Thursday, December 31, 2009


On this last day of 2009, there are things I am glad are over -
the pain of leaving the church I was serving, the pain of LH doing the same, the anxiety of an uncertain, unknown future and finances.
There are things for which I give much thanks - my wonderful birthday celebration, time to spend with my family, time to make my own spaghetti sauce, time to spend with the greys, my unintentional sabbatical, all the books I read, this interim position I'm serving, LH's interim position.
There are things unresolved and that we just have to live with and into for the coming New Year - living apart, temporary positions, etc.
I pray that 2010 will come in burgeoning with hope and promise for jobs for people, better economy, less hatred and more respect of life and one another, that terrorists will not wreck greater havoc, that there would be food, medicine, shelter and education for the peoples of this world (I know, idealistic but with hope for the not yet fullness of the Kingdom of God), good health, and to continue to trust God in all this uncertainty.
So, celebrate this present moment, the gift and grace this day is. Let go of grudges, anger, resentment, disappointment, hurts and sorrows. Do not carry that extra baggage into the New Year. Step into 2010 with lightness, not taking ourselves too seriously, honoring one another, loving with the heart of Christ, praying, dancing and working to build up and not tear down our faith communities, open to the Spirit of God's leading and nurturing a willingness to walk down unknown paths and trusting God in making ways where there is none.
Be blessed, be graced, sip the bubbly and toast this New Year and all that yet lies before us, knowing we are ever in God's love and care.
Happy 2010 to all and may the entire universe sing with hope!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


What I didn't get for Christmas and wish I had - gift card!!!!!
I have a list of books already started and waiting until I have enough saved to purchase a few.
Best thing to give a preacher - book money!!!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009


With an inch on the ground, it is snowing some with more this afternoon. The trees and bushes looked so lovely this morning. And with the break between snowfalls, the roads were rather clean this morning, except, of course, our subdivision and the secondary roads. I arrived at church in one hour and 15 minutes.
(Going home on Sunday - it took just 50 minutes!)
Got our new computer hooked up and installed. Really miss our solitare and cribbage game which isn't configured for the new monitor size and Windows 7. Such a pity, it was a way to relax and sometimes to collect my thoughts as I played Forty Thieves trying to best the computer. It still works on my laptop, thankfully.
Christmas Day was a quiet one. LH had an 11 am Christmas Day service. We opened gifts after lunch and called my family. LH was down for a nap, while I put bows and ribbons and packed up my nephew and wife's gifts to go Rocky Mountain State. They return from spending Christmas in England today. The package should arrive tomorrow or Wed. - in time for New Year's.
My niece is hoping to come in for New Year's Day, have dinner, spend the night and Sat morning. Haven't seen her since last Feb. Hope the weather holds out so she can make the drive East. Hope LH gets the house vacuumed, the floors mopped and bathrooms cleaned. (I cleaned the kitchen appliances and will be doing all the cooking!)
New Year's Day menu will be fairly easy - Ham, glazed in the oven, Green Bean Casserole and Spaetzli (premade). Brownies for dessert. Salsa chicken dip for snacking. Eggs Benedict will be served for breakfast. Our tradition once a year!
New Year's Eve will entail more work. Something from the freezer for dinner.
Island Sweet and Sour Meatballs for a midnight snack. Panetonni (is it one N or two?) heated in the oven, and making and baking Swiss braid bread (2 little loaves so that niece can take one home with her.)
Mostly, for Christmas, I was just so thankful that it was dry on Christmas Eve day and night, so that I could get to church from home and get home after worship service without any trouble. God was so good and full of mercy! I just wanted to be home for Christmas and I was. No better Christmas gift than that (not counting God's gift of love to us in Jesus Christ, of course!)
May this week be quiet before all the work the New Year will bring!
take one home.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


When, O Lord, will I find my soul? It is lost and wandering. It has been spent and bruised. Perhaps, it is huddled behind a bush, tucked away in a corner somewhere still healing. I keep looking for it and simply cannot find it. I keep pressing on, soul-less. I ache for my soul. I miss it so much. Perhaps, it is lying somewhere like a deflated balloon barely noticeable on the pavement. Perhaps, it is wandering in the darkness desperately seeking the light and groping for the switch.
When, O Lord, will I find my soul?
I am not right without it.
When, O Lord, will I find my soul?
Are you holding it, mending it, tending it, healing it, speaking to it in words no ear can hear? Are you molding it, working it, fashioning it for something new?
When, O Lord, will I find my soul?
I want to be me again. Please let it not take forty years. Nine months its been. As long as Mary was pregnant, or most any woman before giving birth.
In this season of birthing - can my soul be birthed anew?
When, O Lord, will I find my soul?
I wait. I can do no more, but to wait on you. Just know, that I am waiting to find my soul and trusting it is with you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Teaching your teenager how to park! (Between the lines!)

Yup, looking out the window this afternoon and watching a parent teach their teen how to park. Good thing it's all angle parking. If it was parallel, they'd still be here!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009


They pretty much fit, although I have to break them in. My bunions complain about that!
This week I have two funerals; one Tuesday and one Wednesday.
I didn't know either. Thankfully, another minister will be giving the message for the one.
I haven't had such a hectic week of Christmas before. I put in an 11 hour Sunday and today, I am still tired. Although, maybe it is fatigue from all the emotionalism of meeting with two sets of families yesterday.
Snow has fallen, highlighting the trees, covering the grass and roof tops. It sure looks pretty. Wish I had the Christmas spirit this year, but it has eluded and evaded me.
Wish you all a most wonderfully blessed and glorious Christmas and a New Year burgeoning with hope and promise. Peace, Joy and Love be yours.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I guess I'm still pondering and stewing over awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to our President Obama. I'm mystified as to what he has done or done so far that is so deserving of this prestigious award. In my mind, he hasn't accomplished all that much except to get elected President and then having to deal with the economic crisis. Certainly, not up there with most past recepients of the NPP.
If you ask me, Greg Mortensen is far more deserving of the NPP than President Obama. He has done more in forging and developing relationships in Afghanistan/Pakistan and built schools to educate children, especially girls in order to bring about change. He has built trust, sacrificed much in his genuine care and passion for the people and children of this part of the world. And he does it without political attachments.
And it all started with a not so simple promise to build a school, to give the gift of thanks and appreciation to one tiny improvished village.
Yup, Greg Mortensen would've gotten my vote and in my mind and spirit is the true Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Here's another I ran across somewhere over the years!

The little boy was the innkeeper in the church's Christmas pagaent. He practiced his line, "Sorry, we have no room."
The day of the pagaent arrived and Mary and Joseph knocked on the inn door.
On cue the little boy looked at Joseph and Mary and said his line, "Sorry, we have no room." As Mary and Joseph dejectedly turned away, the boy said, "but you can come in for a cup of coffee."
Think it was a Lutheran Christmas pagaent?!!!?

God has been fairly quiet the last few months. I mentioned that I am still praying to the Great Silence.
Well, it was a very cold morning and only about 25 today. So, I put on my grey wool pants (what a find at Talbot's outlet in Sept!), my grey cashmere blend socks (really keep my toes warm), a cream mockneck and my tweedy sweater cardigan.
I found the nubby,tweedy, blend of acrylic, poly, alpaca and mohair, one button cardigan at a discount retailer (which is always a hit and miss). It's grey, cream, camel, mocha colored which matches grey, khaki, ivory, taupe, etc. It even fits very well and nicely. I like the colors (neutral)and it is very warm. The price was right at $29.95. I think it was quite the find back in late Oct. before my move and beginning this interim.
I have often found that when I need certain clothing, shoes, etc. items and I find them, God has had a hand in it. When I go looking and nothing is quite right, or doesn't fit, or I can't find my (ample)size, then I know that God is saying, "Now is not the time." It's oddly strange but it just seems to work out that way.
I really didn't have money to spend on this wonderful cardigan, but I knew it would be go with several items and be warm.
This morning, as I sat in my office, feeling its warmth and softness wrapped around me, it was as though God was wrapping me in it to assure me and comfort me as a sign of God's providence and love. It was overwhelming and the Great Silence spoke in the ordinary, mundane, and earthly. Something I might not have paid much attention to at any other time. God reaches to us through even the simple, and material things around us.
This wonderfully warm sweater cardigan is something I will treasure and cherish not only through this winter season, but in many winter seasons to come. I cannot put it on without knowing that God has wrapped me in his love and care and even in this semi-exile God is reminding me that God is with me and providing for me. What a gift and a grace this has been.
Who would ever have thought that in an ordinary, simple, of no real account material thing like a sweater cardigan, God would make God's presence known? Only the God who would break into our world and lives on a dark night, in a little out of the way place like Bethlehem, in a grungy, smelly stable, as a new born baby! God comes to us in a myriad of ways to make known God's love. Thanks and praise be to God!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Advent Funny -

Ran across this one and can't remember from where it came:

Advent had just begun, so one Mom thought she'd see what the children remembered from their family devotions the year before. "Who can tell me what the four candles in the Advent wreath represent?" she asked.
Her son, Luke, jumped in with seven-year old wisdom and exuberance. "There's love, joy, peace, and...and..."
"I know!" five year old Elise interrupted to finish her brother's sentence: "Peace and quiet!"

May you enjoy some peace and quiet as we approach the fourth Sunday in Advent and Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Saturday, LH and I exchanged anniversary cards. It was our 22nd year together. (Really, only 21 years of actually living together.) 11 months and 2 weeks before our first anniversary, we actually moved in together. Yup, ours was a commuter marriage for the first year. Not something I recommend to couples at pre-marital counseling. Not something I would want to repeat.
But, here, 22 years later, we are living apart again. Only this time, we're only an hour away, instead of 8 hours, and only 50.4 miles instead of 400 miles.
I miss LH. I miss not being home even at the end of a very long day. I miss not falling into bed and knowing he is there. I miss not having dinner together, even if it was only 3 nights in one week with all of our many meetings. I miss the Boys.
Even though LH is often in the den on the computer, while I'm in the family room with the greys, we are still together.
Perhaps, this time apart after 22 years, will refresh our relationship. Maybe, we will appreciate one another more and realize more fully what we mean to one another, and come to know all that the other did to keep the household intact and running smoothly and semi-cleanly.
I pray that the year will go by quickly - although I know one should never wish away time. Time, after all is so very precious and it goes by in the blink of an eye. There are so many who wish they had more time. So, I know I ought not to wish it away, but still...the year ahead seems to stretch interiminally before me. I will have to be content with the way that this time, this year will unfold.
The sacrifices of ministry are many. It's hard enough never to spend Christmas, or Easter or most any holiday with family who aren't living right around the corner. I haven't spent a Christmas with my family in 25 years. It's even harder, when you can't even go home at night to be with your spouse. There are times, when I ache for what I have given up as a minister.
I only have begun to feel this in the last year, as though, turning 50, brings to mind that the majority of my life has been spent and there remains much less before me. I'm beginning to feel that should I be fortunate enough to retire one day, I will really retire - no Presbytery meetings, serving on committees, supply preaching unless I really felt like it, etc. Just volunteering for mission - like delivering Meals On Wheels and the like. I hope that God will bless me with a time of "retirement" to spend time with LH and family and doing those things for which I never had the time or energy.
In the meanwhile, Advent beckons and with it the things that need tending and doing. It is afterall, that time.

I really didn't plan on getting any new shoes, after all, we're living on a very tight budget. Since I have such trouble finding shoes I can actually wear without hurting my feet (bunions and all), I am content with my old ones. This morning I put on my pair of dark brown Soft Spots that I've had for 3-5 years with nary a thought.
I got to church, took care of some administrative things, went to bathroom and noticed some rough black edges around the left toe. Hhhmm...I thought. I slipped off the shoe and the sole was split from the upper shoe. I've never had that ever happen before and have no idea when it happened. I was going to drop off a game at the Salvation Army, but went home to change shoes first. Otherwise, they would think I was in need of a pair of shoes. Sigh. They don't make that model anymore. I had to order a suede wedge over the internet. Where else is one to find an 11W? I have no clue if they will fit. That's why I hate ordering shoes online or through a catalogue. But, if you find a shoe in a store that you like and it is a major manufacturer, I have to go online to get in my size. And if it doesn't fit right, I have to send it back. (more $$). I wish that stores would carry 11's and wides more frequently.
I saw a cute pair at Kohl's this past fall. I was thrilled to see they were dark brown. When I looked for an 11, no luck. I looked at the tag and the shoe only came up to a 10, which although I tried on was a bit too short. How disappointing.
Well, I hope the new shoes fit. I will take the old ones home to prove to LH that a new pair were in order!!! I only hope I haven't been wearing such air conditioned shoes for too long. I think not. I would have noticed it.
Speaking of things destroyed beyond repair, Jazz chewed through the wire of one of our window candles last week. Chewed it clean through. Fortunately, it was close enough to the plug so that LH could go to the big home store and get a new plug which he spliced together and the candle works just fine once again. Jazz has never chewed through any wires before and we're thankful, that it wasn't plugged in at the time. Although, come to think of it, perhaps a little shock might have detered him from ever attempting such a foolish thing again!!!
Hope the new shoes arrive by next Friday. Sure could use them this Friday!

Monday, December 07, 2009


RevGalsBlogPals is simply asking what 5 things are you not doing for Christmas?

We are not doing much this Christmas, since I'm living 5 nights a week away from home.
Also, LH, has 2 Christmas eve services and a Christmas morning service.
We're just glad to have some together time on Christmas day!

1. I am not baking cookies. Haven't done it in several years. Pretty tough to do
when you pastoring a church.
2. I am not putting up many decorations.
3. We are not putting up a tree this year.
4. No big dinner. We'll keep it fairly simple.
5. No traveling to see FIL and SILS and no dinner out with them.

Thursday, December 03, 2009



1. A frying pan, blender, vacuum or washing machine.
2. A scale - either for weighing food or her body.
3. Perfume you say you liked when you smelled it on another woman.
4. A copy of the favorite recipe your mother always made you.
5. House shoes like your mother wears.
6. A nightgown one size too small, cut to fit waiflike models, made of
polyester, with sleeves that are so tight at the wrists they could pass
for tourniquets.

Go ahead, add to the list:

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Please, dear members of Presbytery, my brothers and sisters in Christ, remember these 3 simple civilities and we will honor one another and the worshipful work of our Presbytery meetings:

1. Turn off your cell phone during the meeting.
2. If it must be on, set it to vibrate.
3. If it must be on and it rings, excuse yourself and go to into the hallway,
narthex, wherever. We do not want to hear your conversation - it's usually more
than we want to know, or are interested in, it's distracting and disrupting when
someone is presenting or speaking to whole assembly, and you're usually talking
louder than you need to.
4. Repeat the above three steps as needed.

Thank you and see you at the next Presbytery meeting.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up:
On Tues. I drove home for the evening and cooked the stock and the white and wild rice.
On Wed. I commuted in and back home that evening, I sauteed items for the stuffing, made the stuffing, made the cheeseball, and made the Pumpkin Mousse Dessert.
On Thurs. I polished silverware, washed the crystal, wiped the china, set the table, did laundry items, washed the turkey, stuffed the turkey, washed and peeled potatoes, cleaned 2 toilets. Actually, had time to put my feet up for a bit.
Company arrived - FIL and SILS.
LH keeps checking turkey - no drippings to baste. Rather odd.
Timer pops, I cook mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, try to make gravy from few drippings. Put rolls into oven. Get all on the table. Stick extra stuffing into oven to bake.
Enjoy dinner with family.
Clear table. Brew coffee. Cut dessert, enjoy dessert.
Decarcass our "Arnold" Turkey - yes, we had an Arnold Schwarzenegger turkey - big (21 lbs) and sinewy/muscley. Never had such a sinewy turkey. It wasn't dried out even with little drippings. It was just a big turkey that must've worked out alot!!!
Make freezer and doggy bags.
FIL & SILS go home with leftovers.
I wash and dry all the crystal, china and silver by hand plus all the pots, etc.
I am too tired to put the china away and soak the turkey pan.
This weekend I got all my Christmas cards and letters done. I started last weekend already. LH signed his name, put the dog prints on them and on Sat. morning, I was off to the post office to get overseas stamps and holiday stamps. How nice to put them all into the mail slots.
I wrapped my sister's family gifts. Now I have to find a box and pack it well.
Still have two more boxes to wrap up all items and pack to send.
Trying to stay ahead, especially when I am not home in the evenings to take care of some of these things.
This year, we won't be putting up a tree - just not possible with my living mostly away from home. LH has 2 Christmas Eve services and a Christmas Day service. It won't leave us much time to enjoy Christmas together, and I leave the next day to return here.
I know that this wilderness time will last longer than Advent. I know that this lonely exile will last the year. Such are the sacrifices of ministry and this particular time.
I know that God is making a way through this wilderness time and does not leave me alone in this exile. It is hard though. I cling to the hope I know in Christ Jesus and to the God I know and love. I look to the time of deliverance. But, first I must live in, with and through this wilderness. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Monday, November 23, 2009

LH is vacuuming the house
LH is dusting
LH is mopping the floors
LH has bought the majority of Thanksgiving Day ingredients
LH will be picking up our ordered fresh turkey and produce still needed
LH is putting supper in the oven on Tues. & Wed. evenings
LH had to clean the dogbed from from doggy barf
LH had to clean the dining room curtains from a Jazz "accident"
LH is dusting the dining room and living room
LH is experiencing what I have done on a regular basis. Maybe not such a bad thing as he begins to realize all I have done in tending house and serving a church. I can't do any of this while away from home and can only do so much in a day and a half when I am home.
I did manage to put the Thanksgiving Shopping list together for LH. I composed our Christmas letter in English and German, got them all printed and am signing them and addressing envelopes and cards. They will be ready for his signature.
I have wrapped my FIL and SILS' Christmas gifts (which I also purchased) and they are ready for Thanksgiving Day. So, I am doing the things I can while away.
LH will have 2 Christmas Eve services and a Christmas Day service which means we will not see FIL & SILS over Christmas and New Years. We'll consider ourselves fortunate to have a Christmas Day dinner on the table and talk with family on the phone.
This year, all is different and unsettled. But God has cared for us and for that we are extremely grateful.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reflecting so deeply on Cheesehead's news and which touches the still healing wound of my soul, I am truly wondering what is happening with our churches. The majority of churches seem to be struggling for survival - even the ones who are welcoming and hospitable, use screens and power point, blended worship, etc.
I have heard that even the Big Tree Community in the posh suburb of Chicago has attendance down by 23%. That's almost a quarter of worshippers and attendees.
Has church become irrelevent to folks, to our society?
Are people not wanting to live deeply any more - wanting simple answers, attend a feel good motivation session and not be any more involved?
If that is where people are right now, than our churches will continue to struggle. What is a community of faith? Bound together in the love and faith of Christ, developing a deeper life, hearing what we need to hear and not merely what we want to hear, being asked something of ourselves and our lives, to give sacrificially out of love for Christ and one another, to make disciples, to know there is no greater joy in life than to be held in God's love, to sing, to pray, to challenge, to support one another in our life's journey of faith and relationship with God.
I suppose I'm old fashioned, not with it. But I don't watch or like reality TV which is mindless and takes not much creativity, imagination, or intelligence to produce. where is the sharp comedy of MASH, FRAZIER, SEINFELD, etc.
We have become mediocre and have settled for things mediocre. We fill our lives with triviality on Facebook and Twitter. Do I really care or need to know that you're wearing pink flipflops or having a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Let me know how it is with your soul, where you find true and lasting hope, where the grace is in your life, what are your hopes and dreams.
I pray for our churches, I pray for Cheesehead, for pastors serving churches. It is a dark time.
So many of our churches are anxious about their survival and it seems that their pastor is an easy target for their underlying anxiety, even if the pastor has done much to allay anxiety, to be prophetic, to build up, to be faithful to God's intent and desire. I wonder how many more pastors will bear the burden and the brunt of such anxiety. LH and I both have and I know there are others.
Church is us together in the Lord. It is not the pastor's fault for these cosmic shifts that are presently occurring. We all must look to ourselves, see that we all bear responsibility, see that we are all imperfect and yet, held in grace. Unfortunately, it is usually the pastors that are the scapegoats. (except for the ones who are truly incompetent).
And in the end, we are called to bring God's message, to love and to serve, to embody hope, and to keep trusting God through all the changes and chaos in the universe and in our lives. We keep going because the message of God's love, grace and transformation is too great not to share.
In this near Advent time, Come, Lord Jesus, Come. Take hold of the hurting and bring the shalom of your healing. Embrace the anxious and fill them with hope. Bring your joy to our churches. Sound the love song of our lives that the universe may reverberate with your goodness and glory. Amen.
That is my prayer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


LH just called and Jazz, who ran into the bluebird house pole last Sat. couldn't be stitched at this point. His back leg has quite a raw spot made much bigger by his licking. We may have to put the Elizabethian collar on him. It wasn't too bad on Sat. but his licking and its location - over a bony and bent part of his upper leg - certainly contributed to his present condition.
Needless to say, LH dug up the bluebird house pole, filled in the hole with dirt.
We haven't had nesting bluebirds in 4 years due to the sparrows, nasty little creatures, who keep kicking the bluebirds out.
I'll be able to see Jazz tonight and give him some comfort!
What a grey!
Rekindling the Joy of My Faith -

Given our present tenuous situation, being away from home most of the week, starting a new position serving a church, and still healing, I pray that God will rekindle the joy of my faith and life.
I am grateful for the hammock of God's love, care and provision for us thus far.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this community of faith.
I am grateful for LH and the boys and my family.
I am grateful for our health.
Yet, that spark, the fun, the joy, the delight that once was so much a part of me has disappeared and I so long and desire for its return.
It feels like Holy Saturday - after the death of Good Friday - but that long day before Resurrection.
I take heart that even Mother Teresa had a dark night of the soul that lasted for years. I pray that mine won't last so long. Yet, inspite of her doubt, her longing for closeness with God, Mother Teresa continued to live her faith, to serve in love and with compassion. She is my example these days and my inspiration.
My spiritual discipline for now is to keep living my faith, even though God feels so far away, to serve in and with the love I've known in Christ Jesus, to be grateful, to pray to the Great Silence, and to continue to seek the presence of God.
'Tis all that I can do and leave the rest to God and God's Spirit. Ah, yes, and to hold onto hope for the coming Resurrection.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Started my new interim position on Sunday, All Saints' Day.
Spent two days moving into the apartment - kitchenware, bedding, clothes, shoes,etc.
Pretty lonely not being able to be home with LH and the Boys!
The first week or two are always the hardest in starting somewhere new. It's even more difficult when I can't go home in the evening.
LH and I spent the first year of our marriage in a commuter marriage and now 22 years later, here we go again.
I will not lose heart or get too discouraged. My new mantra.
I am counting the days - 2 1/2 till I can go home. Will have to take my laundry with me and a couple other things that will just get carted back and forth every week.
How can things be so unsettled and chaotic at this point in our lives?
There is absolutely no stability in the lives of pastors or clergy couples. We get lulled into a time of "normalcy" but then it changes and one or both of us are seeking new positions. There is nothing settled about God or about serving God.
How I miss LH, the Boys - Jett and Jazz - and the haven of my own home.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


LH just heard that the part-time interim close by was offered to another who orginally had some distance concerns or wanted full time.I know he is deeply disappointed. He has an interview scheduled for next month and another church where his name was given as a candidate.
It is hard not to feel disheartened and discouraged. I am trying very hard not feel as though there is some evil voodoo floating around in the universe. I know that there is always evil at work in the world, but this is getting a bit too close to home.
As I deal with leaving home for this 3/4 time interim next week, having to draw out of our retirement savings to make all our payments, I, at times, feel so overwhelmed by it all and struggle, really struggle, to see God bringing a new thing to bear in our lives, to hold onto God's promises of new and abundant life and to lead us into that life. It is hard not to get too depressed.
Pray for us. Pray that LH will soon be offered a position that will be good for the church and for him and us. With the love of Christ in my heart still, I thank you.

Friday, October 16, 2009


1. What is your favorite footwear at this time of your life?
Something comfortable, not over 2 inch heel, wide, cushioned.
I really like the Soft Spots Stephanie pumps. Wish they came in

2. What is the craziest shoe, boot or sandal you ever wore?
Probably a platform shoe or sandal in the early '70's.

3. What kind of shoes did you wear in your childhood?
Practical ones - brown, black or white, depending on the season.
Black and white saddle shoes were my favorite - flat, wide, comfortable.
Got pretty upset when my Mom threw out an oldish pair. Hated to see them
go out of style.

4. How do you feel most comfortable? Barefoot, flip-flops, boots, or what?
My Columbia suede mules - just slide in. At home, my boiled wool slippers
which keep my feet warm but not sweaty.

5. What kind of socks do you like if any?
In the winter, my cashmere blend socks. They keep my feet so nice and warm
and they're soft!

BONUS: Anything you want to share about feet or footwear.
Now you've pushed my button!!! What's up with shoes these days? Either
they have 3 inch heels or none at all. The vamps often cut right across
my bunions. And why can't some of the styles come in a 11 wide? Sometimes
10's are too short. All the cute styles don't come in 11 or 10 W.
It must be the shoe manufacturers' and designers' conspiracy!!!! Yet,
bunions come from too narrow a shoe. They have created deformed feet in
the middle-aged. (some of its hereditary, though!)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Things Are Different:
When lives are in transition you notice how different things have become and are.
With both LH and I in the call process, we are experiencing the lack of open calls at the moment. Fortunately, God has provided me with an interim position even though it involves my only being home 2 nights a week. LH is interviewing for a short interim the next town over. That would buy us some time before a major move.
However, LH is also interviewing a small rural church far from much of anything and it has a very small manse with a one car garage.
It has been nice to have our own home, to have 2 1/2 baths, and a kitchen with some counter space and cabinets. Our house is nothing spectacular, just an ordinary, average house in a middle class subdivision. We live simply, moderately (although our basement is full with retreat items, books, leftovers from our move, craft supplies, Christmas presents for this year).
I am struggling with leaving this home and having to go into a parsonage again where pastors and their families are expected to make do. It will only have one bathroom, the bedrooms and closets will be small, and the yard is not fenced in for our greys. I don't expect luxurious surroundings. But why would a church hold on to a manse that has only one bathroom? What family in this day and age can function with only one bath? Have I been too spoiled? I think not. This will be a very hard move to make and many of our things and books will have to go into storage. I know it is only the two of us and we don't have children. But if and when family visits it will be awkward. It is so rural, that buying a home would entail living a town or two away. I don't think the church would be open to that. Sigh.
I will cross that bridge when we get to it. Perhaps, God has something else in mind for us that has not yet made itself known. Have to trust in God and what God yet has in store for us. I am trying desperately to be open, but it is so very hard. I know we do not lead "normal lives", but must we have to live in ways most parishioners don't? Am I way off base here?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Fall Learning

This is what I learned this fall -
Never let your Siberian Iris go for 6 years without digging them up and
dividing them.

I dug out four clumps of Siberian Iris- 3 of which did not bloom well this year.
It took the spade and all my weight, which is on the heavy side, to lift those clumps. My muscles are still complaining today.
It is a reminder not to let things go too long without tending to them -putting stuff away where it belongs, filing, etc. I hate to admit it, but I often let things go too long before tending to them and there is that much more work and effort. I know far better than I do, as St. Paul reminds me.
I suppose that most falls I am busy with the starting up of the church program year. This year I am tending to my healing and trying hard to prepare my heart and soul and spirit to begin a new interim position. So, I've had time to tend to those things that have neglected for some time.
Lesson is getting learned.
I had hoped we would have made a move by now, and I wouldn't have had to dig them except for taking the few Iris I would have taken with me. Which in retrospect, I still would have had to dig them all up anyway, since I couldn't just dig up a few.
I replanted a much smaller amount of Iris complete with some fresh garden soil and some really crappy cow manure-organic matter made by a well-know fellow's name company. I can't believe I found plastic bag bits, a small stick, a few rocks (I have plenty of my own thank you very much! So many of my own that I can hardly find a place to dig anywhere!), some weeds that were already growing in it (again, I have plenty of my own growing wildly here!), and moss covered pieces. Course, I like moss, but not necessarily in my manure compound. I was very disappointed in this product, because we use the same company's fertilizer for our lawn and that has worked rather well. I should've been clued in by the .99 cent price. I thought it was just on clearance.
Lesson 2 - You get what you pay for. No more cheap priced cow manure for me!

I wasn't planning on planting anything, but the open area left by clearing out the Iris and the Pin Cushion plant debris cried out for something. I picked up an "Autumn Joy" Sedum which I know will outgrow its present spot. But I liked the crimson flowers and the color of the leaves - lighter green. I'm not a huge Mum fan and that's all you see these days around here at this time of year. So, I couldn't resist the Sedum.
Next, I will have to pull my tomato plants and let the green tomatoes finish ripening on the vines in the garage. I will harvest some sage, the parsley and cut down the chives. Then I will put down the Sweet Peet which was so good for the garden last Spring. It's pricey but very good. That's why it just goes in my herb garden and not the big flower beds out front.
Finally, I'll have to take down the flowerboxes and say good bye to the red geraniums and enjoy not dead-heading everyday.
Those were my two lessons this fall thus far. I'm sure there are more to come as the month goes by.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


We arrived home from our trip to the Land of Lincoln and America's Dairyland where we celebrated my sister's b-day and LH's b-day - one Italian dinner and one Greek dinner and we are neither. But the Swiss have an Italian canton!!!
The tomatoes in the bowl on the kitchen counter were ripe and I was able to pick a few more off the vines making for another 4 lbs.. Too much to eat, so I cooked them up and made another two quarts of tomato sauce.
With the frost forecasted for Wednesday evening, I harvested the Basil which cannot tolerate very cold. I made some pesto sauce with the majority of it and am drying the remaining twig. Had I had the pesto sauce recipe last year, I would have planted more basil!!!!
Today, I will make Florentine Lasagna with my homemade tomato sauce! This will give LH and I several meals in the weeks to come. Florentine Lasagna is my term for meat lasagna with spinach mixed into the ricotta. Usually, Italian dishes that contain spinach are called "Florentine", although not in Italy, where we had very few dishes in Florence that actually contained any spinach at all.
So, this week I was in the kitchen and in the garden.
I also was using the sewing machine to shorten a skirt from a suit and will shorten a pair of lightweight grey wool pants I picked up at the Talbots outlet store while visiting my sister.
This unintended Sabbatical will end at the end of this month. There has been space and breathing room to heal. I have missed the rhythm of preaching and worship. I have enjoyed catching up on things around the house and that it is much cleaner than before. Still cluttered, but cleaner.
In the next couple weeks, I will be preparing for my time away from home with the new interim position; finding my confidence, preparing to serve again, getting items needed for the efficiency apartment, trying desperately not to miss the dogs and LH too much, trusting that God is with me and will work things out, and that LH will soon have a position himself.
Soon, I will be fertiilizing the lawn, putting down some Sweet Peat and laying the garden and flowerbeds to rest. Always a somewhat sad time to say good bye to all my flowering friends and to harvest the herbs.
As the growing season comes to end, so does this Sabbatical. The flowerbeds and garden will enjoy their fallow time and my fallow time is over and the hardwork of spring preparing has begun now in autumn.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Been Thinkin'

Been thinking of our upcoming separation in another month. I will be renting an efficiency to save miles on my van and because I know the winter commute may be very tricky. I understand that we have to do what we have to do, but it still doesn't sit well with me. LH and I were separated the first year of our marriage by 400 miles and an 8 hour drive. We moved in together 2 weeks before our first anniversary. I really don't want this situation. I want to be able to see LH at the end of the day or to have dinner together. I will miss my boys - Jett and Jazz fiercely and they will miss me greatly as well.
I will be hauling laundry back and forth and books and files. I will be living in two places and it will be unsettling.
I don't know what will happen when LH finds a new position. We cannot pay two mortgages and rent. I just have to trust that God will help us find a way through and change my attitude over this imposed separation. I cannot let my longings and resentment at this situation interfere with serving the congregation in a time of transition and change for them. This awkward, unsettled time of change and transition is one the church and I will be going through together and we will trust God to lead us and bring us to a place of new beginnings and new life.
In the meanwhile, we are heading for a few days to the Land of Cheese and to celebrate my sister's birthday and LH's birthday. It's been 5 years since we celebrated my sister's birthday in person. We decided to take advantage of our time off to be with family.
I keep praying that a position will open up for LH before too long so that we can start getting the house on the market.
Jazz is quite a character and we've had to crate him when we are gone. He's the first grey we've had to crate. The others have all behaved and learned the routine quickly. Jazz has conquered the stairs and sleeps in our bedroom in his bed at the foot of our bed. Jazz has more trouble going down the stairs and moving relaxed and slowly on the tile floor.
Perhaps, on the tile floor of our lives right now, there's a message for me too. To move relaxed and slowly through this time, trusting and having faith in God. Praying for courage, wisdom, strength during this coming month.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


604.7 miles and a whole day later, we have welcomed a new grey into our lives - Jazz. Jazz joins Jett who also made the trip with us - and slept the whole day after!!!
After unintentionally fostering 2 other greys, this one seems to be a good match.
Ty was just too aggressive towards males and LH, and otherwise would have been a pretty good grey.
Jazz is brindle, short and compact compared to Jett, our fawn who is lean, long and very elegant. Jett is probably getting a bit tired of the whole affair of having to share with a new fellow and just about the time, the newbie learns the routine, he's taken back and yet another newbie arrives.
Jazz gets along with LH, wags his tail, climbs up the stairs and sleeps at the foot of our bed, hasn't had one accident yet, is good natured, curious, and seems to be content. He's 5 years old and we'll have to look up his racing record to see how he fared on the track. He seems to have been well-treated for the most part, which is good.
When we adopted our first grey - there were 50 greyhound tracks across the country. Now on our fourth grey, there are only 27 race tracks still left with a couple closing by the end of this year. That's half the tracks closed in 17 years.
Maybe there will be more responsible and less breeding and every grey will have a home when they are done racing.
Hard to believe that we've lived with greys for 17 years! Can't believe it's been that long- doesn't seem that long! Each has had their unique personalities and quirks and we've loved them all.
So we are joyed to have Jazz be a part of home, hearts and pack!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ever see things you wish you didn't? Kinda like surfing the channels on TV and getting a glimpse of some bloody murder scene, an operation in progress, an emaciated animal, etc. Being home you see things around the neighborhood you normally wouldn't. Like there are about 4 of us neighbors who are not gainfully employed at the moment, at least around the cul-de-sac.
Since, we haven't gotten to know our neighbors real well, I often come up with nicknames that identify who is who. Funny, I can usually remember their dog's name while forgetting theirs!!!
There is a Yuppie couple (now with 2 boys and a new chocolate lab puppy) who live a few houses down. Yes, they've had Beamers and Range Rover's and a set of parents who drive a Jaguar and/or Mercedes Benz. I've notice of late, that he is home more, like the couple across the street who are rarely outside - they have 1 one year old and a Basenji.
While I was vacuuming out the van in preparation for our road trip, LH was in the driveway ready to go to the grocery store. He comes in and says, "The repo man is here." Sure enough, the nice looking Beamer is on the flatbed truck and and no longer in the garage of the Yuppies.
Felt pretty bad for them. I would be mortified. With both of us not serving and working, we are in a tenuous position ourselves. But we paid for our vehicles and neither are imports, just your average vehicles.
Perhaps, there is a lesson in all this about not projecting more than we are and have, not living beyond our means, saving, spending wisely. I don't know that they have any or much of a faith life, but somehow, with faith, priorities and values surrounding money are different. Part of what created the economic mess we're in, is not only predatory lending or greed, but also, folks who lived beyond their means. It is sad really. I pray that this family is able to get back on their feet soon, that he will find a new job, and that they will have learned to live within their means.
Sometimes, you see things you wish you hadn't, but you can't shut out reality and take in what you see with the eyes of faith, love and compassion.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Road Trip -
This year, we have unintentionally fostered two greyhounds. We are hoping that the third one's a keeper. Ty, although, he has settled down some, still has some male aggression and bit LH on his head, who wasn't provoking Ty in the least. Wearing blue jeans seems to bring it out more. Ty would make a great companion for a single female who needs protection. Most greys aren't "watch dogs" at all, preferring to welcome everyone who comes to the door with a sniff and wagging tails. Ty, is protective and barks. It's a shame because he did stairs right off the bat, when he had an accident, it was always on the tile floor and not the carpeting, and he responds to "NO".
So, this week we, LH and I, Ty and Jett will head to the Greyhound Rescue Organization's headquarters and together pick out a new grey. If only this wasn't a state away!!!! 10 hours on the road. It will be a long and tiring day.
We've enjoyed three wonderful greyhounds who all had some adjustment to make - but they all responded to "NO" and although two were wary of males none showed any aggression. We want so to welcome a new grey into our hearts and lives and homes and give them a second chance at life and a new life in a loving home with all the creature comforts they have never known and to which they readily adapt.
Jett now yearns for chest rubs once a day.
When I begin a new interim at the beginning of Nov. I will only be home two-three nights a week and he will have to cope with only two rubs per week. Yes, I am thankful for this new opportunity to minister and serve. I will miss coming home at night and sleeping in my own bed. I will miss LH and his support.
We lived apart the first year of our marriage, 400 miles apart, and didn't move in together until two weeks before our first anniversary. I really had hoped we wouldn't have to be separated again, but we must do what we have to do to meet our mortgage and pay the bills. (Sigh)
Sometimes, it feels like I've been "paying my dues" all my life with intermittent periods of relief. Perhaps, the "paying the dues" is a falsehood, and really doesn't apply to ministry where our values differ from the world's.
In the meanwhile, I pray that LH will be called to a position before too long, especially if we have to put our house on the market, knowing how long it takes to sell these days. I don't know how I'll pack up the house while living away from home, but, it will all be revealed in God's good time and I continue to trust the slow work of God.
For now, we will trust that there is a greyhound awaiting us who will fit in well, whose life we will fill with love and care and who longs to offer us his love.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Yesterday was beautiful sunny day and LH suggested that we go to the city on the North Coast and go to the Art Museum which recently opened a new addition. It was wonderful to feast our eyes and spirits on the beauty before us. How good it was to see the familiar and to see others that I don't ever remember seeing before. A great afternoon. We stopped at TJ's on the way home to pick up some lamb chops and a couple other items we enjoy and can't find around here for that price.
It's amazing what viewing art can do for my soul and spirit. Although some of the modern comtemporary stuff is not to my liking really - alot of it is angst ridden, dark, bleak, despairing, etc. I know that that may reflect life, but I want to see the hope, the beauty that is still and ever present around us. Perhaps, I have been in the angst ridden and dark places in my life enough, that I need to keep the hope of faith alive and focus on what faith in God brings and offers to me, to the world and to all who despair. God is about life, new, abundant, eternal, so much so, that God brings life out of death and desparately wants us to live, every day and always and forever. So, I seek out and savor the beauty of art and allow myself to be challenged by the modern contemporary although I can't say that I really Enjoy it!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


This month I volunteered and helped a Lutheran clergywoman during a time of transition in a parish of three city Lutheran churches. From gluing glass pebbles onto to card stock, to home-bound and nursing home visitation with and without communion, proof-reading (and still missing errors!!!), leading devotions and being present at the weekly food and clothing distribution center and other odds and ends, it was a good to be of some help and to reconnect with some folks who I haven't seen in five years. I served the one church as an second interim for 6 months.
It was also helpful not be home 24/7 with LH, who is slowly starting to chafe at being without a call. The last church wasn't even interested in interviewing him - special redevelopment situation. So, the waiting continues, the wondering what God is longing to bring us and how to prepare for what yet awaits us.
I have accepted a 3/4 time interim position that will begin in 2 months and will necessitate my renting an efficiency apartment hopefully, for not too much. I am not looking forward to living away from home and only being home 2 nights a week. I will miss the greys terribly while I sit in my apartment pining away for them and for my own bed. It will intail bringing laundry home and cleaning house and an apartment.
However, some income is better than no income and the mortgage and utilities still need to be paid, as well as taxes, auto insurance and we do need health insurance.
It is hard to hold onto hope, to remain trusting and faithful as this unintentional sabbatical continues for us both. I will use the time now to prepare my spirit and self for the periods of being away from home- adjustint my attitude and planning what all I will need to take with - clothing, toiletries and books, etc.
Hard to imagine that life could change so drastically at age 50 and one feels like a graduate student all over again broke and unknowing.
Time to do some mending and shortening of pants and a skirt. Things I've put off and need to be done.
I'm sure there must be a ripe tomato or two to pick off the vine. I anticipate the days ahead will be quiet ones as I take care of the house, read, and tend to things long neglected. I pray that something will open for LH before too long and will need to be gentle with him as well as myself.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I witnessed a miracle today.
Gathered in a room with the least and the lost, the poor and the hungry patiently seated on metal folding chairs clutching their numbers waiting for the food distribution we began devotions amid the boxes of produce, cellophane bags of bakery and brown paper shopping bags filled with food that surrounded us.
Later that afternoon, the volunteer came into the church with a crisp new $100.00 bill - a donation received not from another volunteer, a church member or from a local business, but rather from one of those who came and received help.
An older black woman whose number was called, rose up, received her groceries and pressed the $100.00 bill into the volunteer's hand. "You are the church that's cared. I haven't always done right by Jesus. But I've paid my bills and I want you all to have this."
A miracle that will buy more food to help the ones most hurting. A miracle of generosity in the midst of great want and need. A miracle of biblical proportions that astounded us all. A miracle of the presence of Christ and his transforming love, grace, compassion and care.
From the least of us - an example of faith, forgiveness and generosity.
Her gift meant more than winning the lottery and hallowed all the Tuesdays of hard work and time. We thought we gave, but this one woman gave so much more and revealed to us all the miracle of serving and loving Christ our Lord.
Let us not dismiss what we do in love so lightly or look upon it as mere duty or service - but rather as an act of love and gratitude so great it becomes and is a miracle.
After the Rain

In the evening
after the rainstorm
that ponded the basin
after the sunset
when the sky darkened
and the stars came out
to play
a chorus of frogs
sang a cantata
of pure joy and delight
in the meadow
behind our house.
After a refreshing rain,
do you sing of your
joy and delight
and bring pleasure
to your Creator?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Naked House -
Our house was naked for a time yesterday, as it shed its vinyl outerwear. Today, the workers are attaching new siding. Shortly after we moved in, the siding on the north side of the house began to bow. So, the company came, fixed it and put a patch of new siding on it. Well, over the past 5 years the siding has faded except for the new patch. (Note, our house is only 6 years old) Because it looked really bad, especially if we want to put our house on the market, we contacted the company and were able to get the work done on warranty!
Since it is somewhat drizzly this morning with a big dark green blob on the radar screen heading our way, the men won't get much done today and the house will only be semi-clothed. There will be more noise and banging and hammering, etc. tomorrow.
The one fellow brought his 2 sons with him yesterday. They worked really hard toting siding, separating out sizes, and cleaning up the litter. I baked a batch of my delicious chocolate chip cookies and they all had some - fresh baked!!!
I'll be glad when the job is done and all the noise is over.
Felt pretty exposed to the neighborhood with our naked house. Just the way one feels when confessing one's sins to God - exposed and vulnerable, contrite, humbled, and naked before the One who knows us, forgives us and still loves us. Then we put on our new clothes in Christ - all fresh and clean and it feels delightful and wonderful, like putting on a clean shirt straight from the clothes line all crisp and fresh smelling of sun and wind. It is good to shed the old, the stained, the worn and faded to put on the new, fresh, clean and spotless. How thankful I am for the grace, forgiveness and love of my Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This week so far, I've been reading, Christianity for the Rest of Us, by Diana Butler Bass, cleaned house, did some laundry, did poop patrol in the backyard, dusted some of my plants with Sevin due to the Japanese Beetle outbreak, took down one bag of dead Japanese Beetles and put up a fresh one, made several dinners and did dishes, shortened and hemmed a pair of slacks, mended a hole in a dress, had an interview for an interim position (which would entail my renting an efficiency apartment and living away from home) and weighing the cost of that, and did some weeding - more remains to be done.
It finally rained some last night and this morning - a fine and misty rain that measured about 1/2 inch in the rain gauge, but we'll take it. The Gingko, Birch and Newport Plum have been stressed due to lack of rain. Hope we get some more.
Am contemplating a temp position to help a colleague who is serving 4 churches in a consortium for the next month. Mostly, hospital calls, home communion, one community meal and devotion once a week, and other odd assortment of tasks. Cannot afford to lose my medical benefits at this time though.
LH has just resigned his position and is actively seeking a new call. We have never both been without a position at the same time and am seeking desperately not to allow anxiety to get the better of me.
All prayers are truly appreciated and welcomed.
LH's blood pressure has dropped to acceptable levels and its not all due to medication.
The dogs seem content to have me home most of the time and I am grateful for their comforting furry presence.
Everything has so unraveled and I try not to let fear take hold, but to cling to the hope of the new thing God is working in our lives. It is not easy.
So, I try to content myself with the mundane and keep praying to the Lord, who must hear the prayers of the desperate.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Our governor is proposing a budget that includes gambling revenues from slot machines. Most of our churches oppose this but it probably will go through this time even though every time it has been on the ballot, the people have vetoed it.
The governor and state are grasping for revenue will little regard for morality.
It has come apparent to me that we live in an entertainment age. The American people want entertainment and want to be entertained whether with celebrity-ism, techie gadgets and social networking sites, sports, gambling, and, dare I say it, even church. Yes, the church experience should be entertaining in a big venue with sound bites and video clips. There is a make us feel good, don't talk about sin, and let us live our lives, attitude out there.
When the church talks of sacrifice, obedience, and the mystery of God, the culture doesn't want to hear of it. They want to be entertained and to feel good.
When I look to Christ and read the Scripture, I fail to see this aspect to our faith. Yes, we do feel good when our sin is forgiven, when we have the joy of our faith, and when we are in touch with the tremendous and gracious love of our Lord. Our faith isn't about entertainment but living in way that becomes more and more Christ-like and offers a transformation of life.
Moreover, worship is not about entertainment, but how we come before God to offer our honor and praise, coming into God's presence and together honoring the God of our lives, the God of all life. Sometimes it bubbles over in joy, at other times, it is more somber(as in Lent) but always humbling.
I confess that for me, worship is more about meeting God, encountering Jesus and his love, grace, forgiveness, hope and peace, than it is about being entertained.
I leave worship renewed, challenged, more hopeful, desiring more of what God desires for us and for the world, and willing to love in ways more Christ-like. Although I fall short, time and time again, I know that God forgives me and God's Spirit is work within me empowering me to do that which I cannot do on my own.
I pray that, we, as Christians, and as a nation, will move away from mere entertainment and this need to be entertained and make more valuable contributions to the world and to the betterment of the lives of people. May our downfall not be our need to be entertained but rather that we have spent ourselves on behalf of the good of another. I fear for our nation that we have succombed to this drug of choice - entertainment and it is more harmful than good.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


While at the Lake, caught a beautiful rainbow over Lake Michigan. What were the chances that we'd see one again and be there just at that moment and time?
As ever the rainbow was a reminder of God's presence, power, hope, and that God keeps God's promises. I needed that assurance.
This week, helping with LH's VBS "Crocodile Dock" - the theme song, which after 3 evenings is still reverberating in my head is, "I Will Not Be Afraid". It seems that God is wanting me to take heart, not be discouraged and to trust ever and always in Him. I'm working on it.
Just a couple signs of grace that God has brought to me in the past week. May you look for signs of grace God is placing before you.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Back from vacation to spend time with sister and BIL. Windy City still windy.
Cedar Beach was thin as the Lake level was higher with all the rain that it received and a lot of beachy grass and scrubby growth. Since I saw a snake slither into the growth last summer while strolling the beach, I was disinclined to tromp through all that growth not knowing what I'd walk into.
Caught a gorgeous rainbow over the lake and it took to photos to get it all in!!!
I lost at mini golf.
I lost at Jenga.
I lost twice at croquet.
Fortunately, I am for the most part a good loser.
Got in lots of reading - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Been plowing through them
Still have a couple things left to tackle on my dossier.
Cleaned house - although there is still much to put away.
Ran the dishwasher and will be putting the sheets and eventually towels in the wash.
Today will be night three of LH's VBS.
Am deadheading my profusely blooming red geraniums, doing battle with Japanese
beetles, and having to water every other day the flower bed and herb garden.
Finding delight in seeing little green tomatoes on the vine!
Saw a beautiful leopard butterfly (at least that's my name for it- orange with spots and not a monarch) munching on my echinacea or purple cone flowers.
Just feels really weird not being in a church office or preparing for Sunday or making visits.
Working with the new greyhound. Exchanged Gozar-the-Destructor-Toby, who needed a family and someone around most of the time and lots more activity than we were able to give him for Ty - a shy black 5 year old, with a white chest, nipped ear, and chewed up tongue. He growls at LH whenever LH walks into the room where Ty is.
Ty is the most vocal grey we've had, barks at everything and nothing. He is slowly getting better. He's also eating more now and seems to enjoy the chicken broth made with chicken liver, hearts, gizzards, butt and extra fat that came with the chicken we grilled over the weekend. It takes a lot of patience with a grey that is this shy.
The late Ben, also took some time to settle in, and get used to LH. He still always jumped whenever the pot lids clanged together, or something got dropped on the floor and he was the sweetest grey we ever had.
Ty has a mischievious side as he as stolen a rag from the laundry room and chewed up a pamphlet in the study. Hope that will go away in time.
So, that's where I am at the moment. Being a Hausfrau and Doggie Mom and escorting the 3rd-6th graders at VBS. Not bad, but just not being as useful as I long to be.
Why is it, when we are serving and running full tilt and yearning for a few days of just being with God, and then, when transition comes and we have days to just be with God, we are yearning to be back in the pulpit? (Sigh)Are we never content?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Feeling kinda low as I won't be preaching tomorrow although, I do have a prayer and benediction to work for a supply preaching Sunday when we return from vacation the beginning of July.
I have no clue where this time of transition will lead. My self-confidence is in the gutter and I am clinging to hope.
I pray to the Silence and try to trust the One who is Life. It is most difficult not to get discouraged or give in to despair. I cannot ignore or mitigate the anguish of my soul. I have been in such an abyss before but each time has different nuances and I know God is longing to bring something to me, only I don't know what and struggle with the time that it takes and for the healing to come.
I am restless and nothing seems to bring me much peace or comfort. So, I do things for short periods and little by little there are pieces of accomplishment. That helps a bit. It gets me through another day. But the angst over our future has gripped my heart and squeezes until I can't catch my breath. I take deep breaths. I pray. But it always comes back, during the day, after dinner, in the wee hours of the morning while I am still abed but can no longer sleep. And I keep praying to the Silence that is God for now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

to be home on a Tuesday
to not be at peace
to struggle to breathe
to not succomb to despair
to keep working on my dossier

Trying desperately to keep everything in perspective. I wish I had approached some things differently, yet, they may not have made any great difference at all. Only God knows that.
I gave my last sermon Sunday and the COM rep felt it was good and loving. Can one live the love of Christ in the midst of pain and rejection. Yup. Only it takes all and everything you have and the very strength of Christ. And afterwards, you are so empty. I am glad it's over. It has been a difficult 5 months.
LH is dealing with some of the same. We will soon be in a pickle if something doesn't up soon for him or me.
What is going on in our churches? Full of fear and anxiety over their survival, yet not always willing to try something or even supporting the something members try.
I am much stronger in the short term than long term and will hopefully focus on interim, supply or designated pastor positions.
Toby, our newest greyhound, is simply not adjusting after 6 months. He destroyed several CD's while at a VBS fundraiser Sunday evening. The very last straw.
We will have to return him and our contact is willing to make a trade for a more laid back greyhound.
Perhaps, in some ways, I was not the best match for this church. They needed someone to live in town and commuting in and not always being in town every evening was a dynamic that simply didn't work there. There will be new life for them and for me, for LH. INFJ's have a harder go of it.
So, there will be a trip to IN and hard as it is to give up a dog, he needs a home where he will get more attention and stimulation. A road trip might good to put some distance between me and the church and to take one day at a time, trusting ever and always in our God of Life. Feeling in the storm tossed boat with the disciples and trusting that Jesus is in the stern even when I see him not.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The Synod of the Covenant has had to cancel the John Bell Retreat up in Michigan.
John was seriously ill with internal bleeding and undergoing tests. He has been diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer and will be taking it easy for the next month or two as he heals and recovers. May our prayers be with John for continued healing, a good recovery and time to replenish his spirit.

Packing up my office at the church, it's simply amazing how much stuff I accumulated in 5 years. Two bulging wastebasketfuls!! And there are yet 2 stacks on the bookshelf. Finding room in our already full of boxes basement, I know it must be time to chuck things big time. But, I'm of the sort, who thinks, "you never know when you'll need it." And about the time, I get rid of something, shortly afterwards, it is revealed that it was just the thing I needed!
The empty office echoes the emptiness I feel within me. I am tired, worn out and nearly completely drained. It's as though everything has been sucked out from me. The question remains, what does God want with me? To what and to whom is God calling me?
I try not to get too discouraged. Some relationships work out better than others and mistakes are made by all parties. My intellect tells me this but the heart takes more convincing and needs time to heal. Did I mention, that I feel like I could sleep for a week? I'll settle for 8 good hours when this Sunday is behind me.
It has taken every drop of energy, resolve, grace, love and the power of God to keep going. How dismissed does one feel when a parishioner swishes a cord during the sermon? There is nothing more I can say to her. She has blocked me and no longer hears.
I have stood firm in my faith, acted lovingly and graciously throughout. They cannot fault that nor my integrity.
There is new life that yet awaits them and me.
Until then, there are still a couple more boxes that need to be packed and removed, and goodbyes that need to be said.
It has been a sad and difficult week, but there is the grace of Christ's presence that sustains me and is there in the prayers and goodbyes. I have felt it.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


It has been a month since my last post and it has been a roller coaster.
I am leaving small rural church and Sunday, June 14th will be my last day.
I survived 5 years here and nurtured relationships and failed at others. I pray they will learn to communicate in healthy, honest ways.
And although, membership and finances were fairly stable, these past months, finances have been less so.
I have been a lightening rod, so to speak, for a rapidly aging congregation and younger ones. They have challenges to face and reality to face into.
I have made a couple mistakes as have they. Unfortunately, they were not willing to work through them and to grasp the reconcilation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It has been a month of anguish, failure, repentance, forgiveness, and grace.
I have noticed a draining of my energy in the past year and a lessening of joy. Not that I am afraid of challenge.
But I am drained and empty at this point and ready to move on, after some breathing space. I feel as though I could sleep for a week!
There is a different dynamic in a rural community when the pastor lives away from town. I was upfront with that in the interview.
I have stood firm in my faith and in my love for them. But it is time, for me and for them to move on, trusting ever in God.
One never wants to wish time away, but I wish that this Sunday was already over.
And the burden of these past weeks can be lifted from my shoulders, heart and spirit.
I would have liked to leave under better conditions but it is as it is and God and I are making the best of it.
COM has been helpful and fair.
LH and I are will be going on vacation the last week of June and I know it will be a time of refreshment and renewal - being with my family and on Lake Michigan, walking the beach. Water heals my soul, reminding me of the waters of my baptism which cleanse and claim me as God's own.
So, forgive me for not writing. I have been in much prayer throughout this past month and will be in the coming weeks.
I have kept up with many you, just haven't commented.
Perhaps, after this week, I will have more time write and reflect. Trust God through the changes and transitions in your life. There are always endings but in each ending there is also a new beginning. I am open to where God will lead me next and use even me, flawed, imperfect, and who has taken on a role never imagined - lightening rod! There is ever much learning and growing in faith, and a humbling.
I have been preparing the congregation in the past weeks for this change and ending, with much integrity and faithful to my Lord. It still will be difficult but I trust our God of resurrection and new life as I hope you do, too. Hold fast to the sure and certain hope that is ours ever in Jesus Christ. New life is possible!

Monday, May 11, 2009


The Geraniums arrived and I bought 6 red ones, along with 2 Silver Falls vines and on Friday planted them in my flower boxes and attached them to the porch railing. Then I mixed up some nectar and put the hummingbird feeder out. It's a wee feeder that hangs from a standing hook in my flower box.
I also did more weeding. The lupine has come up, the poppy plant is wildly growing, my forget-me-nots came back and are blooming, the Pin Cushions have taken over and have buds, the Dr. Suess flowers (Bee Balm) are abundant, but the Butterfly bush seems to have not remembered to come back and neither has the Larkspur. Two on the list to replace.
I still have to get some marjoram from the Herb Fair this weekend. But the other herbs are in except for the Basil. Ahh, the wisdom of a 50 year old that has lost a Basil every year for the past 5 years. I'm outsmarting nature this year and am waiting til the last frost date. Good thing, since they are predicting a light frost or near frost tonight.
If only I could keep the weeds and grasses at bay. 'Tis an ongoing job to weed. Little by little it all gets done and some I learn to live with knowing I can never eradicate them all. (Probably could, if I used Preen. However, Preen inhibits the growth of seeds of plants that reseed themselves (sometimes my snapdragons do) and perenials that drop seeds and spread themselves (which I wanted my perenials to do).
So, there, I live with weeds and among weeds. And some weeds are kinda nice and flowery you just have to watch that they don't take over and choke out the good flowers.
Sometimes, I have to let the weeds grow because I don't want to damage pulling out something good, like my anemones and crocuses, or young bee balm. When the flowers are done blooming and the weeds rise up, I can tell by the leaves which are which and pull the weeds unmercifully. Sometimes, I can't tell til the weed is bigger, that it's a weed and not something I planted!!!!!
One weed I've tried to grow is Milkweed. I started the seeds indoors last March thinking that by June, I could plant them outside!!! They are the slowest growing seeds that turned into thess fragile spindly stems with leaves. I nurtured them all spring, summer, fall and winter, even repotting them, always watering them. Now, a year later, I decided it was time and planted them at the side of the house by the backyard fence. They get sunlight, but shade from the fence. I'll just have to remember to water them since they are under the overhang and it doesn't get as wet.
They are on their own and have to stand for themselves!!!! Now, they are a weed and should propagate well, one would think. I have cared for them over a year and it was time for them to grow deeper roots and find their place in the world. I hope they make it. Will check on them this evening. Still the nurturer who can't entirely let go!!!
There grows my garden...

If anyone is interested in spending time with John Bell of the Iona Community, our Synod is hosting a retreat June 21-23, 2009 at Colombiere Retreat Center, Clarkston, MI (just outside Detroit). It begins Sunday evening 7 pm (registration 6 ish pm) and runs through noon on Tuesday. Cost is only $160.00 and is payable to the Synod of the Covenant, 1911 Indianwood Circle -B, Maumee, OH 43537-4063. Unfortunately, our Synod is not geared for receiving money on-line, but a check can be sent to the Synod.
John will be engaging our imaginations and will invite us to discover the ten things we never knew about Jesus.
This is open to all denominations, not just Presbyterians and is open to clergy and lay alike.
Just wanted to put the information out there, incase some MI and Northern OH folks or even further away, would want to spend some quality retreat time with John Bell.
If you want more info - comment please with your e-mail and I'll get back with you.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Things have been a bit tumultuous around here. Some dissatisfaction, some ineffective communication, etc.
One Mission/Outreach member at a recent meeting brought up surveying our 200 members as to why they aren't coming to church. Our membership has been fairly steady (confirmands equaling out those who've died).
Two hundred members? There were about 150 (actually somewhat less) when I arrived here and we are at about 130 (not counting non-confirmed children). Of those, several are in retirement homes or home bound. Some of those were coming to church when I arrived but age and health problems have taken their toll.
We have a few friends of the congregation that we see as members who haven't formally joined, but worship with us regularly.
I sense an underlying anxiety about their future and though I am willing to help them deal with it, I believe that I will bear their fear. Perhaps, it is time for me to move on and time for another to take them into the future. That is still being discerned. This is the year of my 25th Ordination anniversary. It will be a rough year ahead.
25 years of ministry! Where has the time gone? I have accomplished nothing, only served as I hope and pray, God has desired for me to do. I haven't as some Christians would say, brought anyone to Christ. I hope that in some small, loving, caring ways, I have brought Christ nearer to some, young and old alike.
I cannot point to great numbers joining the church. I cannot point to a new church building, education wing or worship center. I cannot point to a bursting endowment fund. You will not find my picture lining the wall of a church hall. You will not see my name on any plaque. Although, if you look hard, you might find a baptism record, ordination of elders and deacons record, wedding or funeral record where my name is written down as the officiating minister. And if you were enjoyed a challenge, you would find my name in the records of old Session, and Church Council minutes. My name graces no authored book. I will not be found having served any long pastorate.
I can only point to Christ my Lord and the ones with whom I have journeyed in faith serving where I was called as prison chaplain, interim minister within 3 denominations, spiritual director and installed pastor. I can point to a silly skit, a humorous newsletter blurb, a funny announcment from the pulpit, a prayer with a dying member, tears shed with those in pain over some loss or medical prognosis, money given and forgotten but used for countless mission projects and the church, sitting in court with another, kissing the forehead or cheek of that sickly, elderly bed bound one, raising my voice in song and praise to the Lord my God, sharing a funny joke with a lonely homebound one, bringing a casserole to a very sick one, peeling more potatoes than I ever have in my whole life at the homeless shelter, moderating countless meetings, holding someone else's baby, splashing the waters of baptism on infant and adult alike, placing my hand on the head of those ordained, breaking bread and sharing the cup reminding those partaking of God's complete love of them, seeking to offer words hope and comfort for a funeral and afterwards, when everyone has left and a week or two has past and grief is still raw, seeking to offer words of hope and blessing to two who join their lives as one and knowing that there will be much before that will challenge their bonds of love that they can not even begin to imagine, (but I can). This is all I have to show for my 25 years as a minister - not much, just a handful, a small offering to God on my journey of faith and life. But, I trust it is enough, humble and flawed though it all was and is, yet, somehow overflowing with grace. And I know it is enough. Thank you, Lord, for this priviledge to serve you in this time and this place. I look to you and for what is yet before me and us. Use me, just as you have and just as you will.
The newer grey, Toby, has found yet another way to get our attention and destroy something! On Monday, he took the brand new roll of toilet paper off the holder and sank his teeth all around it and in it like a chew toy. Not one sheet came off the roll. However, each sheet was pock marked with holes!!!! No longer useable.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Why I haven't been posting as much:
-having to watch Toby and Jett as they go out in the backyard to prevent
more injuries requiring stitches
-pulling dandelions in the front flower beds
-planting herbs (thyme, rosemary, Greek oregano, parsley). The Basil will have to
wait until the last frost date. This year I'm determined not to lose a Basil plant.
-pulling weeds out of the herb garden - more yet to do
-running to the dry cleaners to pick up 2 pairs of pants with new zippers.
They were supposed to be ready on Friday, then Saturday after 2 pm. Will they
be ready today?!!? If not, we will start a Dry Cleaner pool.
-sweeping all the dog hair bunnies off the floor (mainly Toby) Mental note:
no more white greyhounds!
-cleaning up all the bits and pieces of items that Toby destroys:
1 pottery snail (in a planter, on top of a small side table, in the dining room
where both entrances have an unfolded cardboard box spanning
the entrance held in place by a dining room chair. Toby is
a Houdini!)
Several hardback books
Catalogs on the coffee table
1 wooden parrot - in the planter in the entryway
Uprooted the date palm in the kitchen area
Chewed through the basket handle of our magazine basket
You get the picture!
-making visits
-writing sermons
-working on the church newsletter
-cooking dinner and cleaning up
- feeding dogs and bluebirds
-checking the slug trap
-dreaming of taking vacation
-cleaning the house (the deal was, if I was no longer full-time, I'd take over
cleaning house again.)
Yup, that's pretty much it. Keeps me busy and the gardening keeps my hamstrings sore!

This Friday Five is about what 5 things you would like to before you "kick the bucket":

1. Visit Alaska
2. Learn and practice Tai Chai
3. Write that book
4. Live in a cottage by a lake
5. Go with LH to Greece

There's several more items given more time. And I've already done a couple on my "bucket list", like plant a Gingko tree and take in retired greyhounds (although Toby is such a handful - I'm beginning to wonder how many more we welcome into our hearts and homes.).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


By the grace of God, LH and I survived Holy Week and Easter Sunday!
I was up at 4:45 am Easter and it was a beautiful sunrise for our early service at 7 am.
The traditional service was at 10:30 am. Everything went smoothly until the children's sermon time. They must have gotten into their Easter baskets early!!!
Of course it didn't help that I had a wind-up chick that kept falling on its nose.
But the kids were wired and although they almost got away from me, I reeled 'em back in!
Since I preached on Mark's version of Easter I titled my sermon, "The Rest of the Story" in a tribute to Paul Harvey who passed away this past February and whose feature I used to listen to growing up in Chicago.
After worship, I drove home and enjoyed an egg salad sandwich. Then, stretched out for a long nap.
Got up and cloved the ham, put the ham in the oven and prepared the glaze.
After supper, LH carved the rest of the spiral slices and put them into freezer bags.
The greys, of course, were mightily interested in what LH was doing. So, LH suggested letting them out. Which I did. And shortly thereafter, did they begin to race and Toby, who has never once learned any lesson, goads Jett ( who just wanted to be left alone) into running and although, I didn't see it happen, Jett lit into Toby, and I hear Toby yip and cry and into the house they both come with Toby in obvious pain and two puncture wounds on his thigh and lower waist. They are kinda deep, very raw, bloody but not bleeding.
I left for the emergency vet clinic at 6:50 pm and returned home about 10:00 pm.
Even with 3 vets there that evening, it took over 45 minutes of waiting in the exam room. The vet put Toby out (lightly) and stitched him. I took home the bill, the Rimadyl and anitbiotics and the Elizabethian collar guaranteed to perturb any dog.
Let's see, Toby just had stitches last Feb. And Jett had a scrape on his thigh 3 weeks ago.
It is getting expensive, to say the least, and heartbreaking to see a dog in pain and banged up.
LH has ordered racing muzzles for our greys and they will have to don them when they go out, no ifs, ands, or buts! This was never a problem with Ben, who was such a sweetheart and would back down in an instant. However, our ADD Toby, has no fear and doesn't take NO seriously. Sigh...I hope the muzzles will work. I've not had to return a grey yet, but Toby is on the edge of being returned to the rescue group for a tamer, gentler grey. Toby is so loveable - he just needs to learn, and I suppose he is ever so very sloowwwlllly.
So, that's how I spent my Easter evening at the emergency vet clinic.
I hope that my humor will return this week as I prepare for our Joy Sunday or Holy Humor Sunday!!!
Any good jokes going around? Send them in!!!!

Monday, April 06, 2009


God bless and sustain us as we walk with Jesus to the cross, the dark tomb, and meet the risen Lord on Easter morning. May all we offer help others to know the saving sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love, grace, hope and new life he is and gives! Bless us this week, in all we do and say, that lives will be changed and touched as your story gets told and enacted, as the bread and wine is shared, as the music is sung and your Word is heard. Amen.

Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday with our children's Easter program during worship. Grandparents came and helped fill in the pews! A retired Presbyterian pastor from the Sunshine State joined us as he is gathering genealogical information in these parts.
The Prelude was a piano, clarinet, flute piece featuring 3 Sr. Hi'ers. All arranged by the pianist. It was a great piece and nicely done. (Which brings to mind, the prelude 2 weeks ago that this same Sr. Hi'er arranged from 2 hymns in our hymnal, one of which was, "I Want Jesus to Walk With Me". He had copies of the 2 hymns (2 pieces of paper) on the piano and what he played from memory and spirit, had little to do with anything on those 2 printed pages. There were arpeggios and glissandos that were no where in sight except in the heart and fingers of this most gifted young man.)
The kids shared readings, and the younger ones, each added a fresh spring flower to the vase in front of the cross. Every child had a part or something to do. Then, the Tone Chimes played and did very well. The Children's Choir sang 5 short songs and actually sang them! I mean, there was some volume to them!!!
Worship was followed by a coffee hour and a marvelous time for socializing. It was a most blessed and enjoyable Palm Sunday.
A wee bit of calm before the storm of Holy Week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Share with us 5 signs of Hope that you can see today or have experienced in the past.

1. Crocuses are blooming and a beautiful purple!
2. The red-winged blackbirds have returned to the meadow. The trill of their
song is a joy to hear.
3. The garlic is growing.
4. It's lighter longer in the evenings.
5. The bluebirds have been flying in and out of the bluebird house. The sparrows
have stayed away for now.

Good to be reminded to look for signs of hope, amidst some unrest at the church. It has been busy, unsettling, and unnerving. Prayer is unceasing and I have to keep centered in Christ Jesus my Lord. No matter what may come or happen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

50th Birthday Celebration Continues...

So, on my real birthday, we had a simple dinner, since LH had confirmation classes that night. I had a frozen chocolate mousse granache cake from TJ's which I defrosted and there was a 5 and 0 candles on it. LH sang Happy B'Day and I blew out the candles and we ate cake.
When LH returned around 9 pm, we broke out some bubbly (fine champagne)and had a toast. I unwrapped my present - a Nikon camera with an extra lens!!! Wow!! I'll have to start snapping away and working on the art of photography.
My BIL & SIL sent a box with fun things - a tiara, a sash that read Princess, shoe vamp clips to dress up my boiled wool slippers, Beautiful by Estee Lauder which I spritzed on, a lovely journal, shower gel, 50 Something Word magnet set, an inuksuk cross rubber stamp, and Clodhoppers!!! (How I wish you could get them here and not have to import them from North of the Border!!!) I put on some 50's and Luau music and danced around with my tiara and all much to the consternation of the greys!!!!!!
The next night, LH treated me to a nice dinner out. Thus ended the celebrations, or so I thought.
I came home last evening and LH said a box came for me. I couldn't remember ordering anything and LH said it's from Apple. Apple? With great curiosity, I opened the box and found a hardcover book entitled "Cruising the Carribean" - A 50th Birthday Celebration! My niece S, put together her Mom's and her pictures and with her computer and program put this wonderful book together along with some text on the flaps of the cover and on the first page. What fun!!! I knew they took many more pictures than I did and it was neat to relive those three days together.
I do think this is finally it! The Celebration lasted nearly the whole month.
I have the best sister in the world and I love her dearly as I do my niece. I am so very blessed and graced with the family I've known and loved all my life. It is so very humbling to have had such a fuss made over me. I could do with so much less and still be just as blessed and graced. I am so thankful for my sister and family, for LH and yes, even his family who still have something to learn about caring for one another.
As we approach Lent, I will savor being loved, being loved by LH, by my sister and family, being loved by God, being loved by Christ. There is nothing greater in all the world. Our retirement portfolio may have taken a huge hit, our furniture old and mismatched, LH drives an old car, but I am rich and wealthy beyond compare, for I am loved with the greatest love that ever was, is and shall be. And that is the best birthday gift ever.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It is so good not to be in the single digits!!! Even if it rains, I'll take the 60+ degrees today. I know we'll be paying for this next week, but a break from the deep freeze of January.
Our Christmas tree has been revealed on the tree lawn of our house. I hope the city will pick it up before it snows again!!! It's been snow and ice covered since the Monday after New Year's Day! And had the city picked it up that week, it would have been gone and not snow and ice covered for over a month!!!
I can't imagine what the neighbors think!!

First off - my RGBP's page is somehow corrupted and I can't access any blogs through the RGBP's page. If anyone has any ideas on how I can deal with this, please let me know! I miss everyone, terribly.
Now, to the Birthday Surprise. My dear sister planned a get-away this past weekend. Through the past 4 weeks she would email me weekly with little hints:
weather between 60-80 degrees, what to pack - sandals, swimsuit, dressy dress, casual wear, and finally last week - my itinerary to a point: Miami.
So, last Friday I boarded a plane which flew me to Atlanta and then on to Miami.
I arrived in Miami around noon and waited in the baggage claim area for my sister.
My cell phone rings and by 12:30 pm, my sister and my niece are with me in the baggage claim area. I'm the only person on the flight from Atlanta to Miami without a clue where I'm going from there.
At long last, I know! We were going on a cruise to the Bahamas!!
The three of us took a cab to the ship and checked in with is quite a process. We found our room and stashed our bags. The whole thing seemed so unreal and I was just thrilled to be with my sister and my niece - an entire weekend together!!! Just us girls!!! Whoo Hoo!!
It was rather cool in Miami, too cool, in fact. We never were able to get off the ship on Saturday at the private island where we planned to snorkel and lay on the beach sipping fruity drinks. The water was so rough that they weren't allowing the tenders to make the trip from the boat to the island. We landed in Nassau later that evening.
The three of us sat in deck chairs reading and talking and sipping fruity adult beverages wrapped up in sweaters and our beach towels. We lasted until 2:30 pm when it simply was just too cold.
We enjoyed the shows and the great Latin music in the one lounge. We spent a beautiful day in Nassau walking to the Fort and Water Tower, then past St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk - it was afterall, Sunday! From there we walked to the public beach and put our legs in even though it was very cool. The water was beautiful green and blue and beckoned me, but simply too cold to really go in. We sat on the beach a bit anyway. Then it was further up the beach to where there were local Bahamian snack huts where we lunched and sat and soaked up some sunshine. After lunch, we walked back a stopped in a couple stores. The Straw Market was somewhat disappointing unless you were in the market for fake Prada, Coach, D & G, B & R, purses.
We had a most wonderful time together. What I had longed for most, some time with my sister and my niece was the best gift. It was the most precious, extraordinary, most treasured birthday present ever. And somehow, turning fifty, doesn't seem quite so traumatic. A little celebration seems to help make more acceptable.
Too bad that I could not have a gentle week ahead just to savor.
Our oldest member passed away Monday as I returned home. So, on top of writing a sermon and all for Sunday, I have a funeral service to work on and I am simply exhausted from not enough sleep. I will lose my day off on Friday and will have to work Saturday, have a 12 hour day today and I'm supposed to be at 3/4 time. Sigh. Maybe, I'll be able to take my birthday afternoon off next week!
In the meanwhile, I'm still getting my land legs back!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

POST 285!

With a wing and a prayer, I have lined up 4 Lenten Breakfast speakers beginning Ash Wednesday. Thank you, God! The Methodists grabbed the School Superintendent before I got a hold of him and another retired minister is out of town as is another layperson. I feel relieved!!
On my commute home, I brought home some of this country county's finest aromas: cow manure. Some farmer had a leak in his tanker or just dumped some on the state route and it went up under the carriage and/or in the wheels. Ohhh,how the garage smelled and even this morning. I'm hoping the cold air outside will freshen up the van today!!!
The things we bring home with us at the end of the day - some just stink, some are very sad, some are uplifting and encouraging, some are exciting, some are issues that linger with us far longer than we would want or because they cannot go away in just an hour's time. I have often made my commute to and fro the church a time of prayer lifting up people and situations, and the church into God's care and keeping. So much is so beyond my control, my gifts, my wisdom, my inept attempts.
God's shoulders are so much bigger than mine and God's hands are far more capable than my puny hands. But, still we let them linger on our hearts and in our spirits, and some linger longer than others. Yet, that lingering is a continual reminder to pray through it and to keep offering it up to God.

Monday, January 26, 2009


List 5 things that help you deal with Cabin Fever.
(Mostly pplies those of us in the cold & snowy North)

1. Catch up on my mending, hemming, resewing buttons, and ironing etc. Opps, have
yet to do the ironing and it's already the end of January.

2. Snooze on the couch along with the greys. Although, Toby hasn't figured out
how to get up on the couch. Every greyhound we've had figured it out by
the second day with us.

3. Cook lasagne. Yup, just this Saturday made my yearly panful. LH makes lovely
individual freezer packs that will make for an easy dinner later on. The boys
got some leftover meat sauce and a couple noodles.

4. Fight the cold - fill the feeder event. The quick dash to the Finch feeder, bring
it in, refill the seed and dash back out again. Not really a dash, because I look
like Randy in A Christmas Story!! Puffy heavy coat with hood, scarf and gloves,
plus with the snowy/icy patio, you step carefully.

5. Fun with computer solitaire and reading.

BONUS: Since I am now serving at 3/4 time, I hope to have more time for photography
and being creative, like say, working up a skit for Joy Sunday following
Easter Sunday.