Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dread Report

Hooray! I have outlines for the first two ordination questions. Sometimes getting past getting started is all it takes to build momentum.

Income tax is calculated - outcome is not pretty, but knowing is better than dreading.

Board of Ordained Ministry interviews for continuation in the process are Thursday at 11:30 am - prayers appreciated. Not ranking too high on the dreadometer right now. Just a mild underlying tension.

Busy week all over 3 different cities. This morning I will catch my breath, identify priorities and recognize that I have no deadlines next week or the week after. Stuff to do, but no deadlines. Life is slowing down a bit from the first quarter frenzy. It won't last, so I need to refill and renew while I can.

So how are you doing on getting stuff done?

Monday, March 23, 2009


Lately, I've come to realize how much mental, emotional, and even physical energy I spend dreading certain tasks or events. Most of the time, the things I dread aren't nearly as awful as I think they are going to be. Well except cleaning the toilet - that one is never good. I think my habit of dreading has been worse since I began to think about ordination writing and interviews. Those are big dreads.

I'm working on a "just do it" attitude.

What do you dread? Is dreading a habit for you?

Lord, take away this dread, for I know you do not come in a spirit of fear, but in a Spirit of peace and courage. Amen.

Heart to Heart Questions 1

On Valentines I picked up a deck of cards that are not playing cards. They are called Heart to Heart Conversation Starters. The three of us used them for our Valentine's dinner and learned something about each other. I pulled them out again for dinner tonight and thought they would make good blog fodder. So here are tonight's questions with my answers. What are your answers?

1. Who is the last person you helped? Explain.
Life-long friend - see link for explanation

2. We turned the question around and asked, who is the last person who helped you? This was much harder, because as manBoy put it, "People think I don't need any help." It seems all three of us like to help, but not so good at showing when we need help. My answer was when Gifted and Talented took me to the store on Saturday to do a return I was dreading.

So tell me about your helping and being helped.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Five: Signs of Hope

My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Songbird at RevGalBlogPals challenges us with this meme:

In the late, late winter, as the snow begins to recede here in Maine, we begin to look almost desperately for signs of spring, signs of hope that the weather has turned and a new day is on the horizon. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Easter and Spring twine inextricably, the crocuses and daffodils peeking through the Earth as we await the risen Christ. Share with us five signs of hope that you can see today or have experienced in the past.

This is an interesting question for today. I have more angst than hope this morning and I'm not sure why. So this should be a good exercise.

1. This morning I began to explore the questions I will need to answer for ordination writing (due Dec. 1) prior to ordination interviews in February 2010 prior to ordination in June 2010 if I pass all the requirements. This particular activity has filled me with dread of the writing and the interviewing. I've done it before for commissioning - no picnic. So I'm trying to see this morning's activities as a sign of hope that this very long ordination process (I began seminary in Jan. 2003) will come to fulfillment. Lord give me hope and vision in the coming months and your Spirit to sustain me. Amen.

2. Just received text from life-long friend's husband. No artery blockage. See previous post.

3. ManBoy has begun receiving propaganda (oops promotional materials) from colleges. Future looks bright. Glad he's still home two more years.

4. Church member, who is noted to be an introvert, made a concerted effort to invite some visitors to our soup supper this Sunday. Hospitality emphasis during Lent is having a positive effect!

5. I'm leaving this one blank to see what the day holds. - Lord, I know that hope is a mark of discipleship, but honestly I'm not there today. Open my eyes and heart Lord to see the signs of hope around me. Lead me in your way today and fill me with your peace. Amen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Friendship and Mortality Check

My life-long friend (our mothers were pregnant with us together) is having a heart catheterization to look for and remove blockage tomorrow. She is 4 months older than me which is way too young to be dealing with this. Needless to say it has been a sudden reminder of our own mortality for both of us.

I called her today and we had an awesome talk about what God might do for good in this. Our relationship has changed over the last few years. We are not each other's day to day buddies as much as we used to be. But still, our history is so long and so rich we can pick up where we left off. We also know each other's strengths and weaknesses. We have been through lots together - divorces of our parents, weddings, teaching, infertility, motherhood, and now middle age. Today we did some crying which she needed and some laughing which we both needed. We talked about how realizing we can't be everything for everybody might be a part of the healing process. We talked about how long she can milk this and get extra help from hubby and kids. We talked about keeping faith meaning knowing God is there even when we're not feeling it so much. I told her I am not worried for her health. I trust that the procedure will be successful and she'll feel better tomorrow afternoon than she's felt in a while. All in all it was a good conversation for both of us.

So if you think of it, your prayers for life-long friend would be appreciated early Friday morning.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


So far in my time off I have -
1. Gone to the office for a predetermined amount of time to tie up loose ends and email myself business expense information I need for my own taxes. I left at the deadline I had set, so I'm proud of that.
2. Visited with pastor of my local church and set some boundaries. Another good thing.

3. Gone to the library and checked out 4 novels.

4. Gone to the phone store to determine possibility of changing to a phone from my office. This was not all good as I got really mad when they couldn't talk to me as my husband's name was the only one on the account. I let them know how sexist it was for me to have done all of the dealing and negotiating and them to only put his name on the account.

5. Sat in big comfy chair and read 1/2 novel.

6. Facilitated productive hospitality team meeting at home church. Lenten hospitality focus coming along well.

7.Gone to the Y and done both cardio and strength training. Walked leisurely around grounds of Y enjoying beautiful weather and birds singing.

8.Moved my haircut appointment from Friday (trying to stretch them out for $ sake) to today because this week is about rejuvination and getting my mop cut would go a long way toward that.

9. Had my haircut. I love having my hair washed and head massaged. Since I can't afford a massage this week, this was the next best thing.

10. Filled car with gas and bought a few groceries.

For the rest of today:
Sit in big comfy chair or in backyard swing and read more of the novel.
Plan Disciple Bible Study Lesson for tonight.
Lead Disciple Bible Study.
Stay up really late finishing novel or starting a new one just because I can!

Lord, I thank you for the joyful moments of sabbath and for the productivity of the moments that weren't. Amen.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

I facilitated two sessions of the same seminar this weekend. The presenter was the author of a book on changing the way churches approach stewardship. He expressed dismay at the low turn out we had compared to other conferences. Some of the circumstances that contributed to this low turnout were beyond my control since I didn't schedule it (on the first weekend of Spring break)... However, I was responsible for the PR and am second guessing how I could have done things differently (better).

I'm supposed to be off this week, but I have to go in and tie up a few loose ends from the seminar and set my voice mail and email to out of office. I forgot to do that on Friday. I am working on finding a way to let go of this "woulda shoulda coulda" thinking and enjoy my week off.

As I type, I'm realizing not all my anxiety this morning is from the seminar. Part of the problem is I've been so busy right up through yesterday evening, I don't have any firm plans for my time off. Part of it is I have lots of stuff to do that is not directly work related but feels like work.

Lord, help me make Sabbath time this week. It will be so easy to get caught up in all the little to do things that I will go back to work next week just as tired as I am today. Pour your Spirit of peace in over and through me Lord. Keep me close to you. Amen.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Decisions and Enthusiasm

Last night we went to an invitation only meeting about a PSAT and SAT preparation course. Seems manBoy has potential- but we already knew that. The decision is do we spend the big bucks for this course in hopes of increasing scholarship offers? The answer is probably, but we had to think about it harder than we would have a few weeks ago before we started Money Contentment College.

I met with my DS yesterday and told him all about my Epiphany and how I'm excited about my current position and the opportunities for ministry I see there. He was pleased. Since church appointments are fewer than people to be appointed, I imagine everyone - my boss (who is assistant to the Bishop), the Bishop, and my DS will be happy to leave me right where I am. I just hope God is on the same page as the rest of us. Now that I've really come to terms with what I'm doing in the conference office and why, it would be nice if God doesn't throw in yet another change.

I'm going to Nashville at the end of the month and observe a program I really want to bring to my conference. I also get to hang out with someone I met in January who contributed greatly to the Epiphany and get introduced to other people who can help me fulfill my vision for helping churches be more effective in making disciples.

Well I must go cook 2 more pounds of sausage for a Teacher Breakfast at manBoy's school tomorrow. Cook tonight, heat in morning, take in crockpot. No more stalling by writing trivial blog posts.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Wee hours of morning: Woke up too early - practiced sermon.

Morning: Led worship and preached for two services. Both went smoothly including Girl Scout Sunday, Hospitality Moment, Orchestra Sunday, and the pianist didn't set her clock forward. Fortunately, music director was there for 8:45 service and stepped in to play the piano. I preached with much fewer notes so as to not need a stand for them - one page front and back in booklet form folded into Bible. It worked, but I had to do it in publisher to get the pages right.

Afternoon: Typed outline for evening presentation - already handwritten in journal - just needed typing. Helped manBoy track down items for medieval king costume needed for tomorrow. Consequence for waiting to last minute - he paid for items that had to be purchased and he owes me two weeks of positive attitude and pleasant tone of voice.

Evening: Spoke to parent support group for parents of children with disabilities about theology of disability - God did not do this to your child as punishment or so you would grow to face the challenge or so there could be a miracle... and much more.

Later in the evening: Made royal robe for medieval king out of sheet. Two small breaks in seam of top hem. Shoelace inserted. One cut across bottom for hem. One seam for hem. Voila! manBoy threaded the shoelace, ironed, fetched, and cleaned up mess. He still owes me.


Friday, March 06, 2009

The Challenge

So far, I have done well with not playing Turbo Solitaire during Lent. While this may seem to be a trivial or not especially spiritual fast, it drastically changes how I spend my time - how much goes to spiritual life, family life...

The challenge for today is I am working at home. Lot's more temptation. I have a sermon to write - really easy to take "just a short break" that turns into an hour before I know it. Posting this increases my accountability. I've told the world I'm not going to do this, so I'm not.

How are your Lenten disciplines going? Do you have any?