children · Christian Life · Family life · refreshment at home · Women's roles · Work

My Most Embarrassing Moment and a Lesson About Priorities

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Have you ever been asked about your most embarrassing moment?  Mine is ingrained in my mind like a freeze-framed DVD on the computer screen.  It happened like this –

Our four year-old daughter, Whitney, was attending pre-school at the Christian school in our area.  Ministry was busy and finances were tough.  Then out of the clear blue I got a phone call from the principal where our daughter was attending pre-school.  It seems they were in dire need of a second grade school teacher because the current teacher had quit.  He asked if I would pray about teaching the class for the year.  The whole year?  How could I swing that with all my other responsibilities as a wife, mom and pastor’s wife?   As my husband and I talked and prayed about it, we felt that perhaps this was the Lord providing for our needs.

As we prayed, I also consulted with my parents for their advice.  I clearly remember having a phone conversation with my dad where he discouraged me from taking the position because of the age of my little girl and her needs.  She would be home in the afternoon when I would still be at school.  I regretted later not heeding his warning!  But we reasoned that she would have time with her daddy while I was gone.  We failed to consider the many ministry responsibilities that would call for his time.

So, yes, I took the teaching job.  From the very first afternoon when I saw my husband pull out of the school parking lot with our daughter in tow, I regretted signing my name on the dotted line of that teaching contract!  But now it was too late.  We got into a routine – Whitney rode to school with me in the morning where she went to pre-school and I headed to the second grade classroom.  Her daddy picked her up at noon when her class was finished and they would visit church members together in the afternoon or she would play while he studied.  Some days, due to the need to visit the hospital or attend a funeral, she would spend the afternoon with a friend and fellow-pastor’s wife.  When I would hear that they had made cookies, played house or beauty shop, it would tear my heart in two!

Along with school, of course, were my ministry responsibilities.  I tried to keep up with activities and the people of our congregation.  One evening, desiring to show my concern, I approached a woman whose mother had been very ill.

“Mae, how is your mother doing?” I asked.  Her expression turned to disbelief, and she said in a somber tone, “Denise, my mother died two weeks ago.”

At that moment I wished could die!  How embarrassing!  I apologized for my blunder and somehow found my way to my seat where my face slowly returned to its natural color.

That’s what happened as a result of having too many plates spinning in the air and trying to keep them all going.  Now one had crashed to the floor – and in church of all places – the place where I should have been demonstrating care and concern!  I realized at that moment that I was doing too much, and that I wasn’t giving ample time or attention to the things that were most important.

Though that year was difficult, I learned the greatest lesson from that experience.   I learned what my priorities were, and working outside my home while I had children to raise was not one of them!   Hence, that was my first and last job, not because I was too lazy to work; I had just learned the hard way that the best (and most fulfilling) job for me was raising my girls and being a help-meet to my husband.  Nothing else in the world really mattered.  There were still times when I’ve felt I was spinning plates, but I had learned through my embarrassing moment not to allow those plates to be the ones that were closest to my heart.

How do you balance all the busy things going on in your world?  Is there something you feel the Lord would have you to give up? 

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Summer Plans and An Exciting Goal

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Happy June everyone!!  I’ve sure loved our spring and I look forward to the summer ahead!  Our tomatoes are planted, my flower boxes are full, the fire pit is primed for marshmallows, the grill is ready for delicious entrees’, pizzas, breads and treats, and the patio is fully decked and ready for guests, afternoon naps and dining alfresco.

My calendar is also filling up with some planned events that I’m excited about – visiting family, shopping excursions, day trips, Bible studies, prayer with friends, home improvements and ICE CREAM are just a sampling of the goals on my list.

Another item that I’m planning is time to work on a project that has been on my “To-Do” list for a very long time.  Some projects take an afternoon, others a week, and yet others months (maybe years!).  This adventure will be taking good chunks of time each day and I’m asking the Lord to help me be intentional to accomplish a long-time desire and get this accomplished.  What am I desiring to do?  I’m longing to do some writing.  But in order to accomplish that, I have to say “no” to some other responsibilities or even interruptions.

My blog is a true love of mine, but it takes lots of time each day.  I’m always thinking about my next post and what I want to share.  Then I write, edit, post photos, edit the photos, edit some more, and then schedule the entry.  I’m not leaving my blog for the summer, I just couldn’t do that after NINE YEARS and  2,195 posts!!     Instead, I’m planning on writing new material every Monday and Friday.  So you’ll still be getting new recipes and ideas for your kitchen on Monday.  Then on Friday I”ll probably post about a sundry different topics.  Tuesday through Thursday will be re-posts from my blog from over the nine years.  I’m sure no one has read every single post, and even I forget what I’ve written!!   So hopefully even though it’s not new material, it will still benefit you to reread it.

My goal is to have a theme for each week ~

  1. Sensational Summer – Ideas for fun with your kids, meals, and dates
  2. Parenting – The joys the struggles, the helps for tough times
  3. Conflict 
  4. Home Comforts
  5. Helpful Tips for Home
  6. Frugal Living
  7. Godly Friends – Being one and and having one.
  8. Knowing and Doing God’s Will
  9. Effective Evangelism

Now, let me ask you, are there other topics you’d like to see covered this summer?  Leave me a comment here and I’ll definitely do what I can to add that to the list! 

I’m excited about what the Lord will do this summer!  How about you?  What plans do you have?  Do you have any ambitious goals you’re seeking to accomplish?  I pray you will do whatever is necessary to make the most of your time for God’s glory!

Lovingly,

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So Much To Do

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With tears in her eyes, a sweet friend admitted that her life is “Crazy!” She, like most of us, has so much to do and is overwhelmed with trying to get it all done each day. Her neat lists are made and the appropriate check marks are scratched when the task is completed, but most days, there are plenty of un-done jobs, because there simply aren’t enough hours in each day to do it all!

I totally understand – I’ve been there. But I wonder if for most of us, rather than a need for more time, if one thing that could help would be proper priorities..

  1. We may say that God is first in our life, but does our day back that up? Do we make sure that if nothing else gets done, we’re sure to spend time in God’s Word and in prayer at the beginning of the day? That step alone might save us all kinds of wrong choices in the use of our time. Les Olila said, “My devotions are not a display of my discipline, they are a demonstration of my need for God.” Time with God is essential to the success of my day.
  2. We love our family, but do they really get the next chunk of our time, or is it work, tasks, or friends that are allowed to slide into their time slot? A mopped floor or folded laundry isn’t nearly as important as time spent with your child after school, or a date with your husband so you can really talk uninterrupted. People are more important than things.
  3. We may not think that our techie devices are using up our time, but if your phone was lost for a day, how much more would you accomplish? If Facebook, Instagram, texting or Twitter was removed from your schedule, would you be able to finish a household job that needs to be taken care of? Does your family see the top of your head more often than they see your eyes? Technology should be a tool, not an inseparable part of my life.

I am only throwing out some suggestions. If this strikes a chord in the misuse of your day, then listen and change, with God’s help. A successful day is more than a page full of check marks. Ask me how I know. =)

Lovingly,

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