Sunday, May 22, 2011


Our church is about to hit a big transition. Our head pastors, Kenny & Michelle, are moving out to California to attend an amazing school for three years. I'm so excited for them! There is a part of me that wants to go to this school. If my boys end up choosing this school for their college years, I will be over the moon!

The new pastors are not set in stone yet. We are pretty sure we know who it will be but God has to rock some pretty big miracles to get them here.

When churches change pastors, they change many members. A lot of people visit a church and connect to something there. Very often, it's the pastor. In my case, I joined this church back in 2005. A little over a year later, the head pastors moved to southern California to pastor a larger church there. That's when Kenny & Michelle took over. Our membership morphed for a while. But we eventually hit our stride (or at least, I think we did).

Many of my church friends are very connected to Kenny & Michelle. I am, too. So I'm praying hard for my church. That God do what's best and help people to keep their hearts and minds open to the new pastors and their style.

I'm oddly mellow about this. I haven't cried over this yet. And there have been quite a few tears. I think my history of moving probably helps. As an IBM Brat, I moved something close to 8 times by the time I was 13. I know the reality of relationships. They come and go with life changes and seasons. I know my true friends are just that, no matter how much distance is between us. Those true friends are there for me no matter how often we see each other.

So the thought of Kenny & Michelle leaving to follow God's calling is exciting to me. I envy people who clearly hear from God to pick up and do something specific. I know I will see them again when they visit their family still in this area. I know I will haunt them on Facebook.

Today was Kenny's 2nd to last time preaching. As he spoke, I was hit with a momentary pit in the stomach. I think there will be a sense of loss I'm not quite understanding at the moment. I had trouble listening to his message. I thought how far we had come. In 2007, when he started speaking, he was rough and nervous. Now, he speaks easily, straight from the heart. He shares from his life, being extremely honest about his early days, before Jesus had his heart. He talks very candidly about how he used to be. Everyone can relate to imperfection and we love that he can relate to our imperfections. He never pretends to be oh-so-perfect. He is welcoming and is the first to admit that he's flawed just like anyone else.

In 2007, they had just announced he would become the new head pastor and my marriage imploded. The poor guy was barely in his new role and I was all, "Hey, I'm having a huge life crisis and think my head is going to explode. Can you help?" Kenny and Michelle walked with me through that journey. Sometimes, counseling me. Sometimes, Michelle just sitting there as I sat on her bedroom floor, bawling, thoughts tumbling jumbled from my mouth. I have no idea how they found the strength to handle it all. Learning how to pastor a church and me in crisis mode every time I saw them. I doubt that's how they think of it. But I look back on that time - I was so needy. I couldn't see beyond my own swirling misery. I had nothing to give - only desperately draining whatever I could out of all around me.

Kenny also had a heart for The Ex. I could tell he truly loved The Ex, whether I was mid-hate or wrestling with feelings of vengeance or forgiveness. He never stopped praying for The Ex. It was hard to take during the times I wanted God to punt The Ex to Pluto. But in my more lucid moments, I thanked God that someone had the heart to truly pray for The Ex.

Kenny and Michelle have always been champions of my little fractured family. Kenny was one of the men in my church that recognized the need my boys had for a reassuring word from a man. These wonderful men in my church took my boys under their collective wings. Kenny always had a hug for them. If the boys asked him things, he always made time - talking to them like they were the only ones in the room. Once, Kenny was going to give his testimony as the message. At the time, BigBro was really wrestling with anger about the divorce. Kenny invited BigBro to stay for the service instead of going to kids' class. BigBro stayed and listened to EVERY word. Kenny shared his experience as a child of divorce. I still think that stays in BigBro's head.

Once, when BigBro was very upset and worried about something spiritual - I can't recall what - I think it was heaven - I was at a loss. I didn't know what to do. I called Michelle and asked if she would talk to BigBro. She did. At length. I'm not sure what all she told him. But when they hung up, BigBro was at peace.

Kenny & Michelle have baptized both of my boys. I had always warned Kenny that I expected him to perform my next marriage and had joked that it was up to Kenny to find me my groom!

The Ex joins us at church very frequently because of his strong connection to many of our church friends. When I told him Kenny & Michelle were leaving, it hurt. He had just returned to Texas and had very few friends. Kenny & Michelle - he knew - were true friends. So he was loath to lose them.

Kenny & Michelle walked with me in my journey from utter desolation to being a strong God Girl. They have encouraged me, called me to the mat on certain things, gently corrected me, joked with me, been examples of selfless service, pointed out my strengths when I couldn't see them. There are many times in my day to day life when I'm at a decision point. At some of these times, I pause and think, "What would [so-and-so] do here?" God has blessed me with many fine examples to put in that [so-and-so] bracket. Kenny & Michelle are often inserted there.

It will be hard to let them go. Selfishly, I want them here. But I will send them off with blessings. And will cheer them on as God takes them into their next season.

I love you, Kenny & Michelle.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lil'Bro Gets Baptized!

Can I get an AMEN?! Woo hoo!

Both of my boys have an amazing faith. It blows my mind the kinds of questions they ask and topics they discuss. At their ages (7 & 10), I believed. But I'm not sure I understood the whole relationship with God thing. The church I grew up in never taught us about that. Or if they did, I didn't get it.

My boys get it. So when Lil'Bro said he wanted to get baptized, absolutely! Woo hoo!

This is especially sweet because it will be the last month our head pastors are with us. Both of my boys got baptized by pastors Michelle & Kenny. I know the who doesn't matter. But I'm glad for it anyway.

If you look back to BigBro's baptism in Sept 2009, you'll see a bit of difference in my two boys. BigBro took some coaxing (he had just learned how to go fully under water). Lil'Bro jumped right in!

The Ex, my parents, my BigSis and her TallGuy were all in attendance. I didn't get to snap a picture with my parents. DOH!

Enjoy the pix!

Lil'Bro, TM, HM & RM all contemplate the trough as pastor Kenny talks.

Kenny asked who wanted to go first. After a small pause, Lil'Bro climbed right in!

Kenny asking Lil'Bro if he accepts Jesus as his savior. And you know he DOES!

Lil'Bro wanted to do it himself. After 2 attempts, he successfully fully dunked.

A fully baptized Lil'Bro!

Pastors Michelle & Kenny. Love these guys!

Lil'Bro with a proud uncle TallGuy and aunt BigSis!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Mother's Day Approacheth

I'm going to point you to my post from last year. It gives lots of ideas for finding a mom in your life who needs a little doting.

Last year, I posted this because the plight of moms doing it all was heavy on my heart. Not just because I'm a single mom. But because of all the moms I know. One of my dear friends delivered flowers to my doorstep with a note signed by my boys. I thought that was so sweet. She is a dear!

This year, the boys' dad is back in town. Last weekend, he took the boys shopping for Mother's Day. So I know I have surprises in store.

This year, my mom is not feeling well. Allergies in this area can lay you low for months. So I'm trying to figure out what she needs.

I hope all of you mothers have a wonderful day this weekend. You deserve it!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Deep Thoughts

Topics of lengthy discussion lately with my boys (in no particular order):

Bin Laden's death and why I'm not jumping around chanting "USA! USA!"

Who did Cain marry?

Big Bang vs Genesis Creation.

The "forever" aspect of heaven.

Will heaven be a physical place?

Grace & forgiveness.

Always tell God your greatest desires - even if you think they're impossible.

Step dads (on many levels).
- What if I marry someone they don't like?
- What if I marry someone who doesn't like them?

It's hard to believe in God when you can't see/touch him.


These guys keep me on my toes.