Friday, December 11, 2009
So really, not a very exciting post, but it's a wonderful procrastination tool!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Knowing tomorrow will be a busy day of appointments, I want to get a sermon written for this weekend--maybe it's even a need. But it's not happening. I'm managing to stay on top of other work things and maybe even enjoying some of them. But not preaching. It seems to be such a struggle lately. And yet, I look longingly at a potential D.Min program at my alma mater. But I've become a horrible preacher. My habits are atrocious; I am very disappointed in myself. I would be embarrassed to tell my preaching professor, a person who I admire so much, a person who has also so often been my pastor.
I can't decide if my bad preaching is a symptom or the problem. I am so very done here in this place. I need something that will be rejuvenating and life-giving. I'm hopeful about a continuing ed. event this summer, but details are still very fuzzy and senior pastor is already having a fit about how he'll fit taking youth on a mission trip and get his vacation in this summer, especially if I'll be gone any of it. (Never mind that I agreed to go to the week of confirmation camp and also am entitled to vacation time. Heaven forbid that we get a supply pastor even though it's in the budget.)
I want to be a better preacher--I need to. Yes, God can work through all sorts of garbage, but I've got to get out of the way. Right now, I feel squarely in the way. I find all sorts of things to do to avoid sermon writing because I feel like such a failure.
At text study this week, I said that I wasn't sure where I'm going exactly (I have a designated theme because of a program we are doing). I said, "I think I just need to start writing and see what happens." I just haven't been able to bring myself to start. Sometimes I need to sit with paper and pencil. Perhaps late tonight after evening meeting. Who needs sleep, right?
Friday, October 30, 2009
- Quilts ~ both for warmth and beauty
- Quiet moments ~ quiet moments in my heart are treasured more so than actual volume, though I do appreciate times of actual quiet too
- Reading ~ don't do as much as I'd like right now
- Sunshine ~ I sometimes wonder if I really do suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I need sunshine!
- Texting ~ a new way for my hubby and I to communicate
- Umbrellas? ~ really, all I can think of this moment that begins with u
- VeggieTales ~ Baby Girl LOVES Bob the Tomato--these are a huge help in the morning when I must get ready and need to know she's occupied while I shower
- Winter memories ~ I hate cold and mostly hate winter, but winter memories from my childhood are some of my favorite.
- xylophone ~ Baby Girl loves to play hers
- You ~ I know I don't write often anymore, if I ever did, but it's nice to know someone might actually read this. (And I know there are a few of you who do at least occasionally.)
- Zippers ~ crazy thing to be grateful for I know, but I prefer zippers to buttons on sweaters--they feel warmer somehow in the midst of winter
Okay--done--perhaps others will come to me and I'll add them. Hopefully instead I will just post more.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
- J and J ~ my great-grandparents, though I never knew them, their stories have shaped me, their decisions to leave the 'old country' and come to the US, their lives before and after that move, their daughter my grandma
- Jonquils ~ don't really know how they are different from daffodils, but I love both and I think 'jonquils' is a fun word
- Jury duty ~ can't say I want to do this anytime again soon, but it was definitely an educational experience! I wouldn't mind serving again in the distant future
- kisses ~ Baby Girl will kiss pictures, particularly of doggies (or bow-wows as she says), and daddy and her bear and toys...but they are hard-won gifts for me. I think she associates giving me kisses with me going away and so doesn't want to give them...despite that I give her lots of kisses all the time. Yesterday, she would kiss a picture of me, but not me. I don't understand.
- kisses--the Hershey variety, particularly with almonds ~ I posted about these some time ago, maybe I'll get ambitious later and create a link
- lists ~ I'm a list maker. They help keep me semi-focused on things that need to be accomplished
- light ~ preferably natural light. I don't care if the house warms up in the afternoon, I want lots of light coming in. I hate the darkness of the winter; it sucks the life out of me. I love how long the light is in the summer. During that time of year, I think I could live near the arctic circle.
- music ~ I may not have any natural musical talent, but I love music.
- milk ~ I drank soy until age 5, but quickly developed a love for milk. When I go to my mom's, she always says she had to buy extra milk because her calf is home. Even though I love milk, I should have known something was up when I drank a whole gallon by myself in the 24 hours before Baby Girl was born. This is also probably why producing milk for her was not a challenge for me, at least according to my doctor.
- nighttime ~ particularly nights without meetings, the quiet nights when we are home together as a family and I can snuggle and rock Baby Girl to sleep
- newness ~ for right now I think I'm grateful for the little new things because I am so craving bigger newness
- order ~ I like 'a place for everything and everything in its place.' I'm learning to let some of that go as I realize that a 16 month old just can't do it. I haven't fully given up on the 38 year old who also lives in my house though.
- once upon a time ~ okay, a stretch, I admit--but stories and those stories that so easily lend themselves to being pulled into and stories that take us away to new places
- pens and pencils ~ some particular ones in fact, I love variety in these, of playing with new ones and colors. I do more and more on the computer, but sometimes I just need to physically write.
- peas ~ Baby Girl's current favorite vegetable
Monday, August 31, 2009
Has it really been two weeks? Wow...it's been a crazy few weeks; I started this list in my head two weeks ago...
- internet ~ really, don't know what I'd do without it
- income ~ two steady incomes in fact, incomes not affected by the economic downturn
- ice cream ~ especially chocolate from our particular midwestern grocery store chain...yum
- instructions ~ I like instructions--even if I sometimes choose to ignore them
Saturday, August 15, 2009
- House ~ I'm grateful that we have a house, a nice house, probably more house than we need.
- Home ~ But a house isn't the same as a home for me. We have a home, a place where there is love and family and togetherness.
- Home for my words ~ I'm grateful for this blog, for a place to write and how it has helped me connect with others.
- Help ~ It's hard for me to ask for help, but when it's offered in love, I'm grateful.
- Hands ~ When I think about it, it's pretty amazing what hands can do.
- Heat (but not HOT weather) ~ I am usually cold, so I'm grateful for some heat. But I'm not crazy about hot, humid weather. I'm thinking more about winter here and how grateful I am for our wood burner and how toasty warm our house can get.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I've been thinking about G for some time and actually have had quite a list in my head for the whole week since I last posted, but I had to make time today. A nerve was hit for me today and I know it shouldn't have been but it was. A woman going through unspeakable grief commented on a blog of hers a feeling she had when a bunch of us started doing this "ABCs" of gratitude thing. It feels fake and insincere to her--my words for how I read her...I own it that is my take on what she wrote. But it hit a nerve because maybe it started somewhat flippantly, but I am choosing to keep doing this because I need to. Writing is something that has always been life-giving and healing to me. And I have been wanting and needing to write, but not having the motivation to begin. Having a reason, a purpose, a silly tool of the alphabet is motivation. I feel stuck right now, and while it's not her unspeakable pain, it's my pain, my heartbreak, my need. And it helps me to focus on the good things, the things I'm grateful for so that I can think beyond the stuck-ness. And so...my list for G--in no particular order....
- Grace ~ on so many levels, mainly God's grace--grace that pours over and fills up and sustains and keeps me going even when I don't feel like it or even necessarily feel it, but also the simple grace extended by others...not minding that it took almost 2 weeks to return a phone call or the thoughtfulness of a door held
- Grief ~ really? especially after the opening paragraph? Yes. My grief may not be as dramatic or horrible as many others have experienced. But when I look at my circle of close friends, most have experienced very little grief. My dad died 22 years ago when I was not quite 10...rarely a day goes by that I don't experience grief. And that's not the only loss I've faced. And while I would gladly trade this grief for the people or situations that are unrepairable, having experienced what I have makes me a better pastor, better able to sit with death and grief and unanswered questions. And I am grateful for that.
- Giggles ~ particularly those of Baby Girl...why is it that baby giggles are so amazing?
- Gratitude ~ I'm grateful that my life is such that I can be grateful.
It seems that I had a much longer list in my head a few days ago when I didn't have the time. Ah, well. So it goes.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
- Freezers ~ I'm very grateful for freezers this week. I threw out my back on Monday, so having a frozen ice pack to use on a regular basis was a must. That--and for the quick, easy, frozen food!
- Flexibility ~ Again, back-related. I didn't think I was really flexible, but now that it hurts to bend certain ways, I am grateful for how flexible I am.
- Flexibility, in less physical terms ~ I am grateful for a flexible schedule. Though I must admit, I would be even more grateful if others could appreciate my flexible schedule. But I'm not dwelling on that--I'm being grateful here!
- Fingers ~ cute, sticky, little fingers and the realization of how much they can do now--of course, it's always all about Baby Girl!
- Friends ~ those with whom it's always possible to fall back into easy friendship, even if time has passed
- Freedom ~ can't really put this one into words
*Of course, it's Dr. Seuss.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
- Email ~ I have never, ever been a telephone person. I'm so glad to have email ~ especially for work stuff. I'd much rather send the email than make a call when possible.
- Electricity ~ I take it for granted, I know. E's a hard letter for me--guess that's why I thought of it.
- Elephants ~ I probably only thought of them because of Dr. Seuss, but they are pretty amazing creatures.
- Eyes and ears ~ do I really need to comment on this one?
- Evenings, especially ones with no meetings this time of year ~ I hate winter for lots of reasons, but primarily because it gets dark so early and I tend to have more meetings. I love having it be light after supper, with free time to decide how to spend. These days, it usually involves outside playtime, a bath, bed for baby, then tidying up the house. Sitting with a cool breeze blowing through the house, the house tidy, the sun gradually setting, time to read or blog or just relax, ahh...
*Thanks to Dr. Seuss
Friday, July 31, 2009
- Departure ~ of MIL this morning, meaning that tomorrow will be the first full 24 hour day that it's just my hubby, Baby Girl and me home since July 4. I am so ready. I am grateful for her help, and my mom's prior to that, but I'm done sharing my house. I'm a J on Myers-Briggs and I really like my order and don't like it messed with. My husband will tell me to get over it, but the big thing today is what I noticed while playing outside with Baby Girl this afternoon. My MIL (who always has to be doing...) decided to do some re-landscaping of my yard. Okay--if she'd asked, maybe. I don't have time to do lots of yard work; I'm trying to keep things alive that were here. I realize this, but what she did was move lots of the decorative rocks. I couldn't tell you where they all came from, but I do know that they are now covering all the spots where from up close you could see dirt. You know why you can see dirt in those spots? It's because that's where the spring flowers (like ALL the tulips) came through the beds of small rocks. Tulips are my favorites. Okay--venting over for now....this is supposed to be things I'm grateful for.
- D ~ my husband. He's a wonderful daddy and he's very caring. I know I sometimes take him for granted and I know sometimes I get annoyed. After a near week with MIL, it helps me remember some of the things he does he can't help. He's just like her in some things.
- Disposable diapers ~ I know...they are bad for the environment, expensive, etc. But for me, at this point in my life, it was worth it.
- Dishwasher ~ not only because I'm lazy and don't enjoy washing dishes, but because I love knowing that the dishes get clean and sanitized with very hot water.
- Dozing ~ Baby Girl was out of sorts when all left this morning, so I decided we'd snuggle for a bit and watch some TV. She fell asleep and thinking she wouldn't sleep long, I just snuggled with her and ended up dozing with her. She slept about an hour and I probably dozed 1/2 that time.
- Day off ~ Having a day off so I had that luxury. Though since she's down for her real nap, I should really do something that I need to accomplish--like message for Sunday or some laundry or a stack of papers....
*Thanks to Dr. Seuss
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Today I'm grateful for:
- church ~ the body of Christ, the universal church, especially those times we live it out well
- communion ~ I'm such a Lutheran; sacraments are so important to me
- communion of saints ~ especially that "mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won"
- connections ~ of all sorts, especially with people
- colleagues ~ one in particular has been particularly helpful in my life in the last few days, but there are so many I'm grateful for
- cats ~ I've always been more of a cat person than a dog person. Perhaps it's because cats are more like me--fiercely independent, seem stand-offish and/or shy, but when they love you, they can't get enough attention
- cuddles ~ especially from a certain 14-month-old in my life
- china ~ two sets in particular, one handed down from my grandpa's cousin that has real gold leafing and one handed down from my mom
- C ~ my daddy...he's one major reason the communion of saints is so important for me. He's been gone for 22 years now, more than double the time I had to know him. He meant so much and I know how much he loved me. And I know we are connected. It doesn't always feel like enough, but it's all I have.
I'll think of more later; I know I will. I keep thinking of so many things for the past letters. Here's the beginning of that list: Advent, anticipation, baptism, books, blogs, boxes. (I mean really, how could I forget baptism, books, and blogs yesterday?)
*thanks to Dr. Seuss
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
- Babies ~ I wrote about my baby girl yesterday and I'm most grateful for her, but all babies give me so much hope. They remind me of possibilities and love and newness. There is nothing more precious to me that snuggling a tiny one.
- Breast milk ~ I am so grateful for these months that I have had plenty of breast milk to nourish my little one. I know everyone is not so lucky. Right now it is bittersweet as we are nearing being fully weaned -- just nursing once a day. I'll miss it when we are done completely.
- Boppies ~ These make nursing so much easier. I'm not sure I could have nursed so long without having one!
- Bed ~ I love to sleep. I'm grateful for a soft cozy bed and warm covers.
- Butterflies ~ I have a little card with a butterfly pin on that says this, "Butterflies are a reminder to us that the world flutters with new possibilities." I have it hanging near my desk. I often need the reminder!
- Bees ~ Though bees also terrify me a little bit, I love to look at the big fluffy ones that look like they'd be soft to touch. I also enjoy the fruits of the bee's labor, particularly honey.
- Bread ~ Fresh bread--nothing like it.
- Bananas ~ on the green side or in banana bread, or watching Baby Girl's excitement to have one to eat
- B, Baby Girl's beloved babysitter ~ While Baby Girl will go to a new daycare this fall, we are so blessed that Baby Girl was in B's wonderful and loving hands for so much of her first year. I will always be grateful for that.
*Thanks to Dr. Seuss
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
So I've happened upon a number of blogs lately that have been doing gratitude lists, one letter at a time. I've been overwhelmed and wanting to write, but not knowing how. This seemed like a good idea to get me going. We'll see how 26 days goes!
But here is my list for A:
- A (aka Baby Girl for blog purposes) ~ she is the joy in my life, the way her whole face lights up when she sees me, the way she snuggles into my arms, says "mamam" and pats me when she's excited to see me, the way I can see her mind working as she figures things out, the toothy grin and her infectious giggle, and her love of books--so much so that I have Big A, Little a memorized (among others!)
- Anniversaries ~ today is my 8th wedding anniversary, sometimes it feels like it can't possibly have been that long that we've been married and other times it feels like we've been together forever (in a good way)
- Alone time ~ summer has been crazy and chaotic and basically involved no time to myself, but there have been moments and there will be moments coming up soon for which I am grateful
It seems like there should be so much more. Perhaps I'll have to come and add later today. The good news is that I'm thinking of lots of things for other letters! Maybe those will come easier.
- Automatic transmission ~ as I was driving around between nursing home visits this afternoon, I realized how grateful I am that I don't have to worry about gears or clutches and can instead go on a kind of auto-pilot and think (about things that begin with a)...oh, I'm sure I could learn to drive a manual transmission, but I'm glad I don't HAVE to
- ATMs ~ not so much to get cash, but to check the balance quickly without having to enter a month of reciepts into the computer program
- A (different A than Baby Girl) ~ my BFF, though somehow those letters make our relationship seem trivial. A has been my friend forever, though we didn't always know it. We were born the same day (within 2 hours) at the same hospital and our moms shared a hospital room. We went to different elementary schools, but met in junior high and became forever friends. We aren't always the best at being in touch and can go for months without communicating and years without seeing each other. But when we get together, we fall back into easy friendship. And that is a blessing.
- Aunties ~ growing up, I was very close to my aunties (my mom's two sisters) and great-aunts (my grandma's sisters). Only one great-aunt is left and it's hard to make time to see my aunties, but I'm glad for the presence they all were in my life.
- August ~ the month--sure, after all it is my birth month, but also the only grandpa I remember. He loved me, his baby grandchild, fiercely and protectively, especially after my dad died. Unfortunately, his mind started to leave him a few short years after that and his body not much later. He meant more to me than I can say.
*thanks to Dr. Seuss
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This spring Hubby and I decided that yes, he could do his annual summer job out of state--about an hour and half away from our home. Not that long of a distance, but for a 24/7 job that means living in a hotel room away from Baby Girl and me, long enough. And with no babysitter for the summer--since he's in education and would be home. Yeah. We thought, hoped, prayed that he'd have a principal job lined up and be able to forgo the summer job. Didn't happen. So...thankfully grandmas and friends are willing to help. But since grandmas live a distance away...it means they come to stay. And that has its own challenges. I'm still the parent and though I have help, I'm the primary caregiver. And it's a balancing act of letting grandma do things her way compared to the way I'd do them.
My mom left yesterday morning. Baby Girl and I are home alone today. Baby Girl's godmother comes for the day tomorrow. MIL comes on Saturday. Hubby will come home on Monday BUT did get a principal job, but one that doesn't require a move. He starts on Tuesday with that and we didn't line up our childcare until August 3, so MIL is staying until Friday morning.
And then, senior pastor is gone for three weeks--nearly two down near. In that time, in addition to the usual stuff, I had a wedding and now have a funeral tomorrow. Funeral tomorrow wouldn't be so bad except they are only having the visitation an hour before (deceased was 92 so most friends are gone) and have family time just before that which means they will be at the church by 8 a.m. My friend wasn't going to arrive until between 8 and 8:30 since I normally go in between 8:30 and 9. I'm going to call her today in hopes she can arrive a bit earlier. Our office manager is awesome, so she'll get the funeral home help in getting settled which helps so much. But sermon for both the funeral and the weekend is not done.
And, next week, office manager will be gone too.
Oh, and did I mention that Baby Girl is teething and/or has a cold and we are weaning. So we have Velcro Girl.
And I wanted to move 2 years ago. And now was encouraged to interview at a place about 30 minutes from here and so have to decide if I should and update my papers for a congregation if I do. And it's 30 minutes from my home in the opposite direction of the 30 minutes hubby will have to drive for his new job. And he thinks he would only stay at this job a couple years and I don't want to do that to a congregation--because even if I interviewed today, there'd be time before starting (if it was the right call in my mind and theirs) there would be transition time, so I could potentially only be there a year and then look to move and that is just not fair to a congregation. But it would be a solo position which would be good experience.
Plus I was sick the first week senior pastor was gone, so I got little done except the bare necessities and now all these things have piled up. School starts in our district on August 13, so there's lot of organizing for fall that needs to happen now. And I have jury duty on August 17th.
So...I think that about cover it. I've held off Velcro Girl while I wrote this and now she's stuck in something so will tend to her.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
When I'm home alone alone, I usually have the tv on for background noise. I don't want her watching tv, so I don't have it on. Other spaces, I usually have the radio on if I'm alone. When I'm in the office, even if there's no talking, I'm still surrounded by words--written though, either on computer or in books.
Baby Girl says a few words, but more or less, the only words are in the books we read (which though there are many books, the vocabularly is still quite limited) or in the words I say. And when it comes to spoken words, being surrounded by only mine--not so exciting.
Hmm, guess we should listen to the radio. But Grandma J. comes tomorrow for about 2 weeks, so there will be words again!
Sunday, July 05, 2009
In the midst of the chaos of daily life, of poopy diapers, of little fingers getting into mischief, of balancing work and home, of not getting dishes washed or floors vacuumed, of toys spread out throughout the house and toys not as appealing as whatever it is Mommy and Daddy are trying to accomplish, I crave the quiet.
Now, in the quiet--I crave the chaos. I have forced myself to leave the tv off, to listen only to the sounds of my fingers on the keyboard, the ceiling fans whirring above my head, the cars speeding past the windows, the occasional boom of (I'm sure) illegal firework, and even that siren. (Which I wonder if will return or head another route to a hospital.) In the quiet, I feel so alone, so disconnected.
I have a to-do list a mile long. There is so much I 'should' do right now while I have the quiet and no little hands vying for my attention. But all I want to do is lose myself in something outside of my life--a tv show, a book, a magazine, a blog. I don't want to be Mommy at the moment; I don't want to be wife at the moment; and I certainly don't want to be Pastor. Those titles all feel so full of chaos.
But yet, those define me--perhaps not all of me, but me in this season. And so I guess I'll turn the tv on, tidy up some spaces, and give thanks for both the quiet and the chaos.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Right now, it's 8:22 p.m. It's been a long and exhausting day. Sundays are for me anyhow, but we celebrated this little bundle today. Only one uncle (my sister's husband) was unable to be here. Baby Girl's Grandma P. and Grandpa L. (Daddy's parents), Grandma J. (my mom), Auntie K. (my sister), Uncle B. (Daddy's brother) and Auntie C. (not to be confused with Auntie K. of the same sounding name) with their two boys, Big Brother, Big Sister, and Beloved Babysitter and her husband and four boys. But I was able to snuggle my baby girl who is getting so big--23 pounds or so and kiss her beautiful face, to marvel in what those tiny fingers can do today. It was a lovely day. I hoped to write poetically about this day--which I recently found out is a lesser church festival--the day of Mary's visitation to Elizabeth, and this day this year is Pentecost. Those posts will have to wait for when I have more energy.
For now, I am so thankful for the unbelievable reality of this day--this precious Baby Girl who was given to me, entered this world one year ago today, and continually reminds me how blessed I am.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Still here--we are not moving north. The job I was a long-shot for that I agonized over (during Holy Week no less) will not be mine. And I'm okay with that...and I'm especially okay because the person who would have been my direct supervisor is someone that I dearly love and she basically told the HR department, "I don't know how you plan to do things, but I'm not leaving people hanging...I'm calling to say we aren't looking at their files anymore." We had a lovely visit and you could tell it hurt for her to say it, but in a good affirming way. And I told her that I thought I was a long-shot and really appreciated the call and knowing for sure. Now I need to get my tail in gear and email her a picture of Baby Girl. She asked...I'm not just the doting mom who thinks her baby is adorable. (And I'm not...JUST that anyway; I'm more.)
Still here--we are not moving west. The job my hubby interviewed for...well, the interview went well, but the situation was not quite what we expected. (Like no insurance coverage and not so much more income than he has now and about half the students.) His principal told him that it would be better to withdraw his name than to be offered the job and not take it. So, he called on the last day of their interviews to withdraw his name. That day I said to him, "You need to withdraw your name; I don't think it's right for us." He said, "That's what I was thinking; I just needed the push." But with no more interviews lined up, he keeps questioning the choice. And I keep saying, it was the right one. I've wanted to leave here for about 3 years--2 years ago this coming fall, I thought I was leaving. Then I turned down a call and found out I was pregnant not much later. Do I still want to move? YES. Do I want to move to a place where I can take some time off and stay home with Baby Girl? Even bigger YES. But even more, I want us both to feel like it's the right thing--or at least an okay thing. This place did not feel so okay the more we learned. And I also know--at this point in his career--I need to follow my hubby, not the other way around.
Still here--still wanting to be blogging, but finding it's the last thing to get done. I keep reading many other blogs--daily--obsessively. Really--I need an intervention I think. I have so many other things to read--books, magazines, etc. I need to get off-line. Plus, so often I find myself starting to comment and stop because I feel they turn into "all about me" moments instead of really affirming the blogger or their words. And I think..."gee, I should just write on my own blog." But I don't feel like I have anything to say...but I'm still here.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Probably the microwave. I'm not much of a cook--so microwave it is. That or our toaster oven.
2. What if anything would you happily give up?
Coffee maker. I don't drink coffee, but we own one in case we ever have company who does. It is stored in the cabinet.
3. What is the most strangest household appliance you own?
I guess that would be the "Magic Bullet." My husband decided we needed one and we use it pretty regularly for smoothies.
4. What is the most luxurious household appliance you own?
I don't think any of our appliances are luxurious.
5. Tell us about your dream kitchen- the sky is the limit here....
I'm not much of a cook, so the simple appliances work for me. But maybe, if we are dreaming....how about a chef?
Friday, April 03, 2009
Holy Week is almost upon us, I suspect that ordained or not, other revgal/pals calendars look a bit like mine, FULL, FULL, FULL........Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maundy Thursday he withdrew, John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and spiritual strength to get through...So faced with a busy week:
1. What restores you physically?
Sleep--good solid sleep, especially if it means sleeping in. With a 10 month old, my definition of sleeping in is changing. I'd take an 8 a.m.
2. What strengthens you emotionally/ mentally?
Time away from work. I recently had vacation which helped a whole lot. Hearing Baby Girl laugh and giggle helps, as does snuggling with her, and simply having time with her. Yesterday I got her dressed, fed breakfast, saw her about an hour in the afternoon, got home to put her in jammies, fed and put to bed. Just not enough.
3. What encourages you spiritually?
Music--good music. Sunshine.
4. Share a favourite poem or piece of music from the coming week.
Holy Week by Ann Weems in Kneeling in Jerusalem
Holy is the week…
Holy, consecrated to God…
We move from hosannas to horror
with the predictable ease
of those who know not what they do.
Our hosannas sung,
our palms waved,
let us go with passion into this week.
It is a time to curse fig trees that do not yield fruit.
It is a time to cleanse our temples of any blasphemy.
It is a time to greet Jesus as the Lord’s Anointed One,
to lavishly break our alabaster
and pour perfume out for him
without counting the cost.
It is a time for preparation…
The time to give thanks and break bread is upon us.
The time to give thanks and drink wine is imminent.
Eat, drink, remember:
On this night of nights, each one must ask,
as we dip our bread in the wine,
“Is it I?”
And on that darkest of days, each of us must stand
beneath the tree
and watch the dying
if we are to be there
when the stone is rolled away.
The only road to Easter morning
is through the unrelenting shadows of that Friday.
Only then will the alleluias be sung;
only then will the dancing begin.
5.There may be many services for you to attend/ lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't do you have a favourite day in Holy week if so which one is it?
Our bishop (new this year) is hosting a service for us clergy-types on Monday of Holy Week. Add to the busy-ness--but it's a chance to be the worshiper, not the worship leader. I'm looking forward to that, even though it's a bit of a drive to get there and since it's my day off, it means no babysitter, so Baby Girl will be with me. I'm not used to sitting with her in worship. The other thing I love is being the first to enter the dark sanctuary on Easter morning and being inundated with the scent of lilies.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
- Palm/Passion Sunday Sermon (services Saturday evening and 2 Sunday morning)
- Maundy Thursday Sermon
- Good Friday "sermonette" -- we have an ecumenical service and a series of 6 short (i.e. 3 minutes max) reflections and I have to do one of them
So in the midst of sermonizing, I have decided to apply for a job that I probably have no chance of getting. A job which is going to begin looking at applicants on April 15. Yeah....
So my goal is to get Sat/Sun sermon done tonight or first thing in the morning and get going on the application. I'm the kind of preacher who has difficulty with writing two sermons at the same time, so even though I have ideas for both Thursday and Friday, to actually write them before Sunday is over isn't likely.
The good news (in this) is that I'm an associate pastor and so not preaching on Easter morning! On the other hand, the reason I'm looking for another job is that I'm an associate pastor. Not completely true--I'm learning that being an associate pastor isn't all bad...it's just not so good for me here right now.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
- Hubby had "Spring Break" so I took the week off too. It was so nice for the three of us to just be home together.
- We had a 'to-do' list a mile long, none of which was church work.
- We got much of it done, though not the one major task I wanted to accomplish.
- I did not do church work until Monday night! Couldn't help thinking about church, but avoided it pretty well.
- We took Baby Girl to the park for the first time. It was finally warm enough! She giggled and giggled as she rode in a big girl swing. She wasn't sure of the slide that we went down together. But it was a wonderful family outing!
- We went to a friend's wedding and spent the night in that town about 2 hours from our place. We left Baby Girl at our home with Grandma (my mom) for about 23 hours. It was my first time away from Baby Girl overnight and only the second time I wasn't there when she went to bed. It was difficult, but not horrible. I was only a bit weepy when I saw the babies at the reception. The worst part was figuring out timing for pumping and storage of milk as I'm still nursing. I flipped through photos of her on hubby's iPhone a few times throughout the day and right before bed. Unfortunately the bed at the hotel wasn't very comfy, so I didn't have hours of uninterrupted sleep as I hoped. I was very happy to get home and she was happy to see me. She snuggled into me like she usually only does when she is really tired and let me hold her and sit down for a while. She usually likes to be on the move!
- Speaking of being on the move...her crawling is now rapid, even on slippery floors...AND, she is walking! Her walks are about 10 steps before plopping down. If she has a destination, she will continue to it by crawling, but if there is anything to pull up on nearby, she'll do that first. She is starting to get brave and adventurous. The things just beyond reach and that are 'no-no's are now the most exciting. But she is smart and beautiful and healthy. She will be 10 months old next week and currently weighs 21 pounds and is 28 inches long, well into 12 month sized clothing...still short but catching up on height.
- I so needed the time away and though I don't want to be doing work right now, I have a bit of steam to get me through a little longer anyway.
Friday, March 13, 2009
1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year? 2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way?
I've combined 1 and 2 because I haven't given up or taken on anything special for Lent because I knew life would get in the way.
3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent?
I sure hope they are coming!
4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week?
After this weekend, I am on vacation for a week! I am hoping to catch up on some sleep, to do much housecleaning, and to enjoy time with my husband. He will also be on vacation...or I guess we will be on 'stay-cation.' We do have a wedding to attend next weekend. As for the rest of Lent and Holy Week, I'm just trying to get through it.
5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter?
I need new life--I need to be able to leave this place. And because of our current situation, that depends upon my husband. So...a new job for my husband would be nice.
Bonus: Share a favorite scripture, prayer, poem, artwork, or musical selection that speaks Lenten spring to your heart.
My current favorite is the book Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems, a book of Lenten poetry.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
I am so exhausted and have no desire to write a sermon today. I actually have a pretty good start; just need to come up with some way to wrap it all up. It is about 8:30 a.m. here and I will need to leave at about 3:30 for the evening.
But here is my yesterday and today so far:
3 a.m. -- up with Baby Girl
6 a.m. -- up with Baby Girl
6:30 a.m. -- leave screaming Baby Girl home with Grandma (my MIL) to take hubby to hospital for outpatient hernia surgery
8:45 a.m. -- hubby taken to surgery
10:30 a.m. -- hubby returned to room
1:oo p.m. -- leave hospital and stop to bring lunch home
2:00 p.m. -- arrive home and play with, feed, hold, change Baby Girl because she screams bloody murder if I walk away
6:00 p.m. -- say something stupid to MIL
8:00 p.m. -- finally get Baby Girl to sleep and hope to start on sermon
8:45 p.m. -- Baby Girl wakes us, hold her until she goes to sleep
9:30 p.m. -- help hubby get into bed and adjust pillows, etc. and try to work on sermon
10:30 p.m. -- up with Baby Girl
11:00 p.m. -- Baby Girl back to bed, give up on sermon
11:30 p.m. -- wake up when hubby needs to use the bathroom and can barely move, help him
12:30 p.m. -- wake up as hubby moans to give him drugs
6:00 a.m. -- up with Baby Girl and to give hubby drugs
7:00 a.m. -- leave Baby Girl sreaming with Grandma to help hubby out of bed
8:00 a.m. -- leave Baby Girl watching tv (I know...evil mommy, but desperate times) snuggling with hubby on couch and walk away because she is not screaming
8:30 a.m. -- MIL comes downstairs to ask if she should move Baby Girl because she is almost asleep, fine
8:35 a.m. -- procrastinate sermon by blogging
I was exhausted (physically and emotionally) prior to yesterday and had no desire to write a sermon and this just didn't help. Hubby isn't allowed to lift more than 15 pounds and Baby Girl is about 20, which is why in-laws are here since I obviously have stuff to do this weekend--worship tonight as well as morning tomorrow. And while I get along fine in general with my in-laws, it is so much work to have them here...even if they are here to help. And Baby Girl is just off--she is in complete Mommy-mode. (Hence the stupid comment...MIL asked if I wanted her to feed Baby Girl and I said no. In my head, I was thinking something along the lines of 'I just took her away from you after she has herself all worked up screaming; I don't want her any more worked up as I will have to try to settle her down for sleep tonight' and something more like, 'I don't want to torture her' came out...actually the word torture did, I just don't remember the rest of the sentence. I immediately said, "that came out wrong," but with MIL, there is just no going back.)
Hubby is actually being a very good patient--I mean he moans and is sore, but he's appreciative and trying not to ask too much from me. He kept saying last night, "you are such a good mommy and wifey." My response then, and now, "maybe...but it's impossible for me to be a good mommy and wifey AND PASTOR." I am so tired...need to get this sermon done NOW so I can hopefully get a snooze while Baby Girl is still asleep.
Friday, February 27, 2009
It's been a rough week here...
How many breaths, how many days, how many years are enough?
On Thursday last week, we celebrated the funeral of a 95 year old woman, who up until a few months ago was full of life. I saw her just before Christmas and took Baby Girl in to the nursing home to see her. She had recently moved to the home and hadn't seen Baby Girl yet. She told me how beautiful my girl was/is, "the only baby more beautiful was mine," she said.
On Monday this week, we celebrated the funeral of a 73 year old woman, who has had health problems for years, such that I assumed incorrectly that she was much older than she is. 73--that's only 4 years older than my mother and I thought of her more like a grandma. She's struggled, yes, but death was a shock--a sudden downturn after my most recent visit to her in the hospital when she was going in for an angiogram (routine stuff for her).
Just now I returned to the office after sitting for an hour with a 90-something year old woman whose family called to say that she was now on hospice care. She had a stroke a few weeks ago and has given up. They said that she had been looking good but today looked bad. Unfortunately, no family was there when I was. I left a prayer shawl made by members of our congregation and a note. I agree--she didn't look good and I don't expect her to live very long.
But on the way home, it hit me hard. "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." And I thought about my Baby Girl. I realize that I don't think about the future much...I think about today. Maybe it's because I know the fragility of life--both from this line of work but also from losing my dad when I was young. I love her so much and don't want to smother her as she grows, but I want to make the most of whatever moments we have. Perhaps that is why this trying to be pastor and mother is so hard for me. I don't want to spend every second with her; I know that's not healthy for either one of us. But we're dust--we only have now.
Friday, February 20, 2009
So...I would spend...
1. a 15 minute break ~ doing suduko or kakuro or a crossword puzzle or some other word game
2. an afternoon off ~ reading a book for fun
3. an unexpected free day ~ sleeping interspersed with reading and games and tv watching
4. a week's vacation ~ catching up on home organization and tasks around home that get neglected (with healthy amounts of sleeping and reading and games and tv watching)
5. a sabbatical ~ no idea...but I've been thinking that I need to convince my congregation to create a sabbatical policy (more for senior pastor than for me right now) and that any future congregation needs to have one before I'm in the position to need/want one
I realized that as I answer these questions, I answer as if these breaks are breaks that I get alone--with no other responsibilities (namely work or the care of my Baby Girl). These are things that I need for me...things that get are the first to get dropped. I keep being reminded of my need for some 'me' time, but don't know when or how that's going to happen.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
My husband is in the process of looking for a new job. He's currently a teacher, but he's looking for a principal job. I think, though he hasn't said it so many words, is that he is only seriously looking because he knows that I need to be somewhere else. So until he either gets a new job or decides to stop looking, I'm on hold. It's not fair to a congregation to be in conversation with them if there's no chance of it working out.
We were so excited this summer. We had our beautiful baby girl. He had an interview in place where he was called back for a final interview as one of two candidates. Within a half-hour of that place were 4 open congregations. It all looked so good. He came in second; so much for moving in the fall. And so here we are...sending out applications for him, wishing and hoping and praying for interviews and a good job for him. A job he can take in a place to which I can follow him...where I can either take some time off for a short time and do supply preaching or other random work or where I can find a half-time call or where I can find a call that is better for me.
Today has been a really rough day. I just want a little bit of light...so the darkness doesn't seem so dark and so that I can still be a good pastor here. Sermons still need to be written and people need to hear the good news. I know God is with me; I know God loves me, but I am having such a hard time living in that right now. Just a little light...please God.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Not as funny if you don't know her; but I'm laughing a lot here! Looks like a good way to end the day!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
But he really got me thinking and I think it's more like four full-time jobs: pastor, mother, wife, me. I'm sortof finding a bit of balance in the first three, sortof. But the job of taking care of me, well, I'm not doing so good at that. And there's overlap, of course, but my husband doesn't care if the house is messy, I want it clean for me! I haven't figured out how to carve out the time to do the things that I need to do for me. Baby Girl is a happy, good-natured girl, but she is a baby and also is an attention-hound and very inquisitive. I tried one day to wear her in a front carrier while I tried to do things around the house, but her hands were in everything so it was really anti-productive.
I don't need much, really--just some time. Maybe I just need better time managment.
Oh--and some motivation for my pastor job. Anyone handing out any of that?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I wish that people had 'check engine' lights. I feel like mine is on and I'm driving around ignoring it. It sounds like I'm running okay, but something isn't right. I'm tired and run down. And I can't even find the words that I want to right now.
Friday, January 16, 2009
1. I find questions like this particularly difficult. I am a very shy introvert. Give me specific questions to answer please!
2. With the exception of my husband, I currently feel like I have no friends. Yes, there are people who care about me from different times of my life that I could turn to if I needed to, but everyone lives far away. I don't have any local, just-call-each-other-up-spur-of-the-moment-let's-do-lunch, kinds of friends. Or people with whom I can just be, without having to work at it.
3. There are a handful of blogs that I check every day (sometimes more than once) hoping for a new post. I wonder if anyone does that with this blog and is disappointed when there is nothing new.
4. I am absolutely in love with my Baby Girl and would love nothing more than for my only job to be caring for her. I will always put her first, but balancing that call and this pastor gig is trying on my spirit.
5. I am an ISFJ on Myers-Briggs. My husband tested as an ENTJ (I think--I can't remember the middle letters for sure). He is so not a J and that drives me crazy! My J self is also very annoyed at my lack of time right now to get my house into the mode it needs to be a calm place of refuge for me.
Friday, January 09, 2009
2. Because I'd like to have the option of choosing my own day off.
4. Because if I'm honest with myself, they are. By this I mean, that even if I'm in my office with great intentions and no outside interruptions, barely anything gets done. I manage to waste much of the day anyway. Hence this blog post. And no sermon writing...even though I need it by 5 p.m. tomorrow and somehow think Baby Girl will not be very amenable to me writing tonight or tomorrow morning. And I won't be happy to write it tomorrow morning if she sleeps (or rather doesn't) as she has been lately.
Okay--no more whining. I AM going to get something productive done before I head home today!