Happy Belated Birthday to my mom!!!

My mom’s birthday was YESTERDAY!  I posted a video on Facebook for her!  I saved her from posting some old old pictures of her from when she was much younger!  

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My mom is 66 this year!  You know how I know that because she is 30 years older than me!  I am grateful for my mom!  She has been by my side through just about everything in life.  She may not have been physically present but she was a phone call away.  I talk to her just about every day and if I don’t she’s in a panic because she can’t get ahold of me!  While we had a few years where it was a bit of rough waters, like my doctor told me having a baby will change that and Lily sure did!  Some random things about my mom:

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  • She showed cattle in 4-H.
  • She would have rather been out in the fields with her dad than in the house cleaning.
  • She gets that people matter more than a clean house!
  • She is one of the most crafty people I know and I am pretty lucky for that because when I need something done, I call her, send her a picture and it magically appears at my door!
  • She loves well!
  • She does NOT know how to take a “normal” picture!  Perhaps when she passes away we will have to have her face funny because that’s how she was.  But I don’t want that to happen any time soon!
  • She loves Christian Music and she loves Jesus!

I am glad she’s my mom!  Can’t wait to spend a few days with you and dad down in Texas in a few short weeks!!!  Love you!

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Thoughts on Ministry

Good Day everyone!  I hope this finds you having a wonderful day off for most.  I’ll be headed into work shortly.  I wanted to share with you some thoughts about an article that I had to read for my Ministry in a New Century course at Anderson University.  This article came from the Fund for Theological Education, . http://theoledu.3cdn.net/bcaf89720711e01d42_70m6vj3id.pdf It is entitled “Faithful to the Call : Reflections on Excellences in Ministry.”  This article has some very strong points but it also fails to mention several concerns as well.  It places an emphasize on having four qualities such as “Life of mind, Life of Justice, Life of Church and Life of Spirit.”(p.13)  I agree with these but I don’t agree with the fact that the church places such heavy emphasize on for example “Life of Justice” but fails to place a higher emphasize on family life.  When I refer to “we” I am referring to the “the church as a whole”.  When we place expectations on our pastors to have these four qualities but fail to protect and encourage a day of Sabbath and protect family time we fail.  If a pastor puts all their time, energy and blood sweat and tears into the call of ministry but fails at his home life haven’t we missed the mark?  We have become a society that expects the pastor to be available at our disposal and not have regards to the fact that the pastor has not had a day off in weeks or has not had an uninterrupted dinner.  Am I saying that the church is at fault 100%, NO but we do play a large part in this issue.  There needs to be boundaries put in place to protect the pastoral family unit and the church needs to step up and say, we can stand in the gap for the next 24 hours so you can take a time of rest.  Yes, I understand that the death of a congregational member or major trauma trumps the sacred time with family but does a pastor really need to be at every church meeting? Something to  think about.  How as a church are we doing to encourage and help protect the pastors family time weather he is single or married, it’s our job to encourage family time.

 

**Disclaimer, in no way shape or form am I an expert on this subject on a scholarly level but I have lived in the parsonage for 11 years and have seen first hand the demands placed on pastoral families, not only my own but others.  As I am in school for ministry myself this is a topic of concern as I read these articles.***

Thankful Thursday

A few years back Thankful Thursday was very popular in the blog world BEFORE TBT became popular!  So over here on the blog I’m going to do Thankful Thursday and over on FB do TBT!

1) My job that I LOVE!  I can NOT say it enough, I truly do love working at JCPenney!  I’m grateful for Leaders who back you up when customers complain!  I’m thankful for co-workers who I LOVE working with!

2) My kids!  What can I say? They are funny, loving, and I love them to pieces!  They are each unique in their own way and I’m grateful that I get to be their mom!

3) Christian Music!  I’m glad at a young age that was the only kind of music allowed in our house!  Music is like the air I breathe!  It encourages me and keeps me focused on Christ!  

4) My roommate Leigh!  Back in February, I packed up my apartment and moved to Anderson.  It was a difficult season but I am grateful to be where I am at for this season of life!

5) Second chances!  I am grateful to have the chance to purse my degree at Anderson University.  I’m grateful for all of life’s ups and downs that have brought me to where I am today!  I will complete my degree and walk across the stage with MY class!

What are you thankful for today?

Collette Beach

A few years ago, while it seems like yesterday, I was at a Women of Faith event in Indy.  It was the Saturday morning session and Sheila Walsh was speaking.  Many times over the course of going to Women of Faith events there would be a car accident or loss of a loved one that would be announced from the stage and we would take a moment to pray.  I always felt bad for those people but went on about the day.  Well, it was on this Saturday morning Sheila was concluding her talk and I was not very engaged so I was checking Facebook.  I sat there stunned as I was reading that Collette had been killed in a house fire.  I wanted to SCREAM not her! Noooo!  This is all a bad dream!  I sent a message to one of the youth that we had worked with in Iowa and asked her if t was true and she said “yes.”  I immediately got out of my seat and went up to the concourse to call Josh and tell him we had to go out to Iowa.  We HAD to be there for the kids.  I didn’t care what we had to do but we needed to be present!  Josh did the funeral.  It was a hard day to go back, we were there, we were present.  Collette lived a life that was full of joy.  She always had a smile on her face.  She had the joy of Jesus!  I remember when she was baptized.  She was always involved in whatever activity was going on at church.  She LIVED a life that shined Jesus.  

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“…..let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

 

 

Monday Marvels!

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As many of you know or may not know I have been on this journey of school since 2004 off and on.  Since my divorce I have been a Full Time student this past year and am finally getting to enter into my cohort for Integrated Leadership.  I have been discouraged, frustrated and not always given my best.  Well, on Saturday I had to attend an orientation that I was not happy about because it was early in the morning on a day that I could have slept in and I have been taking classes for over a year.  When I arrived it was a room filled with tables and chairs WAY TO CLOSE together and I did NOT want to stay!  I stayed and am I ever glad I did!  There was story after story from staff and even one of the professors how they were unmotivated to go to school post high school and when they finally got their head in the game and realized they were capable of doing this thing called school they accomplished their goal of a degree.  For me seeing these people stand before me and know that they have gone before me and that they would be there cheering me on and helping me through the next 22 months made me realize okay I CAN do this!  

The next thing happened, yesterday I was at home and found out that I got an A!!! on a paper I had spent 8 hours working on the DAY IT WAS DUE!  I was beyond thrilled!  This yet again proved to me that I am capable!  I CAN do this!  I even have a few more friends who have jumped on this journey and are encouraging me and pushing me along the way!  It’s so important to have a strong support network of people who will encourage and push us along.  It makes it SO much easier to get the work done knowing that there are people who you see many days during the week and that they are going to ASK!  

Onward and Upward!

Top FiVe reasons why YOU should come join the JcPenney TEAM!

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As the fall season turns into Christmas and you may be looking for some extra cash!  I want to invite you to come join me at JcPenney at Hamilton Town Center!  Here are my top FIVE reasons why I LOVE working there!

5) The discount!  Who doesn’t love a great discount PLUS you get to use your COUPON AND if you have a JCP card you get to use your Rewards!!!!  

4) The atmosphere!  The store is one of the nicer Penney’s stores!  It’s bright, contemporary and inviting!

3) Fun!  We have a TON of fun!  Who know’s what you may see a manager dressed up as around Black Friday!  We celebrate our accomplishments and cheer each other on!  And when your having FUN it doesn’t seem like work!

2) The employee’s and MANAGERS!  They are all a great group of people to work with!  It’s a wide age group of people who bring a lot of variety to our store!  

1) Fair and Square!  I’ve worked for several major companies who say they follow the golden rule but don’t practice it.  JcPenney does BOTH! They practice it and the say it!  

So, come join me!  Go to http://jobs.jcp.com/content/location/ and click on Noblesville, IN.  

There are positions in our Salon, Customer Service Associates and if helping customers is NOT your thing we have an AMAZING team that does merchandising and door to floor!  

**No I did NOT get paid to say this!****

What I’m Listening to Wednesday!

Okay y’all there’s some AMAZING new albums coming out this fall and I CAN NOT WAIT!  The top three that I am MOST excited about are :

“Ancient Gates” from Alanna Story

 

 

It comes out on September 9th!  Put this one at the TOP of your new music purchase list!

 

“Anchor” from Colton Dixon

This is his 3rd album and lyrically I believe to be quiet strong compared to the other two.  He’s also going to be out on the WinterJam West Coast tour!  Excited and refreshing to see him mature as an artist and lead his generation to a deeper relationship with Christ because in the end it is about Christ!  This is release on August 19th!

And last for the moment is 

“Light Me Up” by non other than Kevin Max!

K Max is defining Christian Music and breaking the mold! I LOVE that about him!  He beats to his own drum and creates a path where there has not been a path paved before!  The cool thing about the song “Infinite”, it has a catchy tune and my boy William was singing the other day in the car and it made my heart smile with JOY!

What are you listening to these days? Or should I say what are you looking forward to?

 

The Dash 1912-2006

The Dash, we all have one.  What will yours say about the life you lived, the things you did and how you spoke and treated others?  My Grandfather Cobb, most knew him as Bill, Mr. Cobb but his full name was William.  How did he live his dash?  Well, he was born and raised in Jefferson, Iowa.  There are many stories my Grandfather would tell over and over again, I’m sure you have a relative who tells them.  He had ones about going to the World’s Fair in Chicago or hitch hiking home from Simpson College one Christmas to Jefferson, Iowa.  He shares how a many gave him a ride home and told him if he didn’t smoke or drink he would give him “X” amount of dollars.  My Grandfather NEVER EVER touched either!  He married my Grandmother Helen during an insurance convention in Omaha, NE.  They were married for over 50 perhaps even 60 years.

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They made their home in Jefferson, Iowa at 505 W. State Street.  They had three sons, Chuck, Jay and John.  Grandfather sold Life Insurance and believed that everyone should have it!  He had his office on the front porch and when we would visit you were NOT allowed into Grandpa’s office.  When he died, I was amazed at what was found, awards, index cards with his clients information and birthdays.  He was intentional on sending birthday cards to his clients.  Grandpa attend the United Methodist Church every Sunday and would play Cribbage on Friday nights.  He enjoyed fishing with his buddies.  Growing up I remember there was the “good” car that Grandma drove and then the “fishing” car that was Grandpa’s.  I am grateful he instilled a love of fishing in my brother who is now passing this down to my boys and daughter!  I did not catch the fishing bug!

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Grandpa always had something outside in a bucket to show us!  And we always had a fish fry with fresh caught blue gill.  

Grandpa LOVED riding his bike all over town and would get up early to pick up cans!  In Iowa you get a nickel for every can!  He bought a brand new custom made bike with that can money!  He had baskets on the back of his bike and this was before fancy kid carriers, he would put a pillow in the middle and my brother would hold on to Grandpa and they would go for a ride, one leg in each basket.

 

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Another thing our Grandpa loved to do was to garden!  His whole entire backyard was a garden.  He grew his own raspberries and our Grandma would lovingly make raspberry jam every year!  It wasn’t until Grandpa passed away that I realized how much she HATED making that jam!  One memory I have was that the rabbits would get into his garden, I’d never seen Grandpa move so fast to get out there with a shovel and go after those rabbits!

Grandpa also loved to go and pick up walnuts!  He had a messy production out on the front porch of cracking walnuts and getting the meat out of them!  He would give away the meat for others to bake with.

Grandpa loved to take us kids up town to buy us shoes at the shoe store.  His dad was a shoe sales man and Grandpa was always concerned with making sure we had the right fitting shoes on.  Grandpa was also always VERY cold!  It didn’t matter what time of year it was but he would have on 3 or 4 jackets!  I’ll never forget a time he was in the hospital and called a store in Ames, IA, which was about 45 minutes away, and asked them to bring a sweater.  He was a character all right and my dad called the store back to make sure they did NOT bring him a sweater!

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Grandpa would get up every morning and start his day off with exercise, his vitamins and reading the bible at the kitchen table.  He did not eat much meat other than fish and always ate healthy!  He enjoyed going to Wendy’s because they had baked potatoes and he would end his day by rubbing my Grandmother’s feet.  He loved well but was a stubborn man.

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We almost always had family pictures taken on my Grandparents front porch!  For a long time my brother John was the only Grandson!  

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The height difference is quite comical.  This was after my brother’s high school graduation and Grandpa was so excited to be taken John on a fishing trip to Spencer, Iowa!

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Three Generations of Cobb Men

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4 generations!  Grandpa was so excited when Lily was born and couldn’t wait to have a 4 generation picture taken!

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As you can see any time there was a piano Grandpa was playing it!  The first time we came to visit Iowa in 2001, Grandpa walked up town and found a place in Grinnell to play the piano.  When Timmy was in the hospital he wanted to play the piano at Methodist but it was locked.  He couldn’t believe that someone would lock a piano.  Later we found out that we could have asked for a key.  Any time Grandpa was close to piano shop he had to stop and usually bought a piano book.  He played by ear quite well and could read music.  He was gifted in the art of playing!  As a child he bought me a piano and taught me the importance of music.  Now my daughter is the one learning.  Grandpa played music for nursing homes all over the state of Iowa but mostly in the central part.  Grandma would drive him most of the time and the funny thing was that most of the time he was OLDER than the people he was playing for!  My favorite song to have him play was “Ally Cat” and “Little Brown Church In the Vail”.  He always would play “Happy Birthday” for you too!  

The last time we saw him was at Chuck E Cheese in Des Moines.  It was on a Saturday and my ex-mother-in-law captured this photo and I am grateful she did.

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My dad called me on a Sunday and said Grandpas has decided to stop taking all of his medicine and I’m not going to argue with him.  I thought okay, it’s a matter of time.  On a Friday we got the call that Grandpa had passed away peacefully.  He had gotten up to adjust the thermostat and was found by the piano.  He lived a good life.  My Grandpa Cobb is who William is named after.

How will your life be remembered in the dash?  Will it be remembered as one who chased after God, loved others well or will it be remembered as one that was selfish, negative, and lived life in the rat race forgetting to stop and create memories with those that are most important in your life?

Randomness, Thoughts

Two HUGE steps of growth have happened over the past week or so…still a ton more to happen but wanted to share!

Y’all know how a few weeks ago things were really really mountain top high at work, well the next day they nose dived.  I won’t go into details, nothing life altering or that is changing my course but the OLD me, even a year ago would have walked away rather than address the issue.  I don’t like to face conflict, so I tend to walk away which is NOT healthy for anyone.  I stayed and my manager looked at me and said “this is fixable!” Oh, how I am blessed with a manager that shows compassion on a daily basis and truly cares!  

 

This past weekend a couple of times the old me would have gotten vocal and said some things that I later would regret but NOPE not this weekend.  I kept my mouth shut realizing that it would be over quicker than I knew what and was it really worth it?!? NOPE!  So, those are my two steps of growth!

Happy Happy Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad’s 67th birthday!  While he is no longer here to celebrate it with, he was not about celebrating it for him but for others!  Last summer my kids and I went back to Iowa to do what dad would have done on his birthday!  My bonus mom Sandy and I were surprised when we went to the Jefferson pool and asked if the Friday we were there if we could throw money in the pool like dad did and they said “OH!  We have Jay’s birthday on the calendar!  We were like wait, don’t you know he passed away!  They said yup but we were going to do something for it anyways!”  No one knew how long dad had been throwing money into the town pool on his birthday or how much!  It varied from year to year!  He also got DQ Ice Cream cakes and shared with the kids in town at the pool that day!  My dad also would buy long stemmed roses and pass them out at the hospital where he worked and around town to the people he came in contact with on a daily basis!  Dad was about OTHERS!  So, on his 67th birthday, go buy a rose and GIVE IT AWAY!  Maybe to someone you know!  Maybe to a complete stranger on the street!  I’ll never forget one time we were at Sam’s Club and dad bought a dozen roses and stood by the front door and passed them out to random people as they came in the door.  It was amazing to see other people’s reaction!  Dad knew how to pay it forward!  

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