measurables…

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series 2011: A look back A look forward

I will admit.  I’m kind of a stats freak.  I like keeping track of things and seeing changes happen.  Even though that is something I like though, I’m not into blogging for the numbers.  Still, to me, numbers are cool.

With that said,  as I continue my series on “Looking Back, Looking Forward“, this post flows out of what I wrote at the beginning this year:

I plan on posting more frequently here at UnfoldingNeurons.com – I think there is room for more Canadian Tech and Ministry bloggers out there.

What happened:

In 2009 I wrote and published 123 posts.  In 2010 I wrote and published only 46 posts.  So I guess I failed in this task.  Here’s some other 2010 stats (I told you I like numbers!):

It was interesting that even though the number of posts I wrote went down, the number of people subscribing to my feed went up.  Further, once Organize Series moved to it’s own site – the average number of people subscribing went up even more.  Still don’t quite know what this means, except perhaps, the people are subscribing because they are seeing less Organize Series related stuff (which has a narrow target audience) and more different types of posts.

Let me say this.  While I could, I’m not out to build an audience with UnfoldingNeurons.com (even thought it may seem like it).  I’m really blogging because it helps to “unfold” my mind and hopefully I can share my journey with others (and learn from them too) along the way.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the interaction and WELCOME it.  But my goal isn’t to see a meteoric rise in numbers.  If it was, I’d probably push a little bit more to get more posts published.  As it is, I’m writing when I’ve got something to say, and the time to get it written.   Maybe someday I’ll become a little bit more focused and will have the goal of reaching more people with this blog (resulting in more posts being published) but this is what seems to work best for me right now.

One more thing, I mentioned last year that I think there’s more room for Canadian Tech and Ministry bloggers out there.  I’m always keeping my eyes open for them,  do any of you have suggestions of blogs/sites to check out?

Also, have you thought about why you blog?  Are you in it to build an audience, for the fun, or like me to just have an outlet for unloading some of the stuff you think about?  OR a bit of all of that?

Oh and one more thing, do you think numbers are cool? 😉

being entrepreneurish…

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series 2011: A look back A look forward

Is that even a word?  If it isn’t, you read it hear first!  Let’s continue the series I started yesterday:

What I wrote last year: As part of paying down our debt I’m going to start trying out different ways of monetizing some of the things I do on the internets.  I’ve already started somewhat by doing some custom work related to my Organize Series Plugin for WordPress but I’m planning on expanding on that by releasing some custom add-on plugins for Organize Series that will not be free.  Along that lines, I’ve been following this discussion on Weblog Tools Collection because it helps me consider how I might go about doing this.  Been thinking about bringing classy ads to my blog too.

What happened:

After a LOT of hard work (much more than I anticipated) and frequent long nights,  OrganizeSeries.com went live in early October.  So far things are going well, not as well as I hoped but nevertheless I’m at least paying for the costs of hosting my websites.  Another great thing that happened along with Organize Series this past year is that I gained some extra freelance work and supplemented my income that way (many thanks to the clients who contacted me and gave me the work!).  Finally, as you’ve noticed probably already – there’s no ads to my blog (yet).

What I learned: Here’s the cool thing.  Organize Series is something I’ve been developing for nearly four years now (before WordPress it was actually a PHPNuke module!!) and I’ve basically honed my skills through working on it.  I love the fact that what had been just a hobby is now turning into a great little business on the side that’s helping my family with some of the financial goals we have.  Organize Series also lead to some great freelance work that I never advertised for or went looking for.  All I had (and still have) is a little option on my contact form for people to express interest in hiring me for development work.

The lesson for me this year is that with a little creativity it is possible to turn a hobby you love doing into something that can bring in an income too.  The bonus, because I love doing web development I VALUE EXCELLENCE in whatever I do, so my clients and Organize Series users can trust that I will work hard for them.

The difficulty of course has been struggling to balance my time with my full-time job (pastoring at a great church in Waterloo), my family, and now my part-time freelancing business and OrganizeSeries.com on the side.  This is something I’ll be continuing to work on in the coming year.

The other lesson is that getting to this level in my development skills and to the point of making money with it did NOT happen over night.  It happened through hard work and learning through lot’s of reading, lot’s of experimenting, and lots of DOING (or in the words of Seth Godin, “shipping it“).  The hard work is WORTH it because it’s something I love to do.  Also, these skills are granting me the ability to do some work for two organizations I really love supporting (more about that in a future post).

So, what hobbies do you have that are making you better at doing something?  Is it something that you can make a little bit of money off of?  Are you doing that now?

The deeper question for my spiritual readers, could it be possible God has given you the love for this activity/hobby because He has something in mind He wants you to use it for?  What are you doing with it?

I don’t like these “year in reviews”….

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series 2011: A look back A look forward

…but I do see the value in them – so I’ll add my own to the mix!  What is the value?

  • Gain appreciation and cultivate gratitude for the great stuff that happened to you in the past year.
  • Reflect on what you can learn from the past year.
  • Plant seeds of motivation for what’s possible in the coming year.

When I started writing out my year in review post for 2010 it began turning into a book.  Not good.  Too much editing.  But then I realized, it’s a review of a whole year, of course it’s going to be longer than my typical post.  So I broke it into a series of posts.

Why would you want to read this? That’s a good question.  I will confess that I’m writing this year in review and look ahead mostly for my own benefit (see points above) but I also believe there will be some value for my readers.  For one thing, it will give you some insight into the mind of a developing leader (and entrepreneur) and more of the things that matter to me.  At the very least it could get you thinking about what matters to you.  So without any more banter, let’s get started shall we.

a look back…

Since I wrote a “look forward” post around this time last year – I thought it would be great to resurrect it in pieces and see if what I wrote about actually happened.  So we’ll start there.

I said: My wife and I really want to work on paying down a lot of our debt.  It’s been an ongoing big deal for us but we’re determined to kiss our debt good bye.  As a result there’s going to be some difficult choices made as we cut out some of the expenses in our lives.  One of the tools I think will help us is this.

What happened: We still have debt but we did makes some adjustments and have managed to pay off close to $5k of our debt so far.  We’ve also established an emergency fund that has helped us out of a couple jams already.  The coolest thing for me though is we haven’t added ANY more debt to our Credit Cards.  We’ve paid CASH for all of our purchases this year – that’s HUGE.  Combined with the debt we paid off we have a VERY healthy financial start to 2011 and are on track to getting our debt eliminated.  I highly recommend Financial Peace University to anyone looking to get their finances under control!

What I learned: It’s very easy to get into debt – it’s very HARD to get out of it and even HARDER to start the process when you’re used to a certain way of living.  No matter how many ways you look at it – paying down the money you owe requires a change of thinking and perseverance.  Another thing I learned: there’s a HUGE sense of satisfaction when you start controlling your money instead of it controlling you.  My wife and I also had a lot less money fights this year because we got on the same page with our finances.

Where are you in your money situation?   Do you have lingering debts sapping your energy and ability to do the things you really want to do?  Have you been successful in becoming or remaining debt free – if so, what are you doing to stay there?

Stay tuned tomorrow for the next post in the series

Merry Christmas 2010

Hey everyone, I hope your day is going well so far!  I love enjoying this time with my family and friends.  To all my readers, have a blessed Christmas and a very HAPPY New Year!

I’ve included for your reading the text of what I shared last night to my church family (modified a bit for the context here).  Enjoy!

We all know about Christmas. We all know that it’s commercial thing with a frenzy of gift buying and gift wanting, and “stuff” being exchanged. We all know that it’s a nostalgia thing, with the Christmas plays, the nativity scene, Santa Claus, elves, reindeer, tinsel, decorations, lights and carols, and movies we’ve seen every year. We know that Christmas is a food thing, the chocolates, the turkeys, the stuffing, the oranges, the baked goodies. Oh, the baked goodies.

There are many things we know Christmas for and many things we’ve become familiar with. Familiar. There’s danger in that. The danger of Christmas, the season, the event, is that we get so familiar we lose the wonder of what Christmas really represents. The wonder of the INCARNATION. It’s really not a word you hear too much. But it is a word that captures the wonder of what happened. God coming in flesh on this planet. Tonight, for just a few minutes, I hope to remind you of this wonder. To have you pause in awe at the majesty and significance of what can be robbed by the familiar.

Do you remember the last time you were filled with wonder – marveling at something you witnessed or experienced that captured your attention? What caused this wonder? More likely, it was something out of the ordinary, something that broke through the usual, something that made some sort of emotional connection with you.

The incarnation should be like that for us. The incarnation must be like that for us. Something out of the ordinary, something that broke through the usual, something that makes an emotional connection with where we are RIGHT NOW in our everyday lives.

Think of the vastness of our universe made up of thousands of galaxies, each containing stars too numerous to count. In a universe that’s limits have never been observed even by the most powerful scientific instruments today. In the midst of this universe, there is a galaxy that has been named the Milky Way, our galaxy. In this galaxy is a star, our sun, a yellow star and surrounding this star is our solar system.

A space ship probe named Voyager I, was launched on September 5, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually beyond. As of December 13 of this year, this spacecraft, travelling currently at a speed of nearly one million miles per day, has still not made interstellar space but is at a distance of 17.3 billion km from the Sun. Radio signals from Voyager I, traveling at the speed of light, take more than 16 hours to make it to earth. Voyager I is not heading towards any particular star but if it was travelling towards the closest star to our galaxy, it would take it 73,600 light years at its current speed. That’s the closest star to our galaxy, out of the thousands of stars in our galaxy, out of the trillions of stars in our universe.

And on a single planet in this solar system. Unique, in it’s position and ability to support life. Divinely designed. The creator of this universe carried out his plan for a visit that would transform our history.

A visit not announced by an earthquake or a world shattering sound. A visit not landing in the halls of worldly power. A visit in the form of a baby. In a manger, in a stable, to a young newly married couple. Announced to a few shepherds, the outcasts of society. This should invoke some sort of curiosity in the casual observer, some sort of wonder at how an all powerful God, would be incarnate in such a humble way.

A wonder that invokes HOPE. Hope that there really is a God who understands and knows our poor and desperate circumstances at times. A hope, that there really is a God who makes it possible for us to KNOW Him, even though in the fullness of his glory, majesty and power He is unknowable.

A wonder that invokes BELONGING. The reality that in the spoken announcement to the shepherds, God speaks the good news to every single one of us. He came for me. He came for you. He wants ALL of us to belong to HIS kingdom. A kingdom, not bought by privilege, or power, or ability. A kingdom bought by HIS. OWN, WORK. Something, as God, He didn’t have to do. But something He did, compelled by His love for you and for me.

A wonder that produces DREAMS. Dreams in what God wants to do through YOU! What is possible because Jesus makes it possible? Think of what it was like for the shepherds when they realized in the midst of their wonder, that God chose to announce the birth of Jesus to them. That they were SIGNIFICANT enough to entrust this GOOD NEWS to? They began to dream of what it would be like when everyone knew the Saviour had come and the Bible records that they shared the good news with everyone they saw.

Why is recapturing the wonder of the Incarnation so important? Because it keeps our attention on the one who matters, it cultivates gratitude for His blessing, and it produces a life of generosity in response to the one who was so generous to us.

I want to close with a few words from a letter that a man named Detriech Bonhoeffer wrote to his fiancé in December 1943. He penned it while in prison in Nazi Germany. Bonhoeffer had lost good friends to the war, he was separated from those he loved, evil was all around him, yet these were the words he wrote:

“I think we’re going to have an exceptionally good Christmas. The very fact that outward circumstance precludes our making provision for it will show whether we can be content with what is truly essential. I used to be very fond of thinking up and buying presents, but now that we have nothing to give, the gift God gave us in the birth of Christ will seem all the more glorious..The poorer our quarters, the more clearly we perceive that our hearts should be Christ’s home on earth.”

And that my friends is the most wondrous things of all. Not only did the God of the Universe know he could make a home on earth. But He did it, so He could make a home in YOU.

Paul writes,

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him…  Ephesians 3: 14:17 (NLT)

As you think of the incarnation today, be filled. With wonder.

My Daily Workflow

What do you do on a typical work weekday?  My typical work week fluctuates but here’s what I do on a day that I don’t have to travel or have any meetings:

  • When I first wake up my morning routine consists of waking up the kids,  a shower, teeth brush, hair setting, getting dressed, having a big glass of orange juice, and sometimes a bagel.  While I’m enjoying my breakfast and the kids are getting ready for school and my wife is packing their lunch I will try to get through my Bible Reading for the day on my YouVersion Blackberry app (I’m currently doing the M’Cheyne One Year Reading plan)
  • Once the kids get ready (hopefully with no fights) I’ll say good by to my wife and will load everybody into the car (actually a minivan) and drop them off to school on my way to work.  On the 10-12 minute drive to work (depending on traffic) my usual practice (not always, but usually) is to just spend time talking to God and thinking about the day ahead.
  • When I arrive at work I usually start my day off by unpacking my laptop and setting it up on the desk (hooking all the peripherals and whatnot – my dream is to have a nice 24″ widescreen monitor to extend the viewing space but alas, at this point, it’s just a dream)
  • If I didn’t get the chance to read from my daily Bible reading plan earlier I will do it after I get the laptop setup.  I will also try to get in a reading from a C.S. Lewis anthology that I’m working through.
  • Occasionally I will tweet any cool insights I think are worth passing on (unfortunately, lately “occasionally” means “rarely”).
  • When I log in to my laptop after everything has started up I load up Google Chrome with Gmail as a pinned tab.  Then I load up Google Calendar and Remember the Milk as separate instances of Chrome in the apps setup that Google Chrome allows (a really cool way of running web apps as if they are desktop apps).  I do this because I “alt-tab” A LOT and this makes it much easier to switch between applications that I use.  I also open Firefox and have our church management app started up in it (Church Community Builder).  I haven’t completely switched over to Chrome yet, there are still a few things that I like running on Firefox better.
  • Oh and one other app that is always running in the background is TweetDeck.
  • After I’ve set all the first apps up I then start up FocusBooster.  A short while ago I heard about the Pomodoro Technique from Scott Magdelain and since then I’ve been using it to power through all the things I do on a work day.
  • By now I’ve usually taken about 30 to 45 minutes of the day.
  • The next thing I usually do is tackle email.  I go through my inbox and triage it – either writing responses, making a todo task from it, or archiving them.  Dealing with email is an ongoing task through my day and communication overall is a huge part of my typical work day.
  • Once I’ve finished getting the first batch of email done I will then move on to working through the to-do list that I manage with Remember the Milk.  Tasks range from preparing for weekend activities, ordering materials, creation of promotional material for upcoming events or classes, writing messages or training materials, leadership development,  communication with leaders,  ministry planning and implementation, research, overseeing the budgets and finances of the ministries I’m responsible for…well – a lot of stuff.
  • I’m also a person authorized for signing church cheques – which invariably means that there will be things for me to sign through the day.
  • I’m also the unofficial tech support person.  What that means is if something isn’t working right with someone’s computer I’m the go-to guy.  I’m also the go-to guy for how-to use-software-to-get-things-done that we use at the church (as much as possible I try to pass off some of this stuff to our Church Administrator as this is mostly his job BUT then, I love this stuff!)
  • I’ve already mentioned that I use the pomodoro technique (well, try to use it is probably a better way of putting it).  That means that every 25 minutes I take a 5 minute break.  During the breaks I read through the posts coming into my Google Reader account and if there are no feeds to read I will work on updating my tumblr blog with highlighted quotes from books I’m reading.  I also do this during my lunch breaks.
  • When magazines come into the church that we share among the staff I will usually read them during my lunch break and sticky tag the articles I want to have for reference into my Evernote account.  When I’m done going through the magazine I pass it off to my secretary who will take care of scanning it for me (whew! Thanks Tanya!).
  • When I’m stuck on something (either facing a tough call with an individual or getting writer’s/creative block) I will usually drop what I’m doing and spend a few minutes just praying about it.  I learned a long time ago that prayer really does help. Sadly, though, I sometimes forget this.

That’s a typical work day for me and I try to reserve at least two full days where I can do much of the above.  However,  there are other things that happen through the week that I also do:

  • Meet with people (I’m currently using a neat tool that I came across called TimeBridge for booking appointments.  Here’s the link I give out to people who want to see me. (about 2 hours a week meeting with folks)
  • I try to take some time for personal leadership development and I’m currently enrolled in a leadership coaching course (Coaching Level II) that takes up about 4 hours a week.
  • I’m also currently mentoring a Bible College student (about two hours a week)
  • I’m also currently helping a Chinese immigrant learn English (about one hour a week)
  • Staff prayer and meeting (2-3 hours a week)
  • I’m teaching some of our staff coaching skills (avg about 1 hour a week, our sessions are spread over a few months and aren’t every week)
  • I handle all benevolent requests coming into the church and correspond with our benevolent committee in making decisions on the big requests.
  • Hospital visits (I’m terrible at this and don’t do it that often)

Once I’m done my day at work I will head home and on the evenings that I don’t have to head out again:

  • Get welcome home hugs and kisses from my kids (and I realllllly try to not get upset when I see all their backpacks and coats and boots spread all over the place – this is something I’m working on. Pray for me.)
  • I take a 10 minute breather (sometimes a nap, but usually just a quick browse through any mail that came in).
  • Enjoy supper prepared by my AWESOME wife Kerryanne.
  • Listen to my kids talk about their day around the dinner table.
  • Spend a few minutes with my children reading their books and helping with homework.  When that’s done,  I might play a bit of the wii with them, or I might wrestle with them (which is getting more and more dangerous every day)
  • I’ll spend some time talking with my wife about her day and she’ll ask about my day (and we’ll try to outdo each other with our war stories….just kidding!)
  • The kids usually start getting ready for bed around 7:30pm and are in bed by 8pm.  I’ll go around with my wife and hear them pray and then pray over them.  I LOVE hearing my kids pray – it’s so awesome hearing their faith expressed in their talks with God.  When I was a kid, I was taught to pray “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my Lord my soul to keep…” and I prayed that EVERY night.  I had that sucker down pat.  But my kids?  We’ve told them to get frank and honest with God from day one – and that is exactly what they do.  Every night is a surprise as we listen to them pray (I really am going to have to blog some of them!)
  • IF all goes well with the children going to sleep (I swear my youngest daughter, Jenna has caffeine for blood), then Ker and I will sometimes try to get in a TV show together.  Invariably, however, I have my laptop with me and I’m either writing a blog post, working on my WordPress plugin, or doing some freelance work to earn a few bucks on the side.  Currently, I’m doing more freelance work (we’ve got a goal of eliminating our credit card debt so I’m doing custom web development work on the side to help towards this goal).
  • Around 11pm Ker and I will head to bed together and I’ll read out loud the Bible Reading plan that we are currently working through together.  Sometimes we’ll discuss what we’ve read, but usually we’ll alternate praying together and then go to sleep.  I used to stay up and do more coding or reading on the internet but lately I’ve been staying in bed and crashing for the night.

So there you have it.  A typical work weekday for me at my church.  What’s your typical work day like?

[photo from flickr user: wurz]

It’s 2010 – Here’s to a New Year!

[image from flickr]

..and new decade – wow!  What was I doing 10 years ago?  Hmmm…I think I was doing an all-nighter with some youth in the church I was pastoring in Hanover.  Honestly, I can’t remember… which is probably not a good thing.  I actually caught myself saying to my 6 year old son tonight that in 40 years I will probably be dead.  Note to self: don’t tell your young child at his bedtime that you are going to die someday. It leads to a very long conversation.  Just saying.

I’m really looking forward to 2010 and this next decade.  From a tech point-of-view, the changes that I’ve experienced in the past 10 years are simply astounding! Of course there have been a lot of changes in my personal life as well.  I really can’t imagine what the next 10 years are going to bring!

As far as new years resolutions go, I’ve never really been one to make them – I guess I always think, why should I only resolve things only once a year?  It’s funny, but for me, my year tends to start in September, not January – must be something to do with having kids in school and pastoring a church…

Still, there are some things I am hoping to accomplish in the next year.  I just thought I’d write them here so I can look back a year from now and see how I’ve done.  So, in no particular order:

  • My wife and I really want to work on paying down a lot of our debt.  It’s been an ongoing big deal for us but we’re determined to kiss our debt good bye.  As a result there’s going to be some difficult choices made as we cut out some of the expenses in our lives.  One of the tools I think will help us is this.
  • As part of paying down our debt I’m going to start trying out different ways of monetizing some of the things I do on the internets.  I’ve already started somewhat by doing some custom work related to my Organize Series Plugin for WordPress but I’m planning on expanding on that by releasing some custom add-on plugins for Organize Series that will not be free.  Along that lines, I’ve been following this discussion on Weblog Tools Collection because it helps me consider how I might go about doing this.  Been thinking about bringing classy ads to my blog too.
  • I plan on posting more frequently here at UnfoldingNeurons.com – I think there is room for more Canadian Tech and Ministry bloggers out there.
  • One of the highlights in the past year for me was taking some training on being a leadership coach.  Every now and then I think we come across something that as individuals we really connect with as something we’re created to do.  Coaching is one of those things for me.  I’ve decided that I’m going to pursue the path to becoming a certified leadership coach as it really jives with what I believe God created me for.  I’m starting off this year by leading my church pastoral team through a peer coaching course and I’ll also be attending another training session myself.
  • I’m going to comment and interact more on the internets.  Confession: I’m a lurker.
  • On that note, it’d be an awesome honor to be invited to be a guest blogger on one of the blogs I read.  Dunno if I have anything to offer, but still it’d be cool 😉
  • I hope to continue volunteering for some great causes (along with continuing the work I do for vohmalawi.org and vohzimbabwe.com).
  • I may be going on a trip to Siberia this year.  Yes, that’s crazy.
  • I’m going to continue working on being a great Dad and husband to my family…if I fail at that, then it doesn’t matter what else I succeed at.
  • I’m going to be memorizing scripture through the year along with others in my church family who are joining in the journey (I’ll be posting about this sometime in the next two weeks).  My 8 year old daughter is also participating and when I sent her an email (yes she has email – I’ve introduced her to the Google Behemoth)  to tell her that I’m doing it too she replied, “Neat. Bring it on Dad”.  The gloves are down.
  • I love YouVersion.com and thanks to the many Bible Reading plans they’ve made available, I’m going to be reading through the Bible (again) this year.  If you don’t read the Bible, you should – it’s one of the best things you can do (and the digerati team behind youversion has made it so easy!) My wife and I are working through a plan together as well.

Well, this list has been getting pretty long but it’s a great start.   I could keep adding to it but I think I’ll leave it at that for now.  What about you?  Have you got any things you hope to accomplish for the new year?

Merry Christmas, Happy New Years and all the fine stuff…

[image from krisdecurtis]

In what is a most time-honored tradition around these sorts, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  This past year has been a very interesting year in my life and I’m looking forward to an even more interesting year.  I wish, like others I could have a nice cute picture of my family up here but in my household we define “Christmas busy” and usually don’t get around to getting our pictures done until late Christmas day.  Maybe I’ll get something up then (probably not).

Enjoy your holidays, don’t freeze, eat carefully, laugh with family, and check out what Christmas is really all about.  Thanks for sticking around unfoldingneurons.com!

Things I like about my country (Happy Canada Day)

Credit to <a href=
Credit to Chris Lancaster

Well today is Canada Day and even though I think I’m a pseudo-American (my birthday is on July 4th) I was born here and am really grateful for my roots in this country.  Here’s some reasons why I’m glad I’m a Canadian.

  • Freedom. Even though there are some trends that are a bit unsettling I still have the freedom to write what I want on this blog and publicly profess my faith.
  • Security. Relatively speaking – I feel pretty safe here.
  • Free Health Care. It has its faults of course and still needs some work (it’s also kind of not free because our taxes pay for it) but I can go to the hospital or my doctor and not worry about how much it’s going to cost me.  That’s nice.
  • Hockey.  Our hockey teams/players rule.  ‘nough said.
  • Travel Perks.  It’s kind of cool that wherever I go in the world people are really receptive to the fact I’m a Canadian.  Just being a resident of Canada gives you a sort of “special recognition” (probaby due to the friendly role Canada plays on the foreign relations scene).
  • Beautiful Nature. Canada has been blessed with an awesome natural beauty that is world-renown.  I’ve been able to enjoy some of my country near where I live but I hope to get out West and out East sometime to see the rest!  Oh, and there’s so much open space in Canada!

Well, that’s a shortlist of stuff I can think of right away.  With more thought I’m sure I’d come up with more but this is all I have time for right now.  Anybody else have some things to add?  Why don’t you start your own list of things you love about your country?

Happy Mother’s Day! (especially to pastor’s wives)

I love my wife and I really do believe that God brought us together!  As I got thinking about mother’s day this year I thought of all the things that Kerryanne does, not only as a mother, but also as a mother who happens to be a pastor’s wife.  Here’s some things:

  • Prays for me (this is a big deal for me!)
  • Helps me pick out what to wear (I am absolutely NO good at matching clothes and dressing appropriately – if you ever see me wearing something bad it’s probably because Ker wasn’t around to help me…)
  • Endures the stares of people when our children are being kids at a time when some think it’s inappropriate (and maintains her cool!)
  • Gets all four of our children fed, dressed, and ready for church on Sunday’s while I have left early to accomplish what I’m responsible for there (if you think it’s easy for her, I DARE you to say that to her… 😉 )
  • Arrives at church and ensures that all our children get safely to their Sunday School classes.
  • After service while I’m being pulled in a thousand directions – Ker usually rounds up the gang (I try to help when I can) and gets our kids off home and makes lunch (sometimes for others who are coming over to join us as well!)

Of course, there’s much MUCH more that I know I’m missing in this short list.  Let me suffice to say that I truly am grateful for Kerryanne both as my wife and the mother to my children.   And to all of you pastor’s wives out there – thanks for all that you do to help your husband serve God as He has called them to!