Friday, August 29, 2008

Fresh Start

I've made a fresh start here. I guess that's all I really needed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

cocoon time

i've been thinking that i need to take a blogging break. now it seems that everytime i say "i'm taking a blogging break" that i begin to blog a lot. however, i've been feeling like totally taking the blog down. i can't quite put my finger on why. but if i'm not "here" tomorrow don't worry. i'm fine, i just needed a break. i think i'm finding that i don't like being "semi-anonymous" and concerned about who might be lurking about.

if i'm going to blog, i want to be "out." otherwise it's just strange for me. i guess it feels a bit like hiding and that's not who i am. i may lay low at times but i need to be exactly who i am rather than hiding behind a facade.

perhaps it has to do with shaking the dust from my shoes. after the incideent with the small town in the middle of nowhere i've felt their dust still clinging to me. this blog is part of that dust. so i'm taking a leave of absence. i'll leave this up for a few days and if you'd to chat please drop me an email at revhipchick@gmail.com.

i'm needing some cocoon time is all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

an update on life in the small town

i haven't been paying much attention to the blogosphere lately. neither reading nor posting much at all. things feel really crazy. good but crazy nonetheless.

Joel lives in KC most of the week and visits on the weekends. the girls and i had a pretty good routine but there has been a lot of TV watching since my mom generously brought us one. it's both a blessing and a curse. to add to that chaos, i bought a PS 2 from my nephew. i haven't unveiled it for the girls yet. i want to get a DDR pad (dance dance revolution) and game and see if that might be a fun way to exercise.

today i had a migrane--it's been several years (thank God/dess!) and after a few hours it began to wane. i was really lucky. i've only had 3 or 4 but they tend to be severe (i've even experienced temporary paralysis). thankfully, they are spread across many years and i know when they are coming on because my vision gets spotty. i had been at a hospital visit and as i was leaving noticed some "holes" in my vision and just prayed that i could make it home before i had any bigger problems from it. God/dess was listening and Sweetie was kind about me not coming into the office.

now i have a ton of stuff to get done along with cleaning up for the in-laws' visit. thankfully, the latter won't be so bad since much of our stuff is still packed up! unfortunately, Ainsley trashed her room this weekend--she found some styrofoam stuff and crumbled it all over her floor. egads!

so, in other words...life is great and complicated. nothing new there. i feel wonderfully blessed to have been called into ministry. it's wild work and i'm loving it!

check out warriormare's story!

i'm still in awe--warriormare was inspired by this week's Gospel text and wrote a beautiful story based on it--think "Red Tent". she gave it life and beauty--a wonderful gift to us!

check it out!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

i got pounded!

i was in for quite a suprise this morning at the small church. they "pounded" me. people from the church brought me a generous amount of groceries!

it's a very old tradition and i had no idea anyone still did it! it was super sweet and kind. they said that from time to time they will get a feeling and pound me--that i'll never know when it's coming.

i was in awe. these are some amazing people. i think i am being ministered to more than i am ministering to them!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

fun news for a change!


finally a piece of uplifting news! as i was browsing CNN.com i found this article on Mr. Rogers, entitled: 15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever.


1. Even Koko the Gorilla loved him. Most people have heard of Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language, and understand about 2000 in English.


What most people don't know, however, is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she'd always seen him do onscreen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!

2. He made thieves think twice. According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town.

Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, "If we'd known it was yours, we never would have taken it."


3. He watched his figure to the pound. In covering Rogers' daily routine (waking up at 5 a.m.; praying for a few hours for all of his friends and family; studying; writing, making calls and reaching out to every fan who took the time to write him; going for a morning swim; getting on a scale; then really starting his day), writer Tom Junod explained that Mr. Rogers weighed in at exactly 143 pounds every day for the last 30 years of his life.

He didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't eat the flesh of any animals, and was extremely disciplined in his daily routine. And while I'm not sure if any of that was because he'd mostly grown up a chubby, single child, Junod points out that Rogers found beauty in the number 143.

According to the piece, Rogers came "to see that number as a gift... because, as he says, "the number 143 means 'I love you.' It takes one letter to say 'I' and four letters to say 'love' and three letters to say 'you.' One hundred and forty-three."

4. He saved both public television and the VCR. Strange but true. When the government wanted to cut public television funds in 1969, the relatively unknown Mister Rogers went to Washington.
Almost straight out of a Frank Capra film, his 5-6 minute testimony on how TV had the potential to give kids hope and create more productive citizens was so simple but passionate that even the most gruff politicians were charmed. While the budget should have been cut, the funding instead jumped from $9 to $22 million.

Rogers also spoke to Congress, and swayed senators into voting to allow VCR's to record television shows from the home. It was a cantankerous debate at the time, but his argument was that recording a program like his allowed working parents to sit down with their children and watch shows as a family.


5. He might have been the most tolerant American ever. Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was onscreen. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first.

Whenever he was asked to castigate non-Christians or gays for their differing beliefs, he would instead face them and say, with sincerity, "God loves you just the way you are." Often this provoked ire from fundamentalists. (i so love Mr. Rogers!)


6. He was genuinely curious about others. Mister Rogers was known as one of the toughest interviews because he'd often befriend reporters, asking them tons of questions, taking pictures of them, compiling an album for them at the end of their time together, and calling them after to check in on them and hear about their families. He wasn't concerned with himself, and genuinely loved hearing the life stories of others.

And it wasn't just with reporters. Once, on a fancy trip up to a PBS exec's house, he heard the limo driver was going to wait outside for 2 hours, so he insisted the driver come in and join them (which flustered the host).

On the way back, Rogers sat up front, and when he learned that they were passing the driver's home on the way, he asked if they could stop in to meet his family. According to the driver, it was one of the best nights of his life the house supposedly lit up when Rogers arrived, and he played jazz piano and bantered with them late into the night. Further, like with the reporters, Rogers sent him notes and kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.

7. He was color-blind. Literally. He couldn't see the color blue. Of course, he was also figuratively color-blind, as you probably guessed. As were his parents, who took in a black foster child when Rogers was growing up.


8. He could make a subway car full of strangers sing. Once while rushing to a New York meeting, there were no cabs available, so Rogers and one of his colleagues hopped on the subway. Esquire reported that the car was filled with people, and they assumed they wouldn't be noticed.
But when the crowd spotted Rogers, they all simultaneously burst into song, chanting "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." The result made Rogers smile wide.

9. He got into TV because he hated TV. The first time he turned one on, he saw people angrily throwing pies in each other's faces. He immediately vowed to use the medium for better than that. Over the years he covered topics as varied as why kids shouldn't be scared of a haircut, or the bathroom drain (because you won't fit!), to divorce and war.

10. He was an Ivy League dropout. Rogers moved from Dartmouth to Rollins College to pursue his studies in music.

11. He composed all the songs on the show, and over 200 tunes.

12. He was a perfectionist, and disliked ad libbing. He felt he owed it to children to make sure every word on his show was thought out.

13. Michael Keaton got his start on the show as an assistant. He helped puppeteer and operate the trolley.

14. Several characters on the show are named for his family. Queen Sara is named after Rogers' wife, and the postman Mr. McFeely is named for his maternal grandfather who always talked to him like an adult, and reminded young Fred that he made every day special just by being himself. Sound familiar? It was the same way Mister Rogers closed every show.

15. The sweaters. Every one of the cardigans he wore on the show had been hand-knit by his moth

strange dreams

yesterday i dreamt of Henry Rollins (which isn't that unusual) but in my dream he had joined up with some LOUSY Christian band and they were going on tour with a group of mayors from around the country!

i dont' know but i'm guessing that Hank is more of an agnostic, than a Christian. i haven't a clue about his religiosity. i simply lust after him and enjoy his sarcastic sense of humor. did i mention that i lust after him? yes, i carry great lust in my heart for him (thanks jimmy c!). have you seen him? how could you not?--but i digress.

i took a few friends to go see him. the only folks who showed up were some old Hank fans and the thing that was cool about this was we got to talk with him DURING the show. because the show sucked. i turned to one of my dream friends and said "man, i so prefer to keep my rock pure. Christians just suck the fun out of everything." i was actually irritated that Hank had "found God" and became a Christian. even in my dream this thought, this irritation gave me much guilt and i began to mull over how selfish i was to not be glad that Hank had found the same hope and grace that i had experienced with God and Christ.

Hank and i made plans to meet up after the concert and talk. he had remembered me from years ago when i brought him daisies to one of his spoken word shows. (right! like that would happen! the part about remembering--i really did bring him daisies, they were pretty weak by they time i got to give them to him after the show, but i did just the same. that much was real)

it's been making me ponder about my preference to keep my music secular (i have said this in waking life) because it seems that most of the Christian "rock" music and rap has simply sucked. do i really think that Christians suck the fun out of most things? if i'm honest--i probably do. so what does that mean? anything? was it just a crazy dream or do i have some soul searching to do?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

life is funny.

it was a giant "high" the first few Sundays. the numbers at church nearly doubled their normal attendence. i knew that they would drop after people had checked out the new girl. no big deal.

right.

the past 2 weeks attendence was down by about 25. still higher than the past few years but it felt awful just the same. i know that it's not about "me" but i can't seem to keep from worrying that i simply am not a good preacher and i will "run the church into the ground" or something crazy. my insecurities have kicked in hard.

thankfully, i was invited over to help "put up corn" this afternoon. it was great fun learning about blanching, corn cutting techniques, and how to properly freeze the corn. it really was! i met more of the church family and had a great time talking and listening to their stories.

now i can "put up corn" on my own and the sweet corn we couldn't finish eating tonight will not go to waste! in the cold of winter we'll now be able to remember and taste the goodness of this summer.

the highlight of my day, the thing that totally made me smile was hearing that my host's granddaughter raised her hands when she prayed and told her grandma to do the same. if nothing else a beautiful and sweet little girl thought it was good to pray "like me." how cool is that?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

thanks to cheeky!

the cheeky chaplain sent me the best book, Kingdom, Grace, Judgement: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus. it's so good that i had to share it with you.

everytime i read this book i am reminded of how lucky/blessed i am to be in ministry. sometimes it's easy to get bogged down in all the "shoulds"/"have-to's"/etc but this book reconnects me with the JOY! it continually reminds me that my call to ministry comes from JOY and this wonderful chance to share the love and light of God.

when i was an elementary school kid, my aunt and uncle lost their minds. God bless them, i think it came out of a good place but was quickly warped. they were entirely concerned about the eternal souls of every person in the world. at my grandmother's funerals they placed "tracts" in people's purses and wallets. for my best friend's "graduation" (sorry, can't remember what it's really called) from catechism class they gave her a huge book detailing their beliefs about Catholicism and why it was wrong. for my 13th birthday, i recieved a Bible and a letter my mom refused to let me read in its entirity as it told me how i was bound for hell unless i changed my ways. they even converted an old school bus and went "on tour." hosting revivals in Kansas small towns.

i will say that i have a great respect for their passion. however, i have a great distrust and distaste for folks whose ministry is driven by fear. i know the speel--they are driven by love, love for other's eternal souls. i can't quite buy that. it is when we are so convinced that we are right and of utter importance that we become dangerous. the end then justifies any means--even if that requires one to use the Bible to cut people down and slice off their heads. so to speak.

Robert Farrar Capon writes gloriously and continually reminds me that the Gospel is good news--not a sword! he helps me to remember that the coolest thing i get to do is offer people a wonderous gift of hope, of God's grace and love. to be honest, i'm not in the ministry for the sake of other's eternal souls. i trust God to take care of that. however, i do want to share the joy, the peace that comes from the LOVE that God offers. its radical nature, its ability to turn our worlds upside down so that we can fully experience God.

thank you Cheeky! i will treasure this book always! i look forward to reading his other books as well.

here is a beautiful nugget from Capon:

"I am and I am not a universalist. I am one if you are talking about what God in Christ has done to save the world. The Lamb of God has not taken away the sins of some — of only the good, or the cooperative, or the select few who can manage to get their act together and die as perfect peaches. He has taken away the sins of the world — of every last being in it — and he has dropped them down the black hole of Jesus’ death. On the cross, he has shut up forever on the subject of guilt: “There is therefore now no condemnation. . . .” All human beings, at all times and places, are home free whether they know it or not, feel it or not, believe it or not.

"But I am not a universalist if you are talking about what people may do about accepting that happy-go-lucky gift of God’s grace. I take with utter seriousness everything that Jesus had to say about
hell, including the eternal torment that such a foolish non-acceptance of his already-given acceptance must entail. All theologians who hold Scripture to be the Word of God must inevitably include in their work a tractate on hell. But I will not — because Jesus did not — locate hell outside the realm of grace. Grace is forever sovereign, even in Jesus’ parables of judgment. No one is ever kicked out at the end of those parables who wasn’t included in at the beginning."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

my husband is sooo funny

yesterday we went to a "mandatory fun"/"clergy picnic" thing. as the DS was saying he understood that the next 30 minutes or so would be boring for the kids and they might want to run around and that would be okay with him. (he is a nice guy and a grandfather). then it dawned on him that it might be boring for the spouses as well.

that's all he needed to say and Joel popped up and ran out of the room. it was very funny, cute, and embarrassing. Joel and Ainsley ran out into the hallway leaving Val and Merk sitting at the table with me dumbfounded. after 5 minutes or so i urged them to go and play outside with their dad.

he had a good time with the other clergy spouses, and apparently they appreciated his setting the precedent to leave early. i'm not sure what the DS thought about it. but he is a good guy so i can't imagine he was upset by it. i was more embarrassed because this was our introduction to the district we're now in.

it finally happened

it had to happen. i think it's been coming.

today's preaching was TERRIBLE! seriously--i'd been working all week on a sermon but never actually got anything written down. it was a crazy week and nothing seemed to go the way i had planned nor intended. nothing major--just little stuff all of the time.

so i had completed sermon prep all week but no sermon. this morning at 5am i wrote my sermon. i delivered one at 8:45am and another 10am. i think the one at 8:45 was probably better than the one at 10. a cute little old man even complained--"if i wasn't going to preach on the scripture read why bother reading it?"

i was glad to know someone was at least listening and being honest with me. that's a good thing. i had been preaching explicitly about one of the texts--the wheat and the tares-- but had also been talking about Jacob. i'm pretty sure this is where i got lost.

i read the lectionary text but then told the story about how Jacob had tricked Issac into giving him Esau's blessing. i used more of this "absent" text than i did the text i read. joel asked me why hadn't i just used that particular text rather than the lectionary reading.

i don't know. i didn't think about it. i like using the lectionary--there are many lectionary helps available and i don't have to decide what scriptures to use. for whatever reason, i didn't think to alter the scriptures.

there will be a sermon planning retreat in Atchison near the end of August. i can hardly wait to go. this week have i felt completely clueless. it's good to be humble but this felt a little crazy.

i had hoped to attend the Preaching from the Center seminar/workshop in Albuquerque this fall. however, i think i noticed an important event at the small church so that will likely be a bust.

there is a leadership seminar with a preaching workshop at the end of it, this one is in KCMO and also in October. it is also at Church of the Ressurrection. which seems to be the UMC's favored mega-church. Rev. Hamilton is a very good preacher but i don't buy into the whole "bigger is better" thing. it's not "my thing" to go and listen to Rev. Hamilton. i've heard him quite often, he's good but i can't imagine he'll say anything new or different from what i've heard him say before.

joel says i should "humble myself" and just go. perhaps he is right--afterall Jim Wallis will be there and i'd love to hear him in person.

there is also a "Preaching from the Center" and Worship workshop in January 09--perhaps i could go to that as well.

last year there was a great seminar in Oklahoma (Septemberish?)--does anyone know if it will be happening again? i can't even remember where it was in Oklahoma.

Friday, July 18, 2008

RevGals Friday 5: What's in a name?


RevHRod writes: If you are a regular reader of Songbird's blog, you know that "The Princess" has requested a new name. Her older brother changed his "secret identity" a while back and now this lovely young lady is searching for a new name on her mother's blog. This got me to thinking. How do we come up with all of these names? There must be at least a few good stories out there.In honor of the Princess I have posted a picture of one of my favorite members of fictional royalty, Robert Munch's "Paperback Princess." She is a brave young woman who doesn't need anyone else to fight her battles. And she knows that what is most important isn't tiaras and finery but what's on the inside. If you haven't read this little fairy tale, I highly recommend it. But I digress.

1. So how did you come up with your blogging name? And/or the name of your blog? hipchickmamma was my very first blogger identity--i was inspired by my friend Wendy 's first book, Oh, Solo Mia! : The Hip Chick's Guide to Fun for One . since i wasn't solo but loved Wendy and her book--i "borrowed" the hipchick and added mamma as my personal touch. i couldn't come up with a clever title so i stuck to hipchickmamma, seminarymamma, and now revhipchick. my names are a sort of process of becoming, who knows who i'll be tomorrow?
2. Are there any code names or secret identities in your blog? Any stories there? just a few, i love reading everyone else's code names but i tend to forget them, and they typically aren't very cute or clever. my favorite code name is the cheeky chaplain who was my pastor but went off to Iraq after a few months of dealing with us! he's definately a cheeky/smart-ass pastor/chaplain whom i adore. he's in freaking iraq and continues to minister to me! he's amazing for sure! and just for fun and pure embarrassment--cheeky chaplain and his wife are both pastors and gorgeous beyond belief. if someone would put them on tv they'd make millions and turn the whole "tv ministry" on its head (for the better).

3. What are some blog titles that you just love? For their cleverness, drama, or sheer, crazy fun? there are so many! here are some of my favorite titles: another loose cannon, conjectoral navel gazing: jesus in lint form, quantum theology, and processing counselor . i could go on and on but i'd probably never finish!
4. What three blogs are you devoted to? Other than the RevGalBlogPals blog of course! growing where i'm planted, seeking authentic voice, mandy's musings (for more just check my sidebar!)

5. Who introduced you to the world of blogging and why?
2 wonderful people really got me hooked: dan at A Payne Hollow Visit and my bestest friend, Lene (my nickname for her is Beauty Personified) at Counting Petals. i haven't a clue how i came to know the RevGals, i just don't remember, but thank you whoever led me here!
Bonus question: Have you ever met any of your blogging friends? Where are some of the places you've met these fun folks? i've had the pleasure of meeting Dogblogger at the UMC General Conference this April. she's wonderful and it was great fun getting to meet her in person. i knew a few other revgals from seminary. i keep thinking that iris and i live close enough to have a mini-meet up one day. if anyone is ever in or visiting Kansas City or Omaha drop me an email--i'm smack dab in the middle and it's not a long drive!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

does it ever slow down?

yikes!

i cannot believe how crazy this week has been! the past two weeks have been very busy, but this week has felt insane.

it's a great kind of insane but still, i'm tired!

i hope that i will find a rhythm soon, otherwise i'm in big trouble. =)

i had been planning to make a kansas city visit this coming weekend but now i'm not sure that wil actually work out.

how in the world do you just slow down? i'm totally enjoying it but i also don't want to go crazy. it feels like it comes in spurts. one week will feel slow and then the next week (or two) will be nuts.

it seems as if i'm beginning to feel like i "have a handle on things" my world gets turned upside down and i'm scrambling to figure things out again.

absolutely loving it, just wish i had a routine. being a *tad* ADD means that routine helps me calm down and be productive. i've felt productive but scattered. strange. anyway, i better get back to work on my sermon. we have a FULL day and evening on Saturday so that means i'm in HUGE trouble if the sermon isn't completed by tomorrow night.

peace, blessings, and love to you!

Monday, July 14, 2008

warning: hot vent ahead, albeit a bit revised

i have removed my previous posting of this. it was angry and bitter and i was lashing out. i hate that sometimes i use this blog to vent. sometimes venting isn't really productive. at least, venting where you are "safe" but can injure others isn't very cool. i apologize for doing this. i am ashamed of myself.

rather, i think i can vent without hurting anyone else and possibly you can offer me some guidance.

i've been praying and attempting to heal a dark spot in my life. there are these people i love but have struggled to "like" recently. the rift occurred/occurs in regards to our religious understandings. those seem to be the bloodiest and most painful. if i'm honest with you and myself it's probably because most of us want to be right. i'm terrible, i want to be right and to be liked and loved.

i was informed that these people i love cannot really respect me and my beliefs because their beliefs assure them that they are correct and anything less than their standards are good intentions but tickets to hell nonetheless. ever since i heard this it has been like a rancid poison spreading through me. it eats away at our friendship, it eats away my relationship with my immediate and more distant family. it eats away my sanity and call to love and compassion.

i am desperate to let this anger go. i don't like what i see in myself as this anger continues inside of me.

i want to be a Christian. i want to be loving and kind. i want to be good.

please God, help me to get over this for once and for all. i know that while this hurt remains within me that i am the one who keeps it close. please forgive me God and help me to heal this ugly wound. amen.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

grateful

today i drove up to a little hospital where 2 people from the churches were/are. as i was driving i became overwhelmed with gratitude.

this morning i preached 2 services at 2 churches about God's amazing love and grace. i visited a few people in the nursing home who abosolutely make me light up just thinking about them. and as i drove i admired the beauty of God's wondrous creation.

tears began streaming from my eyes. tears of joy and gratitude. never could/would i have dreamt that God would call me into ministry. never would i have dreamt/imagined that i would love it this much.

i was filled with joy and a peace that i can find no words--only thoughts and memories of Jesus' words "peace i give to you, but not the world's kind of peace" (my own paraphrase). what grace it was to feel this peace. what a joy it is that i get to serve God by sharing God's love and i actually get paid for this!

i realize that there will be rough times ahead. i'm not totally naive but i never imagined that being a pastor would feel like "this." i didn't know that God was going to bless me so grandly. i miss my family terribly. last night i was ready to hop on a plane to denver or ride back with my mom so i could be with my family. it still sounds tempting, yet i am filled, overflowing with love and gratitude for God's grace, mercy, and love. how is it that i could be so blessed?

thank you, God, for allowing me to feel this way. i hope and pray that in times of pain and hardship i will remember today and let it give me your strength to push forward. thank you, thank you, thank you! amen.

weekend adventures, II

after exploring the refuge my mom tricked me into driving out to a casino. she has a bit of a gambling addiction--thankfully not full blown, i just like to tease her about it. some folks go to movies, shows, blog, etc but she loves to go play bingo and gamble.

we all have our vices so when i finally caught on to her reason for wanting to go to Rulo, NE, i kept driving. it's not very far from here at all and to the horror of both of us there is a rather frightening looking bridge going into Rulo. i doubt my mom will bother to go back.

Rulo is a sad looking town, we drove through it on our way to the casino. i walked in with her but came out to the car after she lost $20. i can't stand to watch her throw her money away. (but i'll let her take me out to dinner, buy a baby gate so our blind Wishbone doesn't fall down the basement stairs, etc) so i went out the car and made a few phone calls--amazingly there was reception! she didn't stay long. (thanks mom!)

afterwards we decided to just take a leisurely drive and we ended up in KS. KS, NE, MO, and IA all come together in these parts. in one of the nearby towns was a sign that said there was a lookout tower from which you could see all 4 states. we drove up the torn up gravel road and found this:

not quite a tower but we were likely looking out over the 4 states.

one of the towns we went through was called Red Cloud and i got a thought that perhaps Hiawatha was close by. in Hiawatha is the Davis Memorial and i decided that i needed to take my mom to see it.

there are 2 stories--one is that Mr. Davis was so hateful that he didn't want his wife's family to get any of her money when she died and so he built a crazy expensive memorial to her and their lives together.

the other story (and the one i subscribe to) is that he was so heartbroken by Mrs. Davis' death that he built a crazy expensive memorial to her and their lives together.

mom was in awe when she saw it. it's hard not to be--which is why i tend to think he must have been heartbroken, otherwise he could have found other ways to squander her inheritence.

i didn't have my camera, so this is what i got w/my cell phone,

it's a bird's nest on inbetween the angel's wings. i don't know why but i found it particularly moving that new life was likely born in this memorial.

in our quest to find Hiawatha, KS we got completely lost. it turns out that we turned away from the town when we were only 5-7 miles away from it! ugh! however, the drive was beautiful and we talked and laughed and i wouldn't want it to be any other way. it was terribly fun and funny!

last--here is a picture of my mom and i. i was getting ready to head out for church and she was preparing for a long drive back to CO. i love you mom! thanks!

weekend adventures, I

joel and the girls left thursday for Grand Junction, CO. cousin Katie got married on the 5th and tomorrow they will be going to some cabins in the mountains with joel's 2 sisters, their families and parents. part of me really wishes i would have gone or at least planned to go out for the cabins. yet, here i am enjoying my day.

i miss my girls and wonderful husband terribly. they won't be back until friday and the cabins will likely not have any cell phone reception. that is probably a good thing.

anyway, joel and the girls left and my mom arrived that afternoon. we realized that it has not been just the two of us since merkin was born. we had a great time, a terrific time. i'm so grateful that she came out. i thought she was being dramatic and worrisome, wanting to come out since it would only be my 2nd week at the new appointment. i am eternally thankful that she did because i haven 't laughed so much with my mom in far too long.


5 miles from mound city is Squaw Creek National Refuge. i had yet to go, so we ate a hearty breakfast at Josephine's (a small cafe in town ran by one of the most loving women i've ever met) and headed out to the refuge. the weather was perfect--it was actually cool! cool, my mom found it chilly! (i'm beginning to wonder if hell is starting to freeze over!)


you drive through the refuge (which suprised me) and there are stopping points where you can get out and sit, overlooks and the like. i cannot wait to go back with my camera and take some shots. it is amazing! at the first overlook you could see these enormous leaves in the middle of the field and we couldn't figure out what they were--they were water lilies' leaves! huge water lilies, a whole field of them!


i could hear a bullfrog or two but could never spot one. we saw a variety of birds, and some deer. i can't wait until this fall when the eagles roost.


it was serene and wonderful, it filled my heart with peace. Lewis and Clark explored here, it blows my mind trying to imagine what this land would have looked like before people exploded all over it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

ramblings

this morning i woke up early for the first time in a month. it's been delightful! the weather is gorgeous and i love the silence (although since we haven't had a tv, it's quiet more often than not around here).

i've been reading a variety of blogs and it's been great fun. one of the things it has reminded me is how slacker i've been with the news and staying "up-to-date" upon the affairs of the world.

i've also remembered how when i began blogging one of my intentions was to share my feminist perspectives. other than occassionally referring to God as She, i haven't done so. all the blogging as of late has been purely personal--which is fine. i love reading others' personal blogs and now that we've moved away from some terrific friends it's especially good to have a personal blog. that said, i would like to start being "substantial" at least from time to time.

it's unbelievable how many great blogs are out "there"

i highly reccomend checking out Towanda's place (i got there from Iris's-another fab blog). then i spun over to the Feminist Peace Network, which led me to a great ring--Progressive Women Bloggers, and it was a multitude of places from there. it's only 7 am and i've had a great trip through the blogosphere already!

i'd love to hear where your blog adventures take you!

ps. i also realized that i haven't played with the blog format in a long time! can it be possible that i've not been spending enough time online? surely not!

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Big Read

I got this over at Iris' place. This is from something called 'The Big Read', from the NEA came up with a list of their top 100 books and they estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of these books. I will highlight the ones I've read. Cut and paste into your blog and let us know which you've read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (not the complete works though!)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving currently checked out to read after i finish "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole what a great name, perhaps it will be next on my list!
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

ooh, only 29. not so hot! there's a few that i couldn't remember if i had actually read them or not but i'm guessing if i questioned it the answer would be no! eek! i have seen a lot of the movies though. ;)

RevGal Friday 5: the fireworks edition


Sally asks:


1. Barbeque's or picnics ( or are they essentially the same thing?) bbq's because they tend to mean a group of family and friends enjoying one another's company at one's home. you sit around, listen to some good music, talk, have a few ritas or brews. sounds delightful. and if the bugs are really bad you can easily take it all inside.

2. The park/ the lake/ the beach or staying at home simply being? all of the above? sounds fabulous, each and every one of them! since it's just me and me madre today we're taking a nap (she is, i cleaned up the kitchen and am now enjoying the quiet time and blogosphere!), later tonight we'll head up to the park for some amusements and fireworks in our new town. we had a yummy lunch there an hour or so ago. but how i'd love to be at the lake or beach as well!

3. Fireworks- love 'em or hate 'em? both! they are absolutely beautiful and lots of fun to shoot them off but i also cringe at the lound bangs and wonder how folks who have been in war can handle the sound and i wonder about the environmental effects as well. sometimes the sounds totally weird me out, but if i can just watch and not think or worry i love them.

4. Parades- have you ever taken part- share a memory...today i was in my first parade since jr. high marching band! the parade/town's theme was "something old, something new, something red, white, and blue. guess what (or rather who) the new was! i'll post pictures as soon as i can but i haven't a clue when that will be. it was a blast! for the float judging (we didn't win) i sat with the kids on the float as one of them turned a thing that looked sorta like a windmill but had a UMC cross and flame, and sign that said "since 1864", i can't describe it much better than that so i'll have to show you later. one of the guys made it and it was awesome! half the time i was walking beside the float handing out water bottles and then i hopped onto the float and hung out with the kiddos. they told me that at a certain corner everyone hops on but this year i was the only one who gave up! everyone else walked the whole parade. it was great fun and a totally brand new experience for me!

5. Time for a musical interlude- if you could sum up holidays in a piece of music what would it be? i'm not so helpful here. i haven't a clue, sorry folks!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

my kind of heaven








i think i have seriously recieved the best appointment ever!




i'm loving life and am so grateful to God that she's led me to this place and vocation. it's wonderful!




i'm sorry if i'm sounding like a broken record but it's been terrific! i wanted to share a few pics of this wonderful place.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

best day ever!

most of this evening i've had the sponge bob square pants song "best day ever" running through my head. today has been one of the very best days of my life thus far! seriously!

this morning began with some nerves and jitters. lots of tearing through boxes attempting to find our dress clothes and the right shoes to go with the clothes. we never found the shoes!

the "pasture church" came into town so that i wouldn't have to do 2 services on my first day--how sweet is that? prior to the service there was a coffee time in our honor. we met a lot of people--all very kind and sweet.

despite my jumping in at some of the wrong places and having to be reminded that we still needed to do the offering, the service went very well! it felt so good knowing that this was "my church." not "my church" in a possessive sort of way but it is where i'm supposed to be, i'm not filling in for anyone, it's "my church." does that make any sense? in short--it just felt RIGHT!

there was a total of 97 people at church today! last week there had been 59! i know that most of it was pure curiosity--folks wanting to check out the new girl. either way it was wonderful that they all showed up!

i was overwhelmed by the graciousness i recieved after the service. even Joel said it was terrific! it felt wonderful!

we came home and i crashed for an hour or so. then we had to head up to the nursing home as it was my turn to host the service there (all the ministers in town take turns). it was a little strange since i had never done one before. however, it helps to have a daughter who knows how to play one hymn on the piano and another who sings acopella beautifully. the girls performed and were very sweet.

after the service we spent 30 minutes or so with the nicest couple at the home. we heard funny stories and just enjoyed listening to them and watching them interact. they will have their 67th anniversary in the next few weeks! i almost cried a few times while we talked. i was just filled with so much joy knowing that this is part of my "job." how great is that? as part of my "job" i get to set and talk with wonderful people!

i cannot imagine a better day! i can't remember the last time when i have felt so incrediably grateful. God has definately blessed us beyond measure!

a few differences

wow!

i am absolutely amazed by today and the previous 4 days as well.

right now it's 9:15 and the girls are still outside playing hoops with a very sweet kid from church who lives in the neighborhood. their chicken noodle soup is cold and their "soda on the side" is probably hot by now. it is a beauty to behold and listen to their conversations. i don't want to call them in because i am enjoying it tremendously!

living here in MC is tremendously different from living in Kansas City. TREMENDOUSLY DIFFERENT! the kids are safe to walk around town, walk to the swimming pool on their own. our first night here, joel and i realized that the door to the basement was unlocked. we went back to sleep rather than go and lock the door! that NEVER would have happened before. don't worry, i know that things can happen here, it's just so enjoyable and lovely to let the girls have some freedoms that they couldn't in KC.

Friday, June 20, 2008

RevGal Friday 5: Word Association

SingingOwl writes:

"I am feeling like playing hooky, and I'm putting off sermon prep till tomorrow. It is a beautiful, sunny day at my place. So come on outside and let's play a summer Friday Five!This post is loosely based on previous "wordy" Friday Fives from Reverend Mother and Songbird. I liked the results, and so we are doing another word association . Theirs were based on words from a lectionary text. Mine comes from the Lovin' Spoonful song, "Summer in the City."Think summer......are you there? Below you will find five words or phrases. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem, a memory, a recipe, or a story."
You get the idea:

1. rooftop: sunbathing
2. gritty: ick!
3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words): NYC
4. night: lightening bugs
5. dance: lots of fun with beauty personified

time flies

it seemed to take so long to get to this "place" and now it's merely days away!

tomorrow is our "see you soon" party--we couldn't bare calling it a "good-bye" party. so that means i have TONS to do around the house (as well as write a few things for the new church newsletter!) so i really should stop playing around on the computer! ugh! procrastination is an evil beast!

it's also exciting that we'll be picking out paint colors for the parsonage this afternoon! currently it's all white so i'm excited about adding some splashes of colors. we'll be painting it on Sunday and Monday before anything gets moved in. it will be much easier than waiting til after we get our stuff in.

hooray! hooray! it's almost moving day!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

a sneak peak of my office!


this is what my office looks like right now! i have just a few things of my own thus far but i'm sure it will fill up quickly. the bookshelves are mostly bare because there was only one box of books out that i could reach. on the desk is a Frida Kahlo box/stack of notes and a hoops and yoyo button that we're probably going to put on my door (they yell stuff like "helloooo! hellooo! did it hurt when you fell from heaven?" and other goofy stuff, that will be my doorbell!).
yesterday Merkin and i went up for a few meetings and to look around the house, settle in the office a bit. SweetiePie (the church secretary--not a great name but that's exactly what she is!) helped me know a bit more about the administrative and paper work aspects of being the pastor (ick! i've got a LOT to learn about that!). she also took us to lunch where we met approximately 25 folks from the church! this is the warmest small town i've ever been to!
SweetiePie gave us tours of the town, the school, our new home, the pool (the church bought us a family pass for a welcoming gift!) and drove me out to the smaller church that i will also be serving.
i can't tell you how very happy i am about this move and first pastorate. i think it's going to be a wonderful fit! i know the honeymoon won't last forever but the start of this honeymoon is wonderful and i'm going to enjoy it fully while it lasts!
praise be to God!
(ps. i'm trying to edit for the 3rd and last time so the paragraphs will space, so far when it's loaded it fails to acknowledge the spacing!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

another goofy sign

if you can't read, the MO License Plate sign is sponsered by Warrensburg Urology
the folks in Warrensburg must have a wicked sense of humor!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

just FYI

i doubt i'll be in the blogosphere for the next few weeks or so (of course, whenever i say this i tend to start blogging even more!) we're moving in approximately 10 days and i've got to stop procrastinating and get to it! we're also having a "see you soon" party for the girls and their friends (i'm thinking we just might invite our adult friends too!). so we'll be really busy.

know that we are fine, just busy and i'll check back in as soon as i can!

peace and blessings!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

things that make you say "hmm..." or "what the #$@!"

driving home from annual conference we drove by this sign, then turned around and came back to see if our eyes had decieved us. i had to take a picture. joel suggested that i go inside and ask what kind of gun but i thought that would take the fun out of it. i didn't want to know. i do wonder how many folks stop in just to see what this is about. great marketing ploy or simply more crazy Missourians?

A.C. was good. i had the chance to get to know the lay leader at the church where we'll be going in 2 weeks and 1 day (that's the countdown according to Val). i am excited and terrified and not terrified all at once.

since this is my first time i'm wondering how to nicely ask for a few things or at least find out if i can do them. the first thing they said when they showed me the office was that we could change the wall colors, take down the corkboard, do other stuff. the only thing i'd like to do is change the color. is this something i do or they do?

at the "right start" training i heard that it doesn't look good/make a good statement to come in and demand things and it doesn't send a good message if your office looks great as soon as you arrive but you haven't met with anyone.

isn't there a happy medium? i have been invited to come up and work in the office already (the previous pastor hasn't used it for several months--long story, but one i can't get into). i'd like to go up and go ahead and set up my office so it will be ready even before we move into the parsonage. but if i do this is that overstepping? is that bad if i have re-done the office prior to actually "working"? i'm totally good with meeting and visiting the sick and home bound my first week, my first day i move into the parsonage even but i guess i feel like if i get my office set up prior to then that may send out a bad message, especially if i haven't visited anyone yet. this place is 90 miles from our home, so it isn't like i can afford the gas mileage to go ahead and make several trips to visit folks before i start.

that said, it would be great to have the office set up so that i could make a good start and have less worries that first week. it'd be like having a little sanctuary i could go during the chaos.

thoughts? advice?

Friday, June 6, 2008

RevGal Friday 5: Taking in the View

1. How important is the "big picture" to you, do you need a glimpse of the possibilities or are you a details person? i would say that i'm good with the "big picture" and imagining the possibilities. sometimes i enjoy the details but mostly that's just not me. i tend to get more excited about the big picture and it seems that often the details keep us from being able to see it. details can be fun and interesting but we have to be careful not to get hung up on them.

2. If the big picture is important to you how do you hold onto it in the nitty gritty details of life? that's a great question. it could definately explain why i'm always running late--the nitty gritty details simply pass me by. i'm terrible with them--my house for example is a disaster (which we've got to change since we'll be moving into a parsonage!) because in the overall scheme of things it simply doesn't matter. to be honest, i probably use the big picture to dismiss dealing with those things i'd rather not do. that said, when it comes to the messiness of people's lives i try to listen and be attentive to those details and just be alongside them as they process it.

3. Name a book, poem, psalm, piece of music that transports to to another dimension ( one....what am I thinking....)
Cup of Life by Joyce Rupp--this is the best book to work through, it's actually the only book that i have ever worked through the entire thing on a daily basis. not the only book i've read all the way through but the only one of those types that i've done all of the work and became totally grounded in it. it has been extraordinarily helpful for my spiritual life.



4.Thinking of physical views, is there somewhere that inspires you, somewhere that you breathe more easily?
almost anywhere that has a beautiful view and a spot for me to sit and be quiet and/or write. Garden of the Gods in Manitou Springs used to be this place for me. i would go and hike off the trails and once ended up on someone's porch (man, those folks had a great view!) it's funny how some parts of GoG is totally touristy (even more so now) but there are still some sections where it is quiet and serene. i don't know that there is much better than sitting on an enormous red rock, breathing, and watching the world go by.

(not my picture)


5. A picture opportunity... post one if you can ( or a link to one!) this is from a mission trip i went on several years back--it's off the Gulf Coast in Louisianna. it was amazing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

our Wishbone


first of all, i don't like our dog. i'm not really a pet person (i keep saying these things in hope that it would make me stop worrying and caring about the silly dog).
Wishbone is the best dog ever! he is terribly sweet and loving. as Valerie and Ainsley learned to walk they would pull themselves up on him. he would just let them, never nipping at them nor barking. we would try to prevent the girls from doing so but as other 'rents will attest it's impossible to always keep your kiddos in line.
he's a wonderful dog--sweet, loving, and kind. he's around 9 years old and getting "old" too soon. this year he has developed diabetes and has a moderate hear murmur as well. we've been working on getting his insulin dosage just right but so far i don't think we've hit that perfect number. he was into the vet about two weeks ago to get his blood levels checked out. the doc noticed that he was beginning to have cataracts. last night we noticed that he's now blind. both eyes are fully covered and he walks tentatively around, so as not to bump into things if he can help it. the other night i was giving him a treat and dropped it in front of him and he couldn't find it so i had to pick it up and give it to him by hand.
he just seems sad these days. i hope we can do surgery to get rid of his cataracts in hopes that it would pep him up. joel doesn't think the vet will operate on him due the heart problem. tomorrow he's going to the vet for more labs and we should find something out. it's crazy, we have friends whose dog has cancer (and has had it for many years) and she is 15 years old or something. then our little Wishbone is 9 and seemingly falling apart.
it wouldn't bug me so much if he didn't seem so depressed. i love that dog and it sucks! when joel found out that i had never had the experience of a pet dying he thought we should get a dog because i should understand how terrible it is. i had made a not-so-nice comment about a friend of ours needing to get over her cat dying already. everytime Wishbone gets sick, i now get mad at joel because he brought on us all this misery!
i take it all back--losing an animal is like losing a person. i don't want to lose our Wishbone anytime soon, she just seems so young for all of these problems. however, the doc told us that schnauzers don't live much past 10-12 years. how terrible is that?!
anyway, if you ever say prayers for animals please say a prayer for Wishbone.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Book of Uncommon Prayer


it's not too often that i post a book on the blog, but i have really enjoyed this book. it's a book for youth ministers but i've found that many books for youth ministry also work with adults with a few minor changes and sometimes not any at all.


additionally, i'm not a huge fan of Zondervan publishing--which this book is. so perhaps that's why i'm posting it.


i'll admit it. i haven't even finished it. however, i have flipped through it and i love many of the prayers i've read. they are in plain english and varied but include many for those times when you just want to quit as a youth minister (or any other kind of minister i'd guess). they name and voice the frustrations i've faced and pray for guidance beyond that.


it also includes a variety of services, including a memorial service for a youth member--i can't even imagine how difficult that would be.


the book is written by Steven L. Case, and i know nothing about him. i suppose i could google him. i'm not really up to google any person these days. but now it is something that runs through my head. egad!


peace be with you today--not the peace of the world, but God's peace. amen.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

for the cheeky chaplain

the cheeky chaplain has scolded me for not blogging so since i've been procrastinating anyway i thought i might as well blog. besides, perhaps you can point me back to work.

we've met the pastor parish committee and toured the house. everyone seems very nice and some things seem rather complicated but i can't really get into that here. we are very excited about the appointment and part of me wishes that i could just jump right in and start. however, i'm glad that is not the case.

i've been prepping to write the first 4 or 5 sermons. yesterday i went and bought a bunch of commentaries and other books that i thought would be helpful. today i've been surfing the net looking for other helps.

i did pick the scriptures for the last Sunday in June and the month of July. i am looking forward to July because i LOVE the parables! this church seems to be used to having only one scripture read. for July i plan on going along with that. i do plan on switching the service around a bit, but hopefully not freak anyone out. the cheeky chaplain has a great format that i'm using to be informative. not quite a duplication but definately using it and the current format the church is using in an attempt to combine the two.

i've had things rolling about my empty head (it's considerably lighter now that seminary is over) but haven't been able to put anything on paper. i'm trying to get my prayer life back on track since i don't think i have any right to be ministering if i'm not doing that. it feels good.

i am interested in finding some process theology informed prayers and litanies--any suggestions? it's funny, i should be writing my own but right now that feels too strange. i want to use someone else's litanies/calls to worship/etc and concentrate on the sermons being completely my own. i used to love doing all of it myself. i do want to get back to that but for wahtever reason, i feel hesitant to do so. perhaps i should just do it and let it inform my sermons.

why resist my own creative flow? now that i'm thinking about it--perhaps i should write my own calls to worship and see where that goes.

man, the weather is wonderful today. it's pretty muggy but MO always is. it's the perfect day for sitting on my porch, listening to the birds chirp and sing, feeling a cool breeze from time to time, and writing.

thanks for reading my "process." it's amazing how helpful it is just to write down the truth even when it's minor, seemingly small. this has opened me up to be more creative. thanks cheeky and everyone else!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

tag! i'm it but you might just be next!

Two names you go by:
1.Revhipchick
2. C-ry

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. t-shirt
2. skort

Two of your favorite things:
1. blogging
2. playing farkel with a group of great friends

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. more energy
2. our belongings boxed up nicely in labeled boxes by someone other than myself

Two favorite pets you have or had
1. Wishbone
2. Frisky

Two people you hope will fill this out
1. Iris
2.Mandy

Two things you did last night:
1. met with the new pastor parish committee
2. toured our soon to be new home

Two things you ate last night:
1. ice cream cone
2. club sandwich

Two people you last talked to:
1. Merkin
2. Valerie

Two things you are doing tomorrow:
1. going to church
2. watching "For the Bible Tells Me So" during youth group

Farthest trips taken in the last 5 years:
1. Oregon Coast
2. NYC

Two favorite holidays:
1. Halloween
2. Epiphany

Two favorite beverages:
1. sweet tea
2. amareto sours


TAG, YOU'RE IT!

(ok, so not the most fun meme, but if you feel like playing please do! please let me know in the comments that you're playing so i can go read your answers!)

Friday, May 30, 2008

RevGal Friday 5: Garage Sale!

1) Are you a garage saler? i can't say that i am. i like to browse them but i'm not one of those folks who go looking for them, if a garage sale happens to be in the neighborhood then i'll check it out.
2) If so, are you an immediate buyer or a risk taker who comes back later when prices are lower? immediate
3) Seriously, if you're not a garage saler, you are probably not going to want to play this one.(That wasn't really #3.)3) This is the real #3: What's the best treasure you've found at a yard or garage sale? i bought an old dresser for $3 and then turned it into a bookshelf and repainted it. i love it and my hubby does not. i want to take it when we move and he wants to put it to the curb! ugh!
4)If you've done one yourself, at church or at home, was it worth the effort? absolutely NOT! we've had a few and i've hated nearly every minute of it! it is amusing to look back on it because as Joel's pricing goes down as the day wears on but mine goes up as i get sick and tired of being asked if i'll take a dime or nickel for something that was only a quarter! it drives me crazy! i prefer to simply give stuff away for free rather than having someone bicker about prices with me. especially when it's a quarter! for crying out loud--that's just plain crazy!
5) Can you bring yourself to haggle? nope--see the above.
BONUS: For the true aficionado: Please discuss the impact of Ebay, Craig's List, Freecycle, etc... on the church or home yard/garage sale. i will say that i LOVE freecycle and ebay, just getting to know craigslist. they are far better than garage sales. our experience with the mentioned have been great. i have talked more and felt better about giving/saling stuff to these folks that i've met through these channels rather than a garage sale.

Monday, May 26, 2008

rambling thoughts

yesterday we took a drive to the town in which we'll be moving soon. it looks like a charming and nice place to be. even though it's very small it has several parks and something like 7 churches!

our camera was dead so unfortunately i can't share pictures yet. i'm not sure what's up but i can't find the right words to describe it. perhaps my day of wordsmithing are behind me. i certainly hope not!

it's green. very green. there was a lovely breeze and the swings at one of the parks were even large enough for my behind! this park is just down from the church. i'm excited about that. one of my favorite things to do is swing. swinging is very zen for me, peaceful. how cool is that? if i'm struggling with a sermon i can simply walk down to the park and swing. lovely, absolutely lovely. perhaps i'll be lucky enough to do some pastoral care down at the swings.

on main street there are the typical older buildings that are lovely. i don't know why we had to move away from the architecture that seems to have been prevelant so long ago. as we drove down the street i immediately wanted to buy/rent one of the spaces to have a little coffee shop. i can only imagine that this has been suggested a multiple set of times. i would love to open up a church coffee shop down on the main street. that would be FAB!

i do hope this works out for all of us--the church and town folks and our family. it seems like a lovely place to go. one of my favorite things is that 2 of my favorite reverends used to serve this same church! i get to go in and become a part of history with them, how wonderful is that? i think it is beautiful!

i'm more nervous now. i became scared after visiting. i hope i get to meet these people and let them know me as a person rather than just an internet persona. it hurts having been judged so harshly. part of me wants to take all the lovely things and letters of reference folks have written to and for me and send them to the other church.

however, that is a waste of energy and time. i have been blessed to receive another charge appointment and i want to be the best possible pastor i can be to and for these people. it's both scary and exciting--the responsibility looms large. i'm actually grateful that tomorrow and wednesday i will be attending a seminar about moving to a new church. it's too bad that we don't get to visit one Sunday prior to the move, it would be nice just to experience worship with them before trying to come in and lead worship.

if you have any suggestions of what has worked for you going into a new pastorship, or what didn't please leave a comment. i'd love to hear about your experiences. also if you are laity i'd love to hear what your thoughts are when a new pastor comes in--what's good for them to do or not do? what drives you crazy when a new person comes in?

peace be with you!

Friday, May 23, 2008

grey's anatomy




i realize that it is totally lame to post about a tv show.

however, i thought grey's had lost me. it had become too over the top, boring despite the crazy drama they attempted to set up. but they pulled me back in. i'm not sure if it was watching Callie be happy (and then terribly miserable and then happy again) or sending Meredith to therapy. probably a mix of both. but it drew me in.

my eyes rolled a few weeks back when Meredith set up the trials. it was easy to see that the meredith/mcdreamy rollarcoaster was going to begin yet again and another perfectly wonderful person was going to get creamed by it.

but for the first time i ever, i found myself hopeful for Meredith, cheering her on to win McDreamy back. i still find her one of the less interesting characters. she and McDreamy are not nearly as fun to watch as McSteamy, Callie, Yang, or Bailey. i totally love Bailey. i want to grow up to be Bailey. doesn't everybody?

i'm excited to watch season 5. i know there will be more drama, ridiculous drama. but for once, just this once a season ended on a lovely note. with happy people. i totally needed to see some happy people today. even if they aren't real.

even if they aren't real, sometimes we just need to see happy people.

does this book sound familiar?

when i was 5 or 6 years old, i had a poetry book that i loved to read. i have no clue who the author was or even the title of the book (otherwise i would search the world high and low to find it).

i can still see the illustrations in my mind. it was definately a 60's/70's artist as the person used fabulous colors, used thick ribbons of it to color and swirl around the page. the faces of the people in the book tended to be long and rounded, just slightly cartoonish. i think if i ever saw it i would recognize it immediately.

i'm not sure if i loved it for the pictures or the poetry, i think i loved them both. one of the poems was about a candlestick--perhaps it was even jack jumping over the candlestick. i wish i knew.

by all means if any of this sounds familiar to you (this was in the years between 1977-1980) please leave a comment! i'd love any hints or ideas as to what to look under so i could find it again.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

introducing....

Mary Magdalene, my inspiration for ministry.

Jessie Hopeless is AMAZING! Jessie is awesome to work with. She's compassionate, funny, tells hilarious stories, and totally rocks! She is an artist beyond measure!

Thanks Jessie!

(wow, i just realized that she inspired me to use proper capitalization!)




i wish i had a beautiful poem to post about Mary Magdalene. but i do not. i can tell you why i felt i wanted her tattooed above my heart.
Mary Magdalene had a rough life--after all, she had been possessed by demons but then Jesus came along and healed her, exorcising them from her, leaving her open to the transformative love of God. from then on she followed Jesus, she was a disciple despite the fact that she, nor any other women, have been formerly declared disciples nor apostles. however, they there were there with Jesus and the other 12. in fact, when the men deserted Jesus at the cross, the women remained.
some have said Mary M. was the wife of Jesus--i tend to doubt that. i think that is yet another way of stripping her of her rightful place as a disciple and follower of Christ. she was the first one to see the risen Christ and, the first to announce his ressurrection.
the church long ago wrongfully declared her a whore, yet another attempt to discredit the possibility that she was an intelligent woman and a loyal faithful servant to Jesus the Christ. women continue to work for Jesus the Christ despite the crap they are often put through in this attempt to honor their calling from God.
Mary Magdalene offers me hope and courage. she wasn't perfect--she was simply a woman who fell in love with the Grace God offered through Jesus the Christ and then sought to share it with those she encountered. despite the ugly name calling, despite the obstacles and hurdles she faced, today her name is known and she has inspired many through the years, including me.
hence, i offer her a place above my heart.
(ps. she is on my upper chest, near the clavical)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

changes

we're not going. the offer was rescinded. apparently i was "googled" and the folks didn't like my facebook, myspace, nor my blog and found it terribly offensive.

i'm not sure what the exact issue was but it's over now. i've apologized and humbled myself before my home conference and it at least looks hopeful. my d.s. was extremely pastoral and understanding.

no worries--both the family and i are doing fine. i was crushed this morning but as i remembered that i happen to like who i am, believe that God called me to ministry because of who i am and not inspite of it, it all got better.

i am relieved that this happened now rather than later. at least we did not move to "nowhere" and become totally isolated and experience the animosity they apparently felt towards me. i've lived in small towns before and know that often what folks feel about parents gets put on the children and that would have been very very very bad. mamma lions don't take kindly to anyone picking on her cubs.

as my wise d.s. stated, "God will take this and make it for the good." Amen!

one of the things my hubby and i have wondered is if my tats had any bearing on their decision. i recieved an email from a future parishioner on monday that said that i should hush up about the cross tattoo i got with my sisters while at General Conference. the funny thing is that i have had an appointment to get Mary Magadelene tattooed on my person for nearly a month and today was the day!

there will be pictures tomorrow, she's got to stay underwraps for the night.

blessings.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

the changes have started to brew

this has been a wild weekend, a wild week as well! i'm exhausted but i don't know that there will be time to catch up on sleep or rest any time soon.

saturday was spent in a lame attempt to write a sermon for today's service. this morning i finally gotten it written but when it came to deliver it, i barely made it through.

you see, today it was announced that we would be leaving. it is likely the last time that i will preach at our home church. they had already been planning a graduation party for me after church today but it turned into both a graduation and a farewell party. i'm not very good at saying good bye.

we have been a part of this church family for 10 years--through the good, the bad, and everything in between. they've helped us to raise our girls and supported me as i journeyed through seminary. i've been witness to watching several children grow up in the process. it's a beautiful blessing to watch a child transform into the early stages of adulthood. it's difficult thinking about not being here to watch the rest of the transformation.

the hunky hubby has already began packing up our house. i'm amazed by the work he's gotten done. i think this part feels a little too raw and real for me right now. but i know that the time will blaze by and we'll be moving. i hope that this week we will make the arrangements to visit our new home and new church family.

in all of this excitement, i've mostly held it together--except when trying to preach this morning. this morning i did not make it through either service without crying but it felt right. i was filled with love and apprecition and there was no way i could have held back those tears.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hooray! It's Graduation Day! Hooray!

RevGal Friday Five: Travel Edition

Songbird writes:

Name five places that fall into the following categories:

1) Favorite Destination -- someplace you've visited once or often and would gladly go again

Cannon Beach, OR, it's one of the most beautiful and wonderful places i've ever been and there is a fantastic hotel that essentially sits on the beach. it is heavenly!

2) Unfavorite Destination -- someplace you wish you had never been (and why)

i seriously don't know of a place i wish i had never been. one of my least favorite places is Branson, MO--it's like Vegas for the whole damfamily and seems to harken back to a very racist time. i don't know that it is racist but all the confederate costumes/flags and love of "baldknobbers" makes me a little queasy.

3) Fantasy Destination -- someplace to visit if cost and/or time did not matter

Machu Picchu--the pictures i've seen are gorgeous and ever since i read The Celestine Prophecy many moons ago i've wanted to visit.

4) Fictional Destination -- someplace from a book or movie or other art or media form you would love to visit, although it exists only in imagination

Hogwarts of course!

5) Funny Destination -- the funniest place name you've ever visited or want to visit

Hell, Michigan--never been but what a great place for a mission trip!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

first appointment

i've been a student associate pastor, ie youth minister, for 4+ years in a large and very diverse metropolitan area. i'm preparing to move somewhere that is the absolute opposite. the church make-up seems to be very similiar but instead of city folk they will be ranchers and farmers. i'm sure their needs will be vastly different and yet almost identical at times. i am excited about the change

my children are enthralled with the idea of living in a small town in which they will be free to ride their bikes and explore on their own. my middle child who hates change is estatic about riding her bike to school. i couldn't imagine that everyone in our family would be so excited.

i had previously been terrified at the thought of moving to such a small place and as this appointment sinks in my fears continue to lesson and ifind myself more excited and looking forward to this change in our lives and believe it will be a tremendous blessing.

praise be to God!