Saturday, June 27, 2009

Had That Song In My Head in All Day....

It is so late and I was just about to go to bed, but there has been a meltdown in the Fidler home and I just had to share it. Anyone who has ever worked a Vacation Bible School can appreciate this.

I opened the door to the hallway and Sarah was sobbing. I panicked. Was she sick? Did she fall off of the bed? Through her tears she said "I can't sleep." I figured she was going to tell me that her nose was stuffed up. She said (still sobbing) "I can't get that song out of my head."

"What song?" I ask. She tearfully replied, "That song we sang at Vacation Bible School."

Oh dear. I managed to get her back in bed without bursting out in hysterical laughter. If you haven't ever been to a VBS you may not get this, but if you have you know that it is hard to get those catchy songs out of your head!

This makes me think of when we first got the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie and Eli learned the song "Bad Day". Well, he learned part of it. He would repeat "Had a bad day, had a bad day, had a bad day, ....." to infinity and beyond. He would usually convince me that I had, in fact, had a bad day!

Speaking of Alvin and the Chipmunks and Vacation Bible School (welcome to my life :) tonight during prayer requests we went around the room while the kids asked for prayer for sick cousins and safe travel. Eli had his hand up the whole time. I finally got to him and he asked "Remember on Alvin and the Chipmunks when they found those cheeseball?" LOL. Only my child....

I know that at some point we've all had a song we just cannot get out of our heads. So...I wanna know. What song has kept you up at night???

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I've mentioned several times that I grew up taking dance lessons. Now, lots of people took dance lessons growing up, but I lived and breathed dance. A lot of people have several hobbies and interests, but not me. I just wanted to dance. I still remember my last dance recital and how it was so much more emotional and sad than my high school graduation. And now, almost 10 years later, dance has come back into my life.

Saturday night Sarah Beth will take the stage in her first dance recital. I cannot tell you how giddy I am. Lest I sound like a stage mom living out my dream through my daughter, you need to know that she LOVES dance. Mostly because her teacher Mrs. Dana is so sweet and does such a good job with her. Anyway, while I have tried not to force my interests on her, I wont' lie and say that I am not OVERJOYED that she loves dancing as much as me! My life has been so empty of aqua net, the smell of spray painted ballet shoes, and glitter eye shadow. Oh how I have longed for the excitement of getting a program listing the order of the dances. Recital time was always my favorite time of year. The lights, the sounds, the decorations. You may not believe this since I now share all of the details of my life on the internet, but I used to be extremely shy and the power of going on stage and being someone else was thrilling. I just loved all of it. I remember going from a little girl who watched the "big girls" in awe to becoming one of the "big girls" leading those little girls by the hand onto the stage. I adored safety pinning and bobby pinnning and tying laces. I mostly loved getting to live in the world of performers, even if it was just for a night.

I cannot finish this without reliving another favorite dance recital moment. We always had big, elaborate dance program books with all of the girl's pictures and notes from family. I loved when moms would write cute notes using the names of the songs the girls were dancing to. I just have to do it. Don't worry Sarah, one day you will love the cheesiness!

Sarah Beth, it puts an uncontrollable grin on my face to see you have so much fun dancing.

Tonight, as you dance like "Cinderella" your mama will be acting like a "Maniac" taking pictures and applauding.

We will all be in awe when we see that "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On".

You are going to do such a great job that we will have no choice but to shout "Great Balls of Fire"!

Some people may wonder how you do so well and say "Uh Oh It's Magic",

but we know the truth.

All good gifts come from the Father and we thank Him for your talent and hard work!

Okay, this gushing mama will try to contain herself now. It is just so fun to see your babies enjoy the talents they've been given! And oh yea, I've gotta keep my eye on Eli now. He told me today "You know what I like about the dancing is the shaking". :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm So Vain, You Probably Think This Blog is About Me...

Here is another one of those confessions I was telling you about. I am so incredibly vain. Well, I'm not sure if it is vanity or extreme insecurity disguised as obsessive vanity. Either way, I need help.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this here or not but I am to be a bridesmaid in my sister-in-law Leah's wedding on the 4th of July. She was incredibly gracious and picked the most gorgeous dress that is flattering even on my fluffy figure. However, in preparation for the bazillion of pictures that accompany weddings I would still like to lose 30 pounds, get a tan, and whiten my teeth. Yea, it's not gonna happen. I am slowly dealing with that reality.

After seeing my sister, who had come from Alaska, and realizing she was more tan than me, I decided I had to take action. Kate was asleep and the other two wanted to play outside so I snatched up a book and headed out to the trampoline to lay out. It was roughly 120 degrees and the sun was so bright I couldn't open my eyes to see the book. At one point I heard the grass move under me and I cannot even tell you how scared I was or that I planned to just stay on that trampoline until I could scream loud enough for Josh to come get me. I was sure that I had melted away at least 20 of those pounds when two of the girls from church came to get the keys to decorate their VBS room. Yes, two high school girls were sacrificing their summer day to prepare for VBS and the preacher's wife was tanning on the trampoline reading a novel. Oh the vanity! In reality my legs just turned red and most of that was from bug bites. I'm still itching.

So, I'm still white and fluffy. I have not managed to achieve my goals, but I have mangaed to pass down my vanity to my children. Sunday morning I was determined that we were going to make it through the whole service. Josh had been excited about his Father's Day sermon and I wanted to hear it. I even decided that if Kate had to rummage through my entire purse to make it through then I would let her. The first part of service went really well. She sang when we sang. Eli usually just colors or plays with his cars but he even stood up with the hymnal. I was so proud. Pride always comes before the fall doesn't it?? Josh started preaching and that's always when the drama starts. Kate found my compact mirror in my purse and decided that was what she wanted. She just stared at herself for the longest time. I immediately began repenting that my vanity was such that it had rubbed off on my almost 2 year old. But let's face it, if you were as cute as Kate you would probably want to stare at yourself in the mirror too, right? :)

All was fine until Eli decided HE wanted the mirror. Really, I guess I need to provide all of my children with their own personal mirrors so they can admire themselves at all times. :) The struggle was on until finally Kate chunked the thing into the aisle. Fabulous. Nothing like flying mirrors from the preacher's kids to add to the preacher's sermon on fathers. The man in front of us retrieved the mirror and gave it back to me. The glass wasn't broken but the compact was. Sarah decided she needed to start grabbing for it so she could fix it. All 3 of my kids were fighting over a mirror. Oh the vanity!!!! And the insanity!!!

We did make it through that service and somehow I found the strength to go back Sunday night. Eli is 4 now and apparently 4 year old boys feel the need to run everywhere. (Please tell me it is just a 4 year old boy thing!!!) I reached out to stop him and leaned down to tell him to stop. When I did he jerked his head up and hit me in the nose. I just knew my nose was broken. My eyes were watering and wouldn't stop. It hurt soo bad! I should have made sure his head was okay. I didn't. I just thought, 'I have to be in a wedding in two weeks and my nose is broken!' Shameful!! I know I am shameful! I felt like it was some kind of lesson. I was thinking, 'Here I was worried about getting a tan and now I'm gonna be in pictures with a nose cast!!!!!!!!!' Wouldn't that be cute? Well, I could get a white cast to blend in with my skin. :)

So, my nose is not broken, just a little swollen. I feel that I've learned a big lesson about my vanity and I'm really coming along. I was just wondering though....does anybody know how to apply self-tanner without streaks? :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Scandalous Freedom

I love the word scandalous. *Gasp*. I know that is not normally something you would hear from a preacher's wife, but let's face it, I am sure I have shared tons of things on this blog that you never thought a preacher's wife would say. Well, that is why I love the word scandalous. I think Jesus was scandalous. He hung out with sinners, treated women like they were human beings and not property, and He consistently offended the religious people. Scandalous, I tell you, scandalous!!

Why am I going on and on about the word scandalous? Because I am reading a book now titled "A Scandalous Freedom" by Steve Brown. My friend Karen has been telling me about the book for a couple of years now and how I needed to read it, but after a major crisis of belief I've been struggling with she gave up on me taking the initiative and just packed it up and made the 45 minute trip to bring it to me! Praise Jesus, because I sooo needed this book right now.

Let me back up and tell you about my crisis of belief. About a month ago I came across some homeschooling blogs that eventually led to me coming across some blogs of some people who are involved in what is known as the patriarchial movement. I became obssessed with these people. They are so holy. The women only wear skirts and dresses, they embrace their roles as wives and mothers, they homeschool like at least 8 children, make their own bread, and write eloquent, persuasive essays about how to be like them. I decided they were exactly how I needed to be. I needed to be more holy. Well, after a week of obsessive housecleaning, demanding that my 3 year old have a personal Bible reading time (seriously y'all, I went off the deep end), and doing everything in my power to support Josh I was...exhausted. And spiritually empty. Reading the things they wrote encouraged me that I should give up any dreams or plans I have that do not revolve around my husband and kids. That was a tough one to swallow as just months ago God began speaking to me about something I really thought He wanted me to do that has nothing to do with my family. It was so confusing.

So, fast forward a few weeks and after massive google searches and marathon blog reading, I realized that this group is in fact a cult. Now, I am not one to throw such words around lightly or to attack others beliefs. But I feel the need to say that because I feel that if I as someone who has been a Christian for 21 years and is a preacher's wife could be so misled then it really is not as difficult as we might think to get sucked in to these incredibly unbiblical ideas. I soon learned that certain members of this movement also believe that women should not be allowed to go to college or vote. They are definitely not allowed to work outside of the home. Now, being a stay at home mom who homeschools I would really not consider myself a feminist by any means, but by the standards this group holds I might as well be burning bras in the church parking lot.

What does this have to do with the book I am reading? Everything! "A Scandalous Freedom" is a book designed to set Christians free from the exact kind of bondage that the patriarchial camp is trying to put people in. Nothing made Jesus angrier than legalism or religious people creating new rules for Christians. Matthew 23:4 says, "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their own fingers." Jesus told us that we should, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30. I feel like Jesus is saying that He never meant for it to be so hard. He didn't come and die on a cross for us so that we could daily suffer and never feel good enough. He is saying that He didn't make up all of those rules, man did!

I will give you a silly example of this. Modesty. Now, I am all about modesty. Mostly because I have had 3 kids and mother nature was not kind. :O) Really, I have strong convictions (beliefs) about modesty. I feel that I should be responsible in how I dress so as not to show off things that were not meant to be showed off! The thing about this movement is that they preach it as if it is equally important with baptism or taking the Lord's Supper. They are also extreme with it. There is a very big push to wear skirts and dresses only to bring feminity back. Now, I am a huge fan of skirts and dresses. They make me feel girly and pretty. But, I searched and searched the Bible and could not find a scripture that convinced me it was a matter of life and death that I wear skirts or dresses. They even had someone challenge ladies to wear their hair a different way everyday of the week. I was surprised that I did it for four days. I didn't know there was that much to do with my hair. But still, I kept praying, "God, is this really important to you?" Honestly, I felt like He told me that He wished I would find something more meaningful to think so much about besides my hair!!!

Josh tried to be supportive of my newfound ideas. He always tells me I'm hot when I get ready to go somewhere. (I am so sorry if that does emotional damage to know that a preacher talks that way: ). However, he quickly learned to say "and modest. You look hot and modest." Again, I am all for modesty. I feel that it is something very lacking in the church today, but again, the Bible just really doesn't spell out what that looks like for everybody. I give that as just one example. I know I am going off on a rant, but really freedom in Christ is so important to me. The fact that after just a week or so of being fed lies by some of these people, I felt that freedom slipping away was very scary.

As I struggled through my beliefs and questioned ideas I had been taught Karen kept saying, "Focus on what you do know." She is so deep and you should check out her blog. Anyway, I have to tell you that what I know is Grace. I say that with a capital G because it has really been that big of a deal to me. I know that I am a sinner who needed a Savior. I know that no matter how hard I try I can't earn my salvation or God's favor. He offered it freely when Jesus died for me. He only asked that I accept Him.

Y'all I get so excited about the fact that I have freedom in Christ that I would do a cartwheel if I knew I wouldn't end up in the ER. I am a Child of God, not because I go to church every time the doors are open, not because I read my Bible 8 hours a day or pray the right kind of prayers. I am soo not a Child of God because I am "good" enough, whatever that means. I am a Child of God because God chose me!!! Because He offered Grace.

I don't know if any of this made any sense, and I definitely will have to write again about the book. I just feel so passionately about this subject because after six years of depression, I finally experienced freedom. I finally saw that there was nothing left to lose. I had nothing to give, and God loved me anyway. I pray this encourages you and helps you find that freedom as well. Don't wear yourself out trying to live up to manmade ideals and to fulfill manmade rules. Seek Jesus. He will give you a scandalous freedom!!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Love....

In case you were wondering, Josh, Eli said his favorite thing to do with you is play ball. Sarah said her favorite time was going shopping with you for my Mother's Day present. Feel free to take her shopping for me anytime. :) Kate said, "zidhwldhoedlshd". I'm pretty sure she said football somewhere in there, but I'm not positive. :)

I just thought that in honor of Father's Day I would tell you what I love about you. Here goes.

I love that you are the most infintely patient person I have ever met in my entire life.

I love that while many dads would tell their kids to be quiet and leave them alone, you entertain conversations such as "Is there such a thing as dogfish? What about monkeyfish? Roosterfish? Elephantfish?"

I love that you get on the floor and our kids climb all over you.

I love that you change dirty diapers. A lot. :)

I love you are never too busy for us.

I love that you always know where the lion is.

I love that you are really, really, really ridiculously good looking, especially since two of our children are your clones. :)

I love how much our kids love you and that the daddy they see preaching in the pulpit is the same daddy they see at home everyday.

Mostly, I just love you!!!!!!!

Happy Father's Day Josh and thank you for giving me 3 of my most favoritest people!

Happy Father's Day!!!


I LOVE YOU DADDY!!!!!!!!!!

This is a blog I wrote back in 2006 for Father's Day. I guess I'm just being lazy, but I decided to repost it.

As Father's Day approaches I've been thinking about my dad and the very valuable wisdom he has imparted to me. Growing up I spent a lot of time in the car with my dad and in addition to an appreciation for Beatles music and talk radio, he also gave me three wise statements that I have always remembered.

1. (At age 11) "If you have sex, you have babies." Right about that one.

2. (Age 13) "Your credit is the most important thing in life. You have to have good credit." Well, I believe there are many more important things in life, but let's face it, you do need good credit.

3. (Age 14)"Life is all about choices. People just make choices." My dad shared this last statement with me when I innocently asked how someone could bomb a daycare building in Oklahoma City.

I'm finishing up my internship for my social work degree right now and everyday I encounter people who have made choices. Most of them are bad choices. Some make bad choices because the people don't know any better. Some have found that bad choices actually work better for them. Some make bad choices because they just can't break the cycle.

I've struggled a lot with handling cases where other people say, "It's their fault, they got themselves into that mess" or "How can you help someone who doesn't want to help themselves?" I've spent a lot of time asking myself that question and the only answer I can come up with is that I've made bad choices too. They may not even register on the same level as some other people's bad choices, but they were still bad choices. And despite my failures and disappointments I've been shown mercy.

I constantly wonder why I have the life I have and why I am not one of the people I see so often who has had a life of heartache and problems. I like to think that it's because I've mostly made good choices. But, I didn't get to choose the family I was born into or many of the opportunities given to me. Again, the only answer I know is that I've been shown mercy.

Yesterday I talked with a woman who is in a bad situation and has put her unborn child in a very bad, unfair position. She wanted help, but backed out when she didn't get it on her terms. There's nothing I can do now but pray for her. When I got home and had time to think about the situation I felt so frustrated that it seemed like such a hopeless situation. I knew there were other people who cared less and felt like she had done this to herself. I had to fight to not be one of those people. She had made some really bad choices.

It's true, we do make our own choices in life. I just thank God that His grace and mercy have covered so many of mine.
"not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit."
Titus 3:5

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If it ain't broke...just give me a minute

I have found that kids have become a convenient excuse for why things are always spilled, dropped, neglected, trashed, or broken. But you know what I've realized? It's me!!!

This past weekend we went to visit my mamaw who just got a brand new trailer with brand new furniture after her house burned down. New stuff makes me a nervous wreck. I prefer our homestead where I don't have to worry about things being destroyed because they already are. I am currently looking for a sign to put on our door that says "Where the Wild Things Are". I am of course joking (a little). We work with our kids a lot about respecting and taking care of things, especially when they belong to other people! They do good I think for their ages. But then...there's me. I don't know what excuse I have.

My mom put me in ballet at the age of 2 and after 16 years of weekly lessons I'm about as graceful as a one legged duck. Add to my clutziness my luck and most things just don't stand a chance around me. I've already told y'all about my microwave. A couple of weeks ago Josh moved one of my plants and he asked "Is this real?" He couldn't believe I had kept a plant alive for so long. I got that plant as a gift when I left my job and I was totally planning to blog about that plant in a couple of months when it turned 1. (Yes, I seriously need a life.) Don't worry, there will be no blog celebrating the 1 year birthday of my plant. That same night Josh knocked it over and it's gone.

Back to this past weekend, I had been watching guard over my children policing their every move so there would be no destruction of property. They did good. I didn't. I started drinking coffee this weekend. Actually, I think that I just like creamer and by the time I would put half the bottle of creamer in my coffee it was usually overflowing from the cup and I set quite the record spilling cups of coffee. I informed everyone that I am a new grown up and still working on the walking with the coffee thing.

This was a very exciting trip for us because my sister, brother in law and nephew got to be there. They were in the process of moving from Alaska to Georgia and stopped by. Christmas was the only time I had spent with my nephew who will be 1 in July. (Get ready for that blog too. :) Josh had not ever gotten to see Luke. I would love to show you the million and a half pics I took of my adorable nephew with my totally adorable children, but...I dropped my camera in the baby pool. Yes, now my camera is broken. For good. That camera has given me so many fits and it was already on it's 5th life. But it had started working so good. Apparently it was not waterproof. :) My next camera will be a FisherPrice kid friendly version.

What is the point of this blog you ask? I have no idea. I guess it is just a warning. If there is anything you value, don't bring it near me!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In case you haven't noticed, I just adore blogging. I love being able to share my thoughts, feelings, and ideas. But what I really love is hearing from people who actually read my blog and being able to connect with people who share those same thoughts, feelings, and ideas and who I would probably never otherwise encounter outside of this blogging world. It's pretty cool! Today I want to share with you one of my blog readers who has asked me to pass along the word about a book she has written sharing her love of all things southern. It is my pleasure to introduce her to you!

Patricia Neely Dorsey's Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems is "a true celebration of the south and things southern." The author states , "There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. In my book, using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. In my book I try to show that there is much more to Mississippi and the south than all of the negatives usually portrayed .I invite readers to Meet Mississippi (and the south) Through Poetry ,Prose and The Written Word."

If you want a glimpse of Southern life, Come close and walk with me; I'll tell you all the simple things, That you are sure to see. You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees, Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees, Caterpillars on the step, Wooden porches cleanly swept; Watermelons on the vine, Strong majestic Georgia pines; Rocking chairs and front yard swings, Junebugs flying on a string; Turnip greens and hot cornbread, Coleslaw and barbecue; Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes, Fried pies and pickles too. There's ice cold tea that's syrupy sweet, And cool, green grass beneath your feet; Catfish nipping in the lake, And fresh young boys on the make. You'll see all these things And much, much more, In a way of life that I adore.
Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey
from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems
PATRICIA NEELY-DORSEY Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems
" a celebration of the south and things southern""Meet Mississippi Through Poetry, Prose and

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sweet Baby Cakes

I love my kids. I know that I spend a lot of time writing about the chaos they bring to my life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! I actually had the realization the other day that soon they will be grown and I will have to find some other subject to blog about. Hope y'all are interested in my dog. Just kidding!

For now, my three little people fill my days with so much joy and the best stories. Sarah and Eli have been at a friend's house most of the day today and I have been enjoying some Baby Cake time. That is Kate for those of you who do not know that Eli called her "Cake" while she was in fact, still in the oven so to speak. :)

Kate is dangerously close to being 2 and somedays it shows! But most of the time, I just drink up the days with her during this time of cuddly, sloppy kisses. Kate was a very big surprise for us and because of some health issues with both of us I feel that God has given me a special appreciation for her. When Sarah was her age I was clueless and frustrated and wished many days away. When Eli was this age I was working and pregnant and too tired to really enjoy him. Now, I feel that I've been blessed with the time like I had today to spin circles around the living room and cuddle on the couch.

Kate has just in the last few weeks developed quite the vocabulary. She's been speaking in German, Japanese, and in another language I'm sure she would be in trouble for if we could understand her. But just recently she has been showing off with lots of new words. Since I am a terrible mother who has not documented and kept up with my children's milestones the way my mom did, I'm going to share these new words here!

  • Want some more milk (milk=whatever she wants, milk is everything)
  • Book
  • Bath
  • Nap (This word usually comes after she talks obsessively in one of her other languages and then she finishes with NAP.)
  • NO (most frequently used word)
  • Yes (We are very excited about this one!)
  • Dey Dey (Also known as Daisy)
  • Amen (Seriously. Yes, she's a preacher's kid)
  • Baby
  • Ball
  • love you (My favorite!)
  • Da Da
  • Mama (This is said usually while she is tapping me to show me something she wants. Imagine a screaming southern accent saying "MAMA!! MAMA!!)
  • Pee pee (this one is unfortunate. She has not yet learned to "pee pee" in the potty, but she has learned to walk around saying it alot. :)

As I write this Kate is walking around with a laundry basket on her head. Just so I won't go to overboard with the bragging, she's reminding me. She's a kid!!

The Hiding Place

When I read a book I really like it takes weeks for me to recover. What I mean by that is that is that the chances of me quoting that book, sharing a story from that book, or suggesting you read the book at least once in every conversation are very high. Poor Josh. He probably misses his high school days of summer reading when AP English teachers did not request as much reading as I do. :)

The book that I am going to quote, tell stories from, and suggest you read is "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. Mammy (that would be Josh's grandma) gave me this book for my birthday a couple of years ago and I have just now gotten around to reading it. I don't know if this ever happens to you, but I feel like God leads me to read certain books at certain times. When I first got the book I read the first chapter and that was it. I can't remember if I just didn't have time to read or if I started reading something else, but I didn't get past the first chapter. Then a couple of weekends ago I picked it up and I could not put it down. While my body sat in the recliner with laundry piled up and kids playing all around me, my mind wandered into 1937's Holland.

Corrie Ten Boom was an "old maid" who lived with her father and sister Betsie who also never married. They worked with their father in his watch shop and Miss Boom actually became the first licensed woman watchmaker in Holland. They lived a simple life that included daily Bible reading and showing hospitality to those in their community. Their lives became extraordinary when through numerous circumstances their house became a hiding place for many Jews during Germany's invasion of Holland. The risk they took in not only opening their home, but also working "underground" to assist other Jews in finding safe places eventually led to the arrest of Corrie, her sister, and her father.

While I have always been interested in Holocaust history, I have also found it very difficult to spend much time studying it. This story definitely brings to life the evil that this time in history displayed, but at the same time offers such encouragement and hope that you can't help but see God's hand along the way. The faith that the Ten Boom family demonstrated during the time of their imprisonment serves as a challenge and an example for all Christians. I feel that God led me to read this book at this time because I have found myself questioning what it means to be a Christian in this world today. What should I look like as a Christian? How should I act? Should I try to act a certain way to attract people to Christianity or should I be completely set apart and different to the point that people just think I am weird? What do I need to do to accomplish great things for God?

Reading "The Hiding Place" I felt overwhelmed by the message that loving God and serving others is still what we as Christians are called to do. Obeying God, even when that becomes risky or dangerous, is still what He requires. Bringing glory to Him no matter how bleak the circumstance is still our purpose. Giving thanks in all situations and forgiving ALL who have hurt is still our command. Seeing every person we encounter as a soul in need of the Good News of Jesus is still our commision.

This book offers us a glimpse at Christianity at work. It doesn't offer intelligent debates, snotty elitism, or spiritual ignorance. It shows in real life how this Christianity thing is supposed to work. This book also increased my appreciation for the comforts we take for granted. When Corrie was finally released from prison I could literally feel the warm water of her first bath and the crisp, clean sheets of her bed. In fact, it left me wondering if we are just a little too comfortable these days and not concerned enough for those who don't know the comforts, both spiritual and physical, that we do.

I can honestly say that after reading this I prayed that God would allow me to be used for His Kingdom the way He used the Ten Booms. I quickly had to follow that prayer with another prayer that He would give me the strength, faith, and courage it would take be to used in that way because I know I don't currently have it.

Mostly this story left me with great gratitude that the same God who worked and showed His Glory in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany is still working and showing His Glory today. That same God who was a "hiding place" for His Children then, is still a hiding place for me today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For the Love of Ninja Turtles

Yesterday was a special day. My baby brother turned 22. I won't tell you how old that makes me. I felt that this special day would not be complete if I did not humiliate him by posting old pictures on my blog. :)

Philip, also known as Philzy Baby, came into the Strickland household when I was 7. He was MY baby! He was (and still is) just pure sweetness. He was one of those babies that would wake up and just play quietly in his crib until everybody else was up.

Philip taught me a love for Ninja Turtles and Hot Wheels and I tried to pass down my love for dressing up in dance costumes. It didn't stick. :)

I am so proud of my Philzy Baby and the awesome man he has become. He is a great uncle, a caring son, and a thoughtful brother. And yes, ladies, he is single, but you do NOT want to cross me and Jenny!!!!!!!!

Hope this is your best year yet Phil!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Confessions from the Laundry Room

One day, when I am old and gray and way smarter than I am now, I plan to write a book about my experience as a preacher's wife. I plan to call it Confessions from the Laundry Room because that is the inner room of our house where a lot of praying, screaming, and thinking happen. I know that I probably should not confess or share my shortcomings so openly, but unfortunately I have not attained perfection so I have to pray that the lessons I learn along the way might encourage someone else. *Maybe* when I have reached that old and gray state(BTW, I don't plan to ever be gray. My daughters will have strict instructions to continue dying my hair even if I don't know who I am or where I am. Or possibly, God will eventually rid me of my vanity. :) I will finally be able to offer instruction and teaching that actually aids in other people's spiritual growth. Until that time, I plan to just share my experiences and invite you to laugh, cry and scream along.

This past weekend was a big time in the Fidler household. Eli had his last t-ball game and Sarah was supposed to have her dance recital until it was cancelled due to the loss of her dance teacher's nephew. We were expecting my parents and Josh's parents, sister and grandma. My parents decided to wait and come for the dance recital so it worked out good that our weekend was not quite so busy and we had more time to visit and now we are looking forward to another visit in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, we had a great visit and Josh always enjoy when his family gets to hear him preach.

That brings me to the preaching. Since the cat is out of the bag (is that the saying?) I will go ahead and let you all know that Josh and have been praying for about 5 or 6 months about God's plan for our ministry and if we are to continue in Montrose or if He has somewhere else for us. When Josh lost his job with hospice we felt that God might be closing a door here because it was time to go somewhere else. It makes me sick at my stomach to even type that. I started this blog at the point that God first called us to Mississippi and I am so thankful that I have it as a diary to look back and remember the steps we took along the way. So, as hard as it is, I've decided that I want to document this time as well. Besides, what happened this last Sunday was a moment that just has to be archived in the "This could only happen in my life" file. :)

Sunday morning started awesome.Sarah and Eli had spent the night at the hotel with Josh's family. Kate was sleeping in. Josh had an early meeting. I was alone in a quiet house and had time to read my Bible and pray before church!!!!! If I told you how rarely that ever happens you would label me the worst preacher's wife ever and write me off completely. So...I took advantage of having that time and spent it reading the words of Jesus. Lately I have found myself very bogged down in theology and a lot of other people's opinions and I have desperately needed to hear the Truth from the Truth himself! (John 14:6) Recently I have really been struggling with knowing which ideas we follow that are man made and those which are truly from God. Check out where God led me in Mark:

"This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men-the washing of pitchers and cups and many other such things you do.
He said to them, All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition."

Mark 7:6-9

Just thought I would share that. I thought it was great. It also speaks of something that is very important to Josh and I which is seeking God, not upholding manmade traditions. I also had to remind myself of this a lot once Josh started preaching Sunday morning!!!!

Okay, so we got ready and headed to church. I'll tell you right here that I have been struggling with something that starts with an H and ends in ORMONES! I will just leave it at that. This became evident when I burst into tears in Sunday School for pretty much no good reason. Or it could have been that I knew a search committe was coming from another church. Yes, that is right, they were coming all up into Montrose Baptist Church to hear Josh preach at our church in front of our members! I honestly did not think much about it because we have really not felt a clear Word from God at this point. And we have decided that until His direction is as clear and STRONG as it was when He called us here we will just stay put. But this church called and wanted to hear Josh preach and Josh never turns down people wanting to come to our church. :)

I cleaned my face of the mascara mess that was left after Sunday School and then spotted the committee that filled one of our pews. Oh my nerves!!! I had no idea where they came from. I wasn't expecting to be nervous at all. We didn't really feel like we wanted them to call us anyway, so why did I instantly become terrified at the sight of them?

I did my usual rounds and made my way to my pew. (Yes, we do have assigned pews in our church :). Josh's family had made it with the kids. Sarah had a blanket with her. Seriously. The service started and as always my attention went to keeping Kate as content and quiet as possible. Other than feeling like I was going to throw up and trying to keep my dress in place as Kate climbed and twisted, I thought the service was going well. Then, Sarah wrapped that blanket around her, and Kate started grabbing the hymnal. I was at a crossroads. I could either let her have her way and possibly shred a hymnal or I could take it away and let her scream and throw a fit that could be heard for miles around. Such wonderful choices. :) She started getting really fussy when Josh got up to preach and I was so consumed with her that at one point I thought Josh said we were going to pray so I jumped up to take her out thinking everyone would have their eyes closed. They didn't. Josh was actually telling a story about some people praying. So everyone turned to stare at me when I got up, but thankfully one of our ladies rescued Kate from me and fled to the nursery. Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!!!

I sat back down feeling some relief and then I remembered what Josh was preaching on. He had started working on it early in the week before we knew the committee was coming. Let me stop here and tell you that we are baptist and we do not believe in drinking. Of any kind. Well, I mean of alcohol. That being said, Josh was preaching about Jesus turning the water into wine (John 2) and he spent a lot of time talking about how he thought we are too dogmatic in our stand against drinking. All I could think was that I really wanted to grab that blanket from Sarah and hide under the pew with it. I just knew that our church was going to fire us and of course this other church would want nothing to do with us. I was thinking "Lord, why? Why did he preach on that today? Can you make it stop?" I know, me of little faith. My physical nervousness did not end until we were safely in our house and I was serving a roast, but at that point in the service I felt a spiritual peace. As hard as it is to be bold, I know that any church that isn't going to accept our family and Josh preaching what he feels led by God to preach is not where we need to be.

During the invitation my crying spell attacked again and I could almost hear the committee taking notes. Preacher's wife-emotionally unstable and cannot control children
Preacher-crazy liberal who probably taps a keg at 4th Sunday Sing

Okay, so I'm sure that I way over exaggerated all of this and it was only *half* as bad as I remember. I just thought this experience most definitely had to go down as one of my confessions from the laundry room. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fruit Basket Turnover...Fidler Style

I always tell people that you should not have kids until you decide that you have had all of the sleep you will ever need. :) Now, I hear stories of people who get babies who sleep through the night the first night home from the hospital. I didn't get one of those. I have always been a night owl and have always functioned on way less sleep than I know I need, but even I was quite unprepared for the sleep deprivation that children bring.

We are of course, way past the newborn days with our kids, but we have now moved on to the transition from the playpen to the big girl bed for Kate. After I spent an hour on Sunday putting Kate back in the playpen that she continually climbed out of, I decided to just bite the bullet and pack that playpen up. I mean, really, once they can climb out of it faster than you can leave the room it really is no longer serving it's purpose, right?

So, last night was the night. I was soooo excited. I only had to put Kate back in 4 times and then she fell asleep!!! Woo-hoo!! However, I was coming out of the bathroom at 2:00 this morning and Sarah was in my bed. I woke her up and told her to get back in her bed. About 10 minutes later I was in that phase where you are almost asleep and Kate came wandering in. I got up and took her back to her room and Sarah was in her bed!!!! I woke Sarah up again and told her to get in her bed. I put Kate in her bed. By the time I got back to our room, Eli was laying on the floor by my side of the bed! I cannot for the life of me figure out why our kids would leave perfectly good beds to sleep on hardwood floors!?!? No sooner than I laid down I heard Kate's chubby feet hit the floor. Those hardwood floors that made me cringe when they would creak as I walked away from putting a sleeping newborn to bed now serve as a warning system! Kate was soon back in our room trying to take Eli's blanket. This time Josh put her back.

Last night was nothing compared to the night before when there was an accident and Kate ended up getting in bed with me and brought the wet blanket I had thrown on the floor in the hall. Ew! Then about 15 minutes later I awoke to find her in Eli's bed. She was sitting over him holding a can of spray paint. Lord help us all!!!!!!!

Needless to say, I'm not feeling so rested today. I did eat an oreo cookie for breakfast. I figure if I'm going to be so active at night, I can afford a few more calories. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Statistically speaking....

I'm weird. I know this isn't news to those of you who know me, but now I have proof. I took this personality test and turns out my personality type makes up only 1% of the population. So, now I know that all those times I've wondered what was wrong with everybody else, it was me!! :) This was really funny to me because yesterday I had to call the After Hours Clinic and have them change my medicine because I was having a negative side effect and guess what? It's a side effect that only 1% of people experience! As always, my favorite question, what are the odds? I do have to say that I am thankful to be in that 1% of people because we have Sarah becuase I am in that 1%!!!!!!

If you also are avoiding laundry or any other productive work, here is the test. You should take it too. I would love to know your results. But...if you are also in that 1% I may become a little suspicious! :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Silence is Golden

Sometimes there just isn't anything to say. I realize this more the older I get and the more life I experience. In the past two weeks people in our community have lost a 2 year old niece at the hands of an abuser and a 12 year old nephew to Leukemia. I desperately wish I had a bag of preacher's wife's tricks that I could pull out and say or do something to fix everything. I don't. I have a million cliche's and Bible verses I could quote. I have cookbooks full of food I could cook.
But, as someone who lost a six year old cousin to tragedy, I know that nothing really makes it better. Only God can comfort in these times.

When I was 15 or 16 my friends and I decided we would play one of those games where you all tell each other the truth about what you think of them and hope that your friendship survives. I'll never forget one of my friends telling me that sometimes she wished that instead of trying to always give her advice I would just listen to her. Can you imagine that I would talk too much? :)
I've always remembered that "game" and really took those words to heart. We all want to be fixers. But, sometimes people just need listeners. And sometimes....silence is golden.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Ending of an Era....

In the deep words of country singer Tim McGraw "I think I'll take a moment and celebrate my age. The ending of an era, and the turning of a page." In case you are wondering why I am quoting country songs on this here blog now, I will tell you. My microwave died.

Yes, it may seem strange to you that I am quoting songs and getting sentimental over an appliance, but this is not just any appliance. You see, when I packed up to head off to college 10 years ago(OH MY GOSH!!!) this microwave came with me. I purchased it for $40 at Wal-Mart. This microwave has burnt more popcorn and heated up more spaghettios than you could ever imagine. And what college kid can survive without Ramen noodles?

So....this is a moment for me. And my best friend Karen. She was my roomate at school and we bonded over many bowls of spaghettios. We also horrified our mothers the day they came to move us home and saw the science experimental state the poor thing was in. But we cleaned it up and it moved on with me into my first years of marriage and motherhood. What a faithful, loyal appliance it has been. And for only $4 a year as Karen pointed out. :)

It is late and my week has been so full of true tragedy and sadness that I will spare you anymore grieving over my microwave. I just wanted to document this "turning of a page". Where, oh where do 10 years go????

Karen and I back in the day

I may lose my best friend as well as my microwave for posting this, but no college story is complete without this picture of Karen thawing out spinach with our iron because we did not know you could do it in the microwave. Seriously. Oh yeah, we were making spinach dip, don' worry, we weren't actually attempting to eat health. By the way, only I could make a picture crooked on the scanner. :)