My Friends’ Dads

Growing up, there was a group of girls that I hung out with from junior high to high school and we were pretty tight.  I say “pretty” because we were still girls.  We did our fair share of gossiping or liking the same guy or creating completely unnecessary drama for the sake of creating completely unnecessary drama. (Thank you Jesus that I have boys!)  But, overall, they were my best friends.

I was thinking about them the other day and the difference between them and the close friends that I have today.  Besides the fact that we are no longer pimple faced teenagers, I think the biggest difference between my friends from my youth and my friends from today is that back then, I was friends with their entire family, and they were friends with mine.  It was inevitable.  We “hung out” at each other’s houses, so we got to know each other’s siblings (some of whom felt like our own) and each others parents (some of whom felt like our own.)

All of my friends had amazing dads.  Not a dud in the group.  They were all so different, but I loved each one.  Stef’s dad was the goofy guy who would meander through the kitchen while we were chatting with her mom, probably pick up something to munch on, and tell some cheesy one liner, followed by his goofball laugh.  Mindi’s dad was the tenderheart, which is weird because he was a cop, but he was the one who got called out for crying during The Lion King.  My dad was the sarcastic funny guy.  The one who told my friends to stop wandering around his house and made up crazy stories to get a laugh… and he always did.  Kim’s dad was the huge teddy bear with the biggest heart and the biggest smile.  He always made me feel like I was one of his own.

And Kim’s dad died last week.

When I heard the news I felt like I had been punched in the gut.  I could literally feel my body going numb from head to toe while at the same time feeling like I was going to throw up.  I hadn’t even seen Steve in years, but he was one of our dads!

When I think of Steve, I automatically think of Honduras.  His heart had strong ties to that country and to the people that lived there.  I had gone on two missions trips there, both of which Steve came, too.  My best memory of Steve is actually in Honduras.  I had moved there after college to be a full time missionary, but I was incredibly homesick (and thats an understatement.)  My 22nd birthday had just passed and I knew Steve was coming to visit us and he was bringing gifts from home, and I was so excited about my gifts.  I felt like they would comfort me while I was so far away from the people I loved the most.  So, he came and I got my gifts and I was happy, and blah, blah blah.  But the surprise came during his first morning at our house.  He had woken up before me, so when I came out of my room I saw him standing in the living room.  I can still see him as I’m writing this.  I remember his smell because he had taken a shower and smelled all zestfully clean, which was such a nice smell compared to the burning trash.  I remember him just standing there and smiling at me and he just said, “Good morning” and in that moment I realized he was “home” to me.  His smile, and his presence and his hug meant more than any of those gifts or videos that got sent to me.   I remember feeling like my own dad had come to visit.  And he never treated me less that one of his own daughters.  Never.

Although it’s tragic, it kind of make sense that he died while he was in Honduras, and that he died while serving a friend.  Like I said, he was a big man, and his heart was even bigger.  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

So, tomorrow is Steve’s memorial, and just to be completely honest, I’m dreading it.  I know we’ll do our best to celebrate his life, and honor his memory, but it’s going to be sad.  Heartbreakingly sad.

Steve has left behind an amazing family; a beautiful wife, three beautiful daughters, and three amazing grandkids.  Pray for them.

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Crossroads

I’m pretty sure this is going to end up a verbal vomit-ish post, because I feel like I have all these thoughts swarming around in my brain, and I just need an outlet to get them all out.

Thank God for this here blog.

I feel like we’re at a crossroads.

Have I said that before?  I feel like I’ve said that before.  But this time I really, really mean it.  Really.  I don’t know how to explain it except to say that it’s a stirring in my heart that won’t go away.  I know that sounds hyper-spiritual (especially if you’re not the spiritual type, but deal.  Mm, kay?)

We’re just in this weird place where everything is up in the air and every time I think it’s going to settle down, it doesn’t.

A month ago, I honestly felt like our life was spinning out of control.  I was so stressed out that I got a cold sore.  That is how you know Erin is stressed out.  Ignore her words of being okay and “giving it to God.”  If you see a huge disgusting growth on her lip, she’s stressed. Hug her.  Just avoid the cold sore.  They are highly contagious.

Anyway, here I was with my cold sore, thinking that our house was going to auction, we didn’t have enough income to go anywhere but my mom and dads (which would be perfectly acceptable in any other country but America, by the way) and it felt like there was no way out.  Then things started falling into place.  The bank postponed foreclosure and was looking at approving us for a short sale.  I interviewed for a job and it went really well.  Geric started applying at churches, feeling he was ready to get back into ministry.  We were on a path.  It was good.  New directions.  Yay.

But now the bank is silent again, taking their sweet time and having us jump through short sale hoops.  The awesome interview I had has also led to silence, actually an email a few weeks ago saying that the candidates would know by the end of the week, and then silence.  I’m taking that as a no.  Silence from the churches Geric has applied for and questions in his mind… is he too old to be a youth pastor???

And now everything is up in the air again.

And I’m praying my cold sore doesn’t come back.

I feel like God keeps taking us to this place.  And I’m really trying to figure out what it is that He’s teaching me, because I’m sure once I do He’ll lead me out of here, right?  Right, God?  I’m talking to you, Big Guy. 

But then it crossed my mind this morning as I was doing my quiet time, that maybe God keeps bringing us here to this place, because he has other plans for us.

Okay, here comes the crazy. 

I’ve always felt drawn to missions.  After my first trip to Mexico (when I was in junior high) I wrote in my journal that I wanted to win a million dollars so I could give it to the people we met.  I remember feeling like I wanted to give up everything and GO!  And I did almost every summer.  My senior trip wasn’t a wild party in Cancun or Hawaii, it was a two week mission trip to Honduras.  After college, I was directionless, and my first thought was, I should be a missionary, and it felt right.  I remember sitting on a hill at the park, and it was just right.  And I did.  I packed up my stuff and moved to Honduras… to endure the hardest three months of my life.

And then I met Geric.  I met him right before he left to go be a part of YWAM (Youth with a Mission) in Australia.  He came home after his trip and ended up going back to work in Indonesia.  And when he came back from there we really got to know each other when we were on the first missions outreach team at our church together.  And then you have to take into account the place where we fell in love… on a missions trip to Mexico.  I remember (once again) sitting on a hill and watching him dig out steps to the front of a house that we had just built and thinking, “I’m gonna marry that guy.”  And lo and behold,  I did.

Crazy, right?

Because missions are scary.

Honestly, I don’t want to go.

I don’t want to drag my kids to God-knows-where to do God-knows-what.  And raise them to be weird missionary kids.  (No offense Carrie.) I don’t want them to be in a place that’s considered “dangerous.”  I don’t want to take them away from their extended family only to see them once or twice a year for a couple of weeks.  That one seriously breaks my heart. I don’t want to be forced to learn another language, because that’s really hard.  I don’t want to meet new people who are nothing like me and my American ways, and then try to be their friend.

But at the same time, I love Jesus.  And I’ve come to realize that the only reason I’m here on this planet is to serve Him and glorify Him.  And all I really want to do is run hard after Him and His will for my life.

I haven’t even talked to Geric about all of this, although I know he would have our suitcases packed in 10.2 seconds if I told him I wanted to go.  Go where?  Another unknown.

Now that I’ve typed this I want to delete it.  Because I feel like now you’re all going to hold me to it.  Like if I see you out on the streets (out on the streets???  That made me laugh.) But if I do see you out on the streets I feel like you’re going to come up to me and ask when I’m leaving and where I’m going, or if I wussed out.  Don’t do that, k?

I told you in the beginning, this is all a bunch of verbal vomit that may or may not lead to action.

So, yeah, we’re at a crossroads.

 

The Big White Sign of Shame

It came yesterday.

It actually didn’t get hung on our door since Geric was out front fixing a sprinkler, but it got handed to him.

In case you’re lost, “the big white sign of shame” is the sign that gets hung on your door when you’re in foreclosure and they set a date of sale, the date your house gets auctioned on courthouse steps.  Our date is November 3rd.  I’ll be sure to wear my cutest outfit for our date.

Here’s the ironic thing.  Yesterday morning I woke up early (and the kids slept in… praise God!) so I had some time to do a quiet time.  I did my Bible study and read a couple of devotionals and then I felt led to Proverbs 31, so I read that, which is the chapter about the wife of noble character.  I got hung up on verse 25 which says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”  I love this image.  Here is this amazing woman who daily clothes herself in strength and dignity, holding her head up high.  I want to be like her.  Not only that, but she laughs at the days to come.  She lays her worries aside and knows that God holds her future, so why worry?  Laugh!  Be filled with His joy!

I was so touched by these verses that I actually texted them to a few of my friends.  And while I hope they were encouraged by them, I realized when the sign of shame came, those verses were for me.  I had to keep reminding myself yesterday that God is in control, not me, not the bank, not my real estate agent.  God, and God alone.  And because of that, I can relax.  Not just relax, REJOICE!  He’s not out to get me.  He loves me.  He loves my family.  He wants good for us.  I can laugh at the days to come because He is in control of those very days.

So this morning, I remembered a sermon that Pastor Glen gave one Sunday at our church.  He was talking about 2 Corinthians 4:7-9.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

We are those jars of clay.  Just a bunch of boring jars of clay.  Yes, we were shaped by the Potter’s hand, but a jar of clay is pretty mundane, pretty worthless.  What makes us special is the treasure inside.  It’s Jesus!

Those verse go on to talk about being pressed, but not crushed, which is exactly where I feel like I am today.  But here’s the amazing part.  Yes, I’m being pressed on every side (like a mafioso with his head in a vice) and I’m not being crushed, but I am a jar of clay, so there are some major cracks forming in the surface.  But you know what shines through?  The treasure inside!  Jesus will shine through today!  I choose Him!  I will not be brought down by my circumstances, but I will lift my eyes to my Maker, My Creator, My Sustainer, My Redeemer, My Restorer, who gives me hope daily and fills me to overflowing with His joy!

Today I choose His joy!

And today I choose to look into His eyes when my circumstances overwhelm me.

And today I choose to hope in Him.

And today I might get a pair of new shoes for our big date.

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Our Cabin

Between the memorial and the family reunion/BBQ which made sense because we were all in the same place at the same time (I told you we were crazy) we went up to the cabin to take some pictures and wander around.

Here’s the train my Gramps built so they didn’t have to lug all their groceries up the hill.  It’s a little run down.

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And here’s all the steps that lead up to the cabin.

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I missed a picture of the whole cabin from the outside (lame) but here is the front door with some pretty stained glass.

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And the inside, that has a few more items than it used to.  Why did this area seem so much bigger when I was younger?

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This is last family portrait that we took all together.  I’m thinking it was probably about 15 years ago.  I’m the skinny little thing (that probably thought she was fat) on the second step up, far left.

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In my Gramma’s bedroom she had a little sewing corner because she loved to sew.

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We even found a picture of Bridget in her rose costume that I told you about!  How cool is that?  Although I can see why she didn’t want to wear it to school.  How would she sit at her desk?

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Here is the view she had every morning when she woke up!  Beautiful!!!

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And in the other corner of the room she had a little dresser topped with pictures of her and my Gramps.  He was the love of her life!

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Look at how cute they were!

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And in case you don’t take my word for it, check out her sweatshirt!  Haha!

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Out in the back I made the boys pose for a picture on the deck.  I remember the deck being built and I remember Gramps trying to teach us how to shoot tin cans with a bb gun out there.  And I remember making homemade ice cream out there.

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Here’s a picture of my Gramma, my Gramps, and my sisters and I in almost the same spot as the deck was being built.

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Gramma’s other big love was gardening.  Here’s some pictures of her flowers.

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My favorite moment of our visit was the tree swing.  I remember when Gramps put it up and it felt like we were going so high.  And we really were!  The tree that it’s tied to is huge!  We would swing way out over all the steps.  It was exhilarating!  Here’s my boys going for a ride of their own.

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And then Geric gave it a go.  He’s crazy.

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And then we drove back over the bridge to my Uncle’s house.

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More to come…

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CheapOstay

Gramma’s Memorial

Back to our trip from a couple of weeks ago.

Just case you missed it, my Gramma died a couple of months ago.  We drove up north a couple of weeks ago for her memorial.  And I realize some of you are thinking, Erin, why in the world would you blog about your Gramma’s memorial?

Well, first of all, she would want me to, that’s why.  She loved my blog and read it a lot and she would leave me comments if I didn’t post enough.  She was always very passive aggressive about it but it was usually something like, I sure miss seeing pictures of the boys.  I wonder when they will return.  I check in every day just hoping to see something new.  Hilarious, right?  Silly, Gramma.

Another reason I’m choosing to post this is because this is a virtual scrapbook of my family among other things, as I have mentioned before.

And finally, because some of you think I am crazy, and I just need to show you that’s it’s mostly genetic.  I was born this way and there’s no way out of it.

For example, walking up to my Gramma’s memorial, which was on the beach of the Russian River where the cabin is, there were signs pointing to the direction of the event.  My Gramma is Mary Nelson.

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Just a little crazy, no?  Not everyone makes signs like that for their mother’s memorial?  Oh.

This is what I remember the most about the Russian River… trees that touch the heavens.

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And this pathway down to the river. We used to stop and my dad would show us the plants that you could pull a piece off of and chew and it tasted just like black licorice.

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It was very nostalgic to be on the rocky side of the river again.  I hadn’t been there since I was a kid.  And to have my kids there was a trip.  The boys really loved trying to skip rocks in the river with their cousins.

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I dare you to find a cuter baby.  I dare you.IMG_2442

Geric played the guitar and sang some songs during the memorial.  One of my cousins read a poem and I was supposed to read one too, but figures that Elijah wanted to nurse right when I was supposed to read, so Bridget stepped in for me.  Sucks to be a lactator sometimes, you know?

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This is my cousin’s son WIlliam, who is personality plus!  Loved this kid!  And so did my kids.  And here he is holding up a bottle of what we can only hope is river water.  It’s river water, right Mary?  Please tell me it’s river water.IMG_2454

I decided to exclude the rest of the Nelson’s and take a picture of our clan down by the river.

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More to come tomorrow…

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Picaboo

Deep Breath In…

I hate it that I’m sounding like such a complainer, but that’s what blogs are for, right?Because if all I did in real life was complain, I would have zero friends. Because who really wants to hang out with a complainer?  And who really wants to hang out with someone who starts sentences with “because” and “and” all the time?  Not me.

So, Blog, I know it’s not fair, but I unload on you.  And I use a lot of bad grammar when I do it.  Don’t take it personally.

Yesterday was rough.  I started out at the park having a really good playdate with one of my really good friends.  Elijah stayed at home with Daddy, so all I had to do was sit on a bench, chat, and occasionally yell, “You’re being nice, right?”

We came home and Geric left for work and I started thinking, “Hey, when do I go back to work?  I haven’t heard anything.”  I have worked at an Adult School for the last four years, and at the end of the last couple of years the budget has been so bad that we always leave for the summer not really sure of what our schedule will be the following year.  I have moved around to different positions, different locations, and have had my hours cut.  It’s always, oh so exciting.

Anyway, I decided to call my friend who’s the counselor and ask her what’s up… because honestly, my principal just makes me feel a little awkward.  He’s a perfectly nice man, and if he ever read this I would want him to know he’s a perfectly nice man.  Focus in on that, you’re a perfectly nice man, Mr. Principal that shall remain nameless.  But socially, he’s slightly on the awkward side.

So, I called my friend and she said that I wasn’t on the schedule this year.  What?!?!  Honestly, my first thought was, “I jumped through all those hoops to get that STUPID TB test and I didn’t even have to???”  But then I got off the phone and I thought about it some more.  Why didn’t I even get a phone call letting me know that?  Or even an email?  School starts next week.  They’ve obviously known for awhile that I wasn’t going to be coming back, and no one (especially the principal) had the cajones to pick up the phone and let me know?  When I told my mom she said that that would just be common courtesy.  I said, no it’s less than that.  It’s just decent.

So, I got off the phone and went to get the mail.

First envelope I opened was from Kaiser.  It said that even though I don’t have TB and my chest x-ray came back clear I may need to take some antibiotics, so they made me an appointment.  Thanks.  But no thanks.

Next envelope.  From the toll roads.  Geric got another ticket because he hasn’t registered his car on our account and I keep the box in the van.  Any year now that he’d like to get around to doing that would be awesome.

Next envelope.  From IndyMac.  Basically said that since we are in foreclosure we have a personal agent to keep in contact with so they can assist us to the best of their abilities.  I like to think of him as my personal foreclosure buddy.  Like when the man comes to hang the big giant white “Sign of Shame” on my window I’ll run to my foreclosure buddy and buddy up, holding his hand real tight.  Because that’s probably all they can do to the best of their ability.  The letter went on to say that we have options.  We could always APPLY FOR A LOAN MODIFICATION!!!!  Are you freaking kidding me?  These people seriously are like the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.  Pure unadulterated incompetence at it’s finest, over there at IndyMac.

The next thing I saw was this magazine from Loma Linda.

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And you know what?  At this point I was so pissed that I felt like these three women were just taunting me.  The blonde in the middle, she’s the worst.  Her giant toothy laugh is just too much.  It’s almost like she smelled something stanky.  It’s like she’s looking at me and saying, “You got yours, Erin.  Oh yes, you got yours.”  Then throwing her head back in an ugly cackle.  I want to punch her right in the nose.  I want her to take her magazine and shove it.  Her magazine about women’s health that includes an article on bad hair care.  That’s not even a women’s health issue, genius.  She pisses me off.

It was right about then that I realized I had lost it.

So, I loaded the boys in the van and went to the grocery store.

And I bought two gallons of ice cream.

Deep breath in…

Mama Needs a Pedi

On my way home from the beach the other day I had my feet on the dashboard of the van.  I looked down and saw this.

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Hi big toe with half of the polish gone.  Hi dry, cracked skin.  Hi calloused heels.  (Not pictured.)

Nasty, right?

Before Geric and I got married we had to take an engagement class at our church.  Looking back, it was a silly little class.  Some of it was good, like discussing expectations and conflict resolution.  But some of it was really, really… silly.

Like the week we talked about sex.  I get it.  We’re Christians.  We’ve all taken a vow of purity (ha ha), but do we really need to learn about human anatomy?  It felt like I was sitting in a 6th grade Family Life course, which I happened to be teaching that year.  Why none of us raised our hand and said, “Um, you’re kinda insulting my intelligence here” is beyond me.

Anywho, that wasn’t my point.  Just had to get that off my chest… 8 years later.

My point is that there was one part of the class, maybe the expectations part, where we were supposed to write down something that we spent money on regularly that our partner may not know about.  Then we all went around the room and shared what we wrote down.  That was kinda funny too, now that I think about it because 90% of the people said they spent money on gas every week.  Really???  That’s the best you’ve got?  That’s your big spending secret?

Maybe I should’ve let Geric know I would be tithing ten percent every week too, in addition to my gasoline addiction.  Oh, and some weeks… come a little closer so no one can hear me… some weeks I go to the grocery store and buy food!   *Gasp!*

Come on, people!

When it came to me I said that I spent $60 a month on pedicures.  Because at that time I got one every other week.  I was single, without kids, with a career, and I could.  I thought this would continue forever, especially since I divulged my secret at our class.  It was all out in the open.  I was good to go.

Obviously pedicures have become very few and far between.  They usually happen when my sister comes down from Oakland to visit, which happens once every couple of months.  So, now my toes are done at home.  Or they suffer and end up looking like a beat up, chipped away, nasty mess.  (See above.)

I’m not sad about it.

It’s just the way it is.

For now.

Because you can bet your bippy that when these kids vacate the premises, I’ll be heading back down the nail salon on a very regular basis.

So, my question for you is this… what has changed, or what have you given up since you’ve been married or have had kids that you never thought you would?  

From Ministry to Mold… and Back Again?

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, then you know that my husband used to be a youth pastor.  He started out volunteering at the church where we met, but then got a full time job at a smaller church.  A couple of years after that he was offered a junior high position at one of the biggest churches in our area.  Each church had it’s own pros and cons, but overall he loved doing ministry and I liked being a “pastor’s wife.”

A couple of years ago the bubble burst, he lost his job in ministry, and since then he has started his own business as a mold inspector.  At first, it was a hit to the pride for both of us.  I know men usually find their identity in what they do, but I had found my identity in being a pastor’s wife.  There was something special about it, and I liked it.  So, when people would ask what he’s doing now, I would have to take a big gulp before I replied, “He’s a mold inspector.”  Yes, it’s an honorable profession.  Yes, it pays the bills.  Yes, someone needs to do it.  Yes, it saves lives from toxic black mold.  But it doesn’t feel as world-changing as being a youth pastor did.  I would sometimes just say, “Oh, he started his own business” just to avoid the word “mold.”  I don’t know.  It’s just not attractive.  And most people don’t know how to follow the statement, “He’s a mold inspector.”  I don’t blame them.  It’s kinda gross, and not very exciting at all.  So, you usually just get an exaggerated nod with an, “Oh… wow.”

However, two years have gone by, and now I love that Geric is a mold inspector.  There’s not an ounce of embarrassment when people ask me what my husband does for a living.  I suppose I’ve gotten used to it, and it helps that most people know now, so I don’t get asked too often.  I like it that he’s his own boss.  He makes his own rules and doesn’t have to answer to someone else.  He makes his own hours.  He works from home a lot.  We see each other now more than we have ever seen each other in the span of our relationship.  And it’s nice.  We’ve become friends again.

I also really, really love living outside of the fishbowl.  If you’ve been in ministry or been married to someone who’s in ministry or are a child of someone who is ministry then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  People know you.  People you don’t even recognize know you.  And people come up and say hi like they’ve known you for years and you don’t even recognize their face.  They know the names of your children and weird little stories about your life (that were probably used as a sermon illustration) and you smile and nod and act like you know them back, but you don’t.  It’s not a horrible thing, but it does feel a little awkward at times, especially if you’re a natural introvert, like me.

The problem is, my husband is a pastor.  He’s called to be in the ministry.  I completely understand it.  I am called to be a mother.  If I had no children, but had the ability to have children, it would be sad and depressing and I would have a constant nagging to create a family.  I could go on with my life, just my husband and I, and we could make the best of it, but there would be a void.  And that would suck.

So, that’s where we’re at.  We’re making the best of our situation, but there’s a void in Geric’s heart that can only be filled if he steps into his calling.  But it makes me nervous.  For starters, I’m just not a fan of change.  I don’t want to lose my husband to the ministry.  I don’t want him to take a job at a church that we are not completely sold out to.  I don’t know if I’m ready to move back into the fishbowl.  I’m comfortable where I’m at.

But I know I need to get out of the boat.  Because if you don’t get out of the boat, then you can’t walk on water, right?  I know that if Geric goes back into ministry, God will bless us.  I’m confident that there are blessings waiting for us (for me) if we step out in faith and trust that God has our best in mind.  I know He’ll never drop us, or let us drown, but it still doesn’t make stepping out of the boat any easier.

I also know that it’s my job to support my husband, help him to fulfill his dreams and to become the best version of himself that he could possibly be.  I would never want to be the reason that he didn’t go back into ministry and in essence, let his dream die.

So, that’s where we’re at.  I don’t know what’s going to happen from here.  I don’t know if doors will open or slam shut in our faces.  But I do know that we are going to hold each other’s hand and take a leap of faith, again.  And I know, just like every time before, we won’t fall.  We’ll soar.

In Which Geric Can Never Leave Again

I took the boys to go see Winnie the Pooh the other day and I noticed that all the Winnie the Pooh stories start with “In Which.”  I like it.  Enjoy.

Geric left on Tuesday night for a missions trip to Detroit with our church.  I was really okay with it.  I really, really was.  He loves doing ministry.  God was going to show up and he would get to be a part of it.  Awesome.

But due to series of mishaps, I have decided he can’t leave again for a very, very long time.

Here’s what happened:

1.  Notice of foreclosure:  If you missed it, you can read my rant here. And, actually, the notices came the day before he left, but I was left here with the thought of being in foreclosure and that thought got to fester and annoy me all week, without him here to hug me and say, “We’re going to be okay.”  I got to obsess looking at Craig’s List and the MLS for a new place to live in case the sheriff came and put the “sign of shame” on our door while Geric was gone.  My mind never stops, people!  

2.  Positive TB Test:  Yes, you read that right.  I have TB!!!  Okay, not really.  Well, sort of.  I don’t know.  I have to get a TB test every so often because I’m a teacher.  The district sent me to this tiny clinic where the front desk girl was the “nurse” that gave me the test.  Not sketchy at all.    When I came back two days later, it was positive!!!  The nurse practitioner said I have to go to Kaiser now for a chest x-ray and then I have to meet with a doctor after that.  It really just means that I’ve been exposed to the infection, cause I’m not coughing up blood or anything.  That would be really scary.  But, honestly, it’s annoying that I’m doing all of this just so I can keep my job that has cut my hours to two hours a week.  Lame.  I’m spending more time at the doctors that I will be working my first month back to school.  And my three kids get to accompany me every step of the medical journey.  Yay.  They were so noisy in the doctor’s office the other day that the NP actually yelled at them.  That’s so not embarrassing in case you were wondering.  So.  Not.  Embarrassing.

3.  My Kids are Out of Control:  Honestly, this is nothing new.  My boys are not the most behaved kids in the world.  I love them with all my heart.  I truly, truly do.  But I know that if we’re at the park or church or Chick-fil-a and I see another kid crying, it’s probably because one of my boys did something to them.  I don’t know why they’re like that.  Maybe is my awesome parenting skills?  I don’t know.  Sometimes they’re little angels, like when they’re sleeping.  But this week, they have been extra, extra obnoxious.  For example, see #2 above.  And without Geric here to give me a break it has felt non-stop.

4.  Elijah Doesn’t Sleep:  My baby is great napper.  He’s like clockwork when it comes to napping.  Nap Champ, that’s what I call him.  But nighttime is a completely different story.  He still wakes up two or three times every night.  It doesn’t help that he’s still in our room, but since we live in this dinky little two bedroom house (that is in foreclosure!!!) there’s no where else to put the poor guy.  So, I hear every peep and roll-over and what have you.  Which equals one exhasuted mommy.  Which is probably why my parenting skills are less than stellar.  Which is probably why my kids are out of control.  Which is probably why I have TB.  Just kidding.  On the last one.  Just to give Elijah a little credit, he did sleep well last night, but it didn’t matter because…

5.  Throw up:  Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, I think we all ate some bad spaghetti sauce.  I started feeling nauseous yesterday afternoon.  (Sidenote: why does everyone jump to “are you pregnant?” if you feel nauseous?  Is it just me?)  So I took the big boys to my mom and dads, where I threw up.  Always a good time.  I could never be bulimic.  Never.  I took Elijah home with me (where he slept well) but I was up all night sick.  My mom called this morning and the first thing out of her mouth was, “How many times can a little boy throw up in the middle of the night?”  I know it sucks for my mom and dad, but THANK GOD they were there and not with sick ol’ me.  Today we’re feeling a little peaked, but better.

Geric is due to arrive home tonight at midnight.

If we make it through today it’ll be a miracle.

And he’s never leaving again.