Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Preacher's Kid entry #4

Betsy Wingate - wife to Pastor Wingate

My happiest memory is the day Jacob was born.  He lit up the room and filled an empty space in my heart.
The saddest memory is when my mother died.  She had been my friend and my confidant.  When I was feeling stressed in my marriage she could help me see things clearly.  Now I have no one.  At times I feel so alone.  I know Jacob sees this and tries to help but that usually gets him in trouble with his father.

One thing I don't want anyone to know is that at times I actually fear my husband.  He's never hit me.  Verbally at times he is awful and I sometimes fear he will go too far when disciplining Jacob.

The best part of my personality is my ability to be a peace maker.  Except in my own home.  However this is also a disability as I often get walked on by others.

I'm not very mechanically inclined.  I can't make simple repairs around the house.  This is good because Dan doesn't want me to do anything like that.  He sees it as a "mans" job and is afraid of what his congregation will say if they find out I fixed something instead of him.

For someone who is 38 I think they would say I look young and stylish, well fit.  Part of this is because my husband expects me to be that way.  He constantly complains if I have a wrinkle in my clothes or gain a couple of pounds.

The only thing that really bugs me is that everyone comes before Jacob and myself.  I believe in serving God, but I don't think that means putting everyone elses family before ours.

I am afraid of being alone.  I'm afraid of losing my son and at times, I'm afraid of my husband.

I am proud of my house.  You could say it looks like something out of one of those women's magazines.  It is simple, neat and clean.  Danile let me decorate it so I did it in blues and yellows to brighten up the white walls.  My furniture is simple and functional.  Nothing fancy because Daniel doesn't want people to get the wrong idea.  Our living room has a couch and three chairs and a coffee table with a wall of book shelves that are full of books.  There is no T.V. in that room.  Daniel wants us to read.d We do have a T.V. in the den.  The den has a small loveseat and two small chairs with a 19" TV.  I think he got a small one to discourage watching it.  Our bedrooms are small and functional with a bed, dresser and a chair for laying clothes out on.  Jacobs room has no posters or anything.  His father discourages it saying it is placing people in the position of idols.  I think that is why he doesn't bring anyone home.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who feels trapped in a marriage that could be so good but has gone so wrong.  I'm not saying I want out, I want it fixed.

The most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me was learning my husband yanked Jacob away from his friends and verbally lashed him because he'd been with a group of kids who'd stolen cigarettes.  Someone told Danile that Jacob had done it.  Daniel denied it, the other boys stood up for him and took the blame for all of it and it didn't matter.  In Daniel's eyes, Jacob had been accused by a member of the church and guilty or not he was guilty by association, end of story.

I think I would like to live in the country with a wrap around porch way out away from the church  I would want to decorate it the way I wanted with no one to judge me.  I'd have a Persian cat for a pet because I love cats.  The only thing that I would want more than anything else in the world, would be a happy family life where Jacob and I feel like we fit in and are welcome.  Right now we feel like we are eye candy for the preacher.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Preachers Kid Entry #3

Reverend Daniel Wingate – Pastor of Covenant Community Church

My happiest memory is having my wife bring our son home from the hospital.  I felt like God was blessing me for my faithfulness.

My saddest memory is when Bob Wilson passed away.  He was my friend and mentor when I was coming up in the ministry.  His was an unnecessary death caused by a rebellious kid out joyriding one night.

I really don’t want people to know I’m a control freak, especially when it comes to my family.  I’ve never hit my wife yet I know I border on being verbally abusive at times and sometimes almost physically abusive to my son.  If they would just do what they are supposed to do in God’s eyes I wouldn’t have to be this way with them.  I know at times I am very judgemental, jumping to conclusions.  I have to protect the ministry.    I pray about this flaw in my character all the time.

The best part of my personality is my likeability.  I’m easy going, friendly and people seem to really like me.  I’m the genuine article when it comes to my faith and people know this.  This is very important in my line of work.

I’m extremely good at speaking.  What most people don’t know is that I’m good at fixing cars and not to bad at doing fix-me-up things around the house.  Since the house is owned by the church it is their job to keep things fixed for me and I don’t want to step on their toes.

If my best friend had to describe me, that would be my wife.  She would probably describe me as a 40 year old with a trim and fit build.  After all my body is God’s temple.  I’m about 5’10” tall with wavy brown hair and hazel eyes.  My skins is real white since I don’t get out in the sun.  Not even here in Florida.  I have too many things to do for God to be frivolous and play in the sun.

Something that really bugs me is telling my son to do something more than once.  It also bugs me when his mom sticks up for him when I correct him.  It is so bad it is almost as if she is babying him.

I couldn’t really describe our house.  I don’t spend much time there.  I do spend a lot of time in my office at the church.  I am a very organized person.  I have my own office furniture that was passed down from my grandfather, who was a preacher.  My desk is made of mahogany.  I have my pictures of my family on the upper right hand side of my desk.  In the other corner I have a try for business I need to take care of regarding church finances, etc.  I have a note pad to the left of my family pictures to write down prayer requests and the phone sits to the left of it.  In the center of my desk Is my notepad, Bible and reference books for working on my sermons.  All office supplies are kept neatly in my desk.  Behind my desk is a bookcase full of books I loan out, read or give away.  To the left of my desk is a seating area with a couch and four easy chairs for discussions or counseling sessions.    My office is very neat, organized and efficient.

When I look in a mirror I see a man of God.  I’m ordinary in every way but called to do his bidding, whatever it may be and whatever the costs.

The most embarrassing thing that happened to me was when a member of my church came to tell me he had heard that my son and a couple of his friends had stolen a pack of cigarettes from the local convenience store and got caught smoking them.  His friends said he had nothing to do with the theft and he wasn’t smoking.  Like I told him he was guilty by association.  He yelled back that Jesus was always in the presence of sinners did that make him guilty by association?  I was so embarrassed that my church member had to see this.  He knew right away I didn’t have control of my family.  How could I expect them to trust me with the church if I couldn’t handle my own family?

I love my family and want them to be happy.  I could not describe the perfect house.  It doesn’t matter if my family and I live in a shack down here on earth.  All that matters is that I am doing what God wants and he is building me a mansion in heaven.  That is why I don’t have a pet.  We don’t need one.  When we get to heaven we can play with the animals up there.

The only talent I would want is the ability to lead everyone to Christ.

The one thing I really want is for my family and I to go to heaven.  I’d give up everything I have including my family if that is what it took.  I want to be like Job in my faithfulness no matter what it costs.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Preachers Kid 2

Jacob Wingate age 16

My happiest memory was the day I became a Christian.  My parents were there.  They were so happy for me.  They'd waited a long time for it to happen.  I was twelve at the time.  People think I did it because my dad's a preacher but that's not true.  I did it because I felt God calling me.  Some how I seem to have messed all of that up now.

My saddest memory is when I had to leave my best friend Bret to move to Florida.  I mean we'd grown up together.  We had both joined the youth group together.  Then one day my dad comes home and says, "We're moving to Florida."  It was some little place called Strawberry Ridge.  There wasn't any ridge there just lots of flat land.

If I had to tell you one thing I don't want people to find out it is that I'm a preacher's kid.  When they find out they usually pre-judge me based on my dad's job.  It makes it hard to make friends.  Any friends I make are afraid my dad will judge anything they say or do.  He probably would too.  They find it easier to be friendly at school and stay away from my house.

I would have to say if there was one thing about my personality that stood out it would be my ability to make people laugh.  It doesn't matter what the situation is  they always laugh at my jokes or I can get them to laugh if they are in a bad mood.  If my best friend (the one I had in Beardstown) had to describe me he'd say I was the best looking kid in school.  Just kidding.  He would describe me as a shaggy headed or mop-top kind of guy.  I keep my hair like this to bug my dad.  It is the only thing I feel I have control over.

Very few things bug me.  My dad constantly yelling at me and putting me down.  I figure that is just my life being the kid of a preacher.  You know I have all of these high standards, his, I have to live up to.  My mom bugs me when she flits around treating me like I'm some little kid that has to be protected from my dad.  I know she loves me but she needs to just drop it.  It will all have to come to a head between us in the future anyway.

If I had to tell you one thing I'm afraid of it is doing something so wrong that God won't forgive me and I'll go to hell.  You thought I was going to say I was afraid of my dad didn't you?

You should see my bedroom.  It's just ordinary.  I don't have any sports trophies or anything because I got yanked from the football team to move down here.  I have have a guitar and a banjo on my wall across from my bed.  I also have one wall that is full of bookshelves and books.  I love to read.  It has always been the way I escaped from my dad and his harsh words.  I could open a book and be somewhere else for a little while.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who wants to be independent and yet they rely on their parents to make all of the tough decisions.  I think I'm that way because my dad has never let me make any decisions on my own.  It was always whatever he said.

I have to tell you about the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me.  I went on my first date with this girl I had liked for about two years.   My girlfriend and I  parked along the river and we were making out.  My dad had been invited by one of the church members to do a ride along with him.  He was a cop.  Well they saw this car parked along the river and two heads inside and decided to stop and tell the occupants to move along.  Who pops up at the window?  My dad.  Needless to say that was the last time the girl went out with me.  My dad made such a big deal about it.

I know none of us are perfect.  I would like to have a house that was out in the woods somewhere and not connected to the church in any way.  I'm not allowed to have a pet.  My dad doesn't see any reason for one.  I'd love to at least have a salt water tank full of fishes from the coral reef.  Then when my dad was being a jerk I could sit in my room and watch them swim.  It would be so calming.  The only other thing I do to calm me is play my guitar.  If I could have any talent I wanted I would want it to be the ability to play my guitar and banjo really well.  Lessons would probably help.  My dad says they are too expensive and if God wanted me to have the talent to play he'd give it to me.

I guess if I had to tell you what I really wanted out of life it would be to live my life for me.  Not live it for my dad or his church.  Not to be judged by his profession.  I want the opportunity to be me, whoever that is.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

WIP: Working title: "Preacher's Kid"

I have been reading several books about writing.  Since I was teaching an after school creative writing class and had several students who were working on books I thought it would be a good idea to find some student writer friendly books.  I am not sure who recommended this book to me as I have had so many wonderful people helping me on my writing journey.  The book I am talking about is called Spilling Ink  by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter.  It is a "young writer's handbook".  Don't let the title fool you.  This is probably one of my most valuable resources right bow.  The book is broken into three main parts.  The section I am going to use for this "work in progress" is in section two:  Crafting Your Story, Section 4:  Convincing Your Characters That They Are Alive.  When I described to my students what we were going to do they looked at me like I was nuts.  Basically the idea is you interview your characters.  The book has a set of questions to get you started and then I found that other questions came to mind.  I was interviewing my characters and learned so much about them.  I did this with my first book, "Steps to Courage" and it is helping me with the revision process.  I have found out more about my characters that has taken me down other avenues.  For right now I am going to start with the characters for this WIP.  I will interview one character a day to give you an idea of who they are.  Please feel free to jump in and give me your feedback. Let me give you a little background on my story line and then check back on Monday for the first interview.

Imagine what it would be like to be a PK, you know, a preacher's kid.  Now imagine you've been ripped away from all of your friends and your football team and moved twelve hundred miles away.  That is what has happened to Jacob Wingate.  His father has moved them from Beardstown, Illinois to a little back woods town called Strawberry Ridge, Florida.  As a sixteen year old Jacob has become somewhat rebellious.  His mother tries to intercede on his behalf.  His father is determined to make his family the pillar of the community at all cost.  What happens when Jacob becomes friends with the rebellious son of a member of his dad's church?  How does he get himself out of a mess that will definitely involve the law when he is being threatened by his new friend.

The Writer's Pledge

I have been writing for a little over two years now.  I have one completed and unpublished book, Steps to Courage.  I have a ghost story (that my mother hates), a historical fiction that is all planned out and the book I am working on right now.  I have been editing the first one and sending it out, with no luck as of yet.  My ghost story is on hold until sometime in the future.  My historical fiction is about a teen transported to the east side of the Berlin Wall.  I was taking a class and writing that book.  I hit a snag and have been hung up for about six months.  I stopped writing.  I finally decided I would start on this one which popped into my head the same time the Berlin Wall story did.  It has been working much better.  The funny thing is as I get to know my characters I bounce back to my Berlin story because something else has popped into my head to further it.

As a full time teacher I often lose time to write just for me.  Therefore I am taking this pledge that I have found at Writing Mommy's Blog.

I, Sandra Stiles, take the Aspiring Writers Pledge to write a book in 2010 with the intent of publishing.  I promise to update my progress weekly, ask when I need support and encourage others to complete the  task at hand.
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