Fall 2013-dark leaves

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Verbal/external processing/processor (disorder)

So I think out loud, and I'm currently very annoyed with this. But regardless, I can't seem to squash the need to do it. So in an attempt to defend myself (and others like me who work through our thoughts by saying them out loud) to myself, I googled "verbal processing." It came up as the suggestion "verbal processing disorder." Great, I thought. It's a DISORDER. Figures it's so obnoxious to everyone that it's a disorder.

 Then I looked up verbal processor. Better...

Then external processor. Jackpot!

 "External processors tend to process things by talking about them. A good word picture is to think of them having a verbal blackboard which they brainstorm their ideas onto by talking, and then they arrange and evaluate their ideas once they are out there on their verbal blackboard."

The problem with this is that it's generally considered wield to talk out loud to yourself. But I NEED to talk through things. If I don't, the words get all jumbled up and overwhelming to me like the other morning. So get over it, people. I'm a talker because I have to be.

And get over it, me, because if you don't, you'll explode. God is your judge, and he made you this way. Talk out loud to him if you have to. Dont be fearful of what other people think. It's just processing after all--nothing is organized and set in stone yet.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Words Don't Work

My words are failing me.  Overwhelming me.  There are long strings of disclaimers to every thought I have, requiring more words to explain the words I wanted to originally communicate or even just consider for myself.  Words are racing through my head, begging to be evaluated, requiring the work of sifting through them to find the nuggets of truth and good and correctness, and then evaluating the un-truths in order to better understand the sin that would bring to mind those words (that perspective) to begin with in order to fight said sin.  But that sounds too neat and tidy.  (see the need for more words to explain my words?)  It's all a mess up there in my head.  A big jumbled up mess.  

It's stressing me out.

And I can't sleep.

And I want to throw up.

But the alarm just went off.  Time to get ready for the prelims, and check in is at  6:45am!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

10 months and counting...

Brian told me it would be helpful to him if I sent out an email to all my girl friends asking them to keep their ears open for pastoral ministry jobs, so I thought I'd post the letter on my blog too.  I love helping him, and advocating for him.  He's going to be an amazing pastor--it's already sooooo exciting to watch him teach.  I can't wait to sit under his preaching too, someday!

Hello, ladies!  

I hope this finds you well.  We are enjoying the last few weeks of summer: wrapping up swim team for the older three, swimming lessons for Lillian, Brian's mission trip to London while the rest of us went to Dallas, and visits from various friends and family members.  I'm working on a newsletter with pics, and I'll send it to you as soon as it's done.

But the point of this note is (with Brian's encouragement) to inform and remind everyone who might care to know that this is our last year of seminary.  Brian will graduate with his MDiv this coming spring, May 2013.  What, you may wonder, does this have to do with you?

Will you please be our eyes and ears this year?  If you know of or hear of any opening for pastoral ministry in the PCA, we would love to know about it.  It seems most jobs are not posted on job boards or advertised online because of the deluge of applications.  More often than not it takes knowing someone to find out a job is even available.

So I'm humbly asking for help.  First and foremost, please pray with us.  We are asking God with great hope to provide a job that's a healthy fit for our family that would start early next summer, for a smooth transition to whatever is next for us and the kids, and for freedom from anxiety as we anticipate whatever is next.  (That last one is mostly for me, hee hee.)

Secondly, just let us know if you hear of anything.  An email (briandreb@gmail.com) or phone call would be awesome.  And, if you don't mind, let others know you have a friend who is looking so they can let you know too.

As always, we would be privileged to pray for you if you have anything you'd like to share.  We love praying with and for our brothers and sisters.

Happy Sunday afternoon!  Hope you're enjoying a restful day!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Four Sweet Messes

So Brian is out of the country for the first time ever.  I was very nervous about it because, except for one week in Canada, I've not been out of the country either.  Neither of us have any context for this kind of thing.  He flew across the pond with three other men from our local church to London to do LEAP with World Harvest Mission.  They are working book tables and canvassing neighborhoods, surveying the community for several church plants already in place, as well as visiting Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim temples/mosques and learning about their religions and cultures from their leaders.  It's hard and draining work with long hours.  Talking on Skype has been so very helpful, but we are eager to have him back home with us.  He flies in Monday evening.

Meanwhile, the rest of us have been hanging in there.  It's a different thing for a husband to not be present, as in entirely unavailable, vs. just not being present because he's at work or studying late.  I have a very weak but newer empathy for single moms and military wives. 

It's been good though--there have been several times in the last few days that I've looked at my kids and become overwhelmed with gratitude for my family.  They are so good at rolling with the punches. 

For example, there was the swim meet on Thursday.  I was Skyping with Brian until time to leave, while the kids packed the snacks and towels, and I showed the plumber the clogged sink in the middle of it all.  We get to the meet and I realize I have nothing for my 4yo to do during the meet.  Not a coloring book or legos or doll for all five and a half hours of the longest meet ever.  She never complained.  She did get to swim a little in the play pool and ended up falling asleep on the ground next to our chairs about 10pm.  And Patrick snugged up with me while we waited for Sarah Frances to finish her last relay.  Catherine was content to watch too.  I literally sighed with a proud and full heart as they all picked up the bags and chairs to head to the car together about 10:45.

Then yesterday I swam with them for fun.  Twice.  I hardly ever get in with them.  They're so loud, and it's very wet out there.  But it was really enjoyable just to play with them.  Reminded me that I like them even when it's overstimulating. 

And yesterday we had errands to run--the kind where we all five have to get out of the car four times and drive through once.  Their behavior wasn't perfect by any means, but it wasn't too much for me to handle.  It wasn't too much.  Amazing.

Last night I let them pop some corn on the stove and dish out Rocky Road in a sugar cone for their dinner.  We ate on pallets in front of the TV watching 2 entire movies they'd picked out at the library earlier that day.  Again, I had a moment when I looked at each of them and thanked the Lord for my large brood. 

Today they played with lots of friends for about 3.5 hours at a birthday party, and I was hardly interrupted by anyone needing anything from me.

Tonight Sarah Frances baked fish sticks in the oven entirely by herself (I was on Skype again), and we watched the third library movie.  At least most of us did; Lillian sat with each of the rest of us for a bit.  She's an equal opportunity snuggler/wiggler.  Then they all went willingly straight to bed.  Amazing.

As I write it out, I'm seeing some of the forest--they're getting so much older and more independent.  I've not worked myself out of a job by any means, but it sure is nice that they can take care of so much by themselves.  And care for each other more (even if they're the ones causing each other's trouble) vs. coming to me with every little need.  And work things out between themselves vs. me constantly having to intervene.  And be content with less.  It's a beautiful thing to watch and experience.

It's gospel living: lives are changing as we are growing, loving and serving each other very imperfectly and effortfully, yet effectively, only by the grace of God.  It's messy, but a sweet mess.

And, wow, I sure do love my four sweet messes.

Friday, July 13, 2012


...on packing a snack for the pool: one large gallon-sized ziplock bag containing Cheeseits, animal crackers, ginger snaps, and cinnamon letter cookies shoved in the cooler bag vs. four sandwich baggies each with its own food arranged neatly in the cooler bag. True story.

No more camp

We have had a generous financial gift to help us get through the last year of seminary, namely to allow my stress level to drop significantly and sleep hours to increase as well. A gift to the tune of a year's worth of boot camp income.

Thank you all who have prayed for camp to work. It has worked a number on my heart as well as on those who I worked with as campers. Thank you, Jesus, for providing the giver with ability and willingness to freely give, and that it means NO MORE CAMP! Woo-hoo.

What a huge relief for me!! I really didn't think I could do it all again, and now I don't have to. Three jobs left, which will be much more manageable when I'm not sleep deprived on top of it all. Thanks be to our good God!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Half Way Home

Mary Martha and I took the kids to Dallas for a long weekend and just arrived home tonight after a 12 hour drive. (Brian is away on a mission trip-more later on that.) It felt like we would never ever get home, but the delirium provided a series of unrelated and hilarious interactions. I wish I could remember them all. Comments appreciated, MMA.

Dallas was a huge hit. We stayed with my brother, his wife and their 19 month old daughter. Also there were my sister and bil, and our parents. Crazy, but lots of fun. Our days were packed going to a water park, a Rangers game, and Legoland. Their neighborhood pool is also a half block away, which provided excellent entertainment for us all.

Right now I am exhausted. Utterly and completely. I've poured a margarita to sip on while watching a Doris Day movie on Netflix. There's nothing like a 12 hour road trip to make me appreciate all things home.

Now to get my other half here too. He flies in Monday night. Woo-hoo!