Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Today is my parent's, Randy and Mary Jane James', 36th Anniversary. They were married in Selma, Indiana at the Christ United Methodist Church on July 27th, 1974. From what I'm told the church had no air conditioning and it was so hot inside that my Dad's best man (his older brother, Rick) passed out. But, they continued with the ceremony and here they are 36 years later and still going strong.

They are such an amazing couple. They are total opposites in almost all their interests, but they have made those differences work for them over the years. They have ministered together in countless churches all across the country and in Kenya too. There are people who love and care about them in more places than I can count.

They have been and still are the most amazing parents. They love my brother, Rick, and I unconditionally and without question. They taught us from as early as I can remember to follow Jesus and make Him first in our lives. Then they encouraged us to follow where the Lord leads us no matter how many miles it takes us from them. We are blessed beyond all measure to have Randy and Mary Jane James for our parents. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I love you so much and am so proud to be your daughter!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cousin's Weekend

This weekend is a special one on the James side of my family. It is the phenomenon known as “Cousin’s Weekend” and I’m sad to say that I’m missing it. I haven’t gotten to go for several years. But, I wanted to write about it anyway because I think it’s such a neat thing.

I have an enormous family. I’m sure you probably think I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not. When we all get together (on either side of the family actually) we could make up the population of a small town. On my Dad’s side, the James side of the family, our family is a bit unique because we are double cousins. You see, my Grandma has two sisters and one brother. One of Grandma's sisters married my Grandpa’s brother. And my Grandma’s brother married my Great Uncle’s (by marriage) sister. I suppose it sounds confusing, but it’s really not. We lost both of my Grandma's sister's in the last couple of years. Aunt Jean and Aunt Shirley were two of the most amazing women and we are truly blessed to have known and loved them. They are greatly missed.

We are this huge group of people who love to hang out together and support one another even though the miles separate us. I rarely get to see this extended part of my family, (it’s literally been years since I could attend a Cousin’s Weekend) and yet, when we do get to be together, it’s like I’d never been away. Thanks to facebook, I get to be in contact with quite a few of the family members on a semi regular basis and that’s awesome too.

So, here’s to this year’s Cousin’s Weekend!! I hope it’s a blast and somebody better send me some pictures. :-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ahhh Thursdays…

For about five years now, I’ve been taking Thursday as my day off. I guard it very protectively. It’s not that I don’t love my job, because I really do. However, Thursday is the day that I recharge my batteries. I rarely plan anything special on a Thursday. It is specifically a stay home day. I suppose that sounds lazy, but it’s really more self preservation. See, in college, I was diagnosed with Myoclonus. It’s a neuromuscular disorder that makes my muscles have a mind of their own at times. If you knew me in college at Trevecca, you would no doubt remember my twitching…especially if you were in one of my classes. Not to worry though, these days the myoclonus is under control with meds and stress management. See in the 13ish years that I’ve been dealing with this disorder, we’ve discovered that it seems to feed on the stress in my life. Seems ironic that I would go into the ministry since it’s such a stress free lifestyle. Ha ha! However, unlike most folks in the ministry, I pretty much know when the stress is too high in my life because my body has given me my own personal stress detector. If I have the ability to sit, stand, or walk without twitching like crazy then I know that my stress level is manageable. The way I keep my stress level down it by keeping Thursday as a veg out day. So far, the plan has seemed to work.

So, what’s on today’s agenda, you ask? Well, it’s going to be mostly a laundry day with a little bathroom cleaning thrown in. Now, aren’t you glad you asked? :-)

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Toni Times is back!!!

During my life, my parents have been Pastors, Missionaries, and Evangelists for the Church of the Nazarene. So suffice it to say that we moved a lot growing up. In order to keep in touch with all my friends across the country, I used to write letters. Yep, you read that right. Real letters. Used a stamp and everything. :-)

After college, I decided it would be easier to send out a newsletter. I used to send it out every month and I called it "The Toni Times". As the years went by, the "Toni Times" sort of dwindled away.

However, I missed making it. So, I've decided to begin it again in a blog version. So, if you are curious about the things that are going on in my life, then this would be the place to find out. I'll post pics and stuff from time to time. This is just a place for random thoughts and funny, crazy, or normal happenings.

Since this is the first post, I'll give you a very brief synopsis of me at the moment. I'm the Pastor to Families with Children at the Jefferson City Church of the Nazarene. As part of my position, I also lead worship for the Sunday Evening services as well as the Youth Bible Study at the Ricker Memorial Church of the Nazarene. I love my job. I love Missouri. It's a beautiful place filled with wonderful people. And, I'm pretty much smack dab in the middle of the US. So that's pretty cool too. Biggest craziness in my life right now is trying to figure out a mystery illness that is bugging me. Good doctors are on it though and I'm confident that we will eventually figure it out. Till then, I press on. Lots to do!

I lived in Sacramento, CA for three years and I loved it there too. I've also lived in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida and those were pretty cool places too...except for Florida. It's HOT HOT HOT in Florida. :-) God is good and I've been blessed to make wonderful friends in all those places. This is my way of trying to stay in touch. So, if you're interested in following along, just feel free to do so.