I GOT NOTHIN’ That is exactly how I felt every time I thought about blogging in the past few months. I know people blog for different reasons, but I always hope that after you finish reading anything on our blog that you will have laughed or learned something or been encouraged. So….because I really had nothing to offer to meet my own expectations, the blog fell silent. Did you hear the silence? I know you did. 🙂
Well, a new year is upon us, and it is time to get to it. You can decide if there is better material here or a lowering of the bar, but….anyway….we’re baaaccckkk!
I CANCELLED DECEMBER After having a few months of what I felt like was a dry spell and feeling like I couldn’t catch up with day-to-day tasks, I told Andy that I needed to cancel December. For me, that meant taking a break from community groups and discipleship groups for 4 weeks, not stressing about decorating for Christmas, not attending everything I was invited to attend, and making time for what I really enjoyed doing during the Advent season.
Back when we were newlyweds and Andy was in his first full-time student pastor position, I recall crying my eyes out as I was driving to work one December morning because I had so much to do after work to prepare for the Christmas event that night and several other events the following evenings. Shopping, cooking, wrapping, and getting jolly were just too much to think about. Christmastime can be OVER-WHELMING for church people. You know what I mean.
I was determined to enjoy this December by simplifying. It was FAB-U-LOUS! I highly recommend it. It was lovely to be able to take time to thumb through favorite recipes and take a day to bake. Andy and I had a movie/dinner date in the middle of the week-what?? We enjoyed shopping and wrapping (Andy watched) while catching up on some favorite TV shows. It really was a grand time. Refreshing for the body, soul, and spirit. So, go ahead- cancel a month if you need to-I give you permission.
THE ELECTION WOW! That was the most divisive election I think I have ever lived through. Almost every day that I looked at Facebook in October and November, I winced at comments or memes or videos that I saw. I have friends who voted for the Democratic candidate, the Republican candidate, the third-party candidate, and the other third-party candidate. So, I encountered several points of view and saw lots of debate over those weeks. I wonder….if anyone…EVER….changed their opinion or their VOTE…by what they read on Facebook??!!?? Hmmm. Well, thank the good Lord that it is over.
Because I chose not to engage on social media or publicly tout my opinion, I decided to save it for you! Here are my two cents…..Hillary doesn’t know my name or love me…..Donald doesn’t know my name or love me….but there is a LORD GOD in heaven who knows my name and loves me more than I can imagine. I am trusting in Him. He has also reminded me that Biblical history and regular old history are full of examples of great people of integrity who have been horrible leaders, and there have been immoral, godless people who have been used by God to accomplish his goals for a nation.
My goal is to be a faithful intercessor for the President-elect, the VP elect, and all the leaders in government. May God bless the USA, and may the USA bless the heart of God.
BEST FRIEND Those two words stir up a mixture of emotions when I think back to 3rd through 8th grade. Sometimes I had one, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes, the person who played that role changed in the middle of the school year. Lots of joy and sadness tied up in those two words.
Now, as an adult, I would say that I don’t have a best friend. I do, however, have SEVERAL best friends that the Lord has provided at different ages and stages in my life. Over the years, He has continued to place wonderful women in my church and workplace and life, and I am so grateful. I think I have told most of them that I would take them on an extravagant vacation with me if I could so we could all hang out. You know who you are.
Many years back the Lord starting knitting together a quilt of friendship that contains four squares. These are the people that really know me and still love me. When I moved away, they still let me come visit them, and they have come to visit me. It really helps the attraction if you move to a fun city 🙂 Over time, our party of four has stuck it out. We enjoy each other for road trips, and our husbands are friends -a precious, rare gift that we do not take lightly. We four have tried to get together at least once a year since I moved away from Mississippi in 2006, and we have been pretty successful. Sometimes, we let the husbands hang out with us. I wanna tell you a little about how the Lord has brought us and kept us together:
Sharon- She was my SLP manager in Meridian, and I learned so much professionally from her. We exercised together in the hospital fitness center, prayed together weekly, and went to out of town SLP conferences together. She married one of our dear church friends, who happens to be one of Andy’s best buddies. Sharon was my “safe” person that I could talk to about the struggles of being a pastor’s wife because she didn’t know my church people…until she did….and she married one…and she started attending that church.
Lahoma-She was friends with Lynette, and I was friends with Lynette. Lynette fought a courageous battle with cancer and won by going to be with Jesus. Then Lahoma and I started to get to know each other. We were both part of a supper club group and a church prayer group. Her kids were in Andy’s youth group. She and her husband taught in the youth department. We started an early morning walking group. She became my confidante because she is a secret keeper and a wise adviser who always points me back to God’s Word.
Karen-She was the pastor’s wife whose husband came on staff after Andy did. She and Allen invited us over for breakfast for supper often after Sunday night services. The four of us traveled to Chicago for a mini-vacay. She and Allen and her kids traveled up to my parents’ home for the annual Fourth of July picnic a few times. Allen and Andy became fast friends. Karen and I planned women’s events together. She and I commiserated and vented and prayed and understood each other as only another pastor’s wife could.
And then….Karen’s and Sharon’s sons became friends….Lahoma and Karen became neighbors…Lahoma and Sharon and their husbands started camping together…and they all started going to Southern Miss games…and on and on. The connections just kept growing.
I am so very thankful for them. Here are some of our pictures from our 2015 trip to Destin:
Andy Pandy and I had the opportunity to travel to the great state of Tennessee back in September for some R&R in one of our favorite cities. I think I first visited Nashville as a teenager on a church youth trip to Opryland. Raise your hand if you ever went to Opryland. I see you.
I remember that the chaperones were passing out our paper Opryland tickets as the church van was driving up to the gate. Sweet Lori decided to stick her ticket into the vent in the wall of the van panel as the van was parking. The air conditioning system sucked her ticket down into the walls of the van. Lesson learned vicariously.
We met up with our people. The “Bests” and their husbands. We ate and played and laughed and affirmed one another and played ding-dong doorbell and drove and drove because the traffic in Nash-vegas is horrible.
Andy and I were blessed to catch up with Todd, Kristi and Sam over some Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ! So much fun!
Then we met up at Opry Mills and hung out with these cuties and their mom and her friend…
Nashville was good for the soul.
PUMPKIN PATCH Later in October, our community group headed to Weston, MO for a day in the patch. So many beautiful colors to behold!
RANDOM Now it is time for some random phone pictures….
I have to have a picture of food. This was the beginning of a delicious weekend brunch at Lidia’s thanks to our favorite realtor, Stephanie! Yummy!
Christmas fun with family and friends.
WORD OF THE YEAR Last year’s word of the year was DISCIPLINE. We had some success in this area in the Murry household. We actually completed two rounds of Whole 30 and became more disciplined in a few other areas. The word that kept coming to mind for 2017 is INVESTMENT…mainly because I have a little trouble with being too task-oriented, rather than people-oriented. I am all up in the business of getting ready for an event, but then I don’t always focus on enjoying those who attend said event because I am then thinking about cleaning up after the event. So, INVESTMENT in people is an area I need to target. Another word for inside the Murry house is ORGANIZATION, because there are several home projects that need completion. Can you have 2 words of the year? Well, I am gonna.
ARMED WITH TRUTH Have you seen these? They are temporary tattoos that you apply to help memorize Scripture. So fun. I bought some to try out and share with my friends.
Hey, thanks for dropping by to catch up with us! Hope you have a jolly January. Let us know how you are!