Lord, anything but……


Some women put together a list of qualities their man must have before they would be willing to date them. For me, it was 3 things I would not, could not accept in a husband and a future life together.

I said Lord, give me a husband and he can be anything but…

He cannot be younger than me.

I am not sure why but at the time I decided this, I think I felt that the guys I was friends with were already so immature that going any younger would be more like babysitting than a relationship. Only I wouldn’t be getting paid! Also, who wants to be the ‘older’ woman?

He can be anything but….

He cannot be a Mennonite.

Ok, I know this sounds harsh and judgmental but you have to understand that I grew up outside the church and in a densely populated Mennonite community. Everyone was somehow related and the ongoing game of ‘Mennonite Bingo’ – trying to figure out who you were related through, was nauseating. Names like Peters, Klassen, Doerksen and Funk were so common it was comical. Since I didn’t understand the difference between the Mennonite denomination and the Mennonite heritage, I lumped it all together and said no thank you.

And he can be anything but….

He can not now nor ever be interested in vocational ministry.

The thought of marrying a pastor was so terrifying that this was an iron clad statement. To know why this paralyzed me so, simply visualize your pastor. He is an amazing man, right? He is wise and thoughtful, endlessly patient. His passion and fire is contagious and he speaks with a conviction that takes your breath away while encouraging you to your knees. Now think of his wife. She is soft spoken and demure while managing to raise their six adorable and perfectly behaved children. She is his rock and it’s obvious that they are equally matched in their scholarly aptitudes while she maintains her submissive role. She is an incredible and gracious hostess, able to balance her Sunday school duties while running the women’s ministry events and quilting with the seniors mission circle. She always looks perfect, not a hair out of place and her fundraiser cookies are always the best seller.

Simply put – I knew I could never measure up.

I think you may know where I am heading with this but I will share with you that my husband (drum roll please) is a year and half younger than I am and was born into a Mennonite family. He is also a pastor at a large Mennonite Brethren church.

Those that know me tend to chuckle at how I got here. Everything I said I couldn’t or wouldn’t do is what God gave me. It is a testament of my weak trust in Him and how He has blessed me in spite of myself. I wish I could say I learned my lesson, that my faith is unshakable and my trust immeasurable.

But it’s not.

I have grown but I am still growing. There are times I echo the words of Isaiah and say “Here I am Lord, send me.” And other times I whisper “here I am Lord, send me anywhere but…” It’s a process, one that continually brings me to my knees and makes me wonder how God can be so loving and patient with a grumbling Israelite like myself.


Skor Trifle

In my husband’s roll as a youth Pastor we have the privilege of serving alongside some incredible, dedicated volunteers. These people give of more than just their time – they truly love these kids and go above and beyond to show them that they matter. They teach their lessons, they join in on the activities and some even attend kids school activities to show support. We are blessed to work with them and God is using them in the lives of students more than they will ever know.

A few times a year we come together as leaders and it’s always something I look forward to. Sometimes its appreciation for their service, other times its team training and equipping. A few days ago we had the chance to start off the year with some fellowship, calendar planning as well as equipping these servants to lead well. We utilized the church facility, spruced our cafe up with a few easy and inexpensive decor pieces and ordered in some delicious BBQ.

My husband wasn’t sure what to do for dessert and I offered to make it. This is something I never do because although I can cook I am not a skilled pastry chef or even dessert diva. I was genuinely nervous it wouldn’t turn out. After all, I was making something I have never made before and, until we all sat together, I hadn’t even tasted it! The verdict? IT WAS A HIT! Some of the ladies asked for the recipe so I will try and remember what I did and share it with all of you. It was very easy so if you are looking for something yummy to bring to a ministry kick-off event or want to bless those you serve with, I recommend you take this!

Skor Trifle

1 Package Chocolate cake mix (or scratch if you prefer)

1 Package Vanilla cake mix (or scratch if you prefer)

1 Tub cool whip (soften in fridge)

2 Packages white chocolate instant pudding

3 Cups milk

1 Cup strong coffee

½ Cup chocolate syrup/sauce

6 or more Skor bars (the more you use the more popular you will be!)

Make both cakes as per box instructions. Let cool and then break up into bite-size pieces.

Make pudding as per box instructions but substitute your cup of coffee for 1 of the necessary cups of milk. Refrigerate.

Crush Skor bars in a plastic bag. I gave my son a toy hammer and let him go to town! DO NOT substitute baking ‘toffee pieces.’ Trust me, its worth it to do the work yourself with the Skor bars!

Layer the bottom of a trifle dish with half of your vanilla cake. Layer pudding mixture, then layer cool whip and follow with a dusting of Skor bar. Next layer chocolate cake and pour over chocolate sauce and top with Skor crumbs. Layer cool whip. Next is more vanilla cake and another layer pudding of mixture. Finally a top layer of cool whip aesthetically sprinkled with Skor. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve and don’t expect left over’s unless you double the recipe, as I did!
Hopefully you have a chance to bless someone in your life with this wonderful treat!