Friday, June 27, 2008

My Wife is the Strongest and Most Patient Person I Know

My wife is the toughest woman I know. She is the strongest and most patient person I know. She has not only endured being one of the few women in her program, but she has excelled. She functioned as TA for two professors and has also graded papers for more. I am finishing one summer class on Saturday, and she has already finished two! She stuck it out, even when she has felt unsupported (though she is never unsupported at home). And she does it without a chip on her shoulder. Some can come from an "old boys club" environment angry and bitter, and my wife is not. She can sit and bear it, turning the other cheek with strength and grace, without conceding ground or getting bitter.

(Now, I have to add a qualification. Our school is not 100% anti-women, men only, patriarchal etc... It is not like these attitudes run rampant and unchecked, as if the boys of our school go out of the way to keep the women folk down. That is hardly the case at all. But I cannot deny the pressure or the double standard that is there to some degree.)

She does so much for our family. She handles our money much better than I could. I love her and value everything she does for us.

She will be doing so much more for the next 7 months. We are going to have another baby! She is two months along and is due February 10th. Yay!

Here is an ultrasound of our "Number 2" (an unfortunate name):

Intellectually Stimulating Discussion w/ N.T. Wright

Here is an intellectually rigorous and spiritually enlightening interview with Bishop N.T. Wright on that highly acclaimed newshow that is way more fair and balanced than Fox can ever hope to be, the Cobert Report.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Men vs. Women

As I near the finish line of my class I have noticed a lot of bothersome things. Things that have made me sit quietly in class and ponder while my professor lectures on the life and theology of Christ in the Gospels. All very fascinating indeed, but as I have observed his character and behavior I have found myself wondering.

If I wasn't already a Christian, would I be convinced that I should follow Christ by observing this guy and a few of the guys in my class?

Let me explain. First of all, I am the only woman in the class of about 15. Not a big deal at all, I am quite used to this being one of a few women in the Divinity program at my school. Most of the time it is fine, except when someone starts talking about sexual sin then it gets awkward...
But, the professor teaching my class is a visiting prof from Dallas Theological Seminary. It is super duper conservative and doesn't allow women to get the M.Div. degree (the degree I've been working my butt off for the past four years for) unless they are specifically going into women's ministry. That's all fine and dandy except the guy keeps making comments that are really not pc at all!

Like when we were looking at the parable of the woman and the unrighteous judge. I admit, the woman in the passage is persistant to the point of nagging, but did the prof really have to say, "Heaven help the man who's married to a woman like that? I bet we all know women like that. Har har har har..." As the class erupts in male laughter and I sit there quietly thinking to myself...

That wasn't so bad. What is bad, however, is the past few mornings. There is a guy in my class who joked about how his wife was mad because one day he told her we were getting out early and we ended up not getting out early. He joked that she was waiting with a rolling pin when he got home. That's fine, I guess, to joke like that. But, every day it's gotten worse and the prof and this guy constantly rip into this man's poor wife. Jokes about wives who mother their husbands and make controlling decisions and don't know what it means to submit and all that. Today I was seething. I was really upset because it makes these guys sound like they don't love their wives or honor them at all. So, I talked to Sam about it during break.

After I came in from break someone asked me what I thought of all of the banter going on during class. I thought for a minute and said, "If I'm going to be completely honest with you, I think it's pretty disrespectful. Even if it's meant in a joking tone, the wives aren't here to joke back and it makes the guys sound like jerks." I also explained how Sam and I would never speak about each other in such a negative light because we love and honor and respect one another.

A guy looked at me and said, "You're an egalitarian, right?" (side note here, egalitarian is someone who believes that women and men are equal in standing and can perform the same roles while a complimentarian is someone who thinks that women and men have specific roles that only one gender can perform). I said yes-ish (because I'm currently studying the issue deeply and trying to see where I sit with the whole issue, it's really complicated) and wanted to say, "It doesn't matter, either way we are supposed to respect others." But class started.

That's not all. This week I had a conversation with a woman who needed to have her car jumped because her battery died. So, she asked a guy from our church to help her. Not a big deal, I have Sam jump our car all the time because I am scared to do it (I know how, I just get freaked out and don't want to do it). The woman told me that the guy didn't know how to jump it and she did but she wouldn't correct him because she didn't want to step on his role as a man. Excuse my french but, WHAT THE HELL!??? She wasted so much time because she wasn't willing to speak up and get out of her "role". Grrrr....

So that has been my week. It's really hard.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A case of the 'I don't want to you can't make me!'

You would think by my title that I am writing about my defiant almost two year old, but I'm not. I'm writing about myself.

I am officially 8 days into my 10 day class and I am mentally and physically shot. It wouldn't be so bad, but I have a 8-12 page paper due on Friday and I am starting the rough draft portion and I Just. Don't. Want. To. I don't know what it is. If it is burn out from being in class non stop since January (very likely). It could also be that things were pretty high speed at church the last week as well with graduations and end of fiscal year stuff and everything. Ugh. Let's just say I'm 2 1/2 pages into my paper and am fading fast. My goal for this evening is to rough draft it up and then tomorrow I will finish it off. I am taking my day off tomorrow, which means that the day when I'm done with class and homework I get to go into work and run errands. Oh well. Such is life. At least I got someone to teach for me on Sunday so I don't have to stress about that. I can spend Saturday being a mom again (poor neglected Sam and Nathaniel!) and Sunday I can spend packing for Washington!

I have some fun Nathaniel-isms that have been coming out of his mouth lately. Gotta love sentences!

"Wild Are!" Where the Wild Things Are (favorite book).
"Daddy! Spiww!!" Daddy, I spilled.
"Mom-eye ih Daddy!" Mommy and Daddy!
"Neeggee" Sneetches

Those are just a few of my favorites. And, he feels entitled to juice anytime he asks for it (he is limited to four ounces a day) so if anyone even breathes the word juice in his presence he chants "Juice!" in a high pitched voice until he is addressed. Sigh.

Well, time to get back to work (and get the boy up from nap).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Adventures in Stupid

I love the Army. So, get this. Last drill (i.e. two weekends ago), we were told that we were all going to Camp Roberts for 5 days for medical processing in two weeks (i.e. starting this weekend, 20JUNE). So we tell all our soldiers to rearrange thier lives and plan on being there (asking off of work, etc...). Just today (the 19th) 3/4 of the company is NOT going. Orders only came down for a fraction of the soldiers. I am still not 100% sure if any more orders will come down (so what do we tell the soldiers?). This is jacked up!!!

As of now, I am NOT going. So, whereas I thought I couldn't play for our church's Celebration Sunday Orchestra, now I can (and I have not been to a rehearsal, because I thought I was leaving!). Luckily, my boss accidentally scheduled me (even though I told him I wasn't going to be here) so I can work this week.

It just feels like adventures in stupid.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One day at a time.

Well, I am currently three days into my intense two week class on the Life of Christ. It's such a good class, but it's so much information! In today's class I swear I zoned out and the professor's voice turned into the wah wah wah sound from Peanut's. But, I realized that I'm officially a geek (this is not a new realization). I keep getting excited about reading original documents and commentaries about cultural issues. I studied about the laws concerning menstruating women for four hours today! Dork. (cough).

Since I am officially crazy (enrolled in two summer school classes at once) and have a ton of church stuff going on (summer kick off, dodgeball tourney, etc.) I have to have the mantra of "one thing at a time". So on Monday I wrote a draft of a paper that is due Saturday (rewrite on Friday) and today I wrote a draft of a a paper that is due on Friday (rewrite tomorrow). Next week will involve me researching and writing an 8-12 paper which is due next Thursday and prepping for teaching on Sunday. But, when I think that far in advance I tend to panic and freak out and that is not focus on the papers due this week.

Sam has been the best stay at home parent this week. He's been working evenings, but during the day he works on his homework while Nathaniel is napping and has been just hanging with the boy. I have to say, he's been doing a better job supervising than I have. The other day I was cleaning up Nathaniel's room and kept calling for him to help, but instead got that eerie silence that no parent likes to hear. So I went searching and this is what I found:

My boy (who has been acting like a cat a lot lately) was eating from the cat dish. It was so gross. His breath smelled like kibble.

To make up for it, we went canoing at Disneyland.

That was fun! Nathaniel enjoyed the ride once we got on the boat and he was distracted from the life vest.

Sam also taught Nathaniel how to water the plants.

While I taught Nathaniel how to drink coffee (it was mostly milk, I swear!)

And today, while I sat sweltering in the non-airconditioned apartment working on this paper, Sam took Nathaniel outside and hosed him down. I don't know who had more fun!
So, let's just say that I'm very much looking forward to next Friday afternoon. Sam will be back from Army stuff (he leaves on Sunday, heaven help us, I am all alone with the boy and school) and I will be done with class. Since it's the last day our passes are open for Disneyland for the summer we are going to go and enjoy the fireworks as a family.

Think about it...

It's important that we take the time and consider the issues...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

Today is the day we honor fathers of many types. The father of our children, our own fathers, and even the men who stepped into our lives in the absence of fathers. Today I get to honor all three.

First of all, I get to honor Sam. The father of my child. This is one amazing man who is quite possibly the best dad to ever walk this earth (huge bias on my part). This is the man who will get up in the middle of the night to change diapers, comfort the crying kid and just make sure that the things that go bump in the night really are the stupid kitties. This is the man who works his butt off to make sure we have a roof over our head and food on our table (and then cooks the food for the table!). This is the man who has sacrificed so much so that I could pursue my dreams (don't worry Sam, your turn is coming!). Not only do I get to call him my husband, Nathaniel gets to call him daddy.

Secondly, I get to honor the man who was kind of a surrogate dad to me. My father was pretty absent throughout my childhood/adolescence. There was a teacher at school who cared about me enough to make me feel valued. Ken Seversen is an amazing person and teacher as well. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of him readily available on my computer, but trust me, this man was kind to many students. I know I must have annoyed the crap out of him with my exuberant behavior (I was kind of talkative...) but he was always kind enough to make me feel welcome.

Finally, I get to honor the man who was my actual father. Sure, he was pretty absent for a lot of my life, but we reconciled when I was older and began to build that relationship that should have always been there. He was there to give his blessing when Sam wanted to marry me, and he was there to give me away at my wedding and dance with me on my wedding day. Sadly, he lost his battle with cancer 7 months after Sam and I got married so he was never able to meet his grandson. But, our tattered relationship was mended before he passed and I couldn't ask for anything else.

Happy Father's Day.

Me and my father and the brood of children my mom babysat for (can you guess who I am?)
Sam wrestling with the boy.

Sam and I in Washington last summer.

Friday, June 13, 2008

When watching the news is like seeing an episode of "This is your life"

For those of you who live in a hole (which is normally myself) the midwest has been under the attack of extreme weather as of late. It is so crazy to sit here in sunny California and watch familiar places on the news, all either the victims of heavy flooding (and I mean heavy flooding) or tornados.

One evening on the news I saw parks where I spent my college days relaxing and hanging out with friends, all under water. On the same news program I saw my grandmother's town which had been hit by a tornado (I'm assuming all is well there). My mother in law has been keeping us updated with pictures of where she used to live as well. I think if you click on the picture you will see a larger view. If you see the red roof next to the main river then look slightly north at the next building, that is where her condo used to be. It's crazy!
Even Sam's town where he grew up is being evacuated in areas. Holy Moly! I also saw that the place I worked during college has lost power (which makes sense since it is about 100 yards from the Iowa River...eek!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More cute stories to enthrall and entertain...

Nathaniel is adament about getting up at the butt crack of dawn. The past few mornings I have been awoken by the t.v. being turned on in the living room. That usually results in one of us (Sam or I) getting up and telling Nathaniel to go back to bed (our rule is no getting up until 6:30). This morning I was awoken to my little one shutting our bedroom door.

I think he figured that if he closed our door he wouldn't wake us up when he turned on the t.v.

Crack me up! It's so strange...all of my friends with kids have the little ones who crawl into bed with their parents when they wake up. I have the kid who shows us who his preferred parent is...the t.v.!

He also has a new word (among many). Butt Cream! (Which is what Sam calls diaper rash ointment). How cute.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mommy's little helper

I don't know if it is my kid's personality, or if I have rubbed off on him, but Nathaniel is one of the tidiest kids I know of. The above is a picture of him "helping" me fold laundry. He gets visibly agitated if he can't help us fold. Please note that he's also wearing Daddy's boxer shorts. Classic. He also wipes out the tub every night after his bath (I'm assuming it's because he watches me clean the bathroom) and likes to put away his books and blocks at the end of the day. But, this morning's story takes the cake.

I don't know what time Nathaniel actually got up, but I heard the t.v. on at 5:45 this morning so Sam went out to the living room and told Nathaniel that he had to go back to bed because it wasn't time to get up. Nathaniel obediently went back to his room (I don't think he actually went back to bed, I think he played, but I'm okay with that). At about 6:20 he was back in the living room trying to watch t.v. so I got up with him. That's when I noticed the cat vomit all over the living room floor (grrr) and one of our dish towels over a the main pile of vomit in front of the t.v. I thought Sam had covered it up when he got up to tell Nathaniel to go back to bed, so I was a little mad that he used a dish towel to cover up vomit. When Sam got up he said he didn't do it. That's when I noticed that Nathaniel had cat puke on his legs. Ewww! My poor boy noticed a gross mess and tried to clean it up for me! Awwww....

Here are a few other cute pictures from the past week:

If you notice, it looks like the goat is saying "Cheese!". Kind of cute. Also notice the fearless child trying to climb the goats...eesh.

Our family in front of the castle at Disneyland. We haven't had our picture taken in front of it for awhile so...

It was a really crowded day that day so I think all we did was one ride and then visited the goats. I don't enjoy crowds like that.

I hope people are doing well. Things are good here. Busy busy busy. The plumbers haven't come to fix the walls yet, so today I took the perogative to start moving my furniture back in front of the holes. Let them move it again, I'm tired of the mess!

Friday, June 6, 2008

God's people are good.


I am blown away by the generosity shown to me in the past two hours. I'm amazed and humbled and want to cry.

Sam called me today from his National Guard drill time (one weekend a month, two weeks a year, my butt!). Whenever Sam calls me in the morning while he's at drill it usually is not good news. It usually means that the California Guard has found another way to make our lives difficult. Today was no exception. Sam was handed orders to go up to Camp Roberts from the 22nd-26th of this month. Yup, he has to change his life around 2 weeks ahead of time. So, even though he was scheduled to play for the church orchestra on the 22nd and I have class the 23rd-26th (not to mention work as well) Sam is stuck going up north and I'm left juggling everything.

So, I sent out an email to my friend Jen ( to see if she could help me one or two of those days (and to get more email addresses for other friends). Jen emailed me back and told me that she would take every day, and that she would even take Nathaniel overnight on Tuesday so I could work that night and not have to worry about picking him up from the sitter and taking him right back at 7:15am the next morning. She just chalked it all up as one big play date for her son.

I'm humbled. I am truly humbled. There is no way I could ever pay her back. Wow.

And...Jen's mom donated a very generous gift for our Youth Group's annual Dodgeball tourney. 10 Disneyland tickets and four watches for the raffle. Oh wow. I have no words. I'm amazed.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


My poor type A personality is really being stretched this week. The plumbers have cut holes into a wall in every room of our apartment (except for the bathroom...go figure!). It is all necessary, but it cramps my 'orderly' ways. Lots of furniture has been moved around and everything seems a bit cramped. Oh least we have hot water in our bathroom now! Next step, the kitchen!

Nathaniel is really feeling his 'two year' oats. We went for a walk tonight and about two blocks from home refused to walk anymore. He made me carry him. I realize that I could have made him walk home, but I was just tired from fighting him so I lugged his butt home. He has gotten heavy. So heavy. He's always been a solid kid, but man, he just seemed heavy today.

He's funny too. There is a shirt I have that has a siloutte of a runner on it (from a race I ran awhile ago) and he likes to point at the runner and ask, "What's that?!" and when I say "It's a runner." He yells, "Run!" and runs around the apartment. Crazy boy.

That's about it. Looking forward to summer school being behind me (along with a ton of other events) and heading up to Seattle area to visit family! Woot!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The biggest objections...

What are the biggest objections to the Christian faith today? Well, in the academy, the problem of evil is #1 and the challenge of pluralism is a close #2 (it is closely closing the gap). Naturalism and various forms of postmodernism are the two chief competitors with Christianity. I say this because one of my goals, as a Christian academic-to-be, is to go after naturalism and address the objections against Christianity.

However, I am starting to doubt whether the objections and issues I am dealing with are the biggest concerns for the average Joe. I think that a very significant objection nowadays in 21st century America is a moral objection. Christianity is morally subpar. We are intolerant, sheltered, war-mongering conservatives who don't care about the environment, the poor, or the oppressed. Evangelicals get lumped together with the Religious Right, and this is creating a serious problem with our image. Click on the title of this post to see an editorial in USA Today addressing this.

This is a problem of our own making. We have neglected broader moral concerns in the public square. We have failed to follow in Christ's footsteps both in our personal and our public lives. Collectively and individually, we need to repent.

Hence, I encourage people to read the new Evangelical Manifesto at It is calling us to correct this negative perception. If we are to be viewed negatively, let it be because we stand for Jesus, not because of our own sin. If you are a Christian, I encourage you to (continue to) live out the Gospel in all areas of your lives. If you are not a Christian and you see Christianity through the distorting lenses of the Religious Right, I encourage you to take another look. May God bless His church and continue to mold it in the image of our Lord.