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.