Sunday, August 9, 2015

Admitting need, giving thanks...

Sometimes I get stubbornly self sufficient.  I don't say the words, "I need you",  easily to anyone but God.  I'm kind of an "I'll do it myself" gal.  Mama was like that.  In her sixties the neighbors caught her up on the roof of her house trying to fix something herself.  In her seventies, after the fact she admitted to me that she had climbed down in the crawl space under her house to deal with a clogged dryer hose.   I told her that maybe that wasn't such a good idea, seeing as no one knew she was under there and  since she lived alone, what if something had happened to her under there?  While I've not been up on any roofs or under any houses lately, I can be just as stubborn about refusing help in other areas.

Saturday, some of the ladies from our church drove to the beach for the day.  The weather was gray and drizzle-y, but any day by the sea is a good day in my opinion. We carpooled there in various cars, all of us stopping to have brunch together at a favorite restaurant on the way.  Once we got to the beach, the ladies formed unstructured groups. Everyone was free to do as they pleased, stroll on the beach, browse in the shops or even to just sit and sip coffee and chat.  I walked a bit on the beach with one gal, gathered a few more ladies along the way in the shops, and a group of five of us ended up renting a pedal driven buggy, having a seafood supper together, then, eventually, riding home together.  The day was filled with friendship and laughter.  While I have been readily accepting of help with packing boxes and other things related to our move,  I realize that I'm not one who likes to admit I need something more, something deeper.  I need friendship and laughter and heart sharing. Yet it seems so vulnerable to ask for that, to admit that life as a pastor's wife can be lonely, and that sometimes you need to just shed your role and be allowed to be one of the gang instead of some sort of "other".  The weather may have been gray yesterday, but the fellowship was colorful, bright and beautiful.  It was exactly what I needed.  I admit it, and I'm so thankful.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-a sweet homemade card in the mail
-help getting my home office packed up
-a refreshing walk after a full day

-starting the book of Proverbs
-many hands making the work of packing so much lighter
-help with some electrical repairs
-my oldest grandson spending the night 

-my handyman son-in-law coming with me to meet with the inspector at our new house
-going to opening night of the Broadway production of Wicked here in Portland with my daughters,
 (a gift for my birthday)

-waking up with peace after being stressed yesterday about the move
-my nephew's help 
-a son-in-the-Lord's help
-getting a dreaded list of to-dos done
-a really good prayer time at church

-more packing help
-so much good stuff in the book of Proverbs
-the hub's texting me from Ghana that home is wherever I am

-a fun day at the beach with the ladies from our church

-so much laughter
-renting a buggy and pedaling and laughing our way around town
-taking my friend to see our new house on the ride home
-a friend's help to meet a goal

-the powerful Holy Spirit
-God speaking to our church, "you can do this"
-God working in us
-video of our granddaughter singing at the church in Kumasi, Ghana
-spending the afternoon catching up on my Bible reading and journaling

gratefully yours, 


  1. Looks like you had a nice group of ladies for the beach trip and I'm so glad you ended up with a small group to let loose and have fun with! I often wondered about our Pastor and his wife. People tend to put them on a pedestal without stopping to think that "they're human" too. I understand the feeling "lonely" part if that's the case.
    Grateful for being able to read your blog........

    1. Cheryl, I think loneliness is common among women in general, but in the case of pastor's wives, it's especially rampant. It's especially hard for us to let our guard down and be real and vulnerable. We've often been hurt by people who said they were are friends not liking something at church and walking out of our lives, or betraying our trust and confidence in some way. Also, if there's something bothering us about our marriage or family, it feels as though to share that puts other's opinion of our spouse's ministry at risk. Anyway, along the way, God has given me a small group of long time faithful and true friends, which is a huge blessing to me.

  2. That sounds like such a great outing, Elizabeth. I'm so glad you got that time with friends. We all need that kind of friendships.

    1. It was great. I'm SO GLAD I took time away for packing to enjoy the day.

  3. I adore this. The friends, the journal, your heart on display. xo

  4. It was sunny here------but 115 heat index--the only time I have ever been to the Oregon coast was right where you are and a day just like you had BUT it was glorious--glad you had a great time with sweet friends--!

    1. Tomorrow's your surgery. You are on my heart and in my prayers.

  5. YAY! So glad to see a new post from you! I look for them each day! I know you are super busy with packing and all that goes along with moving, but so glad you shared your blessings with us today! I love your journal Bible. What a treasure you are creating with your artful inspirations from the Lord on each page. That will be a heirloom one day you know.
    P.S. You speak to women in such a special way. My heart resonates with each post you share. Thanks for being so real! Blessings, Cindy~

    1. Cindy, what a blessing your words are to me. Such encouragement! Thank you!

  6. I loved seeing your posts on FB about your day away with ladies from your church. And I really wished I could be there, too. Your words about the need for friendship - and the struggle to reach out - are so true of where I am right now. It's a hard place to be and a hard place to move from unless we 'just do it'. Thank you for sharing your heart and your photos. I can't wait to see your new place - and you. I know it will be wonderful!

    1. I think I need to call you and catch up with all thats going on in the midst of my house filled with boxes. Love and miss you!

  7. Hello Elizabeth,
    You are so smart to take a break and enjoy your friends. Stepping away from all the packing and moving chaos is always a good idea. Can't say I would be able to do the same!!!....but it is a good idea!
    I loved the sharing you did on your mother. I too, now at 61 yrs., have been on the roof to get down a Frisbee. When I wanted to change up my bedroom I crawled in the crawl space under the house to move the cable-TV cords. It wasn't until after that I thought, "what if we had an earthquake and I was alive but stuck down there?" Only thought about the spiders!!! Sometimes, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!!!
    Thank you for prayers and prayer back ya!!!

    1. Addie! You must be like my mama! Don't go under your house without letting someone know you're doing it, then call when you're done so they don't send search and rescue! Love to you, friend.

  8. AHHHHHH! What a wonderful day. We love stopping at Camp 18. Love the message your hubby sent you. That would melt my heart for sure.

    I have been thinking about your word for this year...."endurance". You picked a good one.

    Thanks for sharing your gratitude list. It always inspires me.


    1. I've thought about my word for the year, too! I didn't know that what I would be enduring is lots of big changes, like my daughter's wedding, our upcoming move, all good things, but all a bit exhausting!


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