Rediscovering Tina

There is life outside the pulpit

The Loss June 6, 2014

Filed under: Personal Discoveries,Writing 101 — Rediscovering Tina @ 5:31 pm
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“Oh no! I’m never going to make it to work on time now!”

I just left the hospital on a Sunday afternoon to find that someone had parked horizontally behind my car and two others in the parking lot. I frantically called my Dad and asked him to take me to work and then go back to the hospital later and get my car from the parking lot. I emphasized to him that the lot was a private doctor office that would tow cars left there on Monday morning. He assured me he would take care of it and dropped me off at work.

Later when he picked me up, he told me he hadn’t had a chance to get the car but that we would get it in the morning before the doctor opened his office. As luck would have it, we were running late that morning, and we didn’t make it then and I had to go straight to work after classes. After work that evening we drove by the hospital and my car was not in the parking lot! I was beside myself. I was working two jobs to get myself through school. Paying the tow was not in my budget at the moment! I would just have to bum rides for the rest of life!

After three days of sulking and worrying and whining, my Mom finally walked me out the front door, down the sidewalk, stopped and said, “Tina, what do you see?”1978_Oldsmobile_98_Regency_sedan

My car! My beautiful, 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlas was sitting in front of the house. THE WHOLE TIME!!!!  I had been walking in and out the front door for three days and did not see that big hunk of black metal in front of the house!

They say love is blind… so is gullible.


Did I Mention the Word Rest? July 8, 2013

Filed under: Personal Discoveries,Personal Reflections — Rediscovering Tina @ 10:35 pm
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Frankie Doodle Black & White

When I worked for the State of Oklahoma as a behavioral health case manager, there was an unspoken rule that you NEVER, EVER, mentioned  how quiet or calm or easy your day was going because that was a sure-fire way of making sure your day was no longer quiet or calm or easy. I think there was some kind of hotline to the Medicaid dollars. If your caseload is calm, cool, collected and mentally stable, there isn’t much to be made in Medicaid from that sort of thing! There must be Disaster! Disorder! Depression! CHA-CHING!

(You see why I no longer work in this field…)

I think I rattled something in the universe when I said I was going to take a month and learn to rest. Learn what sabbath means. Learn to take a few moments away from work and responsibility and just BE.

It lasted all of two days, because Steve ended up in the hospital on the 4th with another bout of pancreatitis! Having a loved one in the hospital is not restful. I’ve not been sleeping well, except when I snooze in the chair in the hospital room or fall asleep in the recliner eating dinner at 10pm. I take my work to the hospital with me to get as many hours in as I can. I get home late, eat late, fall asleep sitting straight up in the chair late, lay down in bed and I’m wide awake! So I get up and work some more to make myself sleepy again. Then I wake up early (because I have insomnia on top of all of this), study my Sunday school lesson, read my devotions, feed the cats, pray as I go, and start all over again.

I don’t write all that for sympathy. It is what it is. This IS my life! Never a dull moment! I write that to say…







Rediscovering Sabbath June 30, 2013


I’ve done something that is completely foreign to me and I’m still struggling with it, even though I know I need to do it and God wants me to do it. It’s a done deal. I’m not backing out. I’ve just never done this kind of thing before, so everything inside of me is warring and fighting and struggling.

What could I possibly have done now? I asked for a month off from part of my ministry responsibilities. In the midst of that month I plan to schedule vacation time from work. I’ve never taken time for me and time for me and God and time for me and Steve. There is always something else going on and demanding my time and energy and brain power.

I was made painfully aware of my workaholic/ministryaholic tendencies by one much younger than me who mentioned quite innocently a few months ago, “Mrs. Tina, why do you work so much?” I stumbled over and mumbled an answer, but that question has haunted me ever since. Seriously… why DO I think I have to be working on something 18 hours a day? Be it my full-time job with InterVarsity, my part-time job collecting accident reports for a local attorney, cake decorating, studying/teaching Sunday school, planning/leading worship, mowing the grass, cleaning the house, studying for a sermon, counseling one of my kids, cleaning out a drawer, planning, organizing, blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah.

Notice what isn’t on that list: Personal bible study. Personal worship. Prayer. Quality time with Steve. Me time.

Other things I’d like on that list: Reading for pleasure, not just ministry; breaking out the new easel and chalk sitting in my closet that I bought after camp; sitting in the sun doing nothing; taking a real vacation with my beautiful husband.

I’m on a mission for the month of July to rediscover sabbath.

Maybe that should be Discovering sabbath. You can’t RE-discover something until you’ve found it for the first time!


Why Arkansas, Tina? February 10, 2012

Filed under: Personal Discoveries — Rediscovering Tina @ 8:01 am
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I’ve asked this same question, dear friends. After the events of the past five years and all the crap that has fallen in my pockets, I had determined that the state of Arkansas had ceased to be a part of the  Union. I could see God moving us back to Oklahoma or how about we try Indiana for a while? Never once did I consider the possibility of moving to the-state-that-must-not-be-named. Seriously, God? Why not just throw me into a cauldron of boiling oil while some evil piranha from hell eat me alive? 

Yet, as I’ve grown to expect from God, He never sends me to the Land of Easy. Someone once said that they love being around me because they know God is close to me. I didn’t want to burst her bubble by reminding her that God is close to the brokenhearted and sometimes I’d prefer He pick on someone else for a while! Yes, God is close because I am ususally clinging to him for dear life!

These past five have not been any different. Pornography, prison and personal loss have surrounded me and beat me to a pulp and thrust me into a pit of despair do deep and so dark that I began to wonder if God was real for the first time in my life. Yet, here I am. Trusting, believing, and counting it all joy, knowing that the God of the universe is molding me and moving me to the next phase of ministry.

What does that look like? At this point, only God knows. I know it will involve ministry to those caught in the devestation that pornography and sex addiction inflicts on men and families and churches. I know it will involve prison ministry in some shape or form. I know it will involve our whole commitment to the things of God and the ways of God. And I know that it will happen in the-state-that-must-not-be-named.

If I’m going to be here for a while, I guess I should get used to saying the name and allowing the state back into the Union. Afterall, it already feels like home.

Arkansas. Let’s turn what the enemy intended for evil into something glorious for Jesus!


I-40 Traffic Jams and the Christian Life February 4, 2012

Filed under: Personal Discoveries — Rediscovering Tina @ 2:04 pm
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As Steve and I were moving to Hot Springs, AR from Madison, WI we had a pretty uneventful trip (with the exception of the cat getting out of her cage, freaking out and refusing to come out from under the truck seat). That was a minor irritation, though, and in no way hampered our ability to get from north to south in a decent amount of time.

When we were about two hours form Hot Springs we had to stop with the rest of traffic on I-40.  We were parked and/or moving at less than five miles per hour for two hours, first because of an accident and then construction.  We literally drove 20 miles in two hours! 

But during those two hours I began to see a pattern of behavior that translates from the road to our spiritual lives. While there are a couple of these drivers I would try to convince you I really am when it comes to following Christ, what I know is that there are a couple of these drivers I really am (and I don’t like the mirror pointing at me!).

The first driver I noticed was the Oblivious driver. This is the one jamming to their tunes, putting on make-up, talking to the others in the car and updating their Facebook status… all while driving 70 miles an hour down the interstate! These are the drivers who are so distracted by the things of life and what is going on in their own little world that they miss the huge disaster about to happen. They are the ones slamming on the brakes at the last minute and swerving from lane to lane to avoid the accident they should have seen yards before.

The theme song for oblivious drivers should be Matthew West’s “My Own Little World”:

In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I’ve never gone hungry or always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket shoes on my feet
In my own little world population me

I try to stay awake through the Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate but I never give ’til it hurts
and I turn off the news when I don’t like what I see
it’s easy to do when it’s population me

What if there’s a bigger picture? What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose I could be living right now?
Outside my own little world

Oblivious drivers are the scariest on the road because the destination is all about them, and oblivious Christians are no different. Oblivious Christians believe that the world, the church, the worship, the pastor’s attention… it should be all about them. They have a hard time dealing with anyone and anything outside their own little car. It’s hard to have an outward focus when you are so full of yourself.

Paul has advice for those of who are oblivious to what is happening around us… only he refers to this obliviousness as selfishness:  “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?” Galatians 5:16-18 (The Message)

 How are you living as an oblivious Christian?

 What do you need to do to become more aware of others and their needs?

 NEXT TIME: Obedient Drivers


A New Year, A New Start January 2, 2012

Filed under: Personal Discoveries — Rediscovering Tina @ 12:46 am
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Of course the first post on the first day of a new year MUST be about what I resolve to achieve in the coming year. 2011 was a hard year, albeit one of learning to trust God even more. I know I need to quit making excuses and become more disciplined in all areas of my life. To that end, I hereby resolve in 2012 to do the following:

Start teaching again: It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since I gave a sermon on a Sunday morning. Until the past few weeks I really hadn’t missed it at all. I can feel that longing welling up again, whether it is teaching or preaching or maybe it’s writing and blogging.  I really love the study, the learning, the heavy revvies, and passing those heavy revvies along.  I’d love to see where God is leading me.

Read for pleasure and personal growth: I want to read 24 books this year. Any suggestions?

Read for spiritual growth: I want to open the Bible every day this year and not stress about reading enough or reading the right things. Just reading and digesting the Word.

Be more artistic: I want to decorate more cakes. Bigger and better and more buttercreamier!

Be more active: I want to get off my butt more and be more active. I resolve to walk at least three times a week.

Walk the talk: I want to see and be a part of my family coming to know Jesus.

Express myself: I want to write something everyday, whether it be in my journal or my blog.

Be debt free: I am committed to not having a boatload of debt when I turn 50. in five years. As Dave Ramsey says, I’m going to “live like no one else so I can live like no one else”.

Avoid diabetes and heart disease: I will do this by eating more fresh food, cooking at home, taking my lunch, drinking more water and losing 20% of my current weight.

 Get more sleep: I am currently running on 4-5 hours of sleep per night, which doesn’t help with the above  issues. I resolve for 6-8 each night.

 Your turn. What do you resolve?



You Quack Me Up July 15, 2011

Filed under: Personal Discoveries,Post a Day — Rediscovering Tina @ 1:47 am
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Today was a beautiful day of sitting at a picnic table at the water’s edge of Lake Mendota watching the ducks and the waves and the seaweed skimmers skim seaweed/green algae. *I once had a baptism service in this same lake. We had to make a path through the green algae so that when the ladies came up out of the water they didn’t come up with things dangling from their hair!*

This is one of my favorite spots to talk with and hear from God. There’s something about the water that calms my mind and heart and leaves me open to hearing what God has to say.

I started watching the waves on the lake, noticing the difference between the waves caused by the wind and those caused by the boats as they sped by. I thought about how those waves are like my life. The smaller waves reminded me of the everyday things that happen… an unexpected bill; a misunderstanding with someone I love; frustration with a co-worker; gaining three pounds; etc. Those larger waves reminded me of those things that tend to knock me around. The loss of a job. Being betrayed by someone I love. Losing my Mother-in-law, Bio-dad, Mom, step-Brother, and my Sister in the span of five years.

This verse came to mind: “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”~ James 1:6 (NLT)

I tend to have faith like Peter. I talk a good sermon and say that I will fight to the death for my Jesus. I jump out of the boat and start walking in places I’ve never been and couldn’t be if it wasn’t for God. Then I get distracted by the waves, freak out, start flailing and soon I’m going under. (Did I mention  I’m deathly afraid of deep water?)

Suddenly a boat went by and I remarked to God that I wish I was steadier on the water like that boat. Just pushing through those waves that were made before it and making waves for others who follow! The waves were no match for that boat!

And God spoke back. “My child, I love you. You already are like that boat. Speeding through the waves that come your way, and you just end up making more waves. Look at that duck in front of you. No matter the size of the wave, do you see him flailing and freaking out?  He is content to ride the wave and trust. He still gets to his destination, but without wasting all the energy. Tina, I want you to be the duck.”

 “Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.'”~ Matthew 14:28 (NLT)

May we all be ducks in the midst of the waves!



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