Sunday, December 19, 2010

I love Christmas Cookies!

We do not have a lot of traditions in our family.  I remember growing up, and it seemed like there were things that we all knew were going to happen at certain times - like going to Gram's house on Christmas Eve and having a venison roast, provolone cheese, a big box of chocolates, and mixed nuts (family excluded!)  I think maybe because we have moved so much in our years of having kids, and because it seems that most years we are in the car traveling (does that count as tradition?) we have not done a lot.  But we DO make Gram's sugar cookies each year!  Even when we were in Malawi, we gathered all the pastor's family and baked and decorated.  Of course, half the cookies disappeared before they made it back into the kitchen (and the other half went just as quickly) but I have great memories of watching the pastor's kids licking their fingers of all the "extra" icing and trying not to think too much about it!  It is a wonderful experience each year, even if it does end up being Anna and I doing the last 50 cookies ourselves!
Just thought I would share a picture of some of the goods...

We are looking forward to spending Christmas with Shawn's family this year!  But the sugar cookies are already gone - sorry!  :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Honesty Becomes You

Really?  Because if that were true, wouldn't more people like it when you were honest?  This is an area I have struggled with consistently in my life - especially in my ministry time.  As the pastor and his wife, there is always that underlying idea that we should have it together.  Even though people will say that is not true, and they will acknowledge that we are only human, when the pastor starts to have a crisis in his life, the church becomes uncomfortable.  Suddenly the fearless leader is not so fearless or so full of leadership potential. 
I do this same thing to Shawn sometimes.  Obviously in my head I know that he cannot always be the upbeat, charge-ahead leader I so badly want him to be.  Don't get me wrong - he is strong, godly, and I would not trade him in for anyone else! ;)  However, like all of us he has days of insecurity, doubt, confusion, and depression.  And then I start to feel upset with him for being so vulnerable - the same things that the church sometimes does to it's pastors. 
I have had to learn to repent of this.  And not just repent of my actions and attitude toward Shawn, but because ultimately I have sinned again Him and Him alone, I have had to repent of replacing God with Shawn in my life.  Often I run to Shawn when I am hurt and want to talk, when I am angry and need to vent, when I am scared and want answers, when I am confused and want clarity.  And those things are fine to do - God gave us each other for those things.  He is my best friend.  However, when my first thought is Shawn and not God, and when I get frustrated because Shawn can't give me all the answers or be the person I always want him to be, then I am looking to him for things that can only come from God. 
God is teaching me a lot things about this and all the areas that I replace him.  I appreciate your prayers as I work through some of these.  As I continue to try to be honest and (at times) am hurt or rejected because of that, I have to remember to run into my Father's arms and trust that he loves me unconditionally.  I have to remember that we are all human and make mistakes, but that does not make honesty any less valuable in life.  So I press forward...