Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Life Celebration


This might sound so incredibly morbid, and I apologize to anyone who stumbles across this and thinks, "Man that lady is CRAZY", but I need to get it out.  Recently, a young woman suddenly passed away and left behind 2 little boys and a loving husband.  While it rocked her family's world, they did find a bit of joy in their grief.  This sweet lady had written a blog post, telling her family what kind of funeral she wanted.  It was of great comfort to her family, to know that they could fulfill her wishes.  It inspired me so much, that I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the matter:

You know how when you have a funeral to go to, you dread it?  I don't want mine to be that way.  At all.  I want to have a major celebration in place of my funeral.  Not just any celebration, I want my funeral to be like Christmas...literally.  I would love to have Christmas trees, white lights, Kenny G and Bing Crosby in the back ground, candles, and sugar cookies.  I want my kids to think of how much their Momma loved Jesus and His birth.  I want them to have joy when they see twinkling lights and laugh at how I would keep the tree up all year long.  I want it to be a celebration of thanksgiving, for all of the wonderful gifts I had been given throughout my life.

As I look back on the things that I really hated concerning funerals, the awkward moment up at the coffin is my number #1.  My number #2 would be not knowing what to say to those who were grieving my death on earth.  With that in mind, I can honestly say that I am comfortable with cremation.  I would much rather everyone see my smiling face at Disney World, or my wedding day, than an expressionless form of someone who is no longer there.  I don't want my kids to remember me that way and I don't care for the idea of decaying in the ground.  Also, cremation is cheaper.  You know I like a bargain...and hate satin.  Please don't put me in a satin lined coffin.  Please.  To me, the best way to take care of #2, is to laugh.  Please feel free to have lots of laughter at my celebration.  Enjoy each other and make my husband and kids happy.  Someone please try to do Gracie's hair, as Brian doesn't have a clue there.  I would also request that someone make a rockin' mac-n-cheese and share it.  Everyone needs the gooey wonderfulness at a time like that.  Take lots of pictures and celebrate.  Celebrate that we have a wonderful and merciful God.  He has prepared me for His Glory and is preparing you for the road you must run faithfully here, until we see each other again.  Celebrate that I will be in a place much greater than Disney World and Christmas put together (can you imagine!?!).  I will be attending the most wonderful worship service ever, and I will be with my sweet babies and loved ones.  Celebrate...and be happy. 

***Came back to add:  No, I have no intentions of dying anytime soon.  ;) ***
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God's Better Plan


When Brian and I married, we intended for our kids to be rather close together in age.  When we had Abbie in 2001, we just naturally assumed we would have another child within 2 years.  I also had it in my mind that the next child would be a girl, so that she and Abbie could grow up together and be best friends.  Well...God had a different plan.  We wouldn't have another child in 2003, or 2004.  We didn't have our second child until 2005, which in the grand scheme of life, isn't as earth shattering as it seemed at the time.  When that new bundle came, it came in the form of a boy.  A boy, whom Abbie wasn't too tickled with.  She got over it, and they became somewhat of friends...but it still wasn't what I expected from life. 

Then....then came Gracie.

Gracie was born in 2011...almost 10 years after Abbie.  I figured that Gracie would grow up like an only child.  She would be lonely and feel the sadness of our infertility and losses.  But, you know what?  God had a much bigger and better plan.  He planned a perfect relationship for my girls.  He knew before my idealistic mind would be in put in motion, that these two girlies, would love each other. 

I adore looking out the window, watching them talk.  Every once in awhile, you will hear Gracie hollar for Abbie to read her a book, and Abbie has the hardest time saying no.  I often catch Abbie dressing up dolls with her little friend, watching princess shows, doing hair, and giggling.  They giggle a lot.  I love how the Lord planned their friendship, and I am thankful that He has brought me to a place where I can see the beauty in His ways being better than mine. 

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

When the Pastor's Wife is Off...


What happens when the pastor's wife is off?  I don't mean off, like spending the day at the beach sunbathing.  I mean off, like has lost her game...her mojo...her sanity.  What happens when the pastor's wife is off?  What does it look like?

1.  It looks like depression.  It looks like she literally can't force herself off of the couch, even if she wanted to.  No one else may be able to see it.  Afterall, it is her job to put that pretty smile on and walk into the church building acting like all is well with the world.  But, in the back of her mind, she is counting down the minutes until the church service will be over.  She is counting down the people standing in line to talk with her husband after services.  She is counting down the events/committees that she has to work with, before she gets a breather.  It looks like depression.

2.  It looks like chaos.  Her home isn't organized, her thoughts aren't organized, her marriage is...well...not lovely, her kids are crazy children running around like she had just fed them 20 boxes of Nerds with red dye.  Nothing is as it seems.  But, she will try her hardest to not let that show to anyone else.  She will try to make it seem as though she has it all together.  Few will know....that it looks like chaos.

3.  It looks unholy.  Her relationship with the Lord is failing.  She is struggling bringing herself to even read her daily devotions, but because she has told everyone else they should over the years, she makes herself do it.  She wishes that there were not 27 verses to every worship song, and sitting through a sermon is like taking an 8 hour class on how dental floss is helpful to your teeth.  She is focused more on her job, and not her one true love...Christ.  It looks unholy. 

I wrote this blog during a brief time of  "darkness".  Unfortunately, I find that I go through times like this, more often than I should.  I think we all do, but because we hate for others to see who we REALLY are, we pretend that we are happy, organized, and holy.  In reality, we are just a big mess, in need of a loving, and marvelous Savior.  On our own, we fall into despair, but with the Lord we can walk out of valleys and let Him shine.  Because let's admit it, Pastor's Wives are like every other woman out there...dull.  We are dark, dim and dull on our own, but can shine with the best of them when allowing Christ to burst through our hearts. 

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Good Things?


I find it amusing that we humans have a problem with good things.  We want them, all the time.  I notice it even in the smallest humans.  My three year old thinks that the song of "World Girl" is fabulous.  So, naturally, she will play the song over and over and over and over...well, you get the point.  (Word Girl is now banned from our house b/c of it's undertones, but that is another subject.)  We think that chocolate tastes yummy, so we eat it in large masses at a time.  Work, well it isn't so hot, but we love that it produces MONEY...so we try to cram in as much as humanly possible.  (Unless you are a home-maker, and then you are just rewarded with more mess.)  We make a new friend, and because that friend seems GOOD, we try to spend all of our time with them.  A three year old lives inside all of us, because when we like something...we over indulge in it. 

Why does the human race do this?  I really have no idea, but I have to believe that we would be much happier if we could just learn to live in moderation and contentment.  Listening to a song once or twice, will cause us to be much more excited when we hear it the next time.  Instead, we tend to listen to it over and over again and then throw it out and move on to the next best thing.  We are never content, because we always have a sense of needing MORE, instead of balance and moderation.  Note to self: Don't be a three year old.


Philippians 4:5 - Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sweet and Sour...sometimes that's life.


This summer, "our" kids from our youth ministry graduated.  They were the class that we thought we would "retire" from youth ministry after they were gone.  They were some of our first students.  They were extremely loved and prayed over (as were all of our kids).  Because of a few nasty people, all of our plans for serving those kids...went down the drain.  In an instant.  Instead, we had to love them from afar, and watch them grow up via facebook, messages, phone calls, and occasional visits.  I am fairly certain that those kiddos have no idea how much they truly meant to me. I wish I could tell them how there were nights that I would cry myself to sleep, because I missed them and was angry at the men who put us and them in that situation. How I longed to be a part of all those major milestones in their highschool life. 

Today, one of those seniors played in the state championship baseball game.  While I was majorly proud of him, and loved every picture I saw, I also sobbed.  I missed it.  I didn't get to sit near his mom, and watch her bite her fingernails as he was up to bat and was walked to first.  I didn't get to hug his neck and tell him how proud I was of his great accomplishment.  I didn't get to sit with all of our teens and cheer together, wearing our blue!  Instead, I sat by myself, with my Shakamak t-shirt on, and cried happy and sad tears.  Messaging his Momma how happy I was for them and how I missed them so much.  She wrote back, "I miss you too.  Terribly." 

Ministry, is sometimes incredibly sweet...and others...it is just sour.  I miss my kids.  I miss our friends in all of our ministries.  I love it where we are.  I love our church family.  But today...I miss all of the others that we have had to say goodbye to. 
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First Baptist of New Washington, Indiana


I have been struggling to get our church's website to show up in google searches, but for some reason, my blog has no issues at all!!!  Go figure.  So, I am going to see if this works:

Our church name is First Baptist of New Washington.  We are located in Clark County, Indiana.  Here is our website:

www.fbcnewwash.com
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Monday, November 11, 2013

I still believe in magic.


As I sit here, nearly 35 years old, I realize that I still believe in magic.  I still believe that there is something special about warm chocolate chip cookies.  I still believe that a 2 year old's giggle inspires some kind of wonderful, somewhere in the world.  I still believe that an 8 year old boy can find crazy amazement by playing in the leaves for 3 hours straight.  I still believe that a 12 year tween has a glimmer in her eye, when she thinks of Christmas morning.  I still believe that there is something enchanting about a softly falling snow...something so fascinating and hypnotic...that I might consider staying awake 2 hours past my bedtime to view it.

Yes, I do still believe in magic.  When I fear that the cynicism of this world has brought my feet closer to the ground, I just stop and think of the magical things in my life.  Then, I remember that my thoughts are supposed to be founded in whatsoever things are:  true, honest,  just,  pure, lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  "Magical" times of life...are lovely.  We have to stop and be thankful for them, and ponder them, lest we loose our twinkle and end up like the grandpa from grumpy old men.  I want to forever be like Ariel from the Little Mermaid.  Captivated by new discoveries and adventure! 
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Life...


So...I am not a faithful blogger.  I keep forgetting that this new format is MUCH easier than the old one.  Maybe I will be able to keep it up?  Maybe not?

Anyhow...life here is busy.  My baby has had kidney stones for the last week.  My active son has started soccer.  My attitude-filled pre-teen has started horseback riding and AHG.  And, my chatterbox 2 year old is potty training!  Fun times in the Shaw house.  Fun times.

Through all of this, I have been working on a town wide ladies Bible study, Brian is teaching a MMA class, homeschooling is in full swing, the ever challenging clean house looms over my head, and I have started quilting.

Our lives are filled with so many neat things.  3 years ago, I am not sure I would have been able to handle a schedule like this.  I am thankful that the Lord is gracious in giving me the energy I need to keep up.

Going to keep trying on this bloggy blog thing.  :D
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Clothesline Journey


 3 summers ago, I was hanging up newly washed maternity clothes, while dreaming of all things baby. It was hot and the heat multiplied my morning sickness (all day sickness) by 40...but I loved it. 2 summers ago, I was hanging up sweet little infant clothes, while a tiny (probably less than 10lbs) 6 month old Gracie sat in her stroller...content on hearing her momma talk to her as I hung her bibs and such. Today, a bright and happy 2 year old giggled as she handed me the clothespins to hang her favorite elephant pajamas. She called out who each piece of clothing belonged to, and yelled out, "EWW gross" when seeing "Iggy's" underpants. lol So thankful for the clothesline journey of our life. Hanging each piece makes me really ponder the blessings I have been given.
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't Forget:


How Isaac did not want you to stop reading the biography of George Washington.  He loved that Washington had many similarities to himself.  Someday, he will not want to have his mom read to him...and that might be sad!
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