Quasimodo, Georgia, and Florida

Posted on

Hello there, happy little blogosphere! It’s been a good day. I woke up at 6:20 by literally falling out of bed when my alarm (“Just A Dream” by Nelly. Appropriate, right?) sounded, the vibration shaking the phone off the bedside table along with my barely alive—mostly dead–body. Ben and I have lately become night owls during this transitional period of our life, and since I quit my job, 6:20 AM and I have become something like Wile E. Coyote is to Roadrunner. In my humble opinion, the world shouldn’t exist before 8:30. How will I ever be a mother? Anyway, the 6:20 incident was because I had an early-morning dental procedure (sounds worse than it is—I had a cavity) awaiting me downtown. Well, at least the early awakening was for something fun. I wish I could wake up for cavity fillings every morning!

After I left the dentist office with my mouth looking like a gummy worm, I ignored the urge to go home and wait it out until my anesthetic wore off and made my very important first-of-the-month (that turned out to be the fifth-of-the-month–Que Sera) Walmart trip. After a minute or two with my visor mirror, I decided the only way to reconcile the horror of my Quasimodo smile was to decidedly frown for three hours (until it wore off), making the droopy side look less droopy. I discovered something. Two things actually: 1. Perpetual frowning is EXHAUSTING. 2. The exhaustion of perpetual frowning is just not worth it. I gave it up after a few minutes and again began smiling at the people I passed (one side of my mouth up, the other down—like this only huge: ~). They smiled back, but bigger than is typical, which suggests that Quasimodo Hannah makes people happy. One more reason why I should get cavities more often.

I teach the 3 & 4 year olds at church, and tonight will definitely go down in history as my favorite class with them to date. Their humor and enthusiasm was a breath of fresh air. Every time I’m with them, I hear something funny. Tonight was no exception to that rule. We were talking about Numbers 21 and the poisonous snakes God sent to bite those annoying Israelites that, for the 800th time, were complaining again. Little Georgia Claire, in all her sweet innocence, looked mortified and begged the question, “Why would God do that to them?!” I explained, “Well, Georgia, God was punishing them because they weren’t obeying Him. And if we don’t live for God, then one day He will punish us, but not with snakes. If we don’t obey God, it will be very sad for us because we won’t get to go to….?” I begged their response.

Without missing a beat, a very solemn expression came over Georgia Claire and she immediately nodded and answered, “Florida.”

Now, as a disclaimer, I think her mistake was adorable and hilarious, as I implied when I relayed this incident to her parents. But as I was telling Ben about it in the car, I said, “You know, there’s a lot of adults in the world that make the same mistake.” He smiled and nodded like he always does when I say something cryptic that only makes sense in my head. But really, isn’t it sad how many people are so focused on the short time we have on earth that to them, Florida (or whatever vacation destination they prefer) is about as Heaven as it gets. When you work hard, make money, and do whatever it takes to make what’s outward beautiful—all so you can feel and look amazing when it’s vacation time, or even retirement time—it’s easy to forget that our lives here really are only like a second compared to the life after.  It’s funny how people talk so much about their vacations—planning, scheduling, and afterward recalling with tons of stories and facebook photo uploads—but the time most people spend planning ahead for ETERNITY (never-ending forever and ever….and ever) is little to none. I’m talking to myself here, too. How unfortunate if the people who know us (Christians) have heard us talk more about “Florida” (or anything else on this earth) than our eternal home?

Little Georgia’s precious mistake was a good reminder for me that, while all the mundane things I think about (like cavities and Quasimodo) may seem important to me, eternity really will come like a thief in the night (Matthew 24: 42-44) and it will be much more shocking than my 6:20 alarm. For those who aren’t prepared, the punishment will be far worse than any of the horrendous punishments you read about in your Old Testament (like the poisonous snakes). He’s the same just, fearsome God…the punishment is just delayed awhile.

Am I ready? Are you?

Don’t make Florida your heaven. Trust me, it’s a gimmick.

A Note To Preacher’s Wives

Posted on

I’m a preacher’s wife. It has a few drawbacks with which I’m sure all preachers’ wives can relate but overall it’s a blessed and exciting life. It’s not something I planned for my life—in fact there was a phase I went through in which I next to swore I would never marry a preacher. I got over it, obviously, when I fell in love with a sweet guy that happened to be a preacher.

Anyway, my handsome preacher husband delivered a lesson tonight at church that got me thinking.  The topic was gossip and, while he was diplomatic as always in not making it a lesson for women, let’s be honest, it was a lesson for women. I say that because we all know that women struggle with gossip 110% more than men do. Not that men don’t or anything, but if they do, I’m not really aware of it, God love ‘em.

I’m not going to write a blog about gossip and why it’s wrong. If you don’t know gossip is wrong, perhaps this isn’t the blog for you. What’s on my mind is gossip as it relates to preachers wives. I discussed this over dinner at Los Palmas (our Sunday night tradition—a good one) with Husband and he said that he doubted very much I was alone in how I felt about this, so if you’re a preacher’s wife, humor me by reading this and letting know what you think.

Here goes:

I struggle with gossip. As much as the next girl—I really do. But I don’t think it’s the same kind of struggle for me as it is for most girls. I think the fact that I’m a preacher’s wife makes it harder for me than it should be.

Bear with me.

What most people don’t know about preacher’s wives is that close relationships don’t come easy to us. I don’t know if it’s in the How To Act Around Your Preacher’s Wife For Dummies book or if preachers’ wives just have an ugly green alien aura about them that repels people, but generally speaking, I think it’s hard for us girls to form close, intimate relationships with other women. I know you’re thinking I probably feel that way because I’m just socially awkward, and well, you’d be right, but I think it’s more than that. I think preachers’ wives crave real, solid friendships with other women with whom they can relate. They crave it because it’s a precious rarity for whatever reason.

Okay, what does this have to do with gossip?  Let’s think about why gossip is a struggle for girls in general. Because it gives us a feeling of power to know something other girls don’t know, because it makes us feel important, because it makes us feel popular, because we feel like it helps us make friends. Bingo. That last one is why I think preachers’ wives struggle with gossip.  It’s not a popularity trip for us, or just because we can’t shut up, necessarily. It’s because we’re so hungry for intimate conversation with someone we can sincerely call friend that we feel compelled to gossip, creating a counterfeit feeling that true, warm camaraderie is taking place. For me personally, I want so badly to hear, “Oh, I know just how you feel,” that I grasp for the one big thing we might have in common—which, in this scenario, is a general dislike for someone else, meaning my selfish desperation for intimate conversation is at some random person that’s not even here’s expense. (Ignore the horrendous grammar—blogging is for writing exactly how you would say it out loud to a girlfriend, right? But of course she’s just hypothetical for obvious reasons.)

I’m only a little bit bitter about not having close girlfriends that I can call up at 11 o’clock at night because I finally figured out how to clean my baseboards with dryer sheets or how to put my hair in a bun with a sock (all Pinterest inspired, of course). The beef that I have is with myself. How shallow does a girl have to be to fall prey to the temptation of gossip simply because she wants to feel close to someone other than her husband?

I guess I just want to know…am I the only one? Do other preacher’s wives struggle in this way or am I just a freak? My husband thinks I’m not the only one. I’d like to think I’m not the only one. And if I’m not, I just want to make you—preacher’s wife reader—aware that just because we’re relationship deprived (in our heads, anyway) doesn’t mean it’s okay to instigate fun, intimate conversation at someone else’s expense, no matter how substantiated it makes us feel.

I’m determined to ask myself, with any given information I’m tempted to share, three questions:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it necessary?
  3. Is it kind?

If not, it’s not my business to share it—preacher’s wife or not.

After all, Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Now that I’m aware of the temptation, maybe that whole keep-your-mouth shut mental note will get easier.