And I can’t fight this feeling anymore…

…I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for.”

There are times when it’s easy to see the humor of any situation. I’ve gone through a lot of struggles in life (as we all do as humans) with death in the family, chronic pain, children with special needs, and tough times in ministry but there are usually things I can find to laugh at. You can bet that people in ministry have a warped sense of humor as they deal with many and difficult scenarios and survive by snickering at something that went wrong or just finding that silver lining of humor to smile at. I know that many other professions such as funeral directors, first responders, Police officers and hospital workers all have their own brand of humor that they have in common and regularly share a laugh over. You may find this offensive but it’s true. People survive difficult or even horrible things by being able to laugh about the things that happen in those lines of work or situations. It’s a coping mechanism that God has given to us. Now, I don’t necessarily share my funny take on so and so’s funeral with the bereaved family, but The Reverend and I can chuckle about it later. Laughter is good medicine. It says so in the Bible…so there!

In the past half of a year, the Reverend and I have had a hard time finding things to laugh about. Sure, our kids antics have sometimes filled a spot, but life has been just too painful to chuckle much and that’s been tough. I’ve wanted to write but I just can’t get past the serious heart-rending things that we’ve gone through. I don’t want to be depressing. We hold fast to our God and our faith, but the funny side of both of us is a shallow pool and life is not as funny as usual.

It is a weird place for me. I come from a long line of people who think potty humor is where it’s at. I laugh at the ridiculous and find that, for all the chronic pain in my body, laughter truly has been my good medicine.

That’s not to say that the joy inside of me isn’t there. It’s there alright. Joy is a different thing altogether. I know that the joy that is within me comes from the Holy Spirit and that HE is my strong tower. The joy in my soul is not dependent on the circumstances around me. In fact, I have sensed an even deeper shade of grace that has enveloped me in peace. I finally see what it is all about. I know that these situations aren’t about ME, though the talk “around town” is about us, it’s not really about us. It’s about the spiritual war going on around us. that’s fairly serious business and it’s got me on my knees a lot more often. These difficult times often cause a deeper well of God’s strength to open up and a faith that we hadn’t had before is now settling in.

This struggle has been one of the most difficult in recent memory. The Reverend and I are clinging to God and to each other. We enjoy our moments of mirth with a deeper richness. Together it is filling a place in our marriage and lives that need to be filled.

In my mind’s eye, I see the sun ( joy) rising in my belly with the rays of hope radiating throughout my body giving and pouring out my eyes as I look toward Jesus and see him afresh.

I can’t fight this feeling and I don’t want to. Laughter is fleeting (and amazing) but joy is long-lasting.

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Quirky family

animal_muppetI’ve known about it for a long time. I’ve known that I have a quirky family. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to know the quirks of your Spiritual Leaders do you? The Reverend and his family have quirks. Some. Yes, we have embraced our inner weird. We’ve accepted it long ago. Do you want to know and put a face to someone who cleans out their nose a certain way? No? Well, then this post is not for you.

My family will remain nameless, but extended family is welcome to take credit for some of the quirks, if they feel so bold as to do so.

I have outed some of my more mundane quirks. Today I out the Reverend’s Family and those in the extended sides. I think I’ve probably terrified a few by that little statement. Well, I couldn’t be alone now, could I? You can rebuke me later…I won’t name names if that helps.

In no particular order with no particular gender assumption I give you the weird side of the Reverend’s much-loved, mostly acceptable bunch.

1. Someone just can’t help sniffing every single candy before it is ingested. Can. NOT. Help. It.

2. Prays with a conversational voice while walking around so we never know if they are actually talking to us or Him. Scheduled events have gone unwritten on the calendar because of this inside voice. Sometimes they are talking to us.

3. Has to touch and possibly move every item in the house. If I left something in one place it likely will have moved to a place only known to one person…and that person ain’t talkin’.

4. Thinks we all chew/swallow too loud. Apparently, it is annoying.

5. Cannot watch a sports game without loud volume and then complains when we try to communicate (talk) whilst the loud crowd cheers over something.

6. Thinks her cat bowl is prey and must play with it. In her mind it is acceptable to bat it all around the kitchen and slop the water all over while she decides whether to eat it or not.155

7. Hates water on the floor, because when it gets cold, and she steps on this cold water it makes her loo loo. Crazy cakes!  Said water on the floor is thanks to the one who hunts her cat food.

8. Thinks child noise is wonderful yet feels like it’s tearing her ears out at the loudest of times.

9. Thinks smelling farts is a must. Inhale deeply to get it all.

10. Saying “Fart” is funny EVERY time. Has pet names for farts like “tart” or “park”…tries to hide the word fart in normal conversation.

11. Has to adjust themselves (you guys know what I mean) ALL the time. Do you need that much adjustment? I’m thinking new underwear.

12. Loud scraping of a knife on a plate can send one into an internal (or external) shiver and a loud “Ahhhh!!”

13. Hates it when someone is reading over his shoulder. He can’t read while someone is lurking. Can’t do it.

14. Types so loud the neighbors can hear it. I don’t know why the letters must be pounded with such enthusiasm but they are. They must be writing something terribly exciting all the time!

15. LOVES to be tickled. I think it’s crazy but what can you do? Just tickle.

16. HATES to be tickled. Tickle me and DIE. Not really, but to come out of it severely injured, is a possibility.

17. Is the most patient and loving person until you make her plan something and time is running out. Getting in the vehicle with you can be a lesson in hysteria as she lurches from one stop sign to the next. RRrrreeeev. ERCH. RRRrrrrev. ERCH. Fun times!

18. Needs to end on an even number…I don’t know why…but that would be ME.

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I love my family. I love that they love me as I am and I love them as they are. Let’s face it, we all have our “things” that people either get irritated about or get over it and accept who we are.

Around here we call some things “Doing a Marcy”.

You mean you laugh TOO?

I’m going to be telling some secrets…some of you find them quite amusing…others may find it quite shocking news to hear from THE Reverend’s family.

The Reverend’s family has been known to be, well, human….yes, your minister’s family could be human too. It comes out at the oddest times though.

As all good minister’s kids are taught (and maybe some aren’t) that certain words are swear words or at least words that should never be uttered in public. It’s hard though for kids that go through public school because they hear every foul language known to man and then some. Also, everyone probably assumes that the pastor’s kids should be immune to them, after all shouldn’t they be perfect? Um, no. I’m here to tell you that we’ve learned to laugh over our lack of perfection and that we are OK with it.

One of my children let a major foul streak go in a very public place which left everyone shocked and scratching their heads. We knew this meant that something at the core of his being was bothering him. Perhaps no one even noticed. It’s all good. We noticed, and have had a good long talk about what was bothering that child to the point of using language that he never has used. He had some valid reasons to feel frustrated but we tried to tell him that the language that he used could be taken offensively by many.

This evening, we went out for my birthday supper. During the conversation one of our children was using the word “freakin'” like it was going out of style. Everything was “freaking good.” or “Freakin’ funny.”  Lay off it a bit child! It’s not a terrible word, but you can say it too many times…oh the BALANCE of these things!

Then we drove to Wal-Mart where I said something about the store with the word “Crap” in it, and then said in a conspiratorial whisper, “Not that I should use that word.”

Piped up from the most unlikely source in the backseat  we hear the words yelled “Crap, freaking….FREAKING CRAP, freaky crap…”

Which of course set my other children, and perhaps their parents, into choking fits of laughter. It was one of those moments that we could laugh in the safety of our own vehicle about the complete humanity of our family.

Four muchuchos

Not completely sure they’ve caught the fact that we are urged to ” in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach,” Titus 2:7 and the lessons we are always teaching them in this area, but tonight…tonight  was a night where we were ok to laugh and find humor in our humanity and realize that we all have a little ways to go.

Not only that, but Mother in particular, has a potty mouth. I mean, REALLY!

 

 

You have a COOL mom!

Alberta Highway 16

Alberta Highway 16 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My son’s face fell when he heard the news that The Reverend was not able to drive he and his two friends to an event that night. I looked at him and said “You don’t think I’m cool?”  My son finds it hard to hide the truth. “Um, uh, well, oh, um….” He tried.

It was official, my eleven year old didn’t think I was cool.

“So, what you are saying is that your Dad is cooler than me?”

“Well….” Avoiding eye contact completely.

I asked for it really.

We were on our way back home when they started talking about barf. I have a fairly awesome sense of humour but there is only so much barf talk one mom can take. I told them “If you say the word barf one more time, I am going to stop and make you run around the van ten times!” They took this as some sort of personal challenge.

**Whisper, whisper…even more hushed whispers, giggle, giggle**

I stared at them in the rear-view mirror. I knew they were up to no good.

More whispers “blah, blah, blah…barf.” I heard it plainly. It’s like they wanted me to pull over.

I did. Safely…I promise!

Two of them were definitely involved so I said “Get out and do your laps!”

They tried to look shocked. I’ll give them that. More peals of laughter and two 11-year-old boys started running around the van. I eyeballed the third, who looked completely innocent. I am nobody’s fool though.

The third “innocent” friend laughed and counted. As the two started climbing back in the van their friend piped up “That was only eight laps!” The two backed out of the door and finished up an extra two laps. Suckers!

I am certain I heard them whisper to my son “You have such a cool mom!”

A look of horror, or was it admiration, passed across my son’s face as I put the van in Drive.

I hoped their parents thought I was cool too because I could have been in big doo doo.