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This morning as I prayed for a loved one in the hospital I thought of all the women in similar circumstances but without health insurance, without the best doctors, without access to health care of any kind and prayed for them too.  As I prayed, I thanked God that I was not God to hear and love all of those women, their children, and all the people of the world frightened, in pain, alone, lost, and suffering and being asked to do something about it.  It is difficult enough to care for the people in my small circle, to have my heart break over my three girls.  I can't imagine the difficulty in loving and caring and having my heart broken again and again for all of God's children--past, present, and those to come.

As I considered those other women without health care or limited care, with worries not only of their bodies and children but of the finances to cover the expense of doctors, hospitals, and the children they await, I thought....there is nothing I can do about that and …

Good-bye Aunt Susie

My mom called early this morning, one of those calls you know is no good.  It scared me because she recently had her right knee replaced.  I was worried she had fallen but she said she was fine.  It was her sister, my notorious Aunt Susie.  A few years back she amazingly survived her abdominal aorta rupturing.  Apparently it finally caught up to her.

People said a lot of things about Susie, she was often the talk of the town.  I don't remember much of her when I was little but I know we were close, I remember loving her and my cousin Doug.  There's plenty of pictures to prove it.  Once when I was probably 4 or 5, Susie took Doug and I to get our pictures taken.  Doug was in a little suit and I in a pretty pink dress with white gloves and matching white purse.  It was supposed to be just Doug and I but the photographer insisted that our mom take a few with us.  Ooh, my mom still hates those pictures and the idea that the photographer thought she was my mother.  
My mom has neve…

Warning: Complex Migraine Whine

You've been warned and yet you're still reading.  Perhaps most shocking is that I continue to write. 

Yesterday I woke up feeling mostly fine, except for one tale-tell sign, my peripheral vision was all jacked up out of my right eye.  Some areas just disappeared completely.  I took a deep breath, attempted to calm myself, and ignore it.  I've experienced these things before and they are never good.  Yesterday was by far the worst.  After about 10 minutes of getting ready for church, I knew I'd hit the point of no return.  I took out my contacts, told Joel we weren't going, and laid down.  The numbing and tingling in my right arm and the right side of my face began.  The pain hadn't quite hit yet but I knew it was coming.  I can't pinpoint it right now but something scared me.  I knew this was a migraine, I've had them before but something scared me.  I went to talk to Joel but the words that had formed in my head were not coming out.  My mouth was not …

Genesis 8:20-22

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.
As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night,
shall not cease.’

The story of Noah and the Ark is common to most: God was disgusted by humanity and our cruelties and sinfulness so God set to destroy the earth with a flood, saving this one family and two of each kind of creature, and God made a sign and promise with a rainbow that never again would God destroy the earth and it's creatures. This last bit of the story is especially telling, God realizes that the human heart contains evil within it. At …

Mark 1:9-11

Mark 1:9-11 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.  And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

I was baptized twice.  Baptized a second time by a United Methodist preacher!  (UMC doctrine states that one only needs to be baptized once because God is the one at work in the moment of baptism and hence it doesn't need to be "redone.")  I'm grateful for my Methodist pastor who saw a young girl who desperately needed the experience of baptism, one that I could remember, one in which I felt the cool water wash over my face, one in which I felt renewed.  My second baptism was an act of pastoral care, one in which I am thankful.

The funny thing was, I was disappointed because as I rose out of the water I did not hear God's voice calling out to me, "You…

Rape--Past and Present

Lately there's been a lot of talk and writings about rape thanks to MO Rep Todd Akin and how he “misspoke” about the rate of pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”It's about time we talked about rape, what it means, how it affects both women and men, and how it tears at the fabric of our society. I hope that all of this talk will lead to men, as well as women, taking a stand against rape and working to end its menacing presence in our society. I don't know how to end rape. I just know that for the sake of my daughters, for the sake of humankind, we must do our best to put a stop to the culture of rape.We must talk about and understand how destructive rape is to the victim and stop downplaying its violence regardless of what kind of force was used.
Rape is not a new phenomenon.The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament of the Christian Bible) has several instances of rape.Genesis 19 tells the story of Lot who welcomes two strangers into his home for an evening of rest and comfort.The…

Genesis 3:1-7

Genesis 3:1-7
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’2The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;3but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”’4But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die;5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,* knowing good and evil.’6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
From the very beginning we huma…

Wednesday's Devo

Psalm 51:1-12
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and…

Life is Good!

Stuff of Nightmares

Last night I dreamt that I lived next door to the devil himself.  Not a red horned creature with a pitchfork but Satan in human form, an attractive enough fellow who wouldn't have stood out any any way, except that he was Satan with evil powers and a league of demons to do his bidding.  We lived in a duplex next door to him.  Our front porch and basement stairway paralleled his.  He had it out for me.  Constantly sending bugs, whispering threats in my ears.  At first I thought I was going crazy.  But then one day as we entered our homes, I looked over my should and saw his eyes and I knew then who he was.  Terrified, I told a friend I was living next door to Satan himself.  She didn't believe me.  She thought I had lost my mind.
At this point, he began to send his minions after me.  They looked normal enough.  One even looked a bit like Gerard Butler.  They haunted and hunted me.  I went to the church to work, doors opened on their own, the phone rang only to be answered with …

We're Here! Now what?

We made it!  We finally made it to Colorado!  A few times a day, it will hit me as I view the Peak while sitting on the porch or running an errand, this is not vacation...this is our new life!  Thanks be to God we are finally here!

Now what?

I've applied for a few jobs, contacted the local UMC district superintendent.  We've unpacked a few things but since we're living with the folks there's not really room for us to unpack much.  The eldest daughters will start volleyball practice on Monday.

This morning, I was considering what I should be doing with my time, besides looking for work and mumbling to myself.  Trying not to freak out that I'm living in a room packed with boxes that are difficult to navigate around.  Trying to be thankful that we are here, that we have a home when others' have been burned to the ground, when others simply don't have one or live in a disaster of one.  We truly are blessed and I do realize this.  In this midst of all the chaos…

Whining about leaving

My time here is drawing close.  Sunday was my final communion with our churches and I came home and moped the rest of the day.

My house is a disaster and I should be doing more to get packed but it feels overwhelming and hard.  I apologize for so much whining.  Leaving is more difficult than I imagined.

Ch...ch...ch..changes.

I have 5 sermons left to preach.  In 7 weeks I will no longer be Rev. HipChick, at least not officially in the UMC. 

For the past 8 years my life has been consumed by becoming and being a pastor in the UMC.  I'm leaving my churches not because they want me to leave but because my eldest daughter was being bullied at school by a teacher.  We spoke with the teacher, the principle, the superintendent, and the school board.  Our daughter was not alone, there were others.  But the school board chose to keep the teacher.  We have chosen to put our children first and leave northwest Missouri.

Thankfully, we are leaving to go home to Manitou Springs, CO.  Thankfully we have a wonderful place to go and to be near our families.  Others are stuck here to figure out how to protect their kids.

In some ways it might be easier if I had screwed up.  If I had been kicked out of my churches for something I'd done wrong.  But I'm leaving and starting all over because that's what our chi…

The Announcement

At the end of our Palm Sunday worship I announced that our last day at Mound City would be June 24.  I can barely remember what I said.  I can't bring myself to post about it on Facebook yet. 

Our hearts are filled with both joy and sadness.  We love the people here, Mound City has been a very good place for us.  We've gone through some trials but come through them strong and supported--one can't hope for more.  As I shared with them, our best years in Missouri have been in Mound City. 

However, those good times and feeling of almost home have made us crave our real home all the more.  It is with great joy that we announced that we are moving home!  We will be moving back to Manitou Springs, CO in July!

We've waited nearly 15 years to go home and it finally feels right.  Joel has found a program to finished his teacher certification while teaching and is now searching for a teaching position.  I'm not sure what I'll be doing.  I have had a dream/vision of pla…

God is so good!

We've been through some hell this past month.  Given the public nature of this blog I cannot say more at this moment.
Last week I was at my breaking point.  I longed to blog but could not. 

This week my heart is racing with excitement and joy.  The world is wide open and my heart is soaring.  It's been a long time since I've been so happy.

It's amazing how God walks with us through hell and leads us into the sunshine, the fresh breath of spring, flowers springing up, and birds singing songs of praise to their maker. 

I am a firm believer in that whatever hell we are going through God will use it for our good.  God doesn't give us/send us there but walks with us through it and makes it work for our good.

Thanks be to God!  God is so good.  God is good all the time!  All the time, God is good!

RevGal Friday 5: The Women's Edition

1. Name a woman author you very much love to read.
bell hooks a prolific writer whose work is intellectual, emotional, powerful, and inspiring; reading her work in college gave me courage to write.








2. Name a woman from the Bible with whom you would like to enjoy a nice long coffee talk.
Tamar of Genesis 38--a woman of immense courage and creativity, imagine the tales she could tell!




3. Name a famous woman from history with whom you would like to have lunch.
Carrie A. Nation--my grandmother once told me we were related but I've never seen her name on any of Joel's family history spreadsheets. She was zealous and crazed leader of the temperance movement, for crying out loud she always had an axe on her!  perhaps Dorothy Day would be more fun!












4. Name a living famous or infamous woman with whom you would like to go out to dinner.
Christina Aguilara













5. If you could be SuperWoman (o.k., I know you already ARE) what three special powers would you like to have?  perfect recall of …

How I lost my voice: step one in reclaiming it

Six months into our life in Kansas City we wanted to move home; we called our new state Misery. 

Numerous times we sought a way back to Colorado.  Once it looked like we had a chance to move to Albuquerque which would put us within a six hour drive of Joel's parents and my mom.  I was thrilled, I love New Mexico.  Nothing ever worked out.  There was always a problem and the plans never came together.

At last, we had a plan.  I quit my part time job at the college, I quite my CASA volunteer job.  I began saying good-bye to our friends in Kansas City.  The girls and I were going to move in with Joel's parents while he stayed in Kansas City and I went to school to become a massage therapist.  We'd be separated no more than six months and the final result would be that we'd all be living in Colorado together, exactly as we wanted to be.  It was scary but we were desperate.  It had been 7 years of living in Misery.

Then I attended a 40's and Under United Methodist Wome…

Getting to the root

It's been an interesting week.  I've had some good, even if frustrating, a-ha moments. 

4 years ago, fresh out of seminary and thrilled about my upcoming appointment in the United Methodist Church I lost my voice.  Some days it feels more like my vocal chords were ripped from my throat. I put some band-aids over the wounds and garnered some strength and began to speak and preach again.  There were days, runs of weeks even, when my voice felt stronger, I thought I was gaining strength and healing, recovering from the wounds but then I'd catch site of blood and speak and preach quietly again.
I don't think I had a clue how deep the wound was/is.

Last fall, I felt attacked as a member of the district committee on ordained ministry asked me, "Do you even like preaching?"  He went on to say that I had no passion, no energy, that I did not proclaim the gospel.  For months I've carried this with me.  It's eaten at the vocal chords, gnawing on them, gobbling…
I find myself needing to speak even with my voice shaking.  My fear is that it will turn from shaking to quaking with anger.  Last week I realized that my fear of using "my voice" arises from the fear that others will hear, that words, my words are powerful and I fear the repercussions of them. 

It's ironic that my last post, from 4 months ago, was about using my voice, not cowering to the fear, and yet here I am feeling frustrated, afraid, and angry.  The truth is that I am afraid of my own power.