Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dress Code

The first couple of months of Shepherd's life, I was so enamored of all the baby shower clothes and the opportunity to live out my childhood baby-doll games, I kept Shepherd dressed pretty well most of the time. If he spit up on his outfit or had a diaper malfunction or managed to pee on his clothing during a diaper change while I was reaching for a wet wipe, I'd replace the adorable puppy-dog outfit he had started the day in with an equally adorable bear or tiger or monkey outfit. He was a very well-dressed little boy.

After three months of being a stay-at-home mom. I'm finding that I'm starting to fall behind on this particular aspect of the job. It isn't so much that I'm loosing the battle. Rather, it is that the battle is starting to seem less important. Here is a case in point. This morning, Shepherd started the day like this...

...and ended the day like this:

Between the shirt riding up, one booty missing, a total disappearance of the pants, and a nice stream of drool running down the chin, you might think something had gone terrible wrong somewhere along the way. But all I was seeing at this point of the day was a baby who wasn't crying or fussing and who had on a fairly dry and fairly clean diaper. I now know without a doubt that these are the things that constitute a well-dressed child, so in my book, he's still looking pretty cute.

Monday, January 24, 2011


BJ and I have lived in Kentucky for over 2 and a half years. It has been a time of good memories, some struggles, and colder temperatures than should be allowed. This Sunday at church, BJ announced to our congregation that we will be leaving Kentucky in 2011, and we are currently in the process of looking for a new place to minister. BJ explained what is going on very well, so I'm just going to let him speak for me. This is the statement BJ read at church yesterday, and just to be clear, he read it word for word not to be disingenuous, but rather because it was a hard thing to say.

"In early January it was brought to my attention that the general feeling of the congregation was that I am not meeting the expectations of a full-time minister. It was expressed to me that this disappointment was primarily in two areas, with my preaching and with my people skills. The hope in letting me know this was that I would be able to make changes toward meeting this congregation’s expectations, but my preaching and my people reflect the nature of who I am and that makes them very, very difficult to change. In order to make the fruitful changes necessary I would need to change my personality, and that is something I cannot do. Instead, I come before you today to let you know that in 2011 I will be partnering with the leadership of this congregation to transition into another ministry in a way that is best for me, my family, and this congregation.

"That makes 2011 a year of transition for all of us. Kalyn and I will at some point be moving, and you will be searching for another minister. It will be a year of challenges, but also a year of new opportunities. So as we continue into this new year, I would like to share with you a few thoughts that are on my mind and in my heart.

"First, I thank you for the past few years. When Kalyn and I first moved here it was for a career change. I had been a teacher, but felt called, sometimes shoved, to ministry. At the same time, I had always been intimidated by ministry, the reasons for that I have shared with you before. Did I really want to dedicate my life to full-time ministry? Was I okay with my family living this life-style? Did I have gifts that could serve in this capacity? Did I trust God to care for us? Those questions have all been answered.

"This congregation has also provided me and my family with an income and a place to call home. We’ve always had food on our plates and been able to pay the bills. We’ve enjoyed connecting with many of you and many of your children. We’ve enjoyed the bonfires and the games of sardines. We’ve enjoyed visiting with you in your homes and having many of you over to ours. I have been humbled by your willingness to invite me into your lives during times of crisis. I’ve enjoyed the van rides and listening to the teens sing along to the daily top five. The hospitality that has been shown to us has meant a great deal. We’ll have good memories from here, and we have you to thank for that.

"I have tried to meet the expectations of this congregation. Sometimes I have; sometimes I have not, but it has all provided me with a chance to grow and mature both as a person and as a minister, something that is seldom pleasant, but always necessary. Ministers never have the full support of every member of their congregations, so to those of you who feel slighted or hurt or ignored by something I have done or said, or something I have failed to do or say, I am sorry.

"After two and a half years it is a difficult thing to acknowledge the fact that my gifts and strengths are not the gifts and strengths this congregation needs, but that seems to be where we’re at. Farmington is a congregation with great potential, but I was not the right minister to help you realize that potential. I wish that were not the case, and I hope and pray that the minister after me will help you achieve your hopes and dreams.

"In the interim, I will continue to work and serve this congregation to the best of my ability. I pray that God continues to watch over us all, to protect us and to lead us into new, green pastures. I truly hope and pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord will lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Shepherd turned three months old yesterday. That has given me three months to get used to motherhood. In some ways, I have adjusted very well. I am used to getting up once or twice a night, changing diapers every 30 minutes to an hour, and doing housework in spurts that just so happen to coincide with Shepherd's naps.

What I can't seem to get used to is just how intensely I feel when it comes to Shepherd. The amount of love I feel when I look at him causes an achy feeling when I inhale. The smallest expression from him (a grin, a furrowed brow, a pout) instantly captivates my attention and blurs my surroundings. In all honesty, all of this intensity is flat out frightening.

I've been trying to figure out why I feel this much this strongly about one person. It isn't a quantitative issue; I don't love Shepherd more than BJ. I've come to decide that it is more an issue of vulnerability. All loving relationships leave a person at least somewhat vulnerable. With BJ, I consciously subjected myself to the vulnerability. When I told him I loved him for the first time in an ACU parking lot, I knew that I was opening myself to the possibility of rejection, but I felt that the shot at love was worth the risk of heartbreak. Each time we took our relationship to a deeper level, I knew that I was simultaneously increasing how badly I would hurt if our relationship ended. With Shepherd, there was not an incremental process of becoming more and more vulnerable. He was just born, and suddenly I knew that anytime he hurts or suffers or struggles, I will feel all of that pain, perhaps worse than he will. And this realization was and has continued to be terrifying.

This past week, an aunt of my best friend lost her 22 year old son in a car accident. When I think about this mother, I can barely breath. I pray for her and the unimaginable pain she must be experiencing, and like all mothers when they hear news of this sort, I attach a prayer for my own son's safety and health. But despite all the fear that I'm finding is part of motherhood, the bare-naked vulnerability of this office, I am absolutely certain it is worth the risk. If Shepherd learns nothing else from me in these next 18 years as I raise him, I hope he learns this: he is worth being loved, and love is no small thing.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Recommended Reading

I'm married to this guy (you might of heard me mention him once or twice on this blog) named BJ. He is a smart guy, and he has directed all of this smartness towards better understanding the Bible and God and what it means to be a Christian. This year, he is reading through the Bible cover to cover and blogging about it. If you would like to go along for the ride, I recommend following his blog, A Wondering Disciple, where he is posting daily on his readings. So that's my shameless plug for my brilliant and handsome husband whom I love even though he makes me be a preacher's wife.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Change of Name

When I first started my blog, it was called, "Living with a Boy, a Dog, and a Crazy Cat." Then we got another dog, so I called it, "Living with a Boy, Two Dogs, and a Crazy Cat." Well, 2010 was a pretty epic year with a lot of changes; we are minus one cat and we've added a baby. So I've decided it is time once again to change the title of my blog. It is now going to be "Just Me and My Boys." It isn't that the dogs aren't important. It is just a bit of a mouthful to say "Just Me and My Boys and Our Dogs", don't you think?

Speaking of our dogs, they have officially accepted Shepherd into the pack. How do I know this? Yesterday, I had our laundry sorted out into piles in preparation for laundry day. All of Shepherd's laundry was in a pile all its own because his clothes are washed with Dreft. Dogs love laying on the clothes of their owners (aka pack leaders). It has something to do with being encompassed by their smell. Anyways, both Gus and Zoe picked Shepherd's pile of clothes to camp out on.

There are a few other signs that Shepherd has been initiated. When I tell Gus to go check on Shep, he immediately runs to the baby and sniffs him. If company comes over, Gus goes to the doorway of whatever room Shepherd is in and barks, forming a barrier of sorts. This is a habit we will need to break. Zoe gets a concerned look on her face when Shepherd is crying, and anytime I leave the house with Shepherd, she has a conniption. There is only one thing that can be deduced from all of this: our home is full of puppy love, and it's a good thing.

Here's a picture of Shepherd chilling on the couch from earlier today. I have no reason for posting this other than the fact that he's so cute it makes my heart hurt, and I want to share this with all of you.