Your Turn!

Mexico 2011 074 My blogging brain is officially on hold. I’ve been working on numerous projects (that made me sound really important, but really, it’s more like laundry, cooking, mopping, writing for some other places, taking care of a very sick kid, more cooking, cleaning and mopping).

So, it’s your turn! What do you want to know? I love doing these “You Asked” posts because I love the questions you have!

The Rules:

Ask anything you want. Really! Anything. Life, family, marriage, ministry, travel, books….whatever! I want to hear what you have to say. I’ll do my best to answer honestly. Transparency has always been a very valuable thing to me, and I never want to have “secrets”. An open life is a life one can learn and grow from, and I’m wide open! Ask away. I’ll be waiting.

They Answered

You all asked such fabulous questions for my girls to answer!  Again, I am amazed at some of their answers, and tried to control my giggles with some others. This was a very fun and good exercise for them.  It refreshed their memories and brought back a lot of things they had forgotten.  Thanks for participating.  I hope you enjoy their answers.  I know I did.  🙂India-Rob 122

After having visited India before, what are you most excited about this time? Is there anything you’re afraid of?

M:Going into the really deep villages.  I’m afraid of spiders and bugs

W:Going to the village and playing with all the kids  I’m afraid of dogs with Rabies

I: Seeing a fancy motel.  I’m afraid of weird guys in India and the guys that shout really loud.  And the robbers.

Tell what your plans are while you are there. (your plans, not what your mom and dad have planned for you to do)

M: I plan to read, play my DSI, ride a rickshaw

W: To try different foods, and to try to reach out and play with more kids

I: Have fun playing  in our bedroom and be nice

Are you excited, nervous, scared, what?

M:  All

W:Since I’ve done this before, I think I am mostly excited.

I: All

Are you going to help your mom pack?

M: Of course……….maybe

W: Maybe………

I: Yes!

Hi Girls, It is such a long plane ride. How will you pass the time besides sleeping?

M:DSI, Zune, Read, Watch Movies, Talk to the person next to me,

W: Reading, DSI, and my Zune.  Maybe even watch movies if we are in a higher class

I: Play Little Ponie’s Polly Pockets, Play Littlest Pet Shop

Since you have already been there what do you want to see again?

M: Buttered Nan

W: The cotton candy, and the kids in the villages

I: The Doctors and a guy peeing, and even better than that, our bus driver, and the doggie.  I just hope the stray doggies don’t bite me.

Your Mom will be riding a horse to travel to one of the places she is going. Will you be going also?

M: Yep

W: Yes

I: Yes

Would you want to live in India? Why or why not?

M: No…It’s dirty and there isn’t clean water, not to be rude.

W: No, well, maybe.  It is a sad place, but I would want to help the kids.  It would be pretty hard to live there.

I: No.  It’s sweating there. 

What do you appreciate the most when you come back?

M: My bed and American food

W: Non-peppered cheeseburgers

I: Seeing Winston and Ellie and how happy they were to see me (our dogs).  I liked that I could play with our friends again.

What one “picture” do you want to show everyone so they can see what it’s like?

M:  Poor people carrying bananas

W: Babies on the street with no homes, literally left there.

W: There was a little girl with a car racing shirt that I liked.

 What is the most different about Indian children and what is the most the same?

M: Different-They speak a different language. Same-They are kids

W:  Different-What I realized when I went there is that I am so spoiled, and other kids here too.  Same-We both have lots of energy and like to play

I: Different-They have a little bigger brains than us.  They can think how to make stuff on their own.  Like with metal.  Same-We can all say “Hi” and “Bye” and some of them even have the same eyes as me.

How do you think God wants to use you while you are there?

M: To tell the kids about God

W: Playing with the children and helping out with hard work

I: Nicely.  And I think He wants to treat the India kids nicely too.

Hi girls, Who are you most excited to see when you get there?
M: Rajendran and his family

W: The man on the plane that was really nice to us, and Rajendran’s family

I: The doggie, the girl that is my friend, and Clarinda.

Out of all the clothes you are packing what outfit do you like the best ?

M: My new white skirt that looks like the one that got stolen in London last time

W: Huh?

I: Any

Would you like to take your own children to India someday? Why?

M: Yes, it is a good experience

W: Yes, definitely.  The experience is amazing.

I: I’m going to have 2 girls and 2 boys.  Jade and Rachel, Jacob and Kyle.  They want to go to India so bad.  In my mind, they really want to go there so bad.

If you could pack up food from a fast food restaurant and share it with everyone what fast food would you pack?

M: I would pack Arbys!

W: McDonalds…heavenly food.

I: McDonalds and Chic-Fil-A

What is one thing you would do differently? 

M: Pack more snacks

W: Give more, and be more thankful

I: Running a lot, playing a lot, eating a lot more, wearing a lot more skirts, that’s pretty much it.

What do you want to learn more about on this trip?

W: I am not sure.  I learned a lot about India on my last trip.

M: The language

I: How they cooperate to each other, and how they deal with sleeping on rocks, and how they get all their clothes.

If you could take a gift for the children you meet in India what would you bring?

M:  A pack of clothes, food, medicine and water

I: Rollerblades like mine

How about to the mothers and fathers there what would you bring them?

M: A pack of clothes, food, medicine, and water.

I:candles, pencils, paper, pencil, dogs, a foot bath thing like Mommy has.  I would also give them a little fan.

Do you wish you could bring friends from Indiana with you

I:Yes!  Naomi, Reean and Michael

You Asked, India Style

Last summer when we went to India, many of you asked my girls some great questions about why they are going to India, and it was one of my favorite posts of the year.

I’d love to hear your questions for them as they get ready to go back to India in a few weeks.  You ask, and they will answer!  This will be fun.

 India-Maddie 004

I Answered…

St. Petersburg5 038



You all certainly didn’t let me off easy with your questions.  I was talking to Rob last night, and he laughed and  said, “You asked for it!”  Yep, I did.  I hope my answers shed some light on what it is you wanted to know.


What is the biggest challenge your marriage has ever faced and how did you overcome it together?

I think it was the first year after Isabelle was born.  Belle was hospitalized at 2 months old, and had lots of early delays.  Immediately after she was born, I had some pretty serious complications which required  a few surgeries, and lots of rest.  Having 3 kids under 5 left no time for rest, so it took me a long time to get better.  Quite plainly, we stuck it out together, nothing heroic.   We just did it with all the love and grace we could, and came out stronger in every way on the other end.

 How has your marriage lived up to your expectations of what it would be like 17 years ago, when you were engaged?

We knew that our relationship was exceptional back then.  We got married knowing we were signing up to a life of ministry together, and we were in it for the long haul.  It’s what we were made to do.  We also knew family would be important, and that Jesus was the most important person in our lives.  We’ve grown a ton, but the basics haven’t changed much.

What advice would you give a couple considering marriage?

I would say to them that being married is awesome, but it is daily work that you’ve never done before.  It takes practice just like anything.  I would say that you need to go into a marriage realizing that “it’s not all about me”, and figure out ways to be sacrificial and giving to your spouse on a daily basis.  These small things are what keeps a marriage alive.


What advice would you give to a couple who has been married 5 years and has 1 toddler and 2 baby girls?

I’ve never had twins, but I did have 3 kids under 5, and it was the biggest challenge of my life.  Like I said earlier, just do it.  Do it with gladness when you can, but know that Jesus is in the mix with you , and his strength is perfect for the most trying moments.  You might not see that He was there the whole time until you are out on the other side of the craziness, but He’s there.  Just trust that He is.

 In what practical ways do you build hedges around your marriage?

  • We never go anywhere alone with a member of the opposite sex.  Never.
  • We say “I love you”, and “I’m sorry” all the time.
  • We try to go on regular date nights and at least one over night get away every few months
  • We laugh a lot
  • We don’t have any secrets

How are you able to keep your identity and not just be Pastor Rob’s wife?

I could most certainly fill an entire book with the good, the bad, and the ugly of the answer to the “identity” question.  The truth is that there are moments of each, so I’ll answer as honestly as I can:

  • The good:  I have a front row seat on the work God is doing in Granger and around the world.  I’ve been here since 1992, and have watched this movement of God unfold.  I wouldn’t change the past 17 years for anything. 

I’ve never felt pressure to be anything or do anything I’m not comfortable with.  I’ve been allowed to just be me, and everyone is fine with that.  There has always been room in our marriage and in our ministry for me to be who I am.

  • The bad: On the flip side, as the church has grown, there is less of a need for “average” people like me to help with the really exciting stuff.  I used to do drama, teach classes, go to important meetings, etc.  As time has brought a phenomenal amount of people our way, there has been a phenomenal surge in amazingly talented people.  To put it plainly, I feel left out a lot.  Part of my own perception of my identity has been squished because of this.
  • The ugly:  I’ve lost more friends than I can count because of Rob’s job.  It’s strange really. I am not sure of many jobs that make you lose friends faster than being a pastor, or pastor’s wife.  When someone disagrees, they leave or block you out of their lives.  It’s painful, and identity squishing also.
  • The great  With all the change at GCC, I have been able to refine my focus, and sharpen some skills that are important to me, which would be lost if I was doing all I was doing before.  It’s been a bad thing that really has turned great, but it’s still hard every now and then.

 How do you handle being the "neighborhood mom"?

I love it.

How have you been able to carve time out just for the two of you and keep the relationship strong with such such great kids?

It’s hard work, and it costs a lot of money.  Getting a babysitter is always a challenge, since we don’t have any family in the area.  Time away is so important for us.  It’s worth adding childcare into the budget to get out on a date together.  We also take advantage of the times when all 3 kids are at school occasionally to go out to coffee and talk.  Next year it will be easier to do this, since all of them will be in school full time.

 If you only had $15.OO to spend and it was date night where or what would you do??

We would probably go for a hike somewhere , then spend the $15.00 at Starbucks.

 Name one thing that you disagree on.

There are no major issues that either of us disagree on.  We get along very well on a day to day basis.  I think it’s the teeny tiny details that we disagree about, like:

  • laundry
  • where to put area rugs
  • where to hang towels
  • I’d rather play now, clean later.  Rob would rather clean now, play later
  • We don’t like the same kinds of movies

We agree on way more than we disagree on, and I think that’s a good thing.

You Asked

Rob and I celebrated our 17 year anniversary last week. I realize that 17 years most likely sounds like an eternity to those of you who have just been married few years, or are dating, engaged, or not even thinking about that yet. I also realize that anyone who has been married more than 17 years has an entirely different perspective than I do, and our time married is like a drop in the bucket compared to however long you’ve been married.

But, I do think that we’ve learned some stuff along the way. Our circumstances are unique, but aren’t everyone’s?

I want to know what you want to know about our marriage. Got any questions? I’d love to hear them and field them as best as possible.