Thursday, February 27, 2014


Right before Christmas we installed a fence around a portion of the back yard outside Kenny's office door with the idea that we could just let the dogs go into the fenced area to do their business and not have to do the early morning and late night dog walks. However, that was not to be. They don’t like to do their business in the fenced area…unless it’s snowing outside. I don’t know why they are being so picky. Although it is kind of neat to be able to open the office door on nice days and let them run in and out.

That’s the background. Here’s where it gets gross. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had some birds bite it and land inside the fenced area (one poor feathered friend landed on a chair!). Chewie will sniff at them, but leave them alone. Lindy Sue, however, (let me pause for a shudder break) likes to carry them around. So far we’ve had to rescue three from her. One I got from her outside and I was able to use one of Ken’s planter bases to scoop up the bird and chunk it outside the fencing. Two, unfortunately, made it inside the house (shudder break).

Two weeks ago I was lying in bed reading when Lindy Sue came walking in the room and then went behind the chair. I could tell she dropped something and then she looked at me. A bad feeling gripped my tummy. I got up and checked…it was a dead finch. Shrieks of “Ewww! Ewww! Ewwwww!” filled my room and I called for the girls before reminding myself that I was the Mom so I had to take care of it. Luckily, Meg had the iron stomach and got a paper towel and took care of the finch (double shudder when I think that it was just a paper towel between Meg’s hand and the bird).

Last night after church, the dogs were running in and out of the house through the office door while Meg and I talked in the living room. Lindy Sue came FROM MY BEDROOM (oh how that haunts me) with something in her mouth. Meg went still and said, “She’s got a bird.” Which, embarrassingly, caused us both to start shrieking. Then the dog jumped on my couch with this bird in her mouth. It was red. Not blood red, but cardinal red. Oh my! She jumped on the back of the couch and dropped the bird so it landed by our feet. So there Meg and I are, shrieking and dancing from foot to foot. Now I don’t know what the difference is between a finch and a cardinal but there obviously is one and we were reacting to that difference! The bird’s neck was twisted so it was lying on the floor “looking” at me, which didn't help matters. “Meg, Meg, get a broom. Get a broom!” I’m shrieking all the while dancing around and trying to keep the dogs from getting to the bird. Meg comes out of the laundry room with a broom. Obviously she didn’t read my mind and get the dustpan, too. “Meg, Meg! Get the dustpan! Get the dustpan!” She runs back to the laundry room and comes back with broom and dustpan. I tell her to keep the dogs away (which, by the way, she does NOT do) while I try to sweep the cardinal onto the dustpan while dancing and shrieking and having Chewie going crazy and attacking the broom. I finally get the job accomplished and dance my way out the door, shrieking all the while, and then give the dustpan a good flip and sling the bird out of the fence.

Now during all of this, Johanna was, well, we’ll say “otherwise occupied.” However, while we’re trying to get the bird on the dustpan, she comes running out to the living room trying to figure out what was going on. After all was shrieked and done, she said that she thought that the house was on fire and was a little irritated that we hadn’t come and gotten her. So off she goes to complete her business. In the meantime, Meg and I have to relive the grossness of it all and dance and shudder, shudder and dance all the while talking about what just happened. Ten minutes later, Kenny comes home and we get to regale him with the story. (Sorry, had to take a shudder break again.) The whole time we’re telling him the story, I’m still dancing foot to foot. Can you believe that man brought up the unfortunate incident of the cat in the dryer from my youth? (Long story short: growing up we had a cat that liked to jump in the dryer. When you threw in wet clothes, he’d jump out. One day he didn’t and I ended up with a load of dried clothes covered with inside out kitty. Not a pretty story. Not one of my better days. But also not applicable in the case of bird removal!!)

Okay, so I know it was just a bird. It’s not like I had to deal with a dead person. But there was just something so creepy about the cardinal. I kept waiting for him to “wake up” and come after me. I obviously watch way too much T.V.! And THAT, is now what we will deem, "The Bird Story" for future generations.

Friday, February 21, 2014

I need gas!

As I drove into school the other day, the fuel gauge made a “ding” noise and I got a message that Fuel was low. Good thing the car tells me when I need to make a stop at a gas station because I rarely look at the fuel gauge.  I mean, I know I should check it when I start the car every time I use it. That’s what they taught us in Driver’s Education. But the truth is, I rarely do. I’ve had the experience of driving until the car didn’t even have fumes left and there I was, stuck on the side of the road having to call someone for help.

It made me think…wouldn’t it be great if our spiritual fuel gauge would ding at us? We all know what we are supposed to do to keep our spiritual gas tanks full but sometimes, a lot of times, we just don’t do it and ride along on God’s good graces. Usually, we drive along in our lives until even the fumes wear out. We come to a screeching halt and either sit around griping about how awful life is or ask for help.

I know I need to make sure to take frequent breaks for time in the Word and time in prayer. It doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen. But I’m so much better equipped to handle the not-so-hot moments if I’ve made sure to keep my spiritual fuel tank full.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It must be a sickness!

I've been piddling around with a blog for the children's ministry at church. I started it in October and there are about 15 posts. At last night's church staff meeting Kenny brought up 1) keeping the website updated and 2) that there is the ability to post blogs. So no more Little Rays of SonLIGHT blog...I'll be blogging directly on the website instead. And what in the world have I been doing for the past hour? Playing around on the website and blog. I put up a welcome post and a post about tonight's class.

I didn't even realize what time it was until I heard Kenny's snoring! I guess that's a good sign that I need to close up shop and get to bed. Tomorrow morning will be here before I know it!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Expanding my mind

So one of my goals this year was to read more books about leadership, pedagogy, children's ministry. I've read 3 books so far this year and am totally going to count the books I have to read for school. It's my blog and I'll do what I want to!

1. "I Blew It" by Brian Dollar (
This was a really easy read. But don't get me wrong. It also WASN'T easy to read because I could see myself in a lot of the book. Each chapter details one of Brian's "biggest mistakes" of the first 20 years of his children's ministry experience. This isn't a woe-is-me or laugh-with-me book, he also goes on to show the lesson he learned from the mistake and how he's moved on. A lot of what he writes about is probably what most people would call no-brainers. But just because you know something is wrong (like procrastination) and just because you get away with it, doesn't mean that it defaults into something right. I appreciated his honesty and his frank candor. I'm one that can relay some of my embarrassing moments but my "biggest mistakes" I'm not sure I could put out there for all the world to see. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is in ministry, not just children's ministry workers. There's a lot to be learned from this man's biggest goofs.

2. "A Heart Like His" by Beth Moore
Oh how I love Beth Moore. Something about the way she can strip things down the bare essentials. This book is about the life of David. I started out highlighting and got to about the 4th chapter when I realized that I was just too moved to highlight anymore. I didn't want to take the time to have to move the marker across the page. I'm sure I'll read this book again and pick up the highlighting. I'm too much of a perfectionist not to. Anyhow, this book is actually the one she rewrote for men so it doesn't have a lot of the "dear ones" and other sweet nothings that usually pepper her books. It starts out with the time in David's life just before the whole Goliath adventure and ends after his death. It is meaty. I'm a pretty fast reader and it took me a good while to get through this book (over 6 weeks) mostly because I felt like I had to process it in small chunks. I know that there is a Bible study by Ms. Moore that covers this study and I am intrigued enough, even having read the book already, to want to go through the study. And Ms. Moore's studies are not for the faint-hearted! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand more about how someone as flawed as David could have been called a man after God's own heart. It is also a good read for anyone who has the idea that God couldn't love them because they (fill in the blank).

3. "5 Leadership Essentials for Women: Developing Your Ability to Make Things Happen" by Linda Clark
I'm not sure after reading this book that I've developed my ability to make things happen. Maybe if I'd gone through the book with someone else to be able to bounce ideas off and talk about the activities and discussion questions. I have no beef with the 5 essentials: group building, communication skills, relationship skills, conflict management and time management. In fact I think those are 5 leadership essentials for all, male or female. However, in a short a book as this is, I think it was a bit of an overstatement that it could develop anything. Good information, but pretty basic. Kind of, "nothing new to see here, folks." I would recommend this book only to someone who really had no grasp of those 5 skills.

4. (reading) "Slave: the Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ" by John Macarthur
I'm reading this book currently for my Spiritual Formation class.  This book first and foremost makes me embarrassed for any Christian who ever had a part in a church split over something like the color of the carpet or the style of music during the worship service. Modern-day Christians, especially American Christians, are so lacking...and I'm holding the mirror up to myself on this one. We are a spoiled, spoiled group of people! I've had to put this book down in the middle of my reading assignment because I was convicted. My only beef with this book is that he does get a little redundant at times. There could have been a little more editing before this book went to print.

5. (reading) "Designed to be like Him" by J. Dwight Pentecost
I'm also reading this book currently for my Spiritual Formation class.  This is my least favorite assigned reading. The print is so small and just seems to tax my eye. He has some awesome things to say but tends to get bogged down in "Christian-ese" a lot and, erg, uses the King James Version anytime he quotes Scripture. He also could have done with better editing as he tends to say the same thing over and over again.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The start of something new...almost

This is actually the freakout BEFORE the start of something new. I’m a nervous wreck. In full disclosure, I’m munching on a fun-size Twix from a Valentine baggie I found on my desk this morning. What am I so nervous about? Well, the Daniel Plan. We’re going to do it. Me, in all my “wisdom” bought the book and read it and then opened my big mouth to my family. Kenny is wavering but Meagan is all for it. I’m making Jo do it. She’s not happy but not as stinky about it as I thought. Course, we haven’t even started yet. Then, to make matters worse, I invited a couple friends along for the ride. AND THEY SAID YES! We will start the eating part on March 1st and end on April 9th (40 days). We are going to do the Bible Study together and meet on Sundays to watch the DVD and go over the study part together. Oh. My. Word. What have I done?

Now, I can see what I look like in the mirror and I know what the scale and what the tape measure says, so it’s not like this is NOT needed. I also know how badly I feel and am 99.99999999% sure it has a lot to do with the junk that I put in my body.

In the meantime, I’m not doing myself any favors with how I’m eating (I finished off the fun-size Twixs and am mowing my way through the SweetTarts). I’m too cheap not to try to eat up the junk that I’ve already purchased that’s in my house. We’re going to start working this week on the kitchen. We’ll pull everything that is not Daniel Plan friendly and put in a box and then stuff that is not Daniel Plan Detox-worthy (10 days of no sugar, no processed food, no dairy, no gluten and no…I’m missing something)

In the meantime, I’m getting back on my water. For awhile there I was drinking half my weight in ounces every day but with all the snow/ice days, I got myself off track. Plus, now that I’m back at work, I’m planning on doing a school loop once an hour. I already screwed that up for today as I didn’t do a loop at 8 or 10, but I did get in one at 9 and just did my one for the 11 o’clock hour. Not sure how I’ll do that with the other school…I’ll have to figure that one out. But one of the things that the trainer from the Daniel Plan Rally video Meg and I watched said was for people with sedentary jobs to get up once an hour and do something. I’m thinking at the other school since I have an office with no way of people seeing in (unlike my office where I am now…totally open to anyone and also a cut-through the teachers get from the back hall to the media center), maybe I can do push-ups/sit-ups/that sort of thing. That’s a thought.

Anyhow back to what I started on. I’m a nervous wreck. It’s a whole new way of eating. Plus, I really don’t want to screw it up. I guess it’s actually a good thing that I do have the girls and my friends along for the ride. They’ll give me the additional impetus to actually see this through.

I hope.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


It’s pretty sad, really. I’m a bit irritated with myself for mulling over it…and continuing to mull over it. I found out last night at the Leadership Meeting that six people voted “no” on whether I should be the children’s director.  I wish they’d add a comment area on the vote paper. I’d like to know whether those six people really felt that I wasn’t qualified or gifted for the job or if they just didn’t like me. OR if they didn’t want to vote for me because of my last name.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I can rub people the right way but there were no other options. No one else put in a resume. They had one person who went to someone on leadership and said they’d like the job, but after being told to please submit a resume, they didn’t. There were two resumes submitted from when we advertised for the job before the former children’s director was hired, but neither of those people even visited the church after submitting their resume, not to mention neither of them had worked in a children’s ministry before much less led one.

Okay, so maybe I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe I’m not everyone’s dream children’s director. But there was no one else! So how in the world could you vote no? And, and, AND, if you had such reservations about me being the children’s director why did you not address leadership in the 7 months of my interim-ship (is that even a word?). If I’m such a bad choice, wouldn’t you want to discuss it with the leadership?

I guess I’m just really over the whole passive-aggressive crap.
I’ve just got to remember where MY focus should be and it’s not on the six people who voted no