Today is the day, my friends, to discover the top 5 most important things about me. I know, I know. The excitement is simply too much to be contained. We must hurry and discover the secrets of the universe, or at least of a tiny speck therein.
5. I'm a pastor's daughter. Most of you probably already know this. It's not a secret. Still, it is an absolutely essential part of who I am. It is just as important to recognize the somewhat obvious fact that comes alongside, that I am a pastor's wife's daughter. I was trained for 19 years before joining the fine ranks of minister's wives. That isn't to say that I don't forget some of the lessons that I learned along the way, but without that experience the life that I now lead would be infinitely harder. My parents were always very, very good about making sure that their expectations of morality were based on the fact that we were a Christian family, not a minister's family. I was expected to live a godly life because of who Jesus is, not who my dad is. This is a lesson that I am working hard to use as I parent my girls, which leads to number 4.
4. My parenting style is slow and steady. I'm not interested in molding my children into the personality type that I'm looking for, or the intellectual type that I want. I am fine with messes born from a spurt of creativity, or curiosity. (I do expect them to help clean it up, though.) What I'm looking to do is help my girls develop into the people that God designed them to become. I will discipline my girls. (We have begun incorporating actual discipline into the life of Ella, which isn't fun at all.) I expect them to act a certain way, like sinners. The idea is to teach them that they need Jesus, discipline them for unbiblical behavior to teach them that sin has consequences, forgive them, love unconditionally, and teach them of the forgiveness and grace that God extends through the life and death of His Son. I don't want them to behave out of fear of punishment, though that's as good as we'll get for a while. I want them to long for righteousness out of an understanding of the love of God and His desire for the sanctification of His people.
3. I love to read, and I love to write. It's hard to read with kiddos all over me. It's really much easier to watch t.v. while giving a kid a bottle or chasing a naked toddler to put her diaper on. I still prefer a good book when the opportunity prevents itself. I like weird stuff (you know, sci-fi and old kids' books), and I adore fiction. I find myself completely envolped in a book, which is why I write book reviews whenever I'm finished with a book. I also love to write, and I dream of making a career out of it eventually. That is why this blog was born. That, and the fact that my dad thought that I should. I once won some sort of contest at school in the fifth grade for a story that I wrote called "The Sad Clown" about a clown that goes psycho, if I recall correctly. I also won a trip to Los Angelas for writing a 50-word essay. I'm not totally sure that 50 words truly consitute an essay, but I didn't complain. I got to go to L.A. Neither of these works were the pinnacle of all literary success, though. I'm hoping that the greatest days of my authordom still lie ahead.
2. Marriage is my favorite hobby. I prefer hanging out with Edwin to hanging out with anyone else. If I'm going to hang out with a group of girls, which I enjoy, I prefer to do it when Edwin's at work in order to preserve our time together. I do enjoy an occasional day with other women while Edwin cares for the girls, but most of the time, I want to enjoy his day off with him. I find it odd when I hear people talking about how they really think married couples should feel free to live two separate lives. I had a female professor talk about how the secret to a successful marriage is to feel free to do your own thing. Huh? I enjoy my marriage. I love hanging out with my husband. He's the only person on the planet that I can be totally honest with, the only person that I can be completely vulnerable to. Hanging out with him isn't work. It's good, plain fun! That isn't to say that having a healthy marriage doesn't require some work, but hanging out doesn't require more effort. It brings us closer together so that we have less work to do.
1. Jesus trumps all. This isn't really about me. It's about the Christian life. I'm still learning what this looks like in certain situations. What I know is that God gave everything for me, including His Son. Until I was a parent, I couldn't understand this concept fully. Now I know, at least partially, what a sacrifice that is. I will follow Him. I don't know what His plan for me is, and I don't know how pleasant it will be. What I do know is who it is I am following. Because He is good, because He loves me enough to die for me, I will do what He says. Let's get one thing straight: I will fail at this, as I have done more times than I can comprehend. But He will forgive me every time. He will make something out of this mess of a person. When my faith fails, His grace prevails. (I don't generally do rhymes, but what the hey!)
Now you know more about me than you ever wanted to. Do with it what you will. I hope that it changed your life. (Can you say, "Vain hope,"?)