Friday, October 31, 2008

Election Discussion Etiquette

Our family has been conducting an email discussion about the presidential election. While I really haven't participated, I have enjoyed reading. I don't participate because I don't talk so good. I have opinions, I have done some research and I have made my decision, but I don't articulate my opinions very well. I talk to preschoolers all day long - I haven't had much practice. I am thankful that our family is well informed and for the most part kind and considerate in their thoughts and comments.

Politics is such a heated topic. It is an area in our lives where we are very passionate about our opinions. It really make me wish we were as passionate about our Jesus. Would we wear buttons, put up yard signs, blog, and send out millions of post cards? This is a life and death decision! I am not that passionate. I wish I were bolder with what I share. Any thoughts on translating some of our political passion into passion for the lost?

At our Bible study, we have the ten commandments of politics. Basically, they state that each of us has opinions and that at bible study we are here to discuss God and study the Bible, not the political process. The famous phrase says that there are two things you should never discuss with friends and family, God and politics. To me that is avoidance. We should be discussing things like that with people. However, there should be rules - etiquette rules. So here are my rules/suggestions whatever you want to call them.

  1. Remember God love all of us - not matter who we are voting for. So your friend that is constantly talking about the candidate that you aren't voting for is loved by God equally.
  2. Be loving in your speech, attitude, and behavior.
  3. Pray - for the elections, for our leaders, and for your mouth! :-)
  4. No matter who is elected, be respectful. 1 Peter 2:13-17 - look it up!
  5. Remember that God is God and He rules the universe, not the President of the United States.
  6. VOTE! Be thankful for the freedom we have. Make a big deal about that.
  7. Don't liter your yard with political signs. No matter who you are voting for - it's ugly! And it is exclusive. What if one of your neighbors decided they weren't going to talk to you because of who you were going to vote for. Dumb reason on their part, but it might happen. You just lost an opportunity to talk about Jesus with them. He is more important that the President or councilmen or county clerk (why do we vote for the county clerk???)

Titus 3:1-2 says, "Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people."

Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Early Voting?

Is that what our forefathers had in mind?

I admit...I'm done with all the campaigning. It is everywhere. Three or four pieces of mail a day. Phone calls. Billboards. TV commercials. Even kids TV has commercials targeted to kids and they can't vote! Radio commercials. News. Even Facebook has political ads running. It is everywhere. Most of it not about what the candidates are going to do, but about what the other candidate isn't going to do.

But what I don't understand is the early voting. I understand absentee voting. You have a business trip, you're going to be out of the country, you are having surgery, or like my friend, having a baby. Then you vote absentee. Maybe absentee voting has changed, but I thought you had to have a valid reason for voting absentee. But early voting?

I could go and vote today if I wanted to. And admittedly I know whom I would vote for. But what's to say something doesn't happen in the next ten days that changes my mind? What if I read up more on the candidates past performances and decide to vote the other way. What if some major scandal comes out about one of the candidates that changes my mind. If I already voted...too late.

Any good reasons to vote early that can't be done with absentee voting?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Excitement

This morning our phone rang at 7:00am. Not that's not extremely unusual, but I still hold my breath expecting the worst.

It was my neighbor telling me that another one of our neighbors had an ambulance and two police cars in front of it and her son had seen them putting someone in the ambulance on the stretcher.
So we prayed. We couldn't clearly see the activity from our house, but we could see that the ambulance drove off and the police cars were still there. Not a good sign.
After the kids were off to school and the little ones settled, I pulled a Mrs. Cravitz...there I admitted it. I pulled out my binoculars so I could see better. THIS IS NOT A REGULAR OCCURRENCE! I do NOT spy on my neighbors!!! Just wanted to establish that fact.
This is what I saw...

No details yet, except that the driver got out of his car on his own and was not seriously injured.

The interesting thing to me is that I was relieved that it wasn't anything wrong with our neighbors. Unfortunately, it didn't seem strange to me that the police would be in front of their house. It made me wonder if I should be doing anything more to reach out to them - to show Jesus to them - to love on them.

I've really been thinking a lot about seeing with eyes like Jesus. I have found myself driving around town almost in tears as I look at people. People are so lonely, so sad, so scared, so hopeless.

When Mike said he felt called to be a pastor, I went along. After all, I was called to be his wife. But I really didn't feel like I was called to be a pastor's wife. I'm still not sure about that one, but I am catching his passion to introduce people to my friend, Jesus. To the one who doesn't take away all our problems or consequences, but promises to be with us always - even in our consequences.

With that in mind - two cool "Yeah God" stories.

Story #1:

I met a gal online a couple of months ago. I know that in itself sounds a bit creepy and I'm sure some in my family are quite alarmed. Let me reassure you that I operate under two assumptions. One, everything she says is a lie and two, never give out personal information. Okay, so I told her I lived in Montana, but it is a big state!!! (side note: it is amazing how much information people give out when they chat. I was actually able to locate where she lives - if she is telling the truth and not just pretending to be the person I found.)

Okay...I am so off track! Anyway, she has three children - two of them preschoolers. Her family recently moved and she was talking about how lonely she was and how she didn't have any friends. I asked her if she would be interested in a MOPS group. I explained what MOPS was and she agreed to give it a try. I asked for her zip code only and then looked up the nearest group. I talked to the coordinator and found out that the group is acting in line with MOPS mission (not a bible study, but not a gossip group either). I then passed the info on to my new friend. Well, long and confusing story shortened, she went to MOPS yesterday and loved it!!! She said the ladies were wonderful. She got to chat with other adults, drink coffee, and her girls had lots of fun too. When I got online to check in with her, she started by just saying, "ty, ty, ty, ty!!!" It was kind of neat to know that God connected us and hopefully will connect with my new friends as well. "Yeah God!"

Story #2:

We have been without a full paycheck for about 4 weeks. The paycheck is coming, but there were details to be ironed out first. So while there is hope on the horizon, things have been a little tight. As much as I complain about Dave Ramsey, I really am grateful for his financial wisdom. Because we were budgeting, when our vehicle registration came due this week to the tune of $335.00, we had $335.91 in the transportation account to pay the bill. "Yeah God!"

When we received a partial paycheck, we followed another principle and took care of the necessities - paid for groceries and gas in the vehicles, the electricity, the gas, the phone. We had money to pay for choir for Mikalah and $10.46 left over. Usually that would freak me out, but it isn't. God has provided for exactly what we need. "Yeah, God!"

Now there was the small detail of some credit cards and a loan that needed to receive their payments as well. Before they were due, we called the companies and explained that we were going about four weeks without a paycheck. Those crazy, money-hungry credit card companies were so nice. The gave us two months off. We still accrue the interest, but they will not charge us any extra fees and will not raise our very low interest rates. The only bad thing, they say, is that it will close our account. Oh well, what they don't know is that as soon as it is paid off we were closing the account anyway! And I suspect that they will contact us after the new year offering us to come back - that we are valued customers. I've received that offer before. I'm not falling for it this time! "Yeah, God!"

I am so thankful that God is always with me!!! He leads the way, and stays with me when I fall off the path, gently leading me back, mending my cuts and bruises along the way. Thank you, God!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I love a good laugh. Particularly when watching tv.

I miss the days of Friends and Seinfeld. That was some funny stuff. And even though I have watched season 10 of Friends at least 10 times, I still cry laughing when they play rock-paper-scissors to see who will tell Monica why they were late for Thanksgiving dinner.

I also like it when my humor has a little action/adventure mixed in. These days one of my favorites is Chuck. It makes me glad to know that the geeks are cool sometimes too. I love the stereo types and the way they break the stereo types. Plus it gives me a good chuckle to walk into Best Buy now and see the Geek Squad. In my mind I hear Buy More and the Nerd Herd.

Heeeheeeheee - make me chuckle just to type it out.

Okay, sorry about that.

Well, I came across something the other day that is down right funny. Mr. Obsessive Handwasher's Blog, The Dumping Ground. Now before you click over there, as the name implies, it is a blog about bathrooms. The facilities themselves and the people that use them. I know a bit gross, but hey, I live with four boys and three girls that sometimes think they are boys. It is real life.

Okay, really it is a man's blog, but I still laughed. The funniest post, in my opinion, is Bathroom Humor #2: a variation of Hide 'n seek.

I know - this is a little out of character for me. I promise tomorrow to post about Bible study. It's just been an odd week. And surprise...I'm blaming my Monday morning attire.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I bought new socks for my youngest two boys - socks are not something that can be handed down - it just doesn't work. Socks in our house barely last for one child.

But here is my question. I buy the "value pack" at walmart, because why spend big money on something that will be in the trash in six months.

The package of ten pairs of socks is resealable. The package even states that like it is an asset.

Usually I am all excited when a product comes with it's own storage container. I don't think I can store the socks in the resealable plastic bag that I bought them in.

Maybe that's just me.

I've already demonstrated my unstableness by taking my kids to school in my pjs :-)

Monday, October 20, 2008


Hello, my name is Jennifer.

I rarely go out of the house without make-up.

And never in my PJ.

I even got up early to get showered and dressed when I went to Sears 5am sale.

But this morning I woke up late.


In order to get out the door for school, we need to be eating breakfast at 7:20am.

My middle children wake up slow and need some parent coaching.

Result: I got kids dressed and fed and lunches made and out the door by 7:50am. But not myself. I took my children to school in my pjs - no shower - no make up.

I'm not sure if that is progress or resignation.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Does it seems odd to anyone else that last weekend my kids were playing in the snow and this weekend they are playing in the leaves???

Just a little mixed up???

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I have attempted to blog in the last three weeks - really I have.

I've had great ideas, but never actually typed them out.
I have some good pictures, but haven't posted them.
Why? Because I want the post to be perfect. Okay, maybe at least good.
Witty - fun - maybe even profound.
Instead of just doing it, I wait until I have a chunk of time to sit and post - not gonna happen.
So instead here is a catch up list for the past three weeks...
  1. MOPS convention was great - thanks for your prayers for my speaking. It went nothing like I planned - most of the 150+ ladies were not MOPS@ leaders, but really just wanted to know what MOPS@ was all about. It was a lot of thinkng on my feet and answering questions. Through it all, the Lord kept me calm and gave me word to say. I think I sounded smarter than I am - thank you Lord!
  2. Coming home meant a lot of laundry and finding things in my house. My kids were alive and the house was not burned down - so we started from there!
  3. Snow hit us last weekend - 18+ inches. I was so not made for winter weather. The kids had fun - I'm still trying to swap out summer & winter clothes - and now it is 76 degrees outside. No more snow, but lots of tree limbs down. We actually lost our power twice for several hours last weekend. It was funny to watch the kids try and move in all that snow. Morgan looked more like she was swimming! She would end up asking Mikalah to pick her up and set her down where she wanted to be.

  4. The kids have been on some sort of break from school this week. Not Fall break, just teacher training, but they have been home for the last three days. I love my children and we have had fun, but it is time for them to go back to school!
  5. Thursday, Jill took our family out to try and get a picture for our Christmas card this year. And the fact that our family picture above the fireplace only has five children in it. It was 40 degrees out and we were cold, but I think we managed to get some great pictures. These are not the great pictures - I just had to clarify that. I promise you will see the good ones...maybe when you get our Christmas card. But this is to give you an idea how difficult it is to get a good picture of our family. Especially when the Daddy is so goofy and his boys are just like him...oh wait...maybe the girls too.

  6. I have a three year old and a two year old.

That should explain everything - now hopefully I will set aside my perfectionism and just document what is going on in our life. It may not be pretty, but it is our life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What was I thinking?

Right now I am sitting in the Denver Airport and so thankful for free wifi - otherwise I might just fall asleep. And if I fell asleep, I would miss my next flight, because it would be a deep sleep.

But let me back up a bit...

Mike and I had a wonderful time in Idaho - travelling just the two of us. The conference itself was not spectacular, but it was a good time for Mike and I. Refocused us and we made some big decisions.

We have had some financial changes in the last two weeks, that you would think would throw me into insanity, but they haven't.

First, our denomination miscalculated our funding. Instead of having support until December, we ran out two weeks ago - no end of September paycheck.

Second, the company that Mike went to work for as a "Quality Control Manager" (yeah - no clue either) has had some integrity issues. While on our trip, we decided that he can not go back to work there. Starting next Wed - no paycheck.

Now those two things alone - not even mentioning the loss of health insurance - would normally put me into panic mode. No, I don't know where the money will come from to pay the electric bill. But somehow I feel very peaceful about it - it is okay. God is faithful!

We after we got home, Mike talked to his old company in Indiana. They have agreed to hire him as a consultant 20 hours/week.

That sound doable for Mike - not as stressful trying to work as much and do church. And it is different work. It will also mean a few trips to Indiana. In the back of my mind and if finances cooperate, I may send a child or two on one of those trips - they have been begging to visit their friends!

So, a trip to Idaho...a schedule and financial picture turned up side down...and twelve hours later...on a flight to Dallas.

This morning I got to watch the sun come up at how many ever thousands of feet in the air - beautiful! Now I am drinking coffee and "relaxing" until the next fight (3 hours). Great people watching time. And I really do like the Denver airport. Free wifi and a second level that most people don't know about. I can sit in quiet and watch people from overhead.

I know this seems random, but people watching is something else that I have noticed has evolved in me over the past few years. I used to watch, look at clothes, and notice all the faults.

"That woman does not match!"
"Oh, my, did she really wear pjs to fly in?"
"Just use a comb, people"

Now I notice more...different.

I still notice clothes... "oo - cool shoes!" or "fun wrap" but now I notice other things. "She looks so tired - I wonder what is bothering her...Lord, give her strength...travelling with a baby is so difficult." or "wow, he's moving fast...I wonder if he ever stops to think about You...Lord, create and opportunity for him to stop - hopefully nothing tragic." Yet I know that God doesn't create the tragic - He uses it.

That brings me to another thing (told you random). Mike and I listened to "The Shack" on CD during our eight-hours-there-and-eight-hours-back trip to Idaho. Amazing story!!!! I need to get the book now so I can re-read it again. Excellent at explaining forgiveness, love, and why bad things happen to "good" people. may be your Christmas present! So in that case, never mind.

Alright, enough tired rambling - time to something productive, find some food, and board my plane to Dallas.

Yee'haw, Tx here I come!