Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Make a Comment!

Hi to all who read this post! Since I am new to blogging, I realized that I needed to enable you all to make comments without registering as a blogger. At the bottom-right of each post is an underlined comment tally (it will read "0 comments" if there aren't any). Click on that to leave a comment or read others' comments. You should now be able to leave a comment "anonymously." If you choose the "anonymous" button, go ahead and sign your first name to the comment so I know who you are (unless, of course, you really want to remain anonymous!).....In fact, for fun's sake, try it out! Leave me a comment, so I know who reads this blog! Thanks. :)


I got a 10 out of 10 on my math quiz, and I got a 100 out of 100 on my ENG 101 evaluation essay!!!! So far, I have A's in all three classes!! Woo-Hoo!!! 7 more weeks to go!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ben's Question of the Day

As I'm sitting at my computer, I hear the GameBoy music playing. I look over, and Ben is playing it. Suddenly, he stops and says: "Mama? How did God get born?" I think: "Hmmmm...how can I make this make sense to a 6-year-old?" I say: "Well, God is our Creator, so nobody created Him. He's always been there." I pause to see how well that answer it taken. Ben makes a spitting noise, and continues with his game...... I guess it was a good answer!!

Friday, January 26, 2007


This is my doggy, Diego. He is a 6 1/2 year-old Rat Terrier. We put a deposit down on him before he was even conceived, and he turned out to be the only male of the litter. We would visit him every week at the breeder's, until he was old enough to come home. When we brought him home, I was 5 months pregnant with Ben! His first car ride made him nauseous, and it may be why he hates riding in the car to this day. Anytime we slow down, he starts freaking out, because he thinks we're going to leave him.

Diego is sometimes the kind of dog you sort of love to hate. He is terribly territorial, so he barks A LOT when someone comes to the door. He usually rushes them, barking ferociously and sort of pounces them with his front feet. It scares the CRAP out of people. He also pretends to go potty outside. We let him out, he goes around the tree for a few seconds (to make it seem real), and comes back in. I then say sternly, "GO POO POO." He knows he should, and he slinks away and does it. He also gets up on the furniture if we're not around. As soon as he hears us coming, he jumps down. Then, we feel the couch, and yep - it's warm.

The fun things about Diego are when he chases a ball at lightning speed at the beach. It's so awesome. He also makes me feel safe at night when he's sleeping at my feet. And, well he's just my dog. I love 'im. Here he is:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

An Article about Burn Out

I copied an article to this blog's post about Church/Ministry/Spiritual Burnout from a website/ministry for wounded/burned out leaders at www.smolderingwickministries.com. This article is one of many written by Kim and Kathy Wenzel. I'm working on posting my own story, but I thought I might start with this.....Ever been in this place??

Are You Burning Out?
How do you feel right now? How do you feel about God? Has He let you down? Are you disappointed with His faithfulness? Were you expecting Him to come through for you and He seemed very absent? Is there a growing resentment about the manner in which God has blessed you or failed to bless you?

Are you getting disillusioned with the congregation? Do you feel there is far too big a gap between the Bible and the life most in the church are living? Does it seem your sermons are changing no one? Are you tired of preaching and seeing no evidence of it working? Do you see many in the congregation still living rather empty religious lives, and your job is to give them a weekly pump-up or pep rally?

Are the board meetings too much to take anymore? Are the internal politics of the congregation and the power struggles finally making so little sense you wonder why you are staying in the ministry?

Are you disillusioned with the denominational leaders you once looked up to? Do they seem stuck in the same old box, while you have had your eyes opened to better understandings? Are you watching the young people drift away, and when you jump on the band wagon with new ideas and approaches to appeal to the next generation - you only get persecuted by your church and denomination?

Do you find a growing cynicism in your heart? When you are around super-zealous people or other ministry leaders do you sometimes think they are kidding themselves? Are you sick of all the masks people in the church can wear - including yourself?

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? A tired, worn-out person that is aging before his/her time? Eyes filled with sadness and a growing despair? Perhaps even anger and disgust?

Are you muttering things under your breath that are negative and sarcastic? Is it hard to keep going because it seems Christianity simply doesn't work?

You are not alone, my friend. Not only are huge numbers of leaders dropping out, but lay members as well are deserting the church in large numbers. In the mid-90's while I was still pastoring in Canada an article was published across the nation in numerous newspapers about the end of the age coming through attrition rather than Armageddon. At that point in time, if the church drop-out rate continued at the same rate, and church growth didn't pick up, the body of Christ would become extinct in Canada by a certain year in the future. I don't really think it would happen, but it was a sobering trend presented to the entire nation.

A good friend of mine, Malcolm Smith of Unconditional Love Ministries, had the opportunity way back in the 1960's to speak in the very churches where the Welsh Revival started in 1904. He came away from the experience feeling empty and sad. One church in particular, the very church Evan Roberts had prayed in the night the revival erupted, was very sobering for Malcolm. If there had been no plaque on the wall explaining the fact the revival had started in this church, Malcolm said, you would never have known. The spiritual climate in the church sixty years after the great flow of the Holy Spirit was near zero. Some of the elderly members who had been there in 1904 shared the story of that incredible night with Evan Roberts. Malcolm Smith called these dear people "tour guides in a spiritual museum!"

Individuals burn out, entire congregations become lifeless. It happens, on the individual level, and on the congregational level. Let me ask you one more question. When all the shouting is finished, and all the amens are said, what is it you truly believe? What do you truly feel in your gut? That's the bottom line. That is what will take you closer to the Lord Jesus, or further down the road to burnout.

If you are answering yes to a lot of the questions in this article, then indeed, spiritual burnout is a growing part of your life and ministry.

We urge you to call us and chat with friends who know how you feel. Please check this web site for resources periodically, and read the articles on this web site for more help. Should you choose to resign and step out of full-time service there are a number of unsettling things that will happen to you, and we want to help you through those challenges. The journey out of spiritual burn-out can take many roads but the real purpose is to end up closer to Jesus and the Father, filled with the Holy Spirit and living a purposeful Christian life despite the criticisms and human conclusions all around us. You can survive, and you can fulfill the purpose God ordained for you. He is still the Author and Finisher of our faith. Though we may be tired and weary He is still the Almighty God. Don't give up and don't try to survive on your own. We are called into a fellowship to help each other when pressure is too great. Jesus really does love you and He is sending others to come alongside you in your time of need.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Good Day & Birthday

Ahhhhhh.....a good day for me is completing the rough draft of an essay for English 101, Joe taking the kids away from the house, and soaking in my Lavender Vanilla foam bath......Oh, how I needed that break! Moms gotta take any chance they can get to refueled, don't they?

But, back to Ben's 6th birthday. I thought I would share a few more pics of Ben's special day. Our gift to him was a trip to Build A Bear and dinner at Applebee's. Joe followed that by taking Ben to the Monster Truck show for a guy's day out. ....It's great to be a kid!

Ben "cleaning" his new friend, Cody (a monkey) who was just "brought to life." Cody even makes monkey sounds!

Cody is a very spoiled monkey. He got a Seahawks uniform (complete with helmet and cleats), Superman pajamas, sunglasses and a doctor's uniform. But, doesn't he look happy to be going home with such a nice boy?

Amanda, Melanie, Ben and Cody with his Mariners shirt, denim shorts and Converse (the other outfit he just begged to have)!


What did you say, Dad?

Saturday, January 20, 2007


In my profile, it mentions that I started back to college, which happened Fall Quarter. I completed Math 60 (yes, I had to start low) and Medical Terminology. I was very scared about taking math, as it was not my best subject in high school. The first test I took, I got an 86. Yet, every test I got back after that was 100 to 103!! I would laugh to myself about it, because it was such a pleasant surprise...

Now it's Winter Quarter. I'm taking Math 98, English 101 (online), and Chemistry 100. It's a little crazy of me to be taking three classes, I know. But, I am determined to knock out these pre-requisites for the sonography program as soon as possible. The sooner I get these done, the sooner I can apply to the program. I will be finished with the pre-req's by Winter of next school year, and then I can apply to the program which starts the Fall of 2008. From there, the program is seven quarters (not quite a full two years).

Anyway, I'm two and a half weeks into Winter Quarter, and with the school closures, having my kids around has put a damper on my studies!! Now that we're back in a routine, things are better. My new math professor is an absolute BORE, but I am really enjoying my Chem teacher. The online class I'm not sure about. Not sure I'll do this again. It's just different. I'm doing well so far, but there is an evaluation essay (rough draft) due on Monday, so we'll see....

I try to make things as smooth as possible for my family. I take Ben to the bus, and head off to math class Mon-Fri for 50 minutes. Then, I come home and study while there are no kids in the house. Twice a week, I go to my Chem class from 2-4:30. The first day of that class, Joe has been off, so he handles all the stuff. The second day, the girls get home from school early, so they man the fort until I get back. I've tried to make that day crock pot day....So, for the most, it's working out really well.

I just keep my eye on the prize - imagining myself in scrubs doing ultrasounds....I can't wait!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Roadkill Cake?

It was Ben's 6th birthday last week, and we had a party for his friends at Burger King. I want you to check out the cake I made. I have to tell you that Ben REQUESTED I make him a volcano cake, so I had no choice. On the way to the party, I was THIS close to running into Fred Meyer to buy another cake and avoid the embarassment, but then it wouldn't have been a VOLCANO. Answer me this. If you stand back from your computer, doesn't it look a little like bleeding roadkill???

Here's a few pics from the party.....

The First Entry

Well, hello people! This is my first entry to my new blog. I am starting this blog to share my life with far-away friends and family, as well as express myself to better understand myself. Not proper grammar there - but who cares? It's my blog). I would also like to try to understand and even gain feedback on recent experiences with church burnout, as part of a healing process I've been in. (I'll post more on that later).....Anyway, I hope to post pictures of my family for those who want to see those pics! I've decided that I won't include full names, or other private, specific information. This is the world wide web after all!! All in all, I'm doing this for me - to validate my thoughts and experiences by posting them in type.....