Consider the Lilies..: February 2015   

Feb 28, 2015


It's Saturday..  My day off from school, housework, errands, pants..  But not this Saturday..  I have so much schoolwork to do..  It's fascinating, and I am absolutely loving it, but there is so much!

Oh, speaking of fascinating..  
My favorite Vulcan died yesterday..  A total bummer..
So lets observe a moment of silence for the great, amazing, super-awesome Leonard Nimoy..

Good-by Spock :)

Back to me..
I'm working on 3 classes right now:
Biblical studies, Pneumatology, and Discernment, what it is & what it isn't. Let me tell you, I had the wrong idea about what discernment was!
 I will be adding on Hermeneutics, and Creation & the Gospel in a couple weeks too so I am really going to have to get my schedule in a more workable order..
I have everything sorted out as far as my syllabus goes, fortunately most of that list I posted in a previous entry is all combined into my bible studies class. It's one class with a bazillion lectures..  Ok, just 48 lectures, but it seems like a bazillion..
I have 58 more Discernment lectures to do,   There are only 8 lectures of Creation & the Gospel, but each lecture is 4 hours long.  Pneumatology and Hermeneutics are both 37 lectures each..

I'm totally nerding out over all of it..  I'm learning so much, and it's completely blowing my mind..  I'm amazed that it's not as difficult as I thought it would be..  Well, it's time consuming, and it's a LOT of work, but I thought I would have a hard time comprehending it all..  Earning the first degree was difficult, really difficult..  If it wasn't for Lestie who sent me the lessons on the Levitical Sacrificial System, I wouldn't have been prepared for it at all..  Even with a head start, it really kicked my know-it-all butt..  
But this time I'm not having a hard time processing it all..  This time it's sort of fun..  More than sort of fun.  It's really fun..
Clay listens in on some of the lectures so he gets to learn right along with me.  Bonus!
He's been incredibly helpful too.. 
 I have to keep a notebook for each subject, everything needs to be typed, printed, and scanned for grading. I don't fill out worksheets online and just take notes for myself like I did the first time I went through theology school.  This time I have to have everything typed out on paper and scan everything I do to the school..  Especially my notes from the lectures which are a huge part of my grade, and have to be taken in outline form..  Worksheets are easier because the teachers have already come up with the key points and I just filled in the blanks; but by taking notes in outline form it shows that I are actually doing the work and discovering the key point myself.  So outside of a list of questions that I am presented with at the end of the lecture, my assignments are mostly my notes..
It's a little intimidating because I just do the outline and hope that I didn't miss anything important.  If I did, I have to do it all over again.. So far so good!
Anyway, Clay bought me a new laptop for school..  My other one was about 9 years old and couldn't ever be unplugged or it would die.  He also got me a printer with a scanner (I've never owned a printer before) and went to Office Max and got me all the supplies I could possibly need..
I am pretty good at taking notes in outline form while listening to a lecture, but that's when I am outlining by hand..  Outlining on a computer gets me all messed up..  I am not computer savvy at all and I hate working with office programs (excel, word, whatever) so Clay took the time to teach me how to navigate my outline program and now it's a breeze 
Yay Clay!

He went out and had a couple of T-shirts made for me yesterday after he dropped me off to have coffee with friends..

They are all wrinkled because they were in a bag all day, but aren't they awesome?
I really do have the best husband ever :)

Feb 22, 2015


Clay is on a plane home.  It was getting close to the time I start worrying because I hadn't heard from him..  I don't start worrying until I haven't hard from him in 72 hours, but he usually texts me within 48 hours to let me know he has arrived safely..  He finally sent me a text around 11:00 last night to tell me that he wasn't in Angola, but that he was back in Amsterdam..
Security in Angola has changed since ISIS began terrorizing North Africa..  We knew that Angola, as well as other countries in Africa have made it illegal for Muslims to enter, but we weren't aware that they changed other immigration laws too..

For the past 15 years that Clay has worked in the oilfield, entering other countries follow a similar pattern..  He applies for a VISA, they approve it and send him a letter of invitation (LOI).  Then he takes his LOI and his passport and gets on a plane.  When he gets to his destination, he goes through customs and shows security his passport and LOI; they stamp the passport, he goes through, gets to the yard, and someone at the yard hands him his VISA..

So he got to Angola, handed security his LOI and passport like he always does..  Security tells him to show them his VISA..  Well, obviously he didn't have his VISA because he hadn't been to the yard, so they threw him in jail.  He was in a cell for about 16 hours before they let him out and put him on a plane back to Amsterdam..

He will have to send paperwork to Houston and have his VISA sent to him here and then go back again..  Not sure how long that will take..  If they have to go through all the channels in Angola again, it could take weeks, but if they have everything they need already in the system it should only take a few days..

Life in the oilfield may be a lot of things, but predictable isn't one of them :)

Feb 21, 2015


I am seriously dragging today. I got home late last night, after midnight. My Bible study ran late last night. Yeah, I live a pretty wild life huh?
Then I couldn't sleep last night, I laid in bed until 5 o'clock in the morning, got up to feed the dogs and then went back to bed and tried again to sleep. I woke up every hour and then finally just gave up and crawled out of bed at 10 o'clock. 
Clay is gone, this is the first time he's been gone since we have lived in this new house. Sky stayed over at a friends house last night so it was my first time all alone at night in the house. I'm not saying I was anxious or had the heebie-jeebies or anything, but it was different, you know?  
So today I'm feeling sort of out of it.  I'm not doing any school today, I probably couldn't concentrate anyways. Yesterday was a productive day though so Michael and I went to the gym with Elaine, came home and did the housework, and then worked on schoolwork until bible study group at 8 o'clock. 

Okay this has been an incredibly boring blog post. Sorry about that. 

Feb 19, 2015

What NOT to say to an oilfield wife.

1. "My husband travels for work so I know just how you feel."
-um no, you don't. If your husband travels for work, it's a pretty safe bet that he doesn't leave the country and he's back on weekends. He can probably adjust his schedule to be home on important dates like your anniversary or Christmas and I'm pretty sure he can be home within a few hours if there is an emergency like a death in the family, or a tornado hits your house or you find yourself in the hospital. 
My husband comes home in 5 weeks when his hitch is up. Period. 

2. "I could never be away from my husband for as long and you are away from yours."
-How am I supposed to take that?   You probably mean it as a compliment; I'm guessing. But do you know what I hear when you say it?  This is what I hear: "I could never be away from my husband because I love him, so you must not love your husband very much to be able to be away from him for so long."  You may not mean it like that, but that's how I hear it. If you can't articulate exactly what you mean by it, please don't say it. 

2. "Isn't it dangerous?  Don't you worry about him?"
- Yeah it's dangerous. He travels to dangerous places and does a dangerous job. It's what he does. He's good at it, he loves what he does, and it pays the bills. And yeah, I worry.  Of course I worry. I spend the entire hitch trying not to think about it, thanks for bringing it up.  Again. 

3. "Will he be home for Christmas/birthdays/anniversaries/weddings?"
-If any of those days falls on his days off, then yes he will be home. If not, he won't. Yes it's a bummer. 

4. "What do you do when he's away for so long?"
The same things I do when he's home, except I'm doing it alone and now I'm also taking out the trash, mowing the lawn (or shoveling snow) pumping my own gas, and fixing whatever breaks.

5. "Do you miss him?"
-This one is the one that really gets me.  For real, what kind of question is that?  Why would you even ask me that?  Yes I miss him. Every moment I'm awake. From the moment he leaves until the moment he returns. He's my husband. The father of my child. The love of my life.  I miss him. I always miss him. It doesn't get easier and I don't get used to it. 
Don't ever ask an oilfield wife if she misses her husband. She will probably smile and say something like "I do, but it is what it is" while in her head she's punched you in the neck about 11 times.  

Feb 18, 2015


We lost our Mema last week..  Clay was upset.. We were expecting it, but still..  We are rejoicing also; we know she is with Jesus, and her parents, her husband, and siblings..  She lost her husband to a heart attack 35 years ago..  It's comforting to know she is with him again.
She was beautiful, incredibly kind, sharp, witty, and pretty darn close to perfect..  If you ask Clay, he'll tell you she was perfect :)  I'd probably agree..

Clay will leave for Angola tomorrow evening..  We are all happy that he gets to go back to work but bummed that he will have to leave us to do it..  They told him to expect to be gone 6 to 8 weeks this time..  That part sucks..  4 weeks if fine, the 5th week is harder but doable; anything after that sucks..

It's pretty much been smooth sailing the last several months..  Nothing bad ever happens when he's home..  But as soon as he leaves it's open season on our house..  Murphy's law is gonna open up a can of whoop-a$$ on us this time..
The last time he left, a tree fell on our house..  I can't imagine worse than that..
So I'll be looking for a new church by myself for the next few weeks..  To be completely honest, I'd be perfectly content to just stay home with my Bible and watch sermons on YouTube until he comes home but I really can't do that..  It will be easier to blend into the background though..  Clay does stand out more than I do (it might be the mohawk)..  At least on my own I can just go in, sit in the back and observe :)

Sky had her first official work day at DC yesterday..  She came home covered in soot but smiling..

She said she welded 65 pieces in the 5 hours she was there..  I have no idea if that's good or not, but her dad looked impressed..
Oh my gosh, he is sooo proud of her!  He's practically giddy, which looks sort of funny on a guy like him..

My first week of school was good but busy..  I love what I'm learning and feel like I am accomplishing a lot, but then I look at how much is ahead of me and I feel a little overwhelmed..
At least I'll have something to pass the time while Clay is away :)

Feb 14, 2015

Back to school.

I started school again. Since we left our church and I'm not working there 4 days a week, I can study full time..  So I have started working on my master's degree :)  
I enrolled in a different school this time where I can 'sit in' on lectures and things through satellite and go through an actual class schedule..  It's supposed to take 4 years, but the counselor said since I'm learning from home I could do all of the book work at my own pace, and finish faster if I chose..  
Well duh!  Of course I do!  I love it so much that I have to force myself to take a break on the weekends :)
The first subject is totally blowing my mind..  So much I didn't know!  The subject is discernment which covers a multitude of subjects within it; heresy, Christology, orthodoxy, methodology, etc..  Truthfully, all I really knew about discernment was what I learned at church..  Come to find out it's NOTHING like what I was taught..  And there are 64 different lessons on just that subject!  
Ok, I might work on the weekends too..  
You know?  I thought that I had learned a good bit of knowledge when I earned my bachelors, but after looking at the syllabus and seeing how much I will be learning?  Wow!  

My syllabus:

  1. Discernment
  2. Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics
  3. Old Testament History I
  4. Old Testament History II and Poetry
  5. Old Testament Prophets
  6. The Gospels
  7. Acts and Pauline Epistles
  8. Hebrews, General Epistles, and Revelation
  9. New Testament Introduction
  10. The Church to the Modern Era
  11. The Church in the Modern Era: Europe and America
  12. Trinitarianism
  13. Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology
  14. Soteriology
  15. Sanctification and Ecclesiology
  16. Eschatology
  17. Elements of Greek
  18. Elements of Greek 2
  19. Intermediate Greek
  20. Introduction to New Testament Exegesis
  21. Exegesis of Romans
  22. Elements of Hebrew I
  23. Elements of Hebrew I
  24. Hebrew Exegesis I
  25. Hebrew Exegesis II and Old Testament Introduction
  26. Pastoral Counseling
  27. Educational Process of the Church
  28. Spiritual Life
  29. Evangelism
  30. Expository Preaching I
  31. Expository Preaching II
  32. Orientation and Research Methods
  33. Introduction to World Missions
  34. Spiritual Formation
I think I may drop the advanced Greek and Hebrew classes; keep the introductions and replace the advanced with a couple of electives like communications and teaching techniques..  I need to learn Portuguese fluently and learning Greek and Hebrew on top of that is going to be too much for me.. The pastoral counseling also..  I have no desire whatsoever to be a pastor or a counselor..

But check this out!  I've been researching Christianity in Angola, especially Luanda where we will be living:

Angola Population: 12.8 million 
People-groups: 39 
Main Religion: Roman Catholic 
Languages: Portuguese  
Non-Christians: 62% 
Christians: 38% 

Continual war since 1962 has been devastating. Anti-personnel landmines outnumber the population, and by 1999 there were 100,000 amputees. A large proportion of the rural population has fled to urban areas due to widespread famine. The psychological, social and spiritual wounds are even more harmful and long-lasting. Luanda and other major cities have become the home of refugee populations living in squalid despair. Many orphaned or abandoned children struggle to survive; many victims of the war aggressively beg on the streets. Pray for churches and agencies seeking to alleviate their suffering. Christians have suffered ostracism, abuse, discrimination and outright persecution for many decades. The harsh realities of war and the ideological collapse of Communism in the 1990s resulted in an easing of nearly all discrimination against Christians. Services are packed, and despite their desperation and destitution hundreds of thousands have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. The dearth of trained, godly leadership is the most critical problem limiting church growth and maturity. 

I'm getting excited!!

Feb 11, 2015

It's official!

Out baby is officially a welder!  Well, she's still going to welding college every day, but now she's working as a welder too..  
She was offered a chance to intern at a welding company; she went in to take the test with the CWI (certified welding inspector) this morning..  They were so impressed with her skill that they hired her on the spot, and she starts tomorrow!  The first paid intern!  
Not only that, but they already want to hire her full time in 4 months when she finishes school.

So now she works 2 jobs and goes to school..

Can't tell you how proud we are of this girl!

Feb 9, 2015

Taaa daaa!

We organized the kitchen cabinets last night..  Yay!
I had made a menu for the next three weeks, so we did some major grocery shopping..  When we got home to put them away, after shoving stuff around I realized that there were a few things I had bought that I already had..
The goal was to save money by making a menu and an actual grocery list instead of just winging it whenever we go the store; then we don't have anything actually planned and we end up eating out or foraging through the cabinets looking for something to throw together quickly...
We got everything on the list and spent about $300.00.  Just $100.00 a week!  

Anyway, back to the cabinets..
This is before (no wonder I couldn't find anything! 

And this is after..  
I just LOVE Mason jars!


After.. *(by the way, the beer and the wine is for cooking, we don't drink. :)*

We organized the bottom cabinets too where all the pots and pans, baking dishes, mixing bowls, and small appliances are too but I didn't take pictures..

We finished the kitchen around 11:00 and then watched Walking Dead (not happy about it by the way!) and then conked out around 12:30..
Oh, we weren't able to try out a new church yesterday because Clay's cat barfed all over the living room and we had to shampoo the carpet..  
We'll try again next Sunday..  

Feb 7, 2015


We have had a slightly eventful week.  Do you remember in one of my last posts where I mentioned that something was in the works but I couldn't say what? Well it's all over now so I can share it; Clay and I have decided to leave our church. We had been talking and praying about it for several months and finally came to a decision on Thursday. So I went to the church, packed up my desk, and delivered goodbye letters to all of the pastors.  We have heard back from all but two of the pastors and they have been very kind and supportive about it. 
So that's that.  
Tomorrow we will start looking for a new church. 

The book study is going well, I am seriously enjoying it and the conversation has been great. We start at 8:00 PM and don't finish talking until 11:30!  We have invited another person and she will be joining us next Friday. Yay!

I know I have mentioned this on Facebook but I haven't blogged it, at least I don't think I have. 
But in about 2 1/2 to 3 years Clay and I are moving out of the country. At first we were thinking Serbia or Romania but we have decided on Angola Africa.  Clay already works there and it would be no trouble at all for him to get a live-in position, plus that is where the biggest need is. Meaning I could do more good there and help more people then I could in Romania or Serbia.
So that means that I have a lot to learn! I need to learn Portuguese, and a whole bunch of other stuff too.  I am really excited about it, and a little surprised that I'm not absolutely terrified.
Serbia or Romania would be much more comfortable than Angola. Angola  is incredibly impoverished. 
The company will provide us with a house and Clay has lived in Africa off and on for the last 10 years so he understands the culture and how to get around which is comforting to me.
 I would rather be uncomfortable in Angola than comfortable in Romania or Serbia without him.
It amazes me though that the idea of being uncomfortable and surrounded by poverty and filth doesn't absolutely terrify  me. In fact it makes me want to go even more. Isn't that just the craziest thing?

Feb 3, 2015

Good Morning!

I had forgotten how much I enjoy getting up early. I've gotten sort of lazy the last couple months, not getting up until 8 or 9. 
I couldn't sleep past 4:00 this morning so I gave up trying and got up. I was pretty productive before Clay got up at 6:00.
 I started my Bible study on Deuteronomy, read a couple chapters of Jeremiah, did the dishes and even cooked breakfast. 
It feels good to get back into a routine. Clay has been home for so long (not complaining) that the routine has sort of disappeared. He isn't much of a routine kind of guy.  But he could he going back to work any day now; it'll be easier to adjust if I get back on a schedule. 

I'm taking a break from working at the church after this week. Except for the time I spent in the hospital last Christmas and jury duty last summer, I haven't taken a break. So I'm gonna spend 2 weeks at home. Yay!
We got a new carpet cleaner so I'm going to shampoo the carpets and then just read. Sounds like the perfect vacation to me :)

I just saw on the news that 18 people have died because of the winter storm in New York and Boston. I also saw that there has been an outbreak of measles in  15 states.  Yikes!  I guess I had better make sure that our vaccinations are up to date.