Friday, October 31, 2014











"Why I married the girl that gave me tens of thousands of dollars of debt"
"Why my wife is the best person in the world"
"Why my wife's job is harder than mine"
"How the millionaire CEO of Apple, is pretty much the same as Martin Luther King Jr"
"The ins and outs of white privilege"
"How my white wife pretty much perpetuates racism"
"Why I can't replace garbage bags when I bring out the trash"
"Why bringing out the trash is my one job and I just.can't.get.it.right" 

So many suggestions I will have!

(did you think the news was something else?  Not yet!)

7 Quick takes. With a little sass and a little stand up from my brother in law to end it!

Happy Halloween!  The Wilkerson boys will be trick-or-treating as homemade cars. I'm not gonna lie, as you may know I am NOT a crafter/decorator/etc... It's just not in my blood.  But, this year I got some inspiration, some baby wipe/baby diaper boxes and a roll of colored duct tape, then I made me some costumes.  We went to our little downtown Redford Halloween party (which was kind of a bust to be honest, way too much standing around for our little guys) and a LOT of people told us the costumes were awesome.  I felt real good about that.

You guys.  This pope stuff. I swear.  So much I could say, but I'm gonna say this.  People are genuinely surprised when they are finding out what the Church actually teaches.  While this could be total annoying (and frankly, kind of is) I like framing it as an opportunity to share with people.  Because if people are this surprised, it's because we have been doing a crud job of teaching.  And the good news is, those of us who are teachers have an awesome oppurtunity to teach.  I can't tell you how many non-Catholics have been asking me Catholic questions ever since Pope Francis became pope.  And that, my friends, ain't nothin' but awesome.

If you don't care about celebrities, you won't care about this next take.  If you follow celebrity gossip, you might care.  I saw a tweet a few weeks ago that really stuck with me.
If you cried about Robin Williams and you're laughing about Amanda Bynes, check yourself. Mental illness isn't a spectator sport.
Sorry, one more thing about Pope Francis.  Isn't it crazy how irresponsible media is?  I mean, I know we all know this, but it's still stunning sometimes.  Because like, really legit news organizations are just flat out lying about the Catholic Church.  Not being misleading, but lying (spoiler: we've always taught, in modern times, evolution is compatible with our faith).  It's crazy to me, because I don't know a lot of things well, but I know Catholicism pretty darn well, so I am very aware when media is lying about my Church.  It really has given me a pause as I think of the kazillion other things I probably take as truth, just because I don't know any better.  SCARY right?

Do you guys watch the show 'The Profit'?  No?  Okay, lemme give you a brief synopsis.  This guy, who's name I don't know, comes into companies that are in dire straights and invests in them if they clean up their businesses.  Anyway, this week, he tried to help out a family of crazy financially irresponsible people.  Their business was broke, in debt, and yet they had a boat and drove BMWs.  It was fascinating watching it, because they REALLY couldn't connect the problem.  The investor ended up walking because he felt they were being dishonest about their debt/spending/etc... but the thing is my heart really went out to them. I don't think they were trying to be dishonest. I really think they couldn't connect their spending to the fact that they were broke.  It really resonated with me because I remember being there. I remember being flat broke, avoiding phone calls from creditors who called all.the.time. I remember having constant knots in my stomach about my finances, losing sleep, paying the bill that was 3 months late, because once it went to 4 months, it could mean serious trouble.  At the same time, I drove a new car, went out to eat, smoked cigarettes and had at least a few 'bar nights' a month.  And I didn't connect the two.  Mr. Ramsey talks all the time about debt being 80% behavioral and 20 % about money.  He is so right.

That was a long story- thanks for sticking with it.

So, my sisters (with born children) all live out of state.  That really sucks for me. My kids have like 23 first cousins they rarely see.  I can't tell you how much this bums me out.  But guess what?  Tonight, my sister and her five children are in town...SO WE GET TO GO TRICK OR TREATING WITH THEM!  Wanna see the last time I went trick-or-treating with them?!?!
That was six or seven years ago and 9 kids ago.  I was single and hating it, but loving my nieces and nephews. Tonight should be great.

My brother in law is a stand up comedian and he is performing in Michigan this weekend?!?! WHAT?!?!?!  How awesome is that?  Wanna come?  It's $12 and lots of fun. Lemme know if you want to see him, but watch this to see how truly funny he is...

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, October 24, 2014

7 Quick Tags, with hashtags #causetheyareawesome

So, it's been a couple weeks without the quick takes!  My goodness friends in blogging world, life has been crazy busy, but crazy good. I anticipated September and October were going to be a bit of a wild ride and I anticipated correct.  Yesterday was John Paul's 1st year well check up and instead of telling the doctor I was a SAHM, I said I do part time work in ministry.  Gotta admit reality my friends.  #truthshallsetyoufree

We finally are getting recordings of our presentation (hey, lemme know if you want to see what we do!), and that is a lovely thing.  What's not so lovely is watching yourself give presentations.  So, apparently, I say 'right?' every thirty two seconds.  It's so annoying, it's a wonder I have been able to make this a part-time job!  #gottaworkonthat

Tuesday night, little Aaron fell asleep in my arms.  It was such a beautiful moment.  I am no fool, I know the days of him being held are numbered, and that very well could have been the last time my little/big guy falls asleep on me.  I made sure to capture the moment in my heart.  #holdontothesemomentsastheypass

Let's talk synod for a second. I could go OFF if I wanted to on two camps of people who done ticked me off. I could go off and name names of people who I think are completely missing the point. I could go OFF about the amount of stupid articles that were shared on 'the interwebs', articles making my blood boil.  But, instead I will just say this.  I found the tension of the synod on the family refreshing.  We are living in fascinating times, in our post-Christian culture and anyone who thinks this doesn't call for a new type of evangelization- is completely missing the point.  I find it comforting that even at the highest levels of theological thought, there is a 'messiness' when it comes to figuring out how to best love people.  Even at the highest levels, there is a 'messiness' present when living in the tension of adapting to culture with our language, and yet still preserving unchangeable doctrine.   Sometimes, those of us who adhere to the doctrine of the Church, we think we've got it all figured out.  But, frankly we don't.  Learning to love people is a heart-stretching activity...and I think the synod fathers showed us that. #loveismessy

Two things about driving.  First- Since having kids, I hate driving on the highway and I hate passing accidents on the highway.  Second- Since having kids, when I drive by myself in the car 99.9% of the time, I do so in silence.  Silence is so rare these days, I live for it. #grownupsh#$

We have our first Saturday with no plans since August tomorrow.  Three choices are in play.  1) Pajama Day 2) Aaron/I leave to go to watch the game with friends or at a bar and get a sitter for the boys 3) A spontaneous overnight trip to Grand Rapids starting tonight.  What do you think we should do? #decisions

Aaron doesn't know his letters.  Well, he can say them, but doesn't recognize or write them yet.  He is 3.5 years.  On a scale of 1-10 how much of an issue is this? #helpasisterout

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

There's no dignity in suffering...

...or is there?

Did you read this story?  Can you believe it?  
For those of you who don’t want to click on the article, the story is tragedy at it’s finest.  

A woman, so young, with debilitating, non-curable brain cancer.  She has chosen her date to die, so that she might die with dignity.  And you know what?  It makes perfect sense.  

It's awful watching people who have had to live and suffer with incurable diseases.  It is heart wrenching.  But doesn't it seem so much more heart wrenching when the person is young?

Last year, I read the blog of a mom who’s son was dying of brain cancer.  I sobbed on the regular reading about her coming to terms with him losing his battle, reading about God not intervening with a miracle, and finally, the end.  And when she wrote about her faith, when she wrote that her child was God’s and because her child was God’s her job was to bring him to heaven...I was speechless.

And now there's this story.  A young bride, a beautiful woman, her pictures are stunning.  The sorrow of the story is palpable, as I have often thought about what it would be like if myself or my husband were given tragic news.  For me, life got so much more intense once I got married.  Once I had children.  This is so ridiculous you guys are going to laugh, but I sometimes find myself sobbing at the mere thought of tragedy in my immediate family.  I make up terrible scenerios in my head. I am kind of notorious for it.  If my husband is even 20 minutes late, I start to prepare myself for the ‘call’ and consider funeral arrangements. 

Death and suffering is a terrible, terrible thing.

To be honest, death makes more sense than suffering though.  Suffering is the absolutely awful.  Watching those you love suffer is unbearable.  Truly unbearable. 

If not for the cross.

And so, for those of you that asked, I get her decision.  I get why she’d choose to let go.  I get why she is choosing to ‘die with dignity',  assuming dying while clinging to unimaginable suffering somehow becomes void of dignity. 

I get it because we live in a world where Christ and His example, a lot of times, doesn't matter.  And that’s a scary scary world to live in.  You see, the story of this young woman is one that I don’t think can be understood separate from the cross.  The cross is what teaches us that suffering doesn't have to be meaningless.  The cross shows us that sometimes, through suffering AMAZING things can happen.

Did you watch this video?  
BOLD MINISTRIES is getting fancy (though totally not) and starting to crudely record some of our presentations.  In this video my ministry partner Mike talks about meeting God in the death of his son, Liam.

My ministry partner is also one of my best friends.  His wife is as well.  One and a half years ago, after 9 years of trying to have a child, their son, Liam passed away, with no real reason.  A child so many people hoped and prayed for was taken way too soon.  

I remember driving to the hospital, after getting the phone call and being SO angry with God. I am not generally a person who is angry with God.  But I had a shaking my fist moment.  A big one.  Why would He do this? Why would He take this child, who was so loved?  It seemed like a cruel joke from a terrible puppet master. It shook my faith during that drive to meet my grieving friends.  And then I got to the hospital.  I prayed with my friends, I held sweet Liam.  In the weeks that followed, we saw miracle after miracle.  Liam’s little life made a tremendous impact, even in the short amount of time he was here.  And I began to understand the tragedy a little better. 

When our hearts break, I know our God understands.  The shortest verse in the bible tells us all we need to know about a God who understands hurt, “Jesus Wept” (John 11.:35).  He wept for his friend who had died.  He wept for his friend’s family and community.  He wept at suffering.  He understood it’s horror.  He understood what death, dying, suffering does to a person and a community.  And then He showed us that He could conquer it. By dying on the cross, and rising three days later He showed us that ‘death has lost it’s sting' (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). 

But these things, all these things, are incredibly hard to understand when we separate them from the cross.  And we do an awful lot of separating from the cross in today’s society.  My question, of course, is how’s that working for us?  

We are curing suffering at every turn, but it sure doesn’t seem like people are happier.  A pill for this, a surgery for that, a numbing agent to here, an assisted suicide there… and yet, our sickness doesn’t seem to be getting any better. 

So, I’m gonna pray for Brittany Maynard in the next couple weeks. I’m gonna to ask St. Liam to pray with me.  I am going to pray that her suffering is alleviated, but, if it can’t be, I’m going to pray she understand her life STILL has value.  Her suffering can hold dignity, a dignity far more mysterious than what this world offers. 

And friends, I ask you to join me in these prayers.

Friday, October 3, 2014

7 Quick Takes- Jesus Jivin my way to heaven

It's official. I don't care if you believe me, I am way more of an introvert than I am an extrovert.  I officially recharge by silence and alone time.  Which is complex, when you have three children/a husband/and a 'part time job' (that is becoming more full time) that includes speaking to large groups of teenagers.  The good news is, I have named it...now on to figuring out how to find a way to recharge...with all of those elements.

For awhile now, some people have been requesting video of our ministry. It makes sense, but for whatever reason, we always ran into extreme technical difficulties.  This year, we have decided to rise above those difficulties and get fancy.  So, for your enjoyment, I am including the 'Jesus Jive' in these quick takes.  Feel free to bring it to your family and friends.  It offers hours of energetic fun.

Our children were up very early this morning.  5:15 am.  That is very early.  I am blessed to have a husband who takes care of them when they get up that early.  BUT, prior to 5:15 am, they pretty much slept all night.  With three toddlers, it is very normal for me to get up every hour/ever other hour for something...a blanket here, a paci there, etc...It was SO NICE to sleep 6 STRAIGHT HOURS last night. I can't remember the last time that happened.

CUTE story alert.  So, like I said, the little dudes like to get up throughout the night with random requests. On Monday night, at around 2:30 am, lil' A started calling my name.  I started hollering back, 'What do you want?"  With his little voice, he finally said, "Can you just come here mommy?"  Of course, I joyfully jumped out of bed to meet his request (or not, I'll leave that up to you to decide, but there MAY have been a swear word or two)...I walked in his room and said, "What do you need Aaron?".  Guess what he said?  GUESS?!?!?!
"Would you snuggle me for a minute Mommy?"
Here's the thing, ANYTIME my kids wanna snuggle is a good time in my book,  So, snuggle we did.

I drink two cups of coffee every morning.  Lil' A is now trained to say, "Are you a nice mom yet mommy?" He knows that doesn't happen till after my first cup.  Parenting FTW.

My FB homie was all like, "paid off my car 3 years early, thanks Mary Wilkerson for introducing me to Dave Ramesy!"  Paraphrasing of course.  But, it was a nice reminder of how empowering the 'Financial Peace' program is, and what changes it made in our lives and continues to make in the lives of others.  If you feel yourself drowning in bills and debt, you should really check it out.  It's funny, because the part of my life when I woke up sick to my stomach most days, because I was carrying around 80k of debt, seems like so long ago.  It takes such hard work and discipline, but it is totally worth it.

How 'bout them Tigers?!?!?
I want to tell you a true story. "How 'bout them Tigers" was gonna be my 7th take no matter what.  To celebrate those of you who celebrate them and are excited they are in the running for the World Series.  But then I was like, I suppose I should check the score of the game yesterday- just so I am informed.  AND...it appears we lost, 12 runs to 3.  That's not good news. Not good news at all.  Tiger fans, what happened?!?!?!?!?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!