Sunday, December 14, 2008

my office collects

peculiar things in my office as I left tonight: stack of books, stack of boxes of books (moving in still), bags of oranges (left over from the sunday school goodie bags) and the best: a disco ball, used to create a starry night in Bethelehem. it's that good!

Friday, December 12, 2008

santa chronicles

Much discussion in my house lately about Santa. Santa often celebrated at Big Box stores but not usually at our house (save for the pin my Mom gave me when I was about 4- Santa moves when you tug at the string- which I seem to wear a day or two every December). So to Santa or not to Santa is the question. Eventually, the Kid joins us, and do we santa or not. Can we answer questions about why Santa is only here and not, say, in Africa? Can we impress upon the Kid the reason why and why not for Santa's coming? Don't talk to strangers, we'll say, but it's okay to talk to the big, white, furry looking guy once a year?
So Sufjan Steven's song "get behind me Santa" gets a thumbs up tonight; "we all know it's coming so put your hands together." But still, get behind me Santa.

Monday, December 8, 2008


okay, so it's one of my things. How come what I don't like helps me exude as much passion as what I do like? cold and snowy but gray-ness is the worst part. but it does bring out good hats, beautiful sweaters and the idea that even something as bad as winter doesn't last forever. There's a striking beauty in my commute today, the nakedness of the trees and the stark darkness. Reminds me that this is not the end, that something else is coming.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

handling the truth

There have been at least five times in the past two weeks where I have had to wonder"Do i tell the truth or not?" And four out of five I did- but it was a hard truth to tell. Seriously, I shouldn't have to think that hard about it! And now, today, I read that McCain is ahead in the polls. And I see that the polls are DIFFERENT than they were five months ago (of course a Republica shoots ahead in the polls when the number of Republicans being asked increases!) And McCain is complaining about media bias- does he know it's in his favor? Would someone please tell the truth?

Monday, September 1, 2008

i am...

New church, new routines, new rituals. One of my favorites so far: the man working on a degree, learning reiki, and other interesting mind/ body sorts of things. when I served him communion, he was saying something. I understood a week ago and this week, let him speak first
he said "I am" I said "the body of Christ." What do you think of that?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

getting started

A few days of the new church under my belt and no major bumps. Getting back into the preachign gig may be a bit more difficult, considering I used to do it every week but that was at least a year ago. Today, I'm turning over the idea of walking on water. Isn't that in some REO speedwagon song? Don't know but I'm sure it might be something to consider- since it seems that phrase has made it into our everyday language. So, can you walk on water? how do you walk on water every day?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

pink shirt in the pulpit

Maybe it's because it's a new place I'm starting at that I want to look somewhat put together. But I did it- I ordered a PINK clergy shirt from Womenspirit. And it looks good- and not too male or as if I'm fashion phobic, which those shirts have usually done for me. Maybe it's the idea that it will be okay here, with two women in the pulpit. Exciting since not too many places have been served by two female clergy. And I'm afraid the clergy is in no danger of becoming a pink collar profession. Still, I'm happy to add my two cents worth of pink collar.
Thanks to Sarah Sentilles' new book, A Church of Her Own, as she brings up the topic of clothing. She dedicates an entire section to the body and a whole chapter to clothing. I remember my first clothing comment, said with a grimace and in a condescending tone, "Pastor, those sandals make your feet look sexy!" Thankfully, my husband says this too, but he punctuates it with a smile. So are we all about our clothes? And is it that anyone who says that they want to know more of God and follow Jesus more closely is supposed to be a quiet, faceless, drab looking vessel for the Spirit? Or can we show some personality?

(thanks to Pink Shoes for the jumping off place for the title today! )

Monday, July 28, 2008

small and big why

Two months later, I reappear. Working on a new computer, I am wondering why- why didn't we do this sooner? it's spiffy and fast and - why didn't we buy a new one sooner? I've been hanging around with lots of toddlers who also ask why. Why does the match make a fire? why does the sprinkler get me wet? why doesn't the older boy let me take a turn on the swing? so many good questions. When my young friend W returned home yesterday, he wanted to watch Super Why. (what a great name!) My husband, the scientist, seems to be getting stuck. He's got lots of explanations but none simple enough to help out a three or four year old. A friend of mine and I have been dealing with bigger whys? Why is our friend and colleague dying? why can't the doctors control the pain? why isn't anything working? So i'm left wondering some of the bigger whys this morning- thankful for the brainpower to do it but still wondering why.

Friday, May 16, 2008

work- less

What would it be like to have no work? I know some folks have nothing to do, no actual work to get up for in the morning. I have no idea. Today is frustrating because there is so much to do, projects, assignments, the occasional sermon to be working on. And my mind is simply swimming. But no work? I can't fathom that. Some do though, they get bored, as I was told earlier this week. Can't say I've ever been bored, more the opposite. So with my bathroom leaking into my kitchen, jobs to find, and yardwork always calling, there's always something to do. thankfully, I also have meaningful work- conversations, writing, presentations that engage my heart and my mind. People to interact with. Too many adventures to investigate. I re discovered Matthew Fox's Reinvention of Work as I was donating a bookshelve-ful this week. He writes about just this- the need to reinvent or remember that work is so important. It all counts. God sees it all. So go ahead, get to work!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

beautiful tragedy

Today I participated in a "commendation of the dying" service for a friend, colleague, and mentor. It was awful. And beautiful. She has lived a caring, grace- filled life and today, she began the process of dying in that way. We walked through the font, we sang loudly sometimes, and quietly at other times, we prayed. We cried. It was awful. And beautiful. All at the same time. I forget that sometimes we learn more when we're not so much trying to learn. It was like a glorious on- the- way- to -a- funeral time. It was something we all might take on, it was helpful for all of us gathered and for her I think. Since I can't say death frightens me, it was all the more wonderful to watch her step into her new role of teaching the rest of us how to live well. As she always has.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

corner blinded

As I mentioned at the last posting, we were some "trials." Just to be clear, I know people have real problems- not enough food or clean water, live on life support, or with a major illness. Goodness, just this week at a very wonderful church we visited, someone shared testimony of how God had gotten her through the shooting death of her 18 year old son. Like I said, real problems!
Normally we're not very self- absorbed. Can I say that and not sound self-absorbed?
Recently, we've been "corner blind", blinded by our problems, not able to see outside of what we perceive as difficult times. This past week we essentially severed a professional relationship. This was not easy, not fun, nor without lost sleep. It's a difficult thing to do to sever a relationship. We felt odd and uneasy for several weeks but we are now able to sleep. And thank God that God's given guidance in how to deal with our problems. We continue to hold those folks in prayer for all the work they do.
And hopefully, we can continue to receive guidance about how we live our lives to be a blessing to others, not getting stuck on our corner of the world.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

planes that never get off the ground

Thanks to Allison Krauss for the title of today's post. Yes, it seems this week we've had some planes and plans that just don't get off the ground. Adoption continues to be painstakingly slow. Confusing and difficult. But today I'm at the computer because Hubby is not working from home today and trying to get some plans together for a trip to Denver- some work, some fun, some family, some free house remodeling. Ah, but it's been a journey trying to get many schedules to coordinate at just. the. right. time. Very tricky when dealing with transportation and soccer games. I just hope that our plane does get off the ground. Looking forward to some sunshine. And to see some faces that brighten my spirit.

Monday, February 18, 2008

windy, no sun

Yes, it is incredibly windy today. and just last week the sun shone for about 5 minutes, after at least a week of no sun. at. all. Our lives have been windy too. Lots of change. Adoption things click along, some progress. Not much but we'll take it.

Last week's shootings at Northern Illinois hit closer to home. A windy moment for many- feeling untethered, at loose ends. I say it hits close to home because I know one of the campus pastors and several students at NIU. Also, it reminds me of Columbine when I was living just down the road from the high school then. Please what's with the guns? And the terror it strikes into those close and those far away. I pray these shootings would stop. Then, I pray we'll never get so overexposed tothese tragedies that we become permanently numb to people's pain.

It is windy today. Wind always changes things though. My hope and prayer is that wind blows through the NIU campus, and the Wind blows in the hearts and minds of all those this has touched. I'm reminded of the Lutheran bishop's (Gary Wollersheim) remark on that cold windy night they gathered for the first memorial. "We kept relighting each other's candles as we sang Amazing Grace. That's what we're supposed to do for each other, help light each other's candles again when they can't."
Windy today.

Monday, February 4, 2008

primary eve

The phone continues to ring off the hook, I'm trying to start dinner. Just got a mini-sermon message as the recorded greeting asked us to vote for Obama. The calls just keep coming! What must it have been like in Iowa in January.
Another (un)related story. We tried a new church yeseterday and we're pleased to find a slightly integrated congregation small, but teeming young kids. Well, we looked at each other, did we find something interesting? Then the lady began to speak, later to preach. Okay, I get to say something here since I am a lady preacher. She. was. bad. Bad. slow, no passion, but political. Started out about transfiguration but I got lost in all the mish-mash. Be clear, lady! Say something you believe in! Seems like I got a better, more impassioned, more focused sermon on my answering machine tonight. I thought the preachers weren't supposed to be political but they sometimes do a good job of dancing the line. I th0ught politicians weren't preachers but, hmm, maybe some are!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

sad tacos

So I'm usually not this deep and lately, not this observant. But my taco trip the other day really surprised me. Now, with full disclosure, I'll admit I'm a Chipotle junky and have been since I visited their first store years ago in Denver. When they first opened in our neighborhood a few years ago, I was 3rd in line! So I walk in yesterday for chicken tacos and see almost all Latino folks working on the line and in the kitchen and an African American manager. The last time I was in several months ago, almost all employees were African American. Our neighborhood is decently integrated and the folks who frequent the restaurant tend to be more African American than not. So I'm curious about the change in employees. And a little sad because it seems to me that the racial inequity goes on. So I took my tacos and went home, a little less hungry.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

getting by

The third call from the adoption social worker was this morning. Could we push back the appointment one more time? Yes, of course, no problem. But I really wanted to say, yes, it is a problem. Sometimes I want to say that to the world, when things seem a little off center, which they do a lot lately. "Hey, rearrange your scheduled to mine!"but until then we'll be getting by.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"If you don't know what to write, write that"

So about a million post possibilities went through my head today as I was out and about running errands. We got our immigration fingerprints done today- one step closer to adoption heaven and actual Kiddo living with us. We've been cleaning for a week waiting for the adoption lady (as we lovingly call her) to come wrap things up and do a home inspection. I think we're okay, not too nervous but we'll see what tomorrow brings! so, here's my line of questionsing as I'm driving around: Why do government buildings never seem to open early (lik 7:58am instead of 8am) but most private companies do? How in the world will I get enough arm strength to carry around a toddler- do I have to start carrying around pounds of split peas? why are there so many people at the grocery store after New Year's if everyone is trying to lose weight? How long will one be sloth-like if one (meaning me) has recently become unemployed? and how did I manage to get such great teachers- like Mrs Harrington in 3rd grade who I liked because she smelled nice and looked tall because she always wore high heels? It was Mrs Harrington who taught us to journal frequently- what a great idea to get kids to be quiet- note to self. When my friend Dominick complained he couldn't think of what to write, she'd say "If you don't know what to write, write 'I don't know what to write, I don't know what to write' over and over." She was right- shortly, you think of something to write, just like I did, just now.