. That's for another post.  The summer of 2014 has been calming and tranquil. With Lauren gone to two separate camps and vacation thrown in the mix for all of us I have had plenty of time these summer months to sit across the table or chair from some of my favorite sipping coffee or having lunch or walking at the park I love. I have attended three weddings, two of which Rob officiated and one where we just sat back and enjoyed the view on a hot summer afternoon at our church camp. One more wedding to cap off the end of summer on Labor Day which will make four young couples from our church tying the knot this summer. If I could impart any wisdom to the newly married, the encouragement would be to love God by keeping Jesus Christ as the primary lover of your soul. Do not place your spouse on a pedestal or at the center of your life. Keep your relationship with Jesus front and center and look to him for everything you need. Additionally, to love your neighbor with our spouse being our closed neighbor. I have also spent the long hazy days of summer reading. I love to make lists and I love to make them in Moleskin. This particular list is my summer reading where I wrote down books I wanted to read, recommendations I found and authors I wanted to check out. I am loving the public library and their online catalog where I can find the book and put it on hold. I haven't purchased many books in the last year except for a counseling class I am taking. unnamed (3)Those check marked or crossed off have been read or tossed in the trash taken back to the library. A couple of authors were so vulgar and graphic. #10 is a perfect example. One I could not put down was Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. She writes the best fiction with some of her family history woven throughout several of her books. I also enjoy Ted Dekker for fiction. Jeremiah Burroughs is a very long time ago author who wrote  The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  I highly recommend this book on contentment. I will be adding the rest of what I read this summer to the tab under Reading List. Summer lovin' is almost over, but my favorite season, fall is approaching hoping it is long, making our winter shorter. Hey a girl can dream.  

Thailand, Bali and Kopi Luwak

Reader alert...this post may be all over the place. Just sayin. Yesterday morning while having coffee with a friend in our local small town diner Hannah was half way around the world being dropped off at an airport by the driver of her new friend...a Christian Indonesian diplomat. Indonesia is 1% Christian, 95 % Muslim and 4% Hindu.(Those are the statistics quoted to me by Hannah) What were the chances she would be entertained with sightseeing, dinner and a place to stay by a well-to-do woman taking Hannah under her wing for a few hours? They were also joined by a singer and his band whom Hannah later found out was a Christian artist who is famous throughout Indonesia and sings in his church. I don't believe in chance or coincidence or karma.  I believe our dear Hannah's trip to Southeast Asia is being totally orchestrated by a Holy God who loves this mother and her daughter more than we could ever imagine. I often pray
Lord, whatever it takes, align the desires of my heart with Yours and whatever it takes Lord keep me desperate for You because because I tend to wander when I stop feeling my need for You.(these prayers are not original with me).
God then sees fit to answer these prayers typically in the area of those I love most, my husband and children. He has provided many opportunities to run to Him as Justin was deployed to Iraq several years ago, Kelsey went overseas three years ago and Hannah is the global wanderer where she is presently on her way to France to do volunteer work after being in Southeast Asia for a month. Her wanderings(the title of her web site) took her to Thailand where she was travelling with a longtime friend. Sadly, those circumstances changed and Hannah was left alone in northern Thailand. Skyping has kept us close as she has asked for advice about travelling alone. God has protected her in the busy city of Bangkok, the beaches and countryside of Bali and back to Bangkok. He has protected her from injury when she fell in a hole, battered and bruised but no broken bones. He enabled her to worship a few weeks ago with Westerners in an evangelical Church in Bangkok where the pastor was originally from New York. Is she safe? Why is she travelling alone? And why is she travelling? are some of the questions I have been asked. The answer to those questions will have to be asked of her because I cannot speak for her or even begin to explain her dreams and desires. What I can say with confidence is that my trust is not in government that makes decisions I don't agree with, my trust is not in any relationships or particular people who may let me down. My trust is not in the good or bad choices my children may make nor is it in the fact of a daughter half way around the world travelling alone. My trust is in Jesus Christ and the written Word of God which I cling to like butter on bread. The lessons of relying on my heavenly Father have been forged in the pain of loss, leaving and letting go of everything I hold dear. Following Jesus is a path of joy but of being a radical disciple. Because leaving all to forsake all others is a radical way to live. (Luke 9:23; 14:26) On a less serious note, she has informed me of a souvenir she will be bringing home from Indonesia. We both love to drink coffee so we will be sharing some Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world given to her by her diplomat friend. Any guesses on how it's made?  

A Day Like Yesterday

yesterday_logo A very long time ago I dreamed about a day. A day like yesterday. Twenty-five plus years ago I was a twenty something mom of two babies twenty-one months apart. A vivid memory of wanting those days to rush by so I could have a day like I had yesterday. Justin and Hannah were great babies, but I felt like I had twins. Need I say anything else? Would June 3, 2014 every be a reality? As a single college student I floundered because all I wanted to do in life was be a wife and mother. Now that I was, with a third baby on the way making our family with three under the age of four, I wondered if I had chosen the right path. I love(d) being a mom but there were days I wanted to trade in my title for something...more. Several years later Lauren is the joy of my old age as she was born in my late thirties. The day in and day out of mothering is not for the faint of heart. To be the mom God has called you to be takes courage, perseverance and faith. Whether you stay at home as a mother, work full-time or part-time outside the home, parenting is a full-time job without many rewards you can put your hands on and feel. The trenches of motherhood are often dark, muddy and lonely wondering if the war will be won in the end. (as a side note Rob and I are watching Band of Brothers in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-day, so trenches are fresh in my mind). Trenches are where the real work is accomplished, often for long periods of time, and I often wondered if I would ever emerge, leaving the mud for good. A day like yesterday began when on the spur of the moment I  took off for Albany to visit one of my babies who will turn 23 in a couple of weeks. Since my older three no longer live at home the times of one on one conversation are limited. We ventured into a food co-op where all the food is grown locally and freshly baked or made. Off to Trader Joes to scope out a store my daughters love, I sure hope it's true there's one coming to Syracuse. Lunch was at a an out of the way coffee shop where we were able to take our time, having an adult conversation. Before I turned my car in the direction of home we made a quick stop at another coffee shop where she bought me iced coffee for the road. I really do not like the saying that is said to young moms far too often...The quote is far too cliche' for me and does not begin to encompass all that motherhood is.
You better enjoy your kids while they are home, because you blink and they are adults.
I did enjoy them while they were little, the teen years were fun but....and the college years kept me on my knees. But the reward I spoke of earlier in this post, of emerging from the trenches, took the form of a day like yesterday. Those days do come to an end, and the sun is shining on top of the hill of motherhood with a day like yesterday possible for all moms. So press on mom with three little ones, press on mom who is running a taxi everyday, press on mom who has two full time jobs, press on mom whose last child is making you an empty nester. Press on mom... ...a day like yesterday is in your future.