Today is Patrice's hundredth chat!!! I have not been joining in for THAT long, but I have enjoyed the ones that I have participated with!
So, onto today's. No sunny porch here - indeed, no sun. We had rain last night, but I think we are due for some heat into the weekend!
- What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
I don't often remember specific advice, but as it's a special chat, I am going to tell you the two that have stuck with me.
Both are to do with marriage!
The first was when we got married. I think more than one person gave the advice, but not everyone. It was this. Don't go to bed after a disagreement, without sort it out. "let not the sun go down on thy wrath". If you have an issue - a fall out, an argument, however you look at it - sort it out, and say sorry, before you end the day. This advice has given us a marriage where issues are resolved nearly straight away. We don't let things fester and boil away. One or the other of us will speak up and apologise, or set things to rights, pretty quickly. It may be a few hours, but never more than that. (And only because one or other of us has had to go out before resolving, but a phone call sorts it out) I am particularly thankful for a husband who does not hold grudges, and who nearly always answers the phone with a special greeting, if he knows it's me. It always smoothes things over instantly, and makes me smile. I would say, on the whole, we have very few disagreements any more.
The second advice was more to do with our ministry and work for the Lord. We were on a Youth Group panel, doing a "Mr and Mrs". We were the relative newly-weds, starting out in our ministry, and there was another couple, Mr and Mrs Beggs, who were retiring from full-time ministry. They were asked to give us each a piece of advice. Mrs Beggs gave me advice that I have never forgotten, and endeavour to dilignetly put into practice. "Be your husband's encourager." It's simple, but profound. SO many others will be a discouragement to a PAstor in his ministry - people who criticise and complain about all sorts of things. My job is to be his encourager. So, I don't pick apart his sermons. I don't tell him he was too long, too short, or anything in between, in his sermon length. I don't point out negatives. I don't complain. Instead, I encourage him, and try and be a spiritual bolster. I could work on being even better, as we all can in our whole life, but I certainly don't DISCOURAGE. So, if I know he would be encouraged by my presence, even if I spend the whole service out the back with grumpy children, then I go. If he asks me to do something for him, in the Church, I do it without questioning. I try my very best, by God's grace, to be a constant encourager, and never a source of discouragement. I think EVERY pastor's wife should seriously consider that they should be doing the same.
2. Do you have houseplants?
I have ONE. No, two. No, two and a half....
I often have flowers, whether cut from in the garden, or ones that Robert gets me. However, in reality, those are dead the moment you cut them, so I can't do them much more harm!!
However, I seem to have the hand of death upon houseplants!! I have tried, and failed, on numerous occassions, to keep them alive, to no avail. I currently have 2 that are alive and one that is on its way out. All given to me.
The first, an aloe vera, is about the 4th in a line of attempts to keep one alive. My friend in the Church kept giving them to me, and I could NOT sustain life for them!! Until now. She got smart. She gave me a HUGE one (I think it may have been the mother plant??!), by which time I also had my new shelf in the kitchen. That meant the plant was not in direct light. So, at the moment, it's looking happy and healthy!! PLUS, it was handy when Susie burnt her arm, providing instant relief from its cooling sap.
I also have an orchid. Now, that has done well for me! Since I learnt that you only water infrequently, and you must let the water drain right through and out the bottom (ie, not sit in the water), then it has survived. Plus, as far as I know, once it finishes flowering (and it's been going since my birthday at the end of January!!), you just keep it somewhere out the way, and it will flower again at some point!
The flowers are so pretty!
Then, I have an azalea. Someone in the Church gave it to me, and it's WAY more thirsty than the others. I forget to water it, and so it's stopped flowering. It certainly lasted much longer than cut flowers would have and I am hoping it may still revive. So, it's my "half" plant!!
See? Not very alive looking....
So, there we have it. My few house plants. I am much better with outdoors, where the fresh air and rain help them along!
3. Do mosquitoes bother you or leave you alone?
Now here's a relevant question. I am not sure that I can blame a mosquito, but SOMETHING ate me alive in my sleep the other night. All up my right arm. BOY, has it itched like billy-oh. I don't normally get eaten alive, although I got a nasty spider bite last summer which turned nasty. My Mum? She must have super-sweet blood, because insects LOVE her!
Thankfully, my Mom's Love Rub, from my lovely HS friend, Jan, in the USA, relieves the itching! It's a cream you can use for any scratch, itch and skin problem, with great effect, and all made by her fair hand!! (plug over! )
This is it today, and it started on Monday.
4. What's your favorite charity? If you have one.
Its the kind that begins at home!
Our Church is a registered charity, so that would be our major source to give to. We also support missionaries as a Church, so we give to that. We don't have any "high street" charities that we give to regularly, but if I was to give one-off donations, they would be to cancer charities, first and foremost. I also like to support the British Legion fund in November, to help out retired and injured troops. It's well worth supporting, I think.
Other than that, I like to think of "charity" in its deeper sense, which is, of course, love. If you apply that Biblically, then as well tell our children, it's the most important thing. So, all I do and say I try and do with charity. I am a sinner, far from perfect, and often fail, but I *TRY*.
5. Do you like mint? Which variety is your favourite?
As a candy, no. I ABHOR mint sweets, and the smell of them. It gets right up my nose. I like mint tea. I like CHOCOLATE with mint! (most things are fine with chocolate!) I like it crushed, with butter, on new potatoes! I like it fresh, in a drink.
If it is in gum (which I rarely use) it has to be spearmint.
If it is in gum (which I rarely use) it has to be spearmint.
If it is in cooking, it is whatever is growing everywhere in my border in the back garden, alongside copious amounts of lemon balm!!
My ever spreading mint!
So, there we have it!! Your 100th chat, which it was my pleasure to share with you, Patrice!