Saturday, May 31

The Puppet Master

Can manipulation be positive?

I recently had someone tell me that the above statement is true. I have always considered manipulation to be something negative and to run far, far away from it.

But in their explanation I related it to the word rebellion. Until a few years ago I had always considered rebellion to only have a negative application to our lives. But consider this. When you're living with a controlling person, the only way to get out from under their control is to rebel against it. It's not about something negative, but about something positive. For instance...a husband has turned into an egotistical jerk and is abusive when he becomes angry. What can the wife do to get out of that? She has learned through the years not to make him angry therefore she doesn't experience his wrath. But the children are older now and he's beginning to be abusive to the children, but again only when he gets angry.

Where does this leave the wife? Does she continue to tip toe around the tulips and live the rest of her life in fear? Or does she stand up to this man who is abusing his position of leader of the home? If she does nothing, she risks continued harm to her children and herself, but if she stands up to him, she could be accused of being rebellious and not submitting to his authority.

In this example, I would definitely advise the woman to rebel against the abuse and protect her children and herself. But the first time I did this I really struggled with the rebellion part of it. I know it's not right for a man to abuse his wife and children, but encouraging someone to rebel.... I just didn't know if I could do that. This is where I had to realize that I was not encouraging her to rebel against her husband, but against his actions. His actions were the problem, and if he couldn't correct his actions, then she and children needed to leave.

So back to my question, is it possible to have a positive form of manipulation? I have just given an example of a positive form of rebellion, but I'm not sure about manipulation. I can't really wrap my mind around that one!

Friday, May 30

Thursday, May 29

Ticket to success!

Today has been full of new adventures. I have done things today that I have never done before. I been asked to do things that I have never done before. I will have to admit that I didn't just jump at every opportunity I had today. Some of my opportunities presented themselves with ease and only a small amount of effort. Others, well, let's just say I didn't exactly jump and down and do flips over the opportunity to try something new. In fact, I was inclined to just refuse altogether!! But in the end, with a little bit of encouragement I opted to dive in feet first!! (Let's hope the water's deep enough for diving...)

So here I am at the end of the day, and I can honestly say I feel good about my choices today. My choices have been based on those around me and how I can help them. I have chosen to move in an area that is completely unfamiliar for the benefit of others. I feel very good about that. Tonight I will rest easy, knowing that my motives have been in the right place.

Dear God, thanking for showing me your ways and directing me to walk in them. I give you the glory. Without you I am nothing, but through you I can do all things. I love you...

Wednesday, May 28

We have arrived!!

Finally! The daycare received the official notice today. We have been accredited by NAC. In English that means we're the bomb diggity doo!! It has been a long 2 years trying to achieve this, but I can proudly say we have arrived! Good job girls, you're the reason we achieved it. Thanks for all your hard work. And to our director, You're the best Director in the entire world. Your leadership is invaluable. I can't imagine ever having a daycare facility without you.


Tuesday, May 27

Another new experience

Tonight we held our first meeting with community members for the removal of our school board president. To this point everything has been rather private, but now, it is going to become very public.

We agreed to start circulating a petition to call for a grand jury to remove him from office. It really is our preference that he resign, but since he has publicly stated he won't, it seems there is no other choice.

I am anxious to see what happens from here. It is good to know we are on the right track and there will be closure to this issue at some point.

Monday, May 26

The joys of parenthood...

Sometimes, I hate being a parent!! I mean wouldn't it be easier to just let them do whatever they want, whenever they want? Who needs boundaries? And why is self-discipline so stinkin' important anyway? I mean really, even as adults who needs all those things???

Okay, so back to reality. I don't consider myself to be an expert, but I do consider myself to be a good parent. But recently, I have had the revelation that my parenting skills have slipped (okay so maybe they crashed..but who's counting right?). I recently realized that what I never allowed myself to do when my children were little I now do. I am a firm believer in "following through". If I told my children "you do this, or there will be this consequence". Then you could guarantee if they didn't do it, the consequence would soon follow. The benefit of that was I had incredibly obedient children. I rarely had to double check them because they always obeyed me.

The past few weeks I have realized that my bluff on my children has disappeared. They are no longer afraid of me or consequences. I tell them to do something and they don't do it. Now, did this just start happening?? NO! I've no doubt it's been going on for some time and I am just now figuring it out. What does this mean for me?? It means I have to "buck up" and accept the responsibility of not following through. I have even found myself not even being able to come up with an "or else" if my children didn't obey me. WOW, how did I lose that skill??

I really believe I became so comfortable in my parenting skills that I let them slip away and didn't even realize it. Now, I have to choose to suck it up and start following through. If I don't, I will lose my children. It doesn't matter what I did in the past, or if I was a good parent 5 years ago, 2 years ago, or even yesterday, I must be a consistent everyday or I will not succeed in training my children in the ways of the Lord.

So back to my earlier whining, it would be a lot easier to just let them do whatever they want, but that would only be for the short term. The long term result would be children who have no respect, no self-discipline, and eventually they would break my heart. This is not a burden I have any desire whatsoever to bear!!

If you have any words of wisdom to share I would love to hear it!

Sunday, May 25

Driver's Ed...

How did I get to this place?????

My oldest daughter is learning how to drive. Today we took a short road trip and of course, she drove. She's doing quite well. The roads between our towns have lots of variables that she's getting lots of experience at! It's funny how sitting in the passenger seat instructing your child you realize how much you take in while driving.

I think she'll be a good driver. She makes good choices and knows when to back off if she's uncomfortable. I am glad to make it to this point in our lives. It is a good feeling to watch your children succeed!

Friday, May 23

I hate politics!

I guess it's past time to blog about this precious topic. I do loathe politics, but strangely enough I am finding myself heavily involved in politics at time in my life. It is a rather precocious place to be. You have to watch your back. Watch who you talk to and watch who you don't talk to. Be careful of your words because they'll use them against you.

You are judged for comments you make but are taken out of context. You are judged for comments you make in context. You're life becomes everybody's business. Some will look down on you because you're not on their side, others will look up to you because you support theirs. It's quite a contrary world.

The only thing I know is to do the right thing, regardless of what is happening in the world around me (however big or small it may be!). If you tell the truth you don't have to remember what your story was (it's funny how the details never change when you tell the truth). I admit I fear failure, but not enough to allow it to control me. I have no plans to allow it to take root and take over!

I will continue down this path of politics until I am told to do otherwise. It's a whole new world, one that I don't really care for, but I will walk the path, I will run the race, and in the end I will be a stronger person no matter what the outcome.

Thursday, May 22

It's All About You!

Something that's really been on my mind lately is "Accepting responsibility for your actions." In the past months I have witnessed grown adults denying responsibility for their actions. It amazes me how an adult makes a choice to respond to a situation and then openly states that it wasn't their fault they responded the way they did! I find that shocking.

I am also amazed at these people who attempt to defend themselves in this area. They get on a soap box complaining and griping because they were the victim and then, you can always count on the next statement..."It's not my fault". Wow!! How can the decisions you make not be your responsibility?

We are all dealt cards that we would prefer not to have, but how we choose to handle those cards, whether we discard, or hold onto them, is completely up to us. We are completely, totally, and solely responsible for our choices. We may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can definitely control how we respond to those circumstances.

I say step up to the plate and accept responsibility for your choices. Good or Bad. Right or Wrong. Be an adult, make adult decisions. Deal with the consequences.

Wednesday, May 21

Speaking of Christina...

While I'm on the subject of singing people's praises, I just can't move on until I tell you how wonderful Christina is!

She is beautiful, her dark hair, and olive complexion are the envy of all the really pretty girls!! She always looks smashing, even when she "drabs down"! My favorite, absolute, most cutest hairstyle for her is the messy ponytail. She is picture perfect when she does that!

I guess what really stands out about Christina is her inner beauty. Oh, I know, she tries to hide it, but you just can't help but see the neon sign pointing at her that says "love, compassion, and caring found here". This woman is unbelievable. She rarely thinks of herself, and on the occasions when she does, it's because she's evaluating her own motives and actions.

Christina is a jewel. She is the epitome of simple elegance. I have never seen a more graceful and gracious heart displayed.

Christina you are such joy to have in our lives. We're so lucky you decided to choose Pastor John for a husband. Thanks for embracing us and allowing us live in your world. I love you more than words can express...

Tuesday, May 20

My tribute to Pastor John

Today I was writing a note Pastor John to take care of a building maintenance issue and suddenly remembered how grateful I am to have him working at the church full time.

So today I am stopping to say "Thank you, Pastor John. You're the bomb!" You're always there when we need a to-do list completed. You keep the lawn looking great. You build signs, build shelves, you even build bridges! It's amazing what all Pastor John can do.

He takes care of playground maintenance, van maintenance, and building maintenance too. He fills in for Sunday School teachers, Sunday School Superintendent, and anyone else who's absent on Sunday.

He does the announcements, takes up offering, prepares the prayer list. Studies for sermons, and teaching times. I always know where to find him first thing in the morning, he faithfully starts his day with prayer, and then on to the computer for e-mails and blogging!!

Pastor John is a gem that's gets disguised by all the "stuff" he does. One day when he moves on to have his own church, he will be greatly missed, but until that time comes I honor you today for your dedication to God and your service to our church and community.

Thanks Pastor John...we love you.

Monday, May 19

My husband...

...I just wanted to take a moment in my day to tell the world what a wonderful man I am blessed with. He is an excellent husband, a wonderful father, an incredible Pastor, and an awesome salesman. I am so blessed to have been married to this man for almost 20 years!

I love you Patrick...

Saturday, May 17


A faithful friend is one the most valuable assets we have while living here on this earth. One you can depend on. One who will be there when it's time to celebrate as well as when things get tough.

Friends, they're the ones who love us even though we still have room to grow, they accept our faults, and overlook the areas in our lives that need to be perfected.

What would we do without faithful friends?

Friday, May 16

Absolutely Amazing

This is Brandy. And she's the one who is absolutely amazing! Have you ever met someone who you just wanted to be around and cling too? She's that kind of a person. Her demeanor is strikingly soft like black velvet displaying a diamond ring. She is beautiful. Her eyes sparkle and her face glows. I guess she's as much like the diamond ring as she is the black velevet!

As you can see her profession is in the medical field. And WOW you couldn't ask for a more professional and confident worker than her! I have watched her work on several occasions and she is the most cordial, fluent, caring nurse I have ever met. Not to say I haven't met good nurses before, it's just that Brandy shines above them all.

Thursday, May 15

Still Standing...

Today I have started down the path that will test my character. I am encouraged though, it seems that there are many who support me. But I am also walking cautiously; I must not be careless and make silly mistakes. I must not let pride consume me....

I don't really care for confrontation, although I have a strong personality, I do not relish the thought of "stepping outside"! In my mind that is exactly what has happened. I have approached a bully and asked him if he'd like to step outside!

Although I may feel uptight, I know that eventually "right" will win. It's a biblical principle and there's just no way around it!

Wednesday, May 14

Watch the back door

That back door has to stay shut. If it gets opened look out!! One of the easiest things to allow to come in the back door is pride. Pride always seems to find a way to find a crack in the door and subtly find its way to permanent residence.

Today I am taking time to make sure my doors are sealed. I'm taking an inward look to make sure pride hasn't snuck in and started taking up residence! You see, when we are successful in our endeavors, we are pleased with ourselves. Being confident and proud of our decisions is good for our self-esteem. But when that gets out of balance we move over into the area of pride and then we end up setting ourselves up for failure.
Enjoy your success and be proud of the good choices you make, just remember to stay humble and keep that back door sealed shut!

Monday, May 12

The baby is here!

7 lbs. 10 oz.

19 1/2 inches long.

I will post pictures later!

Macy Caite was born at 7:23 a.m.

Katie and Macy are both fine!

Sunday, May 11

Mother's Day

Mother's Day in Welch was little weird. Out town was without power and therefore we didn't have church. The tornado's that hit Oklahoma Saturday did some serious damage in our surrounding communities and although we did not have a tornado touch down in our town, we did have the side effects of being without power because of the damage it caused.

Kudos to our electric company, they had us up and running less than 24 hours later. I know there's always lots of griping about our local company, but I sure don't have any thing negative to say about them. I have witnessed those men work incredibly long hours after a severe ice storm when we were without power for 4 days, and again this weekend they were out again trying to get 14,000 homes and businesses up and running again before Monday when having no electricity would really cause problems. Hang in there gentlemen, I appreciate your hard work and commitment, you have a standing ovation from me!!

And I can not end this blog without taking the time to send my condolences to the ones who have lost friends, family, and homes because of this tornado. Although I do not personally know anyone who died or lost their home, my heart is breaking just trying to even grasp the pain you must be experiencing. I will be praying for you during what must be one of the most difficult times in your life.

May God be with you...Pastor Trudy

Saturday, May 10

One Night With The King

We watched this movie last night. And although it's a chic flic, it's still a bible story. My boys fussed about watching it, but since it was my turn to pick out the movie, I didn't budge!!

I've seen this movie repeatedly and everytime I watch it I am inspired! To think that God would choose an orphan to save a nation. It really is amazing. Esther was an incredible woman of God and I can only hope that God will grant me the same opportunites he granted Esther. What an honor to be chosen to by God to rescue his people! It leaves me speechless...

Friday, May 9

It's happening today...

Remember my post that said "I did it!"? Well, now I've really done it!!

So, here's the scoop. I did send in my letter to the editor, but it only published in one of the two papers I sent it to. The paper it published in was the lower exposure paper. I found out this morning that my letter in the higher exposure newspaper will hit Welch today. Today people will be reading shocking facts that I quoted from minutes of a school board meeting about a school board member.

I will be interested to find out if I start getting ugly phone calls at my home or at my office!! So far I have only recieved thank you's and appreciation for exposing the facts. I guess ultimately it is a test of my character. A test to see if I will buckle under the pressure of what people might think or stand strong for what I know is right.

Being a Christian I relate what I am doing to the Roman soilder attire Paul referred to. I think about the shoes that the Roman soilders wore. They had spikes on the soles that were 3-6 inches long!! Roman soilders used the spikes in two ways. One, to kick an opponent and do some serious damage!! And, two, to remain in a standing position. With your shoes dug 6 inches into the ground I can imagine it would be difficult to be pushed over!!

So back to the scripture, Paul admonishes us to "Stand." That is how I feel about this issue concerning this board member who is making bad choices. I am choosing to Stand and will not easily be pushed over!

Thursday, May 8

I've hit a road block!

Edmond Burke is quoted as saying "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

I have decided to go down a path that is seemingly a dead end. Today I talked with our District Attorney and found out there is yet another possibility, but it will take effort. And more importantly time.

Time & effort, two things people, in general, find difficult to give up. What if I fail? What if I don't get the results I'm looking for? What if I do all that work and it is still a dead end? What if... What if....

The underlying problem? FEAR. Fear of failure. Today I have choice. Will I allow "evil" to triumph because I am afraid? Or, in Edmond Burke's terms, am I going to sit back and do nothing?

Wednesday, May 7

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

...come again another day. I'm sick of the rain. I have had an incredibly unproductive day and since I can blame no one else and I don't want to blame myself, I have decided to blame it on the rain!

Monday, May 5

I can see my desk!

After being out of the office most of last week, my desk was a mess! Mail to go through, unfinished projects to wrap up, potential projects waiting to be researched, the list goes on and on. But here we are late in the afternoon and I have seen my desktop again. Doesn't it feel good to get things back in order after the chaos?

Speaking of chaos, is your life in chaos today? I know some people like to live in chaos. They enjoy the ride, it's like an addiction. The more chaos, the higher the high. The problem with chaos is there's never any peace. When we let the Bible become our guideline for decisions, chaos begins to dissappear. When Jesus becomes the center of our lives, chaos dissappears. When God is our source, chaos dissappears.

Peace replaces the "joy ride", and though the chaos was fun for a short time, peace offers stability and will stay with us no matter if we have a messy desk or not! Go after peace, give up the chaos, and find a new normal! I dare you...

Sunday, May 4

getting to know me a little better

This is for everyone who would like to get inside my head and just can't figure out how!!

I love to have one on one conversations about things that really mean something.

I hate to talk about the weather, sports, and other no depth subjects!!

I like to shop alone, but it's nice to have someone along to tell me I look good (huh?)

I have a great disdain for schmucks.

If I could choose to start my life over, I would start the day I got married--I'm really sorry the rest of you weren't able to catch the perfect man :(

I am very much ADD and yes, I take drugs for it! (it's an alternative med called DMG)

I hate having my plans changed at the last minute. That really annoys me. (sorry, it's an ADHD characteristic)

On the other hand, I really don't care what the plan is, just have one!

I hate to cook. (Good thing Patrick likes to!)

I love working at the church.

I hate to clean house.

I enjoy staying busy, a full calendar is much better than an empty one!

I really like chocolate covered strawberries, lemon cake from Olive Garden, Bellini tea from Olive Garden, Rib Crib, and of course my mother's homemade bread!
And someday...I'd like to go on a mediterranian cruise with my best friend in the whole world... my husband!

Saturday, May 3

My Friend Michael

Michael is away at a Teen Challenge and has been gone now for a little over a month. Now obviously, if he is at a Teen Challenge he didn't go because he never does anything wrong and always makes good decisions! But in spite of his bad choices I love Michael dearly. :)

Michael has a good heart. He's exceptionally talented and, if you ask me, he's brilliant. He never ceases to amaze me by the amount of talent and skill that comes from such a young man. Michael is loving and kind, he's quick to laugh and enjoys the success of hard work. His excellent work ethic will make him quite the bread winner some day!

Michael only gets to make phone contact with family or friends twice a week for 10 mins each. Just the other day I was pouting to myself that I hadn't heard from him yet. I was hoping that after he'd been at Teen Challenge for a while and got sick of calling Mom & Dad, that maybe I would hear from him! Well to my surprise he must be sick of Mom & Dad already and miss his favorite Pastor's wife more than he misses them because he called today!! (no offense Mom & Dad!) I was so happy to hear his voice.

He is doing well and seems content in his new surroundings. He boasted of his accomplishments in school and asked about the church, the youth group and our family. He also chatted with Pastor Pat for a few minutes while Pastor Pat quizzed him about his activities and whether or not he had healed up from cutting his head open the first few days he was there!!

Pastor Pat then encouraged Michael and told him how we have been praying that God would change him so dramatically that people wouldn't even recognize him. Michael is an incredible young man and I am looking forward to the fabulous things God is going to do for him while at Teen Challenge.

I love you Michael and we'll keep praying for you....Pastor Trudy

Friday, May 2

Tipping the Vessel

That's what I'm all about! You will discover as you continue to read my blogs that for the most part, I'm all about looking on the inside to check things out. "What's so important about checking things out on the inside?" you may ask. The following is my reply:
  • What motivates you? What is truly in your heart shows when you do anything in life. So when you determine why you are doing it, then you determine what is in your heart.

  • Take care of your illness before you try to Dr someone else! I know we all hate to admit it, but sometimes the issues we have in life are created by us. :ouch: Taking a look at our own heart sometimes brings to light that we need to take care of some of our own issues before we go trying to take care of other peoples issues.

As we progress through this life many obstacles are thrown in our way. The way we respond to those obstacles is a tremendous reflection of what is going on on the inside!

Those of you who know me may have heard me say, "When the vessel is tipped, what pours out?" The interesting thing about a vessel is that they are so varied. They can be ornately beautiful or as simple as the one pictured. Another interesting thing is the same thing can be poured from either vessel. It could be the sweetest drink you have ever tasted or the most sour and repugnant drink you could imagine. Either drink could come from either vessel. The only way to find out what is inside is to tip the vessel and see what pours out....

So today's self-evaluation question is this... "What's pouring out of your vessel?"

Thursday, May 1

Something Dangerous That Looks Safe & Innocent

Today, I am at home with my youngest son because he is sick. Since I have all this extra time on my hands, and since I'm new to the blogging community, I decided to take a look around the net and see what was out there. One of the sites I discovered was pretty cool. It was an older woman (by her own admission), she had scripture and a little devotional, quotes, and even recipes. I thought, Wow, this is diverse and interesting as well. But as I continued to scroll through her postings I was shocked to find that below one her "devotionals" was what I would consider a dirty joke complete with cuss words! I was immediately appalled. I was also reminded of another incident much closer to home than some stranger on the Internet.

As I began to ponder these two incidents, I discovered that I have a great disdain for something dangerous that looks safe and innocent. I find it incredibly disgusting that in one sentence you talk about God and all the blessings he gives you and the promises he has for you and in the next sentence you are slinging around cuss words and vomiting bitterness.

I certainly don't profess to be perfect. (Well, sometimes I do, but I really am just joking!) And I absolutely understand that we all have issues; issues that need to be fixed by the power of God. But, WOW, cuss words and dirty jokes? I mean sometimes we act so much like the unchurched, it's hard to tell we are "the church". Why on earth would anyone want to be a part of the Kingdom of God if there's not any difference between us and them?

Maybe we should take time and examine our lives. Do we do what the unchurched do and yet say we're "the church"? "Come look at me, be different, be changed." And yet there's really not anything different about our lives compared to theirs.

Do you truly have peace? Do you have joy? Do you have hope?