The Case of the Missing Rubber Cement or How I’m Slowly Losing My Mind

The girl I watch has a big book project due in about a week and a half.  Last week she cheerfully asked me if we had any rubber cement so she could glue her text in her book when it was ready.  So, being a diligent caretaker I immediately added “rubber cement” to my shopping list and included a trip to Target in my weekly agenda.  This past Friday I went to Target and very distinctly remember putting the rubber cement in the cart.  I remember crossing “rubber cement” off my shopping list.  Therefore, when the girl I watch asked Friday afternoon if I had remembered to buy the glue, I gave her a very confident affirmation.

However, today the girl reach the point in her project where she needed the rubber cement and I could no longer find the bottle.  I quickly searched the office supply basket and was puzzled when I couldn’t find it.  No matter, I figured that it was in the arts and crafts basket.  But then I was really confused when it wasn’t there either.  Then I realized that I had very obviously placed it in the basket on the kids’ work table.  Why hadn’t I thought of that immediately?  I realized once I searched that basket that I hadn’t remembered right away because the stupid glue wasn’t there.  By this point I’m beginning to reach the brink of bewilderment–I know I bought that glue, I remember looking at it in Target and I remember putting it in the cart!  I frantically went to the paper cupboard in hopes that I had in a fit of insanity placed it there instead of its rightful spot.  Nope, not there. . .  Perhaps in the battery basket that is just above the office supplies basket?  Alas, the rubber cement wasn’t there.  
I had reach the point where I no longer had a logical guess about the location of the glue.  To prove the fact that I didn’t imagine that I had bought the rubber cement I dug out the receipt.  I quickly scanned the items only to realize that I had in fact not bought any rubber cement.  But how?  I know put it in the cart.  I know it, know it, I KNOW it!  And no, I’m not crazy, I’m not crazy, I’M NOT CRAZY!!!  BUT WHY IS THE #$%% RUBBER CEMENT NOT ON THE RECEIPT?!
Just as I’m ready to call someone to take me to a lovely padded room, the solution presents itself like a flip book.  I’m standing in the checkout line.  *flip*  I’m putting my cart items on the belt.  *flip*  I pull out all of the big items.  *flip* The rubber cement bottle rolls to the corner of the big cart.  *flip* I pay for the items and  leave.  *flip* The rubber cement lies in the cart, unpaid for and forgotten.
With that vision the case of the missing rubber cement is solved, but this is a small comfort since I now know that I am losing my mind.
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Box Hoarding

Whether I like it or not, this summer’s move to God-only-knows-where on God-only-knows when is beginning to enter my thoughts.  Okay, that’s a lie, this summer’s move has been in my thoughts since getting married–this is the big vicarage move (to be followed two years later with the big first call move, God willing).  However, I am beginning to feel like I should actually be doing something about this move.  Since I don’t believe in packing until the month prior to the move, the urge to start putting things neatly and snugly into boxes hasn’t struck me yet.  Other logical activities to help sooth the moving process would be to do things like scanning apartment prices or starting the job hunt, but the big when and where of the move are still unknown for another two months.  Alas, what is a productive seminary wife to do?

Apparently, the answer is to start hoarding boxes.  Since we have been blessed to have a spacious (albeit cold) second floor that we don’t really use, my husband and I have dedicated a whole room to moving boxes.  Consequently, we saved every box from this last move and have been stashing away any box that comes our way.  Amazon boxes, care package boxes, shoe boxes, even the Girl Scout cookie boxes that I dug out of my employers’ recycling can have all been tossed into our lovely box room. along with anything that can be used as packing material.

However, I realized several weeks ago that I didn’t really know how many boxes we have collected over the last six months.  So, yesterday’s “You Know Your Husband is at the Seminary When. . .” moment was to take the time to sort and stack the boxes by size.  With great satisfaction I now have a good estimate of how many tiny, small, medium, and large boxes we have stowed away for the packing process.  Even better, I believe that we are getting enough boxes to actually make this move!  The only thing that would make this more satisfying is actually knowing where we are going. . .


Learning To Be Mrs. Pastor: What’s With the Contradictions?

Psst. . . Want to hear a secret?  Most seminary wives are very, very nervous about becoming a pastor’s wife.  We’ve all heard the horror stories–overbearing congregations, stressed out husbands, etc.–and it’s hard not to be concerned about what lies ahead for us.  As a counteraction for nerves and worries, wives often seek advice from current pastor’s wives.  We ask how they balance their husband’s ministry with family and how they would handle such-and-such scenario.  Obviously I have done this too (remember Real Pastor’s Wife, Real Answers?).  Now, it’s good to ask questions and be aware of some of the issues that lie ahead after our husbands receive their call (God willing).  However, after doing about a year and a half of this “seminarian’s wife” role, I have discovered that asking too many different people too many questions starts leading to conflicting answers.  To prove my point, I’ve pulled together all the information I have about being a pastor’s wife, creating some very interesting conclusions.

-Be yourself, unless it upsets the congregation.
-Only volunteer to do the things that you want to do, unless you are going to offend the congregation by not doing something.
-If aforementioned issue arises, then suck it up, put on a smile, and just do what they want because you’ll be a better person for doing it.
-Your children don’t have to be perfect and the congregation understands that they are normal kids. . . unless they do something really atrocious and then everyone knows that you’re a bad parent (because really, the pastor’s wife should have better control of her kids).
-It’s no one’s business but you and husband’s about how you raise and educate your kids, unless your church has a school.  Then it’s the congregation’s business as well.
-You don’t have to be friends with everyone in the congregation but really, you do.
-Family time is family time, period, unless something really, really important comes up at church.  If that happens, don’t be selfish and let your husband do his job.  You shouldn’t expect to be a priority in his life.
-Remember, your husband is the one who receives the call, not you, so you don’t have to love being the pastor’s wife but really, it’s not so bad and if you don’t love it then you aren’t trying hard enough.
Needless to say, things are starting to get a bit confusing.  I would say after this the best way to get information about being a pastor’s wife is the choose a few wives that I really trust and admire and stick with their answers.  Otherwise everything gets into a muddled mess of contradictions, leaving me confused and upset.
(P.S.–I happen to like the wife I interviewed in “Real Pastor’s Wife, Real Answers” so I’ll gladly take her advice. 🙂 You can do with it what you want)
(P.P.S.–I almost named this post “Yet Another Post Exemplifying That I Have A Really Sharp Tongue Which Will Inevitably Get Me In Trouble”)

Oh, Valentine’s Day

I was going to leave a snarky post about Valentine’s Day, commercialization, and the societal pressures around it.  However, I thought this XKCD comic did a lovely job of summarizing my sentiments.  Enjoy!

With that, Happy Discount Chocolate Day (better known as February 15)!

*comic from http://www.xkcd.com/1016/


Monday Day

Today is a Monday sort of a day.  A Monday day is when little things keep going wrong–nothing life altering, just daily annoyances come one after another and leave me gritting my teeth and clenching my fists.  Nobody died on this Monday day but the realization that I bought the wrong laundry detergent after I started the wash brought tears of frustration to my eyes (fact: using regular detergent in a HE washer can make extremely sudsy clothes).  I wasn’t sick on this Monday day but the fact I had no idea what to make for dinner caused my head to ache.  On this Monday day the dogs were their usual overbearingly doting selves but their constant following me around started to drive me nuts.  Additionally, I realized half way through their walk that I forgot to take off their fence collars, meaning I caused them to get shocked as they obediently heeled down the driveway (we’ll just add “cruelty to animals” to this Monday day).  On this Monday day there wasn’t any more work for me than usual but I found out that everything I hoped would have been accomplished over the weekend wasn’t really thought about, meaning the rest of this week will be a mad scramble to make up work.

Yes, I think I can safely say this wasn’t a very good day–most definitely a Monday day.  Good thing it actually is Monday, otherwise this day would be downright depressing.  


Misery Loves Company. . . Especially When It’s Optimistic!

On Thursday, the Pew Research Center released this study that announced that the economy’s mishaps have hit young adults hardest.  In summary, many of us youngin’s cannot find jobs and of those of us who can find a job, many are working dead-end jobs that make it difficult to make ends meet.  There is an epidemic of boomerang kids and parents’ expectations of their children’s financial independence has lowered significantly.  Students are flocking to graduate schools in attempt to delay their entry into the bleak workforce, all the while putting off major life transitions like getting married or having kids.  Basically, it sucks to be young and searching for employment.

However, despite the disappointing job opportunities for people my age, it makes me feel better about myself.  While I’m not unhappy with my marriage, I do find myself journeying down the wistful road of what ifs.  What if I didn’t get married right out of college?  What if I actually tried to find a career rather than job hopping as my husband continues school?  What if I had actually taken the time and effort to really put myself out on the job market?  Well, the statistics show that not much would be different.  I probably still would not have a career, but instead would be scraping the bottom of the job market barrel for something to make ends meet.  And at least with marriage, I have my husband to help stave off the feelings of worthlessness as my employment comes and go with the constant moving.  And like the findings of the study, we are optimistic that this job despair will not last–our future in the job market certainly cannot be much worse than the present.  With that, we join the young masses with our youthful hope that things will get better!       


This Does Not Bode Well

This past week, the LC-MS’s esteemed president sent out a notice about HSS’s new mandate that all health plans cover contraceptives.  Upon doing some digging on the internet, I did find that the mandate is not quite as dire as I thought since churches still aren’t forced to provide that coverage.  However, it does seem like our country has taken its first steps towards trampling over our valued religious freedom by demanding that faith-based organizations behave in a certain way (the way the government sees fit).

But it’s not just this recent news; its other murmurs and protests rippling through the population.  The recent Planned Parenthood/Susan G. Komen Foundation issue thrust forward what many people feel that Planned Parenthood is providing despite its pro-choice stance.  Gay marriage is becoming widely accepted, with real concerns about what those laws mean for the church.  To make matters worse, many denominations are forsaking Biblical truths for the sake social popularity, making those who still believe that God meant what He said look like idiots.  It saddens me that my beloved denomination is facing such cruel attacks for following God’s commands.  It also frightens me.  Today the consequences for ignoring the law and the will of the majority are fines and harsh words, but what will happen if the consequences become harsher?  And in a very selfish way, I wonder what will happen to our pastors (and our future pastors)?

There is still comfort despite the uncertainty.  While we live in this world and pray for those around us (including our government!), our lives are not defined by what hardships the world throws at us.  We can still rejoice in God’s love for us, for the forgiveness that Christ has won for us.  What difficulties we face as Christians is nothing compared to the joy we have in Christ.  Oddly enough, I’ve had “The Church’s One Foundation” stuck in my head for the past several days.  One verse I find particularly comforting in relation to the social turmoil of the past weeks and reads as follows:

Through with a scornful wonder
The world sees her oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, 
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping;
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.   

No, it doesn’t look like our lives as Christians will be getting any easier (but when did God ever promise that life would be easy?).  But take heart, this too shall pass–either in this life or the next!

Another article for reading:
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/obama-contraception-mandate-outrages-churches-religious-groups-article-1.1016636


Writer’s Block

I’ve always imagined my writer’s block as a giant toy wooden block.  The block is a pale wood and the painted letters and numbers are raised out of the smooth sides.  The color changes–sometimes it’s blue, sometimes it’s red–but it’s always on a hill.  It’s so enormous that there is no way that I can avoid it.  It’s like the Lion Hunt song, “Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, gotta go through it!”  I can’t tell you how I ever get through it, mostly because by the time I’m past my writer’s block I’m actually writing, not imagining how I got through that stupid wooden block.  But now that block is back and looming over me.  I wish I had thought more about how I got through it.  Drill?  Ax?  Fire?  I can’t figure it out!  

You suck, you stupid block.