Monday, December 21, 2009

So, here it is the week of Christmas, and I am confused. I keep thinking Christmas Eve is on Wednesday. Of course, when I realize it's Thursday I feel like I've gotten an extra day in the week, but I just can't seem to convince my brain that Christmas Eve is Thursday, NOT Wednesday. Weird. In other news, my shopping, wrapping and delivering are done. I did not do cards this year, though. I used to make my own Christmas cards. MAKE them. And I was in college. And it was finals. This year I couldn't even seem to find the energy to write a letter, whether for snail-mail or e-mail. I'm thinking maybe I'll send out an Epiphany letter this year or something. I swear, I used to be organized. At least I thought I was. I don't even have children. I can't imagine how much crazier I'd be if I were trying to balance everything plus a family. I'm impressed with everyone who makes that work. And there you go--my random post. Merry (week of) Christmas!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Call Process

I haven't posted much lately, and I haven't done an update on the call process at all. It's partly because, well, I hate the call process. (I know! Don't say hate!) And maybe hate is too strong a word, but I do find the process frustrating. It's a communication thing, in that call committees most often suck in that department. I've had 2 interviews so far, and 2 rejections. To be fair, the 2nd time was great with communication, but the first time the committee didn't call or e-mail for 3 weeks until they finally (only after I contacted them first) called to tell me they weren't moving forward with me as a candidate. Just call and break up with me already! So, yes, I find it frustrating, and it's probably better that I don't update on a regular basis and vent. At any rate the process is still, um...processing. I meet with another Senior Pastor next week (and no, I'm not only looking for an associate call, it's just what's come up so far), so we'll see how that goes. In the meantime the new interim starts here on November 1st, so it will be another transition. I'm looking forward to having another person on staff, but not necessarily looking forward to the transition. The office manager asked me last week, "is he going to tell us what to do?" Well, yeah, he is. Let's just hope he's nice about it...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Five--Shoes!!!

Too often the Friday Fives I offer up seem extremely introspective, so here's something that could be fun. I notice as I finish my sixth decade that my taste in footwear is much different than when I was younger, as comfort wins out over fashion. So look at your feet and think about what you put on them!
1. What is your favorite footwear at this time in your life?
I definitely have shoes that I wear because they are comfortable and practical, but I LOVE shoes, and they're usually fun and less than practical. I think right now my favorites would be either my black or brown boots that I wear with skirts. During the summer I love my Keens, but also have a variety of fun sandals. Probably my absolute favorite, though, would be the patent leather red pumps I wore for my ordination.
2. What was the craziest shoe, boot, or sandal you ever wore?
I had some suede shoes in high school that were patchwork. They were navy, hunter green and fuchsia. I loved them. But looking back they were pretty crazy.
3. What kind of shoes did you wear in your childhood?
Purple jelly shoes!
4. How do you feel most comfortable? Barefoot, flip-flops, boots, or what?
I'm one of the rare people who detests flip flops. I just hate that thing between my toes. As for comfort, despite my love of shoes I also love to be barefoot. Shoes come off as soon as I'm home, and I frequently have them off at work. If they're easy to kick off I also prefer to preach barefoot.
5. What kind of socks do you like, if any?
Oooh, fuzzy socks are the best.
Bonus: Anything you want to share about feet or footwear.
My sister just told me I have more shoes than God. Which is probably true since I imagine God doesn't really need shoes. I definitely have an addiction. It's kind of a running joke at church. People now pay attention to what shoes I'm wearing, and generally comment more on my footwear than on my sermons. Not sure if that's good or bad...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Do I have to Come Back?

In the last few weeks (partly because I've been sick, partly because it's excellent distraction from real life) I've been hanging out in Austen/Bronte-land. I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which was hilarious and disturbing. I also read the Eyre Affair, which I could try to explain, but it would take too long. Alternate reality, characters crossing over from fiction to that reality, main character spending an extended period inside of the novel Jane Eyre. I have watched Pride and Prejudice (the mini-series, yay Colin Firth!), Bride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, and Jane Eyre (the Masterpiece theater mini-series). I decided last night after watching Jane Eyre that I like these stories and I would like to stay. Does this mean I need therapy of some sort?

Monday, July 6, 2009


Yeah right...

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)
Love and money will go hand in hand this week. Of course, you should never rule out spending time with someone who interests you intellectually. But this week, we think you’re going to find yourself in the fortunate position of not having to answer the following question: Was it love, or was it the jet plane to Paris for a private eight-course candle-lit dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It seems like it's always my goal to eat healthier, get more exercise, lose some weight. I'm actually doing better on the first 2. Not perfect, but definitely better than past endeavors. My frustration comes in these stupid 10 pounds that I have been gaining and losing for what seems like the last 800 years. Yes, that's hyperbole, but I think it helps demonstrate my frustration level. In this most recent endeavor I lost 2 pounds and then gained 6. Part of that was vacation, but still. It's like every time I get toward the bottom of those 10 pounds I backslide and start gaining. Which leads me to wonder if I'm sabotaging myself. And if that's the case, then that's just really darn annoying.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Long Time, No Post

So, I haven't posted in a very long time. The strange thing about my brain (OK, ONE of the of the strange things about my brain) is that I tend to think in illustrations: sermon illustrations, blog posts, newsletter articles, etc., but I almost never use them. Which probably makes me a big dork, but whatever. Anyhoo, I've thought about posting many times, but I either put it off or I get side-tracked, or I have a little moment of self-pity and I think, "well, no one reads this stupid thing anyway.'' Then the other part of my brain tells the first part to shut up and get over it, and then the first part sulks. It's always a good time in my brain... Again, I say whatever. Point being, I haven't written in almost a month. Here are a few things I might have written about if I weren't a big slacker:
  • Vacation! I took 2 weeks off in June. I spent the first week at home with the fam, and the 2nd week hanging out with a friend in the Seattle area. Ahhh....good stuff.
  • Part of vacation was doing the Holidays day with the kiddos. It was just the 4 nieces this year as the other family had planned to come but then forgot and scheduled something else. Oldest niece decided after 8 years that she just wanted to be a helper this year, and youngest niece is now 3, so this was her first year of getting to participate.
  • I came back from vacation to be the only pastor here at Made up Name LC. This wasn't a surprise, I knew it was coming, of course, but it's definitely an adjustment, and I have to say I'm not particularly enjoying the new, longer hours.
  • I'm caving to the pressure and reading the Twilight series. I'm only 2 chapters in, so I can't say too much about it. It's strange, because usually I love anything with vampires, but I have had no desire to read this series. But people keep talking about it and I feel like I should have an idea of what they're talking about. I'm also going to read The Shack for the same reason (just not the vampires).
  • Speaking of reading, I recently completed my annual re-read of Harry Potter. Then I re-read the Little House series. I read it a bunch of times as a kid, but it's probably been 20 years since the last time, and it was interesting to read it as an adult, with a different perspective.
I know there are other things I thought of, but now they've gone somewhere else. Maybe I'll try to post more so the random things don't disappear. Or maybe it's better that I don't post and the random things go away, never to be seen or heard from again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This past weekend was good, just crazy busy. It was wedding 3 of 3, which went well, but it was approximately 8 million degrees in the sanctuary, and a woman collapsed after so the paramedics were called. I felt really bad for her. It was kind of an odd picture, though, the receiving line went out the front door, and at the end was an ambulance. Not exactly what you would hope for at a wedding. Sunday was SP's last day. We only had 1 service with a reception after. It went OK. Lots of people were really confused at how fast everything seemed to happen. The bishop was here last Sunday, but since it was Memorial Day weekend we had very low attendance, so not as many people as we'd hoped were around to hear her speak and ask her questions. After the reception I had an executive committee meeting, then a New Orleans youth group meeting, and then I went home to pack and drive 200+ miles for a graduation party. The trip was definitely worth it as it's one of my favorite people in the whole world. I just can't believe she's graduating, since when I started babysitting her she was 2 1/2. Man, I'm old. She's absolutely gorgeous, she was co-Valedictorian, and had just won several events at the state track meet the day before. Yep, she's amazing, and I'm immensely proud of her.

Oh, and here's one of the many reasons I love living in MT: on the drive over I stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom and get something to drink. As I went up to pay the cashiers were having this conversation:

"It's a good thing he didn't break into MY house, I sleep with a dagger under the bed."

"Uh huh, I've got my gun right on the night stand. I'da shot him for sure."

I have no idea what the original story was, but their follow-up comments made me laugh.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


3 weekends, 3 weddings. I'm officiating at last weekend's and next weekend's, but today I was simply a guest. Well, sort of. The short version of the story is that I did the premarital counseling for this couple since the bride's childhood pastor is now in Michigan. I guess he didn't want to commute for the counseling. :-) So I did the premarital and he did the service. But, it was the first wedding in a long time where I had absolutely nothing to do during the service. I was trying to think while driving there when the last wedding was that I wasn't involved in, and couldn't. I've been the pastor, the intern, a musician, a bridesmaid or maid of honor, the bride's personal assistant. Anyhoo, it was a lovely service and an absolutely gorgeous day. But, I think I'm now ruined for weddings, too. I have trouble sitting through worship that I'm not leading because I pick it apart, and I did the same thing with the wedding today. Not necessarily negative stuff, my brain just swirls around and around as I compare what we do at our church, or I do as a worship leader, how I like some things that are different, how I would never do some things a certain way, etc. Sometimes I wish my brain would shut up!
Here are 2 other random tidbits for this entry: yesterday while driving home I hiccoughed while sneezing and almost drove off the road. Weird. Last Sunday when I drove to church there was a dead skunk in the middle of the road. Very smelly. Then, on Tuesday when I drove home after being gone for 2 days I noticed that someone had spray painted the skunks white stripes green. On the one hand I find it amusing. On the other, I think someone has way too much time on his or her hands!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Oh, the times, they are a-changing. But then again, what else is new? Things have been crazy around here for the last month or so. It's now been announced to the congregation, so I guess I can type about it, here. SP, for a variety of very complicated reasons, is resigning. Since I have a co-terminus call, I will also be leaving. I can stay until I have another call, but of course this means that I will soon be back in the call process. And then I will have to move again. Things here have been overly dramatic and sometimes downright crappy over the last year, but I still didn't think I would be back in the call process after only a year. I SO do not want to move again. So I'm worried about SP and his health during this process, I'm angry at certain parts of the congregation, thankful for other parts of the congregation, bitter about the call process and moving, hopeful that things will work out, scared about the future, and about 10,000 other emotions. Prayers are appreciated, for me, the SP, the congregation, random strangers--you know--whomever!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friends Friday Five

So today let's write about the different kinds of friends we have, like childhood friends, lost friends, tennis friends, work friends, and the list goes on. List 5 different types of friends you have had in your life and what they were/are like.

1. When I was preschool age we had neighbors across the street who had a daughter. I didn't know her long, but she was my bestest friend at the time. After they moved I had an imaginary friend with the same name. I sometimes wonder where she ended up (the real friend, not the imaginary friend--I'm still in touch with the imaginary one!).

2. In high school I had 5 friends that I consistently hung out with. We were the somewhat dorky, good kids who got together to eat pizza and watch movies most weekends. We didn't drink, we didn't get in trouble, we were kind of boring. Except once we broke a barn. And once we broke me and had to move the party to the emergency room...

3. In college I met the woman who is now my best friend. I think we must have known each other in a past life (or lives) because we clicked immediately. It all started with the Beatles and a random conversation about eggnog. We know everything about each other, and often joke that we'd better be friends forever simply because of the blackmailing possibilities that are out there if we ever get good and truly pissed at one another! :-)

4. After college and before seminary I moved to TX and had 2 jobs that I wasn't overly thrilled with. The jobs weren't great, but the friends I made at them were. In fact, today I am waiting to hear about the babies who were born to one of those friends just this morning. Last I heard Mom was in recovery and twin girls were doing well. Can't wait to hear the details of names and size! Yay babies!

5. And then there was seminary. I was blessed with lots of people I can call friends in that community, but there are 2 who definitely stand out from the rest. Oh, the stories. Laughing so hard my stomach hurt for what seemed like hours afterward. Watching truly bad TV. Drinking lime smashes. I miss those 2.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Well, that's just wrong. And mean. And depressing. I mean, really...

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)Start thinking about love…cause that’s as close as you’re going to get to it this week. Ouch! Yep, tough love is all you’ll be getting this week. Not to salt your wounds, but if you defy the stars and actually try to get close to someone, it will be the wrong someone. Best to just stay home with some good [chocolate].

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weird Research

I read a friend's facebook status today and it said something about how his daughter (who is in kindergarten) got off the bus today and told him that cobras don't pee. Huh. So I asked him if she said why? He said no. Which then led me to start searching on google. Now, I appreciate curiosity, and I'm always open to learning new things, but it did strike me as somewhat funny/odd that this is what I was doing with my Monday night. Maybe I need to get out more?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I have amazing friends. Sometimes I let myself get so wrapped up in my own drama that I forget what beautiful and truly grace-filled people are in my life. I'm trying not to take them for granted. Thank you for your friendship, love, support, prayers and laughter! If I can be half the friend that you all are to me, I think I'll be doing OK.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Labyrinth Part 2

Yesterday after church we took the 9th grade Confirmation class on a field trip to a labyrinth about 30 miles south of town. The setting was lovely, and we didn't get snowed or rained on (both of which were possibilities), so that was a plus. The students seemed to enjoy the outing, and I don't think I've ever seen them that quiet for that long. It took over a half an hour to walk the entire labyrinth and they were silent the whole time. All in all it was a good trip, I think, except for this: The kids were well behaved, but I felt totally immature the whole time. I understand the concept of a labyrinth, and I enjoyed being out and walking in a beautiful setting, but I had a hard time feeling anything meaningful during my walk. It didn't help that I had the fish slapping song from Spamelot stuck in my head. Plus, every time I would pass someone going the other way on the path, I really wanted to do high-fives, and I kept thinking of sarcastic things to comment upon. All of this was in my own head, of course, but I felt bad for not being more into the experience. Oh well. Maybe next time. Kudos to the kids, though!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I got to church at 9:00 this morning. I realize that this is late compared to some jobs, but it's not like I strolled in at noon and left for the day at 2:00 or some such craziness. Anyhoo, I walk in the front door and immediately one of our old guys says to me, "some of us have already put in a full day's work." (We have men's breakfast at 6:30 on Wednesday mornings.) At first I was speechless, I felt like I stared at him for a full 5 minutes with my mouth hanging open. It was probably only 2 or 3 seconds, it just felt longer, until I said, "some of us were here until 8:00 last night." I know there are better ways to respond to statements like that, but that's what popped out. Sigh. Someday I'll learn the more tactful response. It would be more hopeful to think that someday those comments will stop coming, but I'm not confident that's going to happen.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Sadly, this is true of most of my life, not just something I have to worry about on this particular week...
aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)You might want to carry some gum around with you for the next couple days. You’re going to need it to wash the dirty-sneaker taste out of your mouth when you really stick your foot in it this week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sleeping In

I woke up this morning and my first thought was that it seemed awfully light in my room. I rolled over and looked at the clock and it was 6:40. I'd planned on leaving the house at 6:45. I have a definite memory of setting my alarm last night, having the conversation in my head of what time I needed to leave, so what time I would need to get up. Clearly, though, I didn't turn the alarm on after setting it. So, the morning started with lots of swearing and a giant adrenaline rush. I wasn't late for church, but I hate starting the morning in a rush like that, it throws me off. Despite the start, the morning was good. I felt energized and I thought worship went well. After 2nd service I spent a couple of hours hanging out and giggling with some friends (who are part of my "sort of" family). All in all it was a good day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pastors' Conference

These aren't great pictures, but I snapped them from the door of our room at the pastor's conference I spent most of last week attending. It didn't snow the entire time we were there, but it snowed almost a foot the first night, and most of it stuck around the whole time. I was sooo not thrilled by this last showing of winter at our post-Easter retreat. And it was COLD and I was whiny. :-) Other than that, the conference was good. I got to soak in the hot springs a lot, and I was actually social and had some good conversations with colleagues. I'm home now, and it was warm and sunny when I got here, so maybe we'll enjoy some spring weather after all.

Friday, April 10, 2009


This is totally random, but it makes me happy, so I have to share. One of the women in my yoga class is one of the sweetest people I know. She's always got a smile and she's a very positive balance to some of the negative voices in this place. She's in her 70's and comes faithfully to yoga every week. All of that is wonderful, but what especially makes me smile every Friday is that she wears polyester pants and a turtleneck to do yoga. So very cute...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the

OK, I don't actually have another adjective for the last 18 hours or so. Maybe you all can help me out on that one.

The good: Last night I treated myself to a hair cut (OK, just my usual scheduled time, not really a treat), a manicure, a pedicure, and a facial. Oh, and I also got my eyebrows waxed, but that was also my regularly scheduled time. I love my stylist. She's funny and fun and she does a great job. We had a fabulous time hanging out last night and laughing hysterically over totally random things. And my toes and fingers are all pretty. I feel like such a girl. :-) I know I'm going to chip my manicure at any moment now because I'm not careful about it, but it's a very subtle, pale (but shiny!) color, so hopefully it won't be terribly noticeable. It was a fabulous mid-Holy Week, pre-birthday treat, and I'm really glad I did it.

And now the bad: Really it's just a lot of stress. Some of it is HW related, others not. I got in this morning to a very frustrated (for good reason) office manager. She started yelling the f word at me. Not so much at me, actually, more toward me as she vented. We also found a piece of paper left in the copy machine containing the page from the constitution talking about changes in a pastor's call, or working through the synod to remove a pastor. The page was headed, "Discernment Committee Members: please read in preparation for our next meeting." More than a little unnerving. This all comes after yesterday when SP told me it might be a good idea to submit my mobility paperwork "just in case." There have been other things this morning. Little things, but they're adding up to make for a rather stressful morning.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I did a session of premarital counseling with a young couple yesterday. They're getting married in May, but I'm not doing the wedding, just the premarital stuff since the pastor who's marrying them is flying out from Michigan. Anyway, we spent an hour chatting, and they seem like a lovely couple. I always find this part of my job somewhat ironic. First of all, we call it counseling, but it isn't exactly. I'm certainly not trained to provide any kind of therapy or counseling of that nature. We use a premarital inventory that is a good jumping off point, and I find it helpful, but there are moments when I think, what on earth am I doing? I've never been married, I'm not allowed to cohabitate (I love that word, btw), and I suck at relationships in general. So there we are, talking about conflict resolution and communication, etc., and I'm thinking, "wow, I feel like such a hypocrite!" On a different note, I also wonder if I'm too naive for these kinds of things. Yes, I know, most often I come across as cynical and sarcastic, but for the most part I tend to take people at face value. This seems like a nice, well-adjusted couple with good heads on their shoulders. For all I know they could be raving sociopaths. OK, hopefully I'd get some vibes if that were the case, but it's one more thing I wonder about as I do these sessions--are these people just making stuff up that they think I want to hear?

Whatever. In happy news, the sun has finally decided to grace us with its presence! It's been gorgeous since Sunday, and I've been loving every minute of it! It's a little overcast today, but still supposed to be in the upper 50's, so I can't complain. And I'm wearing fabulous shoes approximately the color of this font, and a happy yellow jacket to help celebrate spring!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Five--Pre Holy Week

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?
Chocolate! Oh wait, not until Lent is over. :-) No, really--yoga or a good walk, remembering to get up and move around on days where I sit at my computer too much.

2. What strengthens you emotionally/ mentally?
A good book (I especially have to read right before going to sleep), giggling or talking with friends, watching a movie, working on the last 3 (of 8) baby presents I still need to finish crocheting.

3. What encourages you spiritually?
Talking with friends, especially colleagues, prayer during yoga, and this week, walking the labyrinth we built in the sanctuary (too bad we have to dismantle it tomorrow).

4. Share a favourite poem or piece of music from the coming week.
I think Ah, Holy Jesus is my favorite hymn for this week. I just feel calm and centered when I hear it.

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?
This year I'm particularly looking forward to Wednesday, as I'm treating myself to a pre-birthday facial and mani/pedi. I've always like the Good Friday service, even as a kid, which struck my family as slightly odd. This year we're doing a Stations of the Cross service, and I'm really hoping it goes well since I was in charge of putting it together...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here are some pictures of the labyrinth we built in the sanctuary. We had a good turn-out tonight, and almost everyone walked it at some point in the service. Good way to celebrate the last mid-week Lenten service this year.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Life in My Head

Apparently life in my head is a fascinating place of fantasy. See, in my head I'm an amazing woman: I'm funny and eloquent, well-spoken and out-spoken. I'm practical and organized. I'm tactful and diplomatic. I'm graceful. I'm fun and spontaneous. And, since I'm being narcissistic here, in my head I'm sometimes sexy as hell. Aah, but then there is reality. In reality I'm less amazing. I am a giant klutz. Things never come out of my head as funny as they might, and no matter how eloquent or diplomatic things seem in my head they tend to come out as rude or bitchy. In reality parts of me are organized but lots of me are incredibly scattered and easily distracted. I love to procrastinate. I'm passive-aggressive. I over think everything. And as for that last part, well, reality definitely falls short. There's really not much point to this post, just stuff I've been pondering lately.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day Off

I'm having my first day off in 3 weeks! Yay. It's fabulous. I even slept in this morning, which felt great. Now I'm just hanging out, doing laundry, working up the energy to go grocery shopping.
So, life has been busy, but OK for the most part. Yesterday was oldest niece's 12th birthday. She's almost a teenager. How did this happen? It's so not about me, but it makes me feel a little old to know this. Oh well. I talked to her yesterday and she had a good weekend with Mom, so that makes me happy. She and her sisters were playing with the puppy when I called, which is always fun to listen to because that puppy makes them all laugh like mad-women. Too cute.
On Friday I had a meeting with the personnel board. They're calling them "one-on-ones" and they're meant to be check-ins with the staff. Not quite mutual ministry committee, but somewhat similar. It was actually a one-on-two as there were 2 members of the board there. It went fine, but I had anxiety dreams the night before and didn't sleep well. I felt silly.
So, that no day off thing. There are a variety of reasons: Lent, funerals, continuing ed, etc. In seminary we talked a lot about boundaries, days off, self-care, all of that good stuff. It made sense. I had good intentions. Reality seems a bit different. I can't blame it all on outside circumstances, I need to be better about creating good boundaries. Anyway, it was one more reason I felt kind of stupid at the meeting on Friday. Practically I understand all of those previous seminary conversations, but it turns out I suck with the follow-through.
On a different note, we built a labyrinth in the sanctuary yesterday. SP took pictures, so I'll try and post one if I can get some copies. It was fun, and it looks really cool. Our Lenten theme has been stones, and we've been using the labyrinth as the image for journey or pilgrimage, so on Wednesday this week we will have walking the labyrinth as part of the service. Should be good.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I got nothing done today. Which, of course, isn't exactly true. I got stuff done. I had 3 meetings and sang with the kids' singing group. I answered e-mails, and made phone calls. But I didn't work on adult forum for this week, or accomplish any of the other things on my current to-do list. I struggle a bit with days like this. I know I did and accomplished things that needed to be done, but sometimes it feels like I'm not doing anything. Which maybe makes no sense at all. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be more productive in a to-do list kind of way.
In other other news I really don't have other news. This week is much quieter than last week, for which I am grateful. I made it through worship last night without giggling or knocking anything over. Tonight I'm thinking of soaking in the tub and finishing my book.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This morning at first service we processed as usual. Normally in front of the altar we have a credence table with glasses for wine, glasses of grape juice and gluten-free wafers on it. During Lent we are communing by intinction, so no need for glasses. Instead of leaving the table we now have a smaller stand that just has the gluten-free wafers. My whole system must have been out of whack because as I turned to go sit down I smacked right into the darn stand and knocked if over, sending wafers flying everywhere. Oh yes, it was such a lovely way to start the service. As if that weren't enough, during communion I leaned over to hand a chalice to one of the acolytes and as I did the whole altar slid forward. I'm the only one who noticed it, but we've rearranged so the altar is right out at the front of the platform it sits on. Oh yeah, that's just what I needed to bookend the service, shoving the whole altar over. Fortunately that didn't happen and between services I scootched it back several inches to hopefully avoid any possibility of that in the future. And I think I'm going to have quite the lovely bruise on my foot from the whole smacking and knocking over adventure. Apparently the honeymoon is over. I was doing so well at being all professional and non-klutzy (and dare I say, demure?) up front, but after today and last week's giggling fest I guess the real me has been revealed. I am such a dork. Sheesh. And I think it might be contagious. After church I went grocery shopping and the checker accidentally lost control of one of my yogurt cartons and it went smashing to the ground. Gloop, and yogurt everywhere. Maybe I'm cursed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Apparently I'm channeling my father's sisters, because I'm about to talk about the weather. We were totally spoiled there for awhile with lovely, spring-like weather. Today I woke up to fog, snow and lots of wind. By afternoon the sun had come out and the sky was a lovely blue, but it is so COLD! And the wind is blowing approximately 80 billion miles and hour. Really. My feet haven't warmed up since I got home. And now I will stop talking about the weather.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I took Friday off and went home to hang out with the fam. I hadn't been home since Christmas, and I was having major niece withdrawal. I went home Thursday night so I got to spend all day yesterday playing with the kiddos. 5 year old niece doesn't have kindergarten on Fridays, so she was home, along with another 5 year old my mom babysits for. In addition, the almost 2 year old that was my little shadow the year I lived at home was there in the morning and then we also go to watch her baby sister (who is a month old) while their parents went to soak in the hot springs. Ah...good day. I totally got my baby fix (even to the point of changing 4 messy diapers). The 2 year old even kept my company while I showered. I showered, and she carefully organized all of my bathroom stuff. It was fun to have a little shadow again for the day, even though it used to drive me a little crazy when it happened non-stop. That evening we went to my brother's house to celebrate his closing. Yay! He officially owns his house after a long and very crazy process! So then I also got to hang out with the 3 year old niece, who is still wearing the Cinderella dress from their trip to Disneyland. She's worn it almost constantly since they bought it, and that was several weeks ago. To cap the evening we all went to the movie. It was Hotel For Dogs. Not my first choice, but hey, it was free, and I got to hang out with my favorite people. It was actually cuter than I expected, so that was a plus. Today was a lovely, lazy day, with more snuggling with all of the girls (even the 11 year old who almost never snuggles). It was fabulous until I had to leave an the 5 year old cried because she wanted to have a tea party with our tiaras and she forgot to ask. She was better when I called her after I got back, but still. It made me sad. Despite that, it was still great, and I'm so glad I took the time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Last night I presided at communion. Not uncommon as SP and I switch every week. He preaches, I preside, and vice versa. Worship was going along fine, I did the words of institution, we prayed the Lord's Prayer, and then I started doing communion instructions. For some reason these trip me up a lot, but usually I do fine and make it through. For Lent we are doing communion by intinction, so I was doing the instructions for that. Made it through the first part fine, but then I started to say which chalices had wine and which had grape juice. I looked at the chalices that have grape juice and the only word I could think of was "pottery." I paused, looked at them, then looked at SP. He said "ceramic," so I went with that. Then I moved on to the wine, which was in the metal pouring chalices, and once again my brain went blank. So I just said the "non-ceramic chalices." Then I started to giggle, and several members of the congregation started to giggle, and I couldn't stop. The rest of communion instructions went down hill from there. I just kept giggling until I was done. I always say there should be joy in the sacrament, but this was a little ridiculous!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


So, here we are, already a week into Lent. It's been busy, but mostly good so far. I've given up my usual chocolate and caffeine, as well as trying a couple of new things. I'm terrible at taking on any sort of spiritual discipline (I know what you're thinking Ktjhawk, and I hope you are giggling!). I know a couple of people who are trying to blog every day as a Lenten discipline. Clearly I missed the boat on that one since, like I said, already a week in. I'm just not sure I'm interesting enough to blog about something every day. Seems like a lot of pressure. One friend sort of joked about giving up church for Lent. Sounds lovely, but I don't think it's an option! :-) At any rate, I've been blogging less since January, so I'm going to try to be more consistent about it. We'll see what happens or if I have anything to type about.

Monday, March 2, 2009


aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)Roller coasters are fun! Emotional roller coasters are not. Well, maybe they are: How else do you appreciate the highs if you don’t have the lows? Just make sure you have the safety belt buckled tight. And stay off the cotton candy, or else you’ll get another cavity. Or throw up.
Mostly I just thought this was funny because of the throwing up part. Not every day that I have a horoscope mention that....

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Friday night I went out for the first time in....well, longer than I can remember, actually. A group of people, all with connections to the church, were playing at a local winery (yes--Montana has wineries--who knew?). It was so exciting to get actually get ready for an evening out. I'd forgotten how much fun the anticipation could be. And then I realized that yes, I was going out, but I was going to a place that would be plum-full of parishioners. And so it was. It was fun, the group was great, and I had a good time, but it was work. After a couple of hours our office manager, her boyfriend, his friend and I went downtown. That was also fun, and I even danced a little, but I felt really old. I was between 7 and 10 years older than everyone around me. Sigh. Whatever, I really did enjoy the evening, and it was fun to get out of my apartment for once.
Last night was a lock-in with a couple of other churches. I didn't have to stay the night, but went to the first part at a local youth center. They played reball, I played a little volleyball (I'm just as bad now as I was in high school!). Not many kids from our church, but I had fun with the ones who were there.
Tonight was the church talent show. It was a fund raiser for our kids who are going to New Orleans to the National Youth Gathering in July. Wow, we have a lot of amazing talent in our church. I was really proud of everyone who participated. Less proud of myself, though. Have me preach in front of a couple of hundred people and I'm fine. Stick me in a less crowded room and have me be "entertaining" and I totally choke. Man did I suck! Oh well, everyone else was fab. Too bad they had to end with me. That'll teach 'em to put the pastor last....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Five--Taking a Break

Taking a Break Friday Five. Tell us how you would spend:

1. a 15 minute break
Usually during little breaks I try to stretch, or walk, or generally try to work out the kinks in some fashion.
2. an afternoon off
The sun has actually been shining here lately, so I would love to get out for a longer walk in the sunshine. Otherwise I would probably watch a movie, or read, or work on projects that never seem to get finished.
3. an unexpected free day
I'd really like to go home and see my nieces. If not then, then in theory I could run errands, clean, catch up on stuff I'd let go. In reality I'd probably do the same things as the previous answer!
4. a week's vacation
Heaven. That sounds lovely right now. Is this reality or fantasy? In fantasy I would go somewhere fabulous, somewhere warm, somewhere with a beach. In reality I would probably do smaller trips, in-state, and visit family and friends. Which would still be nice, of course, just no beach. :-)
5. a sabbatical
3 months? I almost can't even imagine that. No, not almost, I really can't imagine that. Well, reading, of course, since that always seems to be a theme. I'd like to try and be more active in some way, I wonder how I could work that into a sabbatical? And continuing ed in, well, just about anything as at this point in my call I feel like I could definitely learn more about everything.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mid-Winter Theological Conference

I started typing this post several days ago, and never got around to finish it. I posted last year about this same continuing ed event, so it's kind of fun to be here a year later and having some history. I'm looking forward to the same thing in a few months when I've been in this call for a year and things start repeating. Anyway, the conference was great, even if it went way to fast. The speaker was Dr. James Limburg, a retired seminary professor. He taught at the seminary I went to after he retired, so we had the pleasure of getting to learn from him for several semesters. I find him engaging, interesting, and quite fun to listen to, so it was a nice way to get some continuing ed. His topic was on creation, and he's an OT scholar, so we focused mostly on the OT in our discussion. Last year it snowed a lot. This year it melted. A lot. It was in the high 40's and it was so fabulous to see the sun and actually get out and enjoy it. Of course, DMK and I spent our usual time nesting in the lobby with our books and crafts and snacks, but I did also get out and go for a walk. No pictures this year, but it was gorgeous. What else? I haven't been posting much. Things have been busy and somewhat stressful. I have hope that things will be fine, maybe even great, but life in the church has been....interesting, we'll say. In happy news, a friend of mine just had a baby girl. She's adorable from what I've seen in pictures. Big, though. 10 lbs 9 ounces and 22 inches long! Yikes. I need to clean my apartment. That has nothing to do with anything except that as I sit here I keep looking around and thinking, huh, I need to clean my apartment. Clearly it's time to stop typing and go to bed...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Five--These are a Few of My Favorite Things

In a week of wondering how various things in our family life will unfold, I found myself thinking of the way Maria comforted the Von Trapp children in one of my favorite movies. Frightened by a thunder storm, the children descend upon her, and she sings to them about her favorite things, taking their minds off the storm.

So, let's encourage ourselves. Share with us five of your favorite things. Use words or pictures, whatever expresses it best.
1. My nieces. They aren't "things," they're people, of course, but they are some of my favorite people in the whole world. These aren't my nieces in the picture, but I do have 4, and they are really stinkin' adorable.

2. Chocolate. I am probably unhealthily addicted to the stuff.
My pants would certainly fit better if I didn't love it so much,
but it seems to make everything better...

3. Shoes. I love shoes. Love them. Why? Well, I'm not
entirely sure, but I love finding a new pair of fabulous shoes
to add to my collection (which isn't huge, but definitely bigger

than it probably should be)

4Musicals. Since this Five started with a Sound of Music reference, I thought this was apt. Sometimes I wish my life involved dressing up in fabulous clothes (with amazing shoes, of course) and spontaneously bursting into song and choreographed dance numbers.

5. Yoga. This is actually a new favorite thing. I've only been doing yoga for a couple of months, and just once a week, but I LOVE it. (I'm NOT this bendy...)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Five--Home Edition

1) If you could, what room in the place you are currently living would you redo first?
My living room. It's comfy, but it's currently decorated in hand-me-down chic. It could probably use a bit more of a theme than it has at the moment.

2) What is the most hideous feature/color/decor item you have ever seen in a home?
Couches seem to have a wide variety and range of hideousness. Sometimes they're so bad they're fabulous, but mostly they're just awful. Anything orange in combination with flowers and/or plaid just doesn't do it for me. Also, the downstairs bathroom in my house on internship was PINK! Pink fixtures, pink tiles, pink flooring. Some people like pink, I don't happen to be one of them. I always showered upstairs in the blue bathroom (same deal up there, but I actually like blue...)

3) What feature do you most covet? Do you have it? If not, is it within reach?
My sister is the decorator in our family. I'm kind of content to live with what I've got since I don't have the eye for much. I would like a new bed at some point. And I would love to have a place with lots and lots (and lots) of really nice bookshelves.

4) Your kitchen - love it or hate it? Why?
Neither. It's fine. Could be better, but I've lived with worse. I wish it had a dishwasher. Oh! Add that to #3.

5) Here is $10,000 and you HAVE to spend it on the place you are living now. What do you do?
I live in an apartment and I rent. I'm not sure I'd be allowed to do much. So...all new furniture, new towels, new sheets, actual art for the walls. Bookshelves! Can I spend it on books with which to, ahem, decorate the shelves?

BONUS: Why do you think there was such a surplus of ugly bathroom tile colors showcased in all homes built from the 1950's right through the early 80's?
I have no appropriate answer for this. It seems to just be the way the universe aligned during those decades.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I love to read. I'm sure I've mentioned this in other posts. If I haven't, I'll say it again: I love to read. I read more fiction than non-fiction, although I'm trying to read more non-fiction. I have friends and colleagues who love to read deep, dense books on theology. They read them, they understand them, they even like them. I am not usually that person. When it comes to some of those books I feel like I'm wading through them, struggling to figure out what they're telling me. It takes me a long time to get through them, and when I'm done my usual first thought is, "huh?" Then, sometime later, you know, like 4 years or something, a light goes on and I understand what I read in that book. There are things from seminary that I'm just now realizing I actually understand. I used to think I was a pretty smart person. Then I went to seminary. Anyway, I'm realizing that I much prefer books on spirituality and theology where those really smart people who can read or understand the deeper concepts of theology write about their experiences and put those concepts into context. I don't always agree with these authors, but I appreciate their writing styles. Lately I've been reading several authors that are engaging, funny and practical about their faith. They make thinking and talking about God seem very simple, easy, practical, down-to-earth, even interesting. As a pastor I would like to be more like that. It seems like these past months I've had people in my office complaining about this or that, and we talk about it, but very rarely do they bring up God in these discussions. And I'm sad to admit that I don't bring God up all that much more often. I read these books where people have actual conversations about God and it doesn't seem strange at all. Actually, sometimes it does seem strange, but the authors manage to acknowledge that strangeness and make a point about it. I wonder if those conversations in my office might go in a different direction, if I or the other person might come out of them with a different understanding, if God were brought up. If how we understand our faith were brought up. I do work in a church, after all. It shouldn't seem that strange a concept.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Annual Meeting Follow-up

The annual meeting is over, and despite being THREE HOURS long it wasn't terrible. Not as good as we had hoped, but not as bad as we'd feared, either. And I still have a job, as does the office manager, so that's a relief. Thanks for the prayers and good wishes, they definitely helped. Oh, and I didn't throw up. :-)

Enough of the business stuff, let's talk about random stuff:

My 5 year old niece has skinny jeans. She looks adorable in them. I'm still sad they're making a come-back, though. Really the only people who can pull them off are approximately the size of my 5 year old niece.

It's snowing today. Slow, lazy flakes that look pretty out my window. I just wish the heat would kick on in my office so I can be warm while I watch it snow.

My newsletter article still isn't done. It's partly done. I need to finish it by today. It might not have much of a point...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Annual Meeting

In approximately 12 hours we will be starting our annual meeting. I'm very nervous for a variety of reasons. I might throw up. Thank goodness I don't have to preach. Prayers are greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Five--Winter Blahs

Here in snow country we are settled in to what is a very long stretch of potentially boring days. The holidays are over. It is a very long time till we will get outside on a regular basis. The snow that seemed so beautiful at first is now dirty and the snow banks are piling up. Our vehicles are all the same shade of brownish grey, but if we go to the car wash our doors will freeze shut. People get grumpy. Of course, not everyone lives in a cold climate, but even in warmer places the days till springtime can get long. Help! Please give us five suggestions for combating cabin fever and staying cheerful in our monochromatic world?

Right now I'm less in snow country and more in gross-muddy-slushy-ice-frigid winds country, but here are 5 things that are moderately successful for me in combating the winter blahs:

1. Sunshine! It doesn't happen often, but I try and soak it up as often as it makes a brief appearance (which was aprox. 15 minutes yesterday). I know people have the sun lamps, but I've never tried one. I just wait and hope for the real thing. I also like that the light lasts a little longer each day and try to relish each extra couple of minutes.

2. Crocheting. I crochet more in the winter than the summer. I like to have big projects like afghans that keep me warm while I'm working on them.

3. Netflix. I like to watch a movie while I'm crocheting. Sometimes I make good choices, sometimes I wonder what the heck I was thinking, but it's nice to have the background noise.

4. Books, blankies, beverages. Some days I like to snuggle up on the couch with a good book, a snuggly blanket and some coffee or tea or hot chocolate. These are the days when I can relish that I don't have to go outside into the yuck.

5. Flannel or fleece pj's. I don't know if this one counts, but pretty much the first thing I do when I get home (on nights when I don't have to go back out) is put on comfy pj's and warm, fuzzy socks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Twice in the last few days I have had people tell me that they wish I were the only pastor, that they like me more than the Senior Pastor. I don't like this. Affirmation is good, but not this way. This way is awkward and uncomfortable, and well...icky. One of the comments was well-intentioned, but I'm not sure about the other one. I tried to repsond appropriately, but I'm not even sure what appropriate is in these cases. Sometimes life is very confusing.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So, all week I've been having a terrible time waking up in a timely manner. I hit snooze forever and finally drag myself out of bed when I absolutely have to. This morning, when I should be able to sleep in I wake up at 7:23. The universe is messing with me... :-)
In happy news: This morning I tried on a pair of pants that haven't fit in forever AND THEY FIT! I don't know why, I haven't been working at it or anything, really. But they fit! Still a little tight, but they button and everything. So very exciting. For those of you who know the story, these are the pants of poetry legend (hence the color of today's entry!).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday 5--Things About Me

I'm still not entirely over the crabbiness of earlier, but thought I would take a moment to do the Revgalblogpals Friday 5. I'm still horribly uninspired on my sermon, so this will be my break from that:

Whether it's new friends or new loves or new employers, what are five things people should know about you?

I might be unhealthily addicted to my nieces. Even when they drive me slightly crazy I still find them endlessly fascinating and absolutely adorable (most of the time). Not everyone I know has to love them like I do, but they need to at least have a decent appreciation of them.

I often come across as bitchy. Sometimes I am, but there are other things that contribute to this perception: I can be really quiet. I process internally, so it takes me a long time in group settings to be able to contribute to conversations, especially if I'm uncomfortable. Because of this I've been accused of being "stand-offish." I also grew up in a family that avoided confrontation. In order to deal with confrontation I have to work myself up to it, so I often seem angry when I'm not. It's hard to explain, I guess. I'm working on it.

I have a strange sense of humor. Some people get it and some people don't. It's gotten me into trouble. Oh, and I also think I'm way funnier than I come across in this blog, but maybe that's just me.

I've had several friends in my life that I've met and had an instant connection with. It's like we've known each other forever. I count myself exceptionally lucky to have that, and them.

I'm a procrastinator. Sometimes it's because I really am trying to avoid something. Other times, I just have to think about something for what seems like forever before I can do it. Still other times fear causes me to put something off until the last possible minute. I'm basically an organized person, but I definitely tend toward procrastination.

Yoga (or the lack thereof)

Generally on Fridays I do the Revgals Friday 5, but today I'm feeling slightly annoyed. It's budget time, as I've mentioned, and things are progressing but still stressful (as I imagine they are in numerous churches across the country right now). I'm trying not to worry about it. Sometimes I'm successful and sometimes I'm less successful. Anyway, the church has a yoga class every Friday, and this is one way I count on to take an hour during my week to stretch and center myself. Oh, and find muscles I never knew I had, but that's another story. :-) Today, about a 1/2 an hour into yoga I noticed someone outside the fellowship hall. I went out to see if he needed anything and long story short, spent several minutes being chastised about the budget. And it was about things I really have no control over, so that made it worse. After he left I went to my office and cried. So much for the centering of yoga. The timing of it just seems slightly funny (and by funny I mean annoyingly ironic). Shortly after the crying someone else came to the church and she and I had a nice conversation that helped get me back from the edge of annoyed. I'm grateful for those people in my life. As much as I understand the frustration of the first person who chastised me, I wish I had a better way to handle those situations so they don't throw my whole day off balance.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Remembering Ellen

My mom's cousin died yesterday. She's had Alzheimer's for a long time, and hasn't recognized anyone for a very long time, so in some ways it's a relief, but it's still making me very sad. She is one of my favorite people from childhood. Here's what I remember: She was the most Norwegian-looking person I knew. I don't exactly know what this means, but as a kid when I would think of Norwegians I would think of Ellen. Her mom is my grandmother's sister and they were like me and my sister: one blond and one brunette. My family is more brunette than blond (except of course for my sister), so I suspect this was where my ideas of her Norwegian-ness came from! Every year we have a family reunion and every year Ellen would make the best chicken and noodles. Others have tried, but it's just not the same. I usually only saw her once a year, but she was one of my favorite parts of those reunions. I wish I could figure out how to tell the story of her shooing drunk trespassers who stumbled into our reunion, but I don't know how to tell it in a way that would do it justice. It's become one of our family "legends." My mom was her flower girl, and I loved looking at those wedding pictures as a kid. Fabulous dress. She was a wonderful person and I will miss her very much.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Apparently I missed all of the excitement around here yesterday. When I came in last night for board and council meetings I found out that there was an attempted robbery at the credit union next door yesterday afternoon. No one was hurt, thankfully, but the police called the church and told the staff to lock down the building. Then, according to the paper this morning, the guy led the cops on a chase up by my apartment. Not right by my place, but in the general area. Scary.

It's annual meeting time here, which means budget discussions. Last night's council meeting was 3 1/2 hours. Overall it went well, but I can't help but thinking while I'm sitting through those conversations that they'd be doing OK if they hadn't called me. The shortfall for last year is basically a good chunk of my salary. Now, I can be rational and reasonable and think all sorts of CPE thoughts about not bringing my own crap into the situation, but it's hard sometimes not to feel guilty. Or to worry that I'm soon not going to have a job. Or to have those stupid voices that insist on popping into my head to say that the church would be better off with someone else or no one as the associate pastor. I try to kick those voices on a regular basis, but they're sneaky little bastards.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Visitors From Afar

I guess 80 miles isn't exactly far, but my 3 year old niece thinks the drive is REALLY long. She and my sister are here and spending the night. They got here about noon, we had lunch and then went shopping. The niece's new favorite word is "why?" She followed my sister through Target today saying why why why why nonstop. The sister is really patient. I thought it might drive me slightly crazy after awhile, but I also thought it was fairly cute. She's currently going through a twirly dress phase. Everything has to be "down to there," meaning long, to her ankles, and it has to twirl appropriately. So we spent quite a bit of time in the mall this evening waiting as she tried on dresses and spun around in them to see if they twirled properly. She finally settled on a pink Easter dress and she's going to wear it to church tomorrow, with tights and a shirt under it, of course since it's cold. Oh, speaking of outfits, she dressed herself this morning. She showed up wearing a turquoise, navy and white striped shirt with black Christmas pants that had red, white and pink candy canes. Over all of this she was wearing a jumper dress made from 2 kinds of red gingham. She's a stylish one, let me tell you!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Five--Pancakes

Last week Sally gave us a beautiful, spiritually reflective Friday Five, so it's time for something light and fluffy (literally). It's inspired by the fact that as I write this my dear spouse TechnoGuy, with the assistance of daughter Ladybug, is making a batch of chocolate chip pancakes with two Christmas presents. One is the Knott's Berry Farm mix which came along with jam, boysenberry syrup, and biscuit mix from my aunt (we ended up with two sets, since my parents passed theirs on to avoid sweet and carb-y temptation). The other is the large size Black and Decker electric skillet he was thrilled that I got him online -- our trusty wedding present normal size one still works at going on 20 years, but the Teflon is getting worn, and he wanted more cooking space. So pull up a chair to the kitchen table and tell us all about your pancake preferences.

1. Scratch or mix? Buttermilk or plain?
I don't make them often, but when I do I make them from scratch. Doesn't make sense to buy a mix that I rarely use. I'm allergic to white flour, so I always make whole wheat.

2. Pure and simple, or with additions cooked in?
Pure and simple, but I think that's mostly laziness. Or lack of additional agreements. I like chocolate chips or blueberries, I just rarely put them in.

3. For breakfast or for dinner?
Either. But I don't like anything that heavy first thing in the morning, so I guess it would be more of a brunch preference.

4. Preferred syrup or other topping? How about the best side dish?
My family likes peanut butter and maple syrup. It's been passed down from my grandfather, and more than one spouse marrying into the family has been completely grossed out by it. It's so yummy, though! You need lots of milk to go along with it, though. I like either bacon or link sausage as a side dish (may as well clog all of the arteries while we're at it!)

5. Favorite pancake restaurant?
I don't believe I have a favorite. I think the only one I've been to is IHOP. Clearly I need to branch out in my pancake eating...

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I drove home from the church today a little after 5:00 and it was still mostly daylight. This might not seem like such a big deal, and it's not like it doesn't happen the same way every year, but today it struck me. I'd gotten so used to driving home in the dark, and it was lovely to have that little bit of extra light. I've been talking with the preschoolers about Epiphany during chapel this week. We've talked about how the wise men followed a light (the star) and found a different kind of light (Jesus). They like to talk about Jesus, and they got star stickers to wrap things up, so they were happy. The drive home was kind of my chapel as I reflected on the light and how the days getting longer always fill me with hope this time of year. And yes, I'm wearing my star sticker as a reminder of that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I am not currently under my desk sobbing, so today went better than it might have. In fact, it went pretty darn well considering the potential for awkwardness/meanness. It was still fairly awkward, but things went well, and I think I did OK in a pastoral sense. "The Issue" has a tendency to spawn parking lot conversations and seemingly ordinary things turned into huge issues, so I suppose there is always the chance that something will come up later to cause problems, but for now I'm celebrating the fact that nothing went horribly wrong today. And that there's chocolate in my office. I take my celebrations where I can find them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


So, I did pretty well at holding the annoyance at bay yesterday, especially considering it was my day off and I kept having to deal with stuff I shouldn't have had to deal with. Most of it was out of my hands, so I took care of what I could and tried to let the rest go. I think I did a fairly good job of the letting go part. Then I get to church this morning and the first hour was one thing after another, all dealing with "The Issue" and most seeming to imply that I'm incompetent. It's frustrating and I've moved on from annoyed to PO'd, which I'm working on calming down. I think I'm on top of the situation, but we'll see how the day progresses. And tomorrow is the day that could either go really well or could find me crying in my office, possibly hiding under my desk. Should be interesting. To complicate things further, I slipped on the ice and fell in the parking lot yesterday. I have a lovely bruise on my thigh, another on my calf, a family of them on my knee, and I'm stiff and sore all over. It could have been worse, and I'm grateful I didn't break anything. Must have been the day for it, though, because both the 5 year old and the 8 year old niece slipped and fell yesterday as well. Ah, winter.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Today I'm feeling slightly annoyed. It's a very long and convoluted story involving personnel issues, family/church dynamics, emotional manipulation, other pastors, church building use, scheduling, personalities, and vacations all topped off by my whoppingly fabulous cold. And really, I think it's the cold that's making this feel more annoying than it actually is. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely annoying aspects, but most of it is out of my control at this point, so being annoyed doesn't really help. Which is what I keep reminding myself, and it's helping. I will do what I can, try not be too annoyed with the stuff I can't control, and hopefully make it through the week without too much conflict. In good news, my voice is a bit better today. In great news, I didn't wake up until 10:50 this morning. I can't remember the last time I slept that late. I feel slightly decadent. Must have needed it, but it's weird, because the day's already half over and I've only had 1 cup of coffee and no breakfast.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Today went fairly well considering I had no voice. I sounded terrible and I felt worse, but the morning went OK. Thank goodness for assisting ministers who were willing to step in and take over parts of the service so I didn't have to talk as much. I can't imagine the sermon was much fun to listen to, but I got through it both times with a minimum of coughing. Confirmation was also interesting. I wasn't sure how the inter-generational stuff might go, but it went fairly well, and I made them do some of the talking (thanks to everyone who gave suggestions). I think it would have been easier to plan, but the current Confirmation topic is the Theology of the Cross. It's not the easiest subject to explain, and I have no idea how much they retained. I'm looking forward to worship notes the next couple of weeks to see what kind of insights they have. Now here's hoping this cold departs and my voice comes back.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


The last couple of posts have been looking ahead and looking back, which is appropriate for the New Year. I'm not feeling that introspective today, so here are some random thoughts on a Saturday morning:
  • It's back to being cold. Yesterday it hit almost 40 and rained. Today it's 9, but the sun is shining!
  • I watched the movie Labyrinth last night. I remember watching it as a kid and thinking it was scary. This time I was mostly frightened by David Bowie's wardrobe.
  • Lovely MT winters dry out my skin. It's so dry right now, despite the application of moisturizers, that I think I could sand things with my face. Woodwork, anyone?
  • I have a cold. I feel fine, mostly, but my voice is going. Again. Another Sunday where I'm going to sound either like an adolescent boy going through puberty or someone who has a 900 number on the side... And SP is gone, so I'm preaching, presiding, and teaching Adult Forum/Confirmation.

And now back to the sermon. I had a friend recently tell me that she thinks it's funny how I "procrastinate God." Sheesh, when you put it like that...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Five--New Year

As we look back we may come to understand how God has worked in and through us in joy and sadness. how we have grown against what may seem impossible odds. As we look forward we may do so with expectation, and we may do so with fear and trembling. As we look back and forward in New Years liminality I offer you this simple yet I hope profound Friday Five in two parts:
First list five things that you remember/ treasure from 2008
1. Niece time
2. My ordination and the ordinations of 2 dear friends
3. Starting my first call
4. Fabulous trip to New York to spend time with my aunt
5. Celebrating/mourning/walking with so many friends through so many different things happening in their lives during this year.
Bonus: Yurt!!
Then list five things that you are looking forward to in 2009
1. Completing my first year of ministry, and hopefully benefiting from having some history in this place
2. Graduation from high school of a dear young woman (although this one also makes me feel old since I used to babysit her)
3. The completion of my brother's house project/saga
4. Spending time with family and friends
5. Births of several babies (friends' babies, not mine!)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day

I wasn't even sure I would make it to midnight last night, but it turns out I didn't go to sleep until 3:00 am. I can't even remember the last time I was awake that late. I spent the evening with parishioners, and had a lovely time. We played rockband with the kids and everyone found it extremely funny when they had the pastor sing Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation." It was pretty funny, actually. The more times I sang how I didn't give a damn about my bad reputation the more I giggled. We also played 2 games of trivial pursuit. My team won one and lost one. That's actually the reason for the late night, as the 2nd game seemed to take forever, so it was after 2 before I got home and then I couldn't sleep. After last night and yesterday's post, though, I do have a resolution that I'm going to work hard at keeping: I need to more firmly engage the filters between my brain and my mouth. I spend a lot of time alone, so things that are fine to think or say in my own apartment aren't always so great when blurted out in public. I didn't say anything too crazy or stupid last night, but there were a couple of moments when I thought, "did I just say that out loud?" Hopefully no one was offended.