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


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!