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Thursday, November 29, 2012

the view from the eyes of a pastor's kid

sometimes i start writing, and then just put the whole entire post away for a rainy day.
i started writing this about 8 months ago, and am just now picking it up.
so...here we go again.

i grew up as a pastor's kid {insert your typical stereo-types and jokes here}
would you believe, that at age 35 i still get introduced sometimes as "the pastors' daughter"?
crazy, right? i mean, ya know...it is the first question i ask all my friends! 
so...what does your dad do for a living? 

i was thinking about all the stereo-types that come along with the title, and started wondering how they came to be. and now, since my husband is full time at our church i also get the title "pastor's wife" which comes with its own separate jokes and pre-conceived notions.

my goal with this post is to enlighten those of you who are not a pastor's kid, or pastor's wife.
it is also to encourage those friends of mine who read my blog and are a pastor's wife or a pk.

my dad started a church over 30 years ago. so i have owned the title "pastor's kid", "pk" for as long as i can remember. 
when you grow up as a pastor's kid, things are pretty interesting.
*you  know a lot of information about a lot of people
*a lot of times, you have very little money
*you watch your parents get a lot of expectations piled on them
*you realize that people are watching you all the time.

-because of the fact that when people are in trouble, they come to a pastor... there were many times that i would know about marriage problems, financial issues and many other difficulties with many people from my church.
it was then my responsibility to keep quiet about all of them.

-we never had a lot of money. we grew up in a trailer, and my dad had to work a paper route for years just to pay the bills. (keep in mind, i honestly never remember either one of my parents complaining about our living situation.)

-my dad was expected to be on call 24 and 7. i remember one time he got a call at 2:00am because a lady had lost her cat and wanted my dad to come and rescue it from a tree. 
he went.
he was expected to be at the hospital if there was a church member, or family of a church member, friend of a church member...etc. who was sick. our door was always expected to be open, and people were free to stop in any time they chose.

-my parents marriage was watched closely, their parenting, their financial decisions, their leisure activity...all of it. it was being watched constantly with very high expectations.

through all of this, my dad did not...and does not complain. he has felt the call of God on his life, and he is the most merciful, gracious person that i know. honestly. 

here is why i think that many pastor's kids go off the deep end.
they see all of this. 
they see all of the time, the work, the effort that goes into being a pastor.
and the sad part is...they see the meanest side of people.
most of the time, it is by people claiming the name of Jesus! it can just blow your mind the things that people can say and do. if that is allowed to stay in your mind, and you dwell on it, and don't bring it before God and leave it there? it can destroy you!

i can not even tell you how many times my dad has gotten his character torn to shreds over the years. 
usually by the people that he put the most effort into.
the people who he opened his heart, his home, his wallet to.
the ones he called friends.
then they would stab him in the back. 
or leave the church and never even care if they spoke to him again. 
or bash him to his face. 
so here's what happens. as a kid (or as a wife) watching her daddy (or husband) get treated like this is so disconcerting. you can start to feel like you just can't trust anyone. you can start to feel like...is it really worth it? pleasing God and serving people with your life?
as it is...a lot of people don't even want to be friends with you at all if you hold this title. and that is a fact.
but when you grow up like that and and don't know what to do with it all? i can see why they go nuts.

i am very blessed.
my dad has a very godly, supportive and loving wife.
my dad never ever put the ministry before his family. (although it is so hard not to!)
my dad knew that God wanted him to give his life to serve his community.
and the most important part...my dad has a personal, growing relationship with a God who loves him and wants what is best for him.

so for those of you who have had your own ideas of pastor's kids or pastor's wives.
look at it a little bit differently for a minute.
understand the pressure, the unrealistic expectations, the stress and the pain that goes along with it. understand that your pastor has feelings. that he is under attack. and that his wife and kids have real needs just like you do.
and maybe write an encouraging note to your pastor, his wife or even their kids!
maybe stop spreading gossip about him or his family.
maybe make sure you are totally in the Spirit before you even think of putting down his character!
(*and especially don't talk to him about some issue right before or after he preaches! i can not even count how many times this happens!)
maybe pray for him and his family a little bit harder.
and the next time you are tempted to judge, or criticize...
try looking at the view from the eyes of a pastor's kid. a kid who is still developing his view of the world. of people and of God. 
and from the eyes of a pastor's wife. who just longs to have a friend. just one.friend. who cares about them. who wants to get together for coffee...not because they need counsel, but because they actually care about her!

and for those sweet friends of mine who are right in the thick of it.
remember this.
God called you here.
remember Galations 1:10 that says "obviously, i am not trying to win the approval of people, but of God."
your goal is not to please people. it is to please God. that is all.
of course, you do sometimes please people. there are people who are trustworthy. there are people who want to be your friends and don't look at you differently because of your "title"
don't let yourself stop trusting everyone. it is so easy to be there. and stay there. and it is so easy to doubt that you will ever have a true friend. it is easy to second guess every conversation you see going on after church! 
BUT - don't let yourself stay there! take your thoughts captive and only think of things that are true.

and finally.
don't let some mean people distract you from doing what God has called you to do.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

stay strong. fight the fight. and remember that God will reward you. 
nothing else matters.

and *always* feel free to contact me if you are in the middle of something tough and need prayer.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Andrew and Robin Riggs ~ Florida Wedding

Adam's sweet little sister got married last month in Florida. It was a beautiful, sunny, windy day. Everything was absolutely perfect and Robin made a beautiful bride. Andrew looked dashing and was obviously madly in love with his new wife!
 Robin wrote a sweet letter to her parents to try and get them to cry before the wedding! (and it worked) And Robin and Andrew both wrote letters to each other as well.

I thought it was so awesome the way that Robin had all of her family involved in the wedding. Adam gave a challenge, James read Scripture, and Danny prayed for them. Her three sisters were in the wedding, and she had all her nieces and nephews take part as well. 

the entire Chase clan! (thanks for taking the shot Abbey!)

 It was a beautiful, God honoring wedding. Happy to be a part of such a beautiful special day.
 Love you guys!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

your choices affect me

i have had these thoughts rolling around in my head for a really long time.
i decided to write them out after i heard a message this past sunday challenging me to encourage others.

i think that a lot of times, we don't even have any idea how our lives, our decisions, our actions...affect others.
this has obviously been more in-your-face since facebook came around because all of a sudden we can see pretty much every choice people are making (at every passing moment, for some!)

i know that people say we should be careful how we live because our kids are watching us.
but i want to take it a step farther.
we should be careful how we live, because we have NO IDEA who is watching us.
here's what i mean.
let me ask you a question.
did you know that when some of the people i know make bad choices, it totally discourages me?
i mean the kind of discouragement that affects my thought life in the way that i have to literally picture myself taking my thoughts captive so that i don't just start crying?
i bet you didn't even know that.
see the thing is...we are used to making choices and thinking that WE are the only ones who are affected by them. we think if we decide to miss church over and over that it's between us and God (and it is!!) and doesn't make a difference to anyone else. that is wrong. totally wrong. the times that i am feeling discouraged and alone, i need to see that others are in this with me and that we can live this life together!
this goes both ways, of course. i am not trying to just focus on the negative.
when i see people (who i may not even be *close* friends with) making right choices, it totally encourages me! like the kind of encouragement that keeps me going on and feeling like i am not alone when i feel like quitting!

while i am a very verbal person, and i believe my spiritual gift is exhortation, i do not even say close to the things that i sometimes feel i should.
and what makes it worse sometimes, is when i do actually say the things i feel people need to hear to encourage them to do the right thing, and they do the wrong thing anyways! it discourages me so so much.
it's weird that it even affects me and i can't explain why it does, but it just does.

with that being said. i want to publicly thank a few women that probably have no idea how their choices have affected my life in a positive way. ( i will leave out the part to the few people in my life who have no idea how their choices have affected my life in a negative way..haha!) and this is not a complete list, obviously.

i am blessed and i mean totally blessed to have 3 women in my life who are incredible sources of encouragement to me just by the way they live their life. they are my mom, and my 2 sisters. watching their commitment to God and the Bible through good times, and some really bad times has kept me holding on more times than i can count. i always know that when i talk to them about my own issues they are going to give godly advice. always. just watching them live inspires me.

another person is ruthie. one of the very few people in her age group who is actually serious about her relationship with God in EVERY area. not just the easy areas. she has encouraged me to stay committed and faithful in serving and ministry no matter what. i wish there were more people her age who were this serious about making right choices!

maribeth moore, and jennifer gage.  probably have no idea that they would even be listed here, because i don't think i have ever really had more than 3 conversations with them my whole life. but i can see that they are serious about life. serious about raising kids to be godly, and serious about their relationship with Jesus.
their lives have affected me more than they know.

thank you. thank you to the ones i listed, and many others who are consistently making godly choices. who have made a decision that God will come first. before feelings, before friends, before anything...and STUCK WITH IT! thank you for the way your life has affected me.

so the next time you are about to make a choice.
a decision that you think is about you. about your life. and no one else's business.
stop and think.
maybe it's not just about you. maybe someone else is going to be discouraged and feel like quitting and feel like they are totally alone all because of your choice.
then change it! do the right thing. maybe that right choice will be what helps someone to keep holding on!

your choices affect me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

where are you drawing the line

you know me and my parenting obsessions! ha!
i am always trying to challenge myself because i don't ever want to get lazy.
i mean...it is a natural tendency. at least for me it is! and it is a natural tendency in every area.
not just parenting.
i don't remember the last time i went running. lazy.
i have no idea what i'm going to pull out of the freezer at 4:00 to start supper tonight. lazy.
as i type this i am still in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. lazy.
see? it's just easier to be lazy!

so. as i have mentioned before in some of my intentional parenting posts (you can search by topic on the right side of my blog) it is always best to be prepared.

here's my question: where are you drawing the line?
where do you draw the line with movies? is it whatever your kids say everyone is watching, or do you have standards and rules that have to be followed before you decide?

what about how much time is spent playing video games or watching tv? is it just whenever you are sick of the kids fighting, they are allowed to play to keep them quiet? what about what kind of video games? are you looking at them and deciding if it is the best choice?

what about books? what books are you kids allowed to read, and why? do you know what the content is?

what about who their friends are? are they allowed to hang out with anyone they want, or do you have standards they need to follow?

i am not planning to write about what my standards are, because that's not really the point.
but i just want to challenge you to think these things through.
are you drawing the line at all? 
where is your line?
what is it based on?
are you just being lazy and letting your kids kind of do their own thing?

take a little time. 
sit down with a notebook and your Bible and start drawing the line.
make it clear.
i am always open to an email if you have any questions!

happy line-drawing :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Totally Rad Family

i have a pretty awesome family. 
i mean...they are crazy. loyal. sweet. and are also very good at putting up with MY craziness! 
and that is really saying something! ha!

 i have a sweet friend who is a high school senior this year and has started to get into photography. i thought we could do a little mentoring sesh with my family as the subjects! pretty cool, right? so we went to my tried and true location the milk room and we had a little mini session. 

so grateful. i mean...really grateful that God has blessed me with an incredible husband and 2 amazing boys. thank you bonnie, for putting up with us, and for being willing to take some pictures for us! i hope you can retain some of my ramblings!
 now i guess i should probably go and make them some dinner!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Senior Photography

I love shooting seniors!
I have so much fun and I am so very lucky to have gotten incredibly fun, crazy and gorgeous clients!

Here is a little bit of proof that my clients are just plain amazing!

see what i'm talking about?
thank you all you amazing seniors! i hope you have awesome last years!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

just in case...

*you feel alone today:

remember that God promises you that HE will never leave you or forsake you. (deut. 31:6)

*you feel discouraged today:

remember that in HIS presence is fullness of joy (psalm 16:11) so get in His presence today!

*you feel overwhelmed today:

remember that HE is the rock that stands firm when your heart is overwhelmed. (ps. 61:2)

*you feel like giving up:

remember that you can do everything through Christ who gives you strength! (phil. 4:13)

*you feel unloved:

remember that NOTHING. not one.single.thing. can ever separate you from Christ's love! (rom. 8:35) that is a lot of love!!

*you feel weak:

remember that the weaker you are, the stronger HE is! (2 cor. 12:9)

don't let this day go by with your mind full of lies!
don't believe them!

you are NOT alone, you CAN have joy, you don't HAVE to be overwhelmed, DON'T quit, you ARE loved and you CAN have God's strength!

believe it!
claim it!
live it!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Fun in the Florida Sun

adam's baby sister got married last saturday.
it was a little stressful getting us all down there...with aj's soccer team making the finals, we decided to switch things up so we could allow him to play with his team.
it ended up us having to get 4 new tickets. great.
but it all worked out.
it was a great time for his entire family to get to spend some time together.
since we are all spread out all over the country, it is always nice to get to be with each other!
adam's brother and his family stayed with us in a house his mom rented.
it was so nice to have our 4 boys get the chance to play and we all love being together!

we got to spend some time on sanibel island at sunset. perfect.

then the last day we went to cape coral beach

we had some great family times...

the wedding was beautiful.
the weather was perfect.
and the company was amazing.

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