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Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Archive for Just for Him

Jan
16

It Was An Apple Fritter Kind Of Week

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Have you ever had a week where everything went exactly as planned? Neither have I. Every week I start out believing this week is going to be different from all the other weeks of my life. If this has ever occurred, I cannot recall it.

Take last week, please! I start every week about the same. I meticulously prepare my weekly to-do-list. This is not to be confused with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage’s honey-do-list. Her list, and I learned this by experience, takes precedence over every other list in the world.

My weekly to-do-list is a very important part of my week. I chronicle everything needing accomplished during the week along with appointments with people that I need to see. With the religious ferocity of the Pharisee, I follow this list throughout the week and dutifully check off each item as it is completed. Then, Saturday evening I can look back with a great deal of satisfaction and see what I have accomplished.

Unfortunately, I can also look back on my list and see what I have not accomplished this week. With a deep sigh, I carry these items over to next week’s to-do-list. Just between you and me, some items I have carried over for 36 consecutive weeks. By this time, I usually drop the whole notion and get on with my life.

My philosophy is, if you aim at nothing; you will hit it every time. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but what I take away from it is simply that if I do not aim to do something I probably never will do it.

I live day by day by this weekly to-do-list. If it were not for this marvelous tool, I would never get anything done during the week. It is my great joy late Saturday night to work out the following week’s to-do-list.

Sometimes my wife will look at me, sigh and say, “You’re not working on your to-do-list, are you?” Then she says something that actually irritates me. Not everything she says irritates me, but this one does. “You know, if you would spend as much time actually doing those things as you spend planning to do them you might actually get something done during the week.”

I developed this to-do-list so I would not have to keep trying to remember what I was supposed to do during the week. They keep me free to think more creatively about things that need that kind of attention. All I had to do was consult my to-do-list and find out what needed to be done. After all, I don’t want to tax my brain too much. Who do you think I am? The government?

Then last week it happened. Something I had feared for many a year. Read More→

Jan
14

How to be the Favorite

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I was the favorite once.  Then I wasn’t. Then I was!  But then . . .

There is some, of what I will affectionately call ‘loose,’ science on birth order and affinity toward a certain parent.  In general, firstborn kids are more ‘like’ (have personality affinity toward) the Mom.  Second-born share a preponderance of personality traits with Dad.  Generally they even resemble (have more physical characteristics in common) these respective parents; first-born will get a lot of, “you look just like your mother,” etc.

Subsequent kids are a crap-shoot on looks and personality.

But this is all lumped into “loose” science.  Which means that it happens a lot, but, there is not a lot of empirical data to birth order ‘psychology.’

Here’s a fact though that you can count on: kids go through stages of closeness and affinity with either parent as they grow up.

I was the ‘cat’s meow’ for a while

My wife stepped in as ‘the bomb’ at some point.

Then I was the ‘wizard’

My wife took over as the ‘awesome-blossom’ . . . 

Many times I had flexibility to be home with the kids when they were little.  We did some fun things, and I was also ‘the disciplinarian.’  So you’d think that I’d be at the top of their favorites.  But, the truth is – don’t get offended until you read further – kids were created to have both parents.  So my boys missed their ‘mom time’ and were super-excited to have interaction with her when she was home.

If you’re a single parent though, this concept on how to be their favorite is especially important.   It’s not loose science that kids need parents.  In fact, kids will subconsciously seek out what they ‘need’ from parenting.  I’ll explain:

Society is built around children growing up to be successful members of the populace, so there are objectives that kids need to learn.  If they aren’t getting a skill, then they have to find it someplace.  So kids will gravitate subconsciously toward ‘parents’ modeling or offering the skills they need.

Example:  You might be a total introvert with no viable social skills (commenting on the Do the Dad Thing Blog might be the pinnacle of your social interaction).  But kids need to learn how to interact socially, so they might parrot the used car salesman they see on TV, or mimic the next door neighbor talking with their hand motions to the mailperson, etc.

So don’t worry if your kids have a favorite outside of you, or model someone else they see, or idolize an attribute in someone that is not exactly idol-worthy.  They are following the natural desire to grab the skills they need from the surrounding world.  This becomes more and more pronounced as your kids grow up and our accumulated set of skills gets more and more limited for their growth.  I.e.  I used to be the favorite to help my boys with math, but as they entered high school, suddenly my skills were sorely lacking. . .

–Warning– most sexual abuse is committed by family members or extended family; especially, for some reason, by uncles and aunts. So make sure there is adequate supervision and safety protocols for kids spending time with other adults.

The good news is, no matter the outside influence and modeled skills, your children always have the desire and need to find their ‘home’ favorite in a parent (yes, even if you are secondary care giver adoptive parent or foster parent).  The concept of ‘home’ and ‘family’ is core to people, and  children will always treasure the link they have with you as their safe place for understanding and acceptance. Read More→

Jan
09

I Thought but Then I Unthought

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerLooking back over my life I honestly can say, giving it a great deal of thought, the biggest problem I have is when I actually think. Thinking can get me into more trouble than anything else I do.

This was no more evident than recently we got a phone call from the bank. I hate it when the bank calls because they never call to wish me happy birthday or wonder how in the world I am doing today. They always have an agenda. Usually, that agenda has to do with my money.

When I answered the phone all I could say was, “Here we go again.”

Much to my relief it was not about my account, but rather it was the bank account of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. I cannot tell you the smile that slapped itself all over my face when I heard this.

Immediately I called my wife to the phone and said, “It’s your bank calling you about your account.” Smilingly I handed the phone to her.

For years, we have had separate accounts and it has worked out rather well. I remember when we first were married we had a joint account and it was always getting messed up. We had two checkbooks for the same account, which did not make any sense at all. Everything was messed up and checks bounced all over the place.

To solve this dilemma we decided to have our own checking account in separate banks. I am not quite sure about her account, but the checks keep bouncing in my account and I am not exactly sure why.

The bank was calling my wife because there had been a suspicious activity on her account. I thought about telling them that other activity on her bank account was also suspicious, but sometimes I know when not to speak.

According to the bank, my wife bought a package of wine costing $600 and they were wondering if she was buying it for the church communion service. I heard my wife laugh and figured out there is something going on. We do not use wine in our communion service, we use grape juice. However, the bank did not know why my wife was buying wine.

The only wine in our house is me, who whines all the time and believe me, according to my wife, my whining is very intoxicating. At least to her it is.

We finally had to go down to the bank and try to sort this mess out. My wife tried to tell them that she did not make such a purchase.

I would like to tell you how delighted I was to go to the bank with her and see her in a dilemma that I did not create. I know I create a lot of dilemma in our home. The fact that we been married as long as we have been married says a lot for her tolerance of whiny old people like me.

“We did not think,” the bank manager said to my wife, “that you were buying wine like this. We thought perhaps you might have been buying wine for the church communion service.”

All three of us laughed a very hearty laugh because she knew we did not use wine in our communion service.

However, the truth of the matter Read More→

Smile Post-itIt is typical this time of year to prepare a list of resolutions for the coming year. I believe this goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden when Adam said to Eve, “I think I’ll turn over a new leaf this year.” And so the tradition has come down to us today.

Normally, people will make a list of all the things they will give up during the ensuing year. All kinds of bad habits find their way on the list like smoking, drinking and other nefarious activities. Of course, nobody actually plans to keep his New Year resolutions but the act of writing them down on a piece of paper seems to give a sense of accomplishment to people.

One of the big things on the resolution list has to do with diet and losing weight during the coming year. I have often wondered why this seems to be number one on most of those New Year resolution list. Even Yours Truly has succumbed in years past to attend this resolution on his list.

This year I discovered why that is so high on people’s list. It begins with Halloween and all of the candy that is consumed. Now, there is a purpose behind all of this. And it is only recently that I have put it all together. And to my loyal reading fans (both of you) I would share with you the wisdom of my muse.

The reason it starts with Halloween candy is that candy is sweet. This sweet serves to prime the pump, so to speak, for the eating frenzy that is about to begin. Approximately 3 weeks following the Halloween candy blowout comes Thanksgiving.

When our forefathers did a Thanksgiving dinner, they had to chase the turkey down and kill it themselves. Following that, they had to pluck the feathers, clean the turkey, stuff it and get it ready for roasting. All of this activity burned up all the calories from the Halloween candy frenzy.

Now, all we do is pop it into an oven and the most activity we have is bending our elbows to see how fast we can get the turkey from the plate into our mouth. Even though this activity is quite strenuous it actually burns no calories whatsoever in the process.

If it was just the turkey it would not be so bad, but nobody can eat turkey without all the culinary accoutrements. Roast turkey without a generous slice of pumpkin pie is the closest thing to blasphemy that I know.

No sooner has the Thanksgiving dinner settled in our stomach, it is Christmas time, and all of the parties associated with Christmas. Nobody can refuse a Christmas party with all the delicacies that had been so meticulously prepared. When I go to a party, I think it rather rude not to indulge in the party snacks.

I like to join organizations right around the October keeping a sharp eye out for the annual Christmas party. Soon after the New Year, I dropped out of that organization. Call me a slacker, if you wish, but in my book, the Christmas party is worth the subterfuge.

Then there is the marvelous family Christmas dinner. Need I say more?

So we come to New Year’s Eve. By this time, everybody has eaten so much that hardly anybody can take another bite. Not only that, but many people feel guilty for eating so much during the holiday season. Others, like me, are made to feel guilty for eating so much during the holiday season.

To deal with this sense of guilt many people make a New Year’s resolution to go on a diet during the coming year.

Many years ago around this time of the year, I made a drastic tactical error. It had been a particularly good holiday season with many parties and Christmas dinners. I was feeling rather expansive at the time and sighed deeply and said, “After all that eating I should go on a diet.”

Quick as a wink the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage took that as a cue and responded, “I think that’s an excellent idea. That will be your New Year’s resolution for the coming year.”

And thus it was.

I quickly learned that such resolutions come with a great deal of superfluous supervision. Every time I turned around my wife said, “How is your diet coming?” Of course, she knows exactly how it is coming because she is the one who was supervising this aspect of my life. Read More→

Jan
03

All the Memories they Forgot

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Of all my blog articles, this one might be my MOST CONTROVERSIAL.

This one could get me fired from CWAHM, or banned from the Internet, or cause me to receive death threats.

But, at some level I’m a truth-telling journalist and I must be true to the facts. So, here we go:

Your kids will forget Disney.

Gulp. There it was. Let the onslaught of hate begin. To make it worse, I’m also going to include every other cute and meaningful activity that you did with your kids when they were little. They won’t remember any of it.

There are scores of older, experienced Dads reading this and they are all solemnly nodding their heads in agreement. As if to say, “You said it brother. Better you getting the death threats, than me. But you’re right, they won’t remember any of it.”

If they were brave enough, or could be interviewed with their faces obscured and their voices disguised, then one of them might elaborate. “I asked my teenage daughter if she remembered the giant birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese when she was 6 . . . all she remembered was a joke her uncle told on the way there. It wasn’t even funny.”

And it’s that way with all the large, expensive, and elaborate things that parents do for their younger children. Just the other day, someone asked me advice on what to do with their family on a Disney vacation. I didn’t say it – it’s easier to passive-aggressively write about it online – but my advice would be ‘to save your money and build a blanket fort.’

I know from experience; we had taken our two boys many times to Disney when they were little, and you know what? The best thing they remember is riding in the Monorail and stopping for hamburgers on the way home.

Same thing with the giant birthday party we had for them with a dinosaur theme where we invited half the neighborhood? No recollection. The community Easter Egg hunt? Nope. The Christmas party where they could pet a real reindeer? No recollection.

There is a redeeming point to this scandalous article. Two points actually:

1.) Kids remember things that are positive emotional closeness to you. Memories are encoded (stored) with emotion — usually through positive love/closeness emotion or terrible/scary emotion. Most events for kids are big, unknown, and confusing; a sense of positive chaotic wonder doesn’t encode memories. So if you do go to Disney or some other big event, don’t get so caught up in all the chaos of planning and executing the day that you forget to have closeness with your child. If driving, parking, planning, cutting, eating, decorating or anything else to make an event really special, keep you from spending simple time with your kid, then the point has been missed.

2.) Save your energy and do something incredibly simple. You know, a box that we got off the curb was some of my kid’s best time when they were little. We spent $.0000000000001 in marker-juice drawing doors and a window on it. Go to the airport and look at airplanes. Ride a bus together. Build a blanket fort with your kids and read inside it. These things are the best memories for your kids. Read More→

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Dec
27

Be Sure Your Grin Will Find You Out

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Christmas is a wonderful time of the year and I appreciate it so very much. I recognize I’m difficult to purchase presents for because I have my books, my pens, what else do I really need?

Once in a while I get a Christmas present to beat all Christmas presents. This year was one of those “once in a while’s.”

It’s a pretty well known fact that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and myself differs when it comes to culinary likes and dislikes. How we got along for so many years is truly a miracle, I suppose.

She, for example, loves vegetables, particularly broccoli. (Excuse me, I need to go and wash out my mouth.)

On the other side of the table, I love Apple Fritters. (Excuse me, I need to relish the thought of an apple fritter.)

Throughout the year she tries tricking me into eating vegetables. I’ll take so much, but then I draw a line in the sand. That sand sometimes gets a little disheveled and I know who is disheveling it.

I have tried to tell her that a good mother will make Apple Fritters for her family. She dismisses that and says quite emphatically, “No good mother will ever do anything of that nature. A good mother will make vegetables for their family.”

And so the “discussion” goes on and on.

We were watching the news as they were reporting on the funeral of the 41st President of the United States. Someone was giving some kind of a eulogy concerning that president and said something that caught my attention.

According to this eulogy, the 41st President of the United States hated broccoli. Let me repeat that, he hated broccoli, as well as all other vegetables.

I looked at my wife and said, “I’m in good company.”

She just dismissed that and went on with her work in the kitchen. I grinned a lot and relished the moment. I just don’t get too many moments like that.

Then, something wonderful happened.

Christmas cards were coming from family members all over the place. I think people send an early Christmas card to make sure we will return a Christmas card. I was opening the Christmas cards and came to one that made my Christmas the delight that it has become.

Some of my wife’s sisters were sending her throughout the year recipes from their mother in their mother’s own handwriting. I didn’t take much note to that because I’m not allowed in the kitchen to do any cooking.

Very nonchalantly I was opening these Christmas cards and then I came upon “the” Christmas card. I noticed it was from my wife’s sister and as I opened it there was a little card inside that made my life a true joy.

The sister was sending in her Christmas card one of their mother’s recipes written in their mother’s old hand. You will never guess what the recipe was in that card!

When I opened it up I could not believe my eyes. My eyes have fooled me quite a bit down through the years, but this time I had to rub them several times in order to believe what I was seeing.

There in their mother’s own handwriting was her recipe for “Apple Fritters.” I had it in my wife’s mother’s own handwriting.

You can hardly imagine my joy. There is no Christmas joy equal to the joy I felt looking at this recipe.

Now, how was I going to present this to my wife and get all the benefit out of it?

I put all the cards back together and laid this particular Christmas card on the top. I invited my wife to come and sit down and look at some of the Christmas cards that has come from the family.

She sat on the couch and I gave her the Christmas cards and then returned to my chair to watch her opening up these Christmas cards. In the meantime, I had such a big grin on my face and I didn’t know how to hide it.

As my wife is opening up the Christmas card she looked up at me and said, “What in the world are you grinning about?”

“I’m just having a happy Christmas season.”

Then she opened the Christmas card containing her mother’s recipe it her own handwriting for “Apple Fritters.” She just stared at it for a few moments and then’s looked up at me with one of her classic stares.

“What did you find?” I said as calmly as I could.

“You know exactly what I found.” She was quiet for a few moments as she looked at that handwritten recipe from her mother.

“So,” I said rather slowly, “when can we expect that recipe to be used in our kitchen?”

She looked at me, then look back at the recipe card and spontaneously we both burst out into hilarious laughter.

I don’t think I could have received a better Christmas present than that. Proof positive that good mothers do make Apple Fritters. Maybe they’ll be some changes to our kitchen.

Thinking about that I was reminded of a Scripture in the Old Testament. “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

No matter what it is, it will always be exposed in the end.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.

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Dec
12

Not Everything in Life Is Automatic

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor blogger

Two days in the year I don’t like. Somebody is thinking it is my wife’s birthday and our wedding anniversary.

I worked that out a long time ago. My birthday is two days before the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and our anniversary is three weeks after our birthday. No way can I forget that.

When my wife gives me a birthday card with some gift it reminds me that I have two days to reciprocate. And reciprocate, I do very well. I love it when a plan comes together.

I remember my wife’s birthday and I remember our wedding anniversary, but more often than not, I cannot remember the years. I do not know how old my wife is. At least, that’s my story. And, I am not sure how long we’ve been married.

I know we have been married long enough to work out many things.

The two days I’m not very happy with are the days when we turn the clock forward an hour and then turn the clock backward an hour. I still do not know why in the world we do that. We gain an hour in the spring, but then we lose an hour in the fall. What’s the sense in all that?

I finally figured out what the sense of all that is. It is to confuse me, in particular. It is not that I am easily confused, but rather, I confuse easily. If that makes sense, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

Why would you want to gain something and then give it back a couple months later?

I grew up in the non-technical age. I had to wind my watch every day to make sure it had the right time. It was not like it is today worth the time is set automatically.

I look at my cell phone and the time is updated automatically. I look at our TV set and see that the time is updated automatically. I like that.

My problem is that I like it too much. I have become accustomed to things being adjusted automatically.

Now they have cars that part automatically and you can be sure I’m not going to buy one. I am satisfied with the automatic setting of my clock and TV.

When I was in high school, I worked part-time for a woman. I mowed the grass and cleaned inside the house. One big thing she had in the house was about 25 clocks. I’m serious. Twenty-five clocks that all had to be set manually.

The first time I did it, I did not realize that each clock was set differently. You go upstairs and the clocks were 15 minutes faster than the clocks on the first floor so she would not be late for an appointment.

Being my employer, it would have been nice for her to explain that to me. But, as most employers do, they do not explain everything to their employees.

I was the kind of employee that liked to impress my employer with how good I was.

It was in the fall and we were to set the clocks back one hour. I thought she would appreciate the fact that I went around and reset all 25 of her clocks. After all, I was doing something on my own that needed done.

The thing I did not know of course, the clocks were all set different on different levels of the house. I went around and set all 25 clocks to the same time. I was so happy.

I did not tell her because I wanted her to be surprised.

I was anxious to hear her commend me for a “job well done.” I was not prepared for what she was going to do.

When I arrived on her property, she comes out yelling and screaming at me at the top of her lungs. Trust me, she had lungs. At first, I could not understand what she was so upset about.

“Did you,” she said hysterically, “reset all the clocks in my house?”

I smiled back at her and said quite cheerfully, “Yes, ma’am, I did.” Read More→

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Dec
07

The Experienced Sailor Dad

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beach playI follow some sailing folks on Instagram.

I don’t know how it happened. I usually follow friends, Star Wars posts, and people with unique animals, but somehow I started following some sailors that were posting about their life on large cargo ships. Then, I started to get other boat crews and sailors following me. Some of the pictures are facinating . . .

Like most of Social Media, there are ‘business’ groups that post things as well. And since I follow some sailing people, you can imagine that I get a lot of ads for sailing merchendise.
One of the popular expessions sold on t-shirts, mugs, bags, bandannas, hats — is the quote: “Smooth sailing never made a skilled sailor.”

It’s a cute saying. And I’m sure real seawomen and men are tired of hearing it. But I was thinking quite a bit lately about how this saying definitly applies to parenting.

Some parents win the behavior lottery with their kids–kids that never push the envelope, or kids that are compliant, or submissive; kids that can be left alone for hours and never think of nefarious things to do, or ways to antagonize others. Good for them! There are some parents out there with smooth sailing.

Hopefully they aren’t writing parenting blogs.

My kids push the envelope. And their imaginations concoct all manner of ways to bother people, get what they want, and test boundaries and relationships. My kids don’t walk on water . . . they sink under the water and breach like sharks when you least expect it.

Easy kids never made a skilled parent.

I know that you don’t always have easy kids. That’s why you’re reading this blog. Parents with complient kids are out enjoying a latte somewhere and wondering what to do with all their extra time. I can’t seem to sit down long enough to watch a 25min show on Netflix.

Believe it or not, this is an encouragement to you. You could be a Dad smooth-sailing through ‘training up a child in the way it should go’* . . but you wouldn’t be learning any real parenting skill or growing deeper as a parent. You would miss out on all the emotions, all the techniques, all the wisdom, all the hard-won successes of being a skilled parent. Most of all you’d miss out on the massive analogy of how God is the Best Parent to each of us, despite none of us being an ‘easy kid.’

Take a minute and consider how many rough waters you’ve sailed so far with your kids. Consider what you’ve learned. Think about what good company you keep with other ‘parent sailors’ that braved some of the turbulent waters of parenting. And be proud:

Every failure, every hard time — is making you a skilled sailor.

Now, I suggest we all go out and get some sort of signifying tattoo — you know, like sailors do. Something like an anchor or ship or something. Or we should start wearing a captain’s hat. I’m not too good with needles, so look for me in a large admiral hat – you might even see me beating my kids with it.

(*Proverbs 22:6)

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Dec
05

Is it a fragrance or a stench?

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This past week I had to go to the mall. I know, I should know better, but I thought I could sneak in, get what I needed and sneak out again. So much for my thoughts.

I wanted to purchase several tie chains for my neckties and searched every jewelry store and nobody had them. Finally, I ordered three online, which would be shipped free, (which always gets my attention) to the nearest store, which happened to be in the mall.

I do not like the mall and choose not to go there if I can help it. When in the mall, I am usually very nervous and get confused and do not know which way I am going. Once I get in, I am not quite sure how to get out again. Everything seems to be contrived to confuse a person like myself.

Looking down at the ground while walking I became rather confused and I happen to turn into an open door.

My mall savvy is not sophisticated in the least. The door I turned into happened to be for the store Victoria’s Secret. I do not know who Victoria is, I did not know what the store was all about, but when I got in the store, I discovered Victoria’s Secret much to my great embarrassment.

That is exactly the reason I do not like going into the malls. They have places like this that a gentleman, such as Yours Truly, should never enter.

I am not sure how I got out of that store, all I can remember was a great deal of hilarious laughter thrown in my direction from inside. I just hope they did not recognize me. They probably did not, because I had all my clothes on.

It has been a long time since that incident and now I had to go and pick up my order. I put together a plan to sneak in very quietly, pick up my order and tiptoe out as quietly as I came in.

You know what they say about well-laid plans! Whether mine was well laid or not, it blew up in my face.

I did slip into the mall and found the store where my order was. I picked them up and quietly turned around and started for the door. How I got turned around is any man’s guess. Actually, I think I turned around too many times. For the next 15 minutes, I tried to find the way I came in so I could go out.

The trouble started when I hesitated. I stopped to try to get my bearings and in stopping a young woman approached me.

“How do you do today, sir,” she said most cheerfully.

I nodded and tried to get away as graciously as possible.

She would have none of it. “And how do you smell today, sir?”

Had I been in my right sense of mind, I would have told her I smelled with my nose. Being in a confused state of affairs, I had no quick come back for her. It was then that she introduced me to her product. Read More→

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Nov
28

Here’s My Hammer If You Need It

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerI am not known as “Mr. Fix-It Man”. When it comes to mechanical things, I am really handy-challenged. I can do many things, but I cannot fix anything.

When talking about the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, it is a different story. If there is something she cannot fix then it isn’t broken. No matter what is broken or how long it has been broken, she somehow can fix it. I do not know how she does it, and believe me, I am not going to ask.

There is nothing I cannot break and there is nothing she cannot fix. We make a wonderful team as long as I keep that scenario in my mind.

If I, for whatever reason, think I can fix something, I am in deep trouble. The more I try to fix something, the more broken it becomes. I have learned long ago to own up to this in my life.

I think it is wonderful to know what you cannot do. That eliminates trying to do something and failing every time. It is more wonderful to know who can fix what you break.

“Honey,” I say in a very sympathetic tone, “I broke this. Would you be able to fix it for me?”

“Of course,” she will reply with a silly little grin on her face, “let me have it.”

And I do.

The only thing I could ever fix is something needing a hammer. I can hammer something, but I can’t screw or unscrew a bolt. Of course, I can screw anything up with a hammer.

A long time ago, I learned how to handle this. Whenever anything breaks in the parsonage I immediately say, “Should I get my hammer and try to fix it?” To which I get a resounding “Nooooooo”.

I then say, “Well, if you need me just call for me.” And I know I will never be called.

If I had the time, I would calculate how much money we have saved during our marriage by having her fix things that were broken. I think it would be an amazing amount of money.

A few weeks back the front plastic bumper on my truck broke and was hanging. I casually mentioned it to my wife not expecting anything. About 30 minutes later she came in and said, “I got your truck fixed.”

I am not sure how much that saved me on auto repair but I sure thanked her and then took her out for lunch. After all, what’s a husband supposed to do?

This all came to a head just a couple weeks ago. It is the beginning of a political cycle. We know it is a political cycle because all of the politicians are rather dizzy. My apologies to all the blondes out there.

We kept hearing the same phrase from every politician that was running. “Washington is broken and I’m going there to fix it.”

I was ignoring it because I know that every politician has their tongue detached from their brain. Can you imagine what would really happen if we had intelligent people running for office?

As we were listening to some of these advertisements, my wife turned to me and said, “There, you could help them fix Washington.”

I just looked at her and said, “Huh.” I did not get anything that she was saying with that.

“You’re always wanting to help fix things around here, why don’t you offer to help fix Washington?”

I did not know if I should laugh or if I should be angry.

I was afraid to say anything but eventually I said, “What in the world do you mean?”

She looked at me with those giggly dancing eyes and said, “You are always offering to fix something with your hammer. Why don’t you offer to give them your hammer so that they can fix Washington?”

Was she serious? Or, was she setting me up for something?

Staring at me she finally broke down into hilarious laughter.

“How better could they fix Washington than using your hammer?”

It does not happen often, but I wholeheartedly agreed with what she was saying.

If Washington is broken, and I am not sure what that means, perhaps they could fix it with my hammer by smashing everything in Washington. My hammer is a good tool for that kind of work. I cannot tell you how many things I have smashed unintentionally with my hammer. Read More→

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