A New Song

I’m going to admit right here that the one thing that I get frustrated about at our church is that, often, when they introduce a “new song” in worship, it isn’t new to me.  I sang on the praise team at United for years and we sang a lot of stuff right as it came out on the radio.  Our leader, Colleen, was great about this.  It made it challenging at times, but so much fun.

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This picture is missing Jay on drums (he’s to the left), and Danny on guitar (where was he?) and includes a couple extra members… but still, magical

Worship at United was something that I miss more than everything else.  Being in a praise team with Danny, Jay, Thad/Jeff, Becky, Colleen, and Keith was pure magic.  Not perfect… never perfect.  But magical.  When I hear “our” songs on the radio, I cry because I’m not sure I’ll ever experience that again.  Not that God doesn’t move in my worship – he does!  But if you’ve ever been a part of a group that took your worship experience to a totally new level, you understand what I’m saying.

The whole non-new song happened again this past Sunday – and with a song that I felt was so powerful when I sang it with that team at United.  Chris Tomlin’s “Here Am I”.  The worship minister at our church introduced it so beautifully, too.  He talked about growing up a preacher’s kid and singing the old hymns…  how those hymns hold so much meaning.

Here Am I takes all six verses of “Take My Life and Let It Be” and restructures them around one of the most beautiful choruses I’ve ever heard.  It says, “Here I am. All of me. Take my life. It’s all for thee.”

The Fairmount praise team led it beautifully, but there is a beautiful backup part in that chorus… an echo of sorts… that I had the honor of singing with my old praise team and that Fairmount didn’t do.  Maybe it was because it was a new song for the congregation.  Hopefully they’ll add it in in the future, because, besides being beautiful, it helps the chorus build when it is repeated.  As I sang along with them (singing that little part softly because I needed it), I began to cry – just like I do when one of those songs comes on the radio.  I missed the feeling that I had on my praise team.  I am heartbroken that it will never happen again.  I am angry at the reasons why that will never happen again.  I am heartbroken anew by people who betrayed me, my family, my friendship and my trust.  I take these moments of hurt to, once again, turn the whole thing over to God, but obviously I have never left it completely in his care, because I am easily taken right back to that pit.  Almost always by worship songs.  Is there something ironic about that?

Anyway – I was still moping about that echo part not being sung while sitting in Bible Study on Monday morning.  We were wrapping up the study CHASE by Jennie Allen.  In our homework the week before we read Psalm 40.  Each week we read a different psalm and then answered two columns: “Who are you, God?” and “What do you want for me?”  This week, under the second column I wrote “A New Song” – taken directly from Psalm 40.  As we sat and discussed what having a new song meant in our lives, I was smacked upside the head by God. 

I need to allow God to take those “old songs” and reform them in my heart into “new songs”.  I need to stop focusing on what is different and what is lost and try to sing them anew – in PRAISE to him and not just in reflection of my loss. 

I’m not sure how easy this will be.  I told our minister back when he was preaching a series based on “Favorite Songs” that I find songs in nearly every moment of my day.  He challenged me to write about this and I started a year by year list of a “theme song” from each year.  It still has a lot of gaps where I keep meaning to go back and look at the pop charts and Christian music charts to see which songs were playing most often those years.  Anyway… I go there because it is true.  Right this moment I can sing two different songs that deal with singing a new song to the Lord. 

Nearly every interaction and every thought in my head connects me to a song from Children’s Church, Music & Drama, Blessed Assurance, an old hymn, a praise song from camp, and so on.  I sing in my head all day long… and I need to let God take all those songs that connect me to old feelings of hurt and write them fresh on my heart.

Some songs this may not be possible with… and maybe I don’t want God to soften the blow that they bring.  “I Can Only Imagine” brings to mind my grandpa because I sang it at his memorial service.  (I also sang “Find Us Faithful”, but you don’t hear that on the radio).  “I Will Rise” makes me think of Amanda, my friend who died of cancer leaving behind a loving husband and adoring 3-year-old son.  Because I feel like sharing: Easter was shortly after her death and Colleen picked I Will Rise as our song to sing as a special for Easter.  The moment I heard it for the first time, it immediately tied me to Amanda because her scripture during her fight was Isaiah 40:29-31.  I listened to it over and over, trying to help myself box away my sadness so that I could sing it with the praise team without breaking down on stage.  It might have been our Easter special music, but we continued to sing it as a congregation.  The chorus of the song says: “I will rise when he calls my name. No more sorrow, no more pain.  I will rise on eagle’s wings.  Before my God, fall on my knees, and rise.  I will rise.”  Each time I sing it, it becomes easier, but even now – almost five years later – I cry when I hear it.

I don’t think I want to disconnect Amanda from that song, but Amanda is not a hurtful memory.  Losing her was hurtful, but I draw strength from my memory of her.

No, I think God wants me to really give the songs to him that bring negative thoughts and negative memories.  Psalm 40 even references the pit that I go back to with those songs:

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.

Oh God, let me have only hymns of PRAISE to you in my mouth and my MIND. 

Let me release my old songs and learn them fresh.

Or, Let me find ways to take those songs and worship you anew with them. 

There is a reason you are presenting them to me as “new songs” – help me follow YOUR lead.

Give me a NEW SONG!

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I Heart Faces Photo Challenge – Best Face of 2013

As I said before, I’m really getting into this photography thing.  And now, thanks to Kelle Hampton, I’ve discovered I Heart Faces.  Prepare for more photos, friends…

Here is my entry for their “Best Face of 2013” contest:

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Because Joe’s excitement rocks.

You can’t go vote, but definitely go check out the other entries and cross your fingers that the judges pick this one!

Thanks!!!

Photographs…

I want to be a photographer.  Not so badly that I hire a babysitter to go out and practice… Not so much that I carry my camera every where so that I can practice taking amazing pictures…  But, since I wanted to take blow-up-able pictures of Ella (and other stuff), Jeff got me a Canon just over two years ago.  I love it.  And early on, I could take time to sit around and play with it.

Now, finding moments to “play” with it are much harder.  With two kids to keep alive I don’t get as many “good” shots as I’d like.

But, I’ve gotten a few that I’m extra proud of…

Like this one from November 27, 2011:

Jump
J.J. and Ella Jump

Sure, it isn’t totally in focus (taken on automatic), but at least I got them in action.  And do you see Ella’s curls?

Or this one taken the next day:

Bubbles
Ella blowing bubbles

Seriously – that might be one of my favorites. And I was manually focusing… blew my own mind.

Since having Joe…

Joe Chin
Joe’s dimple

How about this…

Kids Christmas
Christmas spit up

Seriously – I couldn’t have planned that if I tried.

This past Spring I nailed this shot thanks to an old lady squatting behind me…

Tulips
Happy Spring!

And most recently this one:

Kids
Ella & Joe Close Up

It was on automatic, but I managed to get a fantastic picture of both of my kids – something that this blog post has proven since I have so few of both of them where they are in focus, not moving, looking at the camera, etc.

For Christmas this year, Jeff has given me lessons with my camera.  I need to sign up for the class… it is in February!

And then this popped up on my facebook page (thanks to Jen Jacobowitz):

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So I’m participating.  I haven’t taken today’s photo, “A Space In Your House”… not sure what space to take a picture of and Jen has already posted one of her sofa.

Here is my “Fresh” (01/06/14):

Fresh
A Fresh Bible Study

And here is my “Cold” (01/07/14):

Cold
Ice on the INSIDE of our kitchen window… waking up to 9 degree temperatures

I love taking pictures and hope that I get time to perfect my hobby this year.

 

 

One of us

If you know me, you won’t be surprised by the fact that I sing to my children at bedtime.  In the past six months, I’ve been using old hymns as well as our traditional family lullabies… In the Garden, Tell Me The Story of Jesus, and so on…

In the last month, I’ve used all traditional Christmas songs – Away in the Manger, Silent Night, The First Noel, O Come All Ye Faithful – and thanks to our music minister, Tracy Thomas, I’ve kept Tell Me The Story of Jesus in the mix… afterall, the first verse says, “Tell how the angels in chorus, Sang as they welcomed His birth, ‘Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.'”

The last couple of nights, I’ve added a favorite from an old Christmas musical called “Forever Christmas” (copyright 1984) by Don Wyrtzen and Phil and Lynne Brower.  My mother directed this musical at Parham Hills when I was young and I have remembered this song since then.  If they did it the year it came out – 1984 – then I was only 6 years old and it burned itself into my young brain.  I also remembered the story the narrator (who I am sure was David Felts, though it could’ve been Lewis Southworth) read.  Here is the story:
One blustery Christmas Eve, a young father sat all alone in front of a roaring fire.  As was his usual custom, his wife and children had gone without him to the candlelight service at church.  It wasn’t that he was especially antagonistic about the whole thing, he just didn’t see any sense in it… and so there he sat!
All at one there was a commotion outside the big picture window.  A small flock of sparrows seeking shelter, and attracted by the light of the fire, were repeatedly flying against the glass.  Helplessly he watched as the exhausted little creatures began falling one by one into the new snow.  Suddenly he had an idea, and grabbing his coat he headed for the nearby barn.  Quickly, he flung open the doors, turned on the lights and started coaxing the birds to warmth and safety.  But, to his dismay, his efforts only frightened them further till finally, in defeat, he turned back to the house.  “If only I could make them understand!” he thought.  “If only I could become one of them I would gladly lead them to safety.”
Just then, in the distance, he heard the church bells as they began to ring in Christmas.  Each chime seemed to be echoing his words, “One of them… one of them… one of them.”  All of a sudden he understood.  There was reason in Christmas!  Christ has come to earth to become one of us to that He might lead us to eternity.  Dropping to his knees, there in the snow, he opened his heart to this One who loved him so.  And, for the first time in his whole life, it was Christmas!

And then the song begins…

Silent Night, Holy Night
All the World is calm, all the stars so bring –
Did it happen on a night like this?
Do you think the angels reminisce
seeing Mary as she gently kissed the newborn King?
One of us, the Holy Child was born,
He became one of us on Christmas morning;
The wonder of it all that in a manger stall
That night in Bethlehem God became a man!
One of us, the Holy Child was born,
He became one of us on Christmas morning;
He became one of us, one of us, On Christmas morning, morning.
One of us, the Holy Child was born,
He became one of us on Christmas morning;
The wonder of it all that in a manger stall
That night in Bethlehem God became a man!
One of us, the Holy Child was born,
He became one of us on Christmas morning;
He became one of us, one of us, On Christmas morning.
He became one of us!

Now… without the accompanying music, it loses a bit of the effect (but just a bit).  The timing and inflection is what made the song stick.  It is a simple song without much change in the lyrics and yet it is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in my life.

But the story and the words are so applicable… even now, in 2013, nearly 30 years later.

It is because God’s Story is timeless.  The fact that Jesus become a man to save us never grows old.

I struggle with sharing this with unbelievers at times.  I want the music in a portable player so that I can just read the story and sing the song to everyone I know who doesn’t believe and follow God.  But, even with the story before the song, I’m not sure I can convince people of how much God loves them and wants them to be with Him eternally if they aren’t willing to open their hearts to the message.

But, oh, how I love The Message… and oh how I love the way this story and song presented it.  I need to remember not to reserve this story and song for Christmastime – even though that is when it resonates in my head the loudest.  (It was in a Christmas musical when I was 6.)

And I want to go back to Tracy using Tell Me The Story of Jesus in one of our Christmas worship services this December.

Here are the first & last verses of that hymn:
(And yes, I am sitting at the computer with an actual hymnal in my lap… I am a church music nerd and proud of it)

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth,
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain;
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see;
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
“Love paid the ransom for me.”
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

The story I want to tell this Christmas – and every day of my life – is that Jesus came to earth, becoming ONE OF US to lead us to the safety that is Heaven.  I want my children, my extended family, my friends, and the strangers that I come in contact with to know this story.  I’m not good at witnessing, but God has laid it on my heart to be better.  Witnessing with my actions alone is no longer good enough – I must witness with words… because I am more than “a good person”.  I am a God person.

And what if it isn’t true?  Ah… that is an argument for the ages.
What if the Bible IS just a story?
What if Jesus WAS just a great teacher?
Well, my daddy once said that even if it turned out that all he believed, all that he lived for, turned out to be false- then he could still look back on his life with not one regret for living it as the truth.  Believing in God, in the Bible, in Jesus – and following in Jesus’ footprints will only lead us in a way of light…
But I believe it 100%.

Thank you, God, for becoming one of us…

Debbie Downer

I know… I’ve already slacked in my blogging.  Here’s the thing.  Sometimes I have something really good to write about – so I do.   Then there are weeks like these last few where I’m feeling like a “Debbie Downer” (so not a good name – I have a cousin named Debbie and she’s definitely NOT a downer).  I think of something wonderful to write about when I’m not sitting at the computer with both kids napping – what is happening right. this. moment.  Then, by the time I am sitting at the computer, it is gone – the spirit, the interest, the funny joke – whatever “it” is, it is gone.  And I feel down and only want to post about something negative.

Like today… I was not a very friendly person to my husband last night.  The kids and I had had an okay day – nothing catastrophic by way of fighting or disobedience… and dinner was going “fine” – Ella actually ate all I gave her of what I had made before requesting something else to eat.  But I was tired and got grumpy over stuff that didn’t really matter.  And then, attempting to be a good husband, he took us all to the mall so he could make a necessary return (time running out) and then watch the kids while I shopped for a bra.  Ella spent 15 minutes in her room getting re-dressed to go out that turned out to be 15 minutes doing who-knows-what because she was still in a short sleeved shirt and skirt when Jeff went to get her.  This actually sent my frustration level sky high as I deal with this every. morning. of. my. life.

Men – you may want to close the window now… but I don’t care if you continue reading.
Women – you know where I’m headed, don’t you?

Bra shopping is the WORST!  Especially if you aren’t willing to spend the dough to go to Kiss & Make Up and have Ruth size you with one glance as you walk in the door.  If you go to a department store at 7:30 when no one is working, you end up trying on a gazillion bras to find ONE that fits.  You then buy the exact same bra in more than one color in an attempt to not be boring in undergarment choices.

So that didn’t help my mood… but I did get two new bras from which my underwire is NOT sticking out.  So, all-in-all, he was a GREAT husband – keeping the kids busy and in a totally different department of the store while I got myself straight.  Then… He. Paid. For. Them.  Yep.  He rocks.  But I was still very, very mean before we left for the mall.

Then today – Ella can be one of the slowest children to get anything done.  Remember a couple paragraphs ago where she spent 15 minutes NOT changing her clothes… Yes – this happens every morning.  Side note: My mother was like this.  My grandmother would routinely walk past her room and say, “now the other sock Sandy” so at least my kid comes by it honestly.

I got her to preschool AT 9:00 and then proceeded to go to Willow Lawn for Mommy & Me.  Joe fell asleep in the car, as I knew he would, so we sat in the car for 30 minutes while I played Scrabble on my Kindle and he snoozed.  Our friends showed up and we went it.  We had a good time and I got a good work-out since Joe wouldn’t stay in one location long and we were seated near the stage (after perusing all the booths).  He just kept walking out of the stage area and heading to the back of the room where Nutzy was.  The thing is – he’s smaller and can get through the crowd so much better – making me step over kids and parents (sitting down) to try to get to him.

But we made it through the morning and were in a pretty good mood going to get Ella and meeting other friends for lunch.  Then we got to McDonalds.  I saw one school bus in the parking lot, but missed the other two in an adjacent parking lot.  There was not a single table open and the people in line were going to have to sit somewhere.  I called my friend and we re-routed to Chick-Fil-A.  But that meant taking my kids OUT of an eating establishment AT NOON and getting back in the car.

Anyway – see what I mean?  I could tell you about lunch and how Joe nearly threw my entire salad off the table… how he chucks his pacifier or “the ball” whenever he gets mad (sending me crawling on the floor to find it)… or how Ella didn’t want to leave the play area (FOR ICE CREAM) because it meant that it was also time to go home – so she took another 5 minutes (felt like 20) getting her shoes and socks on.
DEBBIE DOWNER…

By the time we did get home, I was in a rotten mood and the kids got fussed at for stuff they shouldn’t have.  Joe needed a nap when I put him down, but I just needed a quiet house for an hour so I put Ella down for a nap too.  And she is actually sleeping.

Anyway- maybe you’ll just find humor in all this.  Maybe you’ll find that you’re not the only mom to yell at your kids because they’ve left their shoes in your walking path and you’re carrying an armful of laundry so you trip over the shoe.  Maybe you’ll just realize that you’re not alone.

That’s what I get out of these posts (when I read them on other people’s blogs)… that I’m not alone in what I feel and what I experience.  And that makes my downer post worth it.

Gotta run.  Joe just woke up in a fit.  I’ll blog again sooner.  Hopefully.

 

Recovering

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On Monday, Joe slept until 8 and Ella slept until nearly 8:30.  This was amazing to me.

On Tuesday, Joe slept until 7:30 and Ella slept until 7:40.

On Wednesday, Joe slept until 7:15 and Ella slept until I woke her up at 7:30.
Both Joe and Ella took naps.

On Thursday (today), I slept until 7:45 and then spent the next hour pushing the kids through our morning routine to get out the door by 8:45 and get Ella to school.

Why are we sleeping so late?

Perhaps because Ella’s birthday party was this past weekend and not only did she have a ton of friends over for the party, but her Granny Mac and Pop came in town from the Outer Banks and her Uncle Warren and Aunt Rachel came in from Chattanooga, TN.  We had some late nights – I don’t make her go to bed on time when we’re with Warren and Rachel because those times are special… and precious… and just don’t get to happen often enough for her.

We’re actually recovering in a lot of ways… we each find ourselves looking for the dog, too.  Just today, Ella hopped out of the car and dashed to where she could see the backyard gate and called, “MAGGIE!”  It was odd for several reasons – mostly because we rarely left Maggie outside when we weren’t home and when we did it was because it was somewhere between 65-85 degrees and she was refusing to come in.

I think of the dog whenever I’m leaving the house.  I ask myself if I shut & locked the backdoor… I haven’t touched the back door in the two weeks since she died.  No need to.  I don’t even open the blinds on the door most days because she’s not going to be out there for me to keep an eye on and if I do I have to contend with the stupid squirrel who took a week to figure out she wasn’t coming out the back door any longer.  Stupid squirrel makes me want a puppy just to scare the living poop out of it!  …Anyway…  When I get home, I think to myself that I need to let her outside and then remember that I don’t.  It makes me sad and frustrated.  I also miss having her around over night.  She was going deaf and she never was a barker, but had someone gotten close to our door at night, we would’ve known it.  She was pretty good at barking when sounds were out of place.

I’m still recovering from the death of my grandpa.  That feels wrong to put into writing.  It has been years since he passed away, but I drive past Chestnut Grove at least 5 days a week (usually in two directions) and each time I think of how much I miss him.  How much I want him to know that Jeff and I got married… and had kids.  Oh, how he would LOVE these kids.  He loved all children.  He used to hand out dollars to the kids at church.  He also handed out dollars to random kids in restaurants and such.  I’m sure it freaked some parents out, but he just genuinely loved the look of joy that a kid gets when you hand them a dollar.  Grown ups don’t get that look for less than $50.

I’m still recovering from my first marriage.  Hopefully, that doesn’t hurt feelings, but it is the truth.  I made bad decisions going in and coming out of that relationship.  In five days we would’ve been married 14 years.  Don’t think that that doesn’t freak me out.  We were only married for one.  We’d known each other exactly three months and four days between our introduction and our “I do”s.  I’d call that a bit rushed.  We were miserable from the get-go.  I walked a mile in the snow several days of my honeymoon to get to the payphone in town to call my mama.  Who calls their mama from their honeymoon?  Granted, I did call home from  my honeymoon (and each Caribbean vacation) with Jeff – but that was to reassure my mother that we hadn’t died or gotten lost during our hike or snorkeling excursion that day.  The woman is a total worry-wort and it is funny to me.  I should never have told her that time we were going over to snorkel the bay where the nurse sharks come in to have their babies.  Nurse sharks, mom… not great whites.  Anyway – I’m still recovering from that bad decision and how cold and callous I became after I’d tried everything to save it and nothing worked.  I distanced myself and became snarky… a trait that rears its ugly head with Jeff every now and then immediately reminding me where I first started developing it.

Tomorrow, I’ll be recovering from a night out with friends – though I do have to thank whomever makes the decision when a premiere is going to happen.  A year and a half ago, I stood in line PREGNANT for the midnight showing of The Hunger Games.  Tonight – we’re going to the 8:00 premiere.  I may be in bed earlier than last night (when I stayed up to watch THG on dvd).

We’re all recovering, aren’t we?  From loss, from bad decisions, from a busy weekend… 

But that is where God’s grace and provision come in.  One of my favorite scriptures is Lamentations 3:19-24

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

God’s compassions are NEW EVERY MORNING.  Praise Him!  I do not have to live my life in regret and recovery.  I can turn my bad day, my bad year, my bad decision, my bad reaction, my yelling, my slamming doors, my tears, my heartbreak, my regret, my ache, my emptiness, my affliction, my wandering, my bitterness, my desperation, my searching, my hopelessness, my need – all of it over to him and he will pour his love, his grace, his mercy all over it and make us new.  EACH.AND.EVERY.DAY.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

There is a “thing” going around on Facebook currently where you list a specific number of things people may not know about you…

I’m not sure how it started, but if you comment on someone else’s list they’ll send you a number and that number is how many facts have to be on your list.

I don’t think I can do it… Most of my life is an open book.  My entire life, I have been a sermon illustration – sometimes with my permission, most of the time without.  I was/am used to it and it really doesn’t bother me.

Back in August of 2007 (scroll through all the blog posts that I shifted over here and you’ll find the entry), I wrote about hating being a preacher’s kid.  One of my reasons was because everyone knew everything about my life – or a least thought they had the right to.

I’ve gotten over the anger you’ll read in that post – though my dad’s “early retirement” to the beach area has helped that tremendously.

Really- I rarely hide anything about myself.  Ask Amy, Ashley, or Crystal – they’ll tell you it is true.  It is one of the things that I *think* drew Jeff to me – that I’m just me and I’m pretty outgoing with it – but it is also something that we argue over from time to time.  Did you know that my husband is a very, very private individual?  Do you think he was on drugs when he decided to marry me?

As I sit here typing that I am an open book, I can think of just a few things people don’t know.

1. I cuss in my head.  It was one of the things I rebelled well in – my language.  Now, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve risked taking God’s name in vain.  That is not a commandment I have broken lightly and I feel guilty for the few times I’ve done it.  BUT, there are a couple words that flow through my brain in moments of stress that I have to fight hard to keep inside.  They slip out every now and then (I fear that one of my children will say “damn” in front of my grandmother and it will be all my fault), but it is a fight that I will keep fighting until I finally get those words tamed.

2. I’ve been married before… Now most everyone who will read this post knows this already.  But, I’ve made some new friends in the last couple years that may not know it.  I was young.  We barely knew each other.  It was the worst year of my life.  I was so depressed and so unwilling to share what I was going through.  I was the Youth Director at the church I was a member of.  I was in charge of the middle & high school kids and what on earth kind of example would it be to tell them that the marriage I rushed into was a mistake.  I went to counseling.  I got on antidepressants.  I stuck it out until he finally cleaned out our bank account and moved out.  I was broken, but I had been broken for so long that the actual end came as such a relief.

3. I started dating Jeff RIGHT.AWAY.  Again, if you’ve known me a while, you know this.  My mother was… angry is not the right word… She didn’t really speak to me for months and I was living in her house.  She wanted me to take time for myself and I just wanted to move on.  If you didn’t know the situation, you might have thought that my 1st husband and I split up because of Jeff, but that is not remotely the case.  I didn’t know Jeff knew who I was – or that he assigned any type of importance to me – until after I had announced my separation to my church.  We dated for almost 5 years before we got engaged and we got married about 5.5 years after we started dating.  Someday I’m going to post more about this – perhaps telling you more about me that you don’t know.

Well, I’m sure I might have been able to get to five, but that precious baby boy is waking up from his nap and he’s not really happy.  He rarely wakes up in a good mood.  I may come back and edit this to add more, but for now –

Are you keeping secrets?  I find that secrets make me edgy… but at least I’m not a sermon illustration on a regular basis anymore, right?