Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Confessions of a Pastor's Wife....Confession #2

I like some rated R movies.....

There, I said it. 

I'm not going to make a list of all the ones I like so as not to be the stumbling block Paul wrote about in First Corinthians.  But you will probably figure out the genre (and possibly the list) by the description I write.

Most movies that earn the R rating are not on my watch-wish list.  In fact, the majority are not.  I abhor movies that are violent just to be violent.  I detest movies that mock the sacredness of marriage.  Also, I am not a fan of movies filled with crude humor.  So, as you can see, the list of movies with this rating is small and select.

The movies I like are those that depict lives of people who genuinely care about each other.  Whether it be the relationship between parent and child, between friends, or between spouses.  I love relationship movies.  And not just any relationship movies.  I adore movies that follow the interactions of these people as the relationship lasts through good and bad, through thick and thin, through sick and sin.  What I find most intriguing about the story line of these movies is that love and friendship are a priority.  Even when one party is acting in a way that makes the relationship undesirable.  They stick it out.  They muddle through to the other side of the problem. 

I wonder if the reason I love these movies is that this quality is one I lack.  The ability to stick it out.  To love someone no matter what.  The bible tells us to "Love Thy Neighbor"  and "Love One Another".  "God SO Loved the World....".  If that is to be my charge and my example, I'm not living up to the standard.  Do I love the unlovable?  Do I encourage those who are struggling?

Unfortunately, I often find myself thinking, "Sucks to be you."

I've thought about this a lot in the last few hours. I finished watching one of these movies (written and directed by the same man who wrote and/or directed the majority of the other "R" movies on my most watched list).   I wondered what drew me to these handful of movies in which the characters often use unbecoming language, insinuate inappropriate behavior, and sometimes participate in this inappropriate behavior.  What would appeal to a "good Christian girl" about these movies?  Maybe, I like the ability to legally stalk these characters through their lives.  Through weddings (maybe four in one movie) and funerals (only one in the four wedding movie).  And through life in between. 

But I think it boils down to the desire to love and be loved.  NO MATTER WHAT. 

I am blessed to have experienced this kind of unconditional love in my life.  Purely, from God.  And humanly, from several people who have stuck by me through sick and sin.  Maybe these movies remind me of the relationships in my own life that have weathered the storms.  Maybe they convict me of the desire God has placed in me to be more loving.

So, there.  I've confessed that I watch rated R movies.  But only those that are about love....actually.  And it's about time I said it. 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Caribbean Blue....Wilsons On Vacation!

It's taken me almost a week to get my pictures off my camera and phone.  It's also taken me that long just to organize my thoughts.  Let's just say that I've been in a post-vacation lull.  Thank goodness Troy and I both understood the need to have a few days of rest back at home before jumping into the normal routine.  Otherwise, the term "zombie" would have been used to describe our overall demeanor.  Troy went back to work today.  This was the first time in his working life that he's had a two week vacation.  (Well, one that didn't involve moving half-way across the United States.)  He left this morning feeling refreshed and invigorated.  Praise God!

So, here I sit, trying to figure out how to describe the vacation we honestly never imagined we would take. 

Day One, 6/7/14:
We left our house at 9am.  We were so excited!  This day had been anticipated for months. 

We flew to Tampa, Florida and stayed the night in a really nice hotel near the airport, not far from the dock where the Carnival Legend would meet us the next morning.

Day Two, 6/8/14:
Embarkation was a breeze!  By the time we made it to the check in area, our state room was ready for us, so we were able to immediately check out our room, the balcony, and make our first exploratory trek of the ship. 

Before we could leave Tampa, we had to have the safety instruction.  (We now know not to be some of the first people to line up.) We were packed like sardines on a deck with about 500 other sweaty vacationers while we listened to the crew talk to us about life jackets and life boats.  If we cruise again, we will take our leisurely time making our way to the muster so that we're not smooshed against the wall by four rows of people. 

As we left Florida, locals were lined up on the shore and in their own boats, waving and shouting, "Woohoo!"  It made the send off even more enjoyable.

Troy checking out our balcony.

First of many balcony moments.
Leaving Tampa...
Still Leaving Tampa.... :-)

Sailing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Day 3, 6/9/14:
Sea day.  Troy and I spent the day exploring more of the ship, sitting in the sun on the "Adult Only" Serenity Deck, and admiring the view from the balcony.  Totally enjoyed this relaxing cruise time.

Finally, no land in sight.

Faint, but beautiful Caribbean Rainbow
Day 4, 6/10/14:
My choice of excursion day!!!  And since I'm such a go-gettter, adventurous type, I planned a day of hanging out on the beach of a private resort in Cozumel, Mexico. :-) We were pampered and waited on by an amazing staff at the La Casa En La Playa Resort.  One of my favorite days of the whole trip.
Yes, that is a bed on the beach.  Yes, I used it to catch some rays.
Awww, the good life.
Drink in my hand and....
Toes in the sand!

After a bit of shopping (for a floppy hat), we headed back to the ship.

Walking back to the ship.  Three ships were docked in Cozumel.  Busy day!
Day 5, 6/11/14:
Troy's choice of excursion day:  Exploring the Mayan Ruins, lunch, and a tour of the River Wallace in Belize.  This was our most strenuous day.  But I felt so proud that I was physically able to enjoy the whole experience. 
Our ship was anchored a thirty minute tender boat ride from Belize.  The tender boat ride was an experience.  I felt like I was riding along with the pirates in the movie "Captain Phillips".  Troy told me to look at the face of this woman riding with us.  She looked panicked:  pursed lips, wide eyes, and pale face.  He then told me that I looked exactly like that.  And yes, I was a little worried about the safety of this crazy tender trip. 
We arrived in Belize city and immediately boarded a bus that took us to the Mayan ruins.  The tour guides were very honest about the poverty in Belize.  It was eye-opening to see the makeshift shack/homes along the ride.  One of the guides asked us how much we paid for a gallon of gas in the US.  One of the passengers said, "Four dollars."  The guide pointed out that the gas stations in Belize don't advertise the gas prices because they don't want to scare customers off.  (She never told us how much it was.) 
The Mayan Ruins were arranged in two "courtyard" type areas, next to each other.  There were large and not so large structures around the perimeter of these huge courtyards.  We were encouraged to climb to the top of two structures during the tour.  The last structure was the Temple of the Sun God.  A little intimidating, let me tell you.  But I DID IT!  Climbed to the very tip top!
After the humid, hot, mosquito infested (thank goodness we brought bug spray), but very exciting and interesting Mayan Ruin tour, we boarded the bus and made our way to the Black Orchid Resort to eat a local favorite lunch of beans, rice, and roasted chicken.  So yummy! 
We then boarded the River Wallace tour boat to see the wildlife along the river.  We saw two monkeys rolled up in little furry balls sleeping in the trees, three crocodiles, storks standing in their nest, the hanging/swinging nests of the Montezuma Oropendola birds in the palm trees, and several iguanas making themselves at home along the river bank. 
After a full day of adventure, we were glad to be back on the ship to relax as the ship traveled to Isla Roatan.

First and smaller structure to climb.
We made it.  The Temple of the Sun God is in the background.
Our guide in front of the Temple to the Sun God.

Look closely and you can see one of the faces carved in the temple.
At the top!
View from the top of the temple.
Black Orchid Resort for Lunch
The River Wallace before boarding the tour boat.
Sleeping Monkey

 Hanging Nests

 Chillin' in some body's back yard.

Day 6, 6/12/14:
Initially, we had planned not to get off the ship in Roatan.  But our very informative cabin steward, Elena, encouraged us to give it a try.  And we are glad we did.  Mahogany Bay is a Carnival exclusive stop.  We rode the "Magical Beach Chair" to and from the beach and strolled along the shopping area.  Such a pretty, un-rushed experience.

View of Roatan from the balcony.
Another view from the balcony.
Not my favorite picture of me, but oh well.
Riding the "chair"
The ship as seen from the "chair"
Almost to the beach

Such vibrant colors on the Islands.
Day 7, 6/13/14:
Yes, it was Friday the 13th.  AND there was a full moon.  The sea was a little choppy, Troy says that it wasn't rough.  I kept waking during the night of the 12th, rocking back and forth in bed.  Troy said it was soothing to him.  Not so much for me.  I was very, very sleepy the next day which is why there are so few pictures of Grand Cayman.  We took a 3 minute tender boat ride to the island, did some souvenir shopping, and sent postcards from the Grand Cayman post office.  I have never seen more beautiful clear, turquoise water as I did in the Cayman Islands.
Me in front of the famous Stingray Fountain.
 Finally found someone to take a picture of both of us.

 The fish next to our tender boat
Day 8, 6/14/14:
Sea day.  Heading back to Tampa.  We spent the day totally relaxing and packing.  Each night, as we were at dinner, our cabin steward would turn down the bed, leave us a schedule for the next day with two chocolates, and bless us with a towel sculpture.
Admittedly, I had to ask Elena what this sculpture was.  It's a rabbit. 
I think it's doing a Playboy Bunny pose.  :)

 Day 9, 6/15/14:
We arrived in Tampa, ate breakfast and readied ourselves for debarkation.  This process was a little long, but wasn't unbearable.  We had a long wait at the Tampa Airport before boarding our flight to Charlotte, NC.  Then we finally boarded our flight to Denver at 10:30 Eastern Time.  Thankfully, we were both able to doze during the three hour flight to Denver.  After baggage claim, a shuttle ride, and a fast grocery stop, we arrived home to our tail-wagging dogs at 2:30am Monday morning.  And we've been in a blissful daze ever since.

Like I said before, we never imagined that we would be able to take a trip like this and God has blessed us far beyond our expectation.  We may never get to take another one.  But we have such good memories.  Some of our favorites were:  sitting on the balcony at night, listening to the ocean, and feeling the warm breeze as the ship sailed; the Studio VIP musical show in the Follies Lounge; the ability to go for a midnight soft serve ice cream cone run; experiencing new places and new cultures; and making these memories together!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Confessions of a Pastor's Wife

This blog post may be the first of a series of posts I write concerning the secret thoughts of a pastor's wife.  On the scale of "scandalous-ness", these confessions are quite mild.  But on the scale of "that's not how a pastor's wife is supposed to think and act", they might be off the chart.

I'm working on a decorating project that has my full attention and delight.  I told Troy last night that I really wanted to just stay home from church and work on it all day.  This was after we had stayed up a little late and watched a movie.  He told me to do just that....take a Sunday off from church...enjoy a craft day.  I told him I couldn't. 

But I should have.

I was SO tired this morning.  I was having a not-so-perfect hair day.  I was cold.  I had forgotten my huge travel mug of coffee at home (which added to the sleepiness).  And I had a really annoying hole in my sock. 

I was miserable. 

I struggled to stay awake during the sermon (even though it was a good, thought provoking message).  I couldn't put two words together to verbally complete thoughts and I was really not good company. 

But here is the most embarrassing confession:  I hid in the bathroom stall after church services today until everyone had left the bathroom so that I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. 

It wasn't that I didn't want to visit.  I just literally was having a hard time focusing and forming words.  It was just too hard.  So I played the avoidance card. 

So, the next time you stop your pastor's wife at church to talk to her and she seems a little less than jovial, please extend her some grace.  She's human and she probably should have just stayed at home.  :)