Archive for the Category ◊ marriage ◊

13 May 2011 Family Update
 |  Category: family, Hannah, health, marriage, Zeke  | 4 Comments

Well, today was the 2nd day in a row and ever that Hannah hasn’t had an accident during the day in her big girl undies. I went cold turkey two Mondays ago and gave up diapers with Hannah. She’s known how to potty for a while now, it’s just training myself to stop what I’m doing to help her out. And this week she totally shocked me when we were out grocery shopping and Hannah said she needed to go, and I wasn’t in any position to figure out how to juggle our stuff and Zeke and take her, so I assumed she went in her pull-up…and she waited until we were home! Bless her heart, she is growing up so fast, only 21 months old!

And Mr. Zeke. Not much older than 7 months, has been crawling on all fours like a champ since we got home from Easter. And today I caught him pulling himself up to standing twice. Seriously kid? Slow down! I thought about pulling him down and making him sit, but figured that would just give him more practice to go and stand up again. At least, I’m hoping this means before we know it he’ll be strong enough to defend himself from Hannah.

Tim has been the best husband ever. I have grown to admire him even more over the past year with everything we’ve been through, good and bad. He’s chasing after a dream right now, and I’m glad he has the opportunity. So many men go through life never taking the risk to pursue what they are passionate about, and I don’t want Tim to look back and regret taking advantage of this time. It has taken me a little bit to finally get to this point of being supportive and not stressed about how we’re going to make it financially. But, God has been blessing us through providing for our needs. We don’t have much extra, but we’re getting by and growing.

And then there’s me…

Every day I am forcing myself to work out. I’m doing Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred. It’s only a 20 minute workout dvd, but she is tough! And Weight Watchers is going well. I still have things to figure out so I’ll be eating healthier. Hopefully in a couple more weeks I’ll have a better handle on it. And juggling the kids in with all of this. On top of getting healthy physically, I’m doing a women’s Bible study on forgiveness with our church. This is a very timely study for me, and I’ll have to write more about it later.

25 Mar 2011 God called Ezekiel
 |  Category: family, marriage, ministry, missions, Zeke  | One Comment

I have no doubt that God is going to do amazing things through Ezekiel. Right now he just has to survive the parenting that Tim and I put him through. We pray every day for wisdom in raising Hannah and Zeke to grow up as believers in Jesus Christ, living out a personal faith.

When we were pregnant with Hannah we had Ezekiel picked out for a boy name, and when we got pregnant with Zeke and found out he was a boy, there was no doubt what his name would be. We knew that picking a name as strong as Ezekiel was bold in our expectations for our son and how God will use him. If you haven’t read the book of Ezekiel, I highly recommend it. It was the middle name that took us until the lady who needed his name for the birth certificate came in asking. And luckily he got a good one .

I can look back through my life and see God working in special ways to touch my heart. My first memory of this was when I was five. And God continues to do little things to keep me in awe of his wonder and love. So how do I know he is going to use Ezekiel? …

Before we got pregnant with Zeke I was struggling with God, wanting to control how many kids we will have an when. As if I knew the best timing, more so than God. So I had to give that control issue over to God. And what do you know, it didn’t take any time at all to be carrying my second child.

While in my first trimester Tim went to Haiti and came back knowing that he needed to return. I saw an incredible change in Tim from his time in Haiti. God really worked in him. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but now I know that Tim grew in his understanding of God, being able to discern God’s voice and listen and be obedient. I have loved watching Tim grow over the last year, and leading others to do the same.

So Tim decided to go back to Haiti, and take whoever wanted to go along. I joined a team of adults and youth, some from our church, and some friends and family of ours from out of town. I was just in my second trimester while in Haiti and had no problems at all.

Later that summer, we went to Mexico with another team of adults and youth from our church for a missions trip. I was 30 weeks along in my pregnancy then, but again did well throughout our trip.

Soon after we got back from Mexico things started changing at our church and it soon became clear that our time there was coming to an end. I had my most difficult week of my pregnancy with how stressful things got. Luckily my doctor assured me that my level of stress wouldn’t effect Zeke, it just made me incredibly uncomfortable being pregnant. Then after Zeke was born I was blessed to have my mom around since Tim didn’t have time off.

In the midst of everything I thought that my pregnancy with Zeke was the worst timing ever. At one point close to delivery not only were we dealing with things at church, but also the question of Tim’s grandfather surviving some difficult health issues. (He’s still around and doing great!) I was so stressed, but gave it all over to God, because there was nothing I could do but trust.

I have come to find that Zeke and Hannah both have been a source of great joy during this season of life. We have been so blessed by our two adorable children, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Zeke has a special place in my heart with everything he has gone through with me before he was even born. And now we look forward to what God is going to do with what he is teaching us and taking us through. I’m not surprised to see this time of trial after how much Tim’s faith has grown last year, and us together as a married couple by sharing in the amazing experiences that drew us closer to God at the same time. I’m not exactly thrilled to be going through this time, but I do look forward to the fruit that will come from it.

09 Mar 2011 Sewing my Heart back Together
 |  Category: health, marriage, ministry, youth  | One Comment

image

Lately I have come to realize how important it is for me to do something I enjoy. Since Tim and I set up our weekly family schedule I have felt a lot healthier mentally with getting a break to enjoy something just for myself. Granted what I am sewing right now is Easter baskets for the kids, I enjoy my little project.

This past weekend we were in Chicago for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference and I brought my baskets to the seminars to give me something to fidgit with so I could better listen to the speakers. We had a wonderful time learning and connecting. Tim and I don’t spend a lot of time together througout the weekend with our individual busy schedules, which is okay, I do really look forward to our time afterwards. This year both kids came as well as Tim’s sister Grace to babysit for us. That worked out much better than last year, but I am still looking forward to the time we go alone, leaving the kids with someone at home.

My absolute favorite part of the conference was going to the “Married to Youth Pastor” connect group. I have been longing for some girl time and for some reason I have found that youth worker conferences are the only place other than in my house with my little family that I can totally be myself. I don’t worry about what others think of me because we all have a similar passion and can relate to one another.

Over the last 7 months since things started changing at our last church and 3 months of being out of that church I have been learning a lot about myself and ministry. I think we’re getting closer to me being able to share my struggles and joys that we have had through this process that isn’t over yet.

God showed me his love so much this last weekend with prayers and support coming from places I wouldn’t have expected.

17 Jan 2011 For Richer or Poorer, For Better or Worst
 |  Category: marriage, ministry  | 3 Comments

Growing up I was impressed with how great of a pastor’s wife my mom is. With the example my mom set I felt like I too could be a good pastor’s wife. But I didn’t want to be a senior pastor’s wife, I’d rather be a youth pastor’s wife, because that would be easier. Ha! Recently I have learned that being a youth pastor’s wife does not make the fact of being a pastor’s wife any easier. And I have laughed at my previous thought many times!

Over the last couple years I have met some wonderful youth pastor’s wives and have had the blessing to keep in touch with them. And I have also received some emails from some special ladies who have found my blog through their husbands following Tim’s blog. Lately I have been praying about what I should do with this. How can God use me to benefit others who have married a man totally devoted to Christ and following a call to minister vocationally? I’m not promising regular blogs about being a youth pastor’s wife. There are some moments when times get tough and personal, like lately. And I know that in the moment it is better for me to hold my tongue, and wait until I can see more of what God is doing in my life through my current situation.

For those of you who may be coming to see how I am doing through Tim’s termination because you are going through the same thing and need some encouragement, this is for you… You will make it through this. It’s okay to cry and let your emotions out. Continue to read Scripture, or get your Bible back in your hands. Let your husband know how you are doing. God loves you and is in control. God has great plans for you, which includes taking you through a time of trial to make you an even stronger woman so that you can serve Him even more.

I feel like I’m giving myself a pep talk, because I have fought and fought to stifle my emotions and not deal with what is going on. Almost 2 months later I still have moments where I break down, because I have slowly let myself work through our situation. It wasn’t until last Sunday that I finally grabbed my Bible in over a month and started studying Scripture again. I have been battling my mind over and over, especially since I started reading Scripture again and am trying to put total trust in God with our situation. I know in my head that God is in control, but my actions and thoughts have not been proving my faith. I haven’t once gotten mad at God for Tim’s termination. I have over and over tried to figure out what God is going to do next with and through our family. I don’t have any answers, and that’s okay.

I’m hoping that through this process I can be an encouragement to other pastor’s wives. That God will use this time of trial to reach others. And hopefully piece by piece I can share our story of how amazing God was to Tim and I during 2010. We had very high highs, and very low lows.

04 Nov 2009 Married to the Ministry Scavenger Hunt
 |  Category: marriage, Random Thoughts  | 16 Comments

m2mscavengerhunt

A blog I follow is doing a fun online scavenger hunt, and the winner gets a southern style cookbook. If you are married to the ministry join in on the fun! Go to The Preacher’s Wife blog and follow the rules.

For those of you who don’t qualify, I hope you enjoy learning a little about me.

1.  First Name. Dana

2.  State and Country of Residence. Minnesota, USA for almost 3 years now, but born and raised Texan.

3.  Husband’s Ministry Title. Youth Pastor and blogger of Life in Student Ministry

4.  Length of time in Current Ministry Location. {IMPORTANT:  There are several of you who may not be in a current ‘official’ pastorate/ministry, etc.  That makes you no less a minister’s wife!  You play along, girlfriends, and let us pray for you!} 2 years, 9 months

5.  Children?  If yes, give gender and ages. yes! One adorable 3 month old baby girl.

6.  Number of unique homes in which you’ve lived during your marriage. 2. First was my husband’s one bedroom apartment that he lived in before we got married and we lived cramped for 7 months before moving to Minnesota where we rent an amazing 4 story lake house with the 4th floor being a tower that you can see the whole lake from. Perfect for quiet times with God.

7.  Cook Sunday lunch or eat out? Cook, unfortunately most of the time we end up eating something simple due to busy Sunday schedules, sometimes I think ahead and have something in the crock-pot.

8.  Typically on time for Sunday School or not? Surprisingly on time since we have to show up early anyways for Tim to teach Jr. High SS. Of course we do get up 2 hours before we need to leave the house since Hannah was born.

9.  Favorite TV Show. Do I have to choose one? Biggest Loser, Survivor, Amazing Race and 18 Kids And Counting

10.  Something you watch/like/do that you would never tell the church people. (Except now you just did…lol) I recently started watching the Country Music Channel, getting hooked on World’s Strictest Parents, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader and Cowboys Cheerleaders. I’ve really been missing my Southern roots since Hannah was born.

11.  Most annoying church-related pet peeve. When people say that Tim and I are the youth pastors/leaders (plural), meaning that I am it too. The church hired Tim, not me. I am Tim’s biggest fan/helper, but not one of the youth pastors.

12.  One thing you need to throw away but can’t bring yourself to do it. Old shoes. I have many from college still sitting my closet that have made many moves with me already.

13.  The one food you can not live without. Chick-fil-a. There aren’t any in MN, which is frustrating, so any time we travel I always look for the closest one to where we’re going. Looking forward to our next trip over Christmas!

14.  Parsonage or have your own home? neither, we rent

15.  Freak when the doorbell rings or always ready for a visitor? Freak! With both Tim and I despising any kind of chores, our house is usually a mess. We do enjoy having visitors over so we will clean, only if we have a heads up though!


14 Sep 2009 Parenthood
 |  Category: family, marriage, ministry  | 3 Comments

HappyHannahHannah is 5 weeks old, and things are starting to settle down. The first 3 weeks of her life were just crazy, and with looking bad at how things have gone already, I have realized my biggest mistake already.

For 9 months I read and read and read about Hannah’s development, what was going on with me and all sorts of information about labor and delivery. I was totally prepped to welcome our little one into this world, at least that’s what I thought. I looked over the fact that I needed to read up on and learn about everything that would happen after Hannah arrived. I’m not sure I could’ve been totally prepared for her to be here, or even a little prepared for parenthood, but I’m sure it could’ve helped to know a little something.

I wasn’t aware of how exhausted I would be after the delivery with taking care of Hannah and recovering. I am very thankful to have had my mom here for the first week of Hannah’s life so I could feed our little one and hand her over to my mom so I could get rest. I also wasn’t aware of how stressful taking care of a baby could be and what kind of effect it would have on mine and Tim’s relationship. Tim has been great through everything, but I on the other hand have been difficult to get along with. I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband to help me out with taking care of Hannah, and I know it’ll take both of us to raise her up the way we’ve been praying about since we found out we got pregnant.

When we got pregnant I decided that I wouldn’t make any commitments to any of our church ministries with Hannah being so young at the beginning of the Fall. I still go back and forth with that decision because I have been teaching and leading small groups and classes since I got out of high school. It feels weird not to have a schedule full of commitments I’ve made to ministry, but I do keep busy taking care of Hannah. My prayer now is that God will show me what kind of ministry he wants me to do with Hannah here. Becoming a parent opens me up to a whole new way to connect with people, and I’m excited to find out what God has in store for me. As of now I started going to a Sunday School class for myself. Hannah went with me, and I’ve been contemplating if we should go ahead and put her in the nursery because I don’t want her to be a distraction, but I don’t want to put a strain on the nursery staff because with a baby so young they pretty much need one on one attention if they’re not asleep. I also signed up for a Thursday morning women’s Bible study. I’m excited to start learning again instead of teaching all the time. I think it’s important to feed yourself, and hopefully by the Spring or next Fall I’ll be right back into leading.

I feel like every day is a new experience. Nothing is predictable right now, it all depends on  how the night goes, then how Hannah does with her naps during the day. I try to fit one trip out of the house every day to help me feel a little normal. The picture of Hannah above is from this morning after she ate breakfast. She was just too cute not to take a picture when she had such a full and happy tummy.

28 Jul 2009 Only 10 More Days
 |  Category: family, marriage, ministry  | 3 Comments

22 Jul 2009 Happy 3 Year Anniversary Tim!
 |  Category: family, marriage  | 3 Comments

anniversaryThree years ago today Tim and I made a commitment in front of family, friends and God to love and cheerish each other forever. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been married for 3 years. God worked miracles pulling everything together for our wedding, that I am so grateful for and know that God has had our lives planned out from the beginning. Next year’s anniversary will be different with having a little one around. Baby Schmoyer feels like s/he is practically here with all the movement I feel, but it was nice not having to get a baby sitter last night when we went out to celebrate. Tim took me out to dinner at the resort here in town. The food was delicious, service was bad, and getting to spend time with my husband who willingly dressed up for me made me feel very special.

Tim, I love you so much and am very blessed to have you as my husband. I can’t wait for our baby to get here and see you interact with him/her. You are going to make such a great father, and I know that because of how great of a husband you are. I love you!

Here’s mine and Tim’s journey of getting engaged ’til our wedding….only 3 months to prep! 🙂

I’m Engaged!

Clueless

I found my dress!

Updates

Keep the prayers coming. They’re working!

Back Home

Bridesmaid Dresses

Flowers!

Mmmmm Cake!

Engagement Pictures

Wedding Registries

Update

I love Tim!

Yay! I did something productive today!

I’m getting married this week!

Busy, busy, busy!

Wedding Drama (sorta)

I’m married!

28 May 2009 My Hardest Part of being a Youth Pastor’s Wife
 |  Category: marriage, ministry  | 3 Comments

prayingI admire Tim so much for his ministry and how well he works with and deals with people. He has way more grace and patience than I do, and it is very good for me to see. I am so glad that he is the youth pastor, and I am not.

The part that I struggle with the most is when people criticize Tim’s ministry, and him personally. I keep up with Tim’s blog off and on. I am interested in youth ministry and try to be as supportive as I can, and keeping up with his blog helps me do that. I struggle though when I see people disagree with him in a harsh manner. The last week there have been people jumping to conclusions about him and his ministry without reading or re-reading his posts, and Tim handles these people so well, but I don’t. So I guess that is part of the reason why I go in seasons of being a dedicated reader of Life in Student Ministry and seasons of not visiting it at all.

Yesterday I think was the hardest for me with someone going as far as twisting the title of one of his posts and totally attacking Tim personally as far as jumping to the conclusion that Tim doesn’t spend any time praying or in the Word except during the summer. As rediculous as I know this person was being, it is still hard to not want to be over protective and emotional about it. I was steamed when reading this person’s post that he put out on facebook to totally bash Tim. I really wanted to lash out on him and give it all back. Luckily I’ve been dealing with people online since Jr. High and have learned to think about things before I start typing, and then even after typing up a response to let it sit for a while, come back to it, look it over, and then my last step is to send my responses to Tim to look over for another means of accountability. I use Microsoft Word a lot when online so I don’t make the mistake to send something before really reviewing it if I am not in a good mood while writing.

A great thing that has come from this post yesterday though was tons of people sticking up for and encouraging Tim and correcting the person who bashed him. Tim responded kindly to the guy and even gave him a phone number for him to call Tim and them to discuss if this guy really wanted to learn and not just start a heated argument. I’m still waiting for the guy to call. What was cool though was that a couple other people called Tim to encourage him with what he is doing and show appreciation for the way he responded to the nonsense.

I haven’t dealt with such harsh criticism as much in person with people. Criticism does come, but most of the time in love, especially if someone does it the right way and goes to Tim about something instead of talking to everyone else about what they are unhappy with, which is the same as gossiping. Another reason why I deal with this better than blatant criticism done infront of everyone is because Tim is great about protecting me. He knows that I will take things personally, and have a hard time around the person if I know who it is, so he will keep me out of the loop, which I really appreciate. It is still difficult for me to hear about people upset with something he has done or said, especially if time hasn’t been taken to talk to Tim personally. We have a long journey ahead of us, and I’m glad God will continue to teach us. I can just imagine what kind of criticism we’ll get when Baby Schmoyer is born and people are watching the way we’ll choose to raise our kid, especially when he/she is a teen.

Tim, you are doing an amazing job with the youth God has trusted you with. I love watching you in action and admire you for the passion you have for youth ministry. I am so proud to be your wife and blessed to have such an amazing husband to watch as an example for my own life. I love you.

25 May 2009 Enjoying the Outdoors
 |  Category: family, marriage, ministry  | Comments off

vaseoflowersWe’ve had some great weather lately. Tim and I spent a few days doing a little bit of yard work each day, going on walks, and simply enjoying the outdoors. Today I went out and trimmed one of our apple trees again. It was the first one I pruned, so I was very cautious and not wanting to prune too much. But after seeing how well the other trees have been doing, I needed to get after it. I wanted to do it before today, but the bees have been hard at work, and I did not want to get around them. Today has been very windy, so it was the perfect time to get back in the tree.

Yesterday was our first Sunday without our normal school year programming. Which meant we didn’t have Sunday School or Sr. High youth group. It was kind of weird not having a busy Sunday, and it took us a little while to figure out what to do instead. Tim and I decided to go to Inspiration Peak, that we’ve heard so many people talk about in town. Mainly I’ve heard of people going in the Fall to enjoy the trees, and now I know why. It’s a short and steep hike up to the peak, only a quarter mile from the parking, and then a short quarter mile back down. We didn’t stay too long, which was a disappointment. I was expecting a longer hike and being very hungry, thirsty and tired at the top, but that didn’t happen. We even brought a sack dinner with us to eat at the top of the peak, but neither of us worked up an appetite. I would still like to go back in the Fall though and see all the trees different colors, and at that time Baby Schmoyer will get to see the trees too! With leaving early we were able to hang out for the evening at a youth’s house, whose family did a cook out. So we enjoyed the evening in their back yard around a fire eating smores. That was a great first Sunday of our “summer.”

Baby Schmoyer has been very active lately. And apparently I’ve grown quite a bit ’cause that’s all I’ve been hearing lately, and that Baby is sitting really high. I’ve noticed that Baby likes to settle somewhere above my belly button, which is fine when I’m up and around, but when sitting it’s not too comfortable. Yesterday I was trying to push Baby Schmoyer away from my ribs while Tim and I were watching TV, and Baby was kicking back. It just made me laugh and forget that my ribs weren’t too comfortable. And, last night was the first time that I felt a distinct motion of something moving across my belly. So far I’ve only felt quick kicks, so I was surprised when I felt something different last night while lying in bed. It was a weird feeling that I can’t quite describe. I thought the kicks felt weird when those started, and now I’ve got something else to enjoy!