Monday, September 20, 2010

My Own Business

A few weeks ago, our Kindermusik educator told all her students that she would no longer provide Kindermusik because it was time for her to focus on other areas of her life. It was heart-breaking for me even though I understand her intentions.

So, I want to be a Kindermusik educator for my area. Who knew it was so much work though? I only want to run the business and hire the old teachers to teach. But I have to take all the training of a Kindermusik teacher and the business training as well. And that is my life right now.

At least soon I'll have a positive answer for my baby who asks every morning, "Music?"

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Woe Unto You

Woe unto all who decide to teach a children's Sunday School class. You will never be able to stop teaching it. And also that mid-week class that you volunteered for--how difficult it is to stop (especially when your own children are in the class).

I need a break!

In the midst of launching two new businesses in our household (my husband's staffing company and my potential ownership of Kindermusik in our community), I have to take time off from my church duties.

To say nothing of being burned out and needing renewal myself.

So why do I feel like I am getting dirty looks for wanting to stop teaching the classes? And how do I really get away from teaching them as new teachers have not been found? And I am still teaching Sunday School two years after I said I wanted to stop!

So I let them stew and fret over new teachers. There really has to be a better way to recruit, but so few people in our churches volunteer to serve. I thought our church would be different, but I've been in the discipleship team meetings and seen how it is so difficult to get people to step forward.

Tonight is the start-up of mid-week activities. No teacher for the preschoolers. Am I supposed to feel so guilty for wanting to not teach?

Churches need to assume that service only lasts for one year. That way a teacher doesn't feel trapped by his/her class forever.

I know I need a break, but I don't feel like anyone is believing me or encouraging me to take one. I can see now why people get burned out and leave churches.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who is My Neighbor?

I teach our preschool Sunday School class at my church. Last week's lesson was on the Good Samaritan.

During the early hours of Monday morning, I awoke from a dream. In it, I was disagreeing with someone over abortion--I think it started with a disagreement over something else though. But as I awoke, I had only one thing in my mind--one question really...

Who is my neighbor?

It was so strange to awaken to that question, but all during this week I have remembered to ask myself that question at various times. When I saw the homeless man with a sign a couple of miles from my house...he is a neighbor. I discussed that idea with my oldest son right there in the car.

And as I see all the people I disagree with over personal convictions (a lot of them in DC today), I realize they are my neighbors, too. No matter if we see eye to eye.

It is very humbling to look at all people and see that God loves them. Our children, our actual neighbors, our pastor, our friends, our enemies, the people with whom we disagree, criminals, terrorists--God loves them all. It makes identifying your neighbor easier said than done.

This story of the Good Samaritan is not so simple when it is actually put into practice.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Far From Home

I grew up about 4 hours from where I live now. Some days it is difficult to be so far from home.

Like when there are complications with my brother and sister-in-law's pregnancy. Doctors are discussing the possibility that it is Downs Syndrome. And oh, how I wish I was there to sit beside them (and my Mom). Not so easy to do through the phone or on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hiding Place

I am blessed to have a not small walk-in closet. It isn't the biggest thing, but it is adequate. I am not talking about just clothes here. I have four small bookshelves in my closet--every one packed with books. Books I had in divinity school. Books that I have acquired since divinity school that are sermon helps. Books I just want to read because everyone else is reading them or they sparked some interest in me.

I have a giant floor pillow to lean against, and I can just read right there in my closet. It muffles the sounds of the rest of the house. It is a place to think, but mainly it is a place to get away into the world of a book. Getting caught up with the characters, and forgetting that I'm even in my closet.

When my husband and I have a disagreement, I sometimes escape. Sometimes, particularly after school, I go there to escape my boys' whining. They all know where to find me, but I think they realize that Mama needs a time out sometimes, too. Sometimes when my oldest son needs to read his book for school, he gets to go to my closet. It may end up being scared space in the house as we search for a place to pause and think and read and dream.

I designated my half of my closet as my own place in the house. I think it is very important to have a place like that. Silence is good. Self-reflection is good. It can bring renewal.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sleeping Child

My 2-year-old feel asleep in the car Saturday evening around 7 PM. I managed to get him in the house and in his toddler bed without waking him. He got up at 8:30 AM Sunday morning. What a good sleeper!

This child is so funny about his new toddler bed. Only one day in the past week that he has used it has he gotten out of it in the morning. Usually he is just laying in bed waiting for someone to come and get him.

My older boys would never even sleep in a crib. But with the pressures of having more children to care for, I made sure that baby #3 was "crib-conditioned." He never knew anything else. In fact, he cannot sleep unless alone in a room on a crib mattress. Such a change, but it has been refreshing for his mama. When Mama gets sleep, too, life is much more pleasant. And since his older brothers sleep so well together in their full-size bed, I never would have believed that we wouldn't have sleep issues with three youngsters in the house.

It just reminds me how life can surprise.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I hate cooking. Now that my husband has quit his second shift job, we have to cook most nights. I am getting by. Menu planning helps a lot although I usually just worry about the main dish and not the sides. The best thing though was that my husband started cooking, too. The traditional Chinese chicken soup like his mother makes, my husband can make that now! Also, we have the method for preparing green beans like my MIL.

When my in-laws were here a few weeks ago, my husband asked me to get them to show me how they cook (the foods that my husband likes). I refused to do it unless he learned as well. So we didn't learn. Instead my husband has been relying on memory and some spoken instructions. And we are doing pretty good at this cooking thing. We have been figuring it out for ourselves.

I have been trying out several new recipes a week--some have been good and others are not so good. I have to go to the grocery store more now, too. But that is okay due to my extreme couponing, so our food bill hasn't increased that much.

Maybe one day I'll actually enjoy cooking. But I'm not holding my breath about it.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Crying over Kindergarten?

My best friend's daughter started Kindergarten today, three weeks after my son started. I have other friends and acquaintances whose children have started school. They all say they cry about it.

Really? Crying over Kindergarten? I say save the tears until you are driving them to college.

Truthfully, I never cried when my oldest started school, and I never cried when this second son started school. I have kept the philosophy that my goal is to teach my sons to be independent. Kindergarten is a step along that way. And I've not cried one tear about it.

But I do have one more son at home. In three years, I'll let you know if there were tears.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where I Live

I have lived in north Raleigh for six years and one month. Here are some reasons I love living here:

1. I went to college here.
2. I have a great church community at Heritage BC in Wake Forest, NC.
3. I like my sons' teachers at the elementary school.
4. I love the preschool at Hope Lutheran.
5. I get to see and sometimes meet such a diverse group of people everyday.

One thing I do not like about living here:

1. My heart is always in the county of my birth: Rutherford County, NC. If the jobs had been there, I know my husband and I would have never left that county. Our families are there. But I feel very blessed to live where I do today, and I am thankful for the journey that got me here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I used to be online all day long. I had a laptop on the kitchen table always on and connected throughout the day. Now I restrict myself to getting online only after the children are in bed and my chores are done. I may not even have 30 minutes online time, and I realize that that is okay.

I used to be quite addicted to being online. I could literally feel the rush when I turned on my computer. So strange.

I made a conscience decision to limit my time online, and it was difficult at first. But I think it is better for me. Too much information all the time is very tiring.

Nowadays, I get online, do what I need to do (mainly email), and I get offline. Except tonight. I should have been offline ten minutes ago, and I came to post on my blog instead. :)


The Weak Become Strong

I just finished watching The Book of Eli with my husband. And then I had to spend 30 minutes telling him about all the theological references in the movie. I always notice things like that since I'm always looking for things to put into a sermon. Also the directing was super. My husband doesn't notice things like that either. *Sigh*

The thing I am reflecting on now is the way the weak become strong in the great stories of our day--both in movies and in books. The Book of Eli is a good example of this idea. It is crazy in the eyes of the world to see that weak people can become the heroes and leaders and saviors for others. But it is not crazy for a God who chose to enter into human history as a baby. The weak become strong: such is the Kingdom of God.

Monday, July 26, 2010


My husband is buying his first business venture on Friday. What a lot of anxiety for me! I know that he will do well--he has a head for business. The company--a staffing agency--is something that he will do well. My husband has recruited before. And he is super great at relating to people and selling his ideas.

But so much anxiety for me! I have a thousand doubts about this unknown. For me, it is just a step of faith in him that gives me a bit of peace about this. Beyond any financial security, I want this to be something that he loves to do--that he will have fun with his business.

I also feel like I am one step behind him as we figure out what things need to be in place for his owning the business. I don't have a head for business apparently. I have always learned better doing things hands-on. Now I get my chance.

Not too many things in my life have had such risk. But taking risks and having them work out makes life rewarding.

I'll trust my husband on this and have faith.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sick Child

When my youngest child is sick, he just wants me to be near him. He wants me to sit beside him as he watches episode after episode of Yo Gabba Gabba. If I get up, he whines and cries until I sit back down. That is reason the dishes don't get washed.

When we are weary and depressed and sick as adults, do we force our Parent to be near us? God as our Parent isn't about to let other things in the world go undone, but I have never thought about my sickness and its relationship to God before.

When I suffered through the worst of my depression last year, my joy started returning once I pleaded with God to sit beside me. Maybe I was like a whiny child, but I don't think God minds. God loves me more than I will ever love any of my children. God knows the sorrow and pain I go through better than I understand how my 2-year-old feels.

I just wished I had whined a little sooner because God was waiting all along.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Too Many Books?

Yesterday, I took my son to the library where he checked out 17 books. As we were walking to the car, he said it was a lot of books. I told him yes, but there can never be too many books.

In my closet, I have a lot of books. Books I have collected through paperbackswap, and others I have ordered online, and others I have bought at bookstores (new & used). Most days just the sight of my bookshelves in my closet gives me a thrill. I look at the books and see all the places I could go or things to learn. But where is the time? I read the newspaper everyday, too--and sometimes (very rarely) I watch TV.

I guess I need to use some of my computer time.

One thing I do know, at any given time of the day, there is always a book a few feet from me--a book I want to read and enjoy. And I do not have too many books.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blogging: So Old-Fashioned

You may have noticed that I have been blogging very rarely in the last couple of years. Blame it on Facebook. Keeping up with friends on FB has been the priority. Blogging seems so yesterday now.

I do have a lot of things on my mind still, but processing them has been an activity saved for my therapist visits. But this week I am feeling compelled to write. I am glad I have a place to do that.

Also, I got several new comments on old posts. I have no idea why the sudden jump in comments. Am I linked somewhere? If you know, let me know.

It did serve as a reminder that I do still have this blog. So maybe a little old-fashioned blogging is in order.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I really like to preach. Not just the standing in front of a congregation and delivering a sermon. It is also preparing a sermon. All the working with the text and figuring out the theological message that the author intended.

When I prepare a sermon, I am sometimes surprised by the way it turns out. Sometimes the theological message is one that I am not expecting at all. Yet there it is.

I never preach three points and a poem. My sermons are more circular--spiraling to the center and landing on the central message at the end. I like to tell stories, stories that are sometimes too personal. Religion is experiential you know.

When I preach, I have a sense that it is what I am supposed to do, where I belong. I can live off the high of delivering a sermon for a few days. I cannot imagine getting paid for something I love to do so much.

I currently preach about 5 times a year when area pastors ask me to fill in for them. I am glad my name is out there, that the pastors know who to call. I will be thankful for that and not dwell on the issue that if I were a man, I would have been pastoring a church for over ten years by now. It is true, you know.

There is a plan for my life, but it is a rare week that I don't wish that God would hurry up and reveal it to me.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Think It Can't Be Done?

After reading this:

Why Do Evangelicals Dislike Me So Much?
by Brian McLaren

I would like to say that I am pro-feminist, pro-social justice, anti-dispensational premillennialist, pro-immigrant, pro-Palestinian, pro-evolution, pro-gay rights, pro-choice, pro-ecumenical and...

100% evangelical Christian complete with an M.Div. degree!