Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Five: Garage Sale!

Welcome to your irregularly scheduled Fifth Friday Five, hosted by will smama and Songbird!Since will smama is preparing for a joint garage sale with her parents, and Songbird's church had a Yard and Plant Sale last Saturday, we have five enormously important questions we hope you will answer:
1) Are you a garage saler?
Not so much any more. There was a time when G&T and I used to garage sale for entertainment on Saturday mornings, but that was in a time of fewer responsibilities. After manBoy came with very little notice (less than 24 hours), we garage saled for baby paraphernalia.

2) If so, are you an immediate buyer or a risk taker who comes back later when prices are lower? Usually, I just buy right then. I don't want to have to come back. If it's a pricy item, I might go away for a while and let myself consider whether it's something I really want/need.

3) Seriously, if you're not a garage saler, you are probably not going to want to play this one.(That wasn't really #3.)

3) This is the real #3: What's the best treasure you've found at a yard or garage sale? A high chair for manBoy. We were at the stage when we needed one, but not in a place to spend retail dollars. We had looked at several places that advertised baby stuff, but alas no high chair. Then, at what we had decided would be our last stop there sat a wonderfully clean and in good condition high chair. It was almost all that was left at that particular garage sale. Definitely a God thing in my book. I also bought some leather boots for $5 more than 15 years ago. I still wear them in the winter.

4)If you've done one yourself, at church or at home, was it worth the effort? Well it got a lot of stuff out of my house before our last move, and a couple of times since then. It's a good way to get rid of kids stuff. I'm making my own bonus below that talks about this.

5) Can you bring yourself to haggle? Usually not, but if it looks like everything is priced high with the expectation of haggling, I'll bite.

BONUS: I'm creating my own bonus. When manBoy was 5, we had a big sale just before we moved to our current home. With a little sadness, I bundled up his cribset (dust ruffle, bumper pads, sheets, a new blanket, pillow, and mobile) and priced it at $20. We kept the real blankie, it's a long story how we had two, but that's okay. All day long, people came and went. I was a little relieved when the crib set didn't sell. Finally in the afternoon, a young couple came by. She was round with child, and they were delighted to find a complete set for such a good price. Their excitement suddenly made it okay to let it go. I remembered the excitement we had when we put manBoy's nursery together (after he was already here). I also remembered how glad we were to find the high chair, and stroller, and walker, and many other baby items we needed at other garage sales. I was thrilled this couple would have the same opportunity. So on that day, the answer to number 4 is yes, it was definitely worth it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


What does it take to restore a neglected relationship to health? It takes time and intentionality and listening and sharing one's heart and being vulnerable and time and intentionality and inherent interest in the best for the other and time and intentionality. But this in itself is not enough, it also takes God's healing touch.

This is true for human relationships. It is also true of our relationship with God. It is so easy to let our relationship with God slip to the back burner when times are good and we are less needy or when times are bad and we are caught up in survival mode. But when we realize what has happened, not all at once, but a little at a time so that we barely noticed, we can make a change. We can invest time and be intentional and be open with our hearts and consider God's desire before our own and invest time and vulnerably admit our fears & hopes and God will bring restoration.

Loving God, Thank you for the restoration and healing you bring to our lives. Teach us to open our hearts and give of ourselves to others and most of all to you. Amen.


Wonderful. weekend. Nuff said.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Five Vacation Style

Sally at RevGalBlogPals wrote this meme. "It is a holiday weekend here in the UK, and the weather forecast for much of the country is not good!!! But we can still dream and so with that in mind I bring you this Friday Five."

1. Getting ready for summer, do you use the gradual tanning moisturisers ( yes gentlemen you too can answer this!!!), or are you happy to show your winter skin to the world?
Well, I'm not happy about showing my pasty white pudge to the world, but I'm not going to let it stop me from doing what I want to do. I'll be in swimsuit this weekend, so watch the news for albino whale spottings. I never got the hang of tanning lotions - can't get them even.

2.Beach, mountains or chilling by the pool, what/ where is your favourite getaway?
Any of the above. I love the sound of the ocean, but really anything that is not city is good - better if there is water of some kind.

3.Are you a summer lover or does the long break become wearing?
Well back when I had a break for summer, I loved it. Since I was a teacher for lots of years, this will be my second summer ever working full time. Not nearly as much fun.

4.Active holidays; hiking swimming sailing, or lazy days?
Hmmm - depends on the activity. Not so much on those listed here, but there are other kinds of activities (wink). I love just hanging out with a good book. My family will only hang out for so long before we need to find something to do.

5.Now to the important subject of food, if you are abroad do you try the local cuisine, or do you prefer to play it safe?
I'm a chicken, not great at trying exotic foods.

No bonus this week unless you can think one up!!! Okay here's mine -
Due to a crummy vacation policy at G&T's work, we won't be taking an extended vacation this year. The two of us are however getting away alone this weekend. We are going to posh place and plan to do as little as possible. Does swimming to the swim up bar count as activity? Even if you just get fruit juice?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

DogBlogger tagged me for this meme:

Rules: The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about himself or herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Yadayadayada

Ten years ago: I was preparing to move into the house where I live now. I was anticipating my 20th high school reunion. manBoy was finishing pre-school and preparing for kindergarten. I had no inkling there would ever be Rev. in front of my name.

Five things on today's "to do" list: Meeting about residency requirements for ordination, lunch with friend who is starting a special needs ministry, haircut, work on sermon, workout at Y. All done :-)

Things I'd do if I was a billionaire: Help children with disabilities in Vietnam get the equipment and training they need. Pay off my student loans and other accumulated debt. Pay off church building debt. Send manBoy to top college without student loans. Put a pool and hot tub in the back yard.

Three bad habits: procrastination, leaving cabinet doors and drawers open, and according to manBoy - nagging,

Five places I've lived: Kerrville, Carrollton, Fredericksburg, Lakey, and Huntsville in no particular order.

Five jobs I've had: Music store clerk (2 weeks), Flower Shop Delivery Person, Camp Counselor, Pizza Place Counter Person, Teacher.

Five people I'm tagging:
Vicar of Hogsmeade
Rev. Dulce
Mary Beth

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Camp Pastor

I've added a new title and role to my already interesting list - Camp Pastor for SEEK Camp. SEEK Camp is for persons with special needs and is put on by great volunteers from our conference each summer. This particular session will be for kids ages 9 and up.

I am so excited about this. I have been asked to help with SEEK Camp more than once in the past few years. My obligations as student and mother prevented me from being able to say yes. But it was more than that. I just couldn't get excited about serving as a one-on-one counselor/helper. I've done that before - lots of times, but it just wasn't calling me at this point in life. If my classwork and parenting hadn't been obstacles, I would have had to look closely at that. I don't think everything we are called to do will thrill us, and I would have had to ask myself if I had a real reason for declining.

Then, I got an email last week looking for someone to lead worship for SEEK Camp. That got my attention! It seems to be the perfect melding of all my life experiences and my new role as pastor. For new readers, I was a special education teacher in my previous life (BS-before seminary).

Today, I got to speak with the Camp Director. As we visited about the theme of the camp, I began to have ideas. By the time we hung up, I had formulated the themes and some of the details for the three evening worship services. I will also lead a short devotional - get energized morning worship each day. In between, I'm looking forward to just being there as a servant. Helping where I'm needed whether it be pastoral care or physical assistance. This. will. be. fun. and uplifting. and spiritually renewing.

Thank you God for exciting opportunities to serve you. Your love and guidance are steadfast indeed. I can't wait to see what else you have in store. Amen.

New Books & Good Day All Around

Today the UPS person brought me new books from Amazon. While this may cause groaning on the part of G&T when he sees the books and the bill, it brought smiles, energy, and enthusiasm to the rookie. These new books include a four volume set of Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary. These are cool books. They wouldn't pass muster as seminary texts, but they are just right for the average lay person wanting to know more about the language and culture referred to in the Bible. And.....they have pictures. And...the information is linked to and organized by scripture passage. It's not a dictionary where you look up the topic. It's background information for specific books and passages. This particular set covers the New Testament. I've been browsing through them. They will be helpful in sermon prep and especially with facilitating Disciple Bible Study next fall.

On another note, the new dryer is here. G&T will have to hook it up when he gets home as we didn't spring for new power cord or venting material and the installers aren't allowed to hook up with old ones. So in just a few hours I'm back in laundry business. You think I wouldn't be all that excited, but I like the feeling that comes with getting through all the mounds of dirty clothes and having three baskets of folded clean ones. I like the smell of clean clothes!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If the dryer dies on Tuesday...

it normally wouldn't be a big deal. I usually do the bulk of our laundry on the weekends. This past weekend, I chose to spend time with our company leaving the laundry for Monday and Tuesday evening. So the fact that the dryer died this morning as I started the load that had washed while I slept last night is a bit more of an inconvenience. Especially since many of my work clothes and 80% of my underwear lie in a tidy pile in my bathroom floor waiting for this evening's wash/dry cycle., I will go to Mall near office and purchase undies at JCPenny - something I've been needing to do anyway. I will also drop by Sears and compare models live before going on line and placing my order. The 15% off sale ends this evening.

There is much to be grateful for in all this. I'm typing this so as to breathe out the irritation and breathe in peace. Gratitude is the key.

Thank you Lord for the comfortable home I live in, for electricity and running water, for friends who will let me bring wet clothes to put in their dryer, for the financial means to purchase things I want and things I think I need. Thank you Lord for a husband who finds the measuring tape and measures the space for the dryer while still in his bathrobe. Thank you for the technology that allows me to shop on line. Remind me Lord that there are many who do without the things I deem necessary, and lead me to help them even as I seek to make my life more convenient. Thank you Lord, most of all for your unending love. Amen.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Joy Report

Saturday afternoon found me in Big Perfomance Hall in nearby city listening to twin nieces play in their middle school band. It is a big deal to be in middle school and play in the big concert hall. Then we (G&T, his mom, sisters & their manfriends, manBoy and I) all walked around downtown of nearby city, ate lunch at 3pm, and shopped a little.

Normally this kind of thing would leave me stressed and nursing a headache. G&T's family doesn't like to plan in advance which in the past has driven me to the brink if insanity (don't ask from which direction).

Saturday was different. I was able to relax and go with the flow. I actually enjoyed myself. Those around me enjoyed my presence more than they would have if I had been my old uptight self. I usually hate. shopping. This time, I was the only one who bought stuff, and I bought: a plate holder for my communion paten to go in my office, and two novels. When G&T asked if there was something I wanted for Mother's Day, I dragged him back two blocks for the unique cross I had seen in another shop. At the end of the day, I was hot, but not exhausted, and I realized I had fun!

Sunday, was less successful in the not being uptight mode, but still better than the past most of the day. Baby steps.

Thank you Lord for your patient work in my life and in my heart. Don't stop now! I'm a work in progress. Amen.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Letting Go

manBoy is now the proud owner of a Learner's Permit. He may legally (not necessarily safely) drive with a adult over the age of 21 in the front seat with him. I let him drive the last three blocks home the day he got it, and a little the next day. His dad does much better at letting him drive and learn just how much acceleration, brake, and turning it takes to keep a car in the right place at the right time. Riding in the car with a teenage boy learning to drive could possibly be the ultimate Spiritual Discipline. It involves letting go at a whole new level. I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing with that.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Five - Wait and Pray

Sally at RevGalBlogPals puts forth for consideration:

Part of the Ascension Day Scripture from Acts 11 contains this promise from Jesus;"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Then he was taken from their sight into the clouds, two angels appeared and instructed the probably bewildered disciples to go back to Jerusalem, where they began to wait and to pray for the gift Jesus had promised. Prayer is a joy to some of us, and a chore to others, waiting likewise can be filled with anticipation or anxiety....

So how do you wait and pray?

1. How do you pray best, alone or with others?
My journal is a prayer journal - most of the time, so I guess you can say I pray best alone. While I was in CPE, I did gain skill (yes there is skill involved) and understanding of praying with the sick and hurting.

2. Do you enjoy the discipline of waiting, is it a time of anticipation or anxiety?
For most of my life I was terrible at waiting. I often jump into decisions too quickly. My husband is very slow at making decisions. Sometimes we have to agree when we will decide something. I can't jump the gun and he has to cut his research off at that point.

That being said, I spent over a year waiting to hear where I would be appointed. There were many false starts and disappointments. In the end, it was all for the best, including the waiting and all that went on during that time.

Now I feel I have this call to use my gifts with our missionaries in Vietnam, but I'm not in a hurr;y. I feel like God will open the doors when and where they need to be opened. It's not that I'm afraid of moving forward, it's that I just know I need to wait and see how God unfolds this rather than making things happen.

3. Is there a time when you have waited upon God for a specific promise?
Well you could say waiting for an appointment, but there have been others. As we struggled with infertility and finally began steps toward adoption, I became content to wait for whatever God had planned for our family. When I finally voiced this "peace with the plan," I didn't have to wait long - about 72 hours before our precious manBoy was in our arms.

4. Do you prefer stillness or action?
At first I was going to say action, but really I enjoy both in their own time. I am an X on the introvert/extrovert scale. Really, I'm a reflective extrovert. I truly appreciate time to "be still," but I thrive on the thrill of completion as the result of action.

5. If ( and this is slightly tongue in cheek) you were promised one gift spiritual or otherwise what would you choose to recieve?
Gentleness, which is really a fruit rather than a gift.

My own bonus: It is possible that my wait for ordination may have been shortened by one year. The petition was passed at General Conference. What remains to be seen is whether it will affect those of us already in the probationary (now provisional) period. I guess I will need to practice patience waiting to see if it changes my progress, and trust in God that it will happen at the right time.