Confessions of a Superhero

Confessions of a Super Hero

Other possible titles:

If I tell you what I really think, will you call me a bitter divorcé ?

Words you write when you are out of Xanax.

There is not enough Botox in the world to hide the fact that I feel tired and old.

Misguided Musings of a 30 something single mom.

 

In just two years I’ve become a real life super hero, this is my story:

We don’t have to talk, we are not friends”.

That was all I could manage to say. That was the last thing that I said. I didn’t look at him again. I didn’t look at her either. I just rolled up my window and drove away. I don’t know where they went. Maybe to celebrate his new found freedom, or to revel in the fact that they had won some great prize in an out of court settlement that included very little time with the kids and even less financial support. I don’t know where they went, and does it really matter? He had made his choice and I would make mine. And so I closed the door on ten years of my life.

Ten years of hopes and dreams.

Ten years of joy and laughter.

Ten years of fighting and strife.

Of contention and hurt and more heartache then our marriage was capable of withstanding.

I closed the door behind me and stared out into a world full of terrifying possibilities, armed with only the tiniest glimmer of hope that somehow, in the end, all the wrongs would be made right.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

 

It’s important to note that by this time I had been a single mom for over a year. Gone were the nights of holding my children as they cried themselves to bed and then slipping into my own bed to do the same. Gone was the fear and worry that my former “stay at home mom” status would prevent me from ever getting a good job, or a good job that I liked. Gone was the fear that I would never be wanted, and that what I could offer would never be enough. And the loneliness that once threatened to rob me of all future joy; was more of a dull ache only noticeable when I focused on it, and I never did.

 

At this point in my life I tried to date. I use that word “try”, about as loosely as you can use any word, because in hindsight, I did not “try” at all. I got out of these “relationships” exactly what I put into them, basically nothing. To be fair, I’m not sure I was ever good at dating… I mean, I was married at 21 so that leaves only my high school boyfriends to chime in… but please don’t because that would be insanely uncomfortable.

The point is this; it is extremely awkward for Christians to date after a divorce. Call me a hopeless romantic, but still hard to forget how, “the one” turned out. And while I totally agree there are a lot of someone betters out there for me, I am plagued with the reality that there is also someone worse, and that guy makes being single seem pretty stinking wonderful. And so, I am content to wait. On time, healing, confidence, hundreds of cats to take over my home and drive me out into the street where I am forced to make new friends, God, anything… I am just waiting. And trusting that when it is right, I’ll know.

Things that steal my joy:

Not having enough time with my kids.

Watching them miss their dad.

Knowing that my chances of marrying Bradley Cooper are basically non-existent.

Seeing them disappointed.

Knowing that even at my best, I will never be both a mother and a father.

Seeing them disappointed again.

Being so tired my body aches.

Seeing them disappointed again and again and again.

Commuting 2 hours a day and then coming home and feeling like a zombie.

The road map of wrinkles that line my forehead.

Things that bring me joy:

Being able to provide for my kids.

Daydreaming about sharing a front porch and a double rocking chair with Bradley Cooper.

A community of friends and family who held my arms up when I was too weak to walk.

Disco dance parties in my daughter’s room.

The way my son looks at me with such gratitude and pride when I come home from work.

All of the things that make up Elly’s world.

All of the things that make up Nicky’s world.

Knowing that I am building a legacy in them, and they will always be my proudest accomplishment.

Interesting work.

Cute clothes.

Knowing that I am not alone, and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Feeling loved every day.

Having a front row seat in the lives of two really cool little humans.

Remembering that this is only one chapter and that the rest has already been written and is just waiting to be read.

 

In truth, some days are awesome and other days suck. I can appreciate that I am not a conventional superhero. An argument can be made that there is nothing super or heroic about me… get behind me Satan.

Although it may be fair to say there is nothing spectacular or even particularly interesting about my life right now. I’m trying to do the best with the cards in my hand, like all of the other amazing parents I know. Still, there are seasons of motherhood that seem more trying than others. This has been mine. And so, you will forgive my bold self-proclaimed superhero status, and just remember sometimes I need to be reminded that I am more than a conqueror.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

Love,

Shaena

PS,

This blog is for moms like me. Your lives are not perfect, but you wake up every day and you do the best with what you have been given. You are beautiful and your story matters.

 

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Have you hugged your pastor’s wife lately?

I’ve been a pastor’s wife in one shape or form for nearly 10 years. Certainly not long enough to be an expert by any means. In that time I’ve been married to a youth pastor, worship pastor, college & career pastor, senior pastor, and most recently a campus pastor. Same man… just to set the record straight…whoa.

Many of my friends are also pastor’s wives, which sort of makes me wonder why we’ve never been approached for a new reality spinoff, “The Real Pastor’s Wives of the Protestant church”…probably not enough scandal for prime time but I could see it getting a decent day-time rating. “This week on RPWPC, Jenn worries she wont get all the baking done in time for community group, while Sara teaches her adorable homeschool children how to churn their own butter, and Shaena’s 3 year old gets kicked out of Christian school.”

Anyway…

Since the networks don’t seem interested in airing the reality of being a pastor’s wife can I just tell you one thing I’ve learned about your pastor’s wife? Sure, I’ve learned other things, but this one is super important.

YOUR PASTOR’S WIFE NEEDS A HUG!!

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Your senior pastor’s wife probably needs 2.

Her job, if you want to call it that, is sort of hard.

1. She has to be nice all the time. I get that this is easier for some than it is for me, but have you ever tried being nice ALL the time? Of course no one really expects her to be nice all the time, she isn’t Jesus, but believe me she’s going to hear about when she is not. If your pastor’s wife is just the sweetest woman you’ve ever met, go give her a hug! She ain’t being fake, God is showing Himself strong on her behalf!

2. She has to share her husband. Um hello! Your pastor’s wife married your pastor because she thought he was even more awesome than you do! And now she willingly & sacrificially shares his time and talents with you. And she is happy to do it! In fact, she is super blessed knowing that her husband is a blessing to you! If you are blessed by your pastor’s ministry, go give his wife a hug!

Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interest of others. Phil 2:4

3. Some people expect more out of her than Jesus does. God is satisfied with her rockin’ heart that loves Him and the church…it’s not always enough for the rest of the congregation (1 Sam 16:7). And she has to filter through their expectations too. If your pastor’s wife is confidently committed to pleasing God and doing what he has called her to do, even when it means she wont please man (Gal 1:10), go give her a hug.

4. Hugs are free. Encouragement will cost you nothing to give and just might be the most valuable thing you possess! Give it away! Give it all. Give it radically. Give it to people you aren’t even sure need it, like your pastors wife! Go on, write her a note, shoot her a text, GIVE HER A HUG! Tell her all the things she’s told you. Remind her how God is using her to change your church, your city, and your home. Tell her you’re behind her and you support her in whatever God calls her to do. Cheer her on when she is blessed and don’t judge her when you realize she is real woman who needs Jesus too. Tell her you are thankful she is willing to stand at the front lines alongside her husband and let the darts fall where they will. Let her know how much you appreciate her.

“God is patient with leaders. You ought to be as well.” Pastor Skip Heitzig

My pastor’s wife Lenya Heitzig is a rockstar of a woman. Lenya, consider yourself hugged! Thanks for all you do to serve Calvary Albuquerque. For the sacrifices you are sure to have made throughout your many years of ministry. And for the love and encouragement you give. Thank you for your faithfulness to the word of God and your eagerness to teach the treasures you’ve uncovered!

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in word and doctrine. 1 Tim 5:17

(Btw- Lenya leads an awesome ministry called She ministries. You’ll want to click that link because you are just in time to register for an incredible Bible study in 1 John held online or live at Calvary Abq . It starts next Tues Sept 10, so register today. Yay!!)

Well there you have it ladies, I challenge you all to hug your pastor’s wife this week. See if she doesn’t shine just a little brighter next Sunday.

Warning: encouragement is contagious. Start giving it freely and you just might change the world friends!

Xoxo,

Shaena

What are some things you love about your pastor’s wife? Leave a hug here!

Amazing Grace

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“You’re like God”.

His words took my breath away.

I had heard of kids saying similar things, but this was my kid and, well…quite frankly, he knew better. He had to be confused…or maybe I misled him. Man, did I ever mislead him!

My mind flooded with memories of all the mistakes I’d made in his short life. The time when I fed him sweets and then forgot to brush his teeth, and the time when I forgot to feed him at all. The numerous times he’d seen me lose my temper, raise my voice, or storm out frustrated.

He’d seen me rude.

He’d seen me impatient.

He’d seen me unkind.

Unloving.

Unforgiving.

He had to know I was imperfect in every way.

And I was his, “like God”?

In that moment, it was hard to imagine a less suitable comparison. This picture of an imperfect God my son had painted over a lifetime living with an imperfect mom had to be corrected. Still saturated from the flood of emotional memories, and barely audible,  my own voice somehow managed to reply simply:

“How so, babe?”

His answer challenged me.

“Well, you always love me. Even when I sometimes don’t listen, or I throw a fit. Or even if I have to go to time out, you always love me the same. That means you are like God. That’s the same as like he love’s me”.  And suddenly I understood.

Grace.

Favor unearned, undeserved, and inexplicable apart from a holy God.

It was grace.

My son wasn’t confused, nor was he misled into thinking his mommy was something more than what she was. He understood God was perfect and he wasn’t trying to create Him in my image the way I’d sometimes done when I loved something. To him, I am “like God”, because I am covered in grace.

And my love for my children is just a reflection.

If you do everything else wrong sweet mommas, do this right. Teach your children about grace. Teach them that it was by grace that they are saved (Eph 2:8-9), and that their confidence is found in it (2 Cor 1:12).  Tell them God is able to make all grace abound in them, that always having all sufficiency in everything, they will have an abundance of grace for every good thing they do (2 Cor 9:8). Teach them grace was given to each of us (Eph 4:7), that we are justified by it (Titus 3:7), and stewards of it (1 Peter 4:10).

Look, I know you have a lot of things you need to teach them. Teach them those things too! But teach them to value grace above those things. And if you do that, precious friends, your children wont just receive grace, they will distribute it.

And THAT has the power to change the world.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” 1 Peter 1:2

Did this blog encourage you? Why not share it with a friend? And while you are here, you might also enjoy, Surviving Elly’s World.

Praying for you! That you will walk in grace, and that the world will know from where your confidence comes!

My heart is not the boss of me.

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FICKLE: likely to change, especially due to caprice, irresolution, or instability; casually changeable: fickle weather (Dictionary.com)

 

Yesterday I realized something very important about myself.

My heart is fickle.

Look, this isn’t always a bad thing. It usually means when I get upset about something, it is rarely for very long… that’s really good right? (Rationalization is an awesome form of denial)

My heart is fickle.

One day I want to climb the tallest mountain and scream out for revival and then go door to door splashing people in the face with water until they wake up to the reality that they are on a merry go round going no where! (Side note: I don’t recommend splashing ANYONE in the face with water as a form of evangelism or…pretty much… ever.)

And the next day, I don’t even want to go outside.

My heart is fickle.

Before you start handing out the Zoloft samples (which btw- I’d have no problem taking if I thought it would help), let me reassure you, I am not depressed… or bipolar… my heart is just fickle.

Which is why, my heart is not the boss of me!

 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure…who can understand it” Jeremiah 17:9

When I let my heart do the driving, my life becomes a scattered mess of confusing emotions that can go from 0-60 and then back again in no time at all.

That is why I let God direct my steps and not my heart!

My heart is fickle, but God never changes!

“I the LORD do not change!” Malachi 3:6

Um…can I get an AMEN!! He never changes!

What that means for you and me is this:

  • When my heart is fickle, bouncing from being broken, to bewildered, and then absolutely thrilled by what He has called me to do- His heart remains the exact same.
  • When nothing around me is constant or sure, He never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” Hebrews 13:8.
    • His love never changes
    • His mercy never changes
    • His goodness never changes
    • His ability to provide never changes
    • And… His will for my life never changes!!!

My heart might be fickle, but my God is constant.

An encouragement for girls like me, with fickle hearts that make life a little unpredictable: Your heart is not the boss of you, God is. No matter what else changes around you, and no matter how you feel about those changes, God in all His greatness will never change. Don’t follow your heart, follow Jesus.

 Praying for you, that you’d have steady hearts that rest in a God who never changes. 

 What about you, is your heart fickle? How do you encourage girls like you? Leave a comment.

 

Share Your Story: Carol Ortiz

Today you’ll hear from the heart of Carol Ortiz. She is the wife of pastor Fernando Ortiz of Mile High Calvary Church in Highlands Ranch CO, and mother to three beautiful children. (Interesting tidbit, Nick and I were guests at their church when we felt confirmation to move to Phoenix!) Anyway, she is awesome, and I’m stoked to have her share her story with you.

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I have been studying prayer lately and a verse that has stuck with me is Matthew 11:28 “”Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Jesus is saying that the prerequisite for coming to him is weariness. As a mom and pastors wife, I can easily admit I am physically weary and when I’m honest and humble I know my spiritual state is no different! What’s left circulating in my mind is, “if he wants the weary to come to him, why do we muster up such strange prayer methods and ideas?’ I think we have ingrained in our heads that we need to become prayer warriors that come in prayer sure-footed with long eloquent prayers that always start with adoration and end in supplication (you know the ACTS thing). Surely there is a time for that, I guess. But as I read through the Psalms, I see true heartfelt soul pouring prayers. David is really connecting with the Lord. There are Psalms where he utters beautiful praise and thanksgiving to his God, but there’s a lot that begin with questions, and pleads for help. Some are even angry. As I was observing this it hit me that while we want to honor God in our prayers and show our reverence to Him, it does not honor God when we pray what’s on our lips only and not what’s in our hearts.

If we come to him weary and more childlike, our prayers would be more “prayerful”, more like fellowship. More like connecting with the Father like Jesus did in the garden, like David did while hiding in caves and repenting as a King. Could we come to Him seeking Him instead of a successful prayer life? What would happen if we put quality over quantity? What if instead of pushing all of our thoughts about the day out of our prayers, we prayed about them? I’ll bet (because we see it in the Psalms) our prayers would start more genuine and could end in beautiful praise and thanksgiving that’s not interrupted with our thoughts.

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Love what God is showing you about communion with Him. Thanks for sharing Carol.

Feel free to leave comments for Carol here or email her at carol@milehighcalvary.com
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I wish for no more wishes

I wish I could read all day.

I wish I could read and write all day, every day.

I wish I could read and write all day, every day, and not be interrupted.

If I could read and write all day, every day, without interruptions, I’d wish I had someone feeding me grapes… I love grapes… and foot rubs.

I wish I could read and write all day, every day, with no interruptions, eating grapes, while having my feet rubbed.

But then, think of all I’d miss:

  • Hugs from my daughter
  • All the funny little things my son does and says
  • Tender moments with my husband
  • Fun times with friends
  • Chance encounters with strangers
  • Opportunities to grow, learn, share, and give
  • And just about everything that makes life worth living

I’m so thankful that God gives us the desires of our heart and not every little wish that pops in our head.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart Psalm 37:4

When our desire is to know Him, we wish for less and appreciate more. If He were to take back everything He has blessed us with, He would still remain… and that would be enough.

What are some of the things you would miss if God granted every little wish?

Praying for a thankful heart this week.

Xoxo Shaena

I Hate Tansformers

When you’ve done all you can and it still isn’t enough, surrender.

I hate transformers. Not the movie, no opinion there, but the plastic toys that transform from car to robot. If you don’t know what they are…seriously? Maybe hate is too strong a word, I really really don’t like them. They are impossible to transform. I suspect manufacturers make transformers to drive people crazy, and people give them to my son to see if I will curse.

There are three kinds of people when it comes to transformers, or any other challenge, and I have been all three.

  1. The Quitter: If something is hard, it just makes sense to quit and move on to the next toy. Never mind the cost that have gone into buying it or that fact that it had only been opened moments ago, this person just quits.
  2. The Determined: The determined person will spend hours trying to transform that little car. She will work until her hands are cracked and bleeding, and if Bumblebee still looks like a confusing piece of plastic, the determined person will just break off any parts that look strange and attempt to pitch the toy as one-of-a-kind. Winners never quit, even in trivial matters.
  3. The Surrendered: The surrendered person is often birthed after the death of the first two, when the child of said toy is still crying. Instead of re-fashioning the toy, this person recognizes they cannot transform it alone and sends the child to ask his father.
Here is the deal, in this life I will face challenges. Jesus said it in John 16:33:
In this world you will have trouble
Real challenges, real troubles, but the person I become is up to me.
Some of those things, will challenge every ounce of faith that I have. I will feel helpless and broken.
I won’t quit.
There will be times when I do all I can and it still wont be enough. Times when my heart will break and although I would give anything to change a circumstance or situation, my determination will not be enough.
I won’t be determined.
Jesus said:
Take heart! I have overcome the world
In this world I will face challenges, but He has overcome, and Christ in me is enough.
I will surrender.
In my surrender I will recognize I can’t do it on my own. I can’t heal broken hearts. I can’t set the captives free. I can’t make beauty from ashes. And I can’t make all things work together for good. But He can. And so I cast my cares on Him, and trust that He will sustain me, and that in Christ, I will not be shaken.
If I can learn to surrender in the little things, like transformers, maybe I’ll develop a pattern that will enable me to trust God in the big things.
Sometimes God uses seemingly insignificant things to teach us powerful truths. I invite you to share yours, I’d love to hear them. Do you have a testimony of surrender in something small that prepared your heart for something bigger?
Praying that you will surrender everything you are this week.